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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/305

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REPORT ON OREGON TERRITORY 297 on the southern borders of the territory along Rogue and Klamet Rivers and in the passes of the Shasty Mountains. The show of a small force would, I am sure, have a good tendency in preventing their depredations on the whites who pass through the country, their hostility to whom, in a great measure, is to be ascribed to the conduct of the whites them- selves, who leave no opportunity unimproved of molesting them. Cases have frequently occurred of white men shooting a poor, defenseless Indian without any provocation whatever. A friendly disposition, with sufficient force to prevent any attack, could not fail to bring about the desired disposition on their parts. The country they inhabit is a very rich one and would afford all the necessaries as well as the comforts of life. A steamer having a light draft of water, a small fort on Cape Disappointment, and a few guns on Point Adams to de- fend the south channel with its dangerous bar, would be all sufficient for the defense of Columbia River. Some points within the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet, or Puget Sound might be settled, where supplies, and so forth, could be had and depots established. Two Government steamers would be able to protect our trade and territory and prevent disturbances among the northern tribes; they would be a more efficient force than stationary forts, and much more economical. In case of difficulties, steamers would be enabled to reach any part of the coast from these points in two days. In the event of hostilities in this country, the posts, so called, of the Hudson Bay Co. are not to be considered of strength against any force but Indians; they are mere stockades, and all their buildings, granaries, and so forth, are situated without the palisades. They could offer but little resistence to any kind of armed force and their supplies could readily be cut off, both by sea and land. The occupation of the mouth of the Columbia River, togeth- er with some point in the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the waters