Oregon Historical Quarterly/Volume 9/From Youth to Age As an American, part 3

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See also Part 1 and Part 2



By John Minto.


The preceding papers have been written with the double purpose of showing conditions of life in Oregon as the writer has experienced them, and in order to indicate wherein they differed from the conditions of the Atlantic Coast, even as to the pioneer settlements, but especially as to flow of rivers and action of rain and wind on the soil; and the personal narrative has been used at the cost of diffuseness, in order to indicate the reasons for a difference of opinion as to the best form of a conservative forest policy as a national policy, from those who have so far controlled it. Believing in a general national conservative forest policy as firmly as the present able Chief Forester, and having practiced it in Oregon longer than he has lived, I feel constrained by my duties as a citizen to give the reasons for my position in the best form I may ; and what I shall have further to say will be in connection with differences between the Atlantic and the North Pacific Mountain States, as alluded to in the President's message to Congress in 1902, recommending the reforestration of the South Appalachian Mountains. While endorsing all that is humanly possible for the nation to legally do toward reclothing the South Appalachian Mountains with the best hardwood forests the climate and soils will carry, that are most suitable for the demands of future manufacturers, the object, I believe, will be best attained by instructing and encouraging private initiative and ownership. It will beyond From Youth to Age As An American. 375 question be a difficult undertaking to change the civic spirit of the inhabitants of the South Appalachian Mountains, and lead them to seek peace and honor in the culture, care and harvesting of forest resources, in any other way than by appeal to civic pride, where so many of them have either depended on occasional wage labor and the small game yet remaining in their bush-covered surroundings, or the cultiva- tion of their rough little fields of corn, as breadstuff or as the basis of illicit distillation. It cannot and should not be attempted at public cost, without the good will of the people who have their homes in that region. In advocating an American system of forestry, in distinc- tion from the German system which the present Chief Forester began with and has clung to as much as the American spirit of men and institutions will permit, I am aware that the present population of the Appalachian Mountains may, per- haps will be, the greatest obstacle in the way of success, unless the improvement of their condition is made a first object in the plan. In some of his best papers in advocacy of a national forest policy, President Roosevelt has stated his conviction that "No policy will succeed unless it has the en- dorsement of the people; in the judgment of the writer, that is most true in regard to the people who inhabit the South Appalachian Mountains. They are, or were, a ' ' mighty poor," but also a mighty proud" people; but, treated right, they are a mighty potent people; as the winning of Oregon proved; in which national drama they furnished by far the greatest contingent, by about three to one, when the Oregon boundary was agreed on. Their camp-fire war stories were all located in the Southern States— Florida, Louisiana, Ken- tucky and Tennessee. As reasons for reforesting the Ap- palachian M6untains, the President accompanied his message to Congress with a finely bound volume of maps, plates, and letter-press descriptions of the erosions made by copious rain- fall in different localities on this chain of mountains, as the result of destruction of forest cover by over-cutting for homes or by forest fires. In support of the President's recommenda376 John Minto. tion there has grown up quite a body of magazine literature in regard to the loss of natural resources by fire, floods, erosions, etc., ascribed generally to the destruction of the forest cover, ""liese sources of waste are summarized by the President as follows: "The Southern Appalachian region embraces the highest peaks and largest mountain masses east of the Rockies. It is the greatest physiographic feature of the eastern half of the continent and no such lofty mountains are covered with hard- wood forests in all North America, Upon these mountains descends the heaviest rainfall in the United States, except that of the North Pacific Coast; it is often of extreme violence, as much as eight inches having fallen in eleven hours, thirty-one inches in a month, and one hundred and five inches in a year. "The soil, once denuded of its forests and swept by tor- rential rains, rapidly loses first its humus, then its rich upper strata, and finally is washed in enormous volume into the streams, to bury such of the fertile lowland as is not eroded by the floods ; to obstruct the rivers and to fill the harbors of the coast. More good soil is now washed from these cleared mountain-side fields during a single heavy rain than during centuries under forest cover." This description of results by the President is unquestioned as to some of the mountains and farms of that region, and the manner of rainfall described is not uncommon as far north as Pennsylvania. On the Pacific Coast, however, the 105-inch record is limited to a low gap in the Coast Range in Tillamook County, Oregon, extending less than twenty miles from south to north. But the President's mention of the North Pacific as a region having as much rainfall annually as he mentions— 105 inches— carries an inference, to the uninformed, that the North Pacific Coast receives its rains in the same way and with like results. Such an assumption would be a very serious mistake. Judging by the number of writers seeking attention through the cheap magazines, it is time that some one who has lived on this coast and had some opportunities to have an intelli- gent view of nature's operations in the three separate ranges 4 From Youth to Age As An American. 377 of the Coast, Cascades, and Blue Mountains of Oregon should call attention to conditions peculiar to this region. From the experience of sixty-four years of labor-life, beginning with logging for a sawmill in the Coast Mountains, planting and cultivating trees, both fruit and forest, as a means of living, and clearing land for cultivation and cutting and burning young trees in defense of the rich natural pasturage which we as pioneers found on much of Western Oregon, I can say that I have no doubt that land-slides do occur on the west side of the Coast Range, as it receives the heaviest impact of both wind and rain from the Pacific Ocean, and in places the hill- sides are steep from weather-wear; but the only slide I re- member to have noted came down heavily clothed wdth tim- ber—about one and one-half miles east of Clifton, before the Groble & Astoria Railroad was thought of. With a large ex- perience in the Cascade Range since, I would ascribe that slide to the tide wash in the Columbia River. It was due in part to the under softening by the tide-water and in part to the leverage of its timber rocked by the wind. Within the Cascade Mountains, following up the north bank of the North Santiam to the summit tree of the Davenport survey of 1874, eighty-seven and one-half miles from Salem, all the signs of surface disturbance off the right of way of the Corvallis & Eastern Railroad line— and there are many— are slides which brought down the trees with them, either broken up or parti- ally covered with stone and soil. Almost uniformly there would be the evidence of slush and mud to indicate that the rocking of the trees by the wind had let in the rain, loading and loosening the mass. There are other kinds of surface movement in the Cascades, in places where there is little soil, but acres of broken rock of no value, which, however, tends toward soil-making by sliding down into the river. In the sixty miles of this valley of the North Santiam, with its south bank in sight most of the way, there is but one slide in sight from the north bank, and the mass is not more than five acres in area, but it represents a great aggregate of surface of steep mountain sides of broken up, hard, trap rock^ at so steep an 378 John Minto. angle that the weight of a man or even a sheep will start tons it with a jingling, metallic grind, toward the brawling stream, busy with grinding roeks into gravel and sand and soil. In the case of this slide, it appears that the torrent, by undermining some softer rock— lime, marl, or volcanic ash- produced the slide which must have put thousands of tons under the grinding force of the stream. What has broken up these vast masses of hard, jingling stone? Are they the result of thousands or millions of years and countless earthquakes or volcanic upheavals? There is the presence of volcanic craters, now lake beds — like Marion Lake, sixteen miles east of this slide — the gem of this valley, at least as a natural fish-pond; then there are Clear Lake and Fish Lake, thirty miles south, draining into the McKenzie. All three of the lakes were formed by a mighty power throwing millions of tons of rock, scoria and ashes northeast from the cavities left, and the bottom of Clear Lake is formed by a grove of iir timber which must have slid gently to the place where they now are stand- ing upright, with their tops thirty to forty feet below the surface of the water. Ten miles east from this slide is a bed of ashes as fine as bolted flour, above the timber-line of Mount Jefferson, on the southwest slope. Every summer the snow- melt above the ash-belt makes new channels over them, and turns the crystal streams of the main river at first dun color and then whiter as it flows w^est to the great Willamette Val- ley. Mounts Jefferson, Hood and Raineer each mother white rivers. In the hot days of August the White and Pamelia branches of the North Santiam vary their flow from eight to sixteen inches daily. Mount Hood and the "Sisters" are the nursing mothers of streams in August and September, each sending down the life-giving fluid to bless human, vegetable, tree or animal life. The same general character of soil and soil formation reaches from the Willamette Valley eastward to and including the Rocky Mountains. From a point within forty miles southeast of the land or rock slide which started me on this descriptive tour, north to Puget Sound and south to New Mexico, soil on the highlands is colored reddish with From Youth to Age As An American. 379 oxide of maguetic iron, sliOAving gold-bearing quartz on thou- sands of hill-tops; the water clear and apparently pure, yet carrying in solution a mineral which loads pine-twigs so that the}^ sink in the immense crystal springs that rise within five to eight miles east of the summit of the Cascades — full-grown mill-streams, clear as crystal and as cold as ice In addition to the peculiarity of leaves, twigs and branches sinking in the waters of these large springs, so numerous at the east base of the Cascades, and. which form the Matoles, which enters the Deschutes at the Agency, forty-five miles north, is the clearness and coldness of the water and its un- satisfactory character as drink— you wish to drink again at such short intervals. I have met more than one educated man who held that it is due to over-filtration —seeping so far through basaltic rock that the life principle is filtered out of it. The question arises : may it not be filtering through the stratum of volcanic ash which Professor Condon so finely de- scribes in his geological history, "The Two Islands," the evidences of which remain throughout the mountain, valleys and stream-beds of the plains? From where I stand in fancy at this writing, sixteen miles northwest reaches the hot-and-cold springs of the Santiam; twenty-six miles south reaches Crater Springs, on the head of the Matoles branch of the Deschutes. This crater is a fine, hollow cone, thirty feet high, at the bottom of which a current of ice-cold water is gurgling its way toward the Des- chutes, the Columbia, and the Pacific Ocean. I was the old man of the party, and not sure the boys were not joking about the good water and ice they had found at the bottom of the gigantic bowl. One gave me his cup and an ax to reach in and chip off the ice. I could get a good drink by lying down, but the ice was further in, and over the water. I secured both, but saw also, when I rose to my feet, that I was sur- rounded by formation very similar to that around Soda and Steamboat Springs on Bear River, Utah, 700 miles eastward, and in woodland scenery not unlike that in sight from Pacific Springs, where we camped in sight of snow on the Wind River 380 John Minto. Mountains in August, 1844. The same color and texture of soil, seemingly without humus, but which nevertheless will bear two months without rain better than the corn-lands of Iowa will two weeks. OREGON WINDS SOIL-MOVERS. The mention of the Wind River Mountains reminds me that we in Oregon are as different in the winds that blow as in the rains and snow that maintain the flow of our rivers, for we are free from their cyclones and downpours of eight inches of rain in eleven hours, as in the Appalachian Mountains, which I will notice after stating that warm or hot springs and vol- canic ashbeds are, together with mineral springs, common occurrences all over the Columbia Valley from the west slopes of the Cascade Range to the Rocky Mountains. The return trade-wind from the South Pacific is now called the ' ' Chinook. ' ' It is the wind of blessing in more ways than those connected with or concerned with the Appalachian chain can well conceive of. The early and the latter rains" it brings from the South Pacific Ocean; it is the prevailing winter wind over Oregon and Washington, and is the natural enemy of frost and snow in all the country west of the Cas- cade Range, so that snow to load the trees and whiten the ground on the plains is exceptional weather west of these mountains. The longest time that sleigh-riding could be indulged in, within the last sixty-four years, was in the winter of 1861-2, after the waters of the Willamette had receded from the highest flood known to the conquering race. We had seven weeks of sleighing at Salem; the livery stable men, in order to give the stock healthy exercise, hitched up all for which they had harness, and with a string of sleighs gave free rides to young and old. My wife and children were at Salem, my farm stock and feed four miles south. I already knew the sound of the moisture-laden wind coming over the cold strata next the earth, and I remember well with what pleasure I sought my bed when I distinctly heard the heavenly sound. It is to every Pacific Coast stockman a sound of deFrom Youth to Age As An American. 381 light; Aeolian harps are nothing in comparison to a feeling stock o^^^ler. My description may be indefinite, but it is known up to and over the passes of the Rocky Mountains, 800 miles. I understand, reaching the head of the cold, rich, Sas- katchewan Valley. This wind, robbed of most of its rain by the Coast and Cascades, takes the snow off the country like a charm. But this is not all: the "Oregon," the "Columbia," the River of the West," second in size only to the Mississippi, is sand and gravel-making until it passes The Dalles, 200 miles from the ocean. From Cape Horn Rock, about 125 miles from the Columbia bar, the Chinook is an up-stream wind; some- times so strong that it compels the largest river steamers to tie up. The writer has seen it take the water from the river in sheets, and throw it up as spray, fog, and cloud. From <^ape Horn to Wind Mountain must be twenty-five or thirty miles of the grandest river and mountain scenery in the world. When not charged with rain, this Chinook charges itself with dry dust, sand, silt, and volcanic ash, and from weatherings of the broken basaltic rocks that largely line the grand gorge which this grand river makes through the Cascades; and de- posits it in recesses like the Hood River and White Salmon val- leys, but often at bends of its canyon, taking it up as an imperceptible dust, and laying it on the Klickitat, Wasco, and Sherman County Plains. In some places this action is so strong as to form sand dunes, as at Celilo, the mouth of the Deschutes, or extensive plains, as at Umatilla ; but this will be found true : that slopes declining from the forces of the Chi- nook wind are the best grain lands. The wind movement is generally opposite to the stream. The effect of this wind has been going on in the water courses as they have been formed in the uncounted years since the last volcanic era, widening the valleys as the wear of the 382 John Minto. stream deepened them,* and yet goes on, but with the effect of counteracting the tendency of the water to carry soil in the stream-beds, which, in regard to those extending to the Colum- bia, is slight, except in the case of cloud-bursts, which are happily of limited area and infrequent. The movement of soil-making by the wind may be fairly estimated at nine months of every year, in action, and the play of freshets by snow-melt lasts only about one month. In order to show the more general effect of these soil- forming winds in shallowing the lakes of Southeastern Ore- gon, I insert the following extracts from Professor Condon's book, "The Two Islands," which I think should be used in the high schools of Oregon : "In 1876, Governor Whiteaker, while camping in Eastern Oregon in the neighborhood of Silver Lake, noticed some fossil bones on the surface of the prairie and shortly after brought some fragments to the writer for examination. The Governor was soon convinced that he had discovered an im- portant fossil bed, and the next summer by kindly furnishing a team and sending his son as guide, he gave the writer the pleasure of visiting this Silver Lake country. * * * The last part of the journey took us through a monotonous dead level covered with sage-brush, until finally we reached the home of a ranchman on the shore of one of those strange alkali lakes whose flats are at this season covered with a thick inflorescence of alkali. Here we left our wagon and the next morning started on horseback for the fossil beds. After traveling about eight miles we saw, from the eminence of a sand dune, an apparently circular depression four or five miles across, in the lowest portion of which was a small pond or lake, surrounded by grass and tule rushes. Perhaps two ♦The following extract from a letter from a business man's observation (T. C. Elliot's, of Walla Walla, Washington,) will explain the effect: "* * * I am afraid that my own observations in the matter of allu- vial deposits is not intelligent enough to be of value in the stating. In this particular section (Walla Walla) there is certainly considerable soil moved every year by the wind, but at first glance it is the lighter upon the heavier soils. The silt that is carried out upon the bottom land adjoining the rivers is kept there by being sown to alfalfa, etc. But there are blow- holes in our fields from which the ashy soils cover adjoining acres, often to their detriment; and there is a stretch of country in this country that is affected by the winds blowing up through the Columbia River gorge at Wallula and is blowing off as it is put under plow. This last spring the wheat was simply uncovered and blown away, both before and after germination. As to the better fertility of the 'slopes inclining from the sun,' that is very certainly true." From Youth to Age As An American. 383 miles to the leeward this depression was bordered by a line of sand dunes, unquestionably formed from sands blown from the bed of the lake that once occupied the whole of this depres- sion. It is the blowing- out of this sediment which exposes the fossils buried in the depths of the old lake. * * * Judging from the uniformity of its surroundings one is found unavoidably thinking of an extensive lake sediment, of which this fossil lake is only a very small portion. The orig- inal Pliocene lake probably included Silver Lake and Klamath Marsh with its surroundings, and perhaps Summer Lake and an extension eastward over the present Harney and Malheur lake regions. These w^aters were low^ered to their present level by evaporation in excess of inflow. The mineral left behind accumulated until it covered the face of the pond like snow. * "Besides this extensive Pliocene lake already mentioned, there are, fronting on Snake River, a series of terraces, frag- ments of a continuous lake-bed from which the writer has received fresh-water fossils. Among these a small pastern bone of a horse was found, establishing the claim of the beds as Pliocene. "The fossils of these Silver Lake beds were found often lying on the surface, bare of any covering. The sands and dust that had covered them were blown to the leeward where they lay in extended dunes, and this uncovering and drifting process w^as still visibly going on. Among these fossils we found many arrowheads of obsidian, such as were used by recent Indians." This is the only allusion to native life Professor Condon makes while reading the geological history of Oregon from most original records and its use commended to our fellow citizens east of the Rockies. They may go far wrong if they assume that because 105 inches of rain may have fallen within one year in the Tillamook gap of the Coast Range, that it has any effect on the river system of Oregon ; only one small river being affected ; and there is yet no reason to fear the effect of our rains anywhere. As an old citizen of Oregon, from the office of the State Board of Horticulture, I gave my reasons ten years ago for opposing the initiation of the forest reserve system for the reasons assigned by the evidence drawn from the National Academy of Science, because it recom- mended imperial methods on unsustained assumptions and 384 John Minto. assertions which I knew to be untrue, so far as they related to Oregon. There are now being laid before the reading public in the various cheap magazines, papers on this subject of conserva- tion of natural resources ; one of the best of these is the Teohnical World, in which a Mr. Roy Crandall claims that the Missouri River washes away yearly, in its course through the State, 8,000 acres of farm lands worth $100 per acre, or $800,000, supported, he says, by the estimates of Prof. W. J. McGee, of the Inland Waterway Commission, from whom he quotes. The writer is glad to be able to quote from advance sheets of a very able paper on forests and reservoirs with particular reference to navigable rivers, in the proceedings of the Ameri- can Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. XXXIV, No. 7, by H. M. Chittenden, Lieutenant-Colonel, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, to be presented November 4, 1909. I quote only the summary of the points made by this able and trained sci- entific vn:'iter, and would be glad to see his entire paper as part of the next report from the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture of the United States. He reasons calmly against the assumption that forests have a beneficial influence in preserving stream flow. He notes that the experiments of Gustav Wex, chief engineer in the improvements on the river Danube, adopted in 1897 by the committee of the American Academy Gj Science, but proved inconclusive, as did those made in France by M. F. Bailee, reaching an opposite conclusion, as noted by Mr. Chit- tenden in the paper here alluded to. The writer took issue with the committee mentioned, in 1897, and is therefore glad to endorse Mr. Chittenden's summary, which follows: (1) The bed of humus and debris that develops under forest cover retains precipitation during the summer season, or a moderately dry season at any time of the year more effectively than do the soil and crops of deforested areai similarly situated. It acts as a reservoir moderating the run- off from showers and mitigating the severity of freshets, and promotes uniformity of flow at such periods. The above From Youth to Age As An American. 385 action fails altogether in periods of prolonged and heavy precipitation, which alone produce great general floods. (2) At such times the forest bed becomes thoroughly sat- urated, and water falling upon it flows off as readily as from the bare soil. Moreover, the forest storage, not being under control, flows out in swollen streams, and may and often does bring the accumulated waters of a series of storms in one part of a watershed upon those of another, which may occur several days later ; so that, not only does the forest at such times exert no restraining effect upon floods, but by virture of its uncon- trolled reservoir action, may actually intensify them, " (3) In periods of extreme summer heat forests operate to diminish the run off, because they absorb almost completely and give off in evaporation, ordinary showers which in the open country produce a considerable increase in the streams; while small springs and rivulets may dry up more than form- erly, this is not true of the larger rivers. (4) The effect of forests upon the run-off resulting from snow melting is to concentrate it into a brief period and thereby increase the severity of freshets. This results {a) from the prevention of the formation of drifts, and (&) from the prevention of snow melting by sun action in spring and the retention of the snow blanket until the arrival of hot weather. "(5) Soil erosion does not result from forest cutting in itself, but in cultivation, using that term in its broadest sense. The question of preventing such erosion of soil-wash is alto- gether one of dispensing with cultivation or properly con- trolling. The natural growth which always follows the de- struction of a forest is fully as effective in preventing erosion, and even retaining run-off, as the natural forest. (6) As a general proposition, climate, and particularly precipitation, have not been appreciably modified by the progress of settlement and the consequent clearing of land, and there is no sufficient reason, theoretically, why such a result should ensue. (7) The percentage of run-off to rainfall has been slightly increased by deforestation and cultivation."*

  • The reason Colonel Chittenden's last proposition is true Is that a live

forest carries a vastly heavier crop of vegetable life and roots much deeper than ordinary field crops. The leafage of the trees hold a proportion of the rainfall, but in the late summer when the land is thirsty a ripening cherry or prune crop is often injured by the bursting of the fruit — a result 386 John Minto. The careful and able writer of the valuable paper of which the foregoing seven propositions are a part, says truly, If they are correct they enforce two very important conclusions ; one relating to the regulation of our rivers and the other to forestry. ' ' The last proposition Colonel Chittenden states is connected with the first statement I made in connection with the run- off from the Willamette as close as manifest effect to cause ; when I said in my view that the general level of life-sustaining moisture has lowered in many places two feet— in some places ten— by the process of ditching to drain roadbeds, common and rail, and for field crops, so that it is no longer the home of damp land birds, like the curlew, crane, gray plover and snipe, or the ducks, geese and swans, that it used to be sixty years ago. But I have given the observations of my labor-life on both plains and mountains in the June Historical Magazine of this year (1908) and did, indeed, in a more general way, in 1898 in opposition to the German system of forestry, the legality of which I doubted when it was first initiated and felt that it was not in accord with the genius of our form of government. Seemingly to reconcile those like the writei, who believes that timber production is the very highest class of productive industry, we are beginning to see in the magazines that give the value of forestry as preservative of water flow, pictures of community life in Germany where communities have in- of the sudden intake by the feeding roots. On the other hand, some varieties of prunes shed their fruit when suffering from drouth. I have also noted the soft maple — a fine street shade tree in Western Oregon — take on autumn colors and shed its leaves fifteen to twenty days in advance of its neighbors of the same species, solely on account of a difference in the depth of soil under them. I have seen, within this month of October. French walnuts shed their leaves while their nuts were immature, clinging to the tree with hull unopen, the result of being on shallow soil with rock imder and compact blue grass sod over their roots ; while other trees of the same sort, within fifty feet of them, but on deep unsodded soil, were dropping the nuts of normal size clean from the hull, and holding their leaves, which slowly changed color. Where irrigation can be secured, on the property of an orchardist, its use is the surest means of producing perfect fruit. Thus water becomes more important as a resource, increasing the production of crops, of heat and of power. From Youth to Age As An American. 387 vestments in bodies of forest land which are managed for them by officers called " Oberf oresters " furnished by the Government presumably. A corner of the Black Forest is shown, where live a remnant of an Alamani tribe, which the Roman General, Caius Marius turned back from Rome over two thousand years ago. They live at and around Sulzburg, Baden, and use such teams in their forest as their forefathers used when marching toward Rome. They still keep oxen for teams, as then, but are settled where the doctor, teacher and minister are the aristocracy— take their glass of beer on a Saturday night— enjoy a jollificati<»n when the grapes are gathered, and are fortunate if they have a portion in the production of 10,000 acres of forest. This, according to the writer, contains thirteen communal forests, and one or two private forests, the owners of which have the right to manage their forests as they like. That is the form that I hope and trust practical forestry will take in the United States, the ownership to be an appurtenance to the land, the minimum proportion the land is to carry to be made a matter of record and its maiatenance as obligatory as taxes, but free in all other



1. Speech of Senator J. Semple of Illinois in the Senate of the United States, January 25, 1844, on the resolution introduced by him to give notice to Great Britain of the desire of the Government of the United States to abrogate the treaty of Joint Occupation of the Oregon Country.

2. Report of an "Oregon" public meeting held at Alton, Illinois, November 8, 1842, and Mr. Semple 's remarks at that meeting.

3. Report of an "Oregon" meeting held at Springfield, Illinois, February 5, 1843, with Mr. Semple 's remarks on that occasion.

4. Extract from a letter from Messrs. Smith, Jackson and Sublette.

5. Declaration of the Oregon Convention, held at Cincinnati, July 5, 1843.

Speech of Senator J. Semple.

On the 8th of January, 1844, Mr. Semple introduced the following Resolution:

"Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to give notice to the British Government that it is the desire of the Government of the United States to annul and abrogate the provisions of the Third Article of the Convention concluded between the Government of the United States of America and His Britanic Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, on the 20th of October, 1818, and indefinitely continued by the Convention between the same parties, signed at London, the 6th day of August, 1827."

On the 25th of January, the resolution was called up for consideration, when Mr. Archer, of Virginia, Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, moved to have it referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mr. SEMPLE said—

Mr. President: I did not suppose, after the delay which has already attended the consideration of the resolution which I had the honor to introduce, that there would be any desire for a further Speech of Senator J. Semple. 389 postponement. I had, at first, no disposition to urge a hasty decision of the question, and therefore, with great pleasure, yielded to the suggestion of my friends to give time for reflection. I was fully aware that it was a question of great importance, and I myself wished that every Senator should have ample time to ex- amine the subject in all its bearings. I think sufficient time has been given, and I cannot consent to a longer delay. The object of a reference to a committee is generally for the purpose of inquiry and examination, with a view to prepare and digest a complicated subject for the action of the Senate. If such inquiry and examination were necessary in this case, I should have no objection to a reference; but so far from this, it has been avowed by the honorable Senator from Virginia [Mr. Archer] that the object of the reference is delay. He does not wish to take any step whatever in relation to this subject, until after we have seen the result of negotiations which, he informs us, are in prospect. He is not willing to interfere with the President in these negotiations. Now, sir, in the first place, I do not believe that the passage of this resolution will have any injurious effect upon any negotiation which may take place between the two countries. The very fact of commencing a negotiation presupposes that the parties are not satisfied with existing treaties. Can there be anything disrespect- ful to inform a friendly nation that we are not satisfied with an existing treaty, and propose to make a new one? Certainly not. This is the first step in making all treaties whatever. The resolu- tion under consideration is nothing more than this. When we shall have given notice that we desire to terminate the present treaty, we are then better prepared to make or to receive propositions for a new one. In the present state of the case, the British Government is well enough satisfied with the present treaty: we are not. Can any one suppose that, while the treaty with which the British Govern- ment is satisfied exists, there is the least prospect that a new one will be made? He who supposes so cannot be well acquainted with the character of the British Government. But if we abrogate this treaty, and take exclusive possession of the territory, then there will be some inducement for both parties to come to some under- standing. But how is it possible that there can be any disrespect shown by giving the notice, and abrogating this treaty? The treaty itself provides for its own dissolution; the British Government has already agreed that we may abrogate it whenever we please. How then, can the Senator from Virginia suppose for a moment that we can give offense, or be looked on as standing in a hostile attitude, by doing that which we have a right to do by solemn compact — by 390 Documents. the treaty itself? But, sir, the Senator from Virginia is opposed to interfering with the President in any new negotiations which may be in prospect. My opinion is just the reverse: 1 am in favor of expressing an opinion in advance. I wish to indicate now to the President that we cannot agree to any treaty which shall provide for a joint occupation, or which shall allow any other nation to have any jurisdiction or control whatever over the soil of the Oregon. Are we to sit here with our arms folded, and wait until a treaty is made, and then reject it? Have we no power, or no right, to advise the President what course, in our opinion, should be pursued? I think this is the best mode of treating on any subject. The Presi- dent himself should ask the advice of the Senate before a treaty is concluded. The Senate should advise first, and after it is signed then consent to the treaty. Advice and consent are both necessary on the part of the Senate. In this case, I am not sure that our advice is, or will be, obligatory on the President. He may or may not give the notice, even should this resolution pass: but it will be a strong indication, and will scarcely be entirely neglected by the President. We have the right, however, to act on the subject, whether our action is regarded or disregarded. We have recently, I think, entertained a similar resolution — I mean that introduced by the honorable Senator from Ohio [Mr. Allen] — and I am per- suaded that if that resolution had been in Executive session, it would have passed the Senate. I have another reason for passing this resolution. I have not the most unlimited confidence in negoti- ations, as the best mode of securing our rights; we have frequently been outrageously cheated in negotiations. We have surrendered our territory by negotiations in the Southwest and in the West, with regard to our line with Mexico. All the country watered by the Rio del Norte was ours before we surrendered it; and the thirty-fourth degree of North latitude to the Pacific ocean should have been our boundary with Mexico. We have surrendered terri- tory in the Northeast, and in the North, to Great Britain; and, sir, I want to see no more surrendered. For this reason I am a little afraid of negotiations, and I am not willing to let any other go on to a final termination without first giving some opinion as to what should be done, or, in other words, advising the President what to do. Had the honorable Senator from Virginia [Mr. Archer] not made this motion to refer the resolution, with the avowed object of delay, I should not have said anything on the subject; and it is not my intention at present to occupy the time of the Senate longer than will be necessary merely to explain the reasons which induced me to introduce the resolution now under consideration. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 391 It is well known to every Senator present, that the occupation of the Oregon Territory has, for some time past, engaged the at- tention of the people of the United States generally, but more particularly the people of the Western States. The people of the State which I have the honor, in part, to represent on this floor, has taken a very decided stand in favor of the immediate occupa- tion of the Oregon. If I am not mistaken, the first public meeting of the people held to express a formal opinion on this subject, was held in the city of Alton, in that State.* This was followed by several others, in Illinois and the adjoining States. During the last winter, a meeting of more than fifteen hundred persons was held in the State-House at Springfield, composed of members of the Legislature, and others, from every part of the State of Illinois, when this question was most fully discussed, and strong resolutions, expressive of the wish of the people of that State,, were passed." At several of these meetings I had the honor of addressing my fellow-citizens, and giving my views of the propriety of the organization of a Territorial Government west of the moun- tains, and of taking such steps as would effectually exclude all other Governments from exercising any jurisdiction over the soil admitted by all to be the undoubted property of the United States. During the past summer, the people of the Western States were invited to meet in convention at Cincinnati, in the State of Ohio, for the purpose of taking this subject into consideration, and to adopt such measures as would appear best calculated to secure the rights of this country, and expedite the settlement of the Oregon. A very large portion of the whole Western country was represented in this convention; a much larger portion than could have been induced to send delegates to a convention on any common or ordi- nary occasion. The convention was composed of men of the very first political standing in the West, without regard to party divisions of any kind; all of both political parties joining most zealously in their endeavors to promote the object for which the convention was called — the immediate occupation of the Oregon, The convention de- clared, in the most unequivocal terms, that they would "protest and continue to protest against any act or negotiations, past, in progress, or hereafter to be perfected, which shall yield possession of any portion of the said Territory to any foreign power," but more particularly against the possession by Great Britain.

  • See Note A.

°See Note B. 392 Documents. The language of that convention was firm and determined, and I believe it is the opinion of nearly every man west of the Alleghanies.l | The people of the West have not contented themselves with expressing opinions — they have acted. For many years our citizens have gone into the country west of the Rocky Mountains for the purpose of hunting, trapping, and trading with the Indians. They have also more recently gone for the purpose of making permanent settlements. During the last year more th&n a thousand brave and hardy pioneers set out from Independence, in Missouri, and, over- coming all obstacles, have arrived in the Oregon. Thus the first attempt to cross the extensive prairies and high mountains which intervene between the settlements in the States and the Pacific ocean has been completely successful. The prairie wilderness and the snowy mountains which have heretofore been deemed impassa- ble, which were to constitute, in the opinion of some, an impenetra- ble barrier to the further progress of emigration to the West, is already overcome. The same bold and daring spirits, whose intrepidity has heretofore overcome the Western wilderness in the midst of dangers, can never be checked in their march to the shores of the Pacific. During the next summer I believe thousands will follow. Extensive preparations are now making for a general move toward that Country. The complete success of those who have^irst gone will encourage others; and as the road is now marked out, I do not think I am at all extravagant when I suppose that ten thou- sand emigrants will go to Oregon next summer. In the meantime, what course shall the Government pursue? The indication of public opinion thus everywhere expressed, and the apparent determination to emigrate, I am sure cannot be dis- regarded by this Senate. For one, I am sure that I cannot dis- charge the duty I owe to my constituents without usin^ every ex- ertion in my power to effect the object they have so much at heart. I cannot compromise, I cannot yield any part of the Oregon Terri- tory. I cannot agree to wait for negotiations. I cannot agree that there is sufficient doubt as to our title to admit that it is a subject proper for serious dispute. The joint occupation of the country never ought to have been a subject of negotiation. Our Government committed a great error, in my opinion, when the treaty of 1818 was made; and a still greater error when that treaty was indefinitely prolonged. It is, however, not beyond a remedy. The treaty was made on the supposition that it might become necessary to abrogate that part providing for a 1 1 See Note C. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 393 joint occupation, and a plain and easy mode was pointed out in the treaty itself. This was for either party to give notice of a desire to abrogate that part of the treaty. This, sir, is the object of the resolution which I have had the honor to introduce. This thing of a joint occupation of a country; and of a joint jurisdiction by two independent Governments, is an anomaly in the history of the world. I do not now remember anything like it, either among ancient or modern Governments. I have no doubt that it has often happened that two nations may have been at the same time in possession of the same country; but I think that in all such cases they have both contended for exclusive jurisdiction, and the joint possession has generally been hostile, and one or the other has been compelled by force to yield. I remember that there was once a joint and concurrent jurisdiction over a strip of country between Kentucky and Tennessee; I am not sure that there ever was in that case an agreement for the joint occupation; I am inclined to think there never was an agreement, but that both States claimed and exercised jurisdiction over the country until the question was settled about the year 1819. The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. Crittenden] will no doubt remember this dispute. I think he was probably one of the negotiators of the ultimate set- tlement of the line between the two States. The joint occupation which I have just mentioned was on several occasions near producing great difficulties, even when both States belonged to one General Government, and when the people of both States were friends and neighbors, and possessed of the highest degree of prudence and forbearance. The difficulties between the States of Ohio and Michigan, and that still more recent between the State of Missouri and Territory of Iowa, will show how tenaci- ous Governments always are in relation to boundaries. These diffi- culties happened between States, when it would seem really to be a matter of no great consequence whether the disputed territory be- longed to the one or the other, as both belonged to one common country. It is a matter of more serious consequence when the disputed territory lies between two rival powers, having no common umpire to determine the dispute. Nations generally adhere with greater pertinacity to a claim of territory than to any other species of right, and yield it with greater reluctance; scarcely ever without appealing to the only umpire between nations — the trial by battle. I believe sir, that the recent surrender of a part of the State of Maine to the British Government is probably the only instance recorded in history where a great and powerful nation, with a full and complete conviction of its right to the soil, has tamely 394 Documents. surrendered a part of its domain from fear of war. That was a question of limits; this also is a question of limits. We have sur- rendered a part of the State of Maine; shall we also surrender a part of the Oregon? It was after the treaty of 1842 that we of the West began to have doubts as to the propriety of treating on his subject. It was after this that we began to doubt the efficacy of negotiations to maintain our rights; and for this reason we have passed the strong resolutions which have been passed in the West, expressing a deter- mination not to abide by any treaty that shall surrender any part of the Oregon. Our people will go there, and they will not submit to British domination. If the Government here will not protect them, they will protect themselves; and all the power of England will never be able to dislodge from the mountain fastness of the Columbia river, the hardy Western riflemen, who will in a few years occupy that delightful country. I will not, Mr. President, add anything more to what I have said; I am not certain that there will be any serious opposition to the adoption of the resolution. I hope most sincerely that there may be none. I believe that a similar resolution will be adopted in the House of Representatives. The President cannot disregard these expressions of the will of the Nation. The notice will be given; in twelve months we will be free from any treaty stipula- tions ; we can then extend our laws and Government over our people who have gone and will go there; and, in a few years, you will see what is now a wilderness, the most delightful residence of man. [NOTE A.l OREGON — PUBLIC MEETING. In pursuance of a public notice previously given, a meeting of the citizens of Alton was held at the Court Room, on Tuesday evening, Novem- ber 8, 1842, for the purpose of taking the occupation of the Oreg-on Terri- tory into consideration. Colonel N. Buckmaster was called to the chair, and J. E. Starr was chosen Secretary. General J. Semple made a motion to appoint a committee to draft res- olutions expressive of the sense of this meeting, which motion was ap- proved ; and said committee was ordered to consist of General J. Semple, Mr. Jesse Beeder, Mr. S. W. RobMns, and Mr. S. /S. Brooks. The committee having retired, returned and presented the following : Resolved, That, in the opinion of this meeting, the occupation of the Oregon Territory is of vast importance to the whole Union, but more espe- cially to the Western States. Resolved, That we will, by every means in our power, encourage emi- gration to that country, and use our influence with our Delegation in Congress to have it occupied by the Government of the United States. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 395 Resolved, That we will never give our consent to surrender any part of that Territory lying between the Russian and Mexican boundaries, to any Nation, for any consideration whatever. Resolved, That this sentiment should be expressed before any further negotiation takes place, so as to prevent any steps being taken that will for a moment weaken the claim which we have to that whole country. With this view, we invite the attention of the people of the United States, the Legislatures of the several States, and especially those of the States of Missouri and Arkansas, and the Territory of Iowa, whose boundaries approach more near than any others to the Oregon Territory, and whose frontiers are more immediately exposed to any depredations which the Indians may be induced to commit. Resolved, That we view the conclusion of a Treaty with England, with- out settling our Western boundary, as wholly overlooking our Western interests, while a finer opportunity than will, in all probability, ever again be offered, presented itself, to require and obtain a complete relinquishment of all the British claim to the Territory in dispute. The object of the resolutions having been commented upon and ex- plained, they were unanimously adopted. A motion that the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the Chair- man and Secretary, and published in the city papers, was approved. Motion to adjourn prevailed. N. BUCKMASTBR, Chairman. J. E. Starr^ Secretary, Upon presenting the Resolutions, Mr. Sbmple offered the following remarks : He was in favor of the resolutions. He was glad to see a movement made among the people on the subject of the occupation of the Oregon. We were much indebted to the patriotic exertions of several members of Congress in relation to this matter ; and probably to none more than to his much esteemed friend. Dr. Linn, of Missouri. He said that he had been for the last four or five years placed in a situation where it became his duty as well as inclination to study the commercial interest of the United States. He had during that time made himself acquainted with the importance to us of the vast trade of the Pacific ocean, and of the immense wealth that would flow into our country by means of the occupation of the Oregon Territory. The rich furs of the Northwest were alone a source of great wealth. Add to this the tropical productions of the western coast of Mexico and Central America, the pearls and gold of Panama and Choco, the inexhaustible mineral and other productions of Peru and Chili, on the western coast of South America, M'^hich would be brought within our limits through the Oregon. All these would only be a part of the wealth to be gained by having a population and sea-ports on the Pacific. The great trade of the East Indies, which has been for so many years of such great importance to every commercial nation, would be brought within a short distance of our borders. It is not very probable that East India goods will ever be carried by land from the Oregon to New York or Boston. It will probably be always cheaper for those cities to import them by sea around the capes. But we, in the center of the continent ai'e very differently situated. The difference in the distance to the Pacific and the Atlantic Is but trifling. With the same facilities for transportation, we can bring 396 Documents. goods from the mouth of the Columbia as cheap as from Boston or New- York, We have, then, in our favor a distance of nearly fifteen thousand miles of sea navigation. The beneficial effects of this advantage would soon be felt as far as the banks of the Mississippi and Ohio. But suppose we do not, the future inhabitants of Oregon will reap these advantages. And who will they be? Our friends, relations, and countrymen, who may emigrate to those delightful regions. Every State that is occupied by our people will add to the general prosperity. They will be neighbors and friends and countrymen. Those who emigrate will be as much at home on the shores of the Pacific as on the banks of the Mississippi. Who is there here that has not come from some other State? He who has left Massa- chusetts, Virginia, or Georgia, to settle in Illinois, feels himself as much in his own native country as if he had never removed. The same national feeling still exists. He has not expatriated ; he has not sworn allegiance to any other Government ; he is still in the United States, under the same laws, entitled to the same protection, and proud of the same stars and stripes that waved over the place of his birth. It would be the same with him on the shores of the Pacific. The advantages which have been enu- merated would be enjoyed by us if we chose to go there, and would still be enjoyed by us here in the persons of those who do go. Their happiness would be our happiness ; their prosperity would be our prosperity ; and their wealth would add to the general wealth and power of the nation. Mr. Semple said that he regretted exceedingly that the western bound- ary had not been settled in the late treaty of limits with England. He considered the right of the United States to the whole of Oregon, as far north as the Russian boundary, as clear as the noon-day sun. He thought that the right of the State of Maine to all that she claimed equally as clear. But a foreign nation laid claim to a part of that territory without any shadow of right whatever. Yet, we have seen the special agent of that nation refusing even to discuss the question of right ; and yet proposing, for the sake of peace, to divide the country in dispute, and we have seen that proposition agreed to by the Executive and Senate of the United States. Mr. S. said he was as much in favor of peace as he thought any citizen of the United States ought to be. But, for himself, he would have preferred war before he would have yielded one inch of the territory claimed by the State of Maine. It is possible, before a long time, there will be a proposition, for the sake of peace, to divide the Oregon with the British. Will the West ever allow it? God forbid! Mr. S. said that if ever we were obliged to have war, he wanted to have as many good causes of war, and as many parts of the country interested in it as possible. If we had gone to war about the limits of Maine, we of the West would have been equally interested, and would have been found fighting together. But we have divided the question ; we have settled the Maine controversy, and left ours unsettled. Will Maine and Massachusetts now have the same interest in a war for the Oregon, as if their own boundary were at stake? Mr. Semple here went into an explanation of what he considered to be the foundation of the right of the United States to the whole of the Oregon, as far as the Russian boundary, and the frivolous pretences of the British in laying claim to any part of it. He concluded by hoping that the West would never give up one acre of that country, though war, and repeated wars, might be the consequence of such refusal. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 397 [NOTE B.] OREGON MEETING. At a public meeting held on the evening of the 5th of February, 184 3, in pursuance of public notice, in the Hall of the House of Representatives, to take into consideration tlie subject of the settlement and occupation of the Territory of Oregon, the Honorable Jesse B. Thomas was called to the Chair and Newton Cloud was appointed Secretar3 On motion of Mr. Trumhull, a committee of nine was appointed to pre- pare and report resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. The Chair appointed the following gentlemen said committee, viz : Lyman Trumbull, Governor Moore, Major Hackleton, D. L. Gregg, John Dougherty, William H. Davidson, Thompson Campbell, Edward Connor, and Mr. Long. After some remarks by Judge Semple, Mr. Trumbull, and Mr. Peck, the meeting adjourned until Wednesday evening. Wednesday evening the meeting was numerously attended. Mr. TRUMBULL, from the committee appointed on the former evening, leported the following resolutions: Resolved, That the right of the United States to the whole Oregon Terri- tory is not to be questioned ; and under whatever pretence any other nation may lay claim to that country, both the dignity and honor of the United States require that they should at once assert their right, and resist such claim. Resolved, That the interest and safety of the United States demand that the Federal Government should take immediate and efficient measures for the occupation of the Oregon Territory, and the establishment there of a Territorial Government. Resolved, That we view with distrust the occupation of any portion ot the Oregon Territory by the subjects of the British Crown, and cannot but believe that the object of Great Britain in establishing military posts in that country, and encouraging her subjects to settle there, is to cause its settlement by a people devoted to her interests, and to afford her a pretense hereafter to claim the country as her own. Resolved, That the policy of Great Britain in establishing colonies in remote parts of the globe, contiguous to other nations, with a view af extending her own power, and encroaching upon the territory of other Governments, should not be permitted to be brought to bear upon the United States ; and that we will never give our consent to a surrender of any part of the Oregon Territory to that or any other power. Resolved, That the settlement of the Oregon Territory by the citizer.s of the United States will prove of immense advantage to the commercial interest of the country, by affording harbors for our vessels in the Pacific ocean, and facilitating trade with the East Indies ; and will greatly add to the safety, as well as the honor of the Republic. Resolved, That if the General Government will but assert its rights, and extend its fostering care and protection alike to all citizens wheresoever settled within her limits, the day is not distant when our enterprising and adventurous countrymen, invited by the salubrious climate and fertile soil of the country bordering the Pacific, will extend thither their settlements, and dispense from the western shore of this vast Continent, wealth, com- merce and freedom, to the remotest parts of the earth. 398 Documents. After the reading of the resolutions, the meeting was addressed by- Judge Semple, Judge Douglass, and U. F. hinder, in favor of their adop- tion, and by Mr. Baker in opposition. The meeting adjourned to meet again on Thursday evening. On that evening the Hall was crowded. The meeting was addressed at great length by General Hardin, in favor of the resolutions. Mr. Matheny of Springfield offered a substitute for the resolutions reported by the committee, which was read, and supported by Mr. Matheny, and Mr. Baker. Mr. hinder also addressed the meeting again, in favor of the resolutions of the committee. The substitute was laid upon the table, and the resolutions of the committee adopted. The meeting then requested the two papers printed in Springfield to publish the resolutions. The meeting then adjourned. JESSE B. THOMAS, Chairman. Newton Cloud, Secretary. SPEECH OF JUDGE SEMPLE. In this country, where public opinion not only governs the conduct of men in society, but the Government itself ; where the President and Congress of the United States look to public sentiment as a proper rule of action, it is a matter of importance to adopt some mode of ascertaining that sentiment, and giving it its due weight in the councils of the nation. I know of no means more effectual than those of public meetings, where the whole body of the people can meet together, and, after full discussion, express in the form of resolutions, the opinions which they entertain. Entertaining this opinion, I invited the attention of the public to the immediate occupation of the Oregon, at a public meeting of the people at Alton, in the month of November last. I found my expectations fully realized in the unanimous expression of opinion among citizens of all political parties on that subject. That, I believe, was the first public meeting ever called in the United States on the subject of the occupation of the Oregon. The proceedings of that meeting have been noticed and commented on in every part of the United States. This shows the interest that is beginning to be taken by the whole people of the United States on that subject. This question presents itself to us in many important points of view. One of the objections to the extension of our territory is, that the Govern- ment will become unwieldly, and that States situated on the Pacific can never be kept under the Government of the United States, but must become independent. I think this opinion is entirely unfounded. The nature of our Federal and State Government is calculated to extend itself. I am quite willing to admit that one central Government would never be able to make laws to satisfy any great extent of territory ; indeed, that now contained in the limits of the United States could never be governed by one and the same Legislature. But while the State Governments are maintained in the proper and constitutional exercise of individual sov- ereignty, they severally have all fhe powers necessary to an independent State, in the same manner, to all intents and purposes, as if the State Speech of Senator J. Semple. 399 owed no allegiance or obligation to any other on earth. They can make all laws among- themselves, that the wishes of the people mig'ht dictate, without interfering with any other. This interference a State would have no right to exercise if it did not belong to the Union, and was wholly independent. All such interference among' independent nations is pro- hibited by the greneral laws of nations. The powers of the Federal Gov- ernment are, and ought to be, limited to those matters w^hich concern the whole — powers which no one State would ever desire to possess. If, while the several States were thus exercising the powers of sovereignty, we could suppose, or be assured, that there never would be any difference among them, or that none of them would ever be attacked by foreign powers, there would be no use for a Federal Government. But the sad experience of all nations proves that this it is idle to expect. The trans- actiou--^- now going on before our ej^es, where a powerful maritime nation is actually robbing, in the most unjust and cruel manner, .-x people who never molested or injured them, admonishes us that we must be on our guard against like aggressions. This can only be done by presenting a powerful force, capable of preventing any attack, or of punishing any insult. This can onlj^ be done by the united force of all. The greater this power, the more certain will be the security. The more extensive our Union, the more powerful we will be ; while one of a thousand States would manage its own affairs as well as if that was the only State on the continent. I have long been convinced, that, under our peculiar and happy form of Government, so well adapted to the genius of our people, no extension of territory will ever endanger the Union ; but, on the contrary, the tendency of extension will be to strengthen the Union. But suppose the contrary-- suppose that extension be, in truth, dangerous ; the question arises, how^ will we avoid the danger? Is extension more dangerous than division? Is it necessary for me at this day to portray the dangers of disunion? Have the glowing pictures drawn by the ablest statesmen and purest patriots been forgotten? Is the question of union or disunion again to be debated? God forbid! What, then, are we to do with those extensive regions west of us? The time has arrived when we must act. If we do not occupy them, others will. Our people will emigrate to those regions. Are we to extend over them our protecting arm, or will we either allow them to add to the power of some ambitious foreign nation, or lec them form an independent Government? While none will admit the former, the latter would at once be disunion. It is a people that constitutes a nation, not a territory. Those who will emigrate to Oregon will be our people, possessed of the same ideas of Government ; the same industry and enter- prise, the same ambition, and the same powers of injuring us, if ever foreign intrigues should (which God forbid) make us enemies. I consider this Union as already dissolved and separated into two parts, by the separation of Texas ; and the sooner we go to work to unite that, as one of our States, the sooner will we be able to cure the evils arising from disunion. I am convinced, that, at this moment of time, all the arts and intrigues of which European powers are capable, are at work to make the Texans our enemies. Those powers of intrigues have already triumphed as to all the rest of the States of Spanish America, and we are now suffering under its evil effect. Our interests, as well as our safety, require that we should look well to the effects of an extension of that hostility. It is true, we have nothing to fear from the weak and puerile States of Spanish America. Have we as little to fear from a State composed of the Saxon race? Can we have any assurance that we will always be able to 400 Documents. maintain peace with the Texans without a common Government? Could we not, with the same reason, hope to prevent war between a northern and southern Government divided by the Potomac? Those who suppose so, must suppose against the opinions of the wisest and best of men as well as against actual experience. I assert, therefore the seeds of discord are now being- sown by our enemies and rivals ; and that, if we do not apply a timely remedy, we must come to suffer all that we have ever feared from disunion. But it may be said that the Oregon is in dispute, and that we must take care how we tread, or we will have war with Englana. War has no terrors for the people of this country. The time has gone by when this nation shall agree to surrender a solitary just right to avoid war. If we are to surrender a solitary undoubted right through fear of war, the principle is the same as if, through fear of war, we were to surrender our independence. It is an old saying and a true one, that if we have our hands in the lion's mouth, we should get it out the best way we can. If a nation is weak and defenseless, and unjust and unreasonable demands are made upon it by a powerful nation, I admit that good policy and sound wisdom would justify the weaker nation in making the best terms possible, and even surrendering some of its undoubted rights, to preserve the rest. But is it not shameful, yes, disgraceful, for an American to hold such language? Are we that weak and defenseless people that would hesitate, and offer to give up one right to preserve another? Are we not strong enough to preserve all our rights? I must confess, that when I hear an American talking of surrendering our just rights "for the sake of peace," or, in other words, surrendering them through fear, I feel somewhat indignant. I have never, in the whole course of my life, felt so sensibly any act of our Federal Government as that which surrendered to the British a part of the undoubted territory of the State of Maine. The agreeing to one unjust demand always invites another. There is no stopping place. The encroaching power is encouraged by one concession to demand another, until all is gone. If we are ignorant of the character of that power to which we have lately ceded a part of the State of Maine, it is our own fault ; we have sufficient evidence of that grasping people, who will not stop short of surrounding us with enemies. Mexico is now our enemy, not by nature, but made so by the intrigues of that very people who now border us on the north, and wish to join Mexico on our western frontier. The same mail which brought to us the treaty ceding part of Maine, brought news, also, of ships sailing to the Pacific with the obvious intention of occupying the Oregon, or, at least, of preventing us from doing so. There never was, in my opinion, a greater mistake than to suppose that concession procures peace ; the reverse is the truth. If, when the Barbary powers undertook to commit depredations on our commerce in the Mediter- ranean sea, we had bought peace by tribute, we would not only have been compelled to pay immense sums from time to time, but even that would not have protected us. We then took a different course. We asserted our rights at the mouth of the cannon, and no nation in the world has ever since carried on commerce in that country with so little interruption. I will now proceed to state what I consider, not to be the foundation of our claim, but the proof of our undoubted right to the territory said to be disputed by the British. The French, Spaniards, Russians, and British, have all laid claim, from time to time, either to the whole or part of the northwest coast of Speech of Senator J. Semple. 401 America. Civilized nations have generally admitted the right of dis- covery, and agreed that any civilized people might justly occupy a country inhabited by savages. Discovery was the foundation ot right or claim of the Spaniards ; several of their navigators having sailed along the coast of America, in the Pacific ocean, as far as Cape Mendicino, and on some occasions, as far as the forty-ninth degree of north latitude. The Spaniards were undoubtedly the first who ever sailed on that coast. There never has been any definite limits set as to how much of any country was acquired by discovery. If the Spaniards sailed along the coast as far as California, which they most unquestionably did, before any other nation or people, they might lay claim to the whole coast. Californ'a was discovered as early as 1534, and Cabrillo sailed as far along the coast as the forty-third degree, as early as 1540 ; while the first English ship, under the command of Sir Francis Drake, did not visit the northwest coast until 1578 — nearly forty years after. Whatever right the Spaniards may have had was ceded to the United States by the treaty of 1819. We have, then, by purchase, all the right which the Spaniards ever could have had. The French claim was also founded on discovery. La Salle first discovered the mouth of the Mississippi, and laid claims to all the waters of that river. After the French colonies in Canada had increased, and their trading posts had extended from Quebec to New Orleans, they claimed not only all the waters of the Mississippi, but extended it indef- initely west, to all places not actually occupied by any other civilized nation. This was generally understood to include the Oregon. In support of this idea, the Louisiana extended to the Pacific, I will only at present mention, that this was admitted by England, at least ; for by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, the boundary between Canada and Louisiana on one side, and the Hudson's Bay Company on the other, was fixed to commence on the coast in latitude fifty-eight degrees thirty-one minutes north, thence to run in a southwest direction to latitude forty-nine degrees north, and along that line indefinitely westward. So far, then, as England is con- cerned, she is prevented from saying that Louisiana was bounded by the waters of the Mississippi. After Canada fell into the hands of the English, Louisiana still remained in possession of the French until it was ceded to Spain in 1762, in whose hands it remained until 1800, when Spain receded ii to Fiance; and in 1803, France ceded it to the United States. The words of this cession are : "In extent the same as it now is in the hands of France, as it was in the hands of Spain, and as it formerly was in the hands of France." All these transfers of Louisiana were without any specific limits. The ultimate purchaser, therefore, had a right to what ever could be shown to be, properly speaking Louisiana. It is not my intention to enter into a minute statement of these several claims on the part of Spain and France, nor do I consider it at all important, as both these nations have relinquished all their claims to the United States. It is only necessary to mention them as showing the extent of the claim purchased. Mr. Jeffer- son, that truly sagacious politician, understood the purchase of Louisiana as giving the right as far as the Pacific ; for immediately after the negotiation was closed he sent Messrs. Lewis and Clark to explore those regions, whose visit to the mouth of the Columbia may not only be con- sidered in the light of a discovery of that river, (which had, in part, been discovered by Captain Gray so early as 1787,) [sic] but may also be con- sidered as an expedition, in the name of the Government, to take possession of Louisiana as purchased from the French. 402 Documents. The Russians had made many discoveries, and some settlements, in different places on the coast, which it is unnecessary to notice, because, by the treaty of St. Petersburgh, that power relinquished to the United States all right whatever to all that part of the coast south of fifty-four degrees forty minutes north latitude. So that the only nation now claiming, against the United States, and any part of that coast between forty-two and fifty- four degrees forty minutes north is Great Britain. Independent of the fact that both Spain and Prance had better claims than England, both of which claims have been transferred to the United States, and independent of the fact that the coast, as well as the interior of the country, were discovered by Captain Gray, and Dy Lewis and Clark, citizens of the United States, and that England has recognized our right by the surrender of Astoria, after the last war ; there is one point of view in which, so far as regards England, we have an undoubted right: By the grant to Virginia, by Charles I, 1609, the King of England made the limits of Virginia to extend from Old Point Comfort two hundred miles north- ward, and two hundred miles southward, along the sea-coast, and all the land up into the interior, west and northwest, from sea to sea. By the foregoing grant, the southern line of Virginia would extend on or near the thirty-fourth degree of latitude from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and the northern line would run across the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and include a great part of Upper Canada. This extensive grant to Virginia was afterwards curtailed by several other grants to different persons, and the limits of Virginia were cut down to its present form, as far as related to the lines east of the Alleghany Mountains ; but no subsequent grant or claim of any other colony ever interfered with the claims of Virginia to her possessions west of those mountains. The treaty of peace with England, in 1783, further curtailed her limits, so as to cut off all that part which laid west and north of the lakes, and the forty-ninth degree of latitude, west of the Lake of the Woods, as far as the Rocky Mountains. The treaty of 1783 was not intended, and could not be construed, to deprive any of the then colonies of the limits to which they were entitled by any previous grant, farther than its terms import. That part of said treaty of 1783, which undertook to fix boundaries between the United States and the French and Spanish possessions, was wholly void ; neither of the contracting parties having any right to fix their lines unless they were parties to the treaty. Thus, we see Virginia, after the peace of 1783, claiming all the western country included in her grant, as far as the Mississippi ; and this was undisputed by any other of the United Colonies, until she ceded all her western lands to the United States. I have said that Virginia did not claim west of the Mississippi ; but why did she not? It was not because England had any right whatever to prevent it, but because, until the purchase of Louisiana, in 1803, the claims of Spain and Prance were con- sidered paramount, as well to Virginia as to England, who granted it to Virginia ; and we were not so hardy as to set up the grant of England, who had no title, against Spain and Prance, who, we had the justice to admit, had a better right. But what do we now see? England has the audacity, at this day, to set up a claim not only against the title of Prance, whose title was admitted by the treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, but against Virginia, to whom it was granted in 1609. By a subsequent treaty with England, our northern line was fixed on the forty-ninth parallel of latitude, from the Lake of the Woods west, as far as the Rocky Mountains. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 403 This line, it will be seen, stopped short of the Rocky Mountains. It does not pretend to designate the line beyond, either to give it to the British or acknowledge it to the United States. Being entirely silent, the grant to Virginia remained as it was at the time of the grant from England, which was from sea to sea. The acknowledgment of the inde- pendence of Virginia gave to her all the territory she then claimed, except so far as Virginia herself agreed to have those limits curtailed. When any nation becomes independent, it becomes so with the right to exercise sovereignty in all the territory claimed, and which it can maintain with arms ; and when independence is acknowledged, the same act gives the sovereignty over that territory. Saving the claims of France and Spain, then, Virginia claimed, as against England, all the land from sea to sea ; the purchase of Louisiana, therefore, with the cession from Virginia, which was good as against England, the United States became lawfully and of right possessors of all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific. These limits went south of the present Mexican line, and north of the present Russian line. But as we have already ceded to those countries all north and south of the lines we now claim, we can have no other claim than to that country between the Mexican and Russian boundaries ; but to that I think our right is beyond a doubt. But there is another ground on which I place our right to the Oregon. And if, in taking this ground, I may depart from the idea some may entertain of right, I hope I may not be charged with injustice or even singularity, when they reflect that upon this ground the question will, in all probability, have to be ultimately determined. I allude to the right derived from power. We have the power to take it, and we will have it. It is contiguous to our territory. It suits us. There is a propriety and fitness in the country belonging to the United States, and there is no propriety or fitness in its belonging to the British. There is a great deal of justice and equity in our settlers' laws in this country. When a settler sets himself down on a tract of public land in Illinois, he lays claim to such portions of the adjoining land, as, in the nature, of the circumstances which surround him, is better suited for him than any other person ; and he maintains this right even against the Government of the United States. If this can be done amongst individual citizens, how much more among nations, who never feel themselves bound by the same strict rules of the law, when convenience and power both unite to require the doing of the act. We are not without British authority for this ; for when that Govern- ment took possession of the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam (now New York), the best reason that was given to the world was, that it lay between the English Colonies of New England and those of Virginia. Nor is this right of power to be in all respects scouted. Every nation has a right to seek its own happiness and safety. If we seek for a lawful cause for resisting the laws of England at the time of our Revolution, we shall find that as, strictly speaking, no resisting of law can be lawful, so the propriety of things (the fact that we could manage our own affairs, in our opinion, better than the Parliament and King of England, and that we could promote our own happiness and safety to a greater degree) gave us an undoubted right to declare independence, and take our station among the independent nations of the earth. Having shown, as I consider, the right which we have to the country, I will proceed to show the advantages which would result to us from its occupancy. Not only at the present day, but from the earliest ages of the world, the trade of the East Indies has been of great importance to every 404 Documents. commercial nation. This ti'ade we could control, to a great extent, by the occupation of the Oregon. From the time that the Portuguese discovered the passage around the Cape of Good Hope, and European nations saw the great wealth flowing into Lisbon, from a monopoly of the trade of the East, every one sought to find some mode of rivaling that enterprising people. The voyage of Columbus to the New World was never, at first, intended to discover a new and wild country, but to discover a passage to the East Indies. When he first landed in America, he supposed he was on the territory of the rich eastern empire, and hence he called the country by the name of India, which subsequently took the name of West Indies, in contradistinction to East Indies. This opinion prevailed for a long time among those who discovered this continent. Finding, ultimately, that the lands which had been discovered formed no part of the East Indies, the next step was to find a passage through the land into the great South seas, or Pacific ocean. It was not until thirty years after the discovery of America that Magellan sailed into the Pacific, through the straits that still bear his name, and went to the East Indies across that new and unknown ocean. He returned to Europe by the Cape of Good Hope ; thus circumnavigating the globe in his voyage. Balboa had previously dis- covered the great Pacific at the Isthmus of Panama. From that time forward the Spaniards, as well as all the commercial nations of Europe, were constantly engaged in endeavoring to find a passage to the East Indies. Even up to this day, after all the habitable pari:s of this continent have been explored, we find many attempts making to discover a northwest passage, through which ships may sail to the coast of China, and by this means save the great distance around Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope. Not only has a passage been for three hundred years diligently sought, but from the time that Balboa first crossed the Isthmus of Panama, in 1513, to the present time, has the attention of the whole commercial world been turned towards the project of cutting a ship-canal across the Isthmus, for the purpose of facilitating trade with the East Indies. The Spaniards long contemplated this great work, but they never commenced it. They, however, for many years, carried on an extensive trade with the East Indies, landing the goods at Panama and Acapulco, transporting them on mules across the country, and thence shipping them to Europe. This trade was found to be very profitable, and continued to increase for many years, until the English, becoming powerful, at sea, sent a fleet into the Pacific^ and destroyed both the commerce and the ships in which it was carried on. Since tlie independence of Mexico, Guatamala, and Colombia, many projects have been set on foot, and numerous attempts made to complete what has been so long considered of so great importance — a canal across the Isthmus. Several routes have been proposed, and partial surveys made, in order to ascertain the practicability of such a communication, and to select the best route. Three principal ones, and those most generally spoken of are : 1st, across the Isthmus of Panama, in Colombia ; 2d, through the Lake of Nicaraugua, in Guatamala ; and 3d, from the Bay of Tehuantepec through the Rio Huasicualco to the Gulf of Mexico. Hum- boldt adds two others in his speculations on this subject : the one is through the river Atrato, in the Gulf of Darien, and the other is by a canal con- necting the waters of the Missouri with the Columbia river. This last, the most costly, the most circuitous, and passing the widest part of the conti- nent, I verily believe, will be the first completed, and that goods will be brought from China, through the Columbia river, before sixteen miles of canal will be cut through the Isthmus of Panama. Speech of Senator J. Semple. 405 Since the United States have grown to such vast commercial importance, ihe views of European nations have changed, in some degree, as to the benefits which might result to them from a ship-canal a.cross the Isthmus. Before there was any commercial power in America, and the fairest por- tion of it were divided into European colonies, the shortening of the distance to China and Japan was of great importance, because that nation which could secure the passage, would of course monopolize the commerce. Now there is a rival in America to all these powers of Europe. That rival is now carrying on the trade to advantage, though situated at a greater distance. The communic ation by the Isthmus would throw the American traders nearer than Europe. This will require some explanation. As the trade is now carried on, the average distance from all the ports of the United States to the mouth of the Columbia river, by sea, is two thousand miles farther than the average distance from all the ports in Europe to the same point. If the canal could be opened, then the average distance from the ports in the United States would be two thousand miles less, making a difference, in favor of the United States, of four thousand miles of sea navigation. To prove this, you have only to cast your eyes on a map of the world, and learn the nature of the winds and currents which set constantly west- ward from the coast of Africa towards the West Indies. In order to avoid these currents and the trade winds, and pass around Cape St. Rogue, on the eastern promontory of South America, every vessel going from the United States must go as far as the Cape Verd Isles, near the coast of Africa, and thence bear south and southwest to Cape Horn. Vessels from Europe make the same islands, and from thence the route is the same. From the United States to the Cape Verd Isles is about four thousand miles. From Europe to the same point Is about two thousand miles. (I speak in round numbers.) The distance from the United States to the Rio Huasicualco, in the Gulf of Mexico, is (say) two thousand miles; while from Europe it is four thousand. Thus it will be seen that the difference in favor of the United States is four thousand miles. By the present route, a ship from the United States, going to China or the northwest coast of America, would have to sail two thousand miles farther than would a ship from Europe. By the Isthmus, one from the United States would have to sail two thousand miles less than one from Europe, going to the same point anywhere in the Pacific. This makes it quite plain, that if we can get a communication through the Isthmus, the whole trade of the Pacific would be thrown into the hands of our enterprising merchants. A com- munication through the interior of this continent, by way of the Columbia and Missouri rivers, would, for some purposes, have the same effect, with only the additional costs of transportation ; while for other purposes it possesses an immense advantage over the route by the Isthmus ; for, by this way, the vast extent of country all along the route would be thus supplied with the articles of Indian manufacture, &c. I have said thus much to show the vast importance which has always been attached to the trade of the Bast Indies. "While the whole world has been, for more than three hundred years, laying plans to secure the ad- vantages of that trade, we are now debating whether we will extend our government and laws, our population, our industry, and our enterprise, to a coast within twenty days' sail, by steamboat, to that very land the trade of which has been the theme of all tongues for so many generations ! Is it possible that the people of the United States, and of the Western country in particular, can be contented with a longer delay In the occupa406 Documents. tion of a country possessing so many advantages? No, sir. This question has only to be agitated among the people, as we are now doing it, and a voice, that must be obeyed in this country, will be sounded through the land, until Congress will be compelled to act. There will be no escape fiom an immediate occupation of the Oregon Territory. Some travelers have represented the country as barren and sterile, with a climate damp and sickly, incapable of sustaining a dense popula- tion ; while others represent it as rich and fertile, with a fine healthy climate, where the winters are so mild as that cattle can keep fat during the winter, on the common grass of the prairies. Now, according to the best information I have been able to obtain, as well from books as from travelers with whom I have conversed, I am satisfied neither statement is correct. You cannot find in Oregon such large districts of uninterrupted rich lands as are found in Illinois. The very nature of a mountainous region forbids such an idea. But there you find rich valleys and plains in some places, surrounded in others by extensive districts of barren and sterile lands, interspersed with rocks and mountains. We find the same thing occurring in the Alleghany Mountains, with probably this difference, that among the Rocky Mountains there are plains and valleys, as well as high ridges, that are sandy and entirely barren, while these occur to a comparatively limited extent among the Alleghanies. The result of this is only, that just so far as the barren and sandy lands extend, that number of acres, and no more, must be deducted from the whole amount of good and arable land in the country. That part of the country which is good, is said by all to be of the finest description. The timber is large, of good quality for every purpose, of improving farms, building houses, or for ship- building. The prairies constitute the finest grazing lands, which continues during the winter, even as far as the latitude we are now in, while the productions of agriculture are, in nearly every respect, the same as in Illinois. The climate is mild, and, what is still more desirable, it is steady. The experience of the present winter here, it appears to me, would make any one desire to change it either for a colder or a warmer climate. Steady cold would be much preferable to constant changes, such as we have experienced here for the last three months. Strange as it may appear to many, it is notwithstanding true, that on the coast of the Pacific there is a difference of about ten degrees of latitude in the climate, comparing it with this ; so that in forty degrees, north latitude, you have the same climate as in thirty degrees on this side of the Rocky Mountains. You will have, therefore, in the Oregon, about such a climate, in point of temper- ture, as at New Orleans and Natchez ; while the high mountains and ele- vated valleys, together with an entire absence of lakes and swamps, make the country perfectly healthy. Here the sandy deserts come in for their share of advantages. The atmosphere about those sandy plains must be pure and dry ; no unhealth3^ vapor can be sent from them over the adjacent rich lands ; but, on the contrary, this circumstance adds to the health and comfort of the inhabitants. The range of mountains which extend in width from the head waters of the Missouri, Yellow Stone, Platte, and Arkansas rivers, almost to the shores of the Pacific ocean, is but a continuation of the Andes, which run parallel with the Pacific ocean, entirely from Terra del Fuego, through Chili, Peru, Quito, Guatamala, and Mexico, to the Oregon, and become finally lost in the frozen regions of the north. These mountains are, in manj'- respects, the same in character with those of the south ; they rise in many places above the line of perpetual snow. The climate varies Speech of Senator J. Semple. 407 greatly on the different sides of the same ridge, as well in temperature as in humidity. On one side you will see a fine green and fertile valley ; and on the other side of the same ridge you find a dry and barren soil. In the whole extent of the Andes, they rise in ridges, one above another, in rapid succession, from the ocean to the highest part, there forming table- lands and valleys, which are more or less extensive ; they all along gradu- ally slope towards the east. From this conformation, it follows that the rivers which empty into the Pacific are all small, compared with those that head in the same mountains, and empty into the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico. It is not, therefore, to be expected that river navigation can ever be very extensive west of the Rocky Mountains. The Columbia river is navigable without interruption, only about one hundred miles from its mouth. The continued falls and rapids would render it very difficult and expensive to make a good river- navigation for any great distance towards its source. These falls, however, affording abundance of water above, would render it altogether easy to make a canal along its banks, rising towards the mountains by means of locks. But while this rapid fall of the waters, from the mountains to the ocean, is opposed to good river-navigation, there is one advantage to be derived from it which will always counterbalance this disadvantage : C-anals, for the purposes of irrigation, can always be made to flow over the adjacent valleys and mountain sides. In this manner the Peruvian Indians, prior to the discovery of America by Columbus, converted large districts of barren land (in a country where rain never was known to fall) into fertile fields. I have no doubt but that many of those dry districts of the Oregon, represented as barren for want of rain, could be turned into the most fertile lands by means of irrigation ; and this with no great expense. Those dry parts of the country will ultimately be the most agreeable places of residence, and at the same time the most productive. Being dry, the air will be purer and more healthy, while the rains neither prevent labor in the fields, nor interrupt traveling. They will be the most pro- ductive because, as there is no rain, the crops will have uninterrupted sun and heat (as necessary to vegetation as rain), while from the irrigation there will, at the same time, be afforded abundant moisture at the roots. The mineral productions of the Oregon are, of course, but little known. Its riches, in this respect, must hereafter be developed. An abundance of rock-salt is found in the mountains, similar, in all respects, to that found in the same ridge of the Andes, in South America. The mineral produc- tions, I have reason to believe, are the same as found in the whole of that ridge of mountains from north to south. The Province of Sonora, in Mexico, was many years ago the richest gold region in America. The Spaniards found in that Province, as far as thirty-six of north latitude, gold washings, where one man would obtain several thousand dollars by a day's labor. The Baron de Humboldt, in his work on New Spain, affirms the truth of this, and says that the farther north they went, the richer were the gold mines. The wars with the Apache Indians finally drove the Spaniards from those rich mines. I have conversed with several persons who have been among the Apache Indians, and have heard indirectly from others, and all agree in the state- ment, that both north and south of the Rio Colorado of the west, there are rich gold mines. This rich, auriferous ridge extends to the Lake of Timpanagos, within the limits of the Oregon Territory. The rivers are full of fish, of the finest quality. The salmon are caught in large quantities, and constitute an extensive article of commerce. 408 Documents. The triidc in furs lias always been very extensive. I cannot pretend, at this time, to give any very minute account of the amount of this trade, for many years in succession ; but some idea may be formed of the amount by a table which I will read. Table showing the amount of Furs and Peltries exported from the parts of America owned or occupied by the British. SKINS. AMOUNT IN DOLLARS. Beaver ?793,400 Muskrat 46,9 65 Lynx 11,020 Wolf 11,890 Bear 19,250 Fox 31,910 Mink 5,645 All other kinds 2,475 n, 017,555 But some have said that the distance to the Oregon is so great that emigration to that country will be impracticable. This it a great mistake. The western part of the State of Missouri is in about sixteen degrees of west longitude from Washington. The mouth of the Umpqua is in about forty-five degrees west. A degree of longitude in forty degrees north will not vary much from fifty English miles. Thus it will be seen that from the settlements in Missouri to the Pacific ocean is less than fifteen hundred miles on a straight line going west. The Southern pass as it is called, near the head of the Platte river, will afford a good wagon road to the west of the Rocky Mountains. I will read from a letter, which I believe is authentic, and will show the facilities with which wagons may be driven into the Oregon : Extract of a letter fror.i Messrs. Smith, Jackson, and Sublette, dated in October, 1829, to the Secretary of War. "On the 10th of April last (1829) we set out from St. Louis with eighty-one men, all mounted on mules, ten wagons, each drawn by five mules, and two dearborns, each drawn by one mule. Our route was nearly due west, to the western limits of the State of Missouri, and thence along the Santa Fe trail about forty miles, from which the course was some degrees north of west, across the waters of the Kanzas, and up the Great Platte river to the Rocky Mountains and the head of Wind river, where it issues from the mountains. This took us until the 16th of July, and was as far as we wanted the wagons to go. Here the wagons could easily have crossed the Rocky Mountains, it being what is called the Southern pass, had it been desirable for them to do so. For our support on leaving the Missouri settlements, until we should get into the buffalo country, we drove twelve head of cattle, besides a milch cow, eight of these only being required for use before we got to the buffaloes. The others went on to the head of Wind river. We began to fall in with the buffalos on the Platte, about three hundred and fifty miles from the white settlements, and from that time lived on buffaloes, the quantities being infinitely beyond what we needed. On the 4th of August, we set out on the return to St. Louis ; all the high points of the mountains then in view, being covered with snow ; but the passes and valleys and all the level country, was green with grass. Our route back was over the same ground, nearly, as in going out, and we arrived in St. Louis on the 10th of October, bringing back the two wagons, (the two dearborns being left behind;) four of the oxen and the milch cow were also brought to the settlements in Speech of Senator J. Semple. 409 Missouri. Our men were all healthy during the whole time ; we suffered nothing by the weather, and had no accident but the death of one man, who was killed by the falling in of a bank of earth. Of the mules, we lost but one ; and two horses stolen by the Kanzas Indians. The grass being along the whole route, going and coming, sufficient for the support of the horses and mules. The usual weight in the wagons was about one thousand eight hundred pounds. "The usual progress of the wagons was about fifty to twenty miles per day ; the countrs^ being almost all open, level, and prairie. The chief obsti'uctions were ravines and creeks, the banks of which required cutting down, and for this purpose a few pioneers were sent ahead of the caravan. '•This is the first time that wagons ever went into the Rocky Mountains ; and the ease and safety with which it was done, prove the facility of com- munications overland to the Pacific ocean. The route from the Southern pass, where the wagons stopped, to the great falls of the Columbia, being easier and better than on this side of the mountains, with grass enough for horses and mules, but a scarcity of game for the support of men." I have now detained the meeting longer than I first intended, and will conclude my remarks, in hopes that I may have the pleasure of hearing the views of others on this subject, as well for as against the occupation of the Oregon, if any shall be fovind who are opposed to it. [NOTE C] Resolutions, and a Declaration, adopted unanimously by a Convention of Delegates from the States and Territories of the West and Southwest, held in the City of Cincinnati, on the 3d, ith and 5th days of July, 1843. Resolved, That the right of the United States to the Oregon Territort, from forty-two to fifty-four degrees forty minutes north latitude, is unquestioned, and that it is the imperative duty of the General Government forthwith to extend the laws of the United States over said Territory. Resolved further. That to encourage emigration to, and the permanent and secure settlement of said Territory, the Congress of the United States ought to establish a line of forts from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean ; and provide also a sufficient naval force for the protection of the Territory and its citizens. Resolved, That for the purpose of making known the causes and princi- ples of our action, the following declaration is unanimously adopted, and now signed by the mem.bers of this Convention, with instructions to the officers thereof to transmit a copy to the President of the United States, and to each member of Congress, and also to the Executive of the several States, with a request to present them to their respective Legislatures. DECLARATION OF THE OREGON CONVENTION. Declaration of the Citizens of the Mississippi Valley, in Convention as- sembled, at Cincinnati, July 5, 1843, for the purpose of adopting such measures as may induce the immediate occupation of the Oregon Territory, by the arms and laivs of the United States of North America. We, the undersigned citizens of the Mississippi "Valley, do hereby declare to our fellow-citizens of the whole Republic, that in larging forward meas- ures for the immediate occupation of the Oregon Territory, and the north410 Documents. west coast of the Pacific, from forty-two to fifty-four degrees forty minutes north latitude, we are but performing a duty to ourselves, to the Republic, to the commercial nations of the world, to posterity, and to the people of Great Britain and Ireland, not, as we believe, to be benefitted by the further extension of her empire. Duty to ourselves requires that we should urge the immediate occupa- tion of Oregon, not only for the increase and extension of the West, but for the security of our peace and safety, perpetually threatened by the savage tribes of the Northwest. That this duty is required of us as due to the whole Republic, all parts of which may not appreciate, as they seem not to have appreciated, the value of the Territory in question, and its political importance to the honor, prosperity, and power of the Union, to say nothing of our commercial interests and naval predominance, threatened as they are with injury or diminution, should the northeast coast of that ocean pass into the possession of a great neval power. That, as an independent member of the great family of Nations, it is due from us to the whole commercial world, that the ports of both coasts of this continent should be held by a liberal Government, able and willing to extend and facilitate that social and commercial intercourse which an all- wise Providence has made necessary for the intellectual improvement, the social happiness, and the moral culture of the human race. That we owe the entire and absolute occupation of the Oregon to that posterity which, without such occupation by the citizens and free institu- tions of our great Republic, could not perfect or make available to them- selves or to the world the important consideration above set forth. That, however indignant at the avarice, pride, and ambition of Great Britain, so frequently, lawlessly, and so lately evinced, we yet believe that is for the benefit of all civilized nations that she should fulfil a legitimate destiny, but that she should be checked in her career of aggression with impunity, and dominion without right. That for the independence and neutrality of the western coasts of the American continents, and the island of the Pacific ocean, it is important that she should be restrained in the further extension of her power on these coasts, and in the middle and eastern portions of that ocean. That, so far as regards our rights to the Territory in question, we are assured of their perfect integrity, based as they are on discovery and ex- ploration by our own citizens and Government, and on purchase and cession from those powers having the pretence of right to the same. That beyond these rights so perfectly established, we would feel com- pelled to retain the whole Territory, in accordance with Mr. Monroe's universally approved declaration of 1823, that the American continents were not thenceforth to be considered subjects for future colonization by any foreign powers. Influenced by these reasons and considerations, so important to us and the whole Republic, to liberty and justice, and to free Governments, we do subscribe our names to this declaration, with the firm, just, and matured determination never to cease our exertions till its intentions and principles are perfected, and the North American Republic, whose citizens we are, shall have established its laws, its arms, and its free institutions, from the shores of the Pacific to the Rocky Mountains, throughout the limits above specified. And we do hereby protest, as we shall continue to protest, against any act or negotiation, past, in process, or hereafter to be perfected, which shall yield possession of any portion of the same to any foreign power ; Speech of Senator J. Semple. 411 and above all do we I'emonstrate against the possession of any part of the northeast coast of the Pacific ocean by the power of Great Britain. The following resolution was offered and passed : Resolved, That six Commissioners be appointed by this Convention, whose duty it shall be to urge upon Congress, personally or otherwise, the 1 esolutions and declaration of this Convention ; to open a correspondence with the citizens of other States, and endeavor by all means in their power to obtain the favorable action of the National Legislature on a bill for the immediate occupation of our territory on the Pacific, between forty-two and fifty-four degrees forty minutes, north latitude. Commissioners appointed : Thomas Worthington, W. W. Southgate, William Parry, E. D. Mansfield, S. Medary, and T. McGuire. RICHARD M. JOHNSON, President. W. W. Southgate, Kentxicky, Samuel Medary, Ohio, W. B. EwiNG, Iowa Territory, John Kane, Indiana, Vice Presidents.

William Parry, Secretary.



A Academy of Pacific History, 95. Adams, William L.. editor of The Oregon Arcjus, 245-250. African Slavery, significance of the renaissance of, in the United States, 192-195. Alnsworth, J. O., achievement of, as president of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, 280-804. American party, 63. Anniversary, fiftieth, of admission of Oregon as a State to be commem- orated, 96. Applegate, Jesse, estimate of influ- ence of, 251. Applegate, Mrs. Jesse, 179-183. Archives, State and National, 95. Argus, The Oregon, 243, 244-245. B Baker, E. D., 1-23; lineage and youth, 1; early public service, 2-3; position on the Oregon question, 4-5; defeat of in California, 5-6; election as United States Senator from Ore- gon, 6-7; as an orator, 7-18; memo- rial services In memery of, 1^22; estimate of his public services, 23; it is proposed to invite him to Oregon, 337; sees his opportunity and emigrates to Oregon, 338; im- pression made by him, 338-344; his power as an orator compared with that of Webster's and that of Sam Lewis, 341-346; his anti-slavery sen- timent, 846-347; political situation In Oregon at the time of his election as United States Senator, 347-355; speech at San Francisco and at Union Square, New York, 357. Bancroft's History of Oregon, criti- cism of, 190. Beeson, John, a radical, 324-325. Bourne, Edward Gaylord, death of. noticed, 97. Bush, Asahel, attitude of, as editor of The Oregon Statesman, on the slav- ery question, 228-230; as party leader, 544-253. O Capital of Oregon, location of, 62; con- tests over the location of, 173-178. Columbia River, obstructions to navi- gation in, 275-276; area drained by, 276-277; early history of steamboat- ing on, 277-280. Columbia River improvement, and the Pacific Northwest, 79-94. Colver, Samuel, discusses institution of slavery, 316-324. Connor, John, participates in free state campaign, 240. Counties organized, 63. Craig, D. W., editorial writer on The Argus, 246-247. Orandall, C. P., part of. In the election of Colonel E. D. Baker as United States Senator, 347-354. D Davenport, T. W., inaugurates flag raisings, 360-363. Democratic party policy, debasement of, steps and causes, 203. Democracy, Oregon, temper and atti- tude of, indicated, 236-232; factions, in, 388. Denny, John, opponent of Oregon democracy, 311-312. Douglas, Stephen A., as a figure in American history, 368-370. Dryer, T. J., editor of The Oregonian, 247-248; as an orator, 369-360. B Economic conditions Influence type of Oregon settlers, 44. Epochal date, 1856, 220. F Forests and stream flow, 884-385. Forestry policy outlined, 387. Foudray, E. D., discusses slavery, 316- 317. Freedom in Oregon, the spirit of, 142- 147. Freedom, element of, In American society quiescent and subservient, 199-203. Free State of Oregon, list of founders of, 372-373. G Gaines, John P., influence of, upon the slavery issue in Oregon, 219-220, George, Hugh N., participates in free state meeting, 240-241. Golden Circle, Knights of. 364-367. Greenwood, William, a center of Influ- ence, 252-2)3. H Harding, B. F., dissuades "'Knights of the Golden Circle" from an upris- ing. 465-370. History, necessity of seeing facts of. in true light, li)0-192; function of , 370- 871. 416 Index History leaflets for schools, JK)8. Holman, P V., monograph of, on Dr. John McLoughlin, receives favor- able notices, 97-101. I Indians of Oregon, 43. Industrialism and politics contrasted, 213-214. J Jacobs, Orange, campaign of, for elec- tion to Oregon legislature, 312; dis- cusses Institution of slavery, 318-323. Jackson County, slavery question in, 314-326. L Lane, General Joseph, influence of, on slavery issue in Oregon, 218-220. Lawson, George W., opponent of Gen- eral Lane in 1857, 243. "Legislative committee," its composi- tion and work, 51-54. Legislature of 1844, 55-58. M McLoughlin, Dr. John, regime of, in Oregon, 46; resignation of as chief factor and his change of allegiance, 61. Magone, Major Joseph, 253; his per- sonality, 809-810. Maritime world, Oregon in, 44. Meeker, Ezra, the patriotic achieve- ment of, 184-187. Methodist missions, their object in establishing a government, 54. Minto, John, reminiscences of forests and mines, 73-78; works at Hunt's mill, 128; observation on the sup- planting of the oak by flr, 130-131; on lowering of surface of water in Willamette Valley, 131-132; experi- ence in early fruit-raising, 134-136; experience in sheep-breeding, 135- 140; seeding and growth of timber in Willamette Valley, 140-142 ; expe- rience in Oregon politics, 142-147; experience with enemies of early home building, 147-151; observa- tions on passes in Cascade Moun- tains, 154-164; suggests an "Ameri- can forestry system," 164-172; not a party slave, 239-240; missionary party, 63. Monopoly, Oregon's first, 274-304. N Newell, "Doctor" Robert, name of associated with events in Walla Walla Valley, 103; why he was called "Doctor" Newell, 104; parent- age and early training of, 104-105; brings the first wagon to Fort Walla Walla, 1840, and to the Wil- lamette Valley, 1841,106-107; private life and public services while a resi- dent of the Willamette Valley, IK)- 114; as commissioner to Indian tribes on the upper Columbia, 1847, 114-118; captain of The Scouts in the Yakima war, 119; suffers losses in the Willamette flood of 1861, 120; later life and services at Lewiston, 120-126. Nez Perces Indians, record of mission- ary activity among, reviewed, 187- 188. O Ordinance of 1787, political signifi- cance of adoption of, in Oregon, 54. Organic Law amended, 1845, 58-59. Oregon conditions of climate con- trasted to those of Appalachian region, 374. "Oregon convention," Cincinnati, July 5, 1843, declaration of, 409-411. Oregon in Congress, 64-72. "Oregon meetings" at Alton and Springfield, Illinois, in 1842 and 1843, 396-895 ; 897-398. Oregon people, how and why became involved with a slavery question, 196-258; situation with, on slavery question, 1856, 226-228. Oregon Statesman, The, 228-230. "Oregon style," the, in pioneer jour- nalism, 228, 244-250. Oregon Steam Navigation Company, organization and history of, 280-304. Oregon trail, retraced by Ezra Meeker, 184-187; marking of in Ne- braska, 308; route for memorial highway, 808. Oregonian, The, 247-248. P Parties in early Oregon, 63. Physiogi-aphic influences in Oregon, 48. Political conditions In Oregon down to 1840, 45-46. Political organization in Oregon, first attempted, 44-49; effected at "Wolf meetings," 49-50. Press in Oregon, 61-62. Provisional government in Oregon, 51-72. R Railroad survey fund, subscription list for, 305-307. Republican party, unsuccessful at- tempt to organize in Marlon County, 211-242; getting oflf the "Lincoln track," 253. River improvement, the Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest, 79-94. S Salem clique, the, 241-244. Schafer, Joseph, 95-96. School leaflets of Oregon history, 96. Semple, Senator J., speeches of, on Oregon question, 388-409, Shambaugh, E. F., report of, on pub- lic archives of Iowa, 96. Slavery, practically no, in Oregon, 196- 197; supporters of aggressive, 197- 212; why issue was at no time doubtful, 210; ethics of. 326-336. Index 417 Small. Revtrend Thomas H.. char- I acter of. and relation to slavery question. 3K>-811. Smith. Delazon. affected by breach in democracy, iMl: compared with I Baker. 340; speech of at Phoenix. ' 358-35.^. j Spoils system in partisan politics. viciousness of. 214-iU6. Stearns. David, a radical. 323-324. . Stephens. H. Morse, addresses annual meeting of historical society. j T : Taxation, no provision for. in first I organic law of Provisional govern- i ment. 54. i Thornton. J. Quinn. sent to Washing- ton. 64. ! Transportation problem in Pacific ■ Northwest, 79-S4: development of. system of. in Pacific Northwest. ! Si-SS. V Union sentiment inspired and or- ganized through flag-raisings, 360- : 363. j Union league clubs. 36*^X367. j Villard, Henry, organizes and devel- ops transportation agencies of the ! Pacific Northwest. 297-801. 1 W Waldo. Daniel, estimate of influence of. 251. Wait. S. M. discusses slavery. 316-318. Wax of Nehalem Beach, surround- ings of beach, where found. 24: ref- erences to. in historical writings, 2.5-26; beeswax or ozokerite, 26- 28; Dr. Diller's discussion of ques- tion. 2tH32 ; determination of amount of wax and characteristics by analysis. o2--37; evidence tending to prove it of oriental origin, 37-38; probable meaning of characters lx)rne by pieces of it. 39-41, Westward movement affecting char- acter of civil government in Ore- gon. 44-45. Williams. Hon. George H.. "Free State Letter"" of, its influence toward makinsr Oregon a free state. 232-2:59: text of letter, 2.54-273. ■"Wolf meetings."" 49-.50. Woolen. George, an anti-slavery man. 325-326. UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. THE GRADUATE SCHOOL confers the c/e^rees of Muster of Arts, (and in prospect, of Doctor of Pbi- losoph v,) Civil and Sanitarj^ Engineer ( C. E.), Elec- trical Engineer (E. E.), Chemical Engineer ( Ch. E.,) and Mining Engineer (Min. E.) THE COLLEGE Oh UTERATURE, SCIENCE, AND THE ARTS confers the degree of Bachelor of Arts on graduates from the following groups: (1) General Classical; (2) General Literarj^; (3) General Scien- tific; (4) Civic- Historical ; (5) Philosophical, Edu- cational. It offers Collegiate Courses not leading to a degree as follows: (1) Preparatory^ to Law or Tournalism. THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING.— A. — The School of Applied Science confers the de- gree of Bachelor of Science on graduates from the following groups ; (1) General Science; (2) Chemistrr; (3) Phj^sics; (4) Biology; (5) Geol- ogy and Mineralogy. It offers a Course Pre- paratory to Medicine. B. — The School of Engineering: (1) Civil and San- itarv; (2) Electrical; (3) Chemical. THE SCHOOL OF MINES AND MINING. THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE at Portland. THE SCHOOL OF LAW at Portland. THE SCHOOL OF MUSIC. Address The President, Eugene, Oregon. QUARTERLY OF THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY No. 4, Vol. 8, Dbcembkk, mi. Frederick V. Holman—ADDUESS at the Dedication of the Mc- I.oiiGHi^iN Institute at Okbgon City, October 6, ]J)07 - - 303-315 George H. Ilimes— HISTORY of Organization of Oregon State Agricultural. Society 317-352 T. W. i)avenpor«— Recollections of an Indian Agent. IV. - - 851^374 F. W. PotfeZ/?— Bibliography of Hall J. Kelley 375-386 Documents- Diary of Asahel Hunger and Wife 387-405 Notes and Reviews 4(Xi-409 Accessions 410-424 Index - - 426-428 No. 1, Vol. y, March, 1908. William D. Fc lUon—KTtw AKJ) DICKINSON Baker -'2P> O. F. Stafford— TniE. Wax of Nbhalem Beach 24-41 Marie Merriman Bradiep — FoijITIcatu Beginnings in Oregon. The Pekioij of the Provisional Government, 1839-1849 - - - 42-72 John Mtntu—FKOU Youth to Age as an American, i. - - . . 73--78. Frederic G. Fownfl'— Columbia River Im provement and the Pacific Northwest 79-94 Notes and News - - 95-101 No. 2, Vol. 9, Juke, J908. T. C. Elliott— ' Doctor Robert Newell: Pioneer . . . . ia3-126 John Minto— From Youth to Age as an American. II. - - - - 127-172 Walter C. ^TinsiEoiy— Contests Over the Capital of Oregon - - 173-178 Mrs. 8. A. Long— Mrs. Jesse Applegate i79-183^ Notes and News - 184-188 No. 3, Vol. 9, Septembeh, UX)8. T. W. Davenport— Hi. Ay KRY Question in Oregon - - - - - l89-25a George H. TT/Z^iam^— Slavery in Ojiegon 254-273 Irene Lincoln Poppleton-ORKGoa's First Monopoly— The O. S. N. Co. 274-304 Document— Subscription List for Railroad Survey - - - 305-307 Notes - - - - . 308. PRICE: FJFIY CENTS PER Nl MBER, TWO DOLLARS PER YEAR.