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Joseph Schafer they should arrive in the course of the month of August. From Fort William they would be forwarded in light canoes to Red River, each canoe taking ten men, who would have to work their passage, experienced bowsmen and steersmen being pro- vided in the country. The Company's agents at Red River would conduct the commisariat department better than strangers. For the protection of British interests on the Columbia and N. W. Coast, I would moreover suggest that two sailing ships of war and two steamers should be stationed there. It would be highly important to get possession of Cape Disappointment and to erect thereon a strong battery, which would efifectually command the mouth of the river, as unless the southern chan- nel may have been found practicable since I was there,* ships entering the river must pass so close under the Cape that shells might be dropped almost with certainty upon their decks from the battery. The Columbia River, owing to the difficulty of ingress and egress, cannot be depended upon as a harborĀ ; and to the south- ward there is no good harbor nearer than the Bay of San Francisco in about 40 degrees N. Lat., but in the Straits of de Fuca, Puget Sound, Hood's Canal, and the Gulf of Georgia there are many excellent harbours of easy access. Although it might be unsafe for sailing ships of war to enter the Co- lumbia River, steamers would find frequent opportunities of going in and out, even in winter, and in summer the weather is so uniformly fine they could make certain of crossing the bar almost any time. There should be a large body of marines attached to the ships of war, for boating and land serviceĀ ; and a force of about 2000 men, half breeds and Indians, might be collected on both sides of the mountains that could on a short notice be rendered disposable for active service in any part of the Oregon territory. It would be necessary, however, that suffi-

  • In the fall of the year 1841. See Simpson Letters, Am. Hist. Rev., XIV,

p. 70, and ff.----