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Edwin V. O'Hara

Columbia the first white settlement in Oregon, the present flourishing city of Astoria—was accompanied by a number of Catholic Canadians, who. became the first settlers in the Willamette valley. The piety of these voyageurs may be seen in the rather unusual fact that the early missionaries on their arrival found a church already erected.

Another agency instrumental in bringing the faith to the far west was the Iroquois Indians. These Indians, among whose tribe the seeds of faith had been sown at an early date by Father Jogues, were in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company at its various forts. The trappers and Iroquois told the tribes of Oregon of the religion of the Black-robes, taught them the simple prayers they remembered, inculcated the observance of Sunday and aroused among them a great desire to receive the ministrations of the Black-robes. An Iroquois named Ignace became a veritable apostle to the Flatheads. Such was the effect of his teaching and example that the Flatheads, together with their neighbors, the Nez Perces, sent a deputation to St. Louis in 1831 to ask for priests.

It was to St. Louis rather than to Montreal that the Indians turned for assistance, for since the days of the great travelers, Lewis and Clark, the traders had renewed their relations annually with that city. The deputation consisted of four Indians. They found Clark still living in St. Louis. Two of the company took sick and died after receiving baptism and the last sacraments. The return of the remaining members of the deputation is uncertain. They had repeated the Macedonian cry, "Come over and help us." The Catholic missionary forces were too weak to respond at once to the appeal. But the presence of Indians in St. Louis from far distant Oregon on such a mission was the occasion of a movement with farreaching results. The incident was given publicity in the Protestant religious press, and aroused wonderful enthusiasm and set on foot perhaps the most remarkable missionary campaign in the history of this country; a campaign which was fraught with important consequences for Oregon. The Method-