History of Oregon (Bancroft)/Volume 2/Chapter 1

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
3277107History of Oregon, Volume 2 — Chapter 1Frances Fuller Victor





Population—Products—Places of Settlement—The First Families of Oregon—Stock-raising and Agriculture—Founding of Towns—Land Titles—Ocean Traffic—Ship-building and Commerce—Domestic Matters: Food, Clothing, and Shelter—Society: Religion, Education, and Morals—Benevolent Societies—Aids and Checks to Progress—Notable Institutions—Character of the People.

Fourteen years have now elapsed since Jason Lee began his missionary station on the east bank of the Willamette, and five years since the first considerable settlement was made by an agricultural population from the western states. It is well to pause a moment in our historical progress and to take a general survey.

First as to population, there are between ten and twelve thousand white inhabitants and half-breeds scattered about the valley of the Willamette, with a few in the valleys of the Columbia, the Cowlitz, and on Puget Sound. Most of these are stock-raisers and grain-growers. The extent of land cultivated is not great,[1] from twenty to fifty acres only being in cereals on single farms within reach of warehouses of the fur company and the American merchants. One writer estimated the company's stock in 1845 at 20,000 bushels, and that this was not half of the surplus. As many farmers reap from sixty to sixty-five bushels of wheat to the acre,[2] and the poorest land returns twenty bushels, no great extent of sowing is required to furnish the market with an amount equal to that named. Agricultural machinery to any considerable extent is not yet known. Threshing is done by driving horses over the sheaves strewn in an enclosure, first trodden hard by the hoofs of wild cattle. In the summer of 1848 Wallace and Wilson of Oregon City construct two threshing-machines with endless chains, which are henceforward much sought after.[3] The usual price of wheat, fixed by the Hudson's Bay Company, is sixty-two and a half cents; but at different times it has been higher, as in 1845, when it reached a dollar and a half a bushel,[4] owing to the influx of population that year.

The flouring of wheat is no longer difficult, for there are in 1848 nine grist-mills in the country.[5] Nor is it any longer impossible to obtain sawed lumber in the lower parts of the valley, or on the Columbia, for a larger number of mills furnish material for building to those who can afford to purchase and provide the means of transportation.[6] The larger number of houses on the land-claims, however, are still of hewn logs, in the style of western frontier dwellings of the Mississippi states.[7]

Only a small portion of the land being fenced, almost the whole Willamette Valley is open to travel, and covered with the herds of the settlers, some of whom own between two and three thousand cattle and horses. Though thus pastured the grass is knee-high on the plains, and yet more luxuriant on the low lands; in summer the hilly parts are incarnadine with strawberries.[8] Besides the natural increase of the first importations, not a year has passed since the venture of the Willamette Cattle Company in 1837, without the introduction of cattle and horses from California, to which are added those driven from the States annually after 1842,[9] whence come likewise constantly increasing flocks of sheep. The towns, as is too often the case, are out of proportion to the rural population. Oregon City, with six or seven hundred inhabitants, is still the metropolis, having the advantage of a central position between the farming country above the falls and the deep-water navigation twelve miles below; and more capital and improvements are found here than at any other point.[10] It is the only incorporated town as yet in Oregon, the legislature of 1844 having granted it a charter;[11] unimproved lots are held at from $100 to $500. The canal round the falls which the same legislature authorized is in progress of construction, a wing being thrown out across the east shoot of the river above the falls which form a basin, and is of great benefit to navigation by affording quiet water for the landing of boats, which without it were in danger of being carried over the cataract.[12]

Linn City and Multnomah City just across the river from the metropolis, languish from propinquity to a greatness in which they cannot share. Milwaukee, a few miles below, is still in embryo. Linnton, the city founded during the winter of 1843 by Burnett and McCarver, has had but two adult male inhabitants, though it boasts a warehouse for wheat. Hillsboro and Lafayette aspire to the dignity of county-seats of Tualatin and Yamhill. Corvallis, Albany, and Eugene are settled by claimants of the land, but do not yet rejoice in the distinction of an urban appellation. Champoeg had been laid off as a town by Newell, but is so in name only. Close by is another river town, of about equal importance, owned by Abernethy and Beers, which is called Butteville. Just above the falls Hedges has laid off the town of Canemah. Besides these there are a number of settlements named after the chief families, such as Hembree's settlement in Yamhill County, Applegate's and Ford's in Polk, and Waldo's and Howell's in Marion. Hamlets promising to be towns are Salem, Portland, Vancouver, and Astoria.

I have already mentioned the disposition made of the missionary claims and property at Salem, and that on the dissolution of the Methodist Mission the Oregon Institute was sold, with the land claimed as belonging to it, to the board of trustees. But as there was no law under the provisional government for the incorporation of such bodies, or any under which they could hold a mile square of land for the use of the institute, W. H. Wilson, H. B. Brewer, D. Leslie, and L. H. Judson resorted to the plan of extending their four land-claims in such a manner as to make their corners meet in the centre of the institute claim, under that provision in the land law allowing claims to be held by a partnership of two or more persons; and by giving bonds to the trustees of the institute to perform this act of trust for the benefit of the board, till it should become incorporated and able to hold the land in its own right.

In March 1846 Wilson was authorized to act as agent for the board, and was put in possession of the premises. In May following he was empowered to sell lots, and allowed a compensation of seven per cent on all sales effected. During the summer a portion of the claim was sold to J. L. Parrish, David Leslie, and C. Craft, at twelve dollars an acre; and Wilson was further authorized to sell the water-power or mill-site, and as much land with it as might be thought advisable; also to begin the sale by public auction of the town lots, as surveyed for that purpose, the first sale to take place September 10, 1846. Only half a dozen families were there previous to this time.[13]

In July 1847 a bond was signed by Wilson, the conditions of which were the forfeiture of $100,000, or the fulfilment of the following terms: That he should hold in trust the six hundred and forty acres thrown off from the land-claims above mentioned; that he should pay to the missionary society of the Methodist Episcopal church of Oregon and to the Oregon Institute certain sums amounting to $6,000; that he should use all diligence to perfect a title to the institute claim, and when so perfected convey to the first annual conference of the Methodist church, which should be established in Oregon by the general conference of the United States, in trust, such title as he himself had obtained to sixty acres known as the 'institute reserve,' on which the institute building was situated for which services he was to receive one third of the money derived from the sale of town lots on the unreserved portion of the six hundred and forty acres comprised in the Salem town-site and belonging to the several claimants. Under this arrangement, in 1848, Wilson and his wife were residing in the institute building on the reserved sixty acres, Mrs Wilson having charge of the school, while the agency of the town property remained with her husband.

The subsequent history of Salem town-site belongs to a later period, but may be briefly given here. When the Oregon donation law was passed, which gave to the wife half of the mile square of land embraced in the donation, Wilson had the dividing line on his land run in such a manner as to throw the reserve with the institute building, covered by his claim, upon the wife's portion; and Mrs Wilson being under no legal obligation to make over anything to the Oregon conference, in trust for the institute, refused to listen to the protests of the trustees so neatly tricked out of their cherished educational enterprise. In this condition the institute languished till 1854, when a settlement was effected by the restoration of the reserved sixty acres to the trustees of the Willamette University, and two thirds of the unsold remains of the south-west quarter of the Salem town-site which Wilson was bound to hold for the use of that institution. Whether the restoration was an act of honor or of necessity I will not here discuss; the act of congress under which the territory was organized recognized as binding all bonds and obligations entered into under the provisional government.[14] In later years some important lawsuits grew out of the pretensions of Wilson's heirs, to an interest in lots sold by him while acting agent for the trustees of the town-site.[15]

Portland in 1848 had but two frame buildings, one the residence of F. W. Pettygrove, who had removed from Oregon City to this hamlet on the river's edge, and the other belonging to Thomas Carter. Several log-houses had been erected, but the place had no trade except a little from the Tualatin plains lying to the south, beyond the heavily timbered highlands in that direction.

The first owner of the Portland land-claim was William Overton, a Tennesseean, who came to Oregon about 1843, and presently took possession of the place, where he made shingles for a time, but being of a restless disposition went to the Sandwich Islands, and returning dissatisfied and out of health, resolved to go to Texas. Meeting with A. L. Lovejoy at Vancouver, and returning with him to Portland in a canoe, he offered to resign the claim to him, but subsequently changed his mind, thinking to remain, yet giving Lovejoy half, on condition that he would aid in improving it; for the latter, as he says in his Founding of Portland, MS., 30–34, observed the masts and booms of vessels which had been left there, and it occurred to him that this was the place for a town. So rarely did shipping come to Oregon in these days, and more rarely still into the Willamette River, that the possibility or need of a seaport or harbor town away from the Columbia does not appear to have been seriously entertained up to this time.

After some clearing, preparatory to building a house, Overton again determined to leave Oregon, and sold his half of the land to F. W. Petty grove for a small sum and went to Texas, where it has been said he was hanged.[16] Lovejoy and Pettygrove then erected the first house in the winter of 1845, the locality being on what is now Washington street at the corner of Front street, it being built of logs covered with shingles. Into this building Pettygrove moved half of his stock of goods in the spring of 1845, and with Lovejoy opened a road to the farming lands of Tualatin County from which the traffic of the imperial city was expected to come.

The town was partially surveyed by H. N. V. Short, the initial point being Washington street and the survey extending down the river a short distance. The naming of it was decided by the tossing of a copper coin, Pettygrove, who was from Maine, gaining the right to call it Portland, against Lovejoy, who was from Massachusetts and wished to name the new town Boston. A few stragglers gathered there, and during the Cayuse war when the volunteer companies organized at Portland, and crossing the river took the road to Switzler's ferry opposite Vancouver, it began to be apparent that it was a more convenient point of departure and arrival in regard to the Columbia than Oregon City. But it made no material progress till a conjunction of remarkable events in 1848 called it into active life and permanent prosperity. Before this happened, however, Lovejoy had sold his interest to Benjamin Stark; and Daniel Lownsdale in September of this year purchased Pettygrove's share, paying for it $5,000 worth of leather which he had made at his tannery adjoining the town-site. The two founders of Portland thus transferred their ownership, which fell at a fortunate moment into the hands of Daniel Lownsdale, Stephen Coffin, and W. W. Chapman.[17]

In 1848 Henry Williamson, the same who claimed unsuccessfully near Fort Vancouver in 1845, employed P. W. Crawford to lay out a town on the present site of Vancouver, and about five hundred lots were surveyed, mapped, and recorded in the recorder's books at Oregon City, according to the law governing town-sites; the same survey long ruling in laying out streets, blocks, and lots. But the prospects for a city were blighted by the adverse claim of Amos Short, an immigrant of 1847, who settled first at Linnton, then removed to Sauvé Island where he was engaged in slaughtering Spanish cattle, but who finally took six hundred and forty acres below Fort Vancouver, Williamson who still claimed the land being absent at the time, having gone to Indiana for a wife. The land law of Oregon, in order to give young men this opportunity of fulfilling marriage engagements without loss, provided that by paying into the treasury of the territory the sum of five dollars a year, they could be absent from their claims for two consecutive years, or long enough to go to the States and return.

In Williamson's case the law proved ineffectual. She whom he was to marry died before he reached Indiana, and on returning still unmarried, he found Short in possession of his claim; and although he was at the expense of surveying, and a house was put up by William Fellows, who left his property in the keeping of one Kellogg, Short gave Williamson so much trouble that he finally abandoned the claim and went to California to seek a fortune in the mines. The cottonwood tree which Crawford made the starting-point of his survey, and which was taken as the corner of the United States military post in 1850, was standing in 1878. The passage of the donation law brought up the question of titles to Vancouver, but as these arguments and decisions were not considered till after the territory of Washington was set off from Oregon, I will leave them to be discussed in that portion of this work. Astoria, never having been the seat of a mission, either Protestant or Catholic, and being on soil acknowledged from the first settlement as American, had little or no trouble about titles, and it was only necessary to settle with the government when a place for a military post was temporarily required.

The practice of jumping, as the act of trespassing on land claimed by another was called, became more common as the time was supposed to approach when congress would make the long-promised donation to actual settlers, and every man desired to be upon the choicest spot within his reach. It did not matter to the intruder whether the person displaced were English or American. Any slight flaw in the proceedings or neglect in the customary observances rendered the claimant liable to be crowded off his land. But when these intrusions became frequent enough to attract the attention of the right-minded, their will was made known at public meetings held in all parts of the territory, and all persons were warned against violating the rights of others. They were told that if the existing law would not prevent trespass the legislature should make one that would prove effectual.[18] Thus warned, the envious and the grasping were generally restrained, and claim-jumping never assumed alarming proportions in Oregon. Considering the changes made every year in the population of the country, public sentiment had much weight with the people, and self-government attained a position of dignity.

Although no claimant could sell the land he held, he could abandon possession and sell the improvements, and the transaction vested in the purchaser all the rights of the former occupant. In this manner the land changed occupants as freely as if the title had been in the original possessor, and no serious inconvenience was experienced[19] for the want of it.

Few laws were enacted at the session of 1847, as it was believed unnecessary in view of the expected near approach of government by the United States. But the advancing settlement of the country demanding that the county boundaries should be fixed, and new ones created, the legislature of 1847 established the counties of Linn and Benton, one extending east to the Rocky Mountains, the other west to the Pacific Ocean, and both south to the latitude 42°.[20]

The construction of a number of roads was also authorized, the longer ones being from Portland to Mary River, and from Multnomah City to the same place, and across the Cascade Mountains by the way of the Santiam River to intercept the old emigrant road in the valley of the Malheur, or east of there, from which it will be seen that there was still a conviction in some minds that a pass existed which would lead travellers into the heart of the valley. That no such pass was discovered in 1848, or until long after annual caravans of wagons and cattle from the States ceased to demand it, is also true.[21] But it was a benefit to the country at large that a motive existed for annual exploring expeditions, each one of which brought into notice some new and favorable situations for settlements, besides promoting discoveries of its mineral resources of importance to its future development.[22]

On account of the unusual and late rains in the summer of 1847, the large immigration which greatly increased the home consumption, and the Cayuse war which reduced the number of producers, the colony experienced a depression in business and a rise in prices which was the nearest approach to financial distress which the country had yet suffered. Farming utensils were scarce and dear, cast-iron ploughs selling at forty-five dollars.[23] Other tools were equally scarce, often requiring a man who needed an axe to travel a long distance to procure one second-hand at a high price. This scarcity led to the manufacture of axes at Vancouver, for the company's own hunters and trappers, before spoken of as exciting the suspicion of the Americans. Nails brought from twenty to twenty-five cents per pound; iron twelve and a half. Groceries were high, coffee bringing fifty cents a pound; tea a dollar and a half; coarse Sandwich Island sugar twelve and fifteen cents; common molasses fifty cents a gallon. Coarse cottons brought twenty and twenty-five cents a yard; four-point blankets five dollars a single one; but ready-made common clothing for men could be bought cheap. Flour was selling in the spring for four and five dollars a barrel, and potatoes at fifty cents a bushel; high prices for those times, but destined to become higher.[24]

The evil of high prices was aggravated by the nature of the currency, which was government scrip, orders on merchants, and wheat; the former, though drawing interest, being of uncertain value owing to the state of the colonial treasury which had never contained money equal to the face of the government's promises to pay. The law making orders on merchants currency constituted the merchant a banker without any security for his solvency, and the value of wheat was liable to fluctuation. There were, besides, different kinds of orders. An Abernethy order was not good for some articles. A Hudson's Bay order might have a cash value, or a beaver-skin value. In making a trade a man was paid in Couch, Abernethy, or Hudson's Bay currency, all differing in value.[25] The legislature of 1847 so far amended the currency act as to make gold and silver the only lawful tender for the payment of judgments rendered in the courts, where no special contract existed to the contrary; but making treasury drafts lawful tender in payment of taxes, or in compensation for the services of the officers or agents of the territory, unless otherwise provided by law; and providing that all costs of any suit at law should be paid in the same kind of money for which judgment might be rendered.

This relief was rather on the side of the litigants than the people at large. Merchants' paper was worth as much as the standing of the merchant. Nowhere in the country, except at the Hudson's Bay Company's store, would an order pass at par.[26] The inconvenience of paying for the simplest article by orders on wheat in warehouse was annoying both to purchaser and seller. The first money brought into the country in any quantity was a barrel of silver dollars received at Vancouver to be paid in monthly sums to the crew of the Modeste.[27] The subsequent overland arrivals brought some coin, though not enough ta remedy the evil.

One effect of the condition of trade in the colony was to check credit, which in itself would not have been injurious, perhaps,[28] had it not also tended to discourage labor. A mechanic who worked for a stated price was not willing to take whatever might be given him in return for his labor.[29]

Another effect of such a method was to prevent vessels coming to Oregon to trade.[30] The number of American vessels which brought goods to the Columbia or carried away the products of the colony was small. Since 1834 the bar of the Columbia had been crossed by American vessels, coming in and going out, fifty-four times. The list of American vessels entering during this period comprised twenty-two of all classes. Of these in the first six years not one was a trader; in the following six years seven were traders, but only four brought cargoes to sell to the settlers, and these of an ill-assorted kind. From March 1847 to August 1848 nine different American vessels visited the Columbia, of which one brought a stock of general merchandise, and the rest had come for provisions and lumber, chiefly for California. All the commerce of the country not carried on by these few vessels, most of them arriving and departing but once, was enjoyed by the British fur company, whose barks formed regular lines to the Sandwich Islands, California, and Sitka.

It happened that during 1846, the year following the incoming of three thousand persons, not a single ship from the Atlantic ports arrived at Oregon with merchandise, and that all the supplies for the year were brought from the Islands by the Toulon, the sole American vessel owned by an Oregon company, the Chenamus having gone home. This state of affairs occasioned much discontent, and an examination into causes. The principal grievance presented was the rule of the Hudson's Bay Company, which prohibited their vessels from carrying goods for persons not concerned with them. But the owners of the only two American vessels employed in transportation between the Columbia and other ports had adopted the same rule, and refused to carry wheat, lumber, or any other productions of the country, for private individuals, having freight enough of their own.

The granaries and flouring-mills of the country were rapidly becoming overstocked; lumber, laths, and shingles were being made much faster than they could be disposed of, and there was no way to rid the colony of the over-production, while money was absolutely required for certain classes of goods. As it was declared by one of the leading colonists, "the best families in the country are eating their meals and drinking their tea and coffee—when our merchants can afford it—from tin plates and cups;[31] many articles of clothing and other things actually necessary for our consumption are not to be purchased in the country; our children are growing up in ignorance for want of school-books to educate them; and there has not been a plough-mould in the country for many months."

In the autumn of 1845 salt became scarce, and was raised in price from sixty-two and a half cents a bushel to two dollars at McLoughlin's store in Oregon City. The American merchants, Stark and Pettygrove, saw an opportunity of securing a monopoly of the salmon trade by withholding their salt, a cash article, from market, at any price, and many families were thereby compelled to dispense with this condiment for months. Such was the enmity of the people, however, toward McLoughlin as a British trader, that it was seriously proposed in Yamhill County to take by force the salt of the doctor, who was selling it, rather than to rob the American merchants who refused to sell.[32]

It was deemed a hardship while flour brought from ten to fifteen dollars a barrel in the Hawaiian Islands, and New York merchants made a profit by shipping it from Atlantic ports where wheat was worth more than twice its Oregon price, that for want of shipping, the fur company and two or three American merchants should be privileged to enjoy all the benefits of such a market, the farmers at the same time being kept in debt to the merchants by the low price of wheat. Many long articles were published in the Spectator exhibiting the enormous injury sustained on the one hand and the extraordinary profits enjoyed on the other, some of which were answered by James Douglas, who was annoyed by these attacks, for it was always the British and not the American traders who were blamed for taking advantage of their opportunity. The fur company had no right to avail themselves of the circumstances causing fluctuation; only the Americans might fatten themselves on the wants of the people. If the fur company kept down the price of wheat, the American merchants forced up the price of merchandise, and if the former occasionally made out a cargo by carrying the flour or lumber of their neighbors to the Islands, they charged them as much as a vessel coming all the way out from New York would do, and for a passage to Honolulu one hundred dollars. In the summer of 1846 the supercargo of the Toulon, Benjamin Stark, jun., after carrying out flour for Abernethy, refused to take the return freight except upon such terms as to make acceptance out of the question; his object being to get his own goods first to market and obtain the price consequent on the scarcity of the supply.[33] Palmer relates that the American merchants petitioned the Hudson's Bay Company to advance their prices; and that it was agreed to sell to Americans at a higher price than that charged to their own people, an arrangement that lasted for two years.[34]

The colonists felt that instead of being half-clad, and deprived of the customary conveniences of living, they ought to be selling from the abundance of their farms to the American fleet in the Pacific, and reaching out toward the islands of the ocean and to China with ships of their own. To remedy the evil and bring about the result aspired to, a plan was proposed through the Spectator, whereby without money a joint-stock company should be organized for carrying on the commerce of the colony in opposition to the merchants, British or American. This plan was to make the capital stock consist of six hundred thousand or eight hundred thousand bushels of wheat divided into shares of one hundred bushels each. When the stock should be taken and officers elected, bonds should be executed for as much money as would buy or build a schooner and buy or erect a grist-mill.

A meeting was called for the 16th of January 1847, to be held at the Methodist meeting-house in Tualatin plains. Two meeting were held, but the conclusion arrived at was adverse to a chartered company; the plan adopted for disposing of their surplus wheat being to select and authorize an agent at Oregon City to receive and sell the grain, and import the goods desired by the owners. A committee was chosen to consider proposals from persons bidding, and Governor Abernethy was selected as miller, agent, and importer. Twenty-eight shares were taken at the second meeting in Yamhill. An invitation was extended to other counties to hold meetings, correspond, and fit themselves intelligently to carry forward the project, which ultimately would bring about the formation of a chartered company.[35] The scheme appeared to be on the way to success, when an unlooked-for check was received in the loss of a good portion of the year's crop, by late rains which damaged the grain in the fields. This deficiency was followed by the large immigration of that year which raised the price of wheat to double its former value, and rendered unnecessary the plan of exporting it; while the Cayuse war, following closely upon these events, absorbed much of the surplus means of the colony.

Previous to 1848 the trade of Oregon was with the Hawaiian Islands principally, and the exports amounted in 1847 to $54,784.99.[36] This trade fell off in 1848 to $14,986.57; not on account of a decrease in exports which had in fact been largely augmented, as the increase in the shipping shows, but from being diverted to California by the American conquest and settlement; the demand for lumber and flour beginning some months before the discovery of gold.[37]

The colonial period of Oregon, which may be likened to man's infancy, and which had struggled through numerous disorders peculiar to this phase of existence, had still to contend against the constantly recurring nakedness. From the fact that down to the close of 1848 only five ill-assorted cargoes of American goods had arrived from Atlantic ports,[38] which were partially replenished by purchases of groceries made in the Sandwich Islands, and that only the last cargo, that of the Henry in 1847, brought out any assortment of goods for women's wear,[39] it is strikingly apparent that the greatest want in Oregon was the want of clothes.

The children of some of the foremost men in the farming districts attended school with but a single garment, which was made of coarse cotton sheeting dyed with copperas a tawny yellow. During the Cayuse war some young house-keepers cut up their only pair of sheets to make shirts for their husbands. Some women, as well as men, dressed in buckskin, and instead of in ermine justice was forced to appear in blue shirts and with bare feet.[40] And this notwithstanding the annual ship-load of Hudson's Bay goods. In 1848 not a single vessel loaded with goods for Oregon entered the river, and to heighten the destitution the fur company's bark Vancouver was lost at the entrance to the river on the 8th of May, with a valuable cargo of the articles most in demand, which were agricultural implements and dry-goods, in addition to the usual stock in trade. Instead of the wives and daughters of the colonists being clad in garments becoming their sex and position, the natives of the lower Columbia decked in damaged English silks[41] picked up along the beach, gathered in great glee their summer crop of blackberries among the mountains. The wreck of the Vancouver was a great shock to the colony. A large amount of grain had been sown in anticipation of the demand in California for flour, which it would be impossible to harvest with the means at hand; and although by some rude appliances the loss was partially overcome it could not be wholly redeemed. To add to their misfortunes, the whale-ship Maine was wrecked at the same place on the 23d of August, by which the gains of a two years' cruise were lost, together with the ship.

The disaster to this second vessel was a severe blow to the colonists, who had always anticipated great profits from making the Columbia River a rendezvous for the whaling-fleet on the north-west coast. Some of the owners in the east had recommended their sailing-masters to seek supplies in Oregon, out of a desire to assist the colonists. But it was their ill-fortune to have the first whaler attempting entrance broken up on the sands where two United States vessels, the Peacock and Shark, had been lost.[42] Ever since the wreck of the Shark efforts had been made to inaugurate a proper system of pilotage on the bar, and one of the constant petitions to congress was for a steam-tug. In the absence of this benefit the Oregon legislature in the winter of 1846 passed an act establishing pilotage on the bar of the Columbia, creating a board of commissioners, of which the governor was one, with power to choose four others, who should examine and appoint suitable persons as pilots.[43]

The first American pilot was S. C. Reeves, who arrived in the brig Henry from Newburyport, in March 1847, and was appointed in April.[44] He went immediately to Astoria to study the channel, and was believed to be competent.[45] But the disaster of 1848 caused him to be censured, and removed on the charge of conniving at the wreck of the Vancouver for the sake of plunder; a puerile and ill-founded accusation, though his services might well be dispensed with on the ground of incompetency.[46]

If the sands of the bar shifted so much that there were six fathoms in the spring of 1847 where there were but two and a half in 1846, as was stated by captains of vessels,[47] I see no reason for doubting that a sufficient change may have taken place in the winter of 1847–8, to endanger a vessel depending upon the wind. But however great the real dangers of the Columbia bar, and perhaps because they were great,[48] the colonists objected to having them magnified by rumor rather than alleviated by the means usual in such cases, and while they discharged Reeves, they used the Spectator freely to correct unfavorable impressions abroad. There were others who had been employed as branch pilots, and who still exercised their vocation, and certain captains who became pilots for their own or the vessels of others;[49] but there was a time following Reeves' dismissal, when the shipping which soon after formed a considerable fleet in the Columbia, ran risks enough to vindicate the character of the harbor, even though as sometimes happened a vessel was lost at the mouth of the river.

In the matter of interior transportation there was not in 1848 much improvement over the Indian canoe or the fur company's barge and bateau. The maritime industries seem rather to have been neglected in early times on the north-west coast notwithstanding its natural features seemed to suggest the usefulness if not the necessity of seamanship and nautical science. Since the building of the little thirty-ton schooner Dolly at Astoria in 1811 for the Pacific Fur Company, few vessels of any description had been constructed in Oregon. Kelley related that he saw in 1834 a ship-yard at Vancouver where several vessels had been built, and where ships were repaired,[50] which is likely enough, but they were small and clumsy affairs,[51] and few probably ever went to sea. Some barges and a sloop or two are mentioned by the earliest settlers as on the rivers carrying wheat from Oregon City to Vancouver, which served also to convey families of settlers down the Columbia.[52] The Star of Oregon built in the Willamette in 1841, was the second vessel belonging to Americans constructed in these waters.

The first vessel constructed by an individual owner, or for colonial trade, was a sloop of twenty-five tons, built in 1845 by an Englishman named Cook, and called the Calapooya. I have also mentioned that she proved of great service to the immigrants of that year on the Columbia and Lower Willamette. The first keel-boats above the falls were owned by Robert Newell, and built in the winter of 1845–6, to ply between Oregon City and Champoeg, the Mogul and the Ben Franklin. From the fact that the fare was one dollar in orders, and fifty cents in cash, may be seen the estimation in which the paper currency of the time was held. Other similar craft soon followed,[53] and were esteemed important additions to the comfort of travellers, as well as an aid to business. Other transportation than that by water there was none, except the slow-moving ox-wagon.[54] Stephen H. L. Meek advertised to take freight or passengers from Oregon City to Tualatin plains by such a conveyance, the wagon being a covered one, and the team consisting of eight oxen.[55] Medorum Crawford transported goods or passengers around the falls at Oregon City for a number of years with ox-teains.[56]

The men in the valley from the constant habit of being so much on horseback became very good riders. The Canadian young men and women were especially fine equestrians and sat their lively and often vicious Cayuse horses as if part of the animal; and on Sunday, when in gala dress, they made a striking appearance, being handsome in form as well as graceful riders.[57] The Americans also adopted the custom of 'loping' practised by the horsemen of the Pacific coast, which gave the rider so long and easy a swing, and carried him so fast over the ground. They also became skilful in throwing the lasso and catching wild cattle. Indeed, so profitable was cattle-raising, and so agreeable the free life of the herdsman or owner of stock, who flitted over the endless green meadows, clad in fringed buckskin, with Spanish spurs jingling on his heels, and a crimson silk scarf tied about the waist,[58] that to aspiring lads the life of a vaquero offered attractions superior to those of soil-stirring.

He who would a wooing go, if unable to return the same day, carried his blankets, and at night threw himself upon the floor and slept till morning, when he might breakfast before leave-taking.

If there were none of the usual means of travel, neither were there mail facilities till 1848. Letters were carried by private persons, who received pay or not according to circumstances. The legislature of 1845 in December enacted a law establishing a general post-office at Oregon City, with W. G. T'Vault[59] as postmaster-general, but the funds of the provisional government were too scanty and the settlements too scattered to make it possible to carry out the intention of the act.[60]

The first contract let was to Hugh Burns in the spring of 1846, who was to carry the mail once to Weston, in Missouri, for fifty cents a single sheet. After a six months trial the postmaster-general had become assured that the office was not remunerative, the expense of sending a semi-monthly mail to each county south of the Columbia having been borne chiefly by private subscription; and advertised that the mail to the different points would be discontinued, but that should any important news arrive at Oregon City, it would be despatched to the several offices. The post-office law, however, remained in force as far as practicable but no regular mail service was inaugurated until the autumn of 1847, when the United States department gave Oregon a deputy-postmaster in John M. Shively, and a special agent in Cornelius Gilliam. The latter immediately advertised for proposals for carrying the mail from Oregon City to Astoria and back, from the same to Mary River[61] and back, including intermediate offices, and from the same to Fort Vancouver, Nisqually, and Admiralty Inlet. From this time the history of the mail service belongs to another period.

The social and educational affairs of the colony had by 1848 begun to assume shape, after the fashion of older communities. The first issue of the Spectator contained a notice for a meeting of masons to be held the 21st of February 1846, to adopt measures for obtaining a charter for a lodge. The notice was issued by Joseph Hull, P. G. Stewart, and William P. Dougherty. A charter was issued by the grand lodge of Missouri on the 19th of October 1846, to Multnomah lodge, No. 84, in Oregon City. This charter was brought across the plains in an emigrant wagon in 1848, intrusted to the care of P. B. Cornwall, who turning off to California placed it in charge of Orrin Kellogg, who brought it safely to Oregon City and delivered it to Joseph Hull. Under this authority Multnomah lodge was opened September 11, 1848, Joseph Hull, W. M.; W. P. Dougherty, S. W., and T. C. Cason, J. W. J. C. Ainsworth was the first worshipful master elected under this charter.[62]

A dispensation for establishing an Odd Fellows lodge was also applied for in 1846, but not obtained till 1852.[63] The Multnomah circulating library was a chartered institution, with branches in the different counties; and the members of the Falls Association, a literary society which seems to have been a part of the library scheme, contributed to the Spectator prose and verse of no mean quality.

The small and scattered population and the scarcity of school-books were serious drawbacks to education. Continuous arrivals, and the printing of a large edition of Webster's Elementary Spelling Book by the Oregon printing association, removed some of the obstacles to advancement[64] in the common schools. Of private schools and academies there were already several besides the Oregon Institute and the Catholic schools. Of the latter there were St Joseph[65] for boys at St Paul on French Prairie, and two schools for girls, one at Oregon City and one at St Mary, taught by the sisters of Notre Dame. An academy known as Jefferson Institute was located in La Creole Valley near the residence of Nathaniel Ford, who was one of the trustees. William Beagle and James Howard were the others, and J. E. Lyle principal. On the Tualatin plains Rev. Harvey Clark had opened a school which in 1846 had attained to some promise of success, and in 1847 a board of trustees was established. Out of this germ developed two years later the Tualatin Academy, incorporated in September 1849, which developed into the Pacific University in 1853–4.

The history of this institution reflects credit upon its founders in more than an ordinary degree. Harvey Clark, it will be remembered, was one of the independent missionaries, with no wealthy board at his back from whose funds he could obtain a few hundred or thousand of dollars. When he failed to find missionary work among the natives, he settled on the Tualatin plains upon a land-claim where the academic town of Forest Grove now stands, and taught as early as 1842 a few children of the other settlers. In 1846 there came to Oregon, by the southern route, enduring all the hardships of the belated immigration, a woman sixty-eight years of age, with her children and grandchildren, Mrs Tabitha Brown.[66] Her kind heart was pained at the number of orphans left to charity by the sickness among the immigrants of 1847, with no promise of proper care or training. She spoke of the matter to Harvey Clark who asked her what she would do. "If I had the means I would establish myself in a comfortable home, receive all poor children, and be a mother to them," said Mrs Brown. "Are you in earnest?" asked Clark. "Yes." "Then I will try with you, and see what can be done."

There was a log meeting-house on Clark's land, and in this building Mrs Brown was placed, and the work of charity began, the settlers contributing such articles of furnishing as they could spare. The plan was to receive any children to be taught; those whose parents could afford it, to pay at the rate of five dollars a week for board, care, and tuition, and those who had nothing, to come free. In 1848 there were about forty children in the school, of whom the greater part were boarders;[67] Mrs Clark teaching and Mrs Brown having charge of the family, which was healthy and happy, and devoted to its guardian. In a short time Rev. Gushing Eells was employed as teacher.

There came to Oregon about this time Rev. George H. Atkinson, under the auspices of the Home Missionary Society of Boston.[68] He had in view the establishment of a college under the patronage of the Congregational church and finding his brethren in Oregon about to erect a new building for the school at Tualatin plains, and to organize a board of trustees, an arrangement was entered into by which the orphan school was placed in the hands of the trustees as the foundation of the proposed college, which at first aspired only to be called the Tualatin academy.

Clark gave two hundred acres of his land-claim for a college and town-site, and Mrs Brown gave a lot belonging to her, and five hundred dollars earned by herself. Subsequently she presented a bell to the Congregational church erected on the town-site; and immediately before her death gave her own house and lot to the Pacific University. She was indeed earnest and honest in her devotion to Christian charity; may her name ever be held in holy remembrance.

Mr Clark also sold one hundred and fifty acres of his remaining land for the benefit of the institution of which he and Mrs Brown were the founders. It is said of Clark, "he lived in poverty that he might do good to others." He died March 24, 1858, at Forest Grove, being still in the prime of life.[69] What was so well begun before 1848 continued to grow with the development of the country, and under the fostering care of new friends as well as old, became one of the leading independent educational institutions of the north-west coast.[70]

A private school for young ladies was kept at Oregon City by Mrs N. M. Thornton, wife of Judge Thornton. It opened February 1, 1847. The pupils were taught "all the branches usually comprised in a thorough English education, together with plain and fancy needle-work, drawing, and painting in mezzotints and water-colors."[71] Mrs Thornton's school was patronized by James Douglas and other persons of distinction in the country. The first effort made at establishing a common-school board was early in 1847 in Tualatin County, Rev. J. S. Griffin secretary;[72] but no legislative action was taken until a later period. Besides the spelling-book printed in 1847, Henry H. Evarts printed an almanac calculated for Oregon and the Sandwich Islands.[73] It was printed at the Spectator office by W. P. Hudson.

Professional men were still comparatively rare, preachers of different denominations outnumbering the other professions.[74] In every neighborhood there was preaching on Sundays, the services being held in the most commodious dwellings, or in a school-house if there was one. There were as yet few churches. Oregon City, being the metropolis, had three, Catholic, Methodist, and Congregationalist.[75] There was a Methodist church at Hillsboro, and another at Salem, and the Catholic Church at St Paul's, which completed the list in 1848.

The general condition of society in the colony was, aside from the financial and Indian troubles which I have fully explained, one of general contentment. Both Burnett and Minto declare in their accounts of those times that notwithstanding the hardships all endured, there were few who did not rejoice sincerely that they had cast their lot in Oregon.[76] Hospitality and good-fellowship prevailed; the people were temperate[77] and orderly; and crime was still rare.[78]

Amusements were few and simple, and hardly necessary in so free and unconventional a community, except as a means of bringing the people together. Besides church-going, attending singing-school,[79] and visiting among the neighbors there were few assemblages. There was occasionally a ball, which was not regarded by the leading Protestant citizens as the most unquestionable mode of cultivating social relations. The Canadian families loved dancing, and balls were not the more respectable for that reason;[80] but the dancers cared little for the absence of the élite. Taking them all in all, says Burnett, "I never saw so fine a population;" and other writers claimed that though lacking in polish the Oregon people were at this period morally and socially the equal of those of any frontier state.[81] From the peculiar conditions of an isolated colony like that of Oregon, early marriages became the rule. Young men required homes, and young women were probably glad to escape from the overfilled hive of the parental roof to a domicile of their own. However that may have been, girls were married at any age from fourteen upward, and in some instances earlier;[82] while no widow, whether young or middle-aged, long remained unmarried. This mutual dependence of the sexes was favorable to the morals and the growth of the colony; and rich and poor alike had their houses well filled with children.

But what of the diseases which made such havoc during the early missionary occupation? Strangely enough they had disappeared as the natives died or were removed to a distance from the white race. Not withstanding the crowded state of the settlers every winter after the arrival of another immigration, and notwithstanding insufficient food and clothing in many instances, there was little sickness and few deaths. Dr White, after six years of practice, pronounced the country to be the healthiest and the climate one of the most salubrious in the world.[83] As to the temperature, it seems to have varied with the different seasons and years. Daniel Lee tells of plucking a strawberry-blossom on Christmas-day 1840, and the weather continued warm throughout the winter; but on the 12th of December 1842 the Columbia was frozen over, and the ice remained in the river at the Dalles till the middle of March, and the mercury was 6° below zero in that month, while in the Willamette Valley the cold was severe. On the other hand, in the winter of 1843 there was a heavy rainfall, and a disastrous freshet in the Willamette in February. The two succeeding winters were mild and rainy,[84] fruit forming on the trees in April; and again in the latter part of the winter of 1846–7 the Columbia was frozen over at Vancouver so that the officers of the Modeste played a curling match on the ice. The winter of 1848–9 was also cold, with ice in the Columbia. The prevailing temperature was mild, however, when taken year by year, and the soil being generally warm, the vegetables and fruits raised by the first settlers surprised them by their size and quality.[85] If any fault was to be found with the climate it was on the score of too many rainy or cloudy days; but when by comparison with the drier climate of California it was found to insure greater regularity of crops the farming community at least were satisfied.[86] The cattle-raisers had most reason to dread the peculiarities of the Oregon climate, which by its general mildness flattered them into neglecting to provide winter food for their stock, and when an occasional season of snow and ice came upon them they died by hundreds; but this was partly the fault of the improvident owner.

The face of nature here was beautiful; pure air from the ocean and the mountains; loveliness in the valleys dignified by grandeur in the purple ranges which bordered them, overtopped here and there by snowy peaks whose nearly extinct craters occasionally threw out a puff of smoke or ashy flame,[87] to remind the beholder of the igneous building of the dark cliffs overhanging the great river. The whole country was remarkably free from poisonous reptiles and insects. Of all the serpent class the rattlesnake alone was armed with deadly fangs, and these were seldom seen except in certain localities in the western portion of Oregon. Even the house-fly was imported,[88] coming like many plants, and like the bee, in the beaten trail of white men.

Such was the country rescued from savagism by this virtuous and intelligent people; and such their general condition with regard to improvement, trade, education, morals, contentment, and health, at the period when, after having achieved so much without aid from congress, that body took the colony under its wing and assumed direction of its affairs.

  1. In Hastings' Or. and Cal., 55–6, the average size of farms is given at 500 acres, which is much too high an estimate. There was no need to fence so much land, and had it been cultivated the crops would have found no market.
  2. Hines' Hist. Oregon, 342–6. Thornton, in his Or. and Cal., i. 379, gives the whole production of 1846 at 144,863 bushels, the greatest amount raised in any county being in Tualatin, and the least in Clatsop. Oats, pease, and potatoes were in proportion. See also Or. Spectator, July 23, 1846; Howison's Coast and Country, 29–30. The total wheat crop of 1847 was estimated at 180,000 bushels, and the surplus at 50,000.
  3. Crawford's Nar., MS., 164; Ross' Nar., MS., 10.
  4. Ekin's Saddle-Maker, MS., 4.
  5. The grist-mills were built by the Hudson's Bay Company near Vancouver; McLoughlin and the Oregon Milling Company at Oregon City; by Thomas McKay on French Prairie; by Thomas James O'Neal on the Ricknall in the Applegate Settlement in Polk County; by the Methodist Mission at Salem; by Lot Whitcomb at Milwaukee, on the right bank of the Willamette, between Portland and Oregon City; by Meek and Luelling at the same place; and by Whitman at Waiilatpu. About this time a flouring-mill was begun on Puget Sound. Thornton's Or. and Cal., i. 330; S. F. Californian, April 19, 1848.
  6. These saw-mills were often in connection with the flouring-mills, as at Oregon City, Salem, and Vancouver. But there were several others that were separate, as the mill established for sawing lumber by Mr Hunsaker at the junction of the Willamette with the Columbia; by Charles McKay on the Tualatin Plains, and by Hunt near Astoria. There were others to the number of 15 in different parts of the territory. Thornton's Or. and Cal., i. 330; Crawford's Nar., MS., 164.
  7. George Gay had a brick dwelling, and Abernethy a brick store; and brick was also used in the erection of the Catholic church at St Pauls. Crawford tells us a good deal about where to look for settlers. Reason Read, he says, was located on Nathan Crosby's land-claim, a mile below Pettygrove's dwelling in Portland, on the right bank of the Willamette, just below a high gravelly bluff, that is, in what is now the north part of East Portland. Two of the Belknaps were making brick at this place, assisted by Read. A house was being erected for Crosby by a mechanic named Richardson. Daniel Lownsdale had a tannery west of Portland town-site. South of it on the same side of the river were the claims of Finice Caruthers, William Johnson, Thomas Stevens, and James Terwilliger. On the island in front of Stevens' place lived Richard McCrary, celebrated for making 'blue ruin' whiskey out of molasses. James Stevens lived opposite Caruthers, on the east bank of the Willamette, where he had acooper-shop, and William Kilborne a warehouse. Three miles above Milwaukee, where Whitcomb, William Meek, and Luelling were settled, was a German named Piper, attempting to make pottery. Opposite Oregon City lived S. Thurston, R. Moore, H. Burns, and Judge Lancaster. Philip Foster and other settlers lived on the Clackamas River, east of Oregon City. Turning back, and going north of Portland, John H. Couch claimed the land adjoining that place. Below him were settled at intervals on the same side of the river William Blackstone, Peter Gill, Doane, and Watts. At Linnton there were two settlers, William Dillon and Dick Richards. Opposite to Watt's on the east bank was James Loomis, and just above him James John. At the head of Sauvé Island lived John Miller. Near James Logie's place, before mentioned as a dairy-farm of the Hudson's Bay Company, Alexander McQuinn was settled, and on different parts of the island Jacob Cline, Joseph Charlton, James Bybee, Malcolm Smith a Scotchman, Gilbau a Canadian, and an American named Walker. On the Scappoose plains south of the island was settled McPherson, a Scotchman; and during the summer Nelson Hoyt took a claim on the Scappoose. At Plymouth Rock, now St Helen, lived H. M. Knighton who the year before had succeeded to the claim of its first settler, Bartholomew White, who was a cripple, and unable to make improvements. A town was already projected at this place, though not surveyed till 1849, when a few lots were laid off by James Brown of Canemah. The survey was subsequently completed by N. H. Tappan and P. W. Crawford, and mapped by Joseph Trutch, in the spring of 1851. A few miles below Knighton were settled the Merrill family and a man named Tulitson. The only settler in the region of the Dalles was Nathan Olney, who in 1847 took a claim 3 miles below the present town, on the south side of the river. On the north side of the Columbia, in the neighborhood of Vancouver, the land formerly occupied by the fur company, after the settlement of the boundary was claimed to a considerable extent by individuals, British subjects as well as Americans. Above the fort, Forbes Barclay and Mr Lowe, members of the company, held claims as individuals, as also Mr Covington, teacher at the fort. On the south side, opposite Vancouver, John Switzler kept a ferry, which had been much in use during the Cayuse war as well as in the season of immigrant arrivals. On Cathlapootle, or Lewis, river there was also a settler. On the Kalama River Jonathan Burpee had taken a claim; he afterward removed to the Cowlitz, where Thibault, a Canadian, was living in charge of the warehouse of the Hudson's Bay Company, and where during the spring and summer Peter W. Crawford, E. West, and one or two others settled. Before the autumn of 1849 several families were located near the mouth of the Cowlitz. H. D. Huntington, Nathaniel Stone, David Stone, Seth Catlin, James Porter, and R. C. Smith were making shingles here for the California market. Below the Cowlitz, at old Oak Point on the south side of the river, lived John McLean, a Scotchman. Oak Point Mills on the north side were not built till the following summer, when they were erected by a man named Dyer for Abernethy and Clark of Oregon City. At Cathlamet on the north bank of the river lived James Birnie, who had settled there in 1846. There was no settlement between Cathlamet and Hunt's Mill, and none between Hunt's Mill, where a man named Spears was living, and Astoria, except the claim of Robert Shortess near Tongue Point. At Astoria the old fur company's post was in charge of Mr McKay; and there were several Americans living there, namely, John McClure, James Welch, John M. Shivery, Van Dusen and family, and others; in all about 30 persons; but the town was partially surveyed this year by P. W. Crawford. There were about a dozen settlers on Clatsop plains, and a town had been projected on Point Adams by two brothers O'Brien, called New York, which never came to anything. At Baker Bay lived John Edmunds, though the claim belonged to Peter Skeen Ogden. On Scarborough Hill, just above, a claim had been taken by an English captain of that name in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company. The greater number of these items have been taken from Crawford's Narrative, MS.; but other authorities have contributed, namely: Minto's Early Days, MS.; Weed's Queen Charlotte I. Exped., MS.; Deady's Hist. Or., MS.; Pettygrove's Or., MS.; Lovejoy's Portland, MS.; Moss' Pioneer Times, MS.; Brown's Willamette Valley, MS.; Or. Statutes; Victor's Oregon and Wash.; Murphy's Or. Directory, 1; S. I. Friend, Oct. 15, 1849; Wilkes' Nar.; Palmer's Journal; Home Missionary Mag., xxii. 63–4.
  8. 'The most beautiful country I ever saw in my life.' Weed's Queen Charlotte I. Exped., MS., 2.
  9. Clyman's Note Book, MS., 6; W. B. Ide's Biog., 34.
  10. Thornton counts in 1847 a Methodist and a Catholic church, St James, a day-school, a private boarding-school for young ladies, kept by Mrs Thornton, a printing-press, and a public library of 300 volumes. Or. and Cal., i. 329–30. Crawford says there were 5 stores of general merchandise, the Hudson's Bay Company's, Abernethy's, Couch's (Cushing & Co.), Moss', and Robert Canfield's; and adds that there were 3 ferries across the Willamette at this place, one a horse ferry, and 2 pulled by hand, and that all were kept busy, Oregon City being 'the great rendezvous for all up and down the river to get flour.' Narrative, MS., 154; S. I. Friend, Oct. 15, 1849. Palmer states in addition that McLoughlin's grist-mill ran 3 sets of buhr-stones, and would compare favorably with most mills in the States; but that the Island Mill, then owned by Abernethy and Beers, was a smaller one, and that each had a saw-mill attached which cut a great deal of plank for the new arrivals. Journal, 85–6. There were 2 hotels, the Oregon House, which was built in 1844, costing $44,000, and which was torn down in June 1871. The other was called the City Hotel. McLoughlin's residence, built about 1845, was a large building for those times, and was later the Finnegas Hotel. Moss' Pioneer Times, MS., 30; Portland Advocate, June 3, 1871; Bacon's Merc. Life Or. City, MS., 18; Harvey's Life of McLoughlin, MS., 34; Niles' Reg., lxx. 341.
  11. Abernethy was the first mayor, and Lovejoy the second; McLoughlin was also mayor.
  12. Niles' Reg., lxviii. 84; Or. Spectator, Feb. 19, 1846.
  13. Davidson's Southern Route, MS., 5; Brown's Autobiography, MS., 31; Rabbison's Growth of Towns, MS., 27–8.
  14. Or. Laws, 1843–72, 61; Hines' Or. and Inst., 165–72.
  15. Thornton's Salem Titles, in Salem Directory for 1874, 2–7. Wilson died suddenly of apoplexy, in 1856. Id., 22.
  16. Deady, in Overland Monthly, i. 36; Nesmith, in Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1875, 57.
  17. Lovejoy's Founding of Portland, MS., passim; Brigg's Port Townsend, MS., 9; Sylvester's Olympia, MS., 4, 5; Hancock's Thirteen Years, MS., 94. For an account of the subsequent litigation, not important to this history, see Burke v. Lownsdale, Appellee's Brief, 12; Or. Laws, 1866, 5–8; Deady's Hist. Or., MS., 12–13. Some mention will be made of this in treating of the effects of the donation law on town-sites.
  18. Or. Spectator, Sept. 30, 1847.
  19. Holden's Or. Pioneering, MS., 6.
  20. Or. Laws, 1843–9, 50, 55–6; Benton County Almanac, 1876, 1, 2; Or. Pioneer Assoc., Trans., 1875, 59.
  21. It was discovered within a few years, and is known as Minto's Pass. A road leading from Albany to eastern Oregon through this pass was opened about 1877.
  22. Mention is made at this early day of discoveries of coal, iron, copper, plumbago, mineral paint, and valuable building and lime stone. Thornton's Or. and Cal., i. 331–47; S. F. Californian, April 19, 1848.
  23. Brown says: 'We reaped our wheat mostly with sickles; we made wooden mould-boards with a piece of iron for the coulter.' Willamette Valley, MS., 6.
  24. S. F. California Star, July 10, 1847; Crawford's Nar., MS., 119–20.
  25. Lovejoy's Portland, MS., 35–6.
  26. Brigg's Port Townsend, MS., 11–13.
  27. Roberts' Recollections, MS., 21; Ebbert's Trapper's Life, MS., 40.
  28. Howison relates that he found many families who, rather than incur debt, had lived during their first year in the country entirely on boiled wheat and salt salmon, the men going without hat or shoes while putting in and harvesting their first crop. Coast and Country, 16.
  29. Moss gives an illustration of this check to industry. A man named Anderson was employed by Abernethy in his saw-mill, and labored night and day. Abernethy's stock of goods was not large or well graded, and he would sell certain articles only for cash, even when his own notes were presented. Anderson had purchased part of a beef, which he wished to salt for family use, but salt being one of the articles for which cash was the equivalent at Abernethy's store, he was refused it, though Abernethy was owing him, and he was obliged to go to the fur company's store for it. Pioneer Times, MS., 40–3.
  30. Herewith I summarize the Oregon ocean traffic for the 14 years since the first American settlement, most of which occurrences are mentioned elsewhere. The Hudson's Bay Company employed in that period the barks Ganymede, Forager, Nereid, Columbia, Cowlitz, Diamond, Vancouver, Wave, Brothers, Janet, Admiral Moorsom, the brig Mary Dare, the schooner Cadboro, and the steamer Beaver, several of them owned by the company. The Beaver, after her first appearance in the river in 1836, was used in the coast trade north of the Columbia. The barks Cowlitz, Columbia, Vancouver, and the schooner Cadboro crossed the bar of the Columbia more frequently than any other vessels from 1836 to 1848. The captains engaged in the English service were Eales, Royal, Home, Thompson, McNeil, Duncan, Fowler, Brotchie, More, Darby, Heath, Dring, Flere, Weyington, Cooper, McKnight, Scarborough, and Humphreys, who were not always in command of the same vessel. There was the annual vessel to and from England, but the others were employed in trading along the coast, and between the Columbia River and the Sandwich Islands, or California, their voyages extending sometimes to Valparaiso, from which parts they brought the few passengers coming to Oregon.

    The first American vessel to enter the Columbia after the arrival of the missionaries was the brig Loriot, Captain Bancroft, in Dec. 1836; the second the Diana, Captain W. S. Hinckley, May 1837; the third the Lausanne, Captain Spaulding, May 1840. None of these came for the purpose of trade. There is mention in the 25th Cong., 3d Sess., U. S. Com. Rept. 101, 58, of the ship Joseph Peabody fitting out for the Northwest Coast, but she did not enter the Columbia so far as I can learn. In August 1840 the first American trader since Wyeth arrived. This was the brig Maryland, Captain John H. Couch, from Newburyport, belonging to the house of Cushing & Co. She took a few fish and left the river in the autumn never to return. In April 1841 the second trader appeared, the Thomas H. Perkins, Captain Varney. She remained through the summer, the Hudson's Bay Company finally purchasing her cargo and chartering the vessel to get rid of her. Then came the U. S. exploring expedition the same year, whose vessels did not enter the Columbia owing to the loss of the Peacock on the bar. After this disaster Wilkes bought the charter and the name of the Perkins was changed to the Oregon, and she left the river with the shipwrecked mariners for California. On the 2d of April 1842 Captain Couch reappeared with a new vessel, the Chenamus, named after the chief of the Chinooks. He brought a cargo of goods which he took to Oregon City, where he established the first American trading-house in the Willamette Valley, and also a small fishery on the Columbia. She sailed for Newburyport in the autumn. On this vessel came Richard Ekin from Liverpool to Valparaiso, the Sandwich Islands, and thence to Oregon. He settled near Salem and was the first saddle-maker. From which circumstance I call his dictation The Saddle-Maker. Another American vessel whose name does not appear, but whose captain's name was Chapman, entered the river April 10th to trade and fish, and remained till autumn. She sold liquor to the Clatsop and other savages, and occasioned much discord and bloodshed in spite of the protests of the missionaries. In May 1843 the ship Fama, Captain Nye, arrived with supplies for the missions. She brought several settlers, namely: Philip Foster, wife, and 4 children; F. W. Pettygrove, wife, and child; Peter F. Hatch, wife and child; and Nathan P. Mack. Pettygrove brought a stock of goods and began trade at Oregon City. In August of the same year another vessel of the Newburyport Company arrived with Indian goods, and some articles of trade for settlers. This was the bark Pallas, Captain Sylvester; she remained until November, when she sailed for the Islands and was sold there, Sylvester returning to Oregon the following April 1844 in the Chenamus, Captain Couch, which had made a voyage to Newburyport and returned. She brought from Honolulu Horace Holden and family, who settled in Oregon; also a Mr Cooper, wife and boy; Mr and Mrs Burton and 3 children, besides Griffin, Tidd, and Goodhue. The Chenamus seems to have made a voyage to the Islands in the spring of 1845, in command of Sylvester, and to have left there June 12th to return to the Columbia. This was the first direct trade with the Islands. The Chenamus brought as passengers Hathaway, Weston, Roberts, John Crankbite, and Elon Fellows. She sailed for Newburyport in the winter of 1845, and did not return to Oregon. In the summer of 1844 the British sloop-of-war Modeste, Captain Baillie, entered the Columbia and remained a short time at Vancouver. On the 31st of July the Belgian ship L'Infatigable entered the Columbia by the before undiscovered south channel, escaping wreck, to the surprise of all beholders. She brought De Smet and a Catholic reënforcement for the missions of Oregon. In April 1845 the Swedish brig Bull visited the Columbia; she was from China: Shilliber, supercargo. Captain Worngrew remained but a short time. On the 14th of October the American bark, Toulon, Captain Nathaniel Crosby, from New York, arrived with goods for Pettygrove's trading-houses in Oregon City and Portland: Benjamin Stark jun., supercargo. In September the British sloop-of-war Modeste returned to the Columbia, where she remained till June 1847. The British ship-of-war America, Captain Gordon, was in Puget Sound during the summer. In the spring of 1846 the Toulon made a voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, returning June 24th with a cargo of sugar, molasses, coffee, cotton, woollen goods, and hardware; also a number of passengers, viz.: Mrs Whittaker and 3 children, and Shelly, Armstrong, Rogers, Overton, Norris, Brothers, Powell, and French and 2 sons. The Toulon continued to run to the Islands for several years. On the 26th of June 1846 the American bark Mariposa, Captain Parsons, arrived from New York with goods consigned to Benjamin Stark jun., with Mr and Miss Wadsworth as passengers. The Mariposa remained but a few weeks in the river. On the 18th of July the U. S. schooner Shark, Captain Neil M. Howison, entered the Columbia, narrowly escaping shipwreck on the Chinook Shoal. She remained till Sept., and was wrecked going out of the mouth of the river. During the summer the British frigate Fisgard, Captain Duntre, was stationedin Puget Sound. About the 1st of March 1847 the brig Henry, Captain William K. Kilborne, arrived from Newburyport for the purpose of establishing a new trading-house at Oregon City. The Henry brought as passengers Mrs Kilborne and children; G. W. Lawton, a partner in the venture; D. Good, wife, and 2 children; Mrs Wilson and 2 children; H. Swasey and wife; R. Douglas, D. Markwood, C. C. Shaw, B. R. Marcellus, and S. C. Reeves, who became the first pilot on the Columbia River bar. The goods brought by the Henry were of greater variety than any stock before it; but they were also in great part second-hand articles of furniture on which an enormous profit was made, but which sold readily owing to the great need of stoves, crockery, cabinet-ware, mirrors, and other like conveniences of life. The Henry was placed under the command of Captarn Bray, and was employed trading to California and the Islands. On the 24th of March the brig Commodore Stockton, Captain Young, from San Francisco, arrived, probably for lumber, as she returned in April. The Stockton was the old Pallas renamed. On the 14th of June the American ship Brutus, Captain Adams, from Boston and San Francisco, arrived, and remained in the river several weeks for a cargo. On the 22d of the same month the American bark Whiton, Captain Gelston, from Monterey, arrived, also for a cargo; and on the 27th the American ship Mount Vernon, Captain O. J. Given, from Oahu, also entered the river. By the Whiton there came as settlers Rev. William Roberts, wife and 2 children, Rev. J. H. Wilbur, wife, and daughter, Edward F. Folger, Richard Andrews, George Whitlock, and J. M. Stanley, the latter a painter seeking Indian studies for pictures. The Whiton returned to California and made another visit to the Columbia River in September. On the 13th of August there arrived from Brest, France, the bark L'Étoile du Matin, Captain Menes, with Archbishop Blanchet and a Catholic reënforcement of 21 persons, viz.: Three Jesuit priests, Gaetz, Gazzoli, Menestrey, and 3 lay brothers; 5 secular priests, Le Bas, McCormick, Deleveau, Pretot, and Veyret; 2 deacons, B. Delorme, and J. F. Jayol; and one cleric, T. Mesplie; and 7 sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Captain Menes afterwards engaged in merchandising in Oregon. L'Étoile du Matin was wrecked on the bar. On the 16th of March 1848 the U. S. transport Anita, Midshipman Woodworth in command, arrived in the Columbia to recuit for the army in Mexico, and remained until the 22d of April. About this time the American brig Eveline, Captain Goodwin, entered the Columbia for a cargo of lumber; she left the river May 7th. The Hawaiian schooner Mary Ann, Captain Belcham, was also in the river in April. The 8th of May the Hudson's Bay Company's bark Vancouver, Captain Duncan, was lost after crossing the bar, with a cargo from London valued at £30,000, and uninsured. She was in charge of the pilot, but missed stays when too near the south sands, and struck where the Shark was wrecked 2 years before. On the 27th of July the American schooner Honolulu, Captain Newell, entered the Columbia for provisions; and about the same time the British war-ship Constance, Captain Courtenay, arrived in Puget Sound. The Hawaiian schooner Starling, Captain Menzies, arrived the 10th of August in the river for a cargo of provisions. The Henry returned from California at the same time, with the news of the gold-discovery, which discovery opened a new era in the traffic of the Columbia. The close of the period was marked by the wreck of the whale-ship Maine, Captain Netcher, with 1,400 barrels of whale-oil, 150 of sperm-oil, and 14,000 pounds of bone. She had been two years from Fairhaven, Mass., and was a total loss. The American schooner Maria, Captain De Witt, was in the river at the same time, for a cargo of flour for San Francisco; also the sloop Peacock, Captain Gier; the brig Sabine, Captain Crosby; and the schooner Ann, Captain Melton; all for cargoes of flour and lumber for San Francisco. Later in the summer the Harpooner, Captain Morice, was in the river. The sources from which I have gleaned this information are McLoughlin's Private Papers, 2d ser., MS.; Douglas' Private Papers, 2d ser., MS; a list made by Joseph Hardisty of the Hudson's Bay Company, and published in the Or. Spectator, Aug. 19, 1851; Parker's Journal; Kelley's Colonization of Or.; Townsend's Nar.; Lee and Frost's Or.; Hines' Or. Hist.; 27th Cong., 3d Sess., H. Com. Rept. 31, 37; Niles' Reg., lxi. 320; Wilkes' Nar. U. S. Explor. Ex., iv. 312; Athey's Workshops, MS., 3; Honolulu Friend; Monthly Shipping List; Pettygrove's Or., MS., 10; Victor's River of the West, 392, 398; Honolulu News Shipping List, 1848; Sylvester's Olympia, MS., 1–4; Deady's Scrap-book, 140; Honolulu Gazette, Dec. 3, 1836; Honolulu Polynesian, i. 10, 39, 51, 54; Mack's Or., MS., 2; Blanchet's Hist. Cath. Church in Or., 143, 158.

  31. McCarver, in Or. Spectator, July 4, 1846. Thornton says Mr Waymire paid Pettygrove, at Portland, $2.50 'for 6 very plain cups and saucers, which could be had in the States for 25 cents; and the same for 6 very ordinary and plain plates. Wheat at that time was worth $1 per bushel.' Or. and Cal., ii. 52.
  32. Bacon's Merc. Life in Or. City, MS., 22.
  33. Or. Spectator, July 23, 1846; Howison's Coast and Country, MS., 21; Waldo's Critiques, MS., 18.
  34. Palmer's Journal, 117–18; Roberts' Recollections, MS., 67.
  35. The leaders in the movement seem to have been E. Lennox, M. M. McCarver, David Hill, J. L. Meek, Lawrence Hall, J. S. Griffin, and Caffenburg of Yamhill; David Leslie, L. H. Judson, A. A. Robinson, J. S. Smith, Charles Bennett, J. B. McClane, Robert Newell, T. J. Hubbard, and E. Dupuis of Champoeg. Or. Spectator, March 4 and April 29, 1847; S. F. California Star, Feb. 27, 1847.
  36. Polynesian, iv. 135. I notice an advertisement in S. I. Friend, April 1845, where Albert E. Wilson, at Astoria, offers his services as commission merchant to persons at the Islands.
  37. Thornton's Or. and Cal., ii. 63.
  38. The cargo of the Toulon, the last and largest supply down to the close of 1845, consisted of '20 cases wooden clocks, 20 bbls. dried apples, 3 small mills, 1 doz. crosscut-saws, mill-saws and saw-sets, mill-cranks, ploughshares, and pitchforks, 1 winnowing-machine, 100 casks of cut nails, 50 boxes saddler's tacks, 6 boxes carpenter's tools, 12 doz. hand-axes, 20 boxes manufactured tobacco, 5,000 cigars, 50 kegs white lead, 100 kegs of paint, ½ doz. medicine-chests, 50 bags Rio coffee, 25 bags pepper, 200 boxes soap, 50 cases boots and shoes, 6 cases slippers, 50 cane-seat chairs, 40 doz. wooden-seat chairs, 50 doz. sarsaparilla, 10 bales sheetings, 4 cases assorted prints, one bale damask tartan shawls, 5 pieces striped jeans, 6 doz. satinet jackets, 12 doz. linen duck pants, 10 doz. cotton duck pants, 12 doz. red flannel shirts, 200 dozen cotton handkerchiefs, 6 cases white cotton flannels, 6 bales extra heavy indigo-blue cotton, 2 cases negro prints, 1 case black velveteen, 4 bales Mackinaw blankets, 150 casks and bbls. molasses, 450 bags sugar, etc., for sale at reduced prices for cash.' Or. Spectator, Feb. 5, 1846.
  39. The Henry brought 'silks, mousseline de laines, cashemeres, d'écosse, balzarines, muslins, lawns, brown and bleached cottons, cambrics, tartan and net-wool shawls, ladies and misses cotton hose, white and colored, cotton and silk handkerchiefs.' Id., April 1, 1847.
  40. These facts I have gathered from conversations with many of the pioneers. They have also been alluded to in print by Burnett, Adams, Moss, Nesmith, and Minto, and in most of the manuscript authorities. Moss tells an anecdote of Straight when he was elected to the legislature in 1845. He had no coat, and was distressed on account of the appearance he should make in a striped shirt. Moss having just been so fortunate as to have a coat made by a tailor sold it to him for $40 in scrip, which has never been redeemed. Pioneer Times, MS., 43–4.
  41. Crawford's Nar., MS., 147; S. F. Californian, May 24, 1848.
  42. During the winter of 1845–6, 4 American whalers were lying at Vancouver Island, the ships Morrison of Mass., Louise of Conn., and 2 others. Six seamen deserted in a whale-boat, but the Indians would not allow them to land, and being compelled to put to sea a storm arose and 3 of them perished, Robert Church, Frederick Smith, and Rice of New London. Niles' Reg., lxx. 341.
  43. Or. Spectator, Jan. 7, 1847; Or. Laws, 1843–9, 46.
  44. The S. I. Friend of Feb. 1849 said that the first and third mates of the Maine had determined to remain in Oregon as pilots.
  45. The Hudson's Bay Company had no pilots and no charts, and wanted none, though they had lost 2 vessels, the William and Ann, in 1828, and the Isabella in 1830, in entering the river. Their captains learned the north channel and used it; and one of their mates, Latta, often acted as pilot to new arrivals. Parrish says, that in 1840 Captain Butler of the Sandwich Islands, who came on board the Lausanne to take her over the Columbia Bar, had not been in the Columbia for 27 years. Or. Anecdotes, MS., 6, 7. After coming into Baker Bay the ship was taken in charge by Birnie as far as Astoria, and from there to Vancouver by a Chinook Indian called George or 'King George,' who knew the river tolerably well. A great deal of time was lost waiting for this chance pilotage. See Townsend's Nar., 180.
  46. The first account of the wreck in the Spectator of May 18, 1848, fully exonerates the pilot; but subsequent published statements in the same paper for July 27th, speak of the removal on charges preferred against him and others, of secreting goods from the wreck. Reeves went to California in the autuinn in an open boat with two spars carried on the sides as outriggers, as elsewhere mentioned. In Dec. he returned to Oregon in charge of the Spanish bark Jóven Guipuzcoana, which was loaded with lumber, flour, and passengers, and sailed again for San Francisco in March. He became master of a small sloop, the Flora, which capsized in Suisun Bay, while carrying a party to the mines, in May 1849, by which he, a young man named Loomis, from Oregon, and several others were drowned. Crawford's Nar., MS., 191.
  47. Howison declared that the south channel was 'almost closed up' in 1846, yet in the spring of 1847 Reeves took the brig Henry out through it, and continued to use it during the summer. Or. Spectator, Oct. 14, 1847; Hunt's Merch. Mag., xxiii. 358, 560–1.
  48. Kelley and Slacum both advocated an artificial mouth to the Columbia. 25th Cong., 3d Sess., H. Com. Rept. 101, 41, 56. Wilkes reported rather adversely than otherwise of its safety. Howison charged that Wilkes' charts were worthless, not because the survey was not properly made, but because constant alterations were going on which rendered frequent surveys necessary, and also the constant explorations of resident pilots. Coast and Country, MS., 8–9. About the time of the agitation of the Oregon Question in the United States and England, much was said of the Columbia bar. A writer in the Edinburgh Review, July 1845, declared the Columbia 'inaccessible for 8 months of the year.' Twiss, in his Or. Ques., 370, represented the entrance to the Columbia as dangerous. A writer in Niles' Reg., lxx. 284, remarked that from all that had been said and printed on the subject for several years the impression was given that the mouth of the Columbia 'was so dangerous to navigate as to be nearly inaccessible.' Findlay's Directory, i. 357–71; S. I. Friend, Nov. 2, 1846; Id., March 15, June 1, 1847; Album Mexicana, i. 573–4; S. F. Polynesian, iv. 110; S. F. Ccdifornian, Sept. 2, 1848; Thornton's Or. and Cal., i. 305; Niles' Reg., lxix. 381. Senator Benton was the first to take up the championship of the river, which he did in a speech delivered May 28, 1846. He showed that while Wilkes' narrative fostered a poor opinion of the entrance to the Columbia, the chart accompanying the narrative showed it to be good; and the questions he put in writing to James Blair, son of Francis P. Blair, one of the midshipmen who surveyed it (the others were Reynolds and Knox), proved the same. Further, he had consulted John Maginn, for 18 years pilot at New York, and then president of the New York association of pilots, who had a bill on pilotage before congress, and had asked him to compare the entrance of New York harbor with that of the Columbia, to which Maginn had distinctly returned answer that the Columbia had far the better entrance in everything that constituted a good harbor. Cong. Globe, 1845–6, 915; Id., 921–2. When Vancouver surveyed the river in 1792 there existed but one channel. In 1839 when Belcher surveyed it 2 channels existed, and Sand Island was a mile and a half long, covering an area of 4 square miles, where in Vancouver's time there were 5 fathoms of water. In 1841 Wiikes found the south channel closed with accretions from Clatsop Spit, and the middle sands had changed their shape. In 1844, as we have seen, it was open, and in 1846 almost closed again, but once more open in 1847. Subsequent government surveys have noted many changes. In 1850 the south channel was in a new place, and ran in a different direction from the old one; in 1852 the new channel was fully cut out, and the bar had moved three fourths of a mile eastward with a wider entrance, and 3 feet more water. The north channel had contracted to half its width at the bar, with its northern line on the line of 1850. The depth was reduced, but there was still one fathom more of water than on the south bar; and other changes had taken place. In 1859 the south channel was again closed, and again in 1868 discovered to be open, with a fathom more water than in the north channel, which held pretty nearly its former position. From these observations it is manifest that the north channel maintains itself with but slight changes, while the south channel is subject to variations, and the middle sands and Clatsop and Chinook spits are constantly shifting. Report of Bvt. Major Gillespie, Engineer Corps, U. S. A., Dec. 18, 1878, in Daily Astorian.
  49. Captain N. Crosby is spoken of as taking vessels in and out of the river. This gentleman became thoroughly identified with the interests of Oregon, and especially of Portland, and of shipping, and did much to establish a trade with China.
  50. 25th Cong., 3d Sess., H. Sup. Rept. 101, 59.
  51. The schooner (not the bark) Vancouver was built at Vancouver in 1829. She was about 150 tons burden, and poorly constructed; and was lost on Rose Spit at the north end of the Queen Charlotte Island in 1834. Captain Duncan ran her aground in open day. The crew got ashore on the mainland, and reached Fort Simpson, Nass River, in June. Roberts' Recollections, MS., 43.
  52. Mack's Or., MS., 2; Ebberts' Trapper's Life, MS., 44; Or. Spectator, April 16, 1846. There is mention in the Spectator of June 25, 1846, of the launching at Vancouver of The Prince of Wales, a vessel of 70 feet keel, 18 feet beam, 14 feet below, with a tonnage register of 74. She was constructed by the company's ship-builder, Scarth, and christened by Miss Douglas, escorted by Captain Baillie of the Modeste, amidst a large concourse of people.
  53. Or. Spectator, May 28, 1846. The Great Western ran in opposition to Newell's boats in May; and two other clinker-built boats were launched in the same month to run between Oregon City and Portland. In June following I notice mention of the Salt River Packet, Captain Gray, plying between Oregon and Astoria with passengers. Id., June 11, 1840; Brown's Will. Valley, MS., 30; Bacon's Merc. Life Or. City, MS., 12; Weed's Queen Charlotte I. Exped., MS., 3.
  54. Brown, in his Willamette Valley, MS., 6, says that before 1849 there was not a span of horses harnessed to a wagon in the territory; and that the first set of harness he saw was brought from California. On account of the roadless condition of the country at its first settlement, horses were little used in harness, but it is certain that many horse-teams came across the plains whose harnesses may having been hanging unused, or made into gearing for riding-animals or for horses doing farm-work.
  55. Or. Spectator, Oct. 29, 1846.
  56. Crawford's Missionaries, MS., 13–15.
  57. Minto's Early Days, MS., 31.
  58. If we may believe some of these same youths, no longer young, they were not always so gayly apparelled and mounted. Says one: 'We rode with a rawhide saddle, bridle, and lasso. The bit was Spanish, the stirrups wooden, the sinch horse-hair, and over all these, rider and all, was a blanket with a hole in it through which the head of the rider protruded.' Quite a suitable costume for rainy weather. McMinnville Reporter, Jan. 4, 1877.
  59. W. G. T'Vault was born in Arkansas, whence he removed to Illinois in 1843, and to Oregon in 1844. He was a lawyer, energetic and adventurous, foremost in many exploring expeditions, and also a strong partisan with southern-democracy proclivities. He possessed literary abilities and had something to do with early newspapers, first with the Spectator, as president of the Oregon printing association, and as its first editor; afterward as editor of the Table Rock Sentinel, the first newspaper in southern Oregon; and later of The Intelligencer. He was elected to the legislature in 1846. After the establishment of the territory he was again elected to the legislature, being speaker of the house in 1858. He was twice prosecuting attorney of the 1st judicial district, comprising Jackson County, to which he had removed after the discovery of gold in Rogue River Valley, and held other public positions. When the mining excitement was at its height in Idaho, he was practising his profession and editing the Index in Silver City. Toward the close of his life, he deteriorated through the influence of his political associations, and lost caste among his fellow-pioneers. He died of small-pox at Jacksonville in 1869. Daily Salem Unionist, Feb. 1869; Deady's Scrap-book, 122; Jacksonville, Or., Sentinel, Feb. 6, 1869; Dallas Polk Co. Signal, Feb. 16, 1869.
  60. By the post-office act, postage on letters of a single sheet conveyed for a distance not exceeding 30 miles was fixed at 15 cents; over and not exceeding 80 miles, 25 cents; over and not exceeding 200 miles, 30 cents; 200 miles, 50 cents. Newspapers, each 4 cents. The postmaster-general was to receive 10 per cent of all moneys by him received and paid out. The act was made conformable to the United States laws regulating the post-office department, so far as they were applicable to the condition of Oregon. Or. Spectator, Feb. 5, 1846. See T'Vault's instructions to postmasters, in Id., March 5, 1846.
  61. Mary River signified to where Corvallis now stands. When that town was first laid off it was called Marysville.
  62. Address of Grand Master Chadwick, in Yreka Union, Jan. 17, 1874; Seattle Tribune, Aug. 27, 1875; Olympia Transcript, Aug. 2, 1875.
  63. This was on account of the miscarriage of the warrant, which was sent to Oregon in 1847 by way of Honolulu, but which did not reach there, the person to whom it was sent, Gilbert Watson, dying at the Islands in 1848. A. V. Fraser, who was sent out by the government in the following year to supervise the revenue service on the Pacific coast, was then appointed a special commissioner to establish the order in California and Oregon; but the gold discoveries gave him so much to do that he did not get to Oregon, and it was not until 3 years afterward that Chemeketa lodge No. 1 was established at Salem. The first lodge at Portland was instituted in 1853. E. M. Barnum's Early Hist. Odd Fellowship in Or., in Jour. of Proceedings of Grand Lodge I. O. O. F. for 1877, 2075–84; H. H. Gilfrey in same, 2085; C. D. Moore's Historical Review of Odd Fellowship in Or., 25th Anniversary of Chemeketa Lodge, Dec. 1877; S. F. New Age, Jan. 7, 1865; Constitution, etc., Portland, 1871.
  64. S. I. Friend, Sept. 1847, 140; Or. Spectator, Feb. 18, 1847.
  65. Named after Joseph La Roque of Paris who furnished the funds for its erection. DeSmet's Or. Miss., 41.
  66. Tabitha Moffat Brown was born in the town of Brinfield, Mass., May 1, 1780. Her father was Dr Joseph Moffat. At the age of 19 she marRev. Clark Brown of Stonington, Conn., of the Episcopal church. In the changes of his ministerial life Brown removed to Maryland, where he died early, leaving his widow with 3 children surrounded by an illiterate people. She opened a school and for 8 years continued to teach, supporting her children until the 2 boys were apprenticed to trades, and assisting them to start in business. The family finally moved to Missouri. Here her children prospered, but one of the sons, Orris Brown, visited Oregon in 1843, returning to Missouri in 1845 with Dr White and emigrating with his mother and family in 1846. His sister and brother-in-law, Virgil K. Pringle, also accompanied him; and it is from a letter of Mrs Pringle that this sketch has been obtained.
  67. 'In 1851,' writes Mrs Brown, 'I had 40 in my family at $2.50 per week; and mixed with my own hands 3,423 pounds of flour in less than 5 months.' Yet she was a small woman, had been lame many years, and was nearly 70 years of age. She died in 1857. See Or. Argus, May 17, 1856; Portland West Shore, Dec., 1879.
  68. Atkinson was born in Newbury, Vermont. He was related to Josiah Little of Massachusetts. One of his aunts, born in 1760, Mrs Anne Harris, lived to within 4 months of the age of 100 years, and remembered well the feeling caused in Newburyport one Sunday morning by the tidings of the death of the great preacher Whitefield; and also the events of the French empire and American revolution. Mr Atkinson left Boston, with his wife, in October 1847, on board the bark Samoset, Captain Hollis, and reached the Hawaiian Islands in the following February, whence he sailed again for the Columbia in the Hudson's Bay Company's bark Cowlitz, Captain Weyington, May 23d, arriving at Vancouver on the 20th of June 1848. He at once entered upon the duties of his profession, organized the Oregon association of Congregational ministers, also the Oregon tract society, and joined in the effort to found a school at Forest Grove. He corresponded for a time with the Home Missionary, a Boston publication, from which I have gathered some fragments of the history of Oregon from 1848 to 1851, during the height of the gold excitement. Mr Atkinson became pastor of the Congregational church in Oregon City in 1853; and was for many years the pastor of the first Congregational church in Portland. His health failing about 1866, he gave way to younger men; but he continued to labor as a missionary of religion and temperance in newer fields as his strength permitted. Nor did he neglect other fields of labor in the interest of Oregon, contributing many valuable articles on the general features and resources of the country. Added to all was an unspotted reputation, the memory of which will be ever cherished by his descendants, 2 sons and a daughter, the latter married to Frank Warren jun. of Portland.
  69. Evans' Hist. Or., MS., 341; Gray's Hist. Or., 231; Deady's Hist. Or., MS., 54; Or. Argus, April 10, 1858. Clark's daughter married George H. Durham of Portland.
  70. The first board of trustees was composed of Rev. Harvey Clark, Hiram Clark, Rev. Lewis Thompson, W. H. Gray, Alvin T. Smith, James M. Moore, Osborne Russell, and G. H. Atkinson. The land given by Clark was laid out in blocks and lots, except 20 acres reserved for a campus, the half of which was donated by Rev. E. Walker. A building was erected during the reign of high prices, in 1850–1, which cost, unfinished, $7,000; $5,000 of which came from the sale of lots, and by contributions. In 1852 Mr Atkinson went east to solicit aid from the college society, which had promised to endow to some extent a college in Oregon. The Pacific University was placed the ninth on their list, with an annual sum granted of $600 to support a permanent professor. From other sources he received $800 in money, and $700 in books for a library. Looking about for a professor, a young theological student, S. H. Marsh, son of Rev. Dr Marsh of Burlington College, was secured as principal, and with him, and the funds and books, Mr Atkinson returned in 1853. In the mean time J. M. Keeler, fresh from Union college, Schenectady, New York, had taken charge of the academy as principal, and had formed a preparatory class before the arrival of Marsh. The people began to take a lively interest in the university, and in 1854 subscribed in lands and money $6,500, and partially pledged $3,500 more. On the 13th of April 1854 Marsh was chosen president, but was not formally inaugurated until August 21, 1855. This year Keeler went to Portland, and E. D. Shattuck took his place as principal of the academy which also embraced a class of young ladies. The institution struggled on, but in 1856–7 some of its most advanced students left it to go to the better endowed eastern colleges. This led the trustees and president to make a special effort, and Marsh went to New York to secure further aid, leaving the university department in the charge of Rev. H. Lyman, professor of mathematics, who associated with him Rev. C. Eells. The help received from the college society and others in the east, enabled the university to improve the general régime of the university. The first graduate was Harvey W. Scott, who in 1863 took his final degree. In 1866 there were 4 graduates. In June 1867 the president having again visited the east for further aid, over $25,000 was subscribed and 2 additional professors secured: G. H. Collier, professor of natural sciences, and J. W. Marsh, professor of languages. In May 1868 there were $44,303.60 invested funds, and a library of 5,000 volumes. A third visit to the east in 1869 secured over $20,000 for a presidential endowment fund. The university had in 1876, in funds and other property, $85,000 for its support. The buildings are however of a poor character for college pin-poses, being built of wood, and not well constructed, and $100,000 would be required to put the university in good condition. President Marsh died in 1879, and was succeeded by J. R. Herrick. Though founded by Congregationalists, the Pacific University was not controlled by them in a sectarian spirit; and its professors were allowed full liberty in their teaching. Forest Grove, the seat of this institution, is a pretty village nestled among groves of oaks and firs near the Coast Range foot-hills. Centennial Year Hist. Pacific University, in Portland Oregonian, Feb. 12, 1876; Victor's Or. and Wash., 189–90; Or. Argus, Sept. 1, 1855; Deady's Hist. Or., MS., 54.
  71. Mrs Thornton wrote to the S. I. Friend that she was very comfortably settled in a log-house, walked a mile to her school every morning, and was never more contented in her life.
  72. Or. Spectator, Feb. 18, 1847.
  73. S. I. Friend, Feb. 1848; Thornton's Hist. Or., MS., 27.
  74. I find in the S. I. Friend, Sept. 1847, the following computation: Inhabitants (white), 7,000. This, according to immigration statistics, was too small an estimate. About 400 were Catholics. Methodists were most numerous. There were 6 itinerating Methodist Episcopal preachers, and 8 or 10 local preachers, besides 2 Protestant Methodist clergymen. Baptist missionaries, 2; Congregational or Presbyterian clergymen, 4; and several of the Christian denomination known as Campbellites; regular physicians, 4; educated lawyers, 4; quacks in both professions more numerous. I have already mentioned the accidental death of Dr Long by drowning in the Willamette at Oregon City, he being at the time territorial secretary. He was succeeded in practice and in office by Dr Frederick Prigg, elected by the legislature in December 1846. He also died an accidental death by falling from the rocky bluff into the river, in October 1849. He was said to be a man of fine abilities and education, but intemperate in his habits. Or. Spectator, Nov. 2, 1849; Johnson's Cal. and Or., 274.
  75. Deady's Hist. Or., MS., 71. Harvey Clark first organized the Congregational church at Oregon City in 1844. Atkinson's Address, 3; Oregon City Enterprise, March 24, 1876. In 1848 Rev. Horace Lyman, with his wife, left Boston to join Atkinson in Oregon. He did not arrive until late in 1849. He founded the first Congregational church in Portland, but subsequently became a professor at the Pacific University. Home Missionary, xxii. 43–4; Or. Spectator, Nov. 1, 1849.
  76. Minto, in Camp Fire Orations, MS., 17; Burnett's Recollections, MS., i. 170; White's Emigration to Or., MS., 11; Simpson's Nar., i. 170.
  77. The missionaries, the women of Oregon city, and friends of temperance generally, were still laboring to effect prohibition of the traffic in spirituous liquors. The legislature of 1847 passed an amendment to the organic law, enacting that the word 'prohibit' should be inserted in the place of 'regulate' in the 6th section, which read that the legislature should have power to 'regulate the introduction, manufacture, and sale of ardent spirits.' Or. Laws, 1843–9, 44. No change could be made in the organic law without submitting it to the vote of the people at the ensuing election, which being done, a majority were for prohibition. Grover's Or. Archives, 273–4. When the matter again came before the colonial legislature at its last session, that part of the governor's message referring to prohibition was laid on the table, on motion of Jesse Applegate. A bill to amend the organic laws, as above provided, was subsequently introduced by Samuel R. Thurston, but was rejected by vote, on motion of Applegate. Id., 293. Applegate's independent spirit revolted at prohibition, besides which he took a personal gratification from securing the rejection of a measure emanating from a missionary source. Surely all good people would be naturally averse to hearing an uncultivated savage who was full of bad whiskey, singing in Chinook:

    'Kah! six, potlach blue lu (blue ruin),
    Nika ticka, blue lu,
    Hiyu blue lu,
    Hyas olo,
    Potlach blue lu.'

    Which freely translated would run:

    'Hallo! friend, give me some whiskey;
    I want whiskey, plenty of whiskey;
    Very thirsty; give me some whiskey.'

    Moss' Pioneer Times, MS., 56–7.

  78. In the Spectator of July 9, 1846, there is mention of an encounter with knives between Ed. Robinson and John Watson. Robinson was arrested and brought before Justice Andrew Hood, and bound over in the sum of $200. In the same paper of July 23d is an item concerning the arrest of Duncan McLean on suspicion of having murdered a Mr Owens. An affray occurred at Salem in August 1847 between John H. Bosworth and Ezekiel Popham, in which the latter was killed, or suddenly dropped dead from a disease of the heart. Id., Sept. 2, 1847. In 1848 a man named Leonard who had pawned his rifle to one Arim, on Sauvé Island, went to recover without redeeming it, when Arim pursued him with hostile intent. Leonard ran until he came to a fallen tree too large for him to scale in haste, and finding Arim close upon him he turned, and in his excitement fired, killing Arim. Leonard was arrested and discharged, there being no witnesses to the affair. Arim was a bully, and Leonard a small and usually quiet man, who declared he had no intention of killing Arim, but fired accidentally, not knowing the rifle was loaded. Leonard left the country soon after for the gold-mines and never returned. Crawford's Nar., MS., 167. I cite these examples rather to show the absence than the presence of crime.
  79. James Morris, in Camp Fire Orations, MS., 20, says that the first singing-school in the country was taught by a Mr Johnson, and that he went to it dressed in a suit of buckskin dyed black, which looked well, and did not stretch out over the knees like the uncolored skin.
  80. Moss' Pioneer Times, MS., 32. In Minto's Early Days, MS., and Mrs Minto's Female Pioneering, MS., there are many pictures of the social condition of the colony. The same in Camp Fire Orations, MS., a report by my stenographer, of short speeches made at an evening session of the pioneers at their annual meeting in 1878. All the speakers except Mrs Minto declared they had enjoyed emigrating and pioneering. She thought both very hard on females; though throughout all she conducted herself as one of the noblest among women.
  81. Home Missionary, xx. 213–14.
  82. As a guide to descent in the pioneer families I here affix a list of the marriages published in the Spectator from the beginning of 1846 to the close of 1848. Though these could not have been all, it may be presumed that people of social standing would desire to publish this momentous event: 1846—Feb. 25, Samuel Campbell to Miss Chellessa Chrisman; March 29, Henry Sewell to Miss Mary Ann Jones Gerish; April 2, Stephen Staats to Miss Cordelia Forrest; April 12, Silas Haight to Mrs Rebecca Ann Spalding; May 4, Pierre Bonnin to Miss Louise Rondeau; May 10, Isaac Staats to Miss Orlena Maria Williams; May 10, Henry Marlin to Miss Emily Hipes; June 4, David Hill to Mrs Lucinda Wilson; June 14, J. W. Nesmith to Miss Caroline Goff; June 17, Alanson Hinman to Miss Martha Elizabeth Jones Gerish; June 28, Robert Newell to Miss Rebecca Newman; July 2, Mitchel Whitlock to Miss Malvina Engle; July 4, William C. Dement to Miss Olivia Johnson; J. B. Jackson to Miss Sarah Parker; July 25, John G. Campbell to Miss Rothilda E. Buck; July 26, Joseph Watt to Miss Sarah Craft; Aug. 2, Sidney Smith to Miss Miranda Bayley; Aug. 16, Jehu Davis to Miss Margarette Jane Moreland; Sept. 1, H. H. Hyde to Miss Henrietta Holman; Oct. 26, Henry Buxton to Miss Rosannah Woolly; Nov. 19, William P. Dougherty to Miss Mary Jane Chambers; Nov. 24, John P. Brooks to Miss Mary Ann Thomas. 1847—Jan. 21, W. H. Rees to Miss Amanda M. F. Hall; Jan. 25, Francis Topair to Miss Angelique Tontaine; Feb. 9, Peter H. Hatch to Miss S. C. Locey (Mrs Charlotte Sophia Hatch, who came to Oregon with her husband by sea in 1843, died June 30, 1846); April 18, Absalom F. Hedges to Miss Elizabeth Jane Barlow; April 21, Joseph B. Rogers to Miss Letitia Flett; Henry Knowland to Mrs Sarah Knowland; April 22, N. K. Sitton to Miss Priscilla A. Rogers; June 15, Jeremiah Rowland to Mrs Mary Ann Sappington; July 8, John Minto to Miss Martha Ann Morrison; Aug. 12, T. P. Powers to Mrs Mary M. Newton—this was the Mrs Newton whose husband was murdered by an Indian in the Umpqua Valley in 1846; Oct. 14, W. J. Herren to Miss Eveline Hall; Oct. 24, D. H. Good to Miss Mary E. Dunbar; Oct. 29, Owen M. Mills to Miss Priscilla Blair; Dec. 28, Charles Putnam to Miss Rozelle Applegate. 1848—Jan. 5, Caleb Rodgers to Miss Mary Jane Courtney; Jan. 20, M. M. McCarver to Mrs Julia Ann Buckalew; Jan. 27, George M. Baker to Miss Nancy Duncan; Jan. 30, George Sigler to Miss Lovina Dunlap; Feb. 19, R. V. Short to Miss Mary Geer; March 18, Moses K. Kellogg to Mrs Elizabeth Sturges; April 16, John Jewett to Mrs Harriet Kimball—Mrs Kimball was the widow of one of the victims of the Waiilatpu massacre; May 4, John R. Jackson to Mrs Matilda N. Coonse; May 22, John H. Bosworth to Miss Susan B. Looney; June 28, Andrew Smith to Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Palmer; July 2, Edward N. White to Miss Catherine Jane Burkhart; July 28, William Meek to Miss Mary Luelling; Dec. 10, C. Davis to Miss Sarah Ann Johnson; Dec. 26, William Logan to Miss Issa Chrisman. The absence of any marriage notice for the 4 months from the last of July to the 10th of December may be accounted for by the rush of the unmarried men to the gold-mines about this time.
  83. Ten Years in Or., 220.
  84. Clyman's Note Book, MS., 82–98; Palmer's Journal, 119.
  85. A potato is spoken of which weighed 3¼ Ibs., and another 3½ lbs.; while turnips sometimes weighed from 10 to 30 lbs. Blanchet raised one of 17¾ lbs.
  86. The term 'web-foot' had not yet been applied to the Oregonians. It became current in mining times, and is said to have originated in a sarcastic remark of a commercial traveller, who had spent the night in a farm-house on the marshy banks of the Long Tom, in what is now Lane County, that children should be provided with webbed feet in that country. 'We have thought of that,' returned the mistress of the house, at the same time displaying to the astonished visitor her baby's feet with webs between the toes. The story lost nothing in the telling, and Web-foot became the pseudonyme for Oregonian.
  87. Mount St Helen and Mount Baker were in a state of eruption in March 1850, according to the Spectator of the 21st of that month. The same paper of Oct. 18, 1849, records a startling explosion in the region of Mount Hood, when the waters of Silver Creek stopped running for 24 hours, and also the destruction of all the fish in the stream by poisonous gases.
  88. McClane says that when he came to Oregon there was not a fly of any kind, but fleas were plenty. First Wagon Train, MS., 14. W. H. Rector has said the same. Lewis and Clarke, and Parker, expiate upon the fleas about the Indian camps.