Open main menu

Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/16

This page needs to be proofread.

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 territoriesĀ ; 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.----