Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 1/Col. George B. Currey's Tribute to the Ox Whip


(Reprinted from Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association.)

My task is to call from dust and dark forgetfulness that advance banner of Americanism and progress the ox whip. Its crack was the command "Forward to the nation." Its sharp, keen accent proclaimed that obstacles to prayers must be overcome. It waved aloft on the prairies of the "Old West," and pointing to the new, a vast throng took up the westward march, which, keeping step to the music of destiny, dashed across the broad Missouri, rolled a living tide up the grassy slope of the Platte, scaled the imperial heights of the Rocky Mountains, and with "the tread of a giant and shout of a conquerer" defied the heat, dust, thirst and hunger, the desert heart of the continent, leaped the Blue Mountains, paused but quailed not on the banks of the deep, wide Columbia, where again the potential crack is heard and the mighty, "rock-ribbed" walls of the Cascades are stormed, and as the line rolls bravely over the giddy summit the exultant driver gives a grand triumphant crack into the stolid face of grand old Hood, the storm-clad sentinel of the mountain fastness. The people have reached their goal. The spell is broken. The errand has lost its magic, its mission has been accomplished. A state, with freedom's diadem effulgent on its brow salutes the eye, and dipping its young hand in the Pacific completes the baptism of human liberty and proclaims an "ocean-bound republic." All hail and honor to the ox whip, the symbol of the grand, achieving force of its age.

Note—A Correction—Col. George B. Currey was the author of "The Tribute to the OX Whip," not Col. George L. Curry, as printed in this number.