THE QUARTERLY OF THE Oregon Historical Society.
Volume X MARCH, 1909 Number 1
[The Quarterly disavows responsibiKty for the positions taken by contributors to its pages.]
DOCUMENTS RELATIVE TO WARRE AND VAVASOUR'S MILITARY RECONNOISSANCE IN OREGON, 1845-6.
Edited by Joseph Schafer.
The expedition of Lieutenants Warre and Vavasour to Oregon in 1845-6 has been noted by several writers, among them H. H. Bancroft in his History of Oregon. References to the same incident occur Hkewise in the written recollections of some of the pioneer settlers of the Willamette Valley, as, for example, those of Jesse Applegate. But the matter has never been made prominent because the fragmentary informa- tion available failed to reveal to anyone — either pioneer or historian — the real significance of that expedition which was in its very nature secret. It was known that the gentlemen concerned in it were British officers and it was supposed they were upon some secret mission to obtain information for their government respecting conditions in Oregon ; it was also thought that they were spying upon Dr. McLoughlin, the local manager of the Hudson's Bay Company at the instance of Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Company's terri- tories in America. Still, a good deal of mystery has sur- rounded the subject, the nearest approach to a correct interpretation of the objects of the mission being the brief statement contained in Father DeSmet's Oregon Missions," published in 1847.
Fortunately, the whole matter can now be cleared up; for, among the manuscript records of the British Government relating to the Oregon question, there was recently found a complete documentary history of the Warre- Vavasour mission. Many of the papers relating to it were duplicated, one copy in the records of the War Office and one in those of the Foreign Office; a complete file is contained in the Foreign Office records relating to America, volume 457. This volume in the Public Record Office is labeled on the back, "Warre and Vavasour," and all the papers, charts, etc., contained in it have reference to their expedition. The copies presented herewith were executed by the writer, in part from the War Office copies and in part from those in F. O. America 457, as the one copy or the other was found to be the more legible. A very little supplemental matter is taken from other places, as indicated in the citations. The sketch maps and charts were traced for the writer from the originals contained in F. O. America 457, by Lily Abbott Schafer.
The expedition has its origin at that point in the history of the American-British controversy over Oregon, which, in a dramatic aspect, appears to have been the most critical. The negotiations between Secretary Calhoun and Mr. Pakenham in 1844, though bringing forward conspicuously the new American interest based upon the colonization of Oregon by American pioneers, had yielded no tangible results, while the presidential campaign of the same year issued in the election of Mr. Polk, on a platform pledging his party to the "reannexation of Texas and the re-occupation of Oregon." The expiring session of the 28th Congress, sharing the eagerness of President Tyler to carry out these features of Democratic policy, busied itself with both questions and actually settled that relating to Texas.
The President had recommended the passage of a law calculated to encourage emigration into the Oregon territory, and for extending to American settlers there the benefit of legal protection to person and property; but he was careful to limit the contemplated jurisdiction in such a way that it would not involve the assumption of sovereignty over the territory. The Congress was in no mood to discriminate with nicety between the powers actually possessed under the treaty of joint-occupation and those which it was felt by the western members ought to be exerted for the protection and encouragement of the pioneers who had crossed the continent in order to settle the Oregon country. Accordingly, the House of Representatives on February 3, 1845, by a great majority passed a "Bill to organize a Territorial Government in the Oregon Territory." This measure looked to the eventual assumption by the United States of sovereignty over the whole region west of the Rockies and between the parallels of 42 degrees and 54 degrees and 40 minutes. It provided for the assignment of land to settlers, the erection of a fort at the mouth of the Columbia, and other acts which manifested a design to disregard the British claims in the country. Forts were likewise to be erected along the route leading through South Pass in order to facilitate emigration into Oregon.
Even before this bill was known to have passed the House, the British cabinet, who were fully informed of the temper of Congress, had become alarmed over the situation of affairs on the Columbia. They feared an infraction of the treaty of joint occupation by the United States and were concerned lest the posture of affairs in the Oregon country might favor what they considered the sinister plans of the American government. It was important to know precisely how strong the Americans in Oregon were in comparison with the British traders and settlers. "You seem confident," wrote Sir Robert Peel on the 23d of February, 1845, to Lord Aberdeen, "that we have the upper hand on the banks of the Columbia—that the settlers connected with the Hudson's Bay Company are actually stronger than the settlers, the subjects of the United States, are at present. Have you carefully ascertained this fact? If our subjects are the stronger at this present time, may not their superiority be speedily weakened or destroyed by the accession of fresh strength to the Americans?" He desired Lord Aberdeen to prepare a circular memorandum on American relations, especially the Oregon question, for tTie information of members of the cabinet. He suggested, likewise, the advisability of sending a frigate to the Columbia and the placing of a small artillery force on shore. The Foreign Office at once applied to Sir John Pelly, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in London, for information relative to the settlements in Oregon, and received in answer an extract from Sir George Simpson's report, dated Red River, 20th June, 1844. In this Sir George notices the large influx of American settlers, "from 700 to 800 souls," in the fall of 1843, the progress of the movement for the establishment of a provisional government in Oregon, and concludes: "American influence, I am sorry to find, predominates very much, as, out of a population of about 3,000 souls, not more than one-third are British subjects."
A few days after this the news was received from Mr. Pakenham that the House of Representatives had passed the Oregon bill, and that the Senate was more likely to pass it than not to pass it should time permit. Thereupon Lord Aberdeen notified the Admiralty of the necessity of increased vigilance on the part of Great Britain, and suggested that "Rear Admiral Sir George Seymour should himself visit the Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 5 (Oregon) Coast at an early period in the CoUingwood with a view to give a feeling of security to our own settlers in the country and to let the Americans see clearly that Her Majesty's Government are alive to their proceedings and prepared, in case of necessity, to oppose them." No hostile measure, how- ever, was to be taken, until it should be seen how the Senate would act on the Oregon bill.* The Senate, probably for lack of time, failed to pass the bill; but the same dispatch, of March 4, in which Pakenham reported this comforting fact to his government contained the aggravating and disquieting news that President Polk, in his inaugural of that date, had pronounced the American claim to the whole of Oregon "clear and unquestionable."! This seemed to confirm the worst suspicions based upon the attitude of the late Congress, and since the new Congress was pledged in advance to the President's policy, there seemed not much hope of escape from serious difficulty over the Oregon question. The London newspapers struck a warlike note, the Govern- ment leaders in the two houses of Parliament spoke out in tones of clear defiance, declaring that Britain, too, had rights in Oregon which were "clear and unquestionable," which rights the Government could and would defend against the aggressions of the United States. The discussion in Parliament occurred on the evening of April 4th ; and so strong and unanimous was the sentiment revealed that it was deemed important to communicate promptly to the United States the news of what had passed; the royal mail steamer, due to sail that day, was detained 24 hours in order that a report of these proceedings might be included in the Government mail for America.t On this mail steamer, sailing from England April 5th, went also Sir George Simpson, armed with the documents now
- F. O. America 440. Letter dated the stli of March, 1845.
tThe news came first by a New York sailing packet on March 27th. See Everett's despatch to the State Department dated London, April 2, 1845. $See Everett's despatch No. 302 of April 16, 1845. 6 Joseph Schafer printed for the first time which enabled him to set in motion the expedition of Warre and Vavasour for the purpose of making a military reconnoisance of Oregon. Sir George had prepared his memorandum on the Oregon question"* on the 29th of March, apparently after the flurry of excitement inci- dent to the news of Polk's belligerent inaugural had set in. He proposed, first, the establishment of a small military force at Red River for the protection of the Company's interests there, also the embodying of a force of native militia in that country. Secondly, for the defense of Oregon, he recom- mended that two sailing vessels of w^ar and two steamships should be stationed on that coast. The latter were intended for service in the Columbia. He suggested that a large body of marines should be carried in the warships, and that a force of some two thousand natives might be organized under Eng- lish officers for service within the territory and on its frontiers. His most specific recommendation was that Cape Disappoint- ment should be taken by the British and a strong battery erected thereon, which, under the conditions of navigation prevailing at the mouth of the Columbia, would absolutely control the channel of the river. Simpson's suggestions, whether invited or not, appear to have made an impression on the cabinet, and on April 2d Sir George was bidden to an interview with Sir Robert Peel and Lord Aberdeen at the residence of the prime minister, f The conference resulted in the determination to send to the Columbia, overland from Canada, one or two military officers who should obtain "a, general knowledge of the capabilities of the Oregon territory in a military point of view, in order that we may be enabled to act immediately and with effect in defense of our rights in that quarter, should those rights be infringed by any hostile aggression or encroachment on the part of the United States."! It was at first intended to send an officer from London, but the final decision was to instruct
- See page 13.
tSimpson to Pelly, July 8, 1845. tAberdeen to Lord Stanley, April 3, 1845. See page 16. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 7 the Governor General of Canada, Lord Metcalfe, and through him the Commander of the Forces there, Sir Richard Jackson, to select one or two officers for the service. They were admonished to consult with Sir George Simpson in regard to the instructions which should be furnished the officers selected. These officers were to proceed to Oregon as private gentle- men, and the objects of their mission were to be kept secret; they were to report by any safe opportunity to the Governor General of Canada, and through him to the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office. The Commander of the Forces in Canada selected his Aide- de-camp, Lieut. Henry J. Warre and Lieut. M. Vavasour of the Royal Engineers, who were instructed to report themselves to Sir George Simpson and to be ready *'to proceed with him to the west" ; they were also to regulate themselves according to his views, and conform in practise, to the instructions he alone, from his knowledge of the intentions of His Majesty's Government, and of the country can give."* "It would be absurd," says the Commander, "to attempt to give detailed instructions for the survey of a country of which the instructor knows nothing." So he refers the officers to Simpson, but makes, nevertheless, a few suggestions for the special benefit of Lieut. Warre. He is advised to read a manuscript book on the spirit of military surveying, also the instructions for the commissariat lately issued ; if possible, he is to study Fre- mont's report on the country to which he is going, and the reports of the American Secretary of War, 1844, "recom- mending measures which in their impatience to occupy the disputed territory the present government of the United States appear disposed to overlook, although so obviously prudent, that they may be adopted when that government finds that its plans cannot be carried into effect without opposition." This was the project of creating a new territory — ultimately a new state — on the eastern border of Oregon. The plans for the defense of the western states, and the journal of Colonel
- Memorandum for Lieutenant Warre, Ad. Camp, Montreal, May 3, 1845.
See page 20. 8 Joseph Schafer Dodge's military reconnoisance of the far west, were to be studied. The point was, to see how similar expeditions, if directed with hostile intent, toward the Oregon country, could be cut off. Lastly, the officers were to be prepared to assist Sir George Simpson, should he deem it wise to develop some sort of military organization for- the "settlers and other inhabitants" of the Company's territories ; they should be pru- dent in avoiding "any attempt to imitate the tactics or disci- pline of regular troops." The special instructions furnished Lieut. Vavasour by Col- onel Halloway, Commander of the Royal Engineers, required him to examine and report on all existing British posts, their availability for defensive purposes or the means of making them available. He was also to examine as an engineering expert the places Sir George might point out as naturally suited to the erection of defenses for the whole country, and to keep in mind the necessity of haste in the construction of such defenses. Sir George Simpson, after he had made a run to Washing- ton to see Mr. Pakenham, who dissuaded him from a plan to actually fortify Cape Disappointment in time of peace*, took the young officers in charge and conveyed them to Red River, where they arrived on the 5th of June. He employed them in the study of the defenses of that territory till the i6th of the same month, when they were sent forward, under the convoy of Mr. Peter Skeen Ogden to the Columbia. While at Rainy Lake, en route to Red River, Simpson had addressed to Warre and Vavasour a confidential letter summing up his suggestions, virtual instructions under the terms of Sir Richard Jackson's instructions of an earlier date.f Her Majesty's Government had confided to him, so Simpson wrote, that the object of the military reconnoisance was to gain a "knowledge of the char- acter and the resources of the country situated between the Sault St. Marie and the shores of the Pacific, and of the prac-
- Pakenham correspondence, F. O. America, 426.
tSimpson to Warre and Vavasour, 30th May, 1845. See page 25. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 9 ticability of forming military stations therein and conveying troops thither." He called their attention first to the cordon of posts the United States were forming — as he said — along the Great Lakes, on the Mississippi, and from the Missouri westward to the Rocky Mountains, a project calculated to give them a powerful influence over the Indian tribes which would be a most important preparation in the event of a war with Great Britain, since the British frontier was quite unpro- tected. He proposed certain defenses on the Canadian side, one in the neighborhood of Fort William on Lake Superior, another at Red River. Simpson described in rather optimistic terms the route they were to traverse from Red River to the Oregon country, declaring in advance of their scientific inves- tigation that troops, either cavalry or infantry, might by that route be forwarded to the mouth of the Columbia." He sug- gested, for the Oregon division of their work, a survey of Cape Disappointment, which Mr. Ogden had private instruc- tions to take possession of for the Company, with a view to its ultimate occupation for military purposes by the Government; also the examination of Tongue Point, places between Fort Vancouver and Cape Disappointment on the north side of the Columbia controlling the ship channel, and the settled portion of the Willamette Valley. Mr. Ogden had orders to obtain possession, for the Company, of any points deemed important in a military point of view. In accordance with his consti- tutional mental habit, Simpson described with a genial expan- siveness the resources of the country for the sustentation of troops. He ordered Ogden to provide all the means necessary to enable Warre and Vavasour to make their inspection and to support them in every portion of their work ; Ogden was to keep their mission a secret and give out that they were known to the officers of the Company merely as private gen- tlemen traveling "for the pleasure of field sports and scientific pursuits."* The character they were expected to sustain probably ex-
- Simpson to Ogden, 30th May, 1845. See page 35. lO
Joseph Schafer plains the nature of the preparations the officers made at Vancouver after their arrival and before beginning the execu- tion of their orders. They provided themselves with superfine beaver hats, at $8.88 apiece ; frock coats, at $26.40 apiece ; cloth vests, figured vests, tweed trousers and buckskin trousers; tooth brushes, nail brushes, hair brushes, fine handkerchiefs, shirts, shoes ; also tobacco, pipes, wines, whiskies, extract of roses — and in short everything absolutely essential to high- class travelers in an American wilderness, whose bills are paid not by themselves but by their government. They arrived at Vancouver on the 25th of August and made their first Oregon report on the 26th of October.* They pro- nounced the route over which they passed the Rocky Moun- tains to be "quite impracticable for the transport of troops, with their provisions, stores, etc." In a word, they declare that the facilities for conveying troops to the Oregon Terri- tory, by the route we have lately passed, do not exist to the extent Sir George Simpson represents." Nor do they regard the route as practicable for immigrants with wagons ; a small party of Canadian voyageurs did indeed pass to Oregon with their families, but they were forced to abandon their wagons on the east side of the mountains. On the other hand, by the route which the American immi- grants follow, the passage of the mountains is easy ; hundreds of wagons had been brought through to the Columbia in the last three years. That troops might be sent from the United States to Oregon, is evident from the fact (of) 300 dragoons of the United States regular army having accompanied the last emigrants to '(South Pass), ostensibly for the pro- tection of the said emigrants from the hostile bands of Indians infesting the Eastern Plains." They discuss the attempts which had been made by the settlers to open a route from the east side of the Cascades direct to the Willamette, and report the existence of a southern road known only to the Hudson's
- See page 39. The report they sent home from Red River June loth, 1845,
is not included among the documents printed in the following pages. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. II Bay people, by means of which it would be possible to enter the Willamette Valley from a point near the California bound- ary.* In their historical sketch of the Willamette settlement Warre and Vavasour emphasize the importance of the emigra- tion of 1843. They say : 'Till the year 1842-3 not more than thirty American families were resident in the country. In 1843 emigration of about 1000 persons with a large num- ber of wagons, horses, cattle, etc., arrived on the Willamette, having traversed the vast desert section of country between the Missouri, the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia. . . . This emigration scattered themselves over the face of the country." They estimate the 1844 emigration to be about equal in number to that of 1843, and that of 1845, which was just arriving, was more numerous than either, probably two thousand persons; they had five hundred and seventy wagons drawn by oxen. Of special interest to American readers is the view expressed by these British officers relative to politi- cal conditions in Oregon. They speak of the large American majority in the country from the year 1844, and of the diffi- culty the Hudson's Bay Company experienced in protecting their possessions against the desperate characters" among them. Yet the British and the Canadian settlers held out against the American project to form a provisional govern- ment in 1843. Finally, in 1845, the leading gentlemen of both parties formed a coalition. . . . An organization was established, neutralizing the preponderating American influ- ence. . . . This compact is independent of the United States Government. Emigrants of all nations, willing to up- hold the law . . . are enrolled as members. . . . Nor could (if we can express an opinion) a more judicious course have been pursued by all parties, for the peace and prosperity of the community at large." This is the view of the union set forth in several letters of Doctor McLoughlin and may be
- This road was opened the following summer by a party of American pioneers
living in Oregon whose leader was Jesse Applegate. 12 Joseph Schafer regarded as the Hudson's Bay Company view, which at this time the British officers accepted without quahfication. Why this view of the case is so radically changed in the final report,* written apparently at Red River in the month of June following, we can only surmise. But at that time they say: "In conclusion, we must beg to be allowed to observe, with an unbiased opinion [possibly they considered the earlier opinion biased by the fact of their dependence upon the Com- pany's officers at Vancouver] that whatever may have been the orders, t or the motives of the gentlemen m charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts on the west of the Rocky Mountains, their policy has tended to the introduction of the American settlers into the country. We are convinced that without their assistance not thirty American families would now have been in the settlement." W^ithout the help afforded them by the British traders, through motives of humanity — as the officers are willing to believe — the first American emi- grants to Oregon could not have held out against the ravages of hunger or the attacks of hostile Indians; since these were succored — that is, the parties of 1841-42 — others in ever in- creasing numbers, were encouraged to make their way to the Columbia in 1843, 1844 1845. The British party are now in the minority, and the gentlemen of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany have been obliged to join the organization, without any reserve, except the mere form of the oath of office. Their lands are invaded— themselves insulted — and they now require the protection of the British Government against the very people to the introduction of whom they have been more than accessory." The reports sent home by Warre and Vavasour reached the Government too late to exert an influence upon the negotia- tion with the United States concerning the Oregon boundary question. But they reflect the nature of the impression that conditions in the Oregon country in 1845 were calculated to
- See page 65.
tWe now know that their orders were to treat the American settlers in a liberal manner. See Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev., XIV, p. 70, and ff. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 13 produce on the British mind, and since those conditions were actually brought to the attention of the Government as early as February, 1846, by the other agents whom Warre and Vavasour encountered in Oregon, we have good reason to believe that the attitude of Great Britain in the final stage of the negotiations was not unaffected by them.* [No. I.] Simpson's Memorandum in Reference to the Oregon Question.* Dated Hudson's Bay House, London, March 29, 1845. Should the recent proceedings in the Congress of the United States on the Ore.s^on question result in hostilities between the two countries, I think it would be absolutely necessary for the protection of the Company's interests in Hudson's Bay that a small military force should be stationed at Red River. Be- sides this force I think it would be very desirable that a com- pany of riflemen should be embodied in the country from our native half caste population, who are admirably adapted for guerilla warfare, being exceedingly active, and, by the con- stant use of the gun from childhood, good marksmen. It would be necessary, however, to forward from Canada along with the troops a sufficient number of officers to command and discipline this corps. The officers and men should be forwarded from Canada, proceeding by steam to the Sault St. Marie, and I would pro- vide craft to convey them from thence to Fort William, where
- Lieut. Wm. Peel, son of Sir Robert Peel, arrived in London February 9 or
10, 1846, bearing the report of the Hon. Capt. John Gordon, brother of Lord Aberdeen, in command of the ship America, which visited Puget Sound in the autumn of 1845. Captain Gordon's report contains a censure upon the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company similar to that quoted above from Warre and Vavasour's second report. Possibly this fact explains their changed attitude be- tween the first and second report.
- The memorandum found in F. O. America 440 following extracts from a letter
of John McLoughlin dated July 4, 1844. Joseph Schafer they should arrive in the course of the month of August. From Fort William they would be forwarded in light canoes to Red River, each canoe taking ten men, who would have to work their passage, experienced bowsmen and steersmen being pro- vided in the country. The Company's agents at Red River would conduct the commisariat department better than strangers. For the protection of British interests on the Columbia and N. W. Coast, I would moreover suggest that two sailing ships of war and two steamers should be stationed there. It would be highly important to get possession of Cape Disappointment and to erect thereon a strong battery, which would efifectually command the mouth of the river, as unless the southern chan- nel may have been found practicable since I was there,* ships entering the river must pass so close under the Cape that shells might be dropped almost with certainty upon their decks from the battery. The Columbia River, owing to the difficulty of ingress and egress, cannot be depended upon as a harbor ; and to the south- ward there is no good harbor nearer than the Bay of San Francisco in about 40 degrees N. Lat., but in the Straits of de Fuca, Puget Sound, Hood's Canal, and the Gulf of Georgia there are many excellent harbours of easy access. Although it might be unsafe for sailing ships of war to enter the Co- lumbia River, steamers would find frequent opportunities of going in and out, even in winter, and in summer the weather is so uniformly fine they could make certain of crossing the bar almost any time. There should be a large body of marines attached to the ships of war, for boating and land service ; and a force of about 2000 men, half breeds and Indians, might be collected on both sides of the mountains that could on a short notice be rendered disposable for active service in any part of the Oregon territory. It would be necessary, however, that suffi-
- In the fall of the year 1841. See Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev., XIV,
p. 70, and ff. Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 15 cient officers should be at hand to command and discipline these people. The country is so productive in grain and cattle, and fish are so abundant, that such a force as I have above pointed out could with a little preparatory arrangement be provisioned for twelve months certain. Should the present negotiations happily result in a partition of the country, the branch of the Columbia called Lewis River would be a satisfactory boundary as regards British interests. But if that cannot be obtained the parallel of 49° might be continued as a boundary line until it strikes the north branch of the Columbia, which from that point should be the boun- dary to the sea. If the 49th parallel be adopted as the boun- dary line the whole way from the mountains to the sea, then it would be indispensable to have Vancouver's Island and the free navigation of the Straits of de Fuca secured to us, as in consequence of the prodigious tideway in Johnston's Straits it would be impossible for trading ships to reach Fraser's River by the northern channel. On such partition of the country it would as a matter of course be necessary that the Company and British settlers should be secured in their present possessions by a provision in the treaty, and the free navigation of the Columbia River, as the only practicable communication to the east side of the mountains, as well as the right of way by land (should a prac- ticable route be found) from the Gulf of Georgia to the Co- lumbia, should be secured to us. The provision in the treaty should also secure to us the undisturbed possession of the country now occupied by the Puget Sound Company, the farms on the Cowlitz — in the neighborhood of Vancouver and on the Multnomah Island — our water privileges on the Wil- lamette River, our posts on the Columbia and Umpqua Rivers, and all other establishments now occupied by the Company.*
- It will he seen that the above outline of a treaty respecting boundaries and
possessory rights in Oregon resembles closely the treaty finally proposed by Great Britain in June, 1846. But three years earlier, March 10, 1842, Simpson urged the government of Great Britain not to yield "any portion of the country north of _ the Columbia River." See Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev. XIV, 87. This is a good index to the progress of British sentiment on the question during the period in which Oregon was being settled by immigrants from the United States. i6 Joseph Schafer It is very desirable that Lord Aberdeen should instruct Mr. Pakenham to communicate with me confidentially on the state of the neg-otiations respecting the Oregon boundary in order that I might be prepared to act according to circum- stances without the loss of time necessary for communicating with England. (Signed) George Simpson, March 29, 1845. Hudson's Bay House. To Sir J. H. Pelly Bart, Gov. of the H. B. Co. [No. 2.] Foreign Office, April 3, 1845. Confidential, to James Stephen, Esq. Sir : I am directed by the Earl of Aberdeen to request that you will state to Lord Stanley that Lord Aberdeen is of opin- ion that, considering the excitement which appears to exist in the United States on the subject of the Oregon Territory, the uncompromisingf boldness with which the claims of the United States to that Territory have been put forward, and the dec- laration recently made by the new President in his inaugural address, that he considers the right of the United States to that country "clear and unquestionable," it will be necessary to take without delay proper measures for obtaining a general knowled<?re of the capabilities of the Oregon Territory in a military point of view, in order that we may be enabled to act immediately and with effect in defense of our rights in that quarter, should those rights be infrinsred by any hostile ao^gression or encroachment on the part of the United States. With this object Lord Aberdeen would propose to Lord Stanley that an instruction should be prepared -for Lord Met- calfe [Gov. Gen. of Canada] to be sent out by this next packet which sails on the 5th instant, directing him to communicate confidentially with Sir Richard Jackson [Commander of the Forces, Canada,], with a view to obtaining from him some capable officer, or, if it should be thought necessary, two offiWarre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 17 cers, to be left entirely to the selection of Sir R. Jackson, who should proceed as private travelers to the Oregon Territory, and examine the important parts of the country, in order to obtain as accurate a knowledge of it as may be requisite for the future and efficient prosecution of military operations in it, should such operations become necessary. Sir George Simpson, the Acting Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in America, who proceeds to Canada by this mail, will be ready to place himself in communication with Lord Metcalfe, and with Sir R. Jackson, and to impart to them his views as to the best mode of efficiently carrying out the object which is contemplated, as well as to communicate all the practical knowledge, which he possesses in an eminent degree, of the country which it is intended to visit and sur- vey. He will further be prepared to assist the officer or offi- cers who may be dispatched on this service with all the means which, as deputy governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, he has at his disposal. Whatever expenses may be incurred in this expedition may be defrayed by this office, or by the Colonial Department, as may hereafter be determined whenever the accounts shall have been sent in. But it will probably, in the first instance, be found more convenient that the necessary arrangements for providing the officers and their attendants with everything that may be necessary should be made by Lord Metcalfe. It is almost needless to say that perfect secrecy should, so far as possible, be preserved as to the expedition and its objects. The officer charged with the expedition might, if Lord Stan- ley approves of that course, be instructed to report his pro- ceedings by any safe opportunity which may present itself through the Governor General of Canada under flying seal to the Colonial Department, by which Department those re- ports would be communicated to Lord Aberdeen. (Signed) H. U. Addington. i8 Joseph Schafer [Endorsement] L. S. [Lord Stanley] : I presume you know this measure was in contemplation. I propose to mail ja copy of this letter by tonight's mail to Lord Metcalfe for his guidance. Stephen [apparently]. [Second endorsement, different hand: Send by this mail Secret." S[tanley], April 4.] Dispatched 4th of April in bag — delivered to Captain Taylor. Downing Street, 4th of April, 1845. Secret. My Lord : I transmit herewith enclosed for your Lordship's guidance a copy of a letter which has been re- ceived from the foreign office suggesting that two military officers should be dispatched by your Lordship to the Oregon Territory for the purposes described in that letter, and I have to instruct your Lordship to take the necessary measures ac- cordingly. I have, etc., Stanley. The Governor General, The Rt. Honorable Lord Metcalfe, K. G. C. G. Confidential. 3d of April, 1845. [No. 3.] Secret. His Excellency, Sir R. D. Jackson, Commander of the Forces Govt. House, Montreal, May 2d, 1845. Sir: Referring to the personal communications which I have had with your Excellency, relating to the nomination of two military officers for special service in the Oregon Terri- tory, I proceed to apprise you of the views of Her Majesty's Government in this mission, conveyed to me by instructions from the Secretary of the State for the Colonies. The officers whom you have selected will proceed in com- pany with Sir George Simpson, the acting Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Oregon Territory, as private travelers, and will carefully examine the important features of the country, in order to obtain as accurate a knowledge of it as may be required for the future and efficient prosecuWarre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 19 tion of military operations in it, should such operations be- come necessary. Sir George Simpson, who possesses in an eminent degree a practical knowledge of the country which it is intended to visit and examine, will be prepared with all the means which, as acting Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, he has at his disposal, to assist the ofificers to effi- ciently carry out the important duties entrusted to them. Whatever expenses may be incurred in the expedition will be defrayed by Her Majesty's Government whenever the ac- counts thereof shall be submitted, but the officers may in the meantime require some advances to be accounted for here- after which Sir George Simpson is prepared to supply. The officers will report their proceedings to the Secretary of State for the Colonies and transmit their dispatches open, under sealed cover, to me by any safe opportunity which may present itself. It is especially to be borne in mind that perfect secrecy should, so far as possible, be preserved as to the expedition and its objects. It is scarcely necessary to add that cordial co-operation with Sir George Simpson, with reference to the objects of the mission, will be an essential part of the duties of the officers employed. I request that your Excellency will give such instructions to those officers as you may deem proper to enable them to accomplish the views of Her Majesty's Government. (Signed) Metcalfe. [No. 4.] Montreal, 3d May, 1845. The commander of the forces has been instructed by His Excellency, the Gov. General, to select two officers to accom- pany Sir George Simpson, Gov. of the Hudson's Bay Estab- lishments in British North America, upon a particular service of an important description. 20 Joseph Schafer The officers so selected are Lieut. Warre, Ad Camp to the Com. of the Forces, and Lieut. Vavasour, of the Rl. Engineers. These officers will report themselves, accordingly, to Sir George Simpson, and will hold themselves in readiness to proceed with him, at such time, and in such manner, as he may be pleased to point out to them. The enclosed letter from His Excellency, Lord Metcalfe, is transmitted to them for their guidance generally, in rela- tion to the objects of their mission and mode of transmitting their reports, etc. Specific instructions will be given to Lieut. Vavasour by the [officer] Commanding RI. Engineers with regard to subjects requiring engineering service. Both offi- cers will upon matters of interest common to both be regu- lated by the memorandum addressed by the Commander of the Forces to his Ad Camp, Lieut. Warre. (Signed) R. D. Jackson, Com. of the Forces. Memorandum of Lieut. Warre, Ad Camp. Montreal, May 3, 1845. 1. It would be absurd to attempt to give detailed instruc- tions for the ^survey of a country of which the instructor knows nothing. The officers who accompany Sir George Simpson for the purpose of affording military assistance must regulate them- selves according to his views, and conform, in practice, to the instructions, he alone, from his knowledge of the intentions of Her Majesty's Government and of the country, can give them. 2. Mr. Warre will do well to consider, in order to carry out the purpose of his particular line of duties, the general instructions given to officers of the Quarter Master General's Department. He is recommended to read with attention and reflect upon the "Reports" contained in a manuscript book now lent to Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 21 him exhibiting the spirit of military surveying by very able officers, and also the instructions for the commisariat, etc., as lately issued. 3. It would be desirable, if he have an opportunity, for him to read a report upon the country into which it is sup- posed he is now going, by Lieut. Fremont, United States Army, and the reports of the late Secretary of War of the United States (Mr. Wilkins) in Nov., 1844, recommending measures which in their impatience to occupy the disputed territory the present Government of the United States appear disposed to overlook, although so obviously prudent, that they may be adopted when that Government finds that its plans cannot be carried into effect without opposition. I advert to the establivshment of a new Territory" preparatory to the formation of a new state on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, before forming a new territory or state on the western side of the mountains. 4. He will pay attention to the plans proposed for the de- fense of the western states by General Gratiot, etc., and the extract given him of the journal of expedition under Colonel Dodge of the U. S. Army in 1835, from Fort Leavenworth to the Rocky Mountains and back by way of the Arkansas River. 5. It would be desirable to see how such sort of expedi- tions if carried into the disputed territory for hostile purposes might be interrupted or cut off. 6. It is not impossible that Sir George Simpson may deem it prudent to give to the settlers and other inhabitants con- nected with the country under the control of our British Com- panies some sort of military organization, toward which mili- tary advice and assistance may be required. In such cases the officers will be prudent in avoiding any attempts to imi- tate the tactics or discipline of regular troops. P. S. For the reasons given in No. i no attempt at instruc- tions is made as to the survey of particular rivers, mountains, 22 Joseph Schafer valleys or sea ports, or of the sea coast generally ; to all these Sir George Simpson will call attention in proportion to their importance. R. D. Jackson, Comr. of the Forces. [Enclosure : Extract from Col. Dodge's report, giving mainly routes and distances.] [No. 5.] CONFIDENTAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR LlEUT. VaVASOUR^ Royal Engr. 1. In consequence of confidential directions received from his Lordship, the Governor General, from Her Majesty's Gov- ernment, and of the orders which I have received from his Excellency, the Commander of the Forces, you will imme- diately proceed in company with Sir George Simpson, the Governor under the royal charter of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany, and use your utmost endeavors to obtain a general knowledge of the capabilities in a military point of view of such parts of the country as may be indicated to you by that officer, in order that the British Govt, may be enabled to act immediately and with effect, in case of any hostile aggression upon Her Majesty's dominions on the western coast of America. 2. To this end you are desired to proceed with Sir George Simpson, ostensibly in the capacity of a private individual, seeking amusement, but you will examine well the more im- portant parts of the country referred to, so as to guide the prosecution of military operations, should such operations be- come necessary. 3. As Sir George Simpson has been instructed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Afifairs to co-operate as much as possible with you, for the accomplishment of the important objects of your mission, and to impart to you his views as Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 23 to the best mode of efficiently carrying them out, and also to communicate to you all the practical and local knowledge which in an eminent degree he possesses, of the country to be visited, and to assist you with all the means, which in his official capacity he has at his disposal, you will in all respects be guided by and conform to his advice and instructions in the progress of this survey and special service entrusted to you. 4. You will be careful to preserve perfect secrecy as to the objects of the journey which you are to undertake, and by every safe opportunity you will report your departmental proceedings, and accompany your statements with illustra- tive sketches, addressing the same to me. 5. As all your communications will be transmitted for the information of Her Majesty's Government, through the Gov- ernor General, I need not express to you the necessity of pay- ing the utmost attention to the rendering of as full and at the same time of as accurate a representation as possible of what- ever may come under your observation. 6. It will, of course, be an important part of your duty to examine and report on all existing British posts, to ascertain and report if they be of a nature to resist any sudden attack, or whether they could be made so in a short space of time, likewise to examine and report the nature of the defenses which in your professional judgment might if required seem best adapted for the protection of such posts of the country, as Sir George Simpson may deem most exposed to attack; especially on the sea coast, bearing in mind the necessity of dispatch in their construction, and in all cases where sea bat- teries or redoubts on the coast of the Pacific or of large rivers being proposed, that the plans should show how works could be enclosed, have their exterior faces and lines flanked and ditched if practicable, and be supported by some proper de- scription of Keep either in the interior or gorge, and for the whole to be of more or less strength according to each precise locality and to the verbal or other communications which will be afforded to you by me. 24 Joseph Schafer 7. In all cases of proposed defense, you will state the prob- able cost, and means which may be available on the spot, as well as the time required for their construction, and of course you will forward sketches of each design. To save time and trouble much pains need not be spent in the preparation of drawings, outline sketches will suffice for illustrating your views, but the scale, compass bearings and peculiarities of site must be particularly shown. For the same reason of dis- patch, estimates of detail will not be required, but the founda- tion of your calculations of approximating estimates of ex- pense should be stated. 8. As the expenses which you may incur will be defrayed by the government, you will be careful to preserve and trans- mit statements of your disbursements, duly authenticated. 9. In conclusion, I am to point out to you the necessity of unanimity between yourself and the other officer associated with you on this service, and the local authorities, especially Sir George Simpson, the acting Governor of the British estab- lishments in the Oregon Territory, and finally as a general rule for your guidance you will observe all such instructions as you may receive from Sir George Simpson. 10. You will be pleased to address all your reports on engineer subjects to the Commanding Royal Engineer, Can- ada, in order that they may be submitted to the Commander of the Forces. (Signed) N. W. Hallo way. Col. on the Staff, Comr. Royal Engr., Canada. His Excellency, Sir Richard Jackson, has this day informed me that he has delivered to his A. D. C. Lieut. Warre, the officer with whom you are to proceed, a copy of the instruc- tions from the Secretary of State, and also certain instruc- tions which he will communicate to you confidentially, it be- ing his particular desire that in all respects you should act in concert and cordially together. (Signed) N. W. Hallow ay. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 25 [No. 6.] Sir G. Simpson to Warre and Vavasour 30TH May, 1845. Encampment Lac a la Pluie, 30 May, 1845. Confidential. H. J. Warre, M. Vavasour, Esquires, Red River Settlement. Gentlemen : Having been confidentially informed by Her Majesty's Government that the object of your present journey is to acquire a knowledge of the character and resources of the country situated between the Sault de St. Marie and the shores of the Pacific, and of the practicability of forming mil- itary stations therein and conveying troops thither, with a view, should it hereafter become necessary, to the occupa- tion thereof for military purposes, and having been requested to afford you every facility for acquiring such knowledge and to furnish you with such information as my experience might suggest, I beg to invite your attention to the following partic- ulars, which I think may be useful as enabling you to frame your report on the important object of your mission. You are aware that the United States are forming a cordon of military posts along their northern frontier, at Micheli- macinac, the Sault de St. Marie, La Pointe, on the western shore of Lake Superior, Prairie du Chien, Lake St. Peters, and Council Bluffs, and others, I understand, are in progress on the Missouri from that point to the Rocky Mountains, showing the importance they attach to their Indian frontier, and acquiring for them an influence among the surrounding native tribes, which would be highly important in the event of a war, while the trade and settlements along the British frontier are altogether unprotected in that way. Should Her Majesty's Government be desirous of afford- ing similar protection to the British settlements and interests, and of securing a similar influence over the Indian popula- tion in their neighborhood, I should consider that Point Meuron, on the Kaministaquoia River (falling into Lake Su- perior), about nine miles above the Hudson's Bay Company's 26 Joseph Schafer trading post of Fort William, situated in about 48° 30 min. N. Lat., and 89° W. Long., and Red River Settlement, at the outlet of Red River into Lake Winipeg, in 50° N. Lat. and 97° W. Long., are the only two points where such protection appears at present necessary or desirable, and at those places military posts could be more advantageously situated than in any part of the Indian country east of the Rocky Mountains. As regards the means of transport, troops, ordnance, mili- tary stores, etc., etc., could be conveyed to the Kaministaquoia River from Canada in steam or sailing vessels. The inter- course with the Sault is now so great that for many years past there has been a constant communication during the sea- son of open water, by steam and sailing vessels, to that point, and the Hudson's Bay Company have a sufficient number of decked and open craft on Lake Superior for any amount of transport that might be required as far as the Kaministaquoia River. The soil and climate of the banks of the Kaministaquoia are favorable for the production of various descriptions of grain, potatoes and garden stuffs, with pasturage for any quantity of cattle, and an inexhaustible supply of very fine fish in its immediate vicinity. There is a water communication of about 700 to 800 miles from the Kaministaquoia to Red River Settlement, through which you are now passing, but, owing to the obstruction arising from rapids and falls, it is practicable only for craft that can be carried over such obstructions, usually known as "portages." Bark canoes, capable of conveying 15 soldiers and about 30 cwt. of baggage and provisions, which can be navigated and carried across the portages by four men, are the most suitable craft for half that distance, say from the mouth, of the Kaministaquoia to Lac La Pluie, and boats capable of carrying 30 men with their provisions and luggage, can be employed from thence to Red River. If the troops were to render the quantum of assistance in working these craft which has frequently been afforded by women in the Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 27 Hudson's Bay Company's craft, the journey from Lake Supe- rior to Red River might be performed in about twenty days, but if they traveled merely as passengers, the work being per- formed by the bare number of experienced hands absolutely required in each craft, the journey would occupy four to six weeks. With the co-operation of the Hudson's Bay Company, who have always large depots of provision and craft on hand, a regiment might thus be conveyed to Red River Settlement in the course of one summer. The best mode, however, of con- ducting their transport would be through the agency of the H. B. Co., who, I have no doubt, would contract for the main- tenance and conveyance of troops with their baggage from Lake Superior to Red River Settlement after the rate of about forty shillings per man, if they were to assist in the transport, or about sixty shillings per man if conveyed as passengers. Point Meuron, the site I would recommend as a military post on the Kaministaquoia, is high ground, overlooking the river, and is not commanded by any other point within reach. The Indian population in that neighborhood is very thin, not exceeding 100 to 150 families, of the Chippeway tribe, mild and docile in their character, and entirely under the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company, whose posts they frequent and from whom they receive all their supplies of British manu- facture. The Hudson's Bay Company have four establishments on the route from Lake Superior to Red River Settlement, namely. Fort William, Lac a la Pluie, Rat Portage and Fort Alexander, where craft and all other necessary supplies and refreshment for troops could be provided. At Red River the Hudson's Bay Company have an agri- cultural settlement containing about 5000 inhabitants, con- sisting principally of their retired officers and servants, and their half caste families, and a few Indians. The country is beautiful, salubrious, and very productive in wheat, barley, 28 Joseph Schafer pease, etc., etc., cattle, sheep, swine and horses are very abun- dant, and the fisheries so productive that they would alone afford the inhabitants the means of living if all other resources failed. Salt is procured in the settlement from numerous saline springs in the neighborhood, and maple is so plentiful as to afford large supplies of sugar. The distance from the settlement to York Factory, the company's principal depot on the shores of Hudson's Bay, in communication with England, is about 700 miles. Lake Winnipeg, which is navigable by decked vessels, forms nearly half the distance. From thence to the coast the navigation, by a chain of rivers and lakes, is practically by boats of three and a half to four tons burden. The downward voyage with cargoes is usually performed in about 16 days, and the upward voyage in from five to six weeks. By that route such articles of British produce and manufacture as might be required in the country can be conveyed at a charge of about 15 per cent on English invoice prices. The Company have at Red River Settlement two establish- ments or forts, walled in and protected by bastions of suffi- cient extent to quarter a regiment, and from the facility of obtaining labor and stone, lime, brush, timber and other mate- rials, extensive buildings might be erected there at a very short notice. Red River Settlement is the most favorable situation in the Indian Territory east of the Rocky Mountains for a military depot, and large levies of troops might be there raised from the half caste population and the neighboring Indian tribes, who, when properly disciplined, would form such a force as would overcome many, and greatly harass all, the United States settlements on the Missouri. A detachment of about 200 regular troops, however, I should consider sufficient to form the nucleus of a force of several thousand natives, who from their activity and habits of life, are admirably adapted for guerilla warfare. The result of your own observations on the spot will, I have no doubt, confirm all I have said on this Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 29 subject, and in order that you may be the better able to pre- pare estimates of the expenses that might be incurred in forming the estabhshments I have suggested and in the main- tenance of troops, I beg to annex a tariff or price current list of labor and supplies of every description. From Red River Settlement, whither I have now the pleas- ure of conducting you, a party will be dispatched under the charge of Mr. Ogden, an influential officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, to conduct you from thence across land to the Saskatchewan River, and from thence across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Colville on the Columbia River. Horse traveling is the best and most expeditious mode of convey- ance by that route, and the journey may occupy 40 to 50 days, having been performed by me in the year 1841 in 47 days. Mr. Ogden's knowledge and experience will guard against privation, inconvenience or danger along that route. From Fort Colville you will be able to reach the Pacific in boats in five or six days, so that, leaving Red River about the 12 June you ought, according to the ordinary rate of traveling, to arrive at the mouth of the Columbia River in the Oregon Territory about the 12 August. From Red River you will find a fine open prairie country, which has been traversed by wheel carriages to the base of the Rocky Mountains, to a defile or pass situated in about 51° N. Lat., which, although impracticable for wheel carriages, is by no means difficult on horseback, having been lately passed by a large body of emi- grants' families from Red River Settlement. The country through which you will have to travel abounds with buffalo, deer and game, enabling the Hudson's Bay Company to col- lect depots of jerked meat, pemican, and other provisions to any extent at their trading stations of Forts Ellice, Felly, Carlton, Pitt and Edmonton, so that troops, either cavalry or infantry, might, by that route, be forwarded from Red River to the mouth of the Columbia River. While in the Oregon country I have to suggest your close examination of Cape Disappointment, a headland on the north 30 Joseph Schafer bank of the Columbia River at its outlet to the Pacific, over- looking the ship channel, and commanding as far as I was able to judge when on the spot from superficial observation, the navigation of the river, the occupation of which, as a forti- fication would, in my opinion, be of much importance in the event of hostilities between England and the United States. Mr. Ogden has private instructions from me to take posses- sion of that headland on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany, ostensibly with a view of forming a trading post and "Pilots' Lookout" thereon ; and if after you have made an accurate survey it be found that any part of the back coun- try overlooks the Cape, Mr. Ogden has been further instructed to take possession of such commanding positions also. I have therefore to request the favor of your communicating to that gentleman whatever preliminary measures you may consider it desirable should be taken, with a view to the prior occupa- tion of all important positions by the company, in order to be afterwards available by Her Majesty's Govt., should such be deemed necessary or expedient. While in the Oregon country I beg to suggest your visit- ing the Willamette Settlement, where there is a large popula- tion consisting of citizens of the United States and British subjects, the retired servants of the Hudson's Bay Company, that you examine into the resources of the country as regards the means of subsistence, and that you notice any positions on the river which may appear to you well adapted for mili- tary stations, more especially on the north bank of the Colum- bia, between Fort Vancouver and Cape Disappointment, con- tiguous to the ship channel, which Mr. Ogden will point out to you. It might be well to examine Tongue Point, command- ing the ship channel on the south side, the occupation of which, from its commanding situation, mignt, I think, become an object of importance, and if, after examination, you be of the same opinion, Mr. Ogden has been instructed to take formal possession thereof for the Hudson's Bay Company. You will see from the extent of the Company's agricultural operations, Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 31 and from the large quantities of cattle and sheep at their estab- lishments of Fort Vancouver, the Cowlitz and Puget's Sound, that they could provide the means of subsistence for any naval or military force that is likely to be required in that quarter and other parts west of the mountains, while the sturgeon, salmon and other fisheries are inexhaustible. Mr. Ogden has been instructed to meet all your demands on the Hudson's Bay Company's stores, depots and resources in furtherance of the objects in view, and to afford you safe escort and means of conveyance back to Red River, where I shall expect to have the pleasure of meeting you in the month of June, 1846, whence a passage will be provided for you to Canada. In conclusion, I beg to suggest that you report from Red River Settlement, for the information of Her Majesty's Gov- ernment, the result of your observations up to the time of your departure for Oregon, and from Vancouver, by one of the Company's vessels that will sail for England in October you will have an opportunity of communicating such further information as you may have collected up to that period. Wishing you a safe and prosperous journey, I have, etc., (Signed) George Simpson. To H. J. Warre and M. Vavasour, Esqrs. Prices current for labor, provisions. Red River Settlement, June, 1845. Labor per diem, Is 6d (equals 36 cts.) and^rations. Team of horses, per diem, 3s. Team of cattle, per diem, 2s. Beef (fresh), per lb., 2d. Mutton, per lb., 2d. Bread, per lb., l^d. Biscviit (from 1st and 2d flour), per lb., 2d. Flour (1st and 2d), per cwt., lis 6d. Peas, per bushel, 2s. Oats, per bushel, is 6d. Straw, per load of 800 lbs., 2s. Hay, per load of 800 lbs., 33. lime, per bushel, 4d. Brick, per M., 40s. Firewood, per cord, 2s @ 3s. 32 Joseph Schafer [No. 7.] Encampment Lac a la Pluie, 30 May, 1845. Peter Skeen Ogden, Esqr., Chief Factor, Hudson's Bay Company. Confidential. Dear Sir : Having submitted for your private information a confidential letter I have under this date addressed to Messrs. Warre and Vavasour, two British officers now accom- panying us from Canada on their way to the shores of the Pacific at the outlet of the Columbia River, which fully ex- plains the object of their journey, I have now to request the favor of your conducting those gentlemen from Red River to their destination by the Saskatchewan, crossing the Rocky Mountains at the Bow River Pass and touching en route at Forts Ellice, Pelly, Carlton, Pitt, Edmonton and Colville, and the other establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company on the Columbia River. Your party will consist of six servants of the Company besides Messrs. Warre and Vavasour, and yourself and Mr. Lane, one of the Company's clerks, who you will consider as specially attached to your party, and who is to be employed as I shall hereafter point out. Messrs. Warre and Vavasour are to be provided at Red River with two saddle horses each, and a horse each for the conveyance of their personal luggage, which are to be relieved by fresh horses at each post you may visit, and the necessary number of horses for the remainder of the party will in like manner be provided from station to station. It is desirable that you should take your departure from Red River not later than the 12 prox., so as to reach the Pa- cific as early as possible, with a view of anticipating Lieut. Fremont, of the United States Army, who was to have left St. Louis on the 25th April for the same destination,* and by
- Fremont did not in fact try to reach Oregon on his third expedition until the
spring of 1846, when he essayed to open the southern route into the Willamette Valley, but returned from Klamath Lake to the Sacramento Valley on meeting Gillespie. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 33 a steady prosecution of the journey I am in hopes you may reach the Pacific by the 12th August. The first object to be attended to on arrival there is to take possession, on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company, of Cape Disappointment, ostensibly with a view to the formation of a trading post and Pilots' Lookout (should it not have been previously occupied on behalf of the United States Govern- ment or any of its citizens). In that case you will be pleased to employ Mr. Lane and the servants who accompany you in the building of a house on the Cape, taking possession by a rouofh fence of the headland and the isthmus connecting it with the back countrs^ running a slight fence along the shore of Baker's Bay and across the point to the shore of the ocean, so as to enclose as much of the interior as may be desirable for the exclusion of strangers ; likewise enclosing, for the same object, any high ground in the rear, within cannon range, which may command the Cape. After the necessary enclosures and buildings shall have been erected, I have to beg that Mr. Lane and two men be left in charge of the post, to give their attention to the Indian trade, being furnished with such provisions and supplies from the depot of Fort Vancouver as may be necessary for the maintenance of the post. I have further to beg that you will point out to Messrs. Warre and Vavasour the ship channel from the mouth of the Columbia up to Fort Vancouver, directing their attention to such points on the north shore as may command the channel, likewise to Toneue Point on the south side, and if those gen- tlemen be of opinion that the occupation thereof might become important in a military point of view you will be pleased to take possession of the headland on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company, and erect a house on such position as those gentlemen may select as the best site for a battery, forming a rough fence across the neck of land connecting the promon- tory with the back country and along the edge of the woods round the promontory, leaving two men there for a few weeks, the more formally to establish our occupancy. 34 Joseph Schafer You will understand, however, that neither Cape Disap- pointment, Tongue Point, nor any other place is to be taken possession of by the Hudson's Bay Company if already pos- sessed and occupied on behalf of the United States Govern- ment or its citizens ; but after possession has once been taken by you of any of these points, I have to request that such may not be relinquished unless compelled to abandon it by superior force and overt acts of violence on the part of the United States Government or its citizens, and in that case, either yourself or the officer for the time being superintending the Company's affairs at Vancouver will be pleased to report the same in writing to the commander of any of Her Majesty's ships with whom you may have an opoportunity of commun- icating, calling upon such officer for support and protection, and handing him the best proofs you can adduce of the nature and extent of the violence that may have been exercised in dispossessing the Company of the occupied points, transmit- ting to the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company a detailed report of all proceedings connected with this subject. Should Messrs. Warre and Vavasour wish to visit the Wil- lamette Settlement or any other point of the Oregon country where we can afforod them protection, you will grant them the necessary facilities to do so; meeting all their demands in writing on the Hudson's Bay Company's stores and re- sources, providing them with a passage to the mountains in spring, with a view to their accompanying the Express to Red River, so as to arrive there early in June, 1846, securing for them the kindest hospitalities and attentions at our different establishments, and consulting their pleasure, comfort and convenience, in so far as circumstances may admit. I have further to beg that all expenses connected with the conveyance of these gentlemen to and from the Pacific, and all other out- lay that may be incurred connected with their expedition, like- wise the wages and provisions of the officer and servants who may be employed in taking possession of Cape DisappointWarre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 35 merit, or of any other points that may be determined upon, in accordance with the spirit of the letter referred to, be charged to an account to be in the meantime headed "Suspense Account." I have to request that this letter be considered strictly con- fidential, and that the object of Messrs. Warre and Vavasour's journey be not disclosed, but that it be given out that they are known to us only as private travelers for the pleasure of field sports and scientific pursuits. Herewith I hand you an order on the Company's stores and resources at the different establishments you may visit, in fur- therance of the objects of this expedition. I remain, etc., (Signed) George Simpson. [No. 8.] Sir George Simpson to Lord Metcalfe, 9th July, 1845. Mechipicoton, Lake Superior, 9th July, 1845. To His Excellency, The Right Honorable Lord Metcalfe, etc., etc. My Lord: In conformity to your Lordship's instructions when I had the honor of seeing you at Montreal in the early part of May last in reference to the mission of Messrs. Warre and Vavasour to the Columbia River, I conducted those gen- tlemen to Red River Settlement, Hudson's Bay, where we arrived on the 5th June, and dispatched them thence on the 1 6th of the same month overland for Oregon, where I expect they will arrive in the course of the month of August. From Montreal to Red River we traveled by canoe by the most direct route, say the Ottowa River, across Lake Nepisingue, descending the French River to Lake Huron, along the north- ern shore of that Lake to the Sault de St. Marie, thence along the northern shore of Lake Superior to Fort William at the outlet of the Kaministaquoiah River, descending [sic] that river, and proceeding by a chain of rivers and lakes to the Lake of 36 Joseph Schafer the Woods, thence down the Winnipeg River to the lake of the same name, and from thence to Red River, which empties itself into the southern end of that lake. From Red River Settlement they were forwarded on horseback with a party consisting of a clerk and six servants besides guides, interpret- ers and hunters, under the charge of Mr. Chief Factor Ogden, who was instructed to take the most direct route to Oregon by the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Rivers, crossing the Rocky Mountains at the most southern British pass (in about Lat. 51**), traversing the Flathead and Kootenai countries, and falling upon the Columbia River at Fort Colville, whence they are to proceed to the shores of the Pacific by boats. At the interview I had with Sir Richard Jackson previous to my departure from Montreal, I was requested to draw the attention of Messrs. Warre and Vavasour to such points con- nected with the objects of their mission as I might consider important, and to afford such information as my experience might suggest, which might be useful in enabling them to frame their report for the information of Her Majesty's Gov- ernment. ■ - y -]■■ T^r^ I, accordingly, addressed a confidential letter to those gen- tlemen under date 30th of May, copy of which is herewith forwarded, and I addressed another confidential letter to Mr. Chief Factor Ogden under the same date (copy of which is also transmitted), directing that gentleman to take posses- sion, on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company, of Cape Dis- appointment at the entrance of the Columbia River, and of such other positions as might be important in a military point of view, in conformity to the desire of Her Majesty's Gov- ernment, as communicated to me at an interview with which I was honored by Sir Robert Peel and the Earl of Aberdeen on the 2d of April last. By reference to my letter to Messrs. Warre and Vavasour your Lordship will observe that I consider it highly important to British interests that one or two military posts should be formed on the southwestern Canadian frontier, in order to Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 37 counteract the influence which the United States Government is acquiring over the Indian tribes and British settlers, by means of a cordon of military posts, which have been already formed, or are in course of construction, along their northern frontier, extending from Michelimacinac, by the Sault de St. Marie, La Pointe, Prairie du Chien, Lake St. Peter and Coun- cil Bluffs, and from thence up the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers to the Rocky Mountains, and your Lordship will fur- ther observe that I have in the same communication pointed out the situations where I think such British posts might be most advantageously established ; the practicability and ex- pense of conveying the troops, and the resources of the coun- try for their maintenance. So dangerous do I consider the influence thus acquired by the American Government to the British interests on the frontier that I am induced respectfully to request your Lordship's favorable consideration of the remedy for this evil which I have taken the liberty of point- ing out. As it may be of interest to your Lordship to possess the latest information in reference to the proceedings of a public character in Oregon, I have the honor to transmit herewith some extracts from a dispatch I have addressed the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company on that sub- ject, which contains every particular worthy of notice. Herewith I forward a packet addressed to your Lordship, which was entrusted to my care by Messrs. Warre and Vava- sour and with much respect. I have the honor, etc., etc. [No. 9.] Fort Vancouver, Columbia River, November i, 1845. My Lord: We have the honor to forward, according to your Lordship's instructions, the accompanying letters, ad- dressed to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, containing such information as we have been able tO' collect up to the present date, on the Oregon Territory. 38 Joseph Schafer We shall have the honor to submit a more detailed report on our return to Canada next summer, with a statistic of the separate tribes from whence we have taken our census of the Indian population, which, we beheve, has been based on the best information to be obtained in the present unsettled state of the country. We regret not being able to accompany our report with more numerous sketches or surveys. The whole of the lower Columbia is covered with so dense a forest, and is so impen- etrable that it would be quite imcompatible with the time allowed to visit so vast a section of the country to give de- tailed plans of the separate points and the season has been so short during which operations could be successfully carried on in the field as to render it impossible to gain more than a superficial knowledge of the whole. With regard to Cape Disappointment and the shores of the Columbia River we could not, consistent with our duty, gain any information on their capabilities for defense during the very limited stay we were obliged to allow for that country. We intend proceeding again to those points, and hope to be able to complete our survey, and make such observations as may be advisable under the present circumstances. The Cape and principal points of the adjacent country be- ing in the possession of American citizens, has much crippled our proceedings, having no authority for their purchase. The absence of Mr. Ogden, to whom Sir George Simpson gave instructions on the subject, has also delayed our operations in that quarter. We have the honor to be. My Lord, your Lordship's obe- dient, humble servants, Henry J. Warre, M. Vavasour, Lt. 14 Reg. Lieut. Royal Engr. The Rt. Honorable, The Lord Metcalfe, Gov. General of Canada. [The report and the letters seem to be in the handwriting of Lieut. Warre.] Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 39 [No. 10.] Report of Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour, Dated 26 Octo- ber, 1845, Directed to "The Rt. Hon. the Secretary of State for the Colonies." Received July 6, 1846. H. B. Company's Fort Vancouver, Oregon Territory, October 26, 1845. My Lord: In continuation of the report, dated June 10, 1845,* 2,nd forwarded from Red River, referring to the par- ticular service entrusted to us, by order of His Excellency Lord Metcalfe, the Governor General in B. N. America: We have the honor to inform your Lordship of our arrival at this post, in the Oregon Territory. The overland journey from Red River to the Columbia occupied 62 days, having left the i6th of June, we reached Fort Colville on the i6th August. There are two lines of communication from Red River to the Columbia, viz.: 1st. The route by which we have lately passed to a defile in the Rocky Mountains, in about 50° 30' north latitude (from whence [to?] the head waters of the north branch of the Columbia) [which?] is seldom used except by small par- ties requiring dispatch, and is quite impracticable for the transport of troops, with their provisions, stores, etc. The country on the east side of the Rocky Mountains pre- sents a succession of undulating plains, intersected by numer- ous belts of thickly wooded swamps, and many dangerous rivers. The passage of the Rocky Mountains alone would form a sufficient barrier to prevent the transport of stores, etc., on account of the high, steep and rugged nature of the mountain passes; the same insuperable objections, increased by the denseness of an almost impenetrable jungle, and more numer- ous rivers, and mountain torrents, exists on the west side, fol- lowing the course of McGillivray's River (which is unnaviga-
- In Lord Metcalfe's, 26 July, 1845. 40
Joseph Schafer ble), and on the right bank of which we descended to the Columbia. 2d. The northern water communication in frequent use by the traders of the H. B. Company, apparently affording greater facilities for the conveyance of troops, is by the more circuitous route of Lake Winnipeg, the Saskatchewan and Ath- abasca Rivers, from whence the "portage" or land carriage of about no miles across the Rocky Mountains to the boat encampment on the Columbia. We shall return by this route in the spring, 1846, and be then able to report on its capabilities. We beg to draw your Lordship's attention to the follow- ing extract of a letter addressed by Sir George Simpson, the Govr. of the Hudson's Bay Company, to ourselves, in which is contained all the information or instructions received from that gentleman on the subject of our present report, viz. : "From Red River Settlement, whither I have now the pleas- ure of conducting you, a party . . . etc. [Quote Sir G Simpson's letter from the above clause down to and including the following, five and a half pages of matter. "You will see from the extent of the Company's agricultural operations and from the large quantities of cattle and sheep at their estab- lishments of Fort Vancouver, the Cowlitz and Puget's Sound, that they could provide the means of subsistence for any naval or military force that is likely to be required in that quarter, and other parts west of the mountains, while the sturgeon, salmon and other fisheries are inexhaustible."] (The report continues) : Your Lordship will perceive, by the above statement, that in our opinion the facilities for conveying troops to the Ore- gon Territory, by the route we have lately passed, do not exist to the extent Sir George Simpson represents. The Hudson's Bay Company have a certain stock of cattle, etc., at each of their different trading posts of Fort Ellice, on the Assiniboine, and Forts Carlton, Pitt and Edmonton on the Saskatchewan Rivers, but as far as we could learn they Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 41 depend upon the buffalo and other wild animals for their sup- plies, and had not more than sufficient for the consumption of their present occupants. The difficulties of the journey across the American conti- nent are much increased by the uncertainty of finding buffalo, nor did we obtain throughout the whole journey one single animal to supply provisions for more than the day's consump- tion, to even our limited party. The trading posts above mentioned consist of a dwelling house for the gentleman in charge, and stores, etc., built of wood, surrounded by strong pickets or palisades, about 1 5 feet in height, and small block houses at the opposite angles armed with field and wall pieces. They are calculated to resist a sudden attack of a band of Indians, but cannot be considered as works of defense against a disciplined force. The emigration mentioned by Sir George Simpson in the above extract was composed of several families of retired trappers and servants of the H. Bay Company accustomed to a 'Voyageurs" life, from whom it is impossible to judge of the practicability of a route for the conveyance of troops. On the east side of the mountains, to the point where they were obliged to abandon their wagons, etc., their course was to the south of that by which we passed, it not being considered safe for our party, composed of only ten men, to encounter the wild tribes of Indians on the open plains. Fort Colville is situated on a small plain surrounded by lofty sand hills at the head of an unnavigable rapid called La Chaudiere Falls. It is said to be 2049 feet above the level of the sea, 824 [ ?] miles from the boat encampment on the Columbia (whence the northern portages of the Rocky Moun- tains). It is 84 miles below McGillivray's River and 672 miles from the Pacific Ocean. The buildings are similar in construction to the trading posts on the east side of the mountains, and calculated only to resist the sudden atacks of Indians. 42 Joseph Schafer The soil of the surrounding country is sandy and unproduc- tive, but the irrigation afforded by the constant overflowing of the river enables the Hudson's Bay Co. to raise about one thousand bushels of wheat annually in its vicinity. They have also about loo head of cattle and 300 or 400 horses attached to this post. One hundred and thirty-seven miles below Colville is Fort Okanogan on the left bank of that river, which is navigable for canoes and boats for some distance into the interior. The buildings are similar to Fort Colville, and calculated for the same defense. There is also a depot of cattle and horses at this post. For about 50 miles below Fort Colville the fir timber is thinly scattered over the face of the country, after which, and to within 200 miles of the sea, the trees totally disappear. The country is desolate in the extreme, interminable sandy deserts ^ extending on either bank of the river as far as the eye can reach, without vegetation and intersected by ranges of high sandy hills, surmounted by rugged basaltic rocks. In the neighborhood of Fort Colville some limestone is found, but in what quantity or of what quality we had not an opportunity of judging. One hundred and eighty miles below Okanogan the Snake, or south branch of the Columbia River, joins the north, and nine miles below the junction is Fort Nez Perces, on the Walla Walla River, built of mud, 120 yards square, and bet- ter adapted than any of the other posts to resist a sudden attack. The Columbia River, between Colville and Walla Walla, is obstructed by several rapids which it would be dangerous to descend in boats. No difficulty, however, occurs in making the "portages," which seldom exceed half a mile. The current of the river varies according to the season, hav- ing a rise of 19 feet at Fort Vancouver in the spring of the year. In ascending the river the chief difficulty is in the scar- city of fir wood, drift wood being the only obtainable fuel, Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 43 which the Indians collect and sell to the traders for their culi- nary purposes. The boats in which we descended are admirably adapted for this dangerous river navigation and for the conveyance of troops. Each boat would carry 15 or 20 men. But from the depth of water between the rapids, where it is necessary to make a "portage," there is no reason why a much larger boat might not be constructed for the conveyance of troops, etc. By the Pescous River falling into the Columbia below Okan- ogan, and by the Eyakama [Yakima] River above Fort Nez Perces, Indian roads exist over a mountainous country to Puget's Sound, which we believe might be made available for the conveyance of troops (landed in that harbor) into the interior. But we have not been able to make a personal inspec- tion of these routes. In 1841 the Hudson's Bay Company made use of one of these routes to convey cattle to Nesqually, on Puget's Sound. Fort Nez Perces on the Walla Walla River was formerly the point where the emigration from the United States em- barked on the Columbia, and it is still preferred by large num- bers of emigrant families. But a more southern and shorter route has been discovered by which they fall upon the Co- lumbia about 125 miles below the Walla Walla, at an imprac- ticable rapid called the "Dalles," formed by the contraction of the river bed into a narrow "trough" or channel, not more than 30 yards wide, where the boats, etc., are transported overland for a distance of one mile. We find according to the information collected from a num- ber of emigrants, recently arrived from the United States, that on leaving the Missouri they ascended the Platte River for about 400 miles, through a fine open country, with but few intervening rivers not easily forded, to the Forks, from whence, following a northwest course for about the same dis- tance, they reach the Rocky Mountains at a pass which is easily traversed by wagons, etc., through a valley 80 miles in length, terminating on the headwaters of the Colorado or 44 Joseph Schafer Green River, from thence across sandy deserts to near the sources of the Snake or south branch of the Columbia River, on which is a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company called Fort Hall. From this point they descended the north bank of the Snake River (which is navigable only for small canoes) through a rugged barren country to the Walla Walla River — or by the newly discovered route they leave the Snake River about loo miles from its junction with the Columbia, and following a southwest course, by the valleys of several unimportant streams, they fall upon the Columbia at the Dalles." The principal obstructions on this line of communication with the Oregon Territory appear to arise on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. On the east side the country is com- paratively level and fertile, abounding in buffaloe, etc. The passage of the Rocky Mountains presents little or no difficulty. The valley being open and comparatively level. Hundreds of wagons have traversed this pass during the last three years. That troops might be sent from the United States to Ore- gon is evident from the fact that 300 dragoons of the United States regular army having accompanied the last emigration to the above mentioned valley through the mountains, osten- sibly for the protection of the said emigrants from the hostile bands of Indians infesting the eastern plains. On the west the country is one continuous sandy desert. Steep ravines and mountain passes constantly intersect the road. In many places the timber is so scarce that sufficient for the ordinary camp purposes is with difficulty obtained, while the sterility of the country not affording food for buf- faloe and other wild animals no dependence can be placed on obtaining a fresh supply of provisions by the chase. The emigrants, on their arrival from the United States, rendezvous at the "Dalles," where an American Methodist Mission is established on a rising ground to the south of the river, about three miles below the rapid. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 45 There is an inexhaustible salmon fishery at this point, to which the Indians of all the surrounding country resort dur- ing the months of March and October for their summer and winter supplies. Frequent attempts have been made to penetrate to the val- ley of the Willamette by a more southern route, avoiding the Columbia River, but the country is so densely covered with fir trees and intersected by mountains and ravines that the undertaking has invariably failed, the parties being obliged to abandon their wagons, with the loss of numbers of their cattle.* We have been informed by the gentlemen of the H. B. Co. that there is a road, known only to their trappers, near the southern boundary (1819) by which easy access might be attained to the valley of the Willamette River, where the great body of the citizens of the United States are settled, f From the "Dalles" the River Columbia is deep and unin- terrupted to the Cascades (48 miles), where it forces a pas- sage through a range of lofty mountains, extending from lat- itude 49 degrees into California, parallel with the sea coast, and where it again becomes unnavigable for a distance of three miles. The south bank is impassable at this point. The emigrants descend on the north side, recross the river about 15 miles below the rapids, from whence they strike across a thickly wooded country to the Clackamas River, which they descend to the valley of the Willamette. Below the Cascades the Columbia is navigable to the Pa- cific (150 niiles), although occasionally obstructed by sand bars. Ships of 300 tons burden are constantly navigatinsf its water to Fort Vancouver, 35 miles below the Cascades (the principal depot of the Hudson's Bay Company west of the Rocky Mountains), on the north bank of the river, situated in
- The reference is apparently to those efforts which eventuated a year later in
the opening of the Barlow road, which crossed the Cascade Mountains near Mount Hood. fThis road was sought by Fremont, and opened by the Applegate party in 1846. 46 Joseph Schafer a small plain, which is partially inundated by the spring freshets. Fort Vancouver is similar in construction to the posts already described, having an enclosure of cedar pickets 15 feet high, 220 yards in length and 100 yards in depth. At the northwest angle is a square blockhouse containing six 3-lb. iron guns (vide the accompanying sketch). There is a small village occupied exclusively by the servants of the H. B. Co., on the west side, extending to the river. The fort was formerly situated on a rising ground in the rear of its present position, but was removed on account of the inconvenient distance from the river, for the conveyance of stores, provisions, etc. The present site is ill-adapted for defense, being commanded by the ground in the rear. About five miles above the fort, on a small stream falling into the Columbia, is an excellent saw mill, and on another small stream one mile distant is a grist mill, capable of grinding 100 bushels of wheat daily. The Hudson's Bay Company have about 1200 acres of ground under cultivation, producing about bushels of wheat and bushels of potatoes annually. There are about 2000 sheep, 1300 head of cattle, and between seven and eight hundred horses belonging to the establishment. The Willamette River, on which the American citizens have formed their principal settlement, joins the Columbia by three channels ; the first, and that in most general use, is five miles below Fort Vancouver, the two others are little known and debouche" 12 and 15 miles lower down, forming a large fertile island, but covered by water during the spring of the year, which renders this, as also many of the low lands in other parts of the country, valueless for cultivation. The three channels unite about six miles above the mouth of the upper, at a point called Linnton, where it was intended to form a village ; this idea appears to have been abandoned, at the present time but one family lives there.*
- Peter H. Burnett and Morton M. McCarver, of the 1843 emigration, laid out
the town of Linnton, believing that point the head of navigation on the Wil- lamette. Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 47 There is sufficient depth of water in the river for boats of any size, for a distance of twenty miles, when a shallow, strong rapid, at the mouth of the Clackamas River, impedes the navigation (except in the seasons of high water) to the Falls, about three miles above, where the village or settlement (com- monly called Oregon City), inhabited principally by Ameri- cans, is situated. This settlement was commenced in 1829-30 by Dr. Mc- Loughlin, the chief resident of the H. B. Company west of the Rocky Mountains, who cleared land on the right bank of the Falls, intending to avail himself of their immense water power by erecting saw mills, etc. In the same year, 1830, four Canadians, retired servants of the Company, settled in the country above the Falls, and were followed during the succeeding years, 1831-32-33, by several of their countrymen. The H. B. Co. gave every encouragement to their undertaking by supplying them with horses, cattle and implements of hus- bandry. In 1833 a fur and fishing company to trade in the valley of the Columbia was formed in Boston, and a vessel despatched from thence arrived at her destination. But having failed in their dealings with the natives and being deserted by many of the crew, who became settlers, the Company was broken up and the remainder of the party returned on the following year to their native country.* In 1834 a large party of missionaries sent across the conti- nent by the Methodist Missionary Society in the United States, arrived at the Falls of the Willamette, where they obtained from Dr. McLoughlin the timber he had prepared, but not made use of, for the saw mills, to build a church and dwelling house. ; • These missionaries remained at the Falls till 1842, when they quarreled among themselves and sold the greater portion of their lands and improvements to Dr. McLoughlin, who
- The reference is to the Wyeth enterprise, which is fully illustrated by the
Journals and Letters of Nathaniel Wyeth, published in 1899 under the editorship of Professor F. G. Young, Eugene, Oregon. 48 Joseph Schafer had originally given them the grants from the "claim" he had made to a portion of this section of the country. In 1835 many Canadians and H. B. Company's retired servants settled on the river, and in this or the preceding year* two Roman Catholic missionaries from Canada established themselves near the center of what now had become the Canadian settlement, erecting a church and building a school- house for the education of the Canadians, half-breeds and Indian population. During the following years a few Ameri- cans straggled into the country, attracted by the exaggerated descriptions of the soil and climate, as represented by the American traders and trappers, many of whom were in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1841-42 the H. B. Company on the east of the Rocky Mountains contributed largely to increase the British subjects in this country, by encouraging and affording means of trans- port to such of the inhabitants of their settlement at Red River who might wish to emigrate to the Red River. About 150 families were induced by this means to settle on the Cow- litz River, and on the plains in the neighborhood of Nesqually, in Puget's Sound ; and horses, cattle, etc., given to encourage their labor. The soil of that part of the country not yielding so great a return as anticipated, many of them removed in the following year to the valley of the Willamette. Till the year 1842-43 not more than thirty American fam- ilies were resident in the country.t In 1843 emigration consisting of about 1000 persons, with a large number of wagons, horses, cattle, etc., arrived on the Willamette, having traversed the vast desert section of the country between the Missouri, the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia. They arrived at an advanced season of the year, much exhausted by their arduous journey, and were
- The Catholic missionaries arrived late in the year 1838.
fThis estimate varies from that made by Simpson in November, 1841. See Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev., XIV, p, 80. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 49 indebted to the H. B, Company for boats, etc., to forward them to their future homes. This emigration scattered themselves over the face of the country, many of them remaining at the Falls, where saw mills had been erected by Dr. McLoughlin and by Americans ; the claims [were?] surveyed and divided into town lots, which were sold to whoever desired to become a purchaser. In 1844 about an equal number of emigrants arrived from the United States as in the preceding year, and avowedly under the sanction and protection of the American Govern- ment, who oflFered a premium of 640 square acres to any American citizen becoming a settler [sic], seeking by this means to overrun the country and strengthen their claim to the disputed Territory. In 1842 the American Government appointed Dr. White, previously surgeon to the Methodist Mission in that country, their agent in Oregon, and he exercised the duties of this office, drawing his salary through the H. B. Company on the American Government till this year (1845), when he returned to the United States. On our arrival on the Columbia in August last we found a much more numerous emigration than on any former year arriving from the United States, having been escorted to the Rocky Mountains by 300 dragoons of the U. S. Army under the command of Colonel Kearney — who, we believe, have returned by the same route. Lieutenant Fremont, of the Corps of Topographical Engi- neers, accompanied the emigration of 1843, remained a short time in the country and returned in the autumn, but being prevented by the snow from recrossing the Rocky Mountains at so late a season of the year, he entered North California, where he wintered, and reached the United States in the following summer. His report has been published by order of Congress at Washington, and is said to contain much val- uable information, which we regret not having been able to peruse. 50 Joseph Schafer This officer has accompanied the present emigration to Fort Hall, from whence he crossed toward the southern boundary, and we understand he is making a survey of the Valley of the Klamet River, with a view to its settlement, and to find a line of communication between that country and the head- waters of the Willamette. This officer always appears in his undress uniform and makes no concealment of his being employed by the Govern- ment of the United States. It is extremely difficult to discover the exact number of emigrants now arriving in the country, but from the best information we have estimated their numbers at about 2000 individuals. They have 570 wagons drawn by oxen, which are found to be preferable to horses for so long a journey, and it is stated that they started with 6000 cattle, including milch cows, etc., etc., large numbers have died on the route. They have a large number of horses and a few mules. Their wagons are admirably adapted for the long rugged land journey. That the gentlemen of the H. B. Company have not exag- gerated the lamentable condition of these emigrants on former occasions is evident by the appearance on arrival of this, said to be the most wealthy and respectable of all the former. Fever and sickness have made fearful havoc among them, and many are now remaining in a helpless condition at the "Dalles" and the "Cascades." They report 30 men, women and children having died upon the journey. By the foregoing statement your Lordship will observe that even in 1844 the citizens of the United States formed a large majority over the only British subjects in the Oregon country, viz. : the gentlemen composing the Hudson's Bay Company, their servants, and the retired servants who had become settlers. This majority would be much increased by the arrival of the anticipated emigration of 1845. The subjects of Great Britain had great difficulty in proWarre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 51 tecting their lands and possessions from the desperate char- acters, chiefly the refuse of the Western States, whose enmity to anything "British" was open and avowed. In 1843 organziation had been formed by the citizens of the United States to administer justice and keep the peace within what they considered their own territory, as far north as the Columbia River; against this American compact the British and Canadian population protested — and this was the state of affairs till the autumn of 1844. The property of the H. B. Company had often been threat- ened, and was at any time liable to be destroyed by the lawless Americans, influenced by the reports of designing individuals ; and for the protection of their property, and for the peace and prosperity of the whole community, the leading gentlemen of both parties formed a coalition (1845). organization was established, neutralizing the preponderating American influence. A governor chosen by mutual consent and the fundamental laws for the government of the whole derived from the statutes of the Territory of Iowa, on the Missouri, recently joined to the United States. Thus the internal peace of the country has been preserved and the allegiance of either party to their respective governments respected. This compact is independent of the United States Govern- ment. Emigrants of all nations, willing to uphold the law in a [the] country, and for the protection of life and property, are enrolled as members. The governmental offices being defrayed by a fixed taxation, according to the laws of Iowa, as before stated. Nor could (if we can express an opinion) a more judicious course have been pursued by all parties for the peace and prosperity of the community at large. There are about 300 inhabitants at the village on the Falls. One Roman Catholic and one Methodist chapel, about 100 dwelling houses, stores, etc. An excellent grist mill (the whole of the machinery, etc., having been exported from England by Dr. McLoughHn) and several saw mills. The buildings are of wood and the town is situated on a ledge of rocks about 30 feet above the average level of the river. Behind the town a perpendicular scarp rises for about 40 feet, sloping gradually away to the rear. This is one of the most important points in the settlement, commanding the navigation of the river, and offering every advantage, as regards position, for defense.
We regret not having been able to make a survey of this place, being fearful of increasing the jealousies already excited by our arrival in the country, which feeling has also prevented our making sketches of many other points, or obtaining information to make our report as efficient as we could wish.
The surrounding country is fertile, and the forests of pine and oak are interspersed by prairies on which the settlers build their houses, raise their crops and pasture their cattle.
The settlement extends about sixty miles on either bank of the river, the country is comparatively level, that on the right bank being frequently inundated during the spring freshets for a considerable distance into the interior; the soil yields an abundant return, with comparatively little labor; and the pasturage is excellent.
To the eye the country, particularly the left bank of the river, is very beautiful. Wide extended, undulating prairies, scattered over with magnificent oak trees, and watered by numerous tributary streams (on which several saw mills are now in operation) reach far to the south, over the confines of North California (to near which boundary our journey was extended), and offering a field for an industrious civilized community, but seldom surpassed, for pastural and agricultural purposes.
On the right bank of the river, about 30 miles above the Falls, is a Roman Catholic Mission, having four resident priests and six sisters (from Belgium). A church, dwelling houses, and school houses, where we witnessed the examination of about sixty children, the sons and daughters of the Catholic half breed population. About 25 miles above on the same Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. S3 bank of the river, an American Methodist Mission is estab- lished, having one resident minister, a large school house and dwelling house. We regret not being able to give so prosper- ous an account of the Methodist Missionaries as of the Roman Catholic Brethren. In this instance, the school house was in wretched repair, and but few pupils seemed to attend for instruction. They are but ill supplied by the society in the United States, and we fear that religious instruction gives place to personal aggrandizement with the members of this society. There are ferries established across the river, which is wide, and navigable for small boats and canoes, at the above men- tioned stations. Below the Falls the river is said to rise 20 to 25 feet during the high waters in the Columbia in the month of June. Above the Falls the rise is also very great, from the quantity of rain falling during the winter, and the melting of the snow on the mountains, during the spring. The total number of inhabitants in the Valley of the Wil- lamette is about six thousand, of whom about 1000 may be considered as subjects of Great Britain.* Notwithstanding the advantages to be found in this valley, many of the American emigrants become dissatisfied, and remove to California, where the climate is more salubrious and their possessions unlimited. During our absence in the Willamette settlement, Mr. Ogden proceeded alone to Cape Disappointment, at the mouth of the Columbia River, to take possession of that headland according to the instructions he had received from Sir G. Simpson, but finding it was claimed by two Americans, he entered into negotiations for its purchase, which are not completed, his
- Lieut. Peel's report, dated September 27, 1845, just one month earlier than
the Warre- Vavasour report, gives the total population of the Willamette settle- ment at about 3,000 inhabitants, including women and children, of whom about 600 or 700 are Canadians and half-breeds, retired servants of the Company. If both reports are approximately correct, it follows that the emigration of 1845, arriving after Peel wrote, amounted to 3,000. 54 Joseph Schafer services being required in the interior, from whence he has not returned. We also went down the Columbia River, visited Fort George and Tongue Point on the South side, and made a sur- vey of the Cape, which we regret not having had time to complete to forward by the present opportunity. On our return we found Lieutenant Peel, R. N., and Cap- tain Parke, R. M., of Her Majesty's ship America," who had made a short tour in the Willamette Settlement. We accom- panied these officers back to their ships in Port Discovery, Straits of San Juan de Fuca, and informed Captain Gordon of our arrival in the country and the several objects of our journey. ^ . j From Port Discovery we crossed the Straits to Vancouver's Island, commencing in the 48 parallel of latitude and extending 260 miles north, and about 50 in breadth. This island is somewhat intersected by high mountain ranges, but the soil is said to be fertile and well adapted for cultivation. We visited the H. B. Company's post, Fort Victoria in 48° 26' N. Latitude, and 123° 9' W. Longitude, on the south shore of the Island near the head of a narrow Inlet (of which we forward a sketch) where they have established a fort similar to those already described, a farm of several hundred acres on which they raise wheat and potatoes, and a depot of provisions, supplies, etc., for the different Trading posts further to the north. The position has been chosen solely for its agricultural advantages, and is ill adapted either as a place of refuge for shipping, or as a position of defense. The country to the south of the Straits of de Fuca, between Puget's Sound and the coast is overrun by high rugged mountains presenting great difficulty in traversing, and but few inducements to the farmer. Between the above mentioned points there are some fine harbors, among which we may mention Port Discovery and Dungeness, on the south shore, and a bay within three miles of Fort Victoria, called the "Squimal" by the Indians, which Warre and Vavasour^ 1B45-6. 55 from superficial observation appears to afford anchorage and protection for ships of any tonnage. The above mentioned harbors contain an abundant supply of fresh water, in which the rest of the coast is very deficient. Large rivers are formed in the winter season, which become perfectly dry during the summer. There is coal in the neighborhood of Puget's Sound, and on the Cowlitz River. The specimens used by the H. B. Com- pany were obtained from the surface, and were probably on that account not found good. The specimens of lead found in the mountains on the coast are apparently very fine. The fisheries (salmon and sturgeon) are inexhaustible, and game of all descriptions is said to abound. The timber is extremely luxuriant and increases in value as you reach a more northern Latitude. That in 50 to 54 degrees being considered the best. Pine, spruce, red and white oak, ash, cedar, maple, willow and yew grow in this section of country north of the Columbia River. Cedar and pine becomes of an immense size. At Nesqually, near the head of Puget's Sound, is the farm of the Puget's Sound Company commenced in 1839* sup- ported chiefly by the gentlemen of the Hudson's Bay Com- pany. They here cultivate wheat and potatoes, but the mag- nificent ranges of rich prairie country between the shores of Puget's Sound and the Cascade Mountains to the east, are chiefly used as pasturage for the immense herds of cattle and sheep, the greater number of which were brought from Cali- fornia in 1840-41. From Nesqually we crossed the head waters of several large streams, among others the Nesqually and Chehalis rivers, rising in the Cascade mountains, extending along the coast to Latitude 49°. These rivers have their channels sunk, in some places, upward of a hundred feet below the level of the country, rendering them extremely dangerous and difficult to traverse at the seasons of high water.
- That is, as a venture of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. There
was a settlement at that point as early as 1833. Joseph Schafer The Chehalis flows into Gray's Bay on the Pacific, is navi- gable for small boats and canoes, and forms a barred harbor for vessels of small tonnage. The country is easy of access from Nesqually to the Che- halis River, where the soil changes from graveley loam to a stiff clay, and numerous little rivers, which overflow their banks, and flood the country for an immense distance during the winter and spring freshets, render the land journey to the Cowlitz river difficult, and during that season almost imprac- ticable. There are a few families settled on plains on this route and the Americans are forcing themselves as far north as Puget's Sound. During our travels we met five families on their route to the prairies in that vicinity.* There is a settlement of about 90 Canadian families on the Cowlitz River, where the Puget's Sound Company have about 1000 acres of ground under cultivation. The course of the Cowlitz is rapid, and in high water dangerous, but presenting no obstacles that are not overcome by the energy and perseverance of the Canadian boatmen. A small establishment has been formed at the mouth of the Cowlitz river as a store for wheat, etc., which the H. B. Com- pany exports in large quantities to the Russian settlement at Sitka and to the Sandwich Islands. The accompanying account of the population of the Indian tribes, has been compiled, with great care, frOm the best authorities we could obtain, and from the trading lists lent us by the kindness of the gentlemen in charge of the H. B. Co. The Indians of Puget's Sound and the Straits of de Fuca, also those further to the north, appear to be more numerous than those of the interior, — and cultivate large quantities of potatoes, etc., for their own use, and to barter with the vessels frequenting the coast. They are not so cleanly as the Indians
- The incursion of Americans into the Puget Sound territory is one of the
points reported to his government by Captain Gordon, whose messenger, Lieut, Peel, reached London on or before February lo, 1846. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 57 of the prairies, nor are they so brave or warlike. Many of the latter tribes are a very fine race of men, and possess large herds of cattle and immense numbers of horses. In the neighborhood of Walla Walla individual Indians were pointed out to us, who owned more than 1000 horses. Slavery is common with all the tribes and he who possesses most slaves and the largest number of horses is considered the greatest chief. The Indians of the north are sometimes troublesome, but those of the Columbia are a quiet, inoffensive, but very super- stitious race. To the last cause may be traced their quarrels with the white man and with one another. They are well armed with rifles, muskets, etc., but from policy they are much stinted by the H. B. Co. in ammunition. The Indian Tribes do not remain upon the same ground during the whole year. In the summer they resort to the principal rivers and the sea coast, where they take and lay by large quantities of salmon, etc., for their winter consumption, retiring to the smaller rivers of the interior during the cold season. Neither the Roman Catholic nor the Methodist Missions have done much toward reclaiming the Indian population, who are an idle, desolute [sic] race, and very few of them can be induced to exchange their mode of life or cultivate more than will absolutely keep them from starvation. The total abolition of the sale of intoxicating liquors has done much for the good of the whole community, white as well as Indian; and so long as this abstinence (which can hardly be called voluntary) continues the country will prosper. When this prohibition is withdrawn, and the intercourse with the world thrown open, such is the character of the dissolute and only partially reformed American and Canadian settlers, that every evil must be anticipated, and the unfortunate Indian will be the first tO' suffer. We take the liberty of calling your Lordship's attention to the accompanying "Oath of Office" under the Organization, Joseph Schafer and also to the resolution with regard to the junction of "Van- couver County" to that organization. The gentlemen of the H. B. Company appearing to us anxious that their motives should not be misunderstood in uniting with the Americans for the mutual protection of their property, or that their allegiance to the mother country should not be impugned. Every information has been afforded us, in the kindest manner, by Dr. McLoughlin and Mr. Douglass, the gentlemen in charge of the H. B. Company in the Oregon Territory, without reference to our ulterior objects, and we are convinced that the same kindness, and hospitality is extended to all of whatever nation, arriving in this wild country. We have the honor to be, my Lord, Your Lordship's Obedient and Humble servants, Henry J. Warre, Lt. 14 Regt., Ad. Camp. M. Vavasour, Lieut. Royal Engr. We have omitted to mention the arrival of H. M. Ship "Modeste," Captain Baillie, in the Straits of de Fuca, during our visit to that place. He informed us of his intention to remain a part of the ensuing winter in the Columbia River and we have just received the intelligence of his arrival at Fort George. REMARKS. The Gentlemen in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts on the north of the Columbia have made very accurate estimates of the Indian population in the neighborhood of their several stations, and we have every reason to believe, from our own observations, in the accuracy of these statements. The Indian tribes on the Columbia and in the interior of the country are a very migratory race, and it is very difficult to arrive at their exact numbers. We believe the above state- ments to be rather under their numerical strength. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 59 We shall have the honor to submit on our return, in 1846, more detailed Statements of all the separate Tribes. Report of Warre and Vavasour, 26 October, 1845. Section A of the Organic Law. The Officers under this compact shall take an oath as fol- lows, to-wit: I do solemnly swear that I will support the Organic Laws of the Provisional Government of Oregon, so far as the said Organic Laws are consistent with my duties as a citizen of the United States or a subject of Great Britain, and faithfully demean myself in office, so help me God. An Act to Organize the District of Vancouver. Be it enacted by the House of Representatives of Oregon Territory, as follows: That all that portion of the Territory of Oregon, lying north of the middle of the main channel of the Columbia River, shall be, and the same is hereby declared, a separate district, under the name and style of Vancouver District ; and the said District shall be entitled to elect one member of the House of Representatives, at the next annual election. This act to take effect and be in force from and after its passage. Oregon City, 20 August, 1845. M. Vavasour, Lieut. Royal Engr. Henry J. Warre, Lt. Ad. Enclosure i. Approved, Geo. Abernethy, Governor. 6o Joseph Schafer Enclosure 2. Warre and Vavasour's Report, October 27, 1845. Establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company in the Oregon Territory and the Northwest Coast of America. STATIONS. Where Situated. No. of Men. Acres of land under culti- vation LIVE STOCK. Horses Cattle Hogs Sheep Fort Simpson Bohine Lake Conally Lake Fort McLeod Fort St. James. . . . Frasers Lake Fort Chilcoten .... Fort George Fort Alexander Thompson's River. Fort Longley... . . . Fort Victoria Fort Nisqually. . . . Fort Cowhtz Fort George Fort Vancouver. . . Fort Nez Perces.. . Fort Okonogan.. . . Fort Flathead Fort Colville Fort Boise Fort Hall Fort Umpqua Chatham Sound . . . . New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia . . . . . New Caledonia New Caledonia New Caledonia Vancouver Island.. . Pugets Sound CowUtz River Columbia River Columbia River Columbia River Columbia River McGillivray's River Columbia River Burnt River Portneuf River Cape Gregory 20 5 5 5 10 5 5 10 10 15 20 35 20 30 6 200 10 2 5 30 8 20 8 8 8 4 10 15 20 ' 'so 46 6 240 120 100 1000 4 1200 12 7 iis 2 5 50 39 15 7 198 103 702 68 350 17 171 46 94 195 23 1857 579 i377 23 14 180 1 1581 12 73 45 5795 1062 1991 23 Posts. 484 3005 1716 4430 1906 8848 Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 61 Warre and Vavasour's Report October 26, 1845. Enclosure 3. CENSUS. Of the Indian Tribes in the Oregon Territory from Lat. 42** to Lat. 54®, derived from the Trading Lists of the Hudson's Bay Company and from best obtainable infor- mation. Fort Vancouver — 1845. Names of Tribes. Where Situated. Male F'm'le Slaves Total Inacotts, Newette and 27 other tribes speaking par- tially theQuocott language Massettes and 13 tribes not included with the above, and speaking different languages. Nass Indians, 4 tribes, speaking the same lan- guage. Chtmsegans, 10 tribes, all of whom speak the same language, with a different idiom. Skeena Indians, 2 tribes. . . Sabossas Indians, 5 tribes — MiLBANK Sd., 9 tribes .... Clallams, Canoitetines 24 tribes, speaking Clal- lam and Canoitetines Ian guage New Caledonia, 8 tribes . . Lanetch Indians, 3 tribes. Children under 12 years, 99 Hallams, 11 tribes Children under 12 yrs., 476 Sinahoimish, 1 tribe Children under 12 yrs., 230 Skatcat, 1 tribe Children imder 12 yrs. 191 Convitihin, 7 tribes Children under 12 yrs. 585 Do., tribes not as yet ascer tained, say Lake Indians, 1 tpibe Children under 12 yrs. 12 Cape Flattery and Gulf of Georgia Indians (Exact Nos. not ascertained) Nesquallt, 13 tribes Two Tribes Chinooks, Clatsops, etc . . . Klickttats, several tribes . . Kalapooias Clackamas Chinooks, Kalapooias, etc. 4 tribes KiLAMOOKS, 3 tribes From Lat. 540 to Lat. 50**, including Queen Char- lotte's Ids., N. end of Van- couver Id., Milbank' Sd. and Id., and the main shore On Queen Charlotte's Island, not included in the above. Nass River, on main land. Chatham Sd., Portland Can al. Port Epington and other neighboring islands At mouth of Skeena River . Gardener's Canal, etc Milbank Sd. and vicinity. . Lat. 50° along coast to Whidby's Ids. in Lat. 48", Pt. of Vancouver's Island and mouth of Eraser Rv . About forts so designated . . De FucaSt., Vancouver Ids De Fuca St. and Vancouver Do. Do. Do. Clamets, several tribes Walla Walla, Nez Perces Quakers, and several tribes near R. Nilo. CoLviLLE and Spokane . . . Okanogan, several tribes. . Kallispelms, Several tribes KooTENOis, several tribes . Do. About. NesquaUy River and P. S On CowUtz River (about) Near mouth of Columbia Near Ft. Vancom'^er Willamette VaUey Willamette Valley Along Columbia On sea coast bet. mouth of Columbia and Umpqua Rogue River, etc On Snake River to n Rocky Mountains .... Near Ft. Colville On Okanogan and Piscons Rivers On the Flathead On Clarke's River McGil's R., Flat Bow Lake 19020 3232 857 1202 195 717 784 3176 1265 194 517 208 173 542 39 1835 20215 3381 746 1225 120 601 797 3383 1150 152 461 118 161 636 1997 1570 None 12 68 7 111 47 2868 210 None 40 13 18 None None 182 40805 6613 1615 2495 322 1429 1628 9427 2625 445 1485 569 543 1763 300 90 1250 4014 500 429 500 300 200 800 1500 800 3000 450 300 300 450 Total population 33956 35182 | 5146 86947 62 Joseph Schafer RECAPITULATION Males 33,956 Females 35,182 Children 1,584 Slaves 5,146 Total 75,868 of whom an accurate census has been made. 11,079 Estimate of Tribes of whom no census has been taken. Grand total 86,947 Indian population from Latitude 42® to Latitude 54" N . Barque "Cowlitz," on the Coast . . 23 men. Barque "Vancouver," on the Coast 23 men. Steamer "Beaver," on the Coast 23 men. Schooner "Cadboro," on the Coast 12 men. Unattached 19 men. Oflacers .59 men. Total men employed 643 men. RECAPITULATION. Number of establishments 23 Number of Vessels 4 Number of Men 643 Number of Acres of Land in cultivation 3005 Number of Horses 1716 Number of Cattle 4430 Number of Hogs 1916 Number of Sheep 8846 M. Vavasour, H. J. Warre, Lieut. Royal Engr. Lt. and An. C. Warre and Vavasour's Report of October 26, 1845. Enclosure 4. (Maps and Plans Accompanying Warre and Vavasour's Report.) Sketch of Commission Harbour, south end of Vancouver's Island, Straits of de Fuca, showing position of Fort Victoria and Soundings, Lat. 48° 26' N. Long. 123° 9' W. Highwater full and change 3 P. M. Rise 8 ft. Tides very irregular. The soundings are all for low water Spring Tides. Shoal Pt. bears N. N. E. from Rocky Pt. Plan of Fort Victoria, Vancouver's Island, Sketch of Nes- qually and Adjacent Plains on Puget's Sd., Plan of Fort Vancouver on Columbia River. Sketch of Fort Vancouver and Adjacent Plains, which are partly flooded in the spring, [traces the river for about 4 mi., sets the fort in its relative place, etc., neat map]. Sketch of the Route (in red) from Red River to the Pacific Ocean. [2, 4, and 5, bear Vavasour's name, the others bear no indication of authorship.] Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 63 [No. II.] Fort Vancouver, December 8, 1845. The Right Honorable The Secretary of State for the Colonies. My Lord : We have had the favor of forwarding a report of our proceedings to the 12th Novr. by the Honble. H. B. Co.'s ship "Cowlitz," and beg to apprise your Lordship of the opening of the House of Representatives for the Oregon Ter- ritory, and herewith to forward a copy of the Governor's speech on that occasion. Mr. Abernethy, the Governor, is an American and a large majority of the members, thirteen in number, are also citizens of the United States. We would beg to draw your Lordship's attention to the second paragraph in the speech, relative to the organization of an efficient militia. In the preamble of the Organic Laws of Oregon, the first article recommended by the Legislative committee is worded as follows, viz : "We, the people of Oregon Territory, for purposes of mutual protection and to secure peace and pros- perity among ourselves, agree to adopt the following Laws and Regulations, until such time as the United States of America extend their jurisdiction over us/' The anxiety shown by Mr. Abernethy for an effective militia, which would be composed almost entirely of American citizens, has arisen chiefly from the interest lately taken by England in the affairs of the country. The arrival, in the first instance, of H. M. Ship America, Captain the Honble. C. Gordon, who forwarded an extract from a dispatch for pub- lication in the settlement, to the purport, that England was determined to protect her subjects and their interests in the Territory. Second by the entrance into the Columbia River of H. M. Ship Modeste, Captain Baillie, with the intention of remaining the winter. This militia will naturally support the claims of the govern- ment of the United States should hostilities actually occur between that country and England. There are about 50 men 64 Joseph Schafer already organized as a volunteer corps of cavalry, well mounted, and although undisciplined, are well adapted for the defense of this impracticable country, from their former hardy, active life. Should the number be increased during the present session, and should England and the United States come into collision, the British subjects in this country will be completely at the mercy of the citizens of the United States. The stations of the H. B. Company are scattered over so great an extent of country it would be impossible to collect their men in time to meet an attack ; and altho there are nom- inally 200 men employed about this fort, not half that number could be depended upon to meet an aggression. Some few might be recruited among- the half breeds, sub- jects of Great Britain, in the valley of the Willamette. But, we fear, that if left to their own resources the Hudson's Bay Company will be obliged to employ the Indian tribes, from whom we cannot expect a very manageable or available force. Her Majesty's Ship "Modeste" is at present lying off this place and we believe it is the intention of Capt. Baillie to remain during the winter. This determination will encourage the British subjects to support their own rights, will prevent the citizens of the United States taking the law into their own hands, and give protection to the property of the Hudson's Bay Company. The paragraph in the Governor's Message regarding equal- izing the weights and measures has arisen from the Hudson's Bay Company using the Imperial measure and the Americans the old Winchester standard. (Signed by both officers.) We beg to add a copy of the Govrs. Speech in August last, at the opening of the House after the amended laws were adopted.*
- Speeches not copied — they can be found printed in "Oregon Archives." Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6.
65 [No. 12.] Warre and Vavasour Report, June 16, 1846. The Right Honble. The Secretary of State for the Colonies. My Lord: In obedience to the orders contained in the accompanying memoranda, we had the honor to report our- selves to Sir George Simpson, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and embarked at La Chine on the 5th of May, in boats made of birch bark, the usual conveyance of the agents of the Company. [Omit rest of ist p., 2d p., 3d p., 4th p., 5th p., 6th p., 7th p., 8th p., to 3d line from the close.] On the 25th July we entered the Rocky Mountains, crossed the Bow River in canoes made of skins (carried with us for the purpose) and commenced the passage of the mountains. Our daily journeys were now necessarily very short, and much impeded by the dampness of the forests, the height and ruggedness of the mountain passes. We crossed, by means of the skin canoes, the headwaters of the McGillivray's River, on the 28th July, crossed with con- siderable difficulty another range of mountains, and encamped on the 31st on the Lake from whence flow the waters of the Columbia. Without attempting to describe the numerous defiles through which we passed, or the difficulty of forcing a passage through the burnt forests, and over the highlands, we may venture to assert, that Sir George Simpson's idea of transporting troops, even supposing them to be at Red River, with men, provisions, stores, etc., through such an extent of uncultivated country, and over such impracticable mountains would appear to us quite impossible. We descended the right bank of McGillivray's River, crossed a range of Mountains thickly covered with pine and cedar trees, to the Flatbow Lake, on the Flathead River, which we crossed and descended on the left bank to Fort Colville on the Columbia, where we arrived on the i6th August, having lost 66 Joseph Schafer 34 horses from lameness and fatigue out of 60 with which we left Edmonton, distance about 700 miles. The country on the w^est of the Rocky Mountains is very much broken and covered with dense forests of pine and cedar growing in many instances to an immense size. The rivers or mountain torrents are very numerous and ex- tremely rapid. They are scarcely navigable for the small In- dian canoes, are subject to the sudden rising of the water and difficult to ford — thereby causing great delay in the construc- tion of canoes, rafts, etc. The descent of the Columbia and our proceedings to the month of November are detailed in the letter addressed to your Lordship, and forwarded by the H. B. Co. ship Cowlitz" from Fort Vancouver Nov. ist, 1845 copy of which is here- with enclosed).. Since November the weather has been extremely unfavor- able. The rain, which usually commences about that period, has continued, almost without intermission, causing much sick- ness and rendering the climate, followed as it is by the intense heat of the summer, extremely unhealthy. The annual express via the northern water communication, which left Red River on the 20th June, arrived at Fort Van- couver on the 9th November. We have consequently gained upwards of two months by proceeding overland to the Columbia. The American immigrants continued to arrive in the coun- try till late in December. Their condition was most miserable. The lateness of the season and humidity of the climate having occasioned much sickness and suffering. They have on nearly every occasion conducted themselves peaceably, but we attribute this conduct to the presence in the river of Her Majesty's ship "Modeste." They have evidently been misinformed as to the extent, soil and climate of the cultivable portion of the Oregon Territory. Should Great Britain maintain her right to the Territory, we are of opinion that large numbers of the present settlers will Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 67 migrate to California, toward which country the Government of the United States are offering every encouragement for emi- gration, and to which a large number of emigrants from the western states are preparing to proceed early in 1846. We have, accidentally, had an opportunity of perusing the message of the late President (Mr. Tyler) dated Deer. 3d, 1844, with the accompanying reports, etc. On referring to that of the then secretary of war, we find the following important passage, preceding [sic] the recom- mendation of forming a new territory, or state, on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains as follows : "In consequence of the conflicting claims of a foreign na- tion to the Territory west of the Rocky Mountains, Congress has exhibited a reluctance to organize it under a territorial government. Entertaining myself no doubt of the propriety and expediency of the measure, justifiable by the legitimacy of our claim, I shall say no more on the subject." The Secretary of War then proceeds to recommend the for- mation of a Territory on the eastern side of the mountains, extending from the Kansas River to the Rocky Mountains, along the Wind River chain of mountains south to the head- waters of the Arkansas River and back to the mouth of the Kansas, taking in the headwaters of the Mocho and Osage Rivers. He proceeds by saying: "This territory will include the lines of communication to California to Mexico and Santa Fe, and to Oregon, by a more southern route recently discovered by Lieut. Fremont 150 miles south of the present pass. The establishment of military posts in this territory would enable the American government to throw troops into Oregon, and would no longer leave our title a barren and untenable claim. Its possession and occupancy would thence forward not depend on the naval superiority in the Pacific Ocean." An appropriation of $1,000,000 for erecting military posts from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains is also recom- mended by the Secretary at War, to carry out the above plan 68 Joseph Schafer of ensuring a foundation on the eastern side of the mountains previous to taking forcible possession of the west or Oregon Territory. In the year 1840 Lieut. Warre traversed the greater part of this section of the country, recommended as a new territory. It was found, except in the immediate vicinity of the river banks, which are liable to constant inundations, to be quite unsuited for cultivation. Water and timber are very scarce, having traveled for days in succession without seeing a tree of any kind and finding only stagnant water strongly impreg- nated with salt. The prairies are very beautiful and might be made available as sheep pasturage, but the Pawnee and Comanchee Indians are constantly at war with the surrounding tribes, and levy their contributions from all white traders not strong enough to resist their importunities. On the Mocho and Osage Rivers the land is very fine and many families were settled in their vicinity, but the country is so unhealthy, from fever and ague that many of the recently arrived immigrants in Oregon have left their farms [there] on this account. The object of the Government of the United States in form- ing this territory is evident in consequence of its military ad- vantages. We have before shown that their troops have with little difficulty been conducted to the Rocky Mountains, the passage of which at the emigrants pass offers little or no ob- struction — with how much greater facility will they be able to traverse the prairies if stations are erected, and stores, pro- visions, etc., supplied at intermediate points on the route. . We regret that our time has been so limited as to prevent our examining the route on the west side of the Rocky Moun- tains. The country, we are informed, varies little in appear- ance from the Columbia to the Green River, presenting an ex- tent of sandy hills and mountains, with very little vegetation, and a great scarceness in many parts of wood and water. We entertain no doubt as to the practicability of cutting off, Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 69 or otherwise obstructing the passage of any body of troops from the United States, in their descent of the south branch of the Columbia, from the ruggedness of the present route and the obHgation they are under of keeping to the beaten track to obtain water and wood, and from the fact that troops brought 2000 or 3000 miles across any country would be har- rassed by their long march, and rendered unfit for active serv- ice on their first arrival in the country. It is therefore both evident and expedient, should it be the intention of Her Majesty's Government to take military pos- session of the Oregon Territory, that the British troops should be in occupation of certain positions, previous to the arrival of any force from the United States. We beg, therefore, to request your Lordship's attention to those points, the prior occupation of which would enable a comparatively small force to resist any number of regular troops likely, from the known scantiness of the available force in the United States, to be dispatched to this country, viz. : 1. The first and principal points are Cape Disappointment on the north and Point Adams on the south shore, command- ing the entrance into the Columbia River. 2. Puget Sound is easy of access for ships of any tonnage at every season of the year, and from Nesqually, near the head of the Inlet, troops can be forwarded during the summer months (say from July to October) with great facility, to any part of the Territory. 3. Fort Vancouver is a central position and would afford temporary accommodation for troops, but the present site of the fort is ill chosen for defense, nor does it command any particular or important point. 4. The falls of the River Willamette, where the village called "Oregon City" is now commenced, is an important point and is well adapted for defense, from the steepness and im- practicability of the immediately surrounding country. A small force stationed at this point would overawe the present American population and obtain any quantity of cat- tle, etc., to supply the troops in other parts of the country. 70 Joseph Schafer 5. It would be advantageous that an advanced post were established at some point on the Columbia River, say the "Cas- cades" or the "Dalles." But there is no accommodation for troops, and building materials are very scarce; nor will these points be of the same consequence, except as a guard against surprise, should the line of road over the Cascade range of mountains, which is already projected, be found available. In which case no troops or emigrants will take the longer and more tedious route of the Columbia River. With the above points occupied the approaches to the only inhabitable part of the country are completely obstructed — the barrenness of the desert on one side, and the mountains and denseness of the forests on the other, render it impenetrable except by the known routes. Nor are there any available har- bors on the coast where troops could be landed, except in Puget's Sound, Chehalis Harbor for vessels of very small ton- nage, and the Columbia River. I. — The Mouth of the Columbia River. The "Points" on either bank, and for some miles up the Co- lumbia River (except Point Adams) although apparently on superficial observation admirably adapted for positions of de- fense, are very objectionable on account of the height and steep- ness of the ground, preventing a battery being placed near the water level, where it would be most effective, and rendering extensive outworks necessary to prevent the position being flanked or commanded by the ground in the rear, or on either side. These objections are particularly objectionable to Chinook Point, to the projecting point opposite Pillar Rock command- ing the Tongue channel, heading to the north shore from Tongue Point, and to many positions otherwise adapted for obstructing the navigation of the river. In the present state of the country the Columbia River is the only line of communication leading directly from the coast to the interior. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 71 The Columbia River falls into the Pacific Ocean in Lat. — Long. — , forming a barred harbor for shipping, not drawing over 18 feet water. The sea is constantly breaking over this bar, and perpetually over the sands to the north and south of the entrance to the river, rendering it dangerous for ships at all seasons of the year. The distance from Point Adams on the south and Cape Dis- appointment on the north shore is about 5 miles, intersected by sand banks, having two islands, the courses of which are liable to constant changes in consequence of the shifting sands. We were enabled to mark the course of the north channel during our stay at Cape Disappointment by the departure of two vessels, an American merchant ship and a trader belong- ing to the Hudson's Bay Company, having taken nearly a month descending the river in consequence of the prevalence of the southwesterly winds during the winter, they were de- taind 47 days in Baker's Bay, showing the uncertainty of the river navigation and the disadvantages attendant on it as a place of debarkation. Cape Disappointment, at the northern entrance, overlooking the channel in most frequent use by vessels trading to the river, projects as a peninsula from the main shore, to which it is con- nected by a narrow neck of land, not over 400 yds. in width, and is not commanded by any ground in the rear, but the nar- row ridge of high ground facing the entrance is too steep, and the headland too small for a work of any magnitude, except at an enormous and useless expense. The area of the Cape contains 37 acres, rising toward the river like a wedge, rendering the greater portion steep and in- accessible. The area of the neck contains about 194 acres, of which about 60 are swamp. The soil is rich and deep in the valleys. The substrata is a kind of rocky, brittle sandstone. The timber is magnificent and covers the whole Cape, and is the only material found in the neighborhood calculated for building purposes. There is one small stream of spring water on the Cape, and two on the connecting neck of land, but they are not of very good quality. 72 Joseph Schafer Cape Disappointment is inaccessible toward the sea in con- sequence of the sands, which form an impassable line of break- ers along the coast. It is also cut off from the mainland by high, rocky headlands connected by a deep and marshy impas- sable swamp. There is no lime stone in this part of the coun- try, but sufficient shells have been collected for building chim- neys, etc., and coral, making very fair lime, has been frequently imported from the Sandwich Islands. The anchorage in Baker's Bay is completely under the com- mand of the north end of the Cape. The tide usually rises 8 to 10 feet. The currents are very strong and sweep across the sands, increasing the dangers of the navigation. During the year 1845 ^ spit has formed, nearly across the north channel, on which there is very little water, and changing the former bearings for entering the river. We beg to refer your Lordship to the engineering report of Lieut. Vav- asour and to the accompanying sketch, for a more minute de- scription of this headland, with projects for its defense, etc. The House of Representatives in the United States brought forward a bill on the 5th Feb., 1845, the organization of Oregon as a territory attached to the States.* They then recommended the immediate construction of for- tifications at the mouth of the Columbia River, on Cape Dis- appointment, and we understood from several respectable emi- grants that Lieut. Fremont, U. S. Topographical Engineers, had accompanied the present emigration with the intention of taking possession of the headland on behalf of the United States Government.! The importance they attach to this point has induced us to urge the Hudson's Bay Company, through Mr. Ogden, to take immediate possession of so important a position, in order to prevent the American Government ob- taining it, secretly from the present claimants, and occupy it without the knowledge of Her Majesty's Government. "This bill passed the House of Representatives on February 3d, 1845, by a vote of 140 to 59. fThe editor knows of nothing in the published proceedings of Congress or the War Department to confirm these statements. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 73 Mr, Ogden was at first inclined to meet our views on this subject, but his instructions from Sir George Simpson not be- ing sufficiently explicit, we are under the necessity of laying before your Lordship the accompanying correspondence with Mr. Ogden relative to the purchase of Cape Disappointment from the American citizens, which was not completed till near the end of February, 1846, and detained us till that period be- fore we could complete the survey of the Cape or make any arrangements for fulfilling this important part of our missioa Your Lordship will observe that Mr. Ogden has taken the entire responsibility of the purchase upon himself, but he was induced to effect this in consequence of the importance we at- tached to gaining peaceable possession of the Cape. The antic- ipated arrival of Lt. Fremont and the resolutions of the House of Representatives induced us to form this opinion and we trust your Lordship will approve of the expense incurred to gain this object. Point Adams on the south shore, commanding the south channel, is low sandy ground, densely covered with fir and pine timber. The channel has been seldom made use of. The chief obstacles to its navigation appear to be the strength of the current and the narrowness of the passage In the rear of Point Adams are situated the "Clatsop Plains," on which about 20 families, Canadians and Americans, are set- tled. They grow wheat and potatoes, and have sufficient num- ber of horses, cattle, pigs, etc., to supply troops until provisions can be obtained from the settlements above. Her Majesty's ship "Modeste" entered the river on the 2nd of November, and ascended the Columbia to Fort Vancouver; she anchored immediately opposite the fort, on the 29th Novr., having taken nearly a month in the ascent, owing to detention from wind, etc. The House of Representatives elected by the settlers in Ore- gon, assembled at Oregon City on the ist December. We had the honor of forwarding a copy of the Governor's message, or speech, on the occasion by the Hudson's Bay Com74 Joseph Schafer pany's ship "Vancouver," addressed to your Lordship, with an enclosure to His Excellency the Governor General in Can- ada, considering that the delay in forwarding our dispatches through England to Canada in order that they might be re- turned to England would warrant our deviating from His Lord- ship's instructions on this occasion. The House of Representatives remained in session about a fortnight, many laws, arbitrary in the present state of the coun- try, were proposed, but the majority of the members being well and peaceably inclined, they were not adopted. To show the feeling of the American population against the British subjects, it may be well to inform your Lordship of two measures, which were proposed as laws, but rejected. 1st. For the prevention of the half breed population from holding land or property in the country under the Organic laws, which would be equivalent to a separation between the two parties. The half breeds, children of the gentlemen and servants of the Company and of the Red River settlers, form- ing the principal and most numerous portion of Her Majesty's subjects in this country. 2d. For the taxation of the Sandwich Islanders, employed almost exclusively as servants and laborers, by the H. B. Com- pany, and intended merely to annoy and embarass the gentle- men in charge of the said company. The only laws of importance, except of local interest, that were passed during the session, were for the formation of two lines of communication across the Cascade range of mountains, south of the Columbia, which if practicable will shorten the distance from the emigrants pass in the Rocky Mountains to the Valley of the Willamette, and avoid the necessity of de- scending the Columbia. We have conversed with the contractor of one of these routes by the Sandiham [Santiam] River, who is sanguine as to the result. We should have visited this route had it been practica- ble at this season, but the snow in the mountains obstructed all communication. From the numerous difficulties experienced Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 75 by Lieut. Fremont and Dr. White (Indian agent for the U. States), who endeavored to penetrate by this route, across the Cascade Mountains, we cannot beheve that wagons, etc., can ever be. brought, across. Lieut. Fremont succeeded in forcing a passage, with the loss of all his horses, and great suffering to himself and men.* Dr. White returned to the settlement and declared it quite impracticable. Dr. White returned to the United States in August last at- tended by only three or four men. We regret to hear that he encountered a war party of Sioux Indians, after he had made the passage of the Rocky Mountains, who attacked and it is reported murdered the whole party, f The rain continued with but little interruption, notwith- standing which we visited the inner channel of the Willamette River, and the settlements situated on the left banks. We found this channel obstructed by numerous "snags" or fallen trees. Having landed at the settlement on Sauvis or Multnomah Island, which we found much flooded by the high water, we crossed the river to a small settlement near its mouth, called "Skapoose," where half a dozen American and Canadian fami- lies are located on the low ground between the river and a range of lofty hills, running parallel to the left bank. The ground is good, but liable to be completely inundated during the seasons of high water. From thence we crossed the hills to a large settlement on a fine rich, open prairie country called the "Tuality Plains," where about 150 Canadians, half breed, and American famihes are settled. The route across the Willamette Hills was about impassable on account of the heavy rains. The creeks and swamps were flooded and very difficult to traverse. In the dryest season this road is only passable for cattle and horses, and is the track used by the Indian tribes. The country is densely . covered with pine and cedar.
- This is a misconception as to Fremont's 1843-4 route.
jBut Dr. White, rather characteristically, lived "to tell the tale!" 76 Joseph Schafer From the Plains a wagon road has been commenced to Ska- poose, which may be available during the summer months, but the ground must require great care in the construction, and at an immense expense, in order to be practicable in the winter. The Tuality Plains are very beautiful, the ground rich and undulating, intersected by hills of fir and oak timber. The farms are well stocked with horses and cattle, in addition to which, hundreds of the latter are running wild throughout the country, having originally belonged to the H. B. Company.* In order to reach Oregon City on the falls of the Willamette we proceeded through a thickly wooded country, with occa- sional patches of open prairie, watered by numerous streams and occupied by Canadians and American families. This road to the falls has been made with much care, but the rivers hav- ing overflown [sic] their banks and carried away the logs which had been placed across as a substitute for bridges, we had much difficulty in effecting our passage, swimming our horses and wading through numerous swamps and marshes. From the falls we again ascended to the settlements higher up the Willamette River, the current in which was very strong. The banks are high and densely covered with timber. The roads to the Roman CathoHc Mission, etc., were quite as im- passable at this season as from the Tuality Plains. The difference in the strength of the current in the river from that when we formerly (in September) visited this part of the country, is very remarkable and would scarcely be cred- ited by any person unacquainted with the extraordinary rise of rivers in this country. The village at the falls has much improved in appearance. Many buildings have been erected and the trees, etc., cleared from the adjacent heights. Since the summer a village called Portland has been com- menced between the falls and Linnton, to which an American merchant ship ascended and discharged her cargo, in Sep- tember.
- Many were brought up from California in 1837. See Schafer's History of
the Pacific Northwest, 160-163. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 77 The situation of Portland is superior to that of Linnton, and the back country of easier access. There are several settlements on the banks of the river, be- low the falls. But the water, covering the low lands during the freshets render them valueless for cultivation, and but few situations can be found adapted for building upon. The American immigrants have as yet confined themselves principally to the valley of the Willamette, which has by far the richest soil, and finest land, in the whole territory. The cultivable part of it, however, cannot be said to extend more than 60 or 80 miles in length, and 15 or 20 miles in breadth. Nearly all the prairie land is now taken up, and the immigrants are too indolent to clear the woods. They are consequently forming new settlements on the banks of the Columbia, at the mouth of the same river, and on the beautiful but not very rich plains to the north, in the neighborhood of Nisqually and Pugef s Sound. During the month of February we again descended the Co- lumbia, attentively examined the headlands and important posi- tions on either shore, and completed our survey of Cape Dis- appointment and beg to submit the following remarks. Point George, on which Fort George (formerly Astoria) is situated, is about 12 miles from the mouth of the river; the ground rises gradually to the rear, covered with pine trees. The Hudson's Bay Company have a small establishment on the end of the point, undefended even by pickets. This post (which they hold by permission of the government of the United States, having been given up at the close of the last war) is to be abandoned, and the depot or trading post to be established on Cape Disappointment. About three miles above Fort George is Tongue Point, a high, steep peninsula, covered with timber, containing about 70 acres, connected with the main shore by a narrow neck, about 80 yards in width. This point completely commands the ship channel, and is not itself commanded by the ground in its rear (vide sketches, etc.). 78 Joseph Schafer Chinook Point, at the head of Baker's Bay, nearly opposite Point George, is a long, level, swampy beach, commanded by the hills in the rear which are covered except on the extreme point with dense forests of pine. Above Chinook Point, the north shore presents a succession of steep, inaccessible, rocky hills, descending to the water's edge, covered with timber, offering points where a temporary work might be erected to obstruct the navigation but from the commanding nature of the ground rendering the construction of one of a more permanent nature a large and unnecessary expense. From above Tongue Point the banks of the river recede, forming large shallow bays, intersected by numerous small isl- ands and sandbanks, through which the ship channel has a tortuous course tending towards the north shore, from thence to Vancouver, the head of the ship navigation, the breadth of the river seldom exceeds two miles, and the channel varies ac- cording to the sand, from shore to shore. Much difficulty is experienced on the Lower Columbia in finding "encampments" from the nature of the river banks, which in some places are low, swampy, and covered with "jun- gle," and at others high, rocky, and too steep to be easily ascended. The tide also covers the low lands for 30 miles from the mouth of the river. The wet season continued with little inter- ruption till the 17th March. We have received no intelligence from England since the 20th May (1845), consequence of the impossibility of traversing the Rocky Mountains during the melting of the snows we cannot await the anticipated arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company's ship, supposed to have left for this country last September. We left Fort Vancouver in company with the annual express forwarded to the Red River Settlement by the northern water communication on the 25th March. Having made the usual "portages" at the "Cascades," "Dalles" and Chutes, we reached Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 79 Fort Nez Perces on the Walla Walla River on the 3d April, from whence we proceeded on horseback, calling at the Meth- odist [American Board] Missions on the Walla Walla and Spo- kane Rivers, to Fort Colville over a barren, rocky, sandy desert. This country for a distance of 200 miles is completely denuded of timber and with the exception of the Snake (or south branch of the Columbia River, about 300 yards wide, which we crossed in the Indian canoes, swimming- our horses, the Spokane River traversed by the same means, and two other small streams), is very scantily supplied with water. From the Spokane River to Fort Colville (about 80 miles) the country is well timbered with pine and larch, but the soil is poor and sandy. The boats left Fort Nez Perces on the 3d April, ascended the Columbia, but did not arrive at Fort Colville till the 22d, when we again embarked and reached "The Boat Encampment" on the 2d May. The upper Columbia River, with the exception of two nar- row lakes about 30 and 25 miles in length, is extremely rapid, and in many places dangerous even for boat navigation. The banks are very precipitous and densely covered with small pine timber, causing much difficulty in hauling the boats and many impediments in making "portages" at the different rapids. From the Boat Encampment we proceeded on snow shoes across the Rocky Mountains by the usual "portage" route, ascending the Canoe River, through which we had constantly to wade, for three days, crossed the height of land from whence the Athabasca River takes its rise and descended the latter river a distance of no miles to Jasper House, a small post of the Hudson's Bay Company, at the foot of the Rocky Moun- tains, where we obtained large and well constructed boats in which we descended the same river upward of 200 miles to Fort Assiniboine, formerly a post of some importance to the H. B. Company, but of late years abandoned except as a depot of provisions, for the canoes and boats, proceeding to and from the Columbia and the Athabasca and Mackenzie River stations further to the north. 8o Joseph Schafer The Athabasca River, although very strong at seasons of high water, is free from dangerous rapids, between the points above mentioned, nor is it necessary at any season to make a "portage." From the Athabasca River we proceeded, on horseback, a distance of about lOO miles to Edmonton on the Saskatchewan River, through a flat and nearly continual swampy country, difficult to traverse at all seasons, and almost impassable dur- ing the early spring and autumn. There is one large (the Pamino) and two smaller rivers to cross, which we effected in canoes, swimming our horses. We arrived at Fort Edmonton, already described, on the 17th May, and embarked on the i8th in large and well built boats, but too heavy to be serviceable were it necessary to make portages, from which the Saskatchewan River, although occa- sionally interrupted by sand banks, is free. Allowing the boat to drift with the current during the night, we continued without interruption, descending the same river to Fort Carlton, from whence we proceeded on horseback a distance of about 460 miles to the Red River Settlement, by nearly the same route we followed last year, and arrived at Fort Garry, the principal trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company on the 7th June. Although the more northern route to the Columbia River is in every way preferable to that by which we entered the Ore- gon Territory last year, the difficulties of conveying men, pro- visions, stores, etc., should it ever be deemed advisable to send troops overland to that country, are also very great. The ascent of the Saskatchewan and the Athabasca Rivers, which we descended with great facility, causes much delay and loss of time. The portage between the two rivers, although not impracticable, would require much improvement, the swamps and deep muddy gullies, filled up with "fascenes" to form a roadway, the swollen streams bridged, on account of the depth and tenacity of their muddy beds and banks, and boats or rafts constructed at the 'Tamino" River. Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 81 The snow covered the whole country to the depth of several feet, at the season we crossed the Rocky Mountains, and pro- visions were carried on men's shoulders the greater part of the before mentioned distance of no miles, but later in the year the Hudson's Bay Company are annually in the habit of for- warding furs, stores, etc., on horseback through the same pass, and without any serious impediment, except those arising from the denseness of the forests on either side, the occasional swamps, which could be made practicable by "fascenes," and the necessity of constantly fording the headwaters of the Canoe and Athabasca Rivers. We beg to forward herewith a more detailed census of the Indian population, from which our condensed report (for- warded in Nov. last) was taken. The Indians of the Northwest Coast appear to be unusually numerous, but we have been repeatedly assured that their numbers are not exaggerated. Around the different posts, vis- ited by us, our own observations led us to believe that the ac- companying lists are accurate. We have endeavored, when it was not possible to obtain the exact statement of their num- bers, to make our estimate rather under the actual numerical strength. We beg also to forward a condensed report of the different establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company, visited by us during our journey to and during our residence in the Oregon Territory, showing their capabilities of defense, sit- uation, description of buildings, etc. In conclusion, we must beg to be allowed to observe, with an unbiased opinion, that whatever may have been the orders, or the motives of the gentlemen in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts on the west of the Rocky Mountains their policy has tended to the introduction of the American settlers into the country. We are convinced that without their assistance not 30 Amer- ican families would now have been in the settlement. The first immigrations, in 1841 or 1842, arrived in so miser- able a condition that had it not been for the trading posts of 82 Joseph Schafer the Hudson's Bay Company they must have starved, or been cut off by the Indians. Through motives of humanity, we are willing to believe, and from the anticipations of obtaining their exports of wheat and flour to the Russian settlements and to the Sandwich Islands, at a cheaper rate,* the agents of the Hudson's Bay Company gave every encouragement to their settlement, and goods were forwarded to the Willamette Falls, and retailed to these citi- zens of the United States at even a more advantageous rate than to the British subjects. Thus encouraged emigrations left the United States in 1843, 1844 and 1845, were received in the same cordial manner. Their numbers have increased so rapidly that the British party are now in the minority, and the gentlemen of the Hud- son's Bay Company have been obliged to join the organiza- tion, without any reserve except the mere form of the oath of office. Their lands are invaded — themselves insulted — and they now require the protection of the British Government against the very people to the introduction of whom they have been more than accessory. We leave this settlement (Red River) on the i8th June, and expect to reach Canada (by the same route we ascended last year, from La Sault St. Marie) about the 20th July. We have the honor to be. My Lord, your Lordship's obedient, humble servants, Henry J. Warre, Lt. 14th Regt. M. Vavasour, Lieut. Royal Eng. Employed on the [particular] service. Sir George Simpson, on his arrival in this settlement, from Canada, on the 7th June, requested us, in the accompanying letter, to give him such information connected with the result
- See on this point Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev., XIV, p. 80. of our late journey to the Oregon Territory as we might feel at liberty to disclose.
As the instructions received from the Governor General, and the Commander of the Forces in Canada, desire the most cordial co-operation with Sir George Simpson, and as we could not fulfill his wishes without multiplying the correspondence, already too voluminous, we laid our report, etc., before him, in order that he might receive the desired information.
H. J. W., Lt. 14th.
Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, June i6th, 1846.
Red River Settlement, Fort Garry, 10th June, 1846.
Gentlemen: Referring to my letter of the 30th May, 1845, I have to request the favor of your furnishing me with any information you may feel at liberty to give connected with the result of your late mission to the Oregon Territory.
In particular, it is very desirable I should be possessed of your opinion as to the capabilities and value of Cape Disappointment as a military station, and of the site of Fort Victoria and the neighboring harbor as a port of refuge and refreshment for shipping.
I have further to beg the favor of your inspection of the upper and lower forts in this settlement, with a view to ascertaining the protection and extent of accommodations to troops, and that you will furnish me with a report on that subject, stating what alterations and improvements you may consider it advisable to make to place them in a better condition for the reception of troops.
I shall feel obliged by any general suggestions you may feel at liberty or be disposed to offer, in reference to the maintenance and defense of the Company's establishments and interests, in such parts of both sides of the continent as you may have visited.
(Signed) George Simpson.
Joseph Schafer Red R. S., June 12, 1846. Copy. Confidential. My Dear Sir: In answer to the questions in your confi- dential letter of the loth June relating to the protection and accommodations for troops in the establishments of the Hud- son's Bay Company at Red River, we beg to inform you that Fort Garry will afford sufficient accommodations for 300 men including officers, etc., should all the buildings be given up for the accommodation of the troops. We would also recommend that chimneys should be constructed at either end of the build- ings now used as storehouses, and that the walls of the same buildings be filled between the frame work in order to ren- der them sufficiently warm for barracks in the winter. The above are the only alterations we think it advisable to make at the present time, leaving the alteration of the interior arrangement to the officers in command after the arrival of the troops in the country. (Signed) Henry J. Warre, etc. M. Vavasour, etc. [No. 13.] LIEUT. VAVASOUR'S [ENGINEERING] REPORT. Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, Oregon Territory, ist March, 1846. Sir : In continuation of my report dated Red River Settle- ment 10 June, 1845, I have the honor to inform you that I left that settlement in company with Lieut. Warre and party of the i6th June. [Omit down to last H on page 7. Matter omitted refers exclusively to the part of the journey east of the mountains, a description of the Columbia River and the trading posts along it, to Fort Vancouver, matter which is sufficiently covered in the general report.] Before continuing my repoit, and with reference to the 3d paragraph of your orders, I beg to insert an extract of a letWarre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 8s ter from Sir George Simpson to Lieut. Warre and myself (Sir George Simpson having remained at Red River), which contains all the information or advice I have received from that gentleman. "While in the Oregon territory" [as per Sir G. Simpson's letter copied from W. O. records]. By the foregoing extract you will perceive that the points to which Sir George Simpson has drawn my attention are Cape Disappointment and Tongue Point. The former has been purchased by one of the Hudson's Bay Company, for the disposal of Her Majesty's Government, the latter is in the pos- session of an American citizen. The banks of the Willamette River, between the Columbia and the Falls, and also for the most part settled by British subjects and American citizens. Fort Vancouver on the north bank of the Columbia River in 45° 36 min. N. Lat., and 122° 39 min. W. Long., 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean, at the head of the ship navigation, is the principal post of the Hudson's Bay Company on the west of the Rocky Mountains. The present fort is placed near the end of a small plain on the bank of the Columbia River, which is nearly inundated by the spring freshets. A ridge of the high land on which the old fort was situated confines this plain on the north, in the rear of the present site, over which it has a command. This establishment contains several large store houses, made of squared timber, one small stone powder magazine and sev- eral framed dwelling houses ; these are surrounded by a picket fence 15 feet high and 226 yards by 106 yards. At the N. W^ angle there is a bastion block house 20 feet square, the two lower stories are loop-holed, the upper is an octagonal cap containing eight 3 lb. iron guns. The establishment was re- moved from the rising ground before mentioned in conse- quence of the inconvenient distance from the river side, for the conveyance of goods and procuring water, the latter de- fect has been remedied by sinking two wells in the present fort, which are supplied by the river, the water filtering 86 Joseph Schafer through the soil, which is composed of gravel and sand a few feet below the surface, these wells rise and fall with the vari- ations of the river. The plain is inundated in the same man- ner, the water rising through the earth and forming a lake, before the banks are overflowed. . The simplest method of strengthening this post against sud- den attack would be to dig a ditch round it, throwing the earth against the pickets, which should be loop holed and a banquette formed on the interior, erecting another small block house at the S. E. angle,* to flank the south and east sides, and placing small traverses behind the gates. But in the event of Vancouver being occupied by troops, I would recommend the position marked on the plan, which is not commanded by any ground in the immediate vicinity, is contiguous to the ship channel, and presents the advantage of never being liable to inundation ; it is at present covered with fine pine trees, which could be made available in the construc- tion of barracks, etc., all of which must be built of wood, there being no limestone found on the Columbia nearer than Fort Colville or Vancouver's Island in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. The lime used by the Hudson's Bay Company in building their chimneys being made from coral brought from the Sand- wich Islands. For this position I would recommend a picket enclosure, ditched and flanked by two small block houses, having a bat- tery facing the river, made of logs, in which two eighteen pds. [pounders] might be placed to command the ship channel, the H. B. Co. having two at their establishment, the barracks to be built of logs or squared timber, which can be procured of any dimensions in the immediate vicinity. The H. B. Co. have a saw and grist mill on a small stream six miles from Vancouver and a large farm attached, with large bands of horses, herds of cattle, and flocks of sheep. The Columbia River is about one mile wide at Vancouver and runs in a N. W. direction towards the sea; six miles be-
- Which was done, to the great annoyance of the American settlers. Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6.
low Vancouver the north branch of the Willamette River, from the south, enters the Columbia, and the south branch 12 miles further down, forming a large island which is nearly- all inundated at the periods of high water. The Cowhtz River joins the Columbia from the north, about 35 miles below Vancouver. These are the most important tributaries, but there are innumerable small streams running into it from either side. About 90 miles from Vancouver on the south side of the river is Fort George, formerly called Astoria, which was given up to the American Government at the close of the last war. At this post there are a few old wooden buildings, but not even surrounded by a picket fence. This establishment is about to be abandoned and a new one formed on Cape Disappointment. A range of hills runs on either side of the river following its general course, receding at some places for three and four miles from its immediate banks, at others abutting immediately on them, forming per- pendicular scarps, where the hills recede from the river the intervening ground is low and marshy, and covered with water for two months in the year. There is no road from Vancouver to the sea and all communication is carried on by boats and canoes navigating the river. The most important points on the Columbia River are Cape Disappointment, Point Adams and Tongue Point. Cape Dis- appointment being the extremity of its north and Point Adams of its south bank. These two points completely command the entrance of the river, which is about five miles wide. Cape Disappointment is a high, bold headland, consisting of two bluffs, having perpendicular scarps toward the sea, connected by a narrow ridge running nearly N. and S., of about 30 feet in width on the top, the face being nearly per- pendicular and about 320 feet in height, sloping more grad- ually to the rear, where it is connected with the mainland by a neck of 30 yards in width. The sea coast for about half a mile presents a scarp of about the same height as the Cape, but is only a narrow ridge with two spurs running at right 88 Joseph Schafer angles toward Baker's Bay. These spurs are also narrow and steep ; that to the N. West falling into a large, deep marsh of about half a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile in width, near the extremity of which there are two headlands jutting into the sea and rising abruptly from it. The Cape and adja- cent country is densely covered with pine trees. Point Adams, on the south shore, is a low, sandy point, densely covered with timber, having some small plains in its rear, on which there are several families settled. . The entrance to the Columbia River is obstructed by a very dangerous bar, two lines of breakers, called the north and south spits, running respectively from Cape Disappointment to Point Adams, and also a middle sand, between these two points, on either side of which run the north and south chan- nels.. The north and one in general use passes close under the north bluff of the Cape, which completely commands it, and also the anchorage in Baker's Bay. The south channel runs along the Clatsop shore, is straight but narrow, and has sel- dom been attempted. These channels are constantly chang- ing; the difficulties of the northern have been greatly increased by the formation of a new spit in the channel during the last year, altering all the former bearings and marks for entrance. Tongue Point on the south shore of the Columbia and 15 miles from its mouth, is a narrow peninsula, half a mile in length, containing about 70 acres of land. The highest point is about 300 feet above the river, from whence it descends, in a succession of steps, towards the mainland, and its ex- tremity; the western side is steep in all and quite perpendicu- lar in many places, on the east side it slopes more gradually, but is very steep, having a small space of open level on the summit, the remainder is covered with magnificent fir trees, having a thick underbrush on the east side. The ship chan- nel at present known passes round this point, whether the river is entered by the north or the south channel, for which Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 89 reason the occupation of this point is evidently so advan- tageous. For the occupation of Cape Disappointment I would rec- ommend three batteries of heavy guns. One of four guns on the center of the Cape, one of four guns on the north bluff, and a third of two guns on the spur running from the north bluff toward the middle sand, with a two-storied block house placed near a small run of water, with the earth thrown up to form a parapet round it, overlooking the landing place in Baker's Bay. The block house will be made of wood, being the only material on the spot, and which can be procured of any dimensions, many of the trees on the Cape measuring 20 feet in circumference. On Point Adams I would place a battery of six guns, hav- ing its gorge defended by a block house similar to that for Cape Disappointment. These points being covered with im- mense timber, which would require a length of time to remove, open works could not easily be formed, more particularly at the Cape, from the nature of the ground. From the nature of the coast and the continual line of breakers, boats could not land for several miles north or south of these points, and boats entering the river by the ship channel on a calm day would be exposed from every part of the Cape, and a few men well disposed could prevent their effecting a landing in Baker's Bay, the only available spot for the purpose near the Cape. The nearest place on the sea coast north of Cape Disap- pointment for a safe landing in boats is 18 miles distant in Shoalwater Bay, and the nearest harbor in Chehelis Bay, com- monly called Gray's Harbor, which will admit vessels of the light draught, having only nine feet of water on the bar, is 40 miles distant. For the occupation of Tongue Point I would recommend a battery of heavy guns on the west side, overlooking the ship channel, with a block house or defensible barrack near its gorge. Tongue Point might easily be cut off from the main 90 Joseph Schafer shore by a ditch across the narrow neck of land connecting it, which is only 80 yards across.* There are some other points on the north shore apparently offering good positions, such as Chinook Point and Point Ellis. The whole of the north shore from Cape Disappoint- ment is covered with an impenetrable forest, with the excep- tion of Chinook Point, which is low and sandy, having a high bare hill in its rear, at the foot of which there is a small marsh. Point Ellis is steep and rocky; these points might be made available for temporary purposes, but, with the occupation of Cape Disappointment and Tongue Point would not, I think, be required. The south shore of the Columbia is also high and covered with forest. The navigation of the Columbia River is obstructed by numerous sand banks, which are constantly shifting, and ves- sels are often detained a long time in ascending and descend- ing it, as also in Baker's Bay, waiting for a favorable oppor- portunity of crossing the bar. The H. B. Company's barge Vancouver was one month from Vancouver to Baker's Bay, and 45 days laying in the Bay, before an opportunity offered of leaving the river. An American merchant vessel, the Tou- lon, was also detained for the same period. The two ships cleared the bar in company during my last visit to Cape Dis- appointment. The other posts belonging to the H. B. Company which 1 have visited are the Cowlitz, Nesqually and Puget's Sound, and Fort Victoria on Vancouver's Island, in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Descending the Columbia River for 35 miles (from Fort Vancouver) to the mouth of the Cowlitz, ascend- ing it for 45 miles to the Cowlitz farm, the Cowlitz is very rapid and shallow, but like all the rivers in this country, sub- ject to sudden rises of the water, caused by the melting of the snows or the rains in the mountains, during these floods the river is difficult of ascent, the boats being pulled up by the branches, the banks being too thickly wooded to admit of 'The present railroad is laid through such a ditch. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 91 tracking with a line, it, however, is navigable at all seasons for flat bottomed boats, in which the H. B. Company transport the produce of the Cowlitz farm to Fort Vancouver. The farm establishment is situated on a large plain about 500 yards from the river, and about one mile from the land- ing place ; there is a small settlement of about 19 families, and a Roman Catholic church in the immediate neighborhood. There are large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and bands of horses at this point. At the Cowlitz we procured horses and rode to Nesqually, a distance of about 60 miles. This route, or portage, as it is usually called, passes through small plains, traversing the in- tervening points of woods, crossing the Quinze Sous, Vassals, Chute and Nesqually Rivers, all of which are fordable in the summer, but become deep and rapid in the winter and spring. Nesqually is also an agricultural and sheep farm, the build- ings are of wood situated at the end of a large plain, close to a fine stream of fresh water, and about one mile from the shores of Puget's Sound. This appears the best place for landing troops in the coun- try. The Straits of Juan de Fuca and Puget's Sound being accessible to vessels of any tonnage and at all seasons with safe and commodious harbors. There being large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep at the Nesqually establishment, pro- visions could easily be procured, and troops forwarded from Puget's Sound to the Columbia by the Portage and Cowlitz River. Light baggage, etc., can be forwarded from the head of Puget's Sound, making a portage of five miles through a thickly wooded country to the head of the Satchal or Black River, which can be descended in flat bottomed boats or rafts for 25 miles, to the Chehalis River, ascending which for 30 miles, from whence there is a portage of 15 miles, to the Cow- litz Farm. This latter portage can be traveled by carts, the road having been opened by the few settlers on the plains. The Satchal and Chehalis Rivers are rapid and the latter is 92 Joseph Schafer obstructed in one or two places by drift wood. From the Cow- litz farm the troops, etc., can descend the river in boats, to the Columbia and proceed to any required position on it, by the same means. At Nesqually I would recommend a block house or defensi- ble guard house, overlooking the Sound, and commanding the road from the landing place, the banks on the shore being too steep to be easily ascended excepting at this point. Any de- scription of works can be thrown up, (such as a bastioned re- doubt) on the large plain near the Sequality stream, with bar- racks, etc., for the accommodation of the troops. Fort Victoria is situated on the southern end of Vancouver's Island in the small harbor of Commusan, [ ?] the entrance to which is rather intricate. The fort is a square enclosure of lOO yards, surrounded by cedar pickets 20 feet in height, having two octagonal bastions, containing each six 6-pd. iron guns, at the N. E. and S. W. angles. The buildings are made of square timber 8 in number forming three sides of an oblong. This tort has lately been established ; it is badly situated witn re- gard to water and position, which latter has been chosen for its agricultural advantages only. About three miles distant and nearly connected by a small inlet, is the Squirrel harbor, which is very commodious and accessible at all times, offer- ing a much better position and having also the advantage of a supply of water in the vicinity. This is the best built of the Company's posts, it requires v loop holing, and a platform or gallery, to enable men to fire over the pickets ; a ditch might be cut round it, but the rock appears on the surface in many places. There is plenty of timber of every description on Vancou- ver's Island, as also limestone, which could be transported to Nesqually or other places in the territory when it may be here- after deemed necessary to form permanent works, barracks, etc. Oregon City is situated on the right bank of the Willamette River about 21 miles above its junction with the Columbia, Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 93 and immediately below the Falls, which are about 35 feet m height. It contains about 300 inhabitants, two churches of wood, two grist and three saw mills, and about 80 houses, with one exception built of wood. There are two ferries across the river communicating with the Tuality Plains. The coun- try in the immediate vicinity is very high and rocky, forming two scarps one immediately behind the town and the other about 500 yards from the river. These scarps are very high, the first being about 100 feet and the second of still greater elevation ; the ground falls away towards the Clackamas River, below the junction of which with the Willamette River there is a small rapid which is difficult to ascend during high water. The ground on the left bank of the river immediately oppo- site to Oregon City is very much broken, steep and rocky, and both the banks are covered with a thick forest. The settlement extends about 60 miles up the river on either bank and contains about 5000 inhabitants, composed of Cana- dians and Americans. Twenty-five miles from Oregon City there is a Roman Catholic mission with several large wooden buildings, two churches, dwelling houses and a nunnery. There is an American Methodist Mission 25 miles higher up the set- tlement. At both of these missions ferries are established across the river. At Oregon City I would recommend three block houses, one at the upper end of the town, near the Falls, one near the lower end overlooking the road to Champooick, and the upper settlements, to be placed on the first scarp, and a third on the higher scarp behind, to prevent its being occupied and a com- mand obtained over the ground below. The mills of Dr. Mc- Loughlin might be loop holed and made defensible, being built of square timber. I have recommended block houses for the defense of those points of the country at which I think defensive works are required, as the country is nearly all covered with dense for- ests at these points ; they are easy of construction and the ma- terials are on the spot. All defensive works must be thrown up by the troops, there being no available labor in the country. Everything there has a nominal value and there is no circulating medium, wheat is being taken as the standard. For these reasons I have not been able to form any estimates of expense.
As all subjects of general information are embodied in the joint report of Lieut. Warre and myself addressed to his Lord- ship the Secretary to the Colonies, I have not referred to them further than as they are connected with the descriptions of the establishments of the H. B. Company in the country.
(Signed) M. Vavasour,
Lt. Royal Engr.
To Coir. Holloway, Comr. Royal Engineers, Canada.
Hudson's Bay House, Deer. 16, 1846.
[To Mr. Addington]—Sir: As the expedition of Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour, and the journeys of Sir George Simp- son to Washington were undertaken at the instance of the Earl of Aberdeen, I have forwarded the acct. of the expenses thereby incurred to the Foreign Office, and request that you will have the goodness to cause it to be sent to whatever de- partment of the government it ought to be directed.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedt. servant,
95 Specimen items in the general accovmt of Warre and Vavasour at Fort Vancouver, showing the prices current on the Columbia in the years 1845 to 1846. To 2 pr. plain blankets 29 lbs. fresh beef 7 lbs. butter 1 lb. Hyson Tea 10 lbs. loaf sugar 15 loaves bread 3 candles 1}^ graniteware cups and saucers 15 lbs. salt pork 15 lbs. mutton 4 lbs. gunpowder 33^ lbs. bar lead 6 lbs. twist tobacco 25 lbs. fresh pork 9 5-8 qt. Brandy 1 5-8 qt. Port Wine 1 3-8 qt. Maderia 2 foolscap books, 2 quires 1 memorandum, 800 Note: At Vancouver the American money table is used, the dollar being the imit. East of the mountains from and including Ft. Colville, the British table is used. Her Majestt's Government, Dr. To the Hudson's Bay Company for supplies and advances connected with the expedition of Messrs. Warre and Vavasour to the Oregon Territory and returning to Canada, as per detailed accovmts, viz: No. 1. Montreal Dept. — Passage from La Chine to Red River Express Canoes No. 2. Red River 1845, supplies, journey to Vancouver No. 3. Swan River, supplies, journey to Vancouver No. 4. Saskatchewan, supplies, journey to Vancouver No. 5. Columbia, sundry supplies No. 6. Northern Dept. Conveyance from Ft. Vancouver to Red River No, 7. Northern Dept. P., passage from Red River to St. St. Marie — Express Canoes No. 8. Red River — Sundry supplies, 1846 Total G. Simpson. Certified: Henry J. Warre, Lt. 14th Regt. M. Vavasour, Lt. Royal Engr. 166 89 12 246 166 111 110 61 963
- That is, 963 pounds, 7 shillings, and 4 pence, or about $5,000. 96
Joseph Schafer Suspense Account, Dr. To the following supplies to Lieut. Vavasour, viz.:* 1845. Aug. 27 Aug. 28 Sept. 12 Oct. 20 Nov. Dec. 8 22 24 1846. Jan. 22 22 Feb. March 24 11 12 16 21 To 1 S. fine beaver hat 1 frock coat 1 cloth vest 1 pr. buckskin trousers 1 pr. tweed trousers 4 white cotton shirts 3 tooth brushes 1 nail brush 2 hair brushes 1 large razor strop doz. pipes ^/i bundle seed beads 1 bundle garnet beads 3 cakes vegetable soap 1 bottle Extract of Roses 1 nail brush 1 pr. Blucher shoes 1 Valencia Vest 2 Paris silk handkerchiefs 1 pr. Warner shoes 2 yds. Hair Ribbon 43 yds. H. B. blue strands 2 yds. Highland gaiters 1 yd. white flannel 1 doz. clay pipes 23^ yds. wh. blanketing 3H yds. grey cotton yi yd. 2d dark blue cloth yi lb. colored thread No. 12 9 yds. lace 1 yd. black padding cloth H ger. black braid 2 yds. silk twist thread 2 yds. hair ribbon 1 yd. 6d ribbon 1 skein colored silk 1 paper pins Transfer Cr. Mr. Ross 3 yds. green silk gauze 1 pr. ladies' shoes 1 yd. hair ribbon 1 box Bowlands Odante 1 yd. grev cotton yd. 2d blue cloth 1-6 yd. scarlet cloth 1 pc. black carding Cash paid for newspapers at the Wil- lamette FaUs To transfer Cr. Mrs. Mcintosh, for needlework To transfer Cr. Mrs. Pambrum for ganished work $127.78 @ 4s 6d per dollar is @ % 8.88 26.40 4.32 9.12 6.48 $2 .40 9.60 .28 .84 .40 .72 1 .44 1.68 .12 .24 .18 .12 .32 .96 1 .68 .40 3 .72 3.36 .84 1 .68 2 .08 .08 .16 2 .14 1 .42 .04 .08 .46 .24 2 .20 5.50 .10 .30 3 .80 .96 .19 1 .80 .18 12 .04 .16 .06 .02 .24 2.22 3.24 2.08 .08 1.08 .18 3.84 1.28 2.24 .27 .12 1.40 12.22 7.00 8127.78 £ 28 15 Warre, do. (Signed) G. Simpson, M. Vavasour.
- Warre's separate account is similar. The general account includes supplies,
etc., for both officers and the men employed by them. Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 97 [No. 15.] Expedition of Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour to the Oregon Territory. Inclosures in Colonial Office letter of 3d Novem- ber, 1846. Schedule of enclosures forwarded by Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour, with their dispatch and general report, addressed to the Rt. Hon. the Secy, of State for the Colonies, dated Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, June 16, 1846. No. I. Copy of memorandum of the Comr. of the Forces in Canada. No. 2. Dispatch addressed by Lord Metcalfe, Gov. Gen- eral in Canada, to the Comr. of the Forces, dated Montreal, May, 1845. No. 3. Instructions from the Comr. of the Forces in Can- ada to Lieut. Warre. No. 4. Copy of letter addressed by Sir G. Simpson, Gov. of the Hon. H. B. Co., to Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour, dated Encampment Lac La Pluie, May 30, 1845. No. 5. Copies of dispatches forwarded from the Red River Settlement to the Gov. Genl. in Canada and the Secy, of State for the Colonies, dated Fort Garry, Red River Settlement, June 10, 1845. Marked (B) and (C). No. 6. Copies of dispatches forwarded from Fort Van- couver, on the Columbia River, by the Llonble. H. B. Co. ves- sel the "Cowlitz" to His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, and the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated Fort Vancouver, November ist, 1845. Marked (D) and (E). No. 7. Copy of bill, organizing the Oregon Territory and attaching it to the United States and recommending the imme- diate construction of fortifications, by the American Govern- ment, on Cape Disappointment. Marked ( ). No. 8. Copy of dispatch enclosing speech of Govr. of Ore- gon, forwarded by Hon. H. B. Co.'s ship Vancouver," to the Sandwich Islands, thence under cover to the British Consul at Bias [ ?] to the Secretary of State for the Colonies, dated Fort Vancouver, Dec. 8, 1845, marked (H), enclosing dis- patch to Gov. Genl. in Canada of same date, marked (G). 98 Joseph Schafer No. 9. Census of the Indian population in the Oregon Ter- ritory. No. 10. Condensed report of the Hudson's Bay Company's Trading Posts visited by Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour on their journey to and during their residence in the Oregon Territory. No. II. Copy of a letter addressed by Sir G. Simpson to Lieuts. Warre and Vavasour on their return to the Red River Settlement dated Fort Garry, R. R. St. [?], June 10, 1846. No. 12. Copies of correspondence with Mr. Ogden, Chief Factor of H. B. Co. service, relative to the purchase of Cape Disappointment. Marked (F). (Nine letters.) No. 13. Table of estimated distances on the Columbia River and in the Oregon Territory. No. 14. Account given in by the Honble. H. B. Company for supplies, etc., connected with the expedition of Messrs. Warre and Vavasour to the Oregon Territory and return to Canada. (Signed) Henry J. Warre, Lt. 14 Regt. Surveys, plans and sketches accompanying the above men- tioned dispatches. No. I. Map showing the route of Lieuts. Warre and Vav- asour to the Oregon Territory. No. 2. Plan of Fort Vancouver. No. 3. Plan of Fort Victoria and chart of Camrasan [?] Harbor. No. 4. Sketch of the plains in the vicinity of Fort Nis- qually on Puget's Sound forwarded in November, 1845. No. 5. Survey of Cape Disappointment showing its com- mand over the ship channel. No. 6. Eye sketch of the route from Cowlitz River to Puget's Sound. No. 7. Eye sketch showing the site of Oregon City of the Willamette River. Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 99 No. 8. Survey of Tongue Point on the Columbia River, showing its command over the ship channel. APPENDIX. One result of this expedition was a book entitled : "Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory." By Captain H. Warre. (A. D. C. to the Commander of the Forces). Lithographed, printed and published by Dickinson and Co., New Bond street. [London, Eng.], and dedicated to "The Governor, Deputy Governor and Committee of the Honorable the Hudson's Bay Company." The book contains, aside from the preface, the following sketches lithographed: 1. Fort Garry. 2. Falls of the Kamanistaquoia River. 3. Buffalo hunting on the W. Prairies and forcing a pas- sage through the burning prairie. (Two on same page). 4. Distant view of the Rocky Mountains. 5. The Rocky Mountains. 6. Source of the Columbia River. 7. Fort Vancouver and Indian tombs. (Two on same page). 8. Mount Baker and Cape Disappointment. 9. Valley of the Willamette River. 10. The American Village (Oregon City). 11. Fort George (formerly Astoria), and McGillivray's or Kootenai River. 12. Les Dalles, Columbia River. 13. Mt. Hood from The Dalles. 14. Mt. Hood. 15. Falls of the Peloos [Palouse] River. 16. The Rocky Mountains from the Columbia River, look- ing N. W. THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY Organized December 17. 1898 FREDERICK V. HOLMAN ..... Pnsident JOSEPH R. WILSON ..... Vice.Pre»ident F.G. YOUNG - . . . - - Secretan CHARLES E. LADD ...... Trcasurtr GEORGE H. HIMES. Aulslant Stcretan. DIRECTORS THE GOVERNOR OF OREGON, ex officio. THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, ex officio. Term expires at Annual Meeting in December, 1909. FREDERICK V. HOLMAN, WM. D. FENTON. Term expires at Annual Meeting in December, 1910. ARTHUR C. BOGGESS. MILTON W. SMITH. Term expires at Annual Meeting in December, 191 1. MRS. MARIA L. MYRICK, CHARLES J. SCHNABEU Term expires at Annual Meeting in December, 1912. MRS. HARRIET K. McARTHUR, GEORGE H. HIMES. The Quarterly is sent free to all members of the Society. The annual dues are two doDars. The fee for life membership is twenty-five doilars. Contributions to The Quarter^) and correspondence rdative to historical materials, or pertaining to the affairs of this Sodety. should be addressed to F. G. YOUNa Secretary, Eugene, Oregon. Subscriptions for The Quartetlut or for the other publications of the Society, should be sent to GEORGE H. HIMES, Assistant Secretary, Gty Hall. Portland. Oregon.
- See Thwaites (ed.) Early Western Travels, XXIX, 193-4. The editor in his foot note (No. 90) gives some information obtained from the later writings of Henry J. Warre, but he discounts DeSmet's statement and helps to perpetuate an incorrect view first advanced by Bancroft respecting Warre and Vavasour's secret commission from the Hudson's Bay Company to report on Dr. McLoughlin.
- One hundred and forty to fifty-nine.
- The letter is found in the manuscript correspondence of Lord Aberdeen. The writer is indebted to Lord Stanmore, son of Lord Aberdeen and custodian of bis papers, for the privilege of examining this correspondence and taking extracts therefrom.
- This correspondence, dated the 25th and 26th of February, 1845, is found in F. O. America 439.