History of Oregon (Bancroft)/Volume 1/Chapter 19
THE IMMIGRATION OF 1845.
The immigration of 1845 was larger than any that had preceded it, three thousand persons arriving before the end of the year, and doubling the white population of Oregon. There were present at the east the same underlying motives in this exodus which drove west the bands of former years—restlessness of spirit, dissatisfaction with home, want of a market, and distance from the sea. There were two or more points of departure from the Missouri frontier this year; and there were many companies Two divisions rendezvoused at Independence; one with twenty-five wagons, under Presley Welch, with Joel Palmer and Samuel K. Barlow as aids and one commanded by Samuel Hancock, consisting of forty wagons. Hancock, with Bacon and others of this immigration, have contributed liberally to my historical archives.
A third company, with fifty-two wagons, left St Joseph under the command of Hackleman, to which belonged W. W. Buck of Oregon City, well known in his adopted country. A fourth company of sixty-one wagons and three hundred persons, starting from St Joseph also, was commanded by W. G. T'Vault, with John Waymire as lieutenant, and James Allen as sergeant. There was another company of sixty-six wagons, and about the same number of persons, under Solomon Tetherow. Here, as elsewhere in human
gatherings, the men of might came naturally to the front. In every migration the men selected as captains at the start continued to maintain, either by talent or habit, the leadership of their fellows after reaching their destination.
Nothing unusual befell the travellers between the Missouri and Snake rivers. At Fort Hall, according to the testimony of several, an effort was made to turn the immigration toward California; and whatever unfavorable information they received concerning the distance, the road, or the natives, was imputed to the desire of the British fur company to prevent this great influx of Americans into Oregon. There were; however, other influences used at Fort Hall to turn American emigration to California, and by Americans themselves. The presence of the British and French squadrons in the Pacific, with the condition of Mexico, made it evident that California would soon fall into the hands of one of these two nations unless the United States sustained the popular Monroe doctrine, which was to leave no room for monarchies on North American soil. The cabinet at Washington well understood that should Great Britain seize California she would be in a position to hold Oregon. To prevent such a consummation without hostility was the secret care of a few statesmen, of whom Benton was one of the most adroit as well as enthusiastic. No significance was attached to the fact that one of the Greenwoods of the previous year's pilgrimage to California was at Fort Hall with a young man named McDougal, from Indiana, who had been despatched from California to guide the travellers through, and who were, as Palmer says, well stocked with falsehoods to induce them to take the California road. According to Palmer, fifteen wagons had been fitted out for California at the outset, and the owners of thirty-five more were persuaded by these men to join them. He was probably speaking of his wing of the immigration; for Saxton informs us that there were forty-six wagons destined for California on leaving Independence. Gray admits that L. W. Hastings, of White's immigration, did all he could to turn the people to California. The anxiety to populate that territory became intelligible when in the following spring, Fremont, acting on secret despatches, retraced his steps to California, in order that by land as well as by sea English occupancy should be anticipated by Americans.
The immigration progressed well after leaving Fort Hall, with the exception of the loss of two men supposed to have been killed by the natives, while hunting at the crossing of Snake River; and from there to the Malheur River all went well. But at the Hot Springs near Fort Boisé a portion of the endless caravan, one of the Independence companies, was met by White, of whose unsuccessful explorations of a few weeks previous I have already given an account. From the fact that this company was the one to try his projected route to the heart of the Willamette Valley, it appears that White was responsible for the disasters that followed, though the guide, Stephen H. L. Meek, who probably followed White's advice, and was ambitious to distinguish himself also, incurred all the blame. However that may be, about two hundred families were persuaded to try a cut-off, with the assurance that they would save two hundred miles of travel by following the Malheur River and traversing the country to a pass in the mountains at the head of the Willamette Valley.
The route undertaken was an abandoned trail of the fur-trappers, which for several days they followed without experiencing unusual trouble. But in crossing the Malheur Mountains the country became so stony that wagons-tracks could scarcely be discerned on the disintegrated rock. The feet of the oxen became so sore that the poor creatures would lie down and could with great difficulty be forced to move forward. Not finding grass, the loose cattle constantly turned back, and thus gave unceasing trouble. Forced by the nature of the country out of his proper course, the pilot bore far to the south, where was found good grass, but only nauseous alkaline water. By day the temperature was high, and at night ice formed in the water-buckets. Neither savages nor game were found in this desolate region. There was no indication that it had ever been traversed by civilized man, and it slowly dawned upon the comprehension of the wanderers that their pilot knew nothing of the country to which he had brought them, and from which it was doubtful if he would be able to extricate them. In the mean time, extremes of temperature, improper and insufficient nourishment, with mental agitation, brought on a sickness known as mountain fever, while the children were attacked with dysentery from drinking the alkaline waters, resulting in several deaths.
Refusing to go farther in this direction and turning north from here, they were led over a dry ridge between the John Day and Des Chutes rivers, where again the supply of water was insufficient, and a hundred men rode all day looking in every direction for springs or streams, while a hundred others pursued the famishing stock which ran wildly in search of water. A company which had gone in advance of the main body here returned and reported, no better prospects so far as they had travelled. Despair settled upon the people; old men and children wept together, and the strongest could not speak hopefully. Only the women continued to show firmness and courage.
The murmurs which had for some time been breathed against their guide now became angry threatenings; the people refused to listen to his counsel when the trail became lost, and he was warned that his life w r as in danger. Meek realized what it was to be at the mercy of a frenzied mob in the wilderness, but was unwilling to desert them, because he knew from the general contour of the country and the advice of natives that they would reach the Columbia River in a few days by continuing a certain course. A hurried consultation took place, and by the advice of Samuel Hancock, Meek, who was supposed to have fled, was to secrete himself, while some of his friends would prepare to start with him the following morning for the Dalles. This plan was carried out, and on the afternoon of the second day they reached a tributary of Des Chutes River; the joy of the suffering men, women, and children, expressing itself in silent tears or loud cries, according to age and temperament.
Continuing down the stream and coming to the main river, they found it to flow through a deep canon with walls so precipitous that the only way in which water could be procured was by lowering a vessel at the end of two hundred feet of rope in the hands of a man, himself held by a strong rope in the grasp of his fellows. Following the river, they came at last to a place where the cattle could be driven down and crossed by swimming; but which was not considered a safe fording-place for the wagons. To overcome this difficulty, a wagon-bed suspended from a cable stretched between the banks was drawn back and forth by means of rollers and ropes; and in this vehicle families and goods were transported to the other side.
While this aerial ferry was in process of construction the main body began to overtake them, and Meek was informed that the father of two young men who had died that day, in consequence, as he believed, of the hardships of this route, had sworn to take Meek's life before the sun should set. Not doubting that the vow would be kept, if the incensed father met him while his wrath was hot, the unfortunate guide fled with his wife to the camp of some
natives, and was sent across the river in a manner similar to that described, except that not even a basket was used to support himself and wife in mid-air, being upheld merely by a slip-noose.
Procuring horses from the natives, Meek hastened to reach the Dalles, where he made known to Waller and Brewer the condition of the lost companies, and besought their aid; but they rendered no assistance. He succeeded, however, in finding a guide in the person of Moses Harris, who had deserted White's party the first day out from the Dalles, and happened to be at this place. Harris gathered a few horse-loads of food and hurried to the relief of the immigrants, whom he found at the crossing of Des Chutes, and which was not more than thirty-five miles from the Dalles, near where Tyghe Creek comes into this river.
The passage of the river detained them for two weeks, and they arrived at the Dalles about the middle of October, having lost about twenty of their company from sickness. As many more died soon after reaching the settlements, either from disease already contracted, or from overeating at the Dalles food which in their starving condition they would not wait to have properly prepared.
Notwithstanding their long detour and two weeks' delay, it does not appear that the lost companies were longer travelling than the main caravan. Palmer arrived at the Dalles with his company on the 29th of September, or about the time they came to the crossing of Des Chutes River. Here awaited them the trials which had beset previous caravans. I find the condition of the whole body spoken of in the Oregon Spectator of January 21, 1847, as wretched in the extreme. This paper says that the supply of boats being wholly inadequate to their speedy conveyance down the Columbia, and their stock of provisions failing at the Dalles, famine and a malignant disease racing among them, a misery ensued which is scarcely paralleled in history. The loss of life and property was enormous. The people of Oregon City despatched necessaries to their relief, and Cook, owner of the only sail-boat in the country, gave them the use of his vessel. The Hudson's Bay Company, as usual, lent their bateaux.
In a country like western Oregon, where the principal travel was by river navigation, it seems strange that there should have been no more boat-building. The explanation lies probably in the fact that most of the population were landsmen, who knew nothing of ship-carpentry. Besides this insufficient reason, for there were some seafaring men in the country, there was so much to do on their farms to make sure of food and shelter for themselves and the expected incoming of each year, that they had given too little thought to providing transportation; and unforeseen circumstances attended every arrival for a number of years.
When Palmer's company reached the Dalles they found sixty families awaiting transportation by two small boats, which would require at least ten days. The season was so far advanced that Palmer feared detention for the winter; and impatient of the weariness and expense of such. delay, they determined to attempt the crossing of the Cascade Mountains with their wagons. This plan was strongly opposed by Waller and Brewer. Knighton had returned discouraged, for he, in company with Barlow and seven others, had penetrated twenty-five miles into the mountains without finding a pass, although Barlow was still seeking one.
On the 1st of October, Palmer, with fifteen families and twenty-three wagons, left the Dalles to join Barlow and his company, which was reduced to seven wagons. On arriving at Tyghe Creek, at the mouth of which, some five miles below, the lost immigrants were then crossing, Palmer turned up the stream, and overtook Barlow's company on the 3d. Here leaving the train, Palmer with one man began exploring for a wagon-road. At first the undertaking seemed likely to succeed. By travelling up one of the long, scantily timbered ridges that characterize the eastern slope of the Cascade Range, ten miles were made with ease; after which came a bushy level, followed by a shorter ridge running in a general direction westward, but covered with heavy forest. From this apparent gain in height and distance they were then obliged to descend to a densely wooded bench, from which, still descending, they reached a stream which they called Rock Creek, beyond which began again the ascent over a hill, long and steep, covered thickly with a fine growth of spruce timber, and on the other side of the hill was a cedar swamp, which, however, they found passable where the dammed-up stream which formed it was confined within banks. Continuing westward a few miles, their course was suddenly interrupted by a deep and wide canon, compelling them to travel northward toward Mount Hood; darkness overtaking them thirty-six miles from camp.
On the following morning a descent to the bottom of the canon was effected, and a stream was discovered which evidently came down from Mount Hood, the waters overflowing the banks during the night, and subsiding during the day. It had a sandy bottom, and was very irregular in width, varying from two rods to half a mile. On this low ground there were scrubby pines, alder thickets, rushes, and a little grass. Returning to the higher ground, and exploring back beyond the point where they first came to the bluff, a descent was discovered, gradual enough to admit the passage of wagons. Unacquainted with, the extent and roughness of the Cascade Mountains, Palmer believed that by travelling up this gulf he would arrive at. the summit, imagining that Mount Hood rose from or upon the axis of the range, whereas it is far to the east of it. In this belief he returned to camp for provisions to prosecute his explorations in that direction, being soon followed by Barlow, who had taken the same general route with no definite success.
Observing that in the mountains, owing to the density of the forest, the grass was insufficient for their cattle, the leaders thought proper to send the greater part of the herds back toward the Dalles to be driven over the trail north of Mount Hood, sending at the same time a horse-train to that place for a further supply of food, it being evident that some time would be consumed in getting through to the Willamette.
Work was then commenced upon the road, which was opened in three days as far as Rock Creek, chiefly by means of fire, which consumed the thickets of arbutus, alder, hazel, and other growths very difficult to penetrate and laborious to cut away.
On the morning of the 11th Palmer, Barlow, and a Mr Lock set out again in advance to anticipate the road-makers by marking out their route. Their course was up Rock Creek to a branch coming in from the left following which for a short distance and finding it impracticable, they turned north, and came unexpectedly into the cattle trail where it crossed a barren, sandy plain stretching away seven or eight miles west to the foot of Mount Hood. Following this trail six miles to the summit of the ridge leading to the snow-peak, they explored unsuccessfully for the expected route down this side. Ridges and canons thousands of feet high and deep environed the base of this majestic mountain. Icy precipices opposed their passage; and in the lower ground there were marshes filled with snow-water. After two days severe labor they returned once more to camp, to find the wagons advanced as far as the small branch of the creek before mentioned; but the company was much discouraged with the slow progress, and annoyed with the constant straying of their cattle and the thieving of the savages. Upon consultation it was determined to make one more essay at exploration, while the road was being opened to the sandy plain near the base of Mount Hood, the wagons remaining at the small stream called Camp Creek.
The third attempt revealed equal difficulties, and although by no means convinced that a wagon-road through the Cascade Mountains was impracticable, the explorers were aware that the rainy season was at hand and that rain in the valleys meant snow at this elevation. They therefore hastened to camp, where provisions were already nearly exhausted, and made arrangements for leaving the wagons and baggage m charge of a guard, while- the women and children were carried through to the Willamette without farther delay, on horses, by the cattle trail, which plan was immediately executed. Hardly had they started when the rain began to descend. The trail led over open and elevated ground; the cold was benumbing, and a thick fog, of the temperature of melted snow, settled over the heights. On the third day so complete was the obscuration that the trail was lost, and Palmer's advance party of four, which included two women, became bewildered, and the women were left alone on their horses in the rain, while the men rambled about for two hours in search of the path, which Palmer fortunately discovered. Soon after this peril was over, a breeze sprang up, which cleared away the fog; and in the evening, to their great joy, they were met by a party from Oregon City, who, upon hearing of the attempt to cross the Cascade Range with wagons, and of the scarcity of food among the companies, had loaded a train of eleven horses with flour, coffee, sugar, and tea for their relief. Not finding them as soon as expected, and not knowing where to look for them, the rescuers turned back, but prompted by some secret impulse, when six miles on the homeward course, returned and soon encountered Palmer's party, and thus undoubtedly saved many lives. The provisions were taken in charge by Palmer and one of the relief party, while the others returned to Oregon City with the two women and one man of Palmer's company. It was found on reascending the Mount Hood ridge that the weather was even worse than before, the same icy fog being encountered, while the trail was now covered with snow, and to get the heavily loaded horses over the slippery ascents and descents was a severe and dangerous toil for man and beast. On arriving at the camp, October 20th, a miserable spectacle was presented. Several families were entirely without food, and all nearly so. The work-oxen, and most of the cattle, were being driven by the able-bodied men to the Willamette, while the women, children, and enough men to care for their safety were here awaiting the arrival of horses which Barlow and Rector, who had started on the 16th, intending to explore for a road as they passed, were to send back from Oregon City. A few half-starved cattle yet remained, the only resource of the destitute people.
After being furnished with food, a few families immediately set out for Oregon City on the packhorses. Others followed on foot through the snow, having loaded their weak oxen with some necessary articles. By the 25th all the families had departed except those of Barlow, Rector, and Caplinger, who were still awaiting the arrival of the horses. Palmer remained until this date assisting to build a storehouse for the baggage left, which was named Port Deposit and placed in charge of a small guard. As Palmer and three others were leaving the camp they met Barlow and Rector coming in.
They had reached Oregon City after undergoing much suffering from being lost in the mountains for several days. Barlow, being older than his companion, and much exhausted, frequently fell in walking, and became alarmed lest he should break a leg, and be compelled to die alone in the wilderness; and piteously inquired of Rector what he would do in such an event. "Eat you!" growled Rector, and stalked on. Looking back he beheld his friend's face bathed in tears, which smote his heart, and he returned to comfort him. Not long after this incident they came to a small stream flowing westward, which was regarded as a happy omen, and soon they heard the tinkling of cow-bells on the cattle trail. So great was their joy that for some minutes they could not command their voices to call for help. Palmer's party passed many families on the way. Two of them had lost all their provisions in the night through the greed of their hungry horses, the snow having entirely covered the grass, and these nine persons scantily clad, the children with feet almost bare, with nothing to eat, were still eighty miles from the settlements. Their wants were partially relieved by others in a not much better condition. Three of those who had first reached Oregon City were met returning with horses; and a company was found at the crossing of the Sandy cutting out a road toward the settlements from this point; the low land along the stream being covered with a heavy growth of fir and cedar.
Two of the horses in Palmer's party became too weak to proceed and were left. Of the eleven sent with provisions, not one survived. On the 30th Palmer arrived at the house of Samuel McSwain of the previous year's pilgrimage, who subsequently sold his claim to Philip Foster, and it became the recruiting station in crossing the mountains. The next night was spent at the house of Peter H. Hatch, in the Clackamas Valley. On the 1st day of November he arrived at Oregon City, having passed a month in the Cascade Mountains; but it was not until December that the last of the belated people arrived in the Willamette Valley. Nor did those who last reached the Columbia River arrive in the valley any earlier. The same detentions and misfortunes which awaited every company here were meted out to these. A raft of logs becoming water-soaked, four women, mother and three daughters, were put on shore between the Dalles and Cascades, the son and father remaining with the raft. When darkness came, the raft could not be found, and the desolate women, after building a fire, sat down by it to spend the night in the wet forest. But the fire attracted others in similar trouble, and they were rescued from impending dangers. The incidents, pathetic and humorous, which attended the journeyings of three thousand persons would fill a volume. I only attempt to point out such as led to certain results in the history of the colony, and gave rise to certain legislation.
There is a marked difference between the people who came to the Pacific coast by sea and those who crossed the continent, that is not accounted for by the fact that one class came from the Atlantic seaboard, and the other from the western frontier; because the origin of both classes was the same. These western men came in larger numbers, and Americanized Oregon, stamping upon its institutions, social and political, their virtues and their failings. There was an almost pathetic patience and unlimited hospitality, born of their peculiar experiences rather than of any greater largeness of heart or breadth of views.
The immigration of 1845 did not differ essentially from the previous ones, except that it was drawn more from the middle states, or rather less from the Missouri border. Like their predecessors, they unexpectedly became indebted to the charitable offices of the British fur company, whom they had intended at the outset to drive from the country, and had their views much modified; though as events afterward proved, they accepted the modification with reluctance and even opposition.
Most of these adventurers had left comfortable homes, and the position they occupied on first reaching Oregon was humiliating and discouraging. The shelter afforded in the rude dwellings of the colonists, although bestowed with true hospitality, involved heavy cost and much discomfort on both sides. The community was suddenly divided again into old and new settlers, and the new were often peevish and unreasonable. They had recently endured so much that they could not realize that the settlers of a year or two had undergone similar experiences. To them it seemed as if the first comers were reprehensible for taking up the most convenient land, compelling others to travel farther and find claims, when they had come to Oregon to be near the sea and a market. With the better class this feeling passed away after a few weeks, and they became cheerful again. But there were some who never ceased complaints, and who only exerted themselves when forced to do so by necessity.
Undoubtedly the journey of two thousand miles with ox-teams, and the peculiar misfortunes incident to each migration, often exhausted vitality and changed the character of individuals, so that many never recovered their lost ambition and energy; and even the children weakened by unfavorable circumstances lacked the temper of body and mind which crowns effort with success. The few who rose superior to these trying influences, had they remained in their own country, would probably have risen to eminence.
On the 20th of August, 1845, the house of representatives adjourned until the first Tuesday in December, which, according to organic law, was the appointed time for the assembling of the legislature. The recent large immigration could not but affect legislature to some extent. Governor Abernethy, in his message to the house of representatives in December, recommended the consideration of military affairs, currency, the sale of spirituous liquors, weights and measures, the seat of government, and a new road into the Willamette settlements. With regard to the latter, no less than three petitions were presented to the legislature for authority to construct roads across the Cascade Mountains, and a committee was appointed to take testimony in relation to the practicability of the routes suggested; and also to prepare a memorial to congress praying for an appropriation to construct a road over the Blue and Cascade mountains. The memorial when read in committee of the whole was rejected. Among the applicants for road charters was Thomas McKay, who received authority to open and construct a toll-road from the settlement on Santiam River, now the town of Albany, across the Cascade and Blue mountains to Fort Boisé, to be completed before the 1st of August, 1846, or in time for the next immigration. The road was not built, nor the pass discovered,
although it is now known that such a pass exists. The great breadth and confused upheaval of the Cascade Range, together with the dense covering of forest and tangled undergrowth on the western declivities, opposed almost insurmountable obstacles to exploration. Even the Indian trails that once existed when the natives were numerous had fallen into disuse, and were completely overgrown and lost. It is therefore not surprising that McKay, famous for wood-craft met with failure on his first expedition in search of a wagon route.
Stephen H. L. Meek also, still of the opinion that a pass would be found at the sources of the Willamette by which a road could be opened direct from the head of the valley to Fort Boise, petitioned for a charter; but the prejudice created by his leadership a few weeks previous defeated his endeavor to set himself right in the estimation of the public.
A third applicant for a road charter was S. K. Barlow, who was personally interested in the completion of the road to Fort Deposit, where his wagons and baggage still remained with those of his company. He was permitted to address the house in behalf of the Mount Hood route, and received authority to construct a toll-road, which was so far completed in July that the wagons were brought through, and a few weeks afterward large numbers passed over it.
After further improvement the road was still so steep that in descending some of the hills on the western declivities the oxen could only be prevented from dashing themselves against some way-side tree by chaining to the rear of the wagon a heavy tree-top to hold back its weight.
The memorial to congress concerning the important matter of a good and safe road into Oregon was not the only one rejected by the legislature in December. Gray made a motion to appoint a committee to draft a memorial to the people of the United States, giving a brief account of its soil, climate, productions, and social condition, with the difficulties and facilities of travel and settlement, and was made chairman of that committee, and in due time presented his letter to the people of the United States. It contained some unfortunate passages, and was condemned by the house to the seclusion of the archives. Mr Applegate resigned after having accomplished his purpose in the legislature.
Gray mentions that at the August session Applegate adopted the suggestion of Governor Abernethy, that an act should be passed to prevent litigation on account of debt, but that the bill failed, and apologizes for the ignorance of the legislature and governor in the business of law-making; but Applegate writes that he still believes laws for the collection of debts, where no fraud is alleged, are injurious, and at a future day will be abolished in all civilized communities; but that there were special reasons why they should not be enforced by provisional government, which might never be acknowledged—a side of the subject which had escaped recognition.
At the December session Gray introduced a bill on currency, which after several amendments was passed. It was suitable to the time and country, he alleges, and was made necessary by the disposition of the Hudson's Bay Company to force payment in an oppressive manner. But as this was the first law passed for the collection of debts, and the company was heretofore wholly without the power to enforce payment, being. entirely outside the pale of colonial war, Gray's explanation of his motives in presenting such a bill lacks consistency. The law on currency, after declaring that in addition to gold and silver treasury drafts, approved orders on solvent merchants, and good merchantable wheat at the market price, delivered at some customary depot for wheat, should be lawful tender for the payment of taxes, judgments rendered in the courts, and for all debts contracted in the territory, where no special contract had been made to the contrary—provided that no property should be sold on execution for less than two thirds of its value after deducting all encumbrances; and that the value of the property should be fixed by two discreet householders, who should be sworn by the officer making the levy, and they should make a written statement of the value, which the officer should append to his return. Should the property remain unsold on the return day of the writ, the officer having so indorsed it, the writ and indorsement should constitute a lien on the property; the defendant having the right to remain in possession of the unsold property by executing a bond with sureties, in double its value, to deliver the property at the time and place appointed by said officer.
An act supplementary to the currency law was passed, requiring all those who paid taxes in wheat to deliver it at stated places in their districts; at Fort George in Clatsop County; at Cowlitz Farm or Fort Vancouver in Vancouver County; at the company's warehouse at Linnton; at the store of F. W. Pettygrove in Portland, Tualatin County; at the mills either of McLoughlin or the Island Milling Company in Clackamas County; at the warehouses of the Milling Company or the Hudson's Bay Company in Champoeg County; or at some place to he designated by the collector in Yamhill County. These places were to be considered depots for receiving the public revenue and the persons in charge should give a receipt stating the amount which should be placed to the credit of the treasurer of the county or territory.
Soon after the organization of the house, on Gray's motion it was resolved that the supreme judge be called upon to inform them whether he had examined the laws which he, Burnett, had helped to make, and how many of them were incompatible with the organic articles of compact adopted by the people in July previous—a piece of irony which might well have been spared the chief justice, whose reply was referred to the judiciary committee. For the first time there was a prospect of having the laws printed when revised, a company having been formed which owned a printing-press and material at Oregon City, to which application was made for proposals to print the laws. This company was known as the Oregon Printing Association, one of the articles of whose constitution declared that the press owned by the association should never be used by any party for the purpose of propagating sectarian principles or doctrines, nor for the discussion of exclusive party politics.
If it is proper to judge by appearances, the reason of the introduction of this article was that there were men in the association who wished to curtail the Methodist influence, the Mission being largely represented in the company. How they succeeded will appear hereafter.
The recommendation of Governor Abernethy, that proposals should be received for locating the seat of government, created little interest and small competition. The only propositions received were from Robert Moore, whose claim of Robin's Nest, opposite Oregon City, was by legislative enactment named Linn City; and Hugh. Burns, who occupied an adjoining claim. Neither of these proposals meeting with entire approbation, and a petition, signed by sixty persons of Champoeg County, being received, praying that action on the seat of government question might be deferred; it was practically postponed by the passage of an act ordering that the future sessions of the house of representatives be held at Oregon City until otherwise directed by law. Ry the same act the governor was authorized to give notice by publication in the newspapers or otherwise, that he would receive sealed proposals from all who desired to make donations to the government for the purpose of aiding in the erection of public buildings and locating the capital; which proposals should be submitted to the next legislature.
Two other topics of general interest to the people which received attention were the liquor law and the districting of the territory. Burnett's liquor law of 1844 was found to be insufficient to prevent the use of intoxicating drinks since the advent of the British sloop of war Modeste, whose officers and crew, being independent of colonial laws, not only did not see fit to forego this indulgence, but in their efforts at social intercourse among the colonists, introduced it with a freedom offensive to the temperance sentiment so sedulously cultivated in Oregon, thereby bringing reproach upon the officers of the fur company who supplied them with liquors, and furnishing their adversaries a justifiable cause of complaint, where they were already only too eager to discover evidences of moral turpitude.
The alterations in the liquor law in December made it an offence to give away ardent spirits, as well as to sell or barter; the fine being fifty dollars for each violation of the law. It made it the duty of every person, officer or private citizen, who knew of the distillation of any kind of spirituous liquors, to seize the distilling apparatus and deliver it to the nearest county judge or justice of the peace, who should issue a warrant causing the premises of the distiller to be searched, and all liquors, or implements for manufacturing them, discovered should be seized and delivered to that officer, who should arrest the offender and proceed against him according to law; the punishment being forfeiture of the property, and a fine of one hundred dollars, one half of which was to go to the informant and witnesses, and the other half to the officers engaged in arresting and trying the criminal. No more than half a pint of liquor was permitted to be sold by practising physicians for medical purposes. Such was the rigor resorted to in the effort to promote temperance, and prevent British subjects from defying colonial law.
But at the following session there was a reaction, the legislature taking advantage of its power under the organic law to regulate the manufacture and sale of wine and distilled spirituous liquors, to pass an act which allowed the manufacture and sale of them under certain restrictions. This act, like the previous one, was chiefly inspired by opposition to the fur company; it being held by the majority that so long as the company kept liquors in store at Vancouver to sell or to give away, Americans should not be deprived of the profits of the traffic. Every British subject in the house voted against the new law, and Governor Abernethy vetoed it in an admirable message, recommending the repeal of the clauses making it an offence to give away a glass of liquor, and of that also which allowed the fines to be divided between the informant and the officers of the law, by which they became interested in the conviction of the person charged; and advising only the alteration of Burnett's law of 1844, to make it agree with the organic law, if it was in any way adverse to it. But the legislature passed their act over the governor's veto, and prohibition, which up to 1846 was the law and the rule in colonial Oregon, has never been restored.
Two new counties were created and organized: one called Lewis county on the north side of the Columbia, comprising all of Oregon Teritory north of that river, and west of the Cowlitz River, up to the latitude of 54° 40′; another called Polk County, south of Yamhill, comprising all the territory between the Willamette River and the Pacific Ocean, and extending from the southern boundary of Yamhill Countv, which line extended due west of George Gay's house, to the northern boundary of California. Neither of these new counties was allowed a sheriff of its own; but the sheriff of Vancouver was compelled to do duty for Lewis, and the sheriff of Yamhill to serve Polk. Judges were not appointed, but it was left for the people to choose them at the annual election of 1846. The boundaries of the five counties Previously created were definitely fixed as follows: Clatsop embraced the territory bounded by a line drawn from the middle of the mam channel of the Columbia River at Oak Point Mountain, thence south to the line dividing Tualatin from Yamhill, thence west to the Pacific Ocean, thence north to the mouth of the Columbia, and east along the middle of the main channel, to the place of beginning.
The southern line of Tualatin and northern line of Yamhill commenced one mile north of Butteville the Butte, as it was then called, and extended due west to the Pacific Ocean. Tualatin County embraced all the territory lying north of this line, south of the Columbia, east of Clatsop and west of the Willamette River; and Yamhill all that bounded by Tualatin on the north, the Willamette River on the. east Polk County on the south, and the ocean on the west. Clackamas County was divided from Champoeog by a line running due east from a point in the Willametle River one mile below Butteville being an extension of the north line of Yamhill Both of these counties stretched east to the Rocky Mountains and Champoeg covered all the territory south to the Califoiil boundary, in order that everywhere in Oregon the benefits of the provisional government might be enjoyed.
One other matter connected with the welfare of society was settled by authorizing every ordained minister of good standing, of any denomination, the supreme and district judges, and justices of the peace, to solemnize marriages.
As to the means of carrying on the government, a revenue was to be raised by levying an ad valorem tax of one fourth of one per cent for territorial purposes; the county taxes to be regulated by the county courts, not to exceed the territorial tax; the levy to be made upon town lots and improvements, mills, carriages, clocks and watches, horses and mules, cattle, sheep, and hogs; upon every qualified voter under the age of 60 years, a poll-tax of 50 cents; upon every merchant's license where the capital employed was under $10,000, $20; over $10,000, $30; over $15,000, $45; over $20,000, $60; upon each auctioneer's license, $10; upon each pedler's license, $10; upon each ferry license, not less than $5 nor more than $25.
There should be paid into the county treasuries, as the costs of the courts, a tax of one dollar upon each petition of a public nature to be paid by the petitioners; for hearing and determining each motion of counsel, one dollar; for each final judgment, three dollars; for allowing an appeal, one dollar; and the fee allowed masters in chancery, where like services were performed by the court.
Thus, while farming lands and farm products were not taxed, the people were, notwithstanding their former protests, assessed on every other species of property and on their business capital, which taxes the farmers paid principally in wheat. The legislature of 1845, in framing laws, had not, after all, greatly improved upon the committee of 1844, being compelled to conform to the usages of other governments in even a greater degree, as the wants of the community increased.
Although the laws were still imperfect even for present uses, they covered, by enactment and adoption, nearly the whole ground embraced by the legislation of the territories established by the authority of the United States.
On the 19th of December the house adjourned. Its last act was to pass a resolution, "that one of the principal objects contemplated in the formation of the government was the promotion of peace and happiness among ourselves, and the friendly relations which have, and ever ought to exist between the people of the United States and Great Britain; and any measure of this house calculated to defeat the same is in direct violation of the true intention for which it was formed."
- Hines Or. and Ins., 209; Marshall's Statement, MS., 1; McLoughlin's Private Papers, MS., 2d ser., 23; Saxton's Or. Ter., 20; Gray's Hist. Or., 453.
- There were some original views advanced by Charles Saxton, who, while returning to the United States with White, met this army of adventurers in the Snake River country; as these views are not without interest, I will quote them briefly. 'Causes have been operating for the last twenty-five years in the north Atlantic states to produce this unparalleled mighty movement across the American continent. A system of aristocracy has oppressed the laboring classes, and roused the people to fly to the western states to avoid the soup and parish relief societies, as witnessed in Europe; and in the west the pioneers were compelled to seek new homes for their large families, and to find, if possible, a suitable market for their produce, and a range for their herds. Congress, by an unwise act of legislation, not regarding the indomitable spirit of enterprise in the descendants oi the Jamestown colony by land, and the Plymouth colony by sea, nearly blockaded the great thoroughfare of western emigration on land by congregating the various tribes of Indians on the western shore of the Missouri River, and inappropriately calling it our western frontier. But the pioneers of 1843 and 1844 broke over the barrier, passed the red men of the forest, and established themselves in their new homes in Oregon and California. In this mighty movement we see human nature waking in her might from the slumber of centuries, girding herself for the conflict, and overcoming every obstacle, going forth to assert her inalienable rights and the equality of men throughout the American continent.' Or. Ter., 23-4. Niles' Reg., lxviii. 339-40, has some remarks on the thoughtless and aimless rush of well-conditioned people to seek poverty and hardships. Polynesian, Jan. 31, 1846; McKinlay, in H. B. Co. Ev., H. B. Co. Claims, 100. Saxton's pamphlet on Oregon Territory appears to have been first published in Washington, and afterward reproduced in Oregon City by George Abernethy. It contains the laws of Oregon, with an account of the political condition of the country, its resources, soil, climate, productions, and progress in education, with facts and figures concerning population, and other matters, enlivened by some eloquent passages, original and quoted, of a patriotic nature.
- Hancock settled on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. He has written a large manuscript volume, entitled Thirteen Years' Residence on the Northwest Coast, narrating the incidents of the immigration and many of his adventures on the Pacific coast. J. M. Bacon, of Barlow's division, has also written on the sublet Bacon was a native of Buffalo. Love of adventure induced him to go to Oregon. Engaging in various mercantile pursuits, he eventually settled permanently in Oregon City. His Mercantile Life at Oregon City, MS., is a running commentary on the business and business men of the country.
- W. W. Buck was born in New York in 1804, but emigrated from Ohio. He was a saddle and harness maker, a man of intelligence and enterprise, and his manuscript gives the history of several of the first manufactories of the country, in which he was interested, under the name of Enterprises at Oregon City, MS.
- Palmer's Journal, 43; Bacon's Merc. Life Or., MS., 3.
- Roberts' Recollections, MS., 6.
- In October 1844, in a speech at St Louis, Benton uttered this prophecy, already fulfilled:
'I say the man is alive, full grown, and is listening to what I say (without believing it perhaps), who will yet see the Asiatic commerce traversing the North Pacific Ocean—entering the Oregon River—climbing the western slope of the Rocky Mountains—issuing from its gorges—and spreading its fertilizing streams over our wide-extended Union! The steamboat and the steamcar have not exhausted all their wonders. They have not yet even found their amplest and most appropriate theatres—the tranquil surface of the North Pacific Ocean, and the vast inclined plains which spread east and west from the base of the Rocky Mountains. The magic boat and the flying car are not yet seen upon this ocean and this plain, but they will be seen there; and St Louis is yet to find herself as near to Canton as she now is to London, with a better and safer route, by land and sea, to China and Japan, than she now has to France and Great Britain.' Oregon Spectator, Sept. 17, 1846.
- He also says in a note to his Journal, p. 44, that the immigrants alluded to, not finding California to be as represented, removed from there to Oregon; but he does not give their names.
- Forty-six wagons, 320 oxen, 98 men, 40 women, and 57 children. Gray's Hist. Or., 453.
- The Collingwood, says Roberts, was on her way to seize California when they found they were too late. Several nations had an eye, about that time, to this coast. The Irish were temporarily quieted by the passage of the Maynooth bill. Recollections, MS., 60.
- Hancock's Thirteen Years, MS., 70.
- The first companies White met were Barlow's, Knighton's and McDonald's, numbering 800, near Grand Rond. The second was Palmer's near Boisé; and the third the St Joseph's company, near the Salmon Falls of Snake River. White's Ten Years in Or., 282; Buck's Enterprises, MS., 1, 2; Palmer's Journal, 50.
- The first gold discovery in Oregon made by any American, if not by any person, was near the head of the Malheur River, on a small creek divided from the Malheur by a ridge. This stream ran south-west, and was supposed to be a branch of the Malheur, an error that caused much trouble and disappointment to prospectors eight or ten years later. Daniel Herron, a cousin of W. J. Herron of Salem, was looking for lost cattle while the company were in camp here, and picked up a piece of shining metal on the rocky bed of the creek, and carried it to camp as a curiosity. No one could tell what the metal was, and no one thought of its being gold. Another nugget was found and brought to Mr Martin's wagon, who tested it by hammering it out on his wagon-tire; but not being able to tell its nature, it was thrown into the toolchest and forgotten, and ultimately lost. After the gold discovery in California these incidents were remembered, and many parties went in search of the spot where the emigrants said this gold was found, but were misled by being told it was on a tributary of the Malheur. , in Portland Daily Bee, Feb. 6, 1869; Overland Monthly, iv. 201-2.
- S. A. Clarke, in Portland Daily Bee, Feb. 6, 1869. See Staat's Address, in Or. Pioneer Assoc, Trans., 1877, 50-1.
- Tetherow, writing in the Or. Spectator, March 18, 1847, says that Meek procured an Indian guide to conduct him to the Dalles; and another writer in the same paper of February 18, 1847, says that the wanderers went as far south-west as Silver Lake, or Klamath Marsh which would have brought them opposite Diamond Peak pass. It is doubtful if they went so far, as there were other marshes more central.
- Hancock's Thirteen Years, MS., 75. Elisha Packwood also says that Meek was not so bad a man as he was pictured by the immigrants; and that at the very time they were so anxious to hang him, if they had submitted he would have brought them to the settlements. Morse's Wash. Ter., MS., i. 59.
- Hancock's Thirteen Years, MS., 78-81.
- Elisha Packwood, who was also among the lost immigrants, as they have always been called to distinguish them from those who kept to the beaten path, relates that Meek made great exertions to get a guide and some persons to go to their assistance from the mission, but without success; and says, in plain terms, that it was through sheer heartlessness that he was refused. Morse, who took down Packwood's statement, says it is the testimony of all the old pioneers 'that for rank selfishness, heartlessness, avarice, and a desire to take advantage of the necessities of the emigrants to the utmost, the mission at the Dalles exceeded any other institution on the Northwest Coast. This is a terrible charge, but a conversation with fifty different pioneers who crossed the plains in an early day will satisfy any one of the fact.Morse's Wash. Ter., MS., i. 60-1.
- Moses Harris, commonly known as Black Harris, or the Black Squire, among mountain men, like others of his class, had the gift of story-telling, and was noted for a famous fiction about a petrified forest which he had seen, on which the leaves and birds were preserved in all the beauty of life, the mouths of the birds still open in the act of singing! Burnett's Recollections of a Pioneer, 155. Harris is described as No. 2, on page 125 of Gray's Hist. Or., and he was, I believe, made a character in Moss' novel of the 'Prairie Flower,before mentioned. One of Stephen Meek's famous stories was of a Rocky Mountain belle with hair eighteen feet long, which was folded up every morning in the form of a pack, and carried on the shoulders of an attendant. San José Argus, Nov. 16, 1867.
- Palmer's Jour., 64; Bacon's Merc. Life Or., MS., 6.
- The sloop Calapooya, 25 tons, built at Oregon City by Captain Cook, an Englishman, in 1845. Bacon's Merc. Life Or., MS., 12.
- For assisting these suffering people, McLoughlin says Lieutenant Vavasour charged him with disloyalty.
- N. and C. Gilmore and Stewart are the names of this party given in Palmer's Journal.
- These were Mr and Mrs Buffum and a Mrs Thompson. The only names mentioned in the narratives are: Rector, Bacon, Barlow, Lock, Palmer, Taylor, Caplinger, Creighton, Farwell, Buckley, Powell, Senters, Smith, and Hood.
- Victors River of the West, 375-6.
- Bacon's Mercantile Life Or. City, MS., 7. Joel Palmer was born near the foot of Lake Ontario, Canada, 1810, of Quaker parentage. When a boy he went to Pennsylvania, and married in Buck County; removing afterward to Indiana, where he was a large canal contractor and then a farmer; being also a member of the legislature in the winter of 1844-5. The excitement on the boundary question was then at its height, and influenced him to go to Oregon. Palmer returned to the States in 1846 to bring out his family. He kept a journal of his travels, which he published. In a manuscript called Palmer's Wagon Train, he gives an account of the publication of his Journal, and of the main incidents of the return to Oregon. He says that he contracted in Cincinnati for the printing of the narrative of his journey to and from Oregon, with his observations on the country, the condition of the people, the government, and other matters, the whole constituting a fund of information of value to persons intending to emigrate. He expected to have his book ready to sell to the immigration, and to realize from it enough to pay most, it not all, the expense of his second journey; but although he waited almost two months, he never received more than a dozen or two copies, and was compelled to leave it behind for the publisher to dispose of as he pleased. This is to be regretted, as it is one of the best of its kind.
- W. P. Herron, in Camp-fire Orations, MS., 17; James Morris, in Id., 18.
- One of the most curious chapters in the history of overland travel is that which relates to a party who probably never reached their destination. It appears that a man named James Emmet, a Tennessean, in the winter of 1844-5 gathered from Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee principally, a company of men, women, and children, amounting in all to over one hundred persons, about forty-five of whom were able to bear arms. In the month of January they left Iowa City for Oregon with twenty-one wagons, a number of horses, cattle, and farming utensils—Emmet being chosen guide of the expedition. Instead of rendezvousing at any of the points from which companies usually started, or waiting for the grass to come up in the spring, they proceeded at once, under Emmet's direction, to take a north-west course, which soon carried them beyond the settled portion of the territory. After travelling north-west for a couple of weeks they turned a little more north to the Iowa River, which they ascended for a considerable distance, and then turned due west, plunging into an ocean of wilderness and prairie, without compass or anything to guide them except the rising and setting sun. After pursuing this course for forty days, and not reaching the Missouri River some of the men became alarmed, and only the most strenuous exertions of Emmet and his adherents prevented their turning back in a body, The persuasions and threats of these men, together with the consciousness of being already so far into the wilderness that to return was about as dangerous as to go forward, kept them from the effort to reach the Missouri, In the mean time their provisions were becoming exhausted, game on the prairie was scarce, bridges had to be built, and numerous difficulties beset them that had not been expected, such as being obliged to keep along the bottoms of streams in order to find feed for their cattle, whether those streams flowed from or toward the west, the direction they wished to pursue, and to keep near the timber for game to eke out their own rapidly dwindling stock of food. After three months of aimless wandering over a trackless desert, they reached the Vermilion River, which empties into the Missouri about one hundred and fifty miles north of the Platte, where the Missouri makes a great bend to the south; but they were still several days from the main stream, and following down the Vermilion, they reached the fort at the junction, with eighteen men, and about half the number of women and children that had started from Iowa City. Some had turned back, in spite of persuasion, and some had camped higher on the Vermilion to rest and hunt buffalo. While they were encamped at Vermilion, the steamer General Brooks came down from the mouth of the Yellowstone River with a cargo of furs. When this company reached the post at the mouth of the Vermilion River they were reduced to an allowance of half a pint of corn a day, and had just three bushels left in the general store. Emmet kept a jealous watch over the remainder of his company to prevent them from taking passage on the General Brooks for the settlements below. One young man and his wife contrived to elude his vigilence and were taken to St Louis by the steamer. What became of those who remained with Emmet is not known, but they were intending to hunt buffalo, and with this food supply to prosecute their journey to Oregon. Niles' Reg., lxviii. 339-40.
- Burnett's Recollections of a Pioneer, 175.
- The following are some of the men of the immigration of 1845: S. Armstrong, N. H. Armstrong, J. M. Armstrong, Joseph C. Avery James Allen, William Allen, M. B. Alderman, Henry Alman, Arim, J. C. Avery, J. Burton, John D. Boon, H. D. Boon, Joel Barlow, Samuel K. Barlow, William Barlow James Barlow, B. Berry, F. Baker, John Wesley Baker Owen W . Bozarth, Arthur Burrow, Bailey, J. J. Burston, F Budroe, C A Bradbury, William Buffum, Baber, H. M. Bryan, Lorenzo D. Brooks Mahlon Brook, Lyman E. Byard, John Brown, F. Babel, J. M. Bacon, WW. Buck, Buckley Edwin Bryant, Benj. F. Burch, F. Berry, William Berry, Bean, J. R. Bean, Joseph Cunningham, Creighton, Jacob C. Caplinger Benjamin Cornelius, sen., Thomas R. Cornelius, Benjamin Cornelius, jun., Samuel Cornelius, David Carson, Joseph Champion, Thomas W Chambers, Rowland Chamber,, Nathaniel W. Colwell, John M. Courtney, Joseph Charlton, Charles Craft, Patrick Conner, E. W. Conner, J. Cassada, L. W Coon, Jesse Cayton, W D. Cole, Samuel Y. Cook, Samuel Clark, John R. Coatney, John M. Cantrel, Ari Cantrel, Samuel Chase, Reuben Crowder, John W Crowell, N. H. Coffin, G. W. Coffinbury, Jesse Cadwallader, Elias Cox, David Colver, James Campbell, Eli C. Cooley, F. C. Cason, Couzine, Jackson Cooley, John Conner, Andrew Chambers, Thomas W. Chambers, David J. Chambers, Albert T. Davidson, James Davidson, F. G. Dewitt, David R. S. Daley, David Delaney, Reuben Davis, Jehu Davis, Felix G. Dorris, Dodson, Franklin Duval, Solomon Durbin, John Durbin, Leven N. English, William English, Napoleon B. Evans, Harvey Evans, William Engle, J. Engle, Luther Elkins, John Edmonds, Joseph Earl, S. D. Earl, John Foster, Rev. E. Fisher, William Flett, Andrew Hood, Hipes, Jacob Hampton, Isaac Hutchins, N. Huber, B. F. Hale, David Hill, Henry Hawkins, Francis S. Holland, Samuel Hancock, Phineas Hunt, H. G. Hadley, W. J. Herron, Daniel Herron, N. Herron, George Hannon, Isaac Hinshaw, John Hammer, Hough, Lawrence Hall, William Hake, H. H. Hide, Amos Harvey, Hackleman, D. C. Ingalls, B. B. Jackson, Ulysses Jackson, Rev. Johnson, George W. Johnson, W. Carey Johnson, John T. Jeffries, Joselyn, H. M. Knighton, Morgan Keyes, John Killin, George Knox, Knox, Kennedy, Kirby, Orrin Kellogg, Joseph Kellogg, Rev. Thomas Simpson Kendall, John E. Lyle, Jesse Lovelady, D. R. Lewis, John Lemon, John Lloyd, Jonathan Laggett, Joseph Linn, Lampson, Lock, Jeremiah Lawson, John W. Meldrum, Job McClane, Zebediah Martin, W. B. Maley, James Maley, Job McNamee, Alexander W. McNary, James Morris, McDonald, Sylvanus Moon, Josiah Morris, Alfred Markham, George Moore, J. H. McMillan, Henry Noble, Gideon R. Nightingale, A. Nightingale, Nathan Olney, Owenby, John M. Pugh, William Porter Pugh, Dr. Samuel Parker, Joel Palmer, W. Peers, Francis Perry, Patterson, Elisha Packwood, John Packwood, Robert Packwood, Tait Packwood, Larkin Packwood, Charles Packwood, James M. Pyle, Powell, John Phillips, Robert Pentland, William H. Rector, Clark Rogers, Thomas Ruge, Thomas M. Reed, Orville Risley, Joseph B. Rogers, John P. Rogers, John Rounds, William Ryan, R. A. Riggs, James B. Riggs, Sherry Ross, Thomas G. Robinson, J. S. Rinearson, Peter M. Rinearson, Raines, Roumia, John Rowe, Ridgeway, William Savage, Alonzo A. Skinner, Eugene F. Skinner, Sharp C. Senters, Samuel Simmons, Simeon Smith, Harris Speel, Samuel Smith, G. D. Smith, Hiram Smith, Shelly, William Sportsman, J. Sanders, Startuff, Stephen Staats, Henry Sewell, Green B. Smith, Davis Shannon, S. Scroggins, Isaac Staats, Spence, Stansbury, Switzler, Tabritas R. Smith, Ross Sherry, Price Scott, Solomon Tetherow, James Taylor, Philip Thompson, Rev. Lewis Thompson, William Taylor, W. G. T'Vault, John Travers, William Levi Todd, Stanley Umphlet, George Urben, J. H. Voss, C. Wheeler, William Wheeler, James White, John White, Benjamin Wood, Ellis Walker, Frederick Waymire, John Waymire, Richard E. Wylie, Ralph Wilcox, Leo Weston, H. Wright, Charles Austin Williams, J. L. Williams, John J. Williams, A. W. Walley, Henry Clay Welch, Presley Welch, Joel Welch, Amariah Wilson, Mitchel Whitlock, P. Wilkes, Anthony Whitaker, Asa Williams, James L. Williams, Henry Williamson, E. L. Walter, Helm Walter, Waldrom, Claiburne C. Walker.
Leven N. English, born near Baltimore, Maryland, March 25, 1792, removed while in his childhood to Kentucky, where he afterward married. On the breaking-out of the war of 1812 he volunteered, and fought in several battles on the frontier of Canada. After the settlement of the difficulty with England he removed with his family to Illinois, where the attempt at creating a home in the wilderness was interrupted by the Black Hawk war, in which he was commissioned captain of a company raised by himself. In 1836 he made another move westward as far as Iowa, where he settled and erected a mill. But not being yet satisfied with emigration, he sold out his Iowa property and came out to Oregon, losing one of his sons on the journey. In 1846 he built 'English's Mills' at Salem, which aided greatly to build up that town. He served in the Cayuse war of 1847–8. In 1869 he removed to California, but returned to Salem in 1871. He was twice married, living 39 years with his first wife, by whom he had 12 children; and by his second marriage 7 more, making, even in prolific Oregon, a family of unusual size. English died March 5, 1875, being nearly 85 years old. Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1875–6.
William P. Pugh, born in Sullivan County, Ind., March 9, 1818, settled in Marion County, Oregon, in 1845; died Feb. 21, 1877, at his home, leaving a large family of children, and numerous friends by whom he was respected and honored. Id., 1877, 73.
Simeon Smith, born in Columbiana County, Ohio, Feb. 16, 1823, was a son of James Smith, who also emigrated to Oregon. The family removed from Ohio to Missouri in 1838, from which state they started for the coast of the Pacific. Simeon Smith settled in Marion County, but left his farm near Turner's station for Salem after 10 years of country life. He died May 1879, leaving 4 children. His wife was a Miss Barger. Id., 1878, 92.
Joseph Cunningham was born about 1796, and was the son of Nathaniel Cunningham, one of the foremost men of the town of Spencer, Massachusetts, who helped to capture Fort Ticonderoga under Ethan Allen, and who fought through the revolution. Joseph, when not quite 17 years old, was a volunteer in the war of 1812–13, and served under General Crawford. In 1818 he went west, and joined Ashley's company for the Rocky Mountains. After 2 years spent with Ashley he returned to Boonville, Missouri, whence he went to Oregon. He settled on the lower end of Sauvé Island; and in 1847, in partnership with the Canadian Plumondon, built a saw and grist mill at the falls of Des Chutes River, at the head of Puget Sound. He afterward resided onIsland and at McMinnville, where he died March 14, 1878. Salem Mercury, March 26, 1878.
Henry Hawkins was 70 years of age when he came to Oregon. His wife was the first white woman at Louisville, Kentucky. He followed flat-boating on the Mississippi River before the days of steamboats. He lived for 33 years in Marion County, dying at Silverton, at the age of 103, in July 1878. Portland Standard, July 13, 1878.
Sidney S. Ford was born in the state of New York in 1801. In 1846 he settled north of the Columbia in the region of Puget Sound. He belongs, therefore, to the history of Washington, where he took an active part in public affairs. Mr Ford died October 22, 1866.
Owen W. Bozarth was a native of Marion County, Missouri, born in 1820. He settled on Lewis or Cathlapootle River, a short distance north of the Columbia, where he died Feb. 15, 1875.
Henry Clay Welch was a native of Randolph County, Virginia, born September 2, 1839. He died in Oregon April 11, 1863.
Thomas G. Robinson resided for many years at Portland, where he died July 27, 1867.
James Barlow, who came hither at the age of 19, and resided in Clackamas County, died at his home July 20, 1866, aged 40 years.
J. J. Burton settled on a farm in Marion County; died September 8, 1878.
Hiram Smith came to Oregon from Danville, Ohio, in 1845, but returned to the States the following year, and came out again in 1851. He brought with him several hundred head of choice cattle, and 100 horses, for improving the stock of the country. He afterward made a similar expedition for this purpose. Mr Smith was a charitable, intelligent, and successful business man. He died in San Francisco January 17, 1870. Portland Oregonian, April 2, 1879.
James B. Riggs settled in Polk County, where he resided till his death, which occurred at his home in Dallas August 15, 1870, at the age of 69 years. Salem Statesman, Aug. 26, 1870.
George Moore, who was about twenty years of age when he arrived in company with John D. Boon, died at Salem in April 1871. Salem Statesman, April 5, 1871.
John Lemon was born in 1800, in Kentucky. He died at French Prairie, September 13, 1869.
Charles Craft settled at Salem, where he assisted in erecting some of the first residences. He died July 23, 1869. Salem Unionist, July 31, 1869.
J. R. Bean, with his father and family, settled in Yamhill County, where they resided many years. Bean removed with his family from McMinnville, in that county, to Seattle, Washington, in 1874. He was born in 1824.
Mrs Mary A. Noble who with her husband crossed the plains in 1845, and settled in Washington County, died February 20, 1870. Portland Advocate, March 12, 1870.
Lawrence Hall was one of the lost immigrants. He settled in Tualatin County—now Washington—and was elected to the legislature in 1846, and served with a strong American bias. After the territorial government was organized, he was elected a member of the council. He died in Portland, February 11, 1867. Portland Oregonian, Feb. 16, 1867.
William Engle was born in Montgomery County, Maryland, removed with his parents to Jefferson County, Virginia, and in 1820 to St. Clair County, Illinois, and thence removed to Oregon. He settled in Marion County, where he died May 18, 1868, aged 79 years. Portland Oregonian, May 30, 1868.
Francis G. Dewitt engaged in mercantile pursuits in Portland, where he resided for a number of years. He removed to California, and was accidentally killed at Point Arenas in the spring of 1872. Id., April 20, 1872.
Benjamin Cornelius was a native of Kentucky, born February 9, 1802. He went to Missouri, and thence to Oregon, settling with his family in the Tualatin plains, Washington County, where he lived in the midst of his sons until his death, December 13, 1864. Id., Dec. 24, 1864.
Job McNamee settled on the town site of Portland, and at one time claimed the land but failed to secure it through the decision of the United States land-office. In 1868 he removed with his family to Pacific County, Washington. He died at Portland, October 1, 1872, aged 59 years. Mrs. Hannah McNamee, his wife, born in 1815, in Ross County, Indiana, died in Pacific County, Washington, one month before her husband. Portland Herald, Sept. 19 and Oct. 2, 1872.
Orrin Kellogg was one of the fathers of masonry on the Pacific Coast. He brought the charter from Missouri in 1845 for the organization of Multnomah Lodge No. 1, at Oregon City. By the masons made at that time, the first lodge in California was instituted about 1848. He was esteemed a useful and public-spirited citizen. His death occurred at Portland in February 1873. Portland Bulletin, Feb. 17, 1873.
Gideon R. Nightingale was a printer, who came to Oregon in the same year with Fleming. It is stated, although the Oregon Spectator does not show it, that he set the type for the first number of that paper, issued four months after his arrival. He removed to Marysville, California. Id., Aug. 12, 1871.
Rowland Chambers settled in King's Valley, Benton County, where he resided continuously until 1869, when he made a visit to the scenes of his early life. A few days after returning to Oregon, in January 1870, he suddenly died. Portland Advocate, Jan. 29, 1870.
Jonathan Laggett was born in Wythe County, Va., March 7, 1790. In 1814 he was married to Elizabeth Fanning of Tenn., and the following year removed to Missouri, whence he came to Oregon in 1845, settling in Polk Co., where he resided until his death, November 26, 1868. Id., Feb. 20, 1869.
E. L. Walter was born in Ohio in 1813. After coming to Oregon in 1846 he married Naomi Williams, and settled in Linn County, where the town of Brownsville now stands. He was for several years justice of the peace, and for one term a member of the legislature, and afterward treasurer of the county; a man esteemed for his intellectual and moral traits. He died April 11, 1867. Id., April 27, 1867.
Sherry Ross was born in Indiana, February 11, 1824. He married Rebecca Deardorff in November 1851, and resided in Portland until his death in January 1867. Id., Jan. 19, 1867.
Morgan Keyes was born May 14, 1814, in Washington County, Penn., being the second son of a family of 12 children. In 1832 he removed to Illinois, and thence to Iowa in 1837, where in March 1841 he married Mary Banning, and four years later reached Oregon. He settled in the spring of 1846 on the Santiam River, in Linn County, where he continued to reside for the 20 years preceding his demise on the 7th of March, 1866. Id., March 31, 1855.
Elisha Griffith, the son of William N. and Sabra Conner Griffith, was born in Fayette Co., Penn., March 13, 1803. He married Elizabeth Findley, in Clark Co., Indiana, in 1824. They lived some years in Indiana and Illinois before removing to Oregon; and after arriving in the Willamette Valley, lived in Linn Co. Mr. Griffith died at Brownsville, October 12, 1871. Id., Nov. 16, 1871, and Aug. 13, 1874. Mrs. Elizabeth Griffith, his wife, born in Westmoreland Co., Penn., March 11, 1805, died at her home, June 6, 1874.
Isaac Hinshaw was born in Highland Co., Ohio, December 15, 1813. He, like others, moved from Ohio to Indiana, and from Indiana to Mo., ever drifting westward until he arrived on the shores of the Pacific. His first wife was Mary Cox, whom he married in 1838, and who died in 1843. He married Miss Melissa Buell, Jan. 1, 1851. Becoming insane from continued ill health, he committed suicide by drowning, June 27, 1873. Id., July 17, 1873.
John Lloyd came from Clay County, Missouri, and settled in Benton County, near the present town of Monroe. His son W. W. Lloyd, who was but four years old when he started for Oregon, and who grew up to be an esteemed citizen, died at the age of 33, in Benton County. Id., March 19, 1872.
John Wesley Baker was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, November 12, 1831. He came with his father's family to Oregon; and in 1848 settled on French Prairie, where he married Mary Jane Brown in March 1866. He removed to Pacific County, Washington, in 1872, and died on the 26th of March 1874. Id., April 16, 1874.
Harris Speel, a native of Philadelphia, went from Oregon to California in 1846, and served in Frémont's battalion. He was killed by a fall at Santa Cruz in June 1858, aged 52 years. S. F. Bulletin, June 10, 1858.
Mrs. Tabitha Ridgeway, a native of Kentucky, accompanied her husband to Oregon in 1845. She died at Sheridan, in Yamhill County, Nov. 4, 1877—6 years after the death of Mr. Ridgeway—aged 55 years. Portland Advocate, Dec. 13, 1877.
George Hannon was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1820. At the age of 23 he removed to New York, and thence to Missouri, in which state he married Liza Jane Eavens, Feb. 2, 1844, and the following year joined the caravan to Oregon. He went first to Oregon City, where he remained some years, finally settling in the Umpqua Valley, where he died Feb. 23, 1877, leaving his wife and 7 children at Garden Bottom in Douglas County. Roseburg Plaindealer, March 17, 1877.
David Ingalls, a native of Maine, was born Oct. 31, 1808. In 1836 he removed to Columbus, Ohio, in which state he was married in 1839, moving to Iowa in 1840, and to Oregon five years later. In the spring of 1846 he settled at Astoria. His daughter, Mary Columbia, was the first child of white parentage born at that place. Ingalls was much esteemed and beloved by the people of Astoria, among whom he lived until the 31st of Aug., 1880, when he quietly passed away, according to an impression entertained by him for five years that he should die at that time. Daily Astorian, Sept. 12, 1880.
John T. Jeffries, born in Missouri, in 1830, emigrated to Oregon in 1845, and settled in Yamhill County. When eastern Oregon began to attract attention he removed to the Dalles, where he practised law, but finding cattle buying and selling more profitable, he engaged successfully in that business. He died Feb. 24, 1867, at the Dalles, leaving two children, a son and a daughter. Dalles Mountaineer, March 2, 1867.Thomas Simpson Kendall, born in Ohio, was educated at Jefferson College and Cannonsburg Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania. His first congregation was in Tennessee, from which state he was driven on account of his denunciation of slavery. He was an influential minister of the Presbyterian denomination in Oregon from 1845 to the time of his death, which occurred Dec. 5, 1871, at the age of 62. His wife was the daughter of James Williams of Linn County. Albany Register, Dec. 10, 1870.
Francis S. Holland was born in Liberty, Indiana, Dec. 21, 1823. He settled in Clackamas County in 1845, of which he was clerk for many years. In 1862 he removed to the Dalles, where he held the office of recorder for the remainder of his life, his death occurring in San Francisco, Feb. 10, 1867. He left two children. Dalles Mountaineer, March 2, 1867.
William Berry emigrated from Farmington, Illinois. He was one of the men left at Fort Deposit in the Cascade Mountains in the winter of 1845. He went to the Willamette Valley in the spring of 1846, but eventually settled on the Lewis and Clarke River of Clatsop plains. In March 1875 he died alone in his boat, in which he was returning from Astoria, at the age of 55 years, leaving a family. Astorian, March 27, 1875.
Mrs. Rebecca Fanning, mother of Levy Fanning, died at her residence near Albany, in Feb. 1881. She was believed to have been 100 years of age on the 1st of January previous. She was the mother of 18 children, 15 of whom lived to be men and women, and 13 of whom were living at the time of her death. Portland Standard, Feb. 18, 1881.
Samuel Simmons settled on Howell Prairie. His wife died November 6, 1879, aged 79 years. Their children were 5 sons, and one daughter who is the wife of Wesley Shannon of Salem. Salem Statesman, Nov. 14, 1879.
Thomas Hart settled in Polk County soon after arriving in Oregon. For 30 years he resided on his farm, amassing a considerable fortune. He was 95 years old at the time of his death, in February 1874, and until 5 years before had continued to labor upon his farm, doing the work of a man in his prime. He served in the war of 1812, being then 33 years of age. Portland Oregonian, Feb. 14, 1874.
Elisha Packwood, brother of William and Samuel who arrived the previous year, was born in Patrick County, Virginia, in July 1810, and removed with his father's family to Indiana and Missouri, whence he migrated to Oregon. He remained two years in the Willamette Valley, after which he went to Puget Sound with his brother William, who determined to settle there, but not liking the country, returned to the Willamette, and in March 1843, went to California by sea with his family, arriving just before the gold discovery. His first expedition from Yerba Buena was to the Santa Clara Valley, where a cousin, Parrington Packwood, was living. He then went to the New Almadea quicksilver mine, but soon hearing of the gold found above Sutter's Fort, fitted up a wagon, and with it moved his family to the gold-field. He spent the summer of 1848 working with his 16-year old son Samuel Tait, at Mormon Island after which he went to Coloma and established a trading post, where he remained until November 1849, when he returned to the States by way of the Isthmus of Panama, by the steamer Unicorn, Captain Paster—a British vessel with an American crew—arriving by way of New Orleans and the Mississippi River at their former home. In the spring of 1850 Mr. Packwood returned across the plains to California, with a large train, arriving in the San José Valley in October. He brought out several hundred cattle, chiefly cows, and went into the business of supplying fresh milch cows to milkmen, taking from them their old stock. In 1852 he brought out, by an agent, another herd of cattle, and continued in this business of dealing in neat stock until the great flood of 1861–2, having acquired property to the amount of about $40,000; but the disasters of that memorable year deprived him of all his profits. His land was ruined by being covered with sand, and his stock was drowned, while he narrowly escaped with his life. After this he returned to Oregon, and went to the mines then recently discovered in Baker County After several efforts to repair his fortunes, he finally settled, with his son, S. Tait Packwood, on the Snohomish flats, in the year 1868, at a place now known as Packwood Landing. Elisha Packwood died May 27, 1876, aged 66 years, having furnished a striking example of the industry courage, and patience of the early pioneers of the Northwest Coast, as well as their small rewards. His son while living in California married Matilda Wardle. His eldest daughter, Chilitha, married Bennett, living at Ellensburg, in the Kittetas Valley, Washington. He had also a son Joseph. His brothers who came to Oregon in 1845 were Larkin, John, Charles, and Robert Tait. A cousin, James Packwood, also belonged to this immigration. Morse's Notes on Hist. Wash. Ter., i. 55-85.
Mrs Florentine Wilkes Cornelius, who accompanied her father, P. Wilkes, was born in Indiana, and married Benjamin Cornelius. She died June 26, 1864, aged 34 years. Salem Statesman, July 11, 1864. Benjamin Cornelius, who settled near Hillsboro, on the Tualatin Plains, was a successful farmer an I trader. He lost his life in the spring of 1882 in a quarrel with his son-in-law, who, he believed, had ill treated his daughter.
Mrs Laodicea McNary, of the Alexander McNary Company, who discovered gold on the head waters of John Day River, in 1845, died near Eola, in Polk County, Feb. 26, 1875, aged 77 years. Salem Record, Feb. 27, 1875.
John Killin, a native of Pennsylvania, settled in Clackamas Co., and died October 23, 1867, aged 70 years. Portland Adv., Nov. 2, 1867.
- Larkin's Off. Corr., MS., ii. 60-3.
- This application does not confirm the supposition that British subjects in Oregon desired to prevent immigration.
- A writer in the Oregon Spectator alleges that McKay gave up his charter without attempting anything; but that this was not so I can show by the testimony of one of the exploring party, which left Salem July 3, 1846 and consisted of Cornelius Gilliam, James Waters, Seyburn P. Thornton, and T. C. Shaw, Americans; and Thomas McKay, Joseph Gervais, J. B. Gardipie, George Montoure, Zavier Gervais, Antonio Delore, and McDonald, British subjects. They explored up to the Santiam, but failed to find where a road could be made. T. C. Shaw, in Salem Mercury, June 4, 1875.
- An attempt was made in the spring of 1846 to find this pass, which failed. The company consisted of J. M. Garrison, J. B. McClane, Thomas Holt, James P. Martin, J. W. Boyle, A. R. C. Shaw, and Moses Harris. Or. Spectator, March 19, 1846.
- Samuel K. Barlow continued to be an active and public-spirited citizen of Oregon up to the time of his death, in July 1867. He resided at Canemah, above the falls of the Willamette. Portland Oregonian, July 20, 1867.
- Victor, in Overland Monthly, iv. 202.
- In this memorial it is said that while in certain parts of Oregon the soil would produce 54 bushels of wheat to the acre, other parts in the interior would 'produce scarcely anything of the vegetable kind.' Or. Archives, MS., 44. Spalding, on the contrary, in his report to White, had given a very favorable, and as it is now known to be an intelligent, account of the productiveness of the soil in the nterior.
- Applegate's marginal notes on Gray's Hist. Or., 438.
- The act provides: 'The personal estate of every individual, company, body politic or corporate, including his, her, or their goods or chattels, also town lots, city property, or improvements claimed and owned in virtue of occupancy secured and allowed by the treaty between Great Britain and the United States, shall be subject to execution, to be taken and sold according to the provisions of this act.' Or. Spectator, Feb. 5, 1846.
- Or. Laws, 1843-9.
- Or. Laws, 1843-9, 27. These quaint laws concerning currency and revenue are still the pride of the pioneers of Oregon, who contend that gold was of no advantage to the country when discovered, but that they progressed more safely with wheat as a legal tender.
- Grover's Or. Archives, 140-1.
- Gray says the originators of the printing association were the same that started the Multnomah circulating library, the Wolf association, and provisional government. The pioneers of 1843 founded the library, and Gray claims to have originated the Wolf association, while Jason Lee was the first projector of the provisional government. The truth is, that Abernethy was largely interested in the printing association, and that in spite of the protest contained in the 8th article, the press was controlled by missionary influence. The first officers of the company were W. G. T'Vault, president; J. W. Nesmith, vice-president; John P. Brooks, secretary; George Abernethy, treasurer; John H. Couch, John E. Long, and Robert Newell, directors.
- This was the beginning of the long fight made by the people of Salem to secure the capital.
- With regard to this matter Minto says: The officers of the Modeste made frequent excursions into the Willamette Valley, and did not always choose the most discreet means of cultivating feelings in favor of British subjects. The scenes enacted at the residences they visited indicated that they did not regard the laws of the colony; and even their temporary association with an American was a cause of suspicion. Early Days, M.S., 60. Roberts admits that the company furnished rum for the Modeste's crew, and that brandy was placed upon the table while her officers were at Vancouver in addition to the usual wine; not because temperance was not the rule at Vancouver, but because Douglas could not refuse to furnish to the officers and men sent there to protect the company any supplies they might require. Recollections, MS., 53. But the colonists were not disposed to make allowances for the position in which the company was placed. As an evidence of the efforts made by the Hudson's Bay Company to do away with the use of spirituous liquors, not only in Oregon but east of the Rocky Mountains, see Fitzgerald's Vanc. Isl., 211-13.
- Tolmie's Puget Sound, MS., 22-3.
- Grover's Or. Archives, 152.
- This line was definitely fixed by the legislature of 1846, beginning opposite the mouth of Pudding River, running north-west to the summit of the dividing ridges, between the Chehalim and Tualatin and the Yamhill and Tualatin. The county seat was also fixed at or near the falls of Yamhill River where the town of Lafayette was laid off in that year.