Skip to main content

Full text of "An illustrated history of the state of Washington, containing biographical mention of its pioneers and prominent citizens"

See other formats



3 1833 01149 7929 




;m ¥wt^ 


>v'\v. ^^A<c:<^, 


1^^ -y4'i^ 






Containino- a History of the State of Washington from the Earliest Period of its Dis- 
covery to the Present Time, together with Glimpses of its Auspicious Future, 
Illustrations and Full-page Portraits of some of its Eminent Men 
and Biographical Mention of many of its Pioneers 
and Prominent Citizens of to-day. 


'A people llial take no piicle in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to he 
remembered with pride by remote descendants." — Macatilny. 



V ^■■'^n= =- = == ^ = = ^^ 







ll P to 1853 the history of what now constitutes the great State ol Washington was the common history of all the 
Pacific Northwest, then known as Oregon. All the facts and incidents that went to make up the story of the 
one entered into that of the other. In some respects, indeed, they were more intimately connected with 
the territory now embraced in Washington than v/ith that now included in Oregon. This was especially true with 
many of the early discoveries, and with the entire course of international diplomacy involved in the Boundary Question. 
It was needful, therefore, to the unity and completeness of our history, to give a somewhat extended account of the 
events that led up to the Washington Territory of 18.5o and the State of Washington of 1.S98. From first to last, 
through all the era of discovery and all the finesse of diplomacy, as well as through the adventures of immigration 
and the tragedies of Indian warfare, every change was but a part of the germ and seed whose consummate fruit will 
be the ultimate Washington. By the necessity of the case the most of the history of Washington has been of this 
character. Long, indeed, were the years of her struggle with the wild elements of barbaric life, and with the rugged- 
ness of a native condition almost without a parallel in the rugged West; but magnificent was the outcome of that 
struggle. Many volumes, treating in special detail different departments of her thrilling and varied story, would be 
required to cover all its ground, or to bring into view all the names and deeds that are entitled to remembrance, and 
even to fame, as builders of this now great commonwealth. Beyond the compass of the design of this book this could 
not be here attempted. We could only choose what seemed essential to the continuity of narrative, and the interpre- 
tation and illustration of the times and deeds of those who builded so bravely and so well. Whatever of continuous 
history may be found lacking in the narrative will be largely supplied in the rich and ample biographical department 
of the book. If " history is biography teaching by example," surely there is abundant history in the lives recorded in 
our biographical department. Those whose names are here enrolled, and the unnamed thousands like them, were the 
true l)uilders of this Western world, who, " with high face held to her ultimate star," lived and wrought and died for 
her greatness. We are sure that those who read their story will feel that these people fought 

"Braver battles than ever were fought 
From Shiloh back to the battles of Greece." 

AVith the hope that somesvhat has b?eu said to eahanoe the patriotic appreciation in which those whose work is here, 
celebrated is held by their countrymen, and to make the great State they have founded better known among them 
this work is submitted to the people of Washington. 


November, 1893. 


Chapter. Page. 

I. — Topograpby— Climate - Productions 13 

II. — Earliest Discoveries 20 

III.— Earliest Discoveries, coDtimied 27 

IV. — Overland Explorations 37 

V. — Rival Claims and Pretensions 48 

VI.— Rival Claims and Pretensions, continued 57 

VII. — First American Settlement 63 

VIII.— Missionary Occupancy 74 

IX.— Hudson's Bay Company 85 

X. — Missions and the Americanization of the North- 
west 95 

XI.— Immigrations 103 

XII.— Immigrations, continued 113 

XIII. — Provisional Government 120 

XIV.— Territorial Era 133 

XV. — Opening History North of the ( 'olumbia 141 

XVI.— Separate Political Existence 147 

XVII. — Territorial Government Organized 151 

XVIII.— Territorial History, continued 155 

XIX. — Territorial History, continued 158 

XX.— Settlement of Eastern Washington 163 

XXL— Territorial History, continued 167 

XXII.— Territorial History, continued 172 

XXIII.— Territorial History, continued 177 

XXIV.-Progress to Statehood 183 

XXV.— Indian Wars 189 

XXVI.— Indian Wars, continued 198 

XXVII.— Indian Wars, continued 203 

XXVIII.— Indian Wars, continued 206 

XXIX.— Indian Wars, continued 209 

XXX.— Indian Wars, continued 215 

XXXI.-Indian Wars, continued 220 

XXXII.-Principal Cities of Washington— Olympia. 337 

XXXIII.— Principal Cities, continued— Spokane 233 

XXXIV.— Principal Cities, continued -Tacoma 242 

XXXV.— Principal Cities, continued -Seattle 250 

XXXVI.— Principal Cities, continued— Walla Walla..259 

XXXVII.— The Mineral Wealth of Washington 264 

XXXVIII.— Early Washington Bar 26!) 

XXXIX.— Washington at the World's Fair 27!» 



Abbott, L. G 7G6 

Abbott, Sabine 571 

Abrams, D. K 791 

Adair, G. B 906 

Adams, A. H C73 

Adams, M.I. 690 

Ahola, Peter 843 

Aldrich.M 415 

Alexander, C. E 450 

Alexander, E. S. (South Bend). .693 

Alexander, G 842 

Alexander, J. H 64i 

Allan, H «48 

Allen, Albert. 305 

Allen, G. S 748 

Allen, . I. H 604 

Allen, Watson 573 

Allison, G. S 297 

Alvord, C. C S61 

Anders, T. ,1 751 

Anderson, A.J 591 

Anderson, A. L 780 

Anderson, A. W 832 

Anderson, V. M 823 

Anderson, 1. W 854 

Anderson, T. McA 355 

Anderson, W. R 623 

Andreson, J. P. W 474 

Andrews, L. B 457 

Andrews, Wm 881 

Annis, O. M 831 

Ansberi^er, S 459 

Applegate.J 499 

Armstrong, 6. S 852 

Armstrong, J 795 

Armstrong, J. M 380 

Arnold, A. W .fi87 

Arthur, John 549 

Arthur, S. T 474 

Ashley, J. K 366 

Atkinson, J. D 614 

Attridge, R. D 676 

Auer, Conrad 857 


Babcock, G. W 373 

Backus, C. F 304 

Baer, H. P 336 

Bailey, Edmund 682 

Bailey, Wm. E 001 

Baillargeon, J. A 590 

Baker, C. H 528 

Baker, Sarah L 814 

Balabanotr, C. P 765 

Ballard, W.U 453 

Ballinger, R. A 660 

Barnard, F. J 456 

Barnett, J. W 493 

Barthrop. B. B 730 

Barllett, F. A 821 

Bartlett, F. A 905 

Bash, Henry 827 

Beardsley, J. F 911 

Becker, J. C 444 

Beckett, D 431 

Beckett. Henry 738 

Beecher, H. F 718 

Beek.i, L. H 639 

Beeks, W. W 341 

Bennett, \V. 293 

Berger, Charles 908 

Bergstrom, A. P 476 

Bernier, Julien 778 

Berry, L. P 723- 

Bigelow, I. N 861 

Billings, C. A 870 

Billings, Wm 679 

Bioudi, Eugene 833 

Bishop, M. S 495 

Blaine, D. E 721 

Blalock, J. B 303 

Blalock, Y. C 749 

Blandford, H. S 464 

Blootnfield, N. H 348 

Blowers, A. D 565 

Blyth, J. R 613 

Bonney, F. W 849 

Bonney, L. W 611 

Botheil, George 903 

Bostwick, A. C 369 

Bosworth, N 516 

Bowles, C. U 499 

Bowman, J. H 576 

Bowman, W. J 925 

Boyd, James 731 

Bovd, Wm. F 917 

Boyd, Wm. P 624 

Brace, J. S 483 

Braden, Joseph 403 

Branaui, K. F 610 

Brant, J. A. C 445 

Braun, Albert 630 

Brawley, D. C 870 

Brawley, W. R 870 

Bredemeyer, Wm 835 

Bresemanu, G 708 

Brewster, Wm. II 432 

Briggs, Albert 8B3 

Brigg.s, B. F 583 

Brook, Henry 420 

Brooks, Q A 714 

Brown, Amoi 545 

Brown, F. A 476 

Brown, F. R 663 

Brown, Frilz 38.! 

Brown, F. W 809 

Brown, H.J 333 

Brown, J. S 410 

Brown, S. W 308 

Brown, Z. D 317 

Browne, J J 760 

Bryan, R. B 675 

Bryant, W. J 606 

Bucey, Henry 930 

Buck, Norman 436 

Bucklin, E. F 693 

Biillene, G. W 761 

Bunker, J. E 653 

Burke, Thomas 733 

Burleigh, A. F o85 

Burlingame, 1 574 

Burnett,Hiram 556 

Buroker, D 414 

Burr, S. F 696 

Burrows, C. E 404 

Burt A. K 426 

Burt, J. M 462 

Bush, J. S . . .378 

Butler, Hillory 717 

Butterworth, E. R 514 

Byrd.G. W 617 

Byrd, J. C 417 

Byrne, C. C 3iS 


Caesar, P. V 391 

Cain, N. F 811 

Caluwell, K. G 683 

Callioun, (J. V 779 

Call'>wav, T. M 619 

Caiii.Ton, A 40. 

C;ui,ei.m, A. R 491 

Cameron, II. J 798 

Campbell, S. S 310 

Campbell, Thomas 343 

Canby, E. L 436 

Caples, H. L a48 

Caples, H. R 475 

Carr, E. M o -3 

Carr, O. J 602 

Carrier, B. N 314 

Carson, J. M 486 

Carter, Harry 656 

Carter, P. B 860 

C^arty, James 820 

Carwell, I'liilip 794 

CattHrson, T. I. 511 

('liainli.'ilin, II. G 735 

ChainliHis, .\ II sn 

C'liaii.ll.T, W. .M ..494 

nifiipy Knllei- .Mills 353 

ChilhAi-, .InsHph .'!'.937 

Cliiiinaseio, A. (' 461 

Clnnch, A. il 733 

C'liunhill, K. A 431 

Cbristophfr, T ^93 

Claoton, Levi _ . , .7(;7 

Clapp, C. F 515 

Clark, A. J 376 

Clark, C. E 456 

Clark, F. L 434 

Clark, Nelson 210 

Cleveland, G. E 3S3 

Clode, A. J 635 

Close, W. D 637 

Clough, C. F 431 

Clough, L. B 439 

Cochran, J. W 329 

Cole, G. E 349 


Collius, D. W 776 

Colman, J. M 333 

Colvin, 1 650 

Compton, 1 340 

Connell, Joseph 879 

Conover, S. B 703 

Cook, A. J 451 

Cook, A. R 087 

Coombs, S. F 513 

Cooper, A. AV 7S3 

Copeland, G 406 

Copland, H. S 756 

Coppin, Charles 882 

Corell, H. A 772 

Corey, R. C 9i5 

Corkrum, U 757 

Corkrum, W. J 755 

Corawell, J. M 385 

Costly, Wm 426 

Cottouoir, D 790 

Cowles, A. B 659 

Cowley, JI. M 322 

Cox, H. R 921 

Coyne, W. E. S 507 

Cram, Daniel 294 

Cramer, John 861 

Cranney, Thomas 567 

Crawford, S. L 583 

Crawford, \\ . P 455 

Cristman, John 922 

Crockett Hugh 007 

CroftOD, George 811 

Croll, Samantha 750 

Crosby, C 325 

Crosby, Waller 667 

Cross, W. N 357 

Crotly, J. L 500 

Crowder, Reuben 620 

Crowley, D. J 077 

Cummin, G. F 352 

Curry, A. P 390 

Curry, M. T 508 

Gushing, C. W 427 


Daniels, W.B 468 

Darland, G. II 692 

Davenport, S 4;!5 

Davis, B. \V 670 

Davis, H. C 542 

Davis, AV. N 411 

Dawson, Charles 910 

Dawson, L. R 813 

Day, B. F 305 

Dean, AVm. M 757 

Delauev, T. R 884 

DeLanty, R 891 

Dennis, G. B 338 

Dennis, t^. D 450 

Dennison, B. F 175 

Denny, A. A 169 

Denny, D. T 541 

Desor, L. G 460 

Dewey, H. AV 340 

Dickenson, J. R 709 

Dieringrii, J. C 585 

Diller, L 592 

D'Jorup, Jlrs. H 601 

Dobbins, J. S 880 

Dodge, J. AV 503 

Dodge, R. B 790 

Dodge, J[. M 772 

Domer, S. P 296 

Donworth, George 533 

Dorfner, George 705 

Dorr, James 752 

Drew, M. S 825 

Drewry, D. T 496 

Druraheller, D. M 298 

Duback, J 929 

Dueber, G. F 785 

Duffield, T. J 469 

Dumon, J. H 420 

Dunbar, R. 394 

Dunning, C. B 320 

Durr, H. A 741 

Du Vail, C. M 791 

Dyer, E.J 3-30 

Dyer,T. P 424 

Dysart, George 3.50 


Eadon, W. A 710 

Eagan, H. AV 366 

Eagleson, J. B 488 

Eakin, D. F 484 

Earle & Engelbrecht 875 

Eastman, AVm 425 

Eaton, J. E 768 

Eckard, G. H 400 

Edwards, H 402 

Eggert, E 390 

Eisenbeis, C 533 

Eisenbeis, F. E 888 

EUesperman, G. A .588 

Elliott, H. S 851 

Ellis, Arthur 817 

Ellison, Isaac 056 

Elmer, AV. AV 422 

Emery, CD .526 

Ennis, N. Otl 

Everette, AV. E 740 

Ewing, Thomas 7«6 


Fairfield, John 547 

Farquhar, A 067 

Fawcett, A. V 907 

Fawcett, J. T 680 

Fay, Mis. Hattie L 665 

Feighan, J. AV 442 

Ferguson, Jesse 367 

Fernandez, J. X 872 

Ferrel, B 409 

Ferry, E. P 641 

Fishback, C. F 430 

Fisk, D. H 419 

Flint, Fred 3-55 

Flyer, The Steamer 655 

Foote, E. B 684 

Foraker, L. N 401 

Forbes, C. L 742 

Ford, C. L 564 

Ford, T.N 061 

Forrest, AA^m. T (i94 

Fortson, G. H .524 

Foss, LAV 536 

Foster, J. AV 398 

Fotheringham, D B 288 

Freeman, B. R 297 

French Bros 6;0 

Frink, J. M 518 

Frost, A J 502 

Frost, Robert 739 

Furnell, Mrs. S. M 829 

Furih, Jacob 555 

Gabel, Harry 832 

Galloway, J. A 795 

Galloway, J. S 449 

Galvin,John 832 

Gano, B. J 650 

Gardiner, W.T 734 

Gasch, Fred 538 

Gatch, T. M 849 

Gatzert, Bailey 671 

Gazzam, W. L 700 

Geiger, Charles 785 

Geiger, H. O 770 

Geoghegan, J. I) 473 

Geoghegan, N 434 

George, J. AV 519 

Gerber, AVm. F 742 

Gerlach,P.J 411 

Gibson, J. A 739 

Gibson, Joseph 470 

Gilbert, John 311 

Gilkerson, Thos 416 

Gillam, J. D 848 

Gillette, E.P 336 

Gilliam. M 706 

Glass, AV. S 843 

Glidden, S. S 387 

Glockler, Charles 780 

Goddard, J. H 672 

Goelz, Jacob 288 

Goode, Adam 755 

Goodnight, S 475 

Gordon, M.J 716 

Gordon, T. AV 511 

Gould, John 563 

Gowey, J. F 651 

Graham, A. R 346 

Qrambs, AV J 384 

Graves, F. H 461 

Graves, J. P 418 

Green, E. M 441 

Geeen, Joseph 497 

Green, T. C 690 

Greeuleaf, S. N 902 

Gregory, D. AV 351 

Gridlev, C. C 449 

Gridley, H.H.. 444 

Griffin, Perry 500 

Griffiths, James 699 

Gritfitts, T. C 353 

Griggs, C.AV 247 

Grove, C. E 434 

Grubb, S G 344 

Gruber. Joseph 422 

Gunu, Peter 516 

Gunther, E 478 

Guye, F. M 017 


Hale, C. E 323 

Hale, VV. H 496 

Hall, George AV 413 

Haller, G. 354 

Hallett, S 401 

Hamilton, E. S 897 

Hamlen, E. S 710 

Hammond, AV. R 763 

Hancock, E.J 568 

Hanford, C. H 559 

Hauford, Clarence 509 

Hanna, J. W 845 

Hannah, B. C 566 


Hanse, J. JI 867 

Hanson, W. H 909 

Hai-bert, J. W 403 

Ilarman, Wm .873 

Harris, Emery . . .744 

Harris, J. D 920 

Harris, J. F 753 

Hart, J. i\I 5B2 

Harwood, J. W 350 

Hastings, F. W 499 

Hastings, L. B 286 

Hastings, O. C 723 

Hatcli, Z.J 633 

Hauser, A. E 736 

Hays, James 757 

Hays, J. P 798 

Hays, W. F G28 

Healy, J. J 498 

Healy, M. J 471 

Heath, S 34;j 

Heilbron, G. H .521 

Hein, E. T 437 

Held,B 318 

Helmold, John 770 

Hemrich, A 485 

Henry, F 702 

Henslee, M. (' 440 

Hess, J. M 643 

Hetzel, Selden 381 

Hiddleson, W. I' 462 

Higdon, J. B 777 

Hill, G. A 525 

Hill,N.D 865 

Hill, K. C S26 

Hill, S. G 539 

Hill, W. L 621 

Hiuckle}', T. D 544 

Hogan, F. P 385 

Hclderiiiau, G 579 

Hole, LP 322 

Hollenbeck, H. 864 

Holmes, M. M 599 

Hooper, J 758 

Hopkins, C. B 305 

Hornibrook, J 509 

Horr, J. C -747 

Horton, E. S 803 

Horton, G. M 295 

Hortou, Julius 751 

Hoska, A. F 641 

House, J. C 705 

Ruber, Oskar 300 

Huggins, E 597 

Hughes, Peter 477 

Hull, J. S 358 

Humes, T.J 413 

Hunt, A. B 558 

Hunt, L. S. J 346 

Huntington, Wm 713 

Huson, H. S 793 

Hutu, Anton 765 

Hyde, S. C 764 

Hylak, Anton 778 


Ingraham, E. S 598 

Izett, J. M 595 


Jackel, John 689 

Jackman, T 553 

Jackson, Andrew 465 

Jack.son, Samuel 483 

Jacobs, Orange 179 

J acobson, G 647 

Jacobus, J. R 789 

James, G. W '836 

James, Wm 565 

Janicke, J. G 712 

Jelich, B ,^40 

Jennnings.Jetf 4O6 

Jessee, l3. AI 2C0 

Jessen, J. N 840 

Jewell, T. R 311 

Johns, B. W 724 

Johnson, ('. M (188 

Johnston, J 025 

Jones, Jacob (i46 

Jones, S. H .477 

Jones, Wm. J ' .806 

Jordison, J 656 


Katz, Israel 530 

Kaufman, I. S 238 

Kayser, A 463 

Kees, A. F 420 

Kelleher, D 331 

Kelley, F. P '...881 

Kelley, W. B 631 

Kellogg, G 359 

Kellogg, J. C 654 

Kelly, George 892 

Kelly, M. A 6ll5 

Kennedy, J 758 

Kenney,John 753 

Kilbourne, E. C 397 

King, C. D ,572 

Kirby, J. F ,569 

Kirschner, Fred 486 

Kistenmacher, H 871 

Kleber, J. C 721 

Klee, Joseph 673 

Kline, J.N 498 

Kloeber, J. S 816 

Knapp, J. B 918 

Krieghk, G. P. M (172 

Kuhn, J. A 287 

Kummer, G. W '. 330 

Kurtz, John 694 


Laiferty, I.N 473 

Laidler, W. R 759 

Lama, James 790 

Lambert, D. H 347 

Lambert, V. D 374 

Lammon, J. M 707 

Landes, Henry 551 

Landon, C. C 395 

Lane, Albert 886 

Lansdale, R. H 657 

Laraway, J. T 929 

La Roche, F 539 

Latimer, N. H 543 

Laubach. J. N. 766 

Laughlin, A. W 741 

Laughton, C. E 764 

Lavery, T 327 

Leach, L. H 458 

Lefevre, A 343 

Lemon, Millard 743 

Leo, John .771 

Leonard, J. E 674 

Lewis, H. H 818 

Lewis, J. K 548 

Lewis, P. H 785 

Libbey, G. A 889 

Libby, J. B 826 

Lichtenberg, I. J 393 

Lieser, H. C 383 

Liftchild, C "3.57 

Light, E. A (i09 

Lillis, H.M 7(HJ 

Lindsley, A. A 858 

Lindsley, H. E 4->,5 

Lisher, M. G 445 

Lister, David 8:^7 

Littell, O. B 810 

Lively, J. M 725 

Llewellyn, W, H 909 

I-"el'. ^- ^ 743 

Long, J. H ,527 

Loreuz, E. A \\ 739 

Louden, F. M .308 

Lowe, J. P 460 

Lo wman, J. D 423 

Lyall, Robert 906 

Lynch, O. W ,547 

Lyon, J. M ,506 

Lyon, J. P 600 

Lyons. Patrick 407 

Macey, D. C 446 

MacFarlane, C. E 433 

Mack, P. L 768 

Mackintosh, A 5.37 

Maddocks, M. R 913 

Maggs, J. S '.'.'.'. .^724 

Maier, C 701 

Maloney, R. W 896 

Malony, T sou 

Mankin, Henry 448 

Man well, John 300 

Manwell, T. L 921 

Mapel, E. B 608 

Marsh, S. P 490 

Martin, M 493 

Mason, C. Z SI7 

Mason, Darius 331 

Maxson, S. R 416 

Mc AUep, J. W 600 

McBralney, T. .J 915 

McBride, Gabiiel 776 

McBride, J. R 239 

JIcBroom, A. K 494 

McCabe & Hamilton 897 

McClelan, Mrs. Ann . .808 

McClintic, E. M 480 

McDonald, J. M 715 

McDonald, J. R 429 

McDouall, C 341 

McElroy, J. F 463 

JIcEvoy, Joseph 405 

McFarlane, P. (' 373 

McGilvra, J. J 284 

McHargue, R. H 290 

Mclnroe Charles 396 

Mclnroe, James 398 

Mclrvin, J. W 802 

Mclrvin, M. K 920 

Mclrvin, W. S 920 

McKee, A. G 742 

McKenny, T. J 837 

McKinnev, T. M 343 

McLaugiriin, A. li 883 

McLouuhlin, John 88 

McMicken, Wm 553 

McMillan, A mv, 

McMillan, H. H 452 

McNaugUt, J. F 537 

McNeill, H 483 

McPherson, A. D 368 

McWilliams, J. A 894 

Meacham, J Tdd 

Mead, H. L 361 

Meade, E. C 799 

Meeker, E. M 915 

Meeker, P. S 868 

Meeker, J. P 869 

Meeker, J. V 799 

Meeker, Nancy 711 

Meloy, P. B 850 

Melville, J. I 350 

Mercer, Thomas 5!«9 

Merdian, George 358 

Merriam, C. K 493 

Merrill, T. H 854 

Metcalf, J. W 466 

Melcalf, W. H 438 

Metcalfe, J. B 301 

Metzler, P.. 873 

Meydenbaner. Wm 885 

Michigan Lumber Co 373 

Miles. Z.C 463 

Miller, A.J 715 

Miller, A. N 713 

Miller, A. S 491 

Miller, Edward 582 

Miller, F. P 564 

Miller, J. F 818 

Miller, P. B. M ...911 

Mills, A. J 893 

Mills, Elkanah 790 

Milroy, V. A 681 

Mize, H 868 

Mockel, G. H 422 

Monaghan, D 800 

Monaghan, J 303 

Moore, E.J 505 

Moore, F. li 453 

Moore, J. E 577 

Moore, M. C 260 

Moore, P. D 688 

Morgan, H. E 916 

Morris, C. E 586 

Mount, J. S 344 

Mliller, J. A 698 

Munday, C. F 375 

Munday, J. A 438 

Munson, C 625 

Murphy, J. M 937 

Myers, Joel 640 


Neel,C. W 8.30 

Neely, A. S 887 

Neilson, E 653 

Nelson, H 385 

Nelson, Wm 395 

Nerlon,G. A 451 

Nesbit, Thomas 566 

Nesbitt, J 479 

Nevil, W. C 777 

Newland, Berry & Co 443 

Newland, Isaac 633 

Newman, D. C 441 

Nicol, A. R 504 

Niedergesaess, R 581 

Noack, A 353 

Nolan, S. M 898 

Norman, W.S 335 

Northcraft, P. D 709 

Nuzum, N. E 333 


O'Brien, R. G 662 

O'Connell, M 451 

Ogle, Van 914 

O'Keane, J 443 

O'Keane, Patrick 399 

Oliver, Thomas 855 

Olmsted, E. D 477 

O'Neill, James 319 

Orchard, J. 9i8 

Osborn, Richard 781 

Osgood, P. H 554 

Ostrander, J. Y 497 

Ostrander, N 233 

Overlook, Wm. H 309 

Ouellette, L. P 813 


Pacific Navigation Co 924 

Packwood, Wm fe89 

Padden, T. W 45n 

Paddock, J. A 878 

Pagett, C. C 900 

Paiae, F. W 364 

Palmer, J. W 704 

Palmer, Thomas 923 

Parker, E. N 698 

Parker, Isaac 923 

Parker James 630 

Parrish, S. B 890 

Patten, B. F 679 

Patton, T. F 847 

Patterson, N. A 417 

Pattison, James 618 

Pattison, James .■ 678 

Paul, Frank 859 

Paul, Thomas 404 

Paulson, Paul 730 

Payne, J. H 369 

Payne, M 643 

Payne, Wm 883 

Peebles, H. G 433 

Peel, J. J. L 306 

Penfield, C. 8 410 

Percival, D. F 344 

Pelerman, T. F 899 

Peterson, Arthur 619 

Peterson, F. H 892 

Petkovits. R 488 

Petlit, B. W 484 

Pettygrovp, B. S 312 

Pickens. J. M 851 

Pickering, Wm 829 

Pierce, C. L 792 

Pierce, D. W 853 

Pierce, McDonald 454 

Piles, S.H 833 

Pinkney, A. R 428 

Pitchford, C. W 543 

Plomando, S 791 

Plummer, A. A 530 

Plummer, W. H 296 

Port Townsend Sleel Wire & 

Nail Co 726 

Powell, F. A 347 

Power, Mrs. M. J 594 

Prather.L.H 237 

Prather, Thomas 746 

Pratt, J. W 295 

Prescott, D. S 380 

Prevost & Pfeiffer 771 

Preusse, II 505 

Price, G. W 636 

Prosch, Charles 391 

Provine, A. G 774 

Puget Sound Flouring Mill Co.910 

Puget Sound Pipe Co 813 

Pugh, F. M.K 478 

Pumphrey, Wm 789 

Pumphrey,Wm. H 616 

Pusey, V. A 315 


Rasmusson, J. R 298 

Rawson, G. A 917 

Rayburn, I. N. E :568 

Redhead, W. W 317 

Redman, J. T (iSS 

Redpath, N.J 933 

Reed, C. C 578 

Reed, G. K 332 

Reed, T. M 613 

Reed, T. M.,Jr 543 

Reeder, J. W 797 

Reeves, Wm. H 520 

Reich, G. A 550 

Reinhart, 0. S 695 

Reitzig, C 789 

Remington, A. J 359 

Reni, T. B 240 

Ren wick, W. G. V 483 

Reynolds & Stewart 370 

Richardson, W. E 379 

Richter, A 887 

Ricker, C. H 863 

Riley, W. W 816 

Ritchie, W. A 362 

Rilz, Mrs. C. J 262 

Robb, Robert 514 

Robbins, C. W 373 

Roberts, G. E 805 

Roberts Shingle Co 913 

Roberts, W. E 913 

Roberts, W. H 658 

Robertson, Wm. B 510 

Rogers, N. L 648 

Rogers, J. S 745 

Rohlfs, D 574 

Rohn. J. J 413 

Romaiue, F. S 569 

Ronald, J. T 291 

Root, O. G 620 

Ross. D. M 828 

Ross, E. J 923 

Ross, K. J. L 453 

Ross, R. D 775 

Rothschild, L 900 

Rowland, I. W 876 

Rumsey, J. W 546 

Russell, \V. L 292 

Ryan, G. H 796 

Ryman, C. M 346 


Sachs, M.B 703 

Sales, J. E 882 

Saltar, John 645 

Sampson, R 615 

Sanders, John 411 

Sandys, Wm 426 

Sanderson, J. H 913 

Saunders Bros 401 

Saunders, J. C 711 

Schadewald, F 784 

Scheuchzer, J. F 649 

Scholl, J. D 933 

Seal, C F 697 

Secrist, S. N 4^2 

Sellwood, J. J 413 

Semple, Eugene 393 

Semple, J. M 319 

Sbadle, J. A 843 

Shane, C. W 482 

Shannon, G. D 811 

Shannon, James ,527 

Sharpstine, B. L 178 

Shaw, A. F 845 

Shaw, C. G 875 

Shaw LeF A 373 

Sheafe, C. M 526 

Sheehan, J. F 878 

Shelton, L. D. W 575 

Shepard, T. R 438 

Shepherd, D 354 

Shields, H. E 895 

Shobeit, Frederick & Stephen. 803 

Shorey, O. U 774 

Shoudy, W. H 745 

Sbullz, I. W 351 

Siburjr, Wm 769 

Sloan, T. VV 502 

Smith, C. F 896 

Smith, D.C 740 

Smith, E. L 642 

Smith, E. S 815 

Smith, Everett 345 

Smith, H. A 467 

Smith, J. A 775 

Smith, J. B 400 

Smith, Lewis 737 

Smith, Peter 888 

Smith, R. J 475 

Smith, P. .J 907 

Smith, W. P 315 

Smith, W. U 773 

Snipes, B. E 579 

Snodgrass, T. D 780 

Sohus & Norval 383 

South Bend 693 

Spalding, C H 493 

Sparling, F. W 869 

Sparling, G. H. T 844 

Spauldiug, A. P 375 

Spencer, D. A 533 

Spencer, John 586 

Spencer, W. B 859 

Spinning, B. M 555 

Spinning, C. H 814 

Spinning, F. W 871 

Sprague, J. W 245 

Spriggs, J. W 528 

Spurgeon, M 732 

Starrett, G. E 843 

Steadman, CM 371 

Steamer "Flyer" 655 

Stearns, W. L 860 

Steinmann, H 834 

Stepwalt, J. H 801 

Stevens, D. K 748 

Stevens, Hazard 540 

Stevens, I. 1 328 

Stevens, J. E 349 

Stevenson, J. M 686 

Stevenson, R a58 

Stewart, A. W 614 

Stewart, C. W 786 

Stewart, Daniel 261 

Stewart, R. E 381 i 

St. John, H. H 433 ' 

Stoneman, G.J 517 

Stoughton, J. A 419 

Stout, J. A 487 

Stout, J. K ...418 

Stoul, R. B 446 

Strack, J. W 448 

Stratton, E. M !i24 

Strickland, R. E M 495 

Street, S. F 857 

Stumer, H. E 034 

Sturdevani, R. F 596 

Sullivan, P. C 603 

Sutton, Samuel 656 

Sutton, W.J 345 

Swan, J. G 535 

Swan, J. M b04 

Sweeney, E. F 503 

Sweeney, J. P 289 

Swetland, Scott 849 


Talcott, L. L 668 

Tallman, B. J 560 

Tate, John 318 

Taylor, A.J 656 

Taylor, J. A .364 

Taylor, J. M 386 

Thomas, A 763 

Thomas, C. W 669 

Thomas, H. L 770 

Thomas, J. S 601 

Thompson, GB 639 

Thompson, J. K 727 

Thompson, S 815 

Thompson, VVm. H 619 

Thomson, R. H 334 

Thomson, R L 501 

Thornton, John 720 

Tibbetts, G. W 819 

Tilton, F. A 307 

Tilton, H. L 307 

Toussaint, A. F 447 

Town, I. A 904 

Tracy, John 408 

Trask, H. P 470 

Tripp, Bartlett 836 

Tucker, A. H 897 

Turner, D.J 637 

Tuttle, H. P 294 

Twichell, F. A 316 


Upton, Wm. H 389 


Van Aresdale, T. F 784 

Van Asselt, H 522 

Vaughn, Wm. D 808 

Vincent, Benj 750 

Votaw, H. L 795 


Waggoner, W. E 396 

Wagner, G. C 874 

Wald, F. W 474 

Waldo, S. S 895 

Walsh, C. A 479 

Walsh, P. P 827 

Walsworth, C. B 880 

Ward, Moses 640 

Ward, W. H 759 

Washburn, P. S 481 

Wasson, A .534 

Waterhouse, F 034 

Watson, A. L ...790 

Watson, Robert .487 

Waughop, J. W .'.'.'.'.' .' ' '683 

Wear, R. C a32 

Weavei-, D. L 507 

Webb, w. T........;;;;;.;;'437 

Webster, A ' '48!) 

Webster, E. J ""313 

Weed G. A ::::877 

Weinberg, A rSb 

Weir, Allen 664 

Weir, W. G 69'^ 

Wei ler, Godfrey (j,5, 

West, C.S 33i3 

Weston, AT... '""90 

Wheeler, H. AV. . . 099 

White, C. L ,518 

White, O. C 933 

White, S.M '. ..'■••389 

White, W. J "516 

White, Wm.H.. . .533 

Whitham, R. F 807 

Whitworth, F. H ,531 

Whit worth, G. F "57 

Whyte, Albert 377 

Willey,S '....■.■.'.■."696 

Williams, S. C 362 

Willis M.W ""570 

Willis, S. P ""..'"' "719 

Wilson, A. G '303 

Wilson, G.R ."..'.'.■.•.•638 

Wilson, W.E 632 

Winslow, F. H ' ' .501 

Winstock, M. G 616 

Wintermute, J. S ! .874 

Wissinger, D '788 

Witt, P. S '"409 

Wittier, E. F 513 

Wolcolt, J. R ... ' "sso 

Wold, I. A "773 

Wold, L.A ;.'..'.635 

Wolverton, A. P 336 

Wolverton, G. S ... 318 

Wood, E. L . .729 

Wood, James R .310 

Wood, James R 652 

Wood, James R 853 

Wood, M. D 778 

Wood, Wm. D 529 

Woodard, A. B 691 

Woodhouse, C. C, Jr 903 

Woodin, Ira ...447 

Woods, Andrew '.".'. .647 

Woods, Salem 561 

Woolery, A. H 5.54 

Woolery, J. H 699 

Wyckoir, Wm. H 734 

Wyman, H. M 846 


Yates, Edward 443 

Yeaton, C. F 8i4 

Yesler, H. L 252 

Yocom, J. R 427 

Yoder, Moses 371 

Young, Antonio 885 

Young, A. B 685 

Young, B. F 716 

Young, E. T 8.53 

Young, M. H 731 

Zabriskie, C. B 683 


Bigelow, I. N 861 

Blalock, Y. C 749 

Burke, Thomas 733 

Burleigh, A. F 685 

Butler, Hillory 717 

Clark Springs 233 

ColmaD, J. M 333 

DawsoD, L. H 813 

Day, B.F 365 

First House in Jeffrson County.US 

Fort Nisqually 84 

Gordon, T. W 511 

Graves, F. H 461 

Haller, G. O 254 

Hanna, J. W 845 

Hill, G. A 525 

Hill, W. L 621 

Indian Camp 19 

Indian Hop Pickers 19 

Jacobs, Orange 179 

Llewellyn, W. H 909 

Mackintosh, Angus 557 

Maier, Christian 701 

McBride, J. R 239 

McDonald, J. R 429 

McGilvra, J.J 284 

McLoughlin, John 88 

Mercer, Thomas 589 

Merriam, C. K 493 

Metcalfe, J. B 301 

Olympia and Harbor 227 

Osborn, Richard 781 

Pickering, Wm 829 

Port Townsend 145 

Prather,L. H 237 

Thomas, C.W 669 

Washington State Building 279 

Weed, G. A 877 

Whitworth, G. F 257 



Topography — Climate — Productions. 

T'lIE State of Wasliingtou is, with the ex- 
ception of Alaska, tlie most northwestern 
of the political divisions of the United 
States. Its form is a broad parallelogram, 
fronting westward on the Pacific Ocean for a 
distance of 245 miles, and having a length from 
east to west of aljoiit 300 miles. On the north 
the magnificent straits of Jnan de Fuca, separ- 
ating it from British Colnmbia, forms its boun- 
dary until it reaches the point where the 4:9th° 
of latitude strikes that strait, when the line 
follows that parallel eastward for a distance of 
250 miles. Thence the line goes due south to 
the 46th° of latitude, then west until that de- 
gree strikes the Columbia river about 300 miles 
from the ocean, and then follows the channel of 
that river to the sea. On the whole, the outlines 
of the State are regular, but within these out- 
lines there is probably a topography more diver- 
sified in surface, and more varied by land and 
water than can be shown by any other State of 
the Union. It has an area of 69,994 square 
miles, of which 3,144 square miles are water. 
It is over three-fourths the size of New York 
and Pennsylvania combined. Compared with 
the Western States its area is about equal to that 
of Ohio and Indiana. 

The most prominent feature of the topography 
of Washington is its immense extent of ocean 
and strait and sonnd and navigable river lines. 
The Pacific Ocean washes its entire western 
shore. In that extent are Shoalwater Bay and 
Gray's Harbor, each a deep inlet sweeping many 
miles into the land, and cacii affording safe and 

accessible harbors for a large commerce. The 
Straits of Fuca, from twenty to forty miles in 
width, and carrying the depth of the sea, de- 
scribes a semi-circle projecting into the north- 
east corner of the strait with an are of nearlv 
200 miles in lengtli. Breaking southward from 
the eastern center of this arc, about lOO miles 
from the ocean, Puget Sound, with its innumer- 
able bays, and inlets, and canals, extends more 
than a hundred miles, reaching the very center 
of the State, and furnishing in all a shore-line 
of not less than a thousand miles washed by the 
ebb and flow of the tide. Besides this, the Co- 
lumbia river coming down from British Colum- 
bia on the north, enters the State a few miles 
west of its northeastern corner, and crosses its 
whole breadth diagonally to the southwest, 
swinging in great bends through its vast prairies 
east of the Cascade mountains, until it reaches 
the 46th° of latitude, when it flows along its 
soutiiern line to the ocean. The Snake river, 
the great southern branch of the (Columbia, 
comes into the State from the east near its 
southern border, and after flowing for nearly 
200 miles within it joins the greater river aijout 
twenty miles north of the Oregon line. 

These are great rivers, — among the greatest 
of the continent, and together furnish within 
the State and along its line well nigh a thousand 
miles of steamboat navigation. An almost iij- 
numberable number of smaller rivers flow down 
from the great mountain ranges towards the 
Columbia and Snake rivers, and toward Puget 
Sound, some of which are navigal)le for tniall 


steamers for many miles. East of the Cascade 
mountains tlie most important of tliese are the 
Spokane and the Yakima, both of which drain 
large valleys and immense mountain slopes, and 
empty into the Columbia. West of the Cas- 
cade the Skagit, the Snohomish, the Puyallnp, 
the Chehalis, and the Cowlitz, are the chief, 
liltlioiigh there are many others approaching 
tliese in size and importance. 

This brief and incomplete statement will suf- 
fice to show that there is no State of the Union 
so plentifully watered by rivers and smaller 
streams as is the State of Washington. 

Topographically, Washington is divided into 
two very distinct departments, namely, the 
Fiiget Sound basin and the great valley of the 
Upper Columbia. Between these, running 
north and south through the entire State, is the 
great range of the Cascade Mountains. This 
mouiitain range is the grandest and most im- 
posing in North America. Commencing near 
the extreme southern portion of the continent, 
it grows mre and more imposing as we move 
northward until in Mount St. Elias, far up 
toward Behring's Straits, it reaches its highest 
altitude. It has more of the great, snow-capped 
volcanic cones that rise from 12,000 to 20,000 
feet in height than any other range of 
North America, and has a breadth and rugged- 
ness that can scarcely be paralleled elsewhere 
among mountain ranges. In Washington the 
range is swelling toward its grandest dimen- 
sions, and several of its mightiest pinnacles are 
within the limits of this State. 

Beginning near the southern line. Mount 
Adams and Mount St. Helens sentinel the 
mighty gates of the Columbia river. Further 
north and overlooking the upper region of 
Puget Sound, Mount Rainier lifts its broad 
shoulders and its hoary head clear against the 
sky, presenting one of the most remarkable 
expressions of physical majesty and power that 
the eye ever looked upon. Still to the north, 
and near the watei-s of the Straits of Fuca, 
Mount Baker almost rivals Ranier in majesty 
and grandeur. Between them are summits in- 

numerable, that in any land but this would Ite 
famed for their sublimity; and, stretching 
away east and west the whole width of the 
range, not less than fifty miles in any place, 
and reaching a hundred in others, is in view of 
from the slopes or summits of these higher 
peaks. The gorges that cleave the sides and 
separate the bases of these mountains are as 
deep and awful as the mountains are high and 
sublime. Down them pour roaring rivers that 
rush madly away from the imprisonment of 
the mountain barriers as though eager to find 
their eternal freedom in the level of the sea. 
The great glaciers of the snowy mountains 
move slowly down the immense clefts of the 
icy pinnacles, grinding the granite to powder 
under their crush, and bearing great boulders 
on their white bosom until the sunshine of 
the plain unlocks their fetters of frost and 
leaves them miles and miles away from where 
the avalanche wrenched them from their gran- 
ite pedestals. Power, majesty, sublimity, eter- 
nity are all symboled by the vast ranges and 
mighty pinnacles, and no one can contemplate 
them without a feeling of overwhelming awe: 
a feeling that increases rather than diminishes 
as he dwells in communion with them through 
the years and the decades. 

West of Puget Sound and between it and 
the Pacific ocean is the Olympic range. This 
range terminates at the north against the 
Straits of Fuca, and extends southward a full 
hundred miles, well toward the Columbia 
river. Lower and narrower than the Cascade 
range, yet it is one that, seen from Puget 
Sound or from the ocean coast, presents many 
most striking and beautiful scenes. Indeed, 
true to its happily selected name, it presents 
much most alluring scenery, and charms the 
eye with its classic ruggedness and beauty. It 
rises in pinnacled abruptness on the one side 
from the sea and on the other from the Sound, 
and its clear outline is sharply cut against the 
summer sky, holding the imagination in a 
pleasing thrall, as the lights and shadows of the 
evening and morning play and troop along its 


piilfs and over its al]iine gorges and precipices. 
Tlierc is more of tlic sharp outline, the steep 
rnggeil grandeur, and the calm, reposei'ul 
strength of the Alps of Switzerland in it than 
in auj other of tlie Amei'ican ranges. 

Between these two ranges, — the Cascades and 
Olympic, — lies the basin of Puget Sound. The 
pinnacles of these ranges are probaLly nearly a 
hnndred miles apart. More than half of this 
distance is taken up by the tnountain slopes, 
and the remainder by the Sound itself and the 
rolling and heavily timbered nplands that stretch 
away from its shores. The peculiar and dis- 
tinguishing characteristic of this basin is the 
body of water that gives it name — Puget 
Sound. Let us, in a few sentences, endeavor to 
give it some limning to the eye of the reader. 

We will imagine ourselves sailing in from 
the ocean between the bold headlands of Cape 
Flattery and Point San Juan, and entering the 
vast system of inland seas constituted by the 
Straits of Fnca, the Gulf of Georgia and Puget 
Sound. We enter a passage nearly half a de- 
gree of latitude in width, which carries its full 
volume, with the depth and appearance of the 
ocean, eastward for a hundred miles, when the 
innumerable islands of the San Juan archipelago 
divide its broadened waters into as innumerable 
narrow channels, which swing and sway away 
among them in an infinitude of graceful curves 
and angles, always changing as the tides are 
pressed and turned by their bold precipices or 
their sloping shores. Just south of this, and 
breaking away from the main Straits, are many 
channels, also separated by many of the most 
beautiful islands that ever dimpled the face of 
a sea. Puget Sound stretches its sea-deep tides 
into the far recesses of the ever-frowning and 
embosoming mountains. Measured across all 
its surface, including the islands that everywhere 
stud its bosom, the Sound cannot average less 
than from ten to twenty miles in width. Pro- 
jecting into the rounded, wooded shores every- 
where, bays and harbors without number afford 
safe anchorage for vessels of any draft. For a 
hundred and twenty miles southward, clear to 

Olyiupia. the capital of the State, it also carries 
the depth and semblance of the sea, — in fact, is 
the sea in all its characteristics of tides and pro- 
ductions of every kind. It is alive with sea- 
tish, and marine plants tioat everywhere upon 
its surface. 

As to scenery, with all the possible combina- 
tions of land and water, of sea and island, of 
plain and mountain, of lake and river, it is 
doubtful whether a spot can be found on earth 
that rivals Puget Sound. Something more of 
of this will be noted when we come to speak of 
its cities, and so we shall pass it by with this 
slight notice at this place. 

The country bordering the Sound, on both 
sides, and extending to the slopes of the mount- 
ains, with small exceptions, is very densely tim- 
bered. It bears the grandest growth of fir and 
cedar that can be found upon the continent. 
Untold thousands of these giant trees are from 
five to ten feet in diameter, and will reach from 
200 to 300 feet in length. Their roots draw in 
naarvelous support from the rich soil in which 
theyare planted, and their leaves drink growing 
life from the moist and sea-salted atmosphere 
always breathed over them. The exceptions to 
this statement are found in the tide-fiats that 
margin the lower portion of tlie Sound, and in 
the comparatively small prairies which island 
the great woodland that sweeps around its 
head. The tide-flats are exceedingly rich in 
soil, and, when dyked and cultivated, marvel- 
ously productive. The prairies are mostly of a 
light, gravelly soil, and are not of great worth 
for agriculture. 

It will be obvious to the reader at once that 
the rivers entering the sound are generally 
small. So near are the mountain ranges on 
either hand that they must needs be so. For 
the most of their courses they are mountain 
torrents, and then they broaden, near the sound, 
into streams up which the tides push for some 
miles. Some of them are rated as navigable 
streams although some small steamers ply on 
their tide-waters for a few miles. They all 
water valleys, of greater or less width, of very 


rich i^oil, which wlien the grand forests are 
cleared away are remarkably productive, es- 
pecially in vegetables and fruits and hops; and 
it is in this line mostly that the lands of Paget 
Sound basin can be set down as agricultural. 

That portion of the State which lies directly 
on the Pacific coast is separated from that 
margining Puget Sound by the Olympic range, 
of which mention has already been made. These 
mountains crowd the sea so closely that there is 
coniparativelj little agricultural land between 
them. The streams that flow down from them 
either to the ocean or the sound are small and 
short. The first one from the straits of Fuca 
southward that cleaves the range is the Che- 
halis, which enters the head of Gray's Harbor, 
more than 100 miles south of the Straits. This 
river and its tributaries drain a very lai-ge region 
of rich, though mostly heavily timbered, coun- 
try, rather level for this portion of the coast, 
yet in places rising into ridges and hills that 
would be considered mountains in the Middle 
States. Its wealth of forest is incomputable. 
Of timber available for lumber it is not likely 
that any portion of the United States ever fur- 
nished such an abundant supply. Cedai', fir 
and spruce attain a size and quality that are re- 
markable. Along all the streams, up all the 
hill-slopes, over all the valleys, the tall spires 
of these evergreens climb skyward from 200 to 
300 feet, often reaching a diameter, twenty 
feet from the ground, of from eight to twelve 

What is said of the region of the Chehalis 
and Gray's Harbor is alike true of that surround- 
ing Shoalwater Bay, a few miles further to the 
south. Indeed, Gray's Harbor and Shoalwater 
Pay really belong to one great indentation in the 
Coast range of mountains which continues still 
to the south, and about fifteen miles from the 
Bay also receives the vast flood of the Columbia 
river. The great break in this range iu which 
the Columbia, Shoalwater Bay and Gray's Harbor 
are iound, is the only one from the straits of 
Fuca to the " Golden Gate." It is not less than 
fifty miles iu width, and is the distinguishing 

topographical feature of the coast within the 
State of Washington. 

Our readers would not fully understand the 
topographical character of the western part of 
the State without some speciflc notice of that 
part of it that lies on the Columbia river, from 
the n^outh of that mighty stream to the Cascade 
range, — a distance of 125 miles. The head of 
Puget Sound is separated from the Columbia by 
a stretch of heavily timbered country, inter- 
spersed with occasional small prairies, 100 miles 
in length. Half of that distance is traced by 
the CoM-litz river, a bold, dashing stream that 
comes down from the icy gorges of Mount St. 
Helen's westward, as though it had started for 
the sea at the head of Gray's Harbor, but meet- 
ing the obstruction of a lateral spur of hills that 
projects from the Cascade range between itself 
and the Chehalis river, concludes to turn to the 
south in its quest for the ocean, and finds the 
tidal level by the way of the Columbia. The 
valley of the Cowlitz strikes the Columbia from 
the north about half way from the mountains 
to the sea. Between this point and the ocean 
the country is very rough, even mountainous, 
and bears the characteristic growth of timber 
which distinguishes all Western Washington. 

Immediately east of this point, and up the 
Columbia, the Cascades shoot down a lateral 
spur of mountains clear against the river. Still 
further east this range sweeps far back from the 
river to the north, then circles eastward and then 
southward again, forming a great valley, ap- 
proaching a circle in form, of at least fifty miles 
in diameter. The southern arc of the circum- 
ference of the valley is formed by the Columbia 
river, — a vast tidal flood of from one to two 
miles in width, and deep enough for the largest 
ships; and the northern by the mountain range. 
This is not a level valley, but one of variable 
surface, traced by numerous small rivers and 
creeks, and in its natural growths repeats the 
topographical conditions of all Western Wash- 
ington. Its soil is very excellent, combining 
disintegrated basalt and granite with alluvial 
deposits and vegetable mold in fine proportions, 


and making it remarkably productive for cereals 
and fruits. Enframed by the mountains on the 
north, thus securing a southern exposure, and 
margined by the river on the south, its climatic 
conditions could hardly be more perfect for the 
productions named. 

Having thus, in general terms, given our 
readers some idea of the topography of Western 
Washington, we will now lead them across the 
Cascade range into the vaster area of the State 
that lies east of it. 

AVhen one has crossed the Cascade mount- 
ains from the low altitudes and moist climate 
of Puget Sound and the lower Columbia into the 
high altitudes and dry atmosphere of the great 
interior, he has entered a new world. Every 
form is changed, every condition modified and 
even transposed. The immense vegetable 
growths have given place to treeless plains. The 
green hills and mountain slopes are succeeded 
by brown or gray piles of basalt and sand. The 
rivers flow no longer through the great forests 
of fir and cedar, but wind down through sandy 
gorges, or swing across wide sage plains, with 
only here and there a clump of willows, or it 
may be a solitary cotton wood, to mark the course 
of their flow. The atmosphere is not softened 
by the touch of the sea wave, but is fervid with 
the heat of the shimmering plain, or cool from 
the breath of the snowy ranges. If the traveler 
has come suddenly into it, without previous 
knowledge of its peculiar characteristics, its 
strangeness steals on him like a vast, weird 
dream and he gazes upon it with a wonder quite 
akin to awe. Its skies are so deep and silent, 
its vistas so endless, its mysteries so unfathom- 
able, its surprises so frequent that he is inclined 
to move in the silence of a dreamer over it. 
These are the elements that render it diflicult 
to give its common characteristics in words that 
will make it real to the mind of the reader. But 
we must try. 

In area Eastern Washington comprises about 
two-thirds of the land surface of the State. Its 
chief topographical characteristics are connected 
with the fact that it is almost wholly within the 

I great valley of the upper Columbia. The waters 
of this majestic river and its tributaries drain 
its entire surface. There is not a drop of wate' 
from any plain or pinnacle of this great region 
that flows seaward through any other channel. 
Coming down from the north through British 
Columbia this stream enters the State near its 
north-eastern corner, flowing first south nearly 
a hundred miles, then westerly about the same 
distance, then south and southeasterly twice as 
far, and then southwesterly 150 miles on the 
southern boundary of the State before it enters 
the mighty gateway of the Cascade range. Com- 
ing into the State from the east about twenty five 
miles north of its south-eastern corner. Snake 
river, hardly smaller than the Columbia itself, 
swings its serpentine way through its basaltic 
gorge for more than a hundred miles, when it 
unites with the latter in the midst of a broad, 
open valley, about ten miles before it reaches 
the southern line of the State. On both sides 
of the main stream are countless tributaries, 
many of them large, though none are navigable, 
but all of which drain large areas of country 
and water vast tracts of land that else would be 
desert. Among these on the east, beginning at 
the north, are the Pend d'Oreille, the Colville, 
the Spokane, the Palouse, the Tukannon, the 
Touchet and the Walla Walla. On the north 
and west are the Okinagan, Chelan, Wenatche, 
Yakima and Klickitat. All these with the ex- 
ception of the Klickitat, flow towards the 
common center of the great valley of the Co- 
lumbia, where that and Snake river make their 
junction for their last great movement out of 
the mighty basin which their myriad years of 
flow has washed out between the Kocky and Cas- 
cade rano-es. A vaster, more concentrated, uni- 
fied, yet at the same time diversified, river basin 
does not mark the map of the world than is 
Eastern Washington, and through none does a 
more wonderful river pour its floods. It is from 
this one fact, as an initial point, that any writer 
must start if he would understand, or intelli- 
gently write of the topography, or even the 
climate of this part of the State. 


Tlie next fsiet is the system of mouutain 
ranges that either hem in this vast valley, or else 
cut it into sections as their spurs push eastward 
from the Cascades or westward from the Rocky 
mountain system, and the nuraerons short 
ranges and isolated peaks that seem to have no 
connection with the great continental systems, 
that are scattered through it. "With the size of 
this great basin, 200 miles each way, and these 
two great dominating topographical features in 
our minds, it will not be ditiicult, perhaps, for us 
to understand its )iiore subordinate character- 

Although we have called this region a " basin " 
and a " valley," these words must be taken as 
relating only to the fact that it is drained by 
the single river course which we have named. 
Within the uppermost rim ot this "basin" there 
are mountains and hills innumerable. They 
swell into every form of rugged grandeur and 
sublimity. They soften into every outline of 
beauty and peace. They are rough and pin- 
nacled with jagged basaltic pillars, with great 
granite peaks, on which the pine trees nod and 
sigh to the mountain winds, or they are rounded 
into grassy knobs smooth and beautiful as 
though an artist's hand had moulded them. 

Below these are the plains and the valleys 
that touch the brink of the streams. The latter 
are generally narrow, but the former stretch 
away for miles, bordered at either side by some 
creek or river. 

The soil of all this region is mineral in its 
composition, being composed mostly of granitic 
and basaltic sand, ground and worn out of the 
mountain sides by the abrasion of rivers, or dis- 
solved by frost and snow and rain from the 
faces of the precipices. There is little of vege- 
table sediment in it. Even the great river hears 
little of this, as its flow for a thousand miles 
above is through the same open, treeless region, 
and between basaltic and granite walls. Such 
soils need only water to make them break forth 
into a very harvest of plenty. 

Over a large portion of this vast area this can 
only be procured from irrigating ditches or 

artesian wells, as, notably, in the Yakima val- 
ley and in the region known as " the Great 
Bend country." Still the reader must not sup- 
pose that this remark applies to the vast wheat- 
growing i-egion in what has long l:>uen cele- 
brated as the " Palouse country," and, indeed, 
all the region east of the Great Bend country 
from the northern to the southern line of the 
State. This is an empire in extent, and is one 
of the finest wheat-producing regions of Amer- 
ica. Yet in even this abundant irrigation, would 
soon double the grain production and increase 
many fold its fruits and vegetables. And the 
millions of arid and serai-arid acres that now 
lie fallow under the cloudless skies of this sun- 
lit land will one day, and that day not far 
away, give its tens of millions of bushels into 
the garners of the world. 

The climate of all this " Inland Empire "' is 
as sui generis as its topography. 

The seasons are pronounced, but they are not 
differentiated like those on the coast, nor like 
those of the Eastern States. There is little fall 
of moisture either in the form of rain or snow. 
Skies without a cloud bend over the rales and 
hills for months together. This is especially 
true of the center of the Columbia basin and of 
its western slope. On the eastern slope of the 
basin the conditions are different and the fall 
of moisture greater. This is easily accounted 
for. The winds from the western sei are drained 
of all their vapors by their contact with the 
cold summits of the Cascade range, and they 
pass on eastward absolutely without moisture. 
Hence the valleys of the eastern slope of tiiat 
range receive but very little rain. Passing down 
these valleys and across and along the great 
Columbia, they take up soine vapor and bear it 
onward until they touch the sides of the cist- 
ern ranges, when tiiey yield that up also, and 
it falls in showers on the plains, or in snow on 
the hills. Southerly winds, which west of the 
Cascades are the -rain winds, here bring but 
little moisture. Eastern winds, which are not 
very frequent, are almost a consuming sirocco 
if long continued. The western and the north 

Indian Camp. 


western are those that bear the most moisture. 
The causes are in the topography of the conn- 
try, especially in the trend of the mountain 
ranges. These causes are permanent, and their 
resultant conditions must be as permanent as 
the causes that produce them. 

There is a wider range of the thermometer 
here than there is west of the Cascade mount- 
ains. The summers are hotter and the winters 
are colder. Probably the average seasons will 
register a variation oF nearly 100 degrees in 
most parts of this region, and extreme seasons 
will increase that variation. Still the dryness 
of the atmosphere is such that this great varia- 
tion is not so obvious to the senses as a much 
smaller variation where there is more moisture. 
Then its altitude is such that the actual degree 
of heat or cold is considerably less than it would 
be with the same mercury registration on the 
seacoast. All these considerations enable us to 
write down the climate of Eastern Washington 
as, on the whole, a desirable rather than an 
undesirable one, and it is one, certainly, that 
receives the most encomiums from those who 
have longest tested it, — which is no mean 
proof of its excellence. 

As the climate and the soil of Eastern Wash- 
ington has a remarkably uniform average, so its 
productions are quite uniform in character and 
quality. The cereals, especially wheat, produce 
at their best both of quantity and quality nearly 
everywhere, if we except some of the drier por- 
tions where irrigation must be resorted to. 
Some of the warmer valleys, like the Yakima, 
Snake river and Columbia river, are wonderfully 

prolific in peaches, grapes, melons and hops. 
The strawberry, blackberry, currant, etc., thrive 
abundantly everywhere; and, indeel, to sum 
up all that needs to be said of the productions of 
the country without going into statistics, all the 
staple cereals and fruits of the temperate lati- 
tudes; those cereals and fruits that grow in 
company with the strongest manhood, and upon 
which that manhood grows; grow as abundantly 
and ripen as perfectly within the bounds of the 
country thus indicated as anywhere between the 
seas. So, with its magnificent scenery, its pure 
atmosphere, its crystalline waters, its abundant 
and healthy food, Eastern Washington should 
and doubtless will contribute some of the best 
and noblest to the " crowning race of human 

In treating of the climate of Washington, it 
is proper that we notice the fact that no part 
of the State is subject to those violent changes 
in temperature and atmospheric currents that 
result, in the States east of the Rocky mountains, 
in tornadoes and cyclones, that are so destruc- 
tive to property, and often to human life. They 
are, in fact, unknown there; and while the moun- 
tain ranges stand where they are, and the Pa- 
cific rolls over its present bed, they never can be 
known. The same may be said of the terrible 
thunder storms that shake and startle the Mis- 
sissippi and Missouri valleys. They are un- 
known in all the region west of the Rocky 
mountains. It is too much a broken surface, 
and the soft breath of the great sea is wafted so 
genially over all even to permit it. 



Eaeliest Discoveeies on the N0ETHWE8T Coast — Spain Leads Discoveries — A. Northwest 
Passage Sought — Magellan — Coetez in Mexico — Spain Mistress of the Pacific — The 
Bdccaneees — SiE Feancis Deake — Cavindish — Steaits of Aman — Russian Exploeations 
— Vitus Beheing — Russia's Failure — Captain Cook — First English Exploeations — 
Cook's Death — Spain Again Essays Discoveey — Feancisco Elisa — Discoveries of 1791 
— A New Flag on the Seas^Spanish Efforts Cease. 

THE earliest discoveries on the American 
continent made by any portion of the 
civilized world, if we do not count the 
somewhat mythical ones attributed to 
Northmen on the coast of Greenland, were made 
in 1492, under the auspices of Spain; at that 
time one of the most powerful and aggressive 
nations of Europe. The discovery of a New 
World behind the western seas kindled an age 
already tired with a spirit of romantic adventure 
and religious zeal to a much greater enthusiasm 
of conquest and subjugation. As Spain had led 
in the discoveries that had thus opened the new 
continent to the ambitions of the enterprising 
and adventurous, it was only natural that her 
sailors should haste to follow the path that the 
galleys of Columbus had marked for them over 
the seas, and her soldier adventurers should 
enter on a course of conquest in the countries 
discovered. The stories of the sailors who had 
returned to the ports of Spain invested the new 
lands visited by them with a glory of fabulous 
wealth that could easily be gathered from the 
semi-civilized savage tribes found there by the 
stronger arms of the men of Castile. 

Inspired by these marvelous stories, three years 
had not passed before they had begun the con- 
quest of the islands off the southeastern coast of 
the American mainland by the subjugation of 
Hayti. In 1511 the island of Cuba was invaded 
and conquered in tliename of the king of Spain. 
Three years afterward Vasco Nunez de Balboa 
crossed the Isthmus of Darien and discovered 
the great south sea, of which such knowledge 
had been communicated by the natives that it 
had already been designated on tlie maps of 
European geographers. Seven years later Ma 

gellan entered it by the straits that bear his 
name and gave it the name of the " Pacific." 
In 1519 Cortez landed in Mexico at the head of 
an army of 950 men, arid invaded the ancient 
kingdom of the Montezumas. Two years suf- 
ficed for its subjugation. In 1587, Cortez, 
seeking further conquests to the westward of 
Mexico, landed at Santa Cruz, near the lower 
extremity of the peninsula of California. 
Finding nothing to tempt his cupidity or his 
chivalry, he soon abandoned the country and 
returned to Mexico. This was the beginning 
of discovery by the nations of Europe on the 
Pacific coast of the American continent. But 
such had been the unpropitious results of the 
attempts of Cortez to find tempting food for 
adventure west and north of Mexico, that it is 
likely discovery would have stayed its progress 
in that direction, had not othermotives prompted 
its advance from another quarter. These were 
the hopes and efforts of European discoverers 
to find a Northwest passage from the Atlantic 
Ocean through the American continent to the 
Indian seas. 

Before 1500 one of the adventurous naviga- 
tors of Portugal, Vasco de Gaina, had reached 
the Indian Ocean by sailing eastward from Lis- 
bon around the Cape of Good Hope. Gaspar 
Cortereal, another eminent Portuguese discov- 
erer, explored the Atlantic coast of North 
America in 1500, and sailing around Labrador 
entered the straits which opened westward 
under theOOth degree of north latitude. Through 
these he passed into what is now known as 
Hudson's Bay, and believed that he had en- 
tered waters which led into the Indian ocean, 
and had accomplished, by sailing westward 


from tlie west coast of Europe, what Vasco de 
Gaiua had hy sailing eastward, — the discovery 
of a passage to the wealth of Asia; so little was 
then known of the geography of the world. 
To the straits through which he )iad passed he 
gave the name of Anian, and the land south of 
them he called Labrador. 

When Magellan, in 1520, sailed into the Pa- 
cific through the straits to which his own name 
was given, and continued his voyage westward 
until the wiiole world was circumnavigated, the 
belief of navigators in the e.xistence of the 
straits of Anian was greatly strengthened. This 
arose from their belief that the straits of Ma- 
gellan were only a narrow passage piercing the 
heart of the continent where it was much nar- 
row^er than elsewhere; and they supposed the 
same thing would exist to the north, especially 
since Cortereal had reported its discovery. For 
many years the chief efforts of explorers were 
put forth for its real discovery. The efforts of 
Spain were mainly directed from the Pacific 
side of the continent, while England, France, 
Portugal and Holland made theirs from the 
eastern. It is not necessary to our history to 
follow the course and story of these expensive 
and continued efforts, as they had but a remote 
bearing on the history of the northwest coast; 
but this fable of the northwest passage kept up 
the spirit of discovery for many years, and the 
search for it was participated in by all the lead- 
ing maritime nations of the world. The first 
knowledge of the countries on the Pacific coast 
was not to come, however, from any passage of 
the Straits of Anian, but from the spirit of 
adventure that the conquest of Mexico had 
kindled in the South. 

After the subjugation of Mexico, Cortez be- 
gan the construction of vessels on the coast of 
Central America for use on the Pacific. After 
these vessels had been employed for some time 
on the lower coasts they were sent directly 
across the Pacific, but he constructed others in 
which he directed expeditions along the Mexi- 
can coasts and in Lower California. He dis- 
covered the Gulf of California and the Colorado 

river. He made an attempt at colonization at 
Santa Cruz, in Lower California. The first at- 
tempt to pass around the peninsula of Califor- 
nia was made in 1539 by Francisco de Ulloa, 
the energetic and capable assistant of Cortez in 
all his operations on the west coast of Mexico. 
He succeeded in reaching the twenty-eighth 
degree of latitude, but was so baffied by head 
winds and sickness among his men that he was 
compelled to return to Mexico. 

Don Antonio de Mendoza, a Spanish noble- 
man of high rank, succeeded Cortez as Viceroy 
of New Spain. He dispatched an expedition of 
two small vessels, commanded by Juan Rodri- 
guez Cabrillo, and dispatched it in 154:2 to 
search for the Straits of Anian, and incidentally 
to discover any of those civilized nations that 
the traditions of the Indians or the imagination 
of the Caucasians located in the northwest. 
He followed the coast as far north as thirty- 
eight degrees, but encountered a violent storm 
which drove them several degrees backward. 
He found shelter in a small harbor on the 
island of San Barnardino, lying near the coast 
in latitude thirty-four degrees, which he called 
" Port Possession," and which was the first 
point on the California coast of which the 
Spaniards took possession. Here Cabrillo died, 
in January, 1543, and the command devolved 
on Bartolome Ferrelo, who again headed the 
vessels to the northward and voyaged up the 
coast. He reached, on the 1st of March, a 
point as high as forty-four degrees, as given by 
some authorities, and without doubt should be 
credited with having first discovered the coast 
of Oregon, though he made no chart of its out- 
line, and made no landing upon it. The re- 
sults of the voyage, and of some expeditions 
sent inland under Alcaron and Coronado, satis- 
fied the viceroy that the wealthy nations of the 
coast and country north of Mexico existed only 
in Indian fables, and that if any straits of 
Anian existed they must be far north of the 
fortieth parallel of latitude, and all effort to ex- 
plore the country to the northward was aban- 
doned. But Spain was complete mistress of 


the Pacific. Her flag dominated that mighty 
ocean, and her enemies were unable to attack 
her in that vital source of her wealth, and 
power. Ijiit this could not long continue when 
tlie rivals and enemies of Spain were buch pow- 
ers as England and France. And, besides, this 
was the era of the ''buccaneers," who roved the 
seas, even in times of peace, under the privity 
and encouragement of their sovereigns, and 
they were not less interested than the naval 
forces of the government of western Europe to 
find a way to reach and capture the richly- 
laden galleons of Spain on their way from the 
mines of Mexico to the treasuries of Lisbon and 
Madrid. These also sought the Straits of 
Anian, but despairing at last of finding them, 
invaded the Pacific by the dreaded way of Ma- 
gellan. With their appearance on the Pacific 
the security of Spanish shipping on the south- 
ern seas ceased forever. 

The man who led this crusade of freebooters 
against the ships and wealth of Spain on the 
Pacific was Sir Francis Drake. He was an 
English seaman of much fame, a daring adven- 
turer and an expert mariner. Witli tiiree ves- 
sels he entered the Pacific through the Straits 
of Magellan. One was soon wrecked, another 
returned to England, but with the third he con- 
tinued up tlie coast, scattering terror among the 
Spanish shipjiing and levying heavy contribu- 
tions on the defenseless ports. Loaded with plun- 
der, he continued northward on the same boot- 
less search for the Straits of Anian that had be- 
guiled all the navigators of England and Spain 
80 long, and which, of course, returned to him 
only their disappointment. How far he sailed 
northward it is hard to determine, some authori- 
ties placing his highest latitude at 43°, and 
some at 48°. The English writers claim the 
latter, and the American the former. Doubt- 
less the question of title to the country on the 
ground of discovery, as between Spain and 
England, in which the United States was in- 
volved by her purchase of the rights of Spain, 
accounts for that disagreement. If he reached 
only the forty-third degree, his discoveries were 

anticipated by the Spaniard, Ferrelo, by thirty- 
five years. If he reached the forty-eighth de- 
gree, then England's right, by discovery of the 
coast far north of the mouth of the Columbia 
river, was undeniable. The accounts published 
of this voyage of Drake bear so little evidence 
of reliability that the fair-minded historian finds 
it difficult to reach a satisfactory conclusion as 
to the fact in the case. There is little differ- 
ence which was the fact, since it will be forever 
impossible to adjudicate the dispute, and hence 
the honor of the discovery of the Oregon coast 
will remain divided between the Spaniard, 
Ferrelo, and the Englishman, Sir Francis Drake. 

In the month of June Drake lay in a harbor 
of refuge, probably in the small bay north of 
the bay of San Francisco, now known as Drake's 
Bay. Following the example of the Spanish 
navigators, he landed and took possession of the 
country in the name of Great Britain, giving it 
the title of " New Albion," as the Spaniards had 
called the southern point of the coast " New 

Following Drake, and encouraged by his suc- 
cess, came Thomas Cavendish and other English 
adventurers, having the same purposes in view 
as Drake himself, namely, the capture of the 
richly loaded galleons of Spain, and the discov- 
ery of the Straits of Anian. "Without any reason- 
able compensation it would greatly lengthen a 
narrative only collateral to our main design, to 
follow the story of their depredations or dis- 
coveries. Besides, there was so much that sub- 
sequent information has proven to be fiction in 
the published narratives of these expeditions 
that the historian is sometimes led to wonder if 
any part of them, as recorded, is credible. In 
some of them places and water passages are 
minutely described that have long ago been 
proved to have had no existence. History can- 
not afford space even to catalogue these roman- 
ces. Such stories as those of Maldonado and 
of Juan de Fuca must be classed with these, and 
thus passed by. 

There is really nothing of authenticated dis- 
covery on the northwest coast to relate until 1602, 


when Sebastian Viscaiiio, under peremptory 
orders from Philip III, sailed north from Aca- 
pulco, entering the ports of San Quintin, San 
Diego and Monterey. Nothing of importance 
having been added by hiui to geographical 
science, he soon after returned to Acapulco. In 
January, 1B03, he again sailed northward. On 
this voyage he reached and named " Cape 
Blanco," about the 43° of latitude. The histo- 
rian of the voyage of the little craft on which 
he sailed says: " 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 Cas- 
tile on its banks." An unsuccessful attempt to 
enter this river, which was probably theUmpqua, 
was made, and as a large number of the crew 
were sick with the scurvy, the commander de- 
termined to return to Acapulco. He and his 
pihjt, Antonio Flores, both died of scurvy on 
the way, and were buried in the deep. 

Still the Sti-aits of Anian remained the fable 
for the solution of which the navigators of 
Europe continued to search on both coasts of 
America. Gradually, but generally, the belief 
came to be entertained that these straits could 
be found only in a search in Hudson's Bay. To 
aid in their discovery, in 1699, Charles II, then 
king of England, granted to a company of his 
subjects a charter guaranteeing most royal priv- 
ileges in consideration of their agreement to 
search for the Sti-aits of Anian. This charter 
created " The Company of Adventurers of Eng- 
land Trading into Hudson's Bay.'' The object 
expressed in the charter was, " For the dis- 
covery of a new passage into the South Sea, and 
for the finding of some trade in furs and other 
considerable commodities." This is the organ- 
ization known in history as " The Hudson's Bay 
Company." As its history, as well as its rela- 
tions to the story of the Pacific coast, will be 
continued later in this book, we make only this 
brief reference to it here, simply to identify it 
as one of the links in the chain of discovery on 
the Oresfon coast. 

It seems strange that from the time of the 
return of the little vessel of Aguilar from Cape 
Blanco back to Mexico in 1603, a century and 
more elasped before the prow of another vessel 
cleft the waters of the North Pacific. But 
suddenly interest in these regions revived again. 
In the north of Europe, Russia rose, by the 
genius of her enlightened monarch, Peter the 
Ureat, from an almost unknown condition to a 
high rank among the nations of the world. He 
extended the bounds of his empire eastward 
across Siberia until they reached the borean 
peninsula of Kamtchatka. Then he sought to 
carry them still farther eastward until they 
touched the western confines of the provinces 
of England, Spain and France, on the American 
continent. How far that might be he knew 
not, but his was a mind not to be daunted by 
ditiicultiesnor distracted by doubts. He ordered 
vessels to be built at Archangel, on the White 
Sea, for the purposes of cruising eastward and 
endeavoring to pass into the Pacific through 
the Arctic ocean. Before his plans were com- 
pleted Peter died, and was succeeded on the 
throne by the Empress Catharine. 

Though there was some delay in prosecuting 
the designs of Peter the Great, as soon as pos- 
sible, Catharine, whose ability was equal to that 
of her great husband, began to push them for- 
ward. In 1728, in accordance with her in- 
structions, vessels were built on the coast of 
Kamtchatka, and dispatched in search of the 
passage supposed to exist between the Arctic 
and Pacific oceans. Vitus Behring, a Danish 
navigator of experience and skill, had been des- 
ignated by Peter to command the expedition, 
and his selection was confirmed by Catharine. 
He sailed in July, and followed the coast north- 
westerly until he found it bending steadily to 
the west. He became convinced that he had 
already entered the Arctic, and was sailing 
along the northern coast of Asia, having 
reached the 67° of latitude. Neither going nor 
returning through the straits did he discern the 
west lines of America, as the prevalent cloudy 


and foggy weather obscured it. Being unpre- 
pared to winter in tlie ice, or to make along 
and exposed voyage in the open sea, he returned 
to the port of his embarkation. 

The next year he made another voyage, in 
which he endeavored to find the coast of America 
bv sailing directly eastward, but baffled by con- 
trary wind was obliged to take refuge in the 
bay of Okotsk, and abandoned the effort and re- 
turned to St. Tetersburg. Other Eussian expe- 
ditions followed, but withoiit decisive result 
until in 1732, one of the vessels employed was 
driven by the winds and currents on the Alaska 
coast, when it was discovered that but a narrow 
strait separated North America from Asia. 
Upon this was bestowed the name of Behring. 

Other expeditions from Russia there were, but 
with little result to geographical knowledge. 
One in 1741, under Behring, commanding the 
8t. Peter, and Tchirkoff, commanding the St. 
Baul, came to a most disastrous end; Tchirkoff 
himself finally returning witli but a few of his 
men, the remainder having been butchered by 
the savages or hung, or died from the scurvy; 
and Behring's vessel being wrecked on a little 
granite island between the Aleutian Archipel- 
ago and Kamtschatka, and where Behring and 
many of his men died and were buried. The 
island is known as " Behring Isle" to this day. 

These fugitive efforts of Russia to make dis- 
coveries on the American continent came to very 
little, and, as the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury was reached, the geography of the American 
coast from Behring's straits to the Spanish pos- 
sessions in the south consisted of mere imagina- 
tive lines drawn on the charts which navigators 
had made of seas over which they had never 
sailed and of lands they had never visited. The 
fact was that Russia was not a martirae na- 
tion, and she had no seamen of sufficient scien- 
tific attainments to lead the discoveries which 
she was in a most favorable situation to prose- 
cute. Hence, after four official expeditions had 
been made into these northern seas, and private 
individuals had been engaged in the fur-trade 
for a third of a century, the Russian idea of the 

seas between northern America and Asia was 
that they were large seas of islands, of which 
the largest was Alaska. It was reserved for 
Captain Cook, an Englishman, and a skillful and 
scientific navigator, to reveal their error. 

Captain James Cook commanded the first 
English vessel to visit the north Pacitic seas. He 
was already the most renowned navigator of 
England, if not of the world. He had achieved 
his great distinction in recent voyages of dis- 
covery in the South Sea and the Indian Ocean. 
The desire and purpose of England to plant 
colonies on the Pacific coast naturally turned 
the eyes of the Lord of Admiralty to him as 
the one man whose past success guaranteed 
brilliant results in the new expedition contem- 
plated by the British government. Cook did 
not wait to be invited, but volunteered at once 
to command the expedition. It consisted of 
two vessels, the Resolution, in which Cook had 
already passed around the world, and the Dis- 
covery, commanded by Captain Charles Clarke. 
These vessels were well suited to their intended 
use, and were furnished for it as perfectly as 
science and experience could provide. Cook's 
charts, though very erroneous in the light of his 
own subsequent discoveries, were the most per- 
fect that geographical knowledge at that day 
could devise. There was on them a compara- 
tive blank between latitude 43° and 50°, or be- 
tween the point reached by the Spanish explora- 
tions in the south and those of Russia in the 
north. Conjecture had placed somewhere with- 
in these limits the Great River, the straits of 
Fuca and the river of Kings. Cook was instructed 
very particularly to prosecute his researches on 
the Pacitic coast of America within these limits, 
and especially to do nothing that could be con- 
strued into any trespass on the assumed rio-hts 
of Spain or Russia. He was directed to reach 
the coast of New Albion, as the English called 
California, and not to touch upon any part of 
the Spanish dominions unless driven to it by 
necessity, and then to treat the people with 
"civility and friendship." He was to thor- 
oughly e.x;amine the coast, and with the consent 


of the natives to take possession, in tlie name of 
tbe king of Great Britain, of convenient sta- 
tions in such countries as he might discover that 
had not already been discovered or visited by 
any other European power, and to distribute 
among tiie inhabitants such things as would re- 
main as traces of his having been there, but if 
he should find the countries so discovered to be 
uninhabited, he was to take possession of them 
for his sovereign by setting up proper marks 
and descriptions as first discoverers and pos- 
sessors. Thus prepared and commissioned Cap- 
tain Cook set sail from Plymouth, England, on 
the twelfth day of July, 1776. 

Eight days before, an event had occurred in 
Philadelphia on the eastern coast of America 
that had more to do with wresting from Great' 
Britain the ultimate results of Cook's explora- 
tions, and those of all other Englishmen on tlie 
Pacific coast, than all others in history. It was 
the Declaration of American Independence, by 
which the new nation, destined to dominate the 
American continent, was born into history. 

Cook sailed for the east, rounded the cape of 
Good Hope, explored the coasts of Van Die- 
men's Land and New Zealand, and the Society 
and Friendly islands. Continuing his eastern 
course, on the 18th of January, 1778, he dis- 
covered the Hawaiian group, which he named 
in honor of Lord Sandwich, the " Sandwich 
Islands." Remaining here but a short time, he 
still sailed eastward, and on the 7th of March, 
1778, sighted the coast of New Albion, near 
the forty-fourth parallel in what is now 
Oregon, near the mouth of the L^mpqua river. 
Head winds forced him south, but as soon as 
possible he turned to the north, but sailed so 
far ofl; shore that he did not again see land un- 
til he reached the 48° of latitude, when he 
saw a bold headland which he named "Cape 
Flattery," because of the encouraging prospects 
of his expedition. He was directly off the 
mouth of the Straits of Fuca, but his charts 
misguided him by placing that opening south 
of the forty -eighth parallel, and he turned south 
to find it. Disappointed here, he turned again 

northward, but lay too far off shore and 
the Straits without observing them, and finally 
cast anchor in Nootka Sound. From this port 
he still kept his northward course, and on the 
4th of May sighted Mount St. Elias, when he be- 
gan a most thorough search for the Straits of 
Anian. His explorations about the extreme 
northern portion of the American coast, in 
Behring Straits, and the Asiatic coast on the 
Arctic side as far as cape North, were full of 
painstaking fidelity, and he so charted those re- 
gions that many of the fables of the Russian ex- 
plorers were entirely disproved. On the 9th of 
August he reached the extreme northwestern cor- 
ner of America, and named the point " Cape 
Prince of Wales." Without attempting any 
further explorations on the coast of America, 
he sailed directly to the Sandwich Islands for 
the winter. Here, on the 16th of February, 
1779, in an encounter with the natives, he was 
slain. This for a time terminated British dis- 
coveries on the North-Pacific coast. When the 
Resolution and Discovery reached England, in 
October, 1780, she was in the midst of her 
strife with her American colonies and her two 
immemorial antagonists and rivals across the 
channel, and had neither time nor inclination 
to engage in further geographical or colonial 

It has been seen by those who have carefully 
followed the line of our record that as yet little 
or nothing was known of the Oregon coast. 
The sweep of discovery and explorations by the 
maritime powers of England and Spain had been 
far to the north and far to the south. The golden 
dreams that the vivid imaginations of the Span- 
iards had woven about New Spain, and the hope 
of England to find a direct passage from west- 
ern ports to tiie Pacific through the fabled Straits 
of Anian easily account for that fact. The prow 
of the Englishman's vessel turned toward that 
fabled passage; the Spaniard's toward the land 
of gold. Oregon lay between these objective 
points, and thus remained unknown. But the 
time was at hand when the land of verdure be- 
tween the ice-land of the north and the sun- 


seared plains of the south should hecoine the 
object of the explorer's t^earcli, as well as the 
subject of the ruler's covet. 

In 1790, ten 


after the return of the 

Resolution and Discovery from their eventful 
voyage, the Spaniards again, under the direction 
of the Viceroy of Mexico, dispatched a fleet of 
their vessels to the north, under the command 
of Lieutenant Francisco Elisa, with directions 
to take possession of Nootka Sound, fortify and 
defend it, and use it as a base of explorations. 
This was done, and a series of explorations 
were at once entered upon. Lieutenant AHerez 
Manuel Quimper, in the Princess Real, in the 
summer of 1790, left Nootka and entered the 
Straits of Fuca, examinincf both shores for a 
distance of 100 miles. He turned southward 
into what was afterward called Puajet Sound. 
Mistaking it for an inlet, he called it Enceiiada 
de Caamano. He gave Spanish names to vari- 
ous points in that region, all of which now bear 
names afterward given by Vancouver and oth- 
ers, except the main channel leading north, 
which he named "Canal de Lopez de Haro;" 
which retains its Spanish cognomen, a monu- 
ment of this tirst visit of a civilized keel in the 
'waters of this great Mediterranean of the Pacitic 
coast. On the 1st of August, 1790, Lieutenant 
Elisa took formal possession of that region in 
the name of the Spanish sovereign at port 
"Nunez Guona," now known as Neah Bay. 

In 1791, Elisa again entered the Straits of 
Fuca, in the San Carlos, and made more exten- 
sive and particular explorations of the Gulf of 
Georgia, as far nortli as latitude 50". (Observ- 
ing many passages extending inland, Elisa con- 
cluded "that the oceanic passage so zealously 
sought by foreigners, if there is one, cannot be 
elsewhere than by this great channel." 

The most satisfactory explorations ever made 
by the Spanish in the Xorthwest were those 
made during 1791. But they had no longer a 
monopoly of discovery or trade on the coast. 
Other and more energetic nations had entered 
the lists of adventure in these seas. The new 
Aug which the successful revolt of the British 

colonies of the Atlantic coast had nailed to the 
mast of einpire — "thestnrs and stripes" — was 
floating from the masts of a large number of 
vessels which were hovering along the coast and 
looking into every bay and iulet of their waters. 
Great Britain, too, having lost her colonial pos- 
sessions on the Atlantic south of the St. Law- 
rence, w<is more aTi.xious than ever to secure 
others on the Pacific seaboard, and nine of her 
vessels, under the command of her boldest and 
most enterprising seamen, were guarding her 
interests and prosecuting her purposes all along 
the coast. With the nine English and seven 
American and one Spanish vessels, vigilant and 
keen-eyed, and filled with a spirit of national 
competition for new empire, added to the vigor- 
ous explorations of the Spanish ships, there 
could certainly little remain unknown along the 
coast line of the Northwest for many months 
longer. So when the year 1791 had gone and 
1792 had come, the time for the fulfillment of 
the prophecy of these preparations for decisive 
discovery had come. 'We shall follow only the 
story of these vessels which, during this year, 
made important discoveries, and established, or 
attempted to establish, national rights that in- 
fluenced the course of after history. By the 
vessels representing them the governments of 
the United States, Great Britain, Spain, France 
and Portugal were all on this coast. Their con- 
flict, however, was not that of guns, but of en- 
terprise and discovery; one greater than that of 
broadsides, and determining the future of a vast 

The movements of the Spanish vessels were 
mainly limited to a repetition of the already oft 
repeated eft'ort to discover a northwest passage. 
Spain reasoned, and correctly enough, that if 
her vessels were compelled to double the Cape 
of Good Hope and then sail around Asia to 
reach the northwest coast of America; or, on 
the other hand, to pass around Cape Horn to 
reach the same point, it was not worth her 
while to seek for possessions in northwest Amer- 
ica. Hence, if the Straits of Anian were a myth 
she was ready to give up her attempts at north- 


west colonization. True, the Mexican Viceroy, 
representing the Spanisli throne, directed his 
vessels in these waters to thoronghly explore 
the Straits of Fuca and the connecting waters, 
and to ascertain if there were not convenient 
points south of the entrance of those Straits for 
the establishment of Spanit-h settlements, but 
these objects were subsidiary to the main pur- 
pose of finding the connecting passage between 
the Atlantic and the Pacific. Lieutenant Sal- 
vador Fidalgo, commanding the Princesa, in 
pursuance of this subsidiary purpose, landed at 

Port Nunez Guona — now Neah Bay — Just with- 
in the entrance of the Straits of Fuca and on its 
south side, where he erected buildings and for- 
tifications; but the main purpose failing, he re- 
ceived orders to abrndon the post, and he re- 
moved everything to JSootka. With the surren- 
der of this purpose Spanish efforts at discovery 
and colonization on the northwest coast practi- 
cally ended, leaving only Great Britain and the 
United States as rivals and contestants in these 
fields between the fifty-second and fifty-fifth de- 
grees of north latitude. 



The United States Begin Explokations — 1791-'92— The Northwest Sp:as Filled With Ex- 
plorers — Spain Still Seeking foe the Straits of Anian — She Retires From the Contest 

Great Britain and the United States Sole Rivals — Vancouver— His Careful Examina- 
tion OF THE Coast — Passes the Mouth of the Columbia — -His Journal — Captain Gray 
Meets Vancouver — Vancouver's Voyage Northward into Puget Sound — Returns 
Southward — Lieutenant Broughton Enters the Columbia — Discovery of the Columbia 

BY Captain Gray — Antecedent Motives — Boston Association for Discovery The 

Columbia and AVashington Dispatched — Their Voyage — The Columbia Returns to Bos- 
ton — Her Second Voyage — Reaches the Northwest Coast — Meets Vancouver They 

Part Company — Gray Discovers Bulfinch Harbor — Attacked by Indians — Enters the 
Columbia River — His Journal — First Real Knowledge of the Existence of the Great 
River — The Ship Columbia. 

THESE two rival powers were in the field: 
England with the stored and storied vigor 
of her Saxon thirst for empire; the United 
States with the flush and fervor of youth- 
ful nationality firing her to action, each eager, 
confident, determined; and each realizing the 
immense value of the stake for which this game 
of discovery was being played on these northern 
and western seas. First, let us read the story 
of Britain's cruisers and captains in 1792. 

The two vessels that represented e'speciaily 
the interests of Great Britain in the Northwest 
were the Discovery, commanded by Captain 
George Vancouver, and the Chatham, com- 
manded by Lieutenant W. R. Broughton. 

Captain Vancouver was already acquainted with 
the northwest coast, having served as a mid- 
shipman with Captain Cook in his voyages of 
discovery, to which reference has already been 
made. His services had been so eminent that 
he had readied the post of captain in the royal 
navy, and such was the confidence his govern- 
ment reposed in him that he was made com- 
missioner to carry out the provisions of the 
Nootka treaty between England and Spain. 
For this purpose he was on the coast; but Eng- 
land, ever awake to ulterior advantages, di- 
rected him to connect discovery with diplo- 
macy, and especially to examine the "supposed 
Strait of Juan de Fnca, said to be situated be- 


tweeu the forty-eiglith and forty-iiintli degrees 
of iiortli latitude." He liad arrived off the 
coast of California, near Cape Mendocino, in 
April, 1792. He lost no time in entering on a 
very careful examination of the coast from the 
point of his arrival northward; and, as so much 
of the subsequent history of the Northwest 
turned on the discoveries of the English cap- 
tain, George Vancouver, and the American 
captain, Roliert Gray, we shall follow the story 
of their voyages more minutely than we liave 
those of any other navigators. 

Captain Vancouver with his lieutenant, 
Broughton, sailed slowly northward. Their ex- 
aminations of the shoi-e-line were minute. Near 
the forty-third degree of latitude they sought 
carefully for the river wl)ich the Spanish navi- 
gators had represented on their charts as enter- 
ing the Pacific at tha£ point, but could not find 
it. On his way up the coast Vancouver ob- 
served very carefully the "Deception Bay" of 
Mears, which the Spanish charts represented as 
the mouth of a river. That our readers may 
see just the conclusion reached by this really 
great English navigator as he passed up the 
Oregon coast, and by the mouth of the great 
Eiver of the West, we give quotations from 
his carefully and ably written journals. He 
writes under date of April 27: 

" Noon brought us up into a conspicuous 


nt of land. 


of a cluster of hum- 

mocks, moderately high and projecting into the 
sea. On the south side of this promontory was 
the appearance of an inlet, or small river, the 
land not indicating it to be of any great extent; 
nor did it seem to be accessible for vessels of 
our burden, as the breakers extended from the 
above point two or thi-ee miles into the ocean, 
until they joined these on the beach, nearly 
four leagues further south. On reference to 
Mr. Mears' description of the coast south of 
this promontory, I was first induced to believe 
it was Cape Shoal water; but, on ascertaining 
its latitude, I presumed it to be that which he 
calls Cape Disappointment, and the opening 
south of it Deception Bay. This cape we found 

to l)e in latitude of forty-six degrees nineteen 
minutes, longitude 236 degrees 6 minutes east. 
The sea had now changed from its natural to 
river-colored water, the probable consequence 
of some streams falling into the bay or into 
the opening north of it, through the low land. 
Not considering this opening worthy of more 
attention, I continued our pursuit to the north- 
west, being desirous to embrace the advantages 
of the now prevailing breezes and pleasant 
weather, so favorable to an examination of the 

Thus Captain George Vancouver swept by 
the mouth of the great river only two weeks 
before Captain Eobert Gray turned the prow of 
the Columbia into its crystal waters, having, as 
he believed, ascertained that "the several large 
rivers and capacious inlets, that have been de- 
scribed as discharging their contents into the 
Pacific, between the fortieth and forty-eighth 
degrees of north latitude, were reduced to 
brooks insufficient for our vessels to navigate, 
or to bays inaccessible as harbors for refitting. 
As justifying this conclusion, on the 29th of 
April he gave the following somewhat elaborate 
statement of his reasons for making it: 

" Considering ourselves now on the point of 
commencing an examination of an entirely new 
region, I cannot take leave of the coast already 
known, without obtruding a short remark on 
that part of the continent, comprehending a 
space of nearly 215 leagues, on which our in- 
quiries have been lately employed, under the 
most fortunate and favorable circumstances of 
wind and weather. So minutely has this ex- 
tensive coast been inspected that the surf has 
been constantly seen to break on its shores from 
the mast-head; and it was but a few small 
intervals only our distance precluded its being 
visible from the deck. "Whenever the weather 
prevented our making free with the shore, or on 
our heading 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 tlie coast 


we lia'l previously seen. An examination so 
directed, and eircunistancei so concurring to 
permit its l)eing so executed, afforded tlie most 
complete opportunity of determining its various 
turnings and windings, as also tlie position of 
all its couspicuous points, ascertained by merid- 
ional altitudes for the latitude, and observa- 
tions for tlie chronometer, which we had the 
good fortune to make constantly once, and in 
general twice, every day, the preceding one only 
excepted. It must be considered a very singu- 
lar circumstance that, in so great an extent of 
sea-coast, we should not until now have seen 
the appearance of any opening in its shore 
which presented any prospect of affording a 
shelter, the whole coast forming one compact 
and nearly straight barrier against the sea." 

The day on which Vancouver had written 
these statements had not passed before a sail 
was discovered to the westward, standing in 
shore. She soon hoisted the stars and stripes 
and fired a gun to leeward. At six she was 
within hail, and proved to be the ship Colum- 
bia, Captain Robert Gray, nineteen months 
from Boston. Captain Vancouver requested 
him to " bring to," and sent Mr. Fuget and 
Mr. Menzie on board the Columbia to obtain 
such information as might be serviceable 1o the 
English captain in his future operations. This 
mainly relating to the Straits of Fuca and the 
waters connecting therewith, was very cour- 
teously communicated by Captain Gray. He 
also communicated another piece of information 
to which Vancouver gave little or no credit, and 
to which he makes the following reference: 

"He likewise informed them — Mr. Pngetand 
Mr. Menzie — of his having been off the mouth 
of a river, in the latitude of 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 
27th, and was apparently inaccessible, not from 
the current, but from the breakers that extended 
aci-oss it." 

But the English captain's mind was not at 
rest, and it is plain to be seen from the tone of 

his journal that he was both asking himself, 
" What if I have made a mistake?" and at the 
same time trying to justify his conclusions by 
arguments that would palliate his doubts. So 
he recurs to the subject again on the day after 
his meeting wdth the Columbia, as follows: 

"The river mentioned by Mr. Gray should, 
from the latitude he assigned to it, have exist- 
ence in the bay south of Cape Disappointment.' 
This we passed in the forenoon of the 27th, and, 
as I then observed, if any inlet or river should 
be found, it would be a very intricate one, and 
inaccessible to vessels of great burden, 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 con- 
sequence of a very strong outset. This is a 
phenomenon difficult to account for, as, in most 
cases, where there are outsets of such strength 
on a seacoast there are corresponding tides set- 

ting in. 

that, however, as it may, I was 

thoroughly convinced, as were most persons of 
observation oi: board, that we could not possibly 
have passed any safe, navigable opening, harbor, 
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 opinion, notwithstanding that theo- 
retical geographers have thought proper to assert 
in that space the existence of arms of the ocean 
communicating with a Mediterranean sea, and 
extensive rivers with safe and convenient ports." 

Having thus apparently argued himself into 
the assurance that he was right and the Ameri- 
can captain wrong in regard to the existence of 
an important river on that portioti of the coast, 
the 15ritish navigator proceeded to his survey of 
the Straits of Fuca, and the American captain 
bore toward the opening of " Deception Bay." 

Before taking up the story of Gray's voyage, 
we need to follow Vancouver and Broughton in 
their survey of the Straits of Fuca and the adja.- 
cent and connecting waters, as their survey of 
these fall within the limits of country and time 
to which our history is intended to be confined, 


On tLe lirst of May tliey sailed from (]ape 
Flattery eastward, along the coast, following the 
track of the Spanish navigators. Vancouver 
named the Port Quadra of Qnimper, Port Dis- 
covery, after the name of his vessel. Just east- 
ward of this port he entered the mouth of the 
Canal de Caamano, as it was called by the same 
Spaniard, which he called Admiralty Inlet. T'ms 
he ex])lored to its head, more than a hundred 
miles from the straits, and the southernmost 
extension of it he named Pnget's Sound, while 
its western branch he called Hood's Canal, and 
its eastern Possession Sound. On the shore of 
Possession sound the English landed on the 4th 
of June, and celebrated the birthday of their 
sovereign by taking possession in his name, and 
"with the usual formalities, of all that part of 
New Albion, from the latitude of 89 degrees 20 
minutes north, and longitude 230 degrees 20 
minutes cast, to the entrance of the inlet of the 
sea, said to be the supposed Strait of Juan de 
Fuca, as also all the coasts, islands, etc., within 
the said Strait, and both its shores." To this 
region thus claimed they gave the appellation of 
New Georgia. 

After completing his survey of these waters, 
Vancouver sailed to Noofka to attend to his duty 
as royal commissioner, as before explained. 
This attended to he again turned his vessel 
southward, for the story of Captain Gray about 
the mouth of a great river was still exciting, if 
not troubling him. On the 20th of October 
he was again off Deception Bay. Lieutenant 
Broughton in the Chatham entered the mouth 
of the river on that day, but Vancouver was 
unable to take in the Discovery, and being still 
of the opinion that the stream was inaccessible 
to large ships sailed for the bay of San Fran- 
cisco, which he had appointed as the rendezvous 
for his vessels in case of separation. 

This was the close of Captain Vancouver's 
work on the north Pacific coast. Lieutenant 
Proughtou spent some time in the river, I'each- 
ing in a row-boat a point of land he named 
Point Vancouver, in honor of his captain, a place 
which has retained the name of the English 

navigator through all the changes of discovery 
and history. 

We are now ready to turn to the story of the 
discovery of the great River of the West by 
Captain Robert Gray. As the expedition which 
resulted in this most important event was dis- 
tinctively American, and was undertaken so soon 
after the United States had achieved independ- 
ence and became a recognized force among the 
woi-ld's great powers, it seems proper that we 
give it a somewhat particular setting forth. Be- 
sides it was that one venture that thus early 
gave the United States high place in the his- 
tory of maritime adventure and discovery, and, 
so far as claims from discovery and prior occu- 
pancy of any regions can, under international 
reasons, give any country a right to the posses- 
sion and ownership of newly discovered uncivil- 
ized lands, furnished the decisive ground for 
America's claim to (Jregon. It will be well, 
therefore, if we, as Americans, pause long 
enough here to get both the antecedent motives 
and the real story of this expedition clearly set 
in our minds. 

For the unknown ages " The Oregon" had 
rolled unseen "through the continuous woods" to 
the sea. From the middle of the sixteenth cen- 
tury the discoverers and adventurers of France 
and Spain and Portugal and England, as well as 
the "Freebooters" of all climes, had been sailing 
all oceans and spying all shores in keen quest 
of new lands to add to old dominions, or of 
treasures of gold and silver and precious stones 
to make more plethoric their national treasuries, 
or add new luster to their jeweled crowns. The 
independent rovers soughtfor any prizeon ship or 
shore that could add to their accumulated spoils, 
either of " beauty or booty." The Pacific ocean 
was the great field of their unrestrained roam. 
From the capitals of Europe it was across the 
Atlantic ocean and the American continent on 
the one side, and on the other behind the Indian 
seas and Asia; the largest continent of the 
globe. There they were secure from the direct 
interference of courts or kings, and limited 
only by their own wills or strength came and 


went at their pleasure. From island to main- 
land tliey coursed the ocean. From the Behring 
foas to PatagoDia they traced the shore-lines of 
America. Tney discovered capes and liead- 
lands, baj-s and straits until tliey supposed they 
liad charted all the coast. Thus their woi-k went 
on until 1780, and even later, and still "The 
Oregon" rolled unseen to the sea. 

A story that liad come at last to seem a myth 
oi some great " River of the West" that went 
down from the mountains toward the west, had 
floated, in some mysterious way, into the thoughts 
of geographers and explorers, and even a: name 
— Oregon — had been given to it; but no eye save 
that of whatever barbarous hordes might dwell 
in its primeval solitudes liad ever seen its 
springs or traced its course or noted its issue 
into tiie ocean. Faith in its existence was well 
nigh lost. How could it have been otherwise? 
It had been one great object of the quest of the 
navigators along the western coast. Mears and 
Cook and Vancouver, and all the navigators of 
the Pacific coast had songlit for its mouth every- 
where from San Diego to where the Russian 
Bear guarded the bleak headlands of Muscovian 
America, and it could not be found. For them 
it did not exist. Still, in another quarter and 
among another people, events were drawing 
toward a conclusion that would greatly change 
international relations on the western coast, and 
instate a specifically American power among the 
European claimants of its soil and sovereignty. 
Let us tee what tliey were. 

The puhlieation in 1784 of Ckptain Cook's 
journal of his third voyage awakened, not in 
England only, but in New England as well, a pro- 
found interest in the possibility of an impor- 
tant and profitable trade on the Northwest coast. 
In Boston a number of gentleman took up the 
matter seriously, and determined to embark in 
the enterprise on their own account. The lead- 
ing spirit among them was Joseph Barrell, a 
gentleman of cultivated tastes, wide knowledge 
of affairs, high social standing, and acknowl- 
edged influence. Associated with liim in close 
relationship was Cliarles Bui finch, a recent 

graduate from Harvard, atid who had just re- 
turned from pursuing special studies in Europe. 
The other patrons of the enterprise conceived 
by these gentlemen were Samuel Brown, a pros- 
perous merchant; Jolm Derby, a shipmaster of 
Salem; Captain Crowell Hatch, a resident of 
Cambridge; and John Mintard Pintard of the 
New York house of Lewis Pintard & Co. 
These six gentlemen subscribed over $50,000, 
and purchased the ship Columbia, or, as it was 
afterward often called, Columbia Pediviva. 

The Columbia was a full-rigged ship, eighty- 
three feet long and of 212 tons' burden. A 
consort was provided for her in the Washington, 
a sloop of ninety tons, designed for cruising 
among the islands and in the inlets of the coast 
in the expected trade with the Indians. Small 
as these vessels seem to us in this day of pon- 
derous steamships, they were staunclily built, 
and manned by skillful navigators. As captain 
of the Columbia the company selected John 
Kendrick, an experienced officer, forty-tive years 
of age, who had done considerable privateering 
in the Revolutionary war, and had since com- 
manded several vessels in the merchant service. 
For the charge of the Washington Captain 
Robert Gray, an able seaman, who had been an 
officer in the Revolutionary navy, and a personal 
friend of Captain Kendrick, was chosen. These 
able and experienced leaders had equally able 
subordinates. These were Simeon Woodruff, 
who had been one of Captain Cook's officers in 
his last voyage to the Pacific. Joseph Ingraham, 
destined to be a cotispicuous figure in the trade 
they were to inaugurate; and Robert Haswell, 
son of a lieutenant in the British navy. 

On the 30th day of September, 1787, the two 
vessels in company sailed out of Boston harbor 
on their long voyage. It is not necessary to 
our history to trace that voyage by the Cape 
Verde and Faulkland Islands, around Cape Horn 
and up the Pacific sea. On the way, on the 
morning of April 1, 1788, the vessels were 
separated in a storm, and each pursued the voy- 
age on its own account. The Washington with 
Captain Gray first saw the coast of New Albion, 


in latitude 41 decrees, near Cape Mendocino, on 
the 2d day of Anj!;ii8t. Sailing up the coast, in 
latitude 44° 20', they entered a harbor, which 
they took to be " the entrance of a large river, 
where great commercial advantages might be 
reaped." Still farther up the coast they " made 
a tolerably commodious harbor " and anchored 
half a mile off shore. Here they were assailed 
by the Indians and the vessel very narrowly es- 
caped capture. They gave the [dace the appro- 
priate name of "Murderers' Harbor." It was 
probably Tillamook Bay. Ilasweli, who kept 
a very circumstantial journal of the e.xpedition, 
thought it " must be the entrance of the River 
of the West," though he considered it " by no 
means a safe place for any but very small ves- 
sels to enter." Captain Gray was glad to get 
safely rid of "Murderers' Harbor" and pursue 
his northward voyage. He had so good a breeze 
that he "passed a considerable length of coast 
without standing in, thus sweeping directly by 
the month of the Great River, of the existence of 
which his maps and charts had only some vague 
and entirely supposititious suggestions. The 
chronicler of his voyage made no allusion to any 
circumstances that would indicate that they had 
the slightest idea that any such river really 
entered the ocean in this "length of coast." 
Farther north, on August 21, they saw "ex- 
ceedingly high mountains covered with snow." 
They pass the Straits of Fuca without noting 
them, although their journalist says: " I am of 
the opinion that the Straits of Juan de Fuca do 
exist, though Captain Cook positively asserts 
they do not." On the 16th day of August the 
Washington reached its destined harbor in 
Nootka Sound; finding two English vessels un- 
der Portuguese colors at anchor there, the Felice 
under Captain Means and the Iphigenia under 
Captain Douglas, both of whom received the 
little sloop with hospitable friendliness. 

Three days later the Englishmen launched a 
small schooner, which they named "North 
West America." This was the first vessel ever 
built 01) the coast. It was g;ila day, English- 

men and Americans cordially joining in its 
salutes and festivities. 

On the 23d of August the Columl)ia, which 
liad been separated from the Washington for 
nearly five months, appeared in the ofKng; and 
thus after nearly eleven months from tiieir clear- 
ance from Boston these historic vessels were re- 
united again on the other side of the continent, 
and Captain Kendrick again assumed charge of 
the expedition. 

Although, in this expedition, the mouth of 
the mythical Great River was not discovered, yet 
the knowledge gained of the coast by Captain 
Gray stood him in good stead, when four years 
later, in command of the Columbia, he was 
again upon the northwest coast. 

AVhen the vessels had fulfilled their intended 
stay on the coast, Captain Kendrick, as com- 
mander of the expedition, decided to put the 
ship's property on board the sloop and go on a 
cruise with her himself, while Captain Gray 
should take the Columbia to Boston by the way 
of the Sandwich Islands and China. The in- 
cidents of her voyage are interesting, but they 
are not in the course of our narrative. It 
suffices to say that she left the harbor of Clay- 
oquot July 30, 1789, and reached her destina- 
tion on the 10th of August, 1790, having sailed, 
by her log, 50,000 miles. 

Tills voyage of tiie Columbia gave the ves- 
sel, her officers and owners great eclat. Gov- 
ernor John Hancock gave an entertainment in 
their honor. Though the profits of the voyage 
were small, it was an achievement to be proud 
of, and had prepared the way for more profit- 
able trade in subsequent years. The owners of 
the ship therefore immediately projected a sec- 
ond voyage for her. She was put in perfect 
order, with new masts and spars and a com- 
plete outfit, and again left Boston on the 28th 
of September, 1790, with Captain Gray in com- 
mand and a well-selected corps of officers and 
a complete crew. Stopping only at the Faulk- 
land Island for a few days, Captain Gray sailed 
directly to Cloyo(^uot, arriving there on the 4th 
day of June, 1791. 


The instructious of Captain Gray contem- 
plated a season's trade with tlie natives on the 
coast, then a visit to China for the sale of the 
furs he might obtain. He was charged not to 
visit any Spanish port, not to trade with any 
of the subjects of his Catholic majesty "for a 
single farthing." Gray found tiie natives very 
treaciierous and cruel. Three of his men were 
massacred. In July Captain Kendrick in the 
Washington arrived from China, and the two 
vessels and commanders were reunited near 
where they separated two years before, — the 
one. Columbia, having made the circuit of the 

In February, 1792, a plot was laid by the In- 
dians for the capture of the ship. The crafty 
chiefs had endeavored to bribe Attoo — a Ha- 
waiian lad, who had been taken by Captain Gray 
from the Sandwich Islands when on his way to 
China, and who had remained with him until 
now — to wet the ship's firearms and give them 
a lot of musket balls; promising to make him 
a great chief. He informed the captain of the 
plot. Gray was greatly excited. His heavy 
guns were all on shore, but he ordered the 
swivels loaded, the ship's people to come on 
board, and the ship to be unmoored from the 
shore and moved out from the bank. At mid- 
night the warwhoop of the Indians resounded 
through the forests. Hundreds of the savages 
had assembled, but on finding their plans frus- 
trated by Gray's precautions they instantly dis- 

On the 23d of February, a sloop, which was 
built by the men of the Columbia and named 
the Adventurer, was launched. This was the 
second vessel that was built on the coast. She 
was fitted up, secured her stores, and went 
northward on a cruise under the command of 
Haswell. And by this course of events we are 
brought up to a date and an incident that took 
the name of the Columbia, and of Captain Gray, 
her commander, out of the list of ordinary ships 
and ordinary commanders and fixed them in a 
place of transcendent and enduring fame. To 
this incident let us now carefully attend. 

Captain Gray now started on a cruise south- 
ward. On the 29th of April, 1792, lie fell in 
with Vancouver, who had been sent from En- 
gland with three vessels of the royal navy as 
commissioner to execute the provisions of the 
Nootka treaty, and to explore the coast. Van- 
couver said he had made no discoveries as yet, 
and inquired if Gray had made any. Gray re- 
plied that he had; that in latitude 46° and 10' 
he had recently been off the mouth of a river, 
which for nine days he had tried to enter, but 
the outset was so strong as to prevent it, but 
he was going to try it again. Vancouver said 
this must bo the small opening he had passed 
two days before, which he thought might be a 
small river, inaccessible because of the break- 
ers extending across it. Of it Vancouver wrote 
in his journal: "Not considering this opening 
worthy of mention, I continued our pursuit to 
the northwest." 

What a turn was this in the affairs of men 
aTid the destiny of the world. Had the British 
navigator really seen the river it would certainly 
have had another name, and the Pacific coast 
another history. 

The two navigators, the Briton and the Amer- 
ican, parted here, Vancouver continuing his 
"pursuit to the northwest," and Gray sailing 
southward in the track of destiny and glory. 

On the 7th of May lie saw an entrance into 
a bay, in latitude 46 degrees 58 minutes, " which 
had a very good appearance of a harbor," and 
bore away and ran in. This he called Bultinch 
Harbor, but it was soon after designated as 
Gray's Harbor as a deserved compliment to Gray, 
by which name it still is and always will be 
known. Here on a moonlight night he was at- 
tacked by the natives and was obliged to fire 
upon them in self-defense. On the 10th of May 
he resumed his course to the south, and at day- 
break on the lltli saw the entrance of his de- 
sired port. As he drew near, about eight o'clock, 
he bore away with all sails set, ran directly in be- 
tween the breakers, and to his great delight 
found his ship in a large river of fresh water 


which he steered ten mil 

Here, rather 


tlian cliaiiae the phraseology of Captain Gray, 
we crivetlie exact language of the Colnrabia'slog 
from May 7th to May 21, 1792, at \fhich date 
she was again on her way to the north, and sail- 
ino- away fi'Oin the hold headland of "Cape 
HaneoL'k: " 

May 7, 1792, a. m.: Being within six miles 
of the land, saw an entrance in do., which had a 
very good appearance of a harbor; lowered away 
the juUy-boat and went in search of an anchor- 
ing place, the ship standing to and fro, with a 
very strong weather current: at 1 p. m. the boat 
returned, having found no place where the ship 
could anchor with safety; made sail on the ship 
— stood in for the shore; we soon saw, from our 
masthead, a passage in between the sand bars; 
at 8:30 bore away and ran in northeast by east, 
having from fonr to eight fathoms, sandy bot- 
tom; and, as we drew in nearer between the 
bars, had from ten to thirteen fathoms, having 
a very strong tide of ebb to stem; many canoes 
alongside. At 5 r. m. came to in live fathoms 
of water, sandy bottom, in a sate harbor, well 
sheltered from the sea l)y_ long sand-bars and 
spits; our latitude observed this day was 46° 
58' north. 

May 10: Fresh breezes and pleasant weather. 
Many natives alongside; at noon all the canoes 
left us; at 1 p. m. began to unmoor; lookup 
the best bower anchor and hove short on the 
small do.; at Bnlfinch's Harbor, now called Whit- 
by's Bay, 4:30 being high water, hove up the 
anchor and came to sail and a beating down the 

May 11, 7:30: We were out clear of the bars, 
and directed our course to the southward, along 
shore; At 8 p. m. the entrance of Bulfinch's 
Harbor bore north, distance four miles: the 
southern extremity of the land bore south south- 
east one-half east, and the north do. north north- 
west; sent up the main topgallant yard and set 
all sail; at 4 a. m. saw the entrance of our de- 
sired port, bearing east southeast, distance six 
leagues in steering sails, and hauled our wind in 
shore: at 8 a. m., being a little to windward of 
the entrance of the harbor, bore away, and in 

east northeast between the breakers, having from 
five to seven fathoms of water. When we were 
over the bar we found this to be a large river of 
fresh water, up which we steered; many canoes 
came alongside. At 1 p. m. came to, with small 
bower, in ten fathoms; black and white sand; 
the entrance between the bars bore west south- 
west, distance ten miles; the north side of the 
river half a mile distant from the ship, the 
south side do., two and a half miles distant; a 
village on the north side of the river, west bv 
north, distant three-quarters of a mile. Vast 
numbers of natives came alongside; people em- 
ployed in pumping the salt water out of our 
water-casks in order to fill with fresh while the 
ship floated in. So ends. 

May 14: Fresh gales and cloudy; many na- 
tives alongside. At noon weighed and came to 
sail, standing up the river northeast by east. 
We found the channel very narrow. At 4 p.m. 
we had sailed upward of twelve or fifteen miles, 
when the channel was so very narrow that it 
was almost impossible to keep in it; having 
from three to eighteen fathoms of water, tandy 
bottom; at 4:40 the ship took ground, but she 
did not stay long before she came off without 
any assistance; we backed her off stern fore- 
most, into three fathoms, and let go the small 
bower, and moored ship with kedgeand hawser; 
the jolly-boat was sent to sound the channel 
out, but it was not navigable any farther; so, 
of course, we must have taken the wrong chan- 
nel. So ends, with rainy weather; many na- 
tives alongside. 

Tuesday, May 15: Light and pleasant weather; 
many natives from different tribes came along- 
side. At 10 A. M. unmoored and dropped down 
with the tide to a better anchoring place. 
Smiths and other tradesmen constantly em- 
ployed. In the afternoon Captain Gray and 
Mr. Hoskins, in the jolly-boat, went on shore to 
take a short view of the country. 

May 16: Light airs and cloudy. At 4 a. m., 
hove up the anchor and towed down about three 
miles with tiie last of theebbtide; carae into six 
fathoms, sandy bottom, the jolly-boat sounding 


the channel. At 10 a. m. a fresh breeze came 
up the river. With the first of the ebb-tide we 
got under way and beat down the river. At 1, 
from its being very sqnally, we came to, about 
two miles from the village of Chinook, which 
bore west-northwest. Many natives alongside; 
fresh gales and squally. 

May 18 — Pleasant weather; at 4 in tlie morn- 
ing, began to heave ahead; at 4:30, came to sail 
standing down tiie river with the ebb-tide; at 7, 
being slack water and the wind flattering, we 
came to in five fathoms, sandy bottom; the 
entrance between the bars bore southwest by 
west, distance three miles, the north point of the 
harbor bore northwest, distance two miles; the 
south bore southeast, distance two miles; the 
south bore southeast, distance three and a half 
miles; at 9 a breeze sprung up from the east- 
ward; took up the anchor and came to sail, but 
the wind soon came flattering again; came to 
with the kedge and hawser; veered out fifty fath- 
oms. Noon, pleasant; latitude observed, 46° 
17' north. At 1 came to sail with the first ebb- 
tide, and drifted down broadside, with light airs 
and strong tide; at three-quarters past, a fresh 
wind came from the northward ; wore ship and 
stood into the river again. At 4 came to in six 
fathoms; good holding ground, about six or 
seven miles up; many canoes alongside. 

May 19: Fresh winds and clear weather. 
Early a number of canoes came alongside; sea- 
men and tradesmen employed in their various 
departments. Captain Gray gav^e this river the 
name of Columbia river, and the north side of 
entrance Cape Hancock, the south side Adams 

May 20: Gentle breeze and pleasant weatiier. 
At 1 p. M., being full sea, took up the anchor 
and made sail, standing down river; at 2 the 
wind left us, we being on the bar with very 
strong tide, which set on the breakers; it was 
not possible to get out without a breeze to shoot 
her across the tide, so we were obliged to bring 
up in three and a half fathoms, the tide running 
five knots; at 2:45 a fresh wind came in from 
the seaboard, we immediately came to sail and 

beat over the bar, having from five to seven 
fathoms of water; a breeze came from the south- 
ward; we bore away to the iiortliward, set all 
sail to the best advantage. At 8 Cape Hancock 
bore southeast, distant three leagues; the iiortii 
extreme of the land in sight bore north by 
west. At 9, in steering and topgallant sails. 
Midnight, light airs. 1 '-JQ-l rr-l Q 

May 21: At 6 a. m. the nearest lancl m siglit 
bore east southeast, distant eight leagues. At 7 
set topgallant sails and light stay-sails; At 11 
set steering sails fore and aft. Noon, pleasant, 
agreeable weather; the entrance of Bnlfinch's 
Harbor bore southeast by east half east, distant 
five leagues." 

This departure of the ship Columbia, with 
her gallant captain and crew, from the mouth 
of the great river henceforth to bear the name of 
the vessel whose keel first cleft its bosom, closes 
the most eventful and thrilling chapter of 
American discovery and adventure on the north- 
west coast. Up to this time the "Great River of 
the West'' had been but a dream, a vague and 
uncertified conjecture. Henceforth it is an 
ascertained and certified reality; and after all 
the efforts of jealous rivals for the fame of the 
important discovery, it must forever remain 
true that on the 11th day of May, 1792, the 
first real knowledge of the existence of this 
mighty stream was gained by a civilized man, 
and the name it bears tVirever monuments the 
day and the deed and the name. 

Undoubtedly Carver, to whom the word Ore- 
gon is traced, may have heard of the river in 
1767 from the Indians of the Rocky Mountains; 
and Heceta in 1775 was near enough to its 
mouth to believe in its existence; and Mears 
in 1788 named Cape Disappointment and De- 
ception Bay; but none of these saw the river, 
nor really knew it existed. Mears, whose claim 
as its discoverer England maintained so long 
and strenuously, showed by the very names 
he gave the cape and the bay that he was de- 
ceived al)out it. And, to conclude the argu- 
ment against himself, he gave not the slightest 
suggestion of the river on his map. The honor 



of discovery must foiever rest with Gray. -His 
was tlie first- ship to cleave its waters; his the 
first chart ever made of its shores; liis the first 
landing ever effected there by civilized men, 
and the name he gave it has been universally 
accepted. The flag he there threw to the breeze 
was the first ensign of any nation that ever 
waved over these unexplored banks, and the 
ceremony of occupation that he performed was 
something more than a meaningless pastime. 
It was a serious act performed of national sig- 
nificance, and was by liim reported to the world 
as soon as possible. And when we remember 
that as a result of this came the expedition of 
Lewis and Clarke in 18U4 and 1S05, and the 
American settlement of Astoria in 1811 — to say 
nothing of the diplomatic acquisitions of the 
old Spanish rights by the United States — we 
may safely say that the title of the United States 
to the Columbia river and the country drained 
by its waters becanae incontestable. And hence 
the outcouje of the "Oregon question" in 1846. 
Though with their departure from the river 
the Columbia and her officers and crew ceased 
to have any active association witl) the history 
and development of the region for which they 
had done so much, yet patriotism as an Ameri- 
can requires that in a few sentences we trace 
their history to its end. 

Tlie Columbia remained upon tiie northwest 
coast during the summer of 17U2, and Captain 
Gray pursued an industrious trade in furs witii 
the Indians under many disadvantages and at- 
tended by ma,ny dangers. In the autumn he 
hoisted sail for home, by the way of the Sand- 
wich Islands and China, amid the cheers of his 
crew, who sang a joyous " homeward bound" as 
they spread the canvas to the breeze. At last, 
after all her rovings, the good ship reached 
Boston July 29, 1793, havingimmortalized, if not 
enriched, her owners, officers and crew, — which 
is, after all, the greatest possible enricliment. 

In a few years the ship was worn out and 
dismantled, and soon her chief oflicers all passed 
away. Xendrick never returned to America. 
Gray comnianded several vessels after this and 
died at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1806. 
Ingraham became an officer in the navy, and 
went down with the ill-fated brig Pickering in 

1800. Davidson was lost on the Rover in -the 
Pacific, and Haswell sailed for the last time in 

1801, and was also lost on the return voyage. 
Their names, however, will always be associated 
with the ships they sailed and served so well, 
and as long as the " Great River of the West" 
flows to the sea so long will the " Columbia" 
be gratefully and proudly remembered by the 
A.merican people. 




■AiN Led Maritime Discoveries — France Led Land Explorations — New Conditions and Com- 
binations — England's Position — McKenzie's Journeys — Important Coincidence — Jeffer- 
son's Proposition — Lewis and Clarke — Instructions to Them — LouisiANAt^EDED —Lewis and 
Clarke Set out — Trip over the "Stony Mountains" — Vottage down Snake Kiver — Reach 
THE Ocean — Winter Quarters — Start Homeward — Discovery of the Willamette River 
— Yellept — Travel up the Nez Perces Trail — Reach the United States — Me. Jefferson's 
Statement — Lewis made Governor, and Clarke General and Indian Agent — Captain 
Jonathan Carver — First Uses the Name '-Oregon" — Captain J. C. Fremont's Expeditions 
— Route of Travel — Visits Salt Lake — Reaches the Dalles — Visits Vancouver— Win- 
ter Journey to California. 

THE course of our narrative, during the 
long period of time in which the Pacific 
coast of North America was being slowly 
brought to the knowledge of civilized man 
shows that the Frenchman and the Spaniard 
were the pioneers of exploration in that region 
both by sea and land. Spain led the maritime 
nations in distant and successful voyages. The 
voyage of Columbus under the auspices of Fer- 
dinand and his noble queen Isabella, whose reign 
over the united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon 
gave Spain so much glory in that adventurous 
and chivalrous age, had kindled every maritime 
Spaniard into a very knight of the seas, and 
inspired the whole nation with a burning zeal 
for discovery and conquest of distant lands. 
For Spain the times were propitious. Her 
rulers were among the greatB»t and most re- 
nowned of all ages of the world. Ferdinand 
and Isabella were succeeded by Charles the Fifth, 
one of the most enlightened and powerful inon- 
archs that ever sat on any throne. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son Philip, who, though haughty 
and imperious, so carried forward the ideas and 
purposes of his great father that his kingdom 
reached the very zenith of power and influence 
in the councils of the European monarchs. The 
woe pronounced upon a "land whose king is a 
child" could not fall upon Spain during this 
period. Weak and lusterless as may now be 
the condition of the Spanish nation, and little as 

her power is felt or feared in the world to-day, 
then even the Saxon asked privileges of the 
Castilian, and measured his own power by the 
standard of the other's greatness. Under the 
impulse thus pervading the Spanish nation, her 
banner was pushed into every sea, and her 
cavaliers led all armies of distant conquest, es- 
pecially in the new world. Other portions of 
our history illustrate what liere we need only 

While Spain led maritime discoveries, the 
facile and plastic Frenchman led the land ex- 
plorations into the interior of the western con- 
tinent. France had a strong holding on the 
eastern shore of America north of the St. Law- 
rence, — a point of great advantage in inter-con- 
tinental explorations. In addition to this she 
had planted her colonies at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, and stretched a cordon of posts 
southeastward from Quebec to the Ohio, thus 
hemming the English into a comparatively 
narrow belt of country on the Atlantic sea- 
board, and leaving free to her adventurous 
roamers the vast and as yet unknown regions 
that stretched westward and northward, no one 
could tell how far or how wide. The French 
pushed their advantages by land, as did Spain 
hers by sea, and as early as 1743 their explora- 
tions had reached the heart of the Rocky 
mountains. From Canada and from Louisi- 
ana, up the lakes and up the Mississippi 


and Missouri rivers, the FreTichman's pi- 
rogue kept movement with the voyageurs' 


as these care-t'ree men from France 

pushed their trade and travel into the middle of 
the continent. The French and Englisli war of 
1756, however, by giving England tlio oppor- 
tunity to wrest (Jauada from the weakened grasp 
of France, put a sudden stop to her movements 
in the line of explorations from that province, 
and opened the same opportunity to England 
that France had previously enjoyed. But, though 
the opportunity was hefore her, Great Britain 
was so fully occupied with lier European diffi- 
culties, and the care of her American colonies, 
already growing restive under the grievances of 
her misrule, demanded so much of the attention 
of her parliament and rulers, that she could at- 
tempt nothing further than to hold her " coign of 
vantage" securely for at least a quarter of a cen- 

During the progress of this quarter of a cen- 
tury new conditions and combinations had 
arisen. England lost all her colonies on the 
Atlantic coast south of the St. Lawrence. France 
had sold Louisiana to Spain. Thus England's 
opportunities were contracted, those of France 
were destroyed, and the new republic of America 
was as yet unable to enter the Held of explora- 
tion and colonization. At this period the con- 
tinental position was this: Spain, after her 
purchase of Louisiana from France, had pro- 
prietary claim to all the country west of the 
Mississippi river to the Pacific ocean, with no 
very clearly defined northern limit to her claims. 
England held the country northward of the great 
lakes and the St. Lawrence river, extending in- 
definitely westward, above the forty-ninth paral- 
lel of latitude. The United States held actually 
only the country east of the summits of the Al- 
leghany mountains, including the six New Eng- 
land States and New York, and had ownership 
of all the country westward of the AUeghanies 
which England had conquered from France in 
the war of 1756. These were the powers that, 
after the American Revolution, stood looking 
to the yet unknown West as the place for the 

future aggrandizement of their respective for- 
tunes, and this was the condition in which 
they looked to the future and prepared for its 

The advantages of the condition were with 
Great Britain. She had grown to be the lead- 
ing power of Europe. Already the swing of 
conquest was in the movement of her legisla- 
tion and her peoples. While the wars of the past 
twenty years had taxed, they had not paupered 
her. She was strong, consolidated, ambitious, 
courageous; and she was Saxon, — the blood of 
endurance and conquest. 

Spain held her position in the south and west 
by a precarious tenure, and she so felt the 
feebleness of that tenure that she neither tnade 
nor cared to make any vigorous movements to 
extend her possessions or to strengthen her 
holding in America The United States, geo- 
graphically, held the center of opportunity, but 
the almost chaos of the era that followed the 
close of the Revolutionary war was over the face 
of her political history, and she needed time in 
which to gird herself for the strain of the future. 
But she had the strength to wait, for she, too, 
was Saxon. And sn, with the parties in direct 
interest in the movements that were so surely 
to follow preparing for the race of empire west- 
ward, we come to the real opening of the era 
of discoveries by land westward of the great 

These were begun solely by private enter- 
prise for individjial gain. They early reached 
the Athabasca and Saskatchawan. But the 
field was too great for individual resources, and 
besides the Hudson's Bay Company entered the 
field with a combination which could only be 
met by combination. So the Northwest Com- 
pany of Montreal was formed in 1781 for the 
express purpose of meeting and overcoming the 
comjjetition of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
which had proved so ruinous to the individual 
traders who had ventured into the country be- 
fore. In a very few years this became a most 
prosperous and powerful organization, and its 
traders and explorers filled all the country east 


of tlie Koeky inouiitHins as tar" north as the 
Arctic and as far south as tlie Missoiyi. 

The great headquarters of this company was 
at "Fort Cliippewyan" on Lake Athabasca, and 
were under the cliarge of Alexander Mackenzie, 
a very resolute and able man, whose enterprise 
.in explorations stamped his name on the geogra- 
phy of all the west and north. In 1791 lie or 
ganized a small party for a western explora- 
tion, intending to prosecute his journey until he 
reached the Pacific ocean. He had, two years 
before, discovered the river that bears his own 
name, and followed it from its source in Great 
Slave lake to where it discharges its waters into 
the Arctic ocean. Having thus ascertained the 
character and extent of the country to the north- 
west, he was determined to develop the charac- 
ter of that to the west by the expedition on 
which he was now entering. He left Fort 
Cliippewyan on the 10th of October, 17U1, and 
with much ditiiculty ascended the Peace river 
from Lake Athabasca to the foot of the Rocky 
nK)Uiitaiiis, where the party encamped for the 
winter. In June of the following year he re- 
sumed his journey, still following up the same 
stream, which he traced to its source near the 
fitty-fourth parallel of latitude and distant about 
1,000 miles from its mouth. Only a short dis- 
tance from the springs of the Peace river he 
came upon those of another stream flowing 
westward, called by the natives Tacoutchee Tes- 
see, down which he floated in canoes about 250 
miles. Leaving the river, he 'then proceeded 
westward ovei-land, and on the 22d of July, 
1792, reached the Pacific ocean, at the mouth 
of an inlet in latitude 52° 10'. This inlet had, 
only a few weeks previously, been surveyed by 
the fleet of Vancouver; and thus Mackenzie 
had connected the land and water explorations 
of Great Britain on the Pacific coast. 

Mackenzie reached the coast far north of the 
month of the river on w'hich he had sailed in 
his canoes so far to the southwest. On his re- 
turn to Fort Ohippewyan, late in August, 1792, 
he learned of the discovery of the mouth of the 
Colnmbia by Captain Gray, when he at once 

concluded that the stream he had followed so 
far was the upper part of that river, and it was 
so considered by geographers until 1812, or 
twenty years after Mackenzie's journey, when 
Simon Fraser, of the same company as Macken- 
zie, traced it to its mouth in the Gulf of Geor- 
gia, a little north of the forty-ninth degree of 
latitude. Since that time it has been known as 
Fraser's river. To Alexander Mackenzie doulit- 
less belongs the honor of making the first jour- 
ney down the western slope of the great Rocky 
mountain chain to the Pacific ocean, though it 
was made wholly north of the parallel that was 
subsequently fixed as the boundary line between 
the British possessions on the American conti- 
nent and the United States. 

It is a somewhat striking coincidence that 
the first important American movement for an 
exploration by land of the country lying on the 
north Pacific coast was made the same }ear that 
Mackenzie accomplished his journey to the Pa- 
cific and that Captain Gray sailed into the 
mouth of the Columbia river. Thomas Jeffer- 
son, at that time the representative of the 
United States Government at the court of Ver- 
sailles, became deeply interested as an Ameri- 
can in this great western region. He proposed 
to the American Philosophical Society that a 
subscription be raised for the purpose of defray- 
ing the expenses of an exploration, and a per- 
son be employed competent to conduct it. He 
wished it to "ascend the Missouri river, cross 
the Stony mountains, and descend the nearest 
river to the Pacific." His suggestion was acted 
upon by the society, and Captain Meriwether 
Lewis, on the recommendation of Jefferson, 
was selected to lead the expedition; and Andre 
Micheaux, a distinguished French botanist, was 
chosen to accompany him. They proceeded as 
far as Kentucky, when Mr. Micheaux was re- 
called by the French minister at Washington 
and the expedition was given np. 

The next movement for the accomplishment 
of the same purpose was while the treaty was 
pending between Mr. Jefferson, then President 
of the United States, and Napoleon, then ruler 


of France, for the transfer of the claims of 
France to tlie whole Northwest to tlie United 
States. On the 18th of January, 1803, the 
president transmitted a special message to Con- 
gress in which he incorjjorated a recommenda- 
tion that an ofHcial expedition be dispatched on 
the same errand contemplated in tiie one that 
had been abandoned. An ample appropriation 
was made, and again Captain Lewis, then private 
secretary to the president, was chosen to con- 
duct it. He selected William Clarke as his 

The instructions issued to these gentlemen 
by Mr. Jefferson, while specitic as to purpose, 
were broad as to geographical extent. In them 
he says: 

"The object of your mission is to explore the 
Missouri river and such principal stream of it 
as, by its course and communication with the 
waters of the Pacific ocean, whether the Colum- 
bia, Oregon, Colorado, or any other river, may 
offer the most direct and practicable water com- 
munication across the continent for the pur- 
poses of commerce." 

They were directed to thorouglily inform 
themselves of the extent and number of the In- 
dian tribes, their customs, and degrees of civil- 
ization, and to report fully upon the topography 
of the regions through which they passed, to- 
gether with the character of the soil, natural 
products, animal life, mineral resources, climate, 
and to inquire particularly into the fur trade 
and the needs of commerce. "When these in- 
structions were given, Louisiana had not been 
ceded to the United States, and hence Mr. Jeffer- 
son continued: 

"Your mission has been communicated to the 
ministers here from France, Spain and Great 
Britain, and through them to their governments, 
and such assurances given them as to its objects 
as we trust will satisfy them. The country of 
Louisiana having been ceded by Spain to 
France, the passport you have from the minister 
of France, the representative of the present 
sovereign of that country, will be a pi-otection 
with all its subjects; and that from the minister 

of England will entitle you to the friendly aid 
of any tra^Jers of that allegiance with whom you 
may happen to meet." 

A few days befoi-e the expedition was ready 
to start the joyful intelligence was received that 
France had formally ceded Louisiana to the 
Lhiited States; hence the passport of the repre-. 
sentative of the French government at Wash- 
ington was not needed. 

Captain Lewis left Washington on the 5th 
day of July, 1803, and on arriving at Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, was joined by Clarke, They 
selected their party, went as far as St. Louis, 
near which they went into camp, and remained 
until the tiual start was made, on the 14th day 
of May, 1804. The party now consisted of 
Captains Lewis and Clarke, nine young men 
from Kentucky, fourteen soldiers, two French 
Canadian voyageurs, an interpreter and hunter, 
and a negro servant of Captain Clarke. The 
party ascended the Missouri river as far as the 
country of the Mandan Indians, with which tribe 
they remained all winter. 

Their westward journey was resumed in the 
spring of 1805. They followed up the Mis- 
souri, of whose course and tributaries and 
characteristics they had obtained very accurate 
information from the Mandans. Passing the 
mouth of the Yellowstone, or Roche Jaune of 
the French Canadian trappers and voyageurs 
who had already visited it, they continued up 
the Misso'uri, passing its great falls and cas- 
cades, and ascending through its mighty canon 
crossed the Rocky mountain divide and de- 
scended its western side to the stream now 
known at different points on its course as 
" Deer Lodge," '• Hellgate," " Bitter Root," 
" Clarke's Fork," and " Pend d'Oreille.'" Upon 
this stream they bestowed the name of "Clarke's 
river." From this river the advance party, 
under Clarke, crossed the Bitter Root mountains 
by what is now known as the Lolo trail. On 
these rugged heights they suffered intensely 
from cold and hunger. On the 20th day of Sep- 
tember they came to a village of Nez Perces In- 
dians, situated on a plain al)out fifteen miles 


from the south fork of CMearwater river, wliere 
they were received with great hospitality. 

When they reached the Nez Perces village 
the party was nearly famished, and they partook 
of such quantities of the food so liberally pro- 
vided by their Indian hosts that many of them 
became too ill to proceed until the second day, 
and among that number was Clarke himself. 
As soon as they were able to proceed, they ■went 
to the village of the chief, Twisted Hair, situated 
on an island in the streatn. To this river 
Clarke gave the name "Koos-koos-kee," doubt- 
less slightly misunderstanding the words used 
by the Nez Perces in distinguishing it from the 
Snake river, into which it enters, — " Koots- 
koots-hee," — which those acquainted with the 
N"ez Perces tongue say is a descriptive term, 
and means " This is the smaller." 

Here the two parties were united, and after 
resting a few days, journeyed on down the 
Clearwater. The company was now utterly ex- 
hausted. Many found it difficult to sit upon 
their horses. Captain Lewis was very ill. The 
weather was hot and oppressive. They felt that 
they could proceed no farther in their former 
manner of traveling, and the commanders re- 
solved to prepare canoes and prosecute the re- 
mainder of their journey in them. With 
Twisted Hair as gnide, Clarke proceeded about 
five miles, where suitable timber was found, 
and encamped on the low ground opposite the 
forks of the river. 

When their canoes were constructed, leaving 
their horses and equipage witii Twisted Hair, 
they embarked on the Clearwater on their jour- 
ney toward the Pacific. 

They were not long in reaching Snake river, 
which, in honor of Captain Lewis they called 
" Lewis river.*' Down that stream to the Co- 
lumbia was a quick and rapid passage. Down 
the Columbia it was not less rapid, and they 
reached the cascades of that stream on the 21st 
day of October. Making the portage of the 
cascades they embarked again, passed the mouth 
of the Williamette without ol)serving if, and on 
the 15tli day of November reached Cape Disap- 

pointment and looked out on the great ocean, 
which had been the goal of their journeying 
for more than a year. 

They remained near the ocean, wintering in a 
log dwelling which they erected on the south 
side of the Columbia and they called "Fort 
Clatsop," in honor of the Indians who inhab- 
ited that region. Hoping that some trading 
vessel from which they could replenish their 
stores would visit the river they delayed their 
departure homeward until the 23d of March, 
1806. Before leaving they gave the chiefs of 
the Clatsops, and also of the Chinooks, who re- 
sided on the north side of the river, certificates 
of hospitable treatment, and posted a writingon 
the wall of their cabin in these words: 

" 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 Government of the United States of 
America to explore the interior of the continent 
of North America, did penetrate the same by 
the way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers to 
the discharge of tlie latter into the Pacific ocean, 
where they arrived on the 14th day of Novem- 
ber, 1805, and departed the 23d day of March, 
1806, on their return to the United States by 
the same route by which they had come out." 

To this paper were appended the names of 
the members of the expedition. Several copies 
of the paper were left among the Indians and 
the following year one of tiiem was handed by an 
Indian to Captain Hall, an American trader, 
whose vessel, the Lydia, had entered the Colum- 
bia river. By him it was taken to China and 
thence to the United States. Therefore had 
the party perished on their return, evidence of 
the completion of their purpose would have 
been left behind them. 

Their journey out had been so long and its 
expense so great that, on taking an invoice of 
their possessions on starting on the return jour- 
ney, they found that they had available for traffic 
with the Indians only six blue robes, one scarlet 



robe, one United States artillery hat and coat, 
five robes made from the national ensign, and 
a few old clothes trimmed with ribbons. Upon 
this scant store mnst they depend for pnrchas- 
ing provisions and horses, and paying tribute 
to stubborn chieftains through whose domin- 
ions they might pass on their long homeward 

On their return they proceeded up the south 
side of the Columbia, coming unexpectedly 
upon a large river flowing into it from the 
south. On an island at its month was a 
large Indian village called " Multnomah," 
which name they understood to apply to the 
river they h^d discovered, of the course of 
which they made careful inquiry. The result 
of these inquiries was noted in the map of the 
expedition, making the river tu flow from Cali- 
fornia to the north and west, and the Indian 
tribes that actually resided on tlie waters of 
Snake river to reside upon its banks. Their 
journey up stream was far more tedious witli 
their canoes than had been their passage down 
owing to the numerous rapids aud cascades; and 
at the mouth what they called Lapage river — 
now "John Day" — they abandoned their canoes 
and packing their baggage on the backs of a few 
horses that they had purchased from the In- 
dians proceeded up the southern bank of the 
Columbia on foot. Crossing the Umatilla river, 
called by them the You-ma-lo-law, they arrived 
at the mouth of the Walla Walla on the 27th 
day t)f April. 

The greatest Indian chief of tlie Pacific coast, 
at that time, if not indeed of all tradition, was 
then at the head of the Walla nation. His 
name was Yellept. The story of his life and 
death, as handed down by the traditions of his 
people, is of the most thrilling and romantic 
character, but belongs rather to such writings 
as Cooper's than to the sober chronicles of history. 
This powerful chieftain received the company 
with most generous hospitality, which charmed 
the travelers into some lingering before they 
ventured farther into the wild gorges of the 
mountains. The jiuirnal of the expedition re- 

cords the kindness of the>e Indians with many 
appreciative words and closes its notice of them 
by saying: " We may indeed justly aflirm that 
of all the Indians that we have seen since leav- 
ing the United States the Walla Wallas were 
the most hospitable, honest and sincere." 

Leaving these hospitable people on the 29th 
of April the party passed eastward on the great 
" Tsez Perces trail." This trail was the great 
highway of the Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Nez 
Perces eastward to the buffalo ranges, to which 
they an]iually resorted for game supplies. It 
passed up the valley of the Touchet, called by 
Lewis and Clarke the "White Stallion," thence 
over the high prairie ridges, and down the 
Alpowa to the crossing of Snake river, then up 
the north bank of Clearwater to the village of 
Twisted Hair, where tiie exploring party had left 
their horses on tlieir way down the previous 
autumn. It was worn deep and broad, and in 
many stretches on the open plains and over the 
smooth hills twenty horsemen could ride abreast 
in the parallel paths worn by the constant rush 
of the Indian generations from time immemo- 
rial. The writer has often passed over it when 
it lay exactly as it did when the triljcs of 
Yellept and Twisted Hair traced its sinuous 
courses, or when Lewis and Clarke and their 
companions first marked it with the heel of 
civilization. But the plow has long since oblit- 
erated it, and where the monotonous song of 
the Indian's march was droningly chanted for 
so many barbaric ages, the song of the reaper 
thrills the clear air as he comes to his garner 
bringing in the sheaves. A more delightful 
ride of a hundred and fifty miles than this that 
the company of Lewis and Clarke made over 
the swelling prairie upland and along the crys- 
tal streams between AYalla Walla and the village 
of Twisted Hair, in the soft May days of 1806, 
can scarcely be found anywhere on earth. 

For the purposes of this narrative it is not 
necessary to trace the explorations of these trav- 
elers farther, interesting as they would be, for 
they scarcely belong directly to this history. 
With the usual adventures of explorers in the 


unfrequented regions which tliey traversed tliey 
followed homeward the path of their ontward 
advance, and reached St. Louis on the 25tli of 
September, 1806, having been absent nearly two 
years and a half. 

Their safe return to the United States sent a 
thrill of rejoicing through the country. Mr. 
Jefferson, the great patron and inspirer of the 
expedition, says of it: 

" Never did a similar event excite more joy 
throughout the United States. The humblest 
of our 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 lugu- 
brious 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, soon after his return, was 
appointed governor of Louisiana, and Captain 
Clarke was made general of militia of the same 
Territory and Indian agent for the vast region 
he had so successfully explored. Eoth had per- 
formed inestimable services for their country and 
were well worthy of generous reward. For 
themselves they had achieved a lasting fame. 
Their names will be remembered as long as the 
crystal waters of " Clarke's fork " or deep flow 
of " Lewis river " roll to the Pacific sea. 

There is another incident of exploration 
which, perhaps, should have a place in our narra- 
tive, and which may appear here, jiarenthet- 
ically, as suitably as elsewhere. 

The name of Captain Jonathan Carver, of 
Connecticut, who, ten years before the Ameri- 
can revolution, visited the regions of the upper 
Mississippi, has become connected with the his- 
tory of the Northwest, not so much from what 
he really did in the way of exploration and dis- 
covery as for what he desired or intended to do. 
Captain Carver has won some credit in the war 
against the French in which England has 

wrested from France her American possessions, 
and was inspired with zeal to establish English 
ascendency over the entire northern part of the 
American continent. From all that appears 
Carver's actual travels were limited to a visit to 
the regions of the upper Mississippi, which he 
reached by the way of Detroit and Michilimack- 
inac. His object, as stated in the introduction 
to his book, which was published in London, in 
1778, was: "After gaining a knowledge of the 
manners, customs, languages, soil, and natural 
productions of the different nations that inhabit 
the region back of the Mississippi, to ascertain 
the breadth of the vast continent which extends 
from the Atlantic to the Pacitic oceans, in its 
broadest part, between the forty-third and forty- 
sixth degrees of northern latitude. Had I been 
able to accomplish this, I intended to have pro- 
posed to the Government to establish s post in 
some of these parts, about the strait of Anian, 
which, having been discovered by Sir Francis 
Drake, of course belongs to the English. This, 
1 am convinced, would greatly facilitate the 
discovery of a northwest passage, or a commu- 
nication between Hudson's Bay and the Pacific 
ocean." Being unable to prosecute his pur- 
pose and to proceed " to the headwaters of the 
Great River of the "West, which falls into the 
strait of Anian," he gathered what little infor- 
mation he could from the tribes with whom he 
came in contact; made somewhat large extracts 
from French journals and histories, and gave 
all to the world under the title of Travels 
Throughout the Interior Parts of North Amer- 
ica in 1766-'68." A notice of his work be- 
longs to these pages only because of a brief 
reference to the "Great River of the West," 
and the fact that he, so far as can be ascertained, 
first uses the word "Oregon" as the name of the 
somewhat mythical "Great River." 

It is due to history, perhaps, that we tran- 
scribe the brief passage in which he speaks of 
the great stream which he thus designates. It 
is as follows: 

"From these nations [called by him Nando- 
the Assinopolis, and the Killislionorsj, 


togetlier with my own observations, I have 
learned that the four most capital rivers of 
North America, — the St. Lawrence, the Missis- 
sippi, the river Bourbon, and tiie Oregon, or 
Eiver of the West, have their sources in the 
same neighborliood. The waters of the three 
former are within thirty miles of each other; 
the latter, known as rather farther w«st. This 
shows that these parts are the highest in North 
America; and it is an instance not to be paral- 
leled in the other three-quarters of the world, 
that four rivers of such magnitude should take 
their rise together, and each, after running sep- 
arate courses, discharge their waters into differ- 
ent oceans, at a distance of 2,000 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 upward 2,000 miles.'' 

It would hardly seem to the historian of the 
present, that there was enough in this para- 
graph, which embraces all Carver says respect- 
ing the Oregon, or the "Great Eiver of the 
West," to associate his name in any way with 
Oregon history, and there really is not, except 
for his first using the name "Oregon." Though 
iiis use of that name was not such as clearly to 
identify it with the river whose mouth was dis- 
covered by Captain Gray in 1792, and which 
he appropriately called the Columbia, it really 
did furnish the name for this vast region west- 
ward of the Rocky mountains, lying between the 
42d degree of latitude and 54° 40', and includ- 
ing tiie present three great northwestern States 
of the American Union. Carver gives no ac- 
count of the origin of the name Oregon, and no 
authority for its use, and up to this time no 
research has been able to discover them. There 
is little doubt but that it was invented by Car- 
ver, and that it has no historic or scientific sig- 
nificance whatever, except that it is associated 
with the mythical Great River of the West, and 
from that passed to represent the vast country 
through which it was believed to fiow. At 

length Bryant made it classic in his Thanatop- 
sis when he sang of 

"The continuous wood where rolls the Oregon, 
And hears no sound save its own dashing." 

So we trust to be jjardoned for not pursuing a 
wearying investigation into the derivation or 
meaning of the name Oregon, since all the 
studies of antiquarians have failed to do more 
than reach the conclusion we have announced 
in a single sentence. 

These two early expeditions, that by Macken- 
zie in 1772, under the auspices of a company 
wholly British, and that of Lewis & Clarke in 
1805-'06, under the direction of the Government 
of tlie United States, are, perhaps, the only ex- 
peditions across the American continent entitled 
to be classed as exploring. Those that followed 
these entered more into the fabric of the history 
of the regions by them brought to the knowl- 
edge of the civilized world; and they will, as 
far as necessary, be treated of as such in their 
proper places. If any exception to this is al- 
lowed it should refer to the expeditions of Cap- 
tain Fremont, to which, as they were under the 
auspices and at the expense of the United States 
Government, it seems proper that a brief refer- 
ence shall be made. They had for their oliject 
geographical and topographical information in 
relation to Oregon. 

John C. Fremont was a member of the Corps 
of Topographical Engineers of the United States, 
appointed from civil life, and hence not enter- 
ing that service through the door of West Point. 
He was restlessly ambitious, in love with adven- 
ture and anxious to distinguish himself. For 
his fame he fell on auspicious times. Public 
attention was strongly directed toward Oregon. 
He solicited an appointment to the command 
of an expedition, which he had devised himself 
to explore and map out the country west of Mis- 
souri as far as the South Pass in the Rocky 
mountains. In accordance with his request 
Colonel J. J. Abert, chief of the Corps of the 
Topographical Engineers, ordered the expedition 
and gave its command to Captain Fremont. As 

iii.sroRy OF wAsuiNoroN. 

this expecJitioii of 1842 had little more to do 
witli Oregon than to prepare the way for the one 
of tlie loliowiug year whicli was continued in 
force to tlie Dalles of the Columbia, and by Cap- 
tain Fremont himself to Fort Vancouver, we 
can dismiss it with this brief reference. 

The second expedition, that of 1843, like that 
of the preceding year, was organized at Captain 
Fremont's own solicitation. He dictated its 
object, marked out its route and selected its 
personnel. Its object was to connect his own 
survey of tiie previous year, which reached as far 
west as the South Pass, with that of Commander 
Wilkes on the coast of the Pacific ocean. He 
selected a company of thirty-three men, princi- 
pally of Creole and Canadian French, with a 
few Americans, and, leaving Kansas landing on 
the Missouri river on the 29th of May, reached 
the termination of his former reconnoissance in 
the South Pass, by the way of the Kansas, Ar- 
kansas and upper Platte rivers, passing over the 
spot where Denver now is, on the 13th of Au- 
gust. Here he entered Oregon, making this 
frank record: that "the broad, smooth highway 
where the numerous heavy wagons of the emi- 
grants had entirely beaten and crushed the 
artemisia, was a liappy exchange to our poor 
animals for the sharp rocks and tough shrubs 
among which they had been toiling so long." 
This, it will be remembered, was the great emi- 
gration of 1843, and Cajitain F'remont makes 
no claim in his reports to have had anything to 
do with pioneering its way or contributing to its 
safe conduct, as his was a purely scientific and 
topographical expedition, and, in pursuance of 
these purposes often led him far aside from 
the road of the emigrants. We speak of this in 
simple justice, as some writers have ridiculed 
him as claiming to be the " pathfinder" to OrCr 
gon, — a claim which he nowhere makes, but which 
was only a political catch-word of his friends 
when he was the first candidate of the liepublir 
can )>arty for president of the United States It 
was like "Fifty-four forty or fight" of the can- 
didacy of Mr. Polk in 1844, although it did not 
serve so successfully its purpose as that. 

From the South Pass Captain Fremont con- 
tinued his course along the well-beaten emigrant 
road to Green river and then to Bear river, 
making careful annotations of the topography 
and geology of the country over which he 
passed. His exhaustive description of the lo- 
cality and character of Soda or Beer Spi-ings has 
been the authority of all writers on the topogra- 
phy and mineralogy of that region from that 
day to this. It is worth observing that his as- 
tronomical observations here place Soda Springs 
in latitude 42° 39' 57", or less than fifty miles 
north of what was then Mexico, and conse- 
quently the same distance in Oregon. These 
are the " Soda springs" now on the line of the 
Union Pacific railroad in eastern Idaho. 

The intention of Captain Fremont being to 
explore the Great Salt Lake, which up to this 
time had been almost a myth so far as science 
was concerned, about five miles west of Soda 
Springs he turned to the left, while the emi- 
grant road bore away over the hills to the right, 
and, after ten days' travel, mainly down the Bear 
River valley, on the afternoon of September 5th 
encamped on the shore of a great salt marsh 
which he correctly concluded must be the margin 
of the lake. He reached the bed of the lake 
near the mouth of the Bear river, but skirted 
along it to the south until he reached the mouth 
of Weber river, near which the party encamped 
and made preparations for an exploration of 
some portions of the lake in an infiated india^ 
rubber boat. Finally, on the morning of Sep- 
tember 9, the party launched out on the then 
calm surface of this ocean-like se^, aijd about 
noon reached the shore of an island where they 
remained that and the following day. 

The account given by Fremont of Salt Lake 
and its surroundings is exceedingly particular 
and interesting, but of too great length for these 
pages. He remained upon the lake until the 
12th of September, when he resumed his jour- 
ney toward the Columbia, returning along the 
line of his previous travel. His company was 
entirely out of food, making one snpper out of 
sea-gulls, which Kit Carson had killed near the 

BISTORT OF Washington: 

lake. Another evening Captain Fremont re- 
cords the fact that hunger made his people very 
quiet and peaceable, and there was rarely an oath 
to be heard in the camp. Certainly those ac- 
quainted with the habits of the men of the 
mountains and plains in those days will believe 
these must have been very hungry. He restored 
them to gayety, and probably profanity too, by 
permitting them " to kill a fat young horse" 
which he had pui-chased of the Snake Indians. 
Their course led northward, through the range 
of monntains that divide the Great Basin of 
Salt Lake from the waters that flow to the Pa- 
cific through the Snake and Columbia rivers. 
From these mountains they emerged into the 
valley of what he calls the Pannack river, other- 
wise known as the Raft river, down which they 
followed until they emerged on the plains of 
Snake river in view of the " Three Buttes," the 
most prominent landmarks of these great plains, 
and reached Snake river on the evening of Sep- 
tember 22d, a few miles above the American 

From this point the reconnoissance of Captain 
Fremont was down the valley of Snake river, 
along the course afterward so familiar to the 
emigrants, sweeping to the south along the foot 
of the Goose Creek mountains several miles 
distant from Snake river for all the distance in 
which it runs throngh the deeply cut basaltic 
gorge, in which are situated its greatest curiosi- 
ties, the Twin Falls and the great Shoshone 
Falls, the existence of both of which was un- 
known to white men until ten years later than 
Captain Fremont's explorations. He crossed 
the river, to the north side some miles below 
" Fishing" or Salmon Falls, thence to the Boise 
river, striking that stream near the present site 
of Boise City, and via old Fort Boise, where he 
recrossed the Snake river to the south, and so 
westward through Powder river valley and 
Grande Ronde valley to the Columbia river, 
which he reached at Walla Walla, now Wallala, 
on the 25th day of October. In this entire dis- 
tance many careful and frequent astronomical 
observations were taken, latitudes and longitudes 

were fixed, and the country very accurately de- 
scribed topographically. The only part of this 
stage of his journey on which Captain Fremont 
did not follow the usual route of the emigrants, 
was from near where La Grande now stands in 
Grande Ronde valley, over the Blue mountains, 
to where Milton is now located on the Walla 
Walla river Just below where it issues from the 
mountains. Here he sought a new route, pass- 
ing the head of the Umatilla river to the east 
and north; but, though he succeeded in forcing 
his way throngh the Blue range there, it has 
not been adopted as a feasible line of general 

Fremont continued his journey down the 
banks of the Columbia, and on the 4th of No- 
vember reached The Dalles. Leaving most of 
his party at this point. Captain Fremont himself 
continued his journey down the river, and in a 
few days reached Vancouver, where his westward 
journey terminated. 

The reception Mr. Fremont met at the hands 
of Dr. McLoughlin, at that time governor of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, was such as that 
eminently hospitable and courteous gentleman 
always extended to those who visited that place. 
The record made by Captain Fremont fully 
evinces this, and is like the common record of 
visitors there. He says: " I immediately waited 
on Dr. McLoughlin, the executive oificer of the 
Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rocky 
mountains, who received me with the courtesy 
and hospitality for which he has been eminently 
distinguished, and which makes a forcible and 
delightful impression on a traveler from the 
long wilderness from which we had issued. I 
was immediately supplied by him with tlie 
necessary stores and provisions to refit and sup- 
port my party in our contemplated winter jour- 
ney to the States." Dr. McLoughlin also fur- 
nished Captain Fremont with a letter of recom- 
mendation and credit for any oflicers of the 
Hudson's Bay Company into whose posts he 
might be driven by unexpected misfortune. 

As an item of history recorded by Captain 
Fremont at this time the following is worth the 


qiKiting, ;)s it reveals Dr. Mc.Lougliliirs treat- 
ment of the emigrants in a soinewiiat different 
and niuie honorable light than that iu which 
some writers have presented it. Mr. Fremont 
says: •■ I found many einii^rants at the fort, 
others iiad already crossed over into their land 
of promise — the Willamette valley. Others 
were daily arriving, and all of them had been 
furnished with shelter so far as it could be af- 
forded by the buildings of the establishment. 
Necessary clothing and provisions (the latter to 
be afterward returned in kind from the produce 
of their labor) were also furnished. This 
, friendly assistance was of very great value to 
the emigrants, whose families were otherwise 
exposed to iriuch suffering in the winter rains 
which had now commenced, at the same time 
that they were in want of all the common neces- 
saries of life." This record is honorable both 
to the man who made it and the man of whom 
it was made, especially when we consider that 
the relations of the two governments of which 
they were severally representative citizens, and 
in some sense official representatives, were then 
in the stress of urgent and somewhat strained 
diplomatic controversy over the very country in 
which they had met. 

Completing the outfit for his proposed winter 
journey toward the States, Captain Fremont re- 
turned up the Columbia to The Dalles, arriving 
at that place on the afternoon of the 18th of 
Novemlier. From this point he proposed to be- 
gin his return expedition. The route selected 
would lead him southward, east of the Cascade 
range, clear through the territory of the United 
States, and then, by a south and eastward wheel, 
through the Mexican territory, including a con- 
tinued survey of the valley of the Great Salt 
lake, back again to the frontiers of Missouri. 
Those acquainted with the region he expected 
to travel need not be told that few explorers 
ever ventured on a more perilous expedition 
than was this at the season of the year in which 
he iindertook it. The country was unknown, 
except that it was a vast region of bleak and 
open deserts, of vast and rocky ranges of niount- 

I ains; that its inhabitants were among the low- 
est and most savage of human beings, and that 
there was in it little that could be used for the 
support of life. It was a bold, brave venture 
these men made. 

It was the 25th day of November before 
they were ready to set out from The Dalles. Up 
to this point, besides a mountain howitzer, 
some wheeled vehicles had been brought with 
them, but the last, except the howitzer, were 
here abandoned, and in flurries of snow they 
took leave of the Columbia river and turned 
away into the great southern wilderness. 

Their route lay high up on the eastern slope 
of the Cascade mountains, at times touching 
the points of timber that project eastward along 
the rocky cliffs, or in the gorges of the streams. 
Proceeding southward they passed between the 
Des Chutes river and the mountain range, 
across the Tigli river and over the Tigh prairie, 
finding that high and sandy plain covered with 
snow, with the thermometer on the 27th at two 
degrees live minutes l)elow zero. On the 29th 
they passed the Hot Springs, near which are 
now the buildings of the Warm Springs Indian 
Agency. From the elevated plain to the south 
of Warm Springs river, Fremont records the 
view of six of the great snowy peaks of the 
mountains at one time. He makes the mistake 
that nearly all the travelers of that day made of 
recording St. Helen's as one of the peaks visible 
from the various points east of the main range, 
whereas there is no place on the eastern plains 
from which it can be seen. Doubtless the 
summit of Mount Adams, which can be seen 
from many points, was mistaken for the former. 
On the 5th of December their route led them 
somewhat down from the mountain slope to the 
main branch of the Des Chutes river, crossing it 
the next day; and after a day or two more 
crossed it and entered on the high plateau which 
separates the waters of the Columbia from those 
which flow westward and southward, and en- 
camped on Klamath lake, on the evening of 
December 12. They were now nearly on the 
line betwejn the territory of the United States 


and that of Mexico, and consequently we sliall 
not follow their explorations fnrther. Yet it is 
proper that we remark that Captain Fremont 
continued on to the southward amid ever in- 
creasing difficuities of travel on account of the 
roughness of the mountains and the depth of 
accumulating snows, until he was forced to at- 
tempt the passage of the Sierra Nevada mount- 
ains into the valley of the Sacramento. He 
hegan this eifort on the 3d day of February, 
and after a chapter of hardships which have few 
parallels in the history of explorations, reached 
Sutter's Fort, in California, on the 8th day of 
March, 1844. 

The publication of the journal of these ex- 
peditions of Captain Fremont, in 1845, awak- 
ened a niucli deeper interest in the Paciiic coast 
than ever before existed, and his descriptions 
of the route from the Missouri river to Fort 
Vancouver, in the very heart of the Paciiic 
northwest, was of great value to the emigrations 
that crossed the plains from 1843 onward. His 
descriptions were remarkably accurate, and his 
maps of the routes traveled most scientifically 
correct, and-these considerations entitle his ex- 
plorations to this brief reference in a history of 
the Northwest. 



Claims of European Nations — Claims of Spain— Rctssian Enterprise — Edict of Pope Alex- 
ander — Mazy Boundaries — Extent of the Old Spanish Claim — Of the French Claim — 
Parties to the Struggle CnANaED — France and Great Britain — Results of the War of 
1759 to France — State of the Case — What the United States Purchased — Claims of 
Great Britain — Tedious Diplomacy — Two Treaties at Once — Negotiations of 1807 — 
Of 1813 — "Joint Occupancy" Treaty— Britain the Advantage — Influence of Sir 
Alexander McKenzie — Session of Congress in 1820-'21 — First Proposition for the 
Settlement of Oregon — "Oregon Question" — Senator Benton's Bill— Propositions of 
1828 — Joint Occupancy Renewed — Webster- Ashburton Treaty — The Boundary Question 
Adjourned — Treaty Ratified and Proclaimed — Taken up by the People — Two Views — 
Views of Rufus Choate — Senator Benton's Speech — Benton's Bill Passes the Senate. 

THE claims of the European nations to 
ownership of the lands and resources of 
America rested on a somewhat flimsy 
basis in right. Its morality was that of 
might. There was a quasi yielding to these 
claims as against each other on grounds of dis- 
covery and formal occupancy. At the same 
time not one of these powers stopped for a 
moment to consider what rights of the people 
that were found there when they came would 
be violated by their assumptions. Barbaric 
natioTis never had any rights that nations call- 
ing themselves civilized have felt bound to 
respect. England, France and Spain were, as 

relates to what were termed barbaric nations, 
the freebooters of the world. America was a 
field for civilized rapine worthy of the struggle 
of these racial giants. Under some fonns of 
treaty, designed mostly by either party to limit 
the pretensions of the other, but as far as pos- 
sible leaving itself free to enlarge its own claims 
as it might have power to enforce them, these 
powers moved forward, first in the agreed di- 
vision of the area of North America among 
themselves, and then in using the allotted areas 
as the small change that settled the balances of 
peace and war in Continental Europe. Pleni- 
potentiaries sat in European capitals, 5,000 


miles away from tlie regions most interested, 
and arbitrated American destinies. In this 
way America became tiie real, though passive, 
ai-biter of the world's new era. It was what 
Providence had thrown into tlie balances of 
history to poise ultimately its beam for the 
equities and liberties of humanity. Let us see 
how the question stood 200 years after the 
Spanish navigator had lifted the veil of the sea 
from the fair face of this new laud. 

When the treaty of Ryswick, in 1697, gave 
some definition to the claims of France and 
Spain and Russia in the New World, Spain 
claimed as her share of North America all the 
Pacific coast from Panama to Nootka sound, 
or Vancouver island. Her pretentions cov- 
ered the coasts, bays, islands, fisheries, and ex- 
tended inland indefinitely. Part of this claim 
was alleged on the ground of discovery by the 
heroic De Soto and others; and all of tliem 
were based on discovery under the papal bull 
of Alexander VI, in 1493. The bull or decree 
gave to the discoverer all newly discovered 
lands and waters. In 1530 Balboa, the Span- 
iard, discovered the Pacific ocean as he came 
over the Isthmus of Panama, and so in har- 
mony with the pretentious decree of Alexander 
VI Spain assumed rights of proprietorship 
over it. France held advantageous positions in 
America for the mastery of the continent; but 
as they were outside of the limits of what was 
afterward known as "Oregon" they need not be 
discussed. Russia at this time held no posses- 
sions in North America. But Peter the Great 
was her emperor, and his plans were already 
matured for entering the list of contestants for 
empire in the New World. Before his plans 
could be fully consummated Peter the Great 
had died, and his widow, Catherine, was on the 
throne of Muscovy. With an enterprise not 
less aggressive than his, she pushed forward his 
plans of commercial and territorial aggrandize- 
ment until northern Asia as well as northern 
Europe had been made commercially tributary 
to the designs of Russia. It was but a step 
from the Asiatic shores of the northern Pa- 

cific to those of the American mainland of 
Alaska, and Russia was in a position to take 
that one step. The fur trade furnished the oc 
casion. Prominent, if not indeed chief, among 
the agents of Russian aggression in this direc- 
tion was Behring the Dane, who made three 
voyages through the straits that now bear his 
name, and on the third gave up his life on a 
desolate little granite island whose name still 
monuments his memory. But he, and those as- 
sociated with him, had given, by visitation and 
trade, a color of title to Russia to this North- 
western America. 

At this time England made absolutely no 
pretense to territorial or even commercial rights 
on the Pacific coast, and none on the American 
continent anywhere except on the Atlantic 
slope from Charlestown to Peuol)SCot north- 
ward, and inland to the watershed of the AUe- 

Thus stood the pretended foreign ownership 
of the New World at the conclusion of the 
treaty of Ryswick in 1697. The intelligent 
reader cannot but have observed how shadowy 
were these pretensions, and how vague in terri- 
torial limits, but they were the basis of claims 
that afterward became more tangible and real, 
and in their ultimate settlement cost long con- 
tinued struggles of the ablest diplomats of the 
world, and were no mean elements in setting 
nations in array of arms against each other. 

Though it would be deeply interesting to trace 
the movements of the struggling forces that 
sought for mastery ou this " Armageddon " of 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, our 
limits preclude much more than the merest out- 
line, and this confined to what relates to the 
subject of our history. In doing this we must 
refer ohce'more to the edict of Pope Alexander 
VI, who, on the 4th of May, 1493, immediately 
after the return of Columbus from his voyage of 
discovery, published a bull in which he drew an 
imaginary line from the north pole to the south, 
a hundred leagues west of the Azores, assigning 
to the Spanish all that lay west of that bound- 
ary, and confirming to Portugal all that lay 


east of it. One can scarcely fail to recall an 
incident that occurred on a mountain of Galilee 
about fourteen centuries earlier, when a land- 
less pi-etender drew the vision of the Christ to 
all the kingdoms of the world, and all the glory 
of them, and said, "All these things will I give 
thee, if thou will fall down and worship me." 

"While the act of Alexander VI had as little 
authority as the other, it did have a greater in 
fluence on those to whom it was made, and 
Spain and Portugal, in the glory of discovery 
and in the pompous " gift " of the JPope, ruled 
the splendid hour. In the strain of the spirit of 
that earlier hour when St. Augustine, Florida, 
was founded, and the bigoted Philip II was pro- 
claimed monarch of all Korth America, this 
edict was made. Such, also, was the supersti- 
tions awe with wiiich the pretensions of the 
Pope were then regarded in Europe that this 
edict did very much to control the actions of 
all the powers of that continent in regard to the 
New World. Of course very little was known 
of the geography of America at this time, and 
there could really have been no prescience of 
the great part it was to play in the future his- 
tory of the world. Something, therefore, of the 
indifference with which these pretences were 
viewed mnst be set down to this fact. 

Through the maze of boundary lines, fixed on 
imaginary maps by the negotiations of contend- 
ing parties, rather than run by the compass on 
the solid earth, and which involved to a greater 
or less extent the ultimate title to this whole 
region, we shall not attempt to lead our read- 
ers. It is sufficient to say that France and En- 
gland began to crowd Spain southwardly and 
westwardly on the eastern slope of the conti- 

France had established some mythical right 
to "the western part of Louisiana," which she 
secretly conveyed to Spain in 1762. Thirty- 
eight years thereafter Spain reconveyed the same 
to France. In 1803 France sold the same terri- 
tory to the United States, and practically dis- 
appeared from the list of contestants for the 
possession of the empire on the western conti- 

nent. Spain, however, still held Florida, but 
when in 1819 the United States purchased that, 
she also disappeared from the same list, the 
rights and claims of both having passed into 
the hands of the United States. 

It is important that we now restate the fact 
that the old Spanish claim, which had been ac- 
corded some international authority, extended 
on the Pacific from Panama to Prince William 
sound, and this entirely covered, not only the 
Oregon of to-day, but Oregon, Washington, 
Idaho, and British Columbia of to-day up to 
54' 40". Presumptuous as it was, this claim 
became one of the most determining elements 
in the final settlement of what is historically 
known as the "Oregon question." 

The claims of France to American territory 
were hardly less ambitious and pretentious than 
those of Spain. They covered more than the 
size of all Europe. The treaty of Ryswick con- 
ceded these claims. But the peace of liyswick 
was brief. War soon followed, and the titles to 
empire were written again by the point of the 

Though the parties to the struggle for the 
possession of the country of the Pacific North- 
west had changed, yet the struggle went on. 
Little of it was in the territory in question. It 
was in the plots and counterplots of European 
capitals: in Paris and Loudon and St. Peters- 
burg. It was about the tables of diplomats. 
Within sixteen years of Ryswick came Utrecht, 
when the issues of war between France and Eng- 
land, waged chiefly in North America, brought 
Anne of England and Louis XIV of France face 
to face in the persons of their embassadors. The 
aged and humbled Louis XIV gave up to Great 
Britain the possessions of France on the Atlantic 
slope, and tlius yielded the morale of position 
to the Saxon. Thus Great Britain became re- 
instated in place of France over the Hudson's 
Bay basin. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. But 
France still held the Canadas, though they were 
sandwiched between the northern and southern 
possessions of (xreat Britain. The grain be- 
tween the upper and nether millstones could re- 


main unbrokeo when the stones were whirring 
as easily as these French provinces could j-emain 
in peace in sucli a position. In the struggles 
that followed the execution of fhe treaty of 
Utrecht in the old world and in the new, more and 
more the tide of battle turned against France and 
in favor of England. At last the culmination of 
events came. In Montcalm and Wolfe the 
hopes, and even in a large measure the destinies 
of France and England, were impersonated. 
When they looked into each other's faces at 
Quebec, standing at tiie head of their armies on 
that great September morn in 1759, each felt 
that was the morn of duty — the moru of destiny 
for themselves and for their country. The issue 
of that day on the Plains of Abraham gave each 
general to immortal fame, but it gave to Eng- 
land all the territorial treasures of France east 
of the Mississippi, except three small islands off 
the coast of Newfoundland. Had France not 
already, by secret treaty with Spain, executed 
about one hundred days before the great transfer 
to Great Britain, alienated her Paciiic coast pos ■ 
sessions. Great Britain would have taken all, and 
this would so have changed (he relations of things 
that the atlas of the world would have had an 
entirely different lineing. Either the whole must 
have gone without controversy to the United 
States of America at the close of the Kevolution, 
or the title of Great Britain would have been 
conceded and unquestionable to all the territory 
between California and the Eussian possession. 
In either event the story of the history of this 
coast would have been quite another book. 

With the transfer of all the claims of France 
and Spain to the territory on the Paciiic coast to 
the United States, which was concluded in 1803, 
it would seem that there was no rightful con- 
testant with the United States for any portion 
of that territory, — certainly not as far north as 
the 49th degree of latitude. None had appeared 
in the negotations through which this transfer 
was made. The state of the case seems to have 
been this: In the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, 
between the English and the French, the bound- 
arv between Louisiana and the British territory 

north of it was fixed by commissioners appointed 
under it to run from the Lake of the Woods 
westward on latitude forty-nine indefinitely. 
When France conveyed the territory of Louis- 
iana, whose line had been thus fixed, to Spain in 
1762, she also conveyed up to and along this 
same line westward, indefinitely, on to the Pacific 
coast. If she did not convey to the coast, it was 
because Spain already had a more ancient claim 
than herself along the coast. When Spain, in 
1800, reconveyed the same to France, it was, in 
the language of the third article of the treaty: 
"The colony or province of Louisiana, with the 
same extent which it now has in the hands of 
Spain and which it had when France possessed 
it." As Spain had not alienated any of the 
territory she had received from France, of course 
she retroceded to that power all that she had re- 
ceived from her. When, therefore, the United 
States made the purchase of Louisiana she pur- 
chased clear through to the Pacific on the line 
of the 49th parallel if that was a part of the 
original cession of France to Spain, or, if not, as 
Spain had never ceded it to another power, then 
to the Spanish possessions on the Pacific. It 
was then either American territory, made such 
by the purchase of Louisiana in 1803, or it was 
still Spanish territory. From 1800 to 1819 
Spain made no changes of ownership, sov- 
ereignty or jurisdiction touching this territory. 
In the "Florida Treaty" of 1819, Spain ceded to 
the United States all her possessions north of a 
line beginning at the mouth of the Sabine in the 
Gulf of Mexico and running variously north and 
west until it reached the Pacific m latitude forty- 
two, or the southern boundary of Oregon. The 
third article of the treaty said: "His Catholic 
Majesty cedes to the United States all his rights, 
claims and pretensions to any territory east and 
north of said line, and for himself, his heirs and 
successors renounces all claims to the said ter- 
ritory forever." Therefore, by the purchase of 
1803 from France and by the purshase of 1819 
from Spain, the United States gained all pre- 
tended titles to sovereignty on the Pacific coast 
between the forty-second and the forty-ninth 


parallels of north latitude, — the exact Pacilio 
limits of the earlier Oregon. England at this 
time advanced no claim to 80verei(i;nty. As late 
as 1826 and 1827 her plenipotentiaries formally 
said; -'Great Britain claims no exclusive sover- 
eignty over any portion of that territory. The 
present claim, not in respect to any part bnt to 
the whole, is limited to a right of joint oc- 
cupancy in common with the other States, leaving 
the ri^iht of exclusive dominion in abeyance." 
This, with the history already recounted, leaves 
the title of the United States to Oregon beyond 
any question of doubt. And with this statement 
our reader will be willing to follow us through 
the story of diplotnatic negotiations between the 
United States and Great Britain in regard to the 
"Oregon question" as well as the actions of the 
National Legislature through the quarter of a 
century during which Great Britain succeeded, 
in some way, in so beclouding the title of the 
United States to the territory in question and 
in bewildering our diplomats as to well nigh 
secure this vast Pacific empire to the crown. 
We shall make this story as brief as we reason- 
ably can, and be faithful to the facts of history 
concerning it. The diplomacy was tedious and 
intricate, and the action, tentative or completed, 
of the American Congress, often doubtful and 
inconsequent; yet a careful resiime of both is a 
need of this history. 

Negotiations by the United States with Spain 
or France in regard to this country are now at 
an end. Henceforth they will be with Great 

At the precise moment tiie United States 
was negotiating the treaty with France, in Paris, 
for the acquisition of Louisiana, her commis- 
sioners were also negotiating one in London 
for the definition of the boundary line between 
the possessions of the two countries in the 
Northwest. The negotiators of the two treaties 
were each ignorant of the action of the others. 
When the two treaties were remitted to the 
Senate of the United States for ratification, that 
for tiie purchase of Louisiana from France was 
ratified without restriction. That defining the 

northwest boundary was ratified with the ex- 
ception of the fifth article, which fixed the 
boundary between the Lake of the Woods to the 
head of the Mississippi. The treaty was sent 
back to London, the article expunged, and then 
the British Government refused to ratify it. 

In the year 1807, another effort was made at 
negotiation between the two countries. A 
treaty was agreed upon by the commissioners, 
tixitig the line of the forty-ninth parallel as the 
boundary between the territory oF the two 
countries as far as their possessions might ex- 
tend, but with a proviso making this provision 
inapplicable west of the Rocky mountains. 
This treaty was never ratified, Mr. Jefferson re- 
jecting it without reference to the Senate. 

In the treaty signed at Ghent, in 1814, the 
British plenipotentiarie.s offered the same arti- 
cles in relation to the boundaries in question as 
were offered in 1803 and 1807, but nothing 
could be agreed upon; and hence no provision 
on the subject was inserted in that treaty. 

In 1818 negotiations upon this subject were 
renewed in London. The plenipotentiaries of 
Great Britain, Mr. Goulborne and Mr. Robin- 
son, for the first time in all the negotiations, 
gave the grounds of the pretensions of Great 
Britain to the country in controversy. They 
asserted that " former voyages, and principally 
that of Captain Cook, gave to Great Britain 
the rights derived from discovery; and they al- 
luded to purchases from the natives south of the 
Columbia, which they alleged to have been made 
prior to the American Revolution. They made 
no formal proposition for a boundary, l>ut inti- 
mated that the Columbia river itself was the 
most convenient that could be adopted, and de- 
clared that they would not agree upon any 
boundary that did not give England the harbor 
at the mouth of that river in common with the 
United States. Messrs. Gallatin and Rush, the 
American plenipotentiaries, made a moderate if 
not a timid reply to the intimations of Great 
Britain. The final conclnsions reached on this 
suljject were announced in these words: ' That 
any country claimed by either on the northwest 



coast of Ameriua, together with its harbors, 
bays, and creeks, and the navigation of all riv- 
ers within the same, be frue and open, for the 
term of ten years, to the subjects, citizens and 
vessels of the two powers, without prejudice to 
any claim which either party might have to any 
part of the country." This was the celebrated 
" Joint Occupancy " treaty. 

It must be confessed that the adoption of this 
article of " joint occupancy " gave Great Brit- 
ain a decided advantage in the Oregon contro- 
versy. First, it conceded that she had some 
sort of a claim to the country, a claim that 
stood for no less, even if it stood for no more, 
than that of the United States. Secondly, she 
was on the ground in much greater force in her 
Hudson's Bay Company and her Northwest Com- 
pany, united into one of the strongest commer- 
cial corporations in the world, and having all 
the elements in itself of political propagandism. 
With her advantages in trade, her strong semi- 
political occupation of the country by the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, Messrs. Gallatin and Rush 
should have known that she would be able to 
drive all American enterprises from the country 
before the ten years were gone. Great Britain 
knew this; intended to do so, and did it. One 
of the wonders of the historian is that such a 
treaty could ever have been approved Ijj an 
American president, or ratified l)y the Senate 
of the United States. 

In the history and results of this negotiation, 
it is easy to detect the influence of the advice 
of Sir Alexander Mackenzie — whose journey 
across the continent to the Pacific nortli of the 
forty-ninth parallel we have already recorded — 
over the minds of the British negotiators. He 
proposed the forty-fifth parallel of latitude as 
the boundary between the possessions of Great 
Britain and the United States west of tlie Mis- 
sissippi. His words were: " Let the line begin 
where it may on the Mississi|)pi, it must con- 
tinue west until it terminates in the Pacific 
ocean to the south of the Columbia river." It 
was this purpose which plainly dominated the 

British plenipotentiaries in the propositions 
they made to the United States. 

Tlie session of the Congress of the United 
States for 1820-'21 was made remarkable, es- 
pecially in the light of subsequent events, as 
the first at which any proposition was made for 
the occupation and settlement of the country 
acquired from France and Spain on the Colum- 
bia river. It was made by John Floyd, a 
representative from Virginia, an ardent and 
very able man, and strongly imbued with west- 
ern feelings. His attention was specially called 
to the subject by some essays of Thomas H. 
Benton, just then appearing in the field of 
national politics as senator-elect from Missouri, 
and he resolved to bring the matter to the at- 
tention of Congress. He moved for the ap- 
pointment of a committee of three to consider 
and report on the subject. The committee was 
granted, more out of courtesy to an influential 
member of the House than with any expectation 
of favorable results. General Floyd was made 
chairman, with Thomas Metcalf, of Kentucky, 
and Thomas V. Swearingen, of Virginia, asso- 
ciated with him. In six days a biU was re- 
ported, "To authorize the occupation of the Co- 
lumbia river, and to regulate trade and inter- 
course with the Indian tribes thereon." They 
accompanied the bill with an elaborate and able 
report in support of the measure. The bill was 
treated with parliamentary courtesy, read twice, 
but no decisive action was taken. But the sub- 
ject was before Congress and the nation, and 
that was much gained. 

In studying the reasons assigned at that time, 
by the committee, and by such men as Benton 
and Linn, why the proposed action should be 
taken, one is impressed with the clear foresight 
of their prophetic minds as to the future history 
of this great Northwest. To the greater part of 
their contemporaries their views were wild 
vagaries and their propositions extravagant and 
chimerical; to us they are a fulfilling and ful- 
filled history. 

The Oregon question slumbered in Congress 
until 1825, when Senator Benton introduced a 


bill into the Senate to enable the President, Mr. 
Monroe, to possess and retain the country. The 
bill proposed an appropriation to enable the 
president to act efficiently with army and navy. 
In the discussion of this bill the whole question 
of title to Oregon came up, and, in reply to Mr. 
Dickinson, of New York, who opposed the bill, 
Mr. Benton made a speech which entirely met 
all objections against the proposed action, and 
thoroughly answered all the pretensions of 
Great Britain in relation to the country. The 
bill did not pass, but fourteen Senators voted 
for it, namely: Barbour, Benton, Boligny, Cobb, 
Hayne, Jackson (the general) Johnson of Ken- 
tucky, Johnson of Louisiana, Lloyd of Massa- 
chusetts, Mills, Noble, Ruggles, Talbot and 
Thomas. These names deserve an honorable 
record on the pages of the history of this coast. 

The action of Senator Benton on the bill 
showed very clearly that the sentiment in favor 
of asserting the rights of the United States to 
Oregon was rapidly increasing. The ten years 
of joint occupancy, provided for in the treaty 
of 1818, were drawing toward a close, and a 
strong and intelligent part of our national leg- 
islators, under the lead of Senator Benton, was 
opposed to renewing that provision. The rea- 
sons on which these views were based were 
never invalidated, but were the final grounds on 
which the United States won her case and se- 
cured Oregon. They were these: 

The title to Oregon on the part of the 
United States rests on an ' irrefragable basis. 
First: The discovery of the Columbia river by 
Captain Gray in 1792. Second: The purchase 
of its territory of Louisiana, which included 
Oregon, from France in 1803. Third: The 
discovery of the Colnmbia river from its head 
to its month by Lewis and Clarke in 1806. 
Fourth: The settlement of Astoria in 1811. 
Fifth: The treaty with Spain in 1819. Sixth: 
Contiguity of settlement and possession. 

The next step in the negotiations between 
Great Britain and the United States was the 
proposition, in 1828, at the end of ten years 
of joint occupancy, to renew the terms of the 

convention for an indefinite period, determinable 
on one year's notice from either party to the 
other. Mr. Gallatin was the sole negotiator of 
this renewed treaty on the part of the United 
States, and his work was sustained by the ad- 
ministration then in power, — that of John 
Quincy Adams. The treaty met strong oppo- 
sition in the Senate, led by that steadfast and 
intelligent friend of Oregon, Thomas H. Ben- 
ton, but it was ratified; and thus England was 
indefinitely continued in her position of advan- 
tage over the United States in the territory in 

From 1828 to 1842, '■ joint occupation " was 
the law of the land so far as Oregon was con- 
cerned, while "British occupation "was the fact 
so far as the country was concerned. As we have 
seen elsewhere, every attempt of the citizens of 
the United States to establish commercial en- 
terprises in the valley of the Columbia had 
been frustrated and defeated by the Hudson's 
Bay Company, the potent representatives of 
British interests on the Pacific coast. Astor's 
great plans, conceived in a broad intelligence, 
prosecuted at enormous expense, and represent- 
ing American interests in Oregon, had failed. 
Wyeth had sunk a fortune between the Kocky 
mountains and the Pacific, and all other Ameri- 
cans who had adventured kindred enterprises 
had been equally unfortunate, and after a quarter 
of a century of "joint occupancy " England had 
almost exclusive possession of the country. 

What is known as the " Ashburton-Webster 
Treaty" was negotiated at Washington, in 1842, 
Lord Ashburton being the sole negotiator on 
the part of England, and Mr. Webster, then 
secretary of State under President Tyler, on 
the part of the United States. Lord Ashburton 
was Mr. Alexander Baring, head of the great 
banking house of Baring & Brothers, and was 
a very astute and able man, and a finished 
diplomat. His mission was special, and though 
Mr. Fox was then the resident British minister 
at Washington, so thoroughly did the Govern- 
ment trust Lord Ashburton that even Mr. Fox 
was not joined in the mission. Neither did 


the president associate any one with Mr. AYeb- 
ster. The Englisli pleiiipoteutiarj came, profess- 
edlj, to settle all questions between the United 
States and England, a chief one of which was 
the " Oregon question." The United States 
wished it settled. England wished it adjourned; 
and the wishes of England prevailed. What 
conferences, if any, were held between Mr. 
Webster and Lord Ashburton about anything 
further than the adjournment of this question, 
does not appear in any record, and abont the 
only reference to it made of record is the state- 
ment of the president that there were some 
" informal conferences " in relation to it, and in 
his message communicating the treaty to the 
Senate, that "there is no probability of coming 
to any agreement at present." 

The treaty was ratified by the Senate on the 
26tli day of August, 1842. After its ratifica- 
tion by the Queen of England, audits proclama- 
tion as the supreme law of the land on the 10th 
day of November, England was more firmly in- 
trenched, so far as the law was concerned, in her 
claims and pretensions to Oregon than ever be- 
fore. But while plenipotentiaries temporized 
aud compromised, and executives and senates 
moved at a laggard pace on such great questions, 
events hastened. The people took up the ques- 
tion aud went before the Government. What 
they determined, the Government must soon 
affirm. So fully did the question which the late 
treaty had postponed occupy the public mind, 
even during the pendency of the negotiation of 
that treaty, that, had the ear of Mr. Webster 
l)een nearer the heart of the people he would 
surely have understood that adjournment of the 
question by himself and Lord Ashburton meant 
anytiiing rather than a suppression, or even a 
postponement, of it from public debate. The 
newspapers took it up, and it was thus brought 
to the boys and girls, fathers and mothers on 
the hearthstones of the million homes of the 
country. The sentiments of the leaders of po- 
litical action in our National Legislature, as 
those sentiments appeared in the debates of the 
Senate on the question of the ratification of the 

Webster-Ashburton treaty, were criticised, ap- 
proved or condemned by the people in all the 
land. One sentiment was for the ratification, 
with postponement of the Oregon question and 
its easy forbearance with the crafty and insid- 
ious policy of England; the other was for the 
rejection of the treaty, a withdrawal of the 
United States from joint occupancy, and an act 
of colonization which would assume the full 
sovereignty of the United States over the terri- 
tory in question by granting lands to emigrants, 
and otherwise encouraging their settlement in 
Oregon. Representing the first class, and speak- 
ing for it, as well as for Mr. Webster the nego- 
tiator of the treaty, was Mr. Rufus Choate, sen- 
ator from Massachusetts, who spoke in his place 
in the Senate as follows: "Oregon, which a 
growing and noiseless current of agricultural 
immigration was tilling with hands and hearts 
the fittest to defend it — the noiseless, innumer- 
ous movement of our nation westward. * * 
We have spread to the Alleghanies, we have 
topped them, we have difl'used ourselves over the 
imperial valley beyond; we have crossed the 
father of rivers; the granite and ponderous gates 
of the Rocky mountains have opened, and we 
stand in sight of the great sea. * * * Goon 
with your negotiations and emigration. Are 
not the rifles and the wheat growing together, 
side by sidel Will it not be easy, when the in- 
evitable hour comes, to beat back ploughshares 
and pruning-hooks into their original forms of 
of instruments of death? Alas, that that trade 
is so easy to learn and so hard to forget!" 

This was beautifully said, and it had a certain 
amiability about it that commended it to the 
favorable thought of many. Still it was far 
from representing the views of those who, from 
the beginning of the diplomatic struggle with 
Great Britain, had been the steadfast and radi- 
cal advocates of the right of the Unittd States 
to the possession of Oregon. Their views were 
better expressed by Senator Benton, who on 
the "Oregon Colonization Act" closed a speech 
of great vigor and power by saying: 

'•Time is invoked as the agent that is to help 


US. Gentlemen object to the present time, refer 
us to the future time, and beg us to wait, and 
rely upon time and negotiations to accomplish 
all our wishes. Alas! Time and Negotiations 
have been fatal agents against us in all our dis- 
cussions with Great Britain. Time has been 
constantly working for her and against us. She 
now has the exclusive possession of the Colum- 
bia, and all she wants is time to ripen her pos- 
session into a title. For above twenty years 
* * the present time for vindicating our 
rights on the Columbia has been constantly ob- 
jected to, and we were bidden to wait. Well, 
we have waited, and what have we got by it? 
Insult and defiance! — a declaration from this 
British ministry that large British interests 
have grown up on the Columbia during this 
time, which they will protect, and a flat refusal 
from the olive-branch minister [Lord Ashbur- 
tonj to include this question among those which 
his peaceful mission was to settle! No, sir; 
time and negotiations have been bad agents for 
us in our controversies with Great Britain. 
They have just lost us the military frontiers of 
Maine, which we had held for sixty years, and 
the trading frontier of the Northwest, which we 

had held for the same time. Sixty years' pos- 
session and eight treaties secured these ancient 
and valuable boundaries; one negotiation and a 
few days of time have taken them from us! 
And so it may be again. The Webster treaty 
of 1842 has obliterated the great boundaries of 
1783 — placed the British, their fur company 
and their Indians within our ancient limits; 
and I, for one, want no more treaties from the 
hand which is always seen on the side of the 
British. I now go for vindicating our rights 
on the Columbia, and, as the first step toward 
it, passing this bill, and making these grants of 
land, which will soon place the thirty or forty 
thousand rifies beyond the Kocky mountains, 
which will be our effective negotiators." 

The bill of Mr. Benton passed the Senate by 
a A'ote of twenty-four to twenty-two. It went 
to the House, where it remained unacted upon 
during the session. But its moral effect was to 
assure the enterprising people of the West that 
the period of national procrastination and timid- 
ity was well-nigh over, and that it would be 
hut a very short time before such decisive action 
would l)e taken as would compel a settlement 
of the controversy with England. 




Presidential Election of 1844— Watciiwords of the Campaign — Negotiations again — "Why 
NOT Settled in 1S44 — Negotiations between Secretary Buchanan and Mr. Fackenham — 
Action of Congress — Forty-ninth Farallel Agreed upon — An Annoying Error — The 
Codfish Story — -Dk. Whitman and the Treaty of 1842 — Webster's Statement — Con- 
tinued Disagreement about the Line Along the Straits of Fuca — Danger of War— 
The Pacific Pioneers Take up the Question — Action of the Oregon Legislature— San 
Juan Island Held by the Military — General Scorr on the Field — -Agreement between 
Scott and Douglas — Arbitration Froposed — Declined by the United States — -Emperor 
William Finally Selected as Arbiter in 1871 — His Decision. 

FOLLOWING immediately in the train of 
the events just related, came the j>resi- 
^ dential election of 1844. The Oregon 
question was too available a question for the 
uses of a political campaign to be kept out of 
the preliminary canvass. Besides, there were 
too many Americans, and they were too intelli- 
gent and patriotic, already settled in the valley 
of the Willamette, whose letters to tlieir friends 
at home and to the public through the periodi- 
cal press extolled the beauty and salubrity- of 
the country, not to thoroughly awaken the 
public mind on the entire issue involved. 
"America for Americans," "The Monroe Doc- 
trine," " Fifty-four Forty or Fight," became 
the catch-words, if not the watchwords of the 
hour. The politicians of one party took their 
cue from the obvious tendency of this popular 
cry. The annexation of Texas and the imme- 
diate occupation of Oregon were very skillfully 
united together in the platform of the conven- 
tion that nominated James K. Polk for presi- 
dent. On the Oregon question it declared that 
our title to tlie whole of Oregon up to 54° 40' 
north latitude was "clear and indispntable," 
thus denying and defying the pretensions of 
Great Britain to any ten-itory bordering on the 
Pacihc. The nominee of the Democratic party 
for president, Mr. James K. Polk, indorsed the 
platform, and the canvass for him proceeded on 
that issue. Mr. Folk was elected over Henry 
Clay, who, although the idol of his party and 
one of the n)<)st popular of American states- 

men, conld not overcome the excited state of 
the public mind on these questions. Thus the 
verdict of the people of the United States at 
the election was unquestionably in favor of 
Oregon, even up to 54° 40' north latitude. It 
was well known, however, that the leading 
statesmen of the Democratic party believed the 
forty-ninth degree to be the line of our rightful 
claim. Mr. Benton had already demonstrated it 
on the floor of the Senate. ,Mr. Calhoun, as 
Democratic secretary of State for Mr. Tyler, 
at the very moment when the Democratic con- 
vention was making its platform and nomi- 
nating Mr. Polk upon it, was engaged in a 

negotiation with the British minister in Wash- 
ington, and offering to him a settlement of the 
entire question on the line of the forty-ninth 
parallel. Only some item in regard to the right 
of Great Britain to navigate the Columbia river 
prevented the acceptance of this proposition by 
the British minister, and the settlement of the 
whole question at that time. 

While, doubtless, Mr. Calhoun himself would 
have been glad to have concluded the Oregon 
question as secretary of State, and as he evi- 
dently might have done, politically he did not 
dare to do so. The annexation of Texas was a 
Southern question, and the South could be car- 
ried for Mr. Polk on tliat issue. Oregon was a 
Northern question, and the North could be car- 
ried in the same way by keeping up the cry of 
"Fifty-four Forty or Fight." To settle on 4'.)° 
would be to yield the question, and with it the 


election to the Whigs, and make Mr. Clay 
president. So the Oregon question was not 
settled, as it might have been before the elec- 
tion of 1844, on exactly the same line as was 
adopted two years later, after it had achieved 
the political i-esults for which it was kept in 
the air during the political canvass of 1844, 
namely, electing Mr. Polk president, and finally 
defeating the aspirations of Mr. Clay for that 
eminent position. 

With this result achieved, and on this ground 
this question could not slumber. Mr. Polk 
brought it promptly forward in his inaugural 
address, reaffirming the position of the platform 
on which he was elected. The position of the 
inaugural threw the public mind of Great 
Britain into a ferment, and the English nation 
thundered back the cry of war. For a year 
the two nations stood face to face like gladi- 
ators, with uplifted swords, waiting for a word 
that would send them breast to breast in the 
tierce grapple of war. History must record 
that the United States must retreat, in her 
diplomacy and in her legislation, from the 
political decision of her people, or the inevi- 
table war must come. It was an embarrassing 
and mortifying position for the new govern- 
ment, but it had to be endured and met as best 
it could be. 

James Buchanan was now Secretary of State. 
He waited for some time for a proposition from 
the British minister at Washington to renew 
tiie negotiations on the Oregon question, but 
none came. On the 22d of July, 1845, he 
therefore addressed a note to Mr. Packenham, 
the British minister at Washington, resuming 
negotiations where Mr. Calhoun liad suspended 
them, and again proposed the line of forty- nine 
to the ocean. This the British minister re- 
fused, but invited a "fairer'' proposition. The 
knowledge of this proposition on the part of 
the Secretary of State raised a political storm 
in his party, before which the administration 
cowered, and, as Mr. Packenham had not ac- 
cepted it, it was withdrawn. The president 
recommended strong measures to assert and 

secure our title, and the political storm was 
measurably appeased. Meantime the with- 
drawal of the proposition of Mr. Buchanan, 
coupled with the recommendation of the presi- 
dent, somewhat alarmed the British people, and 
it began to be rumored that England would 
propose the line she had before rejected. The 
position of the dominant party absolutely re- 
required that it should make a demonstration 
according to its iterated and reiterated promises 
to the people. Accordingly a resolution de- 
termining the treaty of joint occupancy, and 
looking to the maintenance of that position, 
was introduced into the House of Representa- 
tives, most ably debated — John Quincy Adams 
taking strong grounds in its favor — and, on the 
9th of February, 1846, adopted, by the decisive 
vote of 163 to 54. 

The resolution thus passed in the House 
went to the Senate. Here, in the fo'-m in which 
it passed the House, it encountered violent op- 
position, a strong contingent of the Democratic 
party taking position against it. Among these, 
if not their leader, was Senator Benton. Gen- 
eral Cass, E. A. Hannigan and William Allen 
led the debate in its favor. Besides Benton, 
Webster, Crittenden and Berrien made exhaus- 
tive arguments against it. It was well under- 
stood in the Senate that President Polk thought 
it necessary to recede from the position of his 
party — the position on which he had fought the 
campaign in which he was elected to the presi- 
dency — and accept of the line of 49° without a 
"fight." So the resolution of the House was 
defeated in the Senate. But the Senate adopted 
another resolution, authorizing the president 
"at his discretion" to give notice to Great 
Britain for the termination of the treaty. The 
Senate resolution was conciliatory, its preamble 
declaring that it was only to secure "a speedy 
and amicable adjustment of the differences and 
disputes in regard to said territory." 

When this resolution went to the House that 
body receded from its former position, and, 
with even a greater unanimity than had char- 
acterized their action on that which tbe Senate 


had rejected, adopted it, — only forty-six, and 
they almost entirely Northern Demoo.rats, vot- 
ing against it. 

With this action the danger of the war with 
Great Britain was dispelled. It was immedi- 
ately followed by a treaty between Mr. Buch- 
anan, Secretary of State, under the direction of 
the president and British minister at Washing- 
ton, adopting the forty-ninth parallel as the 
boundary between the two countries, with cer- 
tain concessions touching the line westward of 
where that parallel strikes the Gulf of Georgia, 
and, for a definite period, the rights of the 
Hudson's Bay Company and the navigation of 
the Cohimbia river by the British. Thus closed 
a controversy with Great Britain that came 

very near mv 

the two nations in a conflict 

of arms. In a war England could havi 
and it may not be too much to suppose, would 
have possessed Oregon, but, perhaps, at the cost 
of the Canadas. Had the settlement been post- 
poned a few years longer, it is not irapi-obable 
that American emigrants would have so filled 
the country even up to 54° 40', that all the 
country would have been ours. In the discus- 
sion both sides were partly right and partly 
wrong, as history clearly demonstrates. The 
"80,000 rifles" theory of Senator Benton, in 
the hands of emigrants, was correct. The "time 
and patience" theory of Mr. Webster and Mr. 
Calhoun was also correct. Tliese acting to- 
gether solved the "Oregon question," and on 
the whole, as matters stood in 1846, solved it 
honorably and justly to both the high contract- 
ing parties. 

It is probably due to the justice of history 
that wo should not dismiss finally the subject 
of the rival claims and claimants to Oregon, 
and of the diplomatic negotiations through 
which those claims were led to a final settle- 
ment, without some notice of a curious and 
annoying error into which the people of the 
Pacific coast were led in regard to what was 
contained in the Webster-Ashburton treaty. 
It was not only annoying to the feelings of the 
])eople, but it led to the Avriting of a great dale 

of fictitious history, the writers not stopping to 
ascertain the truth or falsity of the rumors 
which they adopted as fact. The error was 
this: That in the negotiations between Mr. 
Webster for the United States and Lord Ash- 
burton for England a proposition was discussed 
and well nigh adopted for the United States to 
cede to Great Britain her claim to Oregon for 
extended fishing privileges on the banks of 
Newfoundland, and some other privileges con- 
trolled by the English on the northeast coast. 
This statement was brought to Oregon by the 
emigrants of 1842 and raised a great excite- 
ment among the people. It was widely claimed 
that it was this that prompted, or rather im- 
pelled, Dr. Whitman to make his perilous 
winter journey to the Eastern States in order 
that the Government should be prevented from 
making that fatal trade. Dramatic incidents 
have been recited as veritable history connected 
with these supposed facts, which have had no 
being but in the excited imaginations of care- 
less writers, or the partial and overwrought 
eulogies of admiration and friendship. 

The truth of the matter is clearly ascertained 
to be that the subject" of the Oregon boundary 
formed no part of the formal negotiations of 
that occasion. There is no reference to it in 
the treaty, or in the documents accompanying 
it when it was transmitted to the Senate for 

The statement so often made that ]\Ir. AVeb- 
ster and President Tyler were prevented from 
committing this blunder by the timely arrival 
of Dr. Whitman in Washington just before the 
treaty was to be signed, has not a shadow of 
foundation. As before shown the treaty was 
signed August 8, 1842, two months before Dr. 
Whitman started from his home in Oregon. 
On the 11th it was submitted to the Senate. 
On the 26th it was approved, and Lord Ash- 
burton started with it the same day ibr Eng- 
land, where it was ratified, returned to the 
United States, and proclaimed on the 10th of 
November. Dr. Whitman arrived in Washing- 
ton in March following;. 


So plain a statement of fact renders it un- 
necessary to balance probaljilities or weigh ar- 
guments; the facts are more convincing tlian 
either. As the United States had ne\-er offered 
to yield any territory to England south of the 
49th parallel, and had always peremptorily re- 
jected any offer from Great Britain to com- 
promise on a lower line, or the line of tiie Co- 
lumbia river, so now Mr. Webster and Mr. 
Tyler could not and did not depart from the 
oft-repeated position of the United States on 
tliat question, and Mr. Webster's own statement 
that " the United States had never offered any 
line south of forty-nine, and it never will," con- 
cludes it. 

Although the Oregon treaty was made, and 
had been proclaimed as the law of tlie land, one 
thing remained to be done wliich became a mat- 
ter of infinite disagreement, and came very near 
involving the two countries in war before its 
final conclusion. The line was Agreed upon, 
but it was not ran. The trouble arose from a 
long-continued perversion, on the part of Great 
Britain, of the application of the description of 
the line from where the forty-ninth parallel of 
latitude strikes the gulf -of Georgia. Thence, 
as it was worded in the treaty, it was to follow 
" the middle of the channel which separates the 
continent from Yauccuver's island," and follow 
it through the Straits of Fuca to the ocean. No 
map or chart was attached to the treaty on 
which the line could be traced, and so little was 
really known of the geography of the gulf of 
Georgia that it would have been difficult for the 
commissioners to have traced the middle of the 
channel had one been present. This left open a 
ground for dispute and diplomatic finesse. 

Between the continent and the island of Van- 
couver lies an archipelago, a stretch of sea fifty 
or more miles from east to west, and sixty or 
more from north to south, in which are thirty- 
nine islands that have come under description 
and name. These range from sixtten miles to 
one-fourth of a mile in length and from fifty- 
four to one-half a square mile in area. Through 
these islands there run ten channels southward, 

but combine in three as tliey enter into the 
Straits of Fuca. The one to the eastward is the 
Rosario, the one to the west is the Canal de 
Ilaro. Great Britain insisted on the line tak- 
ing the eastward, or Eosario channel; the United 
States claimed that the real channel was the 
Canal de Haro, or westward channel. What 
was between these channels was the real object 
of desire on the part of both the contending 
parties. This was an area of about 400 square 
miles, in which are a number of prominent 
islands, and some small ones, all comprising in 
land area about 170 s-qnare miles. The owner- 
ship and sovereignty of these were what was in- 
volved in the settlement of the channel question. 
The most valuable of these was San Juan, con- 
taining fifty-five square miles, mostly good 
grazing land, which the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, whose center of trade was now Victoria 
on Vancouver island, had been accustomed to 
use as a jjasture for tiieir sheep. The difference 
between the two channels was about this: Ro- 
sario had about four miles width of channel and 
sixty fathoms of water in its greatest depth, 
while the Canal de Haro had about six and a 
half miles of maximum width of channel, and 
its greatest depth is 183 fathoms. 

The debate over this question was hardly less 
tedious and perplexing than that which fixed 
the terms of the line at first. That de Haro 
was the channel intended as the line, was too 
plain for rational dispute, as no other was 
known at the time the treaty was negotiated. 
It was expressly mentioned, more than once, at 
the very time and by the very persons that con- 
ducted the negotiations. 

When the commissioners appointed by the 
two governments to nm the line agreed upon 
in the treaty met to accomplish their task, 
Captain Brevost, for the British Government, 
declared Rosario to be the "channel" of that 
instrument. Of course this claim was met by 
Mr. Campbell on the part of the United States 
with rejection. Then Lord Russell proposed as 
a compromise the middle, or President's chan- 
nel. This was suggested because, while it 


yielded a little in area of water, it still retained 
San Jnan island on the r>ritieli side of the line. 
Lord Russell instructed Lord Lyons, the British 
envoy to the United States, that no line would 
be agreed upon that did not leave that island 
on the British side of it. Mr. Lewis Cass, oui* 
Secretary of State, met this menace — for such 
it really was — with words equally decisive. 
This ended the effort to fix the line geographi- 
cally through this archipelago. Then the Pa- 
cific pioneers again took it up. Twelve years had 
passed sinpe the treaty, and ministers of State 
had invited difficulties and postponed decisions. 
These pioneers were as clear of head as they 
were resolute of heart. They knew how to set- 
tle it; and they tried their knowledge on. 

If the line was not determined they had as 
good a right on San Juan island as had the 
Hudson's Bay Company. They would go there. 
Twenty-five Americans and their families were 
there, — for when was there ever a pioneer man 
60' bold and brave that he could not find a 
woman as bold and brave as he to accompany 
him and brace his armor to his breast? The 
arrogant Hudson's Bay people were all about 
them. Collisions were imminent. Of this 
condition Sir Robert Peel declared in the Brit- 
ish Parliament it " must probably involve both 
countries in an appeal to arms unless speedily 

The Oregon Territorial legislature, in the 
session of 1852-'53, included San Juan and all 
the islands in the archipelago in a county. Soon 
after the Hudson's Bay Company took formal 
possession of the island, Oregon levied taxes on 
the property of the company, and when payment 
was refused, the sheriff sold sheep enough to pay 
them. This was the ready method of the pio- 
neer; open the conflict on the ground for which 
the battle is to be fought. Of course recrimi- 
nations and reprisals followed. This was ex- 
pected. The local excitement increased. General 
Harney, commander of the Department of the 
Pacific, in 1859, landed 461 troops on the 
island, and instructed Captain Pickett — he of 
the charge of Gettysbni-g — to protect Americans 

there. English naval forces, to the nuiiilier of 
five ships of war, conveying 167 g\ins, and 1,940 
men gathered near the little island. The 
Americans threatened to resist by force any 
attempted landing of English troops. The 
English commander protested against military 
occupation of San Juan, but to this Captain 
Pickett responded: " I, being here under orders 
from my government, cannot allow any joint 
occupation until so ordered by my commanding 
general. In this he had the approval of his 
commander. But General Harney had acted 
without instructions from Washington, and the 
president withheld his official approval of the 
act of taking possession of the island in this 
manner, and expressed the hope that General 
Harney had done so for the protection of Ameri- 
can citizens and interest alone, and with no 
reference to territorial acquisitions. Still it was 
obvious that the Government at Washington 
was not unwilling that an issue should be forced, 
so that the question woulil be settled. Certainly 
the pioneers of the Northwest approved it. 

In the emergency General Scott was sent to 
the field of action, arriving late in 1859. On 
his way he called *at Portland, and conferred 
with leading citizens and Territorial officers. 
The writer remembers him well as he appeared, 
as he walked the deck of the Massachusetts, as 
she lay at the Portland wharf, on his way to the 
north. He had met him once before, on the 
hill at the head of " Lundy's Lane," but si:^ 
years before. General Scott went out under 
pacific instructions, directed to bring about 
'•joint occupation" of San Juan until tiie 
boundary line was settled. General Harney 
was withdrawn from command in the Worth- 
west. It was agreed between General Scott and 
Governor Douglas of Vancouver, that 100 armed 
men of each party should occupy the island; 
and thus again the case was remanded to di- 
plomacy. But the act of General Harney had 
forced a spegdy adjustment. 

The next resort wf^s a proposal on the part of 
Great Britain to submit the question at issue 
between the two governments to arbitration, aijd 


she named the king of the Netherlands, or of 
Sweden and Norway, or the president of the 
Federal Council of Switzerland, as the arbiter. 
This proposition was declined by the United 
States, and for ten years the question lingered. 
At length, on the 8th of May, 1871, the ques- 
tion was given for final arbitration, without ap- 
peal, to Emperor William of Germany. 

For twenty-five years, under the finesse of 
British diplomacy, the treaty of June 15, 1846, 
had waited for its execution. Its interpretation 
was the last question of territorial right between 
Great Britain and the United States. It was 
eminently fitting that George Bancroft, who was 
secretary of the navy when the treaty was ne- 
gotiated, and was now the only remaining mem- 
ber of the administration that negotiated it, 
should be chosen to expound the treaty to the 
German emperor on the part of the United 
States. His memorial of 120 octavo pages is 
one of the most finislied and unanswerable di- 
plomatic arguments ever produced. Each party 
presented a memorial setting forth its case. 
These memorials were then interchanged and re- 
plies were presented by each. These four papers 

the emperor laid before three eminent jurists, 
besides giving them his personal attention. 
After a full and faithful examination of the 
submitted case the emperor decreed this award: 

" Most in accordance with the true interpre- 
tations of the treaty concluded on the 15th of 
June, 1856, between the Government of her 
Britannic Majesty and of the United States of 
America, is the claim of the Government of the 
United States, that the boundary line between 
the territories of her Britannic Majesty and the 
United States should be drawn tlinuigh the Haro 
channel. Authenticated by our autograph sig- 
nature, and the impression of the Imperial 
Great Seal. Given at Berlin October the 21st, 
1872." Thus the end of the long controversy 

For over ninety-two years, the two great 
English-speaking nations of the world had beeu 
trying to decide upon a line that should divide 
between them from sea to sea, and at Berlin, 
and by the Emperor William, the last and defi- 
nite word was spoken, and the controversy was 




Astoria — Charactee of Early Trade — John Jacob Astoe — Jefferson's Letter to Astoe — 
The Pacific Fur Company — Its Members — The Ship Tonqdin — Aeeival at the Colum- 
bia — Overland Company — Wilson Price Hunt — Up the Missouri — Over the Mountains — 
Wrecked on Snake River — In Snake River Desert — Appalling Obstacles — Company 
Reach Astoria — The Ship Tonquin Again — Landing at Astoria — Tonquin Sails North — 
Trading with the Natives — Destruction of the Tonquin — Irvinq's Account — Alexan- 
der McKay' — Affairs at Astoria — The Northwestern Company' and McBougal — Arri- 
val OF Ship Beaver — Mackenzie and the Northwestern Company — Gathering of the 
Partners at Astoria — British Wae Ship Expected — Expedition foe the Relief of As- 
toria Abandoned — Negotiations with Northwestern Company — Astoria Suerendered 
TO THAT Company — Aeeival of Me. Hunt — Astoeia Returned to the United States 


I[ T will be hanl to pnt into a brief chapter a his- 
tory which the genius of an Irving has woven 
-^ into a volume that has become a classic of 
romance and adventure; but the integrity of 
our purpose demands that the trial be made. 
Other chapters of this book have related the 
events that led up to the magnificent enterprise 
of John Jacob Astor in his attempt to found a 
colony and establish a great commerce on the 
Pacific coast, and hence it is not needful even to 
recapitulate. It may, however, be proper to 
state, in an introductory paragraph, that the 
trade of the Pacific coast, including that on the 
Columbia river, during the first decade of the 
present century, was largely of a fugitive char- 
acter, or in other words, was the commerce of 
individual adventure rather than of organized 
companies recognized by national law and sus- 
tained by national authority. The individuals 
that conducted it, might, and indeed often did, 
represent wealthy and long-established houses in 
cities on the other side of the world, but their 
field of operations were so distant and their trade 
was encompassed by so many contingencies in- 
cident to the character of the people with whom 
they dealt, that they might well be considered 
"adventurers." France, having transferred all 
lier interests of territory and trade to the United 

States, was out of the line of competition, either 
for place or profit. England, with her usual 
greed, grasped eagerly at both. The United 
States had legitimately inherited the loftier 
part of English ambition for greatness and gain, 
and of course she claimed, as of right, freedom 
for trade and the occupancy of her citizens in all 
the westward regions to the sea. Her technical 
claim was, as wir have seen elsewhere, founded 
on the discovery of the Columbia river by Cap- 
tain Gray in 1792, on the explorations of Lewis 
and Clarke, continued from the springs in the 
mountains to the discharge between the capes 
into the ocean of the mighty Columbia in 1805, 
and by later purchase, from the Government of 
France, in 1804, of all her rights of territory, and 
every other right she held, in the vast Louisiana 



from the Missouri to the 

England's technical rights were based 
on alleged discoveries by Captain Sir Francis 
Drake, Captain Cook, Captain Vancouver, and 
the explorations of Alexander Mackenzie. Thus, 
in the assertion of these technical claims to 
Oregon, and in the effort of each to validate 
these claims as against the other, the United 
States and Great Britain stood face to face in 
the opening of the long and final struggle that 
woiild forever determine whether that region 


should be American or British — the struggle 
for actual possession, during the iirst decade of 
the century. 

The influence of Mr. Jefferson, as our readers 
know, was then potent in American affairs, and 
he earnestly sought American supremacy' on the 
Paciiic coast. John Jacob Astor was then a cen- 
tral figure in American commercial enterprises, 
and had already extended his ventures beyond 
the great lakes and the headwaters of the Mis- 
sissippi. His attention was attracted to the 
vast region westward of the Rocky mountains, 
and he resolved to carry into them the commer- 
cial force of an organized company to supplant 
the fugitive trade of the independent rovers of 
the wilderness and the sea. With the prescience 
of a statesman, as well as with the genius of the 
merchant, he resolved to establish a great cen- 
tral post at the mouth of the Columbia, where 
the drainage of ahnost half a continent meets 
the waters of the mightest ocean of the globe, 
and forms a port for the world's greatest flow of 
trade. Mr. Jefferson and the most intelligent 
and far-seeing statesman of the country gave 
him encouragement and counsel. They foresaw, 
as in the vision of a clear prophecy, what we 
read now as a marvelous history. Later, Mr. 
Jefferson, in a letter to Mr. Astor, thus ex- 
pressed his own views of the enterprise the 
latter had undertaken, in these words: 

"I considered it as a great public acquisition, 
the commencement of a settlement in that part 
of the western coast of America, and looked for- 
ward with gratification to the time when its de- 
scendants had spread themselves through the 
whole length of the 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." 

The pen is moved to draw the contrast between 
this forecast of this great American statesman 
and the fulfillments of history, but must forbear. 
In these influences and under sneli inspirations 
■was the inception of Astoria. 

Mr. Astor's plan for the organization of tlie 
Astoria Company- -or, as it was called, the Pa- 

cific Fur Company — was broad and comprehen- 
sive. It contemplated both a land expedition 
to cross the continent, and the dispatch of a 
vessel around cape Horn, and the two were to 
meet at the mouth of the Columbia. Every con- 
tingency that money could provide for was an- 
ticipated. There was, however, an element of 
weakness introduced in the organization that, 
from an early date, seriously interfered with its 
work, and we think finally proved its overthrow. 
It was this: 

Though tl)is was an American enterprise Mr. 
Astor did not sufficiently appreciate the neces- 
sity of making the personnel of his company 
American. He himself was a German by birth, 
and, chough he had achieved his great commer- 
cial success under the fostering freedom of 
American institutions, and was personally an 
American in the purpose and spirit of his life, 
hardly realized that all of foreign birth who are 
in America are not of America. Hence, in se- 
lecting his partners, though he chose men of 
great experience and ability in the kind of trade 
upon which he was adventuring, he selected for 
leading partnert-hips several who had belonged 
to the Northwest Campany, which was always 
distinctively British in purpose as well as in 
relation. While for trade alone they were ade- 
quate, to any patriotic American purposes they 
were alien in thought and sympathy. They 
were in the company of Mr. Astor for profit, 
not American patriotism. These men were 
Alexander McKay, who had accompanied Mac- 
kenzie on both his great journeys, Duncan 
McDougal, David Stuart, Robert Stuart and 
Donald McKenzie. As a providence against 
future difliculties between the United States and 
Great Britain, in the regions whither they were 
bound, these gentlemen provided themselves 
with proofs of their British citizenship, while 
they trusted to their association with an Ameri- 
can enterprise to shelter them under the 
eagle's wings. Only one American, Wilson 
Price Hunt, of New Jersey, was an interested 
partner from the first; hut to him was instructed 
the management of the enterprise. So far these 


details of the organization are necessary if we 
would understand the causes that produced re- 
sults to which we shall presently come. 

In carrying forward his plans Mr. Astor pur- 
chased and equipped the ship Tonqiiin, com- 
manded by Captain Jonathan Thorn, a lieuten- 
ant of the American navy on furlough. She 
mounted ten guns, had a crew of twenty men, 
and was freighted with a large cargo of supplies 
for the company and of merchandise for trade 
with the people of the coast. She carried also 
the frame of a small schooner for use in the 
coastwise trade. As passengers she had McKay, 
McDongal, the two Stuarts, twelve clerks, 
several citizens and thirteen Canadian voya- 
genrs. The Tonquin sailed from New York 
for the mouth of the Columbia river, on the 2d 
day of August, 1810. Nothing in her voyage 
is to be specially noted, except it may be some 
conflict of authority between Captain Thorn, a 
thorough American, and the Scotch Mc's and 
Stuarts on board, whom he persisted in treating 
as mere passengers, while they claimed the con- 
sideration of owners and employers. In this 
there was a slight omen of the trouble that was 
to follow. 

The Tonqnin arrived off the bar of the Co- 
lumbia on the 22d day of March, 1811. The 
bar was rough and the breakers rolled high. 
Captain Thorn ordered Mr. Fox, the first mate 
of the ship, to take a boat's crew of one seaman 
and three Canadian voyageurs and explore the 
channel. The boat was launched and put forth, 
but soon disappeared and all on board wei-e lost. 
The next day another boat was sent out on the 
same errand, but was swept out to sea and only 
one of its crew reached the shore. Just as the 
second night of gloom was settling down on the 
dreaded bar the Tonquin succeeded in crossing, 
and anchoring just within. But the night was 
an anxious and fearful one. The wind threatened 
every moment to sweep the vessel on the sands 
among the rolling breakers. But the night 
passed with the anchors of the ship still safely 
holding, and in the morning she passed safely 
in and again cast her anchors in a good harbor. 

With the Tonquin safely moored in the Colum- 
bia river, we turn to trace the course of that part 
of the great expedition that had directed its 
course over the Kocky mountains for the same 

This party was entrusted to Wilson Price 
Hunt. It was composed of McKenzie and 
three new partners in the company, — Rumsay 
Crooks, Hobert McClellan and Joseph Miller. 
Besides were John Day, a noted Kentucky hun- 
ter; Pierre Dorion, a French half-breed, who 
was taken as interpreter; and enough trappers 
and voyageurs to make up a complement of sixty 
men. They left the frontier settlements west 
of the Missouri in the spring of 1811, and pur- 
sued the usual course of travel up the Missouri 
river in canoes and barges to the Mandan coun- 
try, thence with horses across the Rocky mount- 
ains to the waters that flow toward the Pacific. 
To accomplish this required all the summer and 
part of the autumn, and the party reached Fort 
Henry, on Snake river, on the 8th of October, 
1811. After detaching some small parties of 
hunters and trappers, who were to use Fort 
Henry as their base of supplies, the main ])arty 
under Mr. Hunt, embarked in canoes, which 
they had constructed on the banks of the river, 
and continued their journey down that treach- 
erous and turbulent stream. Without much 
trouble, and cheered by the wild notes of their 
Canadian boatmen's song, they swept swiftly 
down the river between the willowed banks that 
channel its fiow, for a few days, when their 
frail canoes were suddenly swept into the roar- 
ing rapids of what is now known as " American 
Falls," and their voyaging came to a quick and 
disasti'ous end. Just below them the river 
dropped into a great, black chasm, through 
which it roared and foamed for many miles, 
making leap after leap over the edge of basaltic 
precipices into the deeper depths that seemed 
ever opening below. In this one moment the 
expedition seemed to be hopelessly defeated, 
and all sat down for the time gloomy and dis- 

irited. One of their best men 

been lost 

in the roai'ing rapids, and some of their canoes 


huDg broken wrecks upon the rocks in ilie midst 
of the Falls. But with such men iu such enter- 
prises, despair soon gives place to new resolu- 
tion, and so Mr. Hunt was soon rallying his 
men for new and more desperate effort. 

They were now in a most inhospitable coun- 
try; a dreary desert without tree or fruit or 
game, and winter was settling rapidly down 
upon them. Nothing renjained for them but 
to cache their baggage and merchandise, and, 
separating into smaller parties the better to 
obtain food in their journeyings, each make the 
best of its way toward the coast on foot. How 
far they were from the goal of their journey 
they did not know. It was a dark and desperate 
venture that they looked in tlie face, but it were 
better than to lie quiet where they were, for 
that wvve sure and speedy death by starvation. 
One party under McKenzie struck off toward 
the north, hoping to reach the Columbia, which 
tliey l.ielieved must lay in that direction; one 
under Crooks pursued its way down the south 
bank of Snake river, and one under Hunt down 
its northern shore. The company of McKenzie 
disappeared under the dim horizon of the great 
and terrible desert to the north and west of the 
dread "Cauldron Linn," as the shipwrecked 
party called the place where their canoe voyage 
so fatally ended. The mountain ranges crowded 
them to the west of their intended course, but 
put them on the arc of a circle described by 
Snake river, and thus brought them to that 
stream again about 250 miles from their start- 
ing point. The other parties, by following the 
stream, described the circle, and hence McKen- 
zie's party came out ahead, and after reaching 
the river in the vicinity of the Blue mountains, 
followed it down until they reached the Colum- 
bia. The parties of Hunt and Crooks toiled 
wearily down over the seamed and cinereous 
lava plains that border Snake river, in a great 
rent of which the river itself flows a thousand 
feet below the general surface of the plains, 
famishing for water and almost starving for 
food. The most of the way only this impassa- 
ble gorge was between them. Sometimes they 

were in sight of each other, and when they 
reached the point where the river enters its 
iron gorge through the Blue mountains they 
encamped with only its turbulent current sep- 
arating them. Both parties were in a starving 
condition, but that of Mr. Hunt had that day 
captured a horse that belonged to a small camp 
of Indians, who fled at their approach, and had 
killed and was cooking it for supper. After a 
canoe had been constructed out of skins some 
of the meat was taken across to the other party. 
On its second voyage a man, rendered delirious 
by famine, upset the canoe, was swept away and 
drowned. This was on the 20th day of Decem- 
ber, 1811. On the 23d day Mr. Hunt's party 
crossed to the west side of the river, and the 
two parties, numbering thirty-six men in all, 
were again united, not far from where the Union 
Pacific Kailroad now crosses Snake river, near 
the town of Huntington. Appalled by the 
apparently insujjerable obstacles before them, 
three of tlie men wished to remain where they 
were rather than venture the snowy passes of 
the mountain ranges that stood liKe battlements 
of ice before them. The remainder struggled 
wearily on, reaching the valley of Grande Ronde 
on the last day of 1811. In a forlorn way the 
company celebrated the festival of the new year 
in the beautiful valley of Grande Ronde — a 
paradise of green in the midst of a wilderness 
desert of ice and snow. With great difliculty 
and suffering the Blue mountains were passed, 
and on the 8th day of January they came down 
upon the (Jmatilla river, and found food and 
hospitable entertainment at an Indian village 
on its banks. The mountain barriers were now 
passed, and their route was now down the open 
way of the Umatilla and Columbia rivers to the 
ocean. They arrived at Astoria on the 15th day 
of February, 1814. The party of McKenzie 
having gained some days on those of Hunt and 
Crooks by its shorter route and easier traveling, 
had passed down the Snake river to the Colum- 
bia, and down that to the ocean; and, having 
reached Astoria a month before those of Hunt 
and Crooks, stood on the banks of the river as 


the latter landed, the first to welcome their old 
companions to the rest and bounty of Astoria. 

When we began to trace the jonrney of the 
land portion of Mr. Astor's great exposition, 
we left the good ship Tonquin at anchor in the 
bay at the mouth of the Columbia. It is suit- 
able that we return now and take up her thrill- 
ing story. 

Early in April, 1811, the partners who had 
come out in the Tonquin began the erection of 
a fort on the south side of the river. Lieuten- 
ant Broughton, of Vancouver's expedition, with 
the usual British partiality to royal nomencla- 
ture, had given it tiie name of "Point George;" 
but this party, ostensibly rejjresenting the 
American spirit and purpose, called it "As- 
toria," in honor of the founder and chief pro- 
moter of the enterprise. This was the first real 
step in the actual possession of Oregon by the 
American people. Though there was much 
disagreement among the partners of the com- 
pany in regard to points of authority and 
etiquette, as well as between them and Captain 
Thorn, by the Ist of June a storehouse was 
built and the supplies landed. Captain Thorn 
was impatient to pi-oceed up the northwest 
coast to open communication with the Russian 
settlements and engage in trade with the In- 
dians, and accordingly as soon as his vessel was 
cleared of her load, on the oth day of June, 
even before the fort was completed, he got 
under weigh, sailed out of the mouth of the river, 
and turned the prow of the Tonquin to tiie 
north. With him was Mr. McKay, one of Mr. 
Astor's partners, probably the most considerate 
and thoughtful of all tliose thus intimately and 
prominently associated with Mr. As tor in this 
great venture. The vessel proceeded on her 
voyage, and in a few days came to anchor in 
one of the numerous harbors on the west shore 
of Vancouver Island. Mr. McKay went on 
shore. During his absence the vessel was sur- 
rounded by a vast number of the savages. 
Soon the deck of the vessel was covered by the 
swarthy multitude. They were eager to trade, 
but demanded a higher price for their furs than 

Captain Thorn was willing to pay. Their 
stubbornness provoked the irascible captain to 
to anger, and he refused to deal with them at 
all. Seizing the chief of the band who had 
been following the captain about the deck and 
taunting him with his stinginess, he rubbed an 
otter skin in his face, and then somewhat vio- 
lently ordered the whole band to leave the 
vessel, enforcing his command by blows. Dur- 
ing this misadventure Mr. McKay was on shore 
— an ill-starred fact for the vessel and expedi- 
tion. Wiiat followed is related with such cir- 
cumstantial fidelity by Mr. Irving in his 
"Astoria," and it bears such an important, if 
not decisive, relation to the ultimate result of 
the whole enterprise, that we transcribe it for 
these pages. Mr. Irving says: 

When Mr. McKay came on board, the inter- 
preter related what had passed, and begged him 
to prevail on the captain to make sail, as, from 
his knowledge of the temper and pride of the 
people of that place, he was sure that they 
would resent the indignity offered to one of 
their chiefs. Mr. McKay, who himself possessed 
some experience of Indian character, went to tlie 
captain, wiio was still pacing the deck in moody 
humor, represented the danger to which his 
hasty act had exposed the vessel, and urged 
upon him to weigh anchor. The captain made 
light of his counsels, and pointed to his cannon 
and firearms as a sufficient protection against 
naked savages. Further remonstrances only 
provoked taunting replies and sharp altercations. 
The day passed away without any signs of hos- 
tility, and at night the captain retired, as usual, 
to his cabin, taking no more than usual precau- 
tions. On the following morning, at daybreak,' 
while the captain and Mr. McKay were yet 
asleep, 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 desire to trade. The cau- 
tion of Mr. Astor in regard to admitting In- 
dians on board the ship had been neglected for 
some time past, and the officer of the watch. 


perceiving tliose in the canoe 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 whicli was also admitted. In a little while 
other canoes came off, and Indiana were soon 
clambering into the vessel on all sides. 

The officer of the watch now felt alarmed, and 
called to Captain Thorn and Mr. McKay. By 
the time they came on deck it was thronged 
with Indians. The interpreter remarked to Mr. 
McKay that many of the Indians wore short 
mantles of skins, and intimated a suspicion that 
they were secretly armed. Mr. McKay urged 
the captain to clear the sliip and get under 
weigh. He again made light of the advice, but 
the augumented swarms of canoes about the 
ship, and the numbers still putting off from the 
shore, at length awakened his distrust, and he 
ordered some of the crew to weigh anchor, while 
some were eent aloft to make sail. The Indians 
now offered to trade with the captain on his own 
terms, prompted apparently by the apjiroaching 
departure of the ship: accordingly a iiurried 
trade wae commenced. The main article sought 
by the Indians in barter were knives; as fast as 
some are supplied they moved off, and others 
succeeded. By degrees they were thus dis- 
tributed about the deck, and all with weapons. 
The anchor was now nearly up, the sails were 
loose, and the captain in a loud and peremptory 
voice ordered the ship to be cleared. In an in- 
stant a signal yell was given; it was echoed on 
every side, knives and war clubs were brand- 
ished in every direction, and the savages rushed 
upon their marked victims. 

The first that fell was Mr. Lewis, the ship's 
clerk. He was leaning with folded arms on a 
bale of blankets, engaged in bargaining, when 
he received a deadly stab in the back, and fell 
down the companion-way. Mr. McKay, who 
was seated on the taffrail, sprang to his feet, 
but was instantly knocked down with a war 
club and Hung backward into the sea, when he 
was dispatched by the women in the canoes. 
In the meaiitinie Captain Thorn made a desper- 

ate tight against fearful odds. He was a pow- 
erful as well as a resolute man, but he came on 
deck without weapons. Shewish, the young 
chief, singled him out as his peculiar prey, and 
rushed upon him at the first outbreak. The 
captain had hardly time to draw a clasp-knife, 
with one blow of which he laid the young sav- 
age dead at his feet. Several of the stoutest 
followers of young Shewish now set upon him. 
He defended himself vigorously, dealing crip- 
pling blows right and left, strewing the quarter- 
deck with slain and wounded. His object was 
to fight his way to the cabin, where there were 
firearms, but he was hemmed in with foes, cov- 
ered 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, when he was dispatched with 
knives and thrown overboard. 

While this was transacting upon the quarter- 
deck, a chance-medley 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 num- 
bers and mercilessly butchered. As to the seven 
who had been sent aloft to make sail, tliey con- 
templated with horror the carnage that was 
going on below. Being destitute of weapons 
they let themselves down by the running rig- 
ging, in hopes of getting between decks. One 
fell in the attempt and was immediately dis- 
patched; another received a death-blow in the 
back as he was descending; a third, Stephen 
Weeks, the armorer, was mortally wounded as 
he was getting down the hatchway. The re- 
maining few 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 com- 
panion-way, 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 inonient he took refuge 
with the rest in the canoes. The survivors of 
tlie event now sallied forth and discharged some 
of the deck guns, wliich did great execution 
among the canoes and drove all the savages to 
tlie shore. 

For tlie remainder of tlie day no one ventured 
to put off to the ship, deterred by the effects of 
the firearms. The night passed away without 
any furtlier attempt on the part of the natives. 
When day dawned tlie Tonquiu still lay at an- 
chor in the hay, her sails all loose and flapping 
in the wind, and no one apparently on board of 
her. After a time some of the savages ventured 
to reconnoiter, taking with them the interpre- 
ter. They huddled about her, keeping cautiously 
at a distance, but growing more and more em- 
boldened 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 ven- 
tured to comply. Those who mounted the deck 
were met with no opposition, for Mr. Lewis, 
after inviting them, had disappeared. Other 
canoes now passed forward to board the prize; 
the decks were soon crowded and the sides 
covered with clambering savages, all intent on 
plunder. In tiie midst of their eagerness and 
exultation, the ship blew up with a tremendous 
explosion. Arms, legs and mutilated bodies 
were blown into the air, and dreadful havoc was 
made in the surrounding canoes. The interpre- 
ter was in the main chains at the time of the 
explosion, and was thrown unhurt into the 
water, when he succeeded in getting into one of 
the canoes. According to his statement the bay 
presented an awful spectacle after the catastro- 
phe. The ship had disappeared, but the bay 
was covered with fragments of the wreck, with 
shattered canoes and Indians swimming for 
their lives and struggling in the agonies of 
death, while those who had escaped the danger 
remained aghast and stupetied, or made with 
frantic panic for the shore. Upward of 100 

savages were destroyed by the explosion, maT)y 
more were shockingly mutilated, and for days 
afterward the limbs and bodies of the slain were 
thrown upon the beach. 

The inhabitants of Newectec were over- 
whelmed with consternation at the astounding 
calamity which had burst upon them at 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, were suddenly changed into yells of 
fury at the sight of four unfortunate white men 
brought captive into the village. They had 
been driven ashore 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 fel- 
lows who had made such a 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 shoxild slip the cable and en- 
deavor to go to sea. They declined to take his 
advice, alleging that the wind set too strongly 
into the bay and would drive them on shore. 
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, 
but Lewis refused to accompany them, being 
disabled by his M^ound, hopeless of escape, and 
determined on a terrible revenge. On the voy- 
age 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 contest with the natives, and being resolved 
in case of extremity to commit suicide rather 
than be made a prisoner. He now declared his 
intention to remain on tiie ship until daylight, 
to decoy as many of the savages on board the 
ship as possible, then set fire to the pow-der 
magazine and terminate his life by a simple act 
of vengeance. How well he succeeded has been 
shown. His companions bade him a melan- 
choly adieu and set off on their precarious ex- 


pedition. 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 
comjieiled to take shelter in a small cove, where 
they hoped to remain concealed until the wiad 
should be more favorable. Exhausted by fatigue 
and watching, they fell into a sound sleep, and 
in tliat state were surprised by the savages. 
Better had it been'for these unfortunate men 
if they had remained with Lewis and shared his 
heroic death; as it was they perished in a more 
painful and protracted manner, being sacrificed 
by the natives to tiie 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 prisoner-at-large, 
effected his escape and brought the tragical 
tidings to Astoria. 

Thus ended the career of the Tonquin and 
her able but obstinate and hot-headed Captain 
Tliorn, and here too closed the career of Alex- 
ander McKay, a man to whom Mr. Astor had 
justly looked as one most able to direct the 
vasts interests that he had committed to this 
commercial venture on the Pacific coast. Mr. 
McKay, however, left a representative in Ore- 
gon in the person of his son, who became cele- 
brated in the annals of adventure on the trails 
of the fur trader and in the campaigns of the 
Indian wars of Oregon. At a later period his 
descendants, in the persons of Dr. W. C. Mc- 
Kay, of Pendleton, Oregon, and Donald Mc- 
Kay, the celebrated scout in all the Indian wars 
of forty years, have won for his name continued 
distinction, and been of great service to the re- 
gion in the interests of whose foundations their 
forefather died. 

Affairs at Astoria were, meantime, progress- 
ing slowly toward a settled condition. The 
fort was completed, and everything put in readi- 
ness for the large trade which was reasonably 
anticipated with the surrounding tribes. Dur- 
ing the summer only one event occurred to 
ruffle the smooth flow of the somewhat monot- 
onous life of the past. It was this: 

On the loth of July a canoe, manned by 

nine white men, was seen descending the, river, 
and in a short time they landed on the beach. 
They proved to be a party sent by the power- 
ful Northwest Company, a British corporation, 
commanded by David Thompson, a partner in 
the company. He had been dispatched from 
Montreal the year before to anticipate the ar- 
rival of the Astor party, and take possession of 
the mouth of the Columbia before that party 
should arrive. Hi>: journey had been greatly 
hindered, many of his men had deserted, and 
now, with the few who remained faithful, he 
had arrived too late for the purpose for which 
he had made the long and perilous journey. 
The flight of the eagle had been too rapid for 
the crawl of the lion, and America had first 
possession in Oregon. Still there was that in 
the reception that McDougal, who had charge 
at Astoria, tendered to Thompson, the agent of 
an opposing and foreign corporation, that, if it 
could have been understood, boded no good to 
the interest of Astoria,. McDougal had him- 
self been formerly connected with the North- 
west Company, and still cherished the warmest 
sympathy with it, and a still warmer sympathy 
with the principles and purposes of the British 
Government. Hence Thompson's welcome was 
cordial; his wants were bountifully supplied; 
and, notwithstanding the fact that the very 
purpose of his presence was to thwart the very 
designs for which McDougal and his company 
were there, he was sent on his return journey, 
eight days later, with the benefactions, if not 
the benedictions of McDougal thick upon him. 
This visit of Thompson's was a most sinister 
one, and he is blind reader of history who can- 
not connect it, and the information and im- 
pressions he obtained in it, with events toward 
which our story hastens, and which will not be 
long to appear. 

It is hardly necessary for us to trace the 
story of the various efforts of the company to 
extend its trade and establish outposts during 
the summer and autumn of 1812. They were 
but parts of this general historic enterprise 
which had its heart and pivot at Astoria, and, 


however interesting as individual incidents of 
adventure tliey might be, they did little to affect 
or change the current of events that was so 
raj)idly flowing toward a historic point of great 

On the 9th of May, 1812, the ship Beaver, 
i^ent by Mr. Aster with re-enforcements and 
supplies, arrived at Astoria. Her arrival put 
the Pacific Fur Company in the best condition 
for vigorous and profitable service. After the 
discharge of her cargo, Mr. Hunt, who it will 
be remenjbered was Mrs. Aster's immediate rep- 
resentative in the charge of the company, set 
out in her for Alaska to fulfill the mission on 
which the ill-fated Tonquin had sailed, leaving 
Mr. Duncan McDougal in charge at Astoria. 
The Beaver sailed on her voyage up the coast 
in the month of August. As the closing 
months of the year passed by, and the first of 
the next was following them, and she did not 
return, gloomy apprehensions of her fate settled 
down on xVstoria. McDougal, especially, gave 
way to the most unmanly despondency. He 
liad nothing but evil forebodings and prophecies 
for the whole enterprise. At this juncture ho 
was surprised on the 16th of January by the 
appearance of McKenzie, way-worn and weather- 
beaten from a long winter journey, from his 
post on Snake river, with intelligence which 
brought to McDougal confusion of mind, if not 
dismay of heart. It had been bi-ought to the 
post of McKenzie by Mr. John George McTav- 
ish, a partner of the Northwest Company, and 
commanding a post of that company in the vi- 
cinity of that commanded by McKenzie. While 
McTavish was delighted by it McKenzie was as 
much alarmed, and lost no time in breaking up 
his establishment and hastening with all his 
people to Astoria. The substance of the news 
that thus delighted McTavish and dismayed 
McKenzie, "was that war had been declared be- 
tween England and the United States; that as 
the representative of the English company he 
was prepared for the vigorous opposition to the 
American, and he capped the climax of this, 
to him very pleasing intelligence, by saying 

that the armed ship, Isaac Todd, was to be at 
the mouth of the Columbia river about the be- 
ginning of March, to get possession of the trade 
of the river, and that he was directed to join her 
there at that time. 

The intelligence brought by McKenzie com- 
pleted the dismay of McDougal. All hope of 
maintaining Astoria was abandoned, and the 
partners resolved to give up the post in the 
following spring, and return across the Rocky 
mountains. Meantime all trade was given up, 
and after a short stay at Astoria McKenzie set 
off for his post on Snake river, to prepare for 
its intended abandonment, and also for the 
contemplated journey to the States. When the 
party was some distance above The Dalles of the 
Columbia, they met Mr. J. G. McTavish with 
two canoe-loads of white men, in the employ- 
ment of the Northwest Company, on their way 
down the Columbia to meet the Isaac Todd. 
The parties encamped together for the night 
like comrades rather than rivals, the two lead- 
ers holding very friendly consultations, and in 
the morning each proceeded on his way. With 
the exception of McKenzie the partners in com- 
mand of posts in the interior did not agree with 
McDougal's determination to abandon the coun- 
try. They had been very successful in their 
trade with the Indians, and considered it un- 
manly to break up an enterprise of such magni- 
tude and promise on the first difficulty. In this 
they were more faithful and courageous than 
their chief at Astoria. 

The time for the annual gathering of partners 
with the products of the year's trade at Astoria 
was in June. Accordingly, on the 12th of that 
month, Mr. McKenzie, Mr. Clark, and Mr. 
David Stuart arrived from the posts on the 
upper Columbia and Snake rivers, bringing a 
very valuable stock of peltries. They found 
McDougal, representing the Pacific Fur Com- 
pany, and McTavish, representing the Northwest 
Company, rivals both in trade and, nationality, 
in closest fellowship. McDougal's hospitality 
to McTavish was altogether uncalled for, and 
the more especially when the nation which he, 


as a member of the Northwest Company, really 
represented, was at war with the United States, 
and McDoiigal well knew that he was there for 
a hostile purpose. He treated McTavish and 
his party as allies rather than enemies and ri- 
vals. McDoiigal had but to leave them to their 
own resources, and they must have abandoned 
the country immediately. The moral evidence 
of McDougal's treason to his company is con- 
clusive, and the results soon justitied the belief. 

The ship Isaac Todd, which McTavish ex- 
pected to meet at the mouth of the river, not 
arriving, that gentleman applied to McDougal 
for a supply of goods with which to trade his 
way back. They were furnished, and on the 
proposition of McUongal the posts of the Pacific 
Fur Company on the Spokane were conveyed to 
the Xorthwest Company. This established that 
company in the very garden of the trade of the 
Pacific Company. 

McDougal and McKenzie, who were at one 
in their sinister purpose, at length succeeded in 
influencing the minds of Clarke and Stuart, and 
the two other partners present, and the four 
sicrned a manifesto to Mr. Astor setting forth 
the most desponding representations of the con- 
dition of affairs at Astoria, and formally an- 


their determination to dissolve the 

concern on the 1st of the following June. This 
instrument was delivered to McTavish, who de- 
parted from Astoria on the 5th of July, to be 
forwarded to Mr. Astor at New York by the 
Northwest Company. 

Wiiile these events were occurring on the 
Pacific, others of not 4ess moment to Astoria 
were transpiring on the Atlantic. On the 6th 
of March, 1813, Mr. Astor dispatched tlie ship 
Lark with supplies for Astoria. She had scarcely 
sailed before it became known to him that the 
Northwest Company had for tlie second time 
memorialized the British Government, repre- 
senting Astoria as an American establishment of 
great strength, with a vast scope of purpose, and 
urging that it be destroyed. In answer to the 
memorial that government ordered the frigate 
Phoebe to convoy the armed ship Isaac Todd, 

of the Northwest Company, which was ready to 
sail with men and supplies for a new establish- 
ment at the mouth of the Columbia. They were 
to proceed together to the mouth of that river, 
capture or destroy whatever American fortress 
they should find there and plant the British flag 
upon its ruins. 

To meet this new and alarming condition of 
affairs, Mr. Astor appealed to the Goverment, 
and the frigate Adams, with Captain Crane com- 
manding, was ordered to the mouth of the Co- 
lumbia, and Mr. Astor immediately proceeded 
to fit out the ship Enterprise, with supplies and 
re-enforcements to sail in her company for As- 
toria. Just as the two ships were ready for sea 
the exigencies of the American naval service on 
lake Ontario called for more seamen, and those 
of the Adams were transferred to the squadron 
of Commodore Chaneey, and the expedition was 

It would needlessly lengthen our work to at- 
tempt to trace the complicated movements of 
the different parties in one way or another con- 
nected with the various expeditions, by both sea 
and land, that in some way affected the history 
of the great enterprise of Mr. Astor. On the 
whole, taking into account the fact that the un- 
dertaking had such vast and wide ramifications 
touching all the possibilities of Indian trade in 
half a continent and of trade with China and 
Russia and other parts of the world, and that 
purchases, sales and returns over the world-wide 
sweep of Mr. Astor's plans would needs re- 
quire at least two years before any intelligent 
estimate of success or loss could be made, the 
conclusions of McDougal and McKenzie at 
Astoria, with which even Mr. Hunt had at last, 
with much difficulty, been persuaded to agree, 
appear to have been childishly hasty, or else 
wickedly disloyal to their patron and chief. 
"Whichever it was, the result to the enterprise 
was the same, and its record can soon be made. 

On the 7th of October a squadron of ten 
boats under the command of S. G. McTavish, 
who had with him Mr. J. Stuart, another part- 
ner of the Northwest Company, with some 



clerks and sixty-eight men, swept around Tongue 
Point, and soon after landed and encamped un- 
der the guns of the fort, displaying the Eritisli 
colors. There were some young men in the 
fort, native Americans, who desired to run up 
the "stars and stripes," but McDougal forbade 
them. They were astonished and incensed, as 
they would gladly have nailed the national en- 
sign to the staff even at the cost of a battle, but 
their protest had no influence with McDougal. 
He had determined on a surrender of Astoria, 
and to prepare the way for it read to the young 
men of the fort a letter from his uncle, Mr. 
Angus Shaw, one of the principal partners of 
the Northwest Company, announcing the com- 
ing of the Phojbe and Isaac Todd " to take and 
destroy everything American on the northwest 
coast." This did not dismay nor convince the 
patriotic American youth, but they were power- 
less. McDougal and McTavisli hastened nego- 
tiations. On the same day the former agreed 
to transfer Astoria and all it contained. It was 
to be transferred to the Northwest Company on 
terms that were entirely satisfactory to the 
latter. Before the stipulations were signed, 
however, Mr. Stuart and the reserve party of 
the Northwest Company arrived and encamped 
with the party of Mr. McTavish. He insisted 
on a reduction of prices and McDougal obse- 
quiously complied, and on the 16th of October, 
1813, an agreement was executed by which the 
furs and merchandise of all kinds in the entire 
country belonging to the Pacific Fur Company 
passed into the possession of the Northwest 
Company at about one-third of their real value. 
Soon after the British sloop-of-war, Raccoon, 
arrived in the river, having come with high 
hopes that in the capture of Astoria her oflicers 
and men would be enriched by the trophies the 
Americans had gathered. They found instead 
that already the establishment had passed into 
the hands of the British subjects, and were sorely 
disappointed. On the 12th of December the 
formal raising of the British flag over the fort 
took place, and in the name of His Britannic 

Majesty its name was changed from Astoria to 
Fort George. 

About two months after tlys transaction, Mr. 
Hunt, in the brig Pedlar, arrived at Astoria, 
finding McDougal a partner of the Northwest 
instead of the Pacific Fur Company, and acting 
under the British instead of the American flag. 
It was too late to remedy the grievous error 
and wrong, and it remained for him only to 
gather up the fragments that remained of the 
interests of Mr. Astor and his great company; 
and on the 13th of April, 1814, he sailed away 
from the Columbia, sadly leaving the flag of 
Great Britain floating where should have 
streamed the ensign of America. 

In concluding this chapter of Oregon-Amer- 
ican history the writer can hardly help adding 
the reflection that the key to the failure of Mr. 
Astor's grand enterprise is found in the fact 
that the most of its leaders were so largely for- 
eigners. Their very names had a foreign accent 
and orthography, and they loved the cross of 
St. George more than the stars and stripes of 
Columbia. They were not great enough to be 
true to principle and ol)ligation against appeals 
to feeling and profit. And so the American 
establishment of Astoria became the British 
post of Fort George. 

Matters at Astoria — now for a time to be called 
Fort George — remained the same until the war 
between the United States and Great Britain was 
terminated by the treaty of Ghent, in 1815. 
This treaty stipulated that "all territory, 
places and possessions whatsoever taken by 
either party from the other during the war, or 
which may be taken after the signing of this 
treaty, shall be restored without delay." The 
commissioners, however, could not agree upon a 
line of division between the possessions of 
England and the United States west of the 
Rocky mountains, and no action was taken in 
regard to Fort George. In July, 1815, in ac- 
cordance with its understanding of the terms of 
the treaty, the United States Government noti- 
iied the British minister at Washington that it 


would immediately re-occupy the captured fort 
at the mouth of the Cohimbia river. Great 
Britain made no ^fficial reponse to this notice, 
and for two years no further action was taken. 
At last, in September, 1817, the American 
sloop-of-war Ontario, commanded by Captian J. 
Biddle, was despatched to the Columbia, and 
the captain and Mr. J. B. Prevost were consti- 
tuted a commission instructed to assert the 
claim of the United States to sovereignty over 
the region of the Columbia. This decisive act 
compelled a decision also on the part of Great 
Britain, and resulted in negotiations which 
finally terminated in a formal transfer, in 1818, 

of Fort George to Mr. Prevost as representative 
of the United States, thus putting that power 
again, at least nominally. and formally, in the 
possession of the Pacific Northwest. Still the 
Northwest Company remained in actual posses- 
sion of the property of Fort George by virtue 
of its purchase of the same from the agents of 
Mr. Astor, as heretofore recorded. It was now 
a strongly built and thoroughly armed fortress, 
and remained practically as much a British post 
as before, until the final adjustment of the 
boundary question, in 1846. But it had no 
history of its own separate from the general 
history of the coast. 



Indian Embassy to St. Louis — Disappointment — Indian's Speech — George Catlin — Letter 
Published — Churches Respond — Jason Lee and Coadjutors Cross the Continent — 
Mr. Lee and Dr. — Lee Establishes His Mission — Work of the Mission 
— Decay of the Indians — Action of the A. B. C. F. M. — Missionaries Appointed — 
First White Woman to Cross the Continent — Roman Catholic Missions — Their Char- 
acter — (Conflicts with the Protestants — Blanchet's Statement. 

\E have traced the history of the north- 
west coast through the traditions of 
its ante -civilized state. It is now time 
that we turn to its initial occupancy for civil- 
ized purposes and life, without, at this point, 
discussing motives or philosophies of civiliza- 
tion, but giving a plain narration of facts. 

In the year 1832 the attention of the churches 
of the United States was called, in a somewhat 
romantic and startling manner, to the country 
west of the Rocky Mountains as a promising 

r missionary work among the native 

field fo 

tribes. It occurred in this wise: 

In some manner the Indians of the far north- 
west had become impressed with the great su- 
periority of the white man. With the natural 
superstition of uncivilized races, or, it may be, 
with the true instinct of universal humanity, 
they assigned that superiority to the marvelous 

power of the white man's God. To find that 
God and avail themselves of the advantages 
that a knowledge of Him would give them, be- 
came the subject of earnest and repeated con- 
sultation among them. They had also heard 
that the white man had a book that communi- 
cated that knowledge, and they earnestly desired 
its possession. How these glimmerings of fact 
had come to their minds we cannot tell, though 
it was doubtless through some stray American 
trappers, or some wandering Iroquois who had 
come into contact with Christian teachings in 
Canada or New York. They were crude at 
best, invested with the charm of supernatural- 
ism, always exciting and attractive to an In- 
dian's mind, and of course stirred their imag- 
inations to the very deepest. In the councils 
of the Flathead nation it was at last determined 
that an embassy should be sent on the long 



trail — they knew not liow long — if liaply tliey 
might find the Book and bring back the cov- 
eted light. 

An old chief, celebrated among liis people for 
bravery and judgment, and an old brave skilled 
in war were selected, and with them were asso- 
ciated two young braves for daring and perilous 
feats during the long Journey, as the chosen 
embassadors of the waiting and expectant tribe. 

The route tliey took was never recorded. 
They disappeared in the defiles of the Kocky 
mountains, stole their ■way through hostile 
tribes, traversed the M-ide, treeless plains that 
stretch between the mountains and the Missouri 
river, and finally appeared before General AVill- 
iam Clarke, who had led the exploring expedi- 
tion over the Kocky mountains to the sea seven- 
teen years before, with the story of their peo- 
ple's desire and of their own journey for its 
gratification, in St. Louis, then a hamlet on the 
uttermost borders of civilization. General 
Clarke was then superintendent of the Indian 
affairs in the great West, and the man to whom 
they would naturally apply for the information 
they sought. 

Without following the romantic speculations 
of many writers as to what was done and said 
by these Indians, it is necessary to add but 
little more than that their mission to them was 
a sad failure. The old Indian chief and his 
companion died in St. Louis, and after long and 
sad inquiry the two young men prepared to 
depart for their distant home. Before their 
departure they took a ceremonious leave of 
General Clarke, and one of them delivered a 
speech that for sad pathos and wild eloquence 
may safely be quoted as the equal of Logan's 
plaintive words. One who was present and 
listened to it thus puts in English its words: 

"I come to you over a trail of many moons 
from the setting sun. You were the friend of 
my fathers, who have all gone the long way. I 
came with one eye partly opened for more light 
for my people, who sit in darkness. I go back 
with both eyes closed. How can I go back 
blind to my people? I made my way to you 

with strong arms, through many enemies and 
strange lands, that I might carry back much to 
them. I go back with both arms broken and 
empty. The two fathers who came with us — 
the braves of many winters and wars — we leave 
asleep here by your great water and wigwam. 
They were tired in many moons of journey, and 
their moccasins wore out. My people sent me 
to get the white man's Book of Heaven. You 
took me where they worship the Great Spirit 
with candles, but the Book was not there. You 
showed me the images of good spirits and pict- 
ures of the good land beyond, but the Book 
was not among them to tell us the way. I am 
going back the long, sad trail to my people in 
their dark land. You make my feet heavy with 
your burdens of gifts, and my moccasins will 
grow old in carrying them, but the Book is not 
among them. When I tell my poor, liliiid jx'o- 
ple, after one more snow, that I did not brinn- 
the Book, no word will be spoken by our old 
men or by our young braves. One by one they 
will rise up and go out in silence. My people 
will die in darkness, and they go out on the 
long path to the other hunting grounds. No 
white man will go with them, and no white 
man's Book to make the way plain. I have no 
more words." 

The interview ended, the two remaining In- 
dian messengers turned their faces homeward. 
One died on the way, and the other, returning 
to his people, disappeared from historic record. 

The fact of the coming of this embassy, and 
its disappointed return to the distant regions 
whence it came, was soon noised abroad as a 
very romance of religion. A young clerk in 
the office of General Clarke, having witnessed 
the interview and noted its sad disappointing 
end, detailed an account of it to friends in 
Pittsburg. George Catlin was then pursuing 
his studies and investigations in Indian lore, 
and enriching his gallery with Indian portraits 
and paintings. To him the letter was shown. 
He had met the two returning braves, traveled 
with them on the Yellowstone, and even taken 
their portraits for his gallery, and they had said 


nothing to liim of the object of their visit to 
St. Louis and its failure. He tlierefore asked 
that the letter be uot published until he had 
written to General Clarke and ascertained the 
facts in the case. The reply from the general 
came at length, saying: "It is true; that was 
the only object of their visit, and it failed." 
On Catlin's advice the letter was given to tlie 
world. In his " Indian Letters," Mr. Catlin 
speaks of the matter thus: "When I first heard 
the report of this extraordinary mission across 
tlie mountains, I could scarcely believe it; but 
on consulting with General Clarke I was fnlly 
convinced of the fact. * * They liad been 
told that our religion was better than theirs, 
and that they woidd be lost if they did not em- 
brace it." 

The publication of the letter detailing these 
events stirred the heart of the Christian people 
of America as a call from God, — as who shall 
say it was not? — for, though the one lone sur- 
vivor of this embassy returned sad and disap- 
pointed to his more disappointed people, his 
mission was far from being a failure, and, as we 
read history backward from to-day, this event 
seems a divine pivot on which turned not only 
some of the most thrilling chapters of individ- 
ual history ever recorded, but much of the des- 
tiny of the Indian people, and probably all of 
that of Oregon. 

It was forever contrary to the genius and 
spirit of Christianity to leave a call so clearly 
within the limits of the Christian's idea of 
Providence unanswered. So, while all the 
churches of the land felt the thrill of this 
providential call, the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was the first to respond. She did not 
stop to experiment and explore, but through 
lier constituted authorities sotight for a man to 
lead the vanguard of the forces of civilization 
and Christianity over the Rocky mountains and 
down toward the western sea a full 2,000 miles 
beyond the westernmost fringe of American 
settlement. In a church whose typical legend 
was a man on horseback bearing a banner in- 
scribed, "Tlio world is my parish," it could 

not be far nor difBcnlt to find such a man, and, 
having found the leader, to find coadjutors and 
helpers in the work he adventured. 

After due and diligent search the authorities 
of the church decided that Jason Lee, a young 
man of thirty-one years, who resided in Stan- 
stead, Lower Canada, only just across the line 
of the United States, born of New England 
parents, educated in Wilbraham Academy, Mas- 
sachusetts, under Wilbur Fisk, the most re- 
nowned educator of early Methodist history, 
was the man for the hour that had thus struck. 
The reasons for this conclusion were decisive. 
Mr. Lee was of unusual physical dignity and 
prowess. He was six feet three inches in 
height, and of most stalwart and manly mold. 
Erect, with open and manly and frank counten- 
ance, a clear blue eye, light complexion and 
hair, he was the impersonation of Saxon vigor 
and will. Upon him the seal that gave the 
world assurance of a man was set. Withal, his 
own heart was moved in the direction of the 
work to which the church, through her consti- 
tuted authorities, was thns calling him. When, 
therefore, his former tutor at Wilbraham, Dr. 
Fisk, put the question before him in behalf of 
the church, and also in behalf of the waiting 
Indian tribes west of the Rocky mountains, 
"immediately he conferred not with flesh and 
blood" but stepped resolutely through the open 
door thus unexpectedly opened before him, and 
gave himself to history as the pioneer of civil- 
ization and Christianity west of the Rocky 
mountains. Others, kindred in purpose, and of 
similar heroic quality, were soon associated with 
him. These were his own nephew. Rev. Daniel 
Lee, and Mr. Cyrus Shepard. of Massachusetts, 
who were also, under the appointment of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, designated to share 
the honor as well as the peril of a missionary 
expatriation among the western tribes. 

It does not enter into the purpose of this his- 
tory to give a detailed account of the personnel 
and work of the various missionary companies 
that pioneered the work of Anierican civiliza- 
tion on the Paciiic coast, further than is neces- 


sary to show the relations they sustained to the 
history of the country into which they entered. 
It would belong rather to ecclejiastieal than 
general history to do that. Still that personnel 
was so great and heroic, and that work so funda- 
mental, that neither can be dismissed with a 
paragraph. Hence we take up the history of 
these missionary companies in the chronological 
order of their occupancy of this field, premising 
the remark that the essence of the importance 
of their work in every respect that bore upon 
the settlement of questions of national and in- 
ternational rights was in the time, as well as in 
the fact, of their coming. With this explana- 
tory remark, and within this limitation, we re- 
sume the story of the missionary work of tlie 
Methodist Episcopal Church under the direction 
of Jason Lee. 

Mr. Lee received his appointment as " Mis- 
sionary to the Flathead Indians" in 1833, from 
the New England Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Leaving his home in Can- 
ada on the nineteenth day of August of that 
year, he spent the following autumn and winter 
in traveling through the cities and villages of 
the Xorth from Portland, Maine, to Baltimore, 
stirring up the hearts of the church everywhere 
by his fervent appeals for the Indians of the 
West, and inspiring the confidence of the peo- 
ple by his evident sincerity as well as his com- 
mauding ability. Under the influence of his 
speeches Oregon began to rise out of a mythi- 
cal into an actual existence in the thoughts of 
the people. To Ansericans even, up to this 
time, it was as unknown as Hindoostan, — a 
name standing only for unexplored regions be- 
tween the summits of the Rocky mountains and 
the western ocean, of unsurveyed limits and 
unknown conditions. Although it had served, 
in Congress and in Parliament, as a text for 
vaporing political discourse, yet so little did 
Britain or America know of it that the one sought 
it only as a preserve for the fur hunter, and the 
other believed it to be but a barren and inhos- 
pitable waste tit only to appear on his maps as 
the "Great American desert." The appoint- 


ment of Jason Lee to evangelistic work within 
it, and tlie evident intention of the great church 
whose commission he bore to sustain him in 
the tield to which she had assigned him, meant 
the lifting up of a veil that for the ages had 
hidden that vast region from human sight. 

In the spring of 1834 this company of mis- 
sionaries joined the company of Mr. Nathaniel 
Wyeth, of whose trading adventures west of the 
Pocky mountains we have elsewhere written, at 
Independence, Missouri, prepared to accompany 
them on their journey over the mountains. At 
Independence Mr. Lee secured the services of 
Mr. P. L. Edwards, a young man of tine abilities 
and excellent character, afterward a prominent 
lawyer of Sacramento, California. All his as- 
sociates were men well adapted to sustain their 
chief in his arduous undertaking. Notwith- 
standing there was so much of the history of the 
Pacitic coast wrapped under the coats of these 
four men, it would occupy too much of the space 
that is needed for other events to record the in- 
cidents of their journey of two thousand miles 
on horseback to their field of selected toil. 
Suffice it here to say that through all the inci- 
dents and perils of the journey among such 
Indian tribes as the Pawnees, the Sioux, the 
Shoshones, the Blackfeet, the Bannacks, the 
Nez Perces and the Cayuses, wild freebooters of 
the plains, they bore themselves like brave men, 
ready to do all their part in every emergency of 
travel or danger. Mr. Lee, in a very special 
manner, won the conlidence and respect of such 
mountain leaders as Sublette, Wyeth, Fitz- 
patrick, Walker and others. Prof. Townshend, 
a naturalist who accompanied the party for 
scientific purposes, speaks of him in his journal 
in most flattering terms. 

Mr. Lee and his company reached Vancouver, 
the headquarters of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
and the residence of Dr. McLoughlin, its gover- 
nor, on the 15th day of September, 1884. He 
was received with great respect by Dr. Mc- 
Loughlin. The moral and political casuist will 
readily see that in the meeting of these two men 
on that day there stood face to face causes and 


destinies of wonderful import to Oregon, and 
even to civilization itself the world over. They 
were both typical and representative men. They 
were both Canadian born. One was a Scotch- 
Englishman with all the stalwart grip and force 
of that splendid blood. The other was of pure 
New England parentage. They were both over 
six feet in height and looked level into each 
others eyes. Seldom indeed have two such 
representatives of opposing foi-ces and antago- 
nistic purposes stood face to face with each 
other, and yet met so calmly, and so entered at 
once into ench other's personal friendships, as in 
the case of these two men. One is tempted to 
stand long and gaze npon this strange moral 
and intellectual tableau thrown against the fore- 
ground of an opening and against the back- 
ground of a departing era; for when their two 
liauds clasped it was the old greeting, perhaps 
unconsciouslj, the better new, and the new, per- 
haps as unconsciously, bidding the old depart. 
Dr. McLonghliii, as the representative of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, and hence of the power 
and purpose of Great Britain in Oregon, could 
not meet Mr. Lee as he could and did meet Mi-. 
Nathaniel Wyeth. The etses and the causes 
were entirely dissimilar. Mr. Wyeth came with 
merchandise as a trader, came to set up a rival 
establishment within hearing of the morning 
gun of Fort Vancouver. Mr. Lee came as a 
missionary of help and moral uplift to the de- 
graded tribes that swarmed in the valleys and 
roamed over the hills. Mr. "Wyeth had arms 
in his hands; Mr. Lee had ideas and moral pur- 
poses in his mind and heart. The lirst could 
be met with stronger and older commercial 
power or with more numerous arms if necessary; 
the other could be met only with ideas and moral 
purposes better than his own. Therefore the 
first was hemmed in, circumscribed, thwarted, 
finally defeated, and within a year compelled to 
leave the country a broken and ruined nian. 
But Mr. Lee and his ideas had come to stay. 
One cannot shoot an idea to death. He cannot 
kill a moral impulse with gunpowder. Besides, 

those who knew Dr. McLoughlin in his lifetime 
know very well that his moral nature was far 
superior to the purposes and work of the soul- 
less corporation of which he, by a providence 
very gracious to the work Mr. Lee came to 
Oregon to perform, was then the executive 
head. In the case of Mr. Lee, therefore, his 
heart became the guide of his actions, and hence 
he not only did not attetnpt to hinder, but 
really extended ethcient help in the establish- 
ment of his mission and the opening of his work 
in Oregon. Still justice requires us say that 
it is not probable that Dr. McLoughlin was 
enough skilled in moral casuistry, or well 
enough acquainted with the history of the re- 
su'ts of missionary enterprises in other parts of 
the world, to fully comprehend the meaning of 
the future history of this coast that was wrapped 
up witiiin the white folds of Mr. Lee's commis- 
sion. So he helped where otherwise he might' 
have hindered; he counseled where he other- 
wise might have opposed and defeated. 

It was under the advice of Dr. McLoughlin 
that Mr. Lee finally decided to establish his 
missionary station in the heart of the Willam- 
ette valley. Two motives seemed to prompt 
that advice. First, the piitting of the American 
establishment south of the Columbia river, which 
the Hudson's Bay people expected would be- 
come the boundary between Great Britain and 
the United States on this coast, and secondly 
having it near enough to Vancouver to be under 
its watchful eye. Mr. Lee, having carefully ex- 
amined every point that would suggest itself as 
a suitable one for his work, finally, on Monday, 
the sixth day of October, 1834, with Daniel 
Lee and P. L. Edwards, pitched his tent on the 
banks of the Willamette river, about ten miles 
below the present city of Salem, where he had 
determined to establish his mission. On Sun- 
day, the 19th of October, he delivered the first 
formal sermon ever preached in the Willamette 
valley, at the residence of Mr. Joseph Gervais, 
near where the town of Gervais now stands; 
his unpublished journal says: '■ From these 


words, 'Turn ye from your evil ways,' to a mixed 
assembly, few of whom understood what I said; 
but God is able to speak to their hearts." 

From this time forward, ever increasing, be- 
coming more and more a molding force in the 
intellectual and moral life of the country, his 
work went forward. It is not the province of 
this history to follow it in detail, — only far 
enough to show how potentially this and suc- 
ceeding missionary establishments became the 
nucleus around which accreted whatever there 
was of American thoujj;ht and purpose and life 
in Oregon for nearly ten years following this 
date, for this reason the men, and the work 
they performed, as makers and molders of his- 
tor}', are of first importance in estimating the 
conditions out of which history is made. 

Though Christians, Mr. Lee and the three 
men who wrought with him were plain, practi- 
cal, solid men. All the pictures of the writers 
who paint them as pietistic recluses, or even 
religious zealots, expecting to save the heathen 
and renew a people by exhortations and prayers 
and moral incantations, are sheer rhetorical cari- 
catures, to say the least of them, instead of real 
descriptions, and show^ either the ignorance or 
perversity of those who painted them. These 
men knew well that their work, to be ultimately- 
productive of the results for which they were 
here, must lay its foundations in the very ele^ 
ments of intellectual and physical culture. They 
had placed but half a shelter over their lone 
heads before they proceeded to the establish- 
ment of an Indian manual-labor school, into 
which Indians, both youth and adults, were 
gathered, and where they were taught husbandry 
and mechanics, as well as song and prayer. 
As showing the result of this teaching in these 
earlier years of their work, the testimony of 
Captain VV. A. Slocum, of the United States 
Navy, commanding the brig Loriot, who visited 
Mr. Lee's mission about two years after its es. 
tablisliinent, may properly be quoted. He says: 
" I have seen children who two years ago were 
roaming over their own native wilds, jn a state 
of savage barbarism, now being brought within 

the knowledge of moral and religious instruc- 
tion, becoming useful members of society, by 
being taught the most useful of all arts — agri- 
culture — and all this without the least compul- 
sion." So favorably did the work of this mis- 
sion impress him that he made to it the con- 
siderable donation of S30, as a testimony of his 

After two years of successful work by these 
four men in the missionary field, so promising 
did the future appear that six others, three men 
and three women, were added to their number 
by the missionary authorities of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, arriving in Oregon in May, 
1837, and these were succeeded in Septeuiber of 
the same year by four others, two ujen and two 
women. One of the last named gentlemen, 
Rev. David Leslie, was attended by his wife 
and seyeral children — a thoi-ough New England 
family, having sonie of the best blood of old 
Massachusetts flowing in their veins; the first 
real family transplanted from the New England 
of the Atlantic coast to the better New England 
to the Pacific coast; the real beginning of 
American home life in the valley of the Willa- 
mette. Does not thjs mean something for 
American civilization on the Pacific coast? 

It should be noted that up to this time the 
Indian tribes were maintaining tjieir old nu- 
merical strength- They were deejily impressed 
with the superiority of that form of civilized 
life that they saw in the missionary homes about 
them. They could not but see the difference 
between them and the trappers and trail-men of 
the fur companies. So they were calling for 
missionary establishments elsewhere,— east of the 
Cascade mountains, at Clatsop, in the Umpqua, 
among the Cayuses and Nez Perces. An emer- 
gency of civilization and Christianity was upon 
the land. Jason Lee, the Corypheus of this 
band of Christian civilizers, returned to the 
east by the trail by which he came out, to se- 
cure help adequate to the great emergency. 
His appeals from fSoston to Charleston, from 
St. Louis to New York, on the rostrum and 
through the press, in the winter of 1838 and the 


summer of 1839, awakened profound and wide- 
spread interest, not only in his special work bnt 
in Oregon itself. He asked for four or live 
missionary helpers. The great church to wliich 
he appealed judged that the demands were 
greater. Five clerical missionaries, one physi- 
cian, six mechanics, four farmei-s, one steward 
or business-manager, four female teachers, — 
thirty-six adults in all, together with seventeen 
children, constituted the reinforcement which the 
church, in whose employ Mr. Lee was laboring, 
judged not too large to meet the emergency of 
the hour. It was a missionary company, but it 
was not that only. It was an American colony; 
an educated, refined, patriotic colony of Ameri- 
can citizens. When, in the early summer of 
1840, these fifty-three people united in the 
Williamette valley with the sixteen who had 
preceded them, there was a truly American 
colony west of the Cascade mountains of nearly 
four-score souls, — a nucleus of civilization 
around which the elements of a great history 
might gather and enlarge and crystallize until a 
great apd prosperous State should be the result. 
*' JVIan proposes; God disposes." So it was 
here. A single year while Mr. Lee was absent 
from the country had touched the Indian tribes 
as with a pestilence. They were wasting out of 
being. The beautiful valleys of the west were 
to be dedicated to something greater and grander 
than even Indian missionary establishments. 
A stronger race, Avith a purpose and a power 
that could carry the country to the highest 
forms of civilized society and life was to have 
and to hold it. Their vanguard of cl:o.-i!ii me?i 
and women, chosen for their personal ] owerand 
purpose, was here to fix and drive the initial 
stake from which should be traced the founda- 
tion measurements of the history of a thousand 
years. Nor was this altogether an unexpected 
condition. This great enterprise had the count- 
tenance of the national authorities with some 
reference to its political as well as its moral and 
religious significance. Of course it was known 
that, sooner or later, the Indian tribes here, as 
everywhere else, would disappear. Tlie men in 

authority at Washington did not know this bet- 
ter than did the men who constituted this mie- 
sionary company. Indeed they did not know 
it as well. But it came sooner than was antic- 
ipated, though not too soon for the safety of 
American interests, as the pressure of events in 
Washington and in London were hurrying the 
two nations toward a final issue of their strug- 
gles for Oregon. With the coming of tliis fate 
— sad, it would seem, to the Indian tribes — 
there was a necessary failure, comparatively, of 
these Indian missions. But that failure was 
one of the conditions of the iticoming of that 
after civilization the germ of which was in that 
colony of American men and women that had 
thus strangely .been set down here just in time 
to give it most potent relation to what was to 
be. Still, for three years, the work of this 
company of people was, as far as those immedi- 
ately about them were concerned, endeavoring 
to do good to tlie decaying remnants of the In- 
dian tribes. Besides the missionaries and those 
immediately connected with them, the Indians, 
few and feeble as they were, were all upon 
whom they could bestow labor or sympathy. 
As to themselves they were waiting, becoming 
acquainted with the geography and resources of 
the country. They were young people. Hardly 
a person forty years of age among them. They 
could afford to wait and be ready for what was 
I'eady for them. 

Our readers will see when they reach and 
study the history of " Immigration" as treated 
hereafter in this book, that the autumn of 1843 
dates a change in the population of the country 
of such a character as necessarily to close, in 
large measure, the era of Indian missions in 
Oregon. It is true there were local interlap- 
pings and overlappings, but after that date the 
white and the American predominates in the 
country over the red and tiie Hudson's Bay. 
Hence we do not trace the history of this first 
established and strongest mission farther than 
that period, but consider its personnel as after- 
ward absorbed into the larger life of a common- 
wealth of which itself had been a most jiotent 


creator. As we conclude our distinctive refer- 
ence to this individual mission, the fairness of 
liistory requires us to give the names of the gen- 
tlemen then constituting it, or had been prom- 
inently connected with it. They were Jason Lee, 
Daniel Lee, Cyrus Shepard, who had died, P. L. 
Edwards, who had returned to the States, David 
Leslie, H. K. W. Perkins, Elijah White, who 
had also returned to the States, A. Beers, W. 
H. Wiilson, Alvin ¥. Waller, Gnstavus Hines, 
George Abernethy, Hamilton Campbell, H. B. 

The same incidents that at the beginning 
awakened such an intense interest in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church in America for the In- 
dians of the Kocky mountains and beyoiid, 
thrilled with the same intensity the other 
churches of the land. They began to project 
missionary work in that region at the same time. 
The American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, then representing the Pres- 
byterian, Congregational and Dutch Reformed 
Ciuirches, was not backward in its purposes. 
Early in 1834 initial steps were taken. A com- 
mission to explore the country preparatory to 
the establishment of a mission was appointed, 
consisting of Rev. Samuel Parker, Rev. J. Dun- 
bar, and Mr. S. Ellis. They left Ithaca, New 
York, in May, but reached St. Louis too late to 
join the caravans of fur traders for the Rocky 
mountains, and were obliged to defer the con- 
templated exploration until another year. Mr. 
Parker returned to New York, and Messrs. Dun- 
bar and Ellis engaged in missionary labors 
among the Pawness. In the spring of 1835 
Mr. Parker was joined by Dr. Marcus Whit- 
man, and they reached St. Louis in April. In 
company wnth the annual caravan of the Amer- 
ican Fur Company they proceeded westward as 
far as Green river, about fifty miles west of the 
summit of the Rocky mountains, the rendezvous 
of that company. Here they met a large num- 
bers of the Indians of the Columbia, and the in- 
formation they received from them, together 
witli that from trappers, traders and travelers 
whom they met here, was such as decided them 

to establish a mission on or near the middle 
Columbia. In t'lirtlierance of that decision Dr. 
Whitman returned to the East, and Mr. Parker 
continued his journey to the Columbia. He 
visited Walla Walla, Vancouver, the mission of 
Mr. Lee in the Willamette, and after completing 
his observations returned to New York by the 
way of the Sandwich islands and cape Horn in 

Two Nez Perces Indians accompanied Dr. 
Whitman on his return to New York, where 
their appearance as specimens of the tribe 
among which it was proposed to establish a 
mission excited the greatest curiosity and 

In the spring of 1836 Dr. Whitman and his 
wife, to whom he was but recently married, 
with Rev. H. H. Spaulding and his young wife, 
and Mr. W. H. Gray as secular agent of the 
mission, proceeded to the frontier of Missouri, 
and uniting themselves to the American Fur 
Company's convoy proceeded across the conti- 
nent to the place fixed upon for their mission- 
ary work among the Cayuses at Waiiletpu and 
among the Nez Perces at Lapwai. 

This journey is justly celebrated in history 
as the first ever made by white women across 
the Rocky mountains. That alone was sufficient 
to make the names of Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. 
Spaulding historic. It writes them on the page 
of history as heroines. They were the first 
white women whose blue eyes ever looked into 
the black orbs of the aboriginal daughters of 
the Columbia. That makes their arrival date 
an epoch in our history. While they were 
coming by land, others were on the way by sea, 
but these were first by a few months, and no 
fair hand has ever been raised, or ever will be 
raised, to pluck the crown of this great distinc- 
tion from their brows. They were personally 
worthy of it, and we are glad to study them in 
their imique and magnificent isolation in his- 
toric story. Full as was this journey with 
thrilling incident, we can do no more than, with 
these few sentences, conduct these missionaries 
to their place where, two years after Jason Lee 


had established the Methodist missiou in the 
Williatiiette, they began theirs in interior 

The same gCHeral course of incident inarlced 
the work of these missions as did that already 
desci'ibed in the Willamette Valley. There 
was, however, a difference in one important 
respect. The Indians of the interior were very 
superior, physically and intellectually, to those 
nearer the coast. Hence, while the tribes of 
the Willamette were smitten with decay these 
were yet vigorous and comparatively numerous. 
Seven years, therefore, after the Indian mission 
work was almost or entirely abandoned in the 
AYillamette, that in this region was enjoying 
its greatest prosperity. But it was only to 
meet the same fate at last, except as the Indians 
themselves have proved capable, of so far re- 
sisting the enfeebling and destructive contact 
with a miscellaneous white population, and 
have maintained an existence as a people even 
until this day; while those of the Willamette 
as tribes and nations have long since disappeared. 

From time to time these missions of the Amer- 
ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 
sions were re-enforced by the addition of a class 
of men and women worthy to be what their 
position made them, founders of a civilization. 
Some of the gentlemen composing the mission 
became most important and honored instru- 
ments in the settlement of great questions of 
State, and in the final establishment of the in- 
stitutions of civil society here. Notably this 
was true of Dr. Whitman, the record of whose 
heroic efforts to benefit his adopted home, as 
well as of his tragic death as a martyr to his 
steadfast purpose of life, is given elsewhere, 
and need not be repeated here. Like those 
whose work in the Willamette we have partially 
recorded, these were among the best of men. 
We make no attempt to enshrine them, nor 
even to exalt them above other men who came 
after them. They had weaknesses and defects, 
but they are the weaknesses of strong natures, 
the defects common to humanity. Without a 
question any impartial history of the times from 

1834 to 1847 will write the names of Whitman, 
Spanlding, Eells, Walker, Gray, and their com- 
panions and co-laborers among the few dozens 
of names that were foremost in laying deep 
and broad the foundation of the great common- 
wealth that is now what it is because the men 
whose lives and work projected it were what 
they were. 

The history of the institution and work of 
the missions of the Roman Catholic Church on 
this coast is more difficult to trace than is that 
of the Methodist Episcojial Church, or of the 
American Board. The reasons are obvious to 
those who have made the methods of that 
church at all a study. Their work is more dis- 
tinctly a church work than is that of any other 
bndy of Christian people. It consists more 
exclusively of catechetical instruction, and the 
observance of certain forms of ritual observ- 
ances, than any other. There is less publicity 
to it. They do not organize communities with 
a public life outside of the ecclesiastical and 
church life they inculcate. Their missionaries 
come and go unheralded and unannounced. 
Without a family life themselves, they appear 
for a day or a year, then move forward and 
another takes the vacated place. What has 
been done or has not been done is not pro- 
claimed. Silent, self-contained, with the air 
and aspect of men who are moved by another, 
instead of moving themselves with a self-pur- 
pose, except it be a purpose to obey what is 
commanded, they do their work with a patience, 
a devotion, a self-forgetfulness that is worthy 
of all praise as a method of ecclesiastical pros- 
elytism. These methods and peculiarities are 
not mentioned as derogatory to them, but only 
to account for the dilBculty a %vi-iter experiences 
in following the lines of their history. And if 
these peculiarities render it difficult to do this 
in established conditions of society, they render 
it much more difficult when the field is such as 
Oregon was when they entered into it. 

The Roman Catholics were the third to enter 
the missionary field in Oregon. Their first 
priests. Rev. Francis N. Blanchet and Kev 


Modest Deraers, came overland from Montreal 
with the regular Hudson's Bay Express, reach- 
ing Vancouver on the 24th of November, 183S. 
They came at the instance of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. They were British subjects, altliough 
French themselves, and the servants of the 
Hudson's Bay Company were mostly French 
Canadians, and Roman Catholics in their re- 
ligious belief and sympathies. Many of these, 
at first, received the Protestant missionaries 
gladly, and attended upon their ministry, but 
the very presence of these sngi^estel and 
awalceuei a desire in their hearts for teichers 
of their own faith. This was but natural. The 
influence of these French Canadian subjects of 
Greit Britain ovar the Indiana was very greit, 
and it was soon felt agiinst tlie Protestant 
missions. As we have shown in our chapter on 
"The Hudson's Bay Company and the Protest- 
ant Missions," the leading men of that com- 
pany did all they could to encourage their 
coming and facilitate thsir work when here, 
because they were British subjects, and because 
they were Roman Catholics, and therefore most 
against the only American influence then in the 
country — the Protestant missions. This they 
had a right to do, and our duty is only to 
record it. 

But the coming of the R )man Catholic priests 
introduced an element of discord and trouble 
in the country that bore very bitter fruit in 
after years, and this seems the only proper place 
to fairly consider it. This we shall try to do 
both judiciously and judicially, "with malice 
toward none, with charity for all." 

It is necessary to observe that there had been 
no controversies between, nor Ijecause of, the 
missions of the A. B. C. F. M. and those of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. There were two 
reasons for this. First, the religious ends before 
both wore the same; they were not aiming to 
make sectaries of the Indians, but to make 
Christians of them. Second, they were all 
Americans, and therefore there was no division 
on political or national gronnds. The priests of 
the Romish Church differed from the Protest- 

ants at both th'3se points, and that difference 
was at the basis of all th? bitter CDntroversies of 
that period of Orjgon history, ami of thusa that 
have beei continue! from it d )wa to the pres- 
ent by s)me writers on both sides, — a c:)ni'ro- 
versy into which we shall not enter further than 
to state it historically. 

It is exceeding difiiault to discuss religious 
differences so that the discussion itself does not 
become a special plea on tlig side of the writer 
himself. It is equally difficult to mak^ such 
discussion reasonably intelligent to the un- 
churched reader. But we will try to do both. 

Of course the original basis of the contro- 
versy was theological, churchly, — Romanism vs. 
Protestantism, — which is true and which is 
false? This we do not debate, but it was the 
core of the trouble. Out of the convictions of 
either party and both parties on this subject 
came their intense zeal and bitterness against 
each other. 

The Protestant mission and missionaries on 
the whole took too much counsel of their preju- 
dices and desires. They did not suffijiently 
consider that the Romish priests hal the same 
rights in the country, either religiously or po- 
litically, as they had. Their loing first gave 
them no pre-emptive right to control the religion 
of the people. To a very great degree they for- 
got or ignored this very obvious and fundamen- 
tal principle of human freedom: consequently 
they met the priests with protests against their 
presence, and probably a somewhat acrimonious 
denunciation of their teachings if not of them- 
selves. It is very clear to any candid reader of 
the historical literature of this period that such 
was especially the spirit of the missionaries of 
the American Board, as it was, to a less extent, 
of those of the Methodist Board. Instances 
might be given and language quoted to evidence 
this, but its concession by a Protestant writer is 

On the other hand, the priests made it a special 
purpose to break down and destroy the Protest- 
ant missions. Instead of opening new fields to 
any considerable extent, they established their 


missions almost by the very doors of the Protest- 
ant missions. Tliey declared it to be their pur- 
pose to antagonize and destroy them. This was 
in entire consistency with their beliefs as church- 
men, and we do not write of it as a crime, but 
simply as a fact, leaving the reader to his own 
conclusions. Kev. F. N. Blanchet, afterward 
archbishop of Oregon City, with whom the 
writer had a personal acquaintance, wrote his- 
torically, at a later day, of the work of their 
priests at that time, thus: 

" They were to warn their flocks against the 
danger of seduction, to destroy the false im- 
pression already received, to enlighten and con- 
tirm the faith of the Avavering and deceived 
consciences, * * * and it was enough for 
them to hear that some false prophet [meaning 
Protestant missionary] had penetrated into a 
place, or intended visiting some locality, to in- 
duce the missionaries to go there immediately, 
to defend the faith and keep error from propa- 
gating itself." 

In another place, and in reference to the par- 
ticular mission of the Metbodist Church at 
Nesqually, north of the Columbia river, the 
same eminent ecclesiastic wrote: 

'• The Hrst mission to Nesqually w-as made by 
Father Demers, who celei)rated the first mass in 
the fort of the Hudson's Bay Company, on April 
22 (1839), the day after he arrived. His visit 
at such a time was forced upon him by the 
establishment of a Methodist mission for the 
Indians. * * * After having given orders 
to build a chapel, and said mass outside the 
fort, he parted with them, blessing the Lord for 
the success of his mission among the whites 
and Indians, and reached Cowlitz on Monday, 
the 30th, with the conviction that his mission 
at Nesqually had left a very feeble chance for a 
Methodist mission there. 

This statement of this most influential and 
controlling man in regard to the modes and pur- 
poses of the work of the Eoman Catholic mis- 
sions, certainly justifies the statement we have 
made in regard to them, historically. 

Among the Indians the Catholic missionaries 

were more successful than the Protestant, in the 
sense of gaining more adherents. Their meth- 
ods and principles made this inevitable. "With 
them Christians were constituted by sacraments; 
with the Protestants, by life. With them bap- 
tism opened the door of the kingdom of heaven; 
with the Protestants, a renewed nature. The 
difference was radical and w^ith uninstructed 
and unreasoning Indians, altogether in favor of 
the Romanists. The symbols and ceremonies of 
that church were far more alluring to the In- 
dian, easily approachable through his sensuous 
organs, but harder to reach through reason and 
conscience, than were the high idealism and 
lofty spirituality of Protestant teaching. Mr. 
Blanchet was right when he said: "The sight of 
the altar vestments, sacred vessels and great 
ceremonies were drawing their attention a great 
deal more than the cold, unavailable, long lay 
services of Brother Waller;" and this fully ac- 
counts for the greater influence of the priests 
over the Indian mind. There was, however, 
another reason that should be noted, namely^ 
the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company 
over the Indians, which was very great and 
always favorable to the Romanists, while the 
Protestants were in close affiliation with the 
Americans, — indeed, at this time constituted 
the American element of the country. It can 
hardly be necessary to draw this parallel and 
contrast further. 

From the time of the arrival of Messrs. 
Blanchet and Demers, in 1838, priests continued 
to arrive and scatter over the country. In 
1847, nine years after the first arrival, the Ro- 
man Catholic Church had so increased that Ore- 
gon City was constituted an episcopal see, 
with Rev. F. N. Blanchet as its bishop. The 
otal number of clergymen employed was 
twenty-six, with five churches in the Willam- 
ette valley, three north of the Columbia river, 
with quite a number of Indian missions in 
different parts of the country. It can hardly 
be needful to follow the history of these mis- 
sions, as separate departments of the life of the 
common northwest, farther. 




How Constituted — Sib Alexander McKenzie — ATriTUDE Toward the Country — -Extent of its 
Operations — The Northwestern Company — Union of the Companies — Stakes Played fob 
— Dr. John McLoughlin — Growth of the Company — Captain Bonneville and the Hud- 
son's Bay Company — Captain Wyeth and the Hudson's Bay Company — Erection of Fort 
Hall — Reaches Vancouver — Fort William Built — Sale to Hudson's Bay Company — All 
Rivalry Crushed — Ruling Policy of the Company — Statement of a Chaplain — ^The 
Hudson's Bay Company Socially. 

THE Hudson's Bay Company was consti- 
tuted l:)y royal charter, given by Charles 
II. on the 16th day of May, i670. It 
gave the "government and company and 
their successors the exclusive right to trade, fish 
and hunt in the waters, bays, rivers, lakes and 
creeks entering into the Hudson's straits, to- 
gether with all the land and territories not 
already occupied or granted to any of the king's 
subjects or possessed by the subjects of any 
other Christian prince or State." The company 
had eighteen original incorporators, at the head 
of whom was Prince Rupert; hence the name 
Eupert's Land was once given to that region. 
The first object of the company, as named in its 
charter, was "the discovery of a new passage 
into the South Sea," as the Pacific ocean was 
then generally called. 

Some curious and interesting facts touching 
the pretended ownership of the region in which 
these "exclusive rights" were thus presumptu- 
ously ceded, appear both before and after this 
time. In 1631, Charles I. of England had re- 
signed to Louis XIII. of France tlie sovereignty 
of the country, and the French king gave a 
charter to a French company who occupied it, 
and it was called Acadia, or New France. Not- 
withstanding Great Britain, by this act of 
Charles I., had thus given up its right to tlie 
somewhat mythical region indicated, the second 
Charles reasserted that right in the giving 
of this charter to tlie Hudson's Bay Company. 
Still, in the terms of the treaty of Ryswick, in 

1697, twenty-seven years aft^r the Hudson's 
Bay Company received its charter, the whole 
country was confirmed to France by Great 
Britain, and no reservation of British rights, or 
of the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
was made. This, at the present time, since all 
question of rights, real or pretended, have been 
definitely settled, is of interest only as showing 
upon what flimsy pretexts the sovereigns of 
western Europe asserted ownership of vast 
regions of country on the American continent, 
and how they used these "rights" as the small 
change that settled balances in their accounts 
with each other, not more than 200 years ago. 
For 100 years little comparatively of interest 
attached to the company, and a few results of 
public importance are recorded. Something 
was done in the line of geographical discoveries 
in the noi'thwestern parts of America, and the 
leaders of the company were growing hopeless 
of the discovery of an inland channel from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific. About 1778, Frobisher 
established a trading post on lake Athabasca, 
about 1,200 miles from lake Superior. Ten 
years later it was abandoned and Fort Chippe- 
wyan was built on the southwest shore of the 
same water. From this post Sir Alexander 
Mackenzie made an expedition down the river 
that bears his name, to the Arctic, and returned 
in 102 days. In the autumn of 1791, he started 
to explore a route to the South Sea, — the Pacific 
ocean. He ascended Peace river to its head in 
the Rocky mountains, and in thatdreary solitude 


made his winter quarters witli liis ten men. 
They were snowbound until May, when tliey 
resumed their journey, and in June came to the 
divide, and saw for the first time the waters 
that flowed toward the Pacific, — a sight that no 
white man had ever before beheld. In July 
they came in sight of the sea and were soon 
upon its shores. There, on a bold rock, facing 
Asia, this great explorer painted in vermilion 
these words: "Alexander Mackenzie, from 
Canada by land, the twenty-second of July, one 
thousand seven hundred and ninety-three." 
This was the first expedition of white men 
across the continent to the Pacific ocean. It 
was a great feat, and had in it the presage of 
great events, to which our history will soon 
come. So valuable were his discoveries con- 
sidered to Great Britain that lie was rewarded 
for them by the honor of knighthood in 1801. 
Mackenzie was a man of far more than or- 
dinary ability. He had a statesmanlilie grasp 
of mind, unconquerable determination, clear 
and penetrating foresight, and by his personal 
explanations and recommendations laid a foun- 
dation for of the subsequent claims of 
Great Britain to the i-egions west of the Eocky 
mountains, and to more of the future progress 
"and prosperity of the Hudson's Bay Company on 
that field. The point he reached on the Pacific 
coast was within the present limits of British 
Columljia (latitude 53° 21'), and clearly within 
the limits of the claim made by the United 
States, which afterward became the slogan of a 
great national party in one of the most exciting 
presidential contests in our history, when "The 
whole of Oregon or none," " Kilty- Four Forty 
or Fight," streamed on banners and were 
shouted by the people all over the land. He 
was the first and ablest representative of Great 
Britain in her quest for other empire on the 
American continent as a compensation for that 
wiiich had been snatched from her grasp by the 
American Eevolution that had closed but ten 
years before. 

The attitude of the Hudson's Bay Company 
toward the vast region over which its charter 

assumed to give autliority was actually that of 
sovereignty. They legislated for it, governed 
it, made war and peace w ithin it, and all other 
people were forbidden to " visit, haunt, frequent, 
trade, trafiic, or adventure" within it. There 
was, of course, a confession of allegiance to the 
crown of Great Britain, in tlie fact that their 
charter was from it, but the power of the com- 
pany was practically absolute. For all these rights 
and prerogatives the company was to pay an an- 
nual revenueof "two elks and two black beavers," 
to be collected on the grounds of the company. 

With such unlimited prerogatives, in such a 
vast and productive field of trade, the company 
could not but rapidly increase in wealth and 
power. With these came a grasping avarice 
and a bold and inexorable spirit. The company 
stretched out its arms like a huge commercial 
octopus, and drew into itself all opposing and 
rival interests from the Yukon to the Sacra- 
mento, from the Arctic to Salt Lake, and from 
the St. Law'rence to the mouth of the Colum- 
bia. What came in and what went out of the 
country was at its dictation. Tlie Indian and 
the European alike did the bidding of the giant 
monopoly. Not to do it was to perish. This 
power was reaching out and preparing to enfold 
in its grasp all of the Pacific Coast from Amer- 
ican Russia to Spanish California. 

The original stock of this company was only 
$50,820. In fifty years it had made its stock- 
holders rich, besides trebling, its stock twice by 
profits alone. In 1821 its capital stock had 
gone up to $457,380, and in that year it ab- 
sorbed the Northwest Company of Montreal, 
with a capital equal to its own. 

The Noi-thwest Company was the Canadian- 
British rival and competitor of the Hudson's 
Bay Company. It was organized by the prin- 
cipal merchants of Montreal in 1787, especially 
to control and monopolize the fur trade over the 
boundless forests of the Canadas, and stretch- 
ing westw^ard and northward along lakes Huron 
and Superior to the chain of great and small 
lakes, to lakes Winnipeg and Athabasca, and 
along the Saskatchewan and the Red River of 



the North, following up the game and the In- 
dians wherever they could be found. Though 
these were both British companies, yet the riv- 
alry and hostility between them was as radical 
as they could have been between either of them 
and any rival American company. 

There were many reasons for that hostility. 
The Hudson's Bay Company was the older and 
more powerful, and held lettei's patent from the 
British crown, and its organization and personnel 
were more distinctively English than the other, 
M'hich was largely of the French-Canadian type. 
Besides, the great profitableness of the fur 
trade at that time made it a prize for commer- 
cial adventure eagerly to contend for. Hence, 
as tiie Northwest Company was reaping a ricii 
harvest from its trade in regions, and was 
pushing that trade farther and farther west- 
ward and southward and northward, the Hud- 
son's Bay Company began to set up rival estab- 
lishments and place rival traders by the side of 
theirs. Personal friendship could not long 
continue where commercial interests came into 
such sharp competition. The result was open 
M'ar between the two companies. Forts were 
captured, prisoners taken atid held in captivity: 
natives of the same country and subjects of the 
same king. Earl Selkirk, of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, resolved to establish a colony of 
Scotch and Irish Hudson's Bay people on the 
Red river, where was the great depot of the 
Northwest Company, and which that company 
considered its own ground. His first attempt 
was a partial I'ailiire, but he was skillful and de- 
termined enough to detach some of the most 
important partisans of the Northwest Companj' 
from its service, and to unite them to that of 
the Hudson's Bay Company. Among them 
was Colin Robertson, one of the most success- 
ful traders and astute administrators of the 
company, to whom he committed the control of 
the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company in 
all that region. He pursued a most vigorous 
policy against the company with which he was 
so lately identified. The colony at Red river 
was re-established. Tiiis only intensified the 

strife, and finally led to several severe battles, 
ill one of which Governor Semple of the Red 
River colony and five other officers of the colony 
and fifteen men were killed. The result of 
these conflicts, on the whole, was favorable to 
the Hudson's Bay Company, but they left the 
companies exhausted, and in 1821, to save any- 
thing from the wreck of the conflict, tiie com- 
panies amalgamated, and the name of the 
Northwest Company was lost, all becoming the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 

The strongest play of this now twice-grown 
giant for the heaviest stakes was yet to be cast. 
While in London and in Washington diplomats 
were debating, and governments trying to foil 
each other by a play of technicalities, this giant 
corporation was nurturing all its powers and 
gathering up all its resources ready to cast them 
into the scale, when at last the contending 
nations should poise the beam for a last de- 
cision. Its play was first for itself, after that 
for great Britain, but always against America. 

AVhat this company first desii-ed was to hold 
the country over which it ruled with such abso- 
lute sway in its old condition of liarbarism. It 
had no instinct of civilization in it. It cared 
nothing for humanity — for man — only as man 
could be made a machine for the use of its 
money-making greed. For its j^urposes a stolid 
and unreasoning Indian, with bow and steel- 
trap, roaming the hills or trapping the water 
courses for bear or beaver, was worth far more 
than the scholar in the schoolroom, or the plow- 
man in tlie field. The Indian's wigwam was 
better than marble palaces. The silent prow of 
the birchen canoe was far more to be desired 
than the rush and roar of the wheels of the 
steamer. The sharp crack of the huntsman's 
rifle in the dark forest was far more musical to 
their ears than the roar of the paved streets of 
the metropolis. All these, and everything 
kindred to these, were what the Hudson's Bay 
Company thus sought for itself. 

Let the reader pause a little here and remem- 
ber that the region this company was thus en- 
deavoring, by the unscrupulous use of all its 


power, to save to itself, and for that end tokeep 
in its old barbaric state, was all that wonderful 
land in which now the four great States of the 
American Dnion — Oregon, Washington, Mon- 
tana, and Idaho — then all called Oregon — now 
holding a population, a wealth and a culture 
greater than the entire thirteen States at the 
close of the Revolution. Let him add to this 
all of British Columbia, itself a very empire of 
prosperous and cultivated civilization, and he 
will see for what enormous stakes this powerful 
company was playing its desperate game from 
the time of its union with the Northwest Com- 
pany for at least a quarter of a century. Surely 
the prize for which it struggled was well worth 
all its ventures. 

Next to the keeping of the country for its 
own purposes of trade, it was the wish of this 
company to put enough vested interests in it to 
swing the scale of ultimate ownership in favor 
of Great Britain. Indeed it early became ap- 
parent to the company that this was the only 
means of saving it to itself. Of disinterested 
patriotism — country for country's sake — it had 
none. Notwithstanding many of its leaders 
and managers were eminent in abilities, and 
even high in the confidence of the English gov- 
ernment, they lived and wrought and wrote 
with this ultimate end forever in view, — subor- 
dinating country to company and patriotism to 

We do not mean to say that in this these 
men were worse than other men. They were 
like other men; and in their very faithfulness 
to the ends for which their company existed 
there was much that the historian must admire, 
though he may not commend the end for which 
they so strongly strove. No company's affairs 
were ever more ably administered, nor were 
means ever more wisely adapted to ends, than 
here. The agents of the company were every- 
where, watchful, vigilant; friends, if friendship 
would serve their jjurposes best, but enemies as 
readily as friends, if enmity better secured the 
object for which the company existed. Such 
was the Hudson's Bay Company when history 

brings us to the verge of the decisive conflict of 
diplomacy, almost of arms, for the ultimate 
ownei-ship of Oregon. 

With the union of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany with the Northwest Company in 1821, 
there came into the consolidated and greatly 
enlarged Hudson's Bay Company a gentleman 
destined to a larger place and greater influence 
in its history, and the history of the country 


for a full quarter of a century, than any other 
man. It was Dr. John McLoughlin. The 
position he occupied and the influence he ex- 
erted in the country fully justifies us in paus- 
ing in the midst of our story to give some brief 
characterization of this historic personage. 

Dr. John McLoughlin was by birth a Cana- 
dian, by blood a Scotch-Englishman. He was 
an educated physician, and early entered the 
service of the Northwest Fur Company as such, 
and served in that capacity at Winnipeg. Such 
was his zeal and intelligence, however, that he 
exercised a very commanding influence over the 
counsels of the company, and at length, when 


liis company was merged into the Hudson's 
Bay, lie became a factor in tliat company, in 
which his abilities received their legitimate 
appreciation, and he was made governor of all 
its territory and business west of the Rocky 
mountains. This made him practically a dic- 
tator in a country 1,200 miles long and 1,000 
miles broad. 

In person Dr. McLonghlin was of most im- 
posing mien. He stood six feet and three 
inches in his moccasins — for he wore the Indian 
moccasin generally to the end of his life, — was 
erect as a fir tree, and moved with a stately 
and even majestic tread. His face was full and 
fl(n-id and cleanly shaven, and his eye a clear 
blue When the writer's personal acquaintance 
with him began, in 1853, his full hair was like 
a silver crown, and worn full and flowing, reach- 
ing nearly to his shoulders, and his eye had yet 
a quick and darting fire. His movements were 
decisive, if not quick. His voice in ordinary 
conversation was low, and his speech somewhat 
slow, but when excited it rang sharply and de- 
cisively out, like that of a man who was accus- 
tomed to his own way in all that he cared to do 
at all. The writer was then a young man, just 
entering npon his life-work in Oregon, while 
Dr. McLoughlin had then for some years been 
a private citizen; but his appearance was so 
venerable and august, his position in the coun- 
try had been so commanding and his history so 
I'einarkable, that he seemed to my imagination 
the most impressive personality I had ever 
beheld. To this day I doubt whether a more 
imposing physical presence ever walked the 
streets of this great Northwest than that of 
Dr. John McLoughlin. 

His character was as marked as his presence. 
He had a very high sense of personal honor, 
and his integrity was beyond question. He was 
generous and humane to an unusual degree. 
Quite a number, now among our wealthy and 
distinguished citizens, owe their first commer- 
cial positions in the trade of this coast to his 
helpful hand. And, after the acrimonies aris- 
ing from the position of the Hudson's Bay 

Company, of which he was chief factor, as the 
overwhelming monopoly of the coast, have 
passed largely out of the personal remembrance 
of the people, and Dr. McLoughlin is remem- 
bered only as the man and the citizen that he 
appeared after he closed his connection with 
that gigantic corporation, there is no name held 
in higher veneration by the citizens of Oregon 
than his. 

With the Hudson's Bay Company, the period 
from 1821 to 1833 was an era of growth, and 
yet of consolidation. Nothing occurred to dis- 
turb the equanimity of its rule. Its power 
touched every center and circumference of the 
vast territory of its operations. True, some 
American fur companies, like that of Sublette, 
Smith and Bridger, or some independent trad- 
ers and trappers like Bonneville and AVyeth, 
now and then ventured over the line of its 
assumed rights along the gorges of the Kocky 
mountains, but the Hudson's Bay Company 
had only to speak and they disappeared. Even 
before this era it had absorbed Astor's com- 
pany, as we have before noticed. It would 
extend this portion of our work unduly were 
we to follow in detail the adventures of the 
gentlemen and servants of this company through 
this decade of its greatest power and prosper- 
ity. During this time the diplomatic debate 
between Great Britain and the United States as 
to the ownership of Oregon passed through 
many changes, but seemed not to advance 
toward any settlement. Both parties were 
claimants of the country, but both were wary, 
procrastinating, and fearful of a final tender of 
terms. Gieat Britain seemed to have justest 
reason to postpone decision. The Hudson's 
Bay Company was British. It held the situa- 
tion with a grasp it seemed nothing could un- 
loose. Its brigades of boats were on every 
stream and its hunters and trapjiers on every 
trail. There were literally none to oppose 
tliem. Their small but wonderful circle of 
leaders like Simpson, McLoughlin and Douglas, 
were planning with marvelous foresight and 
ability to retain for England what their former 


enterprise and courage had apparently gained, 
all the Pacitic coast fi-om California to the 
Knssian possessions, — a region they well knew 
to be among the fairest and most fruitful on 
the globe. Tliej held a first mortgage — that of 
possession upon it. Give them but time and 
they would do the rest. So diplomacy waited 
upon possession, trusting that might would 
make right, and the young republic on the 
Atlantic shore would in some critical and nerv- 
ous hour surrender to power what was clearly 
her own right in law. Biit both Britain and 
the Hudson's Bay Company had left out of 
their account the element most determinative 
of history, as we shall subsequently see. Mean- 
while the relations of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany with competitors in its field, whether 
associated or individual, require some consid- 

Subsequent to the defeat of the grand project 
of John Jacob Astor, as already related, the ex- 
pedition of Captain Bonneville was the first that 
held within itself any real threat to the suprem- 
acy of the Hudson's Bay Company in the region 
then known as Oregon. As it seems needful, 
to maintain the continuity of history, and en- 
able our readers to understand the latent, as well 
as the obvious, causes that finally wrought out 
the history of the Pacific Northwest, to give 
some brief account of that expedition, a few 
sentences regarding Captain Bonneville hei-e 
will be acceptable to the reader: 

He was of French parentage, born in the city 
of New York about the close of the American 
Revolution. He inherited all the French vola- 
tility and fervor of imagination, though it was 
disciplined in his early years by mathematical 
studies. He was educated in the United States 
Military Academy at West Point, from which 
he entered the army, and was for a number of 
years stationed on the far western frontier. The 
inactive and uneventful life of a soldier in time 
of peace ill suited his active and adventurous 
temperament, and naturally his eyes turned to- 
ward the unexplored regions of the Rocky 
mountains as the field offering incident and ex- 

citement enough to gratify his atnbition. He 
obtained leave of absence from the army, and 
secured from the major-general commanding it, 
from the secretary of war and from the presi- 
dent more than a quasi-indorsement of his 
plans. He succeeded in interesting with him- 
self Alfred Seaton, of New York, a gentleman 
of high respectability and influence, and formed 
an association with adequate means for the 
prosecution of his expensive project. Mr. Sea- 
ton was the more ready to aid Captain Bonne- 
ville from having been associated with Mr. 
Astor's enterprise, as he was one of the patriot- 
ic American youths who were at Astoria at the 
time of its surrender to the British. He hoped 
to contribute to the raising again of the flag of 
his own country on the shores of the Columbia. 
Captain Bonneville was also on close terms with 
Mr. Astor himself. 

Prepared for his adventurous expedition, 
Captain Bonneville found himself in the early 
spring of 1832 on the western frontier at Fort 
Osage, Missouri, where he enlisted a force of 
110 men, mostly experienced in the craft of the 
plains and mountains, and ready for any enter- 
prise of profit or danger. On the Istof Mayof 
that year he began his march westward. 

To Captain Bonneville belongs the historic 
distinction of first conducting wagons to and 
over the summit of the Rocky mountains. This 
was a distinct gain for civilization, as it intro- 
duced civilized methods of locomotion in the 
place of those of the barbarous Indian or the 
white marauder. These first meant every suc- 
ceeding wheel of trader or emigrant or locomo- 
tive; and, though the world did not see it, they 
meant the Pacific coast for the Americans instead 
of the English. 

The exciting adventures of his journey west- 
ward cannot be followed here. His route was 
across the then uupathed solitudes where now 
are the wonderful States of Kansas and Ne- 
bi-aska, and he opened for wagons the identical 
road traveled by emigrants from western Mis- 
souri to Oregon until the rail-car displaced the 
ox-wagon, nearly forty years after he had pio- 


Tieered the way. From tlie 1st of May to the 
24th of July his long cavalcade of wagons and 
horsemen moved slowly westward and upward. 
At noon of that day he was beyond the divide 
of the Kocky mountains and encamped on a 
branch of Green river, then called Seeds-Kee 
Agio, or Sage Hen river. On the 27th of July 
he reached Green river — the "rendezvous" of 
the trappers and traders of the Rocky mountains 
for that year, — at least a hundred miles within 
the limits of Oregon as the maps then described it. 

He had now entered a region of indescribably 
wild and broken mountain ranges, and hence 
he determined here to abandon his wagons — 
the first, we repeat, ever to pass the gates of the 
Kocky mountains — and on the 22d of August 
packed his horses and began his march still 
westward, having selected the valley of Salmon 
river, near where Salmon City, in Idaho, is now 
situated, as the place for his winter's cantonment. 

A full year was spent in the region contiguous 
to this place, and the following December he 
established his winter quarters on the Portnenf 
river. But his main piirpose in coming to the 
mountains was yet unfultilled. When all was 
settled for bis people in their winter encamp- 
ment, with three trusted and hearty mountain- 
cheers he mounted his horse on Christmas morn- 
ing of 1833, for an expedition of great peril, as 
well as of great historic importance, namely, 
to penetrate the Blue mountains, visit the 
establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company 
on the Columbia river, and gain such informa- 
tion as he could of the country itself and of the 
great company that controlled it. 

There is a temptation to the pen of the writer 
to follow this wonderful midwinter jouiney of this 
wonderfully resolute explorer down the storm- 
swept plains of the Snake river, amid the snow- 
clad summits of the Blue mountains, across the 
alway interesting "Grande Ronde" valley, then 
along a devious way among the heights of 
"Immaha," as Bonneville writes it, and finally, 
of the Columbia and to Fort Walla Walla, the 
Columbia river east of the Cascade mountains; 
but space forbide the thrilling account. 

Captain Bonneville reached Fort Walla AValla 
on the 4th day of March, 1884. Though re- 
ceived politely, as a man, by Mr. Pambrun, in 
charge for the Hudson's Bay Company, when 
he sought to purchase some supplies for his re- 
turn journey to the Portneuf, he was plainly 
told he could have nothing. The policy of that 
company was to discourage all trade and all 
traders but its own. While Captain Bonneville 
was a guest he could have food and polite at- 
tention as such, but when Captain Bonneville 
was on the trail, a trader representing an Amer- 
ican interest, he was to the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany a foe, and it were better to that great 
British corporation if he perished than if he 
lived. He could therefore have nothing. Piqued 
and irritated, and disdaining to receive courtesies 
as a man thatwere forbidden him as an American, 
on the 6th day of March, having received tiie 
hospitality of the Hudson's Bay Company only 
two days, he set out on his return to his people 
in the valley of Snake river. After many vicis- 
situdes among the snows of the Blue mountains 
he reached the place of their encampuient on 
the 1st of June. 

The result of this exploration of Captain Bon- 
neville was to satisfy him of two things: First, 
that an American trade could profitably be 
opened in the valley of the Cohimbia; and, sec- 
ond, that any such attempt would meet the 
determined and unscrupulous opposition of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. Future events demon- 
strated that in the first judgment he was mis- 
taken, while in the second he was unhappily 
correct. Still such was the conviction of his 
own mind that, one year later, he prepared to 
put his opinions to the test by a second visit to 
the Columbia at the head of a trading company 
of twenty- three men. He left his encampment 
on Bear river on the 8d day of July, 1834. again 
traversed the dreary plains of Snake river, pene- 
trated the Blue mountains near the line of the 
old "emigrant road" and reached the Umatil- 
la river (called "Ottolais" by him) about the 
middle of September. Being now within thirty 
miles of Fort Walla Walla, he sent forward a 


detachment of his company to procure food, as 
he was in danger of famine. They met with a 
peremptory refusal of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, who added to the inhospitality of refusing 
food for the almost famishing camp, an attempt to 
seduce the men from the service of Captain Bon- 
neville by most temptingoffers of employment if 
they would abandon his employ. They refused, 
and returned to the camp of the captain empty- 
handed. He instantly broke up his camp, fol- 
lowed down the Umatilla river to the Columbia, 
and endeavored to open a trade with the Indians 
for fish and other food, but the Hudson's Bay 
Company had forbidden them to liold any com- 
munication with the Americans, and they kept 
almost entirely out of his sight. He endeavored 
to force his way down the Columbia river to the 
Willamette, where he intended to establish his 
winter quarters, but it was everywhere the same: 
not an article of provisions could be obtained. 
To keep his men from starvation two of his 
horses were killed for food. But to unhorse his 
company even to sustain life here was certainly 
to lose all their lives. An enemy he could not 
see confronted him everywhere, and inhospitable 
nature seemed in league with thac enemy to de- 
stroy him. The reader need not be told that 
that unseen enemy was the dread and deadly 
influence of the Hudson's Bay Company, poison- 
ing the suspicious and timid minds of the In- 
dians against all that was American. The way 
before him to the Willamette was unknown. 
That valley itself was only a fable to his men, 
lovely and rich indeed as a fable, but they dared 
not venture farther. Nothing seemed to remain 
to him but a hasty return to the Blue mountains, 
where deer and elk could be found for food, or death 
by starvation on the driving Columbia sands. 
The alternative of return and life was chosen, and 
reluctantly he faced his company eastward for 
the mountains. Thus Bonneville's struggle to 
establish an American traffic on the Columbia in 
opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company ended 
in utter failure. Few among the men of the 
mountains and plains at that time had the 
courage and caution and will of Bonneville, 

and where he failed none need hope to succeed. 

In subsequent years Bonneville, then a major 
in the United States army, was put in command 
of the troops of the United States stationed at 
the old Hudson's Bay post of Vancouver, and 
there the writer met and conversed with him in 
the autumn of 1853, suave, intelligent, filled 
with pioneer memories, and delighting to re- 
count the incidents of his three years in the 
mountains of eastern Oregon from 1832 to 1835, 
where, though ostensibly a mere trader, lu^Was 
really under the sanction of the president of the 
United States as an observer of the attitudes and 
power of the Hudson's Bay Company, the rep- 
resentative and embodiment of the British Gov- 
ernment in Oregon. 

After the power of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany had compassed the defeat of Bonneville's 
well-laid schemes, the next to try his prowess 
against it was Mr. NathanielJ. Wyeth, of Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts. Indeed, Mr. Wyeth 's 
adventure was partly contemporaneous with 
Captain Bonneville's, though its disastrous cul- 
mination was somewhat later. Like all men 
who assay such gigantic undertakings, Mr. 
Wyeth was ardent, enthusiastic, determined and 
capable of inspiring others with his own spirit. 
In 1832 he organized an emigrating company 
of twenty-two persons in Massachusetts, for the 
purpose of pi-oceeding to Oregon, and, together 
with establishing a trade with the Indians, oc- 
cupy portions of the country as settlers. 

With this company he started westward. 
Knowing little of practical life on the frontier, 
it was not until they reached St. Louis and be- 
gan to come in contact with such men as the 
Sublettes that the true character and great diffi- 
culty of their undertaking began to dawn upon 
their minds. Some of his party turned back, 
but Mr. Wyeth was made of hardy stuff, and 
with others he pushed forward, and finally 
reached the Columbia river and Vancouver; 
and, having made a somewhat cursory examina- 
tion of the country, and being greatly impressed 
with its beauty and resources, returned to Bos- 
ton and immediately entered on preparations to 


forward a ship load of suitable merchandise the 
foUowincr year for the Columbia, while he, with 
an associated compuny of men, should return to 
Oregon by land and enter the list of competition 
with the Hudson's Bay Company in the very 
center of its power. 

In connection with this journey of Mr. Wy- 
etli occurred an event that incidentally illustra- 
ted the ability and disposition of the Hudson's 
Bay Company to do anything at any cost neces- 
sary to control the trade of all the West. It 
was this: 

On his return eastward the year before, Mi'. 
Wyeth had entered into a contract with one of 
the Sublettes in the Kocky mountains for the 
deliver}' of a large invoice of merchandise at the 
rendezvous of the following year. Mr. Wyeth, 
true to his part of the contract, brought forward 
the goods and had them at the rendezvous on 
Green river the latter part of June. Mr. Sub- 
lette is said to have violated his part of the con- 
tract under the urgent advice of others, and Mr. 
Wyeth found himself in the middle of the con- 
tinent with a large invoice of merchandise for 
which he had no market. He was highly and 
justly indignant, and told Mr. Sublette and his 
associates, who were trying to monopolize the 
American trade with the Indians, that he "would 
roll a stone into their garden that they would 
not be able to get rid of." He immediately 
packed his goods, went on westward a few days' 
journey and erected Fort Hall, on Snake river, 
where he deposited his goods and opened a trade 
with the Indians and mountain men. The 
Hudson's Bay Company immediately established 
Fort Boise, farther down Snake river, as a rival 
to Fort Hall. Unable to cope with that com- 
pany, Mr. Wyeth accepted an offer from it for 
the purchase of Fort Hall, and thus in a few 
months fulfilled his justifiable threat to Mr. 
Sublette and his associates by installing the 
Hudson's Bay Company several hundred miles 
farther east than it bad ever established a post 
before. No rival could stand before that company 
west of the summits of the Rocky mountains. 

This done, Mr. Wyeth proceeded westward to 

Vancouver to await the arrival of his vessel, the 
brig May Dacre, that was expected in Septem- 
ber. In due time she arrived, anchored in the 
lower mouth of the Willamette river, and be- 
gan discharging her cargo on Wapatoo, now 
Sauvies, island, where Mr. Wyeth ei'ected a 
trading post called Fort William, in which he 
deposited his goods, and where he assayed to 
open up a traffic. His position was both well 
and poorly chosen. It was central to the lower 
Columbia and to the tribes that dwelt upon its 
banks, who traveled mostly in canoes. It was 
easy of access from the tribes of the Willamette. 
It was where sea-going craft could easily reach 
it. In these respects his position was well 
chosen. But it was within fifteen miles of 
Vancouver, the headquarters of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and in immediate rivalry with 
its most astute and accomplished leaders. In 
this respect his location was poorly chosen, and 
a very short time made it necessary for him 
here, as at Fort Hall, to accept the best terms 
he could obtain of that company and abandon 
his enterprise, and even the country itself. Mr. 
Wyeth, in a memorial to Congress on the Ore- 
gon question in 1839, says of that company: 
" Experience has satisfied me that the entire 
weight of that company will be made to bear on 
any trader who shall attempt to prosecute his 
business within its reach. * * * No sooner 
does an American concern start in this region 
than one of its trading parties is put in motion. 
A few years will make the country west of the 
mountains as completely English as they caq 

With this complete failure of Mr. Wyeth's 
enterprise terminated the last organized eifort 
of American traders to establish a successful 
rival to the Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon, 
either for trade or the protection of American 
interests and the advancement pf American 
claims to the country itself; and 1834 closed 
and 1835 was ushered in with British suprem- 
acy, represented by the Hudson's Bay Company, 
apparently assured in all tlie country of the 


At tliis time, 1834, the Pludson's Bay Com- 
pany had more than twenty posts in Oregon, 
and over 2,000 men in the various branches of 
their employ. There were probably not a hun- 
dred Americans in the same territory, and tliey 
were hunters and trappers, isolated and wander- 
ing over a vast region of country, too few to be 
formidable, and too dependent on the hospi- 
tality of that company to be dreaded as rivals. 
This showed Mr. Wyeth's statement to be true, 
that " tlie United States as a nation are un- 
known west of tlie mountains." The Hudson's 
Bay Company ruled stipreme, and there seemed 
no probability to those on the ground that its 
supremacy would soon, if ever, be shaken. It 
is well, therefore, that we pause here and take a 
brief survey of what Oregon was in this su- 
preme iiour of Hudson's Bay domination. 

It will be remembered that we are now writ- 
ing of Oregon as it was understood in 1834, ex- 
tending from the 42° to 54° 40' of north lati- 
tude, and from the Pacific ocean to the Rocky 
mountains. It was the distinct and avowed 
policy of tlie ruling company to keep back all 
settlement and hold the country only for the 
production of game. White men, therefore, 
were unwelcome intruders, unless they were of 
those races ready to intermarry with Indian 
women, and thus render themselves fit for the 
barbaric purposes of that company. They would 
have no civilization, as we understand civiliza- 
tion. The greatest and ablest and best men 
among them were interman-ied with the native 
women, and half-breed children swarmed aroimd 
their habitations. These conditions were a 
necessity of their policy, and that policy was 
the only means of securing the ends for which 
the Hudson's Bay Company was organized, and 
for which it existed. "VYe are speaking of this 
policy of the company as we saw it in the last 
days of its existence in Oregon, when it seemed 
to us so strange that intelligent and educated 
English, Scotch, and Canadian gentlemen could 
ever have fallen into such barbaric modes of 
domestic living. But we were then comparing 
their life with the ideals of our own New York 

training, and were ignorant of the history and 
avowed purposes of the company whose best 
social products we saw. When these were 
studied we plainly saw that this was not per- 
verse criminality in the people we saw around 
us, but a commercial necessity in their relations 
of life. Anything that meant or typed the 
civilization of an American village would of 
necessity have been tiie germ of its destruction 
to the end for which all this system lived and 
wrought. Illustrating this, a statement of a 
chaplain at Moose Factory may be quoted. lie 
said: " A plan I had devised for educating and 
training to som.e acquaintance with agriculture 
native children was disallowed. * * * ^ 
proposal for forming a small Indian village near 
Moose Factory was not acceded to, and, instead, 
permission only given to attempt the location of 
one or two old men no longer tit for engaging 
in the chase, it being carefully and distinctly 
stated by Sir George Simpson that tlie company 
would not give them even a spade to commence 
their new mode of life! " 

Coming to understand that this policy was 
the wisest, indeed the only means of perpetu- 
ating the company itself, we soon found that 
the "gentlemen of the company," as they were 
called, personally were indeed gentlemen, while 
as officers of the company they were necessarily 
opposed to all that made for civilization. Hence 
we are able to write of Dr. McLoughlin as a 
man as we have truly written. Let the reader 
himself apply these reflections to the Oregon of 
1834, and he will understand what, socially and 
commercially, the Hudson's Bay Comjwny, at 
its very best estate, and in the day of its su- 
premest power, had made of one of the finest 
lands upon which shines the universal sun; and 
in this knowledge he will understand just what 
the Hudson's Bay Company meant to do for 
humanity. Almost necessarily its life was en- 
tirely hid behind the lids of its own ledger, and 
to quote the language of Hazlit, it -'had no 
ideas but those of custom and interest, and that 
on the narrowest scale." 


We have said that the supremacy of the 
Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia, and 
tiirough that company the ultimate ownership 
of Oregon by Great Britain, was "apparently 
assured" in 1834. But the genius and prophet 
of the downfall of the great company, and the 
defeat of British plans for the possession of the 

country, was then surveying Oregon, looking 
through the blue eyes of a pioneer missionary, 
who landed at Vancouver within a few days of 
the arrival of Mr. Wyeth, of whose coming and 
going we have previously spoken. Our next 
chapter will tell something of influences that 
proved too mighty for that power. 



The Gkeat Rivals-Eaely Foem of the Contest — A New Element Inteoduoed — The Newly 
Matched (Contestants —Hudson's Bay Company at the Zenith of its Fowee — Oeegon's only 
Occupants — Aeeival of Foue Men — Theie Suppoet and Fateonage — Theie Ameeicanism 
— The Geowth of the Missionary Fowee — Two Classes — The Methodist Missions — Mis- 
sions OF THE American Board — Independent Missions — Facts — What the Hudson's Bay 
Company is Doing — The Feople of the Hudson's Bay Company — The American Feople — ■ 
Jason Lee, the Corypheus of American Sentiment — His Visit to the East and Return — 
Missions the Centers of American Sentiments and Feople — Contest Morally Closed. 

rJROM the time that the claims of France 
and Spain to the Oregon country were 
^ finally transferred to the United States in 
1803, there was, as our readers have seen, no 
claimant contesting with the United States for 
the ownership of the country but England. Its 
final possession by one or the other of these 
great powers was evidently in the way of the 
destiny of empire. They were nations of one 
blood, except that in the United States there 
was a deeper tinge of the cavalier in the veins 
of the people than in England. Their very re- 
lationship and similarity of origin and of char- 
acter, made them essentially rivals, jealous of 
each other's power, and anxious to place bar- 
riers in the way of each other's advancement. 
Besides, the United States were not far enough 
removed from the close of a successful rebellion 
against the misgovernment of England, in wiiich 
rebellion this country had snatched the guerdon 
of her nationality from the dismemljered em- 
pire of Great Britain, for either to have come 
to an era of real friendliness and national fra- 
ternity. The very actors in the events of 1776 
and 1784, both in England and America, were 
yet in places of power in the two countries. 

They had not foi-gotten, and they had not for- 
given. The Americans were the most forgiv- 
ing, for they had won the most, and hence could 
most easily forgive. The British had lost the 
most, and hence were the sorest and most un- 
relenting. It was to he expected, therefore, that 
the struggle for what botii so greatly desired, 
and each believed it owned, would be long and 
tenacious, and that it would be led through 
every possible chance and change Ijefore it 
would be finally decided. 

We have seen how, in commerce by sea and 
river, and in the rivalries of the trail and the 
mountains, the fur companies that represented 
severally these two nationalities had met each 
other, and how in every contest of that character 
the representatives of England had defeated, 
thwarted and driven away the representatives of 
the United States, until, though there was a 
legal joint occupancy, there was no real occu- 
pancy but that of Great Britain. From 1813, 
when the British flag was raised over Astoria, 
for a full score of years the stars and stripes 
waved in the skies of Oregon only as a transient 
visitor, while the cross of St. George symboled 
the real ruling power over the country from the 


niountaiiis to the sea. Tlie Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, wholly representative of the designs and 
spirit of the British crown, and intensely loyal 
to thein, held supreme dominion over the -whole 
country. It seemed a foregone conclusion that 
this pow^erful organization, with its great wealth, 
and its nnrivaled facilities for transplanting its 
own numerous- people into the fruitful soil of 
these Pacific valleys, would win for England the 
" nine points of law," — possession of the coun- 
try. So the issue and the probability stood up 
to 1834. 

In 1834 the contest was re-opened in another 
form. Another wholly American element was 
introduced. It came noiselessly, unheralded, 
without display of march- or flaunt of ensign. 
It was so small in numbers, and so humble in 
pretense, that it scarcely arrested the attention 
of the powerful men who were then at the head 
of the British power on the banks of the Colum- 
bia. Its ]U-ofessed and real purpose so com- 
mended itself to every gracious sentiment of 
the liuman heart, that men so really humane as 
were they could not but give it encouragement 
and blessing. This element, thus introduced, 
was what, technically, in the early history of 
the country was known as the " missionary ele- 
ment." It came in the persons of four men 
whose names have been elsewhere mentioned in 
this book, but which will bear repeating here, 
namely: Jason Lee, Daniel Lee, Cyrus Sliepard 
and P. L. Edwards, and they were the types and 
forerunners of all the missionaries, who, for the 
following decade, practically alone embodied 
and expressed the American sentiment and the 
American citizensliip, in contrast with the Brit- 
ish spirit and the British citizenship embodied 
and expressed by the Hudson's Bay Company. 

The one thing that distinguished these men 
in the relation in which we are now writing of 
them, and the missions established by them and 
by those who came subsequently, was their 
Americanism. They not only came to this coast 
by the direction of the most intensely American 
church in the country, but they came under the 
passport and permit, and hence under the [H'o- 

teetion of the Government of the United States, 
certified to Mr. Lee and his coadjutors by Gen- 
eral John H. Eaton, the honorable secretary of 
war under Andrew Jackson, president of the 
United States at that time. This, with their 
own personal citizenship, gave them a character 
not less distinctively American than it was 
missionary. The same statement, in substance, 
would be true of all the Potestant missions es- 
tablished in the counti-y, whether by the great 
denominational or interdenominational societies, 
or by individual citizens of the United States. 
They were all Americans — intensely, radically 
and loyally American. 

We are not ignoring the fact that tlie mis- 
sionaries who came to Oregon from 1834 up to 
1840 came primarily for the purpose of evan- 
gelizing the pagan tribes of this great North- 
west. We are only bringing to view the other 
fact tliat in doing or attempting this they never 
forgot and never slighted or temporized with 
their national relationship. Patriotism, in its 
true sense of love of the country that fostered 
and encouraged their works, and spread the 
broad aegis of its protection over then:selves 
personally, was a part of their religion. Their 
feelings were never isolated from the country 
that thus protected and cherished them, but 
tliey "loved its rocks and rills, its woods and 
templed hills," with a great, venerating, patri- 
otic love. They might not have done this, the 
more because they were missionaries, in a land 
where at that time an American citizen could 
have but a doubtful and precarious sojourn, but 
tliey certainly did not do this the less for that 
reason. Here, then, were the matched contest- 
ants for the possession and consequent owner- 
ship of Oregon, — the Hudson's Bay Company 
on the one side, with the confidence of its past 
successes and its present power upon it; the mis- 
sionary stations and missionaries, with their 
higli moral purpose and their American senti- 
ment, on the other. Providence had thus handed 
over the conflict of enrpire on the northwest 
coast to these contesting elements, and then 
awaited the issue. 


At this time the Hudson's Bay Company 
was at tlie very zenith of its power. Its lead- 
ers were kiiiors of men. Its cavalcades were on 
every inter-monntain trail over half a continent. 
Its ileets of batteaux and canoes were on every 
lake, and its voyageiirs sung to the music of 
every cascade fram Winnipeg to California, and 
from the mountains to the sea. A contest of 
force, of brawn, or even of trade and commerce 
with it at that time would have been simple 
madness. Indeed the latter was adventured at 
this very time by at least two of the ablest and 
most determined leaders that the history of such 
commercial partnership among Americans ever 
produced, — Wyeth and Bonneville, — and both 
were compelled to hastily retire from the field, 
Wyeth bequeathing his fortune, with Forts Hall 
and William, to the Britain, and Bonneville was 
compelled to fly from starvation on the banks 
of the Columbia because the very fish of the 
rivers and game of the hills were denied him 
by the lordly barons who ruled at Vancouver 
for themselves and Britain only. So intrenched 
was this British power behind the great mount- 
ain ranges of the raid-continent that armies 
could not march against it if they would; and 
on the thither side 3,000 leagues of ocean, 
roamed by the prowling cruisers of the British 
navy, kept eternal watch and ward over them. 
Thus they stood, and thus Britannia ruled, not 
the wave only, but the land as well, when these 
avaunt couriers of the mighty host of Ameri- 
cans that ten years later began to follow in their 
footsteps sat calmly down before this mountain 
power of commercial supremacy, and that other 
mountain power of paganism intrenched in the 
superstitious legends of a hundred generations 
of petrified intellectual and moral darkness, and 
began, in their thoughts, if not in their speech, 
to prophesy to them: •' O, thou great mount- 
ain, be thou plucked up and be thou cast into 
the midst of the sea." 

These men were not a power in themselves to 
enter this vast contention for the possession of 
a mighty empire, for there were but four of 
them ; but they were the seed of a power, the 

germ of a force, that was to win that empire to 
American civilization, and plant it in the blue 
field of our country's banner. 

It is now time that we begin to note and 
measure the growth of that new force that thus 
confronted the old. The task is difficult, for 
who can weigh or measure such forces? — but 
we must attempt it. 

We have before remarked the fact that these 
mission establishments were of two classes: 
First, those organized and sustained by great 
missionary societies, like the Missionary Society 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the 
American Board of Commissioners of Foreign 
Missions; and, second, personal and indepen- 
dent missions, established and sustained by the 
men who themselves wrought in them. But 
they were all Americans, and nearly all of New 
England blood, if not of New England birth. 
That our readers may the better understand the 
relations, both of men and events, to resultant 
history, we shall consider these classes separ- 
ately; and it is the logical order to consider 
fii'st the class that itself was the first in the 
order of time. This was the missions of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In 18.34 the four men already named — Jason 
Lee, Daniel Lee, Cyrus Shepard and P. L. 
Edwards — under the direction of that society, 
established themselves in the very heart of the 
Willamette Valley, the great agricultural para- 
dise of Oregon. These were followed, in 1836, 
by Dr. Elijah White and wife, with two chil- 
dren; Mr. Alansou Beers and wife, with three 
children; with Mr. William H. Willson and 
Misses Anna M. Pittman, Susan Downing and 
Elvira Johnson. Wlien these arrived, in May, 
1837, the first American home was planted in 
the Willamette Valley. There had scarcely 
been even the semblance of a home, as we under- 
stand that word, in Oregon previous to that 
time. Even the able and cultivated leaders of 
the Hudson's Bay Company had consorted with 
the Indian women, and their abodes had the 
odor of the wigwam, and their progeny the 
taint of Indian blood. But here were educated 



and cultured white women, accustomed to the 
refinements of the parlors of Boston and Lynn, 
of Newark and New York, able to grace any 
social life, as well as to aid in lifting up a fallen 
and degraded race. Before only pioneer Ameri- 
can manhood had been here; now pioneer 
womanhood and childhood, and with them pio- 
neer home lite, were added, and an American 
community, with all the elements of perpetuity 
and increase in itselt, was established in the 
very heart of Oregon. Nor should the state- 
ment be omitted here that, with these men and 
women and children, the Missionary Board had 
forwarded a large amount of stores of various 
kinds to render its community practically inde- 
pendent of all others. Within six months of 
the arrival of this company the community was 
further strengthened, both in its numbers and 
its character, by the arrival of Rev. David Les- 
lie and wife with three children, Miss Margaret 
Smith and Rev. H. K. W. Perkins. Thus, be- 
fore three years from the arrival of the first 
company of four men, the Missionary Society 
of tlie Methodist Episcopal Church had planted 
an American community in the Willamette 
valley, consisting of men, women and children, 
with homes and schools and worship, with flocks 
and herds and plows and harvests, peaceably, 
but mightily confronting the rule of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company over the fair realm which 
it so long had governed. In less than three 
years more fifty-one more persons were added 
to this American community by the same mis- 
sionary authority. These consisted of Revs. 
J. P. Richmond, Gustavus Hines, W. W. Kone, 
A. F. Waller and J. H. Frost, and Messrs. Dr. I. L. 
Babcock, and Messrs. George Abernethy, H. B. 
Brewer, W. W. Raymond, L. H. Jndson, H. 
Campbell, Josiah L. Parrish and James Olley, 
all of whom had families, and Misses M. T. 
Ware, C. A. Clark, E. Phillips, A. Phelps and 
O. Lankton. So, in less than six years after its 
first small contingents had reached Oregon, the 
Methodist Episcopal Missionary Society had 
not only planted an American community in 
Oregon, but had made it so strong and so estab- 

lished it on strategetic grounds all over the 
Northwest as to make it ineradicable, — doing 
what the United States Government and fur- 
traders and commercial adventurers had faileii 
to do in fifty years of effort. 

We turn now to the work of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions 
in the same general field and with a like result. 
Its first mission in Oregon was established in 
1H36, two years later than that of the Method- 
ist society, though the country had been quite 
thoroughly e.\plored the preceding year by Rev. 
Samuel Parker, of New York, a very intelligent 
and careful observer. The persons who for this 
society established this mission were Dr. Marcus 
AVhitman and wife and Mr. W. H. Gray, all 
from the State of New York, and all, like those 
connected with the Methodist community, in- 
tensely Atnerican in training and sentiment. 
This company of five persons, including the 
two ladies, crossed the continent from the Mis- 
souri river on horseback, a distance of nearly 
2,000 miles. Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spauld- 
ing were the first white women of any nation 
who ever made a home in Oregon, and are for- 
ever monuraented as such in the history of 
civilization of the Northwest. The American 
heart lingers over their deeds and their memory 
with a great love and a great reverence, and 
is glad to give them the crowning place, of 
which personally they were so worthy, and 
which with such bravery they won that of the 
first American home-makers between the Rocky 
mountains and the eastern sea. The missions 
of these people were established in the very 
heart of what has since become known as the 
great •' Inland Empire," at Waiiletpu, on the 
Walla Walla river, and at Lapwai on the Clear- 
water, among the Cayuses and Nez Perces, the 
two strongest and most promising tribes of the 
entire coast. In 1838 Messrs. Eels, Walker • 
and Smith, with their wives, joined them, and 
they enlarged their work and broadened their 
field. So, at the close of 1838, the American 
Board had six American families, representing 
the best forms of American life and sentiment. 


tirinly iixed on the soil of the Oregon of that 
period; its contribution to the double result of 
the evangelization of a pagan people and the 
the Americanization of Oregon. 

In addition to these there were wiiat we have 
called independent missions, establishedon the 
individual responsibility of those conducting 
them, that contributed no slight influence to the 
gi-eat aggregate of American sentiment and life 
that was now beginning to repress and neutral- 
ize the sway of the Hudson's Bay Company. 
In 1838 Rev. Harvey Clarke, Mr. Littlejohn 
and Mr. Smith, Presbyterian self-supporting 
missionaries, with their wives, came over the 
mountains, and in 1839 Messrs. Griffin and 
Munger and their wives entei'ed ^the country 
with similar intentions. What we have said of 
the gentlemen and ladies of the missions of the 
two great boards would be true in character of 
all these. They were of the same type of repre- 
sentative Americans, stood in the same relation 
to the Hudson's Bay Company, and were as 
thoroughly at one with the plans and hopes of 
the United States in regard to the country as 
were the others. In a sense, indeed, their in- 
dependence gave them a vantage ground not 
possessed by the others, and which they were 
prompt and faithful to use for the cause of the 
country they loved so tenderly. 

Having thus summarily noted the beginning 
and traced the development of this entii-ely 
American force in Oregon up to the autumn of 
1840, a period of but six years, we are in pos- 
session of the following facts: 

The entire number of adult men and women 
that these missionary boards had transplanted 
from the best life of the old States into Oregon, 
together with those of the independent missions, 
was sixty-one, constituting not far from thirty 
American homes. Probably these homes held 
at that time not far from 100 children, born to 
an inheritance of American patriotism which 
certainly would not diminish when they con- 
trasted their own with the homes of those who 
disputed with them the dominion ot Oregon. 

But it was not numbers only, nor indeed was 

it numbers chiefly, that gave these American 
people the prestige of conquest. Tiic names of 
Lee and Leslie, of Whitman and Waller, of Hines 
and Parrish, of Abernethy and Gray, of Spauld- 
ing and Walker, of Clarke and Griflin, of Bab- 
cock and Campbell, of Eels and Hall sufficiently 
attest that, for no writer of early Oregon history 
can fail to give them honorable mention, or to 
recognize their great influence in moldino- that 

Two other facts, of a somewhat material char- 
acter, illustrate the eminent service of the mis- 
sions in making civilization a possibility in 
Oregon. One was the establishment of mills, 
both for the production of lumber and the 
grinding of grain for bread, by the missions of 
both boards; the other was the introduction of a 
printing press in 1839, by Mr. E. O. Hall, who 
set up his press in Lapwai, in the mission of 
Mr. Spaulding, and published elementary books, 
both in the Nez Perces and Spokane tongues. 
And so we are bi'ought to the close of 1840. 

Meantime we should know what the Hud- 
sou's Bay Company, as representing British 
pretensions to Oregon, has been doing durino- 
the six years that the American missions have 
been developing into this formidable and op- 
posing force. Surely such astute leaders as Mc- 
Loughlin and Douglas could not fail to com- 
prehend the threat against the position and 
power of their company that was in the very 
presence of these missionary establishments near 
them. Two things were done, both in them- 
selves well chosen for the end contemplated. 
First, they introduced in 1838 two French Ca- 
nadian Roman Catholic priests. These were 
British subjects, and it was expected, of course, 
that the influence their profession and character 
gave them would be exerted against the Ameri- 
can and in favor of the British rule in Oregon. 
This the company had a perfect right to do; and 
this also Messrs. Blanchet and Demers, the two 
priests, had a perfect right to do. They placed 
these priests at most important strategetic 
points; one in the Willamette valley, very near 
the Methodist missions, and the other was a 


faithful itinerant, visiting the diiferent posts of 
the company alternately. Also in 1840 tlie 
company brought an emigration of 125 persons, 
men, women and children, from Winnipeg, to 
settle on Pnget Sound. Thus, at the two points 
where tlie leaders of that great company feared 
theinfluenceof the American missions the most, 
they made the most strenuous effort to counter- 
vail that influence. They knew the greatness of 
the prize at issue, and they were not the men to 
neglect any fair means they could use to win 
that prize for the government of the country 
they represented. 

"We do not blame them for this. On the 
contrary there is a measure of honor that we 
accord them. They were faitliful to the trust 
their country leposed in them. They did 
what they could, and in tlie best way they 
could, to counteract the influence that, tliey 
could not bnt see, left unchecked must givetiie 
long disputed Oregon, coveted equally by both 
England and the United States, to the Ameri- 
can nation. And here it is proper to say that, 
though the men whose acts we are here record- 
ing were both British and Romanist, and this 
writer is both American and Protestant, there 
is no record, certainly not up to this date, of 
any action on the part of either the British or 
American party that was discolored by criminal 
unfriendliness. On the contrary, while doing 
their duty for the caiise they represented, 
neither forgot that broader duty they owed to 
universal humanity. Still tiie results on the 
one side were much more effective and deter- 
mining than on the other. Can we tell why? 
Let us see, although the observant reader has 
already caught the drift of the reason in what 
we have previously said. 

The claims and interests of Great Britain in 
Oregon were sustained on the whole, by a con- 
glomerate mass of people, of various colors and 
cultures, and with very little of moral and so- 
cial adhesiveness. The Briton and the Scotch- 
man, it is true, were at their head, but the 
French Canadians constituted the larger por- 
tion of their followers. What they had of 

home life, from the highest to tlie lowest, was 
an admixture of these with the females of the 
various Indian tribes, and servetl to weaken, 
rather than to strengthen, the moral and intel- 
lectual flber of the best men among them. The 
traders', the chief factors, and even the gover- 
nor himself, were as the voyageurs and trail- 
men in this regard. Their children were, as a 
body, witiiout any large and worthy ambition: 
too high to be Indians and too low to be white 
men. A home and social life thus tainted 
never was and never can be a strong politi;al 
life, and no men could know this better than 
the really able men whose lives had fallen into 
these evil coils. One need, therefore, not look 
beyond this fact for an explanation of the his- 
toric anomaly so patent here, namely, that the 
strorger in numbers and positions and oppor- 
tunity should prove the weaker in a conflict of 
intellectual and moral, or even political ])oten- 

On the other side, — the side of the American 
community, as embodied, up to this time, in 
missions and missionaries — there was a homo- 
geneity of moral and intellectual and national 
idea that gave it the strength of welded steel, 
while it had the elasticity of a three-fold cord. 
They were picked men and women, chosen 
from among the hardiest and most aspiring 
people of the new world. They had been 
trained on the farms and in the shops and at 
the forges where human frames are annealed 
into endurance and tempered into elasticity'. 
They were educated, in the best sense of that 
word. There was neither illiteracy nor ignor- 
ance among them. They were isolated from 
contaminating and degenerating contacts. Many 
of them, both men and women, had high liter- 
ary ability and culture. They had ambition, — 
that supreme propulsion that forever lifts great 
sonls from the victories of to-day into the wider 
triumphs of to-morrow. They comprehended 
their responsibility and accurately measured 
their opportunity. It may be doubted if the 
Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock as uni- 
versally endowed and thorouglily equipped body 


of einpire-bnilders as the inissiouary boards of 
the United States placed in Oregon from 1834 
to 1840. And this was the body of men who 
stood here alone for American interests and 
supremacy over against the Hudson's Bay 
Company, representing English interests and 

We are not to be understood as saying that 
there were absolutely no Americans here before 
1840 but the missionaries and their families. 
There were a few, possibly twenty-five in all, 
but they were mostly of that floating class that 
linger on the fringes of society, or that wander 
over the world without a fixed and definite aim. 
Some of them remained in the county, and 
under the influence of tiie stronger power of 
the missionary organizations became highly 
useful members of society, and left an honor- 
able record in its early history. Not strong 
enough in numliers to constitute a community, 
it was beyond the possibilities of tlieir condi- 
tion that they should uphold and make ulti- 
mately successful the American cause in Oregon. 

The wi-iter would not detract from the credit 
or fame due any man, or any class of men, from 
their work for and in our early Oregon; nor 
would he add to the laurels of any one more 
than is due. But up to this date the American 
interest here owed more to the influence and 
work of Jason Lee than to those of any other 
one man, if not indeed to all the men in the 
country combined. He was as fully the Cory- 
pheus of the American cominuiiity as was Dr. 
McLoughlin of the Hudson's Bay British influ- 
ence. He was a man strong in purpose, vigor- 
ous in execution, reticent and self-contained. 
Being first in the field, he very early made him- 
self well acquainted with the country from tlie 
Umpqua to Puget Sound, and from the ocean 
to the Rocky mountains. His manuscript 
journal, now open before the writer, shows that 
he placed a very high estimate on the agricul- 
tural capabilities of the country, and especially 
of the Willamette valley, and as early as 1835 
believed that it would soon be occupied by a 
civilized people. His correspondence with the 

Board of Missions in whose service he was em- 
ployed, which was published in New York in 
1835-'36-'37 and '38, showed the same thing. 
Following up his belief on this point, in 1838 
he returned overland to the States, and before 
the missionary board in New York, in the pub- 
lic prints, and in the presence of great audi- 
ences in every great city from Maine to South 
Carolina, and from New York to St. Louis, he 
set forth the character, needs and advantages of 
Oregon. He spent a full year in this employ- 
ment, visiting Washington and conferring with 
the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War, 
and receiving substantial help from the officers 
of the general Government for the furtherance 
of the purpose for which he was in the East, — 
the organization and equipment of a strong re- 
enforcement for his missionary work. His pur- 
pose was completely successful, and in October 
of 1839 he sailed from New York in a ship 
chartered by the missionary board, with what 
was really an American colony; ministers, 
mechanics, farmers, teachers, and with supplies 
for the work in which they had engaged, to the 
value of 125,000. It was the largest and best 
furnished company that, on such a purpose, had 
over sailed from any port; and when it reached 
the Columbia in 1840, with Mr. Lee at its 
head, it morally fixed the national status of 
Oregon, because it put the American influence 
far in advance of the British. The inception, 
organization and cultivation of that influence 
was more directly the result of 'the work of 
Jason Lee than that of any other one man. 

A single other point in our view of the rela- 
tions of these missionary stations to the Ameri- 
canization of Oregon it is necessary to notice. 
It is this: The stations became the centers around 
which accreted whatever there was of American 
sentiment or American people in the coimtry. 
This was especially true of the Willamette sta- 
tion. True to its purpose, and the nation under 
whose charter it pursued that purpose, the Hud- 
son's Bay Company would do nothing to induce 
or Ibstei' American settlement. While it would 
sell its goods to Americans, it would buy noth- 


ing from them. This was the surest system of 
antagonism it could possibly have adopted. It 
had forced the Americans out of the country 
before the missionary stations were established, 
and, until an organization able to cope with 
itself in mercantile operations could take up 
work of colonizing the country, it could keep 
them out. Eivalry in trade it did not fear, for 
that it could easily destroy. But the mission- 
ary establishments, while independent and self- 
supporting, were not trading posts. Even 
their object in the country commended itself to 
the better feelings of the gentlemen of that 
company, and, without turning absolute bar- 
barians, they could not molest them. This 
they would not, perhaps could not do. Hence 
they could not prevent the ministry of hospi- 
tality, which the missionaries were always ready 
to exercise toward their countrymen, and all 

others, indeed, who came to their doors or 
pitched their tent under the shadows of their 
sanctuary. And so, thoiigli the missionaries 
were not traders, nor their stations depots of 
commerce, they were, in the only way in which 
rivalry could have been successful against the 
Hudson's Bay Company, the rivals of tliat erst 
and mighty monopqly; and, by the time any 
considerable number of American citizens were 
prepared to follow the path they had blazed out 
into the valleys of Oregon in 1842, they had 
prepared an asylum for them, and broken tlie 
right arm of the power of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and never afterward did it, or the 
British nation, which it had so ably repre- 
sented, recover supremacy in Oregon. Morally 
the contest was ended, and Oregon was Ameri- 




Germs of History — Question of Immigration Discussed — Hall J. Kelley — His Memorial to 
Congress — Society Organized— Its Plan Outlined — Kelley's Efforts to Open Trade — 
His Failuke — From 1835 to 1841 — Immigration of 1841 — Americans — Hudson's Bay — 
Immmigeation of 1842 — Its Importance — Dr. E. White — Other Important Characters — 
Me. Crawford's Stoey' — Immigeation of 1843 — Its Important Place in History— Causes 
that Impelled it — General Direction of Negotiations — Impulse of Emmigration. 

I[ N the story of emigration to the Pacific coast 
from the Atlantic slope and the valleys of 
-1 the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers, 
are found the real germs of its history. There 
is in this story a romance of enterprise, patriot- 
ism, adventure and ambition, finely illustrating 
the genius of the American people as it has ex- 
hibited itself since Jamestown in the South and 
Plymouth Rock in the North became the early 
altars of its consecration to the service of sub- 
duing a wild continent and building up within 
it a splendid empire of lilierty. It \v;is (inly a 

continuation of the activity of that genius of 
free conquest that first sent the hardy sons and 
daughters of Plymouth out over the Hudson 
and Genesee, and over the plains of western 
New York and Ohio, and the not less hardy and 
more volatile sons and daughters of Jamestown 
over the AUeghanies and down across the blue 
and green hills and vales of Kentucky and 
Tennessee to the shores of the Mississippi even 
before the Revolutionary war had ceased to echo 
on the hills of the Carolinas. It is not neces- 
sary to claim that these who passed, in the '30s 


and '40s, the gates of the Rocky mountains 
were greater and nobler than those wlio, before 
the beginning of the century, had forced those 
of the AUeghanies to give these a title to all the 
honor that bravery and hardihood and patriot- 
ism can possibly confer upon mortals. It were 
honor enough that these sons were worthy of 
their sires, and that the daughters, whose pres- 
ence graced and illuminated the mountain biv- 
ouacs of a two or three thousand miles emigrants' 
trail to Oregon, and were the lone settler's cabin's 
chief charm and glory on the prairie shores of 
the Willamette during the decade of 1840 and 
1850, were worthy of the mothers whose com- 
pany was alike the joys and inspiration of the 
two or three hundred miles' trail to the Ohio 
and the Tennessee in the decades of 1790 and 
1800. There was, indeed, more of danger and 
more of deprivation in the earlier than in the 
later hegira, but both fully paralleled any great 
conquering movement of humanity in any period 
of the world's history. If there was in these 
less of the noise of battles, and less of the ban- 
nered heraldry of war, there was not necessarily 
less of real victory, but rather the more, for the 
victories of peace are always nobler than those 
of war. An American must needs dwell with 
peculiar pride on the fact that this great, resist- 
less, on-sweejjing flow westward of the most 
strongly impulsed of the great mass of the 
"common people" of this continent, was what 
finally settled the most vexing and troublesome 
questions of international dispute that this coun- 
try ever encountered. Diplomacy must needs 
wait on immigration, and a nation's claim must 
wait on the people's possession. Nothing can 
be settled without the people. The grants of 
kings long since discrowned, the edicts of par- 
liaments in capitals far beyond the seas, the 
charters of corporations and companies given by 
assumed owners are nothing. It is the people 
that assure ultimately all claims and pretenses 
by their own presence and will and work. So 
it was on the Pacific coast, and in tracing the 
hic-tory of immigration thither we trace the 
movement of the people that finally and poten- 

tially settled all "Oregon questions," and gave 
the United States her most magnificent seaboard 
and h«r fairest and most fruitful realm. 

The question of the possibility of peopling 
this coast by emigration was settled by a move- 
ment that was somewhat beyond the calcula- 
tions of the mere political economist. It was 
the religious, the missionary, the faith element 
that opened the way, not as an end, but as a re- 
sult of its adventure. The subject of emigra- 
tion to the Pacific coast had been long debated 
in the Eastern States, but until these avaunt 
couriers had actually, in a singl-e summer, passed 
to the western shores, it was deemed impractica- 
ble if not impossible. In 1804-'05-'06 Lewis 
and Clarke and their company of men, schooled 
in the hardest discipline of woodcraft, had needed 
three or four years to make the journey and re- 
turn. In IsiO-'ll Wilson Price Hunt, with 
the land portion of John Jacob Astor's great 
mercantile association, had suffered famine, 
starvation, almost death in the wild mountains 
and amid the thirsty deserts of Snake river, and 
had finally reached the mouth of the Columbia, 
more dead than alive, after two seasons of the 
most desperate effort. To carry women and 
children and household goods and gods over 
such mountains and across such deserts was felt 
to be the scheme of enthusiasts. Still the en- 
thusiasts were right, and their enthusiasm, as is 
often the case, was the highest and most fore- 
sighted reason. 

The first effort to induce emigration to Oregon 
of which we can find any record was made .in 
1817 by Hall J. Kelley, of Boston. The ques- 
tion of the restoration of Astoria to the United 
States, under the provisions of the treaty of 
Ghent, was then pending between the United 
States and Great Britain, and Mr. Kelley, with 
the instinct of true statesmanship, urged the 
immediate occupation of the country in dispute 
by American settlers. There was no response, 
and yet, undismayed, he continued his appeals 
and efforts until, in 1829, he organized a com- 
pany called "The American Society for the Set- 
tlement of the Oregon Territory," which was 


incorporated by the legislature of Massachu- 
setts. In 1831 the society presented a memorial 
to Congress, ably setting forth its designs, de- 
scribing the beauty and value of the country, 
showing the evident designs of Great Britain 
upon it, and closing with this rather remarkable 
and impressive appeal: 

" Now therefore your memoralists, in behalf 
of a large number of the citizens of the United 
States, would respectfully ask Congress to assist 
them in carrying into operation the great pur- 
pose of their institution; to grant them troops, 
artillery, military arms and munitions of war, 
for the security of the contemplated settlement; 
to incorporate their society with the power to 
extinguish the Indian title to such tracts and 
extent of territory, at the mouth of the Colum- 
bia and the junction of the Multnomah with the 
Columbia, as may be adequate to tiie laudable 
aim and pursuits of the settlers, and with such 
other rights, powers, rights and immunities as 
may be at least equal and concurrent to those 
given by Parliament to the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, and such as are not repugnant to the 
stipulations of the convention made between 
Great Britain and the United States, when it 
was agreed that any country on the Northwest 
coast of America to the westward of the Eocky 
mountains should be free and open to the citi- 
zens and subjects of the two powers for a term 
of years; and to grant them such other rights 
and privileges as may contribute to the means 
of establishing a respectable and prosperous 

Congress gave no heed to this prayer — whether 
wisely or unwisely may be subject of debate. 
Whether its non-action deferred or changed the 
ultimate decision of the " Oregon question " can- 
not be told. The writer is inclined to the opin- 
ion that the time had not come for decisive 
measures, — that at this juncture the advantages 
of the situation were with England insfead of 
the United States, and England was better pre- 
pared to assert and maintain lier authority over 
the country then than was the United States. 
"While, therefore, Mr. Kelley's theory was wise 

and statesmanlike, and the only one that could 
ultimately win, the time had not yet come for 
tiie decisive action by Congress that was asked 
in that petition. The " Society," however, was 
not discouraged. Mr. Kelley was appointed 
its general agent, and continued his enthusiastic 
efforts and appeals. In 1831, Mr. Kelley, for 
the society issued a "circular" to persons de- 
siring to unite in an " Oregon settlement to be 
commenced in the spring of 1832, on the de- 
lightful and fertile banks of the Columbia 
river." The circular stated that "it has been 
contemplated for many years to settle with the 
free and enlightened but redundant population 
from the American Republic, that portion of 
her territory called Oregon, bounded on the 
Pacific ocean and lying between the forty- 
second and forty- ninth parallels of north lati- 

The plan of the company thus outlined was 
to have been carried into effect in 1832, but the 
failure of Congress to provide for any assistance 
for the enterprise caused it to be abandoned for 
that year. One of its agents however, Mr. Na- 
thaniel J. Wyeth, of whose history and -work 
mention is made elsewhere in this history, did 
cross the continent with a small body of Boston 
men in 1832 and returned the following year to 
prepare for a large personal venture in the line 
of emigration and trade. So clearly did Mr. 
Kelley comprehend the geographical and com- 
mercial relations of Oregon at that time that he 
had laid out upon paper splendid city plats at 
the mouth of the Columbia, where Astoria now 
is, and at the junction of the Multnomah — or 
Willamette — and the Columbia river where 
Portland now is, and in these cities yet to be 
each immigrant was to have a "town lot," and 
somewhere else a farm. 

Mr. Kelley's personal connection with Oregon 
was but slight and short. Attempting to freight 
a vessel and failing, he sought to open avenues 
of overland trade through Mexico whose reve- 
nue officers confiscated the greater part of his 
goods. He finally reached Vancouver October 
15, 1834. His health soon failed and in March, 


1835, lie departed for liis home, having lost 
$30,000 in his efforts to colonize Oregon. But 
while losing this he gained a place in history, 
and his name is gratefully mentioned as the 
earliest and one of the truest friends of the 
" Americanization of Oregon." No history of 
Oregon can be written that does not thus record 
the name of Hall J. Kelley. Many men have 
found a much lower place in history at much 
greater cost and efl'ort, so that, to him, his finan- 
cial loss for Oregon was moral and historic gain 
for himself. 

From 1835 to 1841 there was little that 
might be called immigration to the Pacific coast. 
True, various missionary companies arrived in 
the country, as noted elsewhere, but few of these 
contemplated at first a permanent residence, al- 
though many of the persons comprising these 
companies did remain and took place among 
the most intelligent, patriotic and enterprising 
citizens. Also quite a number of persons 
who had formerly been connected with the 
various trapping and trading companies in the 
Rocky mountain regions had grown tired of 
their precarious and dangerous employment, and 
came down into the "Willamette valley and set- 
tied upon land claims. Some of these, too, held 
honorable and useful places in the subsequent 
history of the country, and did much to help 
forward the cause of the Americanization of 
Oregon. The records of both these classes will 
appear in their proper places in their history. 

In the autumn of 1841 the first regular emi- 
gration to the country, constiting of 111 
persons, came through the fastnesses of the 
mountains, thus nearly doubling the white pop- 
ulation at once. Probably at the end of 1841, 
in all the region that now constitutes the 
States of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, 
there were not over 300 whites, not counting 
those connected with the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. The emigration of this year, believing 
it impossible to cross the mountains with 
wagons, made no attempt to do so, but per- 
formed the laborious journey of 2,000 miles 
troui the Missouri frontier on horseback. How 

they could have been so misled in regard to the 
ditficuities of the way appears a mystery, since 
Bonneville eight years before, and Dr. Whit- 
man six years before, had each taken wagons 
far beyond the crests of the Rockies, and 
the American Fur Company had frequently 
taken them as far as Wind river, but a little 
eastward of the crest. But as they were misled, 
so determined was their purpose of emigration 
that they cheerfully performed the herculean 
task of packing all their goods on horses and 
mules, loading and unloading them morning 
and evening, for tiie entire 2,000 miles. 

Meantime while the first spray of the rolling 
sea of American emigrants that was soon to 
follow was touching the shores of Oregon, the 
Hudson's Bay Company, seeing the danger to 
their own purposes of permitting the people of 
the United States to gain a preponderance in the 
country, organized a scheme of emigration from 
their own Red river colonies. Sir George Simp- 
son, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
who crossed the country from Montreal to Van- 
couver during the summer of 1841, described 
this emigration as consisting of twenty-three 
families, the heads being generally young and 
active. They reached Vancouver in Septem- 
ber, and were located by the company near 
their (]owlitz farm, in the vicinity of the head 
of Pnget Sound. Quite a number of them, 
being dissatisfied with their location, moved 
the next year to the Willamette valley, not- 
withstanding the desire of the company to 
strengthen the pretensions of Great Britain to 
the country north of the Columbia river by 
retaining them there. 

The emigration of 1842, for various reasons, 
took a very important place in the early history 
of the coast. It consisted of only 109 persons 
in all, hut nearly half of them were adults, and 
many of these were men who subsequently at- 
tained considerable prominence in the country 
and contributed not a little to its prosperity. 
With this company came Dr. Elijah White, 
who bore a commission as sub-Indian agent for 
the region west of the Rockv mountains, and 


lias the historical distinction of beiii^ the first 
commissioned representative of the Government 
of the United States resident west of the Kocky 
mountains. Dr. Wiii^e's place in Oregon his- 
tory is somewhat unique. He came to the 
country first as a physician to the Methodist 
mission, but on account of a disagreement with 
its superintendent, Rev. Jason Lee, and other 
members of the mission, returned to the East- 
ern States. His residence of some years in 
Oregon and his general intelligence in regard 
to the country itself, had made it easy for him 
to secure the attention of the Government, 
and, though his mental and moral character- 
istics did not commend him to the people of 
Oregon, he now returned commissioned to the 
most important place in the colony. While 
Dr. White personally was obnoxious to many 
of the people whose relations to the Indian 
tribes he was to arbitrate, yet the fact that he 
returned bearing a Government commission 
went far to reconcile the people toward him, 
as it was a proof that the Government was not 
entirely forgetful of the feeble Pacific colony, 
however slow it seemed to be in asserting its 
interest in them. He had also been one of 
the main promoters of the emigration, using 
his prominence as ati appointee of the govern- 
ment to gain recruits to the standard of the 
emigrants, and the people were gratefully glad 
for any influence that added white faces to 
the dark visage of humanity on the western 
coast. So, much of the antipathy of the people 
to Dr. White as a man and a missionary was 
allowed to slumber, or was kept out of sight, 
and the good he could do them as an offieer of 
the Government the rather thought of. The 
justice of history, which neither criticises with 
prejudice nor praises with partiality, compels 
the statement that his work was often useful to 
the rising commonwealth, although on the 
whole he sadly disappointed the hopes, if not 
the expectations, of tlie people. 

With this emigration came L. W. Hastings 
and A. L. Lovejoy, two men who became prom- 
inent ill the history of the Territory, and also 

F. X. Matthieu and Medornm Crawford, men 
who for half a century- in political and civil life 
exercised a molding and salutary influence. 

As this was the the first emigration that at- 
tempted the entire journey across the plains 
with wagons, it is proper that we let one of its 
number, Hon. Medoruni Crawford, tell a part of 
the story of the journey in his own way, pre- 
mising that at Green river it was deemed liest 
to dismantle half the wagons and resort to the 
more primitive method of packing for the re- 
mainder of the journey. Of the journey from 
Green river Mr. Crawford says: 

" Horses, mules and oxen were packed with 
such clothing, utensils and provisions as were 



for our daily wants, and with 

heavy hearts many articles of comfort and con- 
venience which had been carefully carried and 
cared for during the long journey were left be- 
hind. About the middle of August we arrived 
at Fort Hall, then an important trading post 
belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company. From 
Captain Grant, his officers and employes we 
received such favors and assistance as can only 
be appreciated by worn-out and destitute emi- 
grants. Here the remaining wagons were left, 
and our company, no longer attempting to keep 
up an organization, divided into small parties, 
all traveling as fast as their circumstances 
would permit, following the well-beaten trail of 
the Hudson's Bay Company from Fort Hall to 
Walla Walla, now Wallula. The small party 
to which I was attached was one month travel- 
ing from Fort Hall to Dr. Whitman's, where 
we were most hospitably received, and supplied 
with flour and vegetables in abundance, a very 
acceptable change after subsisting almost en- 
tirely on buffalo meat from Fort Laramie to 
Fort Hall, and on salmon from Fort Hall to 
Whitman's. In fact, there had not been in any 
mess a mouthful of bread since leaving Laramie. 
" From Walla Walla Dr. White and some 
others took passage down the Columbia river on 
the Hudson's Bay Company's boats or canoes, 
and still others, and the larger portion of the 
emigrants, crossed the Cascade mountains on 


the old Indian trail. From Fort Hall to the 
Willamette no precaution was taken against, nor 
slighest apprehension felt of, Indian hostility; 
nor were we in any instance molested by them; 
on the contrary they furnished ns with salmon 
and game, and rendered us valuable assistance 
for very trifling rewards. From Walla Walla 
to the AVillamette falls occupied about twenty 
days, and, all things considered, was the hardest 
part of the entire journey. What with the 
drifting sands, rocky cliffs and rapid streams 
along the Columbia river, and the gorges, 
torrents and thickets of the Cascade mountains, 
it seems incredible how, with our worn-out and 
emaciated animals, we ever reached our desti- 

Those who in later years and under more fa- 
vorable conditions traversed the same road, when 
they read this description of the disorganized 
and careless journey of the emigration of 1842, 
wonder how a single one of that company sur- 
vived the perils of that 1,000 miles journey 
from Fort Hall to the Willamette settlements 
arising from Indian hostilities, lack of food, and 
the incidental dangers of wilderness travel. 
That they did seems little less than a miracle. 

When this immigrant company had become 
blended with the former white population, the 
entire census showed less than 500 souls. 

In the history of immigration into Oregon 
we come now to the one that, historically, has 
had greater prominence and wider consideration 
than any other, namely, that of 1843. It will 
require a somewhat broader treatment than any 
other, because so many personal elements have 
entered into its consideration, and because some 
names, dear to the people of this coast, and of 
the whole country, were identified with it. 
There has been much controversy about the part 
played in its history by Dr. Whitman, and many 
of the ablest writers of the coast have ventured 
history and criticism and opinion upon it, — 
perhaps all tinged, more or less, with the hues 
of romance, which the acts of so chivalrous and 
determined a leader as Dr. Whitman were well 
.calculated to throw over it. It came, too, in 

the crisis of our national controversy with Great 
Britain in regard to the ownership and boundary 
of Oregon, and seemed, at least to a superficial 
observation, the decisive factor in its determi- 
nation in favor of the United States. For these 
reasons it becomes necessary to discuss both the 
motives and the facts that distinguished this 
above all other immigrations. In doing so we 
shall endeavor to leave out of sight claims made, 
for the first time, by writers a quarter of a 
century after the events recorded transpired, 
conceived, it may be, under the influence of very 
partial friendship and companionship; or if not 
that, then in the prejudice of opposition and 
personal rivalry, either of which cannot assist 
careful and judicial historic conclusions. Only 
as we carefully mark the trend of events and 
discussions relating to Oregon, both in Oregon 
itself and the Eastern States, around the firesid' s 
of the people and in the halls of Congress, and 
study them in relation to the philosophy of 
human action as we understand it, can we arrive 
at a just and satisfactory conclusion. And, in 
writing the history of the immigration of 1843, 
if we cannot write thus it will be impossible to 
give any adequate and proper understanding 
of it. First of all, then, the causes that im- 
pelled it. 

With the conclusion of the treaty between 
Great Britain and the United States, which ter- 
minated in an agreement of " joint occupancy " 
of the country by the citizens of the two powers 
with equal rights and privileges, the public 
mind in the United States settled into the con- 
clusion that the ultimate ownership of the 
country would be determined by real occupancy. 
It was tolerably evident that the people, whether 
English or American, would decide the question 
that negotiation could not settle, and that neither 
party felt willing to submit to the decision of 
arms: that homes and herds, plows and factories, 
schoolhouses and churches, would become the 
determining factors in the conflict. In the 
light of this conclusion the immigration of 
1843, far more than those preceding it, must be 


The people of the western frontier had be- 
come familiar with Oregon. The praises of its 
mild climate and the stories of its wonderful 
productiveness had been recited in their ears by 
returning travelers and adventurers, and many 
of their own kinsmen had already settled in it 
and written back the same wonderful recitals. 
In consequence the frontiersmen who are always 
trembling with the excitement and love of ad- 
venture, felt the thrill of desire to try the en- 
ticing journey — enticing to them because of 
its very perils — to the better land and brighter 
clime beyond the western mountains. Besides 
the " Oreo-on bills," which had been introduced 
into Congress by Senator Linn of Missouri, in 
the fall of 1842, making provision for the estab- 
lishment of a line of "stockaded forts from some 
point on the Missouri and Arkansas rivers into 
the best pass for entering the valley of the Ore- 
gon; and also at or near the mouth of the Co- 
lumbia river;" and also to '* secure the grant of 
640 acres of land to every white male inhabitant 
of the Territory of Oregon of the age of eight- 
een years and upward," besides other provisions 
hicrhly advantageous to the settlers, had given 
assurances to the people that their action in re- 
moving to and settling in Oregon would cer- 
tainly receive the strong support of the Govern- 

The course of negotiation on the part of the 
Government relating to Oregon had been such 
before this time that this proposed movement 
by Congress came not too soon, nor was it too 
favorable for the end desired. Let us glance at 
that course for a moment. 

The general direction of the treaty stipula- 
tions into which our Government had entered 
with that of Great Britain in regard to Oregon 
was plainly, in its result, inimical to the inter- 
ests of the United States. The first great false 
step was the "treaty of joint occupancy," as it 
was called, in 1818, under the administration of 
Mr. Monroe, by which, in effect, our Govern- 
ment put into the hands of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, which already flanked the country, 
the power and right by treaty to enter into it 

with their drilled and armed " servants," and 
took from itself the right to enter any protest 
against that really armed invasion. That treaty 
was for ten years, and expired by limitation in 
1828, and in that year by another treaty the 
provisions of the former were extended until 
one or the other party should give notice for its 
termination. This was, if possible, a greater 
blunder than the former, for it perpetuated 
what else were dead by limitation, and made all 
subsequent action much more difficult and for- 
midable. Then the Ashburton negotiation 
which defined the boundary between the 
United States and Canada as far west as the 
summit of the Rocky mountains, should, and 
unquestionably might, have been pressed to a 
settlement of that boundary to the Pacific ocean 
on the same degree of latitude, namely, the 
forty-ninth. Then, most unphilosophic and 
unreasonable of all, came President Tyler's rec- 
ommendation to discountenance emigration to 
Oregon, by withholding land from the emigrants 
until the two Governments had settled the title 
— a contingency too distant and doubtful to be 
counted on, and which could only inure to the 
advantage of the Hudson's Bay Company, re- 
presenting, and in that sense personating, Great 
Britain. Thus, by a course of vacillation and 
timidity, if not incompetency, the Government 
put in imminent peril its title to Oregon, and 
nearly lost the stars of our great Northwestern 
States from the banner of our national Union. 

But in America the people are always greater 
than the Government, and they took up the 
work of saving what the Government had so 
nearly lost, and they succeeded where it had 

All these facts and influences converged at 
once on the minds of the people in the autumn 
of 1842. The newspapers of the land heralded 
them everywhere. Oregon, the title of the 
LTnited States to it, and the purpose of immigra- 
tion into it both as a personal and patriotic im- 
pulse, were the themes of conversation in the 
cabins of the frontiersmen of the West and in 
the homes of the East. The writer heard it, 



talke.1 it, felt it in his hoine iu central New 
York. It was everywhere, — an impulse, an in- 
spiration, a movement of the great lieart of the 
American people. By and by we shall see its 

Coincident with this impulse toward Oregon 
wliich was moving the heart of the East, Ore- 
gon itself was thrilling with the same interest 
for her own destiny. The emigrants of former 
years were writing flaming and exciting letters 
to their friends in the East. The missionaries, 
both of the Methodist and American Boards, as 
well as the independent missionaries, filled 
column after column of the great church papers 
in the Eastern cities with religious and patriotic 
appeals. For the number of its people at that 
time, no iiew country, if ever any old country, 
had a larger proportion of men of marked ability 
and higli character than Oregon. Among the 
immigrant civilians were those already named 
in this chapter with others, with such laymen 
in the mission work as Whitman, Abernethy, 
Gray, Campbell, and Brewer; and in the minis- 
terial field such men as Lee, Leslie, Walker, 
Griffin, Hines, Waller, Eels, and others, all of 
whom were men before ttiey were missionaries, 
and Americans before they were churchmen. 
These were all employed from within the coun- 
try itself in awakening, by their private corre- 
spondence and tlieir published letters, a wide- 
spread public interest in all the nation on the 
" Oregon question," and thus it became the 
question of tlie hour. These reisons alone are 
sufficient to account for the large emigration 
that stood ou the banks of the Missouri river in 
the early spring of 1843 with tiie'r faces look- 
ing toward the west. 

Still there was one personal incident, and one 
person having such a romantic, if not such a 
vital, connection with this emigration as to re- 
quire a candid and somewhat extended discus- 
sion before we consider the emigration itself. 
That person was Dr. Marcus Whitman, and the 
incident was his perilous winter's ride over the 
frozen deserts and through the snow-blocked 
mountain passes, from the mission station near 

Fort Walla Walla to St. Louis, with the pur- 
pose of awakening the Goveinment of the United 
States to some just idea of the value of Oregon, 
and of the danger of its alienation, as well as to 
organize and lead back an emigration to take 
possession of the country as settlers in the inter- 
est of its Americanization. While something 
of romance has been thrown about this " ride," 
— and it may have been invested by some wri- 
ters with greater results than it really accom- 
plished, — -it was certainly a bold and romantic 
venture, and its results entitle Dr. Whitman to 
a unique place in the history of this coast. 
Narrated as briefly as possible, the facts of his 
journey seem to be about these: 

His work among the Indians, like all the In- 
dian missionary work on the coast, had proved a 
comparative failure. The board under whose 
direction he wrought iiaving become dissatisfied 
with the meager results of that work, had de- 
cided to abandon that station and had given di- 
rections accordingly. Dr. Whitman disagreed 
with the judgment of the board, and sought the 
approval of his fellow- missionaries in the field 
of his desire to return to the States, and repre- 
sent before the board the importance of continu- 
ing it. After some delay, and the exhibition 
of a determination on his part to go with or 
without their approval, their consent was given, 
and October 3, 1842, fixed as the time for his 

Meanwhile the subject of the struggle be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain for 
the actual possession of Oregon was at its 
height Dr. Whitn)an was an intense Ameri- 
can, and must have felt keenly the need of early 
and earnest action in behalf of his own country. 
He could be of great value to Oregon, coming 
just from the field, and possibly put the Govern- 
ment into truer relations to the questions pend- 
ing than any man then in Washington. Besides, 
at this juncture the emigration of 1842 was 
arriving, and the tenor of the news they brought 
was, tlie negotiations looking to the surrender of 
apart or the whole of Oregon to Great Britain, 
in consideration of certain privileges and rights 


on the lisliiiig banks of Newfoundland, were 
pending in Washington. This added new force 
to Dr. Whitman's resolution, and unquestion- 
ably broadened the purpose of liis own mind in 
his journey. But, it is worthy of remark that, 
before this intelligence from the immigrants 
had reached liim, his plans were formed and the 
date of his departure fixed. Circiitnstances en- 
abled him to anticipate that date by a couple of 
/ays, — an important consideration to his jour- 
ney, as winter was already near at band. While, 
therefore, the intelligence brought by the immi- 
gration served to confirm Dr. Whitman in the 
wisdom of the resolution he had taken, it could 
not have been the reason of that resolution, as 
some writers have endeavored to make it appear. 
Nor does this in any manner depreciate the 
ralue of the services of Dr. Whitman nor de- 
iract. from his true fame as one of the most de- 
voted of missionaries, the most ]'atiiotic of 
citizens, and the most noble and chivalric of 

Space cannot be given to tlie details of Dr. 
Whitman's winter journey over the Rocky 
mountains to St. Louis; yet as it has a connec- 
tion with the history of the emigration of 1843, 
and incidentally with Oregon history in a broader 
sense, some notice of it mnst be given. 

On the 3d of October, with a single com- 
panion, he left his mission station at Waiiletpu, 
on the Walla Walla river, about twenty-five 
miles from the Hudson Bay fort, and began his 
perilous ride. His companion was Mr. Abbot 
Lawrence Lovejoy, a Massachusetts man, as his 
name snfiiciently indicates, who was a member 
of the immigration of that season, and had only 
reached Waiiletpu about a week before. He 
was young and vigorous, of compact and sinewy 
form and well adapted to brave the hardships 
that were before him. The writer had a some- 
what intimate acquaintance with Mr. Lovejoy 
subsequently, for at least twenty-live years, and 
often conversed with him in regard to Dr. 
AVhitman's mission to the East at that time, 
and the circumstances attending their journey. 
Dr. Whitman himself left no record of it, so 

that Mr. Lovejoy's is its authentic story. Ac- 
cording to that account, after leaving W^aiiletpu 
they traveled rapidly tlfrough the Blue mount- 
ains and up the valley of the Snake river, 
reaching Fort Hall, a distance of 400 miles, in 
eleven days. Here the direct line of travel, as 
pursued by the emigrants who had made a 
plain wagon road to the Missouri river, led 
over comparatively low mountain spurs until it 
leached tiie high mountain plain that borders 
Green river, and then through the wide de- 
pression in the Rocky mountains known as the 
"South Pass," thence directly down the waters 
of the riatte river to the Missouri. For some 
reason the Doctor, instead of following the 
beaten road, which would have taken him at 
his rate of travel beyond the South Pass in two 
weeks from Fort Hall, took a more southern 
route, via Salt Lake Taos and Santa Fe, and 
thence to St. Louis. This took him out of the 
open way into the wildest and most snowy of 
the Rocky mountains, and at least doubled the 
necessary travel. To add to the difficulty and 
danger of the way selected, the winter storms 
came on unusually early. While they were yet 
involved in the mountains between Fort Hall 
and Fort Uinta, the snows lay deep around 
them; and between Fort Uinta and Fort Un- 
compahgre, on the waters of Grande river, the 
main eastern branch of the Colorado, in the 
Spanish territory and yet west of the mountain 
summits, it was hardly possible for them to 
make headway. At this fort they recruited 
their supplies, and procuring a guide started 
for Taos across the main divide of the Rocky 
mountains, and nearly a thousand miles by the 
way of their travel from Fort Hall. Four or 
five days from Fort Uncompahgre they en- 
countered a terrific storm, when their guide 
became confused and Dr. Whitman was com- 
pelled to return to Fort Uncompahgre to pro- 
cure a new one, Mr. Lovejoy remaining alone 
in the mountain camp with the animals for 
seven days before his return. Recovering their 
way, it was yet thirty days before they reached 
Taos, and they suffered greatly on the way from 


cold and scarcity of food, being compelled to 
use mule meat, dogs and such other animals as 
came in their way. After remaining at Taos a 
few days they started for Bent's Fort, on the 
headwaters of the Arkansas river. Still mis- 
fortunes attended their way. Desiring to 
reach Bent's Fort more speedily than his loaded 
pack animals could make the journey, the 
Doctor selected the best horse, and with blank- 
ets and a little food rode forward alone. In 
four days Mr. Lovejoy and the guide arrived, 
but the Doctor had not been seen or heard of. 
Mr. Lovejoy returned a hundred miles on the 
trail, but could only hear from the Indians that 
a lost white man had been inquiring the way to 
Bent's Fort. About the eighth day from the 
time he left his companions he reached the 
fort, worn, weary and desponding, as he believed 
God had bewildered him for traveling on the 
Sabbath — a thing that he had always consci- 
entionsly avoided. 

Leaving Mr. Lovejoy at Bent's Fort, he im- 
mediately pushed forward with a company of 
mountaineers, and reached St. Louis in Febru- 
ary. He had been over four months on the 
road. Why he should have left the plain road 
leading through a comparatively open country, 
fi'ee from precipitous mountain ranges, over 
which he himself had traveled, most of it three 
times, and taken one so much longer, leading 
through the most rugged portion of the Rocky 
mountains, and with which he was entirely un- 
acquainted, has never been decided. 

On reacliing St. Louis Dr. AVhitrnan found 
that the occasion for his perilous winter's jour- 
ney, so far as it related to the matter of nego- 
tiations between Great Britain and the United 
States for the sale of Oregon to the former in 
any way, did not e.xist. The treaty between the 
two powers known as the Webster-Ashburton 
treaty had been signed on the 9th of August, 
preceding, nearly two months before his jour- 
ney. The Oregon boundary had not been in- 
cluded in the treaty, nor even discussed by Mr. 
Webster and Mr. Ashburton, representing the 
tw'o governments. Consequently the danger of 

the loss of Orego',1 by the LTnited States had 
not been so imminent as he had supposed. His 
purpose, however, was none the less patriotic, 
nor his bravery in endeavoring to carry it out 
the less admirable, but this fact certainly dem- 
onstrates that all attempts to claim for him the 
honor of saving Oregon to the United States 
must prove failures. The danger of losing 
Oregon was fully averted by the postponement 
of the boundary question. His presence in 
Washington, beginning six months after the 
treaty was signed, and nearly as long after its 
ratification by the Senate, could not have in- 
fluenced the decision of the question in the 
remotest degree. Nor is there any evidence 
that he personally ever made such a claim. 
Indeed it is clear that he did not, but that it 
was made many years after the occurrences 
narrated, and long after his tragic death at the 
hands of the Indians had invested his name 
with the halo of martyrdom by those who had 
been associated with him in his missionary 
work, and grew out of their admiration of his 
character and their memory of the purpose that 
largely actuated him, as they understood it, in 
projecting and performing his celebrated jour- 
ney. It is not needful to attempt further ex- 
planation of the claim that was, for a time, 
strongly current, that Dr. Whitman " alone 
saved Oregon to the United States." He did 
his part, others did theirs, but if Dr. AVhitrnan 
had not lived Oregon would have been, as it 
now is, a great State of our glorious Union. 

On Dr. Whitman's arrival on the frontier he 
found that great preparations were being made 
for an emigration to Oregon in the opening 
spring. The desire and purpose to find a home 
in the Willamette Valley, the fame of whose 
climate and productiveness had already spread 
far and wide, was becoming a contagion. Re- 
sponding to that sentiment. Dr. Whitman wrote 
a small pamphlet describing the country and 
the route thither, urging people to emigrate, 
and assuring them that they could take wagons 
through to the Columbia, and promising to 
join the emigration and act as its pilot on his 


return from the Eastern States. His pamphlet, 
::dded to his personal appeals, added somewhat 
to the numbers, and largely to the courage and 
confidence of the emigrants, but he was too 
late to initiate the great public movement that 
resulted in the large emigration of that year, — 

historically the most important that ever en- 
tered Oregon, as it put such a preponderance 
of American people and American sentiment 
into Oregon as to assuredly settle the position 
Oregon itself would take in the pending inter- 
national controversy. 



Great Pkeparations for Emigration — Incidents of Emigration — Mr. Nesmith's Account — A 
New Era — Lieutenant Fremont's Expedition — Emigration of 1844 — Divided into Com- 
panies — Settlement North of the Columbia — Emigration of 1845 — Prominent Members 
— A New but Disastrous Road — Emigration of 1846 — Party Taking a New Route — 
Much Suffering — The Donner Party — Wagon Road Across the Cascade Mountains — • 
Caught in the Snows — Winter in the Mountains — Barlow and Rector — Emigration of 
1847 — Valuable Additions — '-Traveling Nursery." 

IfT is as well, once for all that we give some 
account of the circumstances attending the 
-i gathering, departure and journey of an emi- 
gration over the mountains to the Pacific coast; 
and as the emigration, of 1843 was so pro- 
minent in its early history, we have chosen this 
as the place in which to do so. As to the gather- 
ing of this emigration on the western frontier 
of Missouri we shall permit Hon. J. W. Nes- 
inith, a young member of the emigration, after- 
ward for many years one of the most promi- 
nent public men in the Territory and State, and 
for six years senator in the Congress of the 
United States for Oregon, to tell the story in 
his own well-chosen words. He says: 

"Without order from any quarter, and with- 
out preconcert, promptly as the grass began to 
start, the emigrants began to assemble near In- 
dependence, at a place called Fitzhue's Mill. 
On the seventeenth day of May, 1843, notices 
were circulated through the different encamp- 
ments that on the succeeding day those who 
contemplated emigrating to Oregon would meet 
at a designated point to organize. Promptly at 
the appointed hour motley groups assembled. 
They consisted of tlie people from all States 

and Territories, and nearly all nationalities, 
the most, however, from Arkansas, Illinois, 
Missouri and Iowa, and all strangers to one 
another, but impressed with some crude idea 
that there existed some imperative necessity 
for some kind of an organization for mu- 
tual protection against the hostile Indians in- 
habiting the great unknown wilderness stretch- 
ing away to the shores of the Pacific, and which 
they were about to traverse with their wives 
and children, household goods and all their 
earthly possessions. 

'• Many of the emigrants were from the west- 
ern tier of counties of Missouri, known as the 
Platte Purchase, and among them was Peter H. 
Burnett, a former merchant, who had aban- 
doned the yardstick and become a lawyer of 
some celebrity for his ability as a smooth- 
tungued advocate. He subsequently emigrated 
to California, and was elected the first governor 
of the Golden State. Mr. Burnett, or as he was 
familiarly designated, 'Pete,' was called upon 
for a speech. Mounting a log the glib-tongued 
orator delivered a glowing, florid address. He 
commenced by showing his audience that the 
then western tier of States and Territories was 



over-crowded by a redundant population, wLo 
had not sufficient elbow room for the expansion 
of their enterprise and genins, and it was a duty 
they owed to themselves and posterity to strike 
out in search of a more extended lield and a 
more genial climate, where the soil yielded the 
richest return for the slightest amount of cul- 
tivation, where the trees were loaded with per- 
ennial fruit, and where a good substitute for 
bread, called Za Ccmiask, grew in the ground, 
salmon and other fish crowded the streams, and 
where the principal labor of the settlers would 
be confined to keeping their gardens free from 
the inroads of buffalo, elk, deer, and wild tur- 
keys! He appealed to our patriotism by pictur- 
ing forth the glorious empire we should estab- 
lish on the shores of the Pacific; bow, with our 
trusty rifles, we would drive out the British 
usurpers who claimed the soil, and defend the 
country from the advance and pretensions of 
the British lion, and how posterity would honor 
us for placing the finest portion of our country 
under the dominion of the stars and stripes. 
He concluded by a slight allusion to the hard- 
ships and trials incident to the trip, and dangers 
to be encountered from hostile Indians on the 
route, and those inhabiting the country whither 
we were bound. He furthermore intimated a 
desire to look upon the tribe of 'noble red men,' 
that the valiant and well-armed crowd around 
him could not vanquish in a single encounter. 
" Other speeches were made, full of glowing 
description of the fair land of promise in the 
far-away Oregon, which no one in the assem- 
blage had ever seen, and of which not more than 
half a dozen had ever read any account. After 
the election of Mr. Burnett as captain and 
other necessary officers, the meeting, as motley 
and primitive a one as ever assembled, adjourned 
with three cheers for Captain Burnett and Ore- 
gon. On the 20th of May, 1843, after a pretty 
thorough military organization, we took up our 
line of march, with Captain John Gantt, an old 
army officer who combined the character of 
trappers and mountaineer, as our guide. Gantt 
had in his wanderings been as far as Green 

river, and assured us of the practicability of a 
wagon road thus far; Green river, the extent of 
our guide's knowledge in that direction, was 
not half-way to the Willamette valley, the 
then only inhabited portion of Oregon. Beyond 
that we had not the slightest conjecture of the 
condition of the country. "We went forth 
trusting to the future, and would doubtless 
have encountered more difficulties than we ex- 
perienced had not Dr. Whitman overtaken us 
before we reached the terminus of our guide's 
knowledge. He was familiar with the whole 
route, and was confident that wagons could 
pass through the canons and gorges of Snake 
river and over the Blue mountains, which the 
mountaineers in the vicinity of Fort Hall de- 
clared to be a physical impossibility. 

" Captain Grant, then in charge of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company at Fort Hall, endeavored to 
dissuade us from proceeding farther with our 
wagons, and showed us the wagons that the 
emigrants of the preceding year had abandoned 
as an evidence of the impracticability of our de- 
termination. Dr. Whitman was pei-sistent in 
his assertion that wagons could proceed as far as 
the grand Dalles of the Columbia river, from 
which point he asserted they could be taken 
down by rafts or batteaux to the Willamette 
valley, while our stock could be driven by an 
Indian trail over the Cascade mountains near 
Mount Hood. Happily Whitman's advice pre- 
vailed and a large number of wagons with a 
portion of the stock did reach Walla Walla and 
the Dalles, from which points they were taken 
to Willamette the following year. Had we fol- 
lowed Grant's advice and abandoned the cattle 
and wagons at Fort Hall, much suffei-ing must 
have ensued, as a sufficient number of horses to 


the women and children of the 


could not have been obtained: besides wagons 
and cattle were indispensable to men expecting 
to live by farming a country destitute of such 

"At Fort Hall we fell in with some Cayuse 
and Nez Perces Indians returning from the 
buffalo country, and as it was necessary for Dr. 


Whitman to precede U8 to Walla Walla, lie 
recommended to us a guide in the person of an 
old Cay use Indian called ' Sticcus.' He was a 
faithful old fellow, perfectly familiar with all 
the trails and topography of the country from 
Fort Hall to the Dalles, and although not speak- 
ing a word of English, and no one in our party 
a word of Caynse, lie succeeded by pantomime 
in taking us over the roughest wau;on route I 
ever saw."' 

This quotation from Mr. Nesraith must give 
our readers a fair idea of the courage and deter- 
mination necessary in this early day to face the 
dangers and endure the discomforts of a half 
year's journey, with oxen and wagons as the 
means of travel, over the desolate plains and 
thrungli the rugged mountains that lay wide 
and dark lietween the Missouri river and the 
Pacific ocean, a distance of a round two thou- 
sand miles. But the daily march over dusty and 
sunbrowned leagues, the night's weird bivouac 
under the stars, the fording of rushing rivers, 
the ascent and descent of precipitous mountains, 
the lone camp-guard, the thundering stampede 
of horses and oxen, the warning and warding off 
of Indian attacks amid the crouching of fright- 
ened children, or the suppressed sobbing of 
timid women, — these must have been seen and 
experienced ti; be understood as they existed in 
reality from 1841, when emigration began, to 
1860, about which time the pioneer emigrant 
era may be considered to have closed. 

In the emigration of this year were many 
men whose names became very prominently 
connected with the history of the country. 
Among these may be mentioned the Apple- 
gates, Burnett, Cason, Chapman, Dement, the 
Fords, the Garrisons, the Hunters, the Howells, 
the Matheneys, McCarver, Nesmith, Parker, 
and the Waldos. When the company reached 
Oregon, besides the gentlemen connected with 
the various missionary stations, and fifty or 
more of the former Hudson's Bay Company 
employes settled on French prairie, there were 
resident in Oregon about eighty American men, 
making in the autum of 1843, with the newly 

arrived emigrants, a total adult male population 
of about four hundred, and a total white popu- 
lation of not far from two thousand souls. 

The introduction of this number of American 
people, many of whom were educated and re- 
fined and all of whom were strong in purpose, 
and had wealth both of brain and brawn, lifted 
Oregon at once from a camping-ground for fur 
hunters and mountain mefi, and even from a 
field of mere missionary occupancy, to the con- 
dition of a civil community — a commonwealth 
— with the needs of a cominnnity, and with 
ability and dispositions to supply those wants. 
So the autumn and emigration of 1843 brought 
a new era to Oregon, the era of government, 
which will be considered in its proper place in 
this woi-k. 

The impulse of emigration to Oregon did not 

exhaust itself in 1843. The last em 

igrant wagon 

of that year had hardly disappeared westward of 
Missouri before the frontier was astir again with 
moving preparations for the emigration of 1844. 
This was nearly as greatas that of the preceding 
year. It added about 800 to the American 
population of Oregon, 234 of them strong, able- 
bodied men. The emigration of 1843 came in 
a single column, under one captain, and with a 
semi-military organization. That of 1844 started 
from various points, under different leaders, and 
divided up more and more as it progressed on 
the journey. Tliis greatly added to the ease 
and facility of travel, and the various companies 
had comparatively little difficulty in their long 
journey. Besides, the several hundred wagons 
of the preceding year had broken down the sage 
of the plains, and made a clearly marked road as 
far as The Dalles. The larger divisions of the 
emigration started, one from Independence, one 
from near the mouth of Platte river, and one 
from near St. Joseph, and Cornelius Gilliam, 
Nathan Ford and Major Thorp commanded these 
divisions respecti /ely. In this emigration were 
many names that have beconie honored in vari- 
ous departments of western history and that 
are worthy of notable record. Without any in- 
vidious selections we name the Eadses,the Fords, 


the Gilliams, Holinan, Miiito, Eees, Simmons, 
tlie Shaws, the Thorps, J. S. Smith and many 
others whose industry made tlie country to 
bloom like a rose tree, and who in many ways 
contributed to its material growth and moral 
and intellectual progress. 

Of the immigration of 1845 comparatively 
little record has been preserved, although it was 
larger than that of either of the two preceding 
years. The population of the Territory was 
now becoming so large that a thousand or two 
of people could melt away into the font er ag- 
gregate without such manifest e.xpansion of the 
population as before. And besides, when so 
many had preceded, it was not considered so 
strange that many others should follow. Hence 
the 2,000 people constituting the immigration 
of 1845 arrived, dispersed over the country 
fi'ora the California mountains to i'nget sound, 
and became integral parts of the body politic, 
without having taking pains to make a roster 
for the benefit of history, on the perpetuity 
of their own deeds. Still a few can be mentioned, 
culled here and there from fugitive archives, 
whose names must ever stand connected with 
some departments of the deeds of the pioneers 
of the coast. We instance T. Vault, the Way- 
raires, the Riggses, Gen. Joel Palmer and 

The road from the Missouri to tlie Columbia 
iiad now become a broad and beaten track. 
There was no difficulty and little danger in 
traveling it except such as arose from deficient 
preparation before starting or poor judgment 
in traveling. All that was to be done was to 
travel steadily onward, day after day, quietly 
and persistently moving forward as the patient 
ox swings slowly onward, and in due time the 
goal would surely be reached. But such pa- 
tience and endurance of effort are not common 
virtues. To face a horizon that never comes 
nearer, to push into space that never seems to get 
shorter, to lift at a burden that never grows 
lighter, are the severest tests of the strongest 
natures. So it was not wonderful that many of 
the weary and foot-sore immigrants became rest- 

less of their seemingly endless travel, and felt 
inclined to listen to any one who came with 
the promise of a shorter road and speedier ar- 
rival at the goal of their desires. 

Tills year this was painfully, almost tragically 
illustrated. When the immigi-ants readied 
Fort Boise Stephen H. Meek, a man who had 
been a " free-trapper " in the mountains, and for 
some years employed by the Hudson's Bay 
Company as such, and who had served as a guide 
to some small companies in 1842, offered to 
show them a shorter and more eligible route 
over the mountains, and one by which wagons 
could be taken into the Willamette valley with- 
out the costly and troublesome transportation 
by water from The Dalles. The route he pro- 
posed to travel, leading through southeastern 
Oregon, and into the Umpqua valley far .=outh 
of the head of the Willamette river, ho had 
never traveled himself, but the country through 
which it passed was known to be open and far 
less mountainous than the country farther to 
the north. Quite a number were pursuaded to 
follow his lead. These left the old and traveled 
road at the mouth of the Malheur river, near 
Fort Boise, and turned southward up the valley 
of that stream, while the larger portion kept 
steadily onward in the beaten road, and in good 
time reached the end of their journey. The 
company that followed Mr. Meek soon became 
convinced that he himself was traveling by 
guess instead of knowledge. Of course they 
were in a panic at once. Mr. Meek became 
alarmed and deserted the people he had led 
astray and fled to save his life, as many had 
threatened to kill him on sight. The company 
undertook to return to the old road by turning 
to the north and traveling down the valleys of 
John Day and Des Chutes rivers, and at last; 
after the most exhausting efforts, and the great- 
est sufferings from hunger and thirst, reached 
the Columbia at The Dalles, and were thus res- 
cued from their vei"y perilous condition. 

This diversion of a portion of the immigrants 
from the old line of travel, and the sufferings 
they endured in consequence, has caused con- 



siderable very acrimonious discussion, seriously 
involving the motives of those who persuaded 
them into what proved such disastrous action. 
Still such discussion has failed to demonstrate 
that there was any specially wrong motive in 
them, but that they acted without any very ac- 
curate knowledge of the country to be traversed 
and consequently not with good Judgment, and 
thus betrayed those who trusted their advice into 
a very costly and dangerous experiment. Many 
thrilling accounts of cases of individual suffer- 
ing and hardship and loss on the treeless and 
waterless wastes of the Klamath and Humboldt 
regions have been published, but it would serve 
no important purpose to transfer them to these 
pages. Certainly we cannot subscribe to the 
charge made by some writers that these parties 
were led astray under the inspiration and advice 
of the Hudson's Bay Company for the sole pur- 
pose of destroying them. Had such ever been 
the methods of the heads of that company in 
tlieir dealings with the American immigrants, 
certainly they could not but see that the de- 
struction of a comparatively small portion of an 
immigration would have no other effect on the 
tinal settlement of the " Oregon question " than 
to hasten and make it more absolute against 
themselves. But such never was their method, 
as impartial liistory must determine. 

Like the emigration of 1845, that of 1846 
was divided into small companies, whicii reached 
the country at various times and by different 
routes, so that no record of names was kept. 
When it left the Missouri river it consisted of 
2,000 souls. However, by this time California 
was beginning to divide with Oregon the at- 
tention of intending emigrants, and on reach- 
ing Fort Hall about one-half took the southern 
route down the Humboldt river and across the 
Sierra Nevadas into the Sacramento valley. 
The greater portion of those destined for the 
Willamette valley pursued the old route down 
Snake river, and reached Oregon City, then the 
goal of the journey, in good time, and without 
unusual incidents. However, about 150 people, 
with forty-two wagons, were induced, at Fort 

Hall, to undertake a new route in the same 
general direction as tlie disastrous one selected 
by Meek the year before, and despite the un- 
fortunate outcome of that venture. The mis- 
adventure this year was induced by the presence 
at Fort Hall, on the arrival of tjie trains, of a 
number of men from among the most reputable 
and iniluential citizens of Oregon, mainly resid- 
ing toward the southeim end of the Willamette 
valley, who claimed to have looked out a road 
from the point where they met the emigrants to 
that valley by the way of the Humboldt, Klam- 
ath lake. Rogue river and Umpqua valleys, 
much more feasible tiian the old one by the 
valley of Snake river. These men had actually 
passed over the route they outlined to the emi- 
grants on their way out; but, being on horse- 
back, and traveling without any incumbrances, 
it probably seemed much shorter to them than 
it really was, and certainly much shorter than it 
proved to the worn and weary emigrants, im- 
peded in their travels by wagons and all the 
incumbrances of camp life. It certainly cannot 
be supposed that such men as those who led the 
party that surveyed the new route could have 
had any sinister or selfish motives in leading 
these families into the terrible straits through 
which they were compelled to pass. Still it 
cannot be possible for the historian to relieve 
these gentlemen from all blame, as they were 
all acquainted with the peculiar difficulties of 
emigrant travel, having themselves crossed the 
continent but a year or two before as emigrants, 
and knew that water and grass were prime con- 
ditions of safety with ox teams, and where these 
could not be found in abundance there could be 
no excuse for venturing, unless the necessity 
was absolute. From fifteen to twenty miles 
was an average full day's journey with oxen on 
the emigrant roads, and there were stretches of 
grassless and waterless desert of from twenty to 
fifty miles in width, over which they attempted 
to lead the forlorn party that had intrusted itself 
to their guidance. Of course there was much 
suffering. Many teams perished. Men, women 
and children were compelled to go on foot over 


burning sands and cinereous rocks, to climb 
timbered summits and ford the roaring torrents 
of the mountains. The consuming thirst of the 
deserts of the sterile interior was at last relieved, 
it is true, by the springs and streams of tlie 
Sierras, but then gaunt hunger paralleled their 
earlier thirst. At last, however, man by man, 
or family by family, the worn and strengthless 
emigrants straggled down from the Siskiuas 
into the Rogue river valley, or emerged from 
the Utnpqua caiion into Umpqua valley, almost 
without cattle, or wagon, or clothing, welcomed 
to the end of their sad pilgrimage only by the 
chills of an Oregon midwinter. Taken all in 
all this was the most deeply shadowed page in 
the history of our immigration, and has left a 
heritage of more acrimonious and bitter discus- 
sions and heart burnings to the historian. 

But, sad as is this record, it is a bright one 
compared with the fate of a large party known 
as the "Donner party," that separated from the 
Oregon immigrants on Humboldt river, and 
attempted to scale the winter-clad Sierras into 
the Sacramento valley. These became entangled 
in the labyrinths of the mountains, were over- 
taken and overwhelmed by snow-storms, and, 
unable to proceed or return, many perished 
miserably by starvation, and the remainder 
were rescued more dead than alive by the cour- 
age and energy of a party from Sacramento 
valley. The place of the occurrence of this 
sad event bears the name of "Donner lake," 
which will forever monument this tragic climax 
in the history of the emigration of 184(3 to 
the Facitic coast. 

The immigrants of this year also signalized 
their courage and determination by an attempt 
to open the first wagon road into the Willamette 
valley across the Cascade mountains. Very 
seldom, indeed, in the history of exploration or 
adventure has a braver and more resolute deed 
been done. We hazard nothing in saying that 
in all the distance between the Missouri river 
and the Cascades there is no stretch of 100 
miles that presented to the primitive engineer- 
ing of the emigrants anything like the difficul- 

ties of the 100 miles between the open country 
east and the Willamette valley west of the 
Cascade mountains. 

This is one of the most rugged and lofty 
ranges of the continent, and, unlike the Eocky 
mountains, it is everywhere most densely tim- 
bered. It is cut and gashed by fearful chasms 
worn down by the waters that break from be- 
neath the glaciers of Mount Hood and kindred 
peaks thousands of feet into the volcanic debris 
of untold ages. The average altitude of the 
wide, swampy summit of the range is not far 
from 10,000 feet. From foot to summit and 
from summit to foot again the whole surface of 
the earth is covered with the largest and loftiest 
firs, cedars, pines, tamarack and larch, and its 
undergrowth is an impenetrable forest of alder, 
vine maple, laurel, dogwood, hemlock and un- 
named varieties of rough and gnarled and inter- 
laced shrubs and ferns and brush. The ax, 
wielded by a strong arm, must cut a way into, 
through and out of this indescribable wilder- 
ness, or it cannot be passed. 

Up to the autumn of 1846 all the wagons 
taken to Western Oregon were conveyed not 
far from 100 miles down the Columbia from 
The Ualles into the mouth of the Willamette 
and up that stream a few miles on rafts or in 
Hudson's Bay batteaux. To add to the diffi- 
culty a portage of three miles had to be made 
at the Cascades, and the wagons were taken 
piece by piece across it and reshipped again 
below. This 100 miles was the most perilous 
and difficult part of the journey to the Willam- 
ette valley, and came to the emigrants when 
they were wearied and enfeebled by months of 
constant toil and care. 

To relieve subsequent emigrants of this diffi- 
culty a few gentlemen of this siimmer's com- 
pany resolved to attempt crossing the mount- 
ains with their teams and wagdus. At the 
head of this company were Mr. Samuel K. Bar- 
low and Mr. W. H. Rector. Turning south- 
ward from The Dalles along the eastern base of 
the range, they sought a promising place to 
enter it to the south of Mount Hood. After 


about forty miles travel over a very rough and 
hilly, though untimbered region, tliey turned 
westward up a gentle slope that appeared to 
lead south of the great snowy cone of Mount 
flood, and began to cut their way into tlie 
dense forest. Some explored the route in ad- 
vance and blazed their way, others cut out 
obstructions and worked grades down and up 
the impassable precipices, and others drove the 
teams and cared for the families. Progress was 
very slow. It was late in autumn. The rains 
and snows beat upon them in the deep ravines 
and on the stormy heights. But they were 
resolute men, and resolved to push onward at 
every peril. After much effort they conducted 
their wagons about twenty miles into the 
wilderness, when the snow became so deep that 
to go forward or to go back was alike impos- 
sible. And besides they were not the men to 
go back even if they could. Nothing remained 
for them but to build cabins in which to hou.=e 
their families for the long winter, which was 
fully upon them, and provide as best tliey could 
against starvation. This they did in the deep 
gorge of White river, a few miles below where 
its waters flow from beneath the glaciers of 
Mount Hood. A wilder place can hardly be 
imagined. On either hand the great mountain 
sides were covered with giant firs, with close 
around a dense black pine forest. The little 
river, whose dashing waters, whitened by the 
volcanic ashes washed down from the great 
mountain cone, rushed stormily by. Lone, 
desolate winter covered all. 

Tile only possible supply of food these win- 
ter-imprisoned men, women and children had 
for the months before them was their emigrant 
oxen, worn and poor from the long summer's 
journey from the Missouri river. These they 
slaughtered and dressed, covered their carcasses 
with the snow which was sure to remain until 
May, and resigned themselves to the awful task 
of keeping alive for the long -winter. To live 
just for the purpose of living is the hardest 
task a human being ever performed. This was 
all there was for them to do. So they waited 

and ate their scant rations of poor beef, drank 
water from tlie river or from melted snow, cut 
fire-wood from the pines about them, and wore 
away the weary months. 

When the winter snows were ten or lifteen 
feet deep on the mountains, two or three of the 
men undertook to scale them on snow-shoes and 
reach the Willamette valley, and there procure 
help to work their way backward with supplies 
before those left behind had perished from star- 
vation. The distance to Oregon City was not 
less than sevent^'-tive miles, and fifty of that 
was untracked mountains. With a little beef 
wrapped up in a blanket on the back of each 
they left the lone cabins and their lonelier in- 
mates and started on their journey, hoping, yet 
only half expecting, to succeed. Rector was a 
remarkably strong, compact and sinewy man, 
Barlow was of slighter and sparer build, and 
less able to endure fatigue; and the stress of the 
long journey had already weakened him. He 
came near fainting, and one day when he felt he 
must succumb to his troubles and die he said to 
Eector, " What would you do with me if I 
should die here?" " Roast and eat you," growled 
the stronger Rector. Barlow burst into feeble 
teirs. " Come, come," said the really kind- 
hearted Rector, "you are not going to die: rouse 
up, be a man and come on." He cheered and 
helped him, and these resolute " pathfinders" 
toiled on over the snowy waste of mountains for 
many weary days before they descended from 
their western slopes and entered the Willamette 
valley. Such men, rather than those who trav- 
eled in their wake under Government commis- 
sions, and with all the abundance and comforts 
of Government equipments, were the true path- 
finders of the Rocky mountains and the Pacific 

On reaching Oregon City, Rector and Barlow 
obtained supplies for their families yet impi-is- 
oned in the snowy gorge of White river, and re- 
turned for their rescue. After the winter snows 
had gone they yoked up the oxen which they had 
brought back with tliem, and again began their 
slow and tiresome movement westward. Their 


winter's camp was some miles east of the sum- 
mit of tlie range, and up the steep ascent tlirough 
one of the stateliest and darkest forests that 
stands on the earth they cut their toilsome way. 
Then after the summit was passed they floun- 
dered tlirongh a terrible cedar morass that 
covers the summit plateau for miles, when they 
reached a western crest that stood sheer above 
the valley of a mountain river, whose upper wa- 
ters cleave the southwestern glaciers of Mount 
Hood. Into the fearful gorge into which it runs 
they dropped, rather than traveled, over the 
face of Laurel Hill, probably the most tremen- 
dous descent down which wagons ever rolled. 
And so they toiled on, day after day, week after 
week, until the last mountain was crossd, the 
last forest passed, and the brave remnant of the 
emigration of 1846 entered Oregon at full mid- 
summer of 1847. 

Quite a number of gentlemen, who in various 
departments of civil life became prominently 
associated with the progress of the country, at- 
tended this immigration. Among them was Mr. 
J. Qninn Thornton, a man of decided ability 
and line acquirements, who became Chief Jus- 
tice under the provisional government. ' Unfor- 
tunately no roster of this immigration was ever 
kept, and hence our personal notices of those in 
it must be omitted. 

We have now reached a period in the history 
of the immigrations into Oregon from which it 
becomes more and more difficult to trace any 
one of them in anything like a separate story. 
Still a few sentences must be given to that of 
1847, as that was the last one that left the fron- 
tiers of Missouri for the farthest West, that 
serves to present much of an individual history. 
Those coming subsequently started on their 
journey over the now well-worn emigrant road 
in small companies, at different times, traveled 
at their individual convenience, and when they 
reached the end of iheir journey melted away 
into the mass of the people almost impercep- 
tibly, as streamlets from the hills blend into the 
currents of widening rivers toward the sea. 
The immigration of 1847 was about 4,000. 

California had begun to allure many toward her 
newly opened and sunny plains, and probably 
as many of those who started from the Missouri 
river for the West turned thitherward into the 
vallty of Snake river as crossed the Blue and 
Cascade mountains into Oregon. But, in many 
respects, both as to men and things, it was one 
of the most marked and important of all the 
emigrations. Its members brought more prop- 
erty, more of those things necessary to make a 
home-like civilization than any that had pre- 
ceded it. Bands of fine cattle, including pure 
Durham stock, and of the best breeds of horses, 
as well as fine bands of sheep, were driven from 
the Western States. A stock of merchandise 
was brought by Thomas and William Cox, and 
a store opened by them at Salem, the now capi- 
tal of the State. Apple seeds, peach seeds and 
many other seeds of plants of which the 
country had been destitute before were brought. 
But that which attracted most attention, and 
was really of most importance, was what was 
called the " Traveling Nursery" brought by Mr. 
Henderson Lneling. He constructed bo.xes 
about one feet deep and just long enough to fill 
his wagon bed, filling them with a compost of 
earth and charcoal, in which lie planted about 
700 trees and shrubs, of the best improved va- 
rieties, from tiventy inches to four feet high. 
This wonderful " nursery" thus transplanted 
2,000 miles was tlie parent stock of those mag- 
nificent varieties of apples, pears, plums, cher- 
ries, peaches, and other fruits that have given the 
Pacific coast a name and fame as the finest 
fruit country on the continent. 

The immigration of 1847 contained quite a 
number of gentlemen who became quite promi- 
nent in the industrial and political history of 
the coast. Among these was the Hon. Samuel 
H. Thurston, who became the first delegate 
from the Territory of Oregon to the Congress 
of the United States, of whom we shall speak 
more at length in the appropriate place. 

With this notice of the immigration of 1847 
we close our notices of immigrations as separate 
from the general course of Oregon history. 




A New Era — Summary of Arrivals fob Five Years — Political Tendencies of the People — 
The Questions of Government — " Inalienable Rights " versus Foreign Control — Petition 
to Congress — Meeting at Champoeg in 1841 — Death of Ewing Young — Another Meeting 
— Incidental Circumstances — Dr. Elijah White, Indian Agent — Arrival oe the Immi- 
gration of 1842 — Artificial Antagonisms— Proposition for an Independent Government 
— Meeting at Willamette Falls — Resolutions of Mr. Abernethy — The "Wolf Meet- 
ing" — Plots and Counterplots — Canadian Citizens' Address — Meeting in Mat — A Close 
Division — Canadians Withdraw — Provision foe Government — Fourth-gf-Jult Celebra- 
tion — Report of Legislative Committee — "Organic Laws'* — Officers Chosen — First 
Election — George Abernethy Elected Governor— Form of Oath of Office — -First Legis- 
lature — Documents to Congress — Dr. White — Result of the Memorials — Characteris- 
tics of Governor Abernethy — Second Election — Abernethy Re-elected — Territorial 
Government Organized. 

\l \\ ^^ Iiave now reached a period in our his- 
\lrv// ^'^^y when Oregon began to assume 
■1 ■1 the form of a political coinmonwealth. 
Heretofore its history was mainly that of the 
aboriginal tribes, the various fur companies that 
operated within its boundary, of the missionary 
establishments that had been founded among 
the Indian tribes, and of individual action and 
adventure. That part of the story that relates 
to the presence and action of white men wlio 
had any civilized or civilizing object in their 
presence in the country covers but a single dec- 
ade. This was the era of the missionary or- 
ganizations, and the period when tiie results of 
their presence were crystallizing into social con- 
ditions that called for civil and political order. 
The dreamy story of the Indian tribes simply 
changed into the story of fur traffic, scarcely 
less dreamy, and hardly more a civilization than 
tlie other. How little there was of anything 
that had the fragrance of civilization rather than 
that of the wigwam about it up to the close of 
1840, will be seen by the following summary of 
the arrivals in the country up to that time. In 
1834, the four gentlemen of the Methodist mis- 
sion and six other men. In 1835 there were 

none. In 183G, Dr. Marcus Whitman and four 
other missionaries of the American Board. In 
1837, sixteen additional members of the Meth- 
odist mission and three settlers. In 1838, eight 
persons reinforced the missions of the American 
Board and three white men from the Rocky 
mountains came into the country. This year 
also two Jesuit priests, F. N. Blanchet and 
A. Demers, arrived. In 1839, four independ- 
ent Protestant missionaries and eight settlers. 
In 1840 a reinforcement of thirty-oue adults 
and fifteen children came to the Methodist mis- 
sion, and four independent Protestant mission- 
aries. P. G. De Smet, Jesuit missionary, and 
thirteen or fourteen settlers, mostly Rocky 
mountain men with Indian wives, arrived, — 
making in all eighty-five connected with the 
three mission establishments, and twenty-eight 
settlers; a total of 118 at the opening of 1840. 
Besides these were a small number of the super- 
annuated employes of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany located at various points, and yet holding 
legal as well as social relation to that body. In 
the classification of population thus presented 
it will be seen that the one predominating in- 
fluence in the country up to the close of 1840 


was necessarily tliat of the Protestant mission- 
aries. Civilly and politically there were two 
sentiments: one American and the other British. 
The Protestant missionaries uniformly repre- 
sented the American sentiment in the country, 
and the servants of the Hudson's Bay Company 
and the members of the Roman Catholic mis- 
sions could always he relied upon to further the 
cause of British possession of Oregon. So far 
as we have been able to trace the lines of in- 
fluence and action in connection with these dif- 
ferent missionary establishments, there was not 
even an individual exception to this statement. 
If at this time the claim of the United States to 
Oregon was receiving any help at all, it was by 
the unanimous action of the Protestant mission- 
aries, while the jnst as unanimous action of the 
iionnan Catholic missions aided and abetted the 
pretensions of Great Britain. By the relations 
of missionaries to patronizing societies, as well 
as the individual nativity and training of the 
men constituting them, this was inevitable. 
The Protestant missionaries were mainly from 
New England and New York, all Americans by 
birth, by education, and by civic and political 
afBliations. The Roman Catholic missionaries 
were all of foreign birth, educated and trained 
under governments opposed to republicanism 
and under an ecclesiastical system that cultured 
all their convictions away from it. Their social 
relations were with the Hudson's Bay Company, 
and they gave that company and its pretensions 
the most thorough support. Thus, at the close 
of 1840, it happened that the forces in array 
against each other for the ultimate possession of 
the country were, on the one side the Hudson's 
Bay Company and the Roman Catholic missions, 
on the other side the Protestant missions and the 
small number of Americans who had rolled down 
from the mountains or floated up from the sea 
and made Oregon at least a temporary home. 

The first question that fairly and clearly drew 
the lines of demarkation between these forces 
was that of government. The British party, 
consisting of the Hudson's Bay people and the 
Catholic missionaries, naturally desired to re- 

main as they were, since all pretended authority 
of law was that of the Dominion of Canada, 
which had been, in pretense at least, extended 
over all the country west of the Rocky mount- 
ains. Just as naturally the American party, 
consisting of the Protestant missionaries and 
American settlers, desired some forms of law 
according to the American idea of self govern- 
ment. They had no idea of submitting them- 
selves to the authority of the Hudson's Bay 
Company or the Canadian Parliament. An 
American always carries his "inalienable 
rights" with him, and on all proper, and per- 
haps on some improper, occasions is prepared 
to assert and defend them. Laws or constitu- 
tions enacted for him in a foreign parliament, 
or by a foreign corporation, are not sacred in his 
eyes, especially when it is attempted to enforce 
them over what he believes to be American 
soil. It was so here; i;nd accordingly, in March, 
1838, the first public step was taken looking 
toward the establishment of a Territorial gov- 
ernment over the country claimed by the 
United States west of the Rocky mountains. 
This was in the form of a inemoiial to Congress 
signed by J. L. Whitcoinb and thirty-five 
others, which was presented to that body by 
Senator Linn January 28, 1838. This memo- 
rial was read, laid on the table, and was never 
taken therefrom. In 1838 the subject was 
again brought to the attention of the Govern- 
ment by another petition to Congress, ably con- 
ceived and forcibly written, and signed by Rev. 
David Leslie, of the Methodist mission, and 
abont seventy others. The petition set forth 
very clearly the condition and needs of the 
country as seen by those upon the ground, and 
is of such importance historically, and exerted 
so much influence upon the action of Congress, 
and also npon the feelings of the Hudson's Bay 
Company toward the American settlers, that 
its full text is here inserted. It is as follows: 

To the Honorable, the Senate and House of 
Representatives of the United States of 
America in Congress Assembled: 


Your petitioners represent unto your honor- 
able bodies that they are residents in the Ore- 
gon Territory, and citizens of tlie United States, 
or persons desirous of becoming such. 

They further represent to your honorable 
bodies that they have settled themselves in 
said Territory under the belief that it was a por- 
tion of the public domain of said States and 
that they m\^]ii rely upon the Government 
thereof for the blessings of free institutions, 
and the protection of its arms. 

But your petitioners further represent, that 
they are uninformed of any acts of said Govern- 
ment by -which its institUL'ions and protection 
are extended to them; in consequence whereof 
themselves and families are exposed to be de- 
stroyed by the savages around them, and others 
tJiat would do them harm. 

And your petitioners would further represent 
that they have no means of protecting their 
own lives and the lives of their families, other 
than self-constituted tribunals, originated and 
sustained by the power of an ill-instructed 
public opinion, and the resort to force and 

And your petitioners represent these means of 
safety to be an insufficient safe-guard of life 
and property, and that the crimes of theft, 
murder, infanticide, etc., are increasing among 
them to an alarming extent, and your petition- 
ers declare themselves unable to arrest this 
progress of crime and its terrible consequences 
without the aid of law, and tribunals to ad- 
minister it. 

Your petitioners therefore pray the Congress 
of tlie United States of America to establish, as 
soon as may be, a Territorial government in the 
Oregon territory. 

And if reasons other than those presented were 
needed to induce your honorable bodies to grant 
the prayer of the undersigned, your petitioners, 
they would be found in the value of tliis terri- 
tory to the nation, and the alarming circum- 
stances that portend its loss. 

Your petitioners, in view of these last consid- 
erations, would represent that the English Gov- 

ernment has had a surveying party on the Ore- 
gon coast for two years, employed in making 
accurate surveys of all its rivers, bays and har- 
bors, and that recently the said government is 
said to have made a grant to the Hudson's Bay 
Company of all lands lying between the Colum- 
bia river and Pnget sound, and that the said 
company is actually exercising unequivocal acts 
of ownership over said lands thus granted, and 
opening extensive farms upon the same. 

And your petitioners represent that these 
circumstances, connected with other acts of said 
company to the same effect, and their declara- 
tion that the Engli-'ih Government owns and will 
hold, as its own soil, that portion of Oregon 
territory situated north of the Columbia river, 
together with the important fact that the said 
company are cutting and sawing into lumber 
and shipping to foreign ports vast quantities of 
the finest pine trees upon the navigable waters 
of the Columbia, have led your petitioners to ap- 
prehend that the English Government do intend, 
at all events, to hold that portion of this terri- 
tory lying north of the Columbia river. 

And your petitioners represent that the said 
territory north of the Columbia is an invaluable 
possession to the American Union, that in and 
about Puget Sound are the only harbors of 
easy access and commodious and safe upon the 
whole coast of the territory, and tliat a great 
part of this said northern part of the Oregon 
territory is rich in timber, water power and val- 
uable luinerals. For this and other reasons 
your petitioners pray that Congress will estab- 
lish its sovereignty over said territory. 

Your petitioners would further represent that 
the country south of the Columbia river and 
north of the Mexican line and extending from 
the Pacific ocean 120 miles into the interior is 
of nneqnaled beauty. Its mountains, covered 
with perpetual snow, pouring into the prairies 
around their bases transparent streams of pur- 
est water, the white and black oak, pine, cedar, 
and fir forests that divide the prairies into sec- 
tions convenient for farming purposes, the rich 
mines of coal in its hills, and salt springs in its 


valleys, its quarries of limestone, sandstone, 
chalk and marble, the salmon of its ri%-ers, and 
the .various blessings of the delightful and 
healthy climate, are known to us and impress 
your petitioners with the belief that this is one 
of the most favored portions of the globe. 

Indeed the deserts of the interior have their 
wealth of pasturage, and their lakes, evaporat- 
ing in summer, leave in their basins hundreds 
of bushels of the purest soda. Many other cir- 
cumstances could be named showing the im- 
portance of this territory in a national, com- 
mercial and agricultural point of view. And 
although your petitioners would not undervalue 
considerations of this kind, yet they beg leave 
especially to call the attention of Congress to 
their own conditions as an infant colony with- 
out military force or civil institutions to pro- 
tect their lives and property and children, sanc- 
tuaries and tombs from the hands of uncivilized 
and merciless savages around them. AVe re- 
spectfully ask for tlie civil institutions of the 
American republic. We pray for the high 
privilege of American citizenship, the peaceful 
enjoyment of life, the right of acquirincr, possess- 
ing and using property, and the unrestrained 
pursuit of rational happiness. And this your 
petitioners will ever pray. 

David Leslie, 
and about seventy others. 

It is ditlicult to fix the exact personal author- 
ship of this remarkable document. Its honor 
appears to be somewhat divided between David 
Leslie, at that time ^ro tern superintendent of 
the Methodist mission in the absence of Jason 
Lee, then on his return from the States by sea 
to Oregon at the head of what is known in the 
history of the mission as the "great re-enforce- 
ments," and Mr. Robert Shortess, an immi- 
grant of the same year in which the petition 
was written. It is probal)le that both had to 
do with its preparation. At all events it re- 
fleets honor upon the small American colony, 
not then reaching 100 persons in all, and shows 
how clearly and fully from the beginning our 

people comprehended tiie issues pending be- 
tween their own country and Great Britain, and 
how thoroughly American were their sympa- 
thies and purposes. 

There is one phrase in the petition, given in 
italics, which was understood by all to refer to 
the Hudson's Bay Company, and shows with 
what jealousy that company was watched by 
the American. Doubtless the phrase had its 
justification, and was not intended to convey 
the sense of extreme enmity by that company 
against tha Americans that some writers have 
supposed. At all events, while the company 
was faithful to itself, there is no evidence that 
it did intentionally incite its own people, or the 
Indian tribes, who were thoroughly under its 
control, to acts of violence against the Ameri- 
cans. And besides the humane Dr. McLough- 
lin was then at the head of the company, and 
no unprejudiced man who ever knew him could 
believe him capable of any such sinister action. 

The above quoted petition had gone on to 
Congress. A year or two must certainly pass 
before any relief could come from it, even if 
any ever came. Meantime the necessities of 
the people in Oregon, or, more accurately, in 
the Willamette valley, where all the American 
settlers and most of the Protestant missionaries 
resided, were growing more and more urgent. 
To meet them a meeting of some of the inhab- 
itants was held at Champoeg, not far from the 
Methodist mission, on the 7th of February, 
1841, for consultation on the steps necessary to 
be taken for the formation of laws and the 
election of oflScers to execute them. Rev. Jasou 
Lee was called to the chair and asked to express 
his opinion of the step required. He advised 
the appointment of a committee to draft a con- 
stitution and by-laws for the government of 
that portion of the country south of the Colum- 
bia river. Nothing of moment was done fur- 
ther at this meeting. 

A few days later an event occurred which 
served to I'cvive the matter in a new and more 
imperative form. Mr. Ewing Young, a gentle- 
man of prominence in the country and possess- 


ing a considerable estate, suddenly died. He left 
no heirs in the country, and no one had any 
authority to care for or administer upon his 
estate. His funeral was held on the 17th of 
February, at which most of the people of the 
valley were present. At the close of the funeral 
services a nieeting was held, over which Rev. 
Jason Lee presided, when it was resolved to 
hold another the next day at the Methodist 
mission. Nearly all the people of the settle- 
ment were present. Kev. David Leslie was 
chosen to preside, and Rev. Gustavus Hines and 
Mr. Sidney Smith were secretaries. A com- 
mittee was chosen to draft a constitntion and 
code of laws, of which F. F. Blanchet, after- 
ward Roman Catholic archbishop, was chair- 
man. After much discussion it was finally 
decided to elect a person to serve as judge with 
probate powers, and Dr. Ira L. Babcock was 
chosen. The meeting adjourned to meet again 
on Thursday, June 11, at the Catholic mission. 
At that meeting it was found that the chairman 
of t!ie committee appointed at the previous 
meeting to draft a constitution and laws had 
not called the committee together, and so this 
meeting adjourned to meet on the first Thurs- 
day in October. Before that time arrived the 
feeling had become somewhat prevalent amung 
the people that it would be unwise to establish 
any permanent form of government so long as 
the peace of the community could be preserved 
without it, aud consequently the meeting was 
never held. Thus ended the first attempt to 
establish a government west of the Rocky 

Incidental to, and having no little influence 
upon, the final action of the people in the estab- 
lishment of the provisional government, it must 
be mentioned that in 1842 Dr. Elijah White, 
who had formerly held the position of physician 
to the Methodist mission, and who had returned 
to the States after some disagreement with its 
superintendent. Rev. Jason Lee, appeared sud- 
denly in the country holding a government 
commission as sub-agent for the Indians in the 
region west of the Rocky mountains. He 

claimed plenary power over all questions be- 
tween the settlers and the Indians, as well as all 
civil and criminal cases that might arise in the 
country. He appointed temporary magistrates 
to try cases that might occur in his absence. 
The people received him joyfully, their thank- 
fulness at any proof that the Government had 
not entirely fcirgotten their necessities probably 
disposing them to a too generous credence of 
his pretensions. At a mreting called to receive 
him a series of highly complimentary resolu- 
tions were passed, and ordered transmitted to 
the Government of the United States, in order 
that the views and wishes of the people in rela- 
tion to this country might be made known. 

The course of Dr. White in the relation 
which he claimed as de facto governor of the 
colony, provoked violent criticism, us well as re- 
ceived emphatic defense. While it would an- 
swer no valuable purpose to trace the one or the 
other, it seems needful to say that Dr. White 
doubtless claimed much more authority than 
the Government ever designed he should exer- 
cise. At the same time he was zealous and 
active in the discharge of his duties, visiting 
every part of the country wherever his presence 
seemed to be required, and contributed in many 
ways to the quiet of the Indian tribes. Still 
the infirmities of his disposition and temper 
were such that he could not retain the confi- 
dence of masses of the people however desirous 
he might be of doing so. His letters to the 
Government earnestly urged that the country 
might be taken possession of by the United 
States, and the laws extended over it. A far 
more fortunate selection for Indian agent in 
Oregon might iiave been made: at the same 
time impartial history must record that the 
presence of Dr. White as such, albeit neither 
the man nor his work was ideal, did something 
to prepare the country for the rule of law which 
was now soon to be instated. 

The arrival of the immigration of 184:2, 
bringing as it did a great increase of American 
settlers, decidedly influenced the sentiment of 
the country in favor of the immediate organiza. 



tion of a government. What form it should 
take, whether it should be entirely independent 
of both nations claiming jurisdiction over the 
country, or provisional, looking to an ultimate 
supersedence by the extension of the laws of 
the United States or Great Britain over Oregon, 
became subjects of warm and often acrimonious 
debates. That this should lie so was but natural, 
as it was not easy to harmonize the sentiments 
of those who yet expected the supremacy of 
England on the Pacific coast with those who 
confidently believed that the United States 
rightfully owned the country. And besides 
there were those who fostered an artificial an- 
tagonism between the Protestant missionary 
settlements and the distinctively American 
population. We have called this antagonism 
"artificial" because there was no ground for it 
in reality, since all these missionary establish- 
ments were intensely American, and their real 
views could not but be in harmony with the in- 
terests of Oregon's Americanization. Probably 
a careful analysis of the causes lying liack of 
this particular phase of the questions at issue 
would discover that tl)ey were largely of a social 
nature, and came out of tiie fact that a great 
preponderance of the capacity and training for 
pulilic affairs then in the colony was found among 
the gentlemen connected vvitli these missions, 
and it was but natural that, in emergencies like 
the present, they should appear more conspicu- 
ously than others. Of course, in addition to 
these divisions of sentiment, there was the Ro- 
man Catholic element, always most anxious for 
that which would most subserve the plans and 
purposes of the hierai-chy of Rome. It were 
no small feat to so far harmonize these variant 
elements as to secure an organization at all; for 
there would needs be plots and counterplots, 
and no one knew where the majority would 
stand when the final count should come. 

Dr. John McLoughlin gave the great weight 
of his name to the plan of an independent gov- 
ernment; one entirely separated from either the 
United States or Great Britain. With him, as 
a matter of couise, went the men of the Hud- 

son's Bay Company, now settlers south of the 
Columbia, and almost as much a matter of 
course the Roman Catholics. This presented a 
formidable combination, one that it proved not 
easy to overcome. 

The first public indication of the result oc- 
curred at Willamette Falls (now Oregon City), 
then the chief town of the colony, in the dis- 
cussion, in a public lyceum, of a resolution in- 
troduced by L. W. Hastings, as attorney for Dr. 
McLoughlin, in the following words: 

" Eesolved, That it is expedient for the set- 
tlers of the coast to organize an independent 

At the close of the discussion the vote was 
taken, and the resolution was adopted. At this 
point Mr. George Abernethy, afterward gov- 
ernor under the provisional government, 
introduced another resolution for discussion 
the following week, in the following words: 

" R,:«oh'eil, That if the United States extends 
its jurisdiction over this country during the next 
four years, it will not be expedient to form an 
independent government." 

This resolution was very skillfully drawn. 
Its passage would do two things: First, tenta- 
tively pledge the people against an "independ- 
ent" government; and, second, clearly express 
their faith in the ultimate extension of the laws 
of the American Union over the Pacific coast. 
It was not against any government at the present 
time, but against what Avas then understood as 
the scheme of an '• independent government;" 
that is, one looking to its own perpetuation as 
an independent power among the governments 
of the world. 

At the close of an earnest debate the resolu- 
tion of Mr. Abernethy was adopted. This set 
at rest the scheme of an " independent govern- 
ment," but it left the question of the formation 
of a provisional government, looking to its own 
supersession by the authority of the United 
States at some future date still an open one. 
In regard to this the discussion went on with 
undiminished interest. 

Meanwhile some of the leaiiinii' men of the 


settlement had called a public meeting to be 
held at the house of Joseph Gervais, where 
tlie town of Gervais now is, on the first Monday 
in March, to consider measures for the protec- 
tion of the herds of the settlers from the depre- 
dations of wild beasts. This was a subject that 
appealed to all strongly, for savage beasts were 
numerous and destructive. The attendance was 
large, for it had become bruited about that some 
other matter of importance would be Ijrouglit 
forward at the meeting. This gathering was 
known among the settlers as the " wolf meet- 

The result of tliis gatliering, ovei- which 
James O'Neil presided, was the adoption of a 
series of resolutions providing for the payment 
of bounties for the destruction of predatory ani- 
mals. After this was done, a motion was made 
by W. H. Gray that a committee of twelve per- 
sons be appointed to take into consideration tlie 
propriety of taking measures for the civil and 
military protection of the colony. This was 
unanimously adopted, the committee was elected 
and the " wolf meeting" had gone into history. 

Between the time of the adjournment of this 
meeting and the assembling of another at Cham- 
poeg on the 2d day of May, 1843, those opposed 
to the organization of any form of government 
were not idle. These were notably the people 
of the Hudson's Bay Company and those who 
called themselves " the Canadian citizens of 
Oregon." They held public meetings at Van- 
couver, at Willamette Falls, and at the Catholic 
Church on the French Prairie. An " Address 
of the Canadian citizens of Oregon to the meet- 
ing at Champoeg," prepared by the Romish 
priest, F. N. Blanchet, was circulated, and every 
inflnence possible from these quarters were ex- 
erted to prevent affirmative action at the meet- 
ing of May 2. 

The address of the Canadian citizens of Ore- 
gon, writtf^n as it was by a man who, though a 
master of dialectics in one tongue, the French, 
was unable to intelligently Anglicize his speech, 
is a unique specimen of literary work. Still 
it discovers the entire nn-American sentiments 

of those for whom it was penned at that time, 
and their great wish to hold the country un- 
committed on all questions that might have an 
influence in finally settling the dispute for pos- 
session of Oregon between England and the 
United States in favor of the United States. A 
quotation of paragraphs 11 and 12 of the " Ad- 
dress" will disclose these facts. Tliey are as 

" 11. That we consider the country free at 
present, to all nations, till government shall 
have decided; o])en to every individual wishing 
to settle, without any distinction of origin, and 
without asking him anything, either to become 
an English, Spanish or American citizen. 

" 12. So we, English subjects, proclaim to 
be free, as well as those who came from France, 
California, United States, or even natives of this 
country; and we desire unison with all the re- 
spectable citizens who wish to settle in this 
country; or we ask to be recognized as free 
among ourselves to make such regulations as 
appear suitable to our wants, save the general 
interest of having justice from all strangers who 
might injure us, and that our reasonable cus- 
toms and pretensions be respected." 

This shows, as well as such phrases can show, 
that the real conflict was the old one of rival 
claims to Oregon, now assuming, so far as the 
people of Oregon themselves were concerned, 
only another form of expression. 

According to call the settlers gathered at 
Champoeg on the 2d of May. Dr. I. L. Bab- 
cock was chairman, and G. W. Le Breton was 
secretary. The committee of twelve appointed 
at the previous meeting made its report. A 
motion to accept it was lost; the Hudson's Bay 
men and the Catholics, vinder the lead of Rev. 
F. N. Blancliet, voting " No " on the motion to 
accept. There was mnch confusion, if not some 
consternation, at this result, for it seemed that 
all the iiopes of those who desired the establish- 
ment of some order of government were to be 
blasted. A motion made by Mr. Le Breton, 
however, rescued the meeting from its unhappy 
dilemnja. It was that the meeting divide: those 


in favor of an organization taking the right, 
and those opposed to it taking the left. This 
motion prevailed withont opposition. "Joe 
Meek," an old Rocky mountain man, of tall, 
erect and commanding form, fine visage, with 
a coal-black eye, and the voice of Stentor, a 
thorough American, stepped out and shouted, 
■' All in favor of the report of the committee 
and an organization, follow me." The Ameri- 
cans were immediately in line by his side. 
More slowly the opposition with Blanchet went 
" to the left." The lines were carefully counted. 
Fifty-two stood with Meek; fifty with Blan- 
chet, — -so narrow was the margin of sentiment 
in favor of the organization of any form of gov- 
ernment. Promptly the chairman called the 
meeting to order again; but the defeated party 
withdrew, leaving only those who voted in the 
affirmative to conclude the proceedings of the 

This was easily done, for now the cause was 
in the hands of its friends. The report of the 
committee of twelve was taken up. discussed, 
amended and adopted. It provided for the 
election of a supreme judge, with probate power, 
a clerk of the court, a sheriff, three magistrates, 
three constables, a treasurer, a major and three 
captains. A. E. Wilson was chosen to act as 
supreme judge, G. W. Le Breton as clerk of the 
court, J. L. Meek as sheriff and W. II. "Wilson 
as treasurer. The other offices were tilled and 
a " Legislative Committee " of nine was ap- 
pointed, consisting of Messrs. Hill, Ivobert 
Shortess, liobert Newell, A. Beers, Hubbard, 
W. H. Gray, J. O'Neil, R. Moore and Dough- 
erty. The session of the " Legislative Com- 
mittee" was limited to si.x days and their per 
diem fixed at SI. 25, which they immediately 
contributed themselves. This committee as- 
sembled at the Falls on the 10th of May and 
was furnished a room gratuitously by the Meth- 
odist mission at that place, which, though the 
best that could be had, was certainly humble 
enough to suit even frontier views of economy 
in the work of State building. It was a build- 
ing 16 X 30 and divided into two rooms, one of 

which accommodated the first legislature of 
Oregon. As the discussions of this legislature 
were tentative, and to be reported to a meeting 
of the citizens to be held at Charapoeg on the 
5th of July, it is not necessary to record them 
in e.xtenso here. The session continued but 
three days. 

The meeting to consider the report of the 
legislative committee was to be on the 5th day 
of July. Showing the thorough American senti- 
ment that prevaded the entire movement a cel- 
ebration of " Independence Day " had been ar- 
ranged for at the same place on the 4th, and 
an oration in honor of that day so dear to every 
true American was delivered by Rev. Gustavus 
Hines. On the 5th the meeting of the citizens 
was held and the orator of the previous day was 
chosen to preside over it. Quite a number of 
those who had opposed organization at the pre- 
vious meeting were present at this and an- 
nounced themselves as favorable to the objects 
sought to be attained by the Americans. Others, 
however, including the Catholic missionaries and 
the Hudson's Bay Company, not only did not 
attend, but publicly asserted that they would 
not submit to the authority of any government 
that might be organized. The representatives 
of the Hudson's Bay Compauy addressed a 
communication to the leaders of the movement, 
stating that they felt aljundantly able to defend 
both themselves and their political rights. 
With affairs in this attitude Mr. Hines an- 
nounced that the report of the legislative com- 
mittee was in order. The report w'as accord- 
ingly read by Mr. Le Breton. It consisted of a 
body of what was styled by the committee " or- 
ganic laws," prefaced by the following pre- 

" We, the people of Oregon Territory, for the 
purpose of mutual protection, and to secure 
peace and prosperity among ourselves, agree to 
adopt the following laws and regulations until 
such time as the United States of America ex- 
tend their jurisdiction over us." Then follows 
the usual form of a constitution, with the usual 
definitions and restrictions of the powers of 


the goverimieut. It provided for an Executive 
Committee of three instead of a governor, and a 
Legislative Committee of nine, and in the main 
followed the order adopted liy the preliminary 
meeting in March. It provided that the laws 
of Iowa should be the laws of Oregon Territory 
in cases not otherwise provided for, and made 
definite provision on the subject of land claims. 
The portion of the report that elicited the most 
controversy was that constituting an executive 
committee of three, some desiring a single ex- 
ecutive and some wishing to leave the govern- 
ment — if government it could then have been 
called — without an executive head. On the vote 
being taken the body of "organic laws" re- 
ported by the committee was adopted, M'ith only 
slight amendments by the meeting. It was re- 
solved that the persons chosen to officiate in the 
several offices at the meeting held in May should 
continue in office until the following May. 
This left only the Executive Committee to be 
elected, and on a ballot being taken Alanson 
Beers, David Hill and Joseph Gale were chosen, 
and these tiiree constituted the first executive 
of the Territory of Oregon. In this manner 
Oregon passed from a condition where every 
man was a law unto himself into the condition 
of an organized political commonwealth, and a 
new era had dawned upon her. 

The first election under the provision of the 
organic law adopted by the people at Cham poeg, 
July 5, 1843, was held on the 14th of May, 
1844. At this election P. G. Stewart, Osboru 
Eussell and W. J. Bailey were elected members 
of the Executive Committee: Ira L. Babcock, 
supreme judge, John E. Long, clerk and re- 
corder, Philip Foster, treasurer, and Joseph L. 
Meek, sheriff. The legislative districts had 
been organized, covering all of what now con- 
stitutes the States of Oregon, Washington and 
Idaho, and a part of the State of Montana. That 
was the Oregon Territory of the days of the 
provisional government and np to 1853, when 
Washington Territoi-y was organized by act of 

The plan of government proved so defective 
that at their meeting at Oregon City in Decem- 
ber, 1844, tlie legislative committee passed 
several acts amendatory of it providing for their 
submission to the people, among which was a 
ciiange from an executive committee of three 
to a governor, and from a legislative committee 
elected by the people en masse to a legislature 
representing legislative districts. These amend- 
ments were adopted by the people, and at the 
first annual election held under the amended 
organic law on the 3d of June, 1845, George 
Abernethy was elected the first governor of 
Oregon; John E. Long was elected secretary, 
Francis Ermatinger, treasurer; J. W. Nesmith, 
district attorney; S. W. Moss, assessor; and 
Joseph L. Meek was continued as sherifi'. The 
total vote cast for governor was 504. The ques- 
tion of holding a convention to frame a consti- 
tution had also been submitted to the people, 
but the plan was defeated by a vote of 283 
against to 190 in favor of it. 

At the time of his election as governor, Mr. 
Abernethy was absent from the country on a 
visit to the Sandwich islands, and until his re- 
turn the old executive committee officiated as 
the executive of the Territory. 

When the Legislature met at Oregon City on 
the 24th of June, Mr. Jesse Applegate prepared 
a form of oath to be administered to the mem- 
bers elect, the terms of which indicate the pecu- 
liar condition of society existing in the country 
at that time. The oath was as follows: 

Oatu of Office. — I do solemnly swear that 
I will support the organic laws of the provis- 
sional government of Oregon, so far as the said 
organic laws are consistent with my duties as a 
citizen of the United States, or a subject of 
Great Britain, and faithfully demean myself in 
office. So help me God. 

This form of oath, it will be seen, left much 
to the judgment of the individual legislator as 
to what was or was not "consistent" with his 
duties " as a citizen of the United States, or a 
subject of Great Britain." Still it is worthy 


of remark that, so far we have have been able 
to ascertain, tliere was no case of even alleged 
conflict between snch duties and obedience to 
tlie organic law of the Territory. Indeed 
tliere ^^•as no danger of tliis so far as those wlio 
wei-e citizens of the United States were con- 
cerned, as tlie organic law was entirely the prod- 
uct of the spirit of American citizenship, and 
was the act of American citizens. This form 
of oath was doubtless designed to disarm, as far 
as possible, opposition to provisional govern- 
nioiit on the part of those who, from tiieir re- 
lations to the British government and the Hud- 
son's 13a^ Company, yet persisted in opposing 
it. Practically so far as the members of the 
Legislature were concerned, it had no applica- 
tion, as they were all citizens of the TTnited 
States, and hearty supporters of the organic law. 

As this was the first legislature elected in 
the usual manner by the ballots of the electors 
of Oregon, it seems proper tliat their names be 
given here. They were: 

Clackamas District: 11. A. J. Lee, llirain 
Straight, W. IL Gray. 

Tualatin District: M. M. McCarver, D. Hill, 
J. ^\. Smith. 

Champoeg District: J. ]\[. Garrison, M. G. 
Foisy, Barton Lee, Robert Newell. 

Clatsop District: John McClure. 

Yam Hill District: Jesse Applegate, A. Hen- 

To those acquainted with the geography of 
the country it is hardly necessary to say that 
they were all residents south of the Columbia 
river, for, though there had been a section called 
Vancouver district designated the year before, 
including the country north of the Columbia, it 
had elected no representative, and really there 
was hardly any settlement in it except by the 
Hudson's Bay people, and these coivld hardly be 
called settlements in the understanding of that 
term by an American. 

The new legislature met at Oregon City on 
the 24th of June, and elected M. M. McCarver 
speaker. The first and most important business 
of the session was the passing of a memorial to 

Congress, asking for a Territorial government 
according to the usual forms of Congressional 
action. On the 28th of June this memorial 
was signed by the acting executivej in the ab- 
sence of Governor-elect Abernethy, namely; 
Messrs. Russell and Stewart of the old execu- 
tive committee. Supreme Judge Nesmith and 
the members of the legislature; and Dr. Elijah 
White was delegated to convey it to Washing- 
ton. This being done the legislature took a re- 
cess until August 5, awaiting the vote of the 
people on the adoption of a revised and amended 
organic law wliich had been duly submitted to 
them. The vote being strongly in favor of the 
new law, the legislature began its action under 
it at the appointed time. After some disagree- 
able wrangling the action of the body at its flrst 
session electingM. M. McCarver speaker, was 
reconsidered, and Jiobert JS'ewell was elected in 
his place. A spirit of personal partisanship is 
disclosed by the records of the session, perhaps 
not greatly to be wondered at, and still not 
commending the body to any special eulogy. 
The previous appointment of Dr. White as 
messenger to convey the memorial asking tlie 
organization of a Territorial government for 
Oregon to Congress, became a great cause of 
contention. The methods and spirit of Di-. 
White, as we have previously stated, were such 
tliat he did not command general pul)lic confi- 
dence, though he did not fail to secure a warm 
personal and partisan support. Whether the 
action of the legishiture in first appointing him 
its messenger and placing its memorial in his 
hands, and afterward, by a unanimoTis vote, 
comm.itting to him also a copy of the amended 
organic law to be conveyed with the memorial 
to Congress, and then, in a few days, demand- 
ing their return, was taken with becoming dig- 
nity and intelligence, is a question we will not 
discuss. Certain it is, howe\-er, that at this 
point in the legislative history of Oregon tliere 
was an amount of personal politics intermincrfed 
with all public politics not conservable of the best 
interests of the new commonwealth. Further 
than this we need not here draw aside the veil. 



The ostensible reason for the action of the 
legislature demanding of Dr. White the return 
of the docutneuts entrusted to him, was that 
thej had not been "attested and dispatched ac- 
cording to the directions of this house;" or, in 
other words, that Mr. McCarver had signed the 
memorial as speaker of the house, which, it 
seems, was not what that body desired. It one 
at this day can truly read between the lines of 
the recorded action of the legislature concerning 
these matters, a belief that the prominence that 
body had given Dr. White as bearer of these 
documeats to Washington, and its consequent 
quasi indorsement of him after his service as 
sub-agent of Indian afiairs in Oregon, would 
give him a strong moral claim for any oifice of 
honor or profit he might desire in the hoped-for 
Territorial organization, was the real reason for 
that action. The members believed, too, that 
he would use his position for that end, which is 
not only likely, but what, probably, most of 
them would have done under the same circum- 

Dr. White, in a singularly characteristic note, 
refused to comply with tiie demand of the legis- 
lature to return the documents, and proceeded 
on his way to Washington. Not to be foiled in 
its purpose, the legislature caused to be for- 
warded to Congress, through the American Con- 
sul at the Sandwich Islands, a copy of the or- 
ganic law of tlie provisional government signed 
by the governor and attested by the secretary, 
and also of all resolutions adopted by that body 
relating to the sending of the same to Congress 
by the hand of Dr. White, and also a copy of 
the letter of Dr. White declining to return the 
same to it. On the arrival of the documents 
thus forwarded in Washington, Dr. White, who 
had reached that city before them, was con- 
fronted by then), and they effectually destroyed 
all his chances for political preferment in 

The result of these memorials and petitions 
to Congress, in the then attitude of the inter- 
national dispute regarding the ownership of 
Oregon, could only be to keep the question con- 

stantly and influentially before the Government 
of the United States, and inapress it with the 
vast importance of the great country in dispute. 
This they effectually did. But of course no 
Territorial government could be erected over it 
until all the antecedent questions of sovereignty 
were settled. For this the people of Oregon 
waited impatiently. The Government seemed 
mncli too tardy and indifferent in pressing these 
questions to a settlement, and the people of 
Oregon were long left in suspense as to whether 
they were really regarded as American citizens 
or not. Meanwhile the affairs of the sui generis 
commonwealth were managed by the provisional 
govenunent as best they could be in the condi- 
tion of the country, and the historian, after 
making due allowances for the inexperience of 
those to whom was intrusted this semblance of 
authority, must say they were well managed. 

It was fortunate that at this critical juncture 
in the afiairs of Oregon a man of calm, self- 
poised, conservative mold was its chief execu- 
tive officer. The only authority of the govern- 
ment was a moral one. Its only power to en- 
force its decrees was in the will of the people to 
obey them. To the immortal honor of the pio- 
neers it may be written that no country ever 
had a larger proportion of people* who governed 
themselves by the general rule of right-doing 
than had Oregon. To that class of people Gov- 
ernor Abernethy's quiet, undemonstrative, con- 
scientious course as an officer and a man com- 
mended itself, and in commending itself also 
commended the government of which he was 
the executive head. Oregon had many abler, 
more brilliant, more aggressive men, and many 
of these undervalued him, and depreciated his 
conservatism, but it was best for Oregon. A 
Hotspur in the executive chair at that time 
would aLiiost certainly have so embroiled the 
American and British elements then in the 
country by the equal rigiits of treaty stipula- 
tions as greatly to endanger our national peace, 
if not, indeed, to make probable a conclusion of 
our international controversy less favorable to the 
United States. He was strong enough to wait. 



wiae enough lo he prudent. This is said for 
Mr. Ahernethy without any depreciation of tlie 
character or work of other men, coadjutors with 
him in tlie thrillingiy important events of their 
era, but in just appreciation of the iiiHuence 
and work of this man in molding and consers'- 
in^ the early character of Oregon history, and 
in bringing (Oregon through the really most 
dangerous period of its civil and political con- 
struction. No American at that time in Ore- 
gon, who ought to have been thought of in con- 
nection with the office of governor, had more of 
the respect and confidence of those who were 
not Americans than he, and it was greatly this 
respect and confidence in him that prevented a 
more open and violent opposition to the provis- 
ional government on the part of these people. 
This, by some writers, has been set down as a 
discount on his qualifications for the office which 
he held, l)ut to us it seems one of the prime 
factors in the real infiuenee of the government 
he directed. 

While many very important events in the 
general history of Oregon occurred during the 
existence of the provisional government, they 
will be found recorded elsewhere in this book, 
under the special departments of history to 
which they belong; wiiat relates particularly to 
the history of that government itself can soon 
be told. Though in 1846 the " Oregon ques- 
tion '" between Great Britain and the T'nited 
States was settled, confirming to the United 
States all the country west of the Rocky mount- 
ains up to the 49° of latitude, yet no decisive 
movement was made by Congress toward the 
organization of a Territorial government over 
it. Therefore on the 3d of June, 1847, another 
election for governor and other officers, and 

members of the provisional legislature, was 
held. The numlier of votes polled for governor 
was 1,074, George Abernethy receiving a plu- 
rality of the votes and being elected. The 
Legislature had then increased to twenty-two 
members, five coming from the region north of 
Columbia river, and the names of seiveral who 
had been, in some relation, connected with the 
interests of the Hudson's Bay Company, appear- 
ing for the first time upon the list of members. 
This indicated a gradual melting down of the 
old barriers of caste and nationality, and gave 
some pledge of a future harmoniousness of feel- 
ing and action on the part of all the people of 
the country. The question of title to the 
country having been settled, the old causes of 
disagreement had passed away, e.xcept the lin- 
gering remnants of personal enmities begotien 
of adverse national predilections and interest. 
Many of these disappeared only in the graves 
of those who were prejudiced or fanatical enough 
to entertain them. 

The bill for the organization of a Territorial 
government for Oregon was placed on its final 
passage in Congress on tlie 12tli of August, 

1848. The incidents leading up to and attend- 
ing this event will be found elsewhere and need 
not be referred to here. When the '• ayes" and 
" nays " were called a majority voted in the 
affirmative. President Polk atiixed his signa- 
ture to it a few hours afterward, and at once 
appointed General Joseph Lane, of Indiana, 
governor of the Territory of Oregon. On his 
arrival at Oregon City, on the 2d of March, 

1849, he issued his proclamation, and assumed 
the duties of his office, and the provisional 
government ot Oregon had ceased to exist. 



Organization Delated — Benton's Letter — Mr. Thornton's Mission to Washington — J. L. 
Meek Sent to Washington — President Polk Appoints Territorial Officers — Census 
Taken — Gold Discovered in California — Election of Delegates to Congress — First Ter- 
ritorial Legislature — Gov. Lane — Gov. Gaines — Eegiment of Mounted Riflemen — 
Change of Officers — First Newspaper — Steamer Built — Death of Mr. Thurston. 


Oregon question," as 
)ne, was concluded in 
the summer of 1846, the country itself 
was left practically to its own resources 
for two years longer. It was confidently ex- 
pected by the people of Oregon, and of the 
Eastern States as well, tliat the organization of 
a Territorial government would soon follow the 
settlement of the boundary controversy. Lender 
this expectation a large emigration from the 
older States crossed the plains in 1847. But 
Congress delayed. Reasons of politics were 
more potent in the councils of the nation than 
reasons of statesmanship. The Mexican war 
was in progress. The administration had all 
and more than it could do to maintain itself 
before the people. Its abdication of the politics 
of the convention and the stump on the Oregon 
qnestion for those of statesmanship and reason 
had angered a large element of its former sup- 
porters, and the progress of the war, while 
lifting generals into high reputation, were add- 
ing nothing to the honor of those politicians 
who anticipated preferment as the result of the 
war. So Oregon must wait. And another 
quesrion was in the slumbering Oregon ques- 
tion. That was the slavery question! and all 
knew that when the matter of the organization 
of the Territorial government for Oregon came 
before Congress this "Satan" of our politics for 
so many years would "come also." And for 
this reason, too, the question must wait. 

The disappointment in Oregon over this de- 
lay was intense. To allay it as far as possible 
Mr. Buchanan, Secretary of State under Presi- 
dent Polk, and Thomas H. Benton, wrote letters 
to the people of Oregon, giving the strongest 
assurances that they would, be cared for, and 

the interests of the rising commonwealth on the 
Pacific protected. Mr. Buchanan expressed the 
deep regret of President Polk that Congress had 
neglected Oregon, and promising the presence 
of a regiment of dragoons, and the occasional 
visits of vessels of war to protect the people. 
That of Senator Benton gave so clear a view of 
the political situation in which appears so mucli 
that is vital to the brave frontiersmen of Ore- 
gon, that onr readers will be glad to see some 
extracts from it. He says: 

"Washington, March, 1848. 

'■'My Friends (for such I may call many of 
you from personal acquaintance, and all of you 
from my thirty years of devotion to the inter- 
ests of your country): I think it right to make 
this communication to you at the present mo- 
ment when tlie adjournment of Congress, with- 
out passing the bill for your government and 
protection, seems to have left you in a state of 
abandonment by your mother country. You 
are not abandoned. Nor will you be denied 
protection unless you agree to admit slavery. 
I, a man of the South and a slaveholder, tell 
you this. The House of Representatives, as 
early as the middle of January, had passed the 
bill to give jou 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 which this bill was referred, proposed to ab- 
rogate that prohibition, and in the delays and 
vexations to which that amendment gave rise, 
the whole bill was laid upon the table and lost 
for the session. This will be a great disappoint- 
ment to you and a real calamity, already five 


years without law or legal institutions for the 
protection of life, liberty and property, and 
now doomed to wait a year longer. This is a 
strange and anomalous condition, almost in- 
credible to contemplate and critical to endure! 
A colony of free men, almost four thousand 
miles from the metropolitan government to 
preserve them! But do not be alarmed or des- 
perate. Yon will not be outlawed for not ad- 



" Your fundamental act against that institu- 
tion, copied from the ordinance of 1787 (the 
work of the great men of the South in the grt^at 
days of the South, prohibiting slavery in a terri- 
tory far less northern than yours), will not be 
abrogated. Nor is that the intention of the 
prime mover of the amendment. Upon the 
record the judiciary committee of the Senate is 
the anthoi- of that amendment, but not so the 
fact. It is only the midwife of it. Its author 
is the same mind that generated the ' P'ire- 
Braud Resolutions,' of which I send you a 
copy, and of which the amendment is the legiti- 
mate derivation. Oregon is not the object. 
The most rabid propagandist of slavery cannot 
expect to plant It on the shores of the Pacific 
in the latitude of Wisconsin and of the Lake of 
the Woods. A home agitation for election and 
and disunion purposes is all that is intended by 
thrusting this fire-brand question into your bill 
as it ought not to he. I promise you this in the 
name of the South, as well as of the North, and 
the event will not deceive me. In the mean- 
time the president will give you all the protec- 
tion which existing laws will enable him to 
extend to you, and until Congress has time to 
act your friends must rely upon you to con- 
tinue to govern yourselves as you have hereto- 
fore done under the provisions of your own 
voluntary compact, and with the justice, har- 
mony and moderation which is due to your own 
character and to the honor of the American 
name. * * ■■'' * 

" 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 de- 

nounce the joint-occupation treaty the day it 
was made, and to oppose its renewal in 1828, 
and to labor for its abrogation until it was ter- 
minated; the same spirit which led me to 
reveal the grand destiny of Oregon in articles 
written in 1818, and to support every measure 
for her benefit since, — the same spirit still ani- 
mates 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 month 
of your river, and a stream of Asiatic trade 
pouring into the \-alley of the Mississippi 
through the channel of Oregon." 

These letters fully explained to the people of 
Oregon the political condition of the questions 
relating to their interests, as well as communi- 
cated to them the courage of assured expecta- 
tion. Their provisional government was meet- 
ing, in a reasonable way, the necessities of 
internal order, and, except for a feeling of 
national orphanage that must have oppressed 
the ten or twehe thousand Americans in the 
country, there was not much real detriment to 
the country in the delay. That feeling, how- 
ever, made the disappointment bitter indeed. 

To stimulate, as far as possible, the action of 
Congress, Governor Abernethy, and many of the 
leading gentlemen of the Territory, requested 
Hon. J. Quinn Thornton, supreme judge under 
the provisional government, to proceed to 
Washington and labor with CJongress in behalf 
of Oregon. Acceding to their request Mr. 
Thornton left Oregon the latter part of October 
and arrived in Washington about the middle of 
May, 1848. He was received in a very cordial 
manner by the friends of Oregon in Congress, 
and liy the president, and, acting under their 
advice, prepared a memorial setting forth the 
needs and conditions of the people of Oregon, 
and it was presented to both Houses of Congress. 

In addition to the memorial, Mr. Thornton 
drafted a bill for the organization of a Terri- 
torial govornment, which was introduced and 
placed upon its passage. Containing a clause 
prohibiting slavery, this bill was as objection- 
able to the pro-slavery force in Congress as was 


that which had been defeated two years before. 
Led by JeflFerson Davis and John C Calhoun, 
the party resisted, with a desperate determina- 
tion, every step of the progress of the bill. By 
all the tactics known to le<>islative bodies it was 
opposed and resisted. It was approaching the 
time fixed npon for the final adjourntnent of 
Congress, August 14, and evei'y effort was 
made to prevent the vote being taken. Bnt 
the friends of the bill had made their argnnients, 
and resolved to remain in session until its ene- 
mies yielded to a vote. A violent altercation, 
which came near resulting in a duel, occurred 
between Senators Benton of Missouri and But- 
ler of South Carolina, but after every expedient 
of filiinister and delay had been resorted to by 
the enemies of the bill, the vote was taken on 
the 1)111 at abont 8 o'clock on the morning of 
August 13, 1848, the Senate having been in ses- 
sion all night, and the bill was passed. Within a 
few hoars after its passage President Polk 
affixed his signature to it, and the "Territory of 
Oregon" became a legal fact. 

Connected with the influences that hastened 
the result, and contributing no little to it, 
were the occurrence of the "Whitman massa- 
cre," which is elsewhere in this book separately 
treated of, and the sending of Joseph L. Meek 
as a special messenger overland to Washington, 
to convey the intelligence of the terrible affair, 
and contribute what he could to the purpose 
for which Mr. Thoi'ntou had already gone. 
The massacre occurred on the 29th day of 
November, 1847, abont six weeks after Mr. 
Thornton's departure. The country was 
plunged into a state of grief and alarm. How 
far the murderous purposes and combinations 
of the Indians extended no one could tell. The 
Provisional Legislature was then in session at 
Oregon City. That body, on the 10th of Decem- 
ber, on motion of J. W. Nesmith, resolved to 
dispatch a special messenger to Washington at 
once "for the purpose of securing the immedi- 
ate influence and protection of the United 
States Government in our internal affairs." On 
the 16th of December, Joseph L. Meek was 

chosen as such messenger, and $1,000 appro- 
priated for his expenses. Mr. Meek was a 
member of the Legislative Assemby, but im- 
mediately resigned his seat for the purpose of 
complying with the desires of that body, as, in- 
deed, of all the people of 0)-egon. 

The selection of Mr. Meek as messenger to 
carry dispatches to Washington was, in most 
respects, a very suitable one. The mission was 
one of great peril and hardship. It was win- 
ter, and the route lay over nearly 2,000 miles 
of entirely unsettled deserts and mountains, on 
which the winter storms and snows held a ter- 
rible tyranny. A journey over them by sum- 
mer was difficult and dangerous enough, and 
one by winter had seldom been attempted, and 
more seldom accomplished. 

Mr. Meek was a " mountain man." lie had 
spent many years as a hunter and trapper, rang- 
ing the valleys of the upper Missouri, Colum- 
bia and Snake rivers, Colorado and Salt Lake, 
and all the mountain regions from Missouri 
to California and Oregon. His familiarity with 
the region to be traversed, his unusual courage, 
quick wit, and great powers of physical endur- 
ance pre-eminently qualified him to undertake 
the hazardous mission. His credentials from 
the Legislature and governor, and a memorial 
and other documents to be presented to the 
Covernnieut at Washington, were jjrepared and 
furnished him, and on the 4th of January he 
set out on his mission, no less perilous than 

The incidents of this winter journey of Mr. 
Meek belong to the romance of an era long 
since departed, the chronicle of which lives 
only in the memories of the few remaining 
gray-haired men whose early manhood belonged 
to it. Our space permits only the most gen- 
eral reference to them. 

On reaching The Dalles of the Columbia, such 
was the excited condition of the Indians between 
the Cascade and Blue mountains, that the mes- 
senger and his small party, consisting of John 
Owen and George Ebberts, were compelled to 
remain at that place several weeks, as it would 


then have been impossible to have made their 
way throuf^h the hostile tribe. 

When the troops of the provisional govern- 
ment arrived on their way to the scene of the 
Wliitman massacre, Mr. Meek accompanied 
them as far as Wai'ilitpn, the scene of that dire- 
ful tragedy. One of Mr. Meek's own children, 
who was in the care of Dr. Whitman and his 
wife, liad been a victim of Cayuse treachery at 
that time. The place and scene of the mnrder 
was most fnll of sad and impressive recollections 
and impressions, as the troops and the party of 
Meek committed the remains of the victims of 
that terrible day to the earth, before he con- 
tinued on his journey. This done, a company 
of the troops escorted his small party, now con- 
sisting of seven men, as far as the base of the 
Bine mountains, where the lone travelers were 
cast loose on the vast winti-y world that lay cold 
and white for more than a tliousand miles be- 
fore them. 

Their ronte lay over the I'lue mountains into 
Grande Konde valley, thence to Powder river, 
and down Burnt river to Snake, then up the 
great valley of that stream to the Rocky mount- 
ains, and thence down the eastern slope of the 
continent to St. Joseph, on the Missouri river, 
which they reached in a little over two months 
from the Willamette valley. It is hardly prob- 
able that there was another man in Oregon who 
could have accomplished this journey with the 
celerity with which it was accomplished by J. 
L. Meek. What remained to be done was for 
him more difficult. If we give a page to the 
consideration of the unique place, Mr. Meek, 
and others like him, held in early Oregon his- 
tory, this will be better appreciated, and one 
chapter of our story will be more clearly read. 
To do this we take him as the most prominent, if 
not the best type of that element in the social 
and civil life of early pioneer times in Oregon. 

Joseph L. Meek was a Virginian by birth. In 
his early youth he found his way to St. Louis, 
where, in 1828, he engaged himself to Mr. Will- 
iam Sublette, then and for years thereafter one 
of the ablest leaders of the fur trade of the Rocky 

mountains, and with his company went into the 
work of hunting and trapping in the great 
mountain regions of the interior of the conti- 
nent. In various relations connected with 
such men as Sublette, Bridger, Fontenelle, 
Smith, Bonneville and others, he spent his life 
until 1840, wlien, the fur trade liaving almost 
entirely failed in the mountains, he resolved to 
seek a home in the Willamette valley. Taking 
his wife, an Indian woman, and family of 
half-breed children, he abandoned the mountains 
and took up his residence on a beautifiil land 
claim about twenty miles west of where the city 
of Portland now stands, on what was then known 
as " Tualatin plains," when he thus and there 
entered upon a life associated with the purposes 
and work of civilization. He was just in the ma- 
turity of his physical powers, and a man of a fine 
and engaging presence. Tall, lithe, well- 
rounded, erect, with black hair and sparkling- 
black eyes, a face radiant with self-satisfied good 
humor, and having a smooth and easy utter- 
ance, he could always secure the attention of 

Technically he was uneducated. Really he 
was educated though unlettered. His education 
was that of experience and adventure and dan- 
ger, — an education that goes further in the mak- 
ing of a man than mere letters. It gave to him 
an induration of physical force that was admira- 
ble. It did not elevate his moral nature com- 
mensurately. It imparted a keenness of per- 
ception to his intellectual faculties, while it did 
not broaden and elevate liis reason. It quickened 
his instinctive sagacity into adroitness, while it 
did not furnish it a strong basis of conscientious- 
ness. Conscious physical power and a long 
period of wild and varried adventure gave to his 
naturally independent nature an abandon that 
verged on recklesness. The wild stories of the 
camps in which he spent his youth and early 
manhood, with their frequent excesses and 
carousals, colored his forms of thought and 
speech with a spirit of exaggeration which often 
went beyond the limits of fact or truth. Thus 
his education, — the education of the camp and 


the trail aud the wigwam, crystallized hiui into 
that unique personality that is known in early 
Oregon history as "Jo Meek", — a personality that 
was not without its importance in place and 
power in the early pioneer days in wliich these 
later days of a more specious civilized pretense 
were conceived and born, and that helped in no 
inconsiderable degree to make these later and 
better days a possibility and a fact. Without 
him and such as he then was, these conld not 
have been now. !So we honor tiiese men of the 
olden times. 

It is scarcely possible for a man of to-day, as 
he steps out of a gilded palace car, on the banks 
of the Missoui-i after a three-days I'un from 
Portland to Omaha, to imagine the appearance 
of "Jo Meek" as he stejtped down from the 
back of his mule after his two -months ride from 
Oregon, on that March evening in 1848. lie 
was dressed in buckskin pants, with a blanket 
capote and wolf-skin cap, with moccasins on 
his feet. His hair and beard were long and 
unkempt. He had neither money nor friends, 
aud his only source of hope to i-each Washing- 
ton was in his mission and himself, and these 
proved an open sesame wherever he went. 
When he reached Washington, only a couple 
of weeks after the arrival of Mr. Thornton, the 
documents he brought and his personal intelli- 
gence and influence aided no little iu hastening 
the action of Congress for the relief of Oregon 
in the adoption of the bill for the organization 
of a Territorial government. 

After Mr. Polk had signed the bill on the 
13th of August he made haste to complete his 
part of the work of organizing the Territory by 
the appointment of its officers. His own term 
of office as president was approaching its limit, 
and he was naturally desirous that the new gov- 
ernment of Oregon should be fully installed 
before its expiration. He chose General Joseph 
Lane, of Indiana, governor of the Territory, 
and appointed Joseph L. Meek United States 
marshal, and delegated him to convey his com- 
mission to the newly appointed governor, who 
was at his home in Indiana, and who was en- 

tirely unaware of the duty about to be imposed 
upon him. General Lane accepted the com- 
mission thus honorably tendered him, and, 
three days after he received it, had closed up 
his affairs in Indiana, and in company with Mr. 
Meek was on his way toward Oregon. 

After the most strenuous effort Governor 
Lane reached Oregon City, the then capital, on 
the second day of March, 1849. On the third 
day of March he issued a proclamation and 
assumed the duties of his office, thus anticipat- 
ing by but a single day the expiration of the 
term of Mr. Polk as President of the United 
States. Thus the ambition of the president to 
signalize his term in the office of President of 
the United States, into which he was undoubt- 
edly lifted by the position of his party and him- 
self oil the Oregon (question, by the organization 
of the Territorial government in Oi-egon, was 
gratified, and Oregon passed out of its form of 
self-imposed provisional government, and was 
fully under the protection of the (lovernment 
of the United States. 

Though Governor Lane and Marshal Meek 
were in Oregon, they were the only official rep- 
I'csentatives of the United States Government 
in the Territory for a number of months. The 
other Territorial officers, namely, Kintzing 
Pritcheli, secretary; William C. Eryant, cjiief 
justice, and O. C. Pratt and Peter II. Burnett, 
associate justices, were in due time appointed 
and took the respective places assigned them, 
and the Oregon Territory was fully organized. 

Immediately on assuming the duties of his 
office. Governor Lane appointed marshals to 
take the census, as provided in the organic act. 
The population was then ascertained to be 
Vt,083, of whom all but 208 were Americans. 

When the bill for the organization of the 
Territory of Oregon became a law, containing 
liberal promises for the donation of lands to 
actual settlers, it was anticipated that the conn- 
try would immediately be tilled with those who 
were anxious to avail themselves of this pro- 
vision. The drift of emigration was almost 
entirely toward Oregon. California was little 


known, and few cared to venture amono- the 
Mexico-Spanish people of that region. Almost 
sinuiltaneously with the passage of the bill, 
however, there occurred an event in that Terri- 
tory that turned the tide of emigration from 
liie Eastern States thitherward, and even drew 
very heavily on the population df ( )ie!ii'n itself. 
This was the discovery of goM at Colonm, on 
the south fork of tlie Anieriean river, by .lames 
W. ]\[arsliall, who was among the arri\als in 
Oregon in the autumn of 1844:, but went to 
California in 1845, and entered the employ- 
ment of Captain John A. Sutter at that place. 
h\ a few months intelligence of this event had 
reached the Eastern States. It awakened a 
great excitement, and intending emigrants to 
Oregon l)y the thousand turned to California. 
The emigration on the plains in the summer of 
1848 met the intelligence on tlie way and 
largely turned toward the tields of gold. In 
August, about seven months from the date of 
the discovery, the news reached Oregon liy a 
vessel which entered the Columbia river for a 
cargo of supplies for the mines. The effect 
upon the people of Oregon was even more 
marked than that on any other part of the 
country. Nearly the entire adult male popu- 
lation of the territory rushed to California, 
farms were left untilled and harvests nnreaped. 
It looked as though Oregon wonld be depopu- 
lated. For two or three years this exodus had 
a great effect on the prosperity and improve- 
ment of the country. But the productiveness 
of the lands of Oregon, and the average salu- 
brity of its climate had become so well known 
that gradually most of those who had left re- 
turned, and again emigration resumed its old 
flow into the valley of the Willamette. Besides, 
the mines of California opened the first market 
for the abundant products of Oregon; prices 
rose to almost fabulous figures; and for a few 
years the gold-diggers of the plains of California 
poured a stream of the yellow dust into the 
pockets of the farmers and herdsmen of Oregon. 
Prospectors pushed their discoveries northward 
()t tlic Sacramento, until in 1851 rich niines 

were discovered in Southern Oregon. So, whil'^' 
the first effect of the discovery of gold in Cali- 
fornia was detrimental to the pi-osperity of 
Oregon, its ultimate result was the opening of 
an era of unexampled advancement. 

Tp to this time there had been but little C(jin, 
or money of any kind, in the country. So 
straitened were the people for a circulating 
medium that the provisional Legislature made 
wheat a legal tender at one dollar per bushel. 
Oi'dei-s on the Hudson's Bay Company, and on 
some mercantile establishments, and upon 
the Methodist mission, though not legal tend- 
ers, passed curi-ent among the people as the best 
medium of exchange that could be had. But 
with the coming of gold dust into the country 
in the winter of 1848-'4!), this was passed 
current as money, though at a great loss to 
thiise who were compelled to dispose of it 
as such, as an ounce of gold dust, in- 
trinsically woi-th from iplB to |;18, could 

d for onh 


To remedy 

the provisional Legislature passed an act for 
the "assaying, melting and coining of gold." 
Before anything was done under this act, how- 
ever, the functions of the provisional govern- 
ment were terminated by the arrival of Gover- 
nor Lane and the organization of the Territorial 
government. Still private enterprise came for- 
ward and supplied the want by issuing what is 
known as "beaver money," in coins of five and 
ten dollars in value. These coins bore on the 
obverse side the figure of a beaver — whence 
their name — above which were the letters " K., 
M., T., A., W.. K., C, S.," and beneath " O. T. 
1849." On the reverse side was " Oregon Ex- 
change Company, 130 Grains Native Gold, 5 
D" or "10 pwts. 20 grains, 10 D." The letters 
were the Initials of the gentlemen composing 
the company, namely: Messrs. Kilbourne, Ma- 
gruder, Taylor, Abernethy, Willson, Hector, 
Campbell and Smith. The dies were made by 
Mr. Hamilton Campbell, and the press and 
rolling machine by W. H. Rector. This was 
not claimed by the company as money, but 

,ly th: 


tliis convenient form for use as a medium of ex- 
change. In a few years, however, the "coin of tlie 
realm" became plentiful, and these found their 
way to the United States mint for recoinage. 

Though General Lane had assumed the duties 
of iiis office on the 3d day of March, 18-lU, 
there could scarcely he said to be any govern- 
ment in the country for some months subse- 
quently. There was an executive but no laws 
to execute, and no courts for processes and 
trials. The condition was anomalous, and far 
from satisfactory. The seat of government at 
Washington was so distant, and so much time 
was required to communicate with it, and the 
appointed Territorial officers were so tardy in 
arriving and entering on their duties, that the 
people became anxious and discontented. So 
much time was required to complete the census 
and other needful prejiarations that Governor 
Lane could not call an election for delegate to 
Congress and members of the Territorial Legis- 
lature before the 6th of June, 184-9. The total 
vote cast for delegate to Congress was about 943 — 
a very small vote for the population of over 
9,000 as ascertained by the census only just 
completed. This was owing to the absence of 
such a great number of the adult males in the 
California gold mines. Of this vote Samuel R. 
Thurston secured 470, Columbia Lancaster, 321, 
James W. Nesmith, 104, Josej)!! L. Meek, 40, 
and J. S. Griffin, 8. 

Governor Lane, in his proclamation calling 
an election, had made an apportionment of 
members of the Legislature to the several 
counties or districts as they had l)een formed by 
the Provisional Legislature, and the following- 
named gentlemen were elected to the first Ter- 
ritorial Legislature: 

6\>««''i7: W. Blain, Tualatin; W. W. Buck, 
Clackauias; S. Parker, Clackamas and Cham- 
poeg; W. Shannon, Champoeg ; S. F. McKeon, 
Clatsop, Lewis and Vancouver; J. B. Graves, 
Yam Hill; W. Maley, Linn; N. Ford, Polk; L. 
A. Humphrey, Benton. 

Representatiwfi : D. Hill and W. M. King, 
Tualatin ; A. L. Lovejoy, J. D. Ilolman and 

Gabriel Walling, Clackamas; J. W. Green, W. 
W. Chapman and W. T. Matlock, Champoeg; 
A. J. Hembree, R. C. Kinney and J. B. Walling, 
Yam Hill; J. Dunlap and J. Conser, Linn; II. 
X. V. Holmes and S. Burch, Polk; M. T. 
Simmons, Lewis, Vancouver and Clatsop; J. L- 
Mulkey and G. B. Smith, Benton. 

The Legislature assembled at Oregon City, 
July 16, 1849, and held a brief session, in 
which they apportioned their future member- 
ship; changed the names of Champoeg, Tual- 
atin and Vancouver counties to Marion, Wash- 
ington and Clarke, respectively; decided what 
officers the various counties should have, and 
provided for their election the following (3cto- 
ber, and divided the Territory into three judicial 
districts. In October the county elections were 
held, and the officers who were chosen qualified 
immediately, and the Territorial Government of 
Oregon thus completed its organization. 

The condition of Oregon at this date was 
most pronjising. The doubt and hesitation and 
distrust of the period of the provisional govern- 
ment had passed away. The end of Hudson's 
Bay domination had couje. Hencefortli that 
great corporation was Iiere only for a limited 
time, and while here could exercise no power 
over public affairs, only as its individual mem- 
bers chose to become citizens of the United States 
and take tiieir place in the l>ody politic as such. 
No longer did the power of British ships of war 
in the Columbia and Willamette rivers alarm 
or their threats annoy. Courts were organized 
for the redress of wrong and the support of 
right. The stars and stripes truly emblemed 
the sovereignty of the land, and was the pledge 
of the protection of a great nation. And in a 
climate as genial as man could desire, on a soil 
as fruitful as an Eden, amidst scenery that was 
forever an inspiration of great thoughts and 
higli ambitions, and a people whose energy and 
patriotism and intelligence had marked them as 
leaders and builders of society even before they 
had come into this sunset land, there seemed 
little i>efoi-e the infant commonwealth to inter- 


fere with or prevent its rapid growth into a 
great and prosperous State. 

Tlie time of General Lane as governor was 
short. James K. Polk was succeeded by Genera! 
Taylor as president of the United States, Marcli 
4, 1849, one day after General Lane assumed 
the duties of his office. In April, 1850, he 
received notice that President Taylor had re- 
moved him from office and appointed Major 
John P. Gaines in his stead on the second day 
of the previous October. 

An interesting incident connected with his 
appointment was that General Taylor first of- 
fered the governorship of the Territory to 
Abraham Lincoln, who was an applicant for the 
post of commissioner of the general land 'office. 
That place being filled. President Taylor offered 
him the place of governor of Oi-egon. Mr. Lin- 
coln declined it, doubtless believing that better 
opportunities for his fntui-e advancement would 
exist in the East than in the narrower associa- 
tions of the Pacific coast. It is interesting to 
speculate on the changes and modifications in 
State and national history whicii would have oc- 
curred had Mr. Lincoln liecome governor of this 
then most obscure Territory. 

Of course during this brief time little occur- 
red in' the Territory that made much impression 
on the history of the country. A regiment of 
mounted rifles was sent across the plains in the 
summer of 1848, and were stationed at various 
posts, as Oregon City, whicli was its head quar- 
ters, Vancouver, Astoria and on Piiget sound 
This regiment was commanded by Colonel Loi- 
ing, afterward general, who achieved notoriety, 
if not reputation, in Egypt as Loring Pasha. 
The regiment was greatly weakened by deser- 
tion, 400 deserting at once and leaving for the 
gold mines in California. General Lane, being 
appealed to by the colonel, collected a body of 
volunteers and pursued them as far as Rogue 
river, where 260 surrendered to him and were 
brought back, but the remainder succeeded in 
reaching California, and were never returned to 
their service. 

In May Governor Lane made a journey to 
southern Oregon to conclude a treaty with the 
Indians of that region, who had always been 
lurbnlent, and after completing it satisfactorily 
he passed on into California. He had fixed on 
the 18th of June as the time in which he would 
vacate the office of governor, and so, like so many 
others at that time, he kept on into the gold 
mines seeking for a better fortune. Governor 
Gaines reached Oregon City and assumed the 
duties to which he had been appointed by Presi- 
dent Taylor on the 19th of September, nearly a 
year after his appointment. There was also an 
entire change in Territorial offices, consequent 
on the incoming of the Whig national adminis- 
tration. Edward Hamilton was made secretary; 
John McLain and William Strong, judges; 
Amory Ilolbrook, United States attorney; John 


Hector of customs; and Heurv II. 

Spaiilding, Indian agent. Joseph L. Meek re- 
tained the jiosition of United States marshal. 
The Legislative Assembly, whose members had 
been elected in June, met in December. Thi> 
body being Democratic, was not in political har- 
mony with the Territorial officers who were 
AVhigs and the session was not as productive of 
good to the Territory as it should have been. 
The Legislature was an able body of men, in- 
cluding some who have done as much to mold 
the character of Oregon socially and politically 
as any men ever in the State, among whom, for 
the length and eminence of his sei'vice may be 
mentioned the name of M. P. Deady, long one 
of the most eminent jurists of the nation. 

It devolved on this body to give the Territory 
a code of laws, and to adjust all legislation to 
the nev;- conditions introduced by the new form 
of government, and the great increase of popu- 
lation and enlarged commercial and social de- 
mands. The members of the body ably and 
patriotically met their obligations, and tlie re- 
sult of their generally wise action was increased 
and permanent prosperity in the Territory. 

Two events occurred in the autumn of 1850 
and the early part of 1851, that were both the 
prod net of the new era and an onjen of its en- 



largiiig life. These were the establishment of 
three newspapers, and the building of a steam- 
boat to ply on the Willamette and Colnmbia 
rivers. For some yeai's a newspaper called the 
Oregon Spectator had been published at Oregon 
City by an association of gentlemen of which 
George Aljernethy was president, which had 
contriliuted much to the social attraction and 
general advancement of the people. But with 
the inauguration of the Territorial era there was 
a large iniiux of ambitious and talented men, 
anxious for place, and as anxious for organs by 
which they could reach and influence tlie public 
mind. Also rival towns, with views of metro- 
politan importance and greatness before the eyes 
of their founders, were established, and they too 
must needs have mediums by which their ad- 
vantages and the disadvantages of their rivals 
miglit be made known to the world. Accord- 
ingly, on the -IMi of November, 185(1, the 
AVestern Star rose on the horizon of Milwaukee, 
then a vigorous and furmidablc ri\al of I'ort- 
laiid and all other places foi' metropolitan 
honors. J^ot VVhitconil), a name very widely 
and honorably known in Oregon in these early 
days, was its publisher, and John Orvis Water- 
man its editor. On the 4th of December Mr. 
Thomas J. Di'yer issued the first number of the 
Oregonian in Portland. In the following March 
the first number of the Oregon Statesman was 
issued by Mr. Asahel Bush at Oregon City. 
From the lirst the Oregonian and Statesman 
became the organs of the two great political 
parties of the country, — the Whig and Demo- 
cratic. Tliey were both of the most pronounced 
type of party journalism. Their editors were 
men of talent, full of zeal for their parties and 
fearless in their advocacy of their principles 
and candidates. While it is proper to concede 
to both of the able editors of these papers a sin- 
cere desire to advance the interest of the Terri- 
tory, it is necessary to the truth of history to 
say that the style of their work was far more 
that of the bitter partisan rather than of the 
broad statesman. But, in the disjointed and 
con.domerate ^tato of social life then orev;ilent 

on the Pacific coast, where, more than anywhere 
else in the world, every man did what he pleased, 
and said what he pleased, perhaps it would have 
been too much to expect that newspapers would 
l^e specially distinguished by their suaviter in 
iiuxjo rather than by \\\&\r furtiter in re. Cer- 
taiidy these were not, and they won an unenvi- 
able notoriety for the style of their journalism; 
but at the same time they did much in these 
early and not very quiet days for tlie progress 
and development of the new Territory. 

The Western Star did not long remain above 
the horizon. The Statesman has had a some- 
what checkered career, but still exists, and is 
now published at Salem, the capital of the State. 

The Oregonian has held on its steady course 
of publication in the city in which it was estab- 
lished; growing with the growth and strength- 
ening with the strength of tlie city and the 
country, until in scope and [lower as a daily 
and weekly journal it is fully the equal, if not 
indeed the real superior, of any newspaper pub- 
lished on the Pacific coast; and there are few 
in the nation that can stand as its rival. 

The steamer built in the autumn of 1850 was 
constructed at Milwaukee, and called in honor 


he "Lot AVhitcoml 

d' O 


She was launched on Christmas day, a great 
crowd of people attending, amid peals of cannon 
and the cheers of the multitude, Governor Gaines 
formally christening her as she moved from her 
ways into the waters of the Willamette. 

Farly in 1851 Samuel R. Thurston, delegate 
to Congress from the Territory, died. He was 
on his way home from Washington, and while 
at sea between Panama and Acapulco, closed 
his life, and was buried at Acapulco. AVhen 
the news reached Oregon a few weeks later it 
caused a general expression of sorrow. He was 
a brilliant young man, full of fiery ambition, 
and it was expected that he would not only 
secure fame for himself but would accomplish 
much for his adopted Territory. He had made 
a tine reputation during the short time he was 
in Congress for ability and efficiency, and it 
was thought ti;at he would be returned, as he 


belonged to the party that was strongly domi- 
nant in the politics of the Territory. At its 
next session the legislature honored him by be- 

stowing his name upon a county organized 
north of the Columbia river, and now including 
the capital of the State of Washington. 





The Old Changing into the New — Eeasons — M. T. Simmons and his Associates — Attempted 
Visit to Puget Sound — Reach the Sound and Begin a Settlement — Slow Peogeess— Set- 
tlements of 1848 — Discovery of Gold in California — Results on the Settlements — In- 
dian Troubles — Return of the Miners — First American Vessel Arrives — Settlkments 

Extending Northward — Poet Townshend — Arrivals of 1851 and '52 — Seattle Settled - 

Its Pioneers — Whidby's Island — On the Columbia — On the Chehalis — At the Cascades. 

Ufp to tliis point we have been obliged to 
treat of the history of all the Pacific 
— Northwest as a unity. It could not be 
otherwise. The entire country was known as 
" Oregon," and all questions of international 
diplomacy and negotiation were summed up 
under the general head of the '• Oregon ques- 
tion." Still they related as much to tlie terri- 

now included in the State of Wash 


as to that included in Oregon, and in some 
respects even more. It was the country lying 
north of the Columbia river that Great Britain 
really expected to secure to herself, and although 
her ambassadors and government contended for 
all Oregon, it was only to make sure of tliat 
part. Hence it was necessary that we treated 
the whole subject of that controversy in this his- 
torical sketch of Washington, notwithstanding 
the honored name of that now great State does 
not appear in this portion of the history. In 
treating this portion of her history we have 
thought it best to carry forward the story of 
logically related events beyond their order chron- 
ologically. Our former pages have conducted 
our readers to the full instatement of a Terri- 
torial government over the whole region known as 
Oregon up to 1853, — an event that superseded 
the old orders of personal and irresponsible 
action as also of that temporary government 
calle<l the ■' Pi-ovisional." Aftei- the date reached. 

in our last chapter, 1851, little or nothing oc- 
curred of such general historical interest, or 
that so largely influenced the destiny of the 
country that we need to consume space in re- 
cording it. We therefore turn to the story of that 
specific region now included in the State of 

American history fairly begun on Puget Sound 
just a decade after it began in the Willamette 
valley. It was on this wise. As the controver- 
sy concerning the ownersliip of Oregon opened 
to the minds of the gentlemen of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, it became probable to Dr. Mc- 
Loughlin and his associates that Great Britain 
would not be able to vindicate her pretensions 
to the country south of the Columbia, but they 
hoped a compromise would be made on the line 
of that river as the boundary between the two 
countries. With this hope they discouraged 
all American settlement north of it, and it was 
not until the winter of 1844 and 1845 that any 
attempt was n)ade to carry American occupancy 
to the shores of Puget Sound. The leader of 
this attempt was Michael T. Simmons, an em- 
migrant of 1844, who had remained at Fort 
Vancouver during the winter following his ar- 
rival in the country. It was doulitless his resi- 
dence in the near neighborhood of these gentle- 
men, and his consequent information concerning 
their views and purposes tlmt determineil him to 


give the emphasis of an actual American settle- 
ment to the other claims of the United States to 
that 2-egion. As this decision of Mr. Simmons 
made his name historic, as, par excellence, the 
pioneer of Washington, it is suitable that we 
introduce him more ceremoniously to our 

Mr. Simmons was a stalwart Kentuckian, horn 
in 1814, and inheriting the splendid physique 
and indomitable purpose and courage that have 
made Kentuckians so famous. Just past thirty 
when he reached the Pacific Coast, he was in the 
morning of his best powers and life. Independ- 
ent, courageous, intensely American, what the 
Hudson's Bay people desired him not to do was 
the very thing that he would be most certain to 
perform. He therefore abandoned his previous 
purpose to settle in Southern Oregon, where they 
desired him to go, and resolved to go northward, 
where they desired him not to go, and see what 
it was in that region that was so enticing to 
British cupidity. Accordingly, in the winter of 
1844 and 1845, with five companions, he at- 
tempted to penetrate the hundred miles of wil- 
derness that lay between the Columbia river and 
Puget Sound. The company found the season 
too nnpropitious for the exploration of such 
continuous and gigantic forests, and, after as- 
cending the Cowlitz river about fifty miles they 
returned to Fort Vancouver. Yet his purpose 
was not abandoned, but only postponed. In 
July, with eight companions, he again set out, 
and finally reached Puget Sound under the guid- 
ance of Mr. Peter Border. He performed a 
canoe voyage as far as Whidby's Island, explor- 
ing different parts of the shore on his way, and 
fully satisfied himself of the commercial value 
of the country. Keturning, he selected a 
picturesque spot at the head of Bndd's Inlet, the 
most southern extension of the waters of the 
Sound, at the Falls of Des Chutes river, as the 
site for his future home, and the first American 
settlement north of the Columbia. He then 
returned to Vancouver, and in October, accom- 
panied by Messrs. James McAllister, David 
Kindred, Gabriel Jones, George W. Bush and 

their families, and S. B. Crockett and Jesse Fer- 
guson, two single men, found his way back 
again to the place selected for their settlement. 
These seven were the first Americans to per- 
manently locate on Puget Sound, and they be- 
long to history as the pioneers of "Washington. 

This first settlement occupied a radius of 
about six miles about the head of Budd's Inlet, 
and but a little south of where Olympia, the 
present capital of the State, now is. It was 
also not many miles from Nisqually, the head- 
quarters of tlie Hudson's Bay (company in that 
_ region, from which company, by order of Dr. 
McLoughlin, they received considerable mer- 
cantile favors, never, however, to the detriment 
of the company. Thus, nine years after the first 
American families had effected a settlement 
south of the Columbia, these people had per- 
formed the same patriotic office for the region 
of Puget Sound. 

'No one entering this region at the present 
time can form any idea of the difficulty attend- 
ing the enterprise of these people. The forests 
of the country were almost injpenetrable, and 
they covered nearly all its face. To open a 
trail from the Cowlitz river northward was the 
hard work of weeks, and then to make such an 
inroad upon the forests as to give any hope of 
future support for their families was a task that 
only brave and manly men would dare to under- 
take. But empire and destiny were in these 
men's hands and hearts, and they were equal to 
the work they had undertaken. But, as we 
think of it now, after fifty years, we wonder how 
these seven men, isolated 150 miles from any 
who could aid them, and surrounded liy the 
savages of Puget Sound, who were watching 
with evil eye the inroads of the whites, suc- 
ceeded in establishing themselves and their 
families in this then most inhospitable region. 
That they did marks them as heroes. 

The year 1846 passed with only small addi- 
tions to the little settlements. About the same 
number of men, but not so many families, were 
added to their number. Among them were Mr. 
Edmund Sylvester, who selected tiie laud claim 



on which Olympia now stands, Mr. A. B. Rob- 
bison, and Mr. S. S. Ford, who became perma- 
nently associated with the future development 
of tlie country. 

There was- scarcely more progress to settle- 
ment in 1847 than in 1846, but the few who 
canie were of the same sterling stuff as those 
who had preceded tliem, and added much to 
the moral and intellectual fibre of the infant 
settlement. The Davises, the Packwoods, the 
Chambers, were of this number, and these 
names are honorably fixed in the history of 
Washington. This year was also signalized by 
the erection of a sawmill at the falls of the 
Des Chutes, since called Tumwater, on the 
land claim of M. T. Simmons. A small flour- 
ing mill had before been erected at the same 
place, with buhrs hewn out of some granite 
rocks found on theljeachof Budd's Inlet, which 
afforded some unbolted flour as a change from 
boiled wheat for bread. During the autumn of 
this year the Whitman massacre occurred at 
AVaiiletpu, near Fort Walla Walla, in the east- 
ern part of the present State of Washington, an 
account of which is given elsewhere. Its cir- 
cumstances of atrocity sent a tremor through 
all the infant settlements of the territory, and 
awakened the most fearful apprehensions for 
their own fate. 

The following year, 1848, a few immigrants 
settled along the Cowlitz river and on Cowlitz 
prairie, on the middle part of that stream. 
Thomas W. Glasgow also explored the shores 
of Puget Sound as far north as Whidby Island, 
where he took a land claim and began farming 
on a small scale, where he was joined by a few 
other settlers l>efiii-e the summer was over. But 
they were not permitted to remain. The In- 
dians of that part of the sound held a general 
council on the island, at the instigation of Pat- 
kanim, chief of the Snoqualimies, and the coun- 
cil decided against allowing the Americans to 
settle in their country. Glasgow was compelled 
to quit the island, escaping with difficulty by 
the aid of a friendly Indian from Budd's Inlet, 
leaving liehind him all his property. This 

closed for a time all attempts to effect a settle- 
ment on Whidby's island, and soon after an 
event occurred which changed all the currents 
of thought and action, north as well as south 
of the Columbia. That event was the discovery 
of gold in California, the news of which seemed 
borne on the wind from the Sacramento to 
Puget's Sound, and startled every man from 
the sober plodding of careful industry to the 
excited daring of adventure and speculation. 
Nearly every man set off at once for the gold 
fields of the South, leaving their families and 
possessions in the isolation of the wilderness, 
and exposed to the dangers of Indian barbarity. 

Though the distance from these settlements 
to the gold fields was not much greater than 
from the Willamette valley, the difficulty of 
reaching them was more than doubled. Indeed 
it was more difficult to pass over the 150 miles 
between the head of Puget Sound and the 
prairies of the Willamette valley than to make 
all the journey thence to the Sacramento. But 
all difficulties and dangers can be braved for 
gold; and certainly the men who had made the 
2,000 miles journey from Tennessee or Ken- 
tucky or Illinois to the shores of Puget Sound 
would not hesitate to undertake the 600 miles 
pilgrimage down the southward valleys and 
over the intervening mountains to where they 
expected, to find the gold rolling down the 
channels of the streams or mixed with the sand 
on every hillside. 

This exodiis of the adult male population fo'' 
the gold fields had a very depressing effect on the 
present prosperity of the country north of the 
Columbia, inasmuch as it left none to clear the 
ground, or to sow and reap a harvest. All in- 
dustries were suspended and the people who re- 
mained, mostly women and children, had noth- 
ing to do but to wait the return of the gold- 
hunters, whether they came back with the 
golden fleece or not. But while their absence 
was an apparent loss, in the outcome of things 
it was a great benefit to the feeble and strug- 
gling settlements, for, on their return at the end 
of two years, they introduceil an era of pros- 


perity that a score of years would hardly have 
secured under the conditions existing pre- 
viously. Tlie discdvery of gold had turned the 
attention of the whole world to the Pacific coast, 
and the tide of population that rolled over the 
plains of California could not fail to send its 
hujiian spray over the shores of Puget Sound as 
well. So, in a reflex way, the whole coast felt 
the movement of a new life, and three or four 
years accomplished what a quarter of a ceutiiry 
might have failed otherwise to secure. 

But the period from 1848 to 1851 was a time 
of special peril to the scattered families north 
of the Columbia. The Indians of the lower 
sound threatened the extermination of the 
settlements, and even attacked the Hudson's 
Bay post at INisqiially, with tlie intention of 
securing, by its capture, ammunition with which 
to carry on a war of extermination against the 
whites. This movement was under the leader- 
ship of Patkanim, chief of the Suoqualmies, a 
man of great influence among the neighboring 
tribes. Their attempt was a failure, however, 
but still, so determined were the Indians on 
driving the whites out of the country that Pat- 
kanim sent word to them that they would be 
permitted to leave unmolested personally by 
leaving all their property. The whites answered 
this threat of Patkanim with defiance, assuring 
him that they liad come to stay. They imme- 
diately erected blockhouses at Tumwater and 
at several other places and prepared to defend 
themselves from Indian attacks. Added to their 
own readiness to meet the attacks of Patkanim 
and those who sympathized with him, the In- 
dian^about the head of the sound were friendly 
and assured the whites of their sympathy and 
help. Meantime the decisive measures of Gov- 
ernor Lane, who had arrived at Oregon City in 
March, and the erection of Fort Steilacoom in 
July, convinced Patkanim and his adherents 
that a war with the whites would be a disaster 
to themselves, and their plans and purposes 
were abandoned. This auspicious result of the 
first serious threat of an Indian war on the 
Sound, occurring as it did when the people were 

so comparatively defenceless, gave the whites 
confidence, and to a proportionate extent made 
the Indians more careful and friendly for some 
years to come. 

The year 1849 saw but very little increase in 
tlie population of thecountry. California was still 
the Mecca of the wealth-seekers of the coast, and 
nothing but the fact that so many who had left 
their families in the wilds north of the Colum- 
bia prevented its almost entire abandonmerR. 
But after a time the husbands and fathers whose 
wives and children were in the perilous loneli- 
ness of these northern wilds began to long for 
them again, and by the opening of 1850 a large 
number of them were back on their claims, and 
had resumed the usual vocations of home- 
builders, perhaps somewhat richer in gold than 
when they had left, and probably not appreciat- 
ing less the country that they had chosen as 
their home. The early part of this year was 
signalized also by the first attempt at commer- 
cial business beyond the little " corner grocery " 
where some aspiring tradesman had provided a 
few of the barest necessities for the homes of 
the self-denying frontiersmen. The brig 
Orbit of Calais, Maine, under- the command of 
Captain W. H. Dunham, arrived in the Sound. 
She was the first American vessel that had 
visited these waters since the American settle- 
ment was commenced. She was owned by 
Edmund Sylvester, I. N. Ebey, B. F. Shead and 
one Jackson, and had been pui-chased by them 
in San Francisco from a company of gold-seek- 
ers who had come in her from Maine to the El- 
dorado of the Pacific. She was afterward pur- 
chased by M. T. Simmons, freighted with piles 
for San Francisco where her cargo was exchanged 
for general merchandise, and returned to the 


cargo was 



1 at 

Sound, where 
" Smithfield," or, as it was soon after called, 
" Olympia," later the capital of the Territory and 
now of the State of Washington. Mr. Simmons 
erected a small building for a store in which 
were exposed for sale the goods the Orbit had 
brought. She was the beginning of American 
commerce on Puget Sound. At this time there 

FlK^T HoisE IN Ji;ilEK>u.N CorM'V, \VaM1I\.,I(IN ll kKlIOKY 

Povt Towiiseml in 1S51. by I'lumnier, Batclieklei, l'ettygio\e and Hastings 

Port Townsend, 1893. — Overlooking the 

fflS'i'ORT OF M^ASBlkGTOif. 


were not more than 100 white inhabitants in the 
region tributary to Olyinpia. 

This initial stake of business liaving been 
tlins successfully set at Olympia, the lints of 
settlement began to exteud from it in every 
direction. Steilacoom, occupying a point on 
the sound below Olympia, and abreast of the 
Nisqually plains, was settled and a large busi- 
ness house erected there. Port Townshend was 
settled by H. C. Wilson. I. N. Ebey late in 
the fall occupied the claim on Whidby's Island 
from which Glasgow had been driven by the 
hostilities of Patkanim, and R. 11. Lansdale took 
a claim at the head of Penn's Cove. These 
were among the first, if not the first, who es- 
tablished themselves about the lower portion of 
the Sound: but they were soon followed by 
Pettygrove and Hastings. A town was laid out 
on the west side of Port Townsliend Bay, called 
after the bay itself, Port Townshend, and so the 
year 1850 closed, having registered a somewhat 
substantial advancement in the country of Puget 
Sound. Still the settlements were only a 
frayed and fretted fringe of whites on the edge 
of the dark forests, and darker humanity, of the 
vast region encompassing the waters of that 
great inland sea. But the time had come for a 
more appreciable advance. 

With the Oregon immigration of 1851 there 
were quite a number of very resolute people 
who had already determined to seek their for- 
tunes in this farthest west on "the Sound " — as 
this country had come to be familiarly called. 
When, therefore, that immigration reached Ore- 
gon City they were prepared to turn their faces 
northward, and, following the course of the old 
Hudson's Bay trail, seek homes and fortunes 
in the great wilderness that girted these waters. 
Many of them were hunting for town sites, — 
places where great cities were to grow up, and 
where they could become wealthy by the easy 
growth of the years. Others whose ambitions 
culminated in the hoped-for possession of some 
spot of earth that could be called " home," were 
content to find some rural vale or sheltered cove 
where they could rear a cabin and build around 

wife and children a sanctuary of defence and a 
shelter of protection. These latter strayed in- 
land up the na'-i'ow valleys of the little streams 
that enter the Sound or over the gravelly prai- 
ries that island the great forests, and set them- 
selves down in unhistoried quiet and toil. The 
former roamed the shoi'es of the Sound, landed 
on every "point," explored every "bay" and 
"cove," discussed and dreamed and calculated 
all the possibilities they could conceive of for 
the future, staked off "claims," named cities, 
and when they had satisfied themselves, as they 
all did, that they had all the afterwards of the 
greatest city of the northwest bounded by the 
lines of their "claim," sat down to wait its 

Among these expectants of the future of 
course most were fated to failure. But a com- 
pany of enterprising gentlemer, in the hey-day 
of young and ambitions life, who came to the 
Sound country in the autumn of 1851 and 
selected their "claims" on "Elliot Bay," were 
more fortunate, if not more far-seeing, than the 
other parties, and, because of that fortune, won 
a larger place in the history of the State. These 
were Messrs. C. C. Terry, John N. Low and 
John C. Holgate, who were joined later by Ar- 
thur A. Denny, I). T. Denny, W. N. Bell and 
C. T. Boren. This company mostly came from 
Portland by water on a schooner, and disem- 
barked at " Alki Point" on the 13th of Novem- 
ber, and sat down in the unbroken waste of 
woods on the one hand and waters on tiie other, 
in the beginning of a long winter, without even 
a wigwam to shelter women or liabes from the 
unceasing rains and stormy winds. 

When we think of the contrasts that thus 
entered into the lives of these families, coming, 
as the most of them did, from the prairies of 
the Wefet into this wilderness, is it any wonder 
that the faces of the wives and mothers became 
sad, or that an artless chronicler of these events 
should say "the women sat down and cried?" 

The first "city" laid out on Elliot Bay was 
on "Alki Point," and was called, very ambi- 
tiously, Xew York. Piut the majority of its 


people, after some examination of the country, 
and some information from the Indians that 
there was a "pass" through the Cascade mount- 
ains to the Yakima and the great plains of the 
upper Columbia, removed to the east side of the 
bay, and established a rival city, on more ad- 
vantageous ground, and gave it the name of 

This was the name of a chief of the Dwaniish 
tribe of Indians, whose home was in this vicin- 
ity, and who was a personage who stood high in 
the estimation of the American settlers. The 
name was felicitous, as it retained the Indian 
nomenclature, and perpetuated the memory of 
one of tlie most dignified and honorable of the 
Indian chieftains of the Pacific coast. 

The men who thus became the founders of 
Seattle, the largest and most prosperous of all 
the cities of Puget Sound, were David T. Denny, 
W. N. Bell, Arthur A. Denny and C. D. Boren. 
Connected with theui were D. S. Maynard and 
Holgate, who kept the first trading house in tlie 
new city. In the autumn Henry L. Yesler 
located a sawmill on the water front. The loca- 
tion of the city was well chosen, being midway 
between Port Townsend at the foot and Olym- 
pia at the head of Puget Sound, and hence its 
growth was steady, and in four years it had a 
population of 3U0, and was fairly launched on 
its career of history. 

Cotemporaneous with the settlement of Seat- 
tle the settlements extended to New Dunginess, 
near the mouth of the Dunginess river. In the 
meantime Whidby's Island was quite densely 
populated, as it aflbrded some very beautiful 
prairie, very pleasing to the eye of the western 
settler who intended to construct a home. The 
settlers on this island were of a very intelligent 
and energetic character, and rapidly made it to 
blossom and fruit like a garden. In 1852 the 
settlements were extended to Bellingham Bay, 
on the east side of the Sound, whore some of 
the most intelligent and enterprising men of the 
Territory settled, and entered into milling and 
coalmining operations. These, indeed, became 
the speculative furors of all that region, and 

timber and coal prospectors almost rivaled iu 
energy and expectations the gold prospectors of 
California. Large milling companies were or- 
ganized and immense sawmills were erected at 
Ports Ludlow, Gamble, Madison, Orchard and 

During the time of the establishment of these 
settlements in the Puget Sound region, the 
country adjacent to and north of the Columbia 
from the Cascade mountains to the mouth of 
the river was steadily though slowly improving. 
In the vicinity of Vancouver, on Lewis river, on 
the Cowlitz and about Baker's Bay near the 
mouth of the Columbia quite a number of fam- 
ilies had selected homes for themselves. Among 
them was Columbia Lancaster, at one time under 
the Provisional Government supreme judge 
of Oregon, and for a whole generation was 
one of the foremost citizens of Washington. 
An effort was made to build a city on Baker's 
Bay, which should become the commercial 
entrepot of the whole Columbia region. The 
embryonic town was called Pacific City, but its 
brief existence of a year or two was on paper 
and in the imagination of its "founders" only. 
From Baker's Bay some settlers found their way 
to Shoalwater Bay, on the northward coast, 
where an oyster fishing community was built 
up, which has continued with alternating for- 
tune until the present time. The enterprising 
immigrant sought out every nook on coast and 
river that offered the least chance for a futiire 
town. So, as early as 1851, the valley of the 
lower Chehalis and the region of Gray's Har- 
bor about the month of that stream were visited, 
and "Chehalis City" was laid out by John 
Butler, but it scarcely reached beyond the 
dignity of a plat on paper. Still the settle- 
ments gradually extended up the valley of the 
lower Chehalis until they reached those of the 
upper valley of the same stream not far from 
the settlements on the Cowlitz Prairie, where 
the Hudson's Bay farms were located, and where 
in 1850 E. D. Warbass had laid out a town and 
established a trading post. 



Auotlier settlement tliat, in later times, figured 
quite conspicuously in the Indian wars of the 
Territory, grew up contemporaneonslj witli 
these on the north side of the Colninbia at the 
" Cascades," where quite a number of men, 
prominent in the after history of the northwest 
coast, had settled as early as 1850. Among 
tliem were the Bradfords, L. A. Chenoweth, L. 
W. Coe, and B. B. Bishop. Thus when 1852 
was closing, the settlement in Northern Oregon, 
as it was then called, extended, though sparsely, 

from the Columbia river on the south to British 
Columbia on the north, and from the coast of 
the Pacific to the Cascade mountains eastward, 
and it had within its borders the rising towns 
of Vancouver, Olympia, Steilacoom, Seattle, 
and Port Townshend. JSone of these, at this 
time, probably exceeded a population of 500 
souls. The entire population in the region 
north of the Columbia at the close of 1853 did 
not exceed 3,000. 


General Uesiee for it— First Public Meeting to Promote it — Prs Action — Indifference of Con- 
gress — Convention at Monticello — Aotfon of Oregon Legislature — Course of General 
Lane — Congress Institutes the Territory of Washington — Officers Appointed — Eegion 
Included within it — Isolation of the Region — Means Taken to Relieve it — Condition of 
THE Territory in General. 

THE purpose of a political existence sepa- 
rate from Oregon was from the first very 
cleai'ly defined in the minds of all the 
men who had led the emigration north of 
the Columbia. Its ultimate necessity was just 
as clearly conceded by those who remained south 
of that stream. It was a subject constantly in 
the minds of both sections, and it, therefore, 
caused no surprise when active movements 
were begun looking in that direction. The first 
of these occurred on the dth of July, 1851, 
when the Americans about the head of Puget 
Sound met at Olynipia to celebrate that day. 
The orator of the day, Mr. J. B. Chapman, made 
the "Future State of Columbia" his special 
theme, and greatly delighted his hearers by his 
enthusiasm on that subject. At the close of the 
general program for the celebration a meeting 
was organized to promote this purpose, which 
was addressed by several of the leading gentle- 
men of that region, and a committee on resolu- 
tions was appointed, consisting of Ebey, Golds- 
borough, Wilson, Chapman, Simmons, Cham- 
bers and Crockett. This committee presented 

resolutions I'ecommending a 
presentatives from all the 

convention of re- 
election districts 
north of the Columbia to tie held at Cowlitz 
Landing "to take into careful consideration the 
peculiar position of the northern portion of the 
Territory, its wants, the best method of supply- 
ing those wants, and propriety of an early appeal 
to Congress for a division of the Territory." 
This action of the meeting at Olympia was 
promptly responded to in parts of the designated 
territory about Puget Sound, and delegates, 
according to this resolve, were elected. 

The convention met on the day appointed, 
and, in its twenty-six delegates, held the most 
representative men of the then infant common- 
wealth. It adopted a memorial to Congress on 
the subject of division; a i-esolution of instruc- 
tion to the Oregon delegate in accordance with 
the memorial; a petition to Congress for a Ter- 
ritorial road from some point on Puget Sound 
over the Cascade mountains to Walla Walla, and 
a plank road from the Sound to the mouth of 
the Cowlitz, and also asked that the benefits of 
the Oregon land law should be extended to the 



new Territory, shoald their prayers for a divis- 
ion be granted. It also defined tlie boundaries 
of twelve counties, all west of tiie Cascade 
mountains. This work done, the convention 
adjourned to meet on tlie 2d day of May fol- 
lowing, awaiting the intervening action of Con- 
gress on their requests. Tiie convention re- 
solved that, on its second meeting, if Congress 
had not meantime favorably considered its re- 
quest, it would proceed to the formation of a 
constitution, and ask admission into the Union 
as a State. 

Congress, however, took no action on the 
matters contained in tiie memorials and prayei-s 
of theconvention, and, before the time appointed 
for the reassembling of the convention the 
enthusiasm for an immediate separation from 
Oregon had so far died away that the body never 
came together again. Still the subject was not 
forgotten, and as a means of keeping it before 
the people a weekly newspaper, called The Co- 
lumbian, was established at Olympia, and 
published its first number on the 11th day of 
September, 1852. Under its lead another con- 
vention was planned for the 25th of October, 
1852, to meet at Monticello, on the Cowlitz 
river, near its mouth, and in the e.xtreme south- 
ern limits of the intended new territory. This 
convention consisted of forty-four of the most 
influential citizens of Thurston and Lewis coun- 
ties, as then organized, and its action was in 
harmony with the action of the previous con- 
vention. It set forth, in its memorial to Con- 
gress, most cogent reasons for the establishment 
of the new Territory. The memorial was for- 
warded to General Lane, their delegate in Con- 
gress from Oregon, and the proceedings of the 
convention were published in all the newspapers 
of Oregon. 

Ten days after the Monticello convention the 
Oregon Legislature met. The action of the 
convention was not only not opposed, but was 
approved by the members from the counties 
south of the Columbia river, and in all respects 
the legislature was favorable to the desires of 
the people north of the river. A memorial t9 

Congress, introduced by Ebey, asking the erec- 
tion of the new Territory passed without oppo- 
sition, and other legislative action favorable to 
the country north of the Columbia was passed 
with vei-y cordial unanimity. The only subject 
of debate was on the dividing line, one party 
desiring it to run east and west along the Colum- 
bia and the 46th parallel to the Rocky mountains, 
and the other that it should run north and south 
along the summitof the Cascade mountains, thiis 
putting Oregon Territory west and Columbia 
east of that range. There was some sympathy 
with this view among the people residing immedi- 
ately along the north bank of the Columbia 
river, as their commercial and social relations 
were more intimately connected with those of 
Portland, which was already the largest city of 
the northwest coast, than with those of Fuget 
Sound, from which they were separated by a 
hundred miles of very rugged wilderness. But 
on the whole it had feeble support, and Mr. 
Ebey's memorial passed without opposition on 
the final vote. 

So, in harmony with the general sentiment of 
the Territory, both north and south, was the 
action of the convention, and the subsequent 
action of the legislature, that the Oregon dele- 
gate in Congress, General Lane, who was ever 
quick to catch the drift of popular feeling and 
put his own action in accord with it, had intro- 
duced the measure into ('ongress immediately 
on the receipt of the memorial of the Monticello 
convention. He presented it to the House by a 
resolution instructing the Committee on Terri- 
tories to inquire into the expediency of the 
measure. This resolution was adopted, and the 
committee prepared a bill in harmony with the 
memorial of the convention and reported it to 
the House. On the 8th of February, 1853, that 
body proceeded to its consideration. On the 
10th the vote was taken on the bill, it having 
been previously amended by substituting 
" Washington" for " Columbia" as the name of 
the new Territory, and was adopted by the very 
decisive vote of 128 to 29. On the 2d day of 
March it passed the Senate, and the presiden|. 


affixed his signature the same day, and thus that 
particular region of country that had contribu- 
ted the real bone of contention between the 
Uflited States and Great Britain for so many 
years, and for the possession of which the bold 
and brave pioneers from the Cumberland and 
Ohio bad dared and done so much, was not only 
certified by treaty to the American repnblic, but 
was also certified to history as one of the "Ijright, 
particnlar stars" in the coiisteiiation of the 
American Union. 


events were occur 



national capital, the people who were most es- 
pecially interested were in anxious waiting. So 
slow and difiicult were the means of communi- 
cation between the East and the West at that 
time that it was not until near the last of 
April that information of the passage of the 
act of Congress reached them, and not until 
the middle of May that intelligence of the 
appointment of officers for the new Territory 
arrived. Then it became known that Isaac 
Ingall Stevens, of Massachusetts, had been ap- 
pointed Governor, C H. Mason, of Rhode Island, 
Secretary, Edward Lander, of Indiana, Chief 
Justice, John R. Miller, of Ohio, and Victor 
Monroe, of Kentucky, Associate Justice, and 
J. S. Clendenin, of Louisiana, United States 
District Attoi-ney. Miller did not accept, and 
O. B. McFadden, of Oregon, was appointed in 
his stead. J. Patton Anderson, of Mississippi, 
was appointed United States Marshal, and di- 
rected to take the census. The marshal was 
the first of the Federal officers to reach the Ter- 
j'itory. The others arrived at different dates 
until about the last of November, when Gover- 
nor Stevens arrived at Olympia and issued his 
proclamation organizing the government of the 
Territory. Awaiting the active movement of 
the wheels of the government, it is p)-oper that 
we now pause and take some survey of the con- 
ditions of the nascent commonwealth. 

The region thus erected into a Territory con- 
sisted of the counties of Clarke, Lewis, Pacific, 
Thurston, Pierce, King, Jefferson and Island. 
Clarke and Pacific were the southernmost, ly- 

ing along the Columbia river and the coast of 
the Pacific immediately nortli of the moutli of 
the river. Between Clarke and the counties 
that touched the waters of the Sound was Lewis; 
and the four others lay upon tiie waters of that 
inland sea. Clarke was the most populous 
county, with a total population of 1,134, accord- 
ing to the census completed in the autumn of 
1852, while Pacific was the smallest, listing 
oidy 152 people. The total white population 
of the Territory at this time was only 3,965,^ 
confessedly a small number to take upon them- 
selves the responsibility of a separate political 
existence. The physical character of the coun- 
try precluded rapid settlement. West of the 
Cascade mountains, to which portion the settle- 
ments were as yet confined, the country was al- 
most entirely very densely and heavily timbered 
and offered few inducements for agricultural 
employments. Its vast and stately forest, un- 
rivaled in America, charmed the eye of the 
lumberman, while its coal measures awakened 
the interest of the miners; but the people to use 
these productions were so few that thej offered 
no immediate hope of rfemunerative mai-kets for 
them. As yet there was little call for exporta- 
tion and hence these possil)le industries lan- 
guished. Rich as the country was in the ma- 
terials for making wealth, at this time it was 
poor in present possessions. It had no high- 
ways. Rough and rugged trails tiirough the 
deep forests connected widely separated settle- 
ments, while the "towns" on the Sonnd had no 
means of communication with each other but 
the canoe or the " plunger," or perchance an 
occassional small steamboat. The people were a 
marvel of will, and of that peculiar only quality 
denominated "pluck," but they could manifest 
that quality by waiting for a good time coming, 
— when no one knew, but that it would come 
all men believed, and so they waited with a 
courage that was truly sublime. 

One of the difficulties in the way of inducing 
immigration was the fact that there was no road 
connecting the waters of Puget Sound with the 
open country east of the Cascade mountains, 


Dor, for that matter, with the Cohinibia river 
and the Willamette valley on the south. Canoes 
on such rapid and dangerous streams as the 
Cowlitz, and rough pack trails through un- 
broken forests, presented little inducement for 
travel and were really a terror to mnltitudes 
who would gladly else have sought homes along 
the shores of the Sound. But the hundred and 
fifty miles of mountains lying to the eastward, 
wliose crests cnlminated in the eternal snows 
of Mount Eanier, Mount Baker and Mount 
Adams, were a still more terrible obstacle even 
than the canoes and trails to the southward. But 
a people like those who had ali-eady penetrated 
this wilderness, and boldly assumed the burdens 
of self-government would not be long in opening 
some more feasible way of ingress and egress, 
and thus secure a larger share of the emigration 
that was still pouring westward over the interior 
plains. To do this a way must be opened pass- 
able for wagons; for the empire on the Pacific 
coast came in the immigrant's wagon. Accord- 
ingly plans were laid to open a wagon road over 
the Cascade mountains from the vicinity of 
Nisqually to the head of, the Yakima river and 
then down that stream to old Fort Walla Walla, 
and thence to an intersection with the Oregon 
road at the western foot of the Blue mountains. 
As early as 1850 some measures were taken, 
and some work done towards this end, but it 
was not until the spring of 185B that measures 
sufiiciently effective were taken to secure the 
desired result. During the summer of that 
year the way was opened so as to permit the 
passage of wagons, and over it thirty-five wag- 
ons reached the shores of the Sound in the 
autumn of that year. The completion of this 
enterprise, even so far as to permit the passage 
of wagons at all, was a great point gained in the 
morale of settlement, and henceforward the peo- 
ple on the Sound had a less oppressive sense of 
isolation than before. 

The immigration that reached the Territory 
in this way, though not numbering more than 
two hundred persons, was of very sterling stuff 
and contributed very greatly to the prosperity 

of the country. They marked the line of fut- 
ure travel, and were but a prophecy of the day, 
not so very far distant, when the iron track 
should follow the trail of the ox hoof, and the 
palace coaches of the Northern Pacific should 
whirl in a few hours over the very path they 
were weeks in traversing. This immigration set- 
tled the valley of White river and that of the 
PuyuUup, and scattered southward of Olympia 
over the " Grand Mound " prairies, but their 
settlements were so sparse that on the occur- 
rence of Indian hostilities a year or two later, 
an account of which will be given elsewhere, 
they were compelled to abandon their claims 
for some years. 

Such were the physical conditions of the new 
Territory as the summer of its natal year drew 
to a close. Intellectually and morally the con- 
ditions were not more favorable. No system 
of public education had been established. While 
the emigrants that settled Washington were ex- 
ceptionally intelligent, for obvious reasons the 
only schools that could be established were pri- 
vate ones, as few or no school districts could be 
yet organized. 

There were as yet no church edifices, and no 
church organizations, if we except the Indian 
mission of the Roman Catholics near Olympia, 
and at tlie Hudson's Bay post at Nisqually, in 
the Puget Sound region. At Vancouver, on 
the Columbia river side of the Territory, it was 
somewhat different, as here both the Roman 
Catholics and the Methodists had been engaged 
in missionary work more or less steadily for 
nearly twenty years in connection with their 
wider work south of the Columbia. Among 
tlie emigrants had conie to the Territory quite a 
number of ministers of various denominations, 
who held religious services in most of the small 
communities, and were counted among the most 
intelligent, industrious and enterprising of the 
people. Such was the condition of the new 
Territory when its newly appointed governor, I. 
I. Stevens, arrived at Olympia late in Novem- 
ber, orepared to enter upon the active duties of 






I. I. Stevens Appointed Goveenor — His Character — Topographic Explorations — Legislature 
Elected — Governor Stevens' Message — Statesman-like Views — Work of the Legislature 
— GrovERNOR Stevens' Repairs to Washington — Some Trouble on the Border — San Jfan 
Island — Results of Governor Stevens' Visit to Washington. 

THE selection of Isaac I ngalls Stevens liy 
President Pierce as the tirst governor of 
the Territory of Washington was e.xceed- 
ingly propitious to its interests. He was 
a man whose natural and acqnired elements 
were fitted in an eminent degree to commend 
himself, and the causes he served to public favor 
and confidence. A New Englander, born under 
the shadows of Andover, and early trained 
under influences of intellectual culture, his 
naturally vigorous and ambitious intellect had 
already given him special mark when he en- 
tered the United States Military School at West 
Point in 1835, and he only met the expecta- 
tions of his friends when he graduated from it 
in 1839 with its highest honors. After his 
graduation he M'as put in charge of the fortifi- 
cations on the New England coast. During 
the Mexican war he served on the stafiP of Gen- 
eral Scott, and after its close was for four years 
assistant of Prof. Bache on the coast survey. 
This position gave him special training on the 
lines that so eminently qualified him to lead 
the surveys for a great trans-continental rail- 
road which had been the dream and hope of 
statesman and emigrant alike for nearly half a 
century, but which as yet was but a dream. 
Congress having authorized the survey of sev- 
eral routes for this contemplated road, Stevens 
was put in charge of the survey of the northern 
line, whose western terminus was fixed on 
Pnget Sound. He was directed to proceed from 
the upper waters of the Mississippi to this arm 
of the Pacific and report upon the route itself, 
and upon the Indian tribes through which he 
would pass, and he was also given authority to 
treat with these tribes when he found it prac- 

ticable. Something of the facts and results of 
this survey will enter more naturally into an- 
other part of this work, and consequently these 
will be omitted here. Still it is proper here to 
state that among the officers detailed as his 
assistants and helpers in this work were several 
whose names afterward became famous in the 
history of the great rebellion. Among these 
were George B. McClellan, Cuvier Grover and 
F. W. Lander. Captain McClellan had charge 
of the west end of the line, and explored the 
Cascade range for passes leading to Puget 
Sound, from Vancouver northward for more 
than a hundred miles, while Stevens, following 
the. line of his instructions, was proceeding 
westward from the Mississippi. 

In his proclamation looking to the organiza- 
tion of the Territorial government, Governor 
Stevens had designated the 30th day of Janu- 
ary, 1854, for the election of a delegate to Con- 
gress and members of the Territorial Legisla- 
ture, and appointed the 27th of February fol- 
lowing for the convening of the Legislative 
Assembly. Of course with oftices to be filled, 
there were office-seekers in abundance. Parties 
soon crystallized. The Democratic party put in 
the field Columbia Lancaster, of Clarke county, 
for delegate to Congress, and the Whig party 
entered as his competitor W. H. Wallace, of 
Pierce, while M. T. Simmons, whose name has 
so often occurred in honorable connection with 
the real pioneer struggles of the country, ap- 
peared as an independent candidate. The result 
of the election gave Lancaster 690 votes, Wal- 
lace 500, and Simmons 18 — a total of but 1,208 
votes in the whole Territory. 


The delegate elect was not a man suited to 
represent such a Territory as this on the floor of 
Congress at this time. With a certain solidity 
and slowness of character, and an easy facility 
of conversation, he lacked the genius and elo- 
quence and daring that im])re8s and move such 
bodies as that in which he was to serve. Pie 
lacked intellectual force and moral momentum, 
though he had some intellectual might. Among 
a certain class of the pioneers his slowness 
passed for wisdom and his general suavity for 
popularity. In fact both parties, Whig and 
Democratic, committed an error in the selection 
of their candidates for this most important office. 
Instead of taking their most brilliant and able 
man and sending him to represent them in Con- 
gress for tlie public benefit, they both chose their 
men from considerations of party policy rather 
than of public benefit. The men themselves 
were not to blame for being unable to cope with 
the demands of the hour in the interests of the 
Territory they desired to represent, but the par- 
ties were for putting them forward, however 
estimable as private individuals they were; 
and this is not called in question. 

The legislators elected at the same time had 
a fair measure of ability, and were well qualified 
to consider the practical questions that were sure 
to come before them. It was Democratic by a 
majority of one in the council and six in the 
house, but partizan zeal did not strongly influ- 
ence its action, and on the whole its work sub- 
sewed the best interests of the Territory. G. N. 
McConaha had the honor of serving as president 
of the council and F. A. Cheuoweth as speaker 
of the house of representatives. 

The message of Governor Stevens, however, 
stamped him as the man of the Territory; and, 
as the general scope of its statements and recom- 
mendations presents so good a reflex of the con- 
dition and needs of the young commonwealth, 
it appears eminently proper that a summary of 
them should be given here. 

He introduced his message by a glowing en- 
comium upon the Territory itself, and dwelt 
upon its natural advantages for commerce. He 

then referred to the anamolous condition of the 
public lands; the Indian titles not having been 
extinguished, nor any law having been passed 
for their extinguishment, the settlei-s were un- 
able to obtain any titles to their lands under the 
land laws of Congress. He took up the subject 
of roads as one of the most important to the 
people and advised the legislature to memori- 
alize Congress concerning their construction. He 
also counseled them to ask for the appointment 
of a surveyor general for the Territory and for 
liberal appropriations for the surveys, so that 
the settlers could intelligently locate their 
claims. He suggested some essential amend- 
ments to the land law making it possible to 
acquire title by the payments of the minimum 
valuation after a residence of one year, and that 
single women should be placed on the same foot- 
ing as married women. He urged the early set- 
tlement of the boundary question between 
"Washington and the British territory on the 
north, and that Congress shall be memorialized 
on that subject, as well as on the necessity of 
continuing the geographical and geological sur- 
veys already commenced. 

He treated ably, and at some length, tiie 
position and relations of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany and the Puget Sound Agricultural Com- 
pany. He conceded they had certain rights 
granted to them, and certain land ceded to them, 
but that the vague nature of these rights, as well 
as of these lands, must needs lead to disputes 
concerning their possessions, and recommended 
that Congress should be memorialized to extin- 
guish their titles. He declared that the rights 
of the Hudson's Bay Company to trade with the 
Indians was no longer allowed, and that, under 
instructions from the Secretary of State, he had 
already notified that company that it would be 
allowed until July to close up its affairs, and that 
after that time the laws regulating intercourse 
with the Indians would be rigidly enforced. 

The attention of the Legislature was urgently 
called to the necessity of providing for a school 
system, and asked that Congress be memorialized 
for a grant of land for a university. An efficient 




militia system was declared to be a necessity in 
a Territory so isolated, which must, in case of 
war, be compelled for a time to depend upon 
itself even fur protection against foreign in- 

Tills message strongly impressed the Legisla- 
tive As8eml)ly and the people of the Territory, 
and showed the governor to be a broad-minded 
and statesmanlike man. 

Beyond complying with the suggestions of 
Governor Stevens in regard to memorials and 
such subjects of legislation as he directed their 
attention to, the acts of the Legislature were 
mainly directed toward local interests, snch as 
the formation of counties and designation of 
county seats, the appointment of a commission 
to codify the laws, the assigning of judges to 
districts, and the selection of Olympia as the 
temporary capital of the Territory. When these 
things were attended to the Legislatui-e ad- 

Soon after the Legislature adjourned Gov- 
ernor Stevens repaired to Washington city to 
report in person on the results of his railroad 
survey, and to attend to such other matters as 
he might in the inte]-ests of the Territory. The 
Legislature had passed a resolution approving 
of his leaving the Territory for these purposes, 
and so he went armed with the double influence 
of his personal character and tlie approval of 

lis constituents at home. I>efor 

IK' ^^• 


the thoroughness that marked all his work, he 
made an examination of the Sound, looking for 
the most feasible points for the terminus of the 
Northern Pacific road. Bellingham Bay, Seat- 
tle and Steilacoom impressed him favorably. 
The other matters that he specially desired to 
present to the attention of the government re- 
lated to Indian affairs, to the rights and privi- 
leges of the Hudson's Bay and Pnget Sound 
Agricultural Companies, and to the settlement 
of the northern boundary of the Territory. The 
message of Governor Stevens relating to this 
subject, and his declared purpose of pressing 
the matter of its settlement at Washington, ar- 
rested the attention of the British authorities 

on Vancouver Island and a conflict of authority 
arose on San Juan Island between I. N. Ebey, 
as United States collector of customs, and a jus- 
tice of the peace under the colonial government 
of Vancouver Island, named Griffln. Ebey, 
claiming San Juan as a part of the Territory of 
Washington, and finding that several thousand 
head of sheep and other. stock had been im- 
ported from Vancouver Island without being 
entered at the custom house, visited the island 
in his capacity as collector of customs. The 
Hudson's Bay steamer Otter, with Mr. Sankster, 
collector of customs for the British port of Vic- 
toria, on l)oard, ran over to San Juan and an- 
chored near Mr. Ebey's encampment. When 
told by Mr. Ebey that he Mas on the island in 
his ofiicial capacity to enforce the revenue laws 
of the United States, Sankster then declared 
that lie would arrest all persons and seize all 
vessels found navigating the waters west of the 
Straits of Rosario and nortii of the middle of 
the Straits of Juan de Fuca. 

Mr. Ebey, by no means intimidated by this 
growl of the British lion, declared that an in- 
spector of customs should remain upon the 
island to enforce the revenue laws of the United 
States, and expressed the hope that no one pre- 
tending to be officers of the British government 
would attempt to interfere with his oflicial 
duties. Sankster ordered the British flag dis- 
played o\'er the quarters of the Hudson's Bay 
Company on the island. 

James Douglas, governor of Vancouver 
Island and also vice-admiral in the British 
navy, was on board the Otter during these pro- 
ceedings. Sankster proposed that Ebey go on 
board the Otter to hold a conference with Mr. 
Douglas, but was informed that the collector of 
Puget Sound district w'ould be happy to meet 
Governor Douglas at his tent. This, howevei-, 
the governor declined to do, and soon after the 
steamer returned to Victoria, leaving a boat's 
crew to watch. The next day Mr. Ebey ap- 
pointed and swore into ofiice Mr. Webber as 
inspector of customs and stationed him upon 
San Juan Island, 


There was probably no iutention on the part 
of Douglas of proceeding to hostile measures 
ill vindication of the pretensions of Great Brit- 
ain to San Juan Island, but he did desire to 
state the pretensions of his government, and so 
dispute tlie claims of the United States as to 
leave his case witliout prej udice from default when 
the final struggle came. Resolute as he was, in 
Mr. Ebey he met a man as resolute and far- 
seeing as himself, and the result of his course 
secured no advantage to Great Britain in the 
final settlement of the question of boundary be- 
tween the two countries, which is considered in 
another place. 

The visit of Governor Stevens to the national 
capital was productive of much good to the 
Territory. The efforts of delegate Lancaster to 
secure the attention of Congress were proving 
abortive, and the addition of the powerful per- 
sonality and influence of Stevens to them com- 
pelled attention that could not be persuaded by 
the feeble solicitation of tlie delegate. It is 
just, too, to say that delegate Lane, of Oregon, 
irave the strong support of his influence to the 
measures of Lancaster and Stevens, and together 
they secured a fair consideration of tiie needs 
of the new Territory on the part of Congress. 

They secured an appropriation of $30,000 for 
the construction of what was known as the 
"MuUan road" from the Great Falls of the 
Missouri via Cojur de Alene lake to Walla 
Walla; of $25,000 for the construction of a 
military road from The Dalles of the Columbia 
to Fort Vancouver; of $30,000 for a road from 
Fort Vancouver to Fort Steilacoom; and $89,- 
000 for light-houses at various points on the 
coast. Liberal provision was also made for the 
Indian service, in which was included the sum 
of $100,000 to enable Governor Stevens to 
treat with the Blackfoot and other tribes in the 
north and east portions of the Territory. 

Meantime, during the absence of the Gov- 
ernor, the current of events in the Territory 
flowed smoothly on, and thei'e is little to record 
in the way of history. Only one thing ruffled 
the even surface of things, and that was the 
occasional predatory incursions of Indians from 
the north, sometimes attended with barbarous 
murders, which kept the scattered settlements 
along the shores of the Sound in more or less 
alarm. These, however, so far as necessary, 
will be considered in our chapters on the Indian 
Wars of Washington, and hence need not be 
considered at length in this connection. 




Slow Progress — Reasons Thekefok — Politics — First Delegate to Congress — Organization 
OF Parties — Juuge STRON(i— J. Patton Anderson — Personal Politics — Growing Con. 
fusion in Party Lines — Governor Stevens the De.mockatic Candidate — Ale.xander 
Abeknethy the Republican — Stevens Elected — Fayette McMullin, Governor — Fraser 
River Mining Excitement — Results uuon the Territory. 

'Il — ^ VEN after a Territorial Government was 
IT fully instated the material progress of 
*^"^ l the country was very slow for quite a 
number of years. The reasons for this are 
patent. The open country east of tlie Cascade 
mountains was yet closed to settlement, and the 
I'egion about Puget Sound was so inaccessible 
that only the most determined and resolute 
people, or those who had special connections of 
interest there, found their way thither. Ee 
sides there was no surplus population in any 
Pacific coast region eager to leave the limiting 
conditions of an annoying and crowded multi- 
tude to find personal freedom outside of throng- 
ing marts. All the coast was free and open, 
and there was verge and room enough every- 
where for breath and expansion. In a measure, 
too, the influx of Eastern immigration had 
ceased. Therefore the growth of the infant 
Territory must needs be tirefullj slow. The 
few thousands of people scattered over many 
more thousands of S(juare miles of country had 
little to do but wait for the good times which 
their faith prophesied and their hope looked for 
that were sure to come in some sweet hereafter, 
and perhaps prove an overpayment of delight. 
Put, after all, the hanlest thing in the world is 
to wait. Providence is slow, the ages are long, 
our life is brief, and aveugings or rewards must 
come to us soon if at all. It was therefore not 
an easy lot that came to the isolated dwellers 
on Puget Sound and along the wooded river 
courses; and only a few were really great 
enough and strong enough to wait. 

Still there is one refuge that the great Amer- 
ican mind can always find in city or on frontier, 

namely, politics; and this refuge did not fail 
the people of this Territory in the present di- 
lemma. It was a time of high political debate 
in the country at large, and the echoes of that 
debate flew into the door of every log cabin 
from Juan de Fuca to the Cascades. Grave 
national issues were discussed about every 
mountain camp-fire, in every logger's cabin and 
miner's hut; and, although Washington was 
yet but a Territory, and as such could have 
neither voice nor vote in the national legislature, 
no part of the country really took a more intel- 
ligent interest in the issues that were being 
joined between Nortb and South, between loy- 
alty and disloyalty during the later fifties, than 
did these sturdy pioneers. What was to have 
been expected occurred. Political opinion was 
confused, if not chaotic. The pressure of events 
was not yet strong enough to solidify or crys- 
tallize the elements of patriotism that were float- 
ing in the mass of all parties into the order and 
purpose of a party organization, or to unite their 
opposites into an antagonizing order. It was a 
time of creation, politically, in Washington, 
and "darkness was on the face of the deep.'" 

It is proper that we say that this was not to 
the discredit, but rather to the credit, of the 
people. They were too individualized and in- 
dependent to be swayed ia a mass by ajjpeals 
or passions. More solid thinking was never 
done by men than was done by the lumbermen 
from Maine and Michigan and elsewhere in the 
forests of the IS^orth along the shores of Puget 
Sound, and by the scattered home-makers from 
the prairies of Illinois and Missouri, or tlie 
shop-keepers from Boston and New York who 


liad established themselves in the wilderness or 
on the corners of the streets of cities yet to be, 
than was done in this Territory at this time. 
That they did not all think alike was evidence 
that they all thought, and that no one thought 
for all. 

Probably if the political sentiment of Wash- 
ington at this time were to be named after the 
fashion of the olden nomenclature, it must be 
classed as Democratic rather than Whig. The 
Territory had been admitted into the Union 
under Democratic auspices; its governor, Ste- 
vens, and its list of Federal office-holders had 
been appointed by a Democratic president, and 
it was but natural that that party should have 
secured the vantage ground of strongest and 
most effective organization. Besides, just 
across the Columbia, Oregon, under the then 
almost controlling influence of Joseph X.,ane, 
was strongly on that side, and so the motive of 
political harmony with that Territory had its 
influence in determining the status of this. 

There was really but one office in the Terri- 
tory that could serve as a test of party senti- 
ment. That was the office of delegare to Con- 
gress. Around this, therefore, the division took 
place. The first election for that office occurred 
so early after the organization of the Territory 
that party had comparatively little decisive in 
determining its result. At that election, as we 
have seen, Columbia Lancaster of Clarke county, 
in the southern portion of the Territory, was 
chosen. His politics were as individual as him- 
self, though his antecedent affiliation had been 
largely with the Whig party. With a certain 
appearance of solemn weight in his presence 
that was well matched with the method of his 
slow and oracular utterance, he succeeded in 
impressing himself upon enough of the voters 
of the territory that they had given him the 
honor of being their first representative in the 
Congress of the United States. But he lacked 
the alertness and vigor to retain the position 
that the auspicious time, together with his per- 
sonal elements, had given him, and hence his 
first service was his last in that capacity. 

Doubtless geographical position had something 
to do with this result, for his residence was on 
the extreme southern limit of the Territory, and 
in a region that was rapidly outgrown and out- 
nnmbered by the region along Puget Sound. 
So it was not greatly to his discredit that, in 
the more stringent organization of parties in 
1855, these things proved sufficient to defeat 
him before the Democratic convention, and to 
put in his place as a candidate for delegate to 
Congress J. Patton Anderson, who had come to 
this Territory as its first United States marshal, 
appointed by President Pierce, and who had 
over him the order of a strong pro-slavery 
Democrat of the most ultra Southern school. 

By the opposition or Whig party Judge 
William Strong was nominated. Mr. Strong 
also came to the coast as a Federal appointee, 
bearing a judicial commission from Millard Fill- 
more. He was of large and imposing presence, 
and both as an officer and a man had won a 
considerable place in the regards of the people 
of the Territory. In after years he removed to 
the city of Portland, Oregon, where he resided 
until his death, maintaining a prominent posi- 
tion at the bar of that city and State. The result 
of the bidlot gave Mr. Anderson the delegate- 
ship by a narrow margin over his abler com- 
petitor. But neither of the men who repre- 
sented the two great political parties of the 
country in this election figured afterward in 
the history of Washington to any considerable 
extent. Mr. Strong, as we have stated, removed 
from the Territory, and Mr. Anderson did not 
return to it to reside. He espoused the south- 
ern cause in the rebellion, and, though winning 
no high distinction, yet received a commission 
as brigadier-general from the Confederate gov- 
ernment. During this political canvass there 
were many indications of what was coming in 
the disruptions and disintegrations of old parties 
and the formation of new tones. A " free soil " 
candidate for Congress in the person of Joseph 
Cushman received a small vote, while it was 
with difficulty that a large part of the Demo- 
cratic vote could be held to the candidate of 


that party. It was obvious to far-seeing men 
that causes were at work below the surface of 
things that might at any time, and certainly 
would at some time, work a revolution in the 
political complexion of the Territory. One of 
the causes was this: In the organization of the 
Territorial government and appointment of its 
officers, a great many able and ambitious men 
had been brought to the Territory. Others had 
come in charge of or associated with the govern- 
ment surveying parties, and had remained in 

what seemed to them this invitine; field for 


sonal promotion. The ultimate star that guided 
each of these was self. They could not be ex- 
pected to act from a purely public and patriotic 
purpose, for each one supposed that, while serv- 
ing self he could serve the public at least as 
well as could any of his fellows. The larger 
parties, therefore, were made of the innumerable 
smaller personal parties of these able and aspir- 
ing men, and were held together by a very feeble 
tenure. A great, overshadowing public interest, 
upon which the affections of the common people, 
who are always patriotic, could be united, would 
inevitably dissolve the old political tenures, and 
new and stronger ones would be formed. Be- 
sides, the very men of whoni we have spoken 
were not destitute of patriotism, albeit they were 
personally ambitious of place and power, and 
when it became apparent to them that there 
were questions to be decided by the votes of the 
people greater than what individual should hold 
the offices, they too would be found ready to 
lead or follow the general impulse of change. 
That such a change was coming, and coming 
soon, was in the very air. Under such a state 
of things the Territory came up to the time for 
the election of another delegate to Congress to 
succeed J. Patton Anderson, during whose term of 
two years nothing of importance had been done 
to secure the interests of the Territory he rep- 
resented in the halls of Congress. 

The logical candidate of the Democratic pai'ty 
for delegate to Congress in 1887 was Governor 
Stevens, although he had a strong and very bet- 
ter oppositidu among the leaders of iiis own 

party, the causes and methods of which were 
far more creditable to him than to those who 
opposed him. It is not necessary that we lead 
our readers into the intricacies of the plots and 
counterplots of the period, as it would be much 
time spent to little profit. It is enough to say 
that, while Mr. Stevens had come into conflict 
with the judicial department of the government 
in some matters of administration relating to 
Indians and Indian affairs, and in these con- 
flicts his enemies had succeeded in inducing the 
president to reprimand him for his action, yet 
the people, and especially the volunteers who 
had served in the preceding Indian wars, felt 
that he was their fi-iend and proper representa- 
tive, and were resolved to give him the place of 
honor and of power. Meantime, feebly follow- 
ing, at this early day, the trend of public senti- 
ment elsewhere, the Republican party had ef- 
fected an organization and put forwaid as its 
candidate for Congress Mr. Alexander Aber- 
nethy, a man of excellent personal qualities, but 
not well adapted to lead a new political crusade 
in the chances and changes of such an eventful 
jieriod in the history of the country as this. 
The new party had in it not a few of the best 
and ablest men of the Territory, but the exi- 
gences of the country were not yet sufficiently 
apparent to lead the mass of the people to sun- 
der old political ties and enter new party affilia- 
tions. The result of the italloting gave the elec- 
tion to Mr. Stevens by a large majority, and on 
the lith of August he resigned the office of 
governor. Secretary Mason taking his place as 
acting governor until the appointment of his 
successor. This was Fayette McMuUin, of Vir- 
ginia, who held the office of governor only until 
July, 185'8, when he was removed, having done 
nothing to entitle him to the confidence or grati- 
tude of the people. 

While McMullen himself did nothing worthy 
of record as governor of the Territory, yet dur- 
ing his term of office an event occurred that, 
while at first it seemed to interfere with the 
prosperity of the country, ultimately redounded 
to its prosperity. Thi^ was the discovery of 


crold Oil Fraser river in British Columbia, which 
awakened an intense excitement all over the 
coast. The history of this mining excitement 
does not belong to this book, only as it affected 
the prosperity of Wathington. It drew away 
a large number of the people of the Territory, 
thus abstractinu; population and labor from the 
resources of an already weak commonwealth, 
and leaving it for a time even poorer than it was 
before. Its progress had been so slow as to 
greatly discourage many of its friends, as was 
evident from tlie fact that there were but three 
more votes cast for delegate to Congress in 1857 
than in 1855, or only 1,585 in all. On the 
whole this was about the most utipropitions era 
of the history of Washington, and the historian 
lingers in its story anxious to find something to 
relieve the sombre page of his record. This 

milling excitement does not afford the relief, for 
instead of bringing population it took it away. 
Still there was a compensation in its after re- 
sults. It awakened the people who remained 
in the Territory to activity in promoting explo- 
rations and opening roads across the mountains 
into the open country to the east toward the 
upper Fraser mining regions. As the mining 
excitement diminished, and thousands of unsuc- 
cessful men returned from British Columbia, a 
large number of them, some from choice but 
more from necessity, remained in the Puget 
Sound regions and became permanent settlers 
there. From this class Puget Sound probably 
doubled its population before the close of 1858. 
Thus what threatened at first to be a gieat ca- 
lamity of the country proved in the end to be a 
great benefit. 



I. Stevens and his Kelation tc the Histoey of Washington Teeritoet — His Personal 
Character — Elected to Congress — Re-election — Crisis in his Caeeee — Return to Olym- 
piA — Declined Re-nomination — Offers his Services to Government — Commissioned Col- 
onel — Brigadier-general — Death — Honors Paid uis Memory — Election of Delegate to 
Congress — Rapid Changes in Officers — Death of Ctovernor Mason — Seal of Government — 
Republican Appointees — Governor Pickering — Secretary Evans. 

THIS is as suitable a place as any to^ive a 
space to the history of the relations of 
Isaac Ingalls Stevens to Washington Ter- 
ritory. The historian cannot pass this 
theme or this name as he can almost any other 
theme or name with a sentence or two, as, take 
him for all in all, Mr. Stevens' place in the his- 
tory of the Territory is unique and representa- 
tive beyond comparison, and its story must be 
treated accordingly. In the course of our pre- 
vious narrative we have shown under what 
auspices he came to the Territory, and how he 
wss related to the early Indian difficulties that 
60 seriously threatened the entire country. On 
his election as a delegate to Congress, he en- 

tered on a new sphere of duty, but one for 
which his previous education and life had well 
prepared him. 

Mr. Stevens was a small man physically, and 
yet he had an imposing and magnetic presence. 
This was owing to the fact that his face and 
brow and eye bore the seal of a lofty manhood. 
His large and fine-grained brain was filled with 
knowledge, which, in private conversation, he 
knew well bow to use. He was not what is 
usually called an orator, and yet he could 
strongly influence men, and those who were 
about him naturally deferred to hiui as their 
representative. There was not a great deal of 
the suave in his composition. His nature wa^ 


too rugged and full of points for that. But he 
was intellectually honest, and duty was a word 
he knew how to utter, and his actions always 
sliowed that he felt its full and mastering force. 
Coming to the Territory as an appointee to its 
highest office, he filled it with such devotion to 
the interests of the people over whom he pre- 
sided that, almost as early as it was possible for 
them to testify their appreciation of him by a 
popular vote, tliey did so by putting him into 
the national Congress by a majority of votes 
over those given to one of the oldest and most 
respected of the pioneers of the Territory of 
more than two to one. Still the very elements 
that created such friendships also created cor- 
responding enmities, but they were not numer- 
ous and strong enough to alienate the great mass 
of the people from tlie support of this strong 
and patriotic man. 

Mr. Stevens entered upon his duties in Con- 
gress at a time and under circumstances not 
propitious to his political success. The result 
was that during liis first term he was able to 
secure but little legislation for the benefit of 
his constituency. He was faithful in ]ilans and 
energetic in urging them, but he could only de- 
serve success, not command it. But he did not 
lose tlie confidence of ids people, and at the 
election of 1859 was again returned to Congress 
over W. H. Wallace, gaining the election over 
him by nearly as large a majority as he had two 
years before f)ver A. S. Abernethy. This en- 
dorsement of him by the people of his Territory 
gave him larger infiuence with the Congress 
than he had befofe, and consequently his meas- 
ures met with more favor at its hands. At the 
session of 1860-'61, several appropriations of 
great value to the Territory were secured, and 
provisions were made for the payment of the 
Indian war del)t, though at figures greatly, and, 
without doubt, unjustly reduced. 

This session of Congress brought Mr. Ste- 
vens to a crisis in his career. Politically he had 
been a pro-slavery Democrat, or, if not that, in 
the division of the Democratic party pending 
Jie election uf 18(50, he adhered to the Hrecken- 

ridge wing, and so high did he stand with it 
that he was selected as chairman of its national 
committee. But notwithstanding his relations 
to that party be could not be persuaded nor 
frightened into the support of secession, for he 
was a patriot first and a politician afterward. 

At the close of the session of 1860-'61 
Stevens returned to Oiympia. He was wan 
and care-worn, and it was plain tliat strongly 
opposing forces had been tugging at his heart 
strings. He had scarcely reached home before 
the news on the firing on Fort Sumter and the 
beginning of civil war reached him. lie could 
no longer hesitate between party fealty and pat- 
riotic duty. Nor, duty being determined, could 
he delay its clear announcement, " I conceive 
it to be my duty to stop secession" were his 
clear words to the people of Olyrapia who had 
assembled to do him honor. There was no hes- 
itation, no tergiversation. What this meant to 
him can hardly now be understood. It dis- 
rupted all the 23olitical associations of his life, 
and brought down upon him the bitterest hos- 
tility of those who had counted on ])im as both 
comrade and leader in the struggle that treason 
precipitated on the nation. Nor did it secure 
at once the confidence of those who had hitherto 
acted against him politically. Lane of Oregon 
and Gwin of California, with many others, were 
in the hot flush of disloyalty, and it was hard to 
convince the people of the Southwest that 
Stevens was not in league with them for the 
inauguration of a Pacific republic even if lie 
was not committed to the purposes of the South- 
ern disunionists. 

Stevens had returned to Oiympia intending 
to become a candidate for re-election to Con- 
gress, but at the Democratic convention, that 
assembled at Vancouver soon after, he with- 
drew his name, promising however to support 
the choice of the convention. This action was 
prompted by his determination to return im- 
mediately to the East and proffer his services 
to the Government in the cause of the Union. 
This pui'pose he put intu execution. 


From bis early and thorough traiiiiiiff in the 
military academy at West Point, his leading 
position in the counoiLs of the Democratic party 
and his concededly great ability, much was ex- 
pected of him and for him. He was at once 
appointed colonel of the 79tb New York regi- 
ment, the famous Highlanders, whose accom- 
plished colonel, Camei'on, had been killed at 
Bull Run. His service in that capacity began 
on July 31, 1861, only ten days after Bull 
Run had been fought, and was in the defences 
of Washington. In Steptember, however, he 
was commissioned brigadier-general and com- 
manded a brigade until July, 1862. On the 
Ith day of July Mr. Lincoln appointed him 
major general of volunteers, but the senate re- 
fused to confirm the appointment, and he con- 
tinued to serve as general of a brigade in the 
Virginia campaign although he was actually in 
command of the division. At the battle of Chan- 
tilly, while leading his faltering command, him- 
self carrying the flag which the color- bearer 
who had been struck by a shot was about to let 
fall, he was struck in the head by a ball and in- 
stantly killed. When this sad event occurred 
his name was among those who were being con- 
sidered by President Lincoln as successor to Mc- 
Clellan as commander of the army. . In the es- 
timation of the army his name was ranked with 
Meade, Hooker, Reynolds and others like them, 
and his special friends believed him fully able 
to cope with Lee, undoubtedly the greatest 
leader of the Confederates during the war, and 
they prophesied for him the most brilliant 
career. He had made a careful stndy of the 
mental characteristic of the great Confederate 
commander, together with his methods and 
tactics, with the expectation that he might be 
called to match himself against them. Certainly 
his position and ability justified him in thus 
preparing for the largest responsibilities that 
could come to him. In the army his death was 
felt as a great national disaster, and was cata- 
logued with that of Kearny and Baker as one 
of the three most chivalrous spirits that went 
out on the altar of patriotic sacrifice. 

The intelligence of the death of Stevens 
kindled the deepest grief not only in Washing- 
ton but on all the Pacific coast. Like Baker in 
Oregon, Stevens typed and personified the loy- 
alty of Washington. If, in his death, Wash- 
ington lost its one hero in the field of battle, 
his death made a thousand heroes around the 
altar of Washington homes. Disagreements 
and political rivalries and jealousies were for- 
gotten. His character was eulogized and his 
memory was canonized. When Uie Legislature 
met appropriate resolutions were passed in his 
honor, and the members wore crape for ten 
days. The legislature of his native State, Rhode 
Island, also formally regretted his loss. An em- 
inent scholar and publicist, Professor Bache of 
the coast survey, with whom he served four 
years, thus characterized him: "Generous and 
noble in impulses, he left our office with our 
enthusiastic admiration of his character, appre- 
ciation of his services and hope for his success." 

Thus in the full hey-day of his power, at 
forty-four years of age, the man who most im- 
pressed the early history of Washington passed 
away. But he left aji inheritance of real great- 
ness and patriotism to his adopted Territory 
and State that constitutes no small part of the 
fame that crowns them. 

After the withdrawal of the natne of Stevens 
before the Democratic convention of 1861, Salu- 
cius (Tarfielde was named by that body as its 
candidate for Congress. The convention had 
passed resolutions under tJie lead of Stevens en- 
dorsing the cause of the Union, and its nominee 
was therefore called " Union-Democratic." The 
Republican convention of that year named W. 
H. Wallace once more as its candidate. A 
faction of the Democrats, who were so strong in 
their pro-slavery affinities that they would not 
be brougiit to sustain the cause of the Union 
nnder any circumstances, put forth the name of 
Edward Lander as a candidate. The result of 
this triangular contest was to draw away enough 
votes from Mr. Garfielde to give the election to 
Mr. Wallace by a plurality of 818 votes, while 
the united Democratic vote in the Territory yet 



exceeded the Republican bj 333 votes. Thus, 
for the first time, Washington sent a Republi- 
can to represent her in the national Congress, 
although it was not yet clear that her political 
complexion had been changed. 

In the executive department of the Terri- 
torial goveriiment, meanwhile, rapid changes, 
not always to the profit of the people, had su- 
pervened. After the removal of McMuUin, 
already referred to, the secretary of the Terri- 
tory, Charles H. Mason, became acting gov- 
ernor. This was entirely satisfactory to the 
people. Mason was a man to be believed in 
and trusted, and had a strong hold on the confi- 
dence of the Territory in an eminent degree. 
But soon after assuming the duties of the exec- 
utive office he died, universally regretted. 
Stevens pronounced his funeral eulogy. The 
Legislature honored him by naming a county 
after him. He was in all ways a worthy man, 
and an able pul)lic officer. He was succeeded 
by Richard D. Gholsen, of Kentucky, who is 
entitled to a place on the pages of this history 
only because he was "clothed with a little brief 
authority " over a people with whom he had 
nothing in common, but over whom he was in- 
stated by the appointment of a national executive 
who had political debts to pay, and whose po- 
litical small-change for their payment was the 
offices of honor and emolument in the Terri- 
tories. In less than a year after his arrival 
Gholsen returned to Kentucky, much to the re- 
lief of the Tei-ritory. He was an ultra State- 
rights Democrat, and here ends his history as 
connected with Washington Territory. 

With the departure of Gholsen the executive 
administration devolved on H. M. McGill, the 
Secretary of the Territory. There was little in 
the internal politics of the Territory dui-ing these 
administrations that requires any special record. 

Like all new commonwealths the question of 
the location of the seat of government caused 
considerable agitation. The Legislature of 
1854-'55 chose Olympia as the capital, but 
later a strong effort was made to remove it to 
Vancouver. At the session of 1860-'61 a deal I 

was made between the representatives of Port 
Townshend and Seattle and those representing 
the Columbia river region by which Port Town- 
shend was to have the peinitentiary, Seattle the 
university and Vancouver the capitdl. Acts for 
this purpose passed both houses of the Legis- 
lature without debate, but in the haste of such 
legislation the enacting clause was omitted from 
the bills, and they thus became inoperative. 
The matter was finally decided by a vote of th^ 
Territory, supplemented hy a decision of thd 
courts, in favor of Olympia, but the university 
was permitted to remain at Seattle. 

The administration of McGill as Governor 
was rather creditable to himself and beneficial 
to the Territory. 

The inauguration of Mr. Lincoln as president 
was followed by a change in the political com- 
plexion of the Federal appointees in theTerritory. 
W. H. Wallace, a resident of the Territory for 
several years, was appointed governor, but his 
appointment was soon followed by his nomina- 
tion and election by the Republican party as 
delegate to Congress. L. J. S. Turney, who 
had been appointed secretary when Wallace was 
made governor, thus became acting governor. 
But, though the national administration was 
Republican, and consequently the Federal ap- 
pointees were of that political faith, the Legis- 
lature still remained Democratic, and at its 
session of 1861-'G2 signalized its history by 
voting down a series of resolutions sustaining 
the general Government in its course and de- 
claring against a Pacific coast confederacy. 
The council went even further than this in its 
disloyal coui-se, and poured contumely on the 
national cause by referring such a series of 
resolutions sent up from the house for concur- 
rence to the committee on foreign relations, 
with directions to report on the first day of 
April, or two months after the session would 
terminate. This action, redounding so little to 
the credit of the men who voted for it, was so 
really contrary to the sentiments of the people 
of the Territory that at the session of 18r)2-'63 
the joint assembly hastened to pass a series of 


resolutions strongly supporting the Government 
in putting down the rebellion. 

There was little to mark the current of Wash- 
ington history daring this period but that which 
was purely political, but such changes came fre- 
quently enough to keep up the gossip of a " nine- 
days wonder " among the people. Accordingly 
William Pickering, of Illinois, arrived in 
Olympia in June of 1862, as governor of the 
Territory by the appointment of Mr. Lincoln. 
In December following Mr. Tiirney was removed 
from the office of secretary and Elwood Evans 
was appointed in his stead. Mr. Pickering 
came with the recommendation of a long per- 
sonal acquaintance with the president. He was 
by birth an Englishman, but had been a resident 
of the United States since 1821, and for thirty 
years had known Mr. Lincoln, enjoying his per- 
sonal friendship. Mr. Pickering gave the Terri- 
tory an acceptable administration, though to- 
ward its close there was considerable disagree- 
ment between him and a faction of the legisla- 
ture over the reconstruction measures of Presi- 

dent Johnson. Mr.' Evans, the secretary of the 
Territory at this time, was a very competent man, 
and faithful executive officer. He came to the 
Territory in the company of Mr. Steven.^, in which 
he served as journalist of the expedition, and 
had taken up his residence at the capital, where 
he had been engaged in the practice of law. He 
had brilliant literary ability, and as a writer, 
especially on historic themes, has won the high- 
est place. During 1865 Mr. Evans was acting 
governor and discharged the duties of that office 
acceptably to the Republican party, and what 
was better still to the advantage of the Territory. 
Fairly reckoned among the pioneers, no man has 
been more faithful to the interests of his adopted 
State than he, and none have done more to call 
the attention of intending immigrants to the 
greatness of its resources and the excellence of 
its climate. He is now an honored citizen of 
the city of Taconia, engaged in his profession as 
a lawyer, and in literary pursuits, of which he is 
extremely fond and in which he is a master. 



First Settlers — Country Thrown Open to Settlement — First Town — Discovert of Gold — 
Story of its Discovery — Rhodes Creek and Elk City — Salmon River — Severe Winter — 
High Prices — Great Influx of People — Strange Mingling — Towns Mapped out — Coun- 
ties Organized— Political Agitation — Division of the Territory — Idaho Constituted. 


\HILE we have been attending to the 
course of history in the Territory at 
large, and especially in that portion of 
it lying west of the Cascade mountains, we have 
not forgotten that, in area, the larger part of 
Washington was east of that range. Up to the 
early sixties that part of the territory had no 
history except that which was involved in the 
story of the Indian tribes and the Indian wars. 
But about that time the course of history 
changed, and it is necessary for us to follow that 
change. In our chapter on the topography of 

the State we have given our readers so full a 
description of it that it is not necessary for us 
to dwell upon its physical characteristics in this 
place. Up to the early tifties it had no per- 
manent white residents after the missionaries 
abandoned the country on the Whitman mas- 
sacre and the Cayuse war following it. Perhaps 
from this statement a few names of white men 
consorted with Indian women should be excepted, 
and prominent among them, Mr. William 
Craig, whose wife was a Nez Perce woman, and 
who resided at Lapwai among that tribe from 

Bistort of wasiiinoton. 

1S4.J until his death in October, 1869. We do 
uot include in these statements the people con- 
nected with the Hudson's Bay Company, most 
of whom were French Canadians with Indian 
wives, but remained in that region after that 
company withdrew from the field, and thus be- 
came permanent settlers. Probably Mr. II. M. 
Chase is fairly entitled to be called the first 
American who went into that region as an in- 
tending settler, as he entered it in 1851, and 
made his home in the Walla Walla valley for 
fifty years. Soon after him came Lloyd Brooke, 
who, with Bamford and Noble occupied the site 
of the Whitman mission in 1853. but none of 
them remained permanently there, Mr. Brooke 
removing to Portland, Oregon, and dying there 
on the 29th day of May, 1893. Mr. Brooke 
was a man of many genial and sterling quali- 
ties, and held a high place in the regards of the 
pioneers of Washington and Oregon. 

These few people made a gallant attempt to 
occupy the beautiful region watered by the 
Walla Walla river, but the Indian wars of 1855 
to 1858, which are treated of in another place, 
came on, and they were compelled to suspend 
their operations, though they mostly returned to 
them at the earliest possible date. 

In the autumn of 1858 the Walla Walla 
country was thrown open to settlement. The 
campaigns of Colonel Wright had completely 
subjugated the Indians, and there was now no 
danger to the settlers. Such a beautiful region 
could not long escape the acquisitive eye of the 
adventurous Americans, and so quite a large 
number of families soon located on the streams 
that How down from the west side of the Blue 
mountains, and within a year their numbers 
were so greatly increased that the valleys of all 
the streams south of Snake river had their in- 
habitants, and families also began to scatter 
over the mountain slopes. During the summer 
of 1859 the population so increased that the 
Legislature of the Territory passed an act on 
January 19 organizing the county of Walla 
Walla and appointing a board of county officers. 

By this time there was a small gathering of 

buildings on what was known as "Mill creek," 
about four miles from the old mission station of 
Dr. Whitman at Waiiletpu, to which the name 
of "Steptoeville" had been given, which was 
afterward changed to " Wailetpa," and which had 
been selected as the county seat; but when the 
county commissioners came together at it in 
November they gave the little village the name 
of Walla Walla and gave to it a town govern- 
ment. Thus sprang into being what has proved 
to be the chief city of the great Walla Walla 
country, and which is doubtless destined to re- 
tain that diotinction. 

But up to 1860 nothing had occurred to call 
any general public attention to the country 
itself as an exceptionally fine location for homes, 
or to its remarkable agricnltural capabilities. 
The great body of immigrants had really not 
seen it in their passage through the country on 
their way to the Willamette valley and Puget 
Sound, as the main emigrant road passed twenty 
miles to the south down the valley of the L"ma- 
tilla, and through a region of more sterile 
aspect. In 1860, however, the discovery of 
gold in the mountains of Salmon river, 200 
miles northeast of Walla Walla and beyond 
Snake river, brought a rush of adventurers, as 
well as of the most solid and substantial people 
of the whole Pacific coast, through the country. 
To their eyes the beauty and excellence of the 
country were patent, and though they passed on 
through it to the distant mountain El Dorado 
where they expected to gather untold sums of 
gold, yet they could not but carry its visions of 
beauty and verdure and restfulness with them 
into their rugged and self-denying toil. It is 
proper, as this is a most important era in the 
history of the now great State of Washington, 
that we relate somewhat circumstantially its 

A visionary story, related by a Nez Perce In- 
dian in the mines of California, in the ears of 
visionary miners who are always apt to believe 
the impossible and be strongly influenced by it, 
is said to have inspired the search that resulted 
in uncovering to the eyes of the world the golden 



treasures locked in these pinnacled ranges. The 
story told by tins Indian, in half-anglicized 
speech, was tliat among liis native mountains 
far to the north, wiiere himself and two com- 
panions were encamped at night in a darlc de- 
file, a brilliant star had blazed out upon them 
from the face of an opposite cliff, and on search- 
ing the place in tlie morning they had discovered 
a glittering ball that looked like glass imbedded 
in the solid rock. They could not remove it 
from its place, however, and though they be- 
lieved it to be a "gi-eat medicine" they were 
obliged to leave it there. 

This story was listened to by a man as vis- 
ionary and susceptible as the Indians them- 
selves. Dreams of Kohinoors without rival or 
computation floated through his mind, sleeping 
or waking, and under their spell he left the 
mines of California and became a resident of 
Walla Walla. He scouted through the mount- 
ains beyond Snake river, sometimes alone, and 
sometimes with companions, the latter search- 
ing for gold, his eyes ranging every cliff for the 
enricliiug flash of his mythical diamond. 

The Nez Perces, who feared the result of 
these incursions of parties of white men, ordered 
his party out of the country and they obeyed 
their order. In leaving the country, however, 
they decided to turn to the northeast and pass 
out over tlie Lolo trail, the same traveled by 
Lewis and Clarke in their e.Kplorations in 1806. 
They procured an Indian squaw for their pilot, 
and passed over to the North Fork of the Clear- 
water river, and entered the rugged, cedared 
mountains beyond. In a mountain meadow 
embowered among the pinnacles they resolved 
to stop and rest for a time and let their jaded 
horses recruit. Pierce was still dreaming of 
diamonds, but the remainder of the parry was 
searching for the baser and less poetical gold. 
While there Mr. W. F. Barrett went to a stream 
that flowed through the meadow, and with the 
ready appliance of a simple miner's pan tried 
the soil for gold, finding about 3 cents in his 
first panful of dirt. AH were now elated with 
their new "prospect." Constructing a rude 

"sluice" out of cedar bark, they had soon taken 
out about $80 in gold, and thus certified the 
reality of their discovery. 

Turning back from the place where their dis- 
covery was made, they returned down the Clear- 
water and along the great Nez Perce trail to 
Walla Walla. They succeeded in interesting 
in their purposes Mr. J. C. Smith, who had 
been connected with the military service and 
hence was known as "Sergeant Smith," who 
fitted out a company of fifteen and returned 
with them to the newly discovered mines in 
November, 1860. Sending their horses out of 
the timbered mountains to be wintered on Pat- 
aha creek, this company of men permitted 
themselves to be snowed in among the stormy 
heights of this most rugged chain of mountains 
for the winter. They built log cal)ins, sawed 
lumber with a whipsaw, and dug under the 
snow for gold for their winter pastime. In 
March Mr. Smith made his way out of the 
mountains on snow shoes, carrying $800 in gold 
dust which they had dug from beneath the 
snow. This was shipped to Portland, Oregon, 
and the news of the discovery of "placer dig- 
gings" among the mountains of Eastern Wash- 
ington soon kindled a blaze of excitement all 
over the coast. "Oro Fino," the name given 
to the new mines, was on every tongue. The 
counters of the stores, the bars of the hotels, the 
aisles of the church, the firesides of the homes 
were all vocal wit!; discussions and flaming with 
visions of "fine gold." Thus 1860 closed up 
in Eastern Washington. 

By the opening of 1861 the news of tliis 
discovery of gold had reached every mining camp 
on the Pacific coast, and individuals and small 
companies of men were facing from every di- 
rection toward that golden center of attraction. 
They were mostly prospectors, for the extent 
and richness of the mines had not yet become 
sufficiently assured to move the multitudes 
thitherward. These prospectors, during the 
summer of that year, spread over all the mount- 
ains and plains of the regions within two or 
three hundred miles of "Oro Fino." Between 

aisTORy OF WAsirmoToN. 


Salmon river and the Clearwater every gulch 
and hillside was iioney-combed with "prospect 
holes." Almost everywhere " the color" was 
found, and, as the season advanced, many "pay- 
ing diggings" were located. Rhodes Creek, 
Elk City, and, later on, the Salmon River mines 
were discovered. The latter particularly were 
really of fabulous richness. They were located 
on the very summit of the Salmon River mount- 
ains, one of the most i-ugged parts of the great 
Rocky mountain system, in a singular swampy 
depression where some small creeks have their 
rise, and in a general geological formation of 
soft or decayed granite, which both overlaid 
and underlaid the "pay dirt" from which the 
gold was washed. These discoveries came too 
late in the season to permit a great influx of 
miners into these snowy regions in 1861, but 
tbey were not too late to be published far 
aiiroad, hued with a golden drapery of descrip- 
tion, and to excite such a fever of adventure all 
over the United States as to insure a very tidal- 
wave of gold-seekers in 1861. 

The winter of 1861-'62 was the most severe 
ever known on the Pacific coast. It was intro- 
duced by an autumn as singularly mild as it 
was singularly severe. November was as balmy 
as an ordinary May. Late in the month wai-m 
rains of unusual copiousness came over the val- 
leys, while the temperature on the mountain 
ridges was just low enough to turn the copious 
waterfall to snow, which covered these ridges 
to a remarkable depth. The very last days of 
the month the temperature rose almost to sum- 
mer heat, and while the rains continned to ]>our 
over the valleys the snows on the mountains 
were dissolved in a day, and the floods came 
pouring down every gorge, swelling rills into 
torrents and torrents into rivers. The valleys 
were innundated from Sacramento to Ri-itish 
Columbia, and 1862 came in on a scene of deso- 
lation without former parallel. 

With January the heat changed to cold, deep 
snows covered the country; the thermometer 
went down to zero west of the Cascade mount- 
ains and many degrees below east of them. 

For three months a hyperborean winter held all 
the land in chains of ice. The scattered popu- 
lation of Eastern Washington sufl'ered especial 
hardships and deprivations. Hardly one escaped 
impoverishment. Nearly all the stock on the 
ranges died. Many travelers were frozen to 
death on the open prairie-hills. It was not until 
late in March that the snow ijegan to disappear 
from the hillsides. The severity and depriva- 
tion of the season are best attested by the prices 
that were charged and paid for food for man 
and beast. Flour was $25 per ewt. ; bacon, 50 
cents per 11). ; liutter, '$1 per 11).; sugar, 50 cents; 
beans, 80 cents; tobacco, $1.50, at Walla Walla, 
and everything else in proportion. In the 
mines of Salmon river these prices were multi- 
plied by three or four. 

Still these very calamities only increased the 
number of those who hastened into the mining 
regions of Eastern Washington in the spring of 
1862. Men who had ali-eady lost all could lose 
no more by the venture of a summer in the 
mines. By the 1st of March, long before the 
ice in Columbia river would permit the re- 
sumption of navigation by the steamboats upon 
it, four or five thousand men from California 
and the Willamette valley had congregated in 
Portland. Pefore the 1st of May not less than 
20,000 men were urging their way up the Co- 
himbia and over the great interior plains into 
the mountains of Snake and Salmon rivers. 
But these were not all who joined the human 
movement thitherward. They came from the 
East as well as the West. As soon as the 
spring advanced far enough to permit it, the 
tide of emigration from east of the Missouri 
began to sweep up the plains of the Platte river, 
and by late July they were straggling out the 
detiles of the Rocky mountains into the agri- 
cultural valleys and into the mining camps of 
all that region. Not less than 10,000 were in 
this immigration. Not a few of these people, 
wearied with their long journey when they 
reached Grand Ronde valley in Eastern Oregon, 
were glad to pitch tlieir tents beside its beauti- 
ful streams, but by far the larger nutnber fol. 


lowed the lure of their golden hopes and kept 
on toward their dreamed-of El Dorado, and 
passed over tlie Blue mountains and nortiiward 
to Oro Fino, Florence, and the other mining 
centers of that region. 

The story of this year in its relation to East- 
ern Washington has in it elements of weirdness 
and wildness that carry us back to the centuries 
of the cavaliers, and revive the memories of the 
old gold-seekers on the plains of Mexico or in 
the monntains of Peru. With space and time 
enough an Irving might weave out of it a 
story as full of the witchery of romance as any 
that his genius ever wrought. But oiir sober 
history cannot stop to dally and play with such 
a romance, albeit all of it the writer saw and 
part of it he was. It is enough that we say 
that it was this wide tramp of swarming feet, 
this loud ringing of the pick and shovel against 
the flinty sides of the mountains, this rush and 
roar of adventure, tliis strange mingling of the 
best of the good and the worst of the bad in 
camp and mine, this uncouth blending of pro- 
fanity and prayer, of drunken revel and peace- 
ful piety, that had streamed into this "witches' 
cauldron" of human agitation in 18(>2, that 
awakened Eastern Washington out of its un- 
historied sleep of barbaric life and made it a 
commonwealth of a strangely promising civili- 

Of course the opening of the mines which 
brought such a vast influx of population into 
this region, served also to draw attention to the 
agricultural capabilities of the countiy. It was 
seen that it was not only a country for the gold- 
digger, but that it even promised more to the 
wheat-raiser than to the miner. So farms be- 
gan to be located, towns platted, roads surveyed, 
schoolhouses erected, churches built, and almost 
in a single season rude external forms of civil- 
ization began to be developed. The town of 
Walla Walla, as we have seen, had been laid out 
in the preceding year. March of 1862 had not 
passed before Lewiston, at the confluence of 
Snake and Clearwater rivers, was laid out, and 
in April, Wallula, at the site of the old Hud- 

son's Bay Fort Walla Walla, was located. Neither 
of these were mining towns, but both were cen- 
ters of trade on the navigable waters of the Ter- 
ritory, and, besides two or three mining camps, 
there were the first organized towns of the vast 
country east of the Cascade mountains in Wash- 
ington Territory. 

Parenthetically it is proper to say here that 
the Territorial legislature of 1858 had passed 
an act creating Spokane county lying north of 
Snake river, and thus divided this vast inland 
empire into two county jurisdictions. Pinkney 
City — a name soon changed to Colville — was 
the county seat of Spokane. It drew little 
public attention at this time, as the great min- 
ing region absorbed general interest, and besides 
it lay far north of the general lines of travel 
into and through the country. Still its name 
and the date of its organization is a way-mark 
of the course of history in this region and at this 

With the opening of this great mining region, 
and the impression now becoming prevalent that 
Eastern Washington would prove a great farm- 
ing region as well, there was such an influx of 
population into it that it was evident it would 
soon overbalance the western part of the Terri- 
tory politically. This fact prt)duced antagonisms 
sometimes almost rising into personal enmities, 
and resulted finally in a movement looking to 
the division of territory and the organization 
of a new one east of the Cascade monntains. 
So strong did this movement become that com- 
mittees were appointed in every mining district 
to circulate petitions requesting the Territorial 
legislature to memorialize Congress asking for 
such a measure, but the legislature refused to 
comply with this request. However, a bill was 
introduced and passed the council at the session 
of 18G2 and '63 to submit a constitution of the 
State of Idaho to the people, but when it came 
up for action in the lower house it was defeated 
by the substitution of the words " the State of 
Washington" for the words " the State of Idaho." 
Defeated here, the petitioners appealed directly 
to Congress, and that body passed an act which 


was approved March 3, 1863, organizing the 
Territory of Idaho out of all that part of AVash- 
ington lying east of Oregon and also that part 
lying east of the 117th meridian of west longi- 
tude. This put nearly all tiie mining region 
of Washington, and some of the best of its 
agricultural lands, together with all of the great 
upper valley of Snake river, into the i:ew Terri- 
tory, but it still k'ft the area of Eastern AVash- 

ington much greater than that of Western. 
Thus, ten years after the organization of Wash- 
ington Territory, the population had so increase<l 
in its intertuontane region that a new Territory 
was required to meet the eivil requirements of 
the people. There I'emained in Washington, 
Walla Walla, Stevens and Klickitat counties 
east of the Cascade mountains. 



Change op Political Morale — Causes — Slow Pkogrkss — Delegate to Congress Elected — 
George E. Cole — Low-water Mark — Democratic Legislature — Changes in Political 
Affiliations — Causes — Party Conventions — Nominations for Congress — A. A. Denny 
AND James Sitton — Mr. Denny elected — Sketch of his Life. 

\1TII the changes in territorial area re- 
corded in the last chapter there came a 
change in the political morale of Wash- 
ington. This was largely from the fact that the 
occupations and business of the people were now 
more liomogeueous. The classes of people that 
gather about a mining region are unlike those 
that select agriculture and commerce as their 
modes of life. This is not saying they are 
worse — only they are different. D(jubtless for 
keenness of intellect, nervous restlessness of 
purpose, and personal independence of action 
there is not a class of men in the world to be 
compared with those M-ho have ranged the min- 
ing regions of California, Oregon, AYashington, 
Idaho and Montana from 1848 to the present 
time. Many of them have been men of the 
purest morality and the broadest humanity. Of 
course with these have mingled many of the 
most reckless and hardened adventurers of the 
land, not a few of these, however, being men of 
great ability, but who, for one cause or another, 
had fallen into vicious and depraved methods of 
life. These men were, many of them, leaders in 
the political agitations that kept \¥ashington in 
a ferment during the period of the civil war. 

say from 1860 to 1866, and were almost without 
e.vception bitterly and blatantly on the side of the 
rebellion. In the sentiment they represented, 
if not in the life they lived, their ranks were 
strongly recruited from 1862 onward by hun- 
dreds and thousands of men from the rebel armies 
of the Southwest who brought with them all the 
bitterness which had inspired them at first to 
take up arms against the government, and who 
sought every occasion ta traduce that govern- 
ment and insult the flag that represented it. 
This alliance was strong enough to control the 
politics of that part of Eastern Washington that 
included the mining country, and generally, 
through that, of the Territory itself. While, 
therefore, the organization of the counties of 
Idaho, Nez Perces, Shoshone, Boise and Mis- 
souli, with their population of 20,000, and their 
vast mineral and agricultural resources from 
AYashington, seemed to have that Territory shorn 
of half its proportions and strength, it neverthe- 
less gave it a homogeneousness of character and 
life that it never could have had without. In this 
respect its great loss was its greater gain. 

AVith the separation of this mining region 
front AVashington her history settled l)ack into 


the old routine of a slow and strugglino; growth 
materially. It was really a season of growth, 
but of that character that leaves little for the 
page of history. The great war was going on, 
from two to three thousand miles awaj it is 
true, and yet it absorbed public thought and 
interest, and besides it absorbed the young and 
vigorous manhood of the whole country, leaving 
little for emigration and adventure in the en- 
ticing iields of national construction. They 
must save a country first and build it np after- 
ward. So our Pacific empire had to wait. But 
while waiting election times came regularly on. 
The American never forgets them. 

In ]863 the Democratic convention for the 
Territoi-y named George E.Cole as its candidate 
for delegate to Congress. Against him the Re- 
publicans put forth J. O. Eaynei'. These nomi- 
nations indicated the unsettled and doubtful 
condition of politics in the Territory. Eoth 
parties passed by their leaders and selected 
candidates comparatively little known, and but 
slightly identified with either tlie history or the 
prosperity of the Territory- At this time many 
of the ablest men of the Territory were halting 
between two opinions. Under the long Demo- 
cratic rule in the nation that preceded the elec- 
tion of Mr. Lincoln they had come to tlje Ter- 
ritory as Democratic office-holders, and the 
traditions of their old faith were strong upon 
them still. The issues of the war were yet in 
doubt, and so they were in doubt also. Under 
this atmosphere of uncertainty the nominations 
of the two conventions ■were made. When the 
count was had it was found that Mr. Cole was 
elected by a small majority. The aggregate of 
the vote showed that the voters numbered over 
400 less than two years before in the same 
counties that voted then, — an indication of the 
great draft that the mining exodus had made 
on the population of the Puget Sound and 
Columbia river regions. It is interesting to 
note that King county, where Seattle is situated, 
now for several years the strongest in the State, 
polled but 173 votes, while Walla Walla polled 
590, which was the largest of any county. 

Spokane gave but ninety, and one, Wahkiakum, 
but twelve. The entire vote of the Territory 
was 3,233. This date was doubtless near the 
low-water mark of the prosperity of Washing- 
ton Territory. 

The separation of Idaho from Washington 
left the legislative assembly witii but seven 
conncilmen and twenty-four assemblymen. Its 
color was Democratic, but at^the same time not 
of the " most straightest sect," for it required 
more than half a )nonth for it to complete its 
organization, which it finally did by the election 
of Democratic officers. 

There was little in course of legislation dur- 
ing this session that requires special mention. 
Indeed, with a population remaining in the 
Territory of less than 13,000, and they hard- 
handed toilers in the forests and fields of a 
region large enough for as many hundreds of 
thousands, it could not be expected that there 
would be. No great enterprise could be under- 
taken, for there was no wealth to carry them 
forward. The people were rich, it is true, but 
it was in the possession of a great though unde- 
veloped country, of a salubrious and healthful 
climate, and of an unbounded faith in the 
future. So still their service was that of wait- 

Nor was much attempted by Congress for the 
small Territory lying against the Western sea. 
The resources of the whole land were taxed to 
their utmost to " keep the jewel of liberty in 
the family of freedom," and not much could be 
done for those whose claims were in their pov- 
erty and indigence mostly, and especially when 
their sympathy with the struggles of the nation 
had been so doubtfully expressed as had been 
the case in the last election. With the excep- 
tion therefore of the pro forma legislation neces- 
sary to keep the government of the Territory 
going nothing was done in or for the Territory 
by Congressional action. And so the two years 
of the Congressional career of Mr. Cole passed 
away and the time for a new election came 


Politically the two years had wrought a great 
change in Washington; the result of the now 
nearing issue of the civil war. The beginning 
of the end of the great struggle was clearly in 
view. The effect of this was very obvious 
among a certain class of politicians whose where- 
abouts politically no weather-vane could deter- 
mine up to this time. Now that the cause of 
the Union was clearly in the ascendant they be- 
gan to see that duty lay in the way the Hags 
were pointing. So they hastened for pelf where 
the common people had gone for principle. 
Under such conditions the conventions of the 
two parties came on. 

The Uepublican convention named as its 
nominee for Congress A. A. Denny, of Seattle, 
while the Democrats named James Titton, of 

In many respects these contestants were well 
matched, and well represented the elements in 
the conflict. There was no doubt as to their 
potitical sentiments. One represented repub- 
licanism, the other democracy pure and simple. 
What these taught and fought for they em- 
bodied. And so the issue was joined at the 
polls. The result of it was that Mr. Denny 
secured the election by a majority of 1,138 in a 
total ballot of S.SlU. 

Mr. Denny was, par excellence, a pioneer, 
and while being entitled to special consideration 
as such, this election lifted him into a mure 
general relation to the history of the Territory 
than many of the pioneers were fortunate 
enough to secure. Hence this is as good a 
place as any to give our readers an account of 
that part of the history of Washington Territory 
that was embodied and exemplified in his life; 
for the best part of history is the story of the 
life of the men who znake history; and no man 
in the State is better entitled than he to the 
distinction of being a history- maker. 

The Dennys are a very ancient family of En- 
gland, Ireland and Scotland. The present branch 
traces its ancestry from Ireland to America 
through great-grandparents, David and Mar- 
garet Denny, who settled in Berks county, 

Pennsylvania, previous to the Revolutionary 
war. There Robei-t Denny, the grandfather of 
our subject, was born in 1753. In early life he 
removed to Frederick county, Virginia, whei-e 
in 1778 he married Rachel Thomas; and about 
1790 removeil tu and settled in Mercer county, 
Kentucky. There John Denny, the father of 
our subject, was born. May 4, 1793, and was 
married August 25, 1814, to Sarah Wilson, 
daughter of Cassel and Ann (Scott) Wilson, who 
was born in the old town of Bladensl)urg, near 
Washington city, February 3, 1797. Her par- 
ents came to America at an early day. The 
maternal and paternal grandfathers of our sub- 
ject served in the Revolutionary war. The 
former belonged to Washington's command at 
the time of General Braddock's defeat. John 
Denny was a soldier of the war of 1812, being 
in Colonel Richard M. Johnson's regiment of 
Kentucky volunteers. He was also an ensign 
in Captain McFee's company, and was with 
General Harrison at the battle of the Thames, 
when Proctor was defeated and the noted Te- 
cumseh was killed. He was a member of the 
Illinois Legislature in 1840 and '41, with Lin- 
coln, Yates, Bates and others, who afterward 
became renowned in national affairs. In poli- 
tics, he was first a AVhig and afterward a Re- 
publican. For many years he was a Justice of 
the Peace, and it was his custom to induce liti- 
gants, if possible, to settle without resorting to 
law. He died July 28, 1875, in his eighty- 
third year. His wife died March 25, 1841, in 
her forty-fifth year. " For her," says her son, 
'• 1 had the greatest reverence, and, as I now 
look back and cuntemplate her character, it seeiiis 
to me that she was as near perfect as it is pos- 
sible to find any in this world." 

About 1816, John Denny and his wife re- 
moved to Washington county, Indiana, and 
settled near Salem, where Arthur, the subject of 
this sketch, was born June 20, 1822. One year 
later they removed to Putnam county, six miles 
ea;t of Greencastle, where they remained twelve 
years, and from there went to Knox county, Il- 
linois. Speaking of his boyhood, Mr. Denny says; 


" My education began in the log schoolhoiise 
so familiar to the early settler in the AVest. The 
teachers were paid by subscription, so much per 
])upil, and the schools rarely lasted more than 
half the year, and often but three months. 
Among the earliest of my recollections is that of 
my father's hewing out a farm in the beech 
woods of Indiana; and I well remember that the 
iirst school I attended was two and a half miles 
from my home. When 1 became older it was 
often neces.sary for me to attend to home duties 
half of the day before going to school, a mile 
distant; but by close application I was able to 
keep up with my class. My opportunities to 
some exteut improved as time advanced. I spent 
my vacations with an older brother at carpenter 
and joiner work to obtain the means to pay my 
expenses during term time." 

Mr. Denny was married Novemlier 23, 184^5, 
to Mary Ann Boren, to whom he feels indebted 
for any snccess he has achieved in life. Of her 
he says: "She has been kind and indulgent to 
all my faults, and in cases of doubt and ditti- 
culty in the long voyage we have made together 
she has always been, without the least disposition 
to dictate, a safe and prudent adviser." 

In 1843 Mr. Denny was elected County Sur- 
veyor of Knox county, and after serving eight 
years resigned to come to the Pacific coast. On 
April 10, 1851, be started with his family across 
the plains, reached The Dalles August 11, ar- 
rived in Portland August 22, and on the 5th of 
November sailed for Puget Sounil on the 
schooner Exact, arriving at their destination on 
Elliott's Bay November 13, 1851. The ])lace 
where they landed they called Alki Point, at that 
time as wild a spot as any on earth. They were 
landed in the ship's boat when the tide was well 
out; and, Mhile the men of the party were all 
busily engaged in removing their goods to a 
point above high tide, the women and children 
crawled into the brush, made a lire and spread 
a cloth to shelter them from the rain. In speak- 
ing of their landing here, Mr. Denny says: 

" When the goods were secured I went to 
look aftei' the wonien and found on my approach 

that their faces were concealed. On a closer 
inspection, I discovered that they were in tears, 
having already discerned the gravity of the 
situation; but I did not^for some time discover 
that I had gone too far; in fact, it was not until 
I became aware that my wife and helpless chil- 
dren were exposed to the murderous attacks of 
hostile savages that it dawned upon me that I 
had made a desperate venture. My motto in 
life has been ' Never go backward;' and, in fact, 
if I had wished to retrace my steps it was about 
as nearly impossible to do so as if I had taken 
the bridge up behind me. I had brought my 
family from a good home, surrounded with com- 
forts and luxuries, and landed them in a wilder- 
ness; and I do not now think it was at all strange 
that a woman, who had, without complaint, 
endured all the dangers and hardships of a trip 
across the plains, should be found shedding tears 
when contemplating the hard prospects then so 
plainly in view. Now, in looking back to the 
experience of those times, it seems to me that 
it is not boasting to say that it required quite 
an amount of energy and some little courage to 
contend with and overcome the difficulties and 
dangers we had to meet. For myself, 1 was for 
several weeks after landing so thoroughly occu- 
pied in building a cabin to shelter my family 
from the winter that I had not ninch time to 
think of the future." About the time their 
houses were completed, the little settlement was 
fortunately visited by Captain Daniel S. Howard, 
of the brig Loenesa, seeking a cargo of piles, which 
they had contracted to furnish. This gave them 
profitable employment, and although the labor 
was severe, as they did it mostly without teams, 
they were cheered on with the thought that 
they were providing food for their families. 

In February, 1852, in company with William 
N. Bell and C. D. Boren, they made soundings 
of Elliott's Bay along the eastern shore and 
toward the foot of the tide flats to determine 
the character of the harbor, using for that pur- 
pose a clothes-line and a bunch of horse- shoes. 
After the survey of the harbor they next ex- 
amined the land and timber around the bay, and 


after three days of careful investigation they 
located claims, with a view of luiiiberiiig, and 
ultimately laying off a town. Mr. Denny came 
to this coast impressed with the belief that a 
railroad would l)e built across the continent to 
some point on the northern coast within the 
next fifteen or twenty years, and located on the 
Sound with that expectation. He believed that 
Oregon would receive lai'ge annual accessions to 
its population, but in this he was mistaken, 
mainly because of the opening of Kansas to set- 
tlement. The bitter contest which arose there 
over the slavery question had the effect to at- 
tract and absorb the moving population to sucdi 
an extent tliat very few, for several years, found 
their way through these territories; and a large 
portion of those wlio did pass through were 
gold-seekers bound for California. Then came 
the Indian war which well nigh depopulated 
Washington Territory. This was followed by 
the great rebellion, all of which retarded the 
growth of the Territory, and for a long time pre- 
vented the construction of the railroad upon 
which he had based large hopes. 

In the spring of 1852, when they were ready 
to move upon their claim, they had the expe- 
rience of the fall over again in building new 
cabins in which to live. After the houses wei-e 
built, they commenced getting out piles and 
hewn timbers for the San Francisco market, 
with an occasional cargo for the Sandwich 
Islands. Vessels in the lumber trade all carried 
a stock of general merchandise, and from them 
they obtained their supplies. The captains sold 
from their vessels while taking in cargo, and, 
upon leaving, turned over the remainder to JVIr. 
Denny to sell on commission. On one occasion 
his commission business involved him in a seri- 
ous difficulty. In reference to it, he says: 

"The captain of one of the vessels, with whom 
I iisually dealt, carried a stock of liquors, but 
he knew that I did not deal in spirits, and dis- 
posed of that part of the cargo himself or kept 
it on board. On one occasion, as he was ready 
for the voyage from San Francisco, with his 
usual stock, something prevented him from 

making the voyage himself, and he put a young 
friend of his, just out from Maine, in command. 
When they came to the whisky, the young cap- 
tain said, 'AVhat am I to do with that? I will 
not sell it.' ■AVell,' he replied, 'take it up to 
my agent, Mr. Denny, and if he will not dis- 
piose of it turn it over to a friend of mine at 
Alki Point, who is in tlie trade.' The vessel 
arrived and the new captain came on sliore with 
a letter, explaining the situation. 1 told him, 
'All right, Captain; take it to Alki. I have no 
use for it.' In due time the cargo was com- 
pleted and the captain came on shore and in- 
formed me that the man at Alki had on hand a 
fnll stock of his own, and would not take the 
stuff, and he would throw it overboard if I did 
not take it out of his way. My obligation to 
the owner would in no way justify me in per- 
mitting so rash an act, and I told the captain 
to send it on shore with the goods he was to 
leave, and have his men roll it up to the house, 
and I would take care of it until the owner 
came. I was cramped for room, but I found 
places to store it under beds and in safe corners 
about my cabin. It was a hard kind of goods 
to hold on to in those days, but there was never 
a drop of it escaped until the owner came and 
removed it to Steilacoom." 

Mr. Denny continued in the commission busi- 
ness until the fall of 1854, when he entered into 
co-partnership with Dexter Horton and David 
Phillips in a general merchandise business, 
under the firm name of A. A. Denny A: Co. 
Their capital was very limited. It would hardly 
purchase a truck-load of goods now, but for the 
time, in a small one-story frame building, on the 
corner of Commercial and Washington streets, 
— afterward occupied by the bank of Dexter 
Ilorton & Co., — they did the leading business 
of the town. When the Indian war came on in 
1855, the tirm dissolved and Mr. Denny went 
into the volunteer service for six months. He 
served as County Commissioner of Thurston 
county, Oregon, when that county covered all 
the territory north of Lewis county, and when 
Pierce, King, Island and Jefferson counties 


were formed by the Oregon Legislature lie was 
appointed a Commissioner of King county. In 
1853 lie was appointed Postmaster, and received 
the first United States mail in Seattle, Angnst 
27, 1853. On the organization of Washington 
Territory, he was elected to the II(^e, and con- 
tinned a member of either the IIo\ile of Repre- 
sentatives or of the Council for nine consecutive 
sessions. He was Speaker of the House the 
third session. He was Registrar of the United 
States Land Office at Olympia from 1861 to 
1865, when he was elected Territorial Delegate 
to the Thirty-ninth Congress. In 1870 his old 
friends and business partners, David Phillips 
and Dexter Horton, founded the bank of Phil- 
lips, Horton & Co., and at the death of Mr. 
Phillips, March 6, 1872, Mr. Horton, although 
alone in business, adopted the firm name of 
Dexter Horton & Co. Mr. Denny 'entered the 
bank at this time as executor of the Phillips 
estate, and, after closing the affairs of the estate, 
he took a half interest in the bank, under the 
existing firm name, which Mr. Horton offered 
to change at the time; but, being fully satisfied 
with the name, Mr. Denny declined to allow the 
chanoe. He has been identified with the for- 

tunes and interests of Seattle from the day of 
its foundwig, and during the active period of 
liis life it was his earnest endeavor to promote 
and protect those interests to the best of his 
ability. After reviewing his life, he adds: 

" My work is practically over. If it has been 
done in a way to entitle me to any credit I do 
not feel that it becomes me to claim it. Should 
the reverse be true, then I trust that the mantle 
of charity may protect me from the too harsh 
judgment and criticism of those now on the 
active list, and that I may be permitted to pass 
into a peaceful obscurity with the hope that 
their efforts may be more successful than mine." 

Thus modestly does the founder of a great 
and prosperous city refer to his personal career, 
which is emblematic of lionesty and integrity 
and all there is in life worthy of emulation. 
His wife, the joy and comfort of his pioneer 
life, is still the companion of his prosperity. 
They have four sons and two daughters, all of 
whom reside in the city which is so closely as- 
sociated with the manly virtues of strength, 
enteiprise and courage of their father, and tiie 
womanly graces and fortitude of their mother. 



Election of 1867 — Frank Clakk and Alvan Flanders — Inckeask of Votes — Moore Appointed 
Governor — E. L. Smith — Returning Prosperity — Legislation Sought — Navigation and 
Railroad (Jompanies — Alaska — Decay of Indians — Political Changes — Sketch of Judge 

DURING the Congressional term of Mr. 
j Denny the reconstruction measures that 
— followed the close of the war were pend- 
ing in Congress, involving the serious differen- 
ences between President Johnson and the party 
that had elevated him to power. Little could 
be attempted and even less accomplished for the 
Territory in the disturbed condition of the 
public mind. Mr. Denny was I'aitliful to his 

( trust but beyond the usual appropriations for 
the conduct of the Territorial government there 
was little to show for what was done. When 
the election of 1867 occurred both parties put 
forth new candidates, the Democrats nominat- 
ing Frank Clark of Steilacoom, and the Repub- 
licans Alvan Flanders of Wallula. Mr. Clark 
was a very representative Democrat. He was a 
pioneer of the Territory, and had been fully 


identified witii its interests since 1852. On these 
accounts he was nndoubtedly the strongest can- 
didate his party coukl have named. Mr. Flan- 
ders had been a resident of the Territory only 
four years, was little known, and therefore thei'e 
was nothing in his nomination to inspire the 
party he represented to activity. The result 
was that Mr. Flanders received in 18(37 only 
seventeen more votes than did Mr. Denny, the 
Eepnblican candidate, in 1865, and Mr. Clark 
received 1,059 more votes than did Mr. Tilton 
in 1865 and came within less than a hundred 
votes of an election. In two years the vote of 
the Territory had increased 1,076, over thirty 
per cent, showing that a large immigration had 
entered its borders during that period. 

Politically, the period through wiiich the 
Territory was now passing was one of turinfiil. 
Though the Repuljlican party was undoubtedly 
in tlie majority, yet there were divisions in its 
ranks arising out of the defection of President 
Johnson who removed Mr. Pickering from the 
Governorship and appointed in his place George 
E. Cole, late Democratic delegate to Congress, 
who hastened to the capital and assumed the 
duties of that office before the Senate had acted 
on his nomination. That Ijody declined to con- 
tirni his nomination, and aftei- the lirief rule of 
two months he laid aside his " little brief 
authority." Finally, after several nominations 
had been rejected by the Senate, Marshal F. 
Moore was appointed and confirmed. Mean- 
time Mr. E. L. Smith of California had been 
appointed secretary, and, arriving at Olympia 
in June, assumed the duties of acting governor 
until the arrival of Moore but a short time before 
the assembling of the legislative assembly. 
Both Mr. Moore and Mr. Smith were well re- 
ceived at the capital and made an excellent iin 
pression on the people of the Territory. Mr. 
Moore, who was a native of Binghamton, Xew 
York, had served through the war with great 
credit and gallantry, and came out of it bearing 
the rank of brevet major-general. He was a 
gentleman of great suavity of manner, 
thoroughly devoted to his duties and conscien- 

tious and intelligent in the discharge of them, 
Mr. Smith, originally from Illinois, had spent 
some years in California, where he had lieen a 
popular member of the legislature, and though 
he came to the Territory almost entirely un- 
known to its people he easily won their confi- 
dence and regard. Thus, although the admin- 
istration of Mr. Moore began under circum- 
stances of political unrest, it really proved a 
most satisfactory one to the Territory. 

Soon after Mr. Moore's arrival the legislature 
convened and the new e.xecutive delivered his 
message, most elaborately and intelligently dis- 
cussing the interests of the Territory. It was 
a document not only of much ability but of great 
practical utility, and at once gave the new gov- 
ernor a high standing as a citizen as well as 
great credit as an officer. 

Washington had now evidently entered a 
season of prosperity. In two years, as evidenced 
by the vote of the late election, there had been 
a large increase in its population and commer- 
cial and mining interests had appreciably ad- 
vanced. A tone of assurance and a spirit of 
hope for the future were apparent in all depart- 
ments of life and Inisiness. 

In legislation little now was needed or 
attempted. Some efforts were made to cure the 
evils resulting to the Territory from the crude 
and unsatisfactory manner of Territorial govern- 
ment under the practice of Congress and the 
national executive, and a slight relief was ob- 
tained. The practice of making the Territorial 
offices rewards to broken down or superannuated 
politicians from the East who claimed pay for 
partizan services not always honorable or high- 
minded, and received it thus at the expense of 
the pioneers of the Teri-itories, was one to be 
strongly condemned. The legislature attempted 
to cure this evil, and Congress made a partial 
I'esponse to its petitions and memorials by the 
enactment of rules holding appointees to more 
rigid responsibility on penalty of loss of pay 
when absent from their posts of duty, a pro- 
vision that would touch the average office-holder 
in a most tender point. 


At this period the growing importance of the 
Territory was evidenced by the organization of 
navigation and railroad companies contem- 
plating the opening of channels of commerce and 
travel on the rivers, as well as by land, south- 
ward and eastward from Piiget Sound. One, 
called tlie Pnget Sound & Columbia River Rail- 
road Company, of which Mr. S. W. Brown, of 
Vancouver, was president, expended consider- 
able money, and by publications in the press and 
the sending of an agent to Washington to co- 
operate with Mr. Alvan Flanders, who was then 
delegate in Congress, to procure favorable legis- 
lation, lirst drew the attention of the Northern 
Pacific Company to the line between the Co- 
lumbia and Puget Sound, where it, a little later, 
built its first division on the Pacific coast. 
This company actually entered into contract with 
Mr. Ben Holaday for the construction of this 
line from Vancouver to Stielacoom, near the 
present city of Tacoma, and bonds at the rate of 
^25,000 per mile were printed to carry out the 
project. Mr. Holaday was then railroad king 
of the North Pacific coast, and for a time the 
prospect of building the road was very bright; 
but Holaday's failure some time later destroyed 
that prospect, and meantime the Northern Pa- 
cific stepped into the opening this company had 
made, and obtained from Congress an extension 
of its right of way and grant of land over this 
most important link that its managers had un- 
accountably overlooked up to this time. 

Another incident of historic significance to 
the Territory occurred at this time. Mr. Seward, 
as secretary of State, purchased Alaska from 
Russia, and thus extended the domain of the 
United States far to the north aiul west of 
Washington. This really put Washington 
central to the possession of the United States on 
the Pacific, and greatly stimulated commercial 
enterprise on Puget Sound and the Columbia 
river, and indeed all over the northwest. 

Such a change had occurred in the internal 
condition of the Territory, especially west of tiie 
Cascade mountains, that in 1868, the Govern- 
ment through the war department, abandoned 

Fort Steilacoom, and disposed of the buildings 
at Gray's Harbor and Chehalis which had been 
abandoned some years before. This indicated 
what had really almost eluded the observation 
of tile people themselves, namely, that tl)e In- 
dians of that region had so nearly passed away 
that there was no longer any danger of an In- 
dian war. A few weak and ragged remnants 
of the once strong tribes that swarmed around 
this inland sea yet lingered here and there, 
poor, filthy, degraded, a prey to the vices that 
they had learned from abandoned white men, 
with scarcely a remnant of the fabled dignity 
and nobleness and bravery of which writers have 
spoken remaining to cover the hideous naked- 
ness of their wretciiedness and decay. It may 
be confessed, however, that this writer believes 
that much of what was thus ascribed to them 
aforetime was " fabled " only; still it was sad to 
contemplate them now in their few shivering 
bivouacs when winter storms were dark about 
them, or in the unclad beggary of their want as 
they sought scant food at the back doors of the 
dwellings of the race whose coming had con- 
sumed their people. Still who shall say that it 
were not better that the steamer and the plow 
and the rail car should take the place of the 
canoe and the hunter's trail? And if this should 
be then they must perish, for no pagan tribe as 
such ever built a mile of railway, or launched 
a single steamer on any sea. It was the provi- 
dence of progress; and though we might feel 
the pain of sympathy for that whicii dies that 
higher creations may live, we must still feel that 
the providence of this law of universal growth 
is right. Thus these people were passing away, 
and thus they have ministered to the incoming 
of a displacing civilization. But we may not 
linger on such moralizations. 

There were many political agitations, arising 
largely out of personal rivalries among office- 
holders, during this period of our history, but 
it would not repay the reader if we should recite 
them. The machinations of the agitators were 
mainly directed against the district judges, or 
rather against some of them, and the purpose 


was openly proclaimed to force their removal. 
This purpose finally succeeded, and soon after 
Grant came to the presidency he completely 
changed the personnel of the judiciary, appoint- 
ing B. ¥. Dennison chief justice, with Orange 
Jacobs and J. K. Kennedy associates. These 
men were all old citizens of the Territory, able 
lawyers, and their appointment gave great satis- 
faction to the Tei'ritory. They displaced Hewitt 
and Wyche and Darwin. In a couple of years 
Jacobs succeeded Dennison as chief justice, and 
J. K. Lewis succeeded Kennedy as associate. 
Lewis was transferred from a term of service 
on the bench in Idaho to Washington, and came 
into the State with a record of ability and in- 
corruptibility that gave him great favor with 
his new constituency. 

As we are illustrating the course of our his- 
tory with reminiscences of the life of the lead- 
ing builders of the State, whose story we are 
relating, we will now turn aside from, the ordin- 
ary How of the story and introduce to our read- 
ers lion. B. F. Dennison, who, as they have 
seen, has just closed his term as chief justice 
of the Territoi'y. 

Ben.jamin F. Dennison, now a resident of 
Olynipia, was one of the Argonauts of Cali- 
fornia, lie was born in Burke, Caledonia 
county. Vermont, in 1820. His father, Dr. 
George W. Dennison, was a native of Connect- 
icut, whei'e he was educated in sciences and 
medicine; then settled in Vermont, married 
Miss Emeley Jenks of that State, and there lived, 
devoting his time to his profession. He was 
quite active iu politics, and for a number of 
years served as County Judge. He was fitted 
for college at the Newbury Methodist Univer- 
sity, and graduated in 1845 from Dartmouth 
College at Hanover, New Hampshire. During 
the "Tippecanoe campaign" in 1840, though 
not old enough to vote, he was an active mem- 
1)er of the Whig political club of his college, 
and was a participant in the county and State 
demonstrations, listening to the speeches of 
Webster, Ghoate, Johnson and other great ora- 
tors of that period. After his graduation he 

went to Akron, Ohio, and engaged in the read- 
ing of law. which he continued at Cleveland iu 
the office of Reuben Wood, who was subse- 
quently elected Supreme Judge and Governor 
of the State, and was admitted to practice in 
the court of common pleas and in the supreme 
court in 1848. He then opened an office for 
the purpose of practicing, but with the dis- 
covery of gold in California, and imbued with 
the spirit of adventure, he joined a company of 
seven young men who proceeded to Louisville, 
Kentucky, and purchased a prairie outfit with 
mule teams, and in the spring of 1849 started 
across the plains for California. Being inex- 
perienced in prairie travel their progress was 
fraught with many dangers and adventures. 
Their teams soon became jaded from too rapid 
driving, and by making haste in the start their 
arrival in California was delayed. They were 
chased by wild Indians, and saved from mas- 
sacre only by reaching a camp of emigrants. 
About 500 miles out from Sacramento they 
were overpowered in the night, robbed of their 
mules and left almost destitute. They then 
made small packs of supplies, and each with 
one blanket set forth on foot. The Digger 
Indians gave them much trouble at night, and 
though caught in the mountains in snow, they 
dare not make fires for fear of Indians. AVith 
scanty supplies of food or clothing, they were 
miserable indeed. Their food ultimately gave 
out and for three days they lived on sugar and 
water alone. Six months were consumed in 
this weary journey, and they arrived in the 
Sacramento valley in a half-starved condition, 
with only their clothes upon their backs — 
financially " dead broke " — even pawning a re- 
volver for a square meal. 

Mr. Dennison began mining upon the south 
fork of American river, but soon contracted 
fever and ague and became unfit for labor. He 
then went to Sacramento, and after recuperat- 
ing presented a letter of credit which he brought 
from Xew York city, drawn upon Messrs. Sim- 
mons & Hutchinson, merchants of that city. 
After describiiig his condition and fircnmstan- 


ces Mr. Hutchinson gave hini .^50 and an order 
for a bill of goods, which lie advised him to 
take to Marysviile and sell, that being a central 
point for miners. He followed this advice, and 
with about $200 worth of sugar, bacon and 
camp supplies he hired a boat and two men to 
take him to that place. Accomplishing his 
journey, his stock was quickly exhausted at 100 
per cent, net profit, and he thus raised his first 
" stake." Returning to Sacramento and pay- 
ing his bills, he then went to San Jose for his 
health, and after gaining a little strength he 
hired two Indians and went to the Mariposa 
mines, where he was quite successful, though 
unable to do anything hiu)selt'. After about 
two months he went to Los Angeles, then a city 
-of adobe houses and vineyards. He engaged in 
the practice of law, was elected one of three 
county judges, and also engaged in the whole- 
sale grocery and hardware business, under firm 
name of Childs, Hicks & Deunison, and con- 
tinued business for two years, realizing very 
large profits. He then sold out and by private 
carriage drove north with a view of returning 
to Ohio, but upon arriving at Stockton and 
learning that cholera was very fatal upon the 
Isthmus, he changed his plans and sailed for 
the Sandwich Islands, taking with him a quan- 
tity of California saddles, bridles, etc., for sale. 
These sold- rapidly in the market of Honolulu, 
paying a very handsome profit, and affording 
him a considerable amount of ready cash. About 
this time the whaling vessels were entering that 
port, and the officers were anxious to sell drafts 
upon their employers in the East, allowing 
very generous discounts for cash. These op- 
portunities Judge Dennison improved, and re- 
turning to San Francisco sold his drafts at a 
premium, thus converting his pleasure trip to 
one of considerable profit. Judge Dennison 
then located in Monterey and resumed the prac- 
tice of his profession in the courts of that city, 
Santa Cruz and San Jose. In 1858 he came to 
Puget Sound and located at Whatcom, which 
was then a settlement of 3,000 people living in 
tents, awaiting the opening of a trail to the 

Fraser river mines. The road was subsequently 
decided impracticable and the people dispersed, 
many going to Victoria and advancing liy water. 
The Judge opened his office and engaged in 
practice, meeting, among others, Mike Sim- 
mons, the old Indian agent; E. C. Fitzhugh, 
who was subsequently appointed district judge 
of Washington Territory; and Colonel B. F. 
Shaw, now of Vancouver. With the scattering 
of the miners Whatcom became very quiet, and 
Judge Dennison removed to Port Townsend and 
established a home and continued his profes- 
sion. In 1868 he was appointed Territorial 
Associate Justice, and in 1869 Territorial Chief 
Justice by President U.- S. Grant, but after one 
year resigned to follow his large and lucrative 
practice as attorney for the representative mill 
companies then located upon the Sound. About 
1870 the Judge moved to Olympia, subsequently 
to Portland, Oregon, in partnership with Gov- 
ernor A. C. Gibbs for two years, and then to 
Vancouver, Washington, where he followed a 
general practice to 1889. While at Portland 
he married Miss Hattie Menefee, a native of 
Iowa, who was appointed Postmistress at Van- 
couver by President Arthur, and discharged the 
duties of that office for five years. In 1889 the 
Judge returned to Olympia, and has since de- 
voted his time to cases in the Federal and su- 
preme courts, through which he has carried 
many intricate and complex cases to a success- 
ful termination. The first suit ever brought in 
the Territory to establish the right of dower was 
brought by Judge Dennison before Judge Will- 
iam Strong in behalf of Mrs. Eby, widow of 
Colonel Eby, collector of customs, who was 
massacred upon Whidby Island by the North- 
ern Indians. The Judge defended the widow's 
rights and established her claim, and tiiat de- 
cision has since- stood upon the statute books, 
never having been called in question. Com- 
mencing his political life as a Whig, Judge 
Dennison then joined the Republican party, and 
has continued one of its most earnest and faith- 
ful adherents. He has served two terras in the 
Territorial Legi.slatui'i', one term as President of 


the Council, and once in the lower house. Thus 
briefly have we attempted to portray the life of 
one of Washington's most able jurists, who has 
passed through all tiie phases of pioneer life 
socially and professionally, attendii.g courts held 
in tents, without law book or brief in court, 
the judge upon the bench being armed with 

bowie knife and derrini^er 




foundation has been established a legal super- 
structure and a State, upon which Mr. Denni- 
son has impressed liiraself most strongly, and 
which will more and more celebrate the work of 
himself and others like him as the years roll on. 




Alvan Fandees, Goveenoe— Mooee anu Garfielde Eun foe Congeess— Chaeacterof the Candi- 
dates — Eesijlt of Election — Gaefielde and McFadden, Candidates — McFadden Elected 
— Changes in the Goveenship — Geowtii of Population — Shaepstein and Jacobs, Candi- 
dates — Sketch of Shaepstein — Sketch of Jacobs — Jacobs Elected — Re-elected — Thomas 
H. Brents Delegate — C. S. Vooehees Succeeds Him— J. B. Alf.en — Governor Feeey— 
Governor Newell — Goveenoe Squire — Chinese Agitation — Ferry's Reports — Governor 
Semple — Woman Suffeage — Governor M. C. Mooee. 

jITII the changes in the Federal office- 
holders in the Territory noted in the 
last chapter came the appointment of 
Alvan Flanders, late delegate in Congress, to the 
office of Governor. This was a surprise, as it 
was understood that he would again be a can- 
didate for the delegateship; but doubtless some 
political necessities ruled the hour incident to 
the hopes and aspirations of other men. Moore 
had served as governor with such an intelligent 
devotion to the intei-ests of the Territory that 
the people generally were not gratified liy his 
displacement. In the other changes that were 
made Elisha P. Ferry was appointed surveyor 
general and Hazard Stevens, son of General I_ 
I. Stevens, collector of internal revenue, with 
Leander Holmes United States district attorney. 
It was the logical outcome of these changes 
that ex-Governor Moore should i)ecome the can- 
didate of the Democratic party for delegate to 
Congress, and accordingly he was nominated for 
that place, though his was a remarkably con- 
servative Democracy. The Republicans named 
against him Salucius Garfielde. Mr. Garfielde 
had been the candidate of the Union Democracy 

for the same position in 1861, but was defeated 
by W. H. Wallace, Republican, because Ed- 
ward Lander, an ultra Democrat, divided the 
Democratic vote with him. As the war j^ro- 
grcssed Mr. Garfielde had become a Republican^ 
and had given a very cordial and earnest sup- 
port to both Mr. Denny and Mr. Flanders. 

As an orator Mr. Garfielde had no e(|ual in 
the Territoi'y, and few indeed anywhere. He 
was a cousin of General James A. Garfield, 
afterward President of the United States, who 
at this time was winning his great reputa' 
tion as an orator and statesman in the House of 
Representatives. Mr. Salucius Garfielde had 
practiced law with success all over the Territory^ 
had repeatedly canvassed it in behalf of other 
men for the position which he now sought, and 
was as well known all over it as any other man. 

It was seen from the beginning tliat the strug- 
gle would be a close and a hard one. Mr. 
Moore was not an orator, but he had an easy way 
to the hearts and confidence of the people. His 
patriotism was undoubted. He had proved it 
on many a battle-field, and bore most conclusive 
evidence of it in the wounds from wiiicli he 


constantly suffered received at Missionary Ridge 
and at Jonesboro. The canvass therefore was 
a most animated one, and at its conclusion Mr. 
Garhelde was returned to Contrress only by the 
narrow iDargin of 147 votes. 

By a change in the time for holding the elec- 
tion the Territory was called upon to elect a 
delegate to Congress in 1870. Mr. Gartielde was 
again the candidate of the Republicans, and J. 
D. Mix, of Walla Walla, of the Democrats. At 
this election Gartielde was chosen by nearly 600 
majority. In 1872 he was the Republican can- 
didate again, but was defeated by Judge O. B. 
McFadden, Democratic candidate, by over 700 
votes. This retired Mr. Gartielde from popular 
office in AYashington Territory, although he held, 
for a time, the office of collector of customs in 
the district of Puget Sound, to which he was 
appointed by President Grant in 1873. Per- 
haps the justice of history requires us to say 
that Mr. Gartielde failed to secure that influence 
in legislation, and that respect for tlie Teri'itory 
that he represented in Congress that his abilities 
as an orator entitled his constituency to exi^ect. 
Mr. McFadden was nnfitted by illness for the 
arduous duties of his otfice, and so little was ac- 
complished for the Territory during the Con- 
gressional terms covered by these paragraphs. 
It is right, however, that we say that the posi- 
tion of a Territorial delegate does not carry with 
it much of influence beyond that of the man 
personally who holds it, as it gives him no vote 
nor position other than of political mendicant 
asking for alms, — a mortifying and unjust posi- 
tion in which to place any nominal repre- 
sentative of any American commonwealth. 

Alvan Flanders was displaced from the 
govenorship before he had served a year, and 
Edward S. Salomon, of Illinois, was appointed 
in his place. He was a German Jew, who had 
distinguished himself in the war of the rebellion. 
In about two years he was succeeded by Elisha 
P. Ferry, who held the office eight years, when 
he was followed by William A. Newell, of New 
Jersey, who retained the office four years. 

There was little in the external or internal 

history of the Territory during this time to call 
for special notice. The common subjects of 
legislation occupied the attention of the suc- 
cessive legislative assemblies. There was a 
steady growth of population. The vote of the 
Territory rose from 6,357 in 1870 to 15,823 in 
1880, showing that the population had consider- 
ably more than doubled in a decade. Every 
material interest had kept full pace with the 
growth of the population, and Washington 
entered its last decade of Territorial existence 
with the surest prospects of soon realizing that 
for which its pioneers had toiled and waited for 
so many years. But we must not anticipate. 

With the expiration of the Congressional term 
of Mr. McFadden the Democratic convention 
of the Territory offered him a renomination, but 
he was sick in Pennsylvania and declined that 
honor, when B. L. Sharpstein, of Walla Walla, 
was named. As his competitor the Republicans 
named Orange Jacobs, of Seattle, then chief 
justice of the Territory. In all ways these were 
representative men. In an unusual degree they 
had impressed themselves on the best history of 
the Territory, and as illustrating the better 
character of the people w'ho have built up the 
feeble colony whose history we have so far traced 
into the magnificent State that gems the north- 
western sky of our glorious Union, we introduce 
a more extended notice of them both in this 

Judge B. L. Sharpstine was born in Steuben 
county. New York, October 22, 1827, and was 
the second son of Luther and Abigail Sharp- 
stine, natives also of that State. When he was 
but six years of age his parents removed to 
Michigan, and be in 1846 to Wisconsin. He 
was reared on a farm. After reaching a suitable 
age he began the study of law, and was admitted 
to practice in 1852. Mr. Sharpstine followed 
his profession in Wisconsin until 1865, and in 
that year came to the then Territory of Wash- 
ington, locating in Walla Walla, where he has 
built up a large law practice. 

Mr. Sharpstine has resided in the Territories 
of Michigan, Wisconsin and Washington, an 


has witnessed their admission to the Union. Tie 
was elected a member of the Washington Legis- 
lature, on the Democratic ticket, in 1866-*67, 
also in 1879-'80 and 1886, by a large majority, 
although his county was largely Republican. 
Mr. Sharpstine was a member of the constitu- 
tional convention which convened August 22, 
1869, and received the nomination for Congress 
in 1874. He made a thorough canvass of his 
district, which was largely Republican, and re- 
ceived a majority in his own county of 292 
votes, his opponent being the Hon. Orange 
Jacobs, then chief justice of the Territoi'y. In 
1879 he was a candidate for Supreme Judge, on 
the Democratic ticket, received 25,468 votes, 
running ahead of his ticket about 2,000 votes, 
but the entire ticket was defeated. In 1890 he 
was appointed by Governor Ferry a member of 
tlie Board of Tide Lands Commissioners, and was 
made chairman of that body for three years. 
The Jiidge has held the ofKce of School Director 
of Walla Walla for about twenty-five years, and 
had also filled the same office in Wisconsin. 

In 1854, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Sarah J. Park, a native of New York, but after- 
ward a resident of Wisconsin. The Judge has 
had five children, namely: J. L., engaged in the 
practice of law with his father; AdaE.; Arthur 
P. and Prank B., lawyers; and Charles M. 
Judge Sharpstine affiliates with the Masonic 
fraternity, being a thirty-second degree Mason. 
He has served as Master of the blue lodge and 
also as Senior and Junior Warden of the Grand 
Lodge of Washington. 

These positions indicate the esteem in which 
B. L. Sharpstine has always been held among 
those best acquainted with him, and so most 
able to weigh his merits. 

Judge Orange Jacobs was born in Livingston 
county, New York, May 2, 1829. 

His parents, Hiram and Phoebe (Jenlvins) 
Jacobs, were natives of Vermont and New York 
respectively. In 1831 they removed to the 
frontier of Michigan, where Mr. Jacobs engaged 
in farming upon an extensive scale, purchasing 
1,600 acres of land, and was also interested in I 

the stock business. Subsequently he engaged 
in the mercantile business, which he followed 
the rest of his life, dying in 1887, at the ripe 
old age of eighty-six years. 

Orange Jacobs was educated at the Methodist 
seminary at Albion, Michigan, and the State 
University at Ann Arbor; but, on account of 
failing health, was obliged to leave college be- 
fore graduation. After a period of rest and 
recreation, he commenced the study of law with 
John B. Howe, of Lima, Indiana, and was 
admitted to the bar in Indiana and Michigan in 
1851. lie then began the practice of law at 
Sturgis, Michigan. About this time, continued 
ill health, and the urgent solicitation of his 
father to visit the Pacific coast (his father hav- 
ing been to California), coupled with the fact 
that the migratory spirit was very strong in the 
spring of 1852, he was induced to come West. 
He joined an emigrant train of about fifty peo- 
ple and crossed the plains to Oregon. Being 
somewhat of a leader among men, Mr. Jacobs 
was elected captain of the train. Their number 
lieing small and the Indians numerous, the 
greatest vigilance was required to preserve their 
lives. Soon after crossing the Platte river, two 
emigrants were killed in an engagement; also 
several Indians. This aroused the wrath of the 
Indians, and at Shell Creek an ambuscade was 
made to massacre the entire party; but, by tact 
and boldness on the part of the whites, two 
Indian chieftains were captured in a "parley" 
and held as hostage during one night, and in the 
morning were well fed, presented with a beef 
animal and released, and no further trouble was 
experienced. They came in by The Dalles, 
thence across the Cascade mountains by the 
Barlow trail, and arrived at Oregon City about 
four months from the date of their departure. 

Upon his arrival here. Judge Jacobs went to 
the AValdo Hills in Marion county and engnged 
in teacliing school, which he successfully con- 
tinued during the winter months until 1857, 
spending his summers in exploring the county- 
In rhe fall of 1857 he went to the Rogue River 
valley and taught school one year. Next, he 

nisTonr of Washington. 

engaged in tlie practice of law at Phoenix. In 
1860 lie moved to Jacksonville and took charge 
of the Oregon Sentinel, the leading newspaper 
of southern Oregon. He was induced to do this 
as the editor and two-thirds of the population 
of Jackson county were secessionists, and the 
Union people desired a Republican paper. INIr- 
Jacobs took up the work, and carried it forward 
in the most loyal and patriotic manner. Although 
he became one of the marked men by the 
"Knights of the Golden Circle" and his life was 
frequently threatened,, still he continued the 
paper until the close of the war. He was then 
offered a very flattering position on the Sac- 
ramento Union, which, however, he declined, 
thinking it better to stick to the practice of his 
profession, which he conducted at Jacksonville 
up to 1869. 

In 1869 Mr. Jacobs was appointed Associate 
Justice of the Supreme Court of "Washington 
Territory, and removed to Seattle for permanent 
settlement, arriving in July. In January, 1871, 
without distinction of politics, he was unani- 
mously recommended by the Territorial Legis- 
lature as Chief Justice of the Territory, and to 
that office he was appointed by the President 
and held the office until 1875. One of his-most 
important decisions involved the national juris- 
diction to the island of San Juan, a case which 
at the time excited widespread interest. 

A man named Watts was on trial, charged 
with murder committed on the island of San 
Juan, which was then in joint occupancy by the 
English and American Governments. It was 
claimed by the defendant's counsel that the 
American courts had no jurisdiction in the case. 
Judge Jacobs held that the island was a country 
within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the 
United States, and any crime committed thereon 
could he punished by the courts of the Territory, 
which by the organic act of Congress possessed 
equal power in such cases with the Circuit and 
District Courts of the United States. Feeling 
on the ])order ran high, and for a time inter- 
national complications seemed likely to ensue. 
Judge Jacobs, however, was immovable. Watts 

having been convicted, the Judge sentenced him 
to death, but before the time for his execution 
arrived he effected his esctape. 

In 1874 the Judge was elected Delegate to 
Congress from the Territory, was re-elected in 
1876, and at the close of that term declined a 
third nomination. He then resumed the prac- 
tice of law at Seattle, which he has continued 
very extensively in both civil and criminal prac- 
tice. In 1S80 he formed a partnership with 
Charles K. Jenner, a leading authority upon the 
land laws of AVashington, and continued the con- 
nection until 1891, when they dissolved by 
mutual consent, the Judge retiring from active 
practice except in selected cases, being now in 
partnership with his son, Hiram J. Jacobs. 

In 1880 Judge Jacobs was elected Mayor of 
Seattle, and, after completing his term, declined 
a re-nomination. In 1884 he was elected to the 
Territorial Council, and materially assisted in 
effecting the change in the exemption laws and 
in securing appropriations for the penitentiary 
insane asylum and university. He was one of 
the commissioners of lilteen freeholders, elected 
by the people in 1889, to prepare a new charter 
for the city, to meet its increased requirements. 
His ripe experience as a lawyer made his service 
especially valuable, and the charter bears the 
impress of his practical suggestions and careful 
oversight. The charter as prepared was adopted 
by a large majority vote of the people in 1890 
and under the charter the Judge was elected 
Corporation Council. 

Judge Jacobs was married in Southern Ore- 
gon, in 1857, to Lucinda, daughter of Doctor 
Jonathan Davenport, an Oregon pioneer of 1851 
and a skillful physician. They have eight chil- 
dren, five sons and three daughters. Socially, 
the Judge is a member of the A. F. A: A. M, 
and of the I. O. O. F. 

Personally, Judge Jacobs is a man of large 
stature, commanding presence, and positive 
views. He has the courage of his convictions, 
but is liberal and tolerant. In the public affairs 
of the Pacific Northwest lie has borne a promi- 
nent part as pioneer law-maker and judicial 


officer, and is still an active factor in the present 
era of rapid development. 

Such were the two men that the two great 
political pai'ties had placed before the people 
for their suffrages. There was no danger that 
the people would be unworthily or unfaithfully 
representated no matter which was elected. 
Probably never before had an election been 
decided more purely on political gi-ounds than 
was this, for tlie character of both candidates 
was irreproachable. They defined the political 
complication of the Territory as purely Repub- 
lican, Judge Jacobs being elected by over 1,200 
majority. He was re-nominated and re-elected 
in 1876, and faithfully and usefully served his 
four years in the national Congress. His com- 
petitor in the last race was J. P. Judson, of 
Port Townshend, a younger man of fair ability, 
and bearing an excellent reputation, but of 
course he coulil not carry a Repliblican Terri- 
tory against so representative a man as Orange 

Mr. Jacobs was succeeded in Congress by 
Mr. Thomas H. Brents, of Walla Walla, who 
was elected in 1878. He was re-elected suc- 
cessively until 1885, when Charles S. Yoorhees, 
a Democrat, but elected on issues extraneous to 
party principles, succeeded him. In 1887 
John B. Allen, a Eepnblican, was elected over 
Voorhees by over 7 ,000 majority. The local 
agitations that gave Mr. Voorhees his election 
in 1885 having subsided, parties had returned 
to their normal conditions. Mr. Allen did not 
enter upon his term of service as Territorial 
delegate, as before the first session of the Con- 
gress to which he had been returned Washing- 
ton was a State of the Federal Union. 

Without entering into the minutia? of office- 
holding in the Territory it is proper that we take 
up the line of executive officers and trace it 
down to the close of the Territorial history of 
Washington. Mr. Newell, who succeeded Mr. 
Flanders as governor, was a man far above 
average standing and influence. In New Jer- 
sey he ranked with the leading men of the 
State. He was three terms a member of Con- 

gress from that State, and one term its governor, 
and was the candidate of the Republicans for 
that office against General George B. McClellan. 
In 1880, President Hayes appointed liim gov- 
ernor of Washington. It was his fortune to 
follow Mr. Ferry in that office, a man whose 
administration had been marked by so much 
discretion that he had secured high considera- 
tion among the people, and was already desig- 
nated as likely to reach even higher political 
preferment in the future. The two things es- 
pecially that marked the administration of 
Governor Ferry was the re-establishment of 
civil government on the Ilaro Archipelago, 
which had been determined a part of the United 
States by the arbitration of Emperor William, 
and the construction of the Columbia division 
of the Northern Pacific railroad from Kalama to 
Tacoma, together with the building of the nar- 
row-gauge road from Olympia to Tinino on the 
Northern Pacific line. These roads were the 
introduction of a new era in Washington his- 
tory, the unfolding of which we shall hereafter 

Following that of Governor Ferry, Governor 
Newell's administration fell on propitious times, 
and proved creditable to him and profitable to 
the Territory, which was now clearly on the 
flow of the tide progress, though it had not yet 
reached its crest. No longer was Puget Sound 
isolated from railroad communication with the 
great world. Overland connection had been 
made through Portland and the valley of the 
Columbia, and along that line the throb of the 
impatient footsteps of advancing multitudes 
could be felt. It M'as a time of auspicious 

Governor Newell was succeeded in ISSl by 
Watson C. Squire. 

Mr. Squire was already a distinguished citi- 
zen of Washington, and had strongly impressed 
himself upon the business relations of the 
coast when he was appointed governor. He 
was the son of a Methodist preacher, born in 
New York in 1838, and educated at Middletown, 
Connecticut, where he was graduated in 1859. 

BISTORT OF Washington. 

He entered at once on the study of tlie law, but 
soon patriotism called him to the service of his 
country, and he enlisted as a private, but was 
soon promoted to a Lieutenancy in the Nine- 
teenth New York Infantry. When the term of 
the three-months men had expired, he resumed 
his law studies in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating 
from the law school in that city, in 1862. He 
soon raised a company of sharp-shooters, and 
was given command of a battalion of the same, 
serving in the army of the Cumberland. He 
subsequently served on the staff of Major- 
General Rosecrans andCI. H. Thomas, constantly 
rising in distinction until the close of the war, 
when he became agent for the Remington Arms 
Company, and managed their operations to the 
amount of $15,000,000. He removed to Wash- 
ington in 1879, settling in Seattle, and at once 
became deeply interested in everything that con- 
cerned the prosperity of the Territory. His 
close identification with the business of his 
adopted home, the distinguished character of his 
public services, and his stainless character as a 
man, as well as his great executive ability, ren- 
dered his appointment to the chief executive 
office of the Territory, just at this time, one of 
the most fortunate that could have been made. 
The country had entered on a career of great 
material development, and sagacity and ex* 
perience in such lines were at a premium now. 
Early in the administration of Mr. Squire the 
people of Tacoma, Seattle and other places on 
the Sound passed through a season of great 
agitation over the employment of the Chinese 
Indeed, for some years before, the feeling had 
been increasing that the gathering of great num- 
bers of these people in the cities and mines and 
along the railroads was a serious menace to so- 
ciety and a great detriment to the laboring 
classes. Their presence and work in the con- 
struction of the great lines of railroads had been 
a conceded necessity, as it was not possi])le to 
procure white labor enough to meet the exigencies 
of the occasion. Now, however, the Knights of 
Labor, an organization in the professed interests 
of workers, aided by many others, attempted to 

expel them from the country by violent measures- 
At Tacoma they were required to leave at a 
month's notice. At Seattle and among the coal 
miners the agitation was greatest, and resulted 
in general disorder. Governor Squire acted 
promptly liy issuing a proclamation calling on 
the people to preserve the peace, but this was 
answered the next day by the mob setting on 
lire several Chinese houses. Troops were ordered 
from Vancouver, and a statement of the situa- 
tion forwarded to the Secretary of the Interior, 
which resulted in a proclamation by the Presi- 
dent, and for a time the disturbance was quieted. 
A few months later, however, it broke out more 
violently than ever. Lives were lost in en- 
deavoring to protect the Chinese, and a condi- 
tion of rebellion against the constituted autiiori- 
ties existed. The exigency was great. Gover- 
ner Squire adopted extreme measures, — the only 
ones that can meet extreme cases. He pro- 
claimed martial law, and finally, by the aid of 
the citizens and troops, succeeded in restoring 
order. His course met the strong ajjproval of 
President Cleveland and his cabinet, and as a 
token of the approbation by the national execu- 
tive of his course, his proffered resignation of 
the office of governor was not accepted until 
long after the Democrats has succeeded to power. 
The reports of Governor Squire to the Secre- 
tary of the Interior were of such a complete 
character as to receive even a national attention. 
That for 1884 was declared by that official to be 
the "best that had ever been given by any 
governor of any Territory." The demand for 
it throughout the East was so great that, after 
the Government edition was exhausted, the 
Northern Pacific Railroad Company published 
a special edition of 5,000 copies at its own ex- 
pense. His report for 1885 was even more com- 
plete than that of 1884, and under the title of 
the "Resources and Development of Washing- 
ton Territory" it was scattered all over the 
United States and Europe by the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company and by the people of 
Washington, and did more than any other one 
thing to call unusual attention to the marvelous 


r3gion of which he was the chief executive, and to 
prepare Congress and the nation for the admis- 
sion of Washington as a State in the Union. 

The Democratic party having acceded to 
power in the nation, Eugene Semple, of Oregon, 
was appointed governor of Washington. Mr. 
Semple, though a man of considerable talent, 
and industrious, did not possess the executive 
force of his predecessor. Still his management 
of the affairs of the Territory was, on the whole, 
commendable, and ministered to its- continued 
prosperity. During his term there were several 
questions of a political and local character that 
excited considerable attention. Among these 
was the contest in the legislation and before the 
courts on tlie question of woman suffrage. The 
long-drawn and rather acrimonious conflict on 
this question cannot be followed through its 
ramifications, but it may suffice to say that the 
legislature passed an act conferring upon women 

the right to vote at all elections. This act was 
subsequently declared by the Supreme Court of 
the Territory to be unconstitutional. But the 
sentiment in favor of it was sufficiently strong 
to make it a party question in 1886. The Ke- 
pubiicans incorporated it into their platform, and 
quite a majority of the members elected to the 
succeeding legislature was pledged to vote for 
a bill restoring woman sufl'rage. 

In 1888 Mr. Miles C. Moore, of Walla Walla, 
! a Republican, was apjwinted governor to suc- 
j ceed Semple. He came to the office only just 
\ in time to entitle himself to the designation 
governor, as the Territory was just now in the 
whirl of excitement attendant on its change to 
the condition of Statehood. To this change, and 
the course of legislation and prosperity prepara- 
tory to it since 1880, we shall invite our readers 
in tiie next chapter. 



Great Progress — Its Causes — Hailroads — The Northern Pacific — History of Action Con- 
cerning Statehood — Washington Admitted into the Union — State Officers Elected — 
Other Questions Voted Upon — Inauguration of State Government — J. B. Allen and 
W. C. Squire Elected Senators — Following Elections. 

THE few years immediately antedating the 
point reached in the history of Washing- 
ton in our last chapter were marked by an 
advancement in every interest of the now 
prosperous commonwealth that was truly phe- 
nomenal. The Territory went out of the seventh 
decade of the century with hardly more than 
70,000 people, and it entered the last half of 
the eighth decade with fully 150,000. Tims in 
five years it had more than doubled its people. 
Every material and social interest had kept 
pace with the growth of popnlation. A very 
tidal-wave of progress was sweeping over the 
land. The hopes and prophecies of the pio- 
neers were being fulfilled. New towns, some 

of them legitimately claiming to be cities, had 
sprung up among the firs and cedars of the 
Puget Sound country, and out on the treeless 
prairies of E^istern Washington, almost in a 
night. All that goes to make up the civiliza- 
tion of our day had appeared almost in a 
moment. Commerce came flying on white 
wings into the harbors of Puget Sound. Manu- 
factures thundered their forges and whirred 
their engines on river and stream. Banks 
counted their discounts over mahogany counters 
amidst piles of gold. Churches and school- 
houses fit to adorn a metropolis were built 
almost before the shades of the great cedars had 
faded from the ground where they stood. A 


very delirium of progress tlirilled the land. 

But all this did not come without a cause, 
nor was its cause hard or far to find. It was in 
the construction and operation of great lines of 
railroads within the borders of the Territory. 
At the opening of 1886, the Northern Pacific 
Company had 455 miles; the Oregon Eailway 
& Navigation Company, 295 ; the Puget Sound 
A; Columbia, 44; the Puget Sound Shore, 23; 
and the Olympia & Chehalis Company, 15; in 
all 866 miles, where only a few years before 
there were but a few miles in the entire Ter- 
ritory. This was cause to the effect of the 
wonderful growth of Washington by which it 
so suddenly readied its resplendent place as a 
State. As so much of it all turned on the con- 
struction of the great Northern Pacific line, it 
is fitting that we give a somewhat extended 
notice of the inception and progress of that 
great national work. Our notice is taken from 
the authorized account given by the State of 
Washington itself at the great Columbian Ex- 
position in Chicago in 1893, and is without 
doubt a fair summation of the facts attending 
the progress of that great work. 

" At the very birth of Washington, its future 
development and greatness were believed to de- 
pend upon the building of the Northern Pacific 
railroad, and the location of its terminal port 
upon Puget Sound. It was the route and road 
earliest proposed for transit of the continent. 
Its friends and propagandists crystallized such a 
public sentiment before even California had 
become United States territory, that rendered 
probable the building of a transcontinental rail- 
way. For over half a century the agitation of 
a Northern Pacific railroad had been continued. 

" In 1853, Congress appropriated $150,000 
for surveys to ascertain the most practicable 
railroad route from the Mississippi river to the 
Pacific ocean. The Secretary of War deter- 
mined upon the lines to be examined, and 
selected those who were to conduct the explora- 
tions. On the 18th of April, 1853, Isaac I. 
Stevens, Governor of the Territory of Wash- 
ington, was assigned to tlie charge of the north- 

ern route, with instructions to explore and 
survey a route from the sources of the Missis- 
sipjii river to Puget Sound. George B. Mc- 
Clellan, then brevet Captain of Engineers, 
United States Army, proceeded direct to Puget 
Sound, and with a party explored the Cascade 
range of mountains, thence eastward until he 
met the main party under Governor Stevens, 
marching -westward from St. Paul, Minnesota. 
The decisive points determined were the practi- 
cability of the Ivocky mountains and Cascade 
range, and the eligibility of the approaches. 
Governor Stevens recommended that from the 
vicinity of the mouth of Snake river, there 
should be two branches, one to Puget Sound 
across the Cascade mountains, and the other 
down the Columbia river ou the northern side. 
Governor Stevens in his message, addresses and 
personal eflbrts; the Legislature by memorials 
and legislations; the press and the prominent 
citizens of the Territory, — kept alive the agita- 
tion of the 'Northern route' from the time 
that the successful results of the Stevens survey 
had been published. 

" On the 28th of January, 1857, the Legisla- 
ture of the Territory passed 'An act to incor- 
porate the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.' 
That earliest charter named as corporators, Gov- 
ernor Stevens and numerous citizens of Wash- 
ington, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, 
Iowa, California, Maine and New York. That 
act prescribed lines of road almost identi- 
cal with the present Northern Pacific railroad 
system. On July 2, 1864, Congress granted 
the charter of the Northern Pacific Kailroad 
Company. Josiah Perham, of Boston, was its 
first president. The title defines the franchise: 
' An act granting lands to aid in the construc- 
tion of a railroad and telegraph line from Lake 
Superior to Puget Sound on the Pacific coast, 
by the northern route.' The company were to 
accept in writing the conditions imposed, and 
notify the President of the United States. On 
the 15th of December, 1864, the acceptance 
was made. As the charter prohibited the issue 
of bonds, the company were handicapped in 


raising funds. Perbaiu and his associates, dis- 
heartened, transferred the charter to Governor 
J. Gregory Smith and associates. 

" In 18()6 Congress was petitioned to extend 
aid. The company asked no money, Init simply 
a guarantee of interest on a portion of its stock 
for a term of years, bnt were denied. In 1867 
two parties were engaged in c.xamininir tin- passes 
of the Cascade range for a direct line to Tnget 
Sound and in locating a line eastward from 
Portland, Oregon, np the valley of the Co- 

" Congress, on IMay 31, 1870, authorized the 
issuance of bonds for the construction of the 
road, with authority to secure the same by 
mortgage on all property of the company, in- 
cluding the franchise. 

" A mortgage to secure those lionds was 
executed on the 1st of July, 187(1, to Jay Cooke 
and J. Edgar Thompson, trustees. Those 
amendments to the charter could not have been 
secured but by the influence of the Oregon 
United States Senators. Naturally from thence- 
forth the policy of the Northern Pacific was to 
forward the interest, growth and development of 
Portland. The line across the Cascade moun- 
tains, transposed from the main line to branch, 
was to be indefinitely postponed. With |5,000,- 
000 advanced by Jay Cooke & Co., the building 
of the road commenced in February, 1870, at 
Duluth, and within that year work progressed 
westward 114 miles to Brainatd. On the Pacitic 
slope work was initiated in 1870. The amenda- 
tory act required the construction of twenty- 
five miles between Portland and Puget Sound 
prior to July 2, 1871; and so the company built, 
from the town they named Kalama on the Co- 
lumbia river, northward that distance. During 
1872 forty miles had been built northward and 
were in running operation. On the 1st of 
January, 1873, General John W. Sprague and 
Governor John N. Goodwin, agents for the 

Northern Pacific Railroad Com 



annonnced the selection of the city of Olympia 
as the terminus on Puget Sound of that road. 
A few months later, July, 1873, the company 

at New York declared its western terminus at 
Tacoma. The failure of Jay Cooke & Co., in 
Septemlier, 1873, greatly embarrassed opera- 
tions; but the road reached its terminus on 
Puget Sound the day preceding the date pi-e- 
scribed in the chai-ter and its amendments. A 
reorganization of the company, on a dift'erunt 
financial basis, followed, with Charles D.Wrigiit 
as president." 

Rich coal fields had been discovered east of 
Tacoma. General George Stark, vice-president, 
made an examination of those coal (ields with 
reference to building a sutficient portion of the 
"branch" to connect them with Tacoma. Says 
he: "The building of this Cascade branch for the 
development of our coal resources seems now to 
1)6 the one wheel which, if started, will put the 
whole train in motion; and I trust that ways 
and means to accomplish it will be devised at an 
early day." During 1877, the first portion of 
the Cascade branch road was Iniilt connecting 
Tacoma with Wilkeson. 

Frederick Pillings had become, 1880, presi- 
dent of the company. He favored the comple- 
tion of the entire work; the surveys of the 
Cascade mountain passes were resumed with 
increased vigor. After a careful instrumental 
survey a line was located by way of the Naches 

In the fall of 1880 a loan of $40,000,000 had 
been successfully negotiated, but the method of 
taking the bonds and furnishing funds contin- 
gent upon securities upon accepted sections of 
road and the land grant rendered it impossible 
to grade the uncompleted line or to advance 
track-laying and build the Rocky mountain 

Such was the condition of the Northern Pacific 
when Henry Yillard assumed the presidency. 
The Oregon Railway & Navigation Company 
had succeeded the Oregon Steam Navigation 
Company; and he was also its president. A 
railroad along the south side of the Columbia to 
throw out branches to secure the great wheat- 
growing wealth of Eastern Washington and 
Oregon was at once projected. 


As the Northern Pacific advanced westward 
under the management of President Billings, in 
1880 and the spring of 1881, the hope had been 
engendered that the building of the Cascade 
division was near at hand. Indeed the Northern 
Paciiic was about provided to push its main line 
down the north side of the Columbia, or to build 
the Cascade branch, or both. The road could 
not stop in the interior of the continent. It had 
to advance when it reached the nioiith of Snake 

President Villard visited Puget Sound in tlie 
fall of 1881. He did not disguise his motive 
tliat Portland should continue " the focus, the 
center, the very heart, so to speak, of a local 
system of transportation lines aggregating fully 
2,000 miles of standard-gauge road." Of the 
policy of the Northern Pacific inaugurated by 
his predecessor, he said: "There was a deter- 
mined effort resolved npon by the former 
management of the Northern Pacific to disre- 
gard the commerce of this great city, and to 
make direct for Puget Sound in pursuit of the 
old unsuccessful policy of building up a city 
there. I do not believe that any effort to build 
up a rival city on Puget Sound can ever succeed. 
I mean that Portland will always remain the 
commercial emporium of the Northwest." Presi- 
dent Villard, however, continued the surveys of 
the Cascade mountains, and the Stampede Pass 
was selected. 

Overland railroad communication was fully 
consummated via l^ortland and the road connect- 
ing it with Tacoma. The last spike was driven 
on September 7, 1883, sixty miles west of 
Helena. A few days later Oregon and Wash- 
ington celebrated the great consummation. On 
Monday, the oth day of July, 1887, the people 
of Washington commemorated the arrival on 
Sunday, the 4th of July, of the first overland 
train direct from Duluth to Tacoma. A year 
later was commemorated the completion of the 
tunnel through the Cascade mountains. The 
great work of the centirry had been finished. 

It would be easy to occupy chapters in treat- 
ing of the minntia-, and giving the statistics, of 

this wonderful advance, but, to the general 
reader, whose impressions of history are always 
taken in the concrete rather than the abstract- 
there would be no compensating advantage? 
We hasten, therefore, to the closing of the chap- 
ters of the Territorial history of Oregon, and 
the opening of the Ijrief one of her history as a 
State of the Federal Union. 

From time to time, for more than a decade, 
in one form or another, the question of State- 
hood was discussed in the papers and acted on 
in the legislative assembly of the Territory. 

In November, 1869, a law was enacted for the 
submission of the questions of calling a conven- 
tion for the purpose of framing a constitution 
and applying for admission into the Union as 
a State. If a majority voted in favor, the next 
legislature was to provide for the election of the 
delegates to such convention. At the election 
in 1870 the project met with little favor. In 
1871 a precisely similar act passed and met with 
a like result. In 1875 the legislative assembly 
passed an act to provide for the formation of a 
constitution and State government for the Terri- 
tory of Washington. It directed the submission 
of the proposition. If a majority were in favor 
the legislature was "to provide for the calling of 
a conventioix to frame a State constitution, and 
to do all other acts proper and necessary to give 
effect to the popular will." 

At the election of 1876, a large majority 
favored the proposition. The legislature passed 
an act, approved November 9, 1877, "to pro- 
vide for calling a convention to frame a con- 
stitution for the State of Washington, and sub- 
mitting such constitution to the people for 
ratification or rejection." That act provided 
yiat a convention of fifteen delegates, three of 
whom were to be elected by the Territory at 
large, should assemble. 

Alexander S. Abernethy, of Cowlitz county, 
was its president. The counties of North Idaho 
participated, a large majority of the citizens of 
that portion of the Territory having favored an- 
nexation to Washington. A 'constitution was 
duly framed, and ratified at the general election 



of 1878, by a vote of 6,462 to 3,231. Year 
after year the admission of the State of Wash- 
ington continued to receive increasing coiii^idera- 

The a(]niission of Washington as a State had 
been discussed in Congress before the meeting 
of tlie constitutional convention of 1878. The 
first bill introduced by Thomas II. Brents, in the 
Forty-fifth Congress, was an act to provide for 
the admission of the "State of Washington" 
under the constitution of the convention of 1878. 
Objections were made to certain features of that 
constitution; and in the Forty-seventh Congress 
(1881-'88) Delegate Brents introduced a second 
bill for the admission of Washington, drawn in 
accordance with the legislative memorial. It 
authorized the j)eople of Washington Territorj- 
and the northern part of Idaho Territory to hold 
a convention to frame a State constitution and 
to form a State government. In advocating its 
passage, Mr. Brents cited from the United States 
census of 1880, to prove that the Territory of 
Washington, exclusive of the northern counties 
of Idaho, had the requisite population to entitle 
it to admission. By the census of 1880 that 
populatioh was 75,116, and taking the ratio of 
increase, at that time, June, 1882, it was not 
less than 125,000. On account pf this small 
population, objection was urged against Wash- 
ington's admission. 

Session after session Washington continued to 
memorialize Congress for Statehood. In the 
spring of 1886 the subject was again fully liefore 
Congress. The bill was for a convention to 
frame a State constitution preparatory to ad- 
mission. The boundaries included certain north- 
ern counties of Idaho. Another bill traveled 
hand in hand, providing for the annexation of 
those three Northern Idaho counties to Wash- 
ington. Memorials had passed both legislatures 
favoring such aimexation. The question had 
been submitted to the people of North Idaho at 
a general election, and 1,216 votes were polled 
for annexation and seven against it. The an- 
nexation bill passed both houses, but was vetoed 
by President Cleveland. Later separate bills 

had passed the Senate for the division of Dakota, 
and to enable the people of North and South 
Dakota, Washington and Montana to form con- 
stitutions and State governments. 

Mr. Springer, of Illinois, proposed a substi- 
tute, an omnibus bill, obnoxious to the friends 
of the applying Territories; the prospect of 
admission by the Fiftieth Congress seemed 
hopeless. Already there was talk of an extra 
session to do this act of simple justice. On the 
15th of January, 1889, the House having under 
consideration the bill for the admission of 
Dakota, Samuel S. Cox, of New York, addressed 
the House thus: "I favor the substitute pro- 
prosed by the gentleman from Illinois and his 
committee. If these Territories cannot be 
lirought in within a reasonable time, I propose 
to help any conference between the two bodies 
looking to the Statehood of Dakota and the 
other Territories. What concerns us immedi- 
ately is the admission as States, with proper 
boundaries and suitable numbers, of five Teri-i- 
tories — the two Dakotas, Montana, Washington 
and New Mexico." 

On the 16th of January the Senate bill for 
the admission of South Dakota was called up. 
The House committee favored the division of 
Dakota, and reported the omnibus bill, 
which included New Mexico. Many amend- 
ments were offered and voted down. On the 
18th of January the omnibus bill passed the 

The bill went to the Senate. It was dis- 
agreed to l>y that body. (_)n the 14th of Febru- 
ary the report of the disagreement of the two 
Houses was called up. The House instructed 
its conferences to recede so as to allow, first, the 
exclusion of New Mexico from the bill; and 
second, the admission of South Dakota under 
the Sioux Falls constitution; and third, the re- 
submission of that constitution to the people 
with provisions for the election of State otiicers 
only, and without a new vote on the question 
of "division," and for the admission of North 
Dakota, Montana and Washington by the pro- 
clamation ot tlie president, 


The bill thus amended passed. It was en- 
titled "An act to provide for the division of 
Dakota, and to enable the people of North 
Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washing- 
ton to form constitutions and State govern- 
ments, and to be admitted into the Union on an 
eqnal footing with the original States, and to 
make donations of public lands to such States," 
and was approved by President Cleveland, on 
the anniversary of Washington's birthday, 
February 22, 188'J. It provided for an elec- 
tion of delegates, seventy-five in number, who 
were to meet at Olympia on the 4th day of 
July, 1889. That convention met; it remained 
in session until August 22, 1889. The consti- 
tution it framed was ratified at an election held 
October 1, 1889, by the vote of 40,152 for the 
constitution, and 11,789 against. 

The president's proclamation of adiiiission 
was issued November 11, 1889. 

AVashington thus admitted into the l^nion as 
a State, the great political ]iarties marshaled 
their forces for the election of State ofiicers and 
representatives, and the decision of several 
other qnestions that were to go to the voters of 
the State at the same time. The result showed 
that Elisha Pyre Ferry, who had been one of 
tlie best of the governors of the Territory, was 
elected governor; Charles E. Laughton, former- 
ly lieutenant-governor of Nevada, lieutenant- 
governor; Allen Weir, secretary of State; A. A. 
Lindsley, treasurer; T. M. Reed, anditor: Ilobert 
B. Bryan, superintendent of public instruction; 
AV. T. Forest, commissioner of public lands. 
The supreme judges elected were R. C). Dunbar, 
T. L. Stiles, J. P. Hoyt, T. J. Anders and 
Elmer Scott. John L. Wilson, of Spokane, 
was elected Congressman. Every officer elected 
was a Republican, the average majority being 
about 8,000. 

The vote on the other questions submitted to 
the people stood as follows: For woman 
suffrage 16.527, against 34,515; for prohilii- 
tion 19,546, against 31,487; for the State 
capital Olympia had 25,490; North Yakima 
14,718; Ellensburg 12,883; with 1,088 votes 

scattering, — leaving the seat of government yet 
remaining at Olympia, where it had been dur- 
ing the whole course of Territorial history. At 
the following general election that question was 
again voted on, and Olympia was chosen by a 
considerable majority for the future capital of 
the State. 

The State officers thus chosen were inaugur- 
ated November 18. 1889, with inspiring cere- 
monies, the newly elected legislature, which 
was almost unanimously Republican, l)eing in 
session at the same time. On the 19th of 
Novenil)er the legislature elected John B. 
Allen and Wat,sou C. Squire the first United 
States senators for the State of AYashington. 
The former drew the term expiring Alarch 3, 
1883, and the latter that expii-ing March 3, 
1891. At the biennial election held in Novem- 
l)er, 1890, the legislature was again carried by 
the Republicans, atul Mr. Squire was again 
elected United States senator for six years from 
March 4, 1891. A general election for State 
officers occurred again in November, 1893, at 
which rlohn 11. McGi-aw, of Seattle, was elected 
governor. The legislature elected at the same 
time commenced balloting for a successor to 
United States Senator John B. Allen on the 
day fixed by. law, and continued balloting, tak- 
ing two votes each day, until the final adjourn- 
ment. One hundred and seven ballots without 
a choice were taken, and, the legislature having 
adjourned. Governor McClraw appointed John 
B. Allen United States senator. At this elec- 
tion John L. AYilson and W. H. Doolittle were 
chosen to represent the State in Congress. 

Since this date the history of the State has 
been only a continuance of the prospei-ity that 
marjced it during the closing years of its Terri- 
torial existence. The results will appear in a 
compendious form in our chapters relating to 
its inining, lumbering and other industrial 
interests, and in those relating to its cities and 
towns. We need now to take our i-eaders back, 
chronologically, and trace the story of the 
Indian wars of Washington, 




Character of the Indians — Easteen and Western Tribes — Northern Tribes — Jealousies 
Awakened — Oi'enino of the Waes — Murder of Dr. Whitman — Waiileti'u — Causes 
Operating — Protestant vs. Catholic — Sickness Among Indians — The Murder — Captives 
— Rescued by Mr. Ogden — General Alarm — Call for Volunteers — Action of Legis- 
lature — Regiment Organized — Roster of Companies — Troops Move Towards Waiiletpu 
— Battle of Sand Hollow — Indians Fall Back — Death of Colonel Gilliam — Nego- 
tiations — Mr. Ogden — Deputation of Indians to Oregon City — Indians Taken and 
Executed. — Intelligence of the Murder of Dr. Whitman Reaches Governor Abernethy 
— A Call for Volunteers — Oregon Rifles Organized — Roster of Officers — Troops 
Proceed to The Dalles — Expedition of Major Lee — Troops March for Waiiletpu — 
Battle of Sand Hollow — Indians Fall Rack Toward Snake River — Battle on the Touchet 
— Death of Colonel Gilliam — Peace Negotiated — Indians Executed at Oregon City. 

I[NSTEADof weaving the story of the I'ldiaii 
wars of Washington as a crimson thread 
J through all the fabric of our history we 
think it better to give that story its own separ- 
ate place. In this way it will be better under- 
stood, and its logical relations more clearly ap- 

The region of country embraced in Washing- 
ton Territory by the act of Congress of 1853 
was the home of the most numerous and most 
warlike of all the Indian tribes we&t of the 
Rocky mountains. With the exception of the 
Cayuses, whose country was mostly in Oregon, 
all tlie strong tribes between the Rocky and 
Cascade mountains had their habitats in Wash- 
ington. The Blackfoot, the Spokane, the Pal- 
ouse, the Nez Perce, the Pend d'Oreille, the 
Yakima, all powerful tribes, together with 
many smaller tribes, all resided east of the Cas- 
cade mountains. It would be impossible to 
give any accurate census of these tribes at that 
time, but it is not unlikely that they could have 
brought into the field, all told, from six to ten 
thousand warriors. The white settlement had 
not yet encroached upon their territory, and as 
they were generally well armed and plentifnlly 
supplied with ammunition, they were a foe not 
only to be dreaded but which actually was 
dreaded l)v tiie white inhabitants of the Terri- 

tory. They were equestrian tribes, abundantly 
supplied with excellent horses, and were the 
most accomplished and daring horsemen in the 
world. Their country was one vast pasturage, 
its very mountains being full of nutritious 
grasses, while its almost limitless plains were 
covered with the richest bunch grass, affording 
the very best feed for horses on the continent. 
When Washington was constituted a Territory 
they were at the very zenith of their power, and 
roamed unlet and unhindered over the more 
than 100,000 square miles they inhabited. 

Between Eastern Washington, where these 
tribes dwelt, and Western Washington, was the 
great Cascade range of mountains, rugged, 
heavily timbered, impassable, except by a few 
trails, and nearly 100 miles in width. West 
of this range, in the country sweeping around 
Puget Sound and extending southward to the 
Columbia River and northward to the Straits of 
Fuea, were a large number of tribes, no one of 
which was as strong as some of the tribes east 
of the mountains, but probably aggregating 
about the same numl)er of warrioi-s. Dwelling 
upon the water courses and upon the shores of 
the great Sound and in a densely timbered 
region, these Indians were as thoroughly train- 
ed to water-craft as were those east of the moun- 
tains to equestrianism. No people rivaled them 


in the use of the canoe. They were courageous, 
daring, brave. 

To the north of Piiget Sound there were 
many tribes of great prowess along the coast as 
far north as Queen Charlotte Island, and even 
up to Fort Simpson, who possessed large and 
strong svar canoes in which they were accus- 
tomed to make long predatory voyages, passing 
down through the inlets and passages that 
separate the island of the great northern 
archipelago, crossing the Straits of Juan <le 
Fuca, and penetrating even to the very head of 
Fuget Sound, 120 miles south of the straits. 
They came unheralded, struck their blow of 
murder or committed their robbery, and disap- 
peared as suddenly as they came. Their incur- 
sions were hardly war, but their work was sim- 
ply that of the savage assassin, smiting the 
defenceless and killing the unarmed. Besides 
the direct loss of life and properly caused by 
them, they had the further evil effect of keep- 
ing the tribes on the Sound excited with the 
news of tragedy and bloodshed, for when an 
Indian scents blood all his savage nature is 
excited, and he himself is athirst for it. "Dead 
or alive he will have some." But the recital of 
these inroads of the northern Indians and the 
story of the cruel murders they perpetrated 
would enlarge our work unduly, and hence 
they can be mentioned only as illustrating the 
unusual perils and hardships attending the 
settlement of this part of the Territory. 

As everywhere on the frontier, the ingather- 
ing of the whites in ever increasing numbers 
early awakened the apprehensions of the Indi- 
ans. There was an instinctive prophecy in 
their hearts that it boded ill to them. The 
whites came but never left. Their numbers 
never diminished. The forest was disappearing 
before their axes. The game melted away 
before their rifles. The Indians saw that all 
this meant that they themselves would soon 
be outnumbered and overpowered unless they 
were able to drive out the invaders who were 
despoiling the graves of their forefatiiers, turn- 
ing their hunting grounds into grain fields, atid 

breathing the pestilence of a destructive civiliz- 
ation on their savage, yet beloved life. It was 
not strange, therefore, that there should be war. 
What was called the "Cayuse war," which 
followed immediately after the murder of Dr. 
and Mrs. Whitman, the devoted Presbyterian 
missi'jnaries, at Waiiletpu, occurred before 
there was any settlement of whites within the 
bounds of what was afterward the Territory 
and subsequently the State of Washington. 
But the scene of that murder and the theater of 
that war was mainly within its boundaries. 
As it dates tiie beginning of the wars which 
afterward extended over so large a part of the 
Territory, this seems the place to give it some 
historic treatment. It was the most tragic event 
in the history of the northwest coast, and one 
that has caused more historic discufsion, especi- 
ally as to its causes, than any other. For this 
reason we need both to trace its causes as well 
as recite its facts, and these we shall blend in 
one line of treatment. 

Waiiletpu was the Indian name of the place 
where Dr. Whitman in the late autumn of 1836 
established his missionary station among the 
Cayuse people. It was situated on the Walla 
AValla river, about twenty-five miles from the 
Hudson's Bay fort of that name, which stood on 
the south bank of the Columbia river and just 
above the month of the Walla Walla. It was 
in the center of the tribe and was easy of access 
both to the Indians and the whites. His mis- 
sion for a time seemed to be among the most 
properous and promising of all Indian missions 
of the coast. The Cayuses were intelligent and 
active, though not considered as tractable and 
trustworthy as their relations the Nez Ferces, 
whose territory joined theirs on tlie northeast. 
Quite a number of the tribe made a profession of 
Christianity under his labors, and Dr. Whitman 
and his co-laborers had high hopes that the 
whole tribe would pass under the influence of 
the Christian system and belief. 

To his work as a Christian teacher Dr. Whit- 
man had added that of a medical practitioner, 
so that, to the superstitious Indian mind, he 



assumed a much wider responsibility than he 
would have assumed as a mere teacher of re- 
ligious truths. As a physician he, like their 
own " medicine men," was supposed to have 
power to heal or to kill at pleasui-e, and however 
much he might endeavor to disabuse their 
minds of that belief it could never quite be 
done, for the Indian mind is remarkahly tena- 
cious of its superstitions and they never quite 
lose their dominion over an Indian's action. As 
useful as the profession and practice of a doctor 
might really be, they added an element of dan- 
ger as well as an element of strength to the 
position of Dr. Whitman. 

The doctor was a man to draw about him a 
somewhat large following of assistants and de- 
pendents, for he was naturally a leader of men, 
with a strong personality and a broad and 
grasping mind. He planned more broadly than 
any of his associates in the missions of the 
American Boai'd, and had more of the strong 
grip of executive ])ower than they. He liad 
opened (juite an extensive farm and erected a 
sawmill and Houring-mill. The buildings for 
dwelling, school, church and other purposes 
were of quite a pretentious character foi' the 
country, and formed quite a hamlet in the midst 
of the wide, unhomed solitudes of these interior 
valleys and mountains. The dwelling-house 
was a large adobe, or sun-dried brick, build- 
ing, well finished and furnished, with a large 
library and an extensive cabinet. Connected 
with it was a large '' Indian room," as it was 
called, l)uilt for the accommodation and use of 
the Indians who were constantly or occasionally 
about the mission, either as employes in any 
department or on business, or as mere loungers. 
It had also an addition, seventy feet in length, 
consisting of kitchen, sleeping- room, school- 
room and church. One hundred yards east 
stood a large adobe building, and at another 
point about the same distance stood the mill, 
granary and shops. Connected with the mis- 
sion was a sawmill situated on Mill creek on the 
edge of the Blue mountains, about fifteen miles 
from the station itself. Thus the mission was 

situated at the end of ten years from its estab- 
lishment in 1836. 

The special work and the genial relations of 
the various missionary establisliments of the 
country having been elsewhere considered it is 
not needful to recur to them here further than 
to connect them with the events that opened 
the first Indian war of the Northwest. This we 
do in a simple statement of historic facts with 
only a very brief discussion of the natural, and 
perhaps inevitable, results of those facts. 

The establishment of Roman Catholic mis- 
sions in the immediate vicinity of those of the 
Protestant boards inevitably confused the minds 
of the Indians, and led them to look very sus- 
piciously upon the Protestants. This was the 
more certainly and fatally the result as they 
fully understood that the people of the Hudson's 
Bay Company had joyfully welcomed the com- 
ing of the Romish priests, and extended to them, 
rather than to the Protestants, their sympathy 
and support. Though not gifted with any great 
capability of ratiocination, the Indian has quick 
perception from obvious and occult facts, and 
thej could not but comprehend this, while they 
would entirely fail to comprehend the rationale 
of the historic and theological differences and 
agreements between the Roman Catholic and 
Protestant systems. Hence they would act from 
what they saw, not from the reason that was 
behind it. 

The missionaries of the Roman CatholicChurch 
had entered the country in 1838, as noted 
elsewhere. As they count success, their mis- 
sions had been very successful. They had 
baptized many Indians, — some authorities say 
not less than 5,000 by the autumn of 1847, — 
and the priests were everywhere, and their zeal 
was admirable as they went on their mission of 
proselytisra from California to British Colum- 
bia. Their leaders were astute and able men. 
Such names as Blanchet, (Jccolti, DeSmet, Joset, 
Ravalli, Sandlois, Demers, Brouillet and Balduc 
were recorded among their twenty-six clergy- 
men employed in the field. As these names 
indicate, there was not an American among 


them, — hardly one wlio could speak or write 
the English language with respectable accuracy, 
— but they were disciplined and resolute and 
self-denying men. They brought with them 
no families. They established no comnuinities. 
They lived with and as the Indians. They 
found tbera Indians, baptized them into the 
Roman Catholic Church, and left them Indians, 
as they found them. Their presence, therefore, 
boded no change to awaken the apprehensions 
of the Indians, and hence they could go and 
come, teach and catechise, liaptize and confirm 
at will, and their imposing ceremonies and easy 
moral exactions completely captured the minds 
of most of the Indians. 

The more this was true the less could the 
Protestant missions succeed. Dr. Whitman's 
mission in particular was in a position to feel 
the blight of their influence the soonest and 
most fatally. From its beginning some of the 
Cayuses were hostile to the mission, more were 
indifferent, and a small number were favorable. 
Tam-su-ky, an influential chief, M-ho resided not 
far from Waiiletpii, was the leader of the opposers 
of the mission. Their opposition became more 
bitter after the Romish priests entered the 
country, and was still more intensified after Dr. 
Whitman returned from the East with the 
great train of emigrants of 1843. To add to the 
impulse which was moving the Cayuse people 
toward murder and war, in 1845 " Tom Hill," 
a Delaware Indian, lived among the Nez Per- 
ces and told them that the missionaries first 
visited his people, bat were soon followed by 
other Americans, who took away their lauds. 
He visited Waiiletpu and i-epeated the same 
Btory to the Cayuse. Of course the Indians 
were still more alarmed. 

In another year another Indian, or half-breed, 
came among them, whence and froui whom 
history has failed to certify. His name was 
Joe Lewis. He reaiiirmed the statements 
of Tom Hill. Under these influences, com- 
bined with a desire on the part of many if not 
most of the tribe to secure the Roman Cath- 
olic religion. Dr. Whitman's work withered 

away under them. Uis most trustworthy friends 
among the Indians, Um-howl-ish and Stick- us, 
warned him of his danger,, and advised him to 
abandon his work. Archibald McKinley, then 
in charge of Fort Walla Walla, emphasized the 
warning and repeated the advice. Thomas Mc- 
Kay repeated it. Dr. Whitman knew the dan- 
ger, understood the influences that were destroy- 
ing his work and imperiling his life, but, brave 
man that he was, he faced them all. How could 
he have done otherwise? 

Still, iu the fall of 1847, Dr. Whitman decided 
to remove to the Dalles as soon as arrangements 
could be completed. He went there himself and 
received from the Methodist mission, which had 
decided to abandon that field, the premises it 
held at that place, as a gift to the American 
Board. On arriving at Walla Walla, about the 
10th of September, he found four Romish priests 
at the place, arranging to establish a mission 
under the very shadow of Waiiletpu. At their 
head was Father A. M. A. Pianchet, a smooth, 
yet resolute and able man, self-poised to a re- 
markable degree, and unrelenting in his pur- 
poses and aims. With him was Bronillet, per- 
haps fully the equal of Blanchet in ability of 
every kind, though not his equal in rank. Com- 
ing just at this crisis in the work of Dr. Whit- 
man, they found it easy to win over to their 
cause much the larger part of the Indians. The 
fact that they came to supplant Dr. Whitman 
on the very fleld of his eleven years' toil could 
not but have the effect of making the Indians 
believe that these new religious teachers would 
be only too glad to see Dr. Whitman's mission 
destroyed, even if they did not desire his own 
death. It was not necessary that they should 
suggest or advise this course; the suggestion 
was in their very presence and in the nature of 
their work, and it is not probable that they 
made any other. Certainly this writer has never 
found any convincing evidence that they did. 
Still it seems tolerably certain that, with murder 
and destruction palpitating in the very air, they 
spoke no word and did no deed against it. 


Hoping tliiit the storm of wrath that he saw 
plainly impending would not bnrst upon him 
before another year; Dr. Whitman, after his re- 
turn from the Dalles, settled down to the calm 
pursuit of his missionary work. Meantime 
the laige iinmigration uf 1S47 came pouring 
down from the Blue mountains upon the plains 
of the Columbia. There was much sickness 
among the immigrants, the measles and dysen- 
tery prevailing to an alarming extent. These 
soon became epidemic among the Indians, 
many of whom, despite the remedies adminis- 
tered by Dr. Whitman and the most careful 
attention of Mrs. Whitman, died of these 
diseases. Joe Lewis took a horrible advan- 
tage of this situation to further prejudice the 
Indians' minds against the mission. He told 
them that the doctor was administering poison 
to them, and that he intended to kill them all 
off that the Americans might take their lands. 
He detailed conversations that he professed to 
have overheard between Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, 
in which the doctor complained because the 
Indians were not dying fast enough. He also 
asserted that Brouillete, the Roman Catholic 
priest, had told him that the doctor was giving 
the Indians poison. Falling upon the excited 
minds of the Indians, these statements were 
like fire in powder. The explosion was sure to 
come, and it meant destruction when it came. 

Of course it is not necessary to say to the 
intelligent reader that there was no founda- 
tion for these statements. They wei-e the sheer 
inventions of a murderous villain, who, after 
having shared the hospitality and care of Dr. 
Whitman and. Mrs. Whitman, was l)a8e enough 
to plot their destruction. The presence of the 
priest at this time, and his active proselytism 
of the Indians to Romanism, was indeed an 
incendiary iniluence sufficient to set the Indians 
into an unreasoning and fatal excitement, but 
it cannot be considered likely that he made to 
Lewis the statement averred, or even that he 
fully anticij^ated the terrible tragedy that so 
soon followed. The justice (^f history requires 
this statement, but it requii-es also the addition- 

al one that he did state to the Indians that Dr. 
Whitman was a bad man, and that what he was 
teaching them was a false religion, and if they 
believed it they would certainly go to hell. In 
the blindness and prejudice of his sectarian zeal 
he might have believed all this, and even have 
justified to his own conscience, on the well- 
known principles of Jesuitism, the making of 
the statement, but it would be too severe a 
shock to our faith in humanity to believe that 
he counseled or sought the murder of these 
noble missionaries. The writer of this history 
has been for many years acquainted with quite 
a number of the Indians associated with Dr. 
Whitman before and at the time of the mass- 
acre, also with several of the sufferers in the 
terrible tragedy, and the sum of all the evidence 
he could gather from these, as well as the resi- 
duum of the testimony of all who have written 
on the subject, confirms him in this judgment. 
To array the evidences which have thus satis- 
fied his own mind, would be unnecessarily to 
weary the reader of this work. 

As the autumn wore on Dr. Whitman fully 
recognized the impending danger. To avert it 
he endeavored to secure the presence of Thomas 
McKay, one of the most influential and sensible 
of the early mountaineers, during the winter, 
but could not succeed. Meanwhile the story of 
Joe LeAvis was working its direful way in the 
minds of the Indians. The wife of Tam-su-ky, 
the leader of those wlio were determined to drive 
off Dr. Whitman, was sick. He resolved to 
put the poison theory to a practical test by ob- 
taining some medicine of the doctor and ad- 
ministering it to her. If she recovered he 
would not believe the story; if she died the 
missionaries must also die. The test was made. 
The woman died: thus the fate of the mission- 
aries was decided. 

Sabbath at the mission was a day when 
large numbers of the Indians gathered, some for 
worship, and some for the excitement of a 
crowd. The friends of the mission were sure 
to be there on that day. The 28th of Novem- 
ber, that year, was Sunday, and as usual r^^lig- 


ious services were held, a considerable num- 
ber of the Indians participating in them. 
Tam-su-ky and his followers had fixed on 
Monday for their murderous deed, as they 
knew but few if any of the Indian friends of 
Dr. Whitman would be present. On that day, 
November 29, 1847, about fifty of the followers 
of Tam-su-ky gathered at the mission. Their 
gathering awakened the apprehensions of the 
whites, as it was so unusual to see such numbers 
present except on Sunday. Still the work of 
the establishment, indoors and out, went on as 
usual. Dr. Whitman was in his ofiice, sittiuo; 
in a chair and preparing a prescription for an 
Indian. Mrs. Whitman was in an upper room 
busied in her duties. Tiie Indians were scat- 
tered about the yard, a few being in the doctor's 
office. Suddenly the murderous attack began. 
Dr. Whitman was cloven down by the blow 
of a tomaliawk wielded by Tam-a-has, an Indian 
of such a cruel nature as to be known among 
his own people as "the murderer." Mrs. Whit- 
man was shot in the breast while standing at 
a window to which she had stepped on hear- 
ing the noise of the sudden outburst. But a 
few Indians were actively engaged in the mur- 
derous onslaught: the rest looked stolidly on. 
Only one or two of the AVhitman Indians 
were present, and they were not permitted to 

It would serve no gdod purpose to relate the 
actual details of the horrible tragedy- Indeed 
most that has been written of them is so tinged 
with the imagination of the writers that it 
would be impossible to give them as they oc- 
curred, even were it desirable to do so. The 
victims of the murderous fury of the Indians 
were Dr. Marcus Whitman, Mrs. Narcissa 
Prentiss Whitman, John Sager, Frances Sager, 
Crocket Bewly, Mr. Kogers, Mr. Kimball, Mr. 
Sales, Mr. Marsh, Mr. Saunders, Mr. Young, 
Mr. Hoffman, and Isaac Gillem. 

With the personal and sectarian criminations 
and recriminations that have arisen out of this 
most tragic event in Oregon history, we think 
it not wise to blur these pages. While the atti- 

tude ot the Hudson's Bay Company toward the 
American settlers and of the Roman Catholic 
Church toward the Protestant missions was 
such as to place snch events as this as natural, 
and almost inevitable results of that attitude, no 
satisfactory evidence has appeared that tliey 
were planned or intended. Hence we are ready 
to leave their discussion with this statement, 
feeling sure that, while a large moral responsi- 
bility for the destruction of the mission of 
Waiiletpu and the murder of those who had 
labored so earnestly and long for the welfare 
of Indians, must rest upon the unseemly zeal of 
these fierce sectai-ies of Romanism, as well as 
upon the well-known opposition of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company to everything American, 
the Indians were carried by their ignorance 
and passion far beyond the intentions of either 
the priests, whose teachings inflamed them, or 
the company whose desire, as they understood 
it, had been so long a law unto them. If, dur- 
ing the frenzy of that day of blood, neither 
party interfered to avert or soften the blow, 
or if, immediately following it, either or both 
declined assistance to the fugitive sufferers who 
had escaped massacre, we set it down more to 
the weakness of the individuals who, for the 
time, stood as representatives of the company 
and the church, than to these bodies themselves. 
Had McKinley or Ogden or Douglas been in 
charge of Fort Walla instead of McBean when 
the fugitives from Waiiletpu lay at its gate ask- 
ing for succor, the suffering family of Osborn, 
hiding in the willows near Waiiletpu during 
those freezing nights, would have been at once 
sought out and cared for. The fugitive and 
frightened Hall would not have been put 
over the Columbia river and left in the win- 
try desert among the savages to starve or be 
killed, one of which must needs occur, as he 
was by the heartless cowardice of McBean. 
So much history must fairly record, but in 
the recording, this it must not forget that 
such men do not fitly represent all men, nor 
even most men, but stand for themselves alone. 
An express was sent at once from Fort Walla 


Walla to Mr. James Douglas, chief factor of 
the Hiulsou's Bay Goiiipany at Vancouver, with 
intelligence of the massacre. In harmony 
with his past want of cotnpi-ehension and spirit, 
Mr. McBean instructed the courier carrying tlie 
message not to communicate the fact of the 
massacre to the whites at the Dalles as he 
passed, thus leaving them exposed, without 
warning, to the fate that had befallen AVaiilet- 
pii. On the arrival of the courier at Vancou- 
ver, the action of Mr. Douglas was prompt and 
effective, entirely sufficient to set at rest all 
question as to the conjplicity of the Hudson's 
Bay Company in any way with the sad events 
that had just occurred. He immediately sent 
a courier express with a message notifying 
Governor Abernethj, at Oregon City, of what 
had taken place. Without waiting for any 
action by the governor or the American settlers, 
he immediately dispatched Mr. Peter Skeen 
Ogden, cue of the most influential and able 
factors of the company, with an armed force to 
the scene of the tragedy. Mr. Ogden held a 
council with the Cayuses at Fort Walla Walla. 
He declared the great displeasure of the com- 
pany at their conduct. He proposed to ransom 
the forty -seven prisoners, chiefly women and 
children, that they held in captivity. His 
prompt and decisive action resulted in the de- 
livery of these poor people from their captivity. 
On January 1, 1848, fifty Nez Perces from 
Lapwai arrived with Mr. Spaulding and ten 
others, who had also been in great peril from 
the contagion of murder which had spread 
through all the neigli boring tribes by the action 
of Cayuses, and who were also held as prison- 
ers by the Nez Perces. These were also ran- 
somed l)y Mr. Ogden, and thus all the whites 
in the infected district were delivered out of 
the hands of the savages by the resolute 
action of the Hudson's Bay Company, before 
the Americans had time to act. On January 
10 the rescued prisoners were delivered over to 
Governor Abernethy by the Hudson's Bay 
Company's people, at Oregon City. Thus 

closed the opening and bloody chapter of the 
Indian wars of the Pacific Northwest. 

When the intelligence of the murder of 
Di-. and Mrs. Whitman and their associates 
i-eaclied Governor Abernetliy at Oregon City, 
the Legislature of the provisional govern- 
ment was in session. A call for volunteers, 
to proceed at once to The Dalles and take 
possession of that place, was at once issued. 
Great fears were entertained that the Indians of 
the interior might assail the settlements on the 
west of the mountains by the way of the Co- 
lumbia river, the only way tiiey could be reached 
by them in the winter. The extent of the de- 
fection of the Indians \vas not known at the 
capital; hence provision must be made for any 
contingency at once. On the night of the 8th 
of December, the very day the news of the 
massacre reached Oregon city, a public meeting 
was held in that place, and a company was or- 
ganized, under the name of the "Oregon Rifles,'' 
to pioceed at once to The Dalles and take posses- 
sion of that strategic point. Henry A. G. Lee 
was made captain, and Joseph Magone and 
John E. Ross, lieutenants of it. The legisla- 
lature pledged the credit of the provisional gov- 
ernment to secure equipments for the company, 
but the Hudson's Bay Company preferred the 
individual responsibility of the committee of 
the legislature who applied for the equipments. 
This was given, and arms and ammunitions 
were issued to the company, which arrived at 
Vancouver on the 10th, only two days after its 
organization, to receive them. On the 2l8t 
they reached The Dalles, and the danger of an 
Indian invasion west of the mountains was over 
for the winter. But this did not end, it only 
began, the war. The scattered people of Oregon 
could not rest, indeed they dared not rest, with 
the murders of Waiiletpu unavenged and the 
murderers still at large. To have done so would 
have been to invite a bloody Indian war fi'om 
end to end of the country. 

The action of the legislature and of Governor 
Abernethy was prompt and eflective. On De- 
cember U an act was passed and approved for 


the organization of a regiment of fourteen com- 
panies, and their equipment for service. The 
brave pioneers responded with patriotic devo- 
tion to the call, furnishing their own arms, 
equipments and horses. The men who led were 
the men of mark tiien and subsequently in the 
history of this country, and it seems only a 
proper recognition of their patriotism and brav- 
ery to place their names on the pages of every 
history of those thrilling times in the story of 
the Northwest. Here is a roster of the officers: 


Colonel, Cornelius Gilliam; Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel, James Waters; Major, H. A. G. Lee; Adju- 
tant, B. F. Burch; Surgeon, W. M. Carpenter; 
Assistant Surgeons, F. Sneiderand H. Safarans; 
Commissary, Joel Palmer; Quartermaster, B. 
Jennings; Paymaster, L. B. Knox; Judge Ad- 
vocate, J. S. Rinearsou. 


Company A, fifty-live men. Captain, Law- 
rence Hall; First Lieutenant, H. D. O'Bayant; 
Second Lieutenant, John Engent. 

Company B., forty-three men. Captain, J. 
W. Owens; First Lieutenant, A. F. Rogers; 
Second Lieutenant, T. C. Shaw. 

Company C, eighty-four men. Captain, IL 
J. G. Maxon; First Lieutenant, I. N. Gilbert; 
Second Lieutenant, W. P. Pugh. 

Company D, thirty-six men. Captain, Thomas 
McKay; First Lieutenant, Charles McKay; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, Alexander McKay. 

Company D, fifty-two men. Captain, Phil. 
F. Thompson; First Lieutenant, James Brown; 
Second Lieutenant, J. M. Garrison. 

Company E, forty-four men. Captain, L. N. 
English; First Lieutenant, William Shaw; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, M. V. Munkers. 

Company E, thirty-six men. Captain, AVill- 
iam Martin; First Lieutenant, A. E. Garrison; 
Second Lieutenant, David Waters. 

Company E, sixty-three men. Captain Will- 
iam P. Pugh; First Lieutenant, N. R. Doty; 
Second Lieutenant, M. Ramsby. 

Company G, sixty-six men. Captain, J. W. 
Nesmith; First Lieutenant, J. S. Snook; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant, M. Gilliam. 

Company H, forty-nine men. Captain, G. 
W. Bennett; First Lieutenant, J. R. Bevin; 
Second Lieutenant, J. R. Payne. 

Company I, thirty-six men. Captain, W. 
Shaw; First Lieutenant, D. Crawford; Second 
Lien ten ant, B. Dario. 

Company No. 7, twenty-seven men. Cap- 
tain, William Martin; First Lieutenant, A E. 
Garrison; Second Lieutenant, John Hersen. 

F. S. Waters" Guard, fifty-seven men. Cap- 
tain, William Martin; First Lieutenant, 1). 
Weston ; Second Lieutenant, B. Taylor. 

Reorganized Company. Captain, John E. 
Ross; First Lieutenant, D. P. Bai-nes; Second 
Lieutenant, W. W. Porter. 

This roster shows a force of about GOO enlist- 
ments besides field and staff officers, and with 
this force Colonel Gilliam proceeded to The 
Dalles the last of February, 1848. On the 27th, 
with 130 men, he moved forward and crossed 
Des Chutes river, where he was fairly within 
the enemy's country. A reconnoissance, led by 
Major Lee up that river about twenty miles, dis- 
covered aliostile camp and engaged it, when the 
party returned and reported to the colonel. On 
tiie following day Colonel Gilliam moved up 
to the same place, and tlie next morning had a 
skirmish with the Indians of the Des Chutes 
tribe, which resulted in a defeat of tlieir forces, 
and was followed by a treaty of peace which 
withdrew this band from the hostiles for the 
remainder of tlie war. Though attended with 
little fatality, the result of this movement was 
very important, as it would have been entirely 
unsafe for the command of Colonel Gilliam to 
have moved forward, leaving this hostile band 
in its rear and between it and the Willamette 
valley, which would have been thus opened to 

Colonel Gilliam immediately pushed forward 
toward Waiiletpu, about 150 miles distant. His 
route was over an open, treeless country of 
gi-eat rolling hills, poorly watered, full of ra- 



vines and gulches that afforded many oppor- 
tunities for the peculiar tactics of Indian war- 
fare. At Sand Hollow, about half way from the 
Des Chutes to Waiiletpu, the Indians were en- 
countered in force. Their field was well chosen. 
It was a deep depression among the sandy hills, 
full of cuts and washes, affording excellent hid- 
ing places for the Indians, and extended across 
the emigrant road, on which the column was 
advancing. Up to this time it was uncertain 
whether the entire Cayuse nation would enter 
the war to protect the murderers or not. many 
believing that a large number of them wouM 
not. But here all were undeceived. The great 
body of Cayuse warriors, under the commaiid 
of their head chief. Five Crows, and a chief 
named War Eagle, offered to tiie volunteer 
force the gauge of battle, which was promptly 
accepted. Upon the company of Captain McKay 
the first assault was made. Five Crows and 
War Eagle both made pretensions to the posses- 
sion of wizard powers, and to demonstrate their 
powers to their own people dashed out of their 
concealments, rode down close to the volunteers 
and shot a little dog that came out of tlie ranks 
to bark at them. The orders were not to fire, 
but Captain McKay's Scotch blood was up, 
and, bringing his rifle to his face, he took de- 
liberate aim at War Eagle and drove a bullet 
through his head, killing him instanflj. Lien- 
tenant McKay fired his shotgun at Five Crows 
without aim, and wounded him so badly that 
he was compelled to give up tlie command of 
his warriors. Disheartening as was this open- 
ing of the battle to the Indians, they continued 
it until late in the afternoon. During the battle 
Captain Maxon's company followed a party of 
retreating Indians so far that they found them- 
selves surrounded, and in a sharp engagement 
that followed eight of his men were disabled. 
Before nightfall the Indians drew oflF the field. 
The regiment camped upon it without water, 
while the Indians, who had retired but a short 
distance, built their fires on a circle of hills 
about two miles in advance. The next day 
Colonel Gilliam moved forward, the Indians 

retiring before him, and reached Waiiletpu the 
third day after the battle. 

The main body of Indians fell back toward 
Snake river. The volunteers followed, making 
fruitless attempts to induce the surrender of the 
murderers of Waiiletpu. Colonel Gilliam re- 
solved on a raid into the country north of the 
river. On his way he surprised a camp of 
Cayuses near that stream: among whom were 
some of the murderers. The crafty Indians de- 
ceived the colonel with professions of friend- 
ship, and pointed out some horses on the hills 
that they said belonged to those he was anxious 
to kill or capture, while the pai-ties themselves 
were far out of reach beyond Snake river. The 
column started to return toward AValla Walla, 
but all the warriors of Indian camp were soon 
mounted on war horses and assailed tlie column 
on all sides, forcing the volunteers to fight their 
way as they fell back. All day and into the 
night the running fight continued, and when 
Colonel Gilliam reached Touciiet rirer he or- 
dered the captured horses turned loose. When 
the Indians regained possession of them they 
returned again toward Snake river, and the vol- 
unteers continued their retrograde movement to 
the mission. 

Soon after reaching the mission station at 
Waiiletpu, Colonel Gilliam started to return to 
The Dalles, designing also to visit Oregon City 
and report to the govei-nor. While camped at 
Well Springs, not far from tiie battle-ground of 
Sand Hollow, he was killed by the accidental 
discharge of a gun, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
AVaters was elected liy the regiment to its 

A board of commissioners had been sent by 
the legislature with the volunteers to negotiate 
for tlie peaceful settlement of the difficulties, 
but all their attempts to bring the Indians to 
terms failed. They demanded the surrender of 
those who committed the murders at Waiiletpu, 
and that the Indians should pay all damages to 
emigrants who had been robbed or attacked 
while passing through the country of the Cay- 
uses. The Indians refused to do either. They 


wished only to be let alone, and the Americans 
to call the account balanced. As the Ameri- 
cans would not do this, the Oaynses abandoned 
their country and crossed the Rocky mountains 
to hunt for buffalo. The volunteers could only 
leave the country and return to the AVillamette 
valley. This practically eniled the Caynse war 
so far as active operations in the held were con- 
cerned. In a few months the Indians desired 
to return, but they were made to understand 
that peace could never exist between them and 
the Americans unless the murderers were given 
up for punishment. Finally, they sent a depu- 
tation of five chiefs to Oregon City to have a 
talk with Clovernor Lane, who had succeeded 
Mr. Abernethy as chief executive. They were 
thrown into ])rison, tried, condemned, and exe- 
cuted on the 3d day of June, 1850. Many 

doubted their guilt. The chiefs themselves de- 
clared their innocence of the murders. They 
declared that there were but ten Indians eon- 
cei-ned in the murders, and affirmed that they 
were all dead already. It seems probable that 
their story was correct in the main, and that the 
men who were executed were probably not 
those who perpetrated the bloody deed. Such 
was the judgment of Mr. Spaulding, and such, 
too, was the statement of Umhowlish, a Cay- 
use chief, and others of that tribe, who were 
personal friends of Dr. Whitman, as communi- 
cated by them to others a few years ago. 

With this execution, however, the whites in 
the main were satisfied, as the Indians were 
overawed by it, and fears of further hostilities 
were allayed. 



Indians Generally Disti-rbed — Governor Stevens — Kamiakin — Council at Walla Walla^ 
General Palmer — Indians Opposed to Treating — Lawyer — A Change in the Indians' 
Minds — Treaty (Joncldded — Governor Stevens Proceeds to the North — War Again 
Breaks Out — Stevens Returns — A Stormy Council — Plan of Looking-Glass — Stevens 
Returns to The Dalles. 

T 'HOUGH the "Caynse War" had closed, 
as related in the last chapter, so far as 
actual hostilities were concerned, it had 
left that powerful tribe and all the related 
tribes east of the Cascade mountains in a jeal- 
ous and embittered state of feeling. In fact 
the war had only confirmed their opinions of 
the disposition of the whites to encroach upon 
the territory of the Indians, as well as of their 
power to carry that purpose into effect unless 
they were speedily checked. Measurably over- 
awed, as the Indians were, by the unexpected 
power with which the Americans had avenged 
Waiiletpu, it was not easy for them to agree 
among themselves as to the proper course for 
them to take in the future, but there was ever 

after that war a prophecy of even more ex- 
tensive war in the very atmosphere of the 
camps and councils of all the tribes east and 
west of the mountains. However, notwith- 
standing this embittered and ominous state of 
feeling on the part of the Indians, some years 
passed without any general outbreak among 
them. But in all these years there were many 
murders committed by individual Indians, 
and by straggling bauds of various tribes, along 
the emigrant road and on the shores of Puget 
Sound. These murders were the occasional 
breaking forth of the savage and revengeful 
spirit that was seething beneath the generally 
impassive surface of the Indian's life, and each 
one was only a step toward the wide and dan- 



gerous combinations of savage force, which 
clear-sighted whites saw was sure to be made at 
length, when tlie Indians would make one wide 
and mighty elt'ort to retrieve tbeir departing 
power, and recover tiieir country from the pos- 
session of the hated white man. Some of these 
incidents were of the most tragic character, es- 
pecially those that occurred on the line of emi- 
grant travel, and to avenge them the various 
bodies of United States troops stationed in the 
country were sent far into the interior where 
they sought out, and, as far as possible, exter- 
minated the small clans that had been guilty 
of these atrocities. Thus passed five or six 
years of disquiet and apprehension. 

Meantime no treaties existed between the 
United States and the Indian tribes east of the 
Cascade mountains. Governor Stevens, after 
entering within the boundaries of the Territory 
of which he had been appointed governor, in 
1853, had conferred with these tribes conceni- 
ing the sale of their lands and they had ex- 
pressed a willingness to dispose of them; but, 
as months elapsed and no treaties were con- 
cluded, they began to regret their promises, and 
gradually assumed an independent and bellig- 
erent attitude toward tiie whites. This feel- 
ing grew so deep and strong that, in January, 
1855, Governor Stevens sent Mr. James Doty, 
one of his most trusted aids, among them, to 
ascertain their views on all pending points of 
controversy before he opened final negotiations 
with tliera. Through Doty's mediation the 
Yakimas, Nez Perces Cayuses, Walla Wallas 
and several smaller tribes allied to them, agreed 
to meet Governor Stevens in a general council 
to be held in the Walla Walla valley in May, 
1805. Kamiakin. head chief of the Yakimas, 
and one of the ablest Indians of his day, chose 
the council ground, although it was not witiiin 
the territory of his own tribe, because from 
time immemorial it had been the council 
ground of the related tribes of this portion of 
the great Columbia valley. It was on the 
southern portion of the site of the present city 
of Walla Walla. 

Mr. Joel Palmer, of Oregon, had been asso- 
ciated by the Government with Governor Ste- 
ens as commissioner to make the treaties. Prov- 
viding themselves with a large quantity of In- 
dian goods and agricultural implements for 
gifts at the close of the council, and obtaining 
a military escort of forty dragoons at Fort 
Dallas, the commissioners arrived at the ap- 
pointed grounds on the 20th of May. The 
Indians did not begin to arrive until the 24th, 
when Lawyer and Looking-Glass, chiefs of the 
Nez Perces, arrived with their delegations. 
Two days later came the Cayuses, and on the 
28th came the Yakimas under Kamiakin. When 
all had arrived thei'e were not less than 4,000 
Indians encamped upon the ground. 

It became evident, before the council was or- 
ganized, that the majority of the Indians were 
opposed to entering into any treaty; and after 
negotiations were begun, on the 30th day of 
the month, they proceeded very slowly for 
nearly two weeks before any conclusion could 
be reached. 

The Indians delayed and debated, and in 
every way short of positive hostilities impeded 
the progress of. the negotiations. This was 
partly owing to their fear that the commission- 
ers would overreach them, and partly charg- 
able to "politics" among the Indians them- 

The chiefs were ambitious, and hence jealous 
and envious of each other. The Nez Perces 
especially were divided. Joseph and Looking- 
Glass were unfriendly, while Lawyer, who had 
already pledged his word to Governor Stevens, 
remained firm in the position he had taken. 
Looking-Glass was the war chief of his nation, 
and had great influence. He remained away 
from the council until the 8th of June, and 
when he did arrive he was rude and insolent. 
But Lawyer remained firm, albeit it was more 
than suspected that there was a bit of shrewd 
Indian diplomacy in the apparently antagonis 
tic positions of these two native statesmen, the 
design of which was to gain a stronger hold 
upon the whites, and to secure themselves in 


the chieftainship of their tribes. Whether it 
was this or bitter political rivalry between 
them, it is impossible to tell. Whatever it was 
their antagonisms greatly delayed the proceed- 
ings of the council, and at times threatened to 
defeat its purposes altogether. 

At the beginning of negotiations the chiefs 
of the Yfikimas, AValla Wallas and Caynses 
were almost unanimous against treating. Kam- 
iakin, (Jwhi, Peupeumoxmox were decided in 
their opposition; and, with only Lawyer among 
the leading chiefs of all these tribes in its favor? 
it appeared very doubtful if any couhl be con- 
cluded, and to fail in this was to render a gen- 
eral war certain at once. 

Thus matters remained up to Saturday eve- 
ning, the 9tli of June, — at least this was tlieir ap 
parent position when the council adjourned that 
day. When it convened on Monday, the 11th, 
a change had come over the spirit of the In- 
dians' dream. This probably arose from two 
causes: tirst Palmer had receded from his pur- 
pose to put all the Indians on one reservation 
and consented that each tribe should have a res- 
ervation of its own; and, secondly, some means, 
well understood among other than Indian poli- 
ticians, had been found whereby the leading 
chieftains had become "convinced" that it was 
better for them to accede to the desires of the 
commissioners, and conclude a treaty with 
them. So on Monday, the 11th, all the chiefs, 
including Kamiakin himself, signed the treaty, 
Kamiakin declaring that it was only for the 
sake of his people, and not because he agreed 
with it, that he signed it. When all was con- 
cluded the vast Indian camp held a great scalp 
dance, in which 150 women took part, and after 
which they broke up their encampments and 
separated. On the IGth Governor Stevens pro- 
ceeded towards the Blackfoot country, the gov- 
ernment having directed him to enter into ne- 
gotiations with that and other powerful tribes 
in the northeast portion of the Territory. He 
believed that he had secured peace with the 
great tribes of the middle Columbia, and went 
northward with high hopes of securing the 

same result with those upon its upper waters. 
Governor Stevens was accoinpanied by a spe- 
cial delegation of the Nez Perce under the 
special agency of William Craig. Craig was a 
man of much influence among the Indians, his 
wife being a Nez I'erce and he having resided 
among them for many years. He always used 
that influence judiciously, and hence was much 
trusted by both Indians and whites. He was 
also attended by Agent R. H. Lansdale, special 
agent Doty, and Mr. A. II. Robie, all of whom 
were men well fltted to assist him in his under- 
taking. He reached the I^lackfoot country 
about the middle of September, and soon con- 
cluded a treaty with that powerful tribe. Scarce- 
ly was this accomplished before he received 
intelligence that the Yakimas, Walla Wallas 
Palouses and a part of the Nez Perces had al- 
ready violated the treaty of Walla Walla, and 
were at- war with the whites all over the east- 
ern part of Washington, and that the Indian 
defection had extended to the tribes on Puget 
Sound, so that the whole Territory was under 
the horrors of Indian M'arfare. These great 
tril)es lay directly across his pathway toward 
his capital. Advices from army officers recom- 
mended iiim to go home to Olympia by the w'ay 
of St. Louis and New York. It was not like 
Governor Stevens to take this tiniorous advice 
and he determined to face toward the eiiemies 
that would dispute his advance, and get among 
his people at the earliest possible date. He at 
once sent an express to Fort Benton for ad- 
ditional arms and ammunition, and, leaving 
his command to move when their supplies ar- 
rived, himself moved forward with only A. H. 
Robie and an Indian interpreter to Bitter Root 
valley, where Agent Lansdale was in charge of 
the Flatheads. At Fort Owen, in that valley, he 
was joined by the Nez Perces delegation under 
Looking-Glass, Spotted Eagle, and Three Fathers, 
who agreed to accompany Stevens as a part of 
his escort, and who also promised to send a large 
party of Nez Perce warriors if necessary to es- 
cort him from Lapwai to The Dalles, if neces- 
sary, to defend him from the Yakimas. At Hell 



Gate Pass he lialted until his company arrived, 
and tlien crossed the 13itter Hoot mountains 
in three feet of snow, and pnslied rapidly down 
to the C<enr d' Alene mission. AVithin twenty- 
tive miles of it, witli only two white men and 
four Nez I'erces, he went forward and threw 
himself into the midst of the Cd-ur d'Aleues, as 
he says, "with our rifles in (ine hand and our 
arms stretched out on the other side, tendering 
them both the sword and the olive branch." 
The Nez Perces fully co-operated with Stevens, 
and the result was that the Cffiur d'Alenes gave 
the governor a cordial welcome. But soon their 
manner changed, and they seemed undecided 
whether to commit themselves to peace or ful- 
fill their engagment with emissaries of Kamia- 
kin, who had left their camp only five days l)e- 
fore Stevens" arrival, and enter the war com- 
bination extending all over the Northwest. 
Stevens did not give them any opportunity to 
retract their friendly professions but hastened 
on to the Spokane country, where he had re- 
solved to hold a council. When he arrived here 
runners were sent to the Pend d'Oreilles, lower 
Spokane and Colville Indians summoning them 
to the council, and to Jesuit Fathers Kavelli 
and Joset, of the missions, to bring them to- 
gether for that purpose. 

The council was a stormy one. The Indians 
demanded a promise that the United States 
troops should not pass nortii of Snake river, 
but this Stevens would not give. Still he so far 
succeeded as to satisfy the Indians that the 
stories told by Kamiakin's agents were false, 
and they appeared satisfied and promised to re- 
main peaceable. How far this was real could 
not be told, as the imperturbable surface of an 
Indian's face is no mirror to reflect the agitated 
deep of his heart. An incident will illustrate 

Looking-Glass was one of the Nez Perces 
chiefs who had signed the treaty with "Walla 
Walla. After the Blackfoot council Stevens 
was warned to keep a close watch on this pro- 
fessedly friendly Indian; one of his own Nez 
Perce g\iai-ds. lie set his interpreter to spy 

upon him, and he was soon detected in explain- 
ing to a Spokane chief a plan to entrap Stevens 
when he should ai'rive in the Nez Perce coun- 
try, and urging the Spokanes to a similar course. 
Referring to this incident, Stevens said: "I 
never communicated to Looking-Glass my know- 
ledge of his plans, but knowing them I knew how 
to meet them in council. I also knew how 
to meet them in the country, and it gave me no 
difficulty." Still this incident shows that Look- 
ing-Glass, and without doubt, Kamiakin and 
Peupeumoxmox had no sincerity when they 
signed the treaty of Walla Walla, but simply 
wished to gain time in which to prepare for 

When the Spokane council ended, the Spo- 
kanes, doubtless by collusion with Looking- 
Glass, and to carry out the plan laid l)y that 
crafty villain for the destruction of Stevens and 
his company, offered to escort him through the 
country of the Nez Perces, but Stevens declined 
their proffered " friendship." Instead, he en- 
larged his party by enlisting a battalion of 
miners to accompany him to The Dalles, so* that 
he had a body of fifty. These he mounted on 
the best horse of the country, and, thoroughly 
Cfpiipped, then moved rapidly forward to en- 
counter, for aught he knew, the whole war force 
of the confederated bands. A forced march of 
four days brought him to Lapwai, when the Nez 
Perces, under the influence of Craig, were al- 
ready assembled for a council, which was im- 
mediately called by the Governor. 

Up to this time Stevens had been ignorant 
of the events that had been occurring among 
the Yakimas, Klickitats and Walla Wallas, but 
in the midst of the council an express arrived 
from Walla Walla with news of the fighting in 
that valley and the death of Peupeumoxmox, 
together with the occupation of the country by 
the Oregon troops. The next day he moved 
foi'svard toward Walla Walla and The Dalles, 
accompanied by sixty-nine well armed Nez 
Perce-^ and the, battalion of miners organized at 
Spokane, by tlie way of the seat of the war that 
was raging between him and his capital on Pii 


get Sound. When be arrived, on the 19tb Jan- count of the Indian war that was now prevail- 

uary, he found the country in a most deplorable j ing, not only east of the Cascade mountains 

condition, as all business was suspended, and but all along the shores of the Puget Sound, 
the people were living in block houses on ac- 



Indians Concessions Strategetic— Lawyer— Kamiakin and Pecpeumoxmox — Gold Discoveries- 
Indians Greatly Excited — Agent Bolon Visits Kamiakin — His Murder — The Purpose 
of Kamiakin — Expedition of Major Haller — Battle at Simcoe — Haller Compelled to 
Eetreat — A General War Begun — Puget Sound Volunteers — Lieutenant Slaughter's 
Expedition — Expedition of Major Rains — Small Results- Indians Encouraged— "War 
ON Puget Sound— Absence of Governor Stevens— Action of Acting Governor Maso\ — 
People on White River Driven Prom Their Homes — The Decatur — Protest of Mr. Den- 
ny Massacre on White River — Country Overrun by Hostiles — Action of Indians — 

Captain Maloney's Expedition — Death of Cafi'ain Slaughter — Forces Exhausted. 



PjliAUlAU nie eseuts recoi 
chapter war had l)roken out, almost si- 
multaneously on the plains of Eastern 
Washington and along the Puget Sound, 
and we must turn back a little, chronogically, in 
order to give our reader a knowlede of its story. 
It is proper also that we say it not only extended 
thus over all of Washington Territory, but also 
included nearly all of the frontiers of Oregon as 
well, and that the history of this war east of the 
Cascades involves, to a considerable extent, the 
campaigns of the troops raised by Oregon as 
well as those raised by Washington, although 
its theater was mainly in AVashington, and so its 
history belongs properly to this Territory. 

Our readers ab-eady understand the result of 
the Council of Walla Walla in May of 1855. 
Clearly the final concessions of the leading 
chiefs of the Yakima and Walla Walla tribes, 
together with such chiefs as Joseph and Looking- 
Glass, of the Nez Perces, were altogether strate- 
getic. Tliey were at that time unprepared for 
w^ar, and time roust be gained, and to gain time 
they finally consented to sign the treaty. Prob- 
ably Lawyer, at that time the most influential 
chief of the Nez Peices, was sincerely the friend 

of the whites, as his subsequent action never in- 
volved him in any inconsistencies with that pro- 
fession; but he could not control such men as 
Looking-Glass and Joseph, of his own tribe, and 
he had comparatively little influence with Ka 
miakin or Peupeuinoxinox,of the Walla Wallas, 
both of whom were men of great ability and 
thuroughly the enemies of the whites. These 
men left the council ground of Walla Walla 
only to conspire for war. They sent emissaries 
into all the tribes within hundreds of miles, 
called and held war councils, and l)y their in- 
flammatory appeals kept the minds of the tribes 
far and near in a fever of excitement and alarm. 
Other events also conspired to increase their 
agitation. During the summer of 1855, dis- 
coveries of gold were made in the upper Colum- 
bia regions, and the usual rush of miners 
into the newly discovered diggings took 
place, many entering the country by the 
way of Walla Walla, and others coming direct 
from Puget Sound over the Naches pass of the 
Cascades and directly through the country of 
Kamiakin. The excitement grew intense. Some 
of the chiefs declared tliat no Americans should 
pass through their territories. Rumor.'^ of 


Indian murders began to circulate among the 
whites. This condition could have but one re- 
sult, and that was not long in coming. 

While these rumors were tilling the air Mr. 
A. J. Bolon, special Indian agent, was on his 
way tr) meet Governor Stevens at the Spokane 
council. He had proceeded lieyond tiie Dalles, 
when he met Gearry, a chief of the Spokanes, 
who communicated to him these rumors, when 
he resolved to visit Kamiakin in his own country 
alone, to ascertain this truth, and also to con- 
vince him that the whites desired peace. 

Kamiakin's home was in the valley of the 
Ahtanahm, a few miles above the junction of 
that stream with the Yakima river. It was an 
isolated valley, away from tlie usnal routes of 
white travel, although a Catholic mission had 
been established near it. At this time it was in 
charge of Bronillette, temporarily, it is said, 
as Pandosy had been in charge of it previously. 
Agent Bolon, it was known, reached the mission, 
had his conference with Kamiakin, and started 
on his return to The Dalles. Not reaching that 
place in the proper time, Nathan Olney, Agent 
at that place, sent out an Indian spy, who re- 
turned with the information that Bolon had been 
murdered while returning to the Dalles, by the 
order of Kamiakin, by Qualchien, son of Owhi, 
and nephew of Kamiakin, while pretending to 
escort him on his homeward journey. This 
Kamiakin confessed to tiie Indian spy, whose 
report was confirmed by a letter from Bronil- 
lette to ( )lney, who also said that war had been 
the chief topic among the Yakimas ever since 
tiieir return from the Walla Walla council. 

It was the purpose of Kamiakin not to begin 
the war nntil winter, when he supposed no suc- 
cor could reach the Dalles, and no troops cross 
the Columbia; but the contagion of murder 
among the Indians spread too rapidly, and so 
many murders were committed that Acting 
Governor Mason, in the absence of (Tovernor 
Stevens in the Blackfoot country, made a requi- 
sition of forts Vancoouven and Steilacoom for 
troops to protect travelers in the Yakima coun- 
try, and also suggested tiiat a company of 

soldiers to meet Govenor Stevens in the Spokane 
country in September would 1)0 of great use to 

Major Rains, who was in command at The 
Dalles, ordered eighty-four men umler Haller 
into the Yakima country to co-operate with a 
force to be sent from Steilacoom over the Cas- 
cade mountains. Haller moved on the 3d of 
October, his objective point being the Ahtan- 
ahm valley where Kamiakin resided. On the 
third day, when the troops had safely passed the 
timbered range of the Simcoe mountains, and were 
descending a long and rocky slope toward the 
Simcoe valley, some Indians appeared, and about 
three o'clock in the afternoon the troops were 
attacked by them on the borders of a small 
stream at tlie fort of the slope, where the Indians 
were concealed in the willow thickets bordering 
it. A sharp engagement commenced which 
lasted untU night, when the Indians withdrew, 
leaving Haller with eight killed and wounded 
men. In the morning the attack was renewed, 
Haller moving toward a bold eminence a mile 
away, and the Indians endeavoring to surronnd 
him. On this eminence, without water and 
with little food, the troops fought all day. After 
dark an express was sent off to The Dalles to 
apprise Major Ilains of the situation and obtain 
reinforcements. Haller found it necessary to 
retreat toward The Dalles, and, after burying 
his howitzer and burning such of the baggage 
and provisions as could not be transported, he 
organized his command into two divisions, the 
first under himself to care for the wounded and 
the second under Captain Russell to act as rear 
guard. His command was led up a very steep 
mountain face by a mistake of his guide, but a 
much safer way than would have been the trail 
which ascended the same mountain by a long, 
narrow canon, in which the Indians could easily 
have destroyed his little army. On arriving in 
Klickitat valley, south of Simcoe mountains, the 
Indians, who had swarmed about his force, 
abandoned the pursuit, and the reinaiuder of his 
retreat was unmolested, 


While this disastrous campaign of llaller was 
going forward, Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter had 
crossed the Cascade mountains hy the N aches 
pass with tifty men into the Yakima country, 
with the design of re-enforcing llaller, but, hear- 
ing of the defeat of the latter and finding so 
many Indians in the tield, he prudently fell hack 
to the west side of the mountains. 

The results of the " llaller campaign," as it 
was known in the history of Washington, satis- 
tied all that the Territory, in connection with 
the adjoining Territory of Oregon, must prepare 
at once for a heard and general war with all, or 
nearly all, of the powerful tribes within its 
bounds. Preparations were immediately begun 
both by the military and the Territorial author- 
ities. A proclamation was issued calling for 
one company of eighty-seven men from Clarke 
county and another from Thurston county, to 
jirovide as far as ])ossiblefor their own arms and 
e(j[uipments, and to rej)ort to the commanding 
officers at Vancouver and Steilacoom. The slooji 
of war Decatur and the revenue-cutter Jefferson 
Davis were then in Puget Sound, and applica- 
tions were made to them for arms, and the re- 
quest was granted. 

The Puget Sound mounted volunteers, with 
(iilmore Hays as captain, were organized, and 
reported themselves to the commanding officer 
at Fort Steilacoom on the 20th of October, and 
on the 2l8t were sent forward to White river as 
a reinforcement to Lieutenant Slaughter, who, 
as we have seen, had gone through the Xaches 
pass into the Yakima country, but had again 
fallen back to the upper prairie on AYhite river, 
and was now there awaiting the organization of 
a sufficient force to return to that country. A 
company of rangers was also organized, under a 
proclaination of Acting Governor Mason, and 
took the field on the 23d to watch the passes 
of tlie mountains and guard the settlements 
from invasion from that quarter. Four com- 
panies of reserves were also called for to be en- 
rolled at Vancouver, Cathlamet, Olympia, and 
Seattle, for any emergency that might arise. 
i\Iaj(.r U.iiis, uf tlie I'egular army, who was about 

to take the field in person against the Yakimas, 
was appointed brigadier-general of the forces of 
the Territory during the war, and James Tilton, 
Adjutant-General. In conjunction with this 
action on the part of Washington, several com- 
panies were raised in Oregon, with J. W. 
JMesmith in command with orders to proceed to 
the seat of war and co-operate with Kains. 

So rapidly, under the impulse of the universal 
danger, were the arrangements completed and 
the forces concentrated, that Rains was ])repared 
to leave The Dalles for the Yakima country on 
the 30th of October, with a force of about 700 
men. On the ith of November, Nesmith, with 
four companies of Oregon volunteers, overtook 
Rains' force, and marched with it to the battle- 
ground of llaller, where they arrived on the 7th. 
On the 8th there was a slight skirmish with the 
Indians, who were now less daring when a strong 
force was ojjposed to them than when they were 
confronted only by the handful of Haller, and 
having fast and fleet horses they could always 
easily escape pursuit. 

There was little in the history of this cam- 
paign of fiains that would repay the reader for 
perusal, should we take time to record it. A 
small fight took place at the Yakima Gap, where 
that stream flows through a range of hills, just 
below the present Yakima City, but the Indians 
escaped, and on the 10th the command proceeded 
to the Ahtanahm mission, the home of Kamia- 
kin, which they found deserted. Nesmith, with 
the Oregon volunteers, soon proceeded down the 
Yakima to Walla Walla to hold that valley 


the " hostiles," while Rains left his 

force to build a block house on the southern 
border of the Yakima country, and reported in 
person to General Wool, who had just arrived 
at Vancouver with a number of officers, fifty 
dragoons, and a great quantity of arms and 
ammunition. General Wool suspended active 
operations until he had time to plan a campaign. 
Before this was done the Columbia was frozen 
over, and communications with the upper coun- 
try were completely cut oflf for nearly a month. 
This closed the campaiun of Kains in the au^ 


tumn and early winter of 1855. On the whole 
it tended to encourage the Indians, and whet 
rather than dull their appetite for war. 

While these events were transpiring east of 
the Cascade mountains, other and more tragic 
ones were occiirring on Puget Sound. About 
the 1st of October, Mr. Porter had been driven 
from his claim at the head of White river val- 
ley and soon after all the families of the valley 
fled to Seattle for safety. Later in the month, 
while a company of nineteen rangers, under Cap- 
tain Charles Eaton, were scouting the country 
in search of Leschi, the Nisqually chief. Lieu- 
tenant McAllister and M. Connell were killed, 
and the entire party were besieged in a log 
house, where they had taken refuge until succor 
came. But the Indians did not push their ag- 
gressions for a time, as they desired the troops 
to leave the valley for the I'akima country be- 
fore they made the final onslaught upon the 
settlements. This was shrewd tactics on their 
part, for tliey fully expected that the troops 
sent to Yakima would be destroyed there, and 
the settlements of the Sound country would fall 
an easy prey to their vengeance. 

While these ev'ents were transpiring, Gover- 
nor Stevens, who was so well qualified to deal 
with such questions and such people, was absent 
from the scene of action. Those who had charge 
of things in his absence were not so well quali- 
fied to deal with them. While sincerity of pur- 
pose may be accorded Acting Governor Mason, 
his action and advice were not wise and judi- 
cious. In company with a squad of soldiers 
from Steilacoom, he visited the prairie from 
which Porter had been driven, and held a talk with 
the Indians who succeeded in deceixing him by 
professing friendship for the whites. He re 
turned to Seattle and told the people who had 
fled from the valley of White river on the occur- 
rences just related, that they ought to return to 
their homes at once and trust to the friendly 
professions of the Indians. Some listened to 
his advice and returned, although such men as 
Mr. A. A. Denny, and others well posted in In- 
dian affairs, strongly protested against it. Even 

Captain Sterrett, of the United States sloop of 
war, Decatur, then in the harbor for the de- 
fense of the place, was strongly inclined to join 
in the advice of Mason, and only after a most 
vigorous statement of the danger by Mr. Denny 
did he postpone his intention of getting his ship 
under weigh and abandoning the place and peo- 
ple to their fate. A few days sufficed to unde- 
ceive all as to the intentions of the Indians, for, 
on the morning of the 28th of October, they 
fell upon the farming settlements, killing W. H. 
Brannan, wife and child, H. N. Jones and wife, 
G. E. King and wife and Enos Cooper. Some 
who escaped fled and warned the people lower 
down the valley, who again fled to Seattle. The 
fugitives reached Seattle about eight o'clock at 
night, and the next day C. C. Hewitt, with a 
company of volunteers, started for the scene of 
the tragedy to bring the dead and rescue any 
who were yet alive. All the country between 
the Sound and the mountains, including White 
river and Puyallup and contiguous valleys, was 
overrun by bands of hostile Indians, and all the 
region from Olympia to the Cowlitz was de- 
serted by its inhabitants, who had either shut 
themselves up in block-houses or gone into the 
towns for protection. Fully half of the able- 
bodied men of this region, if not of the whole 
Territory, had entered the volunteer service, and 
the other half as home-guard, had all they could 
do to protect the women and children. 

The authorities of the Indianservicepublislied 
a notice requiring all the Indians to form en- 
campments at various accessible points along 
the Sound, and special'agents were appointed to 
look after them. This was done for the purpose 
of separating the friendly Indians from the lios- 
tiles, a measure that would greatly diminish the 
influence of the latter. Governor Douglas, of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, very generously 
sent their armed steamer Otter to remain at 
Xisqully for a time, and sent with lier titty stand 
of arms and a large supply of ammunition. 

Captain Maloney, in command of Fort Steila- 
coom, endeavored to arrange a campaign in the 
Puyallup and White river regions which would 


uncover the liostiles and destroy or drire them 
out of the country. But the country was very 
difficult for campaigning, as it was heavily tim- 
bered and covered with a dense undergrowth 
besides. Lieutenant Slaughter, Captain Wal- 
lace and Captain Hewitt were in command of 
different companies which were to converge 
from different directions toward AVhite Kiver 
valley. Their marches were constantly har- 
assed by attacks from concealed Indians. Little 
but marches and countermarches was accom- 
plished. The Indians waylaid them on their 
marches, beat up their quarters at night, and, 
without any considerable battles, kept the col- 
umn in constant alarm. On the evening of De- 
cember 4, while a conference was being held 
between Lieutenant Slaughter and other officers 
in the light of a fire near the door of a cabin, 
the brave and accomplished Slaughter was shot 

through the heart and died without uttering a 
word. He was greatly esteemed, and his death 
cast a deep gloom over the entire community. 
He was of the regular army, a graduate of West 
Point, and deservedly held a high personal rank 
in the estimation of his brother officers. After 
shooting Lieutenant Slaughter, the Indians 
kept up a continuous lire for several hours, kill- 
ing and wounding eight men. Soon after this 
affair. Captain E. D. Keyes, afterward General 
Keyes of tlie Union army, who was in command 
of Fort Steilacoom, announced that it was neces- 
sary to withdraw the men from the field and put 
them into garrison, as many of them were sick, 
and the pack-horses were worn out by the se- 
verities of the travel. Accordingly they were 
stationed at such points as would afford the best 
protection to the settlements, and active cam- 
paigning ceased for the remainder of the winter. 





Indian Activity — ^Design to Attack Seattle — Sloop of War Decatur — Yakimas under Owhi — 
Indian Camps — Council cf Indian Chiefs — A Spy Present — Time Fixed fok Attack — Cuk- 
let's Camp — Attack made — Conflict all day — Indians Defeated — The N'orthern Indians 
— Ships of War — Colonel Ebey Murdered — His Character — Continued Depredations. 

|\^TfOTWITHSTAXDIXG the troops were 
I Vj withdrawn from the field, the Indians did 
I li not cease their activity. Intimations of 
V their design to attack Seattle were con- 

stantly alarming the people of that place. About 
the 1st of January, 1856, the plans of the In- 
dians to that end drew toward a culmination. 
The sloop of war Decatur was still in the har- 
bor. She had been injured by striking on a 
reef near Bainbridge island, and her com- 
mander, Captain Gansevoort, was oblitred to re- 
move her batteries to the shore while repairing 
her keel. While she was drawn up on the 
beach the Indians resolved to begin their attack 
by capturing the vessel in order to gain posses- 

,sion of her arms and ammunition. Before they 
were ready to make the attack, however, her re- 
pairs were completed and her guns replaced on 
her decks. Their failure to capture the vessel, 
however, did not discourage tiie Indians, but 
they continued their preparations to attack the 
place. Indians from the east side of the Cas- 
cade mountains, under Owhi, a Yakima chief, 
mentioned elsewhere, joined those on the west 
side under Coquilton. The hostile bands from 
near and far had di-awn in about the little city 
that then was no more than a hamlet surround- 
ing a sawmill. Except the few men resident in 
the place, the entire force available for its pro- 
tection and the defense of the sloop of war was 


the 150, all told, that manned the vessel. Over 
100 of these were stationed on shore, the re- 
mainder being left to guard the vessel. 

Back of the little hamlet were steep, wooded 
bliifls, and back of these a rough and densely 
timbered country. At various points about the 
place were Indian camps occupied by Indians 
who claimed to be friendly. But they were not 
all reliably so, even if any were, and a knowl- 
edge of that fact kept the whites on a vigilant 
guard. The air was full of the contagion of 
murder and warfare, and the Indian camps, 
especially at night, were the scenes of excited 
and savage plottings. In the afternoon of Janu- 
ary 25, the crew of the Decatur were placed at 
their stations on the shore. Late in the evening 
some strange Indians were seen carelessly saun- 
tering through the streets of tlie town, which 
aroused the suspicions of the people, and an In- 
dian known to the whites as Curley was sent 
into the camps to reconnoiter. At ton o'clock 
he brought back assurances that there were no 
Indians except those who had their permanent 
camps in the neighborhood. Within two hours 
of the time of making this report, in the lodge 
of this very Indian, a council of Indian chiefs, 
consisting of Leschi, Owhi, Tecumseh, Yarkke- 
man and himself, was held, and plans were ar- 
ranged for an immediate attack on the place. 
The plan was for the "friendly" Indians to 
prevent the escape of the people to the two 
ships that were anchored in the bay, while the 
warriors, who were assembled in the woods im- 
mediately back of the town, made the assault. 
In this way they expected to destroy all the in- 
habitants of the place before morning, and then 
they intended to attack the vessels. 

Most fortunately for the people of the place, 
Yarkkeman — otherwise known to the whites as 
"Jim" — was present at the council in Curley's 
lodge as a spy, and not as a conspirator. He 
intended to put the commander of the Decatur 
on his guard, and to do this must gain time. 
He convinced the conspirators that a bettei- 
time for attack would be after the men from the 
Decatur had returned to the ship in the morn- 

ing, laid aside their guns, and retired to rest. 
So the time fixed for the attack was ten o'clock 
in the forenoon instead of three o'clock in the 
morning. Jim found an opportunity to convey 
tlie intelligence of the intended attack to the 
commander of the Decatur. 

After the conference at Curley's lodge, the 
Indians crept up to tlie very borders of the 
town, and concealed themselves in squads near 
each house. At seven o'clock the Decatur's 
men returned to the vessel for breakfast and 

At the camp of Curley there were quite a 
number of non-combatants who were hurrying 
into canoes, carrying their property with them, 
and hastily preparing to go to some other place. 
Oneof the Indian women, — the mother of "Jim," 
— on being interrogated about the matter, re- 
plied that there were hosts of "Kiickitats" at 
Tom Pepper's house, which was situated at the 
foot of the hills, within range of the howitzer 
in battery. As soou as this information was 
given, the men from the sloop were ordered 
ashore again, and Captain Gansevoort ordered a 
shell dropped into the house where it was said 
the Kiickitats were congregated. The boom of 
the howitzer was instantly answered by a crash 
of musketry from all along the woods in tlie 
rear of the town, accompanied by the war-whoop 
from 1,000 savage throats. The promptness of 
the Indians in replying to the discharge of the 
howitzer demonstrated that they were fully in 
position for their assault, and in sufficient num- 
bers to justify their expectation of its easy cap- 
ture. Had their assault been made without the 
general alarm caused by the firing of the how- 
itzer, doubtless many of the most exposed fami- 
lies would have been butchered, but in that 
alarm these fled to the block-house, and but two 
persons were killed. Two houses were burned 
and several more plundered during the day and 
evening. The salvation of the town was secured 
by the range of the guns of the Decatur, which 
kept the Indians so far away as to prevent their 
muskets doing much execution. All day this 
kind of warfare was continued, the Indians at 


times making charges upon the marines, and 
being driven back from the muzzles of their 
gnns. The usual bravado and gasconade of the 
Indians were indulged in by some of them, 
notably by Curley, either friend or enemy 
of the whites as the fancy of the moment took 
him. On the morning of the 27th it was found 
that they had given up the contest and with- 

This attempt to capture Seattle was the great 
effort of the Indians in the war upon the Sound. 
It was understood from Olympia to Port Towns- 
hend and Bellingham Bay. It was under the 
direction of Leschi and Owhi, one at the head of 
the Sound Indians and the other leading the 
Yakimas and Ivlicktats from east of the moun- 
tains. Had they succeeded in their attempt upon 
Seattle it would have combined all the tribes 
west of the Cascade mountains in a war of 
extermination against the whites. Failing, these 
tribes concealed their complicity in this plan 
and remained neutral. 

The remainder of the Indian war upon the 
Sound was mainly with bands of '"-Northern 
Indians" coming over from the British Colum- 
bia side of the Straits of Fuca, and was mostly 
conducted on the side of the whites by the Fnited 
States steamers Massachusetts and John Han- 
cock and the sloop of war Decatur. These In- 
dians were of the Longa Hydah, Stickene and 
Shineshean tribes. They were not driven from 
the Sound until late in the autumn, and then 

after a more severe chastisement inflicted upon 
them by the guns of the vessels of war, and the 
assaults of the marines under the lead of Lieu- 
tenants Simms and Forest. But even this did 
not conclude their incursions, for, on the 11th 
of August of 1857, a body of them again landid 
on Whidby island, went to the house of I. N. 
Eljey, shot him, cut oif his head, robbed the 
premises and escaped before the alarm could be 
given. Mr. Ebey was one of the most consid- 
al)le men of the Territory, and the Indians chose 
him for their vengeance because of his rank and 
value to the community, in revenge for the losses 
inflicted upon them by the vessels of war in thg 
preceding autum. Other depredations followed 
during that summer, but they were of a dis- 
cursive character, and w-ere met with such vigi- 
lant opposition on the part of the people and 
the vessels of war that comparatively little needs 
to be recorded of them. They professed that 
these acts were all refaliatiory for the in|uries 
done them in 1856. 

To the cursory reader these events may appear 
but little like a real Indian war. Still the regiou 
over which they spread, the small number of 
the whites in the country and their scattered 
condition, are al! to be taken into the account in 
our history, and when these things are con- 
sidered it appears doubtful if any poi'tion of the 
coast really suffered more, or the people were in 
greater danger from their Indian wars, than 
those of Tuget Sound at this time. 





East of the Cascades — Column Moved to Walla Walla — Troops unDer Colonel Kelly — 
Peupedmoxmox Slain — His Character — BATtLE on the Walla Walla — Captain Bennet* 

Killed T. R. Cornilius Appointed Colonel — Column Moves Northward — Colonel 

Wright — Movement of Troops — '-The Cascades" — General Wool — Weight Marches 
from The Pai.les — The Cascades Attacked — Account of the Battle — Weight's Course 
Approved — " Biiil Sheridan." 

T'HE events of the war now re(|iiire iis to 
return with our readers to the country east 
of tlie Cascade mountains, wliere the most 
powerful Indian tribes resided. Many had 
advised a winter campaign against the Yakinias 
in 1855-'5G, but Colonel Nesmith of the Oregon 
nionuted volnnteers advised against it, as the 
mountain trails were covered with deep snows 
and his animals were broken down, as well as a 
number of his men severely frost-bitten. As 
the colnmn was so poorly supplied this was wise' 
advice. So strong w-as the Indian combination, 
and their leaders were so well acquainted with 
the country in which a column must have oper- 
ated, that a campaign would have been dis- 
astrous, if it had not ended in the complete 
destruction of the invading column. Instead 
therefore of invading tlie Yakiina country from 
The Dalles the column moved up the Columbia 
toward Walla Walla. On the 18th of Novem- 
ber it reached tiie crossing of the Umatilla, 
where a stockade was erected and named Fort 
Henrietta, in honor of the wife of Major Ilaller. 
On tiie night of December 2d the troops, now 
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Kelly, 
moved forward toward Walla Walla. On the 
way Peupeumoxmox. or Yellow Serpent, tlie 
great Walla Walla chief, met these troops with 
a flag of truce displayed, and a conference was 
held with him; but, as the whites suspected that 
the chief was attempting to entrap them into an 
ambush, the Indians with the flag were detained 
as prisoners, or, as it was claimed, hostages, 

while the army marched forward toward Waii- 
letpn. On the way, during some firing that 
produced considerable excitement, Peupeumox- 
mox was shot. 

He was a wealthy and powerful chieftain, and 
a man of great ability. He had figured promi- 
nently in the conflicts both of opinion and arms 
that had marked the early years of the occupancy 
of Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon by 
the whites, and was considered, on the whole, 
friendly to the Americans rather than to the 
Hudson's Bay Company. There was much 
criticism of the manner of his taking off, but, at 
this time lie was undoubtedly hostile, and no 
doubt had a complete understanding with 
Kamiakin, so that, while there was a color of 
impropriety in his dentention as a prisoner in the 
manner in which he was taken off, it was after 
all not so strange that in the excitement of an 
attack made upon the column in advance by the 
Walla Walla warriors, his guard should kill the 
chief as they did. While we cannot fnlly justify 
it, we cannot join in the strong sentimental 
criticism of it in wliich some writers have in- 
dulged. Indian conflicts cannot be strictly 
judged by the codes of civilized warfare. 

The fight which began at the killing of Peu- 


umoxmox continued throucrh the 8th and Otliof 

December, in which the whites suffered quite se- 
verely. Captain Bennett, of Company P^, Oregon 
Volunteers was killed, some others mortally and 
quite a number severely wounded. It was esti- 
mated that 100 Indians were killed and wounded. 



llie battle was I'ouglit on the Walla Walla river, 
near the old mission station of Dr. Whitman, 
and is considered among the greatest striicrgles 
(if this war. 

About this time Colonel Kelly resigned and 
was succeeded by T. R. Cornelias as Colonel, 
to whose place Major Davis Layton, of Linn 
county, in Oregon, was elevated. The year was 
closing, and with it the active operations of the 
forces in the field. The time up the first of 
March, 1856, was spent in the reorganization of 
the forces and pntting the colunin in readiness 
for the summer service. This done Colonel 
Cornelius set out on the 9th of March with 600 
men toward the north and west. He led his 
troops across Snake river and across the Colum- 
bia to the mouth of the Yakima, about twenty- 
five miles aboveold Fort Walla Walla, where he 
arrived on the 30th. He had met but few In- 
dians. On the 31st he crossed the great river, 
intending to march up it through the country of 
Kamiakin, who was conceded to be the leading 
spirit of the war, and humble that proud chief- 
tain and subdue his people. Here he received 
news of a most startling nature from another 
portion of the theater of war much nearer the 
settlements of the whites. To the history of 
this event we must now turn. 

Colonel George Wright, at this time in com- 
mand at Yancouver, early in March moved all 
his forces but three companies to The Dalles 
for employment in the Yakima country. About 
the middle of the month General Wool arrived 
and took command of the district. He imme- 
diately ordered two of the three companies to 
Fort Steilacoom on Puget Sound. This move- 
ment could only have been the result of palpable 
ignorance of the topography of the field he would 
have to cover, and the location and strength of 
the hostile tribes. It left the most exposed part 
of that field practically uncovered, and especially 
the pass or portage of the Cascades, over which 
all troops and supplies destined for service east 
of the mountains must pass. At a block-house 
in this pass a company had been posted, but on 
the 24th of March this too was ordered away. 

leaving only a guard of eight men under a ser- 
geant to protect this most important point. 

This place, known technically as "The Cas- 
cades," is where the Columbia river has cut its 
way through the great Cascade range, and where 
occur the great rapids of that stream which de- 
stroy its navigation for some miles. A rough 
road connected the river Iielow with tlie river 
above these rapids. This road led through a 
rough, rocky, heavilj timbered pass, dai'k and 
dank with the shadows of the great mountains 
and the enormous timber, and rendered wild and 
weird by the rush and roar of the stormy waters 
of the great stream which foamed angrily by. 
At the upper end of the portage was a sawmill, 
with several families and a store; a little lower 
down the trading house of Bradford & Company. 
Near the middle of the Portage lived the family 
of Griswold, and at its lower end that of AV. K. 
Kilbourn. From this place a trail led through 
the eastern spurs of the Cascade mountains to 
the northeast over the base of Mount Adams 
into the Yakima country, and another up the 
river to the country of the Klickitats on the 
valley of that name north of The Dalles. On 
these trails this point was open to the incursions 
of these two powerful tribes, and it was this 
point, thus exposed, that General Wool aban- 
doned to' the chances of Indian cunning and 
enterprise. Let us hasten to record the result. 

General Wool had returned to California. 
Colonel Wright had marched his whole force 
out from the The Dalles, leaving his rear en- 
tirely unguarded. The Yakiinas and Klickitats, 
anticipating such a movement on the part of 
Wright, had gathered their warriors near the 
Cascades, and on the morning of the 26th of 
March suddenly appeared in force in the woods 
and on the rocky pinnacles about the Cascade 
settlements. The hour was early, just after 
the people had begun their work, and when they 
were entirely unprepared to meet the savage 
assault. A small steamer — the Mary — was 
lying at the little wharf and about to leave for 
her daily trip to The Dalles. From this point 
the story of the attack can be better told by a 



paiticipaut in tlie d-efeiice, Mr. L. AV. Coe, ad- 
dressed to Mr. Putnam F. Bradford, wlio, with 
liis brother, D. F. Bradford, was at that time 
engaged in building a wooden tramway around 
the rapids. In a letter to Mr. Bradford, written 
hut two or three days after the events recorded, 
he gives this graphic description of them: 

"On Wednesday, March 26th, at about 8:30 
A. M., alter the men had gone to their work on 
the two bridges on the tramway, the Yakimas 
came down upon ns. There was a line of them 
from Mill creek above us to the big pond at the 
head of the falls, firing siniTiltaneously uu the 
men; and the first notice we had of them was 
their bullets and the crack of their guns. Of 
onr men at tlie first fire one was killed and sev- 
eral wounded. Our men, on seeing the Indians 
all run for our store, through a shower of bul- 
lets, except three who stai'ted down stream for 
the middle blockhouse a mile and a half distant. 
Bush and his family also ran into onr store, 
leaving his own house vacant. The AVatkins' 
family came to our store after a boy had been 
shot in their house. There was grand confusion 
in our store at first; and Sinclair, of Walla 
Walla, going to the railroad door to look out, 
was shot from the bank above and instantly 

" Some of us then commenced getting the guns 
and rifles, which were ready loaded, from liehind 
the counter. Fortunately about an hour Ijefore 
there had been left with us for transportation 
below nine United States Government rifles 
with cartridge boxes and ammunition. These 
saved us. As the upper story of the house was 
abandoned. Smith, the cook, having come below, 
and as the stairway was outside where we dare 
not go, the stove-pipe was hauled down, the 
hole enlarged with axes, and a party of men 
crawled up, and the upper part of the house 
soon secured. AVe were surprised that the Indi- 
ans had not rushed into the upper story, as there 
was nothing nor nobody to prevent them. 

" Our men soon got some shots at the Indians 
on the bank above us. I saw Bush shoot an 
Indian who was drawing a bead on Mrs. Wat- 

kins as she was running for our store. He drop- 
ped instantly. Alexander and others mounted 
into the gable under the roof, and from there 
was done most of our firing. In the meantime 
we were barricading in the store, making port- 
holes and tiring when opportunity offered; but 
the Indians were soon very cautious about ex- 
posing themselves. I took charge of the store, 
Dan Bradford of the scond fioor and Alexander 
of the garret and roof. 

"The steamer Mary was lying at the mouth 
of Mill creek, and the wind was blowing strong 
down stream. When we saw the Indians run- 
ning toward her and heard the shots, we sup- 
posed she would be taken; and as she lay just 
out of our sight, and we saw smoke rising from 
her, concluded she was burning, but what was 
our glad surprise after a while to see her put out 
and run across the river? 

" The Indians now returned in force to us, and 
we gave evei-y one a shot who showed himself. 
They were nearly naked, painted red, and had 
guns and bows and arrows. After a while Finlay 
came creeping around the lower point of the 
island toward our house. AVe hallooed to him 
to lie down behind a rock, and he did so. He 
called to us that he could not get to the store as 
the bank above us was covered with Indians. 
He saw AVatkins' house burn while there. The 
Indians first took out all they wanted, — blankets, 
clothes, guns, etc. By this time the Indians 
had crossed in canoes to the island, and we saw 
them coming, as we supposed, after Finlay. AVe 
then saw AVatkins and Bailey running around 
the river side toward the place where Finlay 
was, and the Indians in full chase after them. 
As oiir own men came around the point in full 
view, Bailey was shot through the arm and leg. 
He continued on, and, plunging into the river, 
swam to the front of our store and came in 
safely, except for his wounds. He narrowly 
escaped going over the falls. Finlay also swam 
across and got in unharmed, which was wonder- 
ful, as there were showers of bullets all around 



"Watkins next came running around tlie point, 
and we called to him to lie down behind a rock; 
hut l)efoi-e he could do so he was shot in the 
wrist, the l)ail going up the arm and out above 
the elbow. He dropped behind a rock just as 
the pursuing Indians catne following around the 
point, but we gave them so hot a reception from 
our house that they backed out and left poor 
Watkins where he lay. We called to him to lie 
still and we would get him off; but we were not 
able to do so until the arrival from The Dalles 
of the steamer Mary with troops, two days and 
nights afterward. During this time Watkins 
fainted several times from weakness and ex- 
posure, the weather being very cold, and he was 
stripped down to his underclothing for swim- 
ming. When he fainted he would roll down 
the steep bank into the river, and, the ice-cold 
water numbing him, he would crawl back under 
fire to his retreat behind the rock. Meantime, 
his wife and children were in the store, in full 
view, and moaning piteousiy at his terrible situ- 
ation. He died from exhaustion two days after 
he was rescued. 

"The Indians were now pitching into us ' right 
smart.' They tried to burn us out; threw rocks 
and fire-brands, hot-irons, pitch-wood, every- 
thing on to the roof that would burn. But you 
will recollect that for a short distance back the 
bank inclined toward the house, and we could 
see and shoot the Indians that appeared there. 
So they had to throw from such a distance that 
the largest rocks and bundles of fire did not 
quite reach us, and what did generally rolled off 
the root". Sometimes the roof got on fire, and 
we cut it out, or with cups of brine drawn from 
the pork barrels put it out, or with long sticks 
shoved off the fire-balls. The kitchen roof 
troubled us much. How they did pepper us 
with rocks! some of the big ones would shake 
the house all over. 

"There were now forty men, women and child- 
ren in the house — four women and eighteen 
men that could tight, and eighteen wounded 
men and children. The steamer Wasco was on 
tlie Oregon side of the river. We saw her steam 

up and leave for The Dalles: Shortly after the 
steamer Mary also left. So passed the day, 
during which the Indians had burned Inman's 
two houses, your sawmill and houses, and the 
lumber yards at the mouth of Mill Creek. At 
daylight they set fire to your new warehouse on 
the island, making it light as day around us. I 
suppose that they reserved this building for 
night that we might not get Watkins off. They 
did not attack us at night, but the second 7norn- 
ing commenced as lively as ever. We had no 
water, but did have about a dozen of ale and a 
few bottles of whisky. These gave out during 
the day. During the night a Spokane Indian 
who was traveling with Sinclair, and was in the 
store with us, volunteered to get a pail of water 
from the river. I consented, and he stripped 
himself naked, jumped out and down the bank 
and was back in no time. By this time we 
looked for the steamer from The Dalles, and 
were greatly disappointed at her non-arrival. 
We weathered it out during the day, every 
man keeping his post and none relaxing in 
vigilance. Every moving object, shadow, or 
suspicious bush upon the hill received a shot. 
The Indians must have thought the house a 
bomb-shell. To our ceaseless vigilance I ascribe 
our safety. Night came again; Bush's house 
near by was also fired, keeping us in light un- 
til four A. M., when darkness returning I sent 
the S[>okane Indian for water from the river and 
he tilled two barrels. He went to and fro like 
lightning. We also slipped poor James Sin- 
clair's body down the slide outside, as the corpse 
was quite offensive. 

"The two steamers now having exceeded the 
length of time we gave them in which to re- 
turn from The Dalles, we made up our minds 
for a long siege and until relief came from 
below. We could not account for it, but sup- 
posed the JVinth Itegiment had left The Dalles 
for Walla Walla, and had proceeded too far to 
return. The third morning dawned, and lo! 
the Mary and Wasco, blue with soldiers, and 
tOwing a flat-boat with dragoon horses, hove in 
eight. Such a haUo as we gave! 


"As the steamer landed the Indians fired 
twenty or thirty shot into tlieni, but we could 
not ascertain with any effect. The soldiers 
as they landed could not be restrained but 
plunged into the woods in every direction, 
while the howitzers sent grape after the retreat- 
ing redskins. The soldiers were soon at our 
store, and we, I think I may say, experienced 
quite a feeling of relief on opening onr doors. 

"During this time we had not heard from be- 
low. A company of dragoons under Colonel 
Steptoe went on down. The block-house of the 
middle ca.scades still held out. Allen's house 
was Inirned and every other one below: G. 
W. Johnson, S. M. Hamilton, F. A. Cheno- 
weth, the wharf-boat at the cascades, — all 
gone up. 

"Xe.xt in order came the attack on the Mary. 
She lay in Mill creek, no fires, and the wind 
hard ashore. Jim Thompson, John Woodward 
and Jim Herman were just going up to the 
boat from our store as they vvere fired upon. 
Hamilton asked if they had any guns. No. 
He went up to Inman's house, the rest staying 
to help the steamer out. Captain Dan Baughman 
and Thompson wentasliore on the upper side of 
the creek, liauling on lines, when the firing of 
the Indians became so hot that they ran for 
the woods, past Inman's house. The fireman, 
James Lindslay, was sliot through the shoul- 
der; Engineer JBuckminster shot an Indian 
with his revolver on the gang-plank, and little 
Johnny Chance while climbing upon the hurri- 
cane deck with an old dragoon pistol killed his 
Indian, but he was shot through the leg in 
doing so. Dick Turpin, half crazy probably, 
taking the only gun on the steamboat, plunged 
into a flat-boat lying along side, was shot, and 
plunged overboard and was drowned. Fire was 
soon started under the boiler and steam was 
rising. About this time Jesse Kempton, shot, 
while driving an ox team from the sawmill, 
got on board ; also a half breed named Bourbon, 
who was shot through the body. After sufii- 
cient steam to move was raised, Hardin Cheno- 
weth ran up into the pilot house, and, lying on 

the floor, turned the wheel, as he was directed, 
from the lower deck. It is needless to say that 
the pilot house was the target for the Indians. 
After the steamer was backed out and turned 
around he did toot that whistle at them good. 
Toot! toot!! toot!!! It was music in our ears. 
The steamer picked up Herman from the bank 
above. Inman's family, Shepperd and Vander- 
pool all got across the river in skifl^s, and, 
boarding the Mary, went to The Dalles. 

'•Colonel George Wright and the Ninth Eegi- 
ment. Second Dragoons and Third Artillery 
had started for Walla Walla, and were out five 
miles and camped when the Mary reached The 
Dalles. Tliey received news of the attack at 
11 r. M., and by daylight were back to The 
Dalles. Starting down, the}' only reached Wind 
mountain that night, as the Mary's boiler was 
in bad condition because of a new fireman the 
day before. They reached us the next morning 
at six o'clock. 

"Now for below. George Johnson was about 
to get a boat crew of Indians when Indian Jack 
came running to him saying the Yakimas had 
attacked the block-house. He did not believe it, 
though he heard the cannon. He went up to 
the Indian village on the sand-bar to get his 
crew, saw some of the Cascade Indians who 
said they thought the Yakimas had come, and 
George, now hearing the muskets, ran for home. 
E. W. Baughman was with him. Bill .Murphy 
had left the block-liouse early for the Indian 
camp and had nearly returned before he saw 
the Indians, or was shot at. He returned, two 
others with him and ran for George Johnson's, 
about thirty Indians in chase. After reaching 
Johnson's he continued on and gave Hamilton 
and all below warning, and the families all em- 
barked in small boats for Vancouver. The men 
would have barricaded in the wharf-boat but 
for want of ammunition. There was considera- 
ble Government freight in the wharf-boat. They 
stayed about the wharf-boat and schooner nearly 
all day and until the Indians began firing at 
them from the zinc house on the bank. They 
then shoved out. Sammy Price was shot 


tlirough tlie leg in fretting the boat into the 
stream. Floating down they met the steamer 
Belle -with Phil. Sheridan and fifty men, sent up 
on report of an express sent down by Indian 
Simpson in the morning. George and those 
■with him went on board and volunteered to 
serve under Sheridan, who landed at George's 
place and found everything burned. The 
steamer returned and the Indians pitched into 
Sheridan and fought him all day and drove 
him with forty men and ten volunteers to be- 
low Hamilton, notwithstanding he had a small 
cannon. One soldier was killed. 

"The steamer Belle returned the next day 
(third of the attack) and brought ammunition 
for the block house. Your partner, Bishop, 
who was in Portland, came up on her. Steamer 
Fashion, with volunteers from Portland, came 
at the same time. Tiie volunteers remained at 
the Lower Cascades. Sheridan took his com- 
mand, and with a battean loaded with ammu- 
nition crossed to Bradford's island on the Ore- 
gon side, where they found most of the Cascade 
Indians, they having been ordered by George 
Johnson to go there on the first day of the at- 
tack. They were crossing and re-crossing all 
the time and Sheridan made them prisoners. 
He passed a boat's crew, and as they towed up 
to the head of the island and above saw great 
numbers of Indians on the Washington Terri- 
tory side and opposite them. Sheridan ex- 
pected them to cross and fight him, and between 
them and the 'friendly' (?) Indians in his 
charge thought he had his hands full. 

"Just then Sheridan discovered Steptoe and 
his troops coming down from the Mary, sur- 
prising completely the Indians, who were cook- 
ing beef and watching Sheridan across the river. 
But on the sound of the bugle the Indians fled 
like deer into the woods with the loss of only 
one killed — 'old Joanam.' But for the bugle 
they ought to have captnred fifty. 

"The Indians Sheridan. took on the island 
were closely guarded. Old Chenoweth — chief — 

was brought up before Colonel Wright, tried, 
and sentenced to be hung. The Cascade In- 
dians, being under treaty, were adjudged guilty 
of treason in fighting. Chenoweth died game. 
He was hung on the upper side of Mill creek. 
I acted as interpreter. He offered two horses, 
two squaws, and a little something to every 
'tyee'for his life; said he was afraid of the 
grave in the ground, and begged to be put into 
an Indian dead-house. He gave a terrific war 
whoop while the rope was being put about his 
neck. I thought he expected the Indians to 
come and rescue hinj. The rope did not work 
well, and while hanging he muttered, ' Wake 
nika kwass kojia memaloose ' (1 am uot afraid 
to die). He was then shot. I was glad to see 
the old devil killed, being satisfied that he was 
at the bottom of all trouble. * * * * We 
do not know how many Indians there were. 
They attacked the block house, our place, and 
drove Sheridan all at the same time. AVe think 
there were not less than three hundred." 

Such is the account, somewhat abbreviated, 
of this, one of the most thrilling and tragic 
events in all the Indian wars of Washington, 
by a careful observer as well as a brave partic- 
ipant in it. The course of Colonel Wright, 
who had command of the United States troops 
in the department, met the unqualified favor of 
the people of the Territory. Here " Phil. Sheri- 
dan," then a lieutenant only, first appears 
prominently on the page of history. His con- 
duct was greatly praised. On the part of the 
Indians there was not only cunning and per- 
sistency, but intelligent tactics and bravery. 
That they did not succeed in entirely destroy- 
ing the settlement at the Cascade was due first 
to the fortuitous — or it may be Providential — 
leaving of the nine United States rifles with 
plenty of ammunition at the store only a few 
hours before the attack began, and the Saxon 
courage and determination with which the de- 
fence was made. 

, -^tiui-^WS^i-^^f 




Colonel Weight Moves Noeth — Finds the Indians in the Naches — Eeinfoecements — Retckn 
TO The Dalles — Dangee of Indian Confederacy — Stevens' Wise Action — Column feom 
Puget Sound Ceosses the Cascades — Hostile Bands Scatteeed — Teoops Coni'enteated at 
Walla Walla — Colonel Shaw Moves to Geande Ronde Valley — Battle in that Valley — 
Majoe Maxon — Major Layton's Movements to John Day's — Battle on Burnt River — 
Peace Embassy Failed — Prompt Action of Colonel Shaw — The Nez Peeces Appeaeed — 
Colonel Weight — Militaey Post Established — Goveenoe Stevens Calls a General Coun- 
cil—Situation Alarming — Arrival of Kamiakin — Failure of Council — Stevens' Addeess — 
Military and Civil Officees Disageee —Stevens Set out for The Dalles — Attacked by 
THE Indians— A Block House Built — A Temporaey Peace. 

IN tlip last chapter our readers have seen that 
tlie movement of Colonel Wright and his 
-> troops into the Walla Walla country was 
suddenly interrupted by the attack of the Yak- 
inas and Klickitats on the Cascades. After he 
had succeeded in relieving that imperiled point, 
and had inflicted a heavy retribution on the 
Indians engaged in it, he returned to the Dalles, 
and soon moved northward into the Yakima 
country, the scene of Major Haller's former 
campaign. General Wool had instructed Colo- 
nel Wright to find Kamiakin, the great chief of 
the Yakimas, and hold a council of peace witli 
him. He moved north from The Dalles about 
the first of May, and on the 8th met the Indians 
near the Naches river. Tiiey declined all his 
advance toward negotiations. On the elev- 
enth, having ascertained that not less than 
1,000 warriors confronted him, he dispatched a 
courier to the Dalles foi' reinforcements. Tiiree 
companies responded to his call. With these 
his effective force was onlj' 350 men. He re- 
mained at this point for several weeks vainly 
endeavoring to hold a council with Kamiakin. 
No chiefs came near him, although a few In- 
dians visited him occasionally to spy upon his 
movements. The Indians at last moved away 
from the vicinity, and nothing was left the 
Colonel but a return to The Dalles, having ac- 
complished nothing, and only leaving the In- 
dians more firmly ti.xed in their liostility, and 

the danger of a thorough confederacy of all the 
tribes east of the mountains against the whites 
more imminent. 

The war on the Sound had closed. Governor 
Stevens, who had but recently passed through 
the country of the hostiles, saw the peril, and 
early in May, while yet Colonel Wright was in 
the Yakima country, with his characteristic en- 
ergy began the organization of a force to pre- 
vent it. His plans were comprehensive. Their 
main elements were to move with a strong 
show of force eastward from the Sound over 
the Naches Pass into tiie Yakiiua country and 
northward from The Dalles into the same re- 
gion, and occupy the Walla Walla region also 
with a large column, so that the Indians would 
be thrown back from the settled portions along 
the Columbia river and Puget Sound to the in- 
terior, and thus fully occupy them in defeiul- 
ing their own country from invasion. He could 
also thus be in readiness for a winter campaign 
if it was necessary to undertake it. 

Doubtless Governor Stevens better compre- 
hended the perilous situation than did General 
Wool, or even Colonel Wright, although the 
latter always judged intelligently and acted 
efiiciently when not obstructed by the prejudices 
and stubbornness of his superior. Under date 
of June 8, the governor wrote to the Secre- 
tary of War: "All the information I have re- 
ceived goes to satisfy me that, unless the most 



vigorous action is at once taken, all the tribes 
from the Cascades to the Bitter Root will be in 
the war, a portion of the Nez Perces alone 
excepted. * « » If the troops reach the 
Walla Walla before an overt act lias been 
committed, 1 am certain that the combination 
can be broken up and that the Nez Perces and 
the Indians on and in the neighboi-hood of the 
Spokane will remain friendly." 

In pursnanceof this plan the column from the 
Sound, under the command of Lieutenant Colo- 
nel B. F. Shaw, moved eastward over the Cascade 
mountains aliout the middle of June, arriving 
on the Wenass. on the 20th. Here Colonel 
Shaw received orders to push forward to Walla 
Walla, and, uniting his force with that moving 
eastward from The Dalles, take command of 
the whole. The united force amounted to 400 
men. This display of force had salutai'y effect 
on the condition of the interior, as it induced 
the Spokanes to decline a union with the 
Yakimas and other hostile tribes, though that 
tribe was strongly urged thereto by Kamiakin 
at a council held to consider that question. 
Still, though declining active participation in 
the war, the Spokanes did aid the hostile party by 
giving them hospitality and moral support. 
Their neutrality was insincere, if it was not 
even cowardly and treacherous. At this period 
the hostile bands were much scattered. The 
son of Peupeumoxmox was at the head of a 
large camp at Walla Walla. The Klickitats aiul 
Yakimas were in the vicinity of Priest's Rapids 
on the Columbia. Others were on the head of 
John Day's river in Oregon and scattered through 
the Blue mountains and Grande Ronde and 
Powder river valleys. Another large camp of 
renegades from all the tribes was north of Snake 
river and in the vicinity of the Clearwater. 

The force that was concentrated at Walla 
Walla was known as the "Second Regiment 
W. T. Mounted Volunteers," and was under the 
command of Colonel B. F. Shaw, with William 
Craig, an old mountaineer, who was living 
among the Nez Perces, as Lieutenant Colonel. 

He had organized a company of sixty of these 
friendly Indians, led by "Spotted Eagle," to 
co-operate with volunteers. G. Blankenship 
and H. J. G. Maxon were majors of the first 
and second battalions. Of the six companies con- 
stituting this force four were from Washington 
Territory and two from Oregon. The command 
went into camp on Mill creek, two miles above 
the present city of Walla Walla, and a pack 
train of 150 mules, loaded with supplies for the 
friendly Nez Perces, was immediately sent to 
them under the command of A. H. Robie as spe- 
cial agent. On the 14th of July, Colonel Shaw 
himself moved with a column of lt)0 men, with 
ten days' rations, to attack a band of hostiles con-' 
centrated in Grande Ronde valley. He entered 
the valley on the evening of the 16th, having 
been guided through the Blue mountains by 
Captain John, a Nez Perces chief. The report 
of Colonel Shaw is interesting, but too circum- 
stantial and elaborate for our pages. Its sub- 
stance is, that, on arriving in Grande Ronde 
valley he found the Indians in force along the 
Grande Ronde river, and immediately made 
dispositions to attack them. He pushed for- 
ward Captain Miller's comp'iny, supported by 
those of Maxon, Henness, and Powell, and a de- 
tachment of Goff's company under Lieutenant 
Waite, with orders to dislodge the Indians. 
This advance was promptly met by a large body 
of Indians, who came forward whooping and 
singing, one of them waving a white man's 
scalp on a pole. A desire for a conference hav- 
ing been signified by the Indians, Captain John, 
the Xez Perces guide, was sent forward. When 
he reached the Indians they cried out to each 
other, " Shoot him," whereupon he retreated to 
the command. A charge was immediately 
ordered. The charge was successful, and the 
Indians were broken and dispersed, and some of 
them were killed. The conflict, at various 
points, continued for some time, when the 
Indians fled across the valley toward the rocky 
canons leading toward Powder river. Colonel 
Shaw continued the pursuit of the fl ving savages 


until he had but five men with hiin, leaving his 
command scattered across the valley, their 
horses being completely exhausted. 

While Col. Shaw was engaged in this conflict, 
Captain Maxon was engaged with another party 
on another portion of the field. His contest 
was, like Shaw's, soon terminated, and he, 
having become separated from the main com- 
mand, returned over the mountains to Walla 
AValla, Col. Shaw following on the 21st, as the 
Indians had all fled from the immediate vicinity 
of the troops. 

Showing the extensive combination of the 
Indian tribes in this war, it may be stated that 
in this battle were Indians of the AValla AValla, 
Umatilla, John Day, Tygli, Des Chutes and 
Snake tribes, led by some of their most re- 
nowned chiefs, among whom were Stock Wliitey 
of the Dee Chutes, and Tygh, Achakiah and Win- 
imsnoot of the Cayuse, Tahkiason of Peupeu- 
moxmox, Walla Walla, and many otliers of 
lesser note. 

A small column of abont 200 men under 
■ Major Layton and Captain Goff was also directed 
against the Indians on John Day's river. These 
retired before the troo,ps into the recesses of the 
mountains between John Day and Powder 
River valleys, and there awaited the advance. A 
battle was fought on the head of Burnt River 
on the fifteenth of July, and continued on the 
sixteenth, but on the seventeenth the Indians 
disappeared, and the march of the columns to- 
ward Grande Ronde valley was resumed. From 
this point the column returned over the Blue 
mountains to the general rendezvous on. Mill 

When Colonel Shaw reached Mill creek 
from the Grande Ronde expedition he found 
that his embassy of peace to the Nez Perces un- 
der Special Agent Robie had failed. The war 
party in that tribe, even, had gained the ascend- 
ency, and Robie had been ordered out of their 
country with his goods. The complication 
was now more difficult, and the fears of Gov- 
ernor Steven= as to a universal combination of 
these powerful tribes seemed about to l.>e rea 

ized. But Colonel Shaw acted promptly and 
intelligently in the trying emergency. He made 
his late expedition to Grande Ronde, and his 
complete victory over the strong combination 
of his tribes there, the ground on which he could 
successfully appeal to the fears of Nez Perces. 
He immediately sent the Nez Perces chief, Cap- 
tain John, to his countrymen at Lapwai, with 
detailed intelligence of that event, and also with 
this plain but decisive message: "I am your 
friend. I have not come to fight you,. but the 
hostiles; but if you Ijeat your drums for war, 1 
will parade my men for battle." 

This message, enforced by the news of his 
victory in Grande Ronde, decided the question. 
The peace party again gained control of the 
tribe and the great danger was averted. It 
needed only that the JStez Perces should declare 
for war to make the combination perfect from 
California to British Columbia, and to let loose 
five thousand warriors as a cordon of consum- 
ing fire around all the white settlements of all 
the northwest. It was the battles of Grande 
Ronde and Burnt river, so small and compara- 
tively insignificant in themselves, and fought 
hundreds of miles away from the center of the 
Nez Perces tribe, thatmade it possible to secure 
even this doubtful friendship of that most 
powerful of all the tribes of the interior. 

Colonel Shaw remained in camp on Mill 
creek. Colonel Wright had returned to The 
Dalles from his bootless Yakima expedition. 
He decided now to carry out the design from 
which he had been drawn by the attack on the 
Cascades previously related, that of establishing 
a military post in the AValla Walla country. 
This duty he assigned to Lieutenant Colonel E. 
J. Steptoe, placing under his command a battal- 
ion of two hundred and fifty men. In connec- 
tion with this the people were notified that the 
treaties that had been negotiated with the Indi-* 
aus were not yet in force, as they had not bsen 
ratified by the Senate, and conseqnently the 
country was not yet open for settlement. As 
soon as this notice was promulgated. Governor 
cteveus, having conferred with Colonel Wright 


as to his plans, went np to the camp at Walla 
Walla to muster ont the volunteers whose term 
of enlistment expired on the eighth of Septem- 
ber, by which time it was expected that Step- 
toe's battalion would arrive to relieve them. On 
his arrival at the camp of Colonel Shaw he sent 
out a summons to all the tribes inviting them to 
a general council in the Walla Walla valley. 
Steptoe's command arrived and went into camp 
on the lifth of September, and orders were pro 
mulgated to the volunteers to start for home on 
the eleventh. 

By the evening of the teutli the Indians in- 
vited to the council had all arri\ed and camped 
on the council ground except the Yakimas un- 
der Kamiakin. They were all hostile except a 
part of the Nez Perces. The delay of the Yak- 
imas in coming postponed the departure of the 
volunteers and Governor Stevens for the issue 
of the council. The council opened on the elev- 
enth, and continued on the twelfth and thir- 
teenth in the absence of Kamiakin, but there 
was little progress toward a settlement. The 
condition was so alarming that Governor Stevens 
moved his camp to the immediate vicinity of 
Steptoe's. Kamiakin had encamped on the 
Touchet,a few miles away, and everything showed 
that the hostiles only awaited his arrival to at- 
tack the camp of Stevens, which was indiscreetly 
located some live miles distant from that of 
Steptoe. The plans of the Indians were discon- 
certed by this movement of the Governor, as 
they expected, on the arrival of Kamiakin, to at- 
tack his camp, which was guarded by less then 
a hundred men. When the camp was moving 
up toward Steptoe's it met Kamiakin and his 
warriors coming. This was a great surprise to 
the wary chieftain, and before he could perfect 
his arrangements the two camps were united 
and his most favorable opportunity to strike an 
effective blow was gone. 

The council, which had been adjourned a day 
or two, now opened on the sixteenth. The in- 
fluence of Kamiakin was controlling over the 
Indians, and all efforts to make an arrangement 
with the hostiles, or to do away with the dissat- 

isfaction of the Nez Perces, being unavailinfr, 
on the seventeenth the general council closed. 
The next day a separate council was held with 
the Nez Perces. This, too, closed without a 
favorable result. At its close Governor Stevens 
made a short and plain address to the Nez 
Perces, in which he expressed his regrets that he 
had failed in his mission and said, "Follow 
your own hearts. If you wish to go to war, go." 
The propositions of the Governor were, uncon- 
ditional submission to the justice and mercy of 
the Government and surrender of the mur- 

The justice of history requires that it be said 
here that there was not harmony between the 
civil and the military authorities. The inherent 
and cultivated jealousies between the two had 
kept them at cross purposes all through the war 
up to this time. The chapter of their disagree- 
ments reveals much acrimony and bitterness on 
both sides, and, as a civilian is sure to think, a 
great want of the proper appreciation of the 
condition and needs of the country, or else a 
criminal indifference to them on the part of 
the army in the field. As the story of this disa- 
greement, beginning with General Wool and 
descending through rank and tile, is too volum- 
inous for our pages, and must be dealt with cir- 
cumstantially if at all we can only state it as a 
general fact, and say that these personal jeal- 
ousies and rivalries did infinite harm to the 
country in every way, and finally greatly pro- 
longed and greatly intensified the wars of the 

Something of this appeared in the afternoon 
of the day in which Governor Stevens held his 
last council with the Nez Perces. Colonel Step- 
toe informed the Indians that he came there, 
not to fight them, but to establish a post, and 
trusted that they would get along as friends, 
and asked them to come and see him the next 
day a little afternoon. However, they declined. 
In the meantime, at eleven o'clock. Governor 
Stevens raised his camp and set out for The 
Dalles, forming his whole party into order of 
battle and moving away from the presence of 


the Indians prepared for a contlict. His pre- 
cautions were wise, for lie had not reached three 
miles from the camp before the Indians attacked 
him. He moved on in close order a mile or 
more to water, where he took position in a low 
open basin, formed a barricade of his corral and 
proceeded to defend himself. The fight was 
protracted far into the night, with many inci- 
dents of daring on the part of the Indians as 
well as much courage on that of the volunteers. 
Stevens sent a courier to Steptoe notifying 
him of the state of affairs. Steptoe replied that 
the Indians had burned up the grass around his 
camp, and requested the return of the volun- 
teers so that he might have the use of their 
wagons for the transportation of his camp ma- 
terial to the Umatilla, where he could find suste- 
nance for his animals. On the reuniting of the 
volunteers and regulars the next day, it was re- 
solved, at Stevens' urgent advice, to build a block 
house where they were, leave all the supplies 
with one company to defend them, and Colonel 
Steptoe to march to The Dalles, procure rein- 
forcements and additional supplies, and return 
prepared for a vigorous winter campaign for the 

subjugation of the Indians. In ten days the 
block house was completed, and on the 23d of 
September the column took up its march, reach- 
ing the The Dalles on the 2d of October. 

So far as fighting was concerned, this was 
practically the end of the war at this time. Early 
in JSTovember Colonel Wright marched into the 
Walla Walla valley at the head of the regular 
troops, where he held a council with the tribes 
and agreed on terms of peace. The terms were: 
immnnity to the Indians for past misconduct; 
treaties not to be enforceil until ratified by the 
Senate; and no white men to be permitted to 
settle in the country without the consent of the 
Indians. This agreement may be considered as 
ending the war, or, to speak more accurately, 
temporarily composing the troubleand relieving 
the Indians from the contemplated winter cam- 
paign, and giving them time for recuperation 
and preparation for further conflicts. It was 
simply an armed truce, purchased at great price 
by the army, and sure to be broken at an early 
day by one or the other, if not by both, of the 
belligerent parties. 

id:- ^ 




IiNDiANS IN A Hostile Fkamk — Steptoe's E.xpedition — Ti.motiiy — In the Pkesence of the Hos- 
TiLES — Battle of Steptoe's Butte — Whites Defeated— Rkteeat — Geneeal Indian Com- 
bination — General Clarke's (Jourse — Colonel AVright — Treaty with the Nez Peroes — 
Wright's Advance Northward — Battle of " Four Lakes " — Battle of " Spokane Plains" 
— March to Spokane River — Geary Visits Wright's Camp — Indian Horses Taken and Shot 
— CoEUR d' Alene Cou&cil — Spokane Council — Kamiakin — Owhi — Qualchien Arrested 
AND Hung — Owhi Shot — Close of the War. 

[ 1\ITH the .close of 1856 there was at least 


at semblance of peace with the Indians 
all over the Territory. The volunteers 
had been disbanded, but the regular forces had 
been greatly increased, and were stationed at 
various points over the Columbia, on Puget 
Sound and in the Walla Walla country. 

The Indians, however, were still in a hostile 
frame, and all through 1857 the spirit of war 
was in the air. A general risinir of the tribes 
was greatly feared in the spring of that year, 
but did not occur. Ijut it was sure to come, and 
but little provocation was rei^uired to bring it. 

Early in April Colonel Steptoe, who was in 
command at Walla Walla, informed General 
Clarke, commanding the department, that an ex- 
pedition to the north of Snake river i^eenied to 
be required, as the Indians in the Colville re- 
gion were hostile. Two white men on their way 
to the Colville mines had been murdered by the 
Palouses, who had also made a foray into the 
Walla Walla country and even driven off the 
cattle belonging to the fort. The Palouses were 
not a strong tribe, and Steptoe did not deem a 
large force necessary, but believed they should 
be chastened to prevent future and perhaps 
greater trouble. On the 6th of May Steptoe 
left Walla Walla with 180 dragoons, and, in a 
leisurely way, proceeded U]) the jVez Perces trail 
toward Snake river, which they reached at the 
month of the Alpowa, where resided the Nez 
Perce chief Timothy. Timothy ferried the little 
army over the river, and with a lund of his men 

accompanied it northward to\vard the Spokane 
country as its guide. 

This Indian, en passant, is worthy of a brief 
notice. He was a large man, with a square, 
open, benignant countenance, who had never 
faltered in his friendship to the whites. Under 
the missionary labors of Mr. Spaulding at 
Lapwai, not far away from Timothy's home, he 
liad embraced the Christian faith, atid was the 
iirst Indian fo be propounded for membership 
in the Presbyterian Church under Mr. Spauld- 
ing's labors. He was a sincere, honest, unaffected 
man, securing the confidence of all who knew 
him, and living a sober, industrious and Chris- 
tian life. In later years the writer knew him 
well, and has often sat with him on the ground 
under the shade of one of the great apple trees 
on the Alpowa creek, whose seed was planted by 
Mr. Spaulding in 1837, near the tepee of the 
then youthful Timothy, and conversed with him 
of the men and the times of which he now writes. 
Not more than a decade ago his white soul passed 
into the eternity of the good. 

On the morning of the 16th of May, having 
crossed Snake river and passed on toward the 
Spokane, Steptoe suddenly found himself con- 
fronted by a force of not far from a thousand 
Indian warriors in their war paint determined 
to dispute his advance further northward. They 
were Ealouses, Spokanes, Coeur d' Alenes, Yaki- 
mas, and warriors of the smaller related tribes. 
They had taken position near a ravine through 
which the road passed and where they could assail 


the troops t'roni the front and flanks, wliile thej 
themselves would be sheltered by the trees and 
brush and rocks from the sight of the soldiers. 
Seeing the daiiirer Steptoe halted his troops and 
held a parley with the Spokanes, but the Indians 
declared their intention to flght, declaring that 
they would not permit the soldiers to cross 
Spokane river. Assured now that he would be 
compelled to fight Steptoe turned aside to avoid 
the ravine, and in about a mile encamped near a 
small lake. The Indians had closely followed 
the troops all the way, taunting them with in- 
sulting words and gestures, but no shots were 
fired, each party being anxious that the otlier 
should be tlie aggressor. The dragoons did not 
dare to dismount even after they had reached 
the place for encampment. They had only their 
small arms, and were not at all prepared to tight 
the Indians. 

In the evening a number of the Indian chiefs 
rode up to the camp to hold a parley with Step- 
toe, and ascertain the cause of the invasion of 
their country by the soldiers. They professed 
to be satisfied with his explanations, but still 
maintained an unyielding determination that he 
should not advance into the Spokane country. 
Seeing their determination, and feeling his own 
weakness, Steptoe resolved to retreat, and on the 
morning of the 18th began his return toward 
the Palonse. About the time the column started 
Father Joset, of the Coeur d' Alene mission, 
with Vincent, a Coeur d' Alene chief, rode up to 
Steptoe, and as they rode along held a conference 
with him. The Indians were following and 
flaidving the little force. In the midst of the 
interview the chief was called away, and firing 
was immediately begun by the Palouses, and, 
in a shoi't time, by the whole Indian force. The 
small column was moving in close order, the 
pack train in the center, guarded by a dragoon 
company, with a company in front and rear. As 
it crossed a small creek a movement was made 
by Lieutenant Greig with one company to occupy 
a hill which the Indians were attempting to gain 
to get at the head of the advance. The soldiers 
reached it first, when the Indians at once moved 

for one that commanded it. Greig divided his 
little force in order to drive them from the new 

By this time all were engaged, — not far from 
1,000 Indians against less than 150 whites. The 
Indians circled the little force with fire. Charge 
after charge was made to break the array of yell- 
ing savages that was about them. In one charge, 
where the company of Captain Greig and that of 
Lieutenant Gaston met in a triangle among the 
swarming warriors, Zachary, brother-in-law of 
Vincent, the Coeur d' Alene chief, and Victor, 
an influential chief, also a Coeur d' Alene, and 
some twelve of their warriors, were slain. The 
rage of the Coeur d' Alenes at this loss was terri- 
ble, and they had soon revenged themselves. 
The troops kept moving forward under a raking 
fire. To stop was to be surrounded at once, and to 
bs3 surrounded was destruction to all in the com- 
mand. They were in an open country of high 
hills and quite a distance from water. About 
11 o'clock Captain Oliver, H. P. Taylor and 
Lieutenant William Gaston, both of the first 
dragoons, were killed, together with a number of 
the men. The remainder were gathered" on a 
rising ground, while every hill around swarmed 
with exulting foes. It was apparent that the 
march to water could not be made by daylight, 
and nothing remained but to defend themselves 
as best they could where they were and wait for 
the night. They lay on the summit of a hill, on 
a small plain, and orders were given to picket 
their horses, saddled and bridled, and the men 
were directed to lie flat on the ground and pre- 
vent the Indians taking the hill by cliarges. 
They were successful, but toward evening, as 
their ammunition began to give out, and the men 
were suffering so greatly for the want of water 
and from fatigue, that it was with difiiculty the 
three remaining officers could inspire them even 
to defend themselves. Six of their comrades 
were dead and eleven others were wounded. 
Many of the men were recruits, now first under 
fire, and it was not wonderful that their courage 
had failed them in such ,an hour. So night 
came on. 


Nothing remained now but flight. The bodies 
of the fallen whicli could be reached were buried, 
and taking the best horses and a small supply of 
provisions; and, guided by Timothy along a dif- 
ficult way that the Indians had left unguarded, 
the soldiers crept silently away about 10 o'clock 
and hastened toward Snake river, which they 
reached on the morning of the 19th. Tliey suc- 
ceeded in crossing to its southern shore without 
the loss of another man. The Indians, apparently 
satisfied with their victory, and probably engaged 
in their distributing the plunder left on the 
battlefield by the defeated troops, did not follow 
them. From Snake river Steptoe returned to 
Walla Walla. 

This battle occurred on what is known as 
" Steptoe Butte,'" called by the Indians Tehoto- 
miinme — about seven miles from the present 
town of Colfax, a bald eminence that overlooks a 
vast extent of the " Palouse country," and one of 
the finest regions of the State of Washington. 

There could be but one result of this victory 
of the Indians. A league of all the most power- 
ful tribes of the interior, namely, the Spokanes, 
the Qoeurd' Alenes, the Palouses, the Yakimas, 
with a portion of the Nez Perces, was formed at 
once, and a general outbreak took place. The 
Indians became everywhere bold and defiant. 
Small parties of whites were cut off in every 
part of the country, and the Indians even 
threatened Fort Walla Walla itself. It must 
now be war indeed. 

General Clarke took immediate steps to meet 
the emergency. Troops were withdrawn from 
Fort Yuma on the Colorado, Fort Joius, Fort 
Umpqua, and even from San Diego on the bor- 
ders of Mexico, and ordered to concentrate on 
the Columbia. An expedition was resolved 
upon that should not repeat the blunders of that 
of Steptoe. The command of the expedition was 
committed to Colonel Wright, an oflicer every 
way qualified to direct it. By the 1st of Au- 
gust all the preliminary movements were com- 
pleted, and the troops destined to participate in 
the campaign were united at Fort Walla Walla. 
At the same time that Colonel Wright was to 

conduct the campaign from Walla Walla into 
the Spokane country. Major Garnett was to lead 
one of 300 men into the Yakima country to 
establish a post and act in co-operation with the 
movement of Colonel Wright. 

Before leaving Walla Walla Colonel Wright 
called a council of the Nez Perces, and conchided 
with them a treaty of friendship, binding them 
to assist the United States in wars with any 
other tribes, and binding the United States to 
assist them in like cases at the cost of the Govern- 
ment, and also pledging the United States to 
furnish their arms whenever their services were 
required. Though this treaty was signed by 
only a part, and not the most influential, of the 
Nez Perce chiefs, yet it had a gooa effect in 
detaching the greater part of that powerful tribe 
from the hostile coalition, and securing a com- 
pany of thirty, Nez Perce volunteers during the 
campaign. These were dressed in United States 
uniform, and placed under the command of 
Lieutenant John MuUaii to act as guides and 

On the 7th of August Captain Keyes, with 
the Third Artillery, led the advance from 
Walla Walla toward Snake River, which was 
reached on the 11th at the mouth of the Tucan- 
non. Here a fort was built and called Fort 
Taylor, in honor of Captain Taylor, who was 
killed at the battle of "Steptoe's Butte." 

On the 18th Colonel Wright arrived, and on 
the 25th the crossing of Snake river was begun, 
and was completed on the morning of the 26th. 
The march of the column northward was over 
an open and lather desolate country, — at this 
season of the year quite difficult to traverse on 
account of the scarcity of water. On the 29th, 
however, the troops entered the scattering pine 
forests that stray down into the plains from the 
western and southern slopes of the Coeur d' 
Alene mountains. On the evening of the 30th, 
after a long day's march, just as camp was 
formed, the Nez Perce scouts brought intelligence 
of the approach of a large body of Spokanes, 
evidently a recunnoissance from some larger 
force in the neighborhood. The dragoons were 


sent forward, but -the Indians retreated before 
them. The troops had not marched far on the 
Slst before parties of hostile Indians appeared 
on the surrounding hills, but, though some 
shots were fired, no serious attack was made. 
According to Indian tactics these small parties 
were decoys, designed to lead the troops on to 
where the main party had chosen their ground 
aliead in a strong position for attack. Just 
before reaching camp for the night, the Indians 
rode up near the column and made a rather 
spirited attack on the rear guard. The troops 
met the attack skillfully, and the Indians re- 

The ne.xt day, September 1st, occurred what 
is known as the "Battle of the Four Lakes." 
Colonel Wright had designed resting his com- 
mand here for a few days, and had encamped 
accordingly. It was a beautiful spot, delight- 
fully inviting to repose. The "Four Lakes," 
one of which is the famed "Medical Lake," are 
beautiful bodies of water of from a quarter of a 
mile to a mile in diameter, embosomed in the 
hills, whose sides and summits are sprinkled 
with pines, beyond which to the west stretch- 
es away an unlimited sweep of grassy prairies. 
The Indians, however, had been awaiting him 
here, and did not feel disposed to delay their 
warlike welcome. The morning found their 
numbers multiplied. Their manner was defiant 
and insolent; and no one knows better how to 
be insolent and insulting in look and word and 
action than an Indian. So, at eight o'clock, 
Colonel Wright issued orders to have the artil- 
lery battalion in readiness, as it might be called 
out at a moment's notice. Shortly afterward the 
whole force was called into position, and order- 
ed to drive the enemy fronj the hills. This was 
soon done, and the Indians concentrated on the 
open plain below and to the westward, prepared 
to receive* the attack of the soldiers in tlieir 
own way of rude warfare. A pai-ticipant in 
the battle, Lieutenant Kip, tluis describes the 

'•On tlie plain below us we saw the enemy. 
Es'ery spot seemed alive with the wild war- 

riors we had come so far to meet. They were 
in the pines on the edge of the lakes, in the 
ravines and gullies, on the opposite hillsides, 
and swarming over the plain. They seemed 
to cover the country for some two miles. 
Mounted on their fleet, hardy horses, the crowd 
swayed back and forth brandishing their weap- 
ons, shouting their war cries, and keeping up a 
song of defiance. Most of them were armed 
with Hudson Bay muskets, while others had 
bows and arrows and long lances. They were 
in all the bravery of tlieir war array, gaudily 
painted and decorated with their wild trappings. 
Their plumes fluttered above them, while be- 
low skins and trinkets and all kinds of fan- 
tastic embellishments flaunted in the sunshine. 
Their horses, too, were arrayed in the most glar- 
ing finery. Some were even painted, and with 
colors'to form the greatest contrast, the white 
being smeared with crimson in fantastic figures, 
and the dark-colored streaked with white clay. 
Beads and fringes of gaudy colors were lianginof 
from their bridles, while the plumes of eagle's 
feathers, interwoven with the mane and tail, 
fluttered as the breeze swept over them, and 
completed their wild and fantastic appearance. 

" By Heavens ! it was a glorious siglit to see 
Ttie gay avray of their wild chivalry." 

As ordered, the troops moved down the hill 
toward the plain. As the line of advance 
came within range of the minie rifles, now 
for the first time used in Indian warfare, the 
firing began. The fire grew heavier as the line 
drew nearer, and, astonished at the range and 
efFtctiveness of the fire, the entire array of 
dusky warriors broke and fled toward the plain. 
The dragoons were now ordered to charge and 
rode through the company intervals to the front, 
and then dashed down upon the foe with head- 
long speed. Taylor's and Gaston's companies 
were tliere, and soon they reaped a red revenge 
for their slain heroes. The flying warriors 
streamed out of the glens and ravines and over 
the open plain until they could find a refuge 
I'roin the flashing sabers of the dragoons. When 


they had found the refuge of the wooded hills 
the line of foot once more passed the dragoons 
and renewed their fire, driving tlie Indians over 
the hills for about two miles, where a halt was 
ordered as the troops were nearly exhausted. 
The Indians had almost all disappeared, a single 
group only Eemaining apparently to watch the 
whites. A shell fired from a howitzer bursting 
over their heads sent them also to the refuge of 
the ravines. Thus the battle ended. The In- 
dian loss was considerable, probably not less 
than fifty or si.xty killed and wounded, while, 
strange to say, not a soldier was injured. This 
was owing to the use, now for the first time, of 
the long-range rifle by the soldiers. The Indians 
were panic-struck at the efl'ect of their tire at 
such great distances. Among the Indians killed 
were a brother and brother-in-law of Gearry, 
the head chief of the Spokanes. 

For three days Wright rested his troops in 
camp near the field of battle. On the 5th of 
September the column resumed its march to- 
ward the Spokanes, and in five miles he came 
again upon the Indians, collected in large num- 
bers on the plain, as if meditating an attack. 
They rode along parallel to the troops for some 
distance, all the while increasing in number 
and in boldness. As the column advanced the 
Indians set fire to the grass which burned with 
great fierceness, the wind blowing it toward 
the troops. Under cover of the smoke the In- 
dians spread themselves out like a fan before 
and on either side of the troops. The pack 
train was closed up under guard of Captain 
Dent's company of rifles, the Third Artillery 
under Lieutenants Ihris and Howard and David- 
son's company of dragoons, while the rest of 
the command prepared to repulse the enemy. 
Four companies of the Third Artillery were at 
once deployed on the right and left. The 
men, flushed with the results of the last battle, 
dashed through the flames, charged and drove 
the enemy before them. A chief, who had up- 
on the saddle of his horse the pistol used by 
Lieutenant Gaston in the Steptue Butte figlit, 
was killed. At length the Indians were driven 

into the plain, where the dragoons under Lieu- 
tenant Pender and Major Grier charged and 
swept the field. The fiying stragglers gathered 
in groups in the surrounded forests, but these 
were easily dispersed, and the troops moved 
forward, with flankers thrown out, toward the 
Spokane river, where the troops encamped, 
having marched during the day twenty-fiv( 
miles, the last fourteen miles tighting all the 

Five hundred Indians were engaged in this 
battle, called the Battle of Spokane Plains. 
Quite a number of Indians were killed, and 
Kamiakin, the great war chief of the Yakimas, 
was wounded. On the 6th the forces remained 
in camp on the Spokane, but on the 7th moved 
up the river a few miles, and camped just above 
Spokane Falls. Soon after the forces had camp- 
ed Gearry crossed the river and came into 
the camp to have a talk with Colonel Wright. 
He professed to be opposed to the war, but claim- 
ed that he could not control his men. This 
was probably true, but Colonel Wright adminis- 
tered a very plain talk to him, and told him to 
communicate to all the Indians he should fall 
in with what he had said. He also ordered him 
to send a messenger at once to Moses and 
Big Star, other Spokane chiefs, to bring in their 
people, and to return to-morrow with his own 
people at an hour after sunrise. If they and 
their people were tired of war and wanted peace 
he would give them peace, if they would bring 
everything they had, — arms, women and children, 
— and lay them at his feet. On the same day 
Palatkin, a noted Spokane chief, who had been 
in the fight against Steptoe, and also in those of 
the first and fifth, came into the camp. To him 
Wright repeated what he had said to Gearry, 
and, as he was known to have been a leader in 
the recent battles, he was detained as a hostage, 
while he sent a warrior to bring in his people. 

On the 8th the march was resumed. In about 
nine miles the Indians were overtaken, driving 
all their horses into the mountains, instead of 
surrendering them as they had promised. These 
were all captured by the troops, and on the 


following day, after selecting 130 of them for 
the service of the troops, the rest were shot. 
They beloTiged to Tilkohitz, a Palouse chief aud 
a notorious freebooter, and it was not only an 
act of just retribution to him, but one fully de- 
served by all the tribes to thus deprive them of 
the means of making war upon the whites. 

These battles, with the destruction of their 
horses, and the hanging of several Indians who 
had been engaged in the murders of the whites 
throughout the country, completely broke the 
spirit of the Indians. Colonel Wriglit appointed 
a council to be held at the Cceur d' Alene mis- 
sion on the 17th. Vincent, who had not been 
in the recent battles, made the tour of his people 
and urged them to come in, but at lirst most 
refused, being terrified at what they had heard 
of the severity of Colonel Wright. But Wright 
released Palatkin, which act of clemency allayed 
the fears of the Indians, and by the time ap- 
pointed for the council the Coeur d' Alenes and 
Spokanes were prepared to enter into a treaty of 
entire submission to the whites. The details of 
the council it is not necessary to give. 

A council with the Spokanes was appointed 
for the 23d of September. To this Kamiakiu 
was specially invited, bat being fearful that 
Colonel Wright would take him to Walla Walla 
if he did, he remained away, as did also Tilko- 
hitz, one of the most relentless of the enemies 
of the whites. 

Karaiakin was for years the ablest and most 
iutlucutial chieftain among all these tribes. He 
wa.s head chief of the Yakimas, his mother hav- 
ing been a Yakima and his father a Palonse. 
He was talented, and seemed to oceup}' the place 
with these tribes that Tecumseh did witli the 
tribes of Ohio and the Northwest. He strongly 
opposed the cession of the lands of the Indians 
at the council of Walla Walla, and Governor 
Stevens was unable to move him from his gloomy 
opposition. He was the leader in the outbreak 
that took place soon after, when Haller's force 
was defeated, and was without doubt the load- 
ing spirit in the combination of the present 
season. It was not strange, therefore, that he 

was afraid to put himself in tiie power of the 
whites. Soon after this time Kamiakin went to 
British Columbia, where he remained some yei rs 
but about ten years later he returned to the 
Palouse country and settled on the Palouse river, 
a few miles below Colfax, where he died poor 
and friendless about 1880. Owhi and Qualchien 
were now the only chiefs of importance left 
among the Yakimas. Owhi was brother-in-law 
of Kamiakin, and Qualchien was Owhi's son, 
and also son-in-law of Palatkin, the Spokane 
chief. With Kamiakin, Owhi and Qualchien 
still at large, and maintaining their old antago- 
nism to the whites, there could be little hope of 
permanent peace, and Colonel Wright was con- 
cerned at their attitude. But on the evening of 
the 23d Owhi came into camp. Colonel Wright 
met him sternly. While he was conversing with 
the chieftain he ordered a file of soldiers, with 
iron shackles, to be brought. He then directed 
the interpreter to inquire of Owhi the where, 
abouts of Qualchien. Owhi replied that he was 
at the mouth of the Spokane. "Tell Owhi," 
said the Colonel, " that 1 will send a message to 
Qualchien. Tell him that he too shall send a 
message, and if Qualchien does not join me be- 
fore I cross Snake river, in four days, I will 
hang Owhi." 

When this message was delivered to Owhi he 
sank to the ground and seemed to lose all con- 
trol over himself. He took out a book of prayers 
and in much confusion turned over its leaves for 
a moment, and then liuided it to the priest. 
Father Joset, who was standing by him. He* 
was then taken off by the guard and put in irons. 

The following day about noon, very un- 
expectedly, two Indian braves and a fine-looking 
squaw came trotting out of a canon near the 
camp, and, with the utmost boldness, rode 
directly up to Colonel Wright's tent. They 
were gaily dressed and had a most dashing air. 
The two braves carried rifles, and one had an 
ornamented tomahawk. When the Colonel came 
out of the tent, to his surprise he recognized, in 
the leader of the party, Qualchien. For a few 
moments Qualchien stood talking with the 


Colonel, with his rifle standing hy his side. His 
bearing was defiant, and those who were stand- 
ing near thought that he meditated murder even 
there. In a short time Colonel Wright men- 
tioned Owhi's name. Qualchien started, and in- 
quired, " Car Owhi?" — that is, "Where is 
Owhi?" the Colonel answered, "Owhi mitlite 
yawa;" — or "Owhi is over there." Qualchien 
was stunned. He repeated to himself mechanic- 
ally, "Owhi mitlite yawa? Owhi mitlite yawa," 
at the same time gazing about as if to find him. 
By this time a guard of soldiers had arrived and 
he was at once disarmed and taken to the guard 

Physically Qualchien was a splendid man. He 
had a broad chest, muscular limbs, with small 
hands and feet, and it required six men to tie 
his hands and feet, so violent was his struggles- 
Colonel Wright's dealing with Qualchien was 
summary. Fifteen minutes after his capture 
the officer of the day received an order to have 
him hung immediately. A file of the guard at 
once marched him to a neighboring tree, when, 
on attempting to fix the noose about his neck 
the contest was again renewed. He struggled 
violently, cursing Kamiakin, and shrieking, 
" Copet six. Wake memaloose nika. ISTika pot- 
lach hiyu chiekamen, hiyu kuitan. Spose nika 

memaloose, nika hiyu siwash silex. Copet six." 
Interpreted, it is: " Stop, my friends. Do not 
kill me. I will give much money and a great 
many horses. If you kill me a great many of 
my people will be very angry." But the rope was 
thrown over a limb of the tree and he was run 
up. His last words were a curse upon Kamiakin, 
whom he seemed to connect with his death. 
Not iinlikely Kamiakin sent him into camp. A 
few days after this, while the army was on the 
march back to Walla Walla, Owhi, who- was 
taken along as prisoner, attempted to escape 
from his guard and he was shot. 

The death of Owhi and Qualchien, with the 
other results of Colonel Wright's campaign, 
completely dismayed the Indians of Eastern 
Washington. They were, next to Kamiakin, 
the most influential of all the chiefs, and by all 
comparison the most warlike and murderous. 

It is not necessary to follow the operations of 
the army in the northwest further. This closed 
the war; and it also closed the era of real Indian 
wars in Washington. Though these tribes re- 
mained comparatively strong, and there yet 
remain many of the Yakimas and Spokanes and 
Nez Perces, yet they had learned the power of 
white man and were content henceforth to re- 

in peace 

with hi 






Cities— Types of States — Olympia — Sketch of General I. I. Stevens — Dit. N. Osteander. 

THE history of any State is finally crystal- 
lized in its cities. Its strongest personali- 
ties naturally congregate there. In nearly 
every State one city becomes the type and 
representative of the State itself. Chicago is Illi- 
nois. San Francisco is California. Portland is 
Oregon. This is less true in Washincrton than 
in any other Pacifiic State. Its vast area, its 
widely differentiated conditions east and west, its 
vast diversity of pursuit, — have up to this time 
prevented any one point so far outstripping all 
others as to make it alone typical of the his- 
tory or condition of all. In writing of the cities 
of the State, therefore, we have chosen to speak 
of several, choosing those that historically, so- 
cially and commercially best interpret tlie past 
and present life of the people. In writing of 
these, too, we have thought it best to do more 
than tell the story of brick and mortar, their 
granite and iron erections; but with these we 
give some character sketches of some of the 
men whose genius and intellect conceived and 
whose energy created them all. We do this be- 
cause the l)uilder is always greater than his 
erection, as tlie Creator is mightier than his 

It would be impossible, in the limits of this 
history, to dwell at length on all the really im- 
portant cities and towns of the State. Wash- 
ington, especially on the waters of Puget Sound, 
is almost a land of cities. Probably two-thirds 
of its population reside in the towns. East of 
the Cascade mountains the proportion is not so 
great, but even there the population is largely 
urbau. So, without designing to overlook any, 
we select the capital, and other cities located in, 
and commercially and socially representative of, 
the various sections of the State. 

olympia, capital city of WASHINGTON. 

No city in the Union is more proudly named 
or situated than Olympia, with the sea at its feet 
and the mountains its glistening crown, with 
immense forests garlanding its skirts. While in 
one hand it bears aloft some of the rarest fruits 
of the world and in the other the golden grains 
of a marvelous production, it stands not only a 
city beautiful for situation, but a powerful factor 
in the future progress of the State. 

As a business center, the city is compactly 
and substantially built on a fine water front ex- 
tending many blocks back. Its hotels, banks, 
public buildings and schools are such as are 
found in the greatest cities of the East. Elec- 
tric railways and the daily press bespeak its irre- 
pressible progress. Its population, including 
Turn water suburb, is more than 7,000, being 
one of the most prosperous cities in the State. 

It has a complete system of water-works, also 
electric lighting for streets, stores, and dwell- 
ings. On every hand are evidences of the rapid 
and substantial modern growth. 

Being situated at the southern extremity of 
the Sound, at a point where railroads must fork 
to go to the East and West, Olympia has al- 
ready become a railroad center, which includes 
the Northern PaciHo with all its ramifications 
leading to Portland, Oregon; toTacoma, Seattle, 
and the entire east side of the Sound, also to 
Chehalis valley and Gray's Harbor, and to 
Tenino, famous for its quarries on the Olymjjia 
and Chehalis valley line. The Puget Sound 
& Portland railroad, a joint extension of the 
Union Pacific and Great Northern, is already 
graded, passing through Olympia. The Port 


Townseiid Southern, leading out of the city, via 
Hood's Canal to Port Townsend, is nearingcom- 
pletion. liegular lines of fine steamers lead 
also to numerous points on the Sound. 

The geographical position of Olyinpia, at the 
head of navigation on the west, together with 
its central control of its wheat fields on the east 
through its growing railroad system, renders its 
promise of greatness subject to no doubt. Con- 
gress at its last session has made large appro- 
priation for its harbor improvements, thus 
recognizing its importance as a commercial 

Immense amounts of valuable timber of fir 
and cedar along its new lines of railroad be- 
speak great industries which alone promise an 
exceptional future for the capital city. Other 
great industries no less important than its tim- 
ber, are its adjacent stone quarries, coal fields 
and iron ores. It is the nearest seaport to the 
great Tenino quarries, whose superior quality 
of stone and beauty are already established 
abroad. It is also the nearest point to the well- 
known Skookumchuck coal fields, also at Bu- 
coda and at Gate City, not twenty miles dis- 
tant. Its nearness to the Black Hills, but five 
miles distant, which are known to contain iron 
oi"e in abundance, forecasts its future also as im- 
portant in the great industry of iron. 

The advantages of the capital city as a seat of 
manufacturing are very great and are already 
attracting practical investigation and invest- 
ments. To speak of the country about Olyin- 
pia and not mention its fruits and grains, and 
its great agricultural advantages, is to on)it its 
prime virtue. Here fruits are rich and luscious, 
grains golden and prolific, vegetables abundant 
and perfect. Flowers bloom till midwinter and 
even then nature smiles beneath licr tears with 
green fields and verdant lawns. 

The capital of such a State as Washington 
would^ alone sntfice to build up a great city. 
Congress has endowed the State with 132,000 
acres of land for tiie erection of the capitol 
buildings, and this princely grant is now worth 
$2,500,000 and rapidly increasing in value. 

The last session of the Legislature passed an 
act appropriating $1,000,000 with which t<> 
begin the construction of a splendid capitol 
building, which is now well under way. 

The permanent residence of the governor 
and State ofiicers are here, and, as it is the eeat 
of the United States Land and Surveyor Gen- 
eral's offices, the place of meeting of the Legis- 
lature, the Supreme Court, and numerous State 
boards, it attracts a most desirable population. 
It is a city of fine homes, splendid schools, in- 
viting churches; of culture, brains and refine- 
ment; of beautiful gardens, and, in their season, 
of laden fruit trees in its streets. 

Illustrative of tlie personal elements that 
have wrought out its past history, and assured 
its future progress, we append the following 
sketches of some of its pioneers and builders. 
It is proper that the name heading this list 
should be the honored one of the first governor 
of the Territory of Washington. 

Major General Isaac Ingalls Stevens, de- 
ceased, was born in North Andover, Massachu- 
setts, March 23, 1818, and was descended from 
John Stevens, one of the founders of the town 
in 1641. He entered West Point July 1, 1835, 
and four years later graduated with distinguished 
honors at the head of his class. Appointed a 
second lieutenant of engineers, he served as as- 
sistant in building Fort Adams, Newport Har- 
bor, 1839-'41, and was placed in charge of the 
works at New Bedford, 184:l-"43, Portland, 
Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and 
Fort Knox, at the narrows of the Penobscot 
river, a new and important work, chiefly built 
under his superintendence, 1843-'4:6; first lieu- 
tenant, July 1, 1840. 

He served in the Mexican war on General 
Scott's staff frotn the investment of Vera Cruz 
to the capture of the city of Mexico, 1847. He 
was in the siege of Vera Cruz and the battles of 
Contreras, Cerro Gordo, Churubnsco, Molino 
del Key, Chapultepec, and the assault and cap- 
ture of the city of Mexico, where he was se- 
verely wounded. Besides distinguishing him- 
self by the daring and skillful reconnoissance of 


the Pefion, San Antouio, city of Mexico and 
others, he was brevetted captain for gaUantry at 
Contreras and Chiiruhnsco, and major for his 
bravery at Chapul tepee. 

Returning on crutches in 1848, he resumed 
charge of the works in Maine and JSew Hamp- 
shire. In September, 1849, he accepted the 
position ot assistant in charge of the United 
States Coast otiice, and there continued on duty 
nntil March, 1853, when he was appointed Gov- 
ernor of the new Territory of Washington, and 
resigned from the army. As governor he was 
ex officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and 
at the same time, liaving volunteered for the 
service, he was placed in charge of the explora- 
tion and snrvey of- tiae northern route for the 
Pacific railroad. 

In 1853, at the head of a large exploring 
party, he traversed the region from St. Paul, 
on the Mississippi, to Puget Sound on the Pa- 
cific, a distance of 2,000 miles through a wild 
and almost unknown country, and by means of 
lateral parties and information gathered from 
trappers and Indians, as well as instrumental 
surveys, he made a most comprehensive and ex- 
haustive survey of the route committed to his 
charge and of the country bi)rdering it for from 
one hundred to two hundred miles in width, and 
also established the entire practicability of nav- 
igating the upper Missouri and Columbia riv- 
ers by steamers; yet liis report was the first 
one prepared and submitted to Congress. He 
organized and set in motion the civil govern- 
ment of his Territory. In 1854-'55 lie made treat- 
ies with 22,000 out of the 25,000 Indians of 
that Territory, and extinguished tlie Indian title 
to more than 100,000 square miles of territory. 
His Indian policy was one of beneficence to the 
Indians, guarded most carefully their rights, 
provided for their civilization, and guaranteed 
to them homesteads on their assuming the hab- 
its of civilized life. Governor Stevens also in 
October, 1855, negotiated a treaty of amity and 
friendship with the Blackfoot Indians on the 
upper Missouri.^ and also as between them and 
the hunting tribes of Wasliington and Oregon. 

Eight thousand Indians, representing fully 
20,000, were present at this council. It was a 
complete success. With his small party of only 
twenty-five men, without any military escort, he 
traversed a thousand miles of Indian territory, 
crossing the Jtocky mountains in order to make 
this treaty. Tribes which had for centuries 
been enemies, fearlessly niet together, relying 
upon Governor Stevens' protection, and a peace 
was made which has lasted unbroken to this 
day. During his absence the disaffected In- 
dians of his territory had broken out in open 
war and had massacred many settlers, and driven 
the survivors to take refuge in fortified places. 
Without an instant's delay, he forced a passage 
across the Kooky mountains in winter, and by 
the aid of friendly Indians and celerity of move- 
ment reached Olympia, the capital of the Terri- 
tory, on the first of January, 1856, amid the 
rejoicing of the people. He called out a thou- 
sand volunteers, encouraged the settlers to return 
to their abandoned farms and live there in block 
houses, placed all the friendly and doubtful In- 
dians on islands in .Puget Sound, and fed and 
clothed them, and waged two campaigns against 
the liostiles with such vigor and success that 
before the year had expired the Indians were 
thoroughly subdued, their chiefs slain and the 
others had surrendered and were incorporated 
with the friendly Indians. In this struggle his 
energy, resolution and resources overruled every 
obstacle. He issued script to pay his troops; he 
impressed supplies, wagons and teams when- 
ever the owners refused to furnish them for 
script; he maintained strict discipline. He re- 
moved half-breed and white Indian sympathiz- 
ers — the former employes of the English Hud- 
son's Bay Fur Company — from their homes on 
the frontier to the towns where they could not 
communicate with the Indians; and when po- 
litical and partisan opponents sought to create 
trouble by invoking the aid of the courtg, and 
the chief justice of the Territory issued his writ 
of habeas corpus for the release of these men, 
Gov'ernor Stevens proclaimed martial law in the 
two counties, seized the chief justice by a file 


of troopers and kept him a prisoner until the 
end of the war. Dnring this time he stood like 
a shield of adamant between the Indians and 
the reckless and revengeful who thirsted to fall 
upon the friendly and hostile alike. He pro- 
hibited all cruelty toward the Indians taken in 
arms, and that only six cases of unauthorized 
killing of Indians by white men occurred dur- 
ing a period of twelve months of alarm and e.x- 
asperation is the best evidence of the vigor and 
success of Governor Stevens' action. It is not 
a-little remarkable that in his printed vindica- 
tion he places his justification for proclaiming 
martial law on the very grounds and in much 
the same language as the justification of mar- 
tial law during the Rebellion. 

Governor Stevens was elected delegate to 
Congress in July, 1857, and resigned as Gov 
ernor. He served two terms, four years, in 
Congress, where he vindicated his action in the 
Indian war, and his Indian policy, and saw his 
treaties confirmed and the payment of the 
war scrip assumed by Congress, and also ob- 
tained many large appropriations for develop- 
ing his Territory. He took an active part in 
the Presidential election of 1860. He was 
Chairman of the Breckinridge National Demo- 
cratic Committee, of which he wrote the address, 
an able argument covering nearly one sheet of 
newspaper, in a single night. He was a stanch 
Union man, and upon the first raising of the 
banner of secession he openly denounced the 
party of disunion. 

On the fall of Sumter, he offered a carte 
blanche of his services to the Government from 
a distant part of the Territory of Washington, 
hurried on in person as soon as possible and ac- 
cepted the colonelcy of the Seventj^-ninth High- 
landers, New York Volunteers. This was a crack 
New York city military regiment, composed 
of Scotchmen or men of Scotch descent, and 
was the first military regiment of the State to 
volunteer for three years of the war. The regi- 
ment suffered heavily at the battle of Bull Run, 
losing 198 killed and wounded, includincr 
among the former its Colonel, James Cameron, 

brother of the Secretary of War. The Secretary 
promised that the regiment should be sent home 
to recruit, but it was not done. Owing to a 
number of causes, among which may be named 
their severe losses in battle, disappointment at 
the nonfulfillment of the Secretary's assurance, 
the evil influence of a few worthless officers and 
the effect of the liquor supplied by them to the 
men, eight companies mutinied by refusing to. 
strike tents and move camp soon after the new 
Colonel assumed command. Colonel Stevens 
went among the men, many of whom were in- 
toxicated and infuriated with utter fearlessness, 
urging them to return to duty; when a group 
threatened death to any one who dared strike a 
tent, and the officers stood back, he took down 
the tent with his own hands, while the very 
mutineers applauded his intrepidity. Finally, 
with the aid of the officers and the two com- 
panies which remained loyal, he succeeded in 
removing most of the arms, and, in response to 
his call, some regular troops arrived and sur- 
rounded the camp with infantry and artillery. 
Then Colonel Stevens stood upon a barrel in 
the midst of the mutineers and ordered them to 
.return to duty in a voice that rang out like a 
trumpet, "Men! I have urged you all the morn- 
ing to do your duty. Now I order you. Obey, 
or my next order will be to that battery to fire 
on you. Now, Highlanders, fall in." The dis- 
affected men made haste to fall in line. Col- 
onel Stevens enforced a very severe and just 
discipline, but the intelligent and generous 
material of which the regiment was composed 
recognized the need of such treatment and re- 
sponded to it with enthusiastic pride and devo- 
tion to their chief. 

When appointed Brigadier General and or- 
dered to another field of usefulness, he reviewed 
and bade the regiment fai-ewell and a universal 
shout rang along the line, "Tak us wi' ye! Tak 
us wi' ye!" and in response to it, upon his 
application, endorsed by General W. T. Sher- 
man, the regiment was sent after him to Annap- 
olis the next day by order of the President, 
overruling the objections of General McClellan, 


and remained under his command until bis deatli. 

He served in the defense of Washington, and 
was appointed Brigadier General September 28, 
1861. In tliS same month, in command of 
1,800 men, he made the reconnoissance of 
Lewisville, where he handled his troups with 
acknowledged skill and rapidly and easily with- 
drew them from the attack of a superior force. 
He commanded a brigade on the Hilton Head 
expedition, October, 1861; landed in South 
Carolina in November and occupied soon after 
the town of Btaufort, Fort Royal and the ad- 
joining sea islands. Janiiary 1, 1862, he fought 
the battle of the Coosaw river, with his brigade 
re-enforced by two other regiments and the gun- 
boats, drove back the enemy and destroyed his 
batteries which had closed the river. In June 
he was placed in command of a division and 
ordered to James Island to take part in an ad- 
vance upon Charleston. While his troops were 
landing from the transports in the Stone river, 
upon the island, lie pushed forward with his 
advance, drove in the enemy, captured a battery 
of four guns and established his permanent 
picket line. His force formed the right wing 
of the army under General Benham. Ou the 
16th of June, at dawn, he assaulted the enemy's 
fort of Secessionville with his entire division, 
but although the troops gained the parapet and 
even there captured two prisoners, yet the 
slaughter was so great he had to withdraw 
them, havng lost over 600 men in twenty min- 
utes.' This assault was ordered by General 
Benham against General Stevens' remon- 

In July, 1862, be sailed with his division to 
Virginia, where, at Newport News, it was in- 
corporated with Burnside's troops from North 
Carolina, as the Ninth Corps, forming the First 
Division. Thence proceeding by Fredericks- 
burg, General Stevens marched along the Rap- 
pahannock river and joined Pope's army at 
Culpeper Court House. He participated in va- 
rious skirmishes on the Rappahannock, and in 
the battle of Manassas or second Bull Run, Au- 
gust 29 and 30, 1862, where his horse was 

killed under him while leading a charge of his 
troops. He withdrew his division from that 
disastrous field in perfect order, and with every 
regiment unbroken, although with the loss of 
one half their number. The next morning at 
daylight he was placed iu command of the rear 
guard of the army with two divisions of infantry 
and a strong force of cavali-y and artillery and 
took post between Bull Run and Centerville. 
The next day, September 1, 1862, while marcii- 
ing his division, closely followed by Reno's di- 
vision of the Ninth Corps, across from the 
main road between Centreville and Fairfax 
Court House to the Little River turnpike, in 
order to reach a position to withstand a column 
of the enemy reported as advancing and threat- 
ening the main road and only line of retreat, he 
suddenly came face to face with the Rebel 
skirmishers who were hastening forward in 
order to seize tlie road. With instant decision 
and rapidity, throwing out skirmishers who 
drove back the enemy and developed his posi- 
tion, General Stevens formed his entired divis- 
ion in column and ordered ihe assault. The 
enemy were formed behind a rail fence in the 
edge of thick woods. In their front, slightly 
descending, extended for some distance a corn 
field and a tract of cleared land with stumps and 
logs scattered over a portion of it. The column 
with fixed bayonets swept on to the attack with 
firm but rapid step until half the intervening 
ground had been traversed. Then the enemy's 
line, hitlierto concealed agd silent, suddenly 
smote the column with a sheeted fire so terrific 
and deadly that it staggered and halted. At 
this crisis, when anotl^pr moment might have 
seen the troops in headlong flight. General 
Stevens rushed forward on foot, seized the 
colors of the foremost regiment — the Seventy- 
ninth Highlands, his own former regiment — as 
they were falling from the hands of the wounded 
color-bearer, and, calling upon the men to 
follow their general, bore them to the front. 
The regiment, followed by the column, dashed 
forward with redoubled fury; they hurled the 
rail fence to the ground with one sweep of the 


line, dashing themselves against it, and drove 
the enemy before them. General Stevens fell 
in the moment of victory. He was found at 
the fence, dead, his temple pierced by a bullet, 
and the flag firmly grasped in his right hand. 
The Rebel force thus tiercely hurled back was a 
heavy flanking column commanded by " Stone- 
wall " Jackson in person. He renewed the 
fight, but Reno's and afterward Kearny's di- 
visions supported Stevens' veterans until night 
and a heavy slorra of rain, thunder and light- 
ning put an end to the conflict. General Stevens' 
heroic attack upon Jackson at the battle of 
Chantilly undoubtedly saved Pope's army from 
serious disaster. Jackson was advancing rapidly 
and was one half a mile from the only line of 
retreat when encountered. 

General Stevens was appointed Major General 
July 4, 1862. At the very hour of his death 
the President and Secretary of War were consid- 
ering the step of placing him in command of 
the army. It appears certain that nothing but 
death could have long kept him from that com- 
mand for which his talents, courage and devotion 
60 well qualified him. 

General Stevens married in September, 1841, 
Miss Margaret L. Hazard, daughter of Benjamin 
Hazard, a distinguished lawyer of Newport, 
Rhode Island, and left his widow, one son and 
three daughters. His remains were buried in 
Newport, where the city reared an imposing 
monument of granite, upon which is iu>icribed, 
" In memory of Major General Isaac Ingalls 
Stevens, born in Andover, Massachusetts, March 
28, 1818, who gave to theservice of his country 
a quick and comprehensive mind, a warm and 
generous heart, a firm will and strong arm, and 
who fell while rallying his command, with the 
flag of the republic in his dying grasp, at the 
battle of Chantilly, Virginia, September 1, 

It must sufiice for Olympia that we select one 
other name, and that the name of a man in his 
sphere, a thoroughly representative character, 
namely : 

Nathaniel Ostrander, M. D., 317 Eighth 
street, Olympia, Washington, one of the oldest 
medical practitioners in the State, was born in 
Ulstei' county, New York, December 28, 1818. 

Dr. Ostrander's parents, Abel and Catherine 
(Esterly) Ostrander, were natives of New York, 
and were descended from Holland ancestry. 
Abel Ostrander was reared to agricultural pur- 
suits, which he followed until 1836. Then he 
emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, and engaged 
in building and renting houses. In 1852 he 
removed to Washington Territory, located a 
donation claim upon the Cowlitz river, and 
there followed farming until his death. 

Nathaniel Ostrander was taken in infancy by 
his uncle, Nathaniel, by whom he was reared to 
the age of fourteen years, enjoying the privi- 
leges of the schools of New York city. In 1832 
he returned to his parents, and remained with 
them two years. Then he joined his brother, 
John, a merchant in St. Louis, Missouri, and as 
clerk in his store remained until 1836, when he 
moved to La Fayette county, and there con- 
tinued mercantile pursuits. He was married, 
in 1838, to Miss Eliza Jane Yantis, a native 
of Kentucky, of Dutch .descent. In 1845 he 
removed to Cass county, and engaged in farm- 
ing, and about this time commenced the study 
of medicine under the instruction of Dr. D. K. 
Palmer, pursuing his studies as he dro\e the 
plow. In 1847 he moved to Saline county, 
continuing his studies and attending two courses 
of lectiires in the medical department of St. 
Louis University, where he graduated in 1848. 
He then commenced practice in Saline county, 
continuing until 1850. 

In 1850 Dr. Ostrander joined the tide of 
western emigration, and with an ox team crossed 
the plains to California. He passed one year 
at mining, and in the practice of his profession 
in the camps at Rough and Ready and Onion 
Valley. In the fall of 1851 he returned to his 
family in Missouri, making the return trip 
via the Nicaragua route. He then converted 
his farm property into cash and a prairie outfit 


of tliree wagons and the necessary oxen, and 
again started for the Pacific coast, bringing 
his family and father, but this time directed 
his course toward Washington, theii a part of 
Oregon. Arriving at their destination in the 
fall of 1852, they located on the Cowlitz river, 
being among the first settlers in that valley. 
The Doctor engaged in farming, and also prac- 
ticed medicine as occasion required, remaining 
in that locality until 1872. He reclaimed two 
farms from nature's wilds, and a creek and vil- 
lage now bear his name. In 1872 he sold out 
and moved to Tnniwater, where he opened a 
small drug store and engaged in a general 
medical j^ractice. In 1879 he sold his store, and 
moved to Olympia, where lie has since followed 
his profession. 

Dr. Ostrander has been prominently identi- 
fied with the public affairs of this country, and 
none have been more untiring in their efforts 
to advance its best interests than he. He was 

the first Probate Judge of Cowlitz county, 
appointed by Isaac 1. Stevens, the first Terri- 
torial Governor, and in that capacity served 
for twelve years. He has served several times 
on the City Council of Olympia, and two terms 
as Mayor; also one term as a member of the 
Territoi'ial Legislature. Socially, he affiliates 
with the I. O. O. F., having passed all the 
chairs of the subordinate lodge and encamp- 

Although now seventy-four years of age, the 
Doctor is still erect and vigorous, only prac- 
ticing among his older patients, and passing 
the closing years of his life in the enjoyment 
of peace and plenty. He and his good wife 
have had eleven children, one son and ten 
daughters, eight of whom survive: Catherine, 
Mary A., Theressa, Margaret, May, Florence, 
Fanny L. and John Y.,— all married and 
settled in life. 




The " Inland Empiee" — Location of Si'okane — Beauty of Scenery — Its Railroad System- 
Schools AND Benevolent Associ.vtions — Medical Lake — Edison Electric Company — Tele- 
phone Business — L. H. Prathee — I. S. Kaufman — Judge McBride — Rev. J. B. Eene — • 
Rev. Nelson Clark. 


\HAT is known in the parlance of the 
Western coast as the " Inland Empii-e" 
is the region of country east of the Cas- 
cade range of mountains in both Washington 
and Oregon, extending from Couer d'Alene 
mountains on the north and the Klamath plateau 
on the south, and reaching eastward to the 
granite foot of the great Rocky range. In area 
it is three times as large as the great "Empire 
State." Its popular title, therefore, -'The Inland 
Empire," is by no means an unmeaning design- 
ation. With many towns and cities of the great 

present, and vastly ^ 
ance, it has one that 

ter prospective impftrt- 
and vvithout doubt is to 
remain, the regal queen of that imperial realm, 
namely, Spokane. 

"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole 
earth," is this Spokane. If this may seem a 
hyperbole in the statement the writer will con- 
sent to limit its application to the "Inland Em- 
pire," — aregion of scenic loveliness and grandeur 
and sublimity not exceeded on the whole on tlie 
American continent. As the eye never wearies 
of this loveliness, so the pen would not tire in 


recording it; but the limitations of our bouk 
compel discretion. 

The city is located in the very heart of the 
most perfect scenic poem. Form and color 
and motion have here their rarest blendings. 
Woodlands, lawns and waters mingle green soft- 
ness, gray soberness and silver brightness in one 
long and Ijroad picture such as no hand but that 
of the Infinite Artist could ever touch. Just 
where the Spokane river, which has come wan- 
dering down through the plains from the north- 
east for many miles, breaks first into laughing 
ripples, then speeds away through various chan- 
nels for a half mile race of flashing and jeweled 
beauty, and then leaps and ruslies out of sight 
into the deep basaltic chasm of its lower flow, 
the city crosses plain and river, and rises up the 
hill-slopes that echo back and across the soft 
music of the incomparable cascade. 

The divine marvel of its jeweled setting is 
matched by the human marvel of its own growth 
and beauty. Only twenty years ago a pioneer 
explorer, searcliing for a way through an unin- 
habited wild, accompanied only by his wife, a 
pioneer like himself; and a little daughter, found 
himself so bewildered in the unpathed intri- 
cacies of pine forests and basaltic precipices at 
the nighfall of a long June day of lonely travel, 
that he was compelled to halt and camp for the 
night under a pine tree's protection, without 
food for supper or breakfast. The morning 
woke them with the tremulous music of a near 
waterfall filling the white air. They found that 
they had encamped almost where the spray of 
Spokane Falls would moisten their brows. 
Against the gray breast of a distant hill a few 
blue wreaths of smoke from some Indian wig- 
wams were all that told of liumanity near. 
Then the writer first saw this spot; but he did 
not dream that night of all that he would see 
here only twenty years later. 

How to write of Spokane in any way and not 
seem to deal in eulogy rather than description is 
hard to tell. Its simple story is a romance. Its 
statistics show almost an Aladdin's creation. 
To enter upon either is to venture a field where 

we can find no near place to pause. A few sen- 
tences must cover all that we say, before we in- 
troduce to our readers some of the characters, 
who type hundreds like themselves, who were 
the builders of this Queen City. 

Spokane is the inland center of a vast system 
of railroads. It is on the main line of the 
Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads. A 
branch of the great Union Pacific system, leav- 
its main line at Pendleton, in Oregon, makes 
this its objective point. The Spokane Northern, 
now terminating at Northport on the upper 
Columbia, but to extend to the center of the 
great mining districts of British Columbia, the 
Spokane and Idaho, with other lines begun and 
projected, make this the one great focus of travel 
and trade in this vast interior. 

Its street railway system is a prominent fea- 
tui'e of the city's progress, — cable, electric and 
motor lines, operated by four companies, thirty- 
six miles combined. The electric-light plant, 
the cable railway, the electric railway, the ma- 
chinery of the city water works, an efficient 
water service for the fire department, are all 
operated by the water power of the falls. By a 
telephone system the city is connected with all 
points within a radius of 300 miles. The num- 
ber of church organizations is about thirty, all 
denominations being represented, some having 
several church edifices. There are ten public 
schools, employing fifty-eight teachers, one of 
which is the high school, with twelve instruc- 
tors. Of private schools the most notable are 
the Gonzaga College, with 100 pupils; two 
parochial schools, a girls' academy, a kinder- 
garten school and orphanage, the Jenkins Uni- 
versity, St. Mary's Hall, a young ladies semin- 
ary; a music conservatory and a business col- 
lege. The Hospital of the Sacred Heart, con- 
ducted by eighteen Sisters of Charity, has 100 
patients. The Sisters of St. Joseph conduct an 
orphanage, under the auspices of the Koman 
Catholic Church, with 150 orphans at present 
under their care. The Ladies' Benevolent So- 
ciety maintain a children's home, and now have 
forty in charge. There are eight banks, with a 


paid-up capital of 11,600,000; surplus and un- 
divided protits, $500,000. There are also sev- 
eral savings banks; the two leading ones have 
an aggregate capital of $110,000 and a surplus 
of $50,000. There are located here two flour 
mills, four breweries, twelve wooden- product 
factories, four iron foundries and many other 
manufacturing enterprises. 

Like Seattle the city ot Spokane was visited 
by fire in the eventful year for Washington fires. 
On July 4, 1889, the entire business section of 
Spokane Falls, as the city was then called, was 
swept out of existence by a devastating fire; 
and, like her sister city, Spokane has also arisen 
resplendent from the heaps of ruins, and finer, 
more substantial and more beautiful structures 
adorn Spokane, the third principal city of the 
State of Washington. 

A remarkable physical feature of the county, 
immediately related to Spokane, is Medical 
Lake, the location of the Eastern State Hospital 
for the Insane, which has 216 patients coufiiietl 
therein. The lake is situated on the summit of 
the great plain of the Columbia, at an altitude 
of 2,300 feet above sea level. It is about one 
mile long with a width of over half a mile. It 
is 80 named from the medical properties of the 
water. By an analysis by Professor Lansing, 
of New York, the water was found to contain 
in grains per United States gallon: Soda 
chloride, 16.370; potassic chloride, 9.241; lithic 
carbonate, traces; sodic carbonate, 6^.543; mag- 
nesia carbonate, .233; ferrous carbonate, .525; 
calcic carbonate, .186; aluminic oxide, .175; 
sodic silicate, 10.638; potassic sulphate, traces; 
sodic diborate, traces; organic matter, .551; 
total, 101.463. The Indians ascribed to its 
waters healing properties long before the lake 
becan^e a popular resort for the white man. 

As typing other facts in the material growth 
of this city we append the following: 

Edison Electric Illuminating (Jompany. — 
The electric light industries in the town were 
started in the fall of 1885. under the name of 
the Spokane Falls Electric Light & Power 
Co., and a modest little plant consisting of 

twelve arc lights and 150 incandescents was 
established in a station building in the center 
of the river on the north side. In 1886 the 
plant was removed to more commodious quar- 
ters, and in the fall of that year the Edison 
Electric Light Company, of New York, became 
stockholders in the plant, making the concern 
one of the then thirty-four central stations in 
the United States. An addition of thirty-five 
arcs and 1,000 incandescents was then installed. 
So great was the growth of the business that 
in 1887 all the available power at the new site 
in question was being used, and the directors 
were at their wit's end for increased facilities. 

At this time Mr. Norman, who was the 
owner of the telephone interests in the city 
and throughout the Coeur 'd Alene country, 
took the management of the plant, and a large 
interest in its stock, and set about to find a 
location upon the river which would give 
them ample power for all time to come. Engi- 
neers were engaged, and careful estimates made 
of the various sites, with the result that a 
selection was made of what is known as the 
"lower and main power" of the rivei-, which 
has a fall of seventy feet and a rated power 
at the lowest stage of the river of 18,545-horse 
power. This property, together witii the C and 
C mills, and the whole of the water power of 
the Spokane river lying west of and embracing 
some twenty acres of land and more than two- 
thirds of the entire water power of the Spokane 
river, with riparian rights on both sides of the 
river, was under Mr. Norman's management, 
gathered together under one body, and a new 
corporation was formed, known as The Wash- 
ington Water Power Company, for the pur- 
pose of acquiring the property and developing 
it, the stockholders in the new company being 
the controlling stockholders in the Lighting 

The capital stock of this new company was 
§1,000,000, the officers of the company being 
F. Rockwood Moore, president; J. D. Sher- 
wood, treasurer; and W. S. Norman, secretary. 
The company secured the services of Colonel J. 


T. Fanning, the eminent hydraulic engineer, as 
their consulting engineer, and Mr. Henry A. 
Herrick, C. E., as their resident engineer, and 
plans for the entire development of the river 
were prepared in the spring of 1889, when the 
work of improving the power was commenced. 
A dam, sixteen feet high, was constrncted 
across the river on solid basaltic foundations- 
at the great power, and headgates in solid 
granite masonry were built for the purpose of 
carrying the flumes to supply the power to 
the tenants. 

The station building of the Edison Company 
was started in the spring of 1890, and the 
whole plant was completed, and was in oper- 
ation in the fall. The Edison plant to-day is 
the most complete water-])0wer electric-light 
station in the United States. It is a building, 
60 X 120 feef, two stories high, of fire-proof 
construction throughout, the wheels being run 
under seventy-foot head. The water is carried 
to the station through two steel penstocks, each 
seven feet in diameter. The wheels are of the 
Victor Twin Horizontal pattern, and the whole 
plant is so arranged that uninterrupted power 
can be given for all time. The current has 
never been shut off since the station has been 

One of the best evidences of the growth of 
the city is found in the remarkable growth of 
this plant. In 1885, as we have said, it was 
running twelve arc ligiits and 150 incandescents, 
consuming about thirty-horse power. To-day 
in its big building it is turning out 10,000 in- 
candescents and 600 arc lights, and furnishing 
electric power for all the lines in the city, its 
power users alone consuming 850-horse power, 
and the whole plant to-day is using over 2,000- 
horse power. Most of the elevators in the city 
are run by the electric motor; the current is 
used to run all the printing-presses in the city, 
as well as for heating cars, cooking-stoves, and 
various domestic appliances, and fans for cooling 
and ventilating purposes are everywhere in cir- 
culation. The company's arc mains to-day are 
nearly 200 miles in length, and its incandescent 

mains traverse every graded street in the city. 
The station runs both day and night without 
interruption, and so popular is the current that 
to-day upward of 500 residents in the city 
use it. 

In 1886 the first street-car line was built in 
the city. It was originally installed by Messrs. 
Browne, Cannon & Ross, who afterward sold 
their interest to the Spokane Street Railway 
Company, in 1889. The Spokane Cable Rail- 
way was organized for the purpose of building 
a cable railway across the Monroe street bridge. 
This road was completed in the fall of 1889, and 
shortly after this time the stockholders of the 
Cable Railway Company purchased the control- 
ling interest in the Spokane Street Railway 

In February, 1891, the two companies being 
embarrassed, their plant was offered for sale, 
and as a result of negotiations was purchased by 
Mr. iN'orman in the interest of the Washington 
Water Power Company. Flans were at once 
made for the transformation of the system into 
a complete electric system, and bonds were 
issued for the purpose, and by September i, 
1891, the plant had been entirely reconstructed 
and remodeled, and the nucleus had been laid 
for a large and controlling system. The lines of 
the old company were principally in the west 
end of the town and on the North Side, but in 
Sejjtember franchises were secured by purchase 
and grant in the east end of the city, and this 
section has now been covered with lines, while 
during the present year the company has 
acquired control of the Ross Park Street Rail- 
way Company, the pioneer electric road of the 
city, which practically gives them control of the 
entire railway business of the city with the ex- 
ception of two suburban lines. The company 
to-day operates twenty-five miles of electric 
road and three miles of cable road. It operates 
twenty-three cars daily and has a car equipment 
of thirty-five cars. The cars are of very hand- 
some design, the color adopted being white. 
The company owns large tracts of land lying 
aloncr the line of its various roads, which radi- 

^^x^/^.j^^Y'ftt^^"^^^**^ J'^W^^ 


ate from tlie center of .the city and reach out 
ill all directions with nine arms. T^he whole of 
the stock of the companies is owned by The 
Washington Water Power Company. The total 
investment in the street-railway system, includ- 
ing its lands, figures up in the neighborhood of 

The company owns its own repair shops and 
•all of its machine work, and most of its car- 
building is now being done on the ground. 

The Washington Water Power Company is 
also engaged in the milling business, owning 
and operating the C and C Mills with its series 
of warehouses thi'oughout the adjacent country. 
This braucli of the business is under the super- 
intendency of Gleorge S. Palmer. 

Telephone Business. Spokane is tlie center 
of one of the most complete systems of long 
distance telephoning in the West. The plant 
in Spokane was started in 1886, under the name 
of Spokane Falls Telephone Company, Mr. W. 
S. Norman being principal stockholder, with a 
plant of fifty subscribers. A line was at this 
time built conueeting the Coeur 'd Alene mines 
just tlien discovered with Fort Sherman, and 
from Fort Sherman messages were transferred 
by Government telegraph wire to Spokane. In 
the following year a through line was con- 
structed from Spokane to the mines, and in 
1888 Mr. C. B. Hopkins, the pioneer telephone 
man of eastern Washington, connected the 
Palouse country system with the city, and with 
Mr. Norman built lines from Spokane west- 
wardly through the Big Bend country. In the 
spring of 1801 the plants, which had grown so 
amazingly in the four years that they made an 
increase of 900 per cent., were consolidated 
under the name of The Inland Telephone and 
Telegraph Company, the American Bell Com- 
pany taking a preponderating share in the 
stock. Of the new company the officers at 
present are W. S. Norman, president; C. B. 
Hopkins, general managei" F. E. Drake, 

The company has vastly extended its toll 
line business, and to-day Spokane is within 

speaking reach of 100 towns and villages in 
eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and 
northern Idaho, through lines extending clear 
across the State of Washington into Oregon. 
There are to-day three lines running south of 
the town into the Palouse country alone, and 
construction has been commenced upon a metal- 
lic circuit line from Spokane to Portland, Seattle 
and Tacoma. The company is now operating 
exchanges in Spokane, Colfax, Pullman, Palouse 
City, Moscow, Pendleton, Ellensburg, Dayton, 
North Yakima and Walla Walla, connection 
being had at a moment's notice between the 
subscriber's instrument and the subscriber in 
any other town. The capital stock of the com- 
pany is §800,000. 

During the recent labor troubles in the Cu3ur 
d' Alenes, the lines played an important part 
and were busy all the time in bringing out news 
of the calamitous affair. The mileage of line 
engaged in tlie teleplione system of the city 
alone is about 400 miles, the number of sub- 
scribers being between 500 and 600, each sub- 
scriber having a separate line. 

Among those whose life and work have made 
Spokane, and the great country of which it is 
the pulsing heart what they are, may be named 
the following: 

L. fl. Pkathek, a prominent lawyer and a 
member of the firm of Prather & Danson, 
Spokane, Washington, was born in Veruon, 
Jennings county, Indiana, in 1843, a son of 
Hiram and Mary A. (Huckleberry) Prather. 
His father was a leading member of the Indi- 
ana bar, often representing his constituency in 
the Legislature of that State, and during the lle- 
bellion won for himself a brilliant war record. 
He was Lieutenant Colonel of the Sixtti 
Indiana Volunteers, was wounded at the battle 
of Pittsburg Landing, and was compelled to re- 
sign his commission in 1863 on account of poor 
health. The subject of our sketch also took 
part in the Civil war. He was first a member 
of the Sixth Indiana Volunteers and afterward 
of the One Hundred and Fortieth Volunteer 
Regiment oi that State. He was present at the 


battles of Pittslnirgh Landing, Stone River, 
second battle of Mnrfreesboro, and tbe battle 
of Town Creek, North Carolina. He was de- 
tailed as acting Quartermaster on General Car- 
ter's staff and Chief of Ambulances of Third 
Division of the Twenty-third Army Corps, and 
was mustered out of the service July 11, 1865. 
He is now a member of the G. A. K., Sedg- 
wick, Post iS^o. 8, Spokane, and has served as 
Fourth Post Commander of the same. He has 
served two terms as member of the State Board 
of Education of the State of Washington. 

Mr. Prather received his early education in 
his native town and later attended Asbury 
University, Greencastle, Indiana. While at 
liome and during his university course his 
studies were such as to incline him to adopt the 
legal profession, and he was admitted to the bar 
at Columbus, Indiana, in May, 1868, since 
which time he has constantly been engaged in 
legal practice. During the past decade Mr. 
Prather has been a resident of Spokane, and 
has always taken an active interest in its prog- 
ress. The firm of Prather & Danson, occu- 
pying one of the most commodious suites in 
the Granite Block, corner of Riverside avenue 
and Washington streets, holds a high position 
among the legal profession, and justly so, for 
its individual members have had many years of 
practical experience in their profession and 
have been eminently successful therein. Mr. 
Prather is of a literary turn of mind and de- 
votes his leisure time to the study of literature. 
He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, of which church his father and grand- 
father were also members. 

He was married in 1879, to Miss Edna L. 
Rice, daughter of the late Hon. M. L. Rice of 
Arkansas, and a grandniece of ex-Governor 
Letcher of Kentucky. They have live children, 
Rose, Leander, Kate, Edna, Mary and Rice. 
Mr. Prather is in Spokane to stay. His attract- 
ive home in Altamont, one of the finest suburbs 
of this city, is brightened by the presence of 
his charming wife and and lovely children; so it 

is not surprising to tind him always in a happy 
and cheerful mood. 

1. S. Kaufman, of the lirni of I. S. Kaufman 
& Co., real estate dealers, Spokane, Washing- 
ton, has been identified with the interests of 
this growing city since 1883. 

Mr. Kaufman was born in Macon county, Illi- 
nois, in 1844, second child and only son of. 
John and Margaret (Montgomery) Kaufman, 
natives of Pennsylvania and Xorth Carolina, 
respectively. His father, a contractor and 
builder, removed to Illinois in 1836, and in 
that State passed the rest of his life, and died 
in 1877. In early life he was a Whig, and later 
a Republican.' He was a worthy member of the 
Methodist Church, as also is his venerable wife, 
who died August 12, 1892. 

In 1862, at the age of eighteen, the suViject 
of our sketch left school and entered the service 
of his country, becoming a niemberof Company 
F, One Hundred and Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, 
and remained with his regiment until the war 
closed. He entered as a private and was mus- 
tered out as Orderly Sergeant. Returning home 
broken in health after the war, Mr. Kaufman 
attended school one year and then spent four 
years in Minnesota, engaged in farming and 
speculating. At the end of that time he went 
back to Illinois, located at Decatur, and was 
thf^re engaged in the real-estate business until 
he came to Spokane in 1883. 

From the time Mr. Kaufman located in Spo- 
kane his name has been synonymous with hon- 
esty, integrity and business ability. Probably 
no man is better versed about the vast resources 
of the entire State of Washington than Mr. 
Kaufman, and his faith in her future has led 
him to become identified with some of the largest 
enterprises in Spokane. His excellent judgment, 
together with his enterprise, has enabled him to 
accumulate a large fortune within a compara- 
tively short time. Immediately upon his arrival 
here he entered into the real-estate business and 
has been identified with that important branch 
ever since. In public life as well a* businesg 


^^^-i-T-^'^W «^^^^^^c 



circles he has always commanded the highest 
respect of his fellow-citizeus who elected him as 
a member of the City Council for two years, 
and subsequently honored him with the election 
of Mayor of the city during an unexpired term. 
Mr. Kaufman organized the Eoss Park Syndi- 
cate in 1887, and with Messrs. Dennis and Brad- 
ley and the syndicate organized and built the 
Ross Park electric. railroad. He conceived the 
idea of erecting a block of granite, and he and 
Mr. Tilton, another one of the most prominent 
capitalists and business men of Spokane, erected 
in 1889 what is knowm as the Granite Block, 
occupying ninety feet frontage on Riverside av- 
enue and eighty-three feet on Washington 
street, and built at a cost of §120,000. It is 
five stories with a cupola, and the walls are 
granite from foundation to roof, the stone being 
from the famous granite quarries of the Little 
Spokane. It is lighted by electricity and heated 
by steam. An elevator is one of the modern 
conveniences which the occupants of the build- 
ing appreciate. Another prominent institution 
with which Mr. Kaufman is connected is the 
Exchange National Bank of Spokane, of which 
he is a director. He has served as a member of 
the School Board and is now a Trustee of Jen- 
kins University. He is a member of the G. A. 
R., Sedgwick Post, arid both he and liis wife are 
members of the Methodist Churcii, he being an 
active worker in the same and having organized 
the Sunday-school on the North Side. 

Mr. Kaufman was married in Illinois to Clara 
Belle Odell, and has live children: G. AYilson, 
Raymond T., Ralph, Clara Bessie and Isaac 

Judge Joun R. McBkide, a resident of Spo- 
kane since June, 1890, has for many years been 
prominently identitied with various portions of 
the West. 

He was born August 22, 1883, son of Dr. 
James McBride, a native of Tennessee, and 
Mahala (Miller) McBride who was born in Mis- 
souri in ISll. A self-educated man, he was the 
first Superintendent of Schools in Yam Hill 
county, Oregon, and during his incuujbency 

placed the schools of that county on a well-estab- 
lished basis. He studied law in Oregon with 
David Logan, son of Stephen T. Logan, of 
Springfield, Illinois, and in 1855 was admitted 
to practice in all the State and United States 
Courts. The following year he opened an office 
in Yam Hill county, Oregon, and remained 
there, engaged in the active practice of liis pro- 
fession until 1865, when he went to Idaho. He 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention 
in Oregon in 1857, and in 1862 was elected to 
Congress, on the Republican ticket. In 1865 
he was by President Lincoln appointed Chief 
Justice of Idaho, served three years and then 
resigned. He practiced law in Boise City until 
1873, and from that time until June, 1890, was 
a resident of Salt Lake City, being engaged in 
the practice of his profession there under the 
firm name of Sutherland A: McBride. The 
Judge served as a member of the Republican 
National Committee of Idaho for eight years 
and also of the same body in Utah for eight 
years. He was one of the delegates to the Re- 
publican National Convention at Minneapolis in 
1892, which nominated Benjamin Harrison for 
President. He now has a large legal practice 
in Spokane, being attorney for the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company and doing an exten- 
sive business for various mining corporations. 

Judge McBride has been twice married. In 
1852 he wedded Miss E. M. Adams, a native of 
Illinois and a member of a prominent family. 
She died in 1866, leaving three children, 
namely: Isabella Octavia, wife of Secretary 
Wanamaker's private secretary; Wil'lis P.. 
Clerk of the Superior Court of Seattle, Wash- 
ington; and Frank M., Assistant Postmaster in 
the post ofiice at Salt Lake City. In 1871 he 
married Miss Helen Lee, of Philadelphia, and 
they have four children: Howard, Anne Lee, 
Walter S., and Henry C. 

The Judge is a member of the Masonic fra- 

In connection with his family history, it 
should be further stated that his youngest 
brother, George W- Mc]>ride, is Secretary of 


the State of Oregon, and that another brother, 
Thomas A. McBride, is one of tlie District 
Judges of the State of Oregon. 

Hev. J. B. Eene, S. J., tlie able President of 
Gonzaga College, in Spokane, AVashington, 
who has been for many years prominently iden- 
tified with the edncational institutions of the 
Roman Catholic Church, was born in Montre- 
vault, on the western shore of France, in 1841. 
His earliest education was received in the Insti- 
tution of Conibree, where he remained seven 
years, afterward entering the University of 
France at Angers, graduating at the latter insti- 
tution in 1861, when twenty years of age. He 
then entered the Seminary of St. Snlpice, for 
the purpose of completing his theological course, 
with a view of following a religious calling. 
In 1862, lie entered the "Novitiate of the Society 
of Jesus, at Angers, and two years later he was 
sent to St. Acheui, near Amiens, in Cicandy, to 
study rhetoric. In 1863, he entered the Scho- 
lasticate in Laval, where he studied pliilosophy 
and the sciences for three years. In 1867, he 
was sent to Paris to begin his career as a teacher 
in the famous College of Vaugirard. In 1870, 
he was obliged to leave Paris on account of the 
Prussian invasion, and went to Le Mans, in order 
to assist in the foTinding of the College of Notre 
Dame de Sainte Croix, where he taught the 
classics, from grammar up to rhetoric, to sixty 
students. In 1874, he began the theological 
course of study at St. Bennos, in England, which 
institution, situated on a hill in the midst of 
the beautiful scenery of that region, commanded 
a view -of Liverpool and the ships sailing on the 
sea to all parts of the world. After four years, 
he returned to France, and took the direction of 
the Apostolic School, of Poictiers, Vienna. 
After one year, he was sent to Brest, in Brit- 
tany, to be prefect of study and discipline in 
in the naval school of this strong and impreg- 
nable harbor. After a year here, he went to 
Paray-le-Monial in Burgundy, to give one year 
to ascetical studies, near the famous sanctuary 
dedicated to the Sacred Heart, where the beloved 
Margaret Mary was favored with the wonderful 

apparitions that gave birth to the Devotions of 
the Sacred Heart. In 1880, he was dispatched 
to Ireland, in order to assist in the founding of 
the Apostolic College of Munqot, near Limerick. 
He remained at the head of this college for eight 
years, first as director of the students under the 
rectorship of Rev. W. Ronau, and then as rec- 
tor himself of this flourishing establishment. 
Many apostolic priests, now working with zeal 
in America, Africa, China and Australia, passed 
from that missionary place. In 1888, he re- 
turned to France, and devoted one year in the 
Island of Jersey to tiie training of the naval 
students, there committed to the care of the 
French Jesuits. In 1889, he was sent to Rouen, 
in Normandy, a city remarkable for its historic 
monuments, such as Ouen, etc., and by the 
martyrdom of the heroic Joan of Arc. While 
here, Father Rene asked to be sent to the Rocky 
Mountains Mission, where, after a few months 
spent at St. Ignatius Mission, Montana, and at 
the Desmet Mission, Idaho, he was appointed 
President of Gonzaga College, on April 2, 1891, 
which position he has ever since filled. Here, 
as elsewhere, he has been characterized by that 
energy and ability which has been the main- 
spring of his success in life, and which has filled 
the minds and hearts of so many students with 
zeal and learning, which they have carried to the 
uttermost ends of the .earth. 

Rev. Nelson Clark. — Few men have in 
them naturally more of the essential elements of 
the true pioneer than has the subject of this 
sketch. Quite careful, methodical, persevering, 
full of that foresight which sees both opportun- 
ities and dangers from afar and prepares for 
them, he could hardly have failed to make a 
reasonable success of life. 

In addition to the elements that are in his 
own being, and in no small measure accounting 
for them, Mr. Clark had the happy fortune of 
being well born. He was the son of Archibald 
Clark and Nancy (Pope) Clark, and was born to 
them in Decatur county, Indiana, October 28, 
1830. His mother was the daughter of Ben- 
jamin D. Pope, in wliom was mixed the warmth 



and solidity of the blood of France and Wales, and 
was also a cousin of Koger Sherman, whose name 
is among the immortal signers of the Declaration 
of American Independence. Mr. Benjamin D. 
Pope was a resident of Canada at the time of 
the American Revolution, but he so resolutely 
refused to take up arms against the colonies 
that he was thrown into prison for six weeks, 
when he made his escape, took his family and 
crossed the St. Lawrence river and took up his 
abode in the colony of New York. Here Mr. 
Clark's father was born, and from here he re- 
moved to Decatnr, Indiana, at an early day, 
where Nelson was born. The family removed 
to Iowa in 1847, and then to Adams county, 
Illinois, where the father died July 10, 1864. 
He was for many years a local minister in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, and his was the 
welcome home of the pioneer itinerants of that 
region for many years. 

In the spring of 1853, Nelson Clark, then 
Imt a youth of twenty-three, decided to emi- 
grate to Oregon. Young as he was, and reared 
amidst the aspirations of a pioneer life, he was 
already a licensed preacher in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. Like many another who 
subsequently achieved success on the Pacific 
Coast, Mr. Clark worked his way across the 
plains for the weary half-year that it then re- 
quired to malce that journey. 

On arriving in Oregon in the autumn, Mr. 
Clark settled in Grand Prairie, in Lane county, 
on a land claim. In the spring of 1854 he was 
called to the work of the active ministry by Rev. 
T. H. Pearne, presiding elder of the Methodist 
Episcopal Chui-ch in Willamette valley, who 
appointed him to a pastoral charge. In 1855 
he united with the Oregon Annual Conference, 
and entered fully upon the work of the ministry. 
He had not been long in this work when the 
good genius, that has so often and so long helped 
his destiny, gave him, as the companion and 
help of his life, Miss Jane Gilbert, daughter of 
Lorenzo Dow and Hannah (I'elknap) Gilbert, of 

Belknap settlement, in Benton county, Oregon, 
to whom he was married in 1856. By birth- 
right, by personal endowments, and by those 
qualities that make a pure and noble woman- 
hood, she was all that he might have desired as 
the help and hope of his life. 

In the work Mr. and Mrs. Clark had chosen 
they labored earnestly and successfully. Mr. 
Clark served acceptably and profitably quite a 
number of the more prominent of the charges 
of the Oregon conference, such as Eugene 
City, Brownsville, Shedd, Dallas and Hillsboro, 
for thirty years. In 1885, his health having so 
far failed that he did not feel that he was longer 
fitted to endure the strain of the itinerancy, he 
took a superanunated relation to his conference, 
and moved with his family to Spokane Falls in 
the then Territory of Washington. Here his 
faithful fortune again smiled upon him, for, 
by the wise investment of what his life of careful 
economy and faithful industry he had been able 
to save during the former years, he became com- 
paratively wealthy. Since 1885 Mr. and Mrs. 
Clark have resided continuously in Spokane, 
where they have won the respect and confidence 
of the people in an eminent degree. 

To them have been born a family of seven 
children, whose lives have reflected the virtues 
and purity of the home from whence they went 
oxit. Two of them, namely, Mrs. Alice M. 
Doane, and Miss Eflie Jane Clark, both ladies 
of most e.xalted character, have died. The lat- 
ter passed away while a student at Evanston, 
Illinois, leaving a record for character and ac- 
complishments that are the pride and boast of 
the great institution of which she was a most 
beloved and honored student. 

After a full forty years of honorable and use- 
ful pioneer life Mr. Clark and his most worthy 
companion are spending the late afternoon of 
their history in the rest of a beautiful home that 
overlooks one of the most charming city and 
country views w-hich the human eye ever beheld, 
I and they are well worthy of it. 

nisTonr of Washington. 



The Northern Pacific Paii 


W. Geiggs. 

)An— The Tacoma OF 1887 — Of 1892-Cause-< — Beautt of Loca- 


/TT'- EORGE FRANCIS lIOAP.,in an address 
I Tf before tlie Massachusetts Club of Poston, 
>-j[[ in July, 1889, said: 

" It is diflicult to imagine what must be 
tlie destiny of that wonderful region (Puget 
Sound), unsurpassed on this earth for the fer- 
tility of its soil, and with a salubrious climate 
where it seems impossible that human life 
should come to an end if the ordinary laws of 
liealth should be observed, with a stimulating 
atmosphere where l)rain and body are at tlieir 
l)est. * * * « * Tliere 

our children, our brethren and our kinsmen 
have carried the j^rinciples of New England; 
there on tlie shores of that Pacilic sea they are 
to repeat on a lai-ger scale, with grander results, 
this wonderful drama which we and our fathers 
have enacted here. There are to be the streets of a 
wealthier New York, the homes of a more cul- 
tured Boston, and the hall.« of a more learned 
Harvard, and the workshops of a busier Wor- 

When twenty years ago the Northern Pacific 
Rnilroad began its bold march across the con- 
tinent, its way lay over trackless prairies and 
into forests virgin and deep. Its forerunner at 
the south, the Union Pacific, had followed that 
long line of human bones which stretched away 
across the great desert, the ghastly tracing of 
that tidal wave of emigration which had swept 
to the gold fields of California. It followed in 
the wave of population ; its objective was a rich 
and developed commonwealth. The new road 
sought an almost undiscovered and unpeopled 
country. The long tier of great territories 
which the Northern Pacific would traverse on 
its way to the ocean were little more than lines 

upon the map. But the projectors of the road 
knew that therein lay tlie locked-up wealth of 
an empire, and their daring and fertile brains 
were populous with dreams. 

Far to the westward, a natural gateway to the 
Pacific, lay a beautiful inland sea, bluer than the 
yEgean and shadowed by a soaring mountain 
dome of snow, before whose bold and massive 
splendor high Olympus would shrink to the 
stature of a pigmy. By the shores of this sea 
they saw rise, in prophetic vision, a city of com- 
merce, beauty and wealth; a rival of San Fran- 
cisco, a terminal of trans-continental and trans- 
Pacific traffic, a mart of inland, coastwise and 
oriental trade. It was a dream, but when the 
hour struck, it was to be fulfilled with the rapid 
action of a romance. 

In 1887 the railroad's long struggle for a pass- 
age across the Cascades was ended, and the first 
overland train, by direct route, touched the 
shores of Puget Sound. Years before the direct- 
ors had chosen as the terminal a commanding 
site at the extreme head of navigation on the 
sound. It took its name from the great mount- 
ain at whose feet it lay, known in the melodious 
Indian dialect as "Tacoma." But the resolution 
of a board of directors did not make a city. In 
1880, what was then Tacoma, was an Indian 
trading hamlet of hardly 800 people, lying close 
to the water's edge, and walled in by the somber 
forest. Three years later the establishment of 
an all-rail connection with Portland and the 
outside world, lent a quickening pulse. But the 
completion of the stampede switch-back found 
it still a struggling western town, new and raw 
and crude. There were a few graded streets; 
for the rest, the charred stumpage and fallen 


giants of the bnrned-over forest ro=e bare and 
black against the circling bluffs. 

Were an Easterner, accustomed to Eastern 
slowness of development, having known the 
Tacoma of then, to behold the Tacoma of to-daj, 
he might easily conceive himself face to face 
with the magic of Aladdin's lamp. The Tacoma 
of to-daj is the achievement of those short five 
years. In that brief time the dense jungle of a 
Paget Sound forest has been cut away, its 
roughness subdued, and in its stead there has 
been planted a modern and beautiful city — a city 
of more than 30,000 population, of $43,000,000 
of assessed wealth, with a great trade by water 
and by rail, with magnilicent business blocks, 
with tasteful and elegant homes and stretching 
lawns, club houses and fine public buildings, 
cable and electric railways, with- parks, with 
libraries, with theaters, with schools and colleges, 
all the appointments of civilized life, and or- 
ganized on a scale which would reflect credit on 
a city with quadruple the population. 

It is doubtful if a similar example of develop- 
ment so swift, so well ordered and complete, can 
be summoned even from the pages of the rapid 
growth of western cities. The discoveries of 
" bonanza " mines have created great mining 
camps like Leadville and Butte, in perhaps a 
like space. But Tacoma is not an uncouth min- 
ing camp of the frontier, but a city of Eastern 
appearance. Eastern people, and Eastern culture. 
A Pullman to be sure is more perfect architec- 
turally, for individual effort cannot achieve the 
symmetry attainable by the compactly directed 
expenditure of millions. But Tacoma is not, 
like a Pullman, the child of a corporation, al- 
though the Northern Pacific railroad may have 
stood as its god-father; and Tacoma has what a 
Pullman can never have, the unwearying panor- 
ama of the pine-darkened Cascades, the blue 
Olympics with their cresting snows,' the broad 
expanse of placid sea, and best of all, the Jovian 
front of that most stately and superb of all the 
mountain peaks of the continent. Mount Rainier, 
frequently called Tacoma. 

The growth of the new city was swift and 
astonishing. But was it solid and enduring? 
Did it tread firm earth, or was it but the fig- 
ment of a "boom'"? Let the last two years 
answer. The wild rush which had followed the 
completion of the railroad to Puget Sound was 
already over when the Baring failure drew taut 
the purse strings of every investor and capital- 
ist. The stringency was keenly felt in the long 
established States, — still more keenly in the new. 
Yet the two years Avhich followed have done 
more for Tacoma than the three which preceded. 
Speculation stopped, building began. The long 
column of real-estate transfers was replaced by 
the tabulation of building permits. These two 
years have seen the rise of the city's most 
imposing structures, — its courthouse costing 
$350,000, its city hall costing $300,000, 
the Chamber of Commerce, the Berlin, 
Bernice, "Washington, Fidelity, California, Mer- 
chants' National Bank, Pacific National Bank, 
Gross Bros., Tacoma Theater, and other splendid 
blocks; they have seen the beginning of con- 
struction of a 12,000,000 hotel, the fines'f on 
the coast, now ne^ring completion; they have 
seen a steady stride in population, in business 
and trade, the construction of buildings whose 
value aggregates over $6,000,000, the develop- 
ment of a jobbing trade from $10,000,000 to 

Such has been Tacoma's advance in the face 
of financial stringency, and when the last sem- 
blance of a " boom " had passed away it signi- 
fies with decisive emphasis that the city's 
growth, phenomenal as it has been, was not of 
that factitious and mushroom characters© often 
seen. There were, in truth, deep, more potent 
causes operating to build a great city at the 
head of Puget Sound. That such a city should 
one day exist was a sure and fixed destiny when 
the idea of a northern trans-continental line first 
found root in the brain of its projectors. 

It lies along what the prophetic finger of 
Senator Thomas ET. Benton forty years ago 
pointed out as " The American road to the 


Orient." The constniction of the Northern 
Pacific was one link of connection; the estab- 
lishment of the Tacoma-Hong Kong line of 
steamers was the second. Just as ocean com- 
merce has built the cities of New York, Boston, 
Baltimore, just as the Chinese Japanese ship- 
ping has been a chief factor in the growth of San 
Francisco, so would the establishment of com- 
merce and shipping, combined with its position 
as the terminal of a chief tranfcontinental rail- 
road, -be sufKcient in itself to build Tacoma to 
the stature of a great city. 

But the conspiracy of forces goes yet deeper. 
Back of New York and Baltimore was com- 
merce; back of Pittsburgwas coal and iron, back 
of Chicago, Omaha and Kansas City were the 
granaries of the west; back of St. Paul and 
Minneapolis were the pine forests of Minnesota 
and the Dakota wheat iields; back of Denver 
was the wealth of the Rockies; and by reaso!) of 
these tilings those cities have grown great. 
Back of Tacoma are the wheat fields of Eastern 
Washington and the hop fields of the valleys of 
the Sound, the coal and iron deposits of the 
Cascades; in the Cascades, too, are stores of gold 
and silver, and round about the Sound is the 
greatest forest on the American continent; and 
by reason of these has the city achieved its 
present position. Here is the secret of its aston- 
ishing development. Had indeed the conjunc- 
tion of natural resources been less powerful no 
such development conld have taken place. But 
whoever will give attentive examination of the 
various factors at work will cease to wonder at 
the i-esult. 

Tt woTild bo over-just to Tacoma, and unjust 
to other representative cities of the State, if we 
did not say here that these great factors are com- 
mon, in a great measure, to the other cities of 
the sound, and are the pledge of a futui-e of 
growth and power in that whole region of which 
this city will be an expressive type. It would 
be impossible for us to do more than give them 
this generalization without attempting to lead 
our readers into the domain of statistics. 

For the rest of the story, the reader is invited 
to visit and behold with his own eyes the city 
itself. Man, maker of cities, may have sum- 
moned to life the wealth of its forests and its 
hills, have made its valleys hum with the voices 
of industry and set its beautiful harbor with 
ships, but the hand of man could never have 
sculptiired her imperial hills, and dowered these 
with an air and view that take us back for com- 
parison to the land where civilization lay in its 
cradle, and awoke to poetry under the soft skies 
of Greece. Circling the waters of Commence- 
ment Bay and terraced like a broad amphitheater, 
lie the bluffs on which the city is built. The 
business part occupies the narrow strip of shore 
line, and the lower terraces; above these, rising 
tier upon tier, is the residence portion; the green 
sward of the lawns, green the whole year round, 
giving an exquisite setting to the gayer colors 
of the handsome modern homes. These latter 
are one of the remarkable features of the city; 
their cost exceeding those of any city of equal 
or even much greater size. In every direction 
stretch vistas of exquisite beauty. (->nly the 
far horizon limits the wide view — a horizon set 
up for almost its entire rim, of the Cascades and 
the Olympics. " Lifting far their crystal climb 
of snow," and high over these. Mount Rainier, 
rearing his snowy battlements far above the 
clouds. The air seems still with a singular 
serenity, and soft as a caress. Neither scorch- 
ing blasts nor fierce, cold cyclones, blizzards nor 
thunder-storms disturb its peace. Roses, blos- 
soming as never roses of Sharon blossomed, 
scent the air from May to January. The sum- 
mer is a long June, and winter a mild Novem- 

And it is perhaps this rare union of physical 
wealth and salubrity of climate, opportunity for 
business and restful, restorative air, that has 
won so many wealthy, cultured and intelligent 
people to this new city. Here the race for 
wealth is not won at the price of a ruined con- 
stitution; here health and fortune, successful 
business and daily enjoyment uf life may go 


hand in hand. It has converted many a tourist 
to a resident, and contributed powerfully to that 
splendid march of development we have told. 
It will be a potent factor in the city's progress 
toward the attainment of its manifest destiny, so 
much of which it has already claimed for its 

Following are sketches of representative 
citizens of Tacoma: 

Majoe-Genekal J. W. Sprague, than whom 
no name is more intimately associated with the 
development of Tacoma, justly deserves men- 
tion in the history of AVashington, which State 
he helped to create. 

John Wilson Spragne was born in Washing- 
ton county, New York, April 4, 1817, his 
parents being Otis and Polly (Peck) Sprague. 
The founder of the Sprague family in Amer- 
ica was William, who came from England iu 
1628, landing in Massachusetts in September. 
He settled at Naumkeag (Salem), and was 
known as one of the leading planters of Massa- 
chnsetts. He was appointed by Governor Endi- 
cott to explore and take possession of the 
conntry west of Hingham, and in 1636 several 
parcels of land were given this explorer by the 
town of Hingham. From the latter town, he re- 
moved to Charlestown and made peace with the 
Indians there, two of his brothers being the first 
settlers of that place. William died at Hing- 
ham, October 26, 1675, after a long and useful 
life spent in the service and development of his 
country. ()ne of his sons, Anthony, had a son 
Jei-emiah, among whose children was Knight 
Sprague, whose son Asa had a son Otis, the 
father of the subject of this sketch. Asa Sprague, 
the grandfather of the General, was born at 
Hingham, the old family seat, and Otis was a 
native of Worcester, Massachusetts, but eventu- 
ally removed to New York State. 

John W. Sprague, whose name heads this 
sketch, was a mere boy when his parents re- 
moved to Troy, New York, where he resided 
until he was twenty-eight years of age. He was 
educated in the common schools of that city and 
at the Rensselaer P(jlytcclinic Institute. On 

completing his education, he embarked in the 
wholesale grocery business as a member of the 
firm of Wallace & Sprague, in which he con- 
tinued for five years. At the end of that time 
he removed to Huron, Ohio, then on the front- 
ier, where he established himself in the for- 
warding and commission business and in lake 
commerce, as a member of the firm of Wright 
& Sprague, and later, of Wilbur & Sprague, 
who, in connection with their regular opera- 
tions, built, owned and operated vessels. It was 
in the midst of these active and profitable en- 
terprises that the war of the Rebellion broke 
out, when, prompted by patriotism, Mr. Sprague 
at once took his stand in defense of the Union. 
On the first call for troops, he raised a com- 
pany, and reported at Camp Taylor, near Cleve- 
land. May 19, 1861, this company was 
assigned to the Seventh Regiment of the Ohio 
Infantry, which was shortly afterward ordered 
to Camp Dennison. Here the regiment re-or- 
ganized for three years' time, and was ordered 
forward to West Virginia. August 11, 1861, 
while Captain Sprague was proceeding, under 
orders, from Somerville to Clarksville, with an 
escort of four mounted men, he was captured 

near Bij' Birch river, after 


lase of 

al)Out three miles, by a detachment of the Wise, 
Legion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Crohan. Captain Sprague was taken to Rich- 
mond, where he was confined about six weeks 
in a tobacco house, after which he was trans- 
ferred to Charleston, South Carolina, being con- 
fined first at Castle Rinckney and afterward in 
the Charlestown jail. January 1, 1862, he was 
sent to Columbia, South Carolina, and on the 
5th was removed to Norfolk, Virginia, to be ex- 
changed, and on the lOtli reached Washington 
city. While on his way to join his regiment, 
which was still stationed in Virginia, Captain 
Sprague received from Governor Tod a com- 
mission as Colonel of the Sixty-third Ohio In- 
fantry. This latter regiment was at Marietta, 
Ohio, but its organization was incomplete. This 
was rapidly accomplished, however, and on the 
"lOth of February, Colonel Sprague moved for- 


ward -n-ith his regiment, to report to General 
Sherman, at Padncah, Kentucky, and immedi- 
ately on arriving there was ordered to report to 
General Tope at Commerce, Missouri. Under 
the latter officer, Colonel Spragne participated 
in the operations at New Madrid and Island 
No. 10, after which he joined the army at 
Fittshnrg Landing. He moved with the army 
against Corinth, and subsequently commanded 
his regiment in the battle of luka, but was only 
slightly engaged. The Colonel again partici- 
pated in the battle of Corinth, October 8 and 
4, 1862. On the 4th, his regiment was posted 
on the right of Battery Robinett and lost more 
men, in porportion to its size, than any other 
on the field. More than one-half of the men 
were killed and wounded, and ijiit three line 
officers escaped unharmed. 

Subsequently, Colonel Sprague was, for some 
time, engaged in various operations of minor 
importance. In the latter part of 1863, his 
regiment re-enlisted, only seven of the men 
present declining to re-enter the service. Colonel 
Sprague has always looked upon this almost 
unanimous act of his regiment as equal in im- 
portance to any of its deeds on the battle field. 

In the latter part of January, 1864, Colonel 
Sprague was assigned by General Dodge, to the 
command of the brigade, consisting of the 
Forty-third and Sixty-third Ohio Regiments, 
the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin, the Thirty-fifth 
New Jersey, and the Third Michigan Battery. 
In April, the brigade marched from Chatta- 
nooga with the Army of the Tennessee, under 
General McPherson, and formed part of the 
grand army under General Sherman. Colonel 
Sprague was actively engaged during the entire 
Atlantic campaign, and at Resaca, Dallas and 
Nicojack creek. At Decatur, on the 22d of 
July, he was, to quote from a history of the 
war, " conspicuous for coolness and bravery. 
At Decatur, Colonel Sprague was covering and 
guarding the trains of the entire army, consist- 
ing of over 4,000 wagons. He was attacked by 
superior numbers, and the contest continued for 
more than four hours; but by his own bravery 

and ability, no less than by the courage and 
prompt obedience of his men, the enemy was 
finally repulsed, and oidy one wagon was lost. 
His brigade lost 292 men, killed and wounded." 

Colonel Sprague was appointed Brigadier- 
General July 29, 1864. After the fall of 
Atlanta, he moved with General Sherman to 
Savannah, and thence northward on the cam- 
paign of the Carolinas. After the surrender of 
the Rebel armies, he moved from 'Goldsboro, 
through Raleigh and Richmond, to Washing- 
ton city, where he participated in the grand 
review of Sherman's army. His command hav- 
ing been disbanded at the close of the war, he 
was assigned to duty by the Secretary of the 
AYar as Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau 
of Refugees, Freed men and Abandoned Lands, 
with headquarters at St. Louis, Missouri. The 
district under his charge comprised the States 
of Missouri and Kansas, and subsequently the 
Indian Territory. In September, 1865, General 
Sprague's headquarters were removed to Little 
Rock, Arkansas, where he remained until 
November, when he resigned. In the mean- 
time he was offered the position of Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the Forty-first United States Infan- 
try, which he declined, and he was brevetted 
Major-General of Volunteers, to date from 
March 13, 1864. To quote again from the 
work previously referred to: "His character as 
a soldier is unimpeachable, and his influence 
with his regiment, and later with his brigade, 
was almost unbounded. No one who knew 
him as a soldier failed to esteem and love him. 
He was always prompt, efficient and brave." 

At the close of the war. General Sprague was 
appointed General Manager of the Winona & 
St. Peter Railroad in Minnesota, and removed 
to Winona. In the spring of 1870 he assumed 
charge of the interests of the Northern Pacific 
Railroad west of the Rocky Mountains, and 
under his direction the road from Kalama to 
Tacoma was constructed in 1871-'73, and he 
afterward controlled its operation, and had 
charge of the land department, as well as of all 
the varied interests of -the company between the 



Hocky Mountains and Paget Sound. He also 
bnilt 325 miles of the line east of the Rockies, 
between AVallnla and Pend d' Oreille lake. He 
continued in control of the operations of the 
Northern Pacific in the West until 1882, when 
his health failed, as a result of the exposures to 
whicii he had subjected himself, as well as from 
the over-activity of his life, and he resigned. 

He established the Tacoma National Bank, 
whicli was the first national bank ever organized 
in the metropolis of Washington. In 1889 he 
sold out his interest in this bank, but has been 
president of the Union Savings Bank & Trust 
Company since January, 1892, and is also vice- 
president of the Piiget Sound Savings P)ank. 
Aside from his connection with thes-e insti- 
tutions, and the attention he necessarily gives to 
his various interests. General Sprague is practi- 
cally retired from active business. He was one 
of the organizers of the Tacoma Chamber of 
Commerce, and was president of that body dur- 
ing the first three years of its existence. He is 
a member of the Loyal Legion, having been 
commander of the Oregon department in the 
first year of its existence, and when the Wash- 
ington department was organized he was chosen 
as its first connnander. 

June 22, 1843, General Sprague was married 
in Huron, Ohio, to Miss Lucy, daughter of 
Judge Jabez Wright. She died in the follow- 
ing year, leaving one daughter, Lucy L., now 
the wife of John W. Wickham, Jr., of Huron, 
Ohio. January 10, 1849, the General was 
married to Julia F., daughter of Judge George 
W. Choate, and she died in 1887, leaving four 
children: Otis, Winthrop W., Clark W., and 
Charles. He was married, in 1890, to his pres- 
ent wife, who was formerly Mrs. Abljie 
(Wright) Vance. 

General Sprague's whole life has been marked 
by ]-esponsibility, power, energy and ability, 
and he has left his impress indelil)lj upon the 
history of the State of Washington. 

Colonel Chaitncet Weight Griggs, presi- 
dent of the St. Paul it Tacoma Lumber Com- 

pany, and one of the foremost citizens ot Wash- 
ington, was born December 31, 1832, in Tolland, 
Connecticut, which place has been for four 
generations the family seat. The founders of 
the family came to America early in its history, 
and their descendants have since figured promi- 
nently in church matters, in politics, in business 
affairs, and in the various wars in which the 
country has been involved. 

Captain Chauncey Griggs, father of Colonel 
Griggs ot this notice, who obtained his title as 
an officer in the war of 1812, was a Judge of 
Probate at Tolland and a member of the State 
Legislature of Connecticut for a number of years. 
The mother of the subject of this sketch was, 
previous to her marriage, Heartie Dimock. The 
Diinocksof New England, through Elder Thomas 
Dimock, an early settler of Barnstable, Massa- 
chusetts, trace tiieir descent from the Dimocks 
of England, who from the time of Henry I to 
that of Victoria have held and exercised the 
office of hereditary champion of England, and 
for the same have been knighted and baroneted. 
The Dimocks were prominent in the Itevolu- 
tionary war, and some of them served as officers 
of prominent command. Tlie foregoing items 
are taken from published volumes of Connecti- 
cut history and genealogy. 

The subject of this sketch received a com- 
mon-school education at Tolland, and at about 
the age of seventeen years went to Ohio, where 
he was for a short time employed as a clerk in 
a store. Returning home, he finished his edu- 
cation at the Monson Academy, in Massachu- 
setts, at that time one of the best institutions of 
its kind in New England. He ■subse(|uently 
taught school for a while, and in 1S;51 went 
West, first settling in Detroit, where for a brief 
period he had employment in a bank, after 
whicli he went to Ohio, where he was engaged 
in mercantile business. He next went to Iowa, 
from which State he returned to Detroit, where 
he was for a time interested in the furniture 
business with his brother. Thence he went to 
St. Paul in 18.50, and soon was busily engrossed 


in various channels of commerce, operating a 
supply store, contracting, speculating in real 
estate, etc. 

The breaking out of the late war aroused his 
youthful patriotism, and induced him to lay 
aside his own business interests and unre- 
servedly give his services to his country. He im- 
mediately set about organizing a company, re- 
cruiting it in connection with other ofhcers, in 
various portions of the State, into which, when 
organized, he was mustered a private with Com- 
pany B, of the Third Minnesota Infantry. The 
regiment proceeded to Kentucky, where for six 
or eight months it was stationed, operating near 
Louisville and in Central Kentucky, looking 
after the pushing ahead of supplies, etc. Sub- 
sequently the command was advanced into Ten- 
nessee, the subject of this sketch having been 
in the meantime promoted to Major and event- 
ually to Lieutenant-Colonel of the regiment. He 
was placed in charge of the regimental Murfrees- 
borough, but soon afterward his Colonel being 
succeeded by General Crittenden, Colonel Griggs 
was returned to his former position. The regi- 
ment was attacked by General Forrest, whose 
command outnumbered the Federals three to 
one, and the latter, after maintaining for several 
hours an unequal combat, were forced to sur- 
render, but against the vigorous protest of 
Lieutenant-Colonel Griggs. The Colonel had 
been in several minor engagements previous to 
this one, and by his brave, soldierly conduct, had 
earned the promotion mentioned. After the 
surrender, the regiment was paroled and sent to 
Missouri, and later participated in the Indian 
campaign in Minnesota. The officers, however, 
went forward as prisoners of war, and were held 
for three months at Madisonville, Georgia, and 
thence were forwarded via South Carolina and 
Libby Prison, to be exchanged. After full re- 
ports of the engagement at Murfreesborough had 
been made, the Colonel and those who had voted 
for surrender were dismissed, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Griggs was promoted to the-Colonecy of 
the Third Minnesota. The regiment had by 
this time been through the Indian campaign and 

returned to the South via Cairo, proceeding to 
Columbus, Kentucky, then under command of 
General A. Smith. From the latter place. Col- 
onel Griggs was sent with his own and three 
other regiments and a battery to Forts Henry 
and Hindman, to drive out a squad of rebels, and 
the Colonel was placed in command of a military 
district comprising five counties. While here 
in command, he captured Colonel Dawson, Ma- 
jor Magie and aljont 1,000 men, as well as some- 
thing like $5,000,000 worth of cotton and salt. 
After remaining there three or four months, he 
asked to be sent forward to the front at Vicks- 
burg, which request was complied with, and his 
command was placed facing Johnston's army, 
near Oak Kidge, where it remained until the 
capture of Vicksburg. At this time his health 
was very poor, and believing that with the fall 
of the great stronghold of the Mississippi and 
the defeat of Gettysburg, occurring simultane- 
ously, the war to be virtually over, he accepted 
the suggestion of the surgeon of the regiment 
and resigned from the service, as all officers of 
depleted regiments, who had not asked to resign 
before Vicksburg, were freely accommodated by 
General Grant. Had not the state of his health 
impelled his resignation, it is certain he would 
have received a General's commission. 

He returned to Minnesota, and was for some 
years situated at Chaska, a little town some 
thirty miles west of St. Paul, at which place he 
engaged in brick-making, dealing in wood, con- 
tracting Government supplies, railroad build- 
ing, etc., and while thei-e he also represented his 
county in the State Legislature. In 1869, he 
returned to St. Paul, where his progress in poli- 
tics and business was rapid. Until 1887, he was 
extensively engaged in the wood and coal busi- 
ness, at first in partnership with J. J. Hill, now 
president of the Great Northern Railroad, and 
later with General R. W. Johnson, and finally 
with A. G. Foster. He organized, and was for 
some time pi-esidcnt of the Lehigh Coal & Iron 
Company, but in the spring of 1887 he sold out 
his entire interests in the coal, iron and wood 
business. While, perhaps, better known there 


in connection witli liis large fuel interests, he 
has been identified with ni;inerons other ven- 
tures — in fact, anything which promised good 
returns from energy and good management. He 
yet remains the head of the largest wholesale 
grocery house in St. Paul. In 1883, with others 
the firm of Glidden, Griggs & Co. was organ- 
ized, and in 1884 Glidden I'etired and the firm 
became Yanz, Griggs & Howes. In 1890 the 
interest of Howes was bought out arid the death 
of Mr. Yanz occurring, the present firm of 
Griggs, Cooper & Co. was formed, constituting 
the largest wholesale house west of Chicago. 
Colonel C. W. Griggs and D. C. Shepherd, of 
St. Paul, are the leading members of the firm, 
hut the business is managed Ipy C. M. Griggs 
and Mr. Cooper. 

Colonel Griggs has been particularly success- 
ful and prominent as an investor in lands, hav- 
ing handled much property in the Twin Cities, 
and throughout Minnesota, Dakota and Wis- 
consin, but later his investments were in the 
pine lands in Wisconsin and in Washington 
property, while now it may reasonably be said 
he is giving most of his personal attention to his 
large interests in AYashington. 

In May, 1888, Colonel Griggs and Henry 
Hewitt, Jr., formerly of Menasha, Wisconsin, 
bought from the Northern Pacific Railroad con- 
tracts for the sale of some 80,000 acres of land 
and timber lying near the city of Tacoma, which 
is said to be the finest body of timber land in the 
United States, and will cut from 8,000,000,000 
to 10,000,000,000 feet. 

Associated with other prominent men of the 
East and West, a company was organized which 
was known as the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber 
Company, with Colonel Griggs as president, 
which began business as lumber manufacturers 
in 1888, and the product of their mills in Ta- 
coma is now shipped over the entire globe, em- 
ploying from 1,000 to 8,000 men daily during 
portions of the time. 

AYlien it is remembered that Colonel Gr 


had already made his millions, and at the time 
of the preceding purchase was fifty-six years of 

age, the energy and ambition which impelled 
him to embark in these enterprises and become 
a pioneer in a new home and new industry may 
be better appreciated. 

Colonel Griggs has been for years prominent 
in banking circles, being stockholder and di- 
rector of three banks and president of one. He 
is a director in the First and Second National 
Banks of St. Paul, and was vice-president of the 
St. Paul National while he lived there, and a di- 
rector in the Traders' Pank and Fidelity Trust 
Company of Tacoma. He is a director of the 
Bitumious Paving Company, vice-president of 
the Tacoma Fishing Company, and a member of 
the Crescent Creamery Company. He is presi- 
dent of the Pacific & Chehalis Land Company, 
which now owns 20,000 acres in the counties 
whose names are borne by the company, and is 
besides this interested in a number of other im- 
portant corporations. 

Colonel Griggs was married April 14, 1859, 
to Miss Martha Ann Gallup, a native of Led- 
yard, Connecticut, and a daughter of Christopher 
M. and Anna (Billings) Gallup, both of whom 
were born at Ledyard, and both belonging to old 
New England families, which furnished their 
quotas of patriots during the Pevolutionary