Open main menu

Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/65

This page needs to be proofread.

Warre and Vavasour, 1845-6. 57 of the prairies, nor are they so brave or warlike. Many of the latter tribes are a very fine race of men, and possess large herds of cattle and immense numbers of horses. In the neighborhood of Walla Walla individual Indians were pointed out to us, who owned more than 1000 horses. Slavery is common with all the tribes and he who possesses most slaves and the largest number of horses is considered the greatest chief. The Indians of the north are sometimes troublesome, but those of the Columbia are a quiet, inoffensive, but very super- stitious race. To the last cause may be traced their quarrels with the white man and with one another. They are well armed with rifles, muskets, etc., but from policy they are much stinted by the H. B. Co. in ammunition. The Indian Tribes do not remain upon the same ground during the whole year. In the summer they resort to the principal rivers and the sea coast, where they take and lay by large quantities of salmon, etc., for their winter consumption, retiring to the smaller rivers of the interior during the cold season. Neither the Roman Catholic nor the Methodist Missions have done much toward reclaiming the Indian population, who are an idle, desolute [sic] race, and very few of them can be induced to exchange their mode of life or cultivate more than will absolutely keep them from starvation. The total abolition of the sale of intoxicating liquors has done much for the good of the whole community, white as well as Indian; and so long as this abstinence (which can hardly be called voluntary) continues the country will prosper. When this prohibition is withdrawn, and the intercourse with the world thrown open, such is the character of the dissolute and only partially reformed American and Canadian settlers, that every evil must be anticipated, and the unfortunate Indian will be the first tO' suffer. We take the liberty of calling your Lordship's attention to

the accompanying "Oath of Office" under the Organization,----