Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 8/Number 2
Oregon Historical Society.
[The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages.
RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT—II.
By T. W. DAVENPORT.
Note of Correction.—The expression, "Before going, Mr. Barnhart remarked to me," etc., etc., found at the opening of the second paragraph of page 7 of the first installment of this paper, should read, "Before going, he remarked to me," etc., etc., the pronoun referring to Matty Davenport.
Several times since commencing to write these recollections, I have hesitated in the work on account of the doubt in my own mind as to how they would be received by my fellow citizens who should chance to read them; whether the readers would not be inclined to dismiss my declared intention of giving an unvarnished account of agency matters, so far as I knew them, as quite out of the common order of human nature, and therefore improbable, and fall back upon the more natural assumption that my recollections were prompted by a desire to vaunt my virtue as an exceptionally honest Indian agent.
But, as hereinbefore stated, my appointment was wholly unexpected and unsought, and the principal purpose I had in view, and which determined my acceptance of Mr. Rector's offer, was the curiosity to know the true inwardness of a business which had gained for its operators the bad reputation generally applied to them, of "blank voucher artists."
I think, however, a fair perusal of what is here written will show that I have not gone beyond the probable truth, or been actuated by any desire to write down anybody below what the facts warrant. Rather it has been my purpose to state the facts, as respects persons, and let the reader draw his own conclusions.
And there is one reflection due to this subject, as it has general application to distinctive employments, viz: the tendency to a growth of customs peculiar to each. And I must admit that as respects the customs attaching to the agency system, I was totally ignorant. I had never been upon an Indian reservation, had never seen a report of an Indian agent, or any of their papers at most, some blank vouchers, and subvouchers; the abstracts and other papers necessary to the sufficient quarterly reports, I had to construct with or without suggestions from Mr. Levy, the cook, who had gained some knowledge of that method of keeping accounts, by copying reports of army officers, while acting as hospital steward. He had been a long time in the service, he said, and had served in a similar capacity on an Indian agency in one of the Territories. He was well up in the matter of agency customs, for which he was quite a stickler.
It will be recollected that about the only general instructions Superintendent Rector gave me, were couched in the sentence. "Manage the agency on the square, just as you do your own business," and in conformity with that rule I made the announcement to the employees, when taking charge of the business, to which they all assented.
At that time, Mr. John S. White, superintendent of farming, got leave of absence to go to Portland to attend to his private business, which took a month. So, in making up the papers for the last quarter of the year 1862, Mr. White's voucher called for only two months, and the sum of $200. To this lie objected, much to my surprise, and stated that such a deduction was contrary to custom. He was supported by Mr. Levy, who said it was "an unheard-of ruling." Of course, I could not controvert their testimony; in fact I had no desire to do so. But how can I construct the voucher so as to give Mr. White the full pay of $300, without certifying to a falsehood? And to make this matter plain, requires a statement, such as the voucher must contain, to conform to the regulations of the Indian Department: RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 97 "The United States to John S. White, Dr., for three months service as superintendent of farming at the Umatilla Agency ; last quarter of 1862, $300. ' ' I hereby certify that the above account is correct and true, that the services have been rendered as stated, and that there is due therefor the sum of $300. "Signed, , Indian Agent." This is the way the voucher must read in order that Mr. White could get $300, but it compels me to sign an untrue statement, for Mr. White has not performed the service as stat- ed. To this the two contestants for the inviolability of custom replied, ' ' Suppose it does, who will know whether the service has been performed or not?" My answer came quick and warm, "I know, and what troubles me, is, that I am the one to verify a falsehood. You can rest assured that I shall not do it." Mr. W T hite said he would appeal the case to the Su- perintendent, to which I gladly assented, as it relieved me of responsibility. He chose to present the case personally, and made a trip to Salem, taking sub-vouchers in my name to re- imburse himself for expenses, all unauthorized and unallowed. Mr. Rector gave him a letter instructing me to pay Mr. White the $300, but as that did not relieve me of signing a false voucher, I refused to be governed by the instructions. I offered to make a voucher certifying that he had performed two months service, and that I paid him $300 in obedience to the Superintendent, but this he would not consent to. I then proposed to execute a full voucher, if he would hire a man to perform the lacking service, to which he agreed, and I sup- posed the matter was adjusted satisfactorily. But I was in error. Thenceforth he viewed me as an enemy opposed to his interests, instead of a friend who could not be persuaded to sign a false certificate. The regulations governing Indian agencies stipulated that neither the agents nor the employees should own any interest in the sutler's store. It was reported, however, that Mr. White was a silent partner of the sutler, Mr. Flippin, who was a cousin. I made no inquiries concerning the matter, but passed the usual certificate to the employees for their signatures. Mr. White did not sign it and wanted to know if I considered him less a man of honor than myself, and expected him to sign a falsehood? I answered, "Tell Mr. White that I do not question his word or his honor; that if he signs the certificate I shall assume that he is not interested in the sutler's store, and if he refuses to sign it I shall assume the contrary, and obey the regulations of the Indian Department by appointing his successor." He signed.
Mr. White had been in the draying business in Portland for several years, and knew the merchants there, and their retail customers living throughout the State. Hence his acquaintance with that class of business men was quite extensive. To such of them as traveled through the reservation on their way to and from the city, Mr. White's house came to be a convenient stopping place for dinner, for which, at 75 cents a meal, he must have realized a fair remuneration. Besides, it was an accommodation to his friends and acquaintances, in this country of long distances between places of refreshment. At this time, Grande Ronde Valley and Powder River were fast settling up, and the gold mines at Auburn were attracting population, so of course, Mr. White's eating place became more and more to have the appearance of a regular tavern.
I suggested to Mr. White that he could not keep a public house on the reservation without permission from the Indian Department, to which he responded, that he could not have the heart to deny his hungry friends a meal, and he could not feed them gratis. "Yes, I see the difficulty, but the business is growing and must be stopped."
Down the river, some three miles, just off the reservation and where Pendleton now stands, a store and tavern had been located, and the keeper of the latter sent up to me a written protest against keeping a public eating house at the agency.
In terms, we were not doing so, for there was no public notice or solicitation for custom. In fact, we were, and I RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 99 caused notice to be posted on the ends of the departure from the main road, informing travelers that we could not feed them at the agency without violating the instructions of the Indian Department. This ended the business, and Mr. White resigned his position as superintendent of farming and de- parted for the Auburn mines, leaving his family at the agency. I regretted very much that our ways did not coin- cide, for Mr. White was a genial, kindly man, not at all lack- ing in intelligence, and therefore socially attractive, still, I could not, for a moment, think of cutting loose from all guides of safe conduct. From such incidents, and there were others, I could see and feel how easy it is for even well-disposed persons to depart, little by little, from the true course and soon lose sight of the purpose originally had in view. And how much easier and more certain such a departure becomes when the guiding purpose is vague, or loosely held by the person essay- ing it. With such a torch-light of truth in hand, how ludi- crous is the public expectation that Indians can be brought to take an interest in civilizing pursuits, by persons who never studied the problem of civilization or had any faith that the Indian is susceptible of being anything more than a barbarian. To such people, though commonly honest, working for self- interest is a natural and, I can believe, inevitable diversion. If the Government expected or desired to succeed in civil- izing the aborigines, then the first step was, to select for In- dian agents only those who were experts in the civilizing process ; not mere theorists to be sure, but practical men who had faith that every advance is the result of individual exer- tion of mind and body ; that progress is not to be put on and off like a coat, but consists in doing, in adapting the whole man to his environment. But, judging from the failure of the agency system to promote the welfare of the Indians, and the too common corruption of the service, we must conclude that no rational tests were ever applied in selecting agents* As a matter of fact, we know that agents were never selected 100 T. W. DAVENPORT. by the application of any civil service or humanitarian rules, but appointed on account of partizan service, wholly at vari- ance with the benevolent designs of the Government. About 1870, the agency system had become so rotten that the Grant administration was persuaded to accept agents se- lected by the churches, but this did not appear to be any improvement. The churches did not apply the proper tests. Agents were .selected on account of religion, or rather belief ; a substitution of church service for political service. The real test was still partizan. But religious profession has small influence upon the civilizing process, as relates to Indians, which is mainly industrial; neither is it an assurance against the peculations of politicians. After the failure of the church experiment, the Government had recourse to the army, whose officers were assumed to be above sharp practices. But this move was met by the combined opposition of the politicians in Congress, as it curtailed their means for rewarding the personal service of friends. So the army, in this connection, is without praise or blame. Though my experience at the Umatilla was short, too short in fact to speak of it as conclu- sive evidence of the soundness of my views upon the Indian question, yet the responses to my experiments left me no room to doubt that Indians must travel the same road up to social and industrial competence, that all successful races have traveled before them. Indeed, I can conceive of no other process except that which tends to make the individual man an active, energetic and intellectual factor of industrialism. How to accomplish it is the problem. Setting an example, though good, is wholly insufficient, as the past experience has abundantly proven. The Indian must be more than an eye witness. He must be the doer, and to make him so, he needs more stimulus than a man who has passed beyond the hunting, fishing and maraud- ing stage of existence and its feverish excitements. He is not lacking in a game of baseball, and other physical contests involving his pride and faculties of emulation. And is there any reason why the same kind of stimulus and encouragement employed to advance industrialism among the whites, should be entirely neglected upon an Indian reservation? Agricultural societies, with their bounties and premiums; clubs for discussing methods and results, and the consequent strife to attain excellence.
The Indian schools, such as Chemawa, are in the right direction, to the extent that they are selective and manual, but likely they will prove to have a baneful influence, in that the graduates will find themselves out of rank with their kind. An Indian agency would be free from this taint, and with a wide-awake agent, well informed, and anxious to verify his aspirations for improvement, would afford the best opportunity for successful experiment, to be found on this continent. Merely allotting lands to Indians and declaring them citizens, is to turn them out to the mercy of the white wolves of civilization. That, too, has been proved.
As has been stated, there was no appropriation of money by the Government to pay for the services of a clerical assistant to the agent at the Umatilla, an evidence which should have been conclusive that he was expected to perform such service himself without additional compensation. No house had been built especially designed for an office where such work could be performed free from the interruptions of other concerns and hence the agent had to keep his accounts, construct his papers and make out his quarterly reports to the heads of the department, within the one-roomed cabin where his family resided and performed all of the operations pertaining to his household. There was a large building which served as a meeting or council house to which the agent could repair to meet any considerable number of his wards, but for ordinary consultation with the chiefs or head-men of the tribes, hearing reports from the employees or interpreter, from sheer convenience, his house was constrained to permit that innovation too. And, on the whole, I think such relations, when conducted with respect to the sacred proprieties of private life, 102 T. W. DAVENPORT. contributed to mutual confidence, affection and respect, in- stead of degradation and, through familiarity, loss of dignity and esteem. Our experience was, that all persons so admitted became more kind and respectful as time passed on. The common Indians, one at a time, as we requested, knocked at the door, were invited to enter and be seated at the fireplace. One chair was reserved for such purpose and the sitter, after an hour of silent inspection, would pass out and another would enter and take his place. Day after day for weeks this was kept up without any question hinting at intrusion. Sometimes I or my wife would ask if we could do anything for them, and the invariable answer was, the Walla Walla word wato, or the Chinook wake (no.) Our little daughter, then five years old, having learned a few words of Chinook, would essay a con- versation, which always produced a relaxation of countenance indicative of sympathy. I had been busy for a month, making out the annuity lists, when the interpreter entered one day about noon and informed me that the council house was full of Indians who had sent him to request my attendance forthwith. I asked him whar appeared to be the matter, as I had not heard of any dissatis faction with my way of managing. "Oh, you will know when you have heard what the Indians have to say." "But, Antoine, tell me of their wants that I may have time to call my thoughts together." ' ' You will have time enough, ' ' he said, and I could observ-j from the pleased expression of his face that some surprise was in store for me. Upon entering the house and looking around, I saw at once that this was no impromptu gathering; seats had been pre- pared and there, in perfect silence, sat as many as 200 Indians. Howlish Wampo, in his fine cloak, was in his usual place as master of ceremonies. He, too, looked pleased, and for the life of me I could not guess the purpose of this unexpected meeting. With rather suppressed gravity the chief arose and RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 103 seemed uncertain as to what he should say, but, passing along with some apparently meaningless exclamations, he told me that these people had been silent but watchful observers of what I had been doing since I came, and had formed an opinion of which they wished to tell me personally. He then took his seat and one at a time, to the number of twenty or more, stood up and gave the result of his observation. They all had the same opinion, though expressed in differ- ent language. They had been watching me closely when I was not aware of it; they had seen me in my family, had looked into my heart and had drawn close to it and their hearts had told them that their agent is an honest and friendly man and would treat them as brothers. There was no dissenting voice, but I remarked that only a part of the large audience had ex- pressed an opinion and I asked if any one there had a different opinion. Howlish Wampo answered, "No, all alike." I then said that such testimony was very gratifying to me and, being so unanimous, I might suspect that some white courtier had been working up public opinion to please me. Of course these people expect me to be as frank as they have been and speak my mind without fear or desire of giving offense. "Yes, yes," was answered. "Well, before I begin I desire to ask the interpreter and all the other employees if they had any han;:! in working up this meeting?" All answered in the negative. Old Mr. Henry, the carpenter, who had been there two years and was well acquainted with the Indians, said he knew something was afoot but he did not know what. I began by saying that my good friends here assembled might regret having done so if I should bore them with a long speech, telling them to be good and not watch me too closely. Hbwlish Wampo smiled and said, "Try us." It has always seemed to me unwise for a man to say, ' ' I am honest. ' ' Any rogue can say as much and would probably do so. That is not the test of honesty. Honesty, like love, speaks out in service which does not lie. So, you will be able to form a correct judgment when I leave, whether what I have done shows me to be honest 104 T. W. DAVENPORT. or dishonest. Let me ask these people who have so much con- fidence m their eyes, if they have seen nothing in the last two or three weeks to cause a suspicion that some secret work was going on here, against their interests ? Did they see those two nicely dressed gentlemen, one from Portland and the other from Walla Walla, hanging around here and soliciting private interviews with me, in fact, playing the agreeable ? Some one answered in the affirmative. Do you know what they wanted 1 Antoine answered, "Yes, all of us know." "How did you know it I never told anybody?" ' ' I learned it from Mr. Flippin, and you know, Mr. Daven- port, that I speak Indian," said Antoine. ' ' What did you learn from Mr. Flippin ? ' ' "Why, that they offered to give you $1,000 to exchange the annuity goods for the same amount in yards, etc., delivered at this place free of cost. ' ' "These people knew of that and yet had no doubts as to my honesty?" Antoine answered: "Why should they have, after hearing the compliment they paid you ? They said to Flippin, ' Daven- port is a tender-hearted d d fool that does not know which side of his bread is buttered.' : I remarked that those gentlemen had no good reason for denouncing me so roughly, for I never intimated once to them that their proposal was not straight business. When thej made it I asked them for a full explanation of how they pro- posed to do, and they gave it without reserve, viz : that they would take a transcript of the invoices of the annuities in store and return the same number of blankets and shawls, yards of satinettes, linseys, calicos, etc., so that the issue of annuities could go on just the same as though no substitution was made. They said, "Of course, the goods we will furnish are not so good, the blankets are not so heavy and the cloths are not so valuable or there would be nothing in the ex- change." They pressed the matter, saying it was a plain business proposition that would profit me more than a year's salary and they would make something out of it too. RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 105 "Yes, I see ; but there are some objections to it. In the first place, though the goods here are of the best quality, they will hardly suffice to keep the Indians, especially the women and children, comfortable during the cold weather, and if I should substitute ,f ive-pound blankets for eight-pound, light woolens for those more substantial, porous shaw.ls for those close woven, there would be, undoubtedly, considerable suffering before spring." They replied that a blanket is a blanket, a shawl is a shawl, calico is calico and linsey is linsey to an Indian. "Perhaps," said I, "that an Indian is not an expert in the dry goods business, but would they not feel the differ- ence very sensibly, and how could I help knowing that I had contributed to their discomfort ? Look here, ' ' said I, " I will not consider the proposition a minute unless you will come and stay here where you can be a witness with me to the desti- tution and misery the change will bring." Antoine broke out with a spluttering laugh and a question, "What did they say to your proposition?" "Say! Why, they laughed a very different kind of laugh from yours, and said, 'We had not thought you so chicken hearted. ' You are mistaken, said I, it is you who are chicken hearted and afraid to come here and face the music with me. We parted in a friendly manner, and they acted as though they felt cheap, to think they had been beguiled into a full explanation of a scheme which they could not deny would bring misery to human beings." After this explanation I thought proper to speak to them of the annuities which we would begin to issue within the next week, and I addressed my words to the chiefs of the three tribes, Howlish Wampo, Pierre, and Winam Snoot, "You and your people have expressed your confidence in my good intentions but you must remember that the means placed at my disposal are very limited. We shall issue all the goods to you, and as near equally as possi- ble, but you will be disappointed. There are not enough coats and pants for the men and not enough shawls for the women. So, after consultation with you and the interpreter, the coats, 106 T. W. DAVENPORT. pants, shawls, etc., have been alloted to those who from age and feebleness most need them. All will get blankets, and the best ones that are made. Superintendent Rector must be credited with getting the best for you, and those purchased at Baltimore are equally good. There is another subject I wish to speak of, and as I have learned that Mr. Barnhart will be returned and I shall not be with you after the first of July, I desire to do so now. I desire to impress upon your minds the necessity of becoming farmers and, to a limited ex- tent, stock raisers, and to assist you in that I shall purchase some sets of harness, have the plows kept in order and furnish you seed for planting. But for you to work willingly and earnestly you must be fully convinced that such a course is best for you, in fact, the only one left open for you to travel. You often regret that the whites ever came to this country and date the beginning of your troubles from the time of their coming, but if you will think back and try to get at the truth, you must see that your opportunities for a sure and good living are better than before. When Lewis and Clark came through this country some sixty years ago, when there were no whites to bother you and when there were ten times as many deer, elk, and smaller game, more fish, camas and cous, they found the Indian tribes of Eastern Oregon and Wash- ington, yours among the number, hard pressed for a living, in fact, so nearly destitute that the explorers had to eat dogs. The truth of history is, that Indian tribes in general were put to severe trials every winter to supply themselves with food. And you should know the causes of such destitu- tion. Though you spent more of your time on the banks of the river here, of necessity you were rovers. The game was in the mountains a dozen miles from here, the fishing grounds more than thirty miles in another direction, the camas a score of miles in another direction, the cous grounds miles away and berries scattered far and wide, and even if all such foods were in great abundance and never failed, the loss of time in travel- ing about to get near the sources of supply would have kept RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 107 you poor. But there was not always an abundance ; sometimes there was a shortage in nature's productions. You could not depend, even then, upon getting a bear or deer when you needed it and were reduced nearly to starvation sometimes. With a house and barn and stock, a cow giving milk, some pigs in the pen, some chickens about the premises, potatoes in the cellar and wheat in the bin, you would not be subject to any such pinches, if there was not a deer in the mountains, a camas root in the swale or a fish in the river. Let me say to you that the troubles which you lay to the coming of the white man are not so many or so bad as those you had before the whites came. I cannot refer you to your history for proof of what I say, for you have no history, but tribal wars were common then, whereas now there is peace between the tribes and very seldom any trouble between the two races. And do you know that tribes of men who try to live upon the spontaneous productions of the earth, must be at war with each other a great part of the time, if they are ever so well disposed and peaceable, for they must be continually striving against each other for subsistence. They cannot increase much in numbers, for there is not game enough to feed them. Just think of it in a practical way. A short time ago one of your best hunters, Ta-cotus-eeno-wit, borrowed my fine rifle to go hunting in the Blue Mountains. He was gone a week and did not get a single deer or anything larger than a grouse. That week's work on an acre of the Umatilla bottom would produce enough to last his family a year. A great part of this reservation is the best land in the country and is capable of supporting ten thousand people. You number about a thousand and can live with the help you get from the Govern- ment, better than your white neighbors. " Owing to delay in forwarding blankets bought of the Wil- lamette Woolen Mill Company in Salem, the issue of annuity goods to the three tribes did not take place until late in De- cember, when fortunately the weather was quite mild for this climate. Most of the goods, which were of excellent quality, 108 T. W. DAVENPORT. were bought in Baltimore in 1860, at low prices shipped around the Horn, and had been lying in boxes and bales at the agency for a year or more. In 1862 they had more than trebled in value, an excellent increase, but a circumstance wholly unimportant to the Indian, whose privations could not be compensated by any advance in price of consumable goods. Why they had not been distributed at the proper time I never knew. The census showed the numbers of each tribe in four classes, men, women, children under ten, and those over ten not married. Of the Walla Valla tribe, the only one of which I have record evidence before me, there were 91 men, 121 women, 67 children under 10, and 45 over ten, a total of 324. It may be interesting to know that these 324 Indians received 122 1 /^> pairs of blankets, 56 yards of saved list blue cloth, 73 cotton flag handkerchiefs, 78 large and small blanket wool shawls, 922 yards of calico, 90 yards of turkey red calico, 716 yards of blue drill, 327 yards of ticking, 161 yards of satin- ette, 494 yards checks, stripes and plaids, 301 yards of plaid linseys, 450 yards unbleached domestic, 153 yards of brown cot- ton duck, 59 twilled flannel shirts, 111 hickory shirts, 14 Can- adian belts, 108 pairs of woolen socks, 3,017 skeins cotton thread, 277 skeins of linen thread, 277 gross agate and bone buttons, 3 yards of cotton stripe, 22 satinette coats, 23 pairs of satinette pants, 51 wool hats, 49 caps, 32 tin pans of 2 quarts, 36 tin pans of 4 quarts, 26 tin pans of 6 quarts, 16 pairs of women's shoes, 65 pairs men's kip brogans, 31 hatchets, 20 sickles, 21 yawk hoes, and 1,215 plugs of tobacco. This has a pretty fair appearance, until we stop to compare what is furnished with the most pressing needs of the Indians. To the men, 91 in number, are given 59 flannel shirts, 22 coats, 23 pants, 51 wool hats, 49 caps, and 65 pairs of brogans. Consequently, only two-thirds of them could have a flannel shirt each, about one in four could have a coat or a pair of pants, a little over half would have shoes, and 1221/g pair of blankets to 324 persons is a ridiculously small allowance. No RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 109 doubt, the good men who negotiated the treaty with these Indians meant well and intended to be exact and practical in stipulating that so many thousand dollars should be given to them in annuities, but they could not have hit upon a plan, if indeed they can be accused of having a plan, which would be more productive of discontent than the one adopted. That $20,000 was to be given to the three tribes in annuities sounded big to the ignorant red people ; and especially was it a moving inducement to sign the treaty, after being told that six mules would be required to pack the silver dollars to be expended for them in clothing, bedding, and other necessaries. Although proper explanation was made to them in advance^ many times during the issue, the proceedings were arrested by the necessity of explaining why one man was not given a coat, pants, or shoes while others no better or more needy had them. As has been seen, there was not enough of each to go around and the deficiency was approximately supplied by giving to each man or woman the same value reckoned in dollars, viz : $19.56 ; to each child under 10, about $5 ; to each one over 10, about $10. This was the best that could be done and was tolerated by them, though with some grumbling. At such rates as the United States Government supplies its soldiers, the allotment as above stated would have supplied every man, woman and child with a good suit of clothes, and a pair of three-point blankets to each man and woman. Eeally, the worst part of the annuity business was the uncer- tainty as to what kinds of goods would be furnished, and at what time, if at all. The Indian, like the white man, is a provident animal and lays up supplies, in the temperate zone, for the winter, or for such time as spontaneous nature is barren of fruit. He knows when the stream will not yield him fish, when the soil does not furnish edible roots, when the bushes carry no berries, and the season of the year when game is not to be taken, and fills those vacancies from the bountiful periods which seldom fail, but lo ! the poor agency Indian never knows what or when to expect from the promises of his guardian. 110 T. W. DAVENPORT. If demoralization of these wards had been designed by the Government, it is doubtful if the scheme to accomplish it would not have given better satisfaction to them than the past treatment by political Indian agents. One episode was quite unexpected and rather amusing. Susan, a Walla Walla woman, wife of a half-breed, Alex McKay, sister-in-law of the interpreter, Antoine Placide, ex- pressed dissatisfaction in earnest words to the interpreter, who jollied her for being a grumbler. At that time I knew nothing of her social relations in her tribe, but during my absence in Portland an acquaintance had been formed with my wife, who esteemed her highly. In every community there is always some one, and generally a woman, whose innate tendency impels her to assist those who are by nature or mis- fortune incompetent to care for themselves. This busy-body seems to act as though divinely commissioned to explore the recesses of society in search of misery and of those in want- widows and orphans, the lame, the halt, the blind and bring their destitution to the eyes and ears of those who ought to help. Such a person was my wife in the community where she lived; such, too, was Susan McKay among the lowly red people of the reservation. Indeed, could humanity survive among any people wherein the divine spark of love is extinct ? After receiving her goods, Susan called to see my wife, who expressed much surprise at the smallness of her allotment, and said, * ' Why, Susan ! You have given away more than that since I came, and you have a half dozen little waifs on your hands at present. Come and let us see what there is among the Indian goods any how. ' ' Presently my wife came through the room and after looking among the cloths took a bolt of calico and one of linsey and strode out. Silence reigned, as no one seemed to know what that meant. At length, Antoine broke it with a loud laugh, and an ejaculation of, "Mr. Davenport, those two women will break you up." "All right, Antoine, if that breaks us, we will buy of the sutler." That evening the two women were busy; the sewing machine was humming, and the orphans were soon clothed. RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGKNT. Ill Late in January of the year 1863 a very virulent type of measles was somehow introduced among the Indians of the Umatilla Reservation and carried off in the next three months a great part of the children under six years of age. The agency physician seemed to have no success in treating it, and laid his failure to the nursing or co-operative treatment which parents insisted upon in every case. The Indian's venerated custom of a hot steam bath, followed by a cold douche or plunge into the ice cold water of the river, was followed by a speedy collapse of the vital powers of the infant. Almost every day a funeral procession passed on its way to the bury- ing ground upon the bluff, and though unattended by the outward signs of woe, common to enlightened people, the sight was inexpressibly sad. More doleful, in truth, than the hearse with its sable plumes and the slow-moving funeral procession indicative of civilization's grief, was the little squad of half-clad mourners bearing a-foot to the grave a rude pine box containing the body of one whose loss to them was as sore a trial, perhaps, as the Anglo-Saxon feels when death enters his household. To those accustomed to the comforts of highly progressive society, the destitution of bar- baric tribes seems to deepen the mournful feeling occasioned by death, and I frequently queried whether the pangs of separation were as sharp and poignant to the Indian as to us. Answering from all outward appearances, I should say yes. They do not forget their places of interment, and they ener- getically refuse to leave the country where their loved ones are buried. I had been a witness to many scenes of mourning and had heard, as I supposed, all the agonizing tones of which the human voice is capable in times of grief, but the saddest and most heart-rending wail I ever heard came from an Indian woman kneeling by the side of her dead husband. It seemed as though every human aspiration and hope had been utterly extinguished. What effect religion may have in ameliorating the pains of. the bereaved, I know not, for, unlike his white brother, there 112 T. W. DAVENPORT. is no red man devoid of a belief in a future state of existence, and, consequently, no opportunity is afforded for truthful comparison. And differing, too, from believers in orthodoxy, the unconverted aborigine has no permanent hell, and pictures to himself a heaven wherein his chief delights on earth are to be more enjoyable and extended. The Catholics had been more successful in proselyting among the three tribes than other denominations, and Father Mesplie, in his occasional visits, had quite large meetings. Howlish Wampo and his numerous relatives were members of Mesplie 's church, and being wealthy, contributed much to the cause of his religion. Old Stickas was one of Dr. Whit- man's converts, and of course a Presbyterian, of whom ex- Senator Nesrnith said, "If there ever was an Indian who could be said to have a proper conception of the Christian re- ligion, I think Stickas is the one." At the time of my agency, Stickas was quite old, though not at all in a mental decline, and it was his custom to visit my house, seemingly with no other purpose than to talk upon his favorite subject, the duties of Christians and the joys of a future state. Dr. Whitman must have taught him through an interpreter, as Stickas could not speak English and but a few words of Chinook, which was understood by all the coast tribes and quite commonly spoken by the early white immi- grants to the Northwest Coast. The Walla Walla dialect was the one used by the agency Indians, as all the three tribes were conversant with it ; the Cayuse language, quite different from the other, having become a dead language to the younger members of the Cayuses. Without undervaluing the efficacy of Dr. Whitman's teach- ings and example, I should say, from an outside inspection of Stickas, that nature did the principal part in Nesmith 's unique aboriginal Christian. Evidently he was a pure-blood Indian, but a very rare specimen of his race; not, however, on account of extraordinary force or fervor, although he did not lark in physical proportions and when young was, no doubt, RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 113 noted for strength, activity and endurance; but in him the distinctively animal did not stand out so obtrusively as in the so-called typical Indian. Though not deficient in courage, he was no war chief. The kindly qualities of human nature were in the ascendant. No one could see his regular and well- formed features, his kind and intelligent eye, his tall and symmetrical figure, showing the deliberative gentleman in every movement, and hear his mild and persuasive voice, with- out being impressed with the possibilities, too generally doubted and denied to the red man. I first met him in August, 1851, when he piloted us on a new road across the Blue Moun- tains, and my father said then, "There is a good man without regard to color or accident of birth." In March, our daughter, about six years old, was taken with measles and successfully treated according to the hydropathic system of practice. By the time she had recovered my wife was taken and passed safely through by the same method. In neither case was the agency doctor called, a circumstance which challenged the attention of all those who had children to be saved, and a deputation of Cayuses, headed by Howlish Wampo, came to ascertain our manner of treatment. During my wife's sickness, two Indian women, Susan McKay and Wash Mary, had assisted me in watching and nursing, and calling them to her aid, my wife went to the wigwam of Yellow Hawk and treated his twin boys successfully. After that, the two Indian women saved all of whom anything was known. Whether this lesson bore permanent fruit, I cannot say, and, if not, the Indians are not peculiarly inapt or unretentive, for white people allow such practical demonstrations to escape them. In this connection I might mention that when my wife left the agency in the latter part of April there was such a scene as I never witnessed under similar circumstances in any civilized community. Her so-called barbarian acquaintances of both sexes assembled to bid her good-bye and their expres- sions of sorrow by tears and lamentations affected her most deeply. Talk of Indians being stoical; such terms do not 114 T. W. DAVENPOHT. apply. She was surrounded and held fast by men and women unwilling that she should leave. In one night of the month of February, snow fell to the depth of eighteen inches in the Umatilla Valley, and was con- siderably deeper on the Blue Mountains, so that travel was prevented for a few days. One man, on his way to the Grande Ronde Valley, with several teams loaded with merchandise, was camped near the agency the night of the snowfall, and, being unable to proceed, applied to me for permission to store his goods in one of our buildings until travel could be re- sumed. Permission was freely granted and the large carpen- ter's shop designated for the purpose. Mr. Henry, the car- penter, superintending the business, reported that a part of the freight consisted of case liquors and was undecided whether it would be consistent with the regulations of the Indian De- partment to permit the storing of liquors in the agency build- ing. The question being referred to me, I informed the owner and Mr. Henry that we were acting in a perfectly proper and humane way by affording a temporary refuge to an American citizen engaged in legitimate business; that he need not tell what his merchandise consisted of, and that so long as he kept his liquors in case no question would be asked and no objec- tions raised. Before the end of two weeks he resumed his journey, and in an hour or two after his departure I learned through one of the employees that he had been daily treating them and others and that the cook had been pretty drunk several times. Feeling quite indignant over such an abuse of kindly confidence, I sent the blacksmith and two other em- ployees, with instructions to overhaul the infidel and pour out his liquors upon the ground, and if he resisted to bring him back to the agency. The order was thoroughly executed, and without resistance. I regretted to take such a course, but word had one out over the country that the agent allowed liquor- drinking at the agency, and something more tangible than a denial became necessary to refute the scandal. It is quite important for an agent to be truthful and consistent, if he liECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 115 wishes to preserve his authority and influence without ques- tion. During this same snow, John Meacham, brother of Anson B. Meacham, afterwards Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, visited me for the purpose of ascertaining the bound- ary of the Umatilla Indian Reservation at Lee's Encampment, and especially if I would consider him a trespasser if he should put up a tavern on the west side of the little brook at the Encampment, My answer was, that the precise place of Lee's Encampment, a point in the reservation boundary, was in dispute without much prospect of being settled, but I could say that while I would avoid unnecessary conflicts with my fellow citizens, if his liquor business should give us trouble to such an extent as to make an exact location of boundary at that place desirable, and he should be found upon the reserva- tion, no doubt I would pour out his liquors and confiscate his property thereon located. Presumably, this answer was not satisfactory to the Meacham Brothers, for next day Anson B. came and visited the greater part of the day, agreeing with me upon all topics of conversation, and especially was he emphatic in declaring himself as good a teetotaler as myself, but that a tavern for the accommodation of travelers must furnish everything guests called for. As to this, we did not disagree, for it was a question to be decided by himself. I could not help thinking, however, that his temperance ideas were not principles of sufficient weight to offset the profits of the trade. As respects locating upon the west side of the Encampment brook, I answered him as I had his brother, and rather than risk a decision of boundary, they bought the stand upon the east side, enlarged it to meet the public wants, and the Blue Mountain tavern, known as Meacham, had a wide and deserved popularity. It has been said by so-called temperance fanatics, that liquor is always and everywhere an outlaw, and so far as my experience goes, the allegation is a mild and impersonal ar- raignment of people who engage in the liquor business. After 116 T. W. DAVEKPOKT. the erection of the Meacham tavern, there were three places on the boundary of the reservation where liquor was sold by the drink and by the bottle, and at every place, by some means and through the agency of white outlaws, Indians could obtain whiskey. The fellow who had a drinking house on the Walla Walla road, evidently located there to engage in out- lawry and, as narrated in another place, did not escape detec- tion and punishment. Swift on the west and Meacham on the east of the reservation, both on the main line of travel be- tween the white settlements east and west, while intending to do a legitimate business, were often the innocent instruments of transient outlaws. In pursuance of the purpose to change the practice fol- lowed by my predecessors, of raising grain and roots to feed the Indians, several sets of new harness were bought, the plow broken upon delivery was mended, the other four were put in running order, and everything in readiness for work, as soon as the spring opened sufficiently to permit of farming operations. The superintendent of farming and the farmer were instructed to become teachers and make it their every- day business to go around among the Indians and show them how to do things, and as our means were quite limited, to have the plows and harness returned to the implement house by the ust i i 1 as soon as his work was finished, or delivered to the first applicant holding an order from the superintendent. In this way no time was lost, and there were no idle tools. And the strangest part of the story is, that they were used every night, when there was moonlight, during the planting season. And this latter statement applies to others than those who had some experience in farming operations. It will be recollected that the number of acres fenced and available for cultivation was insufficient for the wants of those desiring to cultivate, and hence there was an earnest contest to obtain a piece, even a small lot of the bottom land hereto- fore cultivated by the employees of the Government. Com- plaints were made that the Cayuses were unduly favored, RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 117 and at one time serious trouble was feared from that cause, but there was an evident explanation; there was not land enough to go round, and the Cayuses were the first applicants. From my youth I was an early riser and fond of witnessing "the daily miracle of morning," and these interviews with nature were especially beneficial and delightful at the agency. A morning walk up the river bottom, breathing the sweet, cool air that came gently down from the mountains like a living breath, and viewing the shadows of night scurry- ing up the canyons away from the coming Eastern Flame, was an invigorating inspiration. In one of these walks I chanced to meet an Indian family just arrived from their camp on the Too-too-willa, five miles distant, to commence a day 's plowing. And the sun had not risen ! Let the scoffers think of this, and hold their peace. Being desirous of seeing such an Indian at work, I halted until he had gone two rounds of his four-acre lot. I observed that he had two good horses, a new set of agency harness, and ought to be able to do satisfactory work. But he was evidently new to the business, although he turned a good furrow. Instead of using the lines, his two wives led the horses ; an arrangement which saved him some trouble in learning to guide the team, though rather trying to the squaw that walked on the plowed ground. I called a halt upon that kind of proceeding, and, taking the lines, drove around for him. Then, giving him the lines, I held the plow around. Adjusting a tie in the lines to fit my back, I plowed around alone, after which I requested him to take my place, and saw him plow several times around nearly as well as an experi- enced plowman, at which he seemed much pleased. This incident I related, after breakfast, to the superin- tendent, who assumed that the Indian had gone back to his squaw lines. He went to see, but came back acknowledging that he had been a false prophet. To encourage the Indians and prevent inferior methods, the employees were empowered to give rewards to those skillful and obedient to instructions. 118 T. W. DAVENPORT. It was generally understood, from official reports of indus- trial conditions pertaining to the Indians of the Umatilla Agency, that what they were doing under governmental su- pervision and so-called assistance, was the first feeble efforts on their part to get a living by tilling the ground; but I learned that the common impression was entirely erroneous. I recall that in August, 1851, those Indians bartered to the immigrants, en route, green peas, potatoes and other vegeta- bles. I have no knowledge as to the time or means of their beginning such cultivation, but presume that Dr. Whitman, as early as 1840, began the work which was really interrupted by the Government when it located an agency on the Umatilla, more than twenty years later. Certain it is that the best and largest and most available part of the alluvial land was usurped by the agents, with the best intentions probably, but resulting in converting into lookers-on those who had been, for at least twenty years, cultivators of the soil. On my return from the afore-mentioned walk, I visited a little patch of alluvial, maybe an acre in extent, completely enclosed by a natural hedge of willow, alder and balm, matted together with briars and underbrush, growing in a narrow channel, formed by overflow of the Umatilla River. In this se- questered spot, some half-dozen old and cast-off women, called by the Indians, low-ee-ii, had pitched their conical tents, con- structed of poles and whatever they could get for a covering pieces of rawhide with the hair on, fragments of tent cloth thrown away by the immigrants or soldiers, old blankets, shawls, or almost anything that would contribute to shelter their wrinkled skins and pinched bodies. Let no one smile, either through pity or disdain, at such apparent want and evident isolation. Firewood in abundance was at their hand, in the dead branches of trees studded too closely to maintain their verdure in the irrigated trough wherein they grew, and which furnished pure water, as well as trout and salmon that an opulent city-bred epicure might desire in vain. And that stoneless patch of black alluvial, every foot of which was cultivated by hand, yielded them everything which the unperverted human appetite might crave. Vegetables, roots and fruits in profusion, and some for sale to yield them in moderation of the white man's delicacies for the table, flour, sugar, coffee, besides clothes to cover their nakedness.
Poor old squaws! Cast off when they were no longer able to perform the demanded drudgery or young enough to stimulate the waning, fleshly desires of their lords; need any one pity them? No, indeed; for I perceived that, so far as rational existence and happiness concerned them, they were in a most enviable position.
Independent, self-sustaining, mutually assisting, time for rest and recreation, what more could these faded flowers of an unprogressive race need? Surely, in all their lives, they had not been so free in body and mind as then, albeit the rapturous days of youth had long since departed. And while they were shrunken in body, their sympathies were expansive as in youth, and if Goethe's famous apothegm be adopted as truth, maybe their altruism had increased with their years, for along with them, and clinging to them like the ivy to the leafless oak, were four homeless girls from eight to twelve years of age, the veritable flotsam of barbarism, they had picked up and brought to their asylum.
And while upon this topic, it is well enough to remark concerning the habit of those Indians and other tribes, of "marshing" (ejecting) their wives when, from age or other cause, they cease to be profitable or attractive. Presumably this is analogous to the enlightened white man's divorce court, though rather more one-sided, as the "marshing" is by the male who has the muscle to support his orders.
Many Indians keep their aged and worn wives, but take younger ones to supplement the former's deficiencies. In many such instances the supplanted wives, from choice, become hangers-on to affectionate relatives or betake themselves to the society of the low-ee-ii.
120 T. W. DAVENPORT. It is nothing new under the sun, whether in societies called civilized, enlightened or barbarous, that the principal victims of abnormal social conditions stoutly resist any project of reform. At the South, the "poor whites," whose non-progressive condition could not be remedied while negro slavery remained, were the chief defense and support of the institution and re- sisted every attempted emancipation. Among the North American Indians, custom made the In- dian woman a veritable slave. She was the worker; the male w r as the drone. A great part of the service necessary to clothe and feed the family was performed by her. He might kill the game and catch the fish, but all, after that, was done by the woman. Preparing the skins for clothing, making the garments, cleaning, drying and storing the meat, picking the berries, digging the roots, moving the camp and erecting the lodges; gathering, breaking up or cutting and carrying the fuel, and much more, fell to the lot of the woman. Is it to be wondered at that she was old and worn in body, while young in years'? Humane agents of the government frequently undertook the task of remedying such inequality, but gener- ally with little success, for the reason that the squaws rejected any proffered assistance that would detract from the dignity of their husbands. Fuel, consisting of fagots and the fallen limbs of trees, broken up by the squaws with stones or over their knees, was carried by them in large conical baskets, supported on their backs and held there by straps or thongs passing over their shoulders and across their foreheads, a service which was very trying and destructive to them. This custom General Joe] Palmer, when agent at the Siletz in the year 1872, tried to abolish, and it was really amusing to witness the indignation of the human beasts of burden, that the agent should compel their male relatives to use the depart- ment wagons and teams to haul wood like white men. One brave, to show General Palmer how his order was appreciated, RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. l'2l dressed up in war paint and feathers and accompanied his squaw to the woods, where she filled her basket with fagots, high above the brim, and hoisting it upon her back, passed the agent's house, her husband dancing around her and uttering war whoops to attract attention to this spectac- ular protest against an innovation degrading to aboriginal society. In company with General Palmer I was a witness to the scene, and so far as we could observe, the carrier of the burden was equally exultant with her far more powerful master. Such an incident broadened our vision as to the philosophy of conservatism in humanity, but it did not deter the agent from enforcing his edict by lectures, reprehensions and rewards. He summoned all the Indians in council and with the help of the doctor explained the evil effects of such burden-bearing upon the health and happiness of the Indian woman, the principal victim, and how through her the welfare of the whole family was injured by sickness, impoverishment, and premature death. The most effective weapon, however, the agent could wield against the custom was in the shape of rewards to the squaw, a new fire-red dress, to compensate for her wounded pride ; to the buck, an extra allowance of annuity goods commensurate with his loss of dignity by hauling wood. If we want to succeed in reforming whites or Indians, selfish- ness must be pitted against selfishness. At the Umatilla, agents found the same hindrances to im- provement, and while the males might be brought to the plow and harrow, gardening was the work of the female, as it probably had been, notwithstanding the teachings and example of Dr. Whitman. The principal hindrance to agricultural pursuits by the American aborigines lay in their false notions of honor and consequence attaching to the male. He was, first of all, a warrior, a brave, a hunter of wild and dangerous animals; a differentiation perfectly natural and necessary in the militant state, for the male of all species is physically stronger, more combative and hence more courageous than the female. Such was the inevitable sex-caste among primitive peoples, and it lingers among the most advanced ones. 122 T. W. DAVENPORT. Woman 's sphere ! Man 's sphere ! How natural the sound ! The uncivilized man thinks the female should do all things not in the heroic sphere, which service he disdains as beneath the dignity of a warrior. The civilized man thinks voting and holding office is outside of woman's sphere, because she is not, by natural aptitude, a warrior ; and voting and holding office are antecedent concomitants of war. Really, what is the difference, except in circumstances of application? The sentiment is the same, the caste of sex, which, in the case of the Indian, has been a destructive fatal- ity. If he had not been too proud to stoop from the heroic, there was nothing in the way of his becoming an agriculturist and therefore civilized. From the earliest accounts, we learn that the squaws were cultivators of vegetables and fruits. Away in advance of civil- ization, travelers found corn, melons, potatoes, etc., raised probably in imitation of the whites. But agriculture, to be successful as a dependence for a living, must be a vocation and cannot be confined to the female sex. What would be- come of it among the whites, if the male's sphere held him aloof from the drudgery of farming? The first and most important thing to be done when the Federal Government commenced the agency business, was the eradication of the sex-caste, which of course could not have been done by compulsory methods, but by the stimulus of rewards. Among the North American Indians the governmental auth- ority for the punishment of offenses against persons or prop- erty, was exercised by the chiefs of the tribes ; and if we are to credit the accounts of those in a position to know, criminal offenses were quite as rare in such rude societies as among more advanced peoples. But after the establishment of the agency system, which was, at best, an imperfect effort to change nomads to resident tillers of the soil, the morals of the Indians rapidly declined. And there were very good reasons for this retrogression. Philosophically speaking, and in the RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 123 aggregate, their environment had changed and they were not adapted to it. Although the Federal Government attempted no interference with the social and governmental habits of the tribes, of necessity the authority of the chiefs was weak- ened. The Indian agent was the dispenser of a government more powerful than chiefs whose subjects felt if they did not see a diversion or division of sovereignty. In fact, the agent and the chiefs must have co-operation based upon an unde- fined and undef inable understanding, which in the nature of things, created an observable departure from the old tribal order. The dullest "buck" could perceive that there had been a change, in which he had lost consideration and conse- quence with his chief, who had formerly relied upon the countenance of his people as a source of his authority. In many instances, and quite naturally, too, the agent sought to secure a peaceful administration by treating the chiefs "hand- somely," thus establishing what Mr. L. D. Montgomery (be- fore quoted) named the "subsidy plan" of running an Indian agency, which was fatal to any general improvement. It really separates the chief from his people by destroying the reciprocity of sentiment and feeling which must exist between ruler and people in all governments which are tolerable. During my term at the Umatilla, the chiefs of the three tribes were powerless as rulers of their people. The subsidy plan had produced social disintegration and had substituted noth- ing as a menace to evil-doers among themselves. I had observed this soon after my arrival and talked with Howlish Wampo, H|omely, and Stickas, of the propriety of having a governmental organization of all the Indians to promote their peace, but they felt their impotence even to assist. At length, some time in March, 1863, a most attrocious murder was perpetrated at the camp of the Umatillas, by one of the young bloods of the Walla Walla tribe. He had been drinking at Swift's, a trading post located where Pendleton now stands, and passing with his comrade towards home, he committed a nameless assault upon a Umatilla woman, whose 124 T. W. DAVENPORT. brother came to her assistance. This timely and praiseworthy act so enraged the criminal that he plunged a knife into the bowels of the dutiful brother, who suffered excruciatingly until his death several days afterwards. I visited him several times, in company with the post doctor, my wife, and old Stickas, and then sternly resolved to organ- ize a system for the punishment of criminals. A day or two after the burial, I called a general meeting and stated to it the urgency of doing something to protect themselves from such outlaws. All of the chiefs and principal men were present and there was a general interchange of opinion ex- pressive of the need of some kind of restraining government. The most noticeable feature of the meeting was the speech of Howlish Wampo, whose manner and delivery, to an eye wit- ness, were quite impressive. Such occurrences affected him deeply and the interpreter said he made a grand speech. I could only judge of the substance after it had filtered through the brain of an uncultivated half-breed who spoke English im- perfectly. It, however, showed that Howlish Wampo had been brooding vaguely over the change that had come to his people, by the advent of civilization. He engaged in retrospection and gave the conditions of the Indians before the whites came ; that then crime among them was infrequent and when it did occur the chief, with the approbation of his people, promptly pun- ished the offender. ' ' Now, ' ' and he surveyed the audience with a scornful face, "the chief has no authority; nobody cares for him; the young scapegraces do not fear that he will try to punish them. The red men are not of one mind ; they have lost their heart." This last crime and all that he could recall were caused by the white man's whiskey. "It is the white man that has brought our troubles upon us. If he had stayed in his own country, there would be no whiskey to inflame the passions of our young men and the chiefs would have retained their power. Take away the white man and give us back our roots and fish and game, then we will be content." RECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 125 That this speech was favorably received, was evident by merely inspecting the audience. I admired it myself from its ingenuity, but more from the free, fearless, but respectful manner of its delivery. It transported the older ones to the halcyon days of youth, and as I looked at aged Stickas, who was an attentive and apparently a burdened listener, I queried how he would reconcile the reactionist proposition of Howlish Wampo with the presence of Dr. Whitman, from whom he had received the Christian faith, to him more prized and priceless than the spontaneous abundance which fed their ancestors. The orator (for I must think of Howlish Wampo as an orator) had on his costly cloak, the gift of a military officer, and in my reply I included that, with many other things he had received from the whites. "Howlish Wampo, I visited at your camp the other day and saw you eating nice biscuit, spread with butter and syrup, and drinking coffee with sugar and cream ; you had plates, knives, forks and spoons; your family had axes to chop their wood, which was hauled on a wagon; your wife was wearing fine woven garments and you had on pants, coat, shirt and cloak, and none of these comfortable, convenient, and now necessary things would you have if it were not for the white man. Just think of it ! Take away the things the white man brought you and see how you would be left. You would have to give up that cloak, your hat, coat, shirt, stockings, and put on skins. The fine military saddle and bridle the officer gave you, would have to go. There would be no more raised superfine flour biscuit and your wife and children would have to go to the camas grounds again. You could hunt with bows and arrows as of old and expect to get one deer for every section of land, but now, with the means the white man has provided, you can depend upon getting a hundred times as much meat on a section. Now, looking the subject all over, are you -willing to give up all these good things and the practicability of many more from the same source, in order to be freed from the white man's whiskey? There is a proper use for whiskey, 126 T. W. DAVENPORT. when that too is an advantage coming from the white man. Your young men must not drink it, for that is an abuse. The white man's sharp, serviceable knife is good, but it is not properly used when you cut each other's throats. You cannot go backwards and you had better go forward. Better imitate the white man in the matter of law, and have police officers and courts, and when one of your number commits a crime or misdemeanor, have him arrested, tried and punished. That is a better way than to leave such things to the will or judg- ment of a chief." Howlish Wampo made no additional remarks, but Stickas made an impressive speech, confirming my opinion, and offered to assist the agent in organizing a government. The carousing, reckless class, composed mostly of young men, were very much opposed to any sort of government, and the murderer went so far in opposition as to assault Homely on his return from the meeting. Mr. Barnhart, after fixing up his affairs in Washington, returned and resumed his agency at the beginning of the third quarter of 1863, so the intended government did not go into effect. Among the many stipulations contained in the treaty with the three tribes at the Umatilla, was one promising a salary of $500.00 a year to the head chief of each tribe. Likely, one reason for this promise was to secure the influence of the chief in making the treaty, and in controlling his people after- wards. Whatever the reason in the minds of the honorable in en who negotiated the treaty on the part of the Government, the salary was a good introduction to the subsidy plan and its demoralization. When I paid Howlish Wampo 's salary for the first quarter of 1863, I thought best to explain why the Government had agreed to pay it ; that it was not intended as a bribe or corruption fund, but for a good and wholesome purpose in which his people might be beneficiaries; that as chief of the Cayuses he was expected to spend some time and perform active service in overseeing his people, keeping himRECOLLECTIONS OF AN INDIAN AGENT. 127 self informed as to their condition and wants, and in studying how best to distribute and apply the means afforded by the Government, as well as to assist in preserving the peace. I tried to show him the importance of his position and that he could do more to make the reservation system a success than the agent. When the chief does all this, he will have richly earned his salary and every Cayuse will get his share of it. The money paid him was green-backs, and as he held the bills in his hands slowly looking them over, he was laughing and talking in low tones to the interpreter. "What pleases Howl- ish Wampo this morning?" I asked. "Why, he says this is the only salary ever paid to him." ' ' What ! does he say that in earnest ? ' ' "Yes." "Antoine, ask him for me this question: 'Did Agent Barn- hart or Mr. Abbott ever pay you any part of your salary ? ' ' Howlish Wampo answered, "Way-toh." I understood it to mean no, and the interpreter said that Howlish Wampo answered in the negative. Pierre, or Meanatete, the salaried chief of the Walla Wallas, was a pleasant, gabby, drinking, full-blood Indian, who had associated with the French traders enough to speak the language as it was used by the Canadians, but he had no fol- lowing and influence with his tribe, which was controlled by Homely, of whom I have spoken upon former pages. Whether he or Winam Snoot, the Umatilla chief, had been paid any portion of their salaries, I never asked and never learned. "How little people in general know of the Indian char- acter," I often exclaimed after a nine months' service at the Umatilla. Previously, I was full of false notions concerning Indians, though I knew or rather judged that the common esti- mate was far from the truth. To speak of chastity as being more than an exception among Indian women would raise a laugh in any American community, and the persons holding to such an opinion would be considered very generous or very green ; but I found, after a fair inquiry, that unchastity among 128 T. W. DAVENPORT. Indian women is the exception, as it is among the whites, and the exceptions were to be met with, as a rule, among those families that hung about the towns and made a hap-hazard living in contact with civilization. It is well known by critical inquirers into the causes of social deterioration of every grade that it varies with the intensity of the struggle for existence. The stress and tug of living was not so extreme among the Cayuses, and the Cayuse women were in the main above sus- picion. Eneas 's family of the Walla Wallas were well-to-do farmers, having good log houses, orchards and fields, and the girls were chaste and orderly members of the Catholic de- nomination. As I have stated in preceding pages, not a.11 the Indians, even with what assistance the Government rendered, could support themselves upon the reservation, and so from necessity, if not from choice, some of the Walla Wallas got their support in and about the town of that name, and a part of the Umatillas picked up a living along the Columbia River above and below the mouth of the Umatilla. It was among such remnants, always hard pressed for a living, that lascivi-ous white men learned of the unchastity of squaws.
FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON.
FINANCES OF THE TERRITORIAL PERIOD, 1849-1859.
Acknowledgment is made of assistance received from the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the preparation of this study.
General Conditions Affecting Territorial Finances.
The situation with regard to the management of the public purse in Oregon was radically changed with the arrival, on March 2, 1849, of General Joseph Lane, the first Territorial Governor, appointed in pursuance of the act of Congress of August 14, 1848, organizing the Territory. The sources of revenue, the custody and administration of the public funds and the authorities supervising the disbursement of them, exhibit some features quite in contrast to those that obtained under the regime of the Provisional Government.
The exchange of the make-shift autonomy of the Provisional Government period for the more dependent status of a Territory brought with it two new sources of revenue for the creation of public institutions and. the support of public services. In this matter the Oregon people fared, of course, much as did other peoples passing through the territorial stage. In addition to the single revenue source of tax receipts of the former period, funds were now forthcoming directly from the national treasury through Congressional appropriations and also from the proceeds of the sales of lands granted to the Territory for educational purposes.
The national appropriations met in full the cost of the maintenance of the civil establishment of the Territory, i. e. the salaries of the executive, the legislative and the judiciary officials, and also provided for the creation of a territorial library and the construction of a penitentiary and a state 130 F. G. YOUNG. house. The new departure of granting section thirty-six, as well as section sixteen, of each township of the public domain for the creation of a common school fund was inaugurated by Congress in the organization of Oregon Territory. The usual two-township grant was also made to aid in the establishment of a university. 1 It was thus left to the people of the Terri- tory to have recourse to the usual forms of taxation only for means necessary to administer the laws made by the territorial legislature. The funds from these several sources were in the custody of and under the control of different officials. The Governor mediated in the application of the appropriations for the territorial library and the public buildings ; 2 the Secretary of the Territory, also holding his position through appointment by the national executive, administered, under the strict surveillance of a United States treasury official, the funds for the support of the civil establishment; while those obtained through taxation and from the sale of territorial school and university lands were in the hands of the Territorial Auditor and Territorial Treasurer. These two officials were elected annually by the Legislative Assembly. There were thus three main sources of territorial revenues : Congressional appropriations, proceeds from the sales of edu- cational land grants, and revenues from taxation the Con- gressional appropriations being administered by officials re- sponsible to federal authorities, while revenues from taxation and from the sale of territorial school and university lands 1 While small sums accumulated during this period both for the common school fund and for the university fund, the income from neither of them was made to serve its purpose until after the period of statehood. An abortive effort was made to utilize the university fund. 2 Congress regularly deputed to the territorial legislature to select, with the concurrence of the Governor, the places where the institutions and public build- ings were to be located. The Oregon legislature did not proceed in this matter with the deference to Governor Gaines that was consonant with his joint author- ity so his refusal to recognize its omnibus location act as a law of the Territory engendered such fierce factional strife that it was afterwards referred to as the "location war." FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 131 were in the hands of territorial officials amenable directly or indirectly to the people. But a military establishment and the conduct of military operations involving necessarily more burdensome expend- itures than those for civil affairs were .less adequately pro- vided for. The situation of the Oregon community was such that no system of garrisoning practicable with detachments from the national standing army could have sufficed for ade- quate protection against the Indians. There was recurring and exigent need throughout most of this period in this section for instant movements for the summary suppression of In- dian outbreaks campaigns for which the volunteer forces commonly alone were available, and for which they were al- ways indispensable. The isolated Oregon community in the early fifties was scattered from the headwaters of the Willam- ette to the southern shores of Puget Sound. Soon there were lone settlers along the trail to California and outlying hamlets at the newly discovered gold diggings. A thin line of settle- ments at least five hundred miles in length was thus exposed to the depredations of infuriated tribes. For it was hemmed in on the landward side by a broad semicircular belt of Indian territory. This included on the south the valleys of the Umpqua, the Coquille, the Rogue and Klamath rivers ; on the east the lower Snake and its tributaries and the upper Colum- bia; on the north the basin and islands of the Sound. This vast area was infested with proud and, in some cases at least, treacherous tribes of red men. At any rate, the resentful spirit of any race of men would have been aroused by the great annual autumnal processions of immigrants that moved through this territory along the Oregon and California trails, and by the constant overland travel and traffic between Oregon and California that grew up with the development of gold mining activity, and later there were bold incursions into and encroachments upon these Indian preserves, induced by re- ports of new Eldoradoes found. The feelings such racial pressure would arouse in the hearts of these tribes, who saw 132 F. G. YOUNG. their patrimony vanishing, were inflamed by the insult and outrage of characters of which no community is entirely rid. Local outbreaks in 1853 and 1854 in the Rogue River Valley and along the Snake, were followed in 1855 by a concerted movement, including nearly all the tribes, to dislodge the white man from his foothold in the Pacific Northwest. 3 Several circumstances conspired to throw the burden of this struggle between the races in this region during the terri- torial decade upon the volunteer forces of the settlers drawing their support from the resources of the home community alone. The regiment of national troops that should have arrived in time to forestall the Cayuse outbreak of 1847, came .straggling across the plains in the late fall of 1849. And such a sorry spectacle did it make a few months later, because of wholesale desertions due to the craze for gold mining in California, and so without tact was it handled among the proud-spirited frontiersmen, that their delegate requested the withdrawal of all federal troops. This was complied with. So, when the storm of Indian fury broke anew, it found this community again without national pro- tection. 4 After fighting her own battles some four years, a small force of national troops was again on the scene, but its presence amounted to little more than a nullity for relieving the Ore^onians of the burdens of defense. The commander of the national regiment took the position that his main duty was to protect the Indians against settlers. With such a de- gree of estrangement there was little co-operation in a large task. 5 3 Beginning with the fall of 1850, there had been minor depredations and encounters each year, especially along the trail to California and on the south- west coast. Victor's Early Indian Wars of Oregon, pp. 267-307. 4 Op. cit., pp. 267-306. 5 The reports to the Secretary of War of the operations during these years teem with communications of crimination and recrimination. The following from the message of Governor George L. Curry to the Oregon Legislative Assembly on December 10, 1856, indicates somewhat of the feeling and situation. (Gov- ernor Curry, though an appointee of the President, kept the confidence of the people and their military operations were regular and under his general orders.) He says: "The inactive and imbecile policy pursued by the officer commanding FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 133 The provision for the support of these campaigns against the Indians, repeated during half-a-dozen years, does not con- nect itself directly with the public financiering in Oregon Territory, but the settlement of the claims growing out of these wars in so far as there was any reimbursement to pri- vate individuals for their services and supplies contributed and losses sustained forms a part of the national finances. Yet the realization that the Oregon community was under this stress during this period is necessary for a true appreciation of the territorial finances proper. For this reason it seemed advisable to dwell upon this aspect of the situation. The cost of these military operations by the Oregon vol- unteers bulks very large in comparison with the outlays for civil affairs during this period. 6 A sketch of the history of the United States troops, upon the Pacific Coast, at a very critical juncture, and his more reprehensible conduct in the vindictive efforts he has made, through the press, and by his letters and reports at Washington, to asperse and malign the people of the Territory, may have had a tendency to prejudice them against the army. This valuable arm of the public service, which is designed for the protection of the country, and to assure the lives and property of those who deem it a duty to support it, has always enjoyed a high reputation for efficiency and gallantry, and I have no doubt under the command of other than superannuated officers, will continue to maintain its brilliant character. I have heretofore acknowledged its valuable aid, before its operations were controlled by a commanding officer whose headquarters were in an adjoining State, remote from the theatre of war. Oppressed by the deepest anxiety, on account of the grave accusations, so unwarrantably made, against the people of the Territory, in which I was charged with the grossest violation of right, I deemed it my duty to visit the seat of our national government, and confuting those accusations and charges, to know wherein we did wrong in defending ourselves from Indian ag- gression and barbarity." Appendix to Journal of House of Representatives, Territory of Oregon, Eighth Session, 1856-7, pp. 4-5. How the prejudice, of uiose who took the other side in this controversy, was created is indicated in statements of so representative an Oregon pioneer as Jesse Applegate. In his "Views of Oregon History" he speaks of the ruthless- ness with which the Indians were sometimes treated, particularly by bands of miners. He holds that it was regularly observed that when water for washing the gold-bearing gravel became scarce and mining unprofitable, the miners would turn to killing Indians as a more lucrative employment. The United States had been liberal with compensation for services and supplies contributed during the Cayuse War so the miners, he suggests, were not disinclined to provoke the Indians to another contest in expectation of a like liberal reimbursement from the national treasury. 6 An auditing commission appointed in pursuance of an act of Congress made these claims amount to $6,011,497.36. 134 F. G. YOUNG. the Oregon Indian war claims is given in the Appendix to this presentation of the territorial finances. Charaateriza&ion of the Public Spirit and Activities of this Period. It was hardly to be expected that the Oregon people of this period would overlook the sums placed to their credit at Washington by the Congressional appropriations for a terri- torial library, for a penitentiary, and for a state house, as well as the annual sums available for salaries of Oregon officials. Yet we shall see that they were slow in availing themselves of even some of these money grants and equally deliberate in accepting and selecting their educational lands. But when it came to putting into operation a financial system of their own for the collection and disbursement of territorial revenues the records indicate that naturally there was still more dilatoriness. The territorial treasury was largely a myth during the first three years of this period. While the wheels of the territorial government were started on March 3, 1849. and the territorial legislature met in its first session on the 16th of Juty following, and regularly thereafter on the first Monday in December of the succeeding years, and while a Territorial Auditor and a Territorial Treasurer were elected at the first session and at each of the following regular annual sessions, nevertheless the first report from either official extant is that of the Territorial Treasurer, dated December 7, 1852. 7 7 On July 20, 1849, the fifth day of the first session, the House of Repre- sentatives requested the Governor "to communicate to the House whether it is likely any report from the Territorial Treasurer or Auditor may be expected; if not, that he he requested to cause such report to be made." Six days later the following reply was received from the Governor: "I have delayed responding to the call made upon me by the House, relative to the reports from the Secretary of the Treasury and Auditor of the Territory, for the purpose of piving time to the gentleman who has charge of the office of the treasury, in the absence of that officer, to make his report. I have the honor of now being able to inform the House, that the report will be complete in tne course of this day, and will then be forwarded to the House." However, as the compiler of the printed "archives" did not include the portion of the House Journal covering this date, but reported that it could "not be found," and as search among the MSS. preserved does not disclose it, no light can be thrown upon the condition of the treasury at the opening of the territorial period. As the report of the Treasurer of the Provisional GovernFINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 135 The first report from a Territorial Auditor was that sub- mitted to the House of Representatives on January 6, 1853. Thus the first financial reports were made to the legislature at its fourth regular session. It was full three years after the organization of the Territory before there was the sem- blance of a treasury department in operation. At the close of this period of ten years the sum total of treasury transactions, in which funds received as taxes from the people had been handled, amounted to $85,464.47. Of the national appropriations for library and public buildings, $5,000 for the library and $5,000 for the State House were incorporated in act of August 14, 1848 organizing the Terri- tory; $20,000 additional for both penitentiary and State House were appropriated on June 11, 1850. On June 1, 1853, these appropriations for buildings were still intact. By the close of the territorial period national moneys to the amount of $97,045.74 had been expended for buildings and library. Deplorably meagre was the public utility derived ment, on February 10, 1849, showed "scrip outstanding" to the amount of $5,438.59, and no cash on hand, this may be taken as representing the fiscal condition at the opening of the territorial period. For an account of the dispo- sition of this indebtedness, see Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol. VII, pp. 372-3. The Territorial Treasurer, in this initial report, naively says: "The under- signed would further report to your honorable body, that he has written to the Hon. W. W. Buck, ex-Treasurer of the Territory, requesting him to send books, moneys, and seal of the Territory, in his possession, to this office. But as yet, no answer has been received, although a sufficient time has elapsed since mak- ing the request. In consequence of this, your Treasurer has neither books or seal in his possession, belonging to the Territory." The Auditor, in his report for the same year, likewise reports that although the law forming the basis of the treasury department had been passed Septem- ber 29, 1849 (more than three years before), and this law had made it the duty of the clerk of the probate court in each county to transmit to the Auditor of Public Accounts certified copies of assessment rolls, upon which to open an account between the Territory and the several counties, and to charge county treasurers with amounts due the Territory, he could find in the archives of his office returns for only three counties for 1850 and for five counties for 1851. He goes on to say that "further information was attempted to be gained, in refer- ence to the present condition of our revenues, from the Auditor's account with the various counties of the Territory ; but, owing to some unaccountable neglect or casualty, no such account could be found among the records. The present Auditor was therefore compelled to institute original inquiries for such informa- tion as he has been able to present." The fiscal hiatus between the period of the Provisional Government and the Territory was complete. 136 F. G. YOUNG. from this expenditure. The site of the penitentiary was utterly unfit and the structures erected on it sufficed for the safe detention of only a half-dozen convicts, and not at all for their employment. A change of location was regarded by every one as inevitable and was put off a few years only be- cause of the cost it involved. A fire, that occurred under suspicious circumstances, consumed both library and State House, just when they were for the first time being brought into full use. Of the former at the close of this period there was a nucleus of about a thousand volumes, mainly exchanges, and of the latter a heap of charred debris. Through the sale of school lands a net common school fund of $32,424.74 had been accumulated. 8 The administrative cost of making this accumulation had been $1,411.57. A uni- versity fund of $5,465.40 was on hand. The securing of this amount had entailed an expenditure of $6,885.27. 9 The above financial showings would seem to demonstrate that the zeal for the promotion of the commonweal in civil affairs was little in evidence. On the other hand, ardor for public safety and sacrifice for the defense of the lives and property of isolated and exposed families and communities from a savage foe shine brightly throughout the period. The first report of a depredation always elicited a prompt and patriotic response in succor and relief. It was for construc- tive acts of state-building that the civic sense was almost ab- solutely wanting. The dissipation of fiscal resources betrays the partisan, sectional and personal interests in the saddle. Faith in the efficacy of governmental agency in promoting the general welfare was weak. Individualism was rampant. This aspect of the public affairs of this period is not necessarily to be interpreted as indicating an inherent warping of the public mind and conscience. A combination of conditions existed 8 To this sum is to be added the small amounts just accumulated in the dif- ferent county treasuries to the credit of the school fund but not reported. 9 This includes expense of abortive building operations at Corvallis. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 137 under which the most patriotic might have evinced similar delinquencies in the appreciation of civic interests and dis- paragement of the utility of public agencies in promoting common good. The negative results from the national appro- priations and resources granted, however, are so strikingly complete and unique as to warrant a reference to influencing conditions. Among the foremost deterrents to vigorous community ef- fort in civil affairs was the distraction of recurring Indian outbreaks and the exhausting campaigns conducted in sup- pressing them. There was, too, the insuperable obstacle to social co-operation and activity in the upbuilding of institu- tions that inhered in the fact that the section of land was regularly the farm unit. Such spacious domains, with little capital and primitive implements of husbandry, meant only isolation and possible social reversion. Had they been am- bitiously disposed towards the undertaking of public works they would have found their hands tied in the prohibitions which the Organic Act placed upon the powers of their legis- lature. 10 The fact that the appointees to the governorship 10 There was the usual requirement that all acts of the Legislative Assem- bly of the Territory must have the approval of Congress. It was further pro- vided, "That nothing in this act shall be construed to give power to incorporate a bank, or any institution with banking powers, or to borrow money in the name of the Territory, or to pledge the faith of the people of the same for any loan whatever, either directly or indirectly. No charter granting any privilege of making, issuing, or putting into circulation any notes or bills in the likeness of bank notes, or any bonds, scrip, drafts, bills of exchange or obligations, or granting any other banking powers or privileges, shall be passed by the Legisla- tive Assembly; nor shall the establishment of any branch or agency of any such corporation, derived from other authority, be allowed in said Territory; nor shall said Legislative Assembly authorize the issue of any obligation, scrip, or evidence of debt by said Territory, in any mode or manner whatever, except certificates for services to said Territory ; all such laws, or any law or laws inconsistent with the provisions of this act, shall be utterly null and void; and all taxes shall be equal and uniform, and no distinction shall be made in the assessments between different kinds of property, but the assessments shall be according to the value thereof. To avoid improper influences, which may result from intermixing in one and the same act such things as have no proper relation to each other, every law shall embrace but one subject, and that shall be ex- pressed in the title." An Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, Section 6, in Oregon Statutes, Second Session, 1850-51, p. 40. 138 F. G. YOUNG. were in two instances men of a party, or a wing of a party, having but a small following among the people evoked jealous concern for party advantage rather than whole-hearted zeal for the common good. 11 All these conditions, however, only favored a more pronounced exhibition of the ultra-individual- ism that characterized the period. The average Oregonian of this time represented the longest series of generations who had lived under frontier conditions and in whom, therefore, this attitude had become ingrained as a matter of second nature. It meant no doubt, on the whole, adaptation as the conditions then were, but with the environment transformed, traits so firmly fixed might easily become a handicap. This condition of minimum, and almost negative, public finances has its drawbacks for one who would set the facts of the period in order. The disparaging attitude towards civic affairs would naturally yield hiatuses in the financial records. Slip-shod performances and irregular conditions would be tolerated, furnishing tangles to be straightened out. Lack of development and system in the records necessitate endless labors of classification and segregation of items to make them in any degree significant. 12 Little was felt to be at stake in the operations of the territorial treasury, so there was no stimulus to make the system of accounting give real publicity. Vital and Economic Conditions. A resume of the operations of a treasury can have signif- icance only as brought into relation with the concomitant vital and economic conditions affecting the population concerned. In the decade from 1850 to 1860 the population of Oregon was very nearly quadrupled. It increased from 13,294 to 52,465, or 294.65 per cent. Only Minnesota and California had a higher rate of increase. Of this increase 16,564 were born in 11 John P. Gaines, Whig, August, 1850-May, 1853; John W. Davis, Demo- crat, December, 1853-August, 1854. 12 The reports of the Territorial Auditors jmd Treasurers on the side of "disbursements'" are merely unclassified lists of warrants drawn and warrants paid. There is no segregation as to objects supported, no appropriations 1 ' and no funds. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 139 Oregon and 30,474 had migrated hither from other States; 13 1,346 meanwhile removed out of the Territory mainly to California and Washington Territory. California's main loss was also to Oregon. There was a smaller representation of the foreign element among the Oregon population than in any other Northern State. The influx to Oregon had been mainly from Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Iowa. The new-comers had availed themselves of the op- portunity to get land afforded by the "Donation Act" of September 27, 1850. This law, designed to reward the settlers of Oregon for Americanizing the Pacific Coast, gave 320 acres each to husband and wife if the man had arrived in Oregon by December, 1850, and made his application as a married citizen before December, 1851. From this date down to December, 1855, each family had a right to 320 acres. 14 Of the nine new counties organized during this period, those that represented expansions of the settled area covered mainly the upper Willamette Valley and the valleys of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. But the larger portion of the new popula- tion had found homes by occupying vacant spaces around the earlier centers of settlement. The main towns were on the Willamette River. Portland was already well in the lead. The average size of the farms was, under the bounty of the national government, large. Only the haciendas of California and the plantations of a few of the Southern States averaged so large. 15 13 The nativities of the Oregon population in 1850 and in 1860 from leading States are as follows: 1850. 1860. Missouri 2,206 5,695 Illinois 1,023 3,805 Indiana 739 2,497 Kentucky 730 2,208 Ohio 653 3,285 New York 618 2,206 Iowa 432 2,116 14 The grant to a single man or single woman above eighteen years of age was in each case half of the amount given a family. Donation Act, Section 4 and 7 Wall., 219. 15 The average size of the farms was 372 acres. 140 F. G. YOUNG. The value of real estate and personal property during this decade increased five-fold. Only in Iowa, California, Texas and Wisconsin had there been a larger percentage of in- crease. 16 The production of wheat, flour, live stock and wool had increased proportionately with the population. 17 Other manufactures than lumber and flour on any considerable scale were yet to appear. 18 Unimproved highways, with ferries for crossing the streams and the rivers, were the main reliance for transportation. 19 But the steamboat largely dis- placed the sloop and the flatboat on the one and the stage- coach and pack-train the universal horseback travel on the other. 20 Only 3.8 miles of railroad at the Cascade transit around the rapids in the Columbia gorge had been built. 21 No Oregon banks are listed in the United States census returns of I860. 22 The decade opened with strongly stimulating conditions for Oregon industry in the circumstance of a large and rapidly growing mining community in California largely dependent upon the Oregon community for its foodstuffs and lumber supplies. There was also the additional influence due to the importation of a large volume of money material by the Ore- gonians returning from these mines. 23 Before the middle of 16 The value of real estate and personal property was as follows: In 1850, $5,063,474; in 1860, $28,930,637. 17 The fruit industry, especially with apples, developed rapidly during this decade, under the stimulus of fabulous prices received in California. Bancroft's Oregon, Vol. II, pp. 257-8. 18 The beginnings of woolen mills are to be found at Albany, Salem and Oregon City from the middle of the decade on. Op. cit., p. 338. 19 The first considerable bridge was built across the Yamhill river at Lafayette in 1851. Oregon Statesman, September 23, 1851. 20 An abortive effort was made to establish telegraphic communication with California about the middle of this decade. Bancroft's Oregon, Vol. II, p. 339. 21 Preliminary Report on the Eighth Census, p. 229. 22 See prohibitions put upon the powers of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon regarding the chartering of banks in the Organic Act. The ordinary commercial functions of banking were carried on by both home and foreign concerns. 23 Governor Lane in his first message to the legislature estimates that upwards $2,000,000 had been brought the first year from California to Oregon by returning miners. Executive Record MS. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 141 the decade, however, the inevitable reaction from such over- excitement had brought on hard times. California, too, had begun the development of her own supplying industries. The condition of Oregon henceforth for a generation was that of a community rich in undeveloped resources where the means for a rude existence are easy, but which was without the salutary influence of neighboring communities of advanced activities and conditions of life. To the mines opened up in new lo- calities were shipped the products of farm and ranch. The gold received in return was paid out for imported staples. In the course of years this system of circulation seemed to drain their coffers lower and lower. It was not laying the founda- tion for a permanently progressive community. The wiser heads were urging the introduction of manufactures. 24 II. Public Expenditures of National Funds. Special Appropriations. The civil law and order secured through the agency of the Provisional Government had been paid for by the Oregon people without any aid from outside sources. When, however, the authority of the officials of that government came to an end early in 1849, a large part of the fiscal burden for the civil establishment, as is the rule under a territorial organization, was assumed by the federal treasury. The appropriations by Congress for Oregon Territory were disbursed through two distinct agencies. The special appro- priations for the creation of a territorial library, for the building of a penitentiary and for a state house, were audited by the successive governors. Those to meet the current ex- penses in maintaining the different departments of the govern- ment passed through the hands of the Secretary of the Terri- tory. The Territorial Library. The five-thousand-dollar appro- priation for a territorial library incorporated in the act organizing the Territory 25 was quite naturally placed at the 24 See Messages of Governor Whiteaker. 25 Statutes of Oregon, Second Session, p. 46. 142 F. G. YOUNG. command of the newly appointed governors as soon as they qualified, and while yet in the East, so that they could more conveniently make suitable purchases of books. The record of the disbursement of this .library fund is found in communica- tions by Governors Lane and Gaines, respectively, in response to resolutions by the Territorial House of Representatives in- quiring as to what disposition had been made of this money. On July 26, 1849, Governor Lane, in reply to the request made on the fifth day of the first session of the first House, said ' ' that books to the amount of two thousand dollars have been purchased in New York, and shipped for Oregon last winter, and that the balance of the appropriation will be applied, as provided by law of Congress." 26 On December 8, 1852, Governor Gaines had a similar inquiry made of him, to which he responded as follows : "I received from the treasury of the United States, $3,000.00, which was [in] vested in books and maps, and placed in a room fitted up for the purpose in Oregon City, and delivered nearly two years since to Mr. J. Turner, the librarian elected by the Legislative Assembly, together with a catalogue of the entire purchase, since which time I have exercised no control whatever over the library." A voucher from the Comptroller of the Treasury accompanied this statement. 27 In the quarrel between Governor Gaines and the territorial legislature over the validity of the act of the latter locating the seat of government, the penitentiary, and the territorial university, the retention of the library at Oregon City the original seat of government is made a subject of complaint by the legislature in its memorial to Congress in December, 1851. 28 In this memorial the legislature asked for permission for themselves to elect their Governor, Secretary and judges. The first accessions to the library were largely general and law miscellany. Law reports and State and National docu- 26 House Journal, First Session, p. 82. 27 Appendix to House Journal, Fourth Session, pp. 7-8. 28 Appendix to House Journal, Third Session, pp. 1-6. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 143 ments were added through exchanges. At the beginning of the year 1855 it contained some 1,750 volumes. The next report of the librarian, made on January 3, 1856, a few days after the total destruction of the State House, to which the library had just been moved, says, "all the books, except the few which had been drawn out for use, were destroyed with the Capitol." 29 The first report of the State Librarian in 1860 gives the number of volumes as 1,027. This represented the accumulation through exchanges during five years, and an addition made by the use of a $500 appropriation of Con- gress. 30 This purchase was made by Governer Curry while on a visit East in 1856. Funds for the maintenance of the library were regularly obtained out of appropriations by Congress for the contingent expenses of the Territory. The National Government thus not only equipped this institution, but also supported it though the territorial legislature exercised complete authority in the way of electing the librarians, requiring reports, fixing the amount of his salary, 31 and designating the quarters for the books. The Territorial Penitentiary. At the December session, 1844, of the Legislative Committee of the Provisional Govern- ment, $1,500 were appropriated from the escheat funds of the Ewing Young estate for the construction of a log jail at Oregon City, to serve as a territorial penitentiary. 82 The building erected with these funds was burned down on August 29 The Capitol was destroyed on the night of December 29, 1855. Appendix to House Journal, Seventh Session, p. 164.
30 Appendix to House Journal, First Session, pp. 1-5. On January 30, following the destruction of the library, the legislature, in a memorial to Congress, asked for $20,000 for another library. 31 The salary of the librarian was $250 until 1855, when it was raised to $500. 32 Oregon Archives, p. 68. 144 F. G. YOUNG. 18, 1846. 33 The Territory was then for some seven years without a building in which to incarcerate its convicted felons. Convicts sentenced to imprisonment in the territorial penitentiary were either farmed out to private individuals, 34 kept at the Columbia Barracks at Vancouver, 35 or at the county jails. 36 In the second session (1850) after that providing for the organization of the Territorial Government, Congress appro- priated $20,000 for the erection of a penitentiary at such place as they (the Governor and legislature) might select. 37 Four years later, 1854, an additional appropriation of $40,000 was received making in all $60,000 for this purpose. 38 On February 1, 1851, in one of the fivst conspicuous in- stances in which the location of public institutions was clearly effected through "log rolling," the Legislative Assembly in one measure located the capital at Salem, the penitentiary at 33 Oregon Archives, p. 162. Governor Abernethy, in his message to the legislature on December 2, 1846, says: "I regret to be compelled to inform you that the jail erected in Oregon City, and the property of the Territory, was destroyed by fire, on the night of the 8th of August last, the work, no doubt, of an incendiary. A reward of $100.00 was immediately offered, but as yet the offender has not been discovered. Should you think it best to erect another jail, T would suggest the propriety of building it of large stones, clamped together. We have but little use for a jail, and a small building would answer all purposes, for many years, I have no doubt, if we should be successful in keeping ardent spirits out of the Territory." In his message the following year Governor Abernethy again refers to this matter as follows: There is one thing, however, needed very much, in con- nection with it [the Judiciary], and that is a prison. Should an offender be sentenced to imprisonment by the judge, there is no place in the Territory to confine him. and, consequently, he escapes the punishment his crimes justly merit. This should not be so, and I hope you will provide means during your present session for the erection of a jail." Oregon Archives, p. 208. Governor Gaines, in his message in 1850, also speaks of the necessity of providing a penitentiary for the secure confinement of the criminals. Executive Journal, MS. 34 Auditor's Report, 1852, p. 20, Appendix to House Journal. 35 Appendix to House Journal, Fourth Session, p. 3. 36 Auditor's Report, 1853, Appendix to C. J., p. 144, and report of commissioners appointed to erect a penitentiary, Appendix to House Journal, Fifth Session, p. 26. 37 Executive Records MS. The appropriation was "to be expended under the orders and supervision of the Governor and Assembly." 38 Appendix to C. J., Seventh Session, p. 15. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 145 Portland and the university at Marysville (now Corvallis.) 39 This act also named a board of commissioners to select a site and superintend the erection of the penitentiary. How- ever, as this action was taken without consulting Governor Gaines, he refused to co-operate, declining to recognize the act as a law of the Territory. The terms of the law making this appropriation provided that the location of these institutions should be with the concurrence of the Governor and the money appropriated with his sanction. 40 Though Congress, in May, 1852, ratified the action of the territorial legislature, nothing was done by the first board of commissioners more than to select a site in South Portland, near the river. Under an act of January 28, 1853, supplementing the former and appointing a new board, construction was begun. The first appropriation did not actually become available until late in 1853. From this time on the work of construction was pro- ceeded with. The effort of the Oregon Territorial Government to provide itself with a penitentiary, using funds supplied by the Na- tional Government, was, however, not crowned with conspicu- ous success. The first board actually to undertake construc- tion was so indefinite in its first report of its financial trans- actions that it was required, in answer to a resolution of inquiry by the legislature, to explain each item of its accounts explicitly. Even then the legislature thought it necessary to order an investigation to determine whether there had been any illegality in the expenditures. The attorney employed by the Governor subjected all who had in any way been con- nected with the purchase of the site and the work of construc- tion to questioning under oath, and submitted two suits on statements of facts and arguments against parties to whom supposedly unwarranted payments had been made. Every- thing was found " legal," but the penitentiary fund suffered charges for attorney's and notary's fees and other incidentals 39 Oregon Statutes, Second Session, pp. 222-3. 40 Executive Record, 1849-59, MSS. 146 F. G. YOUNG. and the partisan press indulged in explicit denunciations for graft. 41 Four different boards were successively placed in charge of the work of construction. The sixty-thousand-dollar fund was exhausted and some accounts left unsettled and the legislature was petitioned because of others unallowed. Meanwhile the Territory had been under the necessity of reimbursing the city of Portland for a jail destroyed while under lease to the penitentiary board as a place for the confinement of convicts pending the preparation of quarters at the new building, the convicts had been supported in idleness and numerous rewards paid for the return of those that had escaped. At the close of this period, however, there were only six cells completed that could afford any degree of security 42 in confining the convicts, no shops, and no grounds that could at any reasonable cost be prepared for them. The building was mislocated so that it stood in part on private property and in part in the streets of Portland. The grounds were "included in an exceedingly deep gulch or canyon." Altogether the situation was so un- promising-, after the sinking of sixty thousand dollars, that the first Governor of the State and the committee appointed to investigate the matter, were constrained to recommend the abandonment of the property as a penitentiary. 43 41 Appendix to House Journal, Sixth Session, pp. 106-129; The Oregonian, February 4, 1854. 42 Appendix to House Journal, Ninth Session, pp. 38-41. 43 Message of Governor Whiteaker, September 24, 1860, in Appendix to C. J., First Session, pp. 23-32, and Appendix to House Journal, same session, pp. 5-12. Those to whom the labor of the convicts had been leased during the later years of this period were coming to the legislature with pleas for reimbursement for rewards paid for the return of escaped convicts. They attributed their mis- fortunes to the unsuitable and inadequate sixty-thousand-dollar structure. They claimed further that there was equity in their claim of $4,000 for outlay for "rewards for the recapture of escaped convicts," in that they were supporting the convicts for the products of their labor and thus relieving the Territory from a burden of $23,000 the cost of the maintenance of the convicts in idleness under the old law allowing $5.00 a week for board. The following penitentiary statistics will help to make clearer the situation : 1853. Two convicts were reported to be in Clark County as the whole mimber that belonged in the Territorial Pentitentiary under the charge of the FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 147 The Territorial State House. All territorial officials who receive their appointment from the head of the National Gov- ernment are distinctively designated as * * Territorial officers of the United States." Even members of the territorial legisla- tures who are elected by the people of the territories, but who receive their salaries and mileage from the national treasury, have, I believe, the same status of ' ' Territorial officers of the United States." The provision of public buildings required for the accommodation of the national territorial officials is, therefore, a duty naturally assumed by Congress. The Pro- visional Government had not provided any public buildings, so the act organizing the Territory of Oregon had a timely provision of $5,000 for this purpose. This sum was to be ' ' applied by the Governor to the erection of suitable buildings at the seat of government. ' ' The section of the act containing this appropriation further provided that the Legislative As- sembly should at its first session or as soon thereafter as they shall deem expedient, proceed to locate and establish the seat of government for the Territory, at such place as they shall deem eligible. The expenditure of the five-thousand-dollar fund for public buildings was thus forestalled until the Legislative Assembly had selected a ' ' seat of government. ' ' This, because of a dis- agreement between the two houses as to the proper place, it failed to do at its first regular session, held in the summer of Penitentiary Board. So a keeper was appointed, but these convicts died before they could be delivered into his hands. Three were sentenced and received during this year. 1854. At the opening of the year three were in custody, one escaped not recaptured; six were added, making the whole number eight. Of these three escaped but were recaptured. 1855. Year opened with eight in custody, five new ones were received, two were discharged, and two escaped. 1856. Year opened with nine in custody: three were discharged, and one was pardoned. Three were received, none died, and none escaped. 1857. Number increased from eight to eighteen; during the year two were discharged, one pardoned, and fourteen admitted: none died, and one escaped. 1858. During this year seventeen were admitted and three discharged. From June 22, 1859, to September 10, 1860, while the institution was in charge of a sub-lessee, twenty-two escaped. 148 F. G. YOUNO. 1849. This failure was repeated at a special session held the following spring. 44 During the second regular session, how- ever, on February 1, 1851, an act was passed selecting not only the place to be the capital, but also others as locations for the penitentiary and the university. 45 The measure also con- stituted boards of commissioners with authority to proceed with the erection of a state house and a penitentiary. Congress had, on June 11, 1850, added $20,000 to the Oregon public buildings fund, and a like amount was given for a penitenti- ary. But now it was the Governor 's turn to balk. He had not been consulted in selecting the locations, whereas the language of the act making the later appropriations gave him concurrent right with the Legislative Assembly in designating these places. The Governor took the ground that the act was not a law of the Territory because it embraced more than one object, which was a violation of the Organic Act. The con- sequent deadlock lasted more than a year. When the time arrived for the next session of the legislature and of the Supreme Court, it found a large majority of both houses and one justice of the supreme bench assembled at the newly desig- nated capital, while the Governor and his appointees and two judges tarried at Oregon City, the erstwhile seat or govern- ment. In May, 1852, Congress broke the deadlock by ratify- ing the "location law." The Governor then, thinking the matter of beginning operations with the public buildings urgent and supplementary legislation necessary, hastily called the legislature into special session, in July, 1852. The demo- cratic legislature, however, found "no extraordinary business and nothing which might not more properly be brought for- ward at a regular session," and in contempt of the federal whig appointee from the East, adjourned sine die without action. 46 So it was not until nearly the close of the fourth regular session, January 22, 1853, that adequate legislation 44 See Judge Pratt's opinion on the "Location Law," Appendix to C. J., Third Session, pp. 7-33. 45 Oregon Statutes, Second Session, pp. 222-223. 46 House Journal, Special Session, July 26, 1852, p. 17. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 149 existed for proceeding with the expenditure of the fund for the State House. Plans for a stone structure to cost when complete $65,000 were adopted by the board of commissioners that was to su- perintend its erection. 47 Nearly $10,000 were spent on a found- ation, 48 when the legislature by resolution ordered the material of construction "changed to wood" and "the style of archi- tecture" should be "Grecian Doric instead of the 'Ionic' as proposed by the commissioners. ' ' 49 It will be remembered that the first appropriation of $5,000 for the State House fund, made in the Organic Act, was " to be applied by the Governor," and while in successive messages he suggested the uniting of this sum with the $20,000 to be applied in joint action with the legislature, he seemed to be driven to the necessity of proposing that special portions of the work on the building begun by the commission, such por- tions as had not been contracted for, should be reserved so that he under contract might apply these $5,000. Such an arrangement was made. Half of the sum was so used and the unexpended half was after some delay turned over to the building commission. Ex-Governor Gaines was, however, sub- jected to the usual investigation, and the committee reported that the evidence was sufficient to satisfy it that he ' ' never con- templated any other disposition of the remainder than that prescribed by law. 50 By this rather awkward combination of efforts of a Gov- ernor and boards of commissioners named by legislatures, each assuming distinct parts of the work, the State House was after an expenditure of $33,595.74 so far complete that the session of 1854-5 was held in it. The legislature at this same session, however, voted to "relocate and establish the seat of government at Corvallis," "a flourishing town some thirty- 47 Appendix to House Journal, Fifth Session, p. 37. 48 Appendix to House Journal, Tenth Session, p. 5. 49 Oregon Statutes, Fifth Session, 1853-4, p. 512, and Appendix to House Journal, Sixth Session, 1854-5, p. 49. 50 Appendix to House Journal, Sixth Session, 1854-5, p. 133. 150 F. G. YOUNG. five miles above and south of the original capital." In the same act of relocation it constituted a new board of commis- sioners "to erect suitable public buildings at the newly chosen seat of government. 51 But the treasury officials at Washington ruled that no money appropriated heretofore by Congress for the public buildings at Salem could be expended elsewhere ; nor could any money appropriated for the mileage and pay of the members of the assembly, officers, clerks (or contingent expenses), be paid to them, or on account of con- tingencies, if a session should be held elsewhere than at Salem. 52 The legislature that convened at Corvallis on De- cember 3, 1855, therefore, had strong inducements to return to Salem. It remained only until the 12th, when it adjourned to reconvene at Salem on the 17th. It occupied the now quite fully completed State House and ordered the territorial library brought into the new building. After five days it adjourned for the holidays, and during this holiday recess, on the night of December 29, the Capitol was entirely destroyed by fire. The circumstances were such as to arouse suspicions, but the com- mittee appointed to investigate the matter exonerated the officers in charge of all imputations of carelessness or blame and revealed no facts warranting any assertion in regard to the origin of the fire. 53 On February 17, 1855, $27,000 had been added by appropri- ation to the State House fund. When accounts were closed it was found that $18,444.26 remained unexpended of a total ap- propriation of $52,000. A memorial asking for $50,000 to be added to the amount unexpended was without result. Nor were steps taken to begin rebuilding. 54 51 Oregon Statutes, Sixth Session, 1854-5, p. 558. 5ii Appendix to C. J., Seventh Session, 1855-6, pp. 8-11. 53 Appendix to C. J., Seventh Session, 1855-6, p. 33. 54 Governor Curry, in a letter to the Secretary of the Interior of September 13, 1858, gives the cost of the State House as $33,595.74, but in his accounts he credits the national treasury with an additional $40.00 as the premium on a $2,000 draft. This would make the net cost to the national government to be $33,555.74. Appendix to House Journal, Tenth Session, 1858-9, p. 5, and Executive Accounts, MS. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 151 Contingent Expenses of the Executive Department. In ad- dition to their accounts as treasurers for the State House and the Penitentiary funds, the Territorial Governors handled a fund from the national treasury for contingent expenses. The Organic Act appropriated $1,500 annually for these "contin- gent expenses of the Territory, including the salary of a clerk of the executive department." The record for the accounts of this fund are not to be found in the State Archives for the period prior to June 30, 1853. 55 The disbursements from it from that date on were as follows : For the year ending June 30, 1854... .. $ 1,206 60 For the year ending June 30, 1855 1,283 35 From July 1, 1855, to December 17, 1856 1,463 44 From December 18, 1856, to December 31, 1857 1,528 69 From January 1, 1858, to April 1, 1859 1,847 65 S 7.329 7356 Annual Expenditures for Legislature, Library, Printing, and Incidentals. While the special appropriations by Con- gress for territorial purposes and the fund for the contingent executive expenses were handled by the Territorial Governors, the Secretaries of the Territory were made auditors and treas- urers of the annual appropriations from the national treasury for the support of the territorial legislatures, library, print- ing, and incidentals. 57 Data for determining the disbursements of the national fund in charge of the Secretary of the Territory are furnished 55 Governor Gaines notes in the "Executive Journal" that no public money was turned over by Acting-Governor Prichette when the executive papers were transferred. In the Letter Book of the Territorial Governors, 1853-1859, an item for May 3, 1854, announces a letter received from Elisha Whittlesey, Comptroller of the Treasury, stating that ex-Governor Gaines had deposited $177.20, the unexpended balance of the contingent appropriation, indicating failure to furnish records directly to his successor at Salem. 56 Executive Accounts, MS. 57 The provision in the Organic Act was as follows: "There shall also be appropriated annually, a sufficient sum to be expended by the Secretary of the Territory, and upon an estimate made by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, to defray the expenses of the Legislative Assembly, the printing of the laws, and other incidental expenses." The salaries named in this act for territorial officials were as follows: Gov- ernor, $1,500 as Governor and $1,500 as Superintendent of Indian Affairs; Chief Justice and Associate Justices, each $2,000; Secretary of the Territory, 152 F. G. YOUNG. by accounts kept by George L. Curry and his successor in this office, Benjamin F. Hiarding. The records of the accounts of S. M. Holderness, Kintzing Prichette and Edward Hamilton as secretaries, if ever deposited in the Archives, appear to be lost. Secretary Curry, on taking charge of the office, May 14, 1853, complains of the absolute lack of means for ascertain- ing the state of the territorial accounts. The first annual 'appropriation for this fund was $26,000. Neither the money nor the instructions for the disbursement of it were received for the members of the legislature until the legislature had met in special session in May, 1850. The per diem and mileage, the pay of the officers and the contingent expenses paid out of this fund, both for the regular session held during the preceding summer and for this special session, were then settled from the receipts of the Collector of United States customs at Astoria; Governor Lane had, however, the preceding summer, advanced some of the amounts due to the legislators from the $10,000 contingency fund with which he had been furnished on coming West. 58 It is almost certain that S. M. Holderness and Kintzing Prichette, the first two secretaries, never received any terri- torial funds to disburse. Holderness served a few months and Prichette to September 18, 1850. Edward Hamilton, who succeeded him, and who held the office until superseded by Curry, May 14, 1853, made a very sorry showing with his administration of these accounts. He left no memoranda to indicate to his successor the state of the debits and credits of the Territory, and he seems to have had no end of trouble in getting his accounts with the national treasury balanced. It $1,500; members of the Legislative Assembly, $3 per day during attendance and $3 for every twenty miles traveled in going to and returning from sessions; Chief Clerk, $5 per day; Assistant Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper, each $3 per day. No other officers were to be paid by the United States. The annual estimates sent in by the Governors to the Secretary of the Treasury included at first amounts to cover salaries of officials of the executive and judicial departments, but the salaries of these officials were evidently dis- bursed directly from national treasury. 58 Executive Journal, MS., and House Journal, First Session, 1849, p. 57. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 153 was not until March 20, 1854, some ten months after he had vacated the office, that he turns in $3,637.21 in the form of a certificate of deposit to balance his account with the territorial funds. It was found difficult to collect on this paper. On July 5, 1856, $2,751.25 were still claimed from and demanded of Hamilton. But he claimed that he was not justly indebted to the United States and wished ' * to bring the matter in regard to his accounts before the Honorable, the Secretary of the Treasury for the ultimate allowance of the items now dis- allowed which made up the amount stated to be due from him to the United States." The national officials held the secre- taries to a very strict adherence to instructions. These were made to suffer for any departure from them, though inad- vertent. In this way no doubt originated this last account against Hamilton. 59 The Curry and Harding accounts from 1853-1859 show disbursements as follows : LEGISLATIVE. Years. Per diem and mileage. Officers. Contingent (Printing, libra- ry, stationery, rent, fuel, etc.) 1868-4 $ 7,482 00 $ 2,040 00 $ * 22 821 15 1854-5. . 7,481 00 3,168 00 5,961 33 1855-6 7,398 00 2,877 00 16,605 96 1856 7 7 714 00 3 045 00 4 601 54 1857-8 7,155 00 3,069 00 10,152 38 1858-9 6,357 00 1,632 00 10 819 04 $ 43,537 00 $ 15,831 00 $ 70,961 35 Total, $130,829.35. The annual expenditure for the Legislative Assembly, print- ing of laws and journals, maintenance of library, incidentals 59 Secretary of the Territory's account with the United States Govern- ment, MS.
- Payments regularly belonging to preceding years had evidently been
deferred to this year. 154 F. G. YOUNG. and contingencies for these later years amounted to nearly $22,000. 60 60 The following estimates sent in to the Secretary of the Treasury indicate the proportions applied to the different objects: Estimates for the year ending June 30, 1852 Salaries of Governor, Secretary, Attorney, Marshal and three judges $10,900 Compensation and mileage of members of Legislative Assembly, officers and clerks 12,500 Contingent expenses of Legislative Assembly, printing laws and journals, etc 6,340 Rents, fuel, etc., for offices of Governor and Secretary 1,000 Expenses of library, rent, librarian, etc 600 Contingent expenses of executive department 1,500 Expenses of holding courts 4,000 Contingencies 3,160 $40,000 Estimates for the year ending June 30, 1853 Salaries of Governor, Secretary, Marshal and three judges .. $10,900 Members of the Legislative Assembly, officers and clerks.... 12,500 Contingent expenses of Legislative Assembly, printing laws, and journals, etc 6,340 Rents and fuel for the offices of Governor and Secretary. . . . 1,000 Expenses of library, librarian, etc 600 Contingent expenses of executive department 1,500 Expenses of holding courts 4,000 $36,840 Estimates for the year ending June 30, 1855 Per diem and mileage of members of Legislative Assembly and compensation of officers of Legislative Assembly $11,600 Incidental, printing session laws and journals 5,000 Rent and fitting up of legislative walls 500 Librarian salary 250 Rent of library room 180 Stationery 500 Fuel, light, contingencies 300 Rent of executive offices 350 Estimates for the year ending June 30, 1856 Per diem and mileage of members of Legislative Assembly and compensation of officers $11,600 Incidental, printing session laws and journals 5,000 Rent 500 Salary of librarian 500 Rent of library room 180 Stationery 500 Fuel, lipht, contingencies 400 Iron safe 750 $19,605 It will be seen that these estimates gradually excluded the items of the salaries of the appointed officers whose pay did not pass through the hands of the Secretary of the Territory. The first item in the first two estimates indi- cate that he did not know what the salaries of the Marshal and the Attorney were. The estimate in each case just covers the amount needed for the salaries of the Governor, Secretary and the three judges, together with a $400 excess. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 155 The Common School Fund. The doubling of the national bounty in the grants of public domain for the common schools was initiated with the act organizing Oregon Territory. Section twenty of this act pro- vided that when the lands ,of the Territory were surveyed, section thirty-six, as well as sixteen in each township, should be reserved for the purpose of being applied to schools. The Legislative Assembly, at its first session, acting in harmony with the design of Congress in making this grant, provided for the creation of a "common school fund," the income of which should be appropriated for the support of the common schools in the Territory. It declared "that the principal of all moneys, falling or accruing to the Territory of Oregon, for school purposes, whether by donation or bequest, or from the sale of any land heretofore given, or which may hereafter be given by the Congress of the United States to this Territory for school purposes, or accruing from licenses, fines, for- feitures or penalties appropriated by law to common schools, or in any other manner whatever, shall constitute an irreduci- ble fund ; the proceeds, or interest, accruing from which, shall be annually divided among all the school districts in the Territory, proportionally to the number of children or youth in each, between the ages of four and twenty-one years ; for the support of common schools in said districts; and for no other use or purpose whatever." All moneys paid into this fund should "bear an annual interest of six per centum," and the Legislative Assembly should ' ' from time to time make such disposition of the fund, that it shall never be diverted from its proper object, and that it may be made to yield the foregoing interest with the greatest possible degree of cer- tainty and regularity. ' ' And moreover, ' ' all moneys accruing from the lease or rent of school lands, and also from a tax of two mills on the dollar, to be assessed and collected in the same manner as other territorial taxes," should be added to the interest on the school funds. 61 61 Oregon Statutes, First and Second Sessions, 1849 and 1850-1, pp. 66-76. 156 F. G. YOUNG. Legislative provision for this "irreducible fund," in iden- tically the same .language, is found in the act relating to "common schools," passed at the fourth regular session of the Legislative Assembly, 1852-3. The provision, however, for supplementing the income, as a sum to be distributed, by means of a territorial tax, was repealed. 62 The school law enacted in the next session, 1853-4, in enumerating the sources from which the principal of this fund should accrue, mentions only the "sale of .land" and bequests for school purposes. Donations seem to have been despaired of and other uses found for "licenses, fines, forfeitures or penalties." Not- withstanding these elaborate legislative provisions for the accumulation of a school fund, the records of the treasury show no materialization of one during the first seven years of this period. 63 Evidently no bequests or donations had been received, no law had appropriated the proceeds of any licenses, fines, forfeitures or penalties to it, no provision 'had been made for the sale of the school lands, and no revenue had been received from renting them, and the territorial tax of two mills for school purposes, although on the statute books from September 9, 1849, to January 31, 1853, had not been en- forced. 64 The Legislative Assembly, at its seventh session, 1855-6, made it the duty of the county superintendents to sell school lands under certain conditions and restrictions, and to deposit the moneys, notes and securities received therefor with the Territorial Treasurer. This official was to loan all money be- longing to the school fund at not less than ten per cent, pay- able semi-annually in advance. The loans were not to be for a longer period than five years. The county superintendents could sell for "one-fourth of the purchase money in hand, and 62 Oregon Statutes, Fourth Session, 1852-3, pp. 55-57. 63 The Treasurer's report for 1856 contains the first school fund statistics. Receipts from "licenses, fines, forfeitures or penalties" were turned into county treasuries for school purposes. 64 As will he seen hy reference to the statistics of general revenues given below there was not a prompt compliance even in the payment of the one mill territorial tax for general purposes. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 157 the remainder in three equal annual installments at ten per cent per annum interest from the date of purchase." 65 With the progress of the sales under this law and the ad- ministration of the proceeds by the territorial treasurers, a small fund accumulated. A radical change in the mode of administration of the fund, however, was made two years later. It was then arranged for turning the moneys received from the sales into the county treasuries and also for distrib- uting at the close of each year the cash that had accumulated in the territorial treasury on the securities it held to the county treasuries in proportion to the number of children in each county between the ages of four and twenty-one years. All moneys thus received into the county treasuries, arising from the sale of common school lands, were to remain an irre- ducible fund to be held "by the several counties in trust for the Territory." 66 The territorial period thus closed with decided decentralization in the method of administering this fund. 67 The earlier statutes pertaining to this fund all provide specifically for the annual apportionment of the income of it to the school districts of the Territory. Because of the lack of a la,w authorizing the sale of the school lands, no fund ac- cumulated until 1856 ; and then from the fact that it remained so small and the net income of it so meagre, or, for some other reason, the machinery for the annual distribution of the in- come was never, during the territorial period, put into oper- ation. The general statistics of the common school fund, from 1856 to 1859, inclusive, are given below. The accounts of the Ter- ritorial Treasurer in this fund are full of most palpable er- rors. The public interest in this matter seems to have had no guardian. The errors are allowed to pass uncorrected and the system of accounting for the moneys and securities in this 65 Oregon Statutes, Seventh Session, 1855-6, pp. 69-71. 66 Oregon Statutes, Ninth Session, 1857-8, pp. 43-45. 67 Oregon Statutes, Ninth Session, 1857-8, pp. 44-45. 158 F. G. YOUNG. fund degenerates from bad to worse. At the opening of the period of statehood the fund had been largely distributed among the counties. The county superintendents were by law required to report to the Territorial Auditor on the state of the territorial common school fund in their respective county treasuries. The Territorial Auditor, however, fails to give any data whatever, and so the reports of the Terri- torial Treasurer, who is engaged in distributing it, present a dissolving view of the school money" as it passes into the dark recesses of the county treasuries. STATISTICS. Common school fund during the year ending December?, 1856; RECEIPTS. Cash on sales $ 3,662 20 Interest on notes taken in part payment 781 26 Notes amount of principal... 9,75568 $ 14,198 62 (a) DISBURSEMENTS. Treasurer's commission for receiving, (2#) $ 283 96 Treasurer's commission for loaning $3,501. 35 01 (a) Stationery 500 $ 323 97 (a) Balance in treasury (cash and securities). $ 13,874 65 (a) Common school fund for the year ending December 7, 1857: RECEIPTS. Balance on hand $ 13,875 27 Cash on sales 3,93996 Interest on notes taken in part payment 1,807 09 Notes amount of principal 12,04192 $ 31,66424(6) DISBURSEMENTS. Per diem and commissions of county superin- tendents in making sales $ 35595 Treasurer's commission for receiving $17,889.97. . 357 78 (6) Treasurer's commission for loaning $4,496 44 96 (6) Treasurer's commission for receiving $1,100 and reloaning ... 33 00 $ 791 69 (6) Balance on hand $ 30,87255 (a) As the first sample of the exasperating carelessness exhibited in these accounts, it may be noted that the figures given in the report in these items are: $14,198.23; $35.06; $323.96; $13,875.27. (b) In this report the sums marked are given respectively as: "31,064.19; $333.78; $54.95; $768.09; $30,896.10. The balance thus shows an error of $23.00 which the Treasurer makes to his loss. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 159 Common school fund for the year ending December 7, 1858: RECEIPTS. Balance on hand in notes and cash $ 30,896 10 Interest received 1,48084 $ :i2.:?76 94 DISBURSEMENTS. For recording mortgages $ 1425 Treasurer for receiving $1,480.84 interest 29 61 Treasurer for receiving $1,000 on notes and re- loaning 8000 $ 7386 Balance on hand $ 32,30808 Of which $28,728.80 (c) are in notes and $3,789.79 in gold coin $32,513.09 (c). Common school fund up to September 12, 1859: RECEIPTS. Balance on hand in cash and notes. . $ 32,803 09 Interest received 848 10 $ 32,646 19 DISBURSEMENTS. Money and secureties distributed among the counties, to be held in trust by them $ 21,285 78 (d) Administrative expenses 222 05 $ 21,507 83 Balance of common school funds on hand in State treasury September 12, 1859 $ 11,188 36 The movement for the promotion of the cause of public education during this period exhibits an interesting crescendo followed by a diminuendo phase. There was a committee on education in the legislature of the Provisional Government as early as 1845. Two measures intended to facilitate the organ- ization of public schools were considered during this year. The committee on education is found again in the next follow- ing Legislative Assembly. Governor Abernethy, in his mes- sage of December 7, 1847, appeals to the legislature in the following language : * ' The cause of education demands your attention. School districts should be formed in the several counties, and school-houses built. Teachers would be employed (c) The Treasurer's list of amounts of notes on hand sums up $'200.00 more than his addition makes them. There is an additional discrepancy of $10.00 when his "gold coin" is added to the sum of notes. This error of $210.00 is to his gain. Of course typographical errors in printing may have been the cause of this discrepancy. (d) The State Auditor, to whom the county superintendents were by the terms of the law to report the state of the fund in their respective counties, does not give data, so we have no means of ascertaining the sum by which this fund is credited on the books of the county treasuries. 160 F. G. YOUNG. by the people, I have no doubt, and thus pave the way for more advanced institutions." The general school law passed Sep- tember 5, 1849, during the first session of the territorial .legis- lature, provided for the election of " a superintendent of com- mon schools, ' ' who should exercise a general supervision over the interests of the common schools throughout the Terri- tory. 68 One was elected, but he had served only a year and a half when the office was abolished. 69 His claim for $679.00, which was no doubt earned, may have had something to do Avith the disposition to get along without his services. We have seen also how the liberal plans for this cause, in the two- mi]! territorial tax, the six per cent income for the fund that was guaranteed, the donations, licenses, fines, forfeitures and penalties that should accrue to the fund, the annual appor- tionments of the income how these all vanish without fulfill- ment, and even the principal of the fund itself goes into hiding in the several county treasuries. 71 The Territorial University Fund. The sources of a university fund in Oregon Avere created in the grants of land made by the donation land law 72 passed by Congress on September 27, 1850. This act contained two dis- tinct grants to aid in the establishment of a university: First, the H mount of two townships west of the Cascade Mountains, one to be located north of the Columbia River and the other 08 Oregon Statutes, First and Second Sessions, 1849, p. 68. (59 Oregon Statutes, First and Second Sessions, 1851, p. 76. 70 Appendix to House Journal, Fourth Session, 1852-3, p. 21. 71 Supra, p. 156. 7- This was an act that primarily created the office of Surveyor-General of the public lands in Oregon and provided for the first surveys. A central feature of it, also that from which it ohtained its common title, consisted of the liberal grants to settlers, who had made their long and arduous migrations in expecta- tion of these grants and had assured the Americanization of the Pacific Coast. The act organizing the Territory, passed two years earlier, had given sanction to all laws in force under the Provisional Government excepting the land laws. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OKEGON. 161 south; second, what was known as the "Oregon City Claim," 73 excepting Abernethy Island though all lots sold or granted from this claim by the original claimant, Dr. John McLough- lin, previous to March 4, 1849, should be confirmed to such purchasers or donees. This second portion of the university endowment, however, was secured through machinations that stamped it as ill-gotten and necessarily resulted in tainting more or less the university project. The characteristic frontier conditions of life in Oregon at this time made its people slow to appreciate the purposes a university might serve. We may, therefore, expect a mani- festation of levity in the handling of its funds and such disregard of far-reaching interests connected with it as would be certain to blight its development. Hardly had the grant of two townships been made and not a dollar of proceeds had yet found its way into the fund, before interest in the loca- tion of the institution was used as stock in trade in forming a compact to control the selection of the places for all the dif- ferent territorial institutions. In the omnibus location bill of February 1, 1851, the university was located at Marysville (now Corval.lis.) Four years later, in consummating what looks like another deal in the interest of a town-site boom, the university is moved to Jacksonville, while Corvallis gets the 73 The so-called "Oregon City Claim" was the original claim of Dr. John McLoughlin, upon which Oregon City was being built. The basis of his claim extended back upwards of twenty years. As it was contiguous to the falls of the Willamette and was believed to be the natural site of the commercial and manufacturing center of this western settlement, there was some color of reason for a disposition of it in accordance with the "town site" idea. Dr. Mc- Loughlin' s claim to it, however, had such long standing and was being handled with such liberal public spirit that his invidious deprivation of it had little support in public opinion. This portion of the university endowment brought only the paltry sum of $1,680 into the fund. The cost incurred through peti- tions, legislation, reports, and memorials in the vain effort to fully undo the wrong, must have amounted to tens of thousands. And, moreover, it burdened the university idea with the odium that would unconsciously cling to it from being thus intimately associated in thought with a malevolent undertaking. The literature of this episode in Oregon history is voluminous. The Spectator, a bi-weekly paper of the time, the Congressional Globe, and the State Archives abound with reference to it. It receives a thorough discussion in Bancroft's "Oregon," Vol. II, and in Holman's "Dr. McLoughlin," pp. 101-162. 162 F. G. YOUNG. capital. 74 Partly because there was revulsion against further jockeying with the institution and partly because of a senti- ment that the university fund should be diverted to the pur- poses of the common schools, the legislature of 1855-6 repealed all acts locating the Territorial University. 75 Provision was also made for loaning the university fund so that it would no longer be "left 'laying about loose' at the service of any ingenious and enterprising town proprietor, with which to grease the wheels of some local movement of his own. ' ' 76 Among other indications of conditions in Oregon at this time making it precarious for a university fund, are the facts that the first board appointed to select the two townships of land failed to act, and further, after lands were selected, private individuals were not slow in disputing the right of the Territory to them if they found them desirable. Public opinion seemed to support the practice of trespassing upon them and grand juries were loth to bring in indictments. 77 Notwithstanding this loss by trespass, the minimum price of these lands was fixed at four dollars an acre, which at the time was prohibitive of further sales. Lands amounting to two townships were selected and the approval of these selec- tions by the Surveyor-General sought in accordance with the terms of the grant. However, that provision in the grant requiring that one township be selected north of the Columbia River and one south of it, was repealed when Washington was organized as a Territory. The lands were likely for years to remain cheap and it was realized that a larger grant would be needed if the endowment was to be adequate towards serv- ing its purpose in bringing about the establishment of a uni- 74 Oregon Statutes, Fifth and Sixth Sessions, p. 562. 75 Oregon Statutes, Seventh Session, 1855-6, p. 53, and Hotise Journal, Eighth Session, 1857-8, p. 38. 76 Oregon Statutes, Seventh Session, 1855-6, p. 75, and Oregon Statesman, December 25, 1855. 77 Report of University Land Commissioner, Appendix to House Journal, Tenth Session, 1858-9, pp. 64-5. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 163 versity, so the delegate in Congress was instructed to secure two more townships. 78 The accounts of the university fund from 1854 to 1859, in- clusive, are as follows : For the year ending December 6, 1854 : RECEIPTS. Gold coin ... .. $ 6,200 00 Securities 2,578 23 DISBURSEMENTS. Administration of funds and sales... .. $ 1,051 64 Towards erection of university... 1,50000 $ 2,55164 Balance on hand Gold coin... $ 3,648 36 Securities 2,57323 $ 6,22159 For the year ending December 6, 1855: RECEIPTS. Balance in treasury Gold coin... .. $ 3,648 36 Coin received 2,060 12 $ 5,708 48 Securities... $ 2,573 23 Securities received 65953 $ 3,23276 DISBURSEMENTS. Coin Administration of fund. $ 1,347 65 Towards erection of building 1,87720 $ 3,22485 Securities paid... 1,121 28 Balance in treasury Gold coin... .. $ 2,48363 Securities 2,11148 $ 4,59510 The sum of $87.43 of excess of treasurer's commission charged was repaid. This amount must be deducted from coin receipts and disbursements to get amount of actual transactions. For the year ending December 6, 1856: RECEIPTS. Balances in treasury Gold coin $ 2,483 68 Securities... 2,111 47 N. H. Lane, the Territorial Treasurer for 1855, did not turn over his office to John D. Boon, his successor, until January 12, 1856. There is no report for the university fund for the interim from December 6, 1855, to January 12, 1856. John D. Boon reports as having received from his prede- cessor the following : January 17, cash, $2,935.20 ; securities, $604.76 ; total, $4,539.96. This shows a shrinkage of the fund 78 Appendix to House Journal, Eighth Session, 1856-7, p. 154. 164 F. G. YOUNG. of $55.14 during the period from December 6, 1855, to Janu- ary 17, 1856. This is to be construed as the amount of the excess of expenditures over receipts during this time. John D. Boon's report for the remainder of the year: RECEIPTS. Balance in treasury $ 1,539 90 Amount received (the coin is no longer segre- gated from notes) 798 11 DISBURSEMENTS. Administration expenditures $ Balance in treasury ( The treasurer debits himself with $4,901.01.1 For the year ending December 7, 1857: RECEIPTS. Balance $ Interest ... 437 40 4,901 01 530 35 DISBURSEMENTS. Administration $ Balance in treasury ... 439 45 For the year ending December 7, 1858: KECEIPTS. Balance 79 Interest... ,998 44
- 579 08
5,888 07 437 40 4,900 01 5,4:37 96 439 45 4,fii 51 5,377 52 DISBURSEMENTS. Administration... ._ $ Balance in treasury (The figures in the report are $5,203.94.) 103 58 103 58 5,213 94 For the year ending September 12, 1859: RECEIPTS. Balance . Interest. 5,203 94 329 75 DISBURSEMENTS. Administration Balance in treasury. 08 29 $ 08 29 $ 5, 105 40 Expenditures of Territorial Revenues. We have seen that the salaries of the Governor and Secre- tary of the Territory, their incidental expenses and clerical hire; the salaries of the territorial judges and the expenses of 79 It will be noticed that the balance shrinks 7 cents in being brought forward and that the Treasurer makes a mistake of $10.00 in his own favor in bringing down the balance for the accounts of the following year. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OKEGON. 165 holding courts, including the maintenance of the territorial library; the per diem and mileage of the members of the legis- lature, along with pay for its officers and clerks and the public printing and rent of halls, were all paid with moneys from the national treasury. The fund for all necessary territorial buildings were provided from the same source. Endowments in the form of liberal grants of the public domain were avail- able for the building up of funds for the support of common schools and higher education. The National Government, too, regularly stood sponsor for the common defense, but under the peculiar conditions of the situation in the Pacific North- west at this time, private resources in service and wealth were advanced voluntarily to meet exigent needs. What then would remain as the scope and function of a territorial system of finance? Unless the people of the territory were bent on undertaking costly public works, the rapid development of their system of public education, or were burdened with heavy expenses in maintaining an internal police and care of unfortunate classes, the scale of their fiscal operations would be narrow and quantitatively insignificant. And, indeed, so attenuated were the common territorial interests of the people, aside from those supported by means from the national treas- ury, that the territorial treasury for some three years (1849, 1850 and 1851) lapsed into innocuous desuetude. The newly appointed Governors, fresh from the East, betray by expressions in their inaugural messages to the Legislative Assembly the fact that they have been strongly impressed by something akin to community mendicancy or reversion to a tax-free primitiveness. The successive sessions of the Legis- lative Assembly do not fail to keep on the statute books laws for the assessment and collection of territorial revenues and to elect territorial auditors and treasurers. Nevertheless, for several years no territorial revenues are paid in and the 166 F. G. YOUNG. people in the enjoyment of the services of their Territorial Government, such as they were, went scot-free. 80 It is not until some three years after the territorial organ- ization went into effect that the first territorial treasury trans- action took place, and nearly four years after the initial date we have the first treasury reports. These indicate clearly that during the year covered by them fiscal operations began de novo. 81 Governor Gaines, in a letter dated December 11, 1850, in reply to an inquiry from the sheriff of Marion County, indi- cates that even in that county, having a near-by demonstration of the territorial establishment, there was resistance to collec- tion of taxes. 82 The attitude of disavowment of fiscal obliga- tion seemed in some directions to increase with the square of the distance from the capital. This dilatoriness on the part of many of the counties continued throughout this period, though 80 In his message of July 17, 1849, Governor Lane says: "A matter of deepest interest to the prosperity of the Territory will be the establishment of a judicious system to raise revenue. This is no less demanded for the redemp- tion of the plighted faith of the Provisional Government, than it is for raising, by a practicable and legal method, sufficient funds, not attainable from the federal treasury, to meet incidental and necessary expenses of the Territory. While the home government contributes in a liberal spirit to the maintenance of our temporary existence as a Territory, it is expected that all revenue necessary to the local interests of the several counties will be supplied by a system of equal assessments levied upon the people who are to be permanently benfitted thereby. Your early attention to this delicate but necessary duty is earnestly recommended." Executive Record, MS. Governor Gaines also, in his message of December 3, 1850, thus refers to the subject: "The subject of taxation, always a delicate one, demands your early attention. The people will cheerfully pay such taxes as the wants of the Territory require, provided they are equitably levied. With great deference I would recommend the passage of a law, by means of which the value of each person's property of every description may be ascertained and impose a reason- able ad valorem tax upon it after deducting his indebtedness." Executive Record, MS. 81 See supra, p. 172. The first Treasurer's report is dated December 7, 1852; the first report of the Auditor is without date, but was submitted to the House of Representatives on January 6, 1853. 82 Executive Records, MS. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OKKGON. 167 the tax-paying habit under pressure from the territorial offi- cials had at the end of it become fairly well established. 83 There are other evidences of rudimentary fiscal conditions. The Auditor in his first report finds it necessary to remind the legislature "that the offices of Auditor of public accounts and Territorial Treasurer are without salary, or other means of remuneration of service. ' ' Some features of the reports of these slighted officials indicate correspondingly inchoate ideas of what the public funds they were instrumental in extorting from the counties were for. For instance, the Auditor's "es- timate of expenditures for the next fiscal year" repeatedly includes the item of the salary of the territorial librarian when that obligation had from the beginning, and uninter- ruptedly, been assumed by the national treasury. 84 There were special acts for the "relief of individual cred- itors," but never a regular or general appropriation bill of territorial moneys. Therefore, we find no treasury "funds," and no segregation of items of expenditure according to ob- jects to which they were applied. The following table of classified expenditures was arranged from wholly unclassified lists of "warrants issued" and "warrants paid," of which the reports of the territorial auditors and territorial treasurers are mainly composed: TABLE OF EXPENDITURES OF TERRITORIAL REVENUES-OBJECTS. Date. Adminis- trative. Prosecut- ing attor- neys. Peniten- tiary. Care of insane. Internal improve- ments. Locating Ter. roads. Pilot service. Legisla- tive inci- dentals. Miscel- laneous. 1852 $ $ 800 00 $ $ $ $ $ 75 00 $ 168 75 1858 . 1,482 90 1,040 75 1,748 40 1,072 00 1854 825 73 431 42 1,069 49 541 50 98 00 321 00 1855.- 1,142 81 2,614 45 5,198 90 2,081 00 339 00 41200 1856 702 86 2,168 00 5,080 25 2,156 96 1,268 00 113 50 503 25 1857 2,128 82 1,891 18 8,828 99 1,733 06 1,990 57 503 05 2,633 05 1858--. 2,680 51 2,067 19 10,779 96 250 00 2,870 05 1859 8,807 46 930 70 10,041 99 125 00 877 50 1 12,620 59 $ 11,123 69 $ 42,692 95 $ 3,890 02 $ 5,881 07 $ 878 05 $ 62550 $ 7,752 60 83 As late as March 20, 1857, the Territorial Auditor says: "I am just about instituting suit against at least half of the county treasurers in the Terri- tory for delinquencies." Letter Book of Territorial Auditors, 1853-1860, MS. Some outlying counties, like Jackson and Wasco, were most dilatory with territorial taxes; others, like Coos and Curry, were prompt 84 See reports for 1852, 1854 and 1855. 168 F. G. YOUNG. The table represents anomalies, some of which are quite easily accounted for. The comparatively large sums for 1853 are due to the fact that back levies of territorial taxes are being received and deferred claims presented and paid. Taking the items by classes or columns, it is to be remarked that a superintendent of schools whose office was abolished in 1851 presented his claim in 1853. There was an increase in the rate of taxation in 1855 that some counties did not conform to, so their payments were not accepted in 1856 and com- misions were not collected. The unusual expenditures in 185i) were incurred in making transition to statehood. The shrinkage in the outlay for prosecuting attorneys in 1854 is clearly due to a deferred claim. There is the same- reason for the fluctuation in 1859. The care of the indigent insane was made a charge upon the Territory during only two years. The burden was then again remitted to the counties. The expense of locating territorial roads ("internal im- provements") was, after 1857, aLso shifted to the counties. The three large sums in the column of miscellaneous" ex- penses are to be accounted for as follows : That of 1853 was due to the cost of removing the body of S. R. Thurston, the first Territorial Delegate to Congress, from its first burial place in Mexico to Salem. The large sum of 1857 was in- curred partly in getting a Thurston monument and partly in paying claims for work on the State House that was de- stroyed, which claims had not been allowed by the official of the national treasury. In 1858 there were claims to meet for construction material for the penitentiary building after th< national appropriation had been exhausted. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 169 TABLE OF ANNUAL TREASURY STATEMENTS WITH ITEMS CLASSIFIED. Date of report, December 7, 1852: RECEIPTS. From general property tax $ 2,59686 $ 2,59686 DISBURSEMENTS. For prosecuting attorney $ 80000 For legislative Incidentals, (public printing)... 75 00 For administration, (librarian) 260 50 For miscellaneous, (commissioner on Cayuse war claims) 163 75 Balance in treasury... 1,79761 S 2,59686 Date of report, December 12. 1853 : RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ 1,79761 From general property tax 3,285 22 Librarian returns... 260 50 $ 5,343 33 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration For prosecuting attorney. For penitentiary For miscellaneous Balance in treasury Date of report, December 6, 1854 : RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ General property tax DISBURSEMENTS. For administration For prosecuting attorney For penitentiary For legislative incidentals... For internal improvements. For miscellaneous Balance in treasury Date of report, December 6, 1855 : RECEIPTS. Balance from last report. $ General property tax Trust funds... 1,482 90 1,040 75 1,743 40 1,072 00 4 28 825 73 431 42 1,069 49 98 00 541 60 321 00 68 84 5,343 83 4 37 3,251 62 $ 3,255 98 3,255 98 68 84 11,602 26 2,839 49 $ 14,510 59 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration $ 1,14281 For prosecuting attorney 2,614 45 For penitentiary 5,198 90 For internal improvements 2,081 00 For legislative incidentals 33900 For miscellaneous _. _ . 412 00 For trust funds 2,447 40 Balance in treasury 275 03 14,510 59 170 F. G. YOUNG. Date of report, December 7, 1856 : RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ 275 08 From general property tax 11,898 39 Trust funds 19286 $ 12,366 28 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration $ 7028(5 For prosecuting attorney 2,168 00 For penitentiary _ . 5,03025 For insane 2,156 96 For internal improvements ._ . 1,268 00 For legislative incidentals 113 50 For miscellaneous 503 25 For trust funds 167 40 Balance $ 606 $ 12,36628 Date of report, December 7, 1857 : RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ 606 From general property tax 21,800 85 From error of treasurer 120 $ 21,80811 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration $ 2,128 32 For prosecuting attorney 1,891 18 For penitentiary ... . 8,82899 For insane 1,733 06 For internal improvements . 1,99057 For pilot service 503 05 For miscellaneous, 2,63805 Balance 2,117 40 Errors 17 51 $ 21,808 11 Date of report, December 7, 1858: RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ 2,11740 General property tax _. 20,936 58 $ 23,053 98 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration $ 2,530 51 For prosecuting attorney 2,0(57 19 For penitentiary 10,779 96 For pilot service 25000 For miscellaneous. 2,870 05 Balance 4,55627 $ 23,05398 Date of report, September 12, 1859: RECEIPTS. Balance from last report $ 4,557 15 General property tax 18,311 98 "China tax" 377 54 Rent 30 oo For rock from state house 32 66 $ 23,:}09 33 DISBURSEMENTS. For administration $ 3,807 16 For prosecuting attorney 930 70 For penitentiary 10,011 96 For pilot service. 125 00 For miscellaneous 377 50 For constitutional convention 7,8(58 64 Increased by treasurer's error 39 80 Balance... 11827 $ 23,309 33 FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 171 Comments on the Above Treasury Statements. It is to be noticed that there is always a ' * balance remaining in the treasury. ' ' Unfortunately there are peculiarities about several of the Auditors' reports that render it impossible to determine the amount of warrants outstanding at the end of each year. If the list of warrants issued during each year could be relied upon as containing all given by the Auditor, if every warrant issued amounted to an actual liability of th*3 Territory, 85 and if there were no payments from the treasury except on orders drawn by the Auditor, the floating debt of the Territory from year to year would be easily ascertainable. None of these conditions was fulfilled. The lists of warrants issued are not complete. The Treasurer did not recognize a warrant as necessarily authorizing a payment. Payments were sometimes made from the treasury without the formality of a warrant. In fact the balances of the auditors and the treasurers do not in the course of the eight years of treasury records agree more than three times on the "amount re- ceived by the Treasurer" and the "balance remaining in the treasury." Agreement on the "balance remaining in the treasury" is not arrived at from data appearing in the audi- tors' accounts. The only procedure through which the lia- bilities of the Territory at the end of each year could be exactly ascertained would be to classify every claim paid according to year when incurred and when paid. The Territorial Gov- ernment began with a clean ledger. It did not assume any obligations of the Provisional Government and it handed down none that appear on the records to the State Government. Taking the statements of the auditors, the public debt ?.1 the end of each year was as follows: 86 1852, $419.04; 1853, 85 From 1857 on, the Territorial Treasurer was required to pay all warrants of the Territorial Auditor, if there was money in the treasury for the purpose. Statutes of Oregon, Eighth Session, 1856-7, p. 27. 86 By act of December 11, 1856, warrants that had been presented and "not paid for want of funds," drew legal interest until notice was given that there were funds to redeem such outstanding warrants. Interest paid on warrants amounted in 1857 to $167.00; in 1858 to $51.28. 172 F. G. YOUNG. $855.37; 1854, $6,601.31; 1855, $8,382.79; 1856, $6,815.22- 1857, $2,000.00; 1858, 000; 1859 (Sept. 12), 000. Additional peculiarities of these territorial treasury ac- counts are best disclosed by attention directed to each annual statement in turn. Statement for the Year 1852. The Auditor had up to this date issued warrants to the amount of $5,005.79. As only $799.25 had been paid on them, warrants nominally to the amount of $4,206.54 were outstanding. But out of this sum only $679.54, the claim of the territorial superintendent of schools, were ever paid. (New warrants to cover some of the same claims, but for reduced amounts, were issued a few years later and paid. ) Of the warrants which the Treasurer refused to pay on the ground that they were for claims not recognized by law, $1,491 were due commissioners on Cayuse War claims ; $1,170 were for the claims of a board of pilot commission or and its officers ; and $1,241 were claimed by Amory Holbrook for services as prosecuting attorney pro tern for several coun- ties. Those of the commissioners on Caynse War claims were provided for in Congressional appropriations to meet the ex- penses of that war. It is to be remarked, however, that the claim of A. A. Skinner for services as such a commissioner was paid out of the territorial treasury, which was in accordance with the terms of the act providing for the appointment of these officials, an act passed before the Congressional appro- priation. The territorial treasury was never reimbursed for this payment. The claims of the board of pilot commissioners w r ere never satisfied, excepting claims for advertising for them. Amory Holbrook was at this time being dubbed "the evil genius" of the Governor. A few years later new warrants for reduced amounts were issued to him and paid. While the Treasurer seemed thus careful to pay only "lawful orders/' he did pay the claims of the territorial librarian whose salary was provided for out of the national treasury. The amount paid him was returned and figures in the receipts of the next year. The warrants thus actually outstanding amounted to FINANCIAL HISTOKY OF OREGON. 173 $419.04. There were, however, additional claims presented later and allowed. Statement for the Year 1853. For explanation of item of receipts from librarian, see comment on statement of preceding year. The item of penitentiary expenditures covers mainly sums paid to counties for keeping convicts sentenced to the ter- ritorial penitentiary. An interesting item of this class is found among the warrants issued by the Auditor of the preceding year, but at a date a few days later than the report of the Treasurer for that year. The amount of the claim was $1,- 824.70, for services as jailor and expenses of keeping a crim- inal, etc. Evidently an individual had volunteered the pro- vision of all of the accessories for a penitentiary for one, but he failed to collect. Statement for 1854. The Treasurer in bringing his balance forward mysteriously picked up nine cents. He opens his books with $4.37 while he had closed them with $4.28. It is the same man as Treasurer. Statement for 1855. The proceeds of several estates are deposited with the State Treasurer pending their distribution among heirs. While sums are carried over from one year to another, they are not segregated in the balances. There was, however, not the slightest basis for regarding them as funds escheated to the Territory. The sums assessed as taxes on lands in six counties were remitted to them for county or school purposes. Up to this 'date lands were not taxed for territorial purposes and in these counties lands had been as- sessed by mistake. A warrant drawn for $110.00 is cashed for $118.00 and the mistake goes uncorrected. Statement for 1856. We find in the Treasurer's report for this year anomalous entries of the sum "due the Treasurer," being $303.14, and yet the incoming Treasurer debits himself as receiving only $293.50 from the retiring Treasurer. Statement for 1857. Divers errors in addition and in 174 F. G. YOUNG. changing amounts of warrants occur, but they involve only small amounts. Statement for 1858. No comment. Statement for 1859. A new source of revenue appears, the "China tax," which will be discussed under revenues. The ' * balance ' ' suffers a change again of 88 cents in being brought forward. This is against the Treasurer. But it is more than counterbalanced by an error of addition in footing up the disbursements. Territorial Revenues. A general property tax was the sole source of territorial revenues during this period until 1858, when small sums were annually paid into the territorial treasury as the quotas of the license tax which under a territorial law all counties were re- quired to collect of Chinamen engaged independently in min- ing and other gainful pursuits. 87 " With nearly all of the expense of the civil establishment borne, as is the rule in territories, by the national treasury, and with little attempted in the line of public works, the rate of taxation was necessarily low. The total levy for all pur- poses ranged from three to seven mills in counties where there were no debts and no county buildings being erected. The territorial levy was by legislative enactment one-half mill until 1854, when it was raised to one mill. For the year 1855 it was one and one-half mills, but for succeeding years it was again fixed at one mill until, in 1858, in anticipation of the larger needs of the State Government, it was raised to two and one-half mills. 87 By the law passed January 22, 1857, a license fee of two dollars was required per month for the privilege of mining gold in the Territory, twenty per cent of the gross proceeds of which was to be turned into the territorial treas- ury by the county collecting the same. The following year the act was amended so as to provide that "no Chinaman shall mine gold, trade, sell or buy goods, chattels or nny property whatever, for the purpose of maintaining a livelihood, in this Territory, unless licensed," paying for such privilege or privileges the sum of four dollars per month. Fifteen per cent of the revenue arising from this tax, before deducting cost of collecting, was to be paid into the territorial treasurv. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 175 The governing county boards levied the school, county and territorial taxes in September and the collections were made in the fall and winter months. During the first four years it was the duty of the sheriff to call on the taxpayers at their "most usual place of residence"; in 1854 he could summon them to some public place in their respective election pre- cincts or they could pay to his deputy at the county seat; should they neglect payment and he visited them at their residence he could collect mileage from them. In 1856 the county treasurer became the collector and all taxes remaining unpaid after sixty days were turned over to the sheriff to collect according to the old custom of making demand in person and being allowed fees and mileage. County treasurers were to have paid over the territorial revenues before the first Monday in February, out of the first moneys paid into the county treasuries. 88 While county war- rants at par were receivable for county taxes only gold and silver coin was a legal tender for territorial taxes. There were the usual exemptions of a certain amount of household furniture and, for the first few years, of agricul- tural inplements and mechanic's tools; of public property, and of property used for religious, literary, charitable and benevolent purposes. In line with the unique policy of the Provisional Government agricultural lands were also tax-free for several years. Although the first general tax legislation, that of September 21, 1849, provided for a tax "on all lands, town lots, and out lots," in its enumeration of the kinds of property subject to taxation, and although the next general tax law, that of 1854, also included "not only the land itself, whether laid out in town lots or otherwise, ' ' among the forms of property subject to taxation, and this act in the forms of 88 This requirement worked a hardship on county treasurers remote from the capital. It was frequently almost impracticable to travel at this time and there was a lack of facilities for the safe transmission of their funds. There was no provision for their expenses in travelling. These conditions furnished plausible excuses for delinquencies on account of which heavy forfeitures were incurred. 176 Jb G, YOUNG. assessment blanks it prescribed even provided headings and columns for the descriptions and valuations of farming lands, yet the six counties in which lands were for the first time taxed under this law, had the receipts from such land tax remitted to them. The authorities in the other counties had still held that lands were not taxable. However, an act of 1856 was more effective in bringing land into the class of taxable property. It provided that "All lands shall be sub- ject to taxation as real estate First, when the owner or oc- cupant has resided four years upon his claim ; second, where land has passed by deed, transfer, sale or otherwise; third, when the land has been entered in the land office. ' ' The forms of these specifications disclose the reasons, in part at least, why land had escaped taxation. Legal titles, or evidence of title, which patents give, were very slowly and tardily obtained in Oregon. Procedure for securing patents was not instituted until after the passage of the "Donation Act" in September, 1850. And it is not unlikely that the leg- islators, who belonged distinctively to the claim-holding class, should have favored the practice of relieving those, who in improving their claims were doing most for the upbuilding of the community, from the burdens of taxation. The law contemplated that the assessor, elected in June, should proceed with his work early in July; that the assess- ment roll should be filed complete, ready for the county board at its September meeting, when the levies should all be made ; that this roll, with warrant for the collection attached, should be iri the hands of the sheriff or treasurer but little after the middle of the month; and that the collection should have been mainly effected by the close of October. This roll, with the warrant, and an account of his acts thereon in the collection of the taxes through payments made or distraint and sale of oods and chattels, and the list of unpaid taxes on real estate, the sheriff did not return until the first Monday in April. A r-opy of these county assessment rolls was to have been in the hands of the Territorial Auditor within thirty days after the FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OKEGON. 177 levy by the county boards, say October 1st. From this copy, and another made from it, and placed in the hands of the Territorial Treasurer, the counties were charged with their respective amounts of territorial taxes. These the county treasurers were to pay over "on or before the first Monday in February" "in gold and silver coin" "out of the first moneys collected and paid into the county" treasuries. The chronic complaints of the Territorial Auditors indicate that some county auditors were unconscionably irregular in filing their assessment rolls at the territorial capital. The following table of annual payments into the territorial treasury show that the coin rolled very slowly, as a rule, toward the terri- torial treasury. A very small fraction of the territorial tax reached that destination the same year it left the pockets of the people. Date of Keceipt. Year for which the payments were made. Total. 1852 For 1850. $ 507 40 For 1851. $ 579 29 For 1852. $ 1,510 20
- 2,596 86
3,285 22 3,251 61 11,602 26 11,898 39 21,80085 20,936 58 18,689 52 1853 $ 2,596 86 For 1853. $ 998 33 1854 $ 165 58 For 1852. $ 16 61 For 1854. $ 9,902 26 For 1854. $ 861 26 For 1854. $ 660 47 For 1855. $ 1,429 69 For 1&55. $ 540 51 457 09 For 1853. $ 2,735 00 For 1855. $ 1,700 00 For 1855, $ 10,993 47 For 1855. $ 504 63 For 1856. $ 16,639 95 For 1854. $ 50000 1855 $ 3,251 61 1856 $ 11,602 26 For 1856. $ 43 66 For 1856. $ 15,680 12 For 1857. $ 13,520 10 For 1857. $ 442 96 1&57 $ 11,898 89 For 1857. $ 4,955 63 For 1858. $ 5,986 79 For 1858. $ 17,646 15 1858 . 1859 For 1856. $ 5000 For 1859. $ 9 90 Only four counties out of the ten paid the territorial taxes for 1850, and only five out of thirteen paid for 1851. From that time on, however, the response to the need of territorial revenues was more general. Still such outlying counties as Jackson and Josephine in the south, 89 Tillamook in the north- 89 The Territorial Auditor, in his report for 1858, says that "Josephine County levied no property tax for 1857, relying, as I have been informed, on the sale of Chinamen licenses to defray the expenses of the county, and to pay their territorial revenue; none of which has been paid during this year, except, $362.75 of the Chinamen tax due. Having no assessment roll, I could make no charge against said county for 1857, and would recommend some legislative action as a guide to the Territorial Auditor in the premises." On November 8, 1856, six counties had not sent in copies of assessment rolls for 1856. Auditor's Letter Book. 178 F. G. YOUNG. west, and Wasco in the northeast, paid very irregularly, if at all. 90 Seven counties in 1857 had to make up the extra half- mill tax they failed to levy in 1855. This disposition to in- veterate delinquency stimulated drastic legislation. The fail- ure of a county auditor to return a copy of his assessment roll within sixty days from the date of its approval by his county board made him liable to a penalty of not less than $50.00 nor more than $100.00. The rapid accumulation of forfeitures suffered by county treasurers for deliquency, or failure in promptness, in paying over territorial funds into the territorial treasury is best illustrated by the following typical statement to the treasurer of Columbia County, dated March 21, 1857, and found in the Letter Book of the Territorial Auditor :
- ' The only amount due from your county for 1856, if it had
been paid on the first Monday of February last would have been $169.30, less your commission of 4 per cent. But as it was not paid as aforesaid, it stands thus : 1857 February 2, To territorial tax for 1856. .. .. $ K59 30 March 17, To forfeiture on $162,68 at 20 percent 32 f>0 March 17, To forfeiture at 2% per cent a month to March 17, 1857 6 09 To forfeiture of 2% per cent a month on 83.78 until paid Leaving a balance after deducting the amount received ($204.11) of $3.78, to- gether with 2K per cent a month thereon as aforesaid until paid." Such a dire code of penalties as the above statement reveals shows that the provocation must have been extreme. The Territorial Auditor, on March 20, 1857, wrote: "I am just about instituting suit against at least half of the county treasurers in the Territory for delinquencies." Under this pressure a number of treasurers paid up original charges and forfeitures with the intention of presenting their claims to the next legislature for a refunding. Abstract of the Evolution of the Tax Code. 1849. Subjects of Property Tax. Capital employed in merchan- dising ; gold dust ; bills of exchange ; money loaned ; stocks in 90 The Territorial Auditor, in his report for 1856, says that "the counties of Josephine, Wasco, and Tillamook, have made no returns of their assessments for the past fiscal year; and the county of Wasco has never made any, nor paid any revenue into the territorial treasury. The county of Tillamook is in a dis- organized state so much so that no assessment of property was had for 185." FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 179 steamboats and other vessels; lands, town lots and out lots; "personal property." Exemptions. Public property; property of literary insti- tutions; two hundred dollars' worth of household furniture to each householder, and his library, agricultural implements and mechanic's tools. Licenses. On each ferry kept by authority of law, not less than two nor more than one hundred dollars per annum ; for "hawking" clocks, not less than one hundred nor more than three hundred dollars ; to keep a grocery (to retail spirit- ous liquors) not less than two hundred dollars. Poll Tax. Counties may levy poll tax of one dollar on all male citizens over the age of twenty-one and under the age of fifty years. Assessment. To be at "true cash value." Taxpayer was subject to fine of ten dollars for refusal to give an account of his property when requested to do so by assessor Collection. Sheriff should demand payment of taxpayers
- ' at their most usual place of residence, or at any other place
where they may be found." Rate. Territorial tax shall be one-half mill for general purposes and two mills for schools, and probate court shall fix county per cent, which, with revenue from other sources, will be sufficient to defray the current expenses of such county and ' * to liquidate its debts for the year ; " " and in no case to exceed four mills on the dollar. ' ' 1851. Subjects of Property Tax. In a revised enumeration of subjects to be taxed "out lots" were omitted and the follow- ing kinds of property specified: "mills and other machinery, horses, mules, jacks, jennies, cattle, sheep, hogs, clocks, watches and pleasure carriages." Exemptions. On household furniture it was raised to $300.00. None other was specified. Rate. Territorial school tax was reduced to one mill. 180 F. G. YOUNG. 1852. Licenses. "Grocery licenses" (really licenses to retail spirituous liquors) were reduced to a minimum of fifty dol- lars and a maximum of two hundred dollars. 1853. The territorial school tax was repealed. Compensation of treasury officials was first authorized: Salary of auditor was fixed at $300.00 ; the treasurer was al- lowed 1% per cent on all moneys received and disbursed by him. 1854. There was a general revision of the tax code. Subjects of Property Tax. "All property, real and per- sonal, not expressly exempted." (Real property was defined as including land, whether laid out into town lots or other- wise, and all improvements on it, and all rights and privileges appertaining thereto. In the definition of personal property credits and securities were emphasized.) Exemptions. The property of literary, scientific, charita- ble, benevolent and religious institutions directly used for these purposes, together with the $300.00 exemption of house- hold furniture and the exemption of public property. Prop- erty of Indians not citizens except their lands held by pur- chase. Poll Tax. Assessment of made obligatory. Revenues for Schools. A county tax of two mills and fines for breach of penal laws. Collection. Sheriff need attend only at some one place in each election precinct and if the taxes are not paid to him there, or at the county seat, he may collect at the taxpayer's residence and add mileage. County orders are receivable for county taxes, but only gold and silver coin for territorial taxes. Penalties for Delinquencies in Paying Funds to Territorial Treasury. For withholding more than ten days, 20 per cent of the amount withheld was added, and 2% per cent a month thereafter. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 181 Compensation. Treasurer's fees were raised to 2 per cent on all moneys received and disbursed. 1855. Rate. Territorial tax was raised for this year to one and one-half mills. County tax for schools was lowered to one mill. 1856. Subjects of Property Tax. To secure actual taxation of lands as real estate it was provided that "all lands shall be subject to taxation as real estate First, when the owner or occupant has resided four years upon his claim ; second, where land has passed by deed, transfer, sale or otherwise; third, when land has been entered in the land office." Exemptions. If a taxpayer returned a list of his property his indebtedness to persons within the Territory was to be de- ducted from his own solvent claims. Rate. Territorial tax reduced to one mill. Collection. By the county treasurer during the first sixty days, after which the sheriff shall collect with costs. 1857. Licenses. Chinamen must pay two dollars per month for the privilege of mining in the Territory; twenty per cent of the revenue thus derived, before deducting cost of collecting, shall be paid over to territorial treasury. Auditor's salary was raised to $500.00. Interest was allowed on territorial warrants at "legal rate," when presented and not paid for want of funds. 1858. Licenses. The "Chinamen tax" of the preceding year was extended so as to require a license from every Chinaman not only for mining but also for trading, selling or buying goods, chattels or any property whatever for the purpose of main- taining a livelihood. The license fee was raised to four dol- lars a month. Fifteen per cent of the revenue derived there- from, before deducting cost of collecting, was to go to the territorial treasury. 182 F. G. YOUNG. 1859. Licenses. Chinamen and Kanakas were to pay two dollars a month for mining gold in Jackson County. All Chinamen and Kanakas engaged in any kind of trade or barter among themselves, in the counties of Josephine and Jackson, were to pay for such privileges fifty dollars per month. These taxes were to be collected and accounted for the same as the ' ' China taxes" of the preceding year. APPENDIX. Some Features of Oregon's Experience with the Financial Side of Wer Indian Wars of the Territorial Period. The experiences of the people of Oregon with the finances of the Indian wars waged during the territorial period illus- trate in a most striking way the salient features of the condi- tions in the Pacific Northwest at that time, and constitute im- portant elements in the economic life of that region. The campaigns of 1855-6 were large undertakings for the com- munity, caused serious interferences with their productive ac- tivities and involved a destructive use of a considerable portion of their accumulated wealth. There was no restitution by Congress for losses sustained for five years and, in fact, such was the dilatoriiiess and niggardliness of Congress in this matter that there never was a fairly adequate return for as- sumino- the burdens of "common defense." It is no doubt true that the Indians in some cases had pro- vocation. If every representative of the white race had treated the Indians as members of a superior race should treat members of an unfortunate people whose territory they were encroaching upon and whose means of livelihood they were year by year rendering more precarious war might have been postponed. These conditions were not fulfilled in the Pacific Northwest any more than they have ever yet been fulfilled anywhere. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 183 There were disturbances, depredations and the loss of a num- ber of lives annually in the Rogue River country and several attacks upon defenseless and worn-out companies of immi- grants when in the last stages of their long overland journey. In these cases there was naturally great slaughter. In the fall of 1855 a general uprising took place throughout the sur- rounding belt of Indian country on the north, east and south. National troops were not present in sufficient force, and so stationed, as to command the situation when the crisis arose. It thus devolved upon the Territorial Governors of Oregon and Washington to call for volunteers and to contract for supplies, transportation services, etc., etc., relying in each case upon a future settlement of the accounts by the National Government, for the duty of providing for the defense of the lives and property of its citizens belongs to it and it had uniformly met that responsibility. The territorial legislature, however, at its session during the winter of 1855-6, when the situation for the border settlements seemed grave, went so far as to specify the pay each volunteer should receive and the compensation for the use or loss of his horse ; it also provided for the auditing of all other claims that might be incurred though it made no provision for paying any. 91 The claims for services rendered and losses sustained in connection with the earlier recurrent attacks upon the immi- grants upon the Oregon trail and on mining parties and way stations on the Oregon and California trail were settled in- sofar as there was any reimbursement at all in accordance with the usual method of adjusting such claims against the National Government. The Secretary of the Treasury would be " authorized and directed to adjust and settle, on just and 91 Oregon Laws, Seventh Session, 1855-6, pp. 26-29. 184 F. G. YOUNG. equitable principles," etc., etc. 92 Still even in these cases there were meagre fractional reimbursements and trying de- lays. 93 When petitions were presented for the settlement of the claims incurred in putting down the uprising of 1855-6 Congress from the start pursued a different tack. 94 There 92 The following is the text of the act of Congress for the settlement of the claims due to the clash with the Rogue River Indians in 1853: "An act to authorize the Secretary of War to settle and adjust the expenses of the Rogue River Indian War: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled, that the Secretary of War .be, and he is hereby author- ized and directed to adjust and settle, on just and equitable principles, all claims for services rendered in the late war with the Rogue River Indians in Oregon, known as the Rogue River Indian War, according to the muster rolls of the same ; also for subsistence, forage, medical stores and expenditures, as well as for any other necessary and proper supplies furnished for the prosecution of said war; and that, on such adjustment, [the same shall] be paid out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated. Passed July 17, 1854. Public Laws of the United States, First Session, Thirty-third Congress, 1853-54. On July 31, 1854, Congress appropriated $15,000 for the payment of claims for property destroyed during the war closed by the treaty of September 10, 1853." This is the war provision for the cost of which is made in the act of July 17. A clause in the treaty closing it stipulated that out of the $60,000 I>aid for Rogue River Valley, with the exception of one hundred square miles on the north side of it reserved for the Indians, $15,000 should be reserved for indemnity for losses of property by the settlers during the war. The $15,000 appropriation was a ratification of that clause. 93 This appropriation of $15,000 sufficed for a "thirty-four and thirty-seven hundredths per cent' 1 payment on the appraisal of the losses actually sustained. Many of the claimants failed to receive this pitiful payment, and, in 1872, the balance of the appropriation for this purpose was illegally turned back into the treasury, where it remained for ten years longer before, by the labors of several attorneys and an order of Secretary Fairchilds, it was placed back to the credit of the claimants. And then the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secre- tary and Auditor of the Treasury were unable to find the original report of the commissioners of awards, refusing to pass (pay) any claim without it, or with- out an act of Congress. However, at length, * * the original report was discovered, and the claims all settled thii-ty years after the war." Victor's Early Indian Wars of Oregon, p. 320. 94 Section II of "An act making appropriations for certain civil expenses of the Government," passed August 18, 1856, provided as follows: "And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War be directed to examine into the amount of expenses necessarily incurred in the suppression of the Indian hostil- ities in the late Indian War in Oregon and Washington, by the territorial govern- ments of said Territories, for the maintenance of the volunteer forces engaged in said war, including pay of volunteers, and that he may, if in his judgment it be necessary, direct a commission of three to proceed to ascertain and report to him all expenses incurred for the purposes above specified." Public Laws of the United States, First Session, Thirty-fourth Congress, 1855-6. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 185 was no longer the simple authorization for the Secretary of War "to adjust and settle on just and equitable principles," but a direction "to examine into the amount of expenses necessarily incurred," with the suggestion that he should ap- point a commission to ascertain them and report to him. The attitude taken by General John E. Wool, then in command of the Department of the Pacific, had no doubt most to do to- wards developing opposition in Congress to prompt and liberal reimbursement for losses and costs connected with the suppres- sion of Indian hostilities in the Pacific Northwest. General Wool had requested more troops for his department, but had declared that they were needed not so much "to protect the settlers and miners" as "to protect the Indians against the white men. ' ' The unexpected magnitude that the totals of the claims for the operations and losses for 1853 and 1854 were assuming may have contributed to make Congress more cauti- ous. 95 At any rate the committee on military affairs refused to recommend for the claims of 1855-6 the usual grant of authority to the Secretary of War to settle them until the report of his commission was in. This delayed settlement a year. And when the commission, consisting of two officers of the regular army and a civilian, reported claims adjusted to the amount of $6,011,497.36 due citizens of Oregon and Wash- ington, although the Secretary of War referred to the work of the Commission in terms of commendation and held that the faith of the Government was pledged to pay the amount re- ported by it, Congress again balked. To Congressmen from eastern sections of the country who did not take into account the much higher level of prices and wages in proximity to the western gold fields, and the different relations between the supply of and the demand for commodities in this isolated region, and the distance and difficulties in transportation, 95 Claims to the amount of $258,000 were paid for services, expenditures and losses in 1853 and the cost of Jesse Walker's expedition to protect the immigrants on the southern route in 1854 was $45,000. The former sum was on the floor of the House stated as "some $300,000." See Victor's Early In- dian Wars, pp. 319, 329, and Congressional Globe. 186 F. G. YOUNG. many of the items in the commission 's report did look prepos- terous. General Wool and other army officers had meanwhile used with largest effect incidents that had taken place in the contact between disreputable miners and the Indians. It was so easy to assume that these were representative. The report of the commission which had been the result of nearly a year's labor on the scene of the war was referred to the third Auditor of the Treasury for revision. This official worked at his task at Washington, though he conducted some investigations through correspondence. The report of the committee on military and the militia, made March 29, 1860, which recom- mends the substitution of a bill based on the revised adjust- ment of the third Auditor of the Treasury for one based on the preceding adjustment made by the Secretary of War's commission, reviews the whole procedure with these claims and reveals the light in which they are viewed at Washington on the introduction of the bill that provided for their pay- ment. The report of this committee was as follows: "The Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, to whom was referred Senate Bill No. 11, making an appropri- ation for the payment of the expenses incurred by the people of the Territories of Oregon and Washington in the suppres- sion of Indian hostilities therein, in the years 1855 and 1856, having the same under consideration, report : That a dis- astrous and general war with the Indians existed in Wash- ington and Oregon Territories in 1855 and 1856, and that these Territories incurred an onerous debt in the prosecution of this war. "The threatened extermination of the whole white popula- tion 96 prompted the Governor of the Territory of Oregon, as authorized by the local legislature, to call out two regiments of mounted men (the ninth regiment being already in the field) and, from time to time, other troops, within the limits of the laws and as the exigencies of the service required ; so that during these hostilities from 2,500 to 4,500 men were 96 The detractors of the people of Oregon and Washington at the capital, and General Wool was the leader among them, had instilled the belief into the minds of many of the Congressmen that the war had been nothing more than some forays 1 ' indiilged in by the settlers as a speculation, hoping to make them the basis of future claims. FINANCIAL HISTORY OF ORKGON. 187 engaged in the defense of that Territory. In Oregon [Wash- ington] from one to two thousand men were called out to repel the savages who threatened to massacre the frontier population. "During the session of 1855-6, the Oregon legislature passed an act for the payment of the volunteers, which allowed four dollars per day for man and horse; but the Territory of Washington passed no such laws on the subject. "Conceding the necessity for calling out these volunteers, and that they were called out by competent authority, the obligation has been recognized to reimburse all necessary and proper expenditures incurred by these Territories in sup- pressing these hostilities. "The Washington and Oregon war claims were presented for payment in 1856, when Congress authorized the Secretary of War to appoint a board of commissioners to examine and report them to him; and Captains A. J. Smith and Rufus Ingalls, United States Army, and Hon. Lafayette Grover be- ing so appointed, reported October, 1857 (Ex. Doc. No. 24, 35th Congress, 1st Session) that the amount due by these Territories for this war was $6,011,497.36. ' ' This subject being before the House of Representatives on February, 1859, it was referred to the Third Auditor of the Treasury for his examination, and his report of 7th February, 1860, reviews the claims in detail, (Ex. Doc. 36th Congress, 1st Session) as directed by the House resolutions, by assimilat- ing the pay of the troops to the army standard, and adjusting the prices of supplies, transportation, etc.. to those paid by the regular army in that country at the same period, the auditor reduced the aggregate amount of the claims to $2,- 714,808.58, a little more than one-third of the whole amount reported. "The commissioners had not authority to adjudicate and settle these claims ; they were instructed to report them to the Secretary of War, and the committee, after the examination of their report, consider some of their allowances extravagant. For example : $120 per month for the pay of mounted men. $5 a bushel for oats, and $2 for a horse-shoe are prices slated for allowance. "In this connection it might be proper to note that J. Ross Brown, special agent of the Government, in his letter of 4th December. 1859, to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, (Sen- ate Doc. No. 40^ fully reviews the origin of this war and at page 13 says: 'The commissioners at Vancouver have faith188 F. G. YOUNG. fully and impartially performed their duty. Whatever sum they may have decided upon in estimating this war debt, I hold that amount justly due, and that Congress will at once provide for its extinguishment.' "The Secretary of War, in his annual report of 1857-1858, having had before him the abstract of these claims and the report of the commissioners (Ex. Doc. No. 24) says: 'These officers entered upon their duties on the tenth of October, 1856, and seemed to have labored with great assiduity and patience in discharge of them, until the twentieth of October last, when they were brought to a close. I have examined this report very carefully and conclude that, from the data they have adopted for their guide as to prices for stores and subsistence and time of service rendered by the men, it is not probable a more just and accurate result could be obtained than these gentlemen have arrived at. The amount ascer- tained to be due is a very large one, and Congress will have to make provision for its payment, if it is intended that they shall be liquidated, of which I presume there can be no doubt.' "An examination of the Auditor's report to the H'ouse of Representatives shows that two companies, Captain Strong's and Captain Hays' called out in Washington Territory are not provided for as to their pay, while it is admitted that they rendered the same service as other companies ; that allowances made by the commissioners for services, etc., rendered volun- teers after they had been discharged from service ; and, that, in some instances, the same persons have been allowed for services in two, or three capacities at the same time. "The committee have examined these claims with the care their magnitude and importance required, and that with a view to an equitable settlement, report a substitute for the bill referred to them and recommend its passage." About a year after the report of this committee, the measure it recommended, which was based on the report of the Third Auditor of the Treasury, became a law (March 2, 1861.) It appropriated $400,000, or so much thereof as was necessary, to pay the volunteers, allowing them "the same pay and al- lowance as were paid to officers and soldiers of equal grade at that period in the United States Army serving in that country. ' ' In like manner $2,400,000 were appropriated "for the payFINANCIAL HISTORY OF OREGON. 189 merit of claims for services, supplies, transportation, and so forth, incurred in the maintenance of said volunteers. ' ' These services, supplies and transportation were to be paid for at the same rates as were paid by the regular army. All claims for horses and other property lost or destroyed in the service were to be settled according to a rule established in a previous? act of Congress. It must be remembered that six years had elapsed since the claims had been incurred and no back interest was allowed. Furthermore, the payments were in greenbacks that never had acceptability as a medium of exchange in this region and were soon far below par. Instead of getting $2.00 a day as prom- ised by the territorial legislature, the common soldier was put off with about $20.00 a month. Laborers assisting the regular service in this war had received from $60.00 to $90.00 a month. The use of his horse brought the volunteer about 40 cents a day instead of $2.00 as promised by the legislature. 97 The rule that ' ' all claims for supplies, services, and transpor- tation were to be paid for at the same rates as were paid by the regular army," seemed fair, but in its application the price paid for a lot of Mexican or Indian ponies for the regular army was made the standard for considering the values placed by the settlers on their American horses, as extravagantly high. Horses in many instances sold for 50 per cent more after the war than had been paid for them in scrip during the war. The sugar supplied the volunteers was rated at 10% cents a pound, which was a cent less than it could be bought for at the time in San Francisco. While there had been in- stances of high prices for supplies and services the general fairness and reasonableness of the transactions were vouched for not only by the commission appointed by the Secretary of War, by the special agent, J. Ross Brown, but also by many letters from citizens of Oregon published in the report of the Third Auditor of the Treasury. The statement of Mr. Ander- son, the Delegate from Washington, made on the floor of the House, was probably not far from the truth. He said: "So 97 The Oregon Argus, April 20, 1861. 190 F. G. YOUNG. far as the people of Washington are concerned, it is an abso- lute necessity that some appropriation be made at an early day. The Governor in an official communication says that 'starvation stares them in the face/ Why, sir, they launched everything they had in this war. They not only volunteered themselves and left their homes, with their wives and children behind them barricaded in blockhouses, but they gave their horses and their cattle, their wagons and their provender everything they had to conduct 'the forays' of which the gentleman of New York speaks. Instead of plundering the public treasury, the public treasury plundered them." But there was an aftermath to this matter or about a score of them that has a less heroic cast. By November 27, 1871, overlooked claims on account of services, supplies, etc., during these Indian hostilities of 1855-6, to the amount of $52,019.78, had been filed at Washington. Items, generally small, but once as large as $33,976.71 for one Congress, were included in the appropriation bills almost regularly down to the nineties, for the payment of such unsettled claims. Such payments are strongly suggestive of the lobbying of the scrip- broker. But the legislature of the State of Oregon, by appro- priations, $100,000 in 1903 and $45,000 in 1905, to make up the pay of the non-commissioned officers and privates to $2.00 per day, and for the commissioned officers to that of the same rank in the army of the United States at the time, in fulfill- ment of the promise of 24th day of January, 1856, brought these long-standing accounts to a close. As payments were to be made only to original claimants this was a fitting finale after the lapse of half a century.F. G. YOUNG.
NOTES FROM A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT ON OREGON CONDITIONS IN THE FIFTIES.
By THOMAS W. PROSCH.
In looking over some old Government publications of half a century ago, the writer saw occasional mention of Oregon matters, the reproduction of which will interest old residents of the State, and possibly others of later generation and advent.
In 1856 there were but two steamboat mail routes in the State of Oregon. One of these was between Portland and Astoria, 130 miles, two trips a week, for the service on which the contractor received $7,000 per annum. The other route was between Portland and Oregon City, fourteen miles, two trips a week; $1,100 per annum being paid. At that time there doesn't appear to have been any steamboat mail service in the Territory of Washington. In California were three routes, aggregating 304 miles, six trips per week on each, with aggregate annual compensation of $52,000. Oregon was then interested in one of the few foreign mail steamship routes—No. 4. It called for semi-monthly service from Astoria, by Port Orford and San Francisco, to Panama in New Grenada, supplying Monterey, San Diego, etc., by a separate coastwise steamer from San Francisco in due connection with main line, a distance of 4,200 miles, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company being the contractor, and the annual compensation being $348,250. Contract was made with the Postmaster General and Secretary of the Navy, in accordance with acts of Congress of March 3, 1847, and 1851. On the Atlantic side was a somewhat similar contract, for a semi-monthly service from New York to Havana, New Orleans and Aspinwall, 4,000 miles; M. 0. Roberts, B. R. Mcllvain and Moses Taylor being the contractors, $290,000 being paid for the service, the route being No. 3. The newly constructed railroad between Aspinwall and Panama connected these steamship routes, and made the service complete between New York and New Orleans on the one coast to San Francisco and Astoria on the other. Notwithstanding 1 the enormous amount paid for the service—$638,250 per annum—there was dissatisfaction with the manner of its performance or non-performance, Postmaster General Campbell referring as follows to it in his report of December, 1856:
"General regularity has been observed on all the United States mail steamship lines, except between New Orleans and Vera Cruz, and New Orleans and Aspinwall. On the line to Vera Cruz the service has never come up to the requirements of the contract only two trips monthly, instead of three, having been performed, omitting Tampico; and from the 16th August to 14th October last, the service by steamer was entirely suspended. For these delinquencies suitable deductions have been made. The most serious complaints have arisen from the repeated failures of the New Orleans mail to connect with the New York and Pacific line at the Isthmus of Panama. No less than thirteen of these failures, either outward or inward, have occurred since the 20th of June, 1855. Some of these, it is alleged, have been occasioned by accidents to the steamers, and others from other causes beyond the control of the company. Many more failures have occurred since the contractors have run via Havana than when the service was direct between New Orleans and Aspinwall. From July, 1852, to September, 1854, the mails were conveyed direct; but by their contract the company stipulated only to run from New York and New Orleans to Havana, thence by one line to Aspinwall, and the department cannot compel them to keep up the direct service. Every means, however, within the power of the department, has been, and will continue to be, employed to enforce regularity, and it is hoped there will be no further cause of complaint."
At that time, fifty years ago, the letter rate was 24 cents per ounce between Great Britain and the United States. The British officials that year submitted a proposition looking to a reduction of one-half, and the establishment of a 12-cent letter rate. The officials at Washington City assented, provided "the NOTES ON OREGON CONDITIONS IN THE FIFTIES. 193 transit charge on mails passing through England from and to the United States is reduced to 12% cents an ounce, the price paid by that government for the conveyance of the British and Canada mails through the United States." An offer was also made by the American government to make a transit rate of 12% cents on all letter mail, the offer to in- clude California and Oregon, which then had higher rates than other parts of the Union, the reduction proposed being from 50 to 75 per cent. The present day letter rate from any part of the United States to Great Britain is 5 cents, the con- trast between which and 24 cents or more is quite striking. All the Oregon mail routes in 1856 aggregated 968 miles in length. Steamboat routes were 144 miles, coach routes 95 miles, and others not specified, but chiefly on horse, 729 miles. For the unspecified service $18,121 were to be paid; for the coach $3,650; for the steamboat $8,100. The total transpor- tation called for was 115,648 miles during the year, and the annual compensation was $29,871. California was then far in the lead, with service and compensation six times greater than Oregon. Washington had no standing whatever in the report that year. Oregon figured to a small extent in the pensions of the long- gone-by days referred to. A. McKinlay, with office in Oregon City, was the United States Agent. In Oregon Territory, during the y^ear ending June 30, 1855, the number of pension- ers reported was nine, the yearly amount of whose pensions was stated to be $790. The amount actually paid, however, was reported to be $1,333.31. The year following, ending June 30. 1856, the pensioners were increased in number to sixteen, and the amount due them to $1,264, though the amount paid that year was only $412.03. The payments of the two years amounted to only $1,745.34. Mr. McKinlay had in hand $729.22 awaiting pensioners at the close of the second year. The Oregon pensioners in 1907 probably number more than five thousand, and the moneys paid them annually are probably not less than one million dollars. 194 THOMAS W. PROSCH. In 1860, 137 muskets were apportioned to Oregon by the Federal Government for the arming and equipping of the militia. The same number were apportioned to Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, Utah and New Mexico. The other States were rated higher, ranging from 169 to 2,142 muskets. In 1855 the United States military posts in Oregon were Fort Dalles, commanded by Major G. 0. Haller, with three companies of the Third Artillery and Fourth Infantry; Fort Lane, eight miles from Jacksonville, commanded by Captain A. J. Smith, with two companies of the First Dragoons ; and Fort Orford, commanded by Major J. F. Reynolds, with one company of the Third Artillery ; all being in the Department of the Pacific under General John E. Wool, having headquar- ters at Benicia, California. The year following there were two new posts or camps, one near Dayton, commanded by Captain C. C. Augur, with one company of the Fourth In- fantry; and one near Rhinelands, eleven miles from Fort Orford, commanded by Captain E. 0. C. Ord, with two com- panies of the Third Artillery. Colonel R. C. Buchanan then (1856) was in command at Fort Orford, and Lieutenant E. Underwood at Fort Lane. In 1857 the Department was com- manded by General N. S. Clark, the Oregon posts being Fort Dalles, commanded by Colonel George Wright; Fort Hoskins, on the Siletz River, forty miles from Corvallis, commanded by Captain C. C. Augur; Fort Umpqua, near the mouth of Umpqua River, commanded by Captain J. Stewart; and Fort Yamhill, on the south fork of Yamhill River, twenty-five miles southwest of Dayton, commanded by Lieutenant Philip H. Sheridan. In 1859, with General W. S. Harney at the head of the "Military Department of Oregon," Captain H. M. Black commanded at Fort Dalles, Captain D. A. Russell at Fort Yamhill, Captain C. C. Augur at Fort Hoskins, and Major J. B. Scott at Fort Umpqua. In 1860 the posts and commanders were the same as the year before, but for a time Major E. Steen, with two companies of the First Dragoons, was in the field at Siletz Indian Agency, at the same time NOTES ON OHKGON CONDITIONS IN THE FIFTIES. 195 Captain Augur having two companies of the Fourth Infantry at Fort Hoskins. Most of the officers named in the foregoing subsequently distinguished themselves and became Generals in rank, the most notable case being that of Lieutenant P. H. Sheridan. Prior to the dates named Forts Dalles, Lane and Orford were in existence, being commanded in 1853 and 1854 by Major G. J. Rains, Major G. W. Patton, Captain A. J. Smith, Lieutenant A. V. Kautz and Lieutenant R. Williams. In the fifties the Columbia River was commonly known in official circles as the Oregon River, the war secretaries usually so speaking of it in their orders and reports. Columbia Bar- racks was another name for Fort Vancouver. The War Department then was much taken up with military roads. In Oregon a number of such roads were located, among them one from Camp Stewart to Myrtle Creek, one from Myrtle Creek to Scottsburg, one from Vancouver to The Dalles and one from Astoria to Salem. Lieutenant John Withers, Lieutenant George H. Derby and Lieutenant George H. Men- dell, all of the Engineer Corps, had charge of these road en- terprises in 1855, 1856 and 1857. Lieutenant Withers had a bit of unpleasantness with Colonel W. W. Chapman, the well- known Oregon pioneer, who enjoined him in the Territorial Court, but Hon. S. F. Chadwick came to the assistance of the army officer, and had the injunction set aside. Lieutenant Derby suggested that sixteen feet wide for the road from Astoria to Salem was sufficient, instead of one hundred feet in his orders. He found it difficult to get laborers at $60 a month, owing to a gold discovery at Colville. He opened twelve and two-thirds miles of the road at the Astoria end, and Lieutenant Mendell added forty miles more in 1857. It was only a trail over much of its length, available for pack animals and the driving of live stock. Mendell thought that $600 a mile would construct a fair road from Astoria to Tualatin Plains, a distance of about fifty miles. In 1855 there were two United States Land Districts in Oregon the Willamette and the Umpqua, with offices at 196 THOMAS W. PROSCH. % Oregon City and Winchester, the latter being established that year. During the latter half of 1854 the lands sold were only 1,766.70 acres, for which $2,208.37 were paid. During the first half of 1855, 4,592.66 acres were sold, the cash receipts amounting to $5,740.82. The business was all done at Oregon City. The lands surveyed but not offered for sale in Oregon Territory in 1854-5 aggregated 1,332,214 acres. C. K. Gardiner, Surveyor-General in 1855, reported sur- veying 1,450 donation claims, leaving 350 to be surveyed under contracts made. He then had twelve parties in the field. He urged extension of the surveys into the country east of the Cascade Mountains. His deputy surveyors in 1853 Avere Daniel Murphy and Anson G. Henry ; in 1854, Harvey Gordin, Josiah W. Preston, Joseph Hunt, Lafayette Carter, Daniel Murphy. Matthew O. C. Murphy, Nathaniel Ford, G. Clinton Gardner, Charles J. Gardner, Ambrose N. Armstrong, Butler Ives, George W. Hyde. Andrew W. Patterson and Harvey Gordon ; in 1855, Joseph Trutch, John W. Trutch, Zenas F. Moody, Harvey Gordon, Charles T. Gardner, Wells Lake, George W. Hyde, Ambrose N. Armstrong, Addison R. Flint, Dennis Hathorn, Nathaniel Ford, Lafayette Carter and Thomas H. Hutchinson. The same men were engaged in the surveys of the year following. In 1857 Samuel D. Snowden, Sewell Truax, Alex. C. Smith, David P. Thompson and E. T. T. Fisher engaged as deputies in the surveys. Several of the men named, in after years, became very prominent in the business and political affairs of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. In 1855 Gordon reported that he had en- countered extraordinary and unexpected difficulties. He had worn out his first lot of helpers by using them as pack animals over the coast mountains, it being impossible there to use horses ; his second lot of men took the gold fever, and wages went up from $52 a month to $100. The work had so far cost him $930, which was $290 more than he had received, and to prevent further loss he asked to be allowed to relinquish the remainder of the undertaking. Completed surveys during NOTES ON OREGON CONDITIONS IN THE FIFTIES. 197 the year ending June 30, 1856, covered 836,036 acres. At this time John S. Zieber was Surveyor-General of Oregon. His estimate of expenses for the year was $89,030. Difficulties with the Indians hampered the surveyors, and when these were not in the way gold discoveries and excitements had like demoralizing effects. The Federal Government was not willing to pay the current wages in the country, nor would it pay as much in Oregon as it would pay for like services in California. The surveys in the latter State were pushed much more rapidly, the allowances for that purpose being three, four or five times greater than for Oregon. Referring to the troubles confronting him, Surveyor-General Zieber, September 17, 1856, reported as follows: "The surveys in Southern Oregon have not progressed as they would have done in the absence of Indian hostilities. Surveyors stood aloof from taking contracts, and those who were in the field, in addition to other causes operating against them, were greatly hindered by an unusual deal of cloudy weather. When Indian difficulties began to decrease, the season had too far advanced to justify the commencement of any new contract. "In a communication from this office, under date of June 17, 1856, replying to your letter of inquiry of April 26, 1856, I gave a number of reasons why skillful and reliable deputies cannot be had at rates lower than those now paid. The partial cessation of Indian hostilities, and, probably, early restoration of peace within our borders, may remove some of the causes which have heretofore prevented a reduction of those rates; but as these occur, others take their places. It is already found that, as in former years, the mines in the vicinity of Fort Colville, and especially those in Southern Oregon, as Indian hostilities abate, draw off laboring men from every county in the Territory. The most exciting reports of success in the gold mines abound, and operates greatly against the deputy sur- veyor in employing assistants, except at prices which are not warranted even by the apparently high government prices of surveying in Oregon. The assistant asks more than the con- tractor himself can rationally expect to clear; he abandons the field, and perhaps both prefer to take their chances in 'the diggings/ 198 THOMAS W. PROSCH.
- ' The public lands which remain to be surveyed in Oregon
are probably rougher than any that have ever been sect ionized in the Territories of the United States. Scarcely an unsur- veyed township of land can be found without canyons, ravines, or precipitous hills; and most of the unsurveyed territory abounds in heavy timber, (often standing and fallen,) dense tangled undergrowth of bushes, briars, fern, and grass, in many places covering a rocky surface almost impassable. A deputy surveyor (Mr. J. W. Trutch) informs that, in a dis- tance of 100 miles, in prosecuting contract No. 61, it was found impossible to convey provisions except by packing on the backs of men. Actual experience in the field of operations alone can give an adequate idea of the energy and perseverance indis- pensable to the successful prosecution of a surveying contract in such a region of country. To realize large profits from the best contract that can now be let is out of the question; and to reduce the rates of surveying would be ruinous to con- tractors, if any could be found to undertake the work. "Should the present expectation of peace with the Indians of Oregon be realized, and no unforeseen obstacles present themselves, I think the surveys of all the public lands west of the Cascade range of mountains, fit for residence and cultiva- tion, may be completed by the end of the year 1858. If any should remain, they will consist of small fractional townships along basses of mountains, or in mountain gaps, or on mountain summits, apart and detached from the surveyed lands. "Believing that the proper period has arrived to authorize the extension of the Oregon surveying district east of the Cascade Mountains, I renew the recommendation to that effect found in the last annual report from this office. The lands lying between the Cascade and Blue mountains, and particu- larly those on the Des Chutes, John Day, and Umatilla, are valuable and desirable, especially for stock farming. At the Dalles of the Columbia a business town (Dalles) has sprung np : a. number of enterprising settlers have taken claims, and made considerable improvements. Settlements had also been made before the war at Whitman's Station and on the Uma- tilla. These will be soon resumed and increased in number; and on the positive restoration of peace, emigrants will repair to other noints on the banks of the Columbia and the above- named rivers. The surveys should precede the settlements, nnrl fhe amount necessary for this purpose is named in Esti- mate E." NOTES ON OREGON CONDITIONS IN THE FIFTIES. 199 In 1858 the Surveyor-General again officially adverted to these matters, saying : "It was intimated in my annual report, under date of September 17, 1856, that if the then looked for peace and quiet with the Indians in Oregon should be realized, and no adverse circumstances should present themselves, the surveys of all the public lands fit for settlement and cultivation, west of the Cascade range of mountains, might be completed by the end of the current year. And if any of the public domain should remain unsurveyed it would consist of fractional town- ships along bases of mountains, in mountain gaps, and on mountain summits, apart and detached from the surveyed lands. But Indian difficulties in Southern Oregon have only recently been brought to an entire termination, and the ever- recurring reports of new discoveries of gold, and consequent excitement and inflation of prices of labor, and its products, were sufficient to retard surveying operations, and defeat the fulfillment of the hope of 1856. However, even in the ab- sence of these circumstances, it would have appeared that the appropriations for continuing the surveys west of the moun- tains, in this district, were inadequate to meet the expense of completing the work. It is now probable that every appropri- ated dollar will be consumed by surveys under existing con- tracts. "Since the disappearance of hostile Indians from the entire southeastern portion of Oregon, it has been found that there is more land suitable for farming and grazing purposes than there was supposed to be in that part of our Territory. The hostile savage being out of the way, and there being a constant demand for beef cattle and agricultural products in the min- ing districts north and south of it, this land will doubtless soon be sought and occupied by farmers, and other persons. The surveys should therefore be extended over them. "It may be proper here to note the fact that there are sev- eral tribes of Indians usually found near Klamath Lake, among whom are the Klamaths, Modocks, and Pintes, many of them, probably, properly belonging to California. Their reported number is about 600, but their actual number is not known, no census having ever been taken of them. As these Indians are not known to have manifested any hostilities, within the last four years, to the whites of Oregon, I would respectfully suggest the propriety of providing for negotia- tions with them for the purpose of securing their assent to the 200 THOMAS W. PKOSCH. settlement by citizens of the United States of the lands in their vicinity, and of extinguishing their claim thereto, in whole or in part. They are occasionally found roaming over that por- tion of territory designated on the accompanying diagram, as proposed to be surveyed south of the eighth standard parallel south, and between ranges nine and sixteen east. That set- tlers will soon be seeking homes in that region of country does not admit of doubt. I am credibly informed, by deputy sur- veyors and other persons who have seen the country, that the land is among the most desirable in Oregon, well watered, apparently fertile and easy of cultivation. The water courses have a southwest direction, emptying into the Klamath River in California; and the lands in California lying immediately south of those above referred to have been subdivided by the government surveyors of that district. * * * "Dalles is the county seat of Wasco County, which polled nearly 300 votes at the last June election. The citizens are anxious to witness the commencement of surveying operations in their section of country. There are also considerable settle- ments and improvements on the TJmatilla and Walla Walla rivers, where surveys are required; and if Indian hostilities had not interrupted and retarded the progress of settlers and driven them back, the Des Chutes and John Day rivers, and even the far-off but rich and beautiful Grande Ronde country would now contain a larsre farming and pastoral population, which is sure to flow thither soon as a feeling of security fromIndian outrages shall justify it."
TWO OF OREGON'S FOREMOST COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS:
JUDGE REUBEN PATRICK BOISE AND PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON.
Judge Boise served with high and persistent purpose and fine powers of discernment in molding the institutional life of the State, while Professor Condon had pre-eminence as a student and teacher, whose mind penetrated to the mystery of Nature's past here, and who with finest spirit inspired the minds and hearts of its youth. Both passed out of this life during recent months. Professor Condon died at the home of his oldest daughter, Mrs. H. F. McCornack, near Eugene, on February 11, aged 84 years, 11 months and 8 days. Judge Boise passed away at his old home in Salem on April 10, aged 88 years, 9 months and 22 days.
The following account of the life and services of Judge Boise is taken from the Daily Oregonian of even date with the day of his death:
"Judge Boise was born at Blandford, Hampden County, Massachusetts, June 19, 1818. H/is ancestors followed Washington during the War of the Revolution. He was a descendant of the French Huguenots, and the third child of a family of eight of Reuben Boise, prominent in Massachusetts politics up to the time of his death. His mother's maiden name was Sallie Putnam, a relative of General Israel Putnam, of Revolutionary fame. He is survived by one daughter, Maria Boise, who lived with him to the last; Reuben P. Boise, Jr., a prominent business man of this city, and Whitney L. Boise, one of the leading attorneys of Portland.
"Judge Boise was educated in the public schools of Blandford, and was graduated from Williams College with the degree of A. B.. in 1843. He taught school in Missouri one year, and then read law under his uncle, Patrick Boise, of Westheld, and was admitted to the bar in 1847. He practiced law for two years at Chicopee. Wisconsin, and came to Portland, via the Isthmus of Panama, in 1850. He purchased a tract of 640 acres of land near Dallas, in Polk County, which still belongs to the estate, and on which he lived for four years.
"In 1851 Judge Boise was elected prosecuting attorney of the First and Second Districts by the territorial legislature, his field lying between Eugene, Lane County, and the Territory of Washington. In 1853 he was elected one of the code commissioners for Oregon and selected to compile the first laws of the Territory, with two others, James K. Kelly and D. R. Biglow.
"In 1854 Judge Boise was re-elected prosecuting attorney and represented Polk County in the territorial legislature for three years. In 1857 he represented Polk County in the constitutional convention and, as chairman of the committee on legislation, was instrumental in furnishing the fundamental laws of the State Goverment. In 1857 he was appointed by President Buchanan one of the Supreme Judges of the Oregon Territory, along with Judges Williams and Deady. After Oregon's admission to statehood he was elected to the supreme bench and sat with Judges Waite, Stratton and Prim. In 1868, under the provisions of the constitution, he drew lots for terms with his associate judges, with the result that Judge Waite drew the shortest term of two years and presided as Chief Justice; Justice Stratton drew the four year term, and Judge Boise the six-year term. He held his position on the supreme bench for twelve years. His seat was contested by the late Judge B. F. Bonham, and, rather than enter into litigation, Judge Boise withdrew.
"Judge Boise was elected a member of the Capitol Building Commissioners in 1874, in which capacity he served until 1876, when he was again elected to the supreme bench. Upon reorganization of the Supreme Court, under the constitution, and the creation of the circuit court districts, he was one of the three Justices, with Judges Kelly and Prim. At the first general election he preferred the nomination for circuit judge of the Third District, to which office he was elected, and he continued to serve, with the exception of the years between 1892 and 1898, up to the year 1905, when he was succeeded by Judge William Galloway, of McMinnville. "Judge Boise had been a resident of Salem since 1857, and, until the year 1865, he lived upon the property which is now oeormied by the Sacred Heart Academy. In 1880 he purchased the "Home Farm," of which he still retained sixty acres, and his late residence was the first house built in Salem. He owned the old Mission mill, house and grounds, a portion of which house was built in the early forties.
"His first marriage was in San Francisco, in 1851, to Ellen P. Lyon, of Boston, daughter of Captain Lyon, a pioneer of the Pacific Coast. From this union two children were born, Reuben P., Jr., and Whitney L. Boise. In 1867 Judge Boise was married again to Miss Emily A. Pratt, a native of Worcester, Mass., the daughter of Ephraim Pratt, a Massachusetts manufacturer, and sister of Captain Pratt, who started the first woolen mill here. Two children were born as the result of this marriage, Ellen, a graduate of the Willamette University, who was drowned in the undertow at Long Beach, Wash., when 22 years old, and Maria, also a graduate of Willamette University, residing here.
"Judge Boise was deeply interested in the agricultural development of the country and was a member, and five times master, of the State Grange. He was also interested in the educational development of the State. He was a member of the first board of school directors in Portland, and twice a member of the board of trustees of the Pacific University, at Forest Grove; held the same position with the La Creole Academy at Dallas and the Willamette University here, and was a member of the board of regents of the Agricultural College, at Corvallis. He was also an honored member of the Oregon Historical Society and of the Oregon Pioneers, and treasured many of his early friendships, among whom are Judge James K. Kelly, a pioneer of 1851, now in Washington; Governor Grover, a pioneer of 1851, and Judge George H. Williams, of Portland, pioneer of 1853, who paid the following impromptu tribute to his memory as part of the funeral service:
"'My friends, I have but a few words to say concerning Boise, that was, and whom you all knew as well as I as a man whose entire life was filled with fidelity and the highest ideals of honor. Judge Boise acted well his part on every possible occasion and for this reason he was entitled to all of the praises and honors due him.
"'Judge Boise has been more fortunate during his life than has been the lot of many of us in earning and gaining the respect and confidence of all. He was fortunate in his family, his friends, and especially in retaining his faculties unimpaired to the very close of a long and useful life. When I came to Oregon, over fifty years ago, Judge Boise was engaged in the active practice of law, and I have had the pleasure of 204 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. seeing him occupy seats of the highest honor the people could bestow, the bench of the supreme and circuit courts, and as a judge he has been absolutely impartial and upright; his pri- vate life irreproachable, and in public, above suspicion. 1 ' ' But a few days ago Judge Boise was the oldest lawyer in the State of Oregon. Now he has gone and I am the oldest and left to tread down the weary path of life alone, and I feel like one left alone without anyone to look up to in point of years and experience in the line of practice. When a man reaches the age that was attained by Judge Boise he has no occasion to regret to depart this earth, and there is no oc- casion to mourn his loss. It is just as natural for him to die as he lived. Everything the tree, the flower, the grass, thrive and fulfill their usefulness on earth and, after they have done their duty, wither and perish ; and the same is true of man- kind, and it is his duty to act and view as cheerfully as he can the end of this life which is inevitable. " 'His beloved family and friends need not grieve over his departure from such a long life of toil and high accomplish- ments, for they can look back upon his record with pride and full satisfaction. Spring is a most appropriate time for an old man to take his departure from this earth, when there are spring flowers, birds and everything to brighten and cheer him on to the end with their sweet fragrance and mirthful song, symbolic of a life of happiness, joy and prosperity. When the sun goes down and sheds its golden hues over the earth which is about to be clothed in darkness, so an old man like Judge Boise dies with all the glories of a setting sun. And when it is all over we can all join in saying : Well done, good and faithful servant. Best in peace.' : The work of Professor Condon represented the deepest de- votion through scholarship to the soul needs of his fellowman. Through his genius for discerning the thought and spirit of God in His works and his noble concern for the upbuilding of the higher life of the community, Thomas Condon ministered to two fundamental needs of the people of the Pacific North- west and was even a benefactor to the world at large. Wide and deep research among the rocks and strata of the Oregon region accumulated data that his constructive imagination Two COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS. 205 developed into an entrancing vision of what and of how God had wrought here. Under the spell of this vision the faith of many wavering under the shock and confusion from the then newly sprung theory of evolution, was led to a higher plane. He was so deeply concerned about this spiritual interest of his fellowman, because life to him as he lived it day by day was an affair of the soul. Thus he made it his mission to minister to its strength and serenity. So original were his investigations in his field, so large and deep his comprehension of their significance that when the full history of the theory of evolution is written his name will stand among those of its chief collaborators. Such was his part in enlightening the thought of the world at large. His second great ministry consisted in his giving the people of the Pacific Northwest the full possession of this land as their home. Of course the earlier pioneers were using it to furnish food and raiment for their bodies, but Thomas Condon more than any other man has made this region the source of material of thought and sentiment. Before his work the civil- ized man could exist on its surface. Thomas Condon's genius and labors prepared the key that opens to us glorious vistas into the past of this region and into all the phases of the pro- cesses of Nature here so that man can be at home here as the Athenians were on the Acropolis and can engage all the higher faculties of his being. The story and word pictures in his ' ' Two Islands ' ' give us and our posterity, more than any other single source, an indefeasible birthright to what God has created here for the sustenance of soul life. The following account of his life, investigations, and services as a teacher, is found in a memorial volume recently published by the University of Oregon : ' ' There was a limestone quarry near the home of Mr. Con- don 's childhood that must have made a deep impression upon his thoughtful mind and shed the affectionate glamour of early association over his study of the rocks, for his interest in geology began with his childhood. "Fortunately for him his family left the old home in SouthPROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. ern Ireland and, crossing the Atlantic, made their home in the city of New York. Here we find the future scientist an active, wide-awake boy, full of life and with a strong appetite for knowledge. Some of his leisure hours were utilized in explor- ing the Old Revolutionary fortifications near the city. And oc- casionally he spent a half holiday hunting rabbits in the wilds of what is now Central Park. A few years ago, in speaking of those days of his boyhood, he referred to his study of algebra and then said: 'But when I took up geometry it lifted me to the clouds. I drank it in as a mental food.' It seemed to be the pure, beautiful logic, the perfect chain of reasoning, that appealed to his mind.
- ' At about eighteen years of age, he was working, studying,
and teaching in Camillus, Skaneateles, and other places in Central New York, where he finally entered the Theological Seminary at Auburn while teaching in the evening school at Auburn States Prison. The history of those years in the lake country of Central New York would read like a romance of extreme interest. But in spite of all difficulties he spent many leisure hours among the hills and quarries gathering fossils and studying the geological formation of the region. ' ' But he had heard of the Whitman Mission in the Far West and had made up his mind to go as a home missionary to the Oregon Country, and in 1852, with his young bride, he sailed in a clipper ship around Cape Horn for San Francisco. After a long and eventful voyage they found themselves in the newly settled and unexplored Oregon. Trappers had long known it as a land of furs ; miners had known it as a land of gold ; the early pioneer had found it a country with rich and fertile soil; but its scientific resources were still undiscovered. The ques- tions that had dawned dimly upon his mind as he played by the stone quarry of his childhood, the questions that were kindled into life as he studied the fossils of Central New York, the questions of the how and wherefore of creation must have eome to him with new force as he looked out upon the fertile valleys, ^rand mountains, and noble rivers of his new home. ' ' But the activity of these first years left but little time for scientific research ; for new homes must be built, land cleared, crops planted, schools started, churches organized, and hostile Indians subdued, and there were but few of these labors of pioneer life in which he did not take an active part. "After ten years of life in Western Oregon Mr. Condon, wishing for a more needy field, moved his family to The Two COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS. 207 Dalles, then the head of navigation on the Columbia, the gate- way through which all the rough, reckless mining population must pass on their way to the newly discovered gold fields of Eastern Oregon. Here, too, was an army post from which men and supplies were sent to all parts of the Northwest. ' ' An army officer returning from an expedition against hos- tile Indians brought Mr. Condon his first Eastern Oregon fossils from the Crooked River country. These fossils aroused the keen interest of the student of nature and in 1862 or '63 he obtained permission to accompany a party of cavalry carrying supplies to Harney Valley. They returned by way of old Camp Watson, on the John Day River, and here Mr. Condon found his first fossils in the now famous John Day Valley.
- ' These glimpses of this fossil field only served to make him
eager for more, and as soon as the Indians had been subdued and it was safe to venture among those hills and ravines with- out an army escort, Mr. Condon spent his vacations exploring in the John Day country. On one of these trips he found and named Turtle Cove, which has since proved to be one of the richest fossil beds in the valley. He employed young men to spend their summers collecting the fossils exposed by the wWr of winter storms. He made friends with the rough teamsters who drove the great government freight wagons from Fort Dalles to the army posts in the wilderness. As these teamsters returned with empty wagons they often brought a few rocks or a fine box of fossils for their new friend at The Dalles. In a few years Mr. Condon found in his possession a large quan- tity of valuable material that must be classified and described. But he was without scientific books, was thousands of miles from the great libraries and museums of the East, and far from other scientists with whom to confer. 11 Fortunately, at this time the United States Government was making its famous geological survey of the fortieth par- allel, embracing a strip of land one hundred miles in width, and connecting the geology of the great plains east of the Rocky ' Mountains with that of California and the Pacific Coast. One evening as this great work was nearing completion, Mr. Condon was delighted to learn that Clarence King, the leader of the survey, had reached The Dalles, and he lost no time before meeting this distinguished geologist. Mr. King was deeply interested in the pioneer discoverer's account of Oregon geology and the next day found him in the Condon home studying the unique collection. 208 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. "Not later than the spring of 1867 Mr. Blake, an eastern geologist, visited the cabinet at The Dalles, and on his return voyage carried with him a few specimens of fossil leaves originally from Bridge Creek in the John Day Valley. These were perhaps the first Oregon specimens to find their way to the Atlantic Coast. They soon fell into the hands of Dr. New- berry of Columbia College, New York, who, being a specialist in fossil botany, longed earnestly for more. After talking with Clarence King in Washington, and learning from him more of the Oregon geologist and his country, Dr. Newberry wrote Mr. Condon in 1869 and received in response a box of fossils of which he writes : ' I received your two letters with great pleas- ure. Since then the box has safely come to hand and that has given me still greater satisfaction, for I found it full of new and beautiful things which fully justified the high anticipa- tion I had formed judging from your letters and the specimens brought by Mr. Blake.' ' ' In the autumn of 1870, Arnold Hague, also connected with the geological survey of the fortieth parallel, spent a month in Oregon, part of the time being at The Dalles in discussion over the geological problems of the Columbia River region. That this visit was a source of mutual pleasure is shown by a subse- quent letter in which Mr. Hague refers to his 'month in Ore- gon in 1870 as one of the pleasant memories of the past.' ' * But a new era was dawning for * the Oregon Country. ' The first transcontinental railroad had touched the Pacific and with it came many large parties of cultured tourists who, wishing to look upon the grand scenery of the Columbia, found themselves obliged to spend the night in The Dalles. In this way it often happened that late in the afternoon a party of fifteen or twenty ladies and gentlemen would gather at the home of the Oregon geologist and spend a pleasant hour study- ing the life of past ages. ' ' In 1870 Mr. Condon shipped his first boxes of specimens to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington, and from there they were sent to Dr. Leidy of Philadelphia Academy. of Sci- ences for expert examination. The National Museum was glad to receive these new fossils from the Pacific Coast and promised its official assistance in every way possible. ' ' A few months later of this same year Professor Marsh of Yale College wrote from San Francisco as follows: 'I have heard for several years a great deal of the good work you are doing in geology and of the interesting collection of vertebrate Two COMMONWEALTH BUILEKRS 209 fossils you have made, and I intended during my present visit to the Pacific Coast to come to Oregon and make your ac- quaintance personally and examine your fossil treasures which my friends, Professor George Davidson, Clarence King, Mr. Raymond, and others had often wished me to see.' And a little later Professor Marsh writes urging that all fossils of extinct mammals be sent to Yale to be used by him in a work on paleontology gotten out by the United States Government in connection with the survey of the fortieth parallel. ' ' During these years many Oregon fossils found their way to the educational centers of the East. If they were fossil leaves they were sent to Dr. Newberry of Columbia College ; if shells, to Dr. Dall of the American Museum of Natural History; if fossil mammals, to the Smithsonian or to Marsh of Yale or Cope of Philadelphia. A few of these were sold, some of them were sent in exchange for eastern fossils, but most of them were simply lent in order that they might be classified and described by scientific experts. "In May, 1871, Mr. Condon published in the Overland Monthly his paper on 'The Rocks of the John Day Valley.* And in November of that year his article entitled ' The Willam- ette Sound' appeared in the same magazine. The latter was perhaps his favorite of all his geological writings. He felt that 'The Rocks of the John Day Valley' might need revising after i more thorough exploration but that 'The Willamette Sound' would endure. Both of these papers are given in 'The Two Islands,' published in 1902. "Mr. Diller of the United States Geological Survey has virtually accepted 'The Willamette Sound' and incorporated its substance in his report of the geology of Northwestern Or- egon, his only criticism being the suggestion that the waters of the sound were probably even higher than noted in the original publication. These two papers fairly represent Mr. Condon's strength as a constructive geological worker. They indicate his ability to begin at ocean level and by means of mountain upheavals, marine and like sediments, fossil leaves and bones, and volcanic outflows, to reconstruct and make wonderfully vivid the geological past of a new country. "From this time on, the sense of lonely isolation that had so hampered him in his work, gave place to the most cordial inter- course between the Oregon pioneer and distinguished scientists of the United States and Canada. In 1871 Mr. Condon had the pleasure of showing Professor Marsh and a large party 210 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. from Yale College through this new fossil field, and a little later Professor LeConte of the University of California was introduced into the same John Day Valley. The latest scien- tific publications began to find their way into Mr. Condon's library in exchange for information and material freely given to eastern workers. The stimulus of all this stirring inter- course by exchange, correspondence, or personal conversation with some of the most learned men of the age, was a great boon. Life in the strength of his manhood was full of buoy- ancy and joy, a grand opportunity for usefulness. "It gave Mr. Condon real pleasure to sit down beside a rough block of sandstone with only the corner of one glisten- ing tooth in sight, to pick and chip and chisel until another tooth and part of the jaw were seen, to continue with careful skill until the beautiful agatized molars were laid bare, to work patiently on until there stood before him, no longer the shapeless mass of stone, but a fine fossil head to add its testi- mony to the record of the past. But it gave him greater pleasure still, to work with rough, unpolished human char- acter and discover the glint of gold hidden under the rougli exterior. The book of nature was indeed fascinating but did not appeal to him as did the work with men. He had the artist's eye for seeing the beautiful in character and the en- thusiasm of a sculptor for shaping rough, faulty human nature until its beauty reflected the Divine. "To many minds, these two lines of interest, the develop- ment of character and the study of nature, would seem in- congruous, but to him they were both God's truth, the one the preparation, the other the culmination of God's work. And yet, strange and unusual as is this combination of geologist and minister, it seemed exactly what was needed to equip one for usefulness thirty or forty years ago. For these were years of great stir in the scientific world. "The author of 'The Origin of Species' and 'The Descent of Man' had given his theory of evolution to the world. The grand truths developed by that galaxy of brilliant English writers, Spencer, Huxley, Tyndall, and others, had been seized by materialists who were calling upon all thinkers to discard the Bible as out of date because not in harmony with scientific thought. Christian ministers were not scientists and the prin- ciples of 'Higher Criticism,' if thought of at all, were con- sidered dan^eious heresies against which to warn their people. To Mr. Condon the theory of evolution presented to the human Two COMMON WEALTH Bu FLOURS. 211 mind a wider conception of God than the world had ever known. It involved a plan of unthinkable grandeur; begin- ning with the smallest, simplest things, gradually unfolding into more complex life, often interrupted by some great up- turning of nature, but never losing the continuity of purpose, the steady progress toward the culminating glory of all: the spiritual life of man. "To have all this new wealth of spiritual vision appropri- ated by materialists was a source of deepest sorrow. The storm, starting on the intellectual heights of Europe, was slowly traveling westward. A little later magazines were full of the subject and materialism was creeping into college life with the claim that evolution was antagonistic to religion. The young men who studied science found few leaders so endowed as to interpret the beautiful adaptation of the doctrine of evolution to the spiritual life. "Mr. Condon saw that the old ramparts erected by theolo- gians were no longer a safe retreat; that the church must be defended even by science itself, and he longed to help unfurl the Christian banner over this newly discovered rea.lm of truth. He felt his most effective work could be done with his cabinet in shaping the immature minds of Oregon's sons and daughters. This, with the growing educational needs of his family, finally led him, in 1873, to take his place with the faculty of Pacific University at Forest Grove, and late, in 1876, to accept the chair of Geology and Natural History in the State University. "In 1876, shortly after reaching Eugene, Mr. Condon, in company with a son of ex-Governor Whiteaker, made a trip to the Silver Lake country in Southeastern Oregon. Here they gathered a fine collection of beautifully preserved fossil bird bones, which were sent east to be described, but seemed too rare and valuable to be returned, for, in spite of many efforts to recover them they were finally lost to the rightful owner. Fortunately, they had been previously examined and described by Dr. Shufe.ldt, an expert in the study of fossil birds, and to him we are indebted for much interesting knowledge of the ancient life of the region. This same locality has also yielded some of the finest specimens of fossil mammals in the State. "By this time Oregon had passed out of its pioneer stage and was looking to a broader expansion of statehood, with all its hidden possibilities of industrial development. Men were asking, 'Have we coal in Oregon?' 'How shall we utilize our 212 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. gold-bearing black sands?' 'Have we the right geological formation for artesian water ? ' ' Have we cement rock, copper, or limestone ? ' Letters on all of these and many other problems kept coming to Mr. Condon from near and from far. These questions and the investigation necessary for their answers resulted in his acquiring an extensive knowledge of the indus- trial problems of the State. If any one wished to bore for artesian water, his advice was asked. The discoverer of a fresh prospect for coal, copper, asbestos or marble, must send him a sample specimen and ask his opinion of its value, and he was always ready with a word of advice, a bit of encourage- ment or a needed caution. "All these years he had been glad to share his rapidly in- creasing knowledge with the people of the Northwest. The old river steamers and slow moving trains of early Oregon often carried him to fill lecture engagements, and he was usually cumbered with many heavy packages of specimens and choice fossils to illustrate his subject. Sometimes the lecture would be before a cultured Portland audience; sometimes it was a course of lectures for some growing young college or perhaps a talk to the farmers at the State Fair upon the formation and composition of soil. But as the years passed, most of his time and strength were given to his teaching at the University, while his summer vacations were spent with his family at his Nye Brook Cottage by the Sea. "Here his life was almost unique, but it again brought him into the most friendly relations with many classes of people from all parts of the Northwest. Sometimes there were formal lectures before a summer school, but more often there was an informal announcement that 'Professor Condon would lecture on the beach, ' perhaps near Jump-off Joe. And here his audi- ence would gather around him in the shelter of the bluff or headland, some standing, some sitting on the rocks, others perched upon the piles of weather-bleached driftwood, while the children sat 'Turk fashion' upon the dry, glistening sand. And he, with his tall alpine stalk in his hand, his broad hat and loose raglan coat made a picturesque figure standing in their midst. Perhaps he talked of the three beaches, the one upon which they stood and the two old geological beaches so plainly visible in the ocean bluff behind them. The banker, the college president, the physician from a distant part of the State, the young city clerk, the carpenter, the teacher of the pountry school, the farmer and his family taking an outing by Two COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS. 213 the sea, even the high school boy, and the children, all listened with interest. And when the talk was over and all their questions had been answered, the motly gathering strolled leisurely away. But the rolling breakers at their feet, the hurrying scud and blue summer sky, all had a new significance as they pondered on the mystery of creation. "Or perhaps a geological picnic was planned up the beach to Otter B/ocks. After a brisk ride of a few miles over the hills and along the beach, Mr. Condon's carriage would stop, the other vehicles would group themselves around near by. and, standing in his conveyance, he would give a short talk on the geological formation of the particular cove or headland with its base of old standstone full of fossil shells. Then the company would move on, and after a few more miles of de- lightful beach ride upon the hard sand near the breakers, they would leave their carriages, gather their picks, hammers, and chisels and spend an hour chipping fossils from the bluff or from the large bowlders at its base. The next stop would be to lunch near Otter Bocks and explore the unique Devil' * Caldron or Punchbowl and the interesting beach beyond. ' * But the most common picture, the one that must make the Condon Cottage at Nye Beach an almost sacred spot for some, was the party strolling homeward from a morning on the beach especially at low tide. They always stopped beside his cottage door to show their treasures to Mr. Condon. There were baskets, tin pails, and all sorts of packages filled with curios gathered on the morning walk ; one had a rare shell-fish, another an unusual fossil, some had sea moss, others only a group of bright pebbles, while a few proudly exhibited their water agates. All had their eager questions and his kindly, helpful interest never failed ; for if some child but left his cot- tage door with eyes large and shining with a new joy, because it had caught a glimpse of the beauty of knowledge, he was content. And so his summers passed. "Meanwhile he had been carrying on his original research work by taking trips to the southwestern part of the State and was slowly filling out his geological map of Oregon. "Mr. Condon's love for knowledge was not confined to natural science, for his interests were broad as the universe. To him, human history began with the men of preglacial age, and he sought eagerly for every ray of light that archeological research could throw upon the old Cave Dwellers of prehistoric times. He studied all primitive peoples, their religion, indus214 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. tries and social development, and endeavored to trace their re- lationship to common ancestry. There were but few obscure nations of the world in which he was not deeply interested ; he knew their past history, their present political condition and struggles for liberty. He prized the history of our Aryan ancestors and treasured their old Vedic hymns as among the first bright glimpses of the human soul in reaching out for its Creator. The religion, art, and literature of the Egyptians, Arabians, Persians, and Greeks were to him a source of great pleasure. He followed the lives of noted statesmen and was most enthusiastic in his admiration for the world 's true heroes. All great religious movements, including the higher criticism and the relation of science to religion were matters of absorb- ing interest. And yet there were but few who knew and loved Oregon's trees, shrubs, and wild flowers so well as he. 1 ' In 1902, after passing his eightieth birthday, Mr. Condon published his 'The Two Islands/ a popular work on the geo- logy of Oregon, which, aside from its scientific value, will be prized for its clearness and simplicity of style and the subtile charm of his own personality as constantly revealed in its pages. It was not written for technical scientists, but for the larger circle of readers who love to catch such glimpses of the progress of creation. No, Mr. Condon was not a specialist, either by nature, inclination, or education. And it was well for the early development of Oregon that he was a true pioneer with a large appetite for all knowledge, a keen pleasure in im- parting that knowledge to others, and a broad, sympathetic outlook into the needs of the Northwest. If he had been a specialist he might have received more technical credit in the scientific world, for he discovered many new fossils and named but few. But what is the naming of a few fossils more or less, when compared with the grandeur of such a broad sweep of knowledge, permeated by such a beautiful spirit of help- ful ness? "The pioneer work in this new and unexplored State, so remote from the great centers of learning, required just his type of mind ; just his habit of first sketching in the broad out- lines and then filling in the details with all their picturesque beauty. For as the artist works, he worked. A colleague who wrought by his side has said of him, that instead of beginning with the minute details and progressing toward the large facts of life, he always be^an with the broad outlines, the great principles of any subject, and worked down to its details. Two COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS. 215 k k After this active, eager life had passed and failing health gave him ample time for retrospective meditation, he realized that he had lived through a grand period of pioneer history and remarked, as he looked forward into the future in store for the rising generation, 'I do not know that I would ex- change the rich chapters of my own life for all the future op- portunities of these young men.' ' ' For he was the pioneer geologist who, by his own original research, caught the first glimpse of Oregon 's oldest land as it rose from the ocean bed; he saw the seashells upon her oldest beaches; watched the development of her grand forests; saw her first strange mammals feeding upon her old lake shores; he listened in imagination to the cannonading of her first volcanoes and traced the showers of ashes and great floods of lava. He followed the creation of Oregon step by step all through her long geological history and then entered with enthusiasm into the industrial and educational development of her present life. "But, above all, infinitely above all, he prized and labored for the noble character of her sons and daughters. Is it any wonder that his heart was full of gratitude to God for having guided him into such a rich heritage of life?" The following statement of Professor Condon's published contributions to geology, by Chester W. Washburne, appeared in the Journal of Geology, Vol. XV, No. 3, April-May, 1907 : "The death (February 11, 1907) of Professor Thomas Con- don ended a life little known among scientists, yet a life of considerable service to geology.
- ' Professor Condon was an unusual man in that he seemed
to have no desire to publish the results of his study. There are but few papers, only eight strictly geological, and one book, published over his name. But the writings of the sci- entists of his day Le Conte, Dana, Marsh, Cope, and others are full of references to Dr. Condon, and all of them ac- knowledge his contribution to science by exploration and theory.
- * Condon discovered the famous John Day beds which have
so enriched our knowledge of Tertiary vertebrates. Here he found some of the specimens of three-toed horses on which 216 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. Marsh based his theory of the evolution of that animal. 1 In this instance Marsh gave the discoverer scant credit for his work, and the type-specimens remained in Yale Museum until after Marsh died. The same thing happened to many other valuable specimens loaned to Marsh, Cope, Gabb, and others. A fine lot of Pliocene birds from Southeastern Oregon, loaned to Cope, were never returned. It was doubtless to the interest of science that these fossils fell into the hands of other men, but it was unjust to Condon not to acknowledge more fully his services, and not to return his specimens. In 1867 Professor Condon printed in the Portland Oregonian an account of what he then thought to be the first fossil horses found in America, the same specimens that Marsh described several years later. What a strange contrast between these zealous, ambitious paleontologists, and that lonely, unselfish, but no less devoted worker in the wilderness of Oregon ! "Condon's best friend and occasional companion was Joseph Le Conte, who accompanied him on several trips, and who always gave him the fullest credit when publishing his ideas or observations. These two old lovers of earth-science recall a comparison made by Suess, 2 in writing of an almost unknown geologist, Arnold Escher von der Linth :
- 'On the one side stood Sir Charles, 3 the calm, superior
philosopher, the lucid thinker and able writer ; on the other, dear old Arnold Escher, who intrusted his admirable sketches and diaries to everyone indiscriminately, but to whom every line he had to publish was a torment, and who was perhaps only quite in his element up in the snow and ice, when the wind swept his gray head and his eye roamed over a sea of peaks.' "From a scientific standpoint Professor Condon's best con- tribution is doubtless his paper 4 on 'The Willamette Sound.' Condon showed that this Pleistocene body of water filled the Willamette Valley, and extended north to Puget Sound, with a probable length of about three hundred miles. He worked 1 Professor Henry F. Osborn has said: "I believe that Professor Condon deserves the entire credit of the discovery of the Upper Oligocene horses in the John Day." Pacific Monthly, November, 1906, p. 566. 2 Preface to Das Antlitz der Erde, translation by Hertha Sollas. 3 Sir Charles Lyell. 4 "The Willamette Sound," Overland Monthly, Vol. VII, No. 5, pp. 468-73. (San Francisco, 1871); Reprinted as a chapter in "The Two Islands." Two COMMONWEALTH BUILDERS. out its extent and depth by means of terraces along the Col- umbia River and the ocean. "Professor Condon's book, 'The Two Islands,' 5 is a popu- lar account of the geological history of the original 'Oregon Country.' The Klamath mountain group of Southwestern Oregon and Northern California was an island (Siskyou Island) in the Cretaceous sea, separated from the Sierra Nevada by Diller's Lassen Strait. The Blue Mountains, how- ever, were not an island (Shoshone Island) at the time, for only in the Upper Cretaceous (early Chico) did the sea reach even the western part of the Blue Mountain region. But Con- don's treatment of the subject brought out the striking geo- logical difference between the two mountain groups and the rest of the State, showing that they are two regions of Paleo- zoic and Mesozoic rocks surrounded by Tertiary lavas and sediments. "Thomas Condon was born in Ireland, March 3, 1822. When he was eleven years old, the family moved to New York City ; later to the central part of New York State, where Con- don finished his education, taught school, and made a collec- tion of New York paleozoic fossils which later formed the nucleus of his splendid collection at the University of Oregon. He graduated from Auburn Theological Seminary in 1852, married Miss Cornelia Holt, and sailed for Oregon by way of Cape Horn. "For several years he had charge of the Congregational Mission at The Dalles, Oregon, then a small trading post. It was while stationed at The Dalles that Condon made most of his trips into the interior, generally with military parties, gathering the fine Tertiary mammals in his collection. In 1872 he became professor of geology and natural history at Pacific University, resigning in 1876, to accept the same chair in the newly created University of Oregon. Here he remained until 1905, confining his teaching in later years mainly to paleontology. In these last years Professor Condon was too feeble to go into the field, but he had become so well known that people in all parts of the State were constantly sending him new specimens, knowing well the pleasure these gifts brought to the old naturalist who no longer could gather them himself. They were fresh links to the outdoor world, to the scenes of his early activities that he so enjoyed in memory. 5 "The Two Islands and What Came of Them." (Portland, Ore.: The J. K. Gill Co., 1902.) 218 PROFESSOR THOMAS CONDON. ' ' Condon was one of those rare men that study science from an inherent love of nature, not merely for self -advancement, or for the praise of men." BIBLIOGRAPHY. "The Willamette Sound." Overland Monthly, Vol. VII, No. 5, pp. 468-73. (San Francisco, 1871.) "Preliminary Report of the State Geologist" [of Oregon.] 22 pages. (Salem, Ore., 1874.) Abstract in American Journal of Science, Third Series, Vol. IX (1875), p. 401. "Washington Territory" [and Oregon] (geological forma- tions.) Macfarlane's American Geological Railway Guide, 1879, pp. 172, 173. "On Some Points Connected with the Igneous Eruptions along the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. ' ' American Journal of Science, Third Series, Vol. XVIII (1879), pp. 406-8. "Oregon." Macfarlane's Geological Railway Guide, sec- ond edition (1890), pp. 316, 317. "The Two Islands, and What Came of Them." (Portland, Ore.: The J. K. Gill Co., 1902.) "The Ice Caves of Mount Adams." Mazama, Vol. I, pp. 102, 103. "A New Fossil Pinniped from the Miocene of the Oregon Coast." Bulletin of the University of Oregon, May, 1906; supplement to Vol. Ill, No. 3. Review by J. Wortman, Sci- ence, N. S., Vol. XXIV (July 20, 1906), pp. 89-92.