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Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/14

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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.----