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CHAPTER XIII.

THE CATHOLIC MISSIONS—MORE OF THE PRESBYTERIANS.

1838-1847.

Call of the French Canadians—Coming of Blanchet and Demers—The Vicar-general among the Cayuses—St Francis Xavier on the Cowlitz—Protestant and Catholic Rivalry—Langlois and Bolduc—The Jesuits in the North-west—Labors of Father De Smet—Point and Mangarini—St Marys on the Bitter Root— Mission of the Sacred Heart—De Vos and Hoeken—Jesuit Reënforcements—Blanchet Made Archbishop—St Pauls—Affairs at Waiilatpu and Lapwai—Insolence of the Savages—Whitman's Winter Journey to the East—His Treatment by the Board—Return and Disappointment.

After the free French Canadians of the Valley Willamette had become fairly settled in their new home, they found time to turn their attention to the moral and educational advancement of their little community. Their first effort in this direction was made July 3, 1834, when they wrote to J. N. Provencher, bishop of Juliopolis in the Red River settlement, asking that religious teachers might be sent to Oregon. The arrival of the Methodist missionaries early in 1835 made the Catholics more anxious than ever to have among them instructors of their own faith, and on the 23d of February they addressed a second appeal to the bishop. To these petitions Provencher replied by enclosing to McLoughlin a letter of advice and consolation, in which he regretted that no priests could be spared from the Red River settlement, but promised to obtain help from Europe or Canada as soon as possible.

The following year the governor and a committee of the Hudson's Bay Company in London were asked passage for two priests to Oregon by the company's annual express from Montreal, the object being to establish a Catholic mission in the Willamette Valley The company would grant the request on one condition, namely, that the proposed mission should be established in the Cowlitz Valley, the reason given, being that the sovereignty of the British north of the Columbia was unquestioned, while the right to the country south of the Columbia was still undecided.[1]

No objection being made to this requirement, the archbishop of Quebec appointed the Rev. Francis Norbert Blanchet, then curé des Cédres, Montreal district, to the charge of the Oregon Mission, with the title 'of vicar-general, and for his assistant gave him the Rev Modeste Demers of the district of Juhopohs. They left Montreal in May 1838, with the company s express, which also had a number of other travellers under its protection. All went well till the -Little Dalles, on the Columbia, was reached. While the partv were descending these dangerous rapids one ot the boats was wrecked and nearly half the company were drowned.[2]

At Fort Colville the priests were received with the same demonstrations of pleasure that had given encouragement to the Protestant missionaries m eastern Oregon on their first appearance. During a stay of four days nineteen persons were baptized, mass was said, and the natives appeared to take great interest in the sacred rites.[3] At Fort Okanagan they met with similar success, and baptized a number of persons. At Fort Walla Walla a few natives were baptized, but having been recently taught by Whitman, they were less demonstrative, though, at the same time, more observant and critical. On witnessing mass, with all those accessories which appeal most powerfully to the imagination of the savage, they were, according to the vicar-general, "struck with amazement." Had Blanchet been more fully informed concerning the religious antecedents of the Cayuses, he would have been able to account for the interest exhibited by them in this mysterious ceremony, which brought to their recollection all they had ever heard from their Iroquois teachers, or learned from their intercourse with the French trappers and voyageurs, and which they were now wonderingly contrasting with the less decorative and more coldly ideal worship of the Presbyterian missionaries.

The appearance of the priests in their dark robes, their frequent mystical signs of reverence, their chastity, their apparent indifference to secular affairs, all impressed the natives with the sublimity and gravity of the faith. The Umatilla branch of the Cayuses especially showed a strong leaning toward this religion, so that already the 'blackgowns,' as the priests were called, began to divide the natives against themselves in things spiritual. On arriving at Fort Vancouver the Catholic missionaries were waited upon by a delegation from the Canadian settlement, consisting of Joseph Gervais, Étienne Lucier, and Pierre Belleque; but no promise of an establishment on the Willamette was given them at this time. Mass was first celebrated at the fort on the 25th of November; and it is related that many of the Canadians were affected to tears, not having enjoyed this religious privilege for many years. After remaining some time at Vancouver, Blanchet visited the Canadian settlement on the Cowlitz. On returning he spent a month in the Willamette Valley.

One of the first steps taken by the Catholic fathers was to separate for a short time the Canadians from their Indian wives, after which they were married according to the rites of the church. The vicar-general sums up his labors for the winter under the head of baptisms one hundred and thirty-four, sepultures nine, and marriages forty-nine. Not only did he marry the unmarried, but remarried those before united by the Protestant ministers, to the unutterable disgust of the latter. He also withdrew a number of persons from the temperance society formed by the Methodists, and from their prayer-meetings.

In the summer of 1839 Demers paid a visit to the interior. For thirty days he taught the natives in the vicinity of Fort Colville, after which he spent two weeks at Fort Walla Walla in the same manner, In the mean time the vicar-general had established himself among the Cowlitz in a log house twenty by thirty feet in size erected for his use, and had received the first-fruits of the mission farm, which amounted to six bushels of wheat and nine bushels of pease. His farmer had fenced twenty-four acres, and ploughed fifteen besides for the autumn sowing. His house was used both as a residence and a chapel, and the establishment received the name of St Francis Xavier. A visit was made to the natives at Nisqually during the summer, and in the autumn both Blanchet and Demers repaired to Fort Vancouver, where they received permission from Douglas, McLoughlin not yet having arrived from England, to form an establishment in the Willamette Valley, the governor and committee having withdrawn their objections. On what grounds the prohibition was removed does not appear; but it is probable that McLoughlin represented to the directors in London that the Canadian families in the Willamette were permanently settled, and being free, had a right to live where they liked, and choose their own teachers.

The vicar-general repaired immediately to the Canadian settlement on the Willamette, where a log church was already awaiting him, four miles above Champoeg, having been built in 1836 when the French began to entertain the hope of having priests among them.[4] Here Blanchet took up his residence October 12th. On the 23d of December he blessed the bell he had brought with him, and on the 6th of January, 1840, the humble edifice was formally dedicated to St Paul, and mass was celebrated for the first time in the Willamette Valley. The next three weeks were chiefly devoted to religious exercises, the men being examined to ascertain if their prayers were remembered, the women and children instructed in their duties, and all made to confess their sins. The fourth week was occupied in visiting the settlers at their homes, and in selecting a square mile of land for the Catholic establishment.

In the mean time, Demers, having finished his visit to Nisqually, was assigned to the charge of the Cowlitz establishment, where he arrived the 13th of October, 1839. Next day he hung and rang out the first church-bell ever heard in the territory. There were at this time but eight families on the Cowlitz, including altogether forty-six persons, which number was occasionally augmented as more men were required by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. To these persons Demers gave religious instruction during the early portion of the winter; and endeavored in the spring to impart a limited knowledge of farming to the natives within reach in the hope of ameliorating their condition.

During the earlier part of 1840 the jealous rivalry between the Catholic and Methodist missionaries was shown with much bitterness on both sides. The former regarded it as impudent intrusion that Protestant ministers should preach their heretical creed to the Catholic Canadians, or even attempt to convert the natives; while the latter naturally took an exactly opposite view of the matter. This feeling was frequently the cause of mutual recriminations which were generally without foundation in fact, while in some cases the missionaries so far forgot the dignity of their calling as to proceed to acts of mild hostility against each other. Thus Blanchet relates in his history[5] that Leslie, in revenge for his action in remarrying those persons already united by the Methodist ministers, instituted a revival, which was, however, barren of fruits; that Daniel Lee endeavored to make proselytes by praying in the houses of the Canadians, and that the Methodists circulated among the Catholics an obscene book,[6] which pretended to give awful disclosures concerning conventual life in Montreal. Further, that a complaint was made to Douglas by the Methodists, because the Catholic missionaries were using their influence "to keep the lambs of the flock out of the clutches of the Wesleyan wolves," and that the governor told his informant very curtly that "it was none of his business."

Blanchet then proceeds artlessly to laud his own zeal by describing how he meddled with Waller's missionary work at the falls of the Willamette in 1840, on which occasion he claims to have christianized the most degraded company of savages in Oregon in seven days, though he was obliged every day to run after the lazy Indians to bring them to his tent. Finally he baptized eleven children, and as the result of his week's labors found that "nine families out of ten had been rescued from brother Waller." In return for this interference with his mission, Waller pulled down a flag hoisted on Sunday by Blanchet's order. But the latter declares that he was consoled for this insult because some Clatsops, seeing the altar, ornaments, and vestments, spoke disparagingly of the Protestant missionaries, who had never shown them such pretty things.[7]

The childish quarrels, of which this is an example, might well be overlooked were it not necessary to refer to sectarian feuds hereafter to account for events of greater importance.

Despite their troubles with the Methodists, Blanchet and Demers labored industriously to disseminate their religion. They visited distant tribes and baptized a vast number of infant savages, attended to the spiritual wants of the fur company's servants, most of whom were Catholics and taught diligently at St Paul and St Xavier. Aside from their super-abundant zeal, they were excellent men and faithfully discharged their duties as they understood them. If they drew away from the Methodist school the children of the French settlers, they did not neglect their education afterward, but were as zealous to establish institutions of learning as Jason Lee himself.[8] Nor were they behind in erecting mills and making improvements which might give them a title to the lands occupied by them when the United States should carry out its promise of free farms to actual settlers.

The immediate effect of the arrival of Blanchet and Demers was to unite the French settlers in a community by themselves, and thus weaken the power of the Methodist Mission as a political body. This is shown by the fact that the first two petitions of the settlers to the United States congress were signed equally by French and Americans, but the subsequent memorials by Americans only. It increased the hostility of the latter toward the fur company, and especially toward McLoughlin, to whose jealousy of them the Methodists attributed the action of the company in allowing, or as they believed in inviting, the Catholics to settle in the territory. This suspicion was strengthened when McLoughlin joined the Catholic church in 1842. It then began to be said of him ^ that he had always been a Catholic, and a very Jesuitical one, and that he was plotting against Protestantism and American progress in every form; and though nothing could be further from the truth,[9] these accusations°had great weight with those opposed to him from personal, sectarian, or political motives. ibat neither McLoughlin nor the fur company had any intention of covering the country with missions, as the Americans had done, was evident from the refusal of the committee to allow two other priests, Rev. A. Landois and J, B. Z. Bolduc, to follow the first two to Oregon, by denying them a passage in their express in 1841, although this did not prevent their coming the year following by sea.


The reader will remember that a petition of the Flatheads for white teachers, sent to St Louis about 1832, or perhaps even earlier,[10] was really the original cause of the missionary movement into Oregon which followed. The earlier parties, however, either did not pass through, or did not remain in the region about the head waters of the Columbia, and it was not until 1840 that the Flatheads began to reap the benefits of religion which the western tribes had been enjoying for several years.[11] In the spring of 1840 Pierre J. De Smet, a Jesuit, left the Missouri at Westport in company with the large party of fur-traders, immigrants, and independent missionaries who crossed the Rocky Mountains in that year. At the rendezvous he was met by a party of Flatheads, who had heard of his arrival, and by them escorted to their country. De Smet was a worthy member of his order. Young, handsome, intellectual, educated, and energetic, he was well fitted to make a favorable impression upon the savages, and to succeed in a field which others had either shunned or abandoned. On becoming acquainted with the Flatheads, he was surprised, as Bonneville, Townsend, and Parker had been, at the similarity between their religious practices and those of his own creed, but this ho accepted as a proof of the special power of his religion to impress itself at once upon the minds of the heathen The evening of his first day among them was closed with a prayer and solemn chant, and prayer was again offered in the morning. On the second day he translated to them, with the aid of an interpreter, the Lord's Prayer, the creed, and the commandments. In a fortnight two thousand Flatheads knew the prayers. In two months six hundred were admitted to baptism.

This gratifying success led De Smet to think of procuring assistance and extending his labors among the savage nations of Oregon. But to his surprise he now for the first time learned of the presence in the territory of Blanchet and Demers, and of their missions to the tribes on the upper Columbia. He forthwith wrote to Demers, and communicated his plans of bringing out more priests for the work of the Rocky Mountains, and at once set about carrying them forward by hastening to St Louis and returning the following year with the Rev. Gregorio Mengarini of Rome, Rev. Nicolas Point, a Vendean, and three lay brothers, good mechanics, who were needed to erect the buildings requisite for two mission establishments.

The site of the Flathead mission was selected on the Bitter Root River, September 24, 1841, the cross planted, and the mission of St Mary founded. De Smet then proceeded to Fort Colville for supplies, while the mechanics constructed a residence and chapel, and the natives were instructed by Point and Mengarini. Failing to procure provisions for the winter, the natives were dismissed after Christmas, Point going with the hunters to the chase, and braving the danger of the Blackfoot, while De Smet and Mengarini remained to teach the remaining members of their charge. The lay brothers employed themselves in erecting a palisade about the mission buildings. They did not by any means pass a comfortable winter, but thanked God it was no worse. In the spring De Smet visited Fort Vancouver in the hope of procuring the requisite supplies to make the mission among the Flatheads a permanent one. On this journey he narrowly escaped death in the rapids at the Dalles, for, while he made the portage on foot, the boat with five persons in it, and his baggage, was swallowed by a whirlpool.[12]

At Fort Vancouver De Smet again failed to secure the required aid, and after conferring with Blanchet and Demers, determined to make a further appeal to St Louis for assistance. Returning to St Mary, he directed Point to found a new mission, under the name of the Sacred Heart, among the Coeurs d'Alêne, and set out in August for the Missouri border to lay the wants of the savages before his superiors. The result of his appeal was, that in the following year, 1843, fathers Peter De Vos and Adrian Hoeken, with three lay brothers, were ordered to the Rocky Mountains, while De Smet himself was despatched to Europe to enlist other aid for the new field of Oregon.[13] In the same year seven lay brothers came from Canada with the annual brigade, Blanchet having made such representations to Simpson at Vancouver as to overcome his objections.[14]

De Smet's journey to Europe was eminently successful. He returned to Oregon July 31, 1844, accompanied by fathers Antonio Ravalli, Giovanni Nobili, Aloysius Vercruysse, Michele Accolti, several lay brothers, and six sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. They arrived, like the Methodist reënforcement of 1840, in a chartered vessel, the bark L'Indefatigable, from Antwerp, bringing money and material for the prosecution of their plans of establishing Catholic schools in the Willamette Valley, and Indian missions in the more remote parts of the territory.[15] The sisters took possession of a convent erected for them on French Prairie, called St Mary, on the 19th of October, and opened a school for girls soon after. A boys' college, named St Joseph, was already in operation, under the charge of Rev. J. B. Bolduc, who came from Canada by sea, in 1842, as previously mentioned.[16]


During De Smet's visit to Europe, Oregon was erected into an apostolic vicariate by Pope Gregory XVI., who appointed Blanchet archbishop of the territory, Demers succeeding him as vicar-general The briefs were made out December 1, 1843, and reached Oregon November 4, 1844. Soon afterward Blanchet proceeded by sea to Canada, to receive his consecration at the hands of the archbishop of Quebec. He then made a voyage to Europe to devise means of increasing the resources of the Oregon mission. He met with great success in securing funds and volunteers,[17] and returned to Oregon in August 1847, with twenty-one recruits, among whom were seven sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; three Jesuit priests, Gaets, Gazzoli, and Menestrey, with three lay brothers; five secular priests, Le Bas, McCormick, Deleveau, Pretot, and Veyret; two deacons, B. Delorme and J. F. Jayol; and one cleric, T. Mesplie.[18]

With the aid of his reinforcements De Smet did brave work, founding in rapid succession the mission of St Ignatius, among the Pend d'Oreilles, and the chapels of St Francis Borgia, among the Kalispelms, St Francis Regis in Colville Valley, St Peters at the Great Lakes of the Columbia, the Assumption on Flatbow Lake, and the Holy Heart of Mary among the Kootenais. De Vos and Accolti were placed in charge of St Ignatius, where a mission farm was opened. De Smet employed much of his time travelling among the aborigines; and as there was much despatch used in making converts, it was claimed that between 1840 and 1846 six thousand natives embraced the Catholic faith.[19]

During the absence of Archbishop Blanchet in Europe his vicariate had been erected into an ecclesiastical province, containing the three sees of Oregon City, Walla Walla, and Vancouver Island; the first being allotted to the archbishop, the second to his brother, the Rev. A. M. A. Blanchet, canon of Montreal, and the third to Vicar-general Demers. The bishop of Walla Walla proceeded from Montreal to Oregon by way of St Louis, where he was joined by nine others, among whom were the Oblate Fathers and two lay brothers, two secular priests, namely, J. B. A. Brouillet, appointed vicar-general of Walla Walla, and Father Rosseau; and a deacon, Guillaume Leclaire. Brouillet and Rosseau immediately took up

their residence at the Cay use camp on the Umatilla, in a house provided by the chief Tauitau, while the Oblate Fathers went to found a mission among the Yakimas.[20]

By the 1st of November, 1847, the Catholic missionary force in Oregon Territory consisted of three bishops, fourteen Jesuit fathers, four Oblate Fathers, thirteen secular priests, including a deacon and a cleric, and thirteen sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, besides the lay brethren. Yet there was not a priest to spare to accompany Bishop Demers to Vancouver Island, and he was forced to make a journey to Europe in 1848, to raise funds, and enlist missionaries for his diocese.

In 1843 title was secured to a site for a church in Oregon City, which was completed and dedicated February 8, 1846. On the 24th of May the cornerstone of a new brick church at St Pauls was laid, which was opened for service on the 1st of November.[21] This edifice was 100 feet in length, by 45 in breadth, with wings 20 feet in length, used for chapels, and a belfry tower 84 feet in height.


That the Protestants of the Willamette Valley should be able to look upon the achievements of the Catholics without jealousy was not to be expected. Had they possessed the utmost liberality in religious matters, there was still the fear of foreign influences, and anti- American sentiments in their midst at a critical period of the colony's existence, which might defeat the most important ends at which they were aiming. This feeling of apprehension served, on fre- quent occasions, to hold the balance even or to prompt certain conciliatory measures, when there was danger of a conflict of opinion dividing the population on colonial questions, as will be more clearly illustrated in a future chapter on government affairs. In the matter of religious differences, when the Methodist Mission was dissolved, the chief cause of irritation was removed, and Protestant and Catholic labored side by side with similar if not coincident aims, and without seriously interfering with one another. It was not, therefore, in the Willamette Valley that the intrusion of another form of religion was regarded with the greatest uneasiness, but in the unsettled Indian country east of the Cascade Mountains, where a few isolated fam- ilies were endeavoring to teach the first principles of progress to wilful and capricious savages, and where any interference with their labors was sure to create a division among the natives, which might destroy the effect of all their efforts.

The experience of the Presbyterian missionaries was entirely different from that of their Methodist brethren. They had to deal with tribes yet in their primitive strength of mind and body, having their intelligence not yet weakened but sharpened by con- tact with white men, lordly in their ideas of personal dignity, but blind to the rights of others while in- sisting with the utmost pertinacity upon what they esteemed their own. To teach such beings required the exercise of extraordinary tact, firmness, and pa- tience, and would have been difficult had the savages been constantly subject to the influence of precept and example. But their roving habits took them away from their teachers during a considerable por- tion of the year, and although eager and quick to learn, they gave little time to study.

To overcome these difficulties the missionaries worked hard to put themselves in sympathy with their pupils, by mastering their dialects, and endeavored to attach them to certain localities by teaching them farming. The latter was a more difficult task than the former, as the natives, particularly the Cayuses, affected to believe that they were doing a favor to Dr Whitman[22] by receiving his instruction, and frequently demanded pay for what they did for themselves, as well as for the use of the ground which he cultivated for the support of the Mission. Split-lip, a chief of the Cayuses who lived near the Waiilatpu Mission, was often most insulting in his demands, occasioning difficulties which would never have been settled but for the good offices of Pambrun of Fort Walla Walla, who was usually able to manage the natives through the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the fear they had that if they exhibited hostility to white men who were friends of the company the trading posts would be withdrawn from their country.

The same state of affairs existed at Lapwai, except that Spalding exercised a more arbitary authority over the Nez Percés than Whitman could exert over the Cayuses, and established a system of laws, or rules of conduct, which rendered the natives liable to punishment for certain offences.

Though these laws were not without their advantages, yet, unless great discrimination was used in applying them, they were likely to breed mischief, as the following instance will show: A difficulty arose from the death of The Hat, the young chief who, while accompanying Gray to the States in 1837, was killed by the Sioux. The other two young chiefs, Blue Cloak and Ellis, who agreed to go with Gray, as I have before mentioned, turned back at the rendezvous, giving as a reason that the feet of their horses were sore, and that they would die upon the road. When they presented themselves in the autumn at Lapwai, Spalding, who had a quick temper, fearing for Gray's safety, and vexed at the failure of a part of his plan, which was to exchange a herd of Indian horses for cattle on the frontier, severely reproved them, and exacted a horse from each for breach of contract. The young men not complying with this demand, Spalding took occasion when the Indians were assembled for instruction to order some of them to take Blue Cloak and whip him. Ellis was also present, but as he had a number of his band with him, he was not molested. For some time no one offered to execute the order, but at length one of the principal men arose, and having seized and bound Blue Cloak, turned to Spalding, saying, "Now you whip him." To this Spalding objected on the plea that he, like God, gave commands but did not execute them. "You are a liar," retorted the chief; "look at your picture"—pointing to a rude painting suspended against the wall—"there you have represented two men, with God behind them holding a bundle of rods with which to whip them. If you refuse to punish Blue Cloak, we will put you in his place and whip you." Not relishing the alternative Spalding laid on the lash,[23] after which the horse required was given him.

Had The Hat returned alive, this affair might have been forgotten. But when Gray appeared without him, Ellis accused him of having caused the chief's death, and declared that Spalding's wrath against him and Blue Cloak for turning back showed that it had been intended that they also should be killed. Ellis then assembled the Nez Percés, and kept Spalding and all the white people attached to the Mission prisoners in their house for several weeks, and it was not until Pambrun had several times sent messages from Walla Walla assuring them that Gray was not responsible for the death of The Hat, that they finally consented to release their prisoners.

The calm which followed was only the semblance of peace. In the following year, 1839, Smith, who established a mission at Kamiah, obtained the assent of Ellis to build a house on his land, but was refused permission to cultivate the ground, Ellis telling him that if he dug a hole in the earth it should serve for his crave. In the spring of 1840 Smith made an attempt to plough, but was interrupted by the savages with the same threat, when he desisted, and soon after went to the Hawaiian Islands, the station Kamiah being abandoned.[24]

This much is the account of the Catholic authorities, and Gray does not deny it, although, having the means of knowing, he should have done so, if not true. But the Presbyterian missionaries were habitually reticent concerning their troubles with the savages, probably because they were reluctant to confess their failures to the religious world.[25]

Yet in truth there was little to be ashamed of in a lack of success in such a field of labor. For the natives at their best, with few exceptions, manifested scarcely more gratitude for benefits bestowed than is current in civilized circles. "I have no evidence to suppose," says Spalding, speaking of the selfishness and ingratitude of the natives, "but a vast majority of them would look on with indifference and see our dwelling burned to the ground, and our heads severed from our bodies."[26] This was said by the most successful of the missionary teachers regarding the people whom he taught. Walker and Eells, at the Chemakane mission, while not having suffered the same indignities as teachers at the other stations, complained that the real object of the aborigines in professing interest in religion and learning was to secure the favor of their instructors and obtain presents, and Smith at Kamiah gave them the same character,[27] while all often referred to their untruthfulness.

Yet the missionaries continued to hope against hope that in time some good might be effected, and reported as their circumstances chanced to inspire them, some times cheerfully but oftener despondingly. Whitman wrote in March 1841, that the people were quiet, and appeared never to have been so well disposed toward him as at that time; assigning as a reason that the troublesome chief, Split-lip, had been removed by death.[28] But letters of the same date, from the other stations, gave disheartening accounts of opposition from savages.

In the previous year there had been a serious disturbance at Waiilatpu, occasioned by the Cayuses allowing their horses to damage the grain in the mission field. When reproved by Whitman, they covered him with mud, plucked his beard, pulled his ears, snapped a gun at him, threatened to pull down his house, and would have struck him with an axe had he not evaded the blow.[29] A report of this outrage reached the Sandwich Islands, and prevented J. D. Paris and W. H. Rice from joining the mission with their wives. They were about to depart for Oregon, but on hearing of the assault, determined to remain at the Islands, believing that Waiilatpu would be abandoned. Indeed, Whitman was strongly counselled by McLoughlin to quit Waiilatpu; being assured that should he do so temporarily, as if offended with the natives, they would repent of their conduct and ask him to return.[30] But the missionary was no ordinary man. I do not know which to admire in him most, his coolness or his courage. His nerves were of steel; his patience was excelled only by his absolute fearlessness; in the mighty calm of his nature he was a Caesar for Christ. He would on no account give the Cay uses occasion to think he had feared them. So he resolved to stay. In 1841, while the Red River immigrants were at Walla Walla awaiting a change of horses, another assault was made on Whitman in consequence of Gray striking an Indian lad for some offence. The boy's uncle was the chief Tiloukaikt, a haughty and irascible man, who to avenge the insult to his nephew struck Whitman, knocked his hat off, and pulled his nose, all of which insults the doctor bore meekly, but without showing fear.

In former attacks of a similar nature, Pambrun had interfered to prevent further mischief; but the ruler of Fort Walla Walla was now dead, and Archibald McKinlay reigned in his stead. The Cayuses had agreed with McKinlay to furnish horses to take the Red River immigrants to the Dalles; but when the animals were brought, he refused them, saying he would have nothing to do with Indians who treated a white man, and his friend, as they had treated Dr Whitman. This was an argument they could understand. After making some delay and difficulty about it? he appeared to relent, and promised to accept the horses provided Tiloukaikt, and all concerned in the assault, should go and beg pardon of the doctor, which they consented to do.[31] So again the sky was clear over Waiilatpu.

Meanwhile Spalding was having similar trouble at Lapwai. The Nez Percés pulled down his mill, claimino* it to be their own, and assaulted him with a gun, Mrs Spalding herself not escaping insult. There had not been one year in the five from 1837 to 1842, in which some of these occurrences had not taken place.

Surrounded by difficulties and dangers such as these, it is no wonder that the Protestant missionaries resented the advent of the Catholics. The natives could not fail to see that there was trouble between their teachers, and their mischievous nature made them quick to take advantage of the situation. They carried stories back and forth, taking a malicious delight in exaggerating such scraps of scandal as were blown about their ears upon the breezes of religious rivalry.

While A. B. Smith was at the Kamiah mission he reduced the Nez Percé dialect to grammatical rules. In the summer of 1839 the Lapwai mission received a visit from the printer of the Honolulu mission, E. O. Hall, who brought as a present from the first native church of Honolulu a small printing-press and some type. He remained long enough to teach the printer's art to Spalding and Rogers, and on this press were printed primers in the native language for the use of the pupils, a collection of hymns, and some chapters from St Matthew.[32] By the aid of these books in their own tongue, a number of the Nez Percés were taught to read, and also to reproduce their lessons, by printing with the pen, for the benefit of less advanced pupils. In the labor of translation, Smith was assisted by Lawyer, whom I have before mentioned as having obtained his sobriquet by his shrewdness in dealing with white men, and who had a sufficient knowledge of the English language to enable him to assist in the earlier efforts of the missionaries. This astute savage soon perceived that so long as the missionaries were in the field he could profit by siding with them in all disputes. Besides the books used, pictures drawn by Mrs Spalding, in water-colors, to illustrate sermons and lessons, were important aids. It was found that bible history was interesting to the natives, but they were opposed to the doctrine of original sin, and also to being made responsible as sinners. Yet they readily understood the meaning and the natural justice of the commandments, and had a love for laws, though each one evidently hoped to gain some advantage by them over his fellows. In addition to reading, writing, singing, and religious instruction, the men were taught farming and the women housekeeping, knitting, sewing, spinning, and weaving. The chief difficulty in the way of progress was the necessity of collecting food, the men spending a great portion of the year in hunting, and the women in digging roots or gathering berries. Their absence, however, gave the missionaries opportunities to perform the labor required for their own subsistence.

The mission at Lapwai after a few years consisted of a large and commodious dwelling with eleven places, and Indian reception-room, weaving and spinning room, eating and sleeping rooms for the children, rooms for the family, and a school-house, all under one roof. There were, besides, a church, saw-mill, blacksmith-shop, granary, storehouse, and all necessary farm buildings. The mission farm, besides simply supporting the family, as was at first anticipated, became a source of supply to travellers the natives, and the other missions.[33]

The mission at Waiilatpu consisted of an adobe a story and a half high, sixty feet in length by eighteen in width, with library and bedroom at one end, dining and sitting room in the centre, and Indian room at the other end of the main building; the kitchen, school-room, and bedrooms being in a wing at right angles to it. A second house, called the mansion, stood at a little distance from the first, and was forty by thirty feet on the ground, and a story and a half high. Near these was a blacksmith-shop, and within four hundred feet of the dwelling was a small grist-mill. On one side of this group of buildings were the Walla Walla River and mill-pond; on the opposite side a ditch for discharging waste water from the mill, and for irrigating purposes. Willow, birch, and alder fringed the stream. A meadow lay in front stretching toward the west; apple-trees were growing in sight of the house, and flowers in the small enclosure in front.[34] A general air of thrift and comfort prevailed.[35] In 1839 the stock at Waiilatpu consisted of a yoke of oxen, two cows, an American bull, and a few hogs In 1 841 according to Wilkes, a considerable herd had come by descent. Sheep had been obtained from the Hawaiian Islands, and hogs had greatly multiplied. There was a saw-mill belonging to the mission twenty miles up Mill Creek, having a capacity of about three thousand feet a day, together with a house for the mill men.

It was first thought that the soil of the Walla Walla Valley was not fertile, but Wilkes found wheat standing seven, and corn nine, feet high in the mission fields at Waiilatpu, while the garden was filled with fine vegetables and melons. There was less cultivation by the Cayuses than by the Nez Percés, yet they brought into use many small patches of ground, some oi them at Waiilatpu, but more on the Umatilla River, where at a distance of twenty to forty miles lived some of the most influential chiefs. Less grain was raised at Waiilatpu than at Lapwai, partly because of the manifold cares of the superintendent, and partly because, owing to the haughty and intractable disposition of the Cayuses, fewer of them could be employed as farm laborers.[36] Whitman's manner of teaching was similar to the method employed at Lapwai. On Saturday evenings he usually invited one of the most intelligent natives to his study, and translated to him the text to be used on the morrow, explaining carefully its meaning until the pupil could explain it in his turn, and assist in interpreting and teaching on Sunday.[37] Mrs Whitman taught reading and singing in the day school through the week, and relieved her husband of the elementary part of the labor.

At the Spokane mission of the Chemakane there was not the same improvement nor the same trouble experienced as at Lapwai and Waiilatpu. The Spokanes were said by Walker and Eells to be addicted to the usual Indian vices, and especially to lying, which they seemed to enjoy as a means of creating excitement, but were more peaceably disposed than the Nez Percés or Cayuses. In the winter of 1839-40, when the mission house was destroyed by fire, they rendered willing service, and even refrained from taking the goods of the missionaries. By their help, and that of the inmates of Fort Colville, who came and encamped upon the ground in several inches of snow to give their protection and assistance in rebuilding, the mission was soon restored, although many things of value in this remote region were destroyed.

Agriculture at Chemakane did not succeed as at Lapwai or Waiilatpu, on account of frosts, and it does not appear to have been attempted to any great extent.[38] Among the Spokanes was a chief named Garry, corresponding in character and influence to Lawyer among the Nez Percés. He had been taken to the Red River settlement, where he was taught reading and writing, and obtained some knowledge of Christianity. So far as Garry's influence was felt among this people, it was on the side of progress.


Such was the general condition of affairs at the Presbyterian missions in the autumn of 1842. The uneasiness which was felt from the first appearance of the Catholics in their neighborhood was intensified by the establishment of De Smet's missions among the Flatheads, and his visits to Colville and Vancouver, followed by the arrival of two secular priests in the Willamette Valley, and the mission of De Smet to Europe, with the avowed purpose of bringing men and means to overthrow Protestantism among the natives. While representing his situation frankly to the board,. Whitman had never asked to be released from it, but on the contrary, to have his hands strengthened by a reënforcement. . He saw the great number of missionaries which the Methodist church was able to throw into the field in western Oregon, and the readiness of the Catholics to furnish aid where it was required, and was reluctant to yield. Of all the independent missionaries who, it would seem, should have been willing to aid him, none remained over a few months at the station, being either alarmed by the attitude of the natives, or allured by flattering reports of the Willamette Valley for settlement. Even those who were designed to assist him fled from the post, Smith, Rogers, and Gray having deserted in 1841 and 1842, and none having come to fill their places.

To the doctor's appeals for help from the board no encouraging response was given after 1840. It appears that the board thought the mission should be self-supporting; but to this intimation Whitman replied, that it was visionary to expect a mission so isolated, which could exchange no products to obtain foreign supplies, to support itself. Besides, he asked, who was to perform the labors of the missionaries if the latter were to turn farmers and traders?[39] In this respect the Presbyterian missionaries differed from the Metho- dists, and were not prepared to accept the views of their own board of commissioners.[40]

In the midst of these perplexities there came upon them two unexpected events. In the first place, the board ordered the discontinuance of Lapwai and Waiilatpu stations, the missionary efforts to be con- fined to the Chemakane mission, and Spalding to return to the States.[41] The order was received late in Sep- tember 1842, and a meeting was immediately called to consider it. Whitman and Spalding were much opposed to abandoning their stations, while Walker and Eells were in favor of carrying out instructions. Whitman urged the strong probability, that as soon as Lapwai and Waiilatpu should be left, the Catholics would come in and possess the fruits of their labors, both temporal and spiritual.[42] On the other hand, there was the possibility that the Catholic influence might overcome them though they remained, and drive them from the field nolens volens. Then there was^ the objection of the board to sustaining two stations which were never to become self-supporting. How was it to be overcome?

The second event to which I alluded furnished Whit- man with a reply to the arguments of his brethren. This was the arrival, overland, of an immigration of over a hundred persons, men, women, and children, invited to make homes in Oregon by the government of the United States, and expecting to receive as a reward for their patriotism a liberal grant of land in the fertile Valley Willamette. "If these hundred have come this year," said Whitman, "more will come the next. These have left their wagons at Fort Hall, but very soon others will discover that they can bring them through to the Columbia. The moment that is accomplished, there will be a large immigration yearly; Lapwai and Waiilatpu will become supply stations to thousands of travellers, and the objections of the committee will be removed. Help can be obtained from the immigrants; a settlement can be formed, and a strong Protestant influence brought to counteract the efforts of the Catholics. Here again was earthly empire rising up to overshadow the spiritual. So sure did Whitman feel of the truth of his prophecy, that he proposed to start at once for Boston to procure a reversal of the unwelcome order recalling Spalding and closing the two most important stations, and to procure further assistance for the missions. In vain did his colleagues oppose the scheme. With the determination characteristic of the man, he set about making his arrangements for the journey.

As in all cases of exigency, Whitman now sought counsel of his friends of the fort.[43] McKinlay said that although the proposed expedition in the winter was likely to be attended with some hardships it was not impossible, if the southern route by Santa Fé were taken. Nothing remained but to hastily conclude arrangements for the care of the station during his absence, which he did by writing to Geiger and Mr and Mrs Littlejohn to spend the year of his absence with Mrs Whitman,[44] and by charging McKinlay also with her welfare.[45]

On the 3d of October Whitman left his home, accompanied only by a guide and A. L. Lovejoy of the recent immigration, who, being detained two or three weeks behind his company, was induced by the doctor's specious arguments to return to the States.[46] From Fort Hall they took the route by the way of Uintah, Taos, and Santa Fé, changing guides at each of these points, and experiencing sometimes bitter cold, and sometimes pinching hunger. They arrived at Bent Fort on the Arkansas in time to join a company going from Santa Fé to the border, when Lovejoy determined to remain at the fort till spring, and Whitman proceeded without him to his destination, which he reached in March 1843.

The reception given to the doctor by the missionary board was not cordial or even kind; it was frigid. They disapproved of his leaving his station, of the unnecessary expense of the journey, and of its object, especially as it asked for more money and missionaries. Whitman repeated the arguments advanced to his colleagues in the wilderness.[47] The board was cold; the savages of the inhospitable north-west were not just then in favor with the Sunday-schools. Nevertheless, these wise men of the east did finally consent to permit the doctor to continue the mission work there begun should he wish to do so without further help from them.[48] Further than this, the board refused to pay the expenses of his journey,[49] and he was left to get back to Oregon as best he could. First repairing to his former home in central New York, he settled up some private business affairs, and taking with him a young nephew, hastened to the frontier, where was being collected for a final start the emigration of 1843, of which he probably heard as he journeyed east two months before. He arrived at the rendezvous of the emigrants just as they were about to organize on the 18th of May, and was invited to attend their meeting and make suggestions.[50] After this he visited some relatives near Westport, and the Shawnee mission, and overtook the emigration on the Platte River, travelling with them and rendering professional and other services, as required, on the way.[51]

Whitman reached home after a year of incessant and arduous exertion, to find that his absence, and the information the savages had of his intention to bring other white men to settle among them,[52] had occasioned trouble at his station. Hardly had he turned his back upon Waiilatpu before Mrs Whitman

was grossly insulted, and compelled to take refuge for the winter at the Dalles. A few days later the mission mill, with the grain stored in it, was destroyed, and a general warlike attitude assumed by the Cayuses,'[53] which was only overcome by the united efforts of an authorized agent of the United States government and the British fur company, as before narrated. Owing to this intervention, order had been restored, and the savages were once more apparently friendly, receiving him with demonstrations of pleasure.

Yet there were present many disappointments. When he left the east, where, contrary to his expectations, not a single family had been obtained for settlement near the missions, he indulged the hope that some of the immigrants might yet be induced to take locations in his neighborhood; but we find him writing, shortly after his return, that all the help received by the mission was one man, hired by Mr Spalding, a Scotch school-teacher, and one family selected from the emigrants, all of whom he had sent to Spalding's assistance at Lapwai, none being found to go to the help of Walker and Eells. He also added a hope that the board would send one minister, fitted to preach to western men, to meet the Catholics, and to instruct the natives. "It is asking but little," he wrote, "to request two ministers for this [the Indian] language; as in the case of the death of Mr Spalding or myself, the knowledge of the language would be limited to so few that little could be done." He also referred to his project of encouraging teachers to come out as emigrants, and labor for a time at the mission, and to the need of good men being settled, three or four in a place, to form a nucleus for religious institutions, and to hold Romanism in check.[54] The country must be occupied, he said, by Americans or foreigners; and if by the latter, they would be chiefly Catholics.

This alarm regarding the Catholics, who at the period when these apprehensions were felt had no station nearer than the Bitter Root and Willamette valleys, would appear disproportioned to the occasion, were it not that in a subsequent letter it is said there was an evident desire on the part of the natives to make use of the differences between the Protestants and Catholics for their own purposes, a danger which only those who understood Indian character could properly estimate. . From the time of Whitman's return to Waiilatpu, it could not be said that there was any improvement in the moral character of the savages, though their temporal condition continued to mend chiefly through the increase in the number of those who cultivated the ground and raised cattle. As early as 1842 the Nez Percés owned thirty-two head of neat cattle, ten sheep, and forty hogs. The Cayuses owned about seventy head, chiefly cows, which they obtained from the Hudson's Bay Company, the mission of the American board, the Methodist mission, or the Willamette settlers, in exchange for horses. They had also a few sheep, earned by herding the flock belonging to the mission. The possession of cattle by their teachers had been a constant occasion cf envy and of reproach by the natives, who demanded, in effect, that the missionaries should share their herds with them, instead of which they were shown how to procure them for themselves.

The advent of the immigrants produced a change for the worse in the savages for two reasons. It gave them plausible ground for declaring that the missionaries were leagued with other Americans to take possession of the lands which they claimed to # be theirs; and it made them independent of the missionaries by furnishing them a market for the vegetables they raised, while it gave them an opportunity to obtain stock, which they were eager to do, cheerfully giving a good horse for a poor cow. Each year thereafter^their riches increased in the same manner, and each year they grew more intractable, proud, and insolent. They complained that Whitman occupied lands belonging to them on which he raised wheat to sell to the immigrants; that he had a mill on their lands, yet charged them for grinding their grain; and often, when in bad humor, ordered him to leave the country. That they appreciated the benefits received through the missionaries seemed evident, but they appeared incapable of gratitude, and used the intelligence with which they had been furnished to make more conspicuous their indifference or their hostility.

Thus matters went from bad to worse at the Presbyterian mission, until Dr Whitman himself became convinced that there was nothing to be gained by remaining. No settlements had been formed in his neighborhood, though many immigrants had passed. If he was able to induce a few persons to winter at his station, they invariably left in the spring for the Willamette Valley. Little by little the savages departed, and now that he was ready to go, the difficulty was for time to withdraw, the chiefs being divided, and some desiring him to remain on purely sectarian grounds, that they might, as Protestants, triumph over the Catholics of the tribe. As this was the very ground on which he had proposed to the board to remain, he had no valid reason to give for abandoning the field. Had all the chiefs desired his departure, his way would have been plain.[55]

In this delay he was probably encouraged by the temporizing policy of the United States in the matter of the boundary of Oregon, and afterward in the neglect to establish a territorial government, and to extinguish the Indian titles. At last, in the autumn of 1847, acting upon the conviction that the Waiilatpu station would have to be abandoned, he purchased the Methodist station at the Dalles, intending to remove thence the following spring; and at the very moment that he decided upon this course, and had already commenced preparations by sending his nephew to occupy the Dalles during the winter, Archbishop Blanchet, the bishop of Walla Walla and associate clergy of the Catholic church, arrived among the Cayuses, prepared to take the Presbyterians' place.


  1. Simpson's Letter, in Blanchet's Hist. Cath. Ch. in Or., 24-5. Simpson of course knew that the country north of the Columbia was still in dispute, but he probably believed that the British had a better chance of eventually getting it than the southern territory. Hence his desire to strengthen the claim by inducing the Canadians to settle north of the river.
  2. Those drowned were: Wallace and wife English tourists; Banks, a botanist, and his wife, a daughter of Sir George Simpson; Mrs. Williams; two little girls named Tremblay, and five others. Tod's New Caledonia, MS., 45-6; Lee and Frost's Or., 215; Cariboo Sentinel, ii. no. 12, 3; Portland Oregonian, April 19, 1879; Blanchet's Cath. Ch. in Or., 32-3.
  3. Blanchet's Cath. Ch. in Or., 35. Afterward Demers wrote: Experience has taught us not to rely too much on the first demonstrations of the Indians, and not to rely much on the first dispositions they manifest. Id., 102.
  4. This, the first building erected for public religious services in Oregon, was 70 by 30 feet in size. I suppose it to be identical with that in which Jason Lee and his associates preached to the settlers.
  5. Historical Sketches of the Catholic Church in Oregon, Portland, 1878. This work is not gracefully written, owing probably to the author's imperfect knowledge of the English language. Its contents for the most part appear puerile to the general reader, though the blame of this may be charged to the nature of its themes. The historical value of the work is great, though impaired by the coarsely abusive tone adopted by Blanchet when referring to the Protestant missionaries, which only serves to throw discredit upon his own statements. So far as the Methodists have written of the Catholic missions, they have shown more charity and moderation.
  6. Maria Monk, a publication which at one time created a great stir in the religious world.
  7. Blanchet's Cath. Ch. in Or., 120-2.
  8. Parrish's Or. Anecdotes, MS., 33; White's Or. Ter., 16; Wilkes' Nar., iv. 374.
  9. Though McLoughlin's religion has been the subject of much rancorous dispute, there is really no mystery about it. He was brought up in the Anglican church; but his life in the wilderness had separated him so long from religious observances that at the time the first missionaries appeared at Vancouver he might be said to have had no specific creed. Naturally conscientious, he reproached himself that the free Canadians should have forestalled him in the direction of religious cultivation. Nevertheless he encouraged both them and the Methodists, and at the first opportunity suggested to the governor and committee in London the propriety of sending a chaplain to Vancouver. As we have seen, they sent Mr Beaver, of the Anglican church, who proved such a disagreeable and meddlesome member of the society, that McLoughlin was glad to be rid of him after a year and a half. This episode was followed by the Methodist war upon him at Oregon City, in the midst of which he chanced to read Dr Milner's End of Controversy, which seemed to him to establish the claim of the Roman Catholic church to be considered the true church, and he decided to unite with it at once. This he did November 18, 1842, to the end remaining a faithful Catholic, while never interfering with the religious sentiments of others. Blanchet, who was proud of this notable conversion, boasts on page 9 of his Cath. Church in Or., of having accomplished it in 1841; but forgetting this statement, he gives the true date on page 69 of the same work. See also address of W. H. Rees, in Or. Pioneer Assn., Trans., 1879, 30: Hist. Northwest Coast, this series.
  10. See p. 54, this volume.
  11. See p. 65, this volume, note 9.
  12. De Smet's Or. Missions, 38; Shea's Hist. Cath. Miss., 474; New Haven Courier and Journal, July 1871.
  13. Burnett, in his Recollections of a Pioneer, 102, speaks of meeting De Smet and De Vos at the crossing of the Kansas River, but this is an error, De Vos and Hoeken were meant. They travelled in advance of the emigrants of 1843, a part of the time in company with a hunting party from New Orleans, under Captain Stuart. See Niles' Register, lxv. 70.
  14. Blanchet's Cath. Ch. in Or., 131, 139. The archbishop is at fault again in his dates, writing 1842 for 1841, Sir George is also made to keep 'his promise of sending assistants,' as if he were part of the Catholic Mission, which he was far from being.
  15. The Indefatigable entered the south channel of the Columbia, an entrance not attempted before. Her commander was without any knowledge of the river, but having lain outside four days waiting for a pilot, decided to try the entrance, and sailed straight in, being several times in peril from shallows, but arriving safe at Astoria. Subsequently the channel deepened until it came into common use.
  16. An offer was made by the Catholics to purchase the building and grounds of the Oregon Institute first erected on Wallace Prairie, and offered for sale by Gary, who was closing up the Methodist Mission; but that gentleman declined to sell to the successful rivals of Methodism, though the Methodist Society would have received double what it did receive for the property. Hines' Or. and Ins., 161.
  17. Louis Philippe of France gave 3,000 francs, and ordered the ministers of the interior and marine to pay each 7,200 francs. The Leopoldine Society of Vienna gave 4,000 florins, and other societies or corporations different sums. Blanchet's Cath. Ch. in Or., 157-8.
  18. The vessel which brought Blanchet's Catholic colony was L'Étoile du Matin, Captain Menes, belonging to V. Marzion & Co., of Havre de Grace, and was sent by them to Oregon, having a half-cargo for Tahiti. She was not, like the Indefatigable, obliged to cross the bar without chart or pilot, but was brought safely into the river by pilot Reeves, and ascended the Columbia to the mouth of the Willamette, where her cargo was unloaded. Proceeding immediately she finished her voyage to Tahiti, and returned to France, whence her owners once more despatched her to Oregon, where they designed establishing a French colony. On returning to the Columbia River in '49 or '50, Captain Menes, after waiting outside for a pilot several days, undertook to cross the bar without one, but his vessel struck on the sands, where she pounded for nine hours, and suffered serious damage. She was finally brought into Baker Bay by the assistance of Latta, a pilot of the Hudson's Bay Company, who with a number of natives went to her assistance, and constructing a box rudder brought her in. She was afterwards taken to Portland, where her cargo Mas landed, and the hull burned for the iron and copper. Captain Menes opened a French store at Oregon City for her owners, Marzion & Co. In 1850 McLoughlin became a partner in the firm, and so remained till 1853, when the business was closed. Captain Menes settled on French Prairie, where he resided up to bis death in 1867. Oregon City Enterprise, March 21, 1868.
  19. The good missionary was fond of writing. His earliest published work seems to have been Letters and Sketches, written in 1841, after his first visit to the Rocky Mountains, printed in 1843, and marked by the novel impressions received from contact with savages. His Oregon Missions, New York, 1847, is a book of over 400 pages, and contains, besides a narrative of the mission work in the Willamette Valley and a brief sketch of the territory, a great number of letters filled with descriptive, scientific, and religious matter. He followed this with several works, little more than reprints, in French and Italian; and published in 1863 his Western Missions and Missionaries, a series of letters addressed to the editor of Precis Historiques at Brussels, containing more information of a general character concerning the country than his earlier works.
  20. Blanchet, from whose Cath. Ch. in Or. I have taken the account of the arrival of the bishop of Walla Walla, does not name the Oblate Fathers except Father Richard, who he says was their superior. But I gather from various authorities that two of the others were named Pandosy and Cherouse.
  21. This was the first church built of brick in Oregon, but not the first brick building erected, as Blanchet supposes. Previous to this George (ray built a small brick house on his farm, the bricks being made at a place now called Wheatland, opposite the old Methodist Mission, by John McCaddon, who also made the first bricks in Salem. Abernethy built a buck house at Oregon City in 1844, and opened a store in it. The bricks were made at Bull Creek in Oregon City. Moss' Pioneer Times, MS., 33.
  22. Whitman's letter, in Boston Miss. Herald, November 1840, 438.
  23. Brouillet's Authentic Account, 25-6.
  24. Wilkes mentions meeting A. B. Smith and wife at Fort Vancouver in 1841, at which time it was said that they were leaving Oregon on account of Mrs Smith's health. He also learned from Smith that there were no natives in the neighborhood of Kamiah to demand a station. Nar., iv. 354. But Smith, in his correspondence, declared Kamiah to be ' the most eligible spot for a station in the whole country. Three fourths of a year, autumn, winter, and spring, the people remain here permanently.' Boston Miss. Herald, Aug. 1840, 326. Gray attempts to show that Smith left the Nez Perce Mission because Spalding was ambitious and selfish,' and jealous of the superior ability of his coadjutors. Hist Or., 211. But again Smith writes in August 1839, in a tone to show that he is not a saguine missionary: 'No longer can we be borne along by the current of popular favor among this people. The novelty of having missionaries among them is now gone, and we must work against the current as much as in any other heathen country. In future it will be uphill work.' Boston Miss. Herald, 328
  25. In this the example was set by the mouth-piece of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the Boston Missionary Herald, a monthly magazine, containing the proceedings of the missionary board and its foreign correspondence. Its publication began in 1805. It was seldom that a letter from its correspondents was published as written. The most favorable side of the subject was presented in an abstract of the communication; and where no favorable side could be found, the correspondence was practically suppressed, I have carefully searched the files which should contain the denial or confirmation of certain incidents related by Catholic writers as reflecting on the Protestants, without finding the most distant allusion to those events; but do find, nevertheless, sufficient evidence confirming the troubles of the missionaries with the Indians to justify belief in the incidents as related by writers who might otherwise be suspected of giving too partisan a tone to their statements. I say that it was the custom for eastern missionary journals wilfully to misrepresent the facts in order that the income from the supporters of missions might not be lessened.
  26. Letter to Dr White, 1842, in Grays Hist. Or., 238.
  27. Simpson's Nar., i. 161; Wilkes' Nar., iv. 484; Boston Miss. Herald, November 1840, 441.
  28. Boston Miss. Herald, October 1841, 436; Id., September 1841, 405.
  29. Brouillet's Authentic Account, 25.
  30. Roberts' Recollections, MS., 4.
  31. Tolmie's Puget Sound, MS., 24-5. I have Tolmie's authority also for the story told by several others, that Gray, to prevent the native children from taking melons out of the gardon at Waiilatpu, inserted tartar emetic into several of the finest ones in order to make the thieves sick and destroy their craving for melon, Its evil effects were quickly perceived, and the suspicion naturally engendered that the missionaries were exercising tamanowas, or evil-eye, upon them, which led to further suspicions at a later date. See also the testimony of Augustine Raymond and John Young, in Brouillet's Authentic Account, 31.
  32. On this press, the first north of California, was also printed in 1848 the first periodical, not a newspaper, published in the Willamette Valley, the Oregon American, and Evangelical Unionist, edited by J. S. Griffin. It was a sectarian and rabidly anti-Catholic journal. The press and type are preserved in the state-house at Salem. Thornton's Or. Hist., MS., 25-6; Newcomb's Cyclopedia of Miss., 623. M. G. Foisy was the first printer in Oregon after the missionaries. Rocky Mountain Gazette; Thornton's Or. Relics, MS., 4.
  33. Spalding had discovered as early as 1838 the fertility of the soil in the country east of the Cascades, and as early as 1845 that the plains were even more valuable for farming than the valleys. In a letter prepared by him in 1841) for the use and by the request of Joel Palmer, then on his way to the States, after giving the above opinion, he goes on to say: 'My place is one of the deepest valleys, and consequently the most exposed to reflection from the high bluffs around, which rise from 2,000 to 3,000 feet; but my farm, though prepared for irrigation, has remained without it for the last 4 years, I find the ground becomes more moist by cultivation. Three years ago I raised 600 bushels of shelled corn from 6 acres, and good crops of wheat on the same piece the 2 following years, without irrigation. Eight years ago I raised 1,500 bushels of potatoes from one acre and a half; measuring some of the bags in which they were brought to the cellars, and so judging of the whole amount. I gave every eleventh bag for digging and fetching, and kept a strict account of what every person brought, so that I was able to make a pretty accurate estimate of the whole amount. My potatoes and corn are always planted in drills. Every kind of grain or vegetable which I have tried in this upper country grows well. Wheat is sown in the fall, and harvested in June at this place; at Dr Whitman's in July, being in a more open country. Corn is planted in April and ripens in July; pease the same. Palmer's Journal, 167. In 1842, 140 Nez Percés cultivated the ground, in quantities of from 4. of an acre to 5 acres each. One chief raised that year 100 bushels of corn, 176 bushels of pease, and between 300 and 400 bushels 3f potatoes. Another chief raised about the same amount; and about 40 Indian farmers raised from 20 to 100 bushels of grain of different kinds, besides potatoes, vegetables, and melons in abundance. Boston Miss. Herald, Oct. 1843, 383.
  34. Victor's All Over Or. and Wash., 109.
  35. White's Ten Years in Or., 166. Farnham gives a lengthy account of this mission. Among other things he says: 'When the smoking vegetables, the hissing steak, bread as white as snow, and the newly churned golden butter graced the breakfast-table, and the happy countenances of countrymen and countrywomen shone around, I could with difficulty believe myself in a country so far from and so unlike my native land in all its features. But during breakfast the pleasant illusion was dispelled by one of the causes which induced it. Our steak was horse-flesh!' Travels, 149.
  36. Wilkes relates how the Cayuses, when Whitman refused to allow them to use water from his irrigating ditches, stopped them up. This nearly occasioned a serious difficulty, which was averted, however, when they became convinced there was water enough for all if they would dig trenches for themselves. Nar., iv. 423.
  37. Hastings' Or. and Cal., 54; Johnson's Cal. and Or., 271.
  38. De Smet says: 'It appears they are fearful that, should they cultivate more, they might have too frequent visits from the savages. They even try to prevent their encampment in their immediate neighborhood, and therefore they see and converse but seldom with the heathen they have come so far to seek.' Letters and Sketches, 212.
  39. Boston Miss. Herald, Aug, 1840, 329.
  40. Applegate's Views of History, MS., 32-4; White's Ten Years in Or., 175-6; Palmer's Journal, 57.
  41. Boston Miss. Herald, Jan. 1843, 14.
  42. Letter of Dr Whitman, in Boston Miss. Herald, Dec. 1866, 374.
  43. U. S. Ev., H. B. Co. Claims, 173-5.
  44. Lee and Frost's Or., 213, 257.
  45. There was a warm friendship between Whitman and McKinlay I have also a letter written by D. Greene, secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, acknowledging the receipt ot a letter McKinlay, dated December 27, 1842 which seems to have been written with a view of furthering the object of Whitman's visit, as it was in praise of Spalding's success as a missionary, and hoping he would not be recalled. The same refers to an order of McKinlay for books which Whitman left with Greene to be filled; all showing their kindly relations. See also note on page 221 of Gray's Hist. Or. But most of all I have seen the eyes of the old fur-trader fill with tears when speaking of the noble Presbyterian. In a letter written recently by McKinlay, he expresses the highest regard for Whitman, which opinion is also equally emphasized in Tolmie's Puget Sound, MS., 24.
  46. Lovejoy's Portland, MS., 20.
  47. This is the statement made of Whitman's object and arguments, by the prudential committee to whom they were addressed. See Boston Missionary Herald, September 1843, 356. Daniel Lee also says 'Whitman visited the United States to obtain further assistance, in order to strengthen the efforts that had already been made.' Lee and Frost's Or., 213. But Gray wickedly asserts that Whitman went to Washington with a political purpose, instead of going on the business of the mission.
  48. The Missionary Herald of Sept. 1843, after mentioning the doctor's desire to have 'Christian families to emigrate and settle in the vicinity of the different stations,' goes on to say: 'How far his wishes in these particulars will be responded to is at present uncertain'—showing that the matter was left to him to arrange. A man whose acquaintance he formed on the return journey says: 'He often talked with me about his want of success with the board, and expressed his fears of the consequences.' Applegate's Views of Hist., MS. 35.
  49. I gather this from the statements of some of the immigrants of 1843, with whom he travelled. He certainly knew the requirements of a journey across the plains; yet he was not properly provisioned, and seemed to have undertaken to get along by shooting game, which proved to be scarce. Daniel Waldo says that he had nothing but a boiled ham to start with, and that he fed him while they were in Kansas, and after they crossed Snake River. Critiques, MS., 17. J. B. McClane refers to his want of supplies after leaving Fort Hall, and his picking up a dropped calf, and putting in his (McClane's) wagon with the intention of eating it. McClane, however, threw it out, for which he was severely reproved by the doctor. First Wagon Train, MS., 4, 5.
  50. Burnett's Recollections of a Pioneer, 101. The Missionary Herald, last quoted, says that Whitman set out on his return 'about the 1st of June;' but as Burnett kept a journal, it is probable that he is correct as to date. The Herald may have made its statement from reference to a letter received from the doctor just before he quitted the Pawnee mission.
  51. Marginal notes to Grays Hist. Or., 289-90; Ford's Road-makers, MS., 7; Waldo's Critiques, MS., 1; Boston Miss. Herald, May 1844, 177; Nesmith, in Or. Pioneer Assoc, Trans., 1875, 47.
  52. When excited by the misconduct of the Cayuse chiefs, Whitman had so far lost his self-control as to threaten them with white settlers. Toupin says he told them he would bring ' many people to chastise them.' White says, that, though a most estimable man, Whitman was ' the most unfit person in the world to manage Indian affairs; ' because instead of treating them as children, he would become heated in an argument with them, as with his equals. Early Government of Oregon, MS., 12. This is confirmed by what is known of Whitman's dealings with the Cayuses, both before and subsequent to his visit to the States. Yet again he was a miracle of coolness and patience, which was his normal state, so contradictory is human nature.
  53. It was about this time that McKinlay had his famous adventure with Peupeumoxmox of the Walla Walla branch of the Cayuses, who, on account of his son being seized by a clerk at the fort for a slight theft, was about to do violence to the chief trader, when McKinlay placed a keg of powder in the midst of the apartment, and stood over it ready to touch it off at the first hostile movement. Not wishing to be blown up, Peupeumoxmox became cooler, and was induced to listen to reason. White says, in one of his reports, that the insolence of the Cayuses had been growing ever since the visit of Bonneville, who paid them more for furs than the Hudson's Bay Company. This caused them to make similar demands on Pambrun, and these not being complied with, they seized him, stamped violently on his breast, beat him, and retained him prisoner, until they gained to some extent their object. Ten Years in Or., 175.
  54. Boston Miss. Herald, May 1844, 177.
  55. Statement of Thomas McKay, in Brouillet's Authentic Account, 28.