History of Oregon (Bancroft)/Volume 2

 

THE WORKS

OF

HUBERT HOWE BANCROFT



THE WORKS


OF


HUBERT HOWE BANCROFT


VOLUME XXX


HISTORY OF OREGON

VoL. II. 1848–1888



SAN FRANCISCO

THE HISTORY COMPANY, PUBLISHERS

1888

 

Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1888, by

HUBERT H. BANCROFT,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.


All Rights Reserved.


CONTENTS OF THIS VOLUME.




CHAPTER I.

CONDITION OF AFFAIRS

1848.

Population—Products—Places of Settlement—The First Families of Oregon—Stock-raising and Agriculture—Founding of Towns—Land Titles—Ocean Traffic—Ship-building and Commerce—Domestic Matters: Food, Clothing, and Shelter—Society: Religion, Education, and Morals—Benevolent Societies—Aids and Checks to Progress—Notable Institutions—Character of the People
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1


CHAPTER II.

EFFECT OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLD DISCOVERY.

1848- 1849.

The Magic Power of Gold—A New Oregon—Arrival of Newell—Sharp Traffic—The Discovery Announced—The Stampede Southward—Overland Companies—Lassen's Immigrants—Hancock's Manuscript—Character of the Oregonians in California—Their General Success—Revolutions in Trade and Society—Arrival of Vessels—Increase in the Prices of Products—Change of Currency—The Question of a Mint—Private Coinage—Influx of Foreign Silver—Effect on Society—Legislation—Immigration
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42


CHAPTER III.

LANE'S ADMINISTRATION.

1849- 185O.

Indian Affairs—Troubles In Cowlitz Valley—Fort Nisqually Attacked—Arrival of the United States Ship Massachusetts—A Military Post Established near Nisqually—Thornton as Sub-Indian Agent—Meeting of the Legislative Assembly—Measures Adopted—Judicial Districts—A Travelling Court of Justice—The Mounted Rifle Regiment—Establishment of Military Posts at Fort Hall, Vancouver, Steilacoom, and The Dalles—The Vancouver Claim—General Persifer F. Smith—His Drunken Soldiers—The Dalles Claim—Trial and Execution of the Whitman Murderers
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66
CHAPTER IV.

A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

1849-1850.

PAGE

The Absence of Judges Island Mills Arrival of William Strong Oppo sition to the Hudson s Bay Company Arrest of British Ship Cap tains George Gibbs The Albion Affair Samuel R. Thurston Chosen Delegate to Congress His Life and Character Proceeds to Washington Misrepresentations and Unprincipled Measures Rank Injustice toward McLoughlin Efficient Work for Oregon The Donation Land Bill The Cayuse War Claim and Other Appro priations Secured The People Lose Confidence in their Delegate Death of Thurston 101

CHAPTER V.

ADMINISTRATION OF GAINES. 1850-1852.

An Official Vacancy Gaines Appointed Governor His Reception in Ore gon The Legislative Assembly in Session Its Personnel The Ter ritorial Library Location of the Capital Oregon City or Salem Warm and Prolonged Contest Two Legislatures War between the Law- makers and the Federal Judges Appeal to Congress Salem Declared the Capital A New Session Called Feuds of the Public Press Unpopularity of Gaines Close of his Term Lane Appointed his Successor 139

CHAPTER YE.

DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN OREGON.

1850-1852.

Politics and Prospecting Immigration An Era of Discovery Explora tions on the Southern Oregon Seaboard The California Company The Schooner Samuel Roberts at the Mouths of Rogue River and the Umpqua Meeting with the Oregon Party Laying-out of Lands and Town Sites Failure of the Umpqua Company The Finding of Gold in Various Localities The Mail Service Efforts of Thurston in Congress Settlement of Port Orford and Discovery of Coos Bay The Colony at Port Orford Indian Attack The T Vault Expedi tion Massacre Government Assistance 174

CHAPTER VII.

INDIAN AFFAIRS. 1851.

PoliticsElection of a Delegate Extinguishment of Indian Titles Ind ian Superintendents and Agents Appointed Kindness of the Great Father at Washington Appropriations of Congress Frauds Arising

CONTENTS. xi

PAGK

from the System Easy Expenditure of Government Money Un popularity of Human Sympathy Efficiency of Superintendent Dart Thirteen Treaties Effected Lane among the Rogue River Indians and in the Mines Divers Outrages and Retaliations Military Affairs Rogue River War The Stronghold Battle of Table Rock Death of Stuart Kearney s Prisoners 205


CHAPTER VIII.


PLAUSIBLE PACIFICATION.

1851-1852.

Officers and Indian Agents at Port Orford Attitude of the Coquilles U. S. Troops Ordered out Soldiers as Indian- fighters The Savages too Much for Them Something of Scarface and the Shastas Steele Secures a Conference Action of Superintendent Skinner Much Ado about Nothing Some Fighting An Insecure Peace More Troops Ordered to Vancouver 233

CHAPTEE IX.

SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

1851-1853.

Proposed Territorial Division Coast Survey Light-houses Established James S. Lawson His Biography, Public Services, and Contribu tion to History Progress North of the Columbia South of the Columbia Birth of Towns Creation of Counties Proposed New- Territory River Navigation Improvements at the Clackamas Rap ids On the Tualatin River La Creole River Bridge-building Work at the Falls of the Willamette Fruit Culture The First Apples Sent to California Agricultural Progress Imports and Ex ports Society -247

CHAPTER X.

LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES* 1851-1855.

The Donation Law Its Provisions and Workings Attitude of Congress Powers of the Provisional Government Qualification of Voters Surveys Rights of Women and Children Amendments Preemp tion Privileges Duties of the Surveyor-general Claimants to Lands of the Hudson s Bay and Puget Sound Companies Mission Claims Methodists, Presbyterians, and Catholics Prominent Land Cases Litigation in Regard to the Site of Portland The Rights of Settlers The Caruthers Claim The Dalles Town-site Claim Pre tensions of the Methodists Claims of the Catholics Advantages and Disadvantages of the Donation System 260

xii CONTENTS.


CHAPTER

POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

1853.

PAGB

Legislative Proceedings Judicial Districts Public Buildings Tenor of Legislation Instructions to the Congressional Delegate Harbors and Shipping Lane s Congressional Labors Charges against Gover nor Gaines Ocean Mail Service Protection of Overland Immigrants

Military Roads Division of the Territory Federal Appoint ments New Judges and their Districts Whigs and Democrats Lane as Governor and Delegate Alonzo A. Skinner An Able and Humane Man Sketch of his Life and Public Services ............. 296

CHAPTER XII.

ROGUE RIVER WAR.

1853-1854.

Impositions and Retaliations Outrages by White Men and Indians The Military Called upon War Declared Suspension of Business Roads Blockaded Firing from Ambush Alden at Table Rock Lane in Command Battle The Savages Sue for Peace Armistice

Preliminary Agreement Hostages Given Another Treaty with the Rogue River People Stipulations Other Treaties Cost of the War ........................................................ 311

CHAPTER Xin.

LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

1853-1854.

John W. Davis as Governor Legislative Proceedings Appropriations by Congress Oregon Acts and Resolutions Affairs on the Ump- qua Light-house Building Beach Mining Indian Disturbances Palmer s Superintendence Settlement of Coos Bay Explorations and Mountain-climbing Politics of the Period The Question of State Organization The People not Ready Hard Times Deca dence of the Gold Epoch Rise of Farming Interest Some First Things Agricultural Societies Woollen Mills Telegraphs River and Ocean Shipping Interest and Disasters Ward Massacre Mil itary Situation ......... .* ..................... 322

CHAPTER XIV.

GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

1854-1855.

Resignation of Governor Davis His Successor, George Law Curry- Legislative Proceedings Waste of Congressional Appropriations- State House Penitentiary Relocation of the Capital and Univer sityLegislative and Congressional Acts Relative thereto More

CONTENTS. xiii

PAGE

Counties Made Finances Territorial Convention Newspapers The Slavery Sentiment Politics of the Period Whigs, Democrats, and Know-nothings A New Party Indian Affairs Treaties East of the Cascade Mountains 348

CHAPTER XV.

FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

1855-1856.

Indian Affairs in Southern Oregon The Rogue River People Extermi nation Advocated Militia Companies Surprises and Skirmishes Reservation and Friendly Indians Protected by the U. S. Govern ment against Miners and Settlers More Fighting Volunteers and Regulars Battle of Grave Creek Formation of the Northern and Southern Battalions Affair at the Meadows Ranging by the Vol unteers The Ben Wright Massacre 369

CHAPTER XVI.

EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

1856-1857.

Grande Ronde Military Post and Reservation Driving in and Caging the Wild Men More Soldiers Required Other Battalions Down upon the Red Men The Spring Campaign Affairs along the River Humanity of the United States Officers and Agents Stubborn Brav ery of Chief John Councils and Surrenders Battle of the Meadows Smith s Tactics Continued Skirmishing Giving-up and Coming- in of the Indians^ 397

CHAPTER XVII.

OREGON BECOMES A STATE.

1856-1859.

Legislature of 1855-6 Measures and Memorials Legislature of 1856-7 No Slavery in Free Territory Republican Convention Election Results Discussions concerning Admission Delegate to Congress Campaign Journalism Constitutional Convention The Great Ques tion of Slavery No Black Men, Bond or Free Adoption of a State Constitution Legislature of 1857-8 State and Territorial Bodies Passenger Service Legislatures of 1858-9 Admission into the Union 413

CHAPTER XVEII.

POLITICS AND PATRIOTISM.

1859-1861.

Appointment of Officers of the United States Court Extra Session of the Legislature Acts and Reports State Seal Delazon Smith Re*

xir CONTENTS.

PAOB

publican Convention Nominations and Elections Rupture in the Democratic Party Sheil Elected to Congress Scheme of a Pacific Republic Legislative Session of 1860 Nesmith and Baker Elected U. S. Senators Influence of Southern Secession Thayer Elected to Congress Lane s Disloyalty Governor Whiteaker Stark, U. S. Senator Oregon in the War New Officials 442

CHAPTER XIX.

WAR AND DEVELOPMENT.

1858-1862.

War Departments and Commanders Military Administration of General Harney Wallen s Road Expeditions Troubles with the Shoshones Emigration on the Northern and Southern Routes Expedition of Steen and Smith Campaign against the Shoshones Snake River Massacre Action of the Legislature Protection of the Southern Route Discovery of the John Day and Powder River Mines Floods and Cold of 1861-2 Progress of Eastern Oregon . . . . 460

CHAPTER XX.

MILITARY ORGANIZATION AND OPERATIONS. 1861-1865.

Appropriation Asked for General Wright Six Companies Raised At titude toward Secessionists First Oregon Cavalry Expeditions of Maury, Drake, and Curry Fort Boise Established Reconnoissance of Drew Treaty with the Klamaths and Modocs Action of the Legislature First Infantry Oregon Volunteers 488

CHAPTER XXI.

THE SHOSHONE WAR.

1866-1868.

Companies and Camps Steele s Measures Halleck Headstrong Battle of the Owyhee Indian Raids Sufferings of the Settlers and Trans portation Men Movements of Troops Attitude of Governor Woods -Free Fighting Enlistment of Indians to Fight Indians Military Reorganization Among the Lava-beds Crook in Command Ex termination or Confinement and Death in Reservations 512

CHAPTER XXII.

THE MODOC WAR.

1864-1873.

Land of the Modocs Keintpoos, or Captain Jack Agents, Superintend- ents, and Treaties Keintpoos Declines to Go on a Reservation < Raids Troops in Pursuit Jack Takes to the Lava-beds Appoint^

CONTENTS.

PAGB ment of a Peace Commissioner Assassination of Canby, Thomae,

and Sherwood Jack Invested in bis Stronghold He Escapes Crushing Defeat of Troops under Thomas Captain Jack Pursued, Caught, and Executed , 555

CHAPTER XXIII.

POLITICAL, INDUSTRIAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL.

1862-1887.

Republican Loyalty Legislature of 1802 Legal-tender and Specific Con tract Public Buildings Surveys and Boundaries Military Road 5>wamp and Agricultural Lands Civil Code The Negro Question Later Legislation Governors Gibbs, Woods, Grover, Chadwick, Thayer 3 and Moody Members of Congress .... * 637

CHAPTER XXIV.

LATER EVENTS.

1887-1888.

R,ecent Developments in Railways Progress of Portland Architecture and Organizations East Portland Iron Works Value of Property Mining Congressional Appropriations New Counties Salmon Fisheries Lumber Political Affairs Public Lands Legislature- Election {{c|HISTORY OF OREGON.

CHAPTER I.

CONDITION OF AFFAIRS.

1848.

POPULATION PRODUCTS PLACES or SETTLEMENT THE FIRST FAMILIES ofl OREGON STOCK-RAISING AND AGRICULTURE FOUNDING OF TOWNS LAND TITLES OCEAN TRAFFIC SHIP-BUILDING AND COMMERCE DO MESTIC MATTERS: FOOD, CLOTHING, AND SHELTER SOCIETY: RELIGION, EDUCATION, AND MORALS BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES AIDS AND CHECKS TO PROGRESS NOTABLE INSTITUTIONS CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE.


FOURTEEN years have now elapsed since Jason Lee began his missionary station on the east bank of the Willamette, and five years since the first considerable settlement was made by an agricultural population from the western states. It is well to pause a moment in our historical progress and to take a general survey.

First as to population, there are between ten and twelve thousand white inhabitants and half-breeds scattered about the valley of the Willamette, with a few in the valleys of the Columbia, the Cowlitz, and on Puget Sound. Most of these are stock-raisers and grain-growers. The extent of land cultivated is not great, 1 from twenty to fifty acres only being in cereals on single farms within reach of warehouses of the fur

1 In Hastings Or. and Cal. , 55-6, the average size of farms is given at 500 acres, which is much too high an estimate. There was no need to fence so much land, and had it been cultivated the crops would have found no market. VOL. II. 1 OL. II. 1



company and the American merchants. One writer estimated the company s stock in 1845 at 20,OOC bushels, and that this was not half of the surplus. As many farmers reap from sixty to sixty-five bushels of wheat to the acre/ and the poorest land returns twenty bushels, no great extent of sowing is required to furnish the market with an amount equal to that named. Agricultural machinery to any considerable extent is not yet known. Threshing is done by driv ing horses over the sheaves strewn in an enclosure, first trodden hard by the hoofs of wild cattle. In the summer of 1848 Wallace and Wilson of Oregon City construct two threshing-machines with endless chains, which are henceforward much sought after. 3 The usual price of wheat, fixed by the Hudson s Bay Company, is sixty-two and a half cents ; but at different times it has been higher, as in 1845, when it reached a dollar and a half a bushel, 4 owing to the influx of population that year.

The flouring of wheat is no longer difficult, for there are in 1848 nine grist-mills in the country. 5 Nor is it any longer impossible to obtain sawed lumber in the lower parts of the valley, or on the Columbia, for a larger number of mills furnish material for build ing to those who can afford to purchase and provide the means of transportation. 6 The larger number of

2 Hlnes Hist. Oregon, 342-6. Thornton, in his Or. and Cal, i. 379, gives the whole production of 1846 at 144,863 bushels, the greatest amount raised in any county being in Tualatin, and the least in Clatsop. Oats, pease, and potatoes were in proportion. See also Or. Spectator, July 23, 1846; Hoivisoti s Coast and Country, 29-30. The total wheat crop of 1847 was estimated at 180,000 bushels, and the surplus at 50,000.

  • Crawford s Nar., MS., 164; Hosts Nar., MS., 10.
  • Ekin s Saddle-Maker, MS., 4.

5 The grist-mills were built by the Hudson s Bay Company near Vancouver; McLoughlin and the Oregon Milling Company at Oregon City; by Thomas McKay on French Prairie; by Thomas James O Neal on the Ricknall in the Applegate Settlement in Polk County; by the Methodist Mission at Salem; by Lot Whitcomb at Milwaukee, on the right bank of the Willamette, between Portland and Oregon City; by Meek and Luelling at the same place; and by Whitman at Waiilatpu. About this time a flouring-mill was begun on Puget Sound. Thornton s Or. and Cal., i. 330; S. F. Californian, April 19, 1848.

6 These saw-mills were often in connection with the flouring-mills, as at Oregon City, Salem, and Vancouver. But there were several others that were



houses on the land-claims, however,, are still of hewn logs, in the style of western frontier dwellings of the Mississippi states. 7

separate, as the mill established for sawing lumber by Mr Hunsaker at the junction of the Willamette with the Columbia; by Charles McKay on the Tualatin Plains, and by Hunt near Astoria. There were others to the number of 15 in different parts of the territory. Thornton s Or. and CaL, i. 330; Craw ford sNar., MS., 164.

7 George Gay had a brick dwelling, and Abernethy a brick store ; and brick was also used in the erection of the Catholic church at St Pauls. Craw ford tells us a good deal about where to look for settlers. Reason Read, he says, was located on Nathan Crosby s land-claim, a mile below Pettygrove s dwelling in Portland, on the right bank of the Willamette, just below a high gravelly bluff, that is, in what is now the north part of East Portland. Two of the Belknaps were making brick at this place, assisted by Read. A house was being erected for Crosby by a mechanic named Richardson. Daniel Lownsdale had a tannery west of Portland town-site. South of it on the same side of the river were the claims of Finice Caruthers, William Johnson, Thomas Stevens, and James Terwilliger. On the island in front of Stevens place lived Richard McCrary, celebrated for making blue ruin whiskey out of molasses. James Stevens lived opposite Caruthers, on the east bank of the Willamette, where he had a cooper-shop, and William Kilborne a warehouse. Three miles above Milwaukee, where Whitcomb, William Meek, and Luelling were settled, was a German named Piper, attempting to make pottery. Opposite Oregon City lived S. Thurston, R. Moore, H. Burns, and Judge Lancaster. Philip Foster and other settlers lived on the Clackamas River, east of Oregon City. Turning back, and going north of Portland, John H. Couch claimed the land adjoining that place. Below him were settled at intervals on the same side of the river William Blackstone, Peter Gill, Doane, and Watts. At Linnton there were two settlers, William Dillon and Dick Richards. Opposite to Watt s on the east bank was James Loomis, and just above him James John. At the head of Sauv6 Island lived John Miller. Near James Logic s place, before mentioned as a dairy-farm of the Hudson s Bay Company, Alexander McQuinn was settled, and on different parts of the island Jacob Cline, Joseph Charlton, James Bybee, Malcolm Smith a Scotch man, Gilbau a Canadian, and an American named Walker. On the Scappoose plains south of the island was settled McPherson, a Scotchman; and during the summer Nelson Hoyt took a claim on the Scappoose. At Plymouth Rock, now St Helen, lived H. M. Knighton who the year before had succeeded to the claim of its first settler, Bartholomew White, who was a cripple, and unable to make improvements. A town was already projected at this place, though not surveyed till 1849, when a few lots were laid off by James Brown of Canemah. The survey was subsequently completed by N. H. Tappan and P. W. Crawford, and mapped by Joseph Trutch, in the spring of 1851. A few miles below Knighton were settled the Merrill family and a man named Tulitson. The only settler in the region of the Dalles was Nathan Olney, who in 1847 took a claim 3 miles below the present town, on the south side of the river. On the north side of the Columbia, in the neighborhood of Vancouver, the land formerly occupied by the fur company, after the settle ment of the boundary was claimed to a considerable extent by individuals, British subjects as well as Americans. Above the fort, Forbes Barclay and Mr Lowe, members of the company, held claims as individuals, as also Mr Covington, teacher at the fort. On the south side, opposite Vancouver, John Switzler kept a ferry, which had been much in use during the Cayuse war as well as in the season of immigrant arrivals. On Cathlapootle, or Lewis, river there was also a settler. On the Kalama River Jonathan Burpee had taken a claim; he afterward removed to the Cowlitz, where Thibault, a Canadian,



Only a small portion of the land being fenced, almost the whole Willamette Valley is open to travel, and covered with the herds of the settlers, some of whom own between two and three thousand cattle and horses. Though thus pastured the grass is knee-high on the plains, and yet more luxuriant on the low lands; in summer the hilly parts are incarnadine with strawberries. 8 Besides the natural increase of the first importations, not a year has passed since the venture of the Willamette Cattle Company in 1837, without the introduction of cattle and horses from California, to which are added those driven from the States an nually after 1842, 9 whence come likewise constantly increasing flocks of sheep. The towns, as is too often the case, are out of proportion to the rural population. Oregon City, with six or seven hundred inhabitants, is still the metropolis, having the advantage of a central

was living in charge of the warehouse of the Hudson s Bay Company, and where during the spring and summer Peter W. Crawford, E. West, and one or two others settled. Before the autumn of 1849 several families were located near the mouth of the Cowlitz. H. D. Huntington, Nathaniel Stone, David Stone, Seth Catlin, James Porter, and R. C. Smith were making shingles here for the California market. Below the Cowlitz, at old Oak Point on the south side of the river, lived John McLean, a Scotchman. Oak Point Mills on the north side were not built till the following summer, when they were erected by a man named Dyer for Abernethy and Clark of Oregon City. At Cathlamet on the north bank of the river lived James Birnie, who had settled there in 1846. There was no settlement between Cathlamet and Hunt s Mill, and none between Hunt s Mill, where a man named Spears was living, and Astoria, except the claim of Robert Shortess near Tongue Point. At Astoria the old fur company s post was in charge of Mr McKay; and there were several Americans living there, namely, John McClure, James Welch, John M. Shivery, Van Dusen and family, and others; in all about 30 persons; but the town was partially surveyed this year by P. W. Craw ford. There were about a dozen settlers on Clatsop plains, and a town had been projected on Point Adams by two brothers O Brien, called New York, which never came to anything. At Baker Bay lived John Edmunds, though the claim belonged to Peter Skeen Ogden. On Scarborough Hill, just above, a claim had been taken by an English captain of that name in the service of the Hudson s Bay Company. The greater number of these items have been taken from Crawford s Narrative, MS.; but other authorities have contributed, namely: Minto s Early Days, MS.; Weed s Queen Charlotte I. Exped., MS.; Deady s Hist. Or., MS.; Petty grove s Or., MS,; Lovejoy s Port land, MS.; Moss Pioneer Times, MS.; Brown s Willamette Valley, MS.; Or. Statutes; Victor s Oregon and Wash.; Murphy s Or. Directory, 1; .7. Friend, Oct. 15, 1849; Wilkes Nar.; Palmer s Journal; Home Missionary Mag., xxii. 63-4.

8 The most beautiful country I ever saw in my life. Weed s Queen Char lotte I. Exped., MS., 2.

9 Clyman f s Note Book, MS., 6; W. B. Ide s Eiog., 34.



position between the farming country above the falls and the deep-water navigation twelve miles below; and more capital and improvements are found here than at any other point. 10 It is the only incorporated town as yet in Oregon, the legislature of 1844 having granted it a charter; 11 unimproved lots are held at from $100 to $500. The canal round the falls which the same legislature authorized is in progress of con struction, a wing being thrown out across the east shoot of the river above the falls which form a basin, and is of great benefit to navigation by affording quiet water for the landing of boats, which without it were

in danger of being- carried over the cataract. 1 2 ^ .

Linn City and Multnomah City just across the river from the metropolis, languish from propinquity to a greatness in which they cannot share. Milwaukee, a few miles below, is still in embryo. Linnton, the city founded during the winter of 1843 by Burnett and McCarver, has had but two adult male inhabit ants, though it boasts a warehouse for wheat. Hills- boro and Lafayette aspire to the dignity of county- seats of Tualatin and Yamhill. Corvallis, Albany, and Eugene are settled by claimants of the land, but do not yet rejoice in the distinction of an urban appel-

10 Thornton counts in 1847 a Methodist and a Catholic church, St James, a day-school, a private boarding-school for young ladies, kept by Mrs Thornton, a printing-press, and a public library of 300 volumes. Or. and C aL, i. 329-30. Crawford says there were 5 stores of general merchandise, the Hudson s Bay Company s, Abernethy s, Couch s (Gushing & Co. ), Moss , and Robert Canfield s; and adds that there were 3 ferries across the Willamette at this place, one a horse ferry, and 2 pulled by hand, and that all were kept busy, Oregon City being the great rendezvous for all up and down the river to get flour, Narrative, MS., 154; ,V. /. Friend, Oct. 15, 1849. Palmer states in addition that McLoughlin s grist-mill ran 3 sets of buhr-stones, and would com pare favorably with most mills in the States; but that the Island Mill, then owned by Abernethy and Beers, was a smaller one, and that each had a saw-mill attached which cut a great deal of plank for the new arrivals. Jour nal, 85-6. There were 2 hotels, the Oregon House, which was built in 1844, costing $44,000, and which was torn down in June 1871. The other was called the City Hotel. McLoughlin s residence, built about 1845, was a large building for those times, and was later the Finnegas Hotel. Moss Pioii<>ci- Times, MS., 30; Portland Advocate, June 3, 1871; Bacoris Merc. Life Or. City, MS., 18; Harvey s Life of McLoucjhlin, MS., 34; Niles? Reg., Ixx. 341.

11 Abernethy was the first mayor, and Lovejoy the second; McLoughlin was also mayor.

12 files Bey., Ixviii. 84; Or. Spectator, Feb. 19, 1846.



lation. Champoeg had been laid off as a town by Newell, but is so in name only. Close by is another river town, of about equal importance, owned by Abernethy and Beers, which is called Butteville. Just above the falls Hedges has laid off the town of Canemah. Besides these there are a number of settlements named after the chief families, such as Hembree s settlement in Yamhill County, Applegate s and Ford s in Polk, and Waldo s and Howell s in Marion. Hamlets prom ising to be towns are Salem, Portland, Vancouver, and Astoria.

I have already mentioned the disposition made of the missionary claims and property at Salem, and that on the dissolution of the Methodist Mission the Ore gon Institute was sold, with the land claimed as be longing to it, to the board of trustees. But as there was no law under the provisional government for the incorporation of such bodies, or any under which they could hold a mile square of land for the use of the in stitute, W. H. Wilson, H. B. Brewer, D. Leslie, and L. H. Judson resorted to the plan of extending their four land-claims in such a manner as to make their corners meet in the centre of the institute claim, under that provision in the land law allowing claims to be held by a partnership of two or more persons; and by giving bonds to the trustees of the institute to perform this act of trust for the benefit of the board, till it should become incorporated and able to hold the land in its own right.

In March 1846 Wilson was authorized to act as agent for the board, and was put in possession of the premises. In May following he was empowered to sell lots, and allowed a compensation of seven per cent on all sales effected. During the summer a por tion of the claim was sold to J. L. Parrish, David Leslie, and C. Craft, at twelve dollars an acre; and Wilson was further authorized to sell the water-power or mill-site, and as much land with it as might be



thought advisable; also to begin the sale by public auction of the town lots, as surveyed for that pur pose, the first sale to take place September 10, 1846. Only half a dozen families were there previous to this time. 13

In July 1847 a bond was signed by Wilson, the conditions of which were the forfeiture of $100,000, or the fulfilment of the following terms : That he should hold in trust the six hundred and forty acres thrown off from the land-claims above mentioned; that he should pay to the missionary society of the Methodist Epis copal church of Oregon and to the Oregon Institute certain sums amounting to $6,000; that he should use all diligence to perfect a title to the institute claim, and when so perfected convey to the first annual con ference of the Methodist church, which should be established in Oregon by the general conference of the United States, in trust, such title as he himself had obtained to sixty acres known as the institute reserve/ on which the institute building was situated for which services he was to receive one third of the money derived from the sale of town lots on the un reserved portion of the six hundred and forty acres comprised in the Salem town-site and belonging to the several claimants. Under this arrangement, in 1848, Wilson and his wife were residing in the institute building on the reserved sixty acres, Mrs Wilson having charge of the school, while the agency of the town property remained with her husband.

The subsequent history of Salem town-site belongs to a later period, but may be briefly given here. When the Oregon donation law was passed, which gave to the wife half of the mile square of land em braced in the donation, Wilson had the dividing line

O

on his land run in such a manner as to throw the reserve with the institute building, covered by his claim, upon the wife s portion ; and Mrs Wilson being

13 Davidson s Southern Route, MS., 5; Brown s Autobiography, MS., 31; Rabbisoris Growth of Towns, MS., 27 -8.



under no legal obligation to make over anything to the Oregon conference, in trust for the institute, re fused to listen to the protests of the trustees so neatly tricked out of their cherished educational enterprise. In this condition the institute languished till 1854, when a settlement was effected by the restoration of the reserved sixty acres to the trustees of the Willa mette University, and two thirds of the unsold re mains of the south-west quarter of the Salem town- site which Wilson was bound to hold for the use of that institution. Whether the restoration was an act of honor or of necessity I will not here discuss; the act of congress under which the territory was organ ized recognized as binding all bonds and obligations entered into under the provisional government. 14 In later years some important lawsuits grew out of the pretensions of Wilson s heirs, to an interest in lots sold by him while acting agent for the trustees of the town-site. 15

Portland in 1848 had but two frame buildings, one the residence of F. W. Pettygrove, who had re moved from Oregon City to this hamlet on the river s edge, and the other belonging to Thomas Carter. Several log-houses had been erected, but the place had no trade except a little from the Tualatin plains lying to the south, beyond the heavily timbered high lands in that direction.

The first owner of the Portland land-claim was William Overton, a Tennesseean, who came to Oregon about 1843, and presently took possession of the place, where he made shingles for a time, but being of a restless disposition went to the Sandwich Islands, and returning dissatisfied and out of health, resolved to go to Texas. Meeting with A. L. Lovejoy at Van couver, and returning with him to Portland in a carioe, he offered to resign the claim to him, but subsequently

14 Or. Laws, 1843-72, 61; Hintf Or. and Inst., 165-72. > Thornton s Salem Titles, in Salem Directory for 1874, 2-7. Wilson died suddenly of apoplexy, in 1856. Id., 22.



changed his mind, thinking to remain, yet giving Lovejoy half, on condition that he would aid in im proving it; for the latter, as he says in his Founding of Portland, MS., 30-34, observed the masts and booms of vessels which had been left there, and it occurred to. him that this was the place for a town. So rarely did shipping come to Oregon in these days, and more rarely still into the Willamette River, that the possibility or need of a seaport or harbor town away from the Columbia does not appear to have been seriously entertained up to this time.

After some clearing, preparatory to building a house, Overton again determined to leave Oregon, and sold his half of the land to F. W. Petty grove for a small sum and went to Texas, where it has been said he was hanged. 16 Lovejoy and Pettygrove then erected the first house in the winter of 1845, the locality being on what is now Washington street at the corner of Front street, it being built of logs covered with shingles. Into this building Pettygrove moved half of his stock of goods in the spring of 1845, and with Lovejoy opened a road to the farming lands of Tual atin County from which the traffic of the imperial city was expected to come.

The town was partially surveyed by H. N. V. Short, the initial point being Washington street and the survey extending down the river a short distance. The naming of it was decided by the tossing of a cop per coin, Pettygrove, who was from Maine, gaining the right to call it Portland, against Lovejoy, who w^as from Massachusetts and wished to name the new town Boston. A few stragglers gathered there, and during the Cayuse war when the volunteer companies organ ized at Portland, and crossing the river took the road to Switzler s ferry opposite Vancouver, it began to be apparent that it was a more convenient point of de parture and arrival in regard to the Columbia than

16 Deady, iaOverland Monthly, i. 36; Nesmith, in Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans. , 1875, 57. Oregon City. But it made no material progress till a conjunction of remarkable events in 1848 called it into active life and permanent prosperity. Before this happened, however, Lovejoy had sold his interest to Benjamin Stark; and Daniel Lownsdale in September of this year purchased Pettygrove's share, paying for it $5,000 worth of leather which he had made at his tannery adjoining the town-site. The two founders of Portland thus transferred their ownership, which fell at a fortunate moment into the hands of Daniel Lownsdale, Stephen Coffin, and W. W. Chapman.[1]

In 1848 Henry Williamson, the same who claimed unsuccessfully near Fort Vancouver in 1845, employed P. W. Crawford to lay out a town on the present site of Vancouver, and about five hundred lots were surveyed, mapped, and recorded in the recorder s books at Oregon City, according to the law governing town-sites; the same survey long ruling in laying out streets, blocks, and lots. But the prospects for a city were blighted by the adverse claim of Amos Short, an immigrant of 1847, who settled first at Linnton, then removed to Sauve Island where he was engaged in slaughtering Spanish cattle, but who "finally took six hundred and forty acres below Fort Vancouver, Williamson who still claimed the land being absent at the time, having gone to Indiana for a wife. The land law of Oregon, in order to give young men this opportunity of fulfilling marriage engagements without loss, provided that by paying into the treasury of the territory the sum of five dollars a year, they could be absent from their claims for two consecutive years, or long enough to go to the States and return.

In Williamson s case the law proved ineffectual. She whom he was to marry died before he reached Indiana, and on returning still unmarried, he found Short in possession of his claim; and although he was at the expense of surveying, and a house was put up by William Fellows, who left his property in the keeping of one Kellogg, Short gave Williamson so much trouble that he finally abandoned the claim and went to California to seek a fortune in the mines. The cottonwood tree which Crawford made the starting-point of his survey, and which was taken as the corner of the United States military post in 1850, was standing in 1878. The passage of the donation law brought up the question of titles to Vancouver, but as these arguments and decisions were not considered till after the territory of Washington was set off from Oregon, I will leave them to be discussed in that portion of this work. Astoria, never having been the seat of a mission, either Protestant or Catholic, and being on soil acknowledged from the first settlement as American, had little or no trouble about titles, and it was only necessary to settle with the government when a place for a military post was temporarily required.

The practice of jumping, as the act of trespassing on land claimed by another was called, became more common as the time was supposed to approach when congress would make the long-promised donation to actual settlers, and every man desired to be upon the choicest spot within his reach. It did not matter to the intruder whether the person displaced were English or American. Any slight flaw in the proceedings or neglect in the customary observances rendered the claimant liable to be crowded off his land. But when these intrusions became frequent enough to attract the attention of the right-minded, their will was made known at public meetings held in all parts of the territory, and all persons were warned against violating the rights of others. They were told that if the existing law would not prevent trespass the legislature should make one that would prove effectual.[2] Thus warned, the envious and the grasping were generally restrained, and claim-jumping never assumed alarming proportions in Oregon. Considering the changes made every year in the population of the country, public sentiment had much weight with the people, and self-government attained a position of dignity.

Although no claimant could sell the land he held, he could abandon possession and sell the improvements, and the transaction vested in the purchaser all the rights of the former occupant. In this manner the land changed occupants as freely as if the title had been in the original possessor, and no serious inconvenience was experienced[3] for the want of it.

Few laws were enacted at the session of 1847, as it was believed unnecessary in view of the expected near approach of government by the United States. But the advancing settlement of the country demanding that the county boundaries should be fixed, and new ones created, the legislature of 1847 established the counties of Linn and Benton, one extending east to the Rocky Mountains, the other west to the Pacific Ocean, and both south to the latitude 42°.[4]

The construction of a number of roads was also authorized, the longer ones being from Portland to Mary River, and from Multnomah City to the same place, and across the Cascade Mountains by the way of the Santiam River to intercept the old emigrant road in the valley of the Malheur, or east of there, from which it will be seen that there was still a conviction in some minds that a pass existed which would lead travellers into the heart of the valley. That no such pass was discovered in 1848, or until long after annual caravans of wagons and cattle from the States ceased to demand it, is also true.[5] But it was a benefit to the country at large that a motive existed for annual exploring expeditions, each one of which brought into notice some new and favorable situations for settlements, besides promoting discoveries of its mineral resources of importance to its future development.[6]


On account of the unusual and late rains in the summer of 1847, the large immigration which greatly increased the home consumption, and the Cayuse war which reduced the number of producers, the colony experienced a depression in business and a rise in prices which was the nearest approach to financial distress which the country had yet suffered. Farming utensils were scarce and dear, cast-iron ploughs selling at forty-five dollars.[7] Other tools were equally scarce, often requiring a man who needed an axe to travel a long distance to procure one second-hand at a high price. This scarcity led to the manufacture of axes at Vancouver, for the company s own hunters and trappers, before spoken of as exciting the suspicion of the Americans. Nails brought from twenty to twenty-five cents per pound; iron twelve and a half. Groceries were high, coffee bringing fifty cents a pound; tea a dollar and a half; coarse Sandwich Island sugar twelve and fifteen cents; common molasses fifty cents a gallon. Coarse cottons brought twenty and twenty-five cents a yard; four -point blankets five dollars a single one; but ready-made common clothing for men could be bought cheap. Flour was selling in the spring for four and five dollars a barrel, and potatoes at fifty cents a bushel;



high prices for those times, but destined to become higher. 24

The evil of high prices was aggravated by the nature of the currency, which was government scrip, orders on merchants, and wheat; the former, though drawing interest, being of uncertain value owing to the state of the colonial treasury which had never contained money equal to the face of the government s promises to pay. The law making orders on mer chants currency constituted the merchant a banker without any security for his solvency, and the value of wheat was liable to fluctuation. There were, be sides, different kinds of orders. An Abernethy order was not good for some articles. A Hudson s Bay

order misfht have a cash value, or a beaver-skin value.

.

In making a trade a man was paid in Couch, Aber nethy, or Hudson s Bay currency, all differing in value. 25 The legislature of 1847 so far amended the currency act as to make gold and silver the only law ful tender for the payment of judgments rendered in the courts, where no special contract existed to the contrary; but making treasury drafts lawful tender in payment of taxes, or in compensation for the ser vices of the officers or agents of the territory, unless otherwise provided by law; and providing that all costs of any suit at law should be paid in the same kind of money for which judgment might be rendered.

This relief was rather on the side of the litigants than the people at large. Merchants paper was worth as much as the standing of the merchant. Nowhere in the country, except at the Hudson s Bay Company s store, would an order pass at par. 26 The inconvenience of paying for the simplest article by orders on wheat in warehouse was annoying both to purchaser and seller. The first money brought into the country in any quantity was a barrel of silver dollars received at

S. F. California Star, July 10, 1847; Crawford s Far., MS., 119-20. Lovejoy s Portland, MS., 35-6. 26 BriQ <g s Port Townsend, MS., 11-13.



Vancouver to be paid in monthly sums to the crew of the Modeste? 1 The subsequent overland arrivals brought some coin, though not enough ta remedy the evil.

One effect of the condition of trade in the colony was to check credit, which in itself would not have been injurious, perhaps, 2 * had it not also tended to discourage labor. A mechanic who worked for a stated price was not willing to take whatever might be given him in return for his labor. 2

Another effect of such a method was to prevent vessels coming to Oregon to trade. 30 The number of

21 Roberts Recollections, MS., 21; Ebbert s Trapper s Life, MS., 40. 28 Howison relates that he found many families who, rather than incur debt, had lived during their first year in the country entirely on boiled wheat and salt salmon, the men going without hat or shoes while putting in and harvest ing their first crop. Coast and Country, 16.

29 Moss gives an illustration of this check to industry. A man named Anderson was employed by Abernethy in his saw-mill, and labored night and day. Abemethy s stock of goods was not large or well graded, and he would sell certain articles only for cash, even when his own notes were presented. Anderson had purchased part of a beef, \vhich he wished to salt for family use, but salt being one of the articles for which cash was the equivalent at Abernethy s store, he was refused it, though Abernethy was owing him, and he was obliged to go to the fur company s store for it. Pioneer Times, MS., 40-3.

30 Herewith I summarize the Oregon ocean traffic for the 14 years since the first American settlement, most of which occurrences are mentioned elsewhere. The Hudson s Bay Company employed in that period the barks Ganymede, forager, Nereid, Columbia, Cowlitz, Diamond, Vancouver, Wave, Brothers, Janet, Admiral Moorsom, the brig Mary Dare, the schooner Cadboro, and the steamer Beaver, several of them owned by the company. The Beaver, after her first appearance in the river in 1836, was used in the coast trade north of the Columbia. The barks Cowlitz, Columbia, Vancouver, and the schooner Cadboro crossed the bar of the Columbia more frequently than any other ves sels from 1836 to 1848. The captains engaged in the English service were Eales, Royal, Home, Thompson, McNeil, Duncan, Fowler, Brotchie, More, Darby, Heath, Dring, Flere, Weyington, Cooper, McKnight, Scarborough, and Humphreys, who were not always in command of the same vessel. There was the annual vessel to and from England, but the others were employed in trading along the coast, and between the Columbia River and the Sandwich Islands, or California, their voyages extending sometimes to Valparaiso, from which parts they brought the few passengers coming to Oregon.

The first American vessel to enter the Columbia after the arrival of the missionaries was the brig Loriot, Captain Bancroft, in Dec. 1836; the second the Diana, Captain W. S. Hinckley, May 1837; the third the Lausanne, Captain Spaulding, May 1840. None of these came for the purpose of trade. There is mention in the 25th Cong., 3d Scss., U. S. Com. Rcpt. 101, 58, of the ship Joseph Peabody fitting out for the Northwest Coast, but she did not enter the C ^lumbia so far as I can learn. In August 1840 the first American trader since Wyeth arrived. This was the brig Maryland, Captain John H. Couch, from Newburyport, belonging to the house of Gushing & Co. She took a few fish and left the river in the autumn never to return. In Apr il 1841



American vessels which brought goods to the Colum bia or carried away the products of the colony was small. Since 1834 the bar of the Columbia had been crossed by American vessels, coming in and going out, fifty-four times. The list of American vessels entering during this period comprised twenty-two of

the second trader appeared, the Thomas H. Perkins, Captain Varney. She remained through the summer, the Hudson s Bay Company finally purchas ing her cargo and chartering the vessel to get rid 01 her. Then came the U. S. exploring expedition the same year, whose vessels did not enter the Columbia owing to the loss of the Peacock on the bar. After this disaster Wilkes bought the charter and the name of the Perkins was changed to the Oregon, and she left the river with the shipwrecked mariners for California. On the 2d of April 1842 Captain Couch reappeared with a new vessel, the Chenamus, named after the chief of the Chinooks. He brought a cargo of goods which he took to Oregon City, where he established the first American trading-house in the Willamette Valley, and also a small fishery on the Columbia. She sailed for Newburyport in the autumn. On this vessel came Richard Ekin from Liver pool to Valparaiso, the Sandwich Islands, and thence to Oregon. He settled near Salem and was the first saddle-maker. From which circumstance I call his dictation The Saddle-Maker. Another American vessel whose name does not appear, but whose captain s name was Chapman, entered the river April 10th to trade and fish, and remained till autumn. She sold liquor to the Clatsop and other savages, and occasioned much discord and bloodshed in spite of the protests of the missionaries. In May 1843 the ship Fama, Captain Nye, arrived withsupplies for the missions. She brought several settlers, namely: Philip Fos ter, wife, and 4 children; F. W. Petty grove, wife, and child; Peter F. Hatch, wife and child; and Nathan P. Mack. Petty grove brought a stock of goods and began trade at Oregon City. In August of the same year another vessel of the Newburyport Company arrived with Indian goods, and some articles of trade for settlers. This was the bark Pallas, Captain Sylvester; she remained until November, when she sailed for the Islands and was sold there, Sylvester returning to Oregon the following April 1844 in the Chenamus, Captain Couch, which had made a voyage to Newburyport and returned. She brought from Honolulu Horace Hold en and family, who settled in Oregon; also a Mr Cooper, wife and boy; Mr and Mrs Burton and 3 children, besides Griffin, Tidd, and Goodhue. The Chenamus seems to have made a voyage to the Islands in the spring of 1845, in command of Sylvester, and to have left there June 12th to return to the Columbia. This was the first direct trade with the Islands. The Chenamus brought as passengers Hathaway, Weston, Roberts, John Crank- bite, and Elon Fellows. She sailed for Newburyport in the winter of 1845, and did not return to Oregon. In the summer of 1844 the British sloop-of- war Modeste, Captain Baillie, entered the Columbia and remained a short time at Vancouver. On the 31st of July the Belgian ship L Infatic/able entered the Columbia by the before undiscovered south channel, escaping wreck, to the surprise of all beholders. She brought De Smet and a Catholic reenforce- ment for the missions of Oregon. In April 1845 the Swedish brig Bull visited the Columbia ; she was from China : Shilliber, supercargo. Captain Worn- grew remained but a short time. On the 14th of October the Amer ican bark, Toulon, Captain Nathaniel Crosby, from New York, arrived with goods for Pettygrove s trading-houses in Oregon City and Portland: Benjamin Stark jun., supercargo. In September the British sloop-of-war Modeste returned to the Columbia, where she remained till June 1847. The British ehip-of-war America, Captain Gordon, was in Puget Sound during the summer. In the spring of 1846 the Toulon made a voyage to the Ha waiian Islands, returning June 24th with a cargo of sugar, molasses, coffee,



all classes. Of these in the first six years not one was a trader; in the following six years seven were traders, but only four brought cargoes to sell to the settlers, and these of an ill-assorted kind. From March 1847 to August 1848 nine different American vessels visited the Columbia, of which one brought a

cotton, woollen, goods, and hardware; also a number of passengers, viz.: Mrs Whittaker and 3 children, and Shelly, Armstrong, Rogers, Overton, Norris, Brothers, Powell, and French and 2 sons. The Toulon continued to run to the Islands for several years. On the 20th of June 1846 the American bark Mariposa, Captain Parsons, arrived from New York with goods consigned to Benjamin Stark jun. , with Mr and Miss Wadsworth as passengers. The Mari- posa remained but a few weeks in the river. On the 18th of July the U. S. schooner Shark, Captain Neil M. Howison, entered the Columbia, narrowly escaping shipwreck on the Chinook Shoal. She remained till Sept. , and was wrecked going out of the mouth of the river. During the summer the British frigate Fistjard, Captain Duntre, was stationedin Puget Sound. About the Istof March 1847 the brig Henry, Captain William K. Kilborne, arrived from New- buryport for the purpose of establishing a new trading-house at Oregon City. The Henry brought as passengers Mrs Kilborne and children; G. W. Lawton, a partner in the venture; D. Good, wife, and 2 children; Mrs Wilson and 2 children; H. Swasey and wife; R. Douglas, D. Markwood, C. C. Shaw, B. R. Marcellus, a d S. C. Reeves, who became the first pilot on the Columbia River bar. The goods brought by the Henry were of greater variety than any stock before it ; but they were also in great part second-hand arti cles of furniture on which an enormous profit was made, but which sold readily owing to the great need of stoves, crockery, cabinet-ware, mirrors, and other like conveniences of life. The Henry was placed under the com mand of Cap tarn Bray, and was employed trading to California and the [slands. On the 24th of March the brig Commodore Stockton, Captain Young, from San Francisco, arrived, probably for lumber, as she returned in April. The Stockton was the old Pallas renamed. On the 14th of June the American ship Brutus, Captain Adams, from Boston and San Francisco, arrived, and remained in the river several weeks for a cargo. On the 22d of the same month the American bark Whiton, Captain Gelston, from Monterey, arrived, also for a cargo; and on the 27th the American ship Mount Vernon, Captain 0. J. Given, from Oahu, also entered the river. By the Whiton there came as settlers Rev. William Roberts, wife and 2 children, Rev. J. H. Wilbur, wife, and daughter, Edward F. Folger, Richard Andrews, George Whitlock, and J. M. Stanley, the latter a painter seeking Indian studies for pictures. The Whiton returned to California and made another visit to the Columbia River in September. On the 13th of August there arrived from Brest, France, the bark L Etoile du Matin, Captain Menes, with Archbishop Blanchet and a Catholic reinforcement of 21 persons, viz.: Three Jesuit priests, Gaetz, Gazzoli, Menestrey, and 3 lay brothers; 5 secular priests, Le Bas, Mc- Cormick, Deleveau, Pretot, and Veyret; 2 deacons, B. Delorme, and J. F. Jayol; and one cleric, T. Mesplie; and 7 sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Captain Menes afterwards engaged in merchandising in Oregon. L JEtoile du Matin was wrecked on the bar. On the 16th of March 1848 the U. S. trans port Anita, Midshipman Woodworth in command, arrived in the Columbia to recuit for the army in Mexico, and remained until the 22d of April. About this time the American brig Eveline, Captain Goodwin, entered the Columbia for a cargo of lumber; she left the river May 7th. The Hawaiian schooner Mary Ann, Captain Belcham, was also in the river in April. The 8th of May the Hudson s Bay Company s bark Vancouver, Captain Duncan, was lost after crossing the bar, with a cargo from London valued at 30,000, and unin




stock of general merchandise, and the rest had come for provisions and lumber, chiefly for California. All the commerce of the country not carried on by these few vessels, most of them arriving and departing but once, was enjoyed by the British fur company, whose barks formed regular lines to the Sandwich Islands, California, and Sitka.

It happened that during 1846, the year following the incoming of three thousand persons, not a single ship from the Atlantic ports arrived at Oregon with merchandise, and that all the supplies for the year were brought from the Islands by the Toulon, the sole American vessel owned by an Oregon company, the Chenamus having gone home. This state of affairs occasioned much discontent, and an examina tion into causes. The principal grievance presented was the rule of the Hudson s Bay Company, which prohibited their vessels from carrying goods for per sons not concerned with them. But the owners of the only two American vessels employed in transpor tation between the Columbia and other ports had

sured. She was in charge of the pilot, but missed stays when too near the south sands, and struck where the Shark was wrecked 2 years before. On the 27th of July the American schooner Honolulu, Captain Newell, entered the Columbia for provisions; and about the same time the British war-ship Con stance, Captain Courtenay, arrived in Puget Sound. The Hawaiian schooner Starting, Captain Menzies, arrived the 10th of August in the river for a cargo of provisions. The Henry returned from California at the same time, with the news of the gold-discovery, which discovery opened a new era in the traffic of the Columbia. The close of the period was marked by the wreck of the whale- ship Maine, Captain Netcher, with 1,400 barrels of whale-oil, 150 of sperm-oil, and 14,000 pounds of bone. She had been two years from Fairhaven, Mass., and was a total loss. The American schooner Maria, Captain De Witt, was in the river at the same time, for a cargo of flour for San Francisco; also the sloop Peacock, Captain Gier; the TorigSabine, Captain Crosby; and the schooner Ann, Captain Melton; all for cargoes of flour and lumber for San Francisco. Later in the summer the Harpooncr, Captain Morice, was in the river. The sources from which I have gleaned this information are McLoughlin s Private Papers, 2d ser., MS.; Douglas Private Papers, 2d ser., MS; a list made by Joseph Hardisty of the Hudson s Bay Company, and published in the Or. Spectator, Aug. 19, 1851; Parker s Journal; Kelley s Colonization of Or.; Townsend s Nar.; Lee and Frost s Or.; limes Or. Hist.; 27th Cong., 3d Sess., H. Com. Kept. 31, 37; Niks Reg., Ixi. 320; Wilkes Nar. U. S. Explor. Ex., iv. 312; Athey s Workshops, MS., 3; Honolulu Friend; Monthly Shipping List; Petty</rove s Or., MS., 10; Victor s River of the West, 392, 398; Honolulu News Shipping List, 1848; Sylvester s Olympia, MS., 1-4; Deady s Scrap-book, 140; Honolulu Gazette, Dec. 3, 1836; Honolulu Polynesian, i. 10, 39, 51, 54; Mack s Or., MS., 2; Blanche?* Hist. Cath. Church in Or., 143, 158.



adopted the same rule, and refused to carry wheat, lumber, or any other productions of the country, for private individuals, having freight enough of their own.

The granaries and flouring -mills of the country were rapidly becoming overstocked; lumber, laths, and shingles were being made much faster than they could be disposed of, and there was no way to rid the colony of the over-production, while money was absolutely required for certain classes of goods. As it was de clared by one of the leading colonists, "the best families in the country are eating their meals and drinking their tea and coffee when our merchants can afford it from tin plates and cups; 31 many articles of cloth ing and other things actually necessary for our con sumption are not to be purchased in the country; our children are growing up in ignorance for want of school-books to educate them; and there has not been a plough-mould in the country for many months."

In the autumn of 1845 salt became scarce, and was raised in price from sixty-two and a half cents a bushel to two dollars at McLoughlin s store in Oregon City. The American merchants, Stark and Pettygrove, saw an opportunity of securing a monopoly of the salmon trade by withholding their salt, a cash article, from market, at any price, and many families were thereby compelled to dispense with this condiment for months. Such was the enmity of the people, however, toward McLoughlin as a British trader, that it was seriously proposed in Yarnhill County to take by force the salt of the doctor, who was selling it, rather than to rob the American merchants who refused to sell. 3

It was deemed a hardship while flour brought from ten to fifteen dollars a barrel in the Hawaiian Islands,

31 McCarver, in Or. Spectator, July 4, 1846. Thornton says Mr Waymire paid Pettygrove, at Portland, $2.50 for 6 very plain cups and saucers, which could be had in the States for 25 cents; and the same for G very ordinary and plain plates. Wheat at that time was worth $1 per bushel. Or. and Cal. t ii. 52.

  • > Bacon s Merc. Life in Or. City, MS. , 22.



and New York merchants made a profit by shipping it from Atlantic ports where wheat was worth more than twice its Oregon price, that for want of shipping, the fur company and two or three American mer chants should be privileged to enjoy all the benefits of such a market, the farmers at the same time being kept in debt to the merchants by the low price of wheat. Many long articles were published in the Spectator exhibiting the enormous injury sustained on the one hand and the extraordinary profits enjoyed on the other, some of which were answered by James

t/

Douglas, who was annoyed by these attacks, for it was always the British and not the American traders who were blamed for taking advantage of their oppor tunity. The fur company had no right to avail them selves of the circumstances causing fluctuation; only the Americans might fatten themselves on the wants of the people. If the fur company kept down the price of wheat, the American merchants forced up the price of merchandise, and if the former occasionally made out a cargo by carrying the flour or lumber of their neighbors to the Islands, they charged them as much as a vessel coming all the way out from New York would do, and for a passage to Honolulu one hundred dollars. In the summer of 1846 the super cargo of the Toulon , Benjamin Stark, jun., after carry ing out flour for Abernethy, refused to take the return freight except upon such terms as to make acceptance out of the question; his object being to get his own goods first to market and obtain the price consequent on the scarcity of the supply. 8 Palmer relates that the American merchants petitioned the Hudson s Bay Company to advance their prices; and that it was agreed to sell to Americans at a higher price than that charged to their own people, an arrangement that lasted for two years. 84

83 Or. Spectator, July 23, 1846; flowison s Coast and Country, MS., 21; Waldo s Critiques, MS., 18.

31 Palmer s Journal, 117-18; Roberts Recollections, MS., 67.



The colonists felt that instead of being half- clad, and deprived of the customary conveniences of living, they ought to be selling from the abundance of their farms to the American fleet in the Pacific, and reaching out toward the islands of the ocean and to China with ships of their own. To remedy the evil and bring about the result aspired to, a plan was pro posed through the Spectator, whereby without money a joint-stock company should be organized for carry ing on the commerce of the colony in opposition to the merchants, British or American. This plan was to make the capital stock consist of six hundred thousand or eight hundred thousand bushels of wheat divided into shares of one hundred bushels each. When the stock should be taken and officers elected, bonds should be executed for as much money as would buy or build a schooner and buy or erect a grist-mill.

A meeting was called for the 16th of January 1847, to be held at the Methodist meeting-house in Tuala tin plains. Two meeting were held, but the conclu sion arrived at was adverse to a chartered company; the plan adopted for disposing of their surplus wheat being to select and authorize an agent at Oregon City to receive and sell the grain, and import the goods desired by the owners. A committee was chosen to consider proposals from persons bidding, and Governor Abernethy was selected as miller, agent, and importer. Twenty-eight shares were taken at the second meet ing in Yamhill. An invitation was extended to other counties to hold meetings, correspond, and fit them selves intelligently to carry forward the project, which ultimately would bring about the formation of a char tered company. 35 The scheme appeared to be on the

35 The leaders in the movement seem to have been E. Lennox, M. M. Mc- Carver, David Hill, J. L. Meek, Lawrence Hall, J. S. Griffin, and Caffen- burg of Yamhill; David Leslie, L. H. Judson, A. A. Robinson, J. S. Smith, Charles Bennett, J. B. McClane, Robert Newell, T. J. Hubbard, and E. Dupuis of Champoeg. Or. Spectator, March 4 and April 29, 1847; S. F. Cali fornia Star, Feb. 27, 1847.



way to success, when an unlooked-for check was re ceived in the loss of a good portion of the year s crop, by late rains which damaged the grain in the fields. This deficiency was followed by the large immigration of that year which raised the price of wheat to double its former value, and rendered unnecessary the plan of exporting it; while the Cayuse war, following closely upon these events, absorbed much of the surplus means of the colony.

Previous to 1848 the trade of Oregon was with the Hawaiian Islands principally, and the exports amounted in 1847 to $54,784.99. 36 This trade fell off in 1848 to $14,986.57; not on account of a decrease in ex ports which had in fact been largely augmented, as the increase in the shipping shows, but from being diverted to California by the American conquest and settlement; the demand for lumber and flour begin ning some months before the discovery of gold. 37

The colonial period of Oregon, which may be likened to man s infancy, and which had struggled through numerous disorders peculiar to this phase of existence, had still to contend against the constantly recurring nakedness. From the fact that down to the close of 1848 only five ill-assorted cargoes of American goods had arrived from Atlantic ports, 38 which were partially

36 Polynesian, iv. 135. I notice an advertisement in 8. I. Friend, April 1845, where Albert E. Wilson, at Astoria, offers his services as commission merchant to persons at the Islands. r Thornton s Or. and CaL, ii. 63. 8 The cargo of the Toulon, the last and largest supply down to the close of


1845, consisted of 20 cases wooden clocks, 20 bbls. dried apples, 3 small mills, 1 doz. crosscut-saws, mill-saws and saw-sets, mill-cranks, ploughshares, and pitchforks, 1 winno wing-machine, 100 casks of cut nails, 50 boxes saddler s tacks, 6 boxes carpenter s tools, 12 doz. hand-axes, 20 boxes manufactured tobacco, 5,000 cigars, 50 kegs white lead, 100 kegs of paint, ^ doz. medicine- chests, 50 bags Rio coffee, 25 bags pepper, 200 boxes soap, 50 cases boots and shoes, 6 cases slippers, 50 cane-seat chairs, 40 doz. wooden-seat chairs, 50 doz. sarsaparilla, 10 bales sheetings, 4 cases assorted prints, one bale damask tartan shawls, 5 pieces striped jeans, 6 doz. satinet jackets, 12 doz. linen duck pants, 10 doz. cotton duck pants, 12 doz. red flannel shirts, 200 dozen cotton hand kerchiefs, 6 cases white cotton flannels, 6 bales extra heavy indigo-blue cot ton, 2 cases negro prints, 1 case black velveteen, 4 bales Mackinaw blankets, 150 casks and bbls. molasses, 450 bags sugar, etc., for sale at reduced prices for cash. Or. Spectator, Feb. 5, 1846.



replenished by purchases of groceries made in the Sandwich Islands, and that only the last cargo, that of the Henry in 1847, brought out any assortment of goods for women s wear, 39 it is strikingly apparent that the greatest want in Oregon was the want of clothes.

The children of some of the foremost men in the farming districts attended school with but a single gar ment, w^hich was made of coarse cotton sheeting dyed with copperas a tawny yellow. During the Cayuse war some young house-keepers cut up their only pair of sheets to make shirts for their husbands. Some women, as well as men, dressed in buckskin, and in stead of in ermine justice was forced to appear in blue shirts and with bare feet. 4( And this notwithstanding the annual ship-load of Hudson s Bay goods. In 1848 not a single vessel loaded with goods for Oregon entered the river, and to heighten the destitution the fur company s bark Vancouver was lost at the en trance to the river on the 8th of May, with a valuable cargo of the articles most in demand, which were agri cultural implements and dry-goods, in addition to the usual stock in trade. Instead of the wives and daugh ters of the colonists being clad in garments becoming their sex and position, the natives of the lower Columbia decked in damaged English silks 41 picked up along the beach, gathered in great glee their summer crop of blackberries among the mountains. The wreck of the Vancouver was a great shock to the colony. A large amount of grain had been sown in anticipation of the

39 The Henry brought silks, mousseline de laines, cashemeres, d dcosse, balzarines, muslins, lawns, brown and bleached cottons, cambrics, tartan and net-wool shawls, ladies and misses cotton hose, white and colored, cotton and silk handkerchiefs. Id., April 1, 184^

40 These facts I have gathered from conversations with many of the pio neers. They have also been alluded to in print by Burnett, Adams, Moss, Nesmith, and Minto, and in most of the manuscript authorities. Moss tells an anecdote of Straight when he was elected to the legislature in 1845. He had no coat, and was distressed on account of the appearance he should make in a striped shirt. Moss having just been so fortunate as to have a coat made by a tailor sold it to him for $40 in scrip, which has never been redeemed. Pioneer Times, MS., 43-4.

^ Crawford s Nar., MS., 147; S. F. Californian, May 24, 1848.



demand in California for flour, which it would be im possible to harvest with the means at hand; and al though by some rude appliances the loss was partially overcome it could not be wholly redeemed. To add to their misfortunes, the whale-ship Maine was wrecked at the same place on the 23d of August, by which the gains of a two years cruise were lost, together with the ship.

The disaster to this second vessel was a severe blow to the colonists, who had always anticipated great profits from making the Columbia River a rendezvous for the whaling-fleet on the north-west coast. Some of the owners in the east had recommended their sail ing-masters to seek supplies in Oregon, out of a desire to assist the colonists. But it was their ill-fortune to have the first whaler attempting entrance broken up on the sands where two United States vessels, the Peacock and Shark, had been lost. 42 Ever since the wreck of the Shark efforts had been made to inaug urate a proper system of pilotage on the bar, and one of the constant petitions to congress was for a steam-tug. In the absence of this benefit the Oregon legislature in the winter of 1846 passed an act estab lishing pilotage on the bar of the Columbia, creating a board of commissioners, of which the governor was one, with power to choose four others, who should examine and appoint suitable persons as pilots. 43

The first American pilot was S. C. Reeves, who arrived in the brig Henry from Newburyport, in March 1847, and was appointed in April. 44 He went immediately to Astoria to study the channel, and was believed to be competent. 45 But the disaster of 1848

42 During the winter of 1845-6, 4 American whalers were lying at Vancou ver Island, the ships Morrison of Mass. , Louise of Conn. , and 2 others. Six seamen deserted in a whale-boat, but the Indians would not allow them to land, and being compelled to put to sea a storm arose and 3 of them per ished, Robert Church, Frederick Smith, and Rice of New London. Niles Key., Ixx. 341.

3 Or. Spectator, Jan. 7, 1847; Or. Laws, 1843-9, 46.

44 The S. /. Friend of Feb. 1849 said that the first and third mates of the Maine had determined to remain in Oregon as pilots.

45 The Hudson s Bay Company had no pilots and no charts, and wanted



caused him to be censured, and removed on the charge of conniving at the wreck of the Vancouver for the sake of plunder; a puerile and ill-founded accusation, though his services might well be dispensed with on the ground of incompetency. 46

If the sands of the bar shifted so much that there were six fathoms in the spring of 1847 where there were but tw r o and a half in 1846, as was stated by captains of vessels/ 7 1 see no reason for doubting that a sufficient change may have taken place in the winter of 1847-8, to endanger a vessel depending upon the wind. But however great the real dangers of the Co lumbia bar, and perhaps because they were great, 48 the

none, though they had lost 2 vessels, the William and Ann, in 1828, and the Isabella in 1830, in entering the river. Their captains learned the north channel and used it; and one of their mates, Latta, often acted as pilot to new arrivals. Parrish says, that in 1840 Captain Butler of the Sandwich Islands, who came on board the Lausanne to take her over the Columbia Bar, had not been in the Columbia for 27 years. Or. Anecdotes, MS., 6, 7. After coming into Baker Bay the ship was taken in charge by Birnie as far as Astoria, and from there to Vancouver by a Chinook Indian called George or King George, who knew the river tolerably well. A great deal of time was lost waiting for this chance pilotage. See Townsend s Nar., 180.

46 The first account of the wreck in the Spectator of May 18, 1848, fully exonerates the pilot; but subsequent published statements in the same paper for July 27th, speak of the removal on charges preferred against him and others, of secreting goods from the wreck. Reeves went to California in the autuinn in an open boat with two spars carried on the sides as outriggers, as elsewhere mentioned. In Dec. he returned to Oregon in charge of the Span ish bark Jdven Guipuzcoana, which was loaded with lumber, flour, and pas sengers, and sailed again for San Francisco in March. He became master of a small sloop, the Flora, which capsized in Suisun Bay, while carrying a party to the mines, in May 1849, by which he, a young man named Loomis, from Oregon, and several others were drowned. Crawford s Nar., MS., 191.

47 Howison declared that the south channel was almost closed up in 1846, yet in the spring of 1847 Reeves took the brig Henry out through it, and con tinued to use it during the summer. Or. Spectator, Oct. 14, 1847; Hunt s Merck. May., xxiii. 358, 560-1.

48 Kelley and Slacum both advocated an artificial mouth to the Columbia. 25th Cong., 3d Sess., H. Com. Kept. 101, 41, 56. Wilkes reported rather adversely than otherwise of its safety. Howison charged that Wilkes charts were worthless, not because the survey was not properly made, but because constant alterations were going on which rendered frequent surveys neces sary, and also the constant explorations of resident pilots. Coast and Coun try, MS. , 8-9. About the time of the agitation of the Oregon Question in the United States and England, much was said of the Columbia bar. A writer in the Edinburgh Review, July 1845, declared the Columbia inaccessible for 8 months of the year. Twiss, in his Or. Ques., 370, represented the entrance to the Columbia as dangerous. A writer in Niks Reg. , Ixx. 284, remarked that from all that had been said and printed on the subject for several years the impression was given that the mouth of the Columbia was so dangerous to navigate as to be nearly inaccessible. Findlay s Directory, i. 357-71; S. /.



colonists objected to having them magnified by rumor rather than alleviated by the means usual in such cases, and while they discharged Reeves, they used the Spectator freely to correct unfavorable impressions abroad. There were others who had been employed as branch pilots, and who still exercised their vocation, and certain captains who became pilots for their own or the vessels of others; 49 but there was a time fol lowing Reeves dismissal, when the shipping which soon after formed a considerable fleet in the Colum bia, ran risks enough to vindicate the character of the harbor, even though as sometimes happened a vessel was lost at the mouth of the river.

Friend, Nov. 2, 1846; Id., March 15, June 1, 1847; Album Mexicana, i. 573-4; S. F. Polynesian, iv. 110; S. F. Ccdifornian, Sept. 2, 1848; Thornton s Or. and CaL , i. 305; Ni/es* Reg., Ixix. 381. Senator Benton was the first to take up the championship of the river, which he did in a speech delivered May 28, 1846. He showed that while Wilkes narrative fostered a poor opinion of the entrance to the Columbia, the chart accompanying the narrative showed it to be good; and the questions he put in writing to James Blair, son of Francis P. Blair, one of the midshipmen who surveyed it (the others were Reynolds and Knox), proved the same. Further, he had consulted John Maginn, for 18 years pilot at New York, and then president of the New York association of pilots, who had a bill on pilotage before congress, and had asked him to compare the entrance of New York harbor with that of the Columbia, to which Maginn had distinctly returned answer that the Columbia had far the better entrance in everything that constituted a good harbor. Cong. Globe, 1845-6, 915; Id., 921-2. When Vancouver surveyed the river in 1792 there existed but one channel. In 1839 when Belcher surveyed it 2 channels existed, and Sand Island was a mile and a half long, covering an area of 4 square miles, where in Vancouver s time there were 5 fathoms of water. In 1841 Wiikes found the south channel closed with accretions from Clatsop Spit, and the middle sands had changed their shape. In 1844, as we have seen, it was open, and in 1846 almost closed again, but once more open in 1847. Subsequent gov ernment surveys have noted many changes. In 1850 the south channel was in a new place, and ran in a different direction from the old one; in 1852 the new channel was fully cut out, and the bar had moved three fourths of a mile eastward with a wider entrance, and 3 feet more water. The north channel had contracted to half its width at the bar, with its northern line on the line of 1850. The depth was reduced, but there was still one fathom more of water than on the south bar; and other changes had taken place. In 1859 the south channel was again closed, and again in 1868 discovered to be open, with a fathom more water than in the north channel, which held pretty nearly its former position. From these observations it is manifest that the north channel maintains itself with but slight changes, while the south chan nel is subject to variations, and the middle sands and Clatsop and Chinook spits are constantly shifting. Report of Bvt. Major Gillespie, Engineer Corps, TJ. S. A., Dec. 18, 1878, in Daily Astorian.

49 Captain N. Crosby is spoken of as taking vessels in and out of the river. This gentleman became thoroughly identified with the interests of Oregon, and especially of Portland, and of shipping, and did much to establish a trade with China.



In the matter of interior transportation there was not in 1848 much improvement over the Indian canoe or the fur company s barge and bateau. The maritime industries seem rather to have been neglected in early times on the north-west coast notwithstanding its natural features seemed to suggest the usefulness if not the necessity of seamanship and nautical science. Since the building of the little thirty-ton schooner Dolly at Astoria in 1811 for the Pacific Fur Com pany, few vessels of any description had been con structed in Oregon. Kelley related that he saw in 1834 a ship-yard at Vancouver where several vessels had been built, and where ships were repaired/ which is likely enough, but they were small and clumsy affairs, 51 and few probably ever went to sea. Some barges and a sloop or two are mentioned by the earliest settlers as on the rivers carrying wheat from Oregon City to Vancouver, which served also to con vey families of settlers down the Columbia. 55 The Star of Oregon built in the Willamette in 1841, was the second vessel belonging to Americans constructed in these waters.

The first vessel constructed by an individual owner, or for colonial trade, was a sloop of twenty-five tons, built in 1845 by an Englishman named Cook, and called the Calapooya. I have also mentioned that she proved of great service to the immigrants of that year on the Columbia and Lower Willamette. The first keel- boats above the falls were owned by Robert Newell, and built in the winter of 1845-6, to ply between Ore-

50 25th Cong., 3d Sew., H. Sup. Kept. 101, 59.

51 The schooner (not the bark) Vancouver was built at Vancouver in 1829. She was about 150 tons burden, and poorly constructed ; and was lost on Rose Spit at the north end of the Queen Charlotte Island in 1834. Captain Dun can ran her aground in open day. The crew got ashore on the mainland, and reached Fort Simpson, Nass River, in June. Roberts Recollections, MS., 43.

  • z MacVs Or., MS., 2; Ebberta Trapper s Life, MS., 44; Or. Spectator,

April 16, 1846. There is mention in the Spectator of June 25, 1846, of the launching at Vancouver of The Prince of Wales, a vessel of 70 feet keel, 18 feet beam, 14 feet below, with a tonnage register of 74. She was constructed by the company s ship -builder, Scarth, and christened by Miss Douglas, escorted by Captain Baillie of the Modeste, amidst a large concourse of people.



gon City and Champoeg, the Mogul and the Ben Franklin. From the fact that the fare was one dollar in orders, and fifty cents in cash, may be seen the esti mation in which the paper currency of the time was held. Other similar craft soon followed, 53 and were esteemed important additions to the comfort of trav ellers, as well as an aid to business. Other transpor tation than that by water there was none, except the slow-moving ox-wagon. 54 Stephen H. L. Meek ad vertised to take freight or passengers from Oregon City to Tualatin plains by such a conveyance, the wagon being a covered one, and the team consist ing of eight oxen. 55 Medorum Crawford transported goods or passengers around the falls at Oregon City for a number of years with ox-teains. 56

The men in the valley from the constant habit of being so much on horseback became very good riders. The Canadian young men and women were especially fine equestrians and sat their lively and often vicious Cayuse horses as if part of the animal; and on Sun day, when in gala dress, they made a striking appear ance, being handsome in form as well as graceful riders. 57 The Americans also adopted the custom of * loping practised by the horsemen of the Pacific coast, which gave the rider so long and easy a swing, and carried him so fast over the ground. They also became skilful in throwing the lasso and catching wild cat tle. Indeed, so profitable was cattle-raising, and so

53 Or. Spectator, May28, 1846. The Great Western ran in opposition to Newell s boats in May; and two other clinker-built boats were launched in the same month to run between Oregon City and Portland. In June following I notice men tion of the Salt River Packet, Captain Gray, plying between Oregon and Astoria with passengers. Id., June 11, 1840; Brown s Will. Valley, MS., 30; Bacon s Merc. Life Or. City, MS., 12; Weed s Queen Charlotte I. Exped., MS., 3.

54 Brown, in his Willamette Valley, MS., 6, says that before 1849 there was not a span of horses harnessed to a wagon in the territory; and that the first set of harness he saw was brought from California. On account of the roadless condition of the country at its first settlement, horses were little used in harness, but it is certain that many horse-teams came across the plains whose harnesses may : having been hanging unused, or made into gearing for riding-animals or for horses doing farm -work.

55 Or. Spectator, Oct. 29, 1846.

66 Crawford s Missionaries, MS., 13-15. bl Minto s Early Days, MS., 31.



agreeable the free life of the herdsman or owner of stock, who flitted over the endless green meadows, clad in fringed buckskin, with Spanish spurs jingling on his heels, and a crimson silk scarf tied about the waist, 58 that to aspiring lads the life of a vaquero of fered attractions superior to those of soil-stirring.

He who would a wooing go, if unable to return the same day, carried his blankets, and at night threw himself upon the floor and slept till morning, when he might breakfast before leave-taking.

If there were none of the usual means of travel, neither were there mail facilities till 1848. Letters were carried by private persons, who received pay or not according to circumstances. The legislature of 1845 in December enacted a law establishing a gen eral post-office at Oregon City, with W. Gr. T Vault 59 as postmaster-general, but the funds of the provisional government w r ere too scanty and the settlements too scattered to make it possible to carry out the inten tion of the act. 60

58 If we may believe some of these same youths, no longer young, they were not always so gayly apparelled and mounted. Says one: We rode with a rawhide saddle, bridle, and lasso. The bit was Spanish, the stirrups wooden, the sinch horse-hair, and over all these, rider and all, was a blanket with a hole in it through which the head of the rider protruded. Quite a suitable costume for rainy weather. McMinnville Reporter, Jan. 4, 1877.

59 W. G. T Vault was born in Arkansas, whence he removed to Illinois in 184.3, and to Oregon in 1844. He was a lawyer, energetic and adventurous, foremost in many exploring expeditions, and also a strong partisan with southern-democracy proclivities. He possessed literary abilities and had something to do with early newspapers, first with the Spectator, as president of the Oregon printing association, and as its first editor; afterward as editor of the Table Rock Sentinel, the first newspaper in southern Oregon ; and later of The Intellif/encer. He was elected to the legislature in 1846. After the establishment of the territory he was again elected to the legislature, being speaker of the house in 1858. He was twice prosecuting attorney of the 1st judicial district, comprising Jackson County, to which he had removed after the discovery of gold in Rogue River Valley, and held other public positions. When the mining excitement was at its height in Idaho, he was practising his profession and editing the Index in Silver City. Toward the close of his life, he deteriorated through the influence of his political associations, and lost caste among his fellow-pioneers. He died of small-pox at Jacksonville in 1869. Daily Salem Unionist, Feb. 1869; Deady s Scrap-look, 122; Jacksonville, Or., Sentinel, Feb. 6, 1869; Dallas Polk Co. Signal, Feb. 16, 1869.

450 By the post-office act, postage on letters of a single sheet conveyed for a distance not exceeding 30 miles was fixed at 15 cents; over and not exceeding 80 miles, 25 cents; over and not exceeding 200 miles, 30 cents; 200 miles, 50 cents. Newspapers, each 4 cents. The postmaster-general was to receive 10



The first contract let was to Hugh Burns in the spring of 1846, who was to carry the mail once to Weston, in Missouri, for fifty cents a single sheet. After a six months trial the postmaster-general had become assured that the office was not remunerative, the expense of sending a semi-monthly mail to each county south of the Columbia having been borne chiefly by private subscription; and advertised that the mail to the different points would be discontinued, but that should any important news arrive at Oregon City, it would be despatched to the several offices. The post-office law, however, remained in force as far as practicable but no regular mail service was in augurated until the autumn of 1847, when the United States department gave Oregon a deputy-postmaster in John M. Shively, and a special agent in Cornelius Gilliam. The latter immediately advertised for pro posals for carrying the mail from Oregon City to Astoria and back, from the same to Mary River 61 and back, including intermediate offices, and from the same to Fort Vancouver, Nisqually, and Admiralty Inlet. From this time the history of the mail service belongs to another period.

The social and educational affairs of the colony had by 1848 begun to assume shape, after the fashion of older communities. The first issue of the Spectator contained a notice for a meeting of masons to be held the 21st of February 1846, to adopt measures for obtaining a charter for a lodge. The notice was issued by Joseph Hull, P. G. Stewart, and William P. Dougherty. A charter was issued by the grand lodge of Missouri on the 19th of October 1846, to Mult- nomah lodge, No. 84, in Oregon City. This charter

per cent of all moneys by him received and paid out. The act was made con formable to the United States laws regulating the post-office department, so far as they were applicable to the condition of Oregon. Or. Spectator, Feb. 5, 1846. See T Vault s instructions to postmasters, in /(/., March 5, 1846.

61 Mary River signified to where Corvallis now stands. When that town was first laid off it was called Marysville.



was brought across the plains in an emigrant wagon in 1848, intrusted to the care of P. B. Cornwall, who turning off to California placed it in charge of Orrin Kellogg, who brought it safely to Oregon City and delivered it to Joseph Hull. Under this authority Multnomah lodge was opened September 11, 1848, Joseph Hull, W. M.; W. P. Dougherty, S. W., and T. C. Cason, J. W. J. C. Ainsworth was the first worshipful master elected under this charter. 62

A dispensation for establishing an Odd Fellows lodge was also applied for in 1846, but not obtained till 1852. 63 The Multnomah circulating library was a chartered institution, with branches in the different counties; and the members of the Falls Association, a literary society which seems to have been a part of the library scheme, contributed to the Spectator prose and verse of no mean quality.

The small and scattered population and the scarcity of school-books were serious drawbacks to education. Continuous arrivals, and the printing of a large edition of Webster s Elementary Spelling Book by the Oregon printing association, removed some of the obstacles to advancement 64 in the common schools. Of private schools and academies there were already several besides the Oregon Institute and the Cath olic schools. Of the latter there were St Joseph 65 for

62 Address of Grand Master Chad wick, in Yreka Union, Jan. 17, 1874; Seattle Tribune, Aug. 27, 1875; Olympia Transcript, Aug. 2, 1875.

63 This was on account of the miscarriage of the warrant, which was sent to Oregon in 1847 by way of Honolulu, but which did not reach there, the person to whom it was sent, Gilbert Watson, dying at the Islands in 1848. A. V. Fraser, who was sent out by the government in the following year to supervise the revenue service on the Pacific coast, was then appointed a special commissioner to establish the order in California and Oregon ; but the gold discoveries gave him so much to do that he did not get to Oregon, and it was not until 3 years afterward that Chemeketa lodge No. 1 was established at Salem. The first lodge at Portland was instituted in 1853. E. M. Barnum s Early Hist. Odd Fellowship in Or., in Jour, of Proceedings of Grand Lodge I. 0. 0. F. for 1877, 2075-84; H. H. Gilfrey in same, 2085; C. D. Moore s Historical Review of Odd Fellowship in Or., 25th Anniversary of Chemeketa Lodge, Dec. 1877; S. F. New Age, Jan. 7, 1865; Constitution, etc., Portland, 1871.

64 8. I. Friend, Sept. 1847, 140 ; Or. Fvectator, Feb. 18, 1847.

65 Named after Joseph La Roque of Paris who furnished the funds for its erection. DeSmefs Or. Mis s., 41.



boys at St Paul on French Prairie, and two schools for girls, one at Oregon City and one at St Mary, taught by the sisters of Notre Darne. An academy known as Jefferson Institute was located in La Creole Valley near the residence of Nathaniel Ford, who was one of the trustees. William Beagle and James Howard were the others, and J. E. Lyle principal. On the Tualatin plains Rev. Harvey Clark had opened a school which in 1846 had attained to some prom ise of success, and in 1847 a board of trustees was established. Out of this germ developed two years later the Tualatin Academy, incorporated in Septem ber 1849, which developed into the Pacific University in 1853-4.

The history of this institution reflects credit upon its founders in more than an ordinary degree. Har vey Clark, it will be remembered, w T as one of the independent missionaries, with no wealthy board at his back from whose funds he could obtain a few hundred or thousand of dollars. When he failed to find missionary work among the natives, he settled on the Tualatin plains upon a land-claim where the academic town of Forest Grove now stands, and taught as early as 1842 a few children of the other settlers. In 1846 there came to Oregon, by the southern route, enduring all the hardships of the be lated immigration, a woman sixty-eight years of age, with her children and grandchildren, Mrs Tabitha Brown. 6 * Her kind heart was pained at the num ber of orphans left to charity by the sickness among

66 Tabitha Moffat Brown was born in the town of Brinfield, Mass., May 1, 1780. Her father was Dr Joseph Moffat. At the age of 19 she mar- Rev. Clark Brown of Stonington, Conn., of the Episcopal church. In the changes of his ministerial life Brown removed to Maryland, where he died early, leaving his widow with 3 children surrounded by an illiterate people. She opened a school and for 8 years continued to teach, support ing her children until the 2 boys were apprenticed to trades, and assisting them to start in business. The family finally moved to Missouri. Here her children prospered, but one of the sons, Orris Brown, visited Oregon in 1843, returning to Missouri in 1845 with Dr White and emigrating with his mother and family in 1846. His sister and brother-in-law, Virgil K. Pringle, also accompanied him ; and it is from a letter of Mrs Pringle that this sketch has been obtained.



the immigrants of 1847, with no promise of proper care or training. She spoke of the matter to Harvey Clark who asked her what she would do. " If I had the means I would establish myself in a comfortable home, receive all poor children, and be a mother to them," said Mrs Brown. " Are you in earnest?" asked Clark. " Yes." "Then I will try with you, and see what can be done."

There was a log meeting-house on Clark s land, and in this building Mrs Brown was placed, and the work of charity began, the settlers contributing such articles of furnishing as they could spare. The plan was to receive any children to be taught; those whose parents could afford it, to pay at the rate of five dollars a week for board, care, and tuition, and those who had noth ing, to come free. In 1848 there were about forty children in the school, of whom the greater part were boarders; 67 Mrs Clark teaching and Mrs Brown having charge of the family, which was healthy and happy, and devoted to its guardian. In a short time Rev. Gushing Eells was employed as teacher.

There came to Oregon about this time Rev. George H. Atkinson, under the auspices of the Home Mission ary Society of Boston. 63 He had in view the estab-

67 In 1851, writes Mrs Brown, I had 40 in my family at $2.50 per week; and mixed with my own hands 3,423 pounds of flour in less than 5 months. Yet she was a small woman, had been lame many years, and was nearly 70 years of age. She died in 1857. See Or. Aryus, May 17, 1856; Portland West Shore, Dec., 1879.

68 Atkinson was born in Newbury, Vermont. He was related to Josiah Little of Massachusetts. One of his aunts, born in 1700, Mrs Anne Harris, lived to within 4 months of the age of 100 years, and remembered well the feeling caiTsed in Newburyport one Sunday morning by the tidings of the death of the great preacher Whitefield; and also the events of the French empire and American revolution. Mr Atkinson left Boston, with his wife, in October 1847, on board the bark Samoset, Captain Hollis, and reached the Hawaiian Islands in the following February, whence he sailed again for the Columbia in the Hudson s Bay Company s bark Cowlitz, Captain Weying- ton, May 23d, arriving at Vancouver on the 20th of June 1848. He at once entered upon the duties of his profession, organized the Oregon association of Congregational ministers, also the Oregon tract society, and joined in the effort to found a school at Forest Grove. He corresponded for a time with the Home Missionary, a Boston publication, from which I have gathered some fragments of the history of Oregon from 1848 to 1851, during the height of the gold excitement. Mr Atkinson became pastor of the Congregational church in Oregon City in 1853; andwasfor many years the pastorof the first Congregational HIST. OR., VOL. II. 3



lishment of a college under the patronage of the Con gregational church and finding his brethren in Oregon about to erect a new building for the school at Tua latin plains, and to organize a board of trustees, an arrangement was entered into by which the orphan school was placed in the hands of the trustees as the foundation of the proposed college, which at first aspired only to be called the Tualatin academy.

Clark gave two hundred acres of his land-claim for a college and town-site, and Mrs Brown gave a lot belonging to her, and five hundred dollars earned by herself. Subsequently she presented a bell to the Congregational church erected on the town-site; and immediately before her death gave her own house and lot to the Pacific University. She was indeed earnest and honest in her devotion to Christian charity; may her name ever be held in holy remembrance.

Mr Clark also sold one hundred and fifty acres of his remaining land for the benefit of the institution of which he and Mrs Brown were the founders. It is said of Clark, " he lived in poverty that he might do good to others." He died March 24, 1858, at Forest Grove, being still in the prime of life. 69 What was so well begun before 1848 continued to grow with the development of the country, and under the fostering care of new friends as well as old, became one of the leading independent educational institu tions of the north-west coast. 70

church in Portland. His health failing about 1866, he gave way to younger men; but he continued to labor as a missionary of religion and temperance in newer fields as his strength permitted. Nor did he neglect other fields of labor in the interest of Oregon, contributing many valuable articles on the general features and resources of the country. Added to all was an unspotted repu tation, the memory of which will be ever cherished by his descendants, 2 sons and a daughter, the latter married to Frank Warren jun. of Portland.

"Evant HM. Or., MS., 341; Gray s Hist. Or., 231; Deady s Hist. Or., MS.,



54; Or. Argus, April 10, 1858. Clark s daughter married George H. Durham of Portland.

70 The first board of trustees was composed of Rev. Harvey Clark, Hiram Clark, Rev. Lewis Thompson, W. H. Gray, Alvin T. Smith, James M. Moore, Osborne Russell, and G. H. Atkinson. The land given by Clark was laid out in blocks and lots, except 20 acres reserved for a campus, the half of which was donated by Rev. E. Walker. A building was erected during the reign of high prices, in 1850-1, which cost, unfinished, $7,000; $5,000 of which



A private school for young ladies was kept at Ore gon City by Mrs N. M. Thornton, wife of Judge Thornton. It opened February 1, 1847. The pupils were taught " all the branches usually comprised in a thorough English education, together with plain and fancy needle- work, drawing, and painting in mezzotints and water- colors." 71 Mrs Thornton s school was patro nized by James Douglas and other persons of distinc tion in the country. The first eifort made at estab lishing a common-school board was early in 1847 in

came from the sale of lots, and by contributions. In 1852 Mr Atkinson went east to solicit aid from the college society, which had promised to endow to some extent a college in Oregon. The Pacific University was placed the ninth on their list, with an annual sum granted of $600 to support a permanent pro fessor. From other sources he received $800 in money, and $700 in books for a library. Looking about for a professor, a young theological student, S. H. Marsh, son of Rev. Dr Marsh of Burlington College, was secured as principal, and with him, and the funds and books, Mr Atkinson returned in 1853. In the mean time J. M. Keeler, fresh from Union college, Schenectady, New York, had taken charge of the academy as principal, and had formed a pre paratory class before the arrival of Marsh. The people began to take a lively interest in the university, and in 1854 subscribed in lands and money 0,500, and partially pledged $3,500 more. On the 13th of April 1854 Marsh was chosen president, but was not formally inaugurated until August 21, 1855. This year Keeler went to Portland, and E. D. Shattuck took his place as principal of the academy which also embraced a class of young ladies. The institution struggled on, but in 1856-7 some of its most advanced students left it to go to the better endowed eastern colleges. This led the trustees and president to make a special effort, and Marsh went to New York to secure further aid, leaving the university department in the charge of Rev. H. Ly- man, professor of mathematics, who associated with him Piev. C. Eells. The help received from the college society and others in the east, enabled the uni versity to improve the general regime of the university. The first graduate was Harvey W. Scott, who in 1863 took his final degree. In 1866 there were 4 graduates. In June 1867 the president having again visited the east for further aid, over $25,000 was subscribed and 2 additional professors secured: G. H. Collier, professor of natural sciences, and J. W. Marsh, professor of languages. In May 1868 there were $44,303.60 invested funds, and a library of 5,000 volumes. A third visit to the east in 1869 secured over $20,000 for a presidential endowment fund. The university had in 1876, in funds and other property, $85,000 for its support. The buildings are however of a poor character for college pin-poses, being built of "wood, and not well constructed, and $100,000 would be required to put the university in good condition. President Marsh died in 1879, and was succeeded by J. R. Herrick. Though founded by Congregationalists, the Pacific University was not controlled by them in a sectarian spirit; and its professors were allowed full liberty in their teaching. Forest Grove, the seat of this institution, is a pretty village nestled among groves of oaks and firs near the Coast Range foot-hills. Centennial Year Hist. Pacific University, in Portland Oregonian, Feb. 12, 1876; Victor s Or. and Wash., 189-90; Or. Argus, Sept. 1, 1855; Deady s JJist. Or., MS., 54. 71 Mrs Thornton wrote to the S. I. Friend that she was very comfortably settled in a log-house, walked a mile to her school every morning, and was never more contented in her life.



Tualatin County, Rev. J. S. Griffin secretary; 72 but no legislative action was taken until a later period. Besides the spelling-book printed in 1847, Henry H. Evarts printed an almanac calculated for Oregon and the Sandwich Islands. 73 It was printed at the Spec tator office by W. P. Hudson.

Professional men were still comparatively rare, preachers of different denominations outnumbering the other professions. 74 In every neighborhood there was preaching on Sundays, the services being held in the most commodious dwellings, or in a school-house if there was one. There were as yet few churches. Oregon City, being the metropolis, had three, Catholic, Methodist, and Congregationalist. 75 There was a Methodist church at Hillsboro, and another at Salem, and the Catholic Church at St Paul s, which com pleted the list in 1848.

The general condition of society in the colony was, aside from the financial and Indian troubles which I have fully explained, one of general contentment. Both Burnett and Minto declare in their accounts of those times that notwithstanding the hardships all

72 Or. Spectator, Feb. 18, 1847.

r3 #. I. Friend, Feb. 1848; Thornton s Hist, Or., MS., 27.

7J I find in the 8. 1. Friend, Sept. 1847, the following computation: Inhabi tants (white), 7,000. This, according to immigration statistics, was too small an estimate. About 400 were Catholics. Methodists were most numerous. There were 6 itinerating Methodist Episcopal preachers, and 8 or 10 local preachers, besides 2 Protestant Methodist clergymen. Baptist missionaries, 2 ; Congregational or Presbyterian clergymen, 4 ; and several of the Christian denomination known as Cam pbellites; regular physicians, 4; educated lawyers, 4; quacks in both professions more numerous. I have already mentioned the accidental death of Dr Long by drowning in the Willamette at Oregon City, he being at the time territorial secretary. He was succeeded in practice and in office by Dr Frederick Prigg, elected by the legislature in December 1846. He also died an accidental death by falling from the rocky bluff into the river, in October 1849. He was said to be a man of fine abilities and education, but intemperate in his habits. Or. Spectator, Nov. 2, 1849; Johnson s Gal. and Or., 274.

Deady s Hist. Or., MS., 71. Harvey Clark first organized the Congre gational church at Oregon City in 1844. Atkinson s Address, 3; Oregon City Enterprise, March 24, 1876. In 1848 Rev. Horace Lyman, with his wife, left Boston to join Atkinson in Oregon. He did not arrive until late in 1849. He founded the first Congregational church in Portland, but subsequently became a professor at the Pacific University. Home Missionary, xxii. 43-4; Or. Spec tator, Nov. 1, 1849.



endured, there were few who did not rejoice sincerely that they had cast their lot in Oregon. 76 Hospitality and good-fellowship prevailed; the people were tem perate 77 and orderly; and crime was still rare/

Amusements were few and simple, and hardly nec essary in so free and unconventional a community, except as a means of bringing the people together.

76 Minto, in Camp Fire Orations, MS., 17; Burnett s Recollections, MS., i. 170; While s Emigration to Or., MS., 11; Simpson s Nar., i. 170.

77 The missionaries, the women of Oregon city, and friends of temperance generally, were still laboring to effect prohibition of the traffic in spirituous liquors. The legislature of 1847 passed an amendment to the organic law, enacting that the word prohibit should be inserted in the place of regulate in the 6th section, which read that the legislature should have power to regulate the introduction, manufacture, and sale of ardent spirits. Or. L>ncx, 1843-9, 44. No change could be made in the organic law without submitting it to the vote of the people at the ensuing election, which being done, a majority were for prohibition. G rover s Or. Archives, 273-4. When the matter again came before the colonial legislature at its last session, that part of the governor s message referring to prohibition was laid on the table, on motion of Jesse Applegate. A bill to amend the organic laws, as above provided, was subsequently introduced by Samuel R. Thurston, but was rejected by vote, on motion of Applegate. Id., 293. Applegate s independent spirit revolted at prohibition, besides which he took a personal gratification from securing the rejection of a measure emanating from a missionary source. Surely all good people would be naturally averse to hearing an uncultivated savage who was full of bad whiskey, singing in Chinook:

Kah ! six, potlach blue lu (blue ruin), Nika ticka, blue lu, Hiyu blue lu, Hyas olo, Potlach blue lu.

Which freely translated would run :

Hallo ! friend, give me some whiskey; I v ant whiskey, plenty of whiskey; Very thirsty ; give me some whiskey.

Moss* Pioneer Times, MS., 56-7.

78 In the Spectator of July 9, 1846, there is mention of an encounter with knives between Ed. Robinson and John Watson. Robinson was arrested and brought before Justice Andrew Hood, and bound over in the sum of $200. In the same paper of July 23d is an item concerning the arrest of Duncan McLean on suspicion of having murdered a Mr Owens. An affray occurred at Salem in August 1847 between John H. Bosworth and Ezekiel Popham, in which the latter was killed, or suddenly dropped dead from a disease of the heart. Id., Sept. 2, 1847. In 1848 a man named Leonard who had pawned his rifle to one Arim, on Sauv6 Island, went to recover without redeeming it, when Arim pursued him with hostile intent. Leonard ran until he came to a fallen tree too large for him to scale in haste, and finding Arim close upon him he turned, and in his excitement fired, killing Arim. Leonard was arrested and discharged, there being no witnesses to the affair. Arim was a bully, and Leonard a small and usually quiet man, who declared he had no intention of killing Arim, but fired accidentally, not knowing the rifle was loaded. Leonard left the country soon after for the gold-mines and never returned. Crairford s Nar., MS., 167. I cite these examples rather to show the absence than the presence of crime.



Besides church-going, attending singing-school, 79 and visiting among the neighbors there were few assem blages. There was occasionally a ball, which was not regarded by the leading Protestant citizens as the most unquestionable mode of cultivating social rela tions. The Canadian families loved dancing, and balls were not the more respectable for that reason; 8 but the dancers cared little for the absence of the elite. Taking them all in all, says Burnett, " I never saw so fine a population;" and other writers claimed that though lacking in polish the Oregon people were at this period morally and socially the equal of those of any frontier state. 81 From the peculiar conditions of an isolated colony like that of Oregon, early mar riages became the rule. Young men required homes, and young women were probably glad to escape from the overfilled hive of the parental roof to a domicile of their own. However that may have been, girls were married at any age from fourteen upward, and in some instances earlier; 82 while no widow, whether

79 James Morris, in Camp Fire Orations, MS., 20, says that the first sing ing-school in the country was taught by a Mr Johnson, and that he went to it dressed in a suit of buckskin dyed black, which looked well, and did not stretch out over the knees like the uncolored skin.

80 J/oss Pioneer Times, MS., 32. In Minto s Early Days, MS., and Mrs Minto s Female Pioneering, MS., there are many pictures of the social condi tion of the colony. The same in Camp Fire Orations, MS., a report by my stenographer, of short speeches made at an evening session of the pioneers at their annual meeting in 1878. All the speakers except Mrs Minto declared they had enjoyed emigrating and pioneering. She thought both very hard on females; though throughout all she conducted herself as one of the noblest among women.

!1 Home Missionary, xx. 213-14.

  • 2 As a guide to descent in the pioneer families I here affix a list of the

marriages published in the Spectator from the beginning of 1846 to the close of 1848. Though these could not have been all, it may be presumed that people of social standing would desire to publish this momentous event : 1846 Feb. 25, Samuel Campbell to Miss Chellessa Chrisman; March 29, Henry Sewell to Miss Mary Ann Jones Gerish ; April 2, Stephen Staats to Miss Cordelia Forrest; April 12, Silas Haight to Mrs Rebecca Ann Spalding; May 4, Pierre Bonnin to Miss Louise Rondeau; May 10, Isaac Staats to Miss Orlena Maria Williams; May 10, Henry Marlin to Miss Emily Hipes; June 4, David Hill to Mrs Lucinda Wilson ; June 14, J. W. Nesmith to Miss Caro line Goff; June 17, Alanson Hinman to Miss Martha Elizabeth Jones Gerish; June 28, Robert Newell to Miss Rebecca Newman ; July 2, Mitchel Whit- lock to Miss Malvina Engle ; July 4, William C. Dement to Miss Olivia Johnson ; J. B. Jackson to Miss Sarah Parker ; July 25, John G. Campbell to Miss Rothilda E. Buck; July 26, Joseph Watt to Miss Sarah Craft; Aug.



young or middle-aged, long remained unmarried. This mutual dependence of the sexes was favorable to the morals and the growth of the colony; and rich and poor alike had their houses well filled with children. But what of the diseases which made such havoc during the early missionary occupation? Strangely enough they had disappeared as the natives died or were removed to a distance from the white race. Not withstanding the crowded state of the settlers every winter after the arrival of another immigration, and notwithstanding insufficient food and clothing in many instances, there was little sickness and few deaths. Dr White, after six years of practice, pronounced the country to be ,the healthiest and the climate one of the most salubrious in the world. 83 As to the tem perature, it seems to have varied with the different seasons and years. Daniel Lee tells of plucking a strawberry-blossom on Christmas-day 1840, and the

2, Sidney Smith to Miss Miranda Bayley; Aug. 16, Jehu Davis to Miss Mar- garette Jane Moreland; Sept. 1, H. H. Hyde to Miss Henrietta Holman; Oct. 26, Henry Buxton to Miss Rosannah Woolly; Nov. 19, William P. Dougherty to Miss Mary Jane Chambers ; Nov. 24, John P. Brooks to Miss Mary Ann Thomas. 1847^Jan. 21, W. H. Rees to Miss Amanda M. F. Hall; Jan. 25, Francis Topair to Miss Angelique Tontaine; Feb. 9, Peter H. Hatch to Miss S. C. Locey (Mrs Charlotte Sophia Hatch, who came to Oregon with her husband by sea in 1843, died June 30, 1846); April 18, Absalom F. Hedges to Miss Elizabeth Jane Barlow; April 21, Joseph B. Rogers to Miss Letitia Flett; Henry Knowland to Mrs Sarah Knowland; April 22, N. K. Sitton to Miss Priscilla A. Rogers; June 15, Jeremiah Rowland to Mrs Mary Ann Sappington ; July 8, John Minto to Miss Martha Ann Morrison ; Aug. 12, T. P. Powers to Mrs Mary M. Newton this was the Mrs Newton whoso husband was murdered by an Indian in the Umpqua Valley in 1846; Oct. 14, W. J. Herren to Miss Eveline Hall; Oct. 24, D. H. Good to Miss Mary E. Dunbar; Oct. 29, Owen M. Mills to Miss Priscilla Blair; Dec. 28, Charles Putnam to Miss Rozelle Applegate. 1848 Jan. 5, Caleb Rodgers to Miss Ma,ry Jane Courtney; Jan. 20, M. M. McCarver to Mrs Julia Ann Buckalew ; Jan. 27, George M. Baker to Miss Nancy Duncan ; Jan. 30, George Sigler to Miss Lovina Dunlap; Feb. 19, R. V. Short to Miss Mary Geer; March 18, Moses K. Kellogg to Mrs Elizabeth Sturges; April 16, John Jewett to Mrs Harriet Kimball Mrs Kimball was the widow of one of the victims of the Waiilatpu massacre ; May 4, John R. Jackson to Mrs Matilda N. Coonse ; May 22, John H. Bosworth to Miss Susan B. Looney ; June 28, Andrew Smith to Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Palmer; July 2, Edward N. White to Miss Catherine Jane Burkhart; July 28, William Meek to Miss Mary Luel- ling; Dec. 10, C. Davis to Miss Sarah Ann Johnson; Dec. 26, William Logan to Miss Issa Chrisman. The absence of any marriage notice for the 4 months from the last of July to the 10th of December may be accounted for by the rush of the unmarried men to the gold-mines about this time. 83 Ten Years in Or., 220.



weather continued warm throughout the winter; but on the 12th of December 1842 the Columbia was frozen over, and the ice remained in the river at the Dalles till the middle of March, and the mercury was 6 below zero in that month, while in the Willamette Valley the cold was severe. On the other hand, in the winter of 1843 there was a heavy rainfall, and a disastrous freshet in the Willamette in February. The two succeeding winters were mild and rainy, 84 fruit form ing on the trees in April ; and again in the latter part of the winter of 1846-7 the Columbia was frozen over at Vancouver so that the officers of the Modeste played a curling match on the ice. The winter of 1848-9 was also cold, with ice in the Columbia. The prevailing temperature was mild, however, when taken year by year, and the soil being generally warm, the vegetables and fruits raised by the first settlers sur prised them by their size and quality. 85 If any fault was to be found with the climate it was on the score of too many rainy or cloudy days; but when by com parison with the drier climate of California it was found to insure greater regularity of crops the farm ing community at least were satisfied. 86 The cattle- raisers had most reason to dread the peculiarities of the Oregon climate, which by its general mildness flattered them into neglecting to provide winter food for their stock, and when an occasional season of snow and ice came upon them they died by hundreds; but this was partly the fault of the improvident owner.

The face of nature here was beautiful; pure air from -the ocean and the mountains ; loveliness in the

84 Clyman s Note Book, MS., 82-98; Palmer s Journal, 119.

85 A potato is spoken of which weighed 3J Ibs., and another 3^ Ibs. ; while turnips sometimes weighed from 10 to 30 Ibs. Blanchet raised one of 17f Ibs.

66 The term web-foot had not yet been applied to the Oregonians. It became current in mining times, and is said to have originated in a sarcastic remark of a commercial traveller, who had spent the night in a farm-house on the marshy banks of the Long Tom, in what is now Lane County, that children should be provided with webbed feet in that country. We have thought of that, returned the mistress of the house, at the same time dis playing to the astonished visitor her baby s feet with webs between the toes. The story lost nothing in the telling, and Web-foot became the pseudonyme for Oregonian.



valleys dignified by grandeur in the purple ranges which bordered them, overtopped here and there by snowy peaks whose nearly extinct craters occasionally threw out a puff of smoke or ashy flame, 87 to remind the beholder of the igneous building of the dark cliffs overhanging the great river. The whole country was remarkably free from poisonous reptiles and insects. Of all the serpent class the rattlesnake alone was armed with deadly fangs, and these were seldom seen except in certain localities in the western portion of Oregon. Even the house-fly was imported, 88 coming like many plants, and like the bee, in the beaten trail of white men.

Such was the country rescued from savagism by this virtuous and intelligent people; and such their general condition with regard to improvement, trade, education, morals, contentment, and health, at the period when, after having achieved so much without aid from congress, that body took the colony under its wing and assumed direction of its affairs.

87 Mount St Helen and Mount Baker were in a state of eruption in March 1850, according to the Spectator of the 21st of that month. The same paper of Oct. 18, Ib49, records a startling explosion in the region of Mount Hood, when the waters of Silver Creek stopped running for 24 hours, and also the destruction of all the fish in the stream by poisonous gases.

88 McClane says that when he came to Oregon there was not a fly of any kind, but fleas were plenty. First Wagon Train, MS., 14. W. H. Rector has said the same. Lewis and Clarke, and Parker, expiate upon the fleas about the Indian camps.

CHAPTER II.

EFFECT OF THE CALIFORNIA GOLD DISCOVERY.

1848-1849.

THE MAGIC POWER or GOLD A NEW OREGON ARRIVAL OF NEWELL SHARP TRAFFIC THE DISCOVERY ANNOUNCED THE STAMPEDE SOUTH WARD OVERLAND COMPANIES LASSEN S IMMIGRANTS HANCOCK S MANUSCRIPT CHARACTER OF THE OREGONIANS IN CALIFORNIA THEIR GENERAL SUCCESS REVOLUTIONS IN TRADE AND SOCIETY ARRIVAL OF VESSELS INCREASE IN THE PRICES OF PRODUCTS CHANGE OF CUR RENCY THE QUESTION OF A MINT PRIVATE COINAGE INFLUX OF FOREIGN SILVER EFFECT ON SOCIETY LEGISLATION IMMIGRATION.

AND now begins Oregon s age of gold, quite a dif ferent affair from Oregon s golden age, which we must look for at a later epoch. The Oregon to which Lane was introduced as governor was not the same from which his companion Meek had hurried in pov erty and alarm one year before. Let us note the change, and the cause, before recording the progress of the new government.

On the 31st of July 1848, the little schooner Hono lulu, Captain Newell, from San Francisco, arrived in the Columbia, and began to load not only with pro visions, but with shovels, picks, and pans, all that could be bought in the limited market. This created no surprise, as it was known that Americans were emigrating to California who would be in want of these things, and the captain of the schooner was looked upon as a sharp trader who knew how to turn an honest penny. When he had obtained everything to his purpose, he revealed the discovery made by Marshall in California, and told the story how Ore

(42)



gon men had opened to the world what appeared an inexhaustible store of golden treasure. 1

The news was confirmed by the arrival August 9th of the brig Henry from San Francisco, and on the 23d of the fur company s brig Mary Dare from the Hawaiian Islands, by the way of Victoria, with Chief Factor Douglas on board, who was not inclined to believe the reports. But in a few days more the tidings had travelled overland by letter, ex-Governor Boggs having written to some of his former Missouri friends in Oregon by certain men coming with horses to the Willamette Valley for provisions, that much gold was found on the American River. No one doubted longer; covetous desire quickly increased to a delirium of hope. The late Indian disturbances were forgotten; and from the ripening harvests the reap ers without compunctions turned away. Even their beloved land-claims were deserted; if a man did not go to California it was because he could not leave his family or business. Some prudent persons at first, seeing that provisions and lumber must greatly in crease in price, concluded to stay at home and reap the advantage without incurring the risk; but these \vere a small proportion of the able-bodied men of the colony. Far more went to the gold mines than had volunteered to fight the Cayuses; 2 farmers, mechanics, professional men, printers every class. Tools were dropped and work left unfinished in the shops. The farms were abandoned to women and boys. The two newspapers, the Oregon Spectator and Free Press, held

1 J. W. Marshall was an immigrant to Oregon of 1844. He went to Cali fornia in 1846, and was employed by Sutter. In 1847 he was followed by Charles Bennett and Stephen Staats, all of whom were at Sutter s mill when the discovery of gold was made. Brown s Will. Vol., MS., 7; Parsons Life of Marshall, 8-9.

2 Burnett says that at least two thirds of the population capable of bear ing arms left for California in the summer and autumn of 1848. Recollections, MS., i. 325. About two thousand persons, says the California Star and Californian, Dec. 9, 1848. Only five old men were left at Salem. Brown s WtlL Vol., MS., 9. Anderson, in his Northwest Coast, MS., 37, speaks of the great exodus. Compare Crawford s JVar., MS., 166, and Victor s River of the West, 483-5. Barnes, Or. and Cal., MS., 8, says he found at Oregon City only a few women and children and some Indians.



out, the one till December, the other until the spring of 1849, when they were left without compositors and suspended. 3 No one thought of the outcome. It was not then known in Oregon that a treaty had been signed by the United States and Mexico, but it was believed that such would be the result of the war; hence the gold-fields of California were already regarded as the property of Americans. Men of family expected to return; single men thought little about it. To go, and at once, was the chief idea. 4 Many who had not the means were fitted out by others who took a share in the venture; and quite dif ferent from those who took like risks at the east, the trusts imposed in the men of Oregon were as a rule faithfully carried out. 5

Pack-trains were first employed by the Oregon gold- seekers; then in September a wagon company was organized. A hundred and fifty robust, sober, and energetic men were soon ready for the enterprise. The train consisted of fifty wagons loaded with mining implements and provisions for the winter. Even planks for constructing gold-rockers were carried in the bottom of some of the wagons. The teams were strong oxen; the riding horses of the hardy native Cay use stock, late worth but ten dollars, now bringing thirty, and the men were armed. Burnett was elected captain and Thomas McKay pilot. 6 They went to Klamath Lake by the Applegate route, and then turned south-east intending to get into the California emigrant road before it crossed the Sierra. After travelling several days over an elevated region, not well watered nor furnishing good grass, to their surprise

3 The Spectator from February to October. I do not think the Free Press was revived after its stoppage, though it ran long enough to print Lane s proclamation. The Oregon American had expired in the autumn of 1848.

4 Atkinson, in the Home Missionary, 22, 64; Bristow s Rencounters, MS., 2-9; Ryan s Judges and Criminals, 79.

5 There was the usual doggerel perpetrated here as elsewhere at the time. See Brown s Or. MisceL, MS., 47.

6 Host* Nar. y MS., 11; Loveioy s Portland, MS., 26; Johnson s Cal and Or., 185-6.



they came into a newly opened wagon-road, which proved to be that which Peter Lassen of California had that season persuaded a small party immigrating into the Sacramento Valley to take, through a pass which would bring them near his rancho. 7

The exodus thus begun continued as long as weather permitted, and until several thousand had left Oregon by land and sea. The second wagon com pany of twenty ox-teams and twenty-five men was from Puget Sound, and but a few days behind the first, 8 while the old fur-hunters trail west of the

7 After proceeding some distance on Lassen s trail they found that others who had preceded them were as ignorant as they of what lay before them; and after travelling westward for eight miles they came to a sheer wall of rock, constituting a mountain ridge, instead of to a view of the Sacramento Valley. On examination of the ground it was found that Lassen and his com pany had been deceived as well as they, and had marched back to within half a mile of the entrance to the valley before finding a way out of it. After exploring for some distance in advance the wagons were allowed to come on, and the summit of the sierra was reached the 20th of October. After passing this and entering the pine forest on the western slope, they overtook Lassen and a portion of his party, unable to proceed. He had at first but ten wagons in his company, and knew nothing more about the route than from a generally correct idea of the country he could conjecture. They proceeded without mishap until coming to the thick timber on the mountains ; and not having force enough to open the road, they w r ere compelled to convert their wagons into carts in order to make the short turns necessary in driving around fallen timber. Progress in this manner was slow. Half of the immigrants, now fear fully incensed against their leader, had abandoned their carts, and packing their goods 011 their starving oxen, deserted the other half, without knowing how they were to reach the settlements. When those behind were overtaken by the Oregonians they were in a miserable condition, not having had bread for a month. Their wants were supplied, and they were assured that the road should be opened for them, which was done. Sixty or eighty men went to the front with axes, and the way was cleared for the wagons. When the for est was passed, there M ere yet other difficulties which Lassen s small and exhausted company co^ld never have removed. A tragedy like that of Don- ner Lake was averted by these gold-seekers, who arrived in the Sacramento Valley about the 1st of November. Burnett s Recollections, MS., i. 328-366; Lovejny * Portland, MS., 27; Barnes 1 Or. and CaL, MS., 11-12; Palmer s War/on Trains, MS., 43.

8 JIancock s Thirteen Years Residence on the Northwest Coast, a thick manuscript volume containing an account of the immgration of 1845, the settlement of the Puget Sound country by Americans, the journey to California of the gold-hunters, and a long list of personal adventures with Indians, and other matter of an interesting nature, is cne of my authorities on this period. The manuscript was written at the dictation of Samuel Han cock, of Wind bey Island, by Major Sewell. See Morse s Notes of the History and Resources of Washington Ter., ii. 19-30. It would seem from Hancock s MS. that the Puget Sound Company, like the Willamette people, overtook and assisted a party of immigrants who had been forsaken by that pilot in the Sierra Nevada, and brought them through to the Sacramento Valley.



sierra swarmed with pack-trains 9 all the autumn. Their first resort was Yuba River; but in the spring of 1849 the forks of the American became their prin cipal field of operations, the town of Placerville, first called Hangtown, being founded by them. They were not confined to any localities, however, and made many discoveries, being for the first winter only more numerous in certain places than other miners; and as they were accustomed to camp-life, Indian-fighting, and self-defence generally, they obtained the reputa tion of being clannish and aggressive. If one of them was killed or robbed, the others felt bound to avenge the injury, and the rifle or the rope soon settled the account. Looking upon them as interlopers, the Californians naturally resented these decided meas ures. But as the Oregonians were honest, sober, and industrious, and could be accused of nothing worse than being ill-dressed and unkempt and of knowing how to protect themselves, the Californians mani fested their prejudice by applying to them the title Lop-ears, which led to the retaliatory appellation of Tar-heads/ which elegant terms long remained in use. 10

It was a huge joke, gold-mining and all, including even life and death. But as to rivalries they signi fied nothing. Most of the Oregon and Washington adventurers who did not lose their life were success ful; opportunity was assuredly greater then in the

This may have been the other division of Lassen s company, though Hancock says there were 25 wagons, which does not agree with Burnett.

9 One of the first companies with pack-animals was under John E. Ross, an immigrant of 1847, and a lieutenant in the Cayuse war, of whom I shall have more to say hereafter. Ross states that Levi Scott had already settled in the Urnpqua Valley, and was then the only American south of the Cala- pooya Mountains. From Scott s to the first house in California, Reading s, was 14 days travel. See J?oss Nar. , MS. , passim.

10 7?oss Nar., MS., 15; Crawford s Nar., MS., 194, 204. The American pioneers of California, looking for the origin of the word Oregon in a Spanish phrase signifying long-ears, as I have explained in vol. i. Hist. Or. , hit upon this delectable sobriquet for the settlers of that country. With equal justice, admitting this theory to be correct, which it is not, the Oregonians called them tar-heads, because the northern California Indians were observed to cover their heads with tar as a sign of mourning.



Sierra Foothills than in the Valley Willamette. Still they were not hard to satisfy ; and they began to re turn early in the spring of 1849, when every vessel that entered the Columbia was crowded with home- lovinpf Oregonians. 11 A few went into business in

California. The success of those that returned stimu lated others to go who at first had not been able. 12

11 Among those who went to California in 1848-9 are the following: Robert Henderson, James McBride, William Carpenter, Joel Palmer, A. L. Lovejoy, F. W. Pettygrove, Barton Lee, W. W. Bristow, W. L. Adams, Christopher Taylor, John E. Ross, P. B. Cornwall, Walter Monteith, Horace Burnett, P. H. Burnett, John P. Rogers, A. A. Skinner, M. M. McCarver, Frederick Ramsey, William Dement, Peter Crawford, Henry Williamson, Thomas McKay, William Fellows, S. C. Reeves, James Porter, I. W. Alder man, William Moulton, Aaron Stanton, J. R. Robb, Aaron Payne, J. Math- eney, George Gay, Samuel Hancock, Robert Alexander, Niniwon Evermau, John Byrd, Elisha Byrd, William Byrd, Sr, William Byrd, Jr, T. R. Hill, Ira Parcel-son, William Patterson, Stephen Bonser, Saul Richards, W. H. Gray, Stephen Staats, J. W. Nesmith, J. S. Snooks, W. D. Canfield, Alanson Husted, John M. Shively, Edmund Sylvester, James O Neal, Benjamin W^ood, William Whitney, W. P. Dougherty, Allen McLeod, John Edmonds, Charles Adams, John Inyard, Miriam Poe, Joseph Williams, Hilt. Bouser, William Shaw, Thomas Carter, Jefferson Carter, Ralph Wilcox, Benjamin Burch, William H. Rector, Hamilton Campbell, Robert Newell, John E. Bradley, J. Curtis, H. Brown, Jeremiah McKay, Priest, Turney, Leonard, Shurtzer, Loomis, Samuel Cozine, Columbia Lancaster Pool, English, Thomp son, Johnson, Robinson, and others.

12 P. W. Crawford gives the following account of his efforts to raise the means to go to California: He was an immigrant of 1847, and had not yet acquired property that could be converted into money. Being a surveyor he spent most of his time in laying out town sites and claims, for which he re ceived lots in payment, and in some cases wheat, and often nothing. He had a claim on the Cowlitz which he managed to get planted in potatoes. Owning a little skiff called the E. West, he traded it to Geer for a hundred seedling apple-trees, but not being able to return to his claim, he planted them on the land of Wilson Blain, opposite Oregon City. Having considerable, wheat at McLoughlin s mill he had a portion of it ground, and sold the flour for cash. He gave some \vheat to newly arrived emigrants, and traded the rest for a fat ox, which he sold to a butcher at Oregon City for twenty-five dollars cash. Winter coming on he assisted his friend Reed in the pioneer bakery of Portland. In February he traded a Durham bull which he pur chased of an Indian at Fort Laramie and drove to Oregon, for a good sailing boat, with which he took a load of hoop-poles down the Columbia to Hunt s mill, where salmon barrels were made, and brought back some passengers, and a few goods for Capt. Crosby, having a rough hard time working his way through the floating ice. On getting back to Portland, Crawford and Will iams, the former mate of the Starllny, engaged of the supercargo Gray, at sixty dollars each, steerage passage on the Undine then lying at Hunt s mill. The next thing was to get supplies and tools, such as were needed to go to the mines. For these it was necessary to make a visit to Vancouver, which could nob be done in a boat, as the river was still full of ice, above the mouth of the Williamette. He succeeded in crossing the Columbia opposite the head of Sauve" Island, and walked from the landing to Vancouver, a distance of about six miles. This business accomplished, he rejoined his companion iu the boat, and set out for Hunt s mill, still endangered by floating ice, but



There was a complete revolution in trade, as re markable as it was unlocked for two years before, when the farmers were trying to form a cooperative ship-building association to carry the products of their farms to a market where cash could be obtained for wheat. No need longer to complain of the absence of vessels, or the terrible bar of the Columbia. I have mentioned in the preceding chapter that the Henry and the Toulon were the only two American vessels trading regularly to the Columbia Kiver in the spring of 1848. Hitherto only an occasional vessel from Cal ifornia had entered the river for lumber and flour; but now they came in fleets, taking besides these ar ticles vegetables, butter, eggs, and other products needed by the thousands arriving at the mines, the traffic at first yielding enormous profits. Instead of from three to eight arrivals and departures in a year, there were more than fifty in 1849, of which twenty were in the river in October awaiting car goes at one time. 13 They were from sixty to six or or seven hundred tons burden, and three of them were built in Oregon. 14 Whether it was due to their

arriving in time to take passage. Such were the common incidents of life in Oregon before the gold products of the California mines came into circulation. Narrative, MS., 179-187.

13 About the last of December 1848 the Spanish bark Jdven Guipuzcoana, S. C. Reeves captain, arrived from San Francisco to load with Oregon pro ductions for the California markets. She was fastened in the ice a few miles below the mouth of the Willamette until February, and did not get out of the river until about the middle of March. Crawford s Nar., MS., 173-91. The brig Maleck Adhd, Hall master, left the river with a cargo Feb. 7, 1849. Following are some of the other arrivals of the year: January 5th, schr. Starling, Captain Menzies; 7th, bk. Anita, Hall; brig Undine, Brum; May 8th, bks. Anita, Hall; Janet, Dring; ship Mercedes; schrs. Milwaukie; V<d- dova; 28th, bk. J. W. Carter; brig Mary and Ellen; June 16th, schr. Pio neer; bk. Undine; 2Gd, bk. Columbia; brigs Henri/, Sacramento, El Placer; July 2d, ship Walpole; 10th, brigs Belfast, ISEtoile du Matin; ship Silvie de Grasse; schr. 0. C. Raymond; brig Quito; 28th, ship Huntress; bk. Louisi ana; schr. Gen. Lane; Aug. 7th, bk. Carib; llth, bks. Harpooner, Madonna; ship Aurora; brig Forrest; bks. Ocean Bird, Diamond, Helen M. Leidler; Oct. 17th, brigs Quito, Hawkes; 0. C. Raymond, Menzies; Josephine, Melton; Jno. Petit; Mary and Ellen, Gier; bks. Toidon, Hoyt; Azim, McKenzie; 22d, brig Sarah McFarland, Brooks; 24th, brig Wolcott, Kennedy; Nov. 12th, bk. Louisiana, Williams; brigs Mary Wilder; North Bend, Bartlett; 13th, ship Huntress, Upton; 15th, bks. Diamond, Madonna; 25th, brig Sac ramento; bk. Seyuin, Norton; brig Due de Lornunes, Travillot.

u The schooner Milwaukie, built at Milwaukie bj Lot Witcomb and Joseph



general light draft, or to an increased knowledge of the channels of the mouth of the river, few accidents occurred, and only one American vessel was wrecked at or near the entrance this year; 15 though two French ships were lost during the summer, one on the bar in attempting to enter by the south channel, then changed in its direction from the shifting of the sands, and the other, by carelessness, in the river between Astoria and Tongue Point. 16

That all this sudden influx of shipping, where so little had ventured before, meant prosperity to Oregon tradesmen is unquestionable. Portland, which Petty- grove had turned his back upon with seventy- five thousand dollars, was now a thriving port, whose

Kelly, was of planking put on diagonally in several thicknesses, with a few temporary sawed timbers and natural crooks, and was sold in San Francisco for $4,000. The General Lane was built at Oregon City by John McClellan, aided by McLoughlin, and ran to San Francisco. Her captain was Oil man, afterward a bar pilot at Astoria. She went directly to Sacramento with a cargo of lumber and farm products. The Pioneer was put together by a company at Astoria. Honolulu, Friend, Sept. 1, 1849.

15 The brig Josephine was becalmed, whereupon her anchor was let down; but a gale blowing up in the night she was driven on the sand and dashed to pieces in the breakers. She was loaded with lumber from the Oregon City Mills, which was a total loss to the Island Milling Company. Or. Spectator, Jan. 10, 1850.

16 This latter wreck was of the Silvie de Grasse which brought Thornton home from Boston. She was formerly a packet of 2,000 tons, built of live- oak, and running between New York and Havre. She loaded with lumber for San Francisco, but in descending the river ran upon a rock and split. Eighteen years afterward her figure-head and a part of her hull stood above the water. What was left was then sold to A. S. Mercer, the iron being still in good order, and the locust and oak knees and timbers perfectly sound. * Oregonian, in Puget Sound Gazette, April 15, 1867. The wreck on the bar was of L Etoile du Matin, before mentioned in connection with the return to Oregon of Archbishop Blanchet, and the arrival of the Catholic reenforce- ment in 1847. Returning to Oregon in 1849, the captain not finding a pilot outside undertook to run in by the south channel, in which attempt he was formerly so successful, but its course having shifted, he soon found his ship fast on the sands, while an American bark that had followed him, but drew 10 feet less water, passed safely in. The small life-boats were all lost in lowering, but after passing through great dangers the ship was worked into Baker Bay without a rudder, with a loosened keel and most of the pumps broken, aid having been rendered by Latta of the Hudson s Bay Company and some Indians. A box rudder was constructed, and the vessel taken to Port land, and landed where the warehouse of Allen and Lewis later stood. The cargo belonged to Francis Menes, who saved most of it, and who opened a store in Oregon City, where he resided four years, finally settling at St Louis on French Prairie. He died December 1867. The hull of the Morning Star was sold to Couch and Flanders, and by them to Charles Hutchins, and was burned for the iron and copper. Eugene La Forrest, in Portland Oregonian, March 28, 1868.



shore was lined with a fleet of barks, brigs, and ships, and where wharves and warehouses were in great demand. 17 In Oregon City the mills were kept busy making flour and lumber, 18 and new saw-mills were

o

erected on the Columbia. 1

The farmers did not at first derive much benefit from the change in affairs, as labor was so high and scarce, and there was a partial loss of crops in conse quence. Furthermore their wheat was already in store with the merchants and millers at a fixed price, or contracted for to pay debts. They therefore could not demand the advanced price of wheat till the crop of 1849 was harvested, while the merchant -millers had almost a whole year in which to make flour out of wheat costing them not more than five eighths of a dollar a bushel in goods, and which they sold at ten and twelve dollars a barrel at the mills. If able to send it to San Francisco, they realized double that price. As with wheat so with other things, 20 the speculators had the best of it.

17 Couch returned in August from the east, in the bark Madonna, with G-. A. Flanders as mate, in the service of the Shermans, shipping merchants of New York. They built a wharf and warehouse, and had soon laid the founda tion of a handsome fortune. Eugene La Forrest, in Portland Oregonian, Jan. 29, 1870; Deady, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Assoc., 1876, 33-4. Nathaniel Crosby, also of Portland, was owner of the 0. C. Raymond, which carried on so profit able a trade that he could afford to pay the master $300 a month, the mate $200, and ordinary seamen $100. He had built himself a residence costing $5,000 before the gold discovery. Honolulu Friend, Oct. 15, 1849.

18 McLoughlin s miller was James Bachan, a Scotchman. The island grist mill was in charge of Pcobert Pentland, an Englishman, miller for Abernethy. Crawford s Nar., MS.

19 A mill was erected in 1848 on Milton Creek, which falls into Scappoose Bay, an inlet of the lower Willamette at its junction with the Columbia, where the town of Milton was subsequently laid off and had a brief existence. It was owned by T. H. Hemsaker, and built by Joseph Cunningham. It began running in 1849, and was subsequently sold to Captain N. Crosbey and Thomas W. Smith, who employed the bark Louisiana, Captain Williams, carrying lumber to San Francisco. Crawford s Nar., MS., 217. By the bark Diamond, which arrived from Boston in August, Hiram Clark supercargo, Abernethy received a lot of goods and took Clark as partner. Together they built a saw and planing mill on the Columbia at Oak Point, opposite the original Oak Point of the Winship brothers, a more convenient place for getting timber or loading vessels than Oregon City. The island mill at the latter place was rented to Walter Pomeroy, and subsequently sold, as I shall relate hereafter. Another mill was erected above and back of Tongue Point by Henry Marland in 1849. Id.; Honolulu Friend, Oct. 3, 1849.

20 In the Spectator of Oct. 18, 1849, the price of beef on foot is given at 6 and 8 cents; in market, 10 and 12 cents per pound; pork, 16 and 20 cen ts;



When the General Lane sailed from Oregon City with lumber and provisions, there were several tons of eggs on board which had been purchased at the market price, and which were sold by the captain at thirty cents a dozen to a passenger who obtained for them at Sacramento a dollar each. The lar^e increase

Q

of home productions, with the influx of gold by the return of fortunate miners, soon enabled the farmers to pay off their debts and improve their places, a labor upon which they entered with ardor in anticipation of the donation law. Some of those who could arrange their affairs, went a second time to California in 1849; among the new companies being one of several hun dred Canadians and half-breeds, under the charge of Father Delorme, few of whom ever returned alive, owing to one of those mysterious epidemics, developed under certain not well understood conditions, attack ing their camp. 21

On the whole the effect of the California gold dis covery was to unsettle the minds of the people and change their habits. To the Hudson s Bay Company it was in some respects a damage, and in others a benefit. The fur-trade fell off, and this, together with the operation of the treaty of 1846, compelling them to pay duties on goods from English ports, soon effected the abandonment of their business in United States territory. For a time they had a profitable* trade in gold-dust, but when coined gold and American and Mexican money came into free circulation, there was an end of that speculation. 25 Every circumstance now conspired to drive British trade out of Oregon

butter, 62 and 75 cents; cheese, 50 cents; flour, $14 per barrel; wheat, $1.50 and $2 per bushel, and oats the same. Potatoes were worth $2.50 per bushel; apples, $10. These were the articles produced in the country, and these prices were good. On the other hand, groceries and dry goods, which were imported, cost less than formerly, because, while consumption was less, more cargoes were arriving. Iron and nails, glass and paint were still high, and cooking-stoves brought from $70 to $130.

21 F. X. Matthieu, who was one of the company, says that out of 600 only 150 remained alive, and that Delorme narrowly escaped. Refugee, MS., 15; Blanches Hist. Oath. Ch. in Or., 180.

22 Roberts Recollections, MS., 81; Anderson s Northwest Coast, MS., 38.



as fast as the country could get along independently of it; and inasmuch as the fur company had, through the dependence of the American community upon them, been enabled to make a fair profit on a large amount of goods, it was scarcely to be regretted that they should now be forced to give way, and retire to new territory where only fur companies properly be long.

Among the events of 1849 which were directly due to the mining episode was the minting of about fifty thousand dollars at Oregon City, under an act of the colonial legislature passed at its last session, without license from the United States. The rea sons for this act, which were recited in the preamble, were that in use as currency was a large amount ^ of gold-dust which was mixed with base metals and im purities of other kinds, and that great irregularities in weighing existed, to the injury of the community. Two members only, Medorum Crawford and W. J. Martin, voted against the bill, and these entered on the records a formal protest on the ground that the measure was unconstitutional and inexpedient. 23 The

2Z Grover s Or. Archives, 311, 315. The act was approved by the governor Feb. 16, 1849. According to its provisions the mint was to be established at Oregon City; its officers, elected annually by the house of representatives, were to give each $30,000 bonds, and draw a salary of $1,999 each perannum, to be paid out of proceeds of the institution. The director was empowered to pledge the faith of the territory for means to put the mint in operation ; and was required to publish in some newspaper in the territory a quarterly state ment, or by sending such a report to the county clerk of each county. The act provided for an assayer and melter and coiner, the latter being forbidden to use any alloys whatever. The weight of the pieces was to be rive penny weights and ten pennyweights respectively, no more and no less. The dies for stamping were required to have on one side the Roman figure five, for the pieces of five pennyweights, and the Roman figure ten, for the pieces of ten pennyweights, the reverse sides to be stamped with the words Oregon Territory, and the date of the year around the face, with the arms of Ore gon in the centre. What then constituted the arms of Oregon is a ques tion. Brown, Will. Valley, MS., 13, says that only parts of the impression remain in the Oregon archives, and that it has gone out of the memory of everybody, including Holderness, secretary of state in 1848. Thornton says that the auditor s seal of the provisional government consisted of a star in the centre of a figure so arranged as to represent a larger star, containing the letters Auditor O. T., and that it is still preserved in the Oregon archives. It dies, MS. , 6. But as the law plainly described the coins as having the arms of Oregon on the same side with the date and the name of the territory, then if the idea of the legislators was carried out, as it seems to have been, a beaver



reason for the passage of the act was, really, the low price of gold-dust, the merchants having the power to fix the rate of gold as well as of wheat, receiving it for goods at twelve dollars an ounce, the Hudson s Bay Company buying it at ten dollars and paying in coin procured for the purpose. 24

The effect of the law was to prevent the circulation of gold-dust altogether, as it forbade weighing. No steps were taken toward building a mint, which would have been impossible had not the erection of a terri torial government intervened. But as there was henceforth considerable coin coming into the country to exchange at high prices for every available product, there was no serious lack of money. 25 On the con trary there was a disadvantage in the readiness with which silver was introduced from California, barrels of Mexican and Peruvian dollars being thrown upon the market, which had been sent to California to pay for gold-dust. The Hudson s Bay Company allowed only fifty cents for a Peruvian dollar, while the Amer ican merchants took them at one hundred cents. Some of the Oregon miners were shrewd enough to buy up Mexican silver dollars, and even less valuable coins, with gold-dust at sixteen dollars an ounce, and take

must have been the design on the territorial seal, as it was on the coins. All disbursements of the mint, together with the pay of officers, must be made in the stamped pieces authorized by the act; and whatever remained of profits, after deducting expenses, was to be applied to pay the Cayuse war expenses. Penalties were provided for the punishment of any private person who should coin gold or attempt to pass unstamped gold. The officers appointed were James Taylor, director; Truman P. Powers, treasurer; W. H. Willson, melter and coiner, and G. L. Curry, assayer. Or. Spectator, Feb. 22, 1849.

^Barnes* Or. and Gal., MS., 9; Buck s Enterprises, MS., 8; Brown s Will. Vol., MS., 14. This condition of the currency caused a petition to be drawn up and numerously signed, setting forth that in consequence of the neglect of the United States government the colonists must combine against the greed of the merchants in this matter. There w r as gold-dust in the territory, they declared, to the value of two millions of dollars, and more arriving. Besides the losses they were forced to bear by the depreciation of gold-dust, there was the inconvenience of handling it in its original state, and also the loss attending its frequent division. These objections to a gold-dust currency being likely to exist for some time, or as long as mining was followed, they prayed the legislature to pass a coinage act, which was done as I have said. Or. Archives, MS., 188.

^Deadysffist. Or., MS.



them to Oregon where dust could be readily obtained at twelve or fourteen dollars an ounce. 26 The gold coins in general circulation were Spanish doubloons, halves, and quarters. Such was the scarcity of con venient currency previous to this overplus that silver coin had been at a premium of ten per cent, 27 but fell rapidly to one per cent.

The act of the legislature did not escape criticism. 25 But before the law could be carried into effect Gov ernor Lane had issued his proclamation placing the territory under the government of the United States, and it became ineffectual, as well as illegal. The want, however, remaining the same, a partnership was formed called the Oregon Exchange Company, which proceeded to coin money after its own fashion, and on its own responsibility. The members were W. K. Kilborne, Theophilus Magruder, James Tay lor, George Abernethy, W. H. Willson, W. H. Rector, J. G. Campbell, and Noyes Smith. Rector " being the only member with any mechanical skill was depu tized to furnish the stamps and dies, which he did, using a small machine for turning iron. The engrav ing was done by Campbell. When all was in readi ness, Rector was employed as coiner, no assaying being done or attempt made to part the silver from the gold. Indeed, it was not then known in Oregon that there was any silver in the crude metal, and all the pieces of the same denomination were made of the same weight, though the color varied considerably. About thirty thousand dollars were made into five-

6 W. H. Rector s Oregon Exchange Company, in Or. Archives, MS., 193.

27 Jl/oss Pioneer Times, MS., 59.

28 Some severe strictures were passed upon it by A. E. Wait, a lawyer, and at that time editor of the Spectator, who declared with emphasis that the people of Oregon desired no law which conflicted with the laws of the United States; but only asked for the temporary privilege under the provisional gov ernment of coining gold to meet the requirements of business for the present; r.nd that if this act was to be numbered among those which congress was asked to confirm, it was a direct insult to the United States. Wait may have been right as to the general sentiment of the people, or of the best and most patriotic men of the American party, but it is plain from the language of the memorial to the legislature that its framers were in a mood to defy the gov ernment which had so long appeared to be unmindful of them.


dollar pieces ; and not quite the same amount into ten- dollar coins. 2 This coinage raised the price of dust from twelve to sixteen dollars an ounce, and caused a great saving to the territory. Being thrown into cir culation, and quickly followed by an abundance of money from California, the intended check on the avarice of the merchants was effected. 30 The Oregon Exchange coinage went by the name beaver money, and was eventually all called in by the United States mint in San Francisco, a premium being paid upon it, as it was of greater value than the denominations on the coins indicated. 31

I have said that the effect of the gold discovery was to change the habits of the people. Where all

29 The ten -dollar pieces differed from the fives by having over the beaver only the letters K. M. T. K. C. S. underneath which were seven stars. Be-



TEK DOLLARS.



FIVE DOLLARS.

neath the beaver was 0. T., 1849. On the reverse was Oregon Exchange Company around the margin, and 10 D. 20 G. Native Gold with Ten D. in the centre. Thornton s Or. Relics, MS., 5.

30 Or. Archives, MS., 192-5; Buck s Enterprises, MS., 9-10. Rector says: I afterward learned that Kilborne took the rolling-mill to Umpqua. John G. Campbell had the dies the last I knew of them. He promised to destroy them; to which J. Henry Brown adds that they were placed in the custody of the secretary of state, together with a $10 piece, and that he had made several impressions of the dies in block tin. A set of these impressions was presented to me in 1878 by Mr Brown, and is in my collection.

3J Or. Archives, MS., 191, 196. Other mention of the beaver money is made in Or. Pioneer Asso. Trans., 1875, 72, and Portland Oregonian, Dec. 8, 1806.


was economy and thrift before, there was now a ten dency to profligacy and waste. This was natural. They had suffered so long the oppression of a want that could not be relieved, and the restraint of desires that could not be gratified without money, that when money came, and with such ease, it was like a draught of brandy upon an empty stomach. There was in toxication, sometimes delirium. Such was especially the case with the Canadians, 32 some of whom brought home thirty or forty thousand dollars, but were unable to keep it. The same was true of others. The pleasure of spending, and of buying such articles of luxury as now began to find their way to Oregon from an overstocked California market, was too great to be resisted. If they could not keep their money, how ever, they put it into circulation, and so contributed to supply a want in the community, and enable those who could not go to the mines, through fear of losing their land claims, or other cause, to share in the golden harvest. 33

It has been held by some that the discovery of gold at this time seriously retarded the progress of Oregon. 34 This was not the case in general, though it may have been so in particular instances. It took agriculturists temporarily from their farms and mechanics from their shops, thereby checking the steady if slow march of improvement. But it found a market for agricultural products, raising prices several hundred per cent, and enabled the farmer to get gold for his produce, instead of a poor class of goods at exorbitant prices. It checked for two or three years the progress of building. While mill- owners obtained enormous prices for their lumber, the wages of mechanics advanced from a dollar and a half a day to eight dollars, and the day laborer was able to demand and obtain four dollars per day 35

!2 Anderson s Northwest Coast, MS., 37-9; Johnson s Col. and Or., 206-7. 33 Sayward s Pioneer Remin., MS., 7.

  • Deady, in Overland Monthly, i. 36; Honolulu Friend, May 3, 1851.

35 Brown s Autobiography, MS., 37; Stroivfs Hist. Or., MS., 15.



where he had received but one. Men who before were almost hopelessly in debt were enabled to pay. By the amended currency law, all debts that had to be collected by law were payable in gold instead of wheat. Many persons were in debt, and their credit ors hesitated to sell their farms and thus ruin them; but all the same the dread of ruin hung over them, crushing their spirits. Six months in the gold mines changed all, and lifted the burden from their hearts. Another good effect was that it drew to the country a class, not agriculturists, nor mechanics, nor profes sional men, but projectors of various enterprises bene ficial to the public, and who in a short time built steamboats in place of sloops and flatboats, and estab lished inland transportation for passengers and goods, which gradually displaced the pack-train and the universal horseback travel. These new men enabled the United States government to carry out some of its proposed measures of relief in favor of the people of Oregon, in the matter of a mail service, to open trade with foreign ports, to establish telegraphic com munication with California, and eventually to introduce railroads. These were certainly no light benefits, and were in a measure the result of the gold discovery. Without it, though the country had continued to fill up with the same class of people who first settled it, several generations must have passed before so much could have been effected as was now quickly accomplished. Even with the aid of government the country must have progressed slowly, owing to its distance from business and progressional centres, and the expense of maintaining intercourse with the parent government. Moreover, during this period of slow growth the average condition of the people with re spect to intellectual progress would have retrograded. The adult population, having to labor for the support of families, and being deprived through distance and the want of money from keeping up their former intellectual pursuits, would have ceased to feel their



former interest in learning and literature. Their chil dren, with but poor educational facilities and without the example, would have grown up with acquire ments inferior to those of their parents before emi grating. Reared in poor houses, without any of the elegancies of life, 36 and with but few of the ordinary conveniences, they would have missed the refining influences of healthy environment, and have fallen below the level of their time in regard to the higher enjoyments of living. The people being chiefly agri cultural and pastoral, from their isolation would have become fixed in their ideas and prejudices. As the means of living became plenty and little exertion was required, they would become attached to an easy, careless, unthinking mode of existence, with a ten dency even to resent innovations in their habits to which a higher degree of civilization might invite them. Such is the tendency of poverty and isolation, or of isolation and rude physical comforts, without some constant refining agency at hand.

One of the immediate effects of the mining exodus of 1848 was the suspension of the legislature. 37 On the day appointed by law for the assembling of the legislative body only nine members were present, representing four counties; and this notwithstanding the governor had issued proclamations to fill vacan cies occurring through the resignation of members- elect. 38 Even after the sergeant-at-arrns had com pelled the appearance of four members from Chain-

86 Strong s Hist. Or., MS., 21.

37 The members elect of the legislature were : from Clackamas, A. L. Love- joy, G. L. Curry, J. L. Snook; Tualatin, Samuel R. Thurston, P. H. Bur nett, Ralph Wilcox; Champoeg, Albert Gains, Robert Newell, W. J. Bailey, William Porter; Yamhill, A. J. Hembree, L. A. Rice, William Martin; Polk, Harrison Linville, J. W. Nesmith, 0. Russell; Linn, Henry J. Peter son, Anderson Cox; Lewis, Levi L. Smith; Clatsop, A. H. Thompson; Van couver, Adolphus L. Lewis. Graver s Or. Archives, 258.

38 The members elected to fill vacancies were Samuel Parker, in Cham poeg County; D. Hill, in Tualatin; A. F. Hedges and M. Crawford, iu Clack amas. Id., 260. Two other substitutes were elected Thomas J. Lovelady of Polk county, and A. M. Locke of Benton, neither of whom served. Champoeg, Polk, and Linn counties, there were still but thirteen out of twenty-three allowed by the apportionment. After organizing by choosing Ralph Wilcox speaker, "W. G. T Vault chief clerk, and William Holmes sergeant-at-arms and door-keeper, the house adjourned till the first Monday in February, to give time for special elections to fill the numerous vacancies.

The governor having again issued proclamations to the vacant districts to elect, on the 5th of February 1849 there convened at Oregon City the last session of the provisional legislature of the Oregon colony. It consisted of eighteen members, namely: Jesse Applegate, W. J. Bailey, A. Cox, M. Crawford, G. L. Curry, A. F. Hedges, A. J. Hembree, David Hill, John Hudson, A. L. Lewis, W. J. Martin, S. Parker, H. J. Peterson, William Portius, L. A. Rice, S. R. Thurston, J. C. Avery, and Ralph Wilcox.[8]

Lewis County remained unrepresented, nor did Avery of Benton appear until brought with a warrant, an organization being effected with seventeen members. Wilcox declining to act as speaker, Levi A. Rice was chosen in his place, and sworn into office by S. M. Holderness, secretary of state. T'Vault was reflected chief clerk; James Cluse enrolling clerk; Si It*



Stephen H. L. Meek sergeant-at-arms, and Wilson Blain chaplain.

Abernethy in his message to the legislature informed them that his proclamation had called them together for the purpose of transacting the business which should have been done at the regular session, relating chiefly to the adjustment of the expenses of the Cayuse war, which it was expected the United States government would assume; and also to act upon the amendments to the organic law concerning the oath of office, the prohibition of the sale and manufacture of ardent spirits, and to make the clerks of the sev eral counties recorders of land claims, which amend ments had been sanctioned by the vote of the people at the regular election. Information had been re ceived, he said, that the officers necessary to establish and carry on the territorial government, for which they had so long hoped, were on their way and would soon arrive; 40 and he plainly indicated that he expected the matters pointed out to be settled in a certain way, before the new government should be established, confirming the acts of the retiring organization. 43

The laws passed relating to the Cayuse war were an act to provide for the pay of the commissioned offi-

40 This information seems to have been brought to Oregon in January 1849, by 0. C. Pratt, one of the associate judges, who happened to be in Cali fornia, whither he had gone in pursuit of health. His commission met him at Monterey about the last of Nov., and in Dec. he left for Oregon on the bark Undine which after a long voyage, and being carried into Shoalwater Bay, finally got into the Columbia in Jan. Salem Or. Statesman, Aug. 7, 1852j Or. Spectator, Jan. 25, 1849.

41 He submitted the report of the adjutant-general, by which it appeared that the amount due to privates and non-commissioned officers was $109,- 311.50, besides the pay of the officers and those persons employed in the different departments. He recommended that a law should be passed author izing scrip to be issued for that amount, redeemable at an early date, and bearing interest until paid. The belief that the general government would become responsible would, he said, make the scrip salable, and enable the holders to whom it should be issued to realize something immediately for their services. Grover s Or. Archives, 273. This was the beginning of specu lation in Oregon war scrip. As to the report of the commissary and quarter master-general, the governor left that for the legislature to examine into, and the accounts so far as presented in these departments amounted to something like $57,000, making the cost of the war without the salaries of the commis sioned officers over $106,000. This was subsequently much reduced by a commission, as I shall show in the proper place.



cers employed in the service of the territory during the hostilities, and an act regulating the issuing and redemption of scrip, 42 making it payable to the person to whom first issued, or bearer, the treasurer being authorized to exchange or redeem it whenever offered, with interest. Another act provided for the manner of exchange, and interest payments. An act was passed making a change in the oath of office, and making county clerks recorders of land claims, to which the governor refused his signature on the plea that the United States laws would provide for the manner of recording claims. On the other hand the legislature refused to amend the organic law by put ting in the word prohibit in place of regulate/ but passed an act making it necessary for every person applying for a license to sell or manufacture ardent spirits, to take an oath not to sell, barter, or give liquor to any Indian, fixing the penalty at one hundred dollars; and no distilleries were to be allowed beyond the limits of the white settlements. With this poor substitute for the entire interdiction he had so long desired, the governor was compelled to be so far sat isfied as to append his signature.

Besides the act providing for weighing and stamp ing gold, of which I have spoken, little more was done than is here mentioned. Some contests took place between members over proposed enactments, and Jesse Applegate, 43 as customary with him, offered

42 The first act mentioned here I have been unable to find. I quote the Or. Spectator, Feb. 22, 1849. In place of it I find in the Or. Laws, 1843-9, 56-8, an act providing for the final settlement of claims against the Oregon government for and on account of the Cayuse war, by which a board of com missioners was appointed to settle and adjust those claims; said commission ers being Thomas Magruder, Samuel Burch, and Wesley Shannon, whose duty was to exhibit in detail a statement of all accounts, whether for money or property furnished the government, or for services rendered, either as a citizen, soldier, or officer of the army. This might be construed as an act to provide for the pay of commissioned officers.

43 Ever since first passing through southern Oregon on his exploring expe dition, he had entertained a high opinion of the country; and he brought in a bill to charter an association called the Klamath Company, which was to have power to treat with the natives and purchase lands from them. Mr Hedges opposed the bill, and offered a resolution, that it was not in the power of the house to grant a charter to any individual, or company, for



resolutions and protests ad arbitrium et proposition. Another man, Samuel R. Thurston, an emigrant of 1847, displayed indications of a purpose to make his talents recognized. In the course of proceedings A. L. Lewis, of Vancouver county, offered a resolution that the superintendent of Indian affairs be required to report, 44 presently asking if there were an Indian superintendent in Oregon at all.

The governor replied that H. A. G. Lee had re signed the superintendency because the compensation bore no proportion to the services required, and that since Lee s resignation he had performed the duties of superintendent, not being able to find any competent person who would accept the office. In a second com munication he reported on Indian affairs that the course pursued had been conciliatory, and that the Indians had seemingly become quiet, arid had ceased their clamor for pay for their lands, waiting for the United States to move in the matter; and the Cay use murderers had not been secured. V/ith regard to the confiscation of Indian lands, he returned for answer

treating for wild lands in the territory, or for holding treaties with the Indian tribes for the purchase of lands, all of which was very apparent. But Mr Applegate introduced the counter resolution that if the doctrine in the reso lution last passed be true, then the powers of the Oregon government are un equal to the wants of the people, which was of course equally true, as it was only provisional.

41 He wished to know, he said, whether the superintendent had upon his own or the authority of any other officer of the government confiscated to the use of the people of Oregon any Indian country, and if so, why ; if any grant or charter had been given by him to any citizen or citizens for the set tlement of any Indian country, and if so, by what authority; and whether he had enforced the law prohibiting the sale of liquor to Indians. A. Lee Lewis, says Applegate, a bright young man, the son of a chief factor, afterward superintendent of Indian affairs, was the first representative of Vancouver district. Views of Hist., MS., 45. Another British subject, who took a part in the provisional government, was Richard Lane, appointed by Abernethy county judge of Vancouver in 1847, vice Dugald McTavish resigned. Or. Spec tator, Jan. 21, 1847. Lane came to Oregon in 1837 as a clerk to the Hudson s Bay Company. He was a ripe scholar and a good lawyer. He lived for some time at Oregon City, and afterward at Olympia, holding varioiis offices, among others those of clerk of one branch of the territorial legislature of Washington, clerk of the supreme and district courts, county auditor, and clerk of the city corporation of Olympia. He died at The Dalles in the spring of 1877, from an overdose of morphine, apparently taken with sui cidal intent. He was then about sixty years of age. Dalles Mountaineer, in Seattle Pacific Tribune, March 2, 1877.



that lie believed Lee had invited the settlement of Americans in the Cay use country, but that he knew nothing of any charter having been granted to any one, and that he presumed the settlement would have been made by each person locating a claim of six hundred and forty acres. He reiterated the opinion expressed to Lee, when the superintendent sought his advice, that the Cayuses having been engaged in war with the Americans the appropriation of their lands was justifiable, and would be so regarded by the neighboring tribes. As to liquor being sold to the Indians, though he believed it was done, he had never yet been able to prove it in a single instance, and recommended admitting Indian testimony.

The legislature adjourned February 16th, having put, so far as could be done, the provisional govern ment in order, to be confirmed by act of congress, even to passing an act providing for the payment of the several departments a necessary but hitherto much neglected duty of the organization 45 and also to the election of territorial officers for another term. 46 These were never permitted to exercise official func tions, as but two weeks elapsed between the close of the session and the arrival of Lane with the new order of things.

Note finally the effect of the gold discovery on immigration. California in 1849 of course offered

45 The salary of the governor was nominally $500, but really nothing, as the condition of the treasury was such as to make drafts upon it worthless except in a few cases. Abernethy did not receive his pay from the provisional government, and as the territorial act did not confirm the statutes passed by the several colonial legislatures, he had no redress. After Oregon had become a state, and when by a series of misfortunes he had lost nearly all his posses sions, after more than 20 years waiting Abernethy received his salary as governor of the Oregon colony by an appropriation of the Oregon legislature Oct. 187:1 The amount was $2,986.21, which congress was asked to make good to the state.

46 A. L. Lovejoy was elected supreme judge in place of Columbia Lan caster, appointed by the governor in place of Thornton, who resigned in 1847. W. S. Mattock was chosen circuit judge; Samuel Parker, prosecuting attor ney; Theophilus Magnuler, secretary of the territory; W. K. Kiiborne, treasurer; John G. Campbell, auditor; W. H. Bennett, marshal, and A. Lee Lewis, superintendent of Indian affairs. Or. Spectator, Feb. 22, 1849.



the great attraction. The four or five hundred who were not dazzled with the visions of immediate wealth that beckoned southward the great army of gold-seekers, but who suffered with them the common discomforts of the way, were glad to part company at the place where their roads divided on the western slope of the Hocky Mountains.

On the Oregon part of the road no particular dis couragement or distress befell the travellers until they reached The Dalles and began the passage of the mountains or the river. As no emigration had ever passed over the last ninety miles of their journey to the Willamette Valley without accident or loss, so these had their trials with floods and mountain de clivities/ 7 arriving, however, in good time, after having been detained in the mountains by forest fires which blocked the road with fallen timber. This was an other form of the inevitable hardship which year after year fell upon travellers in some shape on this part of their journey. The fires were an evidence that the rains came later than usual, and that the former trials from this source of discomfort were thus absent. 48 Such was the general absorption of the public mind in other affairs that the immigration re ceived little notice.

Before gold was discovered it was land that drew men to the Pacific, land seen afar off through a rosy mist which made it seem many times more valuable and beautiful than the prolific valleys of the middle and western states. And now, even before the dona tion law had passed, the tide had turned, and gold was the magnet more potent than acres to attract. How far population was diverted from the north-west, and to what extent California contributed to the develop-

47 Gen. Smith in his report to the secretary of war said that the roads to Oregon were made to come into it, but not to go out of it, referring to the steep descents of the western declivities of the Cascade Mountains.

48 A long dry autumn in 1849 was followed by freshets in the Willamette Valley in Dec. and Jan., which carried off between $40,000 and $50,000 worth of property. Or. Spectator y Jan. 10, 1850.



ment of the resources of Oregon, 49 the progress of this history will show. Then, perhaps, after all it will be seen that the distance of Oregon from the Sierra Foothills proved at this time the greatest of blessings, being near enough for commercial communication, and yet so far away as to escape the more evil conse quences attending the mad scramble for wealth, such as social dissolution, the rapine of intellect and prin ciple, an overruling spirit of gambling a delirium of development, attended by robbery, murder, and all uncleanness, and followed by reaction and death.

49 When J. Q. Thornton was in Washington in 1848, he had made a seal for the territory, the design of which was appropriate. In the centre a shield, two compartments. Lower compartment, in the foreground a plough; in the distance, mountains. In the upper compartment, a ship under full sail. The crest a beaver; the sinister supporter an Indian with bow and arrow, and a mantle of skins over his shoulders; the dexter supporter an eagle with wings displayed; the motto alls volet propr/is I fly with my own wing. Field of the lower compartment argent; of the upper blue. This seal was presented to the governor and secretary in 1850, and by them adopted. By act of Jan. 1854, it was directed to be deposited, and recorded in the office of the secretary, to remain a public record; but so far as can be ascertained it was never done. Or. Gen. Laws, 1845-1864, p. 627. For fac-simile of seal see p. 487, this vol.

HIST. OR., VOL. II. 6

CHAPTER lit

LANE S ADMINISTRATION. 1849-1850.

INDIAN AFFAIRS TROUBLES IN COWLITZ VALLEY FORT NISQUALLY AT- TACKED ARRIVAL OF THE UNITED STATES SHIP MASSACHUSETTS A MILITARY POST ESTABLISHED NEAR NISQUALLY THORNTON AS SUB- INDIAN AGENT MEETING OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY MEASURES ADOPTED JUDICIAL DISTRICTS A TRAVELLING COURT OF JUSTICE THE MOUNTED RIFLE REGIMENT ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY POSTS AT FORT HALL, VANCOUVER, STEILACOOM, AND THE DALLES THE VAN COUVER CLAIM GENERAL PERSIFER F. SMITH His DRUNKEN SOL DIERS THE DALLES CLAIM TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF THE WHITMAN MURDERERS.

GOVERNOR LANE lost no time in starting the political wheels of the territory. First a census must be taken in order to make the proper apportionment before or dering an election; and this duty the marshal and his deputies quickly performed. 1 Meanwhile the governor applied himself to that branch of his office which made him superintendent of Indian affairs, the Indians themselves those that were left of them- -being prompt to remind him of the many years they had been living on promises, and the crumbs which were dropped from the tables of their white brothers. The result was more promises, more fair words, and further assurances of the intentions of the great chief of the Americans toward his naked and hungry red children. Nevertheless the superintendent did decide a case

J The census returns showed a total of 8,785 Americans of all ages and both sexes and 298 foreigners. From this enumeration may be gathered some idea of the great exodus to the gold mines of both Americans and Brit ish subjects. Indians and Hawaiians were not enumerated. Honolulu Friend, Oct. 1849, 51.

(66)



against some white men of Linn City who had pos sessed themselves of the site of a native fishing village on the west bank of the Willamette near the falls, after maliciously setting fire to the wretched habita tions and consuming the poor stock of supplies contained therein. The Indians were restored to their original freehold, and quieted with a promise of indemnification, which, on the arrival of the first ten thousand dollar appropriation for the Indian ser vice in April, was redeemed by a few presents of small value, the money being required for other purposes, none having been forwarded for the use of the terri tory. 2

In order to allay a growing feeling of uneasiness among the remoter settlements, occasioned by the insolent demeanor of the Kliketats, who frequently visited the Willamette and perpetrated minor offences, from demanding a prepared meal to stealing an ox or a horse, as the Molallas had done on previous occa sions, Lane visited the tribes near The Dalles and along the north side of the Columbia, including the Kliketats, all of whom at the sight of the new white chief professed unalterable friendship, thinking that now surely something besides words would be forth coming. A few trifling gifts were bestowed. 3 Pres ently a messenger arrived from Puget Sound with information of the killing of an American, Leander C. Wallace, of Cowlitz Valley, and the wounding of two others, by the Snoqualimichs. It was said that they had concocted a plan for capturing Fort Nisqually by fomenting a quarrel with a small and inoffensive tribe living near the fort, and whom they employed sometimes as herdsmen. They reckoned upon the com pany s interference, which was to furnish the oppor tunity. As they had expected, when they began the

2 Honolulu Friend, Oct. 1849, 58; Lane s Rept. in 31st Cong., 3d Sess., H. Ex, Doc. 1, 156.

3 Lane says the amount expended on presents was about $200; and that he made peace between the Walla Wallas and Yakimas who were about to gar to war.



affray, the Indians attacked ran to the fort, and Tolmie, who was in charge, ordered the gates opened to give them refuge. At this moment, when the Srioquali- michs were making a dash to crowd into the fort on the pretence of following their enemies, Wallace, Charles Wren, and a Mr Lewis were riding toward it, having come from the Cowlitz to trade. On seeing their danger, they also made all haste to get inside, but were a moment too late, when, the gates being closed, the disappointed savages fired upon them, as I have said, besides killing one of the friendly Indians who did not gain the shelter of the fort. 4 Thibault, a Canadian, then began firing on the assailants from one of the bastions. The Indians finding they had failed retreated before the company could attack them in full force. There was no doubt that had the Sno- qualimichs succeeded in capturing the fort, they would have massacred every white person on the Sound. Finding that they had committed themselves, they sent word to the American settlers, numbering about a dozen families, that they were at liberty to go out of the country, leaving their property behind. But to this offer the settlers returned answ r er that they intended to stay, and if their property was threatened should fight. Instead of fleeing, they built block houses at Tumwater and Cowlitz prairie, to which they could retire in case of alarm, and sent a messen ger to the governor to inform him of their situation. There were then at Oregon City neither armies nor organized courts. Lieutenant Hawkins and five men

4 This is according to the account of the affair given by several authorities. See Tolmie in the Feb. 3d issue of Truth Teller, a small sheet published at Fort Steilacoom in 1858; also in Hist. Puget Sound, MS., 33-5. A writer in the Olympia Standard of April 11, 1868, says that Wren had his back against the wall and was edging in, but was shut out by Walter Ross, the clerk, who with one of the Nisquallies was on guard. This writer also says that Patkanim, a chief of the Snoqualimichs, afterward famous in the Indian wars, was inside the fort talking with Tolmie, while the chief s brother shot at and killed Wallace. These statements, while not intentionally false, were colored by rumor, and by the prejudice against the fur company, which had its origin with the first settlers of the Puget Sound region, as it had had in the region south of the Columbia. See also Roberts Recollections, MS., 35; Rabbison s Growth of Towns, MS., 17.



who had not deserted constituted the military force at Lane s command. Acting with characteristic prompt ness, he set out at once for Puget Sound, accompanied by these, taking with him a supply of arms and ^ammunition, and leaving George L. Curry acting sec retary by his appointment, Pritchett not yet having arrived. At Tumwater he was overtaken by an ex press from Vancouver, notifying him of the arrival of the propeller Massachusetts, Captain Wood, from Boston, by way of Valparaiso and the Hawaiian Islands, having on board two companies of artillery under Brevet-Major Hathaway, who sent Lane word that if he so desired, a part of his force should be moved at once to the Sound. 5

Lane returned to the Columbia, at the same time despatching a letter to Tolmie at Fort Nisqually, re questing him to inform the hostile Indians that should they commit any further outrages they would be vis ited with chastisement, for now he had fighting: men

7 O O

enough to destroy them ; also making a request that no ammunition should be furnished to the Indians. 6 His plan, he informed the secretary of war after ward, was, in the event of a military post being established on the Sound, to secure the cooperation of Major Hathaway in arresting and punishing the Indians according to law for the murder of American citizens.

On reaching Vancouver, about the middle of June, he found the Massachusetts ready to depart, 7 and Hathaway encamped in the rear of the Hudson s Bay Company s fort with one company of artillery, the other, under Captain B. H. Hill, having been left at Astoria, quartered in the buildings erected by the

5 The transport Massachusetts entered the Columbia May 7th, by the sail ing directions of Captain Gelston, without difficulty. Honolulu Friend, Nov. 1, 1849. This was the first government vessel to get safely into the river.

6 Lane s Rept. to the Sec. War., in 31st Cong., Zd Sess., II. Ex. Doc. 1, 157.

7 The Massachusetts went to Portland, where she was loaded with lumber for the use of the government in California in building army quarters at Beni- cia; the U. S. transport Anita was likewise employed. Inyall s Eeyt.^ in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. D oc. 1, 284.



Shark s crew in 1846. 8 It was soon arranged between Hathaway and Lane that Hill s company should es tablish a post near Nisqually, when the Indians would be called upon to surrender the murderer of Wallace. The troops were removed from Astoria about the mid dle of July, proceeding by the English vessel Har- pooner to Nisqually.

On the 13th of May the governor s proclamation was issued dividing the territory into judicial districts ; the first district, to which Bryant, who arrived on the 9th of April, was assigned, consisting of Vancouver and several counties immediately south of the Colum bia; the second, consisting of the remaining counties in the Willamette Valley, to which Pratt was assigned ; and the third the county of Lewis, or all the country north of the Columbia and west of Vancouver county, including the Puget Sound territory, for which there was no judge then appointed. 9 The June election gave Oregon a bona fide delegate to congress, chosen by the people, of whom w r e shall know more presently.

When the governor reached his capital he found that several commissions, which had been intended to overtake him at St Louis or Leavenworth, but which failed, had been forwarded by Lieutenant Beale to California, and thence to Oregon City. These related to the Indian department, appointing as sub-Indian agents J. Q. Thornton, George C. Preston, and Robert -Newell, 10 the Abernethy delegate being re warded at last with this unjudicial office by a relenting president. As Preston did not arrive with his com mission, the territory was divided into two districts,

8 The whole force consisted of 161 rank and file. They were companies L and M of the 1st regiment of U. S. artillery, and officered as follows: Major J. S. Hathaway commanding; Captain B. H. Hill, commanding company M; 1st lieut., J. B. Gibson, 1st lieut., T. Talbot, 2d lieut., G. Tallmadge, com pany M; 2d lieut., J. Dement, company L; 2d lieut., J. J. Woods, quarter master and commissary; 2d lieut., J. B. Fry, adjutant. Honolulu Polynesian, April 14, 1849.

9 Evans, in Neio Tacoma Ledger, July 9, 1880. ^American Almanac, 1850, 108-9; Or. Spectator, Oct. 4, 1849.



and Thornton assigned by the governor to the north of the Columbia, while Newell was given the country south of the river as his district. This arrangement sent Thornton to the disaffected region of Pus-et

o o

Sound. On the 30th of July he proceeded to Nis- qually, where he was absent for several weeks, ob taining the information which was embodied in the report of the superintendent, concerning the numbers and dispositions of the different tribes, furnished to him by Tolmie. 11 While on this mission, during which he visited some of the Indians and made them small presents, he conceived it his duty to offer a reward for the apprehension of the principal actors in the affair at Nisqually, nearly equal to the amount paid by Ogden for the ransom of all the captives after the Waiilatpu massacre, amounting to nearly five hundred dollars. This assumption of authority roused the ire of the governor, who probably ex pressed himself somewhat strongly, for Thornton re signed, and as Newell shortly after went to the gold mines the business of conciliating and punishing the Indians again devolved upon the governor.


On the 16th of July the first territorial legislative assembly met at Oregon City. According to the act establishing the government, the legislature was organized with nine councilmen, of three classes, whose terms should expire with the first, second, and third years respectively; and eighteen members of the house of representatives, who should serve for one year; the law, however, providing for an increase in the number of representatives from time to time, in proportion to the number of qualified voters, until the maximum of thirty should be reached. 12 After the

11 3 list Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 161.

12 The names of the councilmen were: W. U. Buck, of Clackamas; Wilson Blain, of Tualatin; Samuel Parker and Wesley Shannon, of Champoeg; J. Graves, of Yamhill; W. B. Mealey, of Linn; Nathaniel Ford, of Polk; Norris Humphrey, of Ben ton; S. T. McKean, of Clatsop, Lewis, and Vancouver coun ties. The members of the house elected were: A. L. Lovejoy, W. D. Holman,



usual congratulations Lane, in his message to the legislature, alluded briefly to the Cayuses, who, he promised, should be brought to justice as soon as the rifle regiment then on its way should arrive. Con gress would probably appropriate money to pay the debt, amounting to about one hundred and ninety thousand dollars. He also spoke of the Wallace affair, and said the murderers should be punished.

His suggestions as to the wants of the territory were practical, and related to the advantages of good roads; to a judicious system of revenues; to the re vision of the loose and defective condition of the statute laws, declared by the organic act to be opera tive in the territory; 13 to education and common schools; to the organization of the militia; to election matters and providing for apportioning the repre sentation of counties and districts to the council and house of representatives, and defining the qualifica tion of voters, with other matters appertaining to government. He left the question of the seat of gov ernment to their choice, to decide whether it should be fixed by them or at some future session. He re ferred with pleasure to the return of many absentees from the mines, and hoped they would resume the cultivation of their farms, which from lying idle would give the country only a short crop, though there was still enough for home consumption. 14 He

and G. Walling, of Clackamas; D. Hill and W. W. Eng, of Tualatin; W. W. Chapman, W. S. Matlock, and John Grim, of Champoeg; A. J. Hem- bree, R. Kinney, and J. B. Walling, of Yamhill; Jacob Conser and J. S. Dunlap, of Linn; H. N. V. Holmes and S. Burch, of Polk; J. Mulkey and G. B. Smith, of Benton; and M. T. Simmons from Clatsop, Lewis, and Van couver counties. Honolulu Friend, Nov. 1, 1849; American Almanac, 1849,312. The president of the council was Samuel Parker; the clerk, A. A. Robinson; sergeant-at-arms, C. Davis; door-keeper, S. Kinney; chaplain, David Leslie. Speaker of the house, A. L. Lovejoy; chief clerk, William Porter; assistant clerk, E. Gendis; sergeant-at-arms, William Holmes; door-keeper, D. D. Bai ley; chaplain, H. Johnson. Honolulu Friend, Nov. 1, 1849; Or. Spectator, Oct. 18, 1849.

13 Lane s remarks on the laws of the provisional government were more truthful than flattering, considering what a number had been simply adopted from the Iowa code. Message in Or. Spectator, Oct. 4, 1849; 31st Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 52, xiii. 7-12; Tribune Almanac, 1850-51.

14 Patent Office Kept., 1849, ii. 511-12.



predicted that the great migration to California would benefit Oregon, as many of the gold-seekers would re main on the Pacific coast, and look for homes in the fertile and lovely valleys of the new territory. And last, but by no means least in importance, was the reference to the expected donation of land for which the people were waiting, and all the more anxiously that there was much doubt entertained of the tenure by which their claims were now held, since the only part of the old organic law repealed was that which granted a title to lands. 15 He advised them to call the attention of congress to this subject without delay. In short, if Lane had been a pioneer of 1843 he could not have touched upon all the topics nearest the public heart more successfully. Hence his imme diate popularity w r as assured, and whatever he might propose was likely to receive respectful consideration. The territorial act allowed the first legislative as sembly one hundred days, at three dollars a day, in which to perform its work. A memorial to congress occupied it two weeks; still, the assembly closed its labors in seventy-six days, 16 having enacted what the Spectator described as a " fair and respectable code of laws," and adopted one hundred acts of the Iowa stat utes. The memorial set forth the loyalty of the peo ple, and the natural advantages of the country, not forgetting the oft-repeated request that congress, would grant six hundred and forty acres of land to each actual settler, including widows and orphans; and that the donations should be made to conform to the claims and improvements of the settlers; but if congress decided to have the lands surveyed, and to make grants by subdivisions, that the settler might be permitted to take his land in subdivisions as low as twenty acres, so as to include his improvements, with out regard to section or township lines. The govern-

15 Or. Gen. Laws, 1843-9, 60.

16 The final adjournment was on the 29th of September, a recess having been taken to attend to gathering the ripened wheat in August, there being no other hands to employ in this labor. JJeady s Hist. Or., MS., 3-5.



ment was reminded that such a grant had been long expected; that, indeed, congress was responsible for the expectation, which had caused the removal to Oregon of so large a number of people at a great cost to themselves; that they were happy to have effected by such emigration the objects which the government had in view, and to have been prospectively the pro moters of the happiness of millions yet unborn, and that a section of land to each would no more than pay them for their trouble. The memorial asked payment for the cost of the Cayuse war, and also for an appro priation of ten thousand dollars to pay the debt of the late government, which, adopted as a necessity, and weak and inefficient as it had been, still sufficed to regulate society and promote the growth of whole some institutions. 17 A further appropriation of twenty thousand dollars was asked for the erection of public buildings at the seat of government suitable for the transaction of the public business, which was no more than had been appropriated to the other territories for the same purpose. A sum sufficient for the erec tion of a penitentiary was also wanted, and declared to be as much in the interest of the United States as of the territory of Oregon.

With regard to the school lands, sections sixteen and thirty-six, which would fall upon the claims of some settlers, it was earnestly recommended that congress should pass a law authorizing the township authorities, if the settlers so disturbed should desire, to select other lands in their places. At the same time congress was reminded that under the distribu tion act, five hundred thousand acres of land were given to each new state on coming into the union; and the people of Oregon asked that the territory be allowed to select such lands immediately on the public

17 Congress never paid this debt. In 1862 the state legislature passed an act constituting the secretary commissioner of the provincial government debt, and register of the claims of scrip-holders. A report made in 1864 shows that claims to the amount of $4,574.02 only had been proven. Many were never presented.



surveys being made, and also that a law be passed authorizing the appropriation of said lands to the support of the common schools.

A military road from some point on the Columbia below the cascades to Puget Sound was asked for; also one from the sound to a point on the Columbia, near Walla Walla; 18 also one from The Dalles to the Willamette Valley; also that explorations be made for a road from Bear River to the Humboldt, crossing the Blue Mountains north of Klamath Lake, and entering the Willamette Valley near Mount Jefferson and the Santiam River. Other territorial and post roads were asked for, and an appropriation to make improvements at the falls of the Willamette. The usual official robbery under form of the extinguish ment of the Indian title, and their removal from the neighborhood of the white settlements, was unblush- ingly urged. The propriety of making letters to Oregon subject to the same postage as letters within the States was suggested. Attention was called to the difficulties between American citizens and the Puget Sound Agricultural Company with regard to the extent of the company s claim, which was a large tract of country enclosed within undefined and imagi nary lines. They denied the right of citizens of the United States to locate on said lands, while the people contended that the company had no right to any lands except such as they actually occupied at the time of the Oregon treaty of 1846. The government was requested to purchase the lands rightfully held by treaty in order to put an end to disputes. The memorial closed by coolly asking for a railroad and telegraph to the Pacific, though there were not people enough in all Oregon to make a good-sized country town. 19

This document framed, the business of laying out

18 Pierre C. Pambrun and Cornelius Rogers explored the Nisqually Pass as early as 1839, going from Fort Walla Walla to Fort Nisqually by that route. Or. Spectator, May 13, 1847.

19 Oregon Archives, MS., 176-186; 31st Cong., %d Sess., Sen. Mis. Doc. J, 6.



the judicial districts was attended to. Having first changed the names of several counties, 20 it was decreed that the first judicial district should consist of Clack- amas, Marion, and Linn; the second district of Ben- ton, Polk, Yamhill, and Washington; and the third of Clarke, Clatsop, and Lewis. The time for holding court was also fixed. 21

While awating a donation law an act was passed declaring the late land law in force, and that any per son who had complied or should thereafter comply with its provisions should be deemed in possession to every part of the land within his recorded boundary, not exceeding six hundred and forty acres. But the same act provided that no foreigner should be en titled to the benefits of the law, who should not have, within six months thereafter, filed his declara tion of intention to become a citizen of the United States. 22

The new land law amended the old to make it con form to the territorial act, declaring that none but white male citizens of the United States, over eigh teen years of age, should be entitled to take claims under the act revived. The privilege of holding claims during absence from the territory by paying five dollars annually was repealed ; but it was declared not necessary to reside upon the land, if the claimant continued to improve it, provided the claimant should not be absent more than six months. It was also de-

20 The first territorial legislature changed the name of Champoeg county to Marion; of Tualatin to Washington, and of Vancouver to Clarke. Or. Spec tator, Oct. 18th.

21 As there was yet no judge for the third judicial district, and the time for holding the court in Lewis county had been appointed for the second Mon day in May and November, Governor Lane prevailed upon the legislature to attach the county of Lewis to the first judicial district which was to hold its first session on the first Monday in September, and to appoint the first Monday in October for holding the district court at Steilacoom in the county of Lewis. This change was made in order to bring the trial of the Snoqua- limichs in a season of the year when it would be possible for the court to travel to Puget Sound.

22 During the month of May several hundred foreigners were naturalized. Honolulu Friend, Oct. 1, 1849. There was a doubt in the mind of Judge Bryant whether Hawaiians could become naturalized, the law of congress being explicit as to negroes and Indians, but not mentioning Sandwich Islanders.



clared that land claims should descend to heirs at law as personal property.

An act was passed at this session which made it unlawful for any negro or mulatto to come into or reside in the territory; that masters of vessels bring ing them should be held responsible for their conduct, and they should not be permitted to leave the port where the vessel was lying except with the consent of the master of the vessel, who should cause them to depart with the vessel that brought them, or some other, within forty days after the time of their ar rival. Masters or owners of vessels failing to observe this law were made subject to fine not less than five hundred dollars, and imprisonment. If a negro or mulatto should be found in the territory, it became the duty of any judge to issue a warrant for his arrest, and cause his removal; and if the same negro or mulatto were twice found in the territory, he should be fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the court. This law, however, did not apply to the negroes already in the territory. The act was ordered published in the newspapers of California. 23

The next most interesting action of the legislative assembly was the enactment of a school law, which provided for the establishment of a permanent irre ducible fund, the interest on which should be divided annually among the districts; but as the school lands could not be made immediately available, a tax of two mills was levied for the support of common schools in the interim. The act in its several chapters created the offices of school commissioner and directors for each county and defined their duties; also the duties of teachers. The eighth chapter relating to the powers of district meetings provided that until the counties were districted the people in any neighborhood, on ten days notice, given by any two legal voters, might call a meeting and organize a district; and the district

23 Or. Statutes, 1850-51, 181-2, 246-7; Dix. Speeches, i. 309-45, 372, 377-8.



meeting might impose an ad valorem tax on all taxa ble property in the district for the erection of school houses, and to defray the incidental expenses of the districts, and for the support of teachers. All chil dren between the ages of four and twenty-one years were entitled to the benefits of public education. 24

It is unnecessary to the purposes of thjs history to follow the legislature of the first territorial assembly further. No money having been received 25 for the payment of the legislators or the printing of the laws, the legislators magnanimously waived their right to take the remaining thirty days allowed them, and thus left some work for the next assembly to do. 2(

On the 21st of September the assembly was noti fied, by a special message from the governor, of the death of ex-President James K. Polk, the friend of Oregon, and the revered of the western democracy. As a personal friend of Lane, also, his death created a profound sensation. The legislature after draping both houses in mourning adjourned for a week. Pub lic obsequies were celebrated, and Lane delivered a highly eulogistic address. Perhaps the admirers of Polk s administration and political principles were all the more earnest to do him honor that his successor

24 Says Buck in his Enterprises, MS., 11-12: They had to make the first beginning in schools in Oregon City, and got up the present school law at the first session in 1849. It was drawn mostly after the Ohio law, and subsequently amended. F. C. Beatty taught the first (common) school at Oregon City in 1850. Besides chartering the Tualatin Academy and Pacific University, a charter was granted to the Clackamas County Female Seminary, with G-. Abernethy, A. L. Lovejoy, James Taylor, Hiram Clark, G. H. Atkinson, Hezekiah Johnson, and Wilson Blain as trustees.

25 Lane s Rapt, in 31st Cong. , 2d Scss. , H. Ex. Doc. , i.

26 One of the members tells us something about the legislators: I have heard some people say that the first legislature was better than any one we have had since. I think it was as good. It was composed of more substan tial men than they have had in since; men who represented the people better. The second one was probably as good. The third one met in Salem. It is my impression they had deteriorated a little; but I would not like to say so, because I was in the first one. I know there were no such men in it as go v to the legislature now. Buck s Enterprises, MS., 11. The only difference among members was that each one was most partial to the state from which he had emigrated, and with the operations of which he was familiar. This difficulty proved a serious one, and retarded the progress of business throughout. Or, Spectator, Oct. 18, 1849.



in office was a whig, with whose appointments they were predetermined not to be pleased. The officers elected by the legislature were: A. A. Skinner, com missioner to settle the Cayuse war debt; Bernard Genoise, territorial auditor; James Taylor, treasurer; Wm. T. Matlock, librarian; James McBride, superin tendent of schools; C. M. Walker, prosecuting attor ney first judicial district; David Stone, prosecuting attorney second judicial district; Wilson Blain, public printer; A. L. Lovejoy and W. W. Buck, commission ers to let the printing of the laws and journals. Other offices being still vacant, an act was passed providing for a special election to be held in each of the several counties on the third Monday in October for the election of probate judges, clerks, sheriffs, assessors, treasurers, school commissioners, and justices of the peace.

As by the territorial act the governor had no veto power, congress having reserved this right, there was nothing for him to do at Oregon City; and being accustomed of late to the stir and incident of military camps he longed for activity, and employed his time visiting the Indians on the coast, and sending couriers to the Cayuses, to endeavor to prevail upon them to give up the Waiilatpu murderers. 27 The legislative assembly having in the mean time passed a special act to enable him to bring to trial the Snoqualimichs, and Thornton s munificent offer of reward having prompted the avaricious savages to give up to Captain Hill at Steilacoom certain of their number to be dealt with according to the white man s law, Lane had the satisfaction of seeing, about the last of September, the first district court, marshal and jurymen, grand and petit, on the way to Puget Sound, 28 where the

27 Lane s Autobiography, MS., 55; 31st Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 47, viii. pt. iii. 112.

28 There was a good deal of feeling on the part of the Hudson s Bay Com pany concerning Lane s course, though according to Tolmie s account, in Truth Teller, the Indians were committing hostilities against them as well aa



American population was still so small that travelling courts were obliged to bring their own juries.

Judge Bryant provided for the decent administra tion of justice by the appointment of A. A. Skinner, district attorney, for the prosecution, and David Stone for the defence. The whole company proceeded by canoes and horses to Steilacoom carrying with them their provisions and camping utensils. Several Indians had been arrested, but two only, Quallawort, brother of Patkanim, head chief of the Snoqualimichs, and Kas- sas, another Snoqualimich chief, were found guilty. On the day following their conviction they were hanged in the presence of the troops and many of their own and other tribes, Bryant expressing himself satisfied with the finding of the jury, and also with the opinion that the attacking party of Snoqualimichs had designed to take Fort Nisqually, in which attempt, had they succeeded, many lives would have been lost. 29 The cost of this trial was $1,899.54, besides eighty blankets, the promised reward for the arrest and de livery of the guilty parties, which amounted to $480 more. Many of the jurymen were obliged to travel two hundred miles, and the attorneys also, each of whom received two hundred and fifty dollars for his services. Notwithstanding this expensive lesson the same savages made away in some mysterious manner with one of the artillerymen from Fort Steilacoom the following winter. 30

against the Americans. Roberts says that when Lane was returning from the Sound in June, he, Roberts, being at the Cowlitz farm, rode out to meet him, and answered his inquiries concerning the best way of preserving the peace of the country, then changing from the old regime to the new. I was astonished, says Roberts, to hear him remark "Damn them ! (the Indians) it would do my soul good to be after them." This would never have escaped the lips of Dr McLoughlin or Douglas. Recollections, MS., 15. There was always this rasping of the rude outspoken western sentiment on the feelings of the studiously trained Hudson s Bay Company. But an Indian to them was a different creature from the Indian toward whom the settlers were hostile. In the one case he was a means of making wealth; in the other of destroying property and life. Could the Hudson s Bay Company have changed places with the settlers they might have changed feelings too.

29 Bryant s Rept. to Gov. Lane in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc., i. 166-7; Hayes Scraps, 22; Or. Spectator, Oct. 18, 1849.

80 Tolmie s Puget Sound, MS., 36.



The arrest of the Cayuse murderers could not pro ceed until the arrival of the mounted rifle regiment

<>

then en route, under the command of Brevet-Colonel W. W. Loring. 81 This regiment which was provided expressly for service in Oregon and to garrison posts upon the emigrant road, by authority of a congressional act passed May 19, 1846, was not raised till the spring of 1847, and was then ordered to Mexico, although the secretary of war in his instructions to the gov ernor of Missouri, in which state the regiment was formed, had said that a part if not the whole of it would be employed in establishing posts on the route to Oregon. 32 Its numbers being greatly reduced dur ing the Mexican campaign, it was recruited at Fort Leavenworth, and at length set out upon its march to the Columbia in the spring of 1849. On the 10th of May the regiment left Fort Leavenworth with about 600 men, thirty-one commissioned officers, several women and children, the usual train agents, guides, and teamsters, 160 wagons, 1,200 mules, 700 horses, and subsistence for the march to the Pacific. 83

Two posts were established on the way, one at Fort

1 The command was first given to Fre mont, who resigned.

32 See letter of W. L. Marcy, secretary of war, in Or. Sjjectator, Nov. 11, 1847.

33 The officers were Bvt. Lieut. Col. A. Porter, Col. Benj. S. Roberts, Bvt. Major C. F. RufF, Major George B. Crittenden, Bvt. Major J. S. Simonson, . Bvt. Major S. S. Tucker, Bvt. Lieut. Col. J. B. Backenstos, Bvt. Major Kearney, Captains M. E. Vsru Buren, George McLane, Noah Newton, Llewellyn Jones, Bvt. Captain J. P. Hatch, R. Ajt., Bvt. Captains Thos. Claiborne Jr., Gordon Granger, James Stuart, and Thos. G. Rhett; 1st Lieuts Charles L. Denman, A. J. Lindsay, Julian May, F. S. K. Russell; 2d Lieuts D. M. Frost, R. Q. M., I. N. Palmer, J. McL. Addison, W. B. Lane, W. E. Jones, George W. Rowland, C. E. Ervine; surgeons I. Moses, Charles H. Smith, and W. F. Edgar. The following were persons travelling with the regiment in various capacities: George Gibbs, deputy collector at Astoria; Alden H. Steele, who settled in Oregon City, where he practised medicine till 1863, when he became a surgeon in the army, finally settling at Olympia in 18G8, where in 1878 I met him, and he furnished a brief but pithy account in manuscript of the march of the Oregon Mounted Rifle Regiment; W. Frost, Prew, Wilcox, Leach, Bishop, Kitchen, Dudley, and Raymond. Present also was J. D. Haines, a native of Xenia, Ohio, born in 1828. After a residence in Portland, and removal to Jacksonville, he was elected to the house of representatives from Jackson county in 1862, and from Baker county in 1876, and to the state sen ate in 1878. He married in 1871 and has several children. Salem Statesman, Nov. 15, 1878; U. S. Off. Reg., 1849, 160, 167.

HIST. OK., VOL . II. 6



Laramie, with two companies, under Colonel Benja min Roberts; and another at Cantonment Loring, three miles above Fort Hall, 34 on Snake River, with an equal number of men under Major Simonson, the command being transferred soon after to Colonel Porter. 35 The report made by the quartermaster is an account of discomforts from rains which lasted to the Rocky Mountains; of a great migration to the California gold mines 36 where large numbers died of cholera, which dread disease invaded the military camps also to some extent; of the almost entire worth- lessness of the teamsters and men engaged at Fort Leavenworth, who had no knowledge of their duties, and were anxious only to reach California; of the loss by death and desertion of seventy of the late re cruits to the regiment ; 37 and of the loss of property and life in no way different from the usual experience of the annual emigrations. 38

It was designed to meet the rifle regiment at Fort Hall, with a supply train, under Lieutenant G. W. Hawkins who was ordered to that post, 39 but Hawkins

34 Cantonment Loring was soon abandoned, being too far from a base of supplies, and forage being scarce in the neighborhood. Brackett a Cavalry, 120-7; 31st Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 5, pt. i. 182, 185-6, 188.

33 tSteele says that Simonson was arrested for some dereliction of duty, and came to Vancouver in this situation; also that Major Crittenden was arrested on the way for drunkenness. Rifle Regiment, MS. , 2.

36 Major Cross computed the overland emigration to the Pacific coast at 35,000; 20,000 of whom travelled the route by the Platte with 50,000 cattle. 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 149.

37 Or. Spectator, Oct. 18, 1849; Weed s Queen Charlotte Island Exped., MS., 4.

38 On reaching The Dalles, the means of transportation to Vancouver was found to be 3 Mackinaw boats, 1 yawl, 4 canoes, and 1 whale-boat. A raft was constructed to carry 4 or 5 tons, and loaded with goods chiefly private, 8 men being placed on board to manage the craft. They attempted to run the cascades and six of them were drowned. Or. Spectator, Oct. 18, 1849. A part of the command with wagons, teams, and riding horses crossed the Cas cade Mountains by the Mount Hood road, losing nearly two thirds of the broken-down horses on the way. The loss on the journey amounted to 45 wagons, 1 ambulance, 30 horses, and 295 mules.

39 Applegate a Views, MS., 49. There were fifteen freight wagons and a herd of beef cattle in the train. Gen. Joel Palmer acted as guide, the com pany taking the southern route. Palmer went to within a few days of Fort Hall, where another government train was encountered escorting the customs officer of California, Gen. Wilson and family, to Sacramento. The grass having been eaten along the Humboldt route by the cattle of the immigration,



missed Loring s command, he having already left Fort Hall when Hawkins arrived. As the supplies were needed by the companies at the new post they were left there, in consequence of which those destined to Oregon were in want of certain articles, and many of the men were barefoot and unable to walk, as their horses were too weak to carry them when they ar rived at The Dalles.

On reaching their destination, and finding no accom modations at Fort Vancouver, the regiment was quar tered in Oregon City, at a great expense, and to the disturbance of the peace and order of that moral and temperate community; the material from which com panies had been recruited being below the usual stan dard of enlisted men. 40

The history of the establishment of the Oregon military posts is not without interest. Under orders to take command of the Pacific division, General Per- sifer F. Smith left Baltimore the 24th of November, and New Orleans on the 18th of December 1848, pro ceeding by the isthmus of Panama, and arriving on the 23d of February following at Monterey, where was Colonel Mason s head-quarters. Smith remained in California arranging the distribution of posts, and the affairs of the division generally.

In May Captain Rufus Ingalls, assistant quarter master, was directed by Major H. D. Vinton, chief

Palmer was engaged to conduct this company by the new route from Pit River, opened the previous autumn by the Oregon gold-seekers. At the crossing of a stream flowing from the Sierra, one of the party named Brown shot himself through the arm by accident, and the limb was amputated by two surgeons of an emigrant company. This incident detained Palmer iii the mountains several weeks at a cabin supposed to have been built by some of Lassen s party the year before. A son of Gen. Wilson and three men re mained with him until the snow and ice made it dangerous getting down to the Sacramento Valley, when Brown was left with his attendants and Palmer went home to Oregon by sea. The unlucky invalid, long familiarly known as one-armed Brown, has for many years resided in Oregon, and has been con nected with the Indian department and other branches of the public service. Palmer s Wagon Train, MS., 43-8.

40 This is what Steele says, and also that one of them who deserted, named Riley, was hanged in San Francisco. Rifle Regiment, MS., 7.



of the quartermaster s department of the Pacific divis ion, to proceed to Oregon and make preparations for the establishment of posts in that territory. Taking passage on the United States transport Anita, Cap tain Ingalls arrived at Vancouver soon after Hatha way landed the art ill ey men and stores at that place. The Anita was followed by the Walpole with two years supplies ; but the vessel having been chartered for Astoria only, and the stores landed at that place, a difficulty arose as to the means of removing them to Vancouver, the transfer being accomplished at great labor and expense in small river craft. When the quatermaster began to look about for material and men to construct barracks for the troops already in the territory and those expected overland in the autumn, he found himself at a loss. Mechanics and laboring men were not to be found in Oregon, and Captain Ingalls employed soldiers, paying them a dollar a day extra to prepare timber from the woods and raft lumber from the fur-company s mill to build quarters. But even with the assistance of Chief Factor Ogden in procuring for him Indian labor, and placing at his disposal horses, bateaux, and sloops, at moderate charges, he was able to make but slow progress. 41 Of the buildings occupied by the artillery two belonged to the fur company, having received alterations to adapt them to the purposes of bar racks and mess-rooms, while a few small tenements also owned by the company 42 were hired for offices and for servants of the quarter-master s department. It was undoubtedly believed at this time by both

41 Vinton, in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., S. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 263. Congress passed in September 1850 an act appropriating $325,854 to meet the unexpected outlay occasioned by the rise in prices of labor and army subsistence in California and Oregon, as well as extra pay demanded by military officers. See 7. 8. Acts and Res., 1850, 122-3.

42 In the testimony taken in the settlement of the Hudson s Bay Com pany s claims, page 186, U. S. Ev., H. B. Co. Claims, Gray deposed that the U. S. troops did not occupy the buildings of the company but remained in camp until they had erected buildings for their own use. This is a misstate- ment, as the reports of the quarter-masters Vinton and Ingalls show, in Slat, Cong., 2dSess., S. Doc. 1., pt. ii. 123, 285.



the Hudson s Bay Compay and the officers of the United States in Oregon, that the government would soon purchase the possessory right of the company, which was a reason, in addition to the eligibility of the situation, for beginning an establishment at Van couver. This view was entertained by both Vinton 43 and Ogden. There being at that time no title to land in any part of the country except the possessory title of the fur company under the treaty of 1846, and the mission lands under the territorial act, Vancouver was in a safer condition, it might be thought, with regard to rights, than any other point; rights which Hathaway respected by leasing the company s lands for a military establishment, while the subject; of purchase by the United States government was in abeyance. And Ogden, by inviting him to take pos session of the lands claimed by the company, riot in closed, may have believed this the better manner of preventing the encroachments of squatters. At all events, matters proceeded amicably between Hatha way and Ogden during the residence of the former at Vancouver.

The same state of tenancy existed at Fort Steila- coom where Captain Hill established himself August

27th, on the claim of the Puget Sound Agricultural /~~i i

Company, at a place formerly occupied by a farmer

or herdsman of the company named Heath. 44 Tolmie pointed out this location, perhaps with the same views entertained by Ogden, being more willing to deal with the officers of the government than with squatters.

On the 28th of September General Smith arrived in Oregon, accompanied by Vinton, with the purpose of examining the country with reference to the loca tion of military posts ; Theodore Talbot being ordered to examine the coast south of the Columbia, looking

43 Vinton said in his report: It is peculiarly desirable that we should be come owners of their property at Fort Vancouver. 31st Conn., 2d Sess.. S. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 263.

"Sylvester s Olympia, MS., 20; Morse s Notes on Hist, and Resources, Wash. Tcr., MS., i. 109; Olympia Wash. Standard, Apr il 11, 1868.



for harbors and suitable places for light-houses and defences. 45 The result of these examinations was the approval of the selections of Vancouver and Steila- coom. Of the "acquisition of the rights and prop erty reserved, and guaranteed by the terms of the treaty," Smith spoke with the utmost respect for the claims of the companies, saying they were specially confirmed by the treaty, and that the public interest de manded that the government should purchase them; 41 a sentiment which the reader is aware was not in accord with the ideas of a large class in Oregon.

It had been contemplated establishing a post on the upper Willamette for the protection of companies travelling to California, but the danger that every soldier would desert, if placed directly on the road to the gold mines, caused Smith to abandon that idea. He made arrangements, instead, for Hathaway s com mand to remove to Astoria as early in the spring as the men could work in the forest, cutting timber for the erection of the required buildings, and for station ing the riflemen at Vancouver and The Dalles, as well as recommending the abandonment of Fort Hall, or Cantonment Loring, owing to the climate and unpro ductive nature of the soil, and the fact that immi grants were taking a more southerly route than formerly. Smith seemed to have the welfare of the territory at heart, and recommended to the govern ment many things which the people desired, among others fortifications at the mouth of the Columbia, in preparation for which he marked off reservations at Cape Disappointment and Point Adams. He also suggested the survey of the Rogue, Umpqua, Alseya, Yaquina, and Siletz rivers, and Shoalwater Bay; and the erection of light-houses at Cape Disappointment, Cape Flattery, and Protection Island, representing that it was a military as well as commercial necessity,


Cong., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 47, viii. 108-16; Rep. Com. Ind. Aff., 1865 , 107-9.

16 81st Cong. 1st Sess., S. Doc. 47, viii. 104.



the safety of troops and stores which must usually be transported by sea requiring these guides to navi gation. He recommended the survey of a railroad to the Pacific, or at least of a wagon-road, and that it should cross the Rocky Mountains about latitude 38, deflect to the Hurnboldt Valley, and follow that direc tion until it should send off a branch to Oregon by way of the Willamette Valley, and another by way of the Sacramento Valley to the bay of San Francisco. 47

Before the plans of General Smith for the distribu tion of troops could be carried out, one hundred and twenty of the riflemen deserted in a body, with the intention of going to the mines in California. Gov ernor Lane immediately issued a proclamation for bidding the citizens to harbor or in any way assist the runaways, which caused much uneasiness, as it was said the people along their route were placed in a serious dilemma, for if they did not sell them provi sions they would be robbed, and if they did, they would be punished. The deserters, however, having organized with a full complement of officers, travelled faster than the proclamation, and conducted them selves in so discreet a manner as to escape suspicion, imposing themselves upon the farmers as a company sent out on an expedition by the government, getting beef cattle on credit, and receiving willing aid instead of having to resort to force. 48

47 Before leaving California Smith had ordered an exploration of the coun try on the southern boundary of Oregon for a practicable emigrant and mili tary road, and also for a railroad pass about that latitude, detailing Captain W. H. Warner of the topographical engineers, with an escort of the second infantry under Lieutenant- Colonel Casey. They left Sacramento in August, and examined the country for several weeks to the east of the head-waters of the Sacramento, coming upon a pass in the Sierra Nevada with an elevation of not more than 38 feet to the mile. Warner explored the country east and north of Goose Lake, but in returning through the mountains by another route was killed by the Indians before completing his work. His name was given to a mountain range from this circumstance. Francis Bercier, the guide, and George Cave were also killed. Lieut. R. S. Williamson of the expedition made a report in favor of the Pit River route. See 31st Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 2, 17-22, 47.

Stele s Rifle Regiment, MS., 7; Brackett s U. S. Cavalry, 127; Or. Spec tator, May 2, 1850.



But their success, like their organization, was of brief duration. Colonel Loring and the governor went in pursuit and overtook one division in the Umpqua V alley, whence Lane returned to Oregon City about the middle of April with seventy of them in charge. Loring pursued the remainder as far as the Klamath River, where thirty -five escaped by making a canoe and crossing that stream before they were overtaken. He returned two weeks after Lane, with only seven teen of the deserters, having suffered much hardship in the pursuit. He found the fugitives in a miserable plight, the snow on the Cascade Mountains being still deep, and their supplies entirely inadequate to such an expedition, for which reason some had already started on their return. Indeed, it was rumored that several of those not accounted for had already died of starvation. 49 How many lived ta reach the mines was never known.

Great discontent prevailed among all the troops, many of whom had probably enlisted with no other intention than of deserting when they reached the Pacific coast. Several civil suits were brought by them in the district court attempting to prove that they had been enlisted under false promises, which were decided against them by Judge Pratt, vice Bry ant, who was absent from the territory when the suits


came on. 50


Later in the spring Hathaway removed his artillery company to Astoria, and went into encampment at Fort George, the place being no longer occupied by the fur company. A reserve was declared of certain lands covered by the improvements of settlers, among whom were Shively, McClure, Hensill, Ingalls, and Marlin, for which a price was agreed upon or allowed. 51

  • 9 Or. Spectator, April 18, 185(X

50 See case of John Curtin vs. James S. Hathaway, Pratt, Justice, in Or. Spectator, April 18, 1850.

51 Ingalls remarked concerning this purchase: I do not believe that any of them had the slightest right to a foot of the soil, consequently no right to have erected improvements there. Whether he meant to say that no one



Here the troops had a free and easy life, seeing much of the gold hunters as they went and came in the numerous vessels trading between San Fran cisco and the Columbia River, and much too of the most degraded population in Oregon, both Indian and white. A more ill-selected point for troops, even for artillery, could not have been hit upon, except in the event of an invasion by a foreign power, in which case they were still too far inside the capes to prevent the enemy s vessels from entering the river. They were so far from the real enemy dreaded by the people it was intended they should defend the interior tribes of Indians- -that much time and money would be required to bring them where they could be of service in case of an outbreak, and after two years the place was abandoned.

The mounted riflemen, being transferred to Van couver, whither the citizens of the Willamette saw them depart with a deep sense of satisfaction, 52 cele brated their removal by burning their old quarters. 5 At their new station they were employed in building barracks on the ground afterward adopted as a mili tary reservation by the government.

The first reservation declared was that of Miller Island, lying in the Columbia 5 * about five miles above Vancouver. It contained about four square miles, and was used for haymaking and grazing purposes, in con nection with the post at that place. This reserve was made in February 1850. No reservation was declared

had a- right to build houses in Oregon except military officers, or that the ground belonged to the Hudson s Bay Company, I am unable to determine from the record. See 3M Cong., 2d Sets., H. Ex, Doc. 1, i. pt. ii. 123.

52 Says the Spectator, Nov. 1, 1849, the abounding drunkenness in our streets is something new under the sun, and suggests that the officers do something to abate the evil. But the officers were seldom sober themselves, Hathaway even attempting suicide while suffering from mania a potu. Id., April 18, 1850.

53 Strong 1 a Hist. Or., MS., 3.

54 Much trouble had been experienced in procuring grain for the horses of the mounted troops; only 6,000 bushels of oats being obtainable, and 100 tons of hay, owing to the neglect of farming this year. It was only by putting the sol diers to haymaking on the lowlands of the Columbia that the stock of the regiment was provided for; hence, no doubt, the reservation of Miller Island.

90 LANE S ADMINISTRATION".

at Vancouver till October 31st of that year, or until it was ascertained that the government was not pre pared to purchase without examining the claims of the Hudson s Bay Company. On the date mentioned Colonel Loring, in command of the department, pub lished a notice that a military reservation had been made for the government of four miles square, " com mencing where a meridian line two miles west from the flag-staff at the military post near Vancouver, O. T., strikes the north bank of the Columbia River, thence due north on said meridian four miles, thence due east four miles, thence south to the bank of the Columbia River, thence down said bank to the place of beginning." The notice declared that the reserve was made subject alone to the lawful claims of the Hudson s Bay Company, as guaranteed under the treaty of 1846, but promised payments for improve ments made by resident settlers within the described limits, a board of officers to appraise the property.

This large reserve was, as I have before indicated, favorable to the British company s claims, as the only American squatter on the land was Amos M. Short, the history of whose settlement at Vancouver is given in the first volume of my History of Oregon. Short took no notice of the declaration of reserve, 56 think ing perhaps, and with a show of justice, that in this case he was trespassed upon, inasmuch as there was plenty of land for government reservations, which did not include improvements, or deprive a citizen of his choice of a home. He remained upon the land, con tinuing to improve it, until in 1853 the government restricted the military reservations to one mile square, which left him outside the limits of this one.


65 Or. Spectator, Oct. 31, 1850; 32d Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 124.

5G Short had shot and killed Dr D. Gardner, and a Hawaiian in his service, for trespass, in the spring of 1850. He was examined and acquitted, of all of which Colonel Loring must have been aware. Or. Spectator, April 18, 1850; Id., May 2, 1850. He was himself regarded as a trespasser by the fur com pany. U. S. Ev. Hudson s Bay Company Claims, 90.



The probate court of Clarke county made an appli cation for an injunction against Loring and Ingalls at the first term of the United States district court held at Vancouver, beginning the 29th of October 1850, to stop the further erection of buildings for military pur poses on land that was claimed as the county seat. The attorney for the United States denied that the legislative assembly had the power to give lands for county seats, did the territorial act permit it, or that the land could be taken before it was surveyed; and declared that the premises were reserved by order of the war department, which none might gainsay. 57 The court sustained the opinion. At a later period a legal contest arose between the heirs of A. M. Short and the Catholic missionaries. The military reserva tion, however, of one mile square, remains to-day the same as in 1853.

On the 13th of May Major Tucker left Vancouver with two companies of riflemen to establish a supply post at The Dalles. 53 The officers detached for that station were Captain Claiborne, Lieutenants Lindsay, May, and Ervine, and Surgeon C. H. Smith. A reservation of ten miles square was made at this place, and the troops employed in erecting suitable store-houses and garrison accommodations to make this the head-quarters for the Indian country in the event of hostilities. Both the Protestant and Cath olic missions were found to be abandoned, 52 though the claims of both were subsequently revived, which together with the claim of the county seat of Wasco county occasioned lengthy litigation. The military reservation became a fourth factor in an imbroglio out of which the Methodist missionary society, through

57 The solicitor for the complanants in this case was W. W. Chapman; the attorney for the U. S., Amory Holbrook. The decision was rendered by Judge William Strong in favor of the defendants. Or. Spectator, Nov. 7, 1850.

58 SteeVs Rifle, Retjlmcnt, MS., 5; CardwelVs Emigrant Company, MS., 2j Coke s Hide, 313; 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 123. Hist. Or., MS., 6.



its agents in Oregon and in Washington, continued to extort money from the government and individuals for many years. Of The Dalles claim, as a case in chancery, I shall speak further on in my work.

As if Astoria, Vancouver, and The Dalles were not enough of Oregon s eligible town sites to condemn for military purposes, Loring declared another reservation in the spring of 1850 upon the land claims of Meek and Luelling at Milwaukie, for the site of an arsenal. This land was devoted to the raising of fruit trees, a mosfc important industry in a new country, and one which was progressing well. The appropriation of property which the claimants felt the government was pledged to confirm to them if they desired, was an encroachment upon the rights of the founders of American Oregon which they were quick to resent, and for which the Oregon delegate in congress was instructed to find a remedy. And he did find a remedy. The complainants held that they preferred fighting their own Indian wars to submitting to mili tary usurption, and the government might withdraw the rifle regiment at its earliest convenience. All of which was a sad ending of the long prayer for the military protection of the parent government.

And all the while the Cayuse murderers went un punished. Lane was enough of a military man to understand the delays incident to the circumstances under which Loring found himself in a new country with undisciplined and deserting troops, but he was also possessed of the fire and energy of half a dozen regular army colonels. But before he had received any assistance in procuring the arrest of the Indians, lie had unofficial information of his removal by the whig administration, which succeeded the one by which he was appointed.

This change, though eagerly seized upon by some as a means of gaining places for themselves and secur ing the control of public affairs, was not by any means



agreeable to the majority of the Oregon people. No sooner had the news been received than a meeting was held in Yamhill precinct for the purpose of ex pressing regret at the removal of General Lane from the office of governor. 60 The manner in which Lane had discharged his duties as Indian agent, as well as executive, had won for him the confidence of the peo ple, with whom the dash, energy, and democratic frankness of his character were a power and a charm. There was nothing that was of importance to any in dividual of the community too insignificant for his attention; and whether the interest he exhibited was genuine, whether it was the suavity of the politician, or the irrepressible activity of a true nature, it was equally effective to make him popular with all but the conservative element to be found in any commu nity, and which was represented principally in Oregon by the Protestant religious societies. Lane being a Catholic could not be expected to represent them. 61 As no official notice of his removal had been re ceived, Governor Lane proceeded actively to carry into execution his plans concerning the suppression of Indian hostilities, which were interrupted tem porarily by the pursuit of the deserting riflemen. During his absence on this self-imposed duty a diffi culty occurred with the Chinooks at the mouth of the. Columbia, in which, in the absence of established courts in that district, the military authorities were called upon to act. It grew out of the murder of Will iam Stevens, one of four passengers lost from the brig Forrest while crossing the bar of the Columbia. Three of the men were drowned. Stevens escaped alive but

60 The principal movers in this demonstration were: Matthew P. Deady, J. McBride, A. S. Watt, J. Walling, A. J. Hembree, S. M. Gilmore, and N. M. Creighton. Or. Spectator, March 7, 1850.

61 It is told to me by the person in whose interest it was done, that Lane, while governor, permitted himself to be chosen arbitrator in a land- jumping case, and rode a long distance in the rain, having to cross swollen streams on horseback, to help a woman whose husband was absent in the mines to resist the attempt of an unprincipled tenant to hold the claim of her husband. His influence was sufficient with the jury to get the obnoxious tenant removed.



exhausted to the shore, where the Chinooks murdered him. Jones, of the rifles, who was at Astoria with a small company, hearing of it wrote to the governor and his colonel, saying that if he had men enough he would take the matter in hand at once; but that the Indians were excited over the arrest of one of the murderers, and he feared to make matters worse by attempting without a sufficient force to apprehend all the guilty Indians. On receiving the information, Secretary Pritchett called for aid on Hathaway, who sent a company to Astoria to make the arrest of all persons suspected of being concerned in the murder; 61 but by this time the criminals had escaped.

Negotiations had been in progress ever since the arrival of Lane for the voluntary delivery of the guilty Cayuses by their tribe, it being shown them that the only means by which peace and friendship could ever be restored to their people, or they be permitted to occupy their lands and treat with the United States government, was the delivery of the Whitman mur derers to the authorities of Oregon for trial. 63 At length word was received that the guilty members of the tribe, who were not already dead, would be sur rendered at The Dalles. Lane went in person to receive them, escorted by Lieutenant Addison with a guard of ten men. Five of the murderers, Tiloukaikt, Tamahas, Klokamas, Isaiachalakis, and Kiamasump- kin, were found to be there with others of their people. They consented to go to Oregon City to be tried, offer ing fifty horses for their successful defence. 64

The journey of the prisoners, who took leave of their friends with marked emotion, was not without interest to their escort, who, anxious to understand the

62 Or. Spectator, March 21, and April 4. 1850.

3 Lane s Autobiography, MS., 56.

14 Blanchet asserts that the Cayuses consented only to come down and have a talk with the white authorities, and denies that they were the actual criminals, who he says were all dead, having been killed by the volunteers. Cath. Ch. in Or., 180. There appears to be nothing to justify such a state ment, except that the murderers submitted to receive the consolations of the church in their last moments.

THE CAYUSE MURDERERS.

motives which had actuated the Indians in surrender ing themselves, plied them with questions at every opportunity. Tiloukaikt answered with a singular mingling of savage pride and Christian humility. When offered food by the guard from their own mess he regarded it with scorn. "What hearts have you," he demanded, "to offer to eat with me, whose hands are red with your brother s blood?" When asked why he gave himself up, he replied: "Did not your missionaries teach us that Christ died to save his people? So die we to save our people."

This apparent magnanimity produced a deep impres sion on some minds, who, not well versed in Indian or in any human character, could not divest themselves of awe in the presence of such evidences of moral greatness as these mocking answers evinced.

The facts are these : The Cayuses, weary of wan dering, with the prospect before them of another war with white men, had prevailed upon those who among themselves had done most to bring so much wretched ness upon them, to risk their lives in restoring them to their former peace and prosperity. Doubtless the representations which had been made, that they would be defended by white counsel, had had its influence in inducing them to take the risk. At all events it was a case requiring a desperate remedy. They were not ignorant that between twenty and thirty thousand Americans, chiefly men, and several government expe ditions had traversed the road to the Pacific the year previous ; nor that their attempt to expel the few white people from the Walla Walla valley had been an igno minious failure. There was scarcely a chance that white men s laws would acquit them ; but on the other hand there was the apparent certainty that unless the few gave up their lives, all must perish. Could a chief face his people whom he had ruined without an effort to save them ? All that was courageous or manly in the savage breast was roused by the emergency; and who shall say that this pride, which doggedly accepted



a terrible alternative, did not make a moral hero, or present an example equivalent to the average chris- tian self-sacrifice?

The trial was set for the 22d of May. The pris oners in the meantime were confined on Abernethy island, in the midst of the falls, the bridge connect ing it with the mainland being guarded by Lieutenant Lane, of the rifles, who was assigned to that duty. 65 The prosecution was conducted by Amory Holbrook, district attorney, who had arrived in the territory in March previous, and the defense by Secretary Pritchett, R. B. Reynolds, of Tennessee, paymaster of the rifle regiment, and Captain Claiborne, also of the rifle, whom Judge Pratt assigned to this duty.

On arraignment, the defendants, through Knitzing Pritchett, secretary of the territory, one of their counsel, entered a special plea to the jurisdiction of the court, alleging that at the date of the massacre the laws of the United States had not been extended over Oregon. The ruling of the court was that the act of congress. June 30. 1834. resrulatino- trade and

~ O O

intercourse with the Indian tribes and to preserve peace on the frontiers, having declared all the terri tory of the United States west of the Mississippi and not within any state, to be within the Indian country ; and the treaty of June 15, 1846, with Great Britain having settled that, all of Oregon south of the 49th parallel belonged exclusively to the United States, it followed that offenses committed therein, after such treaty, against the laws of the United States, were tri able and punishable in the proper United States courts irrespective of the date of their establishment. The indictment stated facts sufficient to show that a crime had been committed under the laws in force at the place of its commission, and therefore the subsequent creation of a court in which a determination of the question of the defendant s guilt or innocence could

65 Lane s Autobiography, MS., 139.



be had was immaterial, and could not affect its juris diction. Exception to the ruling was taken.

The trial proceeded and the defendants were con victed, sentenced, and ordered by a warrant, signed by the judge, to be hung ; the day set for the execu tion being June the 3d. A new trial was asked for and denied. Between the time of conviction and the day fixed for execution, the governor being absent from the capital, it was rumored that he was at the mines near Yreka, in California, and acting upon this rumor, Pritchett, counsel for the Indians and secre tary of the territory, announced that he should, as governor, reprieve the Indians from execution until an appeal could be taken and heard by the supreme court at Washington. The people generally expressed great indignation at even the suggestion of such a course. While the excitement was at its height, Meek, United States marshal, called upon the judge for instructions how to act in the event that Pritchett should interfere to prevent the execution. Judge Pratt promptly answered that as there was no actual or official evidence that Governor Lane was outside of the territorial limits, all assumptions of Pritchett to that effect and acts based upon them could be disregarded, The sec retary having learned of these views of the judge did not interfere, the execution took place, and general rejoicing followed. 6

The solemnity and quiet of religious services char acterized the entire trial, at which between four and five hundred persons were present, who watched the proceedings with intense anxiety. Counsel appointed by- the judge made vigorous effort to clear their clients. No one unfamiliar with the condition of

6G General Lucius H. Allen, a graduate of the United States military academy, and early identified with Oregon, and later with California, who deceased in the latter state in 1888, and a man of high character, dictated to Col George H. Morrison for my use the full particulars of this interesting trial. General Allen said, if by any chance the Indians had escaped execu tion, the people would undoubtedly have hung -them, which act on the part of the people would have caused retaliation by the Indians, and the situation would have been dreadful, and beyond the power of language to describe. HIST. OB., VOL. II. 7 affairs in the territory of Oregon at the time of which I am writing, can realize the interest displayed by the people of the entire country in this important and never-to-be-forgotten trial. The bare thought that the five wretches that had assassinated Doctor Whitman, Mrs Whitman, Mr Saunders, and a large number of emigrants, might, by any technicality of the law, be allowed to go unpunished, was sufficient to disturb every man, woman, and child throughout the length and breadth of the territorial limits.[9]

The judge appreciated, in all its seriousness, the responsibility of his position. He seemed to realize that upon his decision hung the lives of thousands of the whites inhabiting the Willamette valley. He proved, however, equal to the emergency. His knowledge of the law was not only thorough, but during his early life, and before having been called to the bench in Oregon he had become familiar with all the questions involving territorial boundaries and treaty stipulations. His position was dignified, firm, and fearless. His charge was full, logical, and concise.

His judicial action in this and many other trials of a criminal and civil nature in the territory during his judgeship, made it manifest to the great body of the early settlers that he was not only thoroughly versed in all the needed learning required in his position, but, in addition, his unswerving determination that the law should be upheld and enforced created general confidence and reliance that he would be equal to his position in all emergencies.

The result of the conviction of the Indians was felt throughout the territory, and gave satisfaction to all classes. It was said by many that the Catholics[10] were privy to this dastardly and dreadful massacre; this, I do not believe, nor have I found in my researches evidence upon which to base such an assertion.[11] It was even feared that a rescue might be attempted by the Indians on the day of execution, and men coming in from the country round brought their rifles, hiding them in the outskirts of the town, not to create alarm.[12] Nothing occurred, however, to cause excitement. The Catholic priests took charge of the spiritual affairs of the condemned savages, administering the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, Father Veyret attending them to the scaffold, where prayers for the dying were offered. "Touching words of encouragement," says Blanchet, "were addressed to them on the moment of being swung into the air: 'Onward, onward to heaven, children; into thy hands, Lord Jesus, I commend my spirit.'"[13] Oh loving and consistent Christians! While the world of Protestantism regarded the victims slain at Waiilatpu as martyrs, the priests of Catholicism made martyrs of the murderers, and wafted their spirits straight to heaven. So far as the sectarian quarrel is concerned it matters nothing, in my opinion, and I care not whose converts these heathen may have been, if of either; but sure I am that these Cayuses were martyrs to a destiny too strong for them, to the Juggernaut of an incompressible civilization, before whose wheels they were compelled to prostrate themselves, to that relentless law, the survival of the fittest, before which, in spite of religion or science, we all in turn go down.

With the consummation of the last act of the Cayuse tragedy Lane's administration may be said to have closed, though he was for several weeks occupied with his duties as Indian agent in the south, a full account of which I shall give later. Having made a



treaty with the Rogue River people, he went to Cal ifornia and busied himself with gold mining until the spring of 1851, when his friends and admirers recalled him to Oregon to run for delegate to congress. About the time of his return the rifle regiment departed to return by sea to Jefferson barracks, near St Louis, having been reduced to a mere remnant by deser tions, 72 and never having rendered any service of im portance to the territory.

72 Brackets U. S. Cavalry, 129-30. It was recruited afterward and sent to Texas under its colonel, Brevet General P. F. Smith.

CHAPTEE IV.

A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS. 1849-1850.

THE EARLY JUDICIARY ISLAND MILLS ARRIVAL OF WILLIAM STRONG OPPOSITION TO THE HUDSON S BAY COMPANY ARREST OF BRITISH SHIP CAPTAINS GEORGE GIBBS THE ALBION AFFAIR SAMUEL R. THURS- TON CHOSEN DELEGATE TO CONGRESS His LIFE AND CHARACTER PRO CEEDS TO WASHINGTON MISREPRESENTATIONS AND UNPRINCIPLED MEASURES RANK INJUSTICE TOWARD MCLOUGHLIN EFFICIENT WORK FOR OREGON THE DONATION LAND BILL THE CAYUSE WAR CLAIM AND OTHER APPROPRIATIONS SECURED THE PEOPLE LOSE CONFIDENCE IN THEIR DELEGATE DEATH OF THURSTON.

DURING the transition period through which the territory was passing, complaint was made that the judges devoted time to personal enterprises which was demanded for the public service. I am disposed to think that those who criticised the judges of the United States courts caviled because they overlooked the conditions then existing.

The members of the territorial supreme court were Chief Justice Bryant and Associate Justice Pratt. 1 Within a few months, the chief justice s health

1 0. C. Pratt was born April 24, 1819, in Ontario County, New York. He entered West Point, in the class of 1837, and took two years of tho course. His stand during this time was good, but he did not find technical military training congenial to his tastes, excepting the higher mathematics, and ho obtained the consent of his parents to resign his cadetship, in order to com plete his study of law, to which he had devoted two years previous to enter ing the Military Academy. He passed his examination before the supremo court of New York in 1840, and was admitted to the bar. During this year he took an active part in the presidential campaign as an advocate of the election of Martin Van Buren. In 1843 he moved to Galena, Illinois, and established himself as an attorney at law. In 1844 he entered heartily into politics, as a friend of Polk, and attracted attention by his cogent discussion of the issues then uppermost, the annexation of Texas, and tho Oregon ques tion. In 1847 he was a member of the convention to make the first revision

(101)

102 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

having become impaired, he left Oregon, returned to Indiana, resigned, and soon after died. Associate Justice Burnett, being in California, and very lucra tively employed at the time that he learned of his appointment, declined it; and as their successors, Thomas Nelson and William Strong, 2 were not soon

O

appointed, and came ultimately to their field of duty around Cape Horn, Judge Pratt was left unaided nearly two years in the judicial labors of the territory.

By act of congress, March 3, 1859, it was provided, in the absence of United States courts in California, viola tions of the revenue laws might be prosecuted before the j udges of the supreme court of Oregon. Under this stat ute, Judge Pratt went to San Francisco, by request of the secretary of the treasury, in 1849, and assisted in the adjustment of several important admiralty cases. Also, about the same time, in his own district, at Port land, Oregon, as district judge of the United States for the territory of Oregon, he held the first court of admiralty jurisdiction within the limits of the region now covered by the states of Oregon and California.

Another evil to the peace and quiet of the commu nity, and to the security of property, arose soon after the advent of the new justices Strong, 3 in August

of the constitution of Illinois. In the service of the government he crossed the plains to Santa Fe; thence to California. In 1848 he became a member of the supreme court of Oregon, as noted. He was a man of striking and distinguished personnel, fine sensibilities, analytic intelligence, eloquent, learned in the law, and honorable.

2 William Strong was born in St Albans, Vermont, in 1817, where he re sided in early childhood, afterward removing to Connecticut and New York. He was educated at Yale college, began life as principal of an academy at Ithaca, New York, and followed this occupation while studying law, remov ing to Cleveland, Ohio, in the mean time. On being appointed to Oregon he took passage with his wife on the United States store-ship Supply in Novem ber 1849 for San Francisco, and thence proceeded to the Columbia by the sloop of war Falmouth. Judge Strong resided for a few years on the north side of the Columbia, but finally made Portland his home, where he has long practised law in company with his sons. During my visit to Oregon in 1878 Judge Strong, among others, dictated to my stenographer his varied experi ences, and important facts concerning the history of Oregon. The manu script thus made I entitled Strony s History of Oregon. It contains a long series of events, beginning August 1850, and running down to the time when it was given, and is enlivened by many anecdotes, amusing and curi ous, of early times, Indian characteristics, political affairs, and court notes.

a Strong, who seems to have had an eye to speculation as well as other of fi-



1850, and Nelson, in April 1, 1851 from the inter ference of one district court with the processes of another. Thus it was impossible, for a time, to main tain order in Judge Pratt s district (the second) in two instances, sentences for contempt passed by him being practically nullified by the interference of the judge of the first district.

Among the changes occurring at this time none were more perceptible than the diminishing import ance of the Hudson s Bay Company s business in Oregon. Not only the gold mania carried off their servants, but the naturalization act did likewise, and also the prospect of a title to six hundred and forty acres of land. And not only did their servants desert them, but the United States revenue officers and Ind ian agents pursued them at every turn. 4 When Thorn ton was at Puget Sound in 1849 he caused the arrest of Captain Morris, of the Harpooner, an English ves sel which had transported Hill s artillery company to Nisqually, for giving the customary grog to the Ind ians and half-breeds hired to discharge the vessel in the absence of white labor. Captain Morris was held to bail in five hundred dollars by Judge Bryant, to appear before him at the next term .of court. What the decision would have been can only be conjectured, as in the absence of the judges the case never came to trial. Morris was released on a promise never to return to those waters. 5

But these annoyances were light compared to those

i~*

which arose out of the establishment of a port of

cials, had purchased a lot of side-saddles before leaving New York, and other goods at auction, for sale in Oregon. His saddles cost him $7.50 and $13, and he sold them to women whose husbands had been to the gold mines for 850, $60, and 75. A gross of playing cards, purchased for a cent a pack at auc tion, sold to the soldiers for 1.50 a pack. Brown sugar purchased for 5c. a pound by the barrel brought ten times that amount; and so on, the goods being sold for him at the fur company s store. Stronys Hist. Or., MS , 27-30.

4 Roberts says, in his Recollections, MS., that Douglas left Vancouver just in time to save his peace of mind; and it was perhaps partly with that object, for he was a strict disciplinarian, and could never have bent to the new order of things.

  • Roberto? Recollections, MS., 16.

104 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

entry, and the extension of the revenue laws of the United States over the country. In the spring of 1849 arrived Oregon s first United States revenue officer, John Adair, of Kentucky; and in the autumn George Gibbs, deputy-collector. 6 No trouble seems to have arisen for the first few months, though the company was subjected to much inconvenience by having to go from Fort Victoria to Astoria, a distance of over two hundred miles, to enter the goods designed for the American side of the strait, or for Fort Nis- qually to which they must travel back three hundred miles.

About the last of December 1849 the British ship Albion, Captain Richard O. Hinderwell, William Brotchie, supercargo, entered the strait of Fuca with out being aware of the United States revenue laws on that part of the coast, and proceeded to cut a cargo of spars at New Dungeness, at the same time trading with the natives, for which they were prepared, by permission of the Hudson s Bay Company in London, with certain Indian goods, though not allowed to buy furs. The owners of the Albion, who had a govern ment contract, had instructed the captain and super cargo to take the spars wherever they found the best timber, but if upon the American side of the strait, to pay for them if they could be bought cheap. But during a stay of about four months at Dungeness, as

6 Gibbs, who came with the rifle regiment, was employed in various posi tions on the Pacific coast for several years. He became interested in philology and published a Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, and other matter concern ing the native races, as well as the geography and geology of the west coast. In Suckley and Cooper s Natural History it is said that he spent two years in southern Oregon, near the Klamath; that in 1853 he joined McClellan s sur veying party, and afterward made explorations with I. I. Stevens in Wash ington. In 1859 he was still employed as geologist of the north- west boundary survey with Kennerly. He was for a short time collector of customs at Astoria. He went from there to Puget Sound, where he applied himself to the study of the habits, languages, and traditions of the natives, which study enabled him to make some valuable contributions to the Smithsonian Insti tution. Mr Gibbs died at New Haven, Conn. , May 1 1 , 1 873. He was a man of fine scholarly attainments, says the Qlympki Pacific, Tribune, May 17, 1873, and ardently devoted to science and polite literature. He was something of a wag withal, and on several occasions, in conjunction with the late Lieut. Derby (John Phcenix) and others, perpetrated "sells" that obtained a world wide publicity. His friends were many, warm, and earnest.

A DISREPUTABLE AFFAIR. 105

no one had appeared of whom the timber could be purchased, the wood-cutters continued their work un interruptedly. In the mean time the United States surveying schooner Swing being in the sound, Lieu tenant Me Arthur informed the officers of the Albion that they had no right to cut timber on American soil. When this carne to the ears of deputy-collector Gibbs, Adair being absent in California, he appointed Eben May Dorr a special inspector of customs, with authority to seize the Albion for violation of the revenue laws. United States district attorney Hoi- brook, and United States marshal Meek, were duly informed.

The marshal, with Inspector Dorr, repaired to Steilacoom, where a requisition was made on Cap tain Hill for a detachment of men, and Lieutenant Gibson, five soldiers, and several citizens proceeded down the sound to Dungeness, and made a formal seizure of the ship and stores on the 22d of April. The vessel was placed in charge of Charles Kianey, the English sailors willingly obeying him, and navi gating the ship to Steilacoom. Arrived here every man, even to the cook, deserted, and the captain and supercargo were ordered ashore where they found succor at the hospitable hands of Tolmie, at Fort Nisqually.

It was not a very magnanimous proceeding on the part of officers of the great American republic, but was about what might have been expected from Indian fighters like Joe Meek raised to new dignities. 7 We smile at the simple savage demanding pay from navi gators for wood and water; but here were officers of the United States government seizing and confiscating a British vessel for cutting a few small trees from

7 See 31st <7og., 2d Scss., S. Doc., 30, 15-16. We have met before, said Brotcliie to Meek as the latter presented himself. You did meet me at Vancouver several years ago, but I was then nothing but Joe Meek, and you ordered me ashore. Circumstances are changed since then. I am Colonel Joseph L. Meek, United States marshal for Oregon Territory, and you, sir, are only a damned smuggler ! Go ashore, sir ! Victor s River of the West, 505.

106 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

land lately stolen from the Indians, relinquished by Great Britain as much through a desire for peace as from any other cause, and which the United States government afterward sold for a dollar and a quarter an acre, at which rate the present damage could not possibly have reached the sum of three cents !

Kinney proved a thief, and not only stole the goods intrusted to his care, but allowed others to do so, 8 and was finally placed under bonds for his appearance to answer the charge of embezzlement. The ship and spars were condemned and sold at Steilacoom Novem ber 23d, bringing about forty thousand dollars, which was considerably less than she was worth; the money, according to common report, never reaching the treas ury. 9 A formal protest was entered by the captain and supercargo immediately on the seizure of the Albion, and the whole correspondence finally came before congress on the matter being brought to the attention of the secretary of state by the British minister at Washington.

In the mean time congress had passed an act Sep tember 28, 1850, relating to collection matters on the

" O

Pacific coast, and containing a proviso intended to meet such cases as this of the Albion and by virtue of which the owners and officers of the vessel were indemnified for their losses.

This high-handed proceeding against the Albion, as we may well imagine, produced much bitterness of feeling on the part of the British residents north of the Columbia/ 1 and the more so that the vessels

8 Or. Spectator, Dec. 19, 1850.

9 This money fell into bad hands and was not accounted for. According to Meek the officers of the court found a private use for it. Victor s River of the West, 506.

10 That where any ship or goods may have been subjected to seizure by any officer of the customs in the collection district of Upper California or the district of Oregon prior to the passage of this act, and it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the secretary of the treasury that the owner sustained loss by reason of any improper seizure, the said secretary is author ized to extend such relief as he may deem just and proper. 31st Cong., 1st Bess., United States Acts and Res., 128-9.

11 I fancy I am pretty cool about it now, says Roberts, but then it did rather damp my democracy. Recollections, MS., 17.



of the Hudson s Bay Company were not exempt from these exactions. When the troops were to be removed from Nisqually to Steilacoom on the estab lishment of that post, Captain Hill employed the Forager, one of the company s vessels, to transport the men and stores, and the settlers also having some shingles and other insignificant freight, which they wished carried down the sound, it was put on board the Forager. For this violation of the United States revenue laws the vessel was seized. But the secretary of the treasury decided that Hill and the artillerymen were not goods in the meaning of the statute, and that therefore the laws had not been violated. 12

Soon after the seizure of the Albion, the company s schooner Cadboro was seized for carrying goods direct from Victoria to Nisqually, and that notwithstanding the duties were paid, though under protest. The Cadboro was released on Ogden reminding the col lector that he had given notice of the desire of the company to continue the importation of goods direct from Victoria, their readiness to pay duties, and also that their business would be broken up at Nisqually and other posts in Oregon if they were compelled to import by the way of the Columbia Biver. 13

In January 1850 President Taylor declared Port land and Nisqually ports of delivery ; but subsequently the office was removed at the instance of the Oregon delegate from Nisqually to Olympia, when there followed other seizures, namely, of the Mary Dare, and the Beaver, the latter for landing Miss Rose Birnie, sister of James Birnie formerly of Fort George, at Fort Nisqually, without first having landed her at Olympia. 14 The cases were tried before Judge Strong, who very justly released the vessels. Strong was accused of bribery by the collector; but the friends of the judge held a public meeting at Olympia sus-

12 Letter of N. M. Merideth to S. R. Thurston, in Or. Spectator, May 2, 1850,

13 31th Cone/., 2dSess., Sen. Doc. 30, 7. Roberts Recollections, MS., 16.

108 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

taining him. The seizure cost the government twenty thousand dollars, and caused much ill-feeling. This was after the appointment of a collector for Puget Sound in 1851, whose construction of the revenue laws w r as even more strict than that of other Oregon officials. 15

Thus we see that the position of the Hudson s Bay Company in Oregon after the passage of the act establishing the territory was ever increasingly pre carious and disagreeable. The treaty of 1846 had proven altogether insufficient to protect the assumed rights of the company, and was liable to different interpretations even by the ablest jurists. The com pany claimed their lands in the nature of a grant, and as actually alienated to the British government. Before the passage of the territorial act, they had taken warning by the well known temper of the American occupants of Oregon toward them, and had offered their rights for sale to the government at one million of dollars; using, as I have previously inti mated, the well known democratic editor and politician, George N. Sanders, as their agent in Washington.

As early as January 1848 Sir George Simpson addressed a confidential letter to Sanders, w r hom he had previously met in Montreal, in which he defined his view of the rights confirmed by the treaty, as the right to "cultivate the soil, to cut down and export the timber, to carry on the fisheries, to trade for furs with the natives, and all other rights we enjoyed at the time of framing the treaty." As to the free navi gation of the Columbia, he held that this right like the others was salable and transferable. " Our possessions," he said, "embrace the very best situa tions in the whole country for offensive and defensive operations, towns and villages." These w r ere all in-

15 S. P. Moses was the first collector on Puget Sound. Roberts says con cerning him that he took almost every British ship that came. His conduct was beneath the government, and probably was from beneath, also. Recol- kctions, MS., 16.



eluded in the offer of sale, as well as the lands of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, together with their flocks and herds; the reason urged for making the offer being that the company in England were apprehensive that their possession of the country might lead to " endless disputes, which might be pro ductive of difficulties between the two nations," to avoid which they were willing to make a sacrifice, and to withdraw within the territory north of 49. 16

Sanders laid this proposition before Secretary Buchanan in July, and a correspondence ensued between the officers and agents of the Hudson s Bay Company and the ministers of both governments, in the course of which it transpired that the United States government on learning the construction put upon the company s right to transfer the navigation of the Columbia, was dissatisfied with the terms of the treaty and wished to make a new one in which this right was surrendered, but that Great Britain declined to relinquish the right without a considera tion. "Her Majesty s government," said Addington, "have no proposal to make, they being quite content to leave things as they are."

The operation of the revenue laws, however, which had not been anticipated by the British companies or government, considerably modified their tone as to the importance of their right of navigation on the Columbia, and their privileges generally. Instead of being in a position to dictate terms, they were at the mercy of the United States, which could well afford to allow them to navigate Oregon waters so long as they paid duties. Under this pressure, in the spring of 1849, a contract was drawn up conveying the rights of the company under their charter and the treaty, and appertaining to forts Disappointment, George, Vancouver, Umpqua, Walla Walla, Boise, Okanagan, Colville, Kootenai, Flat Head, Nisqually, Cowlitz, and all other posts belonging to said com-

16 31st Cong., %d Sess. t Sen. Doc, 20, 4-5.

110 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

panics, together with their wild lands, reserving only their shipping, merchandise, provisions, and stores of every description, and their enclosed lands, except such portions of them as the United States govern ment might wish to appropriate for military reserves, which were included in the schedule offered, for the sum of seven hundred thousand dollars. The agree ment further offered all their farms and real property not before conveyed, for one hundred and fifty thou sand dollars, if purchased within one year by the government; or if the government should not elect to purchase, the companies bound themselves to sell all their farming lands to private citizens of the United States within two years, so that at the end of that time they would have no property rights whatever in the territories of the United States.

Surely it could not be said that the British com panies were not as anxious to get out of Oregon as the Americans were to have them. It is more than likely, also, that had it not been for the persistent animosity of certain persons influencing the heads of the government and senators, some arrangement might have been effected; the reason given for re jecting the offer, however, was that no purchase could be made until the exact limits of the company s possessions could be determined. In October 1850, Sir John Henry Pelly addressed a letter to Webster, then secretary of state, on the subject, in which he referred to the seizure of the Albion, and in which he said that the price in the disposal of their property was but a secondary consideration, that they were more concerned to avoid the repetition of occurrences which might endanger the peace of the two govern ments, and proposed to leave the matter of valuation to be decided by two commissioners, one from each government, who should be at liberty to call an umpire. But at this time the same objections existed in the indefinite limits of the territory claimed which would require to be settled before commissioners

ABANDONMENT OF POSTS. Ill

could be prepared to decide, and nothing was clone then, nor for twenty years afterward, 17 toward the purchase of Hudson s Bay Company claims, during which time their forts, never of much value except for the purposes of the company, went to decay, and the lands of the Puget Sound Company were covered with American squatters, who, holding that the rights of the company under the treaty of 1846 were not in the nature of an actual grant, but merely possessory so far as the company required the land for use until their charter expired, looked upon their pretensions as unfounded, and treated them as trespassers, 1 * at the same time that they were compelled to pay taxes as proprietors. 1

Gradually the different posts were abandoned. The land at Fort Umpqua was let in 1853 to W. W. Chapman, who purchased the cattle belonging to it, 20 which travellers were in the habit of shooting as

I1 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. 473-4.

18 Roberts, who was a stockholder in the Puget Sound Company, took charge of the Cowlitzfarm in 1846. Matters went on very well for two years. Then came the gold excitement and demoralization of the company s servants consequent upon it, and the expectation of a donation land law. He left the farm which he found ib impossible to carry on, and took up a land claim as a settler outside its limits, becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States. But pioneer farming was not either agreeable or profitable to him, and was besides interrupted by an Indian war, when he became clerk to the quarter master general. When the Frazer River mining excitement came on he thought he might possibly make something at the Cowlitz by raising provis ions. But when his hay was cut and put up in cocks it was taken away by armed men who had squatted on the land; and when the case came into court the jury decided that they knew nothing about treaties, but did under stand the rights of American citizens under the land law. Then followed arson and other troubles with the squatters, who took away his crops year after year. The lawyers to whom he appealed could do nothing for him, and it was only by the interference of other people who became ashamed of seeing a good man persecuted in this manner, that the squatters on the Cowlitz farm, were iinally compelled to desist from these acts, and Roberts was left in peace until the Washington delegate, Garfield, secured patents for his clients the squatters, and Roberts was evicted. There certainly should have been some way of preventing outrages of this kind, and the government should have seen to it that its treaties were respected by the people. But the peo ple s representatives, to win favor with their constituents, persistently helped to instigate a feeling of opposition to the claims of the British companies, or to create a doubt of their validity. See Roberts Recollections, MS., 7o.

19 The Puget Sound Company paid in one year 7,000 in taxes. They were astute enough, says Roberts, not to refuse, as the records could be used to show the value of their property. Recollection.*, MS., 91.

r 20 A. C. Gibbs, in U. S. Ev. II. B. C. Claims, 29; W. T. Tolmie, Id., 104; W. W. Chapman, Id., 11.

112 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

game while they belonged to the company. The stockade and buildings were burned in 1851. The land was finally taken as a donation claim. Walla Walla was abandoned in 1855-6, during the Indian war, in obedience to an order from Indian Agent Olney, and was afterward claimed by an American for a town site. Fort Boise was abandoned in 1856 on account of Indian hostilities, and Fort Hall about the same time on account of the statute against sellinof

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ammunition to Indians, without which the Indian trade was worthless. Okanagan was kept up until 1861 or 1862, when it was left in charge of an Indian chief. Vancouver was abandoned about 1860, the land about it being covered with squatters, English and American. 21 Fort George went out of use before any of the others, Colville holding out longest. At length in 1871, after a tedious and expensive ex amination of the claims of the Hudson s Bay and Puget Sound companies by a commission appointed for the purpose, an award of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars was made and accepted, there being nothing left which the United States could confirm to any one except a dozen dilapidated forts. The United States gained nothing by the purchase, unless it were the military reserves at Vancouver, Steila- coom, and Cape Disappointment; for the broad acres of the companies had been donated to squatters who applied for them as United States land. As to the justice of the cause of the American people against the companies, or the companies against the United States, there will be always two opinions, as there have always been two opinions concerning the Oregon boundary question. Sentiment on the American side as enunciated by the Oregon pioneers was as follows: They held that Great Britain had no rights on the west shore of the American continent; in which opinion, if they would include the United States in the same category, I would concur. As I think I

ZI J. L. Meek, in U. S. Ev. H. B. C. Claims, 90.



have clearly shown in the History of the Northwest Coast, whether on the ground of inherent rights, or rights of discovery or occupation, there was little to choose between the two nations. The people of Oregon further held that the convention of 1818

o

conferred no title, in which they were correct. They held that the Hudson s Bay Company, under its charter, could acquire no title to land only to the occupancy of it for a limited time; in which position they were undoubtedly right. They denied that the Puget Sound Company, which derived its existence from the Hudson s Bay Company, could have any title to land, which was evident. They were quick to per ceive the intentions of the parent company in laying claim to large bodies of land on the north side of the Columbia, and covering them with settlers and herds. They had no thought that when the boundary was settled these claims would be respected, and felt that not only they but the government had been cheated the latter through its ignorance of the actual facts in the case. So far I cannot fail to sympathize with their sound sense and patriotism.

But I find also that they forgot to be just, and to realize that British subjects on the north side of the Columbia were disappointed at the settlement of the boundary on the 49th parallel; that they naturally sought indemnity for the distraction it would be to their business to move their property out of the territory, the cost of building new forts, opening new farms, and laying out new roads. But above all they forgot that as good citizens they were bound to re spect the engagements entered into by the govern ment whether or not they approved them ; and while they were using doubtful means to force the British companies out of Oregon, were guilty of ingratitude both to the corporation and individuals.

The issue on which the first delegate to congress elected in Oregon, Samuel R. Thurston, received his

HIST. OB., Vol.. II. 8

114 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

majority, was that of the anti-Hudson s Bay Com pany sentiment, which was industriously worked up by the missionary element, in the absence of a large number of the voters of the territory, notably of the Canadians, and the young and independent western men. 22 Thurston was besides a democrat, to which party the greater part of the population belonged; but it is the testimony of those who knew best that it was not as a democrat that he was elected. 23 As a member of the legislature at its last session under the provisional government, he displayed some of those traits which made him a powerful and useful champion, or a dreaded and hated foe.

Much has been said about the rude and violent manners of western men in pursuit of an object, but Thurston was not a western man ; he was supposed to be something more elevated and refined, more cool and logical, more moral and Christian than the peo ple beyond the Alleghanies; he was born and bred an eastern man, educated at an eastern college, was a good Methodist, and yet in the canvass of

2 Thurston received 470 votes; C. Lancaster, 321; Meek and Griffin, 46; J. W. Nesmith, 106. Thurston was a democrat and Nesmith a whig. Tribune Almanac, I860, 51.

23 Mrs E. F. Odell, ne McClench, who came to Oregon as Thurston s wife, and who cherishes a high regard for his talents and memory, has fur nished to my library a biographical sketch of her first husband. Though strongly tinctured by personal and partisan feeling, it is valuable as a view from her standpoint of the character and services of the ambitious young man who first represented Oregon in congress how worthily, the record will determine. Mr Thurston was born in Monmouth, Maine, in 1816, and reared in the little town of Peru, subject to many toils and privations common to the Yankee youth of that day. He possessed a thirst for knowledge also common in New England, and became a hard student at the Wesleyan semi nary at Readfield, from which he entered Bowdoin college, graduating in the class of 1843. He then entered on the study of law in Brunswick, where he was soon admitted to practice. A natural partisan, he became an ardent democrat, and was not only fearless but aggressive in his leadership of the politicians of the school. Having married Miss Elizabeth F. McClench, of Fayette, he removed with her to Burlington, Iowa, in 1845, where he edited the Burlington Gazette till 1847, when he emigrated to Oregon. From his education as a Methodist, his talents, and readiness to become a partisan, he naturally affiliated with the Mission party. Mrs Odell remarks in her Biog raphy of Thurxton, MS., 4, that he was not elected as a partisan, though his political views were well understood; but L. F. Grover, who knew him well in college days and afterward, says that he ran on the issue of the missionary settlers against the Hudson s Bay Company. Public Life in Or., MS., 95.



1849 he introduced into Oregon the vituperative and invective style of debate, and mingled with it a species of coarse blackguardism such as no Kentucky ox- driver or Missouri flat-boatman might hope to excel. ^ Were it more effective, he could be simply eloquent and impressive; where the fire-eating style seemed likely to win, he could hurl epithets and denuncia tions until his adversaries withered before them.*

And where so pregnant a theme on which to rouse the feelings of a people unduly jealous, as that of the aggressiveness of a foreign monoply? And what easier than to make promises of accomplishing great things for Oregon? And yet I am bound to say that what this scurrilous and unprincipled demagogue promised, as a rule he performed. He believed that to be the best course, and he was strong enough to pursue it. Had he never done more than he engaged to do, or had he riot privately engaged to carry out a scheme of the Methodist missionaries, whose sentiments he mistook for those of the majority, being himself a Methodist, and having been but eighteen months in Oregon when he left it for Washington, his success as a politician would have been assured.

Barnes, in his manuscript entitled Oregon and Cali fornia, relates that Thurston was prepared to go to California with him when Lane issued his proclama tion to elect a delegate to congress. He immediately

24 I have heard an old settler give an account of a discussion in Polk county between Nesmith and Thurston during the canvass for the election of delegate to congress. He said Nesmith had been accustomed to brow beat every man that came about him, and drive him off either by ridicule or fear. In both these capacities Nesmith was a strong man, and they all thought Nesmith had the field. But when Thurston got up they were astonished at his eloquence, and particularly at his bold manner. My inform ant says that at one stage Nesmith jumped up and began to move toward Thurston; and Thurston pointed his finger straight at him, after putting it on his side, and said: " Don t you take another step, or a button-hole will be seen through you," and Nesmith stopped. But the discussion proved that Thurston was a full match for any man in the practices in which his antago nist was distinguished, and the result was that Thurston carried the election by a large majority. Graver s Pub. Life, MS., 96-7.

25 He was a man of such impulsive, harsh traits, that he would often carry college feuds to extremities. I have known him to get so excited in recount ing some of his struggles, that he would take a chair and smash it all to pieces over the table, evidently to exhaust the extra amount of vitality. Id., 94.

116 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

decided to take his chance among the candidates, with what result we know. 26

The first we hear of Thurston in his character of delegate is on the 24th of January 1850, when he rose in the house and insisted upon being allowed to make an explanation of his position. When he left Oregon, he said, he bore a memorial from the leodsla-

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tive assembly to congress which he could not produce on account of the loss of his baggage on the Isthmus. But since he had not the memorial, he had drawn up a set of resolutions upon the subjects embraced in the memorial, which he wished to offer and have referred to their appropriate committees, in order that while the house might be engaged in other matters he might attend to his before the committees. He had waited, he said, nearly two months for an opportunity to present his resolutions, and his territory had not yet been reached in the call for resolutions. He would detain the house but a few minutes, if he might be allowed to read what he had drawn up. On leave being granted, he proceeded to present, not an abstract of the memorial, which has been given elsewhere, but a series of questions for the judiciary committee to answer, in reference to the rights of the Hudson s Bay Company, and Puget Sound Agricultural Associ ation. 27 This first utterance of the Oregon delegate, when time was so precious and so short in which to labor for the accomplishment of high designs, gives us the key to his plan, which was first to raise the question of any rights of British subjects to Oregon lands in fee simple under the treaty, arid then to exclude them if possible from the privileges of the donation law when it should be framed. 2 *

26 Thurston was in ill-health when he left Oregon. He travelled in a small boat to Astoria, taking six days for the trip; by sailing vessel to San Francisco, and to Panama by the steamer Carolina, being ill at the last place, yet having to ride across the Isthmus, losing his baggage because he was not able to look after the thieving carriers. His determination and ambition were remarkable. OdelV* Biography of Thurston, MS. , 56.

7 For the resolutions complete, see Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 21, pt. i. 220.

28 That Thurston exceeded the instructions of the legislative assembly there is 110 question. See Or. Archives, MS., 185-6.



The two months which intervened between Thurs- ton s arrival in Washington and the day when he in troduced his resolutions had not been lost. He had studied congressional methods and proved himself an apt scholar. He attempted nothing without first hav ing tried his ground with the committees, and pre pared the way, often with great labor, to final success. On the 6th of February, further resolutions were introduced inquiring into the rights of the Hudson s Bay Company to cut and manufacture timber growing on the public lands of Oregon, and particuarly on lands not inclosed or cultivated by them at the time of the ratification of the Oregon treaty; into the right of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company to any more land than they had under inclosure, or in a state of actual cultivation at that time; and into the right of the Hudson s Bay Company, under the sec ond article of the treaty, or of British subjects trad ing with the company, to introduce through the port of Astoria foreign goods for consumption in the ter ritory free of duty, 29 which resolutions were referred to the judiciary committee. On the same day he in troduced a resolution that the committee on public lands should be instructed to inquire into the expedi ency of reporting a bill for the establishment of a land office in Oregon, and to provide for the survey of a portion of the public lands in that territory, con taining such other provisions and restrictions as the committee might deem necessary for the proper man agement and protection of the public lands. 3(

In the mean time a bill was before the senate for the extinguishment of the Indian title to land west of the Cascade Mountains. This was an important preliminary step to the passage of a donation act. 31

29 Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 295.

10 Id. , 295. A correspondent of the New York Tribune remarks on Thurston s resolutions : There are squalls ahead for the Hudson s Bay Company. Or. Spectator, May 2, 1850.

31 See Or. Spectator, April 18, 1850; 31st Cong., 1st Sess., U. S. Acts and Res., 26-7; Johnson s Cat. and Or., 332; Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 1076-7; /t/., 1610; Or. Spectator, Aug. 8, 1850.

118 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

It was chiefly suggested by Mr Thurston, and was passed April 22d without opposition. Having se cured this measure, as he believed, he next brought up the topics embraced in the last memorial on which he expected to found his advocacy of a donation law, and embodied them in another series of resolutions, so artfully drawn up 32 as to compel the committee to take that view of the subject most likely to promote the success of the measure. Not that there was reason to fear serious opposition to a law donating a liberal amount of land to Oregon settlers. It had for years been tacitly agreed to by every congress, and could only fail on some technicality. But to get up a sympathetic feeling for such a bill, to secure to Ore gon ail and more than was asked for through that feeling, and to thereby so deserve the approval of the Oregon people as to be reflected to congress, was the desire of Thurston s active and ardent mind. And toward this aim he worked with a persistency that was admirable, though some of the means resorted to, to bring it about, and to retain the favor of the party that elected him, were as unsuccessful as they were reprehensible.

From the first day of his labors at Washington this relentless demagogue acted in ceaseless and open hos tility to every interest of the Hudson s Bay Company in Oregon, and to every individual in any way con nected with it. 33

Thurston, like Thornton, claimed to have been the author of the donation land law. I have shown in a

32 Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 413; Or. Statesman, May 9, 1851.

13 Here is a sample of the ignorance or mendacity of the man, whichever you will. A circular issued by Thurston while in Washington to save letter- writing, says, speaking of the country in which Vancouver is located: It was formerly called Clarke county; but at a time when British sway was in its palmy days in Oregon, the county was changed from Clarke to Vancouver, in honor of the celebrated navigator, and no less celebrated slanderer of our government and people. Now that American influence rules in Oregon, it is due to the hardy, wayworn American explorer to realter the name of this county, and grace it again with the name of him whose history is interwoven with that of Oregon. So our legislature thought, and so I have no doubt they spoke and acted at their recent session. Johnson s Cal. and Or., 267. It was certainly peculiar to hear this intelligent legislator talk of counties



previous chapter that a bill creating the office of sur veyor-general in Oregon, and to grant donation rights to settlers, and for other purposes, was before congress in both houses in January 1848, and that it failed through lack of time, having to await the territorial bill which passed at the last moment. Having been crowded out, and other affairs pressing at the next session, the only trace of it in the proceedings of con gress is a resolution by Collamer, of Vermont, on the 25th of January 1849, that it should be made the special order of the house for the first Tuesday of February, when, however, it appears to have been forgotten; and it was not until the 22d of April 1850 that Mr Fitch, chairman of the committee on territo ries, again reported a bill on this subject. That the bill brought up at this session was but a copy of the previous one is according to usage; but that Thurston had been at work with the committee some peculiar features of the bill show. 34

There was tact and diplomacy in Thurston s char acter, which he displayed in his short congressional

in Oregon before the palmy days of British sway, and of British residents naming counties at all. While Thurston was in Washington, the postmaster- general changed the name of the postoffice at Vancouver to Columbia City. Or. Statesman, May 28, 1851.

31 Thornton alleges that he presented Thurston before leaving Oregon with a copy of his bill, Or. Hist., MS., 13, and further that the donation law we now have, except the llth section and one or two unimportant amendments, is an exact copy of the bill I prepared. Or. Pioneer Asso. frarn. 1874, 94. Yet when Thurston lost his luggage on the Isthmus he lost all his papers, and could not have made an exact copy from memory. In another place he says that before leaving Washington he drew up a land bill which he sent to Collamer in Vermont, and would have us believe that this was the iden tical bill which finally passed. Not knowing further of the bill than what was stated by Thornton himself, I would only remark upon the evidence that Collamer s term expired before 1850, though that might not have pre vented him from introducing any suggestions of Thornton s into the bill reported in January 1849. But now comes Thornton of his. own accord, and admits he has claimed too much. He did, he says, prepare a territorial and also a land bill, but on further reflation, and after consulting others, I deemed it not well to have these new bills offered, it having been suggested that the bills already pending in both houses of congress could be amended by incorporating into them whatever there was in my bills not already pro vided for in the bills which in virtue of their being already on the calendar would be reached before any bills subsequently introduced. From a letter dated August 8, 1882, which is intended as an addendum to the Or. Hint., MS., of Thornton.

120 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

career. He allowed the land bill to drift along, mak ing only some practical suggestions, until his resolu tions had had time to sink into the minds of members of both houses. When the bill was well on its way he proposed amendments, such as to strike out of the fourth section that portion which gave every set tler or occupant of the public lands above the age of eighteen a donation of three hundred arid twenty acres

o /

of land if a single man, and if married, or becoming married within a given time, six hundred and forty acres, one half to himself in his own right, and the other half to his wife in her own right, the surveyor- general to designate the part inuring to each; 35 and to make it read " that there shall be, and hereby is granted to every white male settler, or occupant of the public lands, American half-breeds included, members and servants of the Hudson s Bay and Puget Sound companies excepted," etc.

He proposed further a proviso "that every foreigner making claim to lands by virtue of this act, before he shall receive a title to the same, shall prove to the surveyor-general that he has commenced and com pleted his naturalization and become an American citizen." The proviso was not objected to, but the previous amendment was declared by Bowlin, of Mis souri, unjust to the retired servants of the fur com pany, who had long lived on and cultivated farms. The debate upon this part of the bill became warm, and Thurston, being pressed, gave utterance to the following infamous lies:

"This company has been warring against our gov ernment these forty years. Dr McLoughlin has been their chief fugleman, first to cheat our government out of the whole country, and next to prevent its settlement. He has driven men from claims and from


35 This was the principle of the donation law as passed. The surveyor- general usually inquired of the wife her choice, and was gallant enough to give it her; hence it usually happened that the portion having the dwelling and improvements upon it went to the wife.



the country to stifle the efforts at settlement. In 1845 he sent an express to Fort Hall, eight hundred miles, to warn the American emigrants that if they attempted to come to Willamette they would all be cut off; they went, and none were cut off. . . I was instructed by rny legislature to ask donations of land to American citizens only. The memorial of the Oregon legislature was reported so as to ask dona tions to settlers, and the word was stricken out, and citizens inserted. This, sir, I consider fully bears me out in insisting that our public lands shall not be thrown into the hands of foreigners, who will not become citizens, and who sympathize with us with crocodile tears only. 36 ... I can refer you to the su preme judge of our territory 37 for proof that this Dr McLoughlin refuses to file his intention to become an American citizen. 38 If a foreigner would bona fide file his intentions I would not object to give him land. There are many Englishmen, members of the Hudson s

36 The assertion contained in this paragraph that the word settler was altered to citizen in the memorial was also untrue. I have a copy of the memorial signed by the chief cherk of both the house and council, and in scribed, Passed July 26, 1849, in which congress is asked to make a grant of 640 acres of land to each actual settler, including widows and orphans. Or. Archives, MS., 177.

37 Bryant was then in Washington to assist in the missionary scheme, of which, as the assignees of Abernethy, both he and Lane were abettors.

88 Thurston also knew this to be untrue. William J. Berry, writing in the Spectator, Dec. 26, 1850, says: Now, I assert that Mr Thurston knew, previous to the election, that Dr McLoughlin had filed his intentions. I heard him say, in a stump speech at the City Hotel, that he expected his (the doctor s) vote. At the election I happened to be one of the judges. Dr McLoughlin came up to vote; the question was asked by myself, if he had filed his intentions. The clerk of the court, George L. Curry, Esq. , who was standing near the window, said that he had. He voted. Says McLoughlin: I declared my intention to become an American citizen on the 30th of May, 1849, as any one may see who will examine the records of the court. Or. Spectator, Sept. 12, 1850. Waldo, testifies: Thurston lied on the doctor. He did it because the doctor would not vote for him. He lied in congress, and got others to write lies from here about him men who knew nothing about it. They falsified about the old doctor cheating the people, setting the Indians on them, and treating them badly. Critiques, MS., 15. Says Apple- gate: Thurston asserted among many other falsehoods, that the doctor utterly refused to become an American citizen, and Judge Bryant endorsed the asser tion. Historical Correspondence, MS., 14. Says Grover: The old doctor was looking to becoming a leading American citizen until this difficulty oc curred in regard to his land. He had taken out naturalization papers. All his life from young manhood had been spent in the north-west; and he was not going to leave the country. Public Life in Or., MS., 91.

122 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

Bay Company, who would file their intention merely to get the land, and then tell you to whistle. Now, sir, I hope this house, this congress, this country, will not allow that company to stealthily get possession of all the good land in Oregon, and thus keep it out of the hands of those who would become good and worthy citizens." 39

Having prepared the way by a letter to the house of representatives for introducing into the land bill a section depriving McLoughlin of his Oregon City claim, which he had the audacity to declare was first taken by the Methodist mission, section eleventh of the law as it finally passed, and as it now stands upon, the sixty- eighth page of the General Laws of Ore gon, was introduced and passed without opposition. Judge Bryant receiving his bribe for falsehood, by the reservation of Abernethy Island, which was "con firmed to the legal assigns of the Willamette Milling and Trading Company," while the remainder, except lots sold or given away by McLoughlin previous to the 4th of March 1849, should be at the disposal of the legislative assembly of Oregon for the establish ment and endowment of a university, to be located not at Oregon City, but at such place in the territory as the legislature might designate. Thus artfully did the servant of the Methodist mission strive for the ruin of McLoughlin and the approbation of his con stituents, well knowing that they would not feel so much at liberty to reject a bounty to the cause of education, as a gift of any other kind. 40

39 Conrj. Globe, 1849-50, 1079.

40 In Thurston s letter to the house of representatives he appealed to them to pass the land bill without delay, on the ground that Oregon was becoming depopulated through the neglect of congress to keep its engagement. The people of the States had, he declared, lost all confidence in their previous belief that a donation law would be passed; and the people in the territory were ceasing to improve, were going to California, and when they were fortunate enough to make any money, were returning to the Atlantic States. Our pop ulation, he said, is dwindling away, and our anxieties and fears can easily be perceived. Of the high water of 1849-50, which carried away property and damaged mills to the amount of about $300,000, he said: The owners who have means dare not rebuild because they have no title. Each man is collecting his means in anticipation that he may leave the country. And this, although



In his endeavor to accomplish so much villany the delegate failed. The senate struck out a clause in the fourth section which required a foreigner to emigrate from the United States, and which he had persuaded the house to adopt by his assertions that without it the British fur company would secure to themselves all the best lands in Oregon. Another clause insisted on by Thurston when he found he could not exclude British subjects entirely, was that a foreigner could not become entitled to any land notwithstanding his intentions were declared, until he had completed his naturalization, which would require two years; and this was allowed to stand, to the annoyance of the Canadian settlers who had been twenty years on their claims. 41 But the great point gained in Thurston s estimation by the Oregon land bill was the taking- away from the former head of the Hudson s Bay Company of his dearly bought claim at the falls of the Willamette, where a large portion of his fortune was invested in improvements. The last proviso of the fourth section forbade any one claiming under the land law to claim under the treaty of 1 846. McLough- lin, having 1 declared his intention to become an Ameri-

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can citizen was no longer qualified to claim under the treaty, and congress having, on the representations of Thurston, taken from McLoughlin what he claimed under the land law there was left no recourse what ever. 42

he had told Johnson, California and Oregon, which see, page 252, exactly the contrary. See Or. Spectator, Sept. 12th, and compare with the following: There were 38 mills in Oregon at the taking of the census of 1850, and a fair proportion of them ground wheat. They were scattered through all the counties from the sound to the head of the Willamette Valley. Or. Statesman, April 25, 1851; and with this: The census of 1849 showed a population of over 9,000, about 2,000 being absent in the mines. The census of 1850 showed over 13,000, without counting the large immigration of that year or the few settlers in the most southern part of Oregon. Or. Statesman, April 10th and 25, 1851.

41 Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 1853.

42 Says Applegate: It must have excited a kind of fiendish merriment in the hearts of Bryant arid Thurston; for notwithstanding their assertions to the contrary, both well knew that the doctor by renouncing his allegiance to Great Britain had forfeited all claims as a British subject. Historical Cor respondence, MS., 15.

124 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

I have said that Thurston claimed the Oregon land bill as his own. It was his own so far as concerned the amendments which damaged the interests of men in the country whom he designated as foreigners, but who really were the first white persons to maintain a settlement in the country, and who as individuals,

  • / *

were in every way entitled to the same privileges as the citizens of the United States, and who had at the first opportunity offered themselves as such. In no other sense was it his bill. There was not an important clause in it which had not been in contem plation for years, or which was not suggested by the frequent memorials of the legislature on the subject. He worked earnestly to have it pass, for on it, he believed, hung his reelection. So earnestly did he labor for the settlement of this great measure, and for all other measures which he knew to be most desired, that though they knew he was a most selfish and unprincipled politician, the people gave him their gratitude. 43

A frequent mistake of young, strong, talented, but inexperienced and unprincipled politicians, is that of going too fast and too far. Thurston was an exceed ingly clever fellow ; the measures which he took upon himself to champion, though in some respects unjust and infamous, were in other respects matters which lay very near the heart of the Oregon settler. But like Jason Lee, Thurston overreached himself. The good that he did was dimmed by a sinister shadow. In September a printed copy of the bill, containing the obnoxious eleventh section, with a copy of his letter to the house of representatives, and other like matter, was received by his confidants, together with an in junction of secrecy until sufficient time should have

43 Grover, Public Life in Oregon, MS., 98-9, calls the land bill Thurston s work, based upon Linn s bill; but Grover simply took Thurston s word for it, he being then a young man, whom Thurston persuaded into going to Oregon. Johnson s Cal. and Or., which is, as to the Oregon part, merely a reprint of Thurston s papers, calls it Thurston s bill. Mines, Or. and Institutions, does the same; but any one conversant with the congressional and legislative history of Oregon knows better.

McLOUGHLIN S REPLY. 125

passed for the bill to become a law. 44 When the vile injustice to John McLoughlin became known, those of Thurston s friends who were not in the conspiracy met the charge with scornful denial. They would not believe it. 45 And when time had passed, and the mat ter became understood, the feeling was intense. Me-

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Loughlin. as he had before been driven bv the thrusts

O %j

of his enemies to do, replied through the Spectator to the numerous falsehoods contained in the letter. 46 He knew that although many of the older settlers

44 Keep this still, writes the arch schemer, till next mail, when I shall send them generally. The debate on the California bill closes next Tuesday, when I hope to get passed my land bill; keep dark til next mail. Thurston. June 9, 1850. Or. Spectator, Sept. 12, 1850.

45 Wilson Blain, who was at that time editor of the Spectator, as Robert Moore was proprietor, found himself unable to credit the rumor. We ven ture the assertion, he says, that the story was started by some malicious or mischief-making person for the purpose of preventing the improvement of Clackarnas rapids. Or. Spectator, Aug. 22, 1850.

  • 6 He says that I have realized, up to the 4th of March 1849, $200,000 from

sale of lots; this is also wholly untrue. I have given away lots to the Metho dists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. I have given eight lots to a Roman Catholic nunnery, and eight lots to the Clacka- mas Female Protestant seminary, incorporated by the Oregon legislature. The trustees are all Protestants, though it is well known I am a Roman Catholic. In short, in one way and another I have donated to the county, to schools, to churches, and private individuals, more than three hundred town lots, and I never realized in cash $20,000 from all the original sales I ever made ... I was a chief factor in the Hudson s Bay Company service, and by the rules of the company enjoy a retired interest, as a matter of right. Capt. McNeil, a native-born citizen of the United States of America, holds the same rank that I held in the Hudson s Bay Company s service. He never was required to become a British subject; he will be entitled, by the laws of the company, to the same retired interest, no matter to what country he may owe allegiance. After declaring that he had taken out naturalization papers, and that Thurston was aware of it, and had asked him for his vote and influ ence, but that he had voted against him, he says: But he proceeds to refer to Judge Bryant for the truth of his statement, in which he affirms that I assigned to Judge Bryant as a reason why I still refused to declare my inten tion to become an American citizen, that I could not do it without prejudic ing my standing in England. I am astonished how the supreme judge could have made such a statement, as he had a letter from me pointing out that I had declared my intention of becoming an American citizen. The cause which led to my writing this letter is that the island, called Abernethy s Island by Mr Thurston, and which he proposes to donate to Mr Abernethy, his heirs and assigns, is the same island which Mr Hathaway and others jumped in 1841, and formed themselves into a joint stock company, and erected a saw and grist-mill on it, as already stated. From a desire to pre serve the peace of the country, I deferred bringing the case to a trial til the government extended its jurisdiction over the country; but when it had done so, a few days after the arrival of Judge Bryant, and before the courts were organized, Judge Bryant bought the island of George Abernethy, Esq., who had bought the stock of the other associates, and as the island was in Judge Bryant s district, and as there were only two judges in the territory, I

126 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

understood the merits of the case, all classes were to be appealed to. There were those who had no regard for truth or justice; those who cared more for party than principle; those who had ignorantly believed the charges made against him; and those who, from national, religious, or jealous feelings, were united in a crusade against the man who represented in their eyes everything hateful in the British char acter and unholy in the Catholic religion, as well as the few who were wilfully conspiring to complete the overthrow of this British Roman Catholic aristocrat. There were others besides McLouodilin who felt

o

themselves injured; those who had purchased lots in Oregon City since the 4th of March 1849. Notice was issued to these property-holders to meet for the purpose of asking congress to confirm their lots to them also. Such a meeting was held on the 19th of September, in Oregon City, Andrew Hood being chairman, and Noyes Smith secretary. The meeting was addressed by Thornton and Pritchett, and a memorial to congress prepared, which set forth that the Oregon City claim was taken and had been held in accordance w r ith the laws of the provisional and territorial governments of Oregon; and that the memorialists considered it as fully entitled to pro tection as any other claim; no intimation to the contrary ever having been made up to that time. That under this impression, both before and since the 4th of March 1849, large portions of it, in lots and blocks, had been purchased in good faith by many citizens of Oregon, who had erected valuable buildings thereon, in the expectation of having a complete and sufficient title when congress should grant a title to

thought I could not at the time bring the case to a satisfactory decision. I therefore deferred bringing the case to a time when the bench would be full . . . Can the people of Oregon City believe that Mr Thurston did not know, some months before he left this, that Mr Abernethy had sold his rights, whatever they were, to Judge Bryant, and therefore proposing to congress to donate this island to Mr Abernethy, his heirs and assigns, was in fact, proposing to donate it to Judge Bryant, his heirs and assigns. Or. Spectator, Sept. 12, 1850.



the original occupant. That since the date mentioned, the occupant of the claim had donated for county, educational, charitable, and religious purposes more than two hundred lots, which, if the bill pending should pass, would be lost to the public, as well as a great loss sustained by private individuals who had purchased property in good faith. They therefore prayed that the bill might not pass in its present form, believing that it would work a "severe, inequi table, unnecessary, and irremediable injustice." The memorial was signed by fifty-six persons, 47 and a reso lution declaring the selection of the Oregon City claim for reservation uncalled for by any consider able portion of the citizens of the territory, and as invidious and unjust to McLoughlin, was offered by Wait and adopted, followed by another by Thorn ton declaring that the gratitude of multitudes of people in Oregon was due to John McLoughlin for assistance rendered them. In some preliminary re marks, Thornton referred to the ingratitude shown .

their benefactor, by certain persons who had not paid their debts to McLoughlin, but who had secretly signed a petition to take away his property. Mc Loughlin also refers to this petition in his newspaper defence; but if there was such a petition circulated or sent it does not appear in any of the public docu ments, and must have been carefully suppressed by Thurston himself, and only used in the committee rooms of members of congress. 48

47 The names of the signers were: Andrew Hood, Noyes Smith, Forbes Barclay, A. A. Skinner, James D. Holman, W. C. Holman, J. Quinn Thorn ton, Walter Pomeroy, A. E. Wait, Joseph 0. Lewis, James M. Moore, Robert Moore, R. R. Thompson, George H. Atkinson, M. Crawford, Wm. Hood, Thomas Lowe, Wm. B. Campbell, John Fleming, G. Hanan, Robert Canfield, Alex. Brisser, Samuel Welch, Gustavus A. Cone, Albert Gaines, W. H. Tucker, Arch. McKinlay, Richard McMahon, David Burnsides, Hezekiah Johnson, P. H. Hatch, J. L. Morrison, Joseph Parrott, Ezra Fisher, Geo. T. Allen, L. D. C. Latourette, D. D. Tompkins, Wm. Barlow, Amory Holbrook, Matthew Richardson, John McClosky, Wm. Holmes, H. Burns, Wm. Chap man, Wm. K. Kilborn, J. R. Ralston, B. B. Rogers, Chas. Friedenberg, Abraham Wolfe, Samuel Vance, J. B. Backenstos, John J. Chandler. S. W. Moss, James Winston Jr., Septimus Huelot, Milton Elliott. Or. Spectator, Sept. 26, 1850.

48 Considering the fact that Thornton had been in the first instance the

328 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

Not long after the meeting at Oregon City, a pub lic gathering of about two hundred was convened at Salem for the purpose of expressing disapproval of the resolutions passed at the Oregon City meeting, and commendation of the cause of the Oregon delegate. 49

In November a meeting was held in Linn county at which resolutions were passed endorsing Thurston and denouncing McLoughlin. Nor were there want ing those who upheld the delegate privately, and who wrote approving letters to him, assuring him that he was losing no friends, but gaining them by the score, and that his course with regard to the Oregon City claim would be sustained. 5(

Mr Thurston has been since condemned for his action in the matter of the Oregon City claims. But even while the honest historian must join in reprobat-

unsuccessful agent of the leading missionaries in an effort to take away the claim of McLoughlin, it might be difficult to understand how he could appear in the role of the doctor s defender. But ever since the failure of that secret mission there had been a coolness between Abernethy and his private delegate, who, now that he had been superseded by a bolder and more fortunate though no less unscrupulous man, had publicly espoused the cause of the victim of all this plotting, who still, it was supposed, had means enough left to pay for the legal advice he was likely to need, if ever he was extricated from the anomalous position into which he would be thrown by the passage of the Oregon land bill. His affectation of proper sentiment imposed upon McLoughlin, who gave him employment for a considerable time. As late as 1870. however, this doughty defender of the just, on the appearance in print of Mrs Victor s River of the West, in which the author gives a brief statement of the Oregon City claim case, having occasion at that time to court the patronage of the Methodist church, made a violent attack through its organ, the Pacific Christian Advo cate, upon the author of that book for taking the same view of the case which is announced in the resolution published under his own name in the Spectator of September 26, 1850. But not having ever been able to regain in the church a standing which could be made profitable, and finding that history would vindicate the right, he has made a request in his autobiography that the fact of his having been McLoughlin s attorney should be mentioned, in justice to the doctor! It will be left for posterity to judge whether Thornton or McLoughlin was honored by the association.

49 William Shaw, a member of the committee framing these resolutions, says, in his Pioneer Life, MS., 14-15: I came here, to Oregon City, and spent what money I had for flour, coffee, and one thing and another; and I went back to the Hudson s Bay Company and bought 1,000 pounds of flour from Douglass. I was to pay him for it after I came into the Valley. He trusted me for it, although he had never seen me before. I took it up to the Dalles and distributed it among the emigrants. W. C. Hector has, in later years, declared that McLoughlin was the father of Oregon. McLoughlin little understood the manner in which public sentiment is manufactured for party or even for individual purposes, when he exclaimed indignantly: No mail could be found to assert that he had done the things alleged.

OdeWi> Biog. of Thurtton, MS., 26.



ing his unscrupulous sacrifice of truth to secure his object, the people then in Oregon should be held as deserving of a share in the censure which has attached to him. His course had been marked out for him by those who stood high in society, and who were leaders of the largest religious body in Oregon. He had been elected by a majority of the people. The people had been pleased and more than pleased with what he had done. When the alternative had been presented to them of condemning or endorsing him for this single action, their first impulse was to sustain the man who had shown himself their faithful servant, even in the wrong, rather than have his usefulness impaired. Al most the only persons to protest against the robbery of McLou^hlin were those who were made to suffer

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with him. All others either remained silent, or wrote encouraging letters to Thurston, and as Washington was far distant from Oregon he was liable to be de ceived. 51

When the memorial and petition of the owners of lots in Oregon City, purchased since the 4th of March 1849, came before congress, there was a stir, because Thurston had given assurances that he was acting in accordance with the will of the people. But the memorialists, with a contemptible selfishness not unu sual in mankind, had not asked that McLoughlin s claim might be confirmed to him, but only that their lots might not he sacrificed.

Thurston sought everywhere for support. While in Washington he wrote to Wyeth for testimony against McLoughin, but received from that gentleman only the warmest praise of the chief factor. Sus pecting Thurston s sinister design Wyeth even wrote

51 Thornton wrote several articles in vindication of McLoughlin s rights; but he was employed by the doctor as an attorney. A. E. Wait also denounced Thurston s course; but he also was at one time employed by the doctor. Wait said : I believed him (Thurston) to be strangely wanting in discretion} morally and politically corrupt; towering in ambition, and unscrupulous o| the means by which to obtain it; fickle and suspicious in friendship; implaca ble and revengeful in hatred, vulgar in speech, and prone to falsehood. Or. Spectator, March 20, 1851.

HIST. OB., VOL. II.

130 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

to Winthrop, of Massachusetts, cautioning him against Thurston s misrepresentations. Then Thurston pre pared an address to the people of Oregon, covering sixteen closely printed octavo pages, in which he re counts his services and artifices.

With no small cunning he declared that his reason for not asking congress to confirm to the owners lots purchased or obtained of McLoughlin after the 4th of March, 1849, was because he had confidence that the legislative assembly would do so ; adding that the bill was purposely so worded in order that McLough lin would have no opportunity of transferring the property to others who w r ould hold it for him. Thus careful had he been to leave no possible means by which the man who had founded and fostered Oregon City could retain an interest in it. And having openly advocated educating the youth of Oregon with the property wrested from the venerable benefactor of their fathers and mothers, he submitted himself for reelection, 52 while the victim of missionary and per sonal malice began the painful and useless struggle to free himself from the toils by which his enemies had surrounded him, and from which he never escaped dur ing the few remaining years of his life. 53

52 Address to the Electors, 12.

63 McLoughlin died September 3, 1857, aged 73 years. He was buried in the enclosure of the Catholic church at Oregon City; and on his tombstone, a plain slab, is engraved the legend: The Pioneer and Friend of Oregon; also The Founder of this City. He laid his case before congress in a memorial, with all the evidence, but in vain. Lane, who was then in that body as a delegate from Oregon, and who was personally interested in defeating the memorial, succeeded in doing so by assertions as unfounded as those of Thurston. This blunt old soldier, the pride of the people, the brave killer of Indians, turned demagogue could deceive and cheat with the best of them. See Cong. Globe, 1853-4, 1080-82, and Letter of Dr McLowjhlin, in Portland Ore<~/onian, July 22, 1854. Toward the close of his life McLoughlin yielded to the tortures of disease and ingratitude, and betrayed, as he had never done before, the unhappiness his enemies had brought upon him. Shortly before his death he said to Grover, then a young man : I shall live but a little while longer; and this is the reason that I sent for you. I am an old man and just dying, and you are a young man and will live many years in this country. As for me, I might better have been shot and he brought it out harshly like a bull; I might better have been shot forty years ago ! After a silence, for I did not say anything, he concluded, than to have lived here, and tried to build up a family and an estate in this government. I became a citizen of the United States in good faitii. I planted all I had here, and the govern

DEATH OF McLOUGHLIN. 131

When the legislative assembly met in the autumn of 1850 it complied with the suggestion of Thurston, so far as to confirm the lots purchased since March 1849 to their owners, by passing an act for that pur pose, certain members of the council protesting. 54 This act was of some slight benefit to McLoughlin, as it stopped the demand upon him, by people who had purchased property, to have their money returned. 55 Further than this they refused to go, not having a clear idea of their duty in the matter. They neither accepted the gift nor returned it to its proper owner, and it was not until 1852, after McLoughlin had com pleted his naturalization, that the legislature passed an act accepting the donation of his property for the purposes of a university. 56 Before it was given back to the heirs of McLoughlin, that political party to which Thurston belonged, and which felt bound to justify his acts, had gone out of power in Oregon. Since that time many persons have, like an army in a wilderness building a monument over a dead com rade by casting each a stone upon his grave, placed their tribute of praise in my hands to be built into

ment has confiscated my property. Now what I want to ask of you is, that you will give your influence, after I am dead, to have this property go to my children. I have earned it, as other settlers have earned theirs, and it ought to be mine and my heirs . I told him, said Grover, I would favor his request, and I always did favor it; and the legislature finally surrendered the property to his heirs. Pub. Life, MS., 88-90.

61 Waymire and Miller protested, saying that it was not in accordance with the object of the donation, and was robbing the university; that the assembly were only agents in trust, and had no right to dispose of the prop erty without a consideration. Or. Spectator, Feb. 13, 1851.

55 My father paid back thousands of dollars, says Mrs Harvey. Life of McLour/hlin, MS., 38.

56 The legislature of 1852 accepted the donation. In 1853-4 a resolution was offered by Orlando Humason thanking McLoughlin for his generous con duct toward the early settlers; but as it was not in very good taste wrongfully to keep a man s property while thanking him for previous favors, the reso lution was indefinitely postponed. In 1855-6 a memorial was drawn up by the legislature asking that certain school lands in Oregon City should ba restored to John McLoughlin, and two townships of land in lieu thereof should be granted to the university. Salem, Or. Statesman, Jan 29th and Feb. 5, 1856. Nothing was done, however, for the relief of McLoughlin or his heirs until 1862, when the legislature 4 conveyed to the latter for the sum of $1,000 the Oregon City claim; but the long suspension of the title had driven money seeking investment away from the place and materially lessened its value. the monument of history testifying one after another to the virtues, magnanimity, and wrongs of John McLoughlin. 57

Meanwhile, and though reproved by the public prints, by the memorial spoken of, and by the act of the legislature in refusing to sanction so patent an iniquity, 53 the Oregon delegate never abated his industry, but toiled on, leaving no stone unturned to secure his reelection. He would compel the approbation and gratitude of his constituency, to whom he was ever pointing out his achievements in their be half. 5 The appropriations for Oregon, besides one hundred thousand dollars for the Cavuse war expenses, amounted in all to one hundred and ninety thousand dollars. 60

57 McKinlay, his friend of many years, comparing him with Douglas, remarks that McLoughlin s name will go down from generation to generation when Sir James Douglas will be forgotten, as the maker of Oregon, and one of the best of men. Campion's Forts and Fort Life, MS., 2. Finlayson says identically the same in Vane. Isl. and N. W. Coast, MS., 28-30. There are similar observations in Minto s Early Days, MS. , and in Waldo s Critiques, MS.; Brown s Willamette, Valley, MS.; Parrish s Or. Anecdotes, MS.; Joseph Watt, in Palmer s Wagon Trains, MS.; Rev. Geo. H. Atkinson, in Oregon Colonist, 5; M. P. Deady, in Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1875, 18; W. H. Rees, Id., 1879, 31; Grover's Public Life in Or., MS., 86-92; Ford's Roadmakrrs, MS.; Crawford's Missionaries, MS.; Moss Pioneer Times, MS.; Burnett's Recollections, MS., i. 91-4, 273-4, 298, 301-3; Mrs E. M. Wilson, in Oregon Sketches, MS., 19-21; Blanchet s Cath. Ch. in Or., 71; Chadwick s Pub. Records, MS., 4-5; H. H. Spalding, in 27th Cong., 2dSess., 830, 57; Ebbert's Trapper's Life, MS., 36-7; Petti/grove s Oregon, MS., 1-2, 5-6; Lovejoy's Portland, MS., 37; Anderson s Hist. N. W. Coast., MS., 15-16; Applegate's Views of Hist., MS., 12, 15-16; Id., in Saxon s Or. Ter., 131-41; C. Lancaster, in Cong. Globe, 1853-4, 1080, and others already quoted.

58 Or. Spectator, Dec. 19 and 26, 1850.

59 W. W. Buck, who was a member of the council, repudiated the idea that Oregon was indebted to Thurston for the donation law, which Linn and Benton had labored for long before, and asserted that he had found congress ready and willing to bestow the long promised bounty. And as to the appropriations obtained, they were no more than other territories east of the mountains had received.

60 The several amounts were, $20,000 for public buildings; $20,000. for a penitentiary; $53,140 for lighthouses at Cape Disappointment, Cape Flattery, and New Dungeness, and for buoys at the mouth of the Columbia River; $25,000 for the purposes of the Indian bill; $24,000 pay for legislature, clerks hire, office rents, etc; $15,000 additional Indian fund; $10,000 deficiency fund to make up the intended appropriation of 1848, which had merely paid the expenses of the messengers, Thornton and Meek; $10,000 for the pay of the superintendent of Indian affairs, his clerks, office rent, etc.; $10,500, salaries for the governor, secretary, and judges; $1,500 for taking



Mr Thurston set an example, which his immediate successors were compelled to imitate, of complete con formity to the demands of the people. He aspired to please all Oregon, and he made it necessary for those who came after him to labor for the same end. It was a worthy effort when not carried too far; but no man ever yet succeeded for any length of time in act ing upon that policy; though there have been a few who have pleased all by a wise independence of all. In his ardor and inexperience he went too far. He not only published a great deal of matter in the east to draw attention to Oregon, much of which was cor rect, and some of which was false, but he wrote letters to the people of Oregon through the Specta tor? 1 showing forth his services from month to month, and giving them advice which, while good in itself, was akin to impudence on the part of a young man whose acquaintance with the country was of recent date. But this was a part of the man s temperament and character.

Congress passed a bounty land bill, giving one hundred and sixty acres to any officer or private who had served one year in any Indian war since 1790, or eighty acres to those who had served six months. This bill might be made to apply to those who had served in the Cayuse war, and a bill to that effect was introduced by Thurston s successor; but Thurston had already thought of doing something for the old soldiers of 1812 and later, many of whom were set tlers in Oregon, by procuring the passage of a bill establishing a pension agency. 62

He kept himself informed as well as he could of everything passing in Oregon, and expressed his ap proval whenever he could. He complimented the

the census; $1,500 contingent fund; and a copy of the exploring expedition for the territorial library. 31st Cong., 1st Sess., U. S. Acts and Res., 13, 27, 28, 31, 72, 111, 159-60, 192, 198; Or. Spectator, Aug. 8th and 22d, and Oct. 24, 1850.

n Or. Spectator, from Sept. 26th to Oct. 17, 1850.

62 Cong. Globe, 1849-50, 564. Theophilus Magruder was appointed pension agent. Or. Spectator, July 25, 1850.

134 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

school superintendent, McBride, on the sentiments uttered in his report. He wrote to William Meek of Milwaukie that he was fighting hard to save his land claim from being reserved for an ordnance depot. He procured, unasked, the prolongation of the legisla tive session of 1850 from sixty to ninety days, for the purpose of giving the assembly time to perfect a good code, and also secured an appropriation sufficient to meet the expense of the long session. 63 He secured, when the cheap postage bill was passed, the right of the Pacific coast to a rate uniform with the Atlantic states, whereas before the rate had been four times as high; and introduced a bill providing a revenue cutter for the district of Oregon, and for the establishment of a marine hospital at Astoria; presented a memorial from the citizens of that place asking for an appropria tion of ten thousand dollars for a custom-house; and a bill to create an additional district, besides applica tion for additional ports of entry on the southern coast of Oregon.

In regard to the appropriation secured of $100,000 for the Cayuse war, instead of $150,000 asked for, Thurston said he had to take that or nothing. No money was to be paid, however, until the evidence should be presented to the secretary of the treasury that the amount claimed had been expended. 64

This practically finished Mr Thurston s work for the session, and he so wrote to his constituents. The last of the great measures for Oregon, he said, had been consummated; but they had cost him dearly, as his impaired health fearfully admonished him. But he declared before God and his conscience he had done all that he could do for Oregon, and with an eye single to her interests. He rejoiced in his success;

63 Id., Oct. 10, 1850; 31st Cony., IstSess., U. S. Acts and Res., 31.

64 A memorial was received from the Oregon legislature after the passage of the bill dated Dec. 3, 1850, giving the report of A. E. Wait, commis sioner, stating that he had investigated and allowed 340 claims, amounting in all to $87,230.53; and giving it as his opinion that the entire indebtedness would amount to about $150, 000. 31st Cong., %d Sess., Sen. Misc. Doc. 29, 3-11.




and though slander might seek to destroy him, it could not touch the destiny of the territory. 65

Between the time of the receipt of the first copy of the land bill and the writing of this letter partisan feeling had run high in Oregon, and the newspapers were filled with correspondence on the subject. Much of this newspaper writing would have wounded the delegate deeply, but he was spared from seeing it by the irregularity and insufficiency of the mail trans portation, 66 which brought him no Oregon papers for several months.

It soon became evident, notwithstanding the first impulse of the people to stand by their delegate, that a reaction was taking place, and the more generous- minded were ashamed of the position in which the eleventh section of the land bill placed them in the eyes of the world; that with the whole vast territory of Oregon wherein to pick and choose they must needs force an old man of venerable character from his just possessions for the un-American reason that he was a foreigner born, or had formerly been the honored head of a foreign company. It was w T ell un derstood, too, whence came the direction of this vin dictive action, and easily seen that it would operate against the real welfare of the territory.

The more time the people had in which to think over the matter, the more easily were they convinced that there were others who could fill Thurston s place without detriment to the public interests. An in formal canvass then began, in which the names 67 of

65 Or. Spectator, April 3, 1851. The appropriations made at the second session of the 31st Congress for Oregon were for the expenses of the territory $36,000; for running base and meridian lines, $9,000; for surveying in Ore gon, $51,840; for a custom-house, $10,000; for a light-house and fog-signal at Umpqua River, $15,000; for fog-signals at the light-houses to be erected at Disappointment, Flattery, and New Dungeness, $3,000.

66 Writing Jan. 8th, he says: September is the latest date of a paper I have seen. I am uninformed as yet what the cause is, only from what I expe rienced once before, that the steamer left San Francisco before the arrival of, or without taking the Oregon mail. Or, Spectator, April 10, 1850.

67 There are many very worthy and meritorious citizens who migrated to this country at an early day to choose from. I would mention the names of some of the number, leaving the door open, however, to suggestions from

136 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

several well known citizens and early settlers were mentioned; but public sentiment took no form before March, when the Star, published at Milwaukie, pro claimed as its candidate Thurston s opponent in the election of 1849, Columbia Lancaster. In the mean time R. R. Thompson had been corresponding with Lane, who was still mining in southern Oregon, and had obtained his consent to run if his friends wished it. 65 The Star then put the name of Lane in place of that of Lancaster; the Spectator , now managed by D. J. Schnebley, and a new democratic paper, the Oregon Statesman, withholding their announcements of candidates until Thurston, at that moment on his way to Oregon, should arrive and satisfy his friends of his eligibility.

But when everything was preparing to realize or to give the lie to Thurston s fondest hopes of the future, there suddenly interposed that kindest of our enemies, death, and saved him from humiliation. He expired on board the steamer California, at sea off Acapulco on the 9th of April 1851, at the age of thirty-five years. His health had long been delicate, and he had not spared himself, so that the heat and discomfort of the voyage through the tropics, with the anxiety of mind attending his political career, sapped the low- burning lamp of life, and its flickering flame was ex tinguished. Yet he died not alone or unattended. He had in his charge a company of young women, teachers whom Governor Slade of Vermont was send ing to Oregon, 69 who now became his tender nurses,

others, namely, Jesse Applegate, J. W. Kesmith, Joel Palmer, Daniel Waldo, Rev. Wm Roberts, the venerable Robert Moore, James M. Moor e, Gen. Joseph Lane and Gen. Lovejoy, and many others who have recently arrived in the country. Cor. of the Or. Spectator, March 27, 1851.

68 Or. Spectator, March 6, 1851; Lane s Autobiography, MS., 57.

69 Five young women were sent out by the national board of educa tion, at the request of Abernethy and others, under contract to teach two years, or refund the money for their passage. They were all soon married, as a matter of course Miss Wands to Governor Gaines; Miss Smith to Mr Beers; Miss Gray to Mr McLeach; Miss Lincoln to Judge Skinner; and Miss Millar to Judge Wilson. Or. Sketches, MS., 15; Grover s Pub. Life in Or., MS., 100; Or. Spectator, March 13, 1851.



and when they had closed his eyes forever, treasured up every word that could be of interest to his bereaved wife and friends. 70 Thus while preparing boldly to vin dicate his acts and do battle with his adversaries, he was forced to surrender the sword which was too sharp for its scabbard, and not even his mortal remains were permitted to reach Oregon for two years. 71

The reverence we entertain for one on whom the gods have laid their hands, caused a revulsion of feeling and an outburst of sympathy. Had he lived to make war in his own defence, perhaps McLoughlin would have been sooner righted; but the people, who as a majority blamed him for the disgraceful eleventh sec tion of the land law, could not touch the dead lion with disdainful feet, and his party who honored his talents 72 and felt under obligations for his industry, protected his memory from even the implied censure

70 Mrs E. M. Wilson, daughter of Rev. James P. Millar of Albany, New York, who soon followed his daughter to Oregon, gives some notes of Thur- ston s last days. He was positive enough, she says, to make a vivid im pression on my memory. Strikingly good-looking, direct in his speech, with a supreme will, used to overcoming obstacles. . . " Just wait til I get there," he would say, "I will show those fellows! " Or. Sketches, MS., 16.

71 The legislature in 1853 voted to remove his dust from foreign soil, and it was deposited in the cemetery at Salem; and in 1856 a monument was erected over it by the same authority. It is a plain shaft of Italian marble, 12 feet high. On its eastern face is inscribed: Thurston: erected by the People of Oregon, and a fac-simile of the seal of the territory; on the north side, name, age, and death; on the south: Here rests Oregon s first delegate; a man of genius and learning; a lawyer and statesman, his Christian virtues equalled by his wide philanthropy, his public acts are his best eulo- gium. Salem Or. Statesman, May 20, 1856; OddVs Biog. of Thurston, MS., 37; 8. F. D. Alta, April 25, 1851.

72 Thurston made his first high mark in congress by his speech on the admission of California. See Cong. Globe, 1849-50, app. 345. His remarks on the appropriations for Indian affairs were so instructive and inter esting that his amendments were unanimously agreed to. A great many members shook him heartily by the hand after he had closed; and he was assured that if he had asked for $50,000 after such a speech he would have received it. Or. Spectator, Aug. 22, 1850. With that tendency to see some thing peculiar in a man who has identified himself with the west, the JV. Y. Sun of March 26, 1850, remarked: Coming from the extreme west he was not two years from Maine where, it is taken for granted, the people are in a more primitive condition than elsewhere under this government, and look ing, as Mr Thurston does, like a fair specimen of the frontier man, little was expected of him in an oratorical way. But he has proved to be one of the most effective speakers in the hall, which has created no little surprise. A Massachusetts paper also commented in a similar strain: Mr Thurston is a young man, an eloquent and effective debater, and a bold and active man, such as are found only in the west.

138 A DELEGATE TO CONGRESS.

of undoing his work. And all felt that not he alone, but his secret advisers were likewise responsible.

In view of all the circumstances of Thurston s career, it is certainly to be regretted, first, that he fell under the influence of, or into alliance with, the mis sionary party; and secondly, that he had adopted as a part of his political creed the maxim that the end sanctifies the means, by which he missed obtaining that high place in the estimation of posterity to which he aspired, and to which he could easily have attained by a more honest use of his abilities. Associated as he is with the donation law, which gave thousands of persons free farms a mile square in Oregon, his name is engraved upon the foundation stones of the state beside those of Floyd, Linn, and Benton, and of Gra ham N. Fitch, the actual author of the bill before con gress in 1850. 73 No other compensation had he; 74 and of that even the severest truth cannot deprive him.

Thurston had accomplished nothing toward securing a fortune in a financial sense, and he left his widow with scanty means of support. The mileage of the Oregon delegate was fixed by the organic act at $2,500. It was afterward raised to about double that amount; and when in 1856-7 on this ground a bill for the relief of his heirs was brought before con gress, the secretary of the treasury was authorized to make up the difference in the mileage for that purpose.

73 Cong. Globe, 1850-51, app. xxxviii.

u Or. Statesman, April 14, 1857; Graver s Pub. Life, MS., 101.

CHAPTER V.

ADMINISTRATION OF GAINES. 1850-1852.

AN OFFICIAL VACANCY GAINES APPOINTED GOVERNOR His RECEPTION IN

OREGON THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY IN SESSION ITS PERSONNEL THE TERRITORIAL LIBRARY LOCATION or THE CAPITAL OREGON CITY OR SALEM WARM AND PROLONGED CONTEST Two LEGISLATURES

WAR BETWEEN THE LAW-MAKERS AND THE FEDERAL JUDGES APPEAL

TO CONGRESS SALEM DECLARED THE CAPITAL A NEW SESSION CALLED FEUDS OF THE PUBLIC PRESS UNPOPULARITY OF GAINES CLOSE OF HIS TERM LANE APPOINTED HIS SUCCESSOR.

FROM the first of May to the middle of August 1850 there was neither governor nor district judge in the territory; the secretary and prosecuting attor ney, with the United States marshal, administered the government. On the 15th of August the United States sloop of war Falmoutli arrived from San Fran cisco, having on board General John P. Gaines, 1 newly appointed governor of Oregon, with his family, and other federal officers, namely: General Edward Ham ilton of Ohio, 2 territorial secretary, and Judge Strong of the third district, as before mentioned. 3

1 According to A. Bush, of the Oregon Statesman, Marshall of Indiana was the first choice of President Taylor; but according to Grover, Pub. Life in Or., MS., Abraham Lincoln was first appointed, and declined. Which of these autlaorities is correct is immaterial; it shows, however, that Oregon was considered too far off to be desirable.

2 Hamilton was born in CulpepSr Co., Va. He was a lawyer by profession; removed to Portsmouth, Ohio, where he edited the Portsmouth Tribune. He was a captain in the Mexican war, his title of general being obtained in the militia service. His wife was Miss Catherine Royer.

3 The other members of the party were Archibald Gaines, A. Kinney, James E. Strong, Mrs Gaines, three daughters and two sons, Mrs Hamilton and daughter, and Mrs Strong and daughter. Gaines lost two daughters, 17 and 19 years of age, of yellow fever, at St Catherine s, en route; and Judge Strong a son of five years. They all left New York in the United States

(139)



Coming 1 in greater state than his predecessor, the new governor was more royally welcomed, 4 by the firing of cannon, speeches, and a public dinner. In return for these courtesies Gaines presented the ter ritory with a handsome silk flag, a gift which Thurs- ton, in one of his eloquent encomiums upon the pioneers of Oregon and their deeds, reminded con gress had never yet been offered by the government to that people. But Governor Gaines was not sin cerely welcomed by the democracy, who resented the removal of Lane, and who on other grounds disliked the appointment. They would not have mourned if when he, like Lane, was compelled to make procla mation of the death of the president by whom he was appointed, 5 there had been the prospect of a removal in consequence. The grief for President Taylor was not profound with the Oregon democracy. He was accused of treating them in a cold indifferent man ner, and of lacking the cordial interest displayed in their affairs by previous rulers. Nor was the differ ence wholly imaginary. There was not the same incentive to interest which the boundary question, and the contest over free or slave territory, had inspired before the establishment of the territory. Oregon was now on a plane with other territories, which could not have the national legislature at their beck and call, as she had done formerly, and the change could not occur without an affront to her feel ings or her pride. Gaines was wholly unlike the energetic and debonair Lane, being phlegmatic in

store-ship Supply, in November 1849, arriving at San Francisco in July 1850, where they were transferred to the Falmouth. California Courier, July 21, 1850; Or. Spectator, Aug. 22, 1850; Strong s Hist. Or., MS., 1, 2, 13.

4 The Or. Statesman of March 28, 1851, remarks that Gaines came around Cape Horn in a government vessel, with his family and furniture, arriving at Oregon City nine months after his appointment, and drawing salary all the time, while Lane being removed, drew no pay, but performed the labor of his office.

5 President Taylor died July 9, 1850. The intelligence was received in Oregon on the 1st of September. Friday the 20th was set for the observance of religious funeral ceremonies by proclamation of Gaines. Or. Spectator, Sept. 5, 1850.



temperament, fastidious as to his personal surround ings, pretentious, pompous, and jealous of his dig nity. 6 The spirit in which the democracy, who were more than satisfied with Lane and Thurston, received the whig governor, was ominous of what soon fol lowed, a bitter partisan warfare.

There had been a short session of the legislative assembly in May, under its privilege granted in the territorial act to sit for one hundred days, twenty- seven days yet remaining. No time or place of meet ing of the next legislature had been fixed upon, nor without this provision could there be another session Without a special act of congress, which omission ren dered necessary the May term in order that this matter might be attended to. The first Monday in December was the time named for the convening of

  • ./

the next legislative body, and Oregon City the place. The assembly remained in session about two weeks, calling for a special session of the district court at Oregon City for the trial of the Cayuse murderers, giving the governor power to fill vacancies in certain offices by appointment, and providing for the printing of the laws, with a few other enactments.

The subject of submitting the question of a state constitution to the people at the election in June was being discussed. The measure was favored by many who were restive under presidential appointments, and who thought Oregon could more safely furnish the material for executive and judicial officers than de pend on the ability of such as might be sent them. The legislature, however, did not entertain the idea at its May term, on the ground that there was not time to put the question fairly before the people. Looking at the condition and population of the terri tory at this time, and its unfitness to assume the

6 Lane himself had a kind of contempt for Gaines, on account of his sur render at Encarnacion. He was a prisoner during the remainder of the war, says Lane; which was not altogether true. Autobiography, MS., 56-7.




expenses and responsibilities of a state, the conclusion is irresistible that jealousy of the lead taken in this matter by California, and the aspirations of politi cians, rather than the good of the people, prompted a suggestion which could not have been entertained by the tax-payers.

On the 2d of December the legislative assembly chosen in June met at Oregon City. It consisted of nine members in the council and eighteen in the lower house. 7 W. W. Buck of Clackamas county was chosen president of the council, and Ralph Wilcox of Washington county speaker of the house. 8 George

7 R. P. Boise, in an address before the pioneer association in 1876, says that there were 25 members in the house; but he probably confounds this session with that of 1851-2. The assembly of 1850-1 provided for the increase of representatives to twenty-two. See list of Acts in Or. Statesman, March 28, 1851; Gen. Laws Or., 1850-1, 225.

8 The names of the councilmen and representatives are given in the first number of the Oregon Statesman. W. W. Buck, Samuel T. McKean, Samuel Parker, and W. B. Mealey were of the class which held over from 1849. I have already given some account of Buck and McKean. Parker and Mealey were both of the immigration of 1845. Parker was a Virginian, a farmer and carpenter, but a man who interested himself in public affairs. He was a good man. Mealey was a Pennsylvanian; a farmer and physician.

Of the newly elected councilmen, James McBride has been mentioned as one of the immigrants of 1847.

Richard Miller of Marion county was born in Queen Anne s county, Mary land, in 1800. He came to Oregon in 1847, and was a farmer.

A. L. Humphrey of Benton county was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, in 1796 and emigrated to Oregon in 1847. He was a farmer and merchant.

Lawrence Hall, a farmer of Washington county, was born in Bourbon county, Kentucky, March 10, 1800, and came to Oregon in 1845.

Frederick Waymire, of Polk county, a millwright, was born in Montgomery county, Ohio, March 15, 1807. He married Fanny Cochagan, of Indiana, by whom he had 17 children. He came to Oregon in 1845 and soon became known as an energetic, firm, strong, rough man, and an uncompromising partisan. The old apostle of democracy and watchdog of the treasury were favorite terms used by his friends in describing Waymire. He became prominent in the politics of the territory, and was much respected for his honesty and earnestness, though not always in the right. His home in Polk county, on the little river Luckiamute, was called Hayden Hall. He had been brought up a Methodist, and in the latter part of his life returned to his allegiance, having a library well stocked with historical and religious works. He died in April 28, 1873, honored as a true man and a patriotic citizen, hoping with faith that he should live again beyond the grave. II. P. Boise, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Assoc., 1876, 27-8. His wife survived until Oct. 15, 1878, when she died in her 69th year. Three only of their children are living. All the members of the council were married men with families, except Humphrey who was a widower.

The members of the house were Ralph Wilcox, William M. King of Washington county, William Shaw, W T illiam Parker, and Benjamin F. Hard ing of Marion, the latter elected to fill a vacancy created by the death of E.



L. Curry was elected chief clerk of the council, as sisted by James D. Turner. Herman Buck was sergeant -at -arms. Asahel Bush was chosen chief

Zj

clerk of the house, assisted by B. Gcnois. William Holmes was sergeant-at-arms, and Septimus Heulat doorkeeper.

The assembly being organized, the governor was invited to make any suggestions; and appearing before

H. Bellinger, who died after election; W. T. Matloek, Benjamin Simpson, Hector Campbell, of Clackamas; William McAlphin, E. L. Walters, of Linn; John Thorp, H. N. V. Holmes, of Polk; J. C. Avery, W. St Glair, of Ben ton; Aaron Payne, S. M. Gilmore, Matthew P. Deady, of Yamhill; Truman P. Powers, of Clatsop, Lewis, and Clarke counties.

Of Wilcox I have spoken in another place; also of Shaw, Walter, Payne, and McAlphin. William M. King was born and bred in Litchiield, Ccim. , whence he moved to Onondaga county, New York, and subsequently to Pennsylvania and Missouri. He came to Oregon in 1848 and engaged in business in Portland, suon becoming known as a talented and unscrupiUous politician, as well as a cunning debater and successful tactician. He is much censured in the early territorial newspapers, partly for real faults, and partly, no doubt, from partisan feeling. He is described by one who knew him as a/ rm friend and bitter enemy. He died at Portland, after seeing it grow to I c a place of wealth and importance, November 8, 1SG9, aged GO years. H. N. V. Holmes was born in Wythe county, Va., in 1812, but removed in childhood to Pulaski county, emigrating to Oregon in 1848. He settled in a picturesque district of Polk county, in the gap between the Yamhill and La Creole val leys. He was a gentleman, of the old Kentucky school, was several times a member of the Oregon legislature, and a prosperous farmer.

13. F. Harding, a native of Wyoming county, Penn., was born in 1822, and came to Oregon in 1849. He was a lawyer by profession, and sett ed at Salem, for the interests of which place he faithfully labored, and for Marion county, which rewarded him by keeping him in a position of prominence for many years. He married Eliza Cox of Salem in 1851. He lived later en a fine farm in the enjoyment of abundance and independence. John Thorp was captain of a company in the immigration of 1844. He was from Madison county, Ky, and settled in Polk county, Oregon, where he followed farm ing. Truman P. Powers was born in 1807, and brought up in Chittciulen county, Vt, coining to Oregon in 1840. He settled on the Columbia near Astoria. William Parker was a native of Derby county, England, born in 1813, but removed when a child to New York. He was a farmer and sur veyor. Benjamin Simpson, born in Warren county, Tcnn. , in 1810, was raised in Howard county, Mo., and came to Oregon in 1840, and engaged in merchandising. Hector Campbell was born in Hampden county, Mass., in 1703, removed to Oregon in 1849, and settled on a farm in Clackamas county. William T. Matloek, a lawyer, was born in Hhone county, Tennessee, in 1802, removed when a child to Indiana, and to Oregon in 1C47. Samuel M. Gilmore, born in Bedford county, Tenn., in 1814, removed iirst to Clay and then to Buchanan county, Missouri, whence he emigrated in 1843, settling in Yamhill county. W. St Clair was an immigrant of 184G.

Joseph C. Avery was born in Lucerne county, Pcnn. , June 9, 1817, and was educated at Wilkesbarre, the county seat. He removed to 111. in 1839, where he married Martha Marsh in 1841. Four years afterward he caine to Oregon, spending the winter of 1845 at Oregon City. In the following storing he set tled on a land claim at the mouth of Mary s River, where in iS50 he laid out a town, calling it Marysvillc, but asking the legislature afterward to change the name to Corvallis, wh ich was doue.



the joint legislature he read a message of considerable length and no great interest, except as to some items

Matthew Paul Deady was born in Talbot co., MJ, May 12, 1824, of Irish and English ancestry. His father, Daniel Deady, was a native of Katiturk, Ireland, and was a teacher by profession. When a young man he came to Baltimore, Md, where he soon married. After a few years residence in the city he re moved to Wheeling, Va, and again in 1837 to Belmont co., Ohio. Here the son worked on a farm until 1841. For four years afterward he learned black- smithing, and attended school at the Barnesvill3 academy. From 1845 to 1848 he taught school and read law with J udge William Kennon, of St Clairs- ville, where he was admitted to the bar of the supreme court of Ohio, Oct. 26, 1847. In 1849 he came to Oregon, settling at Lafayette, in Yamhill co., and teaching school until the spring of 1850, when he commenced the practice of tho law, and in Juno of the same year was elected a member of the legislature, and served on the judiciary committee. In 1851 he was elected to the council for two years, serving as chairman of the judiciary committee and president of the council. In 1853 he was appointed judge of the territorial supreme court, and hold tho position until Oregon was admitted into the Union, Feb ruary 14, 1859, and in the mean time performed the duties of district judge in tho southern district. He was a member of the constitutional convention of 1857, being president of that body. His influence was strongly felt in forming the constitution, some of its marked features being chiefly his work; while in preventing the adoption of other measures he was equally serviceable. On the admission of Oregon to statehood he was elected a judge of the supreme court from the southern district without opposition, and also received the ap pointment of U. S. district judge. He accepted the latter position and re moved to Portland, where he has resided down to the present time, enjoying the confidence and respect paid to integrity and ability in office.

During the years 18G2-4, Judge Deady prepared the codes of civil and criminal procedure and the penal code, and procured their passage by the legislature a3 they carne from his hand, besides much other legislation, in cluding the general incorporation act of 18G2, which for the first timo in the U. S. made incorporation free to any three or more persons wishing to engage i.i any lav/rul enterprise or occupation. In 1864 and 1874 he made and pub lished a general compilations of the laws of Oregon.

Ho v/a3 0:10 of: the organizers of tho University of Oregon, and for over twelve years has been an active moinber of the board of regents and presi dent of that body. For twenty yoara he has been president of the Library Association of Portland, which tinder his fostering care has grown to be one of the moot creditablo institutions of the state.

On various occasions Judge Deady has sat in the U. S. circuit court in San. Francisco, where he has given judgment in some celebrated cases; among them are McCall v. McDowell, 1 Deady, 233, in which he held that the presi dent could not suspend the habeas corpus act, the power to do so being vested in congress; Martinetti v. McGuire, 1 Deady, 216, commonly called the Black Crook case, in which he held that this spectacular exhibition was not a dra matic composition, and therefore not entitled to copyright; Woodruff v. N. B. Gravel Co., 9 Sawyer, 441, commonly called the Debris case, in which it was held that the hydraulic miners had no right to deposit the waste of the mines in the watercourses of the stato to the injury of the riparian owners; and Sharon v. Hill, 11 Sawyer, 290, in which it was determined that the so-called marriage contract between these parties was a forgery.

On the 24th of June, 1852, Judge Deady was married to Miss Lucy A. Henderson, a daughter of Robert and Rhoda Henderson, of Yamhill co., who came to Oregon by the southern route in 1846. Mr Henderson was born in Green co., Tenn., Feb. 14, 1809, and removed to Kentucky in 1831, and to Missouri in 1834. Mrs Deady is possessed of many charms of person and character, and is distinguished for that tact which renders her at easo in all stations of life. Her children are three sons, Edward Nesmith, Paul Robert, and Henderson Brooke. The first two have been admitted to the bar, the third is a physician.



of information on the progress of the territory toward securing its congressional appropriations. The five thousand dollars granted in the organic act for erect ing public buildings was in his hands, he said, to which would be added the forty thousand dollars ap propriated at the last session ; and he recommended that some action be taken with regard to a peniten tiary, no prison having existed in Oregon since the burning of the jail at Oregon City. The five thousand dollars for a territorial library, he informed the assem bly, had been expended, and the books placed in a room furnished for the purpose, the custody of which was placed in their hands. 9

The legislative session of 1850-1 was not harmo nious. There were quarrels over the expenditure of the appropriations for public buildings and the location of the capital. Although the former assembly had called a session in May, ostensibly to fix upon a place as well as a time for convening its successor, it had not fixed the place, and the present legislature had come together by common consent at Oregon City. Conceiving it to be proper at this session to establish the seat of gov ernment, according to the fifteenth section of the or ganic act, which authorized the legislature at its first session, or as soon thereafter as might be expedient, to locate and establish the capital of the territory, the legislature proceeded to this duty. The only places put in competition with any chance of success were Oregon City and Salem. Between these there was a lively contest, the majority of the assembly, backed by the missionary interest, being in favor of Salem, while a minority, and many Oregon City lobby ists, were for keeping the seat of government at that place. In the heat of the contest Governor Gaines un wisely interfered by a special message, in which, while

Scattered throughout this history, and elsewhere, are the evidences of the manner in which Judge Deady has impressed himself upon the institu tions of Portland and the state, and always for their benefit. He possesses, with marked ability, a genial disposition, and a distinguished personal ap pearance, rather added to than detracted from by increasing years.

9 Judge Bryant selected and purchased $2,000 worth of the books for public library, and Gov. Gaines the remainder. HIST. OR., VOL. II. 10



he did not deny the right of the legislative assembly to locate and establish the seat of government, he felt it his duty to call their attention to the wording of the act, which distinctly said that the money there ap propriated should be applied by the governor; and also, that the act of June 11, 1850, making a fur ther appropriation of twenty thousand dollars for the erection of public buildings in Oregon, declared that the money was to be applied by the governor and the legislative assembly. He further called their at tention to the wording of the sixth section of the act, which declared that every law should have but one object, which should be expressed in the title, while the act passed by the legislative assembly embraced several objects. He gave it as his opinion that the law in that form was unconstitutional; but expressed a hope that they would not adjourn without taking effectual steps to carry out the recommendation he had made in his message at the beginning of the session, that they would cause the public buildings to be erected.

The location bill, which on account of its embracing several objects received the name of the omnibus bill, 10 passed the assembly by a vote of six to three in the council and ten to eight in the house, Salem get ting the capital, Portland the penitentiary, 11 Corvallis the university, and Oregon City nothing. The mat-

10 The Gaines clique also denominated the Iowa code, adopted in 1849, the steamboat code, and invalid because it contained more than one subject.

11 It named three commissioners, each for the state-house and penitentiary, authorizing them to select one of their number to be acting commissioner and give bonds in the sum of $20,000. The state-house board consisted of John Force, H. M. Waller, and R. C. Geer; the penitentiary board, D. H. Lowns- dale, Hugh D. O Bryant, and Lucius B. Hastings. The prison was to be of sufficient capacity to receive, secure, and employ 100 convicts, to be con fined in separate cells. Or. Spectator, March 27, 1851; Or. Statutes, 1853-4, 509. That Oregon City should get nothing under the embarrassment of the llth section of the donation law was natural, but the whigs and the prop erty-owners there may have hoped to change the action of congress in the event of securing the capital. Salem, looking to the future, was a better location. But the assembly were not, I judge, looking to anything so much as having their own way. The friends of Salem were accused of bribery, and there were the usual mutual recriminations. Or. Spectator, Oct. 7 and Nov. 18, 1851.



ter rapidly took shape as a political issue, the demo crats going for Salem and the whigs for Oregon City, the question being still considered by many as an open one on account of the alleged unconstitutionality of the act. 12 At the same time two newspapers were started to take sides in territorial politics; the Ore- gonian, whig, at Portland in December 1850, and the Oregon Statesman, democratic, at Oregon City in March following. 13 A third paper, called the Times, was published at Portland, beginning in May 1851, which changed its politics according to patronage and circumstances.

la /<?., July 29, 1851; Or. Statesman, Aug. 5, 1851; 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 94, 2-32; Id., 96, vol. ix. 1-8; Id., 104, vol. xii. 1-24; S2d Cong., 1st Sew. , H. Misc. Doc. 9, 4-5.

13 The Oregortian was founded by T. J. Dryer, who had been previously en gaged upon the California Courier as city editor, and was a weekly journal. Dryer brought an old Raniage press from San Francisco, with some second hand material, which answered his purpose for a few months, when a new Washington press and new material came out by sea from New York, and the old one was sent to Olympia to start the first paper published on Puget Sound, called the Columbian. In time the Washington press was displaced by a power press, and was sold in 1862 to go to Walla Walla, and afterward to Idaho. Dryer conducted the Oregonian with energy for ten years, when, the paper passed into the hands of H. L. Pittock, who first began work upon it a3 a printer in 1853. It has since become a daily, and is edited and partly owned oy Harvey W. Scott.

The statesman was founded by A. W. Stockwell and Henry Russel of Massachusetts, with Asahel Bush as editor. It was published at Oregon City till June 1853, when it was removed to Salem, and being and remaining the official paper of the territory, followed the legislature to Corvallis in 1855, when the capital was removed to that place and back again to Salem, when the seat of government was relocated there a few months later. As a party paper it was conducted with greater ability than any journal on the Pacific coast for a period of about a dozen years. Bush was assisted at various times by men of talent. On retiring from political life in 1863 he engaged in bank ing at Salem. Crandall and Wait then conducted the paper for a short time; but it was finally sold in November 1863 to the Oregon Printing and Publish ing Company. In 1866 it was again, sold to the proprietors of the Unionist, and ceased to exist as the Oregon Statesman. During the first eight years of its existence it was the ruling power in Oregon, wielding an influence that made and immade officials at pleasure. The number of those who were connected with the paper as contributors to its columns, who have risen to distinguished positions, is reckoned by the dozen. Salem Directory, 1871; Or. Statesman, March 28, 1851; Id., July 25, 1854; Brown s Will. Val., MS., 34; Portland Ortgonian, April 15, 1876. Before either of these papers was started there was established at Milwaukie, a few miles below Oregon City, the Milwaukie Star, the first number of which was issued on the 21st of November 1850. It was owned principally by Lot Whitcomb, the proprietor of the town of Milwaukie. The prospectus stated that Carter and Waterman were the printers, and Orvis Waterman editor. The paper ran for three months under its first management, then was purchased by the



The result of the interference of the governor with legislation was to bring down upon him bitter denun ciations from that body, and to make the feud a per sonal as well as political one. When the assembly provided for the printing of the public documents, it voted to print neither the governor s annual nor his special message, as an exhibition of disapprobation at his presumption in offering the latter, 14 assuming that he was not called upon to address them unless invited to do so, they being invested by congress with power to conduct the public business and spend the public money without consulting him. But while the legis lators quarrelled with the executive they went on with the business of the commonwealth.

The hurried sessions of the territorial legislature had effected little improvement in the statutes which were still in great part in manuscript, consisting in many instances of mere reference to certain Iowa law r s adopted without change. An act was passed for the printing of the laws and journals, and Asahel Bush elected printer, to tho disappointment of Dryer of the Oregonian, who had built hopes on his political views which were the same as those of the new ap pointees of the federal government. But the terri torial secretary, Hamilton, literally took the law into his own hands and sent the printing to a New York contractor. Thus the war went on, and the laws were as far as ever from being in an intelligible state, 15

printers, and in May 1851 Waterman purchased the entire interest, when he removed the paper to Portland, calling it the Times. It survived several subsequent changes and continued to be published till 18G4, recording in the mean time many of the early incidents in the history of the country. Portland Oregonian, April 15, 1876.

i4 The Spectator of Feb. 20, 1851, rebuked the assembly for its discour tesy, saying it knew of no other instance where the annual message of the governor had been treated with such contempt.

15 The Spectator of August 8, 1850, remarked that there existed no law in the territory regulating marriages. If that were true, there could have ex isted none since 1845, when the last change in the provisional code was made. There is a report of a debate on a bill concerning marriages, in the Spectator of Jan. 2, 1851, but the list of laws passed at the session of 1850-1 contains none on marriage. A marriage law was enacted by the legislature of 1851-2.





although the most important or latest acts were pub lished in the newspapers, and a volume of statutes was printed and bound at Oregon City in 1851. It was not until January 1853 that the assembly pro vided for the compilation of the laws, and appointed L. F. Grover commissioner to prepare for publication the statutes of the colonial and territorial governments from 1843 to 1849 inclusive. The result of the com missioner s labors is a small book often quoted in these pages as Or. Laws, 1843-9, of much value to the his torian, but which, nevertheless, needs to be confirmed by a close comparison with the archives compiled and printed at the same time, and with corroborative events; the dates appended to the laws being often several sessions out of time, either guessed at by the compiler, or mistaken by the printer and not corrected. In many cases the laws themselves are mere abstracts or abbreviations of the acts published in the Spec tator. 16

Nor were the archives collected any more complete, as boxes of loose papers, as late as 1878, to my knowl edge, were lying unprinted in the costly state-house at Salem. Many of them have been copied for my

Among men inclined from the condition of society to early marriages, as I have before mentioned, the wording of the donation law stimulated the desire to marry in order to become lord of a mile square of land, while it influenced women to the same measure, as it was only a wife or widow who was entitled to 320 acres. Many unhappy unions were the consequence, and numerous divorces. Deady x Ili;t. Or., MS., 33; Victor s New Penelope, 19-20.

ie Public Life in Oregon is one of the most scholarly and analytical contri butions to history which I was able to gather during my many interviews of 1878. Besides being in a measure a political history of the country, it abounds with life-like sketches of the public men of the day, given in a clear and fluent style, and without apparent bias. L. F. Grover, the author, was born at Bethel, Maine, Nov. 29, 1823. He came to California in the winter of 1850, and to Oregon early in 1851. He was almost immediately appointed clerk of the first judicial district by Judge Nelson. He soon afterward received the appointment of prosecuting attorney of the second judicial district, and became deputy United States district attorney, through his law partner, B. F. Harding, who held that office. Thereafter for a long period he was in public life in Oregon. Grover was a protege" of Thurston, who had known him in Maine, and advised him when admitted to the bar in Philadelphia to go to Oregon, where he would take him into his own office as a law-partner; but Thurston dying, Grover was left to introduce himself to the new common wealth, which lie r.id most successfully. Graver s Pub. Life in Or., MS., 100-3; Yreka Union, April 1, 1870.



work, and constitute the manuscript entitled Oregon Archives, from which I have quoted more widely than I should have done had they been in print, thinking thus to preserve the most important information in them. The same legislature which authorized Grover s work, passed an act creating a board of commissioners to prepare a code of laws for the territory, 17 and elected J. K. Kelly, D. R. Bigelow, and R. P. Boise, who were to meet at Salem in February, and proceed to the discharge of their duties, for which they were to re ceive a per diem of six dollars. 15 In 1862 a new code of civil procedure was prepared by Matthew P. Deady, then United States district judge, A. C. Gibbs, and J. K. Kelly, and passed by the legislature. The work was performed by Judge Deady, who attended the session of the legislature and secured its passage. The same legislature authorized him to prepare a penal code and code of criminal procedure, which he did. This was enacted by the legislature of 1864, which also authorized him to prepare a compilation of all the laws of Oregon then in force, including the codes, in the order and method of a code, which he did, and en riched it with notes containing a history of Oregon legislation. This compilation he repeated in 1874, by authority of the legislature, aided by Lafayette Lane. Meanwhile the work of organization and nation- making went on, all being conducted by these early legislators with fully as much honesty and intelligence as have been generally displayed by their successors. Three new counties were established and organized at the session of 1850-1, namely: Pacific, on the north side of the Columbia, on the coast; Lane, including

17 A. C. Gibbs in his notes on Or. Hist., MS., 13, says that he urged the measure and succeeded in getting it through the house. It was supported by Deady, then president of the council; and thus the code system was begun in Oregon with reformed practice and proceedings. At the same time, Thurs- ton, it is said, when in Washington, advised the appointment of commis sioners for this purpose, or that the assembly should remain in session long enough to do the work, and promised to secure from congress the money, $6,000, to pay the cost.

18 Or. Statutes, 1852-3, 57-8; Or. Statesman, Feb. 5, 1853.

19 See Or. Gen. Laws, 1843-72.



all that portion of the Willamette Valley south of Benton and Linn ; 20 and Unipqua, comprising all the country south of the Calapooya mountains and head waters of the Willamette. County seats were located in Linn, Polk, and Clatsop, the county seats of Clack - amas and Washington having been established at the previous sessions of the legislature. 21

The act passed by the first legislature for collecting the county and territorial revenues was amended; and a law passed legalizing the acts of the sheriff of Linn county, and the probate court of Yamhill county, in the collection of taxes, and to legalize the judicial proceedings of Polk county; these being cases where the laws of the previous sessions were found to be in conflict with the organic act. Some difficulty had been encountered in collecting taxes on land to which the occupants had as yet no tangible title. The same feeling existed after the passage of the donation law, though some leg^al authorities contended, and it has

Q o

since been held that the donation act gave the occu pant his land in fee simple, and that a patent was only evidence of his ownership. 22 But it took more time to settle these questions of law than the people or the legislature had at their command in 1850;

O

hence conflicts arose which neither the judicial nor

^Eugene City Guard, July 8, 1876; Eugene City State Journal, July 8, 1870.

n It is difficult determining the value of these enactments, when for sev eral sessions one after the other acts with the same titles appear instance the county seat of Polk county, which was located in 1849 and again in 1850.

^Deadifs Scrap Book, 5. For some years Matthew P. Deady employed his leisure moments as a correspondent of the San Francisco Bulletin, his subjects often being historical and biographical matter, in which he was, from his habit of comparing evidence, very correct, and in which he sometimes enun ciated a legal opinion. His letters, collected in the form of a scrap-book, were kindly loaned to me. From these Scraps I have drawn largely; and still more frequently from his History of Oregon, a thick manuscript volume given to me from his own lips in the form of a dictation while I was in Port- L nd in 1878, and taken down by my stenographer. Never in the course of my life have I encountered in one mind so vast, well arranged, and well digested a store of facts, the recital of which to me was a never failing source of wonder and admiration. His legal decisions and public addresses have also been of great assistance to me, being free from the injudicial bias of many authors, and hence most substantial material for history to rest upon. Further than this, Judge Deady is a graceful writer, and always interesting. As a man, he is one to whom Oregon owe s much.



the legislative branches of the government could at once satisfactorily terminate.

The legislature amended the act laying out the judicial districts by attaching the county of Lane to the first and Umpqua to the second districts. This distribution made the first district to consist of Clack- amas, Marion, Linn, and Lane; the second of Wash ington, Yamhill, Benton, Polk, and Umpqua; and the third of Clarke, Lewis, and Clatsop. Pacific county was not provided for in the amendment. The judges were required to hold sessions of their courts twice annually in each county of their districts. But lest in the future it might happen as in the past, any one of the judges was authorized to hold special terms in any of the districts; other laws regulating the practice of the courts were passed, 23 and also laws regulating the general elections, and ordering the erection of court-houses and jails in each county of the territory.

They amended the common school law, abolishing the office of superintendent, and ordered the election of school examiners; incorporated the Young Ladies Academy of Oregon City, St Paul s Mission Female Seminary, the First Congregational Society of Port land, the First Presbyterian Society of Clatsop plains; incorporated Oregon City and Portland; lo cated a number of roads, notably one from Astoria to the Willamette Valley, 24 and a plank-road from Portland to Yamhill county; and also the Yamhill Bridge Company, which built the first great bridge in the country. These, with many other less impor tant acts, occupied the assembly for sixty clays. Thurston s advice concerning memorializing congress

23 Or. Gen. Laws, 1850-1, 158-164.

24 This was a scheme of Thurston s, who, on the citizens of Astoria peti tioning congress to open a road to the Willamette, proposed to accept $10, 000 to build the bridges, promising that the people would build the road. He then advised the legislature to go on with the location, leaving it to him to manage the appropriations. Lane finished his work in congress, and a gov ernment officer expended the appropriation without benefiting the Astorians beyond disbursing the money in their midst. See 31st Cony., 1st Seas., II. Com. Kept., 348, 3.

A NEW DELEGATE. 153

to pay the remaining expenses of the Cayuse war was acted upon, the committee consisting of McBride, Parker, and Hall, of the council, and Deady, Simpson, and Harding of the house. 25 Nothing further of im portance was done at this session.

When the legislative assembly adjourned in Feb ruary, it was known that Thurston was returning to Oregon as a candidate for reelection, and it was ex pected that there would be a heated canvass, but that his party would probably carry him through in spite of the feeling which his course with regard to the

Oregon Citv claim had created. But the unlocked

v

for death of Thurston, and the popularity of Lane, who, being of the same political sentiments, and gen erously willing to condone a fault in a rival who had confirmed to him as the purchaser of Abernethy Isl and a part of the contested land claim, made the ex-governor the most fitting substitute even with Thurston s personal friends, for the position of dele gate from Oregon. Some efforts had been made to injure Lane by anonymous letter-writers, who sent to the New York Tribune allegations of intemperance and improper associations, 26 but which were sturdily repelled by his democratic friends in public meetings, and which could not have affected his position, as Gaines was appointed in the usual round of office-giv ing at the beginning of a new presidential and party administration. That these attacks did not seriously injure him in Oregon was shown by the enthusiasm with which his nomination was accepted by the ma jority, and the result of the election, as well as by the fact of a county having been named after him between his removal as governor and nomination as delegate. The only objection to Lane, which seemed to carry any weight, was the one of being in the territory


Cong., 1st Sess., IT. Jour., 1050, 1224. 26 The writer signed himself Lansdale, but was probably J. Quinn Thorn ton, who admits writing such letters to get Lane removed, but gives a different sobriquet as I have already mentioned that of Achilles de Harl ey.



without his family, which gave a transient air to his patriotism, to which people objected. They felt that their representative should be one of themselves in fact as well as by election, and this Lane declared his intention of becoming, and did in fact take a claim on the Umpqua River to show his willingness to become a citizen of Oregon. The opposing candidate was W. H. Willson, who was beaten by eighteen hundred or two thousand votes. As soon as the election was over, Lane returned to the lately discovered mining districts in southern Oregon, taking with him a strong party, intending to chastise the Indians of that sec tion, who were becoming more and more aggressive as travel in that direction increased, and their profits from robbery and murder became more important. That he should take it upon himself to do this, when there was a regularly appointed superintendent of Indian affairs- -for Thurston had persuaded congress to give Oregon a general superintendent for this work alone surprised no one, but on the contrary appeared to be what was expected of him from his aptitude in such matters, which became before he reached Rogue River Valley wholly a military affair. The delegate- elect was certainly a good butcher of Indians, who, as we have seen, cursed them as a mistake or damnable infliction of the Almighty. And at this noble occu pation I shall leave him, while I return to the history of the executive and judicial branches of the Oregon government.

Obviously the tendency of office by appointment instead of by popular election is to make men indiffer ent to the opinions of those they serve, so long as they are in favor with or can excuse their acts to the ap pointing power. The distance of Oregon from the seat of general government and the lack of adequate mail service made the Gaines faction more than usu ally independent of censure, as it also rendered its critics more impatient of what they look ed upon as an



exhibition of petty tyranny on the part of those who were present, and of culpable neglect on the part of those who remained absent. From the date of Judge Bryant s arrival in the territory in April 1849, to the 1st of January 1851, when he resigned, he had spent but five months in his district. From December 1848 to August 1850 Pratt had been the only judge in Oregon- -excepting Bryant s brief sojourn. Then he went east for his family, and Strong was the only judge for the eight months following, and till the return about the last of April 1851 of Pratt, accom panied by Chief Justice Thomas Nelson, appointed in the place of Bryant, 27 and J. R. Preston, surveyor- general of Oregon.

The judges found their several dockets in a condi tion hardly to justify Thurston s encomiums in con gress upon their excellence of character. The freedom enjoyed under the provisional government, due in part to the absence of temptation, when all men were laborers, and when the necessity for mutual help and protection deprived them of a motive for violence, had ceased to be the boast and the security of the coun try. The presence of lawless adventurers, the abun dance of money, and the absence of courts, had tended to develop the criminal element, till in 1851 it became notorious that the causes on trial were ofterier of a criminal than a civil nature. 28


27 Memorial of the Legislative Assembly of 1851-2, in 32d Cong., 1st If. Misc. Doc. , ix. 2-3. Thomas Nelson was born at Fcekskill, New York, January 23, 1819. He was the third son of William Nelson, a represen tative in congress, a lawyer by profession, and a man of worth and public spirit. Thomas graduated at Williams college at the age of 17. Being still very young he was placed under a private tutor of ability in New York city, that he might study literature and the French language. He also attended medical lectures, acquiring in various ways thorough culture and scholarship, after which he added European travel to his other sources of knowledge, finally adopting law as a profession. Advancing in the practice of the law, he became an attorney and counsellor of the supreme court of the United States, and was practising with his father in Westchester county, New York, when he was appointed chief justice of Oregon. Judge Nelson s private character was faultless, his manners courteous, and his bearing modest and refined. Livingston s Bioy. Sketches, 69-72 ; S. JR. Thurston, in Or. Spectator, April 10, 1851.

XStrontfR Hist. Or., MS., 14. On the 7th of January 1851 William Ham ilton was shot and killed near Salem by William Kendall on whose land claim



This condition of society encouraged the expression of public indignation pleasing to party prejudices and to the political aspirations of party leaders. At a meeting held in Portland April 1st, it was resolved that the president of the United States should be informed of the neglect of the judges of the first and

second districts, no court having been held in Wash-

^

ington county since the previous spring; nor had any judge resided in the district to whom application

he was living. A special term of court was held on the 28th of March to try Kendall, who was defended by W. G. T Vault and B. F. Harding, convicted, sentenced by Judge Strong, and executed on the 18th of April, there being at the time no jail in which to confine criminals in Marion county. About the same time a sailor named Cook was shot by William Keene, a gambler, in a dispute about a game of ten-pins. Keene was also tried before Judge Strong, convicted of manslaughter, and sentenced to six years in the peniten tiary. As the jury had decided that he ought not to hang, and he could not be confined in an imaginary penitentiary, he was pardoned by the governor. Or. Statesman, May 16, 1851. Creed Turner a few months after stabbed and killed Edward A. Bradbury from Cincinnati, Ohio, out of jealousy, both being in love with a Miss Bonser of Sauve" Island. Deady defended him before Judge Pratt, but he was convicted and hanged in the autumn. Id., Oct. 28, 1851; Deady s Hist. Or., MS., 59. In Feb. 1852 William Everman, a desperate character, shot and killed Serenas C. Hooker, a worthy farmer of Polk county, for accusing him of taking a watch. He also was convicted and hanged. He had three associates in crime, Hiram Everman, his brother, who plead guilty and was sentenced to three years in the penitentiary; Enoch Smith, who escaped by the disagreement of the jury, was rearrested, tried again, sentenced to death, and finally pardoned; and David J. Coe, who by obtaining a change of venue was acquitted. As there was no prison where Hiram Everman could serve, he was publicly sold by the sheriff on the day of his brother s execution, to Theodore Prather, the highest bidder, and was set at liberty by the petition of his master just before the expiration of the three years. Smith took a land-claim in Lane county, and married. After several years his wife left him for some cause unknown. He shot himself in April 1877, intentionally, as it was believed. Salem Mercury, April 18, 1877. About the time of the former murder, Nimrod O Kelly, inBenton county, killed Jere miah Mahoney, in a quarrel about a land-claim. He was sentenced to the peni tentiary and pardoned. In August, in Polk county, Adam E. Wimple, 35 years of age, murdered his wife, a girl of fourteen, setting fire to the house to conceal his crime. He had married this child, whose name was Mary Allen, about one year before. Wimple was a native of New York. 8. F. Alta, Sept. 28, 1852. He was hanged at Dallas October 8, 1852. Or. States man, Oct. 23, 1852. Robert Maynard killed J. C. Platt on Rogue River for ridiculing him. He was executed by vigilants. Before the election of officers for Jackson county, one Brown shot another man, was arrested, tried before W. W. Fowler, temporarily elected judge, and hanged. Prim s Judic. Affairs in Southern Or., MS., 10. In July 1853, Joseph Nott was tried for the mur der of Ryland D. Hill whom he shot in an affray in Umpqua county. He was acquitted. Many lesser crimes appear to have been committed, such as burglary and larceny; and frequent jail deliveries were effected, these struc tures being built of logs and not guarded. In two years after the discovery of gold in California, Oregon had a criminal calender as large in proportion to the population as the older states.



could be made for the administration of the laws. The president should be plainly told that there were "many respectable individuals in Oregon capable of discharging the duties of judges, or filling any offices under the territorial government, who would either discharge their duties or resign their offices." 29 The arrival of the new chief justice, and Pratt, brought a temporary quiet. Strong went to reside at Cathlamet, in his own district, and the other judges in theirs.

At the first term of court held in Clackamas county by Chief Justice Nelson, he was called upon to decide upon the constitutionality of the law excluding negroes from Oregon. This law, first enacted by the provis ional legislature in 1844, had been amended, reenacted, and clung to by the law-makers of Oregon with sin gular pertinacity, the first territorial legislature reviv ing it among their earliest enactments. Thurston, when questioned in congress concerning the matter, defended the law against free blacks upon the ground that the people dreaded their influence among the Indians, whom they incited to hostilities. 30 Such a reason had indeed been given in 1844, when two dis orderly negroes had caused a collision between w T hite men and Indians, but it could not be advanced as a sufficient explanation of the settled determination of the founders of Oregon to keep negroes out of the territory, because all the southern and western fron tier states had possessed a large population of blacks, both slave and free, at the time they had fought the savages, without finding the negroes a dangerous ele ment of their population. It was to quite another cause that the hatred of the African was to be ascribed; namely, scorn for an enslaved race, which refused political equality to men of a black skin, and which might raise the question of slavery to disturb the peace of society. It was riot enough that Oregon

29 Or. Statesman, April 11, 1851. Among those taking part in this meet ing were W. W. Chapman, D. H. Lounsdale, H. D. O Bryant, J. S. Smith, Z. C. Norton, S. Coffin, W. B. Otway, and N. Northrop.

30 GW/. Globe, 1849-50, 1079, 1091.



should be a free territory which could not make a bondsman of a black man, but it must exclude the remainder of the conflict then raging on his behalf in certain quarters. Judge Nelson upheld the constitu tionality of the law against free blacks, and two of fenders were given thirty days in which to leave the territory. 31

The judges found a large number of indictments in the first and second districts. 32 The most important case in Yamhill county was one to test the legality of taxing land, or selling property to collect taxes, and was brought by C. M. Walker against the sheriff, Andrew Shuck, Pratt deciding that there had been no trespass. In the cases in behalf of the United States, Deady was appointed commissioner in chan cery, and David Logan 33 to take affidavits and acknowledgments of bail under the laws of congress. The law practitioners of 1850-1-2 in Oregon had the opportunity, and in many instances the talent, to stamp themselves upon the history of the common wealth, supplanting in a great degree the men who were its founders, 34 while endeavoring to rid the terri-

31 By a curious coincidence one of the banished negroes was Winslow, the culprit in the Oregon City Indian affair of 1844, who had lived since then, at the mouth of the Columbia. Vanderpool was the other exiie. S. F. Alta, Sept. 16, 1851; Or. Statesman, Sept. 2, 1851.

32 There were 30 indictments in Yamhill county alone, a large proportion being for breach of verbal contract. Six were for selling liquor to Indians, being federal cases.

3a Logan was born in Springfield, 111., in 1824. His father was an eminent lawyer, and at one time a justice of the supreme court of Illinois. David im migrated to Oregon in 1850 and settled at Lafayette. He ran against Deady for the legislature in 1851 and was beaten. Soon after he removed to Port land, where he became distinguished for his shrewdness and powers of oratory, being a great jury lawyer. He married in 1862 Mary P. Waldo, daughter of Daniel Waldo. His highly excitable temperament led him into excesses which injured his otherwise eminent standing, and cut short his brilliant career in 1874. Salem Mercury, April 3, 1874.

34 The practising attorneys at tins time were A. L. Lovejoy, W. G. T Vault, J. Quinn Thornton, E. Hamilton, A. Holbrook, Matthew P. Deady, B. F. Hard ing, R. P. Boise, David Logan, E. M. Barnum, J. W. Nesmith, A. D. M. Harrison, James McCabe, A. C. Gibbs, S. F. Chadwick, A. B. P. Wood, T. McF. Patton, F. Tilford, A. Campbell, D. B. Brenan, W. W. Chapman, A. E. Wait, S. D. Mayre, John A. Anderson, and C. Lancaster. There were others who had been bred to a legal profession, who were at work in the mines or living on land claims, some of whom resumed practice as society became more organized.



tory of men whom they regarded as transient, whose places they coveted.

There is always presumably a coloring of truth to charges brought against public officers, even when used for party purposes as they were in Oregon. The democracy were united in their determination to see nothing good in the federal appointees, with the ex ception of Pratt, who besides being a democrat had been sent to them by President Polk. On the other hand there were those who censured Pratt 35 for being what he was in the eyes of the democracy. The governor was held 36 equally objectionable with the judges, first on account of the position he had taken on the capital location question, and again for main taining Kentucky hospitality, and spending the money of the government freely without consulting any one, and as his enemies chose to believe without any care for the public interests. A sort of gay and fashion able air was imparted to society in Oregon City by the families of the territorial officers and the hospita ble Dr McLoughlin, 37 which was a new thing in the Willamette Valley, and provoked not a little jealousy among the more sedate and surly. 38

35 W. "W. Chapman for contempt of court was sentenced by Pratt to twenty days imprisonment and to have his name stricken from the roll of attorneys. It was a political issue. Chapman was assisted by his Portland friends to escape, was rearrested, and on application to Judge Nelson discharged on a writ of error. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., Misc. Doc. 9, 3. See also case of Arthur Fayhie sentenced by Pratt for contempt, in which Nelson listened to a charge by Fayhie of misconduct in office on the part of Pratt, and discharged the prisoner by the advice of Strong.

36 An example of the discourtesy used toward the federal officers was given when the governor was bereaved of his wife by an accident. Mrs Gaines was riding on the Clatsop plains, whither she had gone on an excursion, when her horse becoming frightened at a wagon she was thrown under the wheels, receiving injuries from which she died. The same paper which announced her death attacked the governor with unstinted abuse. Mrs Gaines was a daughter of Nicholas Kincaid of Versailles, Ky. Her mother was Priscilla McBride. She was born March 13, 1800, and married to Gaines June 22, 1819. Or. Spectator, Aug. 19, 1851. About fifteen months after his wife s death, Gaines married Margaret B. Wands, one of the five lady teachers sent to Oregon by Gov. Slade. Or. Statesman, Nov. 27, 1851.

37 ^l/rs M. E. Wilson in Or. Sketches, MS., 19.

18 Here is what one says of Oregon City society at the time: All was oddity. Clergymen so eccentric as to have been thrown over by the board on account of their queerness, had found their way hither, and fought their way among peculiar people, into positions of some kind. People were odd



In order to sustain his position with regard to the location act, Games appealed for an opinion to the attorney-general of the United States, who returned for an answer that the legislature had a right to locate the seat of government without the consent of the governor, but that the governor s concurrence was necessary to make legal the expenditure of the appro priations, 39 which reply left untouched the point raised by Gaines, that the act was invalid because it em braced more than one object. With regard to this matter the attorney-general was silent, and the quarrel stood as at the beginning, the governor re fusing to recognize the law of the legislature as binding on him. His enemies ceased to deny the unconstitu tionally of the law, admitting that it might prove void by reason of non-conformity to the organic act, but they contended that until this was shown to be true in a competent court, it was the law of the land; and to treat it as a nullity before it had been disap proved by congress, to which all the acts of the legis lature must be submitted, was to establish a dangerous precedent, a principle striking at the foundation of all law and the public security.

Into this controversy the United States judges were necessarily drawn, the organic act requiring them to hold a term of court, annually, at the seat of government; any two of the three constituting a

in dress as well. Whenever one wished to appear well before his or her friends, they resurrected from old chests and trunks clothes made years ago. Now, as one costumer in one part of the world at one time, had made one dress, and another had made at another time another dress, an assembly in Oregon at this time presented to a new-comer, accustomed to only one fashion at once, a peculiar sight. Mrs Walker, wife of a missionary at Chimikane, near Fort Colville, having been 11 years from her clothed sisters, on coming to Oregon City was surprised to find her dresses as much in the fashion as any of the rest of them. Mrs Wilson, Or. Sketches, MS., 16, 17. Another says of the missionary and pioneer families: One lady who had been living at Clatsop since 1846 had a parasol well preserved, at least 30 years old, with a folding handle and an ivory ring to slip over the folds when closed. Another lady had a bonnet and shawl of nearly the same age which she wore to church. All these articles were of good quality, and an evidence of past fashion and respectability. Manners as well as clothes go out of mode, and much of the oddity Mrs Wilson discovered in an Oregon assembly in Gov. Games time was only manners out of fashion.

39 Or. Spectator, July 29, 1851; Or. Statesman, Aug. 5, 1851.,



quorum. 40 On the first of December, the legislature- elect 41 convened at Salem, as the capital of Oregon, except one councilman, Columbia Lancaster, and four representatives, A. E. Wait, W. F. Matlock, and D. F. Brownfield. Therefore this small minority organized as the legislative assembly of Oregon, at the territorial library room in Oregon City, was quali fied by Judge Strong, and continued to meet and adjourn for two weeks. Lancaster, the single coun cilman, spent this fortnight in making motions and seconding them himself, and preparing a memorial to congress in which he asked for an increase in the number of councilrnen to fifteen; for the improve ment of the Columbia River; for a bounty of one hundred and sixty acres of land to the volunteers in the Cayuse war; a pension to the widows and orphans of the men killed in the war; troops to be stationed at the several posts in the territory; protection to the immigration; ten thousand dollars to purchase a library for the university, and a military road to Puget Sound. 42

About this time the supreme court met at Oregon City, Judges Nelson and Strong deciding to adopt

40 Or. Gen. Laws, 1845-1864, 71.

41 The council was composed of Matthew P. Deady, of Yamhill; J. M. Gar rison, of Marion; A. L. Lovejoy, of Clackamas; Fred. Waymire, of Polk; W. B. Mealey, of Linn; Samuel Parker, of Clackamas and Marion; A. L. Humphrey, of Benton; Lawrence Hall, of Washington; Columbia Lancaster, of Lewis, Clark, and Vancouver counties. The house consisted of Geo. L. Curry, A. E. Wait, and W. T. Matlock, of Clackamas ; Benj. Simpson, \Vilie Chapman, and James Davidson, of Marion; J. C. A very and Geo. E. Cole, of Benton; Luther White and William Allphin, of Linn; Ralph Wilcox, W. M. King, and J. C. Bishop, of Washington; A. J. Hembree, Samuel McSween, and R. C. Kinney, of Yamhill; Nat Ford and J. S. Holman of Polk; David M. Risdon, of Lane; J. W. Drew, of Umpqua; John A. Anderson and D. F. Brownfield of Clatsop and Pacific. Or. Statesman.. July 4, 1851.

42 In style Lancaster was something of a Munchausen. It it true, he says in his memorial, which must indeed have astonished congress, that the Columbia River, like the principles of civil and religious equality, with wild and unconquerable fury has burst asunder the Cascade and Coast ranges of mountains, and shattered into fragments the basaltic formations, etc. 32d Cong., 1st Sew., H. Misc. Doc. 14, 1-5; Or. Stateman, Jan. 13, 1852. Ba saltic formation then became a sobriquet for the whig councilman among the Salem division of the legislature. The memorial was signed Columbia Lan caster, late president pro tern, of the council, and W. T. Matlock, late speaker pro tern, of the house of representatives.

HIST. OB., VOL. II. 11



the governor s view of the seat-of-government ques tion, while Pratt, siding with the main body of the legislature, repaired to Salem as the proper place to hold the annual session of the United States court. Thus a majority of the legislature convened at Salem as the seat of government, and a majority of the su preme court at Oregon City as the proper capital; and the division was likely to prove a serious bar to the legality of the proceedings of one or the other. 43 The majority of the people were on the side of the legislature, and ready to denounce the imported judges who had set themselves up in opposition to their representatives. Before the meeting of the legisla tive body the people on the north side of the Colum bia had expressed their dissatisfaction with Strong for refusing to hold court at the place selected by the county commissioners, according to an act of the legis lature requiring them to fix the place of holding court until the county seat should be established. The place selected was at the claim of Sidney Ford, on the Chehalis River, whereas the judge went to the house of John R. Jackson, twenty miles distant, and sent a peremptory order to the jurors to repair to the same place, which they refused to do, on the ground that they had been ordered in the manner of slave-driving, to which they objected as unbecoming a judge and insulting to themselves. A public meeting was held, at which it was decided that the conduct of the judge merited the investigation of the impeaching power. 44 The proceedings of the meeting were published about the time of the convening of the assembly, and a correspondence followed, in which J. B. Chapman

43 Francis Ermatinger being cited to appear in a case brought against him at Oregon City, objected to the hearing of the cause upon the ground that the law required a majority of the judges of the court to be present at the seat of government, which was at Salem. The chief justice said in substance: By the act of coming here we have virtually decided this question. Or. Specta tor, Dec. 2, 1851.

44 The principal persons in the transactions of the indignation meeting were J. B. Chapman, M. T. Simmons, D. F. Brownfield, W. P. Dougherty, E. Sylvester, Thos. W. Glasgow, and James McAllister. Or. Statesman, Dec. 2 1851.




exonerated Judge Strong, declaring that the senti ment of the meeting had been maliciously misrepre sented; Strong replying that the explanation was satisfactory to him. But the Statesman, ever on the alert to pry into actions and motives, soon made it appear that the reconciliation had not been between the people and Strong, but that W. W. Chapman, who had been dismissed from the roll of attorneys in the second district, had himself written the letter and used means to procure his brother s signature with the object of being admitted to practice in the first dis trict; the threefold purpose being gained of exculpa ting Strong, undoing the acts of Pratt, and replacing Chapman on the roll of attorneys.* 5

A majority of the legislative assembly having con vened at Salem, that body organized by electing Samuel Parker president of the council, and Richard J. White, chief clerk, assisted by Chester N. Terry and Thomas B. Micou. In the house of representatives William M. King was elected speaker, and Benjamin F. Harding chief clerk. Having spent several days in making and adopting rules of procedure, on the 5th of December the representatives informed the council of their appointment of a committee, consisting of Cole, Anderson, Drew, White, and Chapman, to act in conjunction with a committee from the council, to draft resolutions concerning the course pursued by the federal officers. 46 The message of the representa tives was laid on the table until the 8th. In the mean time Deady offered a resolution in the council that, in view of the action of Nelson and Strong, a memorial be sent to congress on the subject. Hall followed this resolution with another, that Hamil ton, secretary of the territory, should be informed that the legislative assembly was organized at Salem,

and that his services as secretary were required at the


45 Or. Statesman, Feb. 3, 1852.

    • Ur. Council, Jour. 1851-2, 10.



place named, which was laid on the table. Finally, on the 9th, a committee from both houses to draft a memorial to congress was appointed, consisting of Curry, Anderson, and Avery, on the part of the representatives, and Garrison, Waymire, and Humph rey, on the part of the council. 47

Pratt s opinion in the matter was then asked, which sustained the legislature as against the judges. Hec tor vvas then ordered to bring the territorial library from Oregon City to Salem on or before the first day of January 1852, which was not permitted by the federal officers. 48

The legislators then passed an act re-arranging the judicial districts, and taking the counties of Linn, Marion, and Lane from the first and attaching them to the second district. 49 This action was justified by the Statesman, on the ground that Judge Nelson had proclaimed that he should decree all the legislation of the session held at Salem null. On the other hand the people of the three counties mentioned, excepting a small minority, held them to be valid; and it was better that Pratt should administer the laws peace fully than that Nelson should, by declaring them void, create disorder, and cause dissatisfaction. The latter was, therefore, left but one county, Clackamas, in which to administer justice. But the nullifiers, as the whig officials came now to be called, were not

<7 Or. Council, Jour. 1851-2, 12-13. This committee appears to have been intended to draft a memorial on general subjects, as the memorial concerning the interference of the governor and the condition of the judiciary was drawn by a different committee.

48 The Statesman of July 3d remarked: The territorial library, the gift of congress to Oregon, became the property, to all intents and purposes, of the federal clique, who refused to allow the books to be removed to Salem, and occupied the library room daily with a librarian of the governor s appointing. A full account of the affair was published in a little sheet called Vox Popu/i, printed at Salem, and devoted to legislative proceedings and the location question. The first number was issued on the 18th of December 1851. The standing advertisement at the head of the local column was as follows: The Vox Populi will be published and edited at Salem, O. T., during the session of the legislative assembly by an association of gentlemen. This little paper contained a great deal that was personally disagreeable to the federal officers.

49 Deady y Hist. Or., MS., 27-8; Strong s llist. Or., MS., 62-3; Graver s Pub. Life in Or., MS., 53.



without their friends. The Oregonian, which was the accredited organ of the federal clique, was loud in condemnation of the course pursued by the legisla tors, while the Spectator, which professed to be an in dependent paper, weakly supported Governor Gaines and Chief Justice Nelson. Even in the legislative body itself there was a certain minority who protested against the acts of the majority, not on the subject of the location act alone, or the change in the judicial districts, leaving the chief justice one county only for his district, but also on account of the memorial to congress, prepared by the joint committee from both houses, setting forth the condition of affairs in the territory, and asking that the people of Oregon might be permitted to elect their governor, secretary, and judges.

The memorial passed the assembly almost by accla mation, three members only voting against it, one of them protesting formally that it was a calumnious document. The people then took up the matter, pub lic meetings being held in the different counties to approve or condemn the course of the legislature, a large majority expressing approbation of the assembly and censuring the whig judges. A bill was finally passed calling for a constitutional convention in the event of congress refusing to entertain their petition to permit Oregon to elect her governor and judges. This important business having been disposed of, the legislators addressed themselves to other matters. Lane w 7 as instructed to ask for an amendment to the land law; for an increase in the number of councilmen in proportion to the increase of representatives; to procure the immediate survey of Yaquina Bay and Umpqua River; to procure the auditing and payment of the Cayuse war accounts; to have the organic act amended so as to allow the county commissioners to locate the school lands in legal subdivisions or in frac tions lying between claims, without reference to size or shape, where the sixteenth and thirty-s ixth sec-



tions were already settled upon; to have the postal agent in Oregon 50 instructed to locate post-offices and establish mail routes, so as to facilitate correspondence with different portions of the territory, instead of aiming to increase the revenue of the general govern- ment; to endeavor to have the mail steamship con tract complied with in the matter of leaving a mail at the mouth of the Umpqua River, and to procure the change of the port of entry on that river from Scotts- burg to Umpqua City. Last of all, the delegate was requested to advise congress of the fact that the ter ritorial secretary, Hamilton, refused to pay the legis lators their dues; and that it was feared the money had been expended in some other manner.

Several new counties were created at this session, raising the whole number to sixteen. An act to create and organize Simmons out of a part of Lewis county was amended to make it Thurston county, and the eastern limits of Lewis were altered and defined. 51 Douglas was organized out of Umpqua county, leav ing the latter on the coast, while the Umpqua Valley constituted Douglas. The countv of Jackson was

O v

also created out of the southern portion of the former Umpqua county, comprising the valley of the Rogue River, 52 and it was thought the Shasta Valley. These two new countries were attached to Umpqua for judi cial purposes, by which arrangement the Second Judi cial district was made to extend from the Columbia River to the California boundary. 53

50 The postal agent was Nathaniel Coe, who was made the subject of invid ious remark, being a presidential appointee.

51 The boundaries are not given in the reports. They were subsequently changed when Washington was set off. See Or. Local Laws, 1851-2, 13-15, 30; New Tacoma North Pacific Coast, Dec. 15, 1879.

52 A resolution was passed by the assembly that the surveyor-general be required to take measures to ascertain whether the town known as Shasta Butte City j(Yreka) was in Oregon or not, and to publish the result of his observations in the Statesman. Or. Council, Jour. 1851-2, 53.

53 The first term of the United States district court held at the new court-house in Cyntheann was in October 1851. At this term James Mc- Cabe, B. F. Harding, A. B. P. Wood, J. W. Nesmith, and W. G. T Vault were admitted to practice in the Second Judicial district. McCabe was appointed prosecuting attorney, Holbrook having gone on a visit to the



The legislature provided for taking the census in order to apportion representatives, and authorized the county commissioners to locate the election districts; and to act as school commissioners to establish com mon schools. A board of three commissioners, Har rison Linnville, Sidney Ford, and Jesse Applegate, was appointed to select and locate two townships of land to aid in the establishment of a university, ac cording to the provisions of the act of congress of Sep tember 27, 1850.

An act was passed, of which Waymire was the author, accepting the Oregon City claim according to the act of donation, and also creating the office of commissioner to control and sell the lands donated by congress for the endowment of a university; but it became of no effect through the failure of the assem bly to appoint such an officer. 54 Deady was the author of an act exempting the wife s half of a donation claim from liability for the debts of the husband, which was passed, and which has saved the homesteads of many families from sheriff s sale.

Among the local laws were two incorporating the Oregon academy at Lafayette, and the first Methodist church at Salem. 55 In order to defeat the federal

States. J. W. Nesmith was appointed master and commissioner in chancery, and J. H. Lewis commissioner to take bail. Lewis, familiarly known as Uncle Jack, came to Oregon in 1847 and settled on La Creole, on a farm, later the property of John M. Scott, on which a portion of the town of Dallas is located. Upon the resignation of H. M. Weller, county clerk, in August 1851, Lewis was appointed in his place, and subsequently elected to the office by the people. His name is closely connected with the history of the county and of Dallas. The first term of the district court held in any part of southern Oregon was at Yoncalla, in the autumn of 1852. Gibbs Notes, MS., 15. The tirst courts in Jackson county about 1851-2 were held by justices of the peace called alcaldes, as in California. Rogers was the first, Abbott the second. It was not known at this time whether Rogue River Valley fell within the limits of California or Oregon, and the jurisdiction being doubtful the miners improvised a government. See Popular Tribunals, vol. i., this series; Prim s Judicial Affairs, MS., 7-10; Jacksonville Dem. Times, April 8, 1871; Richardson s Mississippi, 407; Overland Monthly, xii. 225-30. Pratt left Oregon in 1856 to reside in Cal. He had done substantial pioneer work on the bench, and owing to his conspicuous career he had been criticised doubtless through partisan feeling.

54 For act see Or. Statesman, Feb. 3, 1852.

35 Trustees of Oregon academy: Ahio S. Watt, R. P. Boise, James McBride, A. J. Hembree, Edward Geary, James W. Nesmith, Matthew P. Deady, R.



i

officers in their effort to deprive the legislators of the use of the territorial library, an act was passed re quiring a five thousand dollar bond to be given by the librarian, who was elected by the assembly. 56

Besides the memorial concerning the governor and judges, another petition addressed to congress asked for better mail facilities with a post-office at each court-house in the several counties, and a mail route direct from San Francisco to Puget Sound, showing the increasing settlement of that region. It was asked that troops be stationed in the Rogue River Valley, and at points between Fort Hall and The Dalles for the protection of the immigration, which this year suffered several atrocities at the hands of the Indians on this portion of the route; that the pay of the revenue officers be increased; 57 and that an ap propriation be made to continue the geological survey of Oregon already begun.

Having elected R. P. Boise district -attorney for the first and second judicial districts, and I. N. Ebey to the same office for the third district; reflected Bush territorial printer, and J. D. Boon territorial treasurer, 58 the assembly adjourned on the 21st of January, to carry on the war against the federal offi cers in a different field. 59

C. Kinney, and Joel Palmer. Or. Local Laws, 1851-2, 62-3. The Meth odist church in Oregon City was incorporated in May 1850.

56 Ludwell Rector was elected. The former librarian was a young man who came out with Gaines, and placed in that position by him while he held the clerkship of the surveyor-general s office, and also of the supreme court. Or. Statesman, Feb. 3, 1852.

57 See memorial of J. A. Anderson of Clatsop County in Or. Statesman, Jan. 20, 1852.

58 J. D. Boon was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher, a plain, unlearned man, honest and fervent, an immigrant of 1845. He was for many years a resident of Salem, and held the office of treasurer for several terms. Deady x Scrap Book, 87.

59 There were in this legislature a few not heretofore specially mentioned. J. M. Garrison, one of the 7nen of 1843, before spoken of, was born in Indiana in 1813, and was a farmer in Marion county. Wilie Chapman, also of Marion, was born in South Carolina in 1817, reared in Term., and came to Oregon in 1847. He kept a hotel at Salem. Luther White, of Linn, preacher and farmer, was born in 1797 in Ky, and immigrated to Oregon in 1847. A. J. Hembree, of the immigration of 1843, was born in Term, in 1813; was a merchant and farmer in Yamhill. James S. Holman, an immigrant of 18 47,



From the adjournment of the legislative assembly great anxiety was felt as to the action of congress in the matter of the memorial. Meanwhile the news paper war was waged with bitterness and no great attention to decency. Seldom was journalism more completely prostituted to party and personal issues than in Oregon at this time and for several years thereafter. Private character and personal idiosyn crasies were subjected to the most scathing ridicule.

With regard to the truth of the allegations brought against the unpopular officials, from the evidence be fore me, there is no doubt that the governor was vain and narrow-minded ; though of course his enemies ex aggerated his weak points, while covering his credit able ones, 60 and that to a degree his official errors could not justify, heaping ridicule upon his past mili tary career, as well as blame upon his present guberna torial acts/ 1 and accusing him of everything dishonest,

was born in Tenn. in 1813; a farmer in Polk. David S. Risdon was born in Vt in 1823, came to Oregon in 1850; lawyer by profession. John A. Ander son was born in Ky in 1824, reared in north Miss., and came to Oregon in 1850; lawyer and clerk in the custom-house at Astoria. James Davidson, born in Ky in 1792; emigrated thence in 1847; housejoiner by occupation. George E. Cole, politician, born in New York in 1820; emigrated thence in 1850 by the way of California. He removed to Washington in 1858, and was sent as a delegate to congress; but afterward returned to Oregon, and held the office of postmaster at Portland from 1873 to 1881.

60 App/cgate s Views of Hist., MS., 48. Gaines assaulted Bush in the street on two occasions; once for accidentally jostling him, and again for something said in the Statesman. See issues of Jan. 27th and June 29, 1852. A writer calling himself A Kentuckian had attacked the governor s exercise of the pardoning power in the case of Enoch Smith, reminding his excellency that Kentucky, which produced the governor, produced also nearly all the murderers in Oregon, namely, Keen, Kendall, Turner, the two Evermans, and Smith. Common sense, sir, said this correspondent, should teach you that the prestige of Kentucky origin will not sustain you in your mental imbecility; and that Kentucky aristocracy, devoid of sense and virtue, will not pass cur rent in this intelligent market. Or . Statesman, June 15, 1852.

61 John P. Gaines was born in Augusta, Va, in September 1795, removing to Boone county, Ky, in early youth. He volunteered in the war of 1812, being in the battle of the Thames and several other engagements. He rep resented Boone county for several years in the legislature of Ky, and was subsequently sent to congress from 1847 to 1849. He was elected major of the Ky cavalry, and served in the Mexican war until taken prisoner at Encarnacion. After some months of captivity he escaped, and joining the army served to the end of the war. On his return from Mexico, Taylor appointed him governor of Oregon. When his term expired he retired upon a farm in Marion county, where he resided till his death in December 1857. 8. F. Alia, Jan. 4, 1858.



from drawing his family stores from the quarter-mas ter s department at Vancouver, to re-auditing and changing the values of the certificates of the commis sioners appointed to audit the Cayuse war claims, and retaining the same to use for political purposes; 62 the truth being that these claims were used by both par ties. Holbrook, the United States attorney, was charged with dishonesty and with influencing both the governor and judges, and denounced as being responsible for many of their acts; 63 a judgment to which subsequent events seemed to give color.

At the regular term, court was held in Marion county. Nelson repaired to Salem, and was met by a committee with offensive resolutions passed at a public meeting, and with other tokens of the spirit in which an attempt to defy the law of the territory, as passed at the last session, would be received. 64 Mean time the opposing parties had each had a hearing at

62 Or. Statesman, Nov. 6, 1852; Id., Feb. 26, 1853. Whether or not this was true, Lane procured an amendment to the former acts of congress in order to make up the deficiency said to have been occasioned by the alteration of the certificates. Cong. Globe, 1852-3, app. 341; 33d Cong., 1st Sess., PI. Com. Kept. 122, 4-5.

63 Memorial, in 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Misc. Doc. 9, 2; Or. Statesman, May 18, 1852.

64 The ridicule, however, was not all on one side. There appeared. in the Orec/onian, and afterward in pamphlet form, with a dedication to the editors of Vox Populi, a satire written in dramatic verse, and styled a Melodrama, illustrated with rude wood-cuts, and showing considerable ability both for composition and burlesque. This publication, both on account of its political effect and because it was the first book written and published in Oregon of an original nature, deserves to be remembered. It contained 32 double-col umned pages, divided into five acts. The persons satirized were Pratt, Beady, Lovejoy, King, Anderson, Avery, Waymire, Parker, Thornton, Will- son, Bush, Backenstos, and Waterman of the Portland Times. The author was William L. Adams, an immigrant of 1848, a native of Painesville, Ohio, where he was born Feb. 1821. His parents removed to Michigan in 1834. In 1835 Adams entered college at Canton, 111.; going afterward to Galesburg, supporting himself by teaching in the vacations. He finished his studies at Bethany College, Va, and became a convert to the renowned Alexander Campbell. In 1845 he married OliviaGoodell, a native of Maine, and settled in Henderson County, 111. , from which state he came to Oregon. He taught school in Yamhill county, and was. elected probate judge. He was of fered a press at Oregon City if he would establish a whig newspaper at that place, which he declined; but in 1858 he purchased the Spectator press and helped materially to found the present republican party of Oregon. He was rewarded with the collectorship at Astoria under Lincoln. Portland West Shore, May, 1876.



Washington. The legislative memorial and commu nications from the governor and secretary were spread before both houses of congress. 65 The same mail which conveyed the memorial conveyed a copy of the location act, the governor s message on the subject, the opinion of Attorney-General Crittenden, and the opinions of the district judges of Oregon. The presi dent in order to put an end to the quarrel recom mended congress to fix the seat of government of Oregon either temporarily or permanently, and to approve or disapprove the laws passed at Salem, in conformity to their decision 66 in favor of or against that place for the seat of government. To disapprove the action of the assembly would be to cause the nullification of many useful laws, and to create pro tracted confusion without ending the political feud. Accordingly congress confirmed the location and other laws passed at Salem, by a joint resolution, and the president signed it on the 4th of May. 67

Thus far the legislative party was triumphant. The imported officials had been rebuked; the course of Governor Gaines had been commented on by many of the eastern papers in no flattering terms; and let ters from their delegate led them to believe that congress might grant the amendments asked to the organic act, permitting them to elect their governor and judges. The house did indeed on the 22d of June pass a bill to amend, 68 but no action was taken upon it in the senate, though a motion was made to return it, with other unfinished business, at the close of the session, to the files of the senate.

The difference between the first Oregon delegate and the second was very apparent in the management

65 S2d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Jour., 339; Cong. Globe, 1851-2, 451, 771; 32d Cony:, 1st Sess., H. Misc. Doc. 10; S2d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 94, 29.

    • W Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 94, 1-2; and Id., 96, 1-8; Location

Law, 1-39. The Location Law is a pamphlet publication containing the documents on this subject.

61 Cong. Globe, 1851-2, 1199, 1209; 32d Cong., 1st Sess., S. Jour., Or. Statesman, June 29, 1852; Or. Gen. Laws, 1845-64, 71.

    • 32d Cong., 1st Sess., Cong. Globe, 1851-2, 1594.



of this business. Had Thurston been charged by his party to procure the passage of this amendment, the journals of the house would have shown some bold and fiery assaults upon established rules, and proofs positive that the innovation was necessary to the peace and prosperity of the territory. On the con trary, Lane was betrayed by his loyalty to his per sonal friends into seeming to deny the allegations of his constituents against the judiciary.

The location question led to the regular organiza tion of a democratic party in Oregon in the spring of 1852, forcing the whigs to nominate a ticket. The democrats carried the election; and soon after this triumph came the official information of the action of congress on the location law, when Gaines, with that want of tact which rendered abortive his administra tion, was no sooner officially informed of the confirma tion of the laws of the legislative assembly and the settlement of the seat-of-govermnent question than he issued a proclamation calling for a special session of the legislature to commence on the 26th of July. In obedience to the call, the newly elected members, many of whom were of the late legislative body, assembled at Salem, and organized by electing Deady president of the council, and Harding speaker of the house. With the same absence of discretion the governor in his message, after congratulating them on the settle ment of a vexed question, informed the legislature that it was still a matter of grave doubt to what ex tent the location act had been confirmed; and that even had it been wholly and permanently established, it was still so defective as to require further legisla tion, for which purpose he had called them together, though conscious it was at a season of the year when to attend to this important duty would seriously in terfere with their ordinary avocations; yet he hoped they would be willing to make any reasonable sacri fice for the general good. The defects in the location



act were pointed out, and they were reminded that no sites for the public buildings had jet been selected, and until that was done no contracts could be let for beginning the work; nor could any money be drawn from the sums appropriated until the commissioners were authorized by law to call for it. He also called their attention to the necessity of re-arranging the judicial districts, and reminded them of the incon gruous condition of the laws, recommending the ap pointment of a board for their revision, with other suggestions, good enough in themselves, but distaste ful as corning from him under the circumstances, and at an unusual and inconvenient time. In this mood the assembly adjourned sine die on the third day, with out having transacted any legislative business, and the seat-of-government feud became quieted for a time.

This did not, however, end the battle. The chief justice refused to recognize the prosecuting attorney elected by the legislative assembly, in the absence of Amory Halbrook, and appointed S. B. Mayre, who acted in this capacity at the spring term of court in Clackamas county. The law of the territory re quiring indictments to be signed by this officer, it was apprehended that on account of the irregular proceed ings of the chief justice many indictments would be quashed. In this condition of affairs the democratic press was ardently advocating the election of Frank lin Pierce, the party candidate for the presidency of the United States, as if the welfare of the territory depended upon the executive being a democrat. Al though the remainder of Games administration was more peaceful, he never became a favorite of either faction, and great was the rejoicing when at the close of his delegateship Lane was returned to Oregon as governor, to resign and run again for delegate, leav ing his secretary, George L. Curry, one of the Salem clique, as the party leaders came to be denominated, to rule according to their promptings.

CHAPTER VI.

J

DISCOVERY OF GOLD IN OREGON. 1850-1852.

POLITICS AND PROSPECTING IMMIGRATION AN ERA OF DISCOVERY EX PLORATIONS ON THE SOUTHERN OREGON SEABOARD THE CALIFORNIA COMPANY THE SCHOONER SAMUEL ROBERTS AT THE MOUTHS OF ROGUE RIVER AND THE UMPQUA MEETING WITH THE OREGON PARTY LAYING-OUT OF LANDS AND TOWN SITES FAILURE OF THE UMPQUA COMPANY THE FINDING OF GOLD IN VARIOUS LOCALITIES THE MAIL SERVICE EFFORTS OF THURSTON IN CONGRESS SETTLEMENT OF PORT ORFORD AND DISCOVERY OF Coos BAY THE COLONY AT PORT ORFORD INDIAN ATTACK THE T VADLT EXPEDITION MASSACRE GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE.

WHILE politics occupied so much attention, the country was making long strides in material progress. The immigration of 1850 to the Pacific coast, by the overland route alone, amounted to between thirty and forty thousand persons, chiefly men. Through the exertions of the Oregon delegate, in and out of con gress, about eight thousand were persuaded to settle in Oregon, where they arrived after undergoing more than the usual misfortunes. Among other things was cholera, from which several hundred died between the Missouri River and Fort Laramie. 1 The crowded condition of the road, which was one cause of the pestilence, occasioned delays with the consequent ex haustion of supplies. 2 The famine becoming known in Portland, assistance was forwarded to The Dalles

1 White, in Camp Fire Orations, MS., 9-10; DowelVs Journal, MS., 5; Johnson s Cal. and Or., 255; Or. Spectator, Sept. 26, 1850.

2 Says one of the sufferers: I saw men who had been strong stout men walking along through the hot desert sands, crying like children with fatigue, hunger, and despair. Cardwell s Emig. ComjSy, MS., 1.

(174)

IMMIGRATION OF 1850. 175

military post, and thence carried forward and distrib uted by army officers and soldiers. Among the arrivals were many children, made orphans en route, and it was in the interest of these and like helpless ones that Frederick Waymire petitioned congress to amend the land law, as mentioned in the previous chapter. Those who came this year were bent on speculation more than any who had come before them; the gold fever had unsettled ideas of plodding industry and slow accumulation. Some came for pleasure and ob servation. 3

Under the excitement of gold-seeking and the spirit of adventure awakened by it, all the great north-western seaboard was opened to settlement with marvellous rapidity. A rage for discovery and pros pecting possessed the people, and produced in a short time marked results. From the Klamath River to Puget Sound, and from the upper Columbia to the sea, men were spying out mineral wealth or laying plans to profit by the operations of those who pre ferred the risks of the gold-fields to other and more settled pursuits. In the spring of 1850 an association of seventy persons was formed in San Francisco to discover the mouth of Klamath River, believed at the

  • Among those who took the route to the Columbia River was Henry J.

Coke, an English gentleman travelling for pleasure. He arrived at Vancouver Oct. 22, 1850, and after a brief look at Oregon City sailed in the Mary Dare for the Islands, visiting San Francisco in Feb. 1851, thence proceeding to Mexico and Vera Cruz, and by the way of St Thomas back to England, all without appearing to see much, though he wrote a book called Coke s Ride. Two Frenchmen, Julius Brenchly and Jules Remy, were much interested in the Mormons, and wrote a book of not much value. Remy and Brenchly, ii. 507-8.

F. G. Hearn started from Kentucky intending to settle in Oregon, but seized by cholera was kept at Fort Laramie till the following year, when with a party of six he came on to the Willamette Valley, and finally took up his resi dence at Yreka, California. Hearrfs California Sketches, MS., is a collection of observations on the border country between California and Oregon.

Two Irishmen, Kelly and Conway, crossed the continent this year with no other supplies than they carried in their haversacks, depending on their rifles for food. They were only three months in travelling from Kansas to the Sac ramento Valley, which they entered before going to Oregon. Quigby s Irixh Race, 216-17. During Aug. and Sept. of this year Oregon was visited by the French traveller Saint Amant, who made some unimportant notes for the French government. Certain of his observations were apocryphal. See Saint Amant, 139-391.



time, owing to an error of Fremont s, to be in Oregon. The object was wholly speculative, and included be sides hunting for gold the opening of a road to the mines of northern California, the founding of towns at the most favorable points on the route, with other enterprises. In May thirty-five of the shareholders, and some others, set out in the schooner Samuel Rob erts to explore the coast near the Oregon boundary. None of them were accustomed to hardships, and not more than three knew anything about sailing a ship. Lyman, the captain and owner, was not a sailor, but left the management of the vessel to Peter Mackie, a young Canadian who understood his business, and who subsequently for many years sailed a Steamship be tween San Francisco and Portland. Lyman s second mate was an Englishman named Samuel E. Smith, also a fair seaman; while the rest of the crew were volunteers from among the schooner s company.

The expedition was furnished with a four-pound carronade and small arms. For shot they brought half a ton of nails, screws, hinges, and other bits of iron gathered from the ashes of a burned hardware store. Provisions were abundant, and two surveyors, with their instruments, were among the company/ which boasted several college graduates and men of parts. 5

By good fortune, rather than by any knowledge or superior management, the schooner passed safely up the coast as far as the mouth of Rogue River, but without having seen the entrance to the Klamath, which they looked for north of its right latitude. A

  • These were Nathan Schofield, A. M. , author of a work on surveying, and

Socrates Schofield his son, both from near Norwich, Connecticut. Schofield Creek in Douglas county is named after the latter.

5 Besides the Schofields there were in the exploring company Heman Win chester, and brother, editor of the Pacific News of San Francisco; Dr Henry Payne, of New York; Dr E. R. Fiske, of Massachusetts; S. S. Mann, a gradu ate of Harvard University; Dr J. W. Drew, of New Hampshire; Barney, of New York; Woodbury, of Connecticut; C. T. Hopkins, of San Francisco; Henry H. Woodward, Patrick Flanagan, Anthony Ten Eyck, A. G. Able, James K. Kelly, afterward a leading man in Oregon politics; Dean, Tierman, Evans, and Knight, whose names have been preserved.



boat with six men sent to examine the entrance was overturned in the river and two were drowned, the others being rescued by Indians who pulled them ashore to strip them of their clothing. The schooner meantime was following in, and by the aid of glasses it was discovered that the shore was populous with excited savages running hither and thither with such display of ferocity as would have deterred the vessel from entering had not those on board determined to rescue their comrades at any hazard. It was high tide, and by much manoeuvring the schooner was run over the bar in a fathom and a half of water. The shout of relief as they entered the river was answered by yells from the shore, where could be seen the survivors of the boat s crew, naked and half dead with cold and exhaustion, being freely handled by their captors. As soon as the vessel was well inside, two hundred natives appeared and crowded on board, the explorers being unable to prevent them. The best they could do was to feign indifference and trade the old iron for peltries. When the natives had nothing left to exchange for coveted articles, they ex hibited an ingenuity as thieves that would have done credit to a London pickpocket. Says one of the com pany: "Some grabbed the cook s towels, one bit a hole in the shirt of one of our men to get at some beads he had deposited there, and so slyly, too, that the latter did not perceive his loss at the time. One fellow stole the eye-glass of the ship s quadrant, and another made way with the surveyor s note- book. Some started the schooner s copper with their teeth; and had actually made some progress in stripping her as she lay high and dry at low water, before they were found out. One enterprising genius undertook to get possession of the chain and anchor by sawing off the former under water with his iron knife! Con scious of guilt, and fearing lest we might discover the mischief he intended us, he would now and then throw a furtive glance toward the bow of the vessel, to the

HIST. OB., VOL. II. 12



great amusement of those who were watching him through the hawse pipes."

An examination more laborious than profitable was made of the country thereabout, which seemed to offer no inducements to enterprise sufficient to war rant the founding of a settlement for any purpose. Upon consultation it was decided to continue the voyage as far north as the Umpqua River, and hav ing dispersed the tenacious thieves of Rogue River by firing among them a quantity of their miscellaneous ammunition, the schooner succeeded in getting to sea again without accident.

Proceeding up the coast, the entrance to Coos Bay was sighted, but the vessel being becalmed could not enter. While awaiting wind, a canoe approached from the north, containing Umpquas, who offered to show the entrance to their river, which was made the 5th of August. Two of the party went ashore in the canoe, returning at nightfall with reports that caused the carronade to belch forth a salute to the rocks and woods, heightened by the roar of a simultaneous dis charge of small arms. A flag made on the voyage was run up the mast, and all was hilarity on board the Samuel Roberts. On the 6th, the schooner crossed the bar, being the first vessel known to have entered the river in safety. On rounding into the cove called Winchester Bay, after one of the explorers, they came upon a party of Oregonians; Jesse Applegate, Levi Scott, and Joseph Sloan, who were themselves ex ploring the valley of the Umpqua with a purpose similar to their own. 6 A boat was sent ashore and a joyful meeting took place in which mutual encourage ment and assistance were promised. It was found that Scott had already taken a claim about twenty-six miles up the river at the place which now bears the name of Scottsburg, and that the party had come down to the mouth in the expectation of meeting

6 Or. Spectator, March 7 and Sept. 12, 1850. See also Pioneer Mag., i. 282, 350.



there the United States surveying schooner Eiving, in the hope of obtaining a good report of the harbor. But on learning the designs of the California com pany, a hearty cooperation was offered on one part, and willingly accepted on the other. Another cir cumstance in favor of the Umpqua for settlement was the peacea,ble disposition of the natives, who since the days when they murdered Jedediah Smith s party had been brought under the pacifying influ ences of the Hudson s Bay Company, and sustained a good reputation as compared with the other coast tribes.

On the morning of the 7th the schooner proceeded up the river, keeping the channel by sounding from a small boat in advance, and finding it one of the love liest of streams; 7 at least, so thought the explorers, one of whom afterward became its historian. 8 Finding

o

a good depth of water, with the tide, for a distance of eighteen miles, the boat s crew became negligent, and failing to note a gravelly bar at the foot of a bluff a thousand feet in height the schooner grounded in eight feet of water, and when the tide ebbed was left stranded. 9

However, the small boat proceeded to the fooi of the rapids, where Scott was located, this being the head of tide-water, and the vessel was afterward brought safely hither. In consideration of their services in

7 It is the largest river between the Sacramento and the Columbia. Ves sels of 800 tons can enter. Mrs Victor, in Pac. Rural Press, Nov. 8, 1879. The Umpqua is sometimes supposed to be the river discovered by Flores in 1G03, and afterwards referred to as the "River of the West." Davidson s Coast Pilot, 126.

6 This was Charles T. Hopkins, who wrote an account of the Umpqua ad venture for the S. F. Pioneer, vol. i. ii., a periodical published in the early days of California magazine literature. I have drawn my account partly from this source, as well as from Gibbs Notes on Or. Hist., MS., 2-3, and from historical Correspondence, MS., by S. S. Mann, S. F. Chadwick, H. H. Wood ward, members of the Umpqua company, and also from other sources, among which are Williams S. W. Oregon, MS., 2-3.; Letters of D. J. Lyons, and the Oregon Spectator, Sept. 5, 1850; Deady s Scrap-Book, 83; S. F. Evening Pica yune, Sept. 6, 18f>0.

9 Gibbs says: The passengers endeavored to lighten the cargo by pouring the vessel s store of liquors down their throats, from which hilarious proceed ing the shoal took the name of Brandy Bar. Notes, MS., 4.



opening the river to navigation and commerce, Scott presented the company with one hundred and sixty acres of his land-claim, or that portion lying below the rapids, for a town site. Affairs having progressed so well the members of the expedition now organized regularly into a joint stock association called the "Umpqua Town-site and Colonization Land Com pany," the property to be divided into shares and drawn by lot among the original members. They divided their forces, and aided by Applegate and Scott proceeded to survey and explore to and through the Umpqua Valley. One .party set out for the ferry on the north branch of the Umpqua, and another for the main valley, 10 coming out at Applegate s settlement of Yoncalla, while a third remained with the schooner. Three weeks of industrious search enabled them to select four sites for future settlements. One at the mouth of the river was named Umpqua City, and contained twelve hundred and eighty acres, being situated on both sides of the entrance. The second location was Scottsburg. The third, called Elkton, was situated on Elk River at its junction with the Umpqua. The fourth, at the ferry above mentioned, was named Winchester, and was purchased by the company from the original claimant, John Aiken, who had a valuable property at that place, the natural centre of the valley.

Having made these selections according to the best judgment of the surveyors, some of the company remained, while the rest reernbarked and returned to San Francisco. In October the company having sold quite a number of lots were able to begin operations in Oregon. They despatched the brig Kate Heath, Captain Thomas Wood, with milling machinery, mer chandise, and seventy-five emigrants. On this vessel were also a number of zinc houses made in Boston,

10 Oakland, a few miles south of Yoncalla, was laid out in 1849 by Chester Lyman, since a professor at Yale College. This is the oldest surveyed town in the Umpqua Valley. Or. Sketches, MS., 3.



which were put up on the site of Umpqua City. In charge of the company s business was Addison C. Gibbs, afterward governor of Oregon, who was on his way to the territory when he fell in with the projectors of the scheme, and accepted a position and shares. 11

Thus far all went well. But the Umpqua Com pany were destined to bear some of those misfortunes which usually attend like enterprises. The passage of the Oregon land law in September was the first blow, framed as it was to prevent companies or non residents from holding lands for speculative purposes, in consequence of which no patent could issue to the company, and it could give no title to the lands it was offering for sale: They might, unrebuked, have carried on a trade begun in timber; but the loss of one vessel loaded with piles, and the ruinous detention of another, together with a fall of fifty per cent in the price of their cargoes, soon left the contractors in debt, and an assignment was the result, an event hastened by the failure of the firm in San Francisco with which the company had deposited its funds. Five months after the return of the Samuel Roberts to San Frariciseo, not one of those who sailed from the river in her was in any manner connected with the Umpqua scheme. The company in California having ceased to furnish means, those left in Oregon were compelled to direct their efforts toward solving the problem of how to live. 12

11 D. C. Underwood, who had become a member of the association, was a passenger on the Kate Heath, a man well known in business and political cir cles in the state.

12 Drew remained at Umpqua City, where he was subsequently Indian agent for many years, and where he held the office of collector of customs and subsequently of inspector. He was unmarried. Marysv dle Appeal, Jan. 20, 1864. Winchester remained in Oregon, residing at Scottsburg, then at Rose- burg and Empire City. He was a lawyer, and a favorite with the bar of the Second Judicial district. He was generous in dealing, liberal in thought, of entire truth, and absolutely incorruptible. Salem Mercury, Nov. 10, 1876. Gibbs took a land claim seven miles above the mouth of the Umpqua, laying out the town of Gardiner, and residing there for several years, during which time he returned to the east and married Margaret M. Watkins, of Erie county, N. Y. Addison Crandall Gibbs, afterward governor of Oregon, was born at East Otto, Cattanuigus county, X. Y., July 9, 1825, and educated at the New York State Normal school. He became a teacher, and studied law,



But although the Umpqua Company failed to carry out its designs, it had greatly benefited southern Oregon by surveying and mapping Umpqua harbor, the notes of the survey being published, with a report of their explorations and discoveries of rich agricul tural lands, abundant and excellent timber, valuable water-power, coal and gold mines, fisheries and stone- being admitted to the bar in May 1849 at Albany. He is descended from a long line of lawyers in England ; his great grandfather was a commissioned omcer in the revolutionary war. In Oregon he acted well his part of pioneer, carrying the mail in person, or by deputy, from Yoncalla to Scottsburg for a period of four years through the noods and storms of the wild coast mount ains, never missing a trip. He was elected to the legislature of 1851-2. When Gardiner was made a port of entry, Gibbs became collector of customs for the southern district of Oregon. He afterward removed to the Umpqua Valley, and in 1858 to Portland, where he continued the practice of law. He was ever a true friend of Oregon, taking a great personal interest in her de velopment and an intelligent pride in her history. He has spared no pains in giving me information, which is embodied in a manuscript entitled. Notes on the History of Oregon.

Stephen Fowler Chadwick, a native of Connecticut, studied law in New York, where he was admitted to practice in 1850, immediately after which he set out for the Pacific coast, joining the Umpqua Company and arriving in Oregon just in time to be left a stranded speculator on the beautiful but lonely bank of that picturesque river. When the settlement of the valley increased he practised his profession with honor and profit, being elected county and probate judge, and also to represent Douglas county in the con vention which framed the state constitution. He was presidential elector in 1864 and 1868, being the messenger to carry the vote to Washington in the latter year. He was elected secretary of state in 1870, which olhce he held for eight years, becoming governor for the last two years by the resignation of Grover, who was elected to the U. S. senate. Governor Chadwick was also a distinguished member of the order of freemasons, having been grand master in the lodge of Perfection, and having received the 33d degree in the Scotch rite, as well as having been for 17 years chairman of the committee on foreign correspondence for the grand lodge of Oregon, and a favorite orator of the order. He married in ,1856 Jane A. Smith of Douglas county, a native of Virginia, by whom he has two daughters and two sous. Of a lively and ami able temper and courteous manner, he has always enjoyed a popularity inde pendent of official eminence. His contributions to this history consist of letters and a brief statement of the Public Records of the Capitol in manuscript. I shall never forget his kindness to me during my visit to Oregon in 1878. James K. Kelly was born in Center county, Penn., in 1819, educated at Prince ton college, N. J., and studied law at Carlisle law school, graduating in 1842, and practising in Lewiston, Penn., until 1849, when he started for California by way of Mexico. Not finding mining to his taste, he embarked his fortunes in the Umpqua Company. He went to Oregon City and soon came into notice. He was appointed code commissioner in 1853, as I have elsewhere mentioned, and was in the same year elected to the council, of which he was a member for four years and president for two sessions. As a military man he figured con spicuously in the Indian wars. He was a member of the constitutional con vention in 1857, and of the state senate in 18GO. In 1870 he was sent to the U. S. senate, and in 1878 was appointed chief justice of the supreme court. His political career will be more particularly noticed in the progress of this history.



quarries. These accounts brought population to that part of the coast, and soon vessels began to ply be tween San Francisco and Scottsburg. Gardiner, named after the captain of the Bostonian, which was wrecked in trying to enter the river in 1850, sprang up in 1851. In that year also a trail was constructed for pack-animals across the mountains to Winchester, 13 which became the county seat of Douglas county, with a United States land office. From Winchester the route was extended to the mines in the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys. Long trains of mules laden with goods for the mining region filed daily along the precipitous path which was dignified with the name of road, their tinkling bells striking cheerily the ear of the lonely traveller plodding his weary way to the gold-fields. Scottsburg, which was the point of departure for the pack-trains, became a commercial entrepot of importance. 14 The influence of the Ump qua interest was sufficient to obtain from congress at the session of 1850-51 appropriations for mail ser vice by sea and land, a light-house at the mouth of the river, and a separate collection district. 15

As the mines were opened permanent settlements were made upon the farming lands of southern Oregon, and various small towns were started from 1851 to

13 Winchester was laid out by Addison C. Flint, who was in Chile in 1845, to assist in the preliminary survey of the railroad subsequently built by the infamous Harry Meigs. In 1849 Flint came to California, and the following year to Oregon to make surveys for the Urapqua Company. He also laid out the town of Roseburg in 1854 for Aaron Rose, where he took up his residence in 1857. Or. Sketches, MS., 2-4.

14 Allan, McKiiilay, and McTavish of the Hudson s Bay Company opened a trading-house at Scottsburg; and Jesse Applegate also turned merchant. Applegate s manner of doing business is described by himself in Burnett s Recollection* of a Pioneer: 1 sold goods on credit to those who needed them most, not to those who \vere able to pay, lost 30,000, and quit the business.

la The steamers carrying the mails from Panama to the Columbia River were under contract to stop at the Umpqua, and one entry was made, but the steamer was so nearly wrecked that no further attempt followed. The merchants and others at Scottsburg and the lower towns, as well as at Winchester, had to wait for their letters and papers to go to Portland and be sent up the valley by the bi-monthly mail fa Yoncalla, a delay which was severely felt and impatiently resented. The legislature did not fail to repre sent the matter to congress, and Thurston did all he could to satisfy his con stituents, though he could not compel the steamship company to keep its contract or congress to annul it.



1853 in the region south of Winchester, 16 notably the town of Roseburg, founded by Aaron Rose, 17 who purchased the claim from its locators for a horse, and a poor one at that. A flouring mill was put in operation in the northern part of Umpqua Valley, and another erected during the summer of 1851 at Win chester. 18 A saw-mill soon followed in the Rogue River Valley/ many of which improvements were traceable, more or less directly, to the impetus given to settlement by the Umpqua Company.

In passing back and forth to California, the Oregon miners had not failed to observe that the same soil and geological structure characterized the valleys north of the supposed 20 northern boundary of California that

16 The first house in Rogue River Valley was built at the ferry on Rogue River established by Joel Perkins. The place was first known as Perkins Ferry, then Long s Ferry, and lastly as Vannoy s. The next settlement was at the mouth of Evans creek, a tributary of Rogue River, so called from a trader named Davis Evans, a somewhat bad character, who located there. The third was the claim of one Bills, also of doubtful repute. Then came the farm of N. C. Dean at Willow Springs, five miles north of Jacksonville, and near it the claim of A. A. Skinner, who built a house in the autumn of 1851. South of Skinner s, on the road to Yreka, was the place of Stone and Points on Wagner creek, and beyond, toward the head of the valley, those of Dunn, Smith, Russell, Barren, and a few others. Duncan s Settle ment, MS., 5-6. The author of this work, L. J. C. Duncan, was born in Tennessee in 1818. He came to California in 1849, and worked in the Mari- posa mines until the autumn of 1850, when, becoming ill, he came to Oregon for a change of climate and more settled society. In the autumn of 1851 he determined to try mining in the Shasta Valley, and also to secure aland claim in the Rogue River Valley. This he did, locating on Bear or Stuart creek, 12 miles south-east of Jacksonville, where he resided from 1851 to 1858, during which time he mined on Jackson s creek. He shared in the Indian wars which troubled the settlements for a number of years, finally establishing himself in Jacksonville in the practice of the law, and being elected to the office of judge.

" Deady s Hist. Or., MS., 72-3.

18 Or. Spectator, Feb. 10, 1852.

19 J. A. Cardwell was born in Tennessee in 1827, emigrated from Iowa to Oregon in 1850, spent the first winter in the service of Quartermaster Ingalls at Fort Vancouver, and started in the spring for California with 26 others to engage in mining. After a skirmish with the Rogue River Indians and vari ous other adventures they reached the mines at Yreka, where they worked until the dry season forced a suspension of operations, when Cardwell, with E. Emery, J. Emery, and David Hurley, went to the present site of Ashland in the Rogue River Valley, and taking up a claim erected the first saw-mill in that region early in 1852. I have derived much valuable information from Mr Cardwell concerning southern Oregon history, which is contained in a manuscript entitled Emigrant Company, in Mr Cardwell s own hand, of the incidents of the immigration of 1850, the settlement of the Rogue River Val ley, and the Indian wars which followed.

20 As late as 1854 the boundary was still in doubt. Intelligence has just



were found in the known mining regions, and prospect ing was carried on to a considerable extent early in 1850. In June two hundred miners were at work in the Umpqua Valley. 21 But little gold was found at this time, and the movement was southward, to Rogue River and Klamath. According to the best authori ties the first discovery on any of the tributaries of the Klamath was in the spring of 1850 at Salmon Creek. In July discoveries were made on the main Klamath, ten miles above the mouth of Trinity River, and in September on Scott River. In the spring of 1851 gold was found in the Shasta Valley, 22 at various places,

been received from the surveying party under T. P. Robinson, county sur veyor, who was commissioned by the governor to survey the boundary line between California and Oregon. The party were met on the mountains by several gentlemen of this city, whose statement can be relied on, when they were informed by some of the gentlemen attached to the expedition, that the disputed territory belonged to Oregon, and not California, as was generally supposed. This territory includes two of the finest districts in the country, Sailor s Diggings and Althouse Creek, besides some other minor places not of much importance to either. The announcement has caused some excitement in that neighborhood, as the miners do not like to be so suddenly transported from California to Oregon. They have heretofore voted both in California and Oregon, although in the former state it has caused several contested election cases, and refused to pay taxes to either. It is also rumored around the city, for which we will not vouch, that Yreka is in Oregon. But we hardly think it possible, from the observations heretofore taken by scientific men, which brings Yreka 15 miles within the line. Cresent City Herald, in D. Alto, Gala., June 28, 1854.

21 S. F. Courier, July 10, 1850.

22 In the early .summer of 1850 Gen. Lane, with a small party of Orego- nians, viz. John Kelly, Thomas Brown, Martin Angell, Samuel and John Simondson, and Lane s Indian servant, made a discovery on the Shasta river near where the town of Yreka was afterward built. The Indians proving troublesome the party removed to the diggings on the upper Sacramento, but not finding gold as plentiful as expected set out to prospect on Pit Paver, from which place they were driven by the Indians back to the Sacramento where they wintered, going in February 1851 to Scott River, from which locality Lane was recalled to the Willamette Valley to run for the office of delegate to congress. Speaking of the Pit river tribe, Lane says: The Pit River Indians were great thieves and murderers. They actually stole the blankets off the men in our camp, though I kept one man on guard all the time. They stole our best horse, tied at the head of my bed, which consisted of a blanket spread on the ground, with my saddle for a pillow. They sent an arrow into a miner because he happened to be rolled in his blanket so that they could not pull it from him. They caught Driscoll when out prospecting, and were hurrying him off into the mountains when my Indian boy gave the alarm and I went to his rescue. He was so frightened he could neither move nor speak, which condition of their captive impeded their progress. When I appeared he fell down in a swoon. I pointed my gun, which rested on my six-shooter, and ordered the Indians to leave. While they hesitated and were trying to flank me my Indian boy brought the canoe alongside the shore, on seeing



notably on Greenhorn Creek, Yreka, and Humbug Creek.

The Oregon miners were by this time satisfied that gold existed north of the Siskiyou range. Their ex plorations resulted in finding the metal on Big Bar of Rogue River, and in the canon of Josephine Creek. Meanwhile the beautiful and richly grassed valley of Rogue River became the paradise of packers, who grazed their mules there, returning to Scottsburg or the Willamette for a fresh cargo. In February 1852 one Sykes who worked on the place of A. A. Skinner found gold on Jackson Creek, about on the west line of the present town of Jacksonville, and soon after two packers, Cluggage and Pool, occupying themselves with prospecting while their animals were feeding, discovered Rich Gulch, half a mile north of Sykes discovery. The wealth of these mines 23 led to an irruption from the California side of the Siskiyou, and Willow Springs five miles north of Jacksonville, Pleasant Creek, Applegate Creek, and many other localities became deservedly famous, yielding well for a number of years.

Everv miner, settler, and trader in this remote in-

i/

terior region was anxious to hear from friends, home, and of the great commercial world without. As I have before said Thurston labored earnestly to show congress the necessity of better mail facilities for Ore gon, 24 the benefit intended to have been conferred

which they beat a hasty retreat thinking I was about to be reenforced. Dris- coll would never cross to the east side of the river after his adventure. Lane s Autobiography, MS., 104-5.

23 Early Affairs, MS., 10; Duncan s Southern Or., MS., 5-6; DowelVs Scrap-book, 31; Victor s Or., 334. A nugget was found in the Rogue River diggings weighing $800 and another $1300. See accounts in S. F. Alfa, Sept. 14, 1852; S. F. Pac. News, March 14, 1851; and S. F. Herald, Sept. 28, 1851.

24 In October 1845 the postmaster-general advertised for proposals to carry the United States mail from New York by Habana to the Chagre River and back; with joint or separate offers to extend the transportation to Panama and up the Pacific to the mouth of the Columbia, and thence to the Hawaiian Islands, the senate recommending a mail route to Oregon. Between 1846 and 1848 the government thought of the plan of encouraging by subsidies the



having been diverted almost entirely to California by the exigencies of the larger population and business of that state with its phenomenal growth.

The postal agent appointed at San Francisco for the Pacific coast discharged his duty by appointing postmasters, 25 but further than sending the mails to Oregon on sailing vessels occasionally he did nothing for the relief of the territory. 26 Not a mail steamer appeared on the Columbia in 1849. Thurston wrote home in December that he had been hunting up the documents relating to the Pacific mail service, and the reason why the steamers did not come to Astoria. The result of his search was the discovery that the then late secretary of the navy had agreed with Aspinwall that if he should send the Oregon mail and take the same, once a month, by sailing vessel, "at or near the mouth of the Klamath River," and would touch at San Francisco, Monterey, and San Diego free of cost to the government, he should not be required to run steamers to Oregon till after re ceiving six months notice. 27

Here were good faith and intelligence indeed I The

establishment of a line of steamers between Panamd and Oregon, by way of some port in California. At length Howland and Aspinwall agreed to carry the mails once a month, and to put on a line of three steamers of from 1,000 to 1,200 tons, giving cabin accommodations for about 25 passengers, as many it was thought as would probably go at one time, the remainder of the vessel being devoted to freight. Crosby s Statement, MS., 3. Three steamers were constructed under a contract with the secretary of the navy, viz. : the Cali fornia, 1,400 tons, with a single engine of 250 horse-power, handsomely fin ished and carrying 46 cabin and a hundred steerage passengers; the Panama- of 1,100 tons, and the Oregon of 1,200 tons, similarly built and furnished. 32d Con;/., IxtSess., S. Doc. 50; Hon. Polynesian, April 7, 1840; Otis Panama Jt. 7?. The California left port in the autumn of 1848, arriving at Val paraiso on the 20th of December, seventy-four days from New York, proceed ing thence to Callao and Panama, where passengers from New York to Habana and Chagre were awaiting her, and reaching San. Francisco on the 28th of February 1849, where she was received with great enthusiasm. She brought on this first trip over 12,000 letters. S. F. Alta California in Polynesian, April 14, 1849. See also Hist. Ceil, and Gal. Inter Pocula, this Series.

2i John Adair at Astoria, F. Smith at Portland, George L. Curry at Oregon City, and J. B. McClane, at Salem. J. C. Avery was postmaster at CorvaLlis, Jesse Applegate at Yoncalla, S. F. Chadwick at Scottsburg.

26 Or. Spectator, Nov. 29, 1849; Rept. of Gen. Smith, in 31st Cong., 1st Seas., S. Doc. 47, 107.

21 Or. Spectator, April 18, 1850.



then undiscovered mouth of the Klamath River for

a distributing point for the Oregon mail ! Thurston with characteristic energy soon procured the promise of the secretary that the notice should be immediately given, and that after June 1850 mail steamers should go "not only to Nisqually, but to Astoria." 28 The postmaster-general also recommended the reduction of the postage to California and Oregon to take effect bv the end of June 185 1. 29

n

At length in June 1850 the steamship Carolina, Captain R. L. Whiting, made her first trip to Port land with mails and passengers. 30 She was withdrawn in August and placed on the Panamd, route in order to complete the semi-monthly communication called for between that port and San Francisco. On the 1st of September the California arrived at Astoria and departed the same day, having lost three days in a heavy fog off the bar. On the 27th the Panama ar rived at Astoria, and two days later the Seagull, 31 a steam propeller. On the 24th of October the Oregon brought up the mail for the first time, and was an object of much interest on account of her name. 32 There was no regularity in arrivals or departures until the coming from New York of the Columbia,

28 This quotation refers to an effort on the part of certain persons to make Nisqually the point of distribution of the mails. The proposition was sus tained by Wilkes and Sir George Simpson. If they get ahead of me, said Thurston in his letter, they will rise early and work late.

29 Slat Cong., 2d Se.ss., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 408, 410. This favor also was chiefly the result of the representations of the Oregon delegate. A single letter from Oregon to the States cost 40 cents; from California 12^ cents, before the reduction which made the postage uniform for the Pacihc coast and fixed it at six cents a single sheet, or double the rate in the Atlantic states. Or. Statesman, May 9, 1851.

30 McCracken s Early Steamboating , MS., 7; Salem Directory, 1874, 95; Portland Orcgonian, Jan. 13, 1872. There was an incongruity in the law establishing the mail service, which provided for a semi-monthly mail to the river Chagre, but only a monthly mail from Panama up the coast. Kept, of P. M. Gen., in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 410; Or. Spectator, Aug. 8, 1850.

31 The Seagull was wrecked on the Humboldt bar on her passage to Ore gon, Feb. 26, 1852. Or. Statesman, March 2, 1852.

32 Or. Spectator, Oct. 31, 1850. The Oregon was transformed into a sail ing vessel after many years of service, and was finally sunk in the strait of Juan de Fuca by collision with the bark Ger mania in 1880. Her commander when she first came to Oregon was Lieut. Charles P. Patterson of the na vy.



brought out by Lieutenant G. W. Totten of the navy, in March 1851, and afterward commanded by William Ball. 33

The Columbia supplied a great deficiency in com munication with California and the east, though Oregon was still forced to be content with a monthly mail, \vhile California had one twice a month. The postmaster-general s direction that Astoria should be made a distributing office was a blunder that the delegate failed to rectify. Owing to the lack of navi gation by steamers on the rivers, Astoria was but a remove nearer than San Francisco, and while not quite so inaccessible as the mouth of the Klamath, was nearly so. When the post-routes w 7 ere advertised, no bids were offered for the Astoria route, and when the mail for the interior was left at that place a special effort must be made to bring it to Portland. 34

Troubled by reason of this isolation, the people of Oregon had asked over and over for increased mail facilities, and as one of the ways of obtaining them, and also of increasing their commercial opportunities, had prayed congress to order a survey of the coast, its bays and river entrances. Almost immediately

33 The Columbia was commenced in New York by a man named Hunt, who lived in Astoria, under an agreement with Coffin, Lownsdale, and Chap man, the proprietors, of Portland, to furnish a certain amount of money to build a vessel to run between San Francisco and Astoria. Hunt went east, and the keel of the vessel was laid in 1849, and he got her on the ways and ready to launch when his money gave out, and the town proprietors of Port land did not send any more. So she was sold, and Rowland and Aspinwall bought her for this trade themselves . . . She ran regularly once a mouth from San Francisco to Portland, carrying the mails and passengers. She was very stanchly built, of 700 tons register, would carry 50 or 60 cabin passengers, with about as many in the steerage, and cost $150,000. N. Y. Tribune, in Or. Spectator, Dec. 12, 1850; Dandy s Hist. Or., MS., 10-11.

34 The postal agent appointed in 1851 was Nathaniel Coe, a man of high character and scholarly attainments, as well as religious habits. He was a native of Morristown, New Jersey, born September 11, 1788, a whig, and a member of the Baptist church. In his earlier years he represented Alleghany county, New York, in the state legislature. When his term of office in Oregon expired he remained in the country, settling on the Columbia River near the mouth of Hood River, on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. His mental energy was such, that neither the rapid progress of the sciences of our time, nor his own great age of eighty, could check his habits of study. The ripened fruits of scholarship that resulted appeared as bright as ever even in the last weeks of his life. He died at Hood River, his residence, October 17, 1868. Vancouver Register, Nov. 7, 1868; Dalles Mountaineer, Oct. 23, 1868.



upon the organization of the territory, Professor A. D. Bache, superintendent of the United States coast survey, was notified that he would be expected to commence the survey of the coast of the United States on the Pacific. A corps of officers was se lected and divided into two branches, one party to conduct the duties of the service on shore, and the other to make a hydrographical survey.

The former duty devolved upon assistant-superin tendent, James S. Williams, Brevet-Captain D. P. Hammond, and Joseph S. Ruth, sub-assistant. The naval survey was conducted by Lieutenant W. P. McArthur, in the schooner Ewing, which was com manded by Lieutenant Washington Bartlett of the United States navy. The time of their advent on the coast was an unfortunate one, the spring of 1849, when the gold excitement was at its height, prices of labor and living extortionate, and the difficulty of restraining men on board ship, or in any service, excessive, the officers having to stand guard over the men, 35 or to put to sea to prevent desertions.

So many delays were experienced from these and other causes that nothing was accomplished in 1849, and the Swing wintered at the Hawaiian Islands, returning to San Francisco for her stores in the spring, and again losing some of her men. On the 3d of April, Bartlett succeeded in getting to sea with men enough to work the vessel, though some of these were placed in irons on reaching the Columbia River. The first Oregon newspaper which fell under Bart- lett s eye contained a letter of Thurston s, in which he reflected severely on the surveying expedition for neglect to proceed with their duties, which was sup plemented by censorious remarks by the editor. To

35 A mutiny occurred in which Passed Midshipman Gibson was nearly drowned in San Francisco Bay by five of the seamen. They escaped, were pursued, captured, and sentenced to death by a general court-martial. Two were hanged on board the Ewing and the others on the St Mary s, a ship of the U. S. squadron. Letter of Lieut. Bartlett, in Or. Spectator \ June 27, 1850; Lawso/fsAutobiog., MS., 2; Davidson s Biography.



these attacks Bartlet t replied through the same medium, and took occasion to reprove the Oregonians for their lack of enterprise in failing to sustain a pilot service at the mouth of the Columbia, which service, since the passage of the pilotage act, had received little encouragement or support, 36 and also for giving countenance to the desertion of his men.

The work accomplished by the Ewing during the summer w r as the survey of the entrance to the Colum bia, the designation of places for buoys to mark the channel, of a site for a light-house on Cape Disap pointment, and the examination of the coast south of the Columbia. The survey showed that the "rock- ribbed and iron-bound" shore of Oregon really was a beach of sand from Point Adams to Cape Arago, a distance of one hundred and sixty-five miles, only thirty- three miles of that distance being cliffs of rock where the ocean touched the shore. From Cape Arago to the forty-second parallel, a distance of eighty-five miles, rock was found to predominate,

36 Capt White, a New York pilot, conceived the idea of establishing himself and a corps of competent assistants at the mouth of the Columbia, thereby conferring a great benefit on Oregon commerce, and presumably a reasonable amount of reward upon himself. But his venture, like a great many others prc jected from the other side of the continent, was a failure. On bring ing his fine pilot-boat, the Wm G. Hagstaff, up the coast, in September 1849, he attempted to enter Rogue River, but got aground on the bar, was attacked by the Indians, and himself and associates, with their men, driven into the mountains, where they wandered for eighteen days in terrible destitution before reaching Fort Umpqua, at which post they received succor. The II a< j staff was robbed and burned; her place being supplied by another boat called the Mary Taylor. The Pioneer, i. 351; Davidson s Coast Pilot, 112- 13; Williams S. W. Or., MS. 2. It was the neglect of the Oregonians to make good the loss of Captain White, or a portion of it, to which Bartlett referred. For the year during which White had charge of the bar pilot age G9 vessels of from 60 to 650 tons crossed in all 128 times. The only loss of a vessel in that time was that of the Josephine, loaded with lumber of the Oregon Milling Company. She was becalmed on the bar, and a gale coming up in the night she dragged her anchor and was carried on the sands, where she was dismasted and abandoned. She afterward floated out to sea, being a total loss. George Gibbs, in Or. Spectator, May 2, 1850. The pilot commis sioners, consisting at this time of Gov. Lane and captains Couch and Crosby, made a strong appeal in behalf of White, but he was left to bear his losses and go whither he pleased. Johnson s Cal. and Or., 254-5; Carrol s Star of the West, 290-5; Stevens, in Pac. H. R. Sept., i. 109, 291-2, 615-16; Poly nesian, July 20, 1850. The merchants finally advanced the pay of pilots so as to be remunerative, after which time little was heard about the terrors of the Columbia bar.



there being only fifteen miles of sand on this part of the coast. 37 Little attention was given to any bay or stream north of the Umpqua, McArthur offering it as his opinion that they were accessible by small boats alone, except Yaquina, which might, he conjectured, be entered by vessels of a larger class.

It will be remembered that the Samuel Roberts entered the Umpqua August 6, 1850, and surveyed the mouth of the river, and the river itself to Scotts- burg. As the Ewing did not leave the Columbia until the 7th, McArthur s survey was subsequent to this one. He crossed the bar in the second cutter and not in the schooner; and pronounced the channel practicable for steamers, but dangerous for sailing vessels, unless under favorable circumstances. Slight examination was made of Coos Bay, an opinion being formed from simply looking at the mouth that it would be found available for steamers. The Coquille Biver was said to be only large enough for canoes; and Rogue River also unfit for sailing vessels, being so narrow as to scarcely afford room to turn in. So much for the Oregon coast. As to the Klamath, while it had more water on the bar than any river south of the Columbia, it was so narrow and so rapid as to be unsafe for sailing vessels. 38

This was a very unsatisfactory report for the pro jectors of seaport towns in southern Oregon. It was almost equally disappointing to the naval and post- office departments of the general government, and to the mail contractors, who were then still anxious to avoid running their steamers to the Columbia, and determined if possible to find a different mail route. The recommendation of the postmaster-general at the instance of the Oregon delegate, that they should be required to leave the mail at Scottsburg, as I have mentioned, induced them to make a special effort to

87 Coast Survey, 1850, 70; S. F. Pac. News, Jan. 18, 1851. 38 McArthur died in 1851 while on his way to Panamd and the east. Law~ son s Autobiog., MS., 26.



found a settlement on the southern coast which would enable them to avoid the bar of the Uinpqua.

The place selected was on a small bay about eight miles south of Cape Blanco, and a little south of Point Orford. Orders were issued to Captain Tichenor 39 of the Seagull, which was running to Portland, to put in at this place, previously visited by him, 41 and there leave a small colony of settlers, who were to examine the country for a road into the interior. Accord ingly in June 1851 the Seagull stopped at Port Or ford, as it was named, and left there nine men, com manded by J. M. Kirkpatrick, with the necessary stores and arms. A four-pounder was placed in position on the top of a high rock with one side sloping to the sea, and which at high tide became an island by the united waters of the ocean and a small creek which flowed by its base.

While the steamer remained in port, the Indians, of whom there were many in the neighborhood, ap peared friendly. But on the second day after her departure, about forty of them held a war-dance, dur ing which their numbers were constantly augmented by arrivals from the heavily wooded and hilly country back from the shore. When a considerable force was gathered the chief ordered an advance on the fortified

39 William Tichenor was born in Newark, N. J., June 13, 1813, his ances tor Daniel Tichenor being one of the original proprietors of that town. He followed the sea," making his tirst voyage in 1825. In 1833 he married and went to Indiana, but could not remain in the interior. After again making a sea voyage he tried living in Edgar county, Illinois, where he represented the ninth senatorial district. In 1846 he recruited two companies for the regiment commanded by Col. E. D. Baker, whom he afterward helped to elect to the U. S. senate from Oregon. Tichenor came to the Pacific coast in 1849, and having mined for a short time on the American River, purchased the schooner J. M. Ityerson, and sailed for the gulf of California, exploring the coast to San Francisco and northward, discovering the bay spoken of above. He finally settled at Port Orford, and was three times elected to the lower house of the Oregon legislature, and once to the senate. He took up the study of law and practised for 16 years, and was at one time county judge of Curry county. Yet during all this time he never quite gave up sea faring. Letter of Tichenor, in Historical Correspondence, MS.

40 Port Orford was established and owned by Capt. Tichenor, T. Butler King, collector of the port of San Francisco, James Gamble, Fred M. Smith,

M. Hubbard, and W. G. T Vault. Or. Statesman, Aug. 19, ISol. HIST. On., VOL. II. 13



rock of the settlers, who motioned them to keep back or receive their fire. But the savages, ignorant per haps of the use of cannon, continued to come nearer until it became evident that a hand-to-hand conflict would soon ensue. When one of them had seized a musket in the hands of a settler, Kirkpatrick touched a fire-brand to the cannon, and discharged it in the midst of the advancing multitude, bringing several to the ground. The men then took aim and shot six at the first fire. Turning on those nearest with their guns clubbed, they were able to knock down several, and the battle was won. In fifteen minutes the Indians had twenty killed and fifteen wounded. Of the white men four were wounded by the arrows of the savages which fell in a shower upon them. The Indians were permitted to carry off their dead, and a lull followed.

But the condition of the settlers was harassing. They feared to leave their fortified camp to explore for a road to the interior, and determined to await the return of the Seagull, which was to bring an other company from San Francisco. At the end of five days the Indians reappeared in greater force, and seeing the white men still in possession of their stronghold and presenting a determined front, retired a short distance down the coast to hold a war-dance and work up courage. The settlers, poorly supplied with ammunition, wished to avoid another conflict in which they might be defeated, and taking advantage of the temporary absence of the foe essayed to es cape to the woods, carrying nothing but their arms.

It was a bold and desperate movement but it proved successful. Travelling as rapidly as possible in the almost tropical jungle of the Coast Range, and keep ing in the forest for the first five or six miles, they emerged at night on the beach, and by using great caution eluded their pursuers. On coming to Coquille River, a village of about two hundred Indians was

/ o

discovered on the bank opposite, which they avoided



by going up the stream for several miles and crossing it on a raft. To be secure against a similar en counter, they now kept to the woods for two days, though by doing so they deprived themselves of the only food, except salmon berries, which they had been able to find. At one place they fell in with a small band of savages whom they frightened away by charg ing toward them. Again emerging on the beach they lived on mussels for four days. The only as sistance received was from the natives on Cowan River which empties into Coos Bay. These people were friendly, and fed and helped them on their way. On the eighth day the party reached the mouth of the Umpqua, where they were kindly cared for by the settlers at that place. 41

When Tichenor arrived at San Francisco, he pro ceeded to raise a party of forty men to reenforce his settlement at Port Orford, to which he had promised to return by the 23d of the month. The Seagull being detained, he took passage on the Columbia, Captain Le Roy, and arrived at Port Orford as agreed, on the 23d, being surprised at not seeing any of his men on shore. He immediately landed, how ever, with Le Roy and eight others, and saw provis ions and tools scattered over the ground, and on every side the signs of a hard struggle. On the ground was a diary kept by one of the party, in which the begin ning of the first day s battle was described, leaving off abruptly where the first Indian seized a comrade s gun. Hence it was thought that all had been killed, and the account first published of the affair set it down as a massacre; a report which about one week later was corrected by a letter from Kirkpatrick, who, after giving a history of his adventures, concluded

41 Williams S. W. Oregon, MS., 1-6; Alta California, June 30th and July 25, 1851; Wills Wild Life, in Van Tromp s Adventures, 149-50; Arm strong s Or., 60-4; Crane s Top. Mem., 37-40; Overland Monthly, xiv. 179-Si?; Portland Bulletin, Feb. 25, 1873; Or. Spectator, July 3, 1851; Or. Statesman, July 4th and 15, 1851; Parrish s Or. Anecdotes, MS., 41-5; Harper s Mag., xiii. 590-1; S. F. Herald, June 30, 1851; Id., July 15, 1851; Lawson s Autolioy., MS., 32-3; 8. F. Alta, June 30, 1851; Taylor s Spec. Press, 19.



with a favorable description of the country and the announcement that he had discovered a fine bay at the mouth of the Cowan River. 42 This important discovery was little heeded by the founders of Port Or ford, who were bent upon establishing their settle ment on a more southern point of the coast.

Tichenor left his California party at Port Orford well armed and fortified and proceeded to Portland, where he advertised to land passengers within thirty- five miles of the Rogue River mines, having brought up about two dozen miners from San Francisco and landed them at Port Orford to make their way from thence to the interior, at their own hazard. On re turning" down the coast the Columbia again touched

o o

at Port Orford and left a party of Oregon men, so that by August there were about seventy persons at the new settlement. They were all well armed and kept guard with military regularity. To some was assigned the duty of hunting, elk, deer, and other game being plentiful on the coast mountains, and birds of numerous kinds inhabiting the woods and seashore. A Whitehall boat was left for fishing and shooting purposes. These hunting tours were also exploring expeditions, resulting in a thorough exami nation of the coast from the Coquille River on the north to a little below the California line on the south, in which distance no better port was discovered. 4 ^

The 24th of August a party of twenty-three 44 under T Vault set out to explore the interior. T Vault s experience as a pioneer was supposed to fit him for the position of guide and Indian-fighter, a most re sponsible office in that region of hostile savages,

42 Now called Coos, an Indian name.

43 Says Williams in his S. W. Oregon, MS., 9: It was upon one of these expeditions, returning from a point where Crescent City now stands, that with a fair wind, myself at the helm, we sailed into the beautiful Chetcoe River which we ever pronounced the loveliest little spot upon that line of coast.

4i I give here the number as given by Williams, one of the company, though it is stated to be only 18 by T Vault, the leader, in Alia California^ Oct. 14, 1851.

T VAULT S EXPLORATION. 197

particularly as the expedition was made up of im migrants of the previous year, with little or no knowledge of the country, or of mountain life. Only two of them, Williams and Lount, both young men from Michigan, were good hunters; and on them would depend the food supply after the ten days ra tions with which each man was furnished should be exhausted.

Nothing daunted, however, they set out on horses, and proceeded southward along the coast as far as the mouth of Rogue River. The natives along the route were numerous, but shy, and on being approached fled into the woods. At Rogue River, however, they assumed a different air, and raised their bows threat eningly, but on seeing gnns levelled at them desisted. During the march they hovered about the rear of the party, who on camping at night selected an open place, and after feeding their horses burned the grass for two hundred yards around that the savages might not have it to hide in, keeping at the same time a double guard. Proceeding thus cautiously they avoided collision with these savages.

When they had reached a point about fifty miles from the ocean, on the north bank of Rogue River, having lost their way and provisions becoming low, some determined to turn back. T Vault, unwilling to abandon the adventure, offered increased pay to such as would continue it. Accordingly nine went on with him toward the valley, though but one of them could be depended upon to bring in game. 4 The separation took place on the 1st of September, the advancing party proceeding up Rogue River, by which course they were assured they could not fail soon to reach the travelled road.

On the evening of the 9th they came upon the

45 This was Williams. The others were: Patrick Murphy, of New York; A. S. Doherty and Gilbert Brush, of Texas; Cyrus Hedden, of Newark, N. J. ; John P. Holland, of New Hampshire; T. J. Davenport, of Massachusetts; Jeremiah Ryan, of Maryland; J. P. Pepper, of New York. Alia California, G et 14, 1851.



head-waters of a stream flowing, it was believed, into the ocean near Cape Blanco. They were therefore, though designing to go south-eastwardly, actually some distance north as well as east from Port Orford, the nature of the country and the direction of the ridges forcing them out of their intended course. Finding an open country on this stream, they followed it down some distance, and chancing to meet an Indian boy engaged him as a guide, who brought them to the southern branch of a river, down which they travelled, finding the bottoms covered with a thick growth of trees peculiar to low, moist lands. It was now deter mined to abandon their horses, as they could advance with difficulty, and had no longer anything to carry which could not be dispensed with. They therefore procured the services of some Indians with canoes to take them to the mouth of the river, which they found to have a beautiful valley of rich land, and to be, after passing the junction of the two forks, about eighty yards wide, with the tide ebbing and flowing from two to three feet. 40 On the 14th, about ten o clock in the morning, having descended to within a few miles of the ocean, a member of the party, Mr Hedden, one of those driven out of Port Orford in Juvie, and who escaped up the coast, recognized the stream as the Coquille River, which the previous party had crossed on a raft. Too exhausted to navigate a boat for themselves, and overcome by hunger, they engaged some natives 47 to take them down the river, instead of which they were carried to a large rancheria situated about two miles from the ocean.

Savages thronged the shore armed with bows and arrows, long knives, 43 and war-clubs, and were upon them the moment they stepped ashore. T Vault

46 On Coquille River, 12 miles below the north fork, is a tree with the name Dennis White, 1834, to which some persons have attached importance. Armstrong s Or., G5.

47 One of the Indians who paddled their canoes had with him * the identi cal gun that James H. Eagan had broken over an Indian s head at Port Or ford in June last. Williams S. W. Or., MS., 28.

48 These knives, two and two and a half feet long, were manufactured by



afterward declared that the first thing he was con scious of was being in the river, fifteen yards from shore and swimming. He glanced toward the village, and saw only a horrible confusion, and heard the yells of savage triumph mingled with the sound of blows and the shrieks of his unfortunate comrades. At the same instant he saw Brush in the water not far from him and an Indian standing in a canoe striking him on the head with a paddle, while the water around was stained with blood.

At this juncture occurred an incident such as is used to embellish romances, when a woman or a child in the midst of savagery displays those feelings of humanity common to all men. While the two white men were struggling for their lives in the stream a canoe shot from the opposite bank. In it standing erect was an Indian lad, who on reaching the spot assisted them into the canoe, handed them the paddle, then springing into the water swam back to the shore. They succeeded in getting to land, and stripping themselves, crawled up the bank and into the thicket without once standing upright. Striking southward through the rough and briery undergrowth they hur ried on as long as daylight lasted, and at night emerged upon the beach, reaching Cape Blanco the following morning, where the Indians received them kindly, and after taking care of them for a day conveyed them to Port Orford. T Vault was not severely wounded, but Brush had part of his scalp taken oif by one of the long knives. Both were suffering from famine and bruises, and believed themselves the only survivors. 49 But in about two weeks it was ascertained that others of the party were living, namely : Williams, 50

the Indians out of some band iron taken from the wreck of the Hafjstaff. They were furnished with whalebone handles. Parrish s Or. Anecdotes, MS. , GO.

"Lawson i Autobiog., MS., 45-6; Portland Bulletin, March 3, 1873; S. F. Herald, Oct. 14, 1851; Ashland Tidings, July 12th and 19, 1878; Portland Wext Shore, May 1878.

50 The narrative of Williams is one of the most thrilling in the literature of savage warfare. When the attack was made he had just stepped ashore from the canoe. His first struggle was with two powerful savages for the



Davenport, and Hedden, the other five having been murdered, their companies hardly knew how.

With this signal disaster terminated the first at tempt to reach the Rogue River Valley from Port Orford; and thus fiercely did the red inhabitants of this region welcome their white brethren. The diffi culties with the various tribes which grew out of this and similar encounters I shall describe in the history of the wars of 1851-3.

Soon after the failure of the T Vault expedition another company was fitted out to explore in a difier-

possession of his rifle, which being discharged in the contest, for a moment gave him relief by frightening his assailants. Amidst the yells of Indians and the cries and groans of comrades he forced his way through the infuriated crowd with the stock of his gun, being completely surrounded, fighting in a circle, and striking in all directions. Soon only the barrel of his gun remained in his hands, with which he continued to deal heavy blows as he advanced along a piece of open ground toward the forest, receiving blows as well, one of which felled him to the ground. Quickly recovering himself, with one desperate plunge the living wall was broken, and he darted for the woods. As he ran an arrow hit him between the left hip and lower ribs, penetrating the abdomen, and bringing him to a sudden stop. Finding it impossible to move, he drew out the shaft which broke off, leaving one joint of its length, with the barb, in his body. So great was his excitement that after the first sensation no pain was felt. The main party of Indians being occupied with rifling the bodies of the slain, a race for life now set in with about a dozen of the most persistent of his enemies. Though several times struck with arrows he ran down all but two who placed themselves on each side about ten feet away shooting every instant. Despairing of escape Williams turned on them, but while he chased one the other shot at him from behind. As if to leave him no chance for life the suspenders of his pantaloons gave way, and being impeded by their falling down he was forced to stop and kick them off. With his eyes and mouth filled with blood from a wound on the head, blinded and despairing he yet turned to enter the forest when he fell headlong. At this the Indians rushed upon him sure of their prey; one of them who carried a captured gun attempted to fire, but it failed. Says the narrator: The sick ening sensations of the last half hour were at once dispelled when I realized that the gun had refused to fire. I was on my feet in a moment, rifle barrel in hand. Instead of running I stood firm, and the Indian with the rifle also met me with it drawn by the breech. The critical moment of the whole affair had arrived, and I knew it must be the final struggle. The first two or three blows I failed utterly, and received some severe bruises, but fortune was on my side, and a lucky blow given with unusual force fell upon my an tagonist killing him almost instantly. I seized the gun, a sharp report fol lowed, and I had the satisfaction of seeing my remaining pursuer stagger and fall dead. Expecting to die of his wounds Williams entered the shadow of the woods to seek a place where he might lie down in peace. Soon afterward he fell in with Hedden, who had escaped uninjured, and who with some friendly Indians assisted him to reach the Umpqua, where they arrived after six days of intense suffering from injuries, famine, and cold, and where they found the brig Almira, Capt. Gibbs, lying, which took them to Gardiner. All



ent direction for a road to the interior, 51 which was compelled to return without effecting its object. Port Orford, however, received the encouragement and as sistance of government officials, including the coast survey officers and military men, 52 and throve in con sequence. Troops were stationed there, 53 and before the close of the year the work of surveying a military road was begun by Lieutenant Williamson, of the topographical engineers, with an escort of dragoons from Casey s command at Port Orford. Several fami lies had also joined the settlement, about half a dozen dwelling houses having been erected for their accom modation. 54 The troops were quartered in nine log buildings half a mile from the town. 55 A permanent route to the mines was not adopted, however, until late the following year.

Casey s command having returned to Benicia about the 1st of December, in January following the schooner Captain Lincoln, Naghel master, w^as despatched to Port Orford from San Francisco with troops and

Williams wounds except that in the abdomen healed readily. That dis charged for a year. In four years the arrow-head had worked itself out, but not until the seventh year did the broken shaft follow it. Davenport, like Hedden, was unhurt, but wandered starving in the mountains many days before reaching a settlement. Williams was born in Vermont, and came to the Pacific coast in 1850. He made his home at Ashland, enjoying the respect of his fellow^men, combining in his manner the peculiarities of the border with those of a thorough and competent business man. Portland West Shore, June 18, 1878.

51 Or. Statesman, Nov. 4, 1851.

52 Probably stories like the following had their effect: Port Orford has recently been ascertained to be one of the very best harbors on the Pacific coast, accessible to the largest class of vessels, and situated at a convenient intermediate point between the Umpqua and Rogue Pavers. Kept, of Gen. Mifrhcock, in 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, 149; S. F. Alia, July 13th and Sept. 14, 1852.

53 Lieutenant Kautz, of the rifles, with 20 men stationed at Astoria, was ordered to Port Orford in August, at the instance of Tichenor, where a post was to be established for the protection of the miners in Rogue River Valley, which was represented to be but 35 miles distant from this place. After the massacre on the Coquille, Col. Casey, of the 2d infantry, was despatched from San Francisco with portions of three dragoon companies, arriving at Port Orford on the 22d of October.

M Saint Amant, 41-2, 144; Or. Statesman, Dec. 16, 1851. 55 32d Cony., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 105-6; S. F. Herald, Nov. 8, 1852.



stores under Lieutenant Stanton. The weather being foul she missed the harbor and went ashore on a sand spit two miles north of the entrance to Coos Bay. The passengers and cargo were safely landed on the beach, where shelter was obtained under sails stretched on booms and spars. Thus exposed, annoyed by high winds and drifting sands, and by the thiev ing propensities of the natives, Stanton was forced to remain four months. An effort was made to explore a trail to Port Orford by means of which pack-trains could be sent to their relief. Twelve dragoons were assigned to this service, with orders to wait at Port Orford for despatches from San Francisco in answer to his own, which, as the mail steamers avoided that place after hearing of the wreck of the schooner, did not arrive until settled weather in March. Quarter master Miller replied to Stanton by taking passage for Port. Orford on the Columbia under a special ar rangement to stop at that port. But the steamer s captain being unacquainted with the coast, and hav ing nearly made the mistake of attempting to enter Rogue River, proceeded to the Columbia, and it was not until the 12th of April that Miller reached his destination. He brought a train of twenty mules from Port Orford, the route proving a most harass ing one, over slippery mountain spurs, through dense forests obstructed with fallen timber, across several rivers, besides sand dunes and marshes, four days being consumed in marching fifty miles.

On reaching Camp Castaway, Miller proceeded to the Umpqua, where he found and chartered the schooner Nassau, which was brought around into Coos Bay, being the first vessel to enter that harbor. Wagons had been shipped by the quartermaster to the Umpqua by the brig Fawn. The mules were sent to haul them down the beach by what proved to be a good road, and the stores being loaded into them were transported across two miles of sand to the west shore of the bay and placed on board the Nassau , in



which they were taken to Port Orford, 56 arriving the 20th of May.

The knowledge of the country obtained in these forced expeditions, added to the exploration of the Coquille Vail j by road-hunters in the previous autumn, and by the military expedition of Casey to punish the Coquilles, of which I shall speak in an other place, was the means of attracting attention to the advantages of this portion of Oregon for settle ment. A chart of Coos Bay entrance was made by Naghel, which was sufficiently correct for sailing pur poses, and the harbor was favorably reported upon by Miller. 57

On the 28th of January the schooner Juliet, Cap tain Collins, was driven ashore near Yaquina Bay, the crew and passengers being compelled to remain upon the stormy coast until by aid of an Indian mes senger horses could be brought from the Willamette to transport them to that more hospitable region. 58 While Collins was detained, which was until the latter part of March, he occupied a portion of his time in exploring Yaquina Bay, finding it navigable for ves sels drawing from six to eight feet of water; but the entrance was a bad one. In the bay were found oysters and clams, while the adjacent land was deemed excel lent. Thus by accident 59 as well as effort the secrets of the coast country were brought to light, and

56 The Nassau was wrecked at the entrance to the Umpqua a few months later. Or. Statesman, Sept. 18, 1852. From 1850 to 1852 five vessels were lost at this place, the Bostonian, Nassau, Almira, Orchilla, and Caleb Curies.

57 32d Covg., 2d Setts., H. 8. Ex. Doc. 1, pt. ii. 103-9.

58 Dr McLoughlin, Hugh Burns, W. C. Griswold, and W. H. Barnhart responded to the appeal of the shipwrecked, and furnished the means of their rescue from suffering. Or. Statesman, March 2d and April 6, 1852.

69 Of marine disasters there seem to have been a great number in 1851-2. The most appalling was of the steam propeller General Warren, Captain Charles Thompson, which stranded on Clatsop spit, after passing out of the Columbia, Jan. 28, 1852. The steamer was found to be leaking badly, and being put about could not make the river again. She broke up almost imme diately after striking the sands, and by daylight next morning there was only enough left of the wreck to afford standing room for her passengers and crew. A boat, the only one remaining, was despatched in charge of the bar pilot to



although the immigration of 1851 was not more than a third as much as that of the previous year, there were people enough running to and fro, looking for new enterprises, to impart an interest to each fresh revelation of the resources of the territory.

Astoria for assistance. On its return nothing could be found but some float ing fragments of the vessel. Not a life was saved of the 52 persons on board. Or. Statesman, Feb. 10th and 24, 1852; Id., March 9, 1852; Swan * N. W. Coast, 259; Portland Oregonian, Feb. 7, 1852; S. F. Alta, Feb. 16, 1852.

CHAPTER VII.

INDIAN AFFAIRS. 1851.

POLITICS ELECTION OF A DELEGATE EXTINGUISHMENT or INDIAN TITLES INDIAN SUPERINTENDENTS AND AGENTS APPOINTED KINDNESS or THE GREAT FATHER AT WASHINGTON APPROPRIATIONS OF CONGRESS FRAUDS ARISING FROM THE SYSTEM EASY EXPENDITURE OF GOVERN MENT MONEY UNPOPULARITY OF HUMAN SYMPATHY EFFICIENCY OF SUPERINTENDENT DART THIRTEEN TREATIES EFFECTED LANE AMONG THE ROGUE RIVER INDIANS AND IN THE MINES DIVERS OUTRAGES AND RETALIATIONS MILITARY AFFAIRS ROGUE RIVER WAR THE STRONGHOLD BATTLE OF TABLE ROCK DEATH OF STUART KEARNEY S PRISONERS.

L ANE was not a skilful politician and finished orator like Thurston, though he had much natural ability, 1 arid had the latter been alive, notwithstanding his many misdeeds, Lane could not so easily have secured the election as delegate to congress. It was a per sonal rather than a party matter, 2 though a party spirit developed rapidly after Lane s nomination, chiefly be cause a majority of the people were democrats/ and

1 Gen. Lane is a man of a high order of original genius. He is not self- made, but God-made. He was educated nowhere. Nobody but a man of superior natural capacity, without education, could have maintained himself among men from early youth as he did. Graver s Pub. Life, MS., 81. We may hereby infer the idea intended to be conveyed, however ill-fitting the words.

2 Says W. W. Buck: Before 1851 there were no nominations made. In 1851 they organized into political parties as whigs and democrats. Before that men of prominence would think of some one, and go to him and find out if he would serve. The knowledge of the movement would spread, and the foremost candidate get elected, while others ran scattering. Enterprises, MS., 13.

3 Jesse Applegate, who had been mentioned as suitable for the place, wrote to the Spectator March 14th: The people of the southern frontier, of which I am one, owe to Gov. Lane a debt of gratitude too strong for party prejudices to cancel, and too great for time to erase. . .Riile in hand he gal

( 205 )



their favorites, Thurston and Lane, were democrats, while the administration was whig and not in sym pathy with them.

The movement for Lane began in February, the earliest intimation of it appearing in the Spectator of March 6th, after which he was nominated in a public meeting at Lafayette. Lane himself did not appear on the ground until the last of April, and the news of Thurston s death arriving within a few days, Lane s name was immediately put forward by every journal

in the territory. But he was not, for all that, with-

\j

out an opponent. The mission party nominated W. H. Willson, who from a whaling-ship cooper and lay Methodist had come to be called doctor and been given places of trust. His supporters were the de fenders of that part of Thurston s policy which was generally condemned. There was nothing of conse quence at issue however, and as Lane was facile of tongue* and clap-trap, he was elected by a majority of 1,832 with 2,917 votes cast. 5 As soon as the returns were all in, Lane set out again for the mines, w^here he was just in time to be of service to the settlers of Rogue River Valley.

Immediately upon the passage of an act by congress, extinguishing Indian titles west of the Cascade Moun tains in 1850, the president appointed superintendent of Indian affairs, Anson Dart of Wisconsin, who ar rived early in October, accompanied by P. C. Dart, his secretary. Three Indian agents were appointed

lantly braved the floods and storms of winter to save our property, wives, and daughters from the rapine of a lawless soldiery, which statement, howsoever it pictures public sentiment, smacks somewhat of the usual electioneering exaggeration.

  • He had a particularly happy faculty for what we would call domestic

electioneering. He did not make speeches, but would go around and talk with families. They used to tell this story about him, and I think it is true, that what he got at one place, in the way of seeds or choice articles, he distributed at the next place. He brought these, with candies, and always kissed the children. Strong s Hist. Or., MS., 41.

5 Lane s Autobiography, MS., 62; Or. Spectator, July 4, 1851; Amer. Al manac, 1852, 223; Tribune Almanac, 1852, 51; Overland Monthly, i. 37.



at the same time, namely : A. G. Henry of Illinois, 6 H. H. Spalding, and Elias Wampole. Dart s instruc tions from the commissioner, under date of July 20, 1850, were in general, to govern himself by the in structions furnished to Lane as ex-officio superintend ent, 7 to be modified according to circumstances. The number of agents and subagents appointed had been in accordance with the recommendation of Lane, and to the information contained in Lane s report he was requested to give particular attention, as well as to the suppression of the liquor traffic, and the enforce ment of the penalties provided in the intercourse act of 1834. and also as amended in 1847, making one or

. " o

two years imprisonment a punishment for furnishing Indians with intoxicating drink. 8 A feature of the instructions, showing Thurston s hand in this matter, was the order not to purchase goods from the Hud son s Bay Company for distribution among the Indians, but that they be purchased of American merchants, and the Indians taught that it was from the American government they received such benefits. It was also forbidden in the instructions that the company should have trading posts within the limits of United States territory, 9 the superintendent being required to pro ceed with them in accordance with the terms of the act regulating intercourse with the Indians.

6 Thurston, who was mnch opposed to appointing men from the east, wrote to Oregon: Dr Henry of Illinois was appointed Indian agent, held on to it a while, drew $750 under the pretence of going to Oregon, and then resigned, leaving the government minus that sum. Upon his resigning Mr Simeon Francis was nominated, first giving assurance that he would leave for Oregon, but instead of doing so he is at home in Illinois. Or. Spectator, April 10, 1851.

Tglst Con;/., 1st Sess., S. Doc. 52, 1-7, 154-80.

8 It should be here mentioned, in justice toThurston, that when the Indian bill was under consideration by the congressional committees, it was brought to his notice by the commissioner, that while Lane had given much information on the number and condition of the Indians, the number of agents necessary, the amount of money necessary for agency buildings, agents, expenses, and presents to the Indians, he had neglected to state what tribes should be bought out, the extent of their territory, what would be a fair price for the lands, to what place they should be removed, and whether such lands were vacant. Thurston furnished this information according to his conception of right, and had the bill framed for the extinguishment of titles in that part of Oregon, which was rapidly filling up with white settlers. See Letter of Orlando Brown, Commissioner, in Or. Spectator, Oct. 31, 1850.

9 3 1st Cong., 2d Seas., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 149.



As to the attitude of government toward the Indians there was the usual political twaddle. An important object to be aimed at, the commissioner said, was the reconciling of differences between tribes. Civilized people may fight, but not savages. The Indians should be urged to engage in agricultural pursuits, to raise grain, vegetables, and stock of all kinds; and to encourage them, small premiums might be offered for the greatest quantity of produce, or number of cattle and other farm animals. With regard to missionaries among the Indians, they were to be encouraged without reference to denomination, and left free to use the best means of christianizing. The sum of twenty thousand dollars was advanced to the superintendent, of which five thousand was to be applied to the erection of houses for the accommoda tion of himself and agents, four thousand for his own residence, and the remainder for temporary buildings to be used by the agents before becoming permanently established. The remainder was for presents and provisions.

There were further appointed for Oregon three commissioners to make treaties with the Indians, John P. Gaines, governor, Alonzo A. Skinner, and Beverly S. Allen; the last received his commission the 12th of August and arrived in Oregon in the early part of February 1851. The instructions were gen eral, the department being ignorant of the territory, except that it extended from the 42d to the 49th parallel, and was included between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The object of the government it was said was to extinguish the Indian titles, and remove the complaint of the settlers that they could acquire no perfect titles to their claims before the Indians had been quieted. They were ad vised therefore to treat first with the Indians in the Willamette Valley, and with each tribe separately. 10

10 The maximum price given for Indian lands has been ten cents per acre, but this has been for small quantities of great value from their contiguity to



They were to fix upon an amount of money to be paid, and agree upon an annuity not to exceed five per cent of the whole amount. It was also advised that money be not employed, but that articles of use should be substituted; and the natives be ursred to

o

accept such things as would assist them in becoming farmers and mechanics, and to secure medical aid and education. If any money remained after so pro viding it might be expended for goods to be delivered annually in the Indian country. The sum of twenty thousand dollars was to be applied to these objects; fifteen thousand to be placed at the disposal of Gov ernor Gaines, at the sub-treasury, San Francisco, and to be accounted for by vouchers; and five thousand to be invested in goods and sent round Cape Horn for distribution among the Indians. The commis sioners were allowed mileage for themselves and secretary at the rate of ten cents a mile, together with salaries of eight dollars a day during service for each of the commissioners, and five dollars for the secretary. They were also to have as many interpret ers and assistants as they might deem necessary, at a proper compensation, and their travelling expenses paid. 11

Such was the flattering prospect under which the Indian agency business opened in Oregon. Truly, a government must have faith in its servants to place such temptations in their way. Frauds innumerable were the result; from five hundred to five thousand dollars would be paid to the politicians to secure an agency, the returns from which investment, with hundreds per cent profit, must be made by systematic peculations and pilferings, so that not one quarter of the moneys appropriated on behalf of the Indians

the States; and it is merely mentioned to show that some important consider ation has always been involved when so large a price has been given. It is not for a moment to be supposed that any such consideration can be involved in any purchases to be made by you, and it is supposed a very small portion of that price will be required. A. S. Loughery, Acting Commissioner , in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 147.

U 31at Cong., M Sew., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 145-51; Hayes Scraps, iv. 9-10. HIST. OB., VOL. II. 14



would be expended for their benefit. Perhaps the public conscience was soothed by this show of justice, as pretentious as it was hollow, and the emptiness of which was patent to every one; but it would have been in as good taste, and far more manly and honest, to have shot down the aboriginals and seized their lands without these hypocrisies and stealings, as was frequently done.

Often the people were worse than the government or its agents, so that there was little inducement for the latter to be honest. In the present instance the commissioners were far more just and humane than the settlers themselves. It is true they entered upon their duties in April 1851 with a pomp and circum stance in no wise in keeping with the simple habits of the Oregon settlers ; with interpreters, clerks, com missaries, and a retinue of servants they established

%/

themselves atChampoeg, to which place agents brought the so-called chiefs of the wretched tribes of the Wil lamette; but they displayed a heart and a humanity in their efforts which did them honor. Of the San- tiam band of the Calapooyas they purchased a portion of the valley eighty miles in length by twenty in breadth; of the Tualatin branch of the same nation a tract of country fifty miles by thirty in extent, these lands being among the best in the valley, and already settled upon by white men. The number of Indians of both sexes and all ages making a claim to this extent of territory was in the former instance one hundred and fifty-five and in the latter sixty- five.

The commissioners were unable to induce the Cala pooyas to remove east of the Cascade mountains, as had been the intention of the government, their refusal resting upon reluctance to leave the graves of their ancestors, and ignorance of the means of procuring a livelihood in any country but their own. To these representations Gaines and his associates lent a sym pathizing ear, and allowed the Indians to select reser-



vations within the valley of tracts of land of a few miles in extent situated upon the lower slopes of the Cascade and Coast ranges, where game, roots, arid berries could be procured with ease. 12

As to the instructions of the commissioner at Wash ington, it was not possible to carry them out. Schools the Indians refused to have; and from their experi ence of them and their effects on the young I am quite sure the savages were right. Only a few of the Tualatin band would consent to receive farming utensils, not wishing to have habits of labor forced upon them with their annuities. They were anxious also to be paid in cash, consenting reluctantly to ac cept a portion of their annuities in clothing and pro visions.

In May four other treaties were concluded with the Luckiamute, Calapooyas, and Molallas, the territory thus secured to civilization comprising about half the Willamette Valley. 13 The upper and lower Molallas received forty-two thousand dollars, payable in twenty annual instalments, about one third to be in cash and the remainder in goods, w T ith a present on the ratifica tion of the treaties of a few rifles and horses for the head men. Like the Calapooyas they steadily refused to devote any portion of their annuities to educational purposes, the general sentiment of these western Ind ians being that they had but a little time to live, and it was useless to trouble themselves about education, a sentiment not wholly Indian, since it kept Europe in darkness for a thousand years. 14

12 No mention is made of the price paid for these lands, nor have I seen these treaties in print.

13 This is the report of the commissioners, though the description of the lands purchased is different in the Spectator of May 15, 1851, where it is said that the purchase included all the east side of the valley to the head -waters of the Willamette.

14 The native eloquence, touched and made pathetic by the despondency of the natives, being quoted in public by the commissioners, subjected them to the ridicule of the anti-administration journal, as for instance: In this city Judge Skinner spent days, and for aught we know, weeks, in interpreting Slacum s jargon speeches, while Gaines, swelling with consequence, pronounced them more eloquent than the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero, a nd peddled



In order to give the Indians the reservations they desired it was necessary to include some tracts claimed by settlers, which would either have to be vacated, the government paying for their improvements, or the settlers compelled to live among the Indians, an alter native not likely to commend itself to either the set tlers or the government.

A careful summing-up of the report of the commis sioners showed that they had simply agreed to pay annuities to the Indians for twenty years, to make them presents, and to build them houses, while the Indians still occupied lands of their own choosing in portions of the valley already being settled by white people, and that they refused to accept teachers, either religious or secular, or to cultivate the ground. By these terms all the hopeful themes of the commissioner at Washington fell to the ground. And yet the gov ernment was begged to ratify the treaties, because failure to do so would add to the distrust already felt by the Indians from their frequent disappointments, and make any further negotiations difficult. 15

About the time the last of the six treaties was concluded information was received that congress, by act of the 27th of February, had abolished all special Indian commissions, and transferred to the superin tendent the power to make treaties. All but three hundred dollars of the twenty thousand appropriated under the advice of Thurston for this branch of the service had been expended by Gaines in five weeks of absurd magnificence at Champoeg, the paltry remain der being handed over to Superintendent Dart, who received no pay for the extra service with which to defray the expense of making further treaties. Thus ended the first essay of congress to settle the question of title to Indian lands.


them about the town. . .This ridiculous farce made the actors the laughing stock of the boys, and even of the Indians. Or. Statesman, Nov. 6, 1852. 13 Report of Commissioners, in 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt.

. b_ _

in. 471.



Dart did not find his office a sinecure. The area of the country over which his superintendency extended

was so great that, even with the aid of more agents,

.

little could be accomplished in a season, six months of the year only admitting of travel in the unsettled por tions of the territory. To add to his embarrassment, the three agents appointed had left him almost alone to perform the duty which should have been divided among several assistants, 10 the pay offered to agents being so small as to be despised by men of character and ability who had their living to earn.

About the 1st of June 1851 Dart set out to visit the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains, who since the close of the Cayuse war had maintained a friendly attitude, but who hearing that it was the design to send the western Indians among them were becoming uneasy. Their opposition to having the sickly and degraded Willamette natives in their midst was equal to that of the white people. Neither were they will ing to corne to any arrangement by which they would be compelled to quit the country which each tribe for itself called its own. Dart promised them just treat ment, and that they should receive pay for their lands. Having selected a site for an agency building on the Umatilla he proceeded to Waiilatpu and Lapwai, as instructed, to determine the losses sustained by the Presbyterians, according to the instructions of gov ernment. 17

16 Dart complained in his report that Spalding, who had been assigned to the Umpqua country, had visited it but twice during the year, and asked his removal and the substitution of E. A. Starling. The latter was first stationed at the mouth of the Columbia, and soon after sent to Puget Sound. Wain- pole arrived in Oregon in July 1851, was sent to Umatilla, and removed in less than three months for violating orders and trading with the Indians. Allen, appointed after Henry and Francis, also finally declined, when Skinner ac cepted the place too late in the year to accomplish anything. A. Van Dusen, of Astoria, had been appointed subagent, but declined; then Shortess had accepted the position. Walker had been appointed to go among the Spokanes, but it was doubtful if $750 a year would be accepted. Finally J. L. Parrish, also a subagent, was the only man who had proven efficient and ready to perform the services required of him. 32d Cong., l*t Sets., H. Ex. Doc, 2, pt. iii. 473; U. S. Ev. H. B. Co. Claims, 27; Amer. Almanac, 1851, 113; Id., 1852, 116; Dunniway s Capt. Gray s Company, 162.

17 The claims against the government for the destruction of the missions was large in the estimation of Dart, who does not state the amount.



The Cayuses expressed satisfaction that the United States cherished no hatred toward them for their past misdeeds, and received assurances of fair treatment in the future, sealed with a feast upon a fat ox. At Lapwai the same promises were given and ceremonies observed. The only thing worthy of remark that I find in the report of Dart s visit to eastern Oregon is the fact mentioned that the Cayuses had dwindled from their former greatness to be the most insi^nifi-

o o

cant tribe in the upper country, there being left but one hundred and twenty-six, of whom thirty-eight only were men; and the great expense attending his visit/ 8 the results of which were not what the govern ment expected, if indeed any body knew wliat was expected. The government was hardly prepared to purchase the whole Oregon territory, even at the minimum price of three cents an acre, and it was dangerous policy holding out the promise of some thing not likely to be performed.

As to the Presbyterian mission claims, if the board had been paid what it cost to have its property ap praised, it would have been all it was entitled to, and particularly since each station could hold a section of land under the organic act. And as to the claims of pri vate individuals for property destroyed by the Cayuses, these Indians not being in receipt of annuities out of which the claims could be taken, there was no way in which they could be collected. Neither was the agency erected of any benefit to the Indians, because the agent, Wampole, soon violated the law, was re moved, and the agency closed.

18 There were 1 1 persons in Dart s party himself and secretary, 2 inter preters, drawing together $11 a day; 2 carpenters, $12; 3 packers, $15; 2 cooks, $6. The secretary received $5 a day, making the wages of the party $50 daily at the start, in addition to the superintendent s salary. Transpor tation to The Dalles cost $400. At The Dalles another man with 20 horses was hired at $15 a day, and 2 wagons with oxen at $12; the passage from Portland to Umatilla costing $1,500 besides subsistence. And this was only the beginning of expenses. The lumber for the agency building at Umatilla had to be carried forty miles at an enormous cost; the beef which feasted the Cayuses cost $80, and other things in proportion. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. #, pt. iii.

A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE. 215

Concerning that part of his instructions to encour age missionaries as teachers among the Indians, Dart had little to say; for which reason, or in revenge for his dismissal, Spalding represented that no American teachers, but only Catholics and foreigners were given permission to enter the Indian country. 19 But as his name was appended to all the treaties made while he was agent, with one exception, he must have been as guilty as any of excluding American teachers. The truth was that Dart promised the Indians of eastern Oregon that they should not be disturbed in their religious practices, but have such teachers as they pre ferred. 20 This to the sectarian Protestant mind was simply atrocious, though it seemed only politic and just to the unbiassed understanding of the superin tendent.

With regard to that part of his instructions relating to suppressing the establishments of the Hudson s Bay Company in Oregon, he informed the commis sioner that he found the company to have rights which prompted him to call the attention of the government to the subject before he attempted to interfere with them, and suggested the propriety of purchasing those rights instead of proceeding against British traders as criminals, the only accusation that could be brought against them being that they sold better goods to the Indians for less money than American traders.

And concerning the intercourse act prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors to the natives, Dart re marked that although a good deal of liquor was con-

9 This charge being deemed inimical to the administration, the President denied it in a letter to the Philadelphia Daily Sun, April 1852. The matter is referred to in the Or. Statesman, June 15th and July 3, 1852. See also Home Missionary, vol. Ixxxiv. 276.

20 In 1852 a Catholic priest, E. C. Chirouse, settled on a piece of land at Walla Walla, making a claim under the act of congress establishing the terri torial government of Washington. He failed to make his final proof according to law, and the notification of his intentions was not filed till 1800, when Archbishop Blanchet made a notification; but it appeared that whatever title there was, was in Chirouse. He relinquished it to the U. S. in 1862, but it was then too late for the Catholic church to set up a claim, and the archbishop s notification was not allowed. Portland Oregonian, March 16, 1872.



sumed in Oregon, in some localities the Indians used less in proportion than any others in the United States, and referred to the difficulty of obtaining evidence against liquor sellers on account of the law of Oregon excluding colored witnesses. He also gave it as his opinion that except the Shoshones and Rogue River Indians the aborigines of Oregon were more peaceable than any of the uncivilized tribes, but that to keep in check these savages troops were indispen sable, recommending that a company be stationed in the Shoshone country to protect the next year s im migration. 21 Altogether Dart seems to have been a fair and reasonable man, who discharged his duty under unfavorable circumstances with promptness and good sense.

21 Eighteen thousand dollars worth of property was stolen by the Slioshones in 1851; many white men were killed, and more wounded. Hutchison Clark, of Illinois, was driving, in advance of his company, with his mothe^, sister, and a young brother in the family carriage near Raft River 40 miles west of Fort Hall, when the party was attacked, his mother and brother killed, and Miss Grace Clark, after being outraged and shot through the body and wrist, was thrown over a precipice to die. She alighted on a bank of sand which broke the force of the fall. The savages then rolled stones over after her, some of which struck and wounded her, notwithstanding all of which she survived and reached Oregon alive. She was married afterward to a Mr Vandervert, and settled on the coast branch of the Willamette. She died Feb. 20, 1875. When the train came up and discovered the bloody deed and that the Indians had driven off over twenty valuable horses, a company was formed, led by Charles Clark, to follow and chastise them. These were driven back, however, with a loss of one killed and one wounded. A brother of this Qlark family named Thomas had emigrated in 1848, and was awaiting the arrival of his friends when the outrages occurred. Or. Statesman, Sept. 23, 1851. The same band killed Mr Miller, from Virginia, and seriously wounded his daughter. They killed Jackson, a brother-in-law of Miller, at the same time, and attacked a train of twenty wagons, led by Harpool, being repulsed with some loss. Other parties were attacked at different points, and many persons wounded. Or. Spectator, Sept. 2, 1851; Barnes* Or. and CaL, MS., 26. Raymond, superintendent at Fort Hall, said that 31 emigrants had been shot by the Shoshones and their allies the Bannacks. Or. Statesman, Dec. 9, 1851; S. F. Alta, Sept. 28, 1851. The residents of the country were at a loss to account for these outrages, so bold on the part of the savages, and so injurious to the white people. It was said that the decline of the fur-trade compelled the Indians to robbery, and that they willingly availed themselves of an opportunity not only to make good their losses, but to be avenged for any wrongs, real or imaginary, which they had ever suffered at the hands of white men. A more obvious reason might be found in the withdrawal of the influence wielded over them by the Hudson s Bay Company, who being now under United States and Oregon law was forbidden to furnish ammunition, and was no longer esteemed among the Indians who had nothing to gain by obedience. Some of the emigrants professed to believe the Indian hostili ties directly due to Mormon influence. David Newsome of the imm igration



On returning from eastern Oregon, Dart visited the mouth of the Columbia in company with two of his agents, and made treaties with the Indians on

O

both sides of the river, the tract purchased extending from the Chehalis River on the north to the Yaqui- na Bay on the south; and from the ocean on the west, to above the mouth of the Cowlitz River. For this territory the sum of ninety-one thousand three hundred dollars was promised, to be paid in ten yearly instalments, in clothing, provisions, and other neces sary articles. Reservations were made on Clatsop Point, and Woody and Cathlamet islands; and one was made at Shoal water Bay, conditioned upon the majority of the Indians removing to that place within one year, in which case they would be provided with a manual labor school, a lumber and flouring mill, and a farmer and blacksmith to instruct them in agricul ture and the smith s art.

Other treaties were made during the summer and autumn. TheClackamas tribe, numbering eighty-eight persons, nineteen of whom were men, was promised an annuity of two thousand five hundred dollars for a period of ten years, five hundred in money, and the remainder in food and clothing. 2 The natives of the south-western coast also agreed to cede a territory extending from the Coquille River to the southern boundary of Oregon, and from the Pacific Ocean

of 1851 says: Every murder, theft, and raid upon us from Fort Laramie to Grande Rondo we could trace to Mormon influences and plans. I recorded very many instances of thefts, robberies, and murders on the journey in my journal. Portland West Shore, Feb. 1876. I find no ground whatever for this assertion. But whatever the cause, they were an alarming feature of the time, and called for government interference. Hence a petition to congress in the memorial of the legislature for troops to be stationed at the several posts selected in 1849 or at other points upon the road; and of a demand of Lane s, that the rifle regiment should be returned to Oregon to keep the Indians in check. 32d Gong., 1st Sess., Cong. Globe, 1851-2, i. 507. When Superintend ent Dart was in the Nez Perce" country that tribe complained of the depi^eda- tions of the Shoshones, and wished to go to war. Dart, however, exacted a promise to wait a year, and if then the United States had not redressed their wrongs, they should be left at liberty to go against their enemies. If the Nez Percys had been allowed to punish the Shoshones it would have saved the lives of many innocent persons and a large amount of government money. 22 Or. Statesman, Aug. 19, 1851; Or. Spectator, Dec. 2, 18 51.



to a line drawn fifty miles east, eighty miles in length, covering an area of two and a half million acres, most of which was mountainous and heavily timbered, with a few small valleys on the coast and in the interior, 23 for the sum of twenty-eight thou sand five hundred dollars, payable in ten annual in stalments, no part of which was to be paid in money. Thirteen treaties in all were concluded with different tribes, by the superintendent, for a quantity of land amounting to six million acres, at an average cost of not over three cents an acre. 24

In November Dart left Oregon for Washington, taking with him the several treaties for ratification, and to provide for carrying them out.

The demand for the office of an Indian agent in western Oregon began in 1849, or as soon as the Ind ians learned that white men might be expected to travel through their country with horses, provisions, and property of various kinds, which they might be de sirous to have. The trade in horses was good in the mines of California, and Cayuse stock was purchased and driven there by Oregon traders, who made a large profit. 25 Many miners also returned from California overland, and in doing so had frequent encounters with Indians, generally at the crossing of Rogue River. 26 The ferrying at this place was performed in canoes, made for the occasion, and which, when used and left, were stolen by the Indians to compel the next party to make another, the delay affording opportunity for

23 82d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. 483.

24 After his return from his expedition east of the Cascade Range, Dart seemed to have practised an economy which was probably greatly suggested by the strictures of the democratic press upon the proceedings of the previous commission. All the expense, he says, referring to the Coquille country,

  • of making these treaties, adding the salaries of the officers of government,

while thus engaged, would make the cost of the land less than one cent and a half per acre. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. And in the California Courier he says the total cost of negotiating the whole thirteen treaties was, including travelling expenses, about $3,000. Or. Statesman, Report, Dec. 9, 1801.

25 Honolulu Friend, Aug. 24, 1850.

26 Hancock s Thirteen Years, MS.; Johnson s Cat. and Or., 121-2, 133.



falling on them should they prove unwary. After several companies had been attacked the miners turned upon the Indians and became the assailants. And to stop the stealing of canoes, left for the convenience of those in the rear, some miners concealed themselves and lav in wait for the thieves, who when thev en-

t/ v

tered the canoe were shot. However beneficial this may have been for the protection of the ferry it did not mend matters in a general way. If the Indians had at first been instigated simply by a desire for plunder, 27 they had now gained from the retaliation of the Americans another motive revenge.

In the spring of 1850 a party of miners, who had collected a considerable sum in gold-dust in the placers of California and were returning home, reached the Rogue River, crossing one day, toward sunset, and encamped about Rock Point. They did not keep a very careful watch, and a sudden attack caused them to run to cover, while the Indians plundered the camp of everything of value, including the bags of gold- dust. But one man, who had his treasure on his per son, escaped being robbed.

It was to settle with these rogues for this and like

o

transactions that Lane set out in May or June 1850 to visit southern Oregon, as before mentioned. The party consisted of fifteen white men, and the same number of Klickitats, under their chief Quatley, the determined enemy of the Rogue River people. Quat ley was told what was expected of him, which was not to fight unless it become necesary, but to assist in making a treaty. They overtook on the way some cattle-drivers going to California, who travelled with

27 Barnes Or. and CaL, MS., 13. Says Lane, speaking of the chief at Rogue River, over whom he obtained a strong influence: Joe told me that the first time he shed white blood, he, with another Indian, discovered late in the afternoon two whites on horseback passing through their country. At first they thought these might be men intending some mischief to their people, but having watched them to their camp and seen them build their fire for the night, they conceived the idea of murdering them for the sake of the horses and luggage. This they did, taking their scalps. After that they always killed any whites they could for the sake of plunder. Autobiography, MS., 148.



them, glad of an escort. All were well mounted, with plenty of provisions on pack-horses, and well armed. They proceeded leisurely, and stopped to hunt and dry venison in the valley of Grave Creek. About the middle of June they arrived at Rogue River, and encamped near the Indian villages, Lane sending word to the principal chief that he had come to talk with him and his people, and to make a treaty of peace and friendship. To this message the chief re turned answer that he would come in two days with all his people, unarmed, as Lane stipulated.

Accordingly, the two principal chiefs and about seventy-five warriors came and crossed to the south side, where Lane s company were encamped. A circle was formed, Lane and the chiefs standing inside the ring. But before the conference began a second band, as large as the first, and fully armed with bows and arrows, began descending a neighboring hill upon the camp. Lane told Quatley to come inside the ring, and stand, with two or three of his Indians, beside the head Rogue River chief. The new-comers were ordered to lay down their arms and be seated, and the business of the council proceeded, Lane keep ing a sharp lookout, and exchanging significant glances with Quatley and his party. The occasion of the visit was then fully explained to the people of Rogue River; they were reminded of their uniform conduct toward white men, of their murders and robberies, and were told that hereafter white people must travel through their country in safety; that their laws had been extended over all that region, and if obeyed every one could live in peace; and that if the Indians behaved well compensation would be made them for their lands that might be settled upon, and an agent sent to see that they had justice.

Following Lane s speech, the Rogue River chief addressed, in loud, deliberate tones, his people, when presently they all rose and raised the war-cry, and those who had arms displayed them. Lane told Quat

A HOSTILE CONFERENCE. 221

ley to hold fast the head chief, whom he had already seized, and ordering his men not to fire, he sprang with revolver in hand into the line of the traitors and knocked up their guns, commanding them to be seated and lay down their arms. As the chief was a prisoner, and Quatley held a knife at his throat, they were constrained to obey. The captive chief, who had not counted upon this prompt action, and whose brothers had previously disposed themselves among their people to be ready for action, finding his situa tion critical, told them to do as the white chief had said. After a brief consultation they rose again, being ordered by the chief to retire and not to return for two days, when they should come in a friendly manner to another council. The Indians then took their departure, sullen and humiliated, leaving their chief a prisoner in the hands of the white men, by whom he was secured in such a manner that he could not escape.

Lane used the two days to impress upon the mind of the savage that he had better accept the offered friendship, and again gave him the promise of govern ment aid if he should make and observe a treaty allowing white men to pass safely through the coun try, to mine in the vicinity, and to settle in the Rogue River Valley. 23 By the time his people returned, he had become convinced that this was his best course, and advised them to accept the terms offered, and live in peace, which was finally agreed to. But the gold- dust of the Oregon party they had robbed in the spring was gone past all reclaim, as they had, without know ing its value, poured it all into the river, at a point where it was impossible to recover it. Some property of no value was given up; and thus was made the first

2S The morning after the chief had been made a prisoner his old wife (he had several others, but said he only loved his first wife) came very cautiously to the bank of the river opposite, and asked to come over and stay with her chief; that she did not wish to be free while he was a prisoner. She was told to come and stay, and was kindly treated. Lane s Autobiography, MS., 94-5.



treaty with this tribe, a treaty which was observed with passable fidelity for about a year. 29

The treaty concluded, Lane gave the Indians slips of paper stating the fact, and warning white men to do them no injury. These papers, bearing his signa ture, became a talisman among these Indians, who on approaching a white man would hold one of them out exclaiming, " Jo Lane, Jo Lane," the only English words they knew. On taking leave the chief, whose name hereafter by consent of Lane was to be Jo, pre sented his friend with a boy slave from the Modoc tribe, who accompanied him to the Shasta mines to which he now proceeded, the time when his resig nation was to take effect having passed. Here he dug gold, and dodged Indian arrows like any common miner until the spring of 1851, when he was recalled to Oregon. 30

The gold discoveries of 1850 in the Klamath Val ley caused an exodus of Oregonians thither early in the following year; and notwithstanding Lane s treaty with Chief Jo, great vigilance was required to pre vent hostile encounters with his tribe as well as with that of the Umpqua Valley south of the canon. 31 It

23 Like many another old soldier Lane loved to boast of his exploits. He asked the interpreter the name of the white chief, says the general, and re quested me to come to him as he wanted to talk. As I walked up to him he said, " Mika name Jo Lane?" I said, " Nawitka," which is " Yes." He said, " I want you to give me your name, for," said he, I have seen no man like you." I told the interpreter to say to him that I would give him half my name, but not all; that he should be called Jo. He was much pleased, and to the day of his death he was known as Jo. At his request I named his wife, calling her Sally. They had a son and a daughter, a lad of fourteen, the girl being about sixteen. She was quite a young queen in her manner and bear ing, and for an Indian quite pretty. I named the boy Ben, and the girl Mary. Lane s Autobiography, MS., 96-8.

30 Sacramento Transcript, Jan. 14, 1851. Lane had his adventures in the mines, some of which are well told in his Autobiography. While on Pit River, his Modoc boy, whom he named John, and who from being kindly treated became a devoted servant, was the means of saving his life and that of an Oregonian named Driscoll. pp. 88-108.

81 Card well, in his Emigrant Company, MS., 2-11, gives a history of his personal experience in travelling through and residing in Southern Oregon in 1851 with 27 others. The Cow-creek Indians followed and annoyed them for some distance, when finally one of them \vas shot and wounded in the act of taking a horse from camp. At Grave creek, in Rogue River Valley, three



soon became evident that Jo, even if he were honestly intentioned, could not keep the peace, the annoying and often threatening demonstrations of his people leading to occasional overt acts on the part of the miners, a circumstance likely to be construed by the Indians as sufficient provocation to further and more pronounced hostility.

Some time in May a young man named Dilley was treacherously murdered by two Rogue River Indians, who, professing to be friendly, were travelling and camping with three white men. They rose in the night, took Dilley s gun, the only one in the party, shot him while sleeping, and made off with the horses and property, the other two men fleeing back to a company in the rear. On hearing of it thirty men of Shasta formed a company, headed by one Long, marched over the Siskiyou, and coming upon a band at the crossing of Rogue River, killed a sub-chief and one other Indian, took two warriors and two daughters of another chief prisoners, and held them as hostages for the delivery of the murderers of Dilley. The chief refused to give up the guilty Indians, but threatened

instead to send a strong party to destroy Long s com-

t

Indians pretending to be friendly offered to show his party where gold could be found on the surface of the ground, telling their story so artfully that cross-questioning of the three separately did not show any contradiction in their statements, and the party consented to follow these guides. On a plain, subsequently known as Harris flat, the wagons stopped and 1 1 men were left to guard them, Mobile the rest of the company kept on with the Indians. They were led some distance up Applegate creek, where on examining the bars fine gold was found, but none of the promised nuggets. When the men began prospecting the stream the Indians collected on the sides of the hills above them, yelling and rolling stones down the descent. The miners, however, continued to examine the bars up the stream, a part of them standing guard rifle in hand; working in this manner two days and encamping in open ground at night. On the evening of the second day their tormentors withdrew in that mysterious manner which precedes an attack, and Cardwell s party fled in haste through the favoring darkness relieved by a late moon, across the ridge to Rogue River. At Perkins ferry, just established, they found Chief Jo, who was rather ostentatiously protecting this first white settlement. While breakfasting a pursuing party of Indians rode up within a short dis tance of camp where they were stopped by the presented rifles of the white men. Jo called this a hunting party and assured the miners they should not be molested in passing through the country ; on which explanation and promise word was sent to the wagon train, and the company proceeded across the Siskiyou Mountains to Shasta flat, where they discovered good mines on the 12th of Mar ch.



pany, which remained at the crossing awaiting events. 82 It does not appear that Long s party was attacked, but several unsuspecting companies suffered in their stead. These attacks were made chiefly at one place some distance south of the ferry where Long and his men encamped. 33 The alarm spread throughout the southern valleys, and a petition was forwarded to Governor Gaines from the settlers in the Umpqua for permission to raise a company of volunteers to fight the Indians. The governor decided to look over the field before granting leave to the citizens to fight, and repaired in person to the scene of the reported hostilities.

The Spectator, which was understood to lean toward Gaines and the administration, as opposed to the Statesman and democracy, referring to the petition remarked that leave had been asked to march into the Indian country and slay the savages wherever found; that the prejudice against Indians was very strong in the mines and daily increasing; and that no doubt this petition had been sent to the governor to secure his sanction to bringing a claim against the government for the expenses of another Indian war.

One of Thurston s measures had been the removal

12 Or. Statesman, June 20, 1851; Or. Spectator, June 19, 1851. 33 On the 1st of June 26 men were attacked at the same place, and an Indian was killed in the skirmish. On the 2d four men were set upon in this camp and robbed of their horses and property, but escaped alive to Perkins ferry; and on the same day a pack-train belonging to one Nichols was robbed of a number of animals with their packs, one of the men being wounded in the heel by a ball. Two other parties were attacked on the same day, one of which lost four men. On the 3d of June McBride and 31 others were attacked in camp south of Rogue River. A. Richardson, of San Jose", California, James Barlow, Captain Turpin, Jesse Dodson and son, Aaron Payne, Dillard Hoi- man, Jesse Runnels, Presley Lovelady, and Richard Sparks of Oregon were in the company and were commended for bravery. Or. Statesman, June 20, 1851. There were but 17 guns in the party, while the Indians numbered over 200, having about the same number of guns besides their bows and arrows, and were led by a chief known as Chucklehead. The attack was made at daybreak, and the battle lasted four hours and a half, when Chucklehead being killed the Indians withdrew. It was believed that the Rogue River people lost several killed and wounded. None of the white men were seriously hurt, owing to the bad firing of the Indians, not yet used to guns, not to mention their station on the top of a hill. Three horses, a mule, and $1,500 worth of other property and gold-dust were taken b y the Indians.



from the territory of the United States troops, which after years of private and legislative appeal were at an enormous expense finally stationed at the different posts according to the desire of the people. He rep resented to congress that so far from being a blessing they were really a curse to the country, which would gladly be rid of them. To his constituents he said that the cost of maintaining the rifle regiment w r as four hundred thousand dollars a year. He proposed as a substitute to persuade congress to furnish a good supply of arms, ammunition, and military stores to Oregon, and authorize the governor to call out volun teers when needed, both as a saving to the govern ment and a means of profit to the territory, a part of the plan being to expend one hundred thousand dollars saved in goods for the Indians, which should be pur chased only of American merchants in Oregon.

Thurston s plan had been carried out so far as re moving the rifle regiment was concerned, which in the month of April began to depart in divisions for California, and thence to Jefferson Barracks; 34 leav ing on the 1st of June, when Major Kearney began his march southward with the last division, only two skeleton companies of artillerymen to take charge of the government property at Steilacoom, Astoria, Vancouver, and The Dalles. He moved slowly, ex amining the country for military stations, and the best route for a military road which should avoid the Umpqua canon. On arriving at Yoncalla, 35 Kearney

84 Brackets U. S. Cavalry, 129; Or. Spectator, April 10, 1851; Or. States man, May 30, 1851; 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. i. 144-53.

35 Yoncalla is a compound of yonc, eagle, and calla or calla-calla, bird or fowl, in the Indian dialect. It was applied as a name to a conspicuous butte in the Umpqua Valley, at the foot of which Jesse Applegate made his home, a large and hospitable mansion, now going to ruin. Applegate agreed to assist Kearney only in case of a better route than the canon road being dis covered, his men should put it in condition to be travelled by the immigra tion that year, to which Kearney consented, and a detachment of 28 men, under Lieutenant Williamson, accompanied by Levi Scott as well as Apple- gate, began the reconnoissance about the 10th of June, the main body of Kearney s command travelling the old road. It was almost with satisfaction that Applegate and Scott found that no better route than the one they opened in 1846 could be discovered, since it removed the reproach of their HIBT. OK., VOL. II. 15



consulted with Jesse Applegate, whom he prevailed upon to assist in the exploration of the country east of the canon, in which they were engaged when the Indian war began in Rogue River Valley.

The exploring party had proceeded as far as this pass when they learned from a settler at the north end of the canon, one Knott, of the hostilities, and that the Indians were gathered at Table Rock, an almost impregnable position about twenty miles east of the ferry on Rogue River. 3( On this information Kearney, with a detachment of twenty-eight men, took up the march for the Indian stronghold with the design of dislodging them. A heavy rain had swollen the streams and impeded his progress, and it was not until the morning of the 17th of June that he reached Rogue River at a point five miles distant from Table Rock. While looking 1 for a ford indications of Ind-

o

ians in the vicinity were discovered, and Kearney hoped to be able to surprise them. He ordered the command to fasten their sabres to their saddles to prevent noise, and divided his force, a part under Captain Walker crossing to the south side of the river to intercept any fugitives, while the remainder under Captain James Stuart kept upon the north side. Stuart soon came upon the Indians who were pre pared for battle. Dismounting his men, who in their haste left their sabres tied to their saddles, Stuart made a dash upon the enemy. They met him with equal courage. A brief struggle took place in which eleven Indians were killed and several wounded. Stuart himself was matched against a powerful war rior, who had been struck more than once without

enemies that they were to blame for not finding a better one at that time. None other has ever been found, though Appbgate himself expected when with Kearney to be able to get a road saving 40 miles of travel. Ewald, in Or. Statesman, July 22, 1851.

36 Table Rock is a flat-topped mountain overhanging Rogue River. Using the rock as a watch-tower, the Indians in perfect security had a large extent of country and a long line of road under their observation, and could deter mine the strength of any passing company of travellers and their place ^of encampment, before sallying forth to the attack. Or. Statesman, July 22, 18 51.



meeting his. death. As the captain approached, the savage, though prostrate, let fly an arrow which pierced him through, lodging in the kidneys, of which wound he died the day after the battle. 37 Captain Peck was also wounded severely, and one of the troops slightly.

The Indians, who were found to be in large num bers, retreated upon their stronghold, and Kearney also fell back to wait for the coming-up of lieuten ants Williamson and Irvine with a detachment, and the volunteer companies hastily gathered among the miners. 38 Camp was made at the mouth of a tribu tary of Rogue River, entering a few miles below Tablo Rock, which was named Stuart creek after the dying captain. It was not till the 23d that the Indians were again engaged. A skirmish occurred in the morning, and a four hours battle in the afternoon of that day. The Indians were stationed in a densely wooded hummock, which gave them the advantage in point of position, while in the matter of arms the

37 Brackett, in his U. S. Cavalry, calls this officer the excellent and be loved Captain James Stuart. The nature of the wound caused excruciating pain, but his great regret was that after passing unharmed through six hard battles in Mexico he should die in the wilderness at the hands of an Indian. It is doubtful, however, if death on a Mexican battle-field would have brought with it a more lasting renown. Stuart Creek on which he was interred camp being made over his grave to obliterate it and the warm place kept for him in the hearts of Oregonians will perpetuate his memory. Cardwefl s Emigrant, Company, MS., 14; Or. Statesman, July 8, 1851; 8. F. Alia, July 16, 1851; State Rijht* Democrat, Dec. 15th and 22, 1876.

38 Card well relates that his company were returning from Josephine creek- named after a daughter of Kirby who founded Kirbyville on their way to Yreka, when they met Applegate at the ferry on Rogue River, who suggested that it would be proper enough to assist the government troops and Lamer- ick s volunteers to clean out the Indians in Rogue River Valley. Thirty men upon this suggestion went to Willow Springs on the 16th, upon the under standing that Kearney would make an attack next day near the mouth of Stuart s creek, when it was thought the Indians would move in this direction, and the volunteers could engage them until the troops came up. At day light the following morning, says Cardwell, we heard the firing commence. It was kept up quite briskly for about fifteen minutes. There was a terrible yelling and crying by the Indians, and howling of dogs during the battle. Emigrant Company, MS., 12; Crane s Top. Mem., MS., 40. The names of Applegate, Scott, Boone, T Vault, Armstrong, Blanchard, and Colonel Tranor from California, are mentioned in Lane s correspondence in the Or. Statesman July 22, 1851, as ready to assist the troops. I suppose this to be James W. Tranor, formerly of the New Orleans press, an adventurous pioneer and brilliant newspaper writer, who was afterward killed by Indians while cross ing Pit River. Oakland Transcript, Dec. 7, 1872.



troops were better furnished. In these battles the savages again suffered severely, and on the other side several were wounded but none killed.

While these events were in progress both Gaines and Lane were on their way to the scene of action. The governor s position was not an enviable one. Scarcely were the riflemen beyond the Willamette when he was forced to write the president representing the imprudence of withdrawing the troops at this time, no provision having been made by the legislature for or ganizing the militia of the territory, or for meeting in any way the emergency evidently arising. 39 The re ply which in due time he received was that the rifle regiment had been withdrawn, first because its services were needed on the frontier of Mexico and Texas, and secondly because the Oregon delegate had as sured the department that its presence in Oregon was not needed. In answer to the governor s suggestion that a post should be established in southern Oregon, the secretary gave it as his opinion that the com manding officer in California should order a recon- noissance in that part of the country, with a view to selecting a proper site for such a post without loss of time. But with regard to troops, there were none that could be sent to Oregon; nor could they, if put en route at that time, it being already September, reach there in time to meet the emergency. The secretary therefore suggested that companies of militia might be organized, which could be mustered into ser vice for short periods, and used in conjunction with the regular troops in the pursuit of Indians, or as the exigencies of the service demanded.

Meanwhile Gaines, deprived entirely of military sup port, endeavored to raise a volunteer company at Yon- calla to escort him over the dangerous portion of the route to Rogue River; but most of the men of Ump- qua, having either gone to the mines or to reenforce

39 32d Cony., 1st Sess., II . Ex. Doc. 2, pt. i. 145; Or. Spectator, Aug. 12, 1851.



Kearney, this was a difficult undertaking, detaining him so that it was the last of the month before he reached his destination. Lane having already started south to look after his mining property before quitting Ore gon for Washington arrived at the Umpqua canon on the 21st, where he was met by a party going north, from whom he obtained the news of the battle of the 17th and the results, with the information that more fighting was expected. Hastening forward with his party of about forty men he arrived at the foot of the Rogue River mountains on the night of the 22d, where he learned from an express rider that Kearney had by that time left camp on Stuart creek with the intention of making a night march in order to strike the Indians at daybreak of the 23d.

He set out to join Kearney, but after a hard day s ride, being unsuccessful, proceeded next morning to Camp Stuart with the hope of learning something of the movements of Kearney s command. That evening Scott and T Vault came to camp with a small party, for supplies, and Lane returned with them to the army, riding from nine o clock in the evening to two o clock in the morning, and being heartily welcomed both by Kearney and the volunteers.

Early on the 25th, the command moved back down the river to overtake the Indians, who had escaped during the night, and crossing the river seven miles above the ferry found the trail leading up Sardine creek, which being followed brought them up with the fugitives, one of whom was killed, while the others scattered through the woods like a covey of quail in the grass. Two days were spent in pursuing and taking prisoners the women and children, the men escaping. On the 27th the army scoured the country from the ferry to Table Rock, returning in the even ing to Camp Stuart, when the campaign was consid ered as closed. Fifty Indians had been killed and thirty prisoners taken, while the loss to the white warriors, since the first battle, was a few wounded.



The Indians had at the first been proudly defiant, Chief Jo boasting that he had a thousand warriors, and could keep that number of arrows in the air con tinually. But their pride had suffered a fall which left them apparently humbled. They complained to Lane, whom they recognized, talking across the river in stentorian tones, that white men had come on horses in great numbers, invading every portion of their country. They were afraid, they said, to lie down to sleep lest the strangers should be upon them. They wearied of war and wanted peace. 40 There was truth as well as oratorical effect in their harangues,

o

for just at this time their sleep was indeed insecure; but it was not taken into account by them that they had given white men this feeling of insecurity of which they complained.

Now that the fighting was over Kearney was anxious to resume his march toward California, but was embarrassed with the charge of prisoners. The governor had not yet arrived; the superintendent of Indian affairs was a great distance off in another part of the territory; there was no place where they could be confined irj Rogue River valley, nor did he know of any means of sending them to Oregon City. But he was determined not to release them until they had consented to a treaty of peace. Sooner than do that he would take them with him to California and send them back to Oregon by sea. Indeed he had pro ceeded with them to within twenty -five miles of Shasta Butte, a mining town afterward named Yreka, 41 when Lane, who when his services were no longer needed in the field had continued his journey to Shasta Valley, again came to his relief by offering to escort the prisoners to Oregon City whither he was about to return, or to deliver them to the governor or super-

40 Letter of Lane, in Or. Statesman, July 22, 1851.

41 It is said that the Indians called Mount Shasta Yee-ka, and that the miners having caught something of Spanish orthography and pronunciation changed it to Yreka; hence Shasta Butte city became Yreka. E. Steele, in Or. Council, Jour. 1857-8, app. 44.



intendent of Indian affairs wherever he might find them. Lieutenant Irvine, 42 from whom Lane learned Kearney s predicament, carried Lane s proposition to the major, and the prisoners were at once sent to his care, escorted by Captain Walker. Lane s party 43 set out immediately for the north, and on the 7th of July delivered their charge to Governor Gaines, who had arrived at the ferry, where he was encamped with fifteen men waiting for his interpreters to bring the Rogue River chiefs to a council, his success in which undertaking was greatly due to his possession of their families. Lane then hastened to Oregon City to embark for the national capital, having added much to his reputation with the people by his readiness of action in this first Indian war west of the Cascade Mountains, as well as in the prompt arrest of the deserting riflemen in the spring of 1850. To do, to do quickly, and generally to do the thing pleasing to the people, of whom he always seemed to be thinking, was natural and easy for him, and in this lay the secret of his popularity.

When Gaines arrived at Rogue River he found Kearney had gone, not a trooper in the country, and the Indians scattered. He made an attempt to col lect them for a council, and succeeded, as I have inti mated, by means of the prisoners Lane brought him, in inducing about one hundred, among whom .w r ere eleven head men, to agree to a peace. By the terms of the treaty, which was altogether informal, his com mission having been withdrawn, the Indians placed

  • 2 Irvine, who was with Williamson on a topographical expedition, had an

adventure before he was well out of the Shasta country with two Indians and a Frenchman who took him prisoner, bound him to a tree, and inflicted some tortures upon him. The Frenchman who was using the Indians for his own purposes finally sent them away on some pretence, and taking the watch and valuables belonging to Irvine sat down by the camp-fire to count his spoil. While thus engaged the lieutenant succeeded in freeing himself from his bonds, and rushing upon the fellow struck him senseless for a moment. On recovering himself the Frenchman struggled desperately with his former prisoner but was finally killed and Irvine escaped. Or. Statesman, Aug. 5, 1851.

43 Among Lane s company were Daniel Waldo, Hunter, and Rust of Ken tucky, and Simonson. of Indiana. themselves under the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and agreed to restore all the prop erty stolen at any time from white persons, in return for which promises of good behavior they received back their wives and children and any property taken from them. There was nothing in the treaty to pre vent the Indians, as soon as they were reunited to their families, from resuming their hostilities; and indeed it was well known that there were two parties amongst them one in favor of war and the other opposed to it, but the majority for it. Though so severely punished, the head chief of the war party re fused to treat with Kearney, and challenged him to further combat, after the battle of the 23d. It was quite natural therefore that the governor should qualify his belief that they would observe the treaty, provided an efficient agent and a small military force could be sent among them. And it was no less nat ural that the miners and settlers should doubt the keeping of the compact, and believe in a peace pro cured by the rifle.

CHAPTER VIII.

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OFFICERS AND INDIAN AGENTS AT POBT ORFORD ATTITUDE OF THE Co- QUILLES U. S. TROOPS ORDERED OUT SOLDIERS AS INDIAN-FIGHTERS THE SAVAGES TOO MUCH FOR THEM SOMETHING OF SCARFACE AND THE SHASTAS STEELE SECURES A CONFERENCE ACTION OF SUPERIN TENDENT SKINNER MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING SOME FIGHTING AN INSECURE PEACE MORE TROOPS ORDERED TO VANCOUVER.

GENERAL HITCHCOCK, commanding the Pacific di vision at Benicia, California, on hearing Kearny s ac count of affairs between the Indians and the miners, made a visit to Oregon; and having been persuaded that Port Orford was the proper point for a garrison, transferred Lieutenant Kautz and his company of twenty men from Astoria, where the governor had declared they were of no use, to Port Orford, where he afterward complained they were worth no more. At the same time the superintendent of Indian affairs, with agents Parrish and Spalding, repaired to the southern coast to treat if ppssible with its people. They took passage on the propeller Seagull, from Portland, on the 12th of September, 1851, T Vault s party being at that time in the mountains looking for a road. The Seagull arrived at Port Orford on the

14th. two davs before T Vault and Brush were re-

i/

turned to that place, naked and stiff with wounds, by the charitable natives of Cape Blanco.

The twofold policy of the United States made it the duty of the superintendent to notice the murderous

(233)

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conduct of the Coquilles. As Dart had come to treat, he did not wish to appear as an avenger; neither did he feel secure as conciliator. It was at length decided to employ the Cape Blanco native, who under took to ascertain the whereabouts, alive or dead, of the seven men still missing of the T Vault party. This he did by sending two women of his tribe to the Coquille River, where the killing of five, and probable escape of the rest, was ascertained. The women in terred the mangled bodies in the sand.

The attitude of the Coquilles was not assuring. To treat with them while they harbored murderers would not do; and how to make them give them up without calling on the military puzzled the superin tendent. Finally Parrish, whose residence among the Clatsops had given him some knowledge of the coast tribes, undertook to secure hostages, but failed. 1 Dart returned to Portland about the 1st of October, leaving his interpreter with Kautz.

Between the visits of Governor Gaines to Rogue River and Dart to Port Orford, disturbances had been resumed in the former region. Gaines had agreed upon a mutual restitution of property or of its value, which was found not to work well, the miners being as much dissatisfied as the Indians. From this reason, and because the majority of the Rogue River natives were not parties to the treaty, not many weeks had elapsed after Gaines returned to Oregon City before depredations were resumed. A settler s cabin was broken into on Grave Creek, and some travellers were fired on from ambush; 2 rumors of which reach ing the superintendent before leaving the Willamette, he sent a messenger to request the Rogue River chiefs to meet him at Port Orford. Ignorance of Indian ways, unpardonable in a superintendent, could alone have caused so great a blunder. Not only did they refuse thus to go into their neighbor s territory,


I 0r. Anecdotes, MS., 58-61.

2 Or. Statesman, Sept. 2, 9, 16, and 30, 1851.

AFFAIRS AT PORT ORFORD. 235

but made the request an excuse for further disturb ances. 3 Again, there were white men in this region who killed and robbed white men, charging their crimes 4 upon the savages. Indian Agent Skinner held conferences with several bands at Koofue River, all of

O

whom professed friendship and accepted presents; 5 in which better frame of mind I will leave them and return to affairs at Port Orford.

When intelligence of the massacre on the Coquille was received at division headquarters in California, punishment was deemed necessary, and as I have be fore mentioned, a military force was transferred to the Port Orford station. The troops, commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Casey of the 2d infantry, were portions of companies E and A, 1st dragoons dis mounted, lieutenants Thomas Wright and Georo-e

o o

Stoneman, and company C with their horses. The dismounted men arrived at Port Orford October 22d, and the mounted men by the next steamer, five days later. On the 31st the three companies set out for the mouth of the Coquille, arriving at their destina tion November 3d, Colonel Casey and Lieutenant Stanton leading the mounted men, with Brush, a sur vivor of the massacre, as guide, and a few stragglers. The Coquilles were bold and brave. One of them meeting Wright away from camp attempted to wrest from him his rifle, and was shot by that officer for his temerity. On the 5th the savages assembled on the

3 Two drovers, Moffat and Evans, taking a herd of swine to the Shasta mines, encamped with two others near the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, their hogs eating the acorns used as food by the natives, who demanded a hog in payment. One of them pointed his gun at a pig as if to shoot, whereupon Moffat drew his pistol, and accidentally discharging it, hurt his hand. Irri tated by the pain, Moffat fired at the Indian, killing him. Another Indian then fired at Moffat, giving him a mortal wound. In the excitement, Evans and the Indians exchanged shots, wounds being received on both sides. Moffat was from Philadelphia, where he had a family. Or. Statesman, Nov. 11 and 25, 1851; Or. Spectator, Jan. 6, 1852.

4 There was at this time on the southern border of Oregon an organized band of desperadoes, white men, half-breeds, and Indians, who were the terror of the miners. See Popular Tribunal*, this series, passim.

b U. S. Sen. Doc., 32d cong. 2d sess., i. 453.

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north bank to the number of one hundred and fifty, and by their gesticulations challenged the troops to battle. The soldiers fired across the river, the Co- quilles returning the fire with the guns taken from T Vault s party ; 6 but no damage was done. Construct ing a raft, the main body crossed to the north side on the 7th in a cold drenching rain, while Stanton proceeded up the south side, ready to cooperate with Casey when the Indians, who had now retreated up the stream, should be found. It was soon ascertained that a campaign on the Coquille was no trifling matter. The savages were nowhere to be found in force, hav ing fled toward head waters, or a favorable ambush. Marching in order was not to be thought of; and after several days of wading through morasses, climb ing hills, and forcing a way among the undergrowth by day and sleeping under a single wet blanket at night, the order to retreat was given. Nothing had been met with on the route but deserted villages, which were invariably destroyed, together with the winter s store of provisions a noble revenge on inno cent women and children, who must starve in conse quence. Returning to the mouth of the river, Casey sent to Port Orford for boats to be brought overland, on the arrival of which the campaign was recom menced on a different plan.

In three small boats were crowded sixty men, in such a manner that their arms could not be used; and so they proceeded up the river for four days, finding no enemy. At the forks, the current being strong, the troops encamped. It was now the 20th of No vember, and the weather very inclement. On the 21st Casey detailed Stonemari to proceed up the south branch with one boat and fourteen men; while Wright

6 T Vault says there were eight rifles, one musket, one double-barrelled pis tol, one Sharp s patent 36 shooting-rifle, one Colt s six-shooter, one brace hol ster pistols, with ammunition, and some blankets. Here were fourteen shoot ing-arms, many of them repeating, yet the party could not defend themselves on account of the suddenness and manner of the attack. Or. Statexman, Oct. 7, 1851.

FIGHT WITH THE COQUILLES. 237

with a similar force ascended the north branch, look ing for Indians. After advancing six or eight miles, Stoneman discovered the enemy in force on both banks. A few shots were fired, and the party returned and reported. In the course of the afternoon Wright also returned, having been about eighteen miles up the north branch without finding any foe. On the 22d the whole command set out toward the Indian camp on the south branch, taking only two boats, with five men in each, the troops marching up the right bank to within half a mile of the point aimed at, when Stonernan crossed to the left bank with one company, and the march was resumed in silence, the boats con tinuing to ascend with equal caution. The Indians were found assembled at the junction. When the boats were within a hundred and fifty yards of them the savages opened fire with guns and arrows. Wright then made a dash to the river bank, and with yells drove the savages into concealment. Meanwhile Stoneman was busy picking off certain of the enemy stationed on the bank to prevent a landing.

The engagement lasted only about twenty minutes, and the Coquilles had now scampered into the woods, where it would be useless to attempt to follow them. Fifteen were killed and many appeared to be wounded. Their lodges and provisions were burned, while their canoes were carried away. Casey, who was with Wright on the north bank, joined in the fighting with enthusiasm, telling the men to take good aim and not throw away shots. 7

The troops returned to the mouth of the river, where they remained for a few days, and then marched back to Port Orford, and took passage on the Colum bia for San Francisco, where they arrived on the 12th

7 The above details are mostly from the letter of a private soldier, written to his brother in the east. Before the letter was finished the writer was drowned in the Sixes River near Cape Blanco, while riding express from Port Orford to Lieut. Stoneman s camp at the mouth of the Coquille. The letter was published in the Alto, California, Dec. 14, 1851. It agrees with other but less particular accounts, in the 8. F. Herald of Dec. 4, 1851, and Or. States man, Dec. 16 and 30, 1851. See also Davidson s Coast Pilot, 119.

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of December. 8 This expedition cost the government some twenty-five thousand dollars/ and resulted in killing a dozen or more Indians, which coming after the late friendly professions of Indian Agent Parrish, did not tend to confidence in the promises of the govern ment, or increase the safety of the settlers. 10

I have told how Stanton returned to Oregon with

o

troops to garrison Fort Orford, being shipwrecked and detained four months at Coos Bay. He had orders to explore for a road to the interior, in connec tion with Williamson, who had already begun this survey. The work was prosecuted with energy, and finished in the autumn of 1852.

The presents distributed by Skinner had not the virtue to preserve lasting tranquillity in the mining region. In the latter part of April 1852, a citizen of Marion county returning from the mines w T as robbed of his horse and other property in the Grave Creek hills by Rogue River Indians. This act was followed by other interruption of travellers, and de mand for pay for passing fords. 11 Growing bolder, robbery was followed by murder, and then came war. 12

On the 8th of July, a Shasta, named Scarface, a

z Cal Courier, Dec. 13, 1851.

9 Report of Major Robert Allen, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 2, vol. ii. part 1, p. 150, 32d cong. Istsess.

10 The commanders went without an interpreter to the Coquille village, and just banged away until they gratified themselves, and then went to Port Orford and back to San Francisco. Parrish s Or. Anecdotes, MS., 66. See also Alta California, Dec. 14, 1851.

n Hearne s Cal. Sketches, MS., 2.

12 In the early spring of 1852 a party of five men, led by James Coy, left Jacksonville to look for mining ground toward the coast. Having discov ered some good diggings on a tributary of Illinois JRiver, now called Jose phine Creek, they were following up the right branch, when they discovered, three miles above the junction, the remains of two white men, evidently murdered by the Indians. Being few in number, they determined to return and reenforce. Camping at night at the mouth of Josephine Creek, they were attacked by a large force. They kept the enemy at bay until the next night, when one of the men crowded through their lines, and hastened to Jacksonville for aid. All that day, and the next, and until about ten o clock on the third, the besieged defended their little fortress, when a party of 35 came down the mountain to their relief; and finding the country rich in mines, took up claims, and made the first permanent settlement in Illinois Valley. Scraps Southern Or. Hint., in Ashland Tidings, Sept. 20, 1878.

TROUBLES WITH THE SHASTAS. 239

notorious villain, who had killed his chief and usurped authority, murdered one Calvin Woodman, on Ind ian Creek, a small tributary of the Klamath. The white men of Shasta and Scott s valleys arrested the head chief, and demanded the surrender of Scarface and his accomplice, another Shasta known as Bill. The captured chief not only refused, but made his escape. The miners then organized, and in a fight which ensued the sheriff was wounded, some horses being killed. Mr E. Steele was then living at Yreka. He had mined in the Shasta valley when Lane was digging gold in that vicinity. The natives had named him Jo Lane s Brother, and he had great influence with them. Steele had been absent at the time of the murder, but returning to Scott Valley soon after, found the Indians moving their families toward the Salmon River mountains, a sign of approaching trouble. Hastening to Johnson s rancho, he learned what had occurred, and also met there a company from Scott Bar prosecuting an unsuccessful search for the savages in the direction of Yreka. Next day, at the request of Johnson, who had his family at the rancho and was concerned for their safety, Steele col lected the Indians in Scott Valley and held a council. The Shastas, to which nation belonged the Rosfue

-

River tribes, were divided under several chiefs as fol lows: Tolo was the acknowledged head of those who lived in the flat country about Yreka ; Scarface and Bill were over those in Shasta Valley; John of those in Scott Valley; and Sam and Jo of those in Rogue River Valley, having been formerly all under one chief, the fa ther of John. On the death of the old chief a feud had arisen concerning the supremacy, which was inter rupted by the appearance of white men, since which time each had controlled his own band. Then there were two chiefs who had their country at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains on the north side, or south of Jacksonville, namely, Tipso, that is to say, The Hairy, from his heavy beard, and Sullix, or the Bad -tern

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pered, both of whom were unfriendly to the settlers and miners. 13 They also had wars with the Shastas on the south side of the Siskiyou/ 4 and were alto gether turbulent in their character.

The chiefs whom Steele induced to trust themselves inside Johnson s stockade for conference were Tolo, his son Philip, and John, with three of his brothers, one of whom was known as Jim. These affirmed that they desired peace, and said if Steele would accom pany them they would go in search of the murderers. Accordingly a party of seven was formed, four more joining at Shasta canon. 15 Proceeding to Yreka, Steele had some trouble to protect his savages from the citizens, who wished to hang them. But an order of arrest having been obtained from the county judge, the party proceeded, and in two days reached the hiding-place of Scarface and Bill. The criminals had fled, having gone to join Sam, brother of Chief Jo, Lane s namesake, who had taken up arms because Dr Ambrose, a settler, had seized the ground which was the winter residence of the tribe, and because he would not betroth his daughter to Sam s son, both children being still of tender age.

Tolo, Philip, and Jim then withdrew from the party of white men, substituting two young warriors, who were pledged to find Scarface and Bill, or suffer in their stead. A party under Wright then proceeded to the Klamath country. Steele went to Rogue River, hearing on the Siskiyou Mountain confirmation of the war rumor from a captured warrior, afterward shot in trying to effect his escape.

Rumors of disaffection reaching Table Rock, 16 seven-

13 See CardwelVa Em. Co., MS., 15, 7.

  • Id., 15-21; Ashland Tid., Dec. 2, 9, 1876, and Sept. 20, 1878.

J5 The Scott Valley men were John McLeod, James Bruce, James White, Peter Snellback, John Galvin, and a youth called Harry. The four from Shasta were J. D. Cook, F. W. Merritt, L. S. Thompson, and Ben. Wright, who acted as interpreter.

16 Jacksonville was at this time called Table Rock, though without rele vance. The first journal published there was the Table Hock Sentinel. Prim s Judicial Affairs in 8. Or., MS., 3.

PARLEYS. 241

ty-five or eighty men, with John K. Lamerick as leader, volunteered to go and kill Indians. Hearing of it, Skinner hastened to prevent slaughter, but only obtained a promise not to attack until he should have had an opportunity of parley. A committee of four was appointed by the citizens of Table Rock to ac company the agent. They found Sam at his encamp ment at Big Bar, two miles from the house of Ambrose, and at no great distance from Stuart s former camp. Sam did not hesitate to cross to the south side to talk with Skinner. He declared him self for peace, and proposed to send for his brother Jo, with all his band, to meet the agent the following day; nor did he make any objection when told that a large number of white men would be present to wit ness the negotiations.

At this juncture, Steele arrived in the valley with his party and two Shastas, Skinner confessing to him that the situation was serious. He agreed, how ever, to Steele s request to make the delivery of the murderers one of the conditions of peace.

At the time appointed, Skinner and Steele repaired to Big Bar with their respective commands and the volunteers under Lamerick. One of Steele s Shastas was sent to Sam with a message, requesting him to come over the river and bring a few of his warriors as a body-guard. After the usual Indian parley he came, accompanied by Jo and a few fighting men; but seeing Lamerick s company mounted and drawn up in line, expressed a fear of them, when Skinner caused them to dismount and stack their arms.

The messenger to Sam s camp told Steele that he had recognized the murderers among Sam s people, and Steele demanded his arrest; but Skinner refused, fearing bloodshed. The agent went further, and ordered the release of two prisoners taken by Steele on the north side of the Siskiyou Mountains, Sam having first made the demand, and refused to negotiate until it was complied with. The order was accom-

HIST. OK., VOL. II. 16

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panied with the notice to Steele that he was within the jurisdiction of the person giving the command. But all was of no avail. Steele seemed as determined to precipitate war as was Skinner to avoid it. Final ly Skinner addressed himself to the prisoners, telling them they were free, that he was chief of the white people in the Indian country, and they should accept their liberty. On the other hand, Steele warned his prisoners that if they attempted to escape they would be shot, when Skinner threatened to arrest and send him to Oregon City. The quarrel ended by Steele keeping his captives under a guard of two of his own men, who were instructed to shoot them if they ran away, Sam and his party being informed of the order. His six remaining men were stationed with reference to a surprise from the rear and a rescue.

The conference then proceeded; but presently a hundred armed warriors crossed the river and mixed with the unarmed white men, whereupon Steele or dered his men to resume their arms.

The council resulted in nothing. Sam declined to give up the murderers, and the talk of the chiefs was shuffling and evasive. At length, on a pretence of wishing to consult with some of his people, Sam ob tained permission to return to the north bank of the river, from which he shouted back defiance, and say ing that he should not return. The white forces were then divided, Lamerick going with half the company to a ford above Big Bar, and his lieutenant with the remainder to the ford half a mile below, pre pared to cross the river and attack Sam s camp if any hostile demonstrations should be made at the council ground. But the agent, apprehensive of an outbreak, followed the angry chief to the north side, the Ind ians also crossing over until about fifty only re mained. Becoming alarmed for the safety of Skin ner, Steele placed a guard at the crossing to prevent all the Indians returning to camp before the agent should come back, which he did in company with one

THE BATTLE BEGINS. 243

of the Shastas, who had been sent to warn him. Though the agent was aware that this man could point out the murderers, he would not consent,, lest it should be a signal for battle.

By the time Steele had recrossed the river, a fresh commotion arose over the rumor that Scarface was seen with two others goinof over the hills toward the

^j _cp

Klamath. The Rogue River warriors, still on the south side, observing it, began posting themselves under cover of some trees, as if preparing for a skir mish, to prevent which Steele s men placed them selves in a position to intercept them, when an encounter appearing imminent, Martin Angell, 17 a settler, proposed to the Indians to give up their arms, and sheltering themselves in a log house in the vicinity, to remain there as hostages until the criminals should be brought back by their own peo ple. The proposition was accepted; but when they had filed past Steele s party they made a dash to gain the woods. This was the critical moment. To allow the savages to gain cover would be to expose the white men to a fire they could not return; there fore the order was given, and firing set in on both sides.

It should not be forgotten that Steele s men from the California side of the Siskiyou, throughout the whole affair, had done all that was done to precipitate the conflict, which was nevertheless probably una voidable in the agitated state of both Indians and white men. The savages were well armed and ready for war, and the miners and settlers were bent on the mastery. When the firing began, Lanierick s com pany were still at the fords, some distance from the others. At the sound of the guns he hastened up the valley to give protection to the settlers families,

17 Angell had formerly resided at Oregon City. He removed to Rogue River Valley, participated in the Indian wars, and was killed by the savages of Rogue River in 1855. He was regarded as a good man and a useful citi zen. His only son made his residence at Portland. Lanes Autobiography, MS., 107.

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leaving a minority of the volunteers to engage the Indians from the north side should they attempt to cross the river. 18

The fighting lasted but a short time. The Indians made a charge with the design of releasing Steele s prisoners, when they ran toward the river. One was shot before he reached it, the other as he came out of the water on the opposite bank. Sam then ordered a party of warriors to the south side to cut off Steele, but they were themselves surprised by a detachment of the volunteers, and several killed, 19 the remainder re treating. Only one white man was wounded, and he in one finger. The Indian agent had retired to his resi dence at the beginning of the fight. That same night information was received that during the holding of the council some Indians had gone to a bar down the river, and had surprised and killed a small company of miners. Lamerick at once made preparations to cross the river on the night of the 19th of July, and take his position in the pass between Table Rock and the river, while Steele s company moved at the same time farther up, to turn the Indians back on Lamerick s force in the morning. The movement was successful. Sam s people were surrounded, and the chief sued for peace on the terms first- offered, namely, that he should give up the murderers, asking that the agent be sent for to make a treaty.

But Skinner, who had found himself ignored as

18 Before we reached the place where the battle was going on, we met a large portion of the company coming from the battle as fast as their horses could run. The foremost man was Charley Johnson. He called to me to come with him. I said, "Have the Indians whipped you?" He said nothing, but kept on running, and crying, "Come this way." We wheeled, and went with the crowd, who went to the house of Dr Ambrose. The Indians had started toward the house, and it was supposed they meant to murder the family. CardweWs Emigrant Company, MS., 24,

19 Steele says sixteen, including the prisoners. Cardwell states that many sprang into the water and were shot. Skinner gives the number as four; and states further that a man by the name of Steel, who pretended to^be the leader of the party from Shasta, was principally instrumental in causing the attack on the prisoners, which for a time produced general hostilities. U. S. Sen. Doc., i., 32d cong. 2d sess., vol. i. pt i. 457. CardweWs Emigrant Com pany r , MS., 25; California Star, Aug. 7, 1852.

TRUCE AND REENFORCEMENT. 245

maintainer of the peace, and was busy preparing for the defence of his house and property, was slow to respond to this request. A council was appointed for the next day. In the explanations which followed it was ascertained that Scar face had not been with Sam, but was hiding in the Salmon River mountains. The person pointed out as Scarface was Sullix of Tipso s band, who also had a face badly scarred. The real criminal was ultimately arrested, and hanged at Yreka. A treaty was agreed to by Sam requiring the Rogue River Indians to hold no communication with the Shastas. 20 For the remainder of the summer hostili ties on Rogue River were suspended, the Indian agent occasionally presenting Sam s band with a fat ox, find ing it easier and cheaper to purchase peace with beef than to let robberies go on, or to punish the robbers. 21 Such was the condition of Indian affairs in the south of Oregon in the summer and autumn of 1852, when the superintendent received official notice that all the Indian treaties negotiated in Oregon had been ordered to lie upon the table in the senate; while he was instructed by the commissioner, until the general policy of the government should be more def initely understood, to enter into no more treaty stip ulations with them, except such as might be imperi ously required to preserve peace. 25 As if partially to avert the probable consequences to the people of Ore gon of this rejection of the treaties entered into be tween Governor Gaines, Superintendent Dart, and the Indians, there arrived at Vancouver, in September, 268 men, rank and file, composing the skeleton of the 4th regiment of infantry, under Lieutenant-colonel Bonneville. 23 It was now too late in the season for

20 Sullix was badly wounded on the day of the battle. See CardweWs Emigrant Company, MS., 25-6.

21 The expenses of Steele s expedition were $2,200, which were never reim bursed from any source.

  • z Letter of Anson Dart in Or. Statesman, Oct. 30, 1852. Dart resigned

in December, his resignation to take effect the following June.

^ 3 A large number of the 4th reg. had died on the Isthmus. Or. States man, Sept. 25, 1852.

246 PLAUSIBLE PACIFICATION.

troops to do more than go into winter quarters. The settlers and the emigration had defended themselves for another year without aid from the government, and the comments afterward made upon their manner of doing it, in the opinion of the volunteers came with a very ill grace from the officers of that government. 24

24 Further details of this campaign are given in Lane s Autobiography, MS.; CardwelVs Emigrant Company, MS. ; and the files of the Oregon {Statesman.

CHAPTER IX.

SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING. 1851-1853.

PROPOSED TERRITORIAL DIVISION COAST SURVEY LIGHT-HOUSES ESTAB LISHED JAMES S. LAWSON His BIOGRAPHY, PUBLIC SERVICES, AND CONTRIBUTION TO HISTORY PROGRESS NORTH OF THE COLUMBIA SOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA BIRTH OF TOWNS CREATION OF COUNTIES PROPOSED NEW TERRITORY RIVER NAVIGATION IMPROVEMENTS AT THE CLACK- AMAS RAPIDS ON THE TUALATIN RIVER LA CREOLE RIVER BRIDGE- BUILDING WORK AT THE FALLS OF THE WILLAMETTE FRUIT CULTURE THE FIRST APPLES SENT TO CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL PROGRESS IMPORTS AND EXPORTS SOCIETY.

A MOVEMENT was made north of the Columbia River in the spring of 1851, to divide Oregon, all that portion north and west of the Columbia to be erected into a new territory, with a separate govern ment a scheme which met with little opposition from the legislature of Oregon or from congress. Accordingly in March 1853 the separation was con summated. The reasons advanced were the alleged disadvantages to the Puget Sound region of unequal legislation, distance from the seat of government, and rivalry in commercial interests. North of the Columbia progress was slow from the beginning of American settlements in 1845 to 1850, when the Puget Sound region began to feel the effect of the California gold discoveries, with increased facilities for communication with the east. In answer to the oft-repeated prayers of the legislature of Oregon, that a survey might be made of the Pacific coast of the United States, a commission was appointed in

( 247 )

248 SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

November 1848, whose business it was to make an ex amination with reference to points of occupation for the security of trade and commerce, and for military and naval purposes.

The commissioners were Brevet Colonel J. L. Smith, Major Cornelius A. Ogden, Lieutenant Danville Lead- better of the engineer corps of the United States army, and commanders Louis M. Goldsborough, G. J. Van Brunt, and Lieutenant Simon F. Blunt of the navy. They sailed from San Francisco in the government steam propeller Massachusetts, officered by Samuel Knox, lieutenant commanding, Isaac N. Briceland act ing lieutenant, and James H. Moore acting master, arriving in Puget Sound about the same time the Ewing reached the Columbia River in the spring of 1850, and remaining in the sound until July. The commissioners reported in favor of light-houses at New Dungeness and Cape Flattery, or Tatooch Island, informing the government that traffic had much in creased in Oregon, and on the sound, it being their opinion that no spot on the globe offered equal facili ties for the lumber trade. 1 Shoalwater Bay was ex amined by Lieutenant Leadbetter, who gave his name to the southern side of the entrance, which is called Leadbetter Point. The Massachusetts visited the Co lumbia, and recommended Cape Disappointment on which to place a light-house. After this superficial reconnoissance, which terminated in July, the commis sioners returned to California.

The length of time elapsing from the sailing of the commission from New York to its arrival on the North west Coast, with the complaints of the Oregon dele gate, caused the secretary of the treasury to request Professor A. D. Bache, superintendent of coast sur veys, to hasten operations in that quarter as much as possible; a request which led the latter to despatch a third party, in the spring of 1850, under Professor George Davidson, which arrived in California in June,

1 Coast Survey, 1850, 127.

DAVIDSON S SURVEY. 249

and proceeded immediately to carry out the intentions of the government. 2 Being employed on the coast of southern California. Davidson did not reach Oregon

7 c}

till June 1851, when he completed the topographical surveys of Cape Disappointment, Point Adams, and Sand Island, at the entrance to the Columbia, and de parted southward, having time only to examine Port Orford harbor before the winter storms. It was not until July 1852 that a protracted and careful survey was begun by Davidson s party, when he returned in the steamer Active? Captain James Alden of the navy, to examine the shores of the Strait of Fuca and adja cent coasts, a work in which he was engaged for sev-

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eral years, to his own credit and the advantage of the country. 4 For many years Captain Lawson has di rected his very valuable efforts to the region about Puget Sound. 5

2 Davidson s party were all young men, anxious to distinguish themselves. They were A. M. Harrison, James S. Lawson, and John Rockwell. They sailed in the steamer Philadelphia, Capt. Robert Pearson, crossed the Isthmus, and took passage again on the Tennessee, Capt. Cole, for San Francisco. Law- son s Autobiography, MS., 5-18.

3 The Active was the old steamer Gold Hunter rechristened. LawsorisAu- tobiograph;/, MS., 49.

4 For biography, and further information concerning Prof. Davidson and his labors, see Hist. CaL, this series.

James S. Lawson was born in Philadelphia, Feb. 13, 1828, was educated in the schools of that city, and while in the Central high school was a class mate of George Davidson, Prof. Bache being principal. Bache had formerly been president of Girard College, and still had charge of the magnetic obser vatory in the college grounds. The night observers were selected from the pupils of the high school, and of these Lawson was one, continuing to serve till the closing of the observatory in 1845. In that year Lawson was ap pointed second assistant teacher in the Catherine-street grammar school of Philadelphia, which position he held for one year, when he was offered a po sition in the Friends school at Wilmington, Delaware, under charge of Sam uel Allsoff. In January 1848 Lawson commenced duty as a clerk to Prof. Bache, then superintendent of the U. S. coast survey, remaining in that ca pacity until detached and ordered to join Davidson for the surveys on the Pacific coast in 1850. From the time of his arrival on the Pacific coast to the present, Capt. Lawson has been almost continuously engaged in the labor of making government surveys as an assistant of Prof. Davidson. Lawsoii s Autobiography, MS., 2. His work for a number of years has been chiefly in that portion of the original Oregon territory north of the Columbia and west of the Cascade Mountains, and his residence has been at Olympia, where his high character and scientific attainments have secured him the esteem of all, and in which quiet and beautiful little capital repose may be found from oc casional toil and exposure. Mr Harrison was, like Davidson and Lawson, a graduate of the Philadelphia Central school, and of the same class.

This manuscript of Lawson s authorship is one of unusual value, contain

250 SURVEYS AND TOWX- MAKING.

I have referred to the surveying expeditions in this place with the design, not only of bringing them into their proper sequence in point of time, but to make plain as I proceed correlative portions of my narra tive.

Between 1846, the year following the first Ameri can settlements on Puget Sound, and 1848, popula tion did not much increase, nor was there any com merce to speak of with the outside world until the autumn of the last-named year, when the settlers discarded their shingle-making and their insignificant trade at Fort Nisqually, to open with their ox-teams a wagon road to the mines on the American River. The new movement revolutionized affairs. Not only was the precious dust now to be found in gratifying bulk in many odd receptacles never intended for such use in the cabins of squatters, but money, real hard coin, became once more familiar to fingers that had nearly forgotten the touch of the precious metals. In January 1850, some returning miners reached the Sound in the first American vessel entering those wa-

o

ters for the purposes of trade, and owned by a com pany of four of them. 6 This was the beginning of trade on Puget Sound, which had increased consider ably in 18523, owing to the demand for lumber in San Francisco. The towns of Olympia, Steilacoom, Alki, Seattle, and Port Townsend already enjoyed some of the advantages of commerce, though yet in their infancy. A town had been started on Baker Bay, which, however, had but a brief existence, and settlements had been made on Shoalwater Bay and Gray Harbor, as well as on the principal rivers enter ing them, and at Cowlitz Landing:. At the Cascades

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of the Columbia a town was surveyed in 1850, and

ing, besides a history of the scientific work of the coast survey, many original scraps of history, biography, and anecdotes of persons met with in the early years of the service, both in Oregon and California. Published entire it would be read with interest. It is often a source of regret that the limits of my work, extended as it is, preclude the possibility of extracting all that is tempting in my manuscripts. 6 See llist. Wash., this series.

POPULATION. 251

trading establishments located at the upper and lower falls; and in fact, the map of that portion of Oregon north of the Columbia had marked upon it in the spring of 1852 nearly every important point which is seen there to-day.

Of the general condition of the country south of the Columbia at the period of the division, something may be here said, as I shall not again refer to it in a par ticular manner. The population, before the addition of the large immigration of 1852, was about twenty thousand, most of whom were scattered over the Willamette Valley upon farms. The rage for laying out towns, which was at its height from 1850 to 1853, had a tendency to retard the growth of any one of them. 7 Oregon City, the oldest in the terri tory, had not much over one thousand inhabitants. Portland, by reason of its advantages for unloading shipping, had double that number. The other towns, Milwaukie, Salem, Corvallis, Albany, Eugene, Lafay ette, Dayton, and Hillsboro, and the newer ones in the southern valleys, could none of them count a thousand. 8


7 Joel Palmer bought the claim of Andrew Smith, and founded the town of Dayton about 1850. Lafayette was the property of Joel Perkins, Cor- va lis of J. C. A very, Albany of the Monteith brothers, Eugene of Eugene Skinner, Cany on ville of Jesse Roberts, who sold it to Marks, Sideman & Co., who laid it out for a town.

8 A town called Milwaukie was surveyed on the claim of Lot Whitcomb. It contained 500 inhabitants in the autumn of 1850, more than it had thirty years later. Or. Spectator, Nov. 28, 1850. Deady, in Overland Monthly, i. 37. Os\vego, on the west bank of the Willamette, later famous for its iron-works, was laid out about the same time, but never had the population of Milwaukie, of which it was the rival. Dallas, in Polk county, was founded in 1852. St Helen, on the Columbia, was competing for the advantage of being the seaport of Oregon, and the Pacific Mail Steamship Company had decreed that so it should be, when the remonstrances, if not the sinister acts, of Portland men effected the ruin of ambitious hopes. St Helen was on the land claim of H. M. Knighton, an immigrant of 1845, and had an excellent situation. Wevd\< Queen Charlotte IL Exp., MS., 7. Milton and St Helen, one and ;i half miles apart, on the Columbia, had each 20 or 25 houses. . . . Gray, a Dane, was the chief founder of St Helen. Saint- Amant, Voyages en Cal. ct Or. , 368-9, 378. It was surveyed and marked out in lots and blocks by P. W. Crawford, assisted by W. H. Tappan, and afterward mapped by Joseph Trutch, later of Victoria, B. C. A road was laid out to the Tualatin plains, and a railroad projected ; the steamship company erected a wharf wilh .Other improvements. But meetings were held in Portland to prevent the

252 SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

Some ambitious persons attempted to get a county organization for the country east of the Cascade Mountains in the winter of 1852-3, to which the leg-

O

stopping of the steamers below that town, and successive fires destroyed the company s improvements at St Helen, compelling their vessels to go to the former place.

Milton, another candidate for favor, was situated on Scappoose Bay, an arm of the Willamette, just above St Helen. It was founded by sea cap tains Nathan Crosby and Thomas H. Smith, who purchased the Hunsaker mills on Milton Creek, where they made lumber to load the bark Louisiana, which they owned. They also opened a store there, and assisted in building the road to the Tualatin plains. Several sea-going men invested in lots, and business for a time was brisk. But all their brilliant hopes were destined to destruction, for there came a summer flood which swept the town away. Captains Drew, Menzies, Pope, and Williams were interested in Milton. Crawford s Nar., MS., 223. Among the settlers in the vicinity of St Helen and Milton was Capt. F. A. Lemont, of Bath, Maine, who as a sailor accom panied Capt. Dominis when he entered the Columbia in 1829-30. He was after ward on Wyeth s vessel, the May Dacre, which was in the river in 1834. Re turning to Oregon after having been master of several vessels, he settled at St Helen in 1850, where he still resides. Of the early residents Lemon t has furnished me the following list from memory: Benjamin Durell, Witherell, W. H. Tappan, Joseph Trutch, John Trutch, L. C. Gray, Aaron Broyles, James G. Hunter, Dr Adlum, Hiram Field, Seth Pope, John Dodge, George Thing, William English, William Hazard, Benjamin Teal, B. Conley, William Meeker, Charles H. Reed, Joseph Caples, Joseph Cunningham, A. E. Clark, Robert Germain, G. W. Veasie, C. Carpenter, J. Carpenter, Lockwood, Lit tle, Tripp, Berry, Dunn, Burrows, Fiske, Layton, Kearns, Holly, Maybee, Archilles, Cortland, and Atwood, with others. Knighton, the owner of St Helen, is pronounced by Crawford a presumptuous man, because while knowing nothing about navigation, as Crawford affirms, he undertook to pilot the SUvie de Grasse to Astoria, running her upon the rock where she was spitted. He subsequently sailed a vessel to China, and finally engaged as a captain on the Willamette. Knighton died at The Dalles about 1864. His wife was Elizabeth Martin of Yamhill county. He left several children in Washington.

Westport, on the Columbia, thirty miles above Astoria, was settled by John West in 1851; and Rainier, opposite the Cowlitz, by Charles E. Fox in the same year. It served for several years as a distributing point for mail and passengers to and from Puget Sound. Frank Warreii, A. Harper and brother, and William C. Moody were among the residents at Rainier. Craw ford s Nar., MS., 260. At or near The Dalles there had been a solitary set tler ever since the close of the Cayuse war; and also a settler named Tomlin- son, and two Frenchmen on farms in Tygh Valley, fifty miles or more south of The Dalles. These pioneers of eastern Oregon, after the missionaries, made money as well as a good living, by trading in cattle and horses with emi grants and Indians, which they sold to the miners in California. After the establishment of a military post at The Dalles, it required a government license, issued by the sup. of Indian affairs, to trade anywhere above the Cascades, and a special permission from the commander of the post to trade at this point. John C. Bell of Salem was the first trader at The Dalles, as he was sutler for the army at The Dalles in 1850. When the rifle regiment were ordered away, Bell sold to William Gibson, who then became sutler. In 1851 A. McKinlay & Co., of Oregon City, obtained permission to estab lish a trading post at The Dalles, and building a cabin they placed it in charge of Perrin Whitman. In 1852, they erected a frame building west of the present Umatilla House, which they used as a store, but sold the follow ing year to Simms and Humason. W. C. Laughlin took a land claim thia

COUNTY ORGANIZATION. 253

islature would have consented if they had agreed to have the new county attached to Clarke for judicial purposes; but this being objected to, and the popula tion being scarce, the legislature declined to create the county, which was however established in Janu ary 1854, and called Wasco. 9 In the matter of other /

county organizations south of the Columbia, the leg islature was ready to grant all petitions if not to an ticipate them. In 1852-3 it created Jackson, includ-

year and built a house upon it. A Mr Bigelow brought a small stock of goods to The Dalles, chiefly groceries and liquors, and built a store the fol lowing year; and William Gibson moved his store from the garrison grounds to the town outside. It was subsequently purchased by Victor Trevitt, who kept a saloon called the Mount Hood.

In the autumn of 1852, companies K and I of the 4th inf. reg., under Capt. Alvord, relieved the little squad of artillery men who had garrisoned the post since the departure of the rifle regiment. It was the post which formed the nucleus of trade and business at The Dalles, and which made it necessary to improve the means of transportation, that the government sup plies might be more easily and rapidly conveyed. The immigration of 18o2 were not blind to the advantages of the location, and a number of claims were taken on the small streams in the neighborhood of The Dalles. Ru mors of gold discoveries in the Cascade Mountains north of the Columbia River were current about this time. H. P. Isaacs of Walla Walla, who is the author of an intelligent account of the development of eastern Oregon and Washington, entitled The Upper Columbia Basin, MS., relates that a Klikitat found and gave to a Frenchman a piece of gold quartz, which being exhibited at Oregon City induced him to go with the Indian in the spring of 1853 to look for it. But the Klikitat either could not or would not find the place, and Isaacs went to trade with the immigrants at Fort Bois6, putting a ferry across Snake River in the summer of that year, but returning to The Dalles, where he remained until 18G3, when he removed to the Walla Walla Valley and put up a grist mill, and assisted in various ways to improve that section. Isaacs married a daughter of James Fulton of The Dalles, of whom I have already made mention. A store was kept in The Dalles by L. J. Henderson and Shang, in a canvas house. They built a log house the next year. Tompkins opened a hotel in a building put up by McKinlay & Co. Forman built a blacksmith shop, and Lieut. Forsyth erected a two- story frame house, which was occupied the next year as a hotel by Gates. Cushing and Low soon put up another log store, and J ames McAuliff a third. Dal eft Mountaineer, May 28, 1869.

9 Or. Jour. Council, 1852-3, 90; Gen. Laws Or., 544. The establishment of Wasco county was opposed by Major Rains of the 4th infantry stationed at Fort Dalles in the winter of 1853-4. He said that Wasco county was the largest ever known, though it had but about thirty-five white inhabitants, and these claimed a right to locate where they chose, in accordance with the act of Sept. 27, 1850. Or. Jour. Council, 1853-4, app. 49-50; U. S. Sen. Doc. 16, vol. vi. 16-17, 33d cong. 2d sess. Rains reported to Washington, which frustrated for a time the efforts of Lane to get a bill through congress regu lating bounty warrants in Oregon, it being feared that some of them might be located in Wasco county. Or. Statesman, March 20, 1855; Cong. Globe, 33d cong. 2d sess., 490. Wm C. Laughlin, Warren Keith, and John Tomp kins were appointed commissioners, J. A. Simms sheriff, and Justin Chen- oweth, judge.

254 SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

ing the valley of Rogue River and the country west of it to the Pacific. At the session of 1853, it created Coos county from the western portion of Jackson, Tillamook from the western part of YamhilJ, and Columbia from the northern end of Washington coun ty. The county seat of Douglas was changed from Winchester to Roseburg by election, according to an act of the legislature.

o

The creation of new counties and the loss of those north of the Columbia called for another census, and the redistricting of the territory of Oregon, with the reapportionment of members of the legislative assem bly, which consisted under the new arrangement of thirty members. The first judicial district was made to comprise Marion, Linn, Lane, Benton, and Polk, and was assigned to Judge Williams. The second district, consisting of Washington, Clackamas, Yam- hill, and Columbia, to Judge Olney; while the third, comprising Umpqua, Douglas, Jackson, and Coos, was given to McFadden, who held it for one term only, when Deady was reinstated.

Notwithstanding the Indian disturbances in south-

o

ern Oregon, its growth continued to be rapid. The shifting nature of the population may be inferred from fact that to Jackson county was apportioned four rep resentatives, while Marion, Washington, and Clacka mas were each allowed but three. 1(

A scheme was put on foot to form a new territory out of the southern countries with a portion of north ern California, the movement originating at Yreka, where it was advocated by the Mountain Herald. A meeting was held at Jacksonville January 7, 1854, which appointed a convention for the 25th. Memo rials were drafted to congress and the Oregon and California legislatures. The proceedings of the con vention were published in the leading journals of the coast, but the project received no encouragement from

10 Or. Statesman, Feb. 14, 1854.

STEAMERS OX THE WILLAMETTE. 255

legislators, nor did Lane lend himself to the scheme

o

farther than to present the memorial to congress. 11 On the contrary, he wrote to the Jacksonville malecon- tents that he could not approve of their action, which would, as he could easily discern, delay the admission of Oregon as a state, a consummation wished for by his supporters, to whom he essayed to add the demo crats of southern Oregon. Nothing further was thenceforward heard of the projected new territory. 12

Nothing was more indicative of the change taking place with the introduction of gold than the improve ment in the means of transportation on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, which was now performed by steamboats. 13

11 U. S. 77. Jour., 609, 33d cong. 1st sess.

la The Oregon men known to have been connected with this movement were Samuel Culver, T. McFaclden Patton, L. F. Mosher. D. M. Kenny, S. Ettlinger, Jesse Richardson, W. W. Fowler, C. Sims, Anthony Little, S. C. Craves, W. Burt, George Dart, A. Mclntire, G. L. Snelling, C. S. Drew, John E. Ross, Richard Dugan, Martin Angell, and J. A. Lupton. Those from the south side of the Siskiyou Mountains were E. Steele, H. G. Ferris, C. N. Thornbury, E. J. Curtis, E. Moore, 0. Wheelock, and J. Darrough. Or. Statesman, Feb. 7 and 28, 1854.

13 The first steamboat built to run upon these waters was called the Colum bia. She was an oddly shaped and clumsy craft, being a double-ender, like a ferry-boat. Her machinery was purchased in California by James Frost, one of the followers of the rifle regiment, who brought it to Astoria, where his boat was built. Frost was sutler to the regiment in which his brother was quartermaster. He returned to Missouri, and in the civil war held a com mand in the rebellious militia of that state. His home was afterward in St Louis. Dead}/, in Mc.Crackeiis Portland, MS., 7. It was a slo\r boat, taking 20 hours from Astoria to Oregon City, to which point she made her first voy age July 4, 1850. S. F. Pac. Ncivs, May 11, July 24, and Aug. 1, 1850; S. F. Herald, July 24, 1850; Portland Standard, July 8, 1879.

The second venture in steam navigation was the Lot Whitcomb of Oregon, named after her owner, built at Milwaukie, and launched with much cere mony on Christmas, 1850. She began running in March following. The name was selected by a committee nominated in a public meeting held for the purpose, W. K. Kilborn in the chair, and A. Bush secretary. The commit tee, A. L. Lovejoy, Hector Campbell, W. W. Buck, Capt. Kilborn, and Gov ernor Gaines, decided to give her the name of her owner, who was presented with a handsome suit of colors by Kilborn, Lovejoy, and N. Ford for the meeting. Or. Spectator, Dec. 12, 1850, and June 27, 1851. She was built by a regular ship-builder, named Hanscombe, her machinery being purchased in San Francisco. Dcady s Hist. Or., MS., 21; McCrackeris Portland, MS., 11; Lrtrjffit Port Townsend, MS., 22; Sacramento Transcript, June 29, 1850; O> < rkind Monthly, i. 37. In the summer of 1853 the Whitcomb was sold to a California company for $50,000, just $42.000 more than she cost. The Lot Whitcomb was greatly superior to the first steamer. Both obtained large prices for carrying passengers and freight, and for towing sailing vessels on

256 SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

The navigation of the Willamette was much im peded by rocks and rapids. On the Clackamas rapids below Oregon City, thirty thousand dollars was ex pended in removing obstructions to steamers, and the channel was also cleared to Salem in 1852. The Tualatin River was made navigable for some distance by private enterprise. A canal was made to connect

the Columbia. McCracken says he paid two ounces of gold-dust for a pas sage on the Columbia from Astoria to Portland which lasted two days, sleep ing on the upper deck, the steamer having a great many on board. Portland, MS., 4. When the Whitcomb began running the fare was reduced to 15. John McCracken came to Oregon from California, where he had been in mer cantile pursuits at Stockton, in November 1849. He began business in Oregon City in 1850, selling liquors, and was interested in the Island mill. He subsequently removed to Portland, where he became a large owner in shipping, steamboats, and merchandising. His wife was a daughter of Dr Barclay of Oregon Citj^, formerly of the H. B. Co.

From the summer of 1851, steamboats multiplied, though the fashion of them was not very commodious, nor were they elegant in their appointment, but they served the purpose, for which they were introduced, of expediting travel.

The third river steamboat was the Black Hawk, a small iron propeller brought out from New York, and run between Portland and Oregon City, the Lot Whitcomb being too deep to get over the Clackamas rapids. The Wil lamette, a steam schooner belonging to Howland and Aspinwall, arrived in March 1853, by sailing vessel, being put together on the upper Willamette, finished in the autumn, and run for a season, after which she was brought over the falls, and used to carry the mail from Astoria to Portland; but the arrival of the steamship Columbia, which went to Portland with the mails, rendered her services unnecessary, and she was sold to a company composed of Murray, Hoyt, Breck, and others, who took her to California, where she ran as an opposition boat on the Sacramento, and was finally sold to the Cali fornia Steam Navigation Company. The Willamette was a side-wheel steamer and finished in fine style, but not adapted to the navigation of the Willam ette River. Athey s Workshops, MS., 5; Or. Spectator, Sept. 30, 1851. The Hoosier, built to run on the upper river, was finished in May 1851, and the Yamhill in August. In the autumn of the same year a small iron steamer, called the Bully Washington, was placed on the lower river. This boat was subsequently taken to the Umpqua, where she ran until a better one, the Hinsdale, owned by Hinsdale and Lane, was built. The Atultnomah was also built this year, followed by the Gazelle, in 1852, handsomely finished, for the upper river trade. She ran a few months and blew up, killing two per sons and injuring others. The Castle and the Oregon were also running at this time. On the Upper Columbia, between the Cascades and The Dalles, the steamer James P. Flint was put on in the autumn of 1851. She was owned by D. F. Bradford and others. She struck a rock and sunk while bringing down the immigration of 1852, but was raised and repaired. She was commanded by Van Berger, mate J. W. Watkins. Dalles Mountaineer, May 28, 1SG9. The Belle, and the Eagle, two small iron steamers, were run ning on the Columbia about this time. The B<-lle was built at Oregon City for^Wells and Williams. The Eanle was brought to Oregon by John Irving, who died in Victoria in 1874. The Fashion ran to the Cascades to connect with the Flint. Further facts concerning the history of steamboating will be brought out in another part of this work, this brief abstract being intended only to show the progress made from 1850 to 1853.

PROSPEROUS FARMING. 257

La Creole River with the Willamette. The Yamhill River was spanned at Lafayette with a strong double- track bridge placed on abutments of hewn timber, bolted and filled with earth, and raised fifty feet above low water. 14 This was the first structure of the kind in the country. The Rockville Canal and Transportation Company was incorporated in Febru ary 1853, for the purpose of constructing a basin or breakwater with a canal at and around the falls of the Willamette, which work was completed by December 1854, greatly increasing the comfort of travel by avoiding the portage. 15

In 1851 the fruit trees set out in 1847 began to bear, so that a limited supply of fruit was furnished the home market; 16 and two years later a shipment was made out of the territory by Meek and Luell- ing, of Milwaukie, who sold four bushels of apples in San Francisco for five hundred dollars. The following year they sent forty bushels to the same market, which brought twenty-five hundred dollars. In 1861 the shipment of apples from Oregon amounted to over seventy-five thousand bushels; 17 but they no longer

U 0r. Statesman, Sept. 23, 1851.

15 Id,, Feb. 26, 1853. Deady gives some account of this important work in his Hist. Or., MS., 28. A man named Page from California, representing capital in that state, procured the passage of the act of incorporation. The project was to build a basin on the west side of the river above the falls, with mills, and hoisting works to lift goods above the falls, and deposit them in the basin, instead of wagoning them a mile or more as had been done. They constructed the basin, and erected mills at its lower edge. The hoisting \\orks were made with ropes, wheels, and cages, in which passsengers and goods were lifted up. Page was killed by the explosion of the Gazelle, owned by the company, after which the enterprise went to pieces through suits brought against the company by employe s, and the property fell into the hands of Kelley, one of the lawyers, and Robert Pentland. In the winter of 1SGO-1, the mills and all were destroyed by fire, when works of a similar nature were commenced on the east side of the river, where they remained until the completion of the canal and locks on the west side, of a recent date.

16 On McCarver s farm, one mile east of Oregon City, was an orchard of 15 acres containing 200 apple-trees, and large members of pears, plums, apri cots, cherries, nectarines, and small fruits. It yielded this year 15 bushels of currants, and a full crop of the above-named fruits. Or. Statesman, July 29, 1851. In 1852, R. C. Geer advertised his nursery as containing 42 varieties of apples, 15 of pears, 5 of peaches, and G of cherries. Thomas Cox raised a Rhode Island greening 12J inches in circumference, a good size for a young tree. Id., Dec. 18, 1852.

17 Id., Sept. 22, 1862; Oregonian, July 15, 1862; Overland Monthly, i. 39.

HIST. OB., VOL. II. 17

258 SURVEYS AND TOWN-MAKING.

were worth their weight in gold. The productiveness of the country in every way was well established be fore 1853, as may be seen in the frequent allusions to extraordinary growth and yield. 18 If the farmer was not comfortable and happy in the period between 1850 and 1860, it was because he had not in him the ca pacity for enjoying the bounty of unspoiled nature, and the good fortune of a ready market; and yet some there were who in the midst of affluence lived like the starveling peasantry of other countries, from simple indifference to the advantages of comfort in their surroundings. 19

The imports in 1852-3, according to the commerce and navigation reports, amounted to about $84,000, but were probably more than that. Direct trade with China was begun in 1851, the brig Amazon bringing a cargo of tea, coffee, sugar, syrup, and other articles from Whampoa to Portland, consigned to Norris and Company. The same year the schooner John Alley ne brought a cargo of Sandwich Islands products consigned to Allen McKinlay and Company of Oregon City, but nothing like a regular trade with foreign ports was established for several years later, and the exports generally went no farther than San Francisco. Farming machinery did not begin to be introduced till 1852, the first reaper brought to Ore gon being a McCormick, which found general use throughout the territory. 20 As might be expected, society improved in its outward manifestations, and the rising generation were permitted to enjoy privi-

18 One bunch of 257 stalks of wheat from Geer s farm, Marion county, av eraged 60 grains to the head. On Hubbard s farm in Yamhill, one head of timothy measured 14 inches. Oats on McVicker s farm in Clackamas stood over 8 feet in height. In the Cowlitz Valley one hill of potatoes weighed 53 pounds and another 40. Two turnips would fill a half-bushel measure. Tolmie, at Nisqually, raised an onion that weighed a pound and ten ounces. Columbian, Nov. 18, 1851. The troops at Steilacoom raised on 12 acres of ground 5,000 bushels of potatoes, some of which weighed two pounds each. Or. Spectator, Nov. 18, 1851.

De Bow s Encyd., xiv. 603-4; Fisher and Colby s Am. Statistics, 429-30.

20 Or. Statesman, July 24, 1852.

TRADE AND SOCIETY. 259

leges which their parents had only dreamed of when they set their faces toward the far Pacific the priv ileges of education, travel, and intercourse with older countries, as well as ease and plenty in their Oregon homes. 21 And yet this was only the beginning of the end at which the descendants of the pioneers were entitled by the endurance of their fathers to arrive.

21 The 7th U. S. census taken in 1850 shows the following nativities for Or egon: Missouri, 2,206; Illinois, 1,023; Kentucky, over 700; Indiana, over 700; Ohio, over 600; New York, over 600; Virginia, over 400; Tennessee, over 400; Iowa, over 400; Pennsylvania, over 300; North Carolina, over 200; Massachu setts, 187; Maine, 129; Vermont, 111; Connecticut, 72; Maryland, 73; Arkan sas, 61; New Jersey, 69; and in all the other states less than 50 each, the smallest number being from Florida. The total foreign population was 1,159, 300 of whom were natives of British America, 207 English, about 200 Irish, over 100 Scotch, and 150 German. The others were scattering, the greatest number from any other foreign country being 45 from France; unknown, 143; in all 13,043. Abstract of the 7th Census, 16; Moseley s Or., 1850-75, 93; De Bow s EncycL, xiv. 591-600. These are those who are more strictly classed as pioneers; those who came after them, from 1850 to 1853, though assisting so much, as I have shown, in the development of the territory, were only pioneers in certain things, and not pioneers in the larger sense.

CHAPTER X.

LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES. 1851-1855.

THE DONATION LAW ITS PROVISIONS AND WORKINGS ATTITUDE OF CON GRESS POWERS OF THE PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT QUALIFICATION OF VOTERS SURVEYS RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN AMEND MENTS PREEMPTION PRIVILEGES DUTIES OF THE SURVEYOR GENERAL CLAIMANTS TO LANDS OF THE HUDSON S BAY AND PUGET SOUND COM PANIES MISSION CLAIMS METHODISTS, PRESBYTERIANS, AND CATHO LICS PROMINENT LAND CASES LITIGATION IN REGARD TO THE SITE OF PORTLAND THE RIGHTS OF SETTLERS THE CARUTHERS CLAIM THE DALLES TOWN-SITE CLAIM PRETENSIONS OF THE METHODISTS CLAIMS OF THE CATHOLICS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE DONATION SYSTEM.

A SUBJECT which was regarded as of the highest importance after the passage of the donation act of September 27, 1850, was the proper construction of the law as applied to land claims under a variety of circumstances. A large amount of land, including the better portions of the Willamette Valley, had been taken, occupied, and to some extent improved under the provisional government, and its land law; the latter having undergone several changes to adapt it to the convenience and best interests of the people, as I have noted elsewhere.

The provisional legislative assemblies had several times memorialized congress on the subject of con firming their acts, on establishing a territorial gov ernment in Oregon, chief!} 7 with regard to preserving the land law intact. Their petition was granted with regard to every other legislative enactment excepting that affecting the titles to lands; and with regard to

(260)

DONATION LAW. 261

this, the organic act expressly said that all laws pre viously passed in any way affecting the title to lands should be null and void, and the legislative assembly should be prohibited from passing any laws interfer ing with the primary disposal of the soil which be longed to the United States. The first section of

o

that act, however, made an absolute grant to the mis sionary stations then occupied, of 640 acres, with the improvements thereon.

Thus while the missionary stations, if there were any within the meaning of the act of that time, had an incontrovertible right and title, the settlers, whose means were often all in their claims, had none what ever; and in this condition they were kept for a period of two years, or until the autumn of 1850, when their rights revived under the donation law, whose beneficent provisions all recognized.

This law, which I have not yet fully reviewed, pro vided in the first place for the survey of the public lands in Oregon. It then proceeded to grant to every white settler or occupant of the public lands, Ameri can half-breeds included, over eighteen years of age, and a citizen of the United States, or having declared his intention according to law of becoming such, or who should make such declaration on or before the first day of December 1851, then residing in the ter ritory, or becoming a resident before December 1850 a provision made to include the immigration of that year 640 acres to a married man, half of which was to belong to his wife in her own right, and 320 acres to a single man, or if he should become married within a year from the 1st of December 1850, 320 more to his wife, no patents to issue until after a four years residence.

At this point for the first time the act took cog nizance of the provisional law making the surviving children or heirs of claimants under that law the le gal heirs also under the donation law; this provision applying as well to the heirs of aliens who had de

262 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

clared their intention to become naturalized citizens of the United States, but who died before completing their naturalization, as to native-born citizens. The several provisos to this part of the land law declared that the donation should embrace the land actually occupied and cultivated by the settler thereon; that all sales of land made before the issuance of patents should be void ; and lastly, that those claiming under the treaty with Great Britain could not claim under the donation act.

Then came another class of beneficiaries. All white male citizens of the United States, or persons who should have made a declaration of their intention to become such, above twenty-one years of age, and emi grating to and settling in Oregon after December 1, 1850, and before December 1, 1853, and all white male American citizens not before provided for who should become twenty-one years of age in the territory be tween December 1851 and December 1853, and who should comply with the requirements of the law as already stated, should each receive, if single, 160 acres of land, and if married another 160 to his wife, in her own right; or if becoming married within a year after his arrival in the territory, or one year after becoming twenty-one, the same. These were the conditions of the gifts in respect of qualifications and time.

But further, the law required the settler to notify the surveyor general within three months after the survey had been made, where his claim was located; or if the settlement should commence after the survey, then three months after making his claim; and the law required all claims after December 1, 1850, to be bounded by lines running east and west and north and south, and to be taken in compact form. Proof of having commenced settlement arid cultivation had to be made to the surveyor general within twelve months after the survey or after settlement. All these terms being complied with, at any time after the expira tion of four years from date of settlement the sur

CONDITIONS AND QUESTIONS. 263

veyor general might issue a certificate, when, upon the proof being complete, a patent would issue from the commissioner of the general land office to the holder of the claims. The surveyor general was fur nished Avith judicial power to judge of all questions arising under the act; but his judgment was not ne cessarily final, being preliminary only to a final decision according to the laws of the territory. These were the principal features of the donation law. 1

In order to be able to settle the various questions which might arise, it was necessary first to decide what constituted naturalization, or how it was impaired. The first case which came up for consideration was that of John McLoughlin, the principal features of which have been given in the history of the Oregon City claim. It was sought in this case to show a flaw in the proceedings on account of the imperfect organization of the courts. In the discussion which followed, and for which Thurston had sought to pre pare himself by procuring legal opinions beforehand, considerable alarm was felt among other aliens. S. M. Holderness applied to Judge Pratt, then the only dis trict judge in the territory, on the 17th of May 1850, to know if the proceedings were good in his case, as many others were similarly situated, and it was im portant to have a precedent established.

Pratt gave it as his opinion that the Clackamas county circuit court, as it existed on the 27th of March 1849, was a competent court, within the mean ing of the naturalization laws, in which a declaration of intention by an alien could be legally made as a preparatory step to becoming a citizen of the United States; the naturalization power being vested in con gress, which had provided that application might be made to any circuit, district, or territorial court, or to any state court which was a court of record, having a

1 See U. S. II . Ex. Doc. ii., vol. ii. pt iii. 5-8, 32d cong. 1st sess. ; Deady s Or. Laws, 1845-04, 84-90; Deadtfs Or. Gen. Laws, 1843, 72, 63-75.

264 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

seal and clerk; and the declaration might be made before the clerk of one of the courts as well as before the court itself. The only question was whether the circuit court of Clackamas county, in the district of Oregon, was on the 24th of March, 1849, or about that time, a territorial court of the United States.

Congress alone had authority to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory and other property of the United States, and that power was first exercised in Oregon, and an organized gov ernment given to it by the congressional act of Au gust 14, 1848. It went into effect, and the territory had a legal existence from and after its passage, and the laws of the United States were at the same time extended over the territory, amongst the others, that of the naturalization of aliens. But it was admitted that the benefits to be derived from proceedings un der these laws would be practically valueless unless the machinery of justice was at the same time pro vided to aid in their administration and enforcement. Congress had not omitted this; but there existed an extraordinary state of things in Oregon which made it unlike other territorial districts at the date of its organization. Unusual means had therefore been pro vided to meet the emergency. Without waiting to go through the ordinary routine of directing the electing of a legislative body to assemble and frame a code of statutes, laws were at once provided by the adoption of those already furnished to their hand by the neces sities of the late provisional government; and in ad dition to extending the laws of the United States over the territory, it was declared that the laws thus adopted should remain in force until modified or re pealed. Congress had thus made its own a system of laws which had been in use by the people before the territory had a legal existence. Among those laws was one creating and establishing certain courts of record in each county, known as circuit courts; and one of those courts composing the circuit was that of

ATTITUDE OF CONGRESS. 265

the county of Clackamas, which tribunal congress had adopted as a territorial court of the United States. The permanent judicial power provided for in the or ganic act was not in force, or had not superseded the temporary courts, because it had not at that time en tered upon the discharge of its duties, Chief Justice Bryant not assuming the judicial ermine in Oregon until the 23d of May 1849, the cases in question oc curring in March. 2 To the point attempted to be made later, that there had been no court because of -the ir regularity of the judges in convening it, he replied that the court itself did not cease to exist, after being established, because there was no judge to attend to its duties, the clerk continuing in office and in charge of the records. 3


There had been a contest immediately after the es tablishment of the territorial government concerning the right of the foreign residents to vote at any elec tion after the first one, for which the organic act had distinctly provided, and a strong effort had been made to declare the alien vote of 1849 illegal. The first territorial legislature, in providing for and regulating general elections and prescribing the qualifications of voters, declared that a foreigner must be duly natu ralized before he could vote, the law being one of those adopted from the Iowa statutes. One party, of whom Thurston was the head, supported by the missionary interest, strenuously insisted upon this construction of the 5th section of the organic law, because at the election which made Thurston delegate the foreign- born voters had not supported him, and with him the measures of the missionary class.

The opinion of the United States judges being

2 In Pratt s opinion on the location of the seat of government, he reiterates this belief, and says that both he and Bryant held that no power existed by which the supreme court could be legally held before the seat of government was established. Or. Statesman, Jan. 6, 18.V2. According to this belief, the proceedings of the district courts were illegal for nearly two years.

3 Or. Spectator, May 22, 1851.

266 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

asked, Strong replied to a letter of Thurston s, con firming the position taken by the delegate, that after the first election, until their naturalization was com pleted, no foreigner could be allowed to vote. 4 The inference was plain; if not allowed to vote, not a citi zen ; if not a citizen, not entitled to the benefits of the land law. Thurston also procured the expression of a similar opinion from the chairman of the judiciary of the house of representatives, and from the chairman of the committee on territories, which he had pub lished in the Spectator. Under these influences, the legislature of 1850-1 substantially reenacted the Iowa law adopted in 1849, but Deady succeeded in procuring the passage of a proviso giving foreigners who had resided in the country five years prior to that time, and who had declared, as most of them had, their intention of becoming citizens, a right to vote. 5 The Thurston interest, asserting that congress had not intended to invest the foreign-born inhabitants of Oregon with the privileges of citizens, declared that it was not necessary that the oath to support the gov ernment of the United States and the organic act should be taken before a court of record, but might for such purpose be done before a common magistrate. Could they delude the ignorant into making this error, advantage could be taken of it to invalidate subsequent proceedings. But Pratt pointed out that while part of the proceedings, namely, the taking of the oath re quired, could have been done before a magistrate, the declaration of intention to become a citizen could only be made according to the form and before the court prescribed in the naturalization laws; and that the act of congress setting forth what was necessary to be done to become entitled to the right to vote at the first election in Oregon did not separate them from

4 Or. Spectator, Nov. 28, 1850.

5 Deady says he had a hard fight. The proviso was meant, and was understood to mean, the restoration to McLoughlin, and the British subjects who had always lived in the country, of the elective franchise. Hist. Or., MS., 81.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION. 267

which it was plain that congress meant to confer upon the alien population of Oregon the privileges of citi zenship without delay, and to cement the population of the territory as it stood when it asked that its pro visional laws should be adopted.

The meaning of the 5th section of the organic act should have been plain enough to any but prejudiced minds. In the first place, it required the voter to be a male above the age of twenty-one years, and a resi dent of the territory at the time of the passage of the act. The qualifications prescribed were, that he should be a citizen of the United States of that age, or that being twenty-one he should have declared on oath his intention to become a citizen, and have taken the oath to support the constitution of the United States and the provisions of the organic act. This gave him the right to vote at the first election, and made him eligible to office; but the qualifications of voters and office-holders at all subsequent elections should be prescribed by the legislative assembly. This did not mean that the legislature should enact laws contrary to this which admitted to citizenship all those who voted at the first election, by the very terms required, namely, to take the oath of allegiance and make a declaration of an intention to assume the duties of an American citizen; but that after having set out on its territorial career under these conditions, it could make such changes as were found necessary or desirable thereafter not in conflict with the organic act. The proof of this position is in the fact that after and not before giving the legislature the priv ilege, comes the proviso containing the prescribed qualifications of a voter which must go into the ter ritorial laws, the same being ^hose which entitled any white man to vote at the first election. Having once taken those obligations which were forever to make him a citizen of the United States by the organic act, the legislature had no right, though it exercised the assumed power, to disfranchise those who voted

263 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

at the first election. When in 1852-3 the legislature amended the laws regulating elections, it removed in a final manner the restrictions which the Thurston democracy had placed upon foreign-born residents of the country. By the new law all white male inhab itants over twenty-one years of age, having become naturalized, or having declared their intention to become citizens, and having resided six months in the territory, and in the county fifteen days next preced ing the election, were entitled to vote at any election in the territory.

To return to the donation law and its construction. Persons could be found who were doubtful of the meaning of very common words when they came to see them in a congressional act, and who were unable to decide what settler or occupant meant, or how to construe improvement or possession. To help such as these, various legal opinions were submitted through the columns of newspapers; but it was gen erally found that a settler could be absent from his claim a great deal of his time, and that occupation and improvement were defined in accordance with the means and the convenience of the claimant. 6

The survey or- general, who arrived in Oregon in time to begin the surveys of the public lands in Oc tober, 1851, had before him a difficult labor. 7 The survey of the Willamette meridian was begun at

6 See Home Missionary, vol. 24, 156. Thornton held that there was such a thing as implied residence, and that a man might be a resident by the res idence of his agent; and cited Kent s Com., 77. Also that a claimant whose dwelling was not on the land, but who improved it by the application of his personal labor, or that of his hired man, or member of his family, could demand a patent at the expiration of four years. See opinion of J. Q. Thornton in Or. Spectator, Jan. 16, 1851. It is significant that in these discussions and opinions in which Thornton took a prominent part at the time, he laid no claim to the authorship of the land law. To do this was an afterthought. Mrs Udell, in her Bioyrophy of T/mrston, MS., 28, remarks upon this.

Cong. Globe, app., 1852-3, vol. xxvii. 331, 32d cong. 2d sess.; U. S. IT. Ex. Doc. 2, vol. ii. ptiii. 5-8, 32d cong. 1st sess. The survey was con ducted on the method of base and meridian lines, and triangulations from fixed stations to all prominent objects within the range of the theodolite, by means of which relative distances were obtained, together with a general knowledge of the country, in advance of the linear surveys. Id.

SETTLERS AND SURVEYS. 269

the upper mouth of the Willamette River, and the base line 7f miles south, in order to avoid the Co lumbia River in extending the base line east to the Cascade Mountains. The intersection of the base and meridian lines was 3^ miles west of the Wil lamette. The reason given for fixing the point of beginning at this place was because the Indians were friendly on either side of the line for some distance north and south, and a survey in this locality would best accommodate the immediate wants of the set tlers. 8 But it was soon found that the nature of the country through which the initial lines were run would make it desirable in order to accommodate the settlers to change the field of operations to the inhabited valleys, 9 three fourths of the meridian line north of the base line passing through a coun try broken and heavily timbered. The base line east of the meridian to the summit of the Cascade Mountains also passed through a densely timbered country almost entirely unsettled. But on the west side of the meridian line were the Tualatin plains, this section of the country being first to be benefited by the survey.

On the 5th of February, 1852, appeared the first notice to settlers of surveys that had been completed in certain townships, and that the surveyor general was prepared to receive the notifications of their re spective claims and to adjust the boundaries thereof, he being made the arbiter and register of all donation . claims. 1( At the same time settlers were advised that they must have their claims surveyed and cor-

8 Reptof Preston In U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 52, 1851-2, v. 23, 31st cong. 1st Bess. It was done by Thurston s advice. See Cong. Globe, 1849-50, xxi. pt ii. 1077, 31st cong. 1st sess.

9 William Ives was the contractor for the survey of the base line and Wil lamette meridian north of it; and James Freeman of the Willamette me ridian south of it, as far as the Umpqua Valley.

"The first surveys advertised were of township 1 north, range 1 east; townships 7 and 8 south, range 1 west; and township 7 south, range 3 and 4 vest. The oldest pa tents issued for donation claims are those in Washington county, unless the Oregon City lota may be older. See Or. Spectator, Feb. 10, 1852.

270 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

ners established before the government survey was made, in order that they might be able to describe their boundaries by courses, distances, metes, and bounds, and to show where their lines intersected the government lines, claims being generally bounded according to the fancy or convenience of the owner, instead of by the rectangular method adopted in the public surveys.

The privilege of retaining their claims as they had taken them was one that had been asked for by me morial, but which had not been granted without qual ification in the land law. Thurston had explained how the letter of the law was to be evaded, and had predicted that the surveyor general would be on the side of the people in this matter. 11 Preston, as had been foreseen, was lenient in allowing irregular boun daries; a map of that portion of Oregon covered by donation claims presenting a curious patchwork of parallelograms with angles obtuse, and triangles with angles of every degree. Another suggestion of the surveyor general was that settlers on filing their no tifications, elate of settlement, and making proof of citizenship, should state whether they were married; 15 for in the settlement of Oregon and the history of its division among the inhabitants, marriage had been made to assume unusual importance. Contrary to all precedent, the women of this remote region were placed by congress in this respect upon an equality with the men- -it may be in acknowledgment of their having earned in the same manner and measure a right to be considered creditors of the government, or the men may have made this arrangement that they through their wives might control more land. It had, it is true, limited this equality to those who \vere mar ried, or had been married on starting for Oregon, 12

1 Letter to the Electors of Orego??, 8.

12 Portland Oregonian, Feb. 7, 1852.

13 As respects grants of land, they will be placed upon the same footing as male citizens, provided that such widows were in this country before De

WOMEN AND CHILDREN. 271

but it was upon the presumption that there were no unmarried women in Oregon, which was near the truth. Men took advantage of the law, and to be able to lord it over a mile square of land married girls no more than children, who as soon as they became wives were entitled to claim half a section in their own right; 14 and girls in order to have this right married without due consideration.

Congress had indeed, in its effort to reward the set tlers of Oregon for Americanizing the Pacific coast, refused to consider the probable effects of its bounty upon the future of the country, though it was not un known what it might be. 15 The Oregon legislature, notwithstanding, continued to ask for additional grants and favors; first in 1851-2, that all white American women over eighteen years of age who were in the territory on the 1st of December 1850, not provided for in the donation act, should be given 320 acres of land; and to all white American women over twenty- one who had arrived in the territory or might arrive between the dates of December 1, 1850, and Decem ber 1, 1853, not provided for, 160 acres; no woman to receive more than one donation, or to receive a patent until she had resided four years in the terri tory.

ty

It was also asked that all orphan children of white parents, residing in the territory before the 1st of December, 1850, who did not inherit under the act/ 6

cember 1, 1850, and are of American birth. Or. Spectator, May 8, 1851. Tlmrston in his Letter to the Electors remarks that this feature of the dona tion act was a popular one in congress, and that he thought it just.

14 It has been decided that the words single man included an unmarried woman. 7 Wall., 219. See Deady s Gen. Laws Or., 1843-72. But I do not see how under that construction a woman could be prevented holding as a single man first and as a married woman afterward, because the patent to her husband, as a married man, would include 640 acres, 320 of which would be hers.

15 They said it would be injurious to the country schools, by preventing the country from being thickly settled; that it would retard the agricultural growth of the country; and though it would meet the case of many deserv ing men, it would open the door to frauds and speculations by all means to be avoided. Thurston s Letter to the Electors of Ore</on, 8; Beadle s Undev. West, 762-3; Home, Missionary, vol. 26, p. 45.

16 Those whose parents had died in Oregon before the passage of the law

272 LAND LAWS AXD LAND TITLES.

should be granted eighty acres each; and that all orphan children whose parents had died in coming to or after arriving in Oregon between 1850 and 1853 should receive forty acres of land each. 17

Neither of these petitions was granted 18 at the time, while many others were offered by resolution or otherwise. As the period was expiring when lands would be free, it began to be said that the time should be extended, even indefinitely, and that all lands should be free. 19

There was never, in the history of the world, a better opportunity to test the doctrine of free land, nor anything that came so near realizing it as the set tlement of Oregon. Could the government have re stricted its donations to the actual cultivators of the soil, and the quantity to the reasonable requirements of the individual farmer, the experiment would have been complete. But since the donation was in the nature of a reward to all classes of emigrants alike, this could not be done, and the compensation had to be ample.

Some persons found it a hardship to be restrained from selling their land for a period of four years, and preferred paying the minimum price of $1.25 an acre to waiting for the expiration of the full term. Accordingly, in February 1853, the donation law was so amended that the survey or -general might receive

did not come under the requirements of the donation act; nor those whose parents had died upon the road to Oregon. As they could not inherit, a di rect grant was asked.

17 Or. Statesman, Dec. 16, 1851.

18 Heirs of settlers in Oregon who died prior to Sept. 27, 1850, cannot in herit or hold land by virtue of the residence and cultivation of their ances tors. Ford vs Kennedy, 1 Or. 166. The daughter of Jason Lee was portion less, while the children of later comers inherited.

ia See Or. Statesman, Nov. 6, 1853. A resolution offered in the assembly of 1852-3 asked that the land east of the Cascade mountains should be im mediately surveyed, and sold at the minimum price, in quantities not exceed ing 640 acres to each purchaser; the money to be applied to the construction of that portion of the contemplated Pacific railroad west of the Rocky Moun tains. This was the first practical suggestion of the Oregon legislature con cerning the overland railroad, and appropriated all or nearly all the land in Oregon to the use of Oregon, the western portion except that north of the Columbia being to a great extent claimed.

WORKINGS OF THE LAW. 273

this money after two years of settlement in lieu of the remaining two years, the rights of the claimant in the event of his death to descend to his heirs at law as before. By the amendatory act, widows of men who had they lived would have been entitled to claim under the original act were granted all that their husbands would have been entitled to receive had they lived, 20 and their heirs after them.

By this act also the extent of all government res ervations was fixed. For magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other public uses, except for forts, the amount of land was not to exceed twenty acres to each, or at one place, nor for forts more than 640 acres. 23 If in the judgment of the president it should be necessary to include in any reservation the improve ments of a settler, their value should be ascertained and paid. The time fixed by this act for the expira tion of the privileges of the donation law was April 1855, when all the surveyed public lands left unclaimed should be subject to public sale or private entry, the same as the other public lands of the United States.

The land law of Oregon was again amended in July

1854, in anticipation of the coming into market of the public lands, by extending to Oregon and Washington the preemption privilege granted September 4, 1841, to the people of the territories, to apply to any un claimed lands, whether surveyed or not. For the convenience of the later settlers, the time for giving notice to the surveyor general of the time and place of settlement was once more extended to December

1855, or the last moment before the public lands be came salable. The act of 1854 declared that the do nations thereafter should in no case include a town site or lands settled upon for purposes of business or

20 See previous note 13. The surveyor general had before so construed the law.

21 This was a great relief to the immigration at The Dalles, where the mil itary had taken up ten miles square of land, thereby greatly inconveniencing travellers by depriving their stock of a range anywhere near the usual place of embarkation on the Columbia.

HIST. OB., VOL. II, 18

274 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

trade, and not for agriculture; but the legal subdivi sions included in such town sites should be subject to the operations of the act of May 23, 1844, "for the relief of citizens of towns upon lands of the United States, under certain circumstances." The proviso to the 4th section of the original act, declaring void all sales of lands before the issue of the patents therefor, was repealed, and sales were declared invalid only where the claimant had not resided four years upon the land. By these terms two subjects which had greatly troubled the land claimants were disposed of; those who had been a long time in the country could sell their lands without waiting for the issuance of their patents, and those who had taken claims and laid out towns upon natural town-sites were left un disturbed. 23 This last amendment to the donation law granted the oft-repeated prayer of the settlers that the orphan children of the earliest immigrants who died before the passage of the act of September 27, 1850, should be allowed grants of land, the dona tion to this class being 160 acres each. Under this amendment Jason Lee s daughter could claim the small reward of a quarter-section of land for her father s services in colonizing the country. These orphans claims were to be set off to them by the sur veyor general in good agricultural land, and in case of the decease of either of them their rights vested in the survivors of the family. Such was the land law as regarded individuals.

This act, besides, extended to the territory of Wash-

22 This act provided that when any of the surveyed public lands had been occupied as a town site, and was not therefore subject to entry under the ex isting laws, in case the town were incorporated, the judges of the county court for that county should enter it at the proper land office, at the mini mum price, for the several use and benefit of the occupants thereof according to their respective interests, the proceeds of the sales of lots to be disposed of according to rules and regulations prescribed by the legislature; but the land must be entered prior to the commencement of the public sale of the body of land in which the town site was included. See note on p. 72, Gen. Laws Or.

23 Many patents never issued. It was held by the courts that the law act ually invested the claimant who had complied with its requirements with the ownership of the land, and that the patent was simply evidence which did .not affect the title. Deady s Scraps, 5.

OREGOX CITY CLAIM. 275

ington all the provisions of the Oregon land law, or any of its amendments, and authorized a separate corps of officers for this additional surveying district, whose duties should be the same as those of the surveyor general, register, and receiver of Oregon. It also gave two townships of land each to Oregon and Washington in lieu of the two townships granted by the original act to Oregon for university purposes. Later, on March 12, 1860, the provisions of the act of September 28, 1850, for aiding in reclaiming the swamp lands of Arkansas, were extended to Oregon, by which the state obtained a large amount of valua ble lands, of which gift I shall have something to say hereafter.

From the abstract here given of the donation law at different periods, my reader will be informed not only of the bounty of the government, but of the onerous nature of the duties of the surveyor-general, who was to adjudicate in all matters of dispute or question concerning land titles. His instructions au thorized and required him to settle the business of the Oregon City claim by notifying all purchasers, donees, or assigns of lots or parts of lots acquired of McLoughlin previous to March 4, 1849, to present their evidences of title, and have their land surveyed, in order that patents might be issued to them; and this in 1852 was rapidly being done. 24

His special attention was directed to the third article of the treaty of 1846, between the United States and Great Britain, which provided that in the future appropriation of the territory south of 49 north latitude, the possessory rights 25 of the Hudson s Bay

2 < U.S. H. Ex. Doc. 52, v. 25, 32d cong. 1st sess.

"This subject came up in a peculiar shape as late as 1871, when H. W. Corbett was in the U. S. senate. A case had to be decided in the courts of Oregon in 1870, where certain persons claimed under William Johnson, who before the treaty of 1846 settled upon a tract of land south of Portland. But Johnson died before the land law was passed, and the courts decided that in this case Johnson had first lost his possessory rights by abandoning the claim; by dying before the donation law was passed, he was not provided

276 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

Company, and of all British subjects who should be found already in the occupation of land or other property lawfully acquired, within the said territory, should be respected; and to the fourth article, which declared that the farms, lands, and other property belonging to the Puget Sound Agricultural Company on the north side of the Columbia, should be con firmed to the said company, with the stipulation that in case the situation of these farms and lands should be considered by the United States to be of public and political importance, and the United States gov ernment should signify a desire to obtain possession of the wiiole or any part thereof, the property so re quired should be transferred to the said government at a proper valuation, to be agreed upon between the parties. The commissioner directed the surveyor- general to call upon claimants under the treaty, or their agents, to present to him the evidence of the rights in which they claimed to be protected by the treaty, and to show him the original localities and boundaries of the same which they held at the date of the treaty ; and he was not required to survey in sections or minute subdivisions the land covered by such claims, but only to extend the township lines over them, so as to indicate their relative position and connection with the public domain.

The surveyor-general reported with regard to these claims, that McLoughlin, who had recently become a naturalized citizen of the United States, had given notice September 29, 1852, that he claimed under the treaty of 1846 a tract of land containing 640 acres, which included Oregon City within its boundaries, and that he protested against any act that would dis-

for in that act, and therefore had no title either under the treaty or the land law by which his heirs could hold. This raised a question of law with regard to the heirs of British residents of Oregon before the treaty of 1846; and Cor- bett introduced a bill in the senate to extend the rights of citizenship to half-breeds born within the territory of Oregon previous to 1846, and now subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which was passed. Sup. Court Decisions, Or. Laws, 1870, 227-9; Cong. Globe, 1871-2, app. 730, 42d cong. 2d sess.; Cong. Globe, 1871-2, part ii., p. 1179, 42d cong. 2d sess.

HUDSON S BAY COMPANY. 277

turb his possession, except of the portion sold or granted by him within the limits of the Oregon City claim. 26

As to the limits of the Hudson s Bay Company s claim in the territory, it was the opinion of chief fac tor John Ballenden, he said, that no one could state the nature or define the limits of that claim. He called the attention of the general land commissioner, and through him of the government, to the fact that settlers were claiming valuable tracts of land included within the limits of that claimed by the Hudson s Bay and Puget Sound companies, and controversies had arisen not only as to the boundaries, but as to the rights of the companies under the treaty of 1846 ; and declared that it was extremely desirable that the na ture of these rights should be decided upon. 27 To de cide upon them himself was something beyond his power, and he recommended, as the legislative assem bly, the military commander, and the superintendent of Indian affairs had done, that the rights, whatever they were, of these companies, should be purchased. To this advice, as we know, congress turned a deaf ear, until squatters had left no land to quarrel over. The people knew nothing and cared less about the rights of aliens to the soil of the United States. In the mean time the delay multiplied the evils complained of. Let us take the site of Vancouver as an example. Either it did or it did not belong to the Hudson s Bay Company by the terms of the treaty of 1846. If it did, then it was in the nature of a grant to the com pany, from the fact that the donation law admitted the right of British subjects to claim under the treaty, by confining them to a single grant of land, and leaving it optional with them whether it should

26 1 have already shown that having become an American citizen, McLough- lin could not claim under the treaty. See Dectdy s Or. Laws, 1845-64, 56-7. McLotighlin was led to commit this error by the efforts of his foes to destroy his citizenship.

27 U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 14, iii. 14-17, 32d cong. 2d sess.; Olympia Columbian, April 9, 1853.

278 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

be under the treaty or under the donation law. 23 In one case, however, it limited the amount of land, and in the other it did not. But there was no provision made in the donation law, the organic act, or any where else by which those claiming under the treaty could define their boundaries or have their lands sur veyed and set off to them. The United States had simply promised to respect the company s rights to the lands, without inquiring what they were. They had promised also to purchase them, should it be found they were of public or political importance, and to pay a proper valuation, to be agreed upon between the parties. But the citizens of the United States, covering the lands of the Hudson s Bay and Puget Sound Agricultural companies with claims, under the donation law, deprived both companies and the United States of their possession.

One of the settlers or, as they were called, squat ters on the Hudson s Bay Company s lands was Amos M. Short, who claimed the town site of Van couver. 29 When he first went on the lands, before the treaty, the company put him off. But he per sisted in returning, and subsequently killed two men to prevent being ejected by process of law. Never theless, when the donation law was passed Short took no steps to file a notification of his claim. Perhaps he was waiting the action of congress with regard to the Hudson s Bay Company s rights. While he waited he died, having lost the benefits of the act of Septem ber 27, 1850, by delay. In the mean time congress passed the act of the 14th of February, 1853, permit ting all persons who had located or might hereafter locate lands in that territory, in accordance with the provisions of the law of 1850, in lieu of continued occupation, to purchase their claims at the rate of 1.25 an acre, provided they had been two years


Gen. Laws Or., 1845-64, 86.

29 1 have given a part of Short s history on page 793 of vol. i. He was drowned when the Vandalia was wrecked, in January 1S53.

VANCOUVER CLAIM. 279

upon the land. The widow of Short then filed a notification under the new act, and in order to secure the whole of the 640 acres, which might have been claimed under the original donation act, dated the residence of her husband and herself from 1848. But Mrs Short, whose notification was made in October 1853, was still too late to receive the benefit of the new act, as Bishop Blanchet had caused a similar notification to be made in May, claiming 640 acres for the mission of St James 30 out of the indefinite grant to the Hudson s Bay Company. Though the company s rights of occupancy did not expire until 1859, the bishop chose to take the same view held by the American squatters, and claimed possession at Vancouver, where the priests of his church had been simply guests or chaplains, under the clause in the organic act giving missions a mile square of land; and the surveyor general of Washington Territory decided in his favor. 31 No patent was however issued to the catholic church, the question of the Hudson s Bay Company s claim remaining in abeyance, and the decision of the surveyor general being reversed by the commissioner of the general land office, after which an appeal was taken to the secretary of the interior. 32

30 Says Roberts: Even the catholics tried to get the land at Vancouver. . . In the face of the llth section of the donation law, by which people were precluded from interfering with the company s lands, how could Short, the Roman catholics, and others do as they did? Recollections, MS., 90, 93.

31 The papers show that the mission notification was on file before any claims were asserted to contiguous lands. It is the oldest claim. Its recog nition is coeval with the organization of Oregon, and was a positive grant more than two years before any American settler could acquire an interest in or title to unoccupied public lands. Report of Surveyor General, in Claim of St James Mission, 21; Otympia Standard, April 5, 1SG2.

32 The council employed for the mission furnished elaborate arguments on the side of the United States, as against the rights of the Hudson s Bay Com pany, one of the most striking of which is the following : The fundamental objection to our claim is, that the United States could not in good faith dis pose of these lands pending the "indefinite" rights of the Hudson s Bay Com pany. We have seen that as to time they were not indefinite, but had a fixed termination in May 1859. But either way, how can the United States at the same time deny their right to appropriate or dispose of the lands permanently, only respecting the possessory rights of the company, and yet in 1849, 1S50, 1853, or 1854 have made such appropriation (for military purposes) and per manent disposition, and now set it up against its grant to us in 1848?. . .It is

280 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

The case not being definitely decided, a bill was brought before congress in 1874 for the relief of the catholic mission of St James, and on being referred to the committee on private land claims, the chairman reported that it was the opinion of the committee that the mission was entitled to 640 acres under the act of August 14, 1848, and recommended the passage of the bill, with an amendment saving to the United States the right to remove from the premises any property, buildings, or other improvements it might have upon that portion of the claim covered by the military reservation. 33 But the bill did not pass; and in 1875, a similar bill being under advisement by the committee on private land claims, the secretary of war addressed a letter to the committee, in which he said that the military reservation was valued at a million dollars, and that the claim of the St James mission covered the whole of it; and that the war de partment had always held that the religious establish ment of the claimants was not a missionary station among Indian tribes on the 14th of August 1848, and that the occupancy of the lands in question at that date was not such as the act of congress required. The secretary recommended that the matter go before a court and jury for final adjustment, on the passage of an act providing for the settlement of this and sim ilar claims. 34

Again in 1876, a bill being before congress whose object was to cause a patent to be issued to the St James mission, the committee on private land claims

said that the United States had title to the lands, yet it could not dispose of them absolutely in prcesenti, so that the grantee could demand immediate pos session. Granted, so far as the Hudson s Bay Company was upon these lands with its possessory rights, those rights must be respected. But how does this admission derogate from the right to grant such title as the United States then had, which was the proprietary right, encumbered only by a temporary right of possession, for limited and special purpose? The arguments and evidence in this case are published in a pamphlet called Claim of the St James Mission, Vancouver, W. T., to 640 acres of Land, from which the above is quoted.

33 U. 8. H. Kept., 630, 43d cong. 1st sess., 1873-4.

81 U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 117, 43d cong. 2d sess.

PORTLAND CLAIM. 281

reported in favor of the mission s right to the land so far only as to amend the bill so as to enable all the adverse claimants to assert their rights before the courts; and recommended that in order to bring the matter into the courts, a patent should be issued to the mission, with an amendment saving the rights of adverse claimants and of the United States to any buildings or fixtures on the land. 35

o

After long delays the title was finally settled in November 18.74 by the issuance of a patent to Abel G. Tripp, mayor of Vancouver, in trust for the sev eral use and benefit of the inhabitants according to their respective interests. Under an act of the legis lature the mayor then proceeded to convey to the occupants of lots and blocks the land in their pos session, according to the congressional law before ad verted to in reference to town sites.

That a number of land cases should grow out of misunderstandings and misconstructions of the land

o

law was inevitable. Among the more important of the unsettled titles was that to the site of Portland. The reader already knows that in 1843 Overton claimed on the west bank of the Willamette 640 acres, of which soon after he sold half to Lovejoy, and in 1845 the other half to Petty grove; and that these two jointly improved the claim, laying it off into lots and blocks, some of which they sold to other settlers in the town, who in their turn made improvements.

In 1845, also, Lovejoy sold his half of the claim to Benjamin Stark, who came to Portland this year as supercargo of a vessel, Pettygrove and Stark con tinuing to hold it together, %nd to sell lots. In 1848 Pettygrove, Stark being absent, sold his remaining interest to Daniel H. Lownsdale. The land being

85 CW/. Globe, 1876-7, 44; U. S. H. Kept, 189, 44th cong. Istsess., 1875-6; U. S. II. Com. Kept, i. 249, 44th cong. 1st sess.; Portland Gregorian, Oct. 30, 1869; JRossi, Souvenirs, vi. GO.

282 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

registered in the name of Pettygrove, Lownsdale laid claim to the whole, including Stark s portion, and filed his claim to the whole with the registrar, re siding upon it in Pettygrove s house. 36

In March 1849 Lownsdale sold his interest in the claim to Stephen Coffin, and immediately repurchased half of it upon an agreement with Coffin that he should undertake to procure a patent from the United States, when the property was to be equally owned, the ex penses and profits to be equally divided; or if the agreement should be dissolved by mutual consent, Coffin should convey his half to Lownsdale. The deed of Coffin reserved the rights of all purchasers of lots under Pettygrove, binding the contracting parties to make good their titles when a patent should be obtained. In December of the same year Lownsdale and Coffin sold a third interest in the claim to W. W. Chapman, reserving, as before, the rights of lot owners.

Up to this time there had been no partition of the land; but in the spring of 1850, Stark having re turned and asserted his right in the property, a divi sion was agreed to between Stark and Lownsdale, by which each held his portion in severalty, and to confirm titles to purchasers on their separate parcels of land, Stark taking the northern and Lownsdale the southern half of the claim.

Upon the passage of the donation law, with its various requirements and restrictions, it became neces sary for each claimant, in order not to relinquish his right to some other, to apply for a title to a definitely described portion of the whole claim. Accordingly, on the 10th of March, 1852, Lownsdale, having been four years in possession, came to an arrange ment with Coffin and Chapman with regard to the division of his part of the claim in which they were

36 Lownsdale had previously resided west of this claim, on a creek where he had a tannery, the first in Oregon to make leather for sale. He paid for the claim in leather. Overland Monthly, i. 36.

TEST CASES. 283

equal owners. The division being agreed upon, it be came necessary also to make some bargain by which the lots sold on the three several portions of Lowns- dale s interest might fall with some degree of fairness to the three owners when they came to make deeds after receiving patents; the same being necessary with regard to the lots previously selected by their wives out of their claims, which were exchanged to bring them within the limits agreed upon previous to going before the surveyor general for a certificate. Everything being settled between Lownsdale, Chap man, and Coffin, the first two filed their notification of settlement and claim on the llth of March, and the latter on the 19th of August.

On the 8th of April Lownsdale, by the advice of A. E. Wait, filed a notification of claim to the whole 640 acres, upon the ground that Job McNamee, who had in 1847 attempted to jump the Portland claim, but had afterward abandoned it, had returned, and was about to file a notification for the whole claim. "Lownsdale and Wait excused the dishonesty of the act by the assertion that either of the other two owners could have done the same had they chosen. A controversy arose between Chapman and Coffin on one side and Lownsdale on the other, which was de cided by the surveyor general in favor of Chapman and Coffin, Lownsdale refusing to accept the decision. Stark and the others then appealed to the commis sioner of the general land office, who gave as his opinion that Portland could not be held as a donation claim: first, because it dated from 1845, and congress did not recognize claims under the provisional gov ernment; again, because congress contemplated only agricultural grants; and last, on account of the clause in the organic act which made void all laws of the provisional government affecting the title to land. He also believed the town-site law to be extended to Oregon along with the other United States laws; and

284 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

further asserted that the donations were in the na ture of preemption, only more liberal. 37

This decision made the Portland land case more intricate than before, all rights of ownership in the land being disallowed, and there being no reasonable hope that those claiming it could ever acquire any; since if they should be able to hold the land until it came into market, there would still be the danger that any person being settled upon any of the legal sub divisions might claim it, if not sufficiently settled to be organized into a town. Or should the town-site law be resorted to, the town would be parcelled out to the occupants according to the amount occupied by each. Sad ending of golden dreams!

But the commissioner himself pointed out a possi ble flaw in the argument, in the word surveyed/ in the second line of the act of 1844. The lands settled on in Oregon as town sites were not surveyed, which might affect the application of that law. The doubt led to the employment of the judicial talent of the territory in the solution of this legal puzzle, which was not, after all, so difficult as at a cursory glance it had seemed. Chief Justice Williams, in a case brought by Henry Martin against W. G. T Vault and others, who, having sold town lots in Vancouver in exchange for Martin s land claim, under a bond to comply with the requirements of the expected dona tion law, and then to convey to Martin by a good and sufficient deed, refused to make good their agreement, reviewed the decision of Commissioner Wilson and Secretary McClelland in a manner that threw much light upon the town-site law, and showed Oregon lawyers capable of dealing with these knotty questions.

Judge Williams denied that that portion of the organic act which repealed all territorial laws affect ing the title to land repealed all laws regulating the

87 Or. Statesman, June 6, 1854; Olympia Pioneer and Democrat, June 24, 1854; Portland Oregonian, June 10, 1854. See also Brief on behalf of Stark, n^ and Chapman, prepared by S. S. Baxter.

RIGHTS OF SETTLERS. 285

possessory rights of settlers. Congress, be said, was aware that many persons had taken and largely im proved claims under the provisional government, and did not design to leave those claims without legal pro tection, but simply to assert the rights of the United States; did not mean to say that the claim laws of the territory should be void as between citizen and citizen, but that the United States title should not be encum bered. He argued that if the act of 1848 vacated such claims, the act of 1850 made them valid, by granting to those who had resided upon their claims, and by protecting the rights of their heirs, in the case of their demise before the issuance of patents. The surveyor general was expressly required to issue certificates, upon the proper proof of settlement and cultivation, "whether made under the provisional government or not." He declared untenable the proposition that land occupied as a town site prior to 1850 was not subject to donation under the act. A man might settle upon a claim in 1850, and in 1852 lay it out into a town site; but the surveyor general could not refuse him a certificate, so long as he had continued to reside upon and cultivate any part of it.

The rights of settlers before 1850 and after were placed upon precisely the same footing, and therefore if a claim were taken in 1847, and laid off in town lots in 1849, supposing the law to have been complied with in other respects, the claimant would have the same rights as if he had gone upon the land after the passage of the donation law. The surveyor general could not say to an applicant who had complied with the law that he had forfeited his right by attempting to build up a town. A settler had a right to admit persons to occupy under him or to exclude them; and if he admitted them such action not being against the public good it ought not to prejudice his claim.

Judge Williams further held that the town-site law of 1844 was not applicable to Oregon, and that the land laws of the United States had not been extended

286 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

over this territory. The preemption law had never been in force in Oregon; there were no land districts or land offices established. 38 No claims had ever been taken with reference to such a law, nor had any one ever thought of being governed by them in Oregon. And as to town sites, while the California land law excepted them from private entry, the organic act of Oregon excepted only salt and mineral lands, and said nothing about town sites; while the act of 1850 spe cifically granted the Oregon City claim, leaving all other claims upon the same footing, one with another.

Meanwhile, the citizens of Portland who had pur chased lots were in a state of bewilderment as to their titles. They knew of whom they had purchased; but since the apportionment of the surveyor general, which made over to Coffin a part of Lownsdale s convey ances and to Lownsdale and Chapman a part of Cof fin s conveyances, they knew not where to look for titles. To use the words of one concerned, a three days protracted meeting of the citizens had been held to devise ways and means of obtaining titles to their lots. They finally memorialized congress to pass a special act, exempting the town site of Portland from the provisions of the donation act, which failed to meet with approval, being opposed by a counter-peti tion of the proprietors ; though whether it would have succeeded without the opposition was unknown.

In the winter of 1854-5 a bill was before the legis lative assembly for the purchase of the Portland land claim under the town-site law of 1844, before men tioned, Portland having become incorporated in 1851, and having an extent of two miles on the river by one mile west from it. Coffin and Chapman opposed the bill, and the legislature adjourned without taking

38 Two land districts were established in February 1855, Willamette anil Umpqua, but the duties of officers appointed were by act declared to be the same as are now prescribed by law for other land offices, and for the surveyor general of Oregon, so far as they apply to such offices. Or. Statutes, 1858-4, 57. They simply extended new facilities to, without imposing any new regu lations upon, the settlers.

TOWN SITE LAWS. 287

any action in the matter. 89 Finally, the city of Port land was allowed to enter 320 acres under the town- site law in 1860, some individual claims under the same being disallowed. 40

The decision rendered by the general land office in 1858 was that the claims of Stark, Chapman, and Coffin were good, under their several notifications; that Lownsdale s was good under his first notification ; and that where the claims of these parties conflicted with the town-site entry of 320 acres their titles should be secured through the town authorities under the provisions of the act of 1844, and the supplementary act of 1854 relating to town sites. 41

On the demise of Lowrisdale, not long after, his heirs at law attempted to lay claim to certain lots in Portland which had been sold previous to the ad justment of titles, but with the understanding and agreement that when their claims should be con firmed the grantors of titles to town lots should con firm the title of the grantees. The validity of the titles obtained from Stark, Lownsdale, Coffin, and Chapman, whether confirmed or not, was sustained by the courts. A case different from either of these was one in which the heirs of Mrs Lownsdale proved that she had never dedicated to the public use in streets or otherwise a portion of her part of the do nation claim; nor had the city purchased from her the ground on which Park street, the pride of Port land, was laid out. To compel the city to do this, a row of small houses was built in the street, where

39 0?\ Statesman, Feb. 6, 1855. As the reader has probably noticed, the town-site law was extended to Oregon in July 1854, but did not apply to claims already taken, consequently would not apply to Portland. See also Dec. Sup. Ct, relative to Town Sites in Or.; Or. Statesman, Aug. 8, 1875; Or. S. 0. Repts, 1853-4.

40 A. P. Dennison, and one Spear, made claims which were disallowed. The latter s pretensions arose from having leased some land between 1850 and 1853, and believing that he could claim as a resident under that act. Denni- son s pretensions were similarly founded, and, I believe, Carter s also.

il Briefin behalf of Stark, Coffin, Loivnsdale, and Chapman, 1-24; Or. States man, Dec. 21, 1858. See also Martin vs T Fault, 1 Or. 77; Lownsdale vs City of Portland (U. S. D. C.), 1 Or. 380; Chapman vs School District No. I et al.; Opin. Justice Deady, C. C. U. S.; Burke vs Lownsdcde.

283 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

they remain to this time, the city unwilling to pur chase at the present value, and the owners determined not to make a present of the land to the public. 42 There was likewise a suit for the Portland levee, which had been dedicated to the use of the public. The su preme court decided that it belonged to the town; but Deady reversed the decision, on the ground that at the time the former decision was rendered the land did not belong to the city, but to Coffin, Chapman, and Lownsdale. 43

42 Lownsdale died in April 1862. His widow was Nancy Gillihan, to whom he was married about 1850.

43 Apropos of the history of Portland land titles: there came to Oregon with the immigration of 1847 a woman, commonly believed to be a widow, calling herself Mrs Elizabeth Caruthers, and with her, Finice Caruthers, her son. They settled on land adjoining Portland on the south, and when the donation law of 1850 was passed, the woman entered her part of the claim under the name of Elizabeth Thomas, explaining that she had married one Thomas, in Tennessee, who had left her, and who she heard had died in 1821. She preferred for certain reasons to be known by her maiden name of Caruthers. She was allowed to claim 320 acres, and her son 320, making a full donation claim. A house was built on the line between the two portions, in which both claimants lived. In due time both proved up and obtained their certificates from the land office. About 1857 Mrs Caruthers-Thomas died; and in 1860 Finice, her son, died. As he was her sole heir, the whole 640 acres belonged to him. Leaving no will, and being without family, the estate was administered upon and settled.

So valuable a property was not long without claimants. The state claimed it as an escheat, Or. Jour. House, 1868, 44-6, 465, but resigned its preten sions on learning that there were heirs who could claim. During this time an attempt had been made to prove Finice Thomas illegitimate. This fail ing, A. J. Knott and Pv. J. Ladd preempted the land left by Mrs Thomas, on the ground that being a woman she could not take under the donation act. Knott and Ladd obtained patents to the land; but they were subsequently set aside by the U. S. sup. ct, which held that a woman was a man in legal parlance, and that Mrs Thomas claim was good.

Meantime agitation brought to the surface new facts. There were men in Oregon who had known the husband in Tennessee and Missouri, and who believed him still alive. Two who had known Thomas, or as he was called, Wrestling Joe, were sent to St Louis, accompanied by a lawyer, to discover the owner of south Portland. He was found, his identity established, his in terest in the property purchased for the parties conducting the search, and he \vas brought to Oregon to aid in establishing the right of the purchasers. In Oregon were found a number of persons who recognized and identified him as Wrestling Joe of the Missouri frontier, though old and feeble. He was a man not likely to be forgotten or mistaken, and had a remarkable scar on his face. In 1872 a case was brought to trial before a jury, who on the evidence decided that the man brought to Oregon was Joe Thomas. Soon after, and pending an appeal to the sup. ct, a compromise was effected with the con testants, by the formation of the South Portland Real Estate Association, which bought up all the conflicting claims and entered into possession. Sub sequently they sold to Villard.

After the settlement of the suits as above, Wrestling Joe became incensed with some of the men connected with the settlement, and denied that he was

THE DALLES CLAIM. 289

Advantage was sought to be taken by some of that clause in the donation law which declared that no laws passed by the provisional legislature interfering with the primary disposal of the soil should be valid. But the courts held, very properly, that it had not been the intention of congress to interfere with the arrange-

o ~

merits already made between the settlers as to the disposal of their claims, but that on the contrary the organic law of the territory distinctly said that all bonds and obligations valid under the laws of the provisional government, not in conflict with the laws of the United States, were to be valid under the territorial laws till altered by the legislature, and that the owners of town sites who had promised deeds were legally bound to furnish them on obtaining the title to the land. And the courts also decided that taxes should be paid on land claims before the patents issued, because by the act of September 27, 1850, the land was the property in fee simple of every claimant who had fulfilled the conditions of the law.

A question arose concerning the right of a man hav ing an Indian woman for a wife to hold 640 acres of land, which was decided by the courts that he could so hold.

The Dalles town-site claim was involved in doubt and litigation down to a recent period, or during a term of twenty-three years. That the methodists first settled at this point as missionaries is known to the reader; also that in 1847 they sold it to Whitman, who was in possession during the Cayuse war, which drove all the white population out of the country. Thus the first claim was methodist, transferred to the presbyterians, and finally abandoned. But, as I have

that person, asserting that his name was John C. Nixon, and that all he had testified to before was false. This led to the indictment and arrest of the men who went to St Louis to find and identify Thomas, but on their trial the evidence was so strong that they were acquitted. Soon after, Thomas re turned to St Louis, where he lived, as before, after the manner of a mendi cant. See communication by "W. C. Johnson, in Portland Or., Feb. 2, 1878. HIST. OB., VOL. II. 19

290 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

elsewhere shown, a catholic mission was maintained there afterward for some years.

From the sale 44 and abandonment of the Dalles mission to June 1850 there was no protestant mission at that place ; but subsequent to the passage of the donation law, and notwithstanding the military reser vation of the previous month of May, an attempt was made to revive the methodist claim in that year by surveying and making a claim which took in the old mission site; and in 1854 their agent, Thomas H. Pearne, notified the surveyor general of the fact. 45 In the interim, however, a town had grown up at this place, and certain private individuals and the town officers opposed the pretensions of the methoclists. And it would seem from the action of the military authorities at an earlier date that either they differed from the methodist society as to their rights, or were willing to give them an opportunity to recover dam ages for the appropriation of their property, the for mer mission premises being located about in the centre of the reservation.

When the amended land law in 1853 reduced the military reservations in Oregon to a mile square, the reserve as laid out still took something more than half of the claim as surveyed by the methodists in 1850. 46 For this the society, by its agent, brought a

44 The price paid by Whitman for the improvements at The Dalles was, according to the testimony of the methodist claimants, $000 in a draft on the American board, the agreement being cancelled in 1849 by a surrender of the draft.

45 The superintendent of the M. E. mission, William Roberts, advertised in the Spectator of Jan. 10, 1850, that he designed to reoccupy the place, de claring that the society had only withdrawn from it for fear of the Indians, though every one could know that when the mission was sold the war had not yet broken out. The Indians were, however, ill-tempered and defiant, as I have related. See Fulton s Eastern Oregon, MS., 8.

46 Fulton describes the boundaries as follows: When the government re duced the military reservations to a mile square, it happened that, on survey ing the land so as to bring the fort in the proper position with regard to the boundaries, a strip of land was left nearly a quarter of a mile in width next the river, which was not covered by the reserve. To this strip of land the mission returned, upon the pretence that as it was not included in the military reservation, for which they had received $24,000, it was still theirs. In ad dition to the river front, there was also a strip of land on the east side of the reserve which was brought by the government survey within the section that

MISSION LANDS. 291

claim against the government for $20,000 for the land, and later of $4,000 for the improvements, which in their best days had been sold to Whitman for $600. Congress, by the advice of Major G. J. Raines, then in command at Fort Dalles, and through the efforts of politicians who knew the strength of the society, allowed both claims; 47 and it would have been seemly if this liberal indemnity for a false claim had satisfied the greed of that ever-hungry body of Christian min isters. But they still laid claim to every foot of ground which by their survey of 1850 fell without the boundaries of the military reserve, taking enough on every side of it to make up half of a legal mission donation. 43

The case came before three successive surveyor- generals and the land commissioners, 49 and was each time decided against the missionary society, until, as I have said, congress was induced to pay damages to the amount of $24,000, in the expectation, no doubt, that this \vould settle the claims of the missionaries forever. Instead of this, however, the methodist in fluence was strong enough with the secretary of the interior in 1875 to enlist him in the business of get ting a deed in fee simple from the government of the land claimed by the missionaries, 50 although the prop- would have been the mission claim if adhered to as originally occupied. This also they claimed, managizig so well that to make out their section they went all around the reserve. Eastern Or., MS., 3-5.

47 Bill passed in June 1860. See remarks upon it by Or. Statesman, April 20, 1859; Id., March 15, 1859; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1854, 284-6.

8 They made another point that Waller had left The Dalles and taken land at Salem, where he had hut half a claim, which he wanted to fill up at The Dalles. Fulton s Eastern Or., MS., 7. Deacly says notwithstanding that Rob erts had declared the sale to Whitman cancelled in 1849, a formal deed of quitclaim was not obtained till Feb. 28, 1859; and further, that on the 3d of November, 1858, Walker and Eells, professing to act for the American board, had conveyed the premises to M. M. McCarver and Samuel L. White, subject only to the military reservation. Portland Oregonian, Dec. 4, 1879; Or. Statesman, Aug. 25 and Sept. 8, 1855.

19 U. S. //. Ex. Doc., 1, vol. v. 5, 38th cong. 2d sess.; Land Off. Rept, 1864, 2; Portland Oregonian, Jan. 23, 1865.

50 Portland Advocate, May 6, 1875; Vancouver Register, Aug. 6, 1875; JV. Y. Methodist, in Walla Walla Statesman, May 1, 1875. Fulton says James K. Kelly told him that Delano had himself been a methodist minister, wliich may account for the strong interest in this case. Eastern Or., MS., 6.

292 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

erty was already covered by a patent under the dona tion act to W. D. Bigelow, who settled at The Dalles in 1858, 51 and a deed under the town-site act. But by Judge Deady this patent was held of no effect, because the section of the statutes under which it was issued imposed conditions which were not com plied with, namely, that the grant could only be made upon a survey approved by the surveyor general and found correct by the commissioner, neither of which could be maintained, as both had rejected the claim. And in any case, under the statute, 5 - such a patent could operate only as a relinquishment of title on the part of the United States, and could not interfere with any valid adverse right like that of Bigelow or Dalles City, nor preclude legal investigation and (Je- cision by a proper judicial tribunal.

This legal investigation began in the circuit court of Wasco county in September 1877, but was re moved in the following January to the United States district court, which rendered a decision in October 1879 adverse to the missionary society, and sustain ing the rights of the town-site owners under the do-

j ^3

nation and town-site laws, founded upon a thorough examination of the history and evidence in the case. The mission then appealed to the U. S. supreme court, which, in 1883, finally affirmed Deady s deci sion, and The Dalles, which had been under this cloud for a quarter of a century, was at length enabled to give a clear title to its property.

The claim made by the catholics at The Dalles in

51 Bigelow sold and conveyed, Dec. 9, 1862, an undivided third interest in 27 acres of his claim to James K. Kelly and Aaron E. Wait; and Dec. 12, 1864, also conveyed to Orlando Humason the remaining two thirds of this tract. Humason died in Sept. 1875, leaving the property to his widow Phoebe Humason, who became one of three in a suit against the missionary society. See The Dalles Meth. Miss. Claim Cases, 5, a pamphlet of 22 pp. Bigelow also conveyed to Kelly and Wait 46 town lots on the hill part of the town, known as Bluff addition to Dalles City. Id.

02 Deady quotes it as section 2447 of the R. S., and says it was taken from the act of Dec. 22, 1854, authorizing the issue of patents in certain cases, and Only applies where there has been a grant by statute without a provision for the issue of a patent, which could not be affirmed in this case.

REFLECTIONS. 293

1848, and who really were in possession at the time of the passage of the organic act, was set aside, ex cept so far as they were allowed to retain about half an acre for a building spot. So differently is law in terpreted, according to whether its advocates are governed by its strict construction, by popular clamor, or by equity and common sense.

In the case of the original old mission of the methodist church in the Willamette Valley, the re moval of the mission school to Salem in 1843 pre vented title. The land on which Salem now stands would have come under the law had not the mission school been discontinued in 1844; and the same may be said of all the several stations, that they had been abandoned before 1850.

As to the grants to protestant missions, they re ceived little benefit from them. The American board sold Waiilatpu for $1,000 to Gushing Eells, as I have before mentioned. It was not a town site, and there was no quarrel over it. An attempt by the catholics to claim under the donation law at Walla Walla was a failure through neglect to make the proper notifica tion, as I have also stated elsewhere. No notice of the privilege to claim at Lapwai was taken until 1862, when the Indian agent of Washington Territory for the Nez Perces was notified by Eells that the land he was occupying for agency purposes was claimed by the American board, and a contest arose about sur veying the land, which was referred to the Indian bureau, Eells forbidding the agent to make any fur ther improvements. 53 But as the law under which

53 Charles Hutcliins, the agent referred to, remarks that the missionaries at Lapwai may have acted with discretion in retiring to the Willamette Val ley, although they were assured of protection by the Nez Perces; but as they had made no demonstration of returning from 1847 to 1862, and had been engaged in other pursuits, it was suggestive of the thought that it was the value of the improvements made upon the land that prompted them to put in their claim at this time. He could have added that the general im provement in this part of the country might have prompted them. Ind. Aff. Kept, 1862, 426.

294 LAND LAWS AND LAND TITLES.

the missions could claim required actual occupancy at the time of its passage, none of the lands resided upon by the presbyterians were granted to the board ex cept the Waiilatpu claim from which the occupants were excluded by violence and death. Thus, of all the land which the missionaries had taken so much trouble to secure to their societies, and which the or ganic act was intended to convey, only the blood stained soil of Whitman s station was ever confirmed to the church, because before 1848 every Indian mis sion had been abandoned except those of the catho lics, who failed to manage well enough to have their claims acknowledged where they might have done so, and who committed the blunder of attempting to seize the land of the Hudson s Bay Company at Van couver.

Great as was the bounty of the government, it was not an unmixed blessing. It developed rapacity in some .places, and encouraged slothful habits among some by giving them more than they could care for, and allowing them to hope for riches from the sale of their unused acres. The people, too, soon fell out with the surveyor-general for taking advantage of his po sition to exact illegal fees for surveying their claims prior to the public survey, Preston requiring them to bear this expense, and to employ his corps of survey ors. About $25,000 was extorted from the farmers in this way, when Preston was removed on their com plaint, and Charles K. Gardiner of Washington city appointed in his place in November 1853.

Gardiner had not long been in office before he fol lowed Preston s example. The people protested and threatened, and Gardiner was obliged to yield. Both the beneficiaries and the federal officer knew that an appeal to the general land office would result in the people having their will in any matters pertaining to their donation. The donation privileges expired in 1855, after which time the public lands were subject

PREEMPTION AND PATENTS. 295

to the United States law for preemption and pur chase. 54 On the admission of Oregon as a state in 1859, out of eio-lit thousand land claims filed in the

  • o

registrar s office in Oregon City, only about one eighth had been forwarded to Washington for patent, owing to the neglect of the government to furnish clerks to

r>

the registrar, who could issue no more than one certifi cate daily. Fees not being allowed, this officer could not afford to hire assistants. But in 1862 fees were allowed, and the work progressed more satisfactorily, though it is doubtful if ten years afterward all the donation patents had been issued. 55

54 In 1856 John S. Zieber was appointed surveyor general, and held the office until 1859, when W. W. Chapman was appointed. In 1861 he gavo way to B. J. Pengra, and he in turn to E. L. Applegate, who was followed by W. H. Odell, Ben. Simpson, and J. C. Tolman, all Oregon men.

^Land Off. Rept, 1858, 33, 1863, 21-2; Or. Argus, Sept. 11, 1858; S. F. Bulletin, Jan. 28, 1864.

CHAPTER XL

POLITICS AND PROGRESS. 1853.

LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS JUDICIAL DISTRICTS PUBLIC BUILDINGS TENOR or LEGISLATION INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATE HAR BORS AND SHIPPING LANE S CONGRESSIONAL LABORS CHARGES AGAINST GOVERNOR GAINES OCEAN MAIL SERVICE PROTECTION OF OVERLAND IMMIGRANTS MILITARY ROADS DIVISION OF THE TERRITORY FEDERAL APPOINTMENTS NEW JUDGES AND THEIR DISTRICTS WHIGS AND DEM OCRATS LANE AS GOVERNOR AND DELEGATE ALONZO A. SKINNER AN ABLE AND HUMANE MAN SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND PUBLIC SERVICES.

I HAVE said nothing about the legislative and po litical doings of the territory since the summer of 1852, when the assembly met in obedience to a call from Governor Gaines, only to show its contempt by adjourning without entering upon any business. 1 At the regular term in December there were present five whigs, three from Clackamas county and two from Yamhill. Only one other county, Umpqua, ran a whig ticket, and that elected a democrat, which promised little comfort for the adherents of Gaines

^ J The council was composed of Deady, Garrison, Lovejoy, Hall, and Way- mire of the former legislature, and A. L. Humphry of Benton and Lane counties, Lucius W. Phelps of Linn, and Levi Scott of Umpqua, Douglas, and Jackson. Lancaster, from the north side of the Columbia, was not present. The members of the lower house were J. C. Avery and George E. Cole of Benton; W. T. Matlock, A. E. Wait, and Lot Whitcomb of Clackamas; John A. Anderson of Clatsop and Pacific; F. A. Chenoweth of Clarice and Lewis; Curtis of Douglas; John K. Hardin of Jackson; Thomas 1ST. Aubrey of Lane; James Curl and Royal Cottle of Linn; B. F. Harding, Benjamin Simpson, and Jacob Conser of Marion; H. N. V. Holmes and J. M. Fulker- son of Polk; A. C. Gibbs of Umpqua; John Richardson, F. B. Martin, and John Carey of Yamhill; Benjamin Stark, Milton Tuttle, and Israel Mitchell of Washington. Or. Statesman, July 31, 1852. The officers elected in July held over.

(296)

COURT DISTRICTS. 297

and the federal judges, whose mendacity in denying the validity of the act of 1849, adopting certain of the Revised Statutes of 1843 of Iowa, popularly known as the steamboat code, 2 was the cause of more confusion than their opposition to the location of the seat of government act, also declared to be invalid, because two of them used the Revised Statutes of Iowa of 1838, adopted by the provisional government, in their courts, instead of the later one which the legislative assembly declared to be the law.

As I have before recorded, the legislature of 1851- 2, in order to secure the administration of the laws they enacted, altered the judicial districts in such a manner that Pratt s district included the greater part of the Willamette Valley. But Pratt s term expired in the autumn of 1852-3, and a new man, C. F. Train, had been appointed in his place, toward whom the democracy were not favorably inclined, simply because he was a whig appointee. 3 As Pratt was no longer at hand, and as the business of the courts in the counties assigned to him was too great for a single judge, the legislature in 1852-3 redistricted the ter ritory, making the 1st district, which belonged to Chief Justice Nelson, comprise the counties of Lane, Umpqua, Douglas, and Jackson; the 2d district, which would be Train s, embrace Clackamas, Marion, Yam- hill, Polk, Benton, and Linn; and the 3d, or Strong s, consist of Washington, Clatsop, Clarke, Lewis, Thurs- ton, Pierce, and Island. By this arrangement Nelson would have been compelled to remain in contact with border life during the remainder of his term had not Deady, who was then president of the council, re lented so far as to procure the insertion in the act of

2 Amory Holbrook thus named it, meaning it was a carry-all, because it had not been adopted act by act. Says the Or. Statesman, Jan. 8, 1853: The code of laws known as the steamboat code, enacted by the legislative assembly, has been and is still disregarded by both of the federal judges in the territory, while the old Iowa blue-book, expressly repealed by the as sembly, is enforced throughout their districts.

3 The Or. Statesman, Dec. 18, 1852, predicted that he would never come to Oregon, and he never did.

293 POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

a section allowing the judges to assign themselves to their districts by mutual agreement, only notifying the secretary of the territory, who should publish the notice before the beginning of March; 4 the concession being made on account of the active opposition of the whig members to the bill as it was first drawn, they making it a party question, and several demo crats joining with them. The law as it was passed also made all writs and recognizances before issued valid, and declared that no proceedings should be deemed erroneous in consequence of the change in the districts. The judges immediately complied with the conditions of the new law, and assigned them selves to the territory they had formerly occupied.

The former acts concerning the location of the pub lic buildings of the territory were amended at this term and new boards appointed, 5 the governor being declared treasurer of the funds appropriated, without power to expend any portion except upon an order from the several boards constituted by the legisla ture. 6 Here the matter rested until the next term of the legislature.

4 /cZ., Feb. 12, 1853. The Statesman remarked that the majority in the house had killed the first bill and decided to leave the people without courts, unless they could carry a party point, when the council in a commendable spirit of conciliation passed a new bill.

5 The new board consisted of Eli M. Barnum, Albert W. Ferguson, and Alvis Kimsey. Barnum was from Ohio, and his wife was Frances Latimer of Norwalk, in that state. The penitentiary board consisted of William M. King, Samuel Parker, and Nathaniel Ford. University board, James A. Bennett, John Trapp, and Lucius Phelps.

6 The acts of this legislature which it may be well to mention are as follows: Creating and regulating the office of prosecuting attorney; L. F. Grover be ing appointed for the 2d district, R. E. Stratton for the 1st, and Alexander Campbell for the 3d. At the election of June following, R. P. Bois6 was chosen in the 2d district, Sims in the 1st, and Alex. Campbell in the 3d. Establishing probate courts, and providing for the election of constables and notaries public. A. M. Poe was made a notary for Thurston county, D. S. Maynard of King, John M. Chapman of Pierce, R. H. Lansdale of Island, A. A. Plummer of Jefferson, Adam Van Dusen of Clatsop, James Scudder of Pacific, Septimus Heulat of Clackamas, and W. M. King of Washington county. Or. Statesman, Feb. 26, 1853. An act was passed authorizing the appointment of two justices of the peace in that portion of Clackamas east of the Cascades, and appointing Cornelius Palmer and Justin Chenoweth. The commissioners of each county were authorized by act to locate a quarter- section of land for the benefit of county seats, in accordance with the law of

LEGISLATION. 299

The resolutions of instruction to the Oregon dele gate in congress at this session required his endeavor to obtain 100,000 for the improvement of the Wil-

congress passed May 26, 1824, and report such locations to the surveyor general. Or. Gen. Laws, 1852-3, G8.

I have spoken before of the several new counties created at this session, making necessary a new apportionment of representatives. Those north of the Columbia were Pierce, King, Island, and Jefferson. The county seat of Pierce was located on the land claim of John M. Chapman at Steilacoom; King, on the claim of David S. Maynard at Seattle; Jefferson, on the claim of Alfred A. Plummer at Port Townsend; Lewis, on the claim of Frederick A. Clark at the upper landing of the Cowlitz. Commissioners of King county were A. A. Denny, John N. Lowe, Luther M. Collins; David C. Bor ing, sheriff; H. D. Yesler, probate clerk. Commissioners of Jefferson county, Lucius B. Hastings, David F. Brownfield, Albert Briggs; H. C. Wilson, sheriff; A. A. Plummer, probate clerk. Commissioners of Island county, Samuel D. Howe, John Alexander, John Crockett; W. L. Allen, sheriff; R. H. Lansdale, probate clerk. Commissioners of Pierce county, Thomas M. Chambers, William Dougherty, Alexander Smith; John Bradley, sheriff; John M. Chapman, probate clerk. The county seat of Thurston county was located at Olympia, and that of Jackson county at Jacksonville. The com missioners appointed were James Cluggage, James Dean, and Abel George; Sykes, sheriff; Levi A. Rice, probate clerk. The county seat of Lane was fixed at Eugene City. The earliest settlers of this part of the Willamette were, besides Skinner, Felix Scott, Jacob Spores, Benjamin Richardson, John Brown, Marion Scott, John Vallely, Benjamin and Joseph Davis, C. Mulli gan, Lemuel Davis, Hilyard Shaw, Elijah Bristow, William Smith, Isaac and Elias Briggs.

The election law was amended, removing the five years restriction from foreign-born citizens, and reducing the probationary period of naturalized foreigners to six months.

An act was passed creating an irreducible school fund out of all moneys in any way devoted to school purposes, whether by donation, bequest, sale, or rent of school lands, or in any manner whatever, the interest of which was to be divided among the school districts in proportion to the number of chil dren between 4 and 21 years of age, with other regulations concerning educa tional matters. A board of commissioners, consisting of Arnold Fuller, Jacob Martin, and Harrison Linnville, was created to select the two townships of land granted by congress to a territorial university; and an act was passed authorizing the university commissioners to sell one fourth or more of the township, to be selected south of the Columbia, for the purpose of erecting a university building.

The Wallamet University was established, by act of the legislature Jan. 10, 1853, the trustees being David Leslie, William Roberts, George Abernethy, W. H. Wilson, Alanson Beers, Francis S. Hoyt, James H. Wilbur, Calvin S. Kingsley, John Flinn, E. M. Barnum, L. F. Grover, B. F. Harding, Samuel Burch, Francis Fletcher, Jeremiah Ralston, John D. Boon, Joseph Holman, Webley Hauxhurst, Jacob Conser. Alvin F. Waller, John Stewart, James R. Robb, Cyrus Olney, Asahel Bush, and Samuel Parker.

Pilotage was established at the mouth of the Umpqua, and the office of wreck-master created for the several counties bordering on the sea-coast. S. S. Mann was appointed for Umpqua and Jackson, Thomas Goodwin for Clat- sop and Pacific, and Samuel B. Crockett for the coast north of Pacific county, to serve until these offices were filled by election.

The First Methodist Church of Portland was incorporated January 25th, and the city of Portland on the 28th. A divorce law was passed at this ses

300 POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

lamette River; $30,000 for opening a military road from Steilacoom to Fort Walla Walla; $40,000 for a military road from Scottsburg to Rogue River Valley; $15,000 to build alight-house at the mouth of the Umpqua; $15,000 for buoys at the entrance of that river; and $40,000 tu erect a fire-proof custom-house at that place. He was also instructed to have St Helen made a port of delivery; to have the surveyor general s office removed to Salem ; to procure an in crease in the number of members of council from nine to fifteen, and in the house of representatives from eighteen to thirty ; to ask for a military reconnoissance of the country between the Willamette Valley and Fort Boise; to procure the establishment of a mail route from Olympia to Port Townsend, with post- offices at Steilacoom, Seattle, and Port Townsend, with other routes and offices at Whiclby Island and the mouth of the Snohomish River; to urge the survey of the boundary line between California and Oregon ; to procure money for the continuance of the geologi cal survey which had been carried on for one year previous in Oregon territory; 7 to call the attention of congress to the manner in which the Pacific Mail Steamship Company violated their contract to carry the mail from Panama to Astoria; 8 and to endeavor

sion, the first enacted in the territory, divorces hitherto having been granted by the legislature, which failed to inquire closely into the cause for com plaint. The law made impotency, adultery, bigamy, compulsion or fraud, wilful desertion for two years, conviction of felony, habitual drunkenness, gross cruelty, and failure to support the wife, one or all justification for sev ering the marriage tie. A later divorce law required three years abandon ment, not otherwise differing essentially from that of 1852-3. A large num ber of road acts were passed, showing the development of the country.

7 In 1851 congress ordered a general reconnoissance from the Rocky Moun tains to the Pacific, to be performed by the geologists J. Evans, D. D. Owens, B. F. Shumard, and Norwood. It was useful in pointing out the location of various minerals used in the operations of commerce and manufacture, though most of the important discoveries have been made by the unlearned but prac tical miner. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 2, pt ii. 7, 32d cong. 1 sess.; U. 8. Sen. Com. Kept, 177, 1-3, 6, 3Gth cong. 1st sess.; Or. Spectator, Nov. 18, 1851; Olym- pia Columbian, Jan. 22, 1852.

8 No steamship except the Fremont, and she only once, had ventured to cross the Umpqua bar. From 1851 to 1858 the following vessels were lost on the southern coast of Oregon: At or near the mouth of the Umpqua, the Boxtonian, Caleb Curtis, Roanoke, Achilles, Nassau, Almira, Fawn, and Loo- Choo; and at or near the entrance of Coos Bay the Cyclops^ Jackson, and two

EMIGRANT ROAD. 301

to have the salary of the postmaster at that place raised to one thousand dollars.

This was a formidable amount of work for a single delegate, but Lane was equal to the undertaking. And here I will briefly review the congressional labors of Thurston s successor, who had won a lasting place in the esteem and confidence of his constituency by using his influence in favor of so amending the organic, law as to permit the people to elect their own governor and judges, and when the measure failed, by sustaining the action of the legislature in the location of the seat of government.

Lane was always en rapport with the democracy of the territory; and while possessing less mind, less intellectual force and ability, and proceeding with less foresight than Thurston, he made a better impression in congress with his more superficial accomplishments, by his frankness, activity, and a certain gallantry and bonhomie natural to him. 9 His first work in con gress was in procuring the amendment to Thurston s bill to settle the Cayuse war accounts, which author ized the payment of the amount already found due by the commissioners appointed by the legislature of 1850-1, amounting to $73,000. 10

Among the charges brought against Governor Games was that of re-auditing and changing the values of the certificates of the commissioners ap-

others. In 1858 the Emily Packard was wrecked at Shoalwater Bay. When Gov. Curry in 1855-6 addressed a communication to the secretary of the U. S. treasury, reminding him that an appropriation had been made for light houses and fog-signals at the Umpqua and Columbia rivers, but that none of these aids to commerce had been received, Guthrie replied that there was no immediate need of them at the Umpqua or at Shoalwater Bay, as not more than one vessel in a month visited either place ! Perhaps there would have boen more vessels had there been more light-houses. In Dec. 1856 the light house at Cape Disappointment was completed, and in 1857 those at Cape Flattery, New Dungeness, and Umpqua; but the latter was undermined by the sea, being set upon the sands.

9 There is a flattering biography of Lane, published in Washington in 1852, with the design of forwarding his political aspirations with the national democratic convention which met in Baltimore in June of that year.

10 U. S. H. Jour., 1059, 1224, 32d cong. 1st sess. ; U. S. Laws, in Cong. Globe, 1851-52, pt iii. ix.; U. S. H. Jour., 387, 33d cong. 1st sess.; Or. Statesman, July 10, 1852.

302 POLITICS AXD PROGRESS.

pointed by the legislature to audit the Cayuse war claims, and of retaining the warrants forwarded to him for delivery, to be used for political purposes. Lane had a different way of making the war claims profitable to himself. Gaines was informed from Washington that the report of the territorial commis sioners would be the guide in the future adjustment of the Cayuse accounts. Lane procured the passage of an amendment to the former enactments on this subject, which made up the deficiency occasioned by the alteration of the certificates; and the different manner of making political capital out of the war claims commended the delegate to the affections of the peo ple. 11 The 33d congress concluded the business of the Cayuse war by appropriating $75,000 to pay its remaining expenses. 12

Lane urged the establishment of mail routes through the territory, and the better performance of the mail service; but although congress had appropriated in 1852 over $348,000 for the ocean mail service on the Pacific coast, 13 Oregon still justly complained that less than the right proportion was expended in carrying the mails north of San Francisco. The appropriations for the various branches of the public service in Ore gon for 1852, besides mail-carrying, amounted to $78,300, and Lane collected about $800 more from the government to pay for taking the census of 1850. He also procured the passage of a bill authorizing the president to designate places for ports of entry and delivery for the collection districts of Puget Sound and Umpqua, instead of those already established, and increasing the salary of the collector at Astoria to $3,000; but he failed to secure additional collection districts, as had been prayed for by the legislature.

"Or. Statesman, May 14, 1853; Letter of Gaines, in Id., Feb. 26, 1863; Cong. Globe, 1853, app. 341; U. S. H. Com. Rept, 122, vol. ii. 4-5, 32d cong. 1st sess.

12 U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 45, 33d cong. 1st sess.; U. S. H. Com. Kept, 122, 33d cong. 1st sess.; Cong. Globe, 1853-4, 2239, 33d cong. 1st sess.

13 U. S. Laws, in Cong. Globe, 1851-2, pt iii. xxix.

MATTERS IX CONGRESS. 303

He also introduced a bill granting bounty land to the officers and soldiers of the Cayuse war, which failed as first presented, but succeeded at a subsequent ses


sion. 14


A measure in which Lane, with his genius for mil itary affairs, was earnestly engaged, was one for the protection of the Oregon settlers and immigrants from Indian depredations. Early in February 1852 he of fered a resolution in the house that the president should be requested to communicate to that body what steps if any had been taken to secure the safety of the immigration, and in case none had been taken, that he should cause a regiment of mounted riflemen to be placed on duty in Rogue River Valley, and on the road between The Dalles and Fort Hall. 15 In the debate which followed, Lane was reproved for directing the president how to dispose of the army, and told that the matter could go before the military committee; to which he replied that there was no time for the ordinary routine, that the immigration would soon be upon the road, and that the regiment of mounted riflemen belonged of rierht

o o o

to Oregon, having been raised for that territory. But he was met with the statement that his predecessor Thurston had declared the regiment unnecessary, and had asked its withdrawal in the name of the Oregon

Q

people; 11 to which Lane replied that Thurston might have so believed, but that although in the inhabited portion of the territory the people might be able to defend themselves, there was no protection for those

14 Speech of Brooks of N. Y., in Cong. Globe, 1851-52, 627. Failing to have Oregon embraced in the benefits of this bill, Lane introduced his own, as has been said, and lost it. But at the 2d session of the 33d congress a bounty land bill was passed, which by his exertions was made to cover any wars in which volunteer troops had been regularly enrolled since 1790. Ba- con s Merc. Life, MS., 16.

15 Cong. Globe, 1851-2, 507.

6 The secretary of war writes Gaines : All accounts concur in representing the Indians of that region as neither numerous nor warlike. The late del- legate to congress, Mr Thurston, confirmed this account, and represented that some ill feeling had sprung up between the troops and the people of the ter ritory, and that the latter desired their removal. Or. Spectator, Aug. 12, 1851.

304 POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

travelling upon the road several hundred miles from the settlements, and cited the occurrences of 1851 in the Shoshone country. His resolution was laid on the table, but in the mean time he obtained an assur ance from the secretary of war that troops should be placed along the overland route in time to protect the travel of 1852. 17 On the 8th of April Lane pre sented a petition in his own name, as a citizen of Or egon, praying for arms and ammunition to be placed by the government in the hands of the people for their defence against the savages; hoping, if no other measure was adopted, Thurston s plan, which had gained the favorable attention of congress, might be carried into effect. At the same time Senator Doug las, who was ever ready to assist the representatives of the Pacific coast, reported a bill for the protection of the overland route, 18 which was opposed because it would bring with it the discussion of the Pacific rail road question, for which congress was not prepared, and which it was at that time anxious to avoid. The bill was postponed, Lane s efforts for the protection of the territory being partly successful, as the chapter following will show.

The reconnoissance from the Willamette Valley to Fort Boise which the legislature asked for was de signed not only to hold the Indians in check, but to explore that portion of Oregon lying to the east of the head waters of the Willamette with a view to opening a road directly from Boise to the head of the valley, complaint having been made that the legisla ture had not sufficiently interested itself hitherto in explorations for wagon routes. But no troops came overland this year, and it was left, as before, for the

17 At the same time Senator Gwin of California had a bill before the sen ate to provide for the better protection of the people of California and Ore gon. Cong. Globe, vol. xxiv., pti. p. 471, 32d cong. 1st sess.; Or. Statesman, April 6, 1852.

18 Cong. Globe, 1851-2, 1684.

MILITARY ROADS. 305

immigrations to open new routes, with the usual amount of peril and suffering. 19

Appropriations for military roads, which were asked for by the legislature of 1852-3, had already been urged by Lane at the first session of the 32d congress, and were obtained at the second session, to the amount of forty thousand dollars; twenty thousand to con struct a military road from Steilacoom to Walla Wal la, 20 arid twenty thousand for the improvement of the road from the Umpqua Valley to Rogue River. 21

19 The legislature of 1851-2 authorized a company of seven men, William Macey, John Diamond, W. T. Walker, William Tandy, Alexander King, Joseph Meadows, and J. Clarke, to explore an immigrant road from the up per part of the Willamette Valley to Fort Boise", expending something over $3.000 in the enterprise. They proceeded by the middle branch of the river, by what is now known as the Diamond Peak pass, to the summit of the Cascade Mountains. They named the peak to the south of their route Macey, now called Scott peak; and that on the north Diamond peak. They followed down a small stream to its junction with Des Chutes River, naming the mountains which here cross the country from south-west to north-east the Walker Range, and down Des Chutes to Crooked River, from which they travelled east to the head of Malheur River, naming the butte which here seems to terminate the Blue Range, King peak. After passing this peak they were attacked by Indians, who wounded three of the party and captured their baggage, when they wandered for 8 days with only wild berries to eat, coming to the old immigrant road 60 miles from Boise", and returning to the Willamette by this route. Or. Jour. Council, 1852-3, app. 13-15. Another company was sent out in -1853 to improve the trail marked out by the first, which they did so hastily and imperfectly that about 1,500 people who took the new route were lost for five weeks among the mountains, marshes, and deserts of the region about the head waters of the Des Chutes, repeating the experiences in a great measure of the lost immigrants of 1845. No lives were lost, but many thousand dollars worth of property -was sacrificed. Or. Statesman, Nov. 1, 1853, May 16, 1854; Albany Register, Aug. 21, 1869. I have before me a manuscript by Mrs Rowena Nichols, entitled Indian Af fairs. It relates chiefly to the Indian wars of southern and eastern Oregon, though treating also of other matters. Mrs Nichols was but 2| years old when with her mother and grandmother she passed through this experience. She, and one other child, a boy, lived on the milk of a cow which their elders managed to keep alive during about six weeks, being unable to eat the beef of starving oxen, like their elders. The immigration of this year amounted to 6,480 men, women, and children, much less than that of 1852. T. Mercer, in Washington Sketches, MS., 1; Hines Or., 209; 0/ympia Columbian, Nov. 27, 1852; 8. F. Alfa, Aug. 16, Sept. 19, Oct. 7, 8, 24, and 25, and Nov. 21, 1853; S. F. D. Herald, Aug. 31, 1852; Or. Statesman, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, 1853; Olympia Columbian, Nov. 26, 1853.

20 Evans in his Puyallup address says: Congress having made an appro priation for a military road between Fort Walla Walla and Fort Steilacoom, Lieut Richard Arnold was assigned the duty of expending it. He avoided that mountain beyond Greenwater, but in the main adopted the work of the immigrants of 18o3. The money was exhausted in completing their road. He asked in vain that the labors of the citizens should be requited. New Ta- coma Ledger, July 9, 1880. This road was opened in 1854 for travel.

21 This road was surveyed in 1853 by B. AJvord, assisted by Jesse Apple- HIST. OB., VOL. 11. 20 After his re-election, Lane secured another twenty-thousand-dollar appropriation to build the road asked for by the legislature, from Scottsburg to connect with the former road to Rogue River,[14] besides other appropriations sufficient to justify his boast that he had obtained more money for his territory than any other delegate had ever done.[15]


I have already spoken of the division of the territory according to the petitions of the inhabitants of the territory north of the Columbia, and a memorial of the legislature of 1852-3. This measure also Lane advocated, upon the ground that the existing territory of Oregon was of too great an area, and encouraged the democratic party in Oregon to persist in memorializing congress to remove the obnoxious federal officers appointed by a whig president.[16]

The spring of 1853 brought the long-hoped-for change in the federal appointments of the territory. Two weeks after the inauguration of Pierce as president, Lane wrote his friends in Oregon that all the

DISTRICTS AND JUDGES. 307

former incumbents of the federal offices were dis placed except Pratt, and lie was made chief justice, with Matthew P. Deady and Cyrus Olney 25 as asso ciates. Before the confirmation of the appointments Judge Pratt s name was withdrawn and Oregon thus lost an able and pure chief justice, 2 * and that of George H. Williams," a judge in Keokuk, Iowa, substituted.

With regard to the other judges, both residents of Oregon, it was said that Lane procured the appoint ment of Deady in order to have him out of his way a few months later. But Deady was well worthy of the position, and had earned it fairly. The appoint ments were well received in Oregon, and the judges opened courts in their respective districts under fa vorable circumstances, Deady in the southern, Olney in the northern, and Williams in the central counties. But in October it began to be rumored that a new appointment had been made for a judgeship in Ore gon; to what place remained unknown for several weeks, when 0. B. McFadden, of Pennsylvania, ap peared in Oregon and claimed the 1st district, upon the ground that in making out Deady s commission a mistake in the name had been made, and that there-

25 Olney was a native of Ohio, studied law and was admitted to practice in Cincinnati, removing after a few years to Iowa, where he was circuit judge, and whence he emigrated to Oregon in 1851. He resided at different times in Salem, Portland, and Astoria. He was twice a member of the legis lature, and helped to frame the state constitution. He was twice married, and had 7 children, none of whom survived him. He died at Astoria Dec. 28, 1870.

^The withdrawal of Pratt was a loss to Oregon. He laid the founda tion of the judiciary in the state. An able and conscientious official.

27 George H. Williams was born in Columbia County, N. Y., March 2, 1823. He received an academic education, and began the practice of law at an early age in Iowa, where he was soon elected judge of the circuit court. His circuit included the once famous Half-breed Tract, and the settlers elected him in the hope that he would decide their titles to the land to be good; but he disappointed them, and was not reflected. In the presidential campaign of 1852, he canvassed Iowa for Pierce, and was chosen one of the electors to carry the vote of the state to Washington. While there he obtained the appointment of chief justice, and removed to Oregon the following year. He retained this position till 1859, when the state was admitted. In person tall, angular, and awkward, yet withal fine-looking, he possessed brain power and force, and was even sometimes eloquent as a speaker. Corr. S. f. Bulletin, in Portland Oreyonian, Oct. 8, 1864.

308 POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

fore he was not duly commissioned. On this flimsy pretence, by whom suggested was not known, 28 Deady was unseated and McFadden 29 took his place. Being regarded as a usurper by the majority of the democ racy, McFadden was not popular. With his official acts there was no fault to be found; but by public meetings and otherwise Lane was given to under stand that Oregon wanted her own men for judges, and not imported stock. Accordingly, after holding one term in the southern district, before the spring came McFadden was transferred to Washington Ter ritory, and Deady reinstated. From this time for ward there was no more appointing of non-resident judges with every change of administration at Wash ington. The legislature of 18534 once more redis- tricted the territory, making Marion, Linn, Lane, Benton, and Polk constitute the 1st district; Clat- sop, Washington, Yamhill, and Clackamas the 2d; and the southern counties the 3d and peace reigned thenceforward among the judiciary.

As if to crown this triumph of the Oregon democ racy, Lane, whose term as delegate expired with the 32d congress, was returned to Oregon as governor, removing Gaines as Gaines had removed him. 30 Lane s popularity at this time throughout the west ern and south-western states, whence came the mass of the emigration to Oregon, was unquestioned. He was denominated the Marius of the Mexican war, 31 the Cincinnatus of Indiana, and even his proceedings

28 Lane was accused, as I have said, of recommending Deady to prevent his running for delegate, which was fair enough ; but it was further alleged that he planned the error in the name, and the removal which followed, for which there does not appear honorable motive.

M 0badiah B. McFadden was born in Washington county, Penn.jNov. 18, 1817. He studied law, and was admitted to practice in 1842, and in 1843 was elected to the state legislature. In 1845 he was chosen clerk of the court of common pleas of his county, and in 1853 was appointed by President Pierce associate justice of the sup. ct for the territory of Oregon. Olympia Echo, July 1, 1875.

30 In his Autobiography, MS., 58, Lane remarks: I took care to have Gaines removed as a kind of compliment to me

^Jenkins* History of the War with Mexico, 49&

CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION. 309

with regard to the Rogue River Indians were paraded as brilliant exploits to make political capital. There was an ingenuous vanity about his public and private acts, and a happy self-confidence, mingled with a flattering deference to some and an air of dignity toward others, which made him the hero of certain circles in Washing ton, as well as the pride of his constituency. It was with acclaim therefore that he was welcomed back to Oregon as governor, bringing with him his wife, chil dren, and relatives, to the number of twenty-nine, that it might not be said of him that he was a non-resident of the territory. He had taken pains besides to have all the United States officers in Oregon, from the sec retary, George L. Curry, to the surveyors of the ports, appointed from the residents of the territory. 32

Lane arrived in Oregon on the 16th of May, and on the 19th he had resigned the office of governor to become a candidate for the seat in congress he had just vacated. The programme had been arranged be forehand, and his name placed at the head of the democratic ticket a month before his return. The opposing candidate was Indian Agent A. A. Skinner, Lane s superior in many respects, and a man every way fitted for the position. 33 The organization of political

32 B. F. Harding was made U. S. attorney; J. W. Nesmith, U. S. mar shal; Joel Palmer, supt Indian affairs; John Adair, collector at Astoria; A. C. Gibbs, collector at Umpqua; Win M King, port surveyor, Portland; Rob ert W. Dunbar, port surveyor, Milwaukie; P. G. Stewart, port surveyor, Pacific City; and A. L. Lovejoy, postal agent. A. C. Gibbs superseded Colin Wilson, the first collector at Umpqua. The surveyors of ports re moved were Thomas J. Dryer, Portland; G. P. Newell, Pacific City; N. Du Bois, Milwaukie. Or. Statesman, April 30, 1833.

J3 Alonzo A. Skinner was born in Portage co., Ohio, in 1814. He received a good education, and was admitted to the bar in 1840, and in 1842 settled in Putnam co. , where he was elected prosecuting attorney, his commission being signed by Thomas Corwin. In 1 845 he emigrated to Oregon, being ap pointed by Governor Abernethy one of the circuit judges under the provi sional government, which office he retained till the organization of the ter ritory. In 1851 he was appointed commissioner to treat with the Indians, together with Governor Gaines and Beverly Allen. In the latter part of that year he was made Indian agent for the llogue River Valley, and removed from Oregon City to southern Oregon. Being a whig, and the territory over whelmingly democratic, he was beaten in a contest for the delegateship of Oregon in 1853, Lane being the successful candidate. After the expiration of his term of office as Indian agent, he returned to Eugene City, which was founded by Eugene F. Skinner, where he married Eliza Lincoln, one of the

310 POLITICS AND PROGRESS.

parties, on national as well as local issues, began with, the contest between Lane and Skinner for the place as delegate, by the advice of Lane, and with all the ardor of the Salem clique of partisan democrats, whose mouth-piece was the Oregon Statesman. The canvass was a warm one, with all the chances in favor of Lane, who could easily gain the favor of even the whigs of southern Oregon by fighting Indians, whereas Skinner was not a fighting man. The whole vote cast at the election of 1853 was 7,486, and Lane s majority was 1,575, large enough to be satisfactory, yet showing that there was a power to be feared in the people s party, as the opponents of democratic rule now styled their organization.

As soon as the result became known, Lane repaired to his land claim near Roseburg, and began building a residence for his family. 34 But before he had made much progress, he was called to take part in subduing an outbreak among the natives of Rogue River Val ley and vicinity, which will be the subject of the next chapter. Having distinguished himself afresh as gen eral of the Oregon volunteers, he returned to Wash ington in October to resume his congressional labors.

worthy and accomplished women sent out to Oregon as teachers by Governor Slade. On the death of Riley E. Stratton, in 1866, he was appointed by Gov ernor Woods to fill the vacancy on the bench of the sup. ct. On retiring from this position he removed to Coos co., and was appointed collector of customs for the port of Coos Bay, about 1870. He died in April 1877, at Santa Cruz, Cal., whither he had gone for health. Judge Skinner was an oid- style gentleman, generous, affable, courteous, with a dignity which put vul gar familiarity at a distance. If he did not inscribe his name highest on the roll of fame, he left to his family and country that which is of greater value, the memory of an upright and noble life. See Portland Oregonian, Oct. 1 877. 34 I had determined to locate in the Umpqua Valley, on account of the scenery, the grass, and the water. It just suited my taste. Instead of in vesting in Portland and making my fortune, I wanted to please my fancy. Lane s Aiitobiographi/, MS., 63. Gaines also took a claim about ten miles from Salem. Or. Statesman, June 28, 1853.

CHAPTER XII.

ROGUE RIVER WAR.

1853-1854.

IMPOSITIONS AND RETALIATIONS OUTRAGES BY WHITE MEN AND INDIANS THE MILITARY CALLED UPON WAR DECLARED SUSPENSION OF BUSI NESS ROADS BLOCKADED FIRING FROM AMBUSH ALDEN AT TABLE ROCK LANE IN COMMAND BATTLE THE SAVAGES SUE FOR PEACE ARMISTICE PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT HOSTAGES GIVEN ANOTHPH TREATY WITH THE ROGUE RIVER PEOPLE STIPULATIONS OTHER TREATIES COST OF THE WAR.

NOTWITHSTANDING the treaty entered into > as I have related, by certain chiefs of Rogue River in the sum mer of 1852, hostilities had not altogether ceased, although conducted less openly than before. With such a rough element in their country as these min ers and settlers, many of them bloody-minded and un principled men, and most of them holding the opinion that it was right and altogether proper that the natives should be killed, it was impossible to have peace. The white men, many of them, did not want peace. The quicker the country was rid of the red skin vermin the better, they said. And in carrying out their determination, they often outdid the savage in savagery.

There was a sub-chief, called Taylor by white men, who ranged the country about Grave Creek, a north ern tributary of Rogue River," who was specially hated, having killed a party of seven during a winter storm and reported them drowned. He committed other depredations upon small parties passing over

(311)

312 ROGUE RIVEB. WAR.

the road. 1 It was believed, also, that white women were prisoners among the Indians near Table Rock, a rumor arising probably from the vague reports of the captivity of two white girls near Klamath Lake.

Excited by what they knew and what they imag ined, about the 1st of June, 1853, a party from Jacksonville and vicinity took Taylor with three others and hanged them. Then they went to Table Hock to rescue the alleged captive white women, and finding none, they fired into a village of natives, kill ing six, then went their way to get drunk and boast of their brave deeds. 2

There was present neither Indian agent nor mili tary officer to prevent the outrages on either side. The new superintendent, Palmer, was hardly installed in office, and had at his command but one agent, 3 whom he despatched with the company raised to open the middle route over the Cascade Mountains. As to troops, the 4th infantry had been sent to the north west coast in the preceding September, but were so distributed that no companies were within reach of Rogue River. 4 As might have been expected, a few weeks after the exploits of the Jacksonville com pany, the settlements were suddenly attacked, and a bloody carnival followed. 5 Volunteer companies quickly gathered up the isolated families and patrolled

1 Drew, in Or. Jour. Council, 1857-8, app. 26; Or. Statesman, June 28, 1853; Jacksonville Sentinel, May 25, 1867; DoweWs Nar., MS., 5-6.

2 Let our motto be extermination, cries the editor of the Yreka Herald, and death to all opposers. See also S. F. Alta, June 14, 1853; Jacksonville Sentinel, May 25, 1867. The leaders of the company were Bates and Two- good.

3 This was J. M. Garrison. Other appointments arrived soon after, designating Samuel H. Culver and R. R. Thompson. J. L. Parrish was retained as sub-agent. Rept of Supt Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc., i., vol. i. pt. i. 448, 33d cong. 1st sess.

4 Five companies were stationed at Columbia barracks, Fort Vancouver, one at Fort Steilacoom, one at the mouth of Umpqua River, two at Port Or- ford, and one at Humboldt Bay. Cal. MIL A/. Scraps, 13-14; Or. States man, Sept. 4, 1852.

5 August 4th, Richard Edwards was killed. August 5th, next night, Thomas" J. Mills and Rhodes Noland were killed, and one Davis and Burril F. Griffin were wounded. Ten houses were burned between Jacksonville and W. G. T Vault s place, known as the Dardanelles, a distance of ten miles.

GATHERING OF VOLUNTEERS. 313

the country, occasionally being fired at by the con cealed foe. 6 A petition was addressed to Captain Al- den, in command of Fort Jones in Scott Valley, asking for arms and ammunition. Alden immediately came forward with twelve men. Isaac Hill, with a small company, kept guard at Ashland. 7

On the 7th of June, Hill attacked some Indians five miles from Ashland, and killed six of them. In return, the Indians on the 17th surprised an immi grant camp and killed and wounded several. 8 The houses everywhere were now fortified; business was suspended, and every available man started out to hunt Indians. 9

On the 15th S. Ettinger was sent to Salem with a request to Governor Curry for a requisition on Colonel Bonneville, in command at Vancouver, for a howitzer, rifles, and ammunition, which was granted. With the howitzer went Lieutenant Kautz and six artillerymen; and as escort forty volunteers, officered by J. W. Nesmith captain, L. F. Grover 1st lieu tenant, W. K. Beale 2d lieutenant, J. D. McCurdy surgeon, J. M. Crooks orderly sergeant. 10 Over two hundred volunteers were enrolled in two companies, and the chief command was given to Alden. From Yreka there were also eighty volunteers, under Cap-

6 Thus were killed John R. Hardin and Dr Rose, both prominent citizens of Jackson county. Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 1853.

7 The men were quartered at the houses of Frederick Alberding and Pat rick Dunn. Their names, so far as I know, besides Alberding and Dunn, were Thomas Smith, William Taylor, and Andrew B. Carter. The names of settlers who were gathered in at this place were Frederick Heber and wife; Robert Wright and wife; Samuel Grubb, wife and five children ; Will iam Taylor, R. B. Hagardine, John Gibbs, M. B. Morris, R. Tungate, Morris Howell. On the 13th of Aug. they were joined by an immigrant party just arrived, consisting of A. G. Fordycc, wife and three children, J. Kennedy, Hugh Smith, Brice Whitmore, Ira Arrowsmith, William Hodgkins, wife and three children, all of Iowa, and George Barnett of Illinois. Scraps of Southern Or. Hist., in Ashland Tidiixjs, Sept. 27, 1878.

8 Hugh Smith and John Gibbs were killed; William Hodgkins, Brice Whit man, A. G. Fordyce, and M. B. Morris wounded.

9 Duncan s Southern Or., MS., 8, says: The enraged populace began to slaughter right and left. Martin Angell, from his own door, shot an Indian. Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 1853.

10 Graver s Pub. Life in Or., MS., 29; Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 30, 1853.

314 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

tain Goodall. By the 9th of August, both Nesmith and the Indian superintendent were at Yoncalla.

Fighters were plenty, but they were without sub sistence. Alden appointed a board of military com missioners to constitute a general department of sup ply. 11 Learning that the Indians were in force near Table Rock, Alden planned an attack for the night of the llth; but in the mean time information came that the Indians were in the valley killing and burning right and left. Without waiting for officers or orders, away rushed the volunteers to the defence of their homes, and for several days the white men scoured the country in small bands in pursuit of the foe. Sam, the war chief of Rogue River, now approached the volunteer camp and offered battle. Alden, having once more collected his forces, made a movement on the 15th to dislodge the enemy, supposed to be en camped in a bushy canon five miles north of Table Rock, but whom he found to have changed their po sition to some unknown place of concealment. Fol lowing their trail was exceedingly difficult, as the savages had fired the woods behind them, which ob literated it, filled the atmosphere with smoke and heat, and made progress dangerous. It was not until the morning of the 17th that Lieutenant Ely of the Yreka company discovered the Indians on Evans Creek, ten miles north of their last encampment. Having but twenty-five men, and the main force hav ing returned to Camp Stuart for supplies, Ely fell back to an open piece of ground, crossed by creek channels lined with bunches of willows, where, after sending a messenger to headquarters for reinforce ments, he halted. But before the other companies could come up, he was discovered by Sam, who has tened to attack him.

Advancing along the gullies and behind the willows, the Indians opened fire, killing two men at the first

11 George Dart, Edward Shell, L. A. Loomis, and Richard Dugan consti tuted the commission.

BATTLE NEAR TABLE ROCK. 315

discharge. The company retreated for shelter, as rapidly as possible, to a pine ridge a quarter of a mile away, but the savages soon flanked and surrounded them. The fight continued for three and a half hours, Ely having four more men killed and four wounded. 12 Goodall with the remainder of his com pany then came up, and the Indians retreated.

On the 21st, and before Alden was ready to move, Lane arrived with a small force from Roseburg. 13 The command was tendered to Lane, who accepted it. 14

A battalion under Ross was now directed to pro ceed up Evans Creek to a designated rendezvous, while two companies, captains Goodall and Rhodes, under Alden with Lane at their head, marched by the way of Table Rock. The first day brought Alden s com mand fifteen miles beyond Table Rock without hav ing discovered the enemy ; the second day they passed over a broken country enveloped in clouds of smoke; the third day they made camp at the eastern base of a rocky ridge between Evans Creek and a small stream farther up Rogue River. On the morning of the fourth day scouts reported the Indian trail, and a road to it was made by cutting a passage for the horses through a thicket.

Between nine and ten o clock, Lane, riding in ad vance along the trail which here was quite broad, heard a gun fired and distinguished voices. The troops were halted on the summit of the ridge, and

12 J. Shane, F. Keath, Frank Perry, A. Douglas, A. C. Colburn, and L. Locktirg were killed, and Lieut Ely, John Albin, James Carrol, and Z. Shutz wounded. Or. Statesman, Sept. 6, 1853; S. F. Alia, Aug. 28, 1853.

13 Accompanying Lane were Pleasant Armstrong of Yamhill county, James Cluggage, who had been to the Umpqua Valley to enlist if possible the Klickitat Indians against the Rogue Rivers, but without success, and eleven others. See Lane s Autobiography, MS., 63.

u Curry had commissioned Lane brigadier-general, and Nesmith, who had not yet arrived, was bearer of the commission, but this was unknown to either Alden or Lane at the time. Besides, Lane was a more experienced field-officer than Alden; but Capt. Cram, of the topographical engineers, subsequently blamed Alden, as well as the volunteers, because the command was given to Lane, while Aldeii, an army officer, was there to take it. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 114, p. 41, 35th cong. 2d sess.; U. Ex. Doc., i., pt ii. 42, 33d cong. 1st sess.

316 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

ordered to dismount in silence and tie their horses. When all were ready, Alden with Goodall s company was directed to proceed on foot along the trail and attack the Indians in front, while Rhodes with his men took a rid^e to the left to turn the enemy s flank,

V

Lane waiting for the rear guard to come up, whom he intended to lead into action. 15

The first intimation the Indians had that they were discovered was when Alden s command fired into their camp. Although completely surprised, they made a vigorous resistance, their camp being forti fied with logs, and well supplied with ammunition. To get at them it was necessary to charge through dense thickets, an operation both difficult and dan gerous from the opportunities offered of an am bush. Before Lane brought up the rear, Alden had been severely wounded, the general finding him lying in the arms of a sergeant. Lane then led a charge in person, and when within thirty yards of the enemy, was struck by a rifle-ball in his right arm near the shoulder.

In the afternoon, the Indians called out for a parley, and desired peace; whereupon Lane ordered a suspension of firing, and sent Robert B. Metcalfe and James Bruce into their lines to learn what they had to say. Being told that their former friend, Lane, was in command, they desired an interview, which was granted.

On going into their camp, Lane found many wounded; and they were burning their dead, as if fearful they would fall into the hands of the enemy. He was met by chief Jo, his namesake, and his., brothers Sam and Jim, who told him their hearts were sick of war, and that they would meet him seven days thereafter at Table Rock, when they would give

15 In this expedition, W. G. T Vault acted as aid to Gen. Lane, C. Lewis, a volunteer captain, as asst adjutant-gen., but falling ill on the 29th, Capt. L. F. Mosher, who afterward married one of Lane s daughters, took his place. Mosher had belonged to the 4th Ohio volunteers. Lane s Kept in U. 8. //. Ex. Doc. i., pt ii. 40, 33d cong. 1st sess.

ARMISTICE. 317

up their arms, 16 make a treaty of peace, and place themselves under the protection of the Indian super intendent, who should be sent for to be present at the council. To this Lane agreed, taking a son of Jo as hostage, and returning to the volunteer encampment at the place of dismounting in the morning, where the wounded were being cared for and the dead being buried. 17

The Ross battalion arrived too late for the fight, and having had a toilsome inarch were disappointed, and would have renewed the battle, but were restrained by Lane. Although for two days the camps were within four hundred yards of each other, the truce remained unbroken. During this interval the Indian women brought water for the wounded white men; and when the white men moved to camp, the red men furnished bearers for their litters. 18 I find no men tion made of any such humane or Christian conduct on the part of the superior race.

On the 29th, both the white and red battalions moved slowly toward the valley, each wearing the appearance of confidence, though a strict watch was covertly kept on both sides. 19 The Indians established themselves for the time on a high piece of ground directly opposite the perpendicular cliffs of Table Rock, while Lane made his camp in the valley, in plain view from the Indian position, and about one mile distant, on the spot where Fort Lane was after ward located.

They had 111 rifles and 86 pistols. S. F. Alta, Sept. 4, 1853.

17 See Or. Statesman, Nov. 15, 1853. Among the slain was Pleasant Arm strong, brother of the author of Oregon, a descriptive work from which I have sometimes quoted. The latter says that as soon as the troops were away the remains of his brother were exhumed, and being cut to pieces were left to the wolves. Armstrong .<* Or., 52-3. John Scarborough and Isaac Bradley were also killed. The wounded were 5 in number, one of whom, Charles C. Abbe, afterward died of his wounds. The Indian loss was 8 killed and 20 wounded.

18 Lane s Autobiography, MS., 96-7.

[9 tiiskiyou County Affairs, MS., 2, 4-5; Minto s Early Days, MS., 46; Gro- vcr s Pub. Life, MS., 28-51; Brown s Salfm Dir., 1871, 33-5; Yreka Moun tain Herald, Sept. 24, 1853; Or. Statesman, Oct. 11, 1853; U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 114, p. 41-2, 35th cong. 2d sess. ; Jarksonville Sentinel, July 1, 1867; Meteorol. Reg., 1853-4, 594; Nesmith s Reminiscences, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Asso., 1879, p. 44; Or. Statesman, Sept. 27, 1853.

318 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

The armistice continued inviolate so far as con cerned the volunteer army under Lane, and the Ind ians under Sam, Jo, and Jim. But hostilities were not suspended between independent companies rang ing the country and the Grave Creek and Apple- gate Creek Indians, and a band of Shastas under Tipso, whose haunts were in the Siskiyou Moun tains. 20

A council, preliminary to a treaty, was held the 4th of September, when more hostages were given, and the next day Lane, with Smith, Palmer, Grover, and others, visited the Rogue River camp. The 8th was set for the treaty-making. On that day the white rnen presented themselves at the Indian encampment in good force and well armed. There had arrived, be sides, the company from the Willamette, with Kautz and his howitzer, 21 all of which had its effect to obtain their consent to terms which, although hard, the con dition of the w r hite settlers made imperative, 22 placing

20 R. Williams killed 12 Indians and lost one man, Thomas Philips. Owens, on Grave Creek, under pledge of peace, got the Indians into his camp and shot them all. U. S. II. Ex. Doc., 99, p. 4, 33d cong. 1st sess. Again Williams surprised a party of Indians on Applegate Creek, and after induc ing them to lay down their arms shot 18 of them, etc.

21 The Indians had news of the approach of the howitzer several days be fore it reached Rogue River. They said it was a hyas rifle, which took a hatful of powder for a load, and would shoot down a tree. It was an ob ject of great terror to the Indians, and they begged not to have it lired. Or. Statesman, Sept. 27, 1853.

22 The treaty bound the Indians to reside permanently in a place to be set aside for them ; to give up their fire-arms to the agent put over them, except a few for hunting purposes, 17 guns in all ; to pay out of the sum received for their lands indemnity for property destroyed by them ; to forfeit all their annuities should they go to war again against the settlers; to notify the agent of other tribes entering the valley with warlike intent, and assist in expelling them ; to apply to the agent for redress whenever they suffered any grievances at the hands of the white people; to give up, in short, their en tire independence and become the wards of a government of which they knew nothing.

The treaty of sale of their lands, concluded on the 10th, conveyed all the country claimed by them, which was bounded by a line beginning at a point near the mouth of Applegate Creek, running southerly to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, and along the summits of the Siskiyou and Cas cade mountains to the head waters of Rogue River, and down that stream to Jump Off Joe Creek, thence down said creek to a point due north of, and thence to, the place of beginning a temporary reservation being made of about 100 square miles on the north side of Rogue River, between Table and Evans Creek, embracing but ten or twelve square miles of arable

COUNCIL AND TREATY. 319

the conquered wholly in the power of the conquer ors, and in return for which they were to receive quasi benefits which they did not want, could not understand, and were better off without. A treaty was also made with the Cow Creek band of Umpquas, usually a quiet people, but affected by contact with the Grave Creek band of the Rogue River nation. 23

land, the remainder being rough and mountainous, abounding in game, while the vicinity of Table Rock furnished their favorite edible roots.

The United States agreed to pay for the whole Rogue River Valley thus sold the sum of $60,000, after deducting $15,000 for indemnity for losses of property by settlers; $5,000 of the remaining $45,000 to be expended in ag ricultural implements, blankets, clothing, and other goods deemed by the sup. most conducive to the welfare of the ludians, on or before the 1st day of September 1854, and for the payment of such permanent improvements as had been made on the land reserved by white claimants, the value of which should be ascertained by three persons appointed by the sup. to appraise them. The remaining $40,000 was to be paid in 16 equal annual instalments of $2,500 each, commencing on or about the 1st of September, 1854, in clothing, blankets, farming utensils, stock, and such other articles as would best meet the needs of the Indians. It was further agreed to erect at the expense of the government a dwelling-house for each of three principal chiefs, the cost of whicli should not exceed $500 each, which buildings should be put up as soon as practicable after the ratification of the treaty. When the Indians should be removed to another permanent reserve, buildings of equal value should be erected for the chiefs, and $15,000 additional should be paid to the tribe in five annual instalments, commencing at the expiration of the previ ous instalments.

Other articles were added to the treaty, by which the Indians were bound to protect the agents or other persons sent by the U. S. to reside among them, and to refrain from molesting any white person passing through their reserves. It was agreed that no private revenges or retaliations should be indulged in on either side; that the chiefs should, on complaint being made to the Indian agent, deliver up the offender to be tried and punished, con formably to the laws of the U. S.; and also that on complaint of the Indians for any violation of law by white men against them, the latter should suffer the penalty of the law.

The sacredness of property was equally secured on either side, the Ind ians promising to assist in recovering horses that had been or might be stolen by their people, and the United States promising indemnification for prop erty taken from them by the white men. And to prevent mischief being made by evil-disposed persons, the Indians were required to deliver up on the requisition of the U. S. authorities or the agents or sup. any white per son residing among them. The names appended to the treaty were Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs; Samuel H. Culver, Indian agent; Apserkahar (Jo), Toquahear (Sam), Anachaharah (Jim), John, and Lympe. The witnesses were Joseph Lane, Augustus V. Kautz, J. W. Nesmith, R. B. Metcalf, John (interpreter), J. D. Mason, and T. T. Tierney. Or. States man, Sept. 27, 1853; Nesmith s Reminiscences, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Asxo., 1879, 46; Portland West Shore, May, 1879, 154-5; 8. F. Alta, Sept. 24, 1853; Palmer s Wagon Trains, MS., 50; Ind. Aff. Kept, 1856, 265-7; and 1865, 469-71.

23 The land purchased from the Cow Creek band was in extent about 800 square miles, nearly one half of which was excellent farming land, and the remainder mountainous, with a good soil and fine timber. The price agreed

320 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

On the whole, the people of Rogue River behaved very well after the treaty. The settlers and miners in the Illinois Valley about the middle of October be ing troubled by incursions of the coast tribes, who had fled into the interior to escape the penalty of their depreciations on the beach miners about Crescent City, Lieutenant R. C. W. Radford was sent from Port Lane with a small detachment to chastise them. Finding them more numerous than was expected, Radford was compelled to send for reinforcements, which arriving under Lieutenant Caster on the 22d, a three days chase over a mountainous country brought them up with the marauders, when the troops had a skirmish with them, killing ten or more, and captur ing a considerable amount of property which had been stolen, but losing two men killed and four wounded.

After this the miners hereabout took care of them selves, and made a treaty with that part of the Rogue River tribe, which was observed until January 1854, when a party of miners from Sailor Diggings, in their pursuit of an unknown band of robbers attacked the treaty Indians, some being killed on both sides; but the Indian agent being sent for, an explanation en sued, and peace was, temporarily restored.

The Indian disturbances of 1853 in this part of Or egon, according to the report of the secretary of war, 24 cost the lives of more than a hundred white persons and several hundred Indians. The expense was esti mated at $7,000 a day, or a total of $258,000, though the war lasted for little more than a month, and there had been in the field only from 200 to 500 men.

In addition to the actual direct expense of the war

upon was $12,000, two small houses, costing about $200, fencing and plowing a field of five acres, and furnishing the seed to sow it; the purchase money to be paid in annual instalments of goods. This sum was insignificant com pared to the value of the land, but bargains of this kind were graded by the number of persons in the band, the Cow Creeks being but few. Besides, Indian agen.s who intend to have their treaties ratified must get the best bargains that can be extorted from ignorance and need. " U. S. H. Ex. Doc., i., pt ii. 43, 33d cong. 1st sess.

COST OF FIGHTING. 321

was the loss by settlers, computed by a commission consisting of L. F. Grover, A. C. Gibbs, and G. H. Ambrose 25 to be little less than $46,000. Of this amount $17,800, including payment for the improve ments on the reserved lands, was deducted from the sum paid to the Indians for their lands, which left only $29,000 to be paid by congress, which claims, together with those of the volunteers, were finally settled on that basis. 26

25 Portland Oregonian, Dec. 30, 1854; U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 65, 43d cong. 2d sess.

The names of the claimants on account of property destroyed, on which the Indian department paid a pro rata of 34.77 per cent out of the $15,000 retained from the treaty appropriation for that purpose, were as follows, showing who were doing business, had settled, or were mining in the Rogue River Valley at this period: Daniel and Ephraim Raymond, Clinton Barney, David Evans, Martin Angell, Michael Brennan, Albert B. Jennison, William J. Newton, Wm Thompson, Henry Rowland, John W. Patrick, John R. Hardin, Pleasant W. Stone, Jeremiah Yarnel, Wm S. King, Cram, Rogers & Co., Edith M. Neekel, John Benjamin, David N. Birdseye, Lewis Rotherend, Mary Ann Hodgkins, George H. C. Taylor, John Markley, Sigmond Eulinger, James C. Tolman, Henry Ham, William M. Elliott, Silas and Edward Day, James Triplett, Nathan B. Lane, John Agy, James Bruce, James B. Fryer, Win G. F. Vank, Hall & Burpee, John Penneger, John E. Ross, John S. Miller, D. Irwin, Burrell B. Griffin, Traveena McComb, Wm N. Ballard, Freeman Smith, Nicholas Kohenstein, Daniel F. Fisher, Thomas D. Jewett, Sylvester Pease, David Hay hart, McGreer, Drury & Runnels, James Moouey, John Gheen, Theodosia Cameron, James Abrahams, Francis Nasarett, Gal ley & Oliver, T. B. Sanderson, Frederick Rosenstock, Dunn & Alluding, Asa G Fordyce, Obadiah D. Harris, James L. London, Samuel Grubb, Win Kahler, Samuel Williams, Hiram Niday, John Anderson, Elias Huntington, Shertack Abrahams, Thomas Frazell, Weller & Rose, Robert B. Metcalf, Charles Williams, John Swinden, James R. Davis, Isaac Woolen, Wm M. Hughs. Of the settlers on the reservation lands who brought claims were these: David Evans, Matthew G. Kennedy, John G. Cook, William Hutch- inson, Charles Grey, Robert B. Metcalf, Jacob Gall, George H. C. Taylor, John M. Silcott, James Lesly. Report of Supt Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. t 52, p. 3-5, 38th con^. 2d sess. HIBT. OB., VOL. II. 21

CHAPTER XIII.

LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

1853-1854.

JOHN W. DAVIS AS GOVERNOR LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS APPROPRIATIONS BY CONGRESS OREGON ACTS AND RESOLUTIONS AFFAIRS ON THE UMP- QUA LIGHT-HOUSE BUILDING BEACH MINING INDIAN DISTURBANCES PALMER S SUPERINTENDENCE SETTLEMENT OF Coos BAY EXPLORA TIONS AND MOUNTAIN -CLIMBING POLITICS OF THE PERIOD THE QUES TION OF STATE ORGANIZATION THE PEOPLE NOT READY HARD TIMES DECADENCE OF THE GOLD EPOCH RISE OF FARMING INTEREST SOME FIRST THINGS AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES WOOLEN MILLS TELE GRAPHS RIVER AND OCEAN SHIPPING INTEREST AND DISASTERS WARD MASSACRE MILITARY SITUATION.

LATE in October 1853 intelligence was received in Oregon of the appointment of John W. Davis of In diana as governor of the territory. 1 He arrived very opportunely at Salem, on the 2d of December, just as the legislative assembly was about to convene. He brought with him the forty thousand dollars appro priated by congress for the erection of a capitol and penitentiary, which the legislature had been anxiously awaiting to apply to these purposes. Whether or not he was aware of the jealousy with which the law- making body of Oregon had excluded Governor Gaines from participating in legislative affairs, he prudently

1 Davis was a native of Pennsylvania, where he studied medicine. He sub sequently settled in Indiana, served in the legislature of that state, being speaker of the lower house, and was three times elected to congress, serving from 1835 to 1837, from 1839 to 1841, and from 1843 to 1847. He was once speaker of the house of representatives, and twice president of the national democratic convention. During Polk s administration he was commissioner to China. He died in 1859. Or. Statesman, Oct. 25, 1853; Id., Oct. 11, 1859;

Or. Argus, Oct. 15, 1859.

(322)

LEGISLATURE 1853-4. 323

t

refrained from overstepping the limits assigned him by the organic law. When informed by a joint reso lution of the assembly that they had completed their organization, 2 he simply replied that it would afford him pleasure to communicate from time to time from the archives any information they might require. This was a satisfactory beginning, and indicated a pol icy from which the fourth gubernatorial appointee found no occasion to depart during his administra tion.

The money being on hand, the next thing was to spend it as quickly as possible, 3 which the commis sioners had already begun to do, but which the legis lature was compelled to check 4 by appointing a new penitentiary board, and altering the plans for the cap- itol building. A bill introduced at this session to re-

2 The members of the council elected for 1853-4 were L. P. Powers, of Clatsop; Ralph Wilcox, of Washington; J. K. Kelly, of Clackamas; Benj. Simpson, of Marion; John Richardson, of Yamhill; J. M. Fulkerson, of Polk.

Those holding over were L. W. Phelps, A. L. Humphry, and Levi Scott. The house of representatives consisted of J. W. Moffit, Z. C. Bishop, Robert Thompson, F. 0. (Jason, L. F. Carter, B. B. Jackson, L. F. Grover, J. C. Peebles, E. F. Colby, Orlando Humason, Andrew Shuck, A. B. Westerfield, R. P. Boise, W. S. Gilliam, I. N. Smith, Luther Elkins, J. A. Bennett, Benj. A. Chapman, H. G. Hadley, Wm J. Martin, George H. Ambrose, John F. Miller, A. A. Durham, L. S. Thompson, S. Goff, Chauncey Nye. There was but one whig in the council, and four in the house. Or. Statesman, June 28, 1853. Ralph Wilcox was elected president of the council; Samuel B. Gar- rett, of Benton, chief clerk; and A. B. P. Wood, of Polk, assistant clerk; John K. Delashmutt, sergeant-at-arms. The house was organized by electing Z. C. Bishop, speaker; John McCracken, chief clerk; C. P. Crandell, enroll ing clerk; G. D. R. Boyd, assistant clerk; G. D. Russell, sergeant-at-arms, and Joseph Hunsaker, doorkeeper. Or. Jour. Council. 1853 4, p. 4, 5.

3 Half of the $20, 000 appropriated for a state house, according to the com missioners report, was already expended on the foundations, the architect s plan being to make an elegant building of stone, costing, at his estimate, $75,000. The land on which the foundation was laid was block 84 in the town of Salem, and was donated by W. H. Willson and wife, from the land which they succeeded in alienating from the methodist university lands, this being one way of enhancing the value of the remainder. The legislature ordered the superstructure to be made of wood.

4 The penitentiary commissioners had selected two blocks of land in Port land, and had made some slight progress, expending $5,600 of the $20,000 appropriated. William M. King, president of the board, charged $10 per day as commissioner, and $5 more as acting commissioner. He speculated in lots, paying Lownsdale $150 each for four lots, on condition that two lota should bo given to him, for which he received $300. In this way, says the Orcgonian of Feb. 4, 1854, King has pocketed $925, Lownsdale $600, and Frush $2,800, of the penitentiary fund. Add to this between $1,100 and $1,200 for his invaluable services for letting all the prisoners run away, and we have a fair exhibit of financiering under democratic misrule in Oregon.

324 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

locate the seat of government may have had some influence in determining the action of the assembly with regard to the character of the edifice already in process of construction. It was the entering wedge for another location war, more bitter and furious than the first, and which did not culminate until 18556. The university had not made so much ad-

/

vancement as the state house and penitentiary, the appropriations for the former being in land, which had to be converted into money. 5

Remembering the experiences of the past three years, the legislative assembly enacted a militia law constituting Oregon a military district, and requiring the appointment by the governor of a brigadier-gen eral, who should hold office for three years, unless sooner removed; and the choice at the annual election in each council district of one colonel, one lieutenant- colonel, and one major, who should meet at a conven ient place, within three months, and lay off their regi mental district into company districts, to contain as nearly as possible one hundred white male adults be tween the ages of eighteen and forty-five years capa ble of. bearing arms, and who should appoint captains and lieutenants to each company district, the captains to appoint sergeants and corporals. Commissions were to issue from the governor to all officers except sergeants and corporals, the term of office to be two years, unless prevented by unsoundness of mind or bodv, each officer to rank according to the date of

i/ O

his commission, the usual rules of military organiza tion and government being incorporated into the act. 6 In compliance with this law, Governor Davis appointed,

5 The legislature of 1852-3 had authorized the commissioners to construct the university building at the town of Marysville, in the county of Benton, on such land as shall be donated for that purpose by Joseph P. Friedly, unless some better or more eligible situation should be offered. Or. Statesman, Feb. 5, 1853. The commissioners to select the two townships had only just completed their work.

6 Or. Jour. Council, 1853-4, 113, 118, 128; Laws of Or., in Or. Statesman, Feb. 21, 1854; Or. Jour. Council, 1854-5, app. 12, 15, 17.

RAILROAD CHARTERS. 325

in April 1854, J. W. Nesmith, brigadier-general; E. M. Barnum, adjutant-general; M. M. McCarver, com missary-general ; and S. C. Drew, quartermaster-gen eral. 7 An act was also passed providing for taking the will of the people at the June election, concerning a constitutional convention, and the delegate was in structed to secure from congress an act enabling them

O CJ

to form a state government. 8 But the people very sensibly concluded that they did not want to be a state at present, a majority of 869 being against the measure ; nor did congress think well of it, the slavery question as usual exercising its influence, and although Lane said that Oregon had 60,000 population, which was an exaggeration.

The doings of the alcaldes of Jackson county as justices of the peace were legalized; for up to the time of the appearance of a United States judge in that county the administration of justice had been irregular, and often extraordinary, making the per sons engaged in it liable to prosecution for illegal proceedings, and the judgments of the miners courts void. 9 The business of the session, taken all in all, was unimportant. 10 Worthy of remark was the char-

7 At the June election, Washington county chose J. L. Meek col, R. M. Porter lieut-col, John Pool maj.; Yamhill, J. W. Moffit col, W. Starr lieut-col, J. A. Campbell maj.; Marion, George K. Sheil col, John McCracken lieut-col, J. C. Geer maj.; Clackamas, W. A. Cason col, Thos Waterbury lieut-col, W. B. Magers maj.; Linn, L. S. Helm col, N. G. McDonald lieut-col, Isaac N. Smith maj.-; Douglas, W. J. Martin col, J. S. Lane lieut- col, D. Barnes maj.; Coos, Stephen Davis col, C. Gunning lieut-col, Hugh O Xeil maj. Or. Statesman, June 13, 20, 27, 1854. Polk and Tillamook coun ties elected J. K. Delashmutt col, B. F. McLench lieut-col, B. F. Burch maj.; Benton and Lane, J. Kendall col, Jacob Allen lieut-col, William Gird maj.; Jackson, John E. Ross col, Win J. Newton lieut-col. James H. Russell maj. Or. Statesman, July 1, 1854. Or. Jour. Council, 1857-8, App. 57.

k Law* of Or., in Or. Statesman, Feb. 7, 1854; Cony. Globe, vol. 28, pt ii. 1117-8, 33d cong. 1st sess.

9 Or. Jour. Council, 1853-4,50; Or. Statesman, Jan. 17, 1854. The former alcaldes were John A. Hardin, U. S. Hayden, Chauncey Nye, Clark Rogers, and W. W. Fowler. Laws of Oregon, in Or. Statesman, Jan. 17, 1854. And this, notwithstanding Fowler had sentenced one Brown to be hanged for murder. Pri:ns Judicial Anecdotes, MS., 10. The first term of the U. S. district court held by Judge Deady began Sept. 5, 1853.

10 Coos, Columbia, and Wasco counties were established. The name of Marysviiie was changed to Corvallis. Rogue River had its name changed to Gold River, and Grave Creek to Leland Creek; but such is the force of custom, these changes were not regarded, and the next legislature changed

326 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

tering of four railroad companies, only one of which took any steps toward carrying out the declared inten tions of the company. In the case of the Willamette Valley Railroad Company, the commissioners held one meeting at Thorp s mills, in Polk county, and appointed days for receiving subscriptions in each of the counties. But the time was not yet ripe for railroads, and this temporary enthusiasm seems to have been aroused by the Pacific railroad survey, then in progress in the north-west territory of the United States. 11

The success of the Oregon delegates in securing appropriations led the assembly to ask for money from the general government for " every conceivable pur pose," as their mentor, the Statesman, reminded them, and for which it reproved them. Yet the greater part of these applications found favor with congress, either through their own merits or the address of the dele-

the name of Gold River back to Rogue River. The methodists incorporated Santiam Academy at Lebanon, in Linn county, Portland Academy and Fe male Seminary at Portland, and Corvallis Academy at Corvallis. The pres- byterians incorporated Union Academy at Union Point. The congregation* arista incorporated Tualatin Academy and Pacific University at Forest Grove; and the citizens of Polk county the Rickreal Academy, on the land claim of one Lovelady Rickreal being the corruption of La Creole, in com mon use with the early settlers. Albany had its name changed to Tekanah , but it was changed back again next session. Thirty wagon, roads were peti tioned for, and many granted, and the Umpqua Navigation and Manu facturing Company was incorporated at this session, the object of which was to improve the navigation of the river at the head of tide- water, and utilize the water-power at the falls for mills and manufactories. The com pany consisted of Robert J. Ladd, J. W. Drew, R. E. Stratton, Benjamin Brattan, and F. W. Merritt; but nothing came of it, the navigation of the river being impracticable. None of the plans for making Scottsburg a manufacturing town at this time, or down to the present, succeeded. An appropriation for the improvement of the river above that place was indeed secured from congress and applied to that purpose a few years later, so far that a small steamer built for a low stage of water made one trip to Win chester. The Umpqua above the falls at Scottsburg is a succession of rapids over rocky ledges which form the bottom of the stream. The water in sum mer is shallow, and in winter often a rushing torrent. In the winter of 1861-2 it carried away the mills and most of the valuable improvements at the lower town, which were not rebuilt.

11 The Willamette Valley railroad was to have been built on the west side of the valley. The commissioners were Fred. Waymire, John Thorp, and Martin L. Barber. Or. Statesman, April 25, 1854. The first railroad pro jected in Oregon was from St Helen, on the Columbia, to Lafayette, the idea being put forth by H. M. Knighton, original owner of the former place, and Crosby and Smith, owners of Milton town site. See Or. Spectator, April 17, 1851. APPROPRIATIONS. 327

gate in advocating them. The principal appropria tions now obtained were the sum before mentioned for paying the expenses of the Rogue River war; 10,000 to continue the military road from Myrtle Creek to Scottsburg; and $10,000 in addition to a former appropriation of $15,000 to construct a light house at the mouth of the Umpqua, with a propor tionate part of a general appropriation of $59,000 to be used in the construction of light-houses on the coasts of California and Oregon. 12

12 Cong. Globe, 1853-4, 2249. This work, which had been commenced on the Oregon coast in 1853, was delayed by the loss of the bark Oriole of Baltimore, Captain Lentz, wrecked on the bar of the Columbia the 19th of Sept., just as she had arrived inside, with material and men to erect the light-house at Cape Disappointment. The wind failing, on the ebb of the tide the Oriole drifted among the breakers, and on account of the stone and other heavy cargo in her hold, was quickly broken up. The crew and twenty workman, with the contractor, F. X. Kelley, and the bar- pilot, Capt. Flavel, escaped into the boats, and after twelve hours work to keep them from being carried out to sea, were picked up by the pilot-boat and taken to Astoria. Thus ended the first attempt to build the much needed light-house at the mouth of the Columbia. In 1854 Lieut George H. Derby was appointed superintendent of light-houses in Cal. and Or. Additional ap propriations were asked for in 1854. In 1856 the light-house at Cape Disap pointment was completed. Its first keeper was John Boyd, a native of Maine, who came to Or. in 1853, and was injured in the explosion of the Ga zelle. He married Miss Olivia A. Johnson, also of Maine, in 1859. They had four children. Boyd died Sept. 10, 1865, at the Cape. Portland Orego- ni<m, Sept. 18, 1865. The accounting officer of the treasury was authorized to adjust the expenses of the commissioners appointed by the ter. assembly to prepare a code of laws, and of collecting and printing the laws and archives of the prov. govt. U. S. House Jour., 725, 33d cong. 1st sess; Cong. Globe, 1853-4, app. 2322. The laws and archives of the provisional government, compiled by L. F. Grover, were printed at Salem by Asahel Bush. The code was sent to New York to be printed. The salaries of the ter. judges and the sec. were increased $500 each, and the services of Geo. L. Curry, while acting governor, were computed the same as if he had been gov ernor. The legislative and other contingent expenses of the tez\ amounted to $32,000, besides those of the surv.-gen. office, Ind. dep., mil. dep., and mail service. The expenses of the govt, not included in those paid by the U. S., amounted for the fiscal year ending Dec. 1853 to only $3,359.54; and the public debt to no more than $855.37. Or. Statesman, Dec. 20, 1853; Or. Journal Council, 1853-4, p. 143-5; Portland Oregonian, Jan. 27, 1854. Two new districts for the collection of customs were established at the 2d sess. of the 33d cong., viz., Cape Perpetua, and Port Orford, with collectors drawing salaries of $2,000 each, who might employ each a clerk at 1,500; and a deputy at each port of delivery at $1,000 a year; besides ganger, weigh er, and measurer, at $6 a day, and an inspector at $4. Cong. Globe, vol. 31, app. 384, 33d cong. 2d sess. The port of entry for the district of Cape Per petua was fixed at Gardiner, on the Umpqua River. More vessels entered the Columbia than all the other ports together. From Sept. 1, 1853, to July 13, 1854, inclusive, there were 179 arrivals at the port of Astoria, all from S. F. except one from Coos Bay, two from New York, and one from London. The London vessel brought goods for the Hudson s Bay Company, the only

328 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

Next to the payment of the war debt was the demand for a more efficient mail service. The peo ple of the Willamette Valley still complained that their mails were left at Astoria, and that at the best they had no more than two a month. In southern Oregon it was still worse; and again the citizens of Umpqua memorialized congress on this vexatious sub ject. It was represented that the valleys of southern Oregon and northern California contained some 30,000 inhabitants, who obtained their merchandise from Umpqua harbor, and that it was imperatively neces sary that mail communication should be established between San Francisco and these valleys. Their pe tition was so brought before congress that an act was passed providing for the delivery of the mails at all the ports along the coast, from Humboldt Bay to Port Townsend and Olympia, and $125,000 appropri ated for the service. 13 Houses were built, a newspa per 14 was established, and hope beat high. But again

foreign vessel entering Oregon during that time. The departures from the Columbia numbered 184, all for S. F. except one for Coos Bay, two for Ca- llao, one for Australia, and one for the S. I. Most of these vessels carried lumber, the number of feet exported being 22,567,000. Or. Statesman, Aug. 1, 1854. The direct appropriations asked for and obtained at the 2d sess. of this cong. were for the creation of a new land district in southern Or. called the Umpqua district, to distinguish it from the Willamette district, with an office at such point as the president might direct, Zabriskie Land Laws, 636; Cong. Globe, vol. 31, app. 380, 33d cong. 2d sess., the appropriation of $40,- 000 to complete the penitentiary at Portland, $27,000 to complete the state house at Salem, and $30,000 to construct the military road from Salem to Astoria, marked out in 1850 by Samuel Culver and Lieut Wood of the mounted rifles. Or. Statesman, Oct. 3, 1850. The military road to Astoria was partly constructed in 1855, under the direction of Lieut Derby. Money failing, a further appropriation of $15,000 was applied, and still the road re mained practically useless. The appropriation of $30,000 for a light-house at the Umpqua was also expended by government officers in 1857. The tower was 105 feet high, but being built on a sandy foundation, it fell over into the sea in 1870. It does not appear that the money bestowed upon Oregon by congress in territorial times accomplished the purposes for which it was de signed. Not one of the military roads was better than a mule trail, every road that could be travelled by wagons being opened by the people at their own expense.

13 U. S. H. Jour., 237, 388, 41 1, 516, 536, 963, 33d cong. 1st sess. ; U. S. II. Ex. Doc., i. pt ii. 615, 624, 701, 33d cong. 2d sess.

14 By D. J. Lyon, at Scottsburg, called the Umpqua Gazette. It was first issued in April 1854, and its printer was William J. Beggs. In Nov. 1854, G. D. R. Boyd purchased a half-interest, and later removed the material to Jacksonville where the publication of the Table Rock Sentinel was begun in

BEACH GOLD MINING. 329

in the summer of 1854, as after the efforts of Thurs- ton, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company made a spasmodic pretence of keeping their contract, which was soon again abandoned out of fear of the Umpqua bar, 15 and this abandonment, together with the suc cessful rivalry of the road from Crescent City to the Rogue Kiver Valley, and the final destruction of the Scottsburg road by the extraordinary storms of 1861-2, terminated in a few years the business of the Ump qua, except such lumbering and fishing as were after ward carried on below Scottsburg.

The history of beach mining for gold began in the spring of 1853, the discovery of gold in the sand of the sea-beach leading to one of those sudden migra tions of the mining population expressively termed a rush. The first discovery w^as made by some half- breeds in 1852 at the mouth of a creek a few miles north of the Coquille, near where Randolph appears on the map. 16 The gold was exceedingly fine, the use of a microscope being often necessary to detect it; yet when saved, by amalgamation with mercury, w 7 as

Nov. 1855, by W. G. T Vault, Taylor, and Blakesly, with Beggs as printer. Or. Statesman, Dec. 8, 1855; Or. Argus, Dec. 8, 1855. The name was changed to that of Oregon Sentinel in 1857. Id. , July 25, 1857. D. J. Lyons was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1813, his family being in the middle rank of life, and connected with the political troubles of 1798. His father emigrated to Ken tucky in 1818. Young Lyons lost his sight in his boyhood, but was well edu cated by tutors, and being of a musical and literary turn of mind, wrote songs fashionable in the circle in which George D. Prentice, Edmund Flagg, and Amelia Welby were prominent. Lyons was connected with several light literary publications before coming to Oregon. He had married Virginia A. Putnam, daughter of Joseph Putnam of Lexington, with whom he emigrated to Oregon in 1853, settling at Scottsburg, where he resided nearly 30 years, removing afterward to Marshtield, on Coos Bay. Beggs was a brilliant writer on politics, but of dissipated habits. He married a Miss Beebe of Salem, and deserted her. He ran a brief career, dying in misery in New York City.

15 The whole coast was little understood, and unimproved as to harbors. The Anita was lost at Port Orford in Oct. 1852. Three vessels, the J. Mcri- tkf i -, M< iidora, and Vandalia, were wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia in Jan. 1853. Capt. E. H. Beard of the Vandalia, who was from Baltimore, Md., was drowned.

16 S. S. Mann says that the half-breeds sold their claim to McNamara Brothers for 820,000. Settlement of Coos Bay, MS., 14. Armstrong, in his Orego?), 06, claims that his brother discovered gold on the beach at the Coquille in 1 842, being driven in there in a schooner by a storm, while on his way to San Francisco.

330 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

found to be in paying quantities. The sand in which it was found existed not only on the modern beach, but on the upper Coquille, forty miles in the interior, at a place known as Johnson Diggings; but the prin cipal deposits were from the Coquille River south along the recent beach to the California line. 17

A mining town called Elizabeth sprung up during the summer about thirty miles south of Port Orford, and another seven miles north of the Coquille, called Randolph City. 18 The latter name may still be found on the maps, but the town has passed out of ex istence with hundreds of others. For, although the returns from certain localities were at first flattering, the irregular value of the deposits, and the difficulty of disposing of the gold on account of expense of sep aration, soon sent most of the miners back to the placer diggings of the interior, leaving a few of the less impatient to further but still futile efforts.

The natives living at the mouth of the Coquille questioned the right of the white men to occupy that region, and added to insolence robbery and murder. Therefore, on the 28th of January, a party of forty, led by George H. Abbott, went to their village, killed fifteen men, and took prisoners the women and chil dren. Seeing which, the chiefs of other villages were

17 The deposit where the gold was found is an ancient beach, 1-^- miles east or back of the present beach. The mines are 180 feet above the level of the ocean, which has evidently receded to that extent. The depth of the gold varies from one to twelve feet, there being 12 feet on the ocean side to one foot on what was formerly the shore side. The breadth is from 300 to 500 feet, which is covered with white sand to a depth of 40 feet. The surface is overgrown with a dense forest, and trees of great size are found in the black sand, in a good state of preservation, which proves that there the beach was at no remote period. Iron is a large component of this black sand, and it would probably pay to work it for that metal now. Gale s Resources of Coos County, 31. See also Van Tramp s Adventures, 154-5; Armstrongs Or., 64- 5, 57-9; Davidson s Coast Pilot, 119; Harper s Mcnthly, xiii. 594-5; S. F. Com. Advertiser, Feb. 23, 1854; Taylor s Spec. Press, 584; Cram s Top. Mem., 37. W. P. Blake, in Sllliman s Journal, vol. 20, 74, says: Gold is found in the beach sand from the surface to the depth of 6 feet or more; it is in very small thin scales, and separates from the black sand with difficulty. Platinum and the associate metals, iridosmine, etc., are found with the gold in large quantities, and as they cannot be separated from the gold by washing, its value in the market is considerably lessened.

"Parrish, in Lid. Aff. Kept, 1854, 268-75, 288; S. F. Alta, June 5, 6, July 15, and Aug. 16, 1854.

COOS BAY COMPANY. 331


glad to make peace on any terms, and keep it until driven again to desperation. 1

Superintendent Palmer, in the spring of 1854, began a round of visits to his savage wards, going by the way of the Rogue River Valley and Crescent City, and proceeding up the coast to Yaquina Bay. Find ing the Indians on the southern coast shy and unap proachable, he left at Port Orford Sub-agent Parrish with presents to effect a conciliation. 20

Prominent among matters growing out of beach mining, next after the Indian difficulties, was the more perfect exploration of the Coos Bay country, which resulted from the passing back and forth of supply trains between the Umpqua and the Coquille rivers. In May 1853, Perry B. Marple, 21 after hav ing examined the valley of the Coquille, and found what he believed to be a practicable route from Coos Bay to the interior, 22 formed an association of twenty men called the Coos Bay Company, with stock to be divided into one hundred shares, five shares to each joint proprietor, 23 and each proprietor being bound to

19 Indian Agent F. M. Smith, after due investigation, pronounced the kill ing an unjustifiable massacre. U. 6 . H. Ex. Doc. 76, 268-71, 34th cong. 3d sess.

20 See ParrisVs Or. Anecdotes, MS., passim; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1854, 254-66.

- 1 He was an eccentric genius, a great talker, of whom his comrades used to say that he came within an ace of being a Patrick Henry, but just missing it, missed it entirely. He was a man of mark, however, in his county, which he represented in the constitutional convention a bad mark, in some respects, judging from Deacly s observations on disbarring him: I have long since ceased to regard anything you assert. All your acti show a decree of mental and moral obliquity which renders you incapable of discriminating between truth and falsehood or right and wrong. You have no capacity for the practice of law, and in that profession you will ever prove a curse to yourself and to the community. For these reasons, and altogether overlooking the present alle gations of unprofessional conduct, it would be an act of mercy to strike your name from the roll of attorneys. Marple went to the Florence mines in eastern Oregon on the outbreak of the excitement of 1861, and there died of consumption in the autumn of 1862. Or. Statesman, Dec. 8, 1862, and Jan. 12,^1868.

-The first settlement was made on Coos Bay in the summer of 1853, and a packer named Sherman took a provision train over the mountains from Grave Creek by a practicable route. He reported discoveries of coal. Or. Stalesman, June 28, 1853.

2:5 The proprietors were Perry B. Marple, James C. Tolman, Eollin L. Bel- knap, Solomon Bowermaster, Joseph H. McVay, J. A. J. McVay, Wm H.

332 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

proceed without delay to locate in a legal form all the land necessary to secure town sites, coal mines, and all important points whatsoever to the company. If upon due consideration any one wished to withdraw from the undertaking he was bound to hold his claim until a substitute could be provided. Each person remaining in the company agreed to pay the sum of five hundred dollars to the founder, from whom he would receive a certificate entitling him to one twentieth of the whole interest, subject to the regu lations of the company, the projector of the enterprise being bound on his part to reveal to the company all the advantageous positions upon the bay or on Co- quille river, and throughout the country, and to re linquish to the company his selections of land, the treasures he had discovered, both upon the earth or in it, and especially the stone-coal deposits by him found. 24

The members of the company seemed satisfied with the project, and lost no time in seizing upon the va rious positions supposed to be valuable. Empire City was taken up as a town site about the time the company was formed, 25 and later Marshfield, 26 and the affairs of

Harris, F. G. Lockhart, C. W. Johnson, A. P. Gaskell, W. H. Jackson, Presly G. Wilhite, A. P. De Cuis, David Rohren, Charles Pearce, Matthias M. Learn, Henry A. Stark. Charles H. Haskell, Joseph Lane, S. K. Temple. Articles of Indenture of the Coos Bay Company, in Oregonian, Jan. 7, 1854; Gibbtt* Notes on Or. Hist., MS., 15.

21 Articles of Indenture of the Coos Bay Company, in Oregonian, Jan. 7, 1854. See 8. F. Alta, Jan. 3, 1854.

25 Empire City had (in 1855) some thirty board houses, and a half-finished wharf. Van Tramp s Adventures, 160.

26 1 am informed by old residents of Marshfield that this was the claim of J. C. Tolman, who was associated in it with A. J. Davis. The usual confu sion as to titles ensued. Tolman was forced to leave the place on account of his wife s health, and put a man named Chapman in charge. Davis, having to go away, put a man named Warwick in charge of his half of the town site. Subsequently Davis bought one half of Tolman s half, but having another claim, allowed Warwick to enter the Marshfield claim for him. in his own name, though according to the land law he could not enter land for town-site purposes. Warwick, however, in some way obtained a patent, and sold the claim to H. H. Luce, whose title was disputed because the patent was fraud ulently obtained. A long contest over titles resulted, others claiming the right to enter it, because Davis had lost his right, and Warwick had never had any. Luce held possession, however. The remaining portion of Tolman s half of the town site was sold to a man named Hatch, whose claim is not dis puted.

April




COOS BAY COAL. 333

the company prospered. In January 1854, the ship Demur s Cove from San Francisco entered Coos Bay with a stock of goods, bringing also some settlers and miners, and in the same month the Louisiana, Cap tain Williams, from Portland took a cargo into Coos Bay for Northup & Simonds of that town, who established a branch business at Empire City, 27 Northup accompanying the cargo and settling at that place. 28

Coal was first shipped from the Newport mine in 1855, 29 and in 1856 a steam -vessel called the

ewport, the first to enter this harbor, was employed in carrying cargoes to San Francisco, 30 arid the same year two steam saw-mills were in operation with

27 In a letter written by Northup to his partner, and published in the Ore- goman of April 22, 1854, he tells of the progress of affairs. They had sounded the bay and found from 12 to 30 feet of water. The land was level and tim bered, but not hard to clear. The Coquille was one of the prettiest rivers ever seen. Mr Davis of S. F. was forming a company to build a railroad from the branch of the bay to the Coquille, the travel going that way to the lLandolph mines. Machinery for a steamer was also coming. The whole of southern Oregon was to be connected with Coos Bay. The miners were doing well, and business was good.

28 Nelson Northup, a pioneer of Portland, who came to the place in 1851, and soon after formed the firm of Northup & Simonds, well known merchants of those days. In 1854 they disposed of their business to E. J. Northup and J. M. Blossom, and removed to Coos Bay, taking into that port the sec ond vessel from Portland. Northup remained at Coos Bay several years, and in the mean time opened up, at great expense, the first coal mines in that locality, now so famed in that respect. He died at the residence of his sou E. J. Northup, in the 65th year of his age, on the 3d of July, 1874. Port land Oregonian, July 4, 1S74.

29 tf. F. Atta, May 4, 6, 12, June 28, and Oct. 7, 1854; Or. Statesman, May 12, 1854.

30 She was a small craft, formerly the Hartford. Her engines were after ward transferred to a small teak-wood schooner, which was christened The Fearless, and was the first and for many years the only tug-boat on the bay. She was finally lost near Coos Head. A story has been told to this effect: By one of the early trips of the Newport an order was sent to Estell, her owner, to forward a few laborers for the Newport mine. Estell had charge of the California state prison, and took an interest, it was said, in its occu pants, so far as to let them slip occasionally. On the return of the Newport, a crowd of forty hard cases appeared upon her deck. A few only were re quired at the mine, and the remainder dropped ashore at Empire City. The unsuspecting citizens scanned them curiously, and then retired to their domiciles. But consternation soon prevailed. Hen-roosts were despoiled and clothes-lines stripped of gracefully pendent garments. Anything and everything of value began to disappear in a mysterious manner. The people began to suspect, and to go for the strangers, \\lio were strongly urged to emigrate. The touching recollections connected with this gang led the citizens always after to speak of them as the Forty Thieves. Coos Bay Settlement, 10, 11.

334 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

from three to five vessels loading at a time with lum ber and coal, since which period coal-mining, lumber ing, and ship-building have been carried on at this point without interruption. Railroads were early projected, and many who first engaged in the devel opment of coal mines became wealthy, and resided here till their death, 31

Some also were unfortunate, one of the share holders, Henry A. Stark, being drowned in the spring of 1854, while attempting with five others to go out in a small boat to some vessels lying off the bar. 8 - Several of the Umpqua company, after the failure of that enterprise, settled at Coos Bay, prominent among whom was S. S. Mann, author of a pamphlet on the early settlement of that region, embellished with an ecdotes of the pioneers, which will be of interest to their descendants. 33

Any new discovery stimulated the competitive spirit of search in other directions. Siuslaw River was explored with a view to determining whether the

31 P. Flanagan was one of the earliest of the early settlers. At Randolph his pack-train and store were the pioneers of trade. Then at Johnson s and on The Sixes in a similar way. Later, he became associated in the partner ship of the Newport coal mine, where his skill and experience added largely to its success.

32 Stark was a native of New York, emigrated to Gal. in 1849, thence to Or. in 1850. He was a land claimant for the company at Coos Bay, as well as a shareholder. John Duhy, a native of New York, emigrated to the S. I. in 1840, thence to Cal. in 1848, going to Yreka in 1851, and thence to Coos Bay at its settlement in 1853. John Robertson was a native of Nova Scotia, and a sailor. John Winters was born in Penn., and came to Or. through Cal. Alvin Brooks, born in Vt, came to Or. in 1851. John Mitchell of New York, a sailor, came to Or. in 1851. Portland Oregonian, March 25, 1854; S. F. Alta, March 22, 1854.

33 Coos Bay Settlement, 18. This pamphlet of 25 pages is made up of scraps of pioneer history written for the Coos Bay Mail, by S. S. Mann, after ward republished in this form by the Mail publishers. Mann, being one of the earliest of the pioneers, was enabled to give correct information, and to his writings and correspondence I am much indebted for the facts here set down. Mann mentions the names of T. D. Winchester, H. H. Luse, A. M. Simpson, John Pershbaker, James Aiken, Dr Foley, Curtis Noble, A. J. Davis, P. Flanagan, Amos and Anson Rogers, H. P. Whitney, W. D. L. F. Smith, David Holland, I. Hacker, R. F. Ross, Yokam, Landreth, Hodson, Collver, Bogue, Miller, McKnight, Dry den, Hirst, Kenyon, Nasburg, Coon, Morse, Cammann, Buckhorn, and De Cussans, not already mentioned among the original proprietors of the Coos Bay Company; and also the names of Perry, Leghnhcrr, Rowell, Dement, Harris, Schroeder, Grant, and Ham- block, among the early settlers of Coquille Valley.

ROAD EXPLORATIONS. 335

course of the river was such that a practicable com munication could be obtained between it and the Umpqua through Smith River, 34 a northern branch of the Siuslaw. The exploration was conducted by N. Schofield. The object of the opening of the proposed route was to make a road from the Willa mette Valley to the Umpqua, over which the products of the valley might be brought to Scottsburg, at the same time avoiding the most difficult portion of the mountains. But nature had interposed so many ob stacles; the streams were so rapid and rocky; the mountains so- rough and heavily timbered; the valleys, though rich, so narrow, and filled with tangled growths of tough vine-maple and other shrubby trees, that any road from the coast to the interior could not but be costly to build and keep in repair. The Siuslaw exploration, therefore, resulted in nothing more ben eficial than the acquisition of additional knowledge of the resources of the country in timber, water-power, and soil, all of which were excellent in the valley of the Siuslaw.

Other explorations were at the same time being carried on. A trail was opened across the mountains from Rogue River Valley to Crescent City, which competed with the Scottsburg road for the business of the interior, and became the route used by the gov ernment troops in getting from the seaboard to Fort Lane. 35 Gold-hunting was at the same time prose cuted in every part of the territory with varying success, of which I shall speak in another place. 36

34 This is the stream where Jedediah Smith had his adventure with the Indians who massacred his party in 1828, as related in my History of the Northwest Coast.

5 Decides Hist. Or., MS., 25.

3 Mount Hood, Indian name Wiyeast, was ascended in August 1854. for the first time, by a party consisting of T. J. Dryer of the Orcyonian, G. 0. Haller, Olney, Wells Lake, and Travillot, a French seaman. Dryer ascended Mount St Helen, Loowlt Letkla, the previous summer, and promised to climb Mounts Jefferson, Phato, and the Three Sisters at some future time. He ascertained the fact that Hood and St Helen were expiring volcanoes, which still emitted smoke and ashes from vents near their summits. Oreyoman, Feb. 25 and Aug. 19, 1854. The first ascent of Mount Jefferson was made by P. Loony, John Allphin, William Tulibright, John Walker, and E. L.

336 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

The politics of 1854 turned mainly on the question of a state constitution, though the election in June revealed the fact that the democracy, while still in the ascendant, were losing a little ground to the whigs, and chiefly in the southern portion of the territory. Of the three prosecuting attorneys elected, one, P. P. Prim, 37 was a whig, and was chosen in the 3d district by a majority of seven over the democratic candi date, K,. E. Stratton, 88 former incumbent. R. P. Boise was elected prosecuting attorney for the 1st or middle district, and N". Huber of the 2d or north ern district.

The democratic leaders were those most in favor of assuming state dignities, while the whigs held up before their following the bill of cost; though none objected

Massey, July 11, 1854, a party prospecting for gold in the Cascade Moun tains. Or. Statesman, Aug. 22, 1854. Mt Adams was called by the Indians Klickilat, and Mt Rainier, Takoma. Gold-hunting in the Cascade Mountains, passim.

37 Payne P. Prim was born in Term, in 1822, emigrated to Or. in 1851, and went to the mines in Rogue River Valley the following year. His elec tion as prosecuting attorney of the southern district brought him into notice, and on the division of the state of Oregon into four judicial districts, and when Deady, chosen judge of the supreme court from that district, was appointed U. S. dist. judgo, the gov. appointed Prim to fill the vacancy from the 1st district for the remainder of the term, to which office he was subsequently elected, holding it for many years. A valuable manuscript, entitled Prim s Judicial Anecdotes, has furnished me very vivid reminiscences of the manner of administering justice in the early mining camps, and first organized courts, to which I have occasion to refer frequently in this work. See Popular Trib unals, passim, this series.

38 Riley E. Stratton was a native of Penn., born in 1821. He \vas taught the trade of a millwright, but afterward took a collegiate course, and grad uated at Marietta, Ohio, with the intention of becoming a minister; his plans being changed, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Madi son, Ind., coming to Or. by way of Cape Horn in 1852, his father, C. P. Stratton, emigrating overland in the same year. C. P. Stratton was born in New York Dec. 30, 1799. He removed to Penn. in his boyhood, and again to Ind. in 1836. He had twelve children, of whom C. C. Stratton is a minister of the methodist church, and president of the University of the Pacific in California. He settled in the Umpqua Valley, but subsequently removed to Salem, where he died Feb. 26, 1873. Riley E. Stratton settled at Scottsburg. He was elected prosecuting attorney of the southern district by the legislative assembly in 1838-4; but beaten by Prim at the election by the people, as stated above. When Oregon became a state he was elected judge of the 2d judicial district, and rejected in 1864. He married Sarah Dearborn in Madison, Indiana. He loft the democratic party to support the union on the breaking-out of the rebellion. Ho wa^ an aflaMc, honorable, an 1 popular man. His death occurred in Dec. 1866. Enrjene State Journal, Dec. 29, 186G; Or. Reports, vol. ii. 195-9; Deady a Scsap Book, 11, 170.

HARD TIMES. 337

to securing the 500,000 acres of land, which on the day of Oregon s admission as a state would be hers, to be applied to internal improvements, 39 and other grants which might reasonably be expected, and which might amount to millions of acres with which to build railroads and improve navigation.

Judge Pratt, who had strongly advocated state ad mission, and to whom Oregon owed much, was put forward for the United States senate and his cause advocated bv the Democratic Standard with marked

u

ability. Pratt was strongly opposed by the Statesman, whose influence was great throughout the state, and which carried its points so far as electing its can didates, except in a few instances, against the whigs, and also against the prohibitionists, or Maine- law party. 4C But the majority against a state consti tution was about one hundred and fifty, a majority so small, however, as to show that, as the dem ocrats had intimated, it would be reduced to nothing by a year or two more of effort in that direction,

In the spring of 1854 there were complaints of hard times in Oregon, which were to be accounted for partly by the Indian disturbances, but chiefly by reason of neglect of the farming interests and a fall- ing-off in the yield of the mines. The great reaction was at hand throughout the coast. Business was prostrated in California, and Oregon felt it, just as Oregon had felt California s first flush on finding gold. To counteract the evil, agricultural societies began to be formed in the older counties. 41 The lumbering interest had greatly declined also, after the erection

89 See the 8th section of an act of congress in relation thereto, passed in 1841.

40 The Maine-law candidates for seats in the legislature were Elisha Strong and 0. Jacobs of Marion; S. Nelson, P. H. Hatch, E. D. Shattuck of Clacka- mas; D. W. Ballard of Linn; Ladd and Gilliam of Polk; J. H. D. Henderson and G. W. Burnett of Yamhill.

41 The constitution of the Yamhill Agricultural Society, F. Martin, presi dent, A. S. Watt, secretary, was published July 25, 1854, in the Or. States man.

HIST. OB., VOL. II. 22

338 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

of mills in California, and lumber and flour being no longer so much sought after, caused a sensible lessen ing of the income of Oregon. But the people of Oregon well knew that their immense agricultural resources would bring them out of all their troubles if they would only apply themselves in the right di rection and in the right way.

The counties which led in this industrial revival were Washington, Yamhill, Marion, and Polk. The first county fair held was in Yamhill on the 7th of October, 1854, followed by Marion on the llth, and Polk on the 12th. The exhibit of horses, cattle, and fruit was fairly good, of sheep, grain, and domes tic manufactures almost nothing; 451 but it was a begin ning from which steadily grew a stronger competitive interest in farm affairs, until in 1861 a state aoricul-

O

tural society was formed, whose annual meeting is the principal event of each year in farming districts. 43

The first step toward manufacturing woollen fabrics was also taken in 1854, when a carding machine was erected at Albany by E. L. Perham & Co. Farmers who had neglected sheep-raising now purchased sheep of the Hudson s Bay Company. 44 Early in the spring of 1855 Barber and Thorpe of Polk county erected machinery for spinning, weaving, dying, and dressing woollen cloths. 4 * In 1856 a company was organized at Salem to erect a woollen-mill at that place, the first important woollen manufactory on the Pacific coast. It was followed by the large establishment at Oregon City and several smaller ones in the course of a few years. 46

42 Or. Statesman, Oct. 17, 1854. Mrs R. C. Geer entered two skeins of yarn, the first exhibited and probably the first made in Oregon. The address was delivered to the Marion county society, which met at Salem, by Mr \Voodsides. L. F. Grover, in his Pub. Life in Or., MS., says he delivered the first Marion county address, but he is mistaken. He followed in 1855.

43 Brown s Sah-m directory, 1871, 37-77.

< 4 0r. Slat., May 23 and Oct. 10, 1854; Tolmie s Puget Sound, MS., 24.

45 Or. Statesman, March 20, 1855. R. A. Gessner received a premium in 1855 from the Marion county society for the best jeans.

46 Grover, Pub. Life in Or., MS., 68-9, was one of the first directors in the Salem mill. See also WatCa First Things, MS., 8-10.

PROPOSED TELEGRAPH. 339

The first proposal to establish a telegraph line be tween California and Oregon was made in October of 1854. Hitherto, no more rapid means of communi cation had existed than that afforded by express com panies, of which there were several. The practice of sending letters by express, which prevailed all over the Pacific coast at this time, and for many years thereafter, arose from the absence or the irregu larity in the carriage of mails by the government. As soon as a mining camp was established, an express became necessary; and though the service was at tended with many hardships and no small amount of danger, there were always to be found men who were eager to engage in it for the sake of the gains, which were great. 47 The business of the country did not require telegraphic correspondence, and its growth was delayed for almost another decade. 4 *

47 The first express company operating in Oregon was Todd & Co. , fol lowed very soon by Gregory & Co., both beginning in 1851. Todd & Co. sold out to Newell & Co. in 1852. The same year Dugan & Co., a branch of Adams & Co., began running in Oregon; also T Vault s Oregon and Shasta express, and McClaine & Co. s Oregon and Shasta express. In the latter part of 1852 Adams & Co. began business in Oregon; but about the beginning of 1853, with other companies, retired and left the field to Wells, Fargo & Co., improved mail communication gradually rendering the services of the com panies, except for the carrying of treasure and other packages, superfluous. The price fell from fifty cents on a letter in a gradually declining scale to ten cents, where it remained for many years, and at last to five cents: and pack ages to some extent hi proportion. Besides the regular companies, from 1849 to 1852 there were many private express riders who picked up considerable money in the mountain camps.

48 Charles F. Johnson, an agent of the Alta California Telegraph Company, first agitated the subject of a telegraph line to connect Portland with the cities of California, and so far succeeded as to have organized a company to construct such a line from Portland to Corvallis, which was to be extended in time to meet one from Marvsville, California, to Yreka on the border.

v

The Oregon line was to run to Oregon City, Lafayette, Dayton, Salem, and Corvallis. It was finished to Oregon City Nov. 15, 1855, the first message being sent over the wires on the 16th, and the line reached Salem by Sept. 1856, but it was of so little use that it was never completed nor kept in re pair. Neither the interests of the people nor their habits made it requisite. In 1868 the California company had completed their line to Yreka, for which during the period of the civil war, the Oregonians had reason to be thankful, and having taken some long strides in progress during the half-dozen years between 1855 and 1861, they eagerly subscribed to build a line to Yreka from Portland, on being solicited by J. E. Strong, former president of the same company. Of the Oregon company, W. S. Ladd was elected president; S. G. Reed, secretary; H. W. Corbett, treasurer; John McCracken, superin tendent; W. S. Ladd, D. F. Bradford, A. G. Richardson, C. N. Terry, and

340 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

Steam navigation increased rapidly in proportion to other business, the principal trade being confined to the Willamette River, although about this time there began to be some traffic on the Columbia, above as well as below the mouth of the Willamette. 49 Ocean

A. L. Love joy, directors. Strong, contractor, owned considerable stock in it, which he sold to the California State Telegraph Company in 1863, the line being completed in March. In 1868 a line of telegraph was extended to The Dalles, and eastward to Boise" City, by the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, in 1869. A new line to the east was erected in 1876, which was extended to S. F., and a line to Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia.

49 The Gazelle was a side- wheel boat built for the upper Willamette in

1853 by the company which constructed the basin and hoisting works at the falls, and began to run in March 1854, but in April exploded her boiler while lying at her wharf, causing the most serious calamity which ever oc curred on Oregon waters. She had on board about 50 persons, 22 of whom were killed outright and many others injured, some of whom died soon after. Among the victims were some of the principal persons in the territory: Dan iel D. Page, superintendent of the company owning the Gazelle, whose wife and daughter were killed by the explosion of the Jenny Lind in San Francisco Bay April 11, 1853; Rev. James P. Miller, father of Mrs E. M. Wilson of The Dalles; David Woodhull, and Joseph Hunt of Michigan; Judge Burch, David Fuller, C. Woodworth, James White, Daniel Lowe, John Clemens, J. M. Fudge, Blanchet, Hill, Morgan, John Blaimer, John Daly, John K. Miller, Michael Hatch, Michael McGee, Charles Knaust, David McLane, Piaut, and an unknown Spanish youth. Or. Statesman, April 18, 1854; Arm strong s Or., 14; Browns Salem Directory, 1871, 35. Among the wounded were Mrs Miller, Charles Gardiner, son of the surveyor-general, Robert Pentland, Miss Pell, C. Dobbins, Robert Shortess, B. F. Newby, Captain Hereford of the Gazelle, John Boyd, mate, and James Partlow, pilot. The chief engineer, Tonie, who was charged with the responsibility of the accident, escaped and fled the territory. Portland Oregonian, Jan. 29, 1870. The Oregon, another of the company s boats, was sunk and lost the same season. The wreck of the Gazelle was run over the falls, after being sold to Murray, Hoyt, and Wells, who refitted her and named her the Senorita, after w r hich she was employed to carry troops, horses, and army stores from Portland to Vancouver and the Cascades. In 1857 the machinery of this boat was put into the new steamer Hassaloe, w r hile the Senorita was provided with a more powerful engine, and commanded by L. Hoyt, brother of Richard Hoyt. In

1854 the pioneer steamboat men of the upper Willamette, captains A. F. Hedges and Charles Bennett, sold their entire interests and retired from the river.

In 1855 a new class of steamboats was put upon the Willamette above the falls, stern- wheels being introduced, which soon displaced the side-wheel boats. This change was effected by Archibald Jamieson, A. S. Murray, Amory Hoi- brook, and John Torrence, who formed a company and built the Enterprise, a small stern-wheel boat commanded by Jamieson. This boat ran for 3 years on the Willamette, and was sold during the mining rush of 1858, taken over the falls and to Fraser River by Thomas Wright. She finished her career on the Chehalis River. Her first captain, Jameison, was one of a family of five steamboat men, who were doomed to death by a fatality sad and re markable. Arthur Jamieson was in command of the steamer Portland, which was carried over the falls of the Willamette in March 1857; another brother died of a quick consumption from a cold contracted on the river; an other by the explosion of the steamer Yale on the Fraser River; and finally Archibald and another brother by the blowing up of the Cariboo at Victoria.

Another company, consisting of captains Cochrane, Gibson, and Cassady,

INLAND NAVIGATION. 341

navigation, too, was increasing, but not without its drawbacks and losses. 50 In the midst of all, the young and vigorous community grew daily stronger, and more able to bear the misfortunes incident to rapid progress. In July 1854 there was a raid in Rogue River Valley by the Shastas; unattended, however, by seri-

formed in 1856, built the James Clinton and Surprise, two fine stern-wheel boats. In 1857 the Elk was built for the Yamhill River trade by Switzler, Moore, and Marshall; and in 1858 the first owners of the Enterprise built the Onward, the largest steamboat at that time on the upper river.

In 1860 another company was incorporated, under the name of People s Transportation Company, composed of A. A. McCully, S. T. Church, E. N. Cook, D. W. Buriiside, and captains John Cochrane, George A. Pease, Joseph Kellogg, and E. W. Baughman, which controlled the Willamette River trade till 1871. This company built the Dayton, Reliance, Echo, E. D. Baker, Iris, A<bany, Shoo Fly, Fannie Patton, and Alice, and owned the Rival, Senator, Alert, and Active. It ran its boats on the Columbia as well as the Willamette until 1803, when a compromise was made with the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, then in existence, to confine its trade to the Willamette River above Portland. In 1865 this company expended $100,000 in building a dam and basin above the falls, which enabled them to do away with a portage, by simply transferring passengers and freight from one boat to another through a warehouse at the lower end of the basin. The P. T. Co. sold out iu 1871 to Ben Holladay, having made handsome fortunes in 11 years for all its principal members. In the next two years the canal and locks were built around the west side of the falls at Oregon City, but the P. T. Co. under Holladay s management refused to use them, and continued to reship at Ore gon City. This led to the formation of the Willamette Locks and Transpor tation Company, composed of Joseph Teal, B. Goldsmith, Frank T. Dodge, and others, who commenced opposition in 1873, and pressed the P. T. Co. so hard that Holladay sold out to the Oregon Nav. Co. , which thus was enabled to resume operations on the Willamette abo^e Portland, with the boats pur chased and others which were built, and became a powerful competitor for the trade. The Locks and Transportation Co. built the Willamette Chief ex pressly to outrun the boats of the P. T. Co., but found it ruinous work; and in 1876 a consolidation was effected, under the name of Willamette Trans portation and Locks Company, capital $1,000,000. Its property consisted of the locks at Oregon City, the water front at Astoria belonging formerly to the 0. S. N. Co., and the Farmers warehouse at that place, and the steam boats Willamette Chief, Gov. Grover, Beaver, Annie Stewart, Orient, Occi dent, with the barges Autocrat, Columbia, and Columbia s Chief. This secured complete monopoly by doing away with competition on either river, except from independent lines. Salem Will. Farmer, Jan. 7, 1876; Adams Or., 37-8.

The steam-tug Fire-Fly was lost by springing aleak on the bar in Feb. 1854. Thomas Hawks, captain, L. H. Swaney, Van Dyke, Wisenthral, and other persons unknown were drowned. At the close of the year the steam ship Southerner, Capt. F. A. Sampson, was wrecked on the Washington coast. The steamer America, bound to Oregon and Washington ports, was burned in the harbor of Crescent City the following summer.

The steamships engaged in the carrying trade to Oregon from 1850 to 1855 were the Carolina, which I think made but one trip, the Seagull, Pan ama, Oregon, Gold Hunter, Columbia, Quickstep, General Warren, Fremont, America, Peytonia, Southerner, and Republic. Three of these had been wrecked, the Seagull, General Warren, and Southerner, in as many years. Others survived unexpectedly.

342 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

ous damage. The treaty Indians of Rogue River sickened in the reservation, and the agent permitted them to roam a little in search of health. Some of them being shot by white men, their chiefs demanded that the murderers be brought to justice, as had been promised them, but it was not done. Few of such cases ever came into the courts, 51 and it was as rare an occurrence for an Indian to be tried by process of law. 52

So great had been their wrongs during the past five years, so unbearable the outrages of the \vhite race, that desperation seized the savages of the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta valleys, who now took the war-path toward the country of the Modocs, to join with them in a general butchery of immigrants and settlers.

In the absence of a regular military force, that at Fort Jones, consisting of only seventy men, wholly insufficient to guard two hundred miles of immigrant road, the governor was requested to call into service volunteers, which was done. Governor Davis also wrote to General Wool for troops. Meanwhile a company was sent out under Jesse Walker, who kept the savages at bay, and on its return received the commendations of Governor Curry, Davis having in the mean time resigned.

This expedition was used by the dominant party for many years to browbeat the influential whigs of southern Oregon. The Statesman facetiously named it the "expedition to fight the emigrants;" and in plainer language denounced the quartermaster-gen eral and others as thieves, because the expedition cost forty-five thousand dollars. 53

51 In Judge Deady s court the following year a white man was convicted of manslaughter of an Indian, and was sentenced to two years in the peni tentiary. Or. Statesman, June 2, 1855.

52 The slayers of Edward Wills and Kyle, and those chastised by Major Kearney in 1851, are the only Indians ever punished for crime by either civil or military authorities in southern Oregon. U. S. H. Misc. Doc. 47, 58, 35th cong. 2d sess.

53 Grasshoppers had destroyed vegetation almost entirely in the southern valleys this year, which led to a great expense for forage.

INDIAN DISTURBANCES. 343

Drew in his report seemed to apologize for the great cost, and pointed out that the prices were not so high as in 1853, and that many expenses then in curred had been avoided; but he could not prevent the turning into political capital of so large a claim against the government, though it was the merchants of Yreka and not of Jacksonville who overcharged, if overcharging there was. 54 The attacks made on the whigs of southern Oregon led to the accumula tion of a mass of evidence as to prices, and to years of delay in the settlement of accounts. On the side of the democrats in this struggle was General Wool, then in command of the division of the Pacific, who wrote to Adjutant-general Thomas at New York that the governor of Oregon had mustered into ser vice a company of volunteers, but that Captain Smith was of opinion that they were not needed, and that it was done on the representations of speculators who were expecting to be benefited by furnishing sup plies. 55

There was a massacre of immigrants near Fort Boise in August, that caused much excitement on the Willamette. The party was known as Ward s train, being led by Alexander Ward of Kentucky, and consisting of twenty-one persons, most of whom were slain. 56 Not only was the outrage one that could riot be overlooked, or adequately punished by civil or military courts, but it was cause for alarm such as was expressed in the report of Quartermaster Drew, that a general Indian war was about to be pre cipitated upon the country, an apprehension strength ened by reports from many sources.

In order to make plain all that followed the events recorded in this chapter, it is necessary to revert to-

54 The merchants and traders of Jacksonville, who were unable to furnish the necessary supplies, which were drawn from Yreka, testified as to prices. U. S. II. J/i.vc. Doc. 47, 32-5, 35th cong. 2d sess.

5) Message of President Pierce, with correspondence of General Wool, in U. /> . Sen. Ex. Doc. 16, 33d cong. 2d sess.

56 For particulars see California Inter Pocula, this series, passim.

344 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

statements contained in the correspondence of the war department. That which most concerned this par ticular period is contained in a document transmitted to the senate, at the request of that body, by Presi dent Pierce, at the second session of the thirty-third congress. In this document is a communication of General Wool to General Cooper at Washington City, in which is mentioned the correspondence of the former with Major Rains of the 4th infantry, in command of Fort Dalles, and of Major Alvord, U. S. paymaster at Vancouver, who had each written him on the subject of Indian relations. As the re port of Rains has been mentioned in another place, it is not necessary to repeat it here. Colonel George Wright had contributed his opinion concerning the "outrages of the lawless whites" in northern Cali fornia, and to strengthen the impression, had quoted from the report of Indian Agent Culver concerning the conduct of a party of miners on Illinois River, who had, as he averred, wantonly attacked an Indian en campment and brutally murdered two Indians and wounded others. 67 The facts were presented to Wool, and by Wool to headquarters at Washington. The general wrote, that to prevent as far as possible the recurrence of further outrages against the Indians, he had sent a detachment of about fifty men to re- enforce Smith at Fort Lane; but that to keep the peace and protect the Indians against the white people, the force in California and Oregon must be increased. This letter was \vritten in March 1854.

On the 31st of March, Wool again wrote General Scott, at New York, that the difficulty of preserving

57 U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 16, 14-15, 33d cong. 2d sess. Lieut J. C. Bonny- castle, commanding Fort Jones, in relating the attack on some of the Shastas whom he was endeavoring to protect, and whom Captain Goodall was escort ing to Scott s Valley to place in his hands, says: Most of the Indians hav ing escaped into the adjacent chapparal, where they lay concealed, the whites began a search for them, during which an Indian from behind his bush for tunately shot and killed a white man named McKaney. In the same report he gives the names of the men who had fired on the Indians, the list not in cluding the name of McKaney. U. S. Xen. Ex. Doc. 16, p. 81, 33d cong. 2d Bess.; U. S. 21. Ex. Doc. 1, 446-66, vol. i. pt i., 33d cong. 2d sess.

ATTITUDE OF THE ARMY. 345

peace, owing to the increase of immigration and the encroachments of the white people upon the Indians, which deprived them of their improvements, was con tinually increasing. There were, he said, less than a thousand men to guard California, Oregon, Washing ton, and Utah, and more were wanted. The request was referred by Scott to the secretary of war, and refused.

In May, Wool sent Inspector-general J. K. F. Mansfield to make a tour of the Pacific department, and see if the posts established there should be made permanent; but expressed the opinion that those in northern California could be dispensed with, not withstanding that the commanders of forts Reading and Jones were every few weeks sending reports filled with accounts of collisions between the white population and the Indians.

At this point I observe certain anomalies. Congress had invited settlers to the Pacific coast for political reasons. These settlers had been promised protection from the savages. That protection had never to any practical extent been rendered; but gradually the usual race conflict had begun and strengthened

O c5

until it assumed alarming proportions. The few officers of the military department of the govern ment, sent here ostensibly to protect its citizens, had found it necessary to devote themselves to protecting the Indians. Over and over they asserted that the white men were alone to blame for the disturbances. Writing to the head of the department at New York, General Wool said that the emigration to Cal ifornia and Oregon would soon render unnecessary a number of posts which had been established at a great expense, and that if it were left to his discretion, he should abolish forts Reading and Miller in California, and establish a temporary post in the Pit River coun try; also break up one or two posts in northern Cali fornia and Oregon, which could only mean forts Jones and Lane, and establish another on Puget Sound,

346 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

and, if possible, one in the Boise country; though his preference would be given to a company of dragoons to traverse the Snake River country in the summer and return to The Dalles in the winter.

Governor Curry, on learning that the expedition under Haller had accomplished nothing, and that the whole command numbered only sixty men, and think ing it too small to accomplish anything in the Snake River country should the Indians combine to make war on the immigration, on the 18th of September issued a proclamation calling for two companies of volunteers, of sixty men each, to serve for six months, unless sooner discharged, and to furnish their own horses, equipments, arms, and ammunition; the com panies to choose their own officers, and report to Brig adier General Nesmith on the 25th, one company to rendezvous at Salem and the other at Oregon City.

Commissions were issued to George K. Shell, as sistant adjutant-general, John McCracken, assistant quartermaster-general, and Victor Trevitt, commissary and quartermaster. A request was despatched to Vancouver, to Bonneville, to ask from the United States arms, ammunition, and stores with which to supply the volunteer companies, which Bonneville re fused, saying that in his opinion a winter campaign was neither necessary nor practicable. Nesmith be ing of like opinion, the governor withdrew his call for volunteers.

When the legislative assembly convened, the gov ernor placed before them all the information he pos sessed on Indian affairs, whereupon a joint committee was appointed to consider the question. Lane had already been informed of the occurrences in the Boise country, but a resolution was adopted instructing the governor to correspond with General Wool and Colonel Bonneville in relation to the means available for an expedition against the Shoshones. The total force then in the Pacific department was 1,200, dra goons, artillery, and infantry; of which nine compa

WAR FORCES. 347

nies of infantry, 335 strong, were stationed in Ore gon and Washington, and others were under orders for the Pacific.

Governor Davis had written Wool of anticipated difficulties in the south; whereupon the latter in structed Captain Smith to reenforce his squadron with the detachment of horse lately under command of Colonel Wright, and with them to proceed to Klamath Lake to render such assistance as the immi gration should require. About a month later he re ported to General Thomas that he had called Smith s attention to the matter, and that he was informed that all necessary measures had been taken to prevent dis turbances on the emigrant road.

In congress the passage of the army bill failed this year, though a section was smuggled into the appro priation bill adding two regiments of infantry and two of cavalry to the existing force, and authorizing the president, by the consent of the senate, to appoint one brigadier general. It was further provided that arms should be distributed to the militia of the terri tories, under regulations prescribed by the president, according to the act of 1808 arming the militia of the states. No special provision was made for the protection of the north-west coast, and Oregon was

t O

left to meet the impending conflict as best it might.

CHAPTER XIV.

GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

1854-1855.

RESIGNATION OF GOVERNOR DAVIS His SUCCESSOR, GEORGE LAW CURRY LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS WASTE OF CONGRESSIONAL APPROPRIA TIONS STATE HOUSE PENITENTIARY RELOCATION OF THE CAPITAL AND UNIVERSITY LEGISLATIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL ACTS RELAT VE THERETO MORE COUNTIES MADE FINANCES TERRITORIAL CONVEN TION NEWSPAPERS THE SLAVERY SENTIMENT POLITICS OF THE PE RIOD WHIGS, DEMOCRATS, AND KNOW-NOTHINGS A NEW PARTY INDIAN AFFAIRS TREATIES EAST OF THE CASCADE MOUNTAINS.

IN August 1854 Governor Davis resigned. There was no fault to be found with him, except that he was imported from the east. In resigning, he gave as a reason his domestic affairs. He was tendered a part ing dinner at Salem, which was declined; and after a residence of eight months in the territory he returned to the states with a half-declared intention of making Oregon his home, but he died soon after reaching the

O C- 5

east. Although a good man, and a democrat, he was advised to resign, that Curry might be appointed governor, which was done in November following. 1

Curry was the favorite of that portion of the dem ocratic party known as the Salem clique, and whose organ was the Statesman. He followed the States- mans lead, and it defended him and his measures, which were really its own. He was a partisan more through necessity than choice, and in his intercourse with the people he was a liberal and courteous gentle- bane s Autobiography, MS., 59; Or. Statesman, Dec. 12, 1854; Amer.

Almanac. 1855-6. 1857-9.

(348)

LEGISLATURE 1854-5. 349

man. Considering his long acquaintance with Oregon affairs, and his probity of character, he was perhaps as suitable a person for the position as could have been found in the party to which he belonged. 2 He possessed the advantage of being already, through his secretaryship, well acquainted with the duties of his office, in which he was both faithful and industrious. Such was the man who was chosen to be governor of Oregon during the remaining years of its minority, and the most trying period of its existence.

The legislature met as usual the first Monday in December, 3 with James K. Kelly president of the coun cil, and L. F. Cartee, speaker of the lower house.

2 George Law Curry, born in Philadelphia, July 2, 1820, was the son of George Curry, who served as captain of the Washington Blues in the engage ment preceding the capture of Washington city in the war of 1812; and grandson of Christopher Curry, an emigrant from England who settled in Philadelphia, and lies in the Christ Church burial-ground of that city. He visited the republic of Colombia when a child, and returned to the family homestead near Harrisburg, Penn. His father dying at the age of 11, he went to Boston, where he was apprenticed to a jeweler, finding time for study and literary pursuits, of which he was fond. In 1838 he was elected and served two terms as president of the Mechanic Apprentices Library, upon whose records may be found many of his addresses and poems. In 1843 he removed to St Louis, and there joined with Joseph M. Field and other theatrical and literary men in publishing the Reveille, emigrating to Oregon in 1846, after which time his history is a part of the history of the territory. His private life was without reproach, and his habits those of a man of letters. He lived to see Oregon pass safely through the trials of her probationary period to be a thriving state, and died July 28, 1878. Biography of George L. Curry, MS., 1-3; Seattle Pacific Tribune, July 31, 1878; Portland Standard, July 13, 1878; S. F. Post, July 30, 1878; Ashland Tidings, Aug. 9, 1878; Salem States man, Aug. 2, 1878; Portland Oregonian, July 29, 1878.

3 The members elect of the council were: J. C. Peebles of Marion; J. K. Kelly, Clackamasand Wasco; Dr Cleveland of Jackson; L. W. Phelpsof Linn; Dr Greer, Washington and Columbia; J. M. Fulkerson, Polk and Tillamook; John Richardson, Yamhill; A. L. Humphrey, Bentoii and Lane; Levi Scott, Umpqua. The lower house consisted of G. W. Coffinbury, of Clatsop; E. S. Tanner, David Logan, D. H. Belknap, Washington; A. J. Hembree, A. G. Henry, Yamhill; H. N. V. Holmes, Polk and Tillamook; I. F. M. Butler, Polk; R. B. Hinton, W^ayman St Clair, Benton; L. F. Cartee, W. A. Stark weather, A. L. Lovejoy, Clackamas; C. P. Crandall, R. C. Geer, N. Ford, Marion; Luther Elkins, Delazon Smith, Hugh Brown, Linn; A. W. Patterson, Jacob Gillespie, Lane; James F. Gazley, Douglas; Patrick Dunn, Alexander Mclntire, Jackson; 0. Humason, Wasco; Robert J. Ladd, Umpqua; J. B. Condon, Columbia; J. H. Foster, Coos, elected but not present. Two other names, Dunn and Walker, appear in the proceedings and reports, but no clew is given to their residence. Or. Jour. Council, 1854-5; Or. Statesman, Dec. 12, 1854. The clerks of the council were B. Geuois, J. Costello, and M. C. Edwards. Sergeant-at-arms, J. K. Delashmutt; doorkeeper, J. L. Gwinn. The clerks of the lower house were Victor Trevitt, James Elkins, S. M. Hammond. Sergeant-at-arms, G. L. Russell; doorkeeper, Blevins.

350 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

The session was begun and held in two rooms of the state house, which was so far finished as to be used for the meetings of the assembly. The principal busi ness, after disposing of the Indian question, was con cerning the public buildings and their location. The money for the state house was all expended, and the commissioners were in debt, while the building was still unfinished. The penitentiary fund was also nearly exhausted, while scarcely six cells of the prison w r ere finished, 4 and the contractors were bringing the gov ernment in their debt. The university commissioners had accepted for a site five acres of land tendered by Joseph P. Friedley at Corvallis, and had let the con tracts for building materials, but had so far only ex pended about three thousand dollars; while the com missioners appointed to select, protect, sell, and control the university lands had made selections amounting to 18,000 acres, or less than one township. Of this amount between 3,000 and 4,000 acres had been sold, for which over $9,000 had been realized. In this case there was no indebtedness. No action had yet been taken concerning the Oregon City claim, which was a part of the university land, but proceedings would soon be begun to test the validity of titles. 5 To meet the expense of litigation, an act was passed authoriz ing the employment of counsel, but with a proviso that in the event of congress releasing this claim to

4 The territorial prisoners were placed in charge of the penitentiary com missioners about the beginning of 1854. There were at that time three con victs, six others being added during the year. It is shown by a memorial from the city of Portland that the territorial prisoners had been confined in the city prison, which they had set on fire and some escaped. The city claimed indemnity in $12,000, recovering $600. A temporary building was then erected by the commissioners for the confinement of those who could not be employed on the penitentiary building, some of whom were hired out to the highest bidder. It was difficult to obtain keepers on account of the low sal ary. It was raised at this session to $1,000 per annum, with $600 for each assistant. G. D. R. Boyd, the first keeper, received $716 for 7 months service.

5 A memorial had been addressed to congress by Anderson of the legisla ture of 1852-3, praying that the Oregon City claim might be released to Mc- Loughlin, and a township of land granted that would not be subject to liti gation. Whether it was forwarded is uncertain; but if so, it produced no effect.

THE CAPITAL QUESTION. 351

McLotighlin, the money obtained from the sale of lots should be refunded out of the sale of the second township granted by congress for university purposes in the last amendment to the land law of Oregon. 6 Such was the condition of the several appropriations for the benefit of the territory, at the beginning of the session.

And now began bargaining. Further appropria tions must be obtained for the public buildings. Cor- vallis desired the capital, and the future appropria tions. At the same time the members from southern Oregon felt that their portion of the state was entitled to a share in the distribution of the public money. An act was passed relocating the seat of government at Corvallis, and removing the university to Jackson ville. 7 It was not even pretended that the money to be spent at Jacksonville would benefit those it was intended to educate, but only that it would benefit Jackson county. 8

The act which gave Corvallis the capital ordained that " every session of the legislative assembly, either general or special," should be convened at that place, and appointed a new board of commissioners to erect suitable public buildings at the new seat of govern ment. 9 Congress made a further appropriation of $27,000 for the state house, and $40,000 for the peni tentiary, to be expended in such a manner as to in sure completion without further aid from the United States. 1( Then it began to be understood that the re location act, not having been submitted to congress as required by the organic act, was not operative, and

6 This is an allusion to a memorial similar to Anderson s passed at the previous session.

7 Or. Laws, in Statesman, Feb. 6 and 13, 1855.

8 In the bargain between Avery and the Jackson county member, said the Statesmaii, the latter remarked that he did not expect it [the university] to remain there, but there would be about $12,000 they could expend before it could be removed, which would put up a building that would answer for a court-house.

9 B. R. Biddle, J. S. Mcltuney, and Fred. Waymire constituted the new board. Or. Statesman, Feb. 6, 1855.

10 Cong. Globe, 1854-5, app. 380, 33d cong. 2d sess.

352 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

that the seat of government was not removed from Salem to Corvallis by that act, nor would it be until such times as congress should take action. Nor could the governor pay out any part of the appropriation under instructions from the legislature, except under contracts already existing. The executive office, more over, should not be removed from Salem before con gress should have approved the relocation act. 11 So said the comptroller; but the governor s office was already removed to Corvallis when the comptroller reached this decision. The Statesman, too, which did the public printing, had obeyed the legislative enact ment, and moved its office to the new seat of govern ment. 12

When the legislature met in the following Decem ber, Grover introduced a bill to relocate the capital at Salem, which became a law on the 12th of De cember, 1855. But this action was modified by the passage of an act to submit the question to the people at the next election. Before this was done, and per haps in order that it might be done, the almost com pleted state house, with the library and furniture, was destroyed by fire, on the night of the 30th of Decem ber, which was the work of an incendiarv. The

\j

whigs charged it upon the democrats, and the demo crats charged it upon "some one interested in having the capital at Corvallis." However that may have been, it fixed the fate of Corvallis in this regard. 14 Further than this, it settled definitely the location question by exhausting the patience of the people. 15

11 Or. Jour. Council, 1855-6, app. 12.

12 Corvallis had at this time a court-house, two taverns, two doctors, and several lawyers offices, a school-house, the Statesman office, a steam saw-mill, and two churches. The methodist church was dedicated Dec. 16, 1855, G. Mines officiating. Or. Statesman, Oct. 13 and Dec. 8, 1855; Speech of Grover, in Id., Dec. 18, 1855.

De.adtf* Hist. Or., MS., 26; Graver s Pub. Life in Or., MS., 51-4; Or. Statesman, Jan. 29, 1856; Id., July 29 and Sept. 30, 1856; Or. Argus, Jan. 5, 1856; Or. Jour. House, 1855-6, app. 165-70; Armstrong 9 Or., 17.

14 At the election in June 1856, the votes for the capital between the prin cipal towns stood, Portland, 1,154; Salem, 2,049; Corvallis, 1,998; Eugene, 2,316.

15 At the final election between these places the people refused to vote,

LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS. 353

The legislature was reduced to the necessity of meet ing in hired apartments for nearly twenty years before the state was able to erect a suitable structure.

The $40,000 appropriated to complete the peniten tiary was expended on a building which should not have cost one third of the two appropriations, the state a dozen years later erecting another and better one at Salem.

To return to the legislative proceedings of 1854-5. Another partisan act of this body was the passage of a bill in which voting viva voce was substituted for voting by ballot a blow aimed at anticipated suc cess of the new party; and this while the Statesman made war on the anti-foreign and anti-catholic prin ciples of the know-nothings, forgetting how zealously opposed to foreigners and catholics the first great democratic leader of Oregon, S. R. Thurston, had been. Specious reasons were presented in debate, for the adoption of the new rule, while the Statesman openly threatened to deprive of public patronage all who by the viva voce system were discovered to be opposed to democratic principles. In view of the coming election, the viva voce bill possessed much sig nificance. It compelled every man to announce by voice, or by a ticket handed to the judge, his choice, which in either case was cried aloud. This surveillance was a severe ordeal for some who were not ready openly to part company with the democracy, and doubtless had the effect to deter many. As a coer cive measure, it was cunningly conceived. Every whig in the house voted against it, and one third of the democrats, and in the council the majority was but two. This bill also possessed peculiar significance in view of the passage of another requiring the people to vote at the next election on the question of a

being, as the Statesman said, tired of the subject. Avery, who was elected to the legislature in 1856, again endeavored to bring the subject before them, but the bill was defeated.

HIST. OR., VOL. II. 23

354 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

state constitutional convention, for which the ruling party, foreseeing that appropriations for the territory were about exhausted, was now ripe. The three measures here mentioned comprise all of the impor tant work of the session. 16

An effort was made in the election of 1854 to get some temperance men elected to the legislature, in order to secure a prohibitory liquor law ; and for this purpose a third party, called the Maine-law party, had its candidates in the field. None were elected on this issue, but much opposition was aroused. 17

16 Multnomah county was created at this session out of portions of Wash ington and Clackamas, making it comprise a narrow strip lying on both sides of the Willamette, including Sauve* Island, and fronting on the Columbia River, with the county-seat at Portland. The first county court was organ ized Jan. 17, 1855; the board consisting of G. W. Vaughn, Ainslee R. Scott, and James Bybee. The bonds of Shubrick Norris, auditor, of William Mc- Millen, sheriff, and A. D. Fitch, treasurer, were presented and approved. Rooms were rented in the building of Coleman Barrell, on the corner of First and Salmon streets, for a court-house. R. B. Wilson was appointed coroner at the second meeting of the board. The first board elected at the polls was composed of David Powell, Ellis Walker, and Samuel Farman, which met July 2, 1855. The first term of the district court was held April 16th, Olney presiding. The first grand jury drawn consisted of J. S. Dickinson, Clark Hay, Felix Hicklin, K. A. Peterson, Edward Allbright, Thomas H. Stallard, William L. Chittenden, George Hamilton, William Cree, Robert Thompson, William H. Frush, Samuel Farman, William Hall, William Sherlock, W. P. Burke, Jacob Kline, Jackson Powell, John Powell. The first cause entered on the docket was Thomas V. Smith vs William H. Mor ton, David Logan, and Mark Chinn.

An act of this legislature authorized the location of county seats by a ma jority of votes at the annual elections. The county seat of Umpqua was thus fixed at Elkton, on the land claim of James F. Levens. An act was passed for the support of indigent insane persons. There were a number of applica tions made to the legislature to have doubtful marriages legalized; but the judiciary committee, to whom they were referred, refused to entertain the petitions, on the ground that it was not their duty to shelter persons commit ting crimes against the laws and public sentiment. Notwithstanding, a special act was passed in the case of John Carey, who had a wife and children in the States, to make legitimate the children of a woman whom he had in formally taken to wife while crossing the plains. Or. Statesman, April 3, 1855.

17 Notwithstanding the antagonism exhibited at the opening of the session, the Maine-law bill being withdrawn, an act was passed of the nature of a local- option law, requiring retail dealers, or those who wished to sell by any quan tity less than a quart, to obtain the signatures of a majority of the legal voters in their respective precincts to petitions praying that licenses should be granted them; if in a city, the signatures of a majority of the legal voters in the ward where it was designed to sell. Before proceeding to obtain the signa tures, the applicant was required to post notices for ten days of his intention to apply for a license, in order to afford an opportunity for remonstrances to be signed. There were two many ways of evading a law of this nature to make it serve the purpose of prohibition, even in a temperance community;

DEMOCRATS AND WHIGS. 355

The report of the territorial auditor showed that whereas at the beginning of the present fiscal year he had found $4.28 in the treasury, at its close, after

/

balancing accounts, there were $68.94 on hand. The territory was in debt between $7,000 and $8,000; but the estimated revenue for the next year would be over $11,000, which would not only discharge the debt, but lessen the present rate of taxation. En couraged by this report, the legislature made appro priations which amounted to nearly as much as the anticipated revenue, leaving the debt of the territory but little diminished, and the rate of taxation the same a course for which, when another legislature had been elected, they received the reproaches of their


own organs.


There began in April 1855, with the meeting of the democratic territorial convention at Salem, a determined struggle to put down the rising influence of whig principles. 19 At the first ballot for delegate to congress, Lane received fifty-three out of fifty-nine votes, the six remaining being cast by Clackamas county for Pratt. A movement had been made in Linn county to put forward Delazon Smith, but it was prudently withdrawn on the temper of the major ity becoming manifest. Lane county had also in structed its delegates to vote for Judge George H. Williams as its second choice. But the great per sonal popularity of Lane threw all others into the background.

On the 18th of April the whigs held a convention at Corvallis, for the purpose of nominating a delegate,

and for this very reason it was possible to pass it in a legislature unfriendly t<3 prohibition.

18 Or. Jour. Council, 1854-5, app. 21-7. The territorial officers elected by the assembly were Nat. H. Lane, treasurer; James A. Bennett, auditor; and Milton Shannon, librarian.

19 Said the Statesman of April 17th: Defeat and disgrace to know-noth ing whiggery and canting hypocrisy was a decree which went forth from that meeting. . .The handwriting is upon the wall, and it reads, "Jo Lane, a democratic legislature, democratic prosecutors, democratic everything."

356 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

and made choice of Ex-governor Gaines, against four other aspirants. The majority being for Gaines on the first ballot, T. J. Dryer and A. G. Henry withdrew, leaving M. A. Chinn and A. Holbrook. Gaines then received sixty-three votes and Chinn three. The convention adopted as its platform, " General Gaines against the world," and the campaign opened. 20 A movement was put on foot by the religious portion of the community to form a temperance party, and to elect members to the legislature on that issue ; and a meeting was held for that purpose April 16th, which was addressed by George L. Atkinson, H. K. Hines, and W. L. Adams, the last named a rising politician, who in the spring of 1855 established the Oregon Argus, and advocated among other reforms a prohibi tory liquor law. As the paper was independent, it tended greatly to keep in check the overweening assumption of the Statesman, arid was warmly wel comed by the new party. 21

20 As the reader has been so long familiar with the names of the demo cratic leaders, it will be proper here to mention those of the territorial whig committee. They were E. N. Cooke, James D. McCurdy, Alex. Mclntyre, (J. A. Reed, and T. J. Dryer. Oregonian, April 14, 1855.

21 The Oregon Argus was printed on the press and with the materials of the old Spectator, which closed its career in March 1855. The editor and publisher, Mr Adams, possessed the qualifications necessary to conduct an independent journal, having self-esteem united with argumentative powers; moreover, he had a conscience. In politics, he leaned to the side of the whigs, and in religion was a campbellite. This church had a respectable membership in Oregon. Adams sometimes preached to its congregations, and was known pretty generally as Parson Billy. The mistakes he made in conducting his paper were those likely to grow out of these conditions. Being independent, it was open to everybody, and therefore liable to take in occa sionally persons of doubtful veracity. Being honest, it sometimes betrayed a lack of worldly wisdom. The Statesman called it the Airgoose; nevertheless, it greatly assisted in forming into a consistent and cohesive body the scat tered materials that afterward composed the republican party. The Argus continued to be published at Oregon City till May 1863, D. W. Craig being associated with Adams in its publication. Six months after its removal, hav ing united with the Republican of Eugene City, the two journals passed into the hands of a company who had purchased the Statesman, the political status of the latter having undergone a change. Salem Directory, 1871, p. 81. Adams had in the mean time been appointed collector of customs at Astoria by Lin coln, in 1861, and held this position until he resigned it in 1866. In 1868 he travelled in South America, and finally went to New England, where he delivered a lecture on Oregon and the Pacific Coast, at Tremont Temple, Oct. 14, 1869, which was published in pamphlet form at Boston the same year. The pamphlet contains many interesting facts, presented in the incisive and yet often humorous style which characterized the author s writings as a jour

THE KNOW-NOTHING PARTY. 357

The Argus, however, placed the name of Gaines at the head of the editorial columns as its candidate for delegate to congress. The Portland Times was

o o

strongly democratic, and sustained the nomination of Lane. The Portland Democratic Standard labored earnestly for the election of Judge 0. C. Pratt, but Lane was destined to secure the prize and received the nomination from the Salem convention, which was a great disappointment to Pratt s friends. 5 "

Lane arrived in Oregon early in April, and soon after the convention the campaign began, the whigs and know-nothings, or native Americans, uniting on Gaines and against the democracy.

The native Americans, it may be here said, were largely drawn from the missionary and anti-Hudson s Bay Company voters, who took the opportunity fur nished by the rise of the new party to give utterance to their long-cherished antipathies toward the foreign element in the settlement of Oregon. Some of them were men who had made themselves odious to right- thinking people of all parties by their intemperate zeal against foreign-born colonists and the catholic religion, basing their arguments for know-nothing

nalist. He studied medicine while in the east, and practised it after return ing to Oregon. In the West Shore, a monthly literary paper began at Port land in 1875 by L. Samuels, are Rambling Notes of Olden Times by Adams, in which are some striking pictures of the trials and pleasures of pioneer life, besides many other articles; but his principal work in life was done as editor of the paper he originated.

22 Of the two papers started in 1850, the Star was removed to Portland in 1851, where it became the Times, edited first by Waterman, and subse quently by Hibben, followed by Russell D. Austin. It ran until 1858 in the interest of the democratic party. West Shore, Jan. 1876. Austin mar ried Miss Mary A. Collins of Holyoke, Mass. Oregon Argus, Oct. 13, 1855.

23 Portland Oregonian, April 15, 1876. Another paper that came into being in 1855 was the Pacific Christian Advocate. It \vas first called the North Pacific Christian Herald, and had for publishers A. F. Waller-, Thos H. Pearne, P. G. Buchanan, J. R. Robb, and C. S. Kingsley, with Thos H. Pearne for manager. See Or. Statesman, June 16, 1855. It soon afterward changed its name to Pacific Christian Advocate, published by A. F. Waller, J. L. Parrish, J. D. Boon, C. S. Kingsley, and H. K. Hines, with Thos H. Pearne editor. The following year the methodist general conference, in ses sion at Indianapolis, resolved to establish a book depository and publish a weekly paper in Oregon; and that the book agents at New York be advised to purciiase the Pacific Christian Advocate, already started, at $3,500, and to employ an editor with a fixed salary. Or. and its Institutions, 107-8.

358 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

principles upon the alleged participation in the Whit man massacre of the catholic priesthood. 24

Anything like cant entering into American politics has always proven a failure; and the democratic party were not too refined to give utterance to an honest disgust of the bigotry which attempted it in Oregon. The election resulted in the complete triumph of democracy, Lane s majority being twenty-one hun dred and forty-nine. 25 There were but four whigs elected to the assembly, two in each house. A dem ocratic prosecuting attorney was elected in each judi cial district. 26 The party had indeed secured every thing it aimed at, excepting the vote for a state con stitution, and that measure promised to be soon se cured, as the majority against it had lessened more than half since the last election.

In spite of and perhaps on account of the dom inance of democratic influence in Oregon, there was a conviction growing in the minds of thinking people not governed by partisan feeling, which w r as in time to revolutionize politics, and bring confusion upon the men who lorded it so valiantly in these times. This

was, that the struggle for the extension of slave ter-

ii ritory which the southern states were making, aided

and abetted by the national democratic party, would be renewed when the state constitution came to be formed, and that they must be ready to meet the emergency.

In view of the danger that by some political jug glery the door would be left open for the admission of slavery, a convention of free-soilers was called to meet at Albany on the 27th of June, 1855. Little more was done at this time than to pass resolutions

24 Or. Am. Evang. Unionist, Aug. 2, 1848.

"Official, in Or. Statesman, June 30, 1855. The Tribune Almanac for 1856 gives Lane s majority as 2,235. The entire vote cast was 10,121. There were believed to be about 11,100 voters in the territory.

26 George K. Sheil in the 1st district; Thomas S. Brandon in the 2d; R. PI Stratton in the 3d; and W. G. T Vault in Jackson county, which was al lowed to constitute a district.

INDIAN AFFAIES. 359

expressing the sentiments and purposes of the mem bers, and to appoint a committee to draft a platform for the anti-slavery party, to be reported to an ad journed meeting to be held at Corvallis on the 31st of October. 27 This was the beginning of a move ment in which the Argus played an important part, and which resulted in the formation of the republican party of Oregon. It was the voice crying in the wilderness which prepared the way for the victory of free principles on the Northwest Coast, and secured to the original founders of the Oregon colony the entire absence of the shadow and blight of an insti tution which when they left their homes in the States the earliest immigrations determined to leave behind them forever. With regard, however, to the progress of the new party, before it had time to com plete a formal organization, events had occurred in Oregon of so absorbing a nature as to divert the public mind from its contemplation.

I have already spoken of the round of visits which Indian Superintendent Palmer made in 1854, about which time he concluded some treaties none of those made by Gaines ever having been ratified- -with the Indians of the Willamette Valley. 28 It was not until October that he was able to go to the Indians of south-

27 The committee were John Conner, B. F. Whitson, Thomas S. Kendall, Origen Thomson, arid J. P. Tate. Or. Argus, July 7, 1855. The members of this first anti-slavery meeting of Oregon were Origen Thomson, H. H. Hicklin, T. S. Kendall, Jno. K. McClure, Wm T. Baxter, Wilson BJain, Jno. McCoy, Samuel Hyde, W. L. Coon, Wm Marks, W. C. Hicklin, H. F. McCully, David Irwin, John Smith, Isaac Pest, J. VV. Stewart, G. W. Lam bert, J. B. Forsyth, J. M. McCall, John Conner, Thos Cannon, B. F. Whit- son, W. C. Johnson, Hezekiah Johnson, J. T. Craig, D. C. Hackley, S. R. McClelland, Robert A. Buck, Samuel Bell, J. P. Tate, U. H. Dunning. Alfred Wheeler, Samuel Colrer, D. H. Bodinn, W. C. Garwood, D. Beach, Charles Ferry, J. F. Thompson, Milton B. Starr. Or. Argus, July 7, 1855.

28 A treaty was made with the Tualatin band of Calapooyas for their land lying in Washington and Yamhill counties, for which they received $3, 300 in goods, money, and farm tools; also provisions for one year, and annuities of goods for twenty years, besides a tract of 40 acres to each family, two of which were to be ploughed and fenced, and a cabin erected upon it. Teach ers of farming, milling, blacksmithing, etc. , were to be furnished with manual- labor schools for the children. The provisions of all of Palmer s treaties were similar.

360 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

era Oregon with the assurance that congress had rat ified the treaties made at the close of the war of 1853, with some amendments to which they consented some what unwillingly, 29 but were pacified on receiving their first instalment of goods. S. H. Culver was removed, and George H. Ambrose made agent on the Rogue River reservation. 80 By the 1st of February, 1855, all the lands between the Columbia River and the summit of the Calapooya Mountains, and between the Coast and Cascade ranges, had been purchased for the United States, the Indians agreeing to remove to such local ities as should be selected for them, it being the in tention to place them east of the Cascades. But the opposition made by all natives, to being forced upon the territory of other tribes, or to having other tribes brought into contact with them, on their own lands, influenced Palmer to select a reservation on the coast, extending from Cape Lookout on the north to a point half-way between the Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers, taking in the whole country west of the Coast Range, with all the rivers and bays, for a distance of ninety miles, upon which the Willamette and coast tribes were to be placed as soon as the means should be at hand to remove them.

No attempt to treat with the Oregon tribes east of the Cascade Mountains for their lands had ever been made, and except the efforts of the missionaries, and the provisional government, for which White may be considered as acting, nothing had been done to bring them into friendly relations with the citizens of the United States. The Cayuse war had left that tribe

29 The amendment most objected to was one which allowed other tribes to be placed on their reservation, and which consolidated all the Rogue River tribes.

30 Palmer appears to have been rather arbitrary, but being liked by the authorities, in choosing between him and an agent whom ne disliked, they dismissed the agent without inquiry. Sub-agent Philip F. Thompson of Umpqua having died, E. P. Drew succeeded him. Nathan Olney superseded Parrish. There remained R. R. Thompson, W. W. Raymond, and William J. Martin, who resigned in the spring of 1855, and was succeeded by Robert B. Metcalfe. These frequent changes were due, according to Palmer, to in sufficient salaries.

TREATIES AND PURCHASE OF LANDS. 361

imbittered toward the American people. Governor Stevens of Washington Territoy, when exploring for the Pacific railroad, in 1853, had visited and conferred with the tribes north and east of the Columbia con cerning the sale of their lands, all of whom professed a willingness to dispose of them, and to enter into treaty relations with the government. 31 Stevens had reported accordingly to congress, which appropriated money to defray the expense of these negotiations, and appointed Stevens and Palmer commissioners to make the treaties. But in the mean time a vear and

tf

a half had elapsed, and the Indians had been given time to reconsider their hasty expressions of friend ship, and to indulge in many melancholy forebodings of the consequences of parting with the sovereignty of the country. These regrets and apprehensions were heightened by a knowledge of the Indian war of 1853 in Rogue River Valley, the expedition against the Mo- docs and Piutes, and the expedition of Major Haller then in progress for the punishment of the murderers of the Ward company. They had also been informed by rumor that the Oregon superintendent designed to take a part of the country which they had agreed to surrender for a reservation for the diseased and de graded tribes of western Oregon, whose presence or neighborhood they as little desired as the white inhab itants. At least, that is what the Indians said of them selves.

Aware to some extent of this feeling, Stevens sent in January 1855 one of his most trusted aids, James D oty, among the Indians east of the mountains, to ascertain their views before opening negotiations for the purchase of their lands. To Doty the Indians made the same professions of friendship and willing ness to sell their country which they had made to Stevens in 1853: and it was agreed to hold a general

o c?

council of the Yakimas, Nez Perces, Cayuses, Walla

31 /. 7. Stem?*, in Ind. Aff. Rept, 1854, 184, 248; U. 8. H. Ex. Doc. 55, 2, 33d cong. 1st sess.

362 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

Wallas, and their allies, to be convened in the Walla Walla Valley in May. The place of meeting was chosen by Karniakin, head chief of the Yakimas, be cause it was an ancient council-ground of his people, and everything seemed to promise a friendly confer ence.

A large amount of money was expended in Indian goods and agricultural implements, the customary presents to the head men on the conclusion of treaties. These were transported above The Dalles in keel boats, 32 and stored at Fort Walla Walla, then in charge of James Sinclair of the Hudson s Bay Com pany. A military escort for the commissioners was obtained at Fort Dalles, consisting of forty dragoons under Lieutenant Archibald Gracie, 33 the company being augmented to forty-seven by the addition of a detachment under a corporal in pursuit of some Indian murderers whom they had sought for a week without finding.

On the 20th of May the commissioners, who had hastened forward, arrived at Walla Walla, and pro ceeded to the council-grounds about five miles from Waiilatpu, 3 * where the encampment was made before the escort arrived. 35 The Indians, with their accus-

32 Stevens speaks of this as the opening of navigation above The Dalles. They were succeeded, he says, by sailing vessels of 60 tons freight, and soon by a steamer. Pac. R. E. Rept, xii. 196-7.

33 Lieut Lawrence Kip, of the 3d artillery, who accompanied Gracie on this occasion as a guest and spectator, afterward published an account of the expedition and transactions of the commission, under title of The. Indian Council at Walla Walla, San Francisco, 1855, a pleasantly told narrative, in which there is much correct information, and some unimportant errors con cerning mission matters of which he had no personal knowledge. He gives pretty full reports of the speeches of the chiefs and commissioners. Lieut Kip also wrote a little book, Army Life on the Pacific Coast, A Journal of the Expedition against the Northern Indians in the Summer of 1858, New York, 1859, in which the author seeks to defend the army officers from aspersions cast upon them in the newspapers, and even in speeches on the floor of con gress, as the drones of society, living on the government, yet a useless en cumbrance and expense.

31 Kip speaks of visiting some gentlemen residing on the site of the old mission, who were raising stock to sell to emigrants crossing the plains, or settlers who will soon be locating themselves through these valleys. Indian Council, 16.

35 Kip -also describes the council-ground as a beautiful spot, and tells us that an arbor had been erected for a dining-hall for the commissioners, with

A GRAND POWWOW. 363

tomed dilatoriness, did not begin to come in until the 24th, when Lawyer and Looking Glass of the Nez Perces arrived with their delegation, and encamped at no great distance from the commissioners, after having passed through the fantastic evolutions, in full war costume, sometimes practised on such occa sions. 36 The Cayuses appeared in like manner two days later, and on the 28th the Yakimas, who, with others, made up an assemblage of between four and five thousand Indians of both sexes. An attempt was made on the day following to organize the coun cil, but it was not until the 30th that business was begun.

Before the council opened it became evident that a majority of the Indians were not in favor of treating, 37 if indeed they were not positively hostile to the peo ple represented by the commissioners; the Cayuses in particular regarding the troops with scowls of anger, which they made no attempt to conceal. Day after day, until the llth of June, the slow and reluctant conference went on. The chiefs made speeches, with that mixture of business shrewdness and savage poetry which renders the Indian s eloquence so effective. 38

a table of split logs, with the flat side up. The troops, too, were sheltered in arbors, and but for the showery weather the comfort of the occasion would have equalled its picturesqueness.

36 See Hist. Or., i. 130-1, this series.

37 Kip s Indian Council, 21.

38 The chief of the Cayuses thought it was wrong to sell the ground given them by the great spirit for their support. * I wonder if the ground has any thing to say? I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said. . .1 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 the 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 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. " Kip s Indian Council, 22-6. In this argument was an attempt to enunciate a philosophy equal to the white man s. It ended, as all savage

364 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

The commissioners exhausted their store of logic in convincing their savage hearers that they needed the benefits of the culture which the white race could im part to them. Over and over again, the motives of the treaties arid the treaties themselves were explained in the most painstaking manner. The fact was patent that the Indians meant to resist the invasion of their lands by the people of the United States. The Cay uses were against any sale. Owhi, chief of the Umatillas, and brother-in-law of Kamiakin, was op posed to it. Peupeumoxmox, usually so crafty and non-committal, in this matter was decided; Kamiakin would have nothing to do with it; Joseph and Look ing Glass were unfriendly; and only Lawyer con tinued firm in keeping his word already pledged to Stevens. 33 But for him, and the numerical strength of the Nez Perces, equal, to that of all the other tribes present, no treaty could have been concluded with any of the tribes. His adherence to his deter mination greatly incensed the Cayuses against him, and some of his own nation almost equally, especially Joseph, who refused to sign the treaty unless it se cured to him the valley which he claimed as the home of himself and his people. 40 Looking Glass, war chief

arguments do, in showing the desire of gain, and the suspicion of being cheated.

39 I think it is doubtful, says Kip, if Lawyer could have held out but for his pride in his small sum of book lore, which inclined him to cling to his friendship with the whites. In making a speech, he was able to refer to the discovery of the continent by the Spaniards, and the story of Columbus mak ing the egg stand on end. He related how the red men had receded before the white men in a manner that was hardly calculated to pour oil upon the troubled waters; yet as his father had agreed with Lewis and Clarke to live in peace w T ith the whites, he was in favor of making a treaty!

40 Concerning the exact locality claimed by Joseph at this time as his home, there has been much argument and investigation. At the beginning of this history, Joseph was living near Lapwai, but it is said he was only there for the purpose of attending Spalding s school; that his father was a Cayuse, who had two wives, one a Nez Perce", the mother of Joseph, and the other a Cay- use, the mother of Five Crows; that Joseph was born on Snake River, near the mouth of the Grand Rond \vhere his father lived, and that after the Lapwai mission was abandoned he went back to the mouth of the Grand Rond, where he died in 1871. These facts are gathered from a letter of Indian Agent Jno. B. Monteith to H. Clay Wood, and is contained in a pamphlet published by the latter, called The Status of Young Joseph and his Band of Nez Perc6 Indians under the Treaties, etc., written to settle the

RETIRING ABORIGINALS. 365

of the Nez Perces, showed his opposition by not com ing to the council until the 8th, and behaving rudely when he did come.* 1 Up to almost the last day, Palmer, who had endeavored to obtain the consent of the Indians to one common reservation, finding them determined in their refusal, finally offered to reserve lands separately in their own country for those who objected to going upon the Nez Peree reservation, and on this proposition, harmony was apparently re stored, all the chiefs except Kamiakin agreeing to it. The haughty Yakima would consent to nothing; but when appealed to by Stevens to make known his

question of Joseph s right to the Wallowa Valley in Oregon, his claim to which brought on the war of 1877 with that band of Nez Percys. Wood s pamphlet, which was written by the order of department commander Gen. O. O. Howard, furnishes much valuable information upon this rather obscure subject. Wood concludes from all the evidence that Joseph was chief of the upper or Salmon Riv 7 er branch of the Nez Force s, and that his claim to the Wallowa Valley as his especial home was not founded in facts as they existed at the time of the treaty of 1855, but that it was possessed in common by the Nez Perec s as a summer resort to fish. As the reservation took in both sides of the Snake River as far up as fifteen miles below the mouth of Powder River, and all the Salmon River country to the Bitter Root Mountains, and beyond the Clearwater as far as the southern branch of the Palouse, the west ern line beginning a little below the mouth of Alpowa Creek, it included all the lands ever claimed by the Nez Perces since the ratification of the treaty, much of which was little known to white men in 1855, and just which portion of it was reserved by Joseph is a matter of doubt, though Superintendent Palmer spoke of Joseph s band as the Salmon River band of the Nez Perces. Wood s Young Joseph and the Treaties, 35.

Joseph had perhaps other reasons for objecting to Lawyer s advice. He claimed to be descended from a long line of chiefs, and to be superior in rank to Lawyer. The missionaries, because Joseph was a war chief, and because Lawyer exhibited greater aptitude in learning the arts of peace, endeavored to build up Lawyer s influence. When White tried his hand at managing Indians, he appointed over the Nez Perec s a head chief, a practice which had been discontinued by the advice of the Hudson s Bay Company. On the death of Ellis, the head chief, whose superior acquirements had greatly strengthened his influence with the Nez Perec s, it was Lawyer who aspired to the high chieftainship, on the ground of these same acquirements, and who had gained so much influence as to be named head chief when the com missioners interrogated the Nez Perec s as to whom they should treat with for the nation. This was good ground for jealousy and discord, and a weighty reason why Joseph should not readily consent to the advice of Lawyer, even if there were 110 other.

41 Cram says that Lawyer and Looking Glass had arranged it between them to cajole the commissioners; that the sudden appearance and opposition of the latter were planned to give effect to Lawyer s apparent fidelity; and at the same time by throwing obstacles in the way, to prevent a clutch upon their lands from being realized. In these respects events have shown that Lawyer was the ablest diplomatist at the council; for the friendship of his tribes has remained, and no hold upon their lands has yet inur,ed to the whites. Top. Mem., 84.

366 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

wishes, only aroused from his sullen silence to ejacu late, "What have I to say?" This was the mood of the Indians on Saturday, the 9th; but on Monday, the 1 1th, every chief signed the treaties, including Kamia- kin, who said it was for the sake of his people that he consented. Having done this, they all expressed sat isfaction, even joy and thankfulness, at this termina tion of the conference. 42

The Nez Perces agreed to take for their lands outside the reservation, which was ample, $200,000 in annuities, and were to be supplied besides with mills, schools, millers, teachers, mechanics, and every reasonable aid to their so-called improvement. The Cay uses, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas were united on one reservation in the beautiful Umatilla country, where claims were already beginning to be taken up. 43

They were to receive the same benefits as the Nez Perces, and $150,000 in annuities, running through twenty years. The Yakimas agreed to take $200,000, and were granted two schools, three teachers, a num ber of mechanics, a farmer, a physician, millers, and mills. 44 By an express provision of the treaties, the country embraced in the cessions, and not included in the reservation, was open to settlement, except that the Indians were to remain in possession of their im provements until removed to the reservations, when they were to be paid for them whatever they were worth. When the treaties were published, particular attention was called to these provisions protecting the Indians in the enjoyment of their homes so long as they were not removed by authority to the reserves.

42 Kip s Army Life, 92; Stevens, in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 66, 24, 34th coog. 1st sess.

43 One Whitney was living about a mile from the crossing of the Umatilla River with William McKay, on a claim he was cultivating, belonging to the latter. Kip s Indian Council, 29. This William McKay was grandson of Al exander McKay of Astor s company. He resided in eastern Oregon almost continually since taking this claim on the Umatilla.

^Palmer s Wagon Trains, MS., 51; Or. Statesman, June 30 and July 21, 1855; Puyet Sound Herald, May 6, 1859; Wood s Young Joseph and the Trea ties, 10-12; Pendlelon Tribune, March 11, 1874; S. F. Alia, July 16, 1855; Sac. Union, July 10, 1855.

GOOD BARGAINS. 367

And attention was also called to the fact that the Ind ians were not required to move upon their reserves before the expiration of one year after the ratification of the treaties by congress; the intention being to give time for them to accustom themselves to the idea of the change of location.

As soon as these apparently amicable stipulations were concluded, the goods brought as presents dis tributed, and agents appointed for the different reser vations, 45 the troops returned to The Dalles. That night the Indians held a great scalp-dance, in which 150 of the women took part. The following day they broke up their encampments and returned to their sev eral habitations, the commissioners believing that the feelings of hostility with which several of the chiefs had come to the council had been assuaged. On the 16th Stevens proceeded north-eastward, toward the Black- foot country, being directed by the government to make treaties with this warlike people and several other tribes in that quarter.

Palmer in the mean time returned toward The Dalles, treating with the John Day, Des Chutes, and Wascopan Indians, and purchasing all the lands lying between the summit of the Cascade Range and the waters of Powder River, and between the 44th paral lel and the Columbia River, on terms similar to those of the treaties made at Walla Walla. A reservation was set apart for these tribes at the base of the Cas cades, directly east of Mount Jefferson, in a well watered and delightful location, 46 including the Tyghe Valley and some warm springs from which the reserve has been named.

Having accomplished these important objects, the superintendent returned home well pleased with the results of his labor, and believing that he had secured the peace of the country in that portion of Oregon.

45 R. R. Thompson was appointed to the Umatilla reservation, and W. H. Tappan for the Nez Perec s.

    • Ind. Aff. Kept, 1857, 370; Letter of Palmer, in Or. Statesman, July 21,

1855; Puyet Sound Herald, May 6, 1859.

368 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

The Nez Perces afterward declared that during the council a scheme had been on foot, originating with the Cay uses, to massacre all the white persons present, including the troops, the plan only failing through the refusal of Lawyer s party to join in it, which statement may be taken for what it is worth. On the other hand, it has been asserted that the treaties were forced; 47 that they were rashly undertaken, and the Indians not listened to ; that by calling a general council an oppor tunity was furnished for plotting ; that there were too few troops and too little parade. 48 However this may be, war followed, the history of which belongs both to Oregon and Washington. But since the Indians in volved in it were chiefly those attached to the soil and superintendency of the latter, I shall present the nar rative in my volume on Washington.

47 Wood s Young Joseph and the Treaties.

"Tolmie s Hist. Puget Sound, MS., 37 j Roberts Recollections. MS., 95.

CHAPTER XV.

FURTHER INDIAN WARS. 1855-1856.

INDIAN AFFAIRS IN SOUTHERN OREGON THE ROGUE RIVER PEOPLE EX TERMINATION ADVOCATED MILITIA COMPANIES SURPRISES AND SKIR MISHES RESERVATION AND FRIENDLY INDIANS PROTECTED BY THE U. S. GOVERNMENT AGAINST MINERS AND SETTLERS MORE FIGHTING VOLUNTEERS AND REGULARS BATTLE OF GRAVE CREEK FORMATION OF THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN BATTALIONS AFFAIR AT THE MEADOWS RANGING BY THE VOLUNTEERS THE BEN WRIGHT MAS SACRE.

BEFORE midsummer, 1855, war was again brewing in southern Oregon, the Applegate Creek and Illi nois Valley branches of the Rogue River nation be ing the immediate cause. On one pretence or an other, the former spent much of their time off the reservation, and in June made a descent on a mining camp, killing several men and capturing considerable property; while the murder of a white man on Ind ian Creek was charged to the latter, of whom a party of volunteers went in pursuit.

On the 17th of June a company styling themselves the Independent Hangers, H. B. Hayes, captain, organized at Wait s mills in Jackson county, report ing to Colonel Ross for his recognition, 1 this being

x The original copy of the application is contained in the first volume of DowdVs Oregon Indian Wars, MS., 1-3. This is a valuable compilation of original documents and letters pertaining to the wars of 1855-6 in southern Oregon, and furnishes conclusive proof of the invidious course of the Salem clique toward that portion of the territory. Dowell has taken much pains to secure and preserve these fragments of history, and in doing so has vindi cated his section, from which otherwise the blame of certain alleged illegal acts might never have been removed. Then there are his Indian Wars; Hisx. OB., VOL. II. 24 ( 369 >

370 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

the first movement toward the reorganization of mil itary companies since the treaties of September 1853. 2 Knowledge of these things coming to Ambrose, in charge of the reservation Indians, Smith of Fort Lane started off with a company of dragoons, and collecting most of the strolling Indians, hurried them upon the reservation. Those not brought in were pursued into the mountains by the volunteers, and one killed. The band then turned upon their pursu ers, and wounding several horses, killed one man named Philpot. Skirmishing was continued for a week with further fatal results on both sides. 3

A party of California volunteers under William Martin, in pursuit of hostile Indians, traced certain of them to the Rogue River reservation, and made a de mand for their surrender, to w r hich Commander Smith, of Fort Lane, very properly refused compliance. Let the proper authorities ask the surrender of Indians on a criminal charge, and they should be forthcom ing, but they could not be delivered to a mere volun tary assemblage of men. Afterward a requisition was made from Siskiyou county, and in November two

Scrap-Book; Letters; Biographies, and various pamphlets which contain al most a complete journal of the events to which this chapter is devoted.

Benjamin Franklin Dowell emigrated from New Franklin, Mo., in 1850, taking the California road, but arriving in the Willamette Valley in Nov. He had studied law, but now taught a school in Polk county in the summer of 1851, and afterward in the Waldo hills. It was slow work for an ambi tious man; so borrowing some money and buying a pack-train, he began trrding to the mines in southern Oregon and northern California, following it successfully for four years. He purchased flour of J. W. Nesmith at his mills in Polk county at 10 cents per lb., and sold it in the mines at $1 and $1.25. He bought butter at 50 cents per lb., and sold it at $1.50; salt at 15 cents per lb., and sold it at $2 and $3 per lb., and other articles in propor tion. When Scottsburg became the base of supplies, instead of the Willa mette Valley, he traded between that place and the mines. When war broke out, Dowell was the first in and the last out of the fight. After that he settled in Jacksonville, and engaged in the practice of law and newspaper management.

2 Or. Arcjus, June 16, 1855; Sac. Union, June 12, 1855; S. F. Chronicle, June 15, 1855; 8. F. Alta, June 18, 1855.

3 A bottle of whiskey sold by a white man to an Indian on the 26th of July caused the deaths, besides several Indians, of John Pollock, William Hennessey, Peter Heinrich, Thomas Gray, John L. Fickas, Edward Parrish, F. D. Mattice, T. D. Mattice, Raymond, and Pedro. DowdV* Or. Ind. Wars t MS., 39; Or. Argus, Aug. 1855, 18; S. F. Alta, Aug. 13 and 31, 1855.

ROGUE RIVER TROUBLES. 371

Indians were arrested for murder on the reservation, and delivered up. 4

On the 26th of August, a Rogue River Indian shot arid wounded James Buford, at the mouth of Rogue River in the Port Orford district, then in charge of Ben Wright, who arrested the savage and delivered him to the sheriff of Coos county. Having no place in which to secure his prisoner, the sheriff delivered him to a squad of soldiers to be taken to Port Orford ; but while the canoe in which the Indian was seated with his guard was passing up the river to a place of encampment, it was followed by Buford, his partner, Hawkins, and O Brien, a trader, who fired at and killed the prisoner and another Indian. The fire was returned by the soldiers, who killed two of the men, and mortally wounded the third. 5

The excitement over this affair was very great. Threats by the miners of giving battle to the troops were loud and vindictive, but the more conservative prevailed, and no attack was made. The savages were aroused, and matters grew daily worse. 6

Agent Ambrose wrote several letters which ap peared in the Statesman, over the signature of A Miner, in one of which, dated October 13th, he de clared that no fears were to be entertained of an out break of the Rogue River Indians, affirming that they were peaceably disposed, and had been so

  • These particulars are found in a letter written by William Martin to C.

S. Drew, and is contained in Dowell s collection of original documents of the Or. Ind. War*, MS., vol. ii., 32-9.

5 Lette r of Arago, in Or. Statesman, Sept. 22, 1855; Sac. Union, Sept. 12, 1855; Coos Bay Mail, in Portland Standard, Feb. 20, 1880; Id., in S. F. Bul letin, Feb. 6, 1880.

6 See NicJiols Rogue River War, MS., 14-15. On the 2d of September, Granville Keene, from Tenn. , was killed on the reservation while assisting Fred. Alberding, J. Q. Taber, and a fourth man to reclaim some stolen horses. Two others were wounded and obliged to retreat. About the last of the month, Calvin Fields of Iowa, and John Cuningham of Sauve" Island, Oregon, were killed, and Harrison Oatman and Daniel Britton wounded, while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains with loaded wagons drawn by eigh teen oxen, which were also killed. An express being sent to Fort Lane, Cap tain Smith ordered out a detachment of dragoons, but no arrests were made. Of the Indians killed in the mean time no mention is made.

372 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

throughout the summer. " God knows," he said, " would not care how soon they were all dead, and I believe the country would be greatly benefited by it; but I am tired of this senseless railing against Cap tain Smith and the Indian agent for doing their duty, obeying the laws, and preserving our valley from the horrors of a war with a tribe of Indians who do not desire it, but wish for peace, and by their conduct have shown it."

To prevent the reservation Indians from being sus pected and punished for the acts of others, Superin tendent Palmer issued an order October 13th that the Indians with whom treaties had been made, and who had reservations set apart for them, should be arrested if found off the reservations without a per mit from the agent. Every male over twelve years of age must answer daily to the roll-call. Early in October it became known that a party of wandering Indians were encamped near Thompson s Ferry, on Rogue River, and that among them were some sus pected of annoying the settlers. A volunteer com pany of about thirty, under J. A. Lupton, proceeded at a very early hour of the morning of October 8th to the Indian camp at the mouth of Butte Creek, and opened fire, killing twenty-three and wounding many. The Indians returned it as well as they were able, and succeeded in killing Lupton, and in wounding eleven others. 7 When daylight came it was found by the mangled bodies that they were mostly old men, women, and children, whom these brave men had been butchering! The survivors took refuge at the fort, where they exhibited their wounds and made their lamentations to Captain Smith, who sent his troops to look at the battle-field and count the slain. It was a pitiful sight, and excited great in dignation among the better class of white men. 8

7 Among them Shepard, Miller, Pelton, Hereford, Gates, and Williams. Letter of C. S. Drew, in DowdVs Or. Ind. Wars, MS., 29; Nottarts, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 27, 1855; Nichols Ind. Affairs, MS., 20.

8 Cram s Top. Mem., 44; Letter of Palmer to General Wool, in U. S. H.

SOUTHERN OREGON ABLAZE. 373

On the morning of the 9th of October the Indians appeared in the upper part of the Rogue River Val ley in considerable numbers. They were first seen at Jewett s ferry, where during the night they killed two men in charge of a train and wounded another.

o

After firing upon Jewett s house, they proceeded to Evans ferry about daybreak, where they mortally wounded Isaac Shelton of the Willamette Valley on his way to Yreka. Pursuing their way down the val ley to the house of J. K. Jones, they killed him,

wounded his wife so that she died next day, and

i/

burned the house after pillaging it. From there they went to Wagoner s place, killing four men upon the way. Wagoner had a short time before left home to escort Miss Pellet, a temperance lecturer from Buffalo, New York, 9 to Sailor Diggings, where she was to lecture that evening. Mrs Wagoner was alone with her child four years of age, and both were burned in the house. They next proceeded to the house of George W. Harris, who seeing their approach, and judging that they meant mischief, ran into the house, seized his gun, and fired two shots, killing one and wounding another, when he received a fatal shot. His wife and little daughter defended themselves with great heroism for twenty-four hours, when they were rescued by Major Fitzgerald. And there were many

other heroic women, whose brave deeds during: these

t

savage wars of southern Oregon must forever remain unrecorded. 10

As soon as the news reached Jacksonville that the Rogue River settlements were attacked, a company of some twenty men hastened to take the trail of the Indians down the river. An express was despatched

Ex. Doc. 93, 112, 34th cong. 1st sess.; Sober Sense, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 27, 1855; Letter of Wool, in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 66, 59; 34th cong. 1st sess.

9 Or. Argus, Sept. 29, 1855.

10 See California Inter Pocula, this series, passim. It was stated that Mrs Harris, when relieved, was so marked with powder and blood as to be hardly recognizable. Or. Statesman, March 3, 1856. Mrs Harris afterward married Aaron Chambers, who came to Oregon in 1852, was much respected, and died in 1869. Jacksonville Or. Sentinel, Sept. 18, 1869.

374 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

to Fort Lane, to Captain Smith, who sent a detach ment of fifty-five mounted men, under Major Fitzger ald, in pursuit of the savages. 11

The volunteer and regular forces soon combined to follow, and if possible to have battle with the Indians. Passing the bodies of the slain all along their route, they came to Wagoner s place, where thirty of the savages were still engaged in plundering the premises. On the appearance of the volunteers, the Indians, yelling and dancing, invited them to fight, 12 but \vhen the dragoons came in sight they fled precipitately to the mountains. After pursuing for about two miles, the troops, whose horses were jaded from a night march of twenty-five miles, being unable to overtake them, returned to the road, which they patrolled for some hours, marching as far as Grave Creek, after which they retired to Fort Lane, having found no Ind ians in that direction. 13 The volunteers also returned home to effect more complete organization before un dertaking such arduous warfare against an implacable foe who they now were assured was before them. There were other parts of the country which likewise required their attention.

About the 10th of October, Lieutenant Kautz left Port Orford with a small party of citizens and sol diers to examine a proposed route from that place to Jacksonville. On arriving at the big bend of Rogue River, about thirty miles east from Port Orford, he found a party of settlers much alarmed at a threatened

11 At that very moment an express was on its way from Vancouver to Fort Lane, calling for Major Fitzgerald to reenforce Major Haller in the Yakima country. Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855. Peupeumoxmox was threatening the Walla Walla Valley, and the Indians on Puget Sound preparing for the blow which they were to strike at the white settlements two weeks later, a coincidence of events significant of combination among the Indians. DoweWs Letters, MS., 35; Gr over s Pub. Life, MS., 74; Autobiog. of II. C. Huston, in Brown s Or. Misc., MS., 48; DoweWs Or. Ind. War, MS., 33-9; Or. Aryus, Oct. 27; Evans 1 Fourth of July Address, in New Tacoma Ledger, July 9, 1880. 2 Hayes 1 Ind. Scraps, v. 145; Yreka Union, Oct. 1855.

13 Three men were killed on Grave Creek, 12 miles below the road, on the night of the 9th. /. W. Drew, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855.

NOTABLE SAVAGES. 375

attack from Applegate Creek. Kautz returned to the fort for a better supply of arms and ammunition, in tending to resist the advance of the hostile party, should he fall in with it. A few days after resuming his march he was attacked by a portion of the band, losin^ five of his men, two soldiers and three citizens.

o

The Indians were only prevented from securing a considerable amount of ammunition by the precaution of Kautz in unloading the pack-mules at the begin ning of the battle. He was able to secure an orderly retreat with the remainder of his party. 14 The only Indians in the whole country, from Yreka to the Umpqua canon, who could be regarded other than enemies were those under Rogue River Sam, who since the treaty of 1853 had kept faith with the white people; the Shastas, the natives of Scott Val ley, and many of the people about Grave and Cow creeks, and the Umpquas being concerned in the war, in which the Shastas were principals, under the lead ership of Chief John. The Klamaths were also hos tile. 15

To meet a savage enemy, well armed and prepared for war, knowing every mountain fastness, and having always the advantage of chosen positions, was not practicable with anything like equal numbers. Esti mating the fighting men of the enemy at no more than 400, it would require three or four times that number to engage them, because of their ability to appear un expectedly at several points; at the same time to dis appear as rapidly; and to wear out the horses and men of the white forces in following them. The armed men that were mustered in Rogue River Valley be tween the 9th and llth of October amounted to only about 150, not from any want of courage, but from want of arms. 16 No attempt at permanent organiza-

14 Henry s Rogue River War Speech, 14.

15 Letter of Ambrose to Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 93, 62-65, 34th cong. 1st sess.

16 Says Ambrose: As in the war of 1853, the Indians have all the guns in the country. Those Indians have each a good rifle and revolver, and are skilful in the use of them.

376 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

tion was made by the territorial militia before the

  • /

12th, the armed companies being governed by the apparent necessities of the case. 17

On the 12th of October Colonel Ross began the or ganization of a volunteer force under the laws of the territory 18 by ordering James H. Russel, major of the 9th regiment, to report to him immediately. Some of the captains of the militia were already in the field; other companies were headed by any one who had the spirit of a leader. These on application of the citizens of their neighborhoods were duly commissioned. 19

17 A company under Rinearson was divided into detachments, and sent, on the evening of the 10th, ten to the mouth of the Umpqua cation, five three miles south to Leving s house, five to Turner s seven miles farther south, six to the Grave Creek house. On the next day thirty men made a scout down Grave Creek, and down Rogue River to the mouth of Galice Creek, the set tlers placing at their disposal whatever supplies of blankets, provisions, or arms they were able to furnish; yet twelve of Rinearson s company had no other weapons than pistols. A. G. Henry, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855. The troops in southern Oregon at this time were two full companies of dra goons at Fort Lane under Smith and Fitzgerald, and sixty-four infantry at Winchester, in the Umpqua Valley, under Lieut Gibson, who had been es corting Williamson on his survey of a railroad route from the Sacramento to the Willamette Valley, and who now retraced his steps to Fort Lane. The small garrison at Fort Orford was not available, and Fitzgerald s company was during the month ordered to reenforce Major Rains at The Dalles; hence one company of dragoons and one of infantry constituted the regular force which could be employed in the defence of the south country during the com ing winter.

18 The original orders are to be found in DowelVs Or. Ind. Wars, MS., vol. i. 45, 47, 53.

19 M. C. Barkwell wrote Ambrose that at his request R. L. Williams would raise a company for the protection of that locality. The settlers about Althouse, on Illinois River, petitioned to have Theoron Crook empowered to raise a company to range the mountains thereabout; signed by Hiram Rice, J. J. Rote, Frederick Rhoda, Lucius D. Hart, S. Matthews, Charles F. Wil son, Elias Winkleback, S. P. Duggan, John Morrow, Allen Knapp, W. H. B. Douglas, Win Lane, J. T. Maun, Geo. H. Grayson, R. T. Brickley, J. H. Huston, L. Coffey, H. Kaston, John Murphy, B. B. Brockway, A. L. Scott, Geo. W. Comegys, James C. Castleman, D. 1). Drake, John R. Hale, E. R. Crane, Alden Whitney, Joshua Harlan, S. H. Harper, M. P. Howard, R. 8. A. Col well, George Lake, Thomas Lake, George Koblence, Jacob Randbush, Peter Colean, U. S. Barr, William Lance, Robert Rose, N. D. Palmer, James Hole, E. D. Cohen, Sigmund Heilner, Wm Chapman, John E. Post, John W. Merideth, A. More, ThosFord, and Gilharts. DowelVs Or. Ind. Wars, MS., vol. i. 33-5.

The white men of Phoenix mills, Illinois Valley, of Deer Creek, and Galice Creek also petitioned for permission to raise companies for defence, and the outlying settlements prayed i or armed guards to be sent them. The petition from Phoenix mills was signed by S. M. Waite, S. Colver, Joseph Tracy, Jarius F. Kennedy, M. M. Williams, and J. T. Gray; that from Illinois Val ley and Deer Creek by John D. Post, William Chapman, G. E. Briggs, J. K.

GENERAL UPRISING. 377

Where the people in remote or isolated situations asked for armed guards, a few men were despatched to those localities as soon as they could be armed. 20 Two young women, Miss Hudson and Miss Wilson, having: been murdered 21 while travelling on the Ores-

o o

cent City road, October 10th, A. S. Welton was as signed the duty of keeping open a portion of that highway, over which was carried most of the goods which entered the Illinois and Rogue River valleys at this time; guards being also afforded to pack-trains on the various routes to prevent their capture by the Indians. Considering the obstacles to be overcome, and the nature of the service, the organization of the 9th regiment was remarkably expeditious and com plete, and its operations were well conducted.

The first engagement between the volunteers and Indians was on Rogue River, where W. B. Lewis of company E was encamped on Skull bar, a short dis tance below the mouth of Galice Creek. Scouts re ported the enemy near, and evidently preparing an attack. In camp were all the miners from the dig gings in the vicinity, including nine Chinamen, who had been robbed and driven from their claims, and several Indian women and boys who had been cap tured.

The bar is on the south side of the river, with a high mountain in the background, covered with a dense growth of hazel and young firs. Around the camp for some distance the thickets were cut away, so as to afford no harbor for lurking savages, and a

Knight, A. J. Henderson, William B. Hay, L. Reeves, Joseph Kirby, R. T. Olds, .Samuel White, William E. Randolph, Frederick Rhoda, L. I). Hart, Alexander McBride, C. C. Luther, S. Scott, O. E. Riley, J. T. L. Mills, and Coltinell. On the 26th a company was organized in Illinois Valley. Orrin T. Root was chosen captain, and sent to Jacksonville for his commission. In this way most of the companies were formed.

20 On the 5th of Nov. Ross ordered (Gardner with 10 men to protect Thompson s place on Applegate Creek. F. R. Hill was ordered to raise a company for Grave Creek, etc.

21 Evans 1 Protection to Immigrants, 59. This is a compilation of docu ments on the subject of the protection afforded by Walker s company in 1854, with statistics of Indian outrages. The same matter is in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 46, 35th cong. 2d sess.

378 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

breast-work of logs thrown up on the side most ex posed to attack.

On the 17th of October the bushes were found to be alive with savages. J. W. Pickett made a charge with six men, who were so warmly received that they were glad to retreat, Pickett being killed. Lieuten ant Moore then took a position under a bank, on the side attack was expected, which he held four hours, exposed to a heavy fire; he and nearly half of his men were wounded, when they were compelled to re treat. One of the men, being mortally shot, fell be fore reaching the shelter of the camp, and a comrade, Allan Evans, in the effort to bring him in, was severely wounded. Captain Lewis was three times struck.

The Indians, discovering that the weak point of the volunteer force was on the left, made a bold attack, in which they lost one of their most noted Shasta warriors. Finding they could not dislodge the volunteers with balls, they shot lighted arrows into their camp. All day the firing was kept up, and during the battle every house in the mining town of Galice Creek was burned except the one occu pied as the company s headquarters. By night one third of the company of thirty-five were killed and wounded. 25 Thereupon the enemy retired, their loss not ascertained.

"I am proud to say," wrote Lewis to his colonel, "that we fought the hardest battle ever fought this side of the Rocky Mountains. More than 2,500 shots from the enemy, but every man stood his ground, and fought the battle of a lover of his coun- try."

On the day of the battle Ross wrote Smith, at Fort Lane, that Chief John of Scott Valley had gone up Applegate Creek with eighty warriors; and that Williams was in that vicinity with a limited

22 Killed, J. W. Pickett, Samuel Saunders; mortally wounded, Benjamin Taft, Israel D. Adams; severely wounded, Lieut Wm A. J. Moore, Allan Evans, Milton Blackledge, Joseph Umpqua, John Ericson, and Captain W. B. Lewis. Report of Capt Lewis, in LowtWs Or. Ind. War., MS., ii. 18.

STRUGGLES AGAIXST DESTINY. 379

force; 23 also that J. B. Wagoner 24 and John Hillman had on the 19th been despatched to Galice Creek.

It was all of no use. Let them kill and steal and burn never so bravely, the fate of the savages was fixed beforehand; and that not by