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Joseph Schafer The Chehalis flows into Gray's Bay on the Pacific, is navi- gable for small boats and canoes, and forms a barred harbor for vessels of small tonnage. The country is easy of access from Nesqually to the Che- halis River, where the soil changes from graveley loam to a stiff clay, and numerous little rivers, which overflow their banks, and flood the country for an immense distance during the winter and spring freshets, render the land journey to the Cowlitz river difficult, and during that season almost imprac- ticable. There are a few families settled on plains on this route and the Americans are forcing themselves as far north as Puget's Sound. During our travels we met five families on their route to the prairies in that vicinity.* There is a settlement of about 90 Canadian families on the Cowlitz River, where the Puget's Sound Company have about 1000 acres of ground under cultivation. The course of the Cowlitz is rapid, and in high water dangerous, but presenting no obstacles that are not overcome by the energy and perseverance of the Canadian boatmen. A small establishment has been formed at the mouth of the Cowlitz river as a store for wheat, etc., which the H. B. Com- pany exports in large quantities to the Russian settlement at Sitka and to the Sandwich Islands. The accompanying account of the population of the Indian tribes, has been compiled, with great care, frOm the best authorities we could obtain, and from the trading lists lent us by the kindness of the gentlemen in charge of the H. B. Co. The Indians of Puget's Sound and the Straits of de Fuca, also those further to the north, appear to be more numerous than those of the interior, — and cultivate large quantities of potatoes, etc., for their own use, and to barter with the vessels frequenting the coast. They are not so cleanly as the Indians

  • The incursion of Americans into the Puget Sound territory is one of the

points reported to his government by Captain Gordon, whose messenger, Lieut,

Peel, reached London on or before February lo, 1846.----