290 CHARLES WILKES [Tualatin] Plains, about 10 miles from Vancouver, all of which are well stocked. They supply the Russian post at Sitka, under contract, with the variety of articles raised on them. They have introduced large herds and flocks into the Terri- tory from California, and during our stay there several thous- ands were imported. In this they are doing incalculable good to the Territory and rendering it more valuable to the future settlers; at the same time it exerts an influence in domesticat- ing the Indians, not only by changing their habits, but food, and attaching them to a locality. The Indians of this Territory are not a wandering race, as some have asserted, but change for food only, and each suc- cessive season will generally find them in their old haunts seeking it. The settlements established by the missionaries are at the Willamette Falls and Valley; at Nisqually and Clatsop in the western section, and at The Dalles, Walla Walla, Lapwai, and Chimekaine on the Spokane in the middle. Those of the middle section are succeeding well, and, al- though little progress has been made in the conversion of In- dians to Christianity, yet they have done much good in reform- ing some of their vices and teaching them some of the useful arts, particularly that of agriculture, which has had the effect, in a measure, to attach them to the soil, construct better houses, exchanging their corn, and so forth, with those who hunt, for Buffalo meat. The men now rear and tend their cattle, plant their corn and potatoes, and the squaws attend to their household and employ themselves in knitting and weaving, which they have been taught. They raise on their small patches corn, potatoes, melons, and so forth, irrigating the land for that purpose. There are many villages of Indians still existing, though greatly reduced in number from former estimates.
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/298
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