Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 24/Ewing Young in the Fur Trade of the Far Southwest, 1822-1834

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Oregon Historical Quarterly, Volume 24
Ewing Young in the Fur Trade of the Far Southwest, 1822-1834

THE QUARTERLY of the Oregon Historical Society Volume XXIV MARCH, 1923 Number 1 Copyright, 1923, by the Oregon Historical Society The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages. EWING YOUNG IN THE FUR TRADE OF THE FAR SOUTHWEST, 1822-1834 By Joseph J. Hill Bancroft Library, University of California The present article aims to supplement the account of Ewing Young's activities in Oregon so ably presented by F. G. Young in the Quarterly for September, 1920, by giving a more detailed account of the part played by Ewing Young in the fur trade of the Far Southwest. 1 For the twelve years preceding the date of his arrival in Oregon in the summer of 1834, Young had been an active participant in the fur trade of the Far Southwest. He might even be regarded as its central figure for that period (1822-1834). But, so far as the writer's infor- mation goes, no adequate account of this part of his life has ever been compiled. In order to present Young in his proper perspective in the fur trade of the Far Southwest, a very brief con- sideration of some of the more salient features of the fur trade in that region might be helpful. Misconceptions concerning the fur trade in the Far iThe present article is but a portion of the larger work, The Ameri- can Fur Trade in the Far Southwest, which in turn is one of a series of articles on the opening of the Southern Trails to California which the writer is preparing for publication. "The Old Spanish Trail" (Hispanic American Historical Review, IV., 444-473, August, 1921) is a part of this series. 2 Joseph J. Hill Southwest. But few people, perhaps, realize that there was any considerable fur trade in the Far Southwest. They think of fur-bearing animals as living only in the colder regions to the north. They do not seem to ap- preciate the significance of the many "Beaver" and "Nutrias" creeks still on the map of the Southwest— in- delible evidence of the presence of those much coveted animals in that region. This is due largely to the fact that documents relating to this trade in the Southwest have been both consciously and unconsciously ignored by leading writers on the subject. Chittenden, in his monumental work, The Amer- ican Fur Trade in the Far West, sums up the work of the Patties after their arrival in Santa Fe, in the fall of 1824, as follows : "The career of the Patties for the six years thereafter was mainly in the Far Southwest, in New Mexico, Arizona, and California, and does not fall within the scope of this work." 2 And yet the Pattie narrative gives an account of some half dozen trapping expeditions in that region. Chittenden, therefore, virtu- ally says that the Southwest is not a part of the West. The American fur trade in the Far West to him seems to have meant the American fur trade in the Northwest, only. Difficulties of the problem. With this attitude toward a document which he had in his hand and pretended to use, there is little wonder that he failed to find and use other documents containing material on the fur trade in the Southwest. On the whole, however, it is much more difficult to put the account together of the fur trade in the Southwest than it is to give the corresponding ac- count of that industry in the Northwest. The reasons for this are quite apparent. The character of the busi- ness, itself, is one of the principal difficulties in the way of getting at its history. We need but to remark that the greater portion of the trade in this region was clan- 2 11:507-8. X740592 Ewing Young in Far Southwest 3 destine. None but Mexicans could legally obtain licenses to trap in Mexican waters. Mexicans, however, would not trap. The industry, therefore, fell, without competi- tion, into the hands of American trappers. But as their activities in the field were unlawful, there was more or less of a tendency to conceal the real facts of what they were doing. The fur traders of the Upper Missouri region usually had some sort of headquarters in Missouri, where their records and papers of various kinds accumulated and where many of them still remain, prized as historic col- lections. In the Southwest, on the other hand, trappers resorted to Taos and Santa Fe as outfitting depots where they disposed of their furs and made up their outfits for the next trapping expedition. They can seldom be said to have had any headquarters, and their papers and ac- counts, if they kept any, seem long since to have been lost. Furthermore, the newspapers of St. Louis and other frontier settlements of Missouri announced the arrival and departure of trapping parties in and from those set- tlements for the Upper Missouri river. These newspaper accounts now form an important part of our information concerning the fur trade in the Upper Missouri and Rocky Mountain regions. But in New Mexico there were no newspapers during the period when trapping was at its height in the Southwest. Some echo of the activity in that section, of course, occasionally found its way into the Missouri papers but it was only an echo as compared with the accounts of the activity in the Northwest. Some information has recently come to light from the documents in the Mexican archives, due to the efforts of Dr. Bolton, but a considerable portion of the informa- tion relating to the subject is to be found only in scraps — chance remarks here and there — a great number of which, while suggestive of the general movement, con- tain but few definite concrete details. 4 Joseph J. Hill One of the difficulties of the situation is the Spanish method of handling foreign names. To illustrate, Ewing Young's name is rendered Joachin Joon, Joachm Yon, etc. ; St. Vrain occurs in Spanish documents as Sambrano ; Jonathan Trumbull Warner's name was changed to Juan Jose Warner; James Kirker is rendered into Spanish as Santiago Querque; Don Juan Gid possibly refers to Mr. Heath; Don Marcellin may be recognized as Marcellm St. Vrain. Thus we might continue indefinitely, but not always with absolute certainty in our identifications. Summary of American fur trade in the Far South- west. The story of the American fur trade in the Far Southwest may be outlined regionally and chronologically as follows : 1. The years 1815-1821 comprise the period of only partially successful attempts on the part of the American trappers to break into the Far Southwest. II From 1821 to 1823 was the period of the exploita- tion of the basin of the Rio del Norte. Practically all the tributaries of the Rio del Norte were visited by American trappers during these two years. In all there were upwards of a hundred men engaged in the trade during this period. III. The years 1824-1826 mark the advance into the Colorado basin. A number of parties entered this basin in 1824, both by way of the San Juan and its tributaries and also by way of the Gila and its tributaries. By the end of 1826 practically every stream in the basin had been trapped and re-trapped so many times that the beaver were becoming scarce. The number of American trappers engaged in the business during this period reached into the hundreds, and the beaver fur that was caught brought the trappers more than a hundred thou- sand dollars. . IV. From 1826 to 1832 may be characterized as the period of the opening of the trappers' trails to California. During this period trappers made their way to California Ewing Young in Far Southwest 5 over at least six different trails through the Southwest — the Pattie trail, the Jackson trail, the Young trail, the Armijo trail, the Wolfskill trail, and the Smith trail. The number of persons engaged in the trade during this period must have aggregated into the thousands. V. The years 1832-1837 mark the period of the de- cline of the fur trade in the Far Southwest. By 1832 the caravan trade between Missouri on the one side and Sonora and California on the other had, to a considerable extent, supplanted the fur trade in the interest of the American frontiersmen. The streams, too, had been pretty thoroughly trapped by that time. Trapping con- tinued beyond this date, it is true, but with decreasing significance and emanated principally from the Robidoux posts in the Colorado basin rather than from Santa Fe or Taos. The inadequacy of the ordinary treatment of the fur trade in the Far Southwest illustrated. The usual treat- ment of the American fur trade in the Far Southwest sums up that industry for that region under the names of Jedediah S. Smith and James Ohio Pattie with casual mention, perhaps, of two or three others who followed them. As a sort of corrective of such a treatment of the subject it might be worth while to present a few of the names of prominent men engaged in the industry. Re- member, however, that only those who played a conspicu- ous part are mentioned and that we might give the names of, perhaps, a hundred more and that the names of hun- dreds of others who took part in the business will, per- haps, never be known. With this preface we might men- tion the names of Joseph Philibert, Julius De Mun, A. P. Chouteau, William Becknell, Hugh Glenn, Jacob Fowler, Robert Fowler, Nathaniel Pryor, John McKnight, Robert McKnight, Stephen Cooper, John Heath, Samuel Cham- bers, James Baird, Ewing Young, Joe Walker, William Wolfskill, William Huddart, Sylvester Pratte, Sylvester and James Ohio Pattie, Ceran St. Vrain, Milton Sublette, 6 Joseph J. Hill Thomas L. (Peg-leg) Smith, Antoine Robidoux, Jedediah S. Smith, David E. Jackson, David Waldo, Kit Carson, Moses Carson, Job F. Dye, Sidney Cooper, J. J. Warner, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Dick Wooton, Slover, Sinclair, Gaunt, Le Duke, La Bonte, etc. The importance of Ewing Young in the fur trade of the Far Southwest. Of these names no one is deserving of greater consideration than that of Ewing Young. For some twelve years, as already stated, he was, perhaps, the central figure in the fur trade of the Far Southwest. Within those years he trapped the waters of the Rio del Norte, the Pecos, the San Juan, the Gila, the Colorado, and the Grand of the Rocky Mountain Southwest, and the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers of California. But he was more than a fur trapper. He was an organ- izer and leader of men, always at the head of the party which he accompanied, never just a lay member. He also equipped and financed parties which he did not ac- company. Young's initiation into the fur trade of the Far South- west. Young was evidently a member of Becknell's ex- pedition to New Mexico in 1821, for Barrows, in speaking of Becknell's 1822 expedition, says that Captain Becknell, Ewing Young, and a powder maker by the name of Ferrel had some kind of contract to supply the Mexican govern- ment with powder, which at that time was enormously high. The arranging of this contract must have been part of the business transacted during Becknell's short stay in Santa Fe on his 1821 expedition. In order, there- fore, for Young to have been associated with Becknell m that contract it is evident that they must have been to- gether in New Mexico at that time. Young must, also, have been one of Becknell's three companions on his return to Missouri in December of 1821, for Barrows speaks of him as a member of Becknell's 1822 expedition. Upon their arrival at Santa Fe in the summer of 1822, they set about exploring the neighboring country in Ewing Young in Far Southwest 7 search of nitre, one of the essentials in their powder- making enterprise, but being unable to find any or to obtain it from any other source, the party broke up, and all but three or four went back to Missouri. Young and Wolfskill were among those who remained in New Mex- ico. In the fall of 1822 they, with others, formed a party which trapped the waters of the Pecos. 3 The whereabouts of Young during the year 1823 are, at present, unknown. He may have returned to Missouri with the furs collected in the fall hunt but we have no documentary proof that such was the case. All we know is that he was not with Wolfskill who, in January, 1823, set out with a single companion on a trapping expedition down the Rio del Norte. Young, Wolfskill, and Slover lead a trapping party to the San Juan, 1824. In February, 1824, Young, Wolfs- kill, Slover and others fitted out a trapping party at Taos to trap on the San Juan and other tributaries of the Colo- rado or Rio Grande of the West as it was then called. "The party was numerous at first, but as it made around the foot of the west side of the Sierra Madre, the various members, one after another, took down the different streams that suited them for hunting, till there only were left Mr. Wolfskill, Slover, and Young, whose object was to get outside of where trappers had ever been. They remained out till the beaver season was over and arrived again at Taos in June." 4 The furs collected in this expe- dition brought some ten thousand dollars. The second expedition down the San Juan, 1824. A second and much larger expedition, one, in fact, consist- ing of about sixty or more men, made its way down the San Juan in the fall of 1824, but whether Young was a 3 H. D. Barrows, "The Story of an Old Pioneer. Biographical Sketch of Wm. Wolfskill" {The Wilmington Journal, October 20, 1866). This was originally printed over the initial "B," but was later read by H. D. Barrows before the Historical Society of Southern California and printed in the Annual Publications of that society for the year 1902, V. 287-294. 4 Ibid. 8 Joseph J. Hill member of that party we are at present unable to tell. & It may be considered quite probable that he was its or- ganizer and leader. This assumption is based upon the following facts: He had just returned from that region, having made a successful hunt. The party which set out for the San Juan would naturally return to New Mexico in the following spring or early summer (1825). It is known that Young returned to Missouri some time during the summer of 1825. 6 But the documents, so far, are silent concerning his activities during the fall and winter of 1824-5. The significance of the year 1826 in the fur trade of the Far Southwest The year 1826 was a red letter year in the history of the American fur trade in the Far Southwest. It was especially notable for the number and size of the trapping parties which were fitted out soon after the arrival of the caravan from Missouri in the latter part of July of that year. As the leaders applied to Narbona, Governor of New Mexico, for passports to Sonora, he soon became aware, from the lack of merchan- dise for trading purposes and from the general conver- sation among the applicants, that the principal intentions of these persons could be reduced "to hunting beaver on the San Francisco, Gila, and Colorado rivers." He, therefore, wrote to the governor of Sonora informing him of the passports he had issued and the size and character of the parties to whom they had been granted. Unfortunately his use of foreign names makes it some- what difficult to identify some of the individuals referred to. The list is enlightening, however, and gives an idea of the extent to which trapping was carried on at that time. He said that J. William (possibly refers to Isaac Williams) and Sambrano (St. Vrain) were taking 5 Augustus Storrs, Answers . . . to Certain Queries upon the Ori- gin, Present State, and Future Prospect of Trade and Intercourse between Missouri and the Internal Provinces of Mexico, Washington, 1825, p. 11 (U. S. 18th Cong., 2d Ses. Senate Doc. 7, serial 108). 6 U. S. 22d Cong., 1st Ses. Senate Doc. 90, p. 83, serial 213. Ewing Young in Far Southwest 9 twenty-odd men; that Miguel Rubidu (Robidoux) and Pratt were taking thirty or more ; that Juan Roles (pos- sibly John Rueland) had eighteen in his party; and that Joaquin Joon (by which name Ewing Young was known in New Mexico) had eighteen more in his company. 7 Young's expedition to the Gila, 1826. We are not primarily concerned in the present article with the vari- ous parties mentioned by Narbona other than the one led by Ewing Young. Some account of Young's activi- ties during 1826 may be gleaned from the story of the life of William Wolfskill written by his son-in-law, H. D. Barrows, in 1866. 8 According to Barrows, William Wolfskill met Ewing Young in Missouri in the spring of 1826. He was then organizing a party to go to Santa Fe. Wolfskill joined the party. They were probably a part of the spring caravan of that year. Upon arriving in Santa Fe, Young was taken sick, and he hired Wolfskill to take charge of his party of eleven men who were going to trap on the Gila. The company set out, but were attacked by Indians and forced to return. Soon after the return of this party Young organized another com- pany consisting of about thirty men for the same place, "where," Barrows adds, "he chastised the Indians, killing several chiefs, etc., so that his party were enabled to trap unmolested. " Barrows speaks of Sublette and "Peg-leg" Smith as being in the party. Wolfskill was not a mem- ber of the second of these expeditions and his biographer, Barrows, gives no details concerning it. With this account it is interesting to compare a state- ment in the newspaper story of the life of "Peg-leg" Smith, written at the time of his death in 1866 by some one who was, apparently, fairly well acquainted with his 7 Antonio Narbona to the Governor of Sonora, August 31, 1826, Ms. (Mexico. Archivo de Governacion. Coraercio. Expediente 44, copy in Bancroft Library). Cf. T. M. Marshall, "St. Vrain's Expedition to the Gila in 1826" ( The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XIX, 251-260). 8 "The Story of an Old Pioneer" ( The Wilmington Journal, October 20,1866). 10 Joseph J. Hill life's activities. 9 The account states that about this time (between 1825 and 1828, but unfortunately the exact date is not given), "Smith and Le Duke organized a party of five for a trapping expedition to the Gila river. All the party were well armed, and after two or three weeks' travel they found good trapping grounds and began to find beaver. They had been engaged about a fortnight when they were discovered by a band of Apaches, who came into their camp and made all sorts of manifestations of friendship. After being feasted they took their departure, but on passing where the trap- pers' horses were picketed one of the red rascals shot an arrow into an animal. This was regarded as a declara- tion of hostilities, and the trapping party concluded that it was best for them to leave that part of the country. They packed up and started. Smith and Sublette deter- mined to take up their traps, and in attempting to do so were fired upon, a perfect shower of arrows falling about them. Sublette was hit in the leg, and it was only by the aid of Smith he managed to escape; the party lost their traps, but saved their scalps." The narrative says nothing at this point about a return to Santa Fe, but if the trappers lost all of their traps there was likely nothing else for them to do but to return for a new supply. "A few months later," the account continues, "when en- camped in another part of the country, they were visited by a band of twenty Apaches, who were very arrogant. One of the trappers prepared a hearty meal for them, and as soon as the red skins were seated around the mess, Smith gave a war-whoop and opened the battle. He says, 'None of them fellows ever returned home to tell of that event ; we fixed them all.' " The similarity of the two accounts leads one to con- clude that they both relate to the same expedition. The five men in the Smith and Le Duke group and the eleven 9 "The Story of an Old Trapper. Life and Adventures of the Late Peg-leg Smith" (San Francisco Bulletin, October 26, 1866). Ewing Young in Far Southwest 11 hired to Young under the command of Wolf skill taken together, if we may add the names of Young and one other who may have dropped out, check with the eighteen for which the passport was issued in the name of Joaquin Joon (Ewing Young) by Narbona in the latter part of August, 1826. Still a third account which clearly relates to the same expedition is the statement of George C. Yount. Yount also came to New Mexico in the summer of 1826 in the caravan in which Young made the journey. Upon his arrival in Santa Fe, he says, he found business at a stand- still, having been overdone by enterprising Americans. He was at last induced to join a band of free trappers under license from the governor of New Mexico to trap the Gila and Colorado rivers for beaver. On his way to the Gila his party passed the copper mines, in the vicinity of which they remained some three weeks. At the Boil- ing Springs three men abandoned the party, which Yount then says had numbered sixteen. This agrees with our previous calculations. The eleven in the Young party under the command of Wolf skill and the five in the Smith group bring the number up to the sixteen referred to by Yount. According to his statement the party proceeded down the Gila to the vicinity of the mouth of Salt River, on their way passing through the Pima villages. When near the mouth of Salt River they came upon the place where the Robidoux party had been massacred, as Yount says, "within the last three weeks." Here the manuscript statement of Yount, preserved in the Bancroft Library, ends abruptly. This statement is apparently a copy of a fragment of a more complete account which seems to have been used as the basis of The Sketch of the Life of George C. Yount, written by his grand-daughter, Elizabeth Ann Watson. This Sketch continues the narrative by saying that "the trappers now numbered thirty-two and it was not long before they were surrounded by Indians, painted and with nodding plumes, drawn bows, clubs, and spears. Smith, one of the trappers, fired his rifle; an Indian fell, and Smith, regardless of danger, secured his scalp and holding it at arm's length bade defiance to the Indians. Shot after shot followed and it was not long before the enemy fled, leaving their dead. Not a single trapper was hurt." That this is an account of the activities of Young's party about which Barrows narrates, is evidenced by the fact that both accounts refer to "Peg-leg" Smith as being in the party. But Yount makes no reference to the party's being defeated and driven back to New Mexico and of its being reorganized and enlarged from sixteen members to thirty-two before reaching the place of the massacre of the Robidoux party and the battle with the Maricopas. But, from the fact that he does give the number in the company first as sixteen and later as thirty-two, it would seem that there has been an omission somewhere.

The outcome of the expedition is told by Gregg as an anecdote on the first administration of Armijo, who succeeded Narbona as governor of New Mexico in May, 1827. Gregg says: "A law was then in existence which had been enacted by the General Congress prohibiting foreigners from trapping beaver in the Mexican territory, under penalty of confiscation, etc., but as there were no native trappers in New Mexico, Governor Baca and his successor (Narbona) thought it expedient to extend licenses to foreigners, in the name of citizens, upon condition of their taking a certain proportion of Mexicans to learn the art of trapping. In pursuance of this disposition, Governor Narbona extended a license to one Ewing Young, who was accompanied by a Mr. Sublette, brother of Captain Wm. Sublette, and almost equally celebrated for his mountain adventures. Previous to the return of this party from their trapping expedition, Armijo had succeeded Narbona in office and they were informed that it was his intention to seize their furs. To prevent this, they deposited them at a neighboring village, where they were afterward discovered, seized and confiscated. The furs being damp, they were spread out in the sun before the Guardia, in Santa Fé, when Sublette, perceiving two packs of beaver which had been his own property, got by honest labor, instantly seized them and carried them away before the eyes of the whole garrison, and concealed both them and his own person in a house opposite. … Mr. Sublette finally conveyed his furs in safety to the frontier, and thence to the United States."[1]

This account of Gregg's is corroborated by the continuation of the narrative in the Watson Sketch in such a way that makes it perfectly clear that Yount was a member of the Ewing Young party. To pick up the account where we dropped it after the battle with the Maricopas, the Sketch states that the trappers explored the Gila River to its source. This, possibly, refers to Salt River, or Black River, the name by which it was known to the early trappers, for they had just descended the Gila. The Sketch continues: "A little below the villages of the Maricopas was a lake abounding in black beaver. In trapping on the Colorado they constructed a small water craft by scooping out cottonwood logs, after the method practised by the Indians. After many encounters with the hostile tribes of Indians, George Yount returned to New Mexico, having five hundred dollars in money and several thousand dollars' worth of furs, which he cached near Bitter Creek. These were confiscated later on, however, and George Yount had to postpone returning to his family for another year."

The date of this confiscation seems to be established as the summer of 1827 from an extract of a letter of José Augustin Escudero dated March 22, 1831, in which he says "that in the year 1827, when I was at Santa Fé, I learned that they [a company of Anglo-American trappers] compromised a wretch named Don Luís Cabeza de 14 Joseph J. Hill Vaca by persuading the miserable creature to receive smuggled skins into his house, which he had in the desert. This man, for resisting the search of his house, was lamentably shot and killed by the soldiers who assisted the arresting alcalde, who succeeded in taking out twenty-nine packs of very fine beaver skins which were spoiling that summer in the warehouse of the subcomis- sariat of the territory." 11 Briefly, then, the points in common in these various accounts may be summed up as follows: The letter of Narbona, Governor of New Mexico, indicates that Ewing Young obtained a passport for eighteen men to go to the Gila in August, 1826, for the purpose of trapping beaver. According to Barrows there were eleven men hired to Young, but Young himself did not accompany the expe- dition as first organized. The story of the life of 'Teg- leg" Smith states that Smith and Le Duke led a party of five to the waters of the Gila about this time and names Sublette as a member of the party. Barrows mentions "Peg-leg" Smith and Sublette as members of Young's party. The two groups apparently traveled together, making the party of sixteen referred to by Yount, as the Yount Sketch refers to "Peg-leg" Smith as being a mem- ber of the party which Yount accompanied. Barrows speaks of the party being attacked by the Apaches and forced to return to New Mexico where it was reorganized and increased to a company of "about thirty" with Young at its head. The Smith account says that the party was attacked by Apaches and lost all of its traps. Evidently it had to return to New Mexico for a new supply although the Smith account does not mention that detail. Yount, also, refers to the party at first as a company of sixteen, and the Sketch of his life speaks of it later as consisting of thirty-two. The Yount Sketch speaks of Yount's furs being confiscated upon his return to New Mexico. Gregg 11 Jose Augustin Escudero, March 22, 1831 (Mexico. Archivo de Go- bernacion. Jefes Politicos. 1831-1833. Legajo 59, No. 1). Ewing Young in Far Southwest 15 informs us that that was what happened to the furs col- lected by Young and his men. Both accounts agree that the furs had been deposited at a neighboring village in order to avoid being apprehended by the Mexican author- ities. Evidently the various accounts relate to the same expeditions. The foregoing details are presented at length in order the more easily to compare them with the narrative of James Ohio Pattie, who, we shall see, evidently fell in with Young's party of "about thirty men" while on the Gila. James Ohio Pattie 's narrative of his expedition dovm the Gila and up the Colorado rivers. According to Pat- tie's narrative, 12 he left the copper mines in Southwestern New Mexico with a company of French trappers bound for the Gila. They traveled down the river beyond the point reached by the Pattie trapping party of 1824-5; and finally arrived at an Indian village situated on the south bank of the river where almost all the inhabitants spoke Spanish, "for," to quote Pattie, "it is situated only three days' journey from a Spanish fort in the province of Sonora. The Indians seemed disposed to be friendly to us. They are to a considerable degree cultivators, raising wheat, corn and cotton which they manufacture into cloths." The trappers had evidently reached the Pima villages near the mouth of the Santa Cruz wash. Three days beyond this village they arrived at the "Papa- war" village, the inhabitants of which, Pattie says, "came running to meet us, with their faces painted, and their bows and arrows in their hands. We were alarmed at these hostile appearances, and halted. We told them that we were friends, at which they threw down their arms, laughing the while, and showing by their counten- ances that they were aware that we were frightened." Upon entering the village the Frenchmen separated among the Indians, and in the evening allowed their 12 The Personal Narrative of James O. Pattie, 1833, p. 81 et seq. 16 Joseph J. Hill arms to be taken from them and stacked together around a tree while they, themselves, retired among the Indians to sleep. Against this procedure Pattie remonstrated and, persuading one Frenchman, whom he says he had known in Missouri, to accompany him, made camp at some distance from the Indian village. In the middle of the night the Indians attacked the defenseless trappers, killing all but the captain and Pattie and his companion. The next night the three survivors fell in with a company of American trappers with a "genuine American leader." "We were now thirty-two in all," Pattie records. They planned an attack upon the Indians who were so com- pletely surprised that 110 of them were killed before the rest could make their escape, and all the horses and prop- erty of the French company was recaptured. This happened near the mouth of Salt River, up which the Americans now trapped, the party separating at the mouth of the Rio Verde, part ascending that stream and the rest continuing up Salt River. After trapping to the head of both streams the two parties re-united at the junction of the two streams and then proceeded down the Salt and Gila Rivers to the junction of the latter with the Colorado, where Pattie said they found a tribe of Indians called Umene (Yuma). The trappers now turned their faces up the Colorado, passing through the territory of the "Cocomarecopper" (Cocomaricopa) and "Mohawa" (Mojave) Indians. The Mojaves demanded tribute for the privilege of trapping in the waters of their territory. The trappers would pay no tribute. In the parley an American horse and an Indian chief were killed. The next morning the Indians attacked the whites but were repulsed with the loss of sixteen of their number. A few days later they again attacked the trappers, this time killing two of the Ameri- cans. Here Pattie makes the comment : "Red River at this point bears a north course, and affords an abundance of the finest lands." The trappers were, therefore, eviEwing Young in Far Southwest 17 dently in the Mojave valley. They continued up the river until they ' 'reached a point of the river where the moun- tains shut in so close upon the shores that we were com- pelled to climb a mountain, and travel along the acclivity, the river still in sight, and at an immense depth beneath us." This was evidently at the mouth of Black Canyon. Up the river they continued for a hundred leagues, ac- cording to Pattie's estimate, through snow from a foot to eighteen inches deep, when they finally arrived at the place "where the river emerges from these horrid moun- tains, which so cage it up/' This was possibly the open- ing between Lee's Ferry and the mouth of the San Juan. Here for a couple of days they trapped up a small stream which enters the main river from the north. This may have been the Paria, Sentinel Rock, or Warm Creek, all of which enter the Colorado between Lee's Ferry and the Crossing of the Fathers, so named from the fact that here the Dominguez-Escalante expedition crossed the Colorado on their homeward journey in 1776. While in this vicinity they met a party of Shoshones who had recently destroyed a company of French hunters on the head waters of the Platte. Pattie here remarks: "One of our company could speak their language, from having been a prisoner among them for a year." After a brief encounter with these Indians, the trap- pers resumed their march up the river to the point where it forked again. They had now evidently reached the mouth of the San Juan, for Pattie says they proceeded up the right hand fork (i. e., up the San Juan) to the chief village of the "Nabahoes" (Navajoes). The trappers enquired of the Navajoes as to the best route across the Rocky Mountains and were informed that they would have to ascend the other fork. They, therefore, retraced their steps to the junction and then proceeded up the Colorado and Grand Rivers to the con- tinental divide which they crossed near Long's Peak to the South Fork of the Platte. 18 Joseph J. Hill From here the narrative becomes confused for some distance and it is impossible to trace their route with certainty. Pattie says that they descended the South Platte some five days, when they struck across to the North Platte, which they left in four days for the Big- horn. Crossing this, they set out for the Yellowstone, which they ascended to its head and then crossed the mountains to Clarke's Fork of the Columbia, which they ascended "to its head, which is in Long's Peak near the head waters of the Platte." A glance at the map shows at once how absolutely impossible it would be to follow this route. It is probable that the party became con- fused in their streams. We cannot be sure as to their route but the following is suggested as a possible solution of the difficulty. It may be that they crossed from the South Fork of the Platte to the Laramie which they mis- took for the North Fork of the Platte. From there they crossed to the North Fork of the Platte which they thought to be the Bighorn, and then to the Sweetwater which they called the Yellowstone. From the Sweetwater they could have crossed to some of the streams flowing into Green River, possibly the Little Snake River, and then up the Yampa to its source not far from Long's Peak. Crossing the mountains, they struck the Arkansas. Here they had an encounter with a party of Blackfoot Indians in which they killed sixteen Indians but lost four of their own men. They ascended the Arkansas to its head and then crossed the mountains to the Rio del Norte. From here they went to Santa Fe, where, Pattie records, "disaster awaited us. The governor, on the pre- text that we had trapped without a license from him, robbed us of all our furs." Comparison of Puttie's narrative with the accounts of Ewing Young's expedition, 1826-7. The points in com- mon between the Pattie narrative and the fragmentary accounts that we have of the Ewing Young expedition are certainly striking, to say the least. In the first place Ewing Young in Far Southwest 19 the French party with which Pattie had traveled from the copper mines was massacred in the vicinity of the mouth of Salt River, or Black River, as it was called by Pattie, which is also the name by which it is known on the early maps. This agrees with Yount's statement that the Robidoux party was massacred in that same locality. Pattie says there were thirteen in the French party. Yount speaks of it as a party of sixteen, but we have indicated how he might have been confused. Pattie tells us that the American company, of which he now became a member, numbered twirty-two, after he and his two companions had joined it. This agrees exactly with the Watson Sketch, and also with the Barrows account which says that Young set out at the head of a company of "about thirty." Pattie's "genuine American leader" can very appropriately be applied to Ewing Young. Pattie says that the American party attacked and defeated the Indians who had murdered the French party, without the loss of a single American. Mrs. Watson states that the American party with whom Yount was traveling had just such a battle in this same vicinity with a similar outcome and that Smith fired the first shot. Barrows says that "Peg-leg" Smith was a member of Ewing Young's party. According to Pattie, the American com- pany now trapped up Black (Salt) River to its source. Salt River is one of the main branches of the Gila. The Watson Sketch says that the American party trapped the Gila to its source; but since they had just descended the Gila it is probably meant that they trapped to the source of the other main branch, i. e., Salt River, otherwise known as Black River. Pattie says that they then de- scended the Gila to the Colorado and then trapped up that stream and back to New Mexico. The Watson Sketch indicates that they trapped down the Gila and along the Colorado before returning to New Mexico. Pat- tie records that upon arriving in New Mexico their furs were confiscated. Gregg says that Young's party, of 20 Joseph J. Hill whom Sublette was a member, had their furs confiscated, and Mrs. Watson states the same thing of Yount. The difficulty of harmonizing Pattie's dates with those of Young's expedition. The chief difficulty in har- monizing the accounts of the Young and the Pattie ex- peditions is in connection with the dates of the Pattie narrative. According to Pattie, he left the copper mines on the second of January, 1826, and traveled down the Gila with a company of French trappers until the 28th of the month. It was the 29th of January that he fell in with the American company. They traveled up the Colorado and finally reached Santa Fe on the first of August, 1826. This was before Young's party left that place. But Pattie's dates are very unreliable throughout his entire narrative. Where we have contemporary docu- ments with which to check them as in the case of that portion of his narrative dealing with events in California, we are frequently able to show that his dates are inaccu- rate, in some cases, a number of months. It seems that he depended upon his memory for the major portion of his narrative, and so, while his facts usually appear to be fairly accurate, his dates are frequently wrong. It is possible, therefore, that he is out some nine months or more in his dates on this trip. Difficulty of harmonizing Pattie's dates with other events. There are some things in the narrative, itself, which seem to make this conclusion imperative In the first place, Pattie speaks of traveling the full length of the Grand Canyon through snow from a foot to eighteen inches deep. But according to his narrative it was m the month of April when they made that jonrney. Trav- eling on the south side of the Grand Canyon, it would be rather unusual to find snow that deep at that season of the year. Further, according to Pattie, it was the first of August, 1826, that the company reached Santa Fe and had their furs confiscated. But Narbona was still govEwing Young in Far Southwest 21 ernor of New Mexico until May, 1827, and his attitude towards the American trappers had been one of leniency. Later in this very month (August, 1826) he issued licenses, as we have indicated, to a number of parties of American trappers, knowing full well that they were bound for the Gila to trap beaver. Pattie says that he left the copper mines on the second of January and that the American party, of which he later became a member, continued trapping until nearly the first of the next Aug- ust, when they arrived at Santa Fe. But this was con- trary to the regular trapping custom. The trapping season in the Far Southwest was the fall, winter and spring; in the regions farther north it was the fall and spring only. Never did the trappers continue their trap- ping activities into the hot summer months, nor would they be apt to wait until the first of January to start. The probability of Pattie' s narrative being an account of the expeditions of Miguel Robidoux and Ewing Young. Taking all things into consideration it is evident that Pattie's narrative gives an account of the expedition of Miguel Robidoux from the Santa Rita copper mines down the Gila to the mouth of Salt River, where the Robidoux party was massacred, and then continues with an account of the expedition of Ewing Young on the Gila and up the Colorado in the fall and winter of 1826 and the spring of 1827. Significance of the identification. With this identifi- cation established we are able now, for the first time, to apply the Pattie narrative to the Ewing Young expedi- tion. Heretofore, because Pattie's name was the only one mentioned in the narrative, it has been thought of as Pattie's expedition. We can now think of it from the point of view of the organizer and leader rather than from that of an egotistical boy who happened to be picked up along the way. To sum up the expedition we might say that after a journey of some three or four thousand miles Young and 22 v Joseph J. Hill his men, with twenty-nine packs of beaver worth from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars, finally arrived at Santa Fe early in the summer of 1827, there to have their furs confiscated by the new governor, Manuel Armijo. But Young could not be driven from the field simply by losing the furs of one year's catch. As a precaution- ary measure, however, he proceeded to obtain passports from the government at Washington which he, hence- forth, carried as a protection against another possible confiscation of his furs. Young sends trapping party from Taos to the Colo- rado, 1828. For the two years after the confiscation of his furs in the summer of 1827, until August, 1829, we have, as yet, but little information concerning the move- ments of Young. In the summer of 1828, with a load of merchandise purchased from William Wolfskill who had just arrived from Missouri, Young fitted out a party to trap on the Colorado River. He, himself, however, seems to have remained at Taos, apparently engaged with Wolfskill in general trading business there. During that summer Wolfskill was sent to Paso del Norte for a load of wines, brandy, panocha, etc., which he brought to Taos in the spring of 1829. In the meantime Young's trappers had returned, having been attacked by Indians and compelled to retreat. 13 Young's first expedition to California, 1829-30.^ Young now fitted out another party of some forty men, and placing himself at its head, set out again for the Colorado. This was the beginning of his now famous expedition to California. Of the personnel of the party we know but little. Christopher (Kit) Carson, who was a is Christopher Carson, Kit Carson's Story as Told by Himself . Ms. in Bancroft Library. Barrows, "The Story of an Old Pioneer {The Wilmington Journal, October 20, 1866). I* The best account of this expedition is in Christopher Carson, Carson's Story as Told by Himself. Ms in Bancroft Library J. J. Warner's account of the expedition m his Reminiscence of Early Califor- nia. Ms. in Bancroft Library, contains a number of inaccurate and mis- leading statements. Ewing Young in Far Southwest 23 member of the party, says that it was composed of "Americans, Canadians, and Frenchmen," but, aside from that of Young, he gives the names of only two members — James Lawrence, who was shot by James Higgins. The names of three others, Francois Turcote, Jean Vail- lant, and Anastase Carier, appear in the California archives as deserters of the main company seeking pass- ports to return to New Mexico. 15 The company left Taos in August, 1829. In order to make it appear that they were setting out for the United States and thus throw the Mexicans off their trail, they traveled northward some fifty miles through the San Luis Valley and then turned southwest through the Navajo country to Zuni. From Zuni they directed their course to the head of Salt River, down which they trapped to Rio Verde, or San Francisco River as it was then called, and from there up that stream to its head. Here the party was divided, about half of it being sent back to Taos with the furs thus far taken, and the rest, eighteen in number, set out for California. Of the portion of the company bound for New Mexico we have no further in- formation. Kit Carson happened to be in the division bound for California and has left us an account of that portion of the trip. From the head waters of the Rio Verde, the trappers took a more or less direct route to the Colorado, which they struck "below the great Canon. " This part of the journey had been over barren country practically destitute of water, and had required two forced marches of four days each to cross it. About fifteen miles north- east from Truxton is a watering place indicated on the early maps of Arizona as Young Spring. This is prob- ably the place where Young's men quenched their thirst after the first of these four-day forced marches. At the Colorado, they met a band of Mojave Indians, from whom 15 Manuel Jiraeno Casarin, July 31, 1830 (Departmental State Papers, Benicia. Custom House II, 4-5. Ms. in Bancroft Library). 24 Joseph J. Hill they purchased an old mare which was killed for food, and from whom the trappers also obtained a small quant- ity of beans and corn. Crossing the Colorado, possibly in the vicinity of the present El Dorado ferry, they took a southwest course, following which, in three days they came upon the dry bed of the Mojave River, up which they proceeded two days before coming to any visible water. Ascending the Mojave, their natural route led through the Cajon Pass, four days to the westward of which brought them to the San Gabriel mission. Staying at San Gabriel but a single day, Young and his men proceeded north to the mission of San Fernando and thence to the waters of the San Joaquin River, where they trapped until July, 1830. How long a time this was is a matter of speculation, as the date of their arrival in California is not known. In reading the account of the expedition as recorded by Peters, one gets the impression that the trappers had come straight through from New Mexico, having spent very little time on the way. To make matters worse, Peters antedates the departure of the company from Taos several months, giving the date of the setting out as April, 1829, instead of August of that year as stated by Carson, himself. This had the effect of making the events which actually happened in the summer of 1830 appear to have happened in the summer of 1829. The trappers probably remained on Salt River and its branches until sometime in the winter of 1829-30 and thus arrived in California early in the year of 1830. While on the San Joaquin they fell in with a company of Hudson's Bay trappers from the Columbia River under the command of Peter Skene Ogden. The two companies trapped together for some time when Ogden finally set out for the Columbia, leaving Young in possession of the field. In the first part of July, 1830, an incident happened Ewing Young in Far Southwest 25 which gave Young an opportunity to call at the mission of San Jose and to establish friendly relations with the Spanish authorities. 16 To begin at the beginning of the story, a number of Christian Indians had run away from that mission and had fled to the mountains where they had been befriended by the gentiles. The alcalde, Fran- cisco Jimenez, was dispatched to look for the fugitives. A battle ensued in which the Spaniards and their auxil- iaries were driven back. Being told by Indians of the presence of the Americans on the streams of the Sierra Nevada, Jimenez immediately set out to find them and obtain what help he could from them. A party of eleven men under the command of Kit Carson was dispatched to assist the Spaniards. The result was that the Indians were defeated and forced to deliver up the fugitives. Taking advantage of the situation, Young with three of his men, on July 11, took occasion to present himself at the Mission of San Jose for the purpose of ingratiating himself with the Spaniards and of opening trading rela- tions with them. In answer to questions put to him at that time, he stated that he had twenty-two men in his company, all but one of whom had set out with him from the San Luis valley, a day's journey from New Mexico. The other one had been added to his party from the Eng- lish trappers whom he had met — the Hudson's Bay party under Ogden. His passports were examined and ar- rangements were made to trade his furs for horses. A week later Young returned to the mission with his furs which he traded to Don Jose Asero, captain of a trading ship in port. With the proceeds of the sale, he purchased horses and mules and returned to his camp in the mountains. A few days later a band of Indians succeeded in entering camp and driving off some sixty head of horses. Twelve of the trappers on the remain- ing horses immediately set out in pursuit but had to 16 Jose Berreyeza, July 15, 1830 (Departmental State Papers, II, 135- 139. Ms. in Bancroft Library). 26 Joseph J. Hill travel upwards of a hundred miles, according to Carson, 17 before they overtook the Indians and recaptured the stolen animals, five of which, however, had been killed by the Indians who were at the time feasting upon the stolen property. About this time, possibly during the very time while Young was absent in pursuit of the Indians, three mem- bers of his party, whose names indicate that they were Frenchmen, deserted and proceeded to Monterey where on July 31, 1830, they applied for passports to return to Taos, from which place they stated they had come with Joaquin John (Ewing Young). Young and the loyal members of his party, however, forced the deserters back into line and compelled them to remain with the party. After spending the summer on the various streams flowing into the San Joaquin, Young in September, 1830, set out on his return to New Mexico. On his way he stopped at Los Angeles where he nearly lost control of his men owing to the freedom with which liquor was there supplied to them, either maliciously or otherwise. Young suspected that it was a plot on the part of the officials to get his men intoxicated and then to arrest them. Howsoever that may be, he finally succeeded in rousing them sufficiently to get them moving and thus prevented any serious mishap to the expedition. An ac- cident, however, occurred in spite of Young's efforts. Two of his half-drunk men got to quarreling and one (James Higgins) shot and killed James Lawrence. Young says that he had to leave the dead man in the road where he had been killed. These incidents made it impossible for Young to realize certain plans already partially matured. While at San Jose, Young had met J. B. Cooper, who figures prominently in the coast trade of the time. It appears that Cooper had endeavored to induce Young to enter « See also, Ewing Young to J. B. Cooper, October 10, 1830 (Vallejo, Documentos para la Historia de California, XXX, 135. Ms. in Bancroft Library). Ewing Young in Far Southwest 27 into the mule trade. Apparently there had been some talk of driving the mules through New Mexico to the United States. Young had planned to trap on the Colo- rado until December and then bring his furs to the coast and sell them, possibly to Cooper, and with the proceeds buy mules. After the Los Angeles affair he gave up the plan and on October 10, 1830, wrote Cooper that he had lost confidence in his men and did not dare to return with them to Los Angeles. He also wrote that he wished to ascertain how mules were selling in Mexico before he engaged in the speculation as he had no idea of taking mules to the United States until peace could be established with the Comanche Indians. 18 From Los Angeles, Young and his party retraced their previous trail to the Colorado and trapped down that stream to tide water, and then up the Colorado and the Gila and over to the copper mines, at that time in the hands of Robert McKnight. At the copper mines Young took the precaution of depositing his furs while he went to Santa Fe to ascertain the situation there before bring- ing them in. At Santa Fe he procured a license to trade with the Indians about the copper mines, and with this subterfuge, returned to the mines and got the furs which according to Carson amounted to some two thousand pounds. It was probably during the month of April, 1831, that Young again reached Taos. Carson gives the date as April, 1830, but as we have seen from documents already quoted, he has evidently made a mistake of a year in his date. Other expeditions to California during the absence of Young. While Young was out on this expedition two other companies from New Mexico and possibly one from the Great Basin made their way to California. The two from New Mexico were led respectively by Antonio Armijo and William Wolf skill. We are unable to say 18 Ibid. 28 Joseph J. Hill who was the leader of the one from the Great Basin but "Peg-leg" Smith was a member of the party. But it is not within the scope of the present article to consider the movements of these parties. The Smith, Jackson, and Sublette expedition to Santa Fe, 1831. In the summer of 1831, shortly after the re- turn of Young from California, a caravan of more than ordinary significance arrived at Santa Fe from Indepen- dence, Missouri. The organizers and principal proprie- tors in this company as it left Missouri were Jedediah S. Smith, David E. Jackson, and William Sublette, of Rocky Mountain fame. When the company reached Santa Fe, however, on July 4, 1831, Smith was no longer at its head. He had been killed by a band of Comanche Indians, lying in ambush at one of the water holes of the Cimarron River. His death naturally brought about a dissolution of the company. Shortly afterwards Sublette returned to Missouri. Jackson, however, remained in New Mexico and with David Waldo and Ewing Young entered the fur trade of the Far Southwest under the firm name of Jack- son, Waldo, and Company. Jackson, Waldo, and Company send two parties to CaMfornia, 1831. In the fall of 1831 two parties were sent out by this company— one was to go to California to purchase mules to be taken to the United States; the other was a trapping party destined for the waters of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. Jackson leads a party to California to purchase mules, 1831 The first of these expeditions left Santa Fe under the command of Jackson on August 29, 1831, according to Austin Smith whose brother, Peter, accompanied the party. 39 The company consisted of eleven men. Each had a riding mule, and there were seven pack mules, the loads Im~~T Warner was a member of the company, and his Reminiscences of Early California, Ms. in Bancroft Library, is our most detailed authority for this expedition. This is not the same although, in general outline similar to his "Reminiscences of Ear y California from 1831 to S5S Primed in the Annual Publications of the Historical Society of Southern California for 1907-1908, VII, pp. 176-193. Ewing Young in Far Southwest 29 of five of which were Mexican silver dollars. They trav- eled the regular route down the Rio del Norte, past the Santa Rita copper mines, the abandoned mission San Xavier del Bac, the presidio of Tucson, the Pima Indian villages on the Gila, down the Gila to the Colorado, which they crossed a few miles below the mouth of the Gila, and past the mission San Luis Rey to San Diego, thence by the coast to Los Angeles which they reached December 5, 1831. From Los Angeles, Jackson and the majority of his party went north as far as the missions on the southern shores of the Bay of San Francisco for the pur- pose of purchasing mules. Young leads trapping party to California, 1831. While they were thus engaged, we shall go back and follow the movements of the other party. This one was under the command of Ewing Young and consisted of thirty-six men, according to Job E. Dye, 20 who was a member of the party and who has left us an account of the trip. The names of seventeen members of the company are recorded in Dye's narrative as follows: Sidney Cooper, Moses Carson, Benjamin Day, Isaac Sparks, Joseph Gale, Joseph Dofit, John Higans, Isaac Williams, James Green, Cambridge (Turkey) Green, James Anderson, Thomas Low, Julian Bargas, Jose Teforia, John Price, and Job F. Dye. The exact date on which the party set out is not stated. Dye simply says that they "left San Fernando [Taos] in October, 1831." In three days, he says, they reached the Zuni village, where they remained two days, "for the purpose of obtaining from the Indians a sufficient supply of pinole (roasted corn meal) and pinoche (sugar) and frijoles (beans) required for the route." This is just an illustration of the position occupied by the Zuni Indian villages. They were frequently visited by parties setting out down the Gila, as the last place where supplies might 20 "Recollections of a Pioneer of California" (Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 8-15, 1869). 30 Joseph J. Hill be obtained before entering the wilderness. From Zuni the trappers proceeded over the mountains to the head- waters of Blackwater, and thence down that stream to where it enters into Salt River. Here, Dye says, they "found beaver plenty and caught a great number of them." While on Salt River a dispute arose between Cam- bridge Green and James Anderson, "each one claiming that the other had set his traps on pre-empted ground," the outcome of which was that Green shot and killed Anderson. From the upper waters of Salt River they seem to have crossed over to the Gila, as Dye speaks of them as descending the Gila to the San Carlos and through the Gila canon. While in this vicinity they were consider- ably worried by the Apaches with whom they had a number of skirmishes. Continuing down the river they passed the Pima villages where they obtained supplies of pemican, pinole and frijoles. They then pushed on down the Gila and Colorado until they reached tide-water. Here, Dye says, they crossed the Colorado and thir- teen out of the company concluded to cross the desert to the California settlements. The others turned back. Dye is somewhat vague in this part of his story. He says that it was about the first of January when they reached tide- water. But it was not until about the middle of March when they reached Los Angeles. He does not account for the intervening period. In 1849 he crossed from Sonora to California by what he said was the same route that he followed in 1832. But in the 1849 expedition he states that he crossed above the mouth of the Gila. On the later expedition he claims to have discovered New River which he says did not exist in 1832. This might lead one to conclude that although they reached tide-water on the 1832 trip, that perhaps they returned up the river to the mouth of the Gila where they crossed as in the Ewing Young in Far Southwest 31 later journey and then proceeded across the desert to Los Angeles where they arrived March 14, 1832. Jackson returns to New Mexico with mules, 1832. Early in April, Jackson returned from the north with about 600 mules and 100 horses. As this was a much smaller number than it was hoped he would obtain, the plans of the two partners were somewhat altered. In- stead of the two companies joining and all proceeding together through Texas to Louisiana, as it had been ten- tatively planned, it was now resolved that Jackson should return to New Mexico with the purchased animals along the route he had come out, while Young, after assisting Jackson to cross the Colorado, should spend the summer in California hunting sea otter and in the fall proceed with a party of trappers to the San Joaquin and Sacra- mento rivers for a beaver hunt. The return trip began in May. The company broke camp on the Santa Anna River at La Sierra Rancho and set out for the Colorado, arriving there in June. After the crossing was effected, which was done with consider- able difficulty and the loss of a number of animals, owing to the high water, Young with some five men returned to California while the rest of the company proceeded to New Mexico. Further details of the Jackson division of the company have not been preserved. Young engages in otter hunting along the California coast, 1832. Upon arriving again in Los Angeles in June, 1832, Young arranged with Father Sanches, who was then in charge of San Gabriel mission and who owned a brig commanded by Captain William Richardson, to transport his party on an otter-hunting expedition. The party consisted of seven men, according to Warner, two of whom were Kanakas. Young seems soon to have tired of the sport of shooting otters after having been "spilt out of the canoe into the surf a number of times," and so left the party when near Point Conception and proceeded by land to Monterey. The rest of the party cruised 32 Joseph J. Hill along the coast from Point Conception to San Pedro but with what success we are not told. Young's trapping expedition in the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, 18 '32-3 %. From Monterey Young pro- ceeded to Los Angeles where he gathered a company of some fourteen men, including his otter hunting party which had by that time returned to Los Angeles, for a beaver hunt. In the early part of October they set out by way of Fort Tejon and the western shore of the Tulare Valley lakes to the mouth of King's River. They trapped up that stream and then crossed to the San Joaquin which they descended as far as Fresno River when it was discovered that the San Joaquin and its tributaries from there on had been recently trapped. Young there- fore pushed on without delay to the Sacramento River. A few miles below the mouth of the American River he came upon a large company of Hudson's Bay trappers under Michel La Framboise. "This party," Warner tells us, "had been in the valley since early in the spring of 1832, having come in over the McLeod trail, and had trapped all the waters of the valley north and west of the San Joaquin River." In January, 1833, after having been marooned for several weeks on the Sacramento, Young and his men made their way to the northwest by way of the southern and western shores of Clear Lake to the Pacific coast which they struck some seventy-five miles north of Fort Ross. "Young followed along the coast," to quote War- ner, "searching with little success for rivers having beaver, and in fruitless attempts to recross the mountain range, until near the Umpquah River, where he succeeded in getting over the mountains and fell upon that river at the eastern base of the coast range of mountains. This river was followed up to its southeastern source, and then traveling Smith's trail, he struck the Klamath Lake near its northern extremity. From thence he trav- eled southerly along its western shore, and, crossing the 32 Joseph J. Hill along the coast from Point Conception to San Pedro but with what success we are not told. Young's trapping expedition in the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers, 18 '32-3 %. From Monterey Young pro- ceeded to Los Angeles where he gathered a company of some fourteen men, including his otter hunting party which had by that time returned to Los Angeles, for a beaver hunt. In the early part of October they set out by way of Fort Tejon and the western shore of the Tulare Valley lakes to the mouth of King's River. They trapped up that stream and then crossed to the San Joaquin which they descended as far as Fresno River when it was discovered that the San Joaquin and its tributaries from there on had been recently trapped. Young there- fore pushed on without delay to the Sacramento River. A few miles below the mouth of the American River he came upon a large company of Hudson's Bay trappers under Michel La Framboise. "This party," Warner tells us, "had been in the valley since early in the spring of 1832, having come in over the McLeod trail, and had trapped all the waters of the valley north and west of the San Joaquin River." In January, 1833, after having been marooned for several weeks on the Sacramento, Young and his men made their way to the northwest by way of the southern and western shores of Clear Lake to the Pacific coast which they struck some seventy-five miles north of Fort Ross. "Young followed along the coast," to quote War- ner, "searching with little success for rivers having beaver, and in fruitless attempts to recross the mountain range, until near the Umpquah River, where he succeeded in getting over the mountains and fell upon that river at the eastern base of the coast range of mountains. This river was followed up to its southeastern source, and then traveling Smith's trail, he struck the Klamath Lake near its northern extremity. From thence he trav-

eled southerly along its western shore, and, crossing the
Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 24.djvu

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Ewing Young in Far Southwest

33 Klamath and Rogue rivers and passing through the camp where McLeod lost his horses and valuable catch of beaver skins, crossed Pitt River and entered the Sacra- mento valley, which he descended to the American River and then crossed the country to the San Joaquin River, up which he traveled to the great bend and then to the mouth of King's River, where, striking the trail of the preceding year, he followed it southerly to Lake Eliza- beth, where, leaving it, he traveled more easterly along the northern base of the mountain to the San Bernardino, Cajon Pass, through which he entered the valley of San Bernardino in December, 1833, and passing on to Teme- cula, took the trail upon which he had come from the Colorado in the spring of 1832, and returned to that river to make a winter and spring season hunt upon it and the lower part of the Gila River. He was moder- ately successful in this hunt and returned to Los Angeles in the early part of the summer of 1834. " 21 Upon his return to the Spanish settlements of Cal- ifornia, Young met Hall J. Kelley and was induced by him to go to Oregon where he settled and became one of the leading American citizens in that territory. With this expedition he therefore drops out of the fur trade of the Far Southwest. Summary of Young's activities in the fur trade of the Far Southwest, 1822-3 %. For some twelve years he had been one of the central figures in that trade. A com- plete account of his activity during that twelve years would give us a very full account of the fur trade in the Far Southwest during its most flourishing period. Un- fortunately, he wrote but little, himself, and no one per- sonally acquainted with his activities has left us any record of his life. It is, therefore, with difficulty that anything like a complete account of his movements during this period may be pieced together. 21 1 have here followed the text of the printed version in the Annual Publications of the Historical Society of Southern California, VII, 187-8. 34 Joseph J. Hill The bearing of the above on the settlement of Ewing Young's estate. In view of the foregoing, it might be interesting to call to mind a few of the events of early Oregon history. As indicated in the Quarterly for Sep- tember, 1920, Ewing Young settled in Oregon in 1834 where he died, intestate, in 1841 with several thousand dollars' worth of property and with no known heirs. His property was taken over by the provisional government of Oregon and held in trust until 1855 when it was finally /turned over to a young man signing himself Joaquin Young, who satisfactorily proved that he was the natural son of Ewing Young and Maria Josefa Tafoya, a New Mexican woman. One of the principal documents used in proving his claim was the certification of his baptism, recorded by the priest at Taos in the parish baptismal record book. The record reads : "In this parish church of Taos on the 12th of April, 1833 (mil ochocientos treinto y tres) 22 , I, the priest Don Antonio Jose Martinez, baptized solemnly, applied the holy oil and sacred baptism to a boy four days old and I gave as name Jose Joaquin, the natural son of Maria Josefa Tafoya . . . God parents Richard Cam- bell and Maria Rosa Gripalba, who said that his natural father Joaquin John, a foreigner, dwelling in this place, invited them." An affidavit signed by Charles Beaubien, C. Carson, and Manuel Lefebre stated that Joaquin John was the name by which Ewing Young was known in New Mexico. Thus the identity of the young man was suf- ficiently proved and the proceeds from the estate of Ewing Young were delivered to him. But the whereabouts of Ewing Young during the sum- mer of 1832 seems never to have occurred to anyone as an item of consequence in the identification of the young man or in the awarding of the property of Ewing Young to him. In view of the fact that Ewing Young left New Mexico in October of 1831, as we have shown above, on See accompanying plate. his second expedition to California, and that he never returned to New Mexico, it might now be asked how he could be the father of a child born to a New Mexican woman on the 8th of April, 1833.

  1. Josiah Gregg, Commerce of the Prairies, 1844. I, 227-8.