Page:Centennial History of Oregon 1811-1912, Volume 1.djvu/11

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The author and publishers of this work having in 1910 brought out a history of the City of Portland, entitled "Portland and its Builders," which received such a flattering support from the citizens of Portland, they were encouraged thereby to undertake the greater and more important work of the History of the State, including, as it does, the history of the "Old Oregon Country."

The decision to undertake such a work was not made, however, upon the sole reason of the encouraging financial support offered. As a matter of practical business it may be stated that no history of Oregon heretofore published has ever returned to the publishers the first cost of the undertaking. But the Centennial celebration of the founding of the City of Astoria, coming on with the delivery of the Portland book, punctuated the century of Oregon's development with such a public-spirited, patriotic reason for a history coeval to, if not coequal with, the first century of the most unique development of American character and institutions on the western hemisphere, that the publishers were induced to take the risk of getting out a work equal to the great subject, and at a cost far surpassing the combined cost of all other preceding histories of Oregon. This is the first and only general history of Oregon to receive the aid and illumination of expensive illustrations. In this respect the publishers have not spared any expense to secure everything that would throw light upon the text and prove interesting to the reader.

This book is the work of many minds and hands. The author desires to express here his great obligations to the many friends who have extended most generous assistance. And first of all to that veteran pioneer laborer to preserve the history of Oregon—George H. Himes. It is not saying too much to record here that without the aid of Mr. Himes and the great foundation of facts and material largely secured by him for the Oregon Historical Society, no complete history of Oregon could be written. For forty years he has delved, digged, traveled, collected, arranged, stored and studied every avenue and scrap of Oregon history to be found or obtained until he is now a walking storehouse on the great subject.

Other men and women have helped, and generously helped. From Cyrus H. Walker, the oldest living white man born west of the Rocky Mountains, and chaplain of the Oregon State Grange, we have had very great assistance. To Rev. J. Neilson Barry, of Baker, the history is indebted for the complete synopsis of the tribes and families of Indians in old Oregon and their original homes in the state. This required much study and investigation, and Mr. Barry has done the work so carefully and completely that it will become the standard authority on that subject. Mr. Barry also added much to what was known in Oregon heretofore of the wanderings and sufferings of the Wilson Price Hunt party. To the old veteran. Hon. Wm. H. Packwood, we are indebted for much of the history of Eastern Oregon and Coos and Curry mining, and Indian war history. To Orvil