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Th9 N#w York 

PubKc Library 


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An Illustrated History 


Skagit and Snohomish 







State of Washington 


interstate publishing company 



, astob. Lan«« A*«> 





Co the Pioneers 


8ltagit and Snohomieb Counties 

Those Who Have Gone and Those Who Remain, 

This Work is Dedicated as a Token of 

Appreciation of Their Virtues 

and Their Sacrifices 


"The best heritage the pioneer can leave to future genera- 
tions is the simple yet powerful story ot his life — of hardships 
endured, of dangers faced, and his final victory over wil- 
derness and desert plain." — Theodore Roosevelt. 

P R E F A C E 

\'ERY community writes its own history just as surely as every community makes its 
own history. The compiler and publisher of historical works can do nothing more 
than to collect, collate and arrange the accounts which have been already prepared 

for him by the actors themselves, whose deeds and achievements he seeks to record. 

If he does this thoroughly, skilfully and with conscientious care, he has done all that is 

possible to him. If the makers of the history of any locality have failed to write fully 
accounts of their deeds, either upon the printed page or the tablets of the memory, no compiler can make 
good the resulting loss. A careful effort has been made by the compilers and publishers of this work 
to make the best use of all available materials. It is hoped that in some measure, at least, they have 
succeeded. If the result of their labors seems deficient to the reader in any respect, let him remem- 
ber the possibility that the deficiency may be due partly to the fact that the makers of the history 
themselves have not written their history with sufficient care and fullness. 

A tribute is due, however, to the pioneers of Skagit and Snohomish counties, both for the faith- 
fulness and vividness of the pictures of past experiences which they have hung on memory's walls, 
and for the willingness manifested to display those pictures for the benefit of the compilers. A 
tribute is also due to the pioneer newspaper men for efficiency in preserving for us a record of events 
as they transpired, and for unselfishness in placing before the compilers the files wherein that record 
is to be found. It is impossible to thank specifically each of the many persons who have assisted in 
the production of this work, but to all who have extended courtesies, or imparted information, and to 
those who, by their patronage, have made the publication of the history possible, the most cordial 
thanks of the publishers are extended. 

Special acknowledgments are due the Puget Sound Mail, the Skagit News-Herald, the Mount 
Vernon Argus, the Anacortes American, the Skagit County Times and the Courier of Sedro-Woolley, 
the Snohomish Tribune, the Everett Daily Herald and the Morning Tribune, the Arlington Times, 
the Stanwood Tidings, the Edmonds Review; to Eldridge Morse and Clayton Packard, editors 
respectively of the old Northern Star and the Eye, for use of files; to Melville Curtis, of Anacortes, for 
placing in our hands files of the Northwest Enterprise and of the Progress, also some rare maps and 
pamphlets; to E. A. Sisson, of Padilla, for the use of his diary and old pamphlets; to Gardner 
Goodridge, of Stanwood, and Hon. E. C. Ferguson, of Snohomish, for valuable papers;to the Everett 
Improvement Company for maps, newspaper files, etc. ; to Dr. Charles Milton Buchanan, of the 
Tulalip Indian Agency, for information and contributions concerning the Indians; to the Everett 
Chamber of Commerce for valuable files and documents; to the officers of both counties for numerous 
favors and courtesies, and to the special committees of both counties for efficient assistance in revising 
the manuscripts and many helpful suggestions. 

Free use has been made of official records of county, state and nation. In the preparation of the 
history we have had the efficient help of \V. D. Lyman, professor of history and civics in Whitman 
College, Walla Walla. 


John MacNeil Henderson, President. 
Charles Arthur Branscombe, Vice President. 
William Sidney Shiach, Editor. 
Harrison B. Averill, Associate Editor. 


We, the undersigned, citizens of Skagit county, Washington, hereby certify that we have 
assisted in a thorough final revision of the manuscript history of said county prepared and to be pub- 
lished by the Interstate Publishing Company. We came to this region during the early days, have 
taken an active part in its development, and witnessed with no little interest the making of its history 
from its dawn to the present time; therefore we are able to give to this revision advantages accruing 
from personal knowledge of many events. 

The History of Skagit County we have no hesitancy in pronouncing eminently fair and com- 
prehensive in its treatment of all sections, impartial toward all interests, interesting in its description 
of pioneer life and latter-day growth of our community, and authentic in its spirit and details. The 
result, we believe, is a standard county history of substantial and permanent worth. 

Thomas P. Hastie, President Pioneer Association. 
David Batey, P.x-prcsident Pioneer Association. 
E. A. SissON, Secretary Pioneer Association. 
Albert L. Graham, For the Islands. 

We, the undersigned, pioneer citizens of Snohomish county, Washington, hereby certify that we 
have gone over the manuscript history of said county, prepared and to be published by the Inter- 
state Publishing Company, and have called the attention of its editor to such errors and omissions as 
our knowledge of events enabled us to discover. Having been active participants in, or vigilant 
observers of, almost everything that has happened in the county from the early days to the present, 
we believe ourselves well qualified to judge of the merits of said history, and we have no hesitancy 
in stating that so far as we know it is a full and comprehensive record of events, impartial in its 
treatment of the various interests and sections and in all respects a meritorious and authentic work. 

E. C. Ferguson, of Snohomish. 
E. D. Smith, of Lowell. 
Peter Leijue, of Stanwood. 




Explorations by Water 


Introductory — Gasper Cortereal— Juan de Fuca- His Story— Behring's Explorations — Captain James Cook — Incep- 
tion of Fur Trade— Tlie Nootka Controversy— La Perouse—Meares— American Explorations — Discovery of the 
Columbia — Vancouver's Explorations 1 



Verendrye — Moncacht-ape — Alexander Mackenzie— Thomas Jefferson and the Northwest— Lewis and Clark Expe- 
dition to the Pacific— Negotiations Leading to the Louisiana Purchase— Details of the Journey of Lewis and 
Clark 5 


The Astor Expedition 

Profits of the Fur Trade— John Jacob Astor— His Plan — His Partners— The Tonquin— Fate of That Ship— David 
Thompson — Adventures of William Price Hunt and Party— Failure of Astor's Enterprise — Capture and Restora- 
tion of Astoria 12 


The Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies 

Joint Occupation — Early History of the Northwest Company— Rivalry of the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Com- 
panies — Absorption of Northwest Company — Character of the Hudson's Bay Company — Its Modus Operandi^ 
Its Indian Policy— William H. Ashley— Jedediah S. Smith— Captain B. L. E. Bonneville— Captain Nathaniel J. 
Wyeth — Hudson's Bay Company Seeks a New License — The Puget Sound Agricultural Company 18 


Period of Settlement 

Jason Lee and Party — The Reception by the Hudson's Bay Company's Employees— The Political Effect— The Flat- 
heads' Search for the Book — Its Results to the Tribe— Settlers in Oregon in 1832-34 — Expedition of Doctor 
Marcus Whitman and Doctor Samuel Parker — Whitman's Mission — Whitman's Work — Gray's Return to the 
East— New Arrivals— The Large Immigration of 1843— Extract from Nesmith's Lecture, "The Early Pioneer" — 
Death of Edwin Young — Attempts to Organize a G ^vernment — Provisional Government at Last 24 


The Oregon Controversy 


Claims of the United States to Northwest Stated— Negotiations of 1826-7 — Evans on Effects of Joint Occupation — 
Interest of Congress Finally Aroused— Exploration is Stimulated— Immigration of 1843 — Negotiations of 1831— Of 
1842 — Of 1843 -Interest Manifested All Over the Union — Political Parties Take up the Controversy — Negotia- 
tions of 1845 — Polk Gives Great Britain a Year's Notice of Intention to Abrogate Joint Occupancy Treaty — 
Negotiations of 1846— Great Britain Offers Fort3'-Ninth Parallel— Offer is Accepted — The San Juan Contro- 
versy — Its Settlement 8+ 


The Cavise War 

Agent White's Warning to Immigrants — The Renegade Cockstock — Indian Expedition to California — The Indian 
Agent's Difficulties — Calamity Averted — Cause of the Whitman Massacre— Joe Lewis — Details of the Massacre — 
Rev. Brouillet's Statement — His Interviews with Spalding — Peter Skeen Ogden — His Speech — Indian's Reply — 
Prisoners Delivered Up--Eells and Walker — Oregon Rises to the Occasion — Volunteer Regiment Provided for — 
Failure of Attempt to Negotiate a Loan — Appeal to Citizens — The Regiment— Expedition Starts from Portland — 
Yakimas Choose Peace — Battle of Sand Hollows— Tiloukaikt Outwits Gilliam — Gilliam's Death — Captain Maxom 
Takes Command— Condition at l-ort Waters — Women to the Aid of the Suffering — Governor's Proclamation — 
Additional Volunteers— Difficulty of Collecting Supplies— Lee Appointed Colonel— Resigns in Favor of Waters — 
Sets Out for Nez Perce Country — Cayuses Flee— End of Campaign — Results of War 41 


Early Days in Washington 

Early Agricultural Progress— Emigrants from Fort Garry — Michael T. Simmons — Condition of the Sound Country 
at the Time Settlements of 1848- Beginning of Commerce on Puget Sound — Settlements of 1850- Of 18i)l — 
Convention at Cowlitz Landing — Washington Territory Created— Governor Stevens — Conditions Found by 
Him— Territory Organized— Stevens Goes to Washington, D. C. — Indian Council Convened -Extracts from 
Kipp's Diary — Governor Stevens' Speech— Arrival of Looking Glass— Treaty Signed— Territory Relinquished. . 56- 


The Yakima War 

Outbreak— Causes— Gold Discovery — Initial Murders^Murder of Agent Bolen — The Haller Expedition— Its De- 
feat — Olney's Letter to Governor Curry — Military Preparations — Major Rains' Expedition— Rains' Reply to 
Kamiakin's Letter— Raymond's Message to Major Chinn — Establishment of Fort Henrietta — General Wool 
Arrives— Reinforcements sent by Nesmith to Relief of Fort Henrietta— Kelly Assumes Command— His Meeting 
with Peo-peo-mox-mox- First Day of Battle — Killing of Peopeomox-mox and other Indian Hostages— Different 
Accounts of it — Kelly's Report of the Battle of Walla Walla— Severe Winter Following — Governor Stevens' 
Return from the Blackfoot Country— Charges against General Wool-Stevens' Return to Olympia — War on 
the Sound — Massacres on White River — Desultory Winter Campaign — Stevens Calls for Additional Volun- 
teers-Attack on Seattle— Defeat of Indians on White River — Volunteers Decide on Inland Empire Campaign- 
Operations of the Oregon Volunteers — Wool's Instructions to Colonel Wright — Evans' Criticism of Wool — 
Wright Starts for Walla Walla- Kamiakin's Attack on the Cascade Settlements— Lawrence W. Coe's Account 
of .\ttack on the Bradford Store— Coe's Narrative of Attack on Lower Cascades— .\ttack, on Middle Block- 
house Relief Comes— Sheridan's Operations — Steptoe's Return — Wright's Yakima Campaign — Colonel Shaw's 
Vigorous Campaign— Stevens' Second Council of Walla Walla — Wool's Congratulations— Failure of the 
Council -Stevens' Battle with the Indians— His Criticism of Colonel Wright — Wright's Patched-up Peace- 
Indignation of the Territories — Indians' Preparations for Renewal of the War— Steptoe's Ill-starred 
Expedition— Wright's Vigorous Campaign— Battle of Four Lakes— Spokane Plains — Peace — Summarj' of the 
Results of the Campaign 67 



Period of Settlement 


First Settlers on Fidalgo Island— Compton's Claim— Fate of Robert Beale— Smoke in 1868— Enumeration of Early 
Settlers — First White Woman — Other Arrivals — Miss White's Statement — Agriculture Begun on the Island — 
Farm Machinery Introduced — Progress During Early Seventies — Ship Harbor — The Lady of ^hip Harbor — 
Settlement of Guemes Island — Copper Prospect Discovered— "King of the Smugglers" — Attempted Settlement 
on Mainland in 1855— Quotation from Northern Light— Calhoun Visits the Mainland— His Settlement— Stories 
about Swinomish Indians — Settlers following Calhoun and Sullivan — Settlers in 1870 — First White Women — 
Settlers in 1871— Conditions in Early Seventies — Grain Raising — First Steam Thresher— Settlement of Padilla — 
Arrival of Whitney — Whitney, Sisson &: Company — First Settlers in Skagit Valley— First House — First School 
and Church — Skagit City — Logging Bees — Campbell's Store — Election of 1871 — Potatoes as Legal Tender — 
Primitive Transportation— Logging — Murder of John Barker — Kimble's Experiences — Other Settlers — Settle- 
ment of Upper Valley— First Settler above the Jam — Rev. B. N. L. Davis — Discovery of Coal— Settlement of 
Amasa Everett — Some Pioneers in Special Callings — Logging Camps — Settlers at Different Points — N. P. R. R. 
Matters— County Division Rumblings of 1873 — Large Crop Yields on the Swinomish — The Samish Valley — 
Edison — Early Settlers — Pioneer Merchant — Inauguration of Diking — Public Schools — Killing of Patrick 
Mahoney — Concluding Remarks 97 

Skagit County, 1874-1883 

Effects of Crisis of 1873 — First Move for Jam Removal — Cold January in 1875 — Bird's-eye View of County in 1875 — 
First Coal Shipments — Scale of Prices in 187()— Beginning of Work on the Jam — Proposed Levee Along the 
River — Description of Jam — Importance of Removal — Northern Star's Report of Progress — Dangers of Work — 
Tribute to the Jam Loggers — Heavy Grain Shipments in 1876— Progress of Diking— Large Yields of Oats— Star 
Correspondents' Statistics -Discovery of Coal— 'Prospecting in 1877— Discovery of Gold in 1878— Excitement 
Ensuing— Ruby Creek Mines — Conditions in 1877-8 — Logging above the Jam — Progress of the Upper Valley— 
Birdsview — Sedro-Woolley— District Court at La Conner— Restoration of Railroad Lands — Voyage of the 
Josephine— Social Life — Drowning of John Inibler — Fishing Industry — Heavy Snow Fall of 1880— Mining — 
Steamboating to the Mines— Settlement at Mouth of Baker River— P'racas with Indians— Memorial to Post- 
master General— Fine Oat Crops— Floods of 1882— Jam Removal Meeting— Lumbering — Minkler's Mill — 
Drowning of J. S. Kelly 112 


Skagit County, 18S3-1889 

County Division— Preliminary Sparring— The Bill Introduced— First Bill Lost— Another Introduced and Carried— 
Copy of the Act— Loss of Steamers Josephine and Fanny Lake— Other Steamers— Movements for Improve- 
ment of River Navigation— Movement for Improved Roads— Dry Summer of 1883 -Swinomish Flat Develop- 
ments in 1883— Floods— Drowning of Walker— Morse's Tide Land Report— Jam Removal Matters Again— Lum- 
bering in 1884— Indian Fracas— County Seat Struggle Begun— Its Progress and Conclusion— Minerals— Cold 
Weather in December, 1884— General Progress— Auditor's Statistics— Forest Fires in 18S5— Good Crops of 
That Year— List of Loggers— Anti-Chinese Demonstrations— General Developments in 1886— Skagit River Tele- 
phone Company— Outline of Mail Contracts- List of Tax Payers— Railroad Matters— Skagit Saw-mill and Manu- 
facturing Company— Whituey Island— Freshet of 1887— Whatcom— Skagit Struggle Again— Blowing up of the 
Bob Irving— Rapid Developments of 1888— Railroad Rumors— Logging— Statistics of Property, 1883-8— 
Statehood — Mining Activities — Constitutional Convention — Final Admission 127 


Skagit County, 1889-1897 

Cold Winter of 1889-90— Railroad Projects— The Seattle & Northern— Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern— Fairhaven & 
Southern— Seattle & Montana— Paper Railroads— General Excitement— Anacortes Boom— Mount Vernon— 


Skagit County Agricultural Society— Increase in Population — Memorials to Congress— Anti-Chinese Move- 
ments — Attempted Highway Robbery— Smallpox Epidemic — Pioneer Association Organized — List of First Offi- 
cers and Members — Road Agitation in 1891 — New County Scheme — Shooting Affair of July 26, 1891 — Bar Asso- 
ciation — Great Growth of County— Bridge Building in 1892 County Seat Removal Struggle — Population in 
1892 — Assessment Returns — Floods of Winter of 1892-3 — Cold Snap in January knd February — Proposed Motor 
Line — Trial for Murder of David C. Moody- -Wilbur Heirs Case — Large Shipments of Oats — Skagit County 
Shingle Association — Court-house Erected — Wagon Bridge at Mount Vernon Completed— Crop Conditions in 
1893— Marsh Land Reclamation — Flood of 1894 — Damage to Realty Owners and Railroads — Drowning of N. P. 
Swanberg and Child — Drowning of Indians — Freshet of July — Results of Flood — Northwest Agricultural Society — 
Skagit County Horticultural Society Forest Fire— High Tide of January 12, 1895 — Anacortes Threatened by 
Forest Fire— Unfortunate Year I89S — Memorial in Matter of Clearing the Mouth of the Skagit — Fracas on the 
Wharf at Samish— Trial of Baldwin, Perkins and Loop— County Immigration Association Projects of 1895-6 — 
Floods of 1896— Attempted Murder at Prairie 144 

CHAPTER V CoiNTY, 1897-1905 

General Revival of Industry— Indian Murder Case— Klondike Excitement - Flood of November, 1897 — Spanish- 
American War Summary of Events — Return of the Soldiers Trial of Joe Henry— Murder of D. M. Wood- 
bury — Trial of Al. Hamilton — His Final Conviction and Execution— Trouble Over Employment of Japanese- 
Invasion of Army Worms— Railroad Accident— Gorsage Case Census of liXH)— Prosperous Year 1901 — 
County Fair — Memorial Services — Storm of December 2oth— Railroad Accident of January 1". 1903 — Trial 
of Charles Lindgrind — Skagit County at the St. Louis Fair— Refunding of Bonds— Jail Break — Pioneers' 
Reunions of 1904-5— Burning of Steamer Elwood — Prosperous Year 19U4 — High Tide of December 2!', 1904 — 
Encouraging Outlook 165 



Division Movement in 1882 — Officers Elected That Year — Special County Election — Precincts and Official Vote — 
Organization of First Board of Commissioners — Ferry Licenses Granted — First Jurors — County Seat Struggle 
of 1H84 — Vote on yuestion by Precincts — Democratic Convention of 1884 - Republican Convention — Official 
Vote— Commissioner District Ouestion — Local Option Election— Peoples Party Organized- Official Vote" in 
1886— Election of 18S9— Special Election of 1889- Conventions and Election of 189(1— Hot Campaign of 1892- 
People's Party Appears— Conventions and Official Vote— Conventions and Elections of 1894 — Northwestern 
County Combination -Vigorous Campaign of 1896 — Preliminary Conventions— Resolutions of the " Middle- 
of-the-Roaders"— Official Returns Official Returns in 19(KI McBride Becomes Governor — Preliminary Con- 
ventions in 1902— Official Vote- Republican Resolutions in l'.Mi4 Democratic Convention — Result 1T4 


Cities and Towns 

Mount Vtrnon-Ais Site— First Settlement— First School — Platting of the Town First Store First Residence — 
F''irst Restaurant — Traus[X)rtation — Progress in 1879 - Effect of Ruby Creek Excitement— Logging in the 
Vicinity Flag Pole— Fraternal Orders - Progress in 1883-4— School Census of 1^84— Odd Fellows' Hall — Mount 
Vernon Made County Seat— Skagit Saw-mill and Manufacturing Company Railroad Matters Telegraphic 
Connections Building and Loan .Association — Incorporation Steady (irowth During Boom Period Enterprises 
Inaugurated at the Time Municipal Improvements— First Big Fire Great Northern Reaches Mount Vernon - 
School Building Erected — Opera House— Chamber of Commerce — "Mass Meeting" of 1894— New Dike- 
Effort for City Water System— Fire of April 20, 1895— Later Fires— Progress of Recent Years-Frater- 
nities— Churches— Newspapers— Schools— Bank — Summary of Business Houses — Fair .Association — Profes- 
sional Men — ^City Officers. La Conner -Vwsi Mercantile Establishment— John S. Conner— La Conner Post- 
office — La Conner in 1><82 — James and George (iaches — Efforts for Improvement of Swinoinish Slough — 
Development in 1875 — Steamboat Transportation — Business Establishments— Telephonic Connections, Water 
System, Etc. — Incorporation — Disincorporation — Re-incorporatiou — I'uget Sound Mail — Public Schools — 
Churches — Fraternities— Skagit County Bank Fires — Present Population — Outlook. Anaiortes — Romance of 
its History — Excellent Location— Amos Bowman's Article Earliest Settlers in the V'icinity — Bowman's Map — 
Terminal Aspirations — Bowman's Account — Anacortes in 1882— Communication— Early Steamboats — Town 



Platted— N. P. R. K. Interested— The Boom— Warnings of Skagit News— Cause of Boom— Attitude of Rail- 
roads Toward Anacortes— Electric Railroad Enterprise Skagit Motor Line— First Ocean Steamship's Visit — 
Municipal Incorporation — First Election — Chamber of Commerce — Schools— Newspapers- Banks — Breaking of 
Boom— County Seat Fight— Fish Canneries Established— Banks— Wharves— Churches— F"raternities— Water 
System— Fire Department — Conclusion. Seiiro- H^ci^/^t- Marvelous Growth— First Settlement — Arrival of 
Mortimer Cook— "Bug" Established by Him — Inception of Business Enterprises — Boom of 1889 in Sedro - 
Entrance of Fairhaven & Southern — Other Railroads— Platting of Sedro. AV//r7'»V/^— Business Houses in 
1890 — Decline of the Pioneer Town— Kelly's Town Takes the Lead- Sedro Land and Improvement Companj- — 
First City Election— St. Elizabeth's Hospital — Woolley Founded — Story of Beginnings— Postoffice Estab- 
lished—Early Business Enterprises— First City Election in Woolley— Growth of the Industrial Field— Social 
Life Organized— Disastrous Fire of IWll— That of 1893— Hard Times— Union of Sedro and Woolley in 1898— 
First City Officials- Progress of the Consolidated City— Story of the Schools— Present System— Churches and 
Their History— City's Newspapers — Present City Officers— Fraternities— Business Directory -Present Status— 
" The Tale of Two Cities " 189 


Cities and Towns (Continued) 

B2irlington—V"\r%\. Settlements- Platting of Town — Early Business Men— Pioneer Loggers Millett's Dwelling 
Erected — Postoffice Established — Advent of Railroads— Geographical Surroundings — Incorporation in 1902 - 
Belleville Episode— First Business Houses — Mills Established — Business Directory of 1905 — Schools — Churches 
—Fraternities. ^(/;'-«»«— Surroundings— First Settlers— Postoffice Meeting — Captain Edwards' Store — Town 
Platted — Samish Island— Town in 1878— In 1882— Early Business Men— Disastrous Fire of 1893- Progress — 
Industries of Community — Present Business Houses- Schools — Churches — Fraternities. Bow — Founding — 
Growth — Present. /}?'c«— Establishment by White and Skaling — Temperance Town — Pioneer Business Men 
— Business Features — Business Directory — Churches and Schools — North Avon. Bav-tnciv — Its Incipiency — 
— Resources — As it is To-day. Clearlake — History — Present — Resources. McMurray — Establishment of Town 
— Location — Growth — Business Houses of To-day. Monthorne — Hamilton — Its Past — Incorporation— Growth — 
Business Directory. Baker~Si\o\\ of Its Growth— Present — Seiuk City—Rockport — Cement City—Dewe\ — 
Whitney — Fidalgo — Fir — Conivoy — Skagit City — Lyman —Sterling — Thorne — Ehrlichs — Some Historic Boom 
Towns— Other Postoffices in Skagit County 228 




Settlement and Organization 

The First Saw-mill — Military Operations During the Indian War- Beginnings of Snohomish City— Military Road 
Operations Abandoned— Founding of Mukilteo— Election of June 9, 1860— Organization of County — The 
Creating Act— Census of 1861 — Effects of Eraser River Excitement — Cady and Parsons' Expedition — The 
Trans-Cascade Trail Matter — Census of 1862— First White Women— Settlement of the Stillaguamish — Mrs. 
Marvin's Pioneering Experiences — Names of Early Settlers— Beginnings of Logging — Logging at Mukilteo— 
First Settlers of Port Gardner Bay — Murder of Charles Seebart — First Steamboats— Logging on the Stillaguamish 253 


CiRRENT Events— 1870-1889 

Saw-mill Projects- Assessed Valuations— Population and Conditions in 1870 — First Deaths of Women — Judicial 
Matters— Cold Winter of 1874 — Conditions Subsequent to 1873— Statistics of Logging in 1876 — Saw-mill on the 
Pillchuck — Agriculture on the Sillaguamish — Development of Water Transportation — The Northern Star — 
Death of Low and Batt— Diphtheria Epidemic — Hard Times of 1877— Extract from Governors Report — Military 
Companies Organized— Agriculture on the Skykomish — On the Snohomish and Pillchuck — Removal of Stilla- 



guamish Jam — Assessor's Census for 1877 — For 1878 — Suspension of Northern Star — Tide Lands Report — 
Revival of 1882 — Lumbering Operations of Blackman Brothers — W. M. Pattison's Ferry — Incoming Immi- 
grants — Work on Snohomish Marshes— Lake Washington Wagon Road — Removal of Snags from the Snohomish 
River— Shooting Affray at Stanwopd — Ice on the Snohomish in Winter of 1883^ — Indian Difficulties — Agricul- 
tural Progress — Stock Raising — Hard Times for Loggers in 1884 — Progress of Snohomish City — Pillchuck and 
Stillaguamish Wagon Road— Mining Operations — Movement for Railroads— Production in 1884 — Revival in 
1885 — Blackman Mill Burned — Pillchuck Boom Break — Inception of Shingle Industry — Progress of Agriculture 
— First Threshing Machine— Products of 1885 — Anti-Chinese Agitation — New Roads — Stillaguamish in 1886 — 
Depression at Granite Creek — Forest Fires — Accident on the Stillaguamish in 1887 — Railroad Matters — Seattle 
& West Coast — Belliugham Bay Road — Lumber Industry in 1887 — Silver Creek Road — Indian Matters — Popu- 
lation in 1887 — Principal Property Holders — Lively Year 1888 — Accident on the Stillaguamish — Combinations in 
Lumbering — Railroad Activity — Building of Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern — Stillaguamish in 1889 — Movement 
for Secession — Mining Excitement and General Progress 259 


Current Events— 1889-1897 

Progress of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern — Mining— County Di\nsion Rumblings — Railroad Matters — 
Immigration — Mineral Developments — Lumbering and Agriculture — Arlington — Lumbering — Wages — Brewing 
of County Seat Trouble — Building of Courthouse — Railroads Again — Effects of Railroad Building on Realty 
Speculations — General Progress — Assessment Summaries— Population— Year 1891 — Court-house Completed — 
Disastrous Storm on the Coast — Railroad Progress in 1891 — Attention to Electric Railroading — The Seattle & 
Montana — The "Three S" Road — Society for County Advancement — Excursion by Boat to Sultan — Mining in 
1891 — Granite Falls— Silver Gulch — Visit of Philip Armour and Others — Erection of the Paper Mill at Lowell — 
Inception of Great Industrial Enterprises at the New City of Everett — Water Works Movement at 
Everett — The Case of David Montgomery — Expulsion of Guy — Statistics of Progress — Building of the Great 
Northern — The Everett & Monte Cristo Railroad — Stillaguamish and Sultan Mining Company— Other Mining 
Matters — Raids on Dives — Freshets of November, 1892 — Smallpox — Completion of the Great Northern — 
Stillaguamish Construction Company — Tilt with a Steamboat Man— Jail Break^Story of the Trials of Schultz 
and Smith, Murderers — Assessor's Report for 1893 — Floods— Opening of 1894— Public Improvements — Steam- 
boat Matters— Great Strike of 1894 — Accident on Lake Stevens— County Seat Struggle— Puget Sound National 
Bank Fails — Shooting of "Texas Jack" — Trial of "Omaha Bill" — Revival in 1896 — Mining Association 
Organized— Mining Activities— Introduction of the Silo — Attack on Nathan Phillips — Snohomish River Flood 278 


Current Events- 1897-1905 

New Era — Hart vs. Rucker— Removal of Court Records — Interview with D. D. Besse — Developments on the Monte 
Cristo- Dairying — Forest Reserve Question — Puget Sound National Bank Troubles Adjusted— Worth Found 
Not Guilty— Flood of 1897— Wreck on the S. & I. — Proposed Power Plant on the Stillaguamish — Railroad 
Matters in 1898 — Sultan Valley Railroad Company — Canadian Pacific Operations— Pride- Mystery Receiver- 
ship — Revival of Shingle Business— Snohomish's Part in Spanish War— Connella-Nelson Case— Indignation 
Meeting in Everett — Mining in 1899 — Snohomish County Shingle Manufacturers' Association — Mills of the 
County — Excessive Rains in August, 1899 — Fair of 1899 — Monty-Fox Shooting Affair — Railroad Accident — 
Activity in Lumbering in 1900— Progress in Mining— Northern Pacific Purchases Everett-Snohomish Road — 
Attack on Frank Whited — Population in 1900 — Immigration in 19(X) — Mining Operations— Splendid Harvest of 
1901— Accidents of the Year — Malvern Murder Case — Accident on Snohomish Logging Company's Road — 
Helena-Bornite Consolidation — Trolley Line Rumors of 1903— Snohomish- Everett Trolley Line Completed — 
Trolley Etnerprises of 1904— Wreck on Great Northern — Murder of Fred Alderson — Murder of Henry Hots — 
Sad Fate of Boggio — Railroad Disaster — Disaster on Monte Cristo Branch — Accident to Logging Train Near 
Robe — Accidental Death of Pete Hansen — Conclusion 294 



Introductory Remarks— Officers Appointed by Creating Act— Early Officers— Republican Ticket, 1876— Democratic 
Ticket— Result of Election of 1876 — Democratic Convention of 1878 — Republican Convention— Official 
Returns— Result of Election of 1880— Republican Convention of 1S82— Democratic Ticket in 1882— People's 
Ticket— Result of Election— Republican and Democratic Tickets, 1884— The People's Convention — Election of 



18S4— County Division Agitation— Campaign of 188(i— Democratic Nominees— People's Ticket -Official Re- 
turns—Settlement of Case Against Stretch— Republican Nominees, 1888— Democratic Nominees— Official 
Vote — Precincts in 1889— Result of Special Election— Republican Convention, 1890— Democratic Convention- 
Official Returns — People's Party Appears— Its Nominees in 1892— Democratic and Republican County Tickets- 
Prohibition Ticket— Official Count — Fight Between Whitney and Commissioners in 1893— Conventions in 1894 — 
County Seat Removal Issue— Result of Election— Campaign of 1896— Fusion — The Fusion Ticket— The 
Republican Ticket— Official Vote— Vote in 1898— Disappearance of Populism— Official Vote in 1900 — Republican 
and Democratic Nominees in 1902— Official Vote— Campaign of 1904— Its Result :!05 


Cities and Towns 

^^'r-rf-.V— Factors in Growth of a Great City— Peculiar Advantages of Everett's Location— "City of Smokestacks" — 
First Settlements on the Town Site— Rucker Brothers, Swallwell and Friday Form Land Syndicate— Platting of 
Port Gardner by Rucker Brothers— Withdrawal from Market— Arrival of Henry Hewitt, Jr. — Colby-Hoyt 
Syndicate Takes Hold- Vast Holdings Secured Incorporation of Town Site Company— Platting of City of 
Everett— Swallwell's Landing Forges Ahead— Enormous Land Sales During Boom— Substantial Improvements 
Begun— Marvelous Growth of the Riverside— City's Earliest Business Men— Postoffice Established Its Ups 
and Downs— Nail Factory— Smalley's Story of Everett— Accuracy of Survey Arrival of Great Northern at 
Everett Terminus in 1891— More Early Business Men— "Bucket of Blood" Saloon- Rise of the Bayside Henry 
Hewitt's Account of Everett's Founding — Pioneer Bank — Statistics of Early Transactions — Inauguration of New 
Industries and Business Enterprises — Committee of Twenty-One — Fire Companies Organized — Business 
Men's Association — City Incorporation at Last— First Officials — Activity of 1891-2- Starting of Nail Works — 
Enumeration of Factories in 1892— Smelter and Three S Road Built— First Overland Train — Tide Lands Contest — 
Launching of Pacific's First Whaleback— Exports of 1896 — Everett Harbor Improvement — Everett Improvement 
Company Takes Over Rockefeller Holdings — New Impetus to Growth — Tremendous Growth That F"ollowed — 
Resources — Public School System — Churches and Their History Banks— Clubs — Library — Water Front 
Societies and Fraternities— Shipping and Railroad Advantages and Connections — Newspapers Prophecy of the 
Future— Conclusion. Beginnings of Siio/ioiiiis/i City — First Stores — Pioneer School — Town Platted — Snohomish 
in 1873 — Snohomish Atheneum — Northern Star Appears Effects of Logging Industry on Town — Eye Estab- 
lished — Pioneer Saw-mill of Blackman Brothers — View of Town in 1883 — Progress to 1887 — Railroad Matters of 
Interest — Stimulating Effects — First Train — Verses in Commemoration of Event — Incorporation— Summary of 
Business Houses in 18S9 — Era of Rapid Development— Re-incorporation — Mills of Town in 1890 — Disastrous 
Fires of 1891 — Serious Trouble with City Marshal — Water System Established — Depression of 1893— Fire of 
January, 1893 — Fire of September Kith — Year 1894 -Fire of 1894 — Creamery Secured — Two Mills Destroyed 
^Revival in 1901 -Library Site Donated — Fire of 1901 — Terrible Explosion of November, 1902— Progress of the 
City — Business Enterprises of the Present — Public Schools — Churches— Fraternities — Beauty of the City's 
Environments — Summary of Resources and Prospects 314 


Cities and Towns (Continued) 

Marys7iiUe — Location— Father of the Town— Comeford's Early Experiences — He Establishes Store — Postoffice 
Secured— Other Business Houses Instituted— Railroads Arrive— Town in 1890— Early Mills — The Eye's 
Description of Marysville — Incorporation— Founding of Churches— Business Firms of To-day — School System — 
F'raternal Orders. Stanwood—'^'vae Situation and Resources — Center\fille Postoffice Established — Changed 
to Stanwood— Early Merchants— Oliver Arrives— Pearson Opens Store— Other Enterprises — Survey of Town 
Site— Railway Building — Fire of 1892 — Events of 1898 — Cannery— Incorporated as a City — Public Conveniences 
■of Present — Co-operative Creamery Association — Lumber Industries of City — Business Houses — Steamboat 
Lines — Schools — Churches Founded— City Officials. ^(/;«o«</s— Surroundings — Transportation Facilities — 
Early Settlements at Edmonds— Brackett Locates There— He Secures Postoffice— Town Site Dedicated in 
1884 — Great Development of 1889-90— The Boom. North Edmonds — Water System Installed — Incorporation — 
Present Officers— Commerce for Past Decade— Edmonds' Shingle Industries- Business Directory— Churches- 
History of Schools — Conclusion. Zo7£/f//— Intimacy with Everett— Founding — Business Established — Post- 
office Established— Smith's Operations— Progress — Development of Early Nineties — Paper Mill Erected — 
Industries— The Present. Arlington — Situation — Inception of Settlement — First Stores— Development Follow- 
ing Railway Building. Haller C/'/y— Early Business Houses— Rapid Growth of Early Nineties— Hard Times — 
Consolidation of Haller City and Arlington— Present Prosperity — Fire of 1899 — Population in 1900 — Steady 
Growth Since Then— Present Industries and Stores— Churches — Fraternities — Becomes Railroad Center — 



Future of the Town. Monroe — Sightly Location — Park Place — Business Established — Monroe Postoffice. 
Tvi' CUv — New Town Built — Depression of 1893 — Disastrous Fire— Incorporation — Industrial Backing — Annual 
District Fair — Business Directory, 1905. Granite /"a/A— Commanding Location — The "Portage" — First Set- ' 
tiers — Mail Service Established — Platting of Town— Industries and Stores Built — Town in 1900— Pioneer 
Schools — Churches — Fraternities — Incorporation — A Milling Center — Rapid Growth. Sultan — Resources — 
Settlement by John Nailor — Railroad Arrives — Town Springs up in Earnest — Enterprise of Citizens in 1895 — 
Becomes a City — Schools — Churches — Fish Hatcheries — Milling and Logging Statistics — Business Directory of 
Present. Florence — Location — Site on Oldest Claim on Stillaguamish — Platted by Perkins — Postoffice Estab- 
lished — Mills and Other Industries — Business Men— Schools. Miikilteo — Founding by Frost and Fowler — 
Oldest Town in County — Postoffice Comes in 1862 — Early Days — Mukilteo Lumber Company — The Town at 
Present. Index — Location and Resources — Early History — Growth — Present— Schools. Muchias — Settlement 
of Site— Starting of Town — In 1905. Startup — Monte Crista — Silverton — Harrington — Beauty of Location — 
History. Bryant — Oso— Cicero — Maltby — Hartford — Robe — Sohey — Gold Bar— Meadowdale — Other Commer- 
cial Centers and Postofftces 345 




Puget Sound Country a Challenge to Man — No Place for Weaklings— Its Luxuriant Vegetation — Difficulties of 
Agriculture— Of Prosi^ecting and Mining — Inspiration of the Country — Its Inviting Aspect — A Grand View of 
the Magnificent Scenery— Puget Sound Sunsets — Washington the "Sunset" State — Mildness of its Climate — 
Challenge Accepted— Course of Future Development— Importance of the Aleutian Islands with Regard to the 
Sound — A Promising Future — Skagit County — Geographical Position — Boundaries— Skagit River— Its Land 
Building Labors — Character of Tide Land— Size of Swinomish Flat — Productiveness— Scenery — Transporta- 
tion — Need of Improved Facilities— What Has Been Done — Upper Skagit Valley — Tributary Valleys— Mountains 
in the East— Fidalgo Island — Phenomenal Yields — Large Average Yields — Huddleston's Statistics— Cabbage 
Seed Production— Fruit Raising — Diversified Farming Common — Lumbering— Logging Camps of the County — 
Saw-Mills of the County— Shingle Mills— Mineral Wealth — Cokedale — The Hamilton Field— Efforts at Exploita- 
tion—Iron Near Hamilton— Efforts for Sale of Properties— Character of Ore— Cement — Talc — Other Minerals — 
Fishing — Salmon Canning — Salmon Hatcheries — Cod Fishing— Oysters— Summary of Attractions— Snohomish 
County— Boundaries— Timber Resources — Principal Features— Cascade Mountains— River Systems— Lakes — 
Lumbering — Large Trees — Snohomish Timber at Fairs — Logging Methods — Description of Early Logging — 
Blackman Brothers' Improvements — The Doukej' Engine — Snohomish County Mills — Sash and Door Factories — 
Mineral Outlook — Mineral Belt^Darrington District — The Bornite Mine — Monte Cristo Railroad — The Wayside 
Mine — Silverton District — The Bonanza Queen — Copper Independent — The Forty- Five — Monte Cristo District 
— Discovery— The Packwood Party— Barlow Pass Discovered— Forming of the Colby-Hoyt Syndicate — Large 
Operations— Disastrous Flood of 1897 — The Justice— The Rainy — The Sidney— The Mackinaw — Philo— Rantoul 
Group— Monte Cristo Company's Property — Other Mines — Goat Lake Region — Discovery — The Foggy Ledge — 
Placer Mining on the Sultan — De Soto Company's Properties — Wallace District — Forty-Five Consolidated — Its 
History— Tlie Little Chief— Other Properties — Index District The Copper Bell— Sunset Company's Property — 
The Ethel — The Buckeye Copper Mine -Index Mining Company- Other Properties in the District — History of 
Silver Creek District — New York-Seattle Company — Bonanza Group— The Ontario— Lucky Day — Orphan 
Boy — Everett Smelter — Agriculture in Snohomish County — Stillaguamish Flats — Intensive Agriculture— Dairy- 
ing — Fishing— Commercial Trout Conipany--Manufacturing 381 



State Schools and Education — Provision for Same — High Schools — Normal Schools — State Agricultural College 
— and School of Science — State University — First Schools in Skagit County — Schools in Upper Skagit — 
Schools on the Islands — First Teachers' Examination— G. E. Hartson's Report — Progress in 1886 — Teachers' 



Association Organized — Statistics of Years since 1886 — J. G. Lowman's Report — High Schools-Schools at the 
Portland Fair- Private Schools — Alden Academy— Forest Home Industrial Academy— Snohomish County 
Schools — District No. 1 — No. 2— No. 3 — Eight Districts in 1875 — Dixon's Report for 1891 — Friar's ReiX)rt for 
1898— Stiger's Report for 1904 — Paget Sound Academy — Dorrance Academy— Academy of St. Dominic— Betha- 
nia High School and College— Conclusion 420 


Press of Skagit and Snohomish Cointies 

Puget Sound Mail — Skagit News-Herald— Mount Vernon Argus— Puget Sound Post — Skagit County Courier - 
Skagit County Times — Anacortes American — School Bulletin — Hamilton Herald — Skagit County Logger — 
Avon Record— Sauk City Star — Northwest Enterprise— Anacortes Progress — Other Pioneer Newspapers — Sedro 
Press — The Northern Star — The Eye -Snohomish Tribune — Everett Daily Herald — Morning Tribune — Labor 
Journal — Arlington Times — Monroe Monitor — Washington Transcript — Granite Falls Post — Index Miner — Stau- 
wood Tidings — Edmonds Review — Marysville Globe — Sultan Star — Everett Times — Everett Herald (discon- 
tinued)— Edmonds Chronicle 428 


The Indians of Skagit and Snohomish Counties 

Local Indian Reservations — Tulalip, Swinomish, Lummi, Port Madison, Muckleshoot — Mukilteo Council — Its 
Results — Missionary Work — Priest Point- Government School Established -Present School — Its Employees 
and Ecjuipments — Agents — Captain Hill's Report — Area of Reservation— Indian Courts — Areas of Lummi and 
Other Reservations— Basket Makiiij,'- Early White Settlements Near or in Tulalip — The Indian: His Origin and 
Legendarj' Lore — Multitude of Theories— Immigration from Asia Theory — Forced Migration Theory— Other 
Theories — Legendary Pecularities — Linguistic Resemblances — Conclusion of the Matter — Indian's Legend- 
ary Accounts of His Origin— Character of Indian Legends — Pacific Indian Fishermen — Their Vocation in the 
Legends — Legend Telling in Winter— Summer Work — Happiness of Indian Life— A Picture of Indian Legend 
Telling— Indian Philosophy — Indian Legendary Education— Canoes. Canoeing and Canoe Building — Origin of 
the Canoe^Expertness of British Columbia Canoe Builders — Birch Bark Canoes — Classes of Canoes on Puget 
Sound— Making of Canoes — Methods of Overcoming Defects— Canoe Bailing — Names of Canoe Types — Descrip- 
tion of Each — Description of Paddles — Methods of Paddling— Canoe Racing — Canoe and Indian — His Coffin in 
Death 443 


Reminiscent and Poetical 

Reminiscence of Twenty-five Years Ago— Some Upper Stillaguamish Historj- — Scraps from a Pioneer's Diary — 
Edison's Gold Excitement — A Celebrated Advertisement — The Salmon Age — An Incident of Pioneer Travel — 
Alpine, the Deserted Village — Caught in a Puget Sound Blizzard— Reminiscences of an Ex-Indian Agent — Gen- 
eral McDowell and Chief Bonaparte — .An Indian Sham Battle — White Man Versus Indians — The Indians and 
a Total Eclipse — A Siwash's Revenge — A Claim Seeking Incident — Ancient Cherry Trees — One Pioneer 
Woman— Original Methods of a Postmaster— A Camping Incident — A Stirring Incident of '58— A Flood Story — 
A Miner's Story — Then and Now— A Sailor's Pioneering— A Bear Story — Adventures with Bruin — A Good 
Country to Tie To —Piracy on the High Seas — The "Judge" Throws the Case Out of the Window — Mount- 
Ranier — The Swinomish Flats— Sailing of the Whaleback — Port Gardner — The Wild Cherry Tree — The Old 
Settler— On the Plains — The Pioneers— The Brave Old Days — The Evergreen State 458 



Skagit County 493 

Snohomish County 825 



A "Catch" of Fish 405 

A Field of Cauliflower 188 

A I'ield of Oats 115, 171 

A I'ish-Canniiig Tlant 210 

A Hop Ranch 211 

Anacortes 20" 

Anacortes High School 2H> 

A •' I'reeiuption" Cabin 188 

Arlington 344 

A "Saniish F'lats" Residence 171 

A Shaded Highway 211 

A Skagit County I-aini 15r> 

A Sound Steamer 405 

• • At Anchor" 211 

A Timber Claim 211 

Baling Hay, Near Stanwood 351 

Baling Hay, Snohomish Flats 171 

Battleship "Iowa" 322 

• ' Bicycle" Tree, The 2!t8 

"Big Tree" Stum[) 107 

Blockhouse, Bosart's 107 

Blockhouse, Crocket's 107 

"Bonnie," The Collie 200 

Bridge on "tioat Trail" 124 

Burlington : 230 

"But I Flow on Forever" < 252 

Cabbage Seed, Harvesting 230 

Canoe-maker, The 442 

Canyon Falls 252 

Canyon of the Skagit River 124 

Cauliflower. ... li^S 

Cedar Log Encircled by Roots of Other Large Trees, 130 

Changing the Channel 206 

Chief John ....442 

"Clearing" 145 

CoUaiise of Great Northern R. R. Bridge 107 

Court House, Everett 315 

Creamery, Stanwood Cooperative 351 

Crevasse on Mt. Baker 395 

Deception Pass 418 

Distant View of Stanwood 344 

"Donkey" Logging Engine 175 

Dusky Indian Maidens 455 

Engine, Donkey 175 

Engine, Logging 1 75 

Everett 315 


Exhibit of Snohomish County at Portland, 1905 136 

Exposition Buildings, St. Louis, Portland 298 

Farm of C. Anderson, Stanwood 322 

Field of Oats 115, 171 

First Sawmill in Snohomish County, Built 1852 107 

First Skagit County Surveying Corps, 1872 155 

Fish-Canning Plant 210 

Fish H atchery. Baker Lake 380 

Fish Hatchery, Sub-station 380 

Fishing Boats 107 

Fishing Crew 162 

Fish Trap. A 115, 162 

F'ishtrap Piles. Towing 124 

Foot Bridge Suspended on Cables 380 

Forresters 282 

Fresh Vegetables 200 

Getting Out Ship Masts 282 

Glaciers on Mt. Baker 395 

Goats 260 

Goat Trail 124 

Governor Isaac Ingalls Stevens 63 

Granite Falls 252 

"Gum Boot" Kitty 442 

Harvesting Cabbage Seed 230 

Hauling Fir Logs, 0.\en 129 

Hauling Shingle Bolts 136 

"Hawaii," Steamer 40& 

Hemlock Tree Growing from Old Cedar "Snag" 298 

Hereford Cattle 188 

Hewitt Avenue, Everett 315 

High School. Anacortes 216- 

"Hole in the Wall" (Two Views) 41S 

' -Home of the Trout" 252 

"Home Sweet Home" 380 

Hop Ranch 211 

Indian in his "Dugout" 124 

Indian Tree Burial 455 

In the Background, Everett 315 

In the Harbor 405 

La Conner, 1873 and 1905 200 

La Conner Flats (Oat Fields) 115 

Large Log Over Which Other Large Trees Have 

(irown 136 

Library Building, Everett 315 

"Limping Liz" 442 

Log Bridge 282 




Logging Engine 175 

Logging near Pilchuck 136 

Logging Scene 380 

Logging Teams Ho, 222, 282 

Log Leaving Chute 129 

Marguerite, Steamer 330 

Monte Cristo 252 

Monte Cristo R. R. Tunnel, 900 Feet 266 

Moonlight on the Sound 405 

Mount Vernon 194 

Mouth of the Skagit River 107 

Mt. Baker 380, 395 

Mt. Index 380 

Mt. Rainier 395 

Old Sawmill on Tulalip Indian Reservation, Built in 

1852 107 

On Samish Flats, Near Edison 188 

Pan-American Exposition Exhibit 175 

Pass, Deception 418 

Pioneer Cabin 188 

Pioneers, The . 282 

President Roosevelt at Everett, May 23. 1903 315 

Puget Sound Academy, Snohomish 337 

Puget Sound from Hat Island 405 

Punctured Tree, The 171 

Rhododendron, The 9o 

Rosario 418 

Sawing on the Big Fir Tree 380 

Sawing Shingle Bolts 129 

Sedro-WooUey 222 

Shingle Bolt Drive, Stillaguamish River 136 

Shipbuilding at Everett 330 

Ship Masts 282 

"Siwash" at Home 442 

"Siwash" Indian Camp 442 

"Siwash" in his "Dugout" 124 

Sixty Thousand Salmon in Fish Trap, Strawberry 

Bay 162 

Skagit River 124 

Skagit River Canyon 124 


Skid Road, A 175 

Snohomish, 1886 and 1905 337 

Snohomish County Exhibit at Portland, 1905 136 

Snohomish County Vegetables 266 

'•Sound of the Woodman's Ax" 222 

Source of a Mountain Stream 315 

Stacking Timothy Hay 230 

Stanwood 344 

State Flower, The 96 

Steamer Hawaii 405 

Steamer Marguerite at Snohomish 3.30 

Steamer Umatilla 405 

Steaming Crater on Mt. Baker 395 

Stillaguamish and Skykomish River Falls 252 

Stillaguamish River, Changing the Channel 266 

"Still Waters Run Deep" 211 

Stump Dance Platform 298 

Stump Dwelling House 386 

Stump Pile, 90 Feet High 145 

Surveying Corps, Skagit County, 1872 Ii5 

"Swamping," " Barking the Ride," etc 129 

Swinomish Indian Reservation 455 

Ten- Horse Logging Team 222 

The Canoe Maker 442 

Threshing Near Stanwood 351 

Threshing Oats, La Conner Flats 115 

Timber Claim, A 211 

Tnlalip Indian Agency 442, 455 

Tulalip Indian Belle 4.55 

Tulalij) Indian Girls in Tambourine Drill 455 

Tunnel on Monte Cristo R. R.. 900 Feet 266 

Washington State Exposition Buildings at St. Louis 

in 1904 and at Portland in 1905 298 

Washington State Flower 96 

" Whaleback • Vessel, "City of Everett" 322 

W'ilmans Peak 252 

"Woodman. Spare that Tree" 386 

World's Fair Log, Diameter 16 Feet 136 

'i'arding "Donkey" Engine and Ten-Horse Logging 

Team 222 




Abbott, Linus Mount Vernon "51 

Abrahamson, John McMurray 802 

Adam, Valentine Hamilton 808 

Adin, George La Conner d'O 

Aldridge, Wilson M Baker 812 

Alkire, John W., D. O Mount Vernon 520 

Allen, Smith O Prairie 785 

Allmond, Douglass Anacortes. 617 

Alstraud, Charles Belleville 755 

Amskold, John Frederick Mount Vernon 601 

Anable, John 1 Mount Vernon 520 

Anderson, Andrew Mount Vernon 567 

Anderson, Andrew Mount Vernon 568 

Anderson, Axel Mount Vernon 5,58 

Anderson, Frederick La Conner 669 

Anderson, Nels Mount Vernon 572 

Anderson, Nels Bow "-16 

Andrews, Hon. Laurin L La Conner 649 

Armstrong, William Mount Vernon 605 

Arnold, George G Sedro- WooUey V03 

Axelson, Axel W Mount Vernon 556 

Axelson, Elmer A Fir 526 

Baldridge, John K Hamilton 807 

Ball, John Mount Vernon 535 

Ball, Richard H La Conner 648 

Barkhousen, Henry C Anacortes 638 

Barratt, William Marblemount 707 

Bartl, Frank Mount Vernon 543 

Bartl, Xaver Clear Lake 796 

Batev, David Sedro- WooUey 689 

Beale, Charles W Anacortes 624 

Beard, Marston G Anacortes 641 

Becraf t, Charles E Mount Vernon 591 

Bell, Samuel L Mount Vernon 608 

Beloit, Eugene Sauk 818 

Benedict, Fred W Mount Vernon 602 

Benson, Al Bow 742 

Benson, Berent A Bow "'il 

Bessner, Matthew Mount Vernon 576 

Bessner, Nicholas Edison 773 

Best, Christopher C Dewey 644 

Best, Martin L Mount Vernon 574 

Binghan., Hon. Charles E Sedro- Woolley 674 

Blumbeig, Frederick Lewis. . .Mount Vernon 512 


Borseth, Ole J Fir 721 

Bowen, James S Mount Vernon 517 

Bowen, Jolin L Sauk 816 

Bowman, Amos Anacortes. .... 611 

Bradlev, Hon. R. Lee Anacortes 6.35 

Bradsberry . Frank Sedro- Woolley 698 

Bristow, Edward La Conner 650 

Brosseau, George A Burlington 737 

Brown, William J Bow 756 

Buck, Franklin Mount Vernon 723 

Buller lirotliers Marblemount 819 

Burdon, William H Fidalgo 642 

Burns, Sylvester Sedro- Woolley 696 

Burton, Walter S Burlington 724 

Cain, Thomas Edison 763 

Callahan, Edward Mount Vernon 577 

Callahan, James Mount Vernon 607 

Callahan, John Mount Vernon 577 

Carlson, John Edward Mount Vernon 554 

Carlson, John H Mount Vernon 561 

Carlson, Swan Mount Vernon 542 

Carlson, W. Axel La Conner 655 

Carpenter, Nelson W Mount Vernon 521 

Carter, Fred Leroy La Conner 6.55 

Cavanaugh, James H Anacortes 634 

Chambers, Samuel La Conner 663 

Chellman, Fred P Mount Vernon 557 

Chilberg, Isaac La Conner 668 

Chilberg, John H La Conner 671 

Christenson, Nels Mount Vernon 563 

Clothier, Harrison Mount Vernon 511 

Cochrane, James Hamilton 808 

Colvin, Robert C Mount Vernon 595 

Conn, Fletcher W Edison 746 

Conner, Herbert S La Conner 647 

Conner, James J Hamilton 806 

Conner, John S La Conner 644 

Conrad, Charles La Conner 672 

Cook, Mortimer Sedro-WooUey 673 

Coriell, Abner B Mount Vernon 528 

Cornelius, William J M ount Vernon 575 

Cox, George Sedro-WooUey 696 

Cressey, George G Burlington 732 

Cressey, William Henry Harrison. .Burlington 729 



Cressey, WiHiam, Jr Burlington "3-1 

Crogstad, Andrew N Fir 792 

Crumrine. Edward Bay View 780 

Culver, Clement Edison 771 

Currier, Oliver C La Conner 069 

Curtis, Melville Anacortes 617 

Dale, John L Edison 757 

Dale, William Mount Vernon 515 

Daniels, Eugen Edison 773 

Danielson, Lars Mount Vernon 576 

Dannenmiller, Henry A Mount Vernon 580 

Davis, Rowland E \nacortes ()36 

Davison, Adam \V Sedro-Woolley 697 

Dawson, William A Bow 757 

Dean, George Samish 770 

Dean, James M Anacortes 040 

Decatur, Capt. David F Mount Vernon 518 

Denis, Peter Edison 772 

Donaldson, Nils Milltown 802 

Donnelly, David M Sedro- Wooiley U85 

Douglass. Frank A Sedro-Woolley 093 

Downs, Dr. Horace P Mount X'eruon 525 

Downs, John L Mount \'ernon 525 

Dreyer, Henry H Burlington 086 

Dunlap, Isaac La Conner .589 

Dunlap, Samuel Mount Vernon 555 

Dunlap, William Mount Vernon 590 

Dunlop, William A Sedro-Woolley 092 

Dunn, George W Clear ],ake 796 

Dwelley, Joseph F La Conner 064 

Eckenberger, George Samish 775 

Egbers, Ahlert H Mount Vernon 552 

Egelkrout, John Sedro-Woolley 712 

Egtvet, Peter Mount Vernon 538 

Elde, Charles Mount Vernon 557 

Elde, Nels Mount Vernon 555 

Eplin, Lafayette Mount Vernon 594 

Hrickson, Nils Mount Vernon .5.59 

Everett, .-^masa l>aker 705 

Ewing, Joseph I£ Mount Vernon 573 

Faller, Frederick K Sedro-Woollev 082 

Farrar, Calvin L Sedro-Woolley 077 

Fellows, James H Clear Lake 800 

I'instad, Bernt J Mount Vernon 000 

Flagg, Arthur W Mount Vernon 579 

I'lagg, Benjamin Mount Vernon 603 

I'ortin, Napoleon Mount Vernon 003 

Foster, V. E Sedro-Woolley 075 

Franey, Robert Van Horn 815 

Eraser, Alexander D Burlington 730 

I'redlund, Jules Mount Vernon .524 

Fulk, David Padilla 781 

Gaches, Charles E La Conner 6.W 

Gage, Frederic La Conner 071 

Gage, William Mount Vernon 547 

Garland, Richard Mount Vernon .542 

Gates, Jasper Mount Vernon .S37 


Gates, John B Mount Vernon 722 

Gates, Thumas Mount Vernon 590 

Gay, Samuel S Sedro-Woolley 678 

Geld. Andrew A. liergseth . . . Mount Vernon 509 

Geesaman, William Bow 749 

Gilmore, John A Edison 763 

Gilmore, William N Edison 75S 

Gilmore, William, Sr Edison 758 

Good, Tliomas Mount Vernon 543 

Gorton, Edgar P Mount X'ernon .537 

Graham, Albert I Anacortes 618 

Gregory, William () Burlington 714 

Gunderson, Ole Mount Vernon 541 

Gunther, Robert Mount Vernon 572 

Halloran, Patrick Mount Vernon 494 

Halpin, William H Anacortes 731 

Hamilton, Frank R Sedro-Woolley 700 

Hammer, Hiram Sedro-Woolley 078 

Hansen, Charles C Mount Vernon .538 

Hanson, George J Mount Vernon 723 

Harmon, Charles Mount Vernon 514 

Harrison, James M Sedro-Woolley 71ii 

Hart, Joseph Sedro-Woolley 091 

... 518 
... 517 
... 498 
... 597 
... .500 
... 791 
... .507 
... 549^ 
... 5.54 
... 793 
... 626 

Hanson, George A Hamilton 806 

Herrle. Lawrence Mount Vernon 59:J- 

Hodge, Charles W Samish 776 

Hoehn, Frank J Sedro-Woolley 684 

Hoff, Gustave C Mount Vernon 567 

Hoffman. George Bow 752 

Hurley, William Burlington 715^ 

Hurshman, Henry Lyman 803 

Hutchinson, Haley R Mount \'ernon .526 

Hartson, George E Mount Vernon 

Hartson, Ralph C Mount Vernon 

Hastie, Thomas P Mount Vernon , 

Hawkins, William A Mount Vernon , 

Hayton, Hon. Thomas Mount Vernon 

Hayton, James B Fir 

Hayton, Thomas R Mount \'ernon 

Hayton, William Mount \'ernon 

Hayward, Darley C Mount Vernon . 

Hemingway, Lewis P Fir 

Hensler, Gus .Anacortes 

Ivarson, Sigurd 

.Sedro-Woollev 713 

Jackson, John W Bow 748 

Jarvis, Frederick J Sedro-Woolley 095 

Jenne, George F Mount Vernon 606 

Jennings, Isaac La Conner 667 

Jewell, Mrs. Elizabeth Burlington 739 

Jewett, I'rank A Mount Vernon 591 

Johnson, .Mex Fir 792 

Johnson, Alfred Mount Vernon 544 

[ Johnson, .'\ndrew A Mount Vernon 529 

Johnson, Andrew S Bow 745 

Johnson, Bengt M illtown 753^ 

Johnson, Charles Clinton Mount \'ernou .522 

I Johnson, Edwin Mount Vernon 566- 

I Johnson, Fritz Belleville 777 



Johnson, Gustaf W Mount Vernon 580 

Johnson, Lewis Fir 794 

Johnson, Nelse 15 Mount Vernon .')23 

Johnson, Ole Burlington 717 

Johnson, O. J Mount Vernon 559 

Johnson, Peter E Mount Vernon 574 

Johnson, Kasnius S Edison 745 

Johnson, S. Fred Mount Vernon (i07 

Joiner, Judge George A Anacortes 617 

Jones, Fayette L Burlington 7;i8 

Jungquist, Frank Mount Vernon 500 

Jungquist, John Mount V'ernon 530 

Kalso, Fred Bay View 721 

Kalso, Otto Bay View 721 

Kamb, John W Mount N'ernon 549 

Kelleher, John Sedro-Woolley 710 

Kelly, Mrs. Nancy A Mount V'ernon 718 

Kemnierich, August Birdsview 811 

Kerr, Samuel E Mount X'ernon 601 

Kiens, Fred Sedro-Woolley 709 

Kiens, John Sedro-Woolley 689 

Kilander, Otto W Padilla 782 

Kill, John Mount \'ernon 578 

Kimble, David Everett Mount Vernon 527 

Kimble, Edward David Mount \'ernon 528 

Kinsey, Darius Sedro-Woolley 683 

Klingenmaier, Otto Bay View 778 

Knisley, George M Mount Vernon 600 

Knutzen, Jess H Burlington 715 

Koch, David Burlington 725 

Kuuzmann, Frederick C Bow 750 

Kyle, J. William Sedro-Woolley 682 

Eachaiielle, John B Big Lake 801 

Larson, Lewis Fir 794 

Larsen, Peter Sauk 817 

Lawson, Alfred J Fravel 775 

I^awson, George H Mount Vernon 562 

Lee, Nelse H Mount Vernon 5()9 

Lee, Ole N Mount Vernon 541 

Lehnhoff, Anton Mount Vernon 608 

Lendblom, Gust Mount Vernon 558 

Lewis, John Bow 730 

Lindamood, Charles A Burlington 735 

Lloyd, John Sedro-Woolley 698 

l^ockhart, Samuel M La Conner 666 

Lockhart, Thomas G Mount Vernon 570 

Lockwood, John B Burlington ,.. . . 735 

Lonke, Ole Mount Vernon 582 

Lough, James Big Lake 801 

Lnwman, Jacob W Anacortes 623 

I-owman, J. Guy Mount Vernon 498 

Lund, John Axel Mount \'ernon 530 

Lundin, Albert Burlington 716 

Majerus, Jacob La Conner 672 

Majerus, Michel Burlington 737 

Maloy, Patrick H Mount Vernon 579 

Mann, George H Fir 786 

Marble, George W Mount Vernon 516 


March, Fred H Anacortes 639 

March, James T Anacortes 637 

Marihugh, Silas W Mount Vernon 598 

Martin, John W Edison 772 

Martin, Mrs. Mary Lyman 804 

Massey, William K Anacortes 639 

Matheson, Capt. John A Anacortes 630 

Mattice, Dr. Menzo B Sedro-Woolley 679 

Meins, William Prairie 784 

Melkild, John Conway 6r>6 

Melville, Alexander B Clear Lake 799 

Miller, Marsh Mount \'ernon 548 

Miller, William H Burlington 735 

Millet, John P Anacortes 636 

Minkler, Hon. Birdsey D Lyman 803 

Minter, Richard P Anacortes 629 

Moore, Andrew J Bow 748 

Moores, James H Mount Vernon 592 

Moran, George Mount Vernon 529 

Morris, George A Mount Vernon 593 

Morris, John C . . Mount Vernon .")9ti 

Moss, David H Mount Vernon 493 

MacLeod, Kenneth Conway 801 

McCormick, David L Mount Vernon 604 

McCormick, Thomas J Mount Vernon 599 

McCoy, Patrick Edison 7()3 

McCuUough, Nathaniel Edison 770 

McDonald, James Sedro-Woolley 695 

McFadden. Plin V Sedro-Woolley 709 

McGlinn, Hon. John P La Conner 662 

McGregor, Daniel A Sedro-Woolley 684 

McKenna, William J Bay View 777 

McKinnon, Peter Mount Vernon 593 

McLean, M Mount Vernon 599 

McMillin, George Burlington 739 

McTaggart, Edward Edison 769 

Neely, James Bow 747 

Nelson, Columbus Anacortes 633 

Nelson, Mrs. Catherine .Anacortes 632 

Nelson, John Anacortes 633 

Nelson, John C Mount Vernon 548 

Nelson, John L Mount Vernon 535 

Nelson, Nels .A La Conner 657 

Nelson, Oluf Inman Mount Vernon 560 

Nelson, Peter E Anacortes 625 

Norris, James M Burlington 726 

Odlin, Hon. William T Anacortes 612 

Odlin, Woodbridge Sedro-Woolley 711 

Olsen, Christopher Fir 793 

Olson, Charles La Conner 670 

Olson. Frank G Mount Vernon 571 

Olson, Solomon Mount Vernon 602 

Olson, Swan Peter Mount Vernon 5S9 

Ormsby, Norris Sedro-Woollej^ 694 

Ostrander, Nathan Mount Vernon 582 

Ovenell, T. Nelson Burlington 717 

Palm, Leander Mount Vernon 




. 809 
. 522 
. 656 
. 716 
. 557 

Patterson, George W Hamilton 

Patterson. Ira T M ount Vernon .... 

Pearson, Gust La Conner 

. Pease, Orson Burlington 

Peck, Harris B Mount Vernon .... 

Perry, William H Sedro-Woolley 679 

Peterson, Peter Mount Vernon 569 

Peth, John J Mount Vernon 604 

Peth, Richard H Mount Vernon 571 

Pettit, Sands C Burlington 724 

Phelps, George W Clear Lake 795 

Pickens, Michael Mount Vernon 521 

Poison, Alfred Fir 786 

Poison, Nels Mount Vernon 550 

Poison, Perry Seattle 508 

Porter, Thomas F Sauk 817 

Power, Hon. James La Conner 555 

Pulver, Rudolph Burlington 736 

Purcell, John Bay View 779 

Putnam, R. H Clear Lake 797 

Quint, Albanus D Dewey 

Rains, William T Clear Lake . . . 

Ranous, Bethuel C Anacortes .... 

Ratchford, George W Sedro-Woolley 

Reed, Edward Bow 

Regenvetter, Peter La Conner. . . . 

... 643 

... 798 

... G38 

... 694 

... 748 

... 666 

Richards, Nelson B Bow 751 

Riemer, John G Clear Lake 800 

Ritchford, James Sedro-Woolley 685 

Robinson, William F Anacortes 631 

Rock, John H La Conner 665 

Ross, Alexander Lyman 804 

Ross, David Sedro-Woolley 714 

Rudene, Hon. John O La Conner 497 

Russell, David Birdsview 811 

Scanlan, John Mount Vernon 595 

Schafer, August W Hamilton 805 

Scheurkogel, Hyman La Conner 658 

Schidleman, Samuel Mount Vernon 562 

Schmitz, Peter Burlington 740 

Schricker, Hon. William E... La Conner 648 

Scott, James Sedro-Woolley 711 

Seabury, Howard Sedro-Woolley 675 

Sharfenberg, .Mbert Mount Vernon 565 

Sharfeuberg, Joseph Mount Vernon 566 

Sharpe. Thomas Anacortes 642 

■Shaughnessy, Thomas Burlington 726 

Shea, Samuel E Sedro-Woolley 699 

Shea, Warren Mount Vernon 515 

Shield, J. Madison Mount Vernon 552 

Shrauger, Ira E Mount Vernon 49.1 

Shumaker, N'ichols Edison 769 

Shumway, George N Belfast 664 

Singer, William C Mount Vernon 597 

Sisson, Edgar A Padilla 780 

Slosson, Fred Mount Vernon 5.53 

Smith, Alexander K Clear Lake 798 

Smith, Harvey Mount Vernon 606 


.. 797 

. . 550 

. . 711 

. 738 

, . 568 

Smith, John R Clear Lake 

Snowden, Benjamin F Mount Vernon .. 

Sorensen, Hans Peter Sedro-Woolley . 

Southard, Edward D Burlington 

Spahr, Emery Mount Vernon . . 

Spaulding, Michael Bow 749 

Springsteen, Franklin J Baker 812 

Squires, James T Edison 774 

Stacey, Alfred J Anacortes 629 

Stackpole, Frank H Mount Vernon 523 

Stearns, Earl H Bow 741 

Stevens, Lafayette S Clear Lake 795 

Stevens, Tobias Burlington 732 

Stevenson, Charles W Mount Vernon 514 

Stewart, Ellsworth M Mount Vernon 596 

Storrs, Charles E Mount Vernon 547 

Storrs, Dennis Mount Vernon 551 

Sullivan, Daniel Edison 764 

Sullivan, Daniel P Bow 742 

Sullivan, James J Bow 741 

Sullivan, Michel J La Conner 668 

Summers, Henry Mount Vernon 564 

Sumner. Bloomington R Avon 783 

Sundstrom, Oscar Mount Vernon 522 

Sutter, John Sauk 706 

Tait, Thomas H Padilla 

Thomas, John G Anacortes 

Thomas, Robert P Anacortes 

Thompson, Jeremiah Mount Vernon 

Thompson, William J Sedro-Woolley 

Thorne, Woodbury J Thornwood . . . 

Tillinghast, Alvinza G La Conner. . . . 

... 781 
... 640 
... 634 
... 553 
... 683 
... 731 
... 661 

Tingley, Samuel Simpson . . . .Hamilton 704 

Tjersland, Ben Mount Vernon 564 

Tollber, Charles Mount Vernon 581 

Treat, Charles F Fir 785 

Truman, Peter W Lyman 805 

Turner, Newton G La Conner 662 

Turner, Thomas Edgar Clear Lake 799 

Umbarger, Harlton R Burlington 733 

, Valentine, Charles La Conner 665 

Van Fleet, Emmett Sedro-Woolley 699 

I Van Horn, James V Van Horn 815 

I Villeneuve Charles Sedro-Woolley 680 

I Von Pressentin, .Albert Sauk 816 

Von Pressentin, Otto K Sedro-Woolley 681 

I Von Pressentin, Paul Marblemount 818 

j Warner, Charles Sedro-Woolley 696 

' Watkinson, Euphroneous E . . Bow 756 

Watkinson, Melbourn Edison 771 

Wells, Hiram E Mount Vernon 570 

Wells, William R Mount Vernon 573 

Wells. William V Anacortes 623 

Westlund, Charles G Mount Vernon 544 

Wheeler, George Sedro-Woolley 71.'? 

White, Frank N Anacortes 641 

W'hitnev. Charles P Mount Vernon 519 



Whitney, Rienzi Eugene Anacortes 621 

Wicker, George O Sedro-Woolley 693 

Wild, Henry Hamilton 810 

Wilkins, Thomas P North Avon 

Williams, Charles H Bow 

Wilson, John H uston Bow 

Wilson, Joseph Seattle 

Wingreu, Olof j La Conner . 



Wingren, Peter La Conner 658 

Wolf, George J Mount Vernon 561 

Wood, William Fravel 774 

Woodburn, Robert Padilla 782 

Woods, William Sedro-Woolley 708 

Woolley, Philip A Sedro-Woolley 676 

Young, James M Sedro-Woolley 




Abbott, Linus 753 

Allmond, Douglass 616 

Alstrand, Charles 753 

Anderson, Nels 744 

Arnold, George G 701 

Ball, Eleanor M 533 

Ball, John 532 

Barratt, William 701 

Batey, David 688 

Batey, Mrs. David 688 

Borseth, Mrs. Ole J 719 

Borseth, Ole J 719 

Bowman, Amos 610 

Buck, Franklin 719 

Cain, Thomas 765 

Conn, Fletcher W 744 

Conner, John S 645 

Cressey, William Henry Harrison 728 

Curtis, Melville 619 

Dreyer, Henry H 688 

Dreyer, Mrs. Henry H 688 

Dunlop, William A 688 

Egtvet, Mr. and Mrs. Peter, and Home 539 

Everett, Amasa 701 

Eraser, Alexander D 728 

Gage, William 546 

Caches, James 652 

Gaches, Mrs. James 653 

Gates, John H 719 

Gilmore, William 759 

Halloran, Patrick 495 

Halpin, William H 728 

Hamilton, Frank R 701 

Hamilton, Mrs. Frank R 701 

H anson, George J 719 


Hanson, Mrs. George J 719 

Hart, Joseph 688 

Hay ton, Mrs. Thomas R 505 

Hayton, Thomas R 504 

Hayton, Thomas, Sr 501 

Hensler, Gus 627 

Hoffman, George 753 

Johnson, Andrew S 744 

Johnson, Bengt 753 

Johnson, Rasmus S 744 

Kalso, Frederick ., . . 719 

Kalso, Mrs. Frederick 719 

Kelley, Mrs. Nancy A 719 

Kiens, John 688 

Lewis, John 728 

McCoy, Patrick 762 

McTaggart, Edward W 768 

Odlin, William T 613 

Olson, Swan Peter 586 

Olson, Mrs. Swan Peter 587 

Poison, Mrs. Olof 789 

Poison, Olof 788 

Poison, Perry 509 

Sutter, John 701 

Stackpole, Mr. and Mrs., and Home 583 

Thorne, Mrs. Adelia Lathrop 728 

Thome, Thomas D., D. D 728 

Thorne, Woodbury J 728 

Tillinghast, Alving G 660 

Tingley, Mrs. Samuel Simpson 701 

Tingley, Samuel Simpson 701 

Van Horn, James V 814 

Wilson, Joseph 688 




Acme Business College, 

Carolyn Pachin, Conductor. .Everett 885 

Aldridge, William Oso 1077 

Alston, (iuy C Everett 921 

Anderson, Charles A Marysville 943 

Anderson, Erick O Silvana 1019 

Anderson, Fred P Granite Falls lOiU 

Anderson, George \V Granite Falls 10(i7 

Anderson, Henry C Stanwood 989 

Anderson, Louis Marysville !U7 

Andersen, Peter Everett 924 

Angevine, John I'rancis Everett 913 

Arndt, Carl Startup 1110 

Arp, Louis P Edmonds Ur>'2 

Asbery, Isaac Marysville 941 

Atwood, Henry L Granite Falls 10119 

Austin, Granis W Monroe 1093 

Haitinger, Henry E Index 1112 

Bakeman, Charles H Snohomish 850 

Bakeman, George Snohomish 802 

Baker, Daniel S Arlington 1033 

Pjaker. Frederick K Everett 917 

Baldridge, Henrv L ....Sultan (now Darrington). . . .1101 

Bartlett, Frank L Marysville 942 

Baxter, Nathan N Sultan 1105 

Bender, John Finley Everett 907 

l^engtsou, Andrew Monroe 1094 

Blackman, Alanson A Snohomish 853 

Blackman, Arthur M Snohomish 829 

Blackman, Elhanan Snohomish 851 

Blackman, Hyrcanus Snohomish 852 

Blair, Aaron L Arlington 1022 

Bohl, Ernest Arlington 1044 

]5otten, Iver Silvana 1011 

Brackett, George Edmonds 9.')9 

Brady, James Edmonds 948 

Breckhus, Gilbert O Silvana 1014 

Breckhus, Jacob G Silvana 1015 

Breckhus, John Silvana lOlfi 

Breckhus, Severt G Silvana 1013 

Britton, Joseph C Arlington 1029 

Brown, Peter Snohomish 862 

Brown, William Snohomish 865 

Browne, Christian Granite Falls UMiS 

l?rue, Andrew J Stanwood 993 

Brush, Bert Jay Everett 914 

Buchanan, Or. Charles Milton. Tulalip Indian Kesv... 842 

Buck, Fred S..' Sultan 1109 

Bunten, William H Arlington 1041 

liiirleson, Hiram H Edmonds 952 

Campbell, John A Fortson 1079 

Campbell, John L Darrington 1082 

Carjjenter, Daniel I Granite Falls 1059 

Carpenter, Ira Machias 1058 

Chartrand, Felix Oso 1075 

Chase, Willie Eastman Lowell 935 

Chenier, Joseph Darrington 1083 

Cicero. Stephen Cicero 1072 

Clark, William A Machias 1057 

Clausen, Lars P Silvana 1012 

Cochran. George M Snohomish 855 

Collingwood, Ralph Cicero 1073 

Conners, Frank L Stanwood 993 

Conners, William Stanwood 981 

Cook, William Sultan 1 103 

Cox, Dr. William C Everett 921 

Currie, James W .Edmonds 949 

Cuthbert, Andrew Norman 1009 

Danhof, Garmt Snohomish 872 

Darling, F. H Edmonds 9.5U 

Davies, Thomas D Marysville 942 

Davison, Joseph Everett 925 

Deering, William Snohomish 874 

Denney, Hon. John C Everett 899 

Densmore, Alfred Everett 920 

Diffley, Michael Granite Falls 1061 

Doolittle, Fred C Index 1116 

Drew, Terresser H Lowell 939 

Duffy, Bernard J Fortson 1078 

Eddy, Wilbert F Snohomish 878 

Edsberg, Sigward J Stanwood 1003 

Eggert, Ernst Getchell '. 1050 

Eide, Ole E Stanwood 986 

Eitzenberger, Max Arlington 1045 

Ekstran, Nils C) Stanwood 998 

Elliiigsen, lohn Arlington 1033 

Elwell, Charles F Monroe 1086 

Elwell, Tamlin Snohomish 841 

Enas, Joseph S Granite Falls 1066 

Engeseth, Severt Arlington 1037 

Erdahl. Samuel S Bryant 1071 

Erickson, Slvrker A Silvana 1019 

Erickson, L'lrick K Snohomish 882 

Estby, Anders Norman 1010 

Everett Public Library, 
Gretchcn Hathaway, Libru. Everett 910 

Feulason, Wesley J Stanwood 998 

Ferguson, Clark Snohomish 833 

Ferguson, Emory C Snohomish 825 

Ferguson, Fred E Monroe 1097 

Fhygesen, Chris Startup HOC 

Finnigau, Thomas J Snohomish 875 

Fjerlie, Andrew Stanwood 1004 

Fjarlie, Ole O Stanwood 10t)5 

Flo, Louis I Stanwood 999 

Floe, Steffen Stanwood 994 

Florance. .\ndrew F Snohomish 874 

Folsom, Dr. .\. C Snohomish 844 


Foss, Fred V Snohomish . 

Ford, WiUiam H ArliDgton . . 

French, Alfred Oso 

I'riday, Henry Fverett . . . 

I'unk, Martin J Silvana .... 

Funk, Peter Arlington .. 

Furness, Iver Norman . . . 

. 849 
. l(i:!l 
. !)U 

Getchell, Joseph F Snohomish 84:! 

Getchell, Martin Lowell 9:!(i 

Gooding, Marion Arlington 1047 

Goodrich, Gardner Stanwood 984 

Gorhani, Hon. Charles W . . . .Snohomish WO 

Grant, Claude C Cicero 1074 

Gravelle, Peter Mukilteo 94^ 

Green, Andrew J Arlington 103S 

Gregory, Horace A Granite Falls 9(14 

Gunderson, Emil Stanwood 1005 

Gunderson, Peter Stanwood Oli:! 

Gunn, Amos D Index Hll 

Hall, Arthur E Stanwood 975 

Hall, James W Snohomish 8t>0 

Hamlin, Capt. William H Edmonds 950 

Hancock, Francis H Stanwood 982 

Hansen, Chris Stanwood 994 

Hansen, John C Stanwood 990 

Hanson, Charles F Stanwood 907 

Hanson, Julius Granite Falls 1008 

Hanson, Lars P Stanwood UK)0 j 

Harding, Will Granite Falls 1005 1 

Harriman, Charles F Monroe OiiO | 

Harter, Isaac Marysville 945 

Harvey, Peter Stanwood 976 

Haskell, Calvin L Hartford 1052 

Hawkinson, Charles Snohomish 850 

Hayes, George W Monroe 1095 

Headlee, Thomas E Everett 887 

Heide, A. F Seattle S97 

Helseth, Jens G Jordan 1049 

Hevely, Huldo Silvana 1014 

Hewitt, Henry, Jr Tacoma 888 

Hill, Albert E Edmonds 9.55 

Hill, Charles L Snohomish 873 

Hillis, Charles D Cicero 1072 

Hilton, John H Everett 908 

Hingston, Philip Index 1114 

Hollingsworth, Ira Hazel 1079 

Holmes, Samuel Edmonds 95:i 

Horton, Gilbert D Snohomish 840 

Hovik, Ludwig A Marysville 945 

Howard, Albert S Stanwood 991 

Howard, Dr. Henry P Everett 922 

Hughes, Robert Snohomish 833 

H ulbert, Robert A Everett 919 

Husby, Halvor P Stanwood 1003 

lies, John Oso 1076 

lUman, Harold W Everett 925 

lUman, WiUiam H Sultau , 1106 

Isberg, Rev. Peter Stanwood 1004 

Iverson, Hon. C). B Olympia 907 

Jackson, Clous Silvana 1014 

Jefferson, Thomas Trafton 1022 

Jenny, Fred Cedarhoine 1000 

Jensen, Thomas Arlington 1031) 

Joergenson, Rev. Christian ... Stanwood 989 

Johnson, Abel Snohomish 867 

Johnson, George Monroe 1092 

Johnson, Hans Snohomish SOti 

Johnson, Iver Lowell 940 

Johnson, Iver Stanwood 976 

Johnson, L. Roy ; • Sultan 1107 

Johnson, Nils C Arlington 1028 

Johnson, Peter J Getchell 1051 

Jordan, Alvah H. I? Lowell "32 

Jones, Lewis J Everett 927 

Jones, Nathan Barker Sultan HOI 

Jones, Rev. William G Seattle 894 

Jones, William D Hartford 10.54 

Julson, H. A Snohomish 860 

jutzik, Theodore Snohomish 860 

Kackman, Thees Bryant 1070 

Keay, Alexander Everett 898 

Kinnear, Robert Edgecomb 1048 

Kirk, George W Snohomish 853 

Kirn, Charles J Everett 923 

Klaeboe, Andrew B Stanwood 979 

j Knight, Arthur C Snohomish 858 

Knudson, John Darrington 1082 

I Knutson, Frederick Monroe 1089 

t Knutson, Rasmus Silvana 1012 

Koch, Frederick W Silvana 1015 

Kraetz, Anton Arlington 1044 

Kraetz, Joseph Arlragton 1038 

Kroger, Joachim Arlington 1041 

La Forge, Charles S Snohomish 826 

Lammers, August Arlington 

Lane, Edwin J Lochsloy . 

Langsjon, Johannes Silvana . . . 

Langsjon, John Silvana . . . 

Langsav, Peter H Stanwood 

Larimer, Floyd M Snohomish 

Larsen, Lars Silvana . . . 

Larson, Erlend Stanwood 

Larson, John C Arlington 

Larson, Ole 










Silvana 1018 

Lawry, Charles L Snohomish . 

Lee, John B Stanwood . 

Lenfest, Elmer, C. E Snohomish. 

Leque, Nels P Stanwood . 

Leque, Peter Stanwood .. 

Levison, Levi Stanwood . 

Lindley. Joseph Monroe .... 

Lohr, Jacob T Cicero 

Loose, Ursinus K Snohomish . 

Lord, Mitchel Snohomish. 

Lorenzen, Lorenz Arlington . . 

. 841 
. 1000 
. 832 
. 985 
. 972 
. 995 
. 1073 
. 834 
. 876 



M alksoD, Gilbert H Everett 926 

Mallett, Joseph Snohomish 872 

Mann, James W Sultan lUKi 

Marsh, Calvin L Arlington 1027 

Martell, Joseph Snohomish 881 

Matterand, Ole S Stanwood 986 

Maxwell, Robert Trafton 1020 

Menzel, George Granite I-alls 971 

Menzel, Henry Granite Falls 970 

Meredith, H. M Sultan 1098 

Messner, Roy G Granite Falls 1060 

Micheels, Herman Snohomish 882 

Mickelson, Andrew B Stanwood 997 

Moehring, Charles F Snohomish 850 

Montague, John Darrington 1081 

Moore, Charles E Darrington 1081 

Moore, William B Stanwood 995 

Moran, Thomas Arlington 1027 

Morgan, Alonzo W Snohomish 848 

Morgan, Eugene L Sultan 1 108 

Morgan, Hiram D Snohomish 847 

Morgan, Hon. Benjamin H . . .Snohomish 848 

Morgan, Morgan M Snohomish 878 

Morgan, Morgan, Sr Snohomish 859 

Morgan, William Snohomish 877 

Morris, John W Arlington 1034 

Moskeland, Ole O Marysville 943 

Mudgett, Jacob A Snohomish 871 

Munson, David T Florence 1007 

Murphy, Andrew J Index 1117 

Murphy, Curt J Arlington 1046 

McCaulley, Matthew M Arlington . . 

McDonald, Charles F Hartford. . . 

McEacheran, Dr. Daniel Stanwood . 

McGray, Capt. Otis C Monroe . . . . 

Mclntire, Dr. Ida Noyes Everett . . . 

Mclntire, Hon. Albert W Everett ... 

Mclntyre, Thomas Index 

McLean, Oliver Snohomish. 

McManus, John E Seattle 

Naas, Ole Stanwood . . . 

Nelson, John W Snohomish. . . 

Nelson, Peter Everett 

Ness, Peter Stanwood 

Nickerson, Earnest A Everett 

Nicklason, Gustaf Cedarhome . . 

Niles, Frank Granite Falls 

Nilson, Lars C Marysville . . . 

. 1035 
. 980 
. 905 
. 900 
. 834 
. 893 

. 861 
. 928 
. 915 
. 944 

Oake, Richard L Edmonds . . 

Odell, Elmer E Monroe . . . . 

Oldfield, Harry L Everett . . . 

Oliver, Dr. William Forrest . .Arlington . . 

Olsen, Peter Stanwood . 

Olson, Olanus and Hans Silvana . . . . 

Ostrand, Carl W Edgecomb . 

Ovenell, George T Stanwood . 

Packard, Myron W Snohomish. 

Parker, Leroy Everett . . . 

. 955 
. 907 
. 997 
. 991 

. 845 
. 912 


Pattison, Fred O Monroe 1086- 

Paiilson, Peter Marysville 944 

Pearsall, George V Sultan 1 104 

Pearson, Daniel O Stanwood 975 

Pearson, Petrus H azel 1080 ■ 

Peden, Abraham Snohomish 876 

Person, Peter Monroe 1090 

Persun, Jackson H Arlington 1035 

Peterson, A. Louis Sultan 1103 

Peterson, Charles P Edmonds 950 

Peterson, Jacob Arlington 1030 

Phelps, Franklin E Monroe 1089' 

Philipsen, Thomas Snohomish 854 

Pierson, James R Hazel 1080- 

Piles, Senator Samuel Henry . Seattle 892" 

Pratt, William Rutherford Everett 918- 

Redding, Clifford R Index 1112 

Reinseth, Ole O Arlington 1039 

Reinseth, Peder Arlington 1039- 

Rhoades, John F Snohomish 830 

Richards, Thomas N Snohomish 875 

Ritter, David A Granite Falls 1060- 

Roark, Dell Silvana 1020 

Robbins, John M Marysville 960 

Robe, Truitt K ■. . . . Granite Falls 969 

Robertson, Alexander Florence 1008 

Robinet, Jacob Everett 927 

Rod, Knut O Arlington 1042- 

Roth, Charles Arlington 1047 

Roth, Gottlieb Snohomish 865 

Rowland, O. O Index 1113 

Rudebeck, Nicholas Everett 906 

Ruthruff, Hugh C Oso 1074 

Sandberg, Charles C^so 1075 

Sandmann, Oscar Hartford 1053 

Sawyer, Mrs. Jennie M Monroe 1085 

Schaf er, Fred Snohomish 855 

Scherrer, Ulrich Granite Falls 1066 

Schloman, Bernhard C. W ... Arlington 1026 

Schloman, John Arlington 1040 

Sexton, David F Snohomish 837 

Shadinger, John H Snohomish ( South ) . . . 867 

Shafer, Alonzo W Trafton. . . ...^. 1021 

Shaw, Colby J . . ." Snohomish 861 

Shaw, Edgar J Snohomish 861 

Shaw, George W Snohomish 857 

Siler, Henry O Everett (and Port Gamble) .... 911 

Sill, Jasper Arlington 1029 

Sill, John W Snohomish 868 

Sinclair, Hon. Woodbury B . . Snohomish 857 

Smith, Eugene D Lowell 931 

Smith, Fred Lowell 939 

Smith, Frederick Marysville 941 

Smith, Sylvester Index 1113 

Snyder, Wilson M Snohomish 839' 

Sorensen, Ole E Edmonds 956 

Spaulding, Thomas Monroe 1094 

Spencer, John Everett 911 

Sprau, Charles E Snohomish 856- 


Sprau, Jacob M Monroe 

Spurrell, Henry Snohomish. . . 

Stecher, John Everett 

Stenson, Ingebregt Silvana 

Stephens, Edwin Milton Monroe 

Stevens, Sylvester S Arlington .... 

Stevens, Winslow B Monroe 

Stone, John E Everett 

Stretch, John F Snohomish. . . 

Stubb, Ludwig O Norman 

Suhl, Peter J Monroe 

Suttles, Almon J Arlington .... 

Swalwell, William G Everett 

Swartz, Joseph Granite Falls 

Swett, John A Sultan 

Sykes, Benjamin Monroe 


. 881 
. 916 
. 826 
. 886 
. 1087 

Tackstrom, Andrew Stanwood 981 

Theurer, John A Robe 1070 

Thomas, Benjamin Snohomish 858 

Thompson, Carl Arlington 1043 

Thomsen, H ans Arlington 1040 

Thomsen, Jens Arlington 1025 

Thorsen, Halvor Silvana 1016 

Tjernagel, Rev. Helge M Stanwood 983 

Torske, Oscar Silvana 1013 

Turner, William M Granite Falls 

Tvete, Nels K Arlington .... 

Urban, T. Venzel Snohomish. 


. 1030 

. 856 

Vail, Charlie S Snohomish 885 

Vanasdlen, John A Monroe 1084 

Vernon, James Mercer Everett 918 

Vestal, Samuel Snohomish 866 

Walker, George Snohomish 871 

Walters, Henry D Monroe 1096 

Ward, William Harrison Snohomish 831 

Warner, John F Sultan 1102 

Wellington, Giles L Sultan 1104 

Westbrook, Herbert Douglas. Everett 923 

Westover, Arthur M Marysville 946 

Westover, William H Marysville 947 

White, William C Monroe 1084 

Whitfield, William Snohomish 846 

Wilbur, Lot Snohomish 853 

Willard, Ben Stanwood 981 

Willhite, Alonzo Lincoln Stanwood ... 992 

Wilsted, Chris Edmonds 95+ 

Wood, Joseph Duboise Snohomish 845 

Yost, Allen M Edmonds 

95 L 



Acme Business College, Everett 884 

Anderson, H. C 988 

Blair, Aaron L 1023 

Brackett, George 957 

Cathcart, Isaac 934 

Erickson, Ulrick R 880 

Ferguson, Emory C 824 

C.etchell, Mr. and Mrs. Martin 9.37 

• iregory, Horace A 962 

( iregory, Mrs. Horace A 962 

Gunderson, Mrs. Peter 962 

< lunderson, Peter 962 

Hamlin, Capt. William H 957 

Hanson, Charles F 962 

Hanson, Mrs. Charles F 962 

Hanson, Mr. and Mrs. Lars P., and Residence 1001 

Harriman, Charles 957 

Hewitt, Henry, Jr 889 

Iverson, Hon. O. B 966 

Jefferson, Thomas 1023 

Jones, Rev. William G 895 


Klaeboe, Andrew B 978 

La Forge, Charles S 827 

Lane, Edwin J 1055 

Leque, Peter 973 

Martell, Joseph 880 

Menzel, George 966 

Menzel, Henry 966 

Micheels, Herman 880 

Mclntyre, Mr. and Mrs 901 

Robbins, John M 957 

Robe, Truitt K ' 966 

Roth, Gottlieb 864 

Schloman, Bernhard C. W 1023 

Se.xton, Mr. and Mrs. David F., and Residence 836 

Shaffer, Alonzo W 1023 

Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene D 930 

Spurrell, Henry 880 

Thomsen, Jens 1023 

Vail, Charles S 884r 

Walker, George 870 





The opening of a new century is a fitting time 
to glance backward and reconstruct to the eye of 
the present, the interesting and heroic events of 
the past, that by comparison between past and 
jiresent the trend of progress may be traced and 
the future in a measure forecasted. 

No matter what locality in the Northwest we 
may treat historically, we are compelled in our 
search for the beginnings of its story to go back 
to the old, misty Oregon territory, with its isola- 
tion, its pathos, its wild chivalry, its freedom and 
hospitality. Strange indeed is its earliest history, 
when, shrouded in uncertainty and misapprehen- 
sion, it formed the ignis fatuiis of the explorer, 
"luring him on with that indescribable fascination 
which seems always to have drawn men to the 
ever receding circle of the 'westmost west.' "' 

Shortly after the time of ColumI)us. attempts 
began to be made to reach the western ocean and 
solve the mystery of the various passages sup- 
posed to lead to Asia. 

In 1500 Gasper Cortereal conceived the idea of 
finding a northern strait, to which he gave the 
name "Anian," and this mythical channel received 
much attention from these early navigators, some 
of whom even went so far as to claim that they had 
passed through it and had reached another ocean. 
Among the captains making this bold claim was 
Juan de Fuca. He is said to have been a Greek 
of Cephalonia whose real name was Apostolos 
A'alerianos, and it is claimed that when he made his 
discovery he was in the service of the Si)anish 
nation. Michael Lock tells his story in the fol- 
lowing language : 

"He followed his course, in that voyage, west 

and northwest in the South sea, all along the coast 
of Nova Spania and California and the Indies, 
now called North America (all which voyage he 
signified to me in a great map, and a sea card of 
my own, which I laid before him), until he came 
to the latitude of forty-seven degrees ; and that, 
there finding that the land trended north and north- 
west, with a broad inlet of sea, between forty-seven 
and forty-eight degrees of latitude, he entered 
thereinto, sailing more than twenty days, and found 
that land still trending northwest, and northeast, 
and north, and also east and southeastward, and 
very much broader sea than it was at the said 
entrance, and that he passed by divers islands in 
that sailing ; and that, at the entrance of said strait. 
there is. on the northwest coast thereof, a great 
headland or island, with an exceedingly high pin- 
nacle or spired rock, like a i)illar, thereupon. Also 
he said that he went on land in divers places, and 
that he saw some ])eo]:)le on the land clad in beasts' 
skins ; and that the land was very fruitful and 
rich in gold, silver and pearls and other things, 
like Nova Spania. Also he said that he. being 
entered thus far into the said strait, and being 
come into the North sea already and finding the 
sea wide enough everywhere, and to be about 
thirtv or fortv leagues wide in the mouth of the 
straits where he entered, he thought he had now 
well discharged his office ; and that not being armed 
to resist the force of savage people that might 
happen, he therefore set sail and turned homeward 
again toward Nova Spania, where he arrived at 
.Acapulco. anno ]5!)2. hojiing to be rewarded by the 
viceroy for this service done in the said voyage." 
The curious thing about this and some of the 


otIuT li'i^ciuls is tlu' general accuracy of the descrip- 
tions tjiven 1)\' these old mariners. Professor 
\\'. D. Lyman thinks it is not imi)ossil)le that they 
had either visited the Pacific coast in perfon or 
had seen other pilots who had. and that thus they 
gatJiered the material from which the\- fabricated 
tlieir Munchausen tales. 

-Many years passed after the age of myth before 
there were authentic voyages. During the seven- 
teenth century practically nothing was done in the 
way of Pacific coast explorations, but in the 
eighteenth, as by common consent, all the nations 
of Europe became suddenly infatuated again with 
the thought that on the western shores of America 
might be found the gold and silver and gems 
and furs and precious woods for which they had 
been striving so desperately upon the eastern coast. 
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Rus- 
sians and Americans entered their bold and hardy 
sailors into the race for the possession of the land 
of the Occident. The Russians were the first in 
the field, that gigantic power, which the genius of 
Peter the Great, like one of the fabled genii, had 
suddenly transformed from the proportions of a 
grain of sand to a figure overtopping the whole 
earth, and which had stretched it? arms from the 
Baltic to the Aleutian archipelago, and had looked 
southward across the frozen seas of Siberia to the 
open Pacific as offering another opportunity of 
expansion. Many years passed, however, before 
Peter's designs coidd be executed. It was 1T2S 
when ^■'itus Behring entered upon his marvelous 
life of exploration. Not until 1741, however, did 
he thread the thousand islands of Alaska and gaze 
upon the glaciated summit of Mount Elias. And 
it was not until thirty years later that it was known 
that the Bay of .Avatscha in Siberia was connected 
by open sea with China. In 1T71 the first cargo 
of furs was taken directly from Avatscha, the chief 
port of eastern Siberia, to Canton. Then first 
Europe realized the vastness of the Pacific ocean. 
Then it understood that the same waters which 
frowned against the frozen bulwarks of Kamchatka 
-washed the tropic islands of the South seas and 
foamed against the storm-swept rocks of Cape 

IMeanwhile, while Russia was thus becoming 
established upon the shores of Alaska, Spain was 
getting entire possession of California. These two 
great nations began to overlap each other, Russians 
becoming established near San Francisco. To 
offset this movement of Russia, a group of Spanish 
explorers, Perez, Martinez, Heceta, Bodega and 
Maurelle, swarmed up the coast beyond the site 
of the present Sitka. 

England, in alarm at the progress made bv 
Spain and Russia, sent out the Columbus of the 
eighteenth century, in the person of Captain James 
Cook, and he sailed up and down the coast of 

Alaska and of Washington, liut failed to discover 
either the Columbia river or the Straits of Fuca. 

His labors, however, did more to establish true 
geographical notions than had the combined efforts 
of all the Spanish navigators who had preceded 
him. His voyages materially strengthened Eng- 
land's claim to Oregon, and added greatly to the 
luster of her name. The great cai)tain, while tem- 
porarily on shore, was killed by Indians in 1778, 
and the command devolved upon Captain Clark, 
who sailed northward, passing through Behring 
strait to the Arctic ocean. The new commander 
died before the expedition had proceeded far on 
its return journey ; Lieutenant Gore, a Virginian, 
assumed control and sailed to Canton, China, arriv- 
ing late in the year. 

The main purposes of this expedition had been 
the di.'covery of a northern waterway between the 
two oceans and the extending of British territory, 
but, as is so often the case in human affairs, one of 
the most important rei^wlts of the vovage was 
entirely unsuspected by the navigators and prac- 
tically the outcome of an accident. It so happened 
that the two vessels of the expedition, the Revolu- 
tion and the Discovery, took with them to China 
a small collection of furs from the northwest coast 
of America. These were purchased by the Chinese 
with great avidity ; the people exhibiting a willing- 
ness to barter commodities of much value for them 
and endeavoring to secure them at almost any sacri- 
fice. The sailors were not backward in communicat- 
ing their discoveries of a new and promising mar- 
ket for peltries, and the impetus imparted to the fur 
trade was almost immeasurable in its ultimate 
effects. An entirely new regime was inaugurated 
in Chinese and East Indian commerce. The north- 
west coast of America assumed a new importance 
in the eyes of Europeans, and especially of the 
British. The "struggle for possession" soon began 
to be foreshadowed. 

( )ne of the principal harbors resorted to by fur- 
trading vessels was Nootka, used as a rendezvous 
and principal port of departure. This port became 
the scene of a clash between Spanish authorities 
and certain British vessels, which greatly strained 
the friendly relations existing between the two gov- 
ernments represented. In 1779, the viceroy of 
Mexico sent two ships, the Princess and the San 
Carlos, to convey Martinez and De Haro to the 
vicinity for the purpose of anticipating and pre- 
venting the occupancy of Nootka sound by fur 
traders of other nations, and that the Spanish title 
to the territory might be maintained and confirmed. 
Martinez was to base his claim upon the discovery 
by Perez in 1774. Courtesy was to be extended 
to foreign vessels, but the establishment of anv 
claim prejudicial to the right of the Spanish crown 
was to be resisted vigorously, 

LTpon the arrival of Martinez, it was discovered 
that the American vessel, Columbia, and the Iphi- 


genia, a British vessel, under a Portuguese flag, 
were lying in the harbor. Martinez at once de- 
mandod the papers of both vessels and an explana- 
tion of their presence, vigorously asserting the claim 
of Spain that the port and contiguous territory were 
hers. The captain of the Iphigenia pleaded stress 
of weather. On finding that the vessel's papers 
commanded the capture, under certain conditions, 
of Russian, Spanish or luiglish vessels, Martinez 
seized the ship, but on being advised that the orders 
relating to captures were intended only to apply 
to the defense of the vessel, the Spaniard released 
the Iphigenia and her cargo. The Northwest 
America, another vesf-el of the same expedition, 
was, however, seized by Martinez a little later. 

It should be remembered that these British 
vessels had, in the inception of the enterprise, 
divested themselves of their true national character 
and donned the insignia of Portugal, their reasons 
being : First, to defraud the Chinese government, 
which made special harbor rates to the Portuguese, 
and, second, to defraud the East India Company, 
to whom had been granted the right of trading in 
furs in northwest America to the exclusion of all 
other British subjects, except such as should obtain 
the permission of the company. To maintain their 
Portuguese nationality they had placed the expe- 
dition nominally under the control of Jnan Cavalho, 
a Portuguese trader. Prior to the time of the 
trouble in Nootka, however, Cavalho had become 
a bankrupt ancl new arrangements had become 
necessary. The English traders were compelled to 
imite their interests with those of King George's 
Sound Company, a mercantile association operating 
under license from the South Sea and East India 
companies, the Portuguese colors had been laid 
aside, and the true national character of the expe- 
dition assumed. Captain Colnutt was placed in 
command of the enterprise as constituted under the 
new regime, with instructions, among other things, 
■'to establish a factory to be called Fort Pitt, for the 
I)urpose of permanent settlement and as a center 
of trade around which other stations may be 

One vessel of the expedition, the Princess Royal, 
entered Nootka harbor without molestation, but 
when the Argonaut, under command of Captain 
Colnutt, arrived, it was thought best by the master 
not to attempt an entrance to the bay, lest his vessel 
should meet the same fate which had befallen the 
Iphigenia and the Northwest America. Later 
Colnutt called on Martinez and informed the 
Spanish governor of his intention to take possession 
'>f the country in the name of (jrcat Britain and to 
erect a fort. The governor replied that possession 
had already been taken in the name of His Catholic 
Majesty and that such acts as he (Colnutt) con- 
templated could not be allowed. An altercation 
followed and the next day the Argonaut was seized 
and her captain and crew placed under arrest. The 

Princess Royal was also seized, though the .-\mer- 
ican vessels in the harbor were in no way molested. 

-After an extended and at times heated con- 
troversy between Spain and Great Britain touching 
these seizures, the former government consented to 
make reparation and offered a suitable apology for 
the indignity to the honor of the flag. The feature 
of this correspondence of greatest import in the 
future history of the territory affected is, that 
throughout the entire controversy and in all the 
royal messages and debates in parliament no word 
was spoken asserting a claim of Great Britain to any 
territorial rights or denying the claim of sovereignty 
so positively and persistently avowed by Spain, 
neither was Spanish sovereignty denied nor in any 
way alienated by the treaty which followed. Certain 
real property was restored to British subjects, but a 
transfer of realty under the circumstances could not 
be considered a transfer of sovereignty. 

We pass over the voyage of the illustrious 
French navigator. La Perouse, as of more 
importance from a scientific than from a political 
view-point ; neither can we dwell upon the explo- 
rations of Captain Berkeley, to whom belongs the 
honor of having ascertained the existence of the 
strait afterwards denominated Juan de Fuca. Of 
somewhat greater moment in the later history of the 
Northwest are the voyages of Meares, who entered 
and described the above-mentioned strait, and who, 
in 1T88, explored the coast at the point where the 
great Columbia mingles its crystal current with the 
waters of the sea. In the diplomatic battle of later 
days it was even claimed that he was the discoverer 
of that great "River of the West." Howbeit, nothing 
can be surer than that the existence of such a river 
was utterly unknown to him at the time. Indeed, 
his conviction of its non-existence was thus stated 
in his own account of the voyage : "We can now 
with safety assert that there is no such river as 
the St. Roc (of the Spaniard, Heceta) exists as 
laid down on the Spanish charts," and he gave a 
further unequivocal expression of his opinion by 
naming the bay in that vicinity Deception bay and 
the promontory north of it Cape Disappointment. 
"Disappointed and deceived,"' remarks Evans face- 
tiously, "he continued his cruise southward to lati- 
tude forty-five degrees north." 

It is not without sentiments of patriotic pride 
that we now turn our attention to a period of dis- 
covery in which the vessels of our own nation 
played a prominent part. The nortliern mystery, 
which had been partially resolved by the Spanish, 
English, French and Portuguese explorations, was 
now to be rolibed completely of its mystic chanu ; 
speculation and myth must now give place to exact 
knowledge ; the game of discovery must hereafter 
be played principally between the two branches of 
the Anglo-Saxon race, and Anglo-Saxon energy, 
thoroughness and zeal are henceforth to characterize 
operations on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. 


The United States had but recently won their inde- 
pendence from tile I'.ritish crown and their energies 
were finding a fit field of activity in the titanic 
task of national organization. Before the consti- 
tution had become the supreme law of the land, 
however, the alert mind of the American had begun 
projecting voyages of discovery and trade to the 
Northwest, and in September, 1788. two vessels 
with the stars and stripes at their mastheads arrived 
at Nootka sound. Their presence in the harbor 
while the events culminating in the Nootka treaty 
were transpiring has already been alluded to. The 
vessels were the ship Columbia. Captain John 
Kendrick, and the sloop Washington, Captain 
Robert Gray, and the honor of having sent them to 
our shores belongs to one Joseph Barrel, a prom- 
inent merchant of Boston, and a man of high social 
standing and great influence. While one of the 
impelling motives of this enterprise had been the 
desire of commercial profit, the element of patriot- 
ism was not wholly lacking, and the vessels were 
instructed to make whatever explorations and dis- 
coveries thev might. 

After remaining a time on the coast, Captain 
Kendrick transferred the ship's property to the 
Washington, with the intention of taking a cruise 
in that vessel. He placed Captain Gray in com- 
mand of the Columbia with instructions to return 
to Boston by way of the Sandwich islands and 
China. This commission was successfully carried 
out. The vessel arrived in Boston in September, 

1790, was received with great eclat, refitted by her 
owners and again despatched to the shores of the 
Pacific with Captain Gray in command. In July, 

1791, the Columbia, from Boston, and the Washing- 
ton, from China, met not far from the spot where 
they had separated nearly two years before. They 
were not to remain long in company, for Captain 
Gray soon started on a cruise southward. On April 
29, 1792, Gray met Vancouver just below Cape 
Flattery and an interesting colloquy took place. 
Vancouver communicated to the American skipper 
the fact that he had not >et made any important dis- 
coveries, and Gray, with equal frankness, gave the 
eminent British explorer an account of his past dis- 
coveries, "including." says Bancroft, "the fact that 
he had not sailed through Fuca strait in the Lady 
Washington, as had been supposed from Meares' 
narrative and map." He also informed Captain 
Vancouver that lie had been "ofif the mouth of a 

river in latitude forty-si.x degrees, ten minutes, 
where the outset, or reflux, was so strong as to 
prevent his entrance for nine days." 

The important information conveyed by Gray 
seems to have greatly disturbed Vancouver's mind. 
The entries in his log show that he did not entirely 
credit the statement of the z^merican, but that he 
was considerably perturbed is evinced by the fact 
that he tried to convince himself by argument that 
Gray's statement could not have been correct. The 
latitude assigned by the American is that of Cape 
Disappointment, and the existence of a river mouth 
there, though affirmed by Heceta, had been denied 
by Meares; Captain Cook had also failed to find 
it ; besides, had he not himself passed that point 
two days before and had he not observed that "if 
any inlet or river should be found it must be a 
very intricate one and inaccessible to vessels of our 
burden, owing to the reefs and broken water which 
then appeared in its neighborhood?" With such 
reasoning, he dismissed the matter from his mind 
for the time being. He continued his journey north- 
ward, passed through the Strait of Fuca, and 
engaged in a thorough and minute exploration of 
that mighty inland sea, to a portion of which he 
gave the name of Puget sound. 

Meanwhile Gray was proceeding southward "in 
the track of destiny and glory." On May 7th he 
entered the harbor which now bears his name, and 
four days later he passed through the breakers and 
over the bar, and his vessel's prow plowed the 
waters of that famous "River of the West," whose 
existence had been so long suspected. The storied 
"Oregon" for the first time heard other sound than 
"its own dashing." 

Shortly afterward \'ancouver came to Cape 
Disappointment to explore the Columbia, of which 
he had heard indirectly from Captain Gray. Lieu- 
tenant Broughton, of Vancouver's expedition, sailed 
over the bar. ascended the river a distance of more 
than one hundred miles to the site of the present 
\'ancouver, and with a modesty truly remarkable, 
took "possession of the river and the country in its 
vicinity in His Britannic Majesty's name, having 
every reason to believe that the subjects of no 
other civilized nation or state had ever entered it 
before." This. too. though he had received a salute 
of one gun from an American vessel, the Jennie, on 
his entrance to the bay. The lieutenant's claim was 
not to remain forever unchallenged, as will appear 



With the exploration of Puget sound and the 
discovery of the Cokimbia, history-making mari- 
time adventure practically ceased. lUit as the fabled 
strait of Anian had drawn explorers to the Pacific 
shores in quest of the mythical passage to the 
treasures of Ind, so likewise did the fairy tales of 
La Hontan and others stimulate inland exploration. 
Furthermore, the mystic charm always possessed 
by a tcna incognita was becoming irresistible to 
adventurous spirits, and the possibilities of discov- 
ering untold wealth in the vaults of its "Shining 
mountains" and in the sands of its crystal rivers 
were exceedingly fascinating to the lover of gain. 

The honor of pioneership in overland explora- 
tion belongs to one Verendrye, who, under authority 
of the governor-general of New France, in 1773 set 
out on an expedition to the Rocky mountains from 
Canada. This explorer and his brother and sons 
made many important explorations, but as they 
failed to find a pass through the Rocky mountains, 
by which they could come to the Pacific side, their 
adventures do not fall within the purview of our 
volume. They are said to have reached the vicinity 
of the present city of Helena. 

If, as seems highly probable, the events 
chronicled by Le Page in his charming "Histoire de 
la Louisiane." published in li5S, should be taken as 
authentic, the first man to scale the Rocky moun- 
tains from the east and to make his way overland 
to the shores of the Pacific was a Yazoo Indian, 
Moncacht-ape, or Moncachabe, by name. P.ut "the 
first traveler to lead a party of civilized men through 
the territory of the Stony mountains. to the South 
sea" was Alexander Mackenzie, who, in 1793, 
reached the coast at fifty-two degrees, twenty-four 
minutes, forty-eight seconds north, leaving as a 
memorial of his visit, inscribed on a rock with 
vermilion and grease, the words, "Alexander Mac- 

kenzie, from Canada b\ 




field of discovery was also without the scope of our 
purpose, being too far north to figure prominently 
in the international complications of later years. 

Western exploration by land had, however, 
elicited the interest of one whose energy and force 
were sufficient to bring to a successful issue almost 
any undertaking worth the efifort. While the other 
statesmen and legislators of his time were fully 
engagc<l with the jirohlems of the moment, the great 

mind of Thomas Jefiferson, endowed as it was with 
a wider range of vision and more comprehensive 
grasp of the true situation, was projecting exploring 
expeditions into the Northwest. In 1786, while 
serving as minister to Paris, he had fallen in with 
the ardent Ledyard, who was on fire with the idea 
of opening a large and profitable fur trade in the 
north Pacific region. To this young man he had 
suggested the idea of journeying to Kamchatka, 
then in a Russian vessel to Xootka sound, from 
which, as a starting point, he should make an ex- 
ploring expedition eastward to the United States. 
Ledyard acted on the suggestion, but was arrested 
as a spy in the spring of 1787 by Russian officials 
and so severely treated as to cause a failure of his 
health and a consequent failure of his enterprise. 

The next elTort of Jefferson was made in 1792, 
when he proposed to the American Philosophical 
Society that it should engage a competent scientist 
"to explore northwest America from the eastward 
by ascending the Missouri, crossing the Rocky 
mountains and descending the nearest river to the 
Pacific ocean." The idea was favorably received. 
Captain Meriwether Lewis, who afterward distin- 
guished himself as one of the leaders of the Lewis 
and Clark expedition, offered his services, but for 
some reason Andre Michaux, a French botanist, 
was given the preference. Michaux proceeded as 
far as Kentucky, but there received an orLler from 
the French minister, to whom, it seems, he also 
owed obedience, that he should relinquish his ap- 
pointment and engage upon the duties of another 

It was not until after the opening of a new 
century that another opportunity for furthering his 
favorite project presented itself to Jefferson. An 
act of congress, under which trading houses had 
been established for facilitating commerce with the 
Indians, was about to expire by liinitation, and 
President Jefferson, in reconnnending its continu- 
ance, seized the opportunity to urge upon congress 
the advisability of fitting out an exjiedition, the 
object of which should be "to explore the Mis.souri 
river and such principal stream of it as, by its course 
of communication with the waters of the Pacific 
ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or 
an\- other river, mav offer the most direct and 


jiractical water communication across the continent, 
for the purpose of commerce." 

Congress voted an ai)propriatioii for the purpose, 
and the expedition was placed in charge of Captains 
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. President 
JelTerson gave the explorers minute and particular 
instructions as to investigations to be made by 
them. They were to inform themselves, should they 
reach the Pacific ocean, "of the circumstances which 
may decide whether the furs of those parts may 
be collected as advantageously at the head of the 
Missouri (convenient as is supposed to the 
Colorado and Oregon or Columbia) as at Nootka 
sound or any other part of that coast ; and the trade 
be constantly conducted through the Missouri and 
the Cnited States more beneficially than by the cir- 
cumnavigation now practiced." In addition to the 
instructions already quoted, these explorers were 
directed to ascertain if possible oij arriving at the 
seaboard if there w-ere any ports within their reach 
frequented by the sea vessels of any nation, and to 
send, if practicable, two of their most trusted people 
back by sea with copies of their notes. Thev were 
also, if they deemed a return by the way they had 
come imminently hazardous, to ship the entire party 
and return via Good Hope or Cape Horn, as the}- 
might be able. 

A few days before the initial steps were taken in 
discharge of the instruction of President Jefi:'erson, 
news reached the seat of government of a trans- 
action which added materially to the significance of 
the enterprise. Negotiations had been successfully 
consummated for the purchase of Louisiana on 
April 30, 1803, but the authorities at Washington 
did not hear of the important transfer until the first 
of July. Of such transcendent import to the future 
of our country was this transaction and of such 
vital moment to the section witii which our volume 
is primarily concerned, that we must here interrupt 
the trend of our narrative to give the reader an idea 
of the extent of territory involved, and, if possible, 
to enable him to appreciate the influence of the 
purchase. France, by her land explorations and 
the estal)lishment of trading posts and forts, first 
acquired title to the territory west of the Missis- 
sippi and cast of the Rocky mountains, though 
Great Britain claimed the territory in accordance 
with her doctrine of continuity and contiguity, most 
of her colonial grants extending in express terms 
to the Pacific ocean. Spain also claimed the country 
by grant of Pope Alexander VL A constant war- 
fare had been waged between France and Great 
Britain for supremacy in America. The latter was 
the winner in the contest, and, in 1T6"2. France, 
apparently discouraged, ceded to Spain the province 
of Louisiana. By the treaty of February 10, 1763, 
which gave (ireat I'.ritain the Canadas. it was 
agreed that the western boundary between English 
and .Spanish possessions in ,\merica shoidd be the 
Mississippi river. Great Britain renouncing all 

claims to the territory west of that l)oun(Iary. In 
1800 Spain retroceded Louisiana to France "with 
the same extent it has now in the hands of Spain 
and which it had when France possessed it, and 
such as it should be according to the treaties subse- 
quently made between Spain and other states." 

The order for the formal delivery of the prov- 
ince to France was issued by the Spanish king on 
October 1.3, 1803, and, as above stated, the United 
States succeeded to the title bv treatv of April 
30, 1803. 

E.xact boundaries had not been established at 
the time of the Louisiana purchase, but some idea of 
the vastness of the territory thereby acquired by the 
United States may be had when we consider that it 
extended from the present British line to the Gulf 
of Mexico and included what are now the states of 
Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, 
Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana, the territory of 
(Oklahoma. Indian territory, more than three-fourths 
of Montana and Wyoming, and parts of Colorado 
and New Mexico. 

And so the Lewis and Clark expedition, which 

had in its inception for its chief object to promote 

the commercial interests of the L^nited States, 

acquired a new purpose, namely, the extending of 

geographical and scientific knowledge of our oum 

domain. L^pon its members a further dutv devolved, 

that of informing the natives that obedience was 

j now due to a new great father. 

i The expedition of Lewis and Clark excited a 

1 peculiar interest at the time of its occurrence, and 

has since occupied a unique place in our history. 

The description of this expedition which follow-s is 

condensed from the writings upon the subject of 

Professor W. D. Lvman, of Whitman College, 

Walla Walla. 

To our colonial ancestors, caged between the 
sea and the domains of hostile natives and rival 
colonies, afterward absorbed in a death struggle 
with the mother country, all the vast interior was 
a sealed book. And when the successful issue of 
the Revolutionary war permitted them to turn 
around and see where they were, still more when 
the great purchase of Louisiana from France 
enabled them to look toward the tops of the "Shin- 
ing mountains'' with a sense of proprietorship, all 
the romance and enthusiasm and excitement of ex- 
ploration, hitherto sternly denied them bv their 
narrow lot, seized and fascinated all classes. 

On the 14th day of May, 1804. the Lewis and 
Clark party left St. Louis by boat upon the muddy 
current of the Missouri, to search for the unknown 
mountains and rivers between that point and the 
Pacific. Their plan was to ascend the Missouri to 
its source, cross the divide, strike the headwaters 
of the Columbia, and, descending it, reach the sea. 

And what manner of men were imdertaking; this 
voyage, fraught with both interest and peril ? Meri- 
wether Lewis, the leader of the party, was a captain 


in the United States army, and in Jefferson's jndg:- 
ment was, by reason of endurance, boldness and 
energy, the fittest man within his knowledge for 
the responsible duties of commander. His whole 
life had been one of reckless adventure. It appears 
that at the tender age of eight he was already 
illustrious for successfvd midnight forays upon the 
festive coon and the meditative possum. He was 
lacking in scientific knowledge, but when appointed 
captain of the expedition had, with characteristic 
pluck, spent a few spare weeks in study of some 
of the branches most essential to his new work. 
William Clark, second in command, was also a 
United States officer, and seems to have been equally 
fitted with Lewis for his work. The party consisted 
of fourteen United States regulars, nine Kentucky 
volunteers, two French voyageurs, a hunter, an in- 
terpreter and a negro. To each of the common 
soldiers the government offered the munificent 
reward of retirement upon full pay with a recom- 
mendation for a soldier's grant of land. Special 
pains were taken to encourage the party to keep 
complete records of all they saw and heard and did. 
This was done with a vengeance, insomuch that 
seven journals besides those of the leaders were 
carefully kept, and in them was recorded nearly 
every event from the most important discoveries 
down to the ingredients of their meals and doses of 
medicine. They were abundantly provided with 
beads, mirrt)rs, knives, etc., wherewith to woo the 
savage hearts of the natives. 

After an interesting and easy journev of five 
months, they reached the country of the Mandans. 
and here they determined to winter. The winter 
having been profitably spent in making the acquaint- 
ance of the Indians and in collecting specimens of 
the natural history of the plains — which thev now 
sent back to the jjresidcnt with great care — they 
again embarked in a S(|uad of six canoes and two 
pirogues. June l:!lh they reached the great falls 
of the Missouri. 

A month was S])ent within sound of the thunder 
and in sight of the peri)etual mist cloud rising from 
the abyss, before they could accomplish the difiticult 
portage of eighteen miles, make new canoes, mend 
their clothes and lay in a new stock of provisions. 

The long bright days, the tingling air of the 
mountains, the pleasant swish of the water as their 
cauDcs breasted the swift current, the vast campfires 
and the nightly buffalo roasts— all these must have 
made this the pleasantest section of their long 

The partv seems to have pretty nearly exhausted 
its supply of names, and after having made heavv 
draft.s on their own with various permutatorv com- 
binations, they were reduced ti> the extremity of 
loading innocent creeks with the ponderous names 
of Wisdom, Philosophy and Philanthroi)y. Suc- 
ceeding generations have relieved the unjust 

pressure in two of these cases with the high sound- 
ing appellations of P>ig Hole and Stinking Water. 

On the I'.'th day of August the explorers crossed 
the great tlivide, the birthplace of mighty rivers, and 
descending the sunset slope, found themselves in 
the land of the Shoshones. They had brought 
with them a Shoshone woman, rejoicing in the 
pleasant name of Sacajawea, for the express 
purpose of becoming acquainted with this tribe, 
through whom they hopetl to get horses and val- 
uable information as to their proper route to the 
ocean. But four days were consumed in enticing 
the suspicious savages near enough to hear the 
words of their own tongue proceeding from the 
camp of the strangers. When, however, the fair 
interpreter had been granted a hearing, she speedily 
won for the party the faithful allegiance of her kins- 
men. They innocently accepted the rather general 
intimation of the explorers that this journey had 
for its primary object the happiness and prosperity 
of the Shoshone nation, and to these evidences of 
benevolence on the part of their newly adopted 
great father at Washington, they quickly responded 
by bringing plenty of horses and all the information 
in their poor power. 

It appears that the expedition was at that time 
on the headwaters of the Salmon river near where 
Fort Lemhi afterward stood. With twenty-nine 
horses to carry their abundant burdens, they bade 
farewell to the friendly Shoshones on the last dav 
of .\ugust. and committed themselves to the dreary 
and desolate solitudes to the westward. They soon 
became entangled in the ridges and defiles, already 
spotted with snow, of the Bitter Root mountains. 

Having crossed several branches of the great 
river, named in honor of Captain Clark, and becom- 
ing distressed at the increasing dangers and delay, 
they turned to the left, and, having punished a 
brawling creek for its inhospitality by inflicting on 
it the name Colt Killed, commemorative of their 
extremity for food, they came upon a wild and 
beautiful stream. Ini|uiring the name of this from 
the Indians, they received the answer "Kooskoos- 
kie." This in reality meant simply that this was 
not the stream for whicli they were searching, but 
not imderstanding. they named the river Kot)skoos- 
kie. This was afterward called the Clearwater, 
and is the most beautiful tril)utary of the Snake. 

The country still frowned- on them with the 
same forbidding rocky heights and snow-storms as 
before. It l)egan to seem as though famine would 
ere long stare them in the face, and the shaggy 
])recii)iccs were marked with almost daily accidents 
to men and beasts. Their onlv meat was the tlesh 
of their precious horses. 

L'nder these circumstances Clark decided to take 
six of the most active men and push ahead in search 
of game and a more hospitable country. A hard 
march of twenty miles rewarded him with a view 
of a vast open plain in front of the broken mountain 


chain across wbicli they had been struggHng. It 
was three days, however, before they fairly cleared 
the edge of the mountain and emerged on the great 
prairie north and cast of where Lewiston now is. 
They found no game except a stray horse, which 
they speedily despatched. Here the advance guard 
waited for the main body to come up, and then 
altogether they went down to the Clearwater, where 
a large number of the Nez Perce Indians gathered 
to see and trade with them. Receiving from these 
Indians, who, like all that they had met, seemed 
very amicably disposed, the cheering news that the 
great river was not very distant, and seeing the 
Clearwater to be a fine, navigable stream, they 
determined to abandon the weary land march and 
make canoes. Five of these having been con- 
structed, they laid in a stock of dog meat and then 
committed themselves to the sweeping current \\ith 
which all the tributaries of the Columbia hastened 
to their destined place. They left their horses with 
the Nez Perces, and it is worthy of special notice 
that these were remarkably faithful to their trust. 
Indeed, it may be safely asserted that the first 
explorers of this country almost uniformly met with 
the kindest reception. 

On the 10th of October, having traveled sixty 
miles on the Clearwater, its pellucid current de- 
livered them to tlie turbid, angry, sullen, lava- 
banked Snake. This great stream they called 
Kimooenim, its Indian name. It was in its low 
season, and it seems from their account that it, as 
well as all the other streams, must have been 
uncommonly low that vear. 

Thus they say that on October 13th they 
descended a very bad rapid four miles in length, at 
the lower part of which the whole river was com- 
pressed into a channel only twenty-five yards wide. 
Immediately below they passed a large stream on 
the right, which they called Drew}-er's river, from 
one of their men. This must have been the Palouse 
river, and certainly it is very rare that the mighty 
Snake becomes attenuated at that point to a width 
of twenty-five yards. Next day as they were de- 
scending the worst rapid they had yet seen (probably 
the Monumental rapid), it repelled their efTronterv 
by upsetting one of the boats. No lives were lost, 
but the cargo of the boat was badly water-soaked. 
For the purpose of drying it, they stopped a day, 
and finding no other timber, they were compelled 
to use a very appropriate pile which some Indians 
had stored away and covered with stones. This 
trifling circumstance is noticed because of the ex- 
plorers' speaking in connection with it of their cus- 
tomary scrupulousness in never taking any property 
of the Indians, and of their determination to repay 
the owner, if they could find him, on their return. 
If all explorers had been as particular, much is the 
distress and loss that would have been avoided. 

They found almost continuous rapids from this 
point to the mouth of the Snake, which thev reached 

on October 16th. Here they were met by a regular 
procession of nearly two hundred Indians. They 
had a grand pow-wow, and both parties displayed 
great affection, the whites bestowing medals, shirts, 
trinkets, etc., in accordance with the rank of the 
recipient, and the Indians repaying the kindness 
with abundant and prolonged visits and accompany- 
ing gifts of wood and fish. C)n the next day they 
measured the rivers, finding the Columbia to be nine 
hundred and sixty yards wide and the Snake five 
hundred and sevent}-five. They indulge in no 
poetic reveries as they stand by the river which has 
been one principal object of their search, but they 
seem to see pretty much everything of practical 
value. In the glimmering haze of the pleasant 
October morning they notice the vast bare prairie 
stretching southward until broken by the roimded 
summits of the Ulue mountains. Thev find the 
Sohulks. who live at the junction of the rivers, a 
mild and happy peo])le, the men being content with 
one wife each, whom they actually assist in family 

Captain Clark ascended the Columbia to the 
mouth of a large river coming from the west, 
I which the Indians called the Tapteal. This was, of 
course, the Yakima. The people living at its mouth 
rejoiced in the liquid name of Chimnapum. Here 
Captain Clark shot what he called a prairie cock, 
the first he had seen. It was no doubt a sage hen. 

After two days of rest, being well supplied with 
fish, dog, roots, etc., and at peace with their own 
consciences and all the world, with satisfaction at 
the prospect of soon completing their journev, thev 
re-emljarked. Sixteen miles below the mouth of 
the Kimooenim, which they now began to call the 
Lewis river, they descried, cut clear against the dim 
horizon line of the southwest, a pyramidal mountain, 
covered with snow — their first view of Mount Hood. 

The next day. being in the vicinity of Umatilla, 
they saw another snowy peak at a conjectured 
distance of one hundred and fifty miles. Near 
here Captain Clark, having landed, shot a crane 
and a duck. Some Indians near were almost 
paralyzed with terror, but at last they recovered 
enough to make the best possible use of their legs. 
Following them. Captain Clark found a little cluster 
of huts. Pushing aside the mat door of one of 
them, he entered, and in the bright light of the un- 
roofed hut discovered thirty-two persons, all of 
whom were in the greatest terror, some wailing and 
wringing their hands. 

Having by kind looks and gestures soothed their 
grief, he held up his burning-glass to catch a stray 
sunbeam with which to light his pipe. Thereat the 
consternation of the Indians revived, and thev 
refused to be comforted. But when the rest of the 
party arrived with the two Indian guides who had 
come with them from the Clearwater, terror gave 
way to curiosity and pleasure. These Pishquitpaws 
— such was their name — explained to the guides 


their fear of Captain Clark by saying that he came 
from the sky accompanied by a terrible noise, and 
they knew there was a bad medicine in it. 

Being convinced now that he was a mortal after 
all, they became very affectionate, and having heard 
the music of two violins, they became so enamored 
of the strangers that they stayed up all night with 
them and collected to the number of two hundred 
to bid them good-bye in the morning. The principal 
business of these Indians seemed to be catching and 
curing salmon, which, in the clear water of the 
Columbia, the explorers could see swimming about 
in large niunhers. Continuing with no extraor- 
dinary occurrence, they passed the river now called 
the John Day, to which they applied the name 
Lapage. Mount Hood was now almost constantly 
in view, and since the Indians told them it was near 
the great falls of the Columbia, they called it the 
Timm (this seems to be the Indian word for falls) 

On the next day they reacheil a large river on 
the left, which came thundering through a narrow 
channel into the e(|ually turbulent Columbia. This 
river, which Captain Lewis judged to contain one- 
fourth as much water as the Columbia (an enormous 
over-estimate), answered to the Indian name 
of Towahnahiooks. It afterward received from the 
French the name now used. Des Chutes. 

They now perceived that they were near the 
place hinted at bv nearly every Indian that they had 
talked with since crossing the divide— the great 
falls. And a weird, savage place it proved to be. 
Here the clenched hands of trachyte and basalt, 
thrust through the soil from the buried realm of 
the volcanoes, almost clutch the rushing river. Only 
here and there between the parted fingers can he 
make his escape. 

After making several portages they reached 
that extraordinary place (now called The Dalles) 
where all the waters gathered from half a million 
square miles of earth are squeezed into a crack 
forty-five yards wide. The desolation on either side 
of this frightful chasm is a fitting margin. As one 
crawls to the edge and peeps over, he sees the 
waters to be of inky blackness. Streaks of foam 
gridiron the blackness. There is little noise com- 
pared with that made by the shallow rapids above, 
but rather a dismal sough, as though the rocks below 
were rubbing their black sides together in a vain 
effort to close over the escaping river. The river 
here is "turned on edge." In fact, its depth has 
not been found to this day. Some suppose that 
there was once a natural tmnicl here through which 
the river flowed, and that in conser|uencc of a vol- 
canic convulsion the top of the tunnel fell in. If 
there be any truth in this, the width of the channel 
is no doubt nnich greater at the bottom than at the 
top. Lewis and Clark, finding that the roughness 
of the shore made it almost im])ossible to carry 
their boats over, and seeing no evidence of rocks 

in the channel, boldly steered through this "witches' 
cauldron." Though no doubt hurled along with 
frightful rapidity and flung like foam flakes on the 
crest of the boiling surges, they reached the end of 
the "chute" without accident, to the amazement of 
the Indians who had collected on the bluff to witness 
the daring experiment. After two more portages 
the party safely entered the broad, still flood be- 
ginning where the town of The Dalles now stands. 
Here they paused for two days to hunt and caulk 
their boats. They here began to see evidences of 
the white traders below, in blankets, axes, brass 
kettles, and other articles of civilized manufacture. 
The Indians, too, were more inclined to be saucy 
and suspicious. 

The Dalles seemed to be a dividing line between 
the Indian tribes. Those living at the falls, where 
Celilo now is, called the Eneeshurs, understood and 
"fellowshipped" with the up-river tribes, but at the 
narrows and thence to The Dalles was a tribe called 
the Escheloots. These were alien to the Indians 
above, but on intimate terms with those below the 
Cascades. Among the Escheloots the explorers first 
noticed the peculiar "cluck" in speech common to 
all down-river tribes. The flattening of the head, 
which above belonged to females only, was now the 
common thing. 

The place where Lewis and Clark camped while 
at The Dalles was just below Mill creek (called by 
the natives Quenett), on a point of rock near the 
location of the present car shops. 

The ne.xt Indian tribe, extending apparently 
from the vicinity of Crate's point to the Cascades, 
ca]iped the climax of tongue-twisting names by 
calling themselves Chillnckittcquaws. 

Nothing of extraordinary character seems to 
have been encountered between The Dalles and the 
Cascades. But the explorers had their eyes wide 
open, and the calm majesty of the river and savage 
grandeur of its shores received due notice. They 
observed and named most of the streams on the 
route, the first of importance being the Cataract 
river (now the Klickitat), then Labieshe's river 
(Hood river). Canoe creek (White Salmon) and 
Crusatte"s river. This last nuist have been Little 
White Salmon, though they were greatly deceived 
as to its size, stating it to be sixty yards wide. 
In this vicinity they were much struck with the 
sunken forest, which, at that low stage of the water, 
was vcrv consiMcuous. They correctly inferred that 
this indicated a damming up of the river at a very 
recent time. Indeed, they jud.ged that it must have 
occurred within twenty years. It is well known, 
however, that submerged trees or piles, as indicated 
by remains of old Roman wharves in Britain, may 
remain intact for hundreds of years; but it is never- 
theless evident that the closing of the river at the 
Cascades is a very recent event. It is also evident 
from the sliding, sinking and grinding constantly 



seen there now that a similar event is hahle to 
happen at any time. 

The Cascades having been reached, more port- 
ages were required. Slow and tedious though they 
were, the explorers seem to have endured them with 
unfailing patience. They were cheered by the 
prospect of soon putting all the rapids behind and 
launching their canoes on the unobstructed vastness 
of the lower river. This was prosperously accom- 
plished on the 2d of November. They were greatly 
delighted with the verdure which now robed the 
gaunt nakedness of the rocks. The island formed 
at the lower cascade by Columbia slough also 
pleased them by its fertility and its dense growth 
of grass and strawberry vines. From this last cir- 
cumstance they named it Strawberry island. At 
the lower part of that cluster of islands, that spired 
and turreted rock of the old feudal age of the river, 
when the volcano kings stormed each other's castles 
with earthquakes and spouts of lava, riveted their 
attention. They named it Beacon rock, but it is 
now called Castle rock. They estimated its height 
at eight hundred feet and its circumference at four 
hundred yards, the latter being only a fourth of 
the reality. 

The tides were now noticeable. This fact must 
have struck a new chord of reflection in the minds 
of these hardy adventurers, this first-felt pulse- 
beat of the dim vast of waters which grasps half 
the circumference of the earth. And so, as this 
mighty heart throb of the ocean, rising and falling 
in harmony with all nature, celestial and terrestrial, 
pulsated through a hundred and eighty miles of 
river, it might have seemed one of the ocean's multi- 
]:)lied fingers outstretched to welcome them, the 
first organized expedition of the new republic to 
this "westmost west.'' It might have betokened to 
them the harmony and unity of future nations as 
exemplified in the vast extent, the liberty, the human 
sympathies, the diversified interests, industries, and 
])urposes of that republic whose motto yet remains 
"(Jne from many." 

The rest of their journey was a calm floating 
between meadows and islands from whose shallow 
ponds they obtained ducks and geese in great 
numbers. They thought the "Quick Sand river" — 
Sandy — to be a large and important stream. They 
noticed the Washougal creek, which from the great 
number of seals around its mouth they called Seal 
river. But strange to say, they missed the Willa- 
mette entirely on their down trip. The Indians in 
this part of the river called themselves Skilloots. 
Dropping rapidly down the calm but misty stream, 
past a large river called by the Indians the Cow- 
aliske — Cowlitz — to the country of the Wahkiacums, 
at last, on the Tth of November, the dense fog with 
which morning had enshrouded all objects suddenly 
broke away and they saw the bold, mountainous 
shores on either side vanish awav in front, and 

through the parted headlands they looked into tiie 
infinite expanse of the ocean. 

Overjoyed at the successful termination of 
their journey, they sought the first pleasant camping 
ground and made haste to land. The rain, which 
is sometimes even now observed to fall copiously 
in that part of (Jregon, greatly marred the joy of 
their first night's rest within sound of the Pacific's 

Six days passed in moldy and dripping inactivity 
at a point a little above the present Chinook. They 
then spent nine much pleasanter days at Chinook 
point. This, however, not proving what they 
wanted for a permanent camp, they devoted them- 
selves to explorations with a view to discovering a 
more suitable location. 

The party wintered in a log building at a point 
named by them Fort Clatsop. On the 2;id of March, 
1806, they turned their faces homeward, first, how- 
ever, having given to the chiefs of the Clatsops and 
Chinooks certificates of hospitable treatment and 
posted on the fort the following notice : "The 
object of this last is that, through the medium of 
some civilized person, who may see the same, it 
niay be made known to the world that the party 
consisting of the persons whose names are here- 
unto anne.xed and who were sent out by the gov- 
ernment of the United States to explore the Interior 
of the continent of North America, did penetrate 
the same by way of the Missouri and Columbia 
rivers, to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific 
ocean, at which they arrived on the 14th day of 
November, 1805, and departed on their return to 
the United States by the same route by which they 
had come." 

Of this notice several copies were left among 
the Indians, one of which fell into the hands of 
Captain Hall, of the brig Lydia, and was conveved 
to the United States. 

The expedition made its way with no little diffi- 
culty up the Columbia river. They discovered on 
their return a large tributary of that river (the 
Willamette) which had escaped their notice on their 
outward journey, and made careful inquiry of 
the Indians concerning it, the results of which 
were embodied in their map of the expedition. 

At the mouth of the John Day river their 
canoes were abandoned, their baggage was packed 
on the backs of a few horses they had purchased 
from the Indians, and traveling in this manner, 
they continued their homeward march, arriving at 
the mouth of the Walla Walla river April 27th. 
The great chief Yellept was then the leader of the 
Walla Walla nation, and by him the explorers 
\\ ere received with such generous hospitality that 
they yielded to the temptation to linger a couple 
of days before undertaking further joumeyings 
among the mountain fastnesses. Such was the 
treatment given them by these Indians that the 
journal of the expedition makes this appreciative 



notation concerning them : "We may indeed 
justly affirm that of all the Indians that we have 
M-eti since leaving the United States, the Walla 
Wallas are the most hospitable, honest and sincere." 

Of the return journey for the next hundred 
and fifty miles, that venerable pioneer missionary, 
the late Dr. H. K. Hines, writes as follows : "Leav- 
ing these hospitable people on the 29th of April, 
the party passed eastward on the great 'Nez Perce 
trail." This trail was the great highway of the 
Walla Wallas. Cayuses and Nez Perces to the 
buffalo ranges, to which they annually resorted 
for game and supplies. It passed up the valley of 
the Touchet, called by Lewis and Clark the 'White 
Stallion,' thence over the high prairie ridges and 
down the Alpowa to the crossing of the Snake 
river, then up the north bank of Clearwater to the 
village of Twisted Hair, where the exploring party 
had left their horses on the way down the previous 
autumn. It was worn deep and broad by the con- 
stant rush of the Indian generations from time 
immemorial, and on many stretches on the open 
plains and over the smooth hills, twenty horsemen 
could ride abreast in parallel columns. The writer 
has often passed over it when it lay exactly as it 
did when the tribes of Yellept and Twisted Hair 
traced its sinuous courses, or when Lewis and 
Clark and their companions first marked it with 
the heel of civilization. But the plow has long 
since obliterated it, and where the monotonous song 
of the Indian 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 Clark made over the swelling prairie upland 
and along the crystal streams between Walla Walla 
and the village of Twisted Hair, in the soft May 
days of 180G, can scarcelv be found anvwhere on 

To trace the journeyings of these explorers 
further is not within the province of this work, 
but in order to convey a general idea of the labors 
and extent of the voyage, we quote the brief sum- 
mary made by Captain Lewis himself: 

"The road by which we went out by the way 
of the Missouri to its head is 3.09G miles; thence 
by land by way of Lewis river over to Clark's 
river and down that to the entrance of Travelers' 
Rest creek, where all the roads from different 

routes meet; thence across the rugged part of the 
Rocky mountains to the navigable waters of the 
Columbia, 398 miles; thence down the river 640 
miles to the Pacific ocean — making a total distance 
of 4,134 miles. On our return in 1806 we came 
from Travelers' Rest directly to the falls of the 
Missouri river, which shortens the distance about 
579 miles, and is a much better route, reducing the 
distance from the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean 
to 3,5.55 miles. Of this distance 2,575 miles is up 
the JMissouri to the falls of that river: thence pass- 
ing through the plains and across the Rocky moun- 
tains to the navigable waters of the Kooskooskie 
river, a branch of the Columbia, 340 miles, 200 of 
which is good road, 140 miles over a tremendous 
mountain, steep and broken, 60 miles of which is 
covered several feet deep with snow, and which we 
passed on the last of June ; from the navigable 
part of the Kooskooskie we descended that rapid 
river 73 miles to its entrance into Lewis river, 
and down that river 154 miles to the Columbia, and 
thence 413 miles to its entrance into the Pacific 
ocean. About ISO miles of this distance is tide 
land. We passed several bad rapids and narrows, 
and one considerable fall, 286 miles above the 
entrance of this river, 37 feet 8 inches ; the total dis- 
tance descending the Columbia waters 640 miles — 
making a total of 3,555 miles, on the most direct 
route from the Missifsippi at the month of the 
Missouri to the Pacific ocean." 

The safe return of the explorers to their homes 
in the United States naturally created a sensation 
throughout that country and the world. Leaders 
and men were suitabl\- rewarded, and the fame of 
the former will live while the rivers to which their 
names have been given continue to pour their waters 
into the sea. President Jefferson, the great patron 
of the expedition, paying a tribute to Captain Lewis 
in 1813, said: "Never did a similar event excite 
more joy throughout the United States. The hum- 
blest of its citizens have taken a lively interest 
in the issue of this journey, and looked with impa- 
tience for the information it would furnish. Nothing 
short of the official journals of this extraordinary 
and interesting journey will exhibit the importance 
of the service, the courage, devotion, zeal and per- 
severance under circumstances calculated to dis- 
courage, which animated this little band of heroes, 
throughout the lung, dangerous and tedious 



While the limits of this volume render a full 
treatment of the early Northwest history impossi- 
ble, it is necessary to write briefly of those mam- 
moth forces of the first ages of the country, the 
great fur companies, those gigantic commercial 
organizations, whose plans were so bold, farrcach- 
ing and comprehensive, and whose theater of action 
included such vast areas of the earth's surface. 

The profits of the fur trade were such as might 
well entice daring and avarice to run the gauntlet 
of icebergs, of starvation, of ferocious savages 
and of stormy seas. The net returns from a single 
voyage might liquidate even the enormous cost of 
the outfit. For instance, Ross, one of the clerks 
of Astor"s company, and located at Okanogan, 
relates that one morning before breakfast he bought 
of Indians one himdred and ten beaver skins at the 
rate of five leaves of tol^acco per skin. .Afterward 
a yard of cotton cloth, worth, say, ten cents, pur- 
chased twenty-five beaver skins, the value of which 
in the New York market was five dollars apiece. 
For four fathoms of blue beads, worth, perhaps, 
a dollar, Lewis and Clark obtained a sea otter's 
skin, the market price of which varied from forty- 
five to si.xty dollars. Ross notes in another place 
that for one hundred and sixty-five dollars in 
trinkets, cloth, etc., he purchased peltries valued 
in the Canton market at eleven thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. Indeed, even the ill-fated 
voyage of Mr. Astor's partners proved that a cargo 
worth twenty-five thou.sand dollars in New York 
might be replaced in two years by one worth a 
quarter of a million, a profit of a thousand ]ier cent. 
We can not wonder then at the eager enterprise 
and fierce, sometimes bloody, competition of the 
fur traders. 

The fur-producing animals of especial value in 
the old Oregon country were three in number. 
The first, the beaver, was found in great abundance 
in all the interior valleys, the Willamette countrx', 
as was discovered, being preeminent in this resjiect. 
The two others, the sea otter and the seal, were 
found on the coast. The sea otter fur waS' the most 
valuable, its velvety smoothness and glossy black- 
ness rendering it first in the markets of the world 
of all furs from the temperate zone of North .Amer- 
ica, and inferior only to the ermine and sable, and 
possibly to the fiery fox of the far north. 

Such, then, was the prospect which prompted 
the formation of the Pacific Fur Company, which 
shall have the first place in our narrative as being 

the first to enter the Columbia river basin, though 
it was long antedated in organization by several 
other large fur-trading corporations. The sole and 
prime mover of this enterprise was that famed 
commercial genius. John Jacob Astor, a native of 
Heidelberg, who had come to .America poor, and 
had amassed a large fortune in commercial trans- 
actions. In 1810 there was conceived in the brain 
of this man a scheme which for magnitude of 
design and careful arrangement of detail was truly 
masterful, and in every sense worthy of the great 
entrepreneur. Even the one grand mistake which 
wrecked the enterprise was the result of a trait 
of character which "leaned to virtue's side." 
Broad-minded and liberal himself, he did not appre- 
ciate the danger of entrusting his undertaking to 
the hands of men whose national prejudices were 
bitterly anti-American and whose previous connec- 
tion with a rival company might afl:'ect their loyalty 
to this one. He regarded the enterprise as a purely 
commercial one, and selected its personnel accord- 
ingly, hence the failure of the venture. 

Air. .Astor's plan contemplated the prosecution 
of the fur trade in every unsettled territory of 
.America claimed by the United States, the trade 
with China and the supply of the Russian settle- 
ments with trading stock and provisions, the goods 
to be paid for in peltries. .\ vessel was to be 
despatched at regular intervals from New York, 
bearing supplies of goods to be traded to the Indians. 
■Slie was to discharge her cargo at a depot of trade 
to be estabHshed at the mouth of the Columbia 
river, then trade along the coast with Indians and 
at the Russian settlements until another cargo had 
been in ]iart secured, return to the mouth of the 
river, complete her lading there, sail thence to 
China, receive a return cargo of Canton silks, 
nankeen and tea, and back to New York. Two 
\ears would pass in completing this vast commercial 
"rounding up." .An imiiortant jiart of the plan was 
the suppl\' of the Russian posts at Xew .Archanuel. 
the object being two-fold — first, to secure the profits 
accruing therefrom, and, second, to shut ofiF compe- 
tition in Mr. .Astor's own territory, through the 
semi-partnership with the Russians in furnishing 
them supplies. Careful arrangements had been 
made with the Russian government to prevent any 
possible clash between the vessels of the two com- 
panies engaged in the coast trade. "It was," says 
Prewerton, "a colossal scheme and deserved to 
succeed : had it done so it would have advanced 




American settlement and actual occupancy on the 
northwest coast by at least a quarter of a century, 
giving employment to thousands, and transferred 
the enormous profits of the Hudson's Bay and North 
West IJritisli I'^ur Companies from English to 
American coffers." 

Like a prudent business man, Mr. Astor antici- 
pated that, though the Northwest Company had no 
trading posts in the region west of the Rocky 
mountains and south of fifty-two degrees north, 
its enmity and jealousy would be speedily aroused 
when a new com]X'titor entered the field. He 
resolved to soften enmity by frankness, so wrote 
to the directors of the P.ritish company the details 
(if his plan and generously offered them a third 
interest in the enterprise. This ingenuousness on 
his part found no response in the characters of the 
shrewd and unscrupulous men in whom he had so 
unwisely confided. Nobleness, in this instance, 
failed to enkindle noljleness. They met candor 
with duplicitv, generosity with perfidy. 

Playing for time, they pretended, Cjesar-like. 
to take the matter under advisement, and at once 
despatched David Thompson, the astronomer and 
surveyor of their company, with instructions "to 
occupy the mouth of the Columbia, to explore the 
river to its headwaters, and, above all, to watch the 
]irogress of Mr. Astor's enterprise." They then 
declined the proposal. 

But Mr. .\ftor proceeded with his project ener- 
getically and skillfull}-. He associated with himself 
as partner? in the enterprise (and here was his 
great mistake) Donald Mackenzie, .Alexander 
Mackay. who had accompanied Alexander Mack- 
enzie on his voyage of discovery, hence possessed 
invaluable experience, and Duncan Macdougal, all 
late of the Northwest Company, and. though men 
of great skill and experience, schooled in the preju- 
dices of the association with which they had so long 
maintained a connection and able to see onlv 
through British eyes. To the partners already 
enumerated were sni)sequently added Wilson P. 
T^Iunt and Robert Maclellan, Americans: David and 
Robert Stuart and Ramsey Crooks, Scotchmen ; 
a Canadian named John Clarke, and others. 

Wilson P. Hunt was given the post of chief 
agent on the Columbia, his tenn of office being five 
years, and when he was obliged to be absent tempo- 
rarily, a substitute was to be elected by the partners 
who happened to be present, to act in his place. 
Each partner obligated himself in the most solemn 
maimer to go where sent and to execute faithfully 
the objects of the company, but before subscribing 
to this bond two of the British perfidiously com- 
nninicated to the British minister, Mr. Jackson, 
temporarily in New York, the details of Mr' Astor's 
plan and inquired of him concerning their status 
as British subjects trading under the Americnn flag 
m the event of war. They were given assurance 
that in case of war they would be protected as 

English subjects and merchants. Their scruples 
thus put at rest, they entered into the compact. 

The larger part of the expedition was to go via 
Cape Horn and the Sandwich islands to the moutii 
of the Columbia, there to await the arrival of the 
Hunt party, which was sent out by land. To convey 
them thence the ship Ton([uin, a vessel of two hun- 
dred and ninety tons burden, was fitted uj) for sea. 
She was commanded by Captain Thorne. a lieu- 
tenant of the United States navy on leave, and had 
or board Indian trading goods, the frame timbers 
fur a coasting schooner, supplies of all kinds, and 
in fact, everything essential to comfort. 

Before the vessel had left the harbor, Mr. .\stor 
was apprised that a British war vessel was cruising 
ol? the coast for the purpose of intercepting the 
Tonquin. and impressing the Canadians and British 
who were on board. This was a ruse of the North- 
west Company to delay the expedition so that their 
emissary, Thompson, should arrive at the mouth of 
the Columbia first. P)Ut Mr. .\stor securetl as con- 
voy the now famous United States frigate. Consti- 
tution, commanded by the equally famous Captain 
Isaac Plull, and the Tonquin, thus protected, ])ro- 
ceeded safely on her way. She arrived at her 
destination March 2'i. ISll, after a voyage the 
details of which may be found in Irving's Astoria. 
I'Tanchere's narrative, or in some of the publications 
based upon the latter work. On the l'3th of the 
following month a part of the crew crossed the 
river in a launch and established at Fort George 
a settlement to which the name Astoria wa.*^- given 
in honor of the projector of the enterprise. Thev 
at once addressed themselves to the task, of con- 
structing the schooner, the framed for 
which had been brought with them in the Ton(|uin. 
An expedition also was made by Air. Mackav to 
determine the truth or falsity of the rumor that a 
party of whites were establishing a post at the upper 
cascades of the river, but when the first rapids were 
reached the expedition had to be abandoned, the 
Indian crew positively refusing to jiroceed further. 

On the 1st of June, the ill-fated Tonquin started 
north, Mr. Mackay accompanying. We nnist now 
pursue her fortunes to their terrible conclusion. 
Mr. Franchere, a Frenchman, one of Mr. .Astor's 
clerks, is the chief authority for the story. With 
his accoimt, Irving seems to have taken some 
poetic .According to that graceful writer, 
with a total force of twenty-three and an Indian 
of the Chehalis tribe called Lamazee. for inter- 
preter, the Tonquin entered the harbor of Newectee. 
Franchere calls the Indian Lamanse, and the har- 
bor, he says, the Indians called Newity. We shall 
probablv be safe in following Bancroft, who sur- 
mises that the place was Nootka sound, where, in 
ISO.), the ship P>oston and all her crew 1)ut two had 
been destroyed. 

Captain Thorne had been rene-itedlv and 
urgently warned by Mr. -Astor against allowing 



more tliaii four or tivc Imlians on hoard at once, 
but the choleric skipper was not of the kind to 
Hsten to the voice of caution. When Indians ap- 
peared with a fine stock of sea otter skins, and the 
indications were for a profitable trade, he forgot 
everything in his eagerness to secure the peltry, 
liut long experience with the whites and the instruc- 
tions of their wily chief. Alaquinna. had rendered 
these tribes less pliable and innocent than the cap- 
tain expected. I'.eing unable to strike a bargain 
with an\- of ihem and. losing patience, Thorne 
ordered all to leave the deck. They paid no atten- 
tion, and the captain, liecoming violently enraged, 
.seized their leader by the hair and hurried him 
toward the shi])"s ladder, emphasizing his exit by 
a stroke with a bundle of furs. The other Indians 
left forthwith. 

When Mr. ^lackay, who was on shore at the 
t'me, returned to the ship, he became indignant at 
Thorne, ancl urged that he set sail at once. Lamanse, 
the Chehalis Indian, seconded him, asserting that 
all ])rospects of profitable trade were destroyed 
and that a longer stay in the harbor was attended 
with very great danger, but advice and importunity 
were vain. 

F.arlv next morning a number of Indians, 
demure and peaceable, paddled over to the vessel, 
holding aloft bundles of fur as an evidence of their 
wish to trade. Thorne called Mackay's attention 
to the success of his method of dealing with the 
red men. "Just show them that you are not afraid." 
said he, "and they will behave themselves." The 
Indians exchanged their furs for whatever was 
offered, making no remonstrances or demands for 
higher prices. 

( )ther canoe loads of savages came aboard and 
still others, the self-satisfied Thorne welcoming all 
in his blandest manner. The more watchful sailors 
became suspicious and alarmed, but they well knew 
that remonstrance against the course of Captain 
Thorne was vain. Soon, however, even he noticed 
that the Indians had become maf.sed at all the 
assailable points of the vessel. He was visibly 
startled by this discover}', but pretending not to be 
aware that anything was wrong, he ordered his 
men to get ready for sailing, and the Indians to 
leave the vessel. 

The latter started toward the ladder, but as 
they did so, they drew from the unsold bundles of 
furs the weapons therein concealed. 

"In an instant the wild war-yell broke the awful 
silence, and then the peaceful deck of the Tonquin 
saw a slaughter grim and pitiless. Lewis, the 
clerk, and Mackay were almost instantly despatched. 
Then a crowd, with fiendish triumph, set upon the 
captain, bent on evening up at once the old score. 
The brawny frame and iron will of the brave, 
though foolhardy, old salt made him a dangerous 
object to attack, and not until half a dozen of his 
assailants had measured their bleedinef lengths on 

the slippery deck did lu' succumb. Then he was 
hacked to pieces with savage glee. Meanwhile f^ur 
sailors, the only survivors besides the interpreter, 
Lamanse, by whom the story was told, having 
gained access to the hold, began firing on the tri- 
umphant Indians : and with such efifect did they 
work, that the whole throng left the ship in haste 
and sought the shore. Lamanse, meanwhile, was 
spared, but held in captivity for two years. The 
next day, the four surviving sailors attempted to 
put to sea in a small boat, but were pursued and 
probably murdered by the Indians. And then, like 
a band of buzzards circling around a carcass, the 
Indian canoes began to cluster around the deserted 

But an awful retribution was about to overtake 
the Indians. Cautiously at first, but with more 
boldness as they observed the apparent lifelessness 
of everything on the ship, they began next day to 
climb aboard, and .soon several hundred of them 
were rifling the storehouses, gloating over the dis- 
figured bodies of their victims, and strutting across 
the deck, clad in gaudy blankets, and lavishly 
adorned with beads and tinsels. 

Then came a terrible boom, and the luckless 
Tonquin, with all on board, both quick and dead, 
was scattered in fragments over the face of the 
deep. Her- powder magazine had exploded, de- 
stroying the ship and her enemies in one awful 
ruin. According to Lamanse, as quoted by Fran- 
chere, two hundred Indians were destroyed by this 

Franchere was unable to state what caused the 
ship to be blown up, but surmises that the four 
sailors attached a slow' train to the magazine before 
their departure. As Franchere is the only known 
authority, it seems certain that Irving must have 
fabricated his account, which is to the effect that 
Lewis, wounded, remained on the ship after the 
four sailors had gone, and that he enticed the sav- 
ages aboard, that he might destroy himself and 
them in one final retribution. 

A report that the Tonquin was destroyed 
reached Astoria in due time, the news being borne 
by Indians. At first the story was entirely dis- 
credited, but as time passed and no Tonquin 
appeared, it became more and more evident that 
there must be some truth in it. N,o details of the 
tragedy were known, however, until Lamanse 
reappeared some two years later. 

On July 15, ISH, David Thompson, with eight 
white men. arrived at Astoria. His expedition had 
been long delayed on the eastern side of the Rocky 
mountains, in the search for a pass. Desertions 
among his crew also impeded his progress, and the 
final result was that he had to return to the nearest 
post and remain over winter. In the early spring 
he hurried forward. The party distributed many 
small flags among the Indians along the Columbia, 
built huts at the forks of the river and took formal 



])cissc'ssi(iii of tlic C(Hiiitr_\- (IraiiK-tl liy the Columbia 
and its tributaries in the name of the King of Great 
i!ritain. and for the company which sent them out. 
Hut the main object of the expedition was not 
reahzed. They were unable to occupy the mouth 
of the Columbia, and the perfidy of the Northwest 
Company failed of its reward. Hostile though tlie 
expedition was, it was received at .\storia with 
(ipcn-handed cordiality, Macdougal furnishing 
Thompson with supplies for the return journey 
against the urgent remonstrance of David Stuart. 
•Such generosity to one's commercial enemy is, to 
say the least, a little unusual, but the magnanimity 
displavcd has for some reason failed to call forth 
tile plaudits of historians. 

At the time of Mr. Thompson's arrival. David 
Stuart was about to start for the Spokane country 
to establish a post, and he delayed his departure for 
a short time that his and Mr. Thompson's party 
might travel together. At the confluence of the 
Columbia and Okanogan rivers, Mr. Stuart erected 
Fort Okanogan, the first interior post west of the 
Rocky mountains within the limits of the present 
state of ^^'ashington. 

January 8, 1S12, a part of the Hunt expedition 
reached .\storia in a pitiable condition. The ad- 
ventures of different members of this party form a 
sad chapter in the history of the fur trade. Hunt 
was met by overwhelming obstacles from the very 
first. In his efforts to get men for his expedition 
he was harassed in every way possible by persons 
interested in rival fur companies, and when, at last, 
owing to his own indomitable perseverance and 
.-Vstor's unstinted purse, he got a party together, the 
battle was by no means won. In April, 1811, Hunt 
set his face toward the Pacific. With him were 
sixty men, four of whom, Crooks, .Mackenzie, 
Miller and Maclellan, were partners, and one. 
Reed, was a clerk. The rest were free trappers and 
Canadian voyageurs, except two English natural- 
ists, Bradbury and Nuttall. 

The earlier portions of their journey afforded 
many interesting and some exciti'ng experiences, 
but all went fairly well with them imtil tlie nioim- 
tains were entered, when their troubles began. 
The story of their wanderings, their struggles, 
hardships and starvation on that terrible winter 
trip through the interminable labyrinths of the 
mountains, and on the desolate and forbidding lava 
I)lains is heart-rending in the extreme. Detach- 
ments under Mackenzie and Maclellan passed 
through the moimtains to Snake river before winter 
was fairly upon them, though even they had to 
endure extreme suffering. It was these who 
reache.l Astoria in January as before stated. On 
the 15th of I^ebruary the main party imdcr Mr. 
Hunt also reached the scene. .\s they drew near 
.\storia, the wliole population of that settlement 
came pouring down to meet them, the foremost 
being Mackenzie and .Maclellan, who, having 

abandoned hojic that Hunt and his men couUl sur- 
vive the famine and the rigors of winter, were the 
more rejoiced to see them alive. "The Canadians, 
with French abandon, rushed into each other's 
arms, crying and hugging like so many school .girls, 
and even the hard-visaged .Scotchmen and noncha- 
lant .\mericans gave themselves up to the unstinted 
gladness of the occasion." Crooks and John Day, 
with four Canadians, had been left sick on the banks 
of the Snake. It was not thought likely that they 
would ever be seen alive again, but the ne.xt sum- 
mer, Stuart and Alaclellan, while journeying from 
Okanogan to Astoria, found the two leaders, naked 
and haggard, near the mouth of the L'matilla. 
Their ])itiable plight was speedily relieved, but poor 
John Day never recovered and soon was nun>bered 
among the dead. The Canadians were afterward 
found alive, though destitute, among the Siioshones. 

On the 5th of ;\Iay, 1812, the P.caver, another 
of Astor's vessels, reached Astoria. Among those 
on board was Ross Co.x, author of .\dventures on 
the Columbia River, a work of great historical 
value. .About this time, also, Robert Stuart, while 
bearing despatches by land to Mr. Astor, discovered 
the South Pass through the Rocky mountains, 
which in later years became the great gatewa\- to 
the Pacific for immigrant trains. 

Pity it is that the historian must record the 
failure of an enterprise so wisely planned as that 
of .Astor, so generously supported and in the execu- 
tion of which so much devoted self-abnegation 
was displayed, so many lives sacrificed. But the 
clouds were now beginning to darken above the 
little colony on the shores of the Pacific. On 
-August -Ith the Beaver sailed northward for Sitka, 
with Mr. Hunt aboard. While there an agreement 
was entered into between that gentleman and the 
Russian governor, Baranoft", the gist of which was 
that the Russian and American companies were to 
forbear interference with each other's territory and 
to operate as allies in e.xpelling trespassers on the 
rights of either. The Beaver had been instructed 
to return to .Astoria before sailing to Canton, but 
instead she sailed direct, so Mr. Htint was carried 
to Oahu, there to await a vessel expected from New 
A'ork, on which he should obtain passage to As- 
toria. But he did not arrive until too late to avert 
the calamity which befell the Pacific Fur Company. 
War was declared between Great Britain and the 
United States. Mr. .Astor learned that the North- 
west Company was preparing a ship moimting 
twenty gmis, the Isaac Todd, wherewith to cap- 
ture -Astoria. He appealed to the T-^^nited States 
for aid, but his efforts were unavailing. Disconr- 
agchients were thickening around the American 
settlement. Mackenzie was unsuccessful at his 
]iost on the Shahaptin river, and had determined to 
press for a new post. He visited Clarke, and while 
the two were together, John George MacTavish, of 
the .Vortliwest Company, paid them a visit and 



vaiintingly informed them of the saihng of the 
Isaac Todd, and of her mission, the capture or 
destruction of Astoria. Mackenzie returned at 
once to his post on the Shahaptin, broke up camp, 
cached his provisions, and set out in haste for 
Astoria, at which point he arrived January 16, 181:5. 
Macdougal was agent-in-cliief at Astoria in the 
absence of Hunt. It was resolved by him and 
Mackenzie that they should abandon Astoria in the 
spring and recross the mountains. Mackenzie at 
once set off to recover his cached provisions and to 
trade them for horses for the journey. He also 
carried despatches to Messrs. Clarke and David 
Stuart, advising them of the intention to abandon 
.\storia and directing them to make preparations 
accordingly. ]\Iackenzie met a party of the North- 
west Company, with MacTavish as one of the 
leaders, and the parties camped, as Irving says, 
"mingled together as united by a common interest 
instead of belonging to rival companies trading 
under hostile flags." 

On reaching his destination, Mackenzie found 
his cache had been robbed by Indians. He and 
Clarke and Stuart met at Walla Walla as per 
arrangement, and together descended the Columbia, 
reaching Astoria June 12th. 

Stuart and Clarke refused to break up their 
posts and to provide horses or make other prepara- 
tions for leaving the country. Furthermore, Mac- 
kenzie's disappointment in finding his cache broken 
into and its contents stolen made it necessary that 
the departure should be delayed beyond July 1st, 
the date set by Macdougal for dissolution of the 
company. Treason was to have time and 
opportunity to do its worst. MacTavish, who was 
camped at the fort, began negotiations for the pur- 
cliase of trading goods, and it was proposed by 
Macdougal to trade him the post on the Spokane 
for horses to be delivered the ne.xt spring, which 
proposition was eventually accepted. An agree- 
ment for the dissolution of the companv to take 
effect the next June was signed by the four part- 
ners, Clarke and Stuart yielding to the pressure 
much against their wills. Hunt, who arrived on 
the SOth of August, also reluctantly yielded, the 
discouraging circumstances having been pictured 
to him by Macdougal, who pretended to be ani- 
mated by a desire to save Mr. Astor's interests 
before the place should fall into the hands of the 
Ilritish, whose war vessels were on their way to 
eft'ect its capture. Hunt then sailed to secure a 
vessel to convey the property to the Russian settle- 
ments for safe keeping while the war lasted, first 
arranging that Macdougal should be placed in full 
charge of the establishment after January 1st 
should he fail to return. 

While en route to advise Messrs. Clarke and 
Stuart of the new arrangement, Mr. Mackenzie 
and party met MacTavish and J. Stuart with a 
company of men descending the river to meet the 

Phoebe and the Isaac Todd. Clarke had been 
advised of the situation and was accompanying 
them to Astoria. Mackenzie decided to return also 
to the fort, and with Clarke attempted to .slip away 
in the night and so reach Astoria before the mem- 
bers of the Northwest Company arrived, but was 
discovered and followed by two of MacTavish's 
canoes. Both MacTavish and Mackenzie reached 
their objective point on October 7th, and the party 
of the former camped at the fort. Next day Mac- 
dougal, by way of preparation for his final coup, 
read a letter announcing the sailing of the Phoebe 
and the Isaac Todd with orders "to take and destroy 
everything American on the Northwest coast." 

"This dramatic scene," says Evans, "was fol- 
lowed by a proposition of MacTavish to purchase 
the interests, stocks, establishments, etc., of the 
Pacific Fur Company. Macdougal then assumed 
sole control and agency because of the non-arrival 
of Hunt, and after repeated conference with Mac- 
Tavish, in which the presence of the other ])artners 
was ignored, the sale was concluded at certain rates. 
A few da\s later J. Stuart arrived with the remain- 
der of the Northwest party. He objected to 
MacTavish's prices, and lowered the rates materi- 
ally. Mr. Stuart's offer was accepted by Macdougal 
and the agreement of transfer was signed October 
Kith. By it Duncan Macdtmgal, for and on behalf 
of himself, Donald Mackenzie. David Stuart and 
John Clarke, partners of the Pacific Fur Company, 
dissolved July 1st, pretended to sell to his British 
confreres and co-conspirators of the Northwest 
Company 'the whole of the establishments, furs and 
present stock on hand, on the Columbia and Thomp- 
son's rivers." " Speaking of the transaction in a 
letter to John Ouincv Adams, secretary of state, 
Mr. Astor himself says: 

"Macdougal transferred all of my property to 
the Northwest Company, who were in possession 
of it by sale, as he called it, for the sum of fifty- 
eight thousand dollars, of which he retained four- 
teen thousand dollars as wages said to be due to 
some of the men. From the price obtained for the 
goods, etc., and he having himself become inter- 
ested in the purchase and made a partner of the 
Northwest Company, some idea may be formed as 
to this man's correctness of dealing. He sold to the 
Northwest Company eighteen thousand one hun- 
dred and seventy pounds of beaver at two dollars, 
which was at that time selling in Canton at five and 
six dollars per skin. I estimate the whole prop- 
erty to be worth nearer two hundred thousand 
dollars than forty thousand dollars, about the sum I 
received in bills on Montreal." 

Charitably disposed persons may suggest that 
Macdougal's actions were in a measure justifiable ; 
that a British force was actually en route to capture 
Astoria, and that the post, being without adequate 
means of defense, must surely fall : that it was bet- 
ter to save a pittance than that all should be lost. 



Macdougal's coiuiuct subsequent t(i the transfer of 
Mr. Astor's property was, however, "in studied and 
consistent obedience to the interests of the North- 
west Company." On his return on February 28, 
1814, in the brig Pedler, which he purchased to 
convev Mr. Astor"s property to a place of safety. 
Mr. Hunt found his old partner, whom he had left 
in cliarge of the fort, still presiding over it, but now 
a dignitary in the camp of the enemy. There was 
no other course open to him than to digest the 
venom of his chagrin as best he could, take his 
diminutive drafts on ^Montreal, and set sail in the 
Pedler for New York. Macdougal had been given 
a full partnership in the Northwest Company. 
What was the consideration ? 

It is needless to add that on the arrival of the 
r)ritish vessels, Astoria became a British posses- 
sion. The formal change of the sovereignty and 
raising of the union jack took place on December 
r?th. and as if to obliterate all trace of ]\[r. Astor's 
o])eratiuns, the name of Astoria was changed to 
Fort George. The arrival of the Isaac Todd the 
following spring with a cargo of trading goods and 
supplies enabled the Northwest Company to enter 
vigorously into the prosecution of its trade in the 
territory of its wronged and outraged rival. 

"Thus disgracefully failed," says Evans, "a mag- 
nificent cnterjjrise, which merited success for sagac- 
ity displayed in its conception, its details, its objects ; 
for the liberality and munificence of its projector in 
furnishing means adequate for its thorough execu- 
tion ; for the results it had aimed to produce. It 
was inaugurated purely for commercial purposes. 
Had it not been transferred to its enemies, it would 
have pioneered the colonization of the northwest 
coast by citizens of the United States ; it would have 
furnished the natural and peaceful solutiim oi the 

question of the right to the territory drained by the 
Columbia and its tributaries. 

>;: ^: ^: :i: ^: * * -? 

"The scheme was grand in its aim, magnificent 
in its breadth of purpose and area of operation. 
Its results were naturally feasible, not over-antici- 
pated. They were but the logical and necessary 
sequence of the pursuit of the plan. Mr. Astor 
made no miscalculation, no omission ; neither did he 
])ermit a sanguine hope to lead him into any wild or 
imaginary venture. He was practical, generous, 
broad. He executed what Sir .Alexander Macken- 
zie urged should be adopted as the policy of British 
capital and enterprise. That one .American citizen 
should have individually undertaken what two 
mammoth British companies had not the courage 
to try was but an additional cause which had inten- 
sified national prejudice into embittered jealousy on 
the part of his British rivals, the Northwest Com- 

By the first article of the treaty of Ghent, 
entered into between Great Britain and the United 
States, December 14, 1814, it was agreed "that all 
territory, places and possessions whatsoever, taken 
by either party from the other, during or after the 
war, should be restored." .Astoria, therefore, again 
became the possession of the United States, and in 
September, 1817. the government sent the sloop-of- 
war Ontario "to assert the claim of the United 
States to the sovereignty of the adjacent country, 
and especially to reoccupy .Astoria or Fort George." 
The formal surrender of the fort is dated October 6, 

Mr. .\stor had urged the United States to re- 
possess .Astoria, and intended fully to resume opera- 
tions in the basin of the Columbia, but the Pacific 
Fur Company was never reorganized, and never 
again did the great captain of industry engage in 
trade on the shores of the Pacific. 



It is pertinent now to inquire somewhat more 
particularly into the fortunes and antecedent history 
of the Xiirthwest and Hudson's Bay Companies, 
which are each in turn to operate exclusively in the 
territory with which our volume is concerned. By 
the Joint-Occupancy treaty of October 20, 1818, 
between the United States and Great Britain, it was 
mutually covenanted "that any country which may 
be claimed by either party on the northwest coast 
of America, westward of the Stony mountains, 
shall, together with its harbors, bays and creeks, and 
the navigation of all rivers within the same, be free 
and open, for the term of ten years from the date of 
the signature of the present convention, to the 
vessels, citizens and subjects of the two powers ; 
it being well understood that this agreement 
is not to be construed to the prejudice of any 
claims which either of the two high contracting par- 
ties may have to any part of the said country ; nor 
shall it be taken to affect the claims of any other 
power or state to any part of said country : the 
only object of the high contracting parties in this 
respect being to prevent disputes and dift'crences 
among themselves." 

The Northwest Company, whose members 
were, of course, British subjects, was, therefore, 
permitted to operate freelj' in all disputed territory, 
and it made good use of its privileges. Its opera- 
tions extended far and wide in all directions ; its 
emissaries were sent wherever there was a prospect 
of profitable trade ; it respected no rights of terri- 
tory ; it scrupled at no trickery or dissimulation. 
When it learned of the expedition of Lewis and 
Clark it sent Daniel W. Harmon with a party, 
instructing him to reach the mouth of the Columbia 
in advance of the Americans. The poor health of 
the leader, prevented this. Of its efforts to cir- 
cumvent Mr. Astor's occupancy of the mouth of the 
Columbia we have already spoken. 

It showed also its intention to confirm and 
strengthen British title to all territories adversely 
claimed, and wherever a post was established the 
territory contiguous thereto was ceremoniously 
taken pos.session of "in the name of the king of 
Great Britain for the Northwest Company." 

Although organized in ITT-i, the Northwest 
Company did not attain to high prestige until the 
dawn of the nineteenth century. Then, however, 
it seemed to take on new life, and before the first 
half decade was passed it had become the success- 
ful rival of the Hudson's Bay Company for the fur 

trade of the interior of North .\merica. The Hud- 
son's Bay Company when originally chartered in 
1670 was granted in a general way the right to 
traffic in Hudson's bay and the territory contiguous 
thereto, and the Northwest Company began to in- 
sist that the grant should be more strictly construed. 
The boundaries of Prince Rupert's land, as the 
Hudson's bay territory was named, had never been 
definitely determined, and there had long been con- 
tention in those regions which were claimed by that 
company, but denied to it by the other fur traders. 
Beyond the recognized area of the Hudson's bay 
territory, the old Northwest Company (a French 
corporation which had fallen at the time of the fall 
of Canada into the possession of the British) had 
been a competitor of the Hudson's Bay Company. 
When this French association went out of existence 
the contest was kept up by private merchants, but 
without lasting success. The new Northwest Com- 
pany, of Montreal, united and cemented into one 
organization all these individuals for the better dis- 
charge of the common purpose. It is interesting to 
note the theory of trade of this association as con- 
trasted with tliat of the Hudson's Bay Company, 

From established posts as centers of operations, 
the Montreal association despatched parties in all 
directions to visit the villages and haunts of the 
natives and secure furs from every source possible. 
It went to the natives for their goods, while the 
rival company so arranged its posts that these were 
convenient to the whole Indian ])opulation, then 
depended upon the aborigines to bring in their 
peltry and exchange the same for such articles as 
might supply their wants or gratify their fancies. 
Consequently the one company rec|uired many em- 
ployees, the other comparatively few. The clerks 
or traders of the Montreal association were required 
to serve an apprenticeship of seven years at sinall 
wages. That term successfully completed, the 
stipend was doubled. .Skill and special aptitude in 
trading brought speedy promotions, and the chance 
to become a partner in the business was an unfailing 
incentive to strenuous effort. The Hudson's Bay 
Company, on the other hand, had established fixed 
grades of compensation. Promotion was slow, 
coming periodically rather than as a reward for spe- 
cially meritorious service, and though faithfulness to 
duty was required, no incentive was offered for 
special endeavor. The Hudson's Bay Company 
based its territorial title upon a specific grant from 
the crown, while the rival association sought no 




other title than such as priority of occupancy and 
pre-emption afforded. It claimed as its field of 
operation all unoccupied territory wherever located. 

Such, in g;eneral, were the methods of the two 
companies whose bitter rivalry was carried to such 
an extent that both were brought to the verge of 
bankruptcy and that civil strife was at one point 
actually precipitated. In 1811 Lord Selkirk, a 
Scotch nobleman of wealth, who had become the 
owner of a controlling interest in the Hudson's Ray 
Company, attempted a grand colonization scheme. 
His project was to send out agricultural colonies to 
the basin of the Red River of the North. The 
enmitv of the Northwest Company was at once 
aroused. It fully realized that Selkirk's scheme 
was inimical to its business, especially so because his 
grant lay directly across its pathway between Mon- 
treal and the interior. The effect would be to "cut 
its communication, interposing a hostile territory 
between its posts and the center of operations." 
The company protested that the grant was illegal, 
that it was corruptly secured, and urged that suit 
be instituted to test Lord Selkirk's title. Tiut the 
government favored the project and refused to 
interfere. A colony was established at Assinaboia. 
Its governor prohibited the killing of animals within 
the territory, and the agents of the Northwest Com- 
pany treated his proclamation with contempt. 
Matters grew worse and worse until hostilities 
broke out, which ended in a decisive victory for the 
Northwest Company in a pitched battle fought 
June 19, 1816, twenty-two of the colonists being 
killed. Numerous arrests of Northwesters engaged 
in the conflict followed, but all were acquitted in 
the Canadian courts. The British cabinet ordered 
that the governor-general of Canada should "re- 
quire the restitution of all ca])tured posts, buildings 
and trading stations, with the property they con- 
tained, to the proper owners, and the removal of 
any blockade or any interruption to the free passage 
of all traders and British subjects with their mer- 
chandise, furs, provisions and effects, through the 
lakes, rivers, roads and every route of communica- 
tion used for the purpose of the fur trade in the 
interior of North .America, and the full and free 
permission of all persons to pursue their usual and 
accustomed trade without hindrance or molestation." 

Rut the competition between the companies con- 
tinued. Roth were reduced to the verge of bank- 
ruptcy. Something had to be done. The gover- 
nor-general of Canada a])])nintcd a commission to 
investigate conditions, and that commission recom- 
mended a union of the two companies. Nothing, 
however, of material benefit resulted. Eventually, 
in the winter of 1810-30. Lord Bathurst. British 
secretary of state for the colonies, took up the mat- 
ter, and through its mediation a union was finally 
effected. On March 20, IS?!, it was mutually 
agreed that hfith companies should o])erate tmder 
the charter of the Hudson's Rav Company, fur- 

nishing equal amounts of capital and sharing 
equallv the profits, the arrangement to continue in 
force for twenty-one years. By "an act for regu- 
lating the fur trade and establishing a criminal and 
civil jirisdiction in certain parts of North 
.America," passed in the British parliament July 2, 
1S'21, the crown was empowered to issue a license to 
the combined companies for exclusive trade 
"as well over the country to the east as beyond the 
Rocky mountains, and extending to the Pacific 
ocean, saving the rights of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany over this territory." "That is to say," explains 
Evans, "in the territory granted to the Hudson's 
Bay Company by their charter, this license does not 
operate. The company in the Hudson's bay terri- 
tory already enjoyed exclusive privileges ; and this 
license recognized that territory as a province, ex- 
cepting it as a British province from the operation 
of this license." 

Agreeabl}- to the provisions of the statute just 
referred to a license was granted to the Hudson's 
Bay Company and to William and Simon McGil- 
livray and Edward Ellice, as representatives of 
the shareholders of the Northwest Company. The 
license was one of exclusive trade as far as all 
other British subjects were concerned, and was to 
be in force for a period of twenty-one years. It 
was to extend to all "parts of North America to the 
northward and westward of the lands and terri- 
tories belonging to the LTnited States or to any 
European government, state or power, reserving 
no rent." 

Of the grantees a bond was required conditioned 
upon the due execution of civil process where the 
matter in controversy exceeded two hundred pounds, 
and upon the delivery for trial in the Canadian 
courts of all persons charged with crime. Thus it 
will be seen that Americans operating in the Oregon 
territory (which was, by act of the British parlia- 
ment and the license issued under it, treated as 
being outside of "any legally defined civil govern- 
ment of the LTnited .States") were subject to be 
taken when accused of crime to Canada for trial. 
How did that comport with the treaty of 1818, one 
provision of which was that neither jx)wer should 
i assert rights of sovereignty against the other? The 
j fact that the British government required and the 
company agreed to enforce British law in the "terri- 
tory westward of the Stony mountains" shows 
clearly the wish of the ever earth-hungry P.ritish 
lion to circumvent the treaty of 1S18 and make Ore- 
gon in fact and verity a I'ritish possession. 

By 1824 all the rights and interests of the stock- 
holders late of the Northwest Company had passed 
into the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company. The 
absorption of the one corporation by the other was 
complete. The treacherous and perfidious treat- 
ment of Mr. Astor and the demoralization of his 
partners availed the greedv Northwesters but little, 
for thev were soon after conquered and subdued 



and forever deprived of their itlentity as a company 
!)>■ their powerful rival and enemy. 

The Hudson's Hay Company now became the 
sole owner and proprietor of the trade west of the 
Rocky mountains, and of all the rights accruing un- 
der the license of trade of December 5, 1821. An 
extended narration of the methods and rules of this 
corporation would be very interesting, but, mindful 
of our assigned limits and province, we must be 
brief. The company has been aptly characterized 
by Evans as an "iiupcriiim in inipcrio,'' and such it 
was, for it was in possession of well-nigh absolute 
power over its employees and the native races with 
whom it traded. It was constituted "the true and 
absolute lords and proprietors of the territories, 
limits and places, save always the faith, allegiance 
and sovereign dominion due to us (the crown), our 
heirs and successors, for the same, to hold as tenants 
in fee and common soccage, and not by knight's 
service, reserving as a yearly rent, two elks and two 
black beavers." Power was granted, should occa- 
sion arise, to "send ships-of-war, men or ammuni- 
tion to any fort, post or place for the defense 
thereof; to raise military companies, and appoint 
their officers ; to make war or conclude peace with 
any people not Christian, in any of their territories," 
also "to seize the goods, estate or people of those 
countries for damage to the company's interests, or 
for the interruption of trade ; to erect and build 
forts, garrisons, towns, villages ; to establish colo- 
nies, and to support such establishments by expe- 
ditions fitted out in Great Britain ; to seize all 
British subjects not connected with the company 
or employed by them or in such territorv by their 
license and send them to England." Should one 
of its factors, traders or other employees "contemn 
or disobey an order, he was liable to be punished 
by the president or council, who were authorized 
to prescribe the manner and measure of punish- 
ment. The offender had the right to appeal to the 
company in England, or he might be turned over 
for trial by the courts. For the better discovery 
of abuses and injuries by servants, the governor 
and company, and their respective president, chief 
agent or governor in any of the territories, were 
authorized to examine upon oath all factors, mas- 
ters, pursers, supercargoes, commanders of castles, 
forts, fortifications, jilantations, or colonies, or other 
persons, touching or concerning any matter or thing 
sought to be investigated." Further to strengthen 
the hands of the company the charter concludes 
with a royal mandate to all "admirals, vice-admirals, 
justices, mayors, sheriffs, constables, bailiffs, and 
all and singular other our officers, ministers, liege- 
men, subjects whatsoever, to aid, favor, help and 
assist the said governor and company to enjoy, as 
well on land as on the seas, all the premises in said 
charter contained, whensoever required." 

"Endowed with an empire over w'hich the com- 
pany exercised absolute dominion, subject only to 

fealty to the crown, its membership, powerful 
nobles and citizens of wealth residing near and at 
the court, jealously guarding its ever\- interest, and 
securing for it a representation in the government 
itself, is it to be wondered," asks Evans, "that this 
impcriiim in inipcrio triumphantly asserted and 
firmly established British supremacy in every region 
in which it operated ?" 

Something of the modus operandi of the com- 
pany must now be given. The chief factors and 
chief traders were paid no salaries, but in lieu 
thereof were given forty per cent, of the profits, 
divided among them on some basis deemed equi- 
table by the company. The clerks received sal- 
aries varying from twenty to one hundred pounds 
per annum. Below these again were the servants, 
whose term of enlistment (for such in effect it was) 
was for five years, and whose pav was seventeen 
pounds per year without clothing. The servant 
was bound by indentures to devote his whole time 
and labor to the company's interests ; to yield obe- 
dience to superior officers ; to defend the company's 
i:)roperty ; to obey faithfully orders, laws, etc. ; to 
defend officers and agents to the best of his ability ; 
to serve in the capacity of a soldier whenever called 
upon so to do ; to attend militarv drill ; and never 
to engage or be interested in any trade or occupa- 
tion except in accordance with the company's orders 
and for its benefit. In addition to the pittance paid 
him, the servant was entitled, should he desire to 
remain in the country after the expiration of his 
term of enlistment, to fifty acres of land, for which 
he was to render twenty-eight da\s" service per an- 
num for seven years. If dismissed before the expi- 
ration of his term, the servant, it was agreed, should 
be transported to his European home free of charge. 
Desertion or neglect might be punished by the for- 
feiture of even the wretched pittance he was to 
receive. It was, furthermore, the policy of the 
company to encourage marriage with the Indian 
women, its purpose being to create family ties which 
should bind the poor slave to the soil. By the time 
the servant's term of enlistment had expired, there 
was, therefore, no choice left him but to re-enlist 
or accept the grant of land. "In times of peace, 
laborers and operators were ever on hand at mere 
nominal wages : in times of outbreak they were at 
once transformed into soldiers amenable to military 
usage and discipline." 

The system was certainly a fine one, viewed 
from the standpoint of the company, but while it 
may command admiration for its ingenuity, it is 
certainly not to be commended for magnanimity. 
Its design and purpose was to turn the wealth of 
the country into the cotfers of the English noble- 
men who owned Hudson's Bay stock, though this 
should be done at the expense of the manhood, the 
self-respect and the indepentlence of the poor sons 
of toil who foolishly or from necessity bound them- 
selves to its service. 



The Indian policy of the company was no less 
politic than its treatment of its employees, but it 
had much more in it that was truly commendable. 
Its purpose did not bring its employees into conflict 
with the Indian nor require his expulsion, neither 
was there danger of the lands of the savage being 
appropriated or the graves of his people disturbed. 
The sale of intoxicants was positively and for the 
most part successfully prohibited. Conciliation 
was the wisest policy of the company, and it gov- 
erned itself accordingly ; but when punishment was 
merited, it was administered with promptness and 
severity. When depredations were committed the 
tribe to which the malefactor belonged was pursued 
bv an armed force and compelled to deliver the 
guilty to his fate. A certain amount of civilization 
was introduced, and with it came an increase of 
wants, which wants could be supplied only at the 
company's forts. Indians were sent on hunting 
and trapping expeditions in all directions, so that 
concentration of tribes became difficult, and if at- 
tempted, easily perceived in time to prevent trouble. 
Thus the company secured an influence over the 
savage and a place in his affections from which it 
could not easily be dislodged. 

In their treatment of missionaries, civil and 
military officers and others from the United States, 
the companv's factors and agents were uniformly 
courteous and kind. Their hospitality was in the 
highest degree commendable, meriting the gratitude 
of the earliest visitors and settlers. The poor and 
unfortunate never asked assistance in vain. But 
woe to the American who attempted to trade with 
the Indians, to trap, hunt or do anything which 
brought him into competition with the British cor- 
poration ! All the resources of a company supplied 
with an abundance of cheap labor, supported by 
the friendship and affection of the aboriginal peo- 
ples, backed by almost unlimited capital, and forti- 
fied by the favor of one of the wealthiest and most 
powerful nations of the world, were at once turned 
to crush him. Counter-establishments were formed 
in his vicinity, and he was hampered in every way 
possible and pursued with the relentlessness of an 
evil fate until compelled to retire from the field. 

Such being the conditions, there was not much 
encouragement for .American enterprise in the basin 
of the Cohnubia. It is not, however, in the Ameri- 
can character to vicld a promising prospect without 
a struggle, and several times efforts were made at 
competition in the Oregon territory. Of some of 
these we must speak briefly. The operations of 
William H. Ashley west of the Rocky mountains did 
not extend to the Oregon country and are of 
importance to our purpose only because in one of 
his exijcditions. fitted out in lcS2G, he brought a 
six-pounder, drawn by mules, across the Rocky 
mountains, thereby demonstrating the feasil)ility of 
a wagon road. In 182G Jedediah S. Sniith, of the 
Rocky Mountain Fur Company, encouraged by 

some previous successes in the Snake river district, 
set out for the country west of the Great Salt Lake. 
He proceeded so far westward that no recourse was 
left him but to push onward to the Pacific, his stock 
of provisions being so reduced and his horses so 
exhausted as to render an attempt to return unwise. 
He went south to San Diego for horses and supplies, 
and experienced no little difficulty on account of the 
suspicions of the native Californians, who were 
jealous of all strangers, especially those from the 
United States. Eventually, however, he was able 
to proceed northward to the Rogue river, then along 
the shore to the Umpqua, in which vicinity serious 
difficulty with Indians was experienced. Fifteen 
of the nineteen who constituted the party were mas- 
sacred ; indeed, all who happened to be in the camp 
at the time except one were killed. This man, aided 
by friendly Indians, reached Fort Vancouver, and 
told his story to the magnanimous chief factor of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, Dr. John McLoughlin, 
who oft'ered the Indians a liberal reward for the 
safe return of Smith and his two companions. A 
party of forty men was equipped at once to go to 
the Umpqua country, but before they got started, 
Smith and the men arrived. McLoughlin took steps 
to secure the property stolen from Smith, and so 
successfully did he manage the affair that peltries 
to the value of over three thousand dollars were 
recovered and the murderers were severely pun- 
ished hv other Indians. Smith was conquered by 
kindness, and at his solicitation the Rocky Moun- 
tain Fur Company retired from the territory of the 
Hudson's Bay Company. 
j Of various other expeditions by Americans into 
the Oregon country and of the attempts by Amer- 
ican vessels to trade along the coast, we cannot 
speak. Some reference must, however, be made to 
the work of Captain B. L. E. Bonneville, who, in 
18:n, applied for a two years' leave of absence from 
the I'nited States army that he might "explore the 
country to the Rocky mountains and beyond, with 
a view to ascertain the nature and character of the 
several tribes of Indians inhabiting those regions ; 
the trade which might profitably be carried on with 
them ; quality of soil, productions, minerals, natural 
history, climate, geography, topography, as well as 
geologv of the various parts of the country within 
the limits of the territories of the United States 
Ix'tween our frontier and the Pacific." The request 
was granted. While Bonneville was informed that 
the government would be to no expense in fitting 
up the expedition, lie was instructed that he must 
provide himself with suitable instruments and maps, 
and that he was to "note particularly the number 
of warriors that may be in each tribe of natives that 
may be met with, their alliances with other tribes, 
and their relative po.sition as to a state of peace or 
war : their manner of making war, mode of subsist- 
ing themselves during a state of war and a state 
of peace ; the arms and the effect of them ; whether 



they act on foot or on horseback ; in short, every 
infonnation useful to tlie oiivcrninent." It would 
seem that a government which asked such im- 
portant services ought to have been willing to make 
some financial return, at least to pay the expenses. 
But Captain Bonneville had to secure financial aid 
elsewhere. During the winter an association was 
formed in New York which furnished the neces- 
sary means, and on May 1, 1832, the expedition 
set out, the party numbering one hundred and ten 
men. They took with them in wagons a large quan- 
tity of trading goods to be used in traffic with the 
Indians in the basins of the Colorado and Colum- 
bia rivers. Bonneville himself went as far west as 
Fort Walla Walla. Members of his expedition 
entered the valleys of the Humboldt, Sacramento 
and Colorado rivers, but they were unable to com- 
pete with the experienced Hudson's Bay and Mis- 
souri Companies, and the enterprise proved a 
financial failure. The expedition derives its chief 
imf>ortance from the fact that it forms the basis of 
one of Irving's most fascinating works, which, "in 
language more thrilling and varied than romance, 
has pictured the trapper's life, its dangers, its excit- 
ing pleasures, the bitter rivalry of competing 
traders, the hostility of the savages," presenting a 
picture of the fur trade which will preserve to latest 
posterity something of the charm and fascination 
of that wild, weird traffic. 

Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth, of Massachusetts, 
projected in 18o2 an enterprise of curious interest 
and some historical importance. His plan was to 
establish salmon fisheries on the Columbia river, to 
be operated as an adjunct to and in connection with 
the fur and Indian trade. He crossed overland to 
Oregon, despatching a vessel with trading goods 
via Cape Horn, but his vessel was never again 
heard from, so the enterprise met defeat. The next 
year Captain Wyeth returned to Boston, leaving, 
however, most of his party in the country. Many 
of the men settled in the Willamette valley, and one 
of them found employment as an Indian teacher 
for the Hudson's Bay Company. 

Not to be discouraged by one failure. Captain 
Wyeth, in 1834, fitted out another land expedition 
and despatched to the Columbia another vessel, the 
May Dacre, laden with trading goods. On reaching 
the confluence of the Snake and Port .Neuf rivers, 
Wyeth erected a trading post, to which he gave the 
name of Fort Hall. Having sent out his hunting 
and trapping parties, and made arrangements for 
the season's operations, he proceeded to Fort Van- 
couver, where, about the same time, the Mav Dacre 
arrived. He established a trading house and salmon 
fishery on Wapato (now Sauvie's) island, which 
became known as Fort William. The fisherv proved 
a failure, and the trading and trapping industrv 
could not stand the competition and harassing 
tactics of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the 
constant hostilitv of the Indians. George B. Roberts, 

who came to Oregon in 18:31 as an employee of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, is quoted as having 
accounted for the trouble with the red men in this 
way. He said : "The island was thickly inhabited 
by Indians until 1830, when they were nearly ex- 
terminated by congestive chills and fever. There 
were at the time three villages on the island. So 
fatal were the effects of the disease, that Dr. Mc- 
Loughlin sent a party to rescue and bring away the 
few that were left, and to burn the villages. The 
Indians attributed the introduction of the fever 
and ague to an American vessel that had visited 
the river a year or two previously. It is not there- 
fore a matter of surprise to any who understand 
Indian character and their views as to death re- 
sulting from such diseases, that Wyeth's attempted 
establishment on Wapato island was subject to 
continued hostility. He was of a race to whom they 
attributed the cause of the destruction of their 
people ; and his employees were but the lawful 
compensation according to their code for the afflic- 
tion they had suffered." 

Wyeth eventually returned to Massachusetts 
disheartened. Fort Hall ultimately passed into the 
hands of the Hudson's Bay Company, and with its 
acquisition by them, practically ended American fur 
trade west of the Rocky mountains. Ikit though 
Wyeth's enterprise failed so signally, his account of 
it, published by order of congress, attracted the at- 
tention of Americans to Oregon, and did much to 
stimulate its settlement. 

It w'ill readily be seen then that whatever ad- 
vantage the establishment of fur-trading enterprises 
might give in the final settlement of the Oregon 
question was with the British. We shall attempt a 
brief and succinct account of the "struggle for 
possession" in a later chapter, but it will here be our 
task to determine in some measure what the political 
mission of the Hudson's Bay Company might be 
and what part that association was playing in inter- 
national affairs. In 1837 the company applied to 
the home government for a new license, granting 
enlarged privileges. In enforcing its request, it 
pointed forcibly to its efficient services in suc- 
cessfully crushing out American enterprise and 
strengthening British title to the territory, contrary 
to the spirit and letter of the Joint-Occupancy 
treaties of 181S and 182T. 

In presenting the petition, the company's chief 
representative in England, Sir John Henry Pelly, 
called the attention of the lords to the service ren- 
dered in securing to the mother country a branch of 
trade wrested from subjects of Russia and the 
United States of America : to the six permanent 
establishments it had on the coast, and the sixteen 
in the interior, besides the migratory and hunting 
parties ; to its marine of six armed vessels ; to its 
large pasture and grain farms, affording every 
species of agricultural produce and maintaining 
larg-e herds of stock. He further averred that it 



was tlie intention of the company still further to 
extend and increase its farms, and to establish an 
export trade in wool, hides, tallow and other prod- 
uce of the herd and the cultivated field, also to 
encourage the settlement of its retired servants and 
other emigrants under its protection. Referring 
to the soil, climate and other circumstances of the 
country, he said they were such as to make it "as 
much adapted to agricultural pursuits as any other 
spot in America ; and." said he, "with care and pro- 
tection, the British dominion may not only be pre- 
served in this country, which it has been so much 
the wish of Russia and America to occupy to the 
exclusion of British subjects, but British interest 
and British influence may be maintained as para- 
mount in this interesting part of the coast of the 

Sir George Simpson, who was in charge of the 
Hudson's Bay Company's affairs in America, in 
making his plea for the renewal of the license, 
referred to the international import of the com- 
pany's operations in this language : "The posses- 
sion of that country to Great Britain may be an 
object of very great importance; and we are 
strengthening that claim to it (independent of the 
claims of prior discovery and occupation for the 
purpose of Indian trade) by forming the nucleus 
of a colony through the establishment of farms, 
and the settlement of some of our retired ofificers 
and servants as agriculturists." 

One might almost expect that Great Britain 
might utter some word of reproof to a company 
which could have the audacity to boast of violating 
her treaty cornpacts with a friendly power. Not so, 
however. She was a party to the breach of faith. 
Instead of administering merited reproof, she 
rewards the wrongdoers by the prompt issuing of 
a new license to extend and be in force for a period 
of twenty-one years. This renewed license, the date 
of which is May 31, 1838, granted to the company 
"the exclusive privilege of trading with the Indians 
in all such parts of North America, to the north- 
ward and westward of the islands and territories 
belonging to the United States of America, as shall 
not form part of any of our (British) provinces in 
North America or any lands or territories belonging 
to the said United States of America, or to any 
European government, state, or power. Without 
rent for the first five years, and afterward the yearly 
rent of five shillings, payable on the first of June." 

The company was again required to furnish a 
bond conditioned on their executing, by their 
authority over the persons in their employ, "all civil 
anrl criminal process by the officers or persons usu- 
ally empowered to execute such process within all 
territories included in the grant, and for the produc- 
ing or delivering into custody, for the purpose of 
trial, all persons in their employ or acting under their 

authority within the said territories, who shall be 
charged with any criminal offences." 

The license, however, prohibited the company 
"from claiming or exercising any trade with the 
Indians on the northwest coast of America west- 
ward of the Rocky mountains to the prejudice or 
exclusion of any of the subjects of any foreign 
state, who, under or by force of any convention 
for the time being between Great Britain and such 
foreign states may be entitled to and shall be en- 
gaged in such trade." But no provision could be 
framed, nor was it the wish of the grantors to 
frame any, which should prevent the Hudson's Bay 
Company from driving out by harassing tactics 
and fierce competition any American who might 
enter the Oregon territory as a trader. 

One of the strangest ruses of this wonderfully 
shrewd and resourceful company must now receive 
notice. It was not in the power of the J?ritish 
government to convey lands in the Oregon country, 
neither could the Hudson's Bay Companv in any 
way acquire legal title to realty. It therefore de- 
termined upon a bold artifice. A co-partnership 
was formed on the joint stock principle, the person- 
nel of the company consisting largely of Hudson's 
Bay Company stockholders. The name adopted for 
it was the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. 
The idea of this association was to acquire a pos- 
sessory right to large tracts of rich tillable and 
grazing lands, use these for agricultural purposes 
and pasturage until the Oregon controversy was 
settled, then, should the British be successful in 
that controversy, apply at once for articles of in- 
corporation and a grant. It was, of course, the 
purpose of the promoters, from motives of self- 
interest as well as of patriotism, to strengthen the 
claim of the mother country in every possible way. 
Great Britain never acquired title to the lands in 
question ; the Puget Sound Agricultural Company 
never gained a corporate existence ; it never had 
anything more than a bare possessory right to any 
lands, a right terminating on the death or with- 
drawal from the company of the person seized 
therewith. Logically, then, we should expect the 
absolute failure of the scheme. But it did not fail. 
So forceful was this legal figment and the Hudson's 
Bay Company behind it, that they had the power 
to demand as one of the conditions upon which 
peace might be maintained between the two gov- 
ermiients chiefly concernetl in the ( )regon contro- 
versy, that "the farms, lands and other property 
of every description belonging to the Puget Sound 
Agricultural Company, on the north side of the 
Columbia river, shall be confirmed to the said 
company. In case, however, the situation of those 
lands and farms should be considered by the United 
States to be of public and political importance, and 
the United States government should signify a 
desire to obtain possession of the whole or a part 



thereof, tlic property so required shall be trans- 
ferred to the government at a proper valuation, to 
be agreed upon between the parties." 

The Puget Sound Company laid claim under 
the treaty to two tracts — the tract of the Nisqually, 
containing two hundred and sixty-one square miles, 
and the Cowlitz farm, containing three thousand 
five hundred and seventy-two acres. When the 
matter came up for settlement, the company asked 
five millions of dollars in li(|uidation of its claims. 
So the United States was forced, in the interests of 
peace and humanity, into an illogical agreement to 

purchase lands, the claim to which was established 
in open violation of the Joint-Occupancy treaties 
of LSIS and 18"27. She was forced by a provision 
of the treatv of 1846 to obligate herself to purchase 
lands which the same treaty conceded as belonging 
to her. More humiliating still, she was compelled 
to reward a company for its acts of hostility to 
her interests in keeping out her citizens and break- 
ing up their establishments. But the sacrifice 
was made in the interests of peace and civilization, 
and who shall sa\- that in conserving these it lacked 
an ainmdant justification ? 



Already, it is hoped, there has been conveyed to 
the mind of the reader as clear an impression as 
the limits of this volume will permit of the first 
faint knockings of civilization's standard-bearers 
upon our western shores, of some of the expeditions 
by which the land so long a terra incognita was 
robbed of its mystery and the overland route to it 
discovered, and of the regime of the trapper and 
fur trader. It remains to treat of missionary occu- 
pancy, of the advent of the pioneer settler, of the 
diplomatic struggle for the possession of the country 
and of that second struggle for possession which 
cost so much hardship and sacrifice on the part of 
both the white and the red race and left so tragic 
a stain on our earlier annals. 

With Wyeth's overland expedition, previously 
mentioned, were Dr. Nuttall, a naturalist, and J. K. 
Tow'nsend, an ornithologist, both sent out by a 
Boston scientific society ; also Rev. Jason Lee and 
his nephew. Rev. Daniel Lee, Cyrus Shepherd, 
Courtney M. Walker and P. L. Edwards, a mis- 
sionary party sent out by the Methodist Missionary 
Board of the United States. This body of unpre- 
tentious evangels of gospel truth were destined to 
exert an influence of which they little dreamed upon 
the imperial Hudson's Bay Company and the 
struggle for sovereignty in Oregon. The scientific 
men and the missionaries left Wyeth, who was 
delayed in the construction of Fort Hall, and were 
guided the remainder of the way by A. R. McLeod 
and Thomas McKay, Hudson's Bay men, to old 
Fort Walla Walla, which they reached September 
1st. The journey from that point to Vancouver 

was accomplished in two weeks. Little did these 
devt)ted servants of the British fur monopoly realize 
that the unassuming missionary ]-)arty they so kindly 
piloted from Fort Hall to \'ancouver would prove 
so potential in antagonizing their interests, and 
those of the imperial power whose patronage they 
enjoyed. The missionary party, it has been said, 
"was but another Trojan horse within whose ap- 
parently guileless interior was confined a hostile 
force, which would, within a decade of years, throw 
wide open the gates of exclusive privilege and intro- 
duce within the jealously guarded walls a host of 
foes, to the utter destruction of intrenched monopoly 
and the final overthrow of British dominion and 
pretension on the Pacific coast ! Well might Gov- 
ernor McLoughlin. the autocrat of the Pacific 
Northwest, when he welcomed this modest party 
of meek Methodists, and assigned them land near 
Salem, have recalled the misgivings of the Trojan 
prophetess: 'Tiinco Danaos ct dona fcrentes' — 'I 
distrust the Greeks, though they ofTer gifts.' The 
American missionary was an advance agent of 
Yankee invasion." 

About the time Wyeth's main party arrived at 
\'ancouver came also the ship on which were his 
goods for the fur trade, and the furniture and 
supplies of the missionary party. On October 6th 
the goods of the missionaries were landed at Wheat- 
land, as they named the place where the mission 
was to be established. By November 3d a log house 
was advanced sufficiently for occupation, but before 
the roof was on Indian children had been admitted 
as pupils, and by December 14th twenty-one 


persons, of whom scvL-ntfcn were children, were 
baptized by Jason Lee at Vancouver. 

Wyeth"s enterprise, as well as all previous efforts 
of a like character inaugurated by Americans, was 
met by crushing and ruinous opposition from the 
autocratic British monopoly, but the missionaries 
were assisted and encouraged in every way. Bonne- 
ville, Wyeth and other American adventurers and 
traders had come to Oregon to compete with the 
British traders or to colonize against the interests 
of their fatherland. Lee and his party were there 
to Christianize the pagan inhabitants, to instruct 
the ignorant, to minister to the sick and the dying, 
and to set a godly example to the irreligious, the 
reckless and semi-barbarous employees and ex- 
servants of the corporation. Hence the difference 
in their reception. The Hudson's Bay Company, 
shrewd and vigilant though it was, did not and 
could not foresee that the attempt to convert the 
Indian would fail, owing to causes over which the 
missionaries had no control, and that the mission 
people would form a settlement of their own, around 
which would naturally cluster all the elements of 
society independent of the British corporation ; that 
a social and political force would spring up hostile 
to the commercial interests and political ambitions 
of the company, potential to destroy its autocratic 
sway in the land and forceful to effect the final 
wresting of the country entirely from its control. 
The coming of the missionaries has been well styled 
the entrance of the wedge of American occupancy. 

The event which prompted the outfitting of this 
missionary enterprise is one of the strangest and 
most romantic character. It shows how affairs 
apparently the most trivial will deeply influence and 
sometimes greatly change the current of human 
history. In one of the former historical works, in 
the compilation of which the writer has had a part, 
the story is told by Colonel William Parsons, of 
Pendleton, Oregon, substantially as follows : 

"Far up in the mountains of Montana, in one 
of the many valleys which sparkle like emeralds 
on the western slope of the Stony range, a handful 
of natives, whom the whites call bv the now in- 
appropriate name of 'Flatheads,' met to ponder 
over the unique tale repeated by some passing 
mountaineer of a magic book possessed by the white 
man, which assured its owners of peace and comfort 
in this life and eternal bliss in the world beyond the 
grave. The Flatheads were a weak and unwarlike 
people; they were sorely beset by the fierce lilack- 
feet, their hereditary foes, through whose terrible 
incursions the Flatheads had been reduced in num- 
bers and harassed so continuously that their state 
was most pitiable. To this remnant of a once proud 
race the trapper's story was a rainbow of promise ; 
the chiefs resolved to seek this book, and possess 
themselves of the white man's treasure. They chose 
an embassy of four of their wisest and bravest men. 
and sent them trustfullv on the tribe's errand. The 

quest of "three kings of orient.' who, two thou- 
sand years ago, started on their holy pilgrimage 
to the manger of the lowly babe of Bethlehem, 
was not more weird, nor was the search of the 
knights of King Arthur's round table for the Holy 
(irail more picturesque and seemingly more hope- 
less. Though they knew that there were men of 
the pale-face race on the lower waters of the 
Columbia, and one of these doubtless had told 
them of the book, they knew that these uncouth 
trappers, hunters and fishers were ungodly men in 
the main and not custodians of the precious volume 
for which their souls so earnestly longed. These 
were not like the fishers of old by the sea of Galilee, 
who received the gospel gladly, and. following in the 
footsteps of the Master, themselves became fishers 
of men, but were scoffers, swearers and contemners 
of holy things. So the Indians, like the ancient 
wise men. turned their faces towards the east. 

"They threaded their toilsome way by stealth 
through the dreaded Blackfoot country, scaled the 
perilous .^tony mountains, descending the eastern 
slope, followed the tributaries of the Alissouri 
through the dreaded country of the Dakotahs, and 
then pursued the windings of the Missouri till they 
struck the Father of Waters, arriving at St. Louis 
in the summer of 1832. Indians were no rarity in 
this outpost of civilization, and the friendless and 
forlorn IHatheads soon discovered that the white 
tra]i])ers. hunters, flatboat men, traders, teamsters, 
and riff'-raft' of a bustling young city were about 
the last people in the world to supply Indians who 
had no furs to sell with either spiritual or material 
solace. The embassy was not only without money, 
but its members could not even speak the language 
of the pale-faces. Xor was anyone found who 
could serve as interpreter. It would have been 
easy enough to have obtained a Bible, if they could 
have met with a stray colporteur, but none was in 
evidence, and the average denizen of St. Louis 
was better provided with cartridge belts and guns 
than with literature of any sort. In despair they 
applied to Governor Clark, the official head of the 
territorx-, whose head(|uarters were in the town — 
the same \\'illiam Clark who, with Captain Meri- 
wether Lewis, had led the expedition to the mouth 
of the Columbia nearly thirty years before. It is 
possible that they may have heard of Clark by 
reason of his travels through their country a gen- 
eration previous. By nieans of signs and such few 
words of jargon as they could muster they at- 
tempted to explain to Governor Clark the purpose 
of their visit but it is evident that they succeeded 
none too well. In response to their prayer for 
spiritual food, he bestowed on them blankets, beads 
and tobacco — the routine gifts to importunate red- 
skins — and the discouraged Flatheads abandoned 
their illusive quest for the magic book. Before 
leaving for home, the Indians made a farewell call 
<in Governor Clark, during which the\-. or one of 



them, made a speech. Just what the si)eaker said, 
or tried to say, may be a matter of doubt, but the 
report made of it and g^iveu to the press is a marvel 
of simple eloquence, it is as follows: 

We came to you over a trail of many moons from the 
setting Sim. You were the friend of our fathers, who have 
all gone the long road. We came with our eyes partly 
opened for more light for our people who sit in darkness. 
VVe go back with our eyes closed. How can we go back 
blind to our blind people? We made our way to you with 
strong arms, through many enemies and strange lands, 
that we might carry back much to them. We go back with 
both arms broken and empty. The two fathers who came 
with us — the braves of many winters and wars — we leave 
here asleep by your great water and wigwams. They 
were tired with their journey of many moons and their 
moccasins were worn out. 

Our people sent us to get the white man's Book of 
Heaven. You took us where they worship the Great 
Spirit with candles, but the Book was not there. You 
showed us the images of good spirits, and pictures of the 
good land beyond, but the Book was not among them to 
tell us the way. You made our feet heavy with burdens 
of gifts, and our moccasins will grow old with carrying 
them, but the Book is not among them. We are going 
back the long, sad trail to our people. When we tell them, 
after one more snow, in the big council, that we did not 
bring the Book, no word will be spoken by our old men 
nor by our young braves. One by one they will rise up 
and go out in silence. Our people will die in darkness, 
and they will go on the long path to the other hunting 
grounds. No white man will go with them, and no Book 
of Heaven to make the way plain. We have no more 

"The story of the Flathead embassy and their 
unique quest subsequently reached George Catlin 
through the medium of Governor Clark. Catlin 
was an artist who had made a special study of 
Indian types and dress, and had painted with great 
ability and fidelity many portraits of noted chiefs. 
In the national museum at Washington. D. C, may 
be seen a very extensive collection of his Indian 
paintings, supplemented with almost innuinerable 
recent photographs, among which are those of Chief 
Joseph, the great Nez Perce warrior, and the Uma- 
tilla reservation chieftains — Homeli, Peo and Paul 
Showeway. Mr. Catlin was not only a portrait 
painter, but a gifted writer. He converted the 
plain, unvarnished tale of Governor Clark concern- 
ing the Flatheads into an epic poem of thrilling 
interest, and gave it to the press. Its publication in 
the religiotis journals created a great sensation, and 
steps were immediately taken to answer the Mace- 
donian cry of the Flatheads. The sending of Jason 
Lee and his party to Oregon was a result. 

"The quest of the Flatheads, the sad deaths of 
all their ambassadors save one on the journey, and 
the temporary failure of their project seemed a 
hopeless defeat, but they 'builded wiser than they 
knew,' for the very fact of their mission stirred 
mightily the hearts of the church people, and 
through that instrimientalitv the attention of Amer- 
icans was sharply directed to the enormous value 
of the Pacific Northwest. The interest thus excited 
was timely — another decade of supine lethargy and 

the entire Pacific coast from Mexico to the Russian 
possessions would have passed irretrievably under 
British control. 

"The Flatheads' search for the magic book was 
to all ajjpearance an ignominious failure, but their 
plaintive cry, feeble though it was, stirred the 
mountain heights, and preci]:)itated an irresistible 
avalanche of American enterprise into the valley 
of the Columbia, overwhelming the Hudson's Bay 
Company with its swelling volume of American 

"In a lesser way, also, their mission succeeded, 
though success was long on the road. The western 
movement of white population engulfed the hated 
Blackfeet, reduced their numbers till they were no 
longer formidable, even to the Flatheads, confined 
them within the narrow limits of a reservation in 
northern Montana, where they were ordered about 
by a consequential Indian agent, and collared and 
thrust into the agency jail for every trifling misde- 
meanor, by the agency police ; while the one time 
harassed and outraged Flathead roams unvexed 
through his emerald vales, pursues without fear to 
its uttermost retreat in the Rockies the lordly elk 
or the elusive deer, tempts the wily trout from the 
dark pool of the sequestered mountain torrent with 
the seductive fly, or lazily floats on the surface of 
some placid lake, which mirrors the evergreen 
slopes of the environing hills, peacefully withdraw- 
ing, now and again, the appetizing salmon trout 
from its cool, transparent depths, to be transferred 
presently, in exchange for gleaming silver, to some 
thrifty pale-face housewife or some unctuous 
Chinese cook for a tenderfoot tourist's dinner — for- 
getful all and fearless of Blackfoot ambush or 
deadly foray. Of a verity, the childlike quest for 
the magic book was not without its compensation 
to the posterity of the Flathead ambassadors !" 

Of those Americans who came to Oregon with 
the early expeditions, three in 1832 and twenty- 
two in 1834 became permanent settlers. The names 
of these are preserved by W. H. Gray in his history 
of Oregon as follows : "From Captain Wyeth's 
party of 1832, there remained S. H. Smith, Sergeant, 
and Tibbets, a stonecutter ; arid from his party of 
1834, James O'Neil and T. J. Hubbard. From the 
wreck of the William and Ann, a survivor named 
Felix Hathaway remained. With Ewing Young 
from California in 1834, a party came who remained 
in Oregon, consisting of Joseph Gale, who died in 
Union county, that state, in 1SS2 ; John McCarty, 
Carmichael. John Hauxhurst, John Howard. Kil- 
born. Brandywine, and a colored man named George 
Winslow. An English sailor named Richard Mc- 
Cary reached the Willamette from the Rocky moun- 
tains that year, as did also Captain J. H. Crouch. 
G. W. Le Breton, John McCaddan and William 
Johnson from the brig Marxland. This made (with 
the missionaries heretofore named) twenty-five 
residents at the close of 1834, who were not in 


anv \va}' connected with the Hudson's Bay Com- 
panv. all of whom were here for other than 
transient purposes. There were no arrivals in 1835." 

Hnwever, the year 1826 was, as may be gleaned 
from previous pages, an important one for Oregon. 
While, as Gray states, there were no permanent 
residences established in ( )regon in IS^J."), that was 
the year in which Rev. Samuel Parker and Dr. 
Marcus Whitman were sent out by the American 
Board to explore the country and report upon it 
as a field for missionary labors. These gentlemen 
were met at the trappers' rendezvous on Green 
river by the noted Chief Lawyer,' by whom they 
were persuaded into the plan of establishing their 
proposed mission among his people, the Nez Perces. 
When this conclusion was reached, Dr. Whitman 
started back to the east accompanied by two Nez 
Perce boys, Mr. Parker continuing his journey west- 
ward to the shores of the Pacific. It was agreed 
that Parker should seek out a suitable location 
among the Nez Perces for the mission, while Dr. 
Whitman should make arrangements for the west- 
ward journey of a sufficient force and for the es- 
tablishment and outfitting of the post. The results 
of Mr. Parker's journeyings are embodied in a 
work of great historic value from his own pen, 
entitled "Parker's E.xploring Tour Beyond the 
Rocky Mountains." From information conve3'ed 
by this volume, Gilbert sumniarizes the conditions 
in Oregon in 1835 as follows: 

"Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, under charge 
of Dr. John McLoughlin, was established in 1824, 
and consisted of an enclosure by stockade, thirty- 
seven rods long by eighteen wide, that faced the 
south. About one hundred persons were emploved 
at the place, and some three hundred Indians lived 
in the immediate vicinity. There were eight sub- 
stantial buildings within the stockade, and a large 
number of small ones on the outside. There were 
459 cattle, 100 horses, 200 sheep, 40 goats and 300 
hogs belonging to the company at this place ; and 
during the season of 1835 the crops produced in 
that vicinity amounted to 5.000 bushels of wheat, 
1,300 bushels of potatoes, 1,000 bushels of barley, 
1,000 bushels of oats, 2.000 bushels of peas, and 
garden vegetables in proportion. The garden, con- 
taining five acres, besides its vegetable products, 
included apples, peaches, grapes and strawberries. 
.A grist mill with machinery propelled bv oxen 
was kept in constant use, while some six miles up 
the Columbia was a saw mill containing several 
saws, which supplied lumber for the Hudson's Bay 
Company. Within the fort was a bakery employing 
three men, also shops for blacksmiths, joiners, car- 
penters and a tinner. 

"Fort Williams, erected by N. J. Wyeth at the 
mouth of the Willamette, was nearly deserted, Mr. 
Townsend. the ornithologist, being about the only 
occupant at the time. Wyeth had gone to his Fort 
Hall in the interior. Of Astoria, at the mouth of 

the Columbia, but two log houses and a garden 
remained, where two white men dragged out a dull 
existence, to maintain possession of the historic 
ground. Its ancient, romantic grandeur had de- 
parted from its walls, when dismantled to assist in 
the construction and defenses of its rival. Fort 
\'ancouver. Up the Willamette river was the 
Methodist mission, in the condition already noted, 
while between it and the present site of Oregon City 
were the Hudson's Bay Company's French settle- 
ments of Gervais and McKay, containing some 
twenty families, whose children were being taught 
by young Americans. In one of these settlements a 
grist mill had just been completed. East of the 
Cascade mountains Fort Walla Walla was situated 
at the mouth of a river by that name. It was "built 
of logs and was internally arranged to answer the 
purposes of trade and domestic comfort, and e.x- 
ternally for defense, having two bastions, and was 
surrounded by a stockade.' It was accidentally 
burned in 1841 and rebuilt of adobe within a year. 
At this point the 'company had 'horses, cows, hogs, 
fowls, and they cultivated corn, potatoes and a 
variety of garden vegetables.' This fort was used 
for a trading post, where goods were stored for 
traffic with the Indians. Fort Colville, on the Col- 
umbia, a little above Kettle Falls, near the present 
line of Washington territory, a strongly stockaded 
post, was occupied by a half dozen men with Indian 
families, and Mr. i\icDonald was in charge. F'ort 
Okanogan, at the mouth of the river of that name, 
established by David Stuart in 1811, was, in the 
absence of Mr. Ogden, in charge of a single white 
man. Concerning Fort Hall, nothing is said ; but 
it fell into the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company 
in 1S3G. It was then a stockaded fort, but was 
rebuilt with adobe in 1838. Mr. Parker is also 
silent in regard to Fort Boise, which was con- 
structed on Snake river from poles in 1834 as a 
rival establishment to Fort Hall, was occupied in 
1835 by the Hudson's Bay Company, and later was 
more substantially constructed from adobe. If 
there were other establishments in 1835, west of the 
Rocky mountains, between the forty-second and 
forty-ninth parallels, the writer has failed to obtain 
evidences of them." 

Meanwhile, Whitman was working in the east 
with characteristic energy, and he succeeded in 
raising funds and securing associates for two 
missions in Oregon territory. The population of 
Oregon was accordingly increased in the year 1836 
by five persons, namely. Dr. Marcus \\'hitman, 
Xarcissa (Prentiss) Whitman. Rev. H. H. Spalding 
and wife, and W. H. (Way. The ladies mentioned 
gained the distinction of having been the first 
white women whose feet pressed the soil of old 
Oregon, and whose blue and dark eyes looked into 
the dusky, mystic orbs of the daughters of the 
Columi)ia basin. .\ few months later the Methodist 
mission was also blessed by the purifying presence 



of noble womanhood, hnt tlu" laurels of inonccrsliip 
liave ever rested upon the worthy brows of Mrs. 
Whitman and Airs. Spalding, and so far as we 
know, no fair hand has ever been raised to pluck 
them thence. The missionary party brought with 
them eight mules, twelve horses and sixteen cows, 
also three wagons laden with farming utensils, 
blacksmiths" and carixniters" tools, clothing, seeds, 
etc., to make it possible for them to support them- 
selves without an entire de])endence upon the Hud- 
son's Bay Company for supplies. Two of the 
wagons were abandoned at Fort Laramie, and 
heavy pressure was brought upon Dr. Whitman to 
leave the third at the rendezvous on Green river, but 
he refused to do so. He succeeded in getting it to 
Fort Hall intact, then reduced it to a two-wheeled 
cart, which he brought on to Fort Boise, thus 
demonstrating the feasibility of a wagon road over 
the Rocky mountains. 

Although a reinforcement for the Methodist 
mission sailed froui Boston in July, 1836, it failed to 
reach its destination on the \\'il1aniette until May 
of the following year, so that the American popu- 
lation at the close of 1836 numbered not to exceed 
thirty persons, including the two ladies. 

L'ntil 1836 there were no cattle in the country 
except those owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, 
and those brought from the east by the Whitman 
])arty. The Hudson's Bay Company wished to 
continue this condition as long as possible, well 
knowing that the introduction of cattle or any other 
means of wealth production among the American 
])opulation would necessarily render the people that 
much more nearly independent. When, therefore, 
it was proposed by Ewing Young and Jason Lee 
that a party should be sent to California for stock, 
the idea was antagonized by the autocratic Colum- 
bia river monopoly. Thanks largely to the assist- 
ance of \\'illiam .\. Slacum, of the Cnited States 
navy, by whom money was advanced and a free 
passage to California furnished to the people's 
emissaries, the projectors of the enterprise were 
rendered independent of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. Ewing Young was captain of the expedition ; 
P. L. Edw'ards, of the Willamette mission, was also 
one of its leading spirits. The men purchased seven 
hundred head of cattle at three dollars per head 
and set out upon their return journey. Thev suc- 
ceeded in getting about six hundred head to the 
Willamette country, notwithstanding the bitter hos- 
tility of the Indians. Gilbert quotes from the diary 
of P. L. Edwards, which he says was shown him 
by the latter's daughter in California, to prove that 
the trouble with the Indians was caused bv the 
wanton and cold-blooded murder bv members of 
the party of a friendly Indian who was follow'ing 
the band. The Indian hostilities were not incited 
by the Hudson's Bay Company, as some have stated, 
hut may properly be laid at the doors of the men 
who committed this barbarous outrage in revenge 

for wrongs suffered liy a party to which they 
belonged two years before. 

The arrival of neat cattle in the Willamette 
countn' provided practically the first means of 
acquiring wealth independent of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. "This success in opposition to that 
interest," says Gilbert, "was a discovery by the 
settlers, both Americans and ex-employees, that they 
possessed the strength to rend the bars that held 
them captives under a species of peonage. With 
this one blow, directed by missionaries, and dealt 
by ex-American hunters, an independent main- 
tenance in Oregon had been rendered possible for 

As before stated, the reinforcements for the 
Methodist mission arrived in May, 1S3T. By it 
the American population was increased eight 
persons, namely, Elijah \Miite and wife, Alanson 
Beers and wife, W. H. Wilson, the Misses Annie 
M. Pitman, Susan Downing and Elvina Johnson. 
In the fall came another reinforcement, the per- 
sonnel of which was Rev. David Leslie, wife and 
three daughters, the Rev. \\'. H. K. Perkins and 
Miss Margaret Smith. Add to these Dr. J. Bailey, 
an English physician. George Gay and John Turner, 
who also arrived this year, and the thirty or thirty- 
one persons who settled previously, and we have the 
population of Oregon independent of the Hudson's 
Bav Companv's direct or indirect control in the vear 

In January of that year, W. H. Gray, of the 
.American Board's mission, set out overland to the 
east for reinforcements to the missionary force of 
which he was a member. His journey was not an 
uneventful one as will appear from the following 
narrative, clothed in his own words, which casts 
so vivid a light upon transcontinental travel during 
the early days that we feel constrained to quote it : 

Our sketches, perhaps, would not lose in interest by 
giving a short account of a fight whicli our Flathead Indi- 
ans had at this place with a war party of the Blackfeet. 
It occurred near the present location of Helena, in Mon- 
tana. As was the custom with the Flathead Indians in 
traveling in the buffalo country, their hunters and warriors 
were in advance of the main camp. \ party of twenty-five 
Blackfeet warriors was discovered by some twelve of our 
Flatheads. To see each other was to fight, especially par- 
ties prowling about in this manner, and at it they went. 
The first fire of tlie Flatheads brought five of the Blackfeet 
to the ground and wounded five more. This was more 
than they expected, and the Blackfeet made little effort to 
recover their dead, which were duly scalped and their 
Ijodies left for food for the wolves, and the scalps borne in 
triumph to the camp. There were but two of the Flat- 
lieads wounded : one had a flesh wound in the thigh, and 
the other had his right arm broken by a Blackfoot ball. 

The victory was complete, and tlie rejoicing in camp 
corresponded to the number of scalps taken. Five days 
and nights tlie usual scalp dance was performed, .^t the 
appointed time the big war drum was sounded, when the 
warriors and braves made their appearance at the appointed 
place in the open air, painted as warriors. Those who had 
taken the scalps from the heads of their enemies bore them 
in their hands upon the ramrods of their guns. 

They entered the circle, and the war song, drums, rat- 



ties and noises all commenced. The scalp-bearers stood for 
a moment (as if to catch the time), and then commenced 
luipping, jumping and yelling in concert with the music. 
This continued for a time, when some old painted woman 
took the scalps and continued to dance. The performance 
was gone through with as many nights as there were 
scalps taken. 

Seven days after the scalps were taken, a messenger 
arrived bearing a white flag, and a proposition to make 
peace for the purpose of trade. After the preliininaries 
had all been completed, in which the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany trader had the principal part to perform, the time 
was li.xed for a meeting of the two tribes. Tlie Flatheads, 
however, were all careful to dig their warpits, make their 
corrals and breastworks, and, in short, fortify tlieir camp 
as much as if they expected a fight instead of peace. 
Ermatinger, the company's leader, remarked tliat he would 
sooner take his chances of a tiglit off-hand than endure the 
anxiety and suspense of the two days we waited for the 
Blackfeet to arrive. Our scouts and warriors were all 
ready and on the watch for peace or war, the latter of 
which from the recent tight they had had was expected 
most. .-Vt length the Blackfeet arrived, bearing a red flag 
with "H. B. C." in white letters upon it, and advancing to 
within a short distance of the camp, were met by Ermat- 
inger and a few Flathead chiefs, shook hands and were con- 
ducted to the trader's lodge — the largest one in tlie camp — 
and the principal chiefs of botli tribes, seated upon buffalo 
and bear skins, all went through with the ceremony of 
smoking a big pipe, having a long handle or stem trimmed 
with horse hair and porcupine quills. The pipe was filled 
witli tlie traders' tobacco and the Indians' killikinick. The 
war chiefs of each tribe took a pufif of the pipe, then passed 
it each to his right-hand man, and so around till all the 
circle had smoked the big medicine pipe, or pipe of peace, 
which on this occasion was made by the Indians from a soft 
stone which they find in abundance in their country, hav- 
ing no extra ornamental work upon it. The principal chief 
in command, or great medicine man, went through the 
ceremony, puffed four times, blowing his smoke in four 
directions. This was. considered a sign of peace to all 
around him, which doubtless included all he knew any- 
thing about. The Blackfeet, as a tribe, are a tall, well 
formed, slim built and active people. They travel princi- 
pally on foot, and are considered very treacherous. 

The peace made with so much formality was broken 
two days afterward by killing two of the Flatheads when 
caught not far from the main camp. 

It was from this Flathead tribe that the first Indian 
delegation was sent to ask for teachers. Three of their 
number volunteered to go with Gray to the States in 1837 
to urge their claim for teachers to come among thetn. The 
party reached .'\sh Hollow, where they were attacked by 
about three hundred Sioux warriors, and, after fighting 
for three hours, killed some fifteen of them, when the 
Sioux, by means of a F'rench trader then among them, 
obtained a parley with Gray and his traveling companions 
— two young men who had started to go to the United 
States with him. While the Frenchman was in conversa- 
tion with Gray, the treacherous Siou.x made a rush upon 
the three FMatheads, one Snake and one Iroquois Indian 
belonging to the party, and killed them. The Frenchman 
then turned to Gray and told him and his companions they 
were prisoners, and must go to the Sioux camp, first 
attempting to get possession of their guns. Gray informed 
them at once: "You have killed our Indians in a cowardly 
manner, and you shall not have our guns," at the same 
lime telling the yomig men to watch the first motion of the 
Iiulians to take their lives, and if we must die to take as 
many Indians with us as we coidd. The Sioux had found 
in the contest thus far that, notwithstanding they had con- 
quered and killed five, they had lost fifteen, among them 
one of their war chiefs, besides several severely wounded. 
The party was not further molested till they reached the 
camp, containing between one and two hundred lodges. A 
full explanation was had of the whole affair. Gray had two 

horses killed under him and two balls passed through his 
hat, both inflicting slight wounds. The party were 
feasted, and smoked the pipe of peace over the dead body 
of the chief's son. Next day they were allowed to proceed 
with nine of their horses: the balance, with the property 
of the Indians, the Sioux claimed as part pay for their 
losses, doubtless calculating to waylay and take the bal- 
ance of the horses. Be that as it may. Gray and his young 
men reached Council Bluffs in twenty-one days, traveling 
nights and during storms to avoid the Indians on the 

dray proceeded east, and with the enerj^y and 
courage which ever cliaracterized him, set about 
the task of securing the needed reinforcements. 
He succeeded in enhsting Rev. Cushing Eells, Rev. 
E. Walker and Rev. A. D. Smith, with their wives, 
also a young man named Cornelius Rogers. He 
also succeeded in inducing a young woman to be- 
come his own bride and to share with him the 
dangers and tedium of a transcontinental journey 
and whatever of weal or woe the new land might 
have in store for them. Mention should likewise 
be made of the noted John A. Sutter, an ex-cap- 
tain of the Swiss guard, who accompanied this 
expedition and who afterward became an impor- 
tant character in the early history of California. 

Two priests. Rev. I". X. I'.lanchet and Modest 
Dcmers, also came during this \ear, so the seeds 
of sectarian strife, which did so much to neutral- 
ize the efforts and work of the Protestant mission- 
aries, then began to be sown. The jwpulation of 
Oregon, independent of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, must have been about sixt\- at the close of the 
year 1838. 

In the fall of lS:li) came Rev. J. S. Griffin and 
Mr. Munger, with their wives, Den Wright, Law- 
son. Reiser and Deiger. also T. H. I'amhani. author 
of "Early Days in California," Sidney Smith, Blair 
and Robert Shortess. W. II. Gra>. in his history 
of Oregon, estimates the ])opulation as follows: 
"Protestant missionaries, 10; Roman priests, 2; 
physicians, "? ; laymen, G; women, l;> : children, 10; 
settlers, "20; settlers under Hudson's Bay control 
with American tendencies, 10; total, 80." 

In 1838 Jason Lee made a jouniey overland to 
the states for the i)urpose of ]3rocuring a force 
wherewith to extend greatly his missionary opera- 
tions. His wife died during his absence and the 
sad news was forwarded to him by Dr. McLough- 
lin. Dr. Whitman and a man hired bv Gray. In 
Jmie. ISIO. Lee returned with a party of forty- 
eight, of whom eight were clergymen, one was a 
i:)hysician, fifteen were children and nineteen were 
laches, five of them unmarried. Their tiames arc 
included in Gray's list of arrivals for 18 lo. 

In 1841 eight young men built and e(iui|)i)ed a 
vessel, named the Star of ( )regon, in which they 
made a tri]) to San I'Vancisco. Joseph Gale served 
as captain of the doughty little craft, of which 
Felix Hathaway had been master builder. The 
vessel was exchanged at Verba Buena ( San I'ran- 
cisco) for three hundred and fifty cows. Gale 



ri-niaincd in the ( ioldcn slate throiitih the winter. 
then set out overland to C Jres^on with a party of 
forty-two iinniigrants, wlio lirought with them, as 
j. \\'. Xesmith informs us. one thousand two hun- 
dred and fifty head of cattle, six hundred head of 
mares, colts, horses and mules, and three thousand 
slieep. The incident forms the theme of one of 
Mrs. I£va E. Dye's most charming descriptions, 
but its strategic importance in helping to .Ameri- 
canize Oregon and break up the cattle monopoly 
seems to have been overlooked by many other 

The Joseph Gale who figured so prominently in 
this undertaking was afterward a member of the first 
triumvirate executive committee of the provisional 
government. He is affectionately remembered in 
eastern Oregon, where he passed the closing years 
of his eventful life. 

By the close of the year 1841 the independent 
population of Oregon had reached two hundred 
and fifty-three, thirty-five of whom arc classed as 
settlers. In 1842 came an immigration of one 
hundred and eleven persons, two of whom, .-K. L. 
Lovejoy and A. M. Hastings, were lawyers. In 
this year, also, came the Red river immigration of 
English and Scotch and of French-Canadian half- 
breeds to the Puget sound country. This immi- 
gration was inspired by the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, which designed it as an offset to the growing 
American power in the Oregon country. It had. 
however, very little political effect, as many of its 
members drifted southward into the Willamette 
country and became members of the provisional 
government. The year 1842 is also memorable for 
the famous winter ride of Dr. Whitman. 

In 1843 came the largest immigration the Ore- 
gon country had yet known, piloted across the plains 
and over the mountains by Whitman himself. Its 
eight hundred and seventy-five persons, with their 
wagons and thirteen hundred head of cattle, settled 
forever the question of the national character of 
Oregon. J- W. Nesmith has preserved for us the 
names of all the male members of this expedition 
over si.xteen years of age. as also of those remaining 
from the immigrations of the year previous. In 

1844 came eight hundred more .\mericans. and in 

1845 a much larger number, estimated by some at 
three thousand. The year 1846 added another 
thousand to Oregon's American population. In it 
the ownership of the country was definitely settled 
by treaty with (Ireat Britain, and the famous world 
problem was solved. 

It is impossible here adequately to treat of life 
and conditions in the Northwest during those early 
days of .American occupation. Some idea of the 
inner life of the first settlers of Oregon may be 
gained from the following excerpt from a lecture 
by Colonel j. \V. Xesmith. delivered before the 
Oregon Pioneer .Association : 

Tlic business of the country was conducted entirely by 
liarter. The Hudson's I!,iy Conip.iny imported .ind sold 
innr.y articles of prime necessity to those who were able to 
purchase. Wheat or beaver skins woukl buy anything the 
company had for sale. But poor, wayworn emigrants, 
just arriving in the country, were as destitute of wheat and 
beaver as they were of coin. Tlic skins purchased by the 
company were annually shipped in their own vessels to 
London, while the wheat was shipped to the Russian pos- 
sessions on the north and to California, to fill a contract 
that the Hudson's Bay Company had with the Russian 
Fur Company. A small trade in lumber, salt, salmon, 
shingles and lioop-poles gradually grew up with the Sand- 
wich islands, and brought in return a limited supply of 
black and dirty sugar in grass sacks, together with soine 
salt and coffee. 

There being no duty collected upon importations into 
Oregon previous to 1849. foreign goods were comparatively 
cheap, though the supply was always limited; nor had the 
people means to purchase beyond tlie pure necessities. 
Iron, steel, salt, sugar, coffee, tea, tobacco, powder and 
lead, and a little ready-made clothing and some calico and 
domestics, were the principal articles purchased by the 
settlers. The Hudson's Bay Company, in their long inter- 
course with the Indians, had. from prudential motives, 
adopted the plan in their trade of passing articles called 
for out through a hole in the wall or partition. Persons 
were not allowed inside among the goods to make selec- 
tions, and the purchaser had to be content with what was 
passed out to him through the aperture. Thus in buying 
a suit of clothes, there was often an odd medley of color 
and sizes. The settlers used to say that Dr. McLoughlin, 
who was a very large man, had sent his measure to Lon- 
don, and all the clothing was made to fit him. The hick- 
ory shirts we used to buy came down to our heels and the 
wrist-liands protruded a foot beyond the hands; and as 
Sancho Panza said of sleep, "they covered one all over like 
a mantle." They were no such "cutty sark" affairs of 
"Paisley ham" as befuddled Tam O'Shanter saw when 
peeping in upon the dancing warlocks of "Alloway's auld 
haunted kirk." .\ small sized settler, purchasing one, 
could, by reasonalile curtailment of the e.xtremities, have 
sufficient material to clothe one of the children. 

The pioneer home was a log caliin with a puncheon 
tloor and mud chimney, all constructed without sawed 
lumlier. glass or nails, the boards licing secured upon the 
roof by heavy-weight poles. Sugar, coffee, tea and even 
salt were not every-day luxuries, and in many cabins were 
entirely imknown. Moccasins made of deer and elk skins 
and soled with rawdiide made a substitute for shoes, and 
were worn by both sexes. Buckskin was the material 
from which the greater portion of the male attire was 
manufactured, while the cheapest kind of coarse cotton 
goods furnished the remainder. A wdiite or boiled shirt 
was rarely seen and was a sure indication of great wealth 
and aristocratic pretension. Meat was obtained in some 
quantities from the wild game of the forests or the wild 
fowd with which the country aboiuided at certain seasons, 
until such time as cattle or swine became sufficiently 
numerous to be slaughtered for food. Tlie hides of lioth 
wild and domestic animals were utilized in many ways. 
Clothing, moccasins, saddles and their rigging, bridles, 
ropes, harness and other necessary articles were made 
from them. A pair of buckskin pants, moccasins, a hick- 
ory shirt and some sort of cheaply extemporized hat, 
rendered a man comfortable as well as presentable in the 
best society, the whole outfit not costing one-tenth part of 
the price of the essential gewgaws tliat some of our exqui- 
site sons now sport at the ends of their watch cliains. on 
their shirt-fronts or dainty fingers. Buckskin clothing 
answ'ered wonderfully well for rough-and-tumble wear, 
particularly in dry weather, but I have known them after 
exposure to a hard day's rain to contract in a single night 
by a warm fire a foot in longitude, and after being sub- 
jected to a webfoot winter or two, and a succeeding dry 



Slimmer, they would assume grotesque and uufasliionalile 
shapes, generally leaving from six inches to a foot of nude 
and arid skin between tlie top of the moccasins and the 
lower end of the breeches ; tlie knees protruded in front, 
while the rear started off in the opposite direction, so that 
when the wearer stood up the breeches were in a constant 
struggle to sit down and zicc versa. 

The pioneers brought garden seeds with them, and 
much attention was paid to the production of vegetables, 
which, with milk, game and fish, went a long w-ay toward 
the support of the family. Reaping machines, threshers, 
headers, mowing machines, pleasure carriages, silks, 
satins, laces, kid gloves, plug hats, high-heeled boots, 
crinoline, bustles, false hair, hair dye, jewelry, patent 
medicines, railroad tickets, postage stamps, telegrams, 
pianos and organs, together with a thousand and one other 
articles to purchase wliich the country is now drained of 
millions of dollars annually, were then unknown and con- 
se(|nently not wanted. .\ higher civilization has introduced 
ns to all these modern improvements, and apparently made 
them necessaries, together with the rnm mill, the jail, the 
insane asylum, the poor-house, the penitentiary and the 

Of the people who lived in Oregon during- this 
period. Judge Bennett, in his book entitled "Recol- 
lections of an Old Pioneer." sa}s : 

"Among the men who came to Oregon the year 
I did, some were idle, worthless young men, too 
lazy to work at home and too genteel to steal, while 
.some were gamblers, and others reputed thieves. 
lUit when we arriv^ed in Oregon, thev were com- 
jiellcd to work or starve. It was a bare necessity. 
There was no able relative or indulgent friend 
upon whom the idle cottkl quarter themselves, and 
there was little or nothing for the rogues to steal. 
There was no ready way by which they could escape 
into another country, and they could not conceal 
themselves in Oregon. I never knew so fine a 
])opulation, as a whole community, as I saw in 
Oregon most of the time I was there. They were 
all honest because there was nothing to steal : thev 
were all sober because there was no liquor to drink ; 
there were no misers because there was nothing to 
Iioard ; they were all industrious because it was 
work or starve." 

Such was the general character of the earlv 
pioneer as depicted by men who knew whereof they 
spoke. .Another characteristic strongly apjieals 
to the mind of the historian — his political capabili- 
ties. His environment and isolation from the rest 
of the world compelled him to work out for himself 
many novel and intricate economic ])roblems ; the 
imcertainty as to the ownership of the Oregon ter- 
ritory and the diverse national prejudices and sym- 
pathies of its settlers made the formation of a gov- 
ernment reasonably satisfactory to the whole 
popnlation an exceedingly difficult task. There 
were, however, men in the new ci)mnnmit\- deter- 
mined to make the effort, and the reader will be 
able to judge from what follows how well thev 

.As early as Isii.s some of the fimctimis of gov- 
ernment were exercised by members of the .Metho- 
dist missi<in. Persons were chosen bv that bodv 

to officiate as magistrates and judges, and their 
findings were generally acquiesced in by persons 
independent of the Hudson's Pay Company because 
of the unorganized condition of the community, 
though there was doubtless a strong sentiment 
among the independent settlers in favor of trusting 
to the general morality and disposition to do right 
rather than to any political organization. The most 
important act of the mission officers was the trial 
of T. J. Hubbard for the killing of a man who 
attempted to enter his at night w'ith criminal 
intent. Rev. David Leslie ])resided as judge during 
this noteworthy judicial proceeding, which resulted 
in the ac(|uittal of the defendant on the ground that 
his act was excusable. 

As early as 1.S40 efforts began to be made to 
induce the United States government to extend to 
the people of the Northwest its jurisdiction and 
laws, although to do this was an impossibility ex- 
cept b\- abrogation of the Joint-Occupancy treaty 
of 18v;T and the satisfactor\- settlement of the title — 
all which would require at least a year's time. A 
petition was, nevertheless, drafted, signed b\- David 
Leslie and a number of others and forwarded to 
congress. It was not entirely free from misstate- 
ments and inaccuracies, but is considered, never- 
theless, an able and important state paper. Inas- 
much as the population of (>regon, including 
children, did not exceed two hundred at this time, 
the prayer of the petitioners, it need hardly be said, 
was not granted. Rut it must not be sup])osed 
that the document was therefore without effect. It 
did its part toward opening the eyes of the peo])le of 
the East and of congress to the importance and 
value of Oregon, and toward directing public atten- 
tion to the domain west of the Rockv mmmtains. 

Notwithstanding the ])aucit\- of the white ]Wople 
of ( )regon. the various motives that impelled them 
thither had divided them into four classes — the 
Hudson's Bay Company, the Catholic clergy and 
their following, the Methodist missions and the 
settlers. The Catholics and the company were 
practically a unit politically. The settlers favored 
the missions only in so far as they served the pur- 
pose of helping to settle the country, caring little 
about their religious inllucncc and op])osing their 

The wOuld-be organizers of a govermnent 
found their ojjportunity in the conditions presented 
bv the death of Ewing Young. This audacious 
pioneer left considerable ]in>i)erty and no legal 
representatives, and the (|uestion was, what should 
be done with his belongings? Had he been a 
Hudson's P>ay man or a Catholic, the company or 
the church would have taken care of the pro])crty. 
Had he been a missionary, his coadjutors might 
have administered, but being a plain .American 
citizen, there was no functionary ])ossessed of even 
a colorable right to exercise jurisdiction over his 
estate. In the face of this emergency, the occasion 



of Young's funeral, wliich nccunx-d I'cbruary 1], 
IS I], was seized upon for attempting the organiza- 
tion of some i<in(l of a government. At an im- 
promptu meeting, it was decided that a committee 
should perform the legislative functions and that 
the other officers of the new government should be 
a governor, a supreme judge with probate jurisdic- 
tion, three justices of the peace, three constables, 
three road commissioners, an attorney-general, a 
clerk of the court antl public recorder, a treasurer 
and two overseers of the poor. Nominations were 
made for all these offices, and the meeting adjourned 
until next day, when, it was hoped, a large repre- 
sentation of the citizens of the valley would assem- 
ble at the mission house. 

The time specified saw the various factions in 
full force at the place of meeting. A legislative 
committee was appointed as follows : Revs. F. N. 
lllanchet, Jason Lee, Gustavus Hines and Josiah 
L. Parish ; also Messrs. D. Donpierre, M. Charlevo, 
Robert Moore, E. Lucier and William Johnson. 
No governor was chosen ; the Methodists secured 
the judgeship, and the Catholics the clerk and re- 
corder. Had tlie frientls of the organization been 
more fortunate in their choice of a chairman of the 
legislative committee, the result of the movement 
might have been different, but Rev. Clanchet never 
called a meeting of his committee, a:id the people 
who assembled on June 1st to hear and vote upon 
the proposed laws, found their congregating had 
been in vain. Blanchet resigned ; Dr. ]]ailey w-as 
chosen to fill the vacancy, and the meeting ad- 
journed until October. First, however, it ordered 
the committee to confer with Commodore Wilkes, of 
the American squadron, and John McLoughlin, 
chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, with 
regard to forming a constitution and code of laws. 

Wilkes discouraged the movement, considering 
it umiecessary and impolitic to organize a govern- 
ment at the time. He assigned the following 
reasons : 

"First — On account of their want of right, as 
those wishing for laws were, in fact, a small minor- 
ity of the settlers. 

"Second — That these were not yet necessary, 
even by their own account. 

"Third — That any laws they might establish 
would be but a poor substitute for the moral code 
they all now followed, and that evil-doers would 
not be disposed to settle near a communit\- entirely 
opposed to their practices. 

"Fourth — The great difficulty they would have 
in enforcing any laws and defining the limits over 
which they had control, and the discord this might 
occasion in their small communitv. 

''Fifth — They not being the majority and the 
larger portion of the population Catholics, the latter 
would elect officers of their party, and they would 
thus place themselves entirely under the control of 

"Si.xth — ihe unfavorable impression it would 
prcjduce at home, from the belief that the mission- 
aries had atlmitted that in a community brought to- 
gether b)- themselves, they had not enough of moral 
ft)rce to control it and prevent crime, and therefore 
must have recourse to a criminal code." 

The friends of the movement could not deny 
the cogency of this reasoning, and, it appears, con- 
cluded to let the matter drop. The October meet- 
ing was never held, and thus the first attempt at 
forming a government ended. However, the judge 
elected made a satsfactory disposition of the Young 

Piut the question of forming an independeht 
or provisional government continued to agitate the 
public mind. During the winter of 184-i-3 a 
lyceum was organized at Willamette Falls, now 
Oregon City, at which the propriety of taking steps 
in that direction was warmly debated. On one 
evening the subject for discussion was : "Resolved, 
That it is expedient for the settlers on this coast to 
establish an independent government." McLough- 
lin favored the resolution and it carried. Mr. 
Abernethy, defeated in this debate, skillfully saved 
the day by introducing as the topic of the next dis- 
cussion : "Rcsolz'cd. That if the United States 
extends its jurisdiction over this country within 
four years, it will not be expedient to form an inde- 
pendent government." This resolution was also 
carried after a spirited discussion, destroying the 
effect of the first resolution. 

Meanwhile, the settlers in the vicinity of the 
( )regon Institute were skillfully working out a 
plan whereby a provisional government might be 
formed. They knew the sentiment of their co-ii- 
frcrcs at the Falls, the result of the deliberations 
at that place having been reported to them by Mr. 
Le Breton ; they knew also that their designs would 
meet with opposition from both the Hudson's Bay 
Company and the mission people. The problem 
to be solved was how to accomplish their ends 
without stirring up opposition which would over- 
whelm them at the very outset. Their solution ol 
this problem is a lasting testimony to their astute- 
ness and finesse. 

As a result of the formation of the Willamette 
Cattle Company and its success in importing stock 
from California, almost every settler was the owner 
of at least a few head, and, of course, the Hudson's 
l'>ay Company and the missions also had their herds. 
The fact that wolves, bears and panthers were 
destructive to the cattle of all alike furnished one 
bond of common interest uniting the diverse popu- 
lation of Oregon, and this conference furnished 
the conspirators their opportunity. Their idea was 
that having got an object before the people on 
which all could unite, they might advance from the 
ostensible object, protection for domestic animals, 
to the more important, though hidden object, "pres- 
ervation for both property and person." The 



"wolf meeting," as it is called, convened on the 2d 
of Februarv, 184;?, and was fully attended. It was 
feared that Dr. I. L. Babcock, the chairman, might 
suspect the main object, but in this instance he 
was less astute than some others. The utmost 
harmon\- prevailed. It was moved that a com- 
mittee of six should be appointed by the chair to 
devise a plan and report at a future meeting, to 
convene, it was decided, on the first Monday in 
March next at ten o'clock a. m. 

After the meeting pursuant to adjournment had 
completed its business by organizing a campaign 
against wolves, bears and panthers, and adopting 
rules and regulations for the government of all in 
their united warfare upon pests, one gentleman 
arose and addressed the assembly, complimenting it 
upon the justice and propriety of the action taken 
for the protection of domestic animals, but "How is 
it, fellow-citizens," said he, "with you and me and 
our children and wives ? Have we any organization 
upon which we can rely for mutual ])rotection? Is 
tiiere any power or influence in the country suffi- 
cient to protect us and all we hold dear on earth 
from the worse than wild beasts that threaten and 
occasionally destroy our cattle? Who in our midst 
is authorized at this moment to protect our own and 
the lives of our families ? True, the alarm may be 
given as in a recent case, and we may run who feel 
alarmed, and shoot off our guns, while our enemy 
may be robbing our property, ravishing our wives 
and burning the houses over our defenseless fami- 
lies. Common sense, prudence and justice to our- 
selves demand that we act in consistency with the 
principles we commenced. We have mutually and 
unitedly agreed to defend and protect our cattle and 
domestic animals ; now. fellow-citizens. I submit 
and move the adoption of the two following resolu- 
tions, that we may have protection for our persons 
and lives, as well as our cattle and herds : 

" 'Resolved, That a committee be appointed to 
take into consideration the propriety of taking 
measures for the civil and military protection of 
this colony. 

" 'Resolved, That said committee consist of 
twelve persons.' " 

If an oratorical effort is to be judged bv the 
effect produced upon the audience, this one deserves 
place among the world's masterpieces. The reso- 
lutions carried unanimously. The committee 
appointed consisted of I. L. Babcock, Elijah White. 
James A. O'Xeil. Robert Shortcss, Robert Xewell, 
Etienne Lucier, Josej^h Gcrvais, Thomas Hubbard, 
C. McRoy. W. H. Cray. Sidnev .'^niith and ( loorge 
day. Its first meeting was held before a month had 
elapsed, the place being Willamette Falls. Jason and George .\bernethy appeared and argued 
vehemently against the movement as i)remature. 
W hen the office of governor was stricken from the 
list, the committee unanimously decided to call 
another meeting for the ensuing "id of May. W. 1 1. 

(iray, in his history ol Oregon, describes this de- 
cisive occasion thus ; 

"The 2d of May, the day tixed by the committee 
of twelve to organize a settlers' government, was 
close at hand. The Indians had all learned that the 
"Bostons' were going to have a big meeting, and 
thev also knew that the luiglish and I'rench were 
going to meet with them to oppose what the "Bos- 
tons' were .gtiing to do. The Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany had drilled and trained their voters for the 
occasion, under the Rev. F. N. Blanchet and his 
priests, and they were promptly on the ground in 
an open field near a small house, and, to the amuse- 
ment of every American present, trained to vote 
'No' to every motion put ; nt) matter if to carry their 
point they should have voted 'Ves,' it was 'No.' 
Le Breton had informed the committee, and the 
Americans generally, that this would be the course 
pursued, according to instructions, hence our mo- 
tions were made to test their knowledge of what 
they were doing, and we found just what we ex- 
pected was the case. The priest was not prepared 
for our manner of njeeting him, and, as the record 
shows, "considerable confusion was existing in 
consequence.' By this time we had counted votes. 
Says Le Breton, "We can risk it ; let us divide and 
count.' T second the motion,' says Gray. 'Who's 
for a divide ?' sang out old Joe Meek, as he stepped 
out. "All for the report of the committee and an 
organization, follow me.' This was so sudden and 
unexpected that the priest and his voters did not 
know what to do, but every American was soon in 
line. Le Breton and Gray passed the line and 
counted fifty-two Americans and but fifty French 
and Hudson's Bay men. They announced the count 
— 'Fifty-two for and fifty against.' "Three cheers 
for our side !' sang out old Joe Meek. Not one of 
those old veteran mountain voices was lacking in 
that shout for liberty. They were given with a will 
and in a few seconds the chairman. Judge I. L. 
Babcock, called the meeting to order, and the priest 
and his band slunk away into the corners of the 
fences and in a short time mounted their horses 
and left." 

After the withdrawal of the oi)ponents of this 
measure, the meeting became hamionious, of 
course. Its minutes show that A. E. Wilson was 
chosen supreme judge;G. W. Le Breton, clerk of the 
court and recorder; J. L. Meek, sheriff; W. H. 
Willson, treasurer; Messrs. Hill, Shortess, Newell, 
Beers, Hubbard, Gray, O'Neil, Moore and Dough- 
erty, legislative committee ; and that constables, a 
major and captains were also chosen. The salary of 
the legislative committee was fixed at $1.'25 per diem 
each member, and it was instructed to i>repare a code 
of laws to be submitted to the people at Champoeg 
on the -"jth day of July. 

On the day preceding this date, the anniversary 
of .Vmerica's birth was duly celebrated. Rev. Gus- 
tavus nines delivering the oration. Quite a number 



who had uppdsc'tl organization at tlic pi-evions meet- 
ing were present on the ")tli and announced their 
determination to acquiesce in tiie action of the 
majority and to yield ohe<hence to any government 
which niiglit he formed, hut representatives of the 
Hudson's ]'>ay J^'ompany even went so far in their 
opposition as to address a letter to the leaders of the 
movement asserting their ability to defend both 
themselves and their political rights. 

A review of the "Organic laws" adopted at this 
nieeting would be interesting, but such is beyond the 
scope of our volume. Suffice it to say that they were 
so liberal and just, so complete and comprehensive, 
that it has been a source of surprise to students 
ever since that untrained mountaineers and settlers, 
without experience in legislative halls, could con- 
ceive a system so well adapted to the needs and 
conditions of the country. The preamble runs: 
"We, the people of Oregon territory, for the pur- 
poses of mutual protection, and to secure peace and 
prosperity among ourselves, agree to adopt the fol- 
lowing laws and regulations until such time as the 
United States of America extend their jurisdiction 
over us." The two weaknesses, which were soonest 
felt, were the result of the opposition to the creation 
of the office of governor and to the levying of taxes. 
The former difficulty was overcome by substituting. 
in 1844, a gubernatorial executive for the triumvi- 
rate which had theretofore discharged the executive 

functions, and the latter by raising the necessary 
funds by popular subscription. In 1844, also, a 
legislature was substituted for the legislative com- 

Inasmuch as the first election resulted favorably 
to some who owed allegiance to the Ilritish govern- 
ment as well as to others who were citizens of the 
L'nited States, the oath of office was indited as 
follows: "I do solemnly swear that I will support 
the organic laws of the provisional government of 
Oregon, so far as the said organic laws are con- 
sistent 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." 

Xotwitlistanding the opposition to the pro- 
visional government, the diverse peoples over whom 
it exercised authority, and the weaknesses in it 
resulting from the spirit of compromise of its 
authors, it continued to exist and discharge all the 
necessary functions of sovereignty until, on Au- 
gust 14, 1848, in answer to the numerous memorials 
and petitions, and the urgent appeals of Messrs. 
Thornton and Meek, congress at last decided to 
give to Oregon a territorial form of government 
with all the rights and privileges usually accorded 
to territories of the United States. Joseph Lane, 
of Indiana, whose subsequent career presents so 
manv brilliant and so many sad chapters, was 
appointed territorial governor. 



The reader is now in possession of such facts 
as will enable him to approach intelligently the 
contemplation of the great diplomatic war of the 
century, the Oregon controversy. It may be safely 
asserted th'at never before in the history of nations 
did diplomacy triumph over such wide differences 
of opinion and sentiment and effect a peaceable 
adjustment of such divergent international interests. 
Twice actual conflict of arms seemed imminent, 
but the spirit of compromise and mutual forbear- 
ance ultimately won, a fact which shows that the 
leaven of civilization was working on both sides of 
the Atlantic, and gives reason to hope that the dav 
when the swords of the nations shall be beaten into 
plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks 
may not be as far in the future as some suppose. 

We need not attempt to trace all the conflicting 
claims which were at any time set up by different 
nations to parts or the whole of the old Oregon 
territory, nor to go into the controversy in all its 
multiform complications, but will confine our inquiry 
mainly to the negotiations after Great Britain and 
the L'nited States became the sole claimants. France 
earlv established some right to what was denom- 
inated "the western part of Louisiana," which, in 
17(i'?, she conveyed to Spain. This was retroceded 
to PVance some thirty-eight years later, and in 1803 
was bv that nation conveyed witii the rest of 
Louisiana to the United States. So France was left 
out of the contest. In 1819, by the treaty of Florida, 
Spain ceded to the United States all right and title 
whatsoever which she might have to the terri- 



tory on the Pacific, north of the forty-second 

What then were the claims of the L'nited States 
to this vast domain ? Naturally, they were of a 
three-fold character. Our government claimed first 
in its own rijjht. The Columbia river was discovered 
by a citizen of the United States and named by him. 
The river had been subsequently explored from its 
sources to its mouth by a government expedition 
under Lewis and Clark. This had been followed 
and its effects strengthened by American settlements 
upon the banks of the river. While Astoria, the 
American settlement, had been captured in the war 
of 1813-1."), it had been restored in accordance with 
the treaty of Ghent, one provision of which was 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."' 

It was a well established and universally recog- 
nized principle of international law that the dis- 
covery of a river followed within a reasonable 
time by acts of occupancy, conveyed the right to 
the territory drained by the river and its tributary 
streams. This, it was contended, would make the 
territory between forty-two degrees and fifty-one 
degrees north latitude the rightful possession of 
the l'nited States. 

The Americans claimed secondly as the suc- 
cessors of France. By the treaty of Utrecht, the 
date whereof was 1T13, the north line of the 
Louisiana territory was established as a dividing 
line between the Hudson's bay territory and the 
French provinces in Canada. For centuries it had 
been a recognized principle of international law 
that "continuity" was a strong element of territorial 
claim. .Ml European powers, when colonizing the 
Atlantic seaboard, construed their colonial grants 
to extend, whether expressly so stated or otherwise, 
entirely across the continent to the Pacific ocean, 
and most of these grants conveyed in express terms 
a strip of territory bounded north and south by 
stated parallels of latitude, and east and west by the 
oceans. Great Jlritain herself had stoutly maintained 
this principle, even going so far as to wage with 
France for its integrity the war which was ended by 
the treaty of 1763. By that England acquired Can- 
ada and renounced to France all territorv west of 
die Mississiii])i river. It was therefore contended 
on the part of the L'nited States that England's 
claim by continuity passed to France and from 
France by assignment to this nation. This claim, 
of course, was subject to any rights which might 
jirove to belong to Spain. 

Thirdly, the L'nited States claimed as the suc- 
cessor of Spain all the rights which that nation 
might have acquired by prior discovery or other- 
wise having accrued to the L^nited States by the 
treaty of Morida. 

In the negotiations between Great Britain and 

the L^nited States which terminated in the Joint- 
Occupancy treaty of 1818, the latter nation pressed 
the former for a final quit-claim to all territory 
west of the Rocky mountains. In so doing it 
asserted its intention "to be without reference or 
prejudice to the claims of any other power," but it 
was contended on the part of the American nego- 
tiators, Gallatin and Rush, that the discovery of 
the Columbia by Gray, its exploration by Lewis 
and Clark, and the American settlement at Astoria, 
rendered the claim of the L^nitcd States "at least 
good against Great Britain to the country through 
which such river flowed, though they did not 
assert that the L'nited States had a perfect right 
to the country." 

When, however, the United 'States succeeded 
to Spain, it was thought that all clouds upon its title 
were completely dispelled, and thereafter it was the 
contention of this government that its right to sole 
occupancy was perfect and indisputable. Great 
Britain, however, did not claim that her title 
amounted to one of sovereignty or exclusive pos- 
session, but simply that it was at least as good as 
any other. Her theory was that she had a right of 
occupancy in conjunction with other claimants, 
which by settlement and otherwise might be so 
strengthened in a part or the whole of the territory 
as ultimately to secure for her the right to be 
clothed with sovereignty. 

In the discussion of the issue, the earliest explo- 
rations had to be largely left out of the case, as they 
were attended with too much vagueness and un- 
certainty to bear any great weight. The second 
epoch of exploration was, therefore, lifted to a 
position of prominence it could not otherwise have 
enjoyed. Perez and Heceta, for the Spaniards, the 
former in 1774, the latter a year later, had explored 
the northwest coast to the fifty-fifth parallel and 
beyond, Heceta discovering the mouth of the Col- 
umbia river. To offset whatever rights might accrue 
from these explorations, England had only the more 
thorough but less extensive survey of Captain James 
Cook, made in 1778. The advantage in point of 
prior discovery would, therefore, seem to be with 
the United States as assignee of Spain. 

After the Joint-Occupancy treaty in 1818 had 
been signed, negotiations on the subject were not 
reopened until 1S2L In that \ear, obedient to the 
masterly instructions addressed to him on July 23, 
IS-.';!, by John Ouincy Adams, secretary of state, 
Richard Rush, minister to England, entered into 
negotiations with the British ministers. Canning and 
Huskisson, for the adjustment of the boundary. 
Mr. Rush was instructed to offer the forty-ninth 
parallel to the sea, "should it be earnestly insisted 
upon by Great Britain." He endeavored with great 
persistency to fulfill his mission, but his propositions 
were rejected. The British negotiators offered the 
forty-ninth parallel to the Columbia, then the middle 
of tiiat river to the sea, w'ith perpetual right to both 



nations of navigating the harbor at the month of 
the river. This proposal Mr. Rush rejected, so 
nothing was accomphshed. By treaty conchided in 
February, 1835, an agreement was entered into 
between Great Britain and Russia, whereby the hue 
of fifty-four degrees, forty minutes, was fixed as the 
boundary between the territorial claims of the two 
nations, a fact which explains the cry of "Fifty- 
four, forty or fight" that in later days became the 
slogan of the Democratic party. 

In 1S2G-7 another attempt was made to settle 
the question at issue between Great Britain and the 
United States. Albert Gallatin then represented 
this country, receiving his instructions from Henry 
Clay, secretary of state, who said: "It is not 
thought necessary to add much to the argument 
advanced on this point in the instructions given to 
Mr. Rush and that which was employed by him in 
the course of the negotiations to support our title 
as derived from prior discovery and settlement at 
the mouth of the Columbia river, and from the 
treaty which Spain concluded on the 22d of Feb- 
ruary, 181i). That argument is believed to have 
conclusively established our title on both grounds. 
Nor is it conceived that Cireat Britain has or can 
make out even a colorless title to any portion of the 
northern coast." Referring to the ofifer of the fortj'- 
ninth parallel in a despatch dated February 24, 1827, 
Mr. Clay said : "It is conceived in a genuine spirit 
of concession and conciliation, and it is our ulti- 
matum and you may so amiounce it." In order to 
save the case of his country from being prejudiced 
in future negotiations by the liberalitv of offers 
made and rejected, Mr. Clay instructed Gallatin to 
declare "that the American government does not 
hold itself bound hereafter, in consequence of any 
proposal which it has heretofore made, to agree to 
a line which has been so proposed and rejected, but 
will consider itself at liberty to contend for the full 
measure of our just claims: which declaration you 
nnist have recorded in the protocol of one of your 
conferences : and to give it more weight, liaz'c it 
stated that it has been done by the express direction 
of the president." 

Mr. Gallatin sustained the claim of the United 
States in tliis negotiation so powerfully that the 
British plenipotentiaries, Huskisson, Grant and 
Addington, were forced to the position that Great 
Britain did not assert any title to the country. They 
contented themselves with the contention that her 
claim was sufficiently well founded to give her the 
right to occupy the country in conunon with other 
nations, such concessions having been made to her 
by the Nootka treaty. The British negotiators com- 
plained of the recommendation of President Monroe 
in his message of December 7. 1824, to establish a 
military post at the month of the Columbia river, 
and of the passage of a bill in the house providing 
for the occupancy of the Oregon river. To this the 
American replied by calling attention to the act of 

the British parliament of 1821, entitled "An act for 
regulating the fur trade and establishing a criminal 
and civil jurisdiction in certain parts of North 
America." He contended with great ability and 
force that the recommendation and bill complained 
of did not interfere with the treaty of 1818 and that 
neither a territorial government nor a fort at the 
mouth of the river could be rightly complained of 
by a government which had granted such wide 
privileges and comprehensive powers to the Hud- 
son's Bay Company. 

Before the conclusion of these negotiations. Mr. 
( jallatin had offered not alone the forty-ninth par- 
allel, but that "the navigation of the Columbia river 
shall be perpetually free to subjects of Great Britain 
in common with citizens of the United States, 
jjrovided that the said line should strike the north- 
easternmost or any other branch of that river at a 
point at which it was navigable for boats." The 
British, on their part, again offered the Columbia 
river, together with a large tract of land between 
Admiralty inlet and the coast, protesting that this 
concession was made in the spirit of sacrifice for 
conciliation and not as one of right. The proposition 
was rejected and the negotiations ended in the treatv 
of August 6, 1827, which continued the Joint- 
Occupancy treaty of 1818 indefinitely, with the pro- 
viso that it might be abrogated by either party on 
giving the other a year's notice. 

"There can be no doubt," says Evans, "that, 
during the continuance of these two treaties, British 
foothold was strengthened and the difficulty of the 
adjustment of boundaries materiall\- enhanced. Nor 
does this reflect in the slightest degree upon those 
great publicists who managed the claim of the 
United States in those negotiations. Matchless 
ability and earnest patriotism, firm defense of the 
United States' claim, and withal a disposition to 
compromise to avoid rupture with any other nation, 
mark these negotiations in everv line. The language 
and intention of these treaties are clear and unmis- 
takable. Neither government was to attempt any 
act in derogation of the other's claim ; nor could any 
advantage inure to either ; during their continuance 
the territory should be free and open to citizens and 
subjects of both nations. Such is their plain purport.' 
sucli the only construction which their language will 
warrant. Yet it cannot be controverted that the 
United States had thereby precluded itself from the 
sole enjoyment of the territory which it claimed in 
sovereignty ; nor that Great Britain acquired a 
peaceable, recognized and uninterrupted tenancv-in- 
common in regions where her title was so imperfect 
that she herself admitted that she could not success- 
fully maintain, nor did she even assert it. She could 
well afford to wait. Hers was indeed the policy 
later in the controversy styled masterly inactivity : 
'Leave the title in abeyance, the settlement of the 
country will ultimately settle the sovereignty.' In 
no event could her colorless title lose color ; while 



an immediate adjustment of the boundary would 
have abridged the area of territory in which, through 
her subjects, she already exercised exclusive posses- 
sion, and had secured the entire enjoyment of its 
wealth and resources. The Hudson's Day Company, 
hv virtue of its license of trade excluding all ollur 
liritish subjects from the territory, was Great 
Britain's trustee in possession — an empire company, 
omnipotent to supplant enterprises projected by 
citizens of the United States. Indeed, the territory 
had been appropriated by a wealthv. all-powerful 
monopoly, with whom it was ruinous to attempt to 
compete. Such is a true exhibit of the then con- 
dition of Oregon, produced by causes extrinsic to 
the treaty, which the United' States government 
could neither counteract nor avoid. TJie United 
States had saved the right for its citizens to enter 
the territory, had protested likewise that no act or 
omission on the part of the government or its 
citizens, or anv act of commission or omission by 
the British government or her subjects during such 
Joint-Occupancy treaties, should affect in any way 
the United States' claim to the territory. 

"The treaties of 181S and lH->] have ])assed into 
history as conventions for joint occupancy. Prac- 
tically they operated as i^rants of possession to Great 
Britain, or rather to her representative, the Hudson's 
Bay Company, who, after the merger with the 
Northwest Company, had become sole occupant of 
the territory. The situation may be briefly summed 
up : The United States claimed title to the territory. 
Great Britain, through its empire-trailing company, 
occupied it — enjoyed all the wealth and resources 
derivable from it." 

But while joint occupation was in reality non- 
occupation bv any but the British, it must not be 
supposed that the case of the United States was 
allowed to go entirely by default during the regime 
of the so-called joint occupancy. In congress the 
advisabilitv of occu]5ying Oregon was frequently 
and vehemently discussed. Ignorance and miscon- 
ception with regard to the real nature of Oregon, 
its climate, soil, products and healthfnlncss, were 
being dispelled. The representations of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company that it was a "miasmatic wilder- 
ness, uninhabitable except by wild beasts and more 
savage men." were being found to be false. In 
1821 Dr. John F"loyd, a representative in congress 
from Virginia, and Senator Thomas H. Benton, 
of Missouri, had interviews at Washington with 
Ramsey Crooks and Russell Farnham, who had 
belonged to .Xstor's party. I'^rom these gentlemen 
they learned something of the value of C)regon, its 
features of interest, and its commercial and strategic 
importance. This information Dr. Floyd made 
public in 1822, in a speech in sup])ort of a bill "to 
authorize the occupation of the Columbia river, and 
to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indians 
therein." On December 20, 1823, a committee was 

appointed to inquire as to the wisdom of occupying 
the mouth of the Columbia, and the committee's 
report, submitted on April 15th of the following 
year, embodied a communication from General 
Thomas S. Jesup, which asserted that the military 
ncc ii)ancy of the Columbia was a necessity for pro- 
tecting trade and securing the frontier. It recom- 
mendetl the despatch of a force of two hundred 
men across the continent to establish a fort at the 
mouth of the Columbia river ; that at the same time 
two vessels with arms, ordnance and supplies be 
sent thither by sea. He further proposed the estab- 
lishment of a line of posts across the continent to 
afford protection to our traders ; and on the expir- 
ation of the privilege granted to British subjects to 
trade on the waters of the Coluiubia, to enable us to 
remove them from our territory, and secure the 
whole to our citizens. Those posts would also assure 
the preservation of peace among the Indians in the 
event of a foreign war and command their neutrality 
or assistance as we might think advisable. The letter 
exposed Great Britain's reasons for her policy of 
masterly inactivity, and urged that some action be 
taken by the United States to balance or offset the 
accretion of British title and for preserving and 
protecting its own. "History," says Evans, "will 
generously award credit to the sagacious Jesup for 
indicating in 1823 the unerring way to preserve the 
American title to Oregon territory. Nor will it fail 
to commend the earnest devotion of that little 
Oregon party in congress for placing on record why 
the government should assert exclusive jurisdiction 
within its own territor}." In the next congress the 
subject was again discussed with energy and ability. 
In 1831 formal negotiations with Great Britain were 

All this discussion had a tendency to dispel the 
idea, promulgated as we have seen by the Hudson's 
Bay Company, that the territory was worthless and 
uninhabitable, also to excite interest in the mystic 
region beyond the mountains. 

The United States claimed theoretically that it 
was the possessor of a vested right to absolute 
sovereignty over the entire Oregon territory, and 
in all the negotiations after the signing of the treaty 
of Florida, its ambassadors claimed that the title 
of their countrv was clearly established. The fact, 
however, that joint occupancy was agreed to at all 
after 1828 could hardly be construed in any other 
light than as a confession of weakness in our title, 
notwithstanding the unequivocal stipulations that 
neither partv should attempt anything in derogation 
of the other's claims, and that the controversy .should 
be detenuined upon its merits as they existed prior 
to 1818. If the United States came into possession 
of an ab.solute title in ISIK, why should it afterward 
permit occu|)ation by British subjects and the en- 
forcement of British law in its domain? 

The United States' title, as before stated, rested 
upon three foundation stones — its own discoveries 



and explorations, the discoveries and explorations 
of the Spaniards, and the purchase of Louisiana. 
^\'hile it was not contended that any of these con- 
veyed exclusive right, the position of our country 
was that each supplemented the other; that, thougli 
while vested in different nations they were antag- 
onistic, when held b\ the same nation, they, taken 
together, amounted to a complete title. The title 
was therefore cumulative in its nature and had in it 
the weakness which is inherent under such con- 
ditions. It was impossible to determine with definite- 
ness how many partial titles, the value of each being 
a matter of uncertainty, would cunnilativel)- amount 
to one complete title. And however clear the right 
of the United States might seem to its own states- 
men, it is evident that conviction must be pro- 
duced in the minds of the British also if war was to 
be avoided. 

These facts early came to be appreciated by a 
clear-visioned, well-informed and determined little 
band in congress. The debates in that body, as well 
as numerous publications sent out among the people, 
stimulated a few daring spirits to brave the dangers 
of Rocky mountain travel and to see for themselves 
the truth with regard to Oregon. Reports from 
these reacted upon congress, enabling it to reason 
and judge from premises more nearly in accordance 
with facts. Gradually interest in Oregon became 
intensified and the determination to hold it for the 
United States deepened. While the country never 
receded from its conviction of the existence of 
an absolute right of sovereignty in itself, the 
people resolved to establish a title which even the 
British could not question, to win Oregon from 
Great Britain even in accordance with the tenets of 
her own theory. They determined to settle and 
Americanize the territory. In 183-1, and again in 
183G, an element of civilization was introduced of a 
vastly higher nature than any which accompanied 
the inroads of the Hudson's Bay Company em- 
ployees and of trap])ers and traders. We refer to 
the American missionaries spoken of in former 
chapters. The part which these had in stimulating 
this resolution of the American people has been 
and will be sufficiently treated elsewhere. The 
results of Whitman's midwinter ride and labors and 
of the numerous other forces at work among the 
people v^'ere crystallized into action in 1843, when 
a great, swelling tide of humanity, pulsating with 
the restless energy and native daring so character- 
istic of the .American, pushed across the desert plains 
of the continent, through the fastnesses of the Rocky 
mountains, and into the heart of the disputed terri- 
tory. Other immigrations followed, and there was 
introduced into the Oregon question a new feature, 
the vital force and import of which could not be 
denied by the adverse claimant. At the same time 
the American government was placed under an 
increased obligation to maintain its right to the 
vallev of the Columbia. 

But we must return now to the diplomatic history 
of the controversy, resuming the same with the 
negotiations of 1831. Martin \'an Ihiren was then 
minister at London. He received instructions rela- 
tive to the controversy from I-ldward Livingston, 
secretary of state, the tenor of which indicated that 
the L^nited States was not averse to the presence of 
the British in the territory. While they asserted 
confidence in the American title to the entire Oregon 
territory, they said : "This subject, then, is open 
for discussion, and, until the rights of the parties 
can be settled by negotiations, ours can suffer 
nothing by delay." Under these rather lukewarm 
instructions, naturally nothing was accomplished. 

In 184-2 efforts to adjust the boundary west of 
the Rocky mountains were again resumed, this time 
on motion of Great Britain. That power requested 
on October ISth of the year mentioned that the 
United States minister at London should be 
furnished with instructions and authority to renew 
negotiations, giving assurance of its willingness to 
proceed to the consideration of the boundary subject 
"in a perfect spirit of fairness, and to adjust it on 
a basis of equitable compronjise." On November 
■^")th Daniel Webster, then secretary of state, replied 
"that the president concurred entirely in the expe- 
diency of making the question respecting the Oregon 
territory a subject of immediate attention and 
negotiation between the two governments. He had 
already formed the purpose of expressing this 
opinion in his message to congress, and. at no distant 
day, a communication will be made to the minister 
of the L^nited States in London.'' 

Negotiations were not, however, renewed until 
October, 1843, when Secretary Upshur sent instruc- 
tions to Edward Everett, American minister to Lon- 
don, again offering the forty-ninth parallel, together 
with the right of navigating the Columbia river upon 
equitable terms. In February of the ensuing year, 
Hon. Richard Packenham, British plenipotentiary, 
came to the American capital with instructions to 
negotiate concerning the Oregon territory. No 
sooner had the discussion fairly begun than a melan- 
choly event happened, Secretary Upshur being killed 
on the L'uited States vessel Princeton by the explo- 
sion of a gun. A few months later his successor, 
John C. Calhoun, continued the negotiations. The 
arguments were in a large measure a repetition of 
those already advanced, but a greater aggressiveness 
on the part of the British and persistency in deny- 
ing the claims of the United States were noticeable. 
As in former negotiations, the privilege accorded by 
the Nootka convention was greatly relied upon by 
Great Britain, as proving that no absolute title was 
retained by Spain after the signing of the treaty, 
hence none could be assigned. One striking state- 
ment in Lord Packenham "s correspondence was to 
the eft'ect that "he did not feel authorized to enter 
into discussion res])ecting the territory north of the 
fort\-ninth parallel of latitude, which was under- 



stood by the British governmeiit to form the basis 
of iiefjotiations on the side of the United States, as 
the hue of the Cohimbia formed that of Great 
Britain." He thus showed all too plainly the animus 
of his government to take advantage of the spirit 
of compromise which prompted the offer of that line 
and to construe such offer as an abandonment of 
the United States' claim to an absolute title to all 
the Oregon territory. It is hard to harmonize her 
action in this matter with the "perfect spirit of 
fairness" professed in the note of Lord Aberdeen 
to Mr. Webster asking for a renewal of negotiations. 
No agreement w-as reached. 

During the sessions of congress of lS4.'5-4 
memorials, resolutions and petitions from all parts 
of the union came in in a perfect flood. The peojjle 
were thoroughly aroused. In the presidential elec- 
tion which occurred at that time the ( )regon question 
was a leading issue. "Fifty-four, forty or fight" 
became the rallying cry of the Democratic party. 
The platform framed in the Democratic national 
convention declared : "Our title to the whole of 
Oregon is clear and unquestionable. No portion of 
the same ought to be ceded to England or any other 
power ; and the reoccupation of Oregon at the 
earliest practical period is a great .\merican 
measure." The position of the \\ hig party was 
milder and less arrogant, but equally emphatic in its 
assertion of belief in the validity of the United 
States' title. The fact that the Democrats carried 
in the election, desj^ite the warlike tone of their 
platform and campaign, is conclusive evidence that 
the people were determined to hold their territory 
on the Pacific coast regardless of cost. "Never was 
a government more signally advised by the voice 
of a miitcd peo]jle. The popular pulse had been felt, 
and it beat strongly in favor of prompt and dccisi\'e 
measures to secure the immediate reoccu])ation of 
Oregon. It e(|uall)- ]jroclaimed that "no pDrtion 
thereof ought to be ceded to Great Britain.' " In 
January, 1845, Sir Richard Packenham. the British 
minister, proposed that the matter in dis])ute he left 
to arbitration, which proposal was respectfully 
declined. So the administration of President Tyler 
terminated without adjustment of the Oregon 

Notwithstanding the une(|uivocal voice of the 
people in demand of the whole of Oregon, James 
I'ucJianan, secretary of state under President I'olk, 
in a communication to Sir Richard Packenham, 
dated July 1?. IS^."), again oft'ered the forty-ninth 
parallel, ex])Iaining at the same time liiat he could 
not have consented to do so had lie ni>t found him- 
self embarrassed, if not committed, by the acts of 
his predecessors. Packenham rejected the offer. 
r>uciianan informed him that he was "instructed by 
the president to say that he owes it to his country, 
and a just appreciation of her title to the Oregon 
territory, to witlidraw the ])ro])osition to the British 
government which has been made under liis direc- 

tion : and it is hereby accordingly withdrawn." This 
formal withdrawal of the previous offers of compro- 
mise on the forty-ninth parallel, justified as it was 
by (jreat Britain's repeated rejections, left the Polk 
administration free and untrammeled. Appearances 
indicated that it was now ready to give execution 
to the jjopular verdict of 18-14. The message of the 
])resi(lent recommended that the year's notice, 
required b_\- the treaty of IS-.'T, be immediately given, 
that measures be adopted for maintaining the rights 
of the United States to the whole of Oregon, and 
that such legislation be enacted as would afford 
securitv and protection to American settlers. 

In harmony with these recommendations, a reso- 
lution was adopted April 37, 1S4((, authorizing the 
president "at his discretion to give to the govern- 
ment of Great Britain the notice re(|uired by the 
second article of the said convention of the Gth of 
August, 1827, for the abrogation of the same." 

Acting in accordance with the resolution, Pres- 
ident Polk the next day sent notice of the detennina- 
tion of the United States "that, at the end of twelve 
months from and after the delivery of these presents 
l)y the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipoten- 
tiary of the United States at l.ontlon, to her Britan- 
nic Majesty, or to her Majesty's principal secretary 
of state for foreign affairs, the said convention shall 
be entirely annulled and abrogated." 

On the -i'ith of December, 184."), Sir Richard 
Packenham had submitted another proposal to 
arbitrate the matter at issue between the two gov- 
ernments. The proposal was declined on the ground 
that to submit the proposition in the form stated 
would jjreclude the l.'nited States from making a 
claim to the whole of the territory. On January 
17th of the following year, a modified proposal was 
made to refer "the question of title in either govern- 
ment to the whole territory to be decided : and if 
neither were found to j^ossess a conqilete title to the 
whole, it was to be divided between them accord- 
ing to a just appreciation of the claims of each.'' 
The answer of Mr. Buchanan was clear and its 
language calculated to preclude any more arbitration 
pro]x)sals. He said: "If the government should 
consent to an arbitration u])on such terms, this would 
be construed into an intimation, if not a direct invi- 
tation to the arbitrator to divide the territory 
between the two parties. Were it ])ossible for this 
government, under any circumstances, to refer the 
c|uestion to arbitration, the title and the title alone, 
detached from every other consideration, ought to 
be the onlv question submitted. The title of the 
United States, which the jiresident regards clear and 
un(|uestionable. can never be jilaced in jeojjanly by 
referring it to the decision of any individual, whether 
sovereign, citizen or subject. Nor does he believe 
the territorial rights of this nation are a proper 
subject of arbitration." 

But the Piritish government seems now to have 
become determined that the (juestion should be 



settled without further delay. The rejected arbi- 
tration proposal was followed on the Gth day of 
June, 1846, by a draft of a ]iroposed treaty sub- 
mitted by Sir Richard Packcnliani to Secretary of 
State Buchanan. The provisions of this were to the 
effect that the boundary should be continued along 
the forty-ninth parallel "to the niidflle of the channel 
which separates the continent from \'ancouver 
island : and thence southerly through the middle of 
said channel and of Fuca's strait to the Pacific 
ocean."' It stipulated that the navigation of the 
Columbia river .should remain free and open to the 
Hudson's Bay Company and to all British subjects 
trading with the same ; that the possessory right of 
tliat company and of all British subjects south of 
the forty-ninth parallel should be respected, and that 
"the farms, lands and other properties of every 
description belonging to the Puget Sound .Agricul- 
tural Company shall be confirmed to said company. 
In case, however, the situation of these farms and 
lands should be considered by the United States to 
be of public importance, and the United States gov- 
ernment should signify a desire to obtain possession 
of the whole, or any part thereof, the property so 
required shall be transferred to the said government 
at a proper valuation, to be agreed upon between the 

Upon receipt of the important communication 
embodying this draft, the president asked in advance 
the advice of the senate, a very unusual, though not 
an unprecedented procedure. Though the request 
of the president was dated June 10th, and the con- 
sideration of the resolution to accept the British 
proposal was not begun until June 12th, on June 
l.'5th it was "resolved (two-thirds of the senators 
present consenting), that the president of the United 
States be, and is hereby, advised to accept the pro- 
posal of the British government, accompanying his 
message to the senate, dated June 10, 1S4(). for a 
convention to settle the boundaries, etc., between the 
United States and Great Britain, west of the Rocky 
or Stony mountains." The advise was, however, 
"given under the conviction that, by the true con- 
struction of the second article of the project, the 
rights of the Hudson's Bay Companv to navigate 
the Columbia would e.xpire with the termination of 
their present license of trade with the Indians, etc., 
on the northwest coast of America, on the :>Oth dav 
of May, 18r)9." 

The wonderful alacrity with which this advice 
was given and with wnich five degrees, forty 
minutes of territory were surrendered to Great 
Britain, is accounted for by some historians (and 
no doubt they are correct) bv supposing that the 
"cession"' w-as made in the interests of slavery. The 
friends of that institution were unwilling to risk a 
war with Great Britain which would interfere with 
the war with Mexico and the annexation of Texas. 
Their plan was to acquire as much territory from 
which slave states could be formed as possible, and 

they were not overscrupulous about sacrificing terri- 
tory which must ultimately devel(>i) into free states. 
]'>ut for unfortunate diplomacy, "it is quite jirobable 
that British Columbia would be to-day, what many 
would deem desirable in view of its growing 
importance, a part of the United States." 

Xotwithstanding the great sacrifice made by the 
I'nited States for the sake of peace, it was not long 
until war clouds were again darkening our national 
skies. The determining of the line after it reached 
the Pacific ocean soon became a matter of dispute. 
Hardly had the ratifications been exchanged when 
Captain Prevost, for the British government, set 
up the claim that Rosario was the channel intended 
in the treaty. The claim was, of course, denied by 
Mr. Campbell, who was representing the United 
States in making the survey line. It was contended 
by him that the Canal de Haro was the channel 
mentioned in the treaty. Lord Russell, conscious 
no doubt of the weakness of his case, proposed as 
a compromise President's channel, between Rosario 
and De Haro straits. The generosity of this proposal 
is obvious when we remember that the San Juan 
islands, the principal bone of contention, would be 
on the British side of this line. Indeed, Lord Lyons, 
the British diplomatic representative in the L^ited 
States, was e.xpresslv instructed that no line should 
be accepted which did not give San Juan to the 
British. The position of the United States was 
stated by Secretary of State Lewis Cass, with equal 
clearness and decisiveness. Eiiforts to settle 
the matter geographically proved unavailing and 
diplomacy again had to undergo a severe test. 

For a numlier of years the matter remained in 
abexance. Then the pioneer resolved to trj- the plan 
he had before resorted to in the settlement of the 
main question. He pushed into the country with 
wife and family. The Hudson's Bay Company's 
representatives were already there, and the danger 
of a clash of arms between the subjects of the queen 
and the citizens of the I'nitcd .States, resident in the 
disputed territory, soon became imminent. Such a 
collision would undoubtedly involve the two 
countries in war. 

In the session of the Oregon territorial legis- 
lature of 1852-;!, the archipelago to which San Juan 
island belongs was organized into a county. Taxes 
were in due time imposed on Hudson's P)ay Com- 
jianx- propertw and when payment was refused, the 
sherift promptly sold sheep enough to satisfy the 
levy. Recriminations followed as a matter of course 
and local excitement ran high. General Harney, 
commander of the department of the Pacific, inaugu- 
rated somewhat summary proceedings. He landed 
over four hundred and fifty troops on the island, and 
instructed Captain Pickett to jirotect -\merican 
citizens there at all cost. English naval forces of 
considerable power gathered about the island. Their 
commander protested against military occupancy. 
Pickett replied that he could not, under his orders. 



permit any joint occupancy. General Harney, how- 
ever, had acted without instructions from the seat 
of government, and the president did not approve 
his measures officially, tlmugh it was plainly evident 
that the administration was not averse to having the 
matter furced to an issue. 

At this juncture, the noted General Scott was 
sent to the scene of the difficulty, under instructions 
to permit joint occupancy until the matter in dispute 
could be settleil. Harney was withdrawn from 
command entirely. Finally, an agreement was 
reached between General Scott and the British 
governor at X'ancouver that each party should police 
the territory with one hundred armed men. 

Diplomacy was again tried. Great P)ritain 
proposed that the question at issue be submitted to 
arbitration, and she suggested as arbiter the pres- 
ident of the Swiss council or the king of Sweden 
and Norway or the king of the Xetherlands. The 
proposition was declined by the United States. For 
ten years longer the dispute remained unsettled. 
Eventually, on May 8, 1871, it was mutually 
agreed to submit the question, without appeal, to 
the arbitrament of Emperor William, of Germany. 
George Bancroft, the well-known historian, was 

chosen to present the case of the I'nited States, and 
it is said that "his memorial of one hundred and 
twenty octavo pages is one of the most finished and 
unansweral)le diplomatic arguments ever produced." 
The British also presented a memorial. These 
were interchanged and re])lies were prepared In- 
each contestant. The emperor gave the matter 
careful and deliberate attention, calling to his assist- 
ance three eminent jurists. His award was as fol- 
lows : "Most in accordance with the true inteqireta- 
tion of the treaty concluded on the l.-jth of June, 
1S|(^, between the governments of her Britannic 
Majesty and 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 through the Haro channel, .\uthenticated 
by our autograph signature and the impression of 
the Imperial Great Seal. Given at Berlin. October 
21, 1873." This brief and unequivocal decree ended 
forever the vexatious controversv which for so 
many years had disturbed friendly feelings and 
endangered the peace of the two great Anglo-Saxon 
peoples. No shot was fired ; no blood was shed : 
diplomacy had triumphed. 



Long before the settlement of the Oregon ques- 
tion, signs of another struggle for ownership of the 
country had become distinctly visible. The Indian 
had begun to perceive what must have been fully 
apparent to the tutored mind of the more enlight- 
ened race, that when the sturdy American began 
following the course of empire to westward, that 
harsh, inexorable law of life, the survival of the 
fittest, would be brought home to the red man. He 
had begun to feel the approach of his own sad fate 
and was casting about for the means to avert the 
coining calamity or, if that could not be, to delay 
the evil hour as long as ]50ssible. 

.Mtliough no large immigration had entered the 
Oregon country prior to ISCi. that of the preceding 
year numbering only one hundred and eleven, the 
tew settlers of ( )regoii liad alreadv become appre- 
hensive for the safety of their brethren en route to 
tlic west, and Sub-Indian .\gent White had sent a 
message to meet the immigrants of 1813 at Fort 

Hall, warning them to travel in companies of not 
less than fifty and to keep close watch upon their 
property. The reason for the latter injunction be- 
came apparent to the travelers in due time, for the 
Indians, especially those who had become accus- 
tomed to white people by reason of their residence 
near the nn'ssion, were not slow to help themselves 
to clothing, household goods, cattle or horses, when 
an op]iorlunit\' was offered. However, the fact 
that none of the innnigrants settled near the mission 
had a cpiieting effect u])on the Indians of that neigh- 

In 1844 an Indian named Cockstock, with a 
small following, made hostile demonstrations in 
Oregon City. I'ailing to jirovoke a quarrel with 
the white residents, he retired to an Indian village 
across the river and endeavored to incite its occu- 
l^ants to acts of hostility. In this he failed. It 
appears that formerly Cockstock had visited the 
home of Hr. White, purposing to kill liini for a 



real or fancied \vron<j, but, his intended victim lieing 
absent, he had ntn Ix'en al)ie to do <,;reater damage 
tlian to break the windows of the sub-agent's house. 
An unsuccessful attempt had been made to arrest 
him for this offense, and he was now bent on caUing 
the Americans to account for their audacity in 
pursuing him with such intent. With an interpre- 
ter he returned to the Oregon City side. He was 
met at the landing by a number of whites, who 
doubtless meant to arrest him. In the excitement 
firearms were discharged on both sides and George 
W. Le Breton, who had,served as clerk of the first 
legislative committee of Oregon, was wounded. 
The other Indians withdrew to a position on the 
bluffs above town and began shooting at the whites, 
who returned their fire with such effectiveness as 
soon to dislodge them. In the latter part of the 
fight two more Americans were wounded, one of 
whom died, as did also Le Breton, from the effects 
of poison from the arrow points. The Indian loss 
was Cockstock killed and one w-arrior wounded. 
Aside from this, there was no serious trouble with 
Indians in the Willamette valley during the earlier 
years, though frequently the Indian agent was 
called upon to settle disputes caused by the appro- 
priation by Indians of cattle belonging to white 

Prior to 1842. a number of indignities had been 
offered to Dr. Whitman at his mission station at 
Waiilatpu, near where Walla Walla now is. These 
he had borne with Christian forbearance. During 
the winter of 1842 he went east. Some of the 
Indians supposed that he intended to bring enough 
of his people to punish them for these offenses. 
He did bring with him in the summer of 1843 nearly 
nine hundred people, none of whom, however, were 
equipped for Indian warfare or of a militant spirit. 
As no offense was offered the Indians and not an 
acre of their lantls was appropriated bv these whites, 
the (|uiet of the upper countrv was not disturbed. 
I'lUt the mission was thereafter practically a failure 
as far as its ])riniary purpose was concerned, as was 
also that of Rev. H. H. Spalding in the Xez Perce 

After the return of Whitman, an event hap- 
pened which boded no good to the white people. 
About forty Indians, mostly of the Cayuse and 
Walla Walla tribes, having decided to embark ex- 
tensively in the cattle business, formed a company 
to visit California for the purpose of securing stock 
by trading with the Spaniards. Peo-peo-mox-mox, 
head chief of the Walla Wallas, was the leader of 
the enterprise. The company reached California 
in safety, had good success for a while in accom- 
plishing their ends, but eventuall\- fell into difficulty 
through their unwillingness to be governed bv the 
laws of the land. While on a hunting expedition, 
they met and conquered a band of robbers, recover- 
ing a number of head of horses stolen from Ameri- 
cans and Spaniards. Some of them were claimed 

by their former owners, in accordance with the law 
that property of this kind belonged to the original 
possessors until sold and marked with a transfer 
mark. An incident of the dispute was the killing 
b\- an American (in cold blood if the Indian account 
be true) of Elijah, son of Peo-peo-mox-mox. This 
unfortunate event had its effect in deepening the 
hatred of the Indians for the American people. 
Peo-peo-mox-mox and his band were eventually 
expelled from California b}- the Spanish authori- 
ties, being pursued with such vigor that they had 
to leave their cattle behind. They returned home 
in the spring of 184.'). Dr. Whitman was deeply 
disturbed by the incident, fearing that the Indians 
would take their revenge upon his mission, and sent 
a hasty message to the sub-Indian agent, so stating. 
White was visited aljout the same time b)' an Indian 
chief, Ellis, who wished advice as to what to do in 
the matter. White states that he was apprehen- 
sive of difficulty in adjusting it, "particularly as 
they lay much stress upon the restless, disaffected 
scamps late from Willamette to California, loading 
them with the vile epithets of "dogs, thieves,' etc., 
from which they believed or aft'ected to that the 
slanderous reports of our citizens caused all their 
loss and disasters, and therefore held us 

"According to Ellis." writes Airs. Victor, "the 
Walla Wallas, Ca}-uses, Nez Perces, Spokanes, 
Pend d'Oreilles and Snakes were on terms of amity 
and alliance ; and a portion of them were for raising 
two thousand w"arriors and marching at once to 
California to take reprisals by capture and plunder, 
enriching themselves by the spoils of the enemy. 
.\nother part were more cautious, wishing first to 
take advice and to learn whether the white people 
in Oregon would remain neutral. A third party 
were for holding the ( )regon colony responsible, 
because Elijah had been killed by an American. 

"There was business, indeed, for an Indian 
agent with no government at his back, and no 
money to carry on either war or diplomacy. But 
Dr. White was equal to it. He arranged a cordial 
reception for the chief among the colonists ; planned 
to have Dr. McLoughlin divert his mind by refer- 
ring to the tragic death of his own son by treachery, 
which enabled him to sympathize with the father 
and relatives of Elijah ; and on his own part took 
him to visit the schools and his own library, and in 
every way treated the chief as though he were the 
first gentleman in the land. Still further to establish 
social equality, he put on his farmer's garb and be- 
gan working in his plantation, in which labor Ellis 
soon joined him, and the two discussed the benefits 
already enjoxed by the native population as the 
result of intelligent labor. 

"Xothing, however, is so convincing to an 
Indian as a present, and here it would seem Dr. 
\\'hite must have failed, but not so. In the autumn 
of 1S44. thinking to prevent trouble with the immi- 



ijration by enabling the chiefs in the upper country 
to obtain cattle without violating the laws, he 
had given them some ten-dollar treasury drafts 
to be exchaiisjed with the emigrants for young 
stDck, which drafts the emigrants refused to accept, 
not knowinnf where thev should set them cashed. 
To heal the wound caused by this disappointment, 
White now sent word by Ellis to these chiefs to 
come down in the autumn with Dr. Whitman and 
Mr. Spalding to hold a council over the California 
affair, and to bring with them their ten-dollar drafts 
to exchange with him for a cow and a calf each, 
out of his own herds. He also promised them that 
if they would postpone their visit to California 
until the spring of 1847, and each chief assist him 
to the amount of two beaver skins, he would estab- 
lish a manual training and literary school for their 
ciiildren, besides using every means in his power to 
have the trouble with the Californians adjusted, 
and would give them from his private funds five 
hundred dollars witli which ti) purchase voung 
c<iws in California." 

By this means White succeeded in averting an 
impending calamity, though he was unable to fulfill 
ail his pledges. Peo-peo-mox-mox did, however, 
return to California in 184(j with forty warriors to 
demand satisfaction for the murder of his son. 
Xot a little excitement resulted, and a company was 
sent by the California authorities to protect fron- 
tier settlements. The Indians, seeing that both 
-Kmericans and Spaniards were prepared to defend 
themselves, made no hostile movement, but gave 
their attention to trading and other peaceful pur- 

For a few years prior to the settlement of the 
Oregon question in 1846. there was another cause 
of alarm among the colonists, namely, the possibil- 
ity of war with Great Britain and consequent hos- 
tilities between the settlers and the Hudson's Bay 
Company. It was very certain that in the event of 
war the Indians would side with the British com- 
pany, and the condition (if the colonists would be- 
come truly deplorable. Happily, this contingency 
was averted by the triumjjh of diploiuacy. 

But even after the question of sovereignty had 
been settled by the treaty of peace, war clouds still 
hung over the Northwest. In his message to the 
provisional legislature of Oregon, sent in December 
•S, 184T, Covernor Abernethy referred to the Indian 
situation in this language : 

■■( )ur relations witli the Indians become every 
year more embarrassing. They see the white man 
occupying their land, rapidly filling up the country, 
and they put in a claim for pay. They have been 
told that a chief would come out from the United 
States and treat with them for their land; tiiev 
have been told this so often that they begin to doubt 
it; 'at all events," they say, 'he will not come till we 
are_ all dead, and then what good will blankets do 
lis? We want something now.' This leads to 

trouble between the settler and the Indians about 
him. Some plan should be devised by which a 
fund can be raised and ])resents made to the Indians 
to keep them quiet until an agent arrives from the 
United States. A number of robberies have been 
committed by the Indians in the upper country ujion 
emigrants as they were passing through their terri- 
tory. This should not be allowed to pass. An 
appropriation should be made by you sufficient to 
enable the superintendent of Indian affairs to take a 
small party in the spring and demand restitution of 
the property, or its ecpiivalent in horses." 

As heretofore stated, this message reached the 
legislature December ^, I84T. The same day 
another was sent with communications from Will- 
iam McBean and Sir James Douglas, of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, giving details of a iiorrible 
massacre in the upper country. The calamity so 
long expected had come at last. With savage 
whoo|)s and fiendish \ells. the Cayuse Indians had 
fallen upon the helpless inhabitants of the WaiilatiJU 
mission, enacting the most awful tragedv which has 
stained the pages of northwest history, a history 
presenting many dark and dreadful chapters, writ- 
ten in the blood of the Argonauts who bore the 
stars and stripes o'er plain and mountain and 
through the trackless forest to a resting-place on 
the. Pacific shore. 

There were several causes in addition to the 
general ones heretofore recited which impelled the 
Indians to strike their first blow when and where 
they did. .A. short time before the fatal "iitth of 
November, Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet, of the Catho- 
lic Society of Jesus, Rev. J. B. A. Brouillet. and 
other priests, made their appearance in the vicinity 
of the \^'hitman mission. \\'hitman met lUanchet 
at Fort Walla Walla and told him frankly that he 
was not pleased at his coming and would do nothing 
to help him establish his mission. The priests, how- 
ever, eventually took U]) their abode in the house of 
an Indian named Tauitowe, on the L'malilla river, 
having failed to secure a site near Whitman from 
Tiloukaikt. The later intercourse between Whit- 
man and Blanchet seems to have been more friendly 
than their first interview, and there is no evidence 
of any bitter sectarian quarrel between theiu. But 
there is little doubt that the priests encouraged the 
Indians in the belief that the .\mericans would even- 
tually take ail their lands. .Many of the earlier 
Protestant writers accused the priests, or the Hud- 
son's Bay Conqiany, or both, of having incited the 
Indian murderers to their devilish deeds, but most 
of the historians of later date refuse to accept any 
such theory. 

Perhaps one of the boldest of the early secta- 
rian writers was W. H. ,(iray. whose history of 
( )regon is so palpably and bitterly partisan and 
shows such a disposition to magnify "trifles light as 
air" that it fails to carry conviction to the mind of 
the unprejudiced reader. 



'llic ])n)xiinatf cause of tlio massacre, assigned 
by tlic Indians themselves, was a belief that Dr. 
Whitman was administering ]3oison i-istcad of 
wholesome medicines to sucli of their number as 
were sick and required his professional services. 
The large immigration of 1S4T had been the victim 
of a terrilile ])estilence, and by the time it reached 
the vicinitx- of Whitman's station was suffering 
from measles in a form so virulent as to cause the 
death of many. Of course, the disease was com- 
municated to the Indians, who hung about the 
wagons parleying or pilfering. The condition of 
the diseased Indians became pitiful. "It was most 
distressing," said Spalding, "to go into a lodge of 
some ten or twenty fires, and count twenty or twen- 
ty-five, some in the midst of measles, others in the 
last stage of dysentery, in the midst of every kind 
of filth, of itself sufficient to cause sickness, with no 
suitable means to alleviate their inconceivable 
suiiferings, with perhaps one well person to look 
after the wants of two sick ones. They were dying 
every day, one, two, and sometimes five in a day, 
with the dysentery which generally followed the 
measles. Everywhere the sick and dying were 
pointed to Jesus and the well were urged to prepare 
for death." 

Six were sick with measles in the doctor's house- 
hold, and furthermore, Mrs. ( )sborn was weakly 
from a recent confinement and her baby was in ill- 
health. Dr. Whitman had the care of all these, and 
besides was acting as physician to the entire white 
and Indian population of the surrounding country. 
He was unremitting in his attentions to those who 
needed him, but no skill could avail to stay the rav- 
ages of the dread scourge. 

This terrible condition of things furnished an 
opportunity to Whitman's two principal enemies — 
Joe Lewis, a half-breed, of his own household, and 
Chief Tiloukaikt — both of whom had been many 
times the beneficiaries of his benevolence. The 
cause of Lewis's spite is not known, hut "with the 
iniquity which seemed inherent in his detestable 
nature," he began circulating the report that Whit- 
man was poisoning the Indians, for the purpose of 
securing their lands and horses. He even went so 
far as to state that he (Lewis) had heard Dr. and 
Mrs. Whitman and Mr. Spalding discussing the 
matter among themselves. 

"The mission buildings." says Gray, "occupied a 
triangular space of ground fronting the north in a 
straight line, about four hundred feet in length. 
The doctor's house, standing on the west end and 
fronting west, was eighteen by sixty-two feet, 
adobe walls ; library and bedroom on south end ; 
dining and sitting-room in the middle, eighteen 
by twenty-four : Indian room on north end, eighteen 
by twenty-six ; kitchen on east side of the 
house, eighteen by twenty-six ; fireplace in the 
middle and bedroom in the rear : school-room join- 
inc: on the east of the kitchen, eiirhteen bv thirty : 

blacksmith shop, one hundred and fifty feet east; 
the house called the mansion on the east end of 
I'le angle, thirty-two by forty feet, one and one- 
half stories ; the mill made of wood, standing upon 
the old site about four hundred feet from either 
house. The east and south space of ground was 
protected bv the mill ])ond and Walla Walla creek — ■ 
north front b\- a ditch that discharged the waste 
water from the mill, and served to irrigate the farm 
in front of the doctor's house, which overlooked the 
whole. To the north and east is a high knoll, less 
than one-fourth of a mile distant and directly to 
the north, three-fourths of a mile distant is Mill 

Referring to the disposition of different persons 
about these premises at the time of the outbreak, the 
same writer says : 

"Jose])h Stanfield had brought in an ox from 
the plains, and it had been shot by Francis Sager. 
Alessrs. Kimball, Canfield and HoiTman were dress- 
ing it between the two houses ; Mr. Sanders was in 
the school, which had just called in for the 
afternoon ; Mr. Marsh was grinding at the mill ; 
Air. Gillan was on his tailor's bench in the large 
adobe house, a short distance from the doctor's ; 
Mr. Hall was at work laying a floor to a room ad- 
joining the doctor's house ; Air. Rogers was in the 
garden ; Mr. Osborn and family were in the Indian 
room adjoining the doctor's sitting-room; young 
Mr. Sales was lying sick in the family of Mr. Can- 
field, who was living in the blacksmith shop; young 
Mr. Bewley was sick in the doctor's house ; John 
Sager was sitting in the kitchen but partially recov- 
ered from the measles ; the doctor and Mrs. Whit- 
man, with three sick children, and Mrs. Osborn and 
her sick child were in the dining or sitting-room." 

Dr. Whitman had attended an Indian funeral 
on the morning of the fatal 'i'Hh of Xovember. 
.\fter his return he remained about the house, and is 
said to have been reading in his Bible when some 
one called him to the kitchen, where John Sager 
was. His voice was heard in conversation \vith an 
Indian, and soon after the work of slaughter began. 
\\'hitman was tomahawked and shot. John Sager 
was overjwwered. cut and gashed with knives ; his 
throat cut and his body pierced with several balls 
from short Hudson's Bay muskets. Mrs. Whitman, 
who was in the dining-room, hearing the tumult, 
began wringing her hands in anguish and exclaim- 
ing, "Oh, the Indians! the Indians!" The Osborn 
family hid themselves under the floor of the Indian 
room. Having done their dreadful work in the 
kitchen, the Indians engaged in it joined others in 
the work of despatching such of the .American men 
and bovs as they could find on the outside. Airs. 
Whitman ran to the assistance <if her husband in 
the kitchen. Women from the mansion house came 
to her aid. as did also Air. Rogers, who had been 
twice wounded. Init the noble doctor, though still 
l)reathing. was past all human assistance. Air. 



Kimball, with a broken arm, came into the house, 
and all engaged in fastening the doors and removing 
the sick children up-stairs. 

Without all was din and turmoil and fury. Re- 
treating women and children screaming in dread- 
ful anguish, the groans of the dying, the roar of 
nuisketry, the unearthly yells of frenzied savages, 
maddened with a diabolical thirst for human blood, 
the furious riding of naked, dusky horsemen, insane 
with excitement, the cries of despair and the fierce, 
exultant shouts of infuriated fiends mingled to- 
gether to create a scene which for terror and de- 
spair on the one side and devilish atrocity on the 
other has few parallels in human history. No pen 
has power to describe it adequately and no imagina- 
tion is equal to its full reconstruction. 

Having killed all the male representatives of 
the hated American race to be found without, the 
Indians turned again to the doctor's house. Mrs. 
AVhitman, venturing too near a window, was shot 
through the breast. The doors were battered down 
and tiie window smashed. By the time the Indians 
had gained an entrance to the building, Mrs. Whit- 
man, Mrs. Hays, Miss Bewley, Catherine Sager 
and Messrs. Kimball and Rogers and the three sick 
children had taken refuge in an up-stairs room, 
whence Mrs. Whitman and Mr. Rogers were soon 
summoned by the Indians. As they did not comply 
with the request to come down, Tamsucky started 
up-stairs after them, but seeing a gun so placed 
(by Miss Bewley) as to command the stairway, he 
became frightened and advanced no further. He, 
however, urged Mrs. Whitman to come down, as- 
suring her that she would not be hurt. On learning 
that she had been shot, he expressed great sorrow, 
and upon being assured that there were no Ameri- 
cans in the room waiting to kill him, Tamsucky at 
last went iqi-stairs and engaged in conversation 
with the peojile there, in the course of which he 
reiterated cxjiressions of sorrow for what had hap- 
pened and desired the white men and women to 
retire to the mansion house, as the building they 
then occupied might soon be destroyed by fire. 
Eventually, Mrs. Whitman started down, assisted 
by Mr. Rogers and Mrs. Ha>s. Her wound, or 
tile sight of her mangled and dying husband, or 
l)iitli. caused a faintness to come over her, and she 
was laid on the settee. As this was borne out of 
the door, a volley was fired into it and those who 
bore it, killing or fatally wounding Mr. Rogers, 
Mrs. Whitman and Francis Sager, the last-named, 
according to Gray, being shot bv Joe Lewis. 

Not content with destroying the lives of their 
victims, the Indians gave vent to their savage spleen 
by heaping upon the dead and dying such indigni- 
ties as they could. The noble face of the good doc- 
tor, a face that had exjiressed no sentiments but 
those of kin<lness toward the dusky savages, was 
hacked beyond recognition, while the doctor still 
breathed, bv the tomahawk of Tiloukaikt ; the ma- 

tronly features of Mrs. Whitman were lashed 
unmercifully with whips, and her body was rolled 
contemptuously in the mud ; John Sager was terri- 
bly gashed with knives, and the remains of other 
victims were treated with similar indignities. 

Joe Lewis, the darkest demon of the tragedy, 
went to the school-room, sought out the innocent 
children, who, terrified, had hidden themselves in 
the loft above, and brought them down to the 
kitchen to be shot. For a time they stood huddled 
together, guns pointed at them from almost every 
direction, expecting the order to be given at any 
moment which should occasion their death. Eliza, 
daughter of Rev. H. H. Spalding, was among 
them. Being acquainted with the Indian language, 
she understood every word that was said regarding 
the fate of herself and the other children, and her 
feelings, as she heard the Indians beseeching their 
chief to give the order to shoot, may be imagined. 
That order was never given, thanks, it is claimed, 
to the interposition of Joseph Stanfield, and the chil- 
dren were led away by two friendly Walla Wallas 
to a ])lace of seclusion and temporary safety. 

When night closed down upon this scene of 
savage cruelty and destruction, the Indians with- 
drew to the lodge of Tiloukaikt to review the day's 
proceedings and consult as to future operations. 
The killed on this first day of the massacre were 
Dr. and Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Rogers, John and 
Francis Sager, Messrs. Gilliland (Gray calls him 
Gillan), Marsh, Sanders and Hoffman. Mr. 
Osborn and family had taken refuge under the floor 
of the Indian room at the first outbreak. There 
they remained until night, when they stole out and 
sought safety in the brush. Eventually, after 
enduring terrible hardships, they reached Fort 
Walla Walla, where McBean, yielding to their im- 
portunity, reluctantly furnished them a blanket or 
two and enough victuals to sustain life. Mr. Can- 
field, wounded, fled to the blacksmith shop, thence 
to the mansion house, where he secreted himself 
until the coming of darkness, when he stole away 
to Lapwai. Mr. Hall escaped by snatching a gun 
which had missed fire from an Indian and pro- 
tecting himself with it till he reached the cover of 
the brush, whence he escaped to Fort Walla Walla. 
He was put across the Cohnnbia river by .Mr. 
McBean, and started for the Willamette valley, 
but was never afterward heard of. Mr. Kimball 
and the four sick children, who remained in the 
attic which Mrs. Whitman and Mr. Rogers were 
induced by the treachery of Tamsucky to leave, 
were forgotten by the Indians in their excitement 
and were left unharmed the first day. Crocket 
ISewlcy and .\mos Sales, both sick, were s])ared for 
reasons unknown until Tuesday, December Tth. 
when they were cruelly butcherecl in their beds. 

The morning of November ;SOth, Mr. Kimball, 
induced by the suffering of himself and the sick 
children to seek water, was discovered and shot. 



The same fate overtook James Young, who, igno- 
rant of the massacre, had come from the saw-mill 
with a load of lumber. On this day, also, two sons 
of Donald Munson. of the Hudson's l>ay Company, 
who were attending school at the station, also a 
Spanish half-breed boy. whom Dr. Whitman had 
raised, were sent to Fort Walla Walla, for the 
Indians had no quarrel with any but .Americans. 

Wednesday. December 1st. Rev. J. R. A. 
T>rouil!et, one of the Catholic priests before men- 
tioned, arrived at the scene of desolation. He 
assisted Joseph Stanfield in the work of preparing 
the dead for burial. In his ".Vuthentic Account of 
the Murder of Dr. Whitman," this priest makes 
this statement concerning his visit : 

"After having finished baptizing the infants and 
dying adults of my mission, I left Tuesday, the 30th 
of November, late in the afternoon, for Tiloukaikt's 
camp, where I arrived between seven and eight 
o'clock in the evening. It is impossible to conceive 
my surprise and consternation when upon my arri- 
val I learned that the Indians the day before had 
massacred the doctor and his wife, with the greater 
part of the .Americans at the mission. I passed the 
night without scarcely closing my eyes. Early the 
next morning I baptized three sick children, two 
of whom died soon after, and then hastened to the 
scene of death to offer to the widows and orphans 
all the assistance in my power. I foimd five or 
six women and over thirty children in a condition 
deplorable beyond description. Some had just lost 
their husbands, and the others their fathers, whom 
they had seen massacred before their eyes, and were 
expecting every minute to share the same fate. 
The sight of these persons caused me to shed tears, 
which, however, I was obliged to conceal, for I was 
the greater part of the day in the presence of the 
murderers, and closely watched by them, and if I 
had shown too marked an interest in behalf of the 
sufferers, it would have endangered their lives and 
mine ; these, therefore, entreated me to be on my 
guard. After the first few words that could be ex- 
changed under those circumstances, I inquired after 
the victims, and was told that they were yet un- 
buried. Joseph Stanfield. a Frenchman, who was 
in the service of Dr. Whitman, and had been spared 
by the Indians, was engaged in washing the corpses, 
but being alone, was unable to bury them. I re- 
solved to go and assist him. so as to render to those 
unfortunate victims the last service in my power 
to offer them. What a sight did I then behold ! 
Ten dead bodies lying here and there covered with 
blood and bearing the marks of the most atrocious 
cruelty, some pierced with balls, others more or less 
gashed by the hatchet." 

It is a well-known fact that the lives of the 
women and children of the mission were more than 
once in jeopardy. How near they came to being 
sacrificed at one time appears from the following 

language of Brouillet, who was writing in defense 
of Joseph Stanfield : 

It was on the morning of the day that followed the 
massacre. There were several Indians scattered in the 
neiglihorhood of the mission buildings, but especially a 
crowd of Indian women was standing near the door of the 
honsc in whicli all tlie white women and children were liv- 
ing. Stanfield, being tlien at a short distance from the 
house. Tiloukaikt. the chief of the place, came up and 
asked him if he had something in the house. "Yes," said 
Stanfield. "I have all my things there." "Take them 
away," said the Indian to him. "Why should I take them 
away ? They are well there." "Take them ofT," he 
insisted, a second time. "But I have not only my things 
there; I have also my wife and children." "Yes," replied 
Tiloukaikt, who appeared a little surprised ; "you have a 
wife and children in the house! Will you take them off?" 
"No." replied Stanfield. "I will not take them away, and 
I will go and stay myself in the house. I see that you 
have bad designs ; you intend to kill the women and chil- 
dren ; well, yon will kill me with them. you not 
ashamed? Are you not satisfied with what you have done? 
Do "you want still to kill poor, iimocent children that have 
never done you any harm?" "I am ashained," replied 
Tiloukaikt, after a moment's liesitation. "It is true, those 
women and children do not deserve death ; they did not 
harm us ; they shall not die." And, turning to the Indian 
women who were standing near the door of the house 
waiting with a visible impatience for the order to enter 
and slaughter the people inside, he ordered them to go 
off. The Indian women then became enraged, and. show- 
ing the knives that they took from beneath their blankets, 
they insulted him in many different ways, calling him a 
coward, a woman who would consent to be governed by a 
Frenchman ; and they retired, apparently in great anger 
for not having been allowed to imbrue their hands in the 
blood of new victims. The above circumstance was 
related at Fort Walla Walla to Mr. Ogden, by Stanfield 
himself, imder great emotion, and in presence of the wid- 
ows, none of whom contradicted him. 

But though the lives of all the women of the 
mission except Mrs. Whitman were spared, some of 
these unfortunates were overtaken by a fate worse 
than death. The excitement of the massacre kept 
the minds of the Indians distracted from thoughts 
of other crimes until Saturday following the out- 
break, when Tamsuck)' seized upon one of the girls 
and compelled her to be subject unto him. The 
fifteen-year-old daughter of Joseph Smith, from the 
saw-mill, was appropriated by the two sons of 
Tiloukaikt, her father, it is said, being so terrified 
by the danger he was in as to yield consent : and 
Susan Kimball was taken to the lodge of Tintin- 
mitsi, or Frank Escaloom, the Indian who had killed 
her father. It is said that by claiming Mrs. Hays 
as his wife, Joseph Stanfield saved her from viola- 
tion. The names of other possible victims of this 
reign of terror have never come to light, though it 
has been stated that even little girls were subjected 
to outrage. In order to involve Five Crows in their 
guilt and so secure his assistance in case of war, he 
was offered his choice of the .American girls for a 
wife. He picked on Miss Bewley ; sent a horse and 
an escort for her and had her brought to his hoine 
on the Umatilla. The bishop and his priests there 
have been severely criticized for refusing her pro- 
tection from the embraces of Five Crows, and their 



failure to sliicUl her has been made to argue their 
coiiii)hcity in the massacre. It is hkely, however, 
that fear for their hves overcame their better 
natures, i'he same charity which condoned in a 
measure at least the cowardice of Smith in con- 
sentinjj to the violation of his own daughter, and of 
other captives in assenting to the slanderous reports 
about Dr. Whitman's poisoning the Indians, should 
be extended to these priests also. 

At the time of the massacre, Rev. 11. 11. Spald- 
ing was in the country of the Cayuses. He took 
supper with P.rouillet on the evening of the fatal 
29th. The next day was spent by him in concluding 
his visits to the sick of the neighborhood, and on 
Wednesday, December 1st, he set out on horseback 
for Whitman's station. When near \^'aiilatpu, he 
met lirouillet returning after having assisted Stan- 
field in burying the dead; also his interpreter and 
Edward Tiloukaikt. Speaking of their interview, 
Brouillet says : 

I'ortunatcly. a few minutes after crossing the river 
(Walla Walla)', the interpreter asked Tiloukaikt's son for a 
smoke. They proposed the cahimet, hnt when the moment 
came for lighting it. there was nothing to make a lire. 
"You have a pistol," said the interpreter; "fire it and we 
will light." Accordingly, without stopping, he tired his 
pistol, reloaded it and tired again. He then conunenced 
smoking witli the interpreter without thinking of reload- 
ing his pistol. ,\ few minutes after, while they were thus 
engaged in smoking. 1 saw Mr. Spalding come galloping 
towards me. In a moment he was at my side, taking me 
by the hand, and asking for news. "Have yon heen to the 
doctor's?" he inquired. "Yes," I replied. "What news?" 
"Sad news." "Is any person dead?" "Yes, sir." "Who 
is dead? Is it one of the doctor's children?" (He had 
left two of them very sick.) "No," I replied. "Who then 
is dead?" I hesitated to tell him. "Wait a moment," said 
I, "I cannot tell you now." While Mr. Spalding was 
asking me tliese different questions. I had spoken to my 
interpreter, telling him to entreat the Indians in iny name 
not to kill Mr. Spalding, which I begged of him as a special 
favor, and hoped that he would not refuse me. I was 
waiting for his answer, and did not wish to relate the dis- 
aster to Mr. Spalding before getting it, for fear that he 
might, by his manner, discover to the Indian what I had 
told him, for the least motion like flight would have cost 
him his life, and probably exposed mine also. Tlie son 
of Tiloukaikt, after hesitating some moments, replied that 
he could not take it ujion himself to save .\lr. Spalding, 
but that he would go back and consult with the other 
Indians; and so he started back immediately to his camp. 
I then availed myself of his absence to satisfy the an.xiety 
of Mr. Spalding. 

The news completely paralyzed Mr. Spalding 
tor a moment. "Is it possible? Is it possible?" 
he exclaimed. "They will certainly kill me." "I 
felt the world all go out at once," he told Mrs. 
\'ictor in referring to the incident eighteen years 
later, "and sat on my horse as rigid as a stone, not 
knowing or feeling anything." Brouillet urged 
hini to arouse himself and decide (|uickly what to 
do. He determined to seek safety in flight, and re- 
ceiving a little food from the priest, started post- 
haste for I.apwai. Traveling most of the w-ay on 
foot, his horse having been lost, he reached the 

hiinie of Colonel William Craig abotU a week later. 
There he fotmd Mrs. Spalding, who, receiving from 
Mr. Cantield word of the massacre, of her daugh- 
ter's captivity and of the probable death of her hus- 
band, had removed from the mission to Craig's 

Spalding encouraged the Xcz Perces to remain 
neutral, for Cayuse emissaries were already seeking 
their friendship and su])pnrt. He wrote a letter to 
the priests informing them of his safe arrival, ex- 
pressing a wash for peace and promising to 
endeavor to secure it. This was conveyed by two 
Nez Perces — Initnilpip and Tipialanahkeit — to the 
Catholic mission. The Indian couriers encouraged 
the Ca\-uses to sue for peace, and the bishop ad- 
vised a meeting of the chiefs to decide ui)on .some 
course of action, .\ccordingly, on the "^Oth of 
December, Tiloukaikt, Five Crows, Camaspelo and 
a number of others met in council at the mission. 
r>ishop r>lanchet ami Revs. Brouillet, Rosseau and 
Le Claire being also present. 

The result of their deliberations was the follow- 
ing manifesto, dictated to the bishdp: 

Tlie principal chiefs of the Cayuses in council assem- 
bled state : That a young Indian who understands English 
and who slept in Dr. Whitman's room, heard the doctor, 
his wife and Mr. Spalding express their desire of possess- 
ing the lands and animals of the Indians; that he stated 
also that Mr. Spalding said to the doctor: "Hurry giving 
medicines to the Indians tliat they may soon die;" that 
the same Indian told the Cayuses: "If you do not kill the 
doctor soon, you will all be dead before spring;" that they 
buried six Cayuses on Sunday, November 28th, and three 
the next day ; that the schoolmaster, Mr. Rogers, stated to 
them before he died that the doctor, his wife and Mr. 
Spalding poisoned the Indians; that for several years past 
they had to deplore the death of their children ; and that 
according to these reports, they were led to believe that 
the whites had undertaken to kill them all ; and that these 
were the motives which led them to kill the .\mericans. 

The same chiefs ask at present : 

First, that the Americans may not go to war with the 

Second, that they may forget the lately committed 
murders as the Cayuses will forget the murder of the son 
of the great chief of the Walla Wallas, committed in Cali- 

Third, that two or three great men may come up to 
conclude peace. 

Fourth, that as soon as these great men have arrived 
and concluded peace, they may take with them all the 
women and children. 

l'"ifth. they give assurance that they will not harm the 
.\mericaus before the arrival of these two or three great 

Sixth, they ask th:it .Vmericans may not travel any 
more through their country, as their yoimg men might do 
them harm. 

Place of Tauitowe, Youmatilla, •2tXh December, IJ^IT. 

Signed, PlI.OtK.MKT, 


Meanwhile, forces were at work fur the relief 
of the captive men, women and children. Peter 
Skeen Ogden, of the Httdson's Bay Company, had 
heard of the massacre and had set out from Fort 



\'ancouver for the ]nirpose of ransominsj the help- 
less Americans. lie arrived at Ftirt Walla Walla 
on the evening of the liUh of December, and by 
the 'i-U\ had arranged a council, which was attended 
bv Chiefs Taiutowe and Tiloukaikt, with a nmnber 
of the young Cayuses, also by Blanchet and 
lirouillet. Ogden's speech on this occasion is a 
marvel of mingled boldness and diplomacy. He said : 

I regret to observe tliat all the chiefs wliom I asked 
for are not present — two being absent. I expect the words 
I am about to address to you to be repeated to them and 
your young men on your return to your camps. It is now 
thirty years since we have been among you. During this 
long period we have never had any instance of blood being 
spilt, until the inhuman massacre, which has so recently 
taken place. We are traders and a different nation from 
the .A-uiericans. But recollect, we supply you with ammu- 
nition not to kill the Americans. They are of the same 
color as ourselves, speak the same language, are children 
of the same God, and humanity makes our hearts bleed 
when we behold you using them so cruelly. Besides this 
revolting butchery, have not the Indians pillaged, ill- 
treated the Americans, and insulted their women, when 
peacefully making their way to the Willamette? As 
chiefs, ought you to have connived at such conduct on the 
part of your young men? You tell me your young men 
committed the deeds without your knowledge. Why do 
we make you chiefs, if you have no control over your 
young men? You are a set of hermaphrodites, and 
unworthy of the appellation of men as chiefs. You young 
hot-headed men, I know that you pride yourselves upon 
your bravery, and think no one can match you. Do not 
deceive yourselves. If you get the Americans to com- 
mence once, you will repent it, and war will not end until 
every one of you is cut off from the face of the earth. I 
am aware that a good many of your friends and relatives 
have died through sickness. The Indians of other places 
have shared the same fate. It is not Dr. Whitman that 
poisoned them, but God has commanded that they should 
die. We are weak mortals and must submit, and I trust 
you will avail yourself of the opportunity to make some 
reparation. By so doing it may be advantageous to you, 
but at the same time remember that you alone will he re- 
sponsible for the consequences. It is merely advice that 
I give you! We have nothing to do with it. I have not 
come here to make promises or hold out assistance. We 
have nothing to do with your quarrels ; we remain neutral. 
On my return, if you wish it, I shall do all I can for you, 
but T do not promise you to prevent war. 

If you deliver me up all the prisoners, I shall pay you 
for them on their being delivered, but let it not be said 
among you afterward that I deceived you. I and Mr. 
Douglas represent the company, but I tell you once more 
we promise you nothing. We sympathize with these poor 
people, and wish to return them to their friends and rela- 
tions by paying you for them. My request in behalf of 
the families concerns you; so decide for the best. 

By this happily worded speech, the Indians were 
placed in a trap. They must yield to Ogden's 
wishes or forfeit the regard of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, while at the same time Ogden made no 
promises which would embarrass the Americans in 
their future dealings with the tribe or the murderers. 

To this speech the Indians made reply as 
follows : 

Tauitowe : "I rise to thank you for your words. 
You white chiefs command obedience with those 

that have to do with you. It is not so with us. 
Our young men are strong headed and foolish. 
Formerly we had experienced, good chiefs. These 
are laid in the dust. The descendants of my father 
were the only good chiefs. Though we made war 
with the other tribes, yet we always looked and 
ever will look upon the whites as our brothers. Our 
blood is mi.xed with A'ours. My heart bleeds for so 
many good chiefs I had known. For the demand 
made by you, the old chief, Tiloukaikt, is here. 
Speak to him. As regards myself, I am willing to 
give up the families." 

Tiloukaikt: "I have listened to your words. 
Young men, do not forget them. As for war, we 
have seen little of it. We know the whites to be 
our best friends, who have all along prevented us 
from killing each other. That is the reason why 
we avoid getting into war with them, and why we 
do not wish to be separated from them. Besides 
the tie of blood, the whites have shown tts a con- 
vincing proof of their attachment to us by burying 
their dead 'longside with ours. Chief, your words 
are weighty. Your hairs are gray. We have 
known you a long time. You have had an unpleas- 
ant trip to this place. I cannot, therefore, keep 
these families back. I make them over to you, 
which I would not do to another younger than 

Peo-peo-mox-mox : "I have nothing to say. I 
know the Americans to be changeable ; still I am 
of the opinion as the Young Chief. The whites 
are our friends and we follow yotir advice. I con- 
sent to your taking the families.'' 

Mr. C)gden then addressed two Nez Perce chiefs 
at length, in behalf of the Rev. H. H. Spalding and 
party, promising he would pay for their safe de- 
livery to him. The result was that both chiefs, 
James and Itimimipelp, promised to bring them, 
provided they were willing to come, and immedi- 
ately started to Clearwater for that purpose, bearing 
a letter from Chief Factor Ogden to Mr. Spalding. 
The result of that conference was the delivery, on 
the 29th of December, to Mr. Ogden (for which he 
paid the Cayuse Indians five blankets, fifty shirts, 
ten fathoms of tobacco, ten handkerchiefs, ten guns 
and one hundred rounds of ammunition) of the fol- 
lowing captives : 

Mission children adopted by Dr. Whitman — 
Miss Mary .\. Bridger ; Catherine Sager, aged 
thirteen years ; Elizabeth Sager, ten ; Martha J. 
Sager, eight ; Henrietta N. Sager, four ; Hannah L. 
Sager; Helen M. Meek. 

From DuPage County, Illinois — Mr. Joseph 
Smith ; Mrs. Hatinah Smith ; Mary Smith, aged 
fifteen years ; Edwin Smith, thirteen ; Charles Smith, 
eleven ; Xelson Smith, six ; Mortimer Smith, four. 

From Fulton County, Illinois — Mrs. Eliza 
Hall ; Jane Hall, aged ten }ears ; Mary C. Hall, 
eight ; .\nn E. Hall, six ; Rebecca Hall, three ; 
Rachel M. Hall, one. 



IJyron M. Kimliall. 
Mince A. Kinihall, 

Sanders; Helen M. 
Phebe L. Sanders. 
Nancv L. Sanders, 

From Osage County, Mississippi — Mr. Elan 
Younj; : .Mrs. Irene Young; Daniel Young, aged 
twenty-one years ; John Young, nineteen. 

From La Forte County, Indiana — Mrs. Harriet 
Kimball; Susan ^I. Kimball, aged sixteen \ears ; 
Nathan M. Kimball, thirteen; 
eight; Sarah S. Kimball, six 

From Iowa — Mrs. Mary 
Sanders, aged fourteen years 
ten; Alfred \V. Sanders, six; 
four ; Mar\- .A. Sanders, two ; j\Irs. Sally A. Can- 
field ; ICllen Cantield. sixteen ; Oscar Canfield, nine : 
Clarissa Canfield, seven ; Sylvia A. CanfieltJ. five ; 
.\lbcrt Canfield, three. 

From Illinois — Mrs. Rebecca Hays ; Henry C. 
Hays, aged four years. Eliza Spalding, Kancy E. 
Marsh and Lorrinda Bewley were also among the 

On Xew Year's day, 1848, Rev. H. H. Spalding, 
with ten others, being all the Americans from his 
mission, arrived at Walla Walla fort under escort 
of fifty Nez Perce Indians, to whom Mr. Ogden 
paid for their safe delivery twelve blankets, twelve 
shirts, twelve handkerchiefs, five fathoms of to- 
bacco, two guns, two hundred pounds of ammuni- 
tion and some knives. 

Three flaws later ]\Ir. Ogden started to Fort 
\'ancouver with the captives in boats. Shortly after 
he had left the fort at \valla Walla, fifty Cayuse 
warriors dashed up to the place and demanded the 
surrender of Mr. Spalding, to be killed, as word 
liad reached them of the arrival of .American sol- 
diers at The Dalles, to make war upon them, and 
they held him responsible for that fact. 

The ransomed captives from Waiilatpu and the 
missionaries from Lapwai reached the Willamette 
valley in safety. Concerning the experiences of 
the people of the Tchimakain mission. Professor W. 
D. Lyman sa\s : 

"i'ew things more thrilling ever came under the 
observation of the writer than the narration by 
Fathers Fells and Walker of the council of the 
Spokanes at Tchimakain to decide whether or not 
to join the Cay uses. The lives of the missionaries 
hung iin the decision. Imagine their emotions as 
tlicy waited with bated breath in their mission house 
to know the result, .\fter hours of e.Kcited dis- 
cussion with the Cayuse emissaries, the Spokanes 
announced their decision: '(kj tell the Cayuses that 
tlie missionaries are our friends and we will defend 
then? with our lives." " This being the decision of 
the Indians, the Tchimakain missionaries. Revs. 
I'.clls and Walker, remained at their post of duty 
until the volunteers began active operations against 
the Ca_\uses, when they retired to Fort Colville. 
I hey Were escortetl thence, at the close of the war. 
hy a detachment of Americans under comni.nnd of 
.Major Maxon. 

The massacre put the people of ( )regou and 


their provisional government to a severe trial. 
That they both nobly stixxl the test speaks volumes 
for the patriotism of the one and the inherent 
strength of tiie other. Truly, every son of Oregon 
and the .\orthwest has cause for pride in the ster- 
ling ([ualities of the men and women who planted 
the seed of American civilization and American 
institutions in the soil of the north Pacific states. 

"While the hearts of the legislators were burst- 
ing." says Mrs. Victor, "with pain and indignation 
for the crime they were called upon to mourn, and 
perhaps to avenge, there was something almost far- 
cical in the situation. Funds ! Funds to prosecute 
a ])ossible war ! There was in the treasury of 
( )regon the sum of forty-three dollars and seventy- 
two cents, with an outstanding indebtedness of 
four thousand and seventy-nine dollars and sev- 
enty-four cents. Money ! Money, indeed ! Where 
was money to come from in Oregon ? The gov- 
ernor's first thought had been the Hudson's Bay 
Company. It was always the company the colo- 
nists thought of first when they were in trouble. 
But there might be some difficulty about a loan 
from that source. Had not the board of London 
managers warned the ( )regon officers to "stick to 
their beaver skins?" And had not Dr. McLoughlin 
resigned from his positie)n as head of the company 
in ( )regon because the London board reproved him 
for assisting immigrants, and thereby encouraging 
the American occupation of the country? .And 
now there was an Indian war impending, with only 
these gentlemen who had been ordered to 'stick to 
their beaver skins" to turn to. There were the mer- 
chants of Oregon City ; to be sure a few hundred 
might be raised among them. .And there was the 
Methodist mission — the governor had not men- 
tioned that — but ; well, they could tr\ it !'" 

The colonial legislature does not seem to have 
wasted much time in bewailing its helpless condi- 
tion. It acted. No sooner were read the brief 
message of the governor relative to the massacre 
and its accompanying documents, than a resolu- 
tion was oft'ered that the governor be instructed to 
raise, arm and e(|uip a coni]iany of fifty riflemen to 
proceed forthwith to the mission station at The 
Dalles and hold the same. That day. December 
8th. the company was enlisted. Next day it was 
officered, presented with a tlag b\- the ladies of Ore- 
gon Citv and sent bv boats to its destination. 

December Itith. a bill was passed authorizing 
and requiring the governor to raise a regiment of 
riflemen by volunteer enlistment, not to exceed five 
hundred men ; this regiment to •"rendezvous at 
Oregon City on the ^Mh of December, .A. D. 1847, 
and jiroceed thence with all possible despatch to 
the Walla Walla valley for the jnirpose of punish- 
ing the Indians, to what tribe or tribes soever they 
may belong, who may have aided or abetted the 
massacre of Dr. Whitman and his wife, and otliers 
at Waiilatini." The bill also i)rovided that ""Jesse 



Applc^atc. A. I.. Lovcjoy and George L. Curry be 
and arc hcrchv authorized and empowered to ne- 
gotiate a loan not to exceed one hundred thousand 
dollars for the purpose of carr>ing out the pro- 
visions of this act: and that said commissioners be 
and are authorized to pledge the faith of the terri- 
tory for the payment of such sum as ma\' be 
negotiated for by the said commissioners, on the 
most practicable terms, payable within three years 
from date of said loan, unless sooner discharged 
bv the government of the United States." 

The" governor and the loan commissioners set 
out. as soon as the hill became a law, for Van- 
couver, to negotiate, if possible, a loan from the 
Hudson's r.av Company. Formal application was 
made to Sir' James Douglas. December 11th. the 
commissioners pledging the faith and means of the 
provisional government for the reimbursement of 
the companv. and stating that they did not consider 
this pledge the onlv security their creditors would 
have. "Without claiming. ""' said they, "any special 
authoritv from the government of the United 
States to contract a debt to be liquidated by that 
power, vet from all precedents of like character in 
the historv of our country, the undersigned feel 
confident that the United States government will 
regard the murder of the late Dr. Whitman and 
his lady as a national wrong, and will fully justify 
the people of Oregon in taking active measures to 
obtain redress for that outrage and for their pro- 
tection from further aggression." 

As was expected, the chief factor declined to 
grant the loan, for the reason already outlined. 
Governor Aberncthy, Jesse Applegate and .\. L. 
Lovejoy pledged their personal credit for the sup- 
plies needful to equip the company of riflemen 
alreadv en route to The Dalles, and the immediate 
necessities of the government were thus relieved. 

Returning to (Iregon City, the committee ad- 
dressed a circular to the merchants and citizens 
of Oregon, asking loans from all such as were 
able to contribute, either money or supplies. Its 
closing paragraphs are here quoted as showing 
the necessity for prompt action then existing or 
supposed to exist: 

Though the Indians of tlie Cohniihia have committed a 
great outrage upon onr fellow citizens passing through 
their country, and residing among them, and their punish- 
ment for these murders may. and ought to he. a prime oh- 
ject with every citizen of Oregon, yet, as that duty more 
particularly devolves upon the government of the United 
• States, and admits of delay, we do not make this the 
strongest ground upon which to found our earnest appeal 
to you for pecuniary assistance. It is a fact well known 
to every person acquainted with Indian cliaracter that, by 
passing silently over their repeated thefts, robberies and 
murders of our fellow citizens, they have been emboldened 
to the commission of the appalling massacre at Waiilatpu. 
They call us women, destitute of the hearts and courage of 
men, and if we allow this wholesale murder to pass by. as 
former aggressions, who can tell how long either life or 
propertx will be secure in any part of this country, or at 

what momcnl the Willamette will be the scene of blood 
and carnage? 

The officers of our provisional government have nobly 
performed their dutv. None can doubt the readiness of the 
patriotic sons of the West to oflfer their personal services 
in defense of a cause so righteous. So it rests with you, 
gentlemen, to sav whether all our rights and our lircsides 
shall be defended or not. Hoping that none wmU be found 
to falter in so high and so sacred a duty, we beg leave, 
gentlemen, to subscribe ourselves your servants and fel- 
low citizens. 

A specific letter to the Oregon mission was 
likewise prepared and sent. The result of the 
labors of the committee was such that on December 
14th they were able to report, besides the loan of 
nine hundred and ninety-nine dollars negotiated on 
the personal credit of two of the commissioners, 
with the governor, a loan of one thousand dollars 
subscribed at a citizens' meeting in Oregon City; 
one thousand six hundred dollars from the mer- 
chants of Oregon City, and the probability that a 
loan of one thousand dollars would be secured 
from the mission. 

The first cominittee then resigned, and on 
December 20th another was appointed, consisting 
of A. L. Lovejoy, Hugh Burns and W. H. Willson. 
These gentlemen continued in office until the close 
of the war. engaged in the expensive and vexatious 
task of negotiating small loans of wheat, provisions, 
clothing, leather and all articles of use to the men 
in the field. 

Of the regiment to be called into existence by 
the governor in accordance with legislative enact- 
ment. Cornelius Gillian: was elected colonel ; James 
Waters, lieutenant-colotiel ; H. A. G. Lee, major; 
and Joel Palmer, commissary-general. The purpose 
of this military organization was to secure for 
punishment the' Whitman murderers and all those 
who had taken an important part in the massacre. 
It was not intended that aggressive warfare should 
be waged against the Cayuse tribe as a whole, or 
(7 foriwrc. against any other tribe, as a matter of 
retribution, but it was intended that the murderers 
should be procured at all cost and that war should 
be waged against all who harbored them, until the 
desired end was achieved. Accordingly, a peace 
cominission was sent along with the army, the 
personnel of which was Joel Palmer, Robert Newell 
and H. A. G. Lee. that the olive branch might be 
oft'ered before resort to the sword should be had. 
Joseph L. Meek, who had been appointed to carry 
a memorial to congress, also purposed to accom- 
pany the army. 

A base of supplies was established during the 
last days of December at the Upper Cascades of the 
Columbia. .\ few rude structures were erected 
and denominated Fort Gilliam, though they were 
more frequently referred to as "The Cabins." 

"The historv of this little post in the heart of 
the great Oregon Sierras became a most interest- 
ing one." says Mrs. Mctor. "It was here that the 
hardest struggle of the war was carried on — not 



in fighting Indians, but in keeping the men in the 
field that had undertaken to do the fighting. In 
point of fact, the commissary ilepartment was 
charged with the principal burden of the war, and 
tlie title of "General" which Talmer acquired 
through being at the head of this department, might 
well have been bestowed upon him for his services 
in sustaining the organization of the army under 
conditions such as existed in Oregon in 1S4T-8. 
Without arms, without roads, without transpor- 
tation, other than small boats and ]iack horses, 
without comfortable winter clothing and with 
scanty food, the war was to he carried on at a 
distance of nearly three hundred miles from the 
settlements. .\nd if the volunteer soldiers were 
called upon to endure these hardships, which Gen- 
eral Palmer was doing his best to overcome, the 
commissioned officers were no less embarrasseil 
by the want of the most ordinary appliances of 
their rank or position — even to the want of a proper 

Early in January, 1S48, Colonel Gilliam started 
up the river from the rendezvous at Portland, 
arriving at \ ancouver the first day. He did not 
do as he was said to have threatened, attempt to 
levy on the Hudson's Ba}- Company's goods to 
supply his troops. On the contrary, he purchased 
such supplies as he stood in urgent necessity of, 
pledging liis own credit and that of Commissary- 
General Palmer, who accompanied him, for the 
payment. Having reached the Cascades, he left 
there one company to construct a road from the 
lower to the upper portage, himself and the balance 
of his command proceeding to I'Virt Gilliam, where 
he received a despatch from Major Lee, at The 
Dalles. By this he was informed that the major 
had had a fight with Indians, January 8th, brought 
on by an attempt of the latter to round up and 
drive away stock left at the mission bv immigrants. 
The skirmish lasted two hours and resulted in a 
loss to the enemy of three killed and one injured, 
while the white loss was one man wounded. The 
Indians, however, secured three hundred head of 
beef cattle. The next day sixty horses belonging 
to the hostiles were captured. 

The receipt of this information determined 
Gilliam to push on with all speed to The Dalles. 
As soon as the governor heard of the fight he 
directed the colonel to select some of his best 
men and scour the Des Chutes river country, being 
careful to distinguish between friendly and hostile 
Indians, but vigorous in his treatment of the latter. 

.•\bout the last of January, Colonel Gilliam set 
out with one hundred and thirtv men for the Des 
Chutes river. Arrived there, he sent Major Lee 
to the supposed position of the hostiles on the east 
side of the river. He struck the Indians in full 
retreat towards the mountains and killed one of 
their njmiber, but while returning to camp was 
attacked in a ravine bv a considerable force. His 

command was compelled to dismount and seek the 
shelter of rocks and bushes, where they remained, 
annoyed but miinjured by the enemy, until night. 
Xe.xt day the Indians were attacked with vigor and 
driven to their village, then out of it again, leaving 
it at the mercy of the whites. It was destroyed, 
as well as much cached property which could not 
be carried away. 

Returning to Fort Lee at The Dalles, the officers 
held there a council, on the 11th of February, with 
the peace commissioners, who had arrived in the 
meantime, to formulate a plan of action. It was 
agreed that the commissioners should precede the 
army, and the date fixed for them to start was the 
14th, but word having been received on the 13th 
that a combination of hostile tribes had been ef- 
fected, Gilliam decided to march at once with three 
hundred men. The commissioners were displeased 
but had to acquiesce, so the minions of war and the 
bearers of the olive branch journeyed together 
toward the scene of the massacre. 

On the 23d an understanding was effected with 
the Des Chutes Indians and the next day two mes- 
sengers arrived from the Yakima country stating 
that the Yakimas had taken the advice of the peace 
commissioners and decided not to join the Ca}uses 
in a war against the Americans. A letter brought 
by one of them read as follows : 

C.\MP OF CiAiiiS, February 16, 1848. 
M. Commander : 

Tlie Yakima chiefs, Ciaies and Sklooni, have just pre- 
sented me a letter signed by Messrs. Joel Palmer, Robert 
Newell and H. A. G. Lee, which I have read, and a young 
Indian, son of one of the chiefs, translated it to them in 
Yakima language. The chiefs above mentioned charged 
me to say to you in their name, in those of Carnaiareum 
and of Chananaie. that they accept, with acknowledgments, 
the tobacco and the banner which you sent them. They 
have resolved to follow your counsel, and not unite them- 
selves with the Cayuses. but to remain at rest upon their 
lands. On my arrival at the camp of Ciaies. that chief 
assured me that he would not join the Cayuses. I could 
but see, with tlie greatest of pleasure, dispositions which 
will prevent the spilling of blood and wliich will facilitate 
the means of instructing those Indians. 

Your humble servant, 

G. Blanchet. 

During the forenoon of the 2tth the march was 
resumed, the peace commissioners in front with a 
white flag. Their friendly advances to the Indians 
were repelled and at noon a large number of hostiles 
were seen on the hill signaling for a fight. They 
collected quickly in the path of the advancing army 
and soon their desire for battle was gratified. The 
battle of Sand Hollows, as it is called, began on a 
plain where depressions in the sand formed natural 
rifle pits. The baggage train, protected by the 
company of Captain Laurence Hall, formed the 
center of the white forces. The left flank, consist- 
ing of the companies of Captain Philip F. Thompson 
and Captain H. J. G. Ma.xon, were on the north side 
of the road, and the companies of Levi X. English 


and Thomas McKay constituted the right of the 

The princijjal leaders of the Indians were Imvc 
Crows and War Eagle, both Cayuses. TheN had 
assured their followers that they were both "big 
medicine" men, invulnerable to l)ullets. Indeed. 
War Eagle went so far as to claim that he could 
swallow all the bullets the whites could shoot at him. 
They attempted to prove their prowess by riding 
up close to the wdiite lines and acting in an insolent 
manner. The whites had been ordered to hold fire 
in order to give the peace commissioners a fair 
chance, but Captain McKay, angered by their 
insults, shot War Eagle, killing him instantly. Five 
Crows was seriously wounded by a shot from 
another soldier, so seriously that he had to resign 
his command of the Indian forces. Several severe 
attacks were made on the soldiers during the day. 
but the Indians were everywdiere beaten and event- 
ually fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the 
field. It is stated that the Indian loss was thirteen 
killed and wounded, and the .\merican five men 

The volunteers passed the ensuing night at a 
place where neither wood nor water could be ob- 
tained. Next day they were asked to meet some 
of the Cayuses in council, but refused to halt until 
they reached a place where their thirst could be 
slaked. The night of the -"Uh was passed on the 
banks of the Umatilla, which was crossed next day. 
After the army had encamped, Sticcas and other 
Cayuses made overtures for peace and were told to 
meet the commissioners at Waiilatpu. The reluc- 
tance of the whites to treat arose out of the fact 
that they had not heard from Williaiu McBean at 
Fort Walla Walla, as they expected. The truth 
was that their communications to him had been 
intercepted by Tauitowe, who, however, delivered 
the letters, but destroyed ]\IcP.ean's reply. Were it 
not for this an arrangement might have been 
effected on the Umatilla by which the murderers 
would be delivered up and the war terminated, but 
the delay proved fatal to such a consununation. 

February 28th, the troops reached Walla Walla, 
where the foregoing facts were ascertained by theiu 
in personal conference with McBean. Moving to 
the site of the Whitman mission, the troops busied 
themselves on the :!(! of March in reinterring the 
bodies of the dead, which had been exhumed and 
partly devoured by coyotes. The sight of the numer- 
ous evidences of savage malevolence aroused the 
military spirit of commander and men, and the com- 
missioners saw that the ardor of both for fight 
might embarrass them in their efTorts to conclude 
a peace. A fortification was commenced at once 
and its construction continued on the 4th and ."jth, 
though the latter date fell on Sunday. On the Oth, 
two hundred and fifty friendly Nez Perces and 
Cayuses came into camp and held a council with 
the volunteers, expressing themselves as disposed 

to maiiUain peaceful relations with their white 

In this council "Gilliam could not avoid acting his 
part ; but as commander of the army he was ill at 
ease. He saw the Cayuses passing b> unharmed, 
going to the Nez Perce country in the hope of 
inducing their relatives and former allies to join 
them against the Americans, while just enough of 
them lingered liehind to pick up the news about 
camp, and act as go-betweens. Still the influence 
of the superintendent (Palmer) was such that on 
the 8th the Nez Perce chiefs were encouraged to 
go to the Cayuse camp, then twenty-five miles 
distant, to endeavor to persuade the nation to give 
up the murderers, the army to follow on the next 
day, two of the comiuissioners accoiupanying it." 

The ariuy did move in that direction on the 
9th, but had scarcely started when Sticcas came, 
bringing in some property' stolen from the mission 
and asking for a talk. Gilliain reluctantly called a 
halt. Sticcas announced the refusal of the Cayuses 
to surrender Tauitowe or Tamsucky, and Gilliam 
made a most reiuarkable proposal to withdraw 
demands for five of the murderers if Joe Lev\'is 
should be surrendered, a proposition to which the 
other commissioners would not agree. 

After this council. Palmer, Lee and Newell, 
with Captain ^IcKay, who was in bad health, left 
for the Willamette, and Gilliam, with a hundred 
and fifty-eight men, proceeded toward Snake river. 
The first day out he was met by three Indians who 
reported that Sticcas had captured Joe Lewis, but 
that the prisoner had been rescued. 

On the 13th he received a luessage from Taui- 
towe asserting the friendship of that chief and 
stating that Tamsucky had gone to the camp of 
Red Wolf on Snake river, wdiile Tiloukaikt was 
proceeding down the Tucanon, bound for the 
Palouse country. Gilliam made a night march to 
the camp of Tiloukaikt and surprised it. but suffered 
himself to be outwitted by this wily Cayuse. The 
latter sent out an aged Indian, who assured the 
colonel that he was mistaken, that this was not 
Tiloukaikt's but Peo-peo-mox-mox's camp, and that 
Tiloukaikt had gone, leaving his cattle on the hills 
beyond. Completely deluded. Gilliaiu refrained 
from attacking the camp, but crossed the river and 
climbed up the precipitous farther bank, arriving 
in time to see the last of the cattle swimming the 
Snake. The volunteers, who might have won a 
decisive victory, collected a large band of Indian 
horses and set out on the return to the Touchet. 
They were attacked in the rear bv the Palouses, 
who annoyed theiu exceedingly that day and the 
next night, compelling them to turn loose the 
captured animals. The following morning, after 
two sleepless nights, they started on again and were 
again attacked. In the battle whicli followed, a 
sort of a running fight, the volunteers gained the 
victory, inflicting a loss on the Indians of four 



killed and fourteen wounded. "Their yells and 
battle cries were changed to wailing; the sharp war 
rattle, and crack and ping of musketry were fol- 
lowed by the nerve-thrilling death song." 

Arriving at Fort Waters I \\'aiilatpu) on the 
lUth, a council of officers was held there two days 
later, at which it was decided that half the force 
should proceed to The Dalles to escort a supply 
train. Gilliam himself accompanying. They started 
on this mission the SOth. That night, while in 
camp beyond the Umatilla, a melancholy accident 
occurred. While Colonel Gilliam was drawing a 
rope from the wagon with which to tether his horse, 
a gun in the vehicle was discharged, causing his 
immediate death. "Thus," says Evans, "by an 
ignoble accident, was sacrificed the life of the idol 
of the Oregon troops, a zealous, impetuous soldier, 
a natural-born leader, a brave and thorough patriot, 
a sfenerous friend, a good citizen." There was. how- 
ever, evidence that the volunteers were divided in 
their allegiance to the colonel. 

Captain Maxon took command and proceeded 
to The Dalles, where he found a reinforcement of 
one company under Joseph M. Garrison awaiting 
him. His report to the adjutant-general gave a 
melancholy picture of conditions at Waiilatpu. stat- 
ing that i^ort Waters was nothing but an adobe 
enclosure, that it was defended by only one hundred 
and fifty men and that these were almost destitute 
of clothing and ammunition and. wholly without 
bread. Fortunately, the men discovered caches of 
wheat and peas a little later, but their good fortune 
was not then known to Maxon. 

The publication of these accounts of destitution 
and of stirring appeals for help did not go unheeded. 
A "Christian commission" on a small scale was 
organized at Oregon City to provide clothing and 
comforts for the soldiers. An address accompany- 
ing one of the shipments of goods is here repro- 
duced as vividly reflecting the temper of the pioneer 
women of the Northwest : 

Oregon City, April 12, 1848. 

The volunteers of tlie first regiment of Oregon rifle- 
men will accept from the ladies of Oregon City and 
vicinity the articles herewith forwarded to them. The 
intelliKcncc which convinces us of your many hardships, 
excessive fatigues and your chivalrous bearing also satis- 
fies us of your urgent wants. 

These articles are not tendered for acceptance as a 
compensation for your services rendered ; we know that a 
soldier's heart would spurn with contempt any boon ten- 
dered by us with such an object; accept them as a brother 
does, and may, accept a sister's tribute of remembrance — 
as a token, an evidence, that our best wishes have gone to 
and will remain with you iti your privations, your marches, 
your battles and your victories. 

Your fathers and ours, as soldiers, have endured 
privations and sufferings and poured out their blood as 
water, to establish undisturbed freedom east of the Rocky 
mountains ; your and our mothers evinced the purity of 
their love of country, upon those occasions, by efforts to 
mitigate the horrors of war, in making and providing 
clothing for the soldiers. Accept this trifling present 
as an indorsement of and approval of the justice of the 
cause in which you have volunteered, and of your bearing 

in the service of our common country as manly, brave and 

The war which you have generously volunteered to 
wage was challenged by acts the most ungrateful, bloody, 
barbarous and brutal. Perhaps the kindness which the 
natives have received at the hands of American citizens 
on their way hither, has, to some extent, induced a belief 
on the part of the natives that all the Americans are 
"women" and dare not resent an outrage, however shame- 
ful, bloody or wicked. Your unflinching bravery has 
struck this foolish error from the minds of your enemies 
and impressed them with terror, and it is for you and a 
brotherhood who will join you, to follow up the victories so 
gloriously commenced, until a succession of victories shall 
compel an honorable peace, and insure respect for the 
American arms and name. 

\Ye have not forgotten that the soul-sickening massa- 
cres and the enormities at Waiilatpu were committed in 
part upon our sex. We know that your hardships and 
privations are great ; but may we not hope that through 
you these wrongs shall not only be amply avenged, but 
also that you inscribe upon the hearts of our savage 
enemies a conviction never to be erased that the virtue 
and lives of American women will be protected, defended 
and avenged by American men. 

The cause which you have espoused is a holy cause. 
We believe that the God of battles will so direct the des- 
tinies of this infant settlement, that she will come out of 
this contest clothed in honor, and her brave volunteers 
covered with glory. 

The younger ladies of Oregon also showed their 
sympathy with the war and its objects by preparing 
the following : 

"Response by voting ladies to the call of Captain 
Maxon for young men in the army. 

"We have read with much interest the late 
report from the army, and feel ourselves under 
obligations to reply to the appeal made to us in 
that report. W^e are asked to evince our influence 
for our countr\'"s good, by withholding our hand 
from any young man who refuses to turn otit in 
defense of our honor and our country's right. 

"In reply, we hereby, one and all, of our own 
free good-will, solemnly pledge ourselves to comply 
with that request, and to evince on all suitable occa- 
sions our detestation and contempt for any and all 
young men who can, but will not, take up arms 
and march at once to the seat of war, to punish the 
Indians who have not only murdered our friends, 
but have grossly insulted our sex. We never can, 
and never will, bestow our confidence upon a man 
who has neither patriotism nor courage enough to 
defend his country and the girls ; such a one wotild 
never have sufficient sense of obligations to defend 
and protect a wife. 

"Do not be uneasy about your claims and your 
rights in the valley ; while you are defending the 
rights of your country, she is watching yours. You 
must not be discouraged. Fight on, be brave, obey 
your officers, and never quit your posts till the 
enemy is conquered ; and when you return in 
triumph to the valley, you shall find us as ready 
to rejoice with you as we now are to sympathize 
with you in your sufferings and dangers." 

[Signed by fifteen young ladies.] 



The same report impelled the govermneiit to 
issue the following proclamation : 

Recent accounts from tlie seat of war show that the 
Indians are in pretty strong force, and determined to tight. 
^lany of the tribes have expressed a desire to remain 
peaceful, but there can be no question that the slightest 
defeat on our part will encourage portions of them to 
unite against us, and if they should unfortunately succeed 
in cutting off or crippling our army, it would be a signal 
for a general union among them ; fear is the only thing that 
will restrain them. It is necessary at tlie present moment 
to keep a strong force in the field to keep those friendly 
that have manifested a desire for peace, and to keep the 
hostile Indians busy in their own country, for the war 
must now either be carried on there, or in our valley. The 
question is not now a matter of dollars and cents only; 
but whether exertions will be made on the part of citizens 
of the territory to reinforce and sustain the army in the 
upper country, and keep down the Indians (which our men 
are able and willing to do if supported), or disband the 
army and fight them in the valley. One of the two must be 
done. If the army is disbanded, before two months roll 
around we will hear of depredations on our frontiers, 
families will be cut off, and the murderers on their fleet 
horses out of our reach in some mountain pass before we 
hear of the massacre. 

Many young men are willing to enlist and proceed to 
the seat of war, but are unable to furnish an outfit ; let 
their neighbors assist them, fit them out well and send 
them on. As a people we must assist and carry on the 
war. I hope sincerely that the government of the United 
States will speedily extend its protecting care over us, but 
in the meantime we must protect ourselves, and now is 
the time. I therefore call on all citizens of this territory 
to furnish three hundred tnen in addition to the number 
now in the field. Three new companies will be organized 
and attached to the regiment commanded by Colonel H. A. 
G. Lee ; each company to consist of eighty-five men, rank 
and file; the remainder will be distributed among the com- 
panies already organized; the enlistments to be for six 
months, unless sooner discharged by proclamation or re- 
lieved by the troops of the United States. Each man will 
furnish his own horse, arms, clothing and blankets. The 
companies will bring all the ammunition, percussion caps 
and camp equipments they can, for which they will receive 
a receipt from the commissary-general. 

All citizens willing to enlist will form themselves into 
detachments in their several counties and be ready to 
march to Portland, so as to arrive there on the 18th day 
of April, on which day Colonel Lee will be there to organ- 
ize the new companies ; after which the line of march will 
be taken up for Waiilatpu. If a sufficient number of men 
to form a foot company appear on the ground, they will 
be received as one of the above companies. 

In witness whereof I have signed my name and affixed 
the seal of the territory. 

Done at Oregon City this first day of April, 1848. 

An appeal was also made in vigorous language 
by one of the officers, supposed to be Lee, designed 
to stimulate enlistment. The heart of old Oregon 
was not steeled against such appeals, and though 
she had drawn heavily upon her resources in rais- 
ing, arniing and equipping without help from any 
power outside herself, the men already in the field, 
she now made still greater exertions that the cam- 
paign might be prosecuted with even greater vigor. 
Polk and Clackamas counties came forward with 
one company, Linn with one, Yamhill and Tualatin 
with one and Clatsop with a few volunteers, num- 
bering in all about two hundred and fifty men. 

The amount of exertion this required can hardly 
be realized at this date. "Popular as was the war," 
writes Mrs. \'ictor, "it was a difficult matter putting 
another battalion in the field. The commissariat 
had at no time been maintained without great 
exertion on the part of its officers, and often great 
sacrifice on the part of the people. The commissary- 
general's sworn and bonded agents in every county 
had from the beginning strained every nerve to 
collect arms, amnuinition and clothing, for which 
they paid in government bonds or loan commis- 
sioner's script. As there was very little cash in 
circulation, and as the common currency of Oregon 
had been wheat, it had come to pass that 'wheat 
notes' had been received in place of cash as con- 
tributions to the war fund. The wheat thus col- 
lected could be sold for cash or its equivalent at 
Vancouver, and thus, after passing through the 
circumlocutionary office, this awkward currency, 
which had to be gathered up, stored in warehouses, 
hauled to boat landings, set adrift upon the Wil- 
lamette, hauled around the falls at Oregon City, and 
there reloaded for Vancouver, was there at length 
exchanged for real money or goods. The collection 
of provisions for the consumption of the army was 
another matter, and not less burdensome. The 
agents could refuse no lot of provisions because it 
was small or miscellaneous, nor reject any articles 
of use to soldiers because they were not of the 
best. Lead was purchased in any quantities from 
one to several pounds, and was hard to find, all that 
was in the country being that which was brought 
across the plains by the immigrants for use upon 
the road. Powder and percussion caps were ob- 
tained in the same way, or purchased with wheat 
notes at \'ancouver." 

H. A. G. Lee was appointed colonel, vice Corne- 
lius Gilliam, deceased. His appointment was un- 
satisfactory to some, as Captain Waters was the 
man to whom, in the natural order of promotion, 
the honor belonged. Accordingly there were some 
resignations of inferior officers, causing annoyance 
and delay to the new commander, who had also 
been entrusted with the duties of Indian superin- 
tendent, Joel Palmer having resigned. P>ut these 
difficulties were in due time overcome, and on May 
M Lee set out for Fort Waters. He had learned 
from Maxon at The Dalles that the Yakimas were 
friendly. Some of the chiefs had visited the major 
and e.xpressed themselves in this language : 

"We do not want to fight the .Americans nor the 
French ; neither do the Spokanes, a neighboring 
tribe to us. Last fall the Cayuses told us they 
were about to kill the whites at Dr. Whitman's. 
We told them that was wrong, which made them 
mad at us, and when they killed them they came to 
us and wished us to fight the whites, which we 
refused. We love the whites ; but they say, 'If you 
do not help us to fight the whites, when we have 
killed them we will come and kill vou.' This made 



us cry, but we told them we would not fight, but if 
they desired to kill us they might. We should feel 
happy to know that we died innocent." 

Upon arriving in the Cayuse country, Lee, in 
his capacity as superintendent, held a council of 
Xez Perces and others, on request of the Indians. 
Peo-peo-mox-mox, whose friendship had been alien- 
ated by the act of the legislature withholding ammu- 
nition from all Indians, again took a friendly attitude 
toward the whites, and it was evident that rein- 
forcements from the Willamette and the expecta- 
tion that a regiment of mounted riflemen would soon 
arrive from the United States were bringing the 
Indians to a humble and peaceable frame of mind. 
The red men in council were informed that the 
whites were determined to hold the country until 
the murderers were punished and the stolen prop- 
erty returned. 

\\'hen Lee reached Waiilatpu about the S)th of 
May he reviewed the situation and determined that 
it was best he should resign the colonelcy in favor 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Waters. "I have great con- 
fidence in him," he wrote, "and doubt not the troops 
will find him competent to the task before him. To 
prevent any discord or rupture in the regiment, at 
the request of the officers and men, I have consented 
to act as lieutenant-colonel during the approaching 
campaign." This act of self-abnegation and patriot- 
ism as a critical juncture restored harmony in the 
ranks and put the volunteers in condition for a 
vigorous campaign. 

On the ITth of May more than four hundred 
men started for the Nez Perce country, whither, it 
was reported, the murderers had gone. At the 
Coppei river the forces divided, one hundred and 
twenty-one men under Lee going to Red Wolf's 
camp to prevent the fugitives escaping to the moun- 
tains ; the remainder of the volunteers going to the 
mouth of the Palouse, to cut ofif their retreat down 
the Columbia. Lee learned, on reaching Red Wolf's 
camp, that Tiloukaikt's band, two days before, had 
escaped from the country with everything they 
owned except some stock at Lapwai. There he went, 
arriving on the 21st and taking charge of the aban- 
doned cattle. By aid of the friendly Nez Perces, 
he was enabled to drive back to Waters' camp one 
hundred and eighteen head of horses and forty 
head of cattle. 

The main command, under Colonel Waters, had 
succeeded, after considerable delay, in crossing the 
Snake river, and had also ])ushed on toward Lapwai. 
On the '2"M a letter was received from Rev. Cushing 
Hells stating that the Spokanes were divided in their 
sentiments toward the Americans and the war, 
though all condemned the massacre. The messen- 
gers who brought the letter volunteered to bring in 
a number of Tiloukaikt's cattle and succeeded in 
doing so, bringing in also two Xez Perces who 
informed the colonel that the main band was near 
Snake river. Thev also stated that Tiloukaikt him- 

self had fled to the mountains. Major Magone, 
with a hundred men, was sent to bring in the stock 
belonging to the hostiles and to capture any Indians 
suspected of acting with the fugitives. The stock 
was brought in, according to orders, but the only 
suspect encountered was run down and killed con- 
trary to orders. 

It became evident that nothing could be accom- 
plished b_\- a regiment in the Nez Perce country, 
"as the Cay uses had fled. Even the capture and con- 
fiscation of property was unsatisfactory, as it was 
sure to be claimed by some professedly friendly 
Indian, and the volunteers could hardly choose but 
return it. The governor and military otificers, there- 
fore, determined to close the campaign, notwith- 
standing the murderers had not been captured. A 
detachment of fifty-five men under Major Magone 
went to Fort Colville to give Missionaries Eells and 
W'alker, who had sought protection there when the 
war broke out, safe conduct to The Dalles. The 
remainder of the command returned to Waiilatpu. 
There a council of war w-as held to determine 
whether to abandon or to hold Fort Waters. The 
majority favored abandonment, but Lee was de- 
termined that the advantages gained by the war 
should not be lost by a complete withdrawal from 
the country. By interesting some responsible men 
in a scheme of colonization and promising to secure 
them, as far as was in his power, against treaty 
stipulations prejudicial to their interests, he suc- 
ceeded in inducing fifty-five volunteers to remain 
in the fort with Captain William Martin until Sep- 
tember, when, it was expected. Captain Thompson 
would return with a colony of intending settlers. 
The emigrant road was thus kept in a condition of 
comparative safety, so that the emigration of 1848. 
numbering about eight hundred souls, experienced 
no trouble with Indians. 

The results of the war may be summed up 
briefly. While the murderers were not captured 
and hanged, they were severely punished bv being 
despoiled of their property and made wanderers and 
vagabonds on the face of the earth. The power 
and prestige of the Cayuse tribe were broken for- 
ever. The other tribes of the interior who had been 
led by the nonresistance and reluctance to fight 
displayed by emigrants passing through their 
country with families and herds to consider the 
Americans a race of cowards were effectually taught 
their error, and while the race struggle was not 
ended, it was delayed until tlie whites were much 
better able to contest successfully against the 
savages arrayed in the pathway of progress. 

Negotiations were kept up constantly with the 
tribes of the interior for the peaceful surrender of 
the murderers after the provisional government was 
eventually superseded by a territorial form. The 
Cayuses, though war was no longer waged against 
them, saw that their case was becoming more and 
more hopeless by reason of the fact that the United 


States pfovernment had at last extended protecting 
arms to Oregon and tlu- American power in the 
West was rapidly increasing. At last, despairing 
of their ability to protect longer the murderers, they 
compelled or induced five of tiiem to surrender for 
trial. These were Tiloukaikt, Tamahas, Klokamas, 

Isaiachalakis, and Kiamasumpkin. They were 
given a fair trial, convicted on the :!d of June, 
executed, all of them, at Oregon City. Thus ignobly 
perished probably the last of those immediately 
concerned in the massacre, though the fate of Joe 
Lewis and others mav not be certainly known. 



The territory north of the Columbia river did 
not share in the benefits derived from the earliest 
immigrations into the Northwest. In the diplo- 
matic contest for the country, it had been steadfastly 
claimed by Great Britain, whose proposal, several 
times reiterated, was that the Columbia should form 
the bonndary. Perhaps on account of the indus- 
trious inculcating on the part of the Hudson's Bay 
Company of the belief that northern Oregon would 
be conceded to Great Britain, the benefits of the 
provisional government were not expressly extended 
to the territory now forming Washington state, and 
for several years after the Americanization of the 
Willamette valley began, the fur company held un- 
disputed sway over the trans-Columbia region. In 
order to strengthen further the hands of the British 
government in its territorial claims, that company 
had organized the Puget Sound Agricultural Com- 
pany, through which considerable progress was 
made in farming and stock-raising, as is shown by 
the following description <if the Cowlitz and Nis- 
qually tracts written in 1S41 by the pen of Sir 
George Simpson : 

"Between the Cowlitz river and Puget sound, 
a distance of about sixty miles, the country, which 
is watered by many streams and lakes, consists of 
an alternation of plains and belts of wood. It is 
well adapted both for tillage and pasturage, pos- 
sessing a genial climate, good soil, excellent timber, 
water power, natural clearings and a sea-port, and 
that, too, within reach of more than one advan- 
tageous market. When this tract was explored, a 
few years ago, the Hudson's Bay Company estab- 
lished two farms upon it, which were subsequently 
transferred to the Puget Sound Agricultural Com- 
pany, formed under the company's auspices, with 
the view of producing wheat, wool, hides and tallow, 
for exportation. On the Cowlitz farm there were 
already about a thousand acres of land under the 
plow, besides a large dairy, and an extensive park 

for horses and stock ; and the crop this season 
amounted to eight or nine thousand bushels of 
wheat, four thousand of oats, with a due propor- 
tion of barley, potatoes, etc. The other farm was 
<in the sh(.ires of Puget sound (Nisquallv plains), 
and, as its soil was found to be better fitted for 
pasturage than tillage, it had been appropriated 
almost exclusively to the flocks and herds. So that 
now. with only two hundred acres of cultivated 
land, it possessed six thousand sheep, twelve hun- 
dred cattle, besides horses, pigs, etc. In addition to 
these two famis, there was a Catholic mission, with 
about one hundred and sixty acres under the plow. 
There were also a few Canadian settlers, retired 
servants of the Hudson's Bay Company ; and it was 
to the same neighborhood that the emigrants from 
Red river were wending their way." 

To strengthen still further British claim to 
northern Oregon, as the country was then called, 
the Hudson's Bay Company undertook the task of 
settling the still unoccupied lands or some of them 
with British subjects from the Red river country of 
Canada. .\s an inducement to such to make the 
tedious journey over the many weary leagues 
which intervened between the Red river of the 
North and Puget sound, the company offered to 
each head of a family, upon arrival, the use and 
increase of fifteen cows, fifteen ewes, all needful 
work oxen or horses and the use of house and 
barns. In answer to this call an emigration left 
the vicinity of Fort Garry, on the loth of June, 
1841. They were overtaken by the party of Sir 
George Simpson, who described them as consisting 
of agriculturists and others, principally natives of 
the Red river settlement. "There were twenty-three 
families." says he, "the heads being young and 
active, though a few of them were advanced in life, 
more particularly one poor woman, upwards of 
seventy-five years of age, who was following after 
her son to his new home. As a contrast to this 



superannuated (laughter of the Saskatchewan, the 
band contained several young travelers, who had, 
in fact, made their appearance in this world since 
the commencement of the journey. Beyond the 
inevitable detention which seldom exceeded a few 
hours, these interesting events had never interfered 
with the progress of the brigade ; and both mother 
and child used to jog on, as if jogging on were the 
condition of human existence. Each family had 
two or three carts, together with bands of horses, 
cattle and dogs. The men and lads traveled in the 
saddle, while the vehicles, which were covered with 
awnings against the sun and rain, carried the 
women and >oung children. As they marched in 
single file, their cavalcade extended above a mile 
in length ; and we increased the length of the column 
by marching in company. The emigrants were all 
healthy and happy, living in the greatest abundance 
and enjoying the journey with the highest relish. 
Before coming up to these people, we had seen 
evidence of the comfortable state of their com- 
missariat in the shape of two or three still warm 
buffaloes, from which only the tongue and a few' 
other choice bits had been taken." 

The company crossed the Rock^v mountains early 
in August, reached Fort Walla Walla on the 4th 
of October, assisted in removing valuables from 
that fort, which burned that night or the next 
morning, and finally arrived, after the loss of two 
or three members, who changed their destination 
while en route, in the Sound country. Some of the 
families remained at the Cowlitz farm over winter 
and .some at Fort Nisqually. It was claimed by 
them that the company acted in bad faith in the 
matter of fulfilling its pledges. Whether or not 
this be true, not many of the families located per- 
manentlv in the country, and the colonization scheme 
mav be considered a failure. 

The honor of having made the initial attempt to 
colonize northern Oregon in American interests is 
universally conceded to one Michael T. Simmons, 
the "Daniel Boone of Washington." Simmons is 
described as a stalwart Kentuckian. endowed with 
the splendid physique and indomitable courage for 
which the sons of that state are famous. .Arriving 
at \'ancouver in 1844, he spent most of the winter 
there, and doubtless learned from the chance ex- 
pressions of Hudson's Bay men something of the 
value of the country to the northward. .\t any 
rate, he gave up his former intentions of .going to 
southern Oregon, as the company wished him to 
do, and determined to explore the forests of the 
north, as the companv very much opposed his doing. 
He is credited with having patriotic as well as 
personal motives for undertaking this spying out 
of the land. He started on his e,x|)loring expe- 
dition with five companions during the winter of 
1844-5, purposing to find or make a pathway to 
Puget sound. But the inclemencies of the season 
necessitated his temporary abandonment of the 

enterprise, and having ascended the Cowlitz river 
about fifty miles he returned to X'ancouver. In 
July he set out again with eight comjianions. Reach- 
ing the sound in due season, he made some explo- 
rations of its shores in canoes and infonned himself 
of its resources and value. He chose as a site for 
his colony a picturesque spot near the falls of the 
Des Chutes river, made a return trip to \'ancouver 
and soon was back on the sound with James Mc- 
Allister, Gabriel Jones, David Kindred and George 
W. Bush and their families, also S. B. Crockett and 
Jesse Ferguson. Such is the personnel of the first 
American colony in Washington. 

"Xot one entering the region at the present 
time," wrote the late H. K. Hines. "can form any 
idea of the difficulty attending the enterprise of 
these people. The forests of the country were almost 
impenetrable, and they covered nearly all its space. 
To open a trail from the Cowlitz river northward 
was the hard work of weeks, and then to make 
such an inroad upon the forest as to give any hope 
of future support for their families was a task that 
only brave and manly men would dare to undertake. 
But empire and destiny were in these men's hands 
i and hearts, and they were equal to the work they 
' had undertaken. But as we now think of it, after 
fifty years, we wonder how these seven men, iso- 
lated one htmdred and fifty miles from any who 
could aid them, and surrounded by the savages of 
Puget sound, who were watching with evil eye the 
inroads of the whites, succeeded in establishing 
themselves and their families in this then most 
inhospitable region. That they dirl marks them as 

The next year. 1S46, added a very few more 
to the .\merican population of Washington, among 
them Edward Sylvester, upon whose land claim 
Olympia was afterward built, and the well-known 
men, A. B. Robbinson and S. S. Ford. A small 
number settled in 1847, but these few "were of the 
same sterling stufif as those who had preceded them 
and added much to the moral and intellectual fibre 
of the infant settlement." 

"This year was also signalized,"' says Hines, "by 
the erection of a saw mill at the falls of the Des 
Chutes, since called Tumwater. on the land claim 
of M. T. Simmons. .-V small flouring mill had 
before been erected at the same place, with buhrs 
hewn out of some granite rock found on the beach 
of Budd's inlet, which afforded some unbolted flour 
as a change from boiled wheat for bread." 

A somewhat larger settlement was eft'ected 
during 1S48, manv of the new comers taking claims 
along the Cowlitz river. One man. Thomas W. 
Glasgow, attempted settlement on W'hidby's island. 
A few others started to establish homes in his 
vicinity during the sunnner, but all were compelled 
to withdraw, the Indians at a council called by 
Patkanim, chief of the .Snoqualmies. having decided 
not to allow them to remain on the island. The 



next two years were years of apparent retrogres- 
sion rather than progress, for the adult male popu- 
lation was induced away hy the iliscovery of gold 
in California, leaving none but women and boys to 
sow and reap, or plan and execute new enterprises. 
Later, however, the spray from the tidal wave of 
population attracted to the Golden state by the dis- 
covery of the precious metal spread over Puget 
sound, bringing activity and progress. 

]\lr. Simmons, the advance agent of American 
occupancy, gained further distinction in 1850 by 
giving incejnion to American commerce on the 
sound. A brig had reached these waters during 
the year, having been purchased by several of the 
sound residents from certain gold-seekers from 
Maine. Simmons bought her, loaded her with piles, 
and taking these to San Francisco exchanged them 
for general merchandise. The goods were exposed 
for sale in a small building in Smithfield, the town 
which later became known as Olympia. 

"This initial stake of business having been thus 
successfully set at Olympia," says Hines, "the lines 
of settlement began to extend from it in every direc- 
tion. Steilacoom, occupying a point on the sound 
below Olympia, and abreast of the Nisqually plains, 
was settled and a large business house erected there. 
Port Townsend was settled by H. C. Wilson. I. N. 
Ebey, late in the fall of 1850, occupied the claim on 
Whidby's island from which Glasgow had been 
driven by the hostilities of Patkanim, and R. H. 
Lansdale took a claim at the head of Penn's cove. 
These were among the first, if not the first, who 
established themselves above the lower portions of 
the sound, but they were soon followed by Petty- 
grove and Hastings. A town was laid out on the 
west side of Port Townsend bay, called after the 
bay itself. Port Townsend, 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 white on the edge of the dark forests and darker 
humanity, of the vast region encompassing the 
waters of the great inland sea. But the time had 
come for a more appreciable advance." 

The year 1851 brought not a few immigrants 
who wished to seek their fortunes on the shores of 
the sound. Of these some were ambitious to build 
homes for themselves wherever the agricultural 
possibilities of the country were greatest and most 
easily developed ; others to find a spot which must 
eventually become a trade center and become rich 
through the "unearned increment" in the value of 
their holdings. Among the latter class were C. C. 
Terr}', A. A. and D. T. Denny, W. N. Bell, C. T. 
Boren, John C. Holgate and John Low, who selected 
claims on Elliot bay and became prominent in the 
founding and building of Seattle. It is stated that 
in four years this town had a population of three 

Contemporaneous with, or within a year or 

two after the settlement already adverted to, was 
the settlement of Whidby's island, New Dunginess, 
Bellingham bay, the north bank of the Columbia 
river from the Cascade mountains to its mouth. 
Baker's bay, Shoalwater bay, Gray's harbor and 
other places. The coal and limber resources of the 
country began attracting attention at this time, re- 
sulting in the building up of immense milling enter- 
prises at different points on the sound. 

The ambition of these pioneers to become the 
founders of a new commonwealth, to add a new 
star to the American constellation, had co-operated 
with the natural advantages of the countrj' from 
the first to induce them into and hold them in the 
sound basin. That ambition began its struggle for 
accomplishment as early as the 4th of Jul)-, 1851, 
when J. B. Chapman addressed all those who met 
in Olympia to celebrate the nation's birthday, upon 
the subject "The Future State of Columbia." So 
great were his enthusiasm and eloquence that they 
inspired the people to immediate activity. They held 
a meeting forthwith and decided that a convention 
should be held at Cowlitz Landing, said convention 
to be composed of delegates from all the election 
districts north of the Columbia. Its purpose was 
"to take into careful consideration the peculiar 
position of the northern portion of the territory, its 
wants, the best methods of supplying those wants, 
and the propriety of an early appeal to congress for 
a division of the territory." 

On the day appointed the convention met. It 
adopted a memorial to congress praying for the 
division of the territory ; for a territorial road from 
Puget sound over the Cascades to Walla Walla ; 
for a plank road from the mouth of the Cowlitz 
river to the sound, and that the provisions of the 
Oregon Land Law should be continued provided 
the division prayed for should be granted. 

No action was had by congress on the memorial, 
and enthusiasm for segregation for a time waned. 
However, it was not suffered to die out entirely, 
for a paper named the Columbian was established at 
Olympia with the keeping alive of the new territory 
project as its main purpose. The first issue of this 
pioneer publication appeared September 11, 1853. 

This journal was successful in compassing the 
convention of another body of men on organization 
bent. They met at Monticello, near the mouth of 
the Cowlitz and prepared a memorial to congress 
pleading most eloquentl\- the cause of segregation 
from Oregon. The efforts of this convention were 
supplemented by the legislature of Oregon territory, 
a few members of which, however, favored a project 
to make the Cascade range the boundary between 
the territory of Oregon and the territory of Col- 
umbia. The scheme of these contemplated the 
bounding of Oregon, north, south and west by the 
British line, the California line and the ocean res- 
pectively and east by Columbia territory, the Ca's- 
cade range being the boimdarv line. 



But the majority of the representatives and the 
majority of the people both north and south of 
the Cohimbia favored that river as the Hne of 
division. General Lane. Oregon's delegate, brought 
the matter before congress. That body could not 
turn a deaf ear to the almost unanimous voice of 
the people directly affected by the proposed legis- 
lation, and on ^larch 2, 1S53, the territory was 
organized as prayed for, the name '"Washington" 
being substituted for "Columbia," however. A 
full quota of officers was appointed for the new ter- 
ritory ; namely, governor, Isaac Ingall Stevens ; 
secretary, C. H. ]\Iason ; chief justice, Edward 
Lander; associate justices, John R. Miller and 
X'ictor Monroe; district attorney, J. S. Clendenin ; 
J Patton Anderson, United States marshal. Miller 
refused the appointment, and O. B. McFadden, of 
Oregon, became associate justice in his stead. 
While all of these officers were capable and efficient, 
the choice for governor was especially felicitous, 
Stevens being just the man to guide the newly built 
ship of state through the stormy seas it was so soon 
to sail. 

Governor Stevens began bestowing blessings 
upon the new territory long before he reached its 
borders, for ere he left Washington he obtained 
charge of the survey of the northern route for the 
proposed trans-continental railway, — one of the first 
grand schemes of the American government for 
the subjugation and development of its vast terri- 
torial possessions. This circumstance gave to the 
northern route a zealous, able and well informed 
advocate. There can be no doubt that the full and 
accurate reports of Governor Stevens and his zeal 
for the route which he believed the most expedient 
did more than anything else to fix the general loca- 
tion of the Northern Pacific railroad, and to give 
to the young commonwealth over which Stevens 
presided that most potential factor in its subsequent 

Having arrived at length in the young common- 
wealth of which he had been called to assume execu- 
tive control. Governor Stevens at once addressed 
himself to the mastery of the difficult problems 
presenting themselves. He found a field of labor 
presenting a splendid opportunity for the exercise 
of his extraordinary abilities. Of the conditions as 
he found them, his son. Hazard, in his excellent life 
of Washington's first governor, thus writes : 

"It was indeed a wild country, untouched by 
civilization, and a scanty white population, sparsely 
sprinkled over the immense area, that were awaiting 
the arrival of Governor Stevens to organize civil 
government, and shape the destinies of the future. 
A mere handful of settlers, :).9(i.") all told, v.'ere 
widely scattered over western Washington, between 
the li:)wer Columbia and the straits of I'uca. A 
small hamlet clustered around the military post at 
\'ancouver. .-\ few settlers were spread widely 
apart along the Columbia, among whom were Co- 

lumbia Lancaster on Lewis river; Seth Catlin, Dr. 
Nathaniel Ostrander and the Huntingtons about the 
mouth of the Cowlitz ; Alexander S. Abernethy at 
Oak Point and Judge William Strong at Cathlamet. 
Some 0}stermen in Shoalwater bay were taking 
shell fish for the San Francisco market. At Cow- 
litz Landing, thirty miles up that river, were exten- 
sive prairies, where farms had been cultivated by 
the Hudson's Bay Company, under the name of the 
Puget Sound Agricultural Company, for fifteen 
years ; and here were a few Americans, a number 
of Scotch and Canadians, former employees of that 
company, and now looking forward to becoming 
.\merican citizens, and settling down upon their 
own claims under the Donation Act, which gave 
three hundred and twenty acres to every settler and 
as much more to his wife. A score of hardv 
pioneers had settled upon the scattered prairies be- 
tween the Cowlitz farms and the sound ; amonar 
them were John R. Jackson, typical English yeo- 
man, on his prairie, ten miles from the Cowlitz; 
S S. Saunders, on Saunders bottom, where now 
stands the town of Chehalis ; George Washington, a 
colored man, on the next prairie, the site of Cen- 
tralia ; Judge Sidney S. Ford on his prairie on the 
Chehalis river, below the mouth of Skookumchuck 
creek ; W. B. Goodell, B. L. Henness and Stephen 
Hodgdon on Grand Mound prairie ; A. B. Robbeson 
and W. W. Plumb on Mound prairie. A number 
of settlers had taken up the prairies about Olympia. 
the principal of whom were W. O. Bush, Gabriel 
Jones, William Rutledge and David Kendrick on 
Bush prairie ; J. N. Low, Andrew J. Chambers, 
Nathan Eaton, Stephen D. Ruddell and Urban E. 
Hicks on Chambers' prairie; David J. Chambers 
on the prairie of his name. James McAlister and 
William Packwood were on the Nisqually bottom, 
at the mouth of the river, just north of which, on 
the verge of the Nisqually plains, was situated the 
Hudson's Bay Company's post. Fort Nisqually, a 
l^arallelogram of log buildings and stockade under 
charge of Dr. W. F. Tolmie, a warm hearted and 
true Scot. Great herds of Spanish cattle, the prop- 
erty of the company, roamed over the Nisqually 
plains, little cared for and more than half wild, and, 
it is to be feared, occasionally fell prey to the rifles 
of hungry American emigrants. Two miles below 
Olympia, on the east side of the bay, was located a 
Catholic mission under Fathers Richard and lilan- 
chet, where were a large building, an orchard and a 
garden. They had made a number of converts 
among the Indians. 

"Towns, each as yet little more than a claim and 
a name, but each in the hope and firm belief of its 
founders destined to future greatness, were just 
started at Steilacoom. by Lafayette Balch ; at 
Seattle, by Dr. E. S. Maynard, H. L. Yesler and 
the Dennys : at Port Townsend. by F. W. Petty- 
grove and L. B. Hastings ; and at Bellingham bay, 
by Henry Roder and Edward Eldridge. 



"Save the muddy track from the Cowlitz to 
Olympia and thence to Steilacoom, and a few local 
trails, roads there were none. Coinmunication was 
chictly hy water, almost wholly in canoes manned 
hv Indians. The monthly steamer from San Fran- 
cisco and a little river steamboat plying daily be- 
tween X'anconver and Portland alone vexed with 
their keels the mighty Columbia ; while it was not 
until the next year that reckless, harum-scarum 
Ca])tain Jack .Scranton ran the Major Tompkins, a 
small black steamer, once a week around the sound, 
and had no rival. Here was this great wooded 
country, without roads, the unrivaled waterways 
without steamers, the adventurous, vigorous white 
population without laws, numerous tribes of Indians 
without treaties, and the Hudson's Bay Company's 
rights and possessions without settlement. To add 
to the difficulties and confusion of the situation, 
congress, by the Donation Acts, held out a standing 
invitation to the American settlers to seize and 
settle upon any land, surveyed or unsurveyed, with- 
out waiting to extinguish the Indian title or define 
the lands guaranteed by solemn treaty to the for- 
eign company, and already the Indians and the 
Hudson's Bav Company were growing more and 
more restless and indignant at the encroachments 
of the pushing settlers upon their choice spots. 
Trulv a situation frought with difficulties and dan- 
gers, where everything was to be done and nothing 
yet begun. 

"It is a great but common mistake to suppose 
that the early American settlers of Washington 
were a set of lawless, rough and ignorant borderers. 
In fact, they compare favorably with the early set- 
tlers of any of the states. As a rule, they were men 
of more than average force of character, vigorous, 
honest, intelligent, law abiding and patriotic. — men 
who had brought their families to carve out homes 
in the wilderness, and many of them men of educa- 
tion and of standing in their former abodes. Among 
them could be found the best blood of Xew Eng- 
land, the sturdy and kindly yeomanry of Virginia 
and Kentucky, and men from all the states of the 
middle west from Ohio to Arkansas. Most of them 
had slowly wended their way across the great plains, 
overcoming every obstacle, and suffering untold 
privation ; others had come by sea around Cape 
Horn, or across the isthmus. They were all true 
Americans, patriotic and brave, and filled with san- 
guine hope of, and firm faith in, the future growth 
and greatness of the new country which they had 
come to make blossom like the rose." 

Governor Stevens, in the proclamation by which 
he gave inception to the work of organizing the 
territory, designated January 30, 1854, as the day 
for electing a delegate to congress and a local legis- 
lature. Columbia Lancaster was the choice of the 
people for the difficult task of representing the 
young commonwealth in Washington. The legis- 
lature chosen at the same time convened, pursuant 

to the governor's proclamation, on the "^Tth of Feb- 
ruary ensuing and proceeded to transact such busi- 
ness and enact such laws as were necessary to put 
the territory on a fairly sound footing. The mes- 
sage of the governor was an able and statesmanlike 
paper. It gave a glowing description of the unde- 
veloped resources and commercial importance of 
the territory ; referred to the unfortunate status 
of the public lands, arising out of the fact that In- 
dian titles had not yet been extinguished and advised 
the memorializing of congress concerning the con- 
struction of needed public highways, the surveying 
of lands, certain amendments to the land law. the 
early settlement of the San Juan dispute and the 
extinguishment of the Hudson's Bay and Puget 
Sound Agricultural Companies' titles to certain 
lands claimed by them under the Treaty of Limits. 
The message also called the attention of the legisla- 
ture to the necessity of providing a public school 
system and an efficient militia organization. 

Soon after the adjournment of the legislature, 
which acted in harmony with the foregoing sug- 
gestions from the executive, Governor Stevens set 
out for Washington city that he might report in 
person on the survey of the northern route and press 
upon the attention of congress certain matters re- 
lating to Indian affairs, the northern boundary and 
the quieting of the government title to lands. He, 
with the help of Lancaster and Delegate Lane of 
(")regon. secured "an appropriation of thirty 
thousand dollars for the construction of what was 
known as the MuUan road from the Great Falls of 
the Missouri via Coeur d'Alene lake to Walla 
Walla : of twenty-five thousand dollars for the con- 
struction of a military road from The Dalles of the 
Columbia to Fort \'ancouver : of thirty thousand 
for a road from Fort ^'ancouve^ to Fort .Steila- 
coom ; and eighty-nine thousand dollars for light- 
houses at various p)oints on the coast. Liberal 
provision was made for the Indian service, in which 
was included the sum of one hundred thousand to 
enable Governor Stevens to treat with the Black- 
feet and other tril>es in the north and east portions 
of the territory." 

Governor Stevens lost no time after his return 
to Washington territory, in using the funds and the 
authority bestowed on him for the purpose of ac- 
complishing one of the main features of his Indian 
policy. — the extinguishment of the Indian title to 
lands. Without pausing to narrate the story of his 
negotiations with the Sound tribes, let us follow 
him in his trip to the Walla Walla valley, under- 
taken for the purpose of inducing, if possible, the 
vigorous and independent tribes of the interior to 
treat. He had sent runners to these various bands, 
apprising them of the intended council and inviting 
all to be present. At the suggestion of Kamiakin, 
head chief of the Yakimas. a spot in the Walla 
\\'alla vallev. which had been used bv the Indians 



as a council ground from time immemorial, was 
chosen as the site of this conference also. 

Early in May the governor set out for the ap- 
pointed rendezvous. .\t The Dalles he found 
(ieneral Joel Palmer, who was to represent Oregon 
in the negotiations, awaiting him. The general 
was faithless of a successful issue of the undertak- 
ing. "So doubtful." wrote Governor Stevens in his 
diary, "did General Palmer consider the whole 
matter of the council, that it was only the circum- 
stance of a military force being despatched which 
determined him to send to the treaty ground pres- 
ents to the Indians. He stated to me that he had 
concluded to send up no goods ; but, the escort 
having been ordered, he would send up his goods. 
.At this time the Oregon officers expected little from 
the council, and evidently believed that the whole 
tiling was premature and ill-advised." 

The escort referred to was sent by Major C. J- 
Rains, and consisted of a detachment of forty sol- 
diers under Lieutenant Archibald Gracie. With the 
command was Lawrence Kip, whose diary pre- 
sents an interesting account of the external and 
some of the internal happenings of this strange con- 
vention in the wilderness. 

Stevens reached the council grounds May 21st. 
Two days later came Lieutenant Gracie with his 
soldiers. At that time no Indians were in sight, 
but the next day came the Nez Perces rushing to 
the rendezvous with impetuous speed, decked out 
in gorgeous attire and riding ponies painted and 
caparisoned in accord with their savage notions of 
style. Upon their arrival and appearance, Kip 
thus comments in his diary : 

Thursday, May 24th. This has been an exceedingly 
interesting day, as about twenty-five hundred of the Nez 
Perce tribe have arrived. It was our first specimen of 
this prairie chivalry, and it certainly realized all our concep- 
tions of these wild warriors of the plains. Their coming 
was announced about ten o'clock, and going out on the 
plain? to where a flagstaff had been erected, we saw them 
approaching on horseback in one long line. They were 
almost entirely naked, gaudily painted and decorated with 
their wild trappings. Their plumes fluttered about them, 
while below, skins and trinkets of all kinds of fantastic 
embellishments flaunted in the sunshine. Trained from 
early childhood, almost, to live upon horseback, they sat 
upon their fine animals as if they were centaurs. Tlieir 
horses, too, were arrayed in the most glaring finery. They 
were painted with such colors as formed the greatest con- 
trast; the white being smeared with crimson in fantastic 
lipnres, and the dark colored streaked with white clay. 
I'lcads and fringes of gaudy colors were hanging from 
the bridles, while the plumes of eagle feathers interwoven 
with the mane and tail fluttered as the breeze swept over 
them, and completed their wild and fantastic appearance. 

When about a mile distant they halted, and half a 
dozen chiefs rode forward and were introduced to Gov- 
ernor Stevens and General Palmer, in order of their rank. 
Then on came the rest of the wild horsemen in single file, 
clashing their shields, singing and heating their drums as 
they marched past us. Then they formed a circle and 
dashed around us, while our little group stood there, the 
center of their wild evolutions. They would gallop up as 
if about to make a charge, then wheel roimd and round, 
sounding their loud whoops until they had apparently 

worked themselves up into an intense excitement. Then 
some score or two dismounted, and forming a ring, 
danced for about twenty minutes, while those surrounding 
them heat tiine on their drums, .'\fter these performances, 
more than twenty of the chiefs went over to tlie tent of 
Governor Stevens, where they sat for some time, smoking 
the i)ipe of peace, in token of good fellowship, and tlien 
returned to their camping groiuid. 

Saturday, May "JGth, came the Cayuses, about 
three hundred in number, according to Kip. 
"They came in whooping and singing in the Indian 
fashion, and after circling round the camp of the 
Nez Perces two or three times, they retired to form 
their own at some little distance." Next day be- 
ing Sunday, a religious meeting was held by the 
Nez Perces, Timothy jireaching. Stevens attended. 
"Timothy," observed he, "has a natural and grace- 
ful delivery, and his words were repeated by a 
prompter. The Nez Perces have evidently profited 
much from the labors of Mr. Spalding, who was 
with them ten years, and their whole deportment 
throughout the service was devout." 

^Monday, May '28th, the governor sent A. J. 
I'lolon to meet the Yakimas, and from this emissary, 
who soon returned, he learned that Peo-peo-mox- 
mox was professedly friendl}-. That chief, together 
with Kamiakin and two subchiefs of the Yakimas, 
with a following of their men, soon came up and 
shook hands cordially with the commissioners, re- 
fusing, however, to receive tobacco from the whites. 

At two o'clock on the following afternoon the 
council opened, but nothing was done further than 
to organize and swear in the interpreters. The 
council convened again on the ;!Oth at one P. M. 
"It was a striking scene," wrote Kip. "Directly in 
front of Governor Stevens' tent, a small arbor had 
been erected, in which, at a table, sat several of his 
party taking notes of everything said. In front of 
the arbor on a bench sat (jovernor Stevens and 
General Palmer, and before them, in the open air, in 
concentric semicircles were arranged the Indians, 
the chiefs in the front ranks in the order of their 
dignity, while the background was filled with 
women and children. The Indians sat on the 
ground (in their own words), 'reposing on the 
bosoin of their great mother." There were proba- 
bly one thousand present at a time, .\fter smoking 
for half an hour (a ceremony which with them 
precedes all business), the council was opened by a 
short address bv General Palmer. Governor 
Stevens then rose and made a long speech, setting 
forth the object of the coimcil and what was de- 
sired of them. .\s he finished each sentence, the 
interpreter repeated it to two of the Indians who 
announced it in a loud voice t<5 the rest — one in the 
Nez Perce and the other in the Walla Walla lan- 
guage. This process necessarily causes business to 
move slowly." 

In such tedious mamier the patient and pains- 
taking Stevens explained the treaties he wished the 
Indians to sign, clause by clause and item by item. 



At this stasje of tlie negotiations the commissioners 
C()ntcmi)latc'(l two resc'rvatit)ns, — one in tlie Xez 
IVrce country for the Xez I'erces. Walla Wallas, 
Cavnses. L'matillas and S])okanes ; one on Yakima 
river tor the ^■akimas, Palouses, Klickitats and 
other bands. Two days were consumed by the long^ 
s])eeches of the commissioners upon the various 
provisions of the treaty and the price ofifered by the 
s^overnment. The third (Friday) was at the re- 
(|uest of Young: Chief, ff'wcn up for a holiday, but 
the Indians who theretofore had indulged freely 
every evening after adjournment of the council in 
sports of all kinds, remained quiet all that day, no 
doubt deliberating upon the proposals of the com- 
missioners, and in the case of the Cayuses at least 
planning mischief. 

The next day, they met as usual. After some 
further talk upon the treaties the commissioners 
urged the Indians to speak their minds freely, and 
some short speeches were made in opposition to 
parting with the lands. The speech of Peo-peo-mox- 
mox was especially noteworthy as a sarcastic ar- 
raignment of the whites, a delicate intimation of 
his distrust of the commissioners and an expression 
of reluctance to accept goods in payment for the 

That evening. Lawyer, head chief of the Nez 
Perces, came to Governor Stevens with informa- 
tion of a vile plot and a suggestion as to how it 
should be averted. Having become suspicious that 
mischief was brewing in the camp of the Cayuses, 
he sent a spy to discover their plot, and by this 
means found that for several nights the Cayuses 
had been considering the advisability of falling upon 
and massacring all the whites on the council ground. 
They had, on the day Young Chief had secured for 
a holiday, definitely determined to strike as soon as 
the consent of the Yakimas and Walla W^allas could 
be obtained. The massacre was to form the initial 
blow of a war of extermination against the white 
race, the second act of hostility planned being the 
surprise and capture of the post at The Dalles. "I 
will come with my family," said Lawyer, "and pitch 
my lodge in the midst of your camp, that those 
Cayuses may see that you and your party are under 
the protection of the head chief of the Xez Perces.'' 
By so doing. Lawyer averted the danger to 
Stevens, his party and guard, for the treacherous 
plotters were well aware that an attack on the whites 
could hardly be made without the killing of one or 
more of the Nez Perce defenders, and a consequent 
war with that numerous and powerful tribe. Hav- 
ing quietly caused the arms of the whites to be put 
in readiness against a possible attack. Governor 
Stevens proceeded with his council. Monday, June 
4th, was consumed for the most part in Indian 
speech-making, but during the next day the commis- 
sioners were again the principal orators. Steachus, 
the friendly Cayuse, in a short speech, declared his 
unwillingness to be removed whollv from his own 

country and stated that his heart was in one of the 
three ])laces, tlie (Irand Ronde, the Touchet and 
the Tucanon. 

As affording a glim]>sc of the inner workings of 
the council. Kip's report of the proceedings of 
Thursday, June Ith, is here reproduced: 

'I'lnu'sday. Jiiiu' Tth, .\lr, McKay took breakfast witli 
lis. lie is the son of tlic old Indian hunter so often men- 
tioned in Irving's "Astoria," and whose name is idcntilied 
with pioneer life in this region. 

The council met to-day at 12, and I went into the 
arbor and, taking my seat at the reporters table, wrote 
some of the speeches delivered. There is, of covirse. in 
those of the Indians, too much repetition to give them 
fully, but a few extracts may show the manner in which 
those wearisome meetings were conducted day after day. 

Governor Stevens. — "My brothers, we e.xpect-to have 
your hearts to-day. Let ns have your hearts straight out." 

Lawyer, the old Nez Perce chief. — The first part of 
his speech was historical, relating to the discovery of this 
country by the Spaniards, which is a favorite topic with 
the Indian orators. In course of it he thus narrates the 
story of Columbus and the egg, which he had heard from 
some of the missionaries : 

"One of the head of the court said, 'I knew there was 
such a country.' Columbus, who had discovered it, said, 
'Can \'ou make an egg stand on its end?' He tried to make 
the egg stand, but could not do it. He did not understand 
how. It fell over. Columbus then showed them all that 
he could make it stand. He sat it down and it stood. 
He knew how, and after they saw it done they could do it." 

He thus described the manner in wliich the tribes of 
the East receded at the approach of the whites : 

"The red man traveled away farther, and from that 
time they kept traveling away farther, as the white people 
came up with them. .\nd this man's people (pointing to 
a Delaware Indian who was one of the interpreters ) are 
from tliat people. They have come on from the Great 
Lake where the sun rises, until they are near us now, at 
the setting sun. .\nd from tliat country, somewhere from 
the center, came Lewis and Clark, and that is the w'ay the 
white people traveled and came on here to my forefathers. 
They passed through our country, they became acquainted 
our country and all our streams, and our forefathers 
used them well, as well as they could, and from the time 
of Columbus, from the time of Lewis and Clark, we have 
known you, my friends; we poor people have known you 
as brothers." 

He concluded by expressing his approval of tlie 
treaty, only urging that the whites should act toward them 
in good faith. 

Governor Stevens. — "We have now the hearts of the 
Nez Perces through their chief. Their hearts and our 
hearts are one. We want the hearts of the other tribes 
through their chiefs." 

Young Chief, of the Cayuse;. (He was evidently 
opposed to the treaty but grounded his objections on two 
arguments. The first was, they had no right to sell the 
ground which God had given for their support unless for 
some good reason.) — "I wonder if the ground has any- 
thing to say. I wonder if the ground is listening to what 
is said. I wonder if the groimd would come alive and 
what is on it. Though I hear what the ground says. The 
ground says. 'It is the Great Spirit that placed me here. 
The Great Spirit tells me to take care of the Indians, to 
feed them aright. The Great Spirit appointed the roots 
to feed the Indians on.' The water says the same thing : 
'The Great Spirit directs me. Feed the Indians well.' 
The grass says the same thing: 'Feed the horses and 
cattle.' The ground, water and grass say, 'The Great 
Spirit has given us our names. We have these names and 
hold these names. Neither the Indians nor whites have 
a right to change these names.' The ground savs, 'The 

(First Governor of Washington Territory) 

T'HE NEW your 



Great Spirit has placed me here to produce all that grows 
on me, trees and fruit.' The same way the ground says. 
'It was from me man was made.' The Great Spirit, in 
placing men on the earth, desired them to take good care 
of the ground and to do each other no harm. The Great 
Spirit said. 'You Indians who take care of certain por- 
tions of the country should not trade it off except you get 
a fair price.' " 

The other argument was that he could not understand 
clearly what they were to receive. 

"The Indians are blind. This is the reason we do 
not see the country well. Lawyer sees clear. This is the 
reason why I don't know anything about this country. I 
do not see the offer you have made to us yet. If I had 
the money in my hand I should see. I am, as it were, 
blind. I am blind and ignorant. I have a heart, but can- 
not say nuich. This is tlie reason why the cliiofs do not 
understand each other right, and stand apart. Although I 
see your offer before me, I do not understand it and I do 
not yet take it. I walk, as it were, in the dark, and cannot 
therefore take hold of what I do not see. Lawyer sees 
and he takes hold. When I come to understand your 
propositions, I will take hold. I do not know when. This 
is all I have to say." 

Five Crows, of the A\'alla Wallas. — "I will speak a 
few words. My heart is the same as Young Chief's." 

General Palmer. — "We know no chief among the 
Walla Wallas but Peo-peo-mox-mox. If he has anything 
to say we will be pleased to hear it." 

Peo-peo-mox-mo.x. — "I do not know what is straight. 
I do not see the offer yon have made to the Indians. I 
never saw these things which are offered by my great 
father. My heart cried when you first spoke to m«. I felt 
as if I was blown away like a feather. Let your heart be 
to separate as we are and appoint some other time. We 
shall have no bad mind. Stop the whites from coming up 
here until we have this talk. Let them not bring their 
axes with them. The whites may travel in all directions 
through our country: we will have nothing to say to them, 
provided they do not build houses on our lands. Now I 
wish to speak about Lawyer. I think he has given his 
lands. That is what I think from his words. I request 
another meeting. It is not in one meeting only that we 
can come to a decision. If you come again with a friendly 
message from our great father. I shall see you again at 
this place. To-morrow I shall see you again, and to-mor- 
row evening I shall go home. This is all I have to say." 

General Palmer. — "I want to say a few words to these 
people, but before I do so, if Kamiakin wants to speak, I 
would be glad to hear him." 

Kamiakin, Yakima chief. — "I have nothing to say." 

General Palmer. — "I would inquire whether Peo-peo- 
mox-mox or Young Chief has spoken for the Umatillas? 
I to know, further, whether the L'matillas are of the 
same heart." 

Owhi. Umatilla chief. — "We are together and the 
Great Spirit hears all that we say to-day. The Great 
Spirit gave ns the land and measured the land to us; this 
is the reason I am afraid to say .inything about the land. 
I am afraid of the laws of the Great Spirit. This is the 
reason of my heart being sad. This is the reason I cannot 
give you an answer. T am afraid of the Great Spirit. 
Shall I steal this land and sell it? or what shall I do? 
This is the reason why my heart is sad. The Great Spirit 
made our friends, but the Great Spirit made our bodies 
from the earth, as if they were different from the whites. 
What shall I do? Shall I give the land which is a part of 
my body and leave myself poor and destitute? Shall I 
say I will give yon my lands? I cannot say so. I am 
afraid of the Great .Spirit. I love my life. The reason 
why I do not give my land away is. I am afraid T will be 
sent to hell. I love my friends. I love my life. This 
is the reason why T do not give my land away. I have 
one word more to say. My people are far away. They 
do not know your words. This is the reason I cannot give 

you an answer. I show you my heart. This is all I have 
to say." 

Governor Stevens. — "How will Kamiakin of Schoom 

Kamiakin. — "What have I to be talking about?" 

General Palmer. — "We have listened and heard our 
chiefs speak. The hearts of the Nez Perces and ours are 
one. Tiie Cayuses, the Walla Wallas and the other tribes 
say they do not understand us. We were in hopes we 
should have but one heart. Why should we have irore 
than one heart? Young Chief says he does not know 
what we propose to him. Peo-peo-mox-mox says the same. 
Can we bring these saw mills and these grist mills on our 
backs to show these people? Can we bring tliese black- 
smitli shops, these wagons and tents on our backs to show 
them at this time? Can we cause fields of wheat and corn 
to spring up in a day that we may see them? Can we build 
these schoolhouses and these dwellings in a day? Can 
we bring all the money that these things will cost, that 
they may see it? It would be more than all the horses 
of any one of these tribes could carry. It takes time to 
do these things. We come first to see you and make a 
bargain. We brought but few goods with us. But wdiat- 
cver we promise to give you, you will get. 

"How long will these people remain blind? We come 
to try to open their eyes. They refuse the light. I have 
a wife and children. My brother here has the same. I 
have a good house, fields of wheat, potatoes and peas.. 
Why should I wish to leave them and come so far to see 
you ? It was to try to do you good, but you throw it away. 
Why is it that yon do so? We all sometimes do wrong. 
Sometimes because our hearts are bad. and sometimes be- 
cause we have bad counsel. Your people have sometimes 
done wrong. Our hearts have cried. Our hearts still cry. 
But if you will try to do right, we will try to forget it. 
How long will you listen to this bad counsel and refuse 
to receive the light? I. too. like the groimd where I was 
bom. I left it because it was for my good. I have come 
a long way. We ask yon to go but a short distance. We 
do not come to steal your land. We pay you more than it 
is worth. There is the Umatilla valley, that affords a 
little good land between two streams and all around it is 
a parched-up plain. Wliat is it worth to yon? What is 
it worth to us? Not half what we have offered you for it. 
W'hy do we offer so much? Because our great father 
told ns to take care of his red people. We come to you 
with his message to try to do yon good." etc., etc. 

These extracts will give a specimen of the kind of 
"talk" which went on day after day. .'Ml but the Nez 
Perces were evidently disinclined to the treaty, and it was 
melancholy to see their reluctance to abandon the old 
hunting-groimds of their fathers and their impotent strug- 
gle against the overpowering influences of the whites. The 
meeting closed to-day with an affecting speech by Governor 
Stevens, addressed to the cl.iefs who had argued against 
the treaty. I give it in part : 

"1 must say a few words. My brother and I have 
talked straight. Have all of you talked straight? Lawyer 
has and his people have, and their business will lie 
finished to-morrow. Young Chief says he is blind and does 
not understand. What is it that he wants? Steachiis says 
his heart is in one of these places — the Grand Ronde, 
The Touchet and the Tucanon. Where is the heart of 
Young Chief? Peo-peo-mox-mox cannot be wafted off 
like a feather. Does he prefer the Yakima to the Nez 
Perce reservation? We have asked him before. We 
ask him now. Where is his heart? Kamiakin. the great 
chief of the Yakimas, has not spoken at all; his people 
have no voice here to-day. He is not ashamed to speak? 
He is not afraid to speak? Tlien speak out. Owhi is 
afraid to. lest God be angry at his selling his land. Owhi, 
my brother, I do not think God will be angry with you 
if you do your best for yourself and your children, .^sk 
yourself this question to-night. Will not God be angry 
with me if I neglect this opportunity to do them good? 



But Owhi savs bis poople are iKit l\crc. Why, tlien. did lie 
tell lis. coiiK-'liear our talk? 1 do not want to be ashamed 
of him. Owhi has the heart of his people. We expect 
him to speak out. We e.>;pect to hear from KamiaUin and 
from Sclioom. The treaty will have to be drawn up to- 
night. You can see it to-morrow. The Nez Perces must 
not be put off any longer. This business must be des- 
patched. I hope that all the other hearts and our hearts 
will agree. They have asked us to speak straight. We 
have spoken straight. We have asked you to speak straight ; 
but we have yet to bear from you." 

The council then adjourned till six o'clock. In the 
evening I rode over as usual to the Nez Perces camp and 
found many of them playing cards in their lodges. They 
are the most inveterate gamblers, and a warrior will some- 
times stake on successive games, his arms and horses and 
even his wives, so that in a single night he is reduced to a 
state of primitive poverty and obliged to trust to charity to 
be remounted for a hunt. In the other camps everything 
seemed to be in violent confusion. Tlie Cayuse and other 
tribes were very much incensed against the Nez Perces for 
agreeing to the terms of the treaty, but fortunately for 
them, and probably for us, the Nez Perces are as numer- 
ous as the others united. 

Perceiving that the only hope of overcoming 
the opposition of the Indians unfriendly to the 
treaties, lay in acting upon the suggestion of 
Steachus, the commissioners decided to offer a 
third reservation for the Cayuses, Umatillas and 
Walla Wallas in their own country. The oft'er was 
inade in council Friday, June 8th, and explained in 
a lengthy speech by General Palmer. Some other 
concessions of less moment were also made to the 
Indians, and the result was quite satisfactory. All 
the chiefs gave their assent to the treaties as modi- 
fied, except Kamiakin, who had maintained an atti- 
tude of sullen silence throughout the entire council 
and still obstinately refused to give the commis- 
sioners the slightest encouragement. 

Just at the moment when the hopes of Stevens 
and Palmer were at their height and a successful 
termination of the business in hand seemed visible 
in the near prospect, a new eleinent of difficulty 
was brought into the negotiations. A small party 
was seen approaching with much pomp and circum- 
stance, painted, armed, singing a war song and 
flourishing at the end of a pole a horrible trophy of 
a recent combat. The leader was found to be none 
other than Looking Glass, war chief of the Nez 
Perces, who had long been absent in the buft'alo 
country. He was not effusive in his greeting of the 
friends that gathered round him. and soon mani- 
fested his anger at their doings in a fierce little 
speech delivered from the saddle. "My people." 
said he, "what have you done? While I was gone 
you have sold my country. I have come home and 
there is not left for me a i)lace on which to pitch 
my lodge. Go home to \'(Hir lodges. I will talk 
with you." 

Next day in council, the evil influence of this 
pettish old man was keenly felt, .\fter Stevens had 
again explained the proposed treaties for his espe- 
cial benefit, he made a violent speech against the 
sale of the lands. The Cavuses. readv to withdraw 

their assent, strongly supported him. So emphatic 
were their and his assertions that he (Looking 
(ilass) was head chief of the Nez Perces, that Law- 
yer, apijarently angry, abruptly left the council and 
retired to his lodge. 

.After adjournment the Nez Perces convened 
in their camp and held a council among themselves. 
The Cavuses did likewise. An exciting debate was 
indulged in in the former camp, and their council 
waxed warm, but in its outcome Lawyer was con- 
firmed as head chief and Looking Glass was de- 
clared to be second in authority. A paper was 
prepared and sent to General Stevens affirming that 
the faith of the Nez Perces had been pledged and 
the treaty must be signed. 

Peo-peo-mox-mox and Kamiakin had signed 
their respective treaties at the close of the council 
session of June 9th. Stevens states that the latter 
was no dotibt influenced by the former to do so. but 
subsequent events go to show that both signed the 
treaty as an act of treachery, their purpose being 
to create in the breasts of the whites a feeling of 
security, while they were perfecting their Indian 
confederacy for a fell swoop upon the hated race. 
Little remained to be done except to secure the sig- 
natures of the Cayuses and Nez Perces. and when 
council convened on Monday, June 11th, Governor 
Stevens said simply : "We meet for the last tiine. 
Your words are pledged to sign the treaty. The 
tribes have spoken through their head chiefs, 
Joseph, Red Wolf, the Eagle, Ipsemaleecou, all 
declaring Lawyer was the head chief. I call upon 
Lawyer to sign first." Lawyer did so. then Look- 
ing Glass, then Joseph and finally the signatures 
were obtained of all the subchiefs and principal 
men of both tribes, after which presents were made 
to the different bands. 

"Thus ended in a most satisfactory manner." 
says Governor Stevens' journal, "this great council, 
prolonged through so many days — a council which, 
in the number of Indians assembled and the differ- 
ent tribes, old difficulties and troubles between them 
and the whites, a deep-seated dislike to and deter- 
mination against giving up their lands and the great 
importance, nay, absolute necessity, of opening this 
land by treaty to occupation by the whites, that 
bloodshed and the enormous expense of Indian 
wars might be avoided, and in its getieral issuance 
and difficulty, has never been equalled by any coun- 
cil held with the Indian tribes of the LTnited States. 

"It was so considered by all present, and a final 
relief from the intense anxiety and vexation of the 
last month was especially grateful to all con- 

The treaties negotiated as the result of the great 
\\'alla Walla council of lS.").i provided for the sur- 
render by the Yakimas of an area some twenty- 
nine thousand square miles in extent, being 
substantially that embraced in Chelan, Yak- 
ima. Kittitas. Franklin and Adams, with large 



portions of Douglas and Klickitat counties. 
From it, however, was to be excepted and 
reserved the princely domain known as the 
Yakima reservation. The Nez Perces relin- 
quished the territory out of which were formed in 
large part the counties of Whitman, Garfield, Co- 
lumbia and Asotin, in Washington ; Union and 
Wallowa, in Oregon, and Washington, Nez Perces 
and Idaho, in Idaho, retaining therefrom a very 
large reservation. This included not only the Nez 
Perce reserve as it was prior to its opening a few 
years ago, but in addition large tracts between the 
.Alpowa and Snake rivers and the Wallowa valley. 
That the Wallowa was originally included in the 
reservation was due to old Chief Joseph, and the 
surrender of it in 1863, against the w'ishes and ad- 
vice of Chief Joseph, Jr., was one of the principal 
causes of the Nez Perce war in 18??. The Uma- 
tillas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas, by their treaty, 
gave up the territory embraced substantially in 
Walla Walla county, in Washington ; Umatilla and 
Morrow counties, Oregon, also parts of Union and 
Gilliam counties in the latter state. Their original 
reservation was but little larger than that now 
known as the Umatilla reserve. 

For the whole vast area ceded, the Indians were 
to receive about six hundred and fiftv thousand 

dollars, of which two hundred thousand dollars 
were to be paid the Yakimas in the form of annui- 
ties, with salaries for the head chiefs of five hundred 
dollars per annum for twenty }ears, and some 
special concessions in the way of houses, imple- 
ments, tools, etc. The compensation of the Nez 
Perces was the same. The Umatillas, Cayuses and 
Walla Wallas were to receive one hundred thousand 
dollars ; each of the head chiefs to have an annuity 
of five hundred dollars for twenty years, and special 
compensation in the form of houses, tools, etc. 
Peo-peo-mo.x-mox, who was wily enough to drive 
a hard bargain, was granted the privilege of draw- 
ing his salary at once without waiting for the treat- 
ies to be formally ratified, and was given special 
concessions in the form of a yearly salary of one 
hundred dollars with a house and five acres of land 
for his son ; also three yoke of oxen, three yokes 
and chains, one wagon, two plows, twelve hoes, 
twelve axes, two shovels, a saddle and bridle, a set 
of wagon harness and a set of plow harness. Thus 
for a mere pittance, in comparison with its present 
value, was secured from the Indians their possessory 
right to a large portion of eastern Oregon and 
Washington and northern Idaho, a region rich in 
wealth already acquired and still richer in its possi- 



The Walla Walla council successfully termi- 
nated. Governor" Stevens passed on to the north 
and east to continue the same kind of negotiations. 
He had not long departed before the great Yakima 
war burst suddenly over the Columbia plains ; and to 
regions as far remote as Puget sound, Walla Walla 
and Rogue river, the horrors of war were simul- 
taneously brought. The country was face to face 
with a widespread conspiracy to overthrow white 
occupancy and re-establish the uninterrupted reign 
of Indian barbarism over the entire Northwest. 

This was the ])rimary cause and purpose of that 
widespread and pervading outbreak. "While,"' 
says Evans, "many causes might be suggested as 
affecting the Indian mind and provoking hostilit\- 
to .'\merican occupancy of the country ; while it 
was preci])itated by the perfidy of Indians who just 
before had joined in treaties to allure the white 


race into a belief in their security ; while those very 
Indians went to that council to begin war there by 
the murder of the commissioners — yet that war, so 
far as the Indians were concerned, was made on 
their part, not because of any personal outrages 
committed by the whites, not because of any injus- 
tice sought to be inflicted by virtue of those treaties, 
not because the terms of the treaties were unsatis- 
factory, but solely because it was the Indian purpose 
to exterminate the white settlement, to force the 
white race to abandon the territory. That war on 
the part of the Indians is perhaps sanctioned by 
what may be called patriotism. If merit it had, 
then is that merit obliterated by the perfidious 
cruelty which marked its declaration and cona- 
mencement by them. On the part of the people and 
authorities of the territory, the Oregon-Washington 
liulian war resulted from repeated and unprovoked 



outrages wliich were committed by savages upon 
unoffending and defenseless white men, women and 
children. * * * * '' In no respect were any 
citizens of those territories the aggressors. No act 
of their citizens nor of their officials provoked hos- 
tilities. There was no cause of complaint by the 
Indians, nor were they afforded a shadow of justifi- 
cation for that outbreak of perfidy and hate during 
the summer and fall of 18.5.5. The only offense of 
the Oregon-Washington ]Moneers in the Indian 
estimation was that as .Vmerican citizens they were 
in the country. That presence, lawful in itself, 
was to the Indians a standing menace that others 
f)f that race would follow them. The war was 
initiated by the native population to discourage 
immigration or American occupancy. Forced upon 
our people, it was prosecuted by them solely to hold 
tile country for our race, to protect the settlements. 
and to effect a peace which would be lasting and 
enable the w-hite population then in the country, and 
those who should come thereafter, to remain in 
safety. This conflict, so unexpected to the Ameri- 
can settlers and for which they were so ill prepared, 
may have been hastened by the negotiating of the 
treaties and the events which so ((uickly followed — 
events which could not have been anticipated by 
any, either Indian or white, who participated in 
these negotiations. In no sense, however, were 
these treaties the cause of those hostile feelings 
which brought about the war." 

The argumentative tone of the foregoing quota- 
tion was inspired by the persistent efforts of the 
United States army officials, with Major-tleneral 
Wool, chief in command of the Department of the 
Pacific, at their head, to make Governor Stevens 
and the citizens of Oregon and Washington in some 
way responsible for the war. General Wool lost 
no opportunity to slander the ])cople of the two 
territories and it has been stated that in the prosecu- 
tion of the war, he proved himself a more bitter 
enemy of Oregon and Washington than anv of the 
Indian savages in arms. The enmity between the 
general and Governor Stevens is unsurpassed for 
venom in the annals of the Northwest. 

Just prior to the outbreak of the war an event 
occurred which brought jov to manv hearts. .\ 
discovery of gold was reported to have been made in 
the vicinity of the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort 
Colville and not a little excitement had been aroused 
in consequence. It was hoped that this would cause 
the long-looked-for large immigration of people 
into the territory and its more complete settlement 
and subjugation. Instead, it furnished the imme- 
diate occasion for the melancholy war, which did so 
much to retard development and delay settlement. 
The young commonwealth was fated to pass 
through a period of trials, dissimilar in manv 
respects to that experienced by Oregon in the dark 
davs of the Cavuse war, vet similar in that it stirred 

the hearts of the people to their most i)rofound 
depths and tried their mettle as with fire. 

So great was the feeling of security engendered 
by the successful negotiation of the treaties at Walla 
Walla — treaties wdiich incorporated as one of their 
I)rovisions pledges of good will on the part of the 
Indians toward the white race — that persons travel- 
ing from Puget sounil to the Colville gold fields 
hesitated not to pass through the Indian country 
singly or in small stpiads, ill equi]iped to repel 
attack. Soon rumors reached the settlements that 
many such had been nuirdered by Indians, and that 
the Yakimas had taken an attitude of hostility 
toward white men. The rumors in the cases of 
Alatticc, Jamison, Walker. Eaton, Cummings, Huff- 
man, Fanjoy and others being partially confirmed, 
Sub-agent Andrew J. Bolon, then en route to the 
.Spokane country to meet (jovernor Stevens, turned 
aside into the Yakima country to ascertain from 
Kamiakin himself the truth or falsity of the state- 
ments. He never returned to tell the story of his 
adventures, and as no white man accompanied him, 
only Indian evidence could be obtained as to what 
occurred. According to this the chief received 
Bolon in a haughty and in.solent manner, whereupon 
the sub-agent made some threats. Kamiakin must 
have been deeply angered, for it is said he directed 
that Bolon should be killed. .\t any rate the sub- 
agent was murdered in a perfidious and brutal 
manner, by a son of Owhi, half brother of Kamia- 
kin. Bolon 's horse was also killed and the bodies 
of both were burned. 

When the news of this melancholy event became 
known to the whites, Acting-Governor Alason, of 
Washington territory, made a requisition upon the 
military for a force to protect the route of the 
returning Colville miners. Major Rains, in charge 
at X'ancouver, ordered Brevet-AIajor G. O. Haller, 
with one hundred men and a howitzer, to proceed 
from The Dalles into the Yakima countrv, there to 
co-operate with fifty men under Lieutenant W. A. 
Slaughter, for the jnirpose of inquiring into the dif- 
ficulties. The Indians were abundantly prepared to 
meet him, not in council but on the battle-field. 
Ever since the signing of the Walla Walla treaty, 
the Yakimas had thought of nothing but w^ar. The 
organizers of the hostile confederacv had steadily 
pointed out to those inclined to be jieaceable that for 
fifteen years the whites had been pouring through 
their country into the Willamette ; that their purpose 
not only to hold the country but to keep open the 
routes of travel for more to follow^ was plainly 
manifest ; that a settlement in the Colville country 
and an open road thereto was an entering W'edge 
by which the whites would gain possession of the 
interior, and that if anything was to be done to 
prevent white supremacy and the total subjugation 
of the Indian race, it must be done quickly. In con- 
firmation of their statements that the whites were 
determined to keep open the route by which should 



come uncounted hordes of their race, they pointed 
to tile fact tliat but recentl\- L'nitcd States troops 
had passed through their country going to the Snake 
river with intent to protect the immigrant road from 
I'ort Hall westward. A horrible massacre had taken 
])lace there during August, 185-t, in which all the 
members of an immigrant train, except one boy, 
were murdered and outraged in the most brutal 
manner, one woman being compelled to witness the 
torturing of her children over a slow fire. To 
prevent the recurrence of such acts, Major Haller 
had gone in May, 185."). to the scene of the carnival 
of slaughter. This natural and praiseworthy act 
had furnished the Indian demagogues w^ith an 
effective argument in their philippics against the 
white race. And indeed, though he succeeded in 
his expedition, capturing and hanging many of the 
perpetrators of this horrible crime, the Indian 
orators did not hesitate to publish assiduously a 
rumor to the effect that he had been cut oft" by the 
Snakes and his men all killed. By such false reports 
and appeals to their jealousy and prejudices, the 
\'akimas were wrought up to the fighting point 
and made ready to bear their part in the general 
outbreak. Similar arguments were used to inspire 
other Indians from California's northern boundary 
to the r.ritish line with similar passions, and a like 
eagerness to engage in acts of hostilit}-. 

Thus it came to pass that Haller with his hand- 
ful of men met a determined foe, well equipped for 
battle. Leaving The Dalles on October 3, 18.35, he 
fell in with the enemy three days later. The Indians 
were defeated in the first engagement, but on Sun- 
day, the Uh, completely turnecl the tables upon the 
wiiites, who were surrounded by a large and con- 
stantly increasing force. These were kept off by 
bayonet charges imtil nightfall, when a retreat back 
to The Dalles was decided upon. A running fight 
was maintained during the next day, but that night 
the Indians suffered a repulse, after which the 
whites w-ere permitted to complete their journey 
without further molestation. The fighting on the 
retreat was all done by the advance guard, the rear 
guard having taken another trail, by which it 
reached The Dalles in safety. The loss on the expe- 
dition was five killed and seventeen wounded, though 
much jiropcrtN- had to be abandoned or destro\ed. 
i.ieutcnant Slaughter, as soon as he became aware 
of the defeat of Haller, prudently recrosscd the 
Cascades to the White river country. 

Under date of October T2, 1855, United States 
Indian Agent Olney wrote from Walla Walla to 
Governor Curry, of Oregon, as follows: 

"I beg to draw your attention to the fact that 
all the Indians north and south of the Columbia, 
this side of the Nez Perces and Spokanes, have 
either commenced open hostilities upon the whites, 
or are concentrating their forces for that purpose. 
I just arrived at this place this morning from The 
Dalles, and find the most alarming state of affairs 

as to the friendly relations heretofore existing 
between the Americans and the Walla Wallas, 
Palouses, Umatillas and Cayuses. I am doing 
all in my pow'er to check the gathering storm ; but 
I fear nothing but a large military force will do any 
good towards keeping them in check. The regular 
force now in the country I do not consider sufficient 
for the protection of the settlers and the chastise- 
ment of the Indians. One thousand volunteers 
should be raised immediately and sent into this part 
of Oregon and Washington territories. Delay is 
ruinous. Decisive steps must be immediately taken. 
They must be humbled ; and in all conscience send a 
force that can do it effectually and without delay. 
These Indians must be taught our power. The 
winter is the very time to do it." 

It would seem that Major Rains took the same 
view of the emergency and of the inadequacy of 
the regular force to meet it as did Mr. Olney, for 
he called upon Acting-Governor Alason, of Wash- 
ington territory, for two companies of volunteers, 
and upon Governor Curry, of Oregon, for four. 
Roth the Washington companies, when organized, 
were mustered into the service of the United States, 
though it was understood that one of them should 
be sent upon the mission for which it was raised, 
namely, the relief of Governor Stevens. The 
Oregon governor refused to have the men who 
volunteered in response to his call mustered into 
the regular service, so the identity of the Oregon 
volunteers was maintained throughout the war, 
though their leaders at all times expressed a willing- 
ness to act in harmony with the United States troops 
for the vigorous prosecution of aggressive warfare. 

October ;iOth Major Rains set out from The 
Dalles with a force of three hundred and fifty regu- 
lars. November 1st Colonel Nesmith follo\ved with 
a force which a few days later was increased to 
five hundred and fifty-three men. The experiences 
of both regulars and volunteers up to November 
15th, w'hen both w-ere in camp at the Ahtanum 
mission, were summarized thus in a despatch of 
that date from Major Rains to Governor Mason : 

"Here we are without a battle, except a skir- 
mish four days since with some forty Indians who 
defied us as we approached the Yakima river. We 
thought it was the prelude to the big battle with the 
whole of their force, and forded the stream to an 
island with our mounted troops, eighteen dragoons 
and eight prisoners. Here w^e commenced the 
action, firing on the enemy, and ordering up our 
artillery and infantry to ford the stream. Our troops 
made a rush into the water, but, being on foot, tried 
again and again to cross the river, but failed, the 
rai)id current sweeping away two of our best men, 
who were thus drowned : w'hcreupon I sent back to 
Colonel Nesmith for two companies of volunteers, 
who, with our dragoons, drove headlong into the 
foaming current, and reaching the opposite shore, 
charged the enemy, w-ho fled away over the hills, 



one of their halls striking, hut fortunately not 
wounding, Colonel Xesniith's horse. 

"Late in the afternoon, after recalling all our 
forces to the south hank of the Yakima river, we 
heard, some distance on the plain, the reports of 
small arms (indication of a fight), and, taking two 
companies, we proceeded in that direction until some 
time after night, when, the firing having ceased, 
we returned to the edge of the timber and bivou- 
acked for the night. Next day we found a number 
of Indians around us on swift horses, who were 
driven off by our mounted volunteer companies. As 
we approached the mountain gorge, we found the 
Indians, about three hundred in numljer, on the 
hilltops beating their drums and shouting defiance. 
These were soon driven from their position and 
scattered by discharges from our howitzers. We 
cut oflf some of them by a proper disposition of our 
troops ; and two or more were killed. We continued 
our march to this place, sweeping the plains with 
our cavalry, dispersing, killing and wounding all 
the enemy we saw, and found the mission aban- 
doned. Captain Maloney not having arrived in 
conjunction with Colonel Nesmith (who himself 
went in command), we despatched one hundred and 
sixty-eight volunteers and regulars, on our best 
horses, to proceed in the direction of the Naches 
pass, and ascertain his whereabouts. We are await- 
ing their report ; for we cannot tell where the large 
body of the enemy is, unless they have gone that 
way to attack Captain Maloney's command." 

The same incidents and those immediately fol- 
lowing them are narrated in greater detail in an 
article in the Portland Daily Standard of the time: 

In the engagement at the Yakima river (mentioned in 
Major Rains' despatch), Captain Bennett's company (Com- 
pany F) and part of the Clackamas company (Company C) 
took part and were the first to cross tlie river and charge 
the enemy, who fled with great rapidity, so much so that 
the disabled state of the horses of the volunteers rendered 
pursuit unsuccessful. Captain Cornelius' company (Com- 
pany D) having become separated from the main body of 
the volunteers in the engagement at the river, encountered 
a superior force of Indians and fought them nearly a half 
day. He kept them at bay and succeeded in taking some 
cattle and driving them into camp that night. .Two of his 
men were severely wounded. The damage inflicted upon 
the Indians was not known. In the attack the next day at 
the mountain gorge spoken of by Major Rains, otherwise 
called the Two Buttes. the number of Indians was not less 
than five hundred. About one hundred and fifty were 
counted upon the top of the hill, and the remainder were 
in the brush. By some misunderstanding of the orders 
given to surround them, a gap was left open : and those 
made their escape. Two only were killed. Pursuit was 
of no avail. 

The regulars and volunteers encamped near the mis- 
sion, which, having been abandoned, it was conjectured 
that the main force of the Indians had either gone to the 
Naches pass to attack Captain Maloney, or up the Colum- 
bia to Priests' rapids. Colonel Nesmith. with a command 
of two hundred and fifty men. proceeded toward the pass, 
and after an absence of three days returned without hav- 
ing seen the enemy. He found the snow so deep as to 
prevent the forage of his animals, and was compelled to 

return. He found caches of Indian provisions, which he 
destroyed, and several Indian marcs and colts, which were 
killed, as they would be of no service to the volunteers. 
Some wild Indian cattle were also found and killed, which 
furnished subsistence for the troops. In and about the 
mission were found vegetables and a variety of useful 

On Colonel Ncsmith's return, a council of officers was 
held, by which it was deemed inexpedient to proceed to 
Walla Walla, owing to the scarcity of forage, the weak 
condition of the animals, and tlie difficulty of crossing the 
Columbia with the sick and wounded. It was decided to 
return to The Dalles and recruit. After burning the mis- 
sion and a house owned by Kamiakin. the whole force, 
regulars and volunteers, took up their line of march for 
Tlie Dalles. On their way they met Captain Wilson's 
command (Company A) with the pack train of supplies, 
which train had suffered great loss of animals and supplies 
by reason of the snows in the mountains, which in some 
places were four or five feet in depth. Thp expedition 
reached the Klickitat river, about twenty-five miles distant 
from The Dalles, on the 17th, and there encamped. The 
most cordial co-operation had existed between the regular 
and volunteer officers. All seemed animated with a com- 
mon interest in accomplishing the ends and objects of the 

Mention should be made of the fact that while 
Major Rains was at the Ahtanum mission he 
received a letter from Kamiakin, head chief of the 
Yakimas, making overtures of peace and friendship 
on certain terms. The reply of Rains was certainly 
vigorous enough and gave the chief a:i unequivocal 
statement of his position and intentions. It read as 
follows : 


Roman Catholic Mission, November 13, 18.5.5. 
Kamiakin, Hyas Tyee of the Yakima Indians: 

Your talk by Padre Pandezy is just received. You 
know me and I know you. You came among the white 
people and to my house at The Dalles with Padre Pandozy 
and gave me a horse, which I did not take, as Panawok 
had given Lieutenant Wood another horse for him. You 
came in peace — we come in war. And why? Because 
your land has drunk the blood of the white man, and the 
Great Spirit requires it at your hand. 

You m,ake the sign of the cross, and pray to the God 
of truth for mercy, and yet you lie when you say you 
"were very quiet, the .Americans were our friends; our 
hearts were not for war." until Governor Stevens changed 
your feelings : for long before the treaty, which you agreed 
to. you proposed to the Walla Walla chief, Peo-peo-mox- 
mo.x. to go to war. and kill off all the whites. He told us 
so. You have been preparing for tliis purpose a very long 
time ; and your people agreed with tlie Cayuses, at the 
Walla Walla council, before the treaty was made, to mur- 
der all the whites there, which was only prevented by the 
Nez Perces disagreeing. 

You know that you murdered white men going to the 
mines who had done you no injury, and you murdered all 
persons, though no white man had trespassed upon your 
lands. You sent me a delegation to stop Hamilton and 
Pierce from settling in your country. I wrote them a 
letter and they left. You murdered your agent Bolon for 
telling you the truth — that the troops would come upon 
you for these murders. Has his death prevented their 
coming? I sent a handful of soldiers into your country to 
inquire into the facts. It was not expected that they 
should fight you, and they did right to return back. Your 
foul deeds were seen by the eye of the Great Spirit, who 
saw Cain when he killed his brother. Abel, and cursed him 
for it. Fugitives and vagabonds shall you also be, all that 



remain of you, upon the face of the earth, as well as all 
who aid or assist you, until you are gone. 

You say now, "If we will be quiet and make friendship, 
you will not war with us, but give a piece of land to all the 
tribes." We will not be quiet, but war forever, imtil not a 
Yakima breathes in tlie land he calls his own. The river 
only will we let retain this name to show to all people that 
here the Yakimas once lived. 

Yon say that you will fight us with thousands, and if 
vanquished, those of yon that remain will kill all your 
women and children, and then the country will be ours. 
The country is ours already, as you must see from our 
assembled army ; for we intend to occupy it, and make it 
too hot to hold you. We are braves, and no brave makes 
war with women and children. You may kill them as you 
say, but we will not ; yet we are thirsting for your blood, 
and want your warriors to meet us, and the warriors of all 
tribes wishing to help you, at once to come. Tlie snow is 
on the ground, and the crows are hungry for food. Y'our 
men we have killed; your horses and your cattle do not 
afford them enough to eat. Your people shall not catch 
salmon hereafter for you, for I will send soldiers to occupy 
your fisheries, and fire upon you. Your cattle and your 
"horses, vvhicli you got from the white man, we will hunt 
up, and kill and take them from you. The earth, which 
drank tlie blood of the white man, shed by your hands, 
shall grow no more wheat nor roots for you, for we will 
destroy it. When the cloth that makes your clothing, your 
gims and your powder are gone, the white man will make 
you no more. We looked upon you as our -children and 
tried to do you good. We would not have cheated you. 
The treaty which you complain of, though signed by you, 
gave you too much for your lands, which are most all 
worthless to the white man; but we are not sorry, for we 
are able to give, and it would have benefited you. After 
you signed the treaty with Governor Stevens and General 
Palmer, had you told us that you did not wish to abide by 
it, it would have been listened to. We wanted to instruct 
you in all our learning; to make axes, plows and hoes to 
cultivate the ground ; blankets to keep you from the cold ; 
steamboats and steam wagons which tly along swifter than 
the birds fly, and to use the lightning which makes the 
thunder in heavens to carry talk and serve as a servant. 
William Chinook, at The Dalles; Lawyer, chief of the Nez 
Perces ; Steachus, and Weattinattitimine, hyas tyee of the 
Cayuses, and many others of their people, can tell you 
what I say is true. You, a few people, we can see with our 
glasses a long way off, while the whites are as the stars in 
the heavens, or leaves of the trees in summer time. Our 
warriors in the field are many, as you must see ; but if not 
enough, a thousand for every one more will be sent to 
hunt you, and to kill you ; and my advice to you, as you 
will see, is to scatter yourselves among the Indian tribes 
more peaceable, and there forget you ever were Yakimas. 

(Signed) G. J. Rains, 
Major U. S. A., Brigadier-General W. T., Commanding 
Troops in the Field. 

While these events were transjiiring in the 
Yakima country, a movement had been made by 
Major Mark A. Chinii, who, with Company B, 
Oregon volunteers, proceeded to the mouth of the 
Des Chutes, where Company H, under command of 
Captain Taylor, was encamped. Proceeding toward 
the Walla Walla country- with both companies, he 
arrived at Wells Springs on the 17th of November, 
Here he was met by a messenger from Narcisse 
Raymond, a French settler in Walla Walla valley, 
with the following cotnmunication addressed to the 
commander in charge of the forces en route to 
Walla Walla : 

November 14, 
Sir: However urgent and important the news I have 
to communicate, I almost despaired to despatch any from 

want of liau<ls who were willing to risk life at this critical 
time; but -Mr. McBean came to my assistance and offered 
the services of his son, John, who, in company witli another 
man. will he the bearer of this. The news is gloomy and 
very different from what I had reason to e.xpect when I 
left The Dalles on my way hither. Serpent Jaune (Peo- 
peo-mo.x-nio.x) has shown his colors, and is a declared foe 
to the Americans. He has taken possession of the fort and 
pillaged it. government as well as Hudson's Bay Company's 
property; has placed himself on the south side of the Walla 
Walla river, on the hills, guarding the road with a force, it 
is sqid, of a thousand. 

The young men on the Umatilla river are disposed for 
war, and John Whitford and Tolman instigate them to it. 
The chiefs of that place, at least the majority of them, are 
on the balance, and have not yet decided ; but Stockalah 
and Walattelekt, with their people, have joined the Cay- 
uses, and are doing all in their power to have them join 
against the Americans. The chiefs of this valley have 
remained firm and will not join the unfriendly Indians. 
Their conduct since IMr. Olney's departure has been praise- 
worthy, and they did all they could to prevent Mr. Brooks' 
house from being burned and pillaged, but in vain. The 
chief, Howlish Wampool, did it at the risk of his life. 

Two Nez Perce chiefs now here, Joseph and Red Wolf, 
desire me to tell you that all their tribe is for peace; that 
they will suffer no hostile Indians to remain among them. 
In justice to Pierre (Walla Walla chief), I beg to say that 
he stuck to his charge mitil forced away by Serpent Jaune 
and his people, but not until they had robhed three differ- 
ent times out of the fort. He was alone, and, of course, 
could not prevent them. As alifairs stand, it is my humble 
opinion that it might not be prudent to make your way 
hither with the force at your command of one hundred 
and fifty men. I have requested the bearers of this 
despatch to proceed to The Dalles with the letters to the 
respective addresses to Messrs. Olney and Noble ; and 
placed as we are, a mere handful of men, destitute of 
ammunition, the sooner assistance is tendered to us the 
better, for Serpent Jaune daily threatens to burn our 
houses and to kill us, and he is not the only enemy we 
have to dread. 

In haste, I remain, sir. 

Respectfully, your obedient humble servant, 
Narcisse Raymond. 
The Commandcr-in-chargc coming to Fort Walla Walla. 

Mr. Raymond and all the other settlers of the 
Walla W^alla and Umatilla valleys had been directed 
by Indian Agent Nathan Olney to withdraw from 
the country as soon as a sufficient escort should 
arrive for them, and it was with intent to furnish 
this escort that Major Chinn was marching when he 
received the startling intelligence contained in the 
letter just quoted. This infonnation determined 
him to delay his march until he had received rein- 
forcements and artillery, so he moved next day to 
the Umatilla and established there a .station which 
became known as Fort Henrietta, It was situated 
where plenty of water and timber could be obtained, 
as well as sufficient grass for horses, and it con- 
sisted of a tract one htmdrcd feet square, picketed 
in with large, split timber, with bastions of round 
logs in two of the angles, also two corrals for 
horses and cattle. Major Chinn sent at once to 
Colonel Nesmith for the requisite reinforcements 
and artillery. On the 10th and 20th of November, 


the colonel sent forward three companies consist- 
ing of one luindred and seventy men. He endeav- 
ored to ])rocure the howitzers from the regular 
army, but (ieneral Wool had just arrived on the 
scene and his advent brought to an abrupt termina- 
tion all hope of further co-operation between regu- 
lars and volunteers. The howitzers were, of course, 

"The arrival of (ieneral Wool," says Evans, 
"defeated every project which looked to a winter 
campaign against the Indians. He even suggested 
that the combination of the commands of Rains and 
Nesmith, in the Yakima country, had been injurious 
to the service because the Indians were so over- 
awed by such a force, seven hundred men, that they 
fled upon the approach of the troops. General Wool 
ordered the regulars from Fort Dalles to Fort Van- 
couver, except a small garrison. He censured Major 
Rains for calling for volunteers, and also for going 
into the Yakima country to make war against the 
hostiles. He accused the territorial authorities of 
sinister and dishonest motives. While not accusing 
the whites in Washington territory of murdering 
Indians, as he did charge the whites with in the 
Rogue river country, yet he maintained that the 
war should only be carried on upon the defensive. 
To an\' proposition of the territorial authorities to 
chastise the Indians for past misdeeds, he was 
opposed, and should use his efforts to defeat them. 
In fact, he was so bitterly ])rejudiced against the 
two territories, their official authorities, their vohm- 
teers and their people, that his sympathies were 
entirely with that savage race which it was his 
highest duty to keep in subjection. For the people 
who had the right to rely upon him for protection, 
he had no word of encouragement, no disposition 
to assist. At that time he was a greater marplot to 
the regaining of peace, and a more bitter foe to the 
Oregon and Washington people, than any hostile 
chief bearing arms against them." 

However, such succor as was in the power of 
Nesmith was, as before stated, promptly despatched 
to Fort Henrietta. The three companies joined 
Major Chinn on the 29th of November, but the com- 
mand was at once assumed by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Kelly, who accompanied the reinforcements. Decem- 
ber ?d, Kelly took the field with about three hundred 
and fifty men, designing to make a swift march to 
Fort Walla Walla and surprise the Indians who 
were supposed to be in possession of it. Kellv 
found "it had been pillaged by Indians, the build- 
ings much defaced and the furniture destroyed." 
Of his subsequent movements Colonel Kelly thus 
writes in his official report : 

On the morning of tlie "itli. T despatched Second Major 
Chinn, with one hnndred and titty men. to escort tlie bag- 
gage and pack trains to the month of the Tonchet. there to 
await my return with tlie remainder of the forces under 
my command. On tlie same morning I marched with 
about two hundred men to a point on the Tonchet river 

about twelve miles from its mouth, with the view of 
attacking the Walla Walla Indians, who were supposed to 
be encamped there. When I was near to and making to- 
wards the village, Peo-pco-mox-mo.x, the chief of the tribe, 
with live other Indians, made their appearance under a flag 
of truce. He stated that he did not wish to tight; that his 
people did not wish to liglit ; that on the following day he 
would come and have a talk and make a treaty of 
peace. On consultation with Hon. Nathan Olney, Indian 
Agent, we concluded that this was simply a ruse to gain 
time for removing liis village and preparing for battle. I 
stated to hini that we had come to chastise him for the 
wrongs he had done to our people, and that we would not 
defer making an attack on his people unless he and his five 
followers would consent to accompany and remain with us 
until all difficulties were settled. I told him that he might 
go away under his Hag of truce if he chose: but, if he did 
so, we would fortliwith attack his village. The alternative 
was distinctly made known to him; and, to save his people, 
he chose to remain with us as a hostage for the fulfillment 
of his promise, as did also those who accompanied him. 
He at the same time said that on the following day he 
would accompany us to his village ; that he would then 
asseinble his people and make them deliver up all their arms 
and ammunition, restore the property which had been 
taken from the white settlers, or pay the full value of that 
which could not be restored ; and that he would furnish 
fresh horses to remount my command, and cattle to supply 
them with provisions, to enable us to wage war against 
other hostile tribes who were leagued with them. Having 
made these promises, we refrained from making the attack, 
thinking we had him in our power, and that on the next 
day his promises would be fulfilled. I also permitted him 
to send one of the men who accompanied him to his village 
to apprise the tribes of the terms of the expected treaty, so 
that they might be prepared to fulfill it. 

On the (ith. we marched to the village and found it 
entirely deserted, but saw the Indians in considerable force 
on the distant hills, and watching our movements. I sent 
out a messenger to induce them to come in. but could not 
do so. And I will here observe that I have since learned, 
from a Nez Perce boy, who was taken at the same time 
with Peo-peo-mox-mox, that, instead of sending word to 
his people to make a treaty of peace, he sent an order for 
them to remove their women and children and prepare for 
battle. From all I have since learned. I ain well persuaded 
that he was acting with duplicity, and that he expected to 
entrap my command in the deep ravine in which his camp 
was situated, and make his escape from us. We remained 
at the deserted village until about one o'clock in the after- 
noon ; and. seeing no hope of coming to any terms, we 
proceeded to the mouth of the Tonchet with a view of 
going from thence to some spot near Whitman's station, 
where I had intended to form a permanent camp for the 

On the morning of the Tth, the command set 
out earlv for Whitman's station, Peo-peo-mox-mox 
and the other Indian hostages being still with the 
white men. Soon after a crossing of the Touchet 
had been efifected, the battle began. There is dif- 
ference of opinion as to who fired the first shot. 
Kelly's report states that the Indians did. but (lil- 
bert quotes A. P. W'oodward as asserting that to 
his knowledge one Jont, of Company B, committed 
the first hostile act. The question is of importance 
only as it bears upon the larger one of whether or 
not Peo-peo-mox-mox and his people were acting 
in good faith in negotiating for peace. ,-\t any rate 
the firing soon became general, and all the com- 
panies except .\ and F, which were ordered to 



remain with the baggage, began chasing the Indians 
eagerly. "A running fight was the consequence, the 
force of the Indians increasing every mile. Several 
of the enemy were killed in the chase before reach- 
ing the farm of LaRocque. which is about twelve 
miles from the mouth of the Touchet. At this 
point they made a stand, their left resting on the 
river covered with trees and underbrush, their 
center occupying the flat at this place, covered with 
clumps of sage brush and small sand knolls, their 
right on the high ridge of hills which skirt the river 

The few white men who outran their cnmijanions 
and reached this vicinity first were compelled b_\- the 
murderous fire from savage guns to fall back, but 
soon rallied and made a charge upon the Indians 
in the brush, in which charge Lieutenant Burrows, 
of Company H, was killed, and Captain Munson, 
Sergeant-Major Isaac Miller and Private G. \V. 
Smith were wounded. Reinforcements of whites 
arriving, the Indians were compelleil to fall back 
two miles to a farmhouse, in attempting to carry 
which Captain Bennett, of Company F. and Private 
Kelso, of Company A, were killed. 

Continuing the narrative of the engagement. 
Colonel Kelly says in his report: "Howitzer found 
at Fort Walla Walla, under charge of CajJtain Wil- 
son, by this time was brought to bear upon the 
enemy. Four rounds were fired when the piece 
burst, wounding Captain Wilson. The Indians then 
gave way at all points ; and the house and fence 
were seized and held by the volunteers, and bodies 
of our men were recovered. These positions were 
held bv us until nightfall, when the volunteers fell 
slowly back and returned unmolested to camp." 

During the first day's engagement, at about the 
hottest part of the action, an event occurred which, 
though not mentioned in Kelly's official report, has 
been the theme of much discussion. Peo-j^eo-mox- 
nio.x and his companions in captivity were, with one 
exce]ititin, killed by the guards and volunteers sur- 
rounding them, and whether this action was justi- 
fiable from the fact that the prisoners attempted 
to escape, or was wholly unwarranted, will never 
be ascertained vvith certaintx'. The eye witnesses of 
the affair are not in accord as to the facts. Indeed, 
it is (juite ])robal)le that no one of them is able to 
.give an al)solutel\- correct and detailed statement of 
all that happened, such was the confusion and ex- 
citement prevailing at the time. Of this affair. 
Ciilbert says: 

"The following is an account of it as given to 
the writer by Lewis McMorris. who was present 
at the time and saw what he narrated. The hospital 
supplies were packed on mules in charge of Mc- 
.Morris. and had just reached tiie LaR<iC(|ue cabin, 
where the first engagement had taken ])lace. Tlie 
surgeon in charge had decided to use it as a hospital 
in which to place those wounded in the battle and 
McMorris was unpacking the mules. Xear it the 

unfortunate J. M. Burrows lay dead, and several 
wounded were being attended to. The combatants 
had passed on up the valley, and the distant deto- 
nations of their guns could be heard. The flag of 
truce prisoners were there under guard and every 
one seemed electrified with suppressed excitement. 
A wounded man came in with a shattered arm 
dangling at his side and reported Captain Bennett 
killed at the front. This added to the excitement, 
and the attention of all was more or less attracted 
to the wounded man, when some one said: 'Look 
out, or the Indians will get away !' At this seem- 
ingly everyone veiled, 'Shoot 'em ! Shoot 'em !' and 
on the instant there was a rattle of musketry on 
all sides. 

"What followed was so quick, antl there were 
so many acting, that McMorris could not see it in 
detail, though all was transpiring within a few 
yards of and around him. It was over in a minute, 
and three of the five prisoners were dead, another 
was wounded, knocked senseless and supposed to 
be dead, who afterwards recovered consciousness, 
and was shot to put him out of misery, while the 
fifth was spared because he was a Nez Perce. 
McMorris remembers some of the events that 
marked the tragedy, however, such as an impression 
on his mind of an attempt by the prisoners to escape, 
that started the shooting : that everybody was firing 
because thev were excited, and the target was an 
Indian : that he saw no evidence of an attempt to 
escape, except from being murdered : that they were 
killed while surrounded by and mingled among the 
whites : and that but one Indian offered to defend 
his life. The ])risoner offering resistance was a 
powerful Willamette Indian called 'Jim' or 'Wolf 
Skin,' who, having a knife secreted upon his person, 
drew it and fought desperately. 'I could hear that 
knife whistling in the air,' said McMorris, 'as he 
brandished it, or struck at the soldier with whom he 
was struggling.' It lasted but a moment, when 
another soldier, aiiproaching from behind, dealt him 
a blow on the head with a gun that broke his skull 
and stretched him apparently lifeless upon the 
ground. .All were scal]ied in a few minutes, and 
later the body of Yellow Bird, the great Walla 
Walla chief, was mutilated in a way that should 
entitle those who did it to a prominent niche in the 
ghoulish temple erected to commemorate the 
infamous acts of soulless men." 

( iilbert states that McMorris' account was 
confirmed by Ci. W. Miller and William Xixon, 
both of whom were present. 

.\. P. Woodward, now living at .Athena, and who 
was near by when the chief was killed, tells us 
that the facts, briefly stated, were these: When 
asked what should be d<ine with the prisoners. 
Colonel Kellv had told the guard he "didn't care a 
danui." The ])risoners were neither tied n(^r in any 
way confined, but were mingled with the volunteers. 
When the firing became warm, and several wounded 



had been brought back to where the guard and 
prisoners were, some of the troops became badly 
excited and called out, "Shoot the damned Indians 
and kill them !" Several shots were fired and two 
or three of the Indians fell, though they were not 
attempting to escape. Then Peo-peo-mox-mox 
sprang off his horse, and walking towards those 
who were firing, said: "Vou don't need to kill me 
— I am not Jesus Christ!" and with these words he 
fell. The biting sarcasm of the dying words of 
Peo-peo-mox-mox, if these were his words, can only 
be a])preciated when we remember that they were 
uttered by a savage who could not be made to under- 
stand why the white men had, according to their 
own account, killed their own God. It should be 
stated, however, that in answer to a direct question 
as to whether any such language was used, Samuel 
Warfield, the slayer of Peo-peo-mox-mox, stated 
that the only foundation for the story was some- 
thing that occurred on the evening previous. Wolf 
Skin, he says, attempted to escape. He was imme- 
diately recaptured and while being tied to prevent 
a rejietition of this attempt, said : "That is as 
much as could be expected of you. Christ died for 
his people, and I can die for mine," whereupon 
one of the volunteers rejoined, "Christ did not run," 
raising a general laugh. 

It is but fair to add the account of the killing 
given by Mr. Warfield. the man who actually took 
the life of the Walla Walla chieftain. At the 
request of the writer, he furnished the following 
statement : 

"Amos Underwood and I were guards over the 
six Indian prisoners. Peo-peo-mox-mox, Klickitat 
Jimmy, or Wolf Skin, Xez Perce Billy and three 
others. About four o'clock in the evening there 
were a number of soldiers around the guard and 
prisoners. Word was sent two or three times for 
. those soldiers to come to the front ; but they did 
not go. Finally, Colonel Kelly came and ordered 
them to the front. I said to the colonel, T want 
to go to the front. \Miat will we do with these 
prisoners?' He replied. 'Tie them and put them 
in the house, if they will submit to vou ; if not, put 
them in anyhow.' Major Miller was there present 
among the wounded, having been shot in the arm. 
Just at that time Wolf Skin pulled his knife from 
his legging and struck at Major Miller, cutting his 
arm as it was thrown up to ward oflf the blow. In 
an instant some one broke a musket over the 
Indian's head, killing him. Then the fight began. 
Five of the Indian prisoners were killed, either 
being shot or struck over the head with the guns. 
Peo-peo-mox-mox being the last one. I showed 
him how to cross his hands so that I could tie him 
and put him in the house as the colonel had told 
us, when he grabbed my gun and tried to wrench 
it around so as to shoot me. I jumped back and 
grabbed him by the collar and threw him down, 
still keeping hold of my gun. I also shot at him. 

but missed, he being too close. He caught me by 
the breeches leg and tried to regain his feet. I 
again jumped back from him as he tried to get up, 
struck him over the head with my gun, settling 
him for all time." 

This account of Mr. Warfield is probably sub- 
stantially correct as far as it goes, but it leaves 
open the question as to what incited Wolf Skin to 
draw his knife. One of the volunteers confessed 
that he became so excited by the fact that the whites 
at the front were being hard pressed and that some 
of them were killed and wounded that he completely 
lost his head and rushed back, shouting, "Shoot the 
Indians and kill them !" This and the attempted 
tying of their hands inspired the Indians with a 
belief that they would certainly be murdered, caus- 
ing them to offer resistance, with the melancholy 
results heretofore given. If this surmise is correct, 
neither the Indians nor their guards could be very 
much blamed, the real cause of the tragedy being 
the hare-brained man whose wild shoutings alarmed 
the Indian prisoners. It is hard to understand how 
the ofificers could justify their conduct in retaining 
the Indians at all any longer than they wished to 
stay. They came under flag of truce, and if Colonel 
Kelly's report is true, remained voluntarilv as 
hostages, and when they were no longer willing to 
stay they should have been set at liberty. Nathan 
Olney, the Indian agent, is quoted as having said : 
"If you let Peo-peo-mox-mox escape, our hides will 
not hold shucks." Whether this was true or not, 
the whites were not justified in retaining any advan- 
tage gained by disrespect of a flag of truce and the 
honors of war. and the officers cannot therefore 
escape censure as being ultimately responsible for 
the massacre of the Indians. 

Next day the battle was renewed. No better 
narration of its subsequent events can be given than 
that furnished by Kelly's report, which is therefore 
reproduced in c.vtciiso. 

Early on the morning of the 8th the Indians appeared 
with increased forces, amounting to fnlly six hundred war- 
riors. They were posted as usual in the thick brush by 
the river— among the sage bushes and sand knolls and on 
the surrounding hills. This day Lieutenant Pillow, WNth 
Company A. and Lieutenant Hannon. with Company H. 
were ordered to take and hold the brush skirting the river 
and the sage bushes on the plain. Lieutenant Fellows, 
with Company F, was directed to take and keep posses- 
sion of the point at the foot of tlie hill. Lieutenant 
Jeffries, with Company B. Lieutenant Hand, with Com- 
pany L and Captain Cornoyer. witli Company K. were 
posted on three several points on the hills, with orders to 
maintain them and to assail tlie enemy on other points of 
the same hills, .^s usual, the Indians were driven from 
their position, although they fought with skill and bravery. 

On the 0th they did not make tlieir appearance tmtil 
about ten o'clock in the morning, and then in somewhat 
diminished numbers. As I had sent to Fort Henrietta for 
Companies D and E and expected them on the \i\h, I 
tliought it best to act on the defensive and hold our posi- 
tions, which were the same as on the 8th. until we could 
get an accession to our forces sufficient to enable us to 
assail their rear and cut off their retreat. An attack was 



made during the day on Companies A and H. in the brusli- 
wood, and upon B on the hill, both of which were rcpnlseil 
with great gallantry by those companies with considerable 
loss to the enemy. Companies F, I and K also did great 
honor to themselves in repelling all approaches to their 
positions, although in doing so one man in Company F 
and one in Company I were severely wounded. Darkness 
as usual closed the combat by the enemy withdrawing 
from the field. Owing to tlie inclemency of the night, the 
companies on the hill were withdrawn from their several 
positions, Company B abandoning its rifle pits which were 
made by the men of that company for its protection. At 
early dawn of the next day the Indians were observed from 
our camp to be in possession of all points held by us on 
the preceding day. Upon seeing them. Lieutenant 
McAuliff, of Company B, gallantly observed that his com- 
pany had dug those holes, and after breakfast they would 
have them again; and well was his declaration fullilled, 
for in less than an hour the enemy was driven from the 
pits and fled to an adjoining hdl which they had occupied 
the day before. This position was at once assailed. Cap- 
tain Comoyer, with Company K and a portion of Com- 
pany I, being mounted, gallantly charged the enemy on 
his right flank, while Lieutenant McAuliff, with Company 
B, dismounted, rushed up the hill in the face of a heavy 
fire and scattered tliem in all directions. They at once 
fled, to return to this battle-field no more, and thus ended 
our long contested fight. 

The winter following the battle of the Walla 
Walla was an exceedingly severe one, and the suf- 
fering of the soldiers was sometimes extreme. The 
late W. C. Painter, of Walla Walla, was wont to 
describe his experience of trying to sleep with scant 
shelter and scantier covering and the thermometer 
at twenty below zero. Mrs. Victor quotes one of 
the volunteers, whose name she does not reveal, 
as having said : 

"On the night of December 21st the snow fell 
from six to eight inches deep, and the mercury stood 
about twenty degrees below zero. Next morning it 
fell to my lot to go on guard. My raiment consisted 
of an old slouch hat, an old coat, a flannel shirt, 
a threadbare pair of pants, and an old pair of shoes 
without socks. I had run through my shoes during 
the battle, but found an old pair in a cache which 
answered the purpose. I donned my raiment, tied 
a string around my pants to keep them from slipping 
above my knees, and at six o'clock was ready for 
duty. My beat being one mile from camp, I trudged 
along through the snow until I reached my station, 
and then passed off the time as best I could. * * 
When I examined my feet, strange to say. they 
were not very badly frozen, only the tops and sides 
were raised up in blisters. Several of the boys 
who had no shoes took rawhide and sewed it up 
in shape something like a moccasin. This beat bare 
feet to wade through the snow with. But the boys 
seemed to be content. Our tents were small and 
thin ; our blankets were smaller and thinner. I had 
two of those long, narrow, thin blankets, one blue 
and one green, that were not long enough to reach 
from my nose down to my feet, and a saddle 
blanket ; this constittitcd mv bed." 

Rut it is now time to return to Governor Ste- 
vens, who, as hitherto stated, had set out for the 

Rlackfoot country tipon completing his negotia- 
tions at the Walla Walla council. Having succeeded 
in inducing the dreaded Blackfeet to treat for the 
sale of their lands and started upon his return to 
Olympia, he had reached Hellgate in the present 
Montana, when a detachment of Xez Perces met 
him and gave him information of the war and his 
own isolated and imperiled position. It would 
require all the tact, ingenuity and daring of this 
eminent man to run the gauntlet of these multiplied 
dangers in safety, btit the doughty governor was 
equal to the task. How he acted under these trying 
circumstances may best be told in his own language: 

The result of our conference (with the Nez Perces) 
was most satisfactory. The whole party, numliering four- 
teen men, among whom were Spotted Eagle. Looking Glass 
and Tliree Feathers, principal chiefs among the Nez 
Perces, expressed their determination to accompany me 
and share any danger to be encountered. They expressed 
a desire that after crossing the mountains, I should go to 
their country, where a large force of their young men 
would accompany me to The Dalles and protect us with 
their lives against any enemy. 

Having replenished my train with all the animals to 
be had, on Xovember 14th we pushed forward, crossed 
the Bitter Root mountains the GOth, in snow two and a half 
to three feet deep, and reached the Coeur d'Alene mission 
the 25th, taking the Coeur d'Alenes entirely by surprise. 
They had not thought it possible that we could cross the 
mountains so late in the season. 

With the Coeur d'Alenes I held a council, and fovmd 
them much excited, on a balance for peace or war, and a 
chance word might turn them either way. Rumors of all 
kinds met us here : that the troops had fought a battle with 
the Yakimas and drove them across the Columbia towards 
the Spokanes. and that the Walla Wallas, Cayuses and 
Umatillas were in arms, and that they had been joined by 
a party of Nez Perces. The accounts were of so contra- 
dictory a nature that nothing certain could be ascertained 
from them, excepting that the several tribes below were in 
arms, blocking up our road, and had threatened to cut oflf 
my party in any event. However, I determined to push 
on to the Spokanes. 

The Spokanes were even more surprised than the 
Coeur d'Alenes on seeing us. Three hours before my arrival 
they had heard that I was going to the settlements by way 
of New York. I immediately called a council; sent to Fort 
Colville for Mr. McDonald, in charge of that post of the 
Hudson's Bay Company; sent also for the Jesuit fathers at 
that point. They arrived. A council was held, at which 
the whole Spokane nation was represented. The Coeur 
d'Alenes and Colville Indians also were present. 

The Spokanes and Colville Indians evinced extreme 
hostility of feeling; spoke of the war below; wanted it 
stopped ; said the whites were wrong. The belief was cur- 
rent that Peo-peo-mox-mox would cut off my party as he 
had repeatedly threatened. They had not joined in the war, 
but yet would make no promise to remain neutral. If the 
Indians now at war were driven into their country, they 
would not answer for the consequences: probably many of 
the Spokanes would join them. After a stormy council of 
several days, the Spokanes, Coeur d'.-\lenes and Colvilles 
were entirely conciliated and promised they would reject 
all overtures of the hostile Indians and continue the firm 
friends of the whites. 

Having added to my party and organized, etc., we 
thence made a forced march to the Nez Perce coiuitry. 
Mr. Craig had received letters which informed me that the 
whole Walla Walla valley was blocked up w'ith hostile 
Indians, and the Nez Perces said it would be impossible to 
go through. 



I called a council and proposed to them that one hun- 
dred and tifty of their young men should accompany me 
to The Dalles. Without hesitation, they agreed to go. 
Whilst in the council making arrangements for our move- 
ments, news came that a force of gallant Oregon volun- 
teers, four hundred strong, had met the Indians in the 
Walla \\'ana valley, and after four days' hard fighting, 
having a nuniher of officers and men killed and wounded, 
had completely routed the enemy, driving them across 
Snake river and toward the Nez Perce country. The next 
day I pushed forward, accompanied hy sixty-nine Nez 
Perces, well armed, and reached Walla Walla without 
encountering any hostile Indians. lliey had all been 
driven across Snake river below us by the Oregon troops. 

It is now proper to inquire what would have been the 
condition of my party had not the Oregon troops vigor- 
ously pushed into the field and gallantly defeated the 

The country between the Blue mountains and the 
Columbia was overrun with Indians, numbering one thou- 
sand to twelve hundred warriors, including the force at 
Priests' rapids under Kamiakin, who had sworn to cut me 
off; it was completely blocked up. One effect of the cam- 
paign of the regulars and volunteers in the Yakima country 
under Brigadier-General Rains was to drive Kamiakin and 
his people on our side of the Columbia river, and thus 
endanger our movement from the Spokane to the Nez 
Perce country. Thus we had been hemmed in by a body 
of hostile Indians through whom we could liave only forced 
our way with extreme difficulty and at great loss of life. 
W'e might all have been sacrificed in the attempt. For the 
opening of the way to my party I am solely indebted to 
the Oregon volunteers. Peo-peo-mox-mox, the celebrated 
chief of the Walla Wallas, entertained an extreme hostility 
toward myself and party, owing to imaginary wrongs he 
supposed to have been inflicted upon him in the treaty 
concluded with the Cayuses and Walla Wallas last Jiuie, 
and had been known repeatedly to threaten that I never 
should reach The Dalles. He was the first to commence 
hostilities by plundering Fort Walla Walla and destroying 
a large amount of property belonging to the United States 
Indian department. 

* * * -1: ^ * 

.\t Walla Walla 1 found some twenty-five settlers — the 
remainder having fled to The Dalles for protection. With 
these were one hundred friendly Indians. Special Indian 
.■\gent B. F. Shaw, colonel in the Washington territory 
militia, was on the ground, and 1 at once organized the 
district, placed him in command and directed him, if nec- 
essary, to fortify, at all events to maintain his ground 
should the Ore,gon troops be disbanded before another 
force should take the held. The Nez Perce auxiliaries 
were disbanded and returned home. 

Thus we had reached a place of safety unaided, except- 
ing by the fortunate movements of the Oregon troops. 
Not a single man had been pushed forward to meet us, 
and though it was well known we should cross the moun- 
tains about a certain time, and arrive at Walla Walla about 
the time we did. Why was this? Arrangements had been 
made with Major Rains by Acting-Governor Mason to 
push forward a force under Colonel Shaw to meet me at 
Spokane about the time of my arrival there. A company 
had been enlisted, organized and marched to Fort Vancou- 
ver to obtain equipments, rations and transportation, 
wdiich Major Rains had promised both Governor Mason 
and Colonel Shaw should be promptly furnished them. 
Some little delay ensued, and in the meantime Major- 
General Wool arrived, who immediately declined equip- 
ping the company, as promised by Major Rains, and stated 
that he could not in any manner recognize volunteers or 
furnish them equipments or transportation, and declined to 
supply their places with regular troons. of whom, at Van- 
couver alone, were some three hundred and fifty men. 

The report then goes on to make grave accu- 

sations against General Wool. ".-Ml history," says 
Professor Lyman, "abounds in instances of intense 
personal feuds and disagreements, but our Pacific 
coast history seems to have been especially fruitful 
of them. That between General Wool, with some 
of the officers who echoed his opinions, the regulars, 
in short, on one side and Governor Stevens, sup- 
ported by the volunteers and the nearly united 
people of the territory on the other, was particu- 
larly acrimonious." The following is an extract 
from Stevens' report showing the ground of his 
complaint against Wool : 

"When remonstrated with by Captain William 
McKay, in command of the company to push 
forward to my assistance, when informed of the 
object for which the company was enlisted, and 
that if it was not pressed forward at once, or if 
some other force was not sent. Governor Stevens 
and his party would be in the most imminent danger, 
the general replied that in his opinion the danger 
was greatly exaggerated. That probably Governor 
Stevens would be able to protect himself, but if he 
could not. then Governor Stevens could obtain an 
escort from General Harney. 

"What a reply was that ! A moiety of the 
Indians now in arms had defeated a detachment of 
one hundred United States regulars ; Major Rains 
had placed on record his opinion that an insufficient 
force would be defeated by these Indians, and my 
party was supposed to number no more than twenty- 
five men. Yet Major-General Wool very coolly 
says, 'Governor Stevens can take care of himself.' 
So, too, in the remark that I could obtain aid from 
General Harney. Did General Wool know that the 
distance from Fort Benton to the supposed position 
of General Harney was greater than the distance 
from Fort P)enton to The Dalles, and that to obtain 
aid from him would require not less than six months, 
and that an express to reach him must pass through 
the entire breadth of the Sioux? Such ignorance 
shows great incapacity and is inexcusable. 

"Mr. Secretary, Major-General Wool, com- 
manding the Pacific Division, ne.glected and refused 
to send a force to the relief of myself and party 
when known to be in imminent danger, and believed 
by those who were less capable of judging to be 
coming on to certain death, and this, when he had 
at his command an efficient force of regular troops. 
He refused to sanction the agreement made between 
Governor Mason and Major Rains for troops to be 
sent to my assistance and ordered them to dis- 
band. It was reserved for the Oregon troops to 
rescue us. 

"The only demonstration inade by Major Rains 
resulted in showing his utter incapacity to command 
in the field. As has heretofore been said, his expe- 
dition against the Yakimas effected nothing jjut 
driving the Indians into the very countrv through 
which I must pass to reach the settlements. 

"I therefore prefer charges against General 


Wool. I accuse him of utter and signal incapacity, 
of criminal neglect of my safety. I ask for an 
investigation into the matter and for his removal 
from command." 

In January, 1856, Governor Stevens reached his 
capital at Ulympia and found that the storm of war 
was raging on the west as on the east side of the 
Cascade range. In October, 1855, the Indian situ- 
ation became threatening, so much so that Acting- 
Governor Mason called for the organization of four 
additional companies, to be considered as a reserve 
force, their members a species of minute men, ready 
for immediate action in case of necessity. Block- 
houses were erected by the settlers and other defen- 
sive measures adopted. The war was given incep- 
tion in the manner usual to savages, namely, by the 
indiscriminate massacre of defenseless settlers. In 
a letter dated November 5th, Christopher C. Hewitt 
thus describes the dire results of the outbreak to 
the unoffending people of White river, upon whom 
the first blow fell. 

"We started Monday morning ( October 29th) 
for the scene of action. After two days' hard work 
we made the house of Mr. Cox, which we found 
robbed. We next went to Mr. Jones', whose house 
had been burnt to the ground ; and Mr. Jones, being 
sick at the time, was burnt in it. The body of Mrs. 
Jones was found some thirty yards from the house, 
shot through the lower part of the lungs, her face 
and jaws horribl}- broken and mutilated, apparently 
with the head of an axe. The bones of Air. Jones 
were found, the flesh having been roasted and eaten 
off by hogs. Mr. Cooper, who lived with Mr. Jones, 
was found about one hundred and fifty yards from 
the house, shot through the lungs. After burying 
the bodies, we proceeded to the house of W. H. 
Brown, a mile distant. Mrs. Brown and her infant, 
apparently ten months old, we found in the well, 
the mother stabbed in the back and head and also 
in the lower part of the left breast, the child not 
dressed but no marks of violence noticeable upon it. 
Mr. Brown was found in the house, literallv cut to 
pieces. We next went to the house of Mr. King, or 
to the site of it, for it had been burnt to the ground. 
Mr. King and the two little children were burnt 
in the house, and the body of Mr. King, after being 
roa.sted, had been almost eaten up by hogs. Mrs. 
King was some thirty yards from the house. She been shot through the heart and was horribly 
mutilated. Three children were saved, one the son 
of Mr. King and two of Mr. Jones." 

On hearing of the outbreak. General Wool sent 
additional troops and the regulars and volunteers 
carried on such warfare with the wily Indians as 
the nature of the country would permit. But the 
winter season, which is very rainy on the sound, 
and the dense primeval forest that covered the land, 
rendered campaigning against an elusive enemy ex- 
ceedingly difficult and unsatisfactory. In the desul- 
tory fighting which followed the outbreak, a num- 

ber of regulars lost their lives, among them the gal- 
lant and manly Lieutenant William A. Slaughter, 
and though losses were also inflicted upon the in- 
tlians, little was accomplished toward the winning 
of a i>ermanent peace. 

Upon his arrival, Governor Stevens, with his 
usual vigor and resourcefulness, set about the 
onerous task of placing the territory on a satisfac- 
tory war footing. He contended that the volunteers 
who had been mustered into the service of the 
United States had been treated badly, so that it 
was proper that volunteers thereafter enlisted should 
be under the direction of the territorial authorities 
alone. As the term of enlistment of those volun- 
teers called out by Acting-Governor Mason was 
about to expire, he issued a proclamation calling 
for six companies, reciting as the occasion for his 
so doing that "during the past three months a band 
of hostile Indians had been spreading alarm 
amongst the settlers residing on Paget sound, mur- 
dering the families, destroying property, causing 
claims to be abandoned, and preventing the usual 
avocations of the farmer, whereby a large portion 
of the territory had become deserted ; and positive 
want, if not starvation, stares us in the face during 
the coming year." 

Three days after this proclamation was issued, 
an event happened which effectually proved that the 
call of the executive was not unwarranted. It had 
been impossible for the hostile Indians to secure the 
co-operation and support of all their race residing 
upon the sound, many remaining friendl\- to the 
whites. In order to win over to hostility these 
friendlv and neutral tribes, a bold move was 
determined upon by the red men in arms, one 
"utterly inexplicable, considering their usual mode 
of warfare." At 8 ::iO o'clock in the morning an 
attack was made on the town of Seattle, notwith- 
standing the fact that an American armed vessel 
was lying at anchor in the harbor. All day long 
the firing continued. Two white men were killed 
and a number of Indians, just how many could not 
be ascertained, though a shell from the I'uited 
States ship (the Decatur) is said to have killed five. 
The Indians were not successful in their atleniiit 
to seize the town. Had they been, "thereby would 
have been settled the question by the great number 
of Indians upon the reservations who yet doubted as 
to which party should have their allegiance." 

The defeat on White river of the hostile chief, 
Leschi, by a force of friendly Indians under Pat- 
kanim on February 15tli, brought the war practically 
to a close in the vicinity of Seattle and the \\'hite. 
Green and Snoqualmie rivers. Thereafter the scene 
of hostilities shifted to the Nisqually country, where 
Ouiemuth and Stehi were in command of the Indian 
enemy. Colonel Casey, of the regulars, was opposed 
to them and Major G. Hays, with a battalion of 
volunteers, was ordered to the scene to co-operate 
with them. March KHh the volunteers had a battle 



with the red men on Conncll's prairie, the iletails 
of which were reported hv Hays as follows: 

At alxHit eight o'clock tins morning. Capl:iin White 
witli his coinpaiiy was ordered to tlic White river to hiiild 
a hhickhoiisc and ferry, supported hy Captain Swindal and 
ten priv.-ites. lie had not ])roceedcd more than half a mile 
from the camp when he 'A'as attacked by a large Indian 
force, supposed to he at least one hundred and fifty 
warriors and a large number of scpiaws. I immediately 
ordered Captain Ilenness to his support with twenty men. 
Captain Henncss moved with great rapidity, a tremendous 
volley of guns announcing his arrival. I became satisfied 
that an additional force was necessary, and despatched 
Lieutenant Martin, of Company B, with fifteen additional 
men. The Indians by this time were seen extending their 
flank to the left with great rapidity. I then ordered Lieu- 
tenant Van Ogle, Company B, with fifteen men to check 
their flank movement, but before he could gain a position 
they had so extended their line as to make it necessary to 
send another party of twelve men under command of 
Captain Rabbcson. who succeeded in checking them. 
The fight by this time extended the whole length of our 
line, and one continuous volley could be heard from the 
Indian guns on the hill and those of our men in the bottom. 
This firing continued some two hours. I saw the advantage 
which the Indians had in position, and determined to 
charge them. I ordered Captain Swindal to charge them 
from his position, which was central, and Captain Rabbe- 
son to make a simultaneous move against their extreme 
left, while Captain Henness and Captain White w-ere 
ordered to hold tlie position which they occupied. 

This order was promptly obeyed and the charge made 
in the most gallant style by Captain Swindal against their 
center, and Captain Rabbeson against their left, through 
a deep slough, driving the enemy from their position and 
pursuing them some distance in their flight. Captain 
Rabbeson returned to camp, while Captain Swindal 
occupied a high ridge in the rear of the main body of the 
Indians. I ordered Captain Ralibeson to join Captains 
Henness and White, and directed Captain Henness to 
charge the Indians if he deemed it advisalile. The Indians 
in front of Captains WHiite and Henness were in strong 
position behind logs and trees and upon an elevation. It 
was deemed too dangerous to charge them in front. 
Captain Rabbeson was ordered 'to join Captain Swindal, 
make a flank movement to the right, and charge the enemy 
in their rear. This order was gallantly obeyed. Simul- 
taneously with this movement. Captains Henness and 
White charged them in front. The Indians were routed 
and were pursued for a mile or more along a trail covered 
with blood. It is believed that not less than twenty-five 
or thirty were killed and as many wounded. Tlicy had 
been seen carrying off their wounded and dead from the 
time the fight commenced until it terniinated. Withes and 
ropes w'ere found on the ground tliey occupied, wdiich had 
been used in dragging off their dead into the brush. Hats, 
blankets and shirts were picked up with bullet holes in 
them stained with blood. They were forced to give up 
their drum, which they abandoned in their retreat. But 
two Indians were found dead on tlic field, one of whom was 
recognized as Chehalis John. The other was placed under 
a log, and has not yet been examined. The Indians had 
together their whole force. They picked their own 
ground. They brought on the attack without being seen 
by our troops. I regard tlie victory of this day as com- 
plete — a grand triumph. They exceeded us in numbers 
nearly if not quite two to one. and we whipped and drove 
them before us. We had four men wounded, all of whom 
will soon get well. 

After this battle the Indians on the sound were 
never ais^ain brought to a general engagement, 
though there was some desultory fighting. On the 

•2".M of May, Lieutenant-Colonel P>. F. Shaw, who 
was then in command of the volunteers, called a 
council of his officers to consider the advisability 
of withdrawing from the sound, leaving the regu- 
lars to maintain peace, and making an expedition 
into the Inland Empire. The council unaniinously 
decided in favor of the expedition, giving the fol- 
lowing reasons for such decision : 

"The mounted volunteers having crossed the 
mountains, the necessity of protecting the settle- 
ments west of the mountains devolved upon the 
LInited States infantry commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Casey. Should the volunteers remain west 
of the mountains, they assumed that Lieutenant- 
Colonel Casey would be obliged to go east of the 
mountains and to join Colonel Wright, and that, 
while infantry were best adapted to the service west 
of the Cascades, the mounted volunteers could 
operate in the regions east. The Yakiinas were the 
leading element of the hostile party. Their main 
strength tnust be broken before pursuing individuals 
or small parties. They asserted that if Colonel 
Wright did whip the hostiles with infantry, he could 
not follow them after a fi,ght. If the volunteers 
remained west of the mountains, they were power- 
less to check an enemy over one hundred and fifty 
miles oflf. The volunteers must make a figbt before 
going out of service. Sufficient troops would still 
remain west of the mountains to protect the settle- 
inents. It was necessary that depots of provisions 
should be established in the Yakima country before 
the winter. The Indians west of the mountains had 
been repeatedly defeated : whilst those east of the 
mountains had never been checked." 

In conformity with this decision, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaw set out over the Cascades, via the 
Naches pass. But before tracing his operations on 
the east side it will be necessary to return to the 
Oregon volunteers whom we left in the Walla Walla 
country and review their further fortunes and move- 
ments, as also those of Colonel Wright and the reg- 
ulars under his comtnand. Details of the winter 
campaign of the Oregon volitnteer regiment need 
not be given. Much effort was expended in dis- 
covering caches of provisions and otherwise forag- 
ing for supplies. The Indians in December with- 
drew across Snake river, whither the volunteers 
coidd not follow them for want of boats. But in 
February six were constructed of whip-sawed 
lumber and calked with pine pitch, and in these, 
transported in wagons to the jilace where needed, 
the regiment crossed the Snake twenty-five miles 
below the month of the Palouse, dispersing a small 
band of hostiles that opposed their crossing, and 
capturing their horses. .\n extensive survey of the 
country between the Palouse and Columbia rivers 
was made, then a part of the command returned to 
Walla Walla, but the main body under Colonel 
Thomas R. Cornelius, who in December had suc- 
ceeded Colonel Xesmith, resigned, moved to a point 


on the Columbia opposite the mouth of the Yakima 
river. Cornelius was delayed somewhat in his con- 
templated march into the Yakima country by lack 
of supplies, but on April -Jth, with two hundred and 
forty-one efficient men, he started. Next day on 
Canyon creek the hostiles were met. No engage- 
ment took place that night. The following morning, 
however, Captain Hembree with a small detachment 
was attacked while reconnoitering, and Hembree 
was killed, after having despatched two Indians, the 
rest of the squad escaping back to camp and giving 
the alarm. Major Cornoyer pursued the enemy, 
came upon them toward evening in a fortified 
position, charged them and killed six of their num- 
ber. Thus by a loss of eight did the red men atone 
for the killing and subsequent mutilation of Hem- 

On the 8th the command set out towards The 
Dalles. While encamped in the Klickitat valley they 
lost a number of their horses, but further than that 
experienced no reverses en route and inflicted no 
damage upon the Indians except the killing of two. 
In Mav the regiment was disbanded, but from it 
was formed companies, which, however, were also 
mustered out in August. 

We turn now to the operations of the regular 
troops east of the mountains, during the year 1856. 
In instructions to Colonel George Wright, issued in 
January, General Wool directed that two move- 
ments should be inaugurated as soon as climatic 
conditions should permit. "Expeditions should be 
prepared," said he, "at the earliest possible moment; 
that is, as soon as grass can be obtained, for Walla 
Walla and the Selah fisheries. As the snow will 
not allow the expedition to the latter so early by 
three or four weeks, the one to the former will be 
taken as soon as the season will permit, with four 
or five companies and three howitzers. It is desir- 
able that the expedition should be conducted with 
reference to selecting a proper position for a post, 
and to ascertain the feelings and dispositions of 
the several tribes in that section of the country. I 
do not believe they will continue the war a great 
while. The occupation of the country between the 
Walla Walla, Touchet and Snake rivers, and the 
opposite side of the Columbia, will very soon bring 
those tribes to terms. The occupation at the proper 
time of the Yakima country from the Ahtanum 
mission, and that on the river above and below the 
Selah fishery, will compel the Yakimas, I think, to 
sue for peace or abandon their country." 

It was such instructions as these that occasioned 
the unfriendly criticism of the people of the North- 
west. "Not a word." observed Evans, "as to chas- 
tising the perfidious murderers of our citizens, nor 
the enforcement of the treaties, nor for the punish- 
ment of hostile acts which had destroyed the busi- 
ness of the country and retarded its settlement — not 
a word as to checking raids and depredations on 
isolated settlers." It was such insulting instruc- 

tions as that sent to Colonel Wright at a later 
date — "Should you find, on the arrival of the troops 
in the Cayuse country, that a company is neces- 
sary to give protection to the Cayuse Indians from 
the volunteers, you will leave a company there 
with a howitzer" — that incited the positive hostility 
of feeling of the people toward Wool. 

March 11th Colonel Wright arrived at Fort 
Dalles. By the 2(ith, he was ready to, and on that 
date he did, start for the Walla Walla country. The 
folly of General Wool's orders became at once 
apparent. Had Wright made a vigorous movement 
against the ablest leader of the hostiles, Kamiakin, 
as he doubtless would have done if he had been 
instructed to reduce the belligerent Indians to sub- 
mission, the Cascades tragedy would not have 
occurred. But the forces on the Columbia had been 
diminished by Wool's directions, two of the three 
companies at Fort Vancouver having been sent to 
Steilacoom about the middle of March, and on the 
24th the company at the Cascades having been sent 
away. The movement of Wright up the Columbia 
to The Dalles had brought it about that a large 
amount of stores and supplies were temporarily 
at the Cascades, and for them there was no other 
protection than a detachment of eight men under 
Sergeant Matthew Kelly. The watchful Kamiakin 
was fully aware of the conditions, and had made 
preparations accordingly. 

The settlements were on a narrow strip of bot- 
tom land on the north bank of the river. The south 
bank was precipitous, affording no opportunity for 
settlement. A saw-mill stood near the upper end 
of the portage; a little below were a number of 
houses and shops, among which was the store of 
Bradford & Company. Directly in front of this 
building's site is an island, and a bridge to connect 
it with the mainland was then in process of con- 
struction. The Bradford Brothers had been for 
some time building a tramway or species of wooden 
railroad between the upper and lower cascades. 
Upon this workmen were engaged building another 
bridge. There was considerable activity in the little 
village, whose importance the Indian war opera- 
tions had greatly increased. Two steamers, the 
Mary and the Wasco, lay at anchor in the river on 
that eventful March morning, the quiet industry 
of which was to be so rudely disturbed. 

The usual activities had just begun when the 
blood-curdling savage war whoop awoke the echoes. 
Then came the sharp reports of many rifles all along 
the line of the settlements. Fortunately an ex- 
tended account of the attack on and defense of the 
Bradford store by one who was present and saw 
what he narrated has been ])reserved for later 
generations. It was embodied in a letter by Law- 
rence W. Coe, a partner of the Bradford Brothers 
' in their store, to Putnam T. Bradford, who was 
cast at the time : 



On Wednesday. March iOth, at about 8:30 A. M.. after 
the men had gone to their work on the two bridges of the 
new railway, most of tlieni on the bridge near Bush's 
house, the Yakimas came down on us. There was a line 
about us from Mill creek to the big point at the head of the 
falls, firing simultaneously at the men; and the first notice 
we had of them was the firing and crack of their guns. .■\t 
the first fire, one of our men was killed and several were 
woimded. Our men. on seeing tlic Indians, all ran to our 
store through a shower of bullets, except three, who started 
down the stream for the middle blockhouse, distant one 
and a half miles. Bush and his family ran to our store, 
leaving his own house vacant. The Watkins family came 
into our store, after a Dutch boy (brother of Mrs. Watkins) 
had been shot in the house. Watkins, Finlay and Bailey 
were at work on the new warehouse on the island, around 
which the water was now high enough to run about three 
feet deep under the bridges. There was grand confusion 
in the store at first ; and Sinclair, of Walla Walla, going to 
the door to look out, was shot in the head and instantly 
killed. Some of us commenced getting guns and rifles, 
which were ready loaded, from behind the counter. For- 
tunately, about an hour before, there had been left with us 
for shipment below nine government muskets, with car- 
tridge 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 stovepipe was hauled down, the 
hole enlarged with axes, and a party of men crawled up ; 
and the upper part of the house was secured. 

Our luen soon got shots at the Indians on the bank 
above us. I saw Bush shoot an Indian, the first one killed, 
who was drawing a bead on Mrs. Watkins, as she was run- 
ning for our store. He dropped instantly. Alexander and 
others mounted into the gable under our roof ; and from 
there was done the most of our firing, as it was the best 
place for observation. In the meantime, we were barri- 
cading the store, making loopholes and firing when oppor- 
tunity presented itself. I took charge of the store. I_)an 
Bradford of the second Hoor, and Alexander of the garret 
and roof. 

The steamer Mary was lying in Mill creek; the wind 
was blowing hard down stream. Then we saw Indians 
running towards her and heard shots. I will give you an 
account of the attack on her hereafter. The Indians now 
returned in force to us ; and we gave everyone a shot who 
showed himself. Tliey were nearly naked, painted red 
and had guns and bows and arrows. After a while. Finlny 
came creeping around the lower point of the island towards 
our house. We halloed to him to lie down behind a rock; 
and he did so. He called that he could not get to the store, 
as the bank above us was covered with Indians. He saw 
Watkins" house burn while there. The Indians first took 
out everything 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. We then saw Watkins and Bailey running around 
the river side towards the place where Finlay was. and the 
Indians in full chase after them. As our 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. Finlay also swam across and got in unharmed, 
which was wonderful, as there was a shower of bullets 
around him. 

Watkins came next, running around the point ; and we 
called to him to lie down behind the rocks ; but before he 
could do .so he was shot through the wrist, the ball going 
up the arm and out above the elbow. He dropped behind 
a rock just as the pursuing Indians came 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 of the troops — two 
days and nights afterwards. During this time he fainted 

several times from cold and exposure, the weather being 
very cold ; and he was stripped down to the underclothes 
for swimming. When he fainted he would roll down the 
steep bank into the river ; and. the ice-cold water reviving 
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 piteously at his situation. 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 — everything onto the roof that would 
burn. But as the bank for a short distance back of the 
store inclined towards us, we could see and shoot the 
Indians who appeared there. So they had to throw for 
such a distance that the largest rocks and bundles of fire 
did not quite reach us ; and what did generally rolled off 
the roof. Sometimes the roof caught on fire ; and we cut 
it out, or with cups of brine drawn from pork barrels put 
it out. or with long sticks shoved ofl^ the fire-ball. The 
kitchen roof troubled us the most. How they did pepper 
us with rocks ! Some of the biggest ones would shake the 
house all over. 

There were now forty men, women and children in 
the house — four women and eighteen men who coidd fight, 
and eighteen children and wounded men. The steamer 
Wasco was on the Oregon side of the river. We saw her 
steam up and leave for The Dalles. Shortly after the 
steamer Mary also left. She had to take Atwell's fence 
rails for wood. So passed the day. during which the 
Indians had burned Inman's two houses, Bradford's saw- 
mill and houses, and the lumber yards at the mouth of 
Mill creek. At daylight they set fire to Bradford's new 
warehouse on the island, making it as light as day around 
us. They did not attack us at night, but on the second 
morning commenced again lively as ever. We had no 
water, but did have about two dozen of ale and a few bot- 
tles of whiskey. These gave out during the day. During 
the night, a Spokane Indian, who was traveling with Sin- 
clair 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. We weathered it out during the day, 
every man keeping his post, and never rela.xing his vigi- 
lance. Every moving object, bush, shadow or suspicious 
thing on the hillside received a shot. Night came again ; 
we saw Sheppard's house burn. Bush's house was also 
fired, and kept us in light until four A. M., when, darkness 
returning. I sent the Spokane Indian for water from the 
river ; he filled four barrels. He w-ent to and fro like light- 
ning. He also slipped poor James Sinclair's body down 
the slide outside, as the corpse was quite offensive. 

The two steamers having exceeded the length of time 
which we gave them to return from The Dalles, we made 
up our minds for a long siege, until relief came from 
below. The third morning dawned ; and lo ! the Mary 
and the Wasco, blue with soldiers, and towing a flatboat 
loaded with dragoon horses, hove in sight. Such a halloa 
as we gave! As the steamers landed, the Indians fired 
twenty or thirty shots into them ; but we could not ascer- 
tain with what effect. The soldiers as they got ashore 
could not be restrained, and plunged into the woods in 
every direction ; while the howitzers sent grape after the 
retreating redskins. Tlie soldiers were soon at our doors ; 
and we experienced quite a feeling of relief in opening 

Now as to the attack on the steamer Mary on the first 
day of the fight. She lay in Mill creek, and no fires, and 
wind blowing hard ashore. Jim Thompson, Jolm Woodard 
and Jim Herman were just going up to her from our store 
when they were fired upon. Herman asked if they had 
anv guns. No. He went on up to Inman's house ; the rest 
stayed lo help get the steamer out. Captain Dan Baugh- 
man and Thompson were on shore, hauling on lines in the 
upper side of the creek, when the firing of the Indians 
became so hot that they ran for the woods past Inman's 



house. The tircnian, James Lindsay, was shot thTough 
the shoulder. Engineer Buckniinstcr shot an Indian witli 
his revolver on the gang plank, and little Johnny Chance 
went clinil)ing up on the hurricane deck, and killed his 
Indian witli an old dragoon pistol ; hut he was shot through 
the leg in doing so. Dick Turpin, half crazy, prohably, 
taking the only gini on the steamer, jumped into a tlathoat 
alongside, was shot, and jumped overboard and was 
drowned. Fires were soon started under the boiler and 
steam was rising. About this time, Jesse Kempton, shot 
while driving an o.k team from the mill, got on board ; also 
a halfbreed named Bourbon, who was shot through the 
body. After sufficient steam to move was raised. Hardin 
Chenoweth ran up into the pilot house, and, lying on the 
floor, turned tlie wheel as he was directed from the lower 
deck. It is almost needless to say that the pilot house was 
a target for the Indians. The steamer picked up Herman 
on the bank above. Innian's family, Sheppard and Vau- 
derpool all got across the river in skiflfs, and boarding the 
Mary were taken to The Dalles. 

In the same letter Mr. Coe thus narrates the 

incidents of the attack which was made on the 

Lower Cascades simultaneously with that on the 
store : 

George Johnson was about to get a boat's crew of 
Indians, when Indian Jack came running to him, saying 
that the Yakimas had attacked the blockhouse. He did 
not believe it, although he heard the cannon. He went up 
to the Indian village on the sandbar to get his crew, and 
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 blockhouse 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, with about thirty Indians in 
chase. .-Vftcr reaching Johnson's. Murphy continued on 
and gave Hamilton and all below warning; and the fami- 
lies embarked in small boats for Vancouver. The men 
would have barricaded in the warehouse, but for want of 
ammunition. There was considerable government freight 
in the wharf boat. They stayed about the wharf boat and 
schooner nearly all day, and until the Indians commenced 
firing upon them from the zinc-house on the bank. They 
then shoved out. Tommy Pierce was shot through the leg 
in getting the boats into the streain. Floating down, they 
met the steamer Belle with Sheridan and forty men. sent iip 
on report of an express carried down by Indian Simpson in 
the morning. George and those with him went on hoard 
the steamer and volunteered to serve under Sheridan, who 
landed at George's place and found everything burned. 

The timel}' warning by Indian Jack enabled all 
the people to escape with their lives, though the 
houses were burned and much government property 

I'ut how fared the middle blockhouse, com- 
monly known as Fort Rains? As heretofore 
stated there were at this place eight soldiers under 
Sergeant Kelly. The commander of this squad 
had been warned the day previous that Indians in 
the vicinity were acting suspiciously but gave the 
matter no serious attention. When the attack came, 
the members of the detachment were quite widely 
scattered and one of the number, Frederick Ber- 
naur, had gone to the Upper Cascades for a can- 
teen of whiskey. This man, on attempting to re- 
turn, was shot through both legs, but managed to 

keep himself concealed, supporting his failing 
strength with the whiskey until night, when he stole 
into the blockhouse. The others, as soon as the 
truth became known, rushed for the protection of 
the fortification, and all reached it except Lawrence 
Rooney, who was captured by the Indians. The 
few 'families in the vicinity of the blockhouse also 
sought its protection, but were not so fortunate, 
several of their number being severely wounded in 
crossing the line of Indian fire. "We had," said 
Sergeant Robert Williams in his narrative of the 
attack, "seven wounded and three killed. .Among 
the latter was Mr. Griswold, who might have es- 
caped his death but for his overconfidence in the 
friendliness of the Indians toward him. The Ger- 
man boy, Kyle, mentioned in Mr. Coe's narrative, 
was killed while riding on horseback down the road 
on the hill in front of us. The Indian that shot him 
stood by the side of a tree close to the road, his gini 
almost reaching to the poor boy, who fell instantly 
upon being shot. 

"Tom McDowell and Jehu Switzler and another 
man to me before unknown, were on their way 
from the Copper to the Lower Cascades, but before 
they had proceeded far thev discovered hostile 
Indians. Being themselves unarmed, they made a 
desperate efifort to reach the blockhouse, which 
they did in safety. They proved to our small force 
a valuable acquisition. The three gallantly aided 
us during the defense. After they had got in. the 
door was made secure by a bolt, and then a strong 
chain was drawn tight across. That being com- 
pleted, we gave our savage enemy a treat of canister 
shot, fourteen rounds in all, from our si.x-potmder 
gun, after which they precipitately retired. Rut we 
still, while in reach, presented them with a few 
shells. They retired back of the hills, out of range 
of our guns, to torture and put to a horrible death 
our tinfortunate comrade (Lawrence Rooney), 
whom they had captured. We could not see them 
at it, but we heard his piercing screams, .\fter thev 
had accomplished this last inhuman and diabolical 
cruelty, the main portion left and went to the lower 

The second day the Indians returned to the 
siege. The men in the blockhouse were thus pre- 
vented from getting water, of which the wounded 
especially were in dire need. Their necessities were 
relieved by the gallantry of Sergeant W'illiams and 
W illiam Houser. who made their wav to a saloon 
near b\- and succeeded in ])roeuring some potables, 
but no water, also a small box of crackers. \ext 
morning, the third day after the attack, relief came. 

The movements by which the horrible siege at 
the Cascades was raised must now receive brief 
treatment. The beleaguered people managed to 
send an cxi)ress to Colonel W'right. who had pro- 
ceeded a few miles on his way to the Walla Walla 
coimtry, apprising him of what was hajipening in 
the rear. He forthwith turned back. \Vord also 



reached Vancouver, coiiveved by fugitives from the 
Lower Cascades, and soon Lieutenant Philip Slieri- 
dan, who later immortalized his name in the Civil 
War, was sent to the rescue with forty men. He 
descended the river in the steamer Belle, reached 
the Lower Cascades early in the morning of the 
2Uh, disembarked the men at a convenient place 
and sent the steamer back for volunteer assistance. 
It is worthy of mention that two volunteer com- 
panies were equipped in Portland and Vancouver 
and came to the scene, but were unable to engage 
actively in any conflict. Sheridan's position, after 
landing, was such that he could not advance upon 
the Indians in his front without crossing over a 
narrow neck of ground. He soon learned that the 
foe was on this narrow strip also. 

"After getting well in hand everything con- 
nected with my little command," says Sheridan, "I 
advanced with five or six men to the edge of a 
growth of underbrush to make a reconnoissance. 
We stole along under cover of this underbrush until 
we reached the open ground leading over the cause- 
way or narrow neck .before mentioned, when the 
enemy opened fire and killed a soldier near my side 
by a shot which just grazed the bridge of my nose, 
struck him in the neck, opening an artery and 
breaking the spinal cord. He died instantly. The 
Indians at once made a rush for the body, but my 
men in the rear, coming quickly to the rescue, drove 
them back; and Captain Ball's gun (a cannon bor- 
rowed from an ocean steamer) being now brought 
into play, many solid shot were thrown into the 
jungle where they lay concealed, with the effect of 
considerably moderating their impetuosity. Fur- 
ther skirmishing at long range took place at inter- 
vals during the day, but with little gain or loss, 
however, to either side, for both parties held posi- 
tions which could not be assailed in flank, and only 
the extreme of rashness in either could prompt a 
front attack. My left was protected by the back- 
water driven into the slough by the high stage of 
the river, and my right rested securely on the main 
stream. Between us was the narrow neck of land, 
to cross which would be certain death. The posi- 
tion of the Indians was almost the counterpart of 

Both belligerents remained in their respective 
positions all day and all night, but Sheridan had in 
the meantime conceived the plan of crossing the 
command in a bateau, which he had brought with 
him, to the south side of the Columbia, make his 
way up the mountain's base to a point opposite the 
middle blockhouse, cross there to the north bank 
and endeavor to get to the rear of the Indian posi- 
tion. How this hazardous plan was executed is 
best told in Sheridan's own language : 

"On the morning of the 28th the savages were 
still in my front, and, after giving them some solid 
shot from Captain Ball's gun, we slipped down to 
the river bank and the detachment crossed by means 

of the Hudson's Bay boat, making a landing on the 
opposite shore at a point where the south channel of 
the river, after flowing around Bradford's island, 
joins the main stream. It was then about nine 
o'clock and everything thus far proceeded favora- 
bly. But an examination of the channel showed 
that it would be impossible to get the boat up the 
rapids along the mainland, and that success could 
only be assured by crossing the south channel just 
below the rapids to the island, along the shore of 
which there was every probability we could pull the 
boat through the rocks and swift water until the 
head of the rapids was reached, from which point 
to the blockhouse there was swift water. 

"Telling the men of the embarrassment in which 
I found myself, and that, if I could get enough of 
them to man the boat and pull it up the stream by a 
rope to the shore, we would cross to the island and 
make the attempt, all volunteered to go, but as ten 
men seemed sufficient, I selected that number to 
accompany me. Before starting, however, I 
deemed it prudent to find out if possible what was 
engaging tlie attention of the Indians, who had not 
yet discovered that we had left their front. I 
therefore climbed up the abrupt mountain side 
which skirted the water's edge, until I could see 
across the island. From this point I observed the 
Indians running horse-races and otherwise enjoying 
themselves behind the line they had held against me 
the day before. The squaws decked out in gay 
colors, and the men gaudily dressed in war bonnets, 
made the scene very attractive, but, as everything 
looked propitious for the dangerous enterprise in 
hand, I spent but little time in watching them and 
quickly returning to the boat, I crossed to the island 
with my ten men, threw ashore the rope attached to 
the bow and commenced the difficult task of pulling 
her up the rapids. We got along slowly at first, but 
soon striking a camp of old squaws, who had been 
left on the island for safety and had not gone over 
to the mainland to see the races, we utilized them to 
our advantage. With unmistakable threats and 
signs, we made them not only keep quiet, but also 
give us much-needed assistance in pulling vigor- 
ously on the tow-rope of our boat. 

"I was laboring under a dreadful strain of 
mental anxiety during all this time, for had the 
Indians discovered what we were about, they could 
easily have come over to the island in their canoes, 
and by forcing us to take up our arms to repel their 
attack, doubtless would have obliged the abandon- 
ment of the boat, and that essential adjunct to the 
final success of my plan would have gone down the 
rapids. Indeed, under such circumstances, it would 
have been impossible for ten men to hold out against 
the two or three hundred Indians ; but the island 
forming an excellent screen to our movements, we 
were not discovered, and when we reached the 
smooth water at the upper end of the rapids, we 
quickly crossed over and joined the rest of the men 



wlio in the meantime had worked their way along 
the south bank of the river parallel with us. I felt 
very grateful to our old squaws for the assistance 
thev rendered. They worked well under compul- 
sion and manifested' no disposition to strike for 
higher wages. Indeed, I was so much relieved i 
wiien we had crossed over from the island and 
joined the rest of the party, that I mentally thanked 
the squaws, one and all. I had much difficulty in 
keeping the men on the main shore from cheering 
at our success, but hurriedly taking into the bateau 
all of them it would carry, I sent the balance along 
the south bank, where the railroad is now built, 
until both detachments arrived at a point opjiosite 
the blockhouse, when, crossing to the north bank, I 
landed below the blockhouse some little distance 
and returned the boat for the balance of the men, 
who joined me in a few minutes." 

Hardlv had Sheridan landed and effected com- 
munication with the beleaguered blockhouse, when 
the advance of Wright's returning command under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward J. Steptoe arrived. A 
conference between Sheridan and Steptoe resulted 
in the former's being sent with a reinforcement to 
the island he had just left to capture the Cascade 
Indians, who, it was thought, would flee to the 
island, while the Yakimas would retreat into the 
interior of their own country. As expected, the 
Yakimas and Klickitats fled precipitately on the ap- 
proach of Steptoe's command, and the Cascades, 
deserted by their quondam allies, fell into the power 
of Sheridan. Some of them were tried by military 
commission. Being under treaty, they were ad- 
judged guilty of treason in fighting and nine were 
summarilv hanged. The remainder of the Cascades 
were kept on the island under military surveillance. 
April SSth Colonel Wright with five companies 
started into the Yakima country, and camping on 
the Xaches river on the ISth of May, he remained 
there about a month. He was visited at intervals 
l)y chiefs professing a desire for peace, but the 
Indian plan was to aft'ect to have two parties, one 
wishing hostilities to cease, the other advocating 
the continuance of the war. Their strategy con- 
sisted in the use of dilatory tactics, playing one party 
in their own ranks against another and making 
representations, true or false, which would stay 
the hand of their opiionent until they could collect 
supplies. In this they succeeded admirably. 

"The history of Wright's operations, as given in 
his reports," writes Mrs. Mctor, "shows a summer 
spent in trailing Indians from place to place, from 
fishery to fishery, and over mountains before 
thought impassable for troops, dragging after them 
their season's supi^lies and accomplishing nothing 
but to collect the noncombatants of the disatiected 
tribes upon a reservation in Oregon, where they 
were secure from the turmoil of war and at liberty 
to spy on either side." 

As before stated, Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw, of 

the Washington volunteers, started for the Walla 
Walla country early in June. Arriving at the 
Yakima country while Wright was there, he offered 
to co-operate with the regulars, which offer was 
declined. He therefore continued his march to the 
Columbia at a point opposite the mouth of the Uma- 
tilla river. Seventy-five men of his command, under 
Captain Goff, had been sent to co-operate with 
Major Layton, of the Oregon volunteers, in raiding 
the John Day country. By capturing horses and 
supplies, these forces compelled many Indians, some 
of whom were supposed to be hostile and some who 
might at any time be induced to become so, to seek 
the protection of the Warm Springs reservation. 

Acting upon Governor Stevens' instructions to 
"spare no exertion to reduce to unconditional sub- 
mission any hostiles within reach," Colonel Shaw 
determined to attack a force of the enemy whom he 
ascertained to be encamped in the Grand Ronde 
valley. Pushing rapidly over the mountains, he 
encountered the hostiles July ITth, and in a decisive 
battle drove them as fugitives in every direction. 
The story of this fight is vividly told by the colonel 
himself in the following language : 

We arrived in the Grande Ronde valley on the even- 
ing of the 16th and camped on a branch of the Grande 
Ronde river in the timber, sending spies in advance, who 
returned and reported no fresh signs. On the morning of 
the 17th, leaving Major Blankenship. of the central, and 
Captain Miller, of the southern battalion, assisted by Cap- 
tain DeLacy. to take up the line of march for the main 
valley, I proceeded ahead to reconnoiter, accompanied by 
Major Maxon, Michael Marchniean, Captain John and 
Doctor Burns. After proceeding about five miles we 
ascended a knoll in the valley, from which we discovered 
dust rising along the timber of the river. I immediately 
sent Major Maxon and Captain John forward to recon- 
noiter and returned to hurry up the command, which was 
not far distant. The command was instantly formed in 
order ; Captain Miller's company in advance, supported by 
M axon's, Henness' and Powell's companies, leaving the 
pack train in charge of the guard under Lieutenant Good- 
man, with a detachment of Goff's company, under Lieu- 
tenant Wait, and Lieutenant Williams' company in reserve 
with orders to follow on after the command. 

The whole command moved on quietly in this order 
until within one-half mile of the Indian village, when we 
discovered that the pack train had moved to the left, down 
the Grande Ronde river. .\t this moment a large body 
of warriors came forward singing and whooping, and one 
of them waving a white man's scalp on a pole. One of 
them sigtiified a desire to speak, whereupon I sent Cap- 
lain John to meet him, and formed the command in line of 
battle. When Captain Jolni came up to the Indians they 
cried out one to another to shoot him, whereupon be 
retreated to the command and I ordered the four compa- 
nies to charge. 

The design of the enemy evidently was to draw us 
into the brush along the river, where from our exposed 
position they would have the advantage, they no doubt 
having placed an ambush there. To avoid this I charged 
down the river toward the pack train. The warriors then 
split, part going across the river and part down towardthe 
pack train. Tliese were soon overtaken and engaged. The 
charge was vigorous and so well sustained that they were 
broken, dispersed and slain before ns. .\fter a short time 
I sent Captain Miller to the left and Major Maxon to the 
right ; the latter to cross the stream and to cut them off 



from a point near which a large body of warriors had col- 
lected, apparently to tight, while I moved forward with the 
commands of Captain Henncss and Lieutenant Powell to 
attack them in front. The major could not cross the river, 
and on our moving forward the enemy fled after firing a 
few gims, part taking to the left and part continuing for- 

Those who took to the left fell in with Captain Miller's 
company, who killed five on the spot, and the rest were 
not less successful in the pursuit, which was continued to 
the crossing of the river, where the enemy had taken a 
stand to defend the ford. Being here rejoined by Captain 
Miller and by Lieutenant Curtis, w-ith part of Maxon's com- 
pany, we fired a volley and 1 ordered a charge across the 
river, which was gallantly executed. In doing this Pri- 
vate Shirley, ensign of Henness' company, who was in 
front, was woiuidcd in the face. Several of the enemy 
were killed at this point. We continued tlie pursuit until 
the enemy had reached the rocky canyons leading toward 
the Pow'der river, and commenced scattering in every 
direction, when, finding that I had but five men with me 
and the rest of the command scattered in the rear, most of 
the horses being completely exhausted, I called a halt and 
fell back, calculating to remount the men on the captured 
horses and continue the pursuit after night. 

I found the pack train, gnard and reserve encamped on 
a small creek not far from the crossing, as I had previously 
ordered, and learned that a body of the enemy had fol- 
lowed them up all day and annoyed them but had inflicted 
no damage beyond capturing many of the animals which 
we had taken in charge and left behind. 

I learned also that Major Maxon had crossed the river 
with a small party and was engaged with the enemy and 
wanted assistance. I immediately despatched a detach- 
ment under Lieutenants Williams and Wait, sending the 
man who brought the information back with them as a 
guide. Thej' returned after dark without finding the 
major, but brought in one of his men whom they found in 
the brusli and who stated that one of the major's men was 
killed and that the last he saw of them they were fighting 
with the Indians. At daylight I sent out Captain Miller 
with seventj- men, who scouted aroimd the whole valley 
without finding him, but who unfortunately had one man 
killed and another wounded whilst pursuing some Indians. 
I resolved to remove camp the next day to the head of the 
valley, where the emigrant trail crosses it, and continue 
the search until we became certain of their fate. The 
same evening I took sixty men, under Captain Henness, and 
struck up on the mountains and crossed the heads of the 
canyons to see if I could not strike his trail. Finding no 
sign. I returned to the place where the major had last 
been seen, and there made search in different directions 
and finally found the body of one of his men (Tooley) and 
where the major had encamped in the brush. From other 
signs it became evident to me that the major had returned 
to this post by the same trad by which we first entered the 

Being nearly out of provisions, and unable to follow 
the Indians from tliis delay, I concluded to return to camp, 
recruit for another expedition in conjunction with Captain 
Goff, who had, I presume, returned from his expedition 
to the John Day river. 

I should have mentioned previously that in the charge 
the command captured and afterward destroyed about one 
hundred and fifty horse loads of lacamas, dried beef, tents, 
some flour, coffee, sugar and about one hundred pounds of 
ammunition and a great quantity of tools and kitchen fur- 
niture. We took also about two himdred horses, most of 
which were shot, there being about one hundred service- 
able animals. 

There was present on the ground from what I saw, 
and from information received from two squaws taken 
prisoner, about three hundred warriors of the Cayuse, 
Walla Walla, Umatilla, Tyh, John Day and Des Chutes 
tribes, commanded by the following chiefs : Stock Whitley 

and Simmistastas, Des Chutes and Tyh; Chickiah, Plyon, 
Wicecai, Watahstuartih, Winmiswot, Cayuses ; Tahkin, 
Cayuse, the son of Pco-peo-mox-niox ; Walla Walla and 
other chiefs of less note. 

The whole conmiand, officers and men, behaved well. 
The enemy was run on the gallop fifteen miles, and most 
of those who fell were shot with a revolver. It is impossi- 
ble to state how many of the enemy were killed. Twenty- 
seven bodies were counted by one individual, and many 
others were known to have fallen and been left, but were 
so scattered about that it was impossible to get count of 
them. When to these we add those killed by Major 
Maxon's command on the other side of the river we may 
safely conclude that at least forty of the enemy were slain 
and many went off' wounded. When we left the valley 
there was not an Indian in i1 and all signs went to show 
that they had gone a great distance from it. 

On the 21st instant we left the valley by the emigrant 
road and commenced our return to camp. During the 
night Lieutenant Hunter, of the W^ashington territory 
volunteers, came into camp with an express from 
Captain Gofif. I learned to my surprise that the captain 
and Major Layton had seen Indians on John Day's river, 
had followed them over to Burnt river and had a fight with 
them, in which Lieutenant Eustus and one private were 
killed, and some seven Indians. They were shaping their 
course for the Grande Ronde valley, and had sent for 
provisions and fresh horses. I immediately sent Lieuten- 
ant Williams back with all my spare provisions and horses 
and continued my march. On Wild Horse creek I came 
across Mr. Fites, a pack master who had been left in camp, 
who informed me, to my extreme satisfaction, that Major 
Maxon and his command had arrived safe in camp and 
were then near us with provisions and ammunition. These 
I sent on immediately to Captain Goff. I learned that 
Major Maxon bad been attacked in the valley by a large 
force of Indians on the day of the fight; had gained the 
brush and killed many of them; that at night he tried to 
find our camp, and hearing a noise like a child crying, 
probably one of the captured squaws, had concluded that 
my command had gone on to Powder river and that the 
Indians had returned to the valley by another canyon. He 
moved his position that night and the next day saw the 
scout looking for him, but in the distance thought that it 
was a band of Indians bunting his trail. Conceiving him- 
self cut off from the command: he thought it best to return 
to this camp, thinking that we would be on our way back 
to Grande Ronde with provisions and ammunition. 

Meanwhile Governor Stevens was making every 
efTort to sustain the friendly faction of the Nez 
Perces under Lawyer, and in this he was receiving 
the hearty co-operation of William Craig, a white 
man who had been adopted into the tribe. In Gov- 
ernor Stevens' opinion an important incident in 
preserving the friendship of the Nez Perces was 
the holding of the Walla Walla valley. He 
seems to have determined to follow up the moral 
advantage gained by Shaw's victory by holding a 
council with all the Indians, friendly, neutral and 
hostile, whom he could induce to meet him in the 
Walla Walla country. Wishing to present a solid 
front against the Indians he endeavored strenuously 
to secure the hearty co-operation of the regulars. 
He accordingly held a conference with Wright at 
Vancouver, at which he learned that the colonel 
could not be present in person at the council but 
would send Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe with four 
companies to reach the scene in time. Everything 
seemed propitious for a friendly co-operation. The 



regular officers were, however, acting with duplic- 
ity, for thev had received orders from General Wool 
such as would prevent any real co-operation with 

At the close of his pow-wow campaign in the 
Yakima country, Wright, having failed to find any 
enemy to oppose, had reported to General Wool that 
the war was at an end. The latter had, on the 2d of 
August, issued an order to Wright in which he 

"The general congratulates you on your suc- 
cessful termination of the war with the Yakimas and 
Klickitats. * * * With the least possible delay 
you will conduct an expedition into the Walla Walla 
country. No emigrants or other whites, except 
the Hudson's Bay Company, or persons having 
ceded rights from the Indians, will be permitted to 
settle or remain in the Indian country, or on land 
not ceded by treaty, confirmed by tlie senate and 
approved by the president of the United States, ex- 
cepting the miners at the Colville mines. Those 
will be notified, however, that, if they interfere with 
the Indians, or their squaws, they will be punished 
and sent out of the country. It appears that 
Colonel Shaw, from Puget sound, with his volun- 
teers, has gone to the Walla Walla country. 
Colonel Wright will order them out of the country 
by way of Fort Dalles. If they do not go imme- 
diately, they will be arrested, disarmed and sent 

Had Stevens known of this order, he would not 
have relied on the regulars for assistance. But 
being ignorant of it, he proceeded into the heart of 
the Indian country without hesitation. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Steptoe left The Dalles with four companies 
August 20th, and on the -"ith of the following month 
he established a camp five miles below the council 
ground. Stevens had made arrangements for "'send- 
ing home the volunteers, to be mustered out of 
the service on the arrival in the valley of the regular 
troops," and thus unconsciously saved Steptoe one 
task enjoined upon him by Wool's order. 

On the evening of September 10th. Governor 
Stevens, now ready for the council, requested two 
of Steptoe's companies of troops and some moun- 
tain howitzers. Steptoe refused on the ground 
that he could not furnish them in consistency with 
the directions of his superior, and Stevens retained 
Captain Goff's company of volunteers as guards. 
The council opened on the 11th. It was decidedly 
stormy from the beginning, and by the 1.3th con- 
ditions became so alarming that Governor Stevens 
again addressed Steptoe, advising him that half 
the Nez Perces were hostile, as were practically all 
the other tribes, and stating that he deemed a 
company of regulars essential to his .safety. Step- 
toe again refused and advised the governor to 
adjourn council to his (Steptoe's) camp. This 
under the circinnstanccs Stevens could not help but 
do. While en route he met Kamiakin. who, he 

thought, would surely have attacked him had he 
known in time of his intended march. "Kamiakin," 
wrote he to the secretary of war, "had unquestion- 
ably an understanding, as subsccinent events showed, 
with all the Indians except the friendly Nez Perces 
(about one-half the nation) and a small number of 
friendly Indians of other tribes, to make an attack 
that day or evening upon my camp. He found me 
on the road, to his great surprise, and had no time 
to perfect his arrangements. I had learned in the 
night that Kamiakin had camped on the Touchet 
the night before, and that he would be in this day. 
The council opened on the 10th. All the Indians 
were camped near. Kamiakin and his band were 
only separated from the council grounds by a 
narrow skirt of woods in the bottom of Mill creek." 

For several days more Governor Stevens labored 
in vain to get the Indians to accept his terms of 
peace, namely, tliat they must throw aside their 
guns and submit to the justice and mercy of the 
government, surrendering all murderers for trial. 
The Indians would conclude no peace on other 
terms than that they should be left in possession of 
their territory as before the treaties. On the 19th 
Governor Stevens directed his march westward. 
His battle with the Indians on that date and the 
incidents of his return were thus summarized in 
his official report : 

"So satisfied was I that the Indians would carry 
into effect their determination, avowed in the coun- 
cils in their own camps for several nights previously, 
to attack me, that, in starting, I formed my whole 
party and moved in order of battle. I moved on 
under fire one mile to water, when, forming a 
corral of the wagons and holding the adjacent hills 
and the brush on the stream by pickets, I made my 
arrangements to defend my position and fight the 
Indians. Our position in a low open basin five or 
six hundred yards across [he was attacked on what 
is known as Charles Russell's ranch] was good, 
and with the aid of our corral, we could defend 
ourselves against a vastly superior force of the 

"the fight continued till late in the night. Two 
charges were made to disperse the Indians, the last 
led by Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw in person, with 
twenty-four men : but, whilst driving before him 
some hundred and fifty Indians, an equal number 
pushed into his rear, and he was compelled to cut 
his way through them towards the camp, when, 
drawing up his men. and aided by the teamsters 
and pickets who gallantly sprang forward, he drove 
the Indians back in full charge upon the corral. 
Just before the charge the friendly Nez Perces, fifty 
in number, who had been assigned to hold the ridge 
on the south side of the corral, were told by the 
enemy they came not to fight the Nez Perces but 
the whites. 'Go to your camp.' said they, 'or we 
will wipe it out.' Their camp, with the women and 
children, was on a stream about a mile distant. 



aiui I diri'ctcd them to retire, as I did not require 
their assistance and was fearful that my nien might 
not he able to distinguish them from hostiles, and 
thus friendly Jntlians he killed. 

■'Towards night 1 notified Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ste])toe that I was fighting the Indians, that I 
shoukl move the next morning and expressed the 
opinion that a company of his troops would be of 
service. In his reply he stated that the Indians 
had burned up his grass and suggested that I should 
return to his camp and place at his disposal my 
wagons in order that he might move his whole 
command and his supplies to the Umatilla or some 
other point, where sustenance could be found for 
his animals. To this arrangement I assented and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe sent to my camp Lieu- 
tenant Davidson, with detachments from the com- 
panies of dragoons and artillery with a mounted 
howitzer. They reached my camp about two 
o'clock in the morning, everything in good order 
and most of the men at the corral asleep. A picket 
had been driven in by the enemy an hour and a half 
before, that on the hill south of the corral, but the 
enemy W'as immediately dislodged, and ground pits 
being dug, all points were held. The howitzer 
having been fired on the way out, it was believed 
nothing would be gained by waiting until morning 
and the whole force immediately returned to Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Steptoe's camp. 

"Soon after sunrise the enemy attacked the camp 
but was soon dislodged by the howitzer and a charge 
by a detachment from Steptoe's command. On 
my arrival at the camp, I urged Lieutenant-Colonel 
Steptoe to build a blockhouse immediatelv, to leave 
one company to defend it with all his supplies, then 
to march below and return with an additional force 
and additional supplies, and by a vigorous winter 
campaign to whip the Indians into submission. 
I placed at his disposal for the building, my teams 
and Indian employes. The blockhouse and stockade 
were built in a little more than ten days. My Indian 
storeroom was rebuilt at one corner of the stockade. 

"On the S3d day of September we started for 
The Dalles, which were reached on the 2d of 
October. Nothing of interest occurred on the road. 

"In the action of the 19th my whole force con- 
sisted of Gofif's company of sixt}-nine, rank and 
file, the teamsters, herders, and Indian employes 
numbering about fifty men. Our train consisted 
of about five hundred animals, not one of which was 
captured by the enemy. We fought four hundred 
and fifty Indians and had one man mortally, one 
dangerously and two slightly wounded. We killed 
and wounded thirteen Indians. One-half of the 
Nez Perces, one hundred and twenty warriors ; all 
of the Yakimas and Palouses, two hundred war- 
riors ; the great bulk of the Cayuses and Umatillas, 
and an unknown number of the Walla Wallas and 
Indians from other bands were in the fight. The 
principal war chiefs were the son of Owhi, Isle 

de Fere and Chief Quoltonee ; the latter of whom 
had two horses shot under him, and showed me a 
letter from Colonel Wright acknowledging his 
valuable services in bringing about the peace of 
the Vakimas. 

"I have failed, therefore, in making the desired 
arrangements with the Indians in the Walla Walla, 
and the failure, to be attributed in part to the want 
of co-operation with me, as superintendent of Indian 
affairs, on the part of the regular troops, has its 
causes also in the whole plan of operations of the 
troops since Colonel Wright assumed command. 

"The Nez Perces, entirely friendly last Decem- 
ber and January, became first disaffected in conse- 
quence of the then chief of the Cayuses, Ume- 
howlish, and the friendly Cayuses going into the 
Nez Perce country contrary to my positive orders. 
I refused to allow them to go there in December 
last, saying to them, 'I have ordered the Nez 
Perces to keep hostiles out of the country. If 
you go there your friends in the war party will 
come ; they can not be kept out. Through them dis- 
affection will spread among a portion of the Nez 
Perces.' Ume-howlish, my prisoner, was sent into 
the Nez Perce country by Colonel Wright, and from 
the time of his arrival there all the efforts made 
b\- Agent Craig to prevent the spread of disaffection 
were aborted. What I apprehended and predicted 
had already come to pass. Looking Glass, the 
prominent man of the lower Nez Perces, endeav- 
ored to betray me on the Spokane as I was coming 
in from the Blackfoot council, and I was satisfied 
from that time that he was only awaiting a favorable 
moment to join bands with Kamiakin in a war 
upon the whites, and Colonel Wright's management 
of affairs in the Yakima furnished the opportunity. 

"The war was commenced in the Yakima on 
our part in consequence of the attempt, first, to seize 
the murderers of the agent, Bolon, and miners who 
had passed through their country ; and, second, to 
pimish the tribe for making common cause with 
them and driving Major Haller out of the country. 
It is greatly to be deplored that Colonel Wright had 
not first severely chastised the Indians, and insisted 
not only upon the rendition of the murderers, but 
upon the ab.solute and unconditional submission of 
the whole tribe to the justice and mercy of the 
government. The long dela}s which occurred in 
the Yakima, the talking and not fighting, this 
attempt to pacify the Indians and not reducing them 
to submission, thus giving safe conduct to murderers 
and assassins, and not seizing them for summary 
and exemplary punishment, gave to Kamiakin the 
whole field of the interior, and by threats, lies and 
liromises he has brought into the combination one- 
half of the Nez Perce nation and the least thing 
may cause the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, Colvilles 
and Okanogans to join them. 

"I state boldly that the cause of the Nez Perces 
becoming disaffected and finallv going into war, is 



the operations of Colonel Wright east of the Cas- 
cades — operations so feeble, so procrastinating, so 
entirely unequal to the emergency, that not only 
has a severe blow been struck at the credit of the 
government and the prosperity and character of this 
remote section of the country, but the impression 
has been made upon the Indians that the people 
and the soldiers were a different people. I repeat 
to you officially that when the Indians attacked me 
they expected Colonel Steptoe would not assist me, 
and when they awoke from their delusion Kamiakin 
said, 'I will now let these people know who Kam- 
iakin is.' One of the good effects of the fight is 
that the Indians have learned that we are one 
people, a fact which had not been previously made 
apparent to them by the operations of the regular 

"Is, sir, the army sent here to protect our people 
and punish Indian tribes who, without cause and in 
cold blood and in spite of solemn treaties, murder 
our people, burn our houses and wipe out entire 
settlements? Is it the duty of General Wool and 
his officers to refuse to co-operate with me in my 
appropriate duties as superintendent of Indian 
aft'airs, and thus practically assume those duties 
themselves? Is it the duty of General Wool, in his 
schemes of pacifying the Indians, to trample down 
the laws of congress ; to issue edicts prohibiting 
settlers returning to their claims and thus for at 
least one county, the Walla \\'alla, make himself 
dictator over the country?" 

From the refusal of the Indians to treat with 
Stevens, and their attack upon the party returning 
from the council, it would naturally seem that the 
end of the war was still far in the future. Not so, 
however. Colonel Wright proved more successful, 
and yet not more successful, in the efforts he soon 
after inaugurated to pacify the Indians than had 
Stevens. The man who pursues the policy of con- 
ceding to the adverse party all he can ask can 
hardly fail to be successful in negotiations. 

October 19th Wright was instructed by General 
Wool to proceed in person at the earliest possible 
date to the Walla Walla country and to attend to 
the establishing of a post there. In the order Wool 
used the following significant language : 

"It is also of the highest importance that you, 
the senior officer (the chief man), should see and 
talk with all the tribes in that region in order to 
ascertain their wants, feelings and disposition to- 
wards the whites. Warned by what has occurred, 
the general trusts you will be on your guard against 
the whites and adopt the most prompt and vigorous 
measures to crush the enemy before they have time 
to combine for resistance, also check the war and 
prevent further trouble by keeping the whites out 
of the Indian country." 

.■\s to the post above referred to, the site selected 
for it was a point on the bank of Mill creek, six 
miles above its junction with the Walla Walla river. 

The rest of the order was duly complied with. A 
council was called and forty Indians condescended 
to attend, practically all of whom denounced the 
treaty of 1855 and Chief Lawyer, of the Nez Perces, 
as the one by whom, mainly, the Indians were 
induced to sign it. Wright seemed more than will- 
ing to condone the perfidious wretches who signed 
the treaty as a deliberate act of treachery, and then 
when they had lulled the whites into a feeling of 
security, began assiduously the work of dissemi- 
nating hostile feeling and of organizing a general 
war, for the purpose of exterminating or expelling 
the white race. His assurance to the Indians was: 
"The bloody cloth should be washed, and not a spot 
should be left upon it. The Great Spirit, who 
created both the whites and the red men, com- 
manded us to love one another. All past differ- 
ences must be thrown behind us. The hatchet must 
be buried and for the future perpetual friendship 
must e.xist between us. The good talk we have 
this day listened to should be planted and grow up 
in our hearts and drive away all bad feelings and 
preserve peace and friendship between us forever. 
Put what I say in your hearts and when you return 
to your homes, repeat it to all your friends." In his 
letter to General Wool reporting the proceedings of 
his coimcil, Wright laid all the blame of the war 
upon the Walla Walla treaties. "Give them back 
those treaties," said he, "and no cause of war 

Such maudlin sentimentality, such shameful 
truckling with the enemies of those it was Wright's 
duty to defend, seemed akin to treason. Indignant 
and hurt, Governor Stevens wrote to the secretary 
of war: "It seems to me that we have in this 
territory fallen upon evil times. I hope and trust 
that some energetic action may be taken to 'stop this 
trifling with great public interests, and to make our 
flag respected by the Indians of the interior. They 
scorn our people and our flag. They feel that they 
can kill and plunder with impunity. They denom- 
inate us a nation of old women. They did not do 
this when the volunteers were in the field. I now 
make the direct issue with Colonel Wright, that he 
has made a concession to the Indians which he had 
no authority to make ; that by so doing he has done 
nothing but get a semblance of peace ; and that by 
his acts, he has in a measure weakened the influence 
of the service having the authority to make treaties 
and having charge of the friendly Indians. He has, 
in my judgment, abandoned his own duty, which 
was to reduce the Indians to submission, and has 
trenched upon and usurped a portion of mine." 

The citizens of the two territories, Oregon and 
W^ashington, were thrown into a furor of indig- 
nation by the conclusion of his shameful peace. The 
sacrifice of money and effort in equipping the volun- 
teers, the sacrifices of the volunteers themselves, the 
traversing of dusty plains, the scaling of lofty and 
forbidding mountains, the sufferings of that dread 



winter campaign in the Walla Walla valley, the loss 
of life and limb, the brilliant and well-deserved 
victories of the volunteer arms — all these were for 
nothing. The regular officers step in and rob the 
country of all the fruits of victory, concede to the 
Indians everything they could ask, and then, to add 
insult to injury, General Wool says he hopes that 
Wright "warned by what has occurred, will be on 
his guard against the whites and prevent trouble by 
keeping the whites out of the Indian country," and 
that under the existing arrangements he doesn't 
"believe that the war can be renewed by the whites." 

Elwood Evans, who was himself a citizen of 
Washington territory at the time and a participant 
in some of its public events, may be assumed to 
have correctly summarized the general opinion of 
the people in the following paragraphs from his 
history of the Northwest: 

"That quasi peace was but the proclaimed con- 
tinuance of the assurance by the United States army 
officers to the hostile Indians, 'we came not into 
your country to fight, but merely to establish posts.' 
It now officially announced the close of a war by 
General Wool, which he had never commenced to 
prosecute as war. It was but the unblushing pub- 
lication of a policy inspired alone by him, and exe- 
cuted under his orders by officers whom he had 
handicapped in the enemy's country by instructions, 
the observance of which was but the triumph of 
Kamiakin. It was the official, humiliating conces- 
sion to the hostiles of everything that they had 
demanded, or had inaugurated a war to accomplish, 
viz., the keeping of white settlers out of their 
country — save alone the isolated fact, that the 
Indians had made no resistance to or protest against 
the establishment of military posts within their ter- 
ritory. "That failure to protest against the erection 
of posts was the only evidence of passive submission 
by the hostiles ; yet with what avidity was the fact 
seized by General Wool to assure him that he was 
occupying the Indian territor\- by his troops, and 
that those troops were remaining there in peaceable 
possession ! What a naked and barren victory, 
which proved too much : for it meant nothing except 
that armed troops within fortified posts were the 
only white men who could occupy such country. 
It too palpably demonstrated a suspension of hos- 
tilities patched up by appealing to the Indian : 'Let 
my troops stay here ; and I will protect you and 
keep out the white settler.' 

"General Wool, in the execution of this plan of 
campaign by his army of occupation, not for making 
war, had effectually accomplished the aim of Kam- 
iakin in the instigation of the outbreak. The com- 
manding general had avowed upon several occa- 
sions his policy of protecting the hostile Indians 
against the whites, and of expelling them from and 
keeping them out of the country. In fact, there 
appears to have been a common object actuating 
both Kamiakin and General Wool : Both were 

equally determined that the whites should not settle 
in nor occupy the country of Kamiakin or Peo-peo- 
mox-mox ; both were equally hostile to the volun- 
teers of the two territories, who sought to save the 
country for white settlement ; both were averse to 
any hostile demonstrations against the Indians ; both 
were willing that Governor Stevens should be cut 
off and his party sacrificed, when official duty com- 
pelled his presence in the Indian territory ; both 
alike cordially hated the people of the two terri- 
tories. Could Kamiakin have asked more than the 
performance of Wool's orders? — 'Leave a company 
and a howitzer to protect the Cayuse Indians against 
the volunteers.' * * * 'Warn Colonel Shaw 
and his volunteers to leave the country ; and should 
they fail to comply, arrest, disarm and send them 
out.' How it must have delighted old Kamiakin 
when he had interpreted to him that interdict against 
white settlement: 'No emigrant or other white 
person will be permitted to settle or remain in the 
Indian country.' Glorious duty for American troops 
to protect the blood-stained murderers of our people, 
to stand guard that the spirit of treaties shall be 
violated, that Americans may not occupy America 
and every part of its domain !" 

The regulars soon discovered that they had been 
crying "peace, peace, when there was no peace," for 
it was not long until there began to be apprehensions 
of a renewed outbreak. These conditions obtained 
throughout the entire year IS.jT and during the 
winter of that year the Catholic fathers reported 
that they feared an uprising in the spring. The 
Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes, among whom the 
emissaries of Kamiakin had been spreading dis- 
affection ever since the peace had been patched up 
in 18.")6, announced that the soldiers must not show 
themselves in their country. It was the scheme of 
the wily Kamiakin to first unite the tribes in oppo- 
sition to the whites, then draw a detachment of 
soldiers into the country and treat them as he 
treated Haller in the Yakima valley. 

The plan worked admirably. He cultivated the 
friendship of Tilcoax. a skilled Palouse horse-thief, 
and induced him to organize a pillaging expedition 
against the stock belonging to Fort Walla Walla, 
well knowing that sooner or later a counter expe- 
dition must be made by the soldiers to recover the 
lost animals. He also caused the murder of Colville 
miners, hoping that the whites there would ask for 
troops. The\- did call for troops. Their petition 
could not be disregarded, and in May, 18-58, Colonel 
E. J. Steptoe set out to the Colville countrv', disre- 
garding the warnings of the Indians that no whites 
would be allowed to travel through their lands. 
Steptoe, or more strictly speaking, his subordinates, 
committed a most egregious and incomprehensible 
blunder in starting from Walla Walla. On account 
of the great weight of provisions and baggage, a 
brilliant quartermaster conceived the idea of leaving 
behind the greater part of the amnnmition, by way 



of lightening the load. As Joseph McEvoy ex- 
presses it, the force was beaten before it left Walla 

The expedition was made in May. The wild 
torrent of Snake river was running bank full from 
the floods of summer as the command crossed. 
Timothy, a chief of the Nez Perces, with a few 
followers, was living then at the mouth of the 
Alpowa, and by his efficient aid the soldiers crossed 
the stream in good order and good time, and con- 
tinued on their way, the brave old chief accompan)- 
ing them. 

On May 16th the force reached a place which 
George F. Canis, on the authority of Thomas B. 
Beall, chief government packer of the expedition, 
describes as low and marshy, with big swales and 
thickets of (|uaking asp abounding, and surrounded 
by hills without timber. Mr. Beall locates the place 
as near the present town of Spangle. There is, 
however, much difference of opinion among the 
survivors as to where all this happened. But wher- 
ever it was, there the Indians gathered with hostile 
intention. Steptoe, realizing the dangerous odds, 
decided to return. 

The next day, as the soldiers were descending 
a canyon to Pine creek, not far from where Rosalia 
is now located, Salteese, sub-chief of the Coeur 
d'Alenes. came up with an interpreter for a con- 
ference with Steptoe. The chief was making great 
professions of friendship, when one of the friendly 
Nez Perces struck him over the head with a whip, 
nearly knocking him from his horse. "What do you 
mean by speaking with a forked tongue to the white 
chief?' demanded the Nez Perce brave. Salteese, 
very angry, rode away in defiant mood. No sooner 
were the retreating forces well in the canyon than 
the attack was made. Second-Lieutenant William 
Gaston's forces were the first to draw the fire of the 
enemy. Steptoe ordered Gaston to hold fire. When 
again asked for orders he gave the same command, 
but Gaston disobeyed and soon the firing became 
general. Gaston and Captain O. H. P. Taylor were 
in command of the rear guard, and, with amazing 
courage and devotion, kept the line intact, foiling 
all efforts of the Indians to rush through. They 
sent word to Steptoe to halt and give them a chance 
to secure more ammunition. lUit Stei)toe deemed 
it safer to make no pause, and soon after those 
gallant heroes fell. .\ fierce fight raged for pos- 
session of their bodies. The Indians secured that 
of Gaston, but a small band of heroes, fighting like 
demons, got the body of the noble Taylor. One 
notable figure in this death grapple was De May, a 
Frenchman, wlio had been trained in the Crimea 
and in Algeria, and who made havoc among the 
Indians with his gun-barrel used as a saber, but at 
last he, too, went down before numbers, crying. 
"Oh, my God. for a saber !" 

At nightfall they had reached a point as to the 
exact location of which there is much difference of 

opinion. Here the disorganized and suffering force 
made camp, threw out a picket line for defense, and 
buried such dead as they had not been forced to 
leave. In order to divert the Indians they deter- 
mined, having buried their howitzers, to leave the 
balance of their stores. They hoped that if the 
Indians made an attack in the night the\- might 
succeed in stealing away. The Indians, however, 
feeling sure that they had the soldiers at their mercy, 
made no effort at a night attack. But it is stated 
that Kamiakin, head chief of the Yakimas, urged 
them to do so. Had he carried his point, the night 
of May 17, 1858, would have been one of melan- 
choly memory. Another massacre would have been 
added to the series of frontier outrages which have 
darkened our earlier annals. 

There was but one chance of salvation, and this 
was by means of a difficult trail which the Indians 
had left unguarded, as the Nez Perce chief, Tim- 
othy, discovered by reconnoitering, the savages 
rightly supposing it to be entirely unknown to the 
whites. But by the good favor of fortune or Prov- 
idence, Timothy knew this pass. But for him the 
next day would doubtless have witnessed a grim and 
ghastly massacre. During the dark and cloudy 
night, the soldiers, mounted and in silence, followed 
Timothy over the wretched trail. Michael Kinney, 
a well-known resident of Walla Walla, was in 
charge of the rear guard, and is our chief authority 
for some portions of this narrative. 

The horrors of that night retreat were probably 
never surpassed in the history of Indian warfare in 
the Northwest. Several of the wounded were lashed 
to pack animals, and were thus led away on that 
dreadful ride. Their sufferings w-ere intense, and 
two of them, McCrossen and Williams, suffered so 
unendurably that they writhed themselves loose 
from their lashings and fell to the ground, begging 
their comrades to leave some weapons with which 
they might kill themselves. But the poor wretches 
were left lying there in the darkness. During the 
night the troops followed, generally at a gallop, the 
faithful Timothy, on whose keen eyes and mind 
their lives depended. The wounded and a few 
whose horses gave out were scattered at intervals 
along the trail. Some of these finally reappeared, 
but most were lost. After twenty-four hours the 
troops found that they had reached Snake river. 
Here the unwearied Timothy threw out his own 
people as guards against the pursuing enemy and 
set the women of his tribe to ferry the force across 
the turbulent river. This was safely accomplished 
and thus the greater ]iortion of the command 
reached Walla Walla in safetx- from that ill-starred 

A dramatic incident which occurred on the 
evening of May 20th merits a brief narration. While 
the horses were being picketed and preparations 
were in progress for the night, the guards noticed 
a cloud of dust in the distance. In a short time a 



band of niountcd liulians, approaching at full gallop, 
came into view, and the clattering of the hoofs of 
their horses and tlie thick dust enveloping them gave 
the impression that the little band of soldiers, which 
had had such trying experiences and now seemed 
within reach of "safety, was to be literally wiped 
from the face of the earth. Excitement ran high. 
The soldiers became greatly agitated, and orders 
to prepare for battle w^ere about to be issued when 
tlie standard bearer of the oncoming horde, noting 
the confusion and mistrusting its cause, flung the 
stars and stripes to the breeze in token of friendly 
intentions. When the Indians swarmed into camp 
it was found that the banner was borne by none 
other than the ever-faithful Chief Lawyer. In tlic 
party were some of the sub-chiefs from Kamiah and 
noted members of the Nez Perce tribe. Steptoe 
declined to return to the contest with the hostiles, 
much to the disappointment of Lawyer, who clearly 
pointed out how Indian allies could be secured and 
an easy victory w(jn over the confident and exult- 
ing Indians of the Palouse country. The Nez 
Perces had, no doubt, learned of the defeat of -Step- 
toe by means of the wonderful system of signaling 
in vogue among the aborigines. 

The sequel of Steptoe's defeat furnished a more 
creditable chapter in the history of our Indian war- 
fare. General Clarke at once ordered Colonel 
Wright to equip a force of six hundred men, pro- 
ceed to the Spokane country and castigate the 
Indians w-ith sufficient severity to settle the question 
of sovereigntv forever. On August loth Colonel 
Wright left Walla Walla on his northern campaign. 
In the battle of Four Lakes, fought on September 
1st, and in the battle of Spokane Plains, September 
5th, he broke forever the spirit and power of the 
northern Indians. Lieutenant Kip's description of 
the former fight is so picturesque that we cannot 
resist the temptation to reproduce it. He says: 

"On the plain below us we saw the enemy. 
Every spot seemed alive with the wald warriors we 
had come so far to meet. They were in the pines 
at the edge of the lakes, in the ravines and gullies, 
on the opposite hillside's and swarming over the 
plains. They seemed to cover the country for 
two miles. Mounted on their fleet, hardy horses, 
the crowd sw-ept back and forth, brandishing their 
weapons, shouting their war cries and keeping up 
a song of defiance. Most of them were armed with 
Hudson's Pjay muskets, while others had bows and 
arrows and long lances. They were in all the 
bravery of their war array, gaudily painted and 
decorated with their wild trappings. Their plumes 
fluttered above them, while beneath skins and 
trinkets and all kinds of fantastic embellishments 
flaunted in the sunshine. Their horses, too, were 
arrayed in the most gorgeous finery. Some of them 
were even painted with colors to form the greatest 
contrast, the white being smeared with crimson in 
fantastic figures, and the dark-colored streaked with 

white clay. Beads and fringes of gaudy colors were 
hanging from their bridles, while the plumes of 
eagles" feathers, interwoven with the mane and tail, 
fluttered as the breeze floated over them, and com- 
pleted their wild and fantastic appearance. 

" 'By Heavens ! it was a glorious sight to see 
The gay array 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 
firing grew heavier as the line advanced, and, aston- 
ished at the range and eft'ectiveness of the fire, the 
entire arra;- of dusky warriors broke and fled toward 
the plain. The dragoons were now ordered to 
charge, and rode through the company at inter- 
vals to the front, and then flashed down upon the 
foe wath headlong speed. Taylor's and Gaston's 
companies were there 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 plains until they could find a refuge from 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 
the fire, driving the Indians over the hills for about 
two miles, wdiere a halt was called, as the troops 
were nearly exhausted. The Indians had almost all 
disappeared, only a small group remaining, appar- 
ently to watch the whites. A shell sent from the 
howitzer, bursting over their heads, sent them also 
to the shelter of the ravines. Thus the battle 

In the battle four days later on Spokane Plains 
quite a number of the Indians were killed, and 
Kamiakin, the war chief of the Yakimas, was 
wounded. After resting a day the forces moved 
on up the river and encamped above the falls. 
While there they were visited by Chief Gearry, a 
fairly well educated, rather bright Indian, who pro- 
fessed to be against the war. There is reason to 
doubt the sincerity of these representations, how- 
ever. Colonel Wright talked plainly to him, saying 
that if he and the other Indians w^anted peace they 
could have it by complete and unconditional sur- 
render. On the 8th the march was resumed. About 
ten miles east of Spokane, Indians were seen in the 
act of driving their horses to the mountains. The 
horses were captured and shot, with the exception 
of one hundred and thirty picked ones, which were 
kept for the use of the troops. Defeat in battle, 
the loss of their horses and the execution of a few 
Indians who had participated in murders completely 
humiliated the hostile tribes. Councils were held 
by Colonel Wright at the Coeur d'Alene mission 
and with the Spokanes, at which it was found that 
the Indians were prepared to enter a treaty of entire 
submission to the whites. 



In closing liis extensive report of this canipai_cfn, 
Colonel Wright snmmarized its resnlts as follows : 

"The war is closed. Peace is restored with the 
Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes and Palouses. After a 
vigorous campaign, the Indians have been entirely 
subdued, and were most happy to accept such terms 
of peace as I might dictate. Results : ( 1 ) Two 
battles were fought by the troops under my com- 
mand, against the combined forces of the Spokanes, 
Coeur d'Alenes and Palouses, in both of which the 
Indians were signally defeated, with a severe loss 
of chiefs and warriors, either killed or woiuided. 
(3) One thousand horses and a large number of 
cattle were captured from the hostile Indians, all of 
which were either killed or appropriated to the 
service of the United States. (3) Many barns 
filled with wheat or oats, also several fields of 
grain, with numerous caches of vegetables, dried 
berries and camas. were destroyed, or used by the 
troops. (4) The Yakima chief. Owhi, is in irons, 
and the notorious war chief, Oalchen, was hanged. 
The murderers of the miners, the cattle stealers, 
etc. (in all, eleven Indians), were hanged. (5) 
The Spokanes, Coeur d"Alenes and Palouses have 
been entirely subdued, and have sued most abjectly 
for peace on any terms. (6) Treaties have been 
made with the above-named nations. They have 
restored all property which was in their possession, 
belonging either to the United States or to indi- 
viduals. They have promised that all white people 

can travel through their country unmolested, and 
that no hostile Indians shall be allowed to pass 
through or remain among them. ( ', ) The Indians 
who commenced the battle with Lieutcnant- 
Cololiel Steptoe contrary to the orders of their chief 
have been delivered to the officer in command of 
the United States troops. (8) One chief and four 
men, with their families, from each of the above- 
named tribes, have been delivered to the officer 
in command of the United States troops, to be taken 
to Fort Walla Walla and held as hostages for the 
future good conduct of their respective nations. 
(9) The two mounted howitzers, abandoned by the 
troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe, have been 

Thus ended the Indian wars of the fifties in 
Oregon and Washington. The era of robberies, 
depredations, murders and warfare was by this 
campaign effectually brought to a close in the 
Yakima and Walla Walla countries, making the 
opening of both to settlement possible. General 
Newman S. Clarke, who had succeeded General 
Wool in the command of the Department of the 
Pacific, and who, in the earlier days of his admin- 
istration, had shown a disposition to inaugurate a 
similar policy, had completely changed front, even 
going so far as to recommend the confirmation 
of Governor Stevens" Walla Walla treaties. These 
treaties were confirmed. 




■riupg'- ' ■ ■ 










The first dawn of settlement on the shores of 
Puget sound has already had brief description in 
these pages — the agricultural operations of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, the coming of Michael T. 
Simmons, the founding of Olympia, Steilacoom, 
Seattle, Port Townsend and Bellingham, the settle- 
ment on W'hidby island. Forces at work to pro- 
duce the complete Americanization and subjuga- 
tion of the sound were, we have seen, first retarded 
and then promoted in their operation by the discov- 
er)- of gold in California in 1848. Ten years later 
they were given fresh impetus by the discovery of 
gold on Eraser river, and in 1861 they were again 
retarded by the outbreak of the Civil War. 

It was after the Eraser river excitement began 
its influence and before the inception of fratricidal 
strife that the first permanent settler commenced 
the task of home-building in what is now the county 
of Skagit. In a land where the sound of the loco- 
motive's whistle had never yet been heard, where 
roads of any kind were not in existence and where 
waterways were practically the only means of 
travel, it is not surprising that an island should be 
chosen as the site of this early settlement. Eur- 
thermore. on Eidalgo was one very potent attrac- 
tion to those who would follow husbandry in a 
densely timbered country. At the head of Fidalgo 
bay was a fern-covered prairie of considerable 
area, a prairie which it is said had been a 
favorite camping-ground with the Indian tribes 
for unknown ages. It had early attracted 
the attention of roving white men from San Juan 
county and other settlements on the sound. 
Charles W. Beale tells us that in the winter 
of IS.'iS-O, he, with Horace Martin and William 

McFarland, hunted all over Guemes island, where 
were abundance of deer and other game, as well as 
thousands of wolves, and that in the spring of 18.59, 
he, together with his cousin, Robert Beale, Charles 

Pearson, John Hughes, — Brown, and 

Lieutenant Robert H. Davis (nephew of the cele- 
brated president of the Southern Confederacy), 
visited this fern prairie on a hunting expedition. 
Pleased with its appearance, they decided to estab- 
lish permanent headquarters there. Lieutenant 
Davis squatted on what is now the Munks place ; 
Charles W. Beale took land adjoining him on the 
north and all united in the task of erecting a cabin 
on the imaginary boundary line between the two 
claims, which cabin was occupied by all for a time. 
Soon, however, a relative of Davis came from the 
South and took the dissolute young lieutenant home. 
Davis gave up his wild ways, reentered the army 
and in the Civil War won distinction for bravery 
and efficiency as a soldier in the Southern cause. 
His place was taken by William Bonner, of L'tsa- 
lady, who sold his rights in Deccniljer, 1859. to 
William Munks. the consideration being sixty dol- 
lars and a silver watch. Mr. Mimks' residence on 
the island continued until his death, although he 
was absent considerable during the early years, 
working wherever he could find employment. It 
is said that Mr. Munks always claimed to he the 
first permanent settler and that he was very ])roud 
of the title, sometimes ap])lied to him, of "King of 
Eidalgo Island." His claim as to priority of settle- 
ment is, however, disputed. 

Late in 1859 a man named Josiah Larry came to 
the island and squatted on the place afterward 
known as the Compton farm. Having put up a cabin 




of shakes, he departed, expecting to return. In the 
meantime, however, Enoch Compton arrived and 
thinking that Larry had abandoned his claim took 
the place and established a permanent residence 
upon it. Larry returned two or three years later, 
found his place occupied and quietly retired, set- 
tling some time afterward on the mainland at the 
mouth of what is still known as Joe Larry's slough, 
which forms the southern boundary of the Samish 
flats. Mr. Beale states that Munks and Compton 
came together to the island and that the schooner 
General Harney brought their cattle from Whatcom. 
Mr. Compton has always claimed that he settled on 
Fidalgo island at a much earlier date than 1859, 
but that circumstances prevented his first settle- 
ment from proving permanent. He says that, in 
1853, he and one John Carr (or Carey) located on 
what was later the home of the Munks family ; that 
they built a cabin in a grove and occupied it to- 
gether, one claiming the land to the north of the 
cabin, the other that to the south. Mr. Compton 
raised a crop of potatoes on his land, then he and 
Mr. Carr went to Whatcom to work and Carr died 

The disaiTection of the Indians at this time, 
which finally crystallized into the war of 185.5-6, 
made it unsafe for whites to dwell upon Fidalgo 
island, so Mr. Compton did not return as he had 
intended, but remained near Whatcom until the 
outbreak of hostilities, when he volunteered for 
service against the Indians. He was one of the 
men who were engaged in the boundary survey and 
it is said that he met Mr. Munks while on that 

But to return to Charles W. Beale. It will be 
remembered that he took, in the spring of 1859, a 
claim adjoining that which eventually became the 
Munks place. He states that he remained with his 
claim tmtil 1863, then placed it in charge of his 
cousin, Robert, and went north. Returning after 
a stay of five years in the British possessions, he 
found that Robert Beale had become hard pressed 
for funds and had sold the place to George Cagey 
for seventy-five dollars. The subsequent historv 
of Robert Beale may be summarized as follows : 
After disposing of his cousin's rights, he purchased 
from a man named Joseph Little, for the paltry 
consideration of five dressed deer skins, worth 
about two dollars and a half each, a squatter's title 
to another tract of land, and held it until 1869. He 
then sold to Robert Becker for six Juuidred dollars 
and went to Califomia for his health. Returning 
later to Puget sound, he was killed in combat with 
a huge bear, which succumbed to the wounds in- 
flicted by his knife. Charles W. Beale located 
across the bay from the main settlement, and the 
land which he then took is still occupied by him. 
He is authority for the statement that in 1868, the 
smoke from great forest fires throughout the coun- 

try became so dense that navigators could not see 
a boat length ahead, and that birds, suffocated by 
the thick, black smoke-clouds of the upper air, fre- 
quently fell onto the decks of vessels and into the 
water, dead. From July 16th to September 3d, 
there was not a drop of rain, and then came another 
dry spell lasting till October 2"^d. Crops did not 
ripen that year because of excessive smoke in 
the atmosphere. The summers during those early 
years were usually characterized by dense smoke, 
but as civilization has advanced on the sound more 
and more care has been taken to prevent great fires 
in the forest, and now the smoke seldom becomes 
thick enough, even during the driest summers, to 
cause serious inconvenience. 

To make a complete roll of the early settlers of 
Fidalgo, Guemes and the other islands of Skagit 
county would be next to impossible, but among the 
earliest were William Munks, Enoch Compton, 
Charles W. and Robert K. Beale, of whom mention 
has already been made ; H. A. March, credited with 
arrival in 1863; James Cavanaugh, Shadrach and 
Richard Wooten, H. C. Barkhousen, George Ens- 
ley and George Cagey, all coming between that year 
and 1867. At that time James Matthews and H. P. 
O'Bryant were living on Guemes island, opposite 
the site of Anacortes. 

A little later, perhaps about 1869, came William 
Allard, who settled near the Wooten brothers just 
south of the present Anacortes ; Eldridge Sibley, 
on the site of the Nelson school, Samuel McCarty 
and James Lathrow. One arrival of the later six- 
ties was John T. Griffin, who settled at the head of 
the bay. His wife, Mrs. .\lmina Richards Griffin, 
has the distinction of being the first white woman 
to locate on Fidalgo island. According to Carrie 
M. White, she "was a bright, enterprising woman 
of marked character and was born and educated in 
New England." "Leaving all her relations," con- 
tinues Miss White, "she started from Boston for 
California during the gold excitement in that state. 
On the ship in which she rounded the Horn she met 
in its first mate her future husband. Mr. John 
Griffin. After life on California gold-fields Mr. Grif- 
fin came in 1864 to Whatcom, where his wife fol- 
lowed him in about two months, to take charge of 
the district school which had been presided over by 
Mr. Edward Eldridge. Mrs. Griffin was the first 
woman to teach in Whatcom county and had charge 
of this school for about two years. When she came 
to Fidalgo, the men welcomed her as the first white 
woman on this island by making a 'bee' and clear- 
ing some land for her and hers." It must not be 
supposed that the men who preceded the Griffin 
family to the island were all celibates. On the con- 
trary, most of them were married, but to Indian 
women. The scarcity of white women on Puget 
sound during the early days resulted in manv alli- 
ances of white men with the dusky aboriginal 



Other arrivals of the late sixties or early seven- 
ties were William Deutsch, Henry Havekost, Will- 
iam Gray, Oliver Lynch, Henry L. Seebert, 

Walker, Orlando Clraham, who took a claim on the 
north end of the island near Ship Harbor in 1873, 
William R. Griffin, Dr. W. Y. Deere, G. W. Cran- 
dall, S. B. and C. Best, Captain George B. Hill, 
Hazard Stevens, son of Washington's first terri- 
torial governor, William H. Woodard, Henry J. 
White, George li. Thomas, John Langley, Thomas 
Sharp, Mathias Anstinsen, Frank Thorp. John 
Schultz, Albert L. and Frank Graham, Marcus 
Christianson, J. C. Glover, and no doubt others. 
Some of these, especially Hazard Stevens, Captain 
Hill and William R. Gritifin, were attracted to the 
island by its prospect of being the terminus of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad. 

Miss White states that when she arrived in No- 
vember, 1873, she found only eight white women, 
namely, Mesdames H. A. March, G. N. Crandall, 
Robert Becker, S. B. Best, A. R. Griffin, Jennie 
Howard, Oliver Lynch and Ada Lynch Church. 
The settlers of this period on the east side of Guemes 
island whose names can be recalled were Edward 
and Horace J. Ames, William Hill, William Brun- 
ton and Amos Johnson. Mrs. Willfong became 
the island's pioneer white woman about 1872. 

The occupation of these early pioneers was 
farming mostly. From a diary kept by William 
Munks, to which the compiler was kindly given 
access, it appears that in the summer of 1863 he 
raised oats, corn and wheat, as well as onions, po- 
tatoes and other vegetables, also that he made con- 
siderable butter and set out apple, cherry and other 
fruit trees. Mr. Munks also notes having assisted 
some of his neighbors in getting ready to raise 

Even before the dawn of the year 1870, some 
farm machinery was in use on Fidalgo island, 
thnngh it was probably of a primitive kind. Mr. 
Munks had a mowing machine in the spring of 
1869 and on the 8th of September following he 
bought a thresher — a very small, one horse-power 
concern. In the year 1870, Mr. Munks entered in 
his diary this item : "August 29 — Bought stuff at 
Whatcom." The significance of the entry is not 
very clear, but it is the opinion of some that the 
"stuff" purchased was stock for the establishment 
of the first store on the island. .\t any rate Mr. 
Munks did have a store about this time in a board 
house, situated at the lower edge of his place. He 
is likewise to he credited with having served as 
Fidalgo islanfl's first postmaster. His appointment 
was received January 21, 1871 : he gave bonds the 
8th of the ensuing February and was handed the 
mail key April Mh. The first mail was brought to 
the island by the steamer Mary Woodruff, which is 
thought to have made her first trip February 25, 
1868. .\nother steamer which visited Fidalgo bay 
at regular intcr\-als was the Ruby. 

Progress on Fidalgo island during the early 
seventies appears to have been quite rapid. Its 
lands were surveyed about 1871, giving the old 
pioneers who had long held their property by squat- 
ter's right a chance to secure a more satisfactory 
title, and encouraging others to come. Long be- 
fore this, the agricultural possibilities of these lands 
had been fully demonstrated. Excellent crops of 
grain, hay and potatoes were being raised annu- 
ally and orchards were in full bearing. It is claimed 
that at the territorial fairs, exhibitions from the 
island carried off more premiums than those from 
any other portion of the territory. 

Practically all the government land was taken 
by 187 3, the inhabitants were enjoying semi-weekly 
communication by steamer with the outside world, 
while in their own settlement they had two stores, 
two blacksmith shops, a wheelwright's shop, a post- 
office and a good public school. 

At a very early date certain facts and considera- 
tions which have exerted a powerful influence in 
the later history of the island began to make them- 
selves felt. The superior excellence of Ship har- 
bor had been known perhaps even before the United 
States vessel, Massachusetts, began making it her 
headquarters — a circumstance which is said to 
have given it its name. It did not escape the notice 
of the able and energetic Governor Isaac I. Stevens, 
who had been a staunch advocate of the northern 
route for the proposed railroad to the Pacific. In 
the interest of this great enterprise he examined 
carefuU}- all the harbors of the sound and de- 
spatched numerous exploring expeditions to the 
various passes through the-mountains, "going over 
the whole ground with a zeal and thoroughness, a 
degree of enthusiasm and pride in the performance 
of his great work which for all time have marked 
Stevens the first hero of the territory." The result of 
this investigation was the choice by Stevens of Fi- 
dalgo island as the proper terminus and Ward's 
pass, at the head of the south fork of the Skagit 
river, as the most desirable gateway to the Pacific. 

The railway company did adopt that route (as 
mav be learned from the records of the interior 
dc|>artnient) and adhered thereto until financial 
difficulties in the early seventies all but ruined it, 
compelling concessions to the Oregon congressmen 
in order to save its land grant. Quite extensive 
land holdings along the shore of Ship harbor were 
secured by Hazard Stevens, son of the governor, 
as attorney for interests in close touch with the 
railwav company, and the .Anacortes farm was se- 
cured for his mother, the governor's widow. It 
remained the projierty of the .Stevens family until 
1877, when the clouds became so thick over the 
Xorthcrn Pacific Railway project that it seemed 
the road would never be completed : then it w^as sold 
to Mrs. .Anna (Curtis) Row-man, "the lady of Ship 
harbor," who was the first white woman to settle 
permanently on that part of the island. She built a 

ji rtd n iCk 



wharf and stcire on lier newly acfjuired property. 
In l.s^!i, throns'h the influence of Frances Fuller 
\'ictor, a postotifice was established there to which 
the maiden name of Mrs. Bowman, slightly cor- 
rupted in the interest of euphony, was applied, and 
thus tlie city of Anacortes had its inception. 

The settlement of Guemes island, just across the 
channel from the north end of Fidalgo, began a 
little later than that of its larger neighbor. About 
1S6() Humphrey P. 0"Bryant located on the island, 
purchasing his claim for forty dollars of a French 
trapper, who, it is supposed, was the first settler. 
James i\Iatthews, owner of the adjoining claim, was 
the only other white man there at the time. About 
1871 came John J. Edens, a farmer and logger, 
Amos Johnson and John and Solomon Schriver, in 
1ST2 and 1873, and later Ames, Hill and Brunton 
before mentioned. In 1876 a copper prospect was 
discovered, which gave quite an impetus to Guemes 
island, causing the eyes of the surrounding settle- 
ments to turn in that direction. In the winter of 
1877, si.x experienced quartz miners worked on it 
for a time, and it is said that specimens of the ore 
taken to Portland by a mining man named C. L. 
Walters gave forty-five dollars in copper, eleven 
dollars in gold and nine dollars in silver. On 
O'Bryant's claim, opposite Anacortes, between two 
hundred and two hundred and fifty feet of tunnel 
were driven, but the mines never did become pro- 
ducers ; nevertheless, the effect on the settlement 
of this island was felt. In 1878, there were more 
than thirty people on its thirty square miles of terri- 
tory, most of them in comfortable homes. They 
had a precinct organization, and connection with 
the outer world once a week by the staunch little 
mail steamer Despatch. In 1889, twenty-eight 
votes were cast in (iuemes precinct, twenty-two of 
which were Republican, the remainder Democratic. 

One of the settlers who came to Guemes island 
about 1878 was not of the industrious and desirable 
type, to which practically all the others belonged. 
He may have been industrious enough, but in a 
bad cause. This was Larry Kelly, "King of Smug- 
glers." one of the most notorious characters that 
ever lived on Puget sound, the principal in many a 
thrilling adventure, many a battle of wits with 
custom-house officers. He lived for years in a little 
cabin on the southwest corner of the island, plying 
his nefarious vocation. He is now in the toils, 
having been arrested recently in Seattle for smug- 

Although the beginning of permanent settle- 
ment on the mainland was not till after the first 
pioneers had established themselves cm l-'idalgo 
island, the magnificent valley of the Skagit did not 
escape notice entirely, while the country to the 
north and the south was settling up. Indeed there 
is very good authority for the statement that an at- 
tempt was made to appropriate a portion of it as 
early as 1855. The would-be settlers were a party 

from Island county, consisting of VVinfield Ebey, a 
brother of the well-known Colonel I. N. Ebey, 
George lieam and wife, Walter Crockett and Mrs. 
Mary Wright, a sister of Colonel Ebey, who after- 
ward became Mrs. Bozarth. All were newcomers to 
the sound except Crockett. They were looking for 
a suitable location to run cattle and horses and 
thought they had found such a place on the north 
fork just alx)ve the spot where the bridge now 
spans that stream. T. P. Hastie, who was well 
acquainted with them on Whidby island, says the 
site of their settlement is known beyond dispute, 
as a large cedar tree, which is still standing, at one 
time bore the names or initials of the party. Claims 
were staked out and preparations begun for the 
erection of cabins. There is no doubt of the inten- 
tion of these people to form a permanent settlement, 
but the e.xecution of their designs was cut short by 
the Indian difficulties which culminated in the war 
of 1855-6. The ladies returned to Coupeville in 
haste after only one night's stay in the valley, being 
thoroughly frightened by the unfriendly demonstra- 
tions of the Indians. 

No doubt the Skagit river received many visits 
from prospectors during the Eraser river excite- 
ment. In an old copy of the Northern Light we 
find the following notice of one of these gold hunt- 
ing expeditions: "Major Van Bokkelen, who called 
upon us Wednesday (the date of the paper is July 
17, 1858), informs us that the day before he left 
Port Townsend, A. S. Buffington, J. K. Tukey and 
others, old settlers of this territory, returned from 
the valley of Skagit river. They stated that in the 
first twelve miles of the river they met with ob- 
structions consisting of three rafts, after passing 
which they prospected the bars, and invariably 
found gold. When the party reached the forks of 
the river they went up the northern branch to ;\Iount 
Baker and fell in with several Indian camps." 
!Mr. Hastie says he remembers this party. While 
they found gold widely distributed, it was not in 
paying quantities. 

It is not easy to determine who was the first to 
establish a permanent settlement on the mainland of 
Skagit county. The honor is generally supposed 
to belong either to Samuel Calhoun or Michael J. 
Sullivan, but there are those who think that both 
these men may have been antedated by others. Mr. 
Calhoun, now a resident of Hopewell Cape. New 
lirunswick, has very kindly taken great pains to 
write out for the compilers an account of his settle- 
ment and pioneer experiences. He says that while 
working as a shipwright at i't.salady, he was seized 
with a desire to find out what was across the bay in 
the gap he saw between the hills ; so, in the spring 
of 186;?. lie hired an Indian to go with him on an 
exploring expedition. The Indian had been dubbed 
Sam (iallon on account of his having once stolen 
a gallon of whiskey and swallowed the same in an 
incredibly short time. Tliev cros.sed the bay and 



ascended Sullivan slough, following the right-hand 
branch, to the vicinity of Pleasant Ridge, where, in 
a beautiful red cedar grove, they encamped for the 
nij^ht. Next morning Mr. Calhoun sent the Indian 
with his canoe to the mouth of the north fork, 
while he himself climbed a tall tree on Pleasant 
Ridge and took a view of the surroundings. "I 
was fairly delighted with the prospect," he writes. 
"I thought it the most beautiful sight that I had 
ever beheld. "Here,' I said to myself, 'is a countr}' 
within range of my vision that will support a mill- 
ion peo]ile. Here is my home where I shall spend 
the remainder of my life.' " He then made his way 
to the mouth of the river, wading tule swamps and 
creeks, found his Indian, returned to Utsalady and 
began preparations for settlement. 

The country appealed to Mr. Calhoun as it 
would to few others from the fact that he was fa- 
miliar as a boy with marsh land and had seen con- 
siderable diking done. He failed not to note the 
apparent richness of the soil, the protection from 
surf which the islands afforded, the numerous 
sloughs and creeks offering facilities for water 
transportation. All in all he considered those 
Swinoiuish tide lands the best body of tide marsh 
he had ever seen. 

As the site for his home, Air. Calhoun chose an 
old Indian encampment close to Sullivan slough, 
but above the reach of the tides. His claim is now 
the home of Isaac Dunlap. He was fortunate in 
finding an excellent garden spot of about three- 
quarters of an acre, in which he planted potatoes 
and garden seeds brought from Utsalady. That fall 
he had all the vegetables he could use and some to 
give away. After planting the garden, he went to 
Utsalady to work for three or four weeks and it 
was upon his return from this trip that he first 
met Michael J. Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan had settled 
on a place near by. He might easily have been 
there when Calhoun first came and escaped notice, 
for had he been a smuggler and hiding away from 
custom-house officers he would have been compara- 
tiveh' safe in the secluded retreat he then occupied. 
Mr. Sullivan has himself been interviewed regard- 
ing the time of his settlement, but he is not now very 
good at remembering dates. 

In bringing lumber from Utsalady to build a 
house, Mr. Calhoun came near being shipwrecked, 
but notwithstanding the fact that his Indian com- 
panion became paralyzed with fear and could render 
no assistance, he managed by heroic exertions to 
get his boat, his lumber and his Indian safclv to 
shore. Before the close of 18fi:?. he had built a 
house for himself and assisted Mr. Sullivan to fix 
uj) his. The following spring the work of diking 
began. Calhoun and Sullivan together diked sixty 
acres on the latter's claim and Mr. Calhoun was 
engaged in enclosing a forty-acre tract on his own 
land when the season closed. The white men in the 
other neighborhoods of the sound were very nnich 


inclined to ridicule these efforts to make a farm on 
nnid fiats, where the tides overflowed, but when the 
first immense crops were harvested they saw their 

.\t the time this settlement was made the Swin- 
omish Indians were in rather bad rejjute among the 
whites. It was said that a year or two before a 
surveyor named Hunt, while on his way from Penn's 
Cove, Island county, to Whatcom, was killed by 
them, they fearing he might work some evil incan- 
tation upon them with his instruments. They were 
also credited with having killed an old and some- 
what insane man who had built a cabin close to the 
banks of the Swinomish slough, and stories were 
rife of persons who were known to have attempted 
a passage of the slough and were never heard of 
after. But notwithstanding all these reports, the 
two settlers were not molested by Indians, though 
their old chief came to Calhoun after his house was 
built and wanted to know what he was going to 
do there. When informed, he said: "You must be 
a fool. Don't you know that in winter, when the 
big winds come, the water will be two or three feet 
high all over the ground?" Mr. Calhoun said he 
knew it, but that he intended to throw up the earth 
higher than that and keep out the water. The chief 
then asked if he did not know the land belonged 
to the Indians. "No," said Calhoun, "according to 
the idea of the Bostons the Indians' land is on the 
reservation." The chief replied that that was the 
Bostons' cultus xva iva (bad talk) and that he could 
drive out the white men or kill them if he chose. 
"That is true," replied Calhoun, "but if you should 
the soldiers would come with fire-ships and kill 
many of you." The Indian admitted that such 
would be the probable result. He accepted Mr. 
Calhoun's proffered hand and the friendship there 
begun was never broken. 

It was long before the Swinomish flats began 
to settle up with any degree of rapidity. Notwith- 
standing Rlr. Calhoun's glowing jiicture of them, 
they were to most people a dreary waste. "Perhaps," 
writes Miss Linda Jennings, "few pioneers in the 
history of our country ever attempted to build homes 
in a more uninviting region. The people of the 
older settlements of the soimd knew of this stretch 
of marsh and many of them had seen it, but they 
thought it absurd to try to reclaim such a desolate 
tide-swept waste. At high tide, the Indians ])addled 
their canoes wherever they wished over what are 
now the finest farms in Washington. The marsh 
was ramified by countless sloughs, big and little, 
many of them long since filled and cultivated over. 
In the summer, tule, cattail and coarse salt grass 
flourished and it was the home of many thousands 
of wild fowls and nuiskrats — an ideal hunting- 
ground for Indians. Before any one located here, 
the settlers of Fidalgo island used to visit the Swin- 
omish in summer and cut the wild grass for hay. 
The first settlers were the objects of nuich ridicule 



from their friends in the neighboring settlements. 
When we consider the great ihkes that must be built 
around their claims we can understand why it 
seemed an almost impossible task." 

For the first few years Messrs. Sullivan and 
Calhoun were the only white settlers in their neigh- 
borhood. The next permanent settlers, Mr. Calhoun 
says, were John Cornelius, Robert White and James 
Harrison. At an early date two men named Rollins 
and McCann, natives of New Brunswick, took what 
afterward became the Dodge place, in Dodge valley, 
near the mouth of the north fork of the Skagit. 
They are said to have diked in a few acres between 
the site of the present residence on the place and 
George .Aden's. Thomas P. Hastie says they bought 
cattle of him on Whidby island as early as 1869 and 
gives it as his firm conviction that they antedated 
both Calhoun and Sullivan in settlement in Skagit 
county. Shortly after ISGO, they disposed of their 
land to E. T. Dodge and turned their attention to 
logging, McCann on Camano island and Rollins in 
Humboldt county, California. 

Notwithstanding all the difficulties, the Swin- country began to settle tip quite rapidly in 
the late sixties and early seventies, when the feasi- 
bilitv of diking it, and its immense fertility began 
to be demonstrated. 

The first trading post on the Swinomish flats 
was established in May, ISIm, upon the site of the 
present city of La Conner, bv .\lonzo Low, now a 
resident of Snohomish. Low and \\'oodbury Sin- 
clair engaged in the mercantile business at Snoho- 
mish City in 1864, and opened the Swinomish branch 
as stated, with Low in charge. The enterprise 
failed, however, and was abandoned fourteen 
months after its establishment. Low gave the build- 
ing to a mulatto named Clark, who lived with an 
Indian woman, in consideration of Clark moving 
the goods and a yoke of oxen (taken by Low in 
payment of a debt) back to Snohomish. This was 
accomplished by boat. 

Thomas Hayes is tlie next .Swinomish trader 
of whom we have record. The exact time of his 
appearance is not known, but it must have been 
very shortly after Low abandoned the region in 
the summer of 1868. It was during his time that 
the Swinomish postoffice w'as established. When 
J. S. Conner came, succeeding Hayes (or Hays), 
this postoffice was either abandoned and the La 
Conner i)ostofficc created, or the name was changed 
to La Conner. 

Laurin L. Andrews, at present cashier of the 
Bank of La Conner, tells us that when he first 
visited the place in the fall of 1870, he found at 
what is now La Conner, J. S. Conner and family, 
keeping a store and postoffice in their residence 
building which stood on the spot now occupied by 
Caches' brick block: Archibald Seigfried and family, 
conducting a boarding-house in a building on the 
site of the Corner saloon ; J. J. Conner, a cousin of 

J. S., operating a little trading vessel, the True Blue, 
with head(niarters at the village ; back on the flats, 
Michael Sullivan, Samuel Calhoun, E. T. Dodge and 
family ; Robert White and family, near Sullivan ; 
Harve\- Wallace, at Pleasant Ridge : James William- 
son in the same locality; John Cornelius and family 
at Pleasant Ridge; James Harrison, on what is now 
the Armstrong place ; and on the reservation. Dr. 
W. Y. Deere, government farmer in charge of the 
Swinomish tribe. Deere was not a physician. His 
title was given him on account of his having at one 
time served as a hospital steward. 

The first white women to settle on the Swinomish 
flats w-ere Mrs. J. O. Rudene. formerly Mrs. John 
Cornelius ; Mrs. Edwin T. Dodge, Mrs. Denison, 
Mrs. Robert ^\'hite, Mrs. J. S. Conner and Mrs. 
Archibald Seigfried. The last-named lady was the 
niuther of the first child born on the flats, but un- 
fortunately it did not live. In ^lay, 1871, Maggie, 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert White, was born. 
It is thought that she was the first white native of 
the flats to live, if not the first in the county. Mrs. 
Charles Hubbs, sister of Mrs. Rudene, is deserving 
of mention among the early pioneer women, though 
her home was on the reservation opposite La 
Conner, w here her husband was serving as telegraph 

The year 1871 brought a number of settlers, 
among them Isaac Jennings and family. Those 
settlers Mr. Jennings was able to recall as living 
on the flats at that time, in addition to the ones 
already mentioned, were the following : The Man- 
chester family, south of La Conner ; William Wood- 
ward, a Ijachelor north of La Conner ; Edward 
Bellou. a bachelor in the same locality ; a bachelor 
known as "Pink Man;" the Terrace family, Michael 
Hintz, James O'Laughlin, Charles Miller, C. A. 
D'Arcy, (7. W. L. Allen, Isaac Chilberg, a minister 
named Thompson, who used to preach occasionally 
at the McCormick farm, Laurin L. Andrews, a 
young merchant on the reservation, and Thomas 
Calhoun. In addition to these there were Mr. and 
Mrs. Harvey Wallace, on Beaver marsh, near 
Pleasant Ridge : .\lbert and Milton Learner, brothers 
of Airs. Wallace, and John Wallace. Mrs. David 
Leamer, mother of .Mbert and Milton and of Mrs. 
Wallace, settled near Pleasant Ridge in October, 
1871, and still resides there. Frederick Eyre w^as 
also in the country, though not a settler at that 
time. David Culver came to the flats about 1872 ; 
James Gilliland was in charge of the telegraph 
station at La Conner in 187? and for manv vears 

The Swinomish settlement was not without some 
of the conveniences of civilized life in the late sixties 
and early seventies, .\lreadv two of the sound 
steamers were contending for their trade, the fifty- 
ton side wheeler, Mary Woodruff, John Cosgrove. 
captain, and the J. B. Libby% John A. SufFern, 
captain. They plied betw-een Seattle and Whatcom, 



via the inside route as it was called — Swinomisli 
slougli — making the round trip every week. At this 
time the freight was three dollars and a lialf a ton, 
but there were instances when the fierce competition 
between the two forced it down to a dollar or even 
less. The service, however, was not very satisfac- 
tory. E. A. Sisson says the Libby often got stuck 
on the flats at Hole in the Wall near La Conner or 
at the upper end of Swinomish slough and would lie 
tiiere contentedly for two or three days, charging 
the passengers a good rate for their board. In the 
spring of 1868, Mr. Calhoun finished a small, flat- 
bottom schooner, named the Shoo- Fly, suited to 
transferring logging camp outfits, lumber, etc., in 
shallow water. 

Another of the conveniences of this early period 
was a telegraph wire to the reservation. Mr. Cal- 
Iioun says that after the trans-Atlantic cable had 
twice broken, people began to think it a failure, and 
a telegraph company commenced to run a line along 
the coast through Washington territory to British 
Columbia and Alaska to Behring straits, expecting 
to cross to Asia and thence to Europe. The subse- 
quent success of the Atlantic cable put an end to 
tliis scheme, but the Swinomish people nevertheless 
had telegrapliic connections which they would not 
otherwise have enjoyed for several years. About 
the middle sixties, a postoffice was established on the 
reservation, making it no longer necessary for the 
pioneers to go to Utsalady for mail. Still later one 
was secured on the site of La Conner (it was named 
Swinomish postoffice) with Thomas Hayes as its 
first postmaster. 

The value of the country as a grain-raising 
district began to be realized very soon after diking 
commenced in 1864. Mrs. Rndene, then Mrs. John 
Cornelius, is quoted as saying that when she came 
from Whidby island in 1868. Mr. Sullivan showed 
her a splendid field of oats, which he claimed were 
the first grown on the Swinomish flats. In the fall 
of 1860, three men had considerable crops of grain 
to be threshed, Michael Sullivan. Samuel Calhoun 
and E. T. Dodge. There was no threshing machine 
On tile mainland, so Mr. Calhoun went to Whidby 
island and bn night men, horses and machine. Sul- 
livan's crop was threshed first, tlien Calhoun's, then 
Dodge's. Calhoun got twelve hundred bushels of 
barley from twenty-one acres, and both the other 
.gentlemen realized much better returns than they 
had expected, so the scoffers at those establishing 
farms on the mud flats were effectually silenced. In 
18T6 Mr. Calhoun brought a steam thresher to the 
flats, the first tliat was ever imported into western 
\\'ashington, and 1877 Whitney, Sisson & Company 
imported the second machine. 

The north end of Swinomish flats was not much 
behind the La Conner country in settlement. The 
first settler in the vicinity of Padilla bay was James 
McClcllan. a bachelor from California, who located 
about the year 1860 on the place now known as the 

Smith ranch, but which he named Virgin Cove. For 
months his only neighbors were a family of Indians, 
wiiu regarded him as an intnider on their lands, for 
they claimed by right of inheritance all the country 
between Indian slough and the Samish river. 
Several times Mr. McClellan thought these Indians 
w^ere plotting to harm him but he put on a bold 
front, showed no fear and was not molested. It is 
almost certain that no white family would have been 
so patient with one whom they regarded a tres- 

]\IcClellan's first white neighbor was Jacob High- 
barger, who came about 1870 with his Indian wife 
and family. Next year McClellan's former partner 
in the stock business in California, M. D. Smith, 
rejoined him. The partnership was renewed. They 
diked a portion of their marsh land, but unfor- 
tunately in building the dike struck a layer of sand 
which permitted the salt water to leach through, so 
that good crops could not be raised until an outer 
dike was built. In the fall of 1870. William H. 
Trimble took a claim for himself and one for G. W. 
L. Allen adjoining the farm of Smith & McClellan. 
A year or so later Allen built a fine house on an 
elevated site and brought his family to live in it. 
In 1872, Samuel McNutt and Albert Jennings took 
claims which were later purchased by John Ball, 
diked by him and made into a fine large farm. Jen- 
nings was a railway engineer, employed in Oregon, 
so the burden of holding residence upon this prop- 
erty fell upon his wife and little boy. 

Some time about 1870 or 1871, Michael Sullivan 
sold for one thousand six hundred dollars at the 
river bank the crop of barley raided on forty acres 
of diked land. The story went clear to Pennsyl- 
vania. R. E. Whitney, E. A. Sisson and others 
heard it and soon began planning to migrate to the 
sound basin. Whitney arrived at Padilla in August, 
1872, bought the right of a man named White, filed 
a preemption, and with Mrs. Whitney began resi- 
dence in a pioneer shack. For many years after he 
was one of the leading men in the great work of 
tide land reclamation, one whose faith never 
wavered, who knew no discouragement. In Dec- 
ember following his arrival, he was joined by two 
cousins, E. A. Sisson and A. G. Tillinghast, whom 
he took into partnership, forming the firm of Whit- 
ney, Sisson & Company. This partnership was 
finally dissolved in 1877, not, however, until it had 
expended much money, labor and effort in diking 
land. The work was discouraging enough at first. 
The company, together with Trimble. Highbarger 
and -Mien, constructed three miles of dike and 
several expensive dams across sloughs, using seventy 
thousand feet of lumber and paying forty dollars a 
month and board for men. During the winter of 
187 3-1 four of these costly dams went out, the salt 
water was let in and cultivation was delayed another 
year. They were rebuilt in 1874, and in 1875 the 
first crop, twenty acres of oats, was produced. The 



destruction of the dikes was so discouraging to 
Messrs. Tillinghast and Sisson, that they offered to 
donate a j-ear's work to be allowed to withdraw 
from the company neither owing nor owning a cent, 
but Whitney would not listen to any such propo- 
sition. He insisted that all go ahead, which they 
finally decided to do. 

In 1873, Whitney, Sisson & Company built the 
old "White House" on Bay \'iew Ridge, and as 
showing some of the conditions of life in those days 
it may be related that the lumber was brought from 
Utsalady by the steamer Linnie, which dumped it 
out in the bay two miles from land. The captain 
did not know the bay nearer shore and would not 
go in, but he did not forget to charge two dollars 
and fifty cents a thousand for such service as he 
was willing to render. The men rafted the lumber 
and poled it to shore. On March 13, 187 3, the 
house was raised, the entire neighborhood being 
present and taking part. It still stands, a landmark 
of the early days, reminder of many a pioneer 
gathering and festive occasion. 

The land around the head of Padilla bay con- 
tained more peat and hence was more difficult to 
bring into cultivation than that contiguous to La 
Conner. Some of it was so soft that, besides under- 
draining, it required years of time in which to settle 
so that it would bear up teams in the spring and 
threshing machines in the fall. As comparatively 
little of the flats was diked in the early seventies, 
there was no communication, except by water, with 
La Conner. For the double purpose of avoiding 
danger in times of rough weather and of shortening 
the distance, a canal a half mile long was dug, con- 
necting Indian and Telegraph sloughs. 

While the initial attempts at the development of 
the beautiful archipelago now constituting the 
western portion of Skagit county, together with that 
of the tide flats on the Swinomish, were in progress, 
enterprising adventurers and fortune hunters were 
beginning to realize the possibilities of the great 
Skagit valley above the region of the tide flats. 
Families soon followed. The first white women to 
reach the region lying back of the flats, were Mrs. 
William Gage and her two daughters, now Mrs. 
Keen and Mrs. Narl ; Mrs. Brice. Mrs. Jasper Gates, 
Mrs. D. E. Kimble and Mrs. M. J. Kimble, soon 
followed by Mrs. Charles Washburn, Mrs. August 
Hartson and Mrs. Isaac Lanning. It is interesting 
to recall that these ladies were the first to come to 
that portion of what is now Skagit county on a 
steamboat. The little steamer Linnie, on which they 
came, was the first to reach the big jam near Mount 
Vernon, arriving late in 1870. 

The first religious service ever held in that com- 
munity was conducted by Charles Washburn and 
D. E. Kimble in a house now owned by Mr. Tink- 
ham. The first baptism occurred near Peter Vander 
Kuyl's house in a little slough on the north fork of 
the Skagit, Rev. B. N. L. Davis performing the 

ceremony, and the recipients of it being Mrs. 
Mahala Washburn, who later became Mrs. C. C. 
Hansen, now deceased, and Mrs. Somers, now Mrs. 
James Caches. 

The first house to be built in the Skagit valley 
was erected in 1863 on the claim of W. H. Sart- 
well, now owned by Magnus Anderson,, about five 
miles below Mount Vernon. Among the first settlers 
in that same general region were the following upon 
the south fork of the river: Joseph Lisk, William 
Kayton, George Wilson, John Wilbur, E. McAlpine, 
L. Sweet, A. G. Kelley, R. I. Kelley, J. Wilson and 
Joseph Wilson ; and on the north fork : John Guinea, 
William Hayes, William Houghton, Joseph Mad- 
dox, William Brown, H. A. Wright, Peter Vander 
Kuyl, Franklyn Buck and Magnus Anderson. J. 
V. Abbott, now dead, located May 5, 1865, and soon 
after came David ^^.nderson, who located on what 
afterward became known as the old McAlpine place, 
upon which Skagit City grew. It is said by some 
that Mr. Underwood was the first settler on the 
north fork locating in or before 1865 on the place 
afterward taken up by Peter \'ander Kuyl. We find 
also some conflicting statements as to who is entitled 
to the honor of being the first white child born on 
the Skagit. Some claim it for the child of Charles 
Washburn, while others claim that Oliver C. Ting- 
ley, son of S. S. Tingley, born June 6, 1870, is 
entitled to that distinction. The first man already a 
pater faiuilias is said to have been Thomas R. Jones, 
whose claim was near that of Mr. Tingley on the 
north fork of the river. 

We have already seen that the first cabin in that 
neighborhood was built by W. H. Sartwell, who was 
assisted in the work by Orrin Kincaid and Mr. 
Todd. The three men soon formed a partnership 
and established in the cabin a trading post for the 
purpose of exchanging goods and merchandise with 
the Indians for furs. The difficulty of purchasing 
goods, however, by reason of the exorbitant charges 
of the wholesalers at Seattle and Olympia, who 
wished to monopolize the Indian trade themselves, 
rendered this first mercantile venture on the Skagit 
unprofitable, and soon after Mr. Kincaid went to 
California. In the meantime Mr. Todd died and for 
some time Sartwell was alone on that immediate 
portion of the river. 

Thomas P. Hastie homesteaded his present place 
near Fir in June, 1870, coming over from Whidby 
island. He lived on the place on and oflf until he 
proved up in 1872. In 1870 he found the following 
settlers in his neighborhood : North fork of the 
Skagit, Franklyn Buck, DeWitt Clinton Dennison, 
Gus Lill, Samuel S. Tingley, Magnus Anderson, 
\\'illiam Brown, Joseph L. Maddox, Thomas R. 
Jones, Peter Vander Kuyl, Moses Kane, John 

Guinea, Quinby Clark, Fay, T. J. Rawlins and 

Charles Henry ; south fork, Orrin Kincaid, living 
on the present Wilson ranch, William Sartwell, who 
came with Kincaid, on an adjoining ranch, Joseph 



Wilson, William Johnson, William Smith, Alonzo 
Sweet, opposite the site of Skagit City, Joseph Lisk, 
William Kayton, George or "Long" Wilson, Will- 
iam, McAlpin, at the site of Skagit City, and Will- 
iam Alexander, who later sold out to Robert and 
W. L. Kelly. William Brown had settled in Ksf>3 
at the mouth of the slough to which his name was 
applied, and Aladdox ahout that year also settled on 
the north fork just above Brown's slough. 

Beginning about 1870 there was a rapid influx of 
men with families into the regions of the lower 
Skagit. At that time it was considered impracti- 
cable to locate above the big jam near the site of 
the present JNIount Vernon, and most of the settlers 
took claims in the dense timber back of the lower 
river rather than try the regions above which have 
since become so attractive. True to the genuine 
American idea those early settlers soon began to 
establish schools, churches and other civilizing 
agencies. In a building erected for a barn on the 
ranch of D. E. Kimble the first school in the Skagit 
valley was taught by Ida Lanning, a daughter of 
Isaac Lanning, who had located near by in 1869. 
She was followed a year after by G. E. Hartson, 
afterward and until the present time one of the 
leading citizens of Alount Vernon. Contemporary 
with Miss Lanning was Zena Tingley, now Mrs. 
J. D. Moores, who taught in what afterward was 
called Skagit district, where she gathered her young 
charges in a cabin belonging to Joe Wilson. 

There were many Methodists among those early 
settlers, and a Methodist organization was effected 
about ISTO by Rev. M. J. Luark, who was soon 
after succeeded by Rev. J. M. Denison. 

At that early day Skagit City seems to have been 
the center of operations. At tlie Union hall in that 
place all manner of public assemblages, religious 
meetings, political conventions, entertainments. Good 
Templars' meetings, balls and socials, festivals and 
fairs were accustomed to gather. The Skagit City 
of that time was about half a mile above its present 
location. It seems to have been the general ren- 
dezvous for canoes, scows, booms of logs, and 
steamboats in so far as they appeared at all. The 
removal of the big jam from the vicinity of Mount 
Vernon a few years later destroyed the prestige of 
Skagit City. 

Practically the entire region then open to settle- 
ment was heavily timbered, and the work of clearing 
land, difficult at all times, was increased many fokl 
by the lack of teams. To obviate this difficulty in 
so far as possible logging bees became the accepted 
social and industrial means of ridding the country 
of unnecessary timber. Some of the old settlers, 
however, record their conviction that the guests at 
the logging bees used more energy in disposing of 
the bountiful viands which the host provided than in 
ridding his claim of the impeding logs. Neverthe- 
less the pleasure and the social entertainment 
afforded by those old logging bees was a great com- 

pensation for the hard tread-mill of life at that time 
and place. 

The nearest pttstofhce during the first period of 
settlement on the lower Skagit was Utsalady (mean- 
ing "land of berries" in the Indian tongue), but as 
soon as possible La Conner became the center of 
mail service. Most of the settlers were obliged to 
go or to send to Coupevillc to get supplies. A man 
named Campbell, in 1868, established a small store 
at the forks of the river, where he kept and disposed 
of the standard goods for cash, a rather large 
amount of the latter being necessary to effect a 
trade for such patrons as had run out of their 
regular store. This pioneer storekeeper of the 
Skagit had the untoward habit of spirituous im- 
bibition to an unhealthy degree. On one occasion 
when he had reached a satiated condition, in his 
strenuous efforts to handle a barrel of sugar, which 
constituted his whole stock in trade, he managed 
to dump it in the river and to follow it immediately 
himself. A Siwash, who was not quite so drunk, 
extricated him from the watery depths. After some 
tedious work the barrel of sugar was also landed. It 
had absorbed so much water as to be turned to 
molasses, in which condition he disjx)sed of it at 
advantageous prices to the hungry Indians. Camp- 
bell soon disposed of his mercantile interests to J. J. 
Conner, and he in turn sold out to D. E. Gage, 
who is still engaged in merchandising at Skagit 

The first date at which the Skagit valley country 
took any part in an election was 1871, there being 
at that time but one precinct in the entire valley. 
There was a total vote of sixty-one in the election 
for delegate to congress, the candidates being that 
silver-tongued spellbinder, Selucius Garfield, and J. 
V. McFadden. In spite of his eloquence and the 
fascination which Garfield wielded over all with 
whom he came in contact, his lack of steadfast 
principle and his personal bad habits had by that 
time so affected his general reputation that his com- 
petitor was chosen. 

In those early days potatoes constituted the legal 
tender of the conmiunity. In the rich new lands 
and the soft, moist climate of the Skagit and its 
outlying islands these indispensable vegetables 
yielded most prolifically and were sold in large quan- 
tities to the trading sloops which visited that part 
of the sound. Money being very scarce it became 
a common thing to accept potatoes as legal tender. 

Practically the only way of getting out of or 
into the Skagit valley was by boat. Canoes and 
sailboats would frequently intercept the steamer 
Mary Woodruff, then running from Whatcom to 
Seattle and stoi)ping at Utsalady. The fare at that 
time from Utsalady to Whatcom W'as five dollars, 
and it took three days to make the trip. There was 
no regular steamboat service upon the Skagit river 
itself until 187-1, when the Fanny Lake, in com- 
mand of Captain John S. Hill, began making regular 



monthly trips between Seattle and Skagit City. 
Her arrival at the latter plaee was the chief event 
of the month to the inhabitants, who always 
gathered almost to a man, woman and child to 
witness it. 

The great log jams in the Skagit river in the 
vicinity of the site of Monnt Vernon, one extending 
a mile above that point and the other about half a 
mile below, long prevented settlement in the upper 
part of the valley, but in 18TT Harrison Clothier and 
Edward English founded the town of Mount 
Vernon, Mr. Clothier purchasing ten acres of Jasper 
Gates, which he platted for the purpose. He became 
the postmaster at Mount \'ernon in September of 
IS", the mail being carried in a skiff from La 
Conner to Skagit City and thence by foot to Mount 
Vernon. In 1876 the great work of removing the 
jams on the river had been undertaken by settlers 
and loggers and two years later the steamer Wenat 
made a trip to Mount \'ernon, Henry Bailey being 

The logging business, which became so important 
a factor in the development of the Skagit valley, 
seems to have come into existence on the lower river 
as early as 1871. By the year 1875 there were 
hundreds of men engaged in logging at various 
points in the Skagit and Samish regions. 

For a new region the Skagit valley seems to 
have been somewhat singularly free from affrays 
and crimes. The only recorded murder of verv 
early date occurred at Skagit City in the winter of 
1869-70. A certain trader named John Barker had 
come to the valley during the previous year and had 
erected a shake shanty on the island near the 
junction of the forks. Among other merchandise 
in which Barker dealt was the ever-present and 
ever-destructive whiskey, with which he supplied 
whites and Indians alike. Immediately across the 
north fork a band of Indians had established them- 
selves and made some small clearings upon which 
were erected rude huts. One morning Barker was 
found lying in his shanty, his throat cut and his 
store ransacked. Shortly afterward some goods 
supposed to have been a part of the stock were 
found in the possession of Quinby Clark, who lived 
near, but before any investigation had been under- 
taken, Clark left the region. It is said that some of 
the south forkers formed a mob in the meantime 
and hanged two Indians, supposing them to be the 
guilty parties. It appeared by subsequent investi- 
gation that Clark had shortly before wanted to get 
a squaw for whom thirty dollars was demanded, and 
that right after the murder he raised the necessarv 
money. Also a subsequent investigation of the 
store showed plainly that the robbery and murder 
had been committed by a white man, for things 
which Indians would have taken were left and those 
which a white man would have taken were gone. 
Barker had been a Mason and the members of this 

fraternity spent three years in seeking the supposed 
murderer, but without avail. 

As typical of the history of the Skagit as well 
as of other pioneer communities we may well make 
a brief reference here to the experience of D. E. 
Kimble and family, the first home-builders in the 
region adjacent to what is now Mount Vernon. 
Their former home had been in Illinois, whence Mr. 
Kimble with his wife and five young children came 
in 1868 to Whidby island. In December of 1869 
Mr. Kimble, having formed the impression that his 
fortune would be better made in a new region than 
in the comparatively well-settled Whidby island, 
came to the Skagit valley seeking a home. Earlier 
attempts, so Mr. Kimble relates, had been broken up 
by the belligerent Indians who made their head- 
quarters there. When Mr. Kimble with his family 
located in the region he found sixteen squaw-men 
in the valley, the names of whom have already been 
given in the list of early settlers. In his quest for 
a location which should entirely satisfy his wishes 
Mr. Kimble pursued his explorations up the river 
to the lower end of the big jam and established him- 
self upon the spot which has been his home ever 
since, adjoining the city of Mount Vernon. Settlers 
were obliged at that time to go clear to Olympia to 
file upon government land. With the Kimbles came 
the families of Jasper Gates and William Gage, the 
part}- chartering the steamer Linnie, as already 
narrated, for the purpose of carrying their families 
and possessions to their new homes, paying fifty 
dollars for the service. Mr. Kimble learned from 
the Indians that the big jam had been in existence 
from time immemorial. So solidly was this jam 
packed that it could be crossed at almost any point 
in its entire extent and upon it had grown a veritable 
forest, in some instances trees of even two or three 
feet in diameter growing upon what was merely a 
mass of rotten debris with no lodgment in the earth 
at all. Underneath the tangled mass of logs, moss, 
bushes and trees the impetuous torrent of the Skagit 
forced its way in some places in furious cataracts, 
in others in deep black pools filled with fish, which 
could, however, be reached at very few points by 
sportsmen. Upon their home carved out of the wil- 
derness, Mr. Kimble and his family toiled for all 
those years clearing the fat, wet soil, setting out 
trees and converting the wild land into rich clover 
meadows and garden tracts, gradually accumulating 
a competency. 

The settlement of the upper Skagit valle\\ while 
partaking of the same general conditions which 
operated in the lower, was in the nature of the case 
later in time and in the main slow-er in progress 
than the portion of the valley contiguous to the 
sound. It was, however, discovered at quite an early 
day that the upper Skagit vallev was rich in the 
precious metals as well as in coal and iron and pos- 
sessed also vast stores of the finest timlx'r. while the 
land once cleared would vield, under the influence 




of the genial climate, the finest crops of all kinds. 
Hence the more adventurous class of pioneers and 
prospectors early turned their attention to securing 
the advantages so lavishly bestowed. 

A. R. Williamson, one of the first hop-growers 
in the Puyallup valley and later the pioneer hop- 
grower of the Skagit, is credited with having been 
the first settler on the upper Skagit above the jam, 
settling in 18 ?1, or, some say, lS]->. Mr. William- 
son lived for a number of years near Lyman, where 
he died November 6, 1883. The next settler above 
the jam appears to have been Rev. B. N. L. Davis, 
a Baptist minister, who, soon after Williamson's 
advent, took up his abode on the south side of the 
river at the point where the Great Northern bridge 
spans the Skagit. In 18^9 Davis rented William- 
son's hop ranch and two or three years later made 
himself widely known on the coast by netting some- 
thing like forty thousand dollars for his hops one 
season. Immediately afterward he entered the stock 
business on an e.xtensive scale, at one time bringing 
seven carloads of registered Holstein cattle to his 
Skagit river ranch from the eastern states, thus 
introducing that stock in this county. He also 
brought out some very highly bred horses at this 

In 187;! Amasa Everett, a native of Maine and 
for some time a resident of Minnesota, came to 
Skagit count}-, late that fall joining Orlando Gra- 
ham, another Mimiesotan, who had taken a claim on 
Fidalgo island in the spring of that year. These 
men, together with Lafayette S. Stevens, a Nevada 
miner who came to the Skagit country about that 
time to prospect, are deserving of a special place in 
any history of the Skagit region, for thev were the 
discoverers of the coal mines of the upper valley. 
During the summer of 187 t Graham and Everett, 
while working on the Swinomish flats, met Stevens 
and the trio went on an expedition in the latter part 
of September, 1874, to the vicinity of what later 
became the site of Hamilton. These men had seen 
samples of gold brought by the Indians to the lower 
river and hoped to strike a fortune in the precious 
metal, though (iraham, not being a miner, said he 
\\nuld look for coal. Having reached the vicinity 
<if Hamilton they learned from some Indians with 
whom they talked that there was some sort of a 
peculiar black metal in the mountains thereabouts. 
Investigatiiins showed this to l^e coal and that great 
<liscovery was made. 

C)n this trip, while i)ros])ecting, Mr. I''verett was 
struck by a rolling rock, which broke his leg. His 
partners, called to the place by the Indian com- 
panion of .Mr. Everett, set the bniken linili bv the 
rude surgery of the frontier, but u|)on his return to 
civilization the doctors deemed it necessarv to ani- 
inttate it and Everett was accordinglv taken to 
Seattle by ( Irahani, where the operation was success- 
lully ])erformed. Stevens made regular trips in 
and out of the coal region throughout the succeed- 

ing winter. In the meantime, James O'Laughlin 
and James J. Conner were added to the company, 
which then filed upon one hundred and si.xty acres 
of coal land. In 1875, finding reasons to believe 
that the mines were worthy of the investment of 
ca|)ital, the partners, together with a force of 
laborers, sunk a shaft a hundred feet in depth by 
which they took out twenty tons of coal, which they 
shipped to San Francisco. They made a number of 
improvements of permanent value in connection 
with this. However, they were obliged to trans- 
port their coal in canoes to the head of the big jam. 
There they cut a road through the forest two miles 
in extent around it, then loaded the coal upon the 
steamer Chehalis, which had come up for that pur- 
pose. This coal mine remained comparatively un- 
developed through lack of capital for two years, and 
then Conner, having secured additional resources, 
pushed it successfully for a number of years, ulti- 
mately selling or bonding an interest to San Fran- 
cisco parties under the name of the Skagit-Cum- 
berland Coal Company. 

In October of 1875 Mr. Everett, in company 
with Stevens, Graham and John Rowley, a coal 
miner, went up the river nearl)' to the present loca- 
tion of Marblemouut. They found only two settlers 
on the river above the jam. Rev. B. N. L. Davis, 
who had been for some months stopping on a place 
at the site of the present Great Northern bridge, 
and A. R. Williamson. 

The men named were the only settlers on the 
river above Mount \'ernon prior to 1875, although 
Lafayette Stevens had staked out a claim at what is 
now Sterling, where he subsequently lived, while 
Otto Klement IkuI also staked a claim near the pres- 
ent site of Avon, upon wliich, however, he made no 
permanent settlement. The claim established by 
Everett, in 187 5, was at the confluence of Baker 
river (formerly called the NahcuUuni) with the 
Skagit river, on ihc north side of the river; while 
Rowley took a place directly across the Skagit. 
Both erected cabins, although i)olh at the time were 
bachelors. The winter was s])ent by I'^verett and 
Rowle\- in pros]:)ecting for gold, which they found 
at many points but not in paying quantities. Con- 
trary to the general reputation of the Skagit Indians, 
these caused the two solitary settlers no trouble, 
Everett having secured their acquiescence to his 
staking a claim by agreeing to start a store. .Vt 
first the Indians would consent to his taking but a 
small i)iece of land, but subse(|uenlly. for a consid- 
eration of twenty-five dollars, allowed him to take 
a whole strip of bottom land of ninety acres. Ever- 
ett and Rowley went through the usual experience 
of early settlers in clearing of little patches of land 
and starting of gardens and in splitting out shakes 
for buildings. Both l>eing good carpenters they 
found it |)rofitable to sjilit the beautiful straight 
cedar logs which aboundetl there into doors, which 
thev would take ilown the river and sell to the in- 



coniino; settlers for four dollars apiece. They also 
would make cedar oars, for which they could get 
from boatmen two dollars a pair. A few years 
later Rowley became noted also as the discoverer 
of the Ruby Creek mines. 

Worthy of special notice in connection with the 
early settlements as pioneers in special callings, are 
the following: John Cornelius, a government sur- 
veyor who came from W'hidby island to the Skagit 
country and surveyed Lummi island, the Swinomish 
flats, the Samish country and the first settled por- 
tion of the Skagit valley ; James Caches, a merchant 
of La Conner in 1ST;3 ; Otto Klement, the pioneer 
merchant of Lyman; Dr. John S. Church, who 
located at La Conner in 1873, the first physician in 
the Skagit valley : and Dr. G. V. Calhoun, another 
of the earliest physicians on the flats. 

In respect to the earliest logging undertakings 
in the Skagit country, it may be stated that Dan 
Dingwall is believed to have started a logging 
camp on Samish island in 186T. Two years later 
Edward I'larrington and James FoUansbee estab- 
lished a camp on Kayton's slough opposite the 
present town of I-'ir. In 187 2 Thomas Moore and 
Alfred Densmore located a camp on the south fork 
of the Skagit a mile above the junction. The camp 
of William Gage, a mile and a half below Mount 
Vernon, was established in 1874. These consti- 
tuted the logging camps established prior to 1S7.'). 
Mr. Kimble informs us that there were no destruc- 
tive forest fires until after logging had been for 
some time in progress, the reason of this, according 
to his statement, being that the timber in the Skagit 
valley was so dense that vegetation never became 
dry enough for the fire to seize upon it, therefore, 
not until logging had exposed the woods to the sun 
and wind and created a mass of dead, dry limbs and 
refuse were forest fires ])revalent. 

Several of the pioneers of 1873 who located at 
some of the smaller points in the valley may prop- 
erly be named at this point. Among these was 
William Tracy, of Edison, who filed on a claim 
near Conway, although he subsequently abandoned 
it and engaged in mining for several years ; Charles 
Villeneuve. proprietor of the St. Charles hotel at 
Sedro-Woolley. also located on the present site of 
Conway, and Thomas Jones located at a point near 
Villeneuve on the south. Mrs. Villeneuve was the 
first white woman in that neighborhood. In a short 
time Thomas Moore, John Moore, Robert Gage and 
Mr. McAlpine established themselves in the vicinitv 
of \ illeneuve, both Thomas and John ]\Ioore being 
accompanied by their wives. As illustrating the 
difficulty of carrying on improvements at that time 
we may note the fact that it took Mr. \"illeneuve 
four days to bring a raft of sawed lumber from 
Utsalady to his place on the Skagit. The house 
which he then built was the first constructed of 
lumber in that region. It is stated bv the old settlers 
that in the vicinity of what became known in a short 

time as Mann's Landing, now Fir, there was an old 
Indian burial place. After the usual custom of 
the Indians, the bodies were wrapped in blankets 
and placed in canoes which were sustained on plat- 
forms in the trees. The curious statement is made 
that some of these Indians had long, fiery red hair. 
Mr. X'illeneuve conducted the first store and post- 
ofiice at Conway, while his wife devoted herself to 
establishing and maintaining a school for the place. 

As denoting something of the status of the 
Northern Pacific railroad and the selection of a 
western terminus, together with the drift of public 
sentiment about the land grant, it is quite interesting 
to observe in the llellingham Bay Mail of August 2. 
187 3, the following resolutions by citizens of the 
Skagit and Whatcom regions: "Whereas the North- 
ern Pacific Railroad Company has located its west- 
ern terminus at Commencement bay in Pierce coun- 
ty, W. T., and whereas the withdrawal of lands for 
the benefit of said railroad north of Pierce county, 
to-wit : in King, Kitsap, Snohomish, Island and 
Whatcom counties, wdiich include vast coal fields 
and large tracts of timber and rich agricultural 
lands : and whereas said withdrawal is retarding the 
growth and development of said counties ; Therefore 
be it Resolved, That the interests of said counties 
and justice to the inhabitants thereof demand an 
immediate vacation of said withdrawal. Resolved. 
That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to 
the Hon. Willis Drummond. Commissioner of the 
general land ofifice and Hon. C. Delna, Secretary 
of the Interior." 

We find as early as 1S73 the first rumblings of 
the movement which, as will be hereafter related 
in full, eventuated in the division of Whatcom 
countv and the establishment of Skagit. In the 
P.ellingham Bay Mail of C)ctober ^'k 1873, a corre- 
spondent at La Conner makes mention of the fact 
that a petition had been circulated which was en- 
trusted to Hon. Walter Crockett, a member of the 
legislature for Island county, calling upon the 
legislature to pass a bill for the erection of a new 
county. The petition names William Dean of Sa- 
mish. H. A. March, of Fidalgo, and J. F. DArcy, 
of Stillaguamish, as commissioners in case the 
countv is established. To offset this movement a 
meeting was held in Sehome remonstrating against 
any such action on the part of the legislature. 

As early as 1873 the farmers upon the tide 
lands of the Swinomish were beginning to be re- 
warded for their exceedingly hard toil in diking 
and clearing those fertile swamp lands. Some of 
them reported yields of over one hundred bushels 
of oats to the acre and several secured for their 
first crop from three thousand to five thousand 
bushels, enough at the prices then prevailing to put 
them in comparatively comfortable circumstances. 
Among these early farmers of the Swinomish 
whose crop yields are noted in the Bellingham 
papers were Thomas Calhoun, John Cornelius, 



Michael Hintz and James Harrison. Very unfor- 
tunately disaster followed hard upon the successful 
crop season of that year ; for on January IS, 18T4, 
came the famous high tide, as a result of which 
several of the most important dikes and dams were 
destroyed and much destruction of property in the 
way of buildings, implements and stock resulted. 
Messrs. McClellan and Seigfried, together with 
the Whitney and Sisson company of Padilla, lost 
their dikes and their farms were covered with salt 
water, which meant the loss of at least a year's 

We have now sketched the most important facts 
in the beginnings of the island region, of the Swi- 
nomish flats, of the Padilla Country, of the lower 
Skagit and of the upper Skagit, and may trace for 
a few pages the interesting history of the Samish 
region, one of the most productive and attractive 
parts of this whole favored county. The Samish 
valley consists of a belt of tide lands skirting the 
river, slough, bay and island all bearing the same 
name. The chief town of the region and the oldest, 
is Edison, founded in the early seventies upon land 
originally located by Ben Samson and Edward 
McTaggart. The possibilities of the Samish coun- 
tr\- had early attracted the attention of explorers, 
one of tlie earliest of these being John H. Fravel. 
He passed through the country as early as 1858 
and was engaged for some time in 1864: in erecting 
poles for the proposed great international telegraph 
line through Alaska, subsequently taking up his 
claim in the year 187 1. His settlement was ante- 
dated, however, by others. There seems, also, to 
be some authority for the statement that William 
Jannan established a residence upon the prairie, 
which later received his name, as early as 1866, 
while Wesley Whitener and John Gray began oper- 
ating a logging camp in 1867 on what is now 
known as lUanchard slough, and James Hutchins 
was engaged in fishing on what afterward became 
the Whitehil! place. Among the settlers of 1869 
may be mentioned Ben Samson, William Wood, 
Daniel Dingwall, George Forbes. Nathaniel Mor- 
gan. Watson Hodge, John Straighthoof, Joseph 
Hall, John Cornell, Captain John Warner, Joe 
Larry, Ben Welcher, William J. Brown and Thomas 
Hayes. The pioneers of 1870 were David Lewis, 
John Miller, William Hanson. Edward McTaggart, 
"Big" Brown, "Little" Brown (W. J.), William 
Dean and George Coffin. The years 1871 and 1872 
were marked by the incoming of a great number of 

Daniel Dingwall seems to have been the pioneer 
merchant of the Samish country, having established 
a store in partnership with 'Hiomas Hayes, in the 
fall of l,s(;!) on Samish island adjoining the .Siwash 
slough. This Siwash slough was so called from 
the location upon it of two thousand Siwashes en- 
gaged in fishing and hunting. Thev had a house 
twelve himdrcd feet long bv sevcntv-five feet wide. 

Thomas Hayes remained in partnership with Ding- 
wall but a short time and was succeeded in the 
])artiiership by William Dean, who also in a short 
time relin(|uishe(l his share in the business to Ding- 
wall and started a store of his own in 1873. Mr. 
Dingwall became postmaster of what became 
known as the Samish postoffice in 1870. 

Everything in the Samish country depended on 
the diking system and this vitally important under- 
taking was inaugurated by John Muller in ].s71, 
liy whom sixty acres were inclosed upon the place 
now occupied by Nathaniel McCullougli near the 
Samish. Daniel Sullivan reclaimed a hundred and 
sixty acres during the same year at a cost of thir- 
teen thousand dollars. Bodi Muller and Sullivan 
had land producing bountiful crops of oats in 1873 
and 1873. Ben Welcher introduced soon after a 
diking machine, which was operated for five dollars 
per rod, and with this they diked for Messrs. Ding- 
wall and McTaggart. It may be noted here that 
according to the recollection of William Wood the 
first diking done in the Samish region was by 
Messrs. Wood, Emery and Stevens. 

It did not take the settlers of the Samish long to 
inaugurate public schools. As nearly as can be 
ascertained the first school was held in 1873 in a 
house belonging to Mr. Cutler * on his old claim 
east of the Wood place, afterward occupied by Mr. 
Samson. There were seven scholars in the first 
school, consisting of the children of the Stevens and 
Wood families. Mary Stevens, Mr. Stevens' oldest 
daughter, being the teacher. Two years later a 
regular district was established, district number 
eight, Messrs. Wood, Legg and Emery being the 
first directors and Mr. Stevens the first clerk. 

Among the notable early settlers of the Samish 
was Captain J. M. Warner, who was also more 
than a decade later the earliest settler of the upper 
Samish, on what is now known as Warner's prairie, 
a region of great fertility but so difficult of ap- 
proach by reason of the dense timber and swamps 
as not to be inviting to settlers. 

Record has been found of but one crime during 
that early period of the Samish country. This 
occurred in the summer of 1872. The slaver was 
William Hanson and the victim Patrick Mahonev. 

*NoTE. — Mr. Cutler, his inoiu-cr associates on the 
Samish say, was the San Jnan settler who precipitated the 
noted struggle between Great Britain and the United 
States for the possession nf that ricli archipelago. Cutler, 
it is claimed, killed the pig ever which the initial litigation 
immediately sprang up, then fled by boat to the mainland, 
finally making his way down into the almost primeval 
Samish region to escape the officers, lie died early in the 
seventies upon his claim there, leaving no heirs so far as 
known. Among his possessions sold at the time to pay 
a few debts he left was the identical double-barreled shot- 
gun, of fancy English niaimfacture. which Cutler used to 
shoot the pig. 1 his weapon came into the hands of David 
P. Thomas, one of Cutler's neighbors, who still resides near 
Kdison. and is prized by him very highly as an object of 
historical interest. 



Hanson had been in Olympia to act as a witness for 
Daniel Sullivan in laiul business. Upon his return 
he found reason to suspect his Indian wife of ques- 
tionable relations with Mahoney, and as a result 
promptly emptied his shotgun into the latter. The 
wound proving fatal, Hanson was tried, convicted 
of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in the 

This year may be regarded as closing the first 
era of settlement in the various centers of progress 

in that portion of Whatcom county which subse- 
([uentlv became Skagit county. As is unavoidable 
in all such cases where the earliest settlers have in 
many cases passed away and where written records 
have been destroyed and lost, statements are some- 
what conflicting as to names and dates. We have, 
however, endeavored as far as possible to harmonize 
these conflicts and to present such a continuous nar- 
rative as will be essentially correct both in details of 
fact and in its reflection of the spirit of the period. 



In the year 1874 the effects of the financial 
crisis of the preceding year in the East were felt 
in an especial degree by reason of the fact that as 
a result of it the Northern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany was compelled to suspend building operations 
and with this suspension immigration ceased in 
great measure ; therefore the large speculating and 
investing class which had been coming to the Puget 
sound region in previous \ears and had been dis- 
tributing money freely by purchases of many kinds 
were for a period after the financial panic conspic- 
uous for their absence. The Bellingham Bay Mail 
of August 29. 1874. notes the fact that not only is 
the local market on Puget sound greatly depressed 
by those conditions but that even their ordinary 
normal market in San Francisco is weakened by the 
competition of San Francisco firms and companies 
who owned most of the vessels used in the carrving 
trade between the sound and California. The ^lail 
expresses the conviction that that unfortunate con- 
dition of affairs will continue until the building 
operations of the Northern Pacific are revived, 
and this revival it deems dependent upon some fav- 
orable action by congress on behalf of the railroad ; 
it therefore urges united action by the people of 
the territory in favor both of the railroad directly 
and of government aid for it. 

The first of the series of eft'orts on the part of 
the people of the Skagit to secure the removal of 
drift and jams from the Skagit river seems to have 
been instituted in the year 1874. .A formal jietition 
was presented to congress at that time asking for 
an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars 
for the purpose of improving the river. 

The Januarx- of 18:."i was notable for a degree 

of cold very unusual in the Puget sound country. 
The cold spell lasting from the 9th of that month 
to February 4th. A weather record kept by 
E. A. Sisson gives three degrees above zero as the 
coldest of the period, but during the entire time the 
thermometer was below the freezing point and at 
one time there was a fall of several feet of snow. 
This is remembered as the severest spell of weather 
to last so long, in the history of Skagit county. 
It was followed by a late, cold spring, with an ac- 
cumulation of snow in the mountains so great that 
when it was increased by the autumnal snowfall 
the conditions were all provided for a flood in the 
river in case of sudden warm winds. The warm 
winds came on the 'ioXh of December, and the Ska- 
git river had the highest water known in its history, 
completely flooding the flats for the first time since 
their settlement. 

The Bellingham Bay Mail of April 10. 1875, 
]M-esents a bird's-e\e view of Whatcom county in- 
cluding, of course, a valuable picture of the general 
state of aft'airs in the Skagit region at that date. 
The writer notes the reclamation and cultivation of 
a considerable part of the tide flats on the north 
side of the Skagit river and mentions the fact that 
La Conner, then the base of supplies for the entire 
region, had three general merchandise stores be- 
sides warehouses and wharves. Special mention 
is made of the following men as active in the de- 
velopments of that period ; namely, Messrs. Conner. 
Dodge, Whitney, Calhoun, Sullivan, Smith, White, 
Stacy, Poison, Cornelius, Mc.\lpine, Sartwell. Mad- 
dow, Wallace, Ball and .Allen. 

The writer also visited Fidalgo island, noticing 
tlie .Swinomish Indian reservation in the southern 

SKAtilT CurXTY, is: 4-8:1 


part and the white settlements in the northern, 
classing the land held by the latter as the garden 
spot of Whatcom county. He made mention of 
the fine farms of Messrs. H. C. Barkhoiiscn, H. A. 
March, S. B. Best, William Munks, William Cran- 
dall, H. J. White, J. A. Compton, Robert Becker, 
Shadrach Wooten, H. Sibley and others. He also 
crossed to Guemes island and visited the places be- 
longing to Messrs. Edens and O'Bryant; likewise 
called at Cypress island on his round and viewed 
the well-improved farms of Mr. Kittles and Mr. 
Tilton. He found also, interesting improvements 
in progress in the Samish country, observing what 
he regarded as some of the finest timber in the 
territory, and noting approvingly the ranches re- 
cently reclaimed and in process of cultivation be- 
longing to Messrs. Muller, McTaggart, Stevens, 
Larry, Dean, Dingwall, Whitehill and Legg. He 
referred to the Bellingham Bay stone quarry at the 
foot of the Chuckanut range, and visited and de- 
scribed the coal, the stone and the timber lands 
extending northward to the limits of what is now 
Skagit county. 

The progress of development of the coal mines 
is indicated by the fact that on April 22, 187.5, the 
company shipped its first coal by the schooner Sa- 
bina. The cost of delivering that first shipment 
below the jam was about ten dollars per ton, which 
was so great as to leave no profits, but in a short 
time the construction of the new road so diminished 
the expense as to leave a goodly margin to the com- 
pany. After the completion they were able to 
transport from one hundred to two hundred tons 
per month to a shipping point. 

A valuable reminiscence by James H. Moores 
preserves a statement of the scale of prices in 1876, 
which ma\' be found interesting in comparison with 
present prices. Sugar, he says, was 8 pounds for 
$1 ; flour, $7 a barrel ; tea, .50 to 60 cents per pound ; 
nails, 7 cents a pound: butter, 75 cents a pound; 
hay, $14 per ton ; oats, ranging all the wav from 
Sl'7 to $30 per ton ; potatoes, $18 to $"20 per ton ; 
carrots, $15 per ton; salt, 1 cent per pound; beef, 
hardly obtainable at any price. \\'ages for ordi- 
nary labor ranged from $40 to $75 per month. 

Reference has been made in earlier pages to the 
initial attem])ts toward securing government aid 
for the great work of opening the Skagit river. 
The government agent estimated the probable ex- 
pense of the work at a hundred thousand dollars. 
< Ireat credit is due to certain citizens of the county 
for the initiation and final completion of this task. 
.\ company for the purpose was organized, consist- 
ing of James Cochrane. Donald McDonaUl. Marvin 
Minnick, Joe Wilson, John Quirk. Daniel Hines, 
Fritz Dihl)crn and Dennis Storrs, Wilson and Mc- 
Donald being the original promoters. To raise 
money for starting their undertaking Wilson and 
McDonald mortgaged two lots in Seattle belong- 
ing to Mr. Wilson. The others joined at various 

times in the enterprise. Their first theory was to 
reimburse themselves by the sale of the logs which 
would be loosened from the jam, but the logs 
proved to be so badly strained by the pressure that 
they did not yield much merchantable timber. 

Another proposed improvement allied to the 
removal of the big jam was the building of a levee 
along the north side of the Skagit river from the 
Sound waters to the head of the jam. This im- 
provement would be practicable if the jam were 
removed. It was estimated at that time that the 
total cost of the proposed levee would not exceed 
ten thousand dollars, but this proved to be a gross 
underestimate, as the work is not yet completed 
and the ten thousand dollars has proved but a dro]) 
in the bucket. 

The great jam consisted of two divisions, the 
lower beginning at the old Kimble homestead be- 
low Moimt \ ernon and extending up the river to 
a point about opposite the present Kimble resi- 
dence, a distance of perhaps half a mile. The 
upper part of the jam was considerably larger, be- 
ginning about half a mile above the upper end of 
the lower jam and extending over a mile. The 
lower one was believed to be at least a century old 
and was probalily much older, while the upper one 
was to all appearance of comparatively recent for- 
mation. It was increasing in size very rapidly. 
Dennis Storrs, to whom we are indebted for much 
valuable information respecting this matter, states 
that within three years after his arrival a quarter 
of a mile of debris had accumulated at its upper 
end. Beneath and between the tangled mass of 
debris the river was obliged to force its passage 
and in places beneath the lower jam there were 
twenty-four feet of water at the lowest stage. The 
material of the jam was mainly green timber, but 
in many places sediment had accumulated to such 
an extent as to i)ermit the growth upon it of a 
perfect jungle of brush and even of large trees. 
At many points, often concealed from the view of 
the explorer by brush, there were open shoots into 
the sullen, treacherous depths below. David E. 
Kimble relates that on one occasion w liile lie was at 
work on the jam with others, one of the party 
suddenly disappeared into one of those holes. The 
other men rushed as rajjidly as jjossible to a larger 
expanse of water st)mc distance below, but Mr. 
Kimble, remembering a small opening between the 
trees nearer b\-, hastened to it. Just as he reached 
it he saw an agitation of the debris at the place and 
thrusting his arm into the water he grasped the 
struggling man and succeeded in rescuing him from 

Not only was the big jam a great impediment to 
navigation, but it was also a continual menace to 
the fields and stock and buildings of the settlers on 
the lowlands on cither side of the river. On account 
also of the great difficulty of making roads through 
the forest this impediment to river comnnmication 



almost prevontcd settlement at points on the river 
above; furtlu-rniore, the removal of the jam was 
the sine cjua iion of" the lumber industry above it. 
The scanty resources of the carl}- settlers seemed to 
forbid their carrying the task to completion, but 
they made most energetic, even heroic and finally 
successful efforts to meet the emergency. The ter- 
ritorial legislature had sent memorials to congress 
urging an appropriation for the opening of the river 
and Orange Jacobs, the congressional delegate in 
1875, secured the sending of General Mickler to 
investigate conditions, but nothing resulted from 
his visit, and it became apparent that the settlers 
must, after all, depend mainly upon themselves for 
accomplishing the heavy task. The people of 
IMount \'ernon generously supported the efforts of 
the company, whose initiatory work has already 
been described, and in the summer of 1876 sub- 
scriptions were started for its assistance. The 
Northern Star of December 16th notes the fact 
that the men had at that time been working nearly 
a year, had removed nearly a half mile of the jam 
and had reduced the portage distance one and one 
half miles. The paper describes the magnitude of 
the task by stating that the men were compelled 
to cut through from five to eight tiers of logs, which 
generally ranged from three to eight feet in diam- 
eter, representing a total cutting out of a space 
thirty feet deep. The following paragraph from 
the Star, well expresses the nature of the work in 
progress: "To say that the jam loggers are doing 
their work thoroughly and well conveys no ade- 
quate idea of the magnitude and thoroughness of 
the work done. What they have received from sale 
of logs taken from the jam and contributions from 
citizens will only partially pay actual expenses, yet 
these men should have more than this as a 
suitable recognition of their great work. We think 
the general government, even if it declines to grant 
them a money recompense for their services, could 
well afford to grant each of them a whole section 
of timber land to be located above the jam on its 
removal and upon proof of the fact at the general 
land office." 

In the progress of the work the jam loggers 
met with many narrow escapes from death by 
crushing or drowning and were subjected to con- 
stant losses of tools. Sometimes Nature assisted 
and sometimes hindered their work. Floods some- 
times wedged the loosened logs still tighter and 
undid the work of many days, while on the other 
hand a flood in 1877 suddenly dislodged a section 
of the jam which they estimated at not less than 
five acres and carried it out to sea. Sometimes 
trees four feet in diameter were snapped off like 
so many pipe stems. 

Six months were required of these faithful and 
enterprising loggers to cut a two hundred and fifty 
foot channel through the lower jam and over two 
vears more were consumed in cutting a channel a 

hundred and twenty feet wide through the upper 
jam. On account of the narrowness of this it was 
two or three times closed u]) again by the moving 
drifts, but with the aid of the loggers above, a 
passage way was maintained and gradually widened. 
l>y the summer of 187 9 the drift was sufficiently 
open to allow of any ordinary navigation, although 
not for ten years was the vast accumulation of 
debris essentially removed from the river. 

It should be remembered as an added reason 
for paying an unstinted tribute to the men who 
performed this great task that at that early day 
they were destitute of the modern agents which 
would now be employed for such a task, such as 
dynamite, swinging frames, crushers, etc. Brain 
and brawn, patience and judgment, with scanty 
resources of mone\- and little financial gain then 
or since, were the distinguishing features of this, 
the greatest undertaking of the kind in the history 
of the county. It is rather a melancholy reflection 
that the stalwart partners who had undertaken and 
successfully executed their work found themselves 
at the expiration of their three years of anxious and 
harassing toil for the public benefit rather than for 
their own, each a thousand dollars in debt. About 
the only return which they received was between 
eight and nine hundred thousand feet of timber, 
which was salable at from four to five dollars a 
tliousand and subscriptions of eight hundred 
dollars from Seattle merchants and another of 
several hundred dollars from settlers in the flats. 
The vastly greater proportion of logs dislodged 
were worthless for commercial purposes. Although 
great interest was taken by the general public in 
the work, and profuse expressions of praise and 
gratitude were lavished upon the heroes of the 
big jam. the actual contributions received amounted 
to comparatively little. Congress has been petitioned 
from time to time to make some recompense, but 
without avail and not even has opportunity 
been given those men to acquire public lands on 
any special terms. The old saying that republics 
are ungrateful is unfortunately illustrated in this, 
as in some more noted cases. Of the seven men 
who at one time or another expended their time 
and strength in the great task of removing the 
Skagit jam, three are still living, Joseph S. Wilson, 
Dennis Storrs and James Cochrane. Fritz Dibbern, 
Daniel Hines, Marvin Minnick, John Ouirk and 
Donald McDonald have passed away. 

The year 18i6, which was a great crop \ear in 
general throughout the Pacific Northwest, witnessed 
the heaviest shipments of grain from the Skagit 
country known up to that time. The Caches 
lirothers, merchants at La Conner, at one time 
shipped fifteen hundred and fifteen sacks of oats 
on the steamer Panama to San Francisco and by the 
steamer Dakota three thousand eight hundred and 
forty, and they continued to make similar shipments 











even- two weeks throughout the fall ; also shipped 
about fifty bales of hops raised on the Skagit river. 

The steamer Libby was, during the same season, 
making a weekly trip from La Conner to Seattle 
transporting grain, while several schooners were 
constantly engaged in carrying away the bountiful 
products of the season. 

At that date there were in the near vicinity of 
La Conner the following farms well diked and cul- 
tivated, with the following owners and the amounts 
belonging to each : ^lichael Sullivan, 100 acres ; 
J. S. Conner, 400 ; E. T. Dodge, 300 ; Samuel Cal- 
houn, 370; Dr. G. V. Calhoun, 160; Walker & Gill, 
IGO; Leando Pierson, 160; James Harrison, 150; 
James Caches, 130 ; John Cornelius, lOU ; Thomas 
Lindsey, 100 ; Culver estate, 100 ; Aden place, 100 ; 
Whitney, Sisson & Company, 130 ; John Ball, 40. 
About two thousand acres additional within less 
than four miles of La Conner were in process of 
preparation for diking during the next year. It 
was found at that time that the average cost of 
building a substantial dike four feet high, with a 
base of eight feet in breadth and two and a half 
feet wide at the top, was two dollars per rod and 
until the dikes w^ere solidly settled some additional 
cost, perhaps twenty-five cents a rod, would be 
necessary for repairs each year. It had been dis- 
covered even prior to 18T6 that those dike lands 
would >'ield astonishing crops of oats, barley and 
vegetables, although at the present time the yield 
is much larger than at first. In 187 6 the average 
for oats and barley was sixty bushels per acre, 
while the same lands at the present time often pro- 
duce upwards of a hundred bushels on the average. 
In 1876 Calhoun Brothers alone sold four hundred 
tons of oats and barley, besides retaining a con- 
siderable quantity for seed and home consumption 
and losing about forty tons through the wreck of a 
vessel, all of this being the product of three hun- 
dred and twenty acres. E. T. Dodge raised two 
hundred tons of hay and a hundred and fifty tons 
of barley and oats on his place during the same 
year, at the same time making large quantities 
of butter, two hundred and twenty-eight pounds per 
cow a year, which sold at forty cents per pound. 

So remarkable was the yield of those Swino- 
mish tide flats that the enterprising owners deemed 
it worth while to publish sworn statements of the 
yield upon certain places, some of which statements 
were published in the Star of December 16, 1876. 
Robert Kennady, foreman of Samuel Calhoun's 
ranch, made affidavit that one hundred and sixty 
acres of land yielded over fourteen thousand 
bushels of oats, and another field of twenty-three 
acres yielded over twenty-three hundred bushels. 
J. S. Conner made affidavit that sixty bushels of 
barley and from seventy to seventy-five bushels of 
oats per acre were the average yields and he esti- 
mated tliat there were upwards of a hundred and 
fifty thousand acres in the Skagit vallev and delta 

which could be made equally productive by the 
same cultivation. 

The correspondent of the Star of September 
30, 1876, gives a very picturesque account of a 
journey afoot from Skagit City to La Conner, and 
particularly of the region about Pleasant ridge. 
The farm of John Cornelius, bordering upon and 
including a portion of that ridge, afforded the 
traveling correspondent a view so picturesque and 
attractive and one giving such suggestions of 
wealth and productiveness that he waxes enthu- 
siastic in his encomiums upon it. Immediately 
about Pleasant ridge there wx're at that time the 
following producing places: C. J. Chilberg, 160 
acres; Nelson Chilberg, 80; Robert Kennady, 160; 
C. H. Chamberlain, 160; Isaac Chilberg, 160; 
Albert Learner, 160 ; Samuel Calhoun, 160 ; John 
Cornelius, 130. Extending towards the Sw-ino- 
niish and Sullivan sloughs were lands ready for 
cultivation of the following amounts : J. S. Conner, 
140 acres; Jerry Sullivan, 173; M. J. Sullivan, 40; 
George Aden, 60 ; the Culver estate, 60 ; Dodge & 
Lindsav, 300 ; D. B. Jackson, 300 ; Isaac Jennings, 
160; Edward Ballon, 160; Charles Muller, 160; 
Robert White, 80; J. F. Terrace, 80; James H. 
McDonald, 160. This made a total in the vicinity 
of Pleasant ridge and thence onward toward the 
sloughs of two thousand seven hundred and fifty- 
two acres. 

From the interesting and rapidl\- unfolding 
agricultural developments of that year we turn 
our attention to the mineral developments of the 
upper valley. The Star of December 16. 1876, gives 
an interesting account of the original discovery of 
the coal mines by Messrs. Everett, Stevens and 
( Sraham, already described, and goes on to prophesy 
that when a prosperous town is built up in that 
vicinity w'ith iron furnaces, machine shops, etc., a 
railroad may join the belts of land between the 
Skagit, Stillaguamish and Snohomish. At that 
time there had been three claims located in the coal 
regions, the Skagit, the Cascade and the New 
Cumberland. The coal had been thoroughly tested 
and was found to be of the finest quality, but ]iend- 
ing the removal of the big jam it was not profitable 
to work the veins. The Skagit mine was situated 
on the east face of the mountain directly above 
the Hatshadadish creek and within a mile of the 
landing. The coal vein dipped at an angle of sixty 
degrees. Three shafts had at that time been sunk, 
seventy, twenty-five and twenty feet deep, respect- 
ively, with an entrance a hundred and twenty feet 
above the bed of the creek. Seven strata of coal had 
been uncovered, each running from two to eight 
feet in thickness. The Cascade lay from one-fourth 
to one-half mile from the tunnels of the Skagit 
claim and the entrance to it was three hundred and 
fiftv feet above tlie level of the river, luntr veins 
had there been uncovered, dipping at an angle of 
twelve degrees. Two tunnels had at that time been 



driven, one seventy and one scventj^-six feet in 
length. The principal vein here was six feet thick 
and of pure, solid coal. The New Cumberland 
claim, divided from the others by Lorette creek, 
was opened by a tunnel a hundred and fifty feet 
long, and the coal was found to be of a quality 
equal to the best for coking, forging and mechan- 
ical work. 

Turning from the encouraging coal develop- 
ments to those of the precious metals we find an 
interesting history of gold discovery. In 1877 a 
party, consisting of Otto Klement, Charles von 
Pressentin, John Duncan, John Rowley and Frank 
Scott, set forth from Mount Vernon in canoes 
manned by Indians to explore the upper Skagit. At 
the mouth of what the Indians called the Nahcul- 
lum river, which Klement renamed Baker river, 
the partv debarked and followed the Indian trail 
to the head of the Skagit, whence they crossed the 
main ridge of the Cascade mountains, thence de- 
scending the canyon of the Stchckin to Lake Chelan. 
After some time spent about Lake Chelan and the 
valley of the Methow they returned to the Skagit 
river. In the vicinity of the portage their boats 
upset and they lost all their provisions, but they 
found that "Cascade Charlie," an Indian with 
whom they had left a supply of provisions on the 
Baker river, had been faithful to his trust and after 
two davs of starvation they were abundantly sup- 
plied from these stores. Cascade Charlie then 
transported them in canoes to what is now known 
as Goodall's landing at the head of canoe navigation 
on the river, where they built a log hut and made 
a set of sluice boxes of lumber cut out b}' a whip- 
saw, with which to prospect for gold. They found 
no gold in that vicinity to amount to anything. At 
the mouth of Ruby creek, however, they discovered 
fine specimens of the precious metal, but in the 
meantime winter had descended upon the mountains 
and the ground was covered with snow, so the party 
returned to Mount Vernon. 

Febmary 1, 1878, the gold hunters resumed 
explorations, the party this time consisting of Otto 
Klement, John Duncan, John Rowley, George 
Sanger and Robert Sharp. They betook themselves 
to a point fifteen miles from Goodall's landing and 
there discovered a curious natural feature, the 
remains of a natural bridge, indicated bv the over- 
hanging rocks of the canyon. Building at that point 
a cabin, which became known as the Tunnel House, 
as a place of storage for their surplus provisions, 
they repaired to Ruby creek, with the exception of 
Klement, who returned to Mount Vernon. This 
expedition was not productive of any great discov- 
eries of gold, but indications were encouraging 
enough to lead them and others to return during 
the season of 1879 and in that year Albert Bacon 
and others put in a wing dam and washed out gold 
dust to the value of fifteen hundred dollars, from a 
claim to which they gave the name of Nip and 

Tuck. In the meantime Rowley, Duncan and Saw- 
yer had opened a claim on Canyon creek ten miles 
above Nip and Tuck from which they took a 
thousand dollars in gold dust. John Sutter and 
Willard Cobb also took a prominent part in the 
developments of that year. When the fortunate 
miners returned to Mount Vernon with their 
precious dust the excitement which inevitably fol- 
lows gold discoveries broke out and raged at fever 
heat in all the land of the Skagit. During the close 
of 1879 and the beginning of 1880, throngs which 
some have estimated as high as five thousand, dis- 
regarding the rains and the snows of winter, sought 
the new Eldorado in canoes, skiffs, scows and on 
foot. Much suffering and many accidents, as might 
be expected, ensued. David Ball and eleven others 
undertook to run the portage in a canoe and were 
upset into the rushing torrent. Six of the men, who 
could swim, essayed to reach the shore individually, 
but were all drowned, while the other six, who could 
not swim, clung to the canoe and were washed 
ashore and saved. The bodies of the lost were 
afterwards recovered far down the rapid river and 
were buried on the bluffs above Mount Vernon, 
Albert L. Graham, of Anacortes, who joined the 
rush to these mines, says that fully four thousand 
men visited the region, the majority of the claims 
being on Canyon and Ruby creeks, where also most 
of the work was done. Few of the argonauts real- 
ized their hopes in gold discoveries, and later in the 
season the army broke up, some of them proceeding 
over the Cascade mountains until they reached Fort 
Hope, B. C, where they renewed their mining 
operations, the remainder descending the Skagit 
to their former places. It is recorded by some who 
took part in that short-lived quest for gold that in 
the spring of 1880 the snow in that part of the Cas- 
cade mountains was from twelve to thirty feet deep 
and it is asserted that stumps can be found there at 
the present time of trees cut by men standing on 
the snow, which are from fifteen to thirty-five feet 
in height. It will be remembered that the floods 
of 1880 were the greatest in the history of the Col- 
umbia valley and other regions fed from the Cas- 
cade mountains, with the exception of the great 
flood of 1894. 

Although the Ruby creek mines did not realize 
fully the hopes of the prospectors there was in the 
aggregate a very considerable quantity of gold dust 
taken out. Clothier & English, for example, 
received twenty-five hundred dollars in gold dust 
in exchange for goods which they sold at their 
branch store at Goodall's landing. Several steam- 
boats succeeded in stemming' the strone current of 
the Skagit as far as the portage, thus demonstrat- 
ing the remarkable navigability of the Skagit river ; 
for Portage is more than a hundred miles from the 
mouth. An indirect result of the Ruby creek gold 
excitement was the demonstration of the great 



extent and vast resources in timber and in agri- 
culture of the noble Skagit valley. 

The years 1S7T and ISTS were somewhat 
clouded by the general hard times which prevailed 
over the entire country ; nevertheless there was 
steady progress in all manner of improvements. 
Among various miscellany of those years we gather 
from the newspapers valuable sketches of the prog- 
ress of enterprises here and there in all the 
standard lines of business. A correspondent of the 
Star gives a glowing picture of the inherent beauty 
as well as great improvements in the Bayview 
settlement. He finds a steam thresher at work on 
the ranch of Whitney & Sisson, who had at that 
time upwards of 300 acres under dike. In the same 
vicinitv W. H. Trimble had 50 acres: J. High- 
barger', 75 ; G. \V. L. Allen, (lo ; and Ball & Smith, 
100. The general yield in the vicinity of Bayview 
was eighty bushels to the acre of oats and barley, 
except, rather curiously, in case of fall oats, which 
crows had attacked in countless numbers, pulling 
up at least one-half of it, and seriously diminishing 
the yield. 

The peripatetic Star man has preserved an inter- 
esting picture of the appearance of the work in 
progress at that time upon the Skagit jam. He 
found two flourishing logging camps, one belonging 
to Mr. Hanscomb and anotlier to William Gage. 
Both these men had been enabled by the work done 
even at that time on tlie jam to get out timber of 
magnificent quality previously unavailable. The 
correspondent noticed one tree without crook or 
knot from which were cut four twenty-four foot 
cuts, scaling upwards of six thousand feet of clear 
lumber each. Both Mr. Hanscomb and Mr. Gage 
paid the highest tribute to the invaluable work of 
the jam loggers. The correspondent also visited 
the store just opened by Messrs. Clothier & English 
and the hotel just built by Mr. Shott, which 
together constituted the beginnings of the city of 
Mount Vernon. The correspondent also becomes 
acquainted with D. E. Kimble and G. E. Hartson, 
pioneer settlers of that district, and meets Mrs. 
Jones, Mrs. Gage and Mrs. Isaac Lanning and Ida, 
the daughter of the last named, who were among 
the first white women to reach the Skagit river 
valley above the delta, their entrance to the region 
being in or prior to ISTO. The correspondent notes 
the fact that although he had been all over that 
region but a few months previous, he found most 
remarkable changes accomplished. He says that 
hut six months before the region of the Xooka- 
champs was just beginning to be spoken of, but at 
the time of this second visit there were twenty or 
more claims taken on that stream. Seven years 
earlier, he says, there was scarcely a score of claims 
in the whole Skagit valley, but in 1877 there w-ere 
about seven hundred settlers in the valley, of whom 
probably nearly two hundred were white women. 

The earliest settler in the vicinity of Birdsview 

was Charles von Pressentin, who made his location 
at that point in May, 1877. At that time there were 
five settlers above him on the river and two between 
him and -Mount \'ernon, the latter place being his 
postoffice. The timber and brush were so dense 
upon his place that he was compelled to cut a path- 
way even to transport a sack of flour to his cabin. 
Ten million feet of timber were cut from Mr. von 
Pressentin's claim, one of the first to be logged on 
the upper river. In 1878 B. D. Minkler built a 
water-power mill on the south side of the river, 
and the first postofiice on the upper river was 
established at Birdsview in 1880, Mr. Minkler being 
the first postmaster. Indians in that vicinity always 
held that they were not treaty Indians, and they 
did not consent to the acquisition of land by the 
whites. A contest between these Indians and Mr. 
Minkler for the mill site was ultimately carried to 
Secretary of the Interior Hitchcock and recently 
decided by him in favor of the Indians. The name 
of Birdsview' was not derived, as might be supposed, 
from any ornithological connection, but from the 
fact that Mr. Minkler's first name, which was Bird- 
sey, was commonly abbreviated to Bird, and from 
this the town took its name. One of the pioneers 
of Birdsview still living there is August Kem- 
merich, who located his claim on February 14. 1878. 
He states that it was eighteen years before there 
was any continuous wagon road down the river. 

In pursuance of this sketch of the various early 
settlements of the Skagit country we mav note the 
begimiings of the .Sedro-W'oolle)- settlement as the 
work of Joseph Hart and David P.atey, both natives 
of England and the latter e.\-president of the 
Skagit Pioneer association, who established them- 
selves one mile southwest of the present town in 
August, 1878. Mr. Batey's wife, Georgiana Batey, 
and two sons, John Henry and Bruce, joined him in 
1880. James M. Young, John Duffy, Thomas 
Conmey and Tom Taggart became estalilished in 
the same year a few miles east of Mr. Ilatey's 
location, and in the fall of that year also William A. 
Dunlop and William Woods, former friends of 
Mr. Batey, took up claims adjoining him on the 
east. They found the woods at that time swarming 
with bears, cougars, coons and other wild animals. 

Other settlers of 1878-!) and isso in the upper 
Skagit valley were John Stewart, William Gohlson, 
John Kelly, Stephen Benson and sons Jerry and 
Dan, after whom Benson slough is named. Lyman 
Everett, James Cochrane of Skagit jam fame. Dr. 
Lyman, Emmett \''anFleet (whose family was for 
a time the nnly white family on the river between 
Sterling and Lvman), Frank R. Hamilton. Tohn 
M. Roach, S. S. Tingley. Michael and John 'Day 
and Joseph Zook. 

\\'hile the settlements out of which the towns 
of Sedro-Woolley, Hamilton, Sterling, Lyman and 
liirdsview grew were thus shaijing themselves, the 
customarv organized institutions of civilized so- 



ciety were in process of formation in the older por- 
tions of the Skagit conntrv. Prominent among 
these were the conrts. \\\- tind that the district 
court met at La Conner on June 4, 1878, at which 
time Hon. J. R. Lewis was the cliief justice, and 
judge of the third district of the territory. G. W. 
L. Allen was sheriff of Whatcom county and How- 
ard H. Lewis, clerk. In the absence of Prosecut- 
ing Attorney \V. H. White, G. M. Haller was 
appointed by the court to handle the state's cases, 
while Isaac N. Power, Robert Newman and J. T. 
Bowman were appointed bailiffs. A seal was 
adopted bearing as a motto a sheaf of wheat and the 
words, "District Court of Whatcom county, W. T." 
James F. D'Arcy and John L. Dale were admitted 
to practice law at the bar of the territory; Fred- 
erick Eyre and Edward McTaggart were admitted 
to citizenship. The principal case that came be- 
fore the court at that session, that of an Indian 
named Taws, charged with murder, resulted in a 
verdict of guilty of manslaughter and a sentence to 
five years in the county jail. George Connor was 
tried for "exhibiting a pistol in a rude, angry and 
threatening manner in a crowd of two persons," 
and upon conviction thereof was sentenced to six 
months in the county jail and a fine of ten dollars 
and costs. Whatcom county at that time was suf- 
fering from the inconvenience of possessing no 
county jail and was obliged therefore to board her 
prisoners in the Jefferson county jail. In connec- 
tion with court history it may be noted that from 
time to time discussion of the location of the court 
and with this the allied question of county division, 
was agitated. In the Bellingham Bay Mail of Feb- 
ruary 15, 18?9, we find mention of the question and 
the varying propositions made as to its settlement. 
Some proposed to abolish the United States court 
at Steilacoom and to confer jurisdiction on the 
court at La Conner for the counties of Whatcom, 
Snohomish and the proposed county of Allen, while 
others advocated the establishment of the court at 
Utsalady. If that measure could not be effected a 
dissatisfied element in Whatcom county insisted 
that the district court should be abolished or re- 
moved to Whatcom, which measure they admitted 
would probably result in a division of the county 
along the line of the Chuckanut hills. The estab- 
lishment of the county seat at Whatcom and the 
district court at La Conner seems to have been of 
the nature of a compromise between the chief 
centers of population. It was estimated that the 
entire taxable valuation of the county was about 
seven hundred thousand dollars, about one quarter 
of that being north of Whatcom. The Mail advo- 
cates great concessions to the people of the southern 
part of the county, for it prophesied that without 
such concessions county division would follow and 
quite likely Ferndale on the Nooksack river might 
succeed in capturing the countv seat of the north- 
ern county. 

An event of importance in the development of 
the region was the restoration at this time to the 
public domain of lands along the unbuilt portion of 
the Northern Pacific railroad. This was pro- 
claimed i)y a notice from the general land office 
iniblished in the Mail of August 2, 18:9. to the 
effect that on and after September 1, 1879, all of 
the odil-numbered sections in the counties of Sno- 
homish, Whatcom, Island, Jefferson, and part of 
King, not earned by the railroad company, should 
be restored to the public domain. The restored 
sections as well as the even-numbered sections not 
included in the railroad grant were rendered sub- 
ject to preemption at the rate of one dollar and 
twenty-five cents per acre, except in the case of 
timber, coal or mining lands already fixed at a 
higher rate. To those who had already purchased 
railroad lands at two dollars and fifty cents an acre, 
the government granted a rebate of one dollar and 
twenty-five cents an acre. It had been anticipated 
that this proclamation would produce a great rush 
for the acquisition of the lands indicated, but so 
much of them had already been secured in antici- 
pation of the withdrawal that there was no great 
rush. It w^as estimated that the shortening of the 
Northern Pacific route across the territory of 
\\'ashington reduced the amount of land earned 
within the forty-mile limit by about four million 

Among the interesting miscellaneous events 
chronicled by the press of that time was the voyage 
of the steamer Josephine to the upper waters of the 
Skagit. Captain Smith was the skipper of the gal- 
lant little steamer and the party consisted of the fol- 
lowing persons: Benjamin Stretch of Snohomish; 
C. P. Farar of Seattle ; C. Dodge of the firm of 
Ebey & Company of Seattle ; Thomas Prosch of 
the Seattle Intelligencer ; J. B. Ball and daughter 
of the Skagit river, and the following from various 
regions bound for the gold mines: Frank Cohn, 
William Tracy, John Ryan, William Durley, J. T. 
Armstrong and his two sons, James H. and T. N., 
J. D. Lewis, Philip Thomas, Alonzo Lowe, Philip 
Keach, William Druitt, Charles Sperry, John 
Carnes, Albert Bacon, Henry Ellis, J. D. Dowe, 
August Graham and Mr. Robinson. Various other 
people, on business or pleasure bent, joined the 
steamer as she proceeded up the river. 

There were at that time four trading points 
upon the river, Mann's Landing, three or four miles 
above the mouth; Skagit City, four miles farther: 
Mount Vernon, and Ball's Landing, now Sterling. 
At the last-named place the steamer stopped for the 
night. On the next day the steamer called at Wil- 
liamson's hop ranch, and an hour later at the coal 
mines near the present site of Hamilton, where a 
distressing accident occurred, casting a gloom over 
what was expected to be one of the most happy 
events of the season. James H. Armstrong, while 
sitting insecurely upon the upper deck of the 



steamer, fell in some manner into the swift and icy 
current and was drowned. Every eflfort was made 
to rescue him, but such was the swiftness of the cur- 
rent that the boats which were launched were up- 
set ; life preservers thrown to the drowning man 
failed to come within his grasp and the cook of the 
steamer who bravely leaped in and tried to save 
him could not reach him and was all but drowned 
himself. .Vttenipts at rescue and even the securing 
of the body proved to be unavailing and the steamer 
proceeded as far as Minkler's saw-mill near Birds- 
view. The water was then at its lowest stage, or 
the steamer might easily have gone a number of 
miles further up. 

In preserving this general picture of the evolu- 
tion of our count\' we should not neglect to notice 
its social life. Pioneers are proverbial for genial 
hospitality and openhandedness. It is safe to say 
that in the rude surroundings and meager resources 
of early times there is more of genuine, whole- 
souled, hearty social life than amid the artificial 
make-believes with which the people of more pol- 
ished and elegant conditions are obliged to surfeit 
themselves. As an illustration of the entertain- 
ments and reunions common in the pioneer settle- 
ments of Skagit county, we may draw upon material 
furnished by a correspondent of the Mail during 
the \ear 1879, who describes the meetings of a 
literary society held in a public hall near the resi- 
dence of R. E. Whitney of Padilla. Mr. Whitney 
was himself the president of this society and he 
seems to have been as efficient and helpful in the 
social as he is already known in these pages to have 
been in the business life in his section. The pro- 
gram of that society consisted of musical selections, 
select readings. presentati(jn of dialogues, reading 
of the "Country Chronicle," the organ of the so- 
ciet\-, whose editor was chang-ed at each meeting:, 
in order to distribute the responsibility, and which 
abounded in social gossip, flashes of wit and humor 
and choice scraps of original poetry. After these 
miscellaneous features had been disposed of came 
the grand chef-d'a'nzrc of the evening, which was 
tile debate. At Christmas, 1ST8, this society con- 
ducted a neighborhood festival, at which all the 
ordinary jo\s of the season were experienced. An 
introductory address by the president and Christ- 
mas carols by the singers were followed hv the ap- 
])earance of Santa Claus with a bountiful supply of 
the customarx- goodies for the children, which the 
adults did not scorn to receive, and after this two 
heavil> laden trees yielded uj) their coveted loads. 
-Mr. Whitney rendered a piece entitled "The 
Wolves." which was followed by a song. "Remem- 
ber the Poor." sung by Messrs. R. E. Whitney and 
11. E. Dewey and Misses Eva Baker and Letty 
l"l)Son. Upon the statement by the ])resident that 
there was one suffering family in the connnunitv a 
.generous contribution was immediately forthcom- 
ing for the sake of taking Christmas to their doors. 

After this came songs and declamations for a short 
time, and then the company all repaired to the 
wide-open Whitney mansion, where a bountiful re- 
past had been spread. After the enjoyment of this 
essential feature of the occasion by all, the even- 
ing's festivities were closed by the presentation of 
"Hamlet's Ghost" and the performances of the 
"Blackville Club,'' by most of those present. 

A melancholy event of the year 1879 was the 
accidental drowning of John Imbler at the Devil's 
Elbow of the Skagit, opposite B. N. L. Davis' 
place. Imbler had settled at that point the year 
previous and was an esteemed pioneer. He was 
on his way up river to James Cochrane's logging 
camp when his boat capsized. 

The business which next to lumbering has be- 
come the greatest industry of the Puget sound 
region is of late development. We refer to the 
fishing industry. The sound and the streams enter- 
ing it, particularly the Skagit, were known from the 
first to be swarming with the finest of salmon, yet 
there was in the early days no market accessible, 
but an abundant supply of fish could be secured for 
local needs by any one who had a boat of his own. 
The pioneer of the fishing business on the upper 
Skagit seems to have been James H. Moores. He 
was located on the west bank of the Skagit just 
above Mount Vernon and in 1879 he put in the first 
gill net on the river, at the head of the channel 
which opened into the upper jam. It proved a 
great success, he putting up fifteen barrels of his 
first catch, which he sold at ten dollars a barrel. 
The salmon caught there were of what is known 
as the Tyee variety, weighing as high as forty 
pounds. The business, however, was seriously in- 
terfered with by the Indians, who repeatedly robbed 
the nets and in the end got away with the nets 
themselves. Many others soon followed Mr. 
Moores in the fishing business, until now, as is well 
known, the largest salmon canneries in the world 
are located in the western portion of Skagit county. 

The year 1880 was marked by the heaviest snow- 
fall ever known in the Puget sound country. Dur- 
ing the month of January five feet of snow fell at 
Seattle, twent}-six inches on the Skagit delta, two 
feet and a half at Alount \'ernon and eight feet at 
Goodall's Landing on the upper Skagit. As a result 
of the enormous accumulation of snow in the moun- 
tains the river ran bank full throughout the summer, 
scarcely varying a foot in height during a period of 
six weeks. One result of the unusual and contin- 
uous height of the water was the encouragement of 
steamboat navigation, and the subject of steamboat 
navigation leads up to the fortunes of the Skagit 
mining district during the year and thereafter. 

We have sketched the progress of those mines 
to the year ISSO and have seen that the excitement 
had collai)sed and the thousands of gold seekers 
gathered there had scattered. Nevertheless there 
were a number of men with greater staying quali- 



tics who remained. On Canyon creek seven com- 
panies were in existence and engaged in the con- 
struction of a number of ditches and flumes. The 
gold found in that district was of remarkably fine 
quality and commanded the highest price for gold 
dust at the mints. Nuggets were frequently found 
running from five to thirty dollars in value. The 
Ruby creek mining district was formed in the 
spring of 1880, George Sanger being elected re- 
corder and a postoffice was established with Martin 
Coltenbaugh as the first carrier, or some say a man 
named Nelson. He charged twenty-five cents per 
letter for his services. In July the Slate creek 
mines, which have since become much more pro- 
ductive than those of Ruby creek, were discovered. 
Sanger, the first recorder mentioned in the forego- 
ing, was killed bv a rock slide in Alaska in recent 

In July. IS.Sd. the steamer Chehalis. Captain 
Thomas llrannin, made the trip up the river to The 
Dalles in two days and a half, attaining the highest 
point ever reached bv a steamboat, but a few days 
later, the Josephine, Captain Denney, reached nearly 
as high a point. These steamers were both of one 
hundred tons burden and their successful voyage 
demonstrated the possibilities of navigation on the 
Skagit. One result of the travel back and forth to 
the mines was the demand for numerous way 
stations and provision stores up and down the 
Skagit valley. Amasa Everett's place at the mouth 
of Baker river and David Batey's near the site of 
Sedro-Woolley. together with many other places 
carved out of the timber, met the demand by becom- 
ing supply stations, but the largest mercantile estab- 
lishment an}\vhere above Mount \'ernon at this 
period was that of Clothier & English at Goodall's 
Landing, succeeding Edward Goodall, who had had 
for a short time previously a store at the same place. 
Albert L. Graham says that Ruby City, laid out on 
twenty feet of snow, likewise had a small store for 
a short time during the excitement. The fare on 
the steamers from Mount Vernon to the portage 
was at first twelve dollars, subsequently dropping 
to eight, and it took about two days to make the 
trip. While there has been in later years a consid- 
erable amount of gold taken from the Ruby creek 
mines, they have never attained the first rank as 
wealth producers. 

In 1880 Frank R. Hamilton and wife settled at 
the mouth of Baker river, his neighbors being 
Theodore Sunter, a half brother of Mrs. Hamilton, 
Eli Frome, Amasa Everett, Orrin Kincaid and S. 
Anderson. Sunter's mother was the first white 
woman to settle in the neighborhood and Mrs. Ham- 
ilton the next. While bringing a bull up the river 
at this time, Hamilton and Frome blazed out a 
trail which in later years became the course of the 
river road. 

This ]icriod of settlement was marked in 1881 
by a fracas with the Indians in connection with the 

survey of the government land, the Indians on the 
upper river objecting to the survey and finally 
breaking the surveyor's instruments. Amasa 
Everett was overheard by some of the Indians to 
advise the surveyors to kill them if they persisted 
in their opposition and the result was an attack on 
Everett by two Indians. He, in self-defense, 
opened upon them with his revolver and seriously 
wounded both, escaping in the night down river 
with Willard Cobb in a canoe. Everett gave him- 
self up at once and was tried at Mount Vernon for 
the shooting, but acquitted. The general body of 
the Indians sustained Everett and later held a great 
pow-wow with him, at which they adjusted their 
diff^erences by his paying a small amount for the 
two Indians shot and the Indians paying him an 
equivalent amount for things stolen from his cabin. 
Colonel Pollock, a government agent, came soon 
after with an escort of forty soldiers under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Culver Simons from Port 
Townsend, and the local Indian agent to investigate 
the trouble. It has been stated that Colonel Pol- 
lock offended Mr. Everett and the Indian agent by 
much boastfulness and self-importance, and as a 
consequence they arranged with the Indians to test 
the courage of him and his party as they went down 
the river. The Indians accordingly located them- 
selves in an ambuscade, from which they fired 
upon the valiant colonel, taking pains to land no 
bullets dangerously near the boat, and the colonel 
and party made time down the river which beat all 
records before or since. As we shall see later on it 
was many years before the survey of the upper river 
was completed. 

The consequence of the ever-increasing busi- 
ness and population of the upper Skagit was a 
memorial addressed to the postmaster-general of 
the United States for improved mail facilities, 
which memorial was indited as follows : 





To THE Honorable Postmaster-General of the United 
States : 

Your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of the 
Territory of Washington, respectfully represent : 

That the mail facilities afforded to the people of the 
northern portion of the county of Snohomish and the 
southern portion of the county of Whatcom, including 
the valleys of the rivers Stillaguaniish and Skagit, are 
inadequate to the growing demands ; that the aforesaid 
tract of country is rapidly settling up, and the commercial 
and social interests of the people demand increased and 
more regular mail service. That they are now supplied 
once a week from mail route No. 43,108. The mail is car- 
ried in small open boats and often delayed by stormy 

That steamers ran regularly twice each week over 
the route hereinafter proposed, and that the mail can and 
will he carried without much expense to the government. 

Therefore, your memorialists pray that a mail route be 

THE NEW y{:hK 

"^V-^ES sv:>C' NDAT10N4 

riiotoerapJis by L). A. Kinsey 




established with service thereon twice each week from 
Mukiheo on route No. 43,108; thence to Tiilalip, thence to 
Port Susan, to Stanwood. Utsalady, Skagit City, Mount 
Vernon, Sterling and Lyman, a distance of about sixty 

Wherefore, your niemoriahsts as in duty bound ever 

Passed tlic House of Representatives Nov. 22, 18^<l. 
George Comegys, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
Passed the Council Nov. 23, 1881. 

H. F. Stratton, 

President of the Council. 
.\pproved Nov. 29, 1881. 

The petition was duly granted and the new mail 
route established. 

The oat farmers of the Skagit were in the con- 
dition sometimes called being "in clover," in their 
crop sales of 18S0 ; for the price of that leading 
staple of the agricultural section was thirty dollars 
per ton. It is also worthy of record that self-bind- 
ers were introduced that year for the first time. 
Two of these were owned by John Ball and R, E. 
Whitney and two others by parties whose names 
seem to have escaped record. All were wire bind- 
ers. The prosperity of the farming class con- 
tinued right on for the two years following, and 
in 1882 the price of oats stood again at thirty dol- 
lars per ton, only two dollars and a half below the 
highest San Francisco mark. At the same time 
there was much competition in the carrying trade, 
especially between the O, R. & X, steamsliips and 
the company centered at Utsalady, the latter em- 
ploying sailing ships in which they undertook to 
transport freight for two dollars and a quarter per 
ton, a price below the cost to the steamships. As 
a result of this the farmers were making monev 
during those years beyond any previous experience. 
At this time their timothy hay was selling for 
twelve dollars a ton. 

But continuous prosperity, to adopt the old 
Greek superstition, is likely to incur the enmity of 
the gods and we accordingly find that during the 
very same year that prices of products were so 
high and freight charges so low many of the farm- 
ers suffered disastrous losses by the great flood of 
the summer of 1882, The preceding winter and 
spring had been in a measure an imitation of that 
of 18S0, and a similar summer of sudden heat pro- 
duced the inevitable catastrophe. E, A. Sisson, 
to whose diary we arc indebted for this and much 
other valuable matter, has preserved a record of 
his impression that the damage to the countrv was 
greater than in the flood of isso, although the lat- 
ter was a greater flood in general. In the vicinitv 
of Sullivan's slough the agricultural district was 
entirely under water and the crops totally de- 
stroyed. On the Swinoniish the fine farms of 
Messrs. Lindsey, .\rmstrong. Poison, Ball, Sodcr- 
berg and Calhoun were overflowed and crops de- 
stroyed, while on the Beaver marsh, five miles from 

La Conner, the water was higher than ever before 
known. Mr. Leamer's place was six feet under 
water and his crop, of course, entirely ruined. The 
dikes were broken down in several places, and the 
country extending from the delta northward to- 
ward I'adilla presented the appearance of a vast 
lake. It is estimated in the Northwest Enterprise 
of June lUh that about twenty-five hundred acres 
of land were inundated and that the loss sustained 
was not less than a hundred thousand dollars. The 
upper valley was not especially damaged by this 
flood, the river being at least two and one-half feet 
higher in 1ST9 and 1880. 

The farmers were not the only sufferers from 
the great flood, for the loggers sustained corre- 
sponding losses and the north and south forks of the 
Skagit river were both choked with drift. The jam 
u])on the south fork extended all the way from the 
sound to Fir, a distance of three miles, not only 
the main channel but what are known as the Fresh- 
water slough, the Deep slough and the Crooked 
slough being choked to such a degree as to bar 
navigation. Steamboat slough, however, was left 
open, and through that boats continued to pass. 
As a result of the creation of this great jam a public 
meeting was held to inaugurate measures for its 
removal at which Thomas P. Hastie presided. A 
committee of investigation reported that at least 
ten thousand dollars would be necessarv to perform 
this work. B. A. Chilberg, J, T. Wi'lbur, Joseph 
Wilson and Olof Poison were appointed a com- 
niittee to solicit subscriptions' for this purpose. 
About twenty-five hundred dollars was subscribed, 
but after using this sum dissensions arose in the 
application of the funds and the prosecution of the 
work, as a result of which the enterprise was finally 
abandoned, and the removal of the drift was left to 
the operations of Nature. Not until the year 1905 
did she complete her task of removing the drift, but 
it gradually disappeared here and there and new 
channels were formed around it, so that the river is 
now free to the ingress and e,gress of vessels of 
ordinary size. 

.■\ttention has heretofore been devoted to a pres- 
entation of the develo])ments in the mining and 
agricultural interests. We must now place beside 
those another of even greater magnitiulc in Skagit 
county, nainel}-, the lumbering interest, whicli had 
been steadily advancing during the years from ISTG 
onward, though the low price of logs (four dollars 
a thousand) during the latter part of the decade of 
the seventies was somewhat discouraging to the 
industry. With the opening of the year 1882, 
however, there w^as a very marked rise in the price. 
On March 21st there was not a single log left in the 
boom at I'tsalady and the price ofTered reached 
seven dollars j)er thousand. The increased activity 
in all lines of enterprise which characterized that 
year caused an increased demand for building ma- 
terial and the logging business was active through- 



out the year. The following enumeration of log- 
ging camps existing in 1882 is derived from the 
current records of the year: Joel Miller upon the 
eddy above the present location of the Great North- 
ern bridge ; Charles Jackson half a mile above Bur- 
lington ; Scott Jameson, Birdsview ; Day Brothers, 
at Lyman; J. B. Ball, at Sterling; Clothier & 
English, at Blarney lake on the Nookachamps ; 
Pippin & Jacobs, above Birdsview ; Samish Lumber 
Company, consisting of Richard Holyoke, John 
McPherson, Melburn Watkinson, William Tracy 
and Martin Thorpee at the Samish ; Patrick McCoy, 
Samish ; Clothier & English, Samish ; Spencer 
Young, Skagit delta ; Millett & JMcKay, Burlington. 
The last named was one of the most extensive log- 
ging companies in the Puget sound basin. This 
company acquired fourteen hundred acres of land, 
on which they logged until 1887, filling orders for 
the Tacoma Mill Company. They got out the first 
large order given in this county for cedar timber, 
consisting of six hundred thousand feet of logs at 
five dollars and a half per thousand. In August, 
1883, Millett & McKay built the pioneer logging 
railway in Skagit county at their Burlington camp. 
This company also introduced the vise of donkey 
engines in handling logs in Skagit county and in- 
augurated the towing system upon the Skagit river, 
the first steamer to tow rafts under their orders be- 
ing the Alki, Captain McCall, which began opera- 
tions in 1883. During the months of July, August 
and September, Inspector McTaggart scaled about 
fifteen million feet of logs, while there were still 
awaiting scaling at the close of September fifteen 
million more. It was estimated that the total out- 
put of logs for that year was fifty million, with a 
value of three hundred and twenty-five thousand 
dollars. The second logging railroad on the Skagit 
was introduced the succeeding fall by William 
Gage, a road a mile and a half in length. These 
roads were built of 3x-") inch maple rails, on which 
cars were used capable of carrying 8,000 feet of 
timber, often more. It was found that this system 

of handling logs constituted a great saving in ex- 
pense. It is stated that there were in active opera- 
tion during the year 1882 fifteen logging camps, 
this enumeration including those given as estab- 
lished during that year, and besides a number of 
those of preceding years. These camps employed 
from fifteen to eighteen men each and from ten to 
twenty-five )oke of o.xen. 

The lumbering business of Skagit county up to 
this time had consisted mainly of logging, the logs 
being taken to the large mills at Tacoma, Seattle 
and L'tsalady for sawing. Minkler's saw-mill at 
Birdsview was the first in what is now Skagit 
county. In 1882 a combined saw and grist-mill, 
run by water power from Campbell lake, was estab- 
lished by Frank Benn and Marcus Christianson at 
Deception Pass and found an immediate demand for 
the products of both grain and lumber. 

A very deplorable accident occurred at La 
Conner on November 23, 1882, by which one of the 
most prominent citizens of the Swinomish slough 
lost his life. On that day, J. S. Kelly was just 
boarding the steamer from his small boat, intend- 
ing to go to his home on the slough, when in some 
manner the small boat was turned about suddenly 
and thrown against the side of the steamer. Mr. 
Kelly was precipitated into the water and appar- 
ently without a struggle sank to rise no more. Late 
that evening the body was discovered and conveyed 
to La Conner, at which place the funeral was held 
three days later under the auspices of the Masons 
and the A. O. U. W. Mr. Kelly had come to the 
Swinomish country from Island county in 1876 and 
had become so respected and useful a member of 
his new home that his untimely death was a matter 
of deepest regret to all. 

With the close of the year 1882 was completed 
another stage in the evolution of the great Skagit 
country, at that time still a part of Whatcom 
county, but, as we shall see, destined soon to con- 
stitute a new county in itself. 



The multiplication of counties in one of our 
growing western states is by a process of fission, 
like the propagation of the polyps and other low or- 
ders of life. Upon the first establishment of Wash- 
ington territory there were but four counties, Clark, 
Thurston, King and Walla Walla. The vast areas 
occupied by each, becoming subject to the inflow 
of population, began to show lines here and there 
along the streams, sounds, bays and mountain 
chains, representing natural points of separation, 
and so almost immediately there began to be the 
pressure for division. With the beginning of the 
epoch of the eighties, the increasing population 
about the mouth of that superb stream of the Skagit, 
the largest and finest of the rivers of the sound 
basin, jjegan to feel that they were paying a dis- 
proportionate amount of money into the treasury 
and receiving benefit in inverse ratio. The rugged 
range of the Chuckanut formed a barrier betwixt 
thetwo parts of the county, and along the line rep- 
resented by that chain of hills the battle for county 
division raged. 

The first actual attempt at county division is 
mentioned in the Northwest Enterprise of Septem- 
ber 15, 18S3, where reference is made to the circu- 
lation of a petition at La Conner for a new county 
out of southern Whatcom. The petition called for 
a division line on the Chuckanut mountains, running 
west thence between Cottonwood and Guemes 
island, thus bringing Guemes, Cypress and Fidalgo 
islands into the new county. The petition also con- 
templated making La Conner the county seat. 

The circulation of this petition seems to have 
excited the wrath of the Whatcom Reveille, which 
paper makes the observation that if their friends in 
the southern part of the county were spoiling for 
a fight there was no good reason why the\- should 
not have it. The Whatcom paper announces that 
it will not object to a dividing line between town- 
ships 35 and 3G, but that to jjlace it a single mile 
north of that means a fight. The Reveille declares 
that the north half of the county is neither dead nor 
sleeping and that if the southern half invites a com- 
bat the north half will buckle on her armor and go 
in. The paper also invites a reader to stick a pin 
into the added proposition that the north half will 
go in to win. It seemed to think that the location 
of the district court at La Conner was a vulnerable 
point of attack in the case of difference and warned 
the representatives, both of whom resided in the 

southern half of the county, to heed those 

This somewhat vigorous onslaught by the 
Whatcom paper drew some caustic observations 
from the Puget Sound Mail and the Northwest 
Enterprise. The Mail observes that if the Reveille 
reflects the sentiments of the people of the northern 
half of the county this constitutes an additional 
argument for division, for sections apparently so 
antagonistic should dissolve partnership. The Mail 
rejects the "arrogant assumption that the sun 
rises and sets in and about the town of Whatcotn" 
and declares, moreover, that the division line which 
the Reveille would allow would give the northern 
county five tiers of townships and the southern 
only three ; also it would cut the Samish settlement 
in the center, cut Guemes island in the center and 
also cut through the Skagit river. Therefore the 
Mail insists that whenever county division does 
come it must be along the northern boimdary of 
township 36. 

The Northwest Enterprise seems to have been 
a sort of peacemaker in the controversy and to have 
counseled a slow and deliberate investigation. It 
suggests that ambitious towns may be seeking local 
benefit and ambitious individuals may be striving 
for ofiices, but that hasty establishment of a new 
county will entail burdens which could well be 
postponed for a few years. 

With the meeting of the new legislature in the 
fall of 1883, Councilman Power and Representative 
Kincaid, of the southern district of Whatcom coun- 
ty, were placed upon the standing committee on 
county matters, and this of course gave them a good 
opportunity for the introduction of such measures 
as ultimately resulted in coimty division. Early in 
the session Councilman Power introduced the ex- 
pected bill for the division of Whatcom county. 
It contemplated the division line on the Chuckanut 
range between townships 36 and 37, commencing 
ar the mid-channel of Rosario straits, and provided 
for a special election of officers on the second Tues- 
day of the following January. H. P. Downs, F. E. 
Giikey and H. A. March were named as the com- 
missioners to conduct the election and efl^ect the 
organization of the county. There was also to be 
a division of the public property of the old county 
and the new county according to the taxable valua- 
tion in each section. La Conner was to be the 
county seat until a majority vote of the people of 




the new county should otherwise determine. The 
court was to be continued at La Conner and What- 
com county was to be annexed to the proposed new 
county for judicial purposes. This bill and partic- 
ularly the last clause of it would seem to be the red 
rag to the bull, which the Whatcom Reveille had 
already warned the people of the southern part of 
the county from flaunting. 

The fight on the division bill seems to iiave 
waxed hot from the time of its introduction. The 
Puget Sound Mail of October 20, 1883, notes that 
the most active opponent of the bill was Council- 
man Hale of Thurston county, who, the paper 
declared, was interested in real estate at Whatcom 
and was hand in glove with the delegation from the 
"Lime Kiln" club then lobbying at Olympia. 

October 34th the council bill for the organiza- 
tion of the new county of Skagit was voted upon 
in the council and lost by a vote of eight to four, 
but on November 15th Representative Kincaid in- 
troduced an identical bill into the house. It passed 
that body November '24th by a vote of eleven to 
seven and November 28th the same bill was pre- 
sented to the council and passed by a vote of seven 
to five. This sudden winning of victory where 
defeat seemed assured is said to have been the re- 
sult of a brilliant coup on the part of the advocates 
of the measure. It appears that after the defeat 
of the bill in the council the Whatcom lobbyists had 
gone home, and thereupon the new bill was intro- 
duced and rushed through before they had time to 
find out what was in progress. 

The rather sudden and gratifying accomplish- 
ment of the hopes of the people of the southern 
part of Whatcom county led the Puget Sound Mail 
of December 1st to make some very facetious re- 
marks by way of "rubbing it into" its Whatcom 
contemporaries. The Mail delivers itself as 
follows : 

"Verily, as our Whatcom contemporary has 
truly remarked, 'he laughs best that laughs last.' 
Wherefore do we cachinnate most audibly. To 
make the above more clear it may be well to state 
that the bill for the division of Whatcom county 
has passed. Therefore the bill, having passed 
both houses, is now the law of the land ; and we 
now live, breathe and have our material being in 
the county of Skagit, which same is in the terri- 
tory of Washington. As we write this we are 
reminded of the fact that this is Thanksgiving day. 
Our friends. President Arthur and Governor 
Newell, 'builded better than they knew,' it strikes 
us, when thev named the day, albeit they may never 
have heard of Whatcom county. By the way, 
where is Whatcom, anyhow?" 

The bill which thus formally organized the 
county of Skagit was introduced by James N. 
Power in the council and Orrin Kincaid in the 
house and received the approval of William A. 

Newell, governor of the territory. The bill is as 
follows : 

To Create and Organize the County of Skagit. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislative assembly 
of the territory of Washington : That all that portion of 
the county of Whatcom, in llie territory of Washington, 
lying and situate south of the dividing line between 
townships 'AG and 37 (commencing at mid-channel of the 
Rosario straits and running eastward to the summit of 
the Cascade range of mountains), to the dividing line 
between said county of Whatcom and the counties of 
Island and Snohomish be, and the same is hereby organ- 
ized into a separate county, to be known and designated 
as the county of Skagit : Provided, That so much of 
Lummi and Eljza islands as lie south of the dividing line 
between said townships 36 and 87 shall belong to What- 
com county. 

Sec. 2. That H. P. Downs, F. E. Gilkey and H. A. 
March are hereby appointed a board of commissioners to 
call a special election for county officers for said Skagit 
county, and to appoint the necessary judges and inspectors 
thereof. Said election shall be held on the second Tuesday 
in January, A. D. 1884, and notice thereof shall be published 
in one or more newspapers within the present limits of 
Whatcom county, for at least four consecutive weeks. Said 
election shall be conducted and returns thereof made as is 
now provided by law : Provided, That the returns shall 
be made to the commissioners aforesaid, who shall canvass 
the returns and declare the result, and issue certificates of 
election to the persons so elected to the several county 
offices of said Skagit county within ten days after the 
date of said election. 

Sec. 3. That the justices of the peace and consta- 
bles, school and road district officers, who are now elected 
as such in the precincts of Whatcom county hereby set 
apart as Skagit county, be, and the same are hereby 
declared justices of the peace and constables, school and 
road district officers of Skagit county. 

Sec. 4, That the district court, now established and 
holding terms at La Conner for the territory embraced 
within the present limits of Whatcom county, shall con- 
tinue at La Conner as the district court for Skagit county; 
and the county of Whatcom is hereby annexed to said 
Skagit county for judicial and legislative purposes and all 
laws at present applicable to the county of Whatcom, rela- 
tive to the powers and jurisdiction or otherwise of said 
district court, shall continue in full force and effect the 
same as if said county had not been divided and the title 
of said county changed as herein provided. 

Sec. •">. That the county seat of said Skagit county is 
hereby temporarily located at La Conner, at wdiich place it 
shall remain until located permanently elsewdiere in said 
county, by vote of the qualified electors thereof; for which 
purpose a vote shall be taken at the ne.xt general election 
in 1884. and the officers of election shall receive said vote 
and canvass the same and announce the result in like 
inanner as the result of the vote for county officers, and 
the place receiving the highest number of votes cast shall 
be declared the permanent county seat of the said county 
of Skagit : Provided, That until such permanent location 
of the county seat, the board of county commissioners shall 
erect no pul.ilic buildings, but shall rent or lease such 
rooms for county offices as may be necessary for the public 

Sec. (5. That all taxes levied and assessed by the 
board of county commissioners of the county of What- 
com for the year 1883. upon persons or property within 
the boundaries of the county of Skagit, shall be collected 
and paid into the treasury of said Whatcom county for the 
joint use of the county of Whatcom and Skagit as herein- 
after provided. 





Sec. 7. That the county auditors of Whatcom and 
Skagit counties are hereby constituted a board of appraisers 
and adjusters of the real and other property of the county 
of Whatcom, and for this purpose shall meet at Whatcom 
on the first Monday of February, 1884. They shall ap- 
praise the value of the court-house, safes and real estate 
of the county, and ascertain the balance in the county 
treasury, over and above the outstandmg warrants upon 
said treasury at that date, and shall award to the county 
ot Whatcom one-half and to the county of Skagit one-half 
of such property and funds so appraised and ascertained : 
Provided, That if both auditors can not agree upon the 
appraised valuation of such property they shall elect a 
citizen from an ajoining county as arbitrator to adjust 
tlic difference between them. Then the auditor of Whatcom 
county shall draw a warrant on the treasury of said county 
in favor of the said county of Skagit for the amount so 
agreed upon as its proportion of the property : Provided 
further, That all taxes remaining unpaid upon property 
within the boundaries of Skagit county, at the date of 
settlement herein provided for, shall be turned over to the 
auditor of Skagit county to be collected by the proper 
officer of said county as now provided by law. 

Sec. 8. The several county officers, to be elected at 
the special election provided for in this act, shall qualify 
by taking the oath of office within ten days after the date 
of their certificate of election so issued and shall give 
bond for the faithful performance of their duties, subject 
to the approval of the board of county commissioners of 
said Skagit count}', as is now provided by law, and shall 
hold office until their successors are elected and qualified 
at the next general election. 

Sec. 9. The board of county commissioners to be 
elected under the provisions of this act shall hold their 
first quarterly meeting on the first Monday in February, 
A. D. 1884, any two of whom shall constitute a quorum 
for the transaction of business. The said board shall have 
power to fill all vacancies occurring in said board, or in 
any county office of said county of Skagit, by reason of 
failure to qualify or otherwise, in the manner provided by 
the general laws of the territory : Provided. That the 
board of county commissioners and other officers of What- 
com county shall continue to exercise and perform their 
respective duties, for both Whatcom and Skagit county, 
the same as if not divided, until their successors for 
Skagit county shall have been elected and qualified as 
herein provided : Provided further. That the board of 
county commissioners of Whatcom county shall have 
power to fill all vacancies by reason of the resignation or 
withdrawal of any officer of said county residing within 
the precincts or boundary- of Skagit county hereby set 

Sec. 10. The auditor of Skagit county shall have 
access to the records of Whatcom county for the purpose 
of transcribing and indexing such portions of the records 
nf property as belong to Skagit county without cost, and 
his certificate of the correctness thereof shall have the 
same force and effect as if made by the auditor of What- 
com county. 

Sec. li. The counties of Whatcom and Skagit shall 
continue in their relation to the counties of Snohomish, 
Island and San Juan in the matter of legislative districts 
luitil otherwise provided by law. 

Sec. 12. All acts and parts of acts in conflict with 
the provisions of this act are hereby repealed. 

Sec. 13. This act will take effect and be in force from 
and after its passage and approval. 
Approved November 2.=!. 1883. 

One of the most serious disasters of the year 
1883 cotild have been prevented by the exercise of 
greater care on the part of the boiler inspectors of 
the steamer Josephine, which ran between Seattle 

and the Skagit river. January 16, 1883, just as 
the passengers were eating dinner the boiler ex- 
ploded, tearing the vessel in pieces, so that all but 
the cabin and part of the hull sank. Those who 
remained on the floating portion were rescued and 
taken ashore. There were nearly thirty people 
on board at the time of the accident, including the 
crew, over half of whom were killed or wounded, 
and many of the bodies were not recovered for 
several days. The killed included the following: 
Captain Robert Bailey, Purser John Turner, Stew- 
ard Amador Bolina, Assistant Steward David 
Sparks, Deck Hand Johnson, Fireman Kavenaugh, 
E. E. Cannon, a commercial traveler for Bates, 
Reid & Company, of San Francisco, Sam Babbit 
and A. G. Kelley, who lived a few days after the 
accident. Another disaster of a similar nature 
occurred about the same time, resulting in the loss 
of the steamer Gem. A jury was impaneled to 
inquire into the loss of these boats, and the decision 
was that the accident on the Josephine was due to 
carelessness of the boiler inspector, also to low 
water in the boiler, and that the destruction of the 
Gem was likewise dtie to carelessness. 

Another steamboat disaster occurred on the 
19th of April, when the Fannie Lake, Captain Hill, 
ran into a rock in Dead Man's riffle on the Skagit 
and knocked a hole in her bottom so large that she 
sank in a few minutes. It does not appear that 
any one was injured. The boat was subsequently 
raised, but with much difficulty and at great ex- 

While these misfortunes were occurring to the 
steamers named, other steamers were in process of 
construction and establishment upon the Skagit 
route. The W. K. Merwin, named from its builder, 
was lauitched at Seattle on March 22d. It is re- 
corded that during the christening exercises Cap- 
tain Olney, immediately after breaking the bottle of 
champagne over the bow of the steamboat, fell 
overboard. Another early river steamer was the 
James McNaught, Captain Fred Dwyer. After 
July 1st there was a regular mail route on the 
Skagit river which included Mukilteo, Tulalip, Ut- 
salady. Fir, Skagit City and Mount Vernon. 

The impetuous torrents of the upper Skagit and 
especially its chronic habit of going on a flood at 
frequent intervals had caused enormous accumula- 
tions of drift and snags around the delta at its 
mouth, forming quite an impediment to naviga- 
tion. For the purpose of remedying the difficulty 
an appropriation of twenty thousand dollars was 
made bv the United States government for build- 
ing and operating a snag boat, but it is stated that 
the moncv was all used up in constructing the 
boats and that nothing was left for operating them. 

While improvements in the line of steamboat 
navigation were in progress there began to be 
efforts looking toward proper means of commtmi- 
cation up the Skagit river. There was at that time 



a good trail along the north side of the Skagit as 
far as Baker river, and from that point there was 
a passable trail to the Sauk river, where it parted, 
one branch crossing the mountains to the Wenat- 
chee and the other to the Skagit river gold mines. 
These trails, though difficult to travel, were in con- 
stant use. The places with postot^ces or stores 
along the trail were Mount Vernon (on the south 
side of the river), liall's Camp, Lyman, Wilburton 
and Birdsview. The proposed wagon road was to 
unite those different places and at or near Miller's 
camp was to be joined by the La Conner wagon 
road. The densely timbered character of the region 
made it a difficult country for settlers to attain the 
comforts and conveniences of life. The North- 
west Enterprise of May 13, 1SS3, makes an ener- 
getic plea in behalf of the incoming homeseekers, 
pointing out the innumerable trials and vexations 
to which they were subjected, and urging the estab- 
lishment of a light draught steamer service, with 
headquarters at La Conner or Anacortes, to reach 
places where it was plain there were to be flourish- 
ing settlements in the near future. 

The summer of 1883 seems to have been remark- 
able for its extraordinary dryness. A pall of smoke 
from the raging forest fires hung over the land- 
scapes of Puget sound and the hay and oat crops 
were for almost the only time in the history of the 
county seriously shortened. Valuable timber was 
destroyed and several of the logging camps were 
put into serious danger and loss. As has usually 
been the case these fires were mamly due to the 
carelessness of hunters and campers. An army 
worm pest, the worms working by night, destroyed 
half the oat crop on the Samish in 1883, also in- 
juring numerous gardens on the flats. 

The pressure of the incoming immigration led 
to a demand for the surveying of the country about 
the river Sauk, but the surveyors were attacked and 
driven from the region by the Indians living there- 
abouts. Those Indians claimed that they had never 
been included in any treaty, had never ceded their 
lands to the United States and that they would not 
yield their possessions until satisfied by the proper 
indemnity from the government. 

The year 1883 witnessed also a great advance 
in the development of the Swinomish tide flats, 
lands which at the present time are one of the 
wonders of the world for their enormous produc- 
tion of oats. The Puget Sound Mail of October 
27, 1883, states that the land under cultivation 
aggregated about ten thousand acres and that the 
average yield of oats was about sixty thirty-six- 
pound bushels to the acre. The average price paid 
by the buyers in 1883 was twenty-seven dollars and 
fifty cents per ton. The oat harvest was extensive 
enough to demand a half dozen new steam thresh- 
ers in addition to the dozen already owned in the 

The months of November and December, 1883, 

were marked by freshets on the Skagit river, which 
caused nuich loss in logs, cattle and houses. The 
water stood all over the streets of Mount Vernon 
and in places in the valley reached a depth of seven 
feet. The flood being the greatest, however, on the 
south side of the river, which was least developed, 
the loss was not great in the aggregate. 

The drowning of Mr. Walker, a pioneer settler 
living near Sauk, at the time of this freshet, is 
worthy of record. Mr. Walker, his wife and three 
daughters were descending the river and when at a 
point a mile below Lyman the boat was upset. The 
father successively swam with his wife and two of 
the girls to safety and finally returned to the boat 
for the youngest daughter, whom he proceeded to 
take to a nearby snag. The tremendous effort ex- 
hausted him, however, so completely that upon 
reaching the snag the hero sank to a watery grave, 
sacrificing himself that his loved ones might live. 

From a report prepared by Eldridge Morse, of 
Snohomish, and issued in 1884 by the federal 
department of agriculture we learn that of about 
(i.i),000 acres of tide lands upon the east side of 
Puget sound 33.000 were in Skagit county, and of 
319 miles of dikes constructed prior to the year 
1885, 150 were in the same county. The total cost 
of these dikes was estimated at $242,000, of which 
$1?5,000 was expended in Skagit county. The 
clearing and diking of these lands was done largely 
by cooperation among the farmers themselves. One 
very important work, however, both for navigation 
and for the diking of the tide lands, was beyond the 
reach of private enterprise alone and government 
aid was demanded for its accomplishment, namely, 
the removing of snags and jams from the mouth of 
the Skagit river and the channel adjoining. The 
loggers took the initiative in starting the work. In 
response to calls published in the Mail and the News 
a meeting was called of all interested parties at 
Skagit City in June, 1884, at which Dr. G. V. Cal- 
houn was elected chairman, Harrison Clothier 
secretary, and A. Morrison, James Gilligan, 
M. Anderson, Michael McNamara and Frank Buck 
were appointed a conunittee to solicit subscriptions; 
Richard Holyoke, L. Wallen and W. C. Ewing to 
investigate the cost of removing the jam. It gives 
the reader something of a conception of the magni- 
tude of this undertaking to learn that the area of 
land which would be affected by the removal was 
estimated at eighty thousand acres, including the 
swamp and timber land east of the south fork of 
the Skagit, together with the delta of that river, the 
Swinomish flats, the Beaver and Olympia marshes, 
and the township lying on the Nookachamps creek. 
At an adjourned meeting held on July 12th, R. Hol- 
yoke, L. Wallen and John Swenson were appointed 
an executive committee to take general charge of 
the work, and D. E. Gage was appointed treasurer. 
The finance committee reported that over two thou- 
sand dollars had already been subscribed. The 



investigation committee recommended that the work 
should inckide the removal of all drifts from the 
main river, that a channel be freed from snags and 
opened into Deep slough and that a sheer boom be 
placed opposite the head of the slough in order to 
work all logs down the slough and into deep water. 

Although this work upon the jam seems to have 
been started with judginent and devotion, it was 
not carried out in full. Resources were scanty and 
dissensions finally arose which checked the work. 
The Skagit News of September 30th urged public 
subscriptions for its continuance, incidentally not- 
ing the fact that the use of dynamite for blowing 
out the logs had been found a most economical ex- 
pedient. The issue of October 14th states that a 
sudden flood had swept two million feet of logs out 
of the river and had then formed a new jam a half 
mile in extent at the head of the old one. It urged 
a combination of both farmers and loggers to 
undertake the essential task of coping with the 
difficulty. Mention is made in a later issue of the 
same paper of the work of the government 
snag boat in the removaj of snags from the river 
all the way from Lyman to its mouth, but the work 
was not completely and thoroughly accomplished. 

In spite of the obstacles presented by snags and 
jams there were three boats pl}'ing upon the Skagit 
river in 1884, the Quincy, the Glide and the Wash- 
ington, each of which made semi-weekly trips. 

The logging business was, as might be supposed, 
one of very great importance even at that early day. 
The lumber camps in operation in 1884 were those 
(if William Gage, Thibert & Company, Longfellow, 
three belonging to liall at Blarney lake, Nooka- 
champs and Sterling, respectively. Millet & McKav, 
Charles F. Jackson, Block & Jackman, Day 
Brothers, Clothier & English and Oliver Anderson. 
The great rush to secure farms and mines seems 
to have somewhat curtailed the lumbering business 
at that time and during the latter part of the year 
the lumber market, being somewhat glutted bv the 
enomious output from different portions of the 
sound, became quite low. As elsewhere noted, this 
low condition of the lumber trade lasted for some 
time and in a measure afifected the prices of all 
kinds of produce unfavorably. 

.\n Indian fracas in April, 1884, is perhaps 
worthy of a passing notice. A well-known Indian 
named Charley, with a friend known to the whites 
as Jim Roder, met a certain Indian named Johnnie 
of the Swinomish tribe, between whom and Indian 
Jim ill feeling had long existed. Charley endeavored 
to act as peacemaker between the two enemies and 
met with the fate which unfortunately often over- 
takes peacemakers, for the Indian Johnnie fired 
upon him and he fell apparently mortally wounded. 
Jim followed the would-be assassin as he endeavored 
to escape and attacking him with a knife killed him 
on the spot. Taking the still breathing Charley 
to his boat, he carried him to Guemes island, where 

as soon as the death of the Swinomish Indian had 
been discovered the members of his tribe broke 
forth, demanding either a ransom of two hundred 
dollars or the life of Jim. The whites upon the 
island interfered, telling Jim and his friends that 
they would arm themselves if necessary to resist 
any attack. The Swinomish Indians, returning to 
the Samish, left behind them the threat that they 
would make away with any man, Indian or white, 
who should venture to go to their country from 
Guemes island. The next day the Guemes Indians, 
armed and painted, even the women being armed 
with knives, went to Anacortes, taking the wounded 
Charley with them. His wounds were very serious, 
but did not prove fatal. He was considered a re- 
markably intelligent and reliable Indian and was a 
great favorite with the whites, who felt much indig- 
nation at the occurrence, though it does not appear 
that anything further was done to carry the matter 
to an issue. 

Now that the question of county division was 
settled in accordance with the wishes of the inhabi- 
tants of the Skagit, they addressed themselves to 
the execution of the provision of the act which had 
provided for the permanent establishment of a 
county seat, and the inevitable fight for countv-seat 
honors, the next topic in the histon,- of Skagit 
county, was instituted. 

H. P. Downs, who was chosen as the first audi- 
tor of the county, had his office in the lower floor 
of the school building at La Conner, which was 
still the temporary county seat. The office did not 
at that time own a safe and the auditor used a soap 
box, nailed on the wall of his eight by twelve room, 
for the preservation of the county records. Mr. 
Downs recalls the surprise which was felt by most 
of the people that Mount Vernon should have ven- 
tured to enter the fight for the county seat, for La 
Conner was then a place of some size, while Mount 
\'ernon was but a hamlet buried in the heavy timber 
along the shore of the river. Mr. Downs says that 
B. L. Martin, one of the La Conner workers, took 
a trip to Mount Vernon in the interest of La Conner. 
Coming back utterly disgusted, Mr. Martin declared 
that La Conner had no chance. "Why," said he, 
"all they have to do over there is to shake the bushes 
and the voters come stringing out of the woods in 
all directions !" 

The Anacortes influence was thrown against 
Mount Vernon. The Northwest Enterprise of 
September 27, 1884, sums up the situation by declar- 
ing that not above five hundred inhabitants could be 
found on the river above Mount Vernon, including 
farmers, loggers, trappers and Indians, while at 
least fifteen lumdred actual settlers lived on the 
delta of the Skagit and the island adjoining. The 
Enterprise declares, moreover, that the navigation 
of the Skagit is so obstructed by jams and snags 
that Mount Vernon is difficult to reach, and that the 
communities along the shore line of the sound will 



never consent to the establishment of a county seat 
at Mount X'ernon merely to benefit that town and 
the stra8;gling inhabitants of the upper Skagit at 
the expense of every one else. At about the same 
date the Skagit News gave very forcible reasons for 
the support of Mount Vernon, declaring in the 
first place that all the miners, together with the 
settlers from Ruby creek to the mouth of the river, 
preferred that town ; that Mount Vernon had the 
best site, being on the south slope of an upland be- 
yond the reach of floods, with room enough for 
Seattle with Tacoma at its back, and moreover that 
there was no place in the county which had so large 
a list of heavy tax-payers. It claimed that the river 
was the most important artery of travel in the county 
and that the general interests of all concerned 
would be best subserved by a county seat upon its 

Other candidates for the county seat entered the 
field as the campaign proceeded. Avon, Bayview 
and Atlanta presented reasons satisfactory to the 
inhabitants of each for their superiority over all 
other claimants, but the Skagit News continued its 
very vigorous and skillful fight for Mount Vernon. 
Its various issues for October contain summaries of 
the advantages possessed by that town and the in- 
significant benefits to accrue from any other loca'- 
tion. The campaign practically became Mduni Ver- 
non against the field, and the river people had the 
advantage of united action, whereas the coast 
people were divided in their allegiance ainong 
several rival places. The result was that at the 
election, which took place on the 4th day of Novem- 
ber, 1884, Mount Vernon received two hundred and 
and fifty majority. The two great features of the 
election seem to have been the great strength of the 
combined river interest and vote and the strong 
sympathy between the Samish country and the river 
country. Not only was Mount Vernon successful 
in the struggle for the county seat, but the three 
county commissioners chosen were all from river 

The county-seat question monopolized the at- 
tention of the people, but inasmuch as the general 
election held here was the first in Skagit county it 
is a matter of interest to record the fact that the 
vote on the various officers denoted a very indepen- 
dent class of voters, for there were both Democrats 
and Republicans elected by somewhat surprising 

.Among miscellaneous news items of interest 
during that time when the interests of the people 
of the county were so largely absorbed in the county 
seat election we find note of the fact that the iron 
ore, outcroppings of bituminous coal, and deposits 
of lime of fine quality at various points in Skagit 
county were attracting large attention from capital- 
ists. C. S. Torkelson of Tacoma was at that time 
interested with a number of English capitalists in 

investigating these lilines and in projecting railway 
connection between them and Ship harbor. 

The records of L)ccember. 1M.S4, show that the 
weather was of unprecedented coldness. Snow fell 
from six to eight inches in depth and the thermom- 
eter ranged from ten to twenty degrees above zero. 
People took advantage of the unusual occurrence 
to extemporize sleighs of every description, and the 
children and even some of the grown folks spent 
most of their time in coasting the streets and build- 
ing winter palaces. The unwonted spectacle ap- 
peared upon the Swinomish slough of a stranded 
hay schooner driven ashore by the north wind and 
high tide. There was much suffering and loss of 
cattle unprovided with food or shelter. The Skagit 
river was frozen and all sujjplies for Mount Vernon 
and the upper Skagit had to be carried in sleighs, a 
fact which gave intense satisfaction to the people of 
La Conner. The cold period was terminated on 
Januarj' 8th by the sudden bursting forth of the 
characteristic warm winds of the Puget sound 
country and the snow and ice vanished as suddenly 
as they had come. Floods followed the break up, 
but these lacked two feet of reaching the highest 
water mark and no great damage ensued. As the 
winter had been conspicuous for severity, the spring 
following was conspicuous for the prevalence of 
clear and beautiful weather, there being, according 
to contemporaneous reports, seventeen cloudless 
days, and no rain whatsoever at Anacortes. 

As the spring and summer of 1885 progressed, 
the enterprising people of Skagit county turned 
their attention again to clearing the logs and jams 
from the river and continuing the work of draining 
and clearing the marshes. The channel had become 
clear enough by May of that year to permit the pas- 
sage of steamers. Much of the money for this pur- 
pose had been raised by popular subscription, and 
to Thomas P. Hastie and Jacob Hayton a large 
share of the credit for securing this fund is attrib- 
uted, especially to the former who served without 
recompense. While the river was being made suit- 
able for the transportation of the products of the 
country, the farmers were busily engaged in prepar- 
ing land for the increase of those products. Work 
on the Olympia marsh was in progress and the Joe 
Larry slough was cleared out for about two miles. 
The cost of this work was not so great as might have 
been expected. The main ditches represented a cost 
of not to exceed a dollar an acre, while the expense 
of clearing and breaking the land and cutting the 
lateral ditches was estimated at not over ten dollars 
per acre. This marsh, with its sub-divisions, covered 
an area of about five miles by three miles and a half 
and, as has been proven since, was of the most pro- 
ductive nature. 

Some records derived from the auditor's office 
of the year 188.5 in respect to population and valua- 
tion of property are worthy of permanent preser- 
vation. The total population of Skagit county was 





given as 2,816, of which 2,618 were white, 170 half- 
breeds, 26 Chinamen, and 2 negroes. There were 
1.835 males and 1.081 females. The voting popula- 
tion was 1. ■"><>!). and in this number were 4-.'.S women, ] 
for it must be remembered that at that time woman 
suffrage prevailed under territorial laws. The 
number of married people was 82.5, while the worthy 
scribe facetiously records that the number that 
wanted to be marri^ was 1,991. Even then the 
Paget sound countn,' was beginning to show some- 
thing of the extraordinary rapidity of increase in 
population which has so characterized it in later 
vears. We tind tliat the per cent, of increase in 
population for the two years prior to 1885 in the 
fifteen counties then forming western Washington 
was -17.8, while the rate of increase in Whatcom and 
Skagit counties was 61.1 per cent. The valuation 
of property for the county was given in 1885 at 
$950,730, and the number of names on the roll was 
over one thousand. 

Probably tliere has never been a summer in the 
historv of Puget sound in which destructive forest 
fires have not raged, and the summer of 1885 was 
certainly no exception to the rule. Fires on Guemes 
and Fidalgo islands swept through some of the mag- 
nificent fir trees two or three hundred feet in height, 
destroying not only standing timber but wood, rails, 
fences and buildings. At the same time the Samish 
country was ravaged by destructive fires. Over a 
thousand acres of land in that vicinity were swept 
clean of all improvements, loggers were driven out 
and all their operations interrupted for that year. 
Clothier & English and McEIroy were the greatest 
sufferers. These fires continued their destructive 
work and the entire sound country was wrapped in 
a pall of smoke until September 26th, when drench- 
ing rains and southerly gales put out the fires, 
cleared the smoke, brought back the sun and stars, 
released the smoke-beleaguered ships and steamers 
and ministered consolation to all the inhabitants of 
the sound country. 

The reports which are gathered from the Skagit 
News of the harvest season of 1885 indicate that the 
crops of hay, fruit and oats for that year were fine 
in quality and large in amount. The oat yield was 
from eighty-five to a hundred bushels to the acre, 
in a few instances much exceeding even the latter 
figure, and there was also a very heavy crop of liops, 
lint the price of the latter commodity was so low 
that they scarcely paid for picking. 

We find in the Skagit News of October 6th a 
summary of the logging business for the year 1885, 
which gives a total output of 204.000 feet of logs 
per day, divifled anmng the following cam])s : Jack- 
son & Duncan. 10,(100 feet; Dav I'.ros.. 18.000; 
.McElrov & O'I'.rien, 8,000; L. B. Roe, 20,000; Ball 
& Harlow, 35,000; .\. H. Lindstedt, 10,000; C. F. 
Jackson, 25.000; Millett & McKav, 25,000; Long- 
fellow Brothers, 25,000 ; Clothier &• English. 18,000 ; 
sundry smaller camps, 10,000. 

Although Skagit county did not take any special 
part in the anti-Chinese demonstrations which 
marked the sound history in 1885, yet as both Skagit 
and Snohomish counties, together with all the re- 
gions contiguous to Seattle and Tacoma where the 
chief agitation occurred, were directly or indirectly 
affected, it is fitting that the records of this year 
should embrace a brief view of that event. '1 he 
following account is condensed from that of Elwood 
Evans, in his history of the Northwest. 

In 1885 there were 3,276 Chinese in the territory 
of Washington, the large majority being in the chief 
cities upon the sound. They were almost exclusively 
men and were employed as domestic servants and 
laborers in mines, railroads and public works of all 
kinds. A great prejudice arose against these 
Chinese laborers among white laborers, on account 
of the supposed clannishness of the Chinese race, 
their refusal to abandon their national peculiarities 
and their inability to adapt themselves to American 
ideas and methods. A clamor arose that this 
country should be settled by free American laborers 
and that these should not be brought into competi- 
tion with Chinese cheap labor. The Kni.ghts of 
Labor largely took the initiative in this movement 
and organized meetings, chiefly of working men, 
which passed denunciatory resolutions and advocat- 
ed forcible means, if necessary, to rid the country 
of Chinamen. Supporting this outcry were many 
politicians and prominent citizens who thought that 
they could please the organized working men by 
joining in the struggle against the Chinese. The 
congressional law prohibiting the coming of Chinese 
to this country was at that time in force and the 
agitators declared not only that no more Chinamen 
should come to the country but that even those here 
should go. 

The first actual outbreak against the Chinese oc- 
curred at Squak valley in King county on the night 
of September 5, 1885. There were thirty-seven 
Chinese hop-pickers employed by Wold Brothers 
on their ranch. A certain number of white men 
and Indians, some being armed, went to the ranch 
and threatened the Chinese with injury if they 
attempted to labor. Wold Brothers very naturally 
protested against this interference with their help 
and the party retired, declaring, however, that if 
tliey foimd the Chinamen there after a day or two 
they would drive them out. Two days later a party 
of thirty Chinamen on their way to the Wold ranch 
were intercepted and so intimidated that they turned 
back and left the valley. That same night a party 
of whites and Indians went onto the Chinese quar- 
ters on the Wold ranch and in response to what they 
claimed was a shot from the Chinese camp began 
firing upon the closely huddled tents of the China- 
men. Three Chinamen were killed in tliis foray and 
the others left the place. Those who participated 
in the riot and murder were subsequently indicted 
and tried, but acquitted. ( )n the niglu of the 11th 



of September a buildingf occupied by Chinamen 
working for the C)regon Improvement Company in 
the Coal creek mine was burned and about fifty 
Chinamen were driven from the place 

Throughout the months of August, September 
and October there had been a continuous series of 
largely attended public meetings at the opera-house 
in Tacoma and torchlight processions bearing ban- 
ners which displayed anti-Chinese opinions worked 
up a continual public excitement. On September 
25th an anti-Chinese congress met at Seattle, which 
declared that the Chinese must be expelled from 
the country. .\ mass meeting held at Tacoma on 
the 3d day of October took similar action and a 
committee of fifteen was appointed to e.xpel the 
Chinese from that city. Notices were served on the 
Chinese, warning them to leave within thirty days. 
The sheriff of Pierce county announced to the gov- 
ernor at that time that he would be able to preserve 
the peace and would be supported by the citizens in 
general, but in spite of these assurances the major- 
ity of the people of Tacoma were in sympathy with 
the anti-Chinese movement. Even the mayor had 
been an active propagandist of the crusade against 
the Chinamen. Few people in Tacoma, however, 
supposed that the threats made would actually be 
executed, but on the morning of November 3d, upon 
a signal given by the blowing of steam whistles in 
the car shops and foundry, several hundred men 
assembled and marched in line through the city. 
These men went to the Chinese quarters, packed 
up the goods of the Orientals and escorted them 
to Lake View on the Northern Pacific railroad, 
whence they were sent to Portland. Neither the 
sheriff nor his deputies nor the city officials made 
the slightest effort to prevent this proceeding. It 
is, however, worthy of remembrance that no one 
was injured, nor did the participants in the riot seem 
to have any other purpose than the peaceful and 
quiet removal of the members of the obno.xious race 
without injury to their persons or property. After 
that popular exclusion of Chinamen from Tacoma 
none lived in that city or even in Pierce county for 
many years. A number of citizens were indicted 
for conspiracy to intimidate, under what is known 
as the Ku-klux act, but although the matter was 
paraded in the courts for several terms, none of the 
cases was ever tried. On the -ith and 6th of No- 
vember a number of Chinese shanties, together with 
stores and residences from which they had been 
removed, were destroyed by fire. 

The historv of the proceedings in Seattle, where 
an anti-Chinese meeting was held November 7th. 
was very different from that at Tacoma. Those who 
favored the enforcement of law were warned by 
the experience of the latter city, and took steps to 
prevent, if possible, its repetition. Sheriff John H. 
McGraw, subsequently governor of the state, sum- 
moned his deputies to meet at the court-house under 
arms, and companies under Captains Green and 

Haines were made subject to his call. President 
Cleveland issued a proclamation declaring that an 
emergency had arisen which justified the employ- 
ment of military force to suppress domestic violence 
and enforce the execution of the laws of the United 
States, and accordingly ten companies of troops 
were despatched from Vancouver to Seattle. By 
order of General John Gibbon, commander of the 
department, several of these companies were sub- 
sequently ordered to Tacoma, where they took into 
custody, to be escorted to Vancouver, several citi- 
zens who had been arrested by the United States 
marshal for participation in the Tacoma riot. At 
the direction of General Gibbon, Sheriff McGraw 
organized his volunteer deputies into three military 
companies. Fifteen persons were indicted for con- 
spiracy to deprive the Chinese of equal protection 
of the laws but their trial, which was concluded 
January 16, 1886, resulted in the acquittal of all 
parties. The 6th of February a mass meeting was 
held at which plans were formed which eventuated 
on the ne.xt day in the movement of a large number 
of men to the Chinese quarters and the issuance of 
an order to them that they must leave Seattle. 
Their goods were packed and they were marched in 
little squads to the wharf of the steamship Queen 
of the Pacific to be transported to San Francisco. 
The leaders of the movement were attempting to 
raise money to procure tickets for paying the fare 
of the Chinamen, but during the afternoon a writ 
of habeas corpus was issued requiring Captain 
Alexander of the steamship to produce the China- 
men before the court. He responded that he could 
not in consequence of the mob in the streets, but 
the next morning the Chinamen were brought before 
the court where most of them e.xpressed their pref- 
erence to go to San Francisco, hence were re- 
turned to the ship, .\bout a hundred, however, pre- 
ferred to remain in Seattle and started to return to 
their former houses, whereupon the crowd attempt- 
ed to drive them toward the railroad station. 
Captain George Kinnear's company of deputies 
defended the Chinese and in the struggle with the 
mob which ensued one of the latter was killed and 
two were wounded. The crowd then ceased their 
efforts and the Chinese were taken back to their 
homes. As a result of this fracas both Governor 
Squire and President Cleveland issued proclama- 
tions declaring the city to be in a state of insurrec- 
tion and under martial law. General Gibbon ar- 
rested a number of persons who had participated in 
the Seattle riot, which therefore failed of its 

j\ similar attempt was made in Olympia, where 
five arrests were made. The trial of these at the 
June term of court resulted in the conviction of all 
and the sentence of each to pay a fine of five hun- 
dred dollars, with the costs of proceedings, and to be 
subjected to six months' imprisonment. Thus 
ended the acute stage of anti-Chinese agitation upon. 



Piiget sound, but for a number of years the general 
sentiment of the region was strongly opposed to 
any increase in the Chinese population, or even in 
the privileges of the members of that race. 

The year 1886 seems to have been comparatively 
unproductive of special events or changes in Skagit 
county, but there was a rapid ongoing in all the 
various industries. As has happened probably every 
year in the history of Puget sound, there were high 
tides and floods such as people are wont to think 
the most remarkable of all time but it would seem 
from the reports that on January 34th the really 
highest tide known up to that time since records 
have been kept swept the coast-line of the county. 
It overtopped the dikes by several inches, destroyed 
a great deal of property and greatly damaged the 
crop prospects for the ensuing year. The damage 
was especially felt in the vicinity of Padilla. Im- 
mediately following this remarkable tide occurred a 
spell of severe cold, during which the Skagit river 
was blockaded with ice and a large part of the 
country having been inundated by the high tide and 
ice having been formed upon this flooded area, the 
farmers, especially on the tide flats, were subjected 
to very serious inconvenience. 

.'Vmong the valuable undertakings of the early 
part of the year 1886 was that of the Skagit River 
Telephone Company, incorporated with a capital 
stock of five thousand dollars, for the purpose of 
building and operating a telephone line between the 
mouth of the Skagit river and the settlements on the 
junction of the Sauk river with the main stream. 
Unfortunately, however, it failed of realization. 
More successful was the establishment of the Pacific 
Postal Telegraph Company's line, built through 
Mount Vernon to Whatcom, and ultimately connect- 
ing Seattle with New Westminster. The first 
operator upon this line was Thomas Payne, and the 
first telegraph office at Mount Vernon was in Hart- 
son's printing office. 

The following outline of the mail contracts in 
Skagit county will give the reader a clearer concep- 
tion of the gradual establishment of centers of 
business and communication in the ever-growing 
regions which compose the county : Route 43,091, 
from Seattle via Tulalip, Fir, Stanwood, Utsalady, 
and Skagit City to Mount Vernon, a distance of 
seventy-five miles and back, three times weekly, 
awarded to George W. Gore for $2,500 ; route 
43.104, from Skagit City to La Conner, ten miles and 
back once a week, awarded to Henry A. Wright for 
$148; route 43,105, from Mount Vernon via Bay- 
view and Padilla to La Conner, twelve and a half 
miles and back twice a week, awarded to 
W. J. McKenna for $185; route 43,107, from 
Mount Vernon via Avon, Sterling, Lyman and 
Hamilton to Birdsview, forty-two miles and back, 
twice a week, granted to Adolph Behrens for $690 ; 
route 43,108, from Samish to Edison, seven miles 
and back, three times a week, granted to E. C. 

Brown for $135 ; route 43,109, from Edison to 
Prairie, fourteen miles and back, once a week, 
granted to J. M. Estes for $129 ; route 43,098, from 
Seattle via Coupeville, Phinney, Oak Harbor, De- 
ception, La Conner, Fidalgo, Anacortes, Guemes, 
Samish, Bellingham, and Sehome to Whatcom, a 
hundred and forty-three miles and back, three times 
a week, granted to the C). R. & N. Company for 

As indicating something of the accumulation of 
wealth in the county and also preserving the names 
of those who especially were concerned with the 
large property interests at that time a list of all who 
paid taxes on $5,000 or over is given a place here; 
Mrs. L. A. Conner, $60,563; Ball & Barlow. $36,- 
073 ; J. & G. Caches. $20,237 ; Puget Mill Companv, 
$17,600 ; Samish Companv, $16,427 ; B. N. L. Davis, 
$16,389; W. S. Jameson^ $16,206; Hansen & Jen- 
sen, $16,050; Clothier & English, $13,202; R. L. 
Kellev, $13,131; S. S. Bailev, $12,970; Washington 
Mill Company, $12,600; R^ E. Whitney, $11,350; 
Mortimer Cook, $11,038; Jackson & Walker, $10,- 
730; Blakelv Mill Companv, $9,750; Richard Hol- 
yoke, $8,486; B. L. Martin, $8,050; Russell A. 
Alger, $7,600; James A. Gilliland, $7,005; J. O. 
Rudene, $6,993; Daniel Sullivan, $6,784; R. H. 
Ball, $6,588; Mrs. M. H. Haller, $6,450; John Mil- 
ler, $6,185; G. V. Calhoun, $5,995; Olof Poison, 
•$5,671 ; William Gilmore, $5,393; E. G. .\mens, 
$5,340; Malcolm McDougall, $5,280; L. L. An- 
drews, $5,160; Michael Sullivan, $5,072. 

In summing up the industrial conditions for the 
year now under consideration mention may be made 
of the immense production of oats upon the three 
.great oat-producing districts, the Stilla,ouamish, 
the Swinoniish and the Samish. Their combined pro- 
duction amounted to two hundred and thirty-two 
thousand sacks of oats, over half of which was 
shipped to San Francisco. The price ranged from 
nineteen dollars to twenty-two dollars per ton. 

Skagit county partook with the other portions 
of the Pu.get sound countr_\- in the railroad plans 
and excitement which marked the closing portion 
of the decade of the eighties. The Skagit News of 
November 30, 1886, sets forth the fact that Skagit 
valley will surely have direct communication w'ith 
Seattle at some early period. Doubt was expressed 
as to the building of the Canfield road, of which so 
much was said at that time, the reason assigned 
being that the Canadian Pacific road would not 
allow any road to connect with it which it could not 
control. It was pointed out that the survey of the 
Canfield party crossed the Skagit near Sterling and 
followed up the valley of the Xookachamps, and the 
opinion was expressed in the pajier that the comple- 
tion of that road would make an important city out 
of .^terlin.g, as well as mark an e|)och in the history 
of the county in general. 

It seems to have become aiiparent with the prog- 
ress of the new vear of 1887 that the Canfield road 



would not be built, and tbis fact gave rise to some 
sparring between the Skagit News and its old 
enemy, the Whatcom Reveille, in which the former 
paper quoted the confession of the latter to the 
effect that the Canfield road would never be built. 
The Reveille pointed out the fact that all the Seattle 
influences would oppose such a building up of the 
Bellingham bay country as would follow the con- 
summation of Mr. Canfield's aims, and that there- 
fore it must be expected that Seattle will support 
the Seattle & West Coast Railway Company. It 
seems to be agreed by both papers commenting 
upon the subject that Canfield would sell his fran- 
chise to the Seattle & West Coast. A surveying 
party at work for the latter road, under direction of 
C. E. Perry, was operating in the Skagit valley in 
the summer of 1887, with headquarters at Big 
lake, near Mount Vernon, from which point par- 
ties were sent out toward the Stillaguamish and 
Skagit for a preliminary reconnoisance. As to the 
vexed question as to whether Whatcom would be 
on the line of this road, there seemed then no means 
of forecasting, but it was prophesied in the News 
that the ultimate connection with the Canadian 
•Pacific would be at New Westminster instead of at 
Fort Hope. In its issue of September 6, 1887, is 
record of the fact that there was much hope of 
another railroad extending from Seattle to the 
Skagit river, the basis of which hope was the pur- 
chase by Mr. Bowles of the Oregon Improvement 
Company, of sixteen hundred acres of coal land 
near Sedro. The analysis of the coal from this 
vicinity showed that it was probably the best that 
had yet been found in western Washington. 

A new and important enterprise in the lumber- 
ing line during the year 1887 was the establishment 
of the Skagit Saw-Mill and Manufacturing Com- 
pany, of which the officers were as follows: Presi- 
dent, E. G. English ; vice-president. Otto Klement ; 
secretary. G. E. Hartson ; treasurer, H. P. Downs. 
This concern materialized into one of the pioneer 
saw-mills of the count}-. In this connection also 
it is interesting to note that in the fall of 1886 Mor- 
timer Cook established at Sedro, the county's first 
shingle mill. 

Perhaps a little sketch of the remarkable crea- 
tion of productive land upon Whitney island at the 
lower end of Padilla bay is apropos at this point. 
During the winter of 1887 Rienzi E. Whitney, of 
Padilla. purchased this tract of salt marsh covering 
seven hundred acres, very favorably located but 
difficult to subdue, for the sum of twenty-two thou- 
sand five hundred dollars. He spent ten thousand 
dollars in reclaiming it. It was generally consid- 
ered by his friends as a very risky undertaking, espe- 
cially in view of the fact that he was compelled to 
borrow all the money for both the land an(l the im- 
provements, but being a man of tremendous energy 
as well as undaunted courage, he succeeded in in- 
augurating a system of reclamation of the land by 

diking and clearing and transformed it into a beau- 
tiful and highly productive area. By a most 
lamentable accident Mr. Whitney was fatally in- 
jured three years after entering upon this great 
undertaking. In 1893 the island was divided up 
into seven farms and sold for about seventy thou- 
sand dollars, and it is now one of the garden spots 
i of the region. 

The summer of 1887 was marked by a remark- 
able freshet, the result of the sudden melting of 
unusual snows in the Cascade mountains about the 
headwaters of the river. It was so late in the 
summer that the crops were already approaching 
maturity and great damage resulted. 

One tragedy marred the records of the year 
1887, namely, the killing of Frank I!enn b\- a man 
named Thompson at La Conner in a saloon. 
Thompson and a man named Miller had had a 
street quarrel just previously during which the for- 
mer had slit the latter's coat with a knife. For 
some reason, upon Thompson's entering the saloon, 
Frank Benn, a bystander, picked up first a brick 
and then a cuspidor, both of which he hurled at 
Thompson. In the fight which resulted Thompson 
drew his knife and stabbed Benn. In the excite- 
ment of the moment the crowd turned upon 
Thompson and nearly beat him to death before the 
officers could get control. Benn having died soon 
after, Thompson was indicted for murder, and was 
given a trial, at which, contrary to what were at first 
supposed to be the facts in the case, the testimony 
proved that Thompson had acted in self-defense 
and he was acquitted of the charge. 

In 1887 the legislature passed a bill providing 
that all courts of record should be held at the county 
seat. This caused the removal of the district court 
from La Conner to Mount Vernon, a verv grati- 
fying thing to the people of the latter place and a 
correspondingly bitter pill to the inhabitants of the 
original county seat. 

The legislative session of 1887-8 took under 
consideration a bill which revived the old struggle 
between Whatcom and Skagit, one providing for 
taking the north tier of townships in Skagit county 
and restoring them to Whatcom. The Skagit 
News denounces this as an attempted robbery and 
attributes it either to a desire on the part of the 
town of Whatcom to smother the aspirations for 
county-seat honors on the part of Lvnden, or to the 
burden of taxation upon Whatcom county (which 
it states was then twenty-three and one-half mills 
on the dollar) and their consequent desire to secure 
the assistance of the rich Samish valley and other 
parts of the disputed territory in bearing their bur- 

The Whatcoiu Reveille notes with satisfaction 
the fact that all the inhabitants of the islands of 
Cypress and Sinclair had forwarded a petition to 
the legislature asking annexation to Whatcom 
county, attributing this state of mind to the removal 



of the cminty seat and district court to Mount 
X'ernon. It also declares that Guemes island will 
join the request for annexation. To these com- 
ments of tile Whatcom pajier the Skagit News re- i 
spends with characteristic energy, and it seemed 
that another conflict was brewing, but to the great 
satisfaction of the people of Skagit the bill was de- 
feated in the house by a vote of fourteen to seven. 

One of the numerous steamboat accidents which 
seem to have characterized the history of the sound 
occurred on the 1st of April. 1888. The boilers 
of the steamer Bob Irving e.xploded at a point 
called Ball's riffle in the Skagit river one mile be- 
low Sterling. Hiram J. Olney, the captain, and 
Herman Haroldson, the fireman, were instantly 
killed, while a deck hand named Andrew Johnson 
and the Chinese cook were severely injured. The 
engineer was the only person to escape entirely and 
even he was severelv shaken up. Fortunately 
there were no passengers upon the boat, an unusual 
occurrence, but she was heavily loaded with hay 
and grain, which, together with the steamer itself, 
was a total loss. Captain Olney was well known 
and highly esteemed upon the sound, where he had 
been engaged in steamboating for a number of 

There was a rapid development in the upper 
part of the county during the smnmer of 1888. 
The little town of Lyman had become the center of 
a very active population of both loggers and farm- 
ers, and between it and Mount \'ernon there were 
seventeen logging camps, employing two hundred 
and forty-three men. Another region which 
started then upon a career of development which 
has rendered it one of the attractive and productive 
regions of the Skagit country was Walker's val- 
ley, whicii was settled by Hugh Walker in 1888. 
He and some of the settlers who came later spent 
eighty-seven days in cutting a road to Mount Ver- 

Railroa<ls and rumors of railroads continued 
to be in the air. Senator Canfield would by no 
means admit that his road was dead, and is reported 
in the Seattle Enterprise as saying that he expected 
to build from Seattle to Lowell on the .Snohomish 
river, thence to the Skagit at a ]ioint half-way be- 
tween Mount \'ernon and Sterling, and from there 
in a straight line to Whatcom. Another company, 
the Puget Sound, Skagit & Eastern, was incor- 
porated and the articles of incorporation were filed 
in the auditor's office on .September 16, 1888. the 
incorporators and trustees being John Campbell, 
of I'jigland. and H. W. Wheeler. J.":\I. Moore, and 
W. E. McMillan, of Seattle, 'ihe aim of the com- 
pany was to build a road froiu ISurrow's bav in 
Skagit county to Camp Spokane on the Columbia 
river in Lincoln county. Like man\- another great 
enterprise of that excited time, this remained a 
Jiaper pro|iosition. 

The Skagit Xews of December 10, 1888, quotes 

from the Washington Farmer an article which gives 
so clear a view of the logging interests of Skagit 
county that it seems worthy of reproduction in 
part. .Among other things the writer describes 
the floating wharf in Samish bay as follows : "It 
is at this float that one of the most extensive log- 
ging camps in Washington territory receives its 
su])i)lies. This float is two miles from the end of 
the logging road known as the Blanchard railway 
and the road is two miles from the village of 
Edison. The track is four miles long, a standard 
gauge, with steel rails and a full-fledged steam loco- 
motive and thirty logging cars. The camp works 
an average of ninety men, who get out seventy-five 
thousand feet of logs per day. working about eight 
months in the year, making the annual output 
eighteen million feet, sold at seven dollars per 
thousand, or a total of one hundred and twenty-six 
thousand dollars per annum. The pay-roll of the 
camp is about one hundred and eighty dollars per 
da\'. J^or moving logs in places too rough for 
cattle, two stationary donkey engines are used. 
The company is now having made a steam skidder, 
such as it uses in Michigan and California. The 
contrivance costs about ten thousand dollars. It 
consists of a twenty horse-power engine, set near 
a marsh or deep ravine, and from it is run a large 
cable stretched tightly from tree to tree. On this 
cable there are three metal carriages, and from them 
drop prongs or grappling hooks which clutch the 
logs and hoist them clear of the ground and then 
they are run to the dumping-place." 

The writer then enumerates eleven camps in 
the vicinitv of Edison and Bayview which employ 
two hundred and twenty men and get out thirty- 
eight million feet of logs annually. Upon the Ska- 
git river he found nineteen camps employing four 
hundred men and gettiilg out eighty million feet a 
year. He says that the average logging camp con- 
tains si.xteen men and one team of seven yoke of 
oxen. The total expense of a. camp, he says, was 
sixty dollars per day, and the value of the output a 
hundred and fiftv tlollars per day. Thus the pro- 
prietor would make a profit of ninety dollars per 
da\- ujion his investment if he owned the timber. 
If he did not own the timber stum])age would cost 
him seventy-five cents per thousanel. 

Inasmuch as the close of the year 1888 luarks 
the end of the period of territorial history and 1889 
witnessed the inauguration of statehood, it will be 
found of interest to preserve a record here of the 
increase in the value of property for the years 188;? 
to ISSS inclusive. 


\alue "f lands $ 155.215.00 

\alue of improvements 27.946.00 

X'ahie of personal property 126, '57. 00 

\'alue of all property $ 309,918.00 

Total amount of taxes 6,815.94 


SKAGIT cc)U^"^^■ 


Acres assessed 1"2;3,1G8 

Acres improved 9,20"2 

Value of lands $ 515,907.00 

Value of improvements 95,843.00 

\'ahie of personal property 291.151.00 

Value of all property $ 902,870.00 

Total amount of taxes 16,233.41 


Acres assessed 149,548 

Acres improved 11,375 

Value of lands $ 520,610.00 

Value of improvements 148,777.00 

Value of personal property 284,669.00 

Value of all property $ 954,056.00 

Total amount of taxes 19,040.43 


Acres assessed 182,553 

Acres improved 12,772 

Value of lands $ 664,457.00 

Value of improvements 174,272.00 

Value of personal property 356,651.00 

Value of all property $1,195,380.00 

Total amount of taxes 25,461.51 


Acres assessed 188,436 

Acres improved 14,576 

Value of lands $ 682,472.00 

\'alue of improvements 183,304.00 

Value of personal property 379,797.00 

\ahie of all property $1,245,573.00 

Total amount of taxes 25,213.24 

\'alue of all property $1,460,601.00 

From the available census returns it appears 
that the population in 1885, was 2,816; in 1887, 
3^686; in 1889, 6,111. The immense preponder- 
ance of males over females in the last year is ob- 
servable, there being 4,408 of tiie former and 1,703 
of the latter. 

The great event of the \ear 1889 for both the 
territory of Washington and the county of Skagit 
was the acquisition of statehood and the constitu- 
tional convention leading thereto. For the purpose 
of electing delegates to the convention the territory 
was divided into districts. The wrath of many peo- 
ple in .Skagit county was aroused by the fact that it 
was divided between Whatcom and Snohomish 

counties, thirteen precincts being assigned to the 
former and ten to the latter. Skagit people seem 
to have anticipated evil consequences for them- 
selves, as they were also disposed to attribute sinis- 
ter motives to somebody in thus smothering their 
identity with their neighbors of the north and south. 
Their fears, however, were unfounded, for at the 
general election held on May 14th, three Skagit 
countv men were chosen : Harriscjn Clothier and 
Thomas Hayton from the district comprising Sno- 
homish and southern Skagit, and James Power from 
the district comprising Whatcom and northern 

Mr. Power became somewhat distinguished in 
the constitutional convention for the provision 
which he introduced for a confirmation of all United 
States patent titles to tide and overflowed lands. 
The general practice of the government had been 
hitherto to yield such lands to the states upon their 
admission, therefore many considered the confirma- 
tion of these titles to be in the interest of land-grab- 
bers upon the sound. Eastern Washington dele- 
gates, headed by George Turner, opposed the 
Power provision on that ground but Mr. Power 
succeeded in convincing the convention that the 
claimants to those tide lands were worthy citizens, 
that the lands had in many cases already been re- 
claimed, and that to jeopardize title to them would 
work a great injustice to the settlers. Snohomish 
and Skagit counties were the ones chiefly affected 
by this provision and the lands under consideration 
constituted some of the fairest and most productive 
portions of those counties. 

A brief glance at the resources of Skagit 
county, as manifested in 1889, may be fitting at 
this point. Already, probably, sufficient attention 
has been given to the vast lumbering developments 
of the decade then closing. They were well known 
to the world. But the latent possibilities of the 
coal and iron deposits upon the Skagit river were 
little known at that time. The facts in relation to 
this feature of Skagit county were brought out in 
a very interesting manner in the form of a printed 
report by Muir Picken, a mining engineer, and by 
him submitted to a senatorial committee consisting 
of Senators Allison, Hoar, Dolph, Hale and Pugh, 
which met in Seattle, June 1, 1889. This report 
states that at Conner's on the Skagit river there are 
three distinct measures of bituminous coal which 
are upon the same line passing through Naniamo, 
r.ritish Columbia, and belonging to the cretaceous 
epoch, being a first-class bituminous coking coal. 
lielow the coal measures, the report continues, are 
iron measures of a good quality of brown hematite 
iron ore, carrying from forty-five to fifty per cent, 
of metallic iron. There were four of these iron 
lodes which, by their claimants, were styled re- 
spectively the Tyee, the Mabel, the Last Chance 
and the Tacoma. Mr. Picken said that the coal 
and iron region was eighty miles in length by 



twenty-four miles in breadth. The Conner mine 
was subsequently bonded by the Skagit-Cumberland 
Coal Company of San Francisco, which sent W. A. 
Jones about the 1st of May to enter upon the work 
of development on a large scale. He built at once 
a flume six hundred feet long with a seventy-foot 
head, carrying a volume of water sufficient to fill a 
thirty-inch pipe, which carried the water from the 
head' to the "Knight's" wheel of the compressor. 
The compressor was sufficiently large to furnish 
four hundred and fifty horse-power, by which the 
manager expected to run three 33^-inch Rix 
& Furth drills. The steamer Bailey delivered 
three loads of machiner\- which they at once began 
to use in the sinking of a tuimel three thousand feet 
deep. The supply of coal lay in such a position 
that it could be very cheaply and rapidly brought 
to the surface and placed within reach of transpor- 
tation. For some reason, however, the Cumberland 
Coal Company did not remain permanently in the 
business of developing these properties, and they 
have been idle for many years. With rapidly in- 
creasing wealth, population and productions, and 
with brightening hopes for the future, Skagit 
county, with her sister counties, joined the tri- 
umphant march into statehood. The event of en- 
trance upon statehood was one of so great impor- 
tance that it requires a brief account at this point in 
our history. The possibilities of the territory of 
Washington were obviously so vast to the people 
living within it that they could not understand the 
coni])arative indifference with which the law-mak- 
ers in Washington had viewed for a number of 
years their eager demands to be admitted to the 
union, but the fact of the case was that the great 
majority of people east of the Rocky mmmtains 
were then in gross ignorance of the possibilities of 
the Pacific states. Some of them are not much 
better at the present time. With increasing popu- 
lation, however, the pressure became too great to 
be resisted and on February 23, 1889, a bill grant- 
ing statehood to Washington, Montana, North 
Dakota and South Dakota became a law. 

Under the enabling act seventy-five delegates 
were to be chosen from the different portions of the 
territory who should meet in the capital on the 4th 
of July for the purpose of adopting a state consti- 
tution. The enabling act specified that this consti- 
tution must be republican in form and must make 
no distinction in civil or political rights on account 
of race or color, and must be in harmony with the 
Constitution of the I'nitcd States and the Declara- 
tion of Indei)endeiice. The act also specified that 
the state constitution nnist provide for complete 
religious toleration, disclaim all right and title to 
all unappropriated jniblic lands and to all Indian 
tribal lands, provide for the assumption and pay- 
ment of the debts and liabilities of the territory. 

and establish and maintain a system of public 
schools open to all children of the state and free 
from sectarian control. The act also provided that 
a constitution should be submitted to the voters at 
an election to be held on the first Tuesday in Octo- 
ber, and that if adopted it should be forwarded to 
the president of the United States and if satisfac- 
tory that he should then issue a proclamation de- 
claring the state admitted into the Union. The 
enabling act also provided for the transfer to the 
state of all the unappropriated sixteenth and thirty- 
sixth sections in each township for the maintenance 
of common schools ; granted fifty sections of unap- 
propriated lands for the erection of public buildings 
at the capital ; provided that five per cent, of the 
proceeds of the sale of public lands which should 
be sold by the United States subsequent to the ad- 
mission of Washington into the Union should be 
paid to the state as a permanent school fund; 
granted seventy-two sections of land for mainte- 
nance of a university ; granted ninety thousand 
acres for the support of an agricultural college, and 
one hundred thousand acres each for a scientific 
school, a state normal school, and for a capitol 
building ; and granted to the state charitable, edu- 
cational, penal and reformatory institutions which 
should be established, two hundred thousand acres. 
The foregoing were the important provisions of the 
enabling act, though there were a number of others 
naturally involved in them. 

In accordance with the provisions of the enab- 
ling act the constitutional convention having been 
duly chosen, met as specified on the 4th of July 
and continued in session till the 24th of August. 
They then submitted the results of their work to 
the voters for acceptance or rejection. Two sep- 
arate articles, one providing for female suffrage 
and one for prohibiting the sale of intoxicating 
liquors, were also submitted with the constitution. 
The constitution was accepted by the voters of the 
territory by a vote of thirty-eight thousand, three 
hundred and ninety-four to eleven thousand, eight 
hundred and ninety-five. It was a general matter 
of surprise that the vote against acceptance was so 
large. Both the woman suffrage and prohibition 
clauses were rejected. 

At twenty-seven minutes past five o'clock on the 
llth day of December, 1889, President Harrison 
signed his proclamation announcing that Washing- 
ton had become a state of the Federal Union. The 
name of President Harrison and that of Secretary 
of State James G. Blaine were signed to this proc- 
lamation with a pen matle from Washington gold 
in a holder of ebonized laurel made within the state 
of Washington itself for that special purpose ; and 
the great commonwealth of Washington received 
its just recognition as being worthy of a place in 
the bright constellation of states. 



The winter of 1889-90 was a very cold and 
severe one in Skagit county, more so than at most 
other points on the coast. "Dad" Patterson, a 
well-known citizen of Mount \'ernon. is authority 
for the statement that for twenty-seven days that 
citv was cut off from all communication with the 
outside world. Steamboat navigation was entirely 
blockaded by the masses of ice in the river, and as 
for railroads, there were none in Mount Vernon at 
that time. 

With the closing of the decade of the eighties 
and the opening of the succeeding one and with the 
entrance of Washington into statehood, began a 
period in Skagit county the most active and the 
most excited that that part of the world has ever 
witnessed. This activity and excitement were man- 
ifested in many ways ; by the rapid growth of 
towns, the soaring of land above prices that were 
normal or even reasonable, the inauguration of all 
sorts of industrial enterprises, the unprecedented 
rush of immigrants. Concerning the last point we 
observe the following item in the Skagit News of 
March 18, 1889: "At" no time in the past has Skagit 
C(iunt\- received the number of immigrants that are 
nnw ]X)uring in. Every boat comes loaded with 
home seekers. A year from now good available 
government land will be scarce. The prospective 
opening of several railroads will assist materially 
in the settlement of the county." In fact, the activ- 
ity in railroad enterprises was the most noticeable 
indication of the general activity. Throughout the 
county rights of way were being surveyed and 
graded, companies formed and plans for railroads 
drawn up, many of which roads were built only on 
paper, though several of them actually materialized, 
at least in part. One of the latter was the Seattle 
& Northern. The company projecting this road 
had been incorporated in Seattle in November, 
1888, the incorporators being W. H. Holcomb, of 
Portland, Elijah Smith, J. H- Benedict, Charles F. 
Tagg, J. T. Tilney, Prof. W. Smith, E. L. Frank 
and E. S. Hooley, of New York. T. J. Alilner and 
J. C. Haines, of Seattle, and H. L. Tibballs, Jr., of 
Port Townsend. The capital stock of the company 
was five million dollars, its object to build a rail- 
road from Seattle via Whatcom to the Canadian 
boundary line and branches from the Skagit river 
east up that river and the Sauk to Spokane and 
from the Skagit river west via Fidalgo island to 
Ship harbor and Admiralty Head on Whidby 

island. Only a small part of these extensive plans 
were eventually executed. Active work was begun 
in June, 1889, under the management of Captain F, 
Hill and by the 1st of August twenty miles of the 
road from Ship harbor to the Skagit valley were 
graded and bridged. This much was required to 
fulfill the terms of a contract by which a large 
amount of land on the islands was to be acquired ; 
then the work was suspended until the spring of the 
following year. Many of the contracts for bridges, 
trestles, telegraph lines, cars, etc., were let to the 
Oregon Improvement Company, the real financial 
backer of the enterprise ; others to the San Fran- 
cisco Bridge Company and to Tatum & Bowen of 
Portland. Two thousand rails which had been 
lying on Ballast island were shipped north and laid 
as fast as possible and another consignment was 
ordered from the East. On August 5th the road 
was put in the hands of the operating department 
and regular trains commenced running daily be- 
tween Anacortes and Sedro, at the latter of which 
places junction was made with the Seattle, Lake 
Shore & Eastern railroad. The Seattle & North- 
ern continued to within six miles of Hamilton, 
where it suddenly ceased, to the great distress of 
the people of that place, the reason for the suspen- 
sion being that the Oregon Improvement Company 
was financially embarrassed and imable to continue 
the work of construction. In the early part of Jan- 
uary, 1891, however, work was resumed under the 
direction of a receiver; about two months later the 
track was laid as far as Hamilton and soon after 
trains were running to that place. The service on 
the new road was excellent and was duly appre- 
ciated by the people of the county. 

The Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern was pro- 
gressing rapidly during this period. In December, 
1889, a number of contracts were let for the clear- 
ing and grading of fifteen miles immediately south 
of the Skagit river and thirty miles north of it. 
Nearly two thousand men were put to work on 
these sections. 

Another railroad that was quite active in the 
Skagit valley at this time was the Fairhaven & 
Southern. There was considerable rivalry between 
this road and the Seattle & Northern, also the Seat- 
tle, Lake Shore & Eastern or West Coast, as this 
branch of it was generally designated. In Decem- 
ber, 1889. the Fairhaven & Southern and the West 
Coast were both fighting for the possession of a nar- 




,v ^Wt NEW vnsT 





row pass around McMurray lake. The crew of the 
former road was encamped near and was expect- 
ing to go to work on the pass the next day before 
the other crew could get to it, but during the night 
a force of men under Earle & McLeod came up by 
pack train from Fir, went into camp in the vicinity 
of the pass without making any demonstration and 
the next morning before sunrise made their way 
through the woods to the pass and were in full 
possession fifteen minutes before the Fairhaven & 
Southern crew arrived. By this coup the Fair- 
haven & Southern or Bennett road, as it was some- 
times named, was deprived of this route, which it 
was obliged to leave to the West Coast. The first 
train on the Fairhaven & Southern into Sedro was 
on the ?4th of December, 1889. This railroad was 
sold the following year to the Great Northern, 
which was beginning to spread its mighty arm over 
the county. The formal transfer occurred on the 
20th of February, 1891. The western branch of 
the Great Northern, which was being built at this 
time, was commonly known as the Seattle & Mon- 
tana railroad. It extended from Seattle along the 
coast through Mount Vernon to New Westminster 
in British Columbia. To secure its construction 
through their city the citizens of Mount Vernon 
granted it a right of way and one hundred acres of 
land. In September, 1890, new camps were estab- 
lished all along the line, so that there was scarcely 
a mile between Seattle and the Skagit river upon 
which work was not being done. In September. 
1891, the track-laying machine began laying track 
between the Skagit and Stillaguamish rivers, the 
only unfinished section at the time, and it was com- 
pleted and the last spike driven on the 12th of Oc- 
tober at a point one mile south of Stanwood, though 
there were still about twenty-one miles to be bal- 
lasted before trains could be run over the line. 
This was finished in November. The Seattle 
Chamber of Commerce held an excursion on the 
27th of that month on the occasion of the formal 
opening of the road, in a train of nine coaches and 
a dining-car, all gayly decorated. Music was fur- 
nished by the First Regiment band of Seattle. The 
excursion proceeded through Mount Vernon, where 
Judge J. T. Ronald of .Seattle delivered a short 
address, and then on to the end of the line at New 
Westminster. Thus was celebrated the opening 
of an important branch of one of the greatest rail- 
roads on the continent, a railroad which has done as 
much, perhaps, as any other one agency to develop 
the resources and stimulate the growth of the 
Northwest. Skagit county, while disappointed in 
in the hope that the main transcontinental line of 
the Great Northern would traverse her territory, 
was nevertheless benefited to a very great degree 
by its close proximity and by the branch line con- 
necting with it. The Great Northern was com- 
pleted on the 6th of January, 1893, the last spike 

being driven at a point thirteen miles west of Stev- 
ens pass in the Cascades. 

Besides the substantial railroads which have 
been mentioned, there was a multitude of others 
which, as a result of the general excitement of the 
times, were projected, but most of which did not 
materialize. One of these was known as the 
Samish, Skagit Valley & Spokane Railroad Com- 
pany, incorporated in April, 1889, with a capital 
stock of three million dollars. On April 8, 1890, 
the Ship Harbor & Spokane Falls Railroad Com- 
pany was incorporated, with a capital stock of six 
hundred thousand dollars, its object to build a rail- 
road from Puget sound to Spokane. The trustees 
were J. M. Buckley, William H. Holcomb and J. E. 
Buckley. About the same time a company known 
as the San Juan de Fuca Ship Canal & Railroad 
Companv was incorporated by H. C. Walters, John 
Marshall, Theodore Wygant, F. K. Arnold, Lee 
Hofifman and William A. Bantz, with a capital of 
two million dollars. This was a boom scheme and 
never materialized into anything substantial. An- 
other of the same character was the Northwestern 
Railroad Company, of which the principal promotor 
was Richard Nevins, Jr. This company proposed 
to build a railroad about one hundred miles long 
with Mount Venion as the center and extending 
east from that point to the Hamilton coal mines, 
and west to La Conner, to Edison and to a connec- 
tion with the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern. Still 
another boom scheme was the La Conner. Mount 
\'ernon & Eastern Railroad Company, incorporated 
by Leonard C. Whitfield, Milton Van Dyke and 
Richard Hussey, Si Seattle, with a capital stock of 
seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Its pur- 
pose as set forth was to construct a railroad from 
La Conner through the Cascades to the Columbia 

By the number and magnitude of these schemes 
one can gain some idea of the eager excitement into 
which the entire region was thrown, an excitement 
equaled at no other time in the history of the 
county. But it was not confined to railroads. 
Every interest and every industry partook of the 
general fever. The price of land rose to unex- 
ampled heights and the number of real estate trans- 
fers was greater than ever before. This was par- 
ticularly the case with town property. In this con- 
nection we note the following in the Skagit News 
of January 13, 1890: "At no time in the history of 
the state has there been such a boom in town lots 
as at present. The boom is not confined to one 
locality, but the whole sound country is flooded with 
embryo towns and additions to towns already es- 
tablished. This property is held by active real 
estate agents, who, in flaming advertisements, paint 
the glowing future of their particular locality and 
enumerate railroads by the score which are partic- 
ularly anxious to build in their town. Of course, 
in some instances, their statements are warranted 



by the facts, but in a great many cases the boom 
originated in the fertile mind of the real estate shark 
who is anxious to unload his property at an enor- 
mous profit. It seems that so long as there are 
suckers the real estate men will continue to hook 
them. In fact, the}- bite with such rapidity that 
they fall over each other in their attempt to get at 
the bait. There will be a crash in the real estate 
market one of these days and many a victim will 
suffer from the effects of this wildcat speculation. 
The history of the California boom seems to have 
conveyed no lesson to Washington investors." 

New towns and additions to towns were spring- 
ing up by the score. Every one who had property 
that couid be platted into town lots had the same 
surveyed and sold it readily at an enormous profit. 
Plats of new towns and additions were filed at the 
auditor's office at the rate of five or six a week. 
During the period from the 1st of January. 1S90. 
until the middle of March the following plats were 
filed : Fidalgo. Birdsview, Dyer's plat of Lyman. 
Haller's second addition to Edison, Riverview addi- 
tion to Avon. Cumberland, First addition to Sedro. 
Central addition to Sedro, City of Anacortes, Con- 
over's plat of Anacortes, Fidalgo addition to the 
city of Anacortes, Fairview addition to Anacortes, 
Central addition to Anacortes. Colver's addition to 
Anacortes. J. H. Havekost's addition to Anacortes, 
Grand View addition to Anacortes, First addition 
to the city of Anacortes, J. M. Moor's addition to 
Anacortes, Hagadorn & Stewart's first addition to 
Anacortes, E. O. Tade's first addition to Anacortes, 
Kyle's addition to Anacortes. Mrs. Mary Eubank's 
first addition to Anacortes, Kellogg & Ford's addi- 
tion to Anacortes, G. Kellogg's addition to Anacor- 
tes, Pleasant Slope addition to Anacortes, King's 
first addition to Anacortes, Tuttle & Buckley's plat 
of Anacortes, Nelson's addition to Anacortes, Bur- 
don's first addition to Anacortes, City of North 
Anacortes, Seattle Syndicate's first addition to 
Anacortes, Chapman's addition to Anacortes, Fi- 
dalgo Bay addition to Anacortes, Parson's addition 
to Anacortes, Whitney's first addition to Anacortes, 
Wood's plat of North Anacortes. Philips' addition 
to the city of Fidalgo, Carlyle's addition to Fidalgo, 
Bowman's Central Ship Harbor water-front plat 
of Anacortes, Griffin's first addition to Anacortes, 
Curtis' first addition to Anacortes, Beale's addition 
to Anacortes. 

It will be observed that of these forty-two plats, 
thirty-two were in the city of Anacortes. It was 
here that the tumult and fever of speculation raged 
fiercest. People came by trainloads to view the 
town site and pick up land which they hoped to sell 
in a short time at double or treble the cost. Fabu- 
lous sums were spent in these speculations. In a 
few months the population of Anacortes rose from 
a few dozen to several thousand. Broad streets 
were laid out and brick blocks erected. The city 
was incorporated as a city of the third class, a 

mayor and council were elected and the other de- 
partments of city government carried on. On the 
Fourth of July, 1890, a celebration was held such 
as had seldom or never been seen before in the 
county, the fireworks being the most gorgeous ever 
displayed on that part of the sound. Thousands of 
people were present. Anacortes was indeed a 
most lively and prosperous city until the boom 
finally broke, when many men were ruined, hun- 
dreds of thousands of dollars being lost. However, 
it is now one of the most thrifty, prosperous towns 
along the coast. 

There were other booms of much smaller di- 
mensions throughout the county, while some places 
escaped them almost entirely. Mount Vernon, the 
county seat, which had been rather quiet for some 
time, began picking up, but in a steady and healthy 
manner. The building of the Great Northern 
railroad through the city, for which the citizens 
gave land and cash to the amount of sixty-five 
thousand dollars, gave a great impetus to business 
operations of all kinds. Its population was be- 
tween nine hundred and one thousand. 

In October, 1890, a company was formed, 
known as the Skagit County Agricultural Society, 
in which W. J. McKenna was one of the prime 
movers. Its capital stock was twenty-five thousand 
dollars, and its object to hold an annual county fair 
and stock competition at Bayview. Many of the 
farmers and others interested purchased stock, but 
unfortunately the enterprise did not succeed. 

The rapid growth of the county may be indi- 
cated by the increase in population since the previ- 
ous year. In 1889 there were 6.111 people in the 
county; in 1890, 8,730, being an increase of 2,619. 

In the winter of 1889-90 two important memo- 
rials were presented to congress dealing with the 
improvement of navigation in the Svvinomish chan- 
nel and Skagit river. The first was offered by 
Representative Edens and was as follows : 

"Your memoralists, the legislature of the state 
of Washington, would respectfully represent that 
the growing commerce of Puget sound, more es- 
pecially between Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle on 
the one hand, and La Conner, Anacortes, Fair- 
haven, Bellingham, Sehome and Whatcom on the 
other, require certain dredging improvements in 
the Swinomish channel, dividing Fidalgo island 
from the mainland, in Skagit county, and connect- 
ing Skagit bay on the south with Padilla and 
Bellingham bays on the north. This route affords 
safe and sheltered navigation along the eastern 
shores of Puget sound between the principal cities 
above referred to. Owing to a few bars in Swino- 
mish channel, most of the numerous steamers now 
plying in these waters and carrying hundreds of 
passengers daily hav^e to go through Deception pass, 
between Whidby and Fidalgo islands, which pass 
being very narrow, wnth perpendicular rocks on 
either side and a swift raging current at certain 



stages of the ebb and flow of the tide, is dangerous 
to navigation. It is therefore essential that Svvi- 
nomish channel be improved so as to avoid the 
perils of the Deception pass route. Besides the 
advantage of the Swinomish channel as a through 
line from one end of the sound to the other, it is 
the local outlet for the products of Skagit county, 
the most important agricultural county of western 
Washington, producing, as it does, some eight 
thousand tons of hay and twenty thousand tons of 
grain annually. It is estimated that one hundred 
thousand dollars judiciously expended in dredging 
the channel would render incalculable benefit to the 
commerce of Puget sound ; and we respectfully 
ask that congress appropriate that sum for the pur- 
pose, and in so doing we only voice a recommenda- 
tion already approved and endorsed by the boards of 
trade or municipalities of the cities of Olympia, 
Tacoma, Seattle, La Conner and Whatcom, and 
petitions numerously signed bv the people along 
the line." 

Appropriations for the purpose stated in this 
memorial were later made by congress to the 
amount of about seventy-five thousand dollars. The 
work was a most important one and added greatly 
to the commercial importance of Skagit county. 
Almost at the same time with the above memorial 
another, concerning a matter of almost equal con- 
sequence, was presented by Senator Paine, which 
read as follows: 

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives 
of the United States: 

Your memoriaHsts, the legislature of the state of 
\\'ashington, do most earnestly and urgontlv request your 
honorable body to appropriate one hundred' thousand "dol- 
lars for the improvement of the Skagit river. 

The Skagit river, which empties into Utsalady bay, 
one of the large sheets of water forming Paget soiind, is 
the largest river in western Washington. Its drainage 
basin contains 2.800 square miles, including .300 square 
miles of fertile valley land nearly level, and is covered with 
dense forests, principally of fir. cedar, spruce and cotton- 
wood. The river varies in width from .300 to (iOO feet and 
can by judicious expenditure of one hundred thousand 
dollars, be made navigable for a distance of flO miles for 
steamers drawing from five to si.x feet of water. This 
accomplished, Skagit valley will become one of the most 
productive and richest valleys in the United States, and 
will give employment and support to a population of fifty 
thousand persons. Its present population is about five 

The iron ore already discovered and located in the 
mountains, at whose base the river courses, is estimated 
by experts as sufficient in quantitv and qualitv to supply 
the wants of the United Stales for centuries. 'Contiguous 
to tliese iron mountains are vast deposits of limestone. 

The great coal fields of Skagit valley are unsurpassed 
in quality. The veins now open and awaiting transpor- 
'u""S "'^'''"<^^' <here being no railroad in the valley, are 
the Bennett, showing a thirtv-foot face, the Cumberland, 
showing a fifteen-foot face, and the Conner, showing a 
twelve-foot face. These three mines would, inside of 
sixty days, if the necessary improvements praved for are 
made, furnish the markets of the world 1.500 tons of coal 
daily ami the additional mines that would be opened would 
swell the output of coal in the vallev -xOOO tons dailv. 

The coal can be floated down on barges to Utsalady bay 
and then loaded on ocean vessels ready for shipment to 
any port in the world. Iron, coal and limestone in con- 
tiguous mountains insure the building of large iron works 
in this valley. 

The Skagit river, once made a navigable highway to 
the ocean, will protect the producer against exorbitant 
freight rates in the future, and accelerate the opening of 
its manifold resources now lying dormant. 

Besides its vast wealth in minerals, there are floated 
down the Skagit river from fortv to fifty million feet of 
logs yearly. 

Its soil is of the richest, producing in hay from three 
to four tons per acre; oats from !>."i to 1:30 bushels per acre. 
Its fruits are equal to those of California. Sugar beets, 
potatoes and other roots are wondrously prolific in growth. 
A fine quality of tobacco is also raised. 

The granting of the prayer of your memorialists will 
open up the vast resources of this valley, for which your 
memorialists will ever pray. 

About this time there were some agitations in 
Fidalgo and Guemes islands against the Chinese. 
A meeting was held on December 28th in Anacortes, 
at which a number of resolutions were adopted, in 
which were detailed at length all the objections 
against this unwelcome race. The principal ones 
were that they were non-assimilative, that they sent 
all their earnings to China and were therefore a con- 
stant financial drain upon the countrv-, that tlieir 
cheap labor was ruinous and destructive to all com- 
petition, that their moral habits were frightful and 
degrading to all with whom they came in contact. 
Therefore the citizens of Fidalgo and Guemes 
islands present at this meeting resolved at once to 
take measures to get rid of the Chinese who were 
already on the islands and to prevent the advent of 
any more. Their action, however, ceased with the 
resolution, as nothing more definite was ever done, 
though the Celestials remained awav from the 
islands until the establishment of the canneries. 
Even then the employers secured the citizens' per- 
mission to introduce Chinese labor. 

The logging industry was quite active during 
1890, about 40.000,000 'feet being cut during the 
season. Some 227 men were employed, 114 oxen, 
30 horses, and 25 miles of tramway and skid roads. 
The largest outfit in the entire region was that of 
Blanchard & Sons, whose output was about 
20,000.000 feet of logs. They had a five-mile railroad 
of standard gauge and six locomotives, and the value 
of their rolling stock and improvements was 
$100,000. They owned 1,400 acres of timber land 
and employed 100 men. Other loggers in the 
county, with their outputs, were Mitchell Thibert, 
:i,000.000 feet: Vike & Company, 1,000,000 feet; 
Clothier & F.nglish, .T.OOO.OOO feet ; Fugcne Tavlor, 
2.000,000 feet: W. F. McKav. 0,000,000 feet: Reed 
& r.lodgett, 2,000.000 feet: IT. D. Cole, 4.000.000 
feet: George O'Brien, :5.000.000 feet: and I'ergu.son 

In the summer of l.s!)() public attention was 
attracted by an attempted highway robbery, which 
occurred on the 4th of .\ugust. On the evening of 



that day Captain W. A. Jones, who had just re- 
turned to Hamilton from Seattle with the monthly 
pay for the men in the Skagit-Cumberland coal 
mines, crossed the river on the ferry and started to 
walk to his office, which was about a hundred rods 
from the edge of the river. He had gone about 
half the distance when there suddenly appeared in 
front of him a masked man who leveled a revolver 
at his head and ordered him to throw up his hands. 
Captain Jones had no alternative, so he promptly 
complied. He was then driven before the gun to 
one side of the road, where the highwayman pro- 
ceeded to blindfold him, tie him to a tree and relieve 
him of the money which he was carrying to the 
mine. This done he warned him not to make any 
noise and started back to the road. He had chosen 
a very inopportune time for doing so. however, for 
on stepping out of the woods he walked into a party 
of miners, who, hearing the shouts of Captain Jones, 
at once attacked the robber. The latter immediately 
pulled his gun and commenced shooting, at the same 
time trying to make his esca])e. but one of the miners 
seized him by the arm and another hit him over 
the head with a paddle, knocking him down so that 
he was easily secured. The deputy sheriff, T. F. 
Moody, soon appeared on the scene and took the 
fellow to Mount Vernon, where he was lodged in 
the county jail. His name was fovmd to be Joe 
Frey. He had been seen once or twice in Hamilton, 
where he probably discovered the method of jiay- 
ment at the mines. 

The men who happened along in the nick of time 
and captured the robber were Hans Brendt, Geo. A. 
Hanson, John D. Allen, Samuel Drake and Pat 
McGee. They were each presented with a hand- 
some revolver by the Skagit-Cumberland Coal 
Company as a token of gratitude for their deed. 

The year 1890 was also marked by a smallpox 
epidemic which raged almost exclusively among 
the Indians during the summer. Scores of them 
died of the dread disease, the mortality being un- 
usually high. The woods were full of afflicted and 
dead Indians. Corpses floating down the river were 
often seen. People at last became afraid to venture 
into the woods or along shore and the county hired 
men to hunt for these unfortunates and attend them, 
to bury the dead, and to burn potlatch houses and 
other property that the infection might be stopped. 

The most interesting event that happened in 
the spring of 1891 was the organization of the Ska- 
git County Pioneer Association. Such organiza- 
tions are always of the greatest interest in western 
communities, where the memory of early hardships 
and early struggles and sacrifices and achievements 
yet remains. The pioneers may be passing away, 
but they leave behind them a memorial in their deeds 
which will be remembered and venerated as long 
as memory endures. The first meeting of the old 
settlers of Skagit county was held in ]\lount \'ernon 
on April 25th, and Orrin Kincaid was elected its 

chaimian, G. E. Hartson its secretary, A committee 
was appointed, consisting of G. E. Hartson, Otto 
Klement and B. N. L. Davis, to draw up a con- 
stitution. It was then decided to postpone perma- 
nent organization until the next meeting, which 
would be held at Skagit City on June 6th, when a 
picnic and grand reunion would also be held. 

The 6th of June began unpropitiously, there 
being a down-pour of rain in the morning but in 
spite of this the meeting was a great success. After 
addresses by Hon. Orrin Kincaid and G. E. Hartson 
on the object of the organization, a recess was taken 
for dinner. In the afternoon the meeting was again 
called to order and the serious business of the day 
transacted. The b3-lavvs were first read and adopt- 
ed. These stated one of the objects of the organiza- 
tion to be "the preservation of data incident to the 
early settlement of Skagit county." They also 
limited the membership to "all persons who were 
residents of Skagit county prior to and including 
the year 1875, and continued such residents for a 
period of at least one year, and all persons who 
located claims in said county prior to or at any time 
during said year upon which they have since resided 
for a period of not less than one year." 

The date for the annual meetings was fi.xed for 
the first Saturday in August, the next meeting to be 
held in 1893. The officers elected for the first year 
were: Hon, Orrin Kincaid of Mount Vernon, presi- 
dent ; T. P. Hastie of Skagit City, first vice-presi- 
dent ; J. H. Nash of Fir, second vice-president; 
Jasper Gates of Fir, third vice-president; G. E. 
Hartson of Mount Vernon, secretary and treasurer. 

The following is a list of the members enrolled 
at the first meeting: James H. Nash, Thomas P. 
Hastie, Clara Hastie, William Gage, Henry A, 
Wright, Charles \'illeneuve, Richard Garland, Peter 
Kuyl, Etna Garrett, J. M. Zeiller, Clarinda Gates, 
Mary J. Fritz, Ida Guiberson, B. A. Villeneuve, 
G, E. Hartson, Maggie Davis, Laura Hastie, Ella 
Washburn, Eleanor Jones, Mary A, Jones, Charles 
W. Jones, Augustus Hartson, Jasper Gates, G, P. 
Pritchard, Franklyn Buck, Elijah Watkins, Otto 
Klement, J, V. Abbot, Orrin Kincaid, Esther Smith, 
Sarah Gates, F, B. Watkins, Mahallah Hansen, 
James Abbott, Emily L, Gage, Mattie Buck, 
Edward Jones, Thomas J. Jones, Maria Kno.x, Mary 
Gates. Matilda Hartson, Harrison Clothier, Kate H. 
Washburn, Rebecca Hartson, Oliver Tingley, J, R. 
H. Danir, S. G, Tingley, D. L. McCormick, William 
Dale, James J. Conner, N. P. Christenson, Mathilda 
Christenson, Robert Christenson, Laura Christen- 
son, William A. Moores, D, E. Kimble ; honorary 
members, Mollie Klement, C. C. Hansen, William 

In the spring and summer of 1891 the question 
of better wagon roads received considerable atten- 
tion. On May 5th a meeting of those interested in i 
this matter was held in the Mount \'ernon court- 
house, E. K, Matlock being chairman. The county 



commissioners were invited to be present and were 
presented two petitions signed by several hundred 
citizens, the tirst asking for an appropriation of 
twenty thousand dollars for the construction of the 
Cascade and Monte Cristo roads ; the other that a 
proposition to bond the county for four per cent, of 
its valuation in order to raise money for the im- 
provement of roads be submitted at a special elec- 
tion. These projects were never carried out as the 
commissioners did not see fit to make an appropria- 
tion of such size for such purposes. The Monte 
Cristo road was finally built, though neither Skagit 
nor Snohomish county contributed much toward its 
construction, the work being done mostly by the 
Monte Cristo Mining Company. 

About this time there was a scheme advanced to 
form a new county out of the eastern part of What- 
com. Skagit and Snohomish counties, to be known 
as Cascade county and to have Sauk City as county 
seat. This scheme was a result of the boom times, 
however, and was never carried out. 

On July 26, 1891, occurred one of the most de- 
plorable tragedies in the history of the county, and 
one which was shrouded in considerable m\stery. 
It was a shooting affair near Woolley, in which one 
man, George W. Poor, a deputy sheriff of King 
county, was killed outright, and two others, J. E. 
Terry, a Seattle ex-policeman, and J. C. Baird, an 
inspector of customs at Woolley, were wounded. 
The facts as given were these : 

A band of contraband Chinamen were discov- 
ered in the vicinity of Woolley and on Saturday, the 
25th, Inspector Baird sent for James Buchanan, an 
inspector at Blaine, to come and assist him in their 
capture. On Sunday evening Deputy Sheriff' 
George W. Poor and Customs Inspector Taylor 
Ilnlden arrived from Seattle, and happening to meet 
Baird, informed him that they were after some 
Chinamen. Holden went to the hotel at Sedro, 
while Poor went on up the Seattle, Lake Shore & 
Eastern track. Baird and Buchanan followed him 
for some distance and saw him enter the woods and 
soon after reappear in company with J. E. Terry 
and nine Chinamen. Baird went up and com- 
manded them to surrender, saying that he was a 
United States officer. He was answered by several 
revolver shots, one of which inflicted a scalp wound. 
Baird and Buchanan immediately returned the fire 
so effectively that Poor was hit in the heart, and 
immediately killed, while Terry was badly wounded. 
The Chinamen escaped in the meantime but were 
captured the following day. Baird, Buchanan and 
Holden were all arrested. The jury at the inquest 
held on the body of Poor brought in a verdict that 
he met his death by a gun-shot wound inflicted by 
J. C. Baird, but no charge was made. 

The statements made by the different parties 
in the conflict did not agree in evcrv particular. 
The version given by Terry was as follows: "I 
located nine Chinamen who had illegallv crossed 

the border and were making southwest. I inmiedi- 
ately sent for Taylor Holden to come up and help 
me take them. He did come and brought Deputy 
George Poor with him. I explained everything to 
them and a little after ten o'clock we started down 
the Lake Shore & Eastern track. After going a 
short distance Holden concluded to go back ami 
watch Sedro and left us. I was to make the arrest. 
Poor and myself pushed on, located the Chinamen 
and placed them under arrest. We then started 
back to Sedro and had proceeded but a short dis- 
tance when I made out two men standing on a little 
knoll some little distance ahead of us. Almost im- 
mediately they began firing at us. The first shot 
went in front of me and I jumped sideways. Then 
I got it in the stomach. I was hit four times in all. 
Poor cried out three times : 'I have these men under 
arrest ! I am a deputy sheriff !' Then George got 
it and he fell saying, "He has shot me.' When the 
last bullet struck me I sprang into the brush. Then 
I heard one of the men say, AVe have killed him ; 
let us get out,' and the}- left. They went up the 
track and for town on the run. I knelt at George's 
side and saw that he was dead. I made my way 
back to town, fainting from loss of blood as I 
reached here. I do not know who did the shooting, 
but I understand that Inspectors J. C. Baird and 
James Buchanan are the two who did it.'' 

According to Baird's story he was convinced that 
Terry was a smuggler and was trying to contrive 
the escape of the Chinamen. He claimed to have 
had previous proof of this, and also that Holden 
was implicated with him in the smuggling business. 
His account of the battle was as follows: "At the 
junction of the railroad and township wagon road, 
as we heard them coming, we hid in the brush, and 
when they came opposite I rushed out and con- 
fronted Terry with my revolver and told him I was 
a deputy customs collector and arrested them in the 
name of the United States. As soon as I spoke 
each of the men fired three shots at me in quick 
succession, and Buchanan and m\self returned the 
fire. I shot at them as long as the\' stood their 
ground, but shot only at Holden and Terry. They 
suddenly took to their heels, while Poor stood his 
ground and shot me in the head. It was not a seri- 
ous wound. It stunned me and I fell to the ground. 
I then commenced firing at Poor. Pretty soon he 
dropped and at the same moment I sprang upon the 
prostrate form. When he fell he threw up his hands 
and said. 'You have shot me and I am a deputy 
sheriff!' They fired between fifteen and eighteen 
shots and Buchanan and I fired ten. I found in 
Poor's pocket a false beard and some colored eye- 

The trial of Baird and Buchanan for the murder 
of Poor resulted in their being exonerated of all 
guilt, and discharged by Judge Terry. The sym- 
pathy of the crowtls that packed the court room 
seemed to be generally in their favor and against 



Holden, but a great deal of sympathy was also 
expressed for Poor, who was thought to have been 
innocent of any intentional wrong, though perhaps 
the dupe of the two men with whom he was associ- 
ated in the cajiture of the Cliinamcn. 

Collector of Customs Charles M. F.radshaw, 
of Port Townsend. upheld Raird, considering that 
he only did his duty. Baird was retained in the 
service, while Holden was discharged, though pre- 
vious to this time Mr. Bradshaw had regarded him 
also as one of his most trustworthy deputies. 

It was in the fall of 1891 that the Bar Associa- 
tion of Skagit county, which is still in active exist- 
ence and luimbers among its members all the prac- 
ticing lawyers of the county, was formed. A 
meeting was held in the court-house at Mount 
Vernon on September Sth, when organization was 
effected and a constitution adopted. The following 
officers were elected : George M. Sinclair, president ; 
B. B. Fowle, vice-president ; D. H. Hartson, secre- 
tary, and Thomas Smith, treasurer. .\ committee 
on by-laws was appointed, consisting of B. B. 
Fowle. Major Moore and J. Henry Smith. The 
charter members of this association were the fol- 
lowing: George M. Sinclair, Thomas Smith, Henry 
McBride, Major A. M. Moore. J. M. Turner, B. B. 
Fowle. .\. M. Cunningham, Wylie Jones. Se\mour 
Tones, D. H. Hartson. I-:. C. Million, J. P. Houser, 
\V. H. Perry, Geo. A. Joiner. W. V. Wells. J. C. 
Waugh, A. W. Salsbury, J. Henry Smith. Frank 
Quinby and Henry McLean. 

The year 1S91 was a rather unfortunate one in 
the agricultural line. The harvest season was verv 
poor, resulting in serious damage and in some cases 
almost total failure to the hop and oat crops, and to 
add to the misfortune the price at that time was not 
very high. The price of land and the demand for 
it were very good, however, as is shown by the sale 
of some school land on November 2.5th. at which 
acreage to the value of over two hundred and thirty 
thousand dollars was sold, the highest price paid 
being one hundred and twenty-si.x dollars per acre. 

The immense growth of the county during 1891 
and the two previous years may be indicated by the 
assessment rolls. The amount of land assessed was 
3T2.4f).5 acres, and the amount of imjiroved land, 
22,044 acres. The assessed valuation of the land as 
equalized by the board of county commissioners 
was $5,229,861 : the equalized valuation of improve- 
ments on land, $:Ul.;8fi; of town lots, $.3.."i:2,936 ; 
of improvements thereon, $401..")T,t: railroad track, 
$99o,085 ; personal property. $1,063,630. The entire 
equalized valuation of all property was, therefore. 
$11,610,873. This was a tremendous increase since 
1888, at which time the assessed valuation, was 
$1,460,601. This increase was largely the result 
of the widespread and unprecedented booms with 
which the county was filled during this period and 
when these booms broke, there was an immediate 

decline of two or three million dollars in the aggre- 
gate valuation of property. 

In 1892 the county commissicjners undertook 
two important improvements, namely, the building 
of bridges across the Swinomish slough and the 
Skagit river at Mount X'ernon. The contract for 
the first was let to John Wilson, of Burlington, for 
four thousand six hundred dollars, and a contract 
for piling the slough from the bridge to the high- 
lands beyond was also let, the successful bidder 
being Fred Ross, of Mount Vernon. This work 
was expected to cost about three thousand dollars. 
The most important bridge was that on the Skagit, 
for which there had long been a demand, as there 
was no way to get across the river except by the 
ferry or the railroad. The question of building a 
wagon bridge had come up three years before, at 
which time the commissioners had submitted a prop- 
osition to levy a special tax of one mill for that 
purpose. The matter had dragged on, however, 
until August, 1S92, when the contract for the bridge 
was finally let to Westerman & Ycaton of Seattle, 
for twenty-nine thousand dollars. It was expected 
that it would be completed by the beginning of the 
following year. 

The year 1892 was an exciting one throughout 
the county. The old question of county-seat 
removal, which has been a burning one in so many 
counties, was the absorbing topic of the year. For 
some time a number of cities had been casting en- 
vious eyes at Mount Vernon and wondering how 
they could gain the coveted honor, one of these 
being Sedro. which bv virtue of its central position, 
considered itself the most suitable. Another was 
Burlington, but the most ambitious and the most 
dangerous aspirant was the famous Anacortes. It 
is true that the fortunes of Anacortes were begin- 
ning to wane, that the boom which had built it had 
passed its height ; nevertheless it was a dangerous 
rival and was accordingly feared by Mount Vernon. 

The fight put up by Anacortes was a desperate 
one, for the citizens of that place felt that its pres- 
tige was at stake. They endeavored to prevail 
upon Sedro to withdraw from the race, but gener- 
osity is a trait not generally present in county-seat 
struggles, and it was not in this case. In May a 
number of circular letters were sent out from 
Anacortes to prominent citizens throughout the 
county, worded as follows : 

Anacortes. April 29, 1892. 

Dear Sir: — The Anacortes Business Men's Association 
has been formed for the express purpose of removing the 
county seat of Skagit county from Mount Vernon to 

This we will undertake to do if you will give us your 
aid. The executive committee have deemed it advisable 
to request lot owners to submit to an assessment of $10 
a lot in order to create a campaign fund to carry on this 
work and we hope that you will see it to your advantage 
cheerfully to respond. 

The fight will be a "hot one," but we can assure you 



of its successful termination, provided the necessary en- 
couragement is given us. It is not necessary to go into 
detail as to the advantages to be gained by making Ana- 
cortes the permanent county seat of Skagit county; it is 
apparent to all, and it is conceded that it will be of inesti- 
mable benefit to the county at large. 

Several months ago a few gentlemen met informally 
and discussed this subject and concluded our chances were 
good. They increased in number from day to day, get- 
ting the ideas of our best business men, until they gained 
in strength and confidence sufficient to warrant a perma- 
nent organization, which was effected in March, after the 
consultation with the managers of the landed interest, 
who endorsed our plans and guaranteed their financial aid. 
Our membership now comprises all the business men of 
the town. Politics are not "in it." We are a unit, with 
only one purpose. The executive committee have control 
of aflfairs. Thev worked quietly and systematically, accom- 
plishing all desired ends. .\ vast amount of preliminary 
work has to be done. The committee has no further 
desire for secrecy, and after a careful canvass of the 
county, are prepared to say without hesitation that we 
will win the fight with your help. 

It is the duty of the executive committee to receive 
and disburse all "moneys. The well known character of 
these gentlemen is a guarantee to you that the business in 
hand will receive most careful attention. 

Kindly make your remittances to Mr. T. B. Childs, 
treasurer, or to Bank of Anacortes. 

Trusting you will give us a prompt and favorable 
rcplv, we are, Yours trulv. 

H. D. Allison, John M. Platt, 

Secretary Ex. Com. President. 

Besides this letter, petitions were circulated 
tliroiigliout the county, askitig that the question of 
the removal be submitted at the next election, which 
petitions were presented to the county commission- 
ers in August. The town of Sedro also circulated a 
petition of similar import. 

The people of Mount Vernon organized to meet 
and resist the opposing forces. They brought for- 
ward every possible objection to removal, the cost 
of doing so, which they claimed would be at least 
fifteen thousand dollars, though each of the rival 
towns proposed to pay that expense in case of suc- 
cess; the loss of the lands and buildings already 
owned in Mount Vernon by the county, the cost of 
new ones in a new county seat, the central location 
and easy accessibility of Mount \'ernon and the 
distance and inaccessibility of Anacortes. luirther- 
more, Mount \'ernon claimed that Anacortes was a 
boom town run by a few corporations, and that it 
was in their interest alone that the county scat should 
be removed thither. 

The election at which this momentous question 
was decided was held on November 7th, and rcsidted 
as follows : Mount \'ernon, 867 votes ; Anacortes, 
873; Sedro. fi.'iG ; P.urlington. 164. Anacortes thus 
received a plurality but in order to secure the re- 
moval, three-fifths of all the votes cast were neces- 
sary, and these none of the cities succeeded in 
obtaining, therefore to the great jov anrl triumph of 
Moimt Vernon and the grief and tribulation of the 
other towns, tlic count v scat remained at the former 

The population of Skagit county in 18!»-3 was 
8,960, being an increase over 1890 of only 2:50. 
There were almost twice as many men in the county 
as women, showing the comparative newness of the 
country. In spite of the small increase agriculture 
had evidently prospered, for the number of acres in 
cultivation had increased from about 16,000 in 1890 
to about 44,000 in 1892. The agricultural .sections 
had been unaffected to any great extent by the 
booms, but had gone on developing steadily and 
naturally. It was in the towns that the full force 
of the booms was felt — in the towns like Anacortes, 
where real estate prices rose to several times the nor- 
mal value and then as suddenly dropped. In 1890 
the boom had been at its height ; now it was begin- 
ning to collapse and premonitions of the hard times 
which followed so close on its heels were beginning 
to be felt. Not only in Skagit cotmty but in the 
whole Northw-est many an enterprise, which had 
begun during the years of plenty with many fair 
promises of success, proved unable to sustain itself 
and went down in failure. 

The assessment returns for 1892 show a valua- 
tion of $7,769,177, of which the valuation on lands 
with their improvements was $3,606,001, and on 
town and city lots with their improvements, $2,332,- 
305. The following year the assessed valuation of 
the county was still less, being only $6,476,066. 
The jirincipal decrease was in town and city lots, of 
which the valuation was $1,544,990. The reason 
for this was that much land which had been assessed 
the year before as town lots was now assessed as 
acreage property, also, that owing to the hard times 
the price of l^md was lower. 

The winter of 1892-3 was noted all over the 
sound country for very disastrous floods. A great 
amount of damage was done to property and rail- 
road traffic was stopped for a week at a time. The 
first flood occurred in November, .\bout the middle 
of that month there was a very heavy rain-storm, 
and on the night of the 18th a warm Chinook wind 
blew, which melted an immense amount of snow in 
the mountains . By the morning of the next day 
the Skagit river was bank full and still rapidly 
rising. Millions of feet of logs and a great amount 
of drift were brought down so thickly that it was 
impossible for the steamers to run. A huge mass 
of this drift lodged against the pier which was just 
being built for the new bridge at Mount Vernon 
and an enormous jam formed, which in a short time 
stretched clear to the east bank, a distance of two 
htmdred feet. Men worked all night trying to 
loosen it, but it grew larger every moment, and 
early in the morning of the 20th the pier could stand 
the strain no longer and with a sudden snap gave 
way. Bv midnight of the 19th the river was half 
wav up the dikes, and men turned out and worked 
for the rest of the night strengthening them and 
filling up the low places. But their efforts were in 
vain. By four o'clock the water was running over 



the lop ot tlic (like aiui aiini)clling the people lIa^llly 
to seek safer places. 

Ill a short time tiie entire >outli part of town 
l)elo\v Kincaid street was lloodeil to a depth of 
nearly three feet and tlie fnrnaces of all the shingle 
mills in town were submerged, as well as that of the 
electric works, which w^cre obliged to shut down. 
I'.elow town the dikes were destroyed in several 
])laces and the country for miles around was flooded. 
The towns of I*'ir and Skagit City had several feet 
of water in them. In the opposite direction Sedro 
and Hamilton were both flooded and considerable 
damage was sustained. Railroads were washed out 
in every direction. No trains ran on the Great 
Xortliern for five days, and other roads fared 
equally as bad. On the Seattle & Northern an 
engine ran into a washout and was overturned, 
killing the fireman, whose name was Ed (^ole. 
The Hood was not confined to the Skagit river but 
extended to all the rivers of western Washington. 
Considerable loss of stock was sustained throughout 
the county and Dennis Storrs lost several hundred | 
dollars' worth of hops, but the most serious single 
loss was the bridge pier, upon which nearly two 
thousand dollars' worth of work had been done. 

In the latter part of January and the first of 
February another spell of unusual weather, in the 
form of a cold snap was experienced. The ther- 
mometer reached the lowest point in the history 
of the county, though the cold weather did not last 
so long as in the severe winter of 1875. It began 
on January 30th, when the temperature fell twenty 
degrees within two hours and the following morn- 
ing the thermometer registered ten degrees below 
zero, which was the lowest point reached. During 
the .'lOth and olst the river was full of floating ice. 
which was backed up at the mouth by the tide and 
formed a solid blockade which soon extended far 
above Mount \'ernon. For two or three days the 
thermometer continued about zero, after which the 
cold slowly moderated. 

A project that attracted considerable attention 
among the people of Skagit count\- during the first 
few months of 189:5 was a proposed motor line, 
known as the Mount \'ernon, Bayview & Northern 
railroad. The president of the company was Har- 
rison Clothier, the general superintendent J. B. 
Moody, and the route as laid out extended from 
Mount Vernon to Bayview through Avon and 
through a tract of valuable timber land, which it 
was proposed to o])en up, also through some fine 
agricultural land. Contracts for right of way for 
this road were secured and quite a large amount of 
subscriptions and subsidies pledged by the people 
living along the route, which subscriptions and 
promises of subsidies became void, however, as the 
road was never built. 

There were a number of important court pro- 
ceedings during 1893. One of them was the trial 
of David C. Moody for the murder of T- L. Warner, 

a ennie which had been committed in Hamilton in 
the fall of the previous year. The facts in the case, 
as brought out in the trial and published in the cur- 
rent newspapers, were as follows: J. L. Warner 
was the owner of the electric ligiit plant of Hamil- 
ton and the power for running this plant was furn- 
ished by the shingle mill of Campbell & Edwards. 
David C. Moody was the night watchman at this 
mill and was also supposed to keep up steam for 
running the electric light plant, but one night he 
failed to tlo this and Mr. Warner came over to see 
what was the matter. Moody said that there was no 
wooil and when Warner pointed out some that was 
lying across the street he replied that it was not his 
business to carry wood. After a few more words 
Warner went after Edwards, one of the owners of 
the mill, who came with him in a short time and the 
altercation with Moody was renewed. Finally 
Warner, losing patience, seized his adversary by 
the neck, whereupon Moody instantly drew a revol- 
ver and shot Warner dead. 

At the trial, which began on the 23d of Feb- 
ruary, the lawyers for the defense, Million & Hou- 
ser, tried to show that the fatal shot was fired in 
self-defense and while in fear of bodily injury. 
The prosecution was conducted by Prosecuting 
Attorney Joiner in an able manner. The impression 
created by Moody was an unfavorable one as he 
seemed constantly afraid of committing himself. 
The trial which lasted only three days, resulted in 
a verdict of manslaughter, and the prisoner was 
sentenced by Judge Henry McBride to nineteen 
years in the penitentiary. 

Another case of great interest and considerable 
intricacy was the famous one of the Wilbur Indian 
heirs for the possession of their heritage. It ap- 
peared that Wilbur had married an Indian woman 
and later an American and now both claimed to be 
his heirs. The superior court decided in favor of 
the Indian, as appears from the following findings 
of fact by Judge McBride, which form a highly 
interesting, romantic and humorous narrative. 

Having been engaged for. lo, these many days in the 
pleasant task of instrncting jnries as to the proper measure 
of damages in horse trades and listening to the plaintive 
appeals of those who rashly enter into contracts at a time 
when the ownership of a town lot in the impenetrable 
forest brought to the liappy possessor visions of untold 
wealth. It is a relief to the heart to turn aside from con- 
templation of these engrossing subjects and dwell upon the 
tale of innocence and love unparalleled by the evidence in 
this case. 

It appears that away back in 18lJ7, when many of the 
towns, now ambitious for county seat honors, "were as 
yet unknown to fame, and the ' swelling bosom of the 
Skagit was still unvexed by the rude touch of floating 
leviathans of commerce, (he deceased, John T. Wilbur, 
hailing from the effete East, first made his appearance 
upon the scene. 

One day in the early sunmier of tlie year aforesaid 
the said Wilbur, while presumably in search of clams— 
although the evidence is strangely'silent upon the point- 
espied sporting upon the sand spit near Utsaladv a duskv 

Ottri/e y n ^ Cor ij s 

Tridio-ix -/McCro/'?j 

-.issc <Johi) Cor Helms vS^Ni'Mi'lc /'AW t 
Joi. vi no w ~ J) I )lo)\ 





maiden of the forest, whose supple limbs had been marred 
by the heat of thirteen summers, and whose cheeks were 
uncaressed by aught save the gentle zephyrs. Deeply im- 
pressed by her visible charms of person, and being of a 
hold and venturesome spirit, he then and there resolved to 
have her for his own. He made a liberal offer, but she, 
modest maiden, not considering it a good plan to yield 
too readily, rejected with seeming disdain his amorous 
intention. He returned to his lonely ranch on the Skagit, 
there to devise strategems new to encompass his end. He 
heard sweetly guttural accents in the sighing of the wind, 
?nd in the floating mist he even beheld her voluptuous 
form. Later on, with a retinue consisting of two noble 
red men from Snehosh — ah, the music of these Indian 
names — he set out to visit his sable enchantress at her 
home upon the tir-clad hillside of the Swinomish reser- 
vation near the banks of the murmuring slough of the 
same name. Arriving there without incident worthy of 
relating, he raised his former offer, now tendering her 
parents the princely sum of hfty dollars. But they looked 
coldly upon his suit, and the dutiful Kitty would not sur- 
render herself to his ardent embrace unaccompanied by 
the paternal blessing. The date can not be determined 
from the evidence, but Kitty, who ought to know, says it 
was just when the salmon were beginning to run. Desiring 
to be exact in all things, it occurred to the court that it 
might be well to continue the hearing of this case for a 
few years while studying the habits of the salmon, but 
the liti.gants, an.xious for the spoils, objected. An attorney, 
when a fee is in sight, seems to care but little for scientific 

Once again he returned to his lonely ranch. There in 
the solitude of his cabin, with no one to spread his 
blankets, no one to weave his mats, he brooded over his 
state of single unblessedness, until at length he determined 
to make one last despairing effort. Tliis time he would go 
in state, so he consulted "Chip" Brown, who had taken 
iuito himself as a wife a child of the stream and the forest, 
and it was arranged. 

One day as Kitty lay upon the bank viewing her own 
charms as reflected in the water of the Swinomish she 
was startled by the approach of a canoe, containing one 
amorous swain, "Chip" Brown, Mrs. Brown, and a large 
number of Indians from a neighboring tribe, hired for the 
occasion. On one side were arranged Kitty, her father, 
mother, relations and friends, and Joseph, tribal chief; 
on the other, Wilbur, "Chip" Brown, Mrs. "Chip." and 
his mercenary train ; and the prize contended for was 
none other than Kitty herself. Mrs. "Chip" being detailed 
to act as interpreter, advanced to the center, and the battle 
of words, which was to decide the fate of the dusky 
maiden, began. The interpreter, the court is grieved to 
say — peace be to her ashes! — abused her position of trust to 
descant upon the charms and graces of Wilbur, and. inso- 
much as she herself had lasted the delights of wedded 
life with a paleface, her words had great weight. 'Twas 
long doubtful to which side victory would incline, but at 
an opportune moment. Wilbur himself advancing with 
sixty dollars in his outstretched palm, the battle was won. 
Chief Joseph thought the sale a good one and her father 
was satisfied with the price; so the money was divided 
between her male relations and Kitty, according to the laws 
of her tribe, was a wife. 

Counsel insists that the evidence is insuflficient to war- 
rant the conclusion that the marriage was according to the 
custom then in vogue upon the Swinomish reservation, 
contending that Indian testimony is unreliable. In their 
zeal they seem to forget that the testimony is corroborated 
by that of one of our most esteemed citizens, one who has 
served the people in various capacities of trust. He came 
here in 1863, and his detailed statement while on the wit- 
ness stand ought to convince the most skeptical that in 
early days he made a most careful study of Indian customs 
relative to marriage and divorce. Whether his investiga- 
tions were carried on for the purpose of satisfying the 

promptings of a natural curiosity, or took an experimental 
turn, the court is not advised. 

Immediately after the division of the spoils the wed- 
ding feast, the memory of which is cherished as one of the 
most glorious events in the annals of the tribe, took place. 
What a feast that must have been ! for little Bob, now 
thirty-si.x years old, but then only ten, retains a vivid 
recollection of it, and says with evident pride that upon 
that memorable occasion they had "bread and tea and 

To prevent others from becoming discouraged, it 
might be well to add that Wilbur ran up the price, and 
that sixty dollars is the highest sum on record paid for 
a wife. Besides, Kitty belonged to a family of distinction. 
Neither should anyone who is desirous of imitating Wil- 
bur's example hesitate over long because his dusky enslaver 
said "No" twice. The court recalls some fairer daughters 
of Eve who said "No" more than twice, and — what is 
worse — stuck to it. 

According to the customs of this tribe, good taste re- 
quires three proposals, llie lirst time the sighing swain, 
if an Indian, offers a pair of blankets or a canoe ; if a 
white man, cash. The second time he must raise the an — . 
I mean, he must increase the offer, and the third time he 
must sling in some additional inducement in the shape of 
worldly goods. The third time is the crucial test — if he 
is rejected then he knows it will be useless to apply. It 
will be observed that the untutored denizen of the forest 
has an advantage over his paleface brother in this — he 
understands when the word "No" is to be taken in its 
literal significance. 

If the bargain turns out to be a bad one the husband 
can return his wife and receive back his canoe or blankets 
or whatever the purchase price consisted of. This should 
be called to the attention of our law-makers. 

The fruit of this marriage was three children, one 
girl and two boys. The girl is dead, but the boys are still 
alive and join with Kitty in the petition to have Bingham 
appointed administrator of the estate of the deceased, who 
departed this- life — rcqiiicscat in fiacc — some ten years ago. 

In 1874 Wilbur entered into correspondence with one 
Sarah J. Willcox. then in the wilds of central New York. 
Many a loving missive passed between them, until finally 
in 187i! she came out here and married Wilbur, and Kitty, 
turned adrift, found solace in the arms of another. 

The bone of contention between Mrs. Wilbur No. 1 
and Mrs. Wilbur No. 2. and their respective counsel, is 
the ranch, now worth $10,000, where Wilbur and "Chip" 
Brown first devised the scheme that resulted in the trans- 
lation of Kitty from the haunts of her childhood to the 
abode of the paleface. 

There is much in this case worthy of comment, did not 
the stiff formulas and cast iron rules of law forbid an 
excursion into the realms of fancy and philosophy. 

In conclusion, the court finds that Kitty is still alive 
and well, although somewhat tanned by e.xposure to the 
elements, and that all the parties to this action want the 

These findings are necessarily brief, but, such as they 
are, it is hoped that, if this case goes up, they may serve 
as a guidance to the supreme court in determining the 
intricate questions involved. Henry McBRinic, 

Enter. Judge. 

Dated March 20, 180:1 

While the court indiilg^ed in this vein of fanciful 
humor, it turned out to be a different case for poor 
old Kitty. The case was carried to the supreme court 
where the decision of the lower court was reversed. 
The grounds for reversal and for deciding- against 
Kitty were tliat while the marriage between her and 
Wilbur had been made according to the Indian 
custom, it was nevertheless void, since there was a 



tirritorial l.iw in cflFcct at tliat time prohibiting the 
marria.iic of white men with Indian women. It 
was true tliat the law was repealed a short time 
after, hut the marriaf^e was not repeated, and was 
eonsequently held to he illej^al and void, and so 
Kitty went without the inheritance, though, by 
compnimise. her children received each a portion of 
the estate. 

There were a number of miscellaneous occur- 
rences during this period whicli may he briefly 
mentioned. In December, ]S!)3, the Fidalgo Eleva- 
tor and Warehouse Company made the largest ship- 
ment of oats ever made from the county. Ten 
thou.sand sacks were taken from Fidalgo City and 
three thousand four hundred from Anacortes lay the 
steamer Umatilla, and transported direct to San 
Francisco, this being the first season in which 
reshipments were not made at Seattle or Taconia. 

Tile Skagit Countv Shingle Association was 
organized on the 13th of January, 1893, at Burling- 
ton, and all of the twenty-two mills in the county 
were either represented or signified their intention 
of joining. It was the aim of the association to act 
in concert with the state association. The following 
officers were elected : P. A. Woolley, president ; 
E. A. Fladd, vice-president ; C. E. Brand, secretary 
and treasurer. J. S. Munday. of Fairhaven, was 
appointed eastern agent for Skagit county shingles, 
with headquarters at Kansas City, Missouri. The 
output of shingles from the county at that time was 
about sixteen cars per day. 

In December, 1893, the county commissioners 
negotiated the sale of one hundred thousand dollars 
funding bonds of the county. The purchasers were 
E. H. Rollins & Sons of Boston, and they paid par 
and a premium of one thousand dollars. The bonds 
were payable in twenty years, but redeemable after 
ten years, and bore interest at the rate of six per 
cent., payable annually. 

The stringency in the money market was so 
severe in 1893 that the shingle manufacturers were 
obliged to adopt a scheme bv which thev could keep 
their mills in operation without advancing anv 
money. The scheme was to deposit bills of lading 
in the First National Bank of Mount \"ernon when- 
ever a shipment was made, then for seventy-five 
per cent, of the value of these bills of lading the 
bank would issue certificates, which would be used 
as money and redeemed as soon as payment for the 
shingles was made. The shingle men used these 
certificates or scrip for some time with great suc- 
cess, but finally the discount on them became so 
great that the plan was abandoned. 

In spite of the hard times, the county commis- 
sioners carried on a number of important enter- 
prises, one being the erection of a court-house on 
the corner of Pine and First streets on land pur- 
chased of D. F. Decatur. The plans of W. A. 
.'>amms. of Avon, were accepted. The dimensions 
of the building were to be fiftv bv one hundred and 

fourteen feel, with two stories and a basement, and 
the contract for its construction was awarded to 
R. S. Downer and William Peacock for thirteen 
thousand five hundred and eighty-five dollars. 
Work was begun immediately. 

.Another inijjortant improvement was the com- 
pletion f)f the wagon bridge across the Skagit 
river at Mount X'crnon. which was accepted by the 
commissioners and opened to the public on June 
19tli. It is the only wagon bridge across the main 
river and one of the best constructed in the state. 
The total cost was thirty-five thousand two hundred 
and fifty dollars, of which the city of Mount Vernon 
paid ten thousand dollars and the county the rest. 

The crops of 1893 were not very encouraging. 
The oat crop was about up to the average, but the 
hops yielded little more than half a crop, the princi- 
])al reason for this being the wet weather in the 
spring. On the place of Dennis Storrs, the most 
extensive hop grower in the valley, the yield was 
about twelve hundred pounds per acre, or half the 
ordinary yield. 

In the fall the farmers on the lower Skagit did 
considerable work in the way of reclaiming marsh 
lands by building ditches and improving the drain- 
age system. Hundreds of acres were improved, 
which, without the drainage, were worth practi- 
cally nothing, but with it from one hundred and 
fifty dollars to two hundred dollars per acre. These 
improvements to agricultural lands are one of the 
most substantial means of adding to the wealth of 
a county. The wealth of Skagit county increased 
in this way during that year about a million dollars. 

In the beginning of 1894 a temporary improve- 
ment in the condition of afifairs in the county 
became noticeable. A number of saw and shingle 
mills, which had been shut down for some time, 
resumed operations, and a few others that had been 
running light increased their output. There w'as 
also promise of considerable building. In the spring 
and early summer, however, Skagit county suffered 
from a series of floods such as had never been seen 
before in the county. That, it will be remembered, 
was the year of the great floods throughout the 
entire Xorthwest, when the Columbia and" its tribu- 
aries broke all records and overflowed farms and 
towns, causing incalculable damage. 

The Skagit river was not far behind. It rose 
two separate times ten inches higher than the oldest 
settlers had ever known before. On Mav 24tli the 
water had already risen so high that the levees in 
the lower part of Mount X'ernon were in danger of 
being overflowed. In the face of this calamity all 
the men in town, of all jirofessions, turned out and 
worked all night strengthening them and stopping 
small leaks where the water seeped through, but the 
water rose higher and higher, and by the following 
morning a small stream was flowing into First 
street. .\ large number of citizens immediatelv 
began building a dike to keep it from goinjj anv 



further. The water, however, rose as fast as the 
dike did, and work as hard as they could their 
efforts were in vain. About four o'clock in the 
afternoon the dike near Jarvis & Metcalf's mill gave 
wa\- and a short time later the temporary dike in 
the street broke in a number of places. Instantly a 
tremendous flood of water began pouring through 
the streets in the southern part of the city. Fences 
and sidewalks were torn up and more than half the 
people in that part of town were compelled to leave 
their houses and seek refuge on a neighboring hill, 
where a large school building and several empty 
houses were standing. For three days torrents 
of water poured through the town. Many of the 
houses it was impossible to reach without a boat. 
In the flat part of the town only one block, that on 
which the bank was situated, remained entirely 
above water. Many of the sidewalks floated and 
were used as bridges in getting around town. Bus- 
iness was entirely suspended, the first floors of many 
of the buildings being submerged. Every one was 
busy trying to save his property from being carried 

Great as was the loss to the citizens it was noth- 
ing compared to that sustained by the farmers lower 
down the river, whose crops were completely de- 
stroyed. For days and nights together they worked, 
part of the time waist deep in water, trying to keep 
the dikes from bursting, and in some places new 
dikes were built on top of the old ones. At Gage's 
place on the west side of the river the soil was of a 
quicksand nature and had to be put in sacks before 
it would stay. In spite of the most tremendous 
exertions, some of the men working twenty-four 
hours on a stretch, their efl^orts were in nearly every 
case useless. The raging torrent rose beyond con- 
trol and, overwhelming all resistance, inundated the 
whole of the low lands between Mount Vernon and 
the sound. The delta of the Skagit disap]5eared. 
At Dannemiller's place below Avon the big dam 
gave way, completely flooding the Beaver marsh, 
and the Olympia marsh suffered a like calamity. 

The railroads also suffered severely, numerous 
sections of track being washed out on both the 
Great Northern and the Seattle & Northern, and 
trains were unable to run for several days. The 
Great Northern railroad bridge was constanth- in 
danger of being demolished by log jams which 
lodged against it. The wagon bridge at Mount 
Vernon proved its excellence by resisting the strain, 
though it received some tremendous knocks. At 
one time a large jam formed against it which could 
not be dislodged until the steamer Clan McDonald 
came along and, by the exercise of great skill on 
the part of its captain, succeeded in clearing away 
the mass of logs. 

On the 28th the water began to subside and fell 
slowly about three feet, but on the 1st of Jimc it 
turned again and began to rise. The 1st and ".'d 
were both warm davs and much snnw was melted 1 

in the mountains, so that within three days the 
water was again within an inch of its previous mark. 
The scenes of the first flood were repeated, but the 
people, having had the experience once, were better 
prepared. The loss of stock was considerable, one 
man. Captain Keen of Skagit City, losing twenty- 
eight head of cattle out of a band of thirty. The 
farm lands were again flooded, making the destruc- 
tion of the crops still more irretrievable. On the 
2d a very severe storm of wind, with thunder and 
lightning, swept over the whole sound country, and 
the steamer Clan McDonald, which had just left 
Seattle and was in the midst of it, came near being 
swamped. The storm did not strike Mount Ver- 
non squarely, but McMurray, Montborne and Ham- 
ilton got the full benefit, and at the last place the 
Episcopal church was overturned. 

The Great Northern managed to run a train 
both ways between Mount Vernon and Seattle on 
the Jid of June, the first train for several days and 
the last for several more, as the rising flood soon 
submerged a large part of their track for the 
second time. 

On June 7th there were two unfortunate drown- 
ing accidents, the first of which happened early in 
the afternoon. N. P. Swanberg was crossing Dry 
slough in a canoe with his wife and youngest child, 
when the canoe suddenly capsized. The father, in 
trying to save his child, was drawn to the bottom 
by the current and both were drowned. Mrs. 
Swanberg held herself afloat by seizing hold of the 
canoe and was rescued by two men. Mr. Swanberg 
was a farmer who had coine from Sweden ten 
years before. 

The other accident partook in some respects of 
the nature of a crime. Four Indians, a man and 
wife and two children, were camped a short dis- 
tance above Mount Vernon. In the evening a man 
named Petit came along and filled the Indians with 
liquor, after which he claimed to be a deputy 
United States marshal, scaring them so that they all 
four got into their canoe and started down the 
river. In some way the canoe was overturned, and 
the man and one of the children immediately sank 
to the bottom, while the woman, with the other 
child, managed to reach the shore. 

In the middle of June the river again com- 
menced rising, but fortunately the weather 
remained cool and the water went down again. 
Many of the farmers, whose lands had been flooded, 
had reseeded and were expecting fairly good crops. 
It would seem as though they had had misfortune 
enough and might be allowed to gather what was 
left in peace, but the river was remorseless. In the 
first part of July another freshet occurred, which 
again flooded the farming country to a depth in 
many jilaces of several feet, this time ruining the 
crops completely. The hops, which were mostly 
on higher lands, did not suffer so severely, though 
heavy losses of liojis were sustained by Messrs. 



Wiles ami Danneniillcr near Avon. The entire 
loss inHicted ujwn the people of the Skagit valley 
bv these Hooils was estimated at half a million 

One thing was shown conclusively by the disas- 
trous results of the floods, and that was the abso- 
lutely necessity of substantial dikes. A great many 
meetings were soon held to consider this question 
and to mature plans for the construction of such 
dikes ; new diking districts were organized, and the 
work of building barriers against the water was 
carried on during the rest of that year and the fol- 
lowing year. .At the present time the river is sub- 
stantially diked from its mouth to points beyond 
Woolley, most of the work having been done in 
those years. Another matter that received atten- 
tion was the necessity of a better system of ditches, 
so that water which overflowed or collected in the 
low places could be readily drained off. 

.Another very important and much-needed im- 
provement which was brought to the minds of the 
people of the Skagit valley Ijy the great flood was 
the clearing out of the obstructions at and near the 
mouth of the Skagit river. For a number of years 
a large bar had been forming, which had been con- 
stantly growing in size, owing to the accumula- 
tion of snags and debris which gathered on it, thus 
obstructing the channel and causing the farm lands 
on either side to be overflowed. In addition 'to 
that, navigation was rendered unsafe. The people 
of tlie valley had at different times contributed 
large sums, aggregating over one hundred ;thou- 
sand dollars, for the improvement of the river. 
while the government had done but little. A public 
meeting was held in Mount Vernon on July 9th, at 
which resolutions were drawn up urging an appro- 
priation of twenty thousand dollars for the purpose 
of clearing the river of these obstructions, of which 
resolutions a copy was sent to each member of 

The Northwest Agricultural Society was organ- 
ized at Whatcom in July, with a capital stock of 
five thousand dollars. This society included in its 
field of operations the three counties of Whatcom, 
Skagit and San Juan, and it w-as expected that it 
would prove of great benefit to the agricultural 
interests of these counties. 

Another society of a similar nature was formed 
in the same month at Mount Vernon, namely the 
Skagit County Horticultural Society, whose object 
was the advancement of knowledge concerning hor- 
ticulture and pomology. The original members 
were Mrs. B. N. L. Davis, ]\Irs. L. Ward, George 
Davis, D. F. Decatur, H. P. Downs, S. A.' Downs, 
E. Buck, F. C. Ward. J. F. Cass, L. R. Freeman, 
H. A. March, A. G. tillinghast, Fred Eichholtz, 
Oscar Varny, L. D. Hodge, F. L. Crampton, J. P. 
Millett and Mrs. J. P. Millett. This society gave 
an exhibit on September 29th, which was a decided 

success and spoke well fur the esthetic advancement 
of the county. 

.Vnother calamity must be added to the already 
long list for the disastrous year of 1894. This was 
a forest fire which swept over the upper Skagit and 
Sauk valleys in the latter part of August. Some 
hay and many buildings, as well as a great amount 
of valuable cedar timber were burned. The fol- 
lowing men lost part or all of their buildings, in- 
cluding their houses, namely, on the Sauk, F. 
Szrinski, H. C. Crockett; on the Skagit, George 
Perrault, J. McCorkendalc, James Logan, Frank 
IJackus and William Newby. The Cascade school- 
house also was destroyed. 

The year 1895 opened with another serious dis- 
aster, on this occasion high water coming not only 
from the mountains but from the sea as well. On 
January 12th occurred the highest tide known for 
years. Salt water swept over the dikes at the 
mouth of the Skagit covering the Swinomish and 
Saniish flats and all the fertile low lands for many 
miles along the coast. The disaster was not con- 
fined to Skagit count)' but extended long distances 
north and south, being very severe in Snohomish 
county. The Skagit river was very high at the 
same time, rising to within fifteen inches of the 
high-water mark of the year before, flooding all 
the low lands south of Mount Vernon, though little 
dam' resulted to the agricultural lands, owing 
■ to the time of year. It was very different with the 
coast lands, however, covered as they were by salt 
\vater, for it would take a year at least to work the 
salt out of the land so that a normal crop could be 
produced. Only a half crop was raised that season 
on the flooded portion of the flats. 

The Great Northern track was swept out in 
several places by the high tide and no train reached 
Mount Vernon from the south for four days. The 
Seattle & Northern track at Whitney station was 
covered by three feet of salt water. 

In the first part of August, 1895, the western 
part of the county was swept by forest fires, which 
burned a number of buildings on Fidalgo island, 
and threatened the town of .Anacortes. The Seattle 
& Northern trains were delayed by trees falling 
across the track, and the Seattle, Lake Shore & 
Eastern trains were stopped altogether for several 

Eighteen hundred and ninetv-five was alto- 
gether a very unfortunate year. E. A. Sisson, one 
of the most prominent farmers in the county at the 
present time, is authority for the statement' that in 
that year the price of grain fell below the cost of 
producing it. in some cases selling as low as eight 
dollars and fifty cents per ton, while the average 
cost of production was between ei,ght and nine 
dollars. He also says that nearlv ever\- piece of 
property in the county was mortgaged. 

In the fall another memorial was presented to 
congress, praying for favorable consideration and 

^HE NEW ynRr 




iininediate action on the question of the removal of 
the obstructions at the mouth of the Skagit, one of 
the most important questions before the people of 
Skagit county and one demanding immediate atten- 
tion?' The reasons for removing the obstructions 
were given fully and clearly. The memorial is of 
interest and value, not only in itself but in the 
information which it gives, hence is here repro- 
duced in part. 


To the Senate and House of Representatives: 

The undersigned citizens of Skagit county, State of 
Washington, believe that a fair consideration of the condi- 
tions surrounding the Skagit river and tributary country 
will induce such liberal action on the part of Congress as 
will meet the requirements of our present environments 
and prevent any disaster in the future such as vre have 

suffered in the past. 


The surveys already made and the map attached hereto, 
sustain the statement that there are tributary to Skagit 
river about fortv townships, or over fourteen hundred 
square miles of land. Of this large area about one-fourth 
is strictly agricultural, about the same quantity is coal and 
mineral, and the remainder is timber land. A large pro- 
portion of this country is now, and all of it, when developed, 
must be largely dependent for its commerce on this impor- 
tant river. It is navigable for light draft steamers from 
its mouth to Sauk City, a distance of about seventy miles, 
and at some seasons to Marblemount, fifteen miles above 
Sauk City. 


A diking system has been rendered necessary by the 
filling in of the bed and mouths of the river, from causes 
whicli will be explained and ought to be remedied. The 
system already constructed and maintained, embraces one 
hundred and fifty-eight miles of dikes, and has cost in 
money and labor expended in construction the large sum 
of three hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars. All of 
this has been expended by owners of land in the Skagit 
valley, including the residents of towns liable to inunda- 



Before the mouth of the river began to be obstructed, 
the accumulating waters of the greatest freshets did not 
overflow the banks. A channel varying in depth from 
twelve to twenty feet was a sufficient outlet for all the 
water that passed in swift torrents from the mountains 
and highlands of the North and East. Resolute and indus- 
trous settlers reduced to cultivation the fertile lands of 
the Skagit valley, and made subservient to man, the thou- 
sands of acres that were a few years since inhabited by 
the beaver, and other animals whose pelts excited the 
cupidity of the hunter or the Indian. We do not believe 
that the famous lands of the Nile, or any other in the world 
are more fertile and productive. For years, these lands 
without fertilizers, have yielded an average of one hun- 
dred bushels of oats to tlie acre, and the hay crop on the 
higher lands will average four tons; fruits and vegetables 
grow in profusion, and their flavor and richness are unsur- 
passed. But all of this has involved a large expenditure 
of money and unrelenting toil and patience on the part 
of our people. 

I'nless the congress of the United States shall make 
an appropriation sufficient to clear out the mouth of the 
Skagit river, a very large proportion of this country must 
be abandoned. 


We call vour attention to the fact that since Novem- 
ber, 1892, the' floods in the Skagit have four times swept 

over the banks, broken the dikes and inundated the sur- 
rounding countrv. The destruction of property by the 
overflow of November, 1892, and January, 189.5. was not 
very great, but the overflow in May, 1894, and June of 
that year, entailed a direct loss on the people of the 
Skagit valley, as shown by estimates attached hereto, 
approximating one-half million of dollars. 

The town of Mt. Vernon was entirely flooded, small 
boats and rafts navigated the streets, and the people were 
driven from their homes for safety in the hills. The 
damage to public and private property was great, and 
the suffering from exposure and sickness was distressing. 
All of these overflows have been caused by the ponding of 
the water in the river, resulting from tlie obstruction and 
closing the channels of the North and South Forks, above 
mentioned. There is comparatively little danger from loss 
from the overflow in the winter, but in May and June, 
when the crops are most promising, the genial weather 
and hot suns melt the snow in the mountains, and the 
creeks and small rivers and mountain streams empty their 
waters into the Skagit, which sweeps down with terrible 
furv, completing its destructive mission. 

'it is a well-known fact in this section, and the rec- 
ords of the War Department show, that some years ago, 
and when Washington was a territory a large and formida- 
ble jam of logs, trees and other debris had collected about 
ten miles from the mouth of the river, and near where 
Mount Vernon now stands, entirely obstructing navigation. 
.A.t a great expenditure of money and labor, the people resi- 
dent in the Skagit valley removed the jam, so that steam- 
ers passed up and down the river in safety. Under the 
license of Territorial law, and with the knowledge of the 
officers of this great government, obstructions known as 
log booms have been placed in the river and near the 
mouths, since which time the difficulties and dangers that 
now surround us have arisen, and have been allowed to 

Under the law. the General Government has ample 
jurisdiction in all matters affecting navigable waters, and 
we can onlv account for its failure to exercise that juris- 
diction in 'this instance, from the neglect to bring the 
matter to your attention, and to press it with the zeal 
that its importance demands. 

The earnest efforts of our people to protect them- 
selves, and the temporary relief that has been afforded by 
the construction and maintenance of our diking system, 
may to some extent account for the neglect that hereto- 
fore surrounded this destructive nuisance, but the situation 
has now assumed such grave consequences, that it can- 
not longer be overlooked or permitted to continue. 

Until the obstructions in the river, and at its mouth, 
are removed, the further construction and maintenance of 
our diking svstem cannot protect us; until the channel of 
the river shall be restored, as it was before obstructions 
were permitted to be made and to stand, the navigation of 
the Skagit must at all times be uncertain and dangerous; 
and in a very few years must cease altogether. 

We do not believe that an intelligent examination into 
this matter will show that its importance has been over- 
estimated bv us; nor is this the first time that we have 
endeavored to bring it to your attention. Memorials from 
our people have already been forwarded to congress, 
praying some action on behalf of this section, and at the 
last session of our legislature, a joint memorial of that 
body was unanimously passed for the same object. 

'Tlioroughlv impressed with the justice of this appeal, 
we respectfully submit it to your good judgment and 
earnestly hope for an early and consideration 
by your honorable bodies, and by such other authorities as 
shail have this matter in immediate charge. 

The annal.s of Skagit county for 1895 were 
darkened bv a bloody shooting affray, in which one 
man was killed and three others wounded. The 



circumstances were as follows: l''<lwiii I'.alilwin and 
his stepson, (Jzro I'erkins, had been running a 
ferry and freight boat between Saniish and lulison, 
as the larj,a' steamers di<l not slop at the latter ])lace. 
Ill the fall of l.s'H. however, they abandoned the 
work, and it was taken up by John White with 
another lx)at. While empioyeti as an assistant an 
ex-Confederate soldier named Alonzo Wheeler. 
Later on l'>aldwin and Perkins decided to resume 
operations, and when they did so, the rivalry that 
sprang up between the two parties was intense and 
bitter, finally, on the 9th of August, 1895, breaking 
out into open and bloody warfare. On that day, 
just before the arrival of the steamer State of 
Washington, White and Wheeler started down to- 
ward the warehouse on tiie wharf at Samisli. Just 
then LJaldwin and Perkins appeared, accompanied 
bv L'lysses Loop, a son-in-law' of Baldwin, and a 
man named Worden. W'hite and Wheeler walked 
along the approach to the warehouse until they 
arrived at the stairway leading down to the place 
where White kept his boat. The latter then started 
down this stairway, while Wheeler went on toward 
the warehouse. He was soon overtaken by Bald- 
win, Perkins and Loop, and then the firing began. 
It could not be ascertained positively who fired the 
first shot, but it was soon seen that Wheeler was 
seriously injured and w'as trying to escape. White, 
as soon as he heard the shooting, started to 
Wheeler's rescue but was knocked senseless by a 
blow on the head with an iron bar in the hands of 
Worden. \\'heeler's pursuers overtook him and 
after knocking him down beat and kicked him in a 
brutal manner. At that moment Wharfinger Dean 
came up and succeeded in drawing them off, though 
he was himself threatened by them. 

The scene on the wharf after the battle was a 
fearful one. Wheeler was lying nearly dead with 
three frightful bullet wounds, one through the right 
lung, one through the abdomen and one through 
the ankle ; he was also bruised in many places. 
White's scalp was torn open by the blow on his 
head. Baldwin was struck by two bullets, one on 
the forehead and one in the left arm. Perkins was 
hit on the head and on the breast. When the 
steamer arrived Wheeler was placed on board and 
taken to Anacortes, where he was placed under 
medical treatment. He survived for a few days 
only, dying on the 15th. 

On the day after the battle Sheriff Perkinson 
went to Samish, where he secured all the others and 
brought them to Mount Vernon. The preliminary 
hearing was completed on August 17th before 
Justice Anable. John White, who had taken no 
active part in the conflict, was discharged. Worden 
was charged with assault with a deadly weapon 
and bound over in the sum of two thousand dollars. 
At the trial following he turned state's evidence 
and was discharged. The other three, Baldwin, 
I'erkins and Loop, had also been charged with the 

same crime, but since the death of Wheeler it was 
changed to nnirder in the first degree, and they 
were each bound over in tiie sum o{ ten thousand 

The trial of Baldwin, Perkins and Loop began 
on October 'iM, Judge Henry McBride presiding. 
It attracted considerable attention throughout the 
county. Juuincnt lawyers appeared on both sides. 
Prosecuting .Attorney Geo. A. Joiner was assisted 
by J. T. Ronald, ex-mayor of Seattle, while the 
defense was conducted by Messrs. Sinclair & Smith, 
assisted by Colonel Lindsay and Judge Turner of 
Seattle. Two days were consumed in securing a 
jury, after which the addresses of the counsel and 
the liearing of the witnesses were begun. Archie 
McRea, J. ]>ewis of Edison, John Eckenberget and 
John White all testified to having heard Perkins 
and Baldwin make threats against the life of 
Wheeler and a number of other witnesses testified 
to the bad feeling between the men. Captain Dean 
stated that he saw the fight, and that the defend- 
ants attacked Wheeler, also that he saw no revolver 
in Wheeler's hands during the melee. Wheeler, 
in his dying statement, which was accepted as evi- 
dence, said that he had been attacked by the 
defendants and struck with canes and clubs; that 
he tried to escape but was closely pressed ; that he 
finally drew a revolver and shot at Baldwin ; that he 
then ran around the warehouse but was pursued 
and shot. The defense tried to prove that 'VVheeler 
was the aggressor and that Baldwin fired only in 
self-defense. The defendants all stated that 
Wheeler fired the first shots, also that he warned 
them to keep ofT the dock, claiming, moreover, that 
there was no agreement between them to attack 

The case came to an end November 1st, and the 
following day the jury brought in a verdict of man- 
slaughter against all the defendants. Thev were 
sentenced by Judge AIcBride on November 12th, 
Baldwin to ten years in the penitentiary, Perkins to 
five and Looj) to one year, and each to pay a fine 
of one dollar in addition. The costs in the case 
amounted to tw^o thousand four hundred and fifty 
dollars and five cents, besides the sherifif's cost bill. 

During the winter of 1S95-6 a number of at- 
tempts were made to organize a countv immigra- 
tion association, which attempts were not eminently 
successful. Officers were elected, as follows: 
President, H. S. Conner; vice-president, F. L. 
Crampton; secretary. H. P. Downs; treasurer, R. 
O. Welts. Some preliminary work was done, "but 
the support was not enthusiastic, and the enterprise 
gradually died out. 

In is9r> there was a movement to organize the 
county into townships according to a state law pro- 
viding for such organization whenever the inhabi- 
tants elect. There was an election held to decide 
the question, at which six hundred and eighty-seven 
votes were cast in favor of township organization 

SKAGIT COUNTY, 1897-1905 


and four hundred and fifty-five against, but in 
spite of this decided majority, the matter was for 
some reason allowed to drop. 

By 1896 there had begun to be considerable 
improvement in the general condition of affairs. 
The crops for that year were very good, and tlie 
price of oats had risen from ten dollars and fifty 
cents to twelve dollars per ton, but the year did not 
pass by without the usual floods, which occurred 
that season in the middle of November. On the 
12th and 13th Chinook winds blew, which melted 
large amounts of snow that had accumulated in 
the mountains, and in a short time the Skagit river 
was raging. For a time the water threatened to 
overflow the new levees along Mount \"ernon"s 
front, but a large number of men turned out with 
picks and shovels and built dikes along the top of 
the levee.'^. By these means the town was saved 
from being flooded. The opposite side of the river 
was not equally fortunate, however, for two breaks 
occurred, one near F. C. Ward's place, the other 
at the home of Dennis Storrs, letting a flood of 
water over the whole region ; a building at Hamil- 
ton and one at old Sedro were destro\ed ; railroad 

traffic was suspended for nearly a week ; six hun- 
dred feet of the Great Northern track between the 
bridge and Burlington were washed out, while 
between Moun» \'ernon and Stanwood over a mile 
was destroyed. 

An attempt at murder, of a dastardly and fiend- 
ish nature, was committed at Prairie at about two 
o'clock on the morning of December 5th. C. L. 
LePlant, J. C. LePlant and L. B. Walters were 
sleeping soundly in one room of the LePlant 
brothers' home, when some one exploded a charge 
of dynamite under the house and blew it into splin- 
ter. .Strange to say. the occupants were practi- 
cally uninjured, though the floor of the room was 
entirely blown away, allowing them to drop to the 
bare ground below. A heavy cook stove was 
thrown from the next room clear over the bed and 
fell next to where the wall had been. C. L. I^e- 
Plant was the first to recover his senses and he im- 
mediately dug the other two out from the mass of 
debris to find that fortunately none of them had 
received an\- worse injuries than a few bruises and 
a bad shaking up. It was never discovered who 
the cowardlv would-be assassin was. 


SKAGIT COUNTY, 1897-1905 

The vear 1897 witnessed a general revival of 
business that was very gratifying after the long 
period of stagnation, and once more the buzz of the 
saw-mills and the hum of industry were heard 
throughout the county. The Skagit News of July 
2(;th says: "It is said that these days the Skagit 
county shingle-mill men are about as happy as 
shingie men can get over the prosperous condition 
of their business and the encouraging outlook for 
the future. Every mill in the county is running full 
time and many of them putting in froiu twelve to 
fourteen hours a day with 'snags' of orders ahead." 
This was a great and very pleasing change from the 
former dullness and every one was pleased with the 
pros])ect that the back of the hard times was broken 
and that business had once more started into life 
and activity. 

The attention of the courts was occupied for a 
time in 1897 by an Indian murder case. In July 
four Indians, Charlie Moses. Johnnie Tommy. 
Johnnie Town, and John Fnich, all Skagit Indians, 
were arrested for the murder, on the 5th of Maw 


of Kelly Annan, a Xookachamps Indian. .\t the 
trial Johnnie Town and John Enich turned state's 
evidence and told their story of the killing, which 
was as follows : The four Indians had made a 
drive of shingle bolts for Joe Richardson from 
Hamilton to Mount \'ernon, and had started back 
in their canoes from Mount \'ernon early in the 
afternoon, accompanied by their wives and also 
by Kelly Annan. In the evening they camped 
about half a mile above the Great Northern bridge 
and proceeded to fill up on whiskey. In a short 
time a quarrel broke out between Johnnie Tommy 
and Kelly Annan, in which the latter threatened to 
bewitch the former. .\t this moment Charlie Moses 
came up and struck Kelly .\nnan two blows on the 
head with an ax ; then Johnnie Tommy cut his 
throat with a knife, whereui)on they weighted the 
body with a bag of sand and sunk it in the river. It 
seems that Paul Jesus, a brother of Kelly Annan, 
heard of the affair, but was pacified by a number of 

Charlie Moses and johiinie Tomm\- admitted 



being camped at tlie place specified, but denied that 
tliey bad bad any wbiskey or that Kelly Annan bad 
Ix-en wiib tbeni. sayinj; tbal tbey bad not seen him 
for a lon^ time. The trial of the two Indians was 
comi>letcd in ( )ctoher and on the Iv'di they were 
sentenced by Judpe Ilonser. Charlie Moses receiving' 
fonr years in the jienitentiary and Johnnie Toniiny 
five. The counsel for the defense. Messcrs. Sinclair 
& Smith, ajijiealed the case to the supreme court, but 
the final decision and sentence, delivered in ,\pril. 
ISiiS. were the same as those delivered in the first 

It was in IN!'^ that the news of the wonderful 
Klonilike discoveries caused such wild excitement 
tbroufjbnut the Xorthwest. Xfit since the days of 
California bad such a fever of excitement been seen. 
Men by the hundreds forsook their occupations and 
joined the jjrand rush to the ^old-fields of the North, 
.^kaijit county, beinsj on tlie line of tlK- Alaska 
travel, received ils full share of itjlowinc; talcs of gold 
and wealth : and. led b\' these tales, many of her 
citizens embarked in the search for the gold and 
the wealth. In Julv and .\ugust a large number left 
for tlie Klondike, among them L. D. .Metcalf, Jack 
Papin. J. K. Thomas, J. \V. Trilliman. Joe Stroud, 
James Eastwood. Peter Jamison, J. X. Parker. L. D. 
Ferguson. Dennis Storrs. Fred Siegel. Amber Thi- 
bert. Fred lionchicr. Mark Rowan. H. C. Frizelle. 
Kev Pitman. Frank Stackpole. T. M. Gares. J. M. 
McCreary. \\. S. Riblett. Ole Dickson. C. S. Moody, 
Dr. J. X. Harris. James Dunlap. John Matson, John 
Lucky. Arthur Everett, John P.ridcott. William 
Moss. John Matlev. John Llovd. Eugene Tavlor, 
Fred Slack, R. O.'Welts, Will' Knox. F. A. Gard- 
ner, W. E. Harbert. all of Mount Vernon ; Robert 
Woodburn. Richard P>all of La Conner: Wilev 
Roach of L>man ; W. \". Wells. Douglass Alltnond. 
Peter E. Xelson. Daniel Sullivan of Anacortes : 
George Reed of P>urlington ; William HetTron of 
Hamilton; R. Lambier of Sterling, and Charles 
McDowell of Woolley. The Skagit News of Au- 
gust 2d remarked that it was only the near approach 
of winter that kept almost the entire male popula- 
tion of Skagit county from joining the grand rush 
and jjredicted that if the favorable reports con- 
tiinied the county would be almost depopulated in 
the spring. 

And yet it is certain that only a small portion of 
these hopeful adventurers achieved a fortune, while 
those who stayed at home, at least some of them, did, 
if we may judge bv the following from the Skagit 
News of August nth : "Talk about your Klondikes, 
they are nothing to a fish trap among the islands 
of northwest \\'ashington. r)ne trap, owned bv 
Rolla Davis, furnishes enough fish to keep the Ana- 
cortes cannery employed all the time. From a sin- 
gle raising ten thousand fish were taken, netting 
its owner eight hundred dollars, and there were 
twenty thousand fish left in the trap. Mr. Davis 
has a contract for three years at eight cents apiece. 

It is estimated that he will clear thirty thousand dol- 
lars this season." 

in .Xovembcr a most unusual and astonishing 
event occurred, namely, a Hood in the Skagit river. 
Xovembcr Gtli there was a very warm Chinook 
wind : on the following day the river rose rapidly, 
and early the next morning began pouring over the 
levees. The i)eo])Ie of Mount N'ernon rushed out 
and tried to stop the flood by raising the levees, but 
their efforts were of no avail ; then they rushed 
back to their houses and places of business and tried 
to secure their goods against damage. A few were 
imsuccessful even in this. IJuildings were flooded 
and sidewalks torn up and debris washed through 
the streets all over town, the southern part, as 
usual, suffering the most. A break occurred there, 
letting in a rush of water which carried everything 
before it with tremendous force. Several exciting 
experiences were recorded by the News, probably 
the most exciting being that of Mr. Winkler, who 
was in bis house when the break occurred, directly 
in the path of the torrent. The house was turned 
around and broken in two. Mr. Winkler didn't 
have time to make his escape, but was obliged to 
jump up and stand on the door-knob while the 
water rose up to his chin At length the door-knob 
broke off, so Mr. W^inkler swam to the window and 
climbed up astride of the lower sash. He remained 
in this position with the water up around his waist 
for several hours, until finally a boat was snubbed 
down to him and he was rescued. Several other 
men were rescued from house-tops and stumps, two 
after remaining all night on the latter. 

Petween ]\Iount Y'ernon and the sound the 
levees were overflowed in all directions, but fortu- 
nately the damage was not verv severe, being con- 
fined principally to oats and hay which had not been 
lilaccd high enough to escape the water. The wagon 
bridge at Mount \'ernon, which had stood so manv 
hard knocks, was injured by a huge jam of logs so 
that it could not be used for several days. Steam- 
boat slough, the only navigable channel at the mouth 
of the river, was blockaded and it was with diffi- 
culty that steamboats made their way through. 
The coast-line of the Great Northern 'was over- 
flowed and trains delayed, but the damage was not 
so great as usual. 

The outbreak of the war with Spain in 1898 
was heralded in Skagit county by the same enthusi- 
astic patriotism that was shown in every other 
county in the state and in the Union. A number of 
the young men of Skagit volunteered at once in the 
service of their country. Three of them, Frank B. 
Lippincott. George H. Caches and J. G. McGlinn 
left on the steamship Senator on May 11th, and 
those who went at other times were Edwin Fred- 
lund, of Afount \'ernon ; William Chambers and 
Harry Craig, of La Conner; Frank Brown and 
Nicholas Polly, of Sedro-Woollev. Caches and 
McGlinn were enrolled in Companx- B of Seattle. 

SKAGIT COUNTY, 1897-1905 


Lippincott in Company E of North Yakima, Fred- 
lund in Company G, Chambers in Company H, 
Craig with the First Idaho vohmteers, and Brown i 
and Pollv also with the First Washington. Polly j 
was seriously injured at the attack on Pasig church 
near Manila and never recovered from the effects. 

Eighteen hundred and ninety-eight was a pros- 
I^erous year, with good crops and business activity. 
In the fall the people celebrated their good fortune 
by holding a county fair, which began October 6th 
aiid lasted three days, proving a grand success. 
The beautiful and varied displays showed the great 
resources of Skagit county to be such as the inhabi- 
tants themselves had not realized. The attendance 
during the three days was fully si.x thousand. 

Prosperitv and excellent conditions continued 
through the following year in constantly increasing 
measure. The News of December 25th gives a 
summary of the events of the county for tliat year 
which was, in part, as follows : 

"The spring was very late and many crops were 
in danger of being ruined by the late rains. A 
portion of the Olympia marsh was inundated nearly 
all vear. \\"e had rains in July, a rather unusual 
occurrence. The ranchers, however, had planted 
their grain early and a fairly good crop was the 
result." Between intermittent showers, the merry 
hum of the separators was heard late into October. 
In some places the grain was first class and in 
others it was wiry and tough and frequently clogged 
the machines. The yield of oats ran as high as one 
hundred and fifteen bushels to the acre in some 
localities and seldom below eighty. The late rains 
lodged the grain, and it did not ripen as early as 
usual. The cost of harvesting was increased by 
the necessitv of hiring men to raise the grain. There 
were about twenty-five threshing outfits at work 
during the summer. Several new ones were brought 
into the county at the commencement of the season. 
The oats were of a darker color than usual, but 
they were well filled out. While the yield of oats 
was large, that of hay was smaller. In some in- 
stances hay was ruined in the shock by its being 
too wet weather. The price of hay ranges from 
six dollars per ton upward, and oats from fifteen 
dollars per ton up. 

"Many ranchers are paying more attention to 
dairying than they have in the past. Several of 
them have bought new separators and increased 
their herds of cows. The Alaska trade has created 
a demand for packed butter, and a great deal of 
Washington product is shipped there. .-Ks a rule, 
the farmers are getting better stock and disposing 
of the inferior animals as soon as convenient. This 
is noted in horses as well as in cattle. Where they 
had light stock they have in almost every case been 
replaced by a heavier animal. 

"The salmon industry has taken wonderful 
strides the past year. The addition of new canner- 
ies at Anacortes brought up the amount of salmon 

canned. Last year 3,350,000 salmon were canned 
in the different canneries in the county. These 
salmon filled v;o5,000 cases, and as there are four 
dozen cans in a case there was a total of 9,840,000 
cans. They retail in the East at 25 cents a can. The 
valuation here was about $1,000,000. Two thou- 
sand five hundred sacks of clams were put up, 
making a total of T,3G0 cases. The salmon caught 
on the river was mostly sold to Seattle houses and 
placed on ice and shipped East. The money from 
these drift-net men is no small item in itself. 

"The state hatchery at Baker was sold to the 
government and is now being run steadily. An 
appropriation was made for a hatchery to replace 
the one sold, but Commissioner Little has neglected 
to put it in. The Skagit is the largest river on the 
sound and is entitled to more than a passing glimpse 
by the fish commissioner. More salmon ascend this 
river than all the creeks on the sound put together. 
A state hatchery is in operation at Samish lake. 

"The shingle and lumber industry in on the in- 
crease. A large mill is being equipped at Mount 
Vernon. Seven hundred million shingles are being 
cut each year, and forty-five million feet of lumber. 
During the year almost through there were running 
twenty-nine shingle mills and fourteen lumber mills, 
employing about five hundred and fifty men. To 
supply these mills with material, and also outside 
mills, twelve hundred men were needed in the 
shingle bolt and logging camps. Business in the 
shingle and lumber trade has been quite brisk for 
the past year. Good prices and lots of orders made 
the mill men smile. 

"A railway line has been surveyed around 
Chuckanut mountain by the Great Northern and 
active work will soon commence. They have also 
purchased a right of way up the Skagit valley and 
will build up as far as Sauk. This proposed exten- 
sion means much for the county." 

The fall of 1899 was rendered memorable in 
many parts of the Union by the return of the soldier 
boys from the Philippines. Skagit county also had 
its returning heroes, and a reception was held in 
their honor at Mount Vernon on November 16th. 
The soldiers whose gallantry was thus honored were 
Corporal George Caches, Company B, First Wash- 
ington volunteers, Corporal William Chambers, 
Company H of the same regiment. Corporal Edwin 
Fredlund, Company G. Private Garfield McGlinn, 
Company B, Private Frank B. Lippincott, Jr., Com- 
pany E, Sergeant Harry Craig, of the First Idaho 
volunteers ; also two soldiers not from Skagit, Ser- 
geant McCarty, Company H, Eighth infantry and 
Corporal .\bbey. Company B, Fourth infantry. 

Corporal Fredlund had had charge of the regi- 
ment signal service at Pasig church, during the bat- 
tle of Fay-Tay, and also at the advance on Morong, 
the only times that the Washington volunteers were 
ever used in the special service. Private McGlinn 
had received honorary mention for sjiecial merito- 



rioiis services ii|)on liis (liscliaiK'«-'. The reception 
was held in the Mount X'ernon opera-house, the 
chairman Ix-ini; H<mi. M. 1'. Hunl. Klocpient ad- 
dresses were delivered 1)> lion. J. C. Waugh and 
lion. 11. V. Thompson, anil an ori<;;inal poem enti- 
tled "The Washiuijton \ olunleer." was recited by 
the author. W. V. Robertson. .\ number of patri- 
otic musical selections were rendered by the srlee 
club, consisting of Professor David, .\ddi.soii Davis. 
\V. S. Packard and J. Haddock Smith. 

There were several important court proceedings 
in 1^199, one of the most noteworthy being the trial 
of loe Henry t\)r the murtler of .Andrew K. Jack- 
son". The circumstances of the affair, as described 
bv eye-witnesses, of whom there were several, were 
as follows: Joe Henry, who was an educated half- 
breed, was the postmaster at Urban on Sinclair 
island, or Cottonwood island, as it was also named. 
There had been trouble between Henry and Jackson 
for .some time, the latter apparentl\- being the ag- 
gressor. (!)n the morning of the 13th of March 
Henry started down to the beach to get the mail 
from the steamer liuckeye. He had a paper for 
Jackson which he brought over to where the latter 
was standing and dropped at his feet, whereu]5on 
Jackson began calling him vile names, followed him 
down to the edge of the water and struck him a 
heavy blow on the chest. Henry then picked up a 
stone and threw it at his assailant, which caused the 
latter to attack him still more violently. Jackson 
threw Henry into the water, forcing his head below 
the surface and striking him in the face whenever 
he tried to escape. Finally the men were separated 
by C. B. Lutz. who happened to be near and Henry 
went up to his house, secured a rifle and shot Jack- 
,son, who was following him, through the body so 
that he died in a few minutes, tlien gave himself 
up to the authorities. At the trial the prosecution 
was conducted by County .\ttorney M. P. Hurd, 
assisted by E. P. Barker of Mount Vernon, while 
Hon. John F. Dore of Seattle and H. D. Allison of 
Anacortes appeared for the defense. It took the 
jury only fifteen minutes to decide on a verdict of 
"not guilty." 

Of a more serious nature was the murder of 
D. M. Woodbury, of Anacortes, at that place on 
-September 7 th. This was perhaps the most cold- 
blooded crime in the history of Skagit countv. and 
the long and hard-fought trial wliich ensued was 
watched with intense interest. The following 
account of the crime was written by an eye-witness 
and appeared first in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer : 

D. M. Woodlnin-. a proniiiicnt attorney and one of the 
most enterprising men of this region, was shot by A!. 
Hamilton at abont three o'clock. 

Hamilton had a quarrel with Billy Londerville and, 
it is said, threatened to kill him. Londerville, who was 
once on trial at Tacoma for shooting Miles Brotten, a 
policeman, complained to City Marshal Becker of his 
tlireats, and Becker had intended locking Hamilton up 
until he cooled off. but Hamilton resisted arrest, and as 

he was aruud with a revolver and showed ligln. Becker 
concluded to delav taking hint into custody until a less 
dangerous moment. The startcil up the street 
for help and Hamilton followed, meanwhile making threats, 
l-'inally the marshal reached the l)ank building, in which 
City .Xttornev .•\llison had his office, and went upstairs 
to see the attorney. Hamilton continuing to follow. In 
tiiis building are several offices, including those of D. M. 
Woodbury. Miss Trolson. the telephone agent, and Doug- 
lass .Mlmond. .^llmond lieard loud talking in the hall 

and liuallv heard some one say: "You . if you move, 

I'll blow'vour head off." At this he rushed out of his 
office and found Hamilton covering Becker with a revolver, 
the distance between the two men being perhaps fifteen 
feet. .Mlmond advanced to within about ten feet of Ham- 
ilton, when the revolver was leveled at him, and Hamilton 
said, "U you move again, I'll kill you." This situation 
lasted several seconds, when Woodbury came out of his 
office and said: "What is all this about?" Hamilton 
told Woodbury to throw up his hands, punctuating his 
remarks by oaths. Woodbury started to speak further, 
when Hamilton swung his revolver from .Allmoud and 
fired, the distance between the two men being eighteen 
or twenty feet, and Woodbury fell instantly. Allmond 
started forward to close on Hamilton as the latter turned 
his revolver toward Woodbury, hut after the shot was fired 
Hamilton quickly covered Allmond again. Woodbury, 
who had fallen, called: "Boys. I'm shot. He has killed 
me." -After a few seconds more Hamilton glanced toward 
where Woodbury lay and -Allmond jumped backward 
through a door and to an open window, where he called 
to people on the .street below to send for a physician, that 
Woodbury was shot. When he returned to the hall, 
Hamilton had started to run downstairs. Becker follow- 
ing. .At the top he collided with H. D. Allison. Half-way 
down he met E. Kasch, pointed the revolver at him and 
ordered him to get out of the way. .A.s he passed. Kasch 
tripped him and he fell downstairs. At the bottom Becker 
jumped on him and at this point Martin McDonald came 
in from the outside and grabbed Hamilton's right arm and 
the revolver was taken away. Hamilton was then lodged 
in the citv jail and taken later to Mount Vernon by Sheriff 

Mr. Woodbury lingered in great pain until the 
lf)th. when he died. Hamilton, a man of the 
worst type, already had a long record with the 
police, being known to them under four different 
names : A\. Hamilton, AI. Hawkins. Al. Harris 
and -\1- Thomas. He was said to be a deserter from 
the English navy. He had committed numerous 
acts of robbery and piracy and had been charged 
with two murders, his nefarious operations extend- 
ing over the whole of Puget sound. 

The court convened for the trial of Hatnilton at 
Mount \'ernon November Gth. and after nearly a 
week a jury was secured. The prosecution was 
conducted by County -Attorney Hurd, assisted by 
Judge IMcBride, and the defense by Colonel Lindsay 
of Seattle and J. B. Wright. The defense made a 
hard fight to convince the jury that Hamilton had 
been doped and conunitted the crime while not in 
the full possession of his senses, but the jurv would 
not be convinced, and on November 14th returned 
a verdict, of guilty of murder in the first degree. 
On November 27 th Judge Houser sentenced the 
prisoner to be hanged on Friday. February 9, 1900. 
Before the e-xecution took place, however, Colonel 
Lindsay succeeded in securing a stav of proceed- 

SKAGIT COUNTY, 1897-1905 


ings, pending an appeal to the supreme court, which 
to the great surprise and disgust of every one, re- 
versed the decision of the superior court, the 
grounds being that there was an error in the in- 
structions of the trial judge concerning insanity. 
This decision necessitated a new trial, sfoinjr over 
the whole ground once more. A change of venue 
to Whatcom county was secured by Lindsay and 
Wright, and at that place the trial was held in. 
May, 1901. It was conducted on the same lines 
as the first and was very hotly contested. The jury 
were retired only thirty-tive minutes before they 
rendered a verdict of guilty of murder in the first 
degree. For the second time the death sentence 
was passed upon Al. Hamilton, this time by Judge 
Neterer on July 17 th. He was sentenced to be 
hanged on Friday. August 16th, but the case was 
again carried to the supreme court. This time the 
decision of the lower court was sustained, and the 
sentence of death was carried out at Whatcom on 
May 2:i, 1902, more than two years and si.x months 
after the crime for which he paid the penalty had 
been committed. Hamilton died in a manner befitting 
him — without fear or remorse. He mounted the 
scaffold steadily and his last word was a curse. 

In 1900 the branch railroad from Sedro- Wool- 
ley to Belfast, known as the Fairhaven & Southern, 
was torn up and discontinued. The branch from 
Sedro-Woolley was leased and run in conjunction 
with the Great Northern. 

The Great Northern at this time was beginning 
to employ Japanese laborers in its gangs, and the 
citizens who were prejudiced against the Japs, tried 
to prevent their working. On June ^Sth a large 
number of Mount \'ernon citizens waited upon the 
Japanese who were employed on the railroad and 
requested them to take their departure, which the 
latter did without delay. A few days later, however, 
another crew was sent up from Seattle, with the 
request that they be given protection. It was re- 
ported that a plan was formed to treat this crew the 
same as the first, but it did not mature and they were 
not molested. 

In July the farmers of the county were greatly 
alarmed by an invasion of large multitudes of 
strange worms, later determined to be the army 
worms, which traveled in columns by night all over 
the western part of the state, destroying every green 
thing in their path. They lasted several weeks and 
the farmers began to think they would have no 
crops left, but fortmiately the damage was confined 
to small patches and consequently was not very 
great in Skagit county. 

A horrible accident occurred on September 11th 
on the railroad trestle south of Sedro- Woollcy. One 
of the workmen, who had been drinking heavily. 
fell asleep on the track and when the train came 
along he was run over and crushed and mangled 
in a frightful manner. He could not be identified. 

but it was believed that he had mi relatives in this 

One of the most sensational murders in the his- 
tory of the county was that of William Gorsage 
by his wife, Jennie Gorsage, on December 14th. 
Gorsage, a heavy drinker, was in the habit of 
cruelly abusing and maltreating his wife, even 
threatening several times to kill her, and she had 
been in constant fear of him during their married 
life. On the evening of December 14th he re- 
turned home drunk and after mistreating her 
started to go to bed. Mrs. Gorsage got a pistol 
and shot Gorsage while he was lying in bed, wound- 
ing him so that he died a short time afterward, 
then immediately gave herself up. When speaking 
of the crime, she said, as quoted by the News of 
December ITth : "He came home early in the even- 
ing and commenced to abuse me, being in an intox- 
icated condition. He struck me in the face three 
times, knocking me down and then proceeded to 
kick me. I told him that I would leave him and he 
said, 'If you do, I will follow you and kill you; I 
would rather have you take my life' — which I did 
about ten o'clock, after he went to bed. .After 
having a quarrel with him, I went to the next room 
and after sitting there for half an hour, a sudden 
thought struck me to kill him. I got his pistol and 
going to the door of the room in which he was 
lying I fired the shot. I am not sorry that I killed 
him, as he is better ofif than to live the way he did." 
The sympathy of the community seemed to be on 
the side of the woman. 

The trial of Mrs. Gorsage occurred in February, 
1901. The state was represented in the case by 
Prosecuting Attorney Hurd, and the defense by 
Attorneys John I'. Dore of Seattle and Henry- 
McLean of Mount Vernon. A number of wit- 
nesses, including a son and daughter of Mr, and 
Mrs, Gorsage, testified to the ill treatment of Mrs. 
Gorsage by her husband. The defense argued that 
the deed was committed under an impulse of insan- 
ity, while the prosecution maintained that the wom- 
an was in no danger when she did the deed, but 
had had time to deliberate and therefore her action 
was not the result of a sudden impulse or passion. 
The jury was out fourteen hours and finallv decided 
on a verdict of manslaughter, with a recommenda- 
tion for leniency, Mrs. Gorsage was sentenced on 
March 10th to one year and si.x months in the state 
penitentiary and to pay a fine of five dollars. Her 
attorneys asked for a new trial but it was denied, 
whereupon the case was carried to the supreme court.' 
That the population of Skagit county had been 
.growing constantly was evinced bv the census of 
1900, which showed 14,272 people,' divided among 
the difl'crent precincts as follows : .Vvon, 718 ; Bay- 
view. 427: Belfast, 206; Birdsview, 331; Burling- 
ton. .■)2.5: Cascade. 138; Cavanaugh, 2; Clear Lake, 
•"iOO; Cokedalc. i;51; Cullum, 204; Cvpress 30- 
Ferry. ?,0 ■. Fidalgo. 99; Fidalgo Citv, 1.52; Fir" 699- 



Fredonia, 176; Guemes, 97; Hamilton, 563; La 
Conner, 1,08?; Lake, 191; Lookout, 143; Lyman, 
353; McMiirrav, 413; Mansford, 20; Mount Baker, 
213; Mount \crnon, 1,120; Pcrley, 8; Point Wil- 
liams, 83; Prairie, 267; Samish, 744; Sauk, 251; 
Sed'ro, 310 ; Scdro-W'oolley, 885 ; Ship Harbor, in- 
cluding Anacortes. 1,483; Sinclair, 21; Skagit, 521; 
Tingley, 67 ; Wooll^y, 235 ; Swinomish Indian reser- 
vation, 275. 

The year 1901 was one of tlie most prosperous 
in tile history of the county. The crop of oats was 
immense, one of the best ever known, and the price 
twenty-two dollars per ton. The fishing industry 
also was blessed with a season such as it had never 
before known, the run of salmon being so large 
that in some cases fish were offered for one cent 
apiece with no buyers. The canneries were obliged 
to take the fish they had contracted for at the begin- 
ning of the season at fifteen cents each. In connec- 
tion with the fishing industry the following from 
the Argus of .August 2d is of interest: "Children 
from ten to twelve years old are making better 
wages in the canneries now than the ordinary lab- 
orer in the harvest fields of the eastern part of the 
state. The run of salmon this year is the largest 
known in the history of the fishing industry on 
the Pacific coast. The output of the canneries at 
Anacortes amounts to fifteen thousand cases daily, 
which at the low estimate of four dollars per case 
would be valued at sixty thousand dollars per day, 
and the actual value of the daily output of the Ana- 
cortes canneries will probably be considerable 

A good deal of the attention of the people of 
Skagit county was occupied in 1901 by the county 
fair for that year, which was held on October 3d, 
4th and 5th. Early in September a new fair asso- 
ciation had been formed for the purpose of purchas- 
ing ground and erecting buildings in which annual 
exhibitions and sports would be held. The capital 
stock of this association was fifteen thousand dol- 
lars. The board of trustees selected to conduct the 
business, consisted of fifteen members, who, for the 
first year, were W. A. Lowman of Anacortes ; C. P. 
Dickey of Bayview ; H. A. March of Fidalgo : J. O. 
Rudene and Charles Nelson of La Conner; N. J. 
Moldstad, E. C. Million, I. E. Shrauger.G.W.Reed, 
C. A. Risbell, H. R. Hutchinson, Charles Clary and 
William Dale of Mount Vernon ; E. Hammer of 
Sedro-Woolley, and T. P. Hastie of Skagit City. 
These trustees elected as president, N. J. Moldstad ; 
secretary, J. L. .\nable, and treasurer. I. E. Shrau- 
ger. The management of the 1901 fair was placed 
in the hands of an executive committee, consisting 
of N. J. Moldstad, I. E. Shrauger, C. A. Risbell, 
William Dale and H. R. Hutchinson, with the last 
mentioned as general superintendent. The time for 
arranging and preparing for the fair was brief, but 
the managers did themselves great credit. While 
the displays were not of mammoth size they were 

very excellent and the large number of people 
who attended, nearly two thousand on the last day, 
were well pleased. 

It was on September 6th that the world was 
shocked by the news of the cowardly assassination 
of President McKinley, who breathed his last on the 
14th. Memorial services at Mount Vernon were 
held in the opera-house at eleven a. m., September 
19th, under the direction of the mayor and city 
council. The school children attended in a body, 
also the (Irand Army of the Republic and the 
Woman's Relief Corps. Addresses were delivered 
by Rev. Arthur Hale and Rev. Fernando C. Eldred. 
All public offices were closed during the day. A 
similar service was held at Anacortes. 

On Christmas night an extremely heavy wind 
storm passed over Skagit county and the rest of the 
sound country. Fences were torn down, trees 
blown over, so that trains were delayed for some 
time, and telegraphic and telephone communication 
destroyed, but fortunatel}', few houses were injured 
and little other damage was done. 

The first important event in 1903 was a serious 
railroad accident, the railroad bridge between Mount 
Vernon and Burlington collapsing on January 17th, 
as a freight train was crossing. The engine was 
nearly across when the bridge went down, but the 
bank was so steep that the cab was entirely sub- 
merged. Four cars, loaded with shingles, also went 
into the river. The engineer, Thomas Heathering- 
ton, of Everett, and the fireman, Doren, of Everett, 
were killed, but the brakeman, McConnehanin, 
escaped with a few ribs broken. The bridge had 
Ijeen known to be weak and was being repaired at 
the time but was not considered at all dangerous. 

The attention of the courts was occupied during 
part of February by the case of Charles Lindgrind, 
accused of the murder of George Leake, a very 
sickly old man, on the night of August 30, 1903. 
The state was represented by Prosecuting Attorney 
Waugh and M. P. Hurd, while Henry McLean was 
appointed by the court to represent the defendant. 
The principal witness was Charles Thomas, who 
testified to having found Leake outside his house in 
a terribly cut and bruised condition. Leake had 
described the man who had assaulted him so that he 
was easily identified. The injured man was removed 
from his house near Whitney to Fidalgo island, 
where he died in a few days. The triaf of Lind- 
grind resulted in a verdict of guilty of murder in the 
second degree. 

There was considerable agitation during the year 
in regard to an exhibit from Skagit county at the 
St. Louis Exposition, and a number of meetings 
were held at different times by those interested. 
Patrick Halloran of Edison was elected president 
of the World's Fair club, Gus Hensler of Anacor- 
tes, secretary, and C. E. Bingham of Sedro-Woolley, 
treasurer. The women of the county also organ- 
ized with the following officers: President, Mrs. 






B i. 


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1 1 II nr' "^ Y — 

SKAGIT COUNTY, 1897-1905 


Frederick Ornes ; vice-president, Mrs. E. M. Hou- 
ser; secretary, Mrs. W. B. Ropes; treasurer, Mrs. 
George D. McLean. The county commissioners 
appropriated one thousand dollars on condition that 
two thousand dollars additional be raised, but the 
question of the exhibit, unfortunately, did not re- 
ceive the support it deserved and would probably 
have received if it had been brought before the 
attention of the public at an earlier date. It had 
been hoped to prepare a joint exhibit with Whatcom 
county, but on the 23d of February, the officers of 
the Fair club having already resigned it was defi- 
nitely decided not to prepare the exhibit and What- 
com county was so informed. 

There was some excitement in Skagit and What- 
com counties in the fall of 1903 about the large ex- 
tensions to the forest reserves made in those coun- 
ties. These extensions interfered seriously with 
business interests and with the rights of settlers, 
so naturally a large number of protests were circu- 
lated through the two counties and almost universally 
signed. These, when forwarded to Washington, 
resulted in most of the withdrawals being again 
thrown open. 

There were a number of important events dur- 
ing 1904, which are so recent that they are still 
fresh in the memory of the inhabitants. One of the 
most important was a transaction carried out by 
the commissioners and the county treasurer, R. O. 
Welts, by which bonds to the amount of one hun- 
dred thousand dollars were refunded, fifty-eight 
thousand dollars of which were held by the state 
and forty-two thousand dollars by Eastern parties. 
They had been issued on the 1st of December, 1894, 
and bore interest at the rate of six per cent. The 
state offered to refund the bonds, and on June 1st a 
new issue was made bearing interest of 3J4 per cent. 
By this means a large amount of interest was saved. 
The new issue was for twenty years, with the priv- 
ilege of refunding after the first year. 

On June "SOth the most successful jail break in 
the history of the county occurred at Mount Ver- 
non, when three prisoners escaped from the county 
jail. They were A. H. Johnson, a horse thief, and 
L. H. Garbe and George Reilly, burglars. All 
three of the men were just about to be sent to the 
state penitentiary at Walla Walla, Johnson and 
Reilly for five years each and Garbe for about 
eleven months, having already served out a good 
share of a two-year term. They had been in an 
attempted break about two months before. They 
were evidently furnished by friends on the outside 
with tools for their escape, with which they drilled 
through the bars of their cage, then, making their 
way to the jail yard, dug a hole in the brick wall 
through which they effected their exit. A number 
of posses were immediately sent in pursuit. Johii- 
•son and Garbe were captured in a short time at 
Rockport, and Reilly was traced to the British line 
but escaped capture. 

One of the most interesting and pleasant events 
of the year was a pioneers' celebration and reunion 
at Sedro-Woolley on August Gth, brought about 
largely by the efforts of the Commercial club of 
that place, Mr. and Mrs. David Batey and several 
prominent residents. Mr. Batey, of Sedro-Woolley, 
acted as chairman, and Mayor Bingham made the 
welcoming address. In the morning a number of 
pleasing speeches were delivered and anecdotes of 
early times told. Those who spoke were Captain 
Fred Dwyer of Lyman, Commodore H. A. March, 
W. H. Burdon of Fidalgo and Senator Emerson 
Hammer. W. F. Robertson also recited a poem on 
"The Pioneer." At noon the meeting adjourned to 
a neighboring grove, where delightful refreshments 
were served, which the old pioneers enjoyed to the 
full, not the least enjoyed being a load of water- 
melons donated by jNIayor Bingham. But the best 
part of the occasion was the renewing of old friend- 
ships and old ties, as many of those present had not 
seen each other before for twenty or twenty-five 
years. In the afternoon a permanent pioneers' asso- 
ciation was organized, the officers elected for the 
year being : President, David Batey ; vice-president, 
Mrs. Georgiana Batey, M. D. ; secretary, Charles 
Villeneuve ; treasurer, Captain Fred Dwyer. The 
date set for the next meeting was August 5, 1905. 

Although anticipating a little, it may be said that 
the meeting was held this year pursuant to adjourn- 
ment and that it proved an altogether agreeable and 
pleasant reunion. The officers elected were: 
Thomas P. Hastie, of Skagit C'ty, president; Mrs. 
Ira Brown, of Sedro-Woolley, vice-president; E. A. 
Sisson, of Padilla, secretary; and Patrick Halloran, 
of Mount ^"ernon, treasurer. The reports showed 
a membership of about one hundred and thirty. 

On the Jijth of August an unfortunate fire 
burned the steamer Elwood, which was unloading at 
Avon at the time, to the water's edge, the crew nar- 
rowly escaping with their lives. The Elwood was 
owned by Captain H. H. McDonald and was one 
of the most popular boats on the river. Her place 
was taken by the Skagit Queen, still in operation 
under Captain McDonald, running between Mount 
V'ernon and Seattle. 

The fourth aimual comity fair was held October 
5th, Gth, "ith and Sth. The officers of the fair asso- 
ciation were : President, N. J. Moldstad ; vice-presi- 
dent, William Dale : secretary, E. W. Ferris ; 
treasurer, I. K. Slirauger. Executive board : L. T. 
Ward.X. J. Moldstad, 'r\ G. Pickering, H. R. Hutch- 
inson. William Dale. M. R. Hutchinson was super- 
intendent of exhibits and L. J. \\'ard superintendent 
of races. The officers of the ladies' department 
were : President, Mrs. R. W. Williams : vice-presi- 
dent. Mrs. A. C. Lewis; secretary. Mrs. W. S. 
Packard ; treasurer, Mrs. George D. McLean. The 
c.Khibits were all excellent. 

The year 1904 was a very prosperous one for 
the agriculturist, the oat crop being much better 



than lliat nt lln' \<.ar Ik'Ioic. and tlic jjricc cxct-p- 
tiiinally liij^li. Ixinfj; I went) -live dollars and twaity- 
six dollars lu-r ton, TIk- hay crop also was <^ood 
an<l sold for a fair jiricc, while the hop crop was 
alxnc the average and the price was very high, 
rising to thirty cents a pound. The yield was in 
some cases a ton an acre. 

The winter of l!)(M-."> hronght a ver\ hiijli tide 
on the sound, which occurred on the 'i'.Hh of IJeccm- 
liir. While it fell a few inches short of the high tides 
of 1SS() and ISil.") it was high enough tt> overflow 
the dikes at the mouth of the river and at La Conner 
and cover that town and many farms with water. 
At first it was feared that the damage was great. 

hut it turned out to be inconsiderable. The farms 
on the delta suffered the most, some of them being 
covered with debris. A few^ pigs also were lost. 
( )ccurring at the time of year that it did, it was 
believed that the salt would be washed from the 
ground by the winter rains, and this supposition 
seems to have been well founded for the crops of 
the current year were phenomenal. The industrious 
I)co])le of Skagit county are in the full enjoyment 
of an abundant prosperity. Their faith in the country 
which has caused them to stick to it through diffi- 
culties and disaster and hard times, has been abini- 
(lantly rewarded, and yet greater victories are to 
be achieved in the rosy future. 



Although Skagit county did not come into offi- 
cial existence until November 28. 188:5. that being 
the date upon whicli Governor Newell approved the 
creating act. nevertheless for many years previous 
the lower half of Whatcom county was dominant 
politically. Nor was it less prominent in paying 
taxes, wherein lies the principal cause of its inhab- 
itants seeking complete political independence. As 
early as 18 < 8 the residents of the Swinomish flats 
and the Skagit valley had attained sufficient power 
to secure the establishment of this newly created 
judicial district's headquarters at La Conner. Then 
came a more energetic movement for county divi- 
sion, which reached high tide in 1883, when Editor 
James Power, of the Alail at La Conner, was elected 
councilman for Whatcom, Snohomish and Island 
counties, and Orrin Kincaid of the upper Skagit 
valley was selected Whatcom and San Juan's joint 
representative. The rest of the county ticket elected 
that year were : Commissioners, B. H. P)runs, John 
J. Edens and Isaac Dunlap, Republicans ; auditor. 
C. Donovan, Democrat ; sheriff, James O'Loughlin. 
Democrat ; treasurer, William T. Coupe, Republi- 
can ; probate judge, Harry J. White, Republican : 
superintendent of schools. G. E. Hartson. Republi- 
can : surveyor, Alexander Charles, Republican. 
Both Power and Kincaid were also elected by 
strong Republican majorities. 

Of those elected, at least eight were residents of 
this end of the county. Thus fortified, the struggle 
for division went forward with renewed vigor, vet 

so quieth- that the actual passage of the creating 
act came with a swiftness and a strength that could 
not be overcome. Representative Kincaid intro- 
duced the successful measure after one brought in 
by Councilman Power had met defeat in the upper 
house and the bill's opponents had considered the 
project shelved. In this connection it is worthy of 
mention that Kincaid's Democratic opponent in the 
campaign of 1882, Harrison Clothier of Mount Ver- 
non, gave his whole support to Kincaid and his 
colleague in the legislative struggle over the bill. 

When the creation of Skagit was at last effected 
pursuant to law. Special Commissioners H. P. 
Downs, F. E. Gilkey and H. A. March met Decem- 
ber .-). 188;), with Harrison Clothier as acting clerk, 
and called a special county election to be held the 
second Tuesday in January following for the pur- 
pose of selecting a full corps of officers. In 
view of the fact that this election was the first held 
in .Skagit county, the records thereof are submitted 
in some detail. The conventions of both parties 
were held at La Conner and were unusually har- 
monious. In fact, a conference of Democrats and 
Republicans was held, as the result of which the 
Republicans made no nominations for sheriff and 
assessor, while the Democrats made no nomina- 
tions for auditor and the office of coroner and 
wreckmaster. The Republicans met Saturday. Dec- 
ember S?. 188:5, with James Power as chairman and 
P.. L. Martin as secretary, full delegations being 
present from every precinct, except Sterling. J. F. 

THE FALL Ol' 11 ll-. I-()RI".ST .\l( )\- ARCI IS 

f •"••. NEW YORK 

mi'^'^ U£fKARY| 



Dwelley was elected chairman and W. W. Tinkham 
secretar\- of the Democratic convention, whicli met 
on the isth of December, at the same place. The 
election passed off qnietly Tuesday, January the 
8th, a heavy rain falling all day long and a light 
vote being cast throughout the county. A list of 
the county precincts together with the total vote in 
each for the office of auditor is herewith given : La 
Conner, 143 ; Samish, 30 ; Fidalgo, 41 ; Ship Harbor, 
23 ; Guemes, 10 ; Mount Baker, 13 ; Skagit. 45 ; 
Mount Vernon, 119; Sterling, 43; Upper Skagit, 
29; Baker, 14 ; total. 515. 

The official vote as returned by the board of can- 
vassers was as follows : Auditor, H. P. Downs, 
Republican, 515, no opposition ; sheriff, James 
O'Loughlin, Democrat, 490, no opposition ; asses- 
sor, James O'Loughlin. Democrat. 423, no opposi- 
tion ; treasurer, John McGlinn, Republican, 239, F. 
D. Cleaves, Democrat, 341 ; probate judge, H. J. 
White. Republican, 360, W. W. Tinkham. Demo- 
crat, 212; superintendent of schools. G. E. Hartson, 
Republican, 2G2, ]\Iiss Josie Bradley, Democrat, 
304; surveyor, .A. M. White. Republican, 241, 
George Savage, Democrat, 333 ; coroner, J. A. Gilli- 
land, Rejiublican, 3.30, no opposition ; commission- 
ers, Isaac Dunlap, John J. Edens, T. S. Newlands, 
Republicans, 371, 259 and 257 votes respectively, 
Harrison Clothier, James Callahan, E. Hammond, 
Democrats, 328, 217 and 228 votes respectively. 

As provided for in the act creating the county. 
the newly elected board of commissioners, Isaac 
Dunlap. John J. Edens and Harrison Clothier, held 
its first meeting February 4, 1884, at the temporary 
county seat at La Conner. Permanent organiza- 
tion of the board was effected the following day, 
John J. Edens being chosen chairman. The first 
business after the bonds of the various county 
officials had been accepted, was that of receiving a 
petition signed by J. M. Galliher and twcntv-two 
others, praying for the establishment of a road from 
the end of Fourth street, in the town of La Conner, 
southerly to the hill opposite the town and thence 
southeast to the line between townships 33 and 34 
north, range 2 east. The board appointed Thomas 
F. Lindsey. A. Carlson and Lyle Wallace viewers 
to act with George Savage, county surveyor, in 
establishing this, the first county road. This same 
day another road, leading from James Harrison's 
farm, via Dodge valley, to the .Skagit river, was 
established by the board. It is interesting to note 
also that the sheriff was ordered to put all prisoners 
to work at hard labor. .At the board's session on 
the Sth, one thousand dollars were appropriated as 
the county's share in paxment of the construction 
of the Sullivan slough bridge in accordance with 
a promise made the preceding .August by the old 
county board. This synopsis of tlic proceedings 
covers practically every tran.saction of importance 
made by the board before its adjournment February 

Sth. Harrison Clothier was detained from attend- 
ance at this first session. 

Again May Sth the board met, all the comission- 
ers being present and also H. P. Downs, auditor 
and e.x-officio clerk. Ferry licenses were granted 
Porter Durley, Alilton P.. Cook, Frank Ledger and 
Thomas .S. Xcwlantls, all operating on the Skagit 
river. For the purpose of preserving one of the old 
rate schedules, that fixed for Porter Durley 's ferry 
at Skagit is herewith given : Two horses and wagon, 
loaded, $1.50; same with empty wagon, $1.00; 
horseman, $0.50; footman, $0.10; cattle and horses, 
loose. $0.25 each; hogs and sheep, loose, $0.10; 
packages, under 100 pounds weight, $0.10 ; packages 
weighing over 100 pounds, $1.50 per ton. 

The board at this session created nine new vot- 
ing precincts. Franklin, Padilla, Point Williams, 
Avon, Cnllnm, Sauk, Birdsview, Prairie and Decep- 
tion. .At this session also venires of jurors to serve 
the district court during the June and December 
terms, 1884, were drawn and the lists are given 
below : 

(June term) Grand — C. P. Woodcock, Noah 
Nelson, G. W. Johnson, James Harrison, J. B. 
Kno.x, G. E. Hartson, O. N. Lee, D. H. Byrnes, W. 
H. Burton, Frank Benn, G. W. L. Allen, M. B. 
Cook, David Batey. John M. Roach, S. A. Boyd, ' 
J. C. Beasley. Xavier Bartl, James Callahan, Nels 
Christensen, .Adam Carlson, Martin Dunbar, 
Charles Moore, .Milas Galliher, George \'. Brann, 
Fletcher W. Conn. 

Petit — Frederick Anderson, H. Dewey, T. S. 
Hurd. F. E. Gilkev, H. W. Poor, M. Anstinson, 
William Whalie, W. J. McKenna, J. A'. Abbott, 
T. J. Rawlins. Adelbert Ford, John Gilligan. F. 
Storer. William Woods. B. D. Minkler, Charles 
Conrad. John Hoffman, Otto Kalso, George T. 
Jeffries. S. W. Pyle, David Fulk. James Gilligan, 
R. H. Putman. James Young and James Caches. 

( December term) Grand — L. L. Andrews. J. P. 
Brewster. W. A. Bell. C. F. Babcock. James Eu- 
bank. W. J. Brown, H. C. Barkhousen, William 
Gray. James F. Matthews, G. D. Neville, Magnus 
.Antierson. Emmet Van Fleet, J. R. H. Davis. F. R. 
Hamilton, H. F. Daggett. Calvin Alver.son, T. H. 
Moores, Charles Hansen. John .A. Bruseth, R. H. 
Ball. J. D. Bannon. .Anthony Barrett. J. 11. C'hil- 
berg. Thomas Crnmrine and Jasjier (iates. 

Petit — -Andrew Osberg. C. Otis. William tiear. 
Allan McGibbon. James McCain. Tliomas R. Jones, 
E. C. Brown. C. C. Best, William .Allard. William 
B. Edens. John Peterson, Valentine .Adam, T. S. 
Conmey. .\dam Huff. J. G. Jenni. John Isaacson. 
H. A. March, Edward .Ames, (ieorgc Maw, 15. L. 
Martin. Nelson Kellcy, P. C. luibank. O. N. Bab- 
cock. S. P. Olson and Edward Good. 

The burning issue of the campaign in the fall 
of 1884 was the question of permanently locating 
the county scat. .As the details of this struggle are 
given in full elsewhere, it is not necessary' here to 



ciitor into a Icngtliy account. La Conner, as the 
oltiest town in the comity and situated in tlie princi- 
pal farming district, with easy access to the sound, 
set forth its claims for precedence in strong terms, 
but within the preceding few years the chief town 
of the Skagit river had come rapidly to the front as 
the trading center of a small but rapidly growing 
fanning community and head(iuarters for a large 
number of extensive logging camps extending up 
and down the river. On the surface La Cornier 
appeared to have an easy victory, but, as one de- 
jected La Connerite put it, "all you'd have to do up 
at Mount Nernon was to shake the bushes and 
voters would scurrv in from farms and camps that 
we didn't dream existed." The fact of the matter 
was that the valley had been growing much more 
rapidly than the inhabitants of the tide flats had 
thought possible, and the population of the logging 
camps had been underestimated. From the follow- 
ing vote by precincts, the supporters of each town 
and the relative strength developed may be easily 
seen : 

La Conner: Prairie precinct, 0; Samish, 46; 
Point WiUiams, 8; Mount Baker. 16; Padilla, 41; 
La Conner, 267; Guemes, :J9 ; Ship Harbor, 32; 
Fidalgo, 33 ; Deception, 31 ; Franklin, 27 ; Skagit, 4; 
:\Iount \'ernon, 5; Avon, 12; Sterling, 2; Upper 
Skagit, -i ; Birdsview, 1 ; Cullum, ; Sauk, ; total, 

Mount \'ernon: Prairie precinct, 27; Samish, 
72 ; Point Williams, 12 ; Mount Baker, 13 ; Padilla, 
3; La Conner, 17; Guemes. 1; Ship Harbor, 2; 
Fidalgo, 4; Deception, 0; Franklin, 9; Skagit, 130; 
Mount \'ernon, 253 ; Avon, 53 ; Sterling. 58 ; Upper 
Skagit, 85; Birdsview, 31; Cullum, 10; Sauk, 16; 
total. 796. 

The Democratic county convention was held in 
Odd Fellows" building, Rlount Vernon, September 
4, 1884, and a full ticket nominated. A little later, 
Walter Crockett, of Island, was chosen as this dis- 
trict's Democratic nominee for councilman, while 
E. D. Warbass, of San Juan, was nominated joint 
representative. The Republicans met in La Conner, 
August 26th. and among other resolutions adopted 
one declaring in favor of the forfeiture by the 
Northern Pacific of all unearned land grants. The 
Republican nominee for councilman was E. C. Fer- 
guson, and for joint representative from Skagit, 
Whatcom and San Juan counties. Dr. S. ]\Tanly of 
Whatcom. Of these candidates the Skagit News 
said in its issue of September 16th, "Both party 
tickets are now before the people giving general 
satisfaction as much from the even-hauled distri- 
bution of ofifices over the county as from the ability 
of most of the candidates nominated. It is not 
necessary to go through the entire list of candi- 
dates. It is essential only to say that the county has 
intelligent, capable men to manage its affairs and 
we are glad that such men have been presented 
by both sides." At the election which followed. 

Warbass, with 1 1 1 majority in Skagit and San 
luan. was met in Whatcom by Manly's 200 
inajoritv and defeated; Crockett, carrying Island, 
Snohon'iish and Skagit by 358 majority, was like- 
wise defeated, there being over 400 majority against 
him in Whatcom. The official vote in this county 
follows : 

Delegate, J. M. Armstrong, Republican, 653, 
Charles S. Voorhees, Democrat, 706 ; joint council- 
man, Walter Crockett (elected). Democrat, 806, E. 
C. Ferguson, Republican, 555 ; joint representative, 
Dr. S. H. Manly, Republican, 023 , E. D. Warbass, 
Democrat, 711; prosecuting attorney, John J. Cal- 
houn, Democrat, 844, L. V. Rosser, Republican, 
534 ; auditor, H. P. Downs, Republican, 1,138 , W. 
W. Tinkham, Democrat, 210; treasurer, F. D. 
Cleaves, Democrat, 842 , F. M. Walsh, Republican, 
506; sheriff, James O'Loughlin, Democrat, 750, S. 
T. Valentine, Republican, 609 ; assessor, W. J. Mc- 
Kenna, Republican, 902 , John H. Chilberg, Demo- 
crat, 401 : probate judge, J. F. Dwelley, Democrat, 
652 , H. J. White, Republican, 701 ; superintendent 
of schools, G. E. Hartson, Republican, 901 , R. L. 
Jacks, Democrat, 458; commissioners, W. H. Gil- 
more, Thomas P. Hastie, D. B. Minkler, Repub- 
licans, 701, 807 and 1,011 votes respectively, James 
Gilligan, G. W. L. Allen and P. Downey, Demo- 
crats, 774, 232 and 401 votes respectively ; surveyor, 
A. M. White, Republican, 565, G. A. Savage, Dem- 
ocrat, 807 ; wreckmaster, J. S. Church, Republican, 
804, Michael Hurley, Democrat, 550 ; coroner, J. S. 
Church, Republican, 801, Michael Hurley, Demo- 
crat, 550 ; county seat. La Conner, 567, Mount 
Vernon, 796; church tax, yes, 579, no, 547. 

In 1885 the question of dividing Skagit county 
into commissioner districts coming before the 
people for consideration, a convention was held at 
Mount Vernon, December 8th, for the purpose of 
crystallizing popular opinion on that subject. Of 
69 delegates apportioned to the various precincts, 37 
were present, 6 from Samish, 3 from Sterling, 1 
from Point Williams, 7 from Skagit, 3 from Avon, 
4 from the upper Skagit and 13 from Mount 
Vernon. Augustus Hartson acted as chairman, V. 
A. Marshall as secretary. A resolution was unani- 
mously adopted as follows : 

"Resolved, by the people of Skagit county, in 
convention assembled, that we are opposed, in the 
present unsettled and undeveloped condition of this 
county, to its division into commissioner districts 
without due time for consideration by the people, 
but we are in favor of the legislature passing an 
enabling act by which the question of such division 
shall be submitted to the voters of the county at 
the next general election." Byron Barlow was 
chosen to present a copy of this resolution to 
Skagit's representative and councilman, and to con- 
fer with them upon the question considered by the 

On the 13th of July, 1886, a special election was 



held to determine in which precincts the sale of 
intoxicating liquors should be allowed and in which 
not allowed. Five precincts went for prohibition ; 
Avon, Franklin, La Conner, Mount Baker and 
Deception. The remainder. Birdsview, Lyman, 
Sterling, Alpine, Padilla, Samish, Fidalgo, Ship 
Harbor and Guemes decided in favor of continuing 
the license system. 

As the fall election approached, a new party 
came into being in this section, the People's, com- 
posed of persons dissatisfied with the policies of 
each of the dominant organizations. The Skagit 
division of the party held a county convention at 
Skagit City, September 20th, etTected an organ- 
ization with Peter Kuyl, George H. Turner, John 
Lorenzy and J. N. Brown as its central committee, 
and made the following nominations: Sheriff, 
John W. Duncan ; assessor, Peter Egtvet ; coroner 
and wreckmaster, John Siegfreid. For the remain- 
ing offices, the People's party endorsed Republican 
and Democratic nominees. The Republicans con- 
vened at La Conner, August 31st, the Democrats 
at Mount Vernon, September 25th. For joint rep- 
resentative for Skagit and Snohomish counties, the 
Democrats put up M. J. McElroy of Stanwood, the 
People's party. D. O. Pearson, also of Stanwood, 
and the Republicans, J. H. Irvine. 

The official vote was as follows : 

Delegate, C. M. Bradshaw, Republican, 671, C. 
S. Voorhees, Democrat, 390, W. A. Newell, People's 
party, 175 ; prosecuting attorney, H. A. Fairchild, 
Republican, 707, T. C. Austin, Democrat, 537 ; 
joint councilman, John P. McGlinn, Republican, 
715, J. H. Lewis, Democrat, 457 ; representative, 
J. H. Irvine, Republican, 471, M. J. McElroy, Dem- 
ocrat, 532, D. O. Pearson, People's party, 337 ; 
probate judge, Henry McBride, Republican, 550, 
Harrison Clothier, Democrat, 683 ; commissioners, 
Patrick Halloran, Republican, 863, J. O. Rudene, 
Republican, 802, J. M. Young, Republican, 832, 
Jasper Gates, Democrat, 332, Frank Benn, Demo- 
crat, 492, Dan Sullivan, Democrat, 312 ; sheriff, 
L. L. Andrews, Republican, 694, John Purcell, 
Democrat, 549 ; auditor, H. P. Downs, Republican, 
807, S. P. Brooks, Democrat, 430 ; treasurer, E. K. 
Matlock, Republican, 615, M. Hurley, Democrat, 
613 ; assessor, Peter Egtvet, People's partv, 179, 
T. J. May, Democrat, 306, W. J. McKenna, Repub- 
lican, 745 ; surveyor, H. E. Wells, Republican, 854, 
George Savage, Democrat, 378 ; school superin- 
tendent, R. O. Welts, Republican, 731, G. S. Blake, 
Democrat, 510 ; coroner, James Vercoe, Republican, 
702, P. O'Hare, Democrat. 417; wreckmaster, Eli 
Rhoadcs, Republican. 692. P. O'Hare. Democrat, 431. 

Skagit county in l.SSS, according to the official 
count, cast 1,199 votes, excluding one that was 
thrown out on account of two ballots being folded 
together. In 1S86, with woman suffrage in force, 
the total vote was 1,239, or only 39 more than the 
vote of ISSS. The Repulilicans were first in the 

field with their ticket, holding a county convention 
at Mount Vernon, September 1st. The Democrats 
met at La Conner on the 32d, while October 27th 
the Prohibitionists made an unsuccessful attempt 
at Mount \ ernon to nominate a ticket, unsuccess- 
ful because of an insufficient supply of candidates. 
The vote in Skagit is herewith presented : Dele- 
gate, John B. Allen, Republican, 768, Charles S. 
Voorhees, Democrat, 383, Roger S. Greene, Pro- 
hibitionist, 28 ; adjutant-general, R. G. O'Brien, 
Republican. 738, H. Butler, Democrat, 422, Brown, 
Prohiliitionist, 17 ; brigadier-general, A. P. Curry, 
Repuijlican, 7 tO, J. J. Hunt, Democrat, 421, Vroo- 
man. Prohibitionist, 17; prosecuting attorney, 

Henry McBride, Republican, 783, Austin, 

Democrat, 382 ; joint councilman, J. B. Ault, Re- 
publican, 679, M. J. McElroy, Democrat, 480; joint 
representative. John J. Edens, Republican, 789, 
F. H. Hancock, Democrat, 382 ; probate judge, 
Charles \'on Pressentin, Republican, 608, F. D. 
Cleaves. Democrat, 549 ; commissioners, P. Hall- 
oran, J. M. Young, I. Dunlap, Republican, 711, 
779 and 707 votes respectively, H. P. O'Bryant, R. 
E. Cochrehan, Pat McCoy, Democrats, 432, 354 
and 481 votes respectively; sheriff', E. D. Davis, 
Republican, 697, Thomas Costello, Democrat, 473 ; 
auditor, H. P. Downs, Republican, 615, M. Mc- 
Namara, Democrat, 551 ; treasurer, E. K. Matlock, 
Republican, 762, B. N. L. Davis, Democrat, 409; 
assessor, W. M. Dale, Republican, 596, James 
O'Loughlin, Democrat, 573 ; surveyor, Henry Vin- 
ing. Republican, 831, George Savage, Democrat, 
17 : school superintendent, T. R. Hayton, Republi- 
can, 748. G. S. Blake, Democrat, 423 ; coroner. 

James Vercoe, Republican, 

Doctor Gilkey, 

Democrat, 421 ; wreckmaster, M. B. Dunbar, Re- 
publican, 709, Samuel Ginnett, Democrat, 456. 

The call for delegates to a constitutional con- 
vention to be held at Olympia in July, 1889, in 
anticipation of early statehood, necessitated the 
holding of a special election in Skagit the latter 
part of May. This county was embraced in both 
the 16th and 17th districts. Only 876 votes were 
cast in the county, which was nearly one-third less 
than that cast at the preceding general election. In 
the 16th district, James Power, Edward Eldridge, 

Laws, De Mattos, McGinnis and J. 

J. Weisenberger received^, respectively, 813, 570, 
152, 413, 559 and 736 votes, electing Power of 
Skagit, and Weisenberger and Eldridge of What- 
com. The vote in the 17th district resulted: Har- 
rison Clothier, 565 ; Thomas Hayton, 394 ; Albert 

Schooley, 373 ; Comegys, 350, and Griffiths, 

321 ; electing Clothier and Hayton of Skagit and 
Schooley of Snohomish. 

The result of the fall election showed an in- 
creased Republican majority. The Skagit county 
convention met at Mount \'ernon, Thursday, 
-August 29th. and selected as its standard bearers: 
Thomas Pa\ne of Mount \"crnon, for state senator; 



1. I. ICilcns. of (iiiiims, ami 1'.. U. Minkkr, of 
Lyman, for rcprcscmalivcs ; and J. B. .Moody, 
ciinnty clerk. The Democrats held their conven- 
tion at the same ])lace. Seplemher iid. and placed 
in nomination for state senator, W. E. Schrickcr of 
l^ Conner; for representatives, Harrison Clothier, 
Monnt \crnon. Captain O'Toole, Birdsview; for 
conntv clerk, John 1'. Millett. These special tickets 
were necessitated In the entrance of W'ashinijton 
into statehooil. 

The offlcial vote was as follows : Representative 
to congjress, John L. Wilson, Repuhlican, 955, 
Thomas Cjriflfiths. Democrat, 5(il ; governor, E. P. 
l-"crrv, Rcpnblican, !l4!t, Eugene Sample, Democrat, 
5GI) ; lieutenant-governor, Charles E. Laughton, Re- 
publican, 05(1, L. H. Plattor, Democrat, 560; secre- 
tarv of state, Allen Weir, Republican, 956, W. H. 
Wliittlesev. Democrat, 56'i ; state treasurer, A. A. 
Lindsley, Reinihlican, 957, M. Kaufman, Democrat, 
5(i(»; state auditor, Thomas iM. Reed, Rejiublican, 
96S, J. M. Murphy, DemfKrat, 551 ; attorney- 
general, W. C. Jones. Republican, 95;, II. J. 
Snivelv, Democrat, 561 ; superintendent public in- 
struction. R. 1'.. l>ryan. Republican, S09, J. H. 
Morgan. Democrat. 579; land commissioner, W. 
!•■. iMirrest. Republican, 958, Goodell, Demo- 
crat, 562 : supreme judges, R. O. Dunbar, Repub- 
lican, 96(!. E. V. Hoyt, Republican, 956, T. L. 
Stvles. Republican, 931, T. |. Anders, Republican, 
9.55, E. D. Scott. Republican, 956, W. D. White, 
Democrat, 556. J. L. Sharpstein, Democrat, 561, 
J. B. Reavis. Democrat, 558, J. P. Judson, Demo- 
crat, 562. Frank (lanahl. Democrat, 557; superior 

judges, J. J. Weisenberger, Republican, 888, 

Winn, Democrat, (i'Mi ; countv clerk, J. B. Moody, 
Republican, 9;i6, J. P. Millett^ Democrat. 577 ; state 
senator. Thomas Payne. Republican, 768, W. E. 
Schricker. Democrat, 734; representatives, B. D. 
Minklcr. Republican. 885, John J. Edens, Repub- 
lican. 928, Harrison Clothier, Democrat, 675, Cap- 
tain W. D. O'Toole, Democrat, 520 ; for the consti- 
tution. 1,173, againstthe constitution. Ill ; for woman 
suffrage, 404, against woman suffrage, 944; for 
prohibition, 499, against prohibition, 846 ; state 
capital, Olympia, 1,209, North Yakima, 42, Ellens- 
burg, 81, Seattle, 17; bridge tax, yes, 335, no, 734. 

The campaign of 1890 was initiated early in 
July by the organization of the Skagit County Dem- 
ocratic Society w-ith the following officers : Fred 
Pape, president ; Samuel L. Bell, vice-president ; 
W. E. Schricker, treasurer ; John Doser, secretary ; 
executive committee, the president, vice-president, 
secretarv and the following : H. Clothier, Captain 
W. D. O'Toole, R. E. Cochrehan. William Murdock, 
H. D. Wells, J. C. Beasley and Robert Sharp. The 
club did good work and no doubt to its efforts is 
due much credit for the victories won by the party 
later in the year. The Democrats held their county 
convention at Anacortes, Wednesday, October 1st. 
The Republicans convened in the same city Sat- 

urday, September 2()th, both parties placing com- 
plete' tickets in the field. The struggle was waged 
upon national issues for the most part. 

The official vote follows : Representative in con- 
gress, John L. Wilson, Republican, 983, Thomas 
Carroll, Democrat, 708, Abernathy, Prohibitionist, 
72; state capital, Ellensburg, 108, North Yakima, 
66, Olvmpia, 1,501; state senator, Samuel Bell, 
Democrat, 785, John J. Edens, Republican, 1,007, 
I laggard. Prohibitionist, 94 ; representatives, G. E. 
Hartson, Republican, 750, William McKay, Repub- 
lican, 1.112, W. E. Schricker, Democrat, 932, J. B. 
Wilev, Democrat, 504, Flagg, Prohibitionist, 97, 
(iray. Prohibitionist, 84; auditor, T. R. Hayton, 
Republican, 705, Fred Pape, Democrat, 1,097, Skal- 
ing, Prohibitionist, 84 ; sheriff, E. D. Davis, Repub- 
lican, 1,122, Sharp, Democrat, 717, Elliott, Prohi- 
bitionist, 62 ; treasurer, B. N. L. Davis, Democrat, 
I.(tl8, R. O. Welts, Republican, 779, Decatur, Pro- 
hibitionist, 78; clerk. W. T. Lucas, Democrat, 624, 
J. I>. Moody, Republican, 1,191, Dudley, Prohi- 
i)itionist, 66 ; assessor, James Becraft, Democrat, 
;51, W. M. Dale, Republican, 1,038, Breese, Prohi- 
bitionist, 72; county attorney, H. D. Allison, Re- 
l^ublican. (i63, Seymour Jones, Democrat, 1,074, E. 
C. Million, Independent, 47, Spear, Prohibitionist, 
97 ; survexor, W. J. Brown, Democrat, 652, A. G. 
Mosier, Republican, 1,010, White, Prohibitionist, 
209 ; superintendent of schools, J. W. Gilkey, Dem- 
ocrat, 875, J. M. Shields, Republican, 885, Howell, 
Prohibitionist, 103 ; commissioners, first district, F. 
W. Conn, Democrat, 911, O. Smith, Republican, 
7;;, llest. Prohibitionist. 116; commissioners, 
second district, J. T. Mason, Republican. 859, 
Charles Moore, Democrat, 865, Daggett, Prohi- 
bitionist, 86 ; commissioners, third district, C. von 
Pressentin, Republican, 926, George Savage, Dem- 
ocrat, 835 ; coroner, A. C. Lewis, Democrat, 679, 
Doctor Tozier, Republican, 1,048, Walter, Prohi- 
bitionist, 87. 

The campaign of 1892 is noted in the political 
history of Washington as being its most memorable 
struggle, with the possible exception of that of 
1904. In Skagit county the campaign's asperities 
were accentuated by a county-seat fight in which 
Mount \'ernon, Anacortes, Sedro and Burlington 
were the rival candidates. As is usually the case in 
presidential years, party lines were very distinctly 
drawn upon national issues and dominated local 
])olitics. Party organizations within the state had 
by this time been matured, consequently the cam- 
|)aign was carefully planned and methodically 
carried on. Here, as elsewhere in the state, torch- 
light processions illumined the night and enthu- 
siastic mass meetings addressed by noted speakers 
were frequently held. 

As to the county-seat fight it is sufficient at 
this point to say that Mount Vernon's rivals were 
comparatively new towns, which had grown with 
remarkable rapidity during the preceding two or 



three years, and that each presented its claims in 
the strongest light possible. However, under the 
provisions of the constitution, a three-fifths vote 
was necessary to re-locate a county seat, and this 
proved Mount \'ernon"s salvation. Sinclair, Cypress, 
(iuemes. Ship Harbor, Fidalgo, Fidalgo City and 
Point Williams precincts went solid for Anacortes, 
casting only three votes for Sedro and one for 
Mount Vernon. Of the other twenty-five precincts, 
Mount N^emon cast 367 votes for itself, Sedro and 
Woolley 267 votes for Sedro, and Burlington cast 
.■^4 votes for itself. The total vote was : Anacortes, 
87.'i ; Mount Vernon, 867 ; Sedro, 636, and Burling- 
ton, 164. The county seat was therefore retained 
by Mount Vernon and no effort has since been made 
to remove it. 

The year 1893 marked the advent of the 
People's party upon the political stage. A county 
organization was formed in Skagit at Mount 
N'ernon. August 6th, at which E. L. Clark presided 
as chairman and G. W. Angel acted as secretary. 
In accordance with the recommendation of this 
medium the party held a county convention at 
liurlington, I-'riday, September 2d, and placed in 
nomination a complete ticket. Reform and more 
extended participation in the business and social 
life of the country by municipalities and the central 
government were the slogans of this new third 
party. However, the People's party in this county 
in 1892 did not rise above third place, and did not 
elect a single candidate except John Lorenzy as 
constable in the Moimt \'ernon precinct. 

Republicans met in county convention at Bur- 
lington Saturday, July 3(»th, while the Democrats 
convened at the same place a week later. Both 
parties placed unusually strong tickets in the field. 
The Prohibitionists cast only seventy votes in 
Skagit county in 1892, a falling off of nine votes in 
two years, showing that this party was an unim- 
portant factor in the campaign. One of the prom- 
inent local features this year was the struggle for 
judicial honors in this district, because of the 
creation of a new judicial district out of the counties 
of Skagit and Island. Henry Mc Bride had been 
appointed, March Id, 1891, to fill the vacancy caused 
by the transfer of Judge Winn to Whatcom county. 
Under the provisions of the constitution a new judge 
must be elected at the next succeeding election to 
fill the unexpired term, so it was necessary to elect 
two judges, one for the regular term and another 
to act until the 9th of January, 1893. By mutual 
agreement E. C. Million of Mount Vernon was the 
only man placed in nomination for the short term. 
He served a little more than a month, holding court 
during the greater part of that time and handling 
several important cases. 

The official vote of Skagit county was as follows : 
President, Harrison, Republican, 1,248, Cleveland, 
Democrat, 942, Weaver, People's party. 66.5, Pro- 
hibitionist candidate, 70 ; congressmen, William 

Doolittle, Republican, 1.137, J. L. Wilson, Repub- 
lican, 1,203, Thomas Carroll, Democrat, 898, James 
A. Munday, Democrat, 817, M. F. Knox, People's 
party. 668^ J. C. Van I'atten, People's party, 682, 
Xewberry, Prohibitionist, 69, Dickinson, Prohi- 
bitionist, 69 ; governor, John H. McGraw, Repub- 
lican, 1,103, Henry J. Snively, Democrat, 793, C. 
W. Young, People's party, 899, Roger S. Greene, 
Prohibitionist, 139 ; lieutenant-governor, Frank H. 
Luce, Republican. 1,14(1, Henry C. Willison, Demo- 
crat, S.")l, C. P. Twiss, People's party, 746, D. G. 
Strong. Prohibitionist, 86 ; state auditor, Laban R. 
Grimes, Republican, 1,148, Samuel Bass, Democrat, 
872, Charles C. Rudolph. People's party, 694, 
Christian Carlson. Prohibitionist, 73; secretary of 
state, James H. Price, Republican, 1,167, John Mc- 
Reavy, Deiuocrat, 864, Lyman Wood, People's 
party, 703, W. H. Gilstrap. Prohibitionist. 69 ; 
treasurer, A. Bowen. Rei)ublican, 1,<HI0. Harrison 
Clothier, Democrat, 1,1-")1, W. C. P. .Adams, 
People's party, 650, G. \V. Stewart. Prohibitionist, 
()3 ; attorney-general, W. M. C. Jones, Republican, 
1,18S, Richmond H. Starr, Democrat, 860, Govnor 
Teets, People's party, 677, Everett Smith, Prohi- 
bitionist, 78 ; superintendent of public schools, 
Charles W. Bean, Republican, 1,158, John H. Mor- 
gan, Democrat, 87 6, John M. Smith, People's party, 
681, W. M. Heiney, Prohibitionist, 71; land com- 
missioners, W. T. Forrest, Republican, 1,181, Free- 
born S. Lewis. Democrat, 867, T. M. Callaway, 
People's party, 691, R. M. Gibson, Prohibitionist, 
67 : public printer, Oliver C. White, Republican, 
l,18;i, Joseph A. Bordon, Democrat. 851, A. J. 
Murphy, People's party. 670, W. H. Boothroyd, 
Prohibitionist, 71; judges of supreme court, Elmon 
Scott, Republican, 1,187, Thomas J. Anders, Repub- 
lican, 1,109, William H. Brinker, Democrat, 850, 
Eugene K. Hanna, Democrat, 787, Frank T. Reid, 
People's party, 699, G. W. Gardner. People's party, 
647 : judge of superior court, J. \^ Turner. People's 
party, L048, E. C. Million! Democrat, 775, H. 
McBride. Republican, 1,558; representatives. M. P. 
Hurd, Republican, 1,298, J. B. McMillin. Republi- 
can, 1,019, Jackson, Democrat, 884, William 

D. O'Toole. Democrat. 954, O. Ball, People's party, 
66'), E. L. Clark, People's party, 718; county audi- 
tor, Fred Blumberg, Republican, 938, F. E. Pape, 
Democrat. 1,434, George Cro.sby, People's party, 
519 ; sheriff, E. H. Vaughn, Republican, 996, James 
O'Loughlin, Democrat, 1,207, L. A. Boyd, People's 
party, 674 ; prosecuting attorney. George A. Joiner, 
ReiHiblican, 1,272, I. E. Shrauger. Democrat, 814, 
J. P. Houser, Peo]iIe's party, 687 : assessor, H. C. 
Howard. Republican, 1,322. W. T. Lucas. Democrat, 
938, G. M. Reed, People's jxirty. 593 : superinten- 
dent of schools, J. M. Shields, Republican, 1,090, 
J. W. Gilkey, Democrat, 1,038, Mrs. McKenzie, 
People's partv, 683 ; clerk, George .A. Noble. Repub- 
lican. 1,111, P. S. Hogan. Den'iocrat. 1.180, G. W. 
.\ngell. People's party, 57 3; treasurer. James Dun- 



lap, Republican, l.'.?03, Albert Taylor, Democrat, 
954, Eicbholtz. IVoplc's party, 575; sur- 
veyor, J. W. Median. Republican, 1,229, J. C. Par- 
sons, Democrat, 8G1. R. 11. Stevens, People's party, 
673; coroner, W. B. Dunbar, Republican, 1,260, j. 
A. Doniian, Democrat, 838, L. A. Blackwell, Peo- 
ple's partv. t!34 ; commissioner, firs