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Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. II Bay people, by means of which it would be possible to enter the Willamette Valley from a point near the California bound- ary.* In their historical sketch of the Willamette settlement Warre and Vavasour emphasize the importance of the emigra- tion of 1843. They say : 'Till the year 1842-3 not more than thirty American families were resident in the country. In 1843 emigration of about 1000 persons with a large num- ber of wagons, horses, cattle, etc., arrived on the Willamette, having traversed the vast desert section of country between the Missouri, the Rocky Mountains and the Columbia. . . . This emigration scattered themselves over the face of the country." They estimate the 1844 emigration to be about equal in number to that of 1843, and that of 1845, which was just arriving, was more numerous than either, probably two thousand persons; they had five hundred and seventy wagons drawn by oxen. Of special interest to American readers is the view expressed by these British officers relative to politi- cal conditions in Oregon. They speak of the large American majority in the country from the year 1844, and of the diffi- culty the Hudson's Bay Company experienced in protecting their possessions against the desperate characters" among them. Yet the British and the Canadian settlers held out against the American project to form a provisional govern- ment in 1843. Finally, in 1845, the leading gentlemen of both parties formed a coalition. . . . An organization was established, neutralizing the preponderating American influ- ence. . . . This compact is independent of the United States Government. Emigrants of all nations, willing to up- hold the law . . . are enrolled as members. . . . Nor could (if we can express an opinion) a more judicious course have been pursued by all parties, for the peace and prosperity of the community at large." This is the view of the union set forth in several letters of Doctor McLoughlin and may be

  • This road was opened the following summer by a party of American pioneers

living in Oregon whose leader was Jesse Applegate.----