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Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas 



State of Washington 

interstate publishing company 


Copyright, 1904. 


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JO PERSONS without experience, the chronicling of events covering a period of hardly 
more than four decades and all of which is within the memories of living men may 
seem an easy task, but let the attempt be made and quickly will the illusion be dis- 
pelled. While early pioneer peoples possess remarkably retentive memories and 
recall events many years past with wonderful vividness and fidelity to truth, Mnemosyne 
seldom takes notes of initials, dates, the spelling of names and other minutiae essential to the 
historian's purpose. His chief reliance for these must ever be the printed page. There is 
no way known to the writer of discovering the full truth in regard to events which happened 
years ago but to find printed, contemporaneous accounts, and even when this is possible we 
cannot be sure that we are in possession of absolutely reliable information, for contemporaneous 
writers often err or view events with eyes partially blinded by prejudice or partisan bias. Where 
there is a multiplicity of conflicting authorities the task of weighing the relative value to be 
attached to each and of arriving at the truth or a close approximation thereto is always a delicate 
one and vexatious enough ; but the most trying situation in which the historian finds himself is that 
which arises when no authorities whatsoever are to be found. Too often no printed accounts of any 
kind preserve for us the earliest history, and when records do exist their hiding-places cannot always 
be discovered. The happenings of a county are not chronicled in voluminous official reports as are the 
larger affairs of state and nation. The public acts of county and city officers are of course matters of 
record, but of events occurring among the people at large and developments incident to restless 
private enterprise, we have as a rule no account except such as is furnished by the dauntless pioneer 
newspaper men or can be gleaned from reminiscences of actual participants. The work of the for- 
mer is often obliterated and ruined by fire or other destructive forces, while death and human 
frailty war against the latter source of information. Such being some of the difficulties under which 
the work herewith presented was prepared, it cannot be hoped that it is altogether free from 
errors. It is, however, the result of painstaking research, and we hope that it will, in part, at least, 
meet the expectations of those who have given it the encouragement of their patronage. 

In the preparation of this work we have had occasion to interview many of the prominent citi- 
zens of Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas counties, and it is with feelings of gratitude that we testify 
that these ladies and gentlemen have uniformly treated us with courtesy, freely imparting such 
information as they were able. It is impossible to acknowledge, except in a general way, all favors 
received, but the thanks of the company are due especially to the committees of pioneers who have 
read, or listened to the reading, of manuscript copies of the various county histories, calling atten- 
tion to such errors and omissions as their intimate personal experiences in the affairs of these coun- 
ties enabled them to discover. Special acknowledgments are also due to the following newspapers 
for the use of their files, namely: The Yakima Herald, The Yakima Republic, The Sunnyside Sun, 
The Goldendale Sentinel, The Klickitat County Agriculturist, The Ellensburg Dawn, The Ellens- 
burg Localizer, The Ellensburg Capital, The Cascade Miner and The Cle-Elum Echo. The thanks 
of the compilers are likewise extended to Robert A. Turner, personally, for substantial assistance 
in many ways, to F. Dorsey Schnebly and Mrs. David J. Schnebly for the use of old Localizer files; 
to Thomas L. Gamble for his valuable diary; to the various county and state officials for numerous 
courtesies; to the United States Geological Survey for the gift of many valuable publications; to 
George N. Tuesley, Walter N. Granger, Jay A. Lynch, Alexander E. McCredy, the various pho- 
tographers of the three counties, especially F. J. Tickner of North Yakima, O. W. Pautzke of 
Ellensburg, W. P. Flanary of Goldendale, H. B. Carratt of Centerville, and to Kiser Bros., of Port- 
land, for photographs to use in illustrating the work. 


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


The undersigned pioneer citizens of Klickitat county hereby certify that they have, as a com- 
mittee, read carefully, while still in manuscript form, the history of said county, prepared and to be 
published by the Interstate Publishing Company, of Spokane; that they have given its compilers 
the benefit of such knowledge of the subject as has come to them by reason of long residence in the 
county and active participation in its development and the events which have happened within its 
borders; also that they have found the said history of Klickitat county accurate, impartial, compre- 
hensive and in every sense reliable: hence are prepared to give it their unqualified endorsement as a 
standard work. S. H. Jones. 

E. W. Pike. 

Geo. W. McCredv. 

We, the undersigned, pioneer citizens of Yakima county, Washington, hereby certify: 

First. — That we have been for many years active participants in the affairs of said county and are 
thoroughly familiar with events that have transpired within its borders. 

Second. — That we have carefully gone over the history of said county, compiled by William 
Sidney Shiach and to be published by the Interstate Publishing Company, of Spokane; also, that we 
have assisted its author in making a thorough final revision of the same. 

Third. — That we have found the said history a well-arranged, well-written, truthful, compre- 
hensive and impartial record of events, and we give it our unqualified endorsement as a standard 
work on the subject. Leonard L. Thorp. 

David Longmire. 
J. P. Marks. 

The undersigned hereby certify that they are pioneer citizens of Kittitas county, Washington, 
and that they have been active participants for many years in the affairs of said county; hence 
believe themselves familiar with the principal events in its history. They certify further that they 
have revised the manuscript history of said county, prepared and to be published by the Interstate 
Publishing Company, of Spokane, calling the attention of its editor to such slight errors and omis- 
sions as their knowledge of the facts have enabled them to discover; also that they have found the 
said history of Kittitas county evidently fair and impartial toward all interests, comprehensive in its 
scope, logical in arrangement, pleasing in style, accurate and conservative in statement and in all 
respects an authentic work. Tillman Houser. 

Samuel T. Packwood. 

Thomas L. Gamble. 




Explorations by Water. 

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


Explorations by Land. 

Verendrye— Moncacht-ape — Alexander Mackenzie — Thomas Jefferson — Lewis and Clarke Expedition — Negotiations 
Leading to the Louisiana Purchase— Details of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition 5 


The Astor Expedition. 

Profits of the Fur Trade — John Jacob Astor — His Plan — His Partners— The Tonquin — Voyage of the Tonquin — Fate 
of the Tonquin — David Thompson — The Adventures of William Price Hunt and Party — Failure of Astor's Enter- 
prise — Capture and Restoration of Astoria 12 


The Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies. 

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


Period of Settlement. 

Jason Lee and Party— The Reception by the Hudson Bay Company's Employees— The Political Effect— The Flat- 
heads' Search fqrThe Book— Its Results to the Tribe— Settlers in Oregon in 1832-34— Expedition of Dr. Marcus 
Whitman and Dr. 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 Government— Provisional Government 24 


The Oregon Controversy. 
Claims of the United States Stated — Negotiations of 1826-27 — Evans on Effects of Joint Occupation — Interest of 
Congress 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— Negotiations of 1845 — Polk 
Gives Great Britain a Year's Notice of Intention to Abrogate Joint Occupancy Treaty — Negotiations of 1846 — 
Great Britain Offers Forty-Ninth Parallel— Offer is Accepted— San Juan Controversy— Its Settlement 35 

The Cayuse War. 
Agent White's Warning to Emigrants— Cookstock— 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 Deliv- 
ered 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 Fort Waters — Women to the Aid of the Suffering — Governor's Proclamation — Additional Volun- 
teers—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 42 

Early Days in Washington. 
Early Agricultural Progress— Emigrants from Fort Garry — Michael T. Simmons — Condition of the Country — Settle- 
ments of 1848— Beginning of Commerce on Puget Sound — Settlements of 1850 — Of 1851 — 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 fromKipp's Diary— Governor Stevens' 
Speech — Looking Glass's Arrival — Treaty Signed — Territory Relinquished 57 

The Yakima War. 
Followed Closely the Walla Walla Council— Causes of the War— Its Object was to Blot Out Existing White Settle- 
ments and to Discourage Further Immigration to the Northwest— Discovery of Gold near Fort Colville— Murder 
of Sub-agent Andrew J. Bolon — Investigation by Acting Governor Mason— Major Haller's Engagement with the 
Yakima Indians— Report of Indian Agent Olney to Governor Curry of Oregon— The Oregon and Washington 
Volunteers — Major Rains and Colonel Nesmith Move against the Indians with Regulars and Volunteers — Report 
of Major Rains to Governor Mason — Engagement on the Yakima River — Correspondence between Chief Kamia- 
kin and Major Rains — Movements of Major Chinn — Letter from Narcisse Raymond to Commander at Fort Walla 
Walla— Arrival of General Wool— Report of Colonel Kelly— Battle Near the Toucher— Killing of Peo-peo-mox- 
mox and His Companions— Battle of Walla Walla— Sufferings of the Soldiers— Governor Stevens' Report- 
Enmity between Governor Stevens and General Wool— Operations in the Sound Country, 1856— Indians Attack 
Seattle— Battle on the White River— Volunteers Leave the Sound Country— Operations of the Regulars, 1856— 
Movements of Colonel George Wright— Conference at Vancouver— Expedition of Colonel Steptoe— Continuation 
of the War— Battle of Steptoe Butte— Colonel Wright's Expedition into the Spokane Country— Battle of Spokane 
Plains— Subjugation of the Indians and Close of the War 67 




General— 1859-1889. 

Fort Simcoe Military Road— Klickitat Valley— Character of Early Settlers— First Settlements— Amos Stark— Jenkins 
Family— John J. Golden— John W. Burgen— Other Early Settlers— County Organized— Wood Industry— First 
Road to Columbus— First County Election— Change in Boundary Line— The Hard Winter of 1861-62— Efforts of 
Stockmen to Save Their Herds— Losses— Ice in Columbia— Results of the Winter— First Grain in Vallev— First 


Sawmill— Saloon Closed at Columbus— New Arrivals in the County — The Crickets — First School in County — 
The Chapman Incident — Reorganization of the County — Boundary Line Again Changed — First Town — Settlements 
in the East End — Change of Boundary in 1873 — First Grist Mill— County Seat Located at Goldendale— Indian 
Scare of 1878— Outside Settlements — New Courthouse — Winter of 1880-81 — Final Change in Boundary Line — 
County Fair— Construction of O. R. & N. Railroad — Crops of 1883-84 — Murder of Sterling— Timmerman's Trial 
and Execution— Sheep Commissioner's Report for 1888— Old Courthouse Burned— New One Erected— Progress 
of Cascade Locks— Assessment Rolls for 1889 91 



Beginning of Railroad Agitation— Columbia Valley & Goldendale Railroad Company— Hunt's Proposed Road— Hard 
Winter of 1889-90— Assessment Rolls for 1890— Taylor's North Dalles Scheme— Killing of William Dunn— Hard 
Times — Low Price for Wheat — Agitation for Railroad Renewed— Cascade Locks Completed — Good Times of 1897 
— Bickleton Land Case — Columbia & Southern Railroad — Paul Mohr's Portage Road— Crops of 1899 — Trout Lake 
Tragedy— Columbia River & Northern— Its Completion— First Shipment of Wheat by Rail — Effects of the 
Railroad 109 



Formation of Klickitat County in 1859— First Organization Not Recognized — Reorganization in 1867 — First Session 
of County Commissioners' Court — First Precincts— Election 1868— Summary of Votes — Results of Election 1870 
—Official Returns of 1872— Of 1874— Returns for 1876— Results of Election in 1878— Returns for Election of 1880 
—Of 1882— Of 1884— Of 1886— Of 1888— Special Election of 1889— Returns for 1890— Organization of People's 
Party— Official Returns for 1892-Returns of 1894— Of 1896— Of 1898-Of 1900— Official Vote of 1902 122 



Goldendale — Natural Advantages — First Settlement— First Business Houses— Becomes County Seat — Period of 
Growth Begins in 1878— Incorporated— Business Houses in 1880— Fire of 1888— Rebuilding of the Town— Bank- 
Water System Installed — Fire of 1890 — Board of Trade Organized — Klickitat Academy — Reincorporation — 
Goldendale Celebrates the Completion of the Columbia River & Northern — Public Buildings — Business Directory 
Schools— Churches — Fraternities. Bickleton— Location— Early Settlement— First Business House— Schools- 
Bank — Business Directory — Churches — Lodges — Prospects. Cleveland— Early History — Churches and Schools 
■ — Fraternal Orders — Business Houses. Centerville — Surroundings— Early History — Growth in 1890— Water Sup- 
ply — School — Churches— Newspaper — Lodges — Prospects. White Salmon — Beauty of Location — Surrounding 
Country — History— Business Enterprises — Schools— Churches. Lyle — Favorable Location— History — Railroad 
— Surroundings — Water Power Available— Klickitat Canyon — Frederic H. Balch— Business Houses at Present.. 130 



Current History. 1860-1877. 

Fur Traders Visit the Valley— Jesuits— David Longmire Visits the Region— Fort Simcoe Established — F. Mortimer 
Thorp Becomes First Settler— Other Settlers of 1861— Peshastin Mines— Winter of 1861-62— First School- 
Indians Threaten Trouble— County Organized — First Survey — Gold Fever of 1864— Floods of 1867— First Experi- 
ments in Agriculture— First Irrigation Canals — Interview with Judge Beck — Railroad Rumblings — Irrigation 
. Ditches— Earthquake— Change in Boundary Lines — The Snoqualmie Pass Road 150 



The Perkins Murder and Moses Demonstration. 

Chief Joseph— Bannock and Piute War— Its Causes— Buffalo Horn— Egan— Effect on Settlers of Central Washing- 
ton—Steps Taken for Protection— Expedition to Natchez Pass— The Perkins Murder— Bodies Found— Details of 
the Murder— Chief Moses— His Warlike Demonstration— Captain Splawn and His Volunteers— Capture of Moses 
—Two of the Murderers Captured— Moosetonic Surrenders— The Klickitat Rangers— Trial of the Indians— They 
Break Jail— Pursuit of Fugitives— Recaptured— Fate of the Murderers 161 


Current History, 

Results of the Indian War— Yakima Land District Established- Winter of 1880-81— Father Wilbur's Report— Death of 
Philander Kelly— Losses— Kittitas County Formed out of Yakima— Courthouse Built at Yakima City— The 
Northern Pacific Railroad— President Harris's Report— Citizens Pass Resolutions— North Yakima— Shipments 
East— Irrigation— Land Appropriated in County During the Year 1888— Admission of Washington to the Union. .172 


Current History. 1889-1904. 

Winter of 1889-90— Railroad Projects— Sunnyside Canal— County Fair of 1890— Contest for Agricultural College— 1891 
a Prosperous Year — Irrigation Canals — Railroad Project of 1892— Earthquake Shock — Results of Financial 
Depression— Coxey's Army — They Give Trouble at North Yakima — High Water — Assassination of Bagwell — 
Local Fair of 1895 — Efforts to Secure Opening of Indian Reservation — The Rush to the Klondyke — Company E. 
in the Spanish-American War — Muster Roll — Service — Reception on Return — Sheep and Forest Reserves — Cen- 
sus Returns for 1900 — Prosser Tragedy — Proposed New County— State Fair — Railroad Accidents — Ranier Forest 
Reserve Question — County Division Again Proposed — 1902 a Year of Prosperity — Conclusion 181 



County Records Lost— County Formed— First Election— Returns for 1868— Official Vote at Election of 1870— Of 1872 
—Of 1874— Of 1876— Of 1878— Of 1880— Destruction of Records— Divisions of County— Official Vote of 1882— Can- 
celation of Land Grants the Issue of 1884— Returns of 1884— Of 1886— Special Election of 1886— Official Vote at 
Election of 1888— Of 1889— Political Club Formed— Issues of Election of 1890— Returns— People's Party Organ- 
ized—Official Vote at Election of 1892— Democratic Platform of 1894— Returns of Election of 1894— Of 1896- Of 
1898— Of 1900— Of 1902 198 


Cities and Towns. 

North Yakima— Fight between Northern Pacific and Yakima City— New Town Planned— Hotel Removed to New 
Site— Other Business Houses Follow — Rivalry — Provisional Government — Plan of City — Contest for State Cap- 
ital— 1889 a Prosperous Year— Electric Lighting System Installed— Sewerage System Built— Fire of 1890— Busi- 
ness Enterprises in 1890— Improvements and Growth of City to 1898— Building Boom of 1899— Professor Getz's 
Statement— Banks— Churches— Clubs— Schools— Hospital— Fraternities— Present Conditions— City Officers. 
Prosser— Early History— Irrigation Ditch Built — Progress of Town— Incorporation — Business Enterprises — 
Schools— Churches, Etc.— Reason of Rapid Development— Proposed Sugar Factory. Sunnyside— Site— Sunny- 
side Canal — Pioneer Settlements — History — Sunnyside Bridge — Christian Co-operative Colony— Incorporation — 
Schools— Churches— Library— Bank— Telephone System— Stage Lines— Business Enterprises. Kennewick— Cli- 
mate— Fruit Culture— Early History— Irrigation— Business Houses— Churches— Lodges— Schools— Owen's Col- 
lection of Curios— Prospects of Town. Mabton— Surroundings— Irrigation Projects— History— Schools— News- 
paper— Business Enterprises. Toppenish— Location— Origin— Growth— School— Business Directory. Zillah— 
Surroundings— Origin— Growth— Schools— Churches— Fraternities— Business Enterprises. Yakima City - 
Reverses Suffered— Business Enterprises— Prospects. Fort Simcoe— Smaller Towns 2 


Current Events. 1861-1889. 
Introduction — Senator A. J. Splawn Writes of Early Days in the Valley — Early Attempted Settlements— Frederic 
Ludi Arrives — Tillman Houser Becomes a Settler — First Land Surveys — Settlers of 1868-69— First Store — A 
Secret Marriage — Hardships of Early Days — Discovery of Gold on the Swauk— Rush to Gold Fields— Pioneer 
Agriculturists— Beginnings of Irrigation — Indian Panic of 1878— Lumbering — Winter of 1880-81 — County Sepa- 
rated from Yakima — Kittitas Standard — Quotations from The Standard — The Wilson Family Expelled — Mining 
Activities of 1884— Cle-Elum and Roslyn Mines Opened — Northern Pacific Built through the County — Work on 
First Large Irrigation Ditch Begun— Change in Boundary Lines — Railroad Accidents Noted — Roslyn Coal 
Strike 236 

Current Events. 1889-1904. 
Winter of 1888-90— Proposed Division of County— Census of 1890— Irrigation Project of 1891-92— Roslyn Mine Accident 
— Roslyn Bank Robbery— Trial of Hale — The Real Robbers Discovered— Arrest and Trials of Part of Gang — 
Jury Disagrees— Finally Liberated— Subsequent Fate of Robbers— The Ben E. Snipes & Company Bank Failure 
— Ellensburg National Closes Its Doors — Sheepmen Suffer from Panic— Good Crops of 1893— Coxey's Army — 
Railroad Strike of 1894— Roslyn Coal Miners' Strike— The Vinson Tragedy— Hard Times of 1895— High Water of 
1896 — Return of Prosperity— Donahue Homicide — Klondyke Excitement— Spanish-American War Calls Company 
H to Arms— Reception to the Volunteers— Prosperity of 1898— Celebration of Victories— Jail Break— Chelan 
County Formed— Coal Mining Industry Expands— Census of 1900— Pioneer Association Formed— Assessment 
Rolls of 1901— The High Line Canal— Other Irrigation Projects— Roosevelt's Visit— His Address 253 

County Created — Commissioners' First Meeting — First Election— Official Vote of 1884— Officers Elected in 1886 — 
Official Vote in Election of 1888— Special Election of 1889— Official Returns of 1890— Contest of 1892— Of 1894 
—Fusion Convention in 1896— Returns of 1896— Of 1898— Of 1900— Of 1902 276 

Cities and Towns. 
Ellensburg— Situation — Ellensburg Canal — Town Platted— Early History — Business Houses in 1883 — Fire of 1883 — 
Railroad Rumors — Presbyterian Academy — Prosperity of Early Eighties— Courthouse Built — Phenomenal Growth 
of 1888— The Great Fire of 1889— Hero of the Fire— Failures Following— Temporary Decline of City— Good 
Times of 1897-98— Rehmke's Jewelry Store Robbed— City's Water System— Fire Department— Lighting System- 
Schools— Public Buildings — Clubs — Churches — Fraternities. Roslyn— King Coal — Mines Opened— Choosing of 
the Name — First Business Ventures— Fire of 1888— The Terrible Explosion — Bank Robbery— Business Houses 
of 1895— Mines Temporarily Closed — Dr. Lyon Murdered — Smallpox Epidemic — Incorporation of City — Water 
System Built — Roslyn Athletic Club — Schools — Churches — Business Houses. Cle-Elum — Location — Founded — 
Walter J. Reed— Stores Established— First School — The Fire of 1891 — Incorporation — Water System — Schools 
— Churches—Business Enterprises. Thorp— Site — Business Houses — History — Easton — Liberty— Teanaway — 
Other Stations and Villages 286 




Yakima, Kittitas and Klickitat Counties.— Descriptive. 

Location and Area— Their Geological History— Scenery in the Cascades, near Cispus Pass— Tietan Park— Kittitas 

Lake Region — Yakima Drainage System— Climate— King Irrigation— Wenas Valley Canals — Naches River— 

Tietan— Selah Valley Canal— Yakima Valley Canal — Hubbard Ditch — Somer Canal Schemes — The Sunnyside 

Canal Svstem— Ahtanum Basin— Moxee Artesian Basin — Yakima County Canal Statistics — Alfalfa Industry — 


Dairy Industry— Live Stock in Yakima County — Hops— Potatoes — Fruit Culture— Profits in Farming — Minor 
Industries in the County— Lumbering — Mining — Summit Mining District — Yakima County's Rich Resources — 
Kittitas County — Its Topography — Kittitas Valley — Irrigation Projects— Canals Constructed— New Cascade 
Canal — Cattle Industry— Dairying — Sheep Raising— Other Live Stock— General Farming — Wheat Raising and 
Flour Manufactories— The Fruit Industry — Timber and Lumbering— Mining— Roslyn and Cle-Elum Coal 
Mines— The Cle-Elum Quartz District— The Swauk— Klickitat County— Columbia River— The Klickitat— 
General Topography — Trout Lake — County's Elements of Wealth — Camas Prairie — Their Pioneer Association — 
General Descriptive — Stock Industry — Sheep Raising — Grain — Flouring Mills — Horticulture — White Salmon 
Valley — Timber Belt of Klickitat County — Lumbering Industry 313 

Introductory — Klickitat County's Pioneer Schools — Yakima County's First Schools — Kittitas County Schools Founded 
—Early Teachers' Examinations— Klickitat Schools in 1879— In 1884— Yakima's Schools in 1880— In 1883— In 
Early Nineties— Progress of Kittitas Schools Up to 1892— The Klickitat Schools in 1891— Growth and Develop- 
ment of Schools to Present Time — Joshua Brown School Fund — Ellensburg State Normal — History — Growth- 
Present Equipment — Faculty — Woodcock Academy — History— Growth — St. Joseph's Academy— Klickitat 
Academy — Academy Emmanuel— Conclusion 337 

The Press of Central Washington. 
The Newspaper's Force in a Community — Editors and Their Work— Central Washington's Pioneer Newspaper, The 
Goldendale Sentinel — Klickitat County Agriculturist — Bickleton News— Centerville Journal— The White Salmon 
Enterprise— Klickitat Leader— Goldendale Courier— Yakima Republic — Yakima Herald — Yakima Democrat — 
Northwest Farm and Home— Sunnyside Sun— Prosser Record— Columbia Courier — Mabton Chronicle— Pioneer 
Papers in Yakima— Ellensburg Localizer— Ellensburg Capital— Ellensburg Dawn— Cascade Miner— Cle-Elum 
Echo — Teanaway Bugle — Gospel Preacher, Kittitas Wau-Wau — Kittitas Standard 313 

The Yakima Indians. 
Peculiarity of Indian Nature— Dr. Kuykendall's Investigations— Pathetic Aspect of Indian Situation— Origin of the 
Indian— Account of Pacific Coast Indians— The Happy Hunting Ground— Animal Gods— The God Coyote and 
His Marvelous Powers — His Rise and Downfall — Indian Mythology— Their Beliefs in Doctrine of Soul and 
Immortality — "Tamanowash" — Its Terrible Powers — An Ahtanum Valley Victim — The Redman's Lethargy and 
Impending Doom— Yakima Indians' First Trouble with Whites in 1855 — The Klickitats — Wanderings of North- 
west Indians— Yakima Nation— Establishment of Fort Simcoe— Father Wilbur— His Great Work on the Reser- 
vation—His Policies— Yakimas To-day— Mission Work on Reservation— Different Denominations Represented— 
The Dreamer and Troubles of 1878— Abandonment of Scalp and War Dances— Indian Dances Described— Agent 
Lynch's Experience— Partition of the Reservation and Present Status of Lands Owned by Yakimas— Fort Simcoe 
Industrial School— The Agency— Statistics of Interest 352 

Introduction— A Woman's Grave— Some Casual Remarks by George D. Virden— A Pioneer Justice Court— A Pioneer 
Stockman's Adventure— A Sheep Stampede— Anisiche Bill's Artificial Nose— A Story of the Indian Scare- 
Romance of Pioneer Klickitat— A Christmas Tale— Yakima's First Christmas Celebration— Indian Scares in 
Eastern Klickitat— When Ellensburg was Young— Recollections of Chief Moses— Shot Mules at 'Em— An Odd 
Document— A Pioneer Heroine— A Humorous Trial in Klickitat— Toby and Nancy— The Fair Moxee— Kittitas 
Valley— Within a Hundred Years— The Banks of the Klickitat 363 


Klickitat County 

Yakima County 537 

Kittitas County nan 




Balancing Head Rock, on the Columbia River (Esti- 
mated Weight 140 Tons) 106 

Bickleton 138 

Bruin in the Shambles — Hunting Scene near Mt. Adams 138 

Columbia River at Lyle 90 

Court House and Jail, Goldendale 106 

Goldendale Academy 106 

Governor Isaac Ingalls Stevens 58 

Hanging Rock near Goldendale (now Removed) 120 

Mt. Adams from Trout Lake Frontispiece 


Mt. Adams — Fire God of Long Ago. Big Muddy in 

the Foreground 106 

Old Block House, Seven Miles West of Goldendale, 
Constructed in the Early Fifties. A Relic of Pio- 
neer Days 106 

Outlet Falls 120 

Public School Building, Goldendale 106 

The Dalles of the Columbia River 90 

Wheat Shipping on the Columbia— Mt. Hood in the 
Distance 120 



A Block of Two-Months-Old Apple Buds 657 

A Field of Alfalfa 182 

An Irrigated Potato Field near Toppenish 210 

A Six- Year-Old Orchard 182 

A Wild Indian on Picket Duty in Full War Costume. . 176 

Chief Moses 166 

Harvesting in the Horse Heaven Country 210 

Hops 182 

Horse Roundup near Kiona 200 

How the Peaches Grow 182 

Potato— A Meal for Ten 182 

Railroad Bridge across the Columbia at Kennewick 176 

Residence of John W. Brown 761 

Residence of Willis Mercer 769 

Stacking Alfalfa 182 

Sunnyside Canal 182 

The Old Government Bridge across Toppenish Creek 

in the Yakima Reservation 176 

Two Flowing Wells near North Yakima, with Irriga- 
ting Ditches 150 

Vegetables and Rye 182 

Wheat and Fruit 182 

Wilbur Spencer (The Educated Son of the Noted 

"Chief Spencer") and Family 176 

Yakima County Prize Fruit 190 

Yakima Indians in War Costume 210 

Yakima River and Sunnyside Canal Intake 182 



A Band of Sheep 260 

A Bunch of Money-Makers 272 

Agent's Residence, Ft. Simcoe Agency 358 

A Gold Nugget from the Swauk Mines— Value $1, 120.00, 284 

A Herd of Cattle 260 

A Papoose in Full Regalia 284 

A Pioneer Homestead 260 

Arrastre— Old-Time Method of Mining 240 

A System of Farm Corrals 250 

Blind Toby and Wife Nancy, Over 100 Years Old, 

Familiar Figures on the Streets of Ellensburg 284 

Castle Rock 240 

Chief Spencer, Noted Government Scout in the Indian 

War of 1855-56— Now over 100 Years Old 342 

Housed for the Night 250 

Hydraulic Placer Mining 240 

Indian and Civilization 240 

Lake Cle-Elum 322 

Milking Time 272 


Old Blockhouse, Ft. Simcoe, Said to Have Been 

Erected in 1856 358 

Prosser School Building 342 

Pupils of Indian School at Ft. Simcoe, Marching 358 

Roslyn School Buildings 294 

Sam-in-the-Sack Creek 294 

Sas-we-as, Wife of Chief Spencer 342 

Sheep Scene on the Columbia— "Bidding Farewell to 

their Native Heath" 334 

Some Prize Jerseys 272 

Stacking Alfalfa 260 

State Normal School Building, Ellensburg, Washing- 
ton 789 

Summit Lake, near Mt. Stuart 322 

Upper Yakima River 250 

Waptus Creek 260 

Waptus Falls 240 

Waptus Lake 322 

Woodcock Academy 342 




Adams, Raleigh 519 

Adams, William H 424 

Aerni, Joseph 533 

Aldrich, Frank 442 

Alexander, George W 486 

Alvord, Charles C 396 

Anderson, Christen V 483 

Andrews, Edwin M 424 

Atkinson, John 416 

Baker, Albert L 429 

Baker, Almon 385 

Baker, John 482 

Baker, Walter 475 

Barnes, Columbus 423 

Beck, Charles M 491 

Beckett, Joseph A 402 

Beeks, James H 502 

Binns, Gastell 507 

Blew, James F 523 

Bogart, Henry D 399 

Bonebrake, Dr. Allen 383 

Brockman, Albert F., M. D 407 

Brokaw, George C 426 

Brooks, Hon. Nelson B 407 

Brune, Leo F 510 

Buckley, Richard 456 

Bullis, Samuel A 487 

Bunnell, George M 441 

Byars, William F 400 

Byze, Alfred 478 

Campbell, Isaiah 475 

Caples, Luther C 405 

Carratt, Henrv B 447 

Carrell, Elisha S 479 

Chamberlain, Paul P 503 

Chamberlin, James U 501 

Chapman, Arthur C 401 

Chappell, John E 389 

Childers, Svlvanus W 527 

Clanton, Rev. Levi 446 

Clark, Isaac 498 

Coate, Hon. William 523 

Coate, Frank M 530 

Coffield, Frank R 412 

Coffield, James 411 

Coffield, John H 412 

Cole, Halsey D 518 

Coleman, Lysander 459 

Coleman, John Calvin 457 

Cook, Capt. Howard C 516 

Copenhef er, John 484 


Cosens, Ralph 461 

Courtnay, Daniel C 490 

Courtnay, Isaac B 495 

Courtway, Anthony B 393 

Crider, Mark 472 

Crofton, Thomas N 442 

Crow, Guy G , . .519 

Curtiss, Alonzo H 510 

Daffron, John 514 

Darland, Isaac C 399 

Davis, Samuel T 430 

Dodson, Zachary T., M. D 492 

Dorris, Sidney G 469 

Ducey, John 466 

Duus, Anton 505 

Dymond, Bert C 532 

Egan, John P 518 

Eckert, John F 529 

Eckhardt, Conrad 480 

Edmisten, William M 430 

Ellis, George H 473 

Enderby, William 403 

Eshelman, Levi J 525 

Faulkner, Will G 489 

Fenton, Benj amin F 436 

Fenton, Ralph W 433 

Ferguson, Robert G 414 

Flanary, William P 402 

Flannery, Thomas C 425 

Finlayson, Daniel 444 

Flower, Charles E 461 

Frazer, Hough N 397 

Fuhrman, Martin 499 

Gadeberg, Joseph 485 

Gander, John Jacob 464 

Gano, Barnett J 395 

Garner, Henry 448 

Gerling, Fred W 431 

Golav, Henrv 477 

Golden, John J 387 

Goodnoe, Chauncey 431 

Gotf redson. Rasmus 481 

Graham, John P 444 

Graham, Robert M 470 

Grantly. George W 507 

Guler, Christian 522 

Hackley, Henry C 488 

Hamilton, George W 485 


Hansen, Thomas 484 

Hart, William 426 

Harris, Arthur G 418 

Harris, William L 417 

Hartley, Arkellas D 422 

Hartley, Harvey H., M. D 390 

Hendrick, John M 465 

Hess, Charles M 386 

Higby, Capt. Albert T 513 

Hinshaw, Elmer E 410 

Hinshaw, Isaac 395 

Hinshaw, Tunis T 416 

Hinshaw, Vernon T 411 

Hironimous, Alexander 496 

Hooker, Joseph J 481 

Hooker, Thomas H 458 

Hornibrook, William E 406 

Hunter, Abraham P 439 

Hussey, Henry A 471 

Jackel, Theodore 451 

Jackson, James W 393 

Jaekel, Charles F 452 

laekel, John 445 

Jewett, A. H 517 

Johnson, Andrew J 530 

Jones, Mordecai 521 

Jones, Stanton H 384 

Jordan, Daniel 440 

Jordan, George W 473 

Jory, Stephen A 506 

Kelley, Emery E 452 

Kure, John. 513 

Kurtz, John 428 

Larsen, Christian 486 

Larsen, Louis J 483 

LeFever, Winfield S 417 

Leidl, Wendelin 390 

Lewis, William L 504 

Loe, Kelley 446 

Long, Gabriel 534 

Long, William S 497 

Lyle, James 511 

Lymer, George W 493 

Martinet, Jules 477 

Mason, Edgar E 495 

Mason, Elisha S 506 

Masters, David A 406 

Matsen, Peter 482 

Matsen, Stephen 457 



Mattson, Lars 443 

Mesecher, Frank 392 

Miller, Alcana 460 

Miller, Capt. Samuel H 391 

Miller, George 472 

Miller, John A 449 

Miller, William H 435 

Mitty, William T 455 

Montgomery, Allen W 427 

Moore, Charles W 528 

Morehead, Edgar J 480 

Morehead, Joseph C 396 

Morris, Edward 494 

M'Adams, John A 438 

McBee, Isaiah 420 

M'Cann, Martin L 439 

McClain, Charles W 471 

McCredv, George W 453 

McCredv, John T 455 

McCredv, Leland 462 

McCredv, William A 487 

McDonald, Murdock 534 

McKiliip, Robert 449 

Nelson, James C 474 

Nelson, James Peter 403 

Nye, Wilbur C. S 468 

Overbaugh, William H 520 

Parrott, George 392 

Pearce, Charles 525 

Pearce, Edward J 526 

Pearson, Charles A 528 

Perrv, John 520 

Petersen, Gotfred 463 

Peterson, Charles J 529 

Piendl, Jacob 462 

Pierce, Edson E 414 

Pike, Col. Enoch W 381 


Rafferty, Richard M 532 

Rafferty, William C 533 

Rhodes, A. 1 421 

Richardson, Jacob 420 

Richardson, James C 476 

Ricketts, Roland L 503 

Roche, William and John 425 

Rust, W. C. and Albert 419 

Sanders, Francis W 478 

Schaefer, George 468 

Schaefer, Henrv 484 

Schuster, William 434 

Shaw, James 531 

Shattuck, Dickson P 456 

Shearer, David A 418 

Shellady, Guy 420 

Short, Meriel S 432 

Simms, Richard A 422 

Sinclair, Frank 491 

Sinclair, Samuel 409 

Smith, Arthur J 500 

Smith, George W 509 

Smith, James A 499 

Smith, Jefferson D 434 

Smith, John H 385 

Smith, John R 427 

Smith, Josiah 479 

Spalding, Howard M 398 

Spoon, Abram J 454 

Spoon, Ernest 394 

Stacker, Henrv 450 

Stadelman, William F 524 

Stegman, Dietrich H 450 

Stith, William H 428 

Stone, Iredell S 409 

Story, James E 459 

Storv, William J 403 

Sunderland, Robert D 451 

Talbert, Charles L 494 

Talbert, Thomas M 493 

Teale, Charles H 404 



Thompson, Everett C 415 

Tranberg, Hans C 467 

Trask, Herbert P 441 

Trenner, H armon 466 

Trumbo, Uriah B 453 

Vanhoy, Oscar 413 

Van Nostern, George 467 

Van Nostern, James D 490 

Van Nostern, William O 502 

Van Vactor, William 382 

Vincent, Frank P 508 

Vunk, Fred H 443 

Wade, George W 437 

Warner, Melville M 398 

Warren, Simeon L 496 

Warwick, Wayne S 413 

Watson, Angus J 419 

Watson, Elmer R 426 

Wattenbarger, Conrad G 474 

Webb, Carl Burton 404 

Wedgwood, Charles H 435 

Weer, John W 505 

Weld, Ernest L 437 

Whitcomb, John R 526 

White, Alfred O 432 

White, Richard D 497 

Wilkins, Samuel A 423 

Witt, D.E 512 

Wolfard, Clinton M 515 

Wommack, Onna J 476 

Wood, Isaiah F 480 

Wood, Nathan M 521 

Woods, Alfred 500 

Woods, William W 508 

Wren, Marion F 438 

Yeackel, Charles T 447 

Yeackel, Conrad B 440 

Yeackel, Henry 448 

Young, Joseph 415 

Ziegler, Samuel C 514 



Anderson, C hristen V 483 

Baker, John 483 

Beeks, James H 500 

Brockman, Albert F., M. D 407 

Brooks, Nelson B 407 

Chamberlin, James U 500 

Chamberlin, Timothy B 500 

Chappell, John E 391 

Clark, Isaac 500 

Coleman, Lysander 459 

Coleman, Mrs. Lvsander 459 

Coate, Hon. William 525 

Cook, Capt. Howard C 516 

Copenhefer, John 483 

Cosens, Ralph 459 

Courtwav, Anthony B 391 

Curtiss, Alonzo H 510 

Eshelman, Levi J 525 


Flower, Charles E 459 

Fuhrman, Mrs. Martin 500 

Gadeberg, Joseph 483 

Hamilton, George W 483 

Hansen, Thomas 483 

Hartley, Harvev H., M. D 391 

Hooker, Thoma's H 459 

Jackson, James W 391 

Jaekel, John 445 

Larsen, Louis J 483 

Leidl, Wendelin 391 

Matsen, Peter 483 

Matsen, Stephen 459 

Mesecher, Frank 391 

Miller, Alcana 459 


Miller, Capt. Samuel H 391 

McCredv, George W 453 

McCredy, William A 487 

Parrott, George 391 

Pearce, Charles 525 

Pearce, Edward J 525 

Pike, Col. Enoch W 381 

Sinclair, Samuel 407 

Smith, Arthur J 500 

Smith, James A 500 

Stadelman, William F 525 

Stone, Iredell S 407 

Story, James E 459 

Whitcomb, Thomas Martin 525 

White, Richard D 500 

Woods, Alfred O 500 



Adair, Bethenia Angeline Owens-. 555 

Adams, Moses N 568 

Anion, Howard S 777 

Anderson, Charles T 581 

Anderson, Louis, Jorgen and Peter, 749 
Angus, David M., M. D 751 

Badger, William M 631 

Bainter, Elias W 675 

Barge, Benjamin F 539 

Barnes, George F 704 

Baxter, John 666 

Beach, Charles J 780 

Beck, James A 629 

Beck, Orlando 647 

Beck, William D 630 

Beckett, John M 764 

Beckner. Noah J 721 

Beeks. William Wesley 636 

Beilstein, Albert 723 

Bell, John Robson 638 

Bernard, Bvron and Elmer E 762 

Bernev, Charles A 736 

Berne'v, O. Frank 726 

Bickle', Charles N 765 

Bicknell, Henry J 545 

Boardman, E. L 572 

Breckenridge, Charles H 735 

Brewer, Milton W 663 

Brooker, Fred W 604 

Brown, lohn J 717 

Brown, John William 761 

Brown, Joseph M 642 

Brown, Ornia S 766 

Burr, Charles H 587 

Butler, E. E 563 

Cameron, John 630 

Cameron, John 770 

Cameron, John F 630 

Cameron, Robert E 630 

Campbell, Arthur M 767 

Campbell, Charles 606 

Campbell, J. D., M. D 691 

Campbell, Peter N 676 

Carey, James W 757 

Carter, Ira W 774 

Carter, Remus E 748 

Carmichael, Mrs. Elizabeth (Coch- 
rane) 643 

Chamberlain, Ervin L 659 

Chamberlain, James B 613 

Chamberlain, Joseph F 613 

Chambers, Andrew Jackson 585 

Cheney, Mrs. Martha A. (McAl- 

ister) 641 

Chisholm. John 763 

Chrestenson, Andrew 709 

Clark, Joseph 622 

Clark, William S 627 

Cleman, John 555 

Clements", James B 753 

Cline, William H 6S8 

Cloud, William B 687 

Combs, John E 674 

Conrad, James H 639 

Cook, James E 597 

Cook, William L 605 

Cooper, Thomas S 707 

Cornett, John D 541 

Couey, John D 701 

Cowan, John 624 


Cox, Nelson D 761 

Crittenden, Julius F 682 

Creason, Henrv Washington 756 

Cresswell, Donald F 784 

Cresswell, Fred 783 

Crory, Robert 514 

Crosno, Eldridge 592 

Crosno, Horatio E 730 

Curry, Flaveius A 616 

Curry, Richard J 566 

Dalton, Alvin 684 

Daverin, John E 591 

Davidson, Lorenzo 604 

Davidson, Thomas W 617 

Davis, Isaac 635 

Dickev, Silvius A 547 

Dickson, Nelson J 639 

Dilley. Abraham L 734 

Dimmick, Melvin U ,.747 

Dodson, George 780 

Donoho, James S 724 

Dorothy, Robert 735 

Douglass, Willis S 678 

Dunn, Capt. Robert 550 

Durgan, Lot 575 

Early, Joseph B 722 

Eaton, George P 681 

Eby, David B 697 

Eidemiller, Edward J 730 

Eglin, Frank 580 

Eglin, James M 637 

Elliott, Archie J 683 

Eschbach, Joseph E 579 

Farris, Samuel E 603 

Fear, Samuel 603 

Felton, Wallace W 563 

Ferrell, John 715 

Ferrell, Oliver R 713 

Person, Elmer E 696 

Feuerbach, Casper 566 

Fife, Robert D 571 

Finn, George L 758 

Fisk, Andrew E 715 

Fisk, Harry W 766 

Fleming, Edward G 658 

Flint, AsaB 718 

Flint, Archie L 546 

Flower, Samuel P 728 

Flynn, William 631 

Foster, Alex 669 

Fox, John P 078 

French, Ernest W 577 

Freeman, Legh R 572 

Ftttman, Cornelius H 681 

Gano, George A 564 

Gano, James H 640 

Gervais, Andrew C 584 

Gibbons, Charles W 733 

Giezentanner, Jacob 741 

Gilbert, Horace Mark 665 

Gillett, Charles R 771 

Gilson, Silas A 593 

Girod, Leon 657 

Gloyd, Frank H 751 

Goodman, Daniel G 614 

Goodsell, Wallace 708 

Graham, Allen R 668 

Granger, Walter N 537 

Granger, William 588 

Graves, Elbert L 738 

Green, Andrew 714 

Green, Henry, M. D 548 

Greenwalt, David B 593 

Greenwalt, Lincoln J 641 

Griffiths, Walter G 590 

Gurley, Arthur 685 

Guthrie, William P 552 

Hackett, Edward J 591 

Hackett, William J 589 

Hadley, John J 651 

Hale, Carpus S 583 

Hall, Fred A 666 

Hare, Hon. William H 599 

Harris, Charles R 617 

H ardison, J ames W 590 

Harvey, David 607 

Harvey, James R., M. D 698 

Harvey, James 606 

Hart, Orlin 1 634 

Hawkins, Zach 594 

Hayden, William H 774 

Hedger, Frank S., M. D 742 

Helm, Rev. James W 651 

H enderson, J ames M 584 

Henderson, James 686 

Herod, Robert D 679 

Hibarger, Oliver 692 

Hildreth, William L 618 

Hill, Ernests 638 

Hinman, Henry V 588 

Hitchcock, William 695 

Hitt, JohnB..... 624 

Hoisington, William D 736 

Holt, Frank A 654 

Hover, Herbert A 779 

Howard, Albert E 572 

Howson, Thomas 625 

Hubbard, John H 571 

Hughs. Samuel B 623 

Hull, Nathan P 586 

Humphrey, Joseph A 722 

Ide, George A 708 

Jackson, Max 552 

Jacot, Arthur 737 

Jarratt, James K 621 

Jellison, Harvey 672 

Jenks, Herbert J 752 

Jones, Dr. Frank C 689 

Jones, Sidney E. 699 

Jones. Hon. Wesley L 538 

Jory, Hon. Henry Douglass 702 

Kaler, Jacob 670 

Kandle, Franklin J 544 

Kandle, Robert H 631 

Kays, William R 758 

Kelly, Thomas 649 

Kelso, Edward E 570 

Kelso, William A 720 

Kemp, Ezra 756 

Kennedy, John H 745 

Kincaid, Newton 628 

Knox, Henrv 580 

Kuuz, Joseph F 729 

Lanch, Louis 633 

Lannin, Joseph 697 


Lasswell, John L 618 

Laughlin, Josiah D 664 

Lape, Lorenzo D 750 

Lawrence, Charles D 676 

Lawrence, William E 659 

Learning, Edwin R 569 

Lease, Jeremiah L 682 

Lee, John H 769 

Lee, Lawrence C 760 

Lewis, Andrew J 648 

Lindsev, Edward A 635 

Linse, William A 637 

Lodge, Samuel B 738 

Longmire, Charles 611 

Longmire, David 542 

Loudon, John 625 

Lovell, Levi C 600 

Lowry, James F 719 

Lvnch, Jav A 652 

Lynch, Mrs. Catherine F 579 

Lyons, Richard F 667 

Mabry, James A 648 

Mace, Eugene L 734 

Mansfield, Fred 710 

Marble, William Harrison 661 

Marks, Charles A 541 

Marks, Elmer B 578 

Marks, John P 567 

Martin, Frank A 718 

Martin, William F 785 

Martineau, Michelle 665 

Masiker, William W 785 

Mason, George W 679 

Mathews, William B 776 

Mattoon, John P 573 

Mavenschein, George G 715 

Medill, John D 572 

Meek, Charles H 727 

Mercer, Willis 769 

Miller, Clark 725 

Miller, Christian 732 

Miller, John H 576 

Miller, Ira S 718 

Millican, Frank H 660 

Mideke, Frederick 731 

Minner, William H 582 

Mondor, Joseph 573 

Morgan, Jock 723 

Moody, Marcus D 675 

Morain, William A 782 

Morrisey, John 645 

Morrison, Abraham W 610 

Morrison, John Lee 596 

Morrison, Josiah H 576 

Mudd, EddE 685 

Muller, George G 693 

Munn, David 604 

Murchie, John M 562 

MacCrimmon, John C 547 

McAlpin, David 742 

McAuliff, William 656 

McCart, Isaac M 680 

McClure, John F 623 

McConnon, James F 694 

McCov, Nicholas 565 

McCreadie, John G 719 

McCredv, Alexander E 671 

McDaniel, Thomas J 605 

McOaniel, William A. 1 62S 

McDaniels, Jeff D 565 

McDonald, Archie W 657 

McDonald, Daniel A 55] 

McDonald, Leonard C 690 

Mcintosh. James D 633 

McLeod, Joseph 658 


McNeill, Alex G 757 

McPhee, John .627 

Nagler, Frank X 566 

Natterlund, John O 705 

Nelson, Daniel W 612 

Nelson, George W 619 

Nelson, John J 620 

Newcomb, William B 545 

Newell, Charles H 655 

Noble, Orbin F 577 

Norman, William H 703 

Norton, Archie L 673 

O'Neal, John 635 

Owen, DeWitt 781 

Pace, LaFayette 693 

Palmer, George W 743 

Palmer, Simeon 620 

Parton, Bert E 656 

Paulger, Frank O 669 

Peck, Earl G 545 

Phillips, Tilton S 728 

Pierce, George E 561 

Ponti. Joseph 759 

Pratt, Adoniram J 598 

Pratt, Orrin S 706 

Probach, Michael 646 

Putnam, Charles H 781 

Queen, Peter 654 

Randier, Andrew H 661 

Reed, Mrs. Addie 544 

Reed, Hon Walter J 543 

Redman, W. H 671 

Reimer, Carl C 768 

Remv, Edward 643 

Reynolds, Davton D 626 

Reynolds, Jesse W 577 

Richards, Analdo H 783 

Richartz, Joseph 645 

Ritchie, Charles T 759 

Roberts, John T 740 

Roberts, Thorpe 773 

Rolph, Leonard C 741 

Roraback, Louis C 700 

Roundtree, Eugene 607 

Rowe, Mrs. Linnie 621 

Rudow, Lewis C 777 

Rudkin, Judge Frank H 538 

Rush, Joseph A 701 

Rydholm, Gustavus A 774 

Rydholm, John Victor 755 

Scott, James N 786 

Scott, Robert 601 

Scott, Robert W 633 

Scott, Walter W 745 

Sedge, Henry 627 

See, MartinX 740 

Shardlow, Frank B 647 

Shattuck, Louis H 732 

Shannafelt. Edward A 581 

Shaw, Frederick E 568 

Shaw, John W 582 

Shearer, Milton 624 

Shearer, William L 653 

Sheller, John B 698 

Sherman, John S 778 

Simpson, Mrs. Marv 579 

Sisk. Morris ' 716 

Sinclair, Alfred 626 

Sinclair, Daniel 615 

Sinclair, Hugh K 553 

Siverly, Mis. Elizabeth 587 


Slavin, Edward 583 

Smallev, William A 779 

Smart, Joseph 768 

Smith, Albert 765 

Smith, Abner I 673 

Smith, Charles M 737 

Smith, Edward Sterling 673 

Smith, Hallick A 746 

Smith, William W 764 

Snelling, Andrew F 568 

Snively, Hon. Henry J 554 

Splawn, Hon. Andrew J 548 

Splawn, Capt. William L 595 

Splawn, Mrs. Mary A 607 

Spencer, Lester R 731 

Spencer, Wilbur 668 

Stabler, Webster L 578 

Stair, Dean 724 

Steevens, David J 584 

Stephens, Thomas L 725 

Stevens, Winfield S 628 

Stevens, Capt. William 667 

Stewart, John T 602 

Stewart. William T 562 

Stobie, William T., Sr 711 

Stobie, William T., Jr 701 

Stringer, Ephraim 771 

Stuible, John 782 

Swan, Felix T 775 

Symmonds, Mahlon 650 

Tavlor, Caleb W 709 

Tavlor, Emerv W. R 749 

Tavlor, Emmett R 700 

Taylor, George W 541 

Taylor, Hon. George S 540 

Tavlor, Harland J 540 

Terrv. William 614 

Thompson, Fred E 569 

Thompson, H. F 650 

Thompson, Emory 690 

Thomas, James fl arrison 598 

Thornton, William E 644 

Thorp, Leonard Luther 549 

Tickner, Franke J 564 

Tieo, Alex 664 

Timmermann, August E 786 

Tompkins, Charles 754 

Travis, Botsford S 748 

Travis, Lovell C 746 

Travis, Warren C 747 

Trayner. Jonathan O 592 

Tucker, Henry L 575 

Tueslev, George N 571 

Turnel'l, Ingram B 601 

Turner, Harrv W 689 

Tyler, John J". 609 

Van Buskirk, Reuben 599 

Varner, Henry C 730 

Vansvcle. Oscar 644 

Vessev, William H 610 

Vetter, Frank S 711 

Vetter, George 686 

Vivian, Sterling P 602 

Wade, Stephen 608 

Walden, Rev. Freeman 677 

Walker. Col. A. C 683 

Wallace, Joseph A 703 

Walters, John W 594 

Ward, Edward J 760 

Warner, Charles A 767 

Wattenbarger, Adam F 739 

Webber, Aubre v C 714 

Webber, Clinton R 695 


Webber, Solomon M 753 

Weed, Alfred B 596. 

Wells, Horatio W 771 

Wells, Wallace 727 

Wende, Henry H 688 

Wenner, Charles S 690 

Wetzel, John 581 

Whipple, William H 612 

White, Anson S 597 

White, Samuel E 776 

White, Walter T 620 


Whitson, Owen B 663 

Wilcox, Charles Pollok 600 

Wiley, William 593 

Williams, James S 662 

Williams. Vernon H 662 

Wilson, Edward O 773 

Wilson, George 609 

Wilson, John T 770 

Wimer, Capt. Adam J 744 

Winsor, Frank 710 

Wolcott, Alven E 744 


Wommack, Cyrus Oscar 721 

Wommack, William 739 

Woodcock, Prof. Ernest S 586 

Woolsey, Silas H 585 

Woodwell, David E 707 

Wright, William H 616 

Wright, William L 726 

Yakey, Albert L 711 

Yeates, Elijah S 632 

Young, Edward J 705 



Adair, Bethenia Angeline Owens-557 

Barge, Benjamin F 539 

Beach, Charles J 780 

Beach, Mrs. Charles J 780 

Beckner, Noah J 720 

Benton, Horace M 624 

Bicknell, Henry J 545 

Brown, John W 761 

Brown, Mrs. John W 761 

Cheney, Mrs. Martha A 641 

Clark, Joseph O 624 

Clements, James B 755 

Clements, Mrs. James B 755 

Cowan, John 624 

Creason, Henry Washington 755 

Crosno, Horatio E 729 

Crosno, William P 729 

Davidson, Lorenzo, and Family.. 604 

Eidemiller, Edward J 729 


Flower, Samuel P 729 

Granger, Walter N 537 

Granger, William 588 

Gurley, Arthur 685 

Hackett, William J 588 

Hardison, James W 588 

Harvey, David 608 

H arvey , James 606 

Hinman, Henry V 588 

Hitt, John B 624 

Howson, Thomas 624 

Hubbard, Hon. John H 571 

Hughs, Samuel B 624 

Kelly, Thomas 649 

Kelso, William A 720 

Kemp, Ezra 755 

Kunz, Joseph F 729 

Longmire, David 542 

Loudon, John 624 


Lowrv, James F 720 

Lynch, Jay A 652 

Marks, John P 567 

Mercer, Willis 769 

Mercer, Mrs. Willis 769 

McClure, John F 624 

McCredy, Alexander E 671 

McCreadie, John G 720 

McDonald, Daniel A 551 

Phillips, Tilton S 729 

Rydholm, John Victor 755 

Shardlow, Mr. and Mrs. Frank B.647 

Shearer, Milton 624 

Snively, Henry J 554 

Taylor, Hon. George S 540 

Tompkins, Charles 755 

Webber, Solomon M 755 





Ackley, Henry C 


Bradshaw, George Robert. . . 


Craig, Samuel E 


Adam, William M 


Brooks, Elijah 


Crocker, John 



Bryant, Henry M 

Bull, John 

Cross, Quinton E 




Aldrich, John G 

Allen, Asher 


Bull, Mrs. Rebecca N 


Curtis, Clarence E., D. D. S.. 



Bullard, Carlos S 


Amen, Middleton V., M. D... 


Burch, John N /... 

. . . .851 


Ames, William O 


Dehuff, M. A 

. . .923 

Andereon, James 


Cadwell, Thomas 


Dennis, William 



Cahoon, Marcus M 





Bagley, Peter 

Baker, Charles S 


Carey, Patrick J 

Carlton, Isaac F 





Doughty, William F 


Ball, James C 




.... 876 

Carothers, William H 


Dysart, James S 


Barnett, Robert 


Carter, William D 


Barnhart, Frank C 


Carver, George W 


Ebert, Howard 


Barry, R. A 


Cash, John H 


Eidal, Christen 


Bates, Samuel L 


Clark, Joseph T 


Ellison, Mrs. John C 


Becker, Jacob P 


Cleman, Perry 


Elwood, Harry S 




Benson, Charles R 


Collet, Matt 


Enenkel, Carl 


Blomquist, John 

.... 938 

Conant, William A 


Erickson, Edd A 



Connell, Charles 


Evans, Simeon 


Bowers, Jacob 


Cooke, Susan E 


Evens, Marion J 




Falkner, James J 930 

Farrell, Thomas W 815 

Farris, Samuel W 894 

Felch, Harvey J., M. D 792 

Ferguson, Edward C 824 

Fielding, Harrv S 914 

Ford, George E ^828 

Forsyth, George 928 

Frederick, Martin .856 

Frederick, Philip 855 

Gamble, Thomas L 901 

Gassman, Otto 906 

Geddis, Oliver R ^871 

German, John William 887 

Gilmour. John T 849 

Glynn, Jerry 926 

Goodwin, Elmer E 896 

Goodwin, John C 896 

Goodwin, Thomas B 895 

Gordon, Martin A 900 

Graham, John 931 

Graves, Carroll B '793 

Graves, David W 915 

Gray, Christopher A 817 

Green, John Lincoln 858 

Habermann, August 880 

Halev, Thomas 832 

Hall, Arthur M ."846 

Hanlon, Joseph J 854 

H anson, Benard 863 

Hanson, John . .. [913 

Harrison, Ralph ' ' ' .'903 

Harrison, William 934 

Hartley, Joseph J .'935 

Hasse, August 911 

Hatfield, Charles T .'.'.'897 

Hayes, James T 869 

Henseleit, W. F 904 

Heron, Edward K ' ' . . ^937 

Hodder, Arthur W .... ^935 

Hogue, George D 883 

Holcomb, James A ^879 

Holland. Edward . . . 932 

Holm, Christian ....'. ^848 

Holmes, John W .'928 

Houser, Tillman 813 

Hubbell, Julius Caesar ...'. '801 

ackson, Frank S 827 

ackson, Dr. Roscoe N '. .'923 

acobson, Chris ..[ 869 

ames, George P ^867 

ames, Oscar 902 

arred, Arthur . .' ' '904 

erizer, John ..[' '933 

onas, William 859 

ones, Charles W 862 

ustham, Simon R ' '921 

Karrer, Frank X 

Kautz, Ira A 

ellicut, Lorenzo 

ennedy, Louis Cass.. 
i\ermen, Robert E.. . 
Kiester, William H . . . . 

Killmore, John S 

Killmore, William D... 
Klavon, August. . . 
Knight, William H. H. 
Kohler, Karl O 


Lane, James 991 

Larsen, Niels !874 


Lass well, William B 863 

Leverich, William B 822 

Liska, Adolph 929 

Livingston, Thomas '. [937 

Ludi, Frederick 841 

Lyen, David H 877 

Lyen, Leander F .890 

Maddux, Alexander 862 

Mason, Alanson T 810 

Mason, Eleazar B '906 

Maxey, Simeon Walker 833 

Meagher, Thomas F 801 

Meehan, Martin 823 

Meek, Thomas 854 

Menzies, Joseph F ." '924 

Milby, William 928 

Miller, Michael C 907 

Mills, James L 898 

Minielly, George '852 

Mires, Austin .' '793 

Moe, Erick A 874 

Moffet, Charles W .872 

Montague, Robert 925 

Morgan, William P '920 

Morgan, J. H 8 09 

Morrison, Catherine 876 

Morrison, William 905 

Mueller, Nicholas 844 

Murray, David .' .804 

McCallum, Edgar 939 

McCauley, John C, M. D. . . .' .' '. . .799 

McDonald, Charles H 865 

McDonald, James M 909 

McDowell, Thomas G 929 

McLennan, Malcolm 820 

Nesselhous, August 887 

Newman, John M , ' .' ^899 

Nicholas, Carter 934 

Nilson, Gustaf ..." '937 

Norling, Peter J ^867 

O'Conner, J. C 910 

Oldmg, John G 814 

Olsen, Elling 940 

Olsen. Gust and Lasse . . . 940 

O'Neil, John H !.'.'! ^925 

Pack wood, Samuel T 798 

Packwood, William 848 

Pansing, Charles W. C 876 

Park, Rev. William 804 

Paton, James Y 930 

Patrick, Archibald S . . 9-?<> 

Pays, Felix ""!.";905 

Pease, Mrs. Anna M 884 

Pease, Burt ; 850 

Pease, Clarence William 884 

Pease, Edgar 8 53 

Peed, William J 826 

Peterson, Ola ^49 

Piland, Martha A 913 

Poland, Jesse C .' '858 

Prewitt. William 881 

Price, William B .[ 847 

Priest, George S !!!!!910 

Pruyn, Edward ' ' '795 

Purdin, R. Lee 798 

Rader, William H 880 

Randall, Amasa S 829 

Randall, Thomas J [836 

Reed, Briggs F 795 

Keed, Casper E 878 

Rees, William 926 

Rego, Jacob E .'..'..'.'.852 

Rhodes, Samuel 1 940 

Rice William A 873 

Richards, Charles M 868 

Robbins, Dr. John 830 

Rollinger, Michael ! ! ! . 843 

Roseburg, John :....905 

Rugg, Mary S 882 

Salladay, George W 836 

Sally, Isaac M 934 

Sander, Carl A .!!!.. 821 

Sandmeyer, Ernest T [ 885 

Sayles, George E .892 

Schnebly, Frederick D ! 794 

Schnebly, Philip H 834 

Schober, Joseph 908 

Schorman, Frank 843 

Schormann, Frederick 890 

Sheldon, William T 875 

Short, G. P ; 9 i 8 

Shoudy, Dexter 807 

Shoudy, John A., Jr 806 

Shoudy, John Alden 790 

Sides, George '.. . [930 

Sides, William B 903 

Simmons, Edwin L 926 

Simmons, Michael T 886 

Simonton, Allen C, M. D 922 

Simpson, Elmer E 918 

Simpson, Robert .'916 

Sloan, George, M. D 921 

Smallwood, Charles . . ". . '. '. ' 908 

Smithson, John H 791 

Snyder, Cary A .'.'.'.'.' 857 

Sorenson, Jens 870 

Southern, Braxton Duncan 900 

Spier, H. H 856 

Splawn. Charles A 897 

Steele, Walter 924 

Sprague, Melvin C .'835 

Spurling, William W 860 

Steinmau, Capt. Alfred C 802 

Stevens, Cyrenus E 894 

Stevens, W. A 851 

Stoops, Charles F 868 

Storey, Miles H ^907 

Straude, Even T 872 

Stulfauth, A. H 818 

S warm, Thomas 861 

Taylor, Edmund 910 

Taylor, Frank E 845 

Thomas, Merton L 857 

Thomas, Warren A 800 

Thomas, W. R 881 

Thompson, James H 847 

Thorp, Milford A 898 

Tjossem, Albert 890 

Tjossem, Rasmus P 838 

Toner, Henrv 866 

Tubbs, Emery L 912 

Turner, Robert A 816 

Tuttle, William W ^903 

Tweet, Torkel 938 

Vanderbilt, Jerry W. 
Virden, GeorgeD... 

Wager, Eugene E 816 

Walsh, Richard 911 

Walters, William .866 


Wasson, E. B 

Watson, James 

Weaver, George W 
Weaver, John N . . . 
Weaver, Dr. Roy A 
Willis, Edwin A... 
Wilson, Charles Herby 


Wilson, John S 859 

Wilson, Prof. William E 796 

Wippel, Frederick 819 

Wippel, Simon P 818 

Wold, Peter A 840 

Wood, Martha A 844 

Wright, Alfred M 820 


Wright, George 837 

Wynegar, Valentine C 815 

Younger, Peter 909 

Zetzsche, Willis F 889 

Zwicker, Barthel 865 



Becker, Jacob P 823 

Bowers, Jacob 830 

Carey, Patrick J 790 

Conant, William A 813 

Cooke, Hon. Charles P 813 

Cooke, Mrs. Charles P 813 

Doty, Mrs. Hannah D 790 

Farrell, Thomas W 815 


Gamble, Thomas L 901 

Haley, Thomas 831 

Houser, Tillman 813 

Houser, Mrs. Tillman 813 

Hubbell, Julius Cssar 801 

Kiester, William H. . / 813 

Maxey, Simeon Walker 833 


Olding, John G 813 

Olding, Mrs. John G 813 

Pansing, Charles W. C 876 

Shoudy, Hon. John Alden 790 

Shoudy, Mrs. John Alden 790 

Turner, Robert A 816 

Wynegar, Valentine C 813 





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 present 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 his- 
tory, when, shrouded in uncertainty and misap- 
prehension, it formed the ignis fatitus 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 Columbus, 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 re- 
ceived much attention from these early naviga- 
tors, 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 Valerianos, and it is claimed that when 
he made his discovery he was in the service of the 
Spanish nation. Michael Lock tells his story in 
the following 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 northwest, 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 exceeding high pinnacle or 
spired rock, like a pillar, thereupon. Also he 
said that he went on land in divers places, and 
that he saw some people on 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 find- 
ing the sea wide enough everywhere, and to be 
about thirty or forty leagues wide in the mouth of 
the straits where he entered, he thought he had 
now well discharged his office; and that not 
being armed to resist the force of savage people 
that might happen, he therefore set sail and 
turned homeward again toward Nova Spania, 
where he arrived at Acapulco, anno 1592, hoping 


to be rewarded by the viceroy for this service 
done in the said voyage." 

The curious thing about this and some of the 
other legends is the general accuracy of the 
descriptions given by these old mariners. Pro- 
fessor W. D. Lyman thinks it is not impossible 
that they had either visited the Pacific coast in 
person or had seen other pilots who had, and 
that thus they gathered the material from which 
they fabricated their Munchausen tales. 

Many years passed after the age of myth 
before there were authentic voyages. During 
the seventeenth 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 infatu- 
ated 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, Span- 
ish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russians 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 its 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 could be executed. It was 
1728 when Vitus Behring entered upon his mar- 
velous life of exploration. Not until 1741, how- 
ever, 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 1 77 1 the first cargo of furs was taken directly 
from Avatscha, the chief port of eastern Siberia, 
to Canton. Then first Europe realized the vast- 
ness 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 Horn. 

Meanwhile, 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 Fran- 
cisco. 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 by 
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, but failed to dis- 
cover either the Columbia river or the Straits of 

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 strength- 
ened England's claim to Oregon, and added 
greatly to the luster of her name. The great 
captain, while temporarily on shore, was killed 
by Indians in 1778, and the command devolved 
upon Captain Clark, who sailed northward, pass- 
ing through Behring strait to the Arctic ocean. 
The new commander died before the expedition 
had proceeded far on its return journey; Lieuten- 
ant Gore, a Virginian, assumed control and sailed 
to Canton, China, arriving late in the year. 

The main purposes of this expedition had been 
the discovery of a northern waterway between 
the two oceans and the extending of British terri- 
tory, but, as is so often the case in human affairs, 
one of the most important results of the voyage 
was entirely unsuspected by the navigators and 
practically the outcome of an accident. It so 
happened that the two vessels of the expedition, 
the Revolution and the Discovery, took with 
them to China a small collection of furs from the 
northwest coast of America. These were pur- 
chased by the Chinese with great avidit)\ the 
people exhibiting a willingness to barter commod- 
ities of much value for them and endeavoring to 
secure them at almost any sacrifice. The sailors 
were not backward in communicating their dis- 
coveries of a new and promising market for 
peltries, and the impetus imparted to the fur 
trade was almost immeasurable in its ultimate 
effects. An entirely new regime was inaugu- 
rated in Chinese and East Indian commerce. 
The northwest coast of America assumed a new 
importance in the eyes of Europeans, and espe- 
cially of the British. The "struggle for posses- 
sion" soon began to be foreshadowed. 

One of the principal harbors resorted to by 
fur- trading vessels was Nootka, used as a rendez- 
vous 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 governments 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 preventing 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 any claim preju- 
dicial to the right of the Spanish crown was to be 
vigorously resisted. 


Upon the arrival of Martinez in the harbor, 
it was discovered that the American vessel, 
Columbia, and the Iphigenia, a British vessel, 
under a Portuguese flag, were lying in the har- 
bor. Martinez at once demanded the papers of 
both vessels and an explanation 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 condi- 
tions, of Russian, Spanish or English 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 vessel of the 
same expedition, was, however, seized by Mar- 
tinez a little later. 

It should be remembered that these British 
vessels had, in the inception of the enterprise, 
divested themselves of their true national charac- 
ter 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 com- 
pany. To maintain their Portuguese nationality 
they had placed the expedition nominally under 
the control of Juan Cavalho, a Portuguese trader. 
Prior to the time of the trouble in Nootka, how- 
ever, Cavalho had become a bankrupt and new 
arrangements had become necessary. The 
English traders were compelled to unite 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 expedition assumed. Captain Colnutt was 
placed in command of the enterprise as consti- 
tuted under the new regime, with instructions, 
among other things, "to establish a factory to be 
called Fort Pitt, for the purpose of permanent set- 
tlement and as a center of trade around which 
other stations may be established." 

One vessel of the expedition, the Princess 
Royal, entered Nootka harbor without molesta- 
tion, 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 North- 
west America. Later Colnutt called on Martinez 
and informed the Spanish governor of his inten- 
tion to take possession of the country in the 
name of Great 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) contemplated 
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 
American vessels in the harbor were in no way 

After an extended and at times heated con- 
troversy between Spain and Great Britain touch- 
ing these seizures, the former government con- 
sented 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 ter- 
ritory affected is, that throughout the entire con- 
troversy and in all the royal messages and 
debates in parliament no word was spoken 
asserting a claim of Great Britain to any terri- 
torial 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 sub- 
jects, but a transfer of realty under the circum- 
stances could not be considered a transfer of 

We pass over the voyage of the illustrious 
French navigator, La Perouse, as of more 
importance from a scientific than from a polit- 
ical view- point; neither can we 'dwell upon the 
explorations of Captain Berkley, 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 1788, 
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 unequiv- 
ocal expression of his opinion by naming the bay 
in that vicinity Deception bay and the promon- 
tory north of it Cape Disappointment. "Disap- 
pointed and deceived," remarks Evans face- 
tiously, "he continued his cruise southward to 
latitude forty-five degrees north." 

It is not without sentiments of patriotic pride 
that we now turn our attention to a period of 
discovery in which the vessels of our own nation 
played a prominent part. The northern mys- 
tery, which had been partially resolved by the 
Spanish, English, French and Portuguese 


explorations, was now to be completely robbed 
of its mystic charm ; 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 opera- 
tions on the shores of the Pacific Northwest. 
The United States had but recently won their 
independence from the British crown and their 
energies were finding a fit field of activity in the 
titanic task of national organization. Before the 
constitution 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 pres- 
ence 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 prominent merchant of Boston, 
and a man of high social standing and great influ- 
ence. While one of the impelling motives of 
this enterprise had been the desire of commercial 
profit, the element of patriotism was not wholly 
lacking, and the" vessels were instructed to make 
whatever explorations and discoveries they 

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 car- 
ried out. The vessel arrived in Boston in Sep- 
tember, 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 Washington, 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 Flat- 
tery and an interesting colloquy took place. 
Vancouver communicated to the American skip- 
per the fact that he had not yet made any impor- 
tant discoveries, and Gray, with equal frankness, 
gave the eminent British explorer an account of 
his past discoveries, "including," says Bancroft, 
"the fact that he had not sailed through Fuca 

strait in the Lady Washington, as had been sup- 
posed from Meares' narrative and map." He 
also informed Captain Vancouver that he had 
been "off the mouth of a river in latitude forty- 
six 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 the equipoise of 
Vancouver's mind. The entries in his log show 
that he did not entirely credit the statement of 
the American, but that he was considerably per- 
turbed is evinced by the fact that he tried to con- 
vince 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 jour- 
ney northward, passed through the strait of Fuca, 
and engaged in a thorough and minute explora- 
tion 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 sus- 
pected. The storied "Oregon" for the first time 
heard other sound than "its own dashing." 

Shortly afterward Vancouver came to Cape 
Disappointment to explore the Columbia, of 
which he had heard indirectly from Captain 
Gray. Lieutenant 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 Vancouver, 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 presently. 



With the exploration of Puget sound and the 
discovery of the Columbia, history-making mari- 
time adventure practically ceased. But as the 
fabled strait of Anian had drawn explorers to 
the Pacific shores in quest of the mythical pas- 
sage 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 terra incognita was 
becoming irresistible to adventurous spirits, and 
the possibilities of discovering 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 explora- 
tions, 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 1758, should be 
taken as authentic, the first man to scale the 
Rocky mountains 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. But "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 Mackenzie, from 
Canada by land, July 22, 1793." His field of 
discovery was also without the scope of our pur- 
pose, 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 effort. While 
the other statesmen and legislators of his time 

were fully engaged with the problems of the 
moment, the great mind of Thomas Jefferson, 
endowed as it was with a wider range of vision 
and more comprehensive grasp of the true situa- 
tion, was projecting exploring expeditions into 
the Northwest. In 1786, while serving as minis- 
ter to Paris, he had fallen in with the ardent 
Ledyard, who was on fire with the idea of open- 
ing a large and profitable fur trade in the north 
Pacific region. To this young man he had sug- 
gested the idea of journeying to Kamchatka, then 
in a Russian vessel to Nootka sound, from which, 
as a starting point, he should make an exploring 
expedition eastward to the United States. Led- 
yard 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 enter- 

The next effort of Jefferson was made in 
1792, when he proposed to the American Philo- 
sophical Society that it should engage a compe- 
tent 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 distinguished himself as 
one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clarke expe- 
dition, 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 order from the 
French minister, to whom, it seems, he also owed 
obedience, that he should relinquish his appoint- 
ment 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 limita- 
tion, and President Jefferson, in recommending 
its continuance, seized the opportunity to urge 
upon congress the advisability of fitting out an 
expedition, the object of which should be "to 
explore the Missouri 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 any other river, 
may offer the most direct and practical water 
communication across the continent, for the pur- 
pose of commerce." 

Congress voted an appropriation for the pur- 
pose, and the expedition was placed in charge of 
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clarke. 
President Jefferson 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 advan- 
tageously 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 con- 
ducted through the Missouri and the United 
States more beneficially than by the circumnavi- 
gation now practiced." In addition to the 
instructions already quoted, these explorers were 
directed to ascertain if possible on arriving at the 
seaboard if there were 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. They 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 they might be 

A few days before the initial steps were taken 
in discharge of the instruction of President 
Jefferson, news reached the seat of government 
of a transaction 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 authori- 
ties at Washington did not hear of the important 
transfer until the first of July. Of such tran- 
scendent import to the future of our country was 
this transaction and of such vital moment to the 
section with which our volume is primarily con- 
cerned, 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 pur- 
chase. France, by her land explorations and the 
establishment of trading posts and forts, first 
acquired title to the territory west of the Missis- 
sippi and east 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 VI. A 
constant warfare had been waged between 
France and Great Britain for supremacy in 
America. The latter was the winner in the con- 
test, and, in 1762, France, apparently discour- 
aged, ceded to Spain the province of Louisiana. 
By the treaty of February 10, 1763, which gave 

Great Britain the Canadas, it was agreed that the 
western boundary between English and Spanish 
possessions in America should be the Mississippi 
river, Great Britain renouncing all claims to the 
territory west of that boundary. 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 15, 1802, and, as above stated, the 
United States succeeded to the title by treaty of 
April 30, 1803. 

Exact 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 Okla- 
homa, Indian territory, more than three-fourths 
of Montana and Wyoming, and parts of Colorado 
and New Mexico. 

And so the Lewis and Clarke expedition, which 
had in its inception for its chief object to promote 
the commercial interests of the United States, 
acquired a new purpose, namely, the extending of 
geographical and scientific knowledge of our own 
domain. Upon its members a further duty 
devolved, that of informing the natives that obe- 
dience was now due to a new great father. 

The expedition of Lewis and Clarke excited a 
peculiar interest at the time of its occurrence, 
and has since occupied a unique place in our his- 
tory. The description of this expedition which 
follows is condensed from the writings upon the 
subject of Professor W. D. Lyman, 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 "Shining. mountains" with a sense of propri- 
etorship, all the romance and enthusiasm and 
excitement of exploration, hitherto sternly denied 
them by their narrow lot, seized and fascinated 
all classes. 

On the 14th day of May, 1804, the Lewis and 
Clarke 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 undertaking 
this voyage, fraught with both interest and peril? 
Meriwether Lewis, the leader of the party, was a 
captain in the United States army, and in Jeffer- 
son's judgment was, by reason of endurance, 
boldness and energy, the fittest man within his 
knowledge for the responsible duties of com- 
mander. His whole life had been one of reck- 
less adventure. It appears that at the tender 
age of eight he was already illustrious for suc- 
cessful midnight forays upon the festive 'coon and 
the meditative 'possum. He was lacking in scien- 
tific 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. Will- 
iam Clarke, 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 regu- 
lars, nine Kentucky volunteers, two French voy- 
ageurs, a hunter, an interpreter and a negro. 
To each of the common soldiers the government 
offered the munificent reward of retirement upon 
full pay with a recommendation 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, mir- 
rors, knives, etc., wherewith to woo the savage 
hearts of the natives. 

After an interesting and easy journey of five 
months, they reached the country of the Man- 
dans, and here they determined to winter. The 
winter having been profitably spent in making 
the acquaintance of the Indians and in collecting 
specimens of the natural history of the plains — 
which they now sent back to the president with 
great care — they again embarked in a squad of 
six canoes and two pirogues. June 13th they 
reached the great falls of the Missouri. 

A month was spent within sound of the thun- 
der and in sight of the perpetual mist cloud 
rising from the abyss, before they could accom- 
plish the difficult 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 canoes breasted the swift current, the vast 
campfires and the nightly buffalo roasts — all 
these must have made this the pleasantest section 
of their long journey. 

The party seems to have pretty nearly 
exhausted its supply of names, and after having 

made heavy drafts on their own with various 
permutatory combinations, they were reduced to 
the extremity of loading innocent creeks with 
the ponderous names of Wisdom, Philosophy and 
Philanthropy. Succeeding generations have 
relieved the unjust pressure in two of these cases 
with the sounding appellations of Big Hole and 
Stinking Water. 

On the 12th day of August the explorers 
crossed the great divide, 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 hoped to get 
horses and valuable information as to their proper 
route to the ocean. But four days were con- 
sumed 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 kinsmen. 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 bur- 
dens, they bade farewell to the friendly Sho- 
shones on the last day of August, 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 Clarke, and 
becoming 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, commemo- 
rative of their extremity for food, they came 
upon a wild and beautiful stream. Inquiring the 
name of this from the Indians, they received the 
answer "Kooskooskie. " This in reality meant 
simply that this was not the stream for which 
they were searching. But not understanding, 
they named the river Kooskooskie. This was 
afterward called the Clearwater, and is the most 
beautiful tributary of the Snake. 

The country still frowned on them with the 
same forbidding rocky heights and snow-storms 
as before. It began to seem as though famine 
would ere long stare them in the face, and the 
shaggy precipices were marked with almost daily 


accidents to men and beasts. Their only meat 
was the flesh of their precious horses. 

Under these circumstances Clarke 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 which they had 
been struggling. It was three days, however, 
before they fairly cleared the edge of the moun- 
tain and emerged on the great prairie north and 
east 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 constructed, they laid in a stock of dog 
meat and then committed themselves to the 
sweeping current with 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 
delivered them to the 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 year. 

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 
compressed into a channel only twenty-five yards 
wide. Immediately below they passed a large 
stream on the right, which they called Drewyer'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 descending the worst 
rapid they had yet seen (probably the Monu- 
mental rapid), it repelled their effrontery 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 Indi- 
ans had stored away and covered with stones. 
This trifling circumstance is noticed because of 

the explorers' speaking in connection with it of 
their customary scrupulousness in never taking 
any property of the Indians, and of their deter- 
mination 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 they 
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 accompanying gifts of 
wood and fish. On the next day they measured 
the rivers, finding the Columbia to be nine hun- 
dred and sixty yards wide and the Snake five 
hundred and seventy-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 prac- 
tical value. In the glimmering haze of the pleas- 
ant October morning they notice the vast bare 
prairie stretching southward until broken by the 
rounded summits of the Blue mountains. They 
find the Sohulks, who live at the junction of the 
rivers, a mild and happy people, the men being 
content with one wife each, whom they actually 
assist in family work. 

Captain Clarke ascended the Columbia to the 
mouth of a large river coming from the west, 
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 Clarke 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 satisfac- 
tion at the prospect of soon completing their 
journey, they re-embarked. 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 south- 
west, a pyramidal mountain, covered with snow 
— their first view of Mount Hood. 

The next day, being in the vicinity of Uma- 
tilla, they saw another snowy peak at a con- 
jectured distance of one hundred and fifty miles. 
Near here Captain Clarke, 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 Clarke 
found a little cluster of huts. Pushing aside the 
mat door of one of them, he entered, and in the 
bright light of the unroofed hut discovered 
thirty-two persons, all of whom were in the 


greatest terror, some wailing and wringing their 

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 they refused to be comforted. But when 
the rest of the party arrived with the two Indian 
guides who had come with them from the Clear- 
water, terror gave way to curiosity and pleasure. 
These Pishquitpaws — such was their name — ■ 
explained to the guides their fear of Captain 
Clarke by saying that he came from the 6ky 
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 Colum- 
bia, the explorers could see swimming about in 
large numbers. Continuing with no extraordi- 
nary occurrence, they passed the river now called 
the John Day, to which they applied the name 
Lapage. Mount Hood was now almost con- 
stantly 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) mountain. 

On the next day they reached a large river 
on the left, which came thundering through a 
narrow channel into the equally 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 afterwards received from the French the name 
now used, Des Chutes. 

They now perceived that they were near the 
place hinted at by 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 rush- 
ing 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 mar- 
gin. As one crawls to the edge and peeps 
over, he sees the waters to be of inky black- 
ness. Streaks of foam gridiron the blackness. 
There is little noise compared with that made 
by the shallow rapids above, but rather a dis- 

mal sough, as though the rocks below were rub- 
bing 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 tunnel here through which 
the river flowed, and that in consequence of a 
volcanic convulsion the top of the tunnel fell in. 
If there be any truth in this, the width of the 
channel is no doubt much greater at the bottom 
than at the top. Lewis and Clarke, finding that 
the roughness of the shore made it almost 
impossible 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 beginning 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 Clarke 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 next Indian tribe, extending apparently 
from the vicinity of Crate's point to the Cas- 
cades, capped the climax of tongue-twisting 
names by calling themselves Chilluckitte- 

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 Cat- 
aract river (now the Klickitat), then Labieshe's 
river (Hood river), Canoe creek (White Salmon) 
and Crusatte's river. This last must 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 very conspicuous. They cor- 
rectly inferred that this indicated a damming up 
of the river at a very recent time. Indeed, they 
judged that it must have occurred within twenty 
years. It is well known, however, that sub- 
merged trees or piles, as indicated by remains of 
old Roman wharves in Britain, may remain intact 
for hundreds of years; but it is nevertheless evi- 
dent 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 liable to hap- 
pen at any time. 

The Cascades having been reached, more 
portages 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 accomplished on the 2d of 
November. They were greatly delighted with 
the verdure which now robed the gaunt naked- 
ness 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 multiplied 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 diver- 
sified interests, industries, and purposes of that 
republic whose motto yet remains "One from 

The rest of their journey was a calm floating 
between meadows and islands from whose shal- 
low ponds they obtained ducks and geese in 
great numbers. They thought the "Ouick 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 Willamette 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 Cowaliske — Cow- 
litz — to the country of the Wahkiacums, at last, 
on the 7th 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 
away in front, and through the parted head- 
lands they looked into the 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 
characterize that part of Oregon, greatly marred 
the joy of their first night's rest within sound of 
the Pacific's billows. 

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

The party wintered in a log building at a 
point named b)^ them Fort Clatsop. On the 23d 
of March, 1806, they turned their faces home- 
ward, first, however, having given to the chiefs 
of the Clatsops and Chinooks certificate of hospit- 
able treatment and posted on the fort the fol- 
lowing notice: "The object of this last is that, 
through the medium of some civilized person, 
who may see the same, it may be made known 
to the world that the party consisting of the per- 
sons whose names are hereunto annexed and who 
were sent out by the government 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 dis- 
charge 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 

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 con- 
veyed to the United States. 

The expedition made its way with no little 
difficulty up the Columbia river. They discov- 
ered on their return a large tributary of that 
river (the Willamette) which had escaped their 
notice on their outward journey, and made care- 
ful 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 were received with such generous 
hospitality that they yielded to the temptation to 
linger a couple of days before undertaking fur- 
ther journeyings 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 seen since leaving the United 
States, the Walla Wallas are the most hospita- 
ble, honest and sincere." 

Of the return journey for the next hundred 
and fifty miles, that venerable pioneer mission- 
ary, the late Dr. H. K. Hines, writes as follows: 
"Leaving these hospitable people on the 29th of 
April, the party passed eastward on the great 
'Nez Perce trail. ' This trail was the great high- 
way of the Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Nez 
Perces to the buffalo ranges, to which they annu- 
ally resorted for game and supplies. It passed 
up the valley of the Touchet, called by Lewis 
and Clarke the 'White Stallion,' thence over the 
high prairie ridges and down the Alpowa to the 
crossing of 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 constant 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 
Clarke 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 Clarke made over the swell- 
ing prairie upland and along the crystal streams 
between Walla Walla and the village of Twisted 
Hair, in the soft May days of 1806, can scarcely 
be found anywhere on earth." 

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 summary made by Captain Lewis him- 

"The road by which we went out by the way 
of the Missouri to its head is 3,096 miles; thence 
by land by way of Lewis river over to Clarke's 
river and down that to the eutrance 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 dis- 
tance 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 3,555 miles. Of this dis- 
tance 2,575 miles is up the Missouri to the falls 
of that river; thence passing through the plains 
and across the Rocky mountains to the navi- 
gable waters of the Kooskooskie river, a branch 
of the Columbia, 340 miles, 200 of which is 
good road, 140 miles over a tremendous moun- 
tain, 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 naviga- 
ble 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 180 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 distance descending the 
Columbia waters 640 miles — making a total of 
3,555 miles, on the most direct route from the 
Mississippi at the mouth 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 suitably 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 humblest of 
its citizens have taken a lively interest in the 
issue of this journey, and looked with impatience 
for the information it would furnish. Nothing 
short of the official journals of this extraordinary 
and interesting journey will exhibit the impor- 
tance of the service, the courage, devotion, zeal 
and perseverance under circumstances calculated 
to discourage, which animated this little band of 
heroes, throughout the long, dangerous and tedi- 
ous travel." 



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, far- 
reaching and comprehensive, and whose theater 
of action included such vast areas of the earth's 

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 hundred and 
ten beaver skins at the rate of five leaves of 
tobacco per skin. Afterward a yard of cotton 
cloth, worth, say, ten cents, purchased twenty- 
five beaver skins, the value of which in the New 
York market was five dollars a piece. For four 
fathoms of blue beads, worth, perhaps, a dollar, 
Lewis and Clarke obtained a sea otter's skin, the 
market price of which varied from forty- five to 
sixty 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 hundred 
and fifty dollars. Indeed, even the ill-fated voy- 
age of Mr. Astor's partners proved that a cargo 
worth twenty-five thousand dollars in New York 
might be replaced in two years by one worth a 
quarter of a million, a profit of a thousand per 
cent. We can not wonder then at the eager 
enterprise and fierce, sometimes bloody, competi- 
tion of the fur traders. 

The fur-producing animals of especial value 
in the old Oregon country were three in num- 
ber. The first, the beaver, was found in great 
abundance in all the interior valleys, the Wil- 
lamette country, as was discovered, being pre- 
eminent in this respect. 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 blackness rendering it 
first in the markets of the world of all furs from 
the temperate zone of North America, and infe- 
rior 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 com- 
mercial transactions. In 1810 there was con- 
ceived in the brain of this man a scheme which 
for magnitude of design and careful arrange- 
ment of detail was truly masterful, and in 
every sense worthy of the great e?itrepreneur. 
Even the one grand mistake which wrecked 
the enterprise was the result of a trait of char- 
acter which "leaned to virtue's side." Broad- 
minded and liberal himself, he did not appre- 
ciate the danger of entrusting his undertak- 
ing to the hands of men whose national preju- 
dices were bitterly anti-American and whose pre- 
vious connection with a rival company might 
affect their loyalty to this one. He regarded the 
enterprise as a purely commercial one, and 
selected its personnel accordingly, hence the fail- 
ure of the venture. 

Mr. 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. A vessel was to 
be despatched at regular intervals from New 
York, bearing supplies of goods to be traded to 
the Indians. She was to discharge her cargo at 
a depot of trade to be established 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 part 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 years would pass in completing this 
vast commercial "rounding up. " An important 
part of the plan was the supply of the Russian 
posts at New Archangel, the object being two- 
fold — first, to secure the profits accruing there- 
from, and, second, to shut off competition in Mr. 
Astor's own territory, through the semi-partner- 
ship with the Russians in furnishing them sup- 


plies. Careful arrangements had been made 
with the Russian government to prevent any 
possible clash between the vessels of the two 
companies engaged in the coast trade. "It was," 
says Brewerton, "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 British Fur 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 competitor entered the field. He 
resolved to soften enmity by frankness, so wrote 
to the directors of the British company the details 
of 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 nobleness. They 
met candor with duplicity, generosity with per- 

Playing for time, they pretended, Caesar-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 progress of Mr. Astor's enterprise." They 
then declined the proposal. 

But Mr. Astor proceeded with his project 
energetically and skillfully. He associated with 
himself as partners in the enterprise (and here 
was his great mistake) Donald Mackenzie, Alex- 
ander Mackay, who had accompanied Alexander 
Mackenzie on his voyage of discovery, hence 
possessed invaluable experience, and Duncan Mac- 
dougal, all late of the Northwest Company, and, 
though men of great skill and experience, schooled 
in the prejudices of the association with which 
they had so long maintained a connection and 
able to see only through British eyes. To the 
partners already enumerated were subsequently 
added Wilson P. Hunt and Robert Maclellan, 
Americans; David and Robert Stuart and Ram- 
sey Crooks, Scotchmen; John Clarke, a Canadian, 
and others. 

Wilson P. Hunt was given the post of chief 
agent on the Columbia, his term of office being 
five years, and when he was obliged to be absent 
temporarily, 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 manner to go where sent and to 
faithfully execute the objects of the company, but 
before subscribing to this bond two of the British 

perfidiously communicated to the British minis- 
ter, 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 American flag in 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 
mouth of the Columbia, there to await the arrival 
of the Hunt party, which was sent out by land. 
To convey them thence the ship Tonquin, a 
vessel of two hundred and ninety tons burden, 
was fitted up for sea. She was commanded by 
Captain Thome, a lieutenant of the United States 
navy on leave, and had on board Indian trading 
goods, the frame timbers for a coasting schooner, 
supplies of all kinds, and in fact, everything 
essential to comfort. 

Before the vessel had left the harbor, Mr. 
Astor was apprised that a British war vessel was 
cruising off the coast for the purpose of inter- 
cepting the Tonquin, and impressing the Cana- 
dians and British who were on board. This was 
a ruse of the Northwest Company to delay the 
expedition so that their emissary, Thompson, 
should arrive at the mouth of the Columbia first. 
But Mr. Astor secured as convoy the now famous 
United States frigate, Constitution, commanded 
by the equally famous Captain Isaac Hull, and 
the Tonquin, thus protected, proceeded safely on 
her way. She arrived at her destination March 
22, 1811, after a voyage the details of which may 
be found in Irving's Astoria, Franchere's narra- 
tive, or in some of the publications based upon 
the latter work. On the 12th of the following 
month a part of the crew crossed the river in a 
launch and established at Fort George a settle- 
ment to which the name Astoria was given in 
honor of the projector of the enterprise. They 
at once addressed themselves to the task of con- 
structing the schooner, the framed materials for 
which had been brought with them in the Ton- 
quin. An expedition also was made by Mr. 
Mackay 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 proceed further. 

On the 1st of June, the ill-fated Tonquin 
started north, Mr. Mackay accompanying. We 
must 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 account, Irving seems to 
have taken some poetic license. According to 
that graceful writer, with a total force of twenty- 
three and an Indian of the Chehalis tribe called 
Lamazee, for interpreter, the Tonquin entered 


the harbor of Neweetee. Franchere calls the 
Indian Lamanse, and the harbor, he says, the 
Indians called Newity. We shall probably be safe 
in following Bancroft, who surmises that the 
place was Nootka sound, where, in 1803, the ship 
Boston and all her crew but two had been 

Captain Thorne had been repeatedly and 
urgently warned by Mr. Astor against allowing 
more than four or five Indians on board at once, 
but the choleric skipper was not of the kind to 
listen to the voice of caution. When Indians 
appeared 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. But long experience with the whites 
and the instructions of their wily chief, Ma- 
quinna, had rendered these tribes less pliable 
and innocent than the captain expected. Being 
unable to strike a bargain with any of them and 
losing patience, Thorne ordered all to leave the 
deck. They paid no attention, and the captain, 
becoming violently enraged, seized their leader 
by the hair and hurried him toward the ship's 
ladder, emphasizing his exit by a stroke with a 
bundle of furs. The other Indians left forthwith. 

When Mr. Mackay, who was on shore at the 
time, returned to the ship, he became indignant 
at Thorne, and urged that he set sail at once. 
Lamanse, the Chehalis Indian, seconded him, 
asserting that all prospects of profitable trade 
were destroyed and that a longer stay in the har- 
bor was attended with very great danger, but 
advice and importunity were vain. 

Early next morning a number of Indians, 
demure and peaceable, paddled over to the 
vessel, holding aloft bundles of fur as an evi- 
dence 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. 

Other 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 
massed at all the assailable points of the vessel. 
He was visibly startled by this discovery, but 
pretending not to be aware that anything was 
wrong, he ordered his men to get ready for sail- 
ing, and the Indians to leave the vessel. 

The latter started towards .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 in- 
stantly 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 meas- 
ured their bleeding lengths on the slippery deck 
did he succumb. Then he was hacked to pieces 
with savage glee. Meanwhile four sailors, the 
only survivors besides the interpreter, Lamanse, 
by whom the story was told, having gained access 
to the hold, began firing on the triumphant 
Indians; and with such effect 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 ship." 

But an awful retribution was about to over- 
take the Indians. Cautiously at first, but with 
more boldness as they observed the apparent life- 
lessness of everything on the ship, they began 
next day to climb aboard, and soon several hun- 
dred of them were rifling the storehouses, gloat- 
ing over the disfigured bodies of their victims, 
and strutting across the deck, clad in gaudy 
blankets, and lavishly adorned with beads and 

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, 
destroying the ship and her enemies in one awful 
ruin. According to Lamanse, as quoted by 
Franchere, two hundred Indians were destroyed 
by this explosion. 

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 maga- 
zine 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 savages aboard, that he 
might destroy himself and them in one final retri- 

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

On July 15, 181 1, David Thompson, with 
eight white men, arrived at Astoria. His expe- 



dition 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 win- 
ter. 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 possession of 
the country drained by the Columbia and its 
tributaries in the name of the King of Great 
Britain, and for the company which sent them 
out. But the main object of the expedition was 
not realized. They were unable to occupy the 
mouth of the Columbia, and the perfidy of the 
Northwest Company failed of its reward. Hos- 
tile though the expedition was, it was received 
at Astoria with open-handed cordiality, Mac- 
dougal furnishing Thompson with supplies for 
the return journey against the urgent remon- 
strance of David Stuart. Such generosity to 
one's commercial enemy is, to say the least, a 
little unusual, but the magnanimity displayed 
has for some reason failed to call forth the 
plaudits of historians. 

At the time of Mr. Thompson's arrival, David 
Stuart was abotit to start for the Spokane coun- 
try to establish a post, and he delayed his depar- 
ture 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 Washington. 

January 8, 181 2, a part of the Hunt expedi- 
tion reached Astoria in a pitiable condition. The 
adventures 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 possi- 
ble by persons interested in rival fur companies, 
and when, at last, owing to his own indomitable 
perseverance and Astor's unstinted purse, he got 
a party together,' the battle was by no means 
won. In April, 181 1, 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 naturalists, Bradbury and 

The earlier portions of their journey afforded 
many interesting and some exciting experiences, 
but all went fairly well with them until the 
mountains were entered, when their troubles 
began. The story of their wanderings, their 
struggles, hardships and starvation on that terri- 
ble winter trip through the interminable laby- 
rinths of the mountains, and on the desolate and 
forbidding lava plains is heart-rending in the 
extreme. Detachments under Mackenzie and 

Maclellan passed through the mountains to 
Snake river before winter was fairly upon them, 
though even they had to endure extreme suffer- 
ing. It was these who reached Astoria in Jan- 
uary as before stated. On the 15th of February 
the main party under Mr. Hunt also reached the 
scene. As they drew near Astoria, the whole 
population of that settlement came pouring down 
to meet them, the foremost being Mackenzie and 
Maclellan, who, having abandoned hope that 
Hunt and his men could survive 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 nonchalant 
Americans 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 next summer, Stuart and Maclellan,' 
while journeying from Okanogan to Astoria', 
found the two leaders, naked and haggard, near 
the mouth of the Umatilla. Their pitiable plight 
was speedily relieved, but poor John Day never 
recovered and soon was numbered among the 
dead. The Canadians were afterward found 
alive, though destitute, among the Shoshones. 

On the 5th of May, 181 2, the Beaver, another 
of Astor's vessels, reached Astoria. Among 
those on board was Ross Cox, author of Adven- 
tures 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 gateway to the Pacific for immigrant 

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 
execution of which so much devoted self-abnega- 
tion 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 4th the Beaver sailed northward for 
Sitka, with Mr. Hunt aboard. While there an 
agreement was entered into between that gen- 
tleman and the Russian governor, Baranoff, the 
gist of which was that the Russian and Ameri- 
can companies were to forbear interference with 
each other's territory and to operate as allies in 
expelling 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. Hunt was carried to Oahu, 
there to await a vessel expected from New York] 
on which he should obtain passage to Astoria. 
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 

1 6 


United States. Mr. Astor learned that the 
Northwest Company was preparing a ship mount- 
ing twenty guns, the Isaac Todd, wherewith to 
capture Astoria. He appealed to the United 
States for aid, but his efforts were unavailing. 
Discouragements were thickening around the 
American settlement. Mackenzie was unsuc- 
cessful at his post 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 North- 
west Company, paid them a visit and vaunt- 
ingly informed them of the sailing of the Isaac 
Todd, and of her mission, the capture or destruc- 
tion 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, 
1813. Macdougal was agent-in-chief 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. Mac- 
kenzie at once set off to recover his cached pro- 
visions and to trade them for horses for the jour- 
ney. He also carried despatches to Messrs. 
Clarke and David Stuart, advising them of the 
intention to abandon Astoria and directing them 
to make preparations accordingly. Mackenzie 
met a party of the Northwest 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 prepa- 
rations for leaving the country. Furthermore, 
Mackenzie's disappointment in finding his cache 
broken into and its contents stolen made it nec- 
essary 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. Mac- 
Tavish, who was camped at the fort, began 
negotiations for the purchase of trading goods, 
and it was proposed by Macdougal to trade him 
the post on the Spokane for horses to be deliv- 
ered the next spring, which proposition was 
eventually accepted. An agreement for the dis- 
solution of the company to take effect the next 
June was signed by the four partners, Clarke 
and Stuart yielding to the pressure much against 
their wills. Hunt, who arrived on the 20th of 
August, also reluctantly yielded, the discourag- 
ing circumstances having been pictured to him 
by Macdougal, who pretended to be animated by 
a desire to save Mr. Astor's interests before the 
place should fall into the hands of the British, 

whose war vessels were on their way to effect its 
capture. Hunt then sailed to secure a vessel to 
convey the property to the Russian settlements 
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 Phcebe and the Isaac Todd. Clarke had 
been advised of the situation and was accompa- 
nying 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 members 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 Octo- 
ber 7th, and the party of the former camped at 
the fort. Next day Macdougal, by way of prep- 
aration for his final coup, read a letter announc- 
ing the sailing of the Phosbe 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 
MacTavish, in which the presence of the other 
partners was ignored, the sale was concluded at 
certain rates. A few days later J. Stuart arrived 
with the remainder of the Northwest party. He 
objected to MacTavish's prices, and lowered the 
rates materially. Mr. Stuart's offer was accepted 
by Macdougal and the agreement of transfer was 
signed October 16th. By it Duncan Macdougal, 
for and on behalf of himself, Donald Mackenzie, 
David Stuart and John Clarke, partners of the 
Pacific Fur Company, dissolved July 1st, pre- 
tended to sell to his British confreres and co-con- 
spirators of the Northwest Company 'the whole 
of the establishments, furs and present stock on 
hand, on the Columbia and Thompson's rivers. ' " 
Speaking of the transaction in a letter to John 
Quincy 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 
interested 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 thou- 
sand one hundred and seventy pounds of beaver 


at two dollars, which was at that time selling in 
Canton at five and six dollars per skin. I esti- 
mate the whole property to be worth nearer two 
hundred thousand dollars than forty thousand 
dollars, about the sum I received in bills on 

Charitably disposed persons may suggest that 
Macdougal's actions were in a measure justifia- 
ble; 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 better to save a pittance than that all 
should be lost. Macdougal's conduct subsequent 
to the transfer of Mr. Astor's property was, 
however, "in studied and consistent obedience to 
the interests of the Northwest Company." On 
his return on February 28, 1814, in the brig 
Pedler, which he purchased to convey Mr. Astor's 
property to a place of safety, Mr. Hunt found his 
old partner, whom he had left in charge 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 
British vessels, Astoria became a British posses- 
sion. The formal change of the sovereignty and 
raising of the union jack took place on Decem- 
ber 12th, and as if to obliterate all trace of Mr. 
Astor's operations, 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 North- 
west Company to enter vigorously into the pros- 
ecution of its trade in the territory of its wronged 
and outraged rival. 

"Thus disgracefully failed," says Evans, "a 
magnificent enterprise, which merited success 
for sagacity displayed in its conception, its 
details, its objects; for the liberality and munifi- 
cence of its projector in furnishing means ade- 
quate for its thorough execution ; 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 solution of 
the question of the right to the territory drained 
by the Columbia and its tributaries. 


"The scheme was grand in its aim, magnifi- 
cent in its breadth of purpose and area of opera- 
tion. Its results were naturally feasible, not 
over-anticipated. They were but the logical and 
necessary sequence of the pursuit of the plan. 
Mr. Astor made no miscalculation, no omission; 
neither did he permit a sanguine hope to lead him 
into any wild or imaginary venture. He was 
practical, generous, broad. He executed what 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie urged should be adopted 
as the policy of British capital and enterprise. 
That one American citizen should have individu- 
ally undertaken what two mammoth British com- 
panies had not the courage to try was but an 
additional cause which had intensified national 
prejudice into embittered jealousy on the part of 
his British rivals, the Northwest Company." 

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 what- 
soever, 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, 181 7, 
the government sent the sloop-of-war Ontario 
"to assert the claim of the United States to the 
sovereignty of the adjacent country, and espe- 
cially to reoccupy Astoria or Fort George. " The 
formal surrender of the fort is dated October 6, 

Mr. Astor had urged the United States to 
repossess Astoria, and intended fully to resume 
operations 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 his- 
tory of the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Com- 
panies, which are each in turn to operate exclu- 
sively 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, west- 
ward of the Stony mountains, shall, together 
with its harbors, bays and creeks, and the navi- 
gation 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 parties 
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 differences 
among themselves." 

The Northwest Company, whose members 
were, of course, British subjects, was, therefore, 
permitted to operate freely in all disputed terri- 
tory, and it made good use of its privileges. Its 
operations extended far and wide in all direc- 
tions; its emissaries were sent wherever there 
was a prospect of profitable trade ; it respected 
no rights of territory; it scrupled at no trickery 
or dissimulation. When it learned of the expe- 
dition of Lewis and Clarke it sent Daniel W. Har- 
mon with a party, instructing him to reach the 
mouth of the Columbia in advance of the Amer- 
icans. The poor health of the leader prevented 
this. Of its efforts to circumvent 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 ceremoni- 
ously taken possession of "in the name of the 
king of Great Britain for the Northwest Com- 
pany. " 

Although organized in 1774, 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 successful rival of the Hudson's Bay 
Company for the fur trade of the interior of 
North America. The Hudson'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 insist that the 
grant should be more strictly construed. The 
boundaries of Prince Rupert's land, as the Hud- 
son's bay territory was named, had never been 
definitely determined, and there had long been 
contention 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 Com- 
pany (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 Company, of Mon- 
treal, united and cemented into one organization 
all these individuals for the better discharge of 
the common purpose. It is interesting to note 
the theory of trade of this association as con- 
trasted with that of the Hudson's Bay Company. 
From established posts as centers of opera- 
tions, 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 
population, 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 com- 
pany required many employees, the other com- 
paratively few. The clerks or traders of the 
Montreal association were required to serve an 
apprenticeship of seven years at small wages. 
That term successfully completed, the stipend 
was doubled. Skill and special aptitude in trad- 
ing 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. Pro- 
motion was slow, coming periodically rather than 
as a reward for specially 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 general, were the methods of the two 
compaaies 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 Bay Company, attempted a grand col- 
onization scheme. His project was to send out 
agricultural colonies to the basin of the Red River 
of the North. The enmity 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 Montreal 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 insti- 
tuted to test Lord Selkirk's title. But the govern- 
ment favored the project and refused to inter- 
fere. A colony was established at Assinaboia. 
Its governor prohibited the killing of animals 
within the territory, and the agents of the North- 
west Company treated his proclamation with con- 
tempt. 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 "require the restitution 
of all captured posts, buildings and trading sta- 
tions, with the property they contained, 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 merchan- 
dise, furs, provisions and effects, through the 
lakes, rivers, roads and every route of communi- 
cation 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. " 

But the competition between the companies 
continued. Both were reduced to the verge of 
bankruptcy. Something had to be done. The 

governor-general of Canada appointed a com- 
mission to investigate conditions, and that com- 
mission recommended a union of the two compa- 
nies. Nothing, however, of material benefit 
resulted. Eventually, in the winter of 1819-20, 
Lord Bathurst, British secretary of state for the 
colonies, took up the matter, and through his 
mediation a union was finally effected. On 
March 20, 182 1, it was mutually agreed that both 
companies should operate under the charter of 
the Hudson's Bay Company, furnishing equal 
amounts of capital and sharing equally the 
profits, the arrangement to continue in force for 
twenty-one years. By "an act for regulating the 
fur trade and establishing a criminal and civil 
jurisdiction in certain parts of North America," 
passed in the British parliament July 2, 182 1, 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 Company 
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 
territory already enjoyed exclusive privileges; 
and this license recognized that territory as a 
province, excepting it as a British province from 
the operation of this license." 

Agreeably 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 territories belonging to the United 
States or to any European government, state or 
power, reserving no rent." 

Of the grantees a bond was required condi- 
tioned 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 Ameri- 
cans operating in the Oregon territory (which 
was, by act of the British parliament and the 
license issued under it, treated as being outside 
of "any legally defined civil government of the 
United States") were subject to be taken when 
accused of crime to Canada for trial. How did 
that comport with the treaty of 1818, one provi- 
sion of which was that neither power should assert 
rights of sovereignty against the other? The 
fact that the British government required and 
the company agreed to enforce British law in the 
"territory westward of the Stony mountains" 
shows clearly the wish of the ever earth-hungry 


British lion to circumvent the treaty of 1818 and 
make Oregon in fact and verity a British posses- 

By 1824 all the rights and interests of the 
stockholders late of the Northwest Company had 
passed into the hands of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. The absorption of the one corporation by 
the other was complete. The treacherous and 
perfidious treatment of Mr. Astor and the demor- 
alization of his partners availed the greedy 
Northwesters but little, for they were soon after 
conquered and subdued and forever deprived of 
their identity as a company by their powerful 
rival and enemy. 

The Hudson's Bay Company now became the 
sole owner and proprietor of the trade west of the 
Rocky mountains, and of all the rights accruing 
under the license of trade of December 5, 182 1. 
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 "imperium in impe- 
rio," 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 
occasion arise, to "send ships-of-war, men or 
ammunition 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 colonies, and to support 
such establishments by expeditions fitted out in 
Great Britain; to seize all British subjects not 
connected with the company or employed by 
them or in such territory by their license and 
send them to England." Should one of its fac- 
tors, 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 dis- 
covery of abuses and injuries by servants, the 
governor and company, and their respective pres- 
ident, chief agent or governor in any of the terri- 
tories, were authorized to examine upon oath all 
factors, masters, pursers, supercargoes, com- 
manders of castles, forts, fortifications, planta- 

tions, or colonies, or other persons, touching or 
concerning any matter or thing sought to be 
investigated." To further 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, min- 
isters, liegemen, subjects whatsoever, to aid, 
favor, help and assist the said governor and com- 
pany to enjoy, as well on land as on the seas, 
all the premises in said charter contained, when- 
soever required." 

"Endowed with an empire over which the 
company 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 
every interest, and securing for it a representa- 
tion in the government itself, is it to be won- 
dered," asks Evans, "that this imperium in imperio 
triumphantly asserted and firmly established 
British supremacy in every region in which it 

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 serv- 
ants, whose term of enlistment (for such in 
effect it was) was for five years, and whose pay 
was seventeen pounds per year without clothing. 
The servant was bound by indentures to devote 
his whole time and labor to the company's inter- 
ests; to yield obedience to superior officers; to 
defend the company's property; to faithfully obey 
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 military drill; and never to engage or be 
interested in any trade or occupation 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 days' serv- 
ice per annum for seven years. If dismissed 
before the expiration of his term, the servant, it 
was agreed, should be transported to his Euro- 
pean home free of charge. Desertion or neglect 
might be punished by the forfeiture 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 dis- 
cipline. " 

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 coffers 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 independence of the 
poor sons of toil who foolishly or from necessity 
bound themselves 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 commenda- 
ble. Its purpose did not bring its employees into 
conflict with the Indian nor require his expul- 
sion, 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 pro- 
hibited. Conciliation was the wisest policy of 
the company, and it governed itself accordingly; 
but when punishment was merited, it was admin- 
istered with promptness and severity. When 
depredations were committed the tribe to which 
the malefactor belonged was pursued by 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 
attempted, 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 company's factors and agents were 
uniformly courteous and kind. Their hospitality 
was in the highest degree commendable, merit- 
ing the gratitude of the earliest visitors and set- 
tlers. 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 corporation! 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 
fortified by the favor of one of the wealthiest 
and most powerful nations of the world, were at 
once turned to crush him. Counter-establish- 
ments were formed in his vicinity, and he was 
hampered in every way possible and pursued 

with the relentlessness of an evil fate until com- 
pelled to retire from the field. 

Such being the conditions, there was not 
much encouragement for American enterprise in 
the basin of the Columbia. It is not, however, 
in the American character to yield 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 expeditions, 
fitted out in 1826, he brought a six-pounder, 
drawn by mules, across the Rocky mountains, 
thereby demonstrating the feasibility of a wagon 
road. In 1826 Jedediah S. Smith, 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 experi- 
enced no little difficulty on account of the suspi- 
cions 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 seri- 
ous difficulty with Indians was experienced. 
Fifteen of the nineteen who constituted the party 
were massacred; 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 mag- 
nanimous chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, Dr. John McLoughlin, who offered 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 by other Indians. Smith was conquered 
by kindness, and at his solicitation the Rocky 
Mountain Fur Company retired from the terri- 
tory of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

Of various other expeditions by Americans 
into the Oregon country and of the attempts by 
American vessels to trade along the coast, we 
cannot speak. Some reference must, however, 
be made to the work of Captain B. L. E. Bonne- 
ville, who, in 1831, applied for a two years' leave 
of absence from the United States army that he 
might "explore the country to the Rocky moun- 
tains 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 geol- 
ogy of the various parts of the country within 
the limits of the territories of the United States 
between 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, he 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 position as to a state of peace or war; 
their manner of making war, mode of subsisting 
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 
information useful to the government. ' ' It would 
seem that a government which asked such impor- 
tant 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 
necessary means, and on May i, 1832, the expe- 
dition set out, the party numbering one hundred 
and ten men. They took with them in wagons 
a large quantity of trading goods to be used in 
traffic with the Indians in the basins of the Colo- 
rado and Columbia rivers. Bonneville himself 
went as far west as Fort Walla Walla. Members 
of his expedition entered the valleys of the Hum- 
boldt, Sacramento and Colorado rivers, but they 
were unable to compete with the experienced 
Hudson's Bay and Missouri Companies, and the 
enterprise proved a financial failure. The expe- 
dition derives its chief importance from the fact 
that it forms the basis of one of lrving's most 
fascinating works, which, "in language more 
thrilling and varied than romance, has pictured 
the trapper's life, its dangers, its exciting pleas- 
ures, the bitter rivalry of competing traders, the 
hostility of the savages," presenting a picture of 
the fur trade which will preserve to latest pos- 
terity something of the charm and fascination of 
that wild, weird traffic. 

Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth, of Massachusetts, 
projected in 1832 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 con- 
nection 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 Hud- 
son'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 Vancouver, where, about 
the same time, the May Dacre arrived. He 
established a trading house and salmon fishery 
on Wapato (now Sauvie's) island, which became 
known as Fort William. The fishery proved a 
failure, and the trading and trapping industry 
could not stand the competition and harassing 
tactics of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the 
constant hostility of the Indians. George B. 
Roberts, who came to Oregon in 1831 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 exterminated 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. McLoughlin 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 therefore a matter 
of surprise to any who understand Indian char- 
acter and their views as to death resulting from 
such diseases, that Wyeth's attempted establish- 
ment on Wapato island was subject to continued 
hostility. He was of a race to whom they attrib- 
uted the cause of the destruction of their people; 
and his employees were but the lawful compen- 
sation according to their code for the affliction 
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 moun- 
tains. But though Wyeth's enterprise failed so 
signally, his account of it, published by order 
of congress, attracted the attention of Ameri- 
cans to Oregon, and did much to stimulate its 

It will readily be seen then that whatever 
advantage 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 Hud- 


son's Bay Company might be and what part that 
association was playing in international affairs. 
In 1837 the company applied to the home govern- 
men for a new license, granting enlarged privi- 
leges. In enforcing its request, it pointed forci- 
bly to its efficient services in successfully crushing 
out American enterprise and strengthening 
British title to the territory, contrary to the 
spirit and letter of the Joint-Occupancy treaties 
of 1818 and 1827. 

In presenting the petition, the company's 
chief representative in England, Sir John Henry 
Pelly, called the attention of the lords to the 
service rendered 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 large herds of stock. 
He further averred that it was the intention of 
the company to still further extend and increase 
its farms, and to establish an export trade in 
wool, hides, tallow and other produce 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 protection, the British dominion may not 
only be preserved 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 paramount in this interesting part 
of the coast of the Pacific." 

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 (inde- 
pendent 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 officers and servants as agri- 
culturists. " 

One might almost expect that Great Britain 
might utter some word of reproof to a company 
which could have the audacity to boast of violat- 
ing her treaty compacts 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 northward 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 belong- 
ing to the said United States of America, or to 
any European government, state, or power. 
Without rent for the first five years, and after- 
ward the yearly rent of five shillings, payable on 
the first of June." 

The c6mpany was again required to furnish a 
bond conditioned on their executing, by their 
authority over the persons in their employ, "all 
civil and criminal process by the officers or per- 
sons usually empowered to execute such process 
within all territories included in the grant, and 
for the producing 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 crim- 
inal 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 engaged 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 har- 
assing tactics and fierce competition any Ameri- 
can who might enter the Oregon territory as a 

One of the strangest ruses of this wonder- 
fully shrewd and resourceful company must now 
receive notice. It was not in the power of the 
British government to convey lands in the Ore- 
gon country, neither could the Hudson's Bay 
Company in any way acquire legal title to realty. 
It therefore determined upon a bold artifice. A 
co-partnership was formed on the joint stock 
principle, the personnel of the company consist- 
ing largely of Hudson's Bay Company stock- 
holders. The name adopted for it was the Puget 
Sound Agricultural Company. The idea of this 
association was to acquire a possessory 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 contro- 
versy, apply at once for articles of incorporation 
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 ques- 
tion; 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 
withdrawal 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 condi- 
tions upon which peace might be maintained 
between the two governments chiefly concerned 
in the Oregon controversy, that "the farms, 
lands and other property of every description 
belonging to the Puget Sound Agricultural Com- 
pany, 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, the property so required shall be trans- 

ferred to the government at a proper valuation, 
to be agreed upon between the parties." 

The Puget Sound CompaDy laid claim under 
the treaty to two tracts — the tract of the Nis- 
qually, 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 
liquidation of its claims. So the United States 
was forced, in the interests of peace and human- 
ity, into an illogical agreement to purchase lands, 
the claim to which was established in open viola- 
tion of the Joint-Occupancy treaties of 1818 and 
1827. She was forced by a provision of the 
treaty of 1846 to obligate herself to purchase 
lands which the same treaty conceded as belong- 
ing to her. More humiliating still, she was com- 
pelled to reward a company for its acts of hostil- 
ity to her interests in keeping out her citizens 
and breaking up their establishments. But the 
sacrifice was made in the interests of peace and 
civilization, and who shall say that in conserving 
these it lacked an abundant 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 over- 
land route to it discovered, and of the regime of 
the trapper and fur trader. It remains to treat 
of missionary occupancy, 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 hard- 
ship 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. Townsend, 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 missionary party sent out by the 

Methodist Missionary Board of the United States. 
This body of unpretentious 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 
devoted servants of the British fur monopoly 
realize that the unassuming missionary party 
they so kindly piloted from Fort Hall to Van- 
couver 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 apparently guileless interior 
was confined a hostile force, which would, within 
a decade of years, throw wide open the gates of 


exclusive privilege and introduce within the jeal- 
ously guarded walls a host of foes, to the utter 
destruction of intrenched monopoly and the final 
overthrow of British dominion and pretention on 
the Pacific coast ! Well might Governor McLough- 
lin, the autocrat of the Pacific Northwest, when 
he welcomed this modest party of meek Method- 
ists, and assigned them land near Salem, have 
recalled the misgivings of the Trojan prophetess: 
'Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes* — 'I distrust the 
Greeks, though they offer gifts. ' The American 
missionary was an advance agent of Yankee 

About the time Wyeth's main party arrived 
at Vancouver 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 
Wheatland, as they named the place where the 
mission was to be established. By November 3d 
a log house was advanced sufficiently for occupa- 
tion, but before the roof was on Indian children 
had been admitted as pupils, and by December 
14th twenty-one persons, of whom seventeen 
were children, were baptized by Jason Lee at 

Wyeth's enterprise, as well as all previous 
efforts of a like character inaugurated by Ameri- 
cans, was met by crushing and ruinous opposition 
from the autocratic British monopoly, but the 
missionaries were assisted and encouraged in 
every way. Bonneville, Wyeth and other Amer- 
ican 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 cor- 
poration. Hence the difference in their recep- 
tion. 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 mis- 
sionaries had no control, and that the mission 
people would form a settlement of their own, 
around which would naturally cluster all the ele- 
ments of society independent of the British cor- 
poration; 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 coun- 
try 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 cur- 

rent 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, substan- 
tially as follows: 

"Far up in the mountains of Montana, in 
one of the many valleys which sparkle like emer- 
alds on the western slope of the Stony range, a 
handful of natives, whom the whites call by the 
now inappropriate 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 Blackfeet, their hered- 
itary foes, through whose terrible incursions the 
Flatheads had been reduced in numbers 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 prom- 
ise; 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 trustfully on the 
tribe's errand. The quest of 'three kings of the 
orient,' who, two thousand 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 Grail more picturesque and 
seemingly more hopeless. 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 custo- 
dians 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 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 Stony mountains, descending the 
eastern slope, followed the tributaries of the 
Missouri 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 civiliza- 
tion, and the friendless and forlorn Flatheads 
soon discovered that the white trappers, hunters, 
flatboat men, traders, teamsters, and riff-raff 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. Nor 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 Clarke, the offi- 
cial head of the territory, whose headquarters 
were in the town — the same William Clarke who, 
with Captain Meriwether Lewis, had led the 
expedition to the mouth of the Columbia nearly 
thirty years before. It is possible that they may 
have heard of Clarke by reason of his travels 
through their country a generation previous. 
By means of signs and such few words of jargon 
as they could muster they attempted to explain 
to Governor Clarke 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 redskins — and 
the discouraged Flatheads abandoned their illu- 
sive quest for the magic book. Before leaving 
for home, the Indians made a farewell call on 
Governor Clarke, during which they, or one of 
them, made a speech. Just what the speaker 
said, or tried to say, may be a matter of doubt, 
but the report made of it and given 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 sun. 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. 
We 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 Clarke. 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 innumerable recent photographs, among 
which are those of Chief Joseph, the great Nez 
Perce warrior, and the Umatilla reservation 
chieftains — Homeli, Peo and Paul" Showeway. 
Mr. Catlin was not only a portrait painter, but a 
gifted writer. He converted the plain, unvar- 
nished tale of Governor Clarke concerning the 
Flatheads into an epic poem of thrilling inter- 
est, and gave it to the press. Its publication in 
the religious journals created a great sensation, 
and steps were immediately taken to answer the 
Macedonian cry of the Flatheads. The sending 
of Jason Lee and his party to Oregon was a 

"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 instrumentality the attention 
of Americans was sharply directed to the enor- 
mous value of the Pacific Northwest. The inter- 
est 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 appearance an ignominious failure, 
but their plaintive cry, feeble though it was, 
stirred the mountain heights, and precipitated 
an irresistible avalanche of American enterprise 
into the valley of the Columbia, overwhelming 
the Hudson's Bay Company with its swelling 
volume of American immigration. 

"In a lesser way, also, their mission suc- 
ceeded, though success was long on the road. 
The western movement of white population 
engulfed the hated Blackfeet, thinned their 
numbers till they were no longer formidable, 
even to the Flatheads, confined them within the 
narrow limits of a reservation in northern Mon- 
tana, where they were ordered about by a con- 
sequential 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 withdrawing, 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 — forgetful 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; 
and 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 1882; John McCarty, Car- 
michael, John Hauxhurst, John Howard, Kil- 
born, Brandywine, and a colored man named 
George Winslow. An English sailor named 
Richard McCary reached the Willamette from 
the Rocky mountains that year, as did also Cap- 
tain J. H. Crouch, G. W. LeBreton, John Mc- 
Caddan and William Johnson from the brig 
Maryland. This made (with the missionaries 
heretofore named) twenty-five residents at the 
close of 1834, who were not in any way connected 
with the Hudson's Bay Company, all of whom 
were here for other than transient purposes. 
There were no arrivals in 1835." 

However, the year 1836 was, as may be 
gleaned from previous pages, an important one 
for Oregon. While, as Gray states, there were 
no permanent residences established in Oregon 
in 1835, 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 trap- 
pers' rendezvous on Green river by the noted 
Chief Lawyer, by whom they were persuaded 
into the plan of establishing their proposed mis- 
sion 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 
westward 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 westward journey of a sufficient force and 
for the establishment 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 Exploring Tour 
Beyond the Rocky Mountains." From informa- 
tion conveyed by this volume, Gilbert summa- 
rizes 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 stock- 
ade, thirty-seven rods long by eighteen wide, 
that faced the south. About one hundred per- 
sons were employed at the place, and some three 
hundred Indians lived in the immediate vicinity. 
There were eight substantial 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 belong- 
ing 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 vegeta- 
bles in proportion. The garden, containing five 
acres, besides its vegetable products, included 
apples, peaches, grapes and strawberries. A 
grist mill with machinery propelled by oxen 
was kept in constant use, while some six miles 
up the Columbia was a saw mill containing sev- 
eral saws, which supplied lumber for the Hud- 
son's Bay Company. Within the fort was a 
bakery employing three men, also shops for 
blacksmiths, joiners, carpenters 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 departed from 
its walls, when dismantled to assist in the con- 
struction and defenses of its rival, Fort Vancou- 
ver. 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 externally 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 Colum- 
bia, a little above Kettle Falls, near the present 
line of Washington territory, a strongly stock- 
aded post, was occupied by a half dozen men 
with Indian families, and Mr. McDonald was in 


charge. Fort 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 1836. 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 constructed on Snake 
river from poles in 1834 as a rival establishment 
to Fort Hall, was occupied in 1835 by the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, and later was more sub- 
stantially 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 Whit- 
man, Narcissa (Prentiss) Whitman, Rev. H. H. 
Spalding and wife, and W. H. Gray. 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 Columbia basin. A few months 
later the Methodist mission was also blessed by 
the purifying presence of noble womanhood, but 
the laurels of pioneership have ever rested upon 
the worthy brows of Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. 
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 carpenters' tools, clothing, seeds, etc., to 
make it possible for them to support them- 
selves without an entire dependence upon the 
Hudson's Bay Company for supplies. Two of 
the wagons were abandoned at Fort Laramie, 
and heavy pressure was brought upon Dr. Whit- 
man to leave the third at the rendezvous on 
Green river, but he refused to do so. He suc- 
ceeded 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 

Although a reinforcement for the Methodist 
mission sailed from Boston in July, 1836, it 
failed to reach its destination on the Willamette 
until May of the following year, so that the 
American population at the close of 1836 num- 
bered not to exceed thirty persons, including the 
two ladies. 

Until 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 party. The Hudson's Bay 
Company wished to continue this condition as 
long as possible, well knowing that the introduc- 
tion of cattle or any other means of wealth pro- 
duction among the American population 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 Columbia 
river monopoly. Thanks largely to the assist- 
ance of William A. Slacum, of the United 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 expedi- 
tion; P. L. Edwards, 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. They succeeded in getting about six 
hundred head to the Willamette country, not- 
withstanding the bitter hostility 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 by the wanton and 
cold-blooded murder by members of the party of 
a friendly Indian who was following the band. 
The Indian hostilities were not incited by the 
Hudson's Bay Company, as some have stated, 
but may properly be laid at the doors of the men 
who committed this barbarous outrage in revenge 
for wrongs suffered by a party to which they 
belonged two years before. 

The arrival of neat cattle in the Willamette 
country 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 peon- 
age. With this one blow, directed by missiona- 
ries, and dealt by ex-American hunters, an inde- 
pendent maintenance in Oregon had been ren- 
dered possible for immigrants." 

As before stated, the reinforcements for the 
Methodist mission arrived in May, 1837. By it 
the American population was increased eight per- 
sons, namely, Elijah White 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. W. H. K. Per- 
kins 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 pre- 
viously, and we have the population of Oregon 



independent of the Hudson's Bay Company's 
direct or indirect control in the year 1837. 

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 transcon- 
tinental 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 which 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. A 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 the 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 
bodies left for food for the wolves, and the scalps borne in 
triumph to the camp. There were but two of the Flat- 
heads 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 the rejoicing in camp 
corresponded to the number of scalps taken. Five davs 
and nights the usual scalp dance was performed. At 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- 
tles and noises all commenced. The scalp-bearers stood for 
a moment (as if to catch the time), and then commenced 
hopping, 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 preliminaries 
had all been completed, in which the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany trader had the principal part to perform, the time 
was fixed for a meeting of the two tribes. The Flatheads, 
however, were all careful to dig their warpits, make their 
corrals and breastworks, and, in short, fortify their camp 
as much as if they expected a fight instead of peace. 
Ermatinger, the company's leader, remarked that he would 
sooner take his chances of a fight 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 fight they had had was expected 
most. At 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 the camp— 
and the principal chiefs of both 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 
with the traders' tobacco and the Indians' killikinick. The 
war chiefs of each tribe took a puff 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 mam 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 them. The 
party reached Ash Hollow, where thev 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 French 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 Sioux made a rush upon 
the three Flatheads, 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 
time telling the young men to watch the first motion of the 
Indians to take their lives, and if we must die to take as 
many Indians with us as we could. 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 

Gray proceeded east, and with the energy and 
courage which ever characterized him, set about 
the task of securing the needed reinforcements. 
He succeeded in enlisting Rev. Gushing Eells, 
Rev. E. Walker and Rev. A. B. Smith, with their 
wives, also a young man named Cornelius Rogers. 
He also succeeded in inducing a young woman to 
become 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. F. N. Blanchet and Modest 
Demers, also came during this year, so the seeds 
of sectarian strife, which did so much to neutral- 
ize the efforts and work of the Protestant mis- 



sionaries, then began to be sown. The popula- 
tion of Oregon, independent of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, must have been about sixty at 
the close of the year 1838. 

In the fall of 1839 came Rev. J. S. Griffin and 
Mr. Munger, with their wives, Ben Wright, Law- 
son, Keiser and Deiger, also T. H. Farnham, 
author of "Early Days in California," Sidney 
Smith, Blair and Robert Shortess. W. H. Gray, 
in his history of Oregon, estimates the popula- 
tion as follows: "Protestant missionaries, 10; 
Roman priests, 2; physicians, 2; laymen, 6; 
women, 13; children, 10; settlers, 20; settlers 
under Hudson's Bay control with Amerian tend- 
encies, 10; total, 83." 

In 1838 Jason Lee made a journey overland 
to the states for the purpose of procuring a force 
wherewith to greatly extend his missionary oper- 
ations. His wife died during his absence and the 
sad news was forwarded to him by Dr. McLough- 
lin, Dr. Whitman and a man hired by Gray. In 
June, 1840, Lee returned with a party of forty- 
eight, of whom eight were clergymen, one was a 
physician, fifteen were children and nineteen 
were ladies, five of them unmarried. Their 
names are included in Gray's list of arrivals for 
1840, which is as follows: 

"In 1840 Mrs. Lee, second wife of Rev. Jason 
Lee; Rev. J. H. Frost and wife; Rev. A. F. 
Waller, wife and two children ; Rev. W. W. Kone 
and wife; Rev. G. Hines, wife and sister; Rev. 
L. H. Judson, wife and two children; Rev. J. L. 
Parish, wife and three children ; Rev. G. P. Rich- 
ards, wife and three children; Rev. A. P. Olley 
and wife. Laymen: Mr. George Abernethy, 
wife and two children; Mr. H. Campbell, wife 
and one child; Mr. W. W. Raymond and wife; 
Mr. H. B. Brewer and wife; Dr. J. L. Babcock, 
wife and one child; Rev. Mrs. Daniel Lee, Mrs. 
David Carter, Mrs. Joseph Holman and Mrs. E. 
Phillips. Methodist Episcopal Protestant mis- 
sion: Robert Moore, James Cook and James 
Fletcher, settlers. Jesuit priest: P. J. De Smet, 
Flathead mission. Rocky mountain men with 
native wives: William Craig, Robert or Dr. 
Newell, J. L. Meek, George Ebbetts, William M. 
Dougherty, John Larison, George Wilkinson, a 
Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Algear, and William John- 
son, author of 'Leni Leoti; or, The Prairie 
Flower.' " Mr. Gray estimates the population 
of all the Oregon territory, not including Hud- 
son's Bay operatives, at about two hundred. 

In 1841 eight young men built and equipped 
a vessel, named the Star of Oregon, in which 
they made a trip to San Francisco. Joseph Gale 
served as captain of the doughty little craft, of 
which Felix Hathaway had been master builder. 
The vessel was exchanged at Yerba Buena (San 
Francisco) for three hundred and fifty cows. 
Gale remained in the Golden State through the 
winter, then set out overland to Oregon with a 
party of forty-two immigrants, who brought with 

them, as J. W. Nesmith informs us, one thou- 
sand two hundred and fifty head of cattle, six 
hundred head of mares, colts, horses and mules, 
and three thousand sheep. The incident forms the 
theme of one of Mrs. Eva E. Dye's most charm- 
ing descriptions, but its strategic importance in 
helping to Americanize Oregon and break up the 
cattle monopoly seems to have been overlooked 
by many other writers. 

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 are classed as 
settlers. In 1842 came an immigration of one 
hundred and eleven persons, two of whom, A. 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 grow- 
ing American power in the Oregon country. It 
had, however, very little political effect, as many 
of its members drifted southward into the Willa- 
mette country and became members of the pro- 
visional government. The year 1842 is also 
memorable for the famous winter ride of Dr. 

In 1843 came the largest immigration the 
Oregon country had yet known, piloted across 
the plains and over the mountains by Whitman 
himself. Its eight hundred and seventy-five per- 
sons, 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 sixteen years of 
age, as also of those remaining from the immi- 
grations of the year previous. In 1844 came 
eight hundred more Americans, and in 1845 a 
much larger number, estimated by some at three 
thousand. The year 1846 added another thou- 
sand to Oregon's American population. In it 
the ownership of the country was definitely 
settled by treaty with Great Britain, and the 
famous world problem was solved. 

It is impossible here to adequately 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. W. Nesmith, delivered 
before the Oregon Pioneer Association: 

The business of the country was conducted entirely by 
barter. The Hudson's Bay Company imported and sold 
many articles of prime necessity to those who were able to 
purchase. Wheat or beaver skins would 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. The 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 hoop-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 some 
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 the 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 size. 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-bands 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." A small sized settler, purchasing one, 
could, by reasonable curtailment of the extremities, have 
sufficient material to clothe one of the children. 

The pioneer home was a log cabin with a puncheon 
floor and mud chimney, all constructed without sawed 
lumber, glass or nails, the boards being 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 unknown. Moccasins made of deer and elk skins 
and soled with rawhide 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 white 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 
fowl with which the country abounded at certain seasons, 
until such time as cattle or swine became sufficiently 
numerous to be slaughtered for food. The hides of both 
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 that some of our exqui- 
site sons now sport at the ends of their watch chains, on 
their shirt-fronts or dainty fingers. Buckskin clothing 
answered 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 
summer, they would assume grotesque and unfashionable 
shapes, generally leaving from six inches to a foot of nude 
and arid skin between the top of the moccasins and the 
lower end of the breeches; the 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 vice 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 way 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 which the country is now drained of 
millions of dollars annually, were then unknown and con- 
sequently not wanted. A higher civilization has introduced 
us to all these modern improvements, and apparently made 
them necessaries, together with the rum 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 
"Recollections of an Old Pioneer," says: 

"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 gentle to steal, 
while some were gamblers, and others reputed 
thieves. But when we arrived in Oregon, they 
were compelled to work or starve. It was a bare 
necessity. There was no able relative or indul- 
gent friend upon whom the idle could 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 population, 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; they were all sober 
because there was no liquor to drink; there were 
no misers because there was nothing to hoard; 
they were all industrious because it was work or 
starve. ' ' 

Such was the general character of the early 
pioneer as depicted by men who knew whereof 
they spoke. Another characteristic strongly 
appeals to the mind of the historian — his political 
capabilities. His environment and isolation from 
the rest of the world compelled him to work out 
for himself many novel and intricate economic 
problems; the uncertainty as to the ownership of 
the Oregon territory and the diverse national 
prejudices and sympathies of its settlers made 
the formation of a government reasonably satis- 
factory to the whole population an exceedingly 
difficult task. There were, however, men in the 
new community determined to make the effort, 
and the reader will be able to judge from what 
follows how well they succeeded. 

As early as 1838 some of the functions of gov- 
ernment were exercised by members of the 
Methodist mission. Persons were chosen by that 
body to officiate as magistrates and judges, and 
their findings were generally acquiesced in by 
persons independent of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany 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 house at night with criminal intent. Rev. 
David Leslie presided as judge during this note- 
worthy judicial proceeding, which resulted in the 
acquittal of the defendant on the ground that his 
act was excusable. 

As early as 1840 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 impossibil- 
ity except by abrogation of the Joint-Occupancy 
treaty of 1827 and the satisfactory settlement of 
the title — all which would require at least a 
year's time. A petition was, nevertheless, 
drafted, signed by David Leslie and a number 
of others and forwarded to congress. It was not 
entirely free from misstatements and inaccura- 
cies, but is considered, nevertheless, an able and 
important state paper. Inasmuch as the popula- 
tion of Oregon, including children, did not 
exceed two hundred at this time, the prayer of 
the petitioners, it need hardly be said, was not 
granted. But it must not be supposed that the 
document was therefore without effect. It did 
its part toward opening the eyes of the people of 
the east and of congress to the importance and 
value of Oregon, and toward directing public 
attention to the domain west of the Rocky 

Notwithstanding the paucity of the white 
people of Oregon, 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 purpose of helping to settle the coun- 
try, caring little about their religious influence 
and opposing their ambitions. 

The would-be organizers of a government 
found their opportunity in the conditions pre- 
sented by the death of Ewing Young. This 
audacious pioneer left considerable property and 
no legal representatives, and the question was, 
what should be done with his belongings? Had 
he been a Hudson's Bay man or a Catholic, the 
company or the church would have taken care of 
the property. Had he been a missionary, his 
coadjutors might have administered, but being a 
plain American citizen, there was no functionary 
possessed of even a colorable right to exercise 
jurisdiction over his estate. In the face of this 
emergency, the occasion of Young's funeral, which 
occurred February 17, 1841, was seized upon for 
attempting the organization of some kind of a 
government. At an impromptu 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 jurisdiction, three 
justices of the peace, three constables, three road 
commissioners, an attorney- general, a clerk of 
the court and 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 
assemble 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. 
Blanchet, Jason Lee, Gustavus Hines and Josiah 
L. Parish; also Messrs. D. Donpierre, M. Char- 
levo, Robert Moore, E. Lucier and William John- 
son. No governor was chosen; the Methodists 
secured the judgeship, and the Catholics the 
clerk and recorder. Had the friends of the 
organization been more fortunate in their choice 
of a chairman of the legislative committee, the 
result of the movement might have been differ- 
ent, but Rev. Blanchet never called a meeting of 
his committee, and the people who assembled on 
June 1 st to hear and vote upon proposed laws, 
found their congregating had been in vain. 
Blanchet resigned; Dr. Bailey was chosen to fill 
the vacancy, and the meeting adjourned until 
October. First, however, it ordered the commit- 
tee 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, consider- 
ing it unnecessary and impolitic to organize a 
government at the time. He assigned the fol- 
lowing reasons: 

"First — On account of their want of right, as 
those wishing for laws were, in fact, a small 
minority 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 community 
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 dis- 
cord this might occasion in their small commu- 

"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 others. 

"Sixth — The unfavorable impression it would 
produce at home, from the belief that the mis- 
sionaries had admitted that in a community 


brought together by themselves, they had not 
enough of moral force 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, 
concluded to let the matter drop. The October 
meeting was never held, and thus the first 
attempt at forming a government ended. How- 
ever, the judge elected made a satisfactory dis- 
position of the Young estate. 

But the question of forming an independent 
or provisional government continued to agitate 
the public mind. During the winter of 1842-3 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 govern- 
ment." McLoughlin favored the resolution and 
it carried. Mr. Abernethy, defeated in this 
debate, skillfully saved the day by introducing 
as the topic of the next discussion: "Resolved, 
That if the United States extends its jurisdiction 
over this country within four years, it will not 
be expedient to form an independent govern- 
ment." This resolution was also carried after a 
spirited discussion, destroying the effect of the 
first resolution. 

Meanwhile, the settlers in the vicinity of the 
Oregon Institute were skillfully working out a 
plan whereby a provisional government might 
be formed. They knew the sentiment of their 
confreres at the Falls, the result of the delibera- 
tions 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 oppo- 
sition which would overwhelm them at the very 
outset. Their solution of this problem is a last- 
ing testimony to their astuteness 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 Bay 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 population 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, "preservation 
for both property and person." The "wolf 
meeting," as it is called, convened on the 2d of 
February, 1843, 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 harmony prevailed. It was moved 
that a committee 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 cam- 
paign against wolves, bears and panthers, and 
adopting rules and regulations for the govern- 
ment of all in their united warfare upon pests, 
one gentleman arose and addressed the assem- 
bly, complimenting it upon the justice and pro- 
priety of the action taken for the protection of 
domestic animals, but "How is it, fellow-citi- 
zens," said he, "with you and me and our chil- 
dren and wives? Have we any organization upon 
which we can rely for mutual protection? Is 
there 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 prop- 
erty, ravishing our wives and burning the houses 
over our defenseless families. Common sense, 
prudence and justice to ourselves 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 
resolutions, 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 by the 
effect produced upon the audience, this one 
deserves place among the world's masterpieces. 
The resolutions carried unanimously. The com- 
mittee appointed consisted of I. L. Babcock, 
Elijah White, James A. O'Neil, Robert Shor- 
tess, Robert Newell, Etienne Lucier, Joseph 
Gervais, Thomas Hubbard, C. McRoy, W. H. 
Gray, Sidney Smith and George Gay. Its first 
meeting was held before a month had elapsed, 
the place being Willamette Falls. Jason Lee and 
George Abernethy appeared and argued vehe- 
mently against the movement as premature. 
When the office of governor was stricken from 
the list, the committee unanimously decided to 
call another meeting for the ensuing 2d of May. 


W. II. Gray, in his history of Oregon, describes 
this decisive occasion thus: 

"The 2d of May, the day fixed by the com- 
mittee of twelve to organize a settlers' govern- 
ment, was close at hand. The Indians had all 
learned that the 'Bostons' were going to have a 
big meeting, and they also knew that the Eng- 
lish and French were going to meet with them 
to oppose what the 'Bostons' were going to do. 
The Hudson's Bay Company 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 amusement of 
every American present, trained to vote 'No' to 
every motion put; no matter if to carry their 
point they should have voted 'Yes,' 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 motions were made to test their knowledge 
of what they were doing, and we found just 
what we expected was the case. The priest was 
not prepared for our manner of meeting 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' '1 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 lack- 
ing 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 opponents of this 
measure, the meeting became harmonious, 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 Dougherty, legislative committee; 
and that constables, a major and captains were 
also chosen. The salary of the legislative com- 
mittee was fixed at $1.25 per diem each mem- 
ber, and it was instructed to prepare a code of 
laws to be submitted to the people at Champoeg 
on the 5th day of July. 

On the day preceding this date, the anniver- 
sary of America's birth was duly celebrated. 
Rev. Gustavus Hines delivering the oration. 

Quite a number who had opposed organization 
at the previous meeting were present on the 5th 
and announced their determination to acquiesce 
in the action of the majority and to yield obedi- 
ence to any government which might be formed, 
but representatives of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany 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 meeting would be interesting, but such is 
beyond the scope of our volume. Suffice it to 
say that they were so liberal and just, so com- 
plete 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 conceive a 
system so well adapted to the needs and condi- 
tions of the country. The preamble runs: "We, 
the people of Oregon territory, for the purposes 
of mutual protection, and to secure peace and 
prosperity among ourselves, agree to adopt the 
following laws and regulations, until such time 
as the United States of America 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 gov- 
ernor and to the levying of taxes. The former 
difficulty was overcome by substituting, in 1844, 
a gubernatorial executive for the triumvirate 
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 

Inasmuch as the first election resulted favora- 
bly to some who owed allegiance to the British 
government as well as to others who were citi- 
zens of the United 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 consistent with my duties as a citizen of 
the United States, or a subject of Great Britain, 
and faithfully demean myself in office. So help 
me God." 

Notwithstanding the opposition to the provi- 
sional 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 
August 14, 1848, in answer to the numerous memo- 
rials 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 subse- 
quent career presents so many brilliant and so 
many sad chapters, was appointed territorial 




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 that 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 interna- 
tional interests. Twice actual conflict of arms 
seemed imminent, but the spirit of compromise 
and mutual forbearance 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 day 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 conflict- 
ing 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 con- 
fine our inquiry mainly to the negotiations after 
Great Britain and the United States became the 
sole claimants. France early established some 
right to what was denominated "the western 
part of Louisiana," which, in 1762, she conveyed 
to Spain. This was retroceded to France some 
thirty-eight years later, and in 1803 was by that 
nation conveyed with the rest of Louisiana to the 
United States. So France was left out of the 
contest. In 181 9, 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 United 
States to this vast domain? Naturally, they 
were of a three-fold character. Our government 
claimed first in its own right. 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 Clarke. 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 1812-15, it had been restored in accord- 
ance with the treaty of Ghent, one provision of 

which was that "all territory, places and posses- 
sions 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 rec- 
ognized principle of international law that the 
discovery of a river followed within a reasonable 
time by acts of occupancy, conveyed the right to 
the territory drained by the river and its tribu- 
tary streams. This, it was contended, would 
make the territory between forty- two degrees 
and fifty-one degrees north latitude the rightful 
possession of the United States. 

The Americans claimed secondly as the suc- 
cessors of France. By the treaty of Utrecht, the 
date whereof was 1713, 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. All 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 
Britain herself had stoutly maintained this prin- 
ciple, 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 territory west of 
the Mississippi river. It was therefore con- 
tended on the part of the United 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 prove to belong to Spain. 

Thirdly, the United 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 United States by the 
treaty of Florida. 

In the negotiations between Great Britain and 
the United 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 ref- 
erence or prejudice to the claims of any other 
power," but it was contended on the part of the 
American negotiators, Gallatin and Rush, that 
the discovery of the Columbia by Gray, its 
exploration by Lewis and Clarke, and the Amer- 
ican settlement at Astoria, rendered the claim of 
the United States "at least good against Great 
Britain to the country through which such river 
flowed, though they did not assert that the 
United States had a perfect right to the coun- 

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 indis- 
putable. Great Britain, however, did not claim 
that her title amounted to one of sovereignty or 
exclusive possession, 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 other- 
wise might be so strengthened in a part or the 
whole of the territory as to ultimately secure for 
her the right to be clothed with sovereignty. 

In the discussion of the issue, the earliest 
explorations had to be largely left out of the 
case, as they were attended with too much vague- 
ness and uncertainty to bear any great weight. 
The second epoch of exploration was, therefore, 
lifted to a position of prominence it cculd 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 discov- 
ering the mouth of the Columbia river. To offset 
whatever rights might accrue from these explo- 
rations, 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 of 1818 had 
been signed, negotiations on the subject were not 
reopened until 1824. In that year, obedient to 
the masterly instructions addressed to him on 
July 22, 1823, by John Quincy Adams, secretary 
of state, Richard Rush, minister to England, 
entered into negotiations with the British minis- 
ters, 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 fulfil 
his mission, but his propositions were rejected. 
The British negotiators offered the forty-ninth 
parallel to the Columbia, then the middle of that 
river to the sea, with perpetual right to both 
nations of navigating the harbor at the mouth of 
the river. This proposal Mr. Rush rejected, so 

nothing was accomplished. By treaty concluded 
in February, 1825, an agreement was entered 
into between Great Britain and Russia, whereby 
the line 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 

In 1826-7 another attempt was made to settle 
the question at issue between Great Britain and 
the United States. Albert Gallatin then repre- 
sented 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 instruc- 
tions given to Mr. Rush and that which was 
employed by him in the course of the negotia- 
tions 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 2 2d of February, 18 19. That 
argument is believed to have conclusively estab- 
lished our title on both grounds. Nor is it con- 
ceived that Great Britain has or can make out 
even a colorless title to any portion of the north- 
ern coast." Referring to the offer of the forty- 
ninth parallel in a despatch dated February 24, 
1827, Mr. Clay said: "It is conceived in a gen- 
uine spirit of concession and conciliation, and it 
is our ultimatum and you may so announce it." 
In order to save the case of his country from 
being prejudiced in future negotiations by the 
liberality 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 here- 
tofore 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 must have recorded 
in the protocol of one of your conferences; and 
to give it more weight, have it slated that it has 
been done by the express direction of the preside?it." 

Mr. Gallatin sustained the claim of the 
United States in this 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 common 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 mouth 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 parlia- 



ment 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 privi- 
leges and comprehensive powers to the Hudson's 
Bay Company. 

Before the conclusion of these negotiations, 
Mr. Gallatin had offered not alone the forty- 
ninth parallel, but that "the navigation of the 
Columbia river shall be perpetually free to sub- 
jects of Great Britain in common with citizens of 
the United States, provided that the said line 
should strike the northeasternmost 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 treaty 
of August 6, 1827, which continued the Joint- 
Occupancy treaty of 1818 indefinitely, with the 
proviso 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 diffi- 
culty of the adjustment of boundaries materially 
enhanced. Nor does this reflect in the slightest 
degree upon those great publicists who managed 
the claim of the United States in those negotia- 
tions. Matchless ability and earnest patriotism, 
firm defense of the United States' claim, and 
withal a disposition to compromise to avoid rup- 
ture with any other nation, mark these negotia- 
tions in every line. The language and intention 
of these treaties are clear and unmistakable. 
Neither government was to attempt any act in 
derogation of the other's claim; nor could any 
advantage inure to either; during their continu- 
ance the territory should be free and open to 
citizens and subjects of both nations. Such is 
their plain purport; such the only construction 
which their language will warrant. Yet it can- 
not be controverted that the United States had 
thereby precluded itself from the sole enjoy- 
ment of the territory which it claimed in sover- 
eignty; nor that Great Britain acquired a peacea- 
ble, recognized and uninterrupted tenancy-in- 
common in regions where her title was so imper- 
fect that she herself admitted that she could not 
successfully 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 set- 
tlement 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 possession, and had 
secured the entire enjoyment of its wealth and 
resources. The Hudson's Bay Company, by 
virtue of its license of trade excluding all other 
British subjects from the territory, was Great 
Britain's trustee in possession — an empire com- 
pany, omnipotent to supplant enterprises projected 
by citizens of the United States. Indeed, the 
territory had been appropriated by a wealthy, all- 
powerful monopoly, with whom it was ruinous 
to attempt to compete. Such is a true exhibit of 
the then condition of Oregon, produced by causes 
extrinsic to the treaty, which the United .States 
government could neither counteract nor avoid. 
The United States had saved- the right for its 
citizens to enter the territory, had protested like- 
wise that no act or omission on the part of the 
government or its citizens, or any act of commis- 
sion or omission by the British government or 
her subjects during such Joint-Occupancy treat- 
ies, should affect in any way the United States' 
claim to the territory. 

"The treaties of 1818 and 1827 have passed 
into history as conventions for joint occupancy. 
Practically they operated as grants 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 situ- 
ation may be briefly summed up: The United 
States claimed title to the territory. Great 
Britain, through its empire-trading company, 
occupied it — enjoyed all the wealth and resources 
derivable from it." 

But while joint occupation was in reality non- 
occupation by 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 con- 
gress the advisability of occupying Oregon was 
frequently and vehemently discussed. Ignorance 
and misconception with regard to the real nature 
of Oregon, its climate, soil, products and health- 
fulness, were being dispelled. The representa- 
tions of the Hudson's Bay Company that it was 
a "miasmatic wilderness, uninhabitable except 
by wild beasts and more savage men," were 
being found to be false. In 1821 Dr. John Floyd, 
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 
Astor's party. From these gentlemen they 
learned something of the value of Oregon, its 
features of interest, and its commercial and 
strategic importance. This information Dr. 
Floyd made public in 1822, in a speech in sup- 



port of a bill "to authorize the occupation of the 
Columbia river, and to regulate trade and inter- 
course with the Indians therein." On December 
29, 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 occupancy of 
the Columbia was a necessity for protecting 
trade and securing the frontier. It recom- 
mended 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 pro- 
posed the establishment of a line of posts across 
the continent to afford protection to our traders ; 
and on the expiration of the privilege granted to 
British subjects to trade on the waters of the 
Columbia, 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 for- 
eign war and command their neutrality or assist- 
ance 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 territory." 
In the next congress the subject was again dis- 
cussed with energy and ability. In 1831 formal 
negotiations with Great Britain were resumed. 

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 inter- 
est 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 country was clearly established. 
The fact, however, that joint occupancy was 
agreed to at all after 1828 could hardly be con- 
strued in any other light than as a confession of 
weakness in our title, notwithstanding the une- 
quivocal stipulations that neither party should 
attempt anything in derogation of the other's 
claims, and that the controversy should be deter- 
mined upon its merits as they existed prior to 
18 18 If the United States came into possession 
of an absolute title in 1819, why should it after- 

ward permit occupation by British subjects and 
the enforcement 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. While it was not contended that any 
of these conveyed exclusive right, the position of 
our country was that each supplemented the 
other; that, though - while vested in different 
nations they were antagonistic, when held by the 
same nation, they, taken together, amounted to 
a complete title. The title was therefore cumu- 
lative in its nature and had in it the weakness 
which is inherent under such conditions. It was 
impossible to determine with definiteness how 
many partial titles, the value of each being a 
matter of uncertainty, would cumulatively 
amount to one complete title. And however 
clear the right of the United States might seem 
to its own statesmen, it is evident that the con- 
viction must be produced 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 1834, 
and again in 1836, an element of civilization was 
introduced of a vastly higher nature than any 
which accompanied the inroads of the Hudson's 
Bay Company employees and of trappers 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 have been and will be suffi- 
ciently treated elsewhere. The results of Whit- 
man's midwinter ride and labors and of the 
numerous other forces at work among the people 
were crystallized into action in 1843, when a 
great, swelling tide of humanity, pulsating with 
the restless energy and native daring so charac- 
teristic 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 territory. Other immigrations fol- 
lowed, 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 Ameri- 
can government was placed under an increased 
obligation to maintain its right to the valley of 
the Columbia. 

But we must return now to the diplomatic 
history of the controversy, resuming the same 
with the negotiations of 183 1. Martin Van Buren 
was then minister at London. He received 
instructions relative to the controversy from 
Edward Livingston, secretary of state, the tenor 
of which indicated that the United 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 dis- 
cussion, and, until the rights of the parties can 
be settled by negotiations, ours can suffer noth- 
ing by delay. " Under these rather lukewarm 
instructions, naturally nothing was accomplished. 

In 1S42 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 will- 
ingness to proceed to the consideration of the 
boundary subject "in a perfect spirit of fairness, 
and to adjust it on a basis of equitable compro- 
mise. " On November 25th Daniel Webster, 
then secretary of state, replied "that the presi- 
dent concurred entirely in the expediency of 
making the question respecting the Oregon ter- 
ritory a subject of immediate attention and nego- 
tiation 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 United States in London." 

Negotiations were not, however, renewed 
until October, 1843, when Secretary Upshur sent 
instructions to Edward Everett, American min- 
ister to London, 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 United States vessel Princeton by 
the explosion of a gun. A few months later his 
successor, John C. Calhoun, continued the nego- 
tiations. The arguments were in a large meas- 
ure a repetition of those already advanced, but a 
greater aggressiveness on the part of the British 
and persistency in denying the claims of the 
United States were noticeable. As in former 
negotiations, the privilege accorded by the 

Nootka convention were 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 strik- 
ing statement in Lord Packenham's correspond- 
ence was to the effect that "he did not feel 
authorized to enter into discussion respecting the 
territory north of the forty-ninth parallel of lati- 
tude, which was understood by the British gov- 
ernment to form the basis of negotiations on the 
side of the United States, as the line of the 
Columbia 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 abandon- 
ment 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 was 

During the sessions of congress of 1843-4 
memorials, resolutions and petitions from all 
parts of the union casne in in a perfect flood. 
The people were thoroughly aroused. In the 
presidential election which occurred at that 
time the Oregon 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 American 
measure." The position of the Whig 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 Demo- 
crats carried in the election, despite the warlike 
tone of their platform and campaign, is conclu- 
sive evidence that the people were determined to 
hold their territory on the Pacific coast regard- 
less of cost. "Never was a government more 
signally advised by the voice of a united people. 
The popular pulse had been felt, and it beat 
strongly in favor of prompt and decisive meas- 
ures to secure the immediate reoccupation of 
Oregon. It equally proclaimed that 'no portion 
thereof ought to be" ceded to Great Britain.' In 
January, 1845, Sir Richard Packenham, the Brit- 
ish minister, proposed that the matter in dispute 
be left to arbitration, which proposal was respect- 
fully declined. So the administration of Presi- 
dent Tyler terminated without adjustment of the 
Oregon difficulty. 

Notwithstanding the unequivocal voice of the 
people in demand of the whole of Oregon, James 
Buchanan, secretary of state under President 
Polk, in a communication to Sir Richard Packen- 


ham, dated July 12, 1845, again offered the forty- 
ninth parallel, explaining at the same time that 
he could not have consented to do so had he not 
found himself embarrassed, if not committed, by 
the acts of his predecessors. Packenham rejected 
the offer. Buchanan 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 withdraw the 
proposition to the British government which has 
been made under his direction; and it is hereby 
accordingly withdrawn." This formal with- 
drawal of the previous offers of compromise on 
the forty-ninth parallel, justified as it was by 
Great Britain's repeated rejections, left the Polk 
administration free and untrammeled. Appear- 
ances indicated that it was now ready to give 
execution to the popular verdict of 1844. The 
message of the president recommended that the 
year's notice, required by the treaty of 1827, 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 security and protection 
to American settlers. 

In harmony with these recommendations, a 
resolution was adopted April 27th, 1846, author- 
izing the president "at his discretion to give to 
the government of Great Britain the notice 
required by the second article of the said conven- 
tion of the 6th of August, 1827, for the abroga- 
tion of the same." 

Acting in accordance with the resolution, 
President Polk the next day sent notice of the 
determination of the United States "that, at the 
end of twelve months from and after the deliv- 
ery of these presents by the envoy extraordinary 
and minister plenipotentiary of the United States 
at London, to her Britannic Majesty, or to her 
Majesty's principal secretary of state for foreign 
affairs, the said convention shall be entirely 
annulled and abrogated." 

On the 27th of December, 1845, Sir Richard 
Packenham had submitted another proposal to 
arbitrate the matter at issue between the two 
governments. The proposal was declined on the 
ground that to submit the proposition in the 
form stated would preclude the United States 
from making a claim to the whole of the terri- 
tory. On January 17th of the following year, a 
modified proposal was made to refer "the ques- 
tion of title in either government to the whole 
territory to be decided; and if neither were 
found to possess a complete title to the whole, it 
was to be divided between them according to a 
just appreciation of the claims of each." The 
answer of Mr. Buchanan was clear and its lan- 
guage calculated to preclude any more arbitra- 
tion proposals. He said: "If the government 
should consent to an arbitration upon such terms, 
this would be construed into an intimation, if not 
a direct invitation to the arbitrator to divide the 

territory between the two parties. Were it pos- 
sible for this government, under any circum- 
stances, to refer the question to arbitration, the 
title and the title alone, detached from every 
other consideration, ought to be the only ques- 
tion submitted. The title of the United States, 
which the president regards clear and unques- 
tionable, can never be placed in jeopardy 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 British government seems now to 
have become determined that the question should 
be settled without further delay. The rejected 
arbitration proposal was followed on the 6th day 
of June, 1846, by a draft of a proposed treaty 
submitted by Sir Richard Packenham to Secre- 
tary of State Buchanan. The provisions of this 
were to the effect that the boundary should be 
continued along the forty-ninth parallel "to the 
middle of the channel which separates the conti- 
nent from Vancouver island; and thence south- 
erly through the middle of said channel and of 
Fuca's strait to the Pacific ocean." It stipu- 
lated 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 that 
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 Agri- 
cultural 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 government 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 val- 
uation, to be agreed upon between the parties." 

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 consideration of the resolution to accept 
the British proposal was not begun until June 
12th, on June 13th 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 proposal of the British gov- 
ernment, accompanying his message to the 
senate, dated June 10, 1846, for a convention to 
settle the boundaries, etc., between the United 
States and Great Britain, west of the Rocky or 
Stony mountains." The advice was, however, 
"given under the conviction that, by the true 
construction of the second article of the project, 
the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company to 
navigate the Columbia would expire with the 


termination of their present license of trade with 
the Indians, etc., on the northwest coast of 
America, on the 30th day of May, 1859." 

The wonderful alacrity with which this advice 
was given and with which five degrees, forty 
minutes of territory were surrendered to Great 
Britain, is accounted for by some historians (and 
no doubt they are correct) by supposing that the 
"cession" was made in the interests of slavery. 
The friends of that institution were unwilling to 
risk a war with Great Britain which would inter- 
fere with the war with Mexico and the annexa- 
tion of Texas. Their plan was to acquire as 
much territory from which slave states could be 
formed as possible, and they were not overscru- 
pulous about sacrificing territory which must 
ultimately develop into free states. But for 
unfortunate diplomacy, "it is quite probable that 
British Columbia would be to-day, what many 
would deem desirable in view of its growing 
importance, a part of the United States." 

Notwithstanding the great sacrifice made by 
the United 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 Rosa- 
rio 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 compro- 
mise President's channel, between Rosario and 
De Haro straits. The generosity of this proposal 
is obvious when we remember that San Juan 
island, the principal bone of contention, would 
be on the British side of this line. Indeed, Lord 
Lyons, the British diplomatic representative in 
the United States, was expressly 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 decisive- 
ness. Efforts to settle the matter geographically 
proved unavailing and diplomacy again had to 
undergo a severe test. 

For a number of years the matter remained 
in abeyance. Then the pioneer resolved to try 
the plan he had before resorted to in the settle- 
ment 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 
United States, resident in the disputed terri- 
tory, soon became imminent. Such a collision 
would undoubtedly involve the two countries 
in war. 

In the session of the Oregon territorial legis- 
lature of 1852-3, the archipelago to which San 
Juan island belongs was organized into a county. 
Taxes were in due time imposed on Hudson's 
Bay Company property, and when payment was 
refused, the sheriff 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, inaugurated somewhat summary 
proceedings. He landed over four hundred and 
fifty troops on the island, and instructed Captain 
Pickett to protect American 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, per- 
mit 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, though it was 
plainly evident that the administration was not 
averse to having the matter forced to an issue. 

At this juncture, the noted General Scott was 
sent to the scene of the difficulty, under instruc- 
tions to permit joint occupancy until the matter 
in dispute could be settle'd. Harney was with- 
drawn from command entirely. Finally, an 
agreement was reached between General Scott 
and the British governor at Vancouver that each 
party should police the territory with one hun- 
dred armed men. 

Diplomacy was again tried. Great Britain 
proposed that the question at issue be submitted 
to arbitration, and she suggested as arbiter the 
president of the Swiss council or the king of 
Sweden and Norway or the king of the Nether- 
lands. The proposition was declined by the 
United States. For ten years longer the dispute 
remained unsettled. Eventually, on May 8th, 
187 1, it was mutually agreed to submit the ques- 
tion, without appeal, to the arbitrament of 
Emperor William, of Germany. George Ban- 
croft, the well-known historian, was chosen to 
present the case of the United States, and it is 
said that "his memorial of one hundred and 
twenty octavo pages is one of the most finished 
and unanswerable diplomatic arguments ever 
produced." The British also presented a memo- 
rial. These were interchanged and replies were 
prepared by each contestant. The emperor gave 
the matter careful and deliberate attention, call- 
ing to his assistance three eminent jurists. His 
award was as follows: "Most in accordance with 
the true interpretation of the treaty concluded 
on the 15th of June, 1846, between the govern- 
ments of her Britannic Majesty and the United 
States of America, is the claim of the govern- 
ment 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. Authenticated by 


our autograph signature and the impression of 
the Imperial Great Seal. Given at Berlin, Octo- 
ber 21, 1872." This brief and unequivocal 
decree ended forever the vexatious controversy 

which for so many years had disturbed friendly 
feelings and endangered the peace of two great 
Anglo-Saxon peoples. No shot was fired; no 
blood was shed; diplomacy had triumphed. 



Long before the settlement of the Oregon 
question, signs of another struggle for owner- 
ship 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 enlightened 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 coming calamity 
or, if that could not be, to delay the evil hour as 
long as possible. 

Although no large immigration had entered 
the Oregon country prior to 1843, that of the 
preceding 3'ear numbering only one hundred and 
eleven, the few settlers of Oregon had already 
become apprehensive for the safety of their 
brethren en route to the west, and Sub-Indian 
Agent White had sent a message to meet the 
immigrants of 1843 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 became apparent 
to the travelers in due time, for the Indians, 
especially those who had become accustomed to 
white people by reason of their residence near 
the mission, were not slow to help themselves to 
clothing, household goods, cattle or horses, when 
an opportunity was offered. However, the fact 
that none of the immigrants settled near the 
mission had a quieting effect upon the Indians of 
that neighborhood. 

In 1844 an Indian named Cockstock, with a 
small following, made hostile demonstrations in 
Oregon City. Failing to provoke a quarrel with 
the white residents, he retired to an Indian village 
across the river and endeavored to incite its occu- 
pants to acts of hostility. In this he failed. It 
appears that formerly Cockstock had visited the 
home of Dr. White, purposing to kill him for a 
real or fancied wrong, but, his intended victim 

being absent, he had not been able to do greater 
damage than 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 calling the Americans to 
account for their audacity in pursuing him with 
such intent. With am interpreter 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 snooting at the 
whites, who returned their fire with such effect- 
iveness 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 warrior wounded. Aside from this, there 
was no serious trouble with Indians in the Willa- 
mette valley during the earlier years, though 
frequently the Indian agent was called upon to 
settle disputes caused by the appropriation by 
Indians of cattle belonging to white men. 

Prior to 1842, a number of indignities had 
been offered to Dr. Whitman at his mission sta- 
tion at Waiilatpu, near where Walla Walla now 
is. These he had borne with Christian forbear- 
ance. 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 lands was appropriated by these whites, 
the quiet of the upper country was not disturbed. 
But the mission was thereafter practically a fail- 
ure as far as its primary purpose was concerned, 



as was also that of Rev. H. H. Spalding in the 
Nez Perce country. 

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 
extensively in the cattle business, formed a com- 
pany to visit California for the purpose of secur- 
ing 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 accomplishing their ends, but eventu- 
ally fell into difficulty through their unwilling- 
ness to be governed by the laws of the land. 
While on a hunting expedition, they met and 
conquered a band of robbers, recovering a num- 
ber of head of horses, stolen from Americans 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 kill- 
ing by 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 by the 
Spanish authorities, being pursued with such 
vigor that they had to leave their cattle behind. 
They returned home in-the spring of 1S45. 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 about the same time by an Indian chief, 
Ellis, who wished advice as to what to do in the 
matter. White states that he was apprehensive 
of difficulty in adjusting it, "particularly as they 
lay much stress upon the restless, disaffected 
scamps late from Willamette to California, load- 
ing them with the vile epithets of 'dogs, thieves,' 
etc., from which they believed or affected to that 
the slanderous reports of our citizens caused all 
their loss and disasters, and therefore held us 

"According to Ellis," writes Mrs. Victor, 
"the Walla 'Wallas, Cayuses, Nez Perces, Spo- 
kanes, Pend d'Oreilles and Snakes were on 
terms of amity and alliance; and a portion of 
them were for raising two thousand warriors and 
marching at once to California to take reprisals 
by capture and plunder, enriching themselves by 
the spoils of the enemy. Another 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 Oregon 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 cor- 
dial reception for the chief among the colonists; 
planned to have Dr. McLoughlin divert his mind 
by referring 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 began working 
in his plantation, in which labor Ellis soon joined 
him, and the two discussed the benefits already 
enjoyed by the native population as the result of 
intelligent labor. 

"Nothing, however, is so convincing to an 
Indian as a present, and here it would seem Dr. 
White must have failed, but not so. In the 
autumn of 1844, thinking to prevent trouble with 
the immigration 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 exchanged with the emi- 
grants for young stock, which drafts the emi- 
grants refused to accept, not knowing where 
they should get 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 
the"m 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 establish a manual training and literary 
school for their children, 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 with 
which to purchase young cows in California." 

By this means White succeeded in averting 
an impending calamity, though he was unable 
to fulfill all his pledges. Peo-peo-mox-mox did, 
however, return to California in 1846 with forty 
warriors to demand satisfaction for the murder 
of his son. Not a little excitement resulted, and 
a company was sent by the California authori- 
ties to protect frontier settlements. The Indians, 
seeing that both Americans and Spaniards were 
prepared to defend themselves, made no hostile 
movement, but gave their attention to trading 
and other peaceful pursuits. 

For a few years prior to the settlement of the 
Oregon question in 1S46, there was another 
cause of alarm among the colonists, namely, the 
possibility of war with Great Britain and conse- 
quent hostilities 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 company, and the condition of 
the colonists would become truly deplorable. 
Happily, this contingency was averted by the 
triumph of diplomacy. 

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 8, 1847, Governor Abernethy referred 
to the Indian situation in this language: 

"Our relations with 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; they 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 us? 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 
presents 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 upon emigrants 
as they were passing through their territory. 
This should not be allowed to pass. An appro- 
priation should be made by you sufficient to ena- 
ble the superintendent of Indian affairs to take a 
small party in the spring and demand restitution 
of the property, or its equivalent in horses." 

As heretofore stated, this message reached 
the legislature December 8, 1847. The same 
day another was sent with communications from 
William McBean and Sir James Douglas, of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, giving details of a hor- 
rible massacre in the upper country. The calam- 
ity so long expected had come at last. With 
savage whoops and fiendish yells, the Cayuse 
Indians had fallen upon the helpless inhabitants 
of the Waiilatpu mission, enacting the most 
awful tragedy which has stained the pages of 
northwest history, a history presenting many 
dark and dreadful chapters, written in the blood 
of the Argonauts who bore the stars and stripes 
o'er plain and mountain and through the track- 
less 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 
29th of November, Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet, 
of the Catholic Society of Jesus, Rev. J. B. A. 
Brouillet, and other priests, made their appear- 
ance in the vicinity of the Whitman mission. 
Whitman met Blanchet at Fort Walla Walla and 
told him frankly that he was not pleased at his 
coming and would do nothing to help him estab- 
lish his mission. The priests, however, eventu- 
ally took up their abode in the house of an Indian 

named Tauitowe, on the Umatilla river, having 
failed to secure a site near Whitman from Tilou- 
kaikt. The later intercourse between Whitman 
and Blanchet seems to have been more friendly 
than their first interview, and there is no evi- 
dence of any bitter sectarian quarrel between 
them. But there is little doubt that the priests 
encouraged the Indians in the belief that the 
Americans would eventually take all their lands. 
Many of the earlier Protestant writers accused 
the priests, or the Hudson's Bay Company, 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. Gray, whose history of 
Oregon 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. 

The proximate cause of the massacre, assigned 
by the Indians themselves, was a belief that Dr. 
Whitman was administering poison instead of 
wholesome medicines to such of their number as 
were sick and required his professional services. 
The large immigration of 1847 had been the vic- 
tim of a terrible pestilence, and by the time it 
reached the vicinity of Whitman's station was 
suffering from measles in a form so virulent as 
to cause the death of many. Of course, the dis- 
ease was communicated to the Indians, who 
hung about the wagons parleying or pilfering. 
The condition of the diseased Indians became 
pitiful. "It was most distressing," said Spald- 
ing, "to go into a lodge of some ten or twenty 
fires, and count twenty or twenty-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 suita- 
ble means to alleviate their inconceivable suffer- 
ings, 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 pre- 
pare for death." 

Six were sick with measles in. the doctor's 
household, and furthermore, Mrs. Osborn 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 ph3 r sician 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 ravages of the dread 

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' spite is not known, but 
"with the iniquity which seemed inherent in his 
detestable nature," he began circulating the 
report that Whitman 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 them- 

"The mission buildings," says Gray, "occu- 
pied 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 joining on the east of the kitchen, 
eighteen by thirty; blacksmith shop, one hun- 
dred and fifty feet east; the house called the 
mansion on the east end of the 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 by the 
mill pond and Walla Walla creek — north front by 
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 
creek. ' ' 

Referring to the disposition of different per- 
sons about these premises at the time of the out- 
break, the same writer says: 

"Joseph Stanfield had brought in an ox from 
the plains, and it had been shot by Francis Sager. 
Messrs. Kimball, Canfield and Hoffman were 
dressing 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; Mr. Gillan was on his tailor's bench in the 
large adobe house, a short distance from the doc- 
tor's; Mr. Hall was at work laying a floor to a 
room adjoining the doctor's house; Mr. 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. Canfield, 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 recovered from the measles; 
the doctor and Mrs. Whitman, 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 29th of November. 
After 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 conver- 
sation with an Indian, and soon after the work 
of slaughter began. Whitman was tomahawked 
and shot. John Sager was overpowered, 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 exclaiming, "O, 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 boys as they could find on the outside. Mrs. 
Whitman ran to the assistance of her husband in 
the kitchen. Women from the mansion house 
came to her aid, as did also Mr. Rogers, who had 
been twice wounded, but the noble doctor, though 
still breathing, was past all human assistance. 
Mr. 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. 
Retreating women and children screaming in 
dreadful anguish, the groans of the dying, the 
roar of musketry, 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 infuri- 
ated fiends mingled together to create a scene 
which for terror and despair 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 imagination is equal to its full 

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. 
Whitman, venturing too near a window, was shot 
through the breast. The doors were battered 
down and the window smashed. By the time 
the Indians had gained an entrance to the build- 
ing, Mrs. Whitman, 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, assuring 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 Americans in 
the room waiting to kill him, Tamsucky at last 
went up-stairs and engaged in conversation with 

4 6 


the people there, in the course of which he reit- 
erated expressions 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. Hays. Her wound, or 
the sight of her mangled and dying husband, or 
both, 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 by 
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 
indignities as they could. The noble face of the 
good doctor, a face that had expressed no senti- 
ments but those of kindness toward the dusky 
savages, was hacked beyond recognition, while 
the doctor still breathed, by the tomahawk of 
Tilbukaikt; the matronly features of Mrs. Whit- 
man were lashed unmercifully with whips, and 
her body was rolled contemptuously in the mud; 
John Sager was terribly 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 hud- 
dled 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 inter- 
position of Joseph Stanfield, and the children 
were led away by two friendly Walla Wallas to a 
place 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 opera- 
tions. The killed on this first day of the mas- 
sacre 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 importunity, reluctantly furnished them a 
blanket or two and enough victuals to sustain 
life. Mr. Canfield, wounded, fled to the black- 
smith 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 protecting himself with it till he 
reached the cover of the brush, whence he 
escaped to Fort Walla Walla. He was put across 
the Columbia river by Mr. McBean, and started 
for the Willamette valley, but was never after- 
ward 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 Bewley and 
Amos Sales, both sick, were spared for reasons 
unknown until Tuesday, December 7th, when 
they were cruelly butchered in their beds. 

The morning of November 30th, Mr. Kim- 
ball, induced by the suffering of himself and the 
sick children to seek water, was discovered and 
shot. The same fate overtook James Young, 
who, ignorant 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 Bay 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 quar- 
rel with any but Americans. 

Wednesday, December 1st, Rev. J. B. A. 
Brouillet, one of the Catholic priests before-men- 
tioned, arrived at the scene of desolation. He 
assisted Joseph Stanfield in the work of prepar- 
ing the dead for burial. In his "Authentic 
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 conster- 
nation when upon my arrival I learned that the 
Indians the day before had massacred the doctor 
and his wife, with the greater part of the Ameri- 
cans at the mission. I passed the night without 
scarcely closing my eyes. Early the next morn- 
ing 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 found 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 exchanged 
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 resolved to go and assist him, so as to 
render to those unfortunate victims the last ser- 
vice 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 

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

It was on the morning ot the day that followed the 
massacre. There were several Indians scattered in the 
neighborhood of the mission buildings, but especially a 
crowd of Indian women was standing near the door ot the 
house in which all the white women and children were liv- 
ing. Stanfield, being then 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, '1 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 off," 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, you will kill me with them. Are you not 
ashamed ? Are you not satisfied with what you have done? 
Do you want still to kill poor, innocent children that have 
never done you any harm ?" "I am- ashamed," replied 
Tiloukaikt, after a moment's hesitation. "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, under 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 mas- 
sacre kept the minds of the Indians distracted 
from thoughts of other crimes until Saturday 
following the outbreak, when Tamsucky 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 appro- 
priated 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 Tintinmitsi, or Frank Esca- 
loom, the Indian who had killed her father. It 
is said that by claiming Mrs. Hays as his wife, 
Joseph Stanfield saved her from violation. 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 home on the Umatilla. The 
bishop and his priests there have been severely 
criticized for refusing her protection from the 
embraces of Five Crows, and their failure to 
shield her has been made to argue their complic- 
ity in the massacre. It is likely, however, that 
fear for their lives overcame their better natures. 
The same charity which condoned in a measure 
at least the cowardice of Smith in consenting 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. H. H. 
Spalding was in the country of the Cayuses. 
He took supper with Brouillet on the evening of 
the fatal 29th. The next day was spent by him in 
concluding his visits to the sick of the neighbor- 
hood, and on Wednesday, December 1st, he set 
out on horseback for Whitman's station. When 
near Waiilatpu, he met Brouillet returning after 
having assisted Stanfield in burying the dead; 
also his interpreter and Edward Tiloukaikt. 
Speaking of their interview, Brouillet says: 

Fortunately, a few minutes after crossing the river 
(Walla Walla), the interpreter asked Tiloukaikt's son for a 
smoke. They proposed the calumet, but when the moment 
came for lighting it, there was nothing to make a fire. 
"You have a pistol," said the interpreter; "fire it and we 
will light." Accordingly, without stopping, he fired his 
pistol, reloaded it and fired again. He then commenced 
smoking with the interpreter without thinking of reload- 
ing his pistol. A few minutes after, while they were thus 
engaged in smoking, I 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 you been to the 
doctor's?" he inquired. "Yes," 1 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 these different questions, I had spoken to my inter- 


preter, telling him to entreat the Indians in my 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. The son 
of Tiloukaikt, after hesitating some moments, replied that 
he could not take it upon himself to save Mr, 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 anxiety 
of Mr. Spalding. 

The news completely paralyzed Mr. Spalding 
for 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. Victor in referring to the incident eighteen 
years later, "and sat on my horse as rigid as a 
stone, not knowing or feeling anything." Brou- 
illet urged him to arouse himself and decide 
quickly what to do. He determined to seek 
safety in flight, and receiving a little food from 
the priest, started post-haste for Lapwai. Trav- 
eling most of the way on foot, his horse having 
been lost, he reached the home of Colonel 
William Craig about a week later. There he 
found Mrs. Spalding, who, receiving from Mr. 
Canfield word of the massacre, of her daughter's 
captivity and of the probable death of her hus- 
band, had removed from the mission to Craig's 

Spalding encouraged the Nez Perces to 
remain neutral, for Cayuse emissaries were 
already seeking their friendship and support. 
He wrote a letter to the priests informing them 
of his safe arrival, expressing a wish for peace 
and promising to endeavor to secure it. This 
was conveyed by two Nez Perces — Inimilpip and 
Tipialanahkeit — to the Catholic mission, the 
Indian couriers encouraged the Cayuses to sue 
for peace, and the bishop advised a meeting of 
the chiefs to decide upon some course of action. 
Accordingly, on the 20th of December, Tilou- 
kaikt, Five Crows, Camaspelo and a number of 
others met in council at the mission, Bishop 
Blanchet and Revs. Brouillet, Rosseau and Le 
Claire being also present. 

The result of their deliberations was the fol- 
lowing manifesto, dictated to the bishop: 

The 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 that 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 Americans. 

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. 

Fifth, they give assurance that they will not harm the 
Americans before the arrival of these two or three great 

Sixth, they ask that 'Americans may not travel any 
more through their country, as their young men might do 
them harm. 

Place of Tauitowe, Youmatilla, 20th December, 1847. 
Signed: Tiloukaikt, 


Meanwhile, forces were at work for the relief 
of the captive men, women and children. Peter 
Skeen Ogden, of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
had heard of the massacre and had set out from 
Fort Vancouver for the purpose of ransoming 
the helpless Americans. He arrived at Fort 
Walla Walla on the evening of the 19th of Decem- 
ber, and by the 23d had arranged a council, 
which was attended by Chiefs Tauitowe and 
Tiloukaikt, with a number of the young Cayuses, 
also by Blanchet and Brouillet. Ogden's speech 
on this occasion is a marvel of mingled boldness 
and diplomacy. He said: 

I regret to observe that all the chiefs whom 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 Americans. 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 repara- 
tion. By so doing it may be advantageous to you, but at 


the same time remember that you alone will be responsible 
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 1 can for you, but I 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 Hud- 
son'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 fol- 

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 
mixed with yours. 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 
us a convincing 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 unpleasant trip to this place. I can 
not, therefore, keep these families back. I make 
them over to you, which I would not do to 
another younger than yourself." 

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 your advice. I 
consent to your taking the families." 

Mr. Ogden 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 delivery to him. The result was that 

both chiefs, James and Itimimipelp, promised to 
bring them, provided they were willing to come, 
and immediately started to Clearwater with that 
purpose, bearing a letter from Chief Factor 
Ogden to Mr. Spalding. The result of that con- 
ference was the delivery, on the 29th of Decem- 
ber, 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 following 

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

From Du Page county, Illinois — Joseph Smith, 
Mrs. Hannah Smith; Mary Smith, aged fifteen 
years; Edwin Smith, thirteen; Charles Smith, 
eleven; Nelson Smith, six; Mortimer Smith, 

From Fulton county, Illinois — Mrs. Eliza 
Hall; Jane Hall, aged ten years; Mary C. Hall, 
eight; Ann E. Hall, six; Rebecca Hall, three; 
Rachel M. Hall, one. 

From Osage county, Mississippi — Elan Young, 
Mrs. Irene Young; Daniel Young, aged twenty- 
one years; John Young, nineteen. 

From La Porte county, Indiana — Mrs. Harriet 
Kimball; Susan M. Kimball, aged sixteen years; 
Nathan M. Kimball, thirteen; Byron M. Kim- 
ball, eight; Sarah S. Kimball, six; Mince A. 
Kimball, one. 

From Iowa — Mrs. Mary Sanders; Helen M. 
Sanders, aged fourteen years; Phoebe L. San- 
ders, ten; Alfred W. Sanders, six; Nancy L. 
Sanders, four; Mary A. Sanders, two; Mrs. Sally 
A. Canfield- Ellen Canfield, sixteen; Oscar Can- 
field, nine; Clarissa Canfield, seven; Sylvia A. 
Canfield, five; Albert Canfield, three. 

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

On New Year's day, 1848, Rev. H. H. Spald- 
ing, 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 tobacco, two guns, two hundred 
rounds of ammunition and some knives. 

Three days later Mr. Ogden started to Fort 
Vancouver with the captives in boats. Shortly 
after he had left the fort at Walla Walla, fifty 
Cayuse warriors dashed up to the place and 
demanded the surrender of Mr. Spalding, to be 
killed, as word had reached them of the arrival 
of American volunteers 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 Willa- 
mette valley in safety. Concerning the experi- 
ences of the people of the Tchimakain mission, 
Professor W. D. Lyman says: 

"Few things more thrilling ever came under 
the observation of the writer than the narration, 
by Fathers Eells and Walker, of the council of 
the Spokanes at Tchimakain, to decide whether 
or not to join the Cayuses. The lives of the mis- 
sionaries hung on the decision. Imagine their 
emotions as they waited with bated breath in 
their mission house to know the result. After 
hours of excited discussion with the Cayuse 
emissaries, the Spokanes announced their deci- 
sion: 'Go tell the Cayuses that the missionaries 
are our friends and we will defend them with 
our lives.' " This being the decision of the 
Indians, the Tchimakain missionaries, Revs. 
Eells and Walker, remained at their post of duty 
until the volunteers began active operations 
against the Cayuses, when they retired to Fort 
Colville. They were escorted thence, at the 
close of the war, by a detachment of Americans 
under command of Major Magone. 

The massacre put the people of Oregon and 
their provisional government to a severe trial. 
That they both nobly stood the test speaks vol- 
umes for the patriotism of the one and the inher- 
ent strength of the other. Truly, every son of 
Oregon and the Northwest has cause for pride in 
the sterling qualities 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 
bursting," says Mrs. Victor, "with pain and 
indignation for the crime they were called upon 
to mourn, and perhaps to avenge, • there was 
something almost farcical in the situation. 
Funds! Funds to prosecute a possible war! 
There was in the treasury of Oregon the sum of 
forty-three dollars and seventy-two cents, with 
an outstanding indebtedness of four thousand 
and seventy-nine dollars and seventy-four cents. 
Money! Money, indeed! Where was money to 
come from in Oregon? The governor's first 
thought had been the Hudson's Bay Company. 
It was always the company the colonists 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 
warnedtheOregon officers to 'stick to their beaver 
skins?' And had not Dr. McLoughlin resigned 
from his position as head of the company in 
Oregon because the London board reproved him 
for assisting immigrants, and thereby encourag- 
ing 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 merchants of Oregon City, to be sure; a 
few hundred might be raised among them. And 

there was the Methodist mission — 'the governor had 
not mentioned that; but — well, they could try it!" 
The colonial* legislature does not seem to 
have wasted much time in bewailing its helpless 
condition. It acted. No sooner were read the 
brief message of the governor relative to the 
massacre and its accompanying documents, than 
a resolution was offered that the governor be 
instructed to raise, arm and equip a company 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 flag 
by the ladies of Oregon City and sent by boats 
to its destination. 

December 10th 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 was to 
"rendezvous at Oregon City on the 25th of 
December, A. D. 1847, and proceed thence with 
all possible despatch to the Walla Walla valley 
for the purpose of punishing 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 others at Waii- 
latpu. " The bill also provided that "Jesse 
Applegate, A. L. Lovejoy and George L. Curry 
be and are hereby authorized and empowered to 
negotiate a loan not to exceed one hundred thou- 
sand dollars for the purpose of carrying out the 
provisions of this act; and that said commis- 
sioners be and are authorized to pledge the faith 
of the territory for the payment of such sum as 
may be negotiated for by the said commission- 
ers, on the most practicable terms, payable 
within three years from date of said loan, unless 
sooner discharged by the government of the 
United States." 

The governor and the loan commissioners 
set out, as soon as the bill became a law, for 
Vancouver, to negotiate, if possible, a loan from 
the Hudson's Bay Company. Formal applica- 
tion was made to Sir James Douglas, December 
nth, the commissioners pledging the faith and 
means of the provisional government for the 
reimbursement of the company, and stating that 
they did not consider this pledge the only secur- 
ity their creditors would have. "Without claim- 
ing," said they, "any special authority from the 
government of the United States to contract a 
debt to be liquidated by that power, yet from all 
precedents of like character in the history of our 
country, the undersigned feel confident that the 
United States government will regard the mur- 
der 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 protection 
from further aggression." 

As was expected, the chief factor declined to 
grant the loan, for the reason already outlined. 


Governor Abernethy, Jesse Applegate and A. L. 
Lovejoy pledged their personal credit for the 
supplies needful to equip the company of rifle- 
men already en route to The Dalles, and the 
immediate necessities of the government were 
thus relieved. 

Returning to Oregon City, the committee 
addressed a circular to the merchants and citi- 
zens of Oregon, asking loans from all such as 
were able to contribute, either money or sup- 
plies. Its closing paragraphs are here quoted as 
showing the necessity for prompt action then 
existing or supposed to exist: 

Though the Indians of the Columbia have committed 
a great outrage upon our fellow-citizens passing through 
their country, and residing among them, and their punish- 
ment for these murders may, and ought to be, a prime 
object 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 character, 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 
property will be secure in any part of this country, or at 
what moment the Willamette will be the scene of blood 
and carnage? 

The officers of our provisional government have nobly 
performed their duty. None can doubt the readiness of 
the patriotic sons of the west to offer their personal serv- 
ices in defense of a cause so righteous. So it rests with 
you, gentlemen, to say whether our rights and our firesides 
shall be defended or not. Hoping that none will be found 
to falter in so high and so sacred a duty, we beg leave, 
gentlemen, to subscribe ourselves your servants and 

A specific letter to the Oregon mission was 
likewise prepared and sent. The result of the 
labors of the committee was such that on Decem- 
ber 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' meet- 
ing in Oregon City; sixteen hundred dollars 
from the merchants of Oregon City, and the 
probability that a loan of one thousand dollars 
would be secured from the mission. 

The first committee then resigned, and on 
December 20th another was appointed consisting 
of A. L. Lovejoy, Hugh Burns and W. H. Will- 
son. 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 arti- 
cles of use to the men in the field. 

Of the regiment to be called into existence 
by the governor in accordance with legislative 
enactment, Cornelius Gilliam was elected colo- 
nel; James Waters, lieutenant-colonel; H. A. G. 
Lee, major, and Joel Palmer, commissary-gen- 

eral. The purpose of this military organization 
was to secure for punishment the Whitman mur- 
derers 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, a fortiore, 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 commission was 
sent a long with the army, the personnel of which 
was Joel Palmer, Robert Newell and H. A. G. Lee, 
that the olive branch might be offered before re- 
sort to the sword should be had. Joseph L. Meek, 
who had been appointed to carry a memorial to 
congress, also purposed to accompany the army. 
A base of supplies was established during the 
last days of December at the upper cascades of the 
Columbia. A few rude structures were erected 
and denominated Fort Gilliam, though they were 
more frequently referred to as "The Cabins." 

"The history of this little post in the heart of 
the great Oregon Sierras became a most inter- 
esting one," says Mrs. Victor. "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 
department was charged with the principal 
burden of the war, and the title of 'General,' 
which Palmer 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 1847-8. Without 
arms, without roads, without transportation 
other than small boats and pack horses, without 
comfortable winter clothing and with scanty 
food, the war was to be carried on at a distance 
of nearly three hundred miles from the settle- 
ments. And if the volunteer soldiers were called 
upon to endure these hardships, which General 
Palmer was doing his best to overcome, the com- 
missioned officers were no less embarrassed by 
the want of the most ordinary appliances of their 
rank or position — even to the want of a proper 

Early in January, 1S4S, Colonel Gilliam 
started up the river from the rendezvous at Port- 
land, arriving at Vancouver the first day. He 
did not do as he was said to have threatened, 
attempt to levy on the Hudson's Bay Company's 
goods to supply his troops. On the contrary, he 
purchased such supplies as he stood in urgent 
necessity of, pledging his 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, him- 
self and the balance of his command proceeding 
to Fort Gilliam, where he received a dispatch 



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 by 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. 

About the last of January, Colonel Gilliam set 
out with one hundred and thirty 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 number, but while returning to camp 
was attacked in a ravine by a considerable force. 
His command were compelled to dismount and 
seek the shelter of rocks and bushes, where they 
remained, annoyed but uninjured by the enemy, 
until night. Next 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 was also much cached prop- 
erty which could not be carried away. 

Returning to Fort Lee at The Dalles, the 
officers held there a council on the nth of Feb- 
ruary 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 effected, Gilliam decided to 
march at once with three hundred men. The 
commissioners were displeased but had to 
acquiesce, so the forces 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 
messengers arrived from the Yakima country 
stating that the Yakimas had taken the advice 
of the peace commissioners and decided not to 
join the Cayuses in a war against the Americans. 
A letter brought by one of them read as follows: 

Camp of Ciaies, February 16, 1848. 
M. Commander: 

The Yakima chiefs, Ciaies and Skloom, 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 acknowledg- 
ments, the tobacco and the banner which you sent them. 
They have resolved to follow your counsel, and not unite 
themselves 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 the greatest of pleasure, dispositions 
which will prevent the spilling of blood and which will 
facilitate the means of instructing those Indians. 
Your humble servant, 

G. Blanchet. 

During the forenoon of the 24th 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, consisting of the 
companies of Captain Philip F. Thompson and 
Captain H. J. G. Maxon, were on the north side 
of the road, and the companies of Levi N. 
English and Thomas McKay constituted the right 
of the command. 

The principal leaders of the Indians were Five 
Crows and War Eagle, both Cayuses. They had 
assured their followers that they were both "big 
medicine" men, invulnerable to bullets; 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 white 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 everywhere beaten and eventually 
fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the field. 
It is stated that the Indian loss was thirteen 
killed and wounded, and the American five men 

The volunteers passed the ensuing night at a 
place where neither wood nor water could be 
obtained. 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 25th 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 reluctance of the whites to 
treat arose out of the fact that they had not heard 



from William McBean, at Fort Walla Walla, as 
they expected. The truth was that their com- 
munications to him had been intercepted by 
Tauitowe, who, however, delivered the letters, 
but destroyed McBean'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 consummation. 

February 28th the troops reached Walla 
Walla, where the foregoing facts were ascertained 
by them in personal conference with McBean. 
Moving to the site of the Whitman mission, the 
troops busied themselves on the 3d of March in 
reinterring the bodies of the dead, which had 
been exhumed and partly devoured by coyotes. 
The sight of the numerous evidences of savage 
malevolence aroused the military spirit of com- 
mander and men, and the commissioners saw that 
the ardor of both for fight might embarrass them 
in their efforts to conclude a peace. A fortifica- 
tion was commenced at once and its construction 
continued on the 4th and 5th, though the latter 
date fell on Sunday. On the 6th two hundred and 
fifty friendly Nez Perces and Cayuses came into 
camp and held a council with the volunteers, ex- 
pressing themselves as disposed to maintain 
peaceful relations with their white brethren. 

In this council, "Gilliam could not avoid act- 
ing his part: but as commander of the army he 
was ill at ease. He saw the Cayuses passing by 
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 behind 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 pur- 
suade the nation to give up the murderers, the 
army to follow on the next day, two of the com- 
missioners accompanying it." 

The army 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. Gilliam reluctantly called 
a halt. Sticcas announced the refusal of the 
Cayuses to surrender Tauitowe or Tamsucky, 
and Gilliam made a most remarkable proposal to 
withdraw demands for five of the murderers if 
Joe Lewis should be surrendered, a proposition to 
which the other commissioners would not agree. 

After this council, Palmer, Lee and Newell, 
with Captain McKay, 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 

On the 13th he received a message from 

Tauitowe asserting the friendship of that chief 
and stating that Tamsucky had gone to the camp 
of Red Wolf, on Snake river, while 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, leav- 
ing his cattle on the hills beyond. Completely 
deluded, Gilliam 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 by the Palouses, who 
annoyed them 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 which 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 followed by the nerve- thrilling death song. " 

Arriving at Fort Waters (Waiilatpu) on the 
i6th, 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 20th. That 
night, while in camp beyond the Umatilla, a mel- 
ancholy accident occurred. While Colonel Gill- 
iam 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 
generous friend, a good citizen." There was, 
however, 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 await- 
ing him. His report to the adjutant-general 
gave a melancholy picture of conditions at Waii- 
latpu, stating that Fort 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 destitu- 
tion 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 accompanying one shipment of goods is 
here reproduced as vividly reflecting the temper 
of the pioneer women of the Northwest: 

Oregon City, April 12, 1848. 

The volunteers of the first regiment of Oregon rifle- 
men will please accept from the ladies of Oregon City and 
vicinity the articles herewith forwarded to them. The 
intelligence 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 in your privations, your 
marches, your battles and your victories. 

Your fathers and ours, as soldiers, have endured priva- 
tions and sufferings, and poured out their blood as water, 
to establish undisturbed freedom east of the Rocky moun- 
tains; your and our mothers evinced the purity of their 
love of country, upon those occasions, by efforts to miti- 
gate the horrors of war, in making and providing clothing 
for the soldiers. Accept this trifling present as an indorse- 
ment of an 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 patriotic. 

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 belief on the part of the natives, 
that all the Americans are "women" and dare not resent 
an outrage, however shameful, 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. 

We 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 pri- 
vations are great ; but may we not hope that through you 
these wrongs shall not only be amply avenged, but also 
that you will inscribe upon the hearts of our savage ene- 
mies 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 desti- 
nies 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 young ladies to the call of cap- 

"We have read with much interest the late 
report from the army, and feel ourselves under 
obligation to reply to the appeal made to us in 
that report. We are asked to evince our influ- 

ence for our country's good by withholding our 
hand from any young man who refuses to turn 
out in defense of our honor and our country's 

"In reply, we hereby, one and all, of our own 
free good-will, solemnly pledge ourselves to com- 
ply with that request, and to evince on all suita- 
ble occasions 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 would never 
have sufficient sense of obligation to defend and 
protect a wife. 

"Do not be uneasy about your claims and 
your rights in the valley; while you are defend- 
ing 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 

(Signed by fifteen young ladies. ) 

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

Recent accounts from the seat of war show that the 
Indians are in pretty strong force, and determined to 
fight. Many 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 the pres- 
ent 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 men 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 compa- 
nies already organized; the enlistments to be for six 



months, unless sooner discharged bv proclamation or 
relieved 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 organize 
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 raising, arming and equipping, with- 
out help from any power outside herself, the men 
already in the field, she now made still greater 
exertions that the campaign 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, numbering 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. Victor, "it was a difficult 
matter putting another battalion in the field. 
The commissariat had at no time been main- 
tained 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, 
ammunition and clothing, for which they paid in 
government bonds or loan commissioner's scrip. 
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 contributions to 
th war fund. The wheat thus collected could be 
sold for cash or its equivalent at Vancouver, and 
thus, after passing through the circumlocution 
office, this awkward currency, which had to be 
gathered up, stored in warehouses, hauled to boat 
landings, set adrift upon the Willamette, hauled 
around the falls at Oregon City, and there 
reloaded for Vancouver, was there at length 
exchanged for real money or goods. The collec- 
tion of provisions for the consumption of the 
army was another matter, and not less burden- 
some. The agents could refuse no lot of provi- 
sions 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. Pow- 
der and percussion caps were obtained in the 
same way, or purchased with wheat notes at 

H. A. G. Lee was appointed colonel, vice 
Cornelius Gilliam, deceased. His appointment 
was unsatisfactory 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 com- 
mander, who had also been entrusted with the 
duties of Indian superintendent, Joel Palmer 
having resigned. But these difficulties were in 
due time overcome, and on May 3d 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 
expressed themselves in this language: 

"We do not want to fight the Americans nor 
the French; neither do the Spokanes, a neigh- 
boring tribe to us. Last fall the Cayuses told us 
they were about to kill the whites at Dr. Whit- 
man'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 you.' 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 innocently." 

Upon arriving in the Cayuse country, Lee, in 
his capacity as superintendent, held a council of 
Nez Perces and others, on request of the Indians. 
Peo-peo-mox-mox, whose friendship had been 
alienated by the act of the legislature withhold- 
ing ammunition from all Indians, again took a 
friendly attitude toward the whites, and it was 
evident that reinforcements from the Willamette 
and the expectation 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 deter- 
mined to hold the country until the murderers 
were punished and the stolen property re- 

When Lee reached Waiilatpu, about the 9th of 
May, he reviewed the situation and determined 
that it were best he should resign the colonelcy 
in favor of Lieutenant-Colonel Waters. "I have 
great confidence 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 lieu- 
tenant-colonel during the approaching cam- 
paign." This act of self-abnegation and patriot- 
ism at a critical juncture restored harmony in 



the ranks and put the volunteers in condition for 
a vigorous campaign. 

On the 17th 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 mountains; the remainder of the volunteers 
going to the mouth of the Palouse to cut off 
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 abandoned 
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 cross- 
ing the Snake river, and had also pushed on 
toward Lapwai. On the 2 2d a letter was 
received from Rev. Cushing Eells stating that 
the Spokanes were divided in their sentiments 
toward the Americans and the war, though all 
condemned the massacre. The messengers who 
brought the letter volunteered to bring in a 
number of Tiloukaikt's cattle and succeeded in 
doing so, bringing in also two Nez Perces, who 
informed the colonel that the main band was 
near Snake river. They also stated that Tilou- 
kaikt himself had fled to the mountains. Major 
Magone, with a hundred men, was sent to bring 
in the stock belonging to the hostiles and to cap- 
ture 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, contrary to orders. 

It became evident that nothing could be 
accomplished by a regiment in the Nez Perce 
country, as the Cayuses had fled. Even the 
capture and confiscation of property was unsatis- 
factory, 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 officers, therefore, determined to 
close the campaign, notwithstanding the mur- 
derers had not been captured. A detachment of 
fifty-five men under Major Magone went to Fort 
Colville to give Missionaries Eells and Walker, 
who had sought protection there when the war 
broke out, safe conduct to The Dalles. The 
remainder of the command returned to Waii- 

latpu. There a council of war was held to deter- 
mine whether to abandon or to hold Fort Waters. 
The majority favored abandonment, but Lee 
was determined that the advantages gained by 
the war should not be lost by a complete with- 
drawal 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 succeeded in inducing fifty-five 
volunteers to remain in the fort with Captain 
William Martin until September, when, it was 
expected, Captain Thompson would return with 
a colony of intending settlers. The immigrant 
road was thus kept in a condition of comparative 
safety, so that the immigration of 1848, number- 
ing 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 by 
being despoiled of their property and made wan- 
derers and vagabonds on the face of the earth. 
The power and prestige of the Cayuse tribe 
were broken forever. The other tribes of the 
interior, who had been led by the non-resistance 
and reluctance to fight displayed by immigrants 
passing through their country with families and 
herds to consider the Americans a race of cow- 
ards, were effectually taught their error, and 
while the race struggle was not ended, it was 
delayed until the 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 surren- 
der of the murderers after the provisional gov- 
ernment was eventually superseded by a territo- 
rial 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 government 
had at last extended protecting arms to Oregon 
and the American power in the west was rapidly 
increasing. At last, despairing of their ability 
to longer protect the murderers, they compelled or 
induced five of them to surrender for trial. 
These were Tiloukaikt, Tamahas, Klokamas, 
Isaiachalakis and Kiamasumpkin. They were 
given a fair trial, convicted, and on the 3d of 
June, 1S50, 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 may not be cer- 
tainly known. 



The territory north of the Columbia river did 
not share in the benefits derived from the earli- 
est immigrations into the Northwest. In the 
diplomatic contest for the country, it had been 
steadfastly claimed by Great Britain, whose pro- 
posal, several times reiterated, was that the 
Columbia should form the boundary. Perhaps 
on account of the industrious inculcation 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 
undisputed sway over the trans- Columbia region. 
In order to further strengthen the hands of the 
British government in its territorial claims that 
company had organized the Puget Sound Agri- 
cultural Company, through which considerable 
progress was made in farming and stock-raising, 
as is shown by the following description of the 
Cowlitz and Nisqually 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, possessing a genial climate, good soil, 
excellent timber, water power, natural clearings 
and a seaport, and that, too, within reach of 
more than one advantageous market. When this 
tract was explored, a few years ago, the Hud- 
son's Bay Company established two farms upon 
it, which were subsequently transferred to the 
Puget Sound Agricultural Company, 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 sea- 
son amounted to eight or nine thousand bushels 
of wheat, four thousand of oats, with a due pro- 
portion of barley, potatoes, etc. The other farm 
was on the shores of Puget sound (Nisqually 
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 hundred cattle, besides horses, pigs, etc. 
In addition to these two farms, there was a Cath- 
olic mission, with about one hundred and sixty 
acres under the plow. There were also a few 
Canadian settlers, retired servants of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, and it was to the same 
neighborhood that the emigrants from Red river 
were wending their way." 

To still further strengthen 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. As 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 emi- 
gration left the vicinity of Fort Garry on the 
15th 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 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 
daughter of the Saskatchewan, the band con- 
tained 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 jog- 
ging 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 vehi- 
cles, which were covered with awnings against 
the sun and rain, carried the women and young 
children. As they marched in single file, their 
cavalcade extended above a mile in length ; and 




we increased the length of the column by march- 
ing 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 Rocky mountains 
early in August, reached Fort Walla Walla on 
the 4th of October, assisted in removing valua- 
bles 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 permanently in the country, and 
the colonization scheme may be considered a 

The honor of having made the initial attempt 
to colonize northern Oregon in American inter- 
ests 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 indom- 
itable courage for which the sons of that state 
are famous. Arriving at Vancouver in 1844, he 
spent most of the winter there, and doubtless 
learned from the chance expressions of Hudson's 
Bay men something of the value of the country 
to the northward. At any rate, he gave up his 
former intentions of going to southern Oregon, 
as the company wished him to do, and deter- 
mined to explore the forests of the north, as the 
company 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 exploring expedition 
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 Vancou- 
ver. In July he set out again with eight com- 
panions. Reaching the sound in due season, he 
made some explorations of its shores in canoes 
and informed 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 Vancouver, and soon was back 
on the sound with James McAllister, Gabriel 
Jones, David Kindred and George W. Bush and 
their families, also S. B. Crockett and Jesse Fer- 
guson. Such is the personnel of the first Ameri- 
can colony in Washington. 

"Not one entering the region at the present 

time," wrote the late H. K. Hines, "can form 
any idea of the difficulty attending the enter- 
prise 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 
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, isolated one hundred 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 did 
marks them as heroes." 

The next year, 1846, added a very few more 
to the American population of Washington, 
among them Edward Sylvester, upon whose land 
claim Olympia was afterward built, and the 
well-known men, A. B. Robbeson and S. S. 
Ford. A small number settled in 1847, but these 
few "were of the same sterling stuff as those 
who had preceded them and added much to the 
moral and intellectual fiber of the infant settle- 
ment. " 

"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. A 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 

A somewhat larger settlement was effected 
during 1848, many of the new-comers taking 
claims along the Cowlitz river. One man, 
Thomas W. Glasgow, attempted settlement on 
Whidby's island. A few others started to estab- 
lish homes in his vicinity during the summer, 
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 retrogression rather than 
progress, for the adult male population was 
induced away by the discovery of gold in Cali- 
fornia, 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 
discovery of the precious metal, spread over 
Puget sound, bringing activity and progress. 

Mr. Simmons, the advance agent of American 
occupancy, gained further distinction in 1850 by 
giving inception to American commerce on the 

(First Governor of Washington Territory). 



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 direction. Steilacoom, occupying a 
point on the sound below Olympia and abreast 
of the Nisqually plains, was settled and a large 
business house erected there, f Port Townsend 
was settled by H. C. Wilson. I. N. Ebey, late 
in the fall of 1850, occupied the claim on Whid- 
by's island, from which Glasgow had been driven 
by the hostilities of Patkanim, and R. H. Lans- 
dale 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 185 1 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 agri- 
cultural 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 "unearned increment" 
in the value of their holdings. Among the latter 
class were C. C. Terry, A. A. and D. T. Denny, 
W. N. Bell, C. T. Boren, John C. Holgate and 
John Low, who selected claims on Elliott 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 hun- 

Contemporaneous with, or within a year or 
two after the settlement already adverted to, 
was the settlement of Whidby's island, New 
Dungeness, 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 
timber resources of the country began attracting 
attention at this time, resulting in the building 
up of immense milling enterprises 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-oper- 
ated with the natural advantages of the country 
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 July, 185 1, 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 enthusi- 
asm 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 dis- 
tricts 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 provi- 
sions of the Oregon Land Law shodld be contin- 
ued, provided the division prayed for should be 

No action was had by congress on the memo- 
rial, 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, 1852. 

This journal was successful in compassing the 
convention of another body of men on organiza- 
tion bent. They met at Monticello, near the 
mouth of the Cowlitz, and prepared a memorial 
to congress pleading most eloquently 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 Columbia. The 
scheme of these contemplated the bounding of 
Oregon, north, south and west, by the British line, 
the California line and the ocean respectively, 
and east by Columbia territory, the Cascade 
range being the boundary line. 

But the majority of the representatives and 
the majority of the people both north and south of 
the Columbia, favored that river as the line of di- 
vision. General Lee, Oregon's delegate, brought 
the matter before congress. That body could not 
turn a deaf ear to the almost unanimous voice of 
the peopte directly affected by the proposed 



legislation, and on March 2d, 1853, the territory 
was organized as prayed for, the name "Wash- 
ington" being substituted for "Columbia," how- 
ever. A full quota of officers was appointed for 
the new territory, namely: Governor, Isaac 
Ingall Stevens; secretary, C. H. Mason; chief 
justice, Edward Lander; associate justices, John 
R. Miller and Victor Monroe; district attorney, 
J. S. Clendenin; United States marshal, J. Pat- 
ton Anderson. Miller refused the appointment 
and O. B. McFadden, of Oregon, became asso- 
ciate 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 

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 territorial possessions. This circum- 
stance gave to the northern route a zealous, able 
and well-informed advocate. There can be no 
doubt that the full and accurate reports of Gov- 
ernor Stevens and his zeal for the route which he 
believed the most expedient, did more than any- 
thing else to fix the general location of the 
Northern Pacific railroad, and to give to the 
young commonwealth over which Stevens pre- 
sided that most potential factor in its subsequent 

Having arrived at length in the young com- 
monwealth of which he had been called to assume 
executive 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, three thousand nine hundred and sixty- 
five all told, were widely scattered over western 
Washington, between the lower Columbia and the 
straits of Fuca. A small hamlet clustered 
around the military post at Vancouver. A few 
settlers were spread widely apart along the 
Columbia, among whom were Columbia Lan- 
caster, on Lewis river; Seth Catlin, Dr. Nathaniel 
Ostrander and the Huntingtons about the mouth 
of the Cowlitz; Alexander S. Abernethv at Oak 
Point and Judge William Strong at Cathlamet. 

Some oystermen^in Shoalwater bay were taking 
shellfish for the San Francisco market. At 
Cowlitz landing, thirty miles up that river, were 
extensive prairies, where farms had been culti- 
vated by the Hudson 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 for- 
ward to becoming American 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 hardy pioneers had settled upon the 
scattered prairies between the Cowlitz farms 
and the sound; among them were John R. Jack- 
son, typical English yeoman, 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 Centralia; 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 Bay 
Company post, Fort Nisqually, a parallelogram 
of log buildings and stockade under charge of 
Dr. W. F. Tolmie, a warm-hearted and true Scot. 
Great herds of Spanish cattle, the property 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 
Blanchet, 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 Townsead, by F. W. 
Pettygrove and L. B. Hastings, and at Belling- 
ham bay, by Henry Roder and Edward Eld- 

"Save the muddy track from the Cowlitz to the 
Olympia and thence to Steilacoom, and a few 
local trails, roads there were none. Communi- 


cation was chiefly by water, almost wholly in 
canoes manned by Indians. The monthly 
steamer from San Francisco and a little river 
steamboat plying daily between Vancouver and 
Portland alone vexed with their keels the mighty 
Columbia; while it was not until the next year 
that reckless, harum-scarum Captain 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 settle- 
ment. 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, sur- 
veyed or unsurveyed, without waiting to extin- 
guish the Indian title or define the lands 
guaranteed by solemn treaty to the foreign com- 
pany, and already the Indians and the Hudson's 
Bay Company were growing more and more 
restless and indignant at the encroachments of 
the pushing settlers upon their choice spots. 
Truly, a situation fraught with difficulties and 
dangers, 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 settlers 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 wilder- 
ness, and many of them men of education and of 
standing in their former abodes. Among them 
could be found the best blood of New England, 
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 sanguine 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 organiz- 
ing the territory, designated January 30, 1854, 
as the day for electing a delegate to congress and 
a local legislature. Columbia Lancaster was the 
choice of the people for the difficult task of repre- 
senting the young commonwealth in Washington. 
The legislature chosen at the same time convened, 
pursuant to the governor's proclamation, on the 

27th of February ensuing, and proceeded to 
transact such business and enact such laws as 
were necessary to put the territory on fairly 
sound footing. The message of the governor was 
an able and statesmanlike paper. It gave a 
glowing description of the undeveloped resources 
and commercial importance of the territory; 
referred to the unfortunate status of the public 
lands, arising out of the fact that Indian titles 
had not yet been extinguished, and advised the 
memorializing of congress concerning the con- 
struction of needed public highways, the survey- 
ing 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 legislature to the necessity of providing a 
public school system and an efficient militia 

Soon after the adjournment of the legislature, 
which acted in harmony with the foregoing 
suggestions 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 relating 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 Oregon, 
secured "an appropriation of thirty thousand 
dollars for the construction of what was known 
as the Mullan road from the Great Falls of the 
Missouri via Coeur d'Alene lake to Walla Walla; 
of twenty-five thousand dollars for the construc- 
tion of a military road from the dalles of the 
Columbia to Fort Vancouver; of thirty thousand 
dollars for a road from Fort Vancouver to Fort 
Steilacoom; and eighty-nine thousand dollars for 
lighthouses at various points on the coast. Lib- 
eral provision was made for the Indian service, 
in which was included the sum of one hundred 
thousand dollars to enable Governor Stevens to 
treat with the Blackfeet and other tribes 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 
authority bestowed on him for the purpose of 
accomplishing 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 trips to the Walla Walla 
valley, undertaken 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 Walla valley, which 
had been used by 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 
appointed rendezvous. At The Dalles he found 
General Joel Palmer, who was to represent Ore- 
gon in the negotiations, awaiting him. The 
general was faithless of a successful issue of the 
undertaking. "So doubtful," wrote Governor 
Stevens, in his diary, "did General Palmer con- 
sider the whole matter of the council, that it was 
only the circumstance of a military force being 
despatched which determined him to send to the 
treaty ground presents to the Indians. He 
stated to me that he had concluded to send up 
no goods; but, the escort having been ordered, 
he would send up his goods. At this time the 
Oregon officers expected little from the council, 
and evidently believed that the whole thing was 
premature and ill-advised." 

The escort referred to was sent by Major 
G. J. Rains, and consisted of a detachment of 
forty soldiers under Lieutenant Archibald 
Gracie. With the command was Lawrence Kip, 
whose diary presents an interesting account of 
the external and some of the internal happenings 
of this strange convention 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 rid- 
ing 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 
plains to where a flagstaff had been erected, we saw them 
approaching on horseback in one long line. They were 
almost entirely raked, gaudilv 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. Their 
horses, too, were arrayed in the most glaring finery. 
They were painted with such colors as formed the greatest 
contrast; the white being smeared with crimson in fantas- 
tic figures, and the dark colored streaked with white clay. 
Beads 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 beating their drums as 
they marched past us. Then I hey 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 round 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 
beat time on their drums. After these performances, 
more than twenty of the chiefs went over to the tent of 
Governor Stevens, where they sat for some time, smoking 
the pipe of peace, in token of good fellowship, and then 
returned to their camping ground. 

Saturday, May 26th, 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 being Sunday, a religious meeting was held 
by the Nez Perces, Timothy preaching. Stevens 
attended. "Timothy," observed he, "has a 
natural and graceful 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, March 28th, the governor sent A. J. 
Bolon to meet the Yakimas, and from this emis- 
sary, who soon returned, he learned that Peo-peo- 
mox-mox was professedly friendly. That chief, 
together with Kamiakin and two sub-chiefs of 
the Yakimas, with a following of their men, soon 
came up and shook hands cordially with the 
commissioners, refusing, 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 30th 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 Governor- Stevens and General Palmer, 
and before them, in the open air, in concentric 
semi-circles 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 
bosom of their great mother.' There were 
probably one thousand present at a time. After 
smoking for half an hour (a ceremony which 
with them precedes all business), the council 
was opened by a short address by General 
Palmer. Governor Stevens then rose and made 
a long speech, setting forth the object of the 
council and what was desired of them. As he 
finished each sentence, the interpreter repeated 
it to two of the Indians who announced it in a 
loud voice to the rest — one in the Nez Perce and 
the other in the Walla Walla language. This 
process necessarily caused business to move 
slowly. ' ' 



In such tedious manner the patient and pains- 
taking Stevens explained the treaties he wished 
the Indians to sign, clause by clause and item by 
item. At this stage of the negotiations the com- 
missioners contemplated two reservations — one 
in the Nez Perce country for the Nez Perces, 
Walla Wallas, Cayuses, Umatillas and Spokanes; 
one on Yakima river for the Yakimas, Palouses, 
Klickitats and other bands. Two days were con- 
sumed by the long speeches of the commissioners 
upon the various provisions of the treaty and the 
price offered by the government. The third 
(Friday) was at the request of Young Chief, 
given 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 commis- 
sioners, 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 sar- 
castic arraignment of the whites, a delicate inti- 
mation of his distrust of the commissioners and 
an expression of reluctance to accept goods in 
payment for the earth. 

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 Wallas could be ob- 
tained. 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 Nez 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 con- 
sequent war with that numerous and powerful 
tribe. Having quietly caused the arms of the 
whites to be put in readiness against a possible 
attack, Governor Stevens proceeded with his 
council. Monday, June 30th, was consumed for 

the most part in Indian speech-making, but dur- 
ing the next two days the commissioners were 
again the principal orators. Steachus, the 
friendly Cayuse, in a short speech, declared his 
unwillingness to be removed wholly from his 
own country, and stated that his heart was in 
one of three places — the Grand Ronde, the 
Touchet and the Tucanon. 

As affording a glimpse of the inner workings 
of the council, Kip's report of the proceedings of 
Thursday, June 7th, is here reproduced: 

Thursday, June 7th. Mr. McKay took breakfast with 
us. He is the son of the old Indian hunter so often men- 
tioned in Irving's "Astoria," and whose name is identified 
with pioneer life in this region. The council met to-day 
at twelve, and I went into the arbor, and taking my seat 
at the reporter's table, wrote some of the speeches deliv- 
ered. There is, of course, 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 expect to have 
your hearts to-day. Let us 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 you 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 which 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 further, as the white people 
came up with them. And this man's people (pointing to a 
Delaware Indian who was one of the interpreters) are 
from that people. They have come on from the Great 
Lake, where the sun rises, until they are near us now at 
the setting sun. And from that country, somewhere from 
the center, came Lewis and Clarke, and that is the way the 
white people traveled, and came on here to my forefathers. 
Thev passed through our country, they became acquainted 
with 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 Clarke, we have 
known you, my friends; we poor people have known you 
as brothers." 

He concluded by expressing his approval of the 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 Cayuses.— (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 anything 
to say. I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said. 
I wonder if the ground 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 says, 'The 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 portions 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 cannot say 
much. This is the reason why the chiefs do not under- 
stand 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 Walla 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-mox. — "I do not know what is straight. I 
do not see the offer you 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 me. 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 minds. 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 Lawver. 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-morrow 
evening I shall go home. This is all 1 have to say." 

General Palmer. — "I want to say a few words to these 
people, but before I do, 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 
wish to know further, whether the Umatillas 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 us the land and measured the land to us this 
is the reason I am afraid to say anything 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. I am afraid of the Great Spirit. 
Shall I steal this land and sell it? or what shall I do? This 
is the reason why my heart is sad. The Great Spirit made 
our friends, but the Great Spirit made our bodies from the 
earth, as if they were different from the whites. What 
shall I do? Shall I give the land which is a part of my 
body and leave myself poor and destitute? Shall I say I 
will give you my lands? I cannot say so. I am afraid of 
the Great Spirit. 1 love my life. The reason why I do 
not give my land away is, 1 am afraid I will be sent to 
hell. I love my friends. I love my life. This is the rea- 
son why I do not give my land away. I have one word 

more to say. My people are far away. They do not know 
your words. This is the reason I cannot give you an 
answer. I show you my heart. This is all I have to 

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. The 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 more 
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 these blacksmith 
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 whatever 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 1 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 you do so? We all sometimes do wrong. 
Sometimes because our hearts are bad, and sometimes 
because we have bad counsel. Your people have some- 
times 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 ground 
where I was born. I left it because it was for my good. I 
have come a long way. We ask you to go but a short dis- 
tance. 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. What is it worth to you? 
What is it worth to us? Not half what we have offered 
you for it. Why do we offer so much? Because our great 
father told us to take care of this red people. We come to 
you with his message to try to do you good," etc., etc. 

These extracts will give a specimen of the kind of 
"talk" which went on day after day. All but the Nez 
Perces were evidently disinclined to the treaty, and it was 
melancholy to see their reluctance to abandon the old 
hunting grounds 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 chiefs who had argued 
against the treaty. I give it in part: 

"I 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 be finished 
to-morrow. Young Chief says he is blind and does not 
understand. What is it that he wants? Steachus 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 watted 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? Then 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. Ask yourself 
this question to-night: Will not God be angry with me if 
I neglect this opportunity to do them good? But Owhi 


says his people are not here. Why, then, did he tell us, 
come hear our talk? I do not want to be ashamed of him. 
Owhi has the heart of his people. We expect him to speak 
out. We expect to hear from Kamiakm and from Schoom. 
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 De despatched. 1 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 
hear 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. The Cayuse and other 
tribes were very much incensed against the Nez Perces for 
agreeing to the terms of the treatv. but fortunatelv 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 recusant Indians lay in 
acting upon the suggestion of Steachus, the com- 
missioners decided to offer a third reservation for 
the Cayuses, Umatillas and Walla Wallas in 
their own country. The offer was made in coun- 
cil Friday, June Sth, and explained in a lengthy 
speech by General Palmer. Some other conces- 
sions 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 
modified, except Kamiakin, who had maintained 
an attitude of sullen silence throughout the 
entire council and still obstinately refused to 
give the commissioners the slightest encourage- 

Just at the moment when the hopes of Ste- 
vens and Palmer were at their height and a suc- 
cessful termination of the business in hand 
seemed visible in the near prospect, a new ele- 
ment of difficulty was brought into the negotia- 
tions. A small party was seen approaching with 
much pomp and circumstance, 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 buffalo country. He was not 
effusive in his greeting of the friends that gath- 
ered round him, and soon manifested 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 place on which to pitch my lodge. 
Go home to your lodges. I will talk with you." 

Next day in council, the evil influence of this 
pettish old man was keenly felt. After Stevens 
had again explained the proposed treaties for his 
especial benefit, he made a violent speech against 
the sale of the lands. The Cayuses, ready to 
withdraw their assent, strongly supported him. 

So emphatic were their and his assertions that he 
(Looking Glass) was head chief of the Nez 
Perces, that Lawyer, apparently angry, abruptly 
left the council and retired to his lodge. 

After adjournment the Nez Perces convened 
in their camp and held a council among them- 
selves. The Cayuses did likewise. An exciting 
debate was indulged in in the former camp, and 
their council waxed warm, but in its outcome 
Lawyer was confirmed as head chief and Look- 
ing Glass was declared 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 

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 doubt 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 signatures of the 
Cayuses and Nez Perces, and when council con- 
vened on Monday, June nth, Governor Stevens 
said simply: "We meet for the last time. Your 
words are pledged to sign the treat)'. The tribes 
have spoken through their head chiefs, Joseph, 
Red Wolf, the Eagle, lpsemaleecon, all declar- 
ing Lawyer was the head chief. I call upon 
Lawyer to sign first." Lawyer did so, then 
Looking 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 different tribes, old difficulties and 
troitbles between them and the whites, a deep- 
seated dislike to and determination against giv- 
ing up their lands and the great importance, nay, 
absolute necessity, of opening this land by treaty 
to occupation by the whites, that bloodshed and 
the enormous expense of Indian wars might be 
avoided, and in its general issuance and difficulty, 
has never been equalled by any council held with 
the Indian tribes of the United States. 

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

The treaties negotiated as the result of the 
great Walla Walla council of 1855 provided for 
the surrender by the Yakimas of an area some 
twenty-nine thousand square miles in extent, 
being substantially that embraced in Chelan, 
Yakima, Kittitass, 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, 
Columbia 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 open- 
ing a few years ago, but in addition large tracts 
between the Alpowa and Snake rivers and the 
Wallowa valley. That the Wallowa was origi- 
nally included in the reservation was due to old 
Chief Joseph, and the surrender of it in 1863, 
against the wishes and advice of Chief Joseph, 
Jr., was one of the principal causes of the Nez 
Perce war in 1877. The Umatillas, 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 fifty 

thousand dollars, of which two hundred thousand 
dollars were to be paid the Yakimas in the form 
of annuities, with salaries for the head chiefs of 
five hundred dollars per annum for twenty years, 
and some special concessions in the way of 
houses, implements,, tools, etc. The compensa- 
tion 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 compensa- 
tion in the form of houses, tools, etc. Peo-peo- 
mox-mox, who was wily enough to drive a hard 
bargain, was granted the privilege of drawing 
his salary at once without waiting for the treaties 
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 compari- 
son 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 possibilities. 



The Walla Walla council successfully termi- 
nated, Governor Stevens passed on to the north 
and east to continue the same kind of negotia- 
tions. 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 simultaneously 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 primary cause and purpose of 
that widespread and pervading outbreak. 
"While," says Evans, "many causes might be 
suggested as affecting the Indian mind and 
provoking hostility to American occupancy of 
the country; while it was precipitated 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 injustice 
sought to be inflicted by virtue of those treaties, 
not because the terms of the treaties were unsat- 
isfactory, 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 declara- 
tion and commencement by them. On the part 
of the people and authorities of the territory, the 
Oregon-Washington Indian war resulted from 


6 7 

repeated and unprovoked outrages which 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 
hostilities. There was no cause of complaint by 
the Indians, nor were they afforded a shadow of 
justification for that outbreak of perfidy and hate 
during the summer and fall of 1855. The only 
offense of the Oregon-Washington pioneers in 
the Indian estimation was that as American 
citizens they were in the country. That presence, 
lawful in itself, was to the Indians a standing 
menace that others of that race would follow 
them. The war was initiated by the native popu- 
lation to discourage immigration or American 
occupancy. Forced upon our people, it was 
prosecuted by them solely to hold the country for 
our race, to protect the settlements, and to effect 
a peace which would be lasting and enable the 
white population then in the country, and those 
who sboiild come thereafter, to remain in safety. 
This conflict, so unexpected to the American 
settlers and for which they we're so ill prepared, 
may have been hastened by the negotiating of 
the treaties and the events which so quickly 
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 
quotation was inspired by the persistent efforts 
of the United States army officials, with Major- 
General Wool, chief in command of the Depart- 
ment 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 
people of the two territories and it has been 
stated that in the prosecution of the war, he 
proved himself a more bitter enemy of Oregon and 
Washington than any 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 joy to many hearts. A 
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 immigra- 
tion of people into the territory and its more com- 
plete settlement and subjugation. Instead, it 
furnished the immediate occasion for the melan- 
choly war, which did so much to retard develop- 
ment and delay settlement. The young com- 
monwealth was fated to pass through a period of 
trials, dissimilar in many respects to that expe- 
rienced by Oregon in the dark days of the Cayuse 

war, yet similar in that it stirred the hearts of 
the people to their most profound depths and 
tried their metal as with fire. 

So great was the feeling of security engen- 
dered by the successful negotiation of the treaties 
at Walla Walla — treaties which incorporated as 
one of their provisions pledges of good will on 
the part of the Indians toward the white race — 
that persons traveling from Puget sound to the 
Colville gold fields hesitated not to pass through 
the Indian country singly or in small squads, ill 
equipped to repel attack. Soon rumors reached 
the settlements that many such had been 
murdered by Indians, and that the Yakimas had 
taken an attitude of hostility toward white men. 
The rumors in the cases of Mattice, Jamison, 
Walker, Eaton, Cummings, Huffman, Fanjoy 
and others being partially confirmed, Sub-agent 
Andrew J. Bolon, then en route to the Spokane 
country to meet Governor Stevens, turned aside 
into the Yakima country to ascertain from 
Kamiakin himself the truth or falsity of the 
statements. He never returned to tell the story 
of his adventures, and as no white man accom- 
panied him, only Indian evidence could be 
obtained as to what transpired. According to 
this the chief received Bolon in a haughty and 
insolent 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. At any rate the sub-agent was 
murdered in a perfidious and brutal manner, by 
a son of Owhi, half brother of Kamiakin. Bolon's 
horse was also killed and the bodies of both were 

When the news of this melancholy event 
became known to the whites, Acting-Governor 
Mason, of Washington territory, made a requisi- 
tion upon the military for a force to protect the 
route of the returning Colville miners. Major 
Rains, in charge at Vancouver, ordered Brevet- 
Major G. O. Haller, with one hundred men and 
a howitzer, to proceed from The Dalles into the 
Yakima country, there to co-operate with fifty 
men under Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter, for the 
purpose of inquiring into the difficulties. 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 war. The 
organizers of the hostile confederacy had steadily 
pointed out to those inclined to be peaceable 
that for fifteen years the whites had been pour- 
ing 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 wedge 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 the fact that but recently United 
States troops had passed through their country 
going to the Snake river with intent to protect 
the immigrant road from Fort Hall westward. 
A horrible massacre had taken place there during 
August, 1854, 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, 1855, to the scene of the carnival of 
slaughter. This natural and praiseworthy act 
had furnished the Indian demagogues with 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 off by the Snakes and his men all killed. 
By such false reports and appeals to their jealousy 
and prejudices, the Yakimas were wrought up to 
the fighting point and made ready to bear their 
part in the general outbreak. Similar argu- 
ments were used to inspire other Indians from 
California's northern boundary to the British 
line with similar passions, and a like eagerness 
to engage in acts of hostility. 

Thus it came to pass that Haller with his 
handful of men met a determined foe, well 
equipped for battle. Leaving The Dalles on 
October 3, 1855, he fell in with the enemy three 
days later. The Indians were defeated in the 
first engagement, but on .Sunday, the 7th, com- 
pletely turned the tables upon the whites, who 
were surrounded by a large and constantly 
increasing force of Indians. These were kept off 
by bayonet charges until 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 were permitted 
to complete their journey without further moles- 
tation. 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 expedition was 
five killed and seventeen wounded, though much 
property had to be abandoned or. destroyed. 
Lieutenant Slaughter, as soon as he became 
aware of the defeat of Haller, prudently recrossed 
the Cascades to the White river country. 

Under date of October 12th, 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 morn- 
ing from The Dalles, and find the most alarming 
state of affairs as to the friendly relations hereto- 
fore existing between the Americans and the 
Walla Wallas, Palouses, Umatillas and Cayuses. 
I am doing all in my power to check the gather- 
ing 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 chastisement of the Indians. 
One thousand volunteers should be raised imme- 
diately and sent into this part of Oregon and 
Washington territories. Delay is ruinous. 
Decisive steps must be immediately taken. 
The)' must be humbled; and in all conscience 
send a force that can do it effectually and with- 
out 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 inade- 
quacy of the regular force to meet it as did Mr. 
Olney, for he called upon Acting-Governor 
Mason, of Washington territory, for two compa- 
nies of volunteers, and upon Governor Curry, of 
Oregon, for four. Both the Washington compa- 
nies, 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 gov- 
ernor 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 willingness 
to act in harmony with the United States troops 
for the vigorous prosecution of aggressive war- 

October 30th Major Rains set out from The 
Dalles with a force of three hundred and fifty 
regulars. November 1st Colonel Nesmith fol- 
lowed 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 12th, when both were 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 
we 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 or foot, tried again and again 
to cross the river, but failed, the rapid current 
sweeping away two of our best men, who were 
thus drowned; whereupon 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, who fled away over 
the hills, one of their balls striking, but fortu- 
nately not wounding, Colonel Nesmith's horse. 

"Late in the afternoon, after recalling all our 
forces to the south bank 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 bivouacked 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 number, on the hilltops beating 
their drums atfd shouting defiance. These were 
soon driven from their position and scattered by 
discharges from our howitzers. We cut off 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 awaiting their report; for we cannot tell 
where the large body of the enemy is, unless 
they have gone that way to attack Captain Malo- 
ney's command." 

The same incidents and those immediately 
following them are narrated in greater detail in 
an article in the Portland Daily Standard of the 

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 the 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 Malonev, 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 mares 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 Nesmith'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 the 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 
The 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. The 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 an unequivocal statement of his position 
and intentions. It read as follows: 

Headquarters Yakima Expedition, 
Roman Catholic Mission, November 13, 1855. 
Kamiakin, Hvas Tyee of the Yakima Indians: 

Your talk by Padre Pandozy 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 make 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- 
mox, to go to war, and kill off all the whites. He told us so. 
You have been preparing for this purpose a very long 
time; and your people agreed with the 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, until not a 
Yakima breathes in the 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. 

You say that you will fight us with thousands, and if 
vanquished', those of you 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. VVe 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. The snow is 
on the ground, and the crows are hungry for food. Your 
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, which you got from the white man, we will hunt 
up, and kill and take them from you. The earth, which 
drank the 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 
guns and your powder are gone, the white man will make 
you no more. W r e 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 fly 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 transpiring in the 
Yakima country, a movement had been made by 
Major Mark A. Chinn, who, with Company B, 
Oregon volunteers, proceeded to the mouth of 
the Des Chutes, where Company H, under com- 
mand of Captain Taylor, was encamped. Pro- 
ceeding 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 
communication addressed to the commander in 
charge of the forces en route to Walla Walla: 

November 14, 1855. 

Sir: However urgent and important the news I have 
to communicate, I almost despaired to despatch any from 
want of hands 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 with another 
man, will be the bearer of this. The news is gloomy and 
very different from what I had reason to expect when I left 
The Dalles on my way hither. Serpent jaune (Peo-peo- 
mox-mox) has shown his colors, and is a declared foe to the 
Americans. He has taken possession of the fort and pil- 
laged 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 said, 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 Mr. 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 until forced away by Serpent Jaune 
and his people, but not until they had robbed three differ- 
ent times out of the fort. He was alone, and, of course, 
could not prevent them. As affairs 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 tne 
respective addresses of 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 Commander-in-charge coming to Fort Walla Walla. 

Mr. Raymond and all the other settlers of the 
Walla Walla 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 information determined him to delay his 
march until he had received reinforcements 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 consisted of a tract one hundred 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 19th and 
20th of November, the colonel sent forward three 
companies consisting of one hundred and seventy 
men. He endeavored to procure the howitzers 
from the regular army, but General Wool had 
just arrived on the scene and his advent brought 
to an abrupt termination all hope of further co- 
operation between regulars and volunteers. The 
howitzers were, of course, refused. 

"The arrival of General Wool," says Evans, 
"defeated every project which looked to a winter 
campaign against the Indians. He even sug- 
gested 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 overawed by such a force, seven 
hundred men, that they fled upon the approach 
of the troops. General Wool ordered the reg- 
ulars from Fort Dalles to Fort Vancouver, except 
a small garrison. He cerfsured 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 any 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 prejudiced 
against the two territories, their official author- 
ities, their volunteers and their people, that his 
sympathies were entirely with that savage race 
which it was his highest duty to keep in subjec- 
tion. 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 bear- 
ing arms against them." 

However, such succor as was in the power 
of Nesmith was, as before stated, promptly 
despatched to Fort Henrietta. The three com- 
panies joined Major Chinn on the 29th of Novem- 
ber, but the command was at once assumed by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly, who accompanied the 
reinforcements. December 2d, 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. Kelly found 
"it had been pillaged by Indians, the buildings 
much defaced and the furniture destroyed." Of 
his subsequent movements Colonel Kelly thus 
writes in his official report: ^ 

On the morning of the 5th, I despatched Second Major 
Chinn, with one hundred and fifty men, to escort the bag- 
gage and pack trains to the mouth of the Touchet, there to 
await my return with the remainder of the forces under 
my command. On the same morning I marched with 
about two hundred men to a point on the Touchet 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-peo-mox-mox, the chief of the tribe, 
with five other Indians, made their appearance under a flag 
of truce. He stated that he did not wish to fight; that his 
people did not wish to fight; 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 his village and preparing for battle. I 
stated to him 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 flag of truce if he chose; but, if he did 
so, we would forthwith 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 
assemble 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 6th, 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 heve since learned, I am 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 Touchet 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 7th, the command set 
out early 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 effected, the battle began. 
There is difference of opinion as to who fired the 
first shot. Kelly's report states that the Indians 
did, but Gilbert quotes A. P. Woodward 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-moxand his people were acting in good faith 
in negotiating for peace. At any rate the firing 
soon became general, and all the companies 
except A 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 reaching 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 bottom. " 

The few white men who outran their com- 
panions and reached this vicinity first were com- 
pelled by 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. W. Smith were wounded. 
Reinforcements of whites arriving, the Indians 
were compelled to fall back two miles to a farm- 
house, 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 
Captain Wilson, 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 by 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-peo-mox-mox and his companions in captivity 
were, with one exception, killed by the guards 
and volunteers surrounding them, and whether 
this action was justifiable from the fact that the 
prisoners attempted to escape, or was wholly 
unwarranted, will never be ascertained with 
certainty. The eye witnesses of the affair are 
not in accord as to the facts. Indeed, it is quite 
probable that no one of them is able to give an 
absolutely correct and detailed statement of all 
that transpired, such was the confusion and 
excitement prevailing at the time. Of this 
affair, Gilbert 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 McMorris, and had just reached the LaRocque 
cabin, where the first engagement had taken 
place. The surgeon in charge had decided to 
use it as a hospital in which to place those 
wounded in the battle and McMorris was unpack- 
ing the mules. Near 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 detonations 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 excite- 
ment, 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 seemingly everyone yelled, 'Shoot 'em! 
Shoot 'em!' and on the instant there was a rattle 
of musketry on all sides. 

"What followed was so quick, and 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 they 
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 prisoner 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, approach- 
ing 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 
scalped 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." 

Gilbert also states that McMorris' account 
was confirmed by G. W. Miller and William 
Nixon, both of whom were present. 

A. 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 done with the 
prisoners, Colonel Kelly had told the guard he 
"didn't care a damn." The prisoners were 
neither tied nor 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: "You 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 appreciated when we remem- 
ber that they were uttered by a savage who could 
not be made to understand 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 something 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 repetition of this attempt, said: "That is as 
much as could be expected of yon. Christ died 
for his people, and 1 can die for mine," where- 
upon 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 fol- 
lowing statement: 

"Amos Underwood and I were guards over the 
six Indian prisoners, Peo-peo-mox-mox, Klick- 
itat Jimmy, or Wolf Skin, Nez 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, 'I want to go to the front. 
What will we do with these prisoners?' He 
replied, 'Tie them and put them in the house, if 
they will submit to you; if not, put them in any- 
how.' 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 off 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 1 
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 

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 con- 
fessed 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, causing 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 shout- 
ings alarmed the Indian prisoners. It is hard to 
understand how the officers 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 voluntarily 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 there- 
fore escape censure as being ultimately responsi- 
ble 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 cxtaiso. 

Early on the morning of the 8th the Indians appeared 
with increased forces, amounting to fully 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, with 
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 the hill. Lieutenant 
Jeffries, with Company B, Lieutenant Hand, wilh Com- 
pany I, and Captain Cornoyer, with Company K, were 
posted on three several points on the hills, with orders to 
maintain them and to assail the enemy on other points of 


the same hills. As usual, the Indians were driven from 
their position, although they fought with skill and 

On the gth they did not make their appearance until 
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 ioth, 1 
thought 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 brush- 
wood, and upon B on the hill, both of which were repulsed 
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 the 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 
MoAuliff, 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 fulfilled, 
for in less than an hour the enemy was driven from the 
pits and fled to an adjoining hill which they had occupied 
the day before. This position was at once assailed, Cap- 
tain Cornoyer, with Company K and a portion of Com- 
pany I, being mounted, gallantly charged the enemy on 
his right flank, while Lieutenant McAuiiff, with Company 
B, dismounted, rushed up the hill in the face of a heavy 
fire and scattered them 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 
suffering 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 raw- 
hide 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 con- 
tent. Our tents were small and thin; our blank- 
ets were smaller and thinner. 1 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 constituted my bed." 

But it is now time to return to Governor Ste- 
vens, who, as hitherto stated, had set out for the 
Blackfoot country upon completing his negotia- 
tions at the Walla Walla council. Having suc- 
ceeded 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 
Nez 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 gaunt- 
let of these multiplied dangers in safety, but 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, numbering fourteen 
men, among whom were Spotted Eagle, Looking Glass 
and Three 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 November 14th we pushed forward, crossed 
the Bitter Root mountains the 20th, 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 found 
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 off 
ray 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 1 was going to the settlements by way 
of New York. I immediately called a council ; sent to Fort 
Colvilie 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 Colvilie Indians also were present. 

The Spokanes and Colvilie 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 jo'ined 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'Alenes 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 country. 
Mr. Craig had received letters which informed me that the 
whole Walla Walla valley was blocked up with 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 fifty 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 Walla valley, and after four days' hard fighting, 
having a number 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 by sixty-nine Nez 
Perces, well armed, and reached Walla Walla without 
encountering any hostile Indians. They 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 have only forced 
our way with extreme difficulty and at great loss of life. 
We 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 June, 
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. 

At Walla Walla I found some twenty-five settlers— the 
remainder having fled to The Dalles for protection. With 
these were one hundred friendly Indians. Special Indian 
Agent B. F. Shaw, colonel in the Washington territory 
militia, was on the ground, and I 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 Oregon troops be disbanded before another 
force should take the field. 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- Govern or 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, 
which 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 troops, of whom, at Van- 
couver alone, were some three hundred and fifty men. 

The report then goes on to make grave 
accusations against General Wool. "All 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, supported by the 
volunteers and the nearly united people of the 
territory on the other, was particularly acrimo- 
nious. ' ' 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 prob- 
ably Governor Stevens would be able to protect 
himself, but if he could not, then Governor 
Stevens could obtain an escort from General 

"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 posi- 
tion of General Harney was greater than the 
distance from Fort Benton 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, neglected and 
refused to send a force to the relief of myself and 
party when known to be in imminent danger, 
and believed by those who 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 disband. It was 
reserved for the Oregon troops to rescue us. 

"The only demonstration made by Major 
Rains resulted in showing his utter incapacity to 
command in the field. As has heretofore been 
said, his expedition against the Yakimas effected 
nothing but driving the Indians into the very 
country through which I must pass to reach the 

"I therefore prefer charges against General 
Wool. I accuse him of utter and signal inca- 
pacity, 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 Olympia and found that the storm 
of war was raging on the west as on the east side 
of the Cascade range. A full history of opera- 
tions in the sound country need not here be 
attempted, but a brief outline is essential to the 
complete narration of the second great struggle 
for the possession of Washington territory. In 
October, 1855, the Indian situation 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. Blockhouses were erected by the 
settlers and other defensive measures adopted. 
The war was given inception 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 
horribly broken and mutilated, apparently with 
the head of an axe. The bones of Mr. 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, literally 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 roasted, had been almost eaten 
up by hogs. Mrs. King was some thirty yards 
from the house. She had been shot through the 
heart and was horribly mutilated. Three chil- 
dren 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 exceedingly difficult 
and unsatisfactory. In the desultory fighting 
which followed the outbreak, a number of reg- 
ulars lost their lives, among them the gallant and 
manly Lieutenant William A. Slaughter, and, 
though losses were also inflicted upon the 
Indians, little was accomplished toward the win- 
ning of a permanent peace. 

Upon his arrival, Governor Stevens, with his 
usual vigor and resourcefulness, set about the 
onerous task of placing the territory on a satis- 
factory 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 there- 
after enlisted should be under the direction of the 
territorial authorities alone. As the term of 
enlistment of those volunteers 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 Puget sound, murdering the 
families, destroying property, causing claims to 
be abandoned, and preventing the usual avoca- 
tions of the farmer, whereby a large portion of 
the territory had become deserted ; and positive 
want, if not starvation, stares us in the face dur- 
ing 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, 
biit many remained friendly to the whites. In 
order to win over to hostility these friendly and 
neutral tribes, a bold move was determined upon 
by the red men in arms, one "utterly inexpli- 
cable, considering their usual mode of warfare." 
At 8:30 o'clock in the morning an attack was 
made on the town of Seattle, notwithstanding 
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 United 
States ship (the Decatur) is said to have killed 
five. The Indians were not successful in their 
attempt to seize the town. Had they been, 
"thereby would have been settled the question 
by the great number of Indians upon the reser- 
vations 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 
Patkanim on February 15th, brought the war 
practically to a close in the vicinity of Seattle 
and the White, Green and Snoqualmie rivers. 
Thereafter the scene of hostilities shifted to the 
Nisqually country, where Quiemuth 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 him. 
March 10th the volunteers had a battle with the 
red men on Connell's prairie, the details of which 
were reported by Hays as follows: 

At about eight o'clock this morning, Captain White 
with his company was ordered to the White river to build 
a blockhouse and ferry, supported by Captain Swindal and 
ten privates. He had" not proceeded more than half a mile 
from the camp when he was attacked by a large Indian 
force, supposed to be at least one hundred and fifty 
warriors and a large number of squaws. I immediately 
ordered Captain Henness to his support with twenty men. 
Captain Henness 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 O.^le, 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 Rabbeson, 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 ani 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 were 
ordered to hold the position which they occupied. 

This order was promptly obeyed and the charge made 
in the most gallant stvle 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 Rabbeson to join Captains 
Henness and White, and directed Captain Henness to 
charge the Indians if he deemed it advisable. The Indians 
in front of Captains White 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. They had 
been seen carrying off their wounded 'and dead from the 
time the fight commenced until it terminated. Withes and 
ropes were found on the ground they occupied, which had 
been used in dragging off their deadinto 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 the field, one of whom was 
recognized as Chehalis John. The other was placed under 
a log. and has not vet 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 the 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 were never again 
brought to a general engagement, though there 
was some desultory fighting. On the 23d of 
May, Lieutenant-Colonel B. 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 
regulars to maintain peace, and making an expe- 
dition into the Inland Empire. The council 
unanimously decided in favor of the expedition, 
giving the following 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 
United States infantry commanded by Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel Casey. Should the volunteers remain 
west of the mountains, they assumed that Lieu- 
tenant-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 volun- 
teers could operate in the regions east. The 
Yakimas were the leading element of the hostile 
party. Their main strength must 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 fight. If the volunteers remained west 
of the mountains, they were powerless to check 
an enemy over one hundred and fifty miles off. 
The volunteers must make a fight before going 
out of service. Sufficient troops would still 
remain west of the mountains to protect the set- 
tlements. It was necessary that depots of provi- 
sions 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 movements, as also those of Colonel Wright 
and the regulars under his command. Details of 



the winter campaign of the Oregon volunteer 
regiment need not be given. Much effort was 
expended in discovering caches of provisions and 
otherwise foraging for supplies. The Indians in 
December withdrew across Snake river, whither 
the volunteers could not follow them for want of 
boats. But in February six were constructed of 
whip-sawed lumber and caulked with pine pitch, 
and in these, transported in wagons to the place 
where needed, the regiment crossed the Snake 
twenty-five miles below the mouth of the 
Palouse, dispersing a small band of hostiles that 
opposed their crossing, and capturing their 
horses. An 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 
succeeded Colonel Nesmith, resigned, moved to 
a point on the Columbia opposite the mouth of 
the Yakima river. Cornelius was delayed some- 
what in his contemplated march into the Yakima 
country by lack of supplies, but on April 5th, 
with two hundred and forty-one efficient men, he 
started. Next day on Canyon creek the hostiles 
were met. No engagement took place that night. 
The following morning, however, Captain Hem- 
bree 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 
number. Thus by a loss of eight did the red 
men atone for the killing and subsequent mutila- 
tion of Hembree. 

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 May the regi- 
ment 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 movements should be inaugurated as soon 
as climatic conditions should permit. "Expedi- 
tions should be prepared," said he, "at the earli- 
est possible moment; that is, as soon as grass can 
be obtained, for Walla Walla and the Selah fish- 
eries. 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 desirable 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 sev- 
eral 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 occa- 
sioned the unfriendly criticism of the people of 
the Northwest. "Not a word," observed Evans, 
"as to chastising the perfidious murderers of our 
citizens, nor the enforcement of the treaties, nor 
for the punishment of hostile acts which had 
destroyed the business of the country and 
retarded its settlement — not a word as to check- 
ing raids and depredations on isolated settlers." 
It was such insulting instructions 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 necessary to give pro- 
tection to the Cayuse Indians from the volun- 
teers, you will leave a company there with a 
howitzer" — that incited the positive hostility of 
feeling of the people towards Wool. 

March nth Colonel Wright arrived at Fort 
Dalles. By the 26th, he was ready to, and on 
that date he did, start for the Walla Walla coun- 
try. The folly of General Wool's orders became 
at once apparent. Had Wright made a vigor- 
ous 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 submission, 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 com- 
pany 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 Kamia- 
kin was fully aware of the conditions, and had 
made preparations accordingly. 

The settlements were on a narrow strip of 
bottom land on the north bank of the river. The 
south bank was precipitous, affording no opportu- 
nity 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 construction. The Bradford Broth- 


ers 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 operations had greatly 
increased. Two steamers, the Mary and the 
Wasco, lay at anchor in the river on that event- 
ful 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. For- 
tunately an extended account of the attack on 
and defense of the Bradford store by one who 
was present and saw what he narrated has been 
preserved for later generations. It was embodied 
in a letter by Lawrence W. Coe, a partner of the 
Bradford Brothers in their store, to Putnam T. 
Bradford, who was east at the time: ■»*!£■ 

On Wednesday, March 26th, at about 8:30 A. M., after 
the men had gone to their work on the two bridges of the 
new railway, most of them 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. At 
the first fire, one of our men was killed and several were 
wounded. Our men, on seeing the 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 men 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, Dan 
Bradford of the second floor, 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. They were nearly naked, painted red 
and had guns and bows and arrows. After a while, Finlay 
came creeping around the lower point of the island 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. Fmlay 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 off 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 could 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 relaxing 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 went 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 flalboat 
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 ihem; 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. The 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, John Woodard 
and Jim Herman were just going up to her from our store 
when they were fired upon. Herman asked if they had 
any guns. No. He went on up to Inman's house, the rest 
stayed to help get the steamer out. Captain Dan Baugb- 
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 fireman, James Lindsay, was shot through 
the shoulder. Engineer Buckminster shot an Indian with 
his revolver on the gang plank, and little Johnny Chance 
went climbing up on the hurricane deck, and killed his 
Indian with an old dragoon pistol; but he was shot through 
the leg in doing so. Dick Turpra, half crazy, probably, 
taking the only gun on the steamer, jumped into a flatboat 
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 ox 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 the 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. Inman's family, Sheppard and Van- 
derpool all got across the river in skiffs, 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 ot 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. After 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 stream. Floating down, they 
met the steamer Belle with Sheridan and forty men, sent up 
on report of an express carried down by Indian Simpson in 
the morning. George and those with him went on board 
the steamer and volunteered to serve under Sheridan, who 
landed at George's place and found everything burned. 

The timely warning by Indian Jack enabled 
all the people to escape with their lives, though 
the houses were burned and much government 
property destroyed. 

But 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 num- 
ber, Frederick Bernaur, had gone to the Upper 
Cascades for a canteen of whiskey. This mau, 
on attempting to return, 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 Ser- 
geant Robert Williams in his narrative of the 
attack, "seven wounded and three killed. 
Among the latter was Mr. Griswold, who might 
have escaped his death but for his overconfidence 
in the friendliness of the Indians toward him. 
The German boy, Kyle, mentioned in Mr. Coe's 
narrative, was killed while riding on horseback 
clown 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 gun 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 Upper to the Lower Cascades, 
but before they had proceeded far they discovered 
hostile Indians. Being themselves unarmed, they 
made a desperate effort 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 completed, we gave our 
savage enemy a treat of canister shot, fourteen 
rounds in all, from our six-pounder gun, after 
which they precipitately retired. But 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 unfortunate comrade (Lawrence Rooney), 
whom they had captured. We could not see 
them at it, but we heard his piercing screams. 
After they had accomplished this last inhuman 
and diabolical cruelty, the main portion left and 
went to the lower landing." 


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 
Williams and William Houser, who made their 
way to a saloon near by and succeeded in procur- 
ing some potables, but no water, also a small 
box of crackers. Next 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 express to Colonel Wright, who had 
proceeded a few miles on his way to the Walla 
Walla country, apprising him of what was trans- 
piring in the rear. He forthwith turned back. 
Word also reached Vancouver, conveyed by fugi- 
tives from the Lower Cascades, and soon Lieuten- 
ant Philip Sheridan, 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 27th, disembarked the men 
at a convenient place and sent the steamer back 
for volunteer assistance. It is worthy of mention 
that two volunteer companies were equipped in 
Portland and Vancouver and came to the scene, 
but were unable to engage actively in any con- 
flict. 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, 
"1 advanced with five or six men to the edge of 
a growth of underbrush to make a reconnois- 
sance. We stole along under cover of this under- 
brush until we reached the open ground leading 
over the causeway or narrow neck before men- 
tioned, 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, com- 
ing quickly to the rescue, drove them back; and 
Captain Dall's gun (a cannon borrowed 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 con- 
siderably moderating their impetuosity. Further 
skirmishing at long range took place at intervals 
during the day, but with little gain or loss, how- 
ever, to either side, for both parties held positions 
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 position of the Indians was almost the 
counterpart of ours." 

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 position. How this hazardous 
plan was executed is best told in Sheridan's own 

"On the morning of the 28th the savages 
were still in my front, and, after giving them 
some solid shot from Captain Dall's gun, we 
slipped down to the river bank and the detach- 
ment 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 favorably. 
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 volun- 
teered 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 the 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 every- 
thing looked propitious for the dangerous enter- 
prise in hand, 1 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 
vigorously 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 abandonment 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 who 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 they rendered. They worked 
well under compulsion and manifested no dis- 
position to strike for higher wages. Indeed, I 
was so much relieved when 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 opposite 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." 

Hardly 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 Klicki- 
tats fled precipitately on the approach 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 commis- 
sion. Being under treaty, they were adjudged 
guilty of treason in fighting and nine were 
summarily hanged. The remainder of the 
Cascades were kept on the island under military 

April 28th Colonel Wright with five com- 
panies started into the Yakima country, and 

camping on the Naches river on the 18th of May, 
he remained there about a month. He was 
visited at intervals by chiefs professing a desire 
for peace, but the Indian plan was to affect to 
have two parties, one wishing hostilities to cease, 
the other advocating the continuance of the war. 
Their strategy consisted 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 
opponent until they could collect supplies. In 
this they succeeded admirably. 

"The history of Wright's operations, as given 
in his reports," writes Mrs. Victor, "shows a 
summer spent in trailing Indians from place to 
place, from fishery to fishery, and over moun- 
tains before thought impassable for troops, 
dragging after them their season's supplies and 
accomplishing nothing but to collect the noncom- 
batants of the disaffected tribes upon a reserva- 
tion in Oregon, where they were secure from the 
turmoil of war and at liberty to spy on either 

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 Umatilla 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 

Acting upon Governor Stevens' instructions 
to "spare no exertion to reduce to unconditional 
submission 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 17th, 
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 follow- 
ing 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 Marchmean, 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 
Maxon's, Henness' and Powell's companies, leaving the 
pack train in charge of the guard under Lieutenant Good- 
man, with a detachment ot 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. At 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 signified a desire to speak, whereupon I sent Cap- 
tain John to meet him, and formed the command in line of 
battle. When Captain John came up to the Indians they 
cried out to one another to shoot him, whereupon he 
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 toward the 
pack train. These were soon overtaken and engaged. The 
charge was vigorous and so well sustained that they were 
broken, dispersed and slain before us. After 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 fight, while I moved forward with the 
commands of Captain Henness 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 guns, 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 bj' Lieutenant Curtis, with part of Maxon's com- 
pany, we fired a volley and I 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 wounded in the face. Several of the enemy 
were killed at this point. We continued the pursuit until 
the enemy had reached the rocky canyons leading toward 
the Powder 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, guard 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. They returned after dark without finding the 
major, but brought in one of his men whom they found in 
the brush and who stated that one of the major's men was 
killed and that the last he saw of them thev were fighting 
with the Indians. At daylight I sent out Captain 'Miller 
with seventy men, who scouted around 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 dav 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 upon the mountains and crossed the heads of the 
canyons to see if I could not strike his trail. Finding no 
sign, 1 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 trail by which we first entered the 

Being nearly out of provisions, and unable to follow 
the Indians from this delay, I concluded to return to camp, 
recruit for another expedition in conjunction with Captain 
Goff. who had, I presumed, returned from his expedition 
to the John Day's 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 hundred horses, most of 
which were shot, there being about one hundred servicea- 
ble 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 Peopeomoxmox ; Walla Walla and other 
chiefs of less note. 

The whole command, 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 it 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 Washington territorv 
volunteers, car"e into camp with an express from 
Captain Goff. 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 
1 sent on immediately to Captain Goff. I learned that 
Major Maxon had 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 hunting 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 effort 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 Governor 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 accord- 
ingly held a conference with Wright at Vancou- 
ver, at which he learned that the colonel could 
not be present in person at the council but would 
send Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe with four com- 
panies to reach the scene in time. Everything 
seemed propitious for a friendly co-operation. 
The regular officers were, however, acting with 
duplicity, for they had received orders from Gen- 
eral Wool such as would prevent any real co-oper- 
ation with Stevens. 

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 said: 

"The general congratulates you on 3'our 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 the senate and approved by the 
president of the United States, excepting 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 
immediately, they will be arrested, disarmed 
and sent out." 

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 5th of 
the following month he established a camp five 
miles below the council ground. Stevens had 
made arrangements for "sending home the volun- 

teers, 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 
mountain howitzers. Steptoe refused on the 
ground that he could not do so in consistency 
with the directions of his superior, and Stevens 
retained Captain Goff's company of volunteers as 
guards. The council opened on the nth. It 
was decidedly stormy from the beginning, and 
by the 13th conditions 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 regu- 
lars essential to his safety. Steptoe again refused 
and advised the governor to adjourn council to 
his (Steptoe's) camp. This under the circum- 
stances 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 unques- 
tionably an understanding, as subsequent 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 arrange- 
ments. I had learned in the night that Kami- 
akin 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 

For several days more Governor Stevens 
labored in vain to get the Indians to accept his 
terms of peace, namely, that they must throw 
aside their guns and submit to the justice and 
mercy of the government, surrendering all mur- 
derers 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 councils 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 hold- 
ing 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 enemy. 

The fight continued till late in the night. 
Two charges were made to disperse the Indians 
the last led by Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw in per- 
son, 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 dis- 
tant, and I directed them to retire, as I did not 
require their assistance and was fearful that my 
men might not be able to distinguish them from 
hostiles, and thus friendly Indians be killed. 

"Towards night I notified Lieutenant-Colonel 
Steptoe that I was fighting the Indians, that I 
should 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 arrange- 
ment I assented and Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe 
sent to my camp Lieutenant Davidson, with 
detachments from the companies 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 
was immediately dislodged, and ground pits being 
dug, all points were held. The howitzer having 
been fired on the way out, it was believed noth- 
ing would be gained by waiting until morning 
and the whole force immediately returned to 
Lieutenant-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 com- 
mand. On my arrival at the camp, I urged 
Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe to build a blockhotise 
immediately, 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 23d day of September we started for 
The Dalles, which were reached on the 2d of 
October. Nothing of interest occurred on the 

"In the action of the 19th my whole force 
consisted of Goff's company of sixty-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 warriors; 
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 Pere and Chief Quoltonee; the latter of 
whom had two horses shot under him, and 
showed me a letter from Colonel Wright acknowl- 
edging his valuable services in bringing about 
the peace of the Yakimas. 

"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 
December and January, became first disaffected 
in consequence of the then chief of the Cayuses, 
Ume-howlish, and the friendly Cayuses going 
into the Nez Perce country contrary to my posi- 
tive orders. I refused to allow them to go there 
in December last, saying to them, T 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 disaffection 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 by Agent Craig to pre- 
vent 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, endeavored to 
betray me on the Spokane as 1 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 punish the tribe for making com- 
mon cause with Ihem 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 
absolute and unconditional submission of the 
whole tribe- to the justice and mercy of the 
government. The long delays 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 promises he has brought 
into the combination one-half of the Nez Perce 
nation and the least thing may cause the Spo- 
kanes, Coeur d'Alenes, Colvilles and Okanogans 
to join them. 

"I state boldly that the cause of the Nez 
Perces becoming disaffected and finally going into 
war, is the operations of Colonel Wright east of 
the Cascades — operations so feeble, so procras- 
tinating, 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 Kamiakin 
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 troops. 

"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 affairs, and thus prac- 
tically assume those duties themselves? Is it the 
duty of General Wool, in his schemes of pacify- 
ing 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 Walla, make himself dictator 
over the country?" 

From the refusal of the Indians to treat with 
Stevens, and their attack upon the party return- 
ing 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 conceding to the adverse party all 
he can ask can hardly fail to be successful in 

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 

"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 
towards 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 coun- 

As 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 willing 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 disseminating hos- 
tile 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, 
commanded us to love one another. All past dif- 
ferences must be thrown behind us. The hatchet 
must be buried and for the future perpetual 
friendship must exist 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, re- 
peat it to all your friends." In his letter to 
General Wool reporting the proceedings of his 
council, Wright laid all the blame of the war 
upon the Waila 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. 1 
hope and trust that some energetic action may be 
taken to stop this trifling with great public inter- 
ests, 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 denominate 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 
Washington, were thrown into a furor of indig- 
nation by the conclusion of his shameful peace. 
The sacrifice of money and effort in equipping 
the volunteers, 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 vol- 
unteer 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 every- 
thing they couJd 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 
continuance 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 publication of a policy 

inspired alone by him, and executed under his 
orders by officers whom he had handicapped in 
the enemy's country by instructions, the obser- 
vance of which was but the triumph of Kamia- 
kin. It was the official, humiliating concession to 
the hostiles of everything that they had de- 
manded, or had inaugurated a war to accom- 
plish, 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 territory. 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 
territory 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 hostil- 
ities 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 Kamiakin in the instigation of the out- 
break. The commanding general had avowed 
upon several occasions 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 deter- 
mined that the whites should not settle in nor 
occupy the country of Kamiakin or Peo-peo-mox- 
mox; both were equally hostile to the volunteers 
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 sacri- 
ficed, when official duty compelled his pres- 
ence in the Indian territory; both alike cordially 
hated the people of the two territories. Could 
Kamiakin have asked more than the performance 
of Wool's orders? — 'Leave a company and a how- 
itzer 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 Ameri- 


cans 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 
1857 and during the winter of that year the Cath- 
olic fathers reported that they feared an uprising 
in the spring. The Spokanes and Coeurd'Alenes, 
among whom the emissaries of Kamiakin had 
been spreading disaffection ever since the peace 
had been patched up in 1856, announced that the 
soldiers must not show themselves in their coun- 
try. It was the scheme of the wily Kamiakin to 
first unite the tribes in opposition 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 culti- 
vated the friendship of Tilcoax, a skilled Palouse 
horse-thief, and induced him to organize a pillag- 
ing expedition against the stock belonging to 
Fort Walla Walla, well knowing that sooner or 
later a counter expedition 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 They 
did call for troops. Their petition could not be 
disregarded, and in May, 185S, Colonel E. J. 
Steptoe set out to the' Colville country, 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 pro- 
visions and baggage, a brilliant quartermaster 
conceived the idea of leaving behind the greater 
part of the ammunition, by way of lightening the 
load. As Joseph McEvoy expresses it, the force 
was beaten before it left Walla 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 continued on their way, the 
brave old chief accompanying 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 expedi- 
tion, describes as low and marshy, with big 
swales and thickets of quaking asp abounding, 
and surrounded by hills without timber. Mr. 
Beall locates the place as near the present town 
of Spangle. There is, however, much differ- 
ence of opinion among the survivors as to where 
all this happened. But wherever it was, there 
the Indians gathered with hostile intention. 

Steptoe, realizing the dangerous odds, decided to 

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 conference with Steptoe. The chief was mak- 
ing 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 Indi- 
ans to rush through. They sent word to Steptoe 
to halt and give them a chance to secure more 
ammunition. But Steptoe deemed it safer to 
make no pause, and soon after those gallant 
heroes fell. A fierce fight raged for possession 
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, who 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 eKact location of which there is much differ- 
ence 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 determined, having buried their 
•howitzers, to leave the balance of their stores. 
They hoped that if the Indians made an attack in 
the night they 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 melancholy mem- 
ory. 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, Timothy, discovered by reconnoitering, 
the savages rightly supposing it to be entirely 



unknown to the whites. But by the good favor 
of fortune or Providence, 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 proba- 
bly never surpassed in the history of Indian war- 
fare in the Northwest. Several of the wounded 
were lashed to pack animals, and were thus led 
away on that dreadful ride. Their sufferings 
were 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 the}' 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 inter- 
vals along the trail. Some of these finally reap- 
peared, 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 portion of the command reached Walla 
Walla in safety from that ill-starred expedition. 

A dramatic incident which occurred on the 
evening of May 20th merits a brief narration. 
While the horses were being picketed and prep- 
arations were in progress for the night, the 
guards noticed a cloud of dust in the distance. 
In a short time a band of mounted Indians, 
approaching at full gallop, came into view, 
and the clattering of the hoofs of their horses 
and the 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 were about to be 
issued when the standard bearer of the oncom- 
ing horde, noting the confusion and mistrusting 
its cause, flung the stars and stripes to the breeze 
in token of friendly intentions. When the Indi- 
ans swarmed into camp it was found that the 
banner was borne by none other than the ever- 
faithful Chief Lawyer. In the party were some 
of the sub-chiefs from Kamiah and noted mem- 
bers 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 won over the confident and 
exulting Indians of the Palouse country. The 
Nez Perces had, no doubt, learned of the defeat 
of Steptoe 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 warfare. General Clarke at once ordered 
Colonel Wright to equip a force of six hundred 
men, proceed to the Spokane country and casti- 
gate the Indians with sufficient severity to settle 
the question of sovereignty forever. On August 
15th 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 wild 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 hillsides and swarming 
over the plains. They seemed to cover the 
country for two miles. Mounted on their fleet, 
hardy horses, the crowd swept back and forth, 
brandishing their weapons, shouting their war 
cries and keeping up a song of defiance. Most of 
them were armed with Hudson's Bay muskets, 
while others had bows and arrows and long 
lances. 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 completed their wild and fantastic 

" '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, astonished at the range and effectiveness of 
the fire, the entire array of dusky warriors broke 
and fled toward the plain. The dragoons were 
now ordered to charge, and rode through the 
company at intervals to the front, and then 



dashed down upon the foe with 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, where a halt was called, as the troops 
were nearly exhausted. The Indians had almost 
all disappeared, only a small group remaining, 
apparently 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 ended." 

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 professed to be against the war. 
There is reason to doubt the sincerity of these 
representations, however. Colonel Wright 
talked plainly to him, saying that if he and the 
other Indians wanted peace they could have it 
by complete and unconditional surrender. 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 Spo- 
kanes, at which it was found that the Indians 
were prepared to enter a treaty of entire submis- 
sion to the whites. 

In closing his extensive report of this cam- 
paign, Colonel Wright summarized its results as 

"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: (i) Two battles were fought by the 

troops under my command, against the combined 
forces of the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes and 
Palouses, in both of which the Indians were sig- 
nally defeated, with a severe loss of chiefs and 
warriors, either killed or wounded. (2) 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, Qalchen, 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 individuals. 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. (7) The Indians who com- 
menced the battle with Lieutenant-Colonel Step- 
toe 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, aban- 
doned by the troops under Lieutenant-Colonel 
Steptoe, have been recovered." 

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 confirma- 
tion of Governor Stevens' Walla Walla treaties. 
These treaties were confirmed. 




GENERAL— 1859- 

Although the territory now known as Klickitat 
seems to have been equal in the favorableness 
of its situation to the Oregon country across the 
river, no permanent settlers came into it for a 
number of years after the first pioneers had taken 
possession of the south shore of the Columbia. 
The centers of settlement had been established 
during the days of the Hudson's Bay Company and 
the missionaries, and naturally the later comers 
gathered around them, seeking new fields to con- 
quer only when the older ones had become par- 
tially subdued. The original settlement in what 
is now Washington state, aside from Hudson's 
Bay Company's posts, had been blotted out by 
the terrible Whitman massacre and the war grow- 
ing out of it, and when the Walla Walla country 
began to recover from the shock of this dreadful 
tragedy, the war of 1855-56 came on, furnishing 
an excuse for General Wool's military order 
remanding to barbarism all of eastern Washing- 
ton. The order remained in force until the fall 
of 1858, when Wool's successor, General Clarke, 
rescinded it. 

In 1856 the government commenced the con- 
struction of a military road across the Simcoe 
range to Fort Simcoe, on the Yakima reservation, 
and during the summer of that year a small forti- 
fication was erected on Spring creek, seven miles 
northwest of Goldendale, and garrisoned with a 
troop of United States cavalry. This little fort, 
known as the blockhouse, was a log structure 
surrounded by an eight-foot stockade. The 
building still stands to mark the location but the 
stockade has long since been removed. The early 
settlers say that this building when first seen by 

them showed plainly the marks of bullets fired by 
the Indians in skirmishes with the soldiers. In 
i860 the troops were removed. 

The first immigrants began to arrive in the 
valley late in the fifties. It was a beautiful coun- 
try then, covered everywhere with rich, luxuri- 
ant bunch grass, a cattleman's paradise. From 
the hills along the Columbia to the foot of the 
timber-covered Simcoe range stretched one 
immense undivided pasture field. Now a thous- 
and fences separate that same area into numerous 
fine grain farms which furnish homes for many 
prosperous people. The pioneer's judgment in 
selecting Klickitat as a home has surely been 
justified by the subsequent development. It pos- 
sesses all the advantages an agricultural country 
needs and few drawbacks. 

The surrounding country was as yet unsettled 
and there was no demand for farm produce and 
no means of transporting the same to market. 
Anyway the pioneer settlers were stockmen. The 
country was by nature suited to this enterprise, 
as abundance of natural grass grew everywhere, 
furnishing feed sufficient for winter and summer 
alike, unless the winters proved unusually severe. 
As a general rule the winters were so mild that 
the cattle did well without any other feed than 
the native grass, which grew rich and abundant 
everywhere in the valley and on the hillsides. 
As large herds of cattle could be raised and fat- 
tened ready for slaughter at almost nominal 
expense, the rearing of stock was a decidedly 
profitable business. Another advantage in the 
enterprise was that stock could be transported 
readily overland to the market, while any other 

9 2 


. commodity required a conveyance, a thing which 
is difficult to furnish in a newly settled country. 

Most of the early settlers came from the Wil- 
lamette valley, to which they had come across the 
plains at an earlier date. Some had grown dis- 
satisfied with the damp climate of western Oregon 
and had moved in search of a drier country, 
others came to seek more extensive pastures for 
their increasing herds. To these Klickitat 
offered both a dry, healthful climate and a most 
magnificent stretch of rich grazing land for stock, 
where each might extend his lines as widely as he 
pleased without fear of encroaching on his neigh- 
bor's right. 

By nature and past experience these early 
settlers were suited to pioneer life. Hardihood 
was to them a birthright. Their fathers and 
grandfathers had also been pioneers and had 
spent their lives on the border of the wilderness. 
They, in their turn, were born and raised on the 
frontier and the hardships and inconveniences of 
that sort of life held no terrors for them. They 
were possessed of an experience indispensable to 
the successful pioneer. Next to our soldiers, who 
won our liberties and maintained by their cour- 
age and sacrifice our integrity as a nation, this 
country, should honor her pioneers, that brave 
and hardy class of citizens who penetrated the 
wilderness and blazed the way for the civilization 
which was to follow. To them is due much of 
the credit for the national greatness of which we 
boast to-day. They had to forego all such com- 
forts and pleasures of life as are possible only in 
thickly settled regions. The benefits of church 
and school were denied them. Neighbors were 
few and far apart. For all these advantages they 
must be content to wait patiently. Theirs were 
all the hardships, while it was left to those who 
followed after them to enjoy much of the fruits 
of their toil. 

The faith of the common people in the west- 
ern country was really remarkable, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that it has been justified by subse- 
quent development. Whether the American 
pioneer in his settlement of the west has been 
guided by blind instinct or a foresight that has 
transcended the wisdom of sages, is difficult to 
determine. They held the Northwest for the 
United States when our greatest statesmen were 
troubled lest they could not get rid of it. That 
theirs was the real statesmanship has been abun- 
dantly proven by subsequent developments. 

Any settlement in the county previous to 1859 
is scarcely worthy of notice. Sometime previous 
to the Indian war, probably as early as 1852, 
Erastus S. Joslyn, just out from Massachusetts, 
crossed the Columbia river to a point opposite 
the mouth of the Hood river and settled on a 
place now owned by Judge Byrkett. This farm 
lies in the Columbia valley, about a mile and a 
half east of the town of White Salmon. Joslyn 
built a cabin, set out a small orchard, placed a 

tract of land in cultivation and acquired a con- 
siderable herd of stock. When the Indian war of 
1855-56 broke out, friendly Indians warned Joslyn 
that he would be attacked. To avoid the danger, 
he hastily fled across the river with his family, 
where from a place of concealment he watched 
the Indians burn his dwelling, destroy his 
orchard and drive off his stock. The following 
day soldiers came to the rescue of the Joslyn 
family and saved them from falling into the 
hands of the savages. At the close of the war, 
Joslyn returned to his ranch and lived there 
until the fall of 1874. 

The Joslyn place is thought to be the oldest 
ranch in the county with the possible exception 
of the Curtis farm near The Dalles. An army 
officer named Jordan fenced in several hundred 
acres of land on Rockland Flats, across from The 
Dalles, and at a very early date several others 
had settled for a time on the north side of the 
river, but most of them went back and forth, 
spending part of their time on the Klickitat side 
of the river and part at The Dalles. Several men 
with squaw wives located at different points 
along the Columbia during the ante-bellum days. 
Egbert French, who afterward kept a store above 
Goldendale, had a place at the mouth of the 
Klickitat, and J. H. Alexander, also in after years 
a settler of the Klickitat valley, lived at Rock- 
land. Both French and Alexander had squaw 

Some time in the spring of 1859* Amos Stark 
came to the valley and built a log house. There 
was no settler then in all that country. Save for 
the soldiers at the blockhouse and a few roving 
Indians, the entire district to the north of the 
Columbia was unpopulated. Mr. Stark was 
obliged to build his cabin alone, as there was no 
one to whom he could apply for aid, but he man- 
aged to raise the logs by sliding them up inclined 
skids. First he would pull one end up a distance 
with a rope, then fasten it and work the other end 
up a little way. By this means he managed to 
raise the logs although the process was tediously 
slow. He finally by this method completed the 
walls without assistance, then covered the struc- 
ture with a roof. He thereupon went back to 

•'The year 1859 is given by all the first settlers of Klick- 
itat county, who now reside there, as the date of their settle- 
ment. L. L. Thorp, of North Yakima, is, however, positive 
that his father, F. Mortimer Thorp, and family, also 
considerable party of others from western Oregon, came in 
during the summer of 185S. Charles Splawn also gives that 
year as the date of settlement. Mr. Thorp does not claim 
that his father's family were the first to settle in Klickitat 
county, but that they belonged to the first party of settlers, 
all of whom came together to The Dalles. The Thorps 
were delayed a few days at that point, owing to the fact 
that their cattle did not arrive promptly by boat, while 
others of the party went direct to the Klickitat valley, pre- 
ceding them a few days. As the memories of men are 
fallible, especially as to the dates of events which occurred 
many years ago, all dates which like this one can not be 
fixed by contemporaneous documents are of necessity given 


California, where he met Stanton H. Jones, whose 
acquaintance he had previously made. They 
planned to return to Klickitat county together, 
but Mr. Jones was delayed for a few weeks in 
California by business affairs, so Stark came back 
alone, Jones following a little later. 

During Stark's absence in California a num- 
ber of settlers had arrived in the valley. Among 
the first of these were Willis Jenkins and family. 
Willis Jenkins was one of the earliest settlers in 
Oregon. He had brought his family across the 
plains as early as 1844 and had settled in Polk 
county, near the present town of Dallas. In 
1849 lie moved to California to the newly discov- 
ered gold fields. During the first winter there 
he washed out about seven thousand dollars in 
gold dust, most of which he invested' in mer- 
chandise. The following spring he returned with 
his goods to Oregon, where he started a store. As 
most of his neighbors had likewise sought their 
fortunes in the new El Dorado, money was about 
the only thing that was plentiful and Mr. Jenkins 
disposed of his merchandise at a good profit. 
From Polk county he moved to Wilbur, a small 
settlement in southern Oregon named for Father 
Wilbur, and there he also kept a store and a way- 
side lodging house. He lived at Wilbur during 
the Rogue River war. Later the family moved 
to Forest Grove, in Washington county, and 
finally in the summer of 1859 they came to Klicki- 
tat. They settled near the blockhouse, where the 
garrison was stationed, and when, in 1S60, the 
soldiers were removed Jenkins filed on the claim. 
They brought with them to Klickitat one hun- 
dred and fifty head of cattle and a few horses. 

The Jenkins family were not yet settled in the 
valley when Lewis S. Parrott and his son-in-law, 
John J. Golden, came. With the Parrotts and 
Goldens came the Tarter family, also from the 
Willamette. Mr. Golden preceded the party 
into the valley, arriving with a large herd of 
cattle July 9th, 1859, to the best of his recollec- 
tion. He says the others joined him in August 
following. They settled on the Swale, a few 
miles southwest of the site of Goldendale; John 
Golden afterward moved to Columbus and lived 
there for a time. The party brought with them 
herds of stock, as did most of the early settlers. 
While living at Columbus, Mr. Golden took a 
contract to deliver one thousand cords of wood 
to the boats and wood hauling soon after became 
one of the chief industries of the county. 

A little later John W. Burgen and his brother 
Thomas came, also bringing a large herd of cattle 
and horses. In i860 John Burgen settled on 
the Columbus road, near Swale creek, about four 
miles south of the site of Goldendale. His fam- 
ily have ever since occupied this place, to which 
forty-four years ago he purchased the prior right 
of a young man for a twenty-dollar greenback. 
Here, in the following year, his son Newton, 
to whom belongs the distinction of being the first 

white child born in Klickitat, was born. The 
first house built on the place, a substantial log 
one, is still standing, although it has long ago 
been replaced as a residence by a more comfort- 
able dwelling. Thomas Burgen also settled in 
the valley for a time, but in 1864 moved to Cham- 
berlain Flats, where his family still live. 

Among the others who came into the valley 
during the first year was Mortimer Thorp, who 
settled on the site of Goldendale. His house 
stood just north of the lot on which the Methodist 
church now is. Alfred Henson settled just 
below Thorp, building a cabin, and Charles 
Splawn settled near what is known as the Alex- 
ander place. Just above him was Calvin Pell. 
John Nelson and Robert Carter lived farther 
down the Swale, Alfred Allen and A. H Curtis 
lived at Rockland Flats across from The Dalles. 
Besides those mentioned there were also Jacob 
Halstead, James Clark. Nelson Whitney, William 
Murphy, Captain McFarland and his son Neil; 
Francis Venables, Marion Stafford, Jacob Gulli- 
ford, Waters and sons, and Tim Chamber- 
lain, who came to Chamberlain Flats some time 
during the year. In all about fifteen families 
passed the winter of 1859-60 in Klickitat county. 

The Klickitat country was so thinly settled in 
1S59 that it was generally considered by the citi- 
zens of the new district that the necessity for 
county organizaton had not yet arisen. Few 
people are anxious to hasten the time when they 
will be required to pay taxes, especially when no 
apparent benefit is to be derived from their pay- 
ment. The territorial government, however, 
insisted that the settlers must organize and pay 
taxes. As early as December 20, 1859, it 
passed an act setting off Klickitat as a separate 
county and naming officers for the new organiza- 
tion. As this act is of interest as being the first 
reference in the statutes to Klickitat county, it 
is given verbatim below: 

To Create and Organize the County of Clicatat. 
Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory 
of Washington: 

Section 1. That all that portion of Washington Terri- 
tory embraced within the following boundaries, to-wit: 
Commencing in the middle of the Columbia river, five 
miles below the mouth of the Clicatat river; thence north 
to the summit of the mountains, the divide between the 
waters of the Clicatat and Yakima rivers; thence east, 
along said divide, to a point north of the mouth of Rock 
creek; thence south to the middle of the Columbia river; 
thence along the channel of said river to the place of 
beginning. The same is hereby constituted into a sepa- 
rate county, to be known and called Clicatat county. 

Section 2. The said territory shall compose a county 
for civil and military purposes, and shall be under the 
same laws, rules, regulations and restrictions, as all other 
counties in the Territory of Washington, and entitled to 
elect the same officers as other counties are entitled to 

Section 3. That the county seat of said county be, 
and the same is hereby, temporarily located on the land 
claim of Alfred Allen. 


Section 4. That Alfred Allen, Robert Tartar and 
Jacob Halstead be, and the same are hereby, appointed a 
board of county commissioners; and that Willis Jenkins 
be, and he is hereby, appointed probate judge; that James 
Clark be, and he is hereby, appointed sheriff; that Nelson 
Whitney be, and he is hereby, appointed county auditor; 
that Edwin Grant be, and he is hereby, appointed assessor; 
that William Murphy be, and he is hereby, appointed 
treasurer; that John Nelson be, and he is hereby, ap- 
pointed a justice of the peace. 

Section 5. That the persons hereby constituted officers 
by the fourlh section of this act, shall, before entering 
upon the duties of their respective offices, qualify in the 
same manner, and with like restrictions, as those elected 
at an annual or general election. 

Passed December 20, 1S59. 

By this act Klickitat county (it was spelled 
Clickitat previous to 1869) was organized and its 
boundaries outlined in a general way. But the 
early settlers gave little thought to the organiza- 
tion of the county. The government at Olympia 
could appoint county officers, but it could not 
compel them to qualify, and this the majority of 
the new officers refused or neglected to do. 
Without having qualified, they could not act in 
the capacity to which they were appointed, so no 
efficient county organization was effected, no 
assessment rolls were made, and no taxes were 
levied. The Klickitat country was, therefore, in 
much the same condition as before it had been 

The absorbing problems of the time were not 
governmental, but industrial, as they must needs 
be in a new and sparsely settled community. As 
early as i860 the people of Klickitat began tak- 
ing contracts for the delivery of wood to boats 
on the Columbia river. These boats ran only to 
Wallula at this time, but the discovery that win- 
ter of gold in the Clearwater country of Idaho 
caused an effort to navigate the Snakeand Clear- 
water rivers. The first boat to attempt this got 
as far up the latter stream as the Big Eddy, but 
no later efforts were made to penetrate the coun- 
try with steamboats beyond Lewiston. The 
subsequent discoveries in other parts of North 
Idaho, in the Boise and Powder river basins and 
elsewhere, gave a tremendous impetus to naviga- 
tion on the Columbia, creating a great demand 
for fuel. A wood-yard was established at Colum- 
bus and placed in charge of a man named Had- 
ley, and at Chamberlain Flats, about thirteen 
miles further up the river, another wood-yard 
was put in operation by Tim Chamberlain. At 
both these points large contracts were let by 
steamboat companies for the cutting and hauling 
of wood. 

In this way remunerative employment was 
furnished for all the men who had not brought 
into the valley sufficient stock to require their 
whole attention. The first contract price was ten 
dollars a cord for wood delivered at the landing. 
After that the price was cut to eight dollars. At 
this rate the business was only moderately profit- 
able, for all the wood had to be hauled across the 

Swale from the hills beyond where Goldendale 
now stands, a distance of twelve miles, as no 
timber grew in the valley or on the hills along 
the Columbia. The first settlers brought very 
few American horses with them to Klickitat, and 
what few they had were considered very valua- 
ble, so all the hauling was done with ox teams, 
which, because of their slowness, made two days 
necessary for the round trip. One day they 
would go to the woods and load; the next they 
would make the return trip to the river. With 
six yoke of cattle to each wagon it was possible 
to haul about five cords at a load. The cost of 
feeding the ox teams amounted to nothing, as 
they could be turned out at night, and the luxu- 
riant bunch grass, which grew everywhere plen- 
tifully then, was sufficiently nutritious and rich 
to keep them in good working order. 

The furnishing of employment through the 
wood contracts was only one of the advantages 
accruing to the people of the valley through the 
mines, which also furnished a uniformly good 
market for their stock. The demand for beef in 
the upper country kept cattle at a high price and 
made stock-raising a profitable business. Ponies, 
being in demand for pack animals, and saddle 
horses also sold readily at a good figure. These 
different industries made money plentiful in the 
valley during the first few years and greatly 
aided the rapid development of Klickitat county. 

During the summer of i860 the first road to 
Columbus was opened by private subscription. 
That year witnessed also the first efforts to test 
the value of the soil for agricultural purposes, a 
little grain having been sown for hay and a few 
feeble efforts having been made at gardening. 
The results of these early attempts were not so 
flattering as to inspire further efforts in the same 
direction, for the first settlers did not as yet 
understand the soil and climate sufficiently to 
enable them to get the best results. It was only 
after some years of experimenting that they 
learned the lands best suited to the different 
crops, and for the first years even the vegetables 
they used were brought to the valley on pack 
horses. Most of the clothing they wore was 
hand-spun and hand-woven. 

The first county election was held in i860. 
Conventions were held and the nominations 
were made on strictly party lines. Complete 
Democratic and Republican tickets were placed 
in the field, although the Republicans, being 
very much in the minority in those days, experi- 
enced some little difficulty in finding enough 
men for all the offices. The result of the elec- 
tion was a complete victory for the Democrats. 
The county was divided into three precincts, 
the polls being at Rockland, the site of Golden- 
dale, and the blockhouse. All were Demo- 
cratic. The most of the officers elected again 
failed to qualify. A general understanding 
existed among the settlers that the men elected 



were not to qualify and thus to set at naught the 
organization of the county. The government at 
Olyrapia was persistent, however, and passed an 
act, January 24, 1861, appointing the following 
officers to fill vacancies: John Nelson, probate 
judge; Willis Jenkins, treasurer; G. W. Phillips, 
auditor; William T. Waters, sheriff; James H. 
Herman, A. Waters, A. G. Davis, county com- 
missioners; C. J. McFarland, S. Peasley and 
W. T. Murphy, justices of the peace. 

Another act was passed by the territorial leg- 
islature on the 31st of January of the same year, 
extending the northern boundary line of Klicki- 
tat county as far north as the northeast corner of 
Skamania county, from which place it was to 
run due east to a point from which, by running 
due south, it would strike the northeast corner of 
the previous boundary of Klickitat. At that 
time the longest dimension of the county was 
from north to south, embracing a large body of 
territory that is now embraced in Yakima 
county. By the same act the northern boundary 
of Walla Walla county was extended north to 
British Columbia. 

During the first two years of white settle- 
ment in Klickitat everything seemed to promise 
well for the stockmen. So far they had been 
favored by circumstances. The grass grew in 
luxuriant abundance. The weather was favor- 
able, and so far as their experience went there 
was no reason to expect anything different. Not 
all the seasons, however, were to be like those of 
their experience. Not only was the winter of 
1861-62 more severe than the two previous ones; 
it was the coldest and longest ever experienced 
by the white inhabitants of Klickitat. The sum- 
mer of 1 86 1 was unusual. Heavy frosts occurred 
in some parts of the valley every month through- 
out the entire season. Cold weather came early 
in the fall. Snow fell in the hills on the 10th of 
October and November 3d several inches fell in 
the valley. All through the month of November 
regular snows occurred, some days as much as 
ten inches falling, then the weather would turn 
warmer and all the snow would go. Cold, disa- 
greeable fogs hung continually over the valley. 

For the first four or five days of December it 
snowed and rained every day, and the excep- 
tional precipitation caused the streams and rivers 
to rise higher than was ever known at that sea- 
son of the year. Klickitat creek flooded all the 
flat below the site of the town of Goldendale, the 
water standing eighteen inches deep in a house 
in the hollow, while the Columbia river almost 
reached the high-water mark for June freshets. 

By the 22d of December there was no snow 
lying on the ground, although it was estimated 
by men who kept track of the different falls, that 
at least six feet had fallen previous to that date. 
Already cattle were dying. They were suffer- 
ing from cold and hunger and their lowing was 
something terrible to hear. Had the weather 

been dry, they would not have suffered so much, 
but cattle seem to perish more quickly in a damp, 
chilly atmosphere than in an extremely cold, dry 
one. Beginning with the night of December 
22d, it continued to snow daily up to the new 
year, by which time fully thirty inches lay along 
the Columbia, while at the blockhouse the snow 
came within a couple of inches of the top of a 
four-foot fence and was so soft as to make travel 
extremely inconvenient. Coyotes were very 
numerous in the valley at that time as were also 
all kinds of game. The settlers from their snow- 
blocked cabins would see a couple of ears moving 
along above the snow, the remainder of the lank 
coyote being buried in the drifts that yielded 
beneath the weight of his body like eiderdown. 
Sometimes they would amuse themselves by pur- 
suing on horseback these silent-footed thieves of 
the night, and killing them with clubs. It was 
easy to overtake them in the deep, soft snow, and 
the slinking creatures, when they found they 
could not escape their pursuers, would crouch 
down in their tracks and allow themselves to be 
clubbed to death. 

The 1st, 2d, 3d and 4th of January it sleeted, 
the snow and rain being attended with lightning 
and heavy thunder. This is the only time on 
record when heavy thunder accompanied a winter 
storm in this locality. The sleet falling on the 
top of the soft snow packed it down hard and 
thoroughly saturated it with water. Such was 
the condition existing on the 4th of January, 
1862. On the evening of the 4th the weather 
changed suddenly and the chinook wind began to 
blow. The change from a damp, penetrating 
cold to summer warmth was speedy, and soon 
the snow began to disappear very rapidly. The 
water dripped from the roofs of the houses as if 
they were under a water-spout. The cattlemen 
were wild with joy and hailed this change in the 
weather as their salvation, for they thought that 
if the warm wind prevailed for a few days their 
deliverance was at hand. Hope took the place of 
dejection, every one feeling sure that the ruin 
and disaster with which they were threatened 
had been averted. They went to bed that night 
expecting that the morning would show great 
improvement in conditions. 

During the night, however, another change 
occurred. The wind had suddenly veered to the 
northeast and the thermometer had fallen to 
zero. On the top of the snow was one vast sheet 
of ice which would everywhere bear the weight 
of a man. On that morning the despair of the 
cattlemen was as complete as had been their 
elation the previous evening. The loss of the 
cattle was discouraging enough, but to witness 
the hunger and suffering of the poor, starving 
brutes without any means of relieving their dis- 
tress, was most uncomfortable. 

This condition remained without change for 
six weeks, the thermometer ranging all the time 

9 6 


from fourteen to thirty degrees below zero. 
People could now travel anywhere on the top of 
the snow crust, but large animals would break 
through and the sharp crust would cut their limbs 
to the bone. Unable to move in search of fodder, 
they stood there in the snow until they fell from 
weakness and died. One cow near the Waldron 
place, four miles south of Goldendale, survived 
forty-three days without food or water except 
what she could obtain from licking the snow. 
She became so savage from hunger that no per- 
son dared to approach within her reach. She 
survived until the warm weather softened the 
snow crust and set her free, then went to the 
water and drank copiously. After that she lived 
only a short time. 

It the cattle had been left in the valley it is 
doubtful if a single head would have survived 
this terrible winter, but down along the hills that 
flank the Columbia it was more sheltered and the 
snow was less deep upon the ground. Besides, 
it was not so difficult for the animals to dig away 
the snow on the hillsides. They would turn 
their heads up the hill, always pawing the snow 
downward. The great problem was how to get 
the cattle there without their being all lacerated 
by the cruel sharpness of the snow crust. The 
way the settlers accomplished this was to bind 
up their horses' legs with the tops of old boots 
or with rawhide and drive them ahead to break 
the way. This was very tiresome on the horses 
that led and they had to be changed frequently. 
Finally, after two days of this kind of work they 
reached the hills along the river, where the 
horses could dig away the snow and get at the 
grass, while the cattle could manage to live by 
following up the horses and eating what they 
left. Where the rye grass grew the stock could 
feed with less trouble, as it was very tall and 
protruded above the snow. The bunch grass, 
however, was entirely covered and it was only 
after much digging and pawing that the animals 
could reach it. After the cattle got down to the 
hills along the river most of them would have 
survived had it not been for the numerous holes 
into which they were continually falling as they 
wallowed about in the deep snow, and in their 
weak and helpless condition they were unable to 
get out once they fell in. The owners, when 
they found them in these holes, generally ended 
their misery with a rifle ball. 

February ioth the snow started to go awav 
and by March ist cattle could feed. They had 
just started to gain strength again when, on 
March 15th, there came another snowfall afoot 
deep, remaining until April ist. Many of the 
cattle that had survived the long, cold' winter 
were still too weak from starvation and exposure 
to weather another storm and the result was that 
many of the remaining cattle died. Fully three- 
fourths of all the stock in the country perished 
that year. The largest cattle owners in the 

county at that time were Willis Jenkins, William 
Murphy, Ben E. Snipes, John and Thomas 
Burgen, Lewis Parrott, John Golden and Joseph 
Knott, of Portland. 

Willis Jenkins had close to two hundred head 
of cattle out of which he saved about fifty, most 
of them steers. Ben E. Snipes lost practically 
all he had in Klickitat county. He had, how- 
ever, about two hundred head in the Okanogan 
country and these wintered all right. The fol- 
lowing summer he drove them with some others 
he bought to British Columbia, where he disposed 
of them at a very high price. Beef sold that 
summer at the Caribou mines as high as a 
dollar and fifty cents a pound. In the spring, 
because of his heavy losses, he had been generally 
considered a broken stockman, but by fall he had 
cleared over forty thousand dollars. 

The losses of other stockmen were proportion- 
ately heavy. M. S. Short, on Chamberlain Flats, 
succeeded in saving ten head out of the sixty- 
five he brought to the county the previous year. 
These also would have perished if he had not 
driven them to the mouth of Ten-mile creek, 
where they were in a measure sheltered and 
could get sufficient grass to sustain life The 
journey over a rough trail through the deep 
snow, Mr. Short informs us, was attended with 
trials and hardships never to be forgotten. At 
the same time he moved his family to The Dalles, 
where they spent the remainder of the winter. 
It was the 23d of January when he started with 
his wife and one small child to make this journey 
down the Columbia to The Dalles. The weather 
was cold, the coldest of that unusual winter. 
The trail was rough, as a train of pack mules had 
gone over it just before the heavy frosts had 
hardened the snow, leaving it very uneven and 
full of holes. This unevenness made walking 
extremely difficult, as the trail was narrow. The 
distance 'from Chamberlain Flats to The Dalles 
is in the neighborhood of thirty-five miles and 
two days were required to make the journey. 
Mr. Short was forced to camp one night with his 
family in an open cabin without blankets, and 
the discomforts of that night may be readily 
imagined, but the following day they arrived at 
The Dalles without accident. 

By Tanuary ist the water in the Columbia 
was very high and the snow and sleet falling in 
the river formed a slush ice, which increased in 
the cold weather to a thickness of about fifteen 
feet, as nearly as could be determined. At one 
point a crack formed in the ice, which, though 
almost closed at night, expanded during the day 
to nearly a yard in width. At this place it was 
possible to look down probably fifteen feet and 
no open water was to be seen. When the ice 
broke up in the spring and floated out of the 
river, the ice press was tremendous. The high 
water crowded huge blocks of ice well out on the 
sandbars, where they remained until April 1st. 


Should a bridge be built across the lower Col- 
umbia, the ice is a mighty force that would have 
to be reckoned with. Some winters there is no 
floating ice in the river; others there is very- 
little, but should such a condition as has just 
been described ever again occur, the structure 
must be strong and the foundations secure 
indeed that would withstand the heavy ice floe 
brought down upon it with the current when the 
ice should break up and float out of the channel. 
Before the cold winter there were thousands 
of jack rabbits and prairie chickens in the valley, 
but the severe winter left hundreds of them dead 
on the plains. The prairie chickens, in accord- 
ance with their custom, allowed themselves to be 
covered in the snow, and when the crust formed 
on the top they were unable to get out, and per- 
ished in great numbers from starvation. After 
it got warm in the spring and a man's weight 
would break through the snow crust, it was not 
uncommon to see birds that had survived escape 
through the holes made by the feet of pedes- 
trians. The rabbits were not able to get enough 
food to keep them alive and many starved to 

The very unusual winter of 1861-62 was to say 
the least most discouraging to the cattlemen. 
In one year they had seen the herds, which had 
taken them years to accumulate, worse than dec- 
imated. A few were entirely disheartened and 
left the valley, but most of the settlers remained 
and went bravely to work to build anew their 
shattered fortunes. It speaks volumes for the 
fortitude of these early settlers that they were 
sufficiently courageous to take up the struggle 
again in the face of such disasters. Had such a 
winter as has been described occurred a little 
later in the history of the county, it is doubtful 
if the- losses would have been so great, for with 
each succeeding year an increased amount of 
winter feed has been provided in the valley while 
improved transportation facilities early made it 
possible to secure assistance from outside sources 
in case of need. 

There are few disasters so complete that they 
do not bring a certain measure of compensation, 
and in one respect the severe winter was a for- 
tunate circumstance for the settlers of the valley. 
It is believed that the Indians had planned a gen- 
eral uprising for the summer of 1862 with the 
intention of ridding the whole country of white 
settlers. As the Indian population far outnum- 
bered the whites at that time, they would prob- 
ably have experienced little difficulty in executing 
their plan had it not been for their loss of ponies 
during the previous winter. But the Indians 
lost nearly all their horses, and as they will not 
make war on foot the white people were left 

The cattle losses also had a tendency indi- 
rectly to encourage agriculture. The importance 
of providing some winter feed for stock could no 

longer be denied and some of the settlers turned 
their attention to raising grain for fodder. It 
was with reluctance at first that the cattlemen 
countenanced any attempt at farming, for they 
watched with a jealous eye experiments that 
might, if successful, result in their being finally 
deprived of the valley for a stock range. It was 
a good cattle country and they, as cattlemen, did 
not wish to see it devoted to any other use. They 
were inclined to discourage all experiments 
in agriculture, maintaining that the valley 
was more valuable as a stock range than it would 
ever be for anything else, and there are still peo- 
ple in the district who maintain that when they 
plowed down the bunch grass they destroyed a 
better crop than can ever be raised in its place. 
But the time was nevertheless fast approaching 
when agriculture would supersede all other pur- 
suits in the county. 

As early as 1861 some grain was sown in 
the valley. This, because of the exceptional win- 
ter that followed, was valued very highly for 
horse feed. In 1862 a little more grain was 
grown. As there were no threshing machines'or 
mills in the valley for a number of years after- 
ward, it was used for fodder only, but these 
experiments were useful in that they showed 
what the country was capable of doing. 

The people also began to branch out into 
other industrial pursuits. At first all lumber 
used in the county had been manufactured by the 
use of the whipsaw, a slow and unsatisfactory 
implement. There was no lack of first-class tim- 
ber in the county to supply any number of mills, 
but no little difficulty attended the bringing of 
the necessary machinery to the valley over poor 
roads and with poor transportation facilities. A 
company of men was found, however, who were 
willing to undertake the difficult task, and during 
the year i860 Jacob Halstead, David Kitson, 
Benjamin Alverson and his brother Isaac, built a 
mill on Mill creek and furnished it with the 
necessary equipment for sawing timber. This 
first little mill was of small capacity and made no 
pretense of furnishing anything but rough lum- 
ber, but it was the beginning of an important 
industry in Klickitat county. It is estimated that 
the county contains seven hundred and forty- 
three million feet of standing timber, and al- 
though much of this is not yet opened up, the 
lumbering business has since assumed important 
proportions and now furnishes labor to a small 
army of men throughout the county. 

The furnishing of wood for the boats was 
still an important business. Columbus had 
become quite a center of activity. One man 
opened a shop where he furnished fresh meat to 
the boats, and A. G. Davis started a store there. 
A couple of years later, however, he sold the 
building to a man who utilized it as a saloon. 
As the man had no license to sell liquor, his 
business was illegal, but if he had proceeded 


quietly in the business and had not sold whiskey 
to the Indians, it is doubtful if anyone would 
have molested him. But he persisted in dispens- 
ing his bad whiskey to the red men and they 
became very noisy and troublesome; indeed, 
conditions soon became so bad that men's lives 
were scarcely safe. There was no satisfactory 
manner of proceeding against the man by law, as 
the county had no effective organization of its 
own. An appeal to the courts would have to be 
made at Vancouver and the people of the valley 
were in no way sure that any redress could be 
obtained from that source. Thomas Jenkins, 
who at that time was loading wood for the boats, 
lived with his family at Columbus. As he had 
a sick child, these night orgies were especially 
annoying to him, and he asked the owner of the 
saloon to desist from selling whiskey to the 
Indians, as it made the town an unsafe place to 
live in. This the saloonkeeper refused to do, 
saying that he would sell whiskey to the Indians 
as long as he pleased. Exasperated beyond 
further endurance, a number of the citizens of 
the valley eventually decided to put an end to 
the whole matter. It was agreed by a company 
of men, among whom were Thomas Jenkins, 
Nelson Whitney, Lewis Parrott, Stanton H. 
Jones and William Hicinbotham, that they would 
enter the saloon and empty out all the liquor. 
As the members of the party were respected cit- 
izens and no mob, they chose the daylight in 
which to execute their designs. It was known 
that the owner of the saloon kept a loaded gun 
always in readiness on the counter; also that he 
was a desperate man and liable to use it. He 
was a good customer at his own bar and very 
often rendered harmless by over-intoxication, 
but it was nevertheless thought a wise precau- 
tion to dispose of the shotgun before anything 
else was attempted. Jenkins walked into the 
saloon alone and taking the gun from the coun- 
ter, discharged both barrels into the air. Then 
the others entered, each of whom took a keg or 
demijohn out to an old hole where once had stood 
an Indian hut, and emptied out its contents. 
They kept this up as long as there was any 
liquor left in the building. When the saloon- 
keeper, who had been in a drunken stupor while 
the operation was going on, came to his senses 
and found his shop empty, he made all manner 
of dire threats of what he would do, but in the end 
he did nothing. The saloon has never since 
been reopened nor was there ever another estab- 
lished at Columbus. 

Although some of the settlers became dis- 
couraged because of the hard winter and heavy 
loss of stock and left the valley, others came in 
to take their places and the county slowly in- 
creased in population. The country was' still 
very attractive to the stockmen and during the 
summer of 1862 a number of extensive stock- 
raisers moved their herds to Klickitat. William 

Connell and William Hicinbotham settled at 
Rockland and went into partnership in the cattle 
business. Thomas Johnson, a nephew of Con- 
nell, also came to the county that year and was 
also associated with his uncle and Mr. Hicin- 
botham in the business. They bought stock 
from the settlers and drove them overland to 
British Columbia, where they disposed of them 
at the mining camps. Watson Helm also 
brought a band of cattle to the county from Wil- 
lamette valley during the year and sold them to 
Ben E. Snipes at thirty dollars a head. These 
Snipes atterward took to British Columbia with 
a herd of his own and sold at a high figure. 

By January, 1863, there were two ferries con- 
necting different points in the country with the 
Oregon shore, one running between Rockland 
and The Dalles and the other connecting the 
Rock creek wagon road with the road on the 
Oregon side. These were operated under restric- 
tions and limits prescribed by law. The follow- 
ing rates were established by an act of the legis- 
lature: Wagon and span, three dollars; each 
additional span, one dollar; man and horse or 
horse with pack, one dollar; loose animals, fifty 
cents each; sheep and hogs, fifteen cents each. 
The ferry connecting Rockland and The Dalles 
was established by James Herman in 1859, and 
when it made its first trip, July 9th of that year, 
John J. Golden, who was then on his way to 
Klickitat, was aboard. A second ferry was put 
in operation at Umatilla in 1863, and in 1868 
William Hicinbotham established a third at 

As if to lend credit to the view of the stock- 
men that Klickitat was not for the agriculturists, 
a new enemy of the farm products appeared in 
the valley at an early date. This was a tiny 
black cricket. When the first settlers came to 
the valley, and no one can tell how long before, 
there were crickets along the south side of the 
mountain that flanks the Columbia, but it was 
not until 1864 that they crossed into the valley. 
It is claimed by some that the significance of the 
word Klickitat is cricket, but there is a differ- 
ence of opinion on this matter, and as few Indi- 
ans can any longer talk the language of the 
Klickitats, it is difficult to determine what is the 
correct English translation of the word. These 
insects were small in size and in color about like 
a housefly. During the summer season they 
traveled in bands and after depositing their mil- 
lions of tiny eggs, they died off. One peculiar 
habit of these insects was that they always trav- 
eled in straight lines. When the young were 
hatched in the spring they were as apt to start 
out in one direction as another, but whatever 
direction they took in the first place, they never 
varied from it afterwards. They would hop right 
into a stream of water or a ditch nor would they 
ever make any effort to avoid them. If they came 
to a wall or a tree, repeated attempts were made 


to climb over but none to find a way around. 
Whatever crops or gardens their course brought 
them to they utterly destroyed. In the morning 
they would attack a green field and by evening 
it would be as bare as the streets. 

Ingenious methods were devised by the set- 
tlers to protect their crops and gardens. They 
nailed boards around the bottoms of their fences 
so close to the ground that none of the insects 
could crawl under, and on top of this they nailed 
a strip at right angles so as to protrude a short 
distance outward beyond the vertical boards, so 
that when the insects attempted to climb over 
the top board they would fall back. To destroy 
the pests they dug trenches along the edges of 
the fences in such a way that the insects would 
fall in and could not climb out. It is claimed 
that as soon as the crickets fell into the pit dug 
for them they would fall each upon the other, 
tearing off all their limbs as if their neighbors in 
distress had been responsible for their own 
trouble. When the trenches were filled with the 
insects, the farmers would cover them up with 
dirt to prevent stench. Some built fires across 
the line of travel of the pests, into which they 
would jump and be consumed, and by these and 
other methods a few saved their grain and gar- 
dens from being entirely destroyed. The crick- 
ets made their appearance each successive year 
until 1870, and by the 1st of March of that year 
the hillsides and valleys were almost black with 
the little insects, but ten days later a heavy fall 
of snow covered the ground and before it melted 
away the crickets were all dead. This species 
has never given any serious trouble since. 

Up to this time, 1864, the whole Alder creek 
and Camas prairie country was an unsettled 
wilderness, nor were there many settlers on Rock 
creek or Chamberlain Flats. In 1861 Joseph 
Chapman settled and put out an orchard on a 
place along the Columbia beyond Rock creek. 
The same year Merrill S. Short came to Chamber- 
lain Flats, where Tim Chamberlain and his 
brother had a wood-yard and were engaged in 
hauling wood for the boats. Mr. Short moved 
away the following winter and did not return for 
some years. The Chamberlain brothers lost all 
their oxen during the severe winter and had to 
abandon the wood business. In 1863 Chancey 
Goodnoe first came to the Flats and remained a 
short time, but he did not become a permanent 
settler until the following year. Thomas Bur- 
gen moved to Chamberlain Flats in 1864, settled 
on the place where his family still live, and spent 
there the remainder of his life. 

A few years after the Indian war, Neil and A. 
Girdon Palmer, brothers, became the second per- 
manent white settlers in the White Salmon coun- 
try, locating on land just below the Joslyn place. 
Rev. E. P. Roberts, a retired missionary, and 
his wife were the next to enter that region. 
They came in i860 or 1861, and settled upon the 

claim adjoining Joslyn on the east. Roberts 
sold out to J. R. Warner in 1864. A year or two 
later John Perry and his Indian wife settled on 
the river near Lyle. E. S. Tanner came to 
White Salmon in 1865, and in the early sixties, 
also, David Street, a bachelor, settled in the 
valley about four miles above White Salmon 

The first schoolhouse in the Klickitat valley 
was built in the year 1866 by private donations 
of the settlers. The building was afterward 
moved to its present location on the Columbus 
road, about four miles south of Goldendale, as a 
more central site than the one it originally occu- 
pied. It has since given place to a more com- 
fortable and commodious structure erected across 
the road. A private school supported by sub- 
scriptions of the settlers had been established 
several years before on the Swale. Nelson 
Whitney taught the first term in the private 
school, and Miss Jennie Chamberlain, afterward 
Mrs. Nelson Whitney, taught the first public 
school. No particular system of text-books was 
used, each pupil making use of the books he hap- 
pened to possess, whether they were purchased 
for his special benefit or came to him as the 
abandoned text-books of his parents. These 
irregularities would be demoralizing to a school 
of this day, but it was surprising how much the 
children learned then, notwithstanding such dis- 

The only Indian trouble in Klickitat during 
the early years which gave evidence of develop- 
ing into anything of a serious nature happened 
in 1866, and this could scarcely be considered 
anything more serious than a family quarrel. 
The quarrel occurred at Joseph Chapman's place, 
on Rock creek, now known as the W. B. Walker 
ranch. The Chapmans had a little Indian boy 
staying with them, and they were in the habit of 
sending him out every evening to drive up the 
horses. They also had a boy of their own who 
was about equal in age to the Indian. The 
young "Siwash" did not consider it fair that he 
should be sent for the horses every night while 
the other boy remained comfortably at home, so 
he made complaint to the boy's sister, Jane. All 
the satisfaction she gave him was a sound cuffing 
upon the ears, a treatment which probably did 
not hurt the young brave very much, but thor- 
oughly ruffled his temper. He went forthwith 
to the other Indians with his tale of woe and 
stirred them into a violent passion. Being deter- 
mined to slaughter the whole Chapman family, 
they went with loaded guns directly to Chap- 
man's and made an attack on them. In the fight 
that ensued one of the Indians shot Jane Chap- 
man in the head, but the bullet failed to pene- 
trate the skull, and after its removal the girl 
soon recovered. One of the Indians, called Chief 
George, was shot through the body and also 
badly slashed with a sword. The Civil war was 


closed then only a short time; soldiers were con- 
tinually passing back and forth through the 
country, one of whom had left an old sword 
at the Chapman place, and when the Indians 
made their attack, a man stopping at Chap- 
man's, familiarly known as "Alabama Joe," 
made at the old chief with the sword and slashed 
him so severely that he was left for dead, though 
he subsequently regained consciousness and 
crawled away. He lived a year. 

It was thought this was liable to cause a gen- 
eral outbreak of the Indians, and a runner was 
immediately despatched to warn the settlers and 
summon aid. As the Indians still far outnum- 
bered the whites, a war would have been fraught 
with great danger to the settlement The real 
danger of war was greatly magnified because the 
circumstances of the trouble were unknown to 
the people and there was danger that some indis- 
creet act on their part might incense the Indians 
not already disaffected by the Chapman incident. 
Many of the settlers collected as much as they 
could of their effects and left the country. Some, 
thoroughly panic-stricken, fled in wild disorder, 
racing their horses across the plains in their mad 
rush to get away, but most of the people took the 
matter more calmly. A number went to the 
assistance of the Chapman family and a guard 
was maintained during that night, which was so 
dark that the watchers could see very little, but 
the Indians never molested them, although the 
dense darkness seemed to favor a night attack. 
The four or five hundred Indians seemed to be 
afraid of a handful of white men. 

Father Wilbur was then Indian agent at the 
Yakima reservation, and when any serious trouble 
occurred it was customary to send for him. This 
great, powerful, fearless man seemed to under- 
stand thoroughly Indian character and could 
manage the Indians as if they were children. 
When he went to the Yakima reservation, the 
government thought it necessary to maintain a 
large force of soldiers as an inducement to peace 
to the red men, but shortly after his arrival the 
soldiers were removed at his request, and it was 
never found necessary to replace them. He 
would go right into the midst of the armed and 
angry Indians, arrest the leaders and compel the 
others to desist from their hostile acts. 

Although many of the early settlers opposed 
county organization, on account of the taxation 
which was its necessary concomitant, it soon 
became evident that there were some advantages 
which could not be obtained without some form 
of local government. The county had no public 
school system, no roads, no bridges and no 
method by which these desiderata could be pro- 
vided. Those who were opposed to organization 
in the first place because of the paucity of set- 
tlers in the county, now began to favor it. Pre- 
vious to this time the county had been organized 
and officers elected, as has been said, but very 

little attention was given to the county govern- 
ment. Some paid their taxes, others did not, 
most of the officers never qualified, and nothing 
was ever done with the taxes collected, that is, 
nothing to the advantage of the county. 

We are informed by a settler of that time that 
it was customary for the officials to divide the 
spoil and spend it for their own purposes. At 
that time the sheriff collected the taxes and 
turned over the money to the treasurer. In 1865 
Sheriff Reuben Booten collected from all who 
were willing to pay and left the county, and the 
following year no attempt whatever was made to 
collect taxes. Very early in 1867, however, the 
county was reorganized, and the following offi- 
cers were appointed by the territorial govern- 
ment: Commissioners, Amos Stark, August 
Schuster and H. M. McNary; auditor, Thomas 
Johnson; treasurer, William Connell; assessor, 
Stanton H. Jones; probate judge, James Taylor. 
August Schuster resigned and was appointed 
sheriff. John Burgen was appointed superintend- 
ent of schools. This was the first really effective 
organization that had ever been accomplished in 
the county. The courthouse was a building at 
Rockland, rented from William Connell at the 
rate of eight dollars per month. It is still stand- 

These officers were appointed to hold office 
only until the general election of June 30, 1867. 
The officers elected were: Amos Stark, H. M. 
McNary and T. J. Chambers, commissioners; 
August Schuster, sheriff; A. H. Simmons, pro- 
bate judge; Martin Harper, auditor; John Bur- 
gen-, superintendent of schools. Most of the 
officers were then paid fees or wages by the day 
for the time spent in the service of the county, 
but the superintendent of schools was granted 
the special dignity of drawing an annual salary. 
He received twenty-five dollars a year. 

No records were preserved of any business 
transacted during the former organization of the 
county, and Klickitat may be said, without great 
inaccuracy, to have begun its existence as a polit- 
ical organization in 1867. A number of years 
afterward an attempt was made by the territorial 
attorney to collect sixty-seven dollars taxes 
levied by the state against the county prior to 
January 28, 1867, but as no records could be 
produced and many of the officers elected during 
that time had left the county, the attempt failed. 

By an act passed in the territorial legislature 
and approved January iS, 1868, the boundary 
lines of the county were changed so that com- 
mencing at a point in the mid-channel of the 
Columbia, opposite Mimaluse island, above five 
miles below the mouth of the Klickitat, the line 
ran north to the summit of the mountains and 
the headwaters of the Ahtanum, thence follow- 
ing the channel of the Ahtanum and Yakima 
rivers to the Columbia, and down the Columbia 
to the place of beginning. The following year 


the country lying north of the Toppenish was 
added to Yakima county. 

Although the population of Klickitat could 
yet be numbered in three places of figures, the 
number of business enterprises in which the 
people had already embarked was sufficient to 
indicate the industrious nature of the few scat- 
tered settlers that had remained permanently in 
the valley. Stock-raising had from the first 
claimed a larger measure of attention than any 
other business, and, although the severe winter 
of 1861-62 had given a hard blow to the enterprise, 
it was still the chief occupation of the people. 
Ben E. Snipes, William Connell, the Burgen 
brothers, Watson Helm and a large number of 
others, were carrying on an extensive trade in 
cattle in the county, and sold each year large 
herds to the mines of British Columbia and 
Idaho. The wood business had also become an 
important industry. Abundance of material was 
at hand, as the mountains were covered with a 
thick growth of timber, and as the boats were 
entirely dependent upon wood for fuel, wood- 
hauling soon developed into an important indus- 
try. Stanton H. Jones, who himself was engaged 
in the enterprise, states that at one time for a 
period of two years ten large teams and a num- 
ber of small ones were engaged in hauling and 
furnishing wood to the Oregon Steam Naviga- 
tion Company at Columbus, at that time the only 
place with any business pretensions in the 
county. A hotel, store, butcher shop and sev- 
eral other small business houses were established 

The lumber business also made a good begin- 
ning early in the history of the county. As has 
been previously stated, the first saw-mill was 
erected by a company of men in i860. This was 
followed by another a few years later on Klicki- 
tat creek, above the site of Goldendale, and soon 
the lumber trade became an important source of 
revenue to the county. From an early publica- 
tion we glean the information that Klickitat pine 
was considered even at an early date very valua- 
ble for the making of patterns for foundry work. 
It has no hard grain like the fir, but is uniformly 
soft, and for that reason is peculiarly adapted to 
this purpose. 

A few advance steps had also been made in 
agriculture, but not sufficient as yet to show what 
the county was capable of doing as a farming 
country. No one had as yet dreamed that Klick- 
itat was to become one of the great grain-raising 
counties of the territory. In 1870 John W. Bur- 
gen raised a small crop of wheat, and to him is 
given the credit of being the pioneer farmer of 
Klickitat. The following year a number of 
farmers in different parts of the valley sowed 
wheat and were rewarded with a very fair yield, 
the crops along the Swale averaging forty bush- 
els to the acre. During the year a grist-mill was 
built at The Dalles and a part of the wheat crop 

was carried to that point and manufactured into 
flour for home consumption. Previous to that 
year all flour had been brought to the valley 
from Portland, and with the facilities for trans- 
portation then in use, it was both a difficult and 
expensive method of getting supplies. It was 
not to be many years, however, until the prob- 
lem was not how to get flour up the river, but 
how to reach a market outside for the surplus at 
home. Now that a beginning had been made in 
agriculture and it had been demonstrated that the 
valley was a good grain country, the progress in 
farming was rapid. 

Up to 1872 there was not a town in all the 

county, and Klickitat then embraced a much 

larger area than at present; as its northern 

boundary followed the mid-channel of the Top- 

I penish and Yakima rivers to the Columbia. 

! J. L. Henderson had laid out a town and built a 

1 store at the point where the military road crossed 

I the Little Klickitat, but, although he offered lots 

I to any person who would build on them, the 

town never materialized and was abandoned. 

September 5, 1871, John J. Golden bought from 

L J. Kimberland the site of the present town of 

Goldendale, and the following year he platted a 

town site and gave it the name Goldendale. 

That year Thomas Johnson built a house in the 

new town, the front room of which he used as a 

store. There was then no other store in the 

county, although several had been opened previ- 

I ous to this time. 

As the location of the county seat at Rock- 
land was only temporary, it was decided by the 
commissioners. May 8, 1872, that the question of 
permanently locating the county seat be sub- 
mitted to the voters of the county at the next 
regular election to be held November 8, 1872. 
From the first, Goldendale, being in the midst of 
one of the best agricultural sections of the county, 
was considered to represent the farming interest 
of the district and was strongly opposed by the 
stockmen. Although the largest number of the 
voting population was in the valley, and it would 
have been to their own immediate interests to 
have Goldendale the county seat, still the influ- 
ence of the cattlemen was sufficiently strong to 
defeat it. although by a narrow margin. The 
vote stood seventy-seven for Goldendale and sev- 
enty-eight for Rockland. 

Up to this time the county had increased in 
population very slowly. In 1872 there were not 
more than five or six hundred people in the 
county, but this is not surprising when we con- 
sider that the population of the entire territory 
in 1870 was less than twenty-four thousand. The 
time had now arrived, however, for a more rapid 
growth in the Klickitat valley. A start had 
been made in wheat-raising. People had also 
given some attention to fruit culture, though up 
to this time there were few, if any, bearing 
orchards. Some of the first settlers brought 


trees with them from Oregon, but the varieties 
were poor and the trees did not thrive. The first 
orchards of any importance were planted in 1870, 
and fruit-raising soon after became an important 
industry in the new county. The development 
of these various enterprises made it possible for 
a much larger population to subsist in the coun- 
try than could have done so in the live-stock in- 
dustry alone. 

While settlement in the western part of the 
county had been fairly rapid during the early 
seventies, few had either the desire or courage 
to risk their fortunes upon the vast prairie east 
of Rock creek. That great region was presumed 
to be fitted only for stock-raising, and upon its 
broad expanse roamed thousands of cattle, horses 
and sheep. Stockmen alone claimed the vast 
range for more than two decades after the com- 
ing of the whites into southern Washington. 
Prior to 1871 Joseph Chapman, heretofore 
referred to, was the only permanent settler east 
of Rock creek, his ranch and wood-yard being 
situated near the mouth of the small stream 
which bears his name. In 187 1 L. J. Kimber- 
land left Klickitat valley and settled upon the 
east fork of Rock creek. The following May 
Benjamin D. Butler, Robert M. Graham, H. A. 
South and L. J. Bailey pushed still further east 
and began the building of homes near the head- 
waters of Alder creek. They were twenty miles 
from any settlement, but with brave hearts they 
faced the rigors of the higher altitude and the 
difficulties which beset the path of the pioneer. 
They were discouraged in every possible way by 
the stockmen, who knew from experience what 
would result if a permanent settlement were 
effected, but they stayed, broke ground and built 
their rude log cabins. Mr. Butler filed the first 
homestead entry in this region, and Robert M. 
Graham the second. Others followed during the 
succeeding two years until, in 1874, the district 
had sufficient settlers to warrant the establish- 
ment of Alder creek precinct. 

In November, 1873, the northern boundary of 
the county was again changed. Instead of fol- 
lowing the Toppenish and Yakima rivers to the 
confluence of the latter with the Columbia, it was 
made to correspond with the following official 
description: "Commencing at the northern 
corner of township six north, range twelve 
east; thence east along the northern boundarv of 
township six north, to the point where that line 
intersects the Columbia river." This boundary 
line has since remained unchanged, although the 
western line was afterward moved. This change 
in the boundary of Klickitat decreased the area 
almost one-half, but as most of the territory 
added to Yakima county lay within the limits of 
the Indian reservation, it was not open to white 

In 1873 a much large acreage of wheat was 
sown than on any previous year, and the neces- 

sity for some method for home manufacture of 
the product began to be strongly felt. The 
closest point at which flour could be obtained 
was The Dalles. An immense amount of time 
and energy was expended each year in the trans- 
portation of the wheat to the mill and the flour 
back to the consumer, all which it was possible 
to save by erecting a grist-mill at home, a task 
simple enough if the capital could only be pro- 
cured. A movement was set on foot the follow- 
ing year by John Graham, Martin V. Harper, 
T. J. Harper, John W. Burgen, Egbert French 
and J. H. Alexander, to procure by private sub- 
scription the necessary funds to build a grist- 
mill, but the faith of the settlers was not yet 
sufficiently strong in the future prospects of the 
county to incline them to aid the enterprise. 
They felt certain it would be a losing proposi- 
tion. A few years later, however, the demand 
for a grist-mill became imperative, and Messrs. 
Chatfield, Smith, Marble and Nelson, in 1878, 
built at .Goldendale what was afterward known 
as the Klickitat mill. Almost simultaneously, 
Thomas Johnson built the Goldendale mills, 
giving inception to an era of rapid progress and 
prosperity in the county. 

The manufacture of flour at home did not 
delay transportation of wheat abroad, as the 
amount of wheat grown in the valley was by this 
time sufficient to supply the home market and 
leave a margin for shipment. In 1876 the first 
export of wheat to an outside market was made, 
in round numbers about one thousand bushels. 
The following year the amount of wheat ex- 
ported increased to fourteen thousand; in 1878, 
it was forty-six thousand; in 1879, one hundred 
thousand. The wheat product for .the entire state 
in 1879 was less than two million bushels. 

The city of Goldendale for a long time met 
with the most bitter opposition from the stock- 
men So strong was their influence against the 
town that, although Goldendale was more cen- 
trally and more conveniently located to accom- 
modate a majority of the people, a determined 
effort was made to prevent its being made the 
county seat. As it was known that in a fair 
vote Goldendale would obtain a substantial 
majority, influence was brought to bear by the 
friends of the town on the legislature to induce 
it to refer the question to a popular vote. Those 
who were interested in the advancement of the 
interests of Goldendale, were sufficiently far- 
sighted to perceive that the best way to build up 
the town was to lay out as many county roads 
leading into it as possible, thus making it an 
important center. This was accomplished with- 
out the opposition's even suspecting its object, 
and Goldendale, being made easily accessible from 
almost all parts of the county, soon became quite 
an important business point. When finally Rep- 
resentative Nelson Whitney succeeded in getting 
a bill through the legislature allowing a three- 



fifths vote to settle the question, Goldendale had 
very much the best ot it. At the general elec- 
tion in November, 1878, about five-sixths of the 
votes were cast for Goldendale. In February of 
the following year the commissioners ordered the 
sheriff to move the county property to the site 
chosen for it by the ballots of the people. This 
proved a rather difficult undertaking, as the 
roads were blockaded with snow, about thirty 
inches having fallen just previously, but it was 
accomplished nevertheless, and in Goldendale 
the county offices and records have ever since 

During the year the people were again panic- 
stricken by a report that the Indians had broken 
out and were about to begin a war of extermina- 
tion on the white people. To the Bannock and 
Piute marauding expedition of 1878 more exten- 
sive reference will be made in another chapter, 
that on the Perkins affair, but it may be stated 
here that in June the disaffected tribes left Fort 
Hall, Idaho, with intent to form a junction with 
the tribes on the Umatilla reservation, then sweep 
northward to join the Yakimas, Spokanes, Coeur 
d'Alenes and other northern Indians in a grand 
effort to rid the country of whites and re-estab- 
lish the primitive condition of barbarism. But 
the bungling of the Indian leaders and timely 
and decisive action on the part of the government 
in hurrying troops to the scene, circumvented 
their plans and compelled them to abandon the 
expedition before they effected a crossing of the 

Many of the people, however, were thor- 
oughly frightened. Not a few of the settlers had 
come from Minnesota, where they had been dur- 
ing the Sioux troubles, and the memory of the 
horrors of those dreadful campaigns were fresh 
in their minds. They had no desire to see 
such a condition again. The result was very 
similar to that of 1866, many settlers hastily 
gathering what they could of their effects and 
leaving the valley precipitately. In one family 
a child died during the day on which they heard 
the report. Their terror was so great that they 
at once constructed a rude coffin, buried the 
remains without funeral service and left the 
valley the same night. Numerous other stories 
might be told of ridiculous things done by persons 
almost crazed with fear of the dread savage on 
the warpath, but the greater portion of the set- 
tlers were not so violently disturbed. Many had 
been in previous Indian wars and knew better 
the character of the red man, hence took a saner 
view of the difficulties and set to work to provide 
some sort of protection for themselves and their 
property. A company of mounted riflemen was 
hastily organized, with Enoch W. Pike as cap- 
tain. These were furnished with arms by the 
government, thoroughly drilled and otherwise 
placed in readiness for active service, should 
occasion demand it. A movement was also 

started to build a fort at Goldendale, where most 
of the surrounding settlers had gathered for pro- 
tection, but timely interference of the United 
States troops quelled the trouble before the set- 
tlers had time to carry out their intentions. The 
Klickitat Rangers, as Captain Pike's men were 
known, were not called into active service against 
the Bannocks in 1878, but participated in the 
Moses campaign of the following year. An 
account of their movements at that time is given 
in the chapter which treats of the Moses demon- 
stration and the Perkins affair. 

Although the people of Klickitat have three 
times been threatened by the Indians, the day of 
the red man has passed and not a single life has 
been taken by an Indian since the war of 1855-56. 

By this time the valley of the Klickitat had 
become almost entirely settled, and the more 
remote districts of the country began to attract 
the attention of the immigrant. In 1878 Samuel 
P. Flower came to eastern Klickitat, together 
with his brother, Charles E. Flower, also George 
Lawman and David Sprinkle, and settled on Pine 
creek, ten miles south of the site of Bickleton. 
Two families, those of Joseph Nixon and William 
Fadden, farmers, had preceded the Flower party. 
Mr. Flower informs us that he found Ben Butler 
and sons, James and Marion, stockmen, and 
Dixon Gaunt, located on Six Prong creek ; Milton 
Imbrie, a farmer, on Pine creek, just above But- 
ler's; while up toward Bickleton, near Alder 
creek, were Robert M. and John Graham, L. J. 
Bailey, George W. McCredy, Angus Forbus, 
Gotfried Peterson, Martin Holbrook, Charles N. 
Bickle, Rasmus Gotfredson, and a few others 
whose names he has forgotten. Near Cleve- 
land's site were Ripley Dodge, Isaac Cousins, 
Ralph Cousins and Samuel Martin, who came in 
1877, and Edward D. Morris, whose residence 
dated from June, 1878. Among the arrivals of 
the next two years were Simeon E. Warren, John 
Baker, George Alexander, Alcana Miller, Henry 
C. Hackley, Dickson P. Shattuck, in 1879; 
William A. McCredy and sons, Lycander I. Cole- 
man and sons, William J. Story, Josiah Smith 
and George H. Ellis. In 1879 Ephraim McFar- 
land built a saw-mill at the point where the pres- 
ent wagon road crosses the creek west of Bickle- 
ton. In later years several other mills were 
erected on the east end of Simcoe mountain. 

The only serious setback the settlement in 
eastern Klickitat received in those early years 
was occasioned by the Indian scare of 1878 which 
resulted in nearly all the inhabitants fleeing to 
Goldendale. They made no attempt to prepare 
defenses near their homes. After the return of 
the people to their farms and stock, steady 
growth was resumed. As told elsewhere, two 
towns were soon established, Bickleton and 
Cleveland, and during the next few years settle- 
ment was rapid. According to a directory of 
Goldendale and Klickitat county published in 

1 04 


1880, there were not to exceed one hundred 
claims taken at that time east of Rock creek. 

Groups of settlers had also located at Pleasant 
Valley, Chamberlain Flats, Camas Prairie and 
other points throughout the county, but outside 
of these settlements, very few claims were 
taken. The first settlers were looking for the 
valleys as the most suitable locations, and the 
less desirable land' lying between the}' left to the 
later immigrants. By 1879, according to the 
Spokane Times, there were six postoffices in 
the county representing as many different settle- 
ments — Goldendale, Columbus, Block House, 
Klickitat Landing, White Salmon and Fulda. 

In 1879 the assessed valuation of real estate 
for the entire county was only one hundred and 
fifty-two thousand three hundred and eighty- 
three dollars. As yet but a small proportion of 
the land was deeded, the major portion being 
still in the hands of the government, and for 
that reason most of the assessable property in 
the count}' was personal. The population had 
by this time grown to more than three thousand, 
an increase of about four hundred per cent, in 
six years. 

When the vote to move the county seat to 
Goldendale carried, there was no courthouse in 
the county, court having been held in a rented 
building, but as soon as it was decided that Gold- 
endale was to be the county seat, the settlers in 
the valley determined to erect a courthouse. As 
the county was still but sparsely populated, the 
taxpayers had no desire to settle any large 
indebtedness upon the county, and it was there- 
fore decided to do the work by private subscrip- 
tion of money, materials and labor. The work 
was enthusiastically taken hold of by private 
individuals, and in due time a building valued 
at thirty-five hundred dollars was erected with- 
out a single dollar of expense to the county in 
the way of taxation ; a small jail of two cells was 
also built. The buildings were at that time 
among the best in Washington territory, which 
had not yet experienced its period of phenomenal 

By 1880 grain-raising had become the master 
industry of the county, wheat, oats and barley 
being produced in abundance everywhere 
throughout the valley. Fruit culture also had 
become an important enterprise, although many 
of the orchards were still too young to bear. 
There were, however, some fine apple and peach 
orchards at Columbus, White Salmon and other 
points along the Columbia. It had also been 
demonstrated that all kinds of vegetables could 
be raised to advantage, as soil and climate and 
the fortunate absence of diseases and destructive 
pests united to make the valley especially suited 
to the growth and development of such products. 

The winter of 1880-81 was unusually severe, 
causing large losses to the stockmen. Up to 
January 1st the weather was not unusual, but 

during that month thirtj- inches of snow fell on 
the level, and because of sudden changes in the 
weather, became crusted over in such a manner 
as to prevent the stock from successfully forag- 
ing. The losses sustained by the sheepmen were 
especially severe. It is estimated that fully one- 
half of the sheep died, one man being left with 
only seventy out of a herd of five thousand. The 
cattle losses were also great, but as most of the 
stock for which winter feed was not provided 
were wintered in the Yakima valley at that time, 
the cattle that perished in Klickitat were few in 
comparison to the numbers that were lost in the 
surrounding country. The heaviest losses fell 
upon the inhabitants of the eastern end of the 

The final change in the boundary lines of 
Klickitat county was made by an act approved 
November 29, 1881, by which the line between 
Klickitat and Skamania was established as fol- 
lows: "Commencing at a point in the mid-chan- 
nel of the Columbia river, directly opposite the 
mouth of the White Salmon river; thence up the 
said channel of White Salmon river as far north 
as to the southern boundary of township four 
north, of range ten east of Willamette meridian; 
thence due west on said township line to range 
nine east of Willamette meridian; thence north 
following said range line till it intersects the 
southern boundary of Yakima county. " 

The people of Klickitat valley were slow in 
learning the value of their county as an agricul- 
tural district. It was with much doubt as to 
their success that they made the first experi- 
ments in farming. Nor were the results obtained 
altogether satisfactory. The nature of the soil 
was so different from that to which they had 
been accustomed that it was necessary to test the 
value of the land by a series of experiments before 
they were able to determine the crops for which 
it was best adapted. Previous to 1870 the crick- 
ets had been so numerous as to discourage all 
efforts at agriculture, and for a number of years 
it seemed that the stockmen, who claimed that 
Klickitat was intended for stock alone, had the 
best of the argument, but some there were who 
never lost confidence that the valley was a good 
farming region, and the results have ultimately 
justified their faith. By 1881 the wide stretch 
of valley land lying between the Columbia hills 
and the Simcoe range was for the most part 
given over to the agriculturist. During that 
year the farmers and business men of the county 
formed an agricultural society, the chief object 
of which was to hold an annual county fair for 
the benefit of the farming interests of the county. 
Grounds were procured and suitably laid out 
about a mile from the town of Goldendale. A 
pavilion was built sufficient in size for extensive 
exhibits; stalls were provided for stock ; a race- 
course was laid out; a grand-stand built for spec- 
tators, and all was surrounded bv a close, high 



board fence. The exhibit in the fall was of 
such a nature as to show that the farmers of the 
county were possessed of enterprise and energy, 
and that the county had justified their faith in it. 
Another important feature of the fair was the 
fruit exhibit. The settlers of the valley had 
their attention called for the first time to the 
importance of their county as a fruit country, 
when they saw displayed not only the hardy vari- 
eties, but even the more delicate semi-tropical 
fruits, all perfect in form and development. 

Already the necessity for better methods of 
outside communication was beginning- to be felt 
by the citizens of Klickitat valley. Hitherto, 
the local demand had been sufficient for all the 
products of the county except the stock, which 
was readily transported overland, but the .wheat 
fields were increasing year by year and it was 
evident that an outside market would soon be a 
necessity. A number of years before the gov- 
ernment had turned its attention to the opening 
of the Columbia river for navigation, but govern- 
ment methods are necessarily slow and the Cas- 
cade locks were not to be opened to navigation 
for fifteen years yet. During the year 1S81 the 
Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company had 
secured a right of way down the south bank of 
the Columbia river and was rapidly pushing to 
completion a new line of railroad to Portland. 
The following year this road was ready for traffic, 
opening a new outlet for the wheat crops of the 
valley, although it did not dispense with the 
necessity of crossing the Columbia by ferry. 

The year 1882 was a year of drought, and it 
witnessed the nearest approach to a crop failure 
that has ever been known in the valley. The 
west winds are always laden with moisture from 
the wet district beyond the Cascades and act like 
a rain to the growing crops, but when the winds 
continue long from the east, all vegetation be- 
comes scorched and shriveled as if struck by a 
blast from a heated furnace. When these east 
winds strike the crops before they have matured 
the result is disastrous. As a general rule the 
west wind prevails in the growing season, but the 
year under consideration was an exceptional one 
and the crops suffered much damage from 

This year of short crops was especially dis- 
couraging as agriculture had only recently taken 
hold in the county and many of the farmers were 
not yet well established. Some were still in debt 
for necessary improvements, and consequently 
were left in straitened circumstances. That 
they were not disheartened, however, is shown 
by the energetic manner in which they set about 
repairing their fortunes the succeeding year. A 
much increased acreage was sown and substantial 
improvements were made everywhere. Another 
indication that the people had not lost confidence 
was the fact that the records of the proceedings 
of the spring term of court showed comparatively 

few suits brought for the collection of debt in the 
county and not a single one against a farmer. 
Another creditable feature indicated by the court 
docket was the remarkably few crimes committed 
in the county. The records show for the term 
before mentioned that only two persons were 
indicted for crime by the grand jury and that 
there was but one trial by the petit jury and that 
that one resulted in acquittal. Nor was this 
peculiar to that particular term of court; a sim- 
ilar condition has obtained throughout the whole 
history of the county. The pages of its past are 
blotted with few records of crime. The people 
who came as settlers were industrious and pro- 
gressive, and the country being remote from the 
regular routes of travel, there was little to attract 
any other class within its borders. 

It was the intention of the Agricultural Soci- 
ety when first organized to hold a fair annually 
and for a number of years it followed this plan. 
The second of the series was held in October, 
18S2, a very creditable one, considering the un- 
favorableness of the year. The following season 
was much more favorable for the farmer, and the 
Sentinel of October nth informs us that the dis- 
play that year was far the best that had yet been 
made. The population of the county was still 
small and their means limited, so that it was not 
possible to accomplish as much as might be de- 
sired, but these exhibitions had the beneficial 
effect of keeping before the people the natural 
resources of the county and the great elements 
of wealth and prosperity which it contained. 

Klickitat had now become essentially an agri- 
cultural county. Wheat-raising was no longer 
an experiment, it having been satisfactorily 
demonstrated that cereals yielded a sure and 
profitable crop. In 1884 most of the valley land 
was planted to grain and as the year proved a 
favorable one, with sufficient rains to mature 
properly the crop, the result was a harvest un- 
equaled in quantity and quality by any previous 
yield in the history of the county. The farmers 
were agreeably surprised by crops far in advance 
of their most sanguine expectations. The home 
flouring mills were crowded to their full capacity 
and a large margin was left for shipment abroad. 

While the harvest of the season was all that 
could be desired, the price of grain was excep- 
tionally low. Wheat ranged throughout the year 
at from forty to fifty cents a bushel, and as it is 
generally estimated that the cost per bushel of 
raising wheat is close to thirty-two cents, the 
margin of profit was small. It was a time of 
financial depression throughout the entire coun- 
try. These times of business stagnation have 
occurred at intervals in our history so regular as 
almost to indicate that their recurrence is periodic. 
They can be accounted for on no general hy- 
pothesis unless it be excessive speculation and 
lack of business confidence. The agricultural 
sections, however, seem to suffer less at such 


times than any other part of the country. The 
farmers are more independent than any other 
class because they raise more of the actual neces- 
sities of life and in consequence are able to cur- 
tail expenses with less inconvenience. For this 
reason, Klickitat, being essentially an agricul- 
tural district, felt the season of hard times less 
than most of the surrounding counties. The 
lack of money in circulation, however, always 
seriously retards the progress of a section, de- 
laying improvement, and in this respect Klickitat 
was no better off than the rest of the country. 
The Sentinel makes the rather extravagant state- 
ment that there was not "money enough in the 
county that fall to set a hen. " 

Although the people of Klickitat depended as 
yet largely on agriculture and stock-raising for 
their main sources of wealth, they were not the 
only industries that had gained a foothold in the 
county. We have already noted that as early as 
i860 a saw-mill was brought into the county. 
From this single small mill of limited capacity, 
the number had increased to five in 1884, each 
with a daily capacity of from twelve thousand to 
fifteen thousand feet. Besides, .three shingle 
mills were in operation with an average daily 
output of from eight thousand to ten thousand 
shingles. These mills furnished labor to a small 
army of woodmen and lumbermen, though the 
industry was only in its infancy. The outside 
world had yet to learn that the pine of Klickitat 
county was of superior excellence for box and all 
kinds of finishing lumber. 

The year closed with unusual snowstorms. 
By the 15th of December it was estimated that at 
least six feet of snow had fallen at Goldendale, 
while in the hills and along the Columbia river 
the snow was considerably deeper. Because of 
the excessive amount of moisture it contained, it 
had settled down to about four feet on the level. 
All the trains were blockaded in the drifts and 
Goldendale was shut off from communication 
with the outside world for almost three weeks. 
Finally, on January 4th, the letter mail was hauled 
around the blockades on sleighs and a short time 
afterwards the road was again opened for regular 
trains. The soft, wet snow for some time made 
travel very inconvenient, and when finally the 
snow went away the roads were left in a very 
muddy condition, so that considerable time 
elapsed before they were again passable for 
freight teams. 

During the year 1885 Company B, Washing- 
ton National Guards, was organized at Golden- 
dale with the following officers: Captain, Enoch 
W. Pike; first-lieutenant, A. L. Miller; second- 
lieutenant, G. W. Stapleton. However, this was 
not the first militia company organized in the 
county, that honor belonging to Captain Pike's 
Rangers, heretofore mentioned, who also have the 
distinction of having been the territory's pioneer 
militia company. Company B was disbanded by 

order of the governor in 1895, '* having been 
decided to reduce the militia strength of the 

The annals of a happy and prosperous people 
are naturally short, for the story of progress and 
improvement is quickly told while records of 
disaster are prolonged through many pages. An 
examination of the year 1885 shows little worthy 
of notice except a steady progress in spite of low 
prices for products and little money in circulation. 
That the people of Klickitat were suffering less 
than their neighbors from the existing financial 
distress, is plainly evident from a comparison of 
the delinquent tax lists published by the differ- 
ent counties throughout the territory for the 
year. The lists of Klickitat county show only a 
very few delinquencies while in many of the other 
counties of no greater population the lists are 
several times as long. 

Although Klickitat has been settled for more 
than two score years, few deeds of violence stain 
the pages of its history. The people of the 
county were shocked, however, during the year 
1886 by a crime of a most foul and revolting 
nature which occurred in the eastern end or what 
is know as the Horse Heaven region. The 
crime, for which the perpetrator finally paid the 
penalty which his deed merited, was committed 
on October 4, 1886. The facts in the case were 
as follows: William Sterling and Jochin Henry 
Timmerman, alias Beamer, left Ellensburg, 
where Sterling had been freighting during the 
summer, and started to drive with their teams 
and wagons across country to Oregon. They 
were seen together and recognized at different 
points on the road by a number of people who 
knew both parties. Up to the evening of October 
3d they were known to be traveling in each 
other's company, but in the afternoon of the fol- 
lowing day Timmerman came to the Arlington 
ferry alone. He was driving four horses hitched 
to a wagon with another trailing behind. One 
span of the horses was afterward recognized as 
belonging to Sterling. About fifteen days later 
the body of a man was found, lacerated beyond 
recognition, but everything seemed to indicate 
that it was the body of the missing William 
Sterling. There was evidence that it had been 
pierced by two bullets, one in the breast and one 
in the head. The body was buried by the dis- 
coverers and the facts reported to the authorities. 
After some time had elapsed Timmerman was 
arrested and given a preliminary hearing, which 
resulted in his being bound over for trial at the 
October term of court for the year 1S87. The 
case was called on the 25th of October, Hon. 
George Turner presiding at the trial. The prose- 
cution was conducted by County Attorney Hiram 
Dustin, assisted by Messrs. Smith and Dutubar, 
while Hon. D. P. Ballard, of Vancouver, ap- 
peared for the defense. 

Wallace Hughes, the first witness called by the 

Copyrighted by I 'arratt, photograph. 

On the Columbia River. Estimated weight 140 toi 

Copyrighted by Carratt, Photographer. 
Known in Indian legend as "The Fire God," with the "Big Muddy" in the 




OLD BLOCKHOUSE. Seven miles west 

Constructed in the early '50s 


prosecution, testified that he had accompanied 
Timmerman and Sterling from Ellensburg to 
North Yakima. He described Sterling as a tall 
man with dark hair and dark complexion; he 
further stated that Sterling wore a dark felt hat 
while Timmerman wore a white one, decorated 
with tobacco tags. He said they arrived at North 
Yakima on the last day of September, 1886, and 
spent the night at S. V. Hughes' place. 

S. V. Hughes was next called and testified 
that Sterling and defendant had spent the night 
at his home in North Yakima and that they left 
together on the following morning. Both wit- 
nesses claimed that Timmerman was then going 
under the name of Beamer. W. B. Crow, a 
resident of Milton, Oregon, testified that he had 
accompanied Sterling and the accused for some 
distance and camped with them one night on the 
Yakima river. From that point he took the 
Wallula road while they proceeded through the 
Horse Heaven country. He also had noticed 
that Sterling wore a black hat and Timmerman 
a white one. H. F. Williams and A. C. Ketcham 
both testified that they had seen the men together 
on the 3d of October and had noticed the team 
each drove. 

The 4th of October, Timmerman was seen by 
W. H. Boyd, Archie Miller and George B. Kintz- 
ley, driving four horses and trailing one wagon. 
The horses, as described by them, corresponded 
to the animals driven by the accused and Ster- 
ling on the preceding day. Kintzley had been 
watching for horse thieves and he attached the 
property of Timmerman on suspicion. Many of 
the articles found in the wagon were identified as 
belonging to Sterling, among them a dark felt 
hat, and the bottom of one wagon was found to 
be stained with blood. Kintzley further testified 
of the manner in which he and Forwood had dis- 
covered the body of the murdered man. They 
were looking for stolen horses about October 
20th and as they followed up the road over which 
Timmerman had traveled, they noticed where 
the track of two wagons led out to one side of the 
road and again where they had returned, about 
one hundred and fifty yards beyond. They 
were moved through curiosity to follow the 
wagon tracks back through the sand. After 
they had gone about sixty yards from the road 
they found a body all lacerated and torn by wild 
animals until unrecognizable, though an examina- 
tion resulted in the discovery of indications that 
the body had been pierced by two bullets. 

Two shots were heard by a sheep herder 
named Martin Peck in the direction in which the 
body was found, and Peck afterward saw a man 
with a four-horse team coming from the direction 
in which the sound of the shots had come. Many 
of the articles found on the wagon were identi- 
fied by Mrs. Sterling as belonging to her hus- 
band. Her description of the latter's height and 
general appearance conformed closely to the 

dimensions of the body found, while a pistol and 
pocketbook discovered in the pockets of the mur- 
dered man were identified as belonging to Ster- 

The strange story told by Timmerman to 
account for the strong circumstantial evidence 
against him was that while he and Sterling were ■ 
traveling together, they had been attacked by 
armed men who fired upon them. In the shoot- 
ing which ensued, he had killed in self-defense 
one of the party that attacked them. He con- 
tended that the body discovered by Kintzley and 
Forwood was that of the man so killed and that 
William Sterling was still living. Sterling, he 
said, had run away to escape arrest when he dis- 
covered that they had killed a man This story 
failed to account for the fact that the body found 
had neither boots nor hat, while Sterling's boots 
and hat were in the possession of the defendant. 

Timmerman was convicted and sentenced to 
be hanged on the 15th day of December, 1887. 
The case was carried to the supreme court on a 
writ of error, but the decision of tne lower court 
was sustained, and the day of execution was set 
this time for April 6, 1888. To the end Timmer- 
man persisted in the truth of his very improba- 
ble story. He told Sheriff Blakely, of Gilliam 
county, that the body identified as Sterling's was 
really that of a man named George Lester, whom 
he had shot in self-defense in a quarrel over a 

Timmerman went through the ordeal of the 
trial and execution with fortitude, never showing 
a tremor of emotion. When offered a cigar by 
the sheriff, he took it, declaring that he would 
smoke it with the rope around his neck. The 
hanging took place in the open, just north of 
Goldenclale, across the road from the graveyard. 
The victim rode to his execution on his own 
coffin and literally fulfilled his statement by 
smoking the cigar as he ascended the scaffold. 
Sheriff "William VanVactor was in charge of the 

Two years afterward some malicious persons, 
for an unknown reason, removed the remains of 
Timmerman from the place where they had been 
deposited in the graveyard, and placing them in 
a sack, emptied them into the Little Klickitat. 
Here they were afterward found, and at the 
direction of the coroner returned to their former 
resting-place in the cemetery. The people were 
very much incensed at this act of brutality, and 
had the perpetrators of the deed been found, 
they would have been severely punished. 

A glance at some figures exhibited in the 
report of the sheep commissioner for the year 
1888 shows some surprising facts regarding the 
proportions to which the sheep industry had 
grown at this time. According to this report, 
there were at that time S6,o6o sheep in the 
county, without taking into account the 63,000 
head brought in from Oregon for summer pas- 


ture. During the year 20,000 head of mutton 
sheep were disposed of at an average price of $2 
per head, netting $40,000, and 688,480 pounds 
of wool were marketed at ten cents per pound. 
In all, the sheep men of the county had received 
$118,480 for their year's product. This was an 
■excellent showing, considering the fact that 
because of a measure passed by congress reduc- 
ing the tariff on wool, that commodity had 
depreciated in price eight cents a pound as com- 
pared with the previous year. 

During the year a destructive fire swept Gold- 
endale, wiping almost the entire business portion 
of the city out of existence, and leaving the. 
county without any courthouse. The one that 
had been constructed by private subscription was 
consumed in the fire. This laid upon the county 
the necessity of constructing a new building as 
soon as possible. The proposition to bond the 
county for the sum of twenty-five thousand dol- 
lars to build a new courthouse and jail was 
referred to a vote of the people at the November 
election, but failed to carry by ten votes. The 
commissioners, therefore, the following year, let 
a contract for the construction of the present 
building, and since that time a jail has been 
erected at a cost approximating five thousand 
dollars. The county now has a commodious 
brick structure with courtroom and offices for 
the county officials, while under a separate roof 
is a neat, substantial jail. The two buildings 
cost, with furnishings, approximately twenty-five 
thousand dollars. 

One encouraging feature of the year 1888 was 
the voting by the national congress of a new 
appropriation for the Cascade locks. Work had 
been going slowly forward for close to twelve 
years, and the locks were still incomplete. The 
grain raised in Klickitat county had increased 
from year to year until the revenue gained from 
that source had now become a very important 
element in the wealth of the country, but for 
lack of transportation facilities they had been 
placed at a disadvantage. The people of the 
valley had hoped that the completion of the 
O. R. & N. railroad line would furnish them a 
measure of relief, but they soon found that when 
placed at the mercy of any single line of trans- 
portation, they need expect little benefit, as the 
line could set its freight charges as high as its 
officials saw fit, and the people had no appeal 
from the exorbitant rates demanded, which 
were always a large measure of the crop value. 

The settlers of the valley had been hopefully 
looking forward to the opening of the river as a 
means of relief from excessive freight rates, but 
the government work had progressed so slowly 
that they were growing impatient, as just stated. 
The friends of the enterprise succeeded in obtain- 
ing an appropriation during the year 1888 which 
it was hoped would prove sufficient for the 
completion of the work, and the Klickitat 
farmers were again rejoiced with the prospect 
of an open river to The Dalles for the follow- 
ing year. They naturally could not foresee that 
the locks were not to be finished for nearly a 
decade yet. 

But the country was growing in population 
and wealth, notwithstanding the fact that it was 
placed at a great disadvantage for want of 
speedy and cheap transportation. From the 
assessment rolls for the year 1889, it is observa- 
ble that the following taxpayers of the county 
each paid taxes on the sum immediately succeed- 
ing his name: J. Scammon, $5,238; Sig. Sichel, 
$8,365; G. W. Smith, $12,991; B. E. Snipes, 
$8,000; Amos Stark, $5,000; Jehu Switz- 
ler, $8,986; Switzler Bros., $9,490; E. M. 
Thomas & Son, $8,700; O. D. and Rose Taylor, 
$5,498; G. W. Waldron, $6,250; W. B. Walker, 
$8,060; Northern Pacific Railroad Company, 

It is surprising when one comes to consider 
the vast elements of wealth and prosperity, the 
abundant natural resources which the state of 
Washington contains, that it was so long coming 
into public notice. Its magnificent harbors, 
extensive belts of the finest quality of timber, its 
rich mineral districts and fertile farm regions 
could not but proclaim a magnificent destiny for 
it. In 1889 an act was signed by the president 
which marked the beginning of a new era for the 
territory. The passage of the act admitting 
Washington to statehood gave inception to an 
epoch of rapid progress which has done much 
indeed in the development of the state's magnifi- 
cent resources. Klickitat county, for a number 
of years, did not enjoy quite as rapid a develop- 
ment as did some of its sister counties, not 
because of any lack of resources, for it had 
already proven its power in grain and fruit pro- 
duction, but because of its isolation and lack of 
railroads. The struggle of its citizens to over- 
come this obstacle and to find an outlet for their 
products will receive due notice in the next 


GENERAL— 1889-1904. 

Anticipated and eventually realized statehood 
and all other public considerations were tran- 
scended in the interest they awakened in Klickitat 
county during the year 1S89, by a determined 
movement among the people for railroad facili- 
ties. Though the O. R. & N. was separated 
from the county's southern territory only by the 
Columbia river, and the Northern Pacific 
approached it so closely on the north, both were 
too far away to be directly beneficial to the 
richest portions of this naturally favored region, 
and neither had seen fit to construct a branch 
road into it. Thus, an enlightened and progres- 
sive people had the mortification of finding the 
much-desired steel pathways of commerce and 
communication "so near and yet so far." Early 
in 1889 they evidently concluded that this condi- 
tion of affairs could be endured no longer. If 
help from without they could not have, they 
must depend upon themselves. Accordingly, 
the leading men of the community joined hands 
in a tremendous effort to construct unitedly a 
road from Goldendale to some point on the 
Northern Pacific. In issuing a call for the initial 
citizens' meeting with this end in view, the Sen- 
tinel used the following language, which is here 
quoted as showing the general sentiment of the 
people at this time: 

"It has become evident that if the people of 
the county expect a railroad in the next few 
years, they must bestir themselves and do some- 
thing toward inducing outside capital to take 
hold of it, or what might be better, organize, 
survey a route to a connection with the Northern 
Pacific east of here, secure the right of way, and 
proceed to the construction of the road ourselves. 
When it becomes evident that we mean business 
and will contribute liberally for the purpose of a 
railroad, we will have little difficulty in securing 
assistance from the outside. The whole upper 
country is becoming a network of railroads, and 
it is not because of the extraordinary amount of 
traffic that is assured, but the citizens have gone 
down into their pockets and have contributed 
liberal subsidies for the purpose, and the result 
is that property everywhere is advancing; it is 
even affecting us here in Goldendale. 

"There is probably not a locality in the terri- 
tory capable of producing a greater amount of 
traffic than would one through this country, and 

it only remains for us to set the ball rolling. 
Every man who owns one hundred and sixty acres 
north of the brow of the Columbia hills could 
well afford to give two hundred dollars, and 
there are man}' who could afford to give one 
thousand dollars simply as a bonus or double 
that amount in labor. 

"From conversation with different ones of 
our citizens, we are satisfied now that all are 
ready for action in this direction, and to the end 
that we may put the most plausible scheme in 
motion that may be suggested, we recommend 
that a meeting of all hands be called at the 
armory hall in this city on Tuesday, March 1, 
1889, at the hour of one P. M. We want every- 
body to come, and to come with some fixed plan 
of action to suggest and to come with a determi- 
nation to do his entire part." 

On the day previous to that set for the meet- 
ing, viz., on February 28th, about twenty of the 
leading citizens of Goldendale met in the 
A. O. U. W. hall and adopted articles of incor- 
poration, their purpose being to construct and 
operate a railroad commencing at a point on the 
Columbia river between Kalama and Columbus 
and running in an easterly direction, crossing 
the Northern Pacific between North Yakima and 
Pasco; thence in a northeasterly direction to the 
vicinity of Colville. The capital stock was fixed 
at ten million dollars, divided into one hundred 
thousand shares, and most of those present sub- 
scribed according to the means at their com- 
mand. The directors elected were D. W. Pierce, 
E. B. Wise, Sol. Smith, H. D. Young, R. O. 
Dunbar, William Cummings, J. J. Golden, 
Joseph Nesbitt and C. S. Reinhart, and the offi- 
cers named by these were: R. O. Dunbar, presi- 
dent; E. B. Wise, vice-president; William Cum- 
mings, treasurer, and C. S. Reinhart, secretary. 

At the popular meeting held next day an 
unusual amount of interest was manifested in 
the project, almost all subscribing to the capital 
stock of the new corporation, which was known 
as the Columbia Valley & Goldendale Railroad 
Company. A committee of directors addressed 
itself forthwith to securing the right of way and 
receiving subscriptions to the capital stock. 

The work was pushed with energy. R. A. 
Habersham was given charge of the survey, and 
soon had made a preliminary reconnoissance of 


the line as far as Pasco. He reported having 
found no serious obstructions and that on no part 
of the road, as far as his survey extended, would 
there be a grade of more than one hundred feet 
to the mile, the maximum being at the head of 
Rock creek. On April 8th the Columbia Valley 
& Goldendale railroad effected a consolidation 
with a similar company which was being formed 
in Pasco by filing supplementary articles of 
incorporation. The name of the road was 
changed to the Pasco, Goldendale & Columbia 
Valley Railroad Company, and it was decided to 
push forward the further survey necessary at 
once. Commenting on the commencement of 
this work, the Oregonian of April 15th said: 
"Mr. R. A. Habersham leaves this morning to 
locate the line of the Columbia Valley & Golden- 
dale railroad from Goldendale eastward to a 
junction with the Northern Pacific at Pasco, a 
distance of one hundred and ten miles. This 
section of the road passes through a belt of 
wheat lands, containing about fourteen hundred 
square miles, second to none on the northwest 
coast, and will also furnish an outlet to market 
for one hundred and twenty square miles of fine 
timber land on the ridge between the Columbia 
river and Yakima valleys. The extension of the 
road through that magnificent timber and min- 
eral belt north of the Columbia, as contemplated 
by its projectors, makes it an enterprise of great 
importance. It is intended to begin the work of 
constructing the road as soon as the line is 
located and other preparations completed, as 
funds for the construction are already assured." 

As laid out by Engineer Habersham, the 
route of the proposed road lay through a fine 
agricultural section for the first ten miles, then 
through an open yellow-pine forest to Bickleton 
via Cleveland, thirty miles; thence down the 
Glade into the Horse Heaven country, and from 
that through the branches of what is known as 
Badger canyon, through the Kennewick country 
and over the Northern Pacific bridge to Pasco. 

But though the Pasco, Goldendale & Colum- 
bia Valley Railroad Company maintained its 
existence for some time and exerted itself to 
interest outside capital in its enterprise, making 
surveys and compiling statistics for the purpose, 
its road failed to materialize. The facts were 
that the undertaking was too large for local cap- 
italists, and that it was impossible to convince 
outside men that the country was sufficiently 
developed to justify investment in the project. 
The people did not, however, abandon their 
efforts to secure a road, and hardly a year passed 
between that date and the building of the 
Columbia River & Northern without some rail- 
way project to keep up the hopes of the isolated 

The pioneers of Klickitat county were 
doomed for more than the usual number of years 
to the usual struggle of pioneer peoples to secure 

the building of railroads and the larger develop- 
ments incident thereto. Indeed, the- country is 
yet without adequate facilities, though there 
seems to be no good reason why this condition 
should last much longer. 

The railway proposition of 1890 was that of 
extending G. W. Hunt's Oregon & Washington 
railroad from its western terminus at Hunt's 
Junction to Portland. Mr. Hunt required, as a 
condition precedent to this, that the citizens 
along the route or in its terminal city should 
take at par two million dollars of the first mort- 
gage bonds of the road, which were made paya- 
ble January 1, 1930, and bore interest at six per 
cent, per annum. These bonds were to be taken 
and paid for at the rate of one hundred thousand 
dollars immediately on the completion of each 
ten miles of the extension, work to begin at 
Portland and proceed eastward. Should the 
people comply with the terms of this proposal, 
Mr. Hunt undertook to have the road completed 
and in operation on or before December 13, 
1 891. 

Of course, this proposed extension of the 
Hunt system was of great interest to the Klicki- 
tat residents, as it would traverse their country 
from east to west. They were, therefore, 
greatly rejoiced when a despatch was received 
from Portland, dated April 8, 1890, stating that 
the Hunt subsidy was completed and that Mr. 
Hunt had been notified to go ahead with his road 
at once. Mr. Hunt did go ahead. Considerable 
surveying and preliminary work was done, but 
there the matter rested, and eventually the 
entire Hunt system passed into the hands of the 
Northern Pacific. Once more the hopes of the 
Klickitat people were disappointed, for though 
the assignees were expected to carry out the 
plans of Mr. Hunt, they have not thus far seen 
fit to do so. 

The season of 1889 was one of very moderate 
harvests in Klickitat county, and the winter 
following it was so severe as to cause a heavy 
loss of both cattle and sheep. In its issue of 
March 6, 1890, the Sentinel remarked that the 
winter was still holding out in the Bickleton coun- 
try and that the supply of hay was growing 
small, but that those who had some on hand 
were dividing with those who had none in an 
effort to reduce the loss to a minimum. As is 
usual, however, the stockman's misfortune was 
the agriculturist's gain, for the heavy snows of 
winter caused unusual crops of cereals next 
season. "One year ago," says the Courier of 
August 15, 1890, "the Klickitaters were groaning 
in sorrow; to-day they are singing paeans of joy. 
And why this great change? From a very light 
crop to the finest the world has ever seen! The 
crop of eastern Klickitat to-day beats the record 
ten-fold and the granger is again on top." 

An incident of the fall of 1890, of some 
importance, was the exodus of citizens of Klicki- 


tat county to the vicinity of Mount Adams, 
caused by the finding of some rock in that region 
which assayed over three hundred and sixty dol- 
lars to the ton. J. J. Golden was the owner of 
the ore. As it was claimed that an abundance 
of the same kind of rock was obtainable, natur- 
ally considerable excitement resulted from it, 
especially as the region was but a short distance 
from the line surveyed by Hunt's engineers. 
But like many another excitement in the North- 
west, it did not result in the discovery of any- 
thing of importance. 

Of more vital moment to the future of Klicki- 
tat as of other parts of the country was the pass- 
age of a bill in congress declaring that "there is 
forfeited to the United States, and the United 
States hereby resumes title to all lands hereto- 
fore granted to any state or corporation to aid in 
the construction of a railroad," where such road 
was not then constructed and in operation. This 
act threw open for settlement and development 
thousands of acres in western Klickitat, though 
there was, of course, some earned railroad land in 
the eastern part of the county, owing to the 
proximity of the Northern Pacific's main line to 
that section. 

Perhaps a copy of the assessor's summary for 
the year 1890 may be of interest as furnishing a 
general idea of the country's development at 
that time, and a basis of comparison with the 
present. It shows: Horses, mules and asses, 
IO ) 1 3S. valued at $217,159; cattle, 9,755, valued 
at $128,478; sheep, 32,466, $62,983; hogs, 4,789, 
$9,383; wagons and carriages, 982, $28,374; sew 
ing machines, 320, $3,197; watches, clocks, 154 
$1,405; melodeons, organs, etc., 113, $3,820 
piano fortes, 4, $240; agricultural implements 
valued at $19,870; goods, merchandise and lum 
ber, valued at $32,595; improvements on public 
lands, $92,453; real estate assessed to individu 
als, 124,063 acres, valued at $2.96 per acre 
assessed to the Northern Pacific Railroad Com 
pany, 345,592, valued at 50 cents per acre. 
According to the United States census, the pop- 
ulation of the county at this time was 5,167. 

The season of 1891 appears to have been 
another prosperous one for farmers and fruit 
raisers. Notwithstanding the somewhat backward 
spring, crops and prices and general conditions 
were good. Abundant rain in the early part of 
July caused the wheat to fill well, improving its 
quality and enhancing its value to the purchaser 
and the price received by the farmer. 

The year was one of quiet development. 
Little happened of a sensational character, 
except the exploitation of the celebrated North 
Dalles scheme which most of those who were 
residents of the Pacific coast states at the time 
will well remember. Briefly stated, the history 
of the case, compiled from official documents and 
other information furnished by J. T. Rorick, is 
as follows: 

Rev. Orson D. Taylor was the originator and 
moving spirit of the scheme. He had come to 
The Dalles about 1880 as a Baptist missionary, 
and had taken charge of the church at that place. 
He soon came to be recognized as a man of unus- 
ual shrewdness and business talent. Late in the 
eighties he conceived his town-site project and 
began the acquisition of land lying opposite The 
Dalles, in the bend of the Columbia river. Here 
there is a tract of thousands of acres of low land, 
rocky in parts, excellent for grazing purposes in 
other portions, and in a few places arable. 
Across it and in the path of the strong winds 
blowing up the river, is a wide strip covered 
with sand dunes, eternally drifting. A town site 
in this territory would not be a natural outlet for 
any country except that in the immediate vicin- 
ity, a region perhaps ten by ten miles, some of 
it worthless and little of it valuable for anything 
but grazing. 

Taylor first homesteaded a hundred and sixty 
acres at the Big Eddy, the foot of the rapids. 
He then bought seven hundred and twenty acres 
from Frank P. Taylor, of The Dalles, paying 
therefor ten dollars an acre; then he purchased 
one thousand and fifty acres from George B. 
Rowland for ten thousand five hundred dollars. 
By picking up three or four small tracts, he 
became, by 1890, the owner of over two thou- 
sand acres, lying in an irregular body east of the 
Rockland ferry landing. This land was heavily 
mortgaged to banks in The Dalles and to other 
money lenders. 

July 5th, 1890, Taylor organized the Inter- 
state Investment Company, capitalized at one 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars, divided into 
shares of the par value of five thousand dollars 
each. He retained half of the stock himself. 
The remainder he sold in lots of one and two 
shares each, principally to Oregonians, though 
some of it was disposed of in the east. The 
Investment Company, of which Taylor was 
elected president and general manager, pur- 
chased the property of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor for 
one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, one-third 
cash, the remainder in two notes for fifty thou- 
sand dollars each. Then they platted the town 
of North Dalles and began operations. During 
the next four months the company sold about 
forty thousand dollars' worth of lots to people 
living in Oregon and Washington; over nine 
thousand dollars were realized from sales to per- 
sons in the vicinity of The Dalles and in Klicki- 
tat county. The plats of the property on exhibi- 
tion at The Dalles and elsewhere were beauti- 
fully executed and showed a town site half by 
three-quarters of a mile in extent. A fine boule- 
vard was pictured as extending along the river, 
and trolley lines traversed the principal streets 
and avenues of this city on paper. A beautiful 
park was also shown, the site of which is to-day 
marked by three desolate-looking trees. Three 


railroads were shown as actually constructed, the 
Hunt system down to Vancouver, the Northern 
Pacific along the north bank, and The Dalles, 
Klickitat & Northern, whose southern terminus 
was North Dalles. The line of the last-men- 
tioned road followed the Klickitat river, the 
trifling circumstance that no road could both fol- 
low the river and terminate at North Dalles, the 
mouth of the stream being some nine miles from 
the town, apparently having been entirely over- 
looked by the map-makers. The plat also 
showed the proposed steamboat portage road 
terminating at North Dalles. 

The pamphlet issued by the company vouch- 
safed the information that North Dalles was 
eighty miles from Portland and could be reached 
either by rail or by water, that it was self-evident 
that North Dalles was destined to rival its sister 
cities, Spokane, Tacoma and Seattle; that it 
"surpassed in natural products and location," 
and finally, that it was the "outlet of the wealthy 
Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas country." 

In March, 1891, the company watered its stock 
by organizing the Interstate Improvement 
Company, to which the Investment Company 
transferred its bond for a deed given by Taylor 
and wife, in consideration of notes for one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars and stock in the 
new company. Four thousand five hundred 
shares of Improvement Company stock, of the 
par value of one hundred dollars each, were 
issued and placed on the eastern market. Tay- 
lor held three thousand shares as trustee and one 
in his own right, besides the notes for one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars. The name of 
the town was changed to Grand Dalles. Taylor 
became general manager, also special sales agent, 
with a commission of twenty-five per cent, on 
lots sold and ten per cent, on stock. He secured 
as his confidential clerk and assistant salesman a 
Californian named S. L. Skeels, whom he had 
met in Spokane. Offices were opened at Cleve- 
land, Ohio; Buffalo, New York, and Saginaw, 
Michigan, and within two years the sales of lots 
and Improvement Company stock aggregated 
one hundred and ninety thousand dollars. 
Skeels reported directly to Taylor, who himself 
made no reports for a long time, and when at 
last he was compelled to do so, submitted very 
unsatisfactory ones. 

The Improvement Company, of which Rev. 
J. F. Ellis was president, issued a handsome 
descriptive pamphlet in 1891, the title page of 
which read: "Grand Dalles, the Imperial Gate- 
way of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, Head of 
Ocean Navigation on the Columbia River." 

"This booklet," said the preface, "is issued 
to answer such questions as naturally arise where 
investment is proposed. 

"That the answer should be truthful and 
trustworthy, the company owning Grand Dalles 
hired a gentleman of ability to go upon the 

grounds and examine carefully the condition and 
surroundings, charging him particularly to write 
nothing that he could not verify either by his 
own observation, the testimony of witnesses or 
official facts and figures." 

The old story of the town's greatness was 
retold, though the wording was carefully studied 
and displayed much ingenuity in arranging 
statements in themselves not far from the truth 
in such a way as to create a wholly false impres- 
sion. When this could not be done, false state- 
ments were made without scruple. The Oregon 
& Washington Railroad Company was down on 
the map accompanying for a line along the 
Columbia. The Dalles, Goldendale & Northern 
went north over the Columbia river divide, 
which a mountain goat could hardly climb on 
the grade indicated; the Hunt railroad was still 
pictured, and the Portage road was also noted. 
A beautiful painting had been made of the coun- 
try at that point, a fac-siniile of which was 
shown in the booklet. In the picture a suspen- 
sion bridge, proposed, was shown connecting 
The Dalles, Oregon, with Grand Dalles, though 
the only one who ever proposed such a structure 
was Taylor himself or his associates. 

In 1891 Taylor organized a shoe company. 
The Improvement Company subscribed ten thou- 
sand dollars, very little of which was ever paid, 
while the of hers, citizens of Wasco and Klickitat 
counties, subscribed ten or twelve thousand dol- 
lars more, and an imposing three-story frame 
building with a high tower was erected on a lofty 
promontory facing the Columbia. Machinery 
was installed ; for two or three weeks forty or 
fifty men were employed, and some good shoes 
were manufactured; then the creditors closed 
the business down. The lumber that went into 
the building was never paid for; neither was the 
machinery, and only a small part of the laborers' 
wages was ever paid. The experiment cost the 
people about fourteen thousand dollars. Its 
monument is a weather-beaten, empty old shell 
in Grand Dalles. A box factory was also erected 
at this time, which never produced anything of 
moment, and the building is now in use as 
barn. But, notwithstanding the complete fiasco 
of the two enterprises, they resulted in the exten- 
sive advertising of the town and the sale of many 
lots. Taylor was a past master in the art of 

In Saginaw, Taylor sold two shares of 
Investment Company stock to the man who ulti- 
mately caused his downfall and nearly landed 
him in prison. This man was Dr. Daniel B. 
Cornell, a well-known physician. Taylor also 
entered into a contract with Cornell for the sale 
to him of three hundred and fifteen lots for 
thirty-two thousand one hundred and sixty dol- 
lars, the agreement being that on payment of 
one-third the price, Cornell was to receive bonds 
for deeds, and upon payment of eighty-five per 



cent., full possession. Cornell was aiming to 
sell at an advance, but before he completed pre- 
liminaries and began operations, he discovered 
things concerning Taylor which caused him to 
draw back and the contract was never carried 

In December, 1892, J. T. Rorick, of Michi- 
gan, the purchaser of one five thousand dollar- 
share of stock, came out to start a paper at 
Grand Dalles. Cornell also came out to investi- 
gate, and he and Rorick together began an 
inquiry. Finding that Taylor had made no 
reports, they cornered Skeels at Buffalo, put him 
in the "sweat box" and forced from him damag- 
ing confessions. Skeels blamed Taylor for every- 
thing that was wrong, excusing himself on the 
ground that he was only an employee, and 
turned over all the evidence he possessed. Later 
Skeels addressed the directors of the company 
and did all he could to straighten matters, claim- 
ing that formerly he had simply been following 
directions of his employer. 

Cornell and Rorick succeeded in getting Tay- 
lor deposed from office in June, 1893. Going 
before the Multnomah county grand jury, they 
secured his indictment on about sixty different 
counts, charging embezzlement of fifty thousand 
dollars. However, after two years of waiting, 
the prosecuting attorney entered a nolle prosequi 
in the case, the only thing he could do because 
of a peculiar Oregon statute relating to embez- 
zlement known as the "mingling fund" law. 

Dr. Cornell, S. H. Blakely and Joseph Sea- 
man, all well known Saginaw men who had 
subscribed Investment Company stock, there- 
upon made complaint in the circuit court of Sag- 
inaw county, charging Taylor with obtaining 
money under false pretenses. This was in 1895. 
At the same time the two companies began civil 
action to force Taylor to give an accounting, 
instituting litigation which did not terminate 
until January, 1902. 

Taylor was arrested at The Dalles in July, 

1895, by Detective Parker Owen, of the Saginaw 
police force, who, after a series of adventures, 
succeeded in landing his prisoner at Saginaw. In 
December, 1895, the case in which Cornell was 
complaining witness came up for trial before 
Judge Snow. Taylor's attorney raised technical 
objections touching the legality of the statute 
upon which the prosecution was based, and the 
matter had to go to the supreme court. Defend- 
ant's counsel secured an agreement on the part 
of all concerned to rest the Cornell case and 
carry up the Seaman case. This was done, and 
in a short time the supreme court ordered the 
circuit court to try the case. In December, 

1896, by consent of all arties, the Cornell case 
was taken up, and Taylor was found guilty and 
sentenced to six years' imprisonment. An 
appeal was taken to the supreme court, to which 
body the appellants somehow made it appear 

that Taylor was a second time in jeopardy for 
the same offense when the conviction was 
secured, hence the court ordered the prisoner 
released. The prosecution, knowing that the 
other cases were much weaker than Cornell's, 
dropped everything, and Taylor went forth a 
free man. He beat his lawyers out of their fees 
and out of money borrowed from them, and they 
bitterly and unequivocally denounced him in the 
press as a criminal of the first water. 

Between trials Taylor was liberated on a cash 
bond furnished by George H. Williams, of Ore- 
gon, his western attorney. After his first trial 
on the Cornell case, Taylor borrowed twenty 
thousand dollars, giving as security a property 
on Mill creek, in Oregon, which was mortgaged 
to Williams for its full value. The man who 
loaned the money had been present at the trial 
and heard all the evidence, yet he could not 
resist the subtle power of» the gifted promoter. 
This mortgage was, however, discharged recently. 

The only business building in the famous 
town of Grand Dalles at the present time is a 
postoffice. A drearier, more desolate-looking 
array of shacks and rock piles and sand cannot 
be found in the Northwest, though further back 
from the river is some fine grazing land. Per- 
haps not more than a score of people live in the 
immediate vicinity. 

The year 1892 appears to have been one of 
activity and prosperity among the farmers and 
stockmen of the country. That those engaged 
in the lumber industry were not idle is evident 
from statistics compiled by the Puget Sound 
Lumberman, showing the output of Klickitat for 
the year as follows: D. W. Pierce & Son, 1,000,- 
000 feet; John Hoggard & Son, 1,000,000; Lever- 
ett & Company, 500,000; O. P. Shurtz, 800,000; 
Warren & Company, 500,000; Beaverstock & 
Jones, 500,000; N. C. Norton, 400,000; Oto Saw- 
mill Company, 4,000,000; Cameron & Company, 
500,000; total, 9,600,000 feet. The same author- 
ity estimated the output of shingles as follows: 
M. S. Bishop, 2,000,000; Hale & Son, 1,300,000; 
Thompson Brothers, 1,550,000; Flekinger & 
Buckley, 2,100,000; Leverett & Company, 
1,400,000; total, 8,350,000. 

The most sensational occurrence of the year 
was the killing of William Dunn by John Green 
and the trial which grew out of it. The scene of 
the homicide was the Blockhouse settlement, 
seven miles northwest of Goldendale, and the 
date June 25th. It appears that the victim and 
his slaver had had a quarrel previously over 
some cattle which Dunn claimed that Green had 
stolen from him, and of course there was ill- 
feeling between them in consequence. On the 
fatal day Green and a companion named William 
Mehan were at John Cleaves' hotel at Blockhouse 
when Dunn rode up and began tying his horses 
to the hitching post just west of the house. 
Green, who was within, came out and said, 


railroads were shown as actually constructed, the 
Hunt system down to Vancouver, the Northern 
Pacific along the north bank, and The Dalles, 
Klickitat & Northern, whose southern terminus 
was North Dalles. The line of the last-men- 
tioned road followed the Klickitat river, the 
trifling circumstance that no road could both fol- 
low the river and terminate at North Dalles, the 
mouth of the stream being some nine miles from 
the town, apparently having been entirel}' over- 
looked by the map-makers. The plat also 
showed the proposed steamboat portage road 
terminating at North Dalles. 

The pamphlet issued by the company vouch- 
safed the information that North Dalles was 
eighty miles from Portland and could be reached 
either by rail or by water, that it was self-evident 
that North Dalles was destined to rival its sister 
cities, Spokane, Tacoma and Seattle; that it 
"surpassed in natural products and location," 
and finally, that it was the "outlet of the wealthy 
Klickitat, Yakima and Kittitas country." 

In March, 1S91, the company watered its stock 
by organizing the Interstate Improvement 
Company, to which the Investment Company 
transferred its bond for a deed given by Taylor 
and wife, in consideration of notes for one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars and stock in the 
new company. Four thousand five hundred 
shares of Improvement Company stock, of the 
par value of one hundred dollars each, were 
issued and placed on the eastern market. Tay- 
lor held three thousand shares as trustee and one 
in his own right, besides the notes for one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand dollars. The name of 
the town was changed to Grand Dalles. Taylor 
became general manager, also special sales agent, 
with a commission of twenty-five per cent, on 
lots sold and ten per cent, on stock. He secured 
as his confidential clerk and assistant salesman a 
Californian named S. L. Skeels, whom he had 
met in Spokane. Offices were opened at Cleve- 
land, Ohio; Buffalo, New York, and Saginaw, 
Michigan, and within two years the sales of lots 
and Improvement Company stock aggregated 
one hundred and ninety thousand dollars. 
Skeels reported directly to Taylor, who himself 
made no reports for a long time, and when at 
last he was compelled to do so, submitted very 
unsatisfactory ones. 

The Improvement Company, of which Rev. 
J. F. Ellis was president, issued a handsome 
descriptive pamphlet in 1891, the title page of 
which read: "Grand Dalles, the Imperial Gate- 
way of Oregon, Washington and Idaho, Head of 
Ocean Navigation on the Columbia River." 

"This booklet," said the preface, "is issued 
to answer such questions as naturally arise where 
investment is proposed. 

"That the answer should be truthful and 
trustworthy, the company owning Grand Dalles 
hired a gentleman of ability to go upon the 

grounds and examine carefully the condition and 
surroundings, charging him particularly to write 
nothing that he could not verify either by his 
own observation, the testimony of witnesses or 
official facts and figures." 

The old story of the town's greatness was 
retold, though the wording was carefully studied 
and displayed much ingenuity in arranging 
statements in themselves not far from the truth 
in such a way as to create a wholly false impres- 
sion. When this could not be done, false state- 
ments were made without scruple. The Oregon 
& Washington Railroad Company was down on 
the map accompanying for a line along the 
Columbia. The Dalles, Goldendale & Northern 
went north over the Columbia river divide, 
which a mountain goat could hardly climb on 
the grade indicated; the Hunt railroad was still 
pictured, and the Portage road was also noted. 
A beautiful painting had been made of the coun- 
try at that point, a fac-simile of which was 
shown in the booklet. In the picture a suspen- 
sion bridge, proposed, was shown connecting 
The Dalles, Oregon, with Grand Dalles, though 
the only one who ever proposed such a structure 
was Taylor himself or his associates. 

In 1S91 Taylor organized a shoe company. 
The Improvement Company subscribed ten thou- 
sand dollars, very little of which was ever paid, 
while the others, citizens of Wasco and Klickitat 
counties, subscribed ten or twelve thousand dol- 
lars more, and an imposing three-story frame 
building with a high tower was erected on a lofty 
promontory facing the Columbia. Machinery 
was installed ; for two or three weeks forty or 
fifty men were employed, and some good shoes 
were manufactured: then the creditors closed 
the business down. The lumber that went into 
the building was never paid for; neither was the 
machinery, and only a small part of the laborers' 
wages was ever paid. The experiment cost the 
people about fourteen thousand dollars. Its 
monument is a weather-beaten, empty old shell 
in Grand Dalles. A box factory was also erected 
at this time, which never produced anything of 
moment, and the building is now in use as a 
barn. But, notwithstanding the complete fiasco 
of the two enterprises, they resulted in the exten- 
sive advertising of the town and the sale of many 
lots. Taylor was a past master in the art of 

In Saginaw, Taylor sold two shares of 
Investment Company stock to the man who ulti- 
mately caused his downfall and nearly landed 
him in prison. This man was Dr. Daniel B. 
Cornell, a well-known physician. Taylor also 
entered into a contract with Cornell for the sale 
to him of three hundred and fifteen lots for 
thirty-two thousand one hundred and sixty dol- 
lars, the agreement being that on payment of 
one-third the price, Cornell was to receive bonds 
for deeds, and upon payment of eighty-five per 


cent., full possession. Cornell was aiming to 
sell at an advance, but before he completed pre- 
liminaries and began operations, he discovered 
things concerning Taylor which caused him to 
draw back and the contract was never carried 

In December, 1892, J. T. Rorick, of Michi- 
gan, the purchaser of one five thousand dollar- 
share of stock, came out to start a paper at 
Grand Dalles. Cornell also came out to investi- 
gate, and he and Rorick together began an 
inquiry. Finding that Taylor had made no 
reports, they cornered Skeels at Buffalo, put him 
in the "sweat box" and forced from him damag- 
ing confessions. Skeels blamed Taylor for every- 
thing that was wrong, excusing himself on the 
ground that he was only an employee, and 
turned over all the evidence he possessed. Later 
Skeels addressed the directors of the company 
and did all he could to straighten matters, claim- 
ing that formerly he had simply been following 
directions of his employer. 

Cornell and Rorick succeeded in getting Tay- 
lor deposed from office in June, 1893. Going 
before the Multnomah county grand jury, they 
secured his indictment on about sixty different 
counts, charging embezzlement of fifty thousand 
dollars. However, after two years of waiting, 
the prosecuting attorney entered a nolle prosequi 
in the case, the only thing he could do because 
of a peculiar Oregon statute relating to embez- 
zlement known as the "mingling fund" law. 

Dr. Cornell, S. H. Blakely and Joseph Sea- 
man, all well known Saginaw men who had 
subscribed Investment Company stock, there- 
upon made complaint in the circuit court of Sag- 
inaw county, charging Taylor with obtaining 
money under false pretenses. This was in 1895. 
At the same time the two companies began civil 
action to force Taylor to give an accounting, 
instituting litigation which did not terminate 
until January, 1902. 

Taylor was arrested at The Dalles in July, 

1895, by Detective Parker Owen, of the Saginaw 
police force, who, after a series of adventures, 
succeeded in landing his prisoner at Saginaw. In 
December, 1895, the case in which Cornell was 
complaining witness came up for trial before 
Judge Snow. Taylor's attorney raised technical 
objections touching the legality of the statute 
upon which the prosecution was based, and the 
matter had to go to the supreme court. Defend- 
ant's counsel secured an agreement on the part 
of all concerned to rest the Cornell case and 
carry up the Seaman case. This was done, and 
in a short time the supreme court ordered the 
circuit court to try the case. In December, 

1896, by consent of all arties, the Cornell case 
was taken up, and Taylor was found guilty and 
sentenced to six years' imprisonment. An 
appeal was taken to the supreme court, to which 
body the appellants somehow made it appear 

that Taylor was a second time in jeopardy for 
the same offense when the conviction was 
secured, hence the court ordered the prisoner 
released. The prosecution, knowing that the 
other cases were much weaker than Cornell's, 
dropped everything, and Taylor went forth a 
free man. He beat his lawyers out of their fees 
and out of money borrowed from them, and they 
bitterly and unequivocally denounced him in the 
press as a criminal of the first water. 

Between trials Taylor was liberated on a cash 
bond furnished by George H. Williams, of Ore- 
gon, his western attorney. After his first trial 
on the Cornell case, Taylor borrowed twenty 
thousand dollars, giving as security a property 
on Mill creek, in Oregon, which was mortgaged 
to Williams for its full value. The man who 
loaned the money had been present at the trial 
and heard all the evidence, yet he could not 
resist the subtle power of* the gifted promoter. 
This mortgage was, however, discharged recently. 

The only business building in the famous 
town of Grand Dalles at the present time is a 
postoffice. A drearier, more desolate-looking 
array of shacks and rock piles and sand cannot 
be found in the Northwest, though further back 
from the river is some fine grazing land. Per- 
haps not more than a score of people live in the 
immediate vicinity. 

The year 1892 appears to have been one of 
activity and prosperity among the farmers and 
stockmen of the country. That those engaged 
in the lumber industry were not idle is evident 
from statistics compiled by the Puget Sound 
Lumberman, showing the output of Klickitat for 
the year as follows: D. W. Pierce & Son, 1,000,- 
000 feet; John Hoggard & Son, 1,000,000; Lever- 
ett & Company, 500,000; O. P. Shurtz, 800,000; 
Warren & Company, 500,000; Beaverstock & 
Jones, 500,000; N. C. Norton, 400,000; Oto Saw- 
mill Company, 4,000,000; Cameron & Company, 
500,000; total, 9,600,000 feet. The same author- 
ity estimated the output of shingles as follows: 
M. S. Bishop, 2,000,000; Hale & Son, 1,300,000; 
Thompson Brothers, 1,550,000; Flekinger & 
Buckley, 2,100,000; Leverett & Company, 
1,400,000; total, 8,350,000. 

The most sensational occurrence of the year 
was the killing of William Dunn by John Green 
and the trial which grew out of it. The scene of 
the homicide was the Blockhouse settlement, 
seven miles northwest of Goldendale, and the 
date June 25th. It appears that the victim and 
his slayer had had a quarrel previously over 
some cattle which Dunn claimed that Green had 
stolen from him, and of course there was ill- 
feeling between them in consequence. On the 
fatal day Green and a companion named William 
Mehan were at John Cleaves' hotel at Blockhouse 
when Dunn rode up and began tying his horses 
to the hitching post just west of the house. 
Green, who was within, came out and said, 



from Goldendale, a specimen was found which 
assayed one hundred and ten dollars in the pre- 
cious metals. Soon the whole mountain was 
located by Goldendale people, and as there were 
many other mountains in the vicinity of similar 
formation, it was hoped that something of great 
value might be found. Several men worked for 
a time on the VanVactor, Baker, Tenderfoot and 
other claims, but during the early days of March 
it was found that while an occasional rich piece 
of ore could be found, the average of value was 
low, too low to pay, and operations were soon 

The promise of better times given by the 
upward tendency of wheat during the fall of 
1896 was fully realized the following year. Dur- 
ing the hard times many farmers had become 
involved to such an extent that they were about 
to lose their places. Not a few of them were 
comparatively new settlers and ill-prepared for a 
period of low prices and dull markets, hence 
their serious financial embarrassment. The 
stimulating effect of the combined good crops 
and good prices during 1897 may well be imag- 
ined. Early in July reports began coming in 
from the No. 6 country, the country above Hart- 
land, the Centerville country, the Bickleton 
country and all other parts of Klickitat county 
where wheat was raised, stating that larger 
yields would be had than for years before. The 
price at that time was sixty cents, and as time 
went on it rose rapidly. It is said that the 
wheat yield in some instances sold for as much 
as the land upon which it was raised was consid- 
ered to be worth. "Klickitat farmers, sheep- 
men, merchants and everybody," says the Agri- 
culturist of November 13th, "are enjoying the 
wave of prosperity. Men who one year ago were 
gloomj'- and morose and who saw no prospect of 
saving their homes, are now jubilant and can 
now see their way clear to get out of debt and 
have something left. There has been more build- 
ing done this fall than for a long time before. 
New houses, new barns and other substantial 
improvements are to be seen in every part of 
the country, and instead of mortgages being 
recorded, they are being cancelled. Sixteen 
have been cancelled during October." 

The farmers also realized not a little revenue 
from potatoes and other vegetables, the prices 
for which were much in advance of those quoted 
the previous year. Sheep went from one dollar 
a head in 1896 to three dollars in 1897, and the 
price of cattle also materially increased. All 
other classes enjoyed the benefits of the farmers' 
and stockmen's good fortunes; indeed, the east- 
ern country was suddenly lifted from the depths 
of depression and despondency to the heights of 

In the year 1897 a cause of unusual impor- 
tance came on for trial in the superior court of 
Klickitat county. Upon the decision finally ren- 

dered depended the title to some two hundred 
and thirty thousand acres of land in Oregon and 
Washington, so that the progress of the trial 
elicited not a little general interest. The case 
was that of the Northern Pacific Railroad Com- 
pany vs. Alcana Miller, George Miller, C. N. 
Bickle and J. C. Sigler for the ejectment of the 
defendants from lands held by them under 
United States patents. June 2, 1864, an act of 
congress was passed "granting lands to aid in 
the construction of a railroad and telegraph line 
from Lake Superior to Puget Sound, by the 
northern route." June 26, 1870, the company 
filed maps of general location with the secretary of 
the interior showing two proposed roads extend- 
ing westward from Pasco, a main line through 
Yakima and Kittitas counties and on to the 
sound, and a branch down the Columbia to Port- 
land. In accordance with the provisions of the 
granting act, withdrawals of alternate sections 
for a distance of forty miles on each side of the 
proposed roads from settlement were made by 
the secretary of the interior, but the roads for a 
part of their course being less than eighty miles 
apart, the grants necessarily overlapped each 

September 29, 1890, a forfeiture act was 
passed providing that all the land to which the 
company had not made good its title by the con- 
struction of the roads in aid of which such land 
was granted should revert to the government. 
The Northern Pacific had completed its line to 
the sound, but had failed utterly to construct 
the line down the Columbia river, hence all lands 

" contiguous to the latter road were lost to it by 
operation of the forfeiture law. Naturally, the 
question arose whether the alternate sections 
which were within forty miles of both roads 
should be considered earned by the building of 
the Puget sound l'ine or forfeited on account of 
the failure to build the Columbia river line. It 
was understood by the department of the inte- 
rior that as the two grants were made simultane- 

i ously, the territory where they overlapped was 
covered equally by both grants and the title to 
all of it could not be perfected without the build- 
ing of both lines. Half the odd numbered sec- 
tions of land was therefore thrown open for set- 
tlement, and the four defendants in the case 
under consideration filed upon and eventually 
received their patents for a section of it. Then 
came the railroad company and sought to have 

j the owners of the land ejected, notwithstanding 
their patents, claiming that the land was its 
property, earned by the building of the road 

\ through the Yakima valley, and that the United 

; States had no right to grant patents thereto. In 

j the trial the company was represented by Stall, 
Stephens, Bunn & McDonald, while Nelson B. 

j Brooks, of Goldendale, appeared for the defense. 
The land in dispute, though at present a por- 

I tion of the town site of Bickleton, was not then of 


sufficient value to admit of a trial of the cause in 
the federal courts, so the superior court of Klick- 
itat county was resorted to. Attorney Brooks, 
on behalf of the defendants, contended for the 
correctness of the view of the department of the 
interior that only half of the odd sections of right 
belonged to the railroad company. He was suc- 
cessful in the lower court, Judge Miller render- 
ing a decision in his favor September 5, 1897. 
The case was appealed to the supreme court of 
the state. On the 4th of October, 1898, an opin- 
ion was handed down by Justice J. B. Reavis and 
concurred in by Justices Elmon Scott, R. O. 
Dunbar, T. J. Anders and M. J. Gordon, affirm- 
ing the decision of the lower court and sustaining 
Attorney Brooks. The railroad company accepted 
this decision as final, and never attempted to 
establish its claim to the remainder of the two 
hundred and thirty thousand acres similarly situ- 
ated with reference to its constructed and 
projected lines or any part of it. 

For the immense service rendered the people of 
Oregon and Washington, Attorney Brooks never 
received any compensation whatever, not even 
all of his expenses, as the persons immediately 
concerned were not financially able to pay a rea- 
sonable fee. His only reward for the months of 
labor expended on the case was the approval of 
his fellow-citizens and the consciousness of a good 
work well done. 

The events in our nation's history which 
made the year 1898 one of transcendent impor- 
tance in the affairs of this land and the world 
were watched with intense interest in Klickitat 
county as elsewhere. In no section of the state 
were the youth more ready to take part in the 
war, and that the county was not represented by 
an enthusiastic and courageous military company 
was in no wise due to a lack of patriotism. 
Unfortunately, old Company B had been mus- 
tered out and abandoned long before the out- 
break of hostilities, and as the first call was for 
militiamen alone, there was no show under it for 
the Klickitat boys. But on Wednesday, May 
1 8th, instructions were received by Captain 
H. C. Phillips to enlist a company of volunteers 
and have them in readiness for response to the 
next call. Thursday, June 2d, the organization 
of this company was effected by the election of 
H. C. Phillips, captain, and Nelson B. Brooks and 
H. C. Hodgson, first and second lieutenants, 
respectively. This done, a petition was sent 
forthwith requesting that the company be mus- 
tered into service in response to the call which 
had just been issued. It was thought that inas- 
much as the company was made up of ex-militia- 
men, it would be accepted among the first, but 
for some reason it was never given a place in the 
Washington regiment and had no part in the war. 
During its earliest months the year 1899 
promised greater things for Klickitat county 
than any in its previous history. A despatch 

sent to the Seattle Times in the latter part of 
January said: "The hope of a coming boom 
looms high before the vision of all Klickitat resi- 
dents in the beginning of this gracious year. 
The expectation that a railroad will soon be built 
through this country is arousing activity in all 
lines of business. There are to be four new 
business firms established in this town as soon 
as store-room can be prepared for them, and all 
the businesses already operating are increasing 
their efforts along all lines. Many new settlers 
are coming into the county in search of homes, 
and farms that are changing owners are bringing 
good figures. " 

The cause of all this activity was the opera- 
tions of the Columbia & Southern railway, which 
had taken hold with apparent earnestness of the 
project of building a road from Lyle to Golden- 
dale. The terms upon which this company 
offered to build the road were explicitly set forth 
in a letter from its president, indited as follows: 

Wasco, Oregon", January 21, 1899. 
Mr. W. F. Byars, Goldendale, Washington. 

Dear Sir: In reply to your letter of the 17th inst, beg 
to say that it is our intention to commence work on the 
Columbia & Klickitat railroad as soon as the survey is 
completed, provided, however, that the estimates we have 
already made as to cost of construction are not exceeded as 
shown by the survey, as the statistics of your country now 
in my possession will not admit of a greater outlay than 
our present estimate of cost of construction. Reports 
already received from our engineer would indicate that our 
estimate would not be exceeded, in which case the only 
donation I will ask from your people will be the right of 
way a hundred feet wide along the survey line with suffi- 
cient ground at each end of the road for terminal facilities, 
as well as two hundred feet wide by fifteen hundred fet t 
long for side tracks and depot purposes wherever we might 
find it necessary to erect the same. This I believe is not 
asking too much at the hands of your people, considering 
the great advantages and enhanced valuation to be derived 
from the completion of such a line as we expect to give 

It is my intention, if possible, to complete the line for 
this year's crops. I am pleased to know that you are 
interested in the enterprise, and any assistance you can 
give us will be highly appreciated and reciprocated by 
Yours truly, 

E. E. Lytle. 

Before the first of April the engineers were 
in the field, two parties of them, one operating 
between Lyle and the old Happy Home stage 
station; the other between that point and Gold- 
endale. According to report of the Agriculturist 
of May 27th, ensuing, the surveying was ap- 
proaching completion at that time. "The right 
of way," says the paper referred to, "is being 
given free in most cases, but it will be necessary 
to raise from five to eight thousand dollars before 
a free right of way can be furnished the com- 
pany, as' it will require this much to pay for lands 
for which the owners require compensation. 
Parties are now in the field soliciting contribu- 
tions and report progress." 

Little doubt was entertained that the rich 
Klickitat valley was to have a road this time, but 


the long- suffering citizens were to be disap- 
pointed again, notwithstanding they did, or 
showed a willingness to do, everything that 
President Lytle, of the Columbia & Southern 
railroad, demanded. The good faith of the com- 
pany is not doubted, but it was prevented from 
carrying out its plans by the Northern Pacific, 
which claimed the territory north of the Colum- 
bia and was unwilling to have it invaded by 
another company. The failure of the Columbia 
& Southern did not greatly depress the Klickitat 
valley citizens, as all felt certain that the day 
was not far distant when the steel gladiators 
should be journeying up and down over their 
pathway of steel. Too many in different parts 
of the country had become interested in the pro- 
posed road to admit of its construction being 
much longer delayed. 

But there was one railway project that did 
materialize in 1899, after many years of waiting. 
The story of Paul Mohr's famous portage railway 
at the Celilo rapids of the Columbia is one of the 
most interesting chapters of Klickitat county's 
history and extends over more than two decades 
of time. 

Those familiar with Northwest history will 
remember, as heretofore stated on a preceding 
page, that in 1864 the government gave an 
immense land grant to any company that would 
build a railway from the mouth of Snake river 
down the Columbia to the sea, this line to be a 
section of a transcontinental road. However, it 
was not until 1870 that the Northern Pacific filed 
its map of general location for the transconti- 
nental road, and not until 1881 that this corpora- 
tion gave substantial evidence of its intention to 
build the Columbia river line. Work was begun 
at a point one mile below the village of Colum- 
bus on the north bank of the river. By reason 
of its rough topography, that point is a strategic 
one in railroad building, a fact which strength- 
ened the Northern Pacific's desire to occupy it at 
once. The work of building the Oregon Rail- 
road & Navigation Company's line down the 
southern bank of the river was then in progress, 
and no doubt this was still another strong incen- 
tive to the Northern Pacific. 

At a cost of several hundred thousand dollars, 
the Northern Pacific graded two miles of road- 
bed west of Columbus. One rock cut alone cost 
the company approximately two hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars. However, no steel was 
ever laid, and after six months' work the com- 
pany decided to abandon, at least temporarily, 
the Columbia river branch and throw its energies 
into the construction of the Yakima line. 

After the abandonment of the works at 
Columbus, they lay neglected until the year 
1883, when Paul F. Mohr conceived his well- 
known scheme of building a portage railway 
alongside the Celilo rapids. He purposed build- 
ing a line twenty-two miles long, utilizing the 

Northern Pacific's old right of way. Accord- 
ingly, he organized the Farmers' Railway, Navi- 
gation & Steamboat Portage Company, com- 
monly called the Farmers' Transportation Com- 
pany, composed principally of Spokane, Walla 
Walla and Portland capitalists. The corporation 
was capitalized at one million dollars. By opera- 
tion of a statute forfeiting rights of way through 
government domain after their abandonment for 
a period of five years, the Northern Pacific's 
claim had lapsed, and the Farmers' Transporta- 
tion Company soon secured possession of its old 
roadbed by filing location maps with the secre- 
tary of the interior, a thing permitted by act of 
congress approved March 3, 1875, entitled "An I 
act granting to railroads the right of way through 
the public lands of the United States." 

The Mohr company succeeded, in 1891, after 
many years of effort, in floating a small loan. It 
had in the meanwhile sold considerable stock and 
made several surveys. April 16, 1891, a mort- 
gage in the sum of one million dollars was given 
the State Trust Company of New York, trustee, 
to cover a bond issue of the same amount. Presi- 
dent A. M. Cannon and Secretary J.. R. Allen 
signed the papers in behalf of the Transportation 
Company. As a matter of fact, President Can- 
non, of Spokane, also pledged himself personally 
to secure this loan. Although the mortgage 
called for a million dollars, only three hundred 
thousand dollars' worth of bonds were taken up; 
subsequently, the remainder were turned over to 
Mohr, who in turn transferred them to another 
as security. Perhaps, in all, the company real- 
ized between two hundred and fifty thousand and 
three hundred thousand dollars by the sale of its 
bonds and stock. Still but little was done toward 
building the road, except to survey and resurvey, 
grade a few miles, pay salaries and other minor 

A reorganization of the company was effected 
July 5, 1899, by which the corporation's name 
was changed to the Columbia Railway & Navi- 
gation Company. The stockholders remained 
practically the same as formerly. The objects 
of the new corporation were set forth as 
being to build, operate and maintain a rail- 
road from the mouth of the Columbia along 
the north bank to a point near the mouth of 
the Yakima river, thence by the most conve- 
nient and eligible route to a point at or near the 
mouth of the Okanogan river; also to build 
branch lines, a portage railway at Celilo rapids, 
telegraph lines, etc. The right of way for the 
portage road, the main objective of the com- 
pany's energies, as approved by the secretary of 
the interior, was one hundred feet in width, and 
extended from a point in section twenty-eight, 
township two north, range thirteen east, in a ] 
generally easterly direction to a point in section 
four, township two north, range sixteen east, a 
distance of about twenty-two miles. 


About the same time that this reorganization 
was effected, the stockholders also formed 
another corporation known as the Central Navi- 
gation & Construction Company, in both of 
which concerns Mohr had a controlling interest. 
November 25th of the year 1899, the construction 
company began active work upon the long- 
delayed project by letting a contract to Winters 
& Chapman, of Spokane, for the remainder of 
the grading. That firm immediately placed a 
large force at work, and by June 1, 1900, had 
graded nearly ten miles of the route, or to the 
Big Eddy, about three miles above The Dalles. 
This, with what had already been done at the 
eastern end, made a completed roadbed eighteen 
miles in length. W. D. Hofius & Company fur- 
nished the steel. Thus the portage railway was 
practically finished in the summer of 1900. 

In the meanwhile, the company built two 
steamers — the Billings, above the rapids, the 
Klickitat, on the river below. The hull of the 
Billings was formerly the old Northern Pacific 
ferryboat at Ainsworth, which was fitted up in 
excellent condition at a cost of about twenty-five 
thousand dollars. The Billings, unfortunately, 
struck a rock while running between Arlington 
and Columbus and was wrecked. Subsequently 
the boat's machinery was placed in the Charles 
R. Spencer. The Klickitat was a little smaller 
than the Billings and cost twenty thousand 

But, alas for human hopes! The Mohr portage 
railroad, so well conceived, so slow in growth, so 
promising in results, came to an untimely end in 
August, 1900, when liens were filed upon the 
property to collect material and labor debts 
aggregating fifty thousand dollars. Sixteen par- 
ties were represented in the suits, Winters & 
Chapman being the principal creditors. Two 
years later William Burgen, sheriff of Klickitat 
county, sold the property, into which hundreds 
of thousands of dollars had been placed, for the 
paltry sum of thirty-six thousand five hundred 
and ninety-two dollars and eighty-eight cents, 
Winters & Chapman being compelled to take it 
to satisfy the judgment given them. 

Subsequently they transferred the road to a 
Spokane man, whose name is withheld, but who 
is said by those informed to represent the North- 
ern Pacific. Hofius & Company were allowed by 
the court to remove the rails. A dreary-looking, 
torn-up roadbed, shut in by rocks and covered 
with drifting sands, alone marks the course of the 
now historic Paul Mohr portage railway on the 

It may be asserted with safety that the year 
1899 was at least an average one in general con- 
ditions. For some reason the wheat crop did not 
appear good before harvest, but most farmers 
were happily surprised when their grain was 
threshed. Some who did not expect more than 
thirteen or fourteen bushels to the acre received 

twenty-one, and in many parts the yield exceeded 
expectations by about a third. "One reason for 
not anticipating a usual yield," said the Agricul- 
turist of September 22, 1899, "was that much of 
the grain was wilted at the tops of the heads. 
As it turned out, however, the averag e per acre 
of grain in the valley will be larger than for 
many years past." 

But the year was not quite so kind to sheep- 
men, whose interests were threatened by the sec- 
retary of the interior in cancelling the permits 
that had been granted for the pasturing of two 
hundred and sixty thousand head of sheep upon 
the Cascade forest reserve. The order came as 
a startling surprise to all sheepmen, who thought 
the matter definitely settled by the authorities. 
As the range outside the reserve was limited in 
extent and almost destroyed, the order of the 
secretary seemed like a death-blow to the sheep 
industry, and many began preparing to go out of 
it, but fortunately, an effort to have the order 
rescinded had a successful issue. Sheepmen are 
still enjoying the splendid pasturage furnished 
by the reserve, though the matter of withdraw- 
ing the permits is discussed almost every year, 
and stockmen can have no assurance that their 
privileges will long continue. 

The winter of 1899-1900 was an exceedingly 
mild one, and the grass grew green on the 
upland pastures most of the time. In February 
it was reported that fall wheat was so far for- 
ward that some farmers were preparing to mow 
it to prevent its jointing, but this was probably 
an exaggeration. Buyers were vainly offering 
four dollars and fifty cents a head for mutton 
sheep, and wool-growers were steadily refusing 
to contract their spring clip at prices offered, 
nineteen to twenty-eight cents a pound, nor 
would the farmers and stockmen accept offers of 
twenty dollars each for calves not yet a year old. 
All classes were prosperous. Money was plenti- 
ful, and the year 1900, with good crops, good 
prices and ready markets, was in every way 
suited to add to the general cheer. 

But the year's record was marred by a serious 
tragedy in Klickitat county— a murder and 
suicide at Trout Lake. The cause of this unfor- 
tunate affair was the old, old one of unrecipro- 
cated love. The principals were Ida Foss, a 
school teacher, the victim of the murler, and 
Benjamin Wagnitz, the murderer and suicide. 
Coroner Hart, who was called to the scene, 
reported the facts, or supposed facts, of the case 
substantially as follows: Miss Foss, who was 
teacher of the district school, was boarding in the 
Wagnitz house, in which were Mrs. Wagnitz, 
whose husband lived in Portland, and her two 
sons, Benjamin and August. On the evening of 
the fatal day, Sunday, May 22d, County Super- 
intendent C. L. Colburn and his wife met Benja- 
min Wagnitz and Miss Foss near the bridge 
crossing the outlet of Trout lake, and had a few 


minutes' conversation with them. They said 
that the young people both seemed happy and 
cheerful. After this meeting, Wagnitz and the 
young lady returned home. At the time of their 
arrival, the mother and son August were milking 
a short distance from the house. Hearing a loud 
scream and the report of a gun, they rushed 
home and soon saw Benjamin Wagnitz, gun in 
hand, leaning over the prostrate form of Miss 
Foss. The murderer called to his mother to come 
with water, but she was afraid to do so and went 
rather to a neighbor's house for assistance. As 
she left, she heard him exclaim: "Oh, what have 
1 done! what have I done!" A few moments 
later a second shot was heard, and it was found 
on examination that both Wagnitz and his victim 
were dead. Miss Foss was shot in the back, the 
bullet passing through her right lung and entirely 
out of her body. Wagnitz had killed himself by 
placing the stock of his rifle on the ground and 
the muzzle against his heart, then touching the 
trigger with a small foot-rule. He was twenty- 
seven years old ; his victim twenty-five. It is 
said that several times he had threatened the 
lives of his mother and brother, and that that 
was the reason why they were afraid to go near 
the prostrate girl at his solicitation. 

Miss Foss was a very estimable young lady, 
highly accomplished and unusually proficient in 
her profession. Her home was in Hood River, 
Oregon. There is no likelihood that she ever 
reciprocated in the least the affections of Wag- 
nitz, in whose company, however, she had been 
seen frequently, and it is known that she had 
returned the day before her death a number of 
letters written to her by Wagnitz during her 
absence from Trout Lake. Of the quarrel, 
which proved the immediate cause of her un- 
timely taking off, nothing can be known, but it 
is surmised that an offer of marriage on his part 
had excited a declaration on her part that she 
would have nothing further to do with him. 

While 1900 was in general a good year for the 
residents of Klickitat county, it was much sur- 
passed by the succeeding twelvemonth. A splen- 
did wheat crop caused much interest to center in 
the Horse Heaven country, partly in Klickitat 
and partly in Yakima county. One scheme for 
its exploitation that was in the air during the 
year 190^ was the old project of carrying the 
waters ot the Klickitat river over it and thus 
increasing many fold by irrigation its productive 
capacity. A survey had been made with this for 
its object in 1892, and, it is claimed, the practi- 
cability of the scheme was then fully demon- 
strated. One of the moving forces in creating a 
desire for water for irrigation was the dry placer 
gold deposits above Cleveland, which had long 
been neglected on account of the absence of 
water wherewith to wash the rich gravels. The 
canal did not materialize, doubtless because of 
the immense amount of capital required, but it 

is still in project, and many think that some day 
it will be an accomplished fact. Its effect, 
should it ever be successfully completed, can 
hardly be even dimly foreseen at this date. 

The great enterprise of the year 1902 was the 
building of the Columbia River & Northern rail- 
road, connecting Goldendale with Lyle on the 
Columbia. As heretofore stated, the securing of 
this road had been a favorite project of the 
Klickitat people for many years, and when a 
company organized in Portland for the purpose 
of supplying the great desideratum, it found 
them more than willing to co-operate with it. 
From the inception of the enterprise to its con- 
clusion, the Klickitat residents manifested a deep 
interest, as did also many of the Portland people 
and the newspapers of that city. Klickitat 
valley was undoubtedly indebted for the securing 
of her road to the earnest wish of Portland to 
draw the trade of this rich region unto itself. 

The Columbia River & Northern began sur- 
veying in March, 1902, placing two parties of 
engineers in the field. Lytle Simmons, superin- 
tendent of construction, announced that it was 
his intention to push operations with vigor and 
to have the road in shape, if at all possible, to 
handle a large part of the fall traffic. During the 
latter part of May, Axtel Anderson was awarded 
the contract for the construction of the first fif- 
teen miles out from Goldendale, and on the 10th 
of June, Corey Brothers & Alden entered into a 
contract with the railroad company to build the 
road between Lyle and Swale canyon. On that 
day also Axtel Anderson's bid for constructing 
the two and a half miles between the terminus of 
his fifteen-mile section and the head of Swale 
canyon was accepted, so that the building of the 
entire road was provided for. The contracts 
required the completion of the work by Decem- 
ber 1st. There was no vexatious delay, no hope 
deferred. In the latter part of September the 
Oregonian reported that of the entire forty-two 
miles, twenty-five had been graded and consid- 
erable of the remainder was graded in part, 
requiring only some finishing touches. "Rock 
work in cuts and fills," continued the paper, "is 
now keeping the construction gangs busy. A 
large shipment of rails has been received from 
Hamburg, Germany, and the work of track- 
laying will be commenced in a few days. Gen- 
eral Manager H. C. Campbell yesterday received 
information that the equipment for the road will 
leave Chicago this week. The equipment will 
consist of two locomotives, two passenger coaches, 
fifty-five freight cars, which will be sufficient for 
the needs of the road for the next few years. 
Mr. Campbell is also informed that three grain 
warehouses, sixty by one hundred and fifty feet, 
have been constructed along the line of the rail- 
road, and that one of these will be enlarged to 
meet the needs of the business tributary to it. 

The 7th of December, 1902, is a day long to 

npvn^lit.-tl l»\ CiuTntr, l'li« , .j t rrfip]i..- 

the distance. 


be remembered in Klickitat county, for upon it 
the first locomotive ever landed within the 
borders of the county began its work. It had 
just been transferred across the Columbia along 
with a steam shovel and thirty-two cars. As the 
river was rising rapidly and endangering the 
rolling stock close to its edge, it was thought 
best by Manager Campbell to get the cars out of 
harm's way at once. Accordingly, the engine 
crew were instructed to steam up, and soon the 
hills resounded with the unwonted music of a 
locomotive whistle. It must have been a heart- 
ening sound to the Klickitat people who heard 
it, for it conveyed to their ears in eloquent lan- 
guage the promise of a larger development, a 
higher and more modern civilization for the fail- 
land in which they had cast their lot. At this 
time, only two miles of track had been laid, but 
it was the intention to push to a rapid comple- 
tion the work of placing the remaining steel 
rails. By the middle of April the road was fin- 
ished to Centerville, and on the 25th it reached 
Goldendale, its present terminus. 

"At 10:30 this morning," wrote an Oregonian 
correspondent, "the last spike in the main line 
of the Columbia River & Northern railroad was 
driven. This honor did not fall to John J. 
Golden, whose turn will come later, but instead 
a swarthy son of Italy with a few sharp blows 
put the spike in position. While the construc- 
tion train had reached the city limits yesterday, 
the crew was not able to complete the work that 
day owing to the lack of material. 

"To-day the last mile of track was laid, and 
laid quickly, as by the middle of the forenoon 
the track was finished. A vast crowd of sight- 
seers was on hand early, and by ten o'clock fully 
half the population of the city was present. It 
was a spectacle never to be forgotten by the resi- 
dents of Goldendale, after years of patient wait- 
ing, during which time many railroad schemes 
have been industriously worked only to end in 
dismal failure. A full-fledged railroad was now 
complete to the city and Goldendale placed in 
easy communication with the outside world. 

"No regular train service can be established 
as yet, as for some weeks to come it will be in 
the hands of the construction department. 
There is a vast amount of labor yet in sight. 
The major portion of the track has yet to be 
ballasted, leveled and adjusted for fast and 
heavy traffic. There are no terminal buildings 
erected here as yet, nor at any other point on 
the line except at Lyle. It will probably be two 
months before a reular passenger schedule can 
be put in operation. 

"Official advices to Honorable N. B. Brooks, 
the local attorney of the company, are to the 
effect that on or about June 1st the manage- 
ment of the Columbia River & Northern railroad 

will run an excursion train to this city, at which 
time the big jubilee celebration over the com- 
pletion of the road will come off. Local parties 
here are going to make it the greatest time in 
the history of Klickitat county. There will be 
something doing on that occasion sure. 

"Immediately after the workmen had com- 
pleted their labors, they were royally enter- 
tained with a fine luncheon and plenty of refresh- 
ments. The city's hospitality was open-handed 
and nothing was considered too good for a hard- 
working construction gang. 

"So, on the 25th day of April, 1903, a new era 
opened up in the history of this county. The 
citizens of Goldendale are in joyous mood to- 
night, and congratulations are the order of the 
hour. The greatest meed of praise is extended 
to the Portland capitalists who financed the 
enterprise, and above all are highly flatter- 
ing encomiums showered upon Manager H. C. 
Campbell, who promised a railroad here on the 
day of his first entrance into Klickitat, and has 
labored incessantly toward that purpose from 
that day forward. Nor was the Oregonian 
ignored, for to its valuable and timely co-opera- 
tion is due a large measure of the success." 

Thursday, April 30th, the first shipment of 
wheat by rail was made from the Klickitat 
valley, the consignment being four large carloads 
from the Centerville station. It was the begin- 
ning of much activity in this direction, for for- 
tune had been smiling upon the farmers of the 
county, and the warehouses were bursting with 
grain for export. Wheat buyers estimated that 
there were between eight and ten thousand tons 
of grain stored along the new road, and a large 
amount of other traffic was eagerly awaiting the 
completion of the ballasting, which, in April, 
1903, was being pushed with zeal. 

The effect of the railroad in inducing immi- 
gration may be seen in the appropriation of pub- 
lic lands within the county by homeseekers. 
From 1900 to 1901 only 13,306 acres were taken 
for homes under the United States land laws. 
From 1901 to 1902, 19,629 acres were home- 
steaded, and in the succeeding year the acreage 
claimed by homeseekers jumped to 60,160. The 
population of the county in 1900, according to 
the United States census, was 6,407. The count 
by precincts was: Bickleton, 4S2; Camas Prairie, 
396; Canyon, 46; Cedar Valley, 76; Centerville, 
621; Cleveland, 350; Columbus, 212; Dot, 305; 
Gaunt, 29; Goldendale, co-extensive with Gold- 
endale City, 738; Lyle, 159; No. 4, 553; No. 6, 
258; Pine Forest, 337; Pleasant Valley, 169; 
Rockland, 161; Sand Springs, in; Spring Creek, 
377; Timber Valley, 118; Troat Lake, 152; White 
Salmon, 458. In 1903 the population of the 
county was reported by the bulletin of the state 
bureau of statistics as 8,788. 



Although the territorial assembly of a Washing- 
ton created Klickitat county as early as the year 
1859, yet for many years a majority of the^people 
living within the prescribed boundaries were 
opposed to the acceptance of the privilege 
granted them. The result was that all attempts 
at effective organization of the county's govern- 
ment previous to 1867 were unsuccessful. The 
first real, permanent, recognized organization 
came through the legislative act of January 28th 
of that year. The temporary officers appointed 
by the legislative assembly to serve until the 
first succeeding election were: Commissioners, 
August Schuster, Amos Stark and H. M. Mc- 
Nary; auditor, Thomas Johnson; treasurer, 
William Connell ; probate judge, James Taylor. 

The board of commissioners held its first ses- 
sion, a special one, March 8, 1867, in William 
Connell's house at Rockland, the temporary 
county seat. At this meeting Stanton H. Jones 
was appointed assessor. As required by the 
provisions of the act, the board convened at the 
same place in first regular session, May 6, 1867, 
and formally organized by electing Amos Stark 
chairman. Arrangements were at once entered 
into between tne commissioners and Connell for 
the use of his building as a courthouse, the rent 
being fixed at practically twenty-five dollars a 
quarter; this building was used as Klickitat 
county's courthouse until the county seat was 
removed to Goldendale. After making a tax 
levy of fourteen and a half mills, eight of which 
were for county, three and a half for territorial, 
and three for school purposes, the board pro- 
ceeded to prepare for the county's first election. 

Three precincts were laid out as follows: 
"No. i, Rockland — Commencing on the Colum- 
bia at the beginning of the western boundary; 
thence north six miles along said line; thence 
east along the summit of The Dalles and Klicki- 
tat mountains to a point north of Celilo; thence 
south to the middle of the Columbia river and 
down said river channel to place of beginning; 
No. 2, Klickitat Creek — Includes the Klickitat 
valley; No. 3, Columbus — All that portion' above 
the landing opposite Celilo between the Colum- 
bia river and Klickitat mountains." S. Peasley 
and August Schuster were appointed judges of 
Rockland precinct to serve at the June election; 
A. F. Curtis, inspector; J. C. Mason's house was 

designated as the polling-place in Klickitat Creek 
precinct, G. W. Helm and J. C. Mason were 
appointed judges, and J. R. Bennett inspector; 
while T. Johnson and R. Wallace were appointed 
judges, and W. Helm inspector, for Columbus 
precinct. Just previous to election day. Com- 
missioner Schuster resigned to accept the 
appointment of sheriff — an office whose duties 
he administered with commendable zeal and 
fidelity until 1880. His service dated from May 
6, 1867. 

The county's first regular election was held 
in June, 1867, and herewith are presented the 
official returns, obtained from the original records 
on file in the office of the secretary of state at 

Delegate to congress, Alvin Flanders, 38 
votes, Frank Clark, 13; joint councilman, A. G. 
Tripp, 39, representing Yakima, Klickitat, 
Clarke and Skamania counties; joint representa- 
tive for Yakima and Klickitat counties, William 
Taylor (elected), 59, F. Mortimer Thorp, 27; 
district attorney, H. G. Struve, 38; probate 
judge, J. C. Murdy, 38; county commissioners, 
Thomas J. Chambers, 45, Amos Stark, 38, H. M. 
McNary, 39; auditor, Thomas Johnson, 38; 
sheriff, August Schuster, 43; assessor, S. H. 
Jones, 38; treasurer, William Connell, 38; school 
superintendent, John Burgen, 14, Watson Helm, 
13, Walter Helm, 13; coroner, A. M. Bunnell, 

In those early years county organization was 
regarded more in a humorous than in a serious 
light. Men who would serve the county as offi- 
cials were rare enough, and when any were 
found willing to do so, little attention was paid 
to their party affiliations. As a general rule, 
however, Klickitat's pioneer officeholders were 

The records show that May 4, 1868, T. J. 
Chambers, commissioner, resigned; he was suc- 
ceeded by J. R. Bennett. The same day A. H. 
Simmons was appointed by the board as probate 
judge, vice J. C. Murdy, resigned. Another 
interesting feature of this meeting was the 
action taken on the establishment of the pioneer 
county road. Up to that time there had been no 
effort made as a county looking to the building 
of roads, what few highways there were having 
been constructed by individuals or the govern- 



ment. There were, however, two good roads, 
one down to the Cascades and the other the 
Simcoe military road. But the desire for a good 
transportation route into the Yakima valley, 
whose people were in early years so intimately 
connected with those of Klickitat, became so 
strong that upon the date heretofore mentioned 
the board appointed William Taylor, John Bur- 
gen and John Johnson as commissioners to locate 
two territorial roads. Both were to terminate at 
Rockland, opposite The Dalles. One was to fol- 
low the northern shore of the Columbia to a 
point opposite Umatilla, Oregon; the other was 
to extend to Cock's ferry, in the Yakima valley, 
by way of the canyon. The following August 
the roads were officially established. The next 
county road to be established was a branch one, 
located in 1869, from Columbus to an intersec- 
tion with the Yakima road. Josh Brown, A. M. 
Bunnell and William Dunn located this road. 

It is also interesting to note the granting of 
the first ferry license. February 1, 1869, the 
board granted to Thomas J. and James Jenkins, 
brothers, the privilege of operating a ferry on 
the Columbia at a point one and a half miles 
above Columbus. The board fixed the follow- 
ing rates: Footman, 25 cents; man and horse, 
$1 ; loose animals, 50 cents each ; wagon and span 
of horses or yoke of cattle, $3 ; each additional 
span, $1; sheep and hogs, each 15 cents; freight, 
per ton, $1.25; wood, per cord, $1.25; lumber, 
per thousand feet, $1.50. 

Previous to holding the next election, June 7, 
1869, two new precincts were formed — Yakima 
and Simcoe — the latter including the reservation. 
At that date there seems to have been an under- 
standing prevalent in this county that the whole 
Yakima reservation was embraced in Klickitat's 
boundaries. An attempt was even made to col- 
lect taxes of the whites living at the agency. 
For a time there was a hot dispute between 
Yakima and Klickitat as to which county pos- 
sessed the agency at Fort Simcoe. A year later 
the petition of E. S. Joslyn and twelve others 
for the erection of a precinct on the river below 
Rockland was granted, and in May, 1870, Fif- 
teen-Mile or White Salmon precinct, with polls at 
William Gilmore's home, came into existence. 

There are no records on file in Klickitat county 
showing the returns for any election previous to 
that of 1902. This condition of affairs has 
necessitated the gathering of nost of the infor- 
mation desired about the early elections from 
the state offices, and about the later ones from the 
newspapers. The results of the earliest elections 
are herewith given in their chronological order, 
in as complete form as possible to obtain. 

June 7, 1869: For delegate, Salucius Garfield, 
59, M. F. Moore, 18; joint representative, H. D. 
Cooke, 57, F. M. Thorp, n, scattering, 2; dis- 
trict attorney, A. G. Cook, 57, Richard Lane, 15; 
joint councilman, Chancy Goodnoe, 60, H. M. 

McNary, 44, John Burgen, 41, J. H. Alexander, 
28, Thomas Johnson, 22, E. S. Joslyn, 5; probate 
judge, William Taylor, 59, G. Chamberlin, 1; 
auditor, M. V. Harper, 71; sheriff, A. Schuster, 
52, George Rowland, 1; assessor, A. Schuster, 

50, Levi Armsworthy, 4; treasurer, William 
Hicinbotham, 45 ; superintendent of schools, 
Thomas Johnson, 39, J. H. Wilbur, 1; coroner, 
John Bartol, 1, Joshua Brown, 1. J. H. Alex- 
ander was appointed probate judge by the com- 
missioners June 20, 1870. 

June 6, 1870: For delegate, L. D. Mix, 32, 
Salucius Garfield, 65; joint councilman, E. S. 
Joslyn, 55, S. R. Curtis, 32; joint representative, 
Henry D. Cooke, 52, M. V. Harper, 34; district 
attorney, A. G. Cook, 62, Richard Lane, 30; 
probate judge, William Taylor, 48, L. J. Kimber- 
land, 30; county commissioners, James O. Lyle, 

51, John Burgen, 49, Amos Stark, 46, Bolivar 
Walker, 34, Washington Ward, 32, Henry Allen, 
32; auditor, Thomas Johnson, 41, M. V. Harper, 
32; sheriff, August Schuster, 41, G. W. Rowland, 
41 (Schuster secured the office in a cut-drawing 
contest); assessor, August Schuster, 41, G. W. 
Rowland, 36, C. A. Schuster, 1 ; treasurer, 
Thomas Connell, 49, C. A. Schuster, 30; school 
superintendent, G. W. Helm, 52. 

November 3, 1872: For delegate, Salucius 
Garfield, 120, O. B. McFadden, 45; joint council- 
man, R. O. Dunbar, 121, B. F. Shaw, 41; repre- 
sentative, J. C. Cartwright, 56, N. Whitney, 69, 
C. P. Cooke, 35 ; district attorney, J. M. Fletcher, 
120, W. S. Dodge, 33, C. C. Hewett, S; probate 
judge, S. Gardner, 68, Merrill Short, 39, William 
Miller, 29; county commissioners, Stanton H. 
Jones, 98, J. O. Lyle, 69, J. A. Stout, 51, R. C. 
Wallace, 57, C. A. Schuster, 32, J. H. Alexan- 
der, 79, William Willits, 55, N. Newton, 32; 
sheriff, R. J. Gilmore, 51, August Schuster, 79, 
j. C. Story, 27; auditor, William Miller, 50, 
H. T. Levins, 70, M. V. Harper, 34; treasurer, 
A. C. Helm, 75, J. W. Parker, 70, E. Snipes, 12; 
school superintendent, J. A. Balch, 64, J. A. 
Burgen, 96; surveyor, E. Richardson, 79, F. M. 
Shick, 43. At this election the permanent loca- 
tion of the county seat was voted upon. Rock- 
land received 78 votes; the new town of Golden- 
dale 77. John J. Golden, of Goldendale, insti- 
tuted a contest, through his attorney, J. C. Cart- 
wright, over the vote on the county seat ques- 
tion, but at the February session of the county 
court, the case was dismissed on the grounds of 
no jurisdiction. Mr. Golden never carried the 
contest to a higher court. At this session, also, 
J. A. Balch was appointed probate judge to suc- 
ceed Gardner. 

November 3, 1874: For delegate, Orange 
Jacobs, 125, B. L. Sharpstein, 49; prosecuting 
attorney, second district, A. C. Bloomfield, 121, 
J. B. Judson, 46; joint councilman, S. P. McDon- 
ald, 117, B. F. Shaw, 43, F. D. Maxon, 6; joint 
representative, E. Richardson, 128, J. W. Bra- 


zee, 39; county commissioners, George Miller, 161, 
M. V. Harper, 48, S. M. Gilmore, 81, Nelson 
Whitney, 114, A. H. Curtis, 84; sheriff and 
assessor, R. W. Helm, 76, August Schuster, 87; 
probate judge, James A. Balch, 73, M. V. Har- 
per, 80, scattering, 3; auditor, H. T. Levins, in, 
W. H. Mahan, 50; treasurer, Thomas Connell, 
161; superintendent of schools, P. E. Michell, 
138-, scattering, 14; coroner, John Graham, 165; 
surveyor, M. V. Harper, 151, R. M. Graham, 6, 
John Meir, 2. Commissioner Miller removed 
from his district in the summer of 1875, and 
John Graham was appointed in his stead. 

November 7, 1876: For delegate, Orange 
Jacobs, 144, J. P. Judson, 68; prosecuting attor- 
ney, second judicial district, N. H. Bloomfield, 
144, C. Lancaster, 52; joint councilman, M. R. 
Hathaway, 145, H. M. Knapp, 35, scattering, 16; 
joint representative, Nelson Whitney, 150, J. 
W. Brazee, 43; county commissioners, W. B. 
Walker, 174, John Graham, 130, A. H. Curtis, 
197, JohnReavis, 78, scattering, 2; probate judge, 
S. M. Gilmore, no, M. V. Harper, 85; sheriff, A. 
Schuster, 141, T. T. Foster, 63; auditor, H. T. 
Levins, 114, J. Nesbitt, 85; treasurer, Thomas 
Connell, 137, W. H. Mahan, 60; assessor, R. D. 
White, 109, J. C. Story, 88; surveyor, J. P. 
Crocker, 138, M. V. Harper, 7; coroner, John 
Keates, 78, John Graham, 60, M. V. Harper, 19, 
Ed. Snipes, 17, scattering, 6; superintendent of 
schools, P. E. Michell, 189; in favor of holding a 
constitutional convention, 24, against, 105. 
Thomas Connell left the county before his term 
expired, and the commissioners appointed W. A. 
McFarland to serve out the term. 

By 1878 the rapid growth of the county had 
necessitated the formation of seven precincts — 
Rockland, Klickitat, Columbus, White Salmon, 
Spring Creek, Alder Creek and Camas Prairie. 
The rapid development of the Klickitat valley 
had caused the friends of Goldendale to aspire 
again to county seat honors, and they secured 
the passage of a bill through the legislature 
enabling them to test their strength. The bill 
was approved November 9, 1877, and provided 
for the submission of the question to the people 
at the next general election. Goldendale carried 
off the honors easily, securing far more than the 
necessary three-fifths vote required by law; the 
figures are not obtainable. Election day fell on 
November 5, 1S78. The returns follow: 

For delegate to congress, Thomas H. Brents, 

394, N. T. Caton, 206; adjutant-general, A. 
Storer, 397, J. R. O'Dell, 196; brigadier-general, 
J. H. Smith, 394, George W. Hunter, 195; com- 
missary-general, F. W. Sparling, 399, C. D. 
Emery, 129, O. F. Gerrish, 61 ; prosecuting attor- 
ney, second judicial district, N. H. Bloomfield, 

395, J. P. Judson, 199; joint councilman, R. O. 
Dunbar, 350, Hiram Dustin, 255 ; joint representa- 
tive, G. W. Waldron, 256, M. V. Harper, 315; 
county commissioners, A. H. Curtis, 177, J. R. 

Short, 368, W. H. Mahan, 335, Noah Chapman, 
410, D. D. McFall, 254, Hugh Adams, 216; probate 
judge, R. O. Dunbar, 381, William Barr, 205; 
sheriff, August Schuster, 296, I. Darland, 289; 
superintendent of schools, Sidney Brown, 422, H. 
Caldwell, 170; auditor, H. T. Levins, 416, C. J. 
Google, 170; treasurer, W. A. McFarland, 579; 
assessor, E. W. Pike, 307, Levi Darland, 278; 
surveyor, J. P. Crocker, 398, L. McAllister, 177; 
coroner, S. H. Miller, 380, Peter Cushen, 198; 
for the adoption of the Walla Walla constitution, 
229, opposed, 101. McFarland failed to qualify as 
treasurer, and his place was filled, January 6, 
1879, by the appointment of Thomas Johnson. In 
March, 1879, Auditor Levins died; he was suc- 
ceeded by J. A. Stout. That spring, also, the 
records were removed from Rockland to the new 
courthouse in Goldendale, where the commis- 
sioners held their first meeting March 17th. 

Until the establishment of the county seat at 
Goldendale and the erection of a courthouse 
there in 1879, all district court business was 
transacted at Vancouver, which was in the same 
judicial district. Be it said to the credit of pio- 
neer Klickitat that there was little court business 
to transact— so little that it was deemed not 
worth while to bring judge and lawyers to the 
county. But with the rapid growth of the region 
during the later seventies, court sessions in the 
county became imperative, and May 10, 1880, 
Klickitat county's first term of court began at 
Goldendale. Judge John P. Hoyt, Clerk J. A, 
Stout, Prosecuting Attorney N. H. Bloomfield, 
Sheriff August Schuster and Bailiffs William H. 
Miller, A. P. Ward and W. C. Boyd were in 
attendance. James B. Reavis, at present justice 
of the state supreme court, was the first attorney 
to be admitted to the county bar. The session 
was only three days in length and devoid of espe- 
cial interest. 

When court was held in Vancouver, Klickitat 
county was accustomed to send two citizens there 
to serve as petit jurors and two as grand jurors, 
though very often there was no representation 
from here. Among those who served in the 
later sixties may be mentioned A. M. Bunnell 
and G. E. Cook, grand jurors, William Gilmore 
and Chancy Goodnoe, petit jurors, in 1868; John 
J. Golden and James O. Lyle, grand jurors, 
George W. Chapman and T. J. Chambers, petit 
jurors, in 1869. For many years it was cus- 
tomary to draw as jurors men who were com- 
pelled or wished to visit Vancouver on business. 
However, this was all done away with by the 
holding of court in the county. 

The returns for the election held November 
2, 1880, are incomplete, only the following being 
given: For delegate to congress, Thomas H. 
Brents, Republican, 492, Thomas Burke, Demo- 
crat, 360; adjutant-general, M. R. Hathaway, 
Republican, 544, Frank Guttenberg, Democrat, 
302; brigadier-general, George W. Tibbits, 


Republican, 546, James McAuliff, Democrat, 300; 
commissary-general, A. K. Bush, Republican, 
544, J. M. Hunt, Democrat, 305; quartermaster- 
general, R. G. O'Brien, Republican, 543, J. W. 
Bomer, Democrat, 320; district attorney, N. H. 
Bloomfield, Republican, 318, Hiram Dustin, 
Democrat, 513; probate judge, Thomas Johnson, 
Independent, 334, R. O. Dunbar, Republican, 
309, J. B. Reavis, Democrat, 191. The other 
county officers elected were: Auditor, George 
W. Filloon, Democrat; treasurer, George W. 
Miller; assessor, John Ostrander; sheriff, M. G. 
Wills; superintendent of schools, J. T. Eshelman, 
Democrat; surveyor, E. C. Richardson, Demo- 
crat; sheep commissioner, J. T. Butler, Demo- 
crat; county commissioners, R. M. Graham, 
Republican, S. W. Gardner. 

The first Republican county convention, of 
which there is any newspaper record, was held 
in Goldendale, September 9, 1882. S. M. Gil- 
more presided, Sig. Sichell acted as secretary, 
and Nelson Brooks as assistant secretary. 
W. L. Ames, F. P. Taylor, R. O. Dunbar, S. W. 
Gardner, S. Witkowski and S. M. Gilmore were 
chosen as delegates to the territorial convention. 
The platform adopted concerned itself princi- 
pally with national issues. The Democrats met 
on the 30th of September. The vote cast at the 
election ensuing was as follows: 

For delegate, Thomas H. Brents, Republi- 
can, 570, Thomas Burke, Democrat, 299; briga- 
dier-general, Samuel Vinson, Democrat, 314, M. 
McPherson, Republican, 552; adjutant-general, 
L. L. Debeau, Democrat, 316, R. G. O'Brien, 
Republican, 550; quartermaster-general, J. W. 
Bomer, Democrat, 317, J. H. Smith, Republi- 
can, 548 ; commissary-general, W. A. Wash, 
Democrat, 296, C. B. Hopkins, Republican, 546; 
joint councilman, Clarke, Skamania and Klicki- 
tat, P. H. Harper, Democrat, 330 (elected), T. 
Moffatt, Republican, 509; joint representative, 
same counties, J. B. Landrum, Democrat. 612, 
N. H. Bloomfield, 236; representative, W. D. 
Smith, Democrat, 291, Nelson B. Brooks, Repub- 
lican, 494, J. M. Marble, Independent, 60; pros- 
ecuting attorney. R. O Dunbar, Republican, 721 
(elected), D. P. Ballard. 113; sheriff, E. B. Wise, 
Republican, 379, R. D. White, Democrat, 313, 
August Schuster, Independent, 175; treasurer, 
Sig. Sichell, Republican, 383, J. T. Eshelman, 
Democrat, 469; auditor, W. L. Ames, Republi- 
can. 250, G W. Filloon, Democrat, 610; probate 
judge, W. R. Dunbar, Republican. 572; commis- 
sioners, first district, J. T. Lucas, Republican, 
445, M. Thompson, Democrat, 407; third dis- 
trict, J. A. Stout, Republican, 479, D. B. Gaunt, 
Democrat, 373; sheep commisioner, ]. W. Jack- 
son, Republican, 513, J. T. Butler, " Democrat, 
348; superintendent of schools, Mrs. Corwin K. 
Seitz, Republican, 340, W. R. Neal, Democrat, 
500; surveyor, S. B. Stone, Republican, 498, 
E. C. Richardson, Democrat, 337; coroner, S. H. 

Miller, Republican, 506, Dr. William Lee, Dem- 
ocrat, 348. 

In 1884 the Republicans held their county 
convention October 16th, while the Democrats 
met two days later. The result in Klickitat of 
the election ensuing may be seen from the can- 
vass of votes given below : 

For delegate to congress, J. M. Armstrong, 
Republican, 537, C. S. Voorhees, Democrat, 781; 
brigadier-general, W. M. Peel, Republican, 812, 
James McAuliff, Democrat, 517; adjutant-gen- 
eral, R. G. O'Brien. Republican, 816, William E. 
Anderson, 516; quartermaster- general, D. B. 
Jocksol, Republican, 813, Frank Hons, Demo- 
crat, 519; commissary-general, H. W. Living- 
ston, Republican, 800, Simon Berg, Democrat, 
538; prosecuting attorney, Sol Smith, Republi- 
can, 464, Hiram Dustin, Democrat, 838; joint 
councilman, Robert M. Graham, Republican, 
480, W. R. Neal, Democrat, 813; joint repre- 
sentative, A. A. Lindsay, Republican, 802, D. E. 
Russell, Democrat, 524; representative, R. O. 
Dunbar, Republican,. 716, A. J. Pitman, Demo- 
crat; 591; sheriff, E. B. Wise, Republican, 771, 
William Van Vactor, Democrat, 542; auditor, 
R. W. Helm, Republican, 567, G. W. Filloon, 
Democrat, 753; probate judge, W. R. Dunbar, 
Republican, 895, C. A. Clausen, Democrat, 417; 
treasurer, Sig. Sichell, Republican, 510, J. T. 
Eshelman, Democrat, 782; assessor, Howard 
Averett, Republican, 743, Richard Chillcott, 
Democrat, 578; commissioners, first district, 
Jacob Hunsaker, Republican, 775, Marcus Van- 
bibber, Democrat, 542 ; second district, A. O. 
Wood, Republican, 865, Jarvis Emigh, Demo- 
crat, 446; superintendent of schools, Mrs. A. E. 
Rodman, Republican, 691, Dudley Eshelman, 
Democrat, 624; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, 
Republican, 764, S. B. Stone, Democrat, 214; 
sheep commissioner, J. W. Jackson, Republican, 
696, Thomas Butler, Democrat, 638; coroner, 
August Schuster, Republican, 797, D. E. Ver- 
non, Democrat, 505. 

The official returns for the election held 
November 2, 1886, are as given below: 

For delegate to congress, Charles M. Brad- 
shaw, Republican, 997, Charles S. Voorhees, 
Democrat, 729, W. A. Newell, 9; brigadier-gen- 
eral, George D. Hill, Republican, 1,065; adjutant- 
general, Ross G. O'Brien, Republican, 1,064; 
quartermaster-general, D. G Lovell, Republi- 
can, 1,064; commissary-general, W. C. Ellsworth, 
Republican, 1,065; prosecuting attorney, N. H. 
Bloomfield, Republican, 911, Hiram Dustin, 
Democrat. 794; joint councilman, R. T. Hawley, 
Republican, 1,054, J. H. Alexander, Democrat, 
683; representative, R. W. Helm, Republican, 
1,028, W. R. Neal, Democrat, 704, scattering. 2; 
auditor, Joseph Nesbitt, Republican 947, J. M. 
Pitman. "Democrat, 791; sheriff, J. C. Moffatt, 
Republican, 658. William Van Vactor. Demo- 
crat, 1,071; treasurer, Justin Scammon, Republi- 



can, 871, J. T. Eshelman, Democrat, 866; pro- 
bate judge, W. R. Dunbar, Republican, 1,209, 
W. D. Smith, Democrat, 521; commissioners, 
second district, A. J. Spoon, Republican, 979, 
D. G. Van Nostern, Democrat, 746 ; third dis- 
trict, Charles Curtis, Republican, 980, J. C. 
Jameson, Democrat, 762; school superintendent, 
Mrs. A. E. Rodman, Republican, 1,034, Miss 
Nellie E. Lyon, Democrat, 693; assessor, A. 
Howard, Republican, 995, J. T. Butler, Demo- 
crat, 731; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, Republi- 
can, 1,080, Stone, Democrat, n; coroner, S. H. 
Miller, Republican, 1,044, Josiah Beal, Demo- 
crat, 680. 

Democrats met October 6th, in 1888; the 
Republican convention was held September 
29th. The official vote cast at the election was as 

Delegate to congress, John B. Allen, Repub- 
lican, 706, Charles S. Voorhees, Democrat, 365 ; 
brigadier- general, A. P. Curry, Republican, 695, 
H. S. Butler, Democrat, 391; adjutant-general, 
R. G. O'Brien, Republican, 695, J. F. Mea, 
Democrat, 391; prosecuting attorney, A". L. 
Miller, Republican, 708, F. M. Geoghegan, 
Democrat, 392 ; joint councilman, Charles Brown, 
Republican, 639, George W. Stapleton, Demo- 
crat, 394; representative, C. S. Reinhart, Repub- 
lican, 591, A. J. Pitman, Democrat, 503; auditor, 
Joseph Nesbitt, Republican, 750, W. J. Story, 
Democrat, 341; sheriff, A. L. Anderson, Repub- 
lican, 520, William Van Vactor, Democrat, 571 ; 
treasurer, John Cummings, Republican, 577, 
W. H. Ward, Democrat, 524; probate judge, 
W. R. Dunbar, Republican, 734, W. R. Laidler, 
Democrat, 363; county commissioners, first dis- 
trict, G. W. French, Republican, 695, A. Bert- 
schid, Democrat, 402; third district, D. Jorden, 
Republican, 534, B. N. Snover, Democrat, 246; 
superintendent of schools, N. B. Brooks, Repub- 
lican, 674, W. R. Neal, Democrat, 427; assessor, 
Simon Bolton, Republican, 613, R. D. White, 
Democrat, 485; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, 
Republican, 675 ; coroner, Dr. A. Bonebrake, 
Republican, 739, W. H. Mears, Democrat, 344. 

The entrance of Washington into statehood 
made necessary an extra election in 1889. It 
was held October 1st, and at it Klickitat cast the 
following vote: 

For representative in congress, John L. Wil- 
son, Republican, 689, T. C. Griffits, Democrat, 
375 ; governor, E. P. Ferry, Republican, 686, 
Eugene Semple, Democrat, 382 ; lieutenant-gov- 
ernor, Charles E. Laughton, Republican, 687, 
L. H. Plattor, Democrat, 379; secretary of state, 
Allen Weir, Republican, 691, W. H. Whittlesey, 
Democrat, 377; treasurer, A. A. Lindsley, 
Republican, 690, M. Kaufman, Democrat, 378; 
auditor, T. M. Reed, Republican, 689. J.' M. 
Murphy. Democrat, 378 ; attorney-general, W. C. 
Jones, Republican, 690, H. J. Snively. Demo- 
crat, 377; superintendent of public instruction, 

R. B. Bryan, Republican, 690, J. H. Morgan, 
Democrat, 378; commissioner of public lands, 
W. T. Forrest, Republican, 691, M. Z. Goodell, 
Democrat, 377; justices supreme court, R. O. 
Dunbar, T. C. Stiles, T. J. Anders, Elmon Scott, 
J. P. Hoyt, Republicans, 672, 630, 682, 684 and 
685 votes respectively, W. H. White, B. L. 
Sharpstein, J. B. Reavis, John P. Judson and 
Frank Ganahl, Democrats, 384, 399. 410, 373 and 
361 votes respectively; superior judge, Carroll B. 
Graves, Republican, 632 (elected), Hiram Dustin, 
Democrat, 431; state senator, Jacob Hunsaker, 
Republican, 661, G. W. Stapleton, Democrat, 
387 ; state representatives, Bruce F. Purdy, Dr. 
H. Blair, Republicans, 700 and 600 votes respec- 
tively, G. W. McCredy and Peter Gunn, Demo- 
crats, 367 and 387 votes respectively; county 
clerk, R. E. Jackson, Republican, 684, W. R. 
Laidler, Democrat, 381; for the adoption of the 
constitution, 806, against adoption, 217; for 
woman suffrage, 483, against, 530; for prohibi- 
tion, 554, against, 448; location state capital, 
North Yakima, 757, Olympia, 124, Ellensburg, 
102, Yakima, 21. 

The next year the Prohibitionists entered the 
local field of politics and made an excellent 
showing against the two older parties. The 
Republicans held their county convention Octo- 
ber 4th, the Democrats met the same day; the 
Prohibitionists convened September 20th. The 
official canvass shows the following vote at the 
election : 

Congressman, John L. Wilson, Republican, 
591, Thomas Carroll, Democrat, 387, Robert 
Abernathy, Prohibitionist, 92; state representa- 
tive, Jacob Hunsaker, Republican, 591, M. W. 
Wristen, Democrat, 396, Carlos Spalding, Prohi- 
bitionist, 127; state senator, twelfth district, 
D. W. Pierce, Republican, 592, Jacob Eshelman, 
Democrat, 490; county attorney, W. B. Presby, 
Republican, 488, Hiram Dustin, Democrat, 597; 
clerk, Rollo E. Jackson, Republican, 670, Peter 
Gunn, Democratic and Prohibitionist nominee, 
407; auditor, Simon Bolton, Republican, 617, 
John W. Snover, Democrat, 375, Newton Norris, 
Prohibitionist, 98; sheriff, Frank R. Stimson, 
Republican, 569, William Van Vactor, Demo- 
cratic and Prohibitionist nominee, 517; treasurer, 
John Cummings, Republican, 540, W. H. Ward, 
Democrat, 503, William Millican, Prohibitionist, 
61; county commissioners, first district, Halsey 
D. Cole, Republican, 525, P. Plummer, Demo- 
crat, 333, G. W. French, Prohibitionist, 173; sec- 
ond district, A. J. Spoon, Republican, 502. R. D. 
White, Democrat, 387, A. M. Wilie, Prohibi- 
tionist, 148; third district, Daniel Jorden, Repub- 
lican, 561, T. B. Stapleton, Democrat, 370, S. 
Hornibrook. Prohibitionist, 112: superintendent 
of schools, N. B. Brooks, Republican, 545, W. R. 
Neal, Democrat, 420, William Gilmore, Prohibi- 
tionist, 98: assessor, Thomas Talbert, Republi- 
can, 4S0, W. H. Hale, Democrat, 48T, H. C. 


Clark, Prohibitionist, 112; surveyor, Jacob Rich- 
ardson, Republican, 772, J. H. Hill, Prohibition- 
ist, 199; coroner, Carl D. Wilcox, Republican, 
687, O. J. Glover, Prohibitionist, 241 ; location 
state capital, North Yakima, 626, Olympia and 
Ellensburg, 109 votes each. 

In 1892 the People's party was organized in 
Klickitat county, at a meeting held at Golden- 
dale April 8th. Later a fusion was effected 
between the People's party and the Democrats in 
a convention held September 10th. The Repub- 
licans held their county convention July 30th. 
As this campaign was the first national campaign 
Washington had taken part in as a state, the 
greater struggle largely influenced local elec- 
tions. A summary of Klickitat's vote is herewith 

For presidential electors, Republican, 614 
votes, People's party, 367, Democratic, 281, Pro- 
hibitionist, 52; congressmen, John L. Wilson, 
W. H. Doolittle, Republicans, 589 and 586 votes 
respectively, Van Patten, M. F. Knox, People's 
party, 404 and 396 votes respectively, J. A. 
Munday, Thomas Carroll, Democrats, 248 and 
245 votes respectively, C. E. Newberry, A. C. 
Dickinson, Prohibitionists, 49 and 50 votes 
respectively; governor, John McGraw, Republi- 
can, 557, C. W. Young, People's party, 411, 
Henry J. Snively, Democrat, 264, R. S. Greene, 
Prohibitionist, 72; lieutenant-governor, F. H. 
Luce, Republican, 573, C. P. Twiss, People's 
party, 406, H. C. Willison, Democrat, 252, D. G. 
Strong, Prohibitionist, 62; secretary of state, 
J. H. Price, Republican, 584, Lyman Wood, 
People's party, 412, J. McReavy, Democrat, 241, 
W. H. Gilstrop, Prohibitionist, 54; treasurer, 
O. A. Bowen, Republican, 583, W. C. P. Adams, 
People's party, 420, H. Clothier, Democrat, 237, 
G. W. Stewart, Prohibitionist, 53; auditor, L. R. 
Grimes, Republican, 584, C. C. Rodolf, People's 
party, 410, Samuel Bass, Democrat, 235, C. Carl- 
son, Prohibitionist, 53; attorney-general, W. C. 
Jones, Republican, 580, G. Teats, People's party, 
408, R. W. Starr, Democrat, 238, E. Smith, Pro- 
hibitionist, 54; superintendent public instruction, 
C. W. Bean, Republican, 578, J. M. Smith, Peo- 
ple's party, 413, J. H. Morgan, Democrat, 236, 
W. M. Heiney, Prohibitionist, 25; commissioner 
public lands, W. T. Forrest, Republican, 502, 
T. M. Callaway, People's party, 431, F. S. Lewis, 
Democrat, 226, R. M. Gibson, Prohibitionist, 51; 
state printer, O. C. White, Republican, 567, A. J. 
Murphy, People's party, 457, J. A. Borden, Dem- 
ocrat, 215, W. H. Boothroyd, Prohibitionist, 48; 
supreme judges, Elmon Scott, T. J. Anders, 
Republicans, 582 and 588 votes respectively, 
G. W. Gardiner, F. T. Reid, People's party, 392 
and 402 votes respectively, E. K. Hanna, W. H. 
Brinker, Democrats, 258 and 242 votes respect- 
ively; superior judge, Solomon Smith, Republi- 
can, 592, Hiram Dustin, Democrat, 541; state 
representative, D. W. Pierce, Republican, 623, 

A. H. Jewett, Fusionist, 5S2; county attorney, 
W. B. Presby, Republican, 599; clerk, G. F. 
McKinney, Republican, 634, D. E. Brooks, 
Fusionist, 631; auditor, S. Bolton, Republican, 
669, John Demsey, Fusionist, 633; sheriff, D. C. 
Macy, Republican, 638, D. W. Collins, Fusionist, 
647 (contested and decision rendered in favor of 
Macy) ; commissioners, first district, H. D. Cole, 
Republican, 600, H. M. Trenner, Fusionist, 665 ; 
second district, I. B. Courtney, Republican, 597, 
J. J. Callaway, Fusionist, 645; third district, 
McD. Pierce, Republican, 625, E. E. Hinshaw, 
Fusionist, 634 (contested and decision given in 
favor of Pierce) ; treasurer, John Konig, Repub- 
lican, 634, C. E. Morris, Fusionist, 645 ; assessor, 
J. T. Lucas, Republican, 607, John Smith, 
"Fusionist, 679; superintendent of schools, C. M. 
Ryman, Republican, 681, Mrs. S. S. Long, 
Fusionist, 574; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, 
Republican, 684, E. C. Richardson, Fusionist, 
589; coroner; C. D. Wilcox, Republican, 624, 
H. D. Young, 635. 

During the succeeding two years the fusion 
movement made such slow progress that in 1894 
the People's and the Democratic parties discon- 
tinued their alliance. One of the most interest- 
ing features of the '94 election was the bonding 
question. The Republicans favored the refund- 
ing of the county's indebtedness; the adherents 
of the People's party element strongly opposed 
such action. When the votes were counted it 
was found that bonding had carried by a vote of 
496 to 353. The Republicans met in convention* 
September 8th. A week later the People's or 
Populist party held its convention, at which a 
platform was adopted containing this plank: 
"We condemn in unmeasured terms the incom- 
petent and dishonest superior court of Klickitat 
county which has made a travesty on justice in 
blocking the wheels of economy and crushing the 
will of the people as expressed through the ballot. 
We pledge our candidates, if elected, to require 
no deputies at the county's expense so long as the 
salaries remain at their present standard; 
although this shall not be considered to refer to 
the necessary incidental expenses of the sheriff's 
office." The vote cast at the election is given 

For congressmen, W. H. Doolittle, S. C. 
Hyde, Republicans, 746 and 719 votes respect- 
ively, B. F. Heuston, N. T. Caton, Democrats, 
299 and 272 votes respectively, J. C. Van Patten, 
W. P. C. Adams, Populists, 238 and 221 votes 
respectively; justices supreme court, R. O. Dun- 
bar, N. J. Gordon. Republicans, 758 and 68S votes 
respectively, B. L. Sharpstein, W. T. Forrest, 
Democrats, 282 and 230 votes respectively, 
Thomas N. Allen, J. M. Ready, Populists, 302 
and 213 votes respectively; state senator, twelfth 
district, D. E. Lesh, Republican, 753, G. Taplor, 
Democrat, 432; representatives, L. W. Curtis, 
Republican, 723, W. R. Neil, Democrat, 331, 


S. T. Shell, Populist, 261; sheriff, F. B. Stimson, 
Republican, 841, I. H. Ely, Democrat, 240; 
treasurer, A. ■ C. Chapman, Republican, 611, 
W. H.Ward, Democrat, 516, D. F. Hartley, Pop- 
ulist, 196: auditor, H. C. Phillips, Republican, 
696, William Van Vactor, Democrat, 401, S. H. 
Mason, Populist, 221; clerk, G. F. McKinney, 
Republican, 731, G. Hause, Democrat, 343, T. D. 
Adams, Populist, 232; county attorney, C. H. 
Spalding, Republican, 687, G. W. Maddock, 
Democrat, 484; assessor, J. E. Beeks, Republi- 
can, 591, J. K. Jarratt, Democrat, 510, A. Wil- 
lard, Populist, 208; commissioners, second dis- 
trict, A. O. Woods, Republican, 203, C. Wherry, 
Democrat, 113, A. J. Long, 85; third district, 
Joseph Nesbitt, Republican, 302, J. M. Hess, 
Democrat, 197; superintendent of schools, C. M. 
Ryman, Republican, 698, C. S. Baker, Demo- 
crat, 339, Mrs. M, Reynolds, Populist, 265 ; sur- 
veyor, W. Jones, Republican, 735, C. Schutz, 
Democrat, 330, E. Y. Stone, Populist, 206; coro- 
ner, J. P. Nelson, Republican, 766, C. A. Schro- 
der, Democrat, 221, H. D. Young, Populist, 294. 

The campaign of 1896 was fully as exciting in 
Klickitat county as elsewhere in the state. The 
silver issue predominated, concentrating all 
believers in free silver, irrespective of former 
party affiliations, into a fusion organization. 
This organization held its county convention 
Saturday, September 5th, and nominated a 
strong ticket upon a platform closely following 
that adopted by the Chicago convention. The 
•Republicans held their county convention August 
22d. A feature of local interest in their platform 
was a plank demanding a close quarantine of all 
sheep coming into the county in order that the 
spread of disease might be prevented. A sum- 
mary of the county's vote at the election follows: 

For presidential electors, Republican, 878, 
Fusionist, 664, Gold Democratic, 44, Prohibi- 
tionist, 14; congressmen, Samuel C. Hyde, W. H. 
Doolittle, Republicans, 871 and 870 votes respect- 
ively, James Hamilton Lewis, W. C. Jones, 
Fusionist, 669 and 665 votes respectively, C. A. 
Salyer, Martin Olsen, Prohibitionists, 10: gov- 
ernor, P. C. Sullivan, Republican, 864, John R. 
Rogers, Fusionist, 678, R. E. Dunlap, Prohibi- 
tionist, 8; lieutenant-governor, John W. Arras- 
mith, Republican, 869, Thurston Daniels, Fusion- 
ist, 670, T. A. Shorthill, Prohibitionist, 13; secre- 
tary of state, J. H. Price, Republican, 867, W. D. 
Jenkins, Fusionist, 678, C. L. Haggard, Prohibi- 
tionist, 11 ; state treasurer, J. A. Kellogg, Repub- 
lican, 867, C. W. Young, Fusionist, 673, John 
Robins, Prohibitionist, 12; state auditor, J. E. 
Frost, Republican, 869, N. Cheetham, Fusionist, 
572, C. C. Gridley, Prohibitionist, 12; attorney- 
general, E. W. Ross, Republican, 866, P. H. 
Winston, Fusionist, 674, Everett Smith, Prohibi- 
tionist, 11 ; supreme judge, John P. Hoyt, Repub- 
lican, 871, James B. Reavis, Fusionist, 667, 
E. N. Livermore, Prohibitionist, 14; commis- 

sioner of public lands, W. T. Forrest, Republi- 
can, 867, Robert Bridges, Fusionist, 670, A. E. 
Flagg, Prohibitionist, 16; superintendent of 
public instruction, E. L. Brunton, Republican, 
870, F. J. Brown, Fusionist, 668, C. E. New- 
berry, Prohibitionist, 12; state printer, O. C. 
White, Republican, 870, Gwin Hicks, Fusionist, 
660, H. L. Bull, Prohibitionist, 16; state repre- 
sentative, George H. Baker, Republican, 892, 
C. E. Rusk, Fusionist, 670; superior judge, A. L. 
Miller, Republican, 899, J. N. Pearcy, Fusionist, 
654; sheriff, Frank B. Stimson, Republican, 938, 
A. B. Courtway, Fusionist, 627; clerk, H. C. 
Jackson, Republican, 897, R. E. Jackson, Fusion- 
ist, 670; auditor, Hugh C. Phillips, Republican, 
876, J. E. Chappell, Fusionist, 692; treasurer, 
A. C. Chapman, Republican, 973, D. E. Brooks, 
Fusionist, 585 ; county attorney, C. H. Spalding, 
Republican, 815, N. B. Brooks, Fusionist, 740; 
assessor. J. W. Butler, Republican 854, W. H. 
Ward, Fusionist, 708; superintendent of schools, 
C. L. Colburn, Republican, 874, W. R. Neal, 
Fusionist, 634; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, 
Republican, 915, A. W. Mohr, Fusionist, 634; 
coroner, Peter Nelson, Republican, 911, S. H. 
Miller, Fusionist, 643; commissioners, first dis- 
trict, J. R. Rankin, Republican, 880. Jacob 
Hunsaker, Fusionist, 673; second district, J. 
Copenhefer, Republican, 887, J. N. Chamberlain, 
Fusionist, 667; third district, Joseph Nesbitt, 
Republican, 867, Peter Gunn, Fusionist, 684. 

Again in 1898 national questions predomi- 
nated in the county election. The Republican 
county convention was held September 17th; the 
Silverites and Anti-Expansionists, forming the 
Fusion party, met October 8th. That Klickitat 
still remained in the Republican ranks may be 
seen from the vote cast: 

For congressmen, Wesley L. Jones, F. W. 
Cushman, Republicans, 824 and 800 votes respect- 
ively, James H. Lewis, William C. Jones, Fusion- 
ists, 396 and 371 votes respectively; supreme 
judges, Mark W. Fullerton, Thomas J. Anders, 
Republicans. 828 and 842 votes respectively, 
Benjamin F. Heuston, Melvin M. Goodman, 
Fusionists, 378 and 371 votes respectively; joint 
state senator, twelfth district, George H. Baker, 
Republican, 826, Nelson B. Brooks, Fusionist, 
435; representative. L.W.Curtis, Republican, 
801, Newton Norris, Fusionist, 466; auditor, 
James W Butler, Republican, 961, no opposition; 
sheriff. William C. Burgen, Republican, 817, 
O. H. Rich, Fusionist, 440; clerk, H. C. Jackson, 
Republican, 887, William Olson, Fusionist, 372; 
treasurer, A. J. Ahola, Republican, 768, W. H. 
Ward, Fusionist, 492; attorney, William T. 
Darch, Republican, 681, Hiram Dustin. Fusion- 
ist, 565; assessor, J. R. Rankin, Republican, 738, 
Elmer Hinshaw. Fusionist, 512; commissioners, 
first district. William Coate, Republican, 838, 
Albert Bertschi, Fusionist, 390; second district, 
A. E. Coley, Republican, 8 10, R. D. White, 


Fusionist, 428; superintendent of schools, C. L. 
Colburn, Republican, 907, Mary J. Reynolds, 
Fusionist, 339; surveyor, Jacob Richardson, 
Republican, 976, no opposition; coroner, William 
Hart, Republican, 840, G. W. Stackhouse, 
Fusionist, 391. A small Prohibition vote was cast. 

With the campaign of 1898 the Fusion party 
passed away, leaving again but two important 
political parties in the field. Klickitat still con- 
tinued to roll up its usual large Republican 
majority. The Republican convention was held 
August nth; the Democrats met September 
1 6th. The official vote cast November 6, 1900, 
is herewith given, excepting that on minor state 

For presidential electors, Republican, 900, 
Democratic, 495, Prohibitionist, 50; congress- 
men, F. W. Cushman, Wesley L. Jones, Repub- 
licans, 893 and 898 votes respectively, F. C. Rob- 
ertson, J. T. Ronald, Democrats, 492 and 486 
votes respectively; governor, J. M. Frink, 
Republican, 850, J. R. Rogers, Democrat, 544; 
superior judge, A. L. Miller, Republican, 1,009, 
James A. Munday, Democrat, 425; state repre- 
sentative, Joseph Nesbitt, Republican, 900, I. C. 
Darland, Democrat, 596; commissioners, William 
McEwen, Republican, 831, Elmer Hinshaw, 
Democrat, 626; third district, A. J. Spoon, 
Republican, 865, L. Coleman, Democrat, 575; 
sheriff, W. C. Burgen, Republican, 981, John A. 
Niemeia, Democrat, 558; clerk, A. E. Coley, 
Republican, 773, John H. Smith, Democrat, 694; 
auditor, J. W. Butler, Republican, 977, John H. 
Bratton, Democrat, 473; treasurer, A. J. Ahola, 
Republican, 966, Thomas Turner, Democrat, 491 ; 
attorney, William T. Darch, Republican, 804, 
Hiram Dustin, Democrat, 634; assessor, J. R. 
Rankin, Republican, S29, William Cahill, Dem- 
ocrat, 620; superintendent of schools, C. M. 
Ryman, Republican, 991; surveyor, Arthur 
Richardson, Republican, 895, A. R. Collins, 
Democrat, 544 (Richardson did not qualify, W. F. 
Byars was appointed to the office "and served a 
full term) ; coroner, William Hart, Republican, 
889, Charles L. Pierce, Democrat, 554. 

The campaign of 1902 is of too recent a date to 
require a discussion of the issues involved. The 
Democrats secured two important offices, how- 
ever, notwithstanding the overwhelming Repub- 
lican majority in control of the county, William 
VanVactor and John H. Smith being elected by 
small majorities. The official returns follow: 

For representatives in congress, Wesley L. 
Jones, Francis W. Cushman, William E. Hum- 
phrey, Republicans, 925, 902 and 905 votes 
respectively, George F. Cotterill, O. R. Hol- 
comb, Frank B. Cole, Democrats, 386, 378 and 
387 votes respectively, A. H. Sherwood, W. J. 
McKean, O. L. Fowler, Prohibitionists, 17, 18 
and 17 votes respectively, J. H. C. Scurlock, D. 
Burgess, George W. Scott, Socialists, 30 votes 
each, Jense C. Martin, William McCormick, 
Hans P. Jorgensen, Socialist-Laborites, 13, 13 and 
12 votes respectively; justices supreme court, 
Hiram E. Hadley, Republican, 913, James Brad- 
ley Reavis, Democrat, 394, Thomas Neill, Social- 
ist, 30, William J. Hoag, Socialist-Laborite, 9; 
state senator, sixteenth district, George H. 
Baker, Republican, 938, C. J. Moore, Democrat, 
410; state representative, William Coate, Repub- 
lican, 853, Hiram Dustin, Democrat, 494; treas- 
urer, T. B. Montgomery, Republican, 1,001, no 
opposition; auditor, Ivan M. Macy, Republican, 
608, John H. Smith, Democrat, 758; sheriff, 
William McEwen, Republican, 671, William Van 
Vactor, Democrat, 697; assessor, Charles F. 
Kayser, Republican, 889, William Niva, Demo- 
crat, 463; clerk, Amos E. Coley, Republican, 
993, no opposition; school superintendent, Emma 
C. Clanton, Republican, 858, C. E. Rusk, Demo- 
crat, 493; surveyor, A. L. Richardson, Republi- 
can, 885, A. W. Mohr, Democrat, 461; prosecut- 
ing attorney, E. C. Ward, Republican, 794, J. W. 
Snover, Democrat, 564; coroner, Frank Sanders, 
Republican, 904, S. H. Miller, Democrat, 429; 
commissioner, first district, B. C. Dymond, Re- 
publican, 911, Thomas Lantry, Democrat, 418; 
commissioner, second district, W. E. Horni- 
brook, Republican, 865, T. B. Stapleton, Demo- 
crat, 484. 



It is interesting in tracing the history of 
towns to observe the different elements directly 
responsible for their origin, growth and develop- 
ment. Some are favored with special natural 
advantages of harbor or waterway; some have 
been fostered by railroads and corporations; 
some have suddenly sprung up mushroom-like 
because of a great mining or other excitement; 
a few, like the city of Goldendale, lack the stim- 
ulus of all such advantages and owe their exist- 
ence entirely to the presence of a good tributary 
country and the energy and labor of a group of 
enterprising citizens. Goldendale until a year 
ago had no closer railroad communication than 
Grant's Station, on the O. R. & N., twelve miles 
away, while the nearest point on the Columbia 
from which there was unobstructed navigation to 
Portland was at The Dalles, thirty-two miles 

But, although deprived of the conveniences 
of modern rapid transportation, the town was not 
without many natural advantages. It is located 
on an almost perfectly level tract of land sur- 
rounded by one of the richest farming sections 
in the state, a valley about thirty miles long and 
ten wide and easily capable of giving support to 
twenty thousand inhabitants. It comprises the 
great wheat-growing area of western Klickitat. 
The hills to the northward, whose bases reach 
almost to the town, furnish not only an abun- 
dance of pine timber, but also an excellent sum- 
mer range for stock; furthermore, they have 
proven capable, when cleared, of timber, of pro- 
ducing in abundance all the hardier varieties of 
fruit. The city is afforded thorough drainage 
through a large stream of water that flows along 
its lower side, carrying off all seepage. This 
stream will also furnish an abundance of water- 
power for an electric plant whenever the capital 
is forthcoming to harness it. In the matter of a 
city water supply, Goldendale is also specially 
favored, as there will always be plenty of pure 
water within easy reach, no matter how large the 
town of the future may be. On account of the 
pure water and good drainage, typhoid and 
malarial fever are almost unknown, and the 
city has a very enviable reputation for health- 

The site of the present city of Goldendale 
was first settled by Mortimer Thorp in the later 
fifties. Mr. Thorp built a house and fenced in 
a tract of land close to where the Methodist 
church now stands. He was a stockman, how- 
ever, and gave more thought to finding a favora- 
ble place for cattle-raising than to the possibili- 
ties of his location as a town site. Later he 
packed his possessions and moved over into the 
Yakima valley without ever having acquired title 
to the land. After Mr. Thorp abandoned the 
claim, it came into the hands of L. J. Kimber- 
land, who sold out, September 5, 1871, to John J. 
Golden. It was Mr. Golden's plan when he 
bought the property to lay it out as a town site 
and give to the rich Klickitat valley a suitable 
trade center and supply point. Accordingly, he 
sent the next spring to The Dalles for a surveyor 
(he was unable to procure one here), and had 
the town site platted. The original Goldendale 
was located along Klickitat creek on the flat 
where the steam laundry and planer now stand. 
Most of the business portion of the present town 
lies in Golden's first and second additions and in 
the Chatfield addition. 

The first move on the part of the founder of 
the new town was toward the establishment of a 
church within its borders. In the fall of 1871 a 
large and successful camp-meeting was held, as 
the result of which a Methodist church was ' 
organized in the settlement. Mr. Golden 
donated to it twelve lots as a building site, and 
four more were given to the minister. 

A short time afterward Rev. J. H. B. Royal, 
with the co-operation of the people of the settle- 
ment, built a parsonage. When the new build- 
ing was completed the subject of naming the 
town was broached to a party of settlers, and the 
minister, noticing the numerous willows that 
grew in the flat along the bank of the creek, pro- 
posed Willowdale, but a suggestion that it be 
named Goldendale, after its founder met with 
general approval, and the town was named 

Mr. Golden offered to donate eight lots to the 
man building the first store in Goldendale. In 
the fall of 1872 Thomas Johnson accepted the 
proposition and erected a building, the front part 
of which he used as a store, the rear as a dwell- 
ing. In 1874 he erected a separate building for 



store purposes, and by the end of that year the 
new city contained seven houses. 

In drawing up the plat of the town, the sur- 
veyor numbered the lots in the same order that 
is always followed in numbering the sections in 
a township, but a mistake was made in recording 
the plat, the reverse order being followed. The 
deeds, however, were made out according to the 
surveyor's plat, which Mr. Golden had in his 
possession. This caused considerable confusion, 
as all the first deeds had to be changed to corre- 
spond to the recorded plat. The lots in the first 
addition to Goldendale were numbered in a simi- 
lar manner, but the second was platted according 
to the usual custom. 

When John J. Golden bought the town site, 
L. J. Kimberland was postmaster and the post- 
office passed to the purchaser along with the 
property. It appears to have been discontinued 
for a time afterward, but Goldendale was again 
granted a daily mail in 1873. Altogether there 
were not more than a "hatful of letters" to come 
or go at any one time, and no papers then had a 
circulation in the community. We are informed 
that the postmaster was able to carry the entire 
mail for the community in his saddle-bags. 

Up to 1878 the growth of the town of Golden- 
dale was exceedingly slow, only one store, that 
of Willis Jenkins, having come in to compete 
with the pioneer establishment, but that fall 
occurred an event which gave a new impetus to 
the growth of the town. In 1872 the question 
of locating the county seat was referred to a pop- 
ular vote. The two places then desiring the 
honor were Goldendale in the valley and Rock- 
land on the Columbia, across from The Dalles. 
Although it seemed evident that Goldendale would 
be the point chosen, as most of the settlers were 
in the valley, Rockland managed to urge its 
claims so strongly that a majority of the people 
cast their ballots in favor of that place. John J. 
Golden, to whom the city of Goldendale has 
always been as a favorite child, was not discour- 
aged because of this defeat, but set to work with 
renewed vigor to advance the interests of the 
prospective city. Soon he and his coadjutors had 
caused Goldendale to become the center from 
which well-traveled county roads radiated in all 
directions. In 1877 stage connections were estab- 
lished with the Dalles, and shortly afterward the 
line was extended to Yakima and Ellensburg. It 
was only after a long, severe struggle that Mr. 
Golden and the other friends of the town were 
able to bring again to an issue the question of the 
location of the county seat, as the cattlemen were 
from the first opposed to Goldendale and their 
influence was strong not only in the county, but 
also in the territorial legislature. Pressure was 
brought to bear by their representatives to pre- 
vent the question from being again referred to 
the voters of the county, but finally, in 1878, 
Nelson Whitney succeeded in having a bill passed 

providing that a three-fifths majority of the elec- 
tors of the county should decide the matter. At 
the general election held in the fall of 1878, the 
question was given to the people for final settle- 
ment, and nearly five-sixths of the votes cast 
were for Goldendale. 

The following year the county property was 
removed in accordance with the will of the peo- 
ple as expressed by their suffrages, and Golden- 
dale has ever since remained the county seat. 
At that time there was no courthouse in Klickitat, 
and as the business of the county had assumed 
sufficient proportions to necessitate a building, 
the people in Goldendale and vicinity took the 
matter in hand and built by private subscription 
a substantial wooden structure which they gave 
to the county free of cost to the taxpayers. 

With the year 1S78 a period of growth and 
prosperity for Goldendale began. By the follow- 
ing year the town had sufficient population to 
entitle it under the existing laws to corporate 
powers, and an act was passed by the territorial 
legislature and approved November 14, 1879, 
incorporating Goldendale with the following 
described territory: "That portion of land 
known and designated upon the surveys of the 
United States in the Territory of Washington, as 
the south half of the southwest quarter of section 
sixteen, and the south half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section seventeen, and the northeast 
quarter of section twenty, and the northwest 
quarter of section twenty-one, township four 
north, range sixteen east of the Willamette 

The following temporary officers were ap- 
pointed to serve until the first election, to take 
place the first Monday in April, 1880: Mayor, 
Thomas Johnson: recorder, and ex-officio city 
assessor and clerk, W. F. Ames; councilmen, 
Homer Sears, John J. Golden, W. B. Chatfield, 
Justin Scammon and D. B. Gaunt. By 1880 the 
following business houses had been established 
in the city of Goldendale : General merchandise, 
Lowengart & Sichel, S. Lowenberg & Company; 
flouring mills, Klickitat Flouring Mills. D. Scam- 
mon, proprietor, Goldendale Flouring Mills, Nes- 
bitt, Jones & Company, proprietors; planing 
mills, Klickitat Planing Company, Mitchell & 
Helm, proprietors, Thomas Johnson; hardware, 
J. H. McCulloch, Graff & Filloon; furniture, 
Adolph Plahte ; drug stores, City Drug and Book 
Store, W. L. Ames & Company, proprietors, City 
Drug Store, Savior & Company, proprietors; gro- 
cery, William Barnett; harness shop, California, 
M. T. Shannon, proprietor: blacksmith shops, 
S. W. Gardiner & Son, A. C. Hall, J. C. Marble 
and Philip S. Caldwell; jewelry stores, L. B. 
Royal, Victor Gobat; hotels, Occidental, T. E. 
Caley, proprietor, Palace, W. H. Chappell, M. V. 
Harper and Joseph Verden ; barber shop, Charles 
Gibbons, proprietor; job printing, John T. Har- 
sell, The Sentinel, C. K. and K. A. Seitz, pro- 


prietors; livery stables, Thomas Johnson, Miller 
& Gaunt; millinery, Mrs. J. Ingersoll; contract- 
ors, Robert Jones, Tomlinson & Mowlds, C. M. 
Phillips; real estate, John J. Golden, John R. 
Chatfield, M. V. Harper; attorneys-at-law, Dus- 
tin & Lamdrum, Dunbar & Reavis; physicians, 
W. T. McCauley, Dr. Houghton, N. Henton, 
D. P. Hewitt, G. Hill and P. Laurendeau; post- 
master, Justin Scammon. 

There was by this time a daily stage line to 
The Dalles, and three times weekly a stage made 
the trip to Ellensburg and Yakima. Four 
churches had organizations in the town — the 
Baptist, Christian, Methodist and Presbyterian. 
There was also a private academy with an attend- 
ance of one hundred and sixty students, presided 
over by Captain W. A. Wash. The mail service 
had been increased to a tri-weekly, and a weekly 
newspaper, the Klickitat Sentinel, C. K. Seitz, 
editor, had been established. 

The growth of the town was continuous and 
uninterrupted until the year t888, when, on May 
13th, a destructive fire swept almost the entire 
business portion of the city out of existence. 
After the fire there remained only E. W. Pike's 
livery barn and Philip Caldwell's blacksmith 

The fire broke out in James Dickson's liv- 
ery stable about two o'clock Sunday afternoon 
while many of the citizens were out of town. 
Mr. Dickson, who was in the office of the 
stable, being alarmed by a roaring noise, went 
to investigate the cause and found the barn on 
fire. It is probable that if he had had a supply 
of water handy, he could have extinguished the 
flames before they had done much damage, for 
he almost succeeded in doing so with a single 
pail of water which stood near. But while he 
was gone for more water, the flames climbed to 
the roof of the building, igniting the hay and 
making it impossible with the inadequate supply 
of water to save the barn and prevent the spread 
of the flames. 

An alarm was instantly sounded. People 
rushed to the scene with all promptness and the 
fight began. It was immediately perceived that 
the barn was doomed and that the whole town 
was in danger, so the workers gave their atten- 
tion to removing valuables from the houses in 
the vicinity of the burning building. This was 
about all that could be done, as Goldendale had 
no water system at the time and it was not possi- 
ble to approach close enough to throw water on 
the flames with buckets. Everybody labored to 
save what he could, and before those who had 
gone to the country, bejng warned by the smoke, 
could return to town, those who had stayed at 
home were nearly exhausted. The country 
people and their wagons were pressed into serv- 
ice and much valuable property was saved from 
the ravages of the fire. In some instances the 
property taken from the burning buildings was 

not removed beyond danger, and as the flames 
spread, it caught and burned with the rest. For 
four hours the fire held high carnival, entirely 
consuming seven blocks in the heart of the 
town. All the district between Broadway and 
Court streets and between Chatfield and Golden 
avenues was left desolate, and, besides almost 
the entire business portion, the houses of twenty- 
five families were destroyed, also much valuable 
personal property. The following list of esti- 
mated losses will give an idea of the magnitude 
of the disaster: 

Bold & Fenton, blacksmiths, $700; James 
Starfield, dwelling, $300; D. W. Pierce & Com- 
pany, house and lumber, $900; W. H. Chappell, 
hotel, $3,000; Jacob Hess, building, $2,500; Cum- 
mings & Cram, merchandise, $25,000; Sig. Sichel, 
$25,000; J. M. Hess, druggist, $6,000; Frank Pat- 
ton, barber, $500; C. R. Van Allstyn, grocery, 
$3,000; Bennett & Harvey, building, $600; 
August Schuster, meat market, $400; R. D. 
McCulley, $300; E. D. McFall, $6,000; Victor 
Gobat, jeweler, $2,000; Mrs. L. Hall, household 
goods, $300; Hiram Wing, merchandise, $2,500; 
Peter Nelson, dwelling, $1,200; T. L. Masters, 
dwelling, $400; John Lear, house, $400; W. R. 
Dunbar, $500; Justin Scammon, dwelling, $700; 
Dr. Boyd, dwelling, $700; Occidental Hotel, 
$900; B. Snover, store, $1,300; O. D. Sturgis, 
merchandise, $200; J. T. Eshelman, $950; Dr. 
Stowell, household goods, $500; William Mini- 
can, merchandise, $2,500; Masters & Benson, 
$11,000; Mrs. Whitney, $500: James Coffield, 
building, $1,000: J. W. Washburn, building, 
$400; A. O. U. W. fixtures, $200; French & Mc- 
Farland, $600; Isaac Goodnoe, currency, $400; 
M. Wigal, building, $700; Rev. John Uren, $200; 
I. O. O. F. fixtures, $600: Klickitat county, 
courthouse and furnishings, etc., $6,000; Hiram 
Dustin, books, $100; Tribune office, $600; Frank 
Lee, household goods, $200; Chinese laundry, 
$200; Dudley Eshelman, $200; Smith & Dunbar, 
buildings, $900; Sentinel office, press, etc., 
$3,500: Dickson's stables, $3,000; Hotling Com- 
pany, building, $600; Dr. L. M. Willard, sundries, 
$1,500; W. H. Ward, building, $1,200; H. D. 
Young, building and furniture, $7,000; D. Cram, 
building, $600; Downer & Sloper, machinery, 
$900; Samuel Lear, dwelling, $500: I. B. Court- 
ney, dwelling, $600; Charles Marshall, dwelling, 
$600: Methodist Episcopal church building, 
$1,500; Methodist Episcopal church parsonage, 
$500; Presbyterian church, $1,000: John Hess, 
building, $300; W. A. Wash, building, $200; 
Hugh Sutherland, $100; Thomas Butler, $200; 
the Misses McLin & Phillips, millinery, $100; 
Mrs. M. E. Van Allstyn, stock and building, 
$2,000; John Keats, stock and building, $250; 
Joseph Blanchard, furniture, $150; James Bur- 
nett, furniture, $700; R. D. McCulley, $600; 
1. S. Bonchard, shoe shop, $200; H. C. Jackson, 
lumber, $250; E. W. Pike, machinery, $1,000. 



In all, about $250,000 worth of property was 

It was prophesied by some that the town 
would never be rebuilt, but it soon became evi- 
dent that such prophets greatly underestimated 
the pluck and energy of the citizens of Golden- 
dale. Scarcely had the smoke ceased to rise 
from the ruins when plans were under way to 
rebuild in a safer and more substantial manner. 
Previous to this time not a single brick building 
had been erected in Goldendale, but the lessons 
of the fire were well learned. The people were 
made to realize the true economy of fireproof 
buildings, and out of the ruins rose a more sub- 
stantial city than had ever before existed in the 
Klickitat valley. The Sentinel of July 1, 1888, 
tells of the laying of the first brick in the first 
brick building erected in the city. By August 
2d Hiram Wing had rebuilt his store; V. E. 
Gobat had a brick building almost completed on 
Main street; John Coffield had a corrugated iron 
building in course of construction; the Palace 
Hotel building had been rebuilt on the site of 
the old hotel of that name; beside the hotel, 
Pierce had an office for his lumber yard; oppo- 
site the Red Barn, Bold & Bold had built a black- 
smith shop; on the site of the Occidental, Snover 
had a building forty by forty feet almost com- 
pleted; Sol Smith had an office; John Keats a 
shoeshop; William Millican had a two-story 
building opposite the Palace Hotel; G. W. Mc- 
Kinney had a hardware store; the Sentinel had a 
printing office ; W. H. Ward a small temporary 
building; W. B. Presby a law office; J. M. Hess a 
store in course of construction ; Samuel Lear had 
a residence; an armory hall, fifty by one hundred 
feet, had taken the place of the old one ; the 
Methodist church was in course of construction, 
and a contract had been let for the Presbyterian 
church: all this within three months from the 
date of the fire. 

The rapidity with which the new Goldendale 
arose out of the ashes is all the more remarkable 
when it is remembered that the city was without 
railroad connection and therefore unable to 
obtain readily building materials from outside 
sources; neither were there home facilities in 
readiness for supplying immediately the increased 

Goldendale had, however, been accustomed 
from the beginning to depend entirely on its own 
resources, and the unusual situation caused by 
the fire developed new activity and new enter- 
prise. The brick and lumber for the reconstruc- 
tion were from necessity manufactured at home. 
There was fortunately abundance of timber 
within easy reach of the town, also plenty of 
clay from which to manufacture the needed 
brick, and both were made use of by an ener- 
getic and determined people. 

For a long time the city had been handi- 
capped in the transaction of its business because 

of the absence of a banking house in the town, 
but in 1889 this desideratum was supplied, a 
company being formed with a capital of fifty 
thousand dollars and the First National Bank 
of Goldendale established. The first officers of 
this institution were: J. G. Maddock, president; 
Hugh Fields, vice-president; Hugh Fields, E. W. 
Pike, J. G. Maddock, F. W. Patterson and O. D. 
Sturgess, directors. The enterprise flourished 
from the beginning. 

The havoc wrought by the fire caused many 
of the leading citizens to urge persistently upon 
the people the necessity of an adequate water 
supply. The result of this agitation was that 
the city council was induced to submit to the 
voters of the town, at an election held June 19, 
1890, a proposition to bond the taxable property 
of the city for five per cent, of its assessed valu- 
ation for the purpose of constructing a city water 
system. The bonds amounted to twelve thou- 
sand five hundred dollars and were to run twenty 
years at six per cent. The vote stood one hun- 
dred and twenty-five for the bonds and seven 
against. Steps were, therefore, immediately 
taken to build and put into operation the new 
system, which was to take its water, by the 
gravity system, from three mountain springs 
some thirteen miles distant. For the first two 
years, however, the water was pumped from the 
Little Klickitat. A large reservoir was con- 
structed about one hundred and fifty feet above 
the town and mains were laid throughout the 
city. Goldendale lies at the foot of the hills 
that flank the Simcoe range, and in the moun- 
tains snow lies on the ground the greater part of 
the year. From these melting snows the water 
comes cool and fresh and pure the whole year 
through. The pipe line and water supply was 
owned, however, by a private company, and it 
was not until recently that the system came 
entirely into the hands of the city. 

While the water system was being completed, 
an object lesson was given to the people of the 
wisdom of the enterprise and the necessity of 
hastening the work as much as possible. On 
the evening of September 4, 1890, a fire broke 
out near the west end of Main street in a stable 
owned by Mr. Allen. The wind was blowing 
from the southwest and the flames spread to the 
north and east. The residence of William Milli- 
can, valued at twenty-five hundred dollars, was 
totally destroyed: the property was uninsured. 
S. P. Leverett's residence was also destroyed; its 
value was two thousand dollars, insurance one 
thousand dollars. The barn where-the fire broke 
out was valued at five hundred dollars and was 
not insured. It was feared at the time that, 
with the meager facilities then at hand for fight- 
ing the fire, the disaster of two years previous 
would be repeated. There was no method by 
which water could be thrown on the flames save 
with buckets, and the water supply was limited, 



but the people fought with energy and courage 
and succeeded in saving the city. A suspicion 
gained foothold among the citizens of Goldendale 
that this fire was of incendiary origin, and the 
mayor authorized the city marshal to provide 
patrolmen and guards as a precaution against 
further attempts to destroy the town. The 
result was that through the vigilance of Charles 
Alvord, the miscreant was caught in a second 
attempt. Mr. Alvord saw a suspicious-looking 
individual enter a barn back of the Palace Hotel 
and followed him. Just as the pursuer came up, 
he met one Jesse Allen coming out of the build- 
ing. When the latter saw Mr. Alvord, he rushed 
back into the barn and attempted to put out the 
fire he had already started in a pile of straw. 
Alvord readily extinguished the flames, then 
arrested the man and turned him over to the 
county authorities. It is generally believed that 
he was also responsible for the other fire, which, 
indeed, started in his father's barn. 

Allen was given a preliminary hearing on a 
charge of arson and bound over to appear at the 
November term of court. When his case was 
called, he entered a plea of not guilty, but the 
circumstances were so strongly against him that 
he was convicted and sentenced to three years in 
the penitentiary. 

Although Goldendale was handicapped in its 
growth by a lack of transportation facilities for a 
longer period than most of its sister cities 
throughout the state and thereby suffered much 
inconvenience, the people were not so far dis- 
couraged because of this drawback as to neglect 
any effort on their part which might count in the 
development and upbuilding of the city. In the 
early part of March, 1890, a mass-meeting was 
held at the courthouse for the purpose of estab- 
lishing a board of trade to foster the interests of 
the growing town. A temporary organization 
was formed which, the following week, was 
transformed into a permanent one. A constitu- 
tion was adopted and officers elected as follows: 
N. B. Brooks, president; R. E. Jackson, first 
vice-president; Joseph Nesbitt, second vice-pres- 
ident; George H. Baker, third vice-president; 
C. S. Reinhart, secretary; D. Cram, treasurer. 
Previous to this time the action of Goldendale's 
citizens on its behalf had been along separate 
lines; now by this organization they were pre- 
pared to act together. 

The best energies of Goldendale's citizens 
were now directed toward the establishment of a 
railroad connection for the town. That they 
were in earnest in this effort is amply demon- 
strated by the fact that they raised a subsidy of 
twenty thousand dollars in 1890, as an induce- 
ment to any road to build into the city. Their 
labors in this direction and their final triumph in 
recent years arc of interest not alone to the city 
of Goldendale, but to the entire county, and, 
therefore, have been fully detailed elsewhere. 

At no time in the history of the town were its 
educational interests neglected ; on the contrary, 
the importance of education for the youth was 
always recognized and a high standard of excel- 
lence was maintained in the schools. As early 
as 1880 an academy had been established, but 
when the public school system became well 
enough developed, this institution was aban- 
doned and for many years it was necessary for 
students desiring advanced education to go out- 
side the county for it. It had long been the wish 
of many Goldendale citizens to provide educa- 
tional facilities at home, thus obviating, in part 
at least, the necessity of sending their sons and 
daughters elsewhere for higher learning. 

A meeting was held in February, 1896, with 
this end in view, and such a lively interest was 
manifested that those who had the enterprise in 
contemplation felt encouraged to proceed. The 
services of Professor Charles Timblin were 
secured, and by the fall of 1896 an academy was 
established and ready to receive students. Since 
that time Klickitat Academy has been doing a 
good work and has been an important adjunct to 
the educational facilities of the county. Recently, 
however, the institution has been converted into 
a high school. 

Goldendale was first incorporated in 1879 
under the territorial laws. At the city election 
of 1902 the question of re-incorporation under 
the state laws was submitted to a popular vote, 
and the result was one hundred and five for and 
five against. The new incorporation, by the 
provisions of which Goldendale is classed as a 
city of the fourth class, took effect April 15, 
1902. Since that time Goldendale has purchased 
from Hess & Cooper, for the sum of six thousand 
dollars, the water system from which the city got 
its water supply. The present city administra- 
tion, elected in December, 1903, is composed of 
the following officers: Mayor, Dr. Allen Bone- 
brake; councilmen. Nelson B. Brooks, Winthrop 
B. Presby, A. E. Coley, William McGuire, Sam- 
uel Waters; treasurer, George Hyatt; secretary, 
J. R. Putnam; attorney, Edgar C. Ward; mar- 
shal, G. W. Stackhouse. R. D. McCulley is the 
chief of the city's volunteer fire department, 
which is a creditable organization in every 

The transportation question has been the 
most difficult to solve of the many problems 
which in the past have perplexed the founders 
and builders of Goldendale. Several times in 
the history of the town a railroad seemed assured, 
but as often some obstruction prevented the final 
consummation of the project, until 1903, when at 
last the energies and efforts of the people of the 
county and town were fitly rewarded. The line 
completed, Goldendale's citizens justly felt that 
a celebration was in order, so June 18, 1903, was 
set apart as a day of jubilee and general rejoic- 
ing. In their celebration the people were ; 



by business men from The Dalles and Portland, 
the party arriving in time for dinner at the Cen- 
tral Hotel, which had just been finished. They 
spent the afternoon in exploring the surrounding 
country, with which they expressed themselves 
as delighted, while the evening was given over 
to speech-making in the armory. Prominent 
men among the visitors and citizens delivered 
enthusiastic addresses. The meeting was opened 
by Attorney Nelson B. Brooks with a few well- 
chosen remarks; then Harvey W. Scott, of the 
Oregonian, spoke; also Judge Ballinger and 
H. C. Campbell. Later a banquet was tendered 
the visitors at the Central Hotel, Winthrop B. 
Presby acting as toastmaster. 

In response to the toast " Portland, " Attorney 
John M. Gearin said: "Now that this country 
has been opened up by this railroad and given 
communication with the markets of the commer- 
cial world, your products will take on a new 
value and the number of your homes will be 
increased, your lands will be settled more gener- 
ally, and your wealth will accumulate more rap- 
idly. At Goldendale you have the metropolis of 
one of the richest valleys in the Northwest, and 
as this road is extended and possibly brought 
into connection with some great transcontinental 
system, your prestige will grow. You stand 
here living examples of what men can do by 
their own endeavors. You came into an unset- 
tled country without railroads and without even 
wagon roads, and have built up a rich and pros- 
perous community." 

Other speeches were made in the same strain 
by experienced business men from other parts, 
showing that the natural advantages of Golden- 
dale and the riches of her surrounding country 
were duly appreciated by all. It is yet too soon 
to judge of the results of this great enterprise on 
Goldendale, for scarcely a year has passed since 
the railroad's arrival, but the city has already 
shown a marked increase in business activity. 
The growth of Goldendale has been steady and 
sure. At no time in its history has it suffered 
from over-booming, but a comparison of census 
returns shows that a steady growth in population 
has ever been maintained. In the past few 
years this increase has been much more rapid 
than formerly. The census for 1900 shows a 
population of seven hundred and thirty-eight, 
not including the thickly-settled districts which 
He just without the limits of the corporation. 
In 1903 the population, as estimated by the state 
bureau of statistics, was one thousand six hundred 
and ninety, a gain of more than one hundred per 
cent, in three years. 

An increase in building activity is also to be 
noticed. Substantial brick buildings are taking 
the place of old wooden ones, and the new struc- 
tures are invariably much larger than those they 
replace, showing that the business of the town is 
increasing and demanding more room. The 

residence part of the city is being materially 
extended by the addition of new buildings, made 
necessary by the arrival of new families, for 
during the spring just past almost every train 
has been bringing home-seekers and home-build- 
ers to the valley and city. 

Goldendale now has a large sixty-room hotel, 
covering a ground space of sixty by one hundred 
feet. The building is three stories high and is 
elegantly furnished, using electric lights, steam 
heat, call bells and all the necessary equipment 
of a modern hotel. The hotel owns its own 
light plant and is the only building in the city 
with electric lights. The hotel is owned and 
operated by Alvord & Ahola, who provide excel- 
lent service for their patrons. 

Although the National Bank of Goldendale 
terminated its operations when hard times made 
business slack, Goldendale was not left long 
without a bank. In 1899 Moore Brothers, of 
Moro, Oregon, established the Bank of Golden- 
dale. A. Melgard, formerly of Minnesota, 
bought the property in May, 1902, and is at 
present its owner. The bank is a private insti- 
tution and occupies its own building. Mr. Mel- 
gard has had many years of experience in bank- 
ing, and before coming to this city was cashier 
of the State Bank of Warren, Minnesota. He is 
well known in financial circles. 

The city has two weekly newspapers, both of 
which have been and are no small factors in the 
growth of the community and county at large. 
The Sentinel, in its twenty-fifth volume, is under 
the management of W. F. Byars, who owns most 
of the company's stock. The Agriculturist, in 
its fourteenth year, is owned and edited by W. J. 
Story. Both papers are provided with improved 
printing plants and well equipped job offices. 
These newspapers will be more fully treated of 
in the press chapter. 

The manufacturing interests of the city are 
still in their infancy, yet a good beginning has 
been made in this line. There are two flouring 
mills — the Goldendale Milling Company's mill, 
with a capacity of one hundred barrels a day, 
under the management of Phillips & Aldrich, 
and the Klickitat mill, owned by J. M. Hess & 
Son; its capacity is seventy barrels. Besides 
these mills, there are two planing mills, that of 
the Klickitat White Pine Company, D. W. Pierce, 
manager, capacity, twenty thousand feet a day, 
employing between fifteen and twenty men, and 
the Goldendale planing mill, of which J. A. 
Beckett is manager, handling about one million 
feet a year. A well-equipped foundry is also 
among the city's industrial institutions. 

Goldendale's mercantile houses, business and 
professional men, other than those heretofore 
mentioned, may be listed as follows: 

General merchandise, Baker Brothers, John E. 
Chappell, Samuel Waters, A. M. McLeod & 
Company; clothing store, Rust Brothers; book 



store, Rankin & Frisbie; drug stores, C. M. Shel- 
ton & Company, Chester Pike, McKee & McKee, 
H. S. Goddard; hardware, W. A. McKenzie, 
H. N. Frazer; furniture, A. C. Chapman, A. I. 
Webb & Son ; second-hand store, P. D. Presher ; 
groceries, Bartlett & Sons; meat market, Shelton 
& McCrow; jewelers, Wendelin Leidl, V. E. 
Campbell; bakery, W. F. Stiner; restaurants, 
Thomas Kennedy, J. J. O'Rourke, Ryan & Swee- 
ney; racket store, Cochran & Holland; flour and 
feed, William Van Vactor & Son; implements, 
wagons, etc., E. W. Pike, C. E. Marshall, Wil- 
liam Enderby; harness shop, W. H. Ward; 
foundry, the Goldendale, Leonard & Leverett, 
proprietors; millinery stores, Mrs. Lizzie Taylor, 
Miss Helen Campbell, Miss Alice Coffield: bar- 
ber shops, Southern & Van Hook, Blagdon & 
Smith; confectionery, notions, O. S. Ebi, C. M. 
Shelton & Company; fish and fruit market, 
Francis McGregor; blacksmith shops, George H. 
Wood, Julius Plett, M. M. Warner; tailor shop, 
The Toggery (B. E.) Crawford & (Thomas) 
Hill; livery stables, William Van Vactor, A. B. 
Courtway, Charles Alvord, John Washburn ; 
lodging-house, The Chicago, J. Lacost, propri- 
etor; restaurant and lodging-house, J. P. Harris; 
shoemaker, S. Odrowski; real estate, loans, 
insurance, Klickitat County Land & Loan Com- 
pany, J. J. Reid, manager, Phillips & Aldrich, 
Brooks & Stringfellow, Hiram Dustin, Stevens & 
Hause; abstract and real estate, Smith & Spoon; 
farms, loans, etc., E. W. Pike: undertaker, 
Frank Sanders; lawyers, Winthrop B. Presby, 
Hiram Dustin, Nelson B. Brooks, E. C. Ward, 
W. T. Darch; physicians, Drs. Allen Bonebrake, 
W. M. Hamilton, H. H. Hartley, H. S. Goddard, 
J. M. Reeder; dentists. Dr. N. R. Norris, R. D. 
McCulley; veterinary dentist, H. S. Anderson; 
architect and builder, W. J. Andrews; contractors 
and builders, N. B. Brooks, A. R. Ketch & Sons; 
painters and paper hangers, C. H. Carter, E. C. 
Partridge; transfer business, Bunnell & Carter, 
Waldo Glover. 

It is characteristic of the American commu- 
nity that the schoolhouse and the church are 
always among the oldest buildings in the settle- 
ment. The town of Goldendale was yet only a 
pile of rails when the first move was made to 
establish a school within its precincts. In 1873 
John J. Golden gave two lots in the newly platted 
town as a site for a schoolhouse in the district, 
which was first known as the E. A. Hopkins dis- 
trict. The district is now officially known as 
No. 7. Its first directors were I. I. Lancaster, 
E. A. Hopkins and M. V. Harper. They erected 
a building on the grounds donated by Mr. Golden, 
and for a number of years this was the only 
schoolhouse in the town. The entire furniture 
consisted of rough benches for the children and 
the customary teacher's desk and chair. 

The rapid growth which followed the removal 
of the county seat to Goldendale rendered this 

building inadequate, and as the people were 
scarcely prepared to undergo the expense of 
erecting a larger schoolhouse, it was taken up as 
a private enterprise by Captain W. A. Wash in 
1879. Again the public spirit of Mr. Golden 
was brought into evidence by his donation of a 
suitable location for the new building. Captain 
Wash organized a joint stock company and built 
the main part of the present west end school- 
house. An academy was conducted by Mr. Wash 
in this building, which was in reality a public 
institution, as the academy drew the school 
funds and taught the children of the Goldendale 
district. A year and a half later Mr. Wash sold 
the building to the district. In a short time this 
building also became too small,' and about 1884 
a wing was added. After purchasing the new 
building, the district sold the old one to the 
Predestinarian Baptist church. By 1900 the 
enlarged building was also overcrowded, and it 
was necessary to rent the old schoolhouse to 
accommodate the extra numbers. Two years 
later it was decided to bond the district and 
build a new schoolhouse. Bonds were issued in 
the sum of seven thousand dollars by vote of the 
people and the new building was completed for 
the fall term of 1902. It is a sightly two-story, 
eight- room, frame structure occupying a fine site 
in the eastern end of the city. 

The district owns a well-selected library of 
several hundred volumes, besides a large num- 
ber of current magazines. The school census of 
1904 shows that it contains four hundred and 
sixty-eight children of school age; the enroll- 
ment for the past year was three hundred and 
twenty-five. The faculty for the year 1904-5 
will be as follows: Charles Boyd, principal: 
C. M. Ryman, O. B. Frisbie, Miss Lorena Glea- 
son, Miss Hulda Rankin, Miss Jessie Look, Miss 
Kate Moore, Miss Mary Hutton, besides the 
high school faculty, of which Professor Charles 
Timblin will be principal. The school board is 
composed of Dr. Allen Bonebrake, Wendelin 
Leidl and W. H. Ward. 

The church history of Goldendale reaches 
even farther back than that of the public schools. 
The Goldendale Directory, published in 1SS0, 
furnishes the information that: 

"The M. E. church circuit of Klickitat county 
was organized by the Rev. J. W. Turner, of 
Walla Walla district, Oregon annual confer- 
ence, in the year 1S69-70. The first class was 
formed by the Rev. G. Hines, then in charge of 
The Dalles district. In August, 1871, the Rev. 
J. H. B. Royal was appointed to the Klickitat 
circuit. Twelve lots were donated at that time 
for a Methodist parsonage by John J. Golden and 
a building was erected thereon." 

In 1875 the church purchased the present 
location from John R. Chatfield for the sum of 
twenty dollars, and three years later erected a 
church building. By 1880 the church had a 



membership of two hundred and twenty with 
thirty-three probationers. The disastrous fire 
that swept Goldendale in 18SS consumed the 
building, but it was immediately rebuilt. At 
present the church has a membership of two 
hundred and thirty, including probationers. 
They have a fine building with a large seating 
capacity and a wing for league room and confer- 
ence. Following is a list of the pastors who 
have served since 1880: Revs. W. T. Koontz, 
succeeded in August, 1SS1, by G. E. Wilcox: 
S. W. Richards, August 14, 1882, to September 
8, 1884; C. M. Bryan, September 8, 1884, to July 
3i, 1885; John Uren, July 21, 1885, to Septem- 
ber 24, 1888; L. J. Whitcomb, September 24, 

1888, to August, 18S9; G. G. Ferguson, August, 

1889, to August 30, 1890; Edward McEvers, 
August 30, 1890, to September 6, 1892; J. M. 
McDonald, September 13, 1S92, to December 24, 
1894; U. F. Hawk, January 2, 1895, to Septem- 
ber 1, 1S97; N. Evans, September 1, 1897, to 
March 1, 1901 ; C. D. Nickelson, March 1, 1901, 
to August 15, 1902; H. B. Ellsworthy, September 
1, 1902, serving at present. 

In 1879 the Christian denomination organized 
and built a church. This is now the oldest 
church building in the city, as the Methodist 
church built the previous year was afterward 
destroyed by fire. Among the earliest pastors 
in charge of the Christian church were Revs. 
Esherman, McCorkel and Ross. For a period of 
years, however, the church had no resident pas- 
tor, the pulpit being filled from outside sources. 
The present pastor, Rev. C. M. Himes, who was 
called to the church February 22, 1904, is the 
first resident minister in a number of years. 
The present membership is about seventy-eight. 

The Baptist church of Goldendale was organ- 
ized in 1879 by Rev. T. H. Harper with nine 
constituent members. The following year the 
present house of worship was erected on a lot 
donated to the^society by John J. Golden. By 
the end of the" }^ear 1879 the membership had 
increased to thirty. At this writing the church 
is without a resident pastor, though it has a fair- 
sized membership. 

The Presbyterian church was organized in 
Goldendale July 26, 1S79. The following is a 
partial list of its charter members: I. B. Court- 
ney, Mr. and Mrs. Luark, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. 
Downey, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. White, Mr. and 
Mrs. Mahen, Mrs. Waldo Glover and Mrs. Peter 
Gunn. As nearly as can be ascertained, the first 
church building was erected in 18S3. This 
building was destroyed by the great fire of 188S, 
but in August of the same year the society let a 
contract for the rebuilding of the church at a 
cost of one thousand eight hundred and fifty 
dollars. A very sightly and commodious struc- 
ture was erected on the corner opposite the Cen- 
tral Hotel. A year ago Rev. D. F. Giles assumed 
charge of the church, and he is still its pastor. 

Owing to incomplete records, it is impossible to 
give a list of the church "s former pastors. 

There are sixteen fraternal organizations rep- 
resented in the city, indicating the presence of 
an unusually strong fraternal spirit among the 
inhabitants. Herewith is given a short sketch 
of each: 

Masonic, Goldendale Lodge No. 31, A. F. 
and A. M. , chartered June 4, 1880, with the fol- 
lowing officers: Worshipful master, McDonald 
Pierce: senior warden, John C. Story; junior 
warden, Joseph Sanders. Its present officers are : 
Master mason, A. E. Coley; senior warden, W. F. 
Byars; junior warden, N. B. Brooks; secretary, 
M. M. Warner. Membership, seventy-five. 

Order Eastern Star, Evergreen Chapter No. 
1, present charter granted in June, 1889, on peti- 
tion of the following: Eliza Landrum, Eliza 
Oldham, Sophrona Oldham, Mary J. Morehead, 
Anna Johnson, Lizzie M. Nesbitt, L. J. Savior, 
Rose De Moss, Sistastia Clark, Jane Mitchell, 
Carrie Gunn, E. J. Crawford, James B. Lan- 
drum, William Oldham, J. C. Morehead, Mason 
D. Clark. Philip E. Mitchell, W. A. Crawford, 
Joseph Nesbitt, B. F.. Saylor, T. M. De Moss. 
The original charter, granted many years previ- 
ously, was destroyed by the great fire of 1888. 
Present officers: W. M., Mrs. Powell; A. M., 
Lititia Bonebrake; F. K., Mary Coley; R. K., 
Mrs. Warner. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Alimus 
Lodge No. 15, established April, 1887, by the 
following charter members: D. P. Hewett, 
W. H. Miller, E. C. Richardson, Joseph Sanders, 
August Schuster, A. Ward, Jr., and Thomas 
Tathan. Present officers: N. G., S. S. Thomas; 
V. G., A. Lamroux; recording secretary, C. M. 
Ryman; treasurer, Wendelin Leidl ; financial 
secretary, N. L. Ward. Membership, eighty- 

Order of Rebekahs, Leah Rebekah Lodge 
No. 22, established December, 1896, with the 
following charter members: D. Cram, P. G. , 
Ophelia Cram, William Cummings, P. G. , J. 
Cummings, W. J. White, Mary W. White, W. R. 
Dunbar, P. G., M. Susie Dunbar, W. S. War- 
wick, P. G, Lottie M. Goodnoe, Betty Chappell, 
S. Lucas, John Konig, Ed. Snipes and O. D. 
Sturgess, P. G. Present officers: N. G., Jennie 
N. Darch ; V. G. , Jessie Leonardo : recording 
secretary, Molly Hutton; financial secretary, 
L. A. Duncan; treasurer, Gertrude Duncan. 

Knights of Pythias, Friendship Lodge No. 
37, chartered May 21, 1S90, with the following 
members: L. J. Whitcombe, J. W. Snover, 
Mark Patton, B. N. Snover. O. D. Sturgess, 
G. W. Stapleton. A. L. Miller. G. W. Billington. 
C. B. Johnson. David Beckett. John Cummings. 
W. L. Millar. W. H. Leverett. Jr.. James Cof- 
field. W. H. Ward. R. D. McCuliey, R. E. Jack- 
son. George T. McKinney, John A. Benson, 
C. R. Van Allstyn. Fay Fenton. Will H. Hod- 



son, E. F. Pattern, William P. Flanary, W. B. 
Presby, A. Hale, C. M. Shelton and Joseph 
Stultz. The present officers are: C. C, Mur- 
ten Darland; V. C, Clare Wilcox; K. R., W. F. 
Byars; M. F., Samuel Waters; M. E., William P. 
Flanary. Membership, about one hundred. 

Rathbone Sisters, Purity Temple No. 39, 
established January 28, 1904, by the following 
chafter members: Jane Warner, Delia Richard- 
son, Lulu Leverett, Louisa A.hola, Molly Ward, 
Bessie M. Goddard and Julia Darland. Present 
officers: Most excellent chief, Delia Richardson : 
secretary, Edna Darland: treasurer, Bessie M. 
Goddard. Membership, fifty. 

Ancient Order United Workmen, Goldendale 
Lodge No. 21, established November 1, 1893, 
with charter membership as follows: J. C. Dar- 
land, C. E. Morris, D. C. Caines, W. Helm, J. W. 
Reeder, Daniel Cram, W. R Dunbar, F. C. 
Bowers and W. A. Van Hoy. Present officers: 
M. W., V. M. Van Hook; recorder, D. L. Han- 
son; receiver, W. H. Ward; financier, Dr. Allen 
Bonebrake. Membership, thirty-four. 

Degree of Honor, Temple Lodge No. 55, 
established April 12, 1902, with following charter 
membership: Clara R. Bowers, Jennie Van 
Hoy, Ella Van Hoy, .Oliver Carter, Walter 
Glover, Lititia Bonebrake, Mary O'Neil, Laura 
Carter, Jessie O'Neil and S. S. Wilson. 

Knights of the Maccabees, Goldendale Throne 
Tent No. 19, established August, 1895, with fol- 
lowing charter members: G. M. Slocum, W. J. 
White, O. D. Sturgess, A. C. Chapman, M. S. 
Bishop, I. C. Flanary, J. W. Reeder, M. B. Pot- 
ter, A. W. Shorter, Wendelin Leidl, N. McLeod 
and Joseph Beeks. Present officers: P. C, A. E. 
Coley; C, George Hyatt; F. K., Wendelin Leidl; 
record'keeper, George Hause; L. C, Guy Hause; 
S., Guy Spalding. 

Ladies of the Maccabees, Goldendale Hive 
No. 30, established January, 1898, with follow- 
ing charter members: Mary Potter, Calista E. 
Marshall, Mary A. Burgen, Toinette McLeod, 
Mary L. Darland, Mary B. Shorter, Mary E. 
O'Neil, H. S. Goddard, Jessie A. Bennett, 
Lizette Leidl and Mary E. Fuhrman. Present 
officers: P. C, Lizette Leidl; commander, Nellie 
Powers; record keeper, Ada Lear; finance 
keeper, Mary Coley. Membership, twenty. 

Woodmen of the World, Klickitat Lodge No. 
127, established January, 1893, with following 
charter members: Frank Aldrich, James M. 
Van Hoy, Hugh Jackson, Frank Sanders, D. W. 
Pierce, Lewis Johnson, W. J. White, William 
Schuster, J. M. Reeder, J. Hopkins and M. B. 
Potter. Present officers: C. C, Dr. Bennett; 
advisor, William Harris; banker, W. H. Ward; 
clerk, W. J. Reeder; P. C, D. O. Lear. Mem- 
bership, one hundred and sixty-four. 

Women of Woodcraft, Ahola Lodge No. 246, 
established quite recently, with the following 
charter members: Louvenia P. Hause, Toinette 

McLeod, Hattie L. Wade, Laura Gaunt, Sarah 
A. Beckett, Ella Sloper, Harriett Sunderland, 
Wilma Nelson, Louvenia Carratt, Adelia L. 
Nelson, J. W. Reeder, W. M. Sloper, Abbie V. 
Nelson and Henry Blarratt. Present officers: 
P. G. N., Ella Thomas; G. N., Deede Nelson; 
advisor, Mary Harris; magician, Louvenia P. 
Hause; clerk, Mary Chappell; attendant, Sadie 
Harris; banker, George Hause. Membership, 
one hundred and twenty. 

United Artisans, Goldendale Assembly No. 
33, chartered May 16, 1896, with the following 
charter members: N. B. Brooks, O. D. Stur- 
gess, Rosa A. Brooks, Frank Aldrich, Clara J. 
Aldrich, Lulu B. Leverett, Charles H. Newell, 
Estella I. Phillips, Mehitable McKinney, H. S. 
Goddard, John G. Maddock, Mary E. Newell, 
K. C. Phillips, Delia L. McCulley, Ida Maddock, 
Katie Pierce, K. G. Marshall, Lizzie B. Alvord 
and D. W. Pierce. Present officers: P. M., 
E. O. Spoon; M. A., Samuel Waters; superin- 
tendent, Mrs. Rosa Brooks; inspector, Jennie 
Darch; secretary, Helen Campbell; treasurer, 
Frank Aldrich. Membership, one hundred and 

Modern Woodmen of America, Lodge No. 
5,899, established August 12, 1903, with the fol- 
lowing charter members: William J. Andrews, 
Gus Burns, Charles S. Craig, Alfred R. Cun- 
ningham, Lewis Days, Spencer A. Elmer, Daniel 
Fahey, John L. Hamlick, John O. Harding, John 
R. Hill, Uriah H. Myres, Willis B. McLaughlin, 
Walter C. Oldham, Andrew J. Sanders, Albert 
O. White, Charles E. Sirton, John A. White, 
Francis H. Smith and Luther Steele. Present 
officers: V. C, J. O. Harding; advisor, W. J. 
Andrews; banker, C. S. Craig; clerk, William 
Enderby. Membership, seventy-five. An aux- 
iliary lodge of Royal Neighbors is soon to be 

Order of Washington, Simcoe Union No. 125, 
established December 26, 1901, with the follow- 
ing charter membership: Allen Bonebrake, 
C. M. Ryman, W. J. White, E. W. Pike, T. B. 
Montgomery, G. H. Roush, A. E. Coley, William 
Van Vactor, W. A. McKenzie, Oscar Van Hoy, 
W. J. McKenzie, W. F. Denniston, C. A. Holder, 
T. H. Hill, Fred Nesbitt, Elmer Morehead, S. 
Waters, Mrs. T. B. Montgomery, J. E. Chappell, 
Mrs. Emma Van Hoy, ^G. W. Lawler, W. P. 
Rauch, Mrs. L. E. Rauch, Fred Bridgefarmer, 
Mrs. Alice Brown, W. L. Harrington, Mrs. 
Edythe Harrington, Mrs. Anna McLeod, A. 
McLeod, Mrs Clara L. Pike, Mrs. Emma Van 
Vactor, Mrs. Mary McKenzie, and Mrs. Mary E. 
Coley. Present officers: President, W. A. 
McKenzie; past president, T. B. Montgomery; 
vice-president, A. C. Chapman; chaplain, Mrs. 
Mary McKenzie; secretary, C. M. Ryman; treas- 
urer, John Smith. Membership, sixty. 

Besides these organizations, the city has one 
G. A. R. post, Baker Post No. 20. There are at 



present only eighteen members, whose officers 
are as follows: Commander, J. R. Putman; 
adjutant, J. A. Stout; quartermaster, E. W. Pike; 
officer of the day, F. B. Stimson; chaplain, John 


The central town of eastern Klickitat county 
is Bickleton. It enjoys an unusually favored 
location in one of the finest wheat-growing 
regions of Washington. The same cereals which 
bring wealth and prosperity to its citizens also 
add a charm to the landscape in their season, 
presenting an almost unbroken sea of verdure 
during the spring and early summer and a sea 
of gold in the fall. The natural beauty of the 
country is likely to be the first thing to appeal 
to him who visits it for the first time, but it has 
other characteristics which present themselves 
even to the superficial observer. The broad, 
regular areas of farming land, green with the 
growing crops or brown from the action of the 
plow and cultivator, the miles of well-kept 
fences, neat farm buildings, and here and there 
a schoolhouse or a church, all bear eloquent testi- 
mony to the energy of the people, and proclaim 
that, rich though the country may be in natural 
resources, the prosperity apparent on every hand 
did not come gratuitously, but is the result of 
thrift and well-directed effort. 

The town, in its characteristics, is akin to the 
country. As one enters it, the fresh-looking, 
substantial, well-painted buildings make a favor- 
able impression upon his mind, an impression 
which further investigation tends only to deepen 
and confirm. The people will be found alert and 
progressive, and to possess a certain geniality of 
disposition which, combined with brightness and 
intelligence, makes them companionable indeed. 

The town is situated upon the upper edge of 
the prairie at its junction with the pine timber 
belt of Simcoe mountain. Its altitude is approx- 
imately three thousand two hundred and sev- 
enty feet. It is about twenty-five hundred feet 
higher than the valley of the Yakima at Mabton, 
twenty-three miles northeast, and three thou- 
sand feet above the Columbia at Arlington, an 
equal distance almost due south. While this 
height above the sea renders the region subject 
to a much severer winter climate than is found 
in the lower altitudes, it makes the summers 
pleasanter and gives healthfulness and innervat- 
ing power to the atmosphere. 

From the timber's edge the famed wheat pla- 
teau, at this point thirty-five miles in width, 
sweeps northeastward seventy miles to the bend 
of the Columbia river. At Bickleton the view is 
a commanding one. To the south, beyond the 
Columbia, the shadowy outlines of the rugged 
Blue mountain range in Oregon is an ever 
attractive sight; from a point a little higher up 
the mountain west of town, the distant peaks of 

Mts. Jefferson and Hood in Oregon may be seen, 
while the nearer prospect has a beauty and a 
charm of its own. 

Upon the prepossessing site of Bickleton, 
Charles N. Bickle, from whom the town derives 
its name, settled in the month of May, 1879, and 
soon he had built the first store in the county 
east of Rock creek. Le Roy Weaver assisted 
him in the enterprise. Mr. Bickle had come to 
Alder Creek in 1878, but on account of the 
Indian troubles had returned temporarily to 
Goldendale. Owing to the laws in force at that 
time, Mr. Bickle was unable to secure title to his 
claim, so his brother-in-law, John Skiller, took 
the land as a homestead, and from him at an 
early date Mr. Bickle acquired the property. 

Time soon proved that Mr. Bickle had exer- 
cised good judgment in selecting a site for his 
trading post, for the settlers of that region heart- 
ily welcomed him and his business. The little 
store, which stood on the corner near where the 
town well now is, soon became the trading point 
of the region for miles around, while the Bickle 
home furnished shelter and temporary accommo- 
dations to many a traveler. The store also 
became a species of rendezvous for the Indians, 
who were wont to come either on business or to 
lounge and engage in sports. In October, 1880, 
Samuel P. Flower, an Alder Creek pioneer of 
1878, joined Mr. Bickle in his enterprise, organ- 
izing the firm of Bickle & Flower. The same fall 
Mr. Flower built a blacksmith shop near the 
store, which four years later he sold to James C. 
Sigler. About the same time William Twitchell 
opened a like business, but he shortly afterward 
removed it to the newly organized village of 
Cleveland. Charles E. Flower erected a drug 
store in 1882, increasing the business houses of 
Bickleton to four, namely, a general store, a 
hotel, a blacksmith shop and a pharmacy. That 
year also Mr. Bickle formally platted his town, 
while the government did what it could to help 
along by granting the settlers' petition for a 
postoffice. C. N. Bickle was its first postmaster. 

Bickleton's second general store was erected 
by J. C. Chamberlain in 1883. He sold out to 
Robert M. Graham some two years later. In 
1885 Dr. Hamilton Blair, the pioneer physician, 
came to the hamlet, and the next year Harvey 
Emigh opened the pioneer meat market. 

April 27, 1887, the town of Bickleton experi- 
enced its first great disaster. About noon of that 
day fire broke out in Samuel Flower's new dwell- 
ing, and before the flames were extinguished, 
every business house in the town except the 
blacksmith shop and nearly every dwelling were 
burned. The aggregate loss was not less than 
twenty five thousand dollars, of which Flower & 
Bickle's loss was fifteen thousand dollars with 
six thousand dollars insurance, and R. M. Gra- 
ham's, six thousand dollars with twenty-five 
hundred dollars insurance. 


But the set-back given the town was only 
temporary in its effect. Ten days after the fire 
Bickle & Flower were doing business in a tent. 
Soon Mr. Bickle began the construction of a 
commodious hotel, while Charles Flower rebuilt 
his drug store, and several others erected new 
buildings, all better than those destroyed. In 
1892 Charles W. Chapman opened a second gen- 
eral store, but the next year the village lost Sam- 
uel P. Flower, who removed to Mabton. How- 
ever, his brother took his place in the firm of 
Bickle & Flower. 

Since the hard times Bickleton has grown 
very rapidly, the principal development being 
during the past five years. It is said that the 
population has doubled during the last two. This 
growth has not resulted from any booming, but 
has been abundantly justified by development in 
the surrounding country. 

Mr. Bickle has long since disposed of his 
interests in Bickleton and is now residing in the 
lower Yakima valley. The principal portion of 
the town site, which consists of about seventy 
blocks surrounding the intersection of sections 
fifteen, sixteen, twenty-one and twenty-two, 
township six north, range twenty east of the 
Willamette meridian, is now owned by George 
W. McCredy. Last fall the property owners 
replatted the site, renamed the streets, and other- 
wise prepared for incorporation in the near 
future, and it is expected that the town will very 
soon be granted corporate powers. 

In the year 1880 the settlers around Bickleton 
organized school district No. 28 and built, by vol- 
untary subscription, a small box schoolhouse, in 
which, during the winter of 1880-81, about a 
dozen pupils were instructed by H. C. Hackley. 
A widow, Mrs. Osborne, taught the second term. 
About this time the settlers formed a stock com- 
pany and built a public hall, twenty by forty 
feet in size, across from Bickle's store. In the 
course of the next two or three years, all the 
stock came into the possession of C. N. Bickle and 
S. P. Flower, who, in 1884, very generously 
donated the building to the school district. At 
the same time Mr. Bickle gave an acre of land 
for school site purposes. Another site was also 
offered by J. C. Sigler, but not accepted. 

To the Bickle site, a commanding knoll on 
the eastern edge of the town, the old hall was 
removed, and there it was converted into a 
schoolhouse. It served the district until 1S97, 
then the building was moved off the land to make 
room for the present sightly, two-story frame 
structure. The contract for this building was 
let for thirteen hundred dollars, but a much bet- 
ter building was constructed than can usually be 
secured for that amount. Eight grades are 
taught, seventy pupils in all being enrolled. 
T. C. Anderson is principal ; Miss Jessie Forker, 

By no means an unimportant factor in the 

town's recent rapid development has been the 
Bickleton News, established August 2, 1902, by 
its present proprietor and editor, S. G. Dorris, 
formerly of Oregon. The first few issues were 
only in part printed in the town, but gradually 
the "patent" portion has been reduced, and 
finally it was discarded altogether. The News 
occupies a two-story building especially erected 
for its use, has one of the best equipped country 
offices in southern Washington, and is an able, 
progressive, influential paper. 

The only bank in the eastern part of Klickitat 
county is the Bank of Bickleton. This invaluable 
institution was organized by eastern Klickitat's 
most substantial business men, farmers and stock- 
men, August 9, 1903, with a capital of twenty- 
five thousand dollars, and at the end of a year's 
growth its affairs are in a highly, satisfactory 
condition. The bank occupies a fine home, cost- 
ing three thousand dollars, on Market (or Main) 
street, and is equipped with modern fixtures, a 
vault, safety deposit lockers, etc. Its business 
connections are excellent. George W. McCredy, 
the well-known Bickleton pioneer, is president of 
the bank ; Stephen Matsen, another well-known 
pioneer, is vice-president, and Samuel A. Ros- 
sier, a man of successful experience in the bank- 
ing business, is cashier. 

The town's other business men and institu- 
tions are: General store, Clanton, Mitty & Com- 
pany, composed of George W. McCredy, W. T. 
Mitty, A. F. Brockman and John McCredy, 
carrying the largest stock in eastern Klickitat; 
drug store, Dr. A. F. Brockman; hotel, The 
Grand, Wilbur C. S. Nye, proprietor; livery 
stables, Wilbur C. Nye; paints, oils, etc., E. B. 
Pyle; meat market, Flower & Coleman; black- 
smith shops, Miller & McLean, Richardson & 
Wommack; harness shop, Walter Baker; billiard 
hall, H. A. Hussey; lumber yard, George W. 
McCredy; physicians, Dr. A. F. Brockman, Dr. 
P. C. West; veterinary surgeon, A. D. Robbins; 
barber shop, E. M. Wristen; contractors, Philip 
McCully, George W,- Jordan, W. F. Keyes; saw- 
mill (on head of Pine creek), George W. Mc- 
Credy, proprietor; real estate, insurance, Samuel 
A. Rossier; photographer, John Lodge; stock 
dealers, Flower & Coleman; postmaster, W. T. 
Mitty; stage lines, Arlington-Bickleton, daily, 
operated by George Van Nostern, Mabton-Bick- 
leton, tri-weekly, C. O. Wommack, Cleveland- 
Bickleton, daily, George Van Nostern, connect- 
ing with the Goldendale line. 

April 15, 1904, rural free delivery postal route 
No. 1 was established with headquarters at 
Bickleton, Roy McMurray. carrier. This route 
is twenty-nine and one-quarter miles in length 
and distributes a daily mail to the region lying 
immediately east, north and west of Bickleton. 
Other routes have been asked for and will proba- 
bly be created in the near future. 

The first Methodist sermon preached in east- 


ern Klickitat county, R. M. Graham tells us, was 
preached at his ranch on Alder creek in 1876 by 
Rev. J. H. Allyn. In the fall of 1880 Mr. Allyn 
became the first pastor of the Methodist society 
which was that year organized at Bickleton. 
The records show that the first church service 
held was the quarterly meeting, September 18 
and 19, 1SS0, at which Rev. G. C. Roe, presid- 
ing elder, officiated, the meeting taking place in 
the schoolhouse. Robert M. Graham was 
appointed class leader; Simeon Bolton and H. C. 
Clark, stewards. Rev. Allyn was succeeded in 
1882 by Rev. Richard Barrett, and the latter's 
place on the circuit was taken in 1884 by Rev. 
John Ostrander, under whose pastorate the pres- 
ent comfortable, substantial church was erected 
in 1884. Mr. Bickle donated as a building site 
four lots in the heart of the town. Rev. J. W. 
Helm came to the Bickleton circuit in 1885 (he 
and Rev. F. R. Spalding held the first revival 
services that year which resulted in twenty addi- 
tions to the church) ; the next year Rev. H. F. 
Williams came; in 1887 Mr. Helm returned, 
remaining two years, and in 1889 the society 
built the parsonage. Rev. A. S. Mulligan came 
to the church in 1889, Rev. T. W. Atkinson in 
1892, Rev. Brannon in 1893, Rev. J. W. Rigby 
in 1894, Rev. G. R. Moorhead in 1895, succeeded 
for a short period by Rev. J. W. Helm, Rev. C. 
Ellery in 1897, Rev. H. Moys in 1898, Rev. 
F. L. Johns in 1900, Rev. G. W. White in 1901, 
and the present pastor, Rev. S. E. Hornibrook, 
in September, 1903. Until recently the Bickle- 
ton minister had charge of services at Bickleton, 
the Glade, Enterprise and Pleasant Ridge. 
Since Mr. Hornibrook assumed charge of the 
Bickleton church, the membership has increased 
from one hundred to one hundred and twenty- 
five. They have just raised a hundred dollars 
with which to improve the parsonage. 

Bickleton's other church organization, the 
First Presbyterian, came into existence April 
19, 1903, with the following members: Mr. and 
Mrs. L. I. Coleman, Mrs. Emma McCredy, 
Arthur Trenner, Mrs. Sarah Trenner, H. I. 
Coleman, Mrs. Lavell Coleman, Mrs. Florence 
Coleman, W. T. Mitty and W. T. Lingo. The 
society was organized by Rev. James M. Thomp- 
son, of North Yakima. Last fall (1903) the 
Bickleton society erected one of the handsomest 
and most substantial church buildings in the 
county, the structure costing twenty-five hundred 
dollars. Rev. William Douglass assumed the 
' pastorate April 1, 1904, succeeding Rev. J. G. 
Hodges. The church has thirty-three members. 

Seven thriving lodges represent Bickleton in 
the fraternal world, quite a strong showing for 
a place of its size. Their names, officers, dates 
of establishment and other data concerning them 
are given below: 

Excelsior Lodge No. m, I. O. O. F. , was 
instituted January 1, 1892, by McDonald Pierce, 

D. D. G. M., with eighteen charter • members. 
Since its establishment the lodge has been served 
by the following past grands: C. N. Bickle, 
A. H. Bromley, A. F. Brockman, J. S. Donoho, 

C. E. Flowers, George W. McCredy, W. F. Mitty, 
J. C. Nelson, J. C. Sigler, C. E. Skiller, Guy 
Walling, C. G. Wattenbarger, E. O. Spoon, 

E. F. Flower, H. I. Coleman, H. Jepson, W. T. 
Coleman, J. N. Jensen, J. F Coleman, L. J. 
Larsen, Chris. Larsen, W. T. Lingo, A. J. 
Adams, V. W. Harshbarger, Delbert Gunning, 
John Lodge and Dvvight Belknap. At present 
Excelsior Lodge has forty-seven members, whose 
officers are: N. G., I. S. Stone; V. G., Chris 
Ward, Jr. ; financial secretary, A. F. Brockman; 
recording secretary, Delbert Gunning; treasurer, 
George W. McCredy; trustees, A. F. Brockman, 
J. C. Nelson, A. Sharrard; A. F. Brockman, 

D. D. G. M. 

Alder Rebekah Lodge No. 80, I. O. O. F., is 
the only auxiliary lodge in town. It was insti- 
tuted March 8, 1898, byG. H. Baker, D. D. G. M., 
with twenty-two charter members, of whom the 
following were the first officers: Anna E. Brock- 
man, N. G. ; Eliza A. Bromley, V. G. ; Alice G. 
Skiller, treasurer; Lizzie C. Donoho, secretary. 
Since then Eliza A. Bromley, Alice G. Skiller, 
Alice M. Flower and Belle Cooley have served 
as noble grands; Mrs. Anna E. Brockman has 
also served as D. D. G. P. The lodge now has 
forty-two members; its present officers are: 
N. G., Ella D. Mitty; V. G., Lulu Sharrard; 
treasurer, A. W. Sharrard, and secretary, D. 

Bickleton Camp No. 6,249, Modern Woodmen 
of America, was instituted with nineteen charter 
members, March 30, 1899. Its first officers were : 
A. F. Brockman, V. C. ; J. E. Story, W. A. ; 
W. H. Bierwell, banker; H. H. Flower, clerk; 

E. O. Spoon, escort; Ezra Miller, watchman; 
E. E. Collins, sentry; J. E. Story, D. S. Jordan, 
R. Dorothy, managers; examiner. Dr. A. F. 
Brockman. Since then D. S. Jordan and O. J. 
Wommack have served as consuls. This camp 
now as a membership of fifty; its officers are: 
V. C, A. F. Brockman; W. A., D. S. Jordan; 
banker, W. D. Hoisington; clerk, S. G. Dorris; 
escort, J. G. Hoisington; watchman, J. C. Rich- 
ardson; sentry, P. P. Chamberlain; managers, 
R. Dorothy, E. Gleason and G. W. Jordan; exam- 
iner, A. F. Brockman. 

Bickleton Homestead No. 420, Brotherhood 
of American Yeomen, was instituted by W. J. 
Lippord, December 27, 1899, with sixteen char- 
ter members, of whom the following were chosen 
as the first officers: A. F. Brockman, foreman; 
R. Cousin, overseer; E. E. Collins, correspond- 
ent; P. Matsen, M. C. . J. N. Jensen, M. A. , A. 
Hansen, guard; R. Peterson, watchman. The 
present corps of officers is: Foreman, A. F. 
Brockman, who has served continuously since 
1899; overseer, J. Piendl; correspondent, Robert 


M. Graham; M. C, P. Matsen; M. A., J. N. Jen- 
sen; guard, Dule Shattuck; watchman, R. Peter- 
son. The lodge has twenty-three members. 

Simcoe Lodge No. 113, Knights of Pythias, 
with fourteen charter members, was instituted 
by Nelson B. Brooks, D. D. G. C, January 2, 
1899, and the following chosen as its first officers: 
Richard Buckley, P. P. C. ; E. Clanton, C. C. ; S. 
Cooley, V. C. ; E. Demond, P. ; Isaac Van Nos- 
tern, M. of W. : J. Noblet, K. R. S. ; T. H. 
Hooker, M. of E. ; George Van Nostern, M. of 

F. ; F. W. Sanders, M. of A. ; E. Hooker, I. G. ; 
J. Hooker, O. G. The roll of past chancellors 
includes Richard Buckley, Edward Clanton, S. 
Cooley, T. H. Hooker, Joseph Noblet, F. W. 
Sanders, A. F. Brockman, George Van Nostern 
and H. H. Faulkner. At present Simcoe Lodge 
has twenty-seven members, and its officers are 
as follows: C. C, A. F. Brockman; V. C, J. G. 
Hoisington; P., J. E. Shoveland; M. of W., 
Isaac Van Nostern; K. R. S., Richard Buckley; 
M. of E., T. H. Hooker; M. of F., F. W. San- 
ders; M. of A., George Van Nostern; I. G, O. J. 
Wommack; O. G., C. A. Zyph; trustees, Richard 
Buckley, O. J. Wommack, C. A. Zyph; D. D. 

G. C, F. W. Sanders. 

Bunchgrass Lodge No. 81, Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, was established in February, 
1897, with a charter membership of twenty-four. 
J. W. Rogers became the lodge's first master 
workman: James Nelson, its second. The lodge 
now has twenty-six members. Its officers are: 
Past master workman, James Story; master 
workman, Stephen Matsen: foreman, T. H. 
Hooker; financier, E. F. Flower; recorder, J. W. 
Rogers; overseer, Chris. Larsen; receiver, J. N. 

Wheatland Union No. 175, Order of Wash- 
ington, was instituted January 14, 1903, by Cap- 
tain Leonard, its charter roll containing the 
names of eighteen members. The lodge has 
twenty-three members at present. Its first and 
present corps of officers is as follows: Presi- 
dent, A. F. Brockman; vice-president, J. Piendl; 
treasurer, Anna E. Brockman ; secretary, S. G. 
Dorris; chaplain, Emma Piendl; escort, F. 
Markel; guard, Paul Sholtz; examiner, Dr. A. F. 

It is estimated by reliable authorities that in 
1903 the region within a radius of ten miles of 
Bickleton raised five hundred thousand bushels 
of wheat, besides a large amount of barley and 
oats and some hay. The wheat sold at an aver- 
age price of between sixty-five and seventy cents 
a bushel, from which it will be seen that the 
grain product alone brought the farmers of the 
wheat region more than three hundred and 
twenty-five thousand dollars. The crop was only 
an average one. Fully fifty thousand head of sheep 
are owned by Bickleton residents and grazed in 
this region; also hundreds of neat cattle. 

The business men of Bickleton may feel 

secure in the knowledge that, with a surround- 
ing country of such capabilities, their town will 
never lack an abundant support. Its growth in 
future may be slow, as it has been in the past, 
but it can hardly fail to be steady and substan- 
tial. Although the town will probably never 
gain, unless something unforeseen happens, a 
rank among the larger cities of the state, it will, 
at no distant day, hold a place among the best of 
the secondary cities of Washington. Let us hope 
that as its wealth and its population increase, it 
will lose none of the geniality and good-fellow- 
ship which to-day appeal so strongly to the 
sojourner within its bounds. 


The second town founded in eastern Klickitat 
and one of that section's present important trad- 
ing centers is Cleveland, situated near the head 
of Wood gulch. Bickleton lies three miles east; 
Goldendale, thirty miles southwest. With both 
these places Cleveland has stage connections, as 
also with Arlington, Oregon. Arthur Hale 
operates the tri-weekly stage to Goldendale; 
George Van Nostern, the daily stage between 
Bickleton and Cleveland and between Cleveland 
and Arlington. 

Cleveland has a pretty location in a sort of 
basin on the lower border of the pine forest of 
the Simcoe mountains, with an open plateau 
stretching to the southward. Comfortable farm 
buildings and well-cultivated fields cover the 
prairie, evincing the presence of a -thrifty farm- 
ing population, the source of Cleveland's pros- 
perity. As elsewhere in the eastern end of the 
county, wheat-growing is the principal industry, 
stock-raising coming next in importance. 

The town of Cleveland had its first feeble 
beginnings in 1880 or 1881 (the date cannot be 
certainly determined), when S. Lowenberg, a 
Goldendale merchant, established a branch store 
upon the site of the present town. The land 
was then held as a homestead by a man named 
Ripley Dodge, who settled upon it about the 
year 1879. It is officially described as the south- 
east quarter of section thirty, township six 
north, range twenty east. Mr. Dodge opened a 
hotel soon after, and later, in the same year, 
Frank Remington opened another store near 
Lowenberg's, but he abandoned the field the fol- 
lowing fall, going to Arlington. In the spring 
of 1881, if Edward Morris' memory of the date is 
correct, a blacksmith shop was opened on 
Dodge's farm by William Twitchell. 

Mr. Lowenberg had not been long in the 
town before he had secured the establishment of 
a postoffice and an appointment as the first post- 
master. But he stayed in Cleveland only a year, 
selling out at the end of that time to James L. 
Chamberlain, who also succeeded to the office of 
postmaster. ^ j^'^ 



About this time Mr. Dodge formally laid out 
the town, naming it Cleveland, in honor of 
Ohio's great city, Mr. Dodge having been a 
native of that state. Before this time the settle- 
ment had been called Dodgetown. In 1895, just 
previous to his death, Mr. Dodge sold the site to 
William A. McCredy, who still owns it. Mr. 
Chamberlain remained at Cleveland a short time, 
then sold out his interests, moved to Prosser, and 
became the pioneer merchant of that town. 
Another of Cleveland's early business men was 
David Mason, who kept a drug store there for a 
short time during the eighties; still another was 
George Merton, the founder of a small general 
store. The latter sold out subsequently to 
Millard Hackley, who in turn sold to Hiram 
Bloome. Archibald Dodge, whose store was 
opened about 1882; J. J. Purviance, who erected 
a furniture store in 1883, and Charles McLean, 
who started the blacksmith shop that subse- 
quently became the property of George Merton, 
are also to be mentioned among Cleveland's pio- 
neer business men. 

The thrifty little town suffered a disastrous 
misfortune, Thursday morning, September 24, 
1896, when fire swept nearly the whole business 
portion out of existence. About daybreak the 
fire started in Bloome's livery barn, and, fanned 
by a strong wind, it was soon beyond control. 
The business houses destroyed were: Hiram 
Bloome's general store, livery barn, warehouse 
and blacksmith shop, loss five thousand dollars; 
Will G. Faulkner's furniture store, loss five hun- 
dred dollars; Paul Beck's hall, and Sherman 
Cooley's blacksmith shop. Little insurance was 
carried. A general belief prevails that this 
appalling fire was of incendiary origin. Court- 
nay's store was saved; also the grist-mill, which 
had been built by Henry C. Hackley in 1890 and 
had added greatly to the town's prosperity. 

Many fires of less magnitude have visited the 
place at different times, the last one, which 
occurred April 9, 1904, destroying W. A. Mc- 
Credy's hotel. John Van Nostern, a boy asleep 
in the hotel when the fire started, had a narrow 
escape from the flames. So rapidly did the fire 
progress that within thirty minutes from the 
beginning the building and its contents were a 
mass of ruins. The loss was twenty-five hundred 
dollars, covered by five hundred and fifty dollars 

Notwithstanding the terrible blow received 
by the town in 1896, Cleveland was quickly 
rebuilt and soon regained its former prosperity. 
Since then its progress has been steady, though 
slow. At present its business enterprises are as 
follows: The Cleveland roller mills, owned by 
Samuel St. Clair, a new thirty-barrel, roller sys- 
tem plant, operated by steam, manufacturing 
several brands of flour, feed. etc. ; general stores, 
Van Nostern Brothers, James and Isaac; drugs, 
T. Z. Dodson ; harness and groceries, Charles M. 

Beck & Son (C. A.); meat market, Charles A. 
Beck; hotels, The McCredy, William A. McCredy, 
proprietor, The Cottage, Mrs. Ida Eddy, propri- 
etress; hardware, furniture, Will G. Faulkner; 
livery, William A. McCredy; blacksmith shop, 
S. A. Jory; jewelry store, Leonard Jenkins; 
physician, Dr. T. Z. Dodson; contractor, George 
Faulkner; postmaster, James Van Nostern; 
United States commissioner, Will G. Faulkner; 
two public halls. 

The town possesses an excellent school 
taught at present by Theodore Rolf. Next 
winter the district expects to employ two teach- 
ers, as more than fifty pupils are enrolled. The 
pioneers of Cleveland organized district No. 30 in 
the year 1882, erecting a commodious frame 
schoolhouse, in which Miss Sadie Murphy taught 
the first school that fall. This old building was 
replaced in 1898 by a fine structure costing twelve 
hundred dollars. The site chosen is a pretty 
and commanding one upon the pine-clad hillside 
north of the business district. The officers of 
Cleveland school district are Thomas N. Talbert, 
J. W. Weer, Will G. Faulkner, directors; Will 
G. Faulkner, clerk. 

The Cleveland Presbyterian church society 
was organized in 1884, through the efforts of 
Rev. L. J. Thompson, with the following orig- 
inal members: Rev. L. J. Thompson, Mrs. 
Nettie Twitchell, Mrs. A. A. Faulkner, Mrs. 
Isaac Clark, Mrs. Mary Baker, Mr. and Mrs. 
J. J. Purviance, and one or two others whose 
names could not be learned. The manse was 
immediately built, and two years later a church 
was erected at a cost of perhaps eight hundred 
dollars, Ripley Dodge donating a block to the 
society for building purposes. Revs. Samuel 
Meyer, B. F. Harper, A. J. Adams, J. C. Tem- 
pleton, John Day, R. B. Hodge, J. G. Hodges, 
and the present pastor, Rev. William Douglass, 
who came April 1, 1904, have successively served 
the church. There are eighteen members con- 
nected with the Cleveland church. The Bickle- 
ton and Dot churches are also presided over by 
Mr. Douglass. 

Two fraternal orders have lodges at Cleve- 
land, the Order of Washington and Knights of 
the Loyal Guard. Klickitat Union No. 185, O. 
of W., was organized in December, 1902, with 
sixteen charter members. Its principal officers 
are: Past president, Henry Hackley; president, 
Will G. Faulkner; recording secretary, Joseph 
Noblet, and treasurer, James Van Nostern. The 
Knights of the Loyal Guard lodge is three years 
old and has a large membership. Both lodges 
are in a flourishing condition. 


Situated in the richest section of the rich 
Klickitat valley and encompassed by picturesque 
scenes of grandeur is the little town of Center- 


ville. It is located on a slight elevation along- 
side of what is known as the Swale, a tract of 
rich bottom land about five by ten miles in area, 
and for miles in every direction it is surrounded 
by the rolling farm lands of the Klickitat valley. 
Centerville is on the line of the Columbia River 
& Northern railroad, about thirty-two miles 
from the terminus at Lyle and seven miles from 
Goldendale. A stranger in this town is first 
attracted by the beauty of its surroundings. 
The low-lying valley with its fields of golden 
grain, the rugged Columbia hills to the south- 
ward, the timber-covered Simcoe range to the 
north, away to the west the Cascades with their 
giant snow-capped peaks, all unite to form a 
picture of marvelous beauty. 

The site of the present town was taken as a 
pre-emption by Albert J. Brown in 1877. Two 
years later Charles Pomeroy built a blacksmith 
shop there, and in 1882 Mr. Brown secured the 
location of a postoffice at that point and named 
the place Centerville. During the fall of the 
next year J. B. Golden and W. T. Wallace each 
built a general merchandise store there, and 
Levi Clanton started a blacksmith shop. In 1884 
Albert J. Brown sold out the town site to J. B. 
Golden. As early as 1878 a Methodist church' 
was erected on" the town site, and in 1884 the 
Catholics built a small chapel. A livery stable 
and a small shoe store were also added that year, 
then for more than half a decade there was little 
change in the town. 

In 1890, however, Curtis, Buford & Company 
added another general merchandise store, and 
on August 3d of the same year, Frank Lee started 
an independent weekly newspaper, the Klickitat 

About this time the town began to take on a 
thrifty appearance, as a short extract from the 
newly-founded Leader shows: "Centerville, in 
the central part of the county, is a prosperous, 
thriving little city, whose citizens are noted for 
their enterprise and push. They now have 
three churches, a large schoolhouse, several 
stores, blacksmith shops and other places neces- 
sary to draw a large share of trade to the city. 
The sales of several merchants have run as high 
as seven hundred dollars a day." 

A few years ago a disastrous fire broke out in 
J. R. Harvey's blacksmith shop and destroyed 
most of the business houses on the south side of 
the main street. Besides the shop, two hotels 
and two stores were consumed in the flames, 
and only the brave fight of the townsmen pre- 
vented the destruction of the entire town, as 
there was no water supply in the place. But the 
town soon recovered from the fire, and it has 
enjoyed a steady growth ever since. 

The necessity of a water supply has been con- 
tinually upon the minds of the people. To pro- 
vide a water system in an unincorporated town 
is a rather difficult thing, as there is no provision 

by which taxes can be levied to secure the funds 
necessary to defray the expense. Few towns 
have been so fortunate in this respect as was the 
little city of Centerville. By a combination of 
circumstances, a forty-acre tract of government 
land was left unclaimed, although it lay on the 
very borders of the town. The tract naturally 
became valuable. Finally, the government sold 
it at auction to the highest bidder and turned 
the money over to the town, in all one thousand 
seven hundred and forty dollars. It was decided 
at a meeting of citizens that this money could 
not be expended for a better purpose than for 
providing a water supply, and work upon a sys- 
tem was in due time commenced. The plant is 
not completed at this writing, but a well has 
been dug, a tank built and the necessary pump- 
ing outfit provided. All that now remains to be 
done is the laying of water mains and the neces- 
sary plumbing. 

Before the establishment of the town there 
was a school in the community, and as early as 
1884 the census enumeration for the district 
showed eighty-two children, with a school attend- 
ance of sixty-four. There is now a large, two- 
room, graded school in the district, and two 
teachers are employed. The directors are T. N. 
Crofton, Kelly Loe and U. F. Abshier. The 
schoolhouse was erected about thirteen years 
ago. . 

A Methodist church was built in the commu- 
nity as early as 1878, and a Catholic church in 
18S4. Since that time the Christian denomina- 
tion has been organized and has erected a church 
building. The only organization that has a resi- 
dent pastor is the Methodist, of which Rev. Ira 
E. Webster is in charge. The pulpits of the 
other churches are filled by outside ministers. 

Not quite two years ago a weekly newspaper 
was established in the town. As previously 
stated, a paper had been published in Centerville 
as early as 1S90, but it suspended publication 
after a few years. When it became evident that 
the railroad through the valley was a certainty, 
Kelly Loe was induced to undertake the publica- 
tion of a newspaper, the Journal. There is also 
a race-track association organized, and grounds 
have been laid out adjoining the town on the 
south side with a half-mile track and a baseball 
ground. There is a large public hall in the 
town, owned by an incorporated company, known 
as the A. O. U. W. Company. Previous to the 
suspension of the militia company in 1895, this 
was used as a drill room; now it is utilized as a 
meeting-place for the fraternal organizations and 
as a public hall. 

There are five fraternities represented in 
Centerville, of which Klickitat Lodge No. 34, 
A. O. U. W., established in January, 1891, is 
the oldest. The following are the names of its 
charter members: 

F. L. Hulery, D. B. Gaunt, Ed. Judy, E. S. 



Smith, John Shoemaker, A. G. Ward, G. B. St. 
Lawrence, C. M. Curtis, Sherman Cooley, Peter 
Shoemaker, G. F. Martin, G. M. Smith, E. E. 
Brooks, R. M. Merryman, James Wheelhouse, 
N. M. Brownlie, George E. Stoughton, Henry 
Layman, James Douphney and J. H. Wilder. 

The Knights of Pythias have a local organiza- 
tion known as Mt. Adams Lodge No. 95, estab- 
lished May, 1893, with the following charter 
members: Will H. Hodson, A. R. Graham, 
Fred V. Vunk, W. T. Rhodes, Otis Campbell, 
A. L. Bunnell, Charles F. Jackal, Ed. Clanton, 
Fred Lucas, Fred T. Axtell, Charles S. Baker, 
A. C. Short, W. Smith, Thomas Crofton, J. H. 
Smith, C. McKillip, William B. Campbell, Milo 
Moser, J. H. Wagner, G. W. Billington, Robert 
McKillip, George Crofton, Cyrus Guy. 

The Modern Woodmen of America, Bonanza 
Camp No. 9,374, was established March 14, 1901, 
with the following charter members: Peter 
Ahola, Fred W. Bold, J. T. Carpenter, John W. 
Hagan, Frank W. Johnson, John C. Kidra, 
Henry Lauhouse, August L. Matsen, John M. 
Mulligan, Singleton D. Smith, John F. Thomp- 
son, Edward M. Tobin, John B. Watson, William 
Wallman, Charles Wiedaner, I. A. Gilmore, 
Elias Hamlin, H. H. Hartley. 

The Woodmen of the World order is repre- 
sented by Centerville Camp No. 143. Jacob 
Crocker, C. C. ; W. B. Hayden, clerk. This 
lodge has an auxiliary, Woodmen of Woodcraft, 
Ambera Circle No. 156. Cora Smith, G. N. ; 
W. B. Hayden, clerk. 

The following is a list of the business houses 
and business men of the town: 

General merchandise, T. N. Crofton, W. B. 
Havden; hardware, U. F. Abshier; hotels, Klon- 
dyke, T. N. Crofton, proprietor, Royal, T. A. 
Finch, proprietor; feed store, C. B. Runyan; 
clothing store, Joseph Cohen; butcher shop, D. C. 
Smith; livery stables, T. N. Crofton, Elias 
Hamlin; blacksmith shops, Levi Clanton, J. R. 
Harvey; planing mill, Peter Ahola; telegraph 
and express office. 

Surrounded as it is by a rich and prosperous 
farming district, and now enjoying a line of rapid 
transportation to the coast, Centerville seems to 
possess certain sure elements of growth. It 
already has a population of about two hundred 
and fifty inhabitants, and as the surrounding 
valley is built up, the town cannot help but 
increase in population. Much of the wheat that 
once went to The Dalles is now hauled to the 
railroad at Centerville, whose warehouses con- 
tained at one time as much as eighty thousand 
bushels awaiting shipment. It will always be an 
important shipping point of the Klickitat valley. 


The most striking features of Klickitat's 
extreme western river settlement, White Sal- 

mon, are its surpassing beauty of location, its 
healthfulness and the special adaptability of its 
soil and climate to horticulture. Although the 
oldest settlement in the county is at this point, 
the district's development has been very slow, 
and only in recent years have its rich natural 
advantages been really appreciated by home- 
seekers. However, White Salmon is now rapidly 
forging to the front. It is the county's banner 
fruit district, and is rapidly winning a reputa- 
tion as at least the equal of Hood River, Oregon, 
in the high quality of its horticultural products. 

Nowhere along the great river is the scenery 
more strikingly impressive than at White Salmon, 
almost directly north of Mount Hood and oppo- 
site Hood River. It is said by those acquainted 
with Balch, that he drew much of his inspiration 
while writing the "Bridge of the Gods" from the 
region surrounding White Salmon and Hood 
River, in which settlements he served several 
years as a Congregational minister. At any 
rate, it is generally conceded that the scenery at 
this point surpasses that at any other along the 

The town of White Salmon is situated upon 
the high basaltic bluff that leaves the river bot- 
tom a few rods from the water's edge and reaches 
upward almost perpendicularly six hundred feet. 
From the river these gently-sloping timbered 
heights to the southward are indeed picturesque. 
The village nestles among the oaks near the 
edge of the bluff, and numerous farm buildings 
are to be seen around it, while lower down, upon 
the lowlands bordering the shore, the extensive 
strawberry and orchard tracts are a no less pleas- 
ing sight. 

At the boat landing one is perhaps a mile 
east of the mouth of White Salmon river, the 
county's western boundary. Leaving the land- 
ing, one may follow the road back a quarter of a 
mile to the foot of the towering cliff, then up a 
long though easy ascent to the plateau above, or, 
if he choose, he may save a considerable walk, 
or ride, by climbing a flight of four hundred and 
fifty steps, built recently by the citizens of the 
town. By either route, however, the hill is soon 
scaled and the little village reached. 

As he mounts upward and looks out upon the 
grand panorama spread before him, the climber 
is recompensed a hundred-fold for his unusual 
physical exertion, for the Columbia at this point 
in the month of June, when the green of earth, 
the blue of cloudless sky and the white of snow-clad 
mountain peaks appear to best advantage, forms, 
with its environs, one of the grandest scenes in 
America. Here the famed banks of the Hudson 
are equaled in their quiet, restful beauty, and 
greatly surpassed in grandeur. Hundreds of 
feet below the view- point flows the majestic river 
through its wide canyon — for a valley can scarcely 
be said to exist. The blue-green tinted waters 
under the rays of the sun appear at times like a 



great lake of molten glass, at times they sparkle 
like gems or quiver in the wind, or are lashed 
into white-capped billows by the stiffening 
breeze, but they are ever majestic, ever beauti- 
ful. More than twenty-five miles of shore line 
may be seen, from historic Mimaluse island 
above one's view-point to the Cascade locks, 
twenty miles below. 

Just across the river lies the noted town of 
Hood River, Oregon, and behind it upon much 
higher ground the valley which bears the same 
name, dotted with homes and farm buildings. 
A dozen river towns may be seen along the line 
of the O. R. & N. railroad on the Oregon bank, 
while the hillsides on either shore, both up and 
down the river, are sprinkled with smaller settle- 
ments and individual homes. To the west the 
forest-covered summit of the Cascades rises in 
ragged lines, dividing two states, each into two 
distinct physical divisions. But the crowning 
glory of the region is Mount Hood, thirty miles 
southeast of White Salmon, yet appearing almost 
at hand, so vividly does it loom up against the 
sky. Its magnificent proportions are awe-inspir- 
ing, its coloring is grand, its glistening, change- 
less peak, eleven thousand one hundred and fifty 
feet above the Columbia, never loses its power 
to enthrall. 

Directly north of White Salmon, shut out 
from sight by the foothills, is Mount Adams, fifty 
miles away. Between it and the river is a con- 
siderable farming and stock-raising country, all 
of which is reached most conveniently from 
White Salmon. These settlements include 
Camas Prairie, Glenwood, Trout Lake, Fulda, 
Gilmer and Pine Flat. Two lines of stages are 
operated between White Salmon and these 
points; in fact. White Salmon is the gateway to 
the whole interior region. The Bingen settle- 
ment lies on the river just east of White Salmon 
and is closely affiliated with the latter commer- 
cially and socially. 

Practically all the cultivated region in and 
around the town is devoted to horticulture, prin- 
cipally to the production of strawberries. A 
careful estimate places the number of acres in 
the White Salmon district devoted to strawber- 
ries at nearly two hundred, while as great an 
area is producing apples, cherries, peaches, 
grapes and other fruits. Steamboat Agent 
Gladden estimates that White Salmon ships 
annually 10,000 crates of strawberries, 10,000 
cases of tomatoes, full half as many boxes of 
apples, between 2,000 and 3,000 sacks of pota- 
toes, and 1,000 boxes of peaches, besides large 
amounts of other products. Trout Lake is at 
present shipping through White Salmon 1,800 
pounds of cheese and 1,000 pounds of butter a 
week. In December, 1903, the freight receipts 
at this point were $160; in May, 1904, the amount 
reached $900. These figures are more elo- 
quent than a volume of description in show- 

ing the wealth and productiveness of the region, 
which is a comparatively small one in tillable 

Because of its location in the mountains amid 
groves of pine and oak and beside the great 
stream of swiftly -moving water, the region is one 
of the healthiest that can be imagined. Pure 
water, pure air, sunshine and cooling breezes 
and a comparatively even temperature are all 
characteristic of the place and really fit it for a 
health resort. The winters are mild and short, 
owing to the low altitude; the summers delight- 
ful in every respect. 

White Salmon, the town, is of recent origin, 
though the settlement is the oldest in the county, 
Erastus S. Joslyn and his wife having come to 
what is now known as the Byrkett ranch in 1852. 
However, the growth of the community was 
slow, largely due to the absence of transportation 
facilities. About 1868, as near as can be learned, 
the few settlers there obtained a postoffice, J. R. 
Warner becoming the first postmaster. He lived 
two and a half miles east of town, or at what is 
now Bingen Landing, then called Warner's 
Landing. The postoffice was maintained there, 
according to the statement of A. H. Jewett, a 
pioneer of the year 1874, until 1880, when Jacob 
H. Hunsaker established the community's pio- 
neer store and succeeded Douglass Suksdorf as 
postmaster. Hunsaker built his store upon the 
site now occupied by C. M. Wolfard's store in 
the town of. White Salmon, and with it the pres- 
ent town had its beginning. 

In 1891 G. A. Thomas opened a store on the 
Camas Prairie road, a quarter of a mile above 
Hunsaker's place. Thomas conducted his store 
until 1903, when it was consolidated with Wol- 
fard's. A. S. Blowers succeeded Hunsaker in 
1892, Rudolph Lauterbach succeeded Blowers 
two years later, then L. C. Morse became store- 
keeper and postmaster. Subsequently Wolfard 
& Bone bought out Morse, and finally the prop- 
erty and postmastership passed into the hands of 
C. M. Wolfard. Mr. Wolfard is still the town's 
postmaster. He also keeps a general store. 

With the development of the district's straw- 
berry industry, during the latter part of the 
nineties, came a rapid settlement, creating a 
strong demand for a town upon the Washington 
shore. So in the fall of 1901 A. H. Jewett pur- 
chased the old Cameron farm of Ward Brothers 
and platted the present town of White Salmon. 
The land was originally a portion of a railroad 
section, but was acquired by R. Hanson in the 
seventies. He later transferred the claim to 
Ronald D. Cameron. After platting the town, 
Mr. Jewett at once began the installation of a 
fine water system which is now nearly completed. 
He uses a Rife hydraulic pump capable of rais- 
ing ten gallons a minute, two hundred and 
twenty feet high through a half mile of pipe. 
The water is pumped from a large spring, north 



of the church, and distributed by a system of 
wooden and iron mains. 

In the fall of 1902 Frank Broshong opened a 
blacksmith shop on the townsite; Crow & Gear- 
hart built a drug store in SeptemDer, 1903; A. J. 
Rath next established a variety store, and then 
the hotel and other business nouses at present 
constituting the town were erected and opened 
for trade in rapid succession. The town's busi- 
ness houses are, therefore, all new and, be it 
said to the people's credit, substantial and well 
equipped. They may be listed as follows: 

Two general stores, C. M. Wolfard and Bal 
siger Brothers; hotel, Hyting Brothers; clothing, 
men's furnishings, J. A. Fanning; drugs, L. J 
Wolfard: brickyard, A. H. Jewett, proprietor, 
capacity, eight thousand a day: meat market. 
C. S. Bancroft; dry goods, notions, Mrs. Jennie 
Green ; jewelry store, E. H. Dreske ; confection- 
ery, M. C. Fox; blacksmiths, Frank Broshong. 
James Hancock; real estate dealers, J. W. Eber- 
hart, Harlan & Crow; contractors, (F. L.) Rose- 
grant & (O. W.) Eberhart. Dr. J. W. Gearhart 
is the town's physician; Dr. M. A. Jones, its 

The White Salmon Enterprise, a neatly 
printed weekly, was established by Thomas 
Harlan, May 8, 1903, and in its existence of a 
little more than a year it has met with a gratify- 
ing success. 

This summer J. W. Lauterbach is erecting in 
White Salmon a modern hotel, to be complete in 
all its appointments and to cost at least ten thou- 
sand dollars. The hotel cannot but lend a con- 
siderable impetus to the community's growth. 

The attractive Jewett resort, situated on the 
heights half a mile east of town, is certainly wor- 
thy of mention. Here Mr. Jewett, pioneer and 
owner of the town site, has laid out grounds and 
gardens surrounding his home that surely rival any 
to be found on the Columbia, and when the natural 
forest on the farm is transformed into parks and 
his new building is erected, both of which 
improvements are contemplated, Jewett resort 
will be a much frequented place. 

White Salmon landing was built eight years 
ago at a cost of two thousand dollars, subscribed 
in labor and money by the settlers on the Wash- 
ington shore. In March, 1903, they gave the 
improvements to The Dalles, Portland & 
Astoria Navigation Company, with the under- 
standing that the corporation was to maintain 
them. This company, better known as the 
Regular company, operates four passenger steam- 
ers, the Bailey Gatzert, Regulator, Dalles City 
and Sadie B., and three other freight and passen- 
ger boats, the Hercules. Tahoma and the Met- 
lako, all of which call regularly at White Salmon, 
giving the town a daily service. The Charles R. 
Spencer also calls daily at White Salmon, besides 
which there is a ferry plying between there and 
Hood River. To The Dalles, the distance by 

river is twenty-one and a half miles; to Portland, 
ninety-three. J. R. Gladden took charge of the 
White Salmon office for the Regular line last 
December. . To him acknowledgments are due 
for much information and many courtesies. 

As nearly as can be learned, the White Sal- 
mon school district was organized about 1876. 
Two schoolhouses were built, one near Salmon 
falls, the other on the present townsite. An old 
German named Levison was the pioneer school 
teacher, teaching first at the falls, then at the 
other building. The next school was held in a 
cabin on Jewett's place. The district was 
divided in 1880, and that year the White Salmon 
district proper built a new schoolhouse at a cost 
of five hundred dollars. This building is now 
being replaced by a four-room structure, having 
a stone basement and furnace. To erect it the 
district issued eighteen hundred dollars in bonds 
last spring. Professor C. L. Colburn and Miss 
Georgia Johnson constitute the staff of teachers; 
the school board is composed of S. C. Ziegler, 
S. W. Condon and J. P. Jensen. 

White Salmon has one church, Bethel Con- 
gregational, the only Congregational church in 
the county. Bethel church was organized May 
7, 1879, by Rev. George H. Atkinson, with Mrs. 
J. R Warner, Mrs. Cynthia E. Warner, Mrs. 
Arabella Jewett, A. J. Thompson, John Purser, 
Mrs. Mary Purser, George Swan, Mrs. Mary 
Anne Swan and Mrs. Martha Purser, as its first 
members. The following September a site was 
chosen within the present town limits, and the 
commodious edifice still in use was erected. 
Dr. Atkinson dedicated the building October 
26, 1879, in the presence of forty-six people. 
Rev. U. Lyman came to the church from Forest 
Grove in 1880, then Rev. E. P. Roberts supplied 
the pulpit for a short time, and the next fall Rev. 
U. S. Lyman, of Oberlin, Ohio, assumed the pas- 
torate. Rev. F. H. Balch, who later became widely 
known as the author of ' ' The Bridge of the Gods, 
occupied the pulpit of Bethel church during the 
years 1884 and 1885, at the same time serving 
Congregational churches at Lyle and Hood 
River. Bethel church was reorganiezd in 
March, 1901, since which time Revs. U. S. 
Drake and L. Cone Garrison, the present pastor, 
have been resident ministers. During the past 
year, under Mr. Garrison's leadership, the church 
has erected a fine parsonage costing eight hun- 
dred dollars. 

""'' There are few small towns more favorably 
located both from a natural ant a business stand- 
point than the little village of Lyle at the termi- 
nus of the Columbia River & Northern railroad. 
Situated as it is, at the point where the Klickitat 
river adds its waters to the Columbia, it is the 
natural railroad outlet for the whole Klickitat 
valley. It is also the only port of any impor- 


tance in the county, with the one exception of 
White Salmon, that has unobstructed navigation 
to Portland. With these points of advantage in 
its favor, Lyle will naturally develop in a very 
few years into a city of considerable importance. 

At an early date James O. Lyle perceived 
that this location had advantages which would 
some day lead to its development into an impor- 
tant trade center, and in May, 1878, he pur- 
chased the site of the present town from J. M. 
Williamson. Two years later he laid off the 
town and named it Lyle. In 1878 a postoffice 
had been established at that place, known as 
Klickitat Landing, but after the town was 
platted, the postoffice also took the name of 
Lyle. James O. Lyle built a store on the new 
townsite, and Joseph Clark also started a store 
there and ran it about two years. The next 
store was started upon the hill about two miles 
northwest of town by Mrs. Hensen. The third 
store in the town proper was that of Collins 
Elkins, who built in 1897. He sold out recently. 
In 1898 John Kure erected the Riverside hotel; 
two years later another store was built by 
Mclnnis McLeod, and shortly afterward another 
hotel by John Daffron. 

As soon as work on the Columbia River & 
Northern railroad was commenced in 1902, the 
town received a new impetus, and it has been 
steadily growing ever since. The chief draw- 
back to its growth has been the fact that until 
recently it was impossible to buy a building site, 
as the town property was withheld from sale by 
the Balfours, who bought out Mr. Lyle in 1892. 
These gentlemen sold all the land lying between 
the river and the railroad to the Columbia River 
& Northern Railroad Company, a short time ago, 
however, for twenty-two thousand dollars, and 
this tract has been placed on the market at from 
two hundred and fifty to five hundred dollars a 
lot, so that the greatest obstacle to progress has 
been removed. The Balfours still own all the 
land along the north side of the track. 

Adjoining the town on the north is the large 
stock farm of Balfour & Magan, embracing about 
twelve hundred acres of land, much of which is 
valuable only as a cattle range. About ten acres 
are devoted to a prune and pear orchard, and the 
farm is provided with a drier where the prunes 
are prepared for shipment. On the place are 
also about sixty-five acres of alfalfa which yields 
well, notwithstanding the fact that the ground is 
not irrigated. 

Owing to its location at the mouth of the 
Klickitat river, the town of Lyle has an abun- 
dance of water and unused power, the falls of 
the Klickitat being only three miles away. Here 
a large volume of water is forced through a nar- 
row chasm, furnishing an abundance of unhar- 
nessed power. It is probable that in past ages 
the water at this point fell sheer over the face of 
the rock for some distance, but as years went by 

the rock was worn away until little more than 
a rapids remains. With a reasonable outlay this 
power, now allowed to go to waste, can be util- 
ized either in operating the Columbia River & 
Northern railroad or for turning the wheels of 
industry in the town of Lyle, or both. 

The canyon of the Klickitat is one of the 
grandest and most picturesque along the Colum- 
bia. On either side the grass-clad hills rise a 
thousand feet above the bed of the river, along 
which the railroad winds in graceful curves. At 
times the scene changes and a magnificent 
thicket of green scrub oaks crowns the hills with 
verdure, while below the rushing stream dashes 
madly down the canyon. This stream, notwith- 
standing the swift current, is the home of many 
fine fish, a fact which, combined with many 
other advantages of the region, may cause Lyle 
to become in the near future a popular summer 

The principal exports from the town of Lyle 
are grain, cattle, sheep, lumber, fruit, both 
green and dried, vegetables and dairy products. 
Since the building of the Columbia River & 
Northern railroad practically all goods brought 
into the Klickitat valley and all products taken 
out of it are shipped through Lyle. 

An interesting fact about the town of Lyle is 
that F. H. Balch, the author of that famous story, 
based on Indian tradition, "The Bridge of the 
Gods," was born in the immediate vicinity of the 
town. Many of the people now living in that 
neighborhood knew him well during his youth 
and early manhood. They describe him as a man 
of slight frame and delicate constitution ; alto- 
gether a very ordinary person, in whom they 
could detect very few indications of genius. 
They are inclined to believe that he is very much 
over-estimated and that the popularity he has 
received is for the most part due to the local 
color of the book. It is generally conceded, how- 
ever, that he was well informed on the traditions 
and legends of the Indian. Those were his 
favorite theme in conversation, and he spent 
much time in reading and studying Indian cus- 
toms and habits. As most of his life was spent 
along the Columbia river, he had an excellent 
opportunity to study the country of which he 
wrote. The island burial-place of the red men 
lies just beyond Lyle, and only a few miles fur- 
ther down the river is the site of the supposed 
natural bridge, which was the chief subject of 
Balch's romance. After his death, F. H. Balch 
was brought back to Lyle and his remains are 
buried in the old cemetery near the home of his 

Three years ago a school was organized in 
Lyle, but no building has as yet been erected. 
Plans are now under consideration, however, for 
the building of a schoolhouse, and there is also a 
movement on foot to organize and build a Meth- 
odist church, grounds for which the company 



that owns the townsite has already donated. 
The only fraternity represented in the town is the 
Modern Woodmen of America, of which Estes 
Lodge No. 9,502 was established in April, 1901. 

The following is a list of the business houses 
in Lyle: General merchandise, Collins Elkins 
and the Lyle Trading Company, Mclnnis 
McLeod. proprietor; hotel, the Lyle, John 
Daffron, proprietor; livery stable, John Daffron ; 
blacksmith shop, Albert B. French. 

There are few towns on the upper Columbia 
that have brighter prospects for future growth 
than this interesting little settlement at the 
mouth of the Klickitat, and if ever a railroad is 
built down the north bank of the river, so that 
Lyle will have direct communication by rail with 
the outside world, the development of the little 

town on the banks of the Columbia will surely 
be great indeed. 


The Postal Guide of 1903 gives the postoffices 
in Klickitat as follows: Bickleton, Bingen, 
Blockhouse, Centerville, Cleveland, Columbus, 
Expansion, Firwood, Fulda, Furman, Glenwood, 
Goldendale, Grand Dalles, Guler, Hartland, Huit, 
Husum, Jersey, Lucus, Lyle, Patterson, Pleas- 
ant, Snowden, Teller and White Salmon. At 
most of them are a general store and a black- 
smith shop, around which has grown up a thickly 
settled community. Many of them have excel- 
lent sites and may some day develop into thriv- 
ing towns. 





CURRENT HISTORY— 1860-1877. 

No attempt shall here be made to determine 
who first of the trappers and fur traders whose 
operations have been briefly outlined in previous 
pages visited the Yakima country. Neither is it 
practicable to detail the wanderings and vicissi- 
tudes of these nomadic traffickers within the 
limits of the territory forming the subject-matter 
of this volume, for at the time of their opera- 
tions territorial, state or county lines had not 
been drawn, and there is a haziness about such 
meager accounts as have come down to us, which 
makes it difficult at times to determine with cer- 
tainty just where a given event took place. So 
far as known no sectional history of the fur trade 
has ever been attempted, and it is doubtful 
whether any such could be successfully compiled. 
The historian of the fur trade, to produce a read- 
able work, must do as did Washington Irving in 
describing the adventures of Bonneville, follow 
in his narrative the wanderings of his nomadic 
hero wheresoever they may lead him. 

All sojournings by these nomadic merchants 
were of a temporary character, and though a 
small fort was built by the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany on the banks of the upper Columbia, the 
purpose of it and of every other establishment 
made by them was to drain the country of its 
wealth of peltry, not to develop its latent 

More noble in the motives which impelled 
them hither, though not more potent to effect 
anything like an industrial development of the 
country or any part of it, were the zealous Jesuit 
priests who first made their appearance among 
the aborigines of central Washington. In recent 

years a contest was had affecting the title to four 
hundred and forty-seven acres of land in Yakima 
county adjoining the present Yakima Indian 
reservation, which tract was claimed by Catholics 
by virtue of their having a mission established 
upon it prior to the organization of Washington 
territory and the passage of the Organic Act 
containing a proviso that title to lands not 
exceeding six hundred and forty acres, occupied 
at that date (March 2, 1853) for mission purposes, 
should be confirmed to the religious society to 
which said missionary station belonged. The 
testimony in this contest showed that a mission 
was established in the spring of 1852 by Fathers 
Chironse and Herlomez. The Ahtanum mis- 
sion, as it came to be called, was maintained 
until the outbreak of the war of 1855, the prog- 
ress of which forced its abandonment. The mis- 
sion house was burned in November of that year 
by the regulars under Major Rains and volun- 
teers under Colonel Nesmith, the reason for this 
destruction of property, it is said, being that the 
Catholic missionaries were supposed to have 
sympathized with and aided the Indians. Father 
Pandozy is mentioned as one of the priests who 
was in the country at the time of the war. 

There is one man now living within the limits 
of Yakima county who looked upon its crystal 
streams, sage brush hills and beauti.ul moun- 
tains as early as 1853. It is believed that to him 
belongs the honor of having passed through it at 
an earlier date than any other white man now 
living in the county. The gentleman who has 
this splendid distinction is the veteran pioneer of 
the west, David Longmire. During those Octo- 



ber days of so long ago, and now of necessity so 
misty in his memory, he passed up the Yakima 
valley and over the Cascade mountains by the 
Naches gap. He was then but nine years old. 
He found on the site of his present home a sub- 
chief of the Klickitats by the name of Owhi, 
from whom the party to which he belonged pur- 
chased a quantity of potatoes that had been 
grown on the land. Some of the details of his 
transcontinental trip were thus narrated by him 
to a reporter of the Seattle Times and later to 
the writer: 

"In the month of March, 1853, my father and 
mother, in company with thirty other families, 
left Franklin county, Indiana, for Portland, Ore- 
gon, traveling across the country by ox teams. 
November 16th of that same year we reached 

"We followed the old Oregon trail down the 
Snake river, crossed the Blue mountains into the 
Umatilla country, then journeyed to the north- 
ward, passing over the waters of the Columbia 
at Wallula. Walla Walla had not at that time 
been thought of. At Wallula the Hudson's Bay 
Company had its fort, an old adobe building. 

"An old Indian chief at the mouth of the 
Yakima river killed one of his best and fattest 
steers for us and sold the meat at fifteen cents a 
pound. Father was made weigh-master. Peo- 
peo-mox-mox, for such was the Indian's name, 
was a kind chief. He did not want us to cross 
the Cascades, and with other Indians tried to 
persuade us to go to the Colville reservation. 

"But we did not let them dissuade us from 
executing our original plans. We crossed the 
Yakima at its mouth and came up on the east 
side, Indians following us all the way by thou- 
sands. There were thousands of them at that 
time in the Yakima country. Our wagons were 
great curiosities, for they were the first they had 
ever seen and the first to be brought up the 
Yakima valley and over the Cascade range. 

"Not a white man lived in the valley at the 
time, save two Catholic priests, one at Tampico 
and the other on the ground taken by George 
Taylor in 1865 as a homestead. It is opposite the 
present George Hall ranch. 

"In October we wended our way up toward 
the head of the Wenas creek, and in due time 
we began the ascent of the Naches river, the 
Indian name for which was Noch-cheese, mean- 
ing swift water. There were no wagon roads in 
either the Yakima or the Naches country, so we 
were pioneers in the matter of road-making. 
We had to ford the Naches something like forty 
times before we entered the mountains. The 
Indian trail was all right for single horses, but 
hauling wagons over it, even after the trees had 
been cut down to make it wider, was simply out 
of the question. We could not follow the trail 
at all, only in a general way. General George B. 
McClellan, who was located at Steilacoom in 

that year, was sent over the trail to examine it 
relative to the feasibility of making it passable 
for wagons, but we had made the road before 
the government got around to it. 

"In 1854 the government made an appropria- 
tion for the improvement of the road, but after 
the outbreak of the Indian war it fell into disuse 
and became so overgrown with brush and clogged 
with fallen logs that it had to be abandoned 

"We reached the top of the mountain all 
right, taking our outfit with us, and then the 
question was how to get down the other side. 
We found it necessary to use ropes to lower the 
wagons. After ten days of the hardest toil, we 
managed to overcome the obstacles presented by 
the almost impenetrable forest and sharp decliv- 
ities of the west side, and at length we reached 
Olympia in safety. 

"The Indians of those days were not treated 
altogether right by the white men who came in 
to take their lands. I remember well the two 
Nisqually chiefs, Leschi and Quiemuth, coming 
from a treaty-making meeting with Governor 
Stevens. They stopped in front of our house on 
Yelm prairie. I remember when Leschi was 
hanged. After this affair, Quiemuth gave him- 
self up. He came to our house and asked father 
to deliver him over to Governor Stevens so the 
white men would not kill him. Father and the 
Indian went to Governor Stevens' office in 
Olympia. Both men stayed at the governor's 
home that night, sleeping in the same room. 
Some time during the hours of darkness, my 
father was suddenly awakened by the sound of a 
gunshot in the room. The Indian had been shot 
in the arm by some person from the outside, and 
moving toward the door, he was shortly after- 
ward stabbed through the heart by the same mid- 
night assassin. This made the governor very 
angry, and also made Indian affairs more difficult 
to handle." 

Of course, the great Yakima war of 1855-6 
made it impossible for white men, other than 
those banded together in military companies, to 
remain in or even pass through the valley of the 
Yakima river, but it is quite probable that those 
who came as soldiers or volunteers retained recol- 
lections of the pastoral wealth of the country, 
and that many of them, or persons interested by 
their representations, were induced to visit cen- 
tral Washington and perchance make homes in it 
in later years. Indeed, it is certainly known that 
a discovery made by one of the soldiers of this war 
had a very considerable effect upon the subse- 
quent history of Yakima county, namely, the 
discovery of placer gold by Captain Ingalls, the 
sequel to which will receive due notice presently. 

In another way also the Indians, by their hos- 
tility, hastened the occupancy of the country by 
white men, the very thing they sought by force 
of arms to prevent. One of the results of the 



war was the establishment of Fort Simcoe, which, 
though a military post, occasioned the presence 
of white men and furnished encouragement for 
the entrance of stock raisers into the country by 
offering them at once protection from predatory 
Indians and a trading point. 

There can be no doubt but that the establish- 
ment of Fort Simcoe had much to do with render- 
ing the home of the Yakimas, who were partially 
subdued in the war of 1855-6 and more completely 
overawed by the brilliant campaign of Colonel 
Wright in the .Spokane country, a safe place for 
white men. At any rate, in the late fifties it 
began to be visited by cattle raisers from the out- 
side country. George Nelson tells us that in 
1859 William Murphy and Benjamin E. Snipes, 
partners, drove cattle from the Klickitat valley 
onto the Yakima range, as did also John B. Nel- 
son and Fred Allen, with the latter's two sons, 
Bart and Jacob. They remained with their herds 
on the Yakima river during the winter of 1859-60, 
but did not effect a permanent settlement. Mr. 
Nelson names also John E. Murphy, James Mur- 
phy, William Henderson, Preston, Wil- 
liam Connell and John Jeffrey and his brother as 
among the Klickitat stockmen, who used the 
Yakima ranges at a very early date. During this 
period, the only whites, aside from these intrepid 
stockmen, who visited the country were the no 
less intrepid and even more mercurial packers 
engaged in transporting goods to the upper Col- 
umbia river. 

It seems to be a conceded fact that the first 
permanent settler within the limits of the present 
Yakima country was F. Mortimer Thorp, who 
had likewise made journeys into it from Klickitat 
county and to whom its rich pastures and utter 
lack of civilization appealed with a peculiar 
potency. Mr. Thorp belonged to that old school 
of stockmen who considered solitude and primeval 
conditions essential to the success of their busi- 
ness. Utterly indifferent to the advantages of 
society and the luxuries which can be enjoyed 
only where a considerable number of people are 
united together in communities, he wished always 
to be so situated that his herds might multiply 
indefinitely and find an abundant pasture. His 
great desideratum was an unbounded country 
without farms and fences, where cattle might 
roam at will, nor ever, by any chance, involve 
their owner in bickerings and quarrels and litiga- 
tion. Thus it came to pass that Mr. Thorp had 
sought earnestly the heart of the wilderness since 
1844, when first he had set his face resolutely 
westward, making the long journey over plain 
and mountain to the land laved by the Pacific's 
billows. This desire of solitude and isolation had 
more than once impelled him to pull up stakes 
and move on, for the country at the time was 
being appropriated and subjugated with consid- 
erable rapidity. In July, 1858, he settled near 
the site of the present Goldendale; indeed, a part 

of the land on which that town is built served 
him as a calf pasture at this early period. Soon 
the progress of civilization drove him thence also, 
as it had driven him just before from Benton 
county, Oregon, and in his quest for more elbow 
room he turned naturally to the Yakima country. 
And so it happened that October, 1S60, found 
him once more on the move. Ben Snelling, John 
Zumwalt and A. C. Myers accompanied, assisting 
with the two hundred and fifty head of fine Dur- 
ham stock. Establishing himself in the now 
famous Moxee valley, Mr. Thorp spent there the 
winter of 1860-61, his family remaining at their 
home in Klickitat county. The season was mild, 
and those with the cattle were able to make trips 
between the two places as often as occasion might 

In February, 1861, this pioneer stockman 
brought his family, consisting of his wife, Mar- 
garet, and a number of children, of whom the 
oldest was only eighteen, to the new place of 
abode he had picked out for them. The accom- 
modations prepared for their use and comfort 
were necessarily of the rudest kind, consisting 
mainly of a small cabin with a dirt roof; the 
furnishings few and of home manufacture. As 
culinary utensils' had to be packed over a long 
rough trail, it may be assumed that only the most 
essential articles found their way into Mrs. 
Thorp's kitchen. Certainly this pioneer lady 
purchased at a cost of not a little inconvenience, 
privation and loneliness, the honor of having 
been the first white woman to make her home in 
the Yakima country. In company with the fam- 
ily came the now widely known Charles Splawn, 
who was engaged in packing to the mines during 
the winter of i860. 

In the fall of 1861 Mr. Thorp succeeded in get- 
ting through from his old home in Klickitat 
county a. wagon, the first to enter the Yakima 
valley from that direction, and thereafter his 
worthy helpmate enjoyed the luxury of a cook 
stove. A supply of vegetables was obtained that 
fall from a garden of five or six acres planted in 
the spring. 

"At that time," says Leonard L. Thorp, from 
whom our information concerning the first family 
to settle in the Yakima country was obtained, 
"the bottom lands were covered with a dense 
growth of rye grass twelve feet high in many 
places, while a luxuriant carpet of nutritious 
bunch grass made the sage brush hills a veritable 
paradise to cattle and horses. Within five min- 
utes after turning loose the animals, they would 
be completely lost sight of in the tall grass and 
could be found only by trailing. Fortunately, 
the Indians were disposed to be friendly, and 
except by the occasional theft of an animal, 
never seriously troubled the early settlers. 
Indeed, they rendered us valuable service during 
the late fall of 1861, by bringing great quantities 
of salmon, which could be procured from them at 



trifling cost. A string of beads, costing ten 
cents, would purchase a thirty-pound fish." 

With the Thorp family when they came iDto 
the Moxee valley in February, 1S61, besides Mr. 
Splawn, before mentioned, were Alfred Henson 
and family, George Bearfield and John Grub- 
sher, en route to the Peshastin mines. As the 
discovery of this district was an important event 
of the early days and doubtless exerted some in- 
fluence upon the history of central Washington, 
it is thought fitting that a brief account of it 
should here be given. 

One Captain Ingalls, the discoverer of the 
Coos Bay mines, in Oregon, and a typical repre- 
sentative of the nomadic prospecting class which 
formed so important a part of the early popula- 
tion of the West, may perhaps be considered the 
original discoverer of the Peshastin district. 
During the Indian war of 1855-6 he served as a 
scout, and in company with other scouts from the 
ranks of the friendly Indians, reconnoitered the 
eastern slope of the Cascade range. While on 
the Wenatchee river, so the story is told, he and 
an Indian named Colawash found, in one of the 
tributary canyons, several gold nuggets and other 
substantial indications of the existence of placer 
deposits. They dare not tarry for close investi- 
gation, however, for should they be discovered 
by the hostiles, their lives would not be a worth 
a copper cent. Ingalls was, therefore, compelled 
to abandon his find for the time being. 

When at length the Indian troubles were at 
an end and the intrepid prospector might with 
safety attempt a further reconnoissance of the 
gold-bearing region, he again entered the coun- 
try, but with all his experience in finding his way 
in the wilderness by landmarks, he was unable to 
rediscover the gold-bearing gravels or the creek 
whose bed and banks they formed. Eventually, 
in i860, he went to the home of Colawash in the 
Klickitat valley, hoping to induce the red man to 
guide him to the spot. Vain were his efforts. 
Colawash could not be induced by the most 
tempting offer to make the journey, and all hope 
of help from this source had to be abandoned. 

Nothing daunted, Ingalls associated himself 
with Levi and Andrew Jackson Knott, Robert 
Ladd and one or two others, with intent to make 
a more extended and thorough search for the lost 
placers. Their expedition was destined to be 
brought to an abrupt and melancholy termina- 
tion. While the company was in camp in the 
upper country, Ingalls was accidentally shot and 
killed by A. J. Knott, so the rest of the party, 
left without a guide, were compelled to return 
with sad hearts to the settlements. 

The next effort to discover the lost placer 
ground was made by Charles A. Splawn, then 
living near the site of Goldendale. In the spring 
of i860 he had gone to try his fortunes in the 
Similkameen mines, having first talked with 
Colawash, with whom he was on friendly terms, 

regarding the Ingalls discovery. Colawash 
refused to guide him or anybody else to the spot, 
but told Mr. Splawn that the name of the creek 
was Peshastin; also drew a rough map for his 
further information. 

While returning from the Similkameen district 
in the fall of i860, Mr. Splawn fell in with four 
other returning miners, whom he readily induced 
to join him in a search for the Peshastin prospect. 
The party proceeded forthwith to the mouth of 
the Wenatchee river, where an Indian guide was 
procured. As they proceeded up the Wenatchee, 
the Indian named the different tributary streams 
as he came to them. When the prospectors had 
reached a place between fifteen and twenty miles 
from the river's mouth, the guide pointed out a 
considerable creek flowing in from the south and 
stated that it was the Peshastin, of which they 
were in search. 

Mr. Splawn, who is our authority for the story, 
states that he himself started up the stream while 
the rest of the party took a hill trail, the agree- 
ment being that all should meet at the summit of 
the divide. In the first narrow canyon after leav- 
ing the mouth of the creek, Mr. Splawn dug out 
a promising crevice and panned from its contents 
a dollar in gold. The bed-rock was slate. 

With the evidence of his find safe in his 
pocket, Mr. Splawn eagerly pushed on to the 
appointed rendezvous, where he found his com- 
panions in waiting. They had accidentally fallen 
in with a young man named Russell, who joined 
their ranks. Russell was the messenger who 
had been entrusted to carry the news of Lincoln's 
election to the northern mines, and was on his 
return to the sound when he met Splawn 's party. 
He became enthusiastic over the discovery, and 
having begged the gold from its rightful owner, 
proceeded with it to Seattle. Its exhibition there 
caused not a little excitement. The few news- 
papers then in the Northwest published exagger- 
ated accounts of the discovery, and some of them 
indulged in useless prophesying as to the future 
extensive development of the region. Numerous 
parties at once outfitted and started for the new 
diggings, and Mr. Splawn estimated that seventy- 
five miners spent the winter on the Peshastin. 
But the gold fields, though they produced nuggets 
weighing as high as twelve dollars, were of small 
extent. They were soon overshadowed in public 
interest by the more important discoveries made 
in Idaho and British Columbia about this time, and 
eventually ceased entirely to be the center of ex- 
citement, though gold was found there for several 
years, and in later days quartz ledges have been 
uncovered in the district. The principal branch 
of Peshastin creek is known today as Ingalls 
creek, having been so named in honor of the man 
who first discovered, but did not live to open the 

As before stated, Mr. Henson and family 
were among those who went into the Peshastin 



country in February, 1861. During the ensuing 
October they returned disgusted to the Moxee 
valley. Mr. Henson took a claim in that region, 
intending to plant there his vine and fig tree, but 
after a residence of two weeks, he decided that 
the danger to himself and family from Indians 
was too great and that prudence required him 
to give up the idea of establishing a home in the 
Yakima country just then. 

The Thorps were, therefore, left the sole 
permanent settlers of the valley with none to 
bear them company except the savages and such 
travelers, packers and stockmen as might occa- 
sionally pass their way. Neither did they have 
a large force of employees to help beguile the 
lonely hours. The work of caring for the cattle 
was done entirely by Mr. Thorp, his sons and 
Charles A. Splawn, who had married the oldest 

But during the winter of 1861-2 the men at 
least had no time to think of their loneliness and 
isolation. That winter is known in local history 
as the severest ever experienced by white men in 
the Northwest, and the Yakima country was not 
more favored than were other parts. On the 10th 
of November, Mr. Thorp informs us, snow began 
falling, and it did not cease until it had attained 
a depth of eight inches. This settled down to 
four inches of hard, icy snow, upon which came 
successive falls, until by December 20th, the earth 
had a compact blanket two feet thick. Through- 
out the whole of the 22d and the succeeding night 
rain came down in torrents, settling the snow to 
a depth of eighteen inches. A hard frost on the 
night of the 23d converted this into a vast sheet 
of ice, the last of which did not disappear from 
the face of the country until after the middle of 
the following March. There was no thermome- 
ter in the valley at the time, but some idea of the 
cold may be obtained from the fact that the 
Yakima and Naches rivers very early froze to the 
bottom, swift mountain streams though they 
were. Their waters covered a large scope of low- 
lands, which, with the beds of the rivers, were 
supplied all winter with a thick, unyielding coat 
of mail. In the spring the ice marks were eight 
feet high on the trees in Moxee bottom, and when 
the center of the vast glacier began to move out, 
side walls of ice in some places more than twelve 
feet high were left. 

Strange to say, the stock loss of the one fam- 
ily in the country was slight, notwithstanding this 
extreme cold. Their three hundred cattle and 
sixty horses were in prime condition when the 
cold weather set in, an important point in their 
favor, and those in charge of the animals made 
heroic efforts to secure forage for them. An 
unlimited range of nutritious bunch grass, cured 
while standing, after the manner of this peculiar 
plant of the desert, was concealed under the ice 
and snow. The only chance of saving the herds 
lay in breaking the crusts so that the cattle and 

horses might reach this excellent fodder, and for 
forty successive days the Thorps wrought with 
great energy, despite the extreme cold, assisting 
the animals to dig down for sustenance. The 
legs and arms of the men were at times so badly 
cut and frozen as almost to incapacitate them for 
further work, but still they toiled on and their 
labors and sacrifices were rewarded, for only 
seven of the neat cattle perished, while the horse 
band remained entire. About the 15th of Febru- 
ary a Chinook began blowing, and soon the snow 
on the south hillsides cleared away, making it 
possible for the animals to take care of them- 
selves. During the summer of 1861 several out- 
buildings were erected for the shelter of stock 
and the next summer Mr. Thorp built a perma- 
nent home for his family at the lower spring in 
the Moxee valley, a two-story hewed-log struc- 
ture, much superior to the pioneer cabin of round 
cottonwood logs. The original home was, how- 
ever, allowed to stand for many years as a monu- 
ment of the early days. 

The year 1862 brought a few additions to the 
population of Yakima county, perhaps the first of 
whom was William Parker, a Columbia river 
packer who had passed through the valley in 
1861. He took a homestead on the bottom that 
has ever since borne his name, but being not yet 
ready to give up the trail, he left the place in 
charge of another arrival of the year, Andrew C. 
Gervais, who had heard of the Thorp settlement 
and had come over from Walla Walla to visit it. 
Mr. Gervais says John Allen and John Jeffrey, 
the former of whom, like Parker, was married to 
an Indian wife, were partners in this homestead 
venture. Gervais harvested a small crop of veg- 
etables and cereals for his employers, then left 
the place in charge of its proprietors and entered 
the service of Mr. Thorp, with whom he re- 
mained that winter. Albert Haines also came to 
the country in 1862, locating with his wife and 
little daughter in the Moxee, a mile and a half 
north of the Thorp place. 

An event of the winter of 1862 deserving of at 
least a passing notice was the establishment of 
the first school in the valley, a private one. The 
home of this pioneer institution was the upper 
story of Mr. Thorp's house; the teacher was 
Lutitia, wife of Albert Haines, a well educated 
young woman, equipped for her duties by a little 
former experience in teaching, and the pupils 
were the Thorp children, the only ones in the 
valley at the'time save the little Haines girl. It 
is said that Mrs. Haines proved very efficient and 
accomplished not a little in her three-month term, 
despite the many difficulties she had to encounter 
in the way of dissimilar text-books, lack of equip- 
ment, etc. 

No serious trouble with Indians was experi- 
enced by the earliest settlers, though occasion- 
ally the thievish red men would appropriate to 
their own use some animal belonging to the 



whites. During the summer of 1862 a very fine 
horse disappeared from Mr. Thorp's band. The 
owner took up the trail of the animal, and after a 
long, hard chase, succeeded in overtaking him 
and the Indian who had appropriated him. The 
thief was captured, treated to a sound rib-roast- 
ing, and turned loose with the injunction to 
spread the news of his misfortunes among his 
brethren. Whether or not the miscreant obeyed 
Mr. Thorp's instructions and held himself up to 
his tribesmen as an example of the ills that are 
likely to befall the horse-thief, we are unable to 

During the summer of 1863, Mr. Thorp and 
his family were given reason to believe that a 
serious difficulty with Indians was about to be 
experienced. One day the father and his son 
Leonard descried a band of Indians, mounted and 
in full war paint, approaching their home. 
Seized with a sudden alarm, they, with Charles 
Splawn, and Mr. Thorp's other sons, Willis and 
Bayless, hastily hid the women and children and 
prepared to make as stubborn a defense as pos- 
sible, taking their stand behind a yard fence. 
The Indians rode up rapidly without sign of 
enmity or hatred. The white men saw when the 
advancing band came near enough that they were 
no other than Smohollah, the dreamer, and his 

Just as the head of the column reached the 
fence, the older Thorp sprang over, revolver in 
hand, seized the chief's horse by the bridle and 
demanded the reason for such a warlike approach. 
The dreamer smiled affably, proffering his hand, 
and stated as the reason for his conduct that he 
had heard of a report current among the whites 
to the effect that he was about to overwhelm 
their settlements with a thousand warriors and 
had come to reassure them by exhibiting the 
smallness of his following. After a friendly talk, 
the chief rode away, bowing and smiling, but 
Mr. Thorp always believed that the ugly-looking 
revolver was really responsible for his apparent 

There being no newspapers or other printed 
or written records of general events during the 
earliest days, it is practically impossible to write 
with certainty regarding the pioneer settlers and 
the dates of their settlements. The average 
memory is hardly equal to the task of accurately 
retaining such minutiae of forty years ago as 
initials, the correct orthography of proper names, 
dates of personal incidents, etc., and a work 
treating of events which occurred prior to the 
advent of the printing press must needs be more 
or less inaccurate and deficient in detail. For 
these reasons it may be impossible to enumerate 
all those who settled in the county before 1865 or 
during that year, but a list would include, besides 
those already mentioned, William Ish, John 
Hailey and a man named King, who had formed 
themselves into a copartnership to cut wild hay 

from the Columbia plains near the mouth of the 
Yakima and ship it down the former river. Mr. 
Hailey later entered into the stage business and 
became very widely known throughout the 
Northwest. He was one of the organizers of the 
celebrated Northwest Stage Company, whose 
operations extended from Washington to Utah. 
Then there was J. T. Hicklin, to whom, on Jan- 
uary 13, 1863, the legislature granted the right to 
operate a ferry across the Yakima at a location 
somewhere between the mouth of the Wenas 
river and a point three miles below the debouch- 
ment of the Naches, the tolls fixed by the act 
being : For a wagon drawn by two animals, $2 ; 
hack or sulkey, one horse, $1.50; man and horse, 
75 cents; animal packed, 50 cents; footman, 25 
cents; horses, mules or cattle, loose, 25 cents 
each ; sheep, goats or hogs, 8 cents. There were 
also in the valley Gilbert Pell, appointed sheriff 
by the act organizing the county; and William 
Wright, appointed county auditor; and Elisha 
McDaniel, who settled on a place near the Jock 
Morgan home ; and J. B. Nelson, who later served 
as probate judge of the county; and Augustan 
Cleman, who settled first on the south fork of the 
Cowiche, but moved a year later to the Wenas, 
becoming the first permanent settler there; and 
McAllister and George Taylor, the pioneers of 
the Selah valley; and Walter Lindsey, with his 
sons, except William, who was in the Civil war, 
daughters and daughter-in-law, and Dr. L. H. 
Goodwin, with his brothers Thomas and Benton, 
his sons, George W., Christopher Columbus and 
Flavius, and his stepdaughter; also John Rozelle, 
wife and three sons, and his son-in-law, William 
Harrington, and wife. The Rozelles and Har- 
ringtons soon moved to and settled in the Kittitas 
valley, then a part of Yakima county, where they 
suffered much the first winter from want and cold 
until brought back to the Yakima valley in Feb- 
ruary by the benevolent F. M. Thorp, who sent 
Andrew Gervais to their rescue. Here, also, 
was J. W. Copeland, who settled on the Ahtanum ; 
Nathan Olney, Perry and Jacob Cleman, and, no 
doubt, others. According to John Mattoon, who 
entered the employ of the government in March, 
1864, as an attache of the Indian agency at Fort 
Simcoe, the persons living in the vicinity of the 
fort besides himself, or as many of them as he 
can recall, were: Indian Agent Bancroft, Rev. 
James H. Wilbur, school superintendent and 
Methodist missionary ; James McGue, blacksmith ; 
Foster, wagon-maker; Praspex, gunsmith; Hall, 
carpenter; Wright, harness-maker; Carman, 
miller; Thompson, superintendent of farming; 
Dr. Miller, physician, and Sumner Barker, post 

The entire population of what are now Yakima 
and Kittitas counties probably did not exceed two 
hundred in 1865. Almost all except the agency 
people were in the cattle business. This seems 
like a small number indeed to bear the burdens 

[ 5 6 


of county organization, nevertheless in that year 
they were intrusted with the responsibilities and 
granted the benefits of a local government. In- 
deed, as early as 1863, the territorial legislature 
had showed its willingness to bestow upon the 
people of central Washington as large a degree of 
autonomy as possible by creating the county of 
Ferguson. The extent of this political subdivi- 
sion of the territory was thus described by sec- 
tion one of the act: "All that portion of Wash- 
ington territory lying north of the summit of the 
Simcoe range of mountains, bounded on the west 
by the summit of the Cascade range, and the 
counties of Walla Walla and Spokane on the east, 
and the Wenatchee river on the north. ' ' Section 
two enacted that James H. Wilbur, Alfred Hall 
and Place be appointed county commission- 
ers; W. Shaugh, justice of the peace, and 

Thorp, sheriff. The act was passed January 23, 
1863. But the few families then in the district 
took no interest in the new county ; the appointees 
were so little elated over the honors bestowed 
upon them that they never performed their 
respective duties, probably never qualified, and, 
in brief, the county gained no existence except 
on the statute book. The creating act was re- 
pealed January 18, 1S65. 

This step was, however, taken by the legisla- 
ture only for the purpose of clearing the way for 
other and more appropriate legislation. January 
21, 1865, another act was passed directly affecting 
the section with which this work is concerned. 
Its text in full is as follows : 

Establishing and Organizing the County of Yakima. 

Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Ter- 
ritory of Washington : 

Section 1. That the territory heretofore embraced in 
the county of Ferguson, lying and being south of a line 
running due west from a point two miles above the lower 
steamboat landing at Priest's rapids, on the Columbia 
river, to the summit of the Cascade mountains, be, and the 
same is hereby, constituted and organized into a separate 
county, to be known as and called Yakima county. 

Section 2. That said territory shall compose a county 
for civil and military purposes, and be subject to all the 
laws relating to counties, and be entitled to elect the same, 
officers as other counties are entitled to elect. 

Section 3. That, until the next general election. 
William Parker, J. H. Wilbur and Charles Splawn be and 
are hereby appointed county commissioners; that William 
Wright be and is hereby appointed county auditor ; that 

Thorp be and is hereby appointed county treasurer, 

and Gilbert Pell be and is hereby appointed sheriff, who 
shall, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of 
their respective offices, qualify in the manner as is now 
required by law for county officers. 

Section 4. The county seat of said county of Yakima 
is temporarily located at the house of William Wright. 

Section 5. That the said county of Yakima is attached 
for judicial purposes and for the election of members of 
the legislative assembly, to the county of Stevens. 

Section 6. This act to take effect and be in force from 
and after its passage. 

Approved January 21, 1865. 

In 1866 the county seat was removed to the 
home of F. Mortimer Thorp. For three years, 

or until that worthy pioneer moved away, it found 
lodgment in his house; then, it is thought, the 
officers met for a short time at Charles P. Cooke's, 
but about 1870, Yakima City, a small village at 
the mouth of the Ahtanum, became the seat of 
local government. The courthouse stood on a 
block of ground donated by the Earker Brothers, 
near their store. We are informed by Andrew 
C. Gervais that it was a story and a half box 
structure, and that the lower floor was used for a 
jail and sheriff's office, while the upper floor 
served as a court room and recorder's office. The 
records were moved to another building in 1S80. 

Throughout all the later sixties the country 
continued to settle up slowly, and gradually to 
take on the characteristics of a civilized com- 
munity. According to records in the local land 
office, the first surveys in Yakima valley were 
made by Charles A. White. The third standard 
parallel, runing between Yakima City and North 
Yakima, Leonard Thorp tells us, was the basis 
of this survey and the first township surveyed 
was township thirteen north, range eighteen east. 
The survey was extended in later years as the 
development and settlement of the county de- 

An incident of the early times which aroused 
considerable interest then and later was the ex- 
hibition at Fort Simcoe, by an old Indian named 
Zokeseye, of some silver-bearing rock. This was 
about 1862 or 1863. Zokeseye gave the quartz 
to the agency secretary, whose name was Walker, 
and about a week or ten days later Walker took 
it with him to The Dalles, Oregon, where he 
showed it, while intoxicated, to a California 
assayer, Blachley by name. Fully appreciating 
its richness, the Californian at once assayed the 
rock and found it to be nearly two-thirds silver. 
He questioned Walker regarding the place where 
it was discovered, and was sent to F. M. Thorp 
as the one who could most likely find the ledge 
on account of his friendliness with the Indians. 
Thorp joined him in a prospecting tour, taking 
along' some Indian guides, of whom, unfortun- 
ately, Zokeseye could not be one, as the old red 
man had died shortly after giving Walker the 

The party prospected for more than a month, 
going up the Tietan to the summit of the Cas- 
cades, thence northwest to the headwaters of 
Bumping river, exploring numerous streams, but 
finding nothing. 

After returning from this trip, Blachley went 
back to California, but the next summer he was 
again in the Yakima country, ready for another 
search. With Thorp and Indian guides and part 
of the time Charles Splawn, he explored the 
Wenatchee country, the upper Yakima and 
towards Mount Baker, going wherever the Indians 
reported the existence of the precious metals. 
The search was bootless. 

For several years afterward F. M. Thorp and 


Charles Splawn gave a portion of each summer 
to prospecting. Numerous other parties and. 
individuals sought earnestly for the Zokeseye 
lode during the sixties and seventies, and the 
story has been revived frequently in more re- 
cent times, but, despite every effort, the ledge 
from which the old Indian took his rich specimen 
is still a lost one. 

About the fall of 1864 a discovery of placer 
gold was made on what is known as Ringold 
bar on the west side of the Columbia river, twenty 
miles north of Goldendale, by a party of which 
a surveyor named Hall was one. Quite a large 
number of men flocked to the diggings, which 
were worked with water from the Columbia river. 
L. L. Thorp spent three months there and re- 
ceived as recompense for his labors only a 
twenty-dollar clean up, but White & Black, four 
claims below him, took out twenty-five hundred 
dollars in less than six weeks, while a French 
company did even better. The bar yielded some 
thirty thousand or forty thousand dollars in all 
to white miners, and an unknown sum to the 
Chinamen who washed its gravels intermittently 
for several years afterward. 

Persons who were here at the time speak of 
the year 1867 as a particularly mild and prosper- 
ous one, though its closing month brought some 
disaster to lowland settlers. A snowfall of six 
or eight inches was followed by three days of 
rain, causing all the streams and rivers to rise to 
high water mark. The Naches was especially 
high and the old Nelson farm, situated on a low 
flat close to the river, was greatly damaged. A 
rapid erosion followed the flood, threatening to 
undermine even the house and farm buildings. 
The family were compelled to leave their house 
at midnight, but though their place was greatly 
damaged, the house still stood when the waters 
subsided. The farm of James Allen, near by, 
was also seriously injured, and other lowland 
settlers suffered, though in a less degree. Next 
season the Nelsons moved to a spot a little higher 
up the Naches, where they located the home- 
steads now known by their names. 

Although the earliest settlers were practically 
all engaged in the stock business, the great in- 
dustry of the country, yet some experiments had 
been made in agriculture from the first; small 
ones, however, owing to the erroneous impression 
which prevailed as to the capabilities of the sage 
brush lands, and confined to the areas of sub- 
irrigation, near the streams. But the facts being 
as they were subsequently discovered to be, such 
experiments could tend in only one direction, 
namely, toward the ushering out of cattle raising 
on an extensive scale, and the ushering in of the 
era of irrigation, farming, horticulture and the 
like. The first attempts at fruit raising were ridi- 
culed by stockmen in general, who scouted the 
idea of planting trees in the desert. They lived 
to see their error, though the initial experiments 

were calculated to confirm them partially in their 
preconceived ideas. 

It is unnecessary to attempt to determine who 
first set out fruit trees within the limits of the 
county. No doubt many of the settlers planted a 
few in the late sixties and early seventies. 
Alfred Henson is said to have planted an orchard 
on river bottom lands in 1S66 which did not begin 
to bear until nine years old. N. T. Goodwin 
states that in 1868 he set out an orchard of one 
hundred and fifty trees on his homestead on the 
west side of the Yakima near the Moxee bridge. 
Being, like other pioneers, of the opinion that the 
sage brush land was worthless, he chose for his 
orchard a location on the bottom next to the 
river. The result was that the trees were washed 
away by high water. George Hinkle stated to 
the editor of the Herald that he planted an or- 
chard about 1868, and that his experiments seemed 
a failure at first, the tender limbs of the trees 
being destroyed by frost during the winter sea- 
son, but that the trees eventually got a start and 
bore bountifully. Mr. Goodwin states that in 
1870 a man named Vaughn made a successful 
attempt at fruit tree culture, and it is known that 
during that year the late Judge John Wilson Beck 
set out fifty apple and the same number of peach 
trees on his homestead above Yakima City. 
These and other like experiments in time dem- 
onstrated the adaptability of the country to fruit 

The culture of some kinds of vegetables was 
contemporaneous with the coming of the earliest 
settlers; indeed, had been tried in a small way by 
Indians before the cattlemen came in to spy out 
the land. Small quantities of cereals were also 
raised; always, however, on the bottoms near the 
streams. Perhaps one of the first, if not the first, 
to demonstrate that the sage brush land farther 
back contained elements of fertility was the N. 
T. Goodwin heretofore mentioned. He pre- 
empted land near the Moxee bridge in the spring 
of 1866. A year later he cleared the sage brush 
from a five-acre tract, and seeded it with wheat, 
obtained from the Walla Walla country. That 
fall he harvested a crop, averaging forty bushels 
to the acre. The result of this success and the 
practical demonstration it gave of the fertility of 
sage brush land was the starting of an irrigation 
enterprise, by a species of farmers' cooperative 
company. The promoters were Messrs. Good- 
win, Stollcop, Vaughn, Maybury and Simmons. 
Work was begun by these men during the spring 
of 1868, the intake of their canal being located 
about a mile above the mouth of the Naches 
river. The ditch was a small one. It had to be 
constructed under difficulties by men who were 
not blessed with an abundance of capital, and its 
progress was slow. By the early seventies, 
however, it was turned to good account by farm- 
ers near its head, though it was not completed to 
Mr. Goodwin's place until several years after- 


ward. In later times it was greatly enlarged and 
improved, becoming what is now known as the 
Union canal. Judge John Wilson Beck stated to 
a Herald reporter some time before his death that 
he constructed an irrigation ditch in 1872, "be- 
fore Charles Schanno built his ditch," taking the 
water out of the Yakima half a mile above the 
Moxee bridge, and conveying it in a rudely con- 
structed aqueduct to his homestead above Yaki- 
ma City. 

Simultaneous with or shortly after the con- 
struction of these simple and primitive irrigation 
canals, a number of others were put in, all small, 
each being used only by one or a few farmers. 
The era of extensive irrigation did not dawn 
until some years later. 

The interview with Judge Beck just referred 
to gives us a glimpse of conditions as they were 
when he came to the country in 1869. Among 
other things, he said: 

"After the close of the war I got the western 
fever, like a great many other people of the East. 
On June 1, 1865, our band of two hundred pio- 
neers met at Fort Kearney, Nebraska, according 
to agreement and started across the plains by ox 
teams. We followed the old Oregon trail and 
experienced the usual hardships of such a long 
journey by land. We had no trouble with the 
Indians, for they were well under subjection by 
that time. We landed in Walla Walla Septem- 
ber iS, 1865. That was a small place then with 
perhaps five hundred population. 

"I remained there four years, and in the 
spring of 1869 left for the Yakima valley. This 
was a memorable journey, and when I look back 
I marvel at the development that has taken place 
in a few short years. We crossed the Columbia 
at Umatilla and followed up its west bank to the 
Yakima, and thence to the present site of Pros- 
ser, where we crossed the Yakima. The first 
family we met was at the Henry Cock place, ten 
or fifteen miles above Prosser. Then came Ben 
Snipes' ranch at Snipes mountain. Our next 
stop was Sam. Chapell's place near the present 
site of Zillah. He lived one-half mile northeast 
of this city (North Yakima). George Taylor and 
Alfred Henson lived in the Selah valley. A man 
named Mauldin lived near the Naches bridge; a 
bachelor named Bell lived on the John Cleman 
place in theWenas; Alfred Miller and A. Cleman, 
the father of John Cleman, also lived on the 

"On the Ahtanum there were Andrew Ger- 
vais, James Allen, H. M. Benton, 'Judge' Olney, 
Joseph Bowser, Joseph Robbins and a man named 
Honsacker. Father Santosh was the priest at the 
time at the mission on the upper Ahtanum. As 
far as I can remember these were the families 
living in the valley when I came here, and for a 
short time afterward. [Judge Beck overlooked a 
considerable settlement in the Moxee valley.] 
While I enjoyed the isolation, we had to 

put up with a great many hardships and pri- 

"The only store in the county when I came 
was kept by O. D. and Sumner Barker, under 
the firm name of Barker Brothers. Their place 
of business was at Fort Simcoe, where we went 
to buy our necessaries of life and other things. 
Store goods of all kinds were high then. The 
freight from The Dalles over the mountains was 
two dollars a hundred pounds. Sugar sold at 
twenty cents; muslin, twenty cents; oil was five 
dollars a can or one dollar a gallon ; coffee, fifty 
cents; nails, ten cents; but meat was cheap be- 
cause this was the chief product of the valley at 
the time. We got our lumber and grist at Fort 

The gentleman who is responsible for the 
foregoing quoted statements received his title of 
judge from his having served as justice of the 
peace for twenty years continuously. He was 
the first to hold that office in the county, having 
been appointed in 1870. The Indians who took 
part in the massacre of Lorenzo Perkins and 
wife had their preliminary hearing before him, 
and Kipe, Salusakin, Tommy Hop-Towne, 
Tewowney, Wyanticat and Moosetonic were by 
him bound over to appear before the superior 
court for trial. It is stated that in all the years 
of his service as justice, and very many cases 
were tried before him, he rendered just one de- 
cision that was reversed by a higher tribunal. 

Mr. Beck's statement that there was only one 
store in the county in 1869 seems to be a little 
inaccurate. Wallace Wiley, who settled on the 
Ahtanum in early days, states that Joseph Bowser 
kept at his home, two miles east of the mission, a 
miniature trading post. The store room was a 
small addition to the cabin in which Mr. Bowser 
resided, and it could only be entered by the resi- 
dence part. When a customer appeared, the 
worthy merchant would retire to the store and 
attend to the wants of his patron (who was com- 
pelled to remain without), exhibiting the goods 
and receiving the price through a small window, 
the only aperture by which direct communication 
with the outside could be had from the store. 
The Indians soon dubbed this window the "pot- 
latch hole," and by that expressive sobriquet it 
became widely known among both races. It is 
stated, too, that a kind of general store was kept 
by a squaw man named French in Parker bottom. 
Mr. French was afterward killed in Klickitat 
county by a vicious horse. 

During the early seventies, the process of 
settling and subjugating the country, already 
begun in the preceding decade, was carried on 
quietly and slowly. August 13, 1870, the pioneer 
settlers were given the first substantial intimation 
that their isolation from the rest of the world 
and the inconvenience of getting their products 



to trade centers and their supplies back might 
some day be things of the past. On that date 
the Northern Pacific Railroad Company filed its 
map of preliminary location in the United States 
general land office. The map showed that the 
railroad, if built according to the then existing 
plans, would traverse Yakima and Kittitas val- 
leys, and to those of astuteness and prevision 
the future of the region began to reveal itself. 
Every step made by the Northern Pacific com- 
pany in promotion of its great scheme to span 
the continent by a mighty highway of steel gave 
an impetus to the general progress of Washing- 
ton territory, a progress in which every part of 
that commonwealth must necessarily have its 
share. There can be no doubt that the prospect 
of the transcontinental railway hastened on the 
work of settlement in Yakima county, though its 
influence was not specially marked at first. Time 
was required to demonstrate the value of the soil, 
the effect of irrigation and the practicability of 
agriculture; and when all of these were known, 
time was required to project and construct the 
great canal systems, without which farming, 
fruit raising or horticulture on a considerable 
scale was an impossibility. 

Then, too, in accordance with the laws of 
agricultural development which have obtained 
among all peoples, the wealth of pasturage the 
country afforded must show signs of coming 
exhaustion before sufficient incentive could exist 
for seeking the treasures it might hold as a 
reward for the husbandman's toil. 

But as already stated, there were premonitory 
signs of the larger and fuller development for 
central Washington very soon after the country 
was invaded by whites, and these signs did not 
disappear as time went on. Thus, in 1872, 
Sebastian Lauber and Charles and Joseph Schan- 
no began their efforts to get water upon their 
land at Yakima City. The first ditch was a 
small one, taking its water out of Wide Hollow 
creek. It did not prove satisfactory, as a suffi- 
cient water supply was available only while the 
snow lay on the foothills, so its proprietors de- 
cided to construct a large ditch, conveying water 
from the Naches river. Operations were begun 
in 1873. The surveys followed the path of least 
resistance, utilizing natural draws as much as 
possible. When completed, the ditch was eight- 
een feet wide on the bottom and carried a body 
of water eighteen inches deep under normal con- 
ditions, with a fall of a quarter of an inch to the 
rod. Its length exceeded eight miles. Plows 
and scrapers were used in its construction, and at 
times as many as fifteen or twenty men were 
employed in its deepest cuts. Water did not 
reach the old town of Yakima until 1875, the rea- 
son being that the bed of the canal was very po- 
rous, necessitating a great deal of puddling. 
This was the first ditch of large size and public 
utility to be constructed in the country. While 

the ditch later known as the Union canal was 
sooner started, it was of slower growth and did 
not develop into an important factor in the agri- 
cultural progress of the county until some time 
afterwards. Of course, the number of small, 
private ditches constructed for the use of one or 
a few farmers increased with the passage of time. 

Those who were residents of the Yakima 
country at the time will remember that a very 
noticeable earthquake occurred in the fall of 1872. 
No newspapers of that date are available and the 
memories of the old pioneers do not seem ade- 
quate to the task of fixing the day of the month 
upon which the seismic disturbance was experi- 
enced, but perhaps we are justified in supposing 
that the earthquake was the same as that noticed 
in many parts of the Inland Empire. If it was, 
it occurred on the evening of December 14th. 
The old north Idaho newspapers mention such a 
phenomenon at that time, as did the Baker City, 
Union and Walla Walla publications. Speaking 
of the shock in Yakima county, Wallace Wiley 
stated that the house on the Ahtanum in which 
his family lived was rocked with such violence as 
to scare the inmates. A Congregational minister, 
he said, was staying at his home with two chil- 
dren, and when the earth began its strange mo- 
tions he lost his head and ran out, taking one of 
the children with him, but temporarily forget- 
ting the other. At the mouth of Nasty creek, a 
small branch of the upper Ahtanum, Frank A. 
Splawn was then operating a small sash sawmill 
(said to be the first erected in the county). He 
was living alone in a little box house that he had 
built for temporary use. When the earthquake 
came his first thought was that mischievous boys 
were playing pranks on him, and wishing to give 
the practical jokers a scare, he rushed out, half- 
naked, gun in hand. The shock is described as 
consisting of two disturbances, the first being of 
considerable force and lasting several seconds, 
the second milder and of shorter duration. It 
did no damage. The time of its occurrence here 
is stated as late in the evening, and the eastern 
Oregon newspapers fixed the hour of the disturb- 
ance in those parts as 10:21 p. m. 

It is claimed that the summer of 1874 was 
rendered memorable by a remarkable series of 
earthquakes in central Washington, some of them 
of unusual severity. Indeed, it has been asserted 
that as many as sixty-four distinct shocks were 
counted. The Yakima Herald of March 4, 1892, 
states that not since Washington was known to 
white men had so great an earthquake been 
experienced within its confines. "The indica- 
tions of its force,"- continues the publication 
referred to, "are still seen in great crevices, huge 
stone monuments of queer shapes and broken 
trails. A great mountain at Chief Wapato John's 
ranch, near the mouth of the Chelan river, was 
rocked into the Columbia, damming that huge 
stream, flooding the chief's ranch, carrying away 


his house, and forcing him to fly for his life. 
It was a number of days before the waters washed 
away a portion of the rocks and receded to any- 
where near their original level. Chief John was 
so thoroughly scared that he never returned to 
his ranch. " It is thought by some that the flood- 
ing of Wapato John's ranch was an incident of 
the earthquake of 1872. 

Leonard Thorp tells us that in 1874 a slide 
took place on the west side of Yakima river a few 
miles above the mouth of the Satus, opposite 
Snipes mountain. A slice of rock a quarter of a 
mile wide and of still greater length broke away 
from its fastening, forming an interesting monu- 
ment to the force of the internal convulsions in 
that region. In other parts of Yakima county 
great cracks were made in solid rocks, and con- 
siderable excitement, sometimes feelings of appre- 
hension and terror, were aroused, but no damage 
was done. 

It is worthy of notice at this point that by leg- 
islative enactment approved November 14, 1873, 
the boundaries of Yakima county, as defined in 
the creating act heretofore quoted, were changed 
somewhat, the new boundary on the south and a 
part of that on the east being thus described: 
"Commencing at the northwest corner of town- 
ship number six north of rar»ge number twelve 
east; thence east along the north boundary of 
township number six north, until said line inter- 
sects the Columbia river, thence north up the 
mid-channel of said river to the mouth of the 
Yakima river." 

In 1875 the interests of Yakima and other 
counties of central Washington received due 
attention from the territorial legislature, as 
appears from the fact that a memorial to congress 
was that year passed asking for an appropriation 
from the national treasury of fifty thousand dol- 
lars for the construction of a wagon road to con- 
nect King and Yakima counties, said road to lead 
through the Snoqualmie pass. The memorial 
also petitioned that E. P. Boyles, George Taylor, 
F. R. Geddis, Jeremiah W. Borst and Rufus 
Sterns be constituted a board of commissioners to 
disburse said appropriation. Its initial paragraph 

"Your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly 
of the Territory of Washington, would respect- 
fully represent to your honorable body, that the 
Cascade range of mountains divides the territory 
into western and eastern Washington ; that east- 
ern Washington Territory is almost exclusively a 
grazing and agricultural country; that in the 
western country the lumbering and mining in- 
dustries largely predominate; and that the west- 
ern is largely dependent upon Oregon and the 
eastern portion for its supply of beef and bread- 
stuffs; that even in the present undeveloped con- 
dition of the western, $200,000 in gold is taken 
annually from the Puget Sound district to the 
eastern portion for beef cattle, which sum is 

expended by the cattle raiser of the eastern sec- 
tion without this territory to the great detriment 
of the western and the whole territory; that the 
wheat, breadstuffs and dairy products of eastern 
Washington have to seek a market without this 
territory to the great detriment of both sections; 
that Puget sound is the safest and most accessible 
harbor known and affords facilities for commerce 
superior to any other body of water in the world ; 
that a connection of the material interests of the 
eastern and western sections of the territory 
would insure a rapid increase of population and 
wealth ; that direct mail facilities by said pass are 
of great necessity; that a semi-weekly mail and 
stage line could run on such road with very little 
interruption from snow, and accommodate the 
traveling public many times when they could not 
be accommodated by way of the Columbia river 
on account of ice. The unity and ultimate pros- 
perity of both sections of the territory require 
that every means be fostered to protect and pro- 
mote the material interests of both sections." 

For some reason the national government did 
not see fit to make the appropriation petitioned 
for or any appropriation, and the much desired 
aid to communication with Puget sound was not 
secured at this time. 

The same legislature memorialized the post- 
master-general of the United States relative to 
the establishment of a mail route from Seattle to 
Wallula. As giving an idea of conditions obtain- 
ing during the period, its language is here repro- 
duced : 

To the Honorable Postmaster-General of the United States. 

Your memorialists, the Legislative Assembly of the 
Territory of Washington, would respectfully represent that 
there are over 2,000 inhabitants in the valley of the Yak- 
ima river in Yakima county in this Territory, and the num- 
ber is very rapidly increasing in consequence of recently 
discovered gold mines in said valley, as well as the rich 
and extensive agricultural and grazing lands in that sec- 
tion; that a large portion of the people of said valley are 
entirely without mail service, and that what service there 
is in said valley is by very circuitous routes, namely, to 
Wallula via Umatilla on the Columbia river, over the 
foothills of the Blue mountains, and to Puget sound via 
the Columbia river. Also that there is no postoffjce at 
the mouth of the Yakima river, where one is very much 
needed to accommodate a large settlement at that point. 

Your memorialists prav that a mail route may be estab- 
lished from Seattle, in 'King county, via the Snoqualmie 
pass to Ellensburg, thence to Yakima City, thence to Smith 
Barnum's at the mouth of the Yakima river, and thence to 
Wallula on the Columbia river; that a postoffice be estab- 
lished at Smith Barnum's, at the mouth of the Yakima 
river, and that Smith Barnum be appointed postmaster of 
said postoffice Also that a semi-weekly mail service be 
immediately established on such route. 

Passed the House of Representatives October 12, 1875. 
Elwood Evans, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

Passed the Council October 12, 1875. 

B. F. Shaw, 
President of the Council. 

Thus it will be seen that the early settlers, 
though their major industry was such as thrives 


in isolated communities, were somewhat restive 
under the inconveniences and privations of their 
lonely life, and occasionally attempted to tear 
down the barriers which separated them so com- 
pletely from the rest of mankind. The social 
instincts were strong within them. They pos- 
sessed as broad a public spirit as did the residents 
of any other portion of the territory, and were 
willing to co-operate with others in an effort to 
build up a harmonious commonwealth, whose 
people should be drawn together by the ties of 
mutual interdependence and trade relationships. 
Furthermore, the pioneer stockmen were alert 
to secure from time to time new and more conve- 
nient markets for the products of their vast herds. 
During the first decade of the industry their beef 
found sale in the mines of British Columbia, 
Idaho and Montana. The annual drives would 
start from Yakima in the spring and would last 
for several months, in the course of which the 
value of each animal would increase from forty 
dollars at Yakima to from seventy-five to one 
hundred at the mines, but the danger of loss en 
route was great, not a few cattle perishing in 
attempts to cross the swift streams or being ap- 
propriated by the predacious savages and cattle 
rustlers. In 1869 the attention of central Wash- 
ington stockmen was attracted toward the sound 
country as likely to furnish a promising market. 
About that time Joseph Borst, of Booth, Foss & 
Borst, butchers, of Seattle, came to the country 

by way of the Snoqualmie pass, purchased a num- 
ber of steers and drove them over the Cascades. 
Having found these animals larger, fatter and 
better than those produced on the west side, they 
continued to seek a supply of beef in the Yakima 
valley. Other sound buyers followed their ex- 
ample, and a trade grew up between the two sec- 
tions of the state which has continued to increase 
in importance, though changing in character with 
the change of conditions. 

Notwithstanding the development of new 
markets, the cattle industry outgrew the require- 
ments of the country, and the result was a decided 
slump in prices. For a number of years fine beef 
animals could be purchased for eighteen and 
twenty dollars per head, but about the middle 
seventies, eastern men began stocking the 
Wyoming ranges, thereby increasing the demand 
for, and enhancing the value of, neat cattle. 
However, the impetus thus given to the industry 
was nullified completely by the severe winter of 
1880-81 ; the business was further curtailed by the 
introduction of sheep and consequent injury to 
the range, as also by the development of other 
antagonistic industries, and in the later eighties 
it began its long decline. While cattle are still 
an important factor in the wealth production of 
Yakima county, the industry is very unlike that 
of the earlier days, when countless thousands 
roamed freely over the hills, and the cowboy was 
a power in the land. 



The years 1877 aQ d 1878 were characterized 
by not a little Indian difficulty throughout the 
whole Northwest. During the former twelve 
months the non-treaty Nez Perces and other 
disaffected Indians took the warpath under the 
leadership of Chief Joseph, and during the 
latter the Piutes and Bannocks started, with 
Chiefs Buffalo Horn and Egan at their head, on 
a marauding expedition. The war of 1877 had 
its seat at too great a distance from the central 
Washington country to seriously affect this sec- 
tion, though an Indian war always causes 
uneasiness and excitement among the tribes any- 
where within hundreds of miles of the scene of 
hostilities. There were several leaders among 
the Columbia river Indians known to be dis- 

affected. Naturally, then, some apprehension 
was felt by the settlers and agency people and a 
close watch was maintained upon the movements 
of the Indians, lest some hot-heads among them 
should start on a career of murder and pillage. 
But the war of 1877 was fought to a conclusion 
without bringing any disaster to this part of the 

Much more direct and important was the 
influence of the war of 1878. The actual fighting 
in this conflict was likewise without the territory 
with which oui* history purposes to deal, but that 
the plans of the belligerent red men contem- 
plated a campaign of slaughter in the Yakima 
valley there could be no doubt. During the con- 
tinuance of hostilities, the people were on the 


verge of a volcano that might break forth in 
furious, destructive eruption at any moment. A 
brief outline of the hostile expedition which 
occasioned so much apprehension in Yakima 
and Kittitas counties is necessary to a correct 
understanding of conditions at this period. 

The causes of the Bannock and Piute outbreak 
of 1878 are not definitely known. Gilbert, in his 
"Historical Sketches," says: "Buffalo Horn 
was a celebrated warrior who had the year before 
aided the government against Chief Joseph and 
his hostile band of Nez Perces. His reward 
for such service was not in keeping with his 
estimate of its value and importance. He saw 
Chief Joseph honored and made the recipient of 
presents and flattering attentions, while the 
great Buffalo Horn was practically ignored. His 
philosophical mind at once led him to the conclu- 
sion that more favors could be wrung from the 
government by hostility than by fighting its 

Colonel William Parsons, of Pendleton, who 
has given the subject considerable study, thinks 
this surmise very wide of the truth. "From 
time immemorial," says he, "the Bannocks have 
been hereditary enemies of the Oregon and Idaho 
Indians, including the Cayuses, Umatillas, Walla 
Wallas and Nez Perces, and more than once they 
crossed the Blue mountains and inflicted bitter 
injuries upon the Cayuses and their allies. 
Therefore, when Chief Joseph and his band of 
non-treaty Nez Perces took up arms in 1877, and 
began their famous retreat through the Lolo 
pass and the Yellowstone park to the British 
possessions, the Bannocks furnished nearly a 
hundred warriors to harass the fleeing Nez 
Perces. They saw the whole of that remarkable 
campaign; they saw Joseph, with less than four 
hundred warriors and encumbered with one 
thousand women and children, carry on a run- 
ning fight for fourteen hundred miles, eluding 
Howard again and again, recapturing his camp 
at Big Hole Basin from General Gibbon and 
pursuing the latter so fiercely that nothing but 
his reserve artillery saved him from annihilation, 
and finally surrendering with the honors of war 
to General Miles at Bear Paw mountain, near 
the British line. He saw Joseph captured, but 
not dishonored, and became jealous of the Nez 
Perce chieftain's military fame; he also realized, 
when it was too late, that he had made a serious 
mistake in joining his forces to those of the 
whites in the pursuit and capture of the brave 
Nez Perces, and that in gratifying a tribal 
grudge, he had dealt a deadly blow at the Indian 
race; he saw the whites crowding into Montana 
and Idaho, his people ordered within the confines 
of the Fort Hall reservation, and it finally 
dawned upon his benighted mind that the same 
chains which had been fastened to the ankles of 
Joseph were already forged for his and were 
about to be riveted upon them. Buffalo Horn 

was something of a statesman but no general. 
He came to the conclusion that if he could unite 
all the Indians west of the Missouri into a con- 
federacy, the whites could be wiped out. There- 
fore he visited the various bands of the Utes, 
Shoshones, Umatillas, Cayuses and Walla Wallas . 
and sent runners to the Columbias, Spokanes, 
I Chief Moses' band and other northern Indians, 
requesting them to unite with him in a final 
effort to drive the whites out of the Inland 

There can be no doubt that Buffalo Horn's 
acts of hostility were inspired by jealousy and 
ambition. His ■ schemes were comprehensive, 
well conceived, seemingly feasible, and could he 
have combined Joseph's ability to execute with 
his own ability to plan, the result would have 
been serious indeed for the whites. But no 
Joseph arose to lead on the Indian hordes, and the 
scheme failed. 

Buffalo Horn's overtures to the other bands 
of Indians being received with favor, he set out 
from Fort Hall on his marauding and pillaging 
expedition early in June, 1878. The Bannocks 
and a number of Shoshones were joined by large 
bands of Piutes under the command of their war 
chief, Egan. The confederated force numbered 
perhaps five hundred warriors and about fifteen 
hundred women and children. Their plan was 
to move west and north from Pocatello, past 
Boise, until a junction was formed with the 
Umatillas, Cayuses, Walla Wallas and Colum- 
bias, on the Umatilla reservation; then, devastat- 
ing the country, to move north, uniting with the 
Spokanes and other Indians in northern Wash- 
ington, there to make a stand, but if hard pressed 
to retire across the British line. 

Going around Boise, where there was a con- 
siderable military force, and keeping in the lava 
beds, timber and thinly settled portions of the 
country, they encountered during the first part 
of their march but little opposition. But they 
could not desist from murdering the few whites 
or Chinamen whom they met, and the result 
was that alarm was taken and opposing forces 
were put into the field before the execution of 
their plans could be well begun. They received 
at Silver creek, Idaho, a severe check from 
Colonels Robbins and Bernard, the former of 
whom had a fierce hand-to-hand encounter with 
Egan, which resulted in some very bad wounds 
for the red man. 

Upon Egan, however, wounded though he 
was and incompetent at best, soon devolved the 
command of the united forces, for Buffalo Horn 
was killed in a skirmish before reaching the Blue 
mountains. The consternation in eastern 
Oregon, on the approach of the hostiles, can 
hardly be imagined. "In wagons, on horseback 
and on foot, the settlers hastened to the nearest 
towns for protection. Pendleton, Umatilla, 
Wallula, Milton and Walla Walla were crowded 


with refugees. Homes were abandoned so 
hastily that neither provisions nor extra clothing 
were provided. All settlements within reach of 
the warning voice were deserted in a day. Cattle 
and sheep men in the mountains were in a pre- 
carious situation, and many were killed before 
they could reach places of safety. Major Corn- 
oyer, the Indian agent, gathered in all the 
Indians possible, including the Columbia river 
and Warm Spring Indians, amounting to about 
two thousand, the loyalty of many of whom was 
seriously doubted. But while most of the 
settlers escaped to towns, it must not be forgotten 
that the towns themselves were scarcely able to 
make any defense. Pendleton had not more than 
one hundred and fifty inhabitants. Heppner, 
Wallula, Weston and Milton were mere hamlets. 
They were widely separated — too far for mutual 
support — and fifteen hundred savage warriors 
were supposed to be about to fall upon them. 
Pendleton was to receive the first assault. " 

Had Egan marched upon Pendleton without 
delay during the early days of July, he could 
have captured the town almost without an effort. 
But instead of striking a decisive blow before the 
troops from Walla Walla and the volunteers 
from Weston, Milton and other points could con- 
centrate, he frittered away the time in killing a 
few sheep herders and skirmishing with Captain 
Wilson's handful of thirty men. "So small was 
the force of the whites at Pendleton," says 
Parsons, "and so badly was it provided with 
arms and competent officers, to say nothing of 
its utter demoralization through rumors and 
reports of the overwhelming strength of the 
Indians, that men who were present affirm that 
if one hundred Indians had made a sharp attack 
on the 4th, 5th or 6th of July, the town would 
have fallen. If Egan's whole force of five 
hundred warriors had made the assault the 
valley of the Umatilla from the Blue mountains 
to the Columbia would have been swept clear of 
the whites. The Umatilla reservation Indians 
would have been forced to unite with the 
hostiles; the Columbias and the Washington 
Indians would have followed their example and