Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 9/From Youth to Age As an American, part 2
FROM YOUTH TO AGE AS AN AMERICAN.
By John Minto.
LEARNING TO LIVE ON THE LAND.
I cannot say but that I had a bearable existence while mining coal in Pennsylvania. The comparative freedom of life and the hope of wider opportunities began in me with my first glimpses into frontier literature and observing how easy it seemed to live well from the land. It was called hard times, and doubtless was, to those who had to get money from their crops; but beyond this general condition I learned to look to the frontier and beyond, and resolved that I would reach it by the first opportunity, and that came to me in the city of St. Louis, when I was informed that family men of means were preparing to emigrate to Oregon. I lost no time in getting among them and engaging my labor for the opportunity of coming with one of the very best among them. I kept my engagement in such a way as secured me more than I had any right to expect, and the good will of the family in addition, marrying the oldest daughter the third year after our arrival in Oregon.
The first labor I did in Oregon was in the superb timber on the foothills of the Coast Range. I made fence-rails and cut and helped to roll and notch logs into the walls of claimholding cabins. D. Clark, S. B. Crokett and myself, after we had squared accounts with Gen. M. M. McCarver for provisions furnishfd us on the Umatilla, were engaged by a contractor for such work called "Little Osborn," and the four of 128 John Minto. us put lip and covered with "shakes" five cabins, sixteen feet square with eaves six feet above the ground, in a week. This was while we waited for our friends with the wagons to reach The Dalles so that we might go to help them down the Colum- bia ; to do which we had, through General McCarver, received promise of a loan of a Hudson's Bay Company's boat by the good Chief Factor McLoughlin. This occupied us a month and I spent nearly as much more helping Captain Morrison domicile his family at Clatsop. Hunt 's mill was built on the brink of a seventy-foot fall of a small stream entering the Columbia about two and one-half miles east of Clifton railroad station. The mill-irons were brought across the plains by ox team in 1843, with the pur- pose of cutting lumber for export. Mr. H. H. Hunt was from Indiana; B. T. Wood, associated with him, was from New York. They looked out the stream for their purpose with the least possible delay, and found one where water power could be applied to cutting timber with the least possible labor, about thirty miles east of Astoria in the bottom of a deep ravine clothed with as fine timber for their purpose as could be found in Oregon. There were sixteen men when I joined them, about January 25, 1845. They had been nearly a year erecting the mill, and had begun to cut without the aid of any team. (I assisted in taking the first yoke of oxen from Oregon City to the mill in July, 1846, in a small scow.) My mining stroke came in good play for cutting trees level witli the surface of the ground to facilitate rolling the logs by hand to the saw. It was very slow work with the means at com- mand; it was a good day's run when 3,000 feet, board meas- ure, were cut. A five-foot log was a heavy one to handle by human strength. In 1846, Mr. A. E. Wilson, the first Ameri- can merchant to settle at Astoria, bought B. T. Wood's inter- est in the mill, and he brought into the work the yoke of cattle mentioned, and a force of five Kanakas, under contract with King Kamahamaha of the Hawaiian Islands, at five dollars per month, and salmon and potatoes furnished them for food. They were willing, cheerful workers. From Youth to Age as an American. 129 Late in the same year, James Birnie, retiring from the Hudson's Bay Company's employ, a factor at Fort George (Astoria), bought an interest in the mill and located a claim on the north side of the Columbia nearly opposite, naming it ' ' Cathlamet. ' ' The native Cathlamet was on an island on the south side, about a mile from the present site of Clifton. Mr. Birnie had claims against the Hudson's Bay Company and could get goods of a better kind and quality than could be secured at Oregon City or of Mr. Petty grove at infant Port- land. The woolens Avere made for the Indian trade, coarse but honest, as was the clothing of United States soldiers at that time. This was because the Hudson's Bay Company had to meet the wants of their officers and families and occasional calls from the British Navy. It was through Mr. Birnie that the writer was enabled to get a decent suit to be married in, in 1847. I earned the price by squaring the first wooden tram-way rails used on the Columbia, and this date was near the close of the wooden age" of Oregon's industries; when wood was used wherever it was possible. During my first harvest in the Willamette Valley, I began to take practical lessons in the severest kind of field labor— that of binding wheat in its own straw. My teacher cut, and I bound after him, one hundred and eleven acres during the harvest, and under his advice I purchased from Mr. David Carter the claim to the original Methodist Episcopal Mission site, taking him in as my silent partner. It would have been a good business move if my knowledge of farming had been equal to Henry Williamson's, who himself was under promise to return to Indiana to meet in marriage a worthy helpmate, who, as the issue indicated, was wearing her life away in anxiety for his safety. I could not reconcile myself to assum- ing the responsibility of the care of his property, and making from the land the wheat I had promised to pay for it, and as an offer for 50 per cent advance and my obligation assumed was made before he began his preparations to return East, we sold and parted with mutual good will. Having fortunately gained the good will of Mr. Carter, I 130 John Minto. had no trouble agreeing with him for my board at the rate of two days' labor per week, and thus I secured a home until my own marriage. I was also lucky in finding a beautiful bod}' of land to take for myself, only two miles distant from the claim Mr. Carter had promised and paid $1,100.00 for, and to which I helped him to move. Before surrendering the Mission farm, I took up carefully and planted at the Carter place, some goooseberry and currant bushes, a bed of rhubarb plants, and a rose bush to which I gave the name of "Mission Rose, and scattered by slips far and wide over Oregon. I divided these plants with the Carter family. In the spring of 1846 I, by permission, spaded up some fence corners and sowed carrot and parsnip seed, and also planted a half -acre of potatoes in Mr. Carter's field. My labor paid to Mr. Carter was mostly splitting rails, which I learned to do fairly well, and I dug his wells for him and others, which was more like mining; also, I made some rails for myself, walking or riding over the two miles morning and evening. It is not possible for me to describe the ecstacies of joy and hope I often felt as I passed to and fro over my chosen home-site. It was a very garden spot of edible roots and wild fruits and growing plants, though the surface was hills and narrow vales. I was assisting Joseph Holman in his wheat harvest in 1846 when we noticed a grass-fire start, apparently on the foothills about a mile south of the Institute— now the Uni- versity—at Salem. It crept slowly south and east from day to day, a distance of four or five miles over slopes facing north and east, without injury to the evenly distributed oak timber, well described as "Orchard Oak." Most of this was not fully grown, and I may say, never did nor will attain full growth. No one thought at the time that that slow grass-fire was Nature's process of preparing a seed-bed for the red and yellow fir that would grow up so thick as to arrest and in many cases utterly kill the deep-rooting oak; but it did, and I can take any Doubting Thomas to half a dozen places I have recently visited, where dead oaks stand as witnesses. From Youth to Age as an American. 131 It may be worth while here to ask the causes of this phe- nomenon. In the writer's view, at the beginning of the con- test between the species of trees, the hundreds of young firs begin the contest by drinking the waters of tree-life as they fall— the myriads of sponge-like rootlets of the young firs absorbing the rainfall before it reaches the oak roots in suffi- cient quantity to promote growth; the weaker firs perish as growth progresses, and by the time the fir reaches the height of the oak, the many are robbing the one, or few, oaks of the air and light as well as the rain from heaven. The end of growth of the oak has come, and in some cases complete death, to which end the appropriation of air and light at the last by the conifers seems most effective. In my view, the general level of life-sustaining moisture in the cultivated portions of Western Oregon has lowered, in the sixty years of my observations, in many places not less than two feet; in some places, ten. The ditching to drain road- beds, both common and rail, and drains for field crops and cultivated fruits and hops, and even ornamental trees and plants, have all tended to absorb the life-giving surface mois- ture. Added to the loss by natural laws, is the artificial loss of moisture by the curing of hay, drying of grain crops, prunes and other fruits, and hops.* Long-keeping apples shipped to New York, London and other markets carry 80 per cent of their weight in water. Is it worth while to inquire the effect of increasing or diminishing the flow of streams from a well-cultivated country, when we know in reason that every process of removal or even breakage of the tissues of plant life means the severance of minute channels for the passage of water we call sap from the ground, as a sponge, into the plants growing upon its surface as pumps, and the general effect is that the Willamette Valley has largely ceased to be the home of the crane, curlew, gray plover, and even the snipe, as well as the beaver, muskrat and wild duck. These damp-land and water fowls and animals, which once found — ^ Pf. '-R Many observers believe the evaporation of hay and grain crops has modified tlie summer climate, giving more cloudy days. 132 John Minto. here their breeding places, have gone forever, unless farmers in the near future construct artificial fish-ponds, and reser- voirs for irrigation when needed. That can and will be done, doubtless, but the beaver's method of impeding the run-off and keeping the silt from going to sea, should not be ignored, but fully credited, for I think it checked the run-off more than any other cause. Indeed, I think it is safe to say that within a very few years, experiment will be made with surface irrigation in the Willamette Valley, both by the United States Government and private enterprise, in raising particular crops. It may even be conceded that the use of water by hose on city garden lots and grounds has already settled the ques- tion of economy on that point. For scenic embellishment alone every farm of 160 acres should, where possible, have a pond of living water deep and cool enough to breed and keep trout or bass. While I was making preparations, I located my cabin on the spot commanding most completely the entire valley, and 150 yards or more from living surface water. But when she came for whom I was making ready, I slowly realized my mistake and subsequently put the correct location into measure in the folloAving lines: "We will build our home by the hill, Love, Whence the spring to the brooklet flows, On the gentle slope where the lambkins play- In the scent of the sweet wild rose." CHAPTER III. The reader may take note of these facts: from January 25, 1845, until about seven weeks before my marriage on July 8, 1847, I labored at any kind of unskilled work that offered, and at such wages as were offered, without a suspicion that at the first intimation that Martha Ann Morrison had con- sented to marry me I was to be estimated at what I was worth as a husband, as unfeelingly, it seemed, as though I were one of the wooden plows or harrows Captain Morrison was so good at making. His desire to engage me to build him a log barn From Youth to Age as an American. 133 gave me the opportunity to inform him that his daughter and I had agreed to marry and make our home on a spot where I had already made a beginning. He may have expected that; he only made the objection that his daughter was yet very young and needed to be in school, which was true, but we were neither of us at a reasonable age, I near twenty-five, she six- teen. It was Mrs. B. C. Kindred, a grand-daughter of Daniel Boone, who denounced my proposal as an outrage, "When the girl had a choice from all kinds of men near home." It was a year after the event that I learned that the noble mother settled the confab by quietly remarking, Well, if day's wages will support a home, John Minto's wife will have one, for I know^ there is not a lazy bone in him. ' ' The fact was, I never worked a day on wages from the time the girl consented, except for Oregon and the United States. We had, indeed, within the first fifteen months of our life together, to be happy on what would now seem impossible conditions, but we were happy, because hope was always with us. The Cayuse war called to soldier's duty and sacrifice; fol- lowed shortly by the gold rush to California, which, though delaying our plans nearly a year, gave means to carry them out more swiftly and completely than would have been the case had not the "yellow dirt" made possible the finest of rare fruits and flowers, of which I availed myself with a zest and enjoyment which was only half expressed by my reply to an able Methodist minister, when, three years later, he came upon me unaware while I was loosening the graft-bands of a crab-apple tree onto which I had worked six varieties of popular apples and was singing at my work, and remarked, "You seem happy. Brother John." "Yes, Brother Roberts," I answ^ered, "Just now I would not swap with Adam before his fall," and the preacher made no reply. Perhaps he thought me irreverent, but I had no such thought, and that has been the experience of my life when working to enrich and beautify the earth. Of course our natural enemies were plentiful; the large wolves prowling in bands; the black bear, the panther, the 134 John Minto. lynx, and the small wolf or coyote, as cunning as the fox (aJso abounding) and bolder. Then birds of prey from the sparrow- hawk to the eagle. Enemies to the successful keeping of do- mestic fowls, sheep, pigs, calves or colts were so numerous that when we got a start of sheep in 1849, my wife, spinning wool on our cabin porch, kept the loaded rifle within her reach— in the use of which I had given her lessons on the day succeeding our marriage. Thinking back to those early days, it seems as though there must have been a reciprocal spirit of fruitfulness and peace between the soil and its cultivators. Especially did this seem so with fruits; I had planted a small apple orchard of two- year-old seedlings in 1850. In returning from the United States Land Office in 1851, where I had proved my right to a donation of 640 acres for myself and wife, in proof of which Survey or- General Preston thought it his duty to send the cer- tificate of declaration of intention of citizenship made in Washington County, Pennsylvania, to Washington, I was so delayed on my way home that I appealed to Alfred A. Stan- ton, whose acquaintance I had already made, for a night's entertainment— a boon freely granted— by which, in addition to forming a life-long friendship with the united heads of my ideal American farm home, I learned from Mr. Stanton, who had charge of a branch of the fruit nursery of Luelling and Meek, how to set a side graft. I purchased trees of different varieties of fruits, after a close study of Johnson's Diction- ary of Gardening," Americanized by D. Landreth, of Phila- delphia, grafting with all available young wood from trees so purchased. In some cases I had specimens the first year from the graft. I cannot express the measure of delight my beginnings in pomology gave me. I learned of the kinship of certain trees; for instance, the hawthorn, service, quince and mountain ash to the pear, and on my own low ground transplanted strong, thrifty black haw, and head-grafted with pound pear. Fall Butter, and other pears, and was using the first mentioned baked as a table dish before some of my neighbors had obFrom Youth to Age as an American. 135 served a native thorn in Oregon. With a Fall Butter from thorn stock I received first prize at the first exhibit of the Oregon Pomological Society held at Salem. I head-grafted the small, bitter wild cherry with Kentish and May Duke, and got fruit the second year, and heavy crops the third. Just to show it could be done, I set grafts of the Gloria Mundi apple into the native crab, the apples of which are not larger than a raisin, though the Glory of the Earth sometimes reached thirty ounces in weight. But while exploring this field and its almost boundless pos- sibilities, I went down as well as up in my observations, and learned the secret of fern seed— how it starts from a small speck of reddish dust and covers a recent forest-fire area with fern three feet high after the first year,* and learned the pro- creative processes of the misletoe— the sacred plant of the Druids. I also learned to tell my discoveries to others with the pen. I sold my first crop of apples and pears on the trees at 14 cents per pound— the buyer picking, weighing and packing in boxes with dry moss to prevent movement, as they were hauled by six-mule teams to Yreka mining camps, in California— the Seckel pears bringing $4.00 per pound. My second and third apple crops were sold to the late J. M. Strowbridge at 10 and 12 cents per pound, packed in seasoned balm-wood boxes, and hauled to West Portland by way of Boone 's Ferry. I had the care of this 640-acre farm, stocked with horses, cattle, swine and sheep and seventeen acres planted to orchard, comprising the choicest varieties of apples, pears, peaches, cherries, plums and small fruits. These and the sheep gave me occupation and means of advancing in knoAvledge far more appreciated than the money they sold for, which was ample for our needs. From the end of my first year of ownership I found that
- In 1849 I was at what is now Olney with its first settler, Hiram
Carnahan. A short distance up the Klaskanie a burn had killed a body of timber in 1848. His mention of seedling fern made me desire to see it. On the shaded sides of burnt logs were strips of light green. It was fern with its first fronds four to six inches high and a root on each side. In il854 fern was four to six feet high and hid cattle. sheep-breeding was my special vocation if I had one. I was surrounded by scenes of delight and varied interests, all pleasant, but the sheep were a delightful care. I learned to be very expert in killing their worst enemy, the coyote, and my success with their breeding gave me character; as, before means of improvement by breeds of prominent excellence were imported into Oregon, I had by selection kept my little flock up in quality so that buyers sought them at twice the common price. I can give no other reason for this, than that their care was a pleasure, and I have often taken my blanket and slept in the fence corner of the pasture to guard them.
By this time the remarkable energies of the people were supplying themselves with fruit and grain and beginning to export wheat and wool. Californians had done both the latter since about 1858, and their most intelligent land-owners had begun to import the world-famed Merino sheep from Vermont and Australia. The same H. Luelling who blessed Oregon by hauling to the State a very full collection of grafted fruit trees, in 1847, was selling trees as well as fruit in California in 1856, and had a ten-acre nursery lot at Oakland. We in Oregon were beginning to import cattle and sheep of English breeds. Some fine-wooled sheep had been brought across the plains in 1847 and 1848. Martin Jesse, of Yamhill County, returning from the California mines, heard a call of sale of Merino sheep on the wharf at San Francisco. He bought twenty head from Macather Brothers, of Camden Park, New South Wales, certified to be of pure blood, drawn by the father of the sellers from the Kew flock of George III, King of England, who owed to the courtesy of the Marchioness del Campo de Alange the privilege of drawing his first pure Merinos from her flock, for which he thanked her with a present of eight English Coach horses; making these the best pedigreed sheep in the United States when they arrived in Oregon.
I did not know of the presence in Oregon of those Australian Merinos until two years later, but was using half-blood Merinos from Ohio and a like grade of Southdown imported by the From Youth to Age as an American. 137 Piiget Sound Agricultural Company, a pro-British addition to the Hudson's Bay Company, formed so as to have a claim of occupancy to the north bank of the Columbia River in the settlement of the Oregon boundary; which, being settled in favor of American occupation, caused the sheep of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company to be sent for sale to the Wil- lamette Valley settlements (1854.) By my experiments with these grades I was deemed by friends qualified to judge of the value— to the sheep industry of Oregon— of the first im- portation of pure Merinos into Oregon by the breeding firm of Rockwell and Jones, of Addison County, Vermont, in 1860. Being invited to see the first six sheep brought to Salem by this firm, I was unable to credit the statement of their annual weight of fleece made to me by Mr. Rockwell, and turned away from attempting to purchase. I went home, however, to read up in such history of breeds of sheep as was then written. There I learned that from the time of Roman rule, the nation that possessed the most of this fine-wooled breed of sheep always had the world's market for the finest woolen goods. Hence I learned that kings and noblemen of Europe had for a century been striving to secure the Merino breed of sheep from Spain. That in the strife for the power this gave. Saxony was the seat of manufacture of the finest broad- cloths; France, of the lightest, finest ladies' wear; England, of the heavy broadcloths and Merino goods, best for woman's wear in such a climate. That the race of sheep furnishing the material for these manufactures were best suited to dry upland pastures, and, more than any other breed approaching the same value, capable of finding self-support on wild pas- turage. I was thus ready to take the offer of my neighbor, Joseph Holman, who had joined Rev. J. L. Parrish in the purchase of Australian Merino from the Martin Jesse import, and that of Jones and Rockwell of Vermont. Mr. Holman of- fered me the undivided half of ten head of pure-bred Merinos which cost him $1,012.00, and compensation for the keep and management of his share. I thus got among the pioneer breeders of this valuable race of sheep for $506.00, and it was 138 John Minto. well worth it, from a breeder's standpoint. Of course I was laughed at, but the time soon came for me to smile. I re- ceived most of the awards for excellence at the last County Fair held in Marion County, and at the first State Fair, held on the banks of the Clackamas in 1861, selling the first lamb there for $100.00, and in succeeding years I received, I think, more than 400 awards at the State Fairs on sheep and wool. But always, the gain to me personally was beyond the money value of my flock or my care of it. My study of the value of the sheep and wool interests to the nation being of such service to a great public interest that when the Secretary of Agriculture wanted a man to report to his office the condi- tion of sheep husbandry, the Oregon delegation went in a body to him and asked for my appointment; and I thus be- came the representative of that interest from the Pacific Coast States and Territories in the National Report on the Sheep of the United States, in 1892, a book of 1,000 pages from the Department of Agriculture. I still maintained my interest in fruit growing when em- barking in sheep breeding as a special line ; I farmed, however, mainly for my stock, though paying close attention to the best grains and grasses for my locality. In 1853 the first Farmers' Club in Oregon was organized at my residence. Four years later I was a member of the first County Agricul- tural Society formed in Marion County and the State. In 1860, the attempt to form a State Agricultural Society began at Portland ; but it being desirable to unite all interests of the soil, and most members of the Oregon Pomological Society being in Marion County, the friends of the larger plan met at Salem. I had a somewhat boyish bashfulness at such con- sultations. While the others (and they were not many, there rarely are when public-spirited work is to be done) were earn- estly discussing plans for the holding of the first State Fair, and where it should be held, I wrote off an imitation of Robert Burns' inviting farmers to their duty as citizens, which I had composed while at work in the harvest field of my friend and neighbor, Daniel Clark, whom I had joined in the purchase of From Youth to Age as an American. 139 one of the first harvesting machines imported into Marion County. It was intended to aid suggestions of the Oregonian, that the farmers, as yet all in Western Oregon, increase their production of wheat and attract the world's markets to Oregon as a source of supply. The reader will note that my own chosen lines of labor come first to mind. It was headed The Oregon Farmers' Song," and was given to Alfred Walling, then trying to establish a farmers' paper, and was published in his ' ' Oregon Farmer, ' ' I think as follows : "Ye farmers, friends of Oregon, respected brethren of the plow, "Waver not, but labor on. Your country's hopes are all on you. You have your homes upon her breast, you have your liberty and laws, Your own right hands must do the rest. Then forward, in your country's cause. "To shear the fleece, the steer to feed, and for your pleasure or your gain To rear and tame the high-bred steed and bring him subject to your rein ; To prune the tree, to plow the land, and duly, as the seasons come. Scatter the seed with liberal hand and bring the bounteous harvest home. "To stand for justice, truth and right, against oppression, fraud and wrong, And by your power, your legal might, succor the weak against the strong ; The seeds of knowledge deeply plant, restrain ambition, pride and greed ; See that all labor, and none want of labor's fruits, to help their need. "These are your duties ; and the gain which you'll receive as your reward Will be your own and your country's fame, in every honest man's regard. Then, friends and neighbors, labor on to bring our State up with the best And make our much-loved Oregon the brightest star in all the West." Later, the following was added at a recitation at a Grange picnic held at the State Fair Grounds at Salem : "And you, my sister helpmates true, who share our labors — bless our lives, In honor still we'll share with you whatever joys these labors give ; And may the great all-seeing One, our Guardian and Protector be ; Unite us all ; make us as one, for Union, Progress, Liberty !" It will be noted that the wording and measure are closely related to Burns' "Farewell to the Masonic Lodge at Tarbol- ton," and that the third line is from Scott's Lady of the Lake." The reach of sentiment is more than covered by the writing of both the patriotic Scots, but I had made them my own in their application to my exceedingly free and happy life as a learning farmer of Oregon soil, so that when called 140 John Minto. on to recite I told the assembled people that I could sing the lines better than read them, and did, much to their apparent pleasure. Is it all vanity makes me believe that giving pleas- ure in that way to two thousand people, was work well done? From this time on I began to communicate such experiences and results in the care of livestock as I thought would benefit others to know, through the press, and found myself already somewhat of an authority on breeds of sheep as well as fruit culture. CHAPTER IV. THE QUESTION OF SUFFICIENT TIMBER. This question not only came to us, starting on 640 acres of beautiful-lying land, well watered by more than a dozen living springs, and two miles of running water running from west to east across it, but with only about five acres of timber of convenient size for building and fencing. At that time, standing at the Oregon Institute at Salem and looking west at the Polk County hills, the remark was very commonly made that there was too little timber in the Willamette Valley. On the day of a called meeting at the store of the venerable Thomas Cox (who had hauled his goods across the plains from Illinois) to receive subscriptions or contributions in support of the war against the Cayuses, November, 1847, V. K. Pringle and Father Cox got into a warm discussion on the prospective timber supply, the former claiming a certain scarcity in the near future. Mr. Cox said, "No." There was plenty to start with, and with the pasturing of the grass while green, grass fires would cease and timber would come up in plenty ; and that was precisely what was taking place at that very time, though unnoted yet, on more than a township of land in which Mr. Pringle settled. It was March, 1850, before I found there was no need for me to gather fir cones to scatter for timber. On a real spring Sunday I went with my wife and child up on the beaver- shaped hill which divides the two streams I have mentioned. From Youth to Age as an American. 141 and wliich gave almost a complete bird's-eye view of the half section allotted to my wife. Facing east, we had on my side a beautiful aspen grove in the northeast corner, inclosing a beaver pond, varying in size from a half acre in summer to two acres in winter. On the southeast corner, Battle Creek ran into a beaver swamp of fifty acres or more in winter, but shrinking to a pond of about three acres in summer. Both of these were natural duck ponds, and until late summer the fringes of Avillow, ash, alder, aspen and green grass made breeding grounds for ducks, snipe, curlew, woodcock, plover and crane, and the deer hid their fawns in the tall, ferny outer margin. From Beaver Hill, so called by the Indians because of its form, we could see almost her entire south line, the southwest corner containing the five acres of good building timber, mostly not half grown. We were talking of the necessity of providing for more timber, and looking at the steep hillside across the valley of Battle Creek from us, when I noticed numerous dark spots in the whitish, bleached seed- grass of the hillside. We were speculating about that when two or three sows came in sight, running from one oak tree to another, feeding. Judging that they were some of the more than half- wild swine which Mr. Carter had given me as an inducement to take care of his family and farm during his absence in California, I asked my wife to remain there while I ran across the valley, about half a mile, to see if the sows were in my mark. Before getting to them I found that the dark spots we had noted were young firs showing out of the past year's seed-grass. The pigs were mine also, and I joined my wife feeling richer, with reference to our future timber supply. For years after our settlement I got most of our fuel from fallen limbs of very large and old oaks dead or dying from age. In many cases the bark and sap wood was burned off, and the remainder made splendid house fires. It was about 1857 when a stranger, who had asked for a night's enter- tainment for himself and his horse, sat before such a fire and gave me the first hint of the error into which my love 142 John Minto. of fruit growing might lead me. I was trying with poor success to get some instructive talk from him, and mentioned fruit culture as one of Oregon's reliable resources. He w?s slow to answer ; looking into the oak-wood fire and moving hi.? head in emphasis of his conclusions, he spoke more to the fire than to me : " Not a necessity of life— soon be cheap enough. ' ' Nine words, that saved me the folly of wasting investment and labor in planting twenty acres of additional apple orchard where wise foresight called for twenty acres of good hay. I had got it, in part, by ditching through my aspen grove and killing the beaver with gun and dog, thus destroying their pond as a trout pool. I could not now restore it with a thousand dollars outlay. Of course it required ten years of time to indicate to me the probable folly of what I had done, and those years required much labor to check the forest growth from spreading too fast and far over my natural sheep pastur- age by means of the winged seed of the yellow fir— a few old trees of which stood on my highest land, immune from the grass fires of former times by the fact that they had rooted upon the top out-cropping of a wide vein of rose quartz, pre- cisely like that of the Quartzville mining camp on the Santiam, as I discovered by riding in there when the indications were first found, when I picked out of the vein myself about $1.50 in gold from fifty pounds of quartz chippings. CHAPTER V. THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM IN OREGON. I have now in my narrative come to the edge of my life where I think it should be instructive to future workers as well as of interest as past local history. My chief reason for writing it now is past promises to friends that I would do so, to show the conditions first met, and a belief that the last forty-seven years of it may interest my co-laborers in the future development of our State, by reviving memories of what they themselves have contributed to Oregon's advance- ment, and also, perhaps, encourage the young by suggesting honorable lines of endeavor yet to be occupied. From Youth to Age as an American. 143 In my judgment, the men who won Oregon, by occupation, from the power of Great Britain, as represented by the Hud- son's Bay Company, had no equals as independent colonizers. It would be a pleasant task to dwell on the prominent indi- vidual traits and acts of the very many of them whom it was my good fortune to know, and in some cases to act with. But so many have left their own mark on the history of their time, and men like M. P. Deady and J. W. Nesmith, George H. Williams and R. P. Boise, H. W. Scott and W. D. Fenton have so illustrated the value of preparation, that I have little hope of adding anything worth reading. I can only agree with the estimate of my friend, ex- Governor W. P. Lord, that there never was a body of men better fitted for the work they did in winning Oregon than those who were in advance of the United States' power and laid the foundations of government in Oregon which remain yet, with additions more questionable. Nesmith and Deady did not owe so much to early training as boys as they did to self -culture in early manhood. The former, a rough carpenter at best, was a natural boss of a logging camp, and that is what he was during most of his first year in Oregon, studying at the same time how to fill the position of probate judge of Clackamas County, then bounded by the Willamette River on the west and the Rocky Mountains on the east. Mr. Deady settled in the Umpqua and labored as a blacksmith for self support at first. R. P. Boise came as a well-read lawyer, but loved the free life of the land. In regard to it as a means of living, he had what I heard Judge Williams say when instructing a jury, * ' That common sense is the best law." Judges Williams, Pratt and Strong came under appointments. H. W. Scott learned the use of the ox- whip, ax, and gun, before he began the studies from which he graduated to the ambition of founding a great paper, of which the Oregonian is the result. Of Mr. Fenton 's youth I am not informed, and that might be said of the majority of the men who came or were drawn toward the front of public affairs during the first twenty- five years of Oregon *s gov- ernmental history. 144 John Minto. It was the love of freedom, more than any other motive, that settled Oregon. The man to whom I gladly became an assistant on the way to Oregon told his kinsmen and neighbors in my hearing that he was going to Oregon, "Where there are no slaves and men will all start even." He and a large ma- jority of those who were here when the Oregon Boundary Treaty was settled in 1846, were what were called "Free Soil Democrats" and believed that a settler on the public domain had all the right to make his local law that a citizen of the oldest State had; and that the man who took another man from a slave State as a slave, into unorganized public domain, made that slave his own equal in natural rights. Being a citizen by adoption, I was free from the influence which being born in a slave State had over good men who had left such States to get away from the institution. Always deeming myself a soldier of and for the United States if the need arose, I never disguised my sentiments but beyond that, took little note of politics. Like a large proportion of foreign-born citizens, I classed myself a Democrat, but never could under- stand how a real Democrat could believe in holding another man in slavery. I watched intently the growth of the seccession sentiment^ and at a primary Democratic meeting held in Salem, first felt constrained to publicly declare my views. The Democrats most active as leaders had a resolution generally submitted soon after a meeting was organized, which bound participants in advance to support the nominees who should be named by the majority present, and this proposition was about to be voted on, as was usual. I got to my feet just in time and said: "Mr. Chairman, I beg to say that I will not support that resolution, and will not be bound by it if it passes." A man called out, ' ' Why V ' "Mr. Chairman, I '11 tell the gentle- man why. Before we can know the names of those whom this meeting is preliminary to nominating, the Charleston Conven- tion will have met to nominate the national officers, and signs point to a division between those who desire to extend slavery and those who are opposed to its extension ; and I wLsh From Youth to Age as an American. 145 to say here and now, that no resolution you can pass shall bind me to vote for slavery. ' ' The vote was not put, and the meeting dissolved in excitement. I had spoken in time. Two years later I was named to serve in the lower house of the legislature as a representative adopted citizen. I was disappointed in finding a proportion of English-born men indifferent to the success of the national cause in the impending struggle and a few actively in sympathy with seces- sion. This last was true in a greater degree among Irish-born citizens, but I ascribed their feeling to a natural sympathy with the weaker side in the contest ; their born relations to the stronger and harsher rule of England over Ireland being the fundamental cause. Col. E. D. Baker, in his speeches in Ore- gon, but still more in his address in Union Square, New York, represented me better than I could have done myself. As was customary, however, I was expected to state my views to the voters in my own county. Making a "canvass" where there are opposing candidates for every office to be filled, does not admit of many opportunities for making an unimpassioned statement of views on all the important ques- tions usually pending in the public mind, but in Oregon in 1862 the question that overshadowed all others was fealty to the United States Government. The one opportunity for me to state my position was made for me by unfair treatment. There were so many of us, that in order to give all a chance, fifteen minutes were allotted to each. At Silverton the sympathy with secession was strong and somewhat unruly. It happened my turn came last, and the man immediately preceding me unjustly used an hour and twenty-five minutes, during which time I was wedged in the middle of the crowd between two-young advocates of seces- sion, who vaunted their readiness to fight for their principles back and forth across me. To say that I was hot when I got a chance to mount the goods-box used as a rostrum, is to put it mildly. I told my audience that I had been constrained to listen to much talk in justification of secession and boasting of readiness to fight for it because the boasters had been born 146 John Minto. in a slave State. As for me, I had no birthright in any. I had assisted to give the title to Oregon to the United States, to which Government my fealty was pledged in almost the same terms as my marriage vows, "And when I lack courage to de- fend my wife, I may fail to support my pledge of citizenship ; but till then, I am the enemy of every enemy of the United States, ready to act in her defense 'By word or pen or pointed steel. ' Do I lack other reasons in addition to good faith ? Go with me up on the ridge there (north of Silverton) and cast your eye north, west, or south, as far as you can see and much more, the United States has secured by gift the soil in liberal portions for citizens' homes. Then tell me, ' where 's the cow- ard that would not dare to fight for such a land ? ' What se- curity of tenure have you for your homes but the integrity of the United States?" I dropped off the box between the men who had been more than an hour trying to get me to notice their talk, and the larger said to the smaller one: Well by G , would you have expected that from that little fellow?" More worthy men shook my hand and gave many signs of satisfaction. There was only one young man— James D. Fay, a native of South Carolina— sent to a seat in the Oregon legislature by that election ; a bright, reckless man elected by the mining camps of Josephine County. At this time I was busy with my farming and stock grow- ing, and gave considerable time to the State agricultural so- cieties and fairs. The Civil War, in progress, kept us under a strain of excitement ; some of the most spirited of our youth went East and entered the national army or navy. A call was made and responded to for volunteers to guard the Indians so as to relieve the regular troops, who were needed on the Atlantic side. There were known to be emissaries of secession here, and Kjiights of the Golden Circle, under other names, and considerable attention was given to drill, so as to be ready for any emergency. We were kept on the alert. The struggle was so desperate that most people could perceive, by the secFrom Youth to Age as an American. 147 ond year of the war, that it would end, apparently, only by the exhaustion of resources of the weaker side. Neither influence of family ties or of friendship caused men to swerve, nor did past service hold the regard of the people, after a defection from the principal point in dispute— the right to destroy the Union of States which constituted the nation. The fate of General Joseph Lane illustrates what I mean. His character and conduct made him the idol of the people of Oregon until, from his seat in the United States Senate, he said, If the North invades the South it will be over my dead body. ' ' Men noted with pride every young man who went East and joined the army, and men who took ad- vantage of the national financial straits to pay their just obligations in anything less valuable than gold and silver coin were held in contempt. In my view, the influence of the Civil War on the people of Oregon was an elevation of character and an increase of patriotism, and had the effect, on myself, of stimulating my attention to sheep husbandry as one means of furnishing the raw material for clothing, and thereby proving that cotton was not king." The tenor of a short essay on sheep husbandry, read before the State Agricultural Society, procured me a letter of thanks from Governor Gibbs, and I think had later some influence in my being elected to its secretaryship, putting me into the posi- tion of editor of the "Willamette Farmer, " as one of the conditions of the society's giving a bonus of $1,800.00 to its publisher. I think it may have also had some influence in returning me to the legislature in 1868. CHAPTER VI. TEN YEARS OF MY MIDDLE LIFE IN OREGON. In 1862, when I was chosen as a representative of loyal adopted citizenship, the following may be given as to my status as a unit of society : a cultivator of forty to sixty acres annually, of which seventeen acres might be called the home 148 John Minto. lot— virtually an orchard, though inclosing a roomy cottage house over a framed oak cellar and milk house, in the former of which was shelving to store 600 bushels of winter apples and pears, a sidehill barn with cellar, stable, and shelter for 150 sheep on needed occasions, and smaller buildings for poul- try and pigs. There was— is yet— about an acre of immature oak trees in a line from the top of the hill against which the south base of the cottage yet stands. A trellised Isabella grape vine had been allowed to run over the southeast fourth of it and embrace the chimney and a Bartlett pear tree stoood at the left of the main entrance, which was at the northeast corner, reached then by passing under two noble oaks, on a strong southern limb of one of which a rope swing and seat always! hung between 1856 and 1874. From it the entrance was reached by passing eighty feet of Mission rose hedge — the south border of the cherry orchard. The spring from the hill was intended to be taken into the kitchen at the southwest corner of the building, but is not yet done. There were small fruits and orchard trees west of the house, including most of my experiments with pears grafted on thorn. A White Doy- enne or Fall Butter on thorn gave me first prize on that fruit at the first and only exhibition of the Oregon Pomological Society held in Salem. The orchard extended from hill to hill, including several springs, very deep, clear, and cool, margined and raised by peat formation. They never overflow, but must reach the stream-bed by under-flow of pure, healthy, living waters, over which crab apples, thorn, wild cherry, barberry, aspen and balm (water poplar) were natural growth; and believing that it was natural apple and plum land, I did not heed the advice of Mr. Meek, of Luelling & Meek, in 1850, and avoid this sub- irrigated land, but planted all I could work a team on, with apples one rod apart— early bearers like the American Golden Russet as temporary trees, Baldwins and Newtown Pippins, permanent. The result was living water within reach of the roots— the most economical of irrigation. I exhibited apples a few years ago, on tables with Hood River productions, From Youth to Age as an American. 149 which newspaper reporters made equal to them, but an apple grower knows better. Big red apples on trees fifty years old, utterly neglected for the thirty latest years, bear no compari- son in quality to the same kind from ten-year-old trees on new ground. Trees live by water, but the soil does its part, and the grower who utterly neglects that will in the end take a back seat as an orchardist. On the other hand, as to the influence of trees on water flow, my experience and observa- tion leads to the conviction that trees are the result of moisture in, under, or on the soil they grow in ; that the longer the growing season, the larger the crop of fruit and leafage will be, and the more water will be withheld from reaching the summer channels. The water is taken up by the wood, leaves and fruit, or drawn into the clouds by evaporation, possibly to float off in some cases to modify and make better the climate of other districts. These opinions were formed in my mind while I was ac- tively engaged in draining my beaver dams, greatly reducing my beautiful aspen grove, which was the chief food supply of the beavers, and the most beautiful scenic feature of a beautiful home, conspicuous as such between Ashland and Portland, and where I have known twenty teams, several of four horses each, to stop for the night, the owners depending on my field or barn for their hay. The chief enemies of early home building were the carni- vori, of which the large wolf was the most destructive, at- tacking all kinds of stock, colts being their most easy prey, next calves and young cattle. They kept range cattle wild and made swine band together in self defense. They ate up the first two swine I owned, and all their young but one. They ran in familie* most of the year, I think. I never saw more than seven or eight together, and were so voracious that they were easily poisoned, leaving the small wolf, or coyote, the most cunning and active pest. The largest panthers I ever saw were killed on the same day, near the same spot, by a half- sick boy of sixteen— with a little Indian camp dog and charges 150 JONN MiNTO. of bird-shot at close range. Panthers were easily killed with the aid of a dog that barked at them. It was another matter with the coyote; a breeding pair would fight a single dog. We started in 1849 with eighteen sheep which gave fleeces of nine pounds average in 1850 ; the wool being washed on the sheep in Mill Creek from about the 25th to the last of May— luscious wild strawberries generally forming part of our noon lunch. The coyotes would follow from the hills, two and a half miles to the creek and back, watching. I became quite expert at anticipating their move- ments and killing them with a gun. One of my first feats was performed under the eye of a stranger giving his name as E. B. Ball (1850.) He was looking for bacon to purchase for the miners, having a pack-train of mules then at the Waldo farm. He had staid all night with us and I judged from his conversation that he had led a company to California in '49 and had had trouble to maintain discipline on the way. He was saddling his mule when sight of a coyote made me silent. Judging the point the prowler was aiming for, I took brush cover to get a shot and had not stopped running when he came out of the brush where I expected. He started running, anct T dropped on my knee to try a shot; this caused him to stop. It was fatal. The stranger had seen the game and came with spurs jingling, crying, , stranger, that was the best shot I ever saw in my life." We parted good friends, and I saw the man next by portrait in the American Illustrated Maga- zine in 1897 or 8, as Ehenezar B. Ball, of the family whose name attaches to Ball's Bluff, and kin of General Washington, who in dress and figure resembled the E. B. Ball who saw my coyote shot. The Mr. Ball of the magazine was one of the living pictures then (1897-8) seen about the Capitol at Washington. But long after this killing the coyote took such heavy toll out of our flocks that we collected a team of eleven hounds and in seven hunts killed eight small wolves and a lynx — a tassel-eared fellow. It was well-spent time. In thirty-five years of time this lynx had grown to be a panther and the killer of it the hero of camp fire stories amid the From Youth to Age as an American. 151 Cascade Mountains. I heard a few months ago that it was told by a man who published one of the best histories of early Oregon, and who undoubtedly believed it. Yet the hero was no bigger than me and there were six good neighbors and eleven hounds present, and the greatest risk was run by the man who prevented the dogs from tearing the skin to pieces. I had at this time no personal knowledge of the climatic and timber conditions of Eastern Oregon, but events were hastening which were to change the pleasant routine of my life and make me more intimately acquainted with the Cas- cade Mountains than any other Willamette Valley farmer I have known. On the last of May, 1867, my twenty years of home-building seemed a success beyond anything I had conceived of before my marriage. Seven healthy children had been born to us without serious trouble : the eighth birth was impending and occurred on June 4th, without cause for apprehension. But the infant was not right and became cause of distress to the mother, and of agony to me, because of my utter helplessness. We were four and a half miles from Salem and no house be- tween from which we could get help. Indeed, there were yet few physicians, and no nurses. Women assisted each other, and my wife had inherited from her mother traits which made her conspicuous in such service during those years. On the eighth distressful day the baby died in my arms and for two months it was a question of life or death to my wife. She got up slowly, but an ailment or seat of weakness in her breathing made living in a house a burden to her. We lived one summer in the partial shade of our home lot, but she gained very slowly. One of the best physicians we had, in evident per- plexity, said: "Mr. Minto, take her out of the heat of this valley, but not to the dusty atmosphere of Eastern Oregon." I suggested the foothills of the Cascades. "The very place; shade and pure water and rest, ' ' said he ; and we went to the Cascades as a health resort. The result proved the wisdom of the advice ; nothing but the necessity of school for our children prevented me from making a complete change, though I loved 152 John Minto. the home we had made. The out-door life was so necessary to my wife that we lived within rifle-shot of our house the sum- mer and fall succeeding our first experience in the mountains. For six years we summered in among the mountains, and bought the lands we camped on to have the equity of settlers' rights. I had little to do, even when I took my sheep there to get the recreative benefit of mere change of range, and that is great, even if the sheep lose flesh rather than gain it. They soon settled into regular hours of feeding, as did the cattle. The gad-fly was the pest of cattle and horses; the stock fed from day-break until about 9 a. m., when they would start in a hurry for the home corral, where, if smudge fires were kindled, they would show their appreciation by getting into the smoke. Here, next to good milk, the settler caring for bees could have good honey; in fact, could produce nearly every necessity except flour. Sheep fed from sunrise till 9 a. m., and from 4 p. m. till sunset, leaving me much time to examine the rocks and streams. The bed of the Little North Santiam was once a flowing river of mud, carrying rocks and trees of different kinds; trees becoming locked up in it and petrified. In one place where I often crossed, a whole tree, from roots to branches, was exposed by the wear and tear of the river. At another, what seemed to have been a young maple had petri- fied into a bluish stone and had broken by the undermining of ihe banks. It is today a fine field for a young geologist. The timber, however, was my attraction; there were but few places near our camps which did not show the action of fire. Fire was the agency used by the Calapooia tribes to hold their camas grounds and renew their berry patches and grass-lands for game and the millions of geese, brants, cranes and sw^ans which wintered in Western Oregon. To me it seems easily unbelievable by a person coming here now, to state the quantity of waterfowl, cranes, curlew and snipe which wintered on the grasses and roots of the damp lands of the valleys and the sloughs, ponds and streams sixty-four years ago. Large ground game, deer and occasionally elk, were not From Youth to Age as an American. 153 plentiful on the plains. In and around the French settlement wolves, panthers, bears and coyotes were more plentiful than deer and the ' ' multitude of hogs, ' ' which Sir George Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company reported to Captain Wilkes in 1842, as products of the Canadian engagees of his company farming for wheat— 15,000 bushels of which was used by his company as rental to the Russians for the Alaskan coast as fur-bearing country. Swine, w^hich at first lived on the grasses, camas and oak mast, were the chief destroyers of the roots which were the chief foods of the natives, and small game decreased by the expanding and increasing of the American settlements. On the west face of the Cascades the Molallas claimed dominion, and fire was their agency in improving the game range and berry crops. The Molalla, the Pudding River, Butte Creek, the Ahiqua, Silver Creek and the Little North Santiam do not reach the true summit of the Cascade Range. The Clackamas, the main North Santiam, the McKenzie and the middle fork of the Willamette draw their sources from the west slopes of the true summits of the range, and are, there- fore, the chief power and salmon streams, although all the streams are valuable. All along the west side of the Cascades to within four to six miles of the summit there are openings of coarse grass land on filled-up lake beds, commonly desig- nated as beaver dams." They are the result of checks to outflow by the dams which the beaver makes to hold the water around his house as a protection against carnivori. The muskrat is the most troublesome neighbor the beaver has, in that he digs his hole of refuge under the dam and fre- quently drains the lake or pond, partly at least, thus making the upper part of it ready for grass seed. Hence, the Wasco- pam Indians, before the missionary came, counted the muskrat the ' 'maker of land. ' ' The tribe now called the Warm Springs Indians used the lake beds for hunting grounds and summer pastures for their ponies, and have, I understand, rights there by treaty. It is a land of lakes and mighty springs all along to within about ten miles of the summit on either side, with 154 John Minto. this strong difference— the snows of winter flow off in sur- face streams westward, with a rush, under the influence of the southwest (Chinook) wind and warm rain, while on the east side it seems largely to sink out of sight near the summit, and comes to the surface 1,500 to 2,000 feet below, in springs clear as crystal and cold as ice water. There is no other river in Oregon as even in its flow between the seasons as the Des Chutes. It did not vary sixteen inches wdthin a period of sixteen years, according to A. J. Tetherow, who kept a ferry and whose residence stood so near its general level that he must have noted its rise by inches. It is a great power stream. This mountain range is an immense health resort, and homes can, and I hope will, be built close up to the summit on each side — in some places at the summit. On some of the largest lake beds the cover of peat settles as the dry season advances, forcing a continued outflow. Timber growing in peat formation does not reach marketable size; it grows slowly, as spruce does within two to four feet of tide level, but makes no sawlogs. I have seen healthy spruce trees with fifteen feet of clay soil under them, twelve feet in diameter, within pistol-shot of spruce on tide flats not fifteen inches in size, and dying. CHAPTER yil. SOIL-V^ASTAGE. . On the west side of the Cascades, fruit culture, bee keeping and dairying will go throughout the region in connection with forest farming — in my opinion a "forest homestead" of 320 acres, deeded on condition of keeping nine-tenths of it in growing timber and one-tenth of the area in orchard or other crops. All and always under national and State supervision. The beaver ought to be classed as a domestic animal, kept under or within a strong wire fence. Rights in private fish ponds ought to be provided for and their construction encour- aged. Such ponds would be checks against the rapid run-off of streams, and ought to be as much the care of the State as From Youth to Age as an American. 155 proper fish ladders over dams; and this point should extend to cultivated land, whether the surface is drained, under- drained or irrigated. This, from my experience as well as observation, is in the near future an absolute necessity for the private as well as for the public good; as the waste of wealth going on by washing out into rivers and down them to the main outlet of the Columbia is beyond computation, and even now demands the constant employment of constantly additional dredges. What then may be expected when all possible irrigation systems are perfected between the mountains and the naviga- ble rivers? My chance to personally observe this has been closer and more intimate than that of observing the snowfall and its melting on the higher mountains; though the latter has been extraordinary for a man supporting a family from a farm in almost the center of the great Willamette Yall^^^y. While I was taking my wife, and young children, to the mountains for her health, my connection with the Oregon Agricultural Society led to its electing me to the position of nominal editor of the "Willamette Farmer." D. W. Craig, foreman, was then owner of what is known in Salem as the "Island," a body of low alluvial land overlapping the citv by six blocks then— as many more now. Mr. Craig had lost the supposed value of the property in a newspaper enterprise for which a mortgage was overdue ; I purchased it from him, subject to the mortgage. The south arm of Mill Creek flows into the river near the north end of the Island, and across this outflow my sons ferried their teams, hauling sand and gravel as building material. When they began, in 1870, they could not touch bottom with push-poles much of the way across three hundred yards. On the south of their line is an area of about five acres, where the mill company then kept logs afloat all summer. Now that area and their line of ferriage one-third of the way is from twelve to eighteen inches above low water, and is grazed by cattle for three or four months of late summer and fall— the lodgment is fine silt. This repre- sents not more than one-third, perhaps much less, of the 156 John Minto. finest soil of Mill Creek bottoms which is carried into the main river and by that toward tide flow, to be contended with by costly dredging. We must recognize that in the entire drainage of the great rivers of the West, thousands of such streams are not only bordered by plowed fields, but that irrigation water is forced through an annually increasing area of it. It will be seen that the prevention of waste by washing out the finer portion of the soil demands plans for the prevention of bleaching out, as well as means of flooding ; and further reflection will per- haps lead to a truer cause of the great extents of Asia being now barren wastes than the cutting off of the timber, if there ever was any: viz., the continuous taking of crops without rest or return to the soil, and continuous bleaching out. One, if not more, of Israel's Phrophets told them the time would come "When the land would enjoy her Sabbath," and it did. Just so has every irrigated country slowly become a waste; but it is not the lack of trees, as the valley of the lower Nile is an everlasting witness; for it gets the silt, the richness of the wash, from Abbyssinian highlands. While the writer is well aware that with sufficient water at command, labor can insure crops without failure by irriga- tion, I think it will be found that not less than three times the labor will be required on a given area as compared with dry farming, and with some crops, as sugar beets, much more than that. Then under irrigation loss of fertility is going on by leaching the land as well as by feeding the growing crops. CHAPTER VIII. OUR MOUNTAINS VIEWED AS RESOURCES OF LIFE AS WELL AS OF HEALTH AND RECREATION. In previous chapters I have tried to intimate how an average pair of Oregon home-builders, beginning with hands and hope only, progressed from extremest poverty to a condi- tion of reasonable comfort and independence, when some ailment, never understood, nearly took the most valued life From Youth to Age as an American. 157 of the family and compelled a resort to a higher altitude as a means of safety, which proved effective. We had passed the fourth summer in this way, and increasing numbers of ailing people were adopting the same means of cure or recreation, when two hunters of the region penetrated up the main north Santiam about to where the postoffice of Berry now^ is, in search of game range. They had passed the narrowest gorge through which the river cuts its way; the mountains seemed to lower and recede from the river somewhat, and the men began to think they had found the traditional pass to Eastern Oregon. One of the men had traced this tradition up to the writer, who had received it from J. M. Parrish, the missionary- blacksmith who had received it from the Molalla Indians while learning their language in order to be useful to them as a teacher. Information in regard to the pass used by the trap- pers and Hudson's Bay Company's traders I had heard Joseph Gervais himself tell to Henry Williamson while we were driven from his harvest field by a summer shower. The fine old hunter, trapper, trader, farmer, miller, sat by his roomy hearthstone and detailed to the young American home- seeker, Williamson, who Jiad defied the rule or will of Chief Factor McLoughlin, how he had left his home in Quebec in his twentieth year and was on the Arkansas killing buffalo for the New Orleans market when he learned that Wilson G. Hunt was at St. Louis engaging men to go to Oregon ; how he joined Hunt in 1811 and came to Oregon with him; how twenty years later he settled where he sat, as a farmer, and when his family was young, would after harvest take his fam- ily and cross the Cascades by way of the Santiam Valley, making one night's camp in the mountains, would trap and hunt till the rainy season was near ; turn his skins and peltries over to a Hudson's Bay Company trader to be taken to Van- couver via the Dalles, and recross the mountains home again, only camping one night, and wait two weeks before going to Vancouver for his pay. I sat as a listener, just as I had the week previous sat on the porch of the Beers' house and heard Dr. White, sub-agent to the Oregon Indians for the United 158 John Minto. States, detail to Mr. Beers his exploration trip which had taken him to the base of Mount Jefferson in search of that pass. Of course I talked of these hearings now, and Henry States, one of the hunters who thought they had discovered the old passway, sent for me, having a sprained ankle, I carried his statement to the board of county commissioDcrs, simply saying that it seemed a matter of public interest to know if there was such a natural pass. The result was an order of the county court to John Minto to take two men and make examinations and report findings. Mr. States, one of the hunters, was written to and responded promptly. He was commissioned to find the third man, and unfortunately found not so much a pass or gold hunter, as a camp hunter, for which other parties were to furnish the "grub." He was a man of great natural intelligence, who would rather tell a smart lie than the simple truth. We penetrated up the valley through about seventeen miles of narrow gorge, past where the two hunters had reached, to where Breightenbush makes in from the north; found John Breightenbush—a one-armed hunter and nothing else— there ahead of us, and named the beautiful affluent for him. We pushed on, following a large elk being chased by wolves. A wide space of sand and gravel in the river bed showed us where the chase began and guided us over what is now the site and station of Detroit, and on east, keeping the bank to about a mile beyond Idana. There we took the point of a ridge leading straight toward Mount Jefferson, as I after- ward learned, and followed it an estimated five miles with steady, moderate rise; noting an occasional blazed tree. We seemed shut in by half-grown pine and fir timber, to which the clouds came very near. The big man began to talk camp. I noted a spot of light, and asking the others to wait, went to it and found myself on the brink of the ridge with a noisy stream at its base. There were patches of fern and bushes of upland willow and hazel around a half-grown fir tree, limbed down close to the ground. Halloing for my company to wait, I pulled myself up that tree. The valley below was From Youth to Age as an American. 159 clear and the clouds were lifting from the ridge across it. J called to the men to come. Turning to the right from looking across the valley my eye was arrested by the rough counti^y out of which Cave Creek flows from the south, as yet little known ; turning to the left a large peak showed its base, then a sharp, rocky peak, and still turning eastward, as it soon proved, the ridge broke down and nothing could be seen through the gap ; but still more directly east my eyes rested on a body of grass-land— the apparently level top of what some one unknown to me named Minto Mountain. It is sick- ening yet for me to remember standing in the top of that tree and taking the statements of the cowardly hulk who refused to trust himself up the tree, but would name every point I would describe with names unrepeatable, and claim he had passed over the grass country I was defining in going to visit the chief of the Warm Springs Indians from the Quartzville mining camp, where I had seen him as care-taker — the Thers- ites of any camp he was in. We returned, and I reported on the strength of Colonel Cooper's statements, an apparently low^ and easy pass. Citizens next spring petitioned for a road- view and Porter Jack, George S. Downing and John Minto were appointed to view and T. W. Davenport to survey a lo- cation for a wagon road up the North Santiam River to the summit of the Cascades. The survey was made and measured and properly recorded, eight-seven and one-half miles from the court house at Salem to the summit of Minto Pass— found by accident. Our philosophical surveyor said, the night after the work was finished: Yes, in a small way such an accident as that by which Lewis and Clark found the Columbia River and the Davenports and many others found homes in the valley of the beautiful Willamette. ' ' There was little reason, locally, for the early Oregon home- builder to explore the mountains. The discovery of gold in California gave many of the Columbia River men early graves —some wealth they prudently used— more added only working capital to aid their labor and add to their enjoyment. It was not until 1854 that a small party of men, Preston 160 John Minto. Looney, M. J. Alphin, William Fulbright, John Walker and E. L. Ma^sey penetrated into the range as far as Mount Jef- ferson without regard to traditional passes. They went in search of gold and the line of travel seems to have been east- ward near the north border of subsequent discoveries to and onto Mount Jefferson; thence south, just west of the true summit, over a country of filled up lake beds, coarse, weedy grass-lands, and dry ridges, between which good timber is found, as a rule, only in the narrow, deep valleys. Mr. Massey's descriptive powers do him credit. "Standing at the base of the rock that crowns Mount Jefferson, he says, "we had with us an excellent mariner's glass by which we had an excellent view of the Willamette Valley as well as that still more beautiful valley of the Des Chutes River, and a very extensive, great plain stretching at great length south of the head of the Des Chutes. South and west of Jefferson is seen at a glance a large body of flat country with many small lakes and prairies ; and here, it is obvious, is the natural route, for the emigrant trail is plainly marked out." The outline doubtless is. Mr. Massey is here not to blame for the imperfection of his near view, in that looking from above he sees only dry tops of ridges and the lake beds; he does not see even the outline of the pass across the summit as well as I did from the tree-top eighteen years later, nor the number of lakes, in September, 1864, Hon. John Bryant counted from Red Butte, which stands on the summit three miles south of Mount Jefferson. Standing on this butte with seven other men, Mr. Bryant wrote in his journal: "From this butte we count sixteen lakes ; twelve on the west side of the summit and four on the east. ' ' Yet Mr. Bryant did not see Marion Lake, within four miles of where he stood. The truth is, the surface on the east side of the summit is very dry ; the water seems to sink away out of sight, leaving the surface dry and loose ex- cept two small lakes near together about 500 feet below the summit tree of the pass. The water sinks down to the level of the Des Chutes plain, 1,500 to 2,000 feet. The slope from the summit to the crystal Malolla being such light and fluffy soil From Youth to Age as an American. 161 tliat a horse sinks hoof-deep in it. There are spots, however, on the east slopes where beautiful summer homes can and will be made, but not one-fourth of what can and will be made on and in the west side ridges and valleys. Over this country Massey's party went south on the level of the summit— he says fifty miles ; I would say forty miles— and turning west, crossed the extreme northern drainage into the McKenzie via Fish and Clear lakes, and through a low gap without having seen or noted either Fish, Marion or Clear lakes, reaching the head springs of the north or canal branch of the South Santiam, after having very nearly half -circled the head drainage into the North Santiam, within which, before the Oregon & East- ern Railroad Company sent its surveyors in to the valley, the writer and others estimated there was room for 1,500 home- builders to find homes. The Corvallis & Eastern Railroad was not the first named railroad in connection with the commercial use of the easy grade found. The man I have mentioned in connection with the grass country seen from the hill-top, with the aid of a ready tongue, secured the signature of influential citizens and covered the line of survey by incorporating the Astoria, Salem & Winnemucca Railroad Line. Thus, by filing papers at a cost of $2.00, the outlay of the county was held in abeyance four years, waiting for some party to buy the corporation papers. In 1878, residents near the mountains began a co-operative effort to open a wagon road or stock trail through the valley and pass. They appealed for help at the county seats of Linn and Marion— Albany and Salem. Only the latter responded. The capital named was $5,000.00; over $2,800 was taken in shares of $10.00 each, in cash or labor at $1,25 per day. The cash was largely paid for tools and food, and the mountain men did the work as no other men could, i They cut out logs and brush twelve feet wide, over half way to the connection with the Willamette Valley and Cascade Mountains military road at Black Butte on the plain of the Des Chutes, eight miles west of Sisters Postoffice, and six feet (legal stock trail 162 John Minto. width) the shorter and easier portion of the way. The expense account for hibor and board of labor was $1,865.00. The law^ of Congress could not then be complied with as to points of entry into and departure from townships on this road, as the surveys were not then, and are not yet, closed across the range. The railroad and the Forest Service have received and are receiving the benefit of the surveys and labor expended, and it seems to me there is an equity neglected in this matter which I shall refer to later. It was really an effort of altruism to open a free business road between the naturally diverse divisions of the State which the writer helped to make, as viewer and time-keeper, but which he very deliberately now advises for political rea- sons—the States of Oregon and Washington ought each to be divided by the summit of the Cascade Range. They are both being held up now and robbed under the ill-considered action of Congress and the ill-advised form of the most needful national reforestration of lands on the Atlantic side of the nation which have been overcut and should be replanted on carefully considered plans before the needs of the people for land and for fuel set at defiance a policy begun by breaking the compacts between the States of the Pacific Slope and the Nation. The Marion and Wasco stock and wagon trail was put through, as before said, by a largely altruistic effort, and as it got through, summer recreationists got to the summit with ease, and the foremost of these, the Hon. John B. Waldo, began to observe and note lower depressions and easier grades to the summit via the south or main branch of the Santiam. This was viewed, surveyed and marked at the summit, but measured two miles further to a connection with the Willam- ette Valley and Cascade Mountains military road near the summit. Here was found to be 500 feet lower than Minto Pass, but thirteen miles further in distance. The writer, believing this to be a practical railroad pass, and learning that the Corvallis & Eastern Railroad Company were seeking a crossing of the range, wrote to their office and indicated a guide. They found it as stated and began construction on From Youth to Age as an American. 163 the siinniiit— hauling- out rails from Albany and putting them in place across the summit, so as to claim their pass. The line was constructed to a point five miles east of Detroit and a summer resort hotel erected and named Idana, and the right of way cut out and graded twelve miles further, with bridge timbers and ties in great numbers ready for distribution. From the summit westward nearly twenty miles of right of way was lined with workmen, many of whom had located claims expecting to make their homes there when the line was completed. The writer believes that $1,000.00 more would have taken a wagon road from plain to plain, and $1,000,000.00 more, the railroad. The working party who constructed the Marion and Wasco stock and wagon road, now spoken of as the Minto Trail, were as a party just such men as I had seen as pioneer settlers on and around Brady's Bend of the Alle- gany River in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, in 1841 — just such as were leaving the Platte Purchase in Missouri in 1844 for Oregon and Texas. We started in early June, a com- pany of eighteen workers, and our purveyor by contract hired a strong young woman, whose husband was one of the work- ers, to cook for us. She had a baby to care for, and wisely re- signed at the end of the first month, and was succeeded by two sisters, fifteen and seventeen years of age, whose father was one of the foremost men of my party, and whose mother was the only frontiersman's wife who could take up any line of "the Hoosieroon." Prom her teaching, I presume, our cooks could on the slightest hint break out in lively song, and often dissipated gathering clouds of depression by making our campfire a social center and keeping our party as a whole much like a large family party. Indeed, they made myself the only exception, as representing the moneyed portion of the corporation at Salem, and before we reached the summit had composed a song in compliment to me when we should reach the summit. It so happened their poet got an oppor- tunity to betray the plan, and having a poet's weakness he recited his composition, and I told him I should try hard to have one in reply. The "Road-Makers," or "Boys of Santi164 John Minto. am, ' ' was outlined next day while I blazed the way. The last stanza gives my view of the party— reduced to twelve at the summit, and one resident of Eastern Oregon, who visited them the day they crossed the summit : "When, in camp, for food or rest, this party did convene, The song, the story, or the jest, were not their only theme; From game and range and public lands To the world's wants their talk expands. How Europe on our plows depends And to what shores our trade extends. Fair woman's beauty, man's good name, The statesman's wisdom, soldier's fame, The school, the pulpit, and the pen Passed in review before them then. Such were the boys of Santiam, on mountain top or shady glen ; Include our cooks, our party, then, were pretty girls and honest men." It was a pleasant party, and no suffering was made mani- fest till the work was done. One man was suffering for to- bacco, and started after breakfast, reaching home at Gates at 6 p. M., thus passing the range on foot in about eleven hours. The men who did this labor and those who put up the money of course gave way to the railroad, and that got easily $20,000.00 worth of work on the line covered by the rails between Mill City and Detroit, and the result is that both the railroad and the forest reserve are impediments in the way of opening the shortest and easiest passway yet known from Salem to Central Oregon. CHAPTER X. REFORESTATION V. FOREST RESERVATION. I have thought since I first saw a forest policy alluded to that it was time many others beside myself were looking in the same direction, but naturally I took the British view of individual pride in woodland which leads land owners to plant every piece of waste or rough land to timber; and this adds greatly to the beauty of an English landscape. Even the sour and boggy lands of Scotland have been both beauti- fied and enhanced in value. Pride in sylviculture was stimu- lated there, too, by the biting writings of Dr. Samuel Johnson From Youth to Age as an American. 165 in regard to the prominence of unsightly crags in view wher- ever the traveler went. Dr. Johnson used a sharp pen in noting the neglect of tree-planting. This doubtless induced Sir Walter Scott to introduce tree-planting between the laird and his son in his "Heart of Midlothian"— "When ye hae naething else to do, Jock, ye can aye be steekin ' in a tree, Jock ; it'll be growin', Jock, while ye 're sleepin'." It is common belief that Burns' poem, "Bruar Water," turned the Duke of Argyle to a timber-planting fad, which increased the re- turns from his lands. It is my settled belief that a spirit of civic pride can be raised in the United States that will induce every owner of 100 acres of land to maintain at least ten acres producing timber. There ought not to be a single quar- ter-section of forest land sold by the United States Govern- ment henceforth, except under a guarantee that 20 per cent of it shall be maintained for producing timber. Where a homestead is on land already best fitted for agriculture, the patent might leave it optionary about planting timber on that portion already clear of timber, but if we are half as near a timber famine as some are saying who ought to know, it is time to hold timber out of market until it will sell at prices commensurate with other crops; and this involves a relation of proportion between wheat land and wood land that has not yet been considered in the United States. If it is desired to prevent a wood famine, make the care of forest land credita- ble as a pursuit; let the forest farmer have at least his home market; stop Government agents from selling either trees or ties in competition with private citizens. That is the sure way of hastening a timber famine, because the man or men whose investments are in timbered land or whose income is from harvesting timber or from the manufacture of lumber, cannot long compete with Mr. Pinchot, with one hundred and fifty-five millions of acres of forest reserves to sell from. And to sell timber is not to reserve it. I allude to this, first, because I have been for ten years in seeming accord with Mr. Pinchot as to the necessity of care of forest growth and of harvesting it without waste and to 166 John Minto. guard it against fires. As I have told at the beginning of these papers, I almost began life observing the care with which British woodmen saved every part of a tree. When I arrived in America I could not help noticing the waste of timber to economize labor, even in cutting the stumps of an oak, left to be an obstruction to tillage many years, that in Britain would have paid for cutting and carting away the tree. With some kinds of wood destruction has been so unreflecting that black walnut stumps left in cultivated fields for many years sold for more than the land they stood in would sell for. I lived a while in a neighborhood in Pennsylvania where the men associated themselves together to log off a body of land and float the timber down the Alleghany River for sale at Pittsburg. After getting their logs rafted they loaded the raft with hoop-poles— cooper stock— and sold them at Pitts- burg. They averaged seven cents per day per man. On every little farm the timber and brushwood had been cut and largely burned, to get land to raise food on. The most sterile of New England lands, so won, had by 1776 produced the best crop of men known to modern history ; but the war of the Revolution showed them two outlets for their energies better than to waste their labor to make bread from corn and rye : viz., emigration westward, and fisheries and trade by sea. The breaking with England's trade gave them a third, which serves well yet: manufacturing for the South and West, in which they have used no small amount of the best hardwood timber in the world, and have for fifty years been drawing on the Southern and Western States, and for the past fifteen, have been claiming an interest in the forested lands of the Pacific States. Now the necessity for timber for manufacturing is such as to induce the investment of New England capital in Pacific Coast timber lands, and there is no reason to complain of that if they would transfer themselves or their descendants with their capital, and act in the honesty of good citizenship to at- tain the lands legally, without degrading poor and needy people here through hired cruisers and purchasing agents to From Youth to Age as an American. 167 secure large bodies of timber lands and then evade paying taxes on it. I don't mean to say that New England men alone, or even in majority, are responsible for the timber-land frauds that have been made to carry the name of Oregon, through the columns of ten-cent monthlies, into obscure corn- ers. But the fact of the rush to get timber land on the Pacific side was certainly largely brought about by men and magazines of the Atlantic seaboard States. The American Forestry Association was the active agency in initiating the forest reserve policy. B. E. Fernow, Chief of the Bureau of Forestry of the Department of Agriculture, was the most active agent in creating the forest reservation that has reached an aggregation of 155,000,000 of acres; ample to furnish forest homes for one million families. In January, 1897, the membership roll of the American Forestry Association was 690 ; 78 of these were females ; 371 were resi- dents of New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. This is not as against the pur- poses of the association, for I believed in it long before that date ; nor is the number of woman members noted out of dis- respect ; it was to show where and by what class the overcut of timber was most noticed. But examination of the actors in bringing about the reservation policy proves that there was more care to have control of the natural forests of the newest States than to replant where there had been an overcut. And where most certainly the land can be reforested, a true ec- onomy would say loudly that it ought to be. It is ten years now since a committee from the National Academy of Science was asked for by Hon. Hoke Smith, Sec- retary of the Interior, at the suggestion of B. E. Fernow, Chief Forester. The report of this committee was simply a few unproven assertions on the causes and effect of forests and the destructive effects of sheep-ranging in forests. The German system of forest management was recommended, even to the use of mounted soldiery. This was not consistent v/itli the national land policy, and effort has been made ever sin(3p 168 John Minto. to make the land policy and the forest policy to agree and both subserve the wants of coming generations. President Roosevelt seems to perceive that what has yet been done is not sufficient to conserve the natural resources this already great country will soon have need of. He thinks, and says very forcibly, that continued production of forests is an essential condition of a continuance of the prosperity and progress of this nation. He says, truly I think: The forest policy of any country must be an essential part of Us land policy." He says again: "The * * * primary ob ject of the forest policy, as well as the land policy of tiie United States, is the making of prosperous homes. ' ' Again ho says: "You can start a prosperous home by destroying the forests, but you cannot keep it prosperous that way." The President is talking to a society of American foresters as though he expects them to impress the wisdom of the present policy upon the people of the mountain States. In the hope and the belief that it can be done, the writer is going to submit a plan by which it can be done, and be made by the people who have homes in the forest and make forestry the chief source of their prosperity: viz., give or sell the land for forest production. Say 160 or 320 acres is patented under the condition that one-tenth, sixteen or thirty two acres of land, may be cleared for other crops than timber. The timber farmer guards and harvests and improves the product. As very much of the forests contain open land, that may be passed for family use, for which it is most suitable. Or, if it is deemed no longer good public policy to give a homestead of timbered land, sell the land to he kept in forest, and then invest the purchase price, less the five per cent promiised the State npon its admission to the Union, in refor- esting overcut and abandoned, lands on the Atlantic or Ap- palachian States. Judging by the way men have risked reputation and mon«^y to attain timbered land unlawfully in the recent past, and to hold lands given as aid to railroad building, in contravention From Youth to Age as an American. 169 of the conditions of the gift, there will be no lack of bidders for timber lands, and no lack of care in their management. The ten years' experience in the introduction of a body of specialists as trained foresters to utilize and care for the public forested lands has not as yet borne fruits of demon- stration that the people want a class of teachers in the management of forest property. What has been done by Congress to meet the change of conditions demanding the care of instead of the destruction of timber has been done with disregard to the relations of the nation to the mountain States; a ruthlessness toward the poor and the ignorant of the frontier people which has resulted in some plainly written signs that might cause a judicious statesman to hesitate be- fore filling the forested public lands that have been utterly uncared for for a hundred years with human hounds, and treating men whose fathers were paid by liberal gifts of land for coming and ordaining law and maintaining order in Ore- gon, as though they were the lowest of the human race. Mr. Pinchot, whose zeal and skill in organization cannot be ques- tioned, has acknowledged that mistakes have been made. That is true; and the gain of Canada of more than 250,000 of the home-building class of American citizens outside of cities and suburban additions, bears witness to the fact that what I claim is true : that the effort to found a forest policy, which was much needed ten years ago, was started where it was, and is, yet least needed. Canada has gained one million population from the United States, her publicists think, since Great Britain gave her more liberty over her own develop- ment. It is not asserted here that her imitation of the home- stead policy of the United States in Manitoba and Alberta has been the sole cause of the partial arrest of development on our side of the line since the proclamation of forest reserves began, and the wheat lands of Canada are very far from re- ceiving all we have lost since we gave the forester power to annoy and contradict United States Senators, and sell forest products in competition with private citizens. British Col- umbia forests have been receiving both capital and labor 170 John Minto. from our side of the line, and men who had lived long enough near the center of the Cascade forest reserve, are now perma- nent residents of the Yukon Valley. In the spring of 1907 the United States Forester sold stump- age off land in California near the Oregon line at $2.00 per M. The mills in Marion County had to get stump age much cheaper to compete in the San Francisco market with those on the McLeod River, 350 miles nearer. It is understood that this year the Forester is selling lodge-pole pine railroad ties. The reports, however, have not yet come to hand. The report of the cut in Wyoming for the year ending June 30, 1907, was 233,000,000 feet, board measure, valued at $644,202.26. Oregon's account of the same date is 28,643,589 feet, board measure, sold at $48,526.50; but the Forester's accounts are of range rentals as well as lumber sold, for the latest of which I am under obligation to Hon. F. W. Benson, Secretary of State for Oregon, as will be seen from the following letter : State of Oregon, Hon. John Minto, Salem, May 29, 1908. Salem, Oregon. Dear Sir :— Responding to your request of the 26th, to be advised of the amounts received from the National Govern- ment from five per centum of the sales of public lands and also ten per centum of the amounts received from sales of forest reserve timber, and rentals, etc., have to advise you as follows : On account of five per centum of the proceeds of the sales of public lands : 1899 $ 1,475.84 1900 4,404.06 1901 , 11,763.45 1902 15,113.55 1903. . 23,365.90 1904 90,135.24 1905 64,562.24 1906 , 28,212.37 1907 22,489.56 1908 74,011.17 $335,533.38 From Youth to Age as an American. 171 On account of ten per centum of the proceeds of the sales of timber, forest reserve rentals, etc. : 1906 $ 7,585.96 1907 13,980.89 $ 21,566.85 I trust you may find the information has been furnished in the form desired and that it may suffice for your purposes. Very respectfully, F. W. Benson, Secretary of State. These figures show for land sold a remarkable increase from 1899 to 1908 inclusive. The ten years aggregate $335,533.38, an annual average of $33,553.34 coming onto the permanent tax-paying list of the State greatly adds to their value. The Forester returns as the income of the ten per centum of forest resources sold, timber sold, and range rentals, an average of $10,733.19 per annum, and little if any tax list; the Nation receiving 90 per cent of the income from this vast store of timber which, when sold, comes in competition with the business interests of the country. In regard to these sales, I note the Forester's statement of increased sales of timber between June 30, 1906, from Oregon, to the value of $710.85 and to June 30, 1907, increase to $48,526.00, together with the statement: "The use of timber resources of the National Forests was encouraged throughout the year. Three times as much timber was sold as in 1906, the aggregate being $2,532,275.60." I understand that the Secretary of the Interior, while the forests were in his control, held that he had no right to sell timber from the public domain, and Mr. Pinchot asked the Attorney- General's opinion on his right to sell forest re- sources, which was favorable, and he is acting on that. This raises the question in the mind of every private owner of timber land of, *'How do I stand under this party of protec- tion?" With a domain of one hundred and fifty-five million acres not his own, at market prices he can make, and eighty millions of consumers, he can quadruple his output every year. In competition with this power, where is the inducement toward a civic pride in this noble field of production?
No, this is not the form an American Forestry System should take.
- There were stay laws that intervened, creditors being given three months time to make payment of five dollars, with longer time as the debt increased. A good meal of cold food was set out in a wayside tavern for 6¼ cents, and a clean and warm feather bed at the same price. An advertised force sale sometimes failed for lack of bidders.