Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 2/Hall J. Kelley: One of the Fathers of Oregon

Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 2
Hall J. Kelley: One of the Fathers of Oregon by Frances Fuller Victor



Teachers of history, who hold in their hands the scales of justice, should, above all others, strive to weigh carefully the claims of the individual men with whom they have to deal, and to place before their readers not only a few isolated facts, but the explanation of those facts, without which the student of history is but half educated, if educated at all.

That portion of the Northwest coast which was long known as the "Oregon territory" enjoys the distinction of having been fathered by more men with a greater variety of purposes and ambitions than any other of the family of commonwealths under the United States flag. First, there were the English and the American explorers, Gray and Vancouver, and Lewis and Clark, in the employ of their respective companies or governments, whose acts formed the foundation of opposing claims to the northwest, and particularly the region drained by the Columbia River. These form a class by themselves.

Then follows John Jacob Astor, pioneer of the fur trade—of commerce—on the River of the West.[1] His claim to be the father of Oregon was filched from him by his English partners, who paid him forty per cent, of the value of his stock in trade, and assumed the sovereignty of the country occupied by them.

There was about that time—1815—a young New Englander, Hall J. Kelley, who resented the neglect of the United States to protect Oregon from seizure by a foreign commercial corporation, and who essayed to stir up a colonizing activity in the people. He was in spirit at least the father of the colonists. He was succeeded at a considerably later period by missionary colonizers, at whose head was Jason Lee, the father of the Methodist settlement in the Wallamet Valley, who, since he was successful, may be named one of the fathers of Oregon.

But Jason Lee, had he not himself, and all that came after him been fathered by Dr. John McLoughlin, must have failed in the settlement of the country by Americans. The great historical pioneering triumph of 1843, which a religious denomination has sought to fix upon one of its members, would have been, without McLoughlin, a grievous historical tragedy, and would have lost instead of gaining us this great Northwest.

Colonizers, unless of the Robinson Crusoe sort, must be enthusiasts in the first place, and men of resources afterwards. The mistakes which enthusiasm is liable to commit may be corrected by ample equipment and the necessity of learning from experience. But one of the most sadly pathetic spectacles in life is where the enthuism is present and the means, with the sympathy of one's fellows, are absent.

In such a case was Hall J. Kelley, the Boston school teacher, who aspired to be the promoter of colonization in Oregon, and indirectly was so. From 1815, when he was twenty-six years of age, to 1824, he studied the Oregon question, together with plans of educational work. He helped to found the Boston Young Men's Education Society, and the Penitent Female Refuge Society. The first Sunday-school in New England was chiefly due to his efforts, and the first Sunday-school book was his work. With whatever disfavor some of us may remember this class of literature, there can be no doubt that it was the primer to the very general literary taste of American children. Kelley was also a scientist of no mean acquirments, particularly in the direction of mathematics and engineering, submitting a system of geographical surveying for the approval of the government in 1829. With all this intellectual activity in other directions, the Boston schoolteacher gave his most serious thought from 1824 to 1828 to a scheme for settling the American claim to Oregon, by colonization. For his information, other than politcal, he depended upon fur traders and navigators.

Having, as he believed, educated congress and the American people up to an understanding of the value of the country, and the validity of the United States' claim, he was prepared to organize for action. From the similarity between some of the views put forth in his writings and the form of the first Oregon bills brought before congress by Floyd, of Virginia, in 1820, and later, it might be safely inferred that Kelley had been consulted. But although he petitioned congress, and interviewed cabinet members, he failed to obtain the co-operation and the means necessary to so stupendous an enterprise as the founding of a Pacific empire.

The first expedition taking form under his leadership was in 1828, and consisted of several hundred persons. They were to proceed by land, via Saint Louis, depending upon the pilotage of the fur companies. But if there was anything the fur traders were prepared to oppose, it was the irruption into the Indian country of bodies of men who were sure to disturb their trade relations with the natives. Therefore, they offered no encouragemnt to Kelley's enterprise. On the part of the press of the Eastern States, there was actual doubt and criticism. In short, this attempt ended in failure; but Kelley's faith in final success was not lessened by the objections of others, however reasonable; and they were reasonable. The government was not prepared to go to war when, by simply renewing the convention of joint occupancy of 1818, it could enjoy peace and take time to gather means for the tug of war, should it ever come to that. Congress argued that there was not sufficient information of a favorable nature about the country to justify the outlay required to establish and maintain military posts across the continent. There were other matters more pressing than the Oregon question. The most farsighted statesmen joined the most shortsighted in opposing Kelley's scheme, though with a different motive. They were carefully but cautiously gathering up data from the annual reports of fur traders, the log books of mariners, and the statements of occasional visitors to the Northwest coast. The most that was promised by those in authority was that protection would be afforded any American settlement in Oregon. With this assurance Kelley was forced to content himself while continuing to set forth the excellencies of a region he had never seen, to argue the justice of the American claim, and to denounce the injustice to the people of the United States of surrendering its riches to a foreign power. Not only was this aspect of the argument impressed upon his readers, but also their duty as Christians, to look after the spiritual and temporal welfare of the native inhabitants of Oregon. Thus for two years more he labored with his pen before incorporating, in 1831, the American society for encouraging a settlement of the Oregon territory. It does not appear that any encouraging number of names was inscribed on its roll. His winters were spent in Washington, interviewing legislators and furnishing information to whoever would receive it.

Whatever interest was exhibited by congress at this time in the Oregon question may be ascribed to Kelley as the promoter. The fact that it was not powerful enough to overcome the inertia of the East, or to arouse the migratory instincts of the West, should not detract from the service actually rendered in educating the American people and showing them their opportunity. That they were slow in availing themselves of it was a discredit neither to him nor to them. Prophets have always been without honor in their own country, because time alone can verify their predictions.

Impatient of delay and of irritating criticisms Kelley at length—in the autumn of 1832—set out for Oregon, to see with his own eyes what he had so often described to others. Furnished with a passport, he chose the route via Mexico and California. At New Orleans the small party which had accompanied him at the outset abandoned the enterprise. Shipping his goods intended for trade on the Columbia River to Vera Cruz, they were seized by the Mexican authorities for duties and confiscated. Hoping to recover in some measure his loss, he offered his services to teach pedagogy to Mexican schoolmasters, even to the college at Guadalajara. The Mexicans were not sufficiently impressed at this period of their history with the superiority of Yankee methods to appreciate Kelley's offer, who proceeded to California.

In this dependency of Mexico reigned Figueroa as governor, who was quite as jealous as other Mexicans of the citizens of United States. He rejected Kelley's proposal to make for him a survey and map of the Sacramento Valley, fearing, no doubt, that so much knowledge of the country might endanger the Mexican sovereignty—as afterwards it did. For Kelley made a surreptitious survey for himself, and a map which he published on returning to Boston.

It was while in California that Kelly fell in with a man who was destined to have a more immediate effect upon his fortunes, and upon the history of Oregon than all others of this period. This man was Ewing Young, an American trader from Taos, in New Mexico, whence he had led a small party, trading goods to the Californians for horses, and to the Indians for furs. Young was a man of intelligence and of an adventurous spirit. Kelley revealed to him his plan for a settlement on the Columbia, together with his views of the American claim, and his desire to see the Hudson's Bay Company's hold on the country loosened. With this sentiment Young was in full accord, and being quite willing at any time to have an adventure, was persuaded to accompany Kelley to Oregon.

If readers will take the trouble to look up the matter in Lee and Frost's "Oregon," they will find mention of seeing at their unfinished mission house on the Wallamet, in the autumn of 1834, "A party headed by Mr. Ewing Young, an American from one of the western United States, arrived in the Wallamet from California, embracing about a dozen persons, most of them from the United States. Some of them had been sailors, some hunters in the mountains and in the regions bordering on California to the south, and one, Mr. Kelley, was a traveler, a New England man, who entertained some very extravagant notions in regard to Oregon, which he published on his return."

Concerning the party, Young himself says: "When we set out from the last settlement I had seventy-seven horses and mules. Kelley and the other five men had twenty-one. The last nine men that joined the party had fifty-six." The inference from this account is that the party of Young and Kelley at the start consisted of seven persons with ninety-eight horses. They were joined by nine men with fifty-six horses, making a herd of one hundred and fifty-four, and a joint company of seventeen men. Such a combination was sufficient to arouse suspicion, which indeed the characters of some of the recruits justified, and from which Kelley suffered on his arrival on the Columbia. Before they reached the mountains of Southern Oregon, however, these men had deserted, and the colonists were reduced to "about a dozen" as Lee relates.[2]

While Kelley and Young were yet among the mountains of Southern Oregon, the former was attacked with a malarial fever in camp, Young being absent looking for straying horses. In the midst of a severe ague Kelley received a visit from the leader of a Hudson's Bay party, Michael La Framboise, on his return from an expedition to San Francisco. The genial and humane Frenchman at once proceeded to administer both medicines and nourishment, remaining with his patient a couple of days, and finally sending him in a canoe to a rendezvous, whence he was conducted to a camp of the Hudson's Bay Company. Kelley continued to travel with La Framboise until overtaken by Young, suffering a relapse when deserted by his faithful nurse, who, when he had been too ill even to ride, had caused him to be carried upon the shoulders of one of his men for several miles.

After such treatment as this, Kelley must have modified his opinion of the company he had come so far to unseat. But what was his surprise to be met at the gate of Fort Vancouver with an edict of exclusion which embraced the whole of his own and Young's party. Kelley being very ill was placed in a house outside the fort, with a nurse, medicines, and food, but made to feel that he was an outcast from the society of gentlemen.

Young, being physically as well as mentally able for the conflict, insisted upon an explanation of the indignities put upon himself and Kelley, and learned that by a vessel up from San Francisco before their arrival, Doctor McLoughlin had received a letter from Governor Figueroa of California cautioning him against having anything to do with Kelley and Young, or their party, as they were horse thieves and men of bad character. To this charge Young, for himself, returned an indignant protest, although forced to admit that some of the men who started with him had stolen horses. On his side Doctor McLoughlin insisted that he could have nothing to do with him until the matter was cleared up, and a copy of Figueroa's letter was posted in the Wallamet, warning the French settlers and the missionaries against the California party.

This proscription by the head of the Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon was held by Young to be an act of tyranny by a British corporation, which, by the most liberal construction, had no more rights in the Wallamet than himself or any other American citizen.

The truth about Young seems to have been that he had been robbed of a large amount of furs in California, which loss had brought him in conflict with the Mexican government, ever too willing to wink at the spoilation of strangers. In retaliation of a complaint by Young against the California robbers, a charge of horse stealing was preferred against Young and his associates, which led to the confiscation of the property in question. Horse-stealing was a common vice of the Californians, as it always has been of their Indian progenitors. Branding animals was little protection to a purchaser, as it enabled the original owner from whom it had been stolen, or even purchased, to reclaim it on the pretense that it was stolen. Young had lost $18, 000 or $20,000 worth of furs in California, but he had taken away with him nearly a hundred horses. The first thought of a Calif ornian would be that these were somewhat in the nature of a reprisal, since horses in Oregon were worth much more than in California. At all events Governor Figueroa thought proper to warn the chief of the Hudson's Bay Company against the Americans, and the Americans were only too ready to turn to political account this exhibition of authority by a "foreigner."

Doctor McLoughlin, on the other hand, always desiring to be just, and by nature generous, yet the representative of a corporation which did not feel bound to be either except from motives of policy, was moved by the indignant utterances of the Americans to inquire further of Figueroa, from whom he finally received information which caused him to offer Young the privilege of purchasing goods at the company's store. This offer was scornfully rejected, and the Tennessee trader, as imperious in his rags as the governor of the Hudson's Bay Company in his broadcloth, made himself felt as a power in the Wallamet, defying both fur companies and missionaries to deprive him of his rights as an American in Oregon, and setting an example of independence to others. Nor did any of Young's party prove to be unworthy pioneers. One of them, Webley J. Hauxhurst, a New Yorker from Long Island, built a grist-mill at Champoeg, the first one in the valley, and afterwards joined the Methodist mission church. Joseph Gale became an influential member of the colony from the American standpoint.

Young settled on the west side of the Wallamet, opposite Vancouver, but finding it difficult to fling off the odium resulting from the injurious poster, which although withdrawn was not forgotten, resorted to the manufacture of whisky as a means of living. This business would have prospered without doubt, as the mountain men now coming into the country, with other waifs of civilization, found their chief pleasure in hard drinking; but Young found the odium attaching to whisky-making scarcely less than that of horse-stealing, the difference being that one was recognized as a crime against law while the other was only an offense against the best public sentiment.

As a matter of fact the opposition it aroused proved a fortunate circumstance to the whole community, including Young himself. Doctor McLoughlin, in his anxiety to prevent drunkenness among the old servants of the company and the Indians, as well as the miscellaneous population, added his influence to that of the missionaries in the formation of a temperance society, a majority of the Canadian settlers becoming members. To the remonstrances of the leaders in this movement, Young replied that he did not himself have anything to say in favor of his project except that he needed money, but since it was so abhorrent to the gentlemen at the head of affairs in the country, he would suspend his purpose until time was had to consider what might be done.

This respectful submission to the moral code of the upper class led the missionaries and chief at Vancouver to offer Young payment for his outlay if he would abandon his intention, This he finally consented to. But in all these transactions he steadily refused to have any communication, personally, with Doctor McLoughlin. While planning to erect a saw- and grist-mill on his claim there arrived in the territory a secret agent of the United States government to whom he related his grievances. This agent, W. A. Slacum, of the navy, offered to lend Young $150 wherewith to purchase clothing at Vancouver. To this proposal Young assented only upon Slacum's agreeing to make the purchase in his own name.

This obduracy in maintaining his self-respect compelled the admiration of Doctor McLoughlin, and when the cattle company of 1836-' 37 went to California on Slacum's hired vessel, Young went as captain, and while there secured from Figueroa the retraction of his injurious charges, as well as a settlement of his pecuniary affairs.

It is doubtful if the cattle expedition would have been a success under any other man in Oregon. The financial agent and secretary was Philip L. Edwards, of the mission,[3] who, in the diary kept upon his journey, continually complained and lamented over the hardships encountered. In the struggle with wild cattle, wild men, and wild mountain travel, Edwards was often ready to faint. On one occasion, when "Alp on Alp" seemed to close the trail before them, it is recorded in Edwards' diary that Young said to him, "Now, if you are a philosopher, show yourself one!' But poor Edwards was fain to leave philosophizing to the mountain men whom custom had hardened for their irritating tasks. The pen of the historian can hardly honor adequately the part played in commonwealth-building by this class of men. In every great emergency they accepted the post of danger or the heavy burden. They neither shrank from peril nor asked for rewards.

Young's share in the cattle company, which was considerable, put him in a position of independence once more, and the respect which his resolute character inspired was making him one of the foremost men in the colony, when in 1841 he died, and his estate escheated to the first formed provisional government of Oregon. Ultimately it was recovered by his son and heir. Thus one of the results of Hall J. Kelley's colonizing scheme was the establishment of an American colony upon the dissolving foundation of a religious one; the organization of a temperance society; the importation of cattle, and the final adoption of a temporary form of government, with his associate's money in its treasury.[4]

To return to the fortunes of Kelley himself, he remained excluded from the fort while Doctor McLoughlin was in correspondence with Governor Figueroa, and, in fact, seems to have continued to reside in hospital quarters during his stay in Oregon, partly out of resentment, and partly because he had no clothing fit to be worn in the society of gentlemen punctilious as those at Vancouver. Roberts says of him that he was dressed in leather pantaloons with a red stripe down the seam, a blanket capote, and a white slouched hat, "rather outre even for Vancouver.' In another place he is spoken of by Roberts as "penniless and ill-clad, and was considered rather too rough for close companionship, and was not invited to the mess. Our people did not know, or care for, the equality he had perhaps been accustomed to. It should be borne in mind that discipline in those days was rather severe, and a general commingling would not do.' Kelley himself says that the cause of his exclusion was that Doctor McLoughlin was well informed of his colonization views and his writings thereon.

That this was the true cause there can be no reasonable doubt. In defending himself from the charge by the London company, of encouraging American colonization, he discriminates wisely and well. What right had he to discourage Christian missionaries who were doing what the company had neglected to do for the Indians? This reproof caused the company to send out a missionary of the established church, whose insubordination and impertinence soon procured him his passage back to England.

As to American traders, he could not expel them from a territory held jointly by Great Britain and the United States; but he could and did beat them in a fair business deal. Courtesy was their due, and this they received. Scientists and travelers were also welcomed at the fort. Colonists, while they were not encouraged, could not be left to suffer from illness or hunger at the very gates of Vancouver. In short, while he desired to serve the company faithfully he could not neglect to perform his duty as a Christian and a gentleman. If they did not approve of that, he would step down and out. What else he said to the "old gentleman in Ten-church Street" is not known, but it is known that he returned from a visit to London in 1838, made to meet the accusations against his loyalty, with even more liberal sentiments than those laid to his charge; and it is well known in Oregon that when the existence of the colony was threatened on more than one occasion his humanity was its salvation. Yet it was not altogether Kelley's Mexican costume that excluded Kelley from Vancouver society. Other travelers who had arrived in unpresentable apparel had been made presentable by the loan of articles from the wardrobes of the factors and partisans resident there at that time. It could not be said either that Kelley was uninteresting or uneducated. Quite the contrary, indeed. What he had to tell of his adventures in Mexico and California must have been just the sort of tales to while away winter evenings in Bachelors' Hall.

I fancy the situation was about this: McLoughlin was prepared to dislike Kelley even without Governor Figueroa's condemnation, on account of his published denunciation of the Hudson's Bay Company. He was under no obligation to admit him to the society of the fort, although he would not have him suffer sickness or hunger under the shadow of its walls. The fact that he was an American while giving him a patriotic excuse, if not motive, for ignoring Kelley 's claims on his compassion, also, on the other hand, furnished a politic motive for indulging his natural humanity. For at that time there were several Americans being entertained at Vancouver—Nathaniel J. Wyeth, a trader from Boston, the missionary party of four, and two scientists, J. K. Townsend, naturalist, and Thomas Nuttall, botanist, who had traveled under the protection of Wyeth 's company as far as the hunting grounds of the Hudson's Bay Company, which had then taken them in charge. The treaty-rights of Wyeth were not disputed, nor the scientific observations of the scholars opposed. It was Kelley, as colonizer and defamer of the company, who was unwelcome, even after it was evident that there was no stain on his character.

This was perfectly understood by Kelley, and it was not McLoughlin's disapproval of him which wounded his sensitive pride. It was the conduct of his own countrymen,—of Wyeth whose name was on his colonization company's roll; of the Harvard men, his neighbors, who had for years been familiar with his writings, and of the missionary Lees, who had been inspired, so he contended, by his labors to undertake theirs of christianizing the Indians of Oregon. I think, myself, that the behavior of these men was cowardly, and I set the conduct of Young high above theirs.

Cyrus Shepard, that gentle Christian, whom everybody loved, and who was employed at the fort to teach the children of the company, was the only missionary who openly visited Kelley. Jason Lee, according to Kelley when at Vancouver, paid him clandestine visits in the night time, to learn his plans. At these interviews Kelley became satisfied that Lee, on account of pecuniary obligations to McLoughlin, feared to acknowledge his acquaintance with Kelley or his designs, and would by no means seem to favor them.

Nuttall, who was a Cambridge man, was well acquainted with Kelley 's writings, owing to them, Kelley believed, his idea of studying the botany of Oregon. But Nuttall, as well as the Lees, thought too highly of his privileges at Vancouver to risk them by acknowledging this fact. And Wyeth, who was not like himself, an educated man, never having learned to spell correctly, or to introduce in his writings capitals and punctuation points where they belonged, and who had led as far as Vancouver as many free Americans as had Young and himself—Wyeth, who when in Massachusetts was one of his prospective colonists,—was on the Columbia River utterly indifferent to him.[5]

This treatment of Kelley by his countrymen must have been construed at Vancouver as condemnatory, although its shrewd and magnanimous chief may have guessed a little of its meaning and sought to make amends by unremitting care of the sick and neglected man.

Kelley's experiences were not of a kind to inspire an ambition for colonization. Even Young in his wrath at having been induced to come to so inhospitable a country cursed him as the author of his misfortunes. That Kelley did not die under this accumulation of condemnation and disappointment shows him to have been of a tough and yielding rather than a highly tempered metal.

Notwithstanding his frequent relapses he found opportunities to explore the country in the neighborhood of Vancouver, and to survey the Columbia River to its mouth. He made maps, and wrote a very intelligent and correct account of the whole territory then known as "the Oregon," its topography, mountains, timber, harbors, climate, soil, and minerals, pointing out the facilities for shipbuilding, manufactures and commerce. This information was, on his return to the states, combined in a memoir to congress, from which members undoubtedly drew much of the information which was occasionally displayed in both houses. He renamed the Cascade Mountains, calling them the Presidents' Range; naming also the snow peaks, beginning with Saint Helen, and proceeding south, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, and Jackson—the last named being Shasta. Adams and Jefferson only have been retained by common consent.

As Kelley's quarters were outside the fort there was no hindrance to communication with the twenty or more Americans and others owing no allegiance to the British corporation. That Kelley was visited by these freemen, from whom he derived much assistance in his labors of exploration, is more than probable. An examination of the country showed him that the junction of the Wallamet, at or near its upper mouth, with the Columbia was a proper site for a city. It would, by being within the Wallamet, possess a safe harbor. Being south of the Columbia, it would be on the American side in case the country north of the great river should go to Great Britain in any future treaty; and being at the mouth of the Wallamet would receive for distribution to the outside world the products of the valley above. Commerce with the valley would be impeded at the falls, to which shipping could not approach within several miles, and a town would be built up there which might become the capital of the future state. The land between would naturally fall into the hands of the commercial part of the population, and Kelley provided for that by tracts of from forty to sixty acres reserved for manufactures and large business plants.

Towns, which in modern times occupy carefully selected situations, were usually in the past located by accident or incident. Thus Portland became the commercial city of Oregon because one of the owners of the land on which it stands happened to observe after purchasing it signs that sailing vessels had made an anchorage there. Acting on the thought suggested, a townsite was laid out, which was unexpectedly fostered by the coming of vessels from California during the gold mining period for provisions and lumber.

But Kelley, although he was hoping for some such developments sometime, was proceeding on a perfectly original and independent plan to work towards it. The site selected for a seaport was on Gray's Bay, opposite and above Fort George, where five square miles would be laid out in a marine metropolis. Streets were to run from the river bisecting the others at right angles. At the distance of every two squares an area of ten acres was reserved for parade or pleasure grounds. The width of the main street was one hundred feet, the middle of which was to be devoted to a public market. The land adjoining this and other towns was to be so subdivided as to give two hundred acres to each immigrant over fourteen years of age—married women excepted. Rectangular surveying of land and laying out of roads were recommended, while other details, extending even to missionary work among the natives, were attended to, many of which afterwards appeared in bills before congress.

One is reminded of Kelley's instrumentality in the settlement of Oregon by the improvements at present being made on "the peninsula,' where stands the mill town of Saint John, the terminus of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's road, and the Portland (Catholic) University, as well as by the long line of warehouses between Saint John and East Portland proper. Kelley particularly honored the peninsula by adding to his writings a line plan of the town which he designed for that point. As a site for a city it has some excellent features, one of which is space to grow. Ultimately it will become a part of Greater Portland, but before it becomes absorbed in Portland, it would be a gracious suggestion to let it come in under the name of its intending colonizer, Hall J. Kelley.

It is impossible to show any other American at so early a period not only devoting himself to the intellectual labor of discussing the Oregon question, and to promoting colonization societies, but who undertook and overcame, without support, the cost and the perils of immigration with the sole object of verifying his teachings to the country. So completely was he sustained in his general views that we feel surprised at this day to notice how closely they agree with what is now known of this region. That he was later in life a victim of nervous disorders which compelled him to mingle with his writings complaints of the neglect of government to a wearisome degree, is true; but for this a compassionate allowance should be made. The sufferings and disappointments he endured on his journey to, and his residence in, Oregon were very great, and few men of his slight physical endowments could have withstood them. It is only justice to agree with him that he set on foot by his writings the immigration movement to the shores of the Pacific in all its forms, whether missionary, commercial, or colonizing.

That his countrymen in Oregon acted a cowardly part may be agreed to, and also that Doctor McLoughlin appeared in the character of a tyrant to his American conception of the meaning of that word. For all this I have shown that there is an explanation, albeit it did not comfort poor Kelley. Only Doctor McLoughlin was in a position to show some magnanimity, which he did by giving Kelley a passage to the Sandwich Islands in the company's vessel in the spring of 1836. This might be construed as a "good riddance," had not the doctor sent with his pass a present of £7 sterling with which to procure necessary comforts. This, it would seem, should have been done by others.

If we compare the unprotected and unpaid services of Kelley with the paid and protected services of Lewis and Clark, we have to acknowledge that a debt of appreciation and public recognition, at least, is due to the Yankee schoolmaster who spent the best years of his life in teaching the United States government and people the value of the Oregon territory.

Kelley was born in Gilmantown, New Hampshire, in 1789, was graduated at Middlebury, Connecticut, received the degree of master of arts at Harvard, taught in the public schools of Boston, and at the age of thirty-one published the American Instructor, valued at that time as an important contribution to the science of teaching. He was twenty-six when he began writing on the Oregon question, and forty -three when he set out to come to Oregon. The latter part of his life was spent in his hermitage at Three Rivers, Massachusetts, where he died aged eighty-five.

The titles to Kelley's writings would fill a page of this magazine. He was too enthusiastic not to be vis- ionary, but passages out of his brochures might be sus- pected of having been written within the last decade, from the likeness of the descriptions and the prophecies for the future of the country. Yet these were in print more than three quarters of a century ago. Although scattered broadcast then, in the Eastern and Middle States, they are "rare' now, few libraries possessing copies.


  1. To be exact, Captains Jonathan and Nathan Winship, who attempted a settlement for trade and colonization at Oak Point, in 1810, but were driven away by the summer flood, which destroyed their plantation and carried off their buildings, should be named first in designing an establishment on the Columbia. They were deterred from repeating their experiment by hearing of the Astor enterprise.
  2. The party which came to Oregon at this time were named as follows: Hall J. Kelley, Ewing Young, Webley John Hauxhurst, Joseph Gale, John Howard, Lawrence Carmichael, John McCarty, — Brandywine, — Kilborne, Elisha Ezekiel, and George Winslow (colored), in all eleven men.
  3. The other members, W. J. Bailey, Webley Hauxhurst, James O'Neil, Lawrence Carmichael, Calvin Tibbets, John Turner, George Gay, and two Canadians, De Puis and Ergnotte. Two of these, Carmichael and Hauxhurst, had come to Oregon with Kelley and Young.
  4. The sum recovered by Joaquin, son of Young, twenty-two years after the estate was taken charge of by the missionary officers was only $5,108.94. I am not aware what was the sum invested by Young in the cattle company. Jason Lee put in $500 advanced by Slacum, the settlers $1,100, and Doctor McLoughlin $900, making $2,500. D. Lee makes it $2,880. The number of cattle that arrived was six hundred and thirty. Young had built a saw-mill on the Chehalem, which was destroyed by a flood a short time before his death.
  5. Some of Wyeth's men remained in Oregon as settlers. J. Ball died some years ago in Michigan. Solomon Smith died a few years ago, and his son, Silas B. Smith, is an active member of the Oregon Historical Society. Those who remained for a while were Abbott, Breck, Burdett, Sargent, St. Clair, Tibbets, Trumbull, and Whittier. C. M. Walker came as an assistant to the Lees, and remained.