Open main menu

Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/18

This page needs to be proofread.

lO Joseph Schafer plains the nature of the preparations the officers made at Vancouver after their arrival and before beginning the execu- tion of their orders. They provided themselves with superfine beaver hats, at $8.88 apiece ; frock coats, at $26.40 apiece ; cloth vests, figured vests, tweed trousers and buckskin trousers; tooth brushes, nail brushes, hair brushes, fine handkerchiefs, shirts, shoes ; also tobacco, pipes, wines, whiskies, extract of roses — and in short everything absolutely essential to high- class travelers in an American wilderness, whose bills are paid not by themselves but by their government. They arrived at Vancouver on the 25th of August and made their first Oregon report on the 26th of October.* They pro- nounced the route over which they passed the Rocky Moun- tains to be "quite impracticable for the transport of troops, with their provisions, stores, etc." In a word, they declare that the facilities for conveying troops to the Oregon Terri- tory, by the route we have lately passed, do not exist to the extent Sir George Simpson represents." Nor do they regard the route as practicable for immigrants with wagons ; a small party of Canadian voyageurs did indeed pass to Oregon with their families, but they were forced to abandon their wagons on the east side of the mountains. On the other hand, by the route which the American immi- grants follow, the passage of the mountains is easy ; hundreds of wagons had been brought through to the Columbia in the last three years. That troops might be sent from the United States to Oregon, is evident from the fact (of) 300 dragoons of the United States regular army having accompanied the last emigrants to '(South Pass), ostensibly for the pro- tection of the said emigrants from the hostile bands of Indians infesting the Eastern Plains." They discuss the attempts which had been made by the settlers to open a route from the east side of the Cascades direct to the Willamette, and report the existence of a southern road known only to the Hudson's

  • See page 39. The report they sent home from Red River June loth, 1845,

is not included among the documents printed in the following pages.----