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´╗┐Title: Blazing The Way - True Stories, Songs and Sketches of Puget Sound
Author: Denny, Emily Inez
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blazing The Way - True Stories, Songs and Sketches of Puget Sound" ***

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[Illustration: FORT DECATUR, JANUARY 26, 1856]







    Copyright 1899

    Published 1909

     To My Dear Father and Mother,
    Faithful Friends and Counselors,
      Whose pioneer life I shared,
    This book is affectionately dedicated
                     By THE AUTHOR

    A star stood large and white awest,
    Then Time uprose and testified;
    They push'd the mailed wood aside,
    They toss'd the forest like a toy,
    That great forgotten race of men,
    The boldest band that yet has been
    Together since the siege of Troy,
    And followed it and found their rest.




In the early days when a hunter, explorer or settler essayed to tread
the mysterious depths of the unknown forest of Puget Sound, he took care
to "blaze the way." At brief intervals he stopped to cut with his sharp
woodman's ax a generous chip from the rough bark of fir, hemlock or
cedar tree, leaving the yellow inner bark or wood exposed, thereby
providing a perfect guide by which he retraced his steps to the canoe or
cabin. As the initial stroke it may well be emblematical of the
beginnings of things in the great Northwest.

I do not feel moved to apologize for this book; I have gathered the
fragments within my reach; such or similar works are needed to set forth
the life, character and movement of the early days on Puget Sound. The
importance of the service of the Pioneers is as yet dimly perceived;
what the Pilgrim Fathers were to New England, the Pioneers were to the
Pacific Coast, to the "nations yet to be," who, following in their
footsteps, shall people the wilds with teeming cities, a "human sea,"
bearing on its bosom argosies of priceless worth.

It does contain some items and incidents not generally known or
heretofore published. I hope others may be provoked to record their
pioneer experiences.

I have had exceptional opportunities in listening to the thrice-told
tales of parents and friends who had crossed the plains, as well as
personal recollections of experiences and observation during a residence
of over fifty years in the Northwest, acknowledging also the good
fortune of having been one of the first white children born on Puget

Every old pioneer has a store of memories of adventures and narrow
escapes, hardships bravely endured, fresh pleasures enjoyed, rude but
genial merrymakings, of all the fascinating incidents that made up the
wonder-life of long ago.

Chronology is only a row of hooks to hang the garments of the past upon,
else they may fall together in a confused heap.

Not having a full line of such supports on which to hang the weaving of
my thoughts--I simply overturn my Indian basket of chips picked up after
"Blazing the Way," they being merely bits of beginnings in the

                                                E. I. DENNY.

       *       *       *       *       *

    NOTE--The poem referred to on page 144 will appear in another



    CHAPTER                                                       PAGE

       I. CROSSING THE PLAINS                                       17
      II. DOWN THE COLUMBIA IN '51                                  34
     III. THE SETTLEMENT AT ALKI                                    41
      IV. FOUNDING OF SEATTLE AND INDIAN WAR                        63
       V. THE MURDER OF McCORMICK                                   96
      VI. KILLING COUGARS                                          105
     VII. PIONEER CHILD LIFE                                       113
            CHAMBERS                                               151
            PLAINS IN 1851                                         168
       X. CAPTAIN HENRY ROEDER ON THE TRAIL                        177


       I. SONG OF THE PIONEERS                                     182
            JOHN DENNY, SARAH LATIMER DENNY                        186
     III. DAVID THOMAS DENNY                                       203
      IV. THE FIRST WEDDING ON ELLIOT BAY                          257
       V. LOUISA BOREN DENNY                                       272
            V_a_ MADGE DECATUR DENNY                               288
            V_b_ ANNA LOUISA DENNY                                 294
            V_c_ WILLIAM RICHARD BOREN                             300
      VI. ARTHUR A. DENNY, MARY A. DENNY                           305
     VII. HENRY VAN ASSELT OF DUWAMISH                             320
    VIII. THOMAS MERCER                                            329
            WRITER                                                 344
       X. FAMOUS INDIAN CHIEFS                                     358


       I. SAVAGE DEEDS OF SAVAGE MEN                               391
      II. PIONEER JOKES AND ANECDOTES                              415
     III. TRAILS OF COMMERCE                                       436
       V. A CHEHALIS LETTER, PENNED IN '52                         467
      VI. SOME PIONEERS OF PORT TOWNSEND                           479
     VII. PERSONNEL OF THE PIONEER ARMY                            489


    Part I.

    Chapter I--Crossing the Plains--Names of the Denny Company      20
         Attacked by Indians at American Falls                      27
    Chapter II--A Narrow Escape from Going Over the Cascades        36
         About to Sink in the Cold Waters of the Columbia           38
    Chapter III--Tramping a Long Trail                              42
         Landing of J. N. Low, D. T. Denny and Lee
           Terry at Sgwudux (West Seattle)                          43
         Exploring the Duwampsh River                               44
         Names of Party from "Exact"                                50
    Chapter IV--A Visit from Wolves                                 66
         A Flight to Fort Decatur                                   76
         Battle of Seattle                                          80
         Story of John I. King's Capture                            91
    Chapter V--A Tragedy of the Trail                               98
    Chapter VI--A Hair-raising Hunt for a Cougar                   107
    Chapter VII--Seeking the Dead Among the Living                 121
         The Strawberry of Memory                                  126
         Three Little Girls and a Pioneer "Fourth"                 131
         A Rescue from Drowning                                    138
    Chapter VIII--Frontier Experiences                             151
    Chapter IX--Placating Indians on the Plains                    171
    Chapter X--Capt. Roeder's Meeting with the Bandit Joaquin      180

    Part II.

    Chapter I--Poem--Song of the Pioneers                          182
    Chapter II--A Notable Pioneer Reformer, John Denny             188
    Chapter III--A Tireless Foundation Builder, David
         Thomas Denny                                              203
         Threats from Anti-Chinese Agitators                       211
         His Own Account of Arrival on Elliott Bay                 214
         Surrounded by Indians                                     243
         Trials and Triumph                                        256
    Chapter IV--A Lively Celebration of the First Wedding
           on Elliott Bay                                          258
         Story of a Bear Hunt                                      268
    Chapter V--Indian Courtship                                    275
         On the Day of Battle                                      276
    Chapter VI--Discovery of Shilshole or Salmon Bay               310
         An Escape from Murderous Savages                          313
         Defense with a Hatchet                                    316
    Chapter VII--Immune Because of Indian Superstition             323
    Chapter VIII--Saving an Auburn-haired Girl                     341
    Chapter IX--A Grand Description of a Vast Forest Fire          350
         Poem--"The Mortgage"                                      352
         Poem--"Pacific's Pioneers"                                354
    Chapter X--Hanging of Leschi                                   370
         Poem--"The Chief's Reply"                                 388

    Part III.

    Chapter I--Shooting of Lachuse                                 392
         The Fight at Fort Nesqually                               395
         Abbie Casto's Fate                                        409
    Chapter II--How the Old Shell Blew Up a Stump
           and Cautioned Mr. Horton                                423
         Mr. Beaty and the Cheese                                  425
    Chapter III--Poem--"The Beaver's Requiem"                      436
    Chapter IV--Poem--"The Voice of the Old University Bell"       459
    Chapter V--Charming Description of Early Days on
           the Chehalis                                            467
    Chapter VI--Founding of Port Townsend                          481
    Chapter VII--A Number of Noted Names                           489
         Poem--"Hail, and Farewell"                                503


        I Fort Decatur, Jan. 26, 1856                     Frontispiece
       II Chips Picked Up                          Facing page      17
      III Bargaining with Indians at Alki            "     "        49
       IV Indian Canoes Sailing with North
            Wind                                     "     "        81
        V Log Cabin in the Swale                     "     "       105
       VI Where We Wandered Long Ago                 "     "       113
      VII A Visit from Our Tillicum                  "     "       145
     VIII Sarah, John and Loretta Denny              "     "       193
       IX David Thomas Denny                         "     "       209
        X Sons of L. B. and D. T. Denny              "     "       241
       XI Louisa B. Denny                            "     "       257
      XII A Flower Garden Planted by L.
            B. Denny                                 "     "       273
     XIII Daughters of D. T. and L. B.
            Denny                                    "     "       289
      XIV Erythronium of Lake Union                  "     "       337
       XV Types of Indian Houses                     "     "       369
      XVI Last Voyage of the Lumei                   "     "       385
     XVII A Few Artifacts of P. S. Indians           "     "       401
    XVIII Ship Belle Isle                            "     "       481
      XIX Rev. Blaine, C. D. and Wm. R.
            Boren                                    "     "       489
       XX Mrs. L. C. Low                             "     "       493





    With Faith's clear eye we saw afar
    In western sky our empire's star,
    And strong of heart and brave of soul,
    We marched and marched to reach the goal.
    Unrolled a scroll, the great, gray plains,
    And traced thereon our wagon trains;
    Our blazing campfires marked the road
    As night succeeding night they glowed.

           --Song of the Pioneers.

The noble army of courageous, enduring, persistent, progressive pioneers
who from time to time were found threading their way across the
illimitable wilderness, forty or fifty years ago, in detached companies,
often unknown and unknowing each other, have proved conclusively that an
age of marvelous heroism is but recently past.


The knowledge, foresight, faith and force exhibited by many of these
daring men and women proclaimed them endowed with the genius of

The merely physical aspect of the undertaking is overpowering. To
transport themselves and their effects in slow and toilsome ways,
through hundreds of miles of weary wilderness, uninhabited except by
foes, over beetling mountain ranges, across swift and dangerous rivers,
through waterless deserts, in the shadow of continual dread, required a
fortitude and staying power seldom equaled in the history of human

But above and beyond all this, they carried the profound convictions of
Christian men and women, of patriots and martyrs. They battled with the
forces of Nature and implacable enemies; they found, too, that their
moral battles must be openly fought year after year, often in the face
of riotous disregard of the laws of God and man. Arrived at their
journey's end, they planted the youngest scions of the Tree of Liberty;
they founded churches and schools, carefully keeping the traditions of
civilization, yet in many things finding greater and truer freedom than
they had left behind.

The noblest of epics, masterpieces of painting, stupendous operas or the
grandest spectacular drama could but meagerly or feebly express the
characters, experiences and environment of those who crossed the plains
for the Pacific slope in the midst of the nineteenth century.

    "A mighty nation moving west,
    With all its steely sinews set
    Against the living forests. Hear
    The shouts, the shots of pioneers!
    The rended forests, rolling wheels,
    As if some half-checked army reels,
    Recoils, redoubles, comes again,
    Loud-sounding like a hurricane."

                 --Joaquin Miller.

It is my intention to speak more especially of one little company who
were destined to take a prominent part in the laying of foundations in
the State of Washington.

Previous to 1850, glowing accounts of the fertility, mildness, beauty
and general desirability of Oregon Territory, which then included
Washington, reached the former friends and acquaintances of Farley
Pierce, Liberty Wallace, the Rudolphs and others who wrote letters
concerning this favored land. Added to the impression made thereby, the
perusal of Fremont's travels, the desire for a change of climate from
the rigorous one of Illinois, the possession of a pioneering spirit and
the resolution was taken, "To the far Pacific Coast we will go;" acting
upon it, they took their places in the great movement having for its
watchword, "Westward Ho!"

John Denny, a Kentuckian by birth, a pioneer of Indiana and Illinois,
whose record as a soldier of 1812, a legislator in company and fraternal
relations with Lincoln, Baker, Gates and Trumbull, distinguished him
for the most admirable qualities, was the leading spirit; his wife,
Sarah Latimer Denny, a Tennessean, thrifty, wise, faithful and
far-seeing, who had for many widowed years previous to her marriage to
John Denny, wrought out success in making a home and educating her three
children in Illinois, was a fit leader of pioneer women.

These, with their grown-up sons and daughters, children and
grandchildren, began the great journey across the plains, starting from
Cherry Grove, Knox County, Illinois, on April 10th, 1851. Four "prairie
schooners," as the canvas-covered wagons were called, three of them
drawn by four-horse teams, one with a single span, a few saddle horses
and two faithful watchdogs, whose value is well known to those who have
traveled the wilds, made up the train.

The names of these brave-hearted ones, ready to dare and endure all, are
as follows:

John Denny, Sarah Latimer Denny and their little daughter, Loretta; A.
A. Denny, Mary A. Denny and their two children, Catherine and Lenora; C.
D. Boren, Mrs. Boren and their daughter, Gertrude; the only unmarried
woman, Miss Louisa Boren, sister of Mrs. A. A. Denny and C. D. Boren; C.
Crawford and family; four unmarried sons of John Denny, D. T. Denny,
James, Samuel and Wiley Denny.

The wrench of parting with friends made a deep and lasting wound; no
doubt every old pioneer of the Pacific Coast can recall the anguish of
that parting, whose scars the healing years have never effaced.

The route followed by our pioneers was the old emigrant road along the
north side of the Platte River, down the Columbia and up the Willamette
to Portland, Oregon Territory, which they afterwards left for their
ultimate destination, Puget Sound, where they found Nature so bountiful,
a climate so moderate and their surroundings so ennobling that I have
often heard them say they had no wish to return to dwell in the country
from whence they came.

Past the last sign of civilization, the Mormon town of Kanesville, a
mile or two east of the Missouri River, the prairie schooners were
fairly out at sea. The great Missouri was crossed at Council Bluffs by
ferryboat on the 5th of May. The site of the now populous city of Omaha
was an untrodden waste. From thence they followed the beaten track of
the many who had preceded them to California and Oregon.

Hundreds of wagons had ground their way over the long road before them,
and beside this road stretched the narrower beaten track of the

On the Platte, shortly after crossing the Missouri, a violent
thunderstorm with sheets of rain fell upon them at night, blowing down
their tents and saturating their belongings, thereby causing much
discomfort and inconvenience. Of necessity the following day was spent
in drying out the whole equipment.

It served as a robust initiation in roughing it; up to that time they
had carefully dressed in white night robes and lay down in neatly made
beds, but many a night after this storm were glad to rest in the easiest
way possible, when worn by travel and too utterly weary of the long
day's heat and dust, with grinding and bumping of wheels, to think of
the niceties of dainty living.

For a time spring smiled on all the land; along the Platte the prairies
stretched away on either hand, delightfully green and fresh, on the
horizon lay fleecy white clouds, islands of vapor in the ethereal azure
sea above; but summer came on apace and the landscape became brown and

The second day west of the Missouri our train fell in with a long line
of eighteen wagons drawn by horses, and fraternizing with the occupants,
joined in one company. This new company elected John Denny as Captain.
It did not prove a harmonious combination, however; discord arose, and
nowhere does it seem to arise so easily as in camp. There was
disagreement about standing guard; fault was found with the Captain and
another was elected, but with no better results. Our pioneers found it
convenient and far pleasanter to paddle their own canoes, or rather
prairie schooners, and so left the contentious ones behind.

Long days of travel followed over the monotonous expanse of prairie,
each with scarcely varying incidents, toils and dangers. The stir of
starting in the morning, the morning forward movement, the halt for the
noonday meal, cooked over a fire of buffalo chips, and the long, weary
afternoon of heat and dust whose passing brought the welcome night,
marked the journey through the treeless region.

At one of the noonings, the hopes of the party in a gastronomic line
were woefully disappointed. A pailful of choice home-dried peaches,
cooked with much care, had been set on a wagon tongue to cool and some
unlucky movement precipitated the whole luscious, juicy mass into the
sand below. It was an occurrence to make the visage lengthen, so far,
far distant were the like of them from the hungry travelers.

Fuel was scarce a large part of the way until west of Fort Laramie, the
pitch pine in the Black Hills made such fires as delight the hearts of
campers. In a stretch of two hundred miles but one tree was seen, a lone
elm by the river Platte, which was finally cut down and the limbs used
for firewood. When near this tree, the train camped over Sunday, and our
party first saw buffaloes, a band of perhaps twenty. D. T. Denny and C.
D. Boren of the party went hunting in the hills three miles from the
camp but other hunters had been among them and scattered the band,
killing only one or two; however they generously divided the meat with
the new arrivals. Our two good hunters determined to get one if possible
and tried stalking a shaggy-maned beast that was separated from the
herd, a half mile from their horses left picketed on the grassy plain.
Shots were fired at him without effect and he ran away unhurt,
fortunately for himself as well as his pursuers. One of the hunters, D.
T. Denny, said it might have been a very serious matter for them to have
been charged by a wounded buffalo out on the treeless prairie where a
man had nothing to dodge behind but his own shadow.

On the prairie before they reached Fort Laramie a blinding hailstorm
pelted the travelers.

D. T. Denny, who was driving a four-horse team in the teeth of the
storm, relates that the poor animals were quite restive, no doubt
suffering much from their shelterless condition. They had been well
provided for as to food; their drivers carried corn which lasted for two
hundred miles. The rich grass of five hundred miles of prairie afforded
luxurious living beyond this, and everywhere along the streams where
camp was made there was an abundance of fresh herbage to be found.

Many lonely graves were seen, graves of pioneers, with hopes as high,
mayhap, as any, but who pitched their silent tents in the wilderness to
await the Judgment Day.

A deep solemnity fell upon the living as the train wound along, where on
the side of a mountain was a lone grave heaped up with stones to protect
it from the ravages of wolves. Tall pines stood around it and grass and
flowers adorned it with nature's broidery. Several joined in singing an
old song beginning

    "I came to the place
    Where the white pilgrim lay,
    And pensively stood by his tomb,
    When in a low whisper I heard something say,
    'How sweetly I sleep here alone.'"

Echoed only by the rustling of the boughs of scattered pines, moving
gently in the wind.

As they approached the upheaved mountainous country, lively interest, a
keen delight in the novelty of their surroundings, and surprise at
unexpected features were aroused in the minds of the travelers.

A thoughtful one has said that the weird beauty of the Wind River
Mountains impressed her deeply, their image has never left her memory
and if she were an artist she could faithfully represent them on canvas.

A surprise to the former prairie dwellers was the vast extent of the
mountains, their imaginations having projected the sort of mountain
range that is quite rare, a single unbroken ridge traversed by climbing
up one side and going down the other! But they found this process must
be repeated an indefinite number of times and over such roughness as
their imaginations had never even suggested.

What grinding, heaving and bumping over huge boulders! What shouting and
urging of animals, what weary hours of tortured endurance dragged along!
One of them remembers, too, perhaps vaguely, the suffering induced by an
attack of the mysterious mountain fever.

The desert also imposed its tax of misery. Only at night could the
desert be safely crossed. Starting at four o'clock in the afternoon they
traveled all the following night over an arid, desolate region, the
Green River desert, thirty miles, a strange journey in the dimness of a
summer night with only the star-lamps overhead. In sight of the river,
the animals made a rush for the water and ran in to drink, taking the
wagons with them.

Often the names of the streams crossed were indicative of their
character, suggestive of adventure or descriptive of their surroundings.
Thus "Sweetwater" speaks eloquently of the refreshing draughts that
slaked the thirst in contrast with the alkaline waters that were bitter;
Burnt River flowed past the blackened remains of an ancient forest and
Bear River may have been named for the ponderous game secured by a lucky

By July of 1851 the train reached Old Fort Hall, composed of a stockade
and log houses, situated on the Snake River, whose flood set toward the
long-sought Pacific shore.

While camped about a mile from the fort the Superintendent wrote for
them directions for camping places where wood and water could be
obtained, extending over the whole distance from Fort Hall to the Dalles
of the Columbia River. He told James Denny, brother of D. T. Denny, that
if they met Indians they must on no account stop at their call, saying
that the Indians of that vicinity were renegade Shoshones and horse

On the morning of the fifth of July an old Indian visited the camp, but
no significance was attached to the incident, and all were soon moving
quietly along in sight of the Snake River; the road lay on the south
side of the river, which is there about two hundred yards wide. An
encampment of Indians was observed, on the north side of the river, as
they wound along by the American Falls, but no premonition of danger was
felt, on the contrary, they were absorbed in the contemplation of the
falls and basin below. Dark objects were seen to be moving on the
surface of the wide pool and all supposed them to be ducks disporting
themselves after the manner of harmless water fowl generally. What was
their astonishment to behold them swiftly and simultaneously approach
the river bank, spring out of the water and reveal themselves full
grown savages!

With guns and garments, but few of the latter probably, on their heads,
they swam across and climbed up the bank to the level of the sage brush
plain. The leader, attired in a plug hat and long, black overcoat
flapping about his sinewy limbs, gun in hand, advanced toward the train
calling out, "How-de-do! How-de-do! Stop! Stop!" twice repeating the
words. The Captain, Grandfather John Denny, answered "Go back,"
emphasizing the order by vigorous gestures. Mindful of the friendly
caution of the Superintendent at Fort Hall, the train moved on. The
gentleman of the plains retired to his band, who dodged back behind the
sagebrush and began firing at the train. One bullet threw up the dust
under the horse ridden by one of the company. The frightened women and
children huddled down as low as possible in the bottoms of the wagons,
expecting the shots to penetrate the canvas walls of their moving
houses. In the last wagon, in the most exposed position, one of the
mothers sat pale and trembling like an aspen leaf; the fate of the young
sister and two little daughters in the event of capture, beside the
danger of her own immediate death were too dreadful to contemplate. In
their extremity one said, "O, why don't they hurry! If I were driving I
would lay on the lash!"

When the Indians found that their shots took no effect, they changed
their tactics and ran down along the margin of the river under shelter
of the bank, to head off the train at a point where it must go down one
hill and up another. There were seven men with five rifles and two
rifle-pistols, but these would have been of little avail if the teams
had been disabled. D. T. Denny drove the forward wagon, having one rifle
and the pistols; three of the men were not armed.

All understood the maneuver of the Indians and were anxious to hurry the
teams unless it was Captain John Denny, who was an old soldier and may
have preferred to fight.

Sarah Denny, his wife, looked out and saw the Indians going down the
river; no doubt she urged him to whip up. The order was given and after
moments that seemed hours, down the long hill they rushed pell-mell,
without lock or brake, the prairie schooners tossing like their
namesakes on a stormy sea. What a breathless, panting, nightmare it
seemed! If an axle had broken or a linchpin loosened the race would have
been lost. But on, madly careening past the canyon where the Indians
intended to intercept them, tearing up the opposite hill with desperate
energy, expecting every moment to hear the blood-curdling warwhoop, nor
did they slacken their speed to the usual pace for the remainder of the
day. As night approached, the welcome light of a campfire, that of J. N.
Low's company, induced them to stop. This camp was on a level near a
bluff; a narrow deep stream flowed by into the Snake River not far
away. The cattle were corraled, with the wagons in a circle and a fire
of brushwood built in the center.

Around the Denny company's campfire, the women who prepared the evening
meal were in momentary fear of receiving a shot from an ambushed foe,
lit as they were against the darkness, but happily their fears were not
realized. Weary as the drivers were, guards were posted and watched all
night. The dogs belonging to the train were doubtless a considerable
protection, as they would have given the alarm had the enemy approached.

One of the women went down to the brook the next morning to get water
for the camp and saw the tracks of Indian ponies in the dust on the
opposite side of the stream. Evidently they had followed the train to
that point, but feared to attack the united forces of the two camps.

After this race for life the men stood guard every night; one of them,
D. T. Denny, was on duty one-half of every other night and alternately
slept on the ground under one of the wagons.

This was done until they reached the Cayuse country. On Burnt River they
met thirty warriors, the advance guard of their tribe who were moving,
women, children, drags and dogs. The Indians were friendly and
cheeringly announced "Heap sleep now; we are _good_ Indians."

The Denny and Low trains were well pleased to join their forces and
traveled as one company until they reached their journey's end.

The day after the Indian attack, friendly visits were made and Mrs. J.
N. Low recalls that she saw two women of Denny's company frying cakes
and doughnuts over the campfire, while two others were well occupied
with the youngest of the travelers, who were infants.

There were six men and two women in Low's company and when the two
companies joined they felt quite strong and traveled unmolested the
remainder of the way.

An exchange of experiences brought out the fact that Low's company had
crossed the Missouri the third day of May and had traveled on the south
side of the Platte at the same time the Denny company made their way
along the north side of the same stream.

At a tributary called Big Blue, as Mrs. Low relates, she observed the
clouds rolling up and admonished her husband to whip up or they would
not be able to cross for days if they delayed; they crossed, ascended
the bluffs where there was a semicircle of trees, loosed the cattle and
picketed the horses. By evening the storm reached them with lightning,
heavy thunder and great piles of hail. The next morning the water had
risen half way up tall trees.

The Indians stole the lead horse of one of the four-horse teams and Mrs.
Low rode the other on a man's saddle. Many western equestriennes have
learned to be not too particular as to horse, habit or saddle and have
proven also the greater safety and convenience of cross-saddle riding.

In the Black Hills while traveling along the crest of a high ridge,
where to get out of the road would have been disastrous, the train was
met by a band of Indians on ponies, who pressed up to the wagons in a
rather embarrassing way, bent apparently upon riding between and
separating the teams, but the drivers were too wise to permit this and
kept close together, without stopping to parley with them, and after
riding alongside for some distance, the designing but baffled redskins

The presence of the native inhabitants sometimes proved a convenience;
especially was this true of the more peaceable tribes of the far west.
On the Umatilla River the travelers were glad to obtain the first fresh
vegetable since leaving the cultivated gardens and fields of their old
homes months before. One of the women traded a calico apron for green
peas, which were regarded as a great treat and much enjoyed.

Farther on, as they neared the Columbia, Captain Low, who was riding
ahead of the train, met Indians with salmon, eager to purchase so fine a
fish and not wishing to stop the wagon, pulled off an overshirt over his
head and exchanged it for the piscatorial prize.

The food that had sustained them on the long march was almost military
in its simplicity. Corn meal, flour, rice (a little, as it was not then
in common use), beans, bacon and dried fruits were the main dependence.
They could spend but little time hunting and fishing. On Bear River
"David" and "Louisa" each caught a trout, fine, speckled beauties.
"David" and the other hunters of the company also killed sage hens,
antelope and buffalo.

After leaving the Missouri River they had no opportunity to buy anything
until they reached the Snake River, where they purchased some dried
salmon of the Indians.



After eighty days travel over one thousand seven hundred sixty-five
miles of road these weary pilgrims reached the mighty river of the West,
the vast Columbia.

At The Dalles, the road Across the Plains was finished, from thence the
great waterways would lead them to their journey's end.

It was there the immigrants first feasted on the delicious river salmon,
fresh from the foaming waters. The Indians boiled theirs, making a
savory soup, the odor of which would almost have fed a hungry man; the
white people cooked goodly pieces in the trusty camp frying pan.

Not then accustomed to such finny monsters, they found a comparison for
the huge cuts as like unto sides of pork, and a receptacle for the
giant's morsels in a seaworthy washingtub. However, high living will
pall unto the taste; one may really tire of an uninterrupted piscatorial
banquet, and one of the company, A. A. Denny, declared his intention of
introducing some variety in the bill of fare. "Plague take it," he said,
"I'm tired of salmon--I'm going to have some chicken."

But alas! the gallinaceous fowl, roaming freely at large, had also
feasted frequently on fragments no longer fresh of the overplus of
salmon, and its flavor was indescribable, wholly impossible, as the
French say. It was "fishy" fish rather than fowl.

At The Dalles the company divided, one party composed of a majority of
the men started over the mountains with the wagons and teams; the women
and children prepared to descend the river in boats.

In one boat, seated on top of the "plunder" were Mrs. A. A. Denny and
two children, Miss Louisa Boren, Mrs. Low and four children and Mrs.
Boren and one child. The other boat was loaded in like manner with a
great variety of useful and necessary articles, heaped up, on top of
which sat several women and children, among whom were Mrs. Sarah Denny,
grandmother of the writer, and her little daughter, Loretta.

A long summer day was spent in floating down the great canyon where the
majestic Columbia cleaves the Cascade Range in twain. The succeeding
night the first boat landed on an island in the river, and the voyagers
went ashore to camp. During the night one of the little girls, Gertrude
Boren, rolled out of her bed and narrowly escaped falling into the
hurrying stream; had she done so she must have certainly been lost, but
a kind Providence decreed otherwise. Re-embarking the following day,
gliding swiftly on the current, they traversed a considerable distance
and the second night approached the Cascades.

Swifter and more turbulent, the rushing flood began to break in more
furious foam-wreaths on every jagged rock, impotently striving to stay
its onward rush to the limitless ocean.

Sufficient light enabled the observing eye to perceive the writhing
surface of the angry waters, but the boatmen were stupified with drink!

All day long they had passed a bottle about which contained a liquid
facetiously called "Blue Ruin" and near enough their ruin it proved.

I have penned the following description which met with the approval of
one of the principal actors in what so nearly proved a tragedy:

It was midnight on the mighty Columbia. A waning moon cast a glowworm
light on the dark, rushing river; all but one of the weary women and
tired little children were deeply sunken in sleep. The oars creaked and
dipped monotonously; the river sang louder and louder every boat's
length. Drunken, bloated faces leered foolishly and idiotically; they
admonished each other to "Keep 'er goin'."

The solitary watcher stirred uneasily, looked at the long lines of foam
out in midstream and saw how fiercely the white waves contended, and far
swifter flew the waters than at any hour before. What was the meaning of
it? Hark! that humming, buzzing, hissing, nay, bellowing roar! The blood
flew to her brain and made her senses reel; they must be nearing the
last landing above the falls, the great Cascades of the Columbia.

But the crew gave no heed.

Suddenly she cried out sharply to her sleeping sister, "Mary! Mary! wake
up! we are nearing the falls, I hear them roar."

"What is it, Liza?" she said sleepily.

"O, wake up! we shall all be drowned, the men don't know what they are

The rudely awakened sleepers seemed dazed and did not make much outcry,
but a strong young figure climbed over the mass of baggage and
confronting the drunken boatmen, plead, urged and besought them, if they
considered their own lives, or their helpless freight of humanity, to
make for the shore.

"Oh, men," she pleaded, "don't you hear the falls, they roar louder now.
It will soon be too late, I beseech you turn the boat to shore. Look at
the rapids beyond us!"

"Thar haint no danger, Miss, leastways not yet; wots all this fuss about
anyhow? No danger," answered one who was a little disturbed; the others
were almost too much stupified to understand her words and stood staring
at the bareheaded, black haired young woman as if she were an apparition
and were no more alarmed than if the warning were given as a curious
mechanical performance, having no reference to themselves.

Repeating her request with greater earnestness, if possible, a man's
voice broke in saying, "I believe she is right, put in men quick, none
of us want to be drowned."

Fortunately this penetrated their besotted minds and they put about in
time to save the lives of all on board, although they landed some
distance below the usual place.

A little farther and they would have been past all human help.

One of the boatmen cheerfully acknowledged the next day that if it
"hadn't been fur that purty girl they had a' gone over them falls,

The other boat had a similar experience; it began to leak profusely
before they had gone very far and would soon have sunk, had not the
crew, who doubtless were sober, made all haste to land.

My grandmother has often related to me how she clasped her little child
to her heart and resigned herself to a fate which seemed inevitable;
also of a Mrs. McCarthy, a passenger likewise, becoming greatly excited
and alternately swearing and praying until the danger was past. An
inconvenient but amusing feature was the soaked condition of the
"plunder" and the way the shore and shrubbery thereon were decorated
with "hiyu ictas," as the Chinook has it, hung out to dry. Finding it
impossible to proceed, this detachment returned and took the mountain

A tramway built by F. A. Chenoweth, around the great falls, afforded
transportation for the baggage of the narrowly saved first described.
There being no accommodations for passengers, the party walked the
tramroad; at the terminus they unloaded and stayed all night. No
"commodious and elegant" steamer awaited them, but an old brig, bound
for Portland, received them and their effects.

Such variety of adventure had but recently crowded upon them that it was
almost fearfully they re-embarked. A. A. Denny observed to Captain Low,
"Look here, Low, they say women are scarce in Oregon and we had better
be careful of ours." Presumably they were, as both survive at the
present day.

From a proud ranger of the dashing main, the old brig had come down to
be a carrier of salt salmon packed in barrels, and plunder of
immigrants; as for the luckless passengers, they accommodated themselves
as best they could.

The small children were tied to the mast to keep them from falling
overboard, as there were no bulwarks.

Beds were made below on the barrels before mentioned and the travel-worn
lay down, but not to rest; the mosquitos were a bloodthirsty throng and
the beds were likened unto a corduroy road.

One of the women grumbled a little and an investigation proved that it
was, as her husband said, "Nothing but the tea-kettle" wedged in between
the barrels.

Another lost a moccasin overboard and having worn out all her shoes on
the way, went with one stockinged foot until they turned up the
Willamette River, then went ashore to a farmhouse where she was so
fortunate as to find the owner of a new pair of shoes which she bought,
and was thus able to enter the "city" of Portland in appropriate

After such vicissitudes, dangers and anxiety, the little company were
glad to tarry in the embryo metropolis for a brief season; then, having
heard of fairer shores, the restless pioneers moved on.



Midway between Port Townsend and Olympia, in full view looking west from
the city of Seattle, is a long tongue of land, washed by the sparkling
waves of Puget Sound, called Alki Point. It helps to make Elliott Bay a
beautiful land-locked harbor and is regarded with interest as being the
site of the first settlement by white people in King County in what was
then the Territory of Oregon. _Alki_ is an Indian word pronounced with
the accent on the first syllable, which is _al_ as in altitude; _ki_ is
spoken as _ky_ in silky. Alki means "by and by."

It doth truly fret the soul of the old settler to see it printed and
hear it pronounced Al-ki.

The first movement toward its occupancy was on this wise: A small
detachment of the advancing column of settlers, D. T. Denny and J. N.
Low, left Portland on the Willamette, on the 10th of September, 1851,
with two horses carrying provisions and camp outfit.

These men walked to the Columbia River to round up a band of cattle
belonging to Low. The cattle were ferried over the river at Vancouver
and from thence driven over the old Hudson Bay Company's trail to the
mouth of Cowlitz River, a tributary of the Columbia, up the Cowlitz to
Warbass Landing and on to Ford's prairie, a wide and rich one, where the
band were left to graze on the luxuriant pasturage.

On a steep, rocky trail along the Cowlitz River, Denny was following
along not far behind a big, yellow ox that was scrambling up, trying
vainly to get a firm foothold, when Low, foreseeing calamity, called to
him to "Look out!" Denny swerved a little from the path and at that
moment the animal lost its footing and came tumbling past them, rolling
over several times until it landed on a lower level, breaking off one of
its horns. Here was a narrow escape although not from a wild beast. They
could not then stop to secure the animal although it was restored to the
flock some time after.

From Ford's prairie, although footsore and weary, they kept on their way
until Olympia was reached. It was a long tramp of perhaps two hundred
fifty miles, the exact distance could not be ascertained as the trail
was very winding.

As described by one of our earliest historians, Olympia then consisted
of about a dozen one-story frame cabins, covered with split cedar
siding, well ventilated and healthy, and perhaps twice as many Indian
huts near the custom house, as Olympia was then the port of entry for
Puget Sound.

The last mentioned structure afforded space on the ground floor for a
store, with a small room partitioned off for a postoffice.

Our two pioneers found here Lee Terry, who had been engaged in loading a
sailing vessel with piles. He fell in with the two persistent
pedestrians and thus formed a triumvirate of conquerors of a new world.
The pioneers tarried not in the embryo city but pushed on farther down
the great Inland Sea.

With Captain Fay and several others they embarked in an open boat, the
Captain, who owned the boat, intending to purchase salmon of the Indians
for the San Francisco market. Fay was an old whaling captain. He
afterwards married Mrs. Alexander, a widow of Whidby Island, and lived
there until his death.

The little party spent their first night on the untrod shores of
Sgwudux, the Indian name of the promontory now occupied by West Seattle,
landing on the afternoon of September 25th, 1851, and sleeping that
night under the protecting boughs of a giant cedar tree.

On the 26th, Low, Denny and Terry hired two young Indians of Chief
Sealth's (Seattle's) tillicum (people), who were camped near by, to take
them up the Duwampsh River in a canoe. Safely seated, the paddles dipped
and away they sped over the dancing waves. The weather was fair, the air
clear and a magnificent panorama spread around them. The whole
forest-clad encircling shores of Elliott Bay, untouched by fire or ax,
the tall evergreens thickly set in a dense mass to the water's edge
stood on every hand. The great white dome of Mount Rainier, 14,444 feet
high, before them, toward which they traveled; behind them, stretched
along the western horizon, Towiat or Olympics, a grand range of
snow-capped mountains whose foothills were covered with a continuous

Entering the Duwampsh River and ascending for several miles they reached
the farther margin of a prairie where Low and Terry, having landed, set
out over an Indian trail through the woods, to look at the country,
while Denny followed on the river with the Indians. On and on they went
until Denny became anxious and fired off his gun but received neither
shot nor shout in answer. The day waned, it was growing dark, and as he
returned the narrow deep river took on a melancholy aspect, the great
forest was gloomy with unknown fears, and he was alone with strange,
wild men whose language was almost unintelligible. Nevertheless, he
landed and camped with them at a place known afterward as the Maple

Morning of the 27th of September saw them paddling up the river again in
search of the other two explorers, whom they met coming down in a canoe.
They had kept on the trail until an Indian camp was reached at the
junction of Black and Duwampsh Rivers the night before. All returned to
Sgwudux, their starting point, to sleep under the cedar tree another

On the evening of the 27th a scow appeared and stopped near shore where
the water was quite deep. Two women on board conversed with Captain Fay
in Chinook, evidently quite proud of their knowledge of the trade jargon
of the Northwest. The scow moved on up Elliott Bay, entered Duwampsh
River and ascended it to the claim of L. M. Collins, where another
settlement sprang into existence.

On the 28th the pioneers moved their camp to Alki Point or Sma-qua-mox
as it was named by the Indians.

Captain Fay returned from down the Sound on the forenoon of the 28th.
That night, as they sat around the campfire, the pioneers talked of
their projected building and the idea of split stuff was advanced, when
Captain Fay remarked, "Well, I think a log house is better in an Indian

"Why, do you think there is any danger from the Indians?" he was quickly

"Well," he replied, with a sly twinkle in his eye, "It would keep off
the stray bullets when they _poo mowich_" (shoot deer).

These hints, coupled with subsequent experiences, awoke the anxiety of
D. T. Denny, who soon saw that there were swarms of savages to the
northward. Those near by were friendly, but what of those farther away?

One foggy morning, when the distance was veiled in obscurity, the two
young white men, Lee and David, were startled to see a big canoe full
of wild Indians from away down the Sound thrust right out of the dense
fog; they landed and came ashore; the chief was a tall, brawny fellow
with a black beard. They were very impudent, crowding on them and trying
to get into the little brush tent, but Lee Terry stood in the door-way
leaning, or braced rather, against the tree upon which one end of the
frail habitation was fastened. The white men succeeded in avoiding
trouble but they felt inwardly rather "shaky" and were much relieved
when their rude visitors departed. These Indians were Skagits.

The brush shelter referred to was made of boughs laid over a pole placed
in the crotch of another pole at one end, the other end being held by a
crotch fastened to a tree. In it was placed their scanty outfit and
supplies, and there they slept while the cabin was building.

A townsite was located and named "New York," which no doubt killed the
place, exotics do not thrive in the Northwest; however, the name was
after changed to Alki.

D. T. Denny and Lee Terry were left to take care of the "townsite" while
J. N. Low returned with Captain Fay to Olympia and footed it over the
trail again to the Columbia. He carried with him a letter to A. A. Denny
in Portland, remarkable as the first one penned by D. T. Denny on Puget
Sound, also in that upon it and the account given by Low depended the
decision of the rest of the party to settle on the shores of the great
Inland Sea. The substance of the letter was, "Come as soon as you can;
we have found a valley that will accommodate one thousand families,"
referring to that of the Duwampsh River.

These two, David T. Denny and Lee Terry, proceeded to lay the foundation
of the first cabin built on Elliott Bay and also the first in King
County. Their only tools were an ax and a hammer. The logs were too
heavy for the two white men to handle by themselves, and after they were
cut, passing Indians, muscular braves, were called on to assist, which
they willingly did, Mr. Denny giving them bread as a reward, the same
being an unaccustomed luxury to them.

Several days after the foundation was laid, L. M. Collins and "Nesqually
John," an Indian, passed by the camp and rising cabin, driving oxen
along the beach, on their way to the claim selected by Collins on the
fertile banks of the Duwampsh River.

When D. T. Denny and Lee Terry wrote their names on the first page of
our history, they could not fully realize the import of their every act,
yet no doubt they were visionary. Sleeping in their little brush tent at
night, what dreams may have visited them! Dreams, perhaps, of fleets of
white-winged ships with the commerce of many nations, of busy cities, of
throngs of people. Probably they set about chopping down the tall fir
trees in a cheerful mood, singing and whistling to the astonishment of
the pine squirrels and screech owls thus rudely disturbed. Their camp
equipage and arrangements were of the simplest and rudest and Mr. Denny
relates that Lee Terry would not cook so he did the cooking. He made a
"johnny cake" board of willow wood to bake bread upon.

Fish and game were cooked before the camp fire. The only cooking vessel
was a tin pail.

One evening Old Duwampsh Curley, whose Indian name was Su-whalth, with
several others, visited them and begged the privilege of camping near
by. Permission given, the Indians built a fire and proceeded to roast a
fine, fat duck transfixed on a sharp stick, placing a large clam shell
underneath to catch the gravy. When it was cooked to their minds, Curley
offered a choice cut to the white men, who thanked him but declined to
partake, saying that they had eaten their supper.

Old Curley remembered it and in after years often reminded his white
friend of the incident, laughing slyly, "He! He! Boston man halo tikke
Siwash muck-a-muck" (white man do not like Indian's food), knowing
perfectly well the reason they would not accept the proffered dainty.

J. N. Low had returned to Portland and Terry went to Olympia on the
return trip of Collins' scow, leaving David T. Denny alone with "New
York," the unfinished cabin and the Indians. For three weeks he was the
sole occupant and was ill a part of the time.

Meanwhile, the families left behind had not been idle, but having made
up their minds that the end of their rainbow rested on Puget Sound, set
sail on the schooner "Exact," with others who intended to settle at
various points on the Inland Sea, likewise a party of gold hunters bound
for Queen Charlotte's Island.

They were one week getting around Cape Flattery and up the Sound as far
as Alki Point. It was a rough introduction to the briny deep, as the
route covered the most tempestuous portion of the northwest coast. Well
acquainted as they were with prairie schooners, a schooner on the ocean
was another kind of craft and they enjoyed (?) their first experience of
seasickness crossing the bar of the Columbia. As may be easily imagined,
the fittings were not of the most luxurious kind and father, mother and
the children gathered socially around a washing tub to pay their
respects to Neptune.

The gold miners, untouched by mal de mer, sang jolly songs and played
cards to amuse themselves. Their favorite ditty was the round "Three
Blind Mice" and they sang also many good old campmeeting songs. Poor
fellows! they were taken captive by the Indians of Queen Charlotte's
Island and kept in slavery a number of years until Victorians sent an
expedition for their rescue, paid their ransom and they were released.


On a dull November day, the thirteenth of the month, this company
landed on Alki Point.

There were A. A. Denny, his wife, Mary Boren Denny, and their three
little children; Miss Louisa Boren, a younger sister of Mrs. Denny; C.
D. Boren and his family; J. N. Low, Mrs. Low and their four children and
Wm. N. Bell, Mrs. Sarah Bell and their family.

John and Sarah Denny with their little daughter, Loretta, remained in
Oregon for several years and then removed to the Sound.

On that eventful morning the lonely occupant of the unfinished cabin was
startled by an unusual sound, the rattling of an anchor chain, that of
the "Exact." Not feeling well he had the night before made some hot tea,
drank it, piled both his own and Lee Terry's blankets over him and slept
long and late. Hearing the noise before mentioned he rose hastily,
pushed aside the boards leaned up for a door and hurried out and down to
the beach to meet his friends who left the schooner in a long boat. It
was a gloomy, rainy time and the prospect for comfort was so poor that
the women, except the youngest who had no family cares, sat them down on
a log on the beach and wept bitter tears of discouragement. Not so with
Miss Louisa Boren, whose lively curiosity and love of nature led her to
examine everything she saw, the shells and pebbles of the beach, rank
shrubbery and rich evergreens that covered the bank, all so new and
interesting to the traveler from the far prairie country.

But little time could be spent, however, indulging in the luxury of woe
as all were obliged to exert themselves to keep their effects from being
carried away by the incoming tide and forgot their sorrow in busily
carrying their goods upon the bank; food and shelter must be prepared,
and as ever before they met the difficulties courageously.

The roof of the cabin was a little imperfect and one of the pioneer
children was rendered quite uncomfortable by the more or less regular
drip of the rain upon her and in after years recalled it saying that she
had forever after a prejudice against camping out.

David T. Denny inadvertantly let fall the remark that he wished they had
not come. A. A. Denny, his brother, came to him, pale with agitation,
asking what he meant, and David attempted to allay his fears produced by
anxiety for his helpless family, by saying that the cabin was not
comfortable in its unfinished state.

The deeper truth was that the Sound country was swarming with Indians.
Had the pioneers fully realized the risk they ran, nothing would have
induced them to remain; their very unconsciousness afterward proved a

The rainy season was fairly under way and suitable shelter was an
absolute necessity.

Soon other houses were built of round fir logs and split cedar boards.

The householders brought quite a supply of provisions with them on the
"Exact;" among other things a barrel of dried apples, which proved
palatable and wholesome. Sea biscuit, known as hard-bread, and potato
bread made of mashed potatoes and baked in the oven were oft times
substitutes for or adjuncts of the customary loaf.

There was very little game in the vicinity of the settlement and at
first they depended on the native hunters and fishermen who brought
toothsome wild ducks and venison, fresh fish and clams in abundance.

One of the pioneers relates that some wily rascals betrayed them into
eating pieces of game which he afterward was convinced were cut from a
cougar. The Indians who brought it called it "mowich" (deer), but the
meat was of too light a color for either venison or bear, and the
conformation of the leg bones in the pieces resembled _felis_ rather
than _cervus_.

But the roasts were savory, it was unseemly to make too severe an
examination and the food supply was not then so certain as to permit
indulgence in an over-nice discrimination.

The inventive genius of the pioneer women found generous exercise in the
manufacture of new dishes. The variations were rung on fish, potatoes
and clams in a way to pamper epicures. Clams in fry, pie, chowder, soup,
stew, boil and bake--even pickled clams were found an agreeable relish.
The great variety of food fishes from the kingly salmon to the tiny
smelt, with crabs, oysters, etc., and their many modes of preparation,
were perpetually tempting to the pioneer appetite.

The question of food was a serious one for the first year, as the
resources of this land of plenty were unknown at first, but the pushing
pioneer proved a ready and adaptable learner.

Flour, butter, syrup, sugar, tea and coffee were brought at long
intervals over great distances by sailing vessels. By the time these
articles reached the settlement their value became considerable.

Game, fish and potatoes were staple articles of diet and judging from
the stalwart frames of the Indians were safe and substantial.

Trading with the Indians brought about some acquaintance with their
leading characteristics.

On one occasion, the youngest of the white women, Louisa Boren,
attempted to barter some red flannel for a basket of potatoes.

The basket of "wapatoes" occupied the center of a level spot in front of
the cabin, backed by a semicircle of perhaps twenty-five Indians. A
tall, bronze tyee (chief) stood up to wa-wa (talk). He wanted so much
cloth; stretching out his long arms to their utmost extent, fully two

"No," she said, "I will give you so much," about one yard.

"Wake, cultus potlatch" (No, that is just giving them away) answered the
Indian, who measured several times and insisted that he would not trade
for an inch less. Out of patience at last, she disdainfully turned her
back and retired inside the cabin behind a mat screen. No amount of
coaxing from the savages could induce her to return, and the
disappointed spectators filed off, bearing their "hyas mokoke" (very
valuable) potatoes with them, no doubt marveling at the firmness of the
white "slanna" (woman).

A more successful deal in potatoes was the venture of A. A. Denny and J.
N. Low, who traveled from Alki to Fort Nesqually, in a big canoe manned
by four Indians and obtained fifty bushels of little, round, red
potatoes grown by Indians from seed obtained from the "Sking George"
men. The green hides of beeves were spread in the bottom of the canoe
and the potatoes piled thereon.

Returning to Alki it was a little rough and the vegetables were well
moistened with salt chuck, as were the passengers also, probably,
deponent saith not.

It is not difficult for those who have traveled the Sound in all kinds
of weather to realize the aptness of the expression of the Chinese cook
of a camping party who were moving in a large canoe; when the waves
began to rise, he exclaimed in agitation, "Too littlee boat for too
muchee big waters." It is well to bear in mind that the "Sound" is a
great inland sea. A tenderfoot's description of the water over which he
floated, the timorous occupant of a canoe, testifies that it looked to
him to be "Two hundred feet deep, as clear as a kitten's eye and as cold
as death."

All the different sorts of canoes of which I shall speak in another
chapter look "wobbly" and uncertain, yet the Indians make long voyages
of hundreds of miles by carefully observing the wind and tide.

A large canoe will easily carry ten persons and one thousand pounds of
baggage. One of these commodious travelers, with a load of natives and
their "ictas" (baggage) landed on a stormy day at Alki and the occupants
spent several hours ashore. While engaged with their meal one of them
exclaimed, "Nannitch!" (look) at the same time pointing at the smoke of
the campfire curling steadily straight upward. Without another word they
tumbled themselves and belongings aboard and paddled off in silent

The ascending column of smoke was their barometer which read "Fair
weather, no wind."

The white people, unacquainted with the shores, tides and winds of the
great Inland Sea, did well to listen to their Indian canoemen; sometimes
their unwillingness to do so exposed them to great danger and even loss
of life.

The Indians living on Elliott Bay were chiefly the indigenous tribe of
D'wampsh or Duwampsh, changed by white people into "Duwamish."

They gave abundant evidence of possessing human feeling beneath their
rough exterior.

One of the white women at Alki, prepared some food for a sick Indian
child which finally recovered. The child's father, "Old Alki John," was
a very "hard case," but his heart was tender toward his child, and to
show his gratitude he brought and offered as a present to the kind white
"slanna" (woman) a bright, new tin pail, a very precious thing to the
Indian mind. Of course she readily accepted his thanks but persuaded him
to keep the pail.

Savages though they were, or so appeared, the Indians of Elliott Bay
were correctly described in these words:

    "We found a race, though rude and wild,
    Still tender toward friend or child,
    For dark eyes laughed or shone with tears
    As joy or sorrow filled the years.
    Their black-eyed babes the red men kissed
    And captive brothers sorely missed;
    With broken hearts brown mothers wept
    When babes away by death were swept."

                      --Song of the Pioneers.

But there were amusing as well as pathetic experiences. The Indians were
like untaught children in many things. Their curiosity over-came them
and their innocent impertinence sometimes required reproof.

In a cabin at Alki one morning, a white woman was frying fish. Warming
by the fire stood "Duwampsh Curley;" the odor of the fish was doubtless
appetizing; Curley was moved with a wish to partake of it and reached
out a dark and doubtful-looking hand to pick out a piece. The white
woman had a knife in her hand to turn the pieces and raised it to strike
the imprudent hand which was quickly and sheepishly withdrawn.

Had he been as haughty and ill-natured as some savages the result might
have been disastrous, but he took the reproof meekly and mended his
manners instead of retaliating.

Now and then the settlers were spectators in dramas of Indian romance.

"Old Alki John" had a wife whose history became interesting. For some
unknown reason she ran away from Puyallup to Alki. Her husband followed
her, armed with a Hudson Bay musket and a frame of mind that boded no
good. While A. A. Denny, D. T. Denny and Alki John were standing
together on the bank one day Old John's observing eye caught sight of a
strange Indian ascending the bank, carrying his gun muzzle foremost, a
suggestive position not indicative of peaceful intentions. "Nannitch"
(look) he said quietly; the stranger advanced boldly, but Old John's
calm manner must have had a soothing effect upon the bloodthirsty
savage, as he concluded to "wa-wa" (talk) a little before fighting.

So the gutturals and polysyllables of the native tongue fairly flew
about until evidently, as Mr. D. T. Denny relates, some sort of
compromise was effected. Not then understanding the language, he could
not determine just the nature of the arrangement, but has always thought
it was amicably settled by the payment of money by "Old Alki John" to
her former husband. This Indian woman was young and fair, literally so,
as her skin was very white, she being the whitest squaw ever seen among
them; her head was not flattened, she was slender and of good figure.
Possibly she had white blood in her veins; her Indian name was

Being left a widow, she was not left to pine alone very long; another
claimed her hand and she became Mrs. Yeow-de-pump. When this one joined
his brethren in the happy hunting ground, she remained a widow for some
time, but is now the wife of the Indian Zacuse, mentioned in another

There were women cabin builders. Each married woman was given half the
donation claim by patent from the government; improvement on her part of
the claim was therefore necessary.

On a fine, fair morning in the early spring of 1852, two women set forth
from the settlement at Alki, to cross Elliott Bay in a fishing canoe,
with Indians to paddle and a large dog to protect them from possible
wild animals in the forest, for in that wild time, bears, cougars and
wolves roamed the shores of Puget Sound.

Landed on the opposite shore, the present site of Seattle, they made
their way slowly and with difficulty through the dense undergrowth of
the heavy forest, there being not so much as a trail, over a long
distance. Arrived at the chosen spot, they cut with their own hands some
small fir logs and laid the foundation of a cabin. While thus employed
the weather underwent a change and on the return was rather threatening.
The wind and waves were boisterous, the canine passenger was frightened
and uneasy, thus adding to the danger. The water washed into the canoe
and the human occupants suffered no little anxiety until they reached
the beach at home.

One of the conditions of safe travel in a canoe is a quiet and careful
demeanor, the most approved plan being to sit down in the bottom of the
craft and _stay there_.

To have a large, heavy animal squirming about, getting up and lying down
frequently, must have tried their nerve severely and it must have taken
good management to prevent a serious catastrophe. The Bell family were
camped at that time on their claim in a rude shelter of Indian boards
and mats.

The handful of white men at Alki spent their time and energy in getting
out piles for the San Francisco market. At first they had very few
appliances for handling the timber. The first vessel to load was the
brig Leonesa, which took a cargo of piles, cut, rolled and hauled by
hand, as there were no cattle at the settlement.

There were also no roads and Lee Terry went to Puyallup for a yoke of
oxen, which he drove down on the beach to Alki. Never were dumb brutes
better appreciated than these useful creatures.

But the winter, or rather rainy season, wore away; as spring approached
the settlers explored the shores of the Sound far and near and it became
apparent that Alki must wait till "by and by," as the eastern shore of
Elliott Bay was found more desirable and the pioneers prepared to move
again by locating donation claims on a portion of the land now covered
by a widespread city, which will bring us to the next chapter, "The
Founding of Seattle and Indian War."

The following is a brief recapitulation of the first days on Puget
Sound; in these later years we see the rapid and skillful construction
of elegant mansions, charming cottages and stately business houses, all
in sight of the spot where stood the first little cabin of the pioneer.
The builders of this cabin were D. T. Denny, J. N. Low and Lee Terry,
assisted by the Indians, the only tools, an ax and a hammer, the place
Alki Point, the time, the fall of 1851.

They baked their bread before the fire on a willow board hewed from a
piece of a tree which grew near the camp; the only cooking vessel was a
tin pail; the salmon they got off the Indians was roasted before the
fire on a stick.

The cabin was unfinished when the famous landing was made, November
13th, 1851, because J. N. Low returned to Portland, having been on the
Sound but a few days, then Lee Terry boarded Collins' scow on its return
trip up Sound leaving D. T. Denny alone for about three weeks, during
most of which time he was ill. This was Low's cabin; after the landing
of Bell, Boren and A. A. Denny and the others of the party, among whom
were Low and C. C. Terry, a roof was put on the unfinished cabin and
they next built A. A. Denny's and then two cabins of split cedar for
Bell and Boren and their families.

When they moved to the east side of Elliott Bay, Bell's was the first
one built. W. N. Bell and D. T. Denny built A. A. Denny's on the east
side, as he was sick. D. T. Denny had served an apprenticeship in cabin
building, young as he was, nineteen years of age, before he came to
Puget Sound.

The first of D. T. Denny's cabins he built himself with the aid of three
Indians. There was not a stick or piece of sawed stuff in it.

However, by the August following his marriage, which took place January
23rd, 1853, he bought of H. L. Yesler lumber from his sawmill at about
$25.00 per M. to put up a little board house, sixteen by twenty feet
near the salt water, between Madison and Marion streets, Seattle.

This little home was my birthplace, the first child of the first white
family established at Elliott Bay. Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny had been
threatened by Indians and their cabin robbed, so thought it best to move
into the settlement.



The most astonishing change wrought in the aspect of nature by the
building of a city on Puget Sound is not the city itself but the
destruction of the primeval forest.

By the removal of the thick timber the country becomes unrecognizable;
replaced by thousands of buildings of brick, wood and stone, graded
streets, telephone and electric light systems, steam, electric and cable
railways and all the paraphernalia of modern civilization, the contrast
is very great. The same amount of energy and money expended in a
treeless, level country would probably have built a city three times as
large as Seattle.

In February, 1852, Bell, Boren and the Dennys located claims on the east
side of Elliott Bay. Others followed, but it was not until May, 1853,
that C. D. Boren and A. A. Denny filed the first plat of the town, named
for the noted chief, "Seattle." The second plat was filed shortly after
by D. S. Maynard. Maynard was a physician who did not at first depend on
the practice of his profession; perhaps the settlers were too vigorous
to require pills, powders and potions, at any rate he proposed to engage
in the business of packing salmon.

The settlers at Alki moved over to their claims in the spring of 1852,
some of them camping until they could build log cabins.

Finally all were well established and then began the hand to hand
conflict for possession of the ground. The mighty forest must yield to
fire and the ax; then from the deep bosom of the earth what bounty

The Indians proved efficient helpers, guides and workers in many ways.
One of the pioneers had three Indians to help him build his cabin.

To speak more particularly of the original architecture of the country,
the cabins, built usually of round logs of the Douglas fir, about six
inches in diameter, were picturesque, substantial and well suited to the
needs of the pioneer. A great feature of the Seattle cabin was the door
made of thick boards hewed out of the timber as there was no sawmill on
the bay until H. L. Yesler built the first steam sawmill erected on the
Sound. This substantial door was cut across in the middle with a
diagonal joint; the lower half was secured by a stout wooden pin, in
order that the upper half might be opened and the "wa-wa" (talk) proceed
with the native visitor, who might or might not be friendly, while he
stood on the outside of the door and looked in with eager curiosity, on
the strange ways of the "Bostons."

The style of these log cabins was certainly admirable, adapted as they
were to the situation of the settler. They were inexpensive as the
material was plentiful and near at hand, and required only energy and
muscle to construct them; there were no plumber's, gas or electric light
bills coming in every month, no taxes for improvements and a man could
build a lean-to or hay-shed without a building permit. The interiors
were generally neat, tasteful and home-like, made so by the versatile
pioneer women who occupied them.

These primitive habitations were necessarily scattered as it was
imperative that they should be placed so as to perfect the titles of the
donation claims. Sometimes two settlers were able to live near each
other when they held adjoining claims, others were obliged to live
several miles away from the main settlement and far from a neighbor, in
lonely, unprotected places.

What thoughts of the homes and friends they had left many weary leagues
behind, visited these lonely cabin dwellers!

The husband was engaged in clearing, slashing and burning log heaps,
cutting timber, hunting for game to supply the larder, or away on some
errand to the solitary neighbor's or distant settlement. Often, during
the livelong day the wife was alone, occupied with domestic toil, all of
which had to be performed by one pair of hands, with only primitive and
rude appliances; but there were no incompetent servants to annoy, social
obligations were few, fashion was remote and its tyranny unknown, in
short, many disagreeable things were lacking. The sense of isolation
was intensified by frequently recurring incidents in which the dangers
of pioneer life became manifest. The dark, mysterious forest might send
forth from its depths at any moment the menace of savage beast or
relentless man.

The big, grey, timber wolf still roamed the woods, although it soon
disappeared before the oncoming wave of invading settlers. Generally
quite shy, they required some unusual attraction to induce them to
display their voices.

On a dark winter night in 1853, the lonely cabin of D. T. and Louisa
Denny was visited by a pair of these voracious beasts, met to discuss
the remains of a cow, belonging to W. N. Bell, which had stuck fast
among some tree roots and died in the edge of the clearing. How they did
snarl and howl, making the woods and waters resound with their cries as
they greedily devoured the carcass. The pioneer couple who occupied the
cabin entered no objection and were very glad of the protection of the
solid walls of their primitive domicile. The next day, Mr. Denny, with
dog and gun, went out to hunt them but they had departed to some remote

On another occasion the young wife lay sick and alone in the cabin above
mentioned and a good neighbor, Mrs. Sarah Bell, from her home a mile
away, came to see her, bringing some wild [A]pheasant's eggs the men had
found while cutting spars. While the women chatted, an Indian came and
stood idly looking in over the half-door and his companion lurked in the
brush near by.

[Footnote A: Ruffed grouse.]

John Kanem, a brother of the chief, Pat Kanem, afterward told the
occupants of the cabin that these Indians had divulged their intention
of murdering them in order to rob their dwelling, but abandoned the
project, giving as a reason that a "haluimi kloochman" (another or
unknown woman) was there and the man was away.

Surely a kind Providence watched over these unprotected ones that they
might in after years fulfill their destiny.

During the summer of 1855, before the Indian war, Mr. and Mrs. D. T.
Denny were living in a log cabin in the swale, an opening in the midst
of a heavy forest, on their donation claim, to which they had moved from
their first cabin on Elliott Bay.

Dr. Choush, an Indian medicine man, came along one day in a state of
ill-suppressed fury. He had just returned from a Government "potlatch"
at the Tulalip agency. In relating how they were cheated he said that
the Indians were presented with strips of blankets which had been torn
into narrow pieces about six or eight inches wide, and a little bit of
thread and a needle or two. The Indians thereupon traded among
themselves and pieced the strips together.

He was naturally angry and said menacingly that the white people were
few, their doors were thin and the Indians could easily break them in
and kill all the "Bostons."

All this could not have been very reassuring to the inmates of the
cabin; however they were uniformly kind to the natives and had many
friends among them.

Just before the outbreak a troop of Indians visited this cabin and their
bearing was so haughty that Mrs. Denny felt very anxious. When they
demanded "Klosh mika potlatch wapatoes," (Give us some potatoes) she
hurried out herself to dig them as quickly as possible that they might
have no excuse for displeasure, and was much relieved when they took
their departure. One Indian remained behind a long time but talked very
little. It is supposed that he thought of warning them of the intended
attack on the white settlement but was afraid to do so because of the
enmity against him that might follow among his own people.

Gov. Stevens had made treaties with the Indians to extinguish their
title to the lands of the Territory. Some were dissatisfied and stirred
up the others against the white usurpers. This was perfectly natural;
almost any American of whatever color resents usurpation.

Time would fail to recount the injuries and indignities heaped upon the
Indians by the evil-minded among the whites, who could scarcely have
been better than the same class among the natives they sought to

As subsequently appeared, there was a difference of opinion among the
natives as to the desirability of white settlements in their domain:
Leschi, Coquilton, Owhi, Kitsap, Kamiakin and Kanasket were determined
against them, while Sealth (Seattle) and Pat Kanem were peaceable and

The former, shrewd chieftains, well knew that the white people coveted
their good lands.

One night before the war, a passing white man, David T. Denny, heard
Indians talking together in one of their "rancherees" or large houses;
they were telling how the white men knew that the lands belonging to
Tseiyuse and Ohwi, two great Yakima chiefs, were very desirable.

Cupidity, race prejudice and cruelty caused numberless injuries and
indignities against the Indians. In spite of all, there were those among
them who proved the faithful friends of the white race.

Hu-hu-bate-sute or "Salmon Bay Curley," a tall, hawk-nosed, eagle-eyed
Indian with very curly hair, was a staunch friend of the "Bostons."

Thlid Kanem or "Cut-Hand" sent Lake John Che-shi-a-hud to Shilshole to
inform this "Curley," who lived there, of the intended attack on
Seattle. Curley told Ira W. Utter, a white settler on Shilshole or
Salmon Bay, and brought him up to Seattle in his own canoe during the

"Duwampsh Curley" or Su-whalth, appears in a very unfavorable light in
Bancroft's history. My authority, who speaks the native tongue fluently
and was a volunteer in active duty on the day of the battle of Seattle,
says it was not Curley who disported himself in the manner therein
described. I find this refreshing note pencilled on the margin: "Now
this is all a lie about Curley."

Curley rendered valuable assistance on the day of the fight. D. T. Denny
saw him go on a mission down the bay at the request of the navy
officers, to ascertain the position of the hostiles in the north part of
the town.

"Old Mose" or Show-halthlk brought word to Seattle of the approach of
the hostile bands in January, 1856.

But I seem to anticipate and hasten to refer again to the daily life of
the Founders of Seattle.

Trade here, as at Alki, consisted in cutting piles, spars and timber to
load vessels for San Francisco. These ships brought food supplies and
merchandise, the latter often consisting of goods, calicoes, blankets,
shawls and tinware, suitable for barter with the Indians to whom the
settlers still looked for a number of articles of food.

Bread being the staff of life to the white man, the supply of flour was
a matter of importance. In the winter of 1852 this commodity became so
scarce, from the long delay of ships carrying it, that the price became
quite fancy, reaching forty dollars per barrel. Pork likewise became a
costly luxury; A. A. Denny relates that he paid ninety dollars for two
barrels and when by an untoward fate one of the barrels of the precious
meat was lost it was regarded as a positive calamity.

Left on the beach out of reach of high tide, it was supposed to be safe,
but during the night it was carried away by the waves that swept the
banks under the high wind. At the next low tide which came also at
night, the whole settlement turned out and searched the beach, with
pitchwood torches, from the head of the Bay to Smith's Cove, but found
no trace of the missing barrel of pork.

An extenuating circumstance was the fact that a large salmon might be
purchased for a brass button, while red flannel, beads, knives and other
"ictas" (things) were legal tender for potatoes, venison, berries and

Domestic animals were few; I do not know if there was a sheep, pig or
cow, and but few chickens, on Elliott Bay at the beginning of the year

As late as 1859, Charles Prosch relates that he paid one dollar and a
half for a dozen eggs and the same price for a pound of butter.

There were no roads, only a few trails through the forest; a common mode
of travel was to follow the beach, the traveler having to be especially
mindful of the tide as the banks are so abrupt in many places that at
high tide the shore is impassable. The Indian canoe was pressed into
service whenever possible.

Very gradually ways through the forest were tunneled out and made
passable, by cutting the trees and grubbing the larger stumps, but small
obstructions were disdained and anything that would escape a wagon-bed
was given peaceable possession.

Of the original settlement, J. N. Low and family remained at Alki.

D. T. and Louisa Denny, who were married at the cabin home of A. A.
Denny, January 23rd, 1853, moved themselves and few effects in a canoe
to their cabin on the front of their donation claim, the habitation
standing on the spot for many years occupied by numerous "sweetbrier"
bushes, grown from seeds planted by the first bride of Seattle.

Stern realities confronted them; a part of the time they were out of
flour and had no bread for days; they bought fish of the Indians, which,
together with game from the forest, brought down by the rifle of the
pioneer, made existence possible.

And then, too, the pioneer housewife soon became a shrewd searcher for
indigenous articles of food. Among these were nettle greens gathered in
the woods.

In their season the native berries were very acceptable; the
salmonberry ripening early in June; dewberries and red and black
huckleberries were plentiful in July and August.

The first meal partaken of in this cabin consisted of salt meat from a
ship's stores and potatoes. They afterward learned to make a whole meal
of a medium sized salmon with potatoes, the fragments remaining not
worth mention.

The furniture of their cabin was meager, a few chairs from a ship, a
bedstead made of fir poles and a ship's stove were the principle
articles. One window without glass but closed by a wooden shutter with
the open upper half-door served to light it in the daytime, while the
glimmer of a dog-fish-oil lamp was the illumination at night.

The stock consisted of a single pair of chickens, a wedding present from
D. S. Maynard. The hen set under the door-step and brought out a fine
brood of chicks. The rooster soon took charge of them, scratched, called
and led them about in the most motherly manner, while the hen,
apparently realizing the fact that she was literally a rara avis
prepared to bring out another brood.

Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny while visiting their friends at Alki on one
occasion witnessed a startling scene.

An Indian had come to trade, "Old Alki John," and a misunderstanding
appears to have arisen about the price of a sack of flour. The women,
seated chatting at one end of the cabin, were chilled with horror to see
the white man, his face pale with anger and excitement, raise an ax as
if to strike the Indian, who had a large knife, such as many of them
wore suspended from the wrist by a cord; the latter, a tall and brawny
fellow, regarded him with a threatening look.

Fortunately no blow was struck and the white man gradually lowered the
ax and dropped it on the floor. The Indian quietly departed, much to
their relief, as a single blow would likely have resulted in a bloody
affray and the massacre of all the white people.

At that time there were neither jails, nor courthouse, no churches, but
one sawmill, no steamboats, railways or street cars, not even a rod of
wagon road in King County, indeed all the conveniences of modern
civilization were wanting.

There were famous, historic buildings erected and occupied, other than
the cabin homes; the most notable of these was Fort Decatur.

The commodious blockhouse so named after the good sloop-of-war that
rescued the town of Seattle from the hostiles, stood on an eminence at
the end of Cherry Street overlooking the Bay. At this time there were
about three hundred white inhabitants.

The hewn timbers of this fort were cut by D. T. Denny and two others, on
the front of the donation claim, and hauled out on the beach ready to
load a ship for San Francisco, but ultimately served a very different
purpose from the one first intended.

The mutterings of discontent among the Indians portended war and the
settlers made haste to prepare a place of refuge. The timbers were
dragged up the hill by oxen and many willing hands promptly put them in
place; hewn to the line, the joints were close and a good shingle roof
covered the building, to which were added two bastions of sawed stuff
from Yesler's mill. D. T. Denny remembers the winter was a mild one, and
men went about without coats, otherwise "in their shirtsleeves." While
they were building the fort, the U. S. Sloop-of-war _Decatur_, sailed up
the Bay with a fair breeze, came to anchor almost directly opposite,
swung around and fired off the guns, sixteen thirty-two-pounders, making
thunderous reverberations far and wide, a sweet sound to the settlers.

Several of the too confident ones laughed and scoffed at the need of a
fort while peace seemed secure. One of these doubters was told by Mrs.
Louisa Denny that the people laughed at Noah when he built the ark, and
it transpired that a party was obliged to bring this objector and his
family into the fort from their claim two miles away, after dark of the
night before the battle.

A few nights before the attack, a false alarm sent several settlers out
in fluttering nightrobes, cold, moonlight and frosty though it was. Mr.
Hillory Butler and his wife, Mrs. McConaha and her children calling to
the former "Wait for me." It is needless to say that Mr. Butler waited
for nobody until he got inside the fort.

The excitement was caused by the shooting of Jack Drew, a deserter from
the Decatur. He was instantly killed by a boy of fifteen, alone with his
sister whom he thus bravely defended. This was Milton Holgate and the
weapon a shotgun, the charge of which took effect in the wanderer's
face. As the report rang out through the still night air it created a
panic throughout the settlement.

A family living on the eastern outskirts of the village at the foot of a
hill were driven in and their house burned. The men had been engaged in
tanning leather and had quite a number of hides on hand that must have
enriched the flames. The owners had ridiculed the idea that there was
danger of an Indian attack and would not assist in building the fort,
scoffed at the man-of-war in the harbor and were generally contemptuous
of the whole proceeding. However, when fired on by the Indians they fled
precipitately to the fort they had scorned. One of them sank down,
bareheaded, breathless and panting on a block of wood inside the fort in
an exceedingly subdued frame of mind to the great amusement of the
soldiery, both Captain and men.

The first decided move of the hostiles was the attack on the White River
settlers, burning, killing and destroying as is the wont of a savage

Joe Lake, a somewhat eccentric character, had one of the hairbreadth
escapes fall to his share of the terrible times. He was slightly wounded
in an attack on the Cox home on White River. Joe was standing in the
open door when an Indian not far away from the cabin, seeing him, held
his ramrod on the ground for a rest, placed his gun across it and fired
at Joe; the bullet penetrated the clothing and just grazed his shoulder.
A man inside the cabin reached up for a gun which hung over the door;
the Indian saw the movement and guessing its purpose made haste to

The occupants of the Cox residence hurriedly gathered themselves and
indispensable effects, and embarking in a canoe, with energetic
paddling, aided by the current, sped swiftly down the river into the Bay
and safely reached the fort.

Beside the Decatur, a solitary sailing vessel, the Bark Brontes, was
anchored in the harbor.

Those to engage in the battle were the detachments of men from the
Decatur, under Lieutenants Drake, Hughes, Morris and Phelps, ninety-six
men and eighteen marines, leaving a small number on board.

A volunteer three months' company of settlers of whom C. C. Hewitt was
Captain, Wm. Gilliam, First Lieutenant, D. T. Denny, Corporal and Robert
Olliver, Sergeant, aided in the defense.

A number of the settlers had received friendly warning and were
expecting the attack, some having made as many as three removals from
their claims, each time approaching nearer to the fort.

Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny forsook their cabin in the wilderness and spent
an anxious night at the home of W. N. Bell, which was a mile or more
from the settlement, and the following day moved in to occupy a house
near A. A. Denny's, where the Frye block now stands. From thence they
moved again to a little frame house near the fort.

Yoke-Yakeman, an Indian who had worked for A. A. Denny and was nicknamed
"Denny Jim," played an important part as a spy in a council of the
hostiles and gave the warning to Captain Gansevoort of the Decatur of
the impending battle.

Mr. and Mrs. Blaine, the pioneer M. E. minister, and his wife, who was
the first school teacher of Seattle, went on board the man-of-war on
the 22nd of January, 1856, with their infant son, from their home
situated where the Boston Block now stands.

On the morning of the 26th, while not yet arisen, she was urging her
husband to get a boat so that she might go ashore; he demurred,
parleying, with his hand upon the doorknob. Just then they heard the
following dialogue:

     Mr. H. L. Yesler (who had come aboard in some haste): "Captain, a
     klootchman says there are lots of Indians back of Tom Pepper's

     Captain Gansevoort (who was lying in his berth): "John bring me
     my boots."

     H. L. Yesler: "Never mind Captain, just send the lieutenant with
     the howitzer."

     Captain G.: "No sir! Where my men go, I go too John bring me my

And thus the ball opened; a shell was dropped in the neighborhood of
"Tom Pepper's house" with the effect to arouse the whole horde of
savages, perhaps a thousand, gathered in the woods back of the town.

Unearthly yells of Indians and brisk firing of musketry followed; the
battle raged until noon, when there was a lull.

A volume of personal experiences might be written, but I will give here
but a few incidents. To a number of the settlers who were about
breakfasting, it was a time of breathless terror; they must flee for
their lives to the fort. The bullets from unseen foes whistled over
their heads and the distance traversed to the fort was the longest
journey of their lives. It was remembered afterward that some very
amusing things took place in the midst of fright and flight. One man,
rising late and not fully attired, donned his wife's red flannel
petticoat instead of the bifurcated garment that usually graced his
limbs. The "pants" were not handy and the petticoat was put on in a

Louisa Boren Denny, my mother, was alone with her child about two years
old, in the little frame house, a short distance from the fort. She was
engaged in baking biscuits when hearing the shots and yells of the
Indians she looked out to see the marines from the Decatur swarming up
out of their boats onto Yesler's wharf and concluded it was best to
retire in good order. With provident foresight she snatched the pan from
the oven and turned the biscuits into her apron, picked up the child,
Emily Inez Denny, with her free hand and hurried out, leaving the
premises to their fate. Fortunately her husband, David T. Denny, who had
been standing guard, met her in the midst of the flying bullets and
assisted her, speedily, into the friendly fort.

A terrible day it was for all those who were called upon to endure the
anxiety and suspense that hovered within those walls; perhaps the moment
that tried them most was when the report was circulated that all would
be burned alive as the Indians would shoot arrows carrying fire on the
roof of cedar shingles or heap combustibles against the walls near the
ground and thus set fire to the building. To prevent the latter
maneuver, the walls were banked with earth all around.

But the Indians kept at a respectful distance, the rifle-balls and
shells were not to their taste and it is not their way to fight in the

A tragic incident was the death of Milton Holgate. Francis McNatt, a
tall man, stood in the door of the fort with one hand up on the frame
and Jim Broad beside him; Milton Holgate stood a little back of McNatt,
and the bullet from a savage's gun passed either over or under the
uplifted arm of McNatt, striking the boy between the eyes.

Quite a number of women and children were taken on board the two ships
in the harbor, but my mother remained in the fort.

The battle was again renewed and fiercely fought in the afternoon.

Toward evening the Indians prepared to burn the town, but a brisk
dropping of shells from the big guns of the Decatur dispersed them and
they departed for cooler regions, burning houses on the outskirts of the
settlement as they retreated toward the Duwamish River.


Leschi, the leader, threatened to return in a month with his bands and
annihilate the place. In view of other possible attacks, a second block
house was built and the forest side of the town barricaded.

Fort Decatur was a two-story building, forty feet square; the upper
story was partitioned off into small rooms, where a half dozen or more
families lived until it was safe or convenient to return to their
distant homes. Each had a stove on which to cook, and water was carried
from a well inside the stockade.

There were a number of children thus shut in, who enlivened the grim
walls with their shifting shadows, awakened mirth by their playfulness
or touched the hearts of their elders by their pathos.

Like a ray of sunlight in a gloomy interior was little Sam Neely, a
great pet, a sociable, affectionate little fellow, visiting about from
corner to corner, always sure of attention and a kindly welcome. The
marines from the man-of-war spoiled him without stint. One of the
Sergeants gave his mother a half worn uniform, which she skilfully
re-made, gold braid, buttons and all, for little Sam. How proud he was,
with everybody calling him the "Little Sergeant"; whenever he approached
a loquacious group, some one was sure to say, "Well, Sergeant, what's
the news?"

When the day came for the Neely family to move out of the fort, his
mother was very busy and meals uncertain.

He finally appealed to a friend, who had before proven herself capable
of sympathy, for something to appease his gnawing hunger, and she
promptly gave him a bowl of bread and milk. Down he sat and ate with
much relish; as he drained the last drop he observed, "I was just so
hungry, I didn't know how hungry I was."

Poor little Sam was drowned in the Duwampsh River the same year, and
buried on its banks.

Laura Bell, a little girl of perhaps ten years, during her stay in the
fort exhibited the courage and constancy characterizing even the
children in those troublous times.

She did a great part of the work for the family, cared for her younger
sisters, prepared and carried food to her sick mother who was heard to
say with tender gratitude, "Your dear little hands have brought me
almost everything I have had." Both have passed into the Beyond; one who
remembers Laura well says she was a beautiful, bright, rosy cheeked
child, pleasant to look upon.

In unconscious childhood I was carried into Fort Decatur, on the morning
of the battle, yet by careful investigation it has been satisfactorily
proven that one lasting impression was recorded upon the palimpsest of
my immature mind.

A shot was accidentally fired from a gun inside the fort, by which a
palefaced, dark haired lady narrowly escaped death. The bullet passed
through a loop of her hair, below the ear, just beside the white neck.
Her hair was dressed in an old fashioned way, parted in the middle on
the forehead and smoothly brushed down over the ears, divided and
twisted on each side and the two ropes of hair coiled together at the
back of the head. Like a flashlight photograph, her face is imprinted on
my memory, nothing before or after for sometime can I claim to recall.

A daughter, the second child of David T. and Louisa Denny, was born in
Fort Decatur on the sixteenth of March, 1856, who lived to mature into a
gifted and gracious womanhood and passed away from earth in Christian
faith and hope on January seventeenth, 1889.

Other children who remained in the fort for varying periods, were those
of the Jones, Kirkland, Lewis, McConaha and Boren families.

Of the number of settlers who occupied the fort on the day of the
battle, the following are nearly, if not quite all, the families: Wm. N.
Bell, Mrs. Bell and several young children; John Buckley and Mrs.
Buckley; D. A. Neely and family, one of whom was little Sam Neely spoken
of elsewhere; Mr. and Mrs. Hillory Butler, gratefully remembered as the
best people in the settlement to visit and help the sick; the Holgates,
Mrs. and Miss Holgate, Lemuel Holgate, and Milton Holgate who was
killed; Timothy Grow, B. L. Johns and six children, whose mother died on
the way to Puget Sound; Joe Lake, the Kirkland family, father and
several daughters; Wm. Cox and family and D. T. Denny and family.

During the Indian war, H. L. Yesler took Yoke-Yakeman, or "Denny Jim,"
the friendly Indian before mentioned, with him across Lake Washington to
the hiding place of the Sammumpsh Indians who were aiding the hostiles.
Yesler conferred with them and succeeded in persuading the Indians to
come out of their retreat and go across the Sound.

While returning, Denny Jim met with an accident which resulted fatally.
Intending to shoot some ducks, he drew his shotgun toward him, muzzle
first, and discharged it, the load entering his arm, making a flesh
wound. Through lack of skill, perhaps, in treating it, he died from the
effects, in Curley's house situated on the slope in front of Fort
Decatur toward the Bay.

This Indian and the service he rendered should not be forgotten; the
same may be appropriately said of the faithful Spokane of whom the
following account has been given by eye witnesses:

     "At the attack of the Cascades of the Columbia, on the 26th of
     March, 1856, the white people took refuge in Bradford's store, a
     log structure near the river. Having burned a number of other
     buildings, the Indians, Yakimas and Klickitats, attempted to fire
     the store also; as fast as the shingles were ignited by burning
     missiles in the hands of the Indians, the first was put out by
     pouring brine from a pork barrel, with a tin cup, on the
     incipient blazes, not being able to get any water.

     "The occupants, some wounded, suffered for fresh water, having
     only some ale and whisky. They hoped to get to the river at
     night, but the Indians illuminated the scene by burning
     government property and a warehouse.

     "James Sinclair, who was shot and instantly killed early in the
     fight, had brought a Spokane Indian with him. This Indian
     volunteered to get water for the suffering inmates. A slide used
     in loading boats was the only chance and he stripped off his
     clothing, slid down to the river and returned with a bucket of
     water. This was made to last until the 28th, when, the enemy
     remaining quiet the Spokane repeated the daring performance of
     going down the slide and returning with a pailful of water, with
     great expedition, until he had filled two barrels, a feat
     deserving more than passing mention."

On Elliott Bay, the cabins of the farther away settlers had gone up in
smoke, fired by the hostile Indians. Some were deserted and new ones
built far away from the Sound in the depths of the forest. It required
great courage to return to their abandoned homes from the security of
the fort, yet doubtless the settlers were glad to be at liberty after
their enforced confinement. One pioneer woman says it was easy to see
_Indians_ among the stumps and trees around their cabin after the war.

Many remained in the settlement, others left the country for safer
regions, while a few cultivated land under volunteer military guard in
order to provide the settlement with vegetables.

The Yesler mill cookhouse, a log structure, was made historical in those
days. The hungry soldiers after a night watch were fed there and rushed
therefrom to the battle.

While there was no church, hotel, storehouse, courthouse or jail it was
all these by turns. No doubt those who were sheltered within its walls,
ran the whole gamut of human emotion and experience.

In the PUGET SOUND WEEKLY of July 30th, 1866, published in Seattle, it
was thus described:

     "There was nothing about this cook house very peculiar, except
     the interest with which old memories had invested it. It was
     simply a dingy-looking hewed log building, about twenty-five feet
     square, a little more than one story high, with a shed addition
     in the rear, and to strangers and newcomers was rather an
     eye-sore and nuisance in the place--standing as it did in the
     business part of the town, among the more pretentious buildings
     of modern construction, like a quaint octogenarian, among a band
     of dandyish sprigs of young America. To old settlers, however,
     its weather-worn roof and smoke-blackened walls, inside and out,
     were vastly interesting from long familiarity, and many pleasant
     and perhaps a few unpleasant recollections were connected with
     its early history, which we might make subjects of a small volume
     of great interest, had we time to indite it. Suffice it to say,
     however, that this old cook house was one among the first
     buildings erected in Seattle; was built for the use of the saw
     mill many years since, and though designed especially for a cook
     house, has been used for almost every conceivable purpose for
     which a log cabin, in a new and wild country, may be employed.

     "For many years the only place for one hundred miles or more
     along the eastern shores of Puget Sound, where the pioneer
     settlers could be hospitably entertained by white men and get a
     square meal, was Yesler's cook house in Seattle, and whether he
     had money or not, no man ever found the latch string of the cook
     house drawn in, or went away hungry from the little cabin door;
     and many an old Puget Sounder remembers the happy hours, jolly
     nights, strange encounters and wild scenes he has enjoyed around
     the broad fireplace and hospitable board of Yesler's cook house.

     "During the Indian war this building was the general rendezvous
     of the volunteers engaged in defending the thinly populated
     country against the depredations of the savages, and was also the
     resort of the navy officers on the same duty on the Sound. Judge
     Lander's office was held in one corner of the dining room; the
     auditor's office, for some time, was kept under the same roof,
     and, indeed, it may be said to have been used for more purposes
     than any other building on the Pacific coast. It was the general
     depository from which law and justice were dispensed throughout a
     large scope of surrounding country. It has, at different times,
     served for town hall, courthouse, jail, military headquarters,
     storehouse, hotel and church; and in the early years of its
     history served all these purposes at once. It was the place of
     holding elections, and political parties of all sorts held their
     meetings in it, and quarreled and made friends again, and ate,
     drank, laughed, sung, wept, and slept under the same hospitable
     roof. If there was to be a public gathering of the settlers of
     any kind and for any purpose, no one ever asked where the place
     of meeting was to be, for all knew it was to be at the cook

     "The first sermon, by a Protestant, in King county was preached
     by the Rev. Mr. Close in the old cook house. The first
     lawsuit--which was the trial of the mate of the Franklin Adams,
     for selling ship's stores and appropriating the proceeds--came
     off, of course, in the old cook house. Justice Maynard presided
     at this trial, and the accused was discharged from the old cook
     house with the wholesome advice that in future he should be
     careful to make a correct return of all his private sales of
     other people's property.

     "Who, then, knowing the full history of this famous old relic of
     early times, can wonder that it has so long been suffered to
     stand and moulder, unused, in the midst of the more gaudy
     surroundings of a later civilization? And who can think it
     strange, when, at last, its old smoky walls were compelled to
     yield to the pressure of progression, and be tumbled heedlessly
     into the street, that the old settler looked sorrowfully upon the
     vandal destruction, and silently dropped a tear over its leveled
     ruins. Peace to the ashes of the old cook house."

While the pioneers lingered in the settlement, they enjoyed the luxury
of living in houses of sawed lumber. Time has worked out his revenges
until what was then disesteemed is much admired now. A substantial and
picturesque lodge of logs, furnished with modern contrivances is now
regarded as quite desirable, for summer occupation at least.

The struggle of the Indians to regain their domain resulted in many
sanguinary conflicts. The bloody wave of war ran hither and yon until
spent and the doom of the passing race was sealed.

Seattle and the whole Puget Sound region were set back ten years in
development. Toilsome years they were that stretched before the
pioneers. They and their families were obliged to do whatever they could
to obtain a livelihood; they were neither ashamed nor afraid of honest
work and doubtless enjoyed the reward of a good conscience and vigorous

Life held many pleasures and much freedom from modern fret besides. As
one of them observed, "We were happy then, in our log cabin homes."

Long after the incidents herein related occurred, one of the survivors
of the White River massacre wrote the following letter, which was
published in a local paper:

     "Burgh Hill, Ohio, Sept. 8.--I notice occasionally a pioneer
     sketch in the Post-Intelligencer relating some incident in the
     war of 1855-56. I have a vivid recollection of this, being a
     member of one of the families concerned therein. I remember
     distinctly the attack upon the fort at Seattle in January, 1856.
     Though a child, the murdering of my mother and step-father by the
     Indians a few weeks before made such an impression upon my mind
     that I was terror-stricken at the thought of another massacre,
     and the details are indelibly and most vividly fixed in my mind.
     When I read of the marvelous growth of Seattle I can hardly
     realize that it is possible. I add my mite to the pioneer history
     of Seattle and vicinity.

     "I was born in Harrison township, Grant county, Wisconsin,
     November 13, 1848. When I was five months old my father started
     for the gold diggings in California, but died shortly after
     reaching that state. In the early part of 1851 my mother married
     Harvey Jones. In the spring of 1854 we started for Washington
     territory, overland, reaching our destination on White river in
     the fall, having been six months and five days in making the
     trip. Our route lay through Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho,
     Oregon and Washington territory. To speak in detail of all my
     recollections of this journey would make this article too

     "My step-father took up land on White river some twenty miles up
     the stream from Seattle. At that time there were only five or six
     families in the settlement, the nearest neighbor to us being
     about one-fourth mile distant. During the summer of 1855 I went
     some two and a half miles to school along a path through the
     dense woods in danger both from wild animals and Indians. Some of
     the settlers became alarmed at reports of hostile intentions by
     the Indians upon our settlement and left some two weeks before
     the outbreak. Among those who thought their fears groundless and
     remained was our family.

     "On Sunday morning, October 28, 1855, while at breakfast we were
     surprised, and the house surrounded by a band of hostile Indians,
     who came running from the grass and bushes, whooping and
     discharging firearms. They seemed to rise from the ground so
     sudden and stealthy had been the attack. Our family consisted of
     my step-father (sick at the time), my mother, a half-sister, not
     quite four years old, a half-brother, not quite two, a hired
     man, Cooper by name, and myself.

     "As soon as the Indians began firing into the house my mother
     covered us children over with a feather bed in the corner of one
     of the rooms farthest from the side attacked. In a short time it
     became evident we were entirely at the mercy of the savages, and
     after a hurried consultation between my mother and the hired man,
     he concluded to attempt to escape by flight; accordingly he came
     into the room where I was, and with an ax pried off the casing of
     the window and removed the lower sash, and then jumped out, but
     as was afterward learned he was shot when only a few rods from
     the house.

     "My step-father was shot about the same time inside the house
     while passing from his room to the one in which my mother was. In
     a short time there appeared to be a cessation of the firing, and
     upon looking out from under the bed over us I saw an Indian in
     the next room carrying something out. Soon we were taken out by
     them. I did not see my mother. We were placed in the charge of
     the leader of the band who directed them in their actions. They
     put bedclothes and other combustible articles under the house and
     set fire to them, and in this way burned the house. When it was
     well nigh burned to the ground, we were led away by one of the
     tribe, who in a short time allowed us to go where we pleased. I
     first went to the nearest neighbor's, but all was confusion, and
     no one was about. I then came back to the burned house.

     "I found my mother a short distance from the house, or where it
     had stood, still alive. She warned me to leave speedily and soon.
     I begged to stay with her but she urged me to flee. We made a
     dinner of some potatoes which had been baked by the fire. I
     carried my little half-brother and led my half-sister along the
     path to where I had gone to school during the summer, but there
     was no one there. I went still further on, but they, too, had
     gone. I came back to the school house, not knowing what to do. It
     was getting late. I was tired, as was my sister. My little
     brother was fretful, and cried to see his mother. I had carried
     him some three and a half or four miles altogether.

     "While trying to quiet them I saw an Indian coming toward us. He
     had not seen us. I hid the children in the bushes and moved
     toward him to meet him. I soon had the relief to recognize in him
     an acquaintance I had often seen while attending school. We knew
     him as Dave. He told me to bring the children to his wigwam. His
     squaw was very kind, but my sister and brother were afraid of
     her. In the night he took us in a canoe down the river to
     Seattle. I was taken on board the man-of-war, Decatur, and they
     were placed in charge of some one in the fort. An uncle, John
     Smale, had crossed the plains when we did, but went to
     California. He was written to about the massacre, and reached us
     in June, 1856. We went to San Francisco and then to the Isthmus,
     and from there we went to New York city. From there we were taken
     to Wisconsin, where my sister and brother remained. I was brought
     back to Ohio in September, 1856. They both died in October, 1864,
     of diphtheria, in Wisconsin."

                                            "JOHN I. KING, M. D."



The shores of Lake Union, in Seattle, now surrounded by electric and
steam railways, sawmills and manufactories, dwellings and public
buildings, were clothed with a magnificent, dense, primeval forest, when
the adventurous pioneers first looked upon its mirror-like surface. The
shadowy depths of the solemn woods held many a dark and tragic secret;
contests between enemies in both brute and human forms were doubtless
not infrequently hidden there.

Many men came to the far northwest unheralded and unknown to the few
already established, and wandering about without guides, unacquainted
with the dangers peculiar to the region, were incautious and met a
mysterious fate.

For a long time the "Pioneer and Democrat," of Olympia, Washington, one
of the earliest newspapers of the northwest, published an advertisement
in its columns inquiring for James Montgomery McCormick, sent to it from
Pennsylvania. It is thought to have been one and the same person with
the subject of this sketch. Even if it were not, the name will do as
well as any other.

One brilliant summer day in July of 1853, a medium sized man, past
middle age, was pushing his way through the black raspberry jungle on
the east side of Lake Union, gathering handfuls of the luscious fruit
that hung in rich purple clusters above his head. A cool bubbling
spring, that came from far up the divide toward Lake Washington, tempted
him and stooping down he drank of the refreshing stream where it filled
a little pool in the shadow of a mossy log. Glancing about him, he
marked with a keen delight the loveliness of the vegetation, the plumy
ferns, velvet mosses and drooping cedars; how grateful to him must have
been the cool north breeze wandering through the forest! No doubt he
thought it a pleasant place to rest in before returning to the far away
settlement. Upon the mossy log he sat contentedly, marveling at the
stillness of the mighty forest.

The thought had scarcely formed itself when he was startled by the
dipping of paddles, wild laughter and vociferous imitations of animals
and birds. A canoe grated on the beach and after a brief expectant
interval, tramping feet along the trail betokened an arrival and a group
of young Indians came in sight, one of whom carried a Hudson Bay musket.

"Kla-how-ya" (How do you do), said the leader, a flathead, with shining
skin recently oiled, sinister black brows, and thick black hair cut
square and even at the neck.

At first they whistled and muttered, affecting little interest in his
appearance, yet all the while were keenly studying him.

The white man had with him a rifle, revolver and camp ax. The young
savages examined the gun, lifting it up and sighting at a knot-hole in a
distant tree; then the ax, the sharp edge of which they fingered, and
the revolver, to their minds yet more fascinating.

They were slightly disdainful as though not caring to own such articles,
thereby allaying any fears he may have had as to their intentions. Being
able to converse but little with the natives, the stranger
good-naturedly permitted them to examine his weapons and even his
clothing came under their scrutiny. His garments were new, and well
adapted to frontier life.

When he supposed their curiosity satisfied, he rose to go, when one of
the Indians asked him, "Halo chicamum?" (Have you any money?) he
incautiously slapped his hip pocket and answered "Hiyu chicamum" (plenty
of money), perhaps imagining they did not know its use or value, then
started on the trail.

They let him go a little way out of sight and in a few, half-whispered,
eager, savage words agreed to follow him, with what purpose did not
require a full explanation.

Noiselessly and swiftly they followed on his track. One shot from the
musket struck him in the back of the head and he fell forward and they
rushed upon him, seized the camp ax and dealt repeated blows; life
extinct, they soon stripped him of coat, shirt, and pantaloons, rifled
the pockets, finding $200 and a few small trinkets, knife or keys. With
the haste of guilt they threw the body still clothed in a suit of
undergarments, behind a big log, among the bushes and hurried away with
their booty, paddling swiftly far up the lake to their camp.

A dark, cloudy night followed and the Indians huddled around a little
fire, ever and anon starting at some sound in the gloomy forest. Already
very superstitious, their guilt made them doubly afraid of imaginary
foes. On a piece of mat in the center of the group lay the money,
revolver, etc., of which they had robbed the unfortunate white man. They
intended to divide them by "slahal," the native game played with
"stobsh" and "slanna" (men and women), as they called the round black
and white disks with which they gambled. A bunch of shredded cedar bark
was brought from the canoe and the game began. All were very skillful
and continued for several hours, until at last they counted the clothes
to one, all the money to another, and the revolver and trifles to the
rest. One of the less fortunate in a very bad humor said "The game was
not good, I don't want this little 'cultus' (worthless) thing."

"O, you are stupid and don't understand it," they answered tauntingly,
thereupon he rolled himself in his blanket and sulked himself to sleep,
while the others sat half dreamily planning what they would do with
their booty.

Very early they made the portage between Lakes Union and Washington and
returned to their homes.

But they did not escape detection.

Only a few days afterward an Indian woman, the wife of Hu-hu-bate-sute
or "Salmon Bay Curley," crossed Lake Union to the black raspberry patch
to gather the berries. Creeping here and there through the thick
undergrowth, she came upon a gruesome sight, the disfigured body of the
murdered white man. Scarcely waiting for a horrified "Achada!" she fled
incontinently to her canoe and paddled quickly home to tell her husband.
Hu-hu-bate-sute went back with her and arrived at the spot, where one
log lay across another, hollowed out the earth slightly, rolled in and
covered the body near the place where it was discovered.

Suspecting it was the work of some wild, reckless Indians he said
nothing about it.

Their ill-gotten gains troubled the perpetrators of the deed, brought
them no good fortune and they began to think there was "tamanuse" about
them; they gave the revolver away, bestowed the small articles on some
unsuspecting "tenas" (children) and gave a part of the money to "Old
Steve," whose Indian name was Stemalyu.

The one who criticised the division of the spoils, whispered about
among the other Indians dark hints concerning the origin of the suddenly
acquired wealth and gradually a feeling arose against those who had the
money. Quarreling one day over some trifle, one of them scornfully
referred to the other's part of the cruel deed: "You are wicked, you
killed a white man," said he. The swarthy face of the accused grew livid
with rage and he plunged viciously at the speaker, but turning,
eel-like, the accuser slipped away and ran out of sight into the forest.
An old Indian followed him and asked "What was that you said?"

"O nothing, just idle talk."

"You had better tell me," said the old man sternly.

After some hesitation he told the story. The old man was deeply grieved
and so uneasy that he went all the way to Shilshole (Salmon Bay) to see
if his friend Hu-hu-bate-sute knew anything about it and that discreet
person astonished him by telling him his share of the story. By degrees
it became known to the Indians on both lakes and at the settlement.

Meanwhile the wife of the one accused in the contention, took the money
and secretly dropped it into the lake.

One warm September day in the fall of the same year, quite a concourse
of Indians were gathered out doors near the big Indian house a little
north of D. T. Denny's home in the settlement (Seattle); they were
having a great "wa-wa" (talk) about something; he walked over and asked
them what it was all about.

"Salmon Bay Curley," who was among them, thereupon told him of the
murder and the distribution of the valuables.

Shortly after, W. N. Bell, D. T. Denny, Dr. Maynard, E. A. Clark and one
or two others, with Curley as a guide, went out to the lake, found the
place and at first thought of removing the body, but that being
impossible, Dr. Maynard placed the skull, or rather the fragments of it,
in a handkerchief and took the two pairs of spectacles, one gold-rimmed,
the other steel-rimmed, which were left by the Indians, and all returned
to the settlement to make their report.

Investigation followed and as a result four Indians were arrested. A
trial before a Justice Court was held in the old Felker house, which was
built by Captain Felker and was the first large frame house of sawed
lumber erected on the site of Seattle.

At this trial, Klap-ke-lachi Jim testified positively against two of
them and implicated two others. The first two were summarily executed by
hanging from a tall sharply leaning stump over which a rope was thrown;
it stood where the New England Hotel was afterward built. A young Indian
and one called Old Petawow were the others accused.

Petawow was carried into court by two young Indians, having somehow
broken his leg. There was not sufficient evidence against him to convict
and he was released.

C. D. Boren was sheriff and for lack of a jail, the young Indian accused
was locked in a room in his own house.

Not yet satisfied with the work of execution, a mob headed by E. A.
Clark determined to hang this Indian also. They therefore obtained the
assistance of some sailors with block and tackle from a ship in the
harbor, set up a tripod of spars, cut for shipment, over which they put
the rope. In order to have the coast clear so they could break the
"jail," a man was sent to Boren's house, who pretended that he wished to
buy some barrels left in Boren's care by a cooper and stacked on the
beach some distance away.

The unsuspecting victim of the ruse accompanied him to the beach where
the man detained him as long as he thought necessary, talking of
barrels, brine and pickling salmon, and perhaps not liking to miss the
"neck-tie party," at last said, "Maybe we'd better get back, the boys
are threatening mischief."

Taking the hint instantly, Boren started on a dead run up the beach in a
wild anxiety to save the Indian's life. In sight of the improvised
scaffold he beheld the Indian with the noose around his neck, E. A.
Clark and D. Livingston near by, a sea captain, who was a
mere-on-looker, and the four sailors in line with the rope in their
hands, awaiting the order to pull.

The sheriff recovered himself enough to shout, "Drop that rope, you

"O string him up, he's nothing but a Siwash," said one.

"Dry up! you have no right to hang him, he will be tried at the next
term of court," said Boren. The sailors dropped the rope, Boren removed
the noose from the neck of the Indian, who was silent, bravely enduring
the indignity from the mob. The majesty of the law was recognized and
the crowd dispersed.

The Indian was sent to Steilacoom, where he was kept in jail for six
months, but when tried there was no additional evidence and he was
therefore released. Returning to his people he changed his name, taking
that of his father's cousin, and has lived a quiet and peaceable life
throughout the years.

Sad indeed seems the fate of this unknown wanderer, but not so much so
as that of others who came to the Northwest to waste their lives in
riotous living and were themselves responsible for a tragic end of a
wicked career, so often sorrowfully witnessed by the sober and

Of the participants in this exciting episode, D. T. Denny, C. D. Boren
and the Indian, whose life was so promptly and courageously saved by C.
D. Boren from an ignominious death, are (in 1892) still living in King
County, Washington.



It was springtime in an early year of pioneer times. D. T. and Louisa
Denny were living in their log cabin in the swale, an opening in the
midst of the great forest, about midway between Elliott Bay and Lake
Union. Not very far away was their only neighbor, Thomas Mercer, with
his family of several young daughters.

On a pleasant morning, balmy with the presage of coming summer, as the
two pioneers, David T. Denny and Thomas Mercer, wended, their way to
their task of cutting timber, they observed some of the cattle lying
down in an open space, and heard the tinkling bell of one of the little
band wandering about cropping fresh spring herbage in the edge of the
woods. They looked with a feeling of affection at the faithful dumb
creatures who were to aid in affording sustenance, as well as a sort of
friendly companionship in the lonely wilds.

After a long, sunny day spent in swinging the ax, whistling, singing and
chatting, they returned to their cabins as the shadows were deepening in
the mighty forest.

[Illustration: LOG CABIN IN THE SWALE]

In the first cabin there was considerable anxiety manifested by the
mistress of the same, revealed in the conversation at the supper

     "David," said she, "there was something wrong with the cattle
     today; I heard a calf bawl as if something had caught it and
     'Whiteface' came up all muddy and distressed looking."

     "Is that so? Did you look to see what it was?"

     "I started to go but the baby cried so that I had to come back. A
     little while before that I thought I heard an Indian halloo and
     looked out of the door expecting to see him come down to the
     trail, but I did not see anything at all."

     "What could it be? Well, it is so dark now in the woods that I
     can't see anything; I will have to wait until tomorrow."

Early the next morning, David went up to the place where he had seen the
calves the day before, taking "Towser," a large Newfoundland dog with
him, also a long western rifle he had brought across the plains.

Not so many rods away from the cabin he found the remnants of a calf
upon which some wild beast had feasted the day previous.

There were large tracks all around easily followed, as the ground was
soft with spring rains. Towser ran out into the thick timber hard after
a wild creature, and David heard something scratch and run up a tree and
thought it must be a wild cat.

No white person had ever seen any larger specimen of the feline race in
this region.

He stepped up to a big fir log and walked along perhaps fifty feet and
looking up a giant cedar tree saw a huge cougar glaring down at him with
great, savage yellow eyes, crouching motionless, except for the
incessant twitching, to and fro, of the tip of its tail, as a cat does
when watching a mouse.

Right before him in so convenient a place as to attract his attention,
stood a large limb which had fallen and stuck into the ground alongside
the log he was standing on, so he promptly rested his gun on it, but it
sank into the soft earth from the weight of the gun and he quickly drew
up, aiming at the chest of the cougar.

The gun missed fire.

Fearing the animal would spring upon him, he walked back along the log
about twenty feet, took a pin out of his coat and picked out the tube,
poured in fresh powder from his powder horn and put on a fresh cap.

All the time the yellow eyes watched him.

Advancing again, he fired; the bullet struck through its vitals, but
away it went bolting up the tree quite a distance. Another bullet was
rammed home in the old muzzle loader. The cougar was dying, but still
held on by its claws stuck in the bark of the tree, its head resting on
a limb. Receiving one more shot in the head it let go and came hurtling
down to the ground.

Towser was wild with savage delight and bit his prostrate enemy many
times, chewing at the neck until it was a mass of foam, but not once did
his sharp teeth penetrate the tough, thick hide.

Hurrying back, David called for Mercer, a genial man always ready to
lend a hand, to help him get the beast out to the cabin. The two men
found it very heavy, all they could stagger under, even the short
distance it had to be carried.

As soon as the killing of the cougar was reported in the settlement, two
miles away, everybody turned out to see the monster.

Mrs. Catherine Blaine, the school teacher, who had gone home with the
Mercer children, saw the animal and marveled at its size.

Henry L. Yesler and all the mill hands repaired to the spot to view the
dead monarch of the forest, none of whom had seen his like before. Large
tracks had been seen in various places but were credited to timber
wolves. This cougar's forearm measured the same as the leg of a large
horse just above the knee joint.

Such an animal, if it jumped down from a considerable height, would
carry a man to the ground with such force as to stun him, when he could
be clawed and chewed up at the creature's will.

While the curious and admiring crowd were measuring and guessing at the
weight of the cougar, Mr. Yesler called at the cabin. He kept looking
about while he talked and finally said, "You are quite high-toned here,
I see your house is papered," at which all laughed good-naturedly. Not
all the cabins were "papered," but this one was made quite neat by means
of newspapers pasted on the walls, the finishing touch being a border of
nothing more expensive than blue calico.

At last they were all satisfied with their inspection of the first
cougar and returned to the settlement.

A moral might be pinned here: if this cougar had not dined so
gluttonously on the tender calf, which no doubt made excellent veal,
possibly he would not have come to such a sudden and violent end.

Had some skillful taxidermist been at hand to mount this splendid
specimen of Felis Concolor, the first killed by a white man in this
region, it would now be very highly prized.

Some imagine that the danger of encounters with cougars has been
purposely exaggerated by the pioneer hunters to create admiring respect
for their own prowess. This is not my opinion, as I believe there is
good reason to fear them, especially if they are hungry.

They are large, swift and agile, and have the advantage in the dense
forest of the northwest Pacific coast, as they can station themselves in
tall trees amid thick foliage and pounce upon deer, cattle and human

Several years after the killing of the first specimen, a cow was caught
in the jaw by a cougar, but wrenched herself away in terror and pain
and ran home with the whole frightened herd at her heels, into the
settlement of Seattle.

The natives have always feared them and would much rather meet a bear
than a cougar, as the former will, ordinarily, run away, while the
latter is hard to scare and is liable to follow and spring out of the
thick undergrowth.

In one instance known to the pioneers first mentioned in this chapter,
an Indian woman who was washing at the edge of a stream beat a cougar
off her child with a stick, thereby saving its life.

In early days, about 1869 or '70, a Mr. T. Cherry, cradling oats in a
field in Squowh Valley, was attacked by a cougar; holding his cradle
between him and the hungry beast, he backed toward the fence, the animal
following until the fence was reached. A gang of hogs were feeding just
outside the enclosure and the cougar leaped the fence, seized one of the
hogs and ran off with it.

A saloon-keeper on the Snohomish River, walking along the trail in the
adjacent forest one day with his yellow dog, was startled by the sudden
accession to their party of a huge and hungry cougar. The man fled
precipitately, leaving the dog to his fate. The wild beast fell to and
made a meal of the hapless canine, devouring all but the tip of his
yellow tail, which his sorrowing master found near the trail the next

A lonely pioneer cabin on the Columbia River was enclosed by a high
board fence. One sunny day as the two children of the family were
playing in the yard, a cougar sprang from a neighboring tree and caught
one of the children; the mother ran out and beat off the murderous
beast, but the child was dead.

She then walked six or seven miles to a settlement carrying the dead
child, while leading the other. What a task! The precious burden, the
heavier load of sorrow, the care of the remaining child, the dread of a
renewed attack from the cougar and the bodily fatigue incident to such a
journey, forming an experience upon which it would be painful to dwell.

Many more such incidents might be given, but I am reminded at this point
that they would appropriately appear in another volume.

Since the first settlement there have been killed in King County nearly
thirty of these animals.

C. Brownfield, an old settler on Lake Union, killed several with the aid
of "Jack," a yellow dog which belonged to D. T. Denny for a time, then
to A. A. Denny.

C. D. Boren, with his dog, killed others.

Moses Kirkland brought a dog from Louisiana, a half bloodhound, with
which Henry Van Asselt hunted and killed several cougars.

D. T. Denny killed one in the region occupied by the suburb of Seattle
known as Ross. It had been dining off mutton secured from Dr. H. A.
Smith's flock of sheep. It was half grown and much the color of a deer.

Toward Lake Washington another flock of sheep had been visited by a
cougar, and Mr. Wetmore borrowed D. T. Denny's little dog "Watch," who
treed the animal, remaining by it all night, but it escaped until a trap
was set, when, being more hungry than cautious, it was secured.



The very thought of it makes the blood tingle and the heart leap. No
element was wanting for romance or adventure. Indians, bears, panthers,
far journeys, in canoes or on horseback, fording rivers, camping and
tramping, and all in a virgin wilderness so full of grandeur and
loveliness that even very little children were impressed by the
appearance thereof. The strangeness and newness of it all was hardly
understood by the native white children as they had no means of
comparing this region and mode of life with other countries and customs.

Traditions did not trouble us; the Indians were generally friendly, the
bears were only black ones and ran away from us as fast as their furry
legs would carry them; the panthers did not care to eat us up, we felt
assured, while there was plenty of venison to be had by stalking, and on
a journey we rode safely, either on the pommel of father's saddle or
behind mother's, clinging like small kittens or cockleburs.

Familiarity with the coquettish canoe made us perfectly at home with it,
and in later years when the tenderfoot arrived, we were convulsed with
inextinguishable laughter at what seemed to us an unreasoning terror of
a harmless craft.


Ah! we lived close to dear nature then! Our play-grounds were the brown
beaches or the hillsides covered with plumy young fir trees, the alder
groves or the slashings where we hacked and chopped with our little
hatchets in imitation of our elders or the Father of His Country and
namesake of our state. Running on long logs, the prostrate trunks of
trees several hundred feet long, and jumping from one to another was
found to be an exhilarating pastime.

When the frolicsome Chinook wind came singing across the Sound, the boys
flew home built kites of more or less ambitious proportions and the
little girls ran down the hills, performing a peculiar skirt dance by
taking the gown by the hem on either side and turning the skirt half
over the head. Facing the wind it assumed a balloonlike inflation very
pleasing to the small performer. It was thought the proper thing to let
the hair out of net or braids at the time, as the sensation of air
permeating long locks was sufficient excuse for its "weirdness" as I
suppose we would have politely termed it had we ever heard the word.
Instead we were more likely to be reproved for having such untidy heads
and perhaps reminded that we looked as wild as Indians. "As wild as
Indians," the poor Indians! How they admired the native white children!
Without ceremony they claimed blood brotherhood, saying, "You were born
in our 'illahee' (country) and are our 'tillicum' (people). You eat the
same food, will grow up here and belong to us."

Often we were sung to sleep at night by their "tamanuse" singing, as we
lived quite near the bank below which many Indians camped, on Elliott

I never met with the least rudeness or suffered the slightest injury
from an Indian except on one occasion. Walking upon the beach one day
three white children drew near a group of Indian camps. Almost deserted
they were, probably the inhabitants had gone fishing; the only being
visible was a boy about ten years of age. Snarling out some bitter words
in an unknown tongue, he flung a stone which struck hard a small head,
making a slight scalp wound. Such eyes! they fairly glittered with
hatred. We hurried home, the victim crying with the pain inflicted, and
learned afterward that the boy was none of our "tillicum" but a stranger
from the Snohomish tribe. What cruel wrong had he witnessed or suffered
to make him so full of bitterness?

The Indian children were usually quite amiable in disposition, and it
seemed hard to refuse their friendly advances which it became necessary
to do. In their primitive state they seemed perfectly healthy and happy
little creatures. They never had the toothache; just think of that, ye
small consumers of colored candies! Unknown to them was the creeping
horror that white children feel when about to enter the terrible
dentist's den. They had their favorite fear, however, the frightful
"statalth," or "stick siwash," that haunted the great forest. As near as
we could ascertain, these were the ghosts of a long dead race of savages
who had been of gigantic stature and whose ghosts were likewise very
tall and dreadful and very fond of chasing people out of the woods on
dark nights. Plenty of little white people know what the sensation is,
produced by imagining that something is coming after them in the dark.

I have seen a big, brawny, tough looking Indian running as fast as he
could go, holding a blazing pitchwood torch over his head while he
glanced furtively over his shoulder for the approaching statalth.

Both white and Indian children were afraid of the Northern Indians,
especially the Stickeens, who were head-takers.

We were seldom panic stricken; born amid dangers there seemed nothing
novel about them and we took our environment as a matter of course. We
were taught to be courageous but not foolhardy, which may account for
our not getting oftener in trouble.

The boys learned to shoot and shoot well at an early age, first with
shot guns, then rifles. Sometimes the girls proved dangerous with
firearms in their hands. A sister of the writer learned to shoot off the
head of a grouse at long range. A girl schoolmate, when scarcely grown,
shot and killed a bear. My brothers and cousin, Wm. R. Boren, were good
shots at a tender age and killed numerous bears, deer, grouse,
pheasants, ducks, wild pigeon, etc., in and about the district now
occupied by the city of Seattle.

The wild flowers and the birds interested us deeply and every spring we
joyfully noted the returning bluebirds and robins, the migrating wren
and a number of other charming feathered friends. The high banks, not
then demolished by grades, were smothered in greenery and hung with
banners of bloom every succeeding season.

We clambered up and down the steep places gathering armfuls of lillies
(trillium), red currant (ribes sanguineum), Indian-arrow-wood (spiraea),
snowy syringa (philadelphus) and blue forgetmenots and the yellow
blossoms of the Oregon grape (berberis glumacea and aquifolium), which
we munched with satisfaction for the _soursweet_, and the scarlet
honeysuckle to bite off the honeyglands for a like purpose.

The salmonberry and blackberry seasons were quite delightful. To plunge
into the thick jungle, now traversed by Pike Street, Seattle, was a
great treat. There blackberries attained Brobdignagian hugeness, rich
and delicious.

On a Saturday, our favorite reward for lessons and work well done, was
to be allowed to go down the lovely beach with its wide strip of
variegated shingle and bands of brown, ribbed sand, as far as the
"three big stones," no farther, as there were bears, panthers and
Indians, as hereinbefore stated, inhabiting the regions round about.

One brilliant April day we felt very brave, we were bigger than ever
before, five was quite a party, and the flowers were O! so enchanting a
little farther on. Two of us climbed the bank to gather the tempting

Our little dog, "Watch," a very intelligent animal, took the lead;
scarcely had we gained the top and essayed to break the branch of a wild
currant, gay with rose colored blossoms, when Watch showed unusual
excitement about something, a mysterious something occupying the
cavernous depths of an immense hollow log. With his bristles up, rage
and terror in every quivering muscle, he was slowly, very slowly,
backing toward us.

Although in the woods often, we had never seen him act so before. We
took the hint and to our heels, tumbled down the yielding, yellow bank
in an exceedingly hasty and unceremonious manner, gathered up our party
of thoroughly frightened youngsters and hurried along the sand homeward,
at a double quick pace.

Hardly stopping for a backward glance to see if the "something" was
coming after us, we reached home, safe but subdued.

Not many days after the young truants were invited down to an Indian
camp to see the carcass of a cougar about nine feet long. There it lay,
stretched out full length, its hard, white teeth visible beyond the
shrunken lips, its huge paws quite helpless and harmless.

It is more than probable that this was the "something" in the great
hollow log, as it was killed in the vicinity of the place where our
stampede occurred.

Evidently Watch felt his responsibility and did the best he could to
divert the enemy while we escaped.

The dense forest hid many an unseen danger in early days and it
transpired that I never saw a live cougar in the woods, but even a dead
one may produce real old fashioned fright in a spectator.

Having occasion, when attending the University, at the age of twelve, to
visit the library of that institution, a strange adventure befell me;
the selection of a book absorbed my mind very fully and I was unprepared
for a sudden change of thought. Turning from the shelves, a terrible
sight met my eyes, a ferocious wild beast, all its fangs exhibited, in
the opposite corner of the room. How did each particular hair stand
upright and perspiration ooze from every pore! A moment passed and a
complete collapse of the illusion left the victim weak and disgusted; it
was only the stuffed cougar given to the Faculty to be the nucleus of a
great collection.

The young Washingtonians, called "clam-diggers," were usually well fed,
what with venison, fish, grouse and berries, game of many kinds, and
creatures of the sea, they were really pampered, in the memory of the
writer. But it is related by those who experienced the privations
incident to the first year or two of white settlement, that the children
were sometimes hungry for bread, especially during the first winter at
Alki. Fish and potatoes were plentiful, obtained from the Indians, syrup
from a vessel in the harbor, but bread was scarce. On one occasion, a
little girl of one of the four white families on Elliott Bay, was
observed to pick up an old crust and carry it around in her pocket.
When asked what she intended to do with that crust, with childish
simplicity she replied, "Save it to eat with syrup at dinner." Not able
to resist its delicious flavor she kept nibbling away at the crust until
scarcely a crumb remained; its dessicated surface had no opportunity to
be masked with treacle.

To look back upon our pioneer menu is quite tantalizing.

The fish, of many excellent kinds, from the "salt-chuck," brought fresh
and flapping to our doors, in native baskets by Indian fishermen, cooked
in many appetizing ways; clams of all sizes from the huge bivalves
weighing three-quarters of a pound a piece to the tiny white soup clam;
sustain me, O my muse, if I attempt to describe their excellence. Every
conceivable preparation, soup, stew, baked, pie, fry or chowder was
tried with the happiest results. The Puget Sound oyster, not the stale,
globe-trotting oyster of however aristocratic antecedents, the enjoyment
in eating of which is chiefly as a reminiscence, but the fresh western
oyster, was much esteemed.

The crab, too, figured prominently on the bill of fare, dropped alive in
boiling water and served in scarlet, _a la naturel_.

A pioneer family gathered about the table enjoying a feast of the
stalk-eyed crustaceans, were treated to a little diversion in this wise.
The room was small, used for both kitchen and diningroom, as the house
boasted of but two or three rooms, consequently space was economized.

A fine basket of crabs traded from an Indian were put in a tin pan and
set under the table; several were cooked, the rest left alive. As one of
the children was proceeding with the dismemberment necessary to extract
the delicate meat, as if to seek its fellows, the crab slipped from her
grasp and slid beneath the table. Stooping down she hastily seized her
crab, as she supposed, but to her utter astonishment it seemed to have
come to life, it _was_ alive, kicking and snapping. In a moment the
table was in an uproar of crab catching and wild laughter. The mother of
the astonished child declares that to this day she cannot help laughing
whenever she thinks of the crab that came to life.

It was to this home that John and Sarah Denny, and their little
daughter, Loretta, came to visit their son, daughter and the
grandchildren, in the winter of 1857-8.

Grandmother was tall and straight, dressed in a plain, dark gown, black
silk apron and lace cap; her hair, coal black, slightly gray on the
temples; her eyes dark, soft and gentle. She brought a little treat of
Oregon apples from their farm in the Waldo Hills, to the children, who
thought them the most wonderful fruit they had ever seen, more desirable
than the golden apples of Hesperides.

We were to return with them, joyful news! What visions of bliss arose
before us! new places to see and all the nice things and good times we
children could have at grandfather's farm.

When the day came, in the long, dark canoe, manned by a crew of Indians,
we embarked for Olympia, the head of navigation, bidding "good-bye" to
our friends, few but precious, who watched us from the bank, among whom
were an old man and his little daughter.

A few days before he had been sick and one of the party sent him a
steaming cup of ginger and milk which, although simple, had proved
efficacious; ere we reached our home again he showed his gratitude in a
substantial manner, as will be seen farther on.

At one beautiful resting place, the canoe slid up against a strip of
shingle covered with delicate shells; we were delighted to be allowed to
walk about, after sitting curled up in the bottom of the canoe for a
long time, to gather crab, pecten and periwinkle shells, even extending
our ramble to a lovely grove of dark young evergreens, standing in a
grassy meadow.

The first night of the journey was spent in Steilacoom. It was March of
1858 and it was chilly traveling on the big salt water. We were cold and
hungry but the keeper of the one hotel in the place had retired and
refused to be aroused, so we turned to the only store, where the
proprietor received us kindly, brought out new blankets to cover us
while we camped on the floor, gave us bread and a hot oyster stew, the
best his place afforded. His generous hospitality was never forgotten by
the grateful recipients who often spoke of it in after years.

I saw there a "witches' scene" of an old Indian woman boiling devilfish
or octopus in a kettle over a campfire, splendidly lit against the gloom
of night, and all reflected in the water.

At the break of day we paddled away over the remainder of the
salt-chuck, as the Indians call the sea, until Stetchas was reached.
Stetchas is "bear's place," the Indian name for the site of Olympia.

From thence the mail stage awaited us to Cowlitz Landing. The trip over
this stretch of country was not exactly like a triumphal progress. The
six-horse team plunged and floundered, while the wagon sank up to the
hub in black mud; the language of the driver has not been recorded.

At the first stop out from Olympia, the Tilley's, famous in the first
annals, entertained us. At a bountiful and appetizing meal, one of the
articles, boiled eggs, were not cooked to suit Grandfather John Denny.
With amusing bluntness he sent the chicken out to be killed before he
ate it, complaining that the eggs were not hard enough. Mrs. Tilly made
two or three efforts and finally set the dish down beside him saying,
"There, if that isn't hard enough you don't deserve to have any."

The long rough ride ended at Warbass' Landing on the Cowlitz River, a
tributary of the Columbia, and another canoe trip, this time on a swift
and treacherous stream, was safely made to Monticello, a mere little
settlement. A tiny steamboat, almost microscopic on the wide water,
carried us across the great Columbia with its sparkling waves, and up
the winding Willamette to Portland, Oregon.

From thence the journey progressed to the falls below Oregon City.

At the portage, we walked along a narrow plank walk built up on the side
of the river bank which rose in a high rounded hill. Its noble outline
stood dark with giant firs against a blue spring sky; the rushing,
silvery flood of the Willamette swept below us past a bank fringed with
wild currants just coming into bloom.

At the end of the walk there stood a house which represented itself as a
resting place for weary travelers. We spent the night there but Alas!
for rest; the occupants were convivial and "drowned the shamrock" all
night long; as no doubt they felt obliged to do for wasn't it "St.
Patrick's Day in the mornin'?"

Most likely we three, the juveniles, slumbered peacefully until aroused
to learn that we were about to start "sure enough" for grandfather's
farm in the Waldo Hills.

At length the log cabin home was reached and our interest deepened in
everything about. So many flowers to gather as they came in lively
processional, blue violets under the oaks, blue-flags all along the
valley; such great, golden buttercups, larkspurs, and many a wildling we
scarcely called by any name.

All the affairs of the house and garden, field and pasture seemed by us
especially gotten up, for our amusement and we found endless
entertainment therein.

If a cheese was made or churning done we were sure to be "hanging
around" for a green curd or paring, a taste of sweet butter or a chance
to lift the dasher of the old fashioned churn. The milking time was
enticing, too, and we trotted down to the milking pen with our little
tin cups for a drink of fresh, warm milk from the fat, lowing kine,
which fed all day on rich grasses and waited at the edge of the flower
decked valley for the milkers with their pails.

As summer advanced our joys increased, for there were wild strawberries
and such luscious ones! no berries in after years tasted half so good.

Some artist has portrayed a group of children on a sunny slope among the
hills, busy with the scarlet fruit and called it "The Strawberry of
Memory"; such was the strawberry of that summer.

One brilliant June day when all the landscape was steeped in sunshine we
went some distance from home to gather a large supply. It is needless to
say that we, the juvenile contingent, improved the opportunity well; and
when we sat at table the following day and grandfather helped us to
generous pieces of strawberry "cobbler" and grandmother poured over them
rich, sweet cream, our satisfaction was complete. It is likely that if
we had heard of the boy who wished for a neck as long as a giraffe so
that he could taste the good things all the way down, we would have
echoed the sentiment.

Mentioning the giraffe, of the animal also we probably had no knowledge
as books were few and menageries, none at all.

No lack was felt, however, as the wild animals were numerous and
interesting. The birds, rabbits and squirrels were friendly and
fearless then; the birds were especially loved and it was pleasing to
translate their notes into endearments for ourselves.

But the rolling suns brought round the day when we must return to our
native heath on Puget Sound. Right sorry were the two little
"clam-diggers" to leave the little companion of delightful days, and
grandparents. With a rush of tears and calling "good-bye! good-bye!" as
long as we could see or hear we rode away in a wagon, beginning the long
journey, full of variety, back to the settlement on Elliott Bay.

Ourselves, and wagon and team purchased in the "web-foot" country, were
carried down the Willamette and across the sweeping Columbia on a
steamer to Monticello. There the wagon was loaded into a canoe to ascend
the Cowlitz River, and we mounted the horses for a long day's ride, one
of the children on the pommel of father's saddle, the other perched
behind on mother's steed.

The forest was so dense through which we rode for a long distance that
the light of noonday became a feeble twilight, the way was a mere
trail, the salal bushes on either side so tall that they brushed the
feet of the little riders. The tedium of succeeding miles of this weird
wilderness was beguiled by the stories, gentle warnings and
encouragement from my mother.

The cicadas sang as if it were evening, the dark woods looked a little
fearful and I was advised to "Hold on tight and keep awake, there are
bears in these woods."

The trail led us to the first crossing of the Cowlitz River, where
father hallooed long and loud for help to ferry us over, from a lonely
house on the opposite shore, but only echo and silence returned. The
deep, dark stream, sombre forest and deserted house made an eerie
impression on the children.

The little party boarded the ferryboat and swimming the horses,
alongside crossed without delay.

The next afternoon saw us nearing the crossing of the Cowlitz again at
Warbass Landing.

The path crossed a pretty open space covered with ripe yellow grass and
set around with giant trees, just before it vanished in the hurrying

Father rode on and crossed, quite easily, the uneven bed of the swift
river, with its gravelly islands and deep pools.

When it came our turn, our patient beast plunged in and courageously
advanced to near the middle of the stream, wavered and stood still and
seemed about to go down with the current. How distinctly the green,
rapid water, gravelly shoals and distant bank with its anxious onlookers
is photographed on my memory's page!

Only for a moment did the brave animal falter and then sturdily worked
her way to the shore. Mr. Warbass, with white face and trembling voice,
said "I thought you were gone, sure." His coat was off and he had been
on the point of plunging in to save us from drowning, if possible.
Willing hands helped us down and into the hospitable home, where we were
glad to rest after such a severe trial. A sleepless night followed for
my mother, who suffered from the reaction common to such experience,
although not panic stricken at the time of danger.

It was here I received my first remembered lesson in "meum et tuum."
While playing under the fruit trees around the house I spied a peach
lying on the ground, round, red and fair to see. I took it in to my
mother who asked where I got it, if I had asked for it, etc. I replied I
had found it outdoors.

"Well, it isn't yours, go and give it to the lady and never pick up
anything without asking for it."

A lesson that was heeded, and one much needed by children in these days
when individual rights are so little regarded.

The muddy wagon road between this point and Olympia over which the teams
had struggled in the springtime was now dry and the wagon was put
together with hope of a fairly comfortable trip. It was discovered in so
doing that the tongue of the vehicle had been left at Monticello. Not to
be delayed, father repaired to the woods and cut a forked ash stick and
made it do duty for the missing portion.

At Olympia we were entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson with whom we
tarried as we went to Oregon.

My mother preferred her steed to the steamer plying on the Sound; that
same trip the selfsame craft blew up.

On horseback again, we followed the trail from Olympia to the Duwampsh
River, over hills and hollows, out on the prairie or in the dark forest,
at night putting up at the house of a hospitable settler. From thence we
were told that it was only one day's travel but the trail stretched out
amazingly. Night, and a stormy one, overtook the hapless travelers.

The thunder crashed, the lightning flamed, sheets of rain came down, but
there was no escape.

A halt was called at an open space in a grove of tall cedar trees, a
fire made and the horses hitched under the trees.

The two children slept snugly under a fir bark shed made of slabs of
bark leaned up against a large log. Father and mother sat by the fire
under a cedar whose branches gave a partial shelter. Some time in the
night I was awakened by my mother lying down beside me, then slept
calmly on.

The next morning everything was dripping wet and we hastened on to the
Duwampsh crossing where lived the old man who stood on the bank at
Seattle when we started.

What a comfort it was to the cold, wet, hungry, weary quartette to be
invited into a dry warm place! and then the dinner, just prepared for
company he had been expecting; a bountiful supply of garden vegetables,
beets, cabbage, potatoes, a great dish of beans and hot coffee. These
seemed veritable luxuries and we partook of them with a hearty relish.

A messenger was sent to Seattle to apprise our friends of our return,
two of them came to meet us at the mouth of the Duwampsh River and
brought us down the bay in a canoe to the landing near the old laurel
(Madrona) tree that leaned over the bank in front of our home.

The first Fourth of July celebration in which I participated took place
in the old M. E. Church on Second Street, Seattle, in 1861.

Early in the morning of that eventful day there was hurrying to and fro
in the Dennys' cottage, on Seneca Street, embowered in flowers which
even luxuriant as they were we did not deem sufficient. The nimble
eldest of the children was sent to a flower-loving neighbor's for
blossoms of patriotic hues, for each of the small Americans was to carry
a banner inscribed with a strong motto and wreathed with red, white and
blue flowers. Large letters, cut from the titles of newspapers spelled
out the legends on squares of white cotton, "Freedom for All," "Slavery
for none," "United we stand, divided we fall," each surrounded with a
heavy wreath of beautiful flowers.

Arrived at the church, we found ourselves a little late, the orator was
just rounding the first of his eloquent periods; the audience,
principally men, turned to view the disturbers as they sturdily marched
up the aisle to a front seat, and seeing the patriotic family with their
expressive emblems, broke out in a hearty round of applause. Although
very young we felt the spirit of the occasion.

The first commencement exercises at the University took place in 1863.
It was a great event, an audience of about nine hundred or more,
including many visitors from all parts of the Sound, Victoria, B. C.,
and Portland, Oregon, gathered in the hall of the old University, then
quite new.

I was then nine years of age and had been trained to recite "Barbara
Frietchie," it "goes without the saying" that it was received with
acclaim, as feeling ran high and the hearts of the people burned within
them for the things that were transpiring in the South.

Still better were they pleased and much affected by the singing of "Who
Will Care for Mother Now," by Annie May Adams, a lovely young girl of
fifteen, with a pure, sympathetic, soprano voice and a touching
simplicity of style.

How warm beat the hearts of the people on this far off shore, as at the
seat of war, and even the children shouted, sang and wept in sympathy
with those who shed their lifeblood for their country.

The singing of "Red, White and Blue" by the children created great
enthusiasm; war tableaux such as "The Soldier's Farewell," "Who Goes
There?" "In Camp," were well presented and received with enthusiastic
applause, and whatever apology might have been made for the status of
the school, there was none to be made for its patriotism.

Our teachers were Unionists without exception and we were taught many
such things; "Rally Round the Flag" was a favorite and up went every
right hand and stamped hard every little foot as we sang "Down With the
Traitor and Up With the Stars" with perhaps more energy than music.

The children of my family, with those of A. A. Denny's, sometimes held
"Union Meetings;" at these were speeches made that were very intense, as
we thought, from the top of a stump or barrel, each mounting in turn to
declaim against slavery and the Confederacy, to pronounce sentence of
execution upon Jeff. Davis, Captain Semmes, et al. in a way to have made
those worthies uneasy in their sleep. Every book, picture, story,
indeed, every printed page concerning the war was eagerly scanned and I
remember sitting by, through long talks of Grandfather John Denny with
my father, to which I listened intently.

We finally burned Semmes in effigy to express our opinion of him and
named the only poor, sour apple in our orchard for the Confederate

For a time there were two war vessels in the harbor, the "Saranac" and
"Suwanee," afterwards wrecked in Seymour Narrows. The Suwanee was
overturned and sunk by the shifting of her heavy guns, but was finally
raised. Both had fine bands that discoursed sweet music every evening.
We stood on the bank to listen, delighted to recognize our favorites,
national airs and war songs, from "Just Before the Battle, Mother" to
"Star Spangled Banner."

Other beautiful music, from operas, perhaps, we enjoyed without
comprehending, although we did understand the stirring strains with
which we were so familiar.

In those days the itinerant M. E. ministers were often the guests of my
parents and many were the good natured jokes concerning the fatalities
among the yellow-legged chickens.

On one occasion a small daughter of the family, whose discretion had not
developed with her hospitality, rushed excitedly into the sitting room
where the minister was being entertained and said, "Mother, which
chicken shall I catch?" to the great amusement of all.

One of the reverend gentlemen declared that whenever he put in an
appearance, the finest and fattest of the flock immediately lay down
upon their backs with their feet in the air, as they knew some of them
would have to appear on the festal board.

Like children everywhere we lavished our young affections on pets of
many kinds. Among these were a family of kittens, one at least of which
was considered superfluous. An Indian woman, who came to trade clams for
potatoes, was given the little "pish-pish," as she called it, with which
she seemed much pleased, carrying it away wrapped in her shawl.

Her camp was a mile away on the shore of Elliott Bay, from whence it
returned through the thick woods, on the following day. Soon after she
came to our door to exhibit numerous scratches on her hands and arms
made by the "mesachie pish-pish" (bad cat), as she now considered it. My
mother healed her wounds by giving her some "supalel" (bread) esteemed a
luxury by the Indians, they seldom having it unless they bought a little
flour and made ash-cake.

Now this same ash-cake deserves to rank with the southern cornpone or
the western Johnny cake. Its flavor is sweet and nut-like, quite unlike
that of bread baked in an ordinary oven.

The first Christmas tree was set up in our own house. It was not then a
common American custom; we usually called out "Christmas Gift,"
affecting to claim a present after the Southern "Christmas Gif" of the
darkies. One early Christmas, father brought in a young Douglas fir tree
and mother hung various little gifts on its branches, among them, bright
red Lady apples and sticks of candy; that was our very first Christmas
tree. A few years afterward the whole village joined in loading a large
tree with beautiful and costly articles, as times were good, fully one
thousand dollars' worth was hung upon and heaped around it.

When the fourth time our family returned to the donation claim, now a
part of the city of Seattle, we found a veritable paradise of flowers,
field and forest.

The claim reached from Lake Union to Elliott Bay, about a mile and a
half; a portion of it was rich meadow land covered with luxuriant grass
and bordered with flowering shrubs, the fringe on the hem of the mighty
evergreen forest covering the remainder.

Hundreds of birds of many kinds built their nests here and daily
throughout the summer chanted their hymns of praise. Robins and wrens,
song-sparrows and snow birds, thrushes and larks vied with each other in
joyful song.

The western meadow larks wandered into this great valley, adding their
rich flute-like voices to the feathered chorus.

Woodpeckers, yellow hammers and sap-suckers, beat their brave tattoo on
the dead tree trunks and owls uttered their cries from the thick
branches at night. Riding to church one Sunday morning we beheld seven
little owls sitting in a row on the dead limb of a tall fir tree, about
fourteen feet from the ground. Winking and blinking they sat, silently
staring as we passed by.

Rare birds peculiar to the western coast, the rufous-backed hummingbird,
like a living coal of fire, and the bush-titmouse which builds a curious
hanging nest, also visited this natural park.

The road we children traveled from this place led through heavy forest
and the year of the drouth (1868) a great fire raged; we lost but little
time on this account; it had not ceased before we ran past the tall firs
and cedars flaming far above our heads.

Returning from church one day, when about half way home, a huge fir tree
fell just behind us, and a half mile farther on we turned down a branch
road at the very moment that a tree fell across the main road usually

The game was not then all destroyed; water fowl were numerous on the
lakes and bays and the boys of the family often went shooting.

Rather late in the afternoon of a November day, the two smaller boys,
taking a shot gun with them, repaired to Lake Union, borrowed a little
fishing canoe of old Tsetseguis, the Indian who lived at the landing,
and went to look at some muskrat traps they had set.

It was growing quite dark when they thought of returning. For some
reason they decided to change places in the canoe, a very "ticklish"
thing to do. When one attempted to pass the other, over went the little
cockle-shell and both were struggling in the water. The elder managed to
thrust one arm through the strap of the hunting bag worn by the younger
and grasped him by the hair, said hair being a luxuriant mass of long,
golden brown curls. Able to swim a little he kept them afloat although
he could not keep the younger one's head above water. His cries for help
reached the ears of a young man, Charles Nollop, who was preparing to
cook a beefsteak for his supper--he threw the frying pan one way while
the steak went the other, and rushed, coatless and hatless, to the
rescue with another man, Joe Raber, in a boat.

An older brother of the two lads, John B. Denny, was just emerging from
the north door of the big barn with two pails of milk; hearing, as he
thought, the words "I'm drowning," rather faintly from the lake, he
dropped the pails unceremoniously and ran down to the shore swiftly,
found only an old shovel-nosed canoe and no paddle, seized a picket and
paddled across the little bay to where the water appeared agitated;
there he found the boys struggling in the water, or rather one of them,
the other was already unconscious. Arriving at the same time in their
boat Charley Nollop and Joe Raber helped to pull them out of the water.
The long golden curls of the younger were entangled in the crossed
cords of the shot pouch and powder flask worn by the older one, who was
about to sink for the last time, as he was exhausted and had let go of
the younger, who was submerged.

Their mother reached the shore as the unconscious one was stretched upon
the ground and raised his arms and felt for the heart which was beating

The swimmer walked up the hill to the house; the younger, still
unconscious, was carried, face downward, into a room where a large fire
was burning in an open fireplace, and laid down before it on a rug.
Restoratives were quickly applied and upon partial recovery he was
warmly tucked in bed. A few feverish days followed, yet both escaped
without serious injury.

Mrs. Tsetseguis was much grieved and repeated over and over, "I told the
Oleman not to lend that little canoe to the boys, and he said, 'O it's
all right, they know how to manage a canoe.'"

Tsetseguis was also much distressed and showed genuine sympathy,
following the rescued into the house to see if they were really safe.

The games we played in early days were often the time-honored ones
taught us by our parents, and again were inventions of our own. During
the Rebellion we drilled as soldiers or played "black man;" by the
latter we wrought excitement to the highest pitch, whether we chased the
black man, or returning the favor, he chased us.

The teeter-board was available when the neighbor's children came; the
wonder is that no bones were broken by our method.

The longest, strongest, Douglas fir board that could be found, was
placed across a large log, a huge stone rested in the middle and the
children, boys and girls, little and big, crowded on the board almost
filling it; then we carefully "waggled" it up and down, watching the
stone in breathless and ecstatic silence until weary of it.

Our bravado consisted in climbing up the steepest banks on the bay, or
walking long logs across ravines or on steep inclines.

The surroundings were so peculiar that old games took on new charms when
played on Puget Sound. Hide-and-seek in a dense jungle of young Douglas
firs was most delightful; the great fir and cedar trees, logs and
stumps, afforded ample cover for any number of players, from the sharp
eyes of the one who had been counted "out" with one of the old rhymes.

The shadow of danger always lurked about the undetermined boundary of
our play-grounds, wild animals and wild men might be not far beyond.

We feared the drunken white man more than the sober Indian, with much
greater reason. Even the drunken Indian never molested us, but usually
ran "amuck" among the inhabitants of the beach.

Neither superstitious nor timid we seldom experienced a panic.

The nearest Indian graveyard was on a hill at the foot of Spring Street,
Seattle. It sloped directly down to the beach; the bodies were placed in
shallow graves to the very brow and down over the face of the sandy
bluff. All this hill was dug down when the town advanced.

The children's' graves were especially pathetic, with their rude
shelters, to keep off the rain of the long winter months, and upright
poles bearing bits of bright colored cloth, tin pails and baskets.

Over these poor graves no costly monuments stood, only the winds sang
wild songs there, the sea-gulls flitted over, the fair, wild flowers
bloomed and the dark-eyed Indian mothers tarried sometimes, human as
others in their sorrow.

But the light-hearted Indian girls wandered past, hand in hand, singing
as they went, pausing to turn bright friendly eyes upon me as they
answered the white child's question, "Ka mika klatawa?" (Where are you

"O, kopa yawa" (O, over yonder), nodding toward the winding road that
stretched along the green bank before them. Without a care or sorrow,
living a healthy, free, untrammeled life, they looked the impersonation
of native contentment.

The social instinct of the pioneers found expression in various ways.

A merry party of pioneer young people, invited to spend the evening at a
neighbor's, were promised the luxury of a candy-pull. The first batch
was put on to boil and the assembled youngsters engaged in old fashioned
games to while away the time. Unfortunately for their hopes the molasses
burned and they were obliged to throw it away. There was a reserve in
the jug, however, and the precious remainder was set over the fire and
the games went on again. Determined to succeed, the hostess stirred,
while an equally anxious and careful guest held the light, a small
fish-oil lamp. The lamp had a leak and was set on a tin plate; in her
eagerness to light the bubbling saccharine substance and to watch the
stirring-down, she leaned over a little too far and over went the lamp
directly into the molasses.

What consternation fell upon them! The very thought of the fish-oil was
nauseating, and that was all the molasses. There was no candy-pulling,
there being no grocery just around the corner where a fresh supply might
be obtained, indeed molasses and syrup were very scarce articles,
brought from a great distance.

The guests departed, doubtless realizing that the "best laid plans ...
gang aft agley."

The climate of Puget Sound is one so mild that snow seldom falls and ice
rarely forms as thick as windowglass, consequently travel, traffic and
amusement are scarcely modified during the winter, or more correctly,
the rainy season. Unless it rained more energetically than usual, the
children went on with their games as in summer.

The long northern twilight of the summertime and equally long evenings
in winter had each their special charm.

The pictures of winter scenes in eastern magazines and books looked
strange and unfamiliar to us, but as one saucy girl said to a tenderfoot
from a blizzard-swept state, "We see more and deeper snow everyday than
you ever saw in your life."

"How is that?" said he.

"On Mount Rainier," she answered, laughing.

Even so, this magnificent mountain, together with many lesser peaks,
wears perpetual robes of snow in sight of green and blooming shores.

When it came to decorating for Christmas, well, we had a decided
advantage as the evergreens stood thick about us, millions of them. Busy
fingers made lavish use of rich garlands of cedar to festoon whole
buildings; handsome Douglas firs, reaching from floor to ceiling,
loaded with gay presents and blazing with tapers, made the little
"clam-diggers'" eyes glisten and their mouths water. In the garden the
flowers bloomed often in December and January, as many as twenty-six
varieties at once.

One New Year's day I walked down the garden path and plucked a fine, red
rosebud to decorate the New Year's cake.

The pussy-willows began the floral procession of wildlings in January
and the trilliums and currants were not far behind unless a "cold snap"
came on in February and the flowers _dozed on_, for they never seem to
_sleep_ very profoundly here. By the middle of February there was,
occasionally, a general display of bloom, but more frequently it began
about the first of March, the seasons varying considerably.

The following poem tells of favorite flowers gathered in the olden time
"i' the spring o' the year!"

In the summertime we had work as well as play, out of doors. The garden
surrounding our cottage in 1863, overflowed with fruits, vegetables and
flowers. Nimble young fingers were made useful in helping to tend them.
Weeding beds of spring onions and lettuce, sticking peas and beans, or
hoeing potatoes, were considered excellent exercise for young muscles;
no need of physical "culchuah" in the school had dawned upon us, as
periods of work and rest, study and play, followed each other in
healthful succession.

Having a surplus of good things, the children often went about the
village with fresh vegetables and flowers, more often the latter,
generous bouquets of fragrant and spicy roses and carnations, sweet peas
and nasturtiums, to sell. Two little daughters in pretty, light print
dresses and white hats were flower girls who were treated like little

There was no disdain of work to earn a living in those days; every
respectable person did something useful.

For recreation, we went with father in the wagon over the "bumpy" road
when he went to haul wood, or perhaps a long way on the county road to
the meadow, begging to get off to gather flowers whenever we saw them
peeping from their green bowers.

Driving along through the great forest which stood an almost solid green
wall on either hand, we called "O father, stop! stop; here is the
lady-slipper place."

"Well, be quick, I can't wait long."

Dropping down to the ground, we ran as fast as our feet could carry us
to gather the lovely, fragrant orchid, Calypso Borealis, from its mossy

When the ferns were fully grown, eight or ten feet high, the little
girls broke down as many as they could drag, and ran along the road,
great ladies, with long green trains!


We found the way to the opening in the woods, where in the midst
thereof, grandfather sat making cedar shingles with a drawing knife.
Huge trees lay on the ground, piles of bolts had been cut and the heap
of shingles, clear and straight of the very best quality, grew apace.

Very tall and grand the firs and cedars stood all around, like stately
pillars with a dome of blue sky above; the birds sang in the underbrush
and the brown butterflies floated by.

Among all the beautiful things, there was one to rivet the eye and
attention; a dark green fir tree, perhaps thirty feet high, around whose
trunk and branches a wild honeysuckle vine had twined itself from the
ground to the topmost twig.

It had the appearance of a giant candelabrum, with the orange-scarlet
blossoms that tipped the boughs like jets of flame.

Many a merry picnic we had in blackberry time, taking our lunch with us
and spending the day; sometimes in an Indian canoe we paddled off
several miles, to Smith's Cove or some other likely place.

It was necessary to watch the tide at the Cove or the shore could not be
reached across the mudflat.

Once ashore how happy we were; clambering about over the hills,
gathering the ripe fruit, now and then turning about to gaze at the
snowy sentinel in the southern sky, grand old Mount Rainier.

How wide the sparkling waters of the bay! the sky so pure and clear, the
north wind so cool and refreshing. The plumy boughs stirred gently
overhead and shed for us the balsamic odors, the flowers waved a welcome
at our feet.

In the winter there was seldom any "frost on the rills" or "snow on the
hills," but when it did come the children made haste to get all the
possible fun out of the unusual pastime of coasting. Mothers were glad
when the Chinook wind came and ate up the snow and brought back the
ordinary conditions, as the children were frequently sick during a cold

Now the tenderfoot, as the newcomer is called in the west, is apt to be
mistaken about the Chinook wind; there is a wet south wind and a dry
south wind on Puget Sound. The Chinook, as the "natives" have known it,
is a dry wind, clears the sky, and melts and dries up the snow at once.
Wet south wind, carrying heavy rain often follows after snow, and slush
reigns for a few days. Perhaps this is a distinction without much

Storms rarely occur, I remember but two violent ones in which the gentle
south wind seemed to forget its nature and became a raging gale.

The first occurred when I was a small child. The wind had been blowing
for some time, gradually increasing in the evening, and as night
advanced becoming heavier every hour. Large stones were taken up from
the high bank on the bay and piled on the roof with limbs broken from
tough fir trees. Thousands of giant trees fell crashing and groaning to
the ground, like a continuous cannonade; the noise was terrific and we
feared for our lives.

At midnight, not daring to leave the house, and yet fearing that it
might be overthrown, we knelt and commended ourselves to Him who rules
the storm.

About one o'clock the storm abated and calmly and safely we lay down to

The morning broke still and clear, but many a proud monarch of the
forest lay prone upon the ground.

Electric storms were very infrequent; if there came a few claps of
thunder the children exclaimed, "O mother, hear the thunder storm!"

"Well, children, that isn't much of a thunder storm; you just ought to
hear the thunder in Illinois, and the lighting was a continual blaze."

Our mother complained that we were scarcely enough afraid of snakes; as
there are no deadly reptiles on Puget Sound, we thrust our hands into
the densest foliage or searched the thick grass without dread of a
lurking enemy.

The common garter snake, a short, thick snake, whose track across the
dusty roads I have seen, a long lead-colored snake and a small brown
one, comprise the list known to us.

Walking along a narrow trail one summer day, singing as I went, the song
was abruptly broken, I sprang to one side with remarkable agility, a
long, wiggling thing "swished" through the grass in an opposite
direction. Calling for help, I armed myself with a club, and with my
support, boldly advanced to seek out the serpent. When discovered we
belabored it so earnestly that its head was well-nigh severed from its

It was about five feet long, the largest I had even seen, whether
poisonous or not is beyond my knowledge.

There are but two spiders known to be dangerous, a white one and a small
black "crab" spider. A little girl acquaintance was bitten by one of
these, it was supposed, though not positively known; the bite was on the
upper arm and produced such serious effects that a large piece of flesh
had to be removed by the surgeon's knife and amputation was narrowly

A mysterious creature inhabiting Lake Union sometimes poisoned the young
bathers. One of my younger brothers was bitten on the knee, and a
lameness ensued, which continued for several months. There was only a
small puncture visible with a moderate swelling, which finally passed

The general immunity from danger extends to the vegetable world, but
very few plants are unsafe to handle, chief among them being the Panax
horridum or "devil's club."

So the happy pioneer children roamed the forest fearlessly and sat on
the vines and moss under the great trees, often making bonnets of the
shining salal leaves pinned together with rose thorns or tiny twigs,
making whistles of alder, which gave forth sweet and pleasant sounds if
successfully made; or in the garden making dolls of hollyhocks, mallows
and morning glories.



The following thrilling account, written by herself and first published
in the "Weekly Ledger" of Tacoma, Washington, of June 3, 1892, is to be
highly commended for its clear and forcible style:

     "My father, William Packwood, left Missouri in the spring of 1844
     with my mother and four children in an ox team to cross the
     plains to Oregon.

     "My mother's health was very poor when we started. She had to be
     helped in and out of the wagon, but the change by traveling
     improved her health so much that she gained a little every day,
     and in the course of a month or six weeks she was able to get up
     in the morning and cook breakfast, while my father attended his
     team and did other chores. I had one sister older than myself,
     and I was only six years old. My little sister and baby brother,
     who learned to walk by rolling the water keg as we camped nights
     and mornings, were of no help to my sick mother.

     "The company in which we started was Captain Gilliam's and we
     traveled quite a way when we joined Captain Ford's company,
     making upward of sixty wagons in all.

     "Our company was so large that the Indians did not molest us,
     although we, after letting our stock feed until late in the
     evening, had formed a large corral of the wagons, in which we
     drove the cattle and horses, and stood guard at night, as the
     Indians had troubled small companies by driving off their stock,
     but they were not at all hostile to us.

     "We came to a river and camped. The next morning we were visited
     by Indians, who seemed to want to see us children, so we were
     terribly afraid of the Indians, and, as father drove in the river
     to cross, the oxen got frightened at the Indians and tipped the
     wagon over, and father jumped and held the wagon until help came.
     We thought the Indians would catch us, so we jumped to the lower
     part of the box, where there was about six inches of water. The
     swim and fright I will never forget--the Indian fright, of

     "I was quite small but I do remember the beautiful scenery. We
     could see antelope, deer, rabbits, sage hens and coyotes, etc.,
     and in the camp we children had a general good time. All joined
     at night in the plays. One night Mr. Jenkins' boys told me to ask
     their father for his sheath knife to cut some sticks with. When
     using it on the first stick, I cut my lefthand forefinger nail
     and all off, except a small portion of the top of my finger, and
     the scar is still visible.

     "On another evening we children were having a nice time, when a
     boy by the name of Stephen, who had been in the habit of hugging
     around the children's shoulders and biting them, hugged me and
     bit a piece almost out of my shoulder. This was the first time I
     remember seeing my father's wrath rise on the plains, as he was a
     very even-tempered man. He said to the offending boy, 'If you do
     that again, I shall surely whip you.'

     "A few days later we came to a stream that was deep but narrow.
     Mr. Stephens, this boy's father, was leading a cow by a rope tied
     around his waist and around the cow's head for the purpose of
     teaching the rest of the cattle to swim. The current being very
     swift, washed the cow down the stream, dragging the man. The
     women and children were all crying at a great rate, when one of
     the party went to Mrs. Stephens, saying, 'Mr. Stephens is
     drowning.' 'Well,' she replied, 'there is plenty of more men
     where he came from.' Mr. Stephens, his cow and all lodged safely
     on a drift. They got him out safely, but he did not try to swim a
     stream with a cow tied to his waist again.

     "We could see the plains covered with buffalo as we traveled
     along, just like the cattle of our plains are here.

     "One day a band of buffalo came running toward us, and one jumped
     between the wheel cattle and the wheels of the wagon, and we came
     very near having a general stampede of the cattle; so when the
     teamsters got their teams quieted down, the men, gathering their
     guns, ran and killed three of the buffalo, and all of the company
     were furnished with dried beef, which was fine for camping.

     "We came to a place where there was a boiling spring that would
     cook eggs, and a short distance from this was a cold, clear
     spring, and a short distance from this was a heap of what looked
     like ashes, and when we crossed it the cattle's' feet burned until
     they bawled. Another great sight I remember of seeing was an oil

     "Then we reached the Blue Mountains. Snow fell as we traveled
     through them.

     "We then came down in the Grande Ronde valley, and it seemed as
     if we had reached a paradise. It was a beautiful valley. Here
     Indians came to trade us dried salmon, la camas cakes and dried
     crickette cakes. We traded for some salmon and the la camas
     cakes, but the crickette cakes we did not hanker after.

     "A man in one train thought he would fool an Indian chief, so he
     told the Indian he would swap his girl sixteen years old, for a
     couple of horses. The bargain was made and he took the horses,
     and the Indian hung around until near night. When the captain of
     the company found out that the Indian was waiting for his girl to
     go with him, the captain told the man that we might all be killed
     through him, and made him give up the horses to the chief. The
     Indian chief was real mad as he took the horses away.

     "We went on down to The Dalles, where we stopped a few days.
     There was a mission at The Dalles where two missionaries lived,
     Brewer and Waller. We emigrants traded some of our poor, tired
     cattle off to them for some of their fat beef, and some coarse
     flour chopped on a hand mill, like what we call chop-feed

     "Then we had to make a portage around the falls, and the women
     and children walked. I don't remember the distance, but we walked
     until late at night, and waded in the mud knee-deep, and my
     mother stumped her toe and fell against a log or she might have
     gone down into the river. We little tots fell down in the mud
     until you'd have thought we were pigs.

     "The men drove around the falls another way, and got out of

     "My father, seeing a boat from the high bluffs, going down to the
     river hailed it, and when he came down to the boat he found us.
     He said he had gotten so hungry that he killed a crow and ate it,
     and thought it tasted splendid. He took provisions to the cattle
     drivers and we came on down the river to Fort Vancouver. It
     rained on us for a week and our bedclothes were drenched through
     and through, so at night we would open our bed of wet clothes and
     cuddle in them as though we were in a palace car, and all kept
     well and were not sick a day in all of our six months' journey
     crossing the plains. My mother gained and grew fleshy and strong.

     "Next we arrived in what is now the city of Portland, which then
     consisted of a log cabin and a few shanties. We stayed there a
     few days to dry our bedding.

     "Then we moved out to the Tualatin Plains, where we wintered in a
     barn, with three other families, each family having a corner of
     the barn, with fire in the center and a hole in the roof for the
     smoke to go out. My father went to work for a man by the name of
     Baxton, as all my father was worth in money, I think, was
     twenty-five cents, or something like that. He arrived with a cow,
     calf and three oxen, and had to support his family by mauling
     rails in the rain, to earn the wheat, peas and potatoes we ate, as
     that was all we could get, as bread was out of the question.
     Shortly after father had gone to work my little brother had a
     rising on his cheek. It made him so sick that mother wanted us
     little tots to go to the place where my father was working. It
     being dark, we got out of our way and went to a man, who had an
     Indian woman, by the name of Williams. In the plains there are
     swales that fill up with water when the heavy rains come, and they
     are knee deep. I fell in one of these, but we got to Mr. Williams
     all right. But when we found our neighbor we began crying, so Mr.
     Williams persuaded us to come in and he would go and get father,
     which he did, and father came home with us to our barn house. My
     little brother got better, and my father returned to his work

     "Among the settlers on the Tualatin Plains were Mr. Lackriss, Mr.
     Burton, Mr. Williams and General McCarver, who had settled on
     farms before we came, and many a time did we go to their farms
     for greens and turnips, which were something new and a great
     treat to us.

     "Often the Indians used to frighten us with their war dances, as
     we called them, as we did not know the nature of Indians, so, as
     General McCarver was used to them, we often asked him if the
     Indians were having a war dance for the purpose of hostility. He
     told us, that was the way they doctored their sick.

     "General McCarver settled in Tacoma when the townsite was first
     laid out and is well known. He died in Tacoma, leaving a family.

     "After we moved out to the Tualatin Plains, many a night when
     father was away we lay awake listening to the dogs barking,
     thinking the Indians were coming to kill us, and when father came
     home I felt safe and slept happily.

     "In the spring of 1845 my father took a nice place in West
     Yamhill, about two miles from the Willamette River and we had
     some settlers around, but our advantage for a school was poor, as
     we were too far from settlers to have a school, so my education,
     what little I have, was gotten by punching the cedar fire and
     studying at night, but, however, we were a happy family, hoping
     to accumulate a competency in our new home.

     "One dog, myself and elder sister and brother were carrying water
     from our spring, which was a hundred yards or more from our
     house, when a number of Indians came along. We were afraid of
     them and all hid. I hid by the trail, when an old Indian, seeing
     me, yelled out, 'Adeda!' and I began to laugh, but my sister was
     terribly frightened and yelled at me to hide, so they found all
     of us, but they were friendly to us, only a wretched lot to
     steal, as they stole the only cow we had brought through, leaving
     the calf with us without milk.

     "My father was quite a hunter, and deer were plenty, and once in
     a while he would get one, so we did get along without milk.
     During the first year we could not get bread, as there were no
     mills or places to buy flour. A Canadian put up a small chop mill
     and chopped wheat something like feed is chopped now.

     "My father being a jack-of-all-trades, set to work and put up a
     turning lathe and went to making chairs, and my mother and her
     little tots took the straw from the sheaves and braided and made
     hats. We sold the chairs and hats and helped ourselves along in
     every way we could and did pretty well.

     "One day, while my father's lathe was running, some one yelled
     'Stop!' A large black bear was walking through the yard. The men
     gave him a grand chase, but bruin got away from them.

     "My father remained on this place until the spring of 1847, when
     he and a number of other families decided to move to Puget Sound.
     During that winter they dug two large canoes, lashed them
     together as a raft or flatboat to move on, and sold out their
     places, bought enough provisions to last that summer, and loading
     up with their wagons, families and provisions, started for Puget

     "Coming up the Cowlitz River was a hard trip, as the men had to
     tow the raft over rapids and wade. The weather was very bad.
     Arriving at what was called the Cowlitz Landing we stayed a few
     days and moved out to the Catholic priest's place (Mr. Langlay's)
     where the women and children remained while the men went back to
     Oregon for our stock. They had to drive up the Cowlitz River by a
     trail, and swim the rivers. My father said it was a hard trip.

     "On arriving at Puget Sound we found a good many settlers. Among
     them, now living that I know of, was Jesse Ferguson, on Bush
     Prairie. We stayed near Mr. Ferguson's place until my father,
     McAllister and Shager, who lives in Olympia, took them to places
     in the Nisqually bottoms. My father's place then, is now owned by
     Isaac Hawk.

     "Mr. McAllister was killed in the Indian war of 1855-6, leaving
     a family of a number of children, of whom one is Mrs. Grace Hawk.
     The three families living in the bottom were often frightened by
     the saucy Indians telling us to leave, as the King George men
     told them to make us go, so on one occasion there came about 300
     Indians in canoes. They were painted and had knives, and said
     they wanted to kill a chief that lived by us by the name of
     Quinasapam. When he saw the warriors coming he came into our
     house for protection, and all of the Indians who could do so came
     in after him. Mr. Shager and father gave them tobacco to smoke.
     So they smoked and let the chief go and took their departure. If
     there were ever glad faces on this earth and free hearts, ours
     were at that time.

     "My father and Mr. McAllister took a job of bursting up old
     steamboat boilers for Dr. Tolmie for groceries and clothing, and
     between their improving their farms they worked at this. While
     they were away the Indians' dogs were plenty, and, like wolves,
     they ran after everything, including our only milch cow, and she
     died, so there was another great loss to us, but after father got
     through with the old boilers, he took another job of making
     butter firkins for Dr. Tolmie and shingles also. This was a great
     help to the new settlers. The Hudson Bay Company was very kind to

     "In 1849 the gold fever began to rage and my father took the
     fever. I was standing before the fire, listening to my mother
     tell about it, when my dress caught fire, and my mother and Mrs.
     Shager got the fire extinguished, when I found my hair was off on
     one side of my head and my dress missing. I felt in luck to save
     my life.

     "In the spring of 1850 all arrangements were made for the
     California gold mines and we started by land in an ox team. We
     went back through Oregon and met our company in Yamhill, where we
     had lived. They joined our company of about thirty wagons.
     Portions of our journey were real pleasant, but the rest was
     terribly rough. In one canyon we crossed a stream seventy-five
     times in one day, and it was the most unpleasant part of our

     "After two months' travel we arrived in Sacramento City, Cal.,
     and found it tolerably warm for us, not being used to a warm

     "Father stayed in California nearly two years. Our fortune was
     not a large one. We returned by sea to Washington and made our
     home in the Nisqually Bottom.

     "On April 30, 1854, I was married to a man named G. W. T. Allen
     and lived with him on Whidby Island seven years, during which
     time four children were born. We finally agreed to disagree. Only
     one of our children by my first husband is living. She is Mrs. L.
     L. Andrews of Tacoma, Washington. He is in the banking business.
     On July 7, 1863, I was married to my present husband, McLain
     Chambers. We have lived in Washington ever since. We have had
     nine children. Our oldest, a son, I. M. Chambers, lives on a farm
     near Roy, Wash. Others are married and live at Roy, Yelm and
     Stampede. We have two little boys at home. Have lost three within
     the last three years. We live a mile and a half southeast of Roy,

     "I have lived here through all the hostilities of the war. Dr.
     Tolmie sent wagons to haul us to the fort for safety. My present
     husband was a volunteer and came through with a company of
     scouts, very hungry. They were so hungry that when they saw my
     mother take a pan of biscuits from the stove, one of them saying,
     'Excuse me, but we are almost starved,' grabbed the biscuits from
     the pan, eating like a hungry dog.

     "I suppose you have heard of the murder of Col. I. N. Ebey of
     Whidby Island? He was beheaded by the Northern or Fort Simpson
     Indians and his family and George Corliss and his wife made their
     escape from the house by climbing out of the windows, leaving
     even their clothes and bushwhacking it until morning. I was on
     Whidby Island about seven miles from where he was killed, that
     same night, alone with my little girl, now Mrs. Andrews. When one
     of our neighbors called at the gate and said, 'Colonel Ebey was
     beheaded last night,' I said 'Captain Barrington, it cannot be,
     as I have been staying here so close by alone without being
     disturbed.' Shortly after the Indians came armed, and one of
     them came up to me, shaking a large knife in his hand saying,
     'Iskum mika tenas and klatawa copa stick or we will kill you.' I
     said to him, 'I don't understand; come and go to the field where
     my husband and an Indian boy are,' but they refused to go and
     left me soon. I started for the field with my child, and the
     further I went the more scared I got until when I reached my
     husband, I cried like a child. He ran to the house and sent a
     message to the agent on the reservation, but they skipped out of
     his reach, and never bothered me again, but I truly suffered as
     though I were sick, although I stayed alone with a boy eight or
     nine years old."


In the same columns with the preceding sketch appeared R. A. Bundy's
story of his juvenile adventures:

     "I will try to give an account of my trip crossing the plains in
     the pioneer days. You need not expect a flowery story, as you
     will observe before I get through. The chances for an education
     in those days were quite different from what they are today. Here
     goes with my story, anyway:

     "My father left his old home in the State of Illinois in the
     month of April in the year 1865. As I was a lad not seven years
     of age until the 27th of the month, of course I was obliged to
     go along to show the old man the way.

     "We were all ready to start, and a large number of others that
     were going in the same train had gathered at our place. There
     were also numerous relatives present to bid us good-bye, and warn
     us of the big undertaking we were about to embark in, and tell of
     the dangers we would encounter. But a lad of my age always thinks
     it is a great thing to go along with a covered wagon, especially
     if 'pap' is driving. I crawled right in and did not apprehend
     anything dangerous or wearisome about a short trip like that. I
     will have to omit dates and camping places, as I was too young to
     pay any attention to such things; and you may swear that I was
     always around close. Everything went along smoothly with me for a
     short time. Riding in a covered wagon was a picnic, but my
     father's team was composed of both horses and cattle, and the
     oxen soon became tenderfooted and had to be turned loose and
     driven behind the wagons.

     "About this time A. L. McCauley, whose account of the trip has
     appeared in the 'Ledger,' fell in with the train. He thought
     himself a brave man and as he had had a 'right smart' experience
     in traveling, especially since the war broke out, and was used to
     going in the lead and had selected a great many safe camping
     places for himself during that time, the men thought he would be
     a good man to hide from the Indians, so he was elected captain.
     He went ahead and showed my old man the way. I being now relieved
     of this responsibility, stayed behind the train and drove the
     tenderfooted oxen. When McCauley found a camping place I always
     brought up the rear.

     "That was not quite so much of a picnic as some of us old-timers
     have nowadays at Shilo. I found out after driving oxen a few
     days, that I was going 'with' the old man.

     "For a week or two my job was not as bad as some who have never
     tried it might imagine. But six months of travel behind the
     wagons barefooted, over sagebrush, sand toads, hot sand and
     gravel, rattlesnakes, prickly pears, etc., made me sometimes wish
     I had gone back home when the old dog did, or that 'pap' had sold
     me at the sale with the other property. In spite of my
     disagreeable situation, however, I kept trudging alone, bound to
     stay with the crowd. I thought my lot was a rough one when I saw
     other boys older than myself riding and occasionally walking just
     for pleasure. I could not see where the fun came in, and thought
     that if the opportunity was offered I could stand it to ride all
     the time. I thought I had the disadvantage until the Indians got
     all the stock.

     "I remember one night that our famous captain said he had found
     us a good, safe camping place. The next morning the people were
     all right but the horses and cattle were all gone. For a while
     it looked like the whole train would have to walk. I did not care
     so much for myself but I thought it would be hard on those that
     were not used to it.

     "During the day the men got a part of the horses back, and I was
     feeling pretty good, thinking the rest would get to ride, but
     along in the afternoon my joyful mood was suddenly changed. All
     the men, excepting a few on the sick list, were out after the
     stock, when the captain and some other men came running into camp
     as fast as their horses could carry them. The captain got off his
     horse, apparently almost scared to death. He told the women that
     they would never see their men again; that the Indians were
     coming from every direction. That was in the Wood River country,
     and it made me feel pretty bad after walking so far. We were all
     frightened, and some boys and myself found a hiding place in a
     wagon. We got under a feather bed and waited, expecting every
     minute that the Indians would come. They did not come so we came
     out and found that the captain was feeling rather weak and had
     laid down to have a rest. Shortly after we came out, one of the
     men came in leading an Indian pony. It was then learned that the
     captain and some of the men with him had been running from some
     of the men belonging to the train, thinking they were Indians.
     They found all their horses but two and captured two Indian
     ponies. The next day we journeyed on and I felt more like
     walking, knowing that the others could ride. We did not meet with
     any other difficulty that seriously attracted my attention.

     "We arrived on the Touchet at Waitsburg in October or November,
     and don't you forget it, I had spent many a hot, tiresome day,
     having walked all the way across the plains."



Mrs. C. J. Crosby of Olympia, Washington, contributes this narrative of
her personal experience, to the literature of the Northwest:

     "It was in the early spring of '51 that my father took the
     emigrant fever to come West, to what was then termed Oregon
     Territory, and get some of Uncle Sam's land which was donated to
     any one who had the perseverance and courage to travel six long
     weary months, through a wild, savage country with storms and
     floods as well as the terrible heat and dust of summer to contend
     against. Our home was in Covington, Indiana, and my father, Jacob
     Smith, with his wife and five children, myself being the eldest,
     started from there the 24th day of March for a town called
     Council Bluffs on the Missouri River, where all the emigrants
     bought their supplies for their long journey in the old time
     prairie schooner. Our train was composed of twenty-four wagons
     and a good number of people. A captain was selected, whose duty
     it was to ride ahead of the train and find good camping place for
     the day or night, where there was plenty of wood, water and

     "The first part of our journey we encountered terrible floods,
     little streams would suddenly become raging torrents and we were
     obliged to cross them in hastily-constructed boats; two incidents
     I distinctly remember.

     "We had traveled all day and in the evening came to a stream
     called the Elk Horn, where we had some trouble and only part of
     the train crossed that night--we were among the number; well, we
     got something to eat as best we could, and being very tired all
     went to bed as early as possible; the river was a half mile from
     where we camped, but in the night it overflowed and the morning
     found our wagons up to the hubs in water, our cooking utensils
     floating off on the water, except those that had gone to the
     bottom, and all the cattle had gone off to find dry ground, and
     for a while things in general looked very discouraging. However,
     the men started out at daylight in search of the stray cattle,
     soon found them and hitched them to the wagons and started for
     another camping place, and to wait until we were joined by those
     who were left behind the night before. We all rejoiced to leave
     that river as soon as possible, but not many days expired before
     we came to another river which was worse than the first one--it
     was exceedingly high and very swift, but by hard work and
     perseverance they got all the wagons across the river without any
     accident, with the exception of my father's, which was the last
     to cross. They got about half way over when the provision wagon
     slid off the boat and down the river it went. Well, I can hardly
     imagine how any one could understand our feelings unless they had
     experienced such a calamity; to see all the provisions we had in
     the world floating away before our eyes and not any habitation
     within many hundred miles of us; for a while we did indeed feel
     as though the end had come this time sure. We could not retrace
     our footsteps, or go forward without provisions; each one in the
     train had only enough for their own consumption and dare not
     divide with their best friend; however, while they were debating
     what was best to do, our wagon had landed on a sandbar and the
     men waded out and pulled it ashore. It is needless for me to say
     there was great rejoicing in the camp that day; of course, nearly
     everything in the wagon was wet, but while in camp they were
     dried out. Fortunately the flour was sealed up in tin cans; the
     corn meal became sour before it got dry, but it had to be used
     just the same. In a few days we were in our usual spirits, but
     wondering what new trials awaited us, and it came all too soon;
     the poor cattle all got poisoned from drinking alkali water; at
     first they did not know what to do for them, but finally someone
     suggested giving them fat bacon, which brought them out all right
     in a day or two. Then their feet became very sore from constant
     traveling and thorns from the cactus points, and we would be
     obliged to remain in camp several days for them to recruit.

     "As we proceeded farther on our way we began to fear the Indians,
     and occasionally met strolling bands of them all decked out with
     bows and arrows, their faces hideous with paint and long feathers
     sticking in their top-knots, they looked very fierce and savage;
     they made us understand we could not travel through their country
     unless we paid them. So the men gave them some tobacco, beads and
     other trinkets, but would not give them any ammunition; they went
     away angry and acted as though they would give us trouble.

     "Some of the men stood guard every night to protect the camp as
     well as the horses and cattle, as they would drive them off in
     the night and frequently kill them.

     "Thus we traveled from day to day, ever anxious and on the
     lookout for a surprise from some ambush by the wayside, they were
     so treacherous, but kind Providence protected us and we escaped
     the fate of the unfortunate emigrants who preceded us.

     "Fortunately there was but little sickness in our train and only
     one death, that of my little brother; he was ill about two weeks
     and we never knew the cause of his death. At first it seemed an
     impossibility to go away and leave him alone by the wayside, and
     what could we do without a coffin and not any boards to make one?
     A trunk was thought of and the little darling was laid away in
     that. The grave had to be very deep so the wild animals could not
     dig up the body, and the Indians would plunder the graves, too,
     so it was made level with the ground. We felt it a terrible
     affliction; it seemed indeed the climax of all we had endured. It
     was with sad hearts we once again resumed our toilsome journey.

     "We saw the bones of many people by the wayside, bleaching in the
     sun, and it was ever a constant reminder of the dear little one
     that was left in the wilderness. However, I must not dwell too
     long over this dark side of the picture, as there was much to
     brighten and cheer us many times; there were many strange,
     beautiful things which were a great source of delight and wonder,
     especially the boiling springs, the water so hot it would cook
     anything, and within a short distance springs of ice water, and
     others that made a noise every few minutes like the puffing of a
     steamer. Then there were rocks that resembled unique old castles,
     as they came into view in the distance. All alone in the prairie
     was one great rock called Independence Rock; it was a mile around
     it, half a mile wide and quite high in some places; there were
     hundreds of emigrants' names and dates carved on the side of the
     rock as high as they could reach. It reminded one of a huge
     monument. I wonder if old Father Time has effaced all the names

     "In the distance we saw great herds of buffalo and deer; the
     graceful, swift-footed antelope was indeed a sight to behold, and
     we never grew tired of the lovely strange flowers we found along
     the road.

     "The young folks, as well as the old, had their fun and jokes,
     and in the evening all would gather 'round the campfire, telling
     stories and relating the trials and experiences each one had
     encountered during the day, or meditating what the next day would
     bring forth of weal or woe. Thus the months and days passed by,
     and our long journey came to an end when we reached the Dalles on
     the Columbia River, where we embarked on the small steamer that
     traveled down the river and landed passengers and freight at a
     small place called the Cascades. At this place there was a
     portage of a half mile; then we traveled on another steamer and
     landed in Portland the last day of October, the year 1851,
     remained there during the winter and in the spring of 1852 came
     to Puget Sound with a number of others who were anxious for some
     of Uncle Sam's land.

     "Olympia, a very small village, was the only town on the Sound
     except Fort Steilacoom, where a few soldiers were stationed. We
     spent a short time in Olympia before going to Whidby Island,
     where my father settled on his claim, and we lived there five
     years, when we received a patent from the government, but before
     our home was completed he had the misfortune to break his arm,
     and, not being properly set, he was a cripple the remainder of
     his life."

In 1852 there were a couple of log houses at Alki Point, occupied by Mr.
Denny and others; they called the "town" New York. We went ashore from
the schooner and visited them.

To the above properly may be added an account published in a Seattle

     "Mrs. C. J. Crosby, of Olympia, gives the following interesting
     sketch of her early days on Whidby Island:

     "As I am an old settler and termed a moss-back by those who have
     come later, I feel urged to relate a few facts pertaining to my
     early life on Whidby Island in the days of 1852. My father, Jacob
     Smith, with his wife and five children, crossed the plains the
     year of 1851. We started from Covington, Indiana, on the 24th day
     of March and arrived in Portland, Oregon, the last day of

     "We remained there during the winter, coming to Olympia the
     spring of 1852, where we spent a short time before going down to
     the island. My father settled on a claim near Pen's Cove, and
     almost opposite what is now called Coupeville. We lived there
     five years, when he sold his claim to Capt. Swift for three
     thousand five hundred dollars and we returned to Olympia.

     "The year '52 we found several families living on the island;
     also many bachelors who had settled on claims. I have heard my
     mother say she never saw the face of a white woman for nine
     months. My third sister was the second white child born on the
     island. I remember once we did not have any flour or bread for
     six weeks or more. We lived on potatoes, salmon and clams.
     Finally a vessel came in the Sound bringing some, but the price
     per barrel was forty-five dollars and it was musty and sour.
     Mother mixed potatoes with the flour so that we could eat it at
     all, and also to make it last a long time.

     "There is also another incident impressed on my memory that I
     never can forget. One morning an Indian came to the house with
     some fish oil to sell, that and tallow candles being the only
     kind of light we had in those days. She paid him all he asked for
     the oil, besides giving him a present, but he wanted more. He got
     very angry and said he would shoot her. She told him to shoot and
     took up the fire shovel to him. Meantime she told my brother to
     go to a neighbor's house, about half a mile distant, but before
     the men arrived the Indian cleared out. However, had it not been
     for the kindness of the Indians we would have suffered more than
     we did."

From other published accounts I have culled the following:

     "Peter Smith crossed the plains in 1852 and settled near
     Portland. When it was known the Indians would make trouble, Mr.
     Smith, being warned by a friendly Indian, took his family to
     Fort Steilacoom and joined the 'Home Guard,' but shortly
     afterward joined a company of militia and saw real war for three

     "Just before the hostilities in 1855, two Indians visited his
     house. One of them was a magnificent specimen of physical manhood
     and chief of his tribe. They wanted something to eat. Now several
     settlers had been killed by Indians after gaining access to their
     houses, but, nothing daunted, Mrs. Smith went to work and
     prepared a very fine dinner, and Mr. S. made them sandwiches for
     their game bag, putting on an extra allowance of sugar, and
     appeared to be as bold as a lion. He also accepted an invitation
     to visit their camp, which he did in their company, and formed a
     lasting friendship.

     "The mince, fruit and doughnuts did their good work.

     "During the war Mr. Smith had his neck merely bruised by a
     bullet. On his return home he found the Indians had been there
     before him and stolen his hogs and horses and destroyed his
     grain, a loss of eleven hundred dollars, for which he has never
     received any pay."



Capt. Roeder came by steamer to Portland and thence made his way to
Olympia overland from the mouth of the Cowlitz River. This was in the
winter of 1852. The story of this journey is best told in the words of
the veteran pioneer himself, who has narrated his first experiences in
the then Territory of Oregon as follows:

     "In company with R. V. Peabody, I traveled overland from the
     mouth of the Cowlitz, through the mud to Olympia. We started
     early in December from Portland. It took us four days to walk
     from the Cowlitz River to Olympia, and it was as hard traveling
     as I have ever seen. Old residents will remember what was known
     as Sanders' Bottom. It was mud almost to your waist. We stopped
     one night with an old settler, whose name I cannot now recall,
     but whom we all called in those days 'Old Hardbread.' On the
     Skookumchuck we found lodging with Judge Ford, and on arriving at
     Olympia we put up with Mr. Sylvester, whose name is well known to
     all the old residents on the Sound. I remember that at Olympia we
     got our first taste of the Puget Sound clam, and mighty glad we
     were, too, to get a chance to eat some of them.

     "From Olympia to Seattle we traveled by Indian canoe. I remember
     distinctly rounding Alki Point and entering the harbor of Elliott
     Bay. I saw what was, perhaps, the first house that was built,
     where now stands the magnificent city of Seattle. This was a
     cabin that was being erected on a narrow strip of land jutting
     out into the bay, which is now right in the heart of Seattle. Dr.
     Maynard was the builder. It was situated adjoining the lot at
     Commercial and Main Streets, occupied by the old Arlington just
     before the fire of 1889. The waters of the Sound lapped the
     shores of the narrow peninsula upon which it was built, but since
     then the waters have been driven back by the filling of earth,
     sawdust and rock, which was put on both sides of the little neck
     of land.

     "After a few days' stay here, Peabody and I journeyed by Indian
     canoe to Whatcom. We carried our canoe overland to Hood Canal. On
     the second day out we encountered a terrible storm and put into
     shelter with a settler on the shore of the canal. His name was
     O'Haver, and he lived with an Indian wife. We had white turnips
     and dried salmon for breakfast and dried salmon and white turnips
     for dinner. This bill of fare was repeated in this fashion for
     three days, and I want to tell you that we were glad when the
     weather moderated and we were enabled to proceed.

     "We were told that we could procure something in the edible line
     at Port Townsend, but were disappointed. The best we could
     obtain at the stores was some hard bread, in which the worms had
     propagated in luxuriant fashion. This food was not so
     particularly appetizing, as you may imagine. A settler kindly
     took pity on us and shared his slender stock of food. Thence we
     journeyed to Whatcom, where I have resided nearly ever since."

Capt. Roeder told also before he had finished his recital of an
acquaintance he had formed in California with the noted Spanish murderer
and bandit, Joaquin, and his tribe of cutthroats and robbers. Joaquin's
raids and his long career in crime among the mining camps of the early
days of California are part of the history of that state. Capt. Roeder
was traveling horseback on one occasion between Marysville and Rush
Creek. This was in 1851. The night before he left Marysville the sheriff
and a posse had attempted to capture Joaquin and his band. The
authorities had offered a reward of $10,000 for Joaquin and $5,000 for
his men, dead or alive. The sheriff went out from Marysville with a
cigar in his mouth and his sombrero on the side of his head, as if he
were attending a picnic. It was his own funeral, however, instead of a
picnic, for his body was picked out of a fence corner, riddled with

     "I was going at a leisurely gait over the mountain road or bridle
     path that led from Marysville to Rush Creek," said Capt. Roeder.
     "Suddenly, after a bend in the road, I found myself in the midst
     of a band of men mounted on bronchos. They were dark-skinned and
     of Spanish blood. Immediately I recognized Joaquin and
     'Three-Fingered Jack,' his first lieutenant. My heart thumped
     vigorously, and I thought that it was all up with me. I managed
     somehow to control myself and did not evince any of the
     excitement I felt or give the outlaws any sign that I knew or
     suspected who they were.

     "One of the riders, after saluting me in Spanish, asked me where
     I was from and whither I was traveling. I told them freely and
     frankly, as if the occurrence were an everyday transaction.
     Learning that I had just come from Marysville, the seat of their
     last outrage, they inquired the news. I told them the truth--that
     the camp was in a state of great excitement, due to the late
     visit of the outlaw, Joaquin, and his band; that the sheriff had
     been murdered and three or four miners and others in the vicinity
     had been murdered and robbed. It was Joaquin's pleasant practice
     to lariat a man, rob him and cut his throat, leaving the body by
     the roadside. They asked me which way Joaquin had gone and I told
     them that he was seen last traveling towards Arizona. As a matter
     of fact, the outlaw and his band were then traveling in a
     direction exactly opposite from that which I had given.

     "My replies apparently pleased them. 'Three-Fingered Jack'
     proposed a drink, after asking me which way I traveled. I said,
     'I would have proposed the compliment long ago had I any in my
     canteen,' whereat Jack drew his own bottle and offered me a

     "You may imagine my feelings then. I knew that if they believed I
     had recognized them they would give me poison or kill me with a
     knife. I took the canteen and drank from it. You may imagine my
     joy when I saw Jack lift the bottle to his lips and drain it.
     Then I knew that I had deceived them. We exchanged adieus in
     Spanish, and that is the last I saw of Joaquin and his associate





    With faith's clear eye we saw afar
    In western sky our empire's star
    And strong of heart and brave of soul,
    We marched and marched to reach the goal.
    Unrolled a scroll, the great gray plains,
    And traced thereon our wagon trains,
    Our blazing campfires marked the road
    As each succeeding night they glowed.

    Gaunt hunger, drouth, fierce heat and cold
    Beset us as in days of old
    Great dragons sought to swallow down
    Adventurous heroes of renown.
    There menaced us our tawny foes,
    Where any bank or hillock rose;
    A cloud of dust or shadows' naught
    Seemed ever with some danger fraught.

    Weird mountain ranges crossed our path
    And frowned on us in seeming wrath;
    Their beetling crags and icy brows
    Well might a hundred fears arouse.
    Impetuous rivers swirled and boiled,
    As though from mischief ever foiled.
    At length in safety all were crossed,
    Though roughly were our "schooners" tossed.

    With joy we saw fair Puget Sound,
    White, glistening peaks set all around.
    At Alki Point our feet we stayed,
    (The women wept, the children played).
    On Chamber's prairie, Whidby's isle,
    Duwamish river, mile on mile
    Away from these, on lake or bay
    The lonely settlers blazed the way
    For civilization's march and sway.

    The mountains, forests, bays and streams,
    Their grandeur wove into our dreams;
    Our thoughts grew great and undismayed,
    We toiled and sang or waiting, prayed.
    As suns arose and then went down
    We gazed on Rainier's snowy crown.
    God's battle-tents gleamed in the west,
    So pure they called our thoughts above
    To heaven's joy and peace and love.

    We found a race tho' rude and wild,
    Still tender toward friend or child,
    For dark eyes laughed or shone with tears
    As joy or sorrow filled the years;
    Their black-eyed babes the red men kissed
    And captive brothers sorely missed.
    With broken hearts, brown mothers wept
    When babes away by death were swept.

    Chief Sealth stood the white man's friend,
    With insight keen he saw the end
    Of struggles vain against a foe
    Whose coming forced their overthrow.
    For pity oft he freed the slaves,
    To reasoning cool he called his braves;
    But bitter wrongs the pale-face wrought--
    Revenge and hatred on us brought.

       *       *       *       *       *

    With life the woods and waters teemed,
    A boundless store we never dreamed,
    Of berries, deer and grouse and fish,
    Sufficient for a gourmand's wish.
    Our dusky neighbors friendly-wise
    Brought down the game before our eyes;
    They wiled the glittering finny tribe,
    Well pleased to trade with many a jibe.

    We lit the forests far and wide
    With pitchwood torches, true and tried,
    We traveled far in frail canoes,
    Cayuses rode, wore Indian shoes,
    And clothes of skin, and ate clam stews,
    Clam frys and chowder; baked or fried
    The clam was then the settler's pride;
    "Clam-diggers" then, none dared deride.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A sound arose our hearts to thrill,
    From whirring saws in Yesler's mill;
    The village crept upon the hill.
    On many hills our city's spread,
    As fair a queen as one that wed
    The Adriatic, so 'tis said.
    Our tasks so hard are well nigh done--
    Today our hearts will beat as one!

    Each one may look now to the west
    For end of days declared the best,
    Since sunset here is sunrise there,
    Our heavenly home is far more fair.
    As up the slope of coming years
    Time pushes on the pioneers,
    With peace may e'er our feet be shod
    And press at last the mount of God.

                      E. I. DENNY.

    Seattle, June, 1893.




As elsewhere indicated, only a few of the leading characters will be
followed in their careers. Of these, John Denny is fittingly placed

John Denny was born of pioneer parents near Lexington, Kentucky, May
4th, 1793. In 1813 he was a volunteer in Col. Richard M. Johnson's
regiment of mounted riflemen, and served through the war, participated
in the celebrated battle of the Thames in Canada, where Tecumseh was
killed and the British army under Proctor surrendered. Disaster fell
upon him, the results of which followed him throughout his life. The
morning gun stampeded the horses in camp while the soldiers were still
asleep, and they ran over John Denny where he lay asleep in a tent,
wounding his knee so that the synovial fluid ran out and also broke
three of his ribs. In 1823 he removed to Putnam County, Indiana, then an
unknown wilderness, locating six miles east of Greencastle, where he
resided for the succeeding twelve years. He is remembered as a leading
man of energy and public spirit.

In 1835 he removed to Illinois and settled in Knox County, then near the
frontier of civilization, where he lived for the next succeeding
sixteen years, during which time he represented his county in both
branches of the state legislature, serving with Lincoln, Douglas, Baker,
Yates, Washburn and Trumbull, with all of whom he formed warm personal
friendships, which lasted through life, despite political differences.

In 1851, at an age when most men think they have outlived their
usefulness and seek the repose demanded by their failing physical
strength, accompanied by his children and grandchildren, he braved the
toils and perils of an overland journey to this then remote wilderness
upon the extreme borders of civilization and settled upon a farm in
Marion County, Oregon, while his sons, Arthur A. and David T., took
claims on Elliott Bay and were among the founders of Seattle, where they
command universal respect for their intelligence, integrity and public
spirit, Arthur having represented the territory as delegate in congress
and served several terms in the Territorial Legislature.

David has held many responsible public positions, including Probate
Judge and Regent of the University, and is respected by all as a
clear-headed and scrupulously honest man and most estimable citizen.

John Denny remained in Oregon about six years, but held no official
position there, for the reason that he was an uncompromising Whig and
Oregon was overwhelmingly Democratic, including among the leaders of
the Democratic party George H. Williams, Judge Deady, Gov. Gibbs and
much of the best intellect of the state.

He, however, entered warmly into the political discussions of the times,
and many incidents are remembered and many anecdotes told of the
astonishment and discomfiture of some of the most pretentious public
speakers when meeting the unpretending pioneer farmer in public
discussion. He was a natural orator and had improved his gift by
practice and extensive reading.

Few professional men were better posted in current history and
governmental philosophy or could make a better use of their knowledge in
addressing a popular audience.

In 1859 he removed to Seattle, and from that time on to the day of his
death was a recognized leader in every enterprise calculated to promote
the prosperity of the town or advance its educational and social
interests. No public measure, no public meeting to consider public
enterprise, was a success in which he was not a central figure, not as
an assumed director, but as an earnest co-operator, who enthused others
by his own undaunted spirit of enterprise, and when past eighty years of
age his voice was heard stirring up the energies of the people, and by
his example, no less than his precepts, he shamed the listless and
selfish younger men into activity and public spirit.

When any special legislative aid was desired for this section, John
Denny was certain to be selected to obtain it; by his efforts mainly the
Territorial University was located at this place.

He passed his long and active life almost wholly upon the frontiers of
civilization, not from any aversion to the refinements and restraints of
social life, for few men possessed higher social qualities or had in any
greater degree the nicer instincts of a gentleman--he held a patent of
nobility under the signet of the Almighty, and his intercourse with
others was ever marked by a courtesy which betokened not only
self-respect but a due regard for the rights and opinions of others. He
was impelled by as noble ambition as ever sought the conquest of empire
or the achievement of personal glory--the subduing of the unoccupied
portions of his country to the uses of man, with the patriotic purpose
of extending his country's glory and augmenting its resources.

His first care in every settlement was to establish and promote
education, religion and morality as the only true foundation of social
as well as individual prosperity, and with all his courage and manly
strength he rarely, if ever, was drawn into a lawsuit.

John Denny was of that noble race of men, now nearly extinct, who formed
the vanguard of Western civilization and were the founders of empire.
Their day is over, their vocation ended, because the limit of their
enterprise has been reached. Among the compeers of the same stock were
Dick Johnson, Harrison, Lincoln, Harden and others famous in the history
of the country, who only excelled him in historic note by biding their
opportunities in waiting to reap the fruits of the harvest which they
had planted. He was the peer of the best in all the elements of manhood,
of heart and brain. In all circumstances and surroundings he was a
recognized leader of men, and would have been so honored and so
commanded that leading place in public history had he waited for the
development of the social institutions which he helped to plant in the
Western states, now the seat of empire. All who entered his presence
were instinctively impressed by his manhood. Yet no man was less
pretentious or more unostentatious in his intercourse with others.

He reverenced his manhood, and felt himself here among men his brethren
under the eye of a common Father.

He felt that he was bound to work for all like a brother and like a son.

So he was brave, so he was true, so his integrity was unsullied, so not
a stain dims his memory; so he rebuked vice and detested meanness and
hated with a cordial hate all falsehood, all dishonesty and all
trickery; so he was the chivalrous champion of the innocent and
oppressed; so he was gentle and merciful, because he was working among
a vast family as a brother "recognizing the Great Father, Who sits over
all, Who is forever Truth and forever Love."

Such words as these were said of him at the time of his death, when the
impressions of his personality were fresh in the minds of the people.

He entered into rest July 28th, 1875.

It is within my recollection that the keen criticisms and droll
anecdotes of John Denny were often repeated by his hearers. The power
with which he swayed an audience was something wonderful to behold; the
burning enthusiasm which his oratory kindled, inciting to action, the
waves of convulsive laughter his wit evoked were abundant evidence of
his influence.

In repartee, he excelled. At one time when A. A. Denny was a member of
the Territorial Legislature, John Denny was on his way to the capital to
interview him, doubtless concerning some important measure; he received
the hospitality of a settler who was a stranger to him and moreover very
curious with regard to the traveler's identity and occupation. At last
this questioning brought forth the remarkable statement that he, John
Denny, had a son in the lunatic ass-ylum in Olympia whom he intended

The questioner delightedly related it afterward, laughing heartily at
the compliment paid to the Legislature.

In a published sketch a personal friend says: "He was so full of humor
that it was impossible to conceal it, and his very presence became a
mirth-provoking contagion absolutely irresistible in its effects.

"Let him come when he would, everybody was ready to drop everything else
to listen to a story from Uncle John.

"He went home to the States during the war, via the Isthmus of Panama.
On the trip down from San Francisco the steamer ran on a rock and stuck
fast. Of course, there was a great fright and excitement, many crying
out 'We shall all be drowned,' 'Lord save us!' etc. Amid it all Uncle
John coolly took in the chances of the situation, and when a little
quiet had been restored so he could be heard by all in the cabin, he
said: 'Well, I reckon there was a fair bargain between me and the
steamship company to carry me down to Panama, and they've got their cash
for it, and now if they let me drown out here in this ornery corner,
where I can't have a decent funeral, I'll sue 'em for damages, and bust
the consarned old company all to flinders.'

"This had the effect to divert the passengers, and helped to prevent a
panic, and not a life was lost.

"In early life he had been a Whig and in Illinois had fought many a hard
battle with the common enemy. He had represented his district repeatedly
in the legislature of that state, and he used to tell with pride, and a
good deal of satisfaction, how one day a handful of the Whigs, Old Abe
and himself among the number, broke a quorum of the house by jumping
from a second-story window, thereby preventing the passage of a bill
which was obnoxious to the Whigs.

"The Democrats had been watching their opportunity, and having secured a
quorum with but few of the Whigs in the house, locked the doors and
proposed to put their measure through. But the Whigs nipped the little
game in the manner related."

After Lincoln had become President and John Denny had crossed the Plains
and pioneered it in Oregon and Washington Territories, the latter
visited the national capital on important business.

While there Mr. Denny attended a presidential reception and tested his
old friend's memory in this way: Forbidding his name to be announced, he
advanced in the line and gave his hand to President Lincoln, then
essayed to pass on. Lincoln tightened his grasp and said, "No you don't,
John Denny; you come around back here and we'll have a talk after a

On the stump he was perfectly at home, never coming off second best. His
ready wit and tactics were sure to stand him in hand at the needed


In one of the early campaigns of Washington Territory, which was a
triangular combat waged by Republicans, Democrats and "Bolters," John
Denny, who was then a Republican, became one of the third party. At a
political meeting which was held in Seattle, at which I was present, a
young man recently from the East and quite dandyish, a Republican and a
lawyer, made quite a high-sounding speech; after he sat down John Denny
advanced to speak.

He began very coolly to point out how they had been deceived by the
rascally Republican representative in his previous term of office, and
suddenly pointing his long, lean forefinger directly at the preceding
speaker, his voice gathering great force and intensity, he electrified
the audience by saying, "And no little huckleberry lawyer can blind us
to the facts in the case."

The audience roared, the "huckleberry lawyer's" face was scarlet and his
curly locks fairly bristled with embarrassment. The hearers were
captivated and listened approvingly to a round scoring of the opponents
of the "bolters."

He was a fearless advocate of temperance, or prohibition rather, of
woman suffragists when they were weak, few and scoffed at, an
abolitionist and a determined enemy of tobacco. I have seen him take his
namesake among the grandchildren between his aged knees and say, "Don't
ever eat tobacco, John; your grandfather wishes he had never touched
it." His oft-repeated advice was heeded by this grandson, who never
uses it in any form.

He was tall, slender, with snow-white hair and a speaking countenance
full of the most glowing intelligence.

When the news came to the little village of Seattle that he had returned
from Washington City, where he had been laboring to secure an
appropriation for the Territorial University, two of his little
grandchildren ran up the hill to meet him; he took off his high silk
hat, his silvery hair shining in the fair sunlight and smiled a
greeting, as they grasped either hand and fairly led him to their home.

A beautiful tribute from the friend before quoted closes this brief and
inadequate sketch:

     "He sleeps out yonder midway between the lakes (Washington and
     Union), where the shadows of the Cascades in the early morning
     fall upon the rounded mound of earth that marks his resting
     place, and the shadows of the Olympics in the early evening rest
     lovingly and caressingly on the same spot; there, where the song
     birds of the forest and the wild flowers and gentle zephyrs,
     laden with the perfume of the fir and cedar, pay a constant
     tribute to departed goodness and true worth."


The subject of this sketch was a Tennessean of an ancestry notable for
staying qualities, religious steadfastness and solid character, as well
as gracious and kindly bearing.

On her father's side she traced descent from the martyr, Hugh Latimer,
and although none of the name have been called to die at the stake in
the latter days, Washington Latimer, nephew of Sarah Latimer Denny, was
truly a martyr to principle, dying in Andersonville prison during the

The prevailing sentiment of the family was patriotic and strongly in
favor of the abolition movement.

One of the granddaughters pleasurably recalls the vision of Joseph
Latimer, father of Sarah, sitting in his dooryard, under the boughs of a
great Balm of Gilead tree, reading his Bible.

Left to be the helper of her mother when very young, by the marriage of
her elder sister, she quickly became a competent manager in household
affairs, sensible of her responsibilities, being of a grave and quiet

She soon married a young Baptist minister, Richard Freeman Boren, whose
conversion and call to the ministry were clear and decided. His first
sermon was preached in the sitting room of a private house, where were
assembled, among others, a number of his gay and pleasure-loving
companions, whom he fearlessly exhorted to a holy life.

His hands were busy with his trade of cabinetmaking a part of the time,
for the support of his family, although he rode from place to place to

A few years of earnest Christian work, devoted affection and service to
his family and he passed away to his reward, leaving the young widow
with three little children, the youngest but eighteen months old.

In her old age she often reverted to their brief, happy life together,
testifying that he never spoke a cross word to her.

She told of his premonition of death and her own remarkable dream
immediately preceding that event.

While yet in apparently perfect health he disposed of all his tools,
saying that he would not need them any more.

One night, toward morning, she dreamed that she saw a horse saddled and
bridled at the gate and some one said to her that she must mount and
ride to see her husband, who was very sick; she obeyed, in her dream,
riding over a strange road, crossing a swollen stream at one point.

At daylight she awoke; a horse with side-saddle on was waiting and a
messenger called her to go to her husband, as he was dangerously ill at
a distant house. Exactly as in her dream she was conducted, she
traversed the road and crossed the swollen stream to reach the place
where he lay, stricken with a fatal malady.

After his death she returned to her father's house, but the family
migrated from Tennessee to Illinois, spent their first winter in
Sangamon County, afterward settling in Knox County.

There the brave young pioneer took up her abode in a log cabin on a
piece of land which she purchased with the proceeds of her own hard

The cabin was built without nails, of either oak or black walnut logs,
it is not now known, with oak clapboards, braces and weight-poles and
puncheon floor. There was one window without glass, a stick and clay
mortar chimney, and a large, cheerful fireplace where the backlogs and
fore-sticks held pyramids of dancing, ruddy flames, and the good cooking
was done in the good old way.

By industry and thrift everything was turned to account. The ground was
made to yield wheat, corn and flax; the last was taken through the whole
process of manufacture into bed and table linen on the spot. Sheep were
raised, the wool sheared, carded, spun, dyed and woven, all by hand, by
this indefatigable worker, just as did many others of her time.

They made almost every article of clothing they wore, besides cloth for

Great, soft, warm feather beds comforted them in the cold Illinois
winters, the contents of which were plucked from the home flock of

As soon as the children were old enough, they assisted in planting corn
and other crops.

The domestic supplies were almost entirely of home production and
manufacture. Soap for washing owed its existence to the ash-hopper and
scrap-kettle, and the soap-boiling was an important and necessary
process. The modern housewife would consider herself much afflicted if
she had to do such work.

And the sugar-making, which had its pleasant side, the sugar camp and
its merry tenants.

About half a mile from the cabin stood the sugar maple grove to which
this energetic provider went to tap the trees, collect the sap and
finally boil the same until the "sugaring off." A considerable event it
was, with which they began the busy season.

One of the daughters of Sarah Latimer Denny remembers that when a little
child she went with her mother to the sugar camp where they spent the
night. Resting on a bed of leaves, she listened to her mother as she
sang an old camp meeting hymn, "Wrestling Jacob," while she toiled,
mending the fire and stirring the sap, all night long under dim stars
sprinkled in the naked branches overhead.

Other memories of childish satisfaction hold visions of the early
breakfast when "Uncle John" came to see his widowed sister, who, with
affectionate hospitality, set the "Johnny-cake" to bake on a board
before the fire, made chocolate, fried the chicken and served them with
snowy biscuits and translucent preserves.

For the huge fireplace, huge lengths of logs, for the backlogs, were
cut, which required three persons to roll in place.

Cracking walnuts on the generous hearth helped to beguile the long
winter evenings. A master might have beheld a worthy subject in the
merry children and their mother thus occupied.

If other light were needed than the ruddy gleams the fire gave, it was
furnished by a lard lamp hung by a chain and staple in the wall, or one
of a pallid company of dipped candles.

Sometimes there were unwelcome visitors bent on helping themselves to
the best the farm afforded; one day a wolf chased a chicken up into the
chimney corner of the Boren cabin, to the consternation of the small
children. Wolves also attacked the sheep alongside the cabin at the very
moment when one of the family was trying to catch some lambs; such
savage boldness brought hearty and justifiable screams from the young
shepherdess thus engaged.

The products of the garden attached to this cabin are remembered as
wonderful in richness and variety; the melons, squashes, pumpkins, etc.,
the fragrant garden herbs, the dill and caraway seeds for the famous
seedcakes carried in grandmothers' pockets or "reticules." In addition
to these, the wild fruits and game; haws, persimmons, grapes, plums,
deer and wild turkey; the medicinal herbs, bone-set and blood-root; the
nut trees heavily laden in autumn, all ministered to the comfort and
health of the pioneers.

The mistress was known for her generous hospitality then, and throughout
her life. In visiting and treating the sick she distanced educated
practitioners in success. Never a violent partisan, she was yet a
steadfast friend. One daughter has said that she never knew any one who
came so near loving her neighbor as herself. Just, reasonable, kind,
ever ready with sympathetic and wholesome advice, it was applicably said
of her, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law
of kindness."

As the years went by the children were sent to school, the youngest
becoming a teacher.

Toilsome years they were, but doubtless full of rich reward.

Afterward, while yet in the prime of life, she married John Denny, a
Kentuckian and pioneer of Indiana, Illinois and finally of Oregon and

With this new alliance new fields of effort and usefulness opened before
her. The unusual occurrence of a widowed mother and her two daughters
marrying a widower and his two sons made this new tie exceeding strong.
With them, as before stated, she crossed the plains and "pioneered it"
in Oregon among the Waldo Hills, from whence she moved to Seattle on
Puget Sound with her husband and little daughter, Loretta Denny, in

The shadow of pioneer days was scarcely receding, the place was a little
straggling village and much remained of beginnings. As before in all
other places, her busy hands found much to do; many a pair of warm
stockings and mittens from her swift needles found their way into the
possession of the numerous grand and great-grandchildren. In peaceful
latter days she sat in a cozy corner with knitting basket at hand, her
Bible in easy reach.

Her mind was clear and vigorous and she enjoyed reading and conversing
upon topics old and new.

Her cottage home with its blooming plants, of which "Grandmother's
calla," with its frequent, huge, snowy spathes, was much admired,
outside the graceful laburnum tree and sweet-scented roses, was a place
that became a Mecca to the tired feet and weary hearts of her kins-folk
and acquaintances.

With devoted, filial affection her youngest daughter, S. Loretta Denny,
remained with her until she entered into rest, February 10th, 1888.



David Thomas Denny was the first of the name to set foot upon the shores
of Puget Sound. Born in Putnam County, Indiana, March 17th, 1832, he was
nineteen years of age when he crossed the plains with his father's
company in 1851. He is a descendant of an ancient family, English and
Scotch, who moved to Ireland and thence to America, settling in Berk's
County, Pa. His father was John Denny, a notable man in his time, a
soldier of 1812, and a volunteer under William Henry Harrison.

The long, rough and toilsome journey across the plains was a schooling
for the subsequent trials of pioneer life. Young as he was, he stood in
the very forefront, the outmost skirmish line of his advancing
detachment of the great army moving West. The anxious watch, the
roughest toil, the reconnaissance fell to his lot. He drove a four-horse
team, stood guard at night, alternately sleeping on the ground, under
the wagon, hunted for game to aid in their sustenance, and, briefly,
served his company in many ways with the energy and faithfulness which
characterized his subsequent career.

With his party he reached Portland in August, 1851; from thence, with J.
N. Low, he made his way to Olympia on Puget Sound, where he arrived
footsore and weary, they having traveled on foot the Hudson Bay
Company's trail from the Columbia River. From Olympia, with Low, Lee
Terry, Captain Fay and others, he journeyed in an open boat to Duwampsh
Head, which has suffered many changes of name, where they camped,
sleeping under the boughs of a great cedar tree the first night,
September 25th, 1851.

The next day Denny, Terry and Low made use of the skill and knowledge of
the native inhabitants by hiring two young Indians to take them up the
Duwampsh River in their canoe. He was left to spend the following night
with the two Indians, as his companions had wandered so far away that
they could not return, but remained at an Indian camp farther up the
river. On the 28th they were reunited and returned to their first camp,
from which they removed the same day to Alki Point.

A cabin was commenced and after a time, Low and Terry returned to
Portland, leaving David Thomas Denny, nineteen years of age, the only
white person on Elliott Bay. There were then swarms of Indians on the

For three weeks he held this outpost of civilization, a part of the time
being far from well. So impressed was he with the defenselessness of the
situation that he expressed himself as "sorry" when his friends landed
from the schooner "Exact" at Alki Point on the 13th of November, 1851.
No doubt realizing that an irretrievable step had been taken, he tried
to reassure them by explaining that "the cabin was unfinished and that
they would not be comfortable." Many incidents of his early experience
are recorded in this volume elsewhere.

He was married on the 23rd of January, 1853, to Miss Louisa Boren, one
of the most intelligent, courageous and devoted of pioneer women. They
were the first white couple married in Seattle. He was an explorer of
the eastern side of Elliott Bay, but was detained at home in the cabin
by lameness occasioned by a cut on his foot, when A. A. Denny, W. N.
Bell and C. D. Boren took their claims, so had fourth choice.

For this reason his claim awaited the growth of the town of Seattle many
years, but finally became very valuable.

It was early discovered by the settlers that he was a conscientious man;
so well established was this fact that he was known by the sobriquet of
"Honest Dave."

Like all the other pioneers, he turned his hand to any useful thing that
was available, cutting and hewing timber for export, clearing a farm,
hauling wood, tending cattle, anything honorable; being an advocate of
total abstinence and prohibition, _he never kept a saloon_.

He has done all in his power to discountenance the sale and use of
intoxicants, the baleful effects of which were manifest among both
whites and Indians.

Every movement in the early days seems to have been fraught with danger.
D. T. Denny traveled in a canoe with two Indians from the Seattle
settlement in July, 1852, to Bush's Prairie, back of Olympia, to
purchase cattle for A. A. Denny, carrying two hundred dollars in gold
for that purpose. He risked his life in so doing, as he afterward
learned that the Indians thought of killing him and taking the money,
but for some unknown reason decided not to do the deed.

He was a volunteer during the Indian war of 1855-6, in Company C, and
with his company was not far distant when Lieut. Slaughter was killed,
with several others. Those who survived the attack were rescued by this

On the morning of the battle of Seattle, he was standing guard near Fort
Decatur; the most thrilling moment of the day to him was probably that
in which he helped his wife and child into the fort as they fled from
the Indians.

Although obliged to fight the Indians in self-defense in their warlike
moods, yet he was ever their true friend and esteemed by them as such.
He learned to speak the native tongue fluently, in such manner as to be
able to converse with all the neighboring tribes, and unnumbered times,
through years of disappointment, sorrow and trouble, they sought his
advice and sympathy.

For a quarter of a century the hand-to-hand struggle went on by the
pioneer and his family, to conquer the wilds, win a subsistence and
obtain education.

By thrift and enterprise they attained independence, and as they went
along helped to lay the foundations of many institutions and enterprises
of which the commonwealth is now justly proud.

David Thomas Denny possessed the gifts and abilities of a typical
pioneer; a good shot, his trusty rifle provided welcome articles of
food; he could make, mend and invent useful and necessary things for
pioneer work; it was a day, in fact, when "Adam delved" and "Eve" did
likewise, and no man was too fine a "gentleman" to do any sort of work
that was required.

Having the confidence of the community, he was called upon to fill many
positions of trust; he was a member of the first Board of Trustees of
Seattle, Treasurer of King County, Regent of the Territorial University,
Probate Judge, School Director, etc., etc.

Although a Republican and an abolitionist, he did not consider every
Democrat a traitor, and thereby incurred the enmity of some. Party
feeling ran high.

At that time (during the Rebellion) there stood on Pioneer Place in
Seattle a very tall flagstaff. Upon the death of a prominent Democrat
it was proposed to half-mast the flag on this staff, but during the
night the halyards were cut, it was supposed by a woman, at the
instigation of her husband and others, but the friends of the deceased
hired "Billie" Fife, a well-known cartoonist and painter, to climb to
the top and rig a new rope, a fine sailor feat, for which he received
twenty dollars.

The first organizer of Good Templar Lodges was entertained at Mr.
Denny's house, and he, with several of the family, became charter
members of the first organization on October 4th, 1866. He was the first
chaplain of the first lodge of I. O. G. T. organized in Seattle.

In after years the subject of this sketch became prominent in the
Prohibition movement; it was suggested to him at one time that he permit
his name to be used as Prohibition candidate for Governor of the State
of Washington, but the suggestion was never carried out. He would have
considered it an honor to be defeated in a good cause.

He also became a warm advocate of equal suffrage, and at both New York
and Omaha M. E. general conferences he heartily favored the admission of
women lay delegates, and much regretted the adverse decision by those in

The old pioneers were and are generally broad, liberal and progressive
in their ideas and principles; they found room and opportunity to think
and act with more freedom than in the older centers of civilization,
consequently along every line they are in the forefront of modern

For its commercial development, Seattle owes much to David Thomas Denny,
and others like him, in perhaps a lesser degree. In the days of small
beginnings, he recognized the possibilities of development in the little
town so fortunately located. His hard-earned wealth, energy and talents
have been freely given to make the city of the present as well as that
which it will be.

D. T. Denny made a valuable gift to the city of Seattle in a plot of
land in the heart of the best residence portion of the city. Many years
ago it was used as a cemetery, but was afterward vacated and is now a
park. He landed on the site of Seattle with twenty-five cents in his
pocket. His acquirement of wealth after years of honest work was
estimated at three million.

Not only his property, money, thought and energy have gone into the
building up of Seattle, but hundreds of people, newly arrived, have
occupied his time in asking information and advice in regard to their
settling in the West.

[Illustration: DAVID THOMAS DENNY]

He was president of the first street railway company of Seattle, and
afterward spent thousands of dollars on a large portion of the system of
cable and electric roads of which the citizens of Seattle are wont to
boast, unknowing, careless or forgetting that what is their daily
convenience impoverished those who built, equipped and operated them. He
and his company owned and operated for a time the Consolidated Electric
road to North Seattle, Cedar Street and Green Lake; the cable road to
Queen Anne Hill, and built and equipped the "Third Street and Suburban"
electric road to the University and Ravenna Park.

The building and furnishing of a large sawmill with the most approved
modern machinery, the establishing of an electric light plant,
furnishing a water supply to a part of the city, and in many other
enterprises he was actively engaged.

For many years he paid into the public treasury thousands of dollars for
taxes on his unimproved, unproductive real estate, a considerable
portion of which was unjustly required and exacted, as it was impossible
to have sold the property at its assessed valuation. As one old settler
said, he paid "robber taxes."

When, in the great financial panic that swept over the country in 1893,
he obtained a loan of the city treasurer and mortgaged to secure it real
estate worth at least three times the sum borrowed, the mob cried out
against him and sent out his name as one who had robbed the city,

This was not the only occasion when the canaille expressed their

Previous to, and during the anti-Chinese riot in Seattle, which occurred
on Sunday, February 7th, 1886, he received a considerable amount of
offensive attention. In the dark district of Seattle, there gathered one
day a forerunner of the greater mob which created so much disturbance,
howling that they would burn him out. "We'll burn his barn," they
yelled, their provocation being that he employed Chinese house servants
and rented ground to Mongolian gardeners. The writer remembers that it
was a fine garden, in an excellent state of cultivation. No doubt many
of the agitators themselves had partaken of the products thereof many
times, it being one of the chief sources of supply of the city.

The threats were so loud and bitter against the friends of the Chinese
that it was felt necessary to post a guard at his residence. The eldest
son was in Oregon, attending the law school of the University; the next
one, D. Thos. Denny, Jr., not yet of age, served in the militia during
the riot; the third and youngest remained at home ready to help defend
the same. The outlook was dark, but after some serious remarks
concerning the condition of things, Mr. Denny went up stairs and brought
down his Winchester rifle, stood it in a near corner and calmly resumed
his reading. As he had dealt with savages before, he stood his ground.
At a notorious trial of white men for unprovoked murder of Chinese, it
was brought out that "Mr. David Denny, he 'fliend' (friend) of Chinese,
Injun and Nigger."

During the time that his great business called for the employment of a
large force of men, he was uniformly kind to them, paying the highest
market price for their labor. Some were faithful and honest, some were
not; instead of its being a case of "greedy millionaire," it was a case
of just the opposite thing, as it was well known that he was robbed time
and again by dishonest employes.

When urged to close down his mill, as it was running behind, he said "I
can't do it, it will throw a hundred men out of employment and their
families will suffer." So he borrowed money, paying a ruinous rate of
interest, and kept on, hoping that business would improve; it did not
and the mill finally went under. A good many employes who received the
highest wages for the shortest hours, struck for more, and others were
full of rage when the end came and there were only a few dollars due on
their wages.

Neither was he a "heartless landlord," the heartlessness was on the
other side, as numbers of persons sneaked off without paying their rent,
and many built houses, the lumber in which was never paid for.

According to their code it was not _stealing_ to rob a person supposed
to be wealthy.

The common remark was, "Old Denny can stand it, he's got lots of money."

The anarchist-communistic element displayed their strength and venom in
many ways in those days. They heaped abuse on those, who unfortunately
for themselves, employed men, and bit the hand that fed them.

Their cry was "Death to Capitalists!" They declared their intention at
one time of hanging the leading business men of Seattle, breaking the
vaults of the bank open, burning the records and dividing lands and
money among themselves. But the reign of martial law at the culmination
of their heroic efforts in the Anti-Chinese riot, brought them to their
senses, the history of which period may be told in another chapter.

From early youth, David Thomas Denny was a faithful member of the M. E.
Church, serving often in official capacity and rendering valuable
assistance, with voice, hand and pocketbook. Twice he was sent as lay
delegate to the General Conference, a notable body of representative
men, of which he was a member in 1888 and again in 1892.

The conference of 1888 met in New York City and held its sessions at the
Metropolitan Opera House. His family accompanied him, crossing the
continent by the Canadian Pacific R. R. by way of Montreal to New York.

In the latter place, they met their first great sorrow, in the death,
after a brief illness, of the beloved youngest daughter, the return and
her burial in her native land by the sundown seas. Soon followed other
days of sadness and trial; in less than a year, the second daughter,
born in Fort Decatur, passed away, and others of the family, hovered on
the brink of the grave, but happily were restored.

Loss of fortune followed loss of friends as time went on, but these
storms passed and calm returned. He went steadfastly on, confident of
the rest that awaits the people of God.

At the age of sixty-seven he was wide awake, alert and capable of
enduring hardships, no doubt partly owing to a temperate life. In late
years he interested himself in mining and was hopeful of his own and his
friends' future, and that of the state he helped to found.

While sojourning in the Cascade Mountains in 1891, David T. Denny wrote
the following:

     "Ptarmigan Park: On Sept. 25th, 1851, just forty years ago,
     Leander Terry, an older brother of C. C. Terry, John N. Low and
     I, landed on what has since been known as Freeport Point, now
     West Seattle. We found Chief Sealth with his tribe stopping on
     the beach and fishing for salmon--a quiet, dignified man was

     "We camped on the Point and slept under a large cedar tree, and
     the next morning hired a couple of young Indians to take us up
     the Duwampsh River; stayed one night at the place which was
     afterward taken for a claim by E. B. Maple, then returned and
     camped one night at our former place on the Point; then on the
     morning of the 28th of September went around to Alki Point and
     put down the foundation of the first cabin started in what is now
     King County. Looking out over Elliott Bay at that time the site
     where Seattle now stands, was an unbroken forest with no mark
     made by the hand of man except a little log fort made by the
     Indians, standing near the corner of Commercial and Mill Streets.

     "Since that day we have had our Indian war, the Crimean war has
     been fought, the war between Prussia and Austria, that between
     France and Prussia, the great Southern Rebellion and many smaller

     "Then to think of the wonderful achievements in the use of
     electricity and the end is not yet.

     "I should like to live another forty years just to see the growth
     of the Sound country, if nothing else. I fully believe it is
     destined to be the most densely populated and wealthiest of the
     United States. One thing that leads me to this conclusion is the
     evidence of a large aboriginal population which subsisted on the
     natural productions of the land and water. Reasoning by
     comparison, what a vast multitude can be supported by an
     intelligent use of the varied resources of the country and the
     world to draw from besides."

And again he wrote:

     "Ptarmigan Park, Sept. 28th, 1891: Just forty years ago
     yesterday, J. N. Low, Lee Terry and myself laid the foundation of
     the first cabin started in what is now King County, Washington,
     then Thurston County, Oregon Territory.

     "Vast have been the changes since that day.

     "Looking back it does not seem so very long ago and yet children
     born since that have grown to maturity, married, and reared

     "Many of those who came to Elliott Bay are long since gone to
     their last home. Lee Terry has been dead thirty-five years, Capt.
     Robert Fay, twenty or more years, and J. N. Low over two years,
     in fact most of the early settlers have passed away: John Buckley
     and wife, Jacob Maple, S. A. Maple, Wm. N. Bell and wife, C. C.
     Terry and wife, A. Terry, L. M. Collins and wife, Mrs. Kate
     Butler, E. Hanford, Mother Holgate, John Holgate and many others.
     If they could return to Seattle now they would not know the
     place, and yet had it not been for various hindrances, the Indian
     war, the opposition of the N. P. R. R. and the great fire,
     Seattle would be much larger than it now is, the country would be
     much more developed and we would have a larger rural population.

     "However, from this time forward, I fully believe the process of
     development will move steadily on, especially do I believe that
     we are just commencing the development of the mineral resources
     of the country. Undoubtedly there has been more prospecting for
     the precious metals during 1891 than ever before all put

     "In the Silver Creek region there has been, probably, six hundred
     claims taken and from all accounts the outlook is very favorable.
     Also from Cle Elum and Swauk we have glowing accounts.

     "In the Ptarmigan Park district about fifty claims have been
     taken, a large amount of development work done and some very fine
     samples of ore taken out."

                             (Signed) D. T. DENNY.

In the Seattle Daily Times of September 25th, 1901.

                       "JUST FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY.

     "On September 25, 1851, Mr. D. T. Denny, Now Living in This City,
     Was Greeted on the Shores of Elliott Bay by Chief Seattle.

     "Fifty years ago today, the first white settlers set foot in King

     "Fifty years ago today, a little band of pioneers rounded Alki
     Point and grounded their boat at West Seattle. Chief Seattle
     stalked majestically down the beach and greeted them in his
     characteristic way. During the ensuing week they were guests of
     a Western sachem, the king of Puget Sound waters, and never were
     white men more royally entertained.

     "At that time Chief Seattle was at the height of his popularity.
     With a band of five hundred braves behind him, he stood in a
     position to command the respect of all wandering tribes and of
     the first few white men, whose heart-hungering and restlessness
     had driven them from the civilization of the East, across the
     plains of the Middle West, to the shores of the Pacific.

     "As Mr. Denny is essentially the premier of this country, it
     would not be out of order to give a glimpse of his early history.
     He is the true type of pioneer. Although he is somewhat bent with
     age, and his hair is white with the snows of many winters,
     nevertheless, he still shows signs of that ruggedness that was
     with him in the early Western days of his youth. Not only is he a
     pioneer, but he came from a family of pioneers. Years and years
     ago his ancestors crossed the Atlantic and landed on the Atlantic
     coast. Not satisfied with the prevailing conditions there, they
     began to push westward, settling in what is now Pennsylvania. As
     the country became opened up and settled, this Denny family of
     hardy pioneers again turned their faces to the westward sun, and
     this time Indiana made them a home, and still later Illinois."


It was in the latter state that Mr. D. T. Denny and his brother first
began to hear stories of the Willamette valley. Wonderful tales were
being carried across the plains of the fertility of the land around the
Columbia River and the spirit of restlessness that had been
characteristic of their ancestors began to tell upon them, and after
reading all they could find of this practically unknown wilderness, they
bade farewell to their Illinois friends, and started off across the

The start was made on the 10th day of April, 1851, from Knox County,
Illinois. D. T. Denny was accompanied by his older brother A. A. Denny,
and family. They drove two four-horse teams, and a two-horse wagon, and
ten days after the start had been made they crossed the Missouri River.
The fourth of July, 1851, found them at Fort Hall on Snake River,
Montana, an old Hudson Bay trading station. On the 11th day of August,
they reached The Dalles, Oregon, and there, after a brief consultation,
they decided to separate.

Mr. A. A. Denny here shipped the wagons and his family down the river on
some small vessel they were fortunate enough to find there, while Mr. D.
T. Denny took the horses and pushed over the Cascade Mountains. He
followed what was then known as the old Barlow road and reached
Portland on the 17th day of August.

They decided to stay in Portland for a few days, until they could learn
more about the country than they then knew, and it was in that city that
the subject of this sketch worked his first day for money. He helped
Thomas Carter unload a brig that had reached port from Boston, receiving
the sum of three dollars for his labors, and it was the "biggest three
dollars he ever earned in his life," so he said.

While at Portland they began to hear stories of Puget Sound, and after a
brief consultation, the Denny brothers and Mr. John N. Low, who had also
made the journey across the plains, decided to investigate the country
that now lies around the Queen City of the West.


As A. A. Denny had his family to look after, it was decided that Mr. Low
and D. T. Denny would make the trip, and as a consequence, on the 10th
day of September they ferried Low's stock across the river to what was
then Fort Vancouver. From there they followed the Hudson Bay trail to
the Cowlitz River, and up the Cowlitz to Ford's Prairie. Leaving their
stock there for a short time, they pushed on to Olympia, now the capital
of the state.

When they reached Olympia they found Capt. R. C. Fay and George M.
Martin on the point of leaving down Sound to fish for salmon, and
Messrs. Low, Denny and Terry arranged to come as far as the Duwamish
River with them. The start was made. There was no fluttering of flags
nor booming of cannon such as marked the departure of Columbus when he
left for a new country, and in fact this little band of men, in an open
boat, little dreamed that they would ultimately land within a stone's
throw of what was destined to become one of the greatest cities in the

Fifty years ago today they camped with Chief Seattle on the promontory
across the bay. They slept that night under the protecting branches of a
cedar tree, and on the morning of the 26th they hired two of Seattle's
braves to paddle them up the river in a dugout canoe. They spent that
day in looking over the river bottoms, where are now situated the towns
of Maple Prairie and Van Asselt. There were no settlements there then,
and nothing but giant pines and firs greeted their gaze for miles. It
was a wonderful sight to these hardy Eastern men, and as they wished to
know something more of the country, Messrs. Low and Terry decided to
leave the canoe and depart on a short tour of exploration. One, two and
three hours passed and they failed to put in an appearance. In vain did
Mr. Denny fire his gun, and yell himself hoarse, but he was compelled to
spend the night in the wilderness with the two Indians.


The next day, however, or to be explicit, on the 27th of September, he
was gratified at the appearance of his friends on the river bank. They
had become lost the night before, and falling in with a band of Indians,
had spent the night with them. Having seen enough of the country to
become convinced that it was the place for them, they returned to what
is now West Seattle for the night. After the sun had disappeared behind
the Olympics, they heard a scow passing the point, which afterwards they
found contained L. M. Collins and family, who had pushed on up the river
and settled on the banks of the Duwamish.

On the morning of the 28th they decided to take up claims back of Alki
point, and on that day started to lay the foundation of the first cabin
in King county. Having decided to settle on Elliott bay, Mr. Low
determined to return to Portland for his family, whereupon Mr. Denny
wrote the following letter to his brother and sent it with him:

     "We have examined the valley of the Duwamish river and find it a
     fine country. There is plenty of room for one thousand settlers.
     Come on at once."

By the time Mr. Low had reached Portland, William Bell and C. D. Boren
had also become interested in the Puget Sound district, and therefore
Messrs. Low, Denny, Bell and Boren, with their families, hired a
schooner to take them down the Columbia, up on the outside, in through
the Strait, and up the Sound to Alki, reaching the latter point on the
13th of November, 1851.

In speaking of those early pioneer days, Mr. Denny said:

     "We built up quite a settlement over on Alki, and the Indians of
     course came and settled around us. No, we were not molested to
     any great extent. I remember that on one night, our women folks
     missed a lot of clothing they had hung out to dry, and I at once
     went to their big chief and told him what had happened. In a very
     short time not only were the missing articles returned to us, but
     a lot that we didn't know were gone."


     "In those early days, in all my experience with Indians, I have
     always found them peaceable enough as long as they left whisky
     alone. Of course we had trouble with them, but it was always due
     to the introduction of the white man's firewater, which has been
     more than a curse to the red man.

     "When we reached here, the Indians were more advanced than one
     would have naturally supposed. We were able to buy berries, fish
     and game of them, and potatoes also. Great fine tubers they were
     too, much better than any we had ever been able to raise back in
     Illinois. In fact I don't know what we would have done during
     the first two winters had it not been for the Indians.

     "But talk about game," he continued, a glow coming to his face as
     the old scenes were brought up to him, "why, I have seen the
     waters of Elliott Bay fairly black with ducks. Deer and bear were
     plentiful then and this was a perfect paradise for the man with a
     rod or gun. Never, I am sure, was there a country in which it was
     so easy to live as it was in the Puget Sound district fifty years

     "In coming across the plains, Mr. Denny, were you attacked by
     Indians, or have any adventures out of the ordinary?" was asked.

     "Well," said he meditatively, "we did have one little brush that
     might have ended with the loss of all our lives. It was just
     after leaving Fort Hall, in Montana. We had come up to what I
     think was called the American Falls. While quite a distance away
     we noticed the water just below the falls was black, with what we
     supposed were ducks, but as we drew nearer we saw they were
     Indians swimming across with one hand and holding their guns high
     in the air with the other. We turned off slightly and started
     down the trail at a rattling rate. We had not gone far when a big
     chief stepped up on the bank. He was dressed mainly in a tall
     plug hat and a gun, and he shouted, 'How do, how do, stop, stop!'
     Well, we didn't, and after repeating his question he dropped
     behind the sage brush and opened fire.

     "My brother lay in my wagon sick with mountain fever, and that,
     of course, materially reduced our fighting force. Had they
     succeeded in shooting down one of our horses, it would, of
     course, have been the end of us, but fortunately they did not and
     we at last escaped them. No, no one was wounded, but it was the
     worst scrape I ever had with the Indians, and I hope I will never
     have to go through a similar experience again. It isn't pleasant
     to be shot at, even by an Indian."


     "In 1892," said Mr. Denny, "I went East over the Great Northern.
     I was thinking of my first experience in Montana when I reached
     that state, when all of a sudden we rounded a curve and passed
     below the falls. I knew them in a minute, and instantly those old
     scenes and trying times came back to me in a way that was
     altogether too realistic for comfort. No, I have not been back

     "Mr. Prosch, Mr. Ward and myself," continued this old pioneer,
     "had intended to take our families over to Alki today and hold a
     sort of a picnic in honor of what happened fifty years ago, but
     of course my sickness has prevented us from doing so. I don't
     suppose we will be here to celebrate the event at the end of
     another fifty years, and I should have liked to have gone today.
     Instead, I suppose I shall sit here and think of what I saw and
     heard at Alki Point just fifty years ago. I can live it over
     again, in memories at least.

     "Now, young man," concluded Mr. Denny, not unkindly, "please get
     the names of those early pioneers and the dates right. A Seattle
     paper published a bit of this history a few days ago, and they
     got everything all mixed up. This is the story, and should be
     written right, because if it isn't, the story becomes valueless.
     I dislike very much to have the stories and events of those early
     days misstated and misrepresented."

In 1899, Mr. Denny had the arduous task of personally superintending the
improvement of the old Snoqualmie road around the shore of Lake Kichelas
and on for miles through the mountains, building and repairing bridges,
making corduroy, blasting out rocks, changing the route at times; after
much patient effort and endurance of discomfort and hardship, he left it
much improved, for which many a weary way-farer would be grateful did
they but know. In value the work was far beyond the remuneration he

During the time he was so occupied he had a narrow escape from death by
an accident, the glancing of a double-bitted ax in the hands of a too
energetic workman; it struck him between the eyes, inflicting a wound
which bled alarmingly, but finally was successfully closed.

The next year he camped at Lake Kichelas in the interests of a mining
company, and incidentally enjoyed some fishing and prospecting. It was
the last time he visited the mountains.

Gradually some maladies which had haunted him for years increased. As
long as he could he exerted himself in helping his family, especially in
preparing the site for a new home. He soon after became a great sufferer
for several years, struggling against his infirmities, in all exhibiting
great fortitude and patience.

His mind was clear to the last and he was able to converse, to read and
to give sound and admirable advice and opinions.

Almost to the last day of his life he took interest in the progress of
the nation and of the world, following the great movements with
absorbing interest.

He expressed a desire to see his friends earnest Christians, his own
willingness to leave earthly scenes and his faith in Jesus.

So he lived and thus he died, passing away on the morning of November
25th, 1903, in the seventy-second year of his age.

He was a great pioneer, a mighty force, commercial, moral and religious,
in the foundation-building of the Northwest.

In a set of resolutions presented by the Pioneer Association of the
State of Washington occur these words: "The record of no citizen was
ever marked more distinctly by acts of probity, integrity and general
worth than that of Mr. D. T. Denny, endearing him to all the people and
causing them to regard him with the utmost esteem and favor."

On the morning of November 26th, 1903, there appeared in the
Post-Intelligencer, the following:

     "David Thomas Denny, who came to the site of Seattle in 1851, the
     first of his name on Puget Sound, died at his home, a mile north
     of Green Lake, at 3:36 yesterday morning. All the members of his
     family, including John Denny, who arrived the day before from
     Alaska, were at the bedside. Until half an hour before he passed
     away Mr. Denny was conscious, and engaged those about him in


The story of the early life of the Denny brothers tallies very nearly
with the history of Seattle. Mr. and Mrs. David Denny were married in a
cabin on the north end of A. A. Denny's claim near the foot of Lenora
street, January 23, 1853. The next morning the couple moved to their own
cabin--built by the husband's hands--at the foot of what is now Denny
Way. The moving was accomplished in a canoe.

Though they professed a great respect for David Denny, the Indians were
numerous and never very reliable. In a year or two, therefore, the
family moved up nearer the sawmill and little settlement which had
grown up near the foot of Cherry street. D. T. Denny had meanwhile
staked out a very large portion of what is now North Seattle--a plat of
three hundred and twenty acres. Later he made seven additions to the
city of Seattle from this claim. In 1857 it was a wilderness of thick
brush, but the pioneer moved his family to his farm on the present site
of Recreation park in that year. The Indian war had occurred the winter
before and the red men were quiet, having received a lesson from the
blue jackets which were landed from the United States gunboat Decatur.

Three or four years later the family moved to a cottage at the corner of
Second avenue and Seneca street. In the early '70s they moved to the
large home at the corner of Dexter and Republican streets, where the
children grew up. In 1890 the family took possession of the large house
standing on Queen Anne avenue, known as the Denny home, which was
occupied by the family until a few years ago, when they moved to Fremont
and later to the house where Mr. Denny died, in Licton Park, some
distance north of Green Lake.

Until about ten years ago David T. Denny was considered the wealthiest
man in Seattle. His large property in the north end of the city had been
the source of more and more revenue as the town grew. When the needs of
the town became those of a big city he hastened to supply them with
energy and money. His mill on the shores of Lake Union was the largest
in the city, when Seattle was first known as a milling town. The
establishment of an electric light plant and a water supply to a part of
the city were among the enterprises which he headed.

The cable and horse car roads were consolidated into a company headed by
D. T. Denny more than a decade ago. In the effort to supply the company
with the necessary funds Mr. Denny attempted to convert much of his
property into cash. At that time an estimate of his resources was made
by a close personal friend, who yesterday said that the amount was
considerably over three million dollars, which included his valuable
stock in the traction companies. In the hard times of '93 Mr. Denny was
unable to realize the apparent value of his property, and a considerable
reduction of his fortune was a result. Since then he has been to a great
extent engaged in mining in the Cascade mountains, and for the past
three years has been closely confined to his home by a serious illness.

Among the gifts of D. T. Denny to the city of Seattle is Denny Park.
Denny Way, the Denny school and other public places in Seattle bear his
name. D. T. Denny was a liberal Republican always. He was at one time a
member of the board of regents of the territorial university, the first
treasurer of King county, probate judge for two years and for twelve
years a school director of District No. 1, comprising the city of

Several of those who were associated with David T. Denny during the time
when he was in active business and a strong factor in local affairs have
offered estimates of his character and of the part he took in the
founding and building of the city. Said Col. William T. Prosser:

     "It is sad to think that David T. Denny will no more be seen upon
     the streets of the city he assisted in founding more than fifty
     years ago. During all that time he was closely identified with
     its varying periods of danger, delayed hopes and bitter
     disappointments, as well as those of marvelous growth, activity
     and prosperity. The changing features of the city were reflected
     in his own personal history. The waves of prosperity and
     adversity both swept over him, yet throughout his entire career
     he always maintained his integrity and through it all he bore
     himself as an energetic and patriotic citizen and as a Christian

Judge Thomas Burke:

     "D. T. Denny had great faith in Seattle, and his salient
     characteristic was his readiness in pushing forward its welfare.
     I remember him having an irreproachable character--honest, just
     in all his dealings and strong in his spirit. In illustration of
     his strong feeling on the temperance question I remember that he
     embodied a clause in the early deeds of the property which he
     sold to the effect that no intoxicating liquors were to be sold
     upon the premises. Yes, he was a good citizen."

Charles A. Prosch:

     "Although Mr. Denny's later years were clouded by financial
     troubles, reverses did not soil his spirit nor change his
     integrity. He was progressive to the last and one of the most
     upright men I know."

D. B. Ward:

     "I first met David Denny in 1859 and I have known him more or
     less intimately ever since. I know him to have possessed strict
     integrity, unswerving purpose and cordial hospitality. My first
     dinner in Seattle was eaten at his home--where a baked salmon
     fresh from the Sound was an oddity to me. His financial troubles
     some years ago grew out of his undaunted public spirit. He was
     president of the first consolidated street car system here, and
     in his efforts to support it most of his property was
     confiscated. I knew him for a strong, able man."

Judge Orange Jacobs:

     "Mr. Denny was a quiet man, but he carried the stamp of truth. He
     was extremely generous, and as I remember, he possessed a fine
     mind. In his death I feel a personal, poignant grief."

Rev. W. S. Harrington:

     "D. T. Denny was a man of much more than average ability. He
     thought much and deeply on all questions which affected the
     welfare of man. He was retiring and his strength was known to
     few. But his integrity was thorough and transparent and his
     purpose inflexible. Even though he suffered, his spirit was never
     bitter toward his fellows, and his benefactions were numerous.
     Above all, he was a Christian and believed in a religion which he
     sought to live, not to exhibit. His long illness was borne with a
     patience and a sweetness which commanded my deep respect and

Samuel L. Crawford:

     "A man with the courage to fight for his convictions of right and
     with a marvelous capacity for honest work--such is the splendid
     heritage David T. Denny has left to his sorrowing family. When
     but 19 years of age he walked from the Columbia river to Puget
     Sound, driving a small band of stock ahead of him through the

     "No sooner had his party settled and the log cabin been completed
     than David commenced looking for more work, and, like all others
     who seek diligently, he was successful, for early in December of
     that year the brig Leonesa, Capt. Daniel S. Howard, stopped at
     Alki Point, seeking a cargo of piling for San Francisco. David T.
     Denny, William N. Bell, C. D. Boren, C. C. Terry, J. N. Low, A.
     A. Denny and Lee Terry took the contract of cutting the piling
     and loading the vessel, which they accomplished in about two
     weeks, a remarkably short time, when the weather and the lack of
     teams and other facilities are taken into consideration.

     "Other vessels came for cargo and Mr. Denny became an expert
     woodsman, helping to supply them with piling from the shores. In
     1852 Mr. Denny, in company with his brother Arthur and some
     others, came over to Elliott Bay and laid the foundation of
     Seattle, the great city of the future. Mr. Denny, being a
     bachelor, took the most northerly claim, adjoining that of W. N.
     Bell, and built a cabin near the shore, at the foot of what is
     now Denny Way. The Indians being troublesome, he moved into a
     small house beside that of his brother on the site of the present
     Stevens Hotel.

     "In the meantime he married a sister of C. D. Boren, and a small
     family commenced to spring up around him, thus requiring larger
     quarters. In 1871 Mr. Denny built a large frame house on the
     southwest shore of Lake Union, on a beautiful knoll. He cleared
     up a large portion of his claim, and for many years engaged in
     farming and stock-raising. He afterward built a palatial home on
     his property at the foot of Queen Anne Hill, midway between Lake
     Union and the Sound, but this he occupied only a short time. In
     1852, in company with his brother Arthur, Mr. Denny discovered
     Salmon Bay.

     "Mr. Denny was a just man and always dealt fairly with the
     Indians. For this reason the Indians learned to love and respect
     him, and for many years they have gone to him to settle their
     disputes and help them out of their difficulties with the whites
     and among themselves.

     "As Seattle grew, David Denny platted much of his claim and sold
     it off in town lots. He built the Western mill at the south end
     of Lake Union and engaged extensively in the building and
     promotion of street railways. He had too many irons in the fire,
     and when the panic came in 1892-3 it crippled him financially,
     but he gave up his property, the accumulation of a lifetime of
     struggle and work, to satisfy his creditors, and went manfully to
     work in the mountains of Washington to regain his lost fortune.
     His heroic efforts were rapidly being crowned with success, as he
     is known to have secured a number of mines of great promise, on
     which he has done a large amount of development work during the
     past few years.

     "In the death of David T. Denny, Seattle loses an upright,
     generous worker, who has always contributed of his brain, brawn
     and cash for the upbuilding of the city of which he was one of
     the most important founders."


     "'I have known Mr. Denny for fifty years. A mighty tree has
     fallen. He was one of the best men, of highest character and
     principle, this city ever claimed as a citizen. That is enough.'

     "By Father F. X. Prefontaine, of the Church of Our Lady of Good
     Help: 'I have known Mr. Denny about thirty-six or thirty-seven
     years. I always liked him, though I was more intimately
     acquainted with his brother, Hon. A. A. Denny, and his venerable
     father, John Denny. His father in his time impressed me as a fine
     gentleman, a great American. He was a man who was always called
     upon at public meetings for a speech and he was a deeply earnest
     man, so much so that tears often showed in his eyes while he was
     addressing the people.'

     "Hon. Boyd J. Tallman, judge of the Superior Court: 'I have only
     known Mr. Denny since 1889, and I always entertained the highest
     regard for him. He was a man of firm conviction and principle and
     was always ready to uphold them. Though coming here to help found
     the town, he was always ready to advocate and stand for the
     principle of prohibition and temperance on all occasions. While
     there were many who could not agree with him in these things,
     every manly man felt bound to accord to Mr. Denny honesty of
     purpose and respect for the sincerity of his opinion. I believe
     that in his death a good man has gone and this community has
     suffered a great loss.'"


     "Clarence B. Bagley, who as a boy and man has known Mr. Denny for
     almost the full number of years the latter lived at Seattle, was
     visibly overcome at the news of his death. Mr. Bagley would
     gladly have submitted a more extended estimate than he did of Mr.
     Denny's life and character, but he was just hurrying into court
     to take his place as a juryman.

     "'Mr. Denny was one of the best men Seattle ever had. He was a
     liberal man, ever ready to embark his means in enterprises
     calculated to upbuild and aid in the progress of Seattle. He was
     a man of strong convictions, strong almost to obstinacy in
     upholding and maintaining cherished principles he fully believed.

     "'Mr. Denny suffered reverses through his willingness to
     establish enterprises for the good of the whole city. He built
     the Western Mill at Lake Union when the location was away in the
     woods, and eventually lost a great deal of money in it during the
     duller periods of the city's life. He also lost a great deal of
     money in giving this city a modern street railway system. His
     character as an honorable man and Christian always stood out
     boldly, his integrity of purpose never questioned.'

     "Lawrence J. Colman, son of J. M. Colman, the pioneer, said: 'Our
     family has known Mr. Denny for thirty-one years, ever since
     coming to Seattle. We regarded him as an absolutely upright,
     conscientious and Christian man, notwithstanding the reverses
     that came to him, in whom our confidence was supreme, and one who
     did not require his character to be upheld, for it shone brightly
     at all times by its own lustre.'"


     "S. F. Coombs, the well-known pioneer, had known Mr. Denny since
     1859, about forty-five years. 'It was to Mr. Denny,' said Mr.
     Coombs, 'that the Indians who lived here and knew him always went
     for advice and comfort and to have their disputes settled. Their
     high estimate of the man was shown in many ways, where the whites
     were under consideration. Mr. Denny was a man whom I always
     admired and greatly respected. He afforded me much information of
     the resident Indians here and around Salmon Bay, as he was
     intimately acquainted with them all.

     "'At one time Mr. Denny was reckoned as Seattle's wealthiest
     citizen. When acting as deputy assessor for Andrew Chilberg, the
     city lying north of Mill Street, now Yesler Way, was my district
     to assess. Denny's holdings, D. T. Denny's plats, had the year
     previous been assessed by the acre. The law was explicit, and to
     have made up the assessment by the acre would have been illegal.
     Mr. Denny's assessed value the year before was fifty thousand
     dollars. The best I could do was to make the assessment by the
     lot and block. For the year I assessed two hundred and fifty
     thousand. Recourse was had to the county commissioners, but the
     assessment remained about the same. Just before his purchase of
     the Seattle street car system he was the wealthiest man in King
     County, worth more than five hundred thousand dollars.

     "'Of Mr. Denny it may be said that if others had applied the
     Golden Rule as he did, he would have been living in his old home
     in great comfort in this city today.'"


     "Fifty-two years and two months ago David Thomas Denny came to
     Seattle, to the spot where Seattle now stands enthroned upon her
     seven hills. Mr. Denny, the last but one of the little band of
     pioneers--some half dozen men first to make this spot their
     home--has been gathered to his fathers; 'has wrapped the mantle
     of his shroud about him and laid down to pleasant dreams.' Gone
     is a man and citizen who perhaps loved Seattle best of all those
     who ever made Seattle their home. This is attested by the fact
     that from the time that Mr. Denny first came to Elliott Bay it
     has been his constant home. Never but once or twice during that
     long period of time did he go far away, and then for but a very
     short time. Once he went as far away as New York--and that proved
     a sad trip--and once, in recent years, to California. Both trips
     were comparatively brief, and he who first conquered the primeval
     forest that crowned the hills around returned home full of
     intense longing to get back and full of love for the old home.

     "Mr. Denny lived a rugged, honorable, upright life--the life of a
     patriarch. He bore patiently a long period of intense suffering
     manfully and without murmur, and when the end approached he
     calmly awaited the summons and died as if falling away into a
     quiet sleep. So he lived, so he died.

     "Few indeed who can comprehend the extent of his devotion to
     Seattle. Living in Seattle for the last two years, yet for that
     period he never looked once upon the city which he helped to
     build. About that long ago he moved from his home which he had
     maintained for some years at Fremont, to the place where he died,
     Licton Springs, about a mile north of Green Lake. Said Mr. Denny
     as he went from the door of the old home he was giving up for the
     new: 'This will be the last time I will ever look upon Seattle,'
     and Mr. Denny's words were true. He never was able to leave again
     the little sylvan home his family--his wife, sister and
     children--had raised for him in the woods. There, dearly loved,
     he was watched over and cared for by the children and by the wife
     who had shared with him for two-score-and-ten years the joys and
     sorrows, the ups and downs that characterized his life in a more
     marked degree than was the experience of any other of the
     pioneers who first reached this rugged bay.

     "Mr. Denny was once, not so very long ago, a wealthy man--some
     say the wealthiest in the city--but he died poor, very poor; but
     he paid his debts to the full. Once the owner in fee simple of
     land upon which are now a thousand beautiful Seattle homes, he
     passed on to his account a stranger in a strange land, and
     without title to his own domicile. When the crisis and the crash
     came that wrecked his fortune he went stoutly to work, and if he
     ever repined it was not known outside of the family and small
     circle of chosen friends. That was about fourteen years ago, and
     up to two years ago Mr. Denny toiled in an humble way, perhaps
     never expecting, never hoping to regain his lost fortune. Those
     last years of labor were spent, for the most part, at the Denny
     Mine on Gold Creek, a mine, too, in which he had no direct
     interest or ownership, or in directing work upon the Snoqualmie
     Pass road. He came down from the hills to his sick bed and to his

     "Mr. Denny's life for half a century is the history of the town.
     Without the Dennys there might have been no Seattle. Of all the
     band that came here in the fall of 1851, they seemed to have
     taken deepest root and to have left the stamp of their name and
     individuality which is keen and patent to this day."


  Victor W. S.      D. Thomas      John B.]


     "The Dennys came from Illinois, from some place near Springfield,
     and crossing Iowa, rendezvoused at what was then Kanesville, now
     Council Bluffs. They came by way of Fort Hall and the South Pass,
     along the south side of the Snake River, where, at or near
     American Falls, they had their first and only brush with the
     Indians. There was only desultory firing and no one was injured.
     The party reached The Dalles August 11, 1851. The party separated
     there, Low, Boren and A. A. Denny going by river to Portland,
     arriving August 22. In September, Low and D. T. Denny drove a
     herd of cattle, those that drew them across the plains, to
     Chehalis River to get them to a good winter range. These men came
     on to the Sound and here they arrived before the end of that
     month. After looking around some, Low went away, having hired Mr.
     Denny, who was an unmarried man, to stay behind and build Low a
     cabin. This was done and on September 28th, 1851, the foundation
     of this first cabin was laid close to the beach at Alki Point.

     "A. A. Denny, Low, Boren, Bell and C. C. Terry arrived at Alki
     Point, joining D. T. Denny. That made a happy little family,
     twenty-four persons, twelve men and women, twelve children and
     one cabin. In this they all resided until the men could erect a
     second log cabin. By this time the immediate vicinity of the
     point had been stripped of its building logs and the men had to
     go back and split shakes and carry them out of the woods on their
     backs. With these they erected two 'shake' or split cedar houses
     that, with the two log cabins, provided fair room for the
     twenty-four people.

     "During that winter the men cut and loaded a small brig with
     piles for San Francisco. The piles were cut near the water and
     rolled and dragged by hand to where they would float to the
     vessel's side. There were no oxen in the country at that time and
     the first team that came to Elliott Bay was driven along the
     beach at low tide from up near Tacoma."


     "The first winter spent at Alki Point the settlers were almost
     constantly surrounded with one thousand Indians armed with old
     Hudson Bay Company's muskets. This company maintained one of its
     posts at Nisqually, Pierce County, and traded flintlocks and
     blankets with the Indians all over Western Washington, taking in
     trade their furs and skins. The Indians from far and near hearing
     of the settlement of whites came and camped on the beach nearly
     the whole winter.

     "In addition to the Indians of this bay the Muckleshoots, Green
     Rivers, Snoqualmies, Tulalips, Port Madisons and likely numerous
     other bands were on hand. At one time the Muckleshoots and
     Snoqualmies lined up in front of the little cluster of whites and
     came near engaging in a battle, having become enraged at one
     another. The whites acted as peacemakers and no blood was

     "In those days the government gave what was known as donation
     claims, one hundred sixty acres to a man, and an equal amount to
     the women. In the spring of 1852 the Dennys, Bell and Boren, came
     over to this side and took donation claims. Boren located first
     on the south, his line being at about the line of Jackson Street.
     A. A. Denny came next and Bell third. Shortly after D. T. Denny
     located, taking a strip of ground from the bay back to Lake Union
     and bounded by lines north and south which tally about with Denny
     Way on the south and Mercer Street on the north. Later Mr. Denny
     bought the eastern shore of Lake Union, extending from the lake
     to the portage between Union and Washington.

     "Mr. Denny's first house on this side of the bay, built
     presumably in the spring of 1852, was located on the beach at the
     foot of what is now Denny Way in North Seattle. This was a
     one-story log cabin. It was on the bluff overlooking the bay and
     the woods hemmed it in, and it was only by cutting and slashing
     that one could open a way back into the forest."


     "Some time later Mr. Denny begun his original clearing for a farm
     at what is now the vicinity of Third Avenue North and Republican
     Street, and also in the early years of residence here--about 1860
     or 1861--built a home on the site of what is now occupied by
     modern business houses at Second Avenue and Seneca Street.

     "It seems to have been Mr. Denny's plan to work out on his farm
     at Third Avenue and Republican Street during the dry summer
     season and to reside down in the settlement in the winter. The
     farm at Third Avenue and Republican Street grew apace until in
     after years it became the notable spot in all the district of
     what is now North Seattle. After the arrival on the coast of the
     Chinaman it was leased to them for a number of years, and became
     widely known as the China gardens. Mr. Denny does not seem to
     have planted orchard to any extent here, but at Second and Seneca
     he had quite an orchard. Forming what later became a part of the
     original D. T. Denny farm was a large tract of open, boggy land
     running well through the center of Mr. Denny's claim from about
     Third Avenue down to Lake Union. This was overgrown largely with
     willow and swamp shrubs. In ancient times it was either a lake or
     beaver marsh, and long after the whites came, ducks frequented
     the place. The house built at Second Avenue and Seneca Street by
     Mr. Denny was a small one-story structure of three or four rooms.

     "In 1871 Mr. Denny built another homestead of the D. T. Denny
     family at this place. It was, after its completion, one of the
     most commodious and important houses in the city. This house was
     built overlooking Lake Union, instead of the bay. The site
     selected was on what is now Dexter Avenue and Republican Street.
     This house still stands, a twelve or fourteen-room house,
     surrounded by orchard and grounds."


     "Mr. Denny lived at the Lake Union home until just after the big
     fire here in 1889, when he began the erection and completed a
     fine mansion on Queen Anne Avenue, with fine grounds, but he did
     not long have the pleasure of residing here. The unfortunate
     business enterprises in which he soon found himself engulfed,
     swept away his vast wealth, and 'Honest Dave,' as he had become
     familiarly to be known, was left without a place wherein to rest
     his head."

These tributes also recite something of the story of his life:

     "He was one of the original locators of donation claims on
     Elliott Bay, within the present limits of Seattle. The two
     Dennys, David and his brother, Arthur, now deceased; Dr. Maynard,
     Carson D. Boren and W. N. Bell, were the first locators of the
     land upon which the main portion of Seattle now rests. All of
     them, save Boren, have passed away, and Boren has not lived in
     Seattle for many years; so it may be said that David Denny was
     the last of the Seattle pioneers. Of his seventy-one years of
     life, fifty-two were passed on Puget Sound and fifty-one in the
     City of Seattle, in the upbuilding of which he bore a prominent

     "With his original donation claim and lands subsequently
     acquired, Mr. Denny was for many years the heaviest property
     owner in actual acreage in Seattle. Most of his holdings had
     passed into the hands of others before his death. In his efforts
     to build up the city he engaged in the promotion of many large
     enterprises, and was carrying large liabilities, although well
     within the limit of his financial ability, when the panic of ten
     years ago rendered it impossible to realize upon any property of
     any value, and left equities in real property covered even by
     light mortgages, absolutely valueless. In that disastrous period
     he, among all Seattle's citizens, was stricken the hardest blow,
     but he never lost the hope or the energy of the born pioneer, nor
     faith in the destinies of the city which he had helped to found.
     His name remains permanently affixed to many of the monuments of
     Seattle, and he will pass into history as one of the men who laid
     the foundations of one of the great cities of the world, and who
     did much in erecting the superstructure.

     "In the enthusiasms of early life the ambitious men and women of
     America turn their faces toward 'the setting sun' and bravely
     assume the task of building homes in uninhabited places and
     transforming the wilderness into prosperous communities. Those
     who undertake such work are to be listed among God's
     noblemen--for without such men little progress would be made in
     the development of any country.

     "For more than a hundred years one of the interesting features of
     life in the United States is that connected with pioneering. The
     men and women of energy are usually possessed with an adventurous
     spirit which chafes under the fixed customs and inflexible
     conservatism of the older communities, and longs to take a hand
     in crowding the frontier toward the Pacific.

     "The poet has said that only the brave start out West and only
     the strong success in getting there. Thus it is that those, who,
     more than a half century ago, elected to cross the American
     continent were from the bravest of the eastern or middle portion
     of the United States. Many who started turned back; others died
     by the wayside. Only the 'strong' reached their destination.

     "Of this class was the small party which landed at Alki Point in
     the late summer of 1851 and began the task of building up a
     civilization where grew the gigantic forests and where roamed the
     dusky savage. Of that number was David T. Denny, the last
     survivor but one, C. D. Boren, of the seven men who composed the
     first white man's party to camp on the shores of Elliott Bay.

     "It requires some stretch of the imagination to view the
     surroundings that enveloped that band of hardy pioneers and to
     comprehend the magnitude of the task that towered before them. It
     was no place for the weak or faint-hearted. There was work to
     do--and no one shirked.

     "Since then more than fifty years have come and gone, and from
     the humble beginnings made by David T. Denny and the others has
     grown a community that is the metropolis of the Pacific Northwest
     and which, a few years hence, will be the metropolis of the
     entire Pacific Coast. That this has been the product of these
     initial efforts is due in a large measure to the energy, the
     example, the business integrity and public spirit of him whose
     demise is now mourned as that of the last but one of the male
     survivors of that little party of pioneers of 1851.

     "The history of any community can be told in the biographies of a
     few of the leading men connected with its affairs. The history of
     Seattle can be told by writing a complete biography of David T.
     Denny. He was among the first to recognize that here was an
     eligible site for a great city. He located a piece of land with
     this object in view and steadfastly he clung to his purpose. When
     a public enterprise was to be planned that would redound to the
     growth and prestige of Seattle he was at the front, pledging his
     credit and contributing of his means.

     "Then came a time in the growth of cities on the Pacific Coast
     when the spirit of speculation appeared to drive men mad. Great
     schemes were laid and great enterprises planned. Some of them
     were substantial; some of them were not. With a disposition to do
     anything honorable that would contribute to the glory of Seattle,
     David T. Denny threw himself into the maelstrom with all of his
     earthly possessions and took chances of increasing his already
     handsome fortune. Then came the panic of 1893 and Mr. Denny was
     among many other Seattle men who emerged from the cataclysm
     without a dollar.

     "Subsequent years made successful the enterprise that proved the
     financial ruin of so many of Seattle's wealthy, but it was too
     late for those who had borne the brunt of the battle. Others came
     in to reap where the pioneers had sown and the latter were too
     far along in years to again take up the struggle of accumulating
     a competence. His declining years were passed in the circle of
     loving friends who never failed to speak of him as the
     personification of honesty and integrity and one whose noble
     traits of character in this respect were worthy of all

The following is an epitaph written for his tomb:

     "David Thomas Denny, Born March 17th, 1832, Died Nov. 25th, 1903.
     The first of the name to reach Puget Sound, landing at Duwampsh
     Head, Sept. 25th, 1851. A great pioneer from whose active and
     worthy life succeeding generations will reap countless benefits."

     "He giveth his beloved sleep."

The early days of the State, or rather, Territory, of Washington
produced a distinct type of great men, one of whom was David Thomas

Had Washington a poet to tell of the achievements of her heroic founders
and builders a considerable epic would be devoted to the remarkable
career and character of this noble man.

At the risk of repetition I append this slight recapitulation:

The first of the name to set foot on Puget Sound, _Oregon Territory_,
September 25th, 1851, he then evinced the characteristics more fully
developed in after years.

He had crossed the plains and then from Portland proceeded to Puget
Sound by the old Hudson Bay trail. He landed at Duwampsh Head where now
is West Seattle, and there met and shook hands with Chief Sealth, or old
Seattle as the whites called him. He helped to build the first cabin
home at Alki Point. He alone was the Committee of Reception when the
notable party landed from the "Exact." He ran the race of the bravest of
the brave pioneers.

Beginning at the very bottom of the ladder, he worked with his hands, as
did the others, at every sort of work to be found in a country entirely

A ready axman, a very Nimrod, a natural linguist, he began the attack on
the mighty forest, he slew wild animals and birds for food, he made
friends with the native tribes.

He builded, planted, harvested, helped to found schools, churches,
government and civilized society. Always and everywhere he embodied and
upheld scriptural morality and temperance.

Many now living could testify to his untiring service to the stranded
newcomers. Employment, money, credit, hospitality, time, advice, he gave
freely to help and encourage the settlers following the pioneers.

He was Probate Judge, County Treasurer, City Councilman, Regent of the
University, School Director for twelve years, etc., etc. He administered
a number of estates with extreme care and faithfulness.

David T. Denny early realized that Seattle was a strategic site for a
great city and by thrifty investments in wild land prepared for
settlements sure to come.

After long years of patient toil, upright dealing and wise management,
he began to accumulate until his property was worth a fortune.

With increasing wealth his generosity increased and he gave liberally to
carry on all the institutions of a civilized community.

David T. Denny gave "Denny Park" to the City of Seattle.

Denny school was named for him, as is perfectly well known to many

As prosperity increased he became more active in building the city and
lavished energy, toil, property and money, installing public enterprises
and utilities, such as water supply, electric lights, a large sawmill,
banks, street railways, laying off additions to the city, grading and
improvements, etc., etc.

Then came 1893, the black year of trade. Thousands lost all they
possessed. David T. Denny suffered a martyrdom of disappointment,
humiliation, calumny, extreme and undeserved reproach from those who
crammed themselves with securities, following the great money panic in
which his immense holdings passed into the hands of others.

He was a soldier of the Indian war and was on guard near the door of
Fort Decatur when the memorable attack took place on January 26th, 1856.
The fort was built of timbers hewn by D. T. Denny and two others, taken
from his donation claim. These timbers were brought to Seattle, then a
little settlement of about three hundred people. There he helped to
build the fort.

Many persons have expressed a desire to see a fitting memorial erected
to the memory of Seattle's "Fairy Prince," Founder and Defender, David
Thomas Denny.

I feel the inadequacy of these fragmentary glimpses of the busy life of
this well known pioneer. I have not made a set arrangement of the
material as I wished to preserve the testimony of others, hence there
appear some repetitions; an accurate and intimate biography may come in
the future.

Logically, his long, active, useful life in the Northwest, might be
divided into epochs on this wise:

1st. The log cabin and "claim" era, in which, within my own memory, he
was seen toiling early and late, felling the forest giants, cultivating
the soil, superintending Indian workers and bringing in game, killed
with his rifle.

2nd. The farm-home era, when he built a substantial house on his part of
the donation claim, near the south end of Lake Union, obtained cattle
(famous Jersey stock of California), horses, etc. The home then achieved
by himself and his equally busy wife, was one to be desired, surrounded
as it was by beautiful flowers, orchards, wide meadows and pastures, and
outside these, the far-spreading primeval forest.

3rd. Town-building. The west end of the claim, belonging to Louisa
Denny, was first platted; other plats followed, as may be seen by
reference to Seattle records. Commercial opportunities loomed large and
he entered upon many promising enterprises. All these flourished for a

4th. 1893. The failure of Baring Bros., as he told me repeatedly, began
it--theirs being the result of having taken bonds of the Argentine
Republic, and a revolution happening along, $100,000,000.00 went by the
board; a sizable failure.

Partly on account of this and partly on account of the vast advantage of
the lender over the borrower, and partly through the vast anxiety of
those who held his securities, they were able to distribute among
themselves his hard-earned fortune.

"A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among
thieves, which stripped him of his raiment and wounded him and departed
leaving him half dead."

The Deficiency Judgment also loomed large and frequent and his last days
were disturbed by those who still pressed their greedy claims, even
following after his death, with a false, unjust and monstrous sale of
the cemetery in which he lies buried!

But he is with the just men made perfect.

Law, custom and business methods have permitted, from time immemorial,
gross injustice to debtors; formerly they were imprisoned; a man might
speedily pay his debts, if in prison!

The Deficiency Judgment and renewal of the same gives opportunity for
greedy and unprincipled creditors to rob the debtor. There should be a
law compelling the return of the surplus. When one class of people make
many times their money out of the misfortunes of others, there is
manifestly great inequality.

The principles of some are to grab all they can, "skin" all they can,
and follow up all they can even to the _graveyard_.


5th. In the end he laid down all earthly things, and in spite of grief
and suffering, showed a clear perception and grasp of justice, mercy and



Concerning this notable occurrence many interesting incidents were
recorded by an interviewer who obtained the same from the lips of David
Thomas Denny.

     "On January 23rd, 1895, Mr. and Mrs. David T. Denny celebrated
     their forty-second wedding anniversary--and the anniversary of
     the first wedding in Seattle--in their home at 'Decatur Terrace'
     (512 Temperance Street), Seattle, with a gathering of children,
     grandchildren, relatives and friends that represented four
     distinctive generations.

     "One of the notable features of the evening was the large
     gathering of pioneers who collectively represented more years of
     residence in Seattle than ever were found together before.

[Illustration: LOUISA B. DENNY]

     "What added interest to the occasion was the historical fact that
     Mr. and Mrs. Denny were the first couple married in Seattle, and
     the transition from the small, uncouth log cabin, built
     forty-three years ago by the sturdy young pioneer for his bride,
     to the present beautiful residence with all its modern
     convenience in which the respected couple are enjoying the fruits
     of a well spent life, was the subject of many congratulations
     from the friends of the honored host and hostess who remembered
     their early trials and tribulations. All present were more or
     less connected with the history of Seattle, all knew one
     another's history, and with their children and grandchildren the
     gathering, unconventional in every respect, with the two-year-old
     baby romping in the arms of the octogenarian, presented a
     colossal, happy family reunion.

     "The old pioneer days were not forgotten, and one corner of the
     reception room was made to represent the interior of a cabin,
     lined with newspapers, decorated with gun, bullet pouch and
     powder horn and measure, a calico sunbonnet, straw hat and
     hunting shirt.

     "A table was set to represent one in the early fifties, namely,
     two boards across two boxes, for a table, a smoked salmon, a tin
     plate full of boiled potatoes, some sea biscuits and a few large
     clams. Such a meal, when it was had, was supposed to be a feast.

     "Many other relics were in sight; a thirty-two pound solid shot,
     fired by the sloop-of-war Decatur among the Indians during the
     uprising; a ten-pound shot belonging to Dr. Maynard's cannon; a
     pair of enormous elk's horns belonging to a six hundred and
     thirty-pound elk killed by Mr. D. T. Denny, September 7th, 1869,
     in the woods north west of Green Lake; the first Bible of the
     family from which the eldest daughter, Miss Emily Inez, learned
     her letters; an old-fashioned Indian halibut hook, an ingenious
     contrivance; an old family Bible, once the property of the
     father of David T. Denny, bearing the following inscription on
     the inside cover:

        'The property of J. Denny,
         Purchased of J. Strange,
          August the 15th, 1829,
           Price 62-1/2 cents.
         Putnam County, Indiana.'

     "Also a number of daguerreotypes of Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny in
     the early years of their married life, taken in the fifties, and
     one of W. G. Latimer and his sister.

     "All these and many more afforded food for conversation and
     reminiscences on the part of the old pioneers present.

     "An informal programme introduced the social intercourse of the
     evening. Harold Denny, a grandson of the hosts and son of Mr.
     John B. Denny, made an address to his grandparents, giving them
     the greeting of the assembly in these words:

       "'O fortunate, O happy day,'
       The people sing, the people say,
       The bride and bridegroom, pioneers,
       Crowned now with good and gracious years
       Serenely smile upon the scene.
       The growing state they helped to found
       Unto their praise shall yet redound.
       O may they see a green old age,
       With every leaf a written page
       Of joy and peace from day to day.
       In good, new times not far away
       May people sing and people say,
       'Heaven bless their coming years;
       Honor the noble Pioneers.'

     "The chief diversion was afforded by the sudden entrance of a
     band of sixteen young men and women gorgeously dressed as
     Indians, preceded by a runner who announced their approach. They
     were headed by Capt. D. T. Davies who acted as chief. The band
     marched in true Indian file, formed a circle and sat down on the
     floor with their 'tamanuse' boards upon which they beat the old
     time music and sang their Indian songs. After an impressive hush,
     the chief addressed their white chief, Denny, in the Chinook
     language, wishing Mr. and Mrs. Denny many returns of the
     auspicious occasion.

     "Mr. Denny, who is an adept in the Indian languages, replied in
     the same tongue, thanking his dark brethren for their good
     intentions and speaking of the happy relations that always
     existed between the whites and the Indians until bad white men
     and whisky turned the minds and brains of the Indians. The
     council then broke up and took their departure.

     "The marriage certificate of Mr. and Mrs. Denny is written on
     heavy blue paper and has been so carefully preserved that, beyond
     the slight fading of the ink, it is as perfect as when first
     given in the dense forests on the shores of Elliott Bay. It reads
     as follows:

     "'This may certify that David Denny and Louisa Boren were joined
     in marriage at the residence of Arthur A. Denny in the County of
     King and Territory of Oregon, by me in the presence of A. A.
     Denny and wife and others, on this 23rd day of January, 1853. D.
     S. Maynard, J. P.'

     "Another historical event, apropos right here, was the death and
     burial of D. S. Maynard early in 1873.

     "The funeral services were conducted March 15, 1873, by Rev. John
     F. Damon in Yesler's pavilion, then located at what is now Cherry
     and Front Streets. The funeral was under the auspices of St.
     John's lodge, of which Dr. Maynard was a member. The remains were
     escorted to what is now Denny Park--the gift to the city, of Mr.
     David T. Denny--and the casket was deposited and kept in the tool
     house of that place until the trail could be cut to the new
     Masonic--now Lake View--cemetery. Maynard's body was the first
     interred there.

     "Miss Louisa Boren, who married Mr. David T. Denny, was the
     younger sister of A. A. Denny's wife and came across the plains
     with the Denny's in 1851.

     "The house of A. A. Denny, in which the marriage took place, was
     located near the foot of what is now Bell Street, and was the
     first cabin built by A. A. Denny when he moved over from Alki
     Point. Seattle was then a dense forest down to the water's edge,
     and had at that time, in the spring of 1852, only three cabins,
     namely: C. D. Boren's, the bride's brother; W. N. Bell's and A.
     A. Denny's. Boren's stood where now stands the Merchant's
     National Bank, and Bell's was near the foot of Battery Street.

     "At first the forests were so dense that the only means of
     communication was along the beach at low tide; after three or
     four months, a trail was beaten between the three cabins. David
     lived with his brother, but he built himself a cabin previous to
     his marriage, near the foot of Denny Way, near and north of
     Bell's house. To this lonely cabin in the woods, he took his
     bride and they lived there until August, 1853, eking out an
     existence like the other pioneers, chopping wood, cutting piles
     for shipment, living on anyhow, but always managing to have
     enough to eat, such as it was, with plenty of pure spring water.

     "In August, of 1853, he built a cabin on the spot where now the
     Frye Block stands and they passed the winter of 1853 there.

     "In the spring of 1854 he built another cabin further east on the
     donation claim, east of what is now Box Street, between Mercer
     and Republican, and they moved into it, remaining there until
     near the time of the Indian outbreak.

     "Mr. Denny had acquired a knowledge of the various Indian
     dialects, and through this learned much of the threatened
     outbreak, and moved his family in time back to the house on the
     Frye Block site, which was also near the stockade or fort that
     stood at the foot of Cherry Street. During the greater part of
     the winter of 1855 the women in the settlement lived in the fort,
     and Mrs. Denny passed much of the time there.

     "After the Indian trouble was over the Denny's moved out again to
     their outside cabin. The Indians making the trouble were the
     Swunumpsh and the Klickitats, from east of the mountains; the
     Sound Indians, the Duwampsh and the Suquampsh, were friendly and
     helped the whites a great deal. Sealth or Seattle belonged to the
     Suquampsh tribe and his men gave the first warning of the
     approach of the hostile Indians.

     "Mr. and Mrs. David T. Denny have had eight children, four
     daughters and four sons. One son died shortly after birth, and all
     the others grew to maturity, after which the father and mother
     were called to mourn the loss of two daughters. Two daughters and
     three sons survive, namely: Miss Emily Inez, Mrs. Abbie D.
     Lindsley, Mr. John B. Denny, Mr. D. Thomas Denny and Mr. Victor
     W. S. Denny.

     "The sons are all married and nine out of ten grandchildren were
     present last evening to gladden the hearts of Grandpa and Grandma
     Denny. The absent members of the family group were Mrs. John B.
     Denny and daughter, in New York on a visit.

     "'People in these days of modern improvements and plenty know
     nothing of the hardships the pioneer of forty years ago had to
     undergo right here,' said Mr. Denny.

     "'Nearly forty years of life in a dense forest surrounded by
     savages and wild beasts, with the hardest kind of work necessary
     in order to eke out an existence, was the lot of every man and
     woman here. It was a life of privation, inconveniences,
     anxieties, fears and dangers innumerable, and required physical
     and mental strength to live it out. Of course, we all had good
     health, for in twenty-four years' time we only had a doctor four
     times. Our colony grew little by little, good men and bad men
     came in and by the time the Indians wanted to massacre us we had
     about three hundred white men, women and children. We got our
     provisions from ships that took our piles and then the Indians
     also furnished us with venison, potatoes, fish, clams and wild
     fowl. Flour, sugar and coffee we got from San Francisco. When we
     could get no flour, we made a shift to live on potatoes.'

     "In speaking of cold weather, Mr. Denny recalled the year of
     1852, when it was an open winter until March 3, but that night
     fourteen inches of snow fell and made it the coldest winter, all
     in that one month. The next severe winter was that of 1861-2,
     which was about the coldest on record. During those cold spells
     the pioneers kept warm cutting wood.

     "The unique invitations sent out for this anniversary, consisted
     of a fringed piece of buck-skin stretched over the card and
     painted '1851, Ankuti. 1895, Okoke Sun.' They were well responded
     to, and every room in the large house was filled with interested
     guests, from the baby in arms to the white haired friend of the
     old people. Pioneers were plenty, and it is doubtful if there
     ever was a gathering in the City of Seattle that could aggregate
     so many years of residence in the Queen City of the West on the
     shores of Elliott Bay.

     "Arranged according to families, and classing those as pioneers
     who came prior to the Indian war of 1855-6, the following list
     will be found of historical value:

     "Rev. and Mrs. D. E. Blaine, pioneers; A. A. Denny, brother of D.
     T. Denny; Loretta Denny, sister of D. T. Denny; Lenora Denny,
     daughter of A. A. Denny; Rev. and Mrs. Daniel Bagley, pioneers of
     1852, Oregon, Seattle 1860; Mrs. Clarence B. Bagley, daughter of
     Thomas Mercer, 1852; C. B. Bagley, pioneer, 1852 Oregon, Seattle
     1860; Hillory Butler, pioneer; Mrs. Gardner Kellogg, daughter of
     Bonney, Pierce County 1853; Walter Graham, pioneer; Rev. Geo. F.
     Whitworth, pioneer; Thomas Mercer, 1852 Oregon, Seattle 1853;
     David Graham, 1858; Mrs. Susan Graham, daughter of Thomas Mercer;
     Mrs. S. D. Libby, wife of Captain Libby, pioneer; George Frye,
     1853; Mrs. Katherine Frye, daughter of A. A. Denny; Sophie and
     Bertie Frye, granddaughters of A. A. Denny; Mrs. Mamie Kauffman
     Dawson, granddaughter of Wm. N. Bell, pioneer; Mr. and Mrs. D. B.
     Ward, pioneers (Mrs. Ward, daughter of Charles Byles, of Thurston
     County, 1853); Mrs. Abbie D. Lindsley, daughter of D. T. and
     Louisa Denny; the Bryans, all children of Edgar Bryan, a pioneer
     of Thurston County; J. W. George, pioneer 1852; Orange Jacobs,
     pioneer of Oregon."

In another chapter it has been shown how D. T. Denny was the first of
the name to reach Puget Sound. Not having yet attained his majority he
was required to consider, judge and act for himself and others. Like the
two spies, who entered the Promised Land in ancient days, Low and Denny
viewed the goodly shores of Puget Sound for the sake of others by whom
their report was anxiously awaited.

As before stated, Low returned to carry the tidings of the wonderful
country bordering on the Inland Sea, while David T. Denny, but nineteen
years of age, was left alone, the only white person on Elliott Bay,
until the Exact came with the brave families of the first settlers. From
that time on he has been in the forefront of progress and effort,
beginning at the very foundation of trade, business enterprises,
educational interests, religious institutions and reforms. From the
early conditions of hard toil in humble occupations, through faith,
foresight and persistence, he rose to a leading position in the business
world, when his means were lavished in modern enterprises and
improvements through which many individuals and the general public were
benefited, said improvements being now in daily use in the City of

One of these is the Third Street and Suburban Electric Railway, built
and equipped by this energetic pioneer and his sons.

The old donation claim having become valuable city property, the
taxation was heavy to meet the expenses of extravagant and wasteful
administration partly, and partly incidental to the phenomenal growth of
the city, consequently both Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny have paid into the
public treasury a considerable fortune, ten or twelve thousand a year
for ten years, twenty thousand for grades, six thousand at a time for
school tax and so on--much more than they were able to use for

       *       *       *       *       *

A fascinating volume would recount their hunting adventures, as all,
father and sons, are fine shots; game, both large and small, swarmed
about the present site of Seattle in the early days.

Indeed, for many years the bounty of Nature failed not; as late as 1879,
ruffed grouse or "pheasants," blue grouse, brown and black bears were
numerous seven or eight miles north of Seattle, a region then untenanted
wilds. The women folk were not always left behind on hunting
expeditions, and the pioneer mother, and daughters, too, quite often
accompanied them.

Into this primeval wilderness, to a mineral spring known and visited by
the Indians in times past and called by them Licton, came the father,
mother and eldest son to enjoy all they might discover. The two hunting
dogs proved necessary and important members of the party by rousing up a
big black bear and her cubs near the spring,--but we will let the
pioneer mother, Mrs. Louisa Denny, tell the tale as she has often told
it in the yesterdays:

     "We were out in the deep forest at the mineral spring the Indians
     call 'Licton'; the two dogs, Prince and Gyp, treed a black bear
     cub in a tall fir on the farther side of the brook, a little way
     along the trail; the hunters pressed up and fired. Receiving a
     shot, the cub gave a piercing scream and, tumbling down, aroused
     the old bear, which, though completely hidden by the undergrowth,
     answered it with an enraged roar that sounded so near that the
     hunters fled without ceremony. I sat directly in the path, on the
     ends of some poles laid across the brook for a foot bridge, very
     calmly resting and not at all excited--as yet. My boy yelled to
     me, at the top of his voice, 'Get up a tree, mother! get up a
     tree, quick! The old bear is coming!' Hearing a turmoil at the
     foot of the big tree, where the dogs, old bear and two cubs were
     engaged in a general melee, I also thought it best to 'get up a
     tree.' We dashed across the brook and climbed up a medium sized
     alder tree--the boy first, myself next, and my husband last and
     not very far from the ground. We could hear the bear crashing
     around through the tall bushes and ferns, growling at every step
     and only a little way off, but she did not come out in sight. The
     dogs came and lay down under the tree where we were. Two long,
     weary hours we watched for Bruin, and then, everything being
     quiet, climbed down, stiff and sore, parted the brushes
     cautiously and reconnoitered. One climbed up a leaning tree to
     get a better view, but there was no view to be had, the woods
     were so thick. We crept along softly until we reached the foot of
     the big fir, and there lay the wounded cub, dead! The hunters
     dragged it a long distance, looking back frequently and feeling
     very uncertain, as they had no means of knowing the whereabouts
     of the enemy. I walked behind carrying one of the guns. Perhaps I
     was cruel in asking them if they looked behind them when they
     tacked the skin on the barn at home! However, it was certainly a
     case of discretion better than valor, as one weapon was only a
     shotgun and the rank undergrowth gave no advantage. It seemed to
     make everybody laugh when we told of our adventure, but I did not
     think the experience altogether amusing, and I shall never forget
     that mother-bear's roar. They have killed plenty of big game
     since; my two younger boys shot a fine, large black bear whose
     beautiful skin adorns my parlor floor and is much admired."

This is but one incident in the life of a pioneer woman, the greater
portion of whose existence has been spent in the wilds of the Northwest.
In perils oft, in watchings many, in often uncongenial toil, Louisa
Boren Denny spent the years of her youth and prime, as did the other
pioneer mothers.

"What a book the story of my life would make!" she exclaimed in a
retrospective mood--yet, like the majority of the class she typifies,
she has left the book unwritten, while hand and brain have been busy
with the daily duties pressing on her.

A childhood on the beautiful, flower-decked, virgin prairie of Illinois,
in the log cabin days of that state, the steadfast pursuit of knowledge
until maturity, when she went out to instruct others, the breaking of
many ties of friendship to accompany her relatives across the plains,
the joy of new scenes so keenly appreciated by the observant mind, the
self-denials and suffering inevitable to that stupendous journey and the
reaching of the goal on Puget Sound, at once the beginning and the
ending of eventful days, might be the themes of its opening chapters.

Her marriage and the rearing of beautiful and gifted children, in the
midst of the solemn and noble solitudes of Nature's great domain, where
they often wandered together hand in hand, she the gentle teacher, they
the happy learners, green boughs and fair blossoms bending near--yes,
the toil, too, as well as pleasure, in which the willing hands wrought
and tireless feet hastened to and fro in the service of her God, all
these things I shared in are indelibly written on my memory's pages,
though they be never recorded elsewhere.


Many times in the latter years, spoken opinions have shown that she has
originated ideas of progress and reform that have been subsequently
brought before the public as initiative and original, but were no less
original with her.

Mrs. Louisa Denny was a member of the famous grand jury, with several
other women of the best standing; during their term the gamblers packed
their grip-sacks to leave Seattle, as those "old women on the jury" were
making trouble for them.

For many years she was called upon or volunteered to visit the sick,
anon to be present at a surgical operation, and with ready response and
steady nerve complied.

Generous to a fault, hospitable and kind, in countless unknown deeds of
mercy and unrecorded words, she expressed good-will toward humanity, and
the recipients, a goodly company, might well arise up and call her

A separate sketch is given in which the life of the first bride of
Seattle is more fully set forth.



Was born in White County, Illinois, on the 1st of June, 1827, and is the
daughter of Richard Freeman Boren and Sarah Latimer Boren. Her father, a
young Baptist minister, died when she was an infant, and she has often
said, "I have missed my father all my life." A religious nature seems to
have been inherited, as she has also said, "I cannot remember when I did
not pray to God."

Her early youth was spent on the great prairies, then a veritable garden
adorned with many beautiful wild flowers, in the log cabin with her
widowed, pioneer mother, her sister Mary and brother Carson.

She learned to be industrious and thrifty without parsimony; to be
simple, genuine, faithful. In the heat of summer or cold of winter she
trudged to school, as she loved learning, showing, as her mind
developed, a natural aptitude and taste for the sciences; chemistry,
philosophy, botany and astronomy being her especial delights.

Of a striking personal appearance, her fair complexion with a deep rose
flush in the cheeks, sparkling eyes, masses of heavy black hair, small
and perfect figure, would have attracted marked attention in any circle.

Her temperate and wholesome life, never given to fashion's follies,
retained for her these points of beauty far beyond middle life, when
many have lost all semblance of their youth and have become faded and

Her school life merged into the teacher's and she took her place in the
ranks of the pioneer instructors, who were truly heroic.

She taught with patience the bare-foot urchins, some of whom were
destined for great things, and boarded 'round as was the primitive

Going to camp meetings in the summer, lectures and singing schools in
the winter were developing influences in those days, and primitive
pleasures were no less delightful; the husking-bees, quilting parties
and sleigh rides of fifty years ago in which she participated.

In 1851, when she was twenty-four years of age, she joined the army of
pioneers moving West, in the division composed of her mother's and
step-father's people, her mother having married John Denny and her
sister Mary, A. A. Denny.


With what buoyant spirits, bright with hope and anticipation, they set
out, except for the cloud of sorrow that hovered over them for the
parting with friends they left behind. But they soon found it was to be
a hard-fought battle. Louisa Boren, the only young, unmarried woman of
the party, found many things to do in assisting those who had family
cares. Her delight in nature was unlimited, and although she found no
time to record her observations and experiences, her anecdotes and
descriptions have given pleasure to others in after years.

She possessed dauntless courage and in the face of danger was cool and

It was she who pleaded for the boat to be turned inshore on a memorable
night on the Columbia River, when they came so near going over the falls
(the Cascades) owing to the stupefied condition of the men who had been
imbibing "Blue Ruin" too freely.

When the party arrived at Alki Point on Puget Sound, although the
outlook was not cheerful, she busied herself a little while after
landing in observing the luxuriant and, to her, curious vegetation.

She soon made friends with the Indians and succeeded admirably in
dealing with them, having patience and showing them kindness, for which
they were not ungrateful.

It transpired that the first attempt at building on the site of Seattle,
so far as known to the writer, is to be credited to Louisa Boren and
another white woman, who crossed Elliott Bay in a canoe with Indian
paddlers and a large dog to protect them from wild animals. They made
their way through an untouched forest, and the two women cut and laid
logs for the foundation of a cabin.

As she was strikingly beautiful, young and unmarried, both white and
Indian braves thought it would be a fine thing to win her hand, and
intimations of this fact were not wanting. The young Indians brought
long poles with them and leaned them up against the cabin at Alki, the
significance of which was not at first understood, but it was afterward
learned that they were courtship poles, according to their custom.

The white competitors found themselves distanced by the younger Denny,
who was the first of the name to set foot on Puget Sound.

On January 23rd, 1853, in the cabin of A. A. Denny, on the east side of
Elliott Bay, Louisa Boren was married to David T. Denny.

In order to fulfil law and custom, David had made a trip to Olympia and
back in a canoe to obtain a marriage license, but was told that no one
there had authority to issue one, so he returned undaunted to proceed
without it; neither was there a minister to perform the ceremony, but
Dr. Maynard, who was a Justice of the Peace, successfully tied the knot.

Among the few articles of wearing apparel it was possible to transport
to these far-off shores in a time of slow and difficult travel, was a
white lawn dress, which did duty as a wedding gown.

The young couple moved their worldly possessions in an Indian canoe to
their own cabin on the bay, about a mile and a half away, in a little
clearing at the edge of the vast forest.

Here began the life of toil and struggle which characterized the early

Then came the Indian war. A short time before the outbreak, while they
were absent at the settlement, some Indians robbed the cabin; as they
returned they met the culprits. Mrs. Denny noticed that one of them had
adorned his cap with a white embroidered collar and a gray ribbon
belonging to her. The young rascal when questioned said that the other
one had given them to him. Possibly it was true; at any rate when George
Seattle heard of it he gave the accused a whipping.

The warnings given by their Indian friends were heeded and they retired
to the settlement, to a little frame house not far from Fort Decatur.

On the morning of the battle, January 26th, Louisa Boren Denny was
occupied with the necessary preparation of food for her family. She
heard shots and saw from her window the marines swarming up from their
boats onto Yesler's wharf, and rightly judging that the attack had begun
she snatched the biscuits from the oven, turned them into her apron,
gathered up her child, two years old, and ran toward the fort. Her
husband, who was standing guard, met her and assisted them into the

A little incident occurred in the fort which showed her strong
temperance principles. One of the officers, perhaps feeling the need of
something to strengthen his courage, requested her to pour out some
whisky for him, producing a bottle and glass; whether or no his hand
was already unsteady from fear or former libations, she very properly
refused and has, throughout her whole life, discouraged the use of

A number of the settlers remained in the fort for some time, as it was
unsafe for them to return to their claims.

On the 16th of March, 1856, her second child was born in Fort Decatur.

With this infant and the elder of two years and three months, they
journeyed back again into the wilderness, where she took up the toilsome
and uncertain life of the frontier. "There was nothing," she has said,
"that was too hard or disagreeable for me to undertake."

All the work of the house and even lending a hand at digging and
delving, piling and burning brush outside, and the work was done without
questioning the limits of her "spere."

They removed again to the edge of the settlement and lived for a number
of years in a rose-embowered cottage on Seneca Street.

Accumulating cares filled the years, but she met them with the same high
courage throughout. Her sons and daughters were carefully brought up
and given every available advantage even though it cost her additional

Her half of the old donation claim became very valuable in time as city
property, but the enormous taxation robbed her to a considerable extent
of its benefits.

The manner of life of this heroic mother, type of her race, was such as
to develop the noblest traits of character. The patience, steadfastness,
courage, hopefulness and the consideration for the needs and trials of
others, wrought out in her and others like her, during the pioneer days,
challenge the admiration of the world.

I have seen the busy toil, the anxious brow, the falling tears of the
pioneer woman as she tended her sick or fretful child, hurried the
dinner for the growing family and the hired Indians who were clearing,
grubbing or ditching, bent over the washtub to cleanse the garments of
the household, or up at a late hour to mend little stockings for
restless feet, meanwhile helping the young students of the family to
conquer the difficulties that lay before them.

The separation from dearly loved friends, left far behind, wrought upon
the mind of the pioneer woman to make her sad to melancholy, but after a
few years new ties were formed and new interests grasped to partially
wear this away, but never entirely, it is my opinion.

She traveled on foot many a weary mile or rode over the roughest roads
in a jolting, springless wagon; in calm or stormy weather in the
tip-tilting Indian canoes, or on the back of the treacherous cayuse,
carrying her babes with her through dangerous places, where to care for
one's self would seem too great a burden to most people, patient, calm,

The little brown hands were busy from morning to night in and about the
cabin or cottage; seldom could a disagreeable task be delegated to
another; to dress the fish and clams, dig the potatoes in summer as
needed for the table, pluck the ducks and grouse, cook and serve the
same, fell to her lot before the children were large enough to assist.
Moreover, to milk the cows, feed the horses, chop wood occasionally,
shoot at predatory birds and animals, burn brush piles and plant a
garden and tactfully trade with the Indians were a few of the
accomplishments she mastered and practiced with skill and success.

In the summer time this mother took the children out into the great
evergreen forest to gather wild berries for present and future use.
While the youngest slept under giant ferns or drooping cedar, she filled
brimming pails with the luscious fruit, salmonberry, dewberry or
huckleberry in their seasons. Here, too, the older children could help,
and there was an admixture of pleasure in stopping to gather the wild
scarlet honeysuckle, orange lilies, snowy Philadelphus, cones, mosses
and lichens and listening to the "blackberry bird," as we called the
olive-backed thrush, or the sigh of the boughs overhead.

The family dog went along, barking cheerfully at every living thing,
chasing rabbits, digging out "suwellas" or scaring up pheasants and
grouse which the eldest boy would shoot. It was a great treat to the
children, but when all returned home, tired after the day's adventure,
it was mother's hands prepared the evening meal and put the sleepy
children to bed.

Everywhere that she has made her home, even for a few years, she has
cultivated a garden of fragrant and lovely flowers, a source of much
pleasure to her family and friends. The old-fashioned roses and
hollyhocks, honeysuckles and sweet Williams grew and flourished, with
hosts of annuals around the cottage on Seneca Street in the '60s, and
at the old homestead on Lake Union the old and new garden favorites ran
riot; so luxuriant were the Japan and Ascension lilies, the velvety
pansies, tea, climbing, moss and monthly roses, fancy tulips, English
violets, etc., etc., as to call forth exclamations from passersby. Some
were overheard in enthusiastic praise saying, "Talk about Florida! just
look at these flowers!"

The great forest, with its wealth of beautiful flowers and fruitful
things, gave her much delight; the wild flowers, ferns, vines, mosses,
lichens and evergreens, to which she often called our attention when we
all went blackberrying or picnicing in the old, old time.

The grand scenery of the Northwest accords with her thought-life. She
always keenly enjoys the oft-recurring displays of wonderful color in
the western sky, the shimmering waves under moon or sun, the majestic
mountains and dark fir forests that line the shores of the Inland Sea.

In early days she was of necessity everything in turn to her family;
when neither physician nor nurse was readily obtainable, her treatment
of their ailments commanded admiration, as she promptly administered and
applied with excellent judgment the remedies at her command with such
success that professional service was not needed for thirty years except
in case of accident of unusual kind.

She looked carefully to the food, fresh air, exercise and bathing of her
little flock with the most satisfying results. She believes in the house
for the people, not the people for the house, and has invariably put the
health and comfort of her household before her care for things.

Her mind is one to originate and further ideas of reform and eagerly
appropriate the best of others' conclusions.

Ever the sympathetic counsellor and friend of her children in work and
study, she shared their pastimes frequently as well. She remembers
going through the heavy forest which once surrounded Lake Union with her
boys trout-fishing in the outlet of the lake; while she poked the fish
with a pole from their hiding places under the bank the boys would gig
them, having good success and much lively sport.

On one trip they had the excitement of a cougar hunt; that is, the
cougar seemed to be hunting them, but they "made tracks" and
accomplished their escape; the cougar was afterward killed.

Several other of her adventures are recounted elsewhere. It would
require hundreds of pages to set forth a moving picture of the stirring
frontier life in which she participated.

Louisa Boren Denny is a pioneer woman of the best type.

Her charities have been many; kind and encouraging words, sympathy and
gifts to the needy and suffering; her nature is generous and unselfish,
and, though working quietly, her influence is and has ever been none the
less potent for good.

"Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war."

Of the victories over environment and circumstances much might be
written. The lack of comforts and conveniences compelled arduous manual
toil and the busy "brown hands" found many homely duties to engage their
activities. In and out of the cabins the high-browed pioneer mothers
wrought, where now the delicate dames, perhaps, indolently occupy
luxuriant homes.

It is impossible for these latter to realize the loneliness, wildness
and rudeness of the surroundings of the pioneer women. Instead of
standing awed before the dauntless souls that preceded them, with a toss
of the head they say, "You might endure such things but we couldn't, _we
are so much finer clay_."

The friends they left behind were sorely regretted; one pioneer woman
said the most cruel deprivation was the rarity of letters from home
friends, the anxious waiting month after month for some word that might
tell of their well-being. Neither telegraph nor fleet mail service had
then been established.

The pioneer woman learned to face every sort of danger from riding rough
water in an Indian canoe to hunting blackberries where bears, panthers
and Indians roamed the deep forest. One said that she would not go
through it again for the whole State of Washington.

Each was obliged to depend almost wholly on herself and was compelled to
invent and apply many expedients to feed and clothe herself and little
ones. There was no piano playing or fancy work for her, but she made,
mended and re-made, cooked, washed and swept, helped put in the garden
or clear the land, all the time instructing her children as best she
could, and by both precept and example, inculcating those high
principles that mark true manhood and womanhood.

The typical band of pioneer women who landed on Alki Point, all but one
of whom sat down to weep, have lived to see a great city built, in less
than a half century, the home of thousands who reap the fruits of their
struggles in the wilderness.

The heroic endurance with which they toiled and waited, many years, the
tide in their affairs, whereby they attained a moderate degree of ease,
comfort and freedom from anxiety, all so hardily won, is beyond words of

The well-appointed kitchen of today, with hot and cold water on tap,
fine steel range, cupboards and closets crowded with every sort of
cunning invention in the shape of utensils for cooking, is a luxurious
contrast to the meager outfit of the pioneer housewife. As an example of
the inconvenience and privations of the early '50s, I give the following
from the lips of one of the pioneer daughters, Sarah (Bonney) Kellogg:

"When we came to Steilacoom in 1853, we lived overhead in a rough lumber
store building, and my mother had to go up and down stairs and out into
the middle of the street or roadway and cook for a numerous family by a
stump fire. She owned the only sieve in the settlement, a large round
one; flour was $25.00 a barrel and had weevils in it at that, so every
time bread was made the flour had to be sifted to get them out. The
sieve was very much in demand and frequently the children were sent here
or there among the neighbors to bring it home.

"We had sent to Olympia for a stove, but it was six weeks before it
reached its destination."

Think of cooking outdoors for six weeks for a family of growing
children, with only the fewest possible dishes and utensils, too!

Any woman of the present time may imagine, if she will, what it would be
to have every picture, or other ornament, every article of furniture,
except the barest necessities for existence, the fewest possible in
number, every fashionable garment, her house itself with its vines and
shrubbery suddenly vanish and raise her eyes to see without the somber
forest standing close around; within, the newspapered or bare walls of a
log cabin, a tiny window admitting little light, a half-open door, but
darkened frequently by savage faces; or to strain her ears to catch the
song, whistle or step of her husband returning through the dark forest,
fearing but hoping and praying that he may not have fallen on the way by
the hand of a foe. She might look down to see her form clad in homely
garments of cotton print, moccasins on her feet, and her wandering
glance touch her sunbonnet hanging on a peg driven between the logs.

Now and then a wild cry sounds faintly or fully over the water or from
the sighing depths of the vast wilderness.

An unusual challenge by ringing stentorian voices may call her to the
door to scan the face of the waters and see great canoes loaded with
brawny savages, whose intentions are uncertain, paddled swiftly up the
bay, instead of the familiar sound of steam whistles and gliding in of
steamships to a welcome port.

Should it be a winter evening and her companion late, they seat
themselves at a rude table and partake of the simplest food from the
barely sufficient dishes, meanwhile striving to reassure each other ere
retiring for the night.

So day after day passed away and many years of them, the conditions
gradually modified by advancing civilization, yet rendered even more
arduous by increasing cares and toils incident upon the rearing and
educating of a family with very little, if any, assistance from such
sources as the modern mother has at her command. Physicians and nurses,
cooks and house-maids were almost entirely lacking, and the mother, with
what the father could help her, had to be all these in turn.

In all ordinary, incipient or trifling ailments they necessarily became
skillful, and for many years kept their families in health with active
and vigorous bodies, clear brains and goodly countenances.

The pioneer women are of sterling worth and character. The patience,
courage, purity and steadfastness which were developed in them presents
a moral resemblance to the holy women of old.

Pioneer men are generally liberal in their views, as was witnessed when
the suffrage was bestowed upon the women of Washington Territory several
years ago.



Madge Decatur Denny was born in Fort Decatur, in the year of the Indian
war, on March 16th, 1856; to those sheltering walls had the gentle
mother, Louisa Boren Denny, fled on the day of battle. Ushered into the
world of danger and rude alarms, her nature proved, in its development,
one well suited to the circumstances and conditions; courage,
steadfastness and intrepidity were marked traits in her character. Far
from being outwardly indicated, they were rather contrasted by her
delicate and refined appearance; one said of her, "Madge is such a
dainty thing."

Madge was a beautiful child, and woman, too, with great sparkling eyes,
abundant golden-brown curls and rosy cheeks. What a picture lingers in
my memory!--of this child with her arms entwined about the slender neck
of a pet fawn, her eyes shining with love and laughter, her burnished
hair shimmering like a halo in the sunlight as she pattered here and
there with her graceful playfellow.

The Indians admired her exceedingly, and both they and the white people
of the little settlement often remarked upon her beauty.

In early youth she showed a keen intellectuality, reading with avidity
at ten years such books as Irving's "Life of Washington," "History of
France," "Pilgrim's Progress," Sir Walter Scott's "Lay of the Last
Minstrel" and "Lady of the Lake." From that time on she read every book
or printed page that fell in her way; a very rapid reader, one who
seemed to take in a page at a few glances, she ranged happily over the
fields of literature like a bright-winged bird. Poetry, fiction,
history, bards, wits, essayists, all gave of their riches to her fresh,
inquiring young mind.

The surpassing loveliness and grandeur of the "world in the open air"
appealed to her pure nature even in extreme youth; her friends recall
with wonder that when only two and a half years of age she marked the
enchantment of a scene in Oregon, of flowery mead, dark forest and deep
canyon, under a bright June sky, by plucking at her mother's gown and
lisping, "Look! mother, look! so pitty!" (pretty).


  Emily Inez    Madge Decatur     Anna Louisa     Mrs. Abbie

And such a lover of flowers! From this same season when she gathered
armfuls of great, golden buttercups, blue violets, scarlet columbines,
"flags" and lilies from the sunny slopes of the Waldo Hills, through her
youth, on the evergreen banks of Puget Sound where she climbed
fearlessly about to pluck the purple lupine, orange honeysuckle, Oregon
grape and sweet wild roses, was her love of them exemplified. Very often
she walked or rode on horseback some distance to procure the lovely
lady's slipper (Calypso borealis), the favorite flower of the pioneer

A charming letter writer, she often added the adornment of a tiny group
of wild flowers in the corner, a few yellow violets, fairylike
twin-flowers or lady's slippers.

At one time she had a large correspondence with curious young Eastern
people who wished to know something of the far Northwest; to these she
sent accurate and graphic descriptions of tall trees, great mountains,
waterfalls, lakes and seas, beasts, birds and fishes. She possessed no
mean literary talent; without her knowledge some of her letters strayed
into print. A very witty one was published in a newspaper, cut out and
pasted in the scrapbook of an elocutionist, and to her astonishment
produced as a "funny piece" before an audience among whom she sat, the
speaker evidently not knowing its author. A parody on "Poe's Raven" made
another audience weep real tears in anguished mirth.

Every felicitous phrase or quaint conceit she met was treasured up, and
to these were added not a few of her own invention, and woe betide the
wight who accompanied her to opera, concert or lecture, for her _sotto
voce_ comments, murmured with a grave countenance, were disastrous to
their composure and "company manners."

It must be recorded of her that she gave up selfish pleasures to be her
mother's helper, whose chief stay she was through many years. In her
last illness she said, with much tenderness, "Mother, who will help you

Madge was a true _lady_ or _loaf-giver_. Every creature, within or
without the domicile, partook of her generous care, from the pet canary
to the housedog, all the human inhabitants and the stranger within the

Moreover, she was genuine, nothing she undertook was slighted or done in
a slipshod manner.

Her taste and judgment were accurate and sound in literature and art;
her love of art led her to exclaim regretfully, "When we are dead and
gone, the landscape will bristle with easels."

A scant population and the exigencies of the conditions placed art
expression in the far future, yet she saw the vast possibilities before
those who should be so fortunate as to dwell in the midst of such native
grandeur, beauty and richness of color.

Like many other children, we had numerous pets, wild things from the
forest or the, to us, charming juvenile members of the barnyard flocks.
When any of these succumbed to the inevitable, a funeral of more or less
pomp was in order, and many a hapless victim of untoward fate was thus
tearfully consigned to the bosom of Mother Earth. On one occasion, at
the obsequies of a beloved bird or kitten, I forget which, Madge, then
perhaps six years of age, insisted upon arranging a litter, draped with
white muslin and decorated with flowers, and followed it, as it was
borne by two other children, singing with serious though tearless eyes,

    "We're traveling to the grave
    To lay this body down,
    And the last word that I heard him speak
    Was about Jerusalem," etc.

She was so thoroughly in earnest that the older children refrained from
laughing at what some might have thought unnecessary solemnity.

Madge had her share of adventures, too; one dark night she came near
drowning in Lake Washington. Having visited the Newcastle coal mines
with a small party of friends and returned to the lake shore, they were
on the wharf ready to go on board the steamer. In some manner, perhaps
from inadequate lighting, she stepped backward and fell into the water
some distance below. The water was perhaps forty feet deep, the mud
unknown. Several men called for "A rope! A rope!" but not a rope could
they lay their hands on. After what seemed an age to her, a lantern
flashed into the darkness and a long pole held by seven men was held
down to her; she grasped it firmly and, as she afterward said, felt as
if she could climb to the moon with its assistance--and was safely drawn
up, taken to a miner's cottage, where a kind-hearted woman dressed her
in dry clothing. She reached home none the worse for her narrow escape.

Her nerves were nerves of steel; she seldom exhibited a shadow of fear
and seemed of a spirit to undertake any daring feat. To dare the
darkness, climb declivities, explore recesses, seemed pleasures to her
courageous nature. At Snoqualmie Falls, in the Archipelago de Haro, in
the Jupiter Hills of the Olympic Range, she climbed up and down the
steep gorges with the agility of the chamois or our own mountain goat.
The forest, the mountain, the seashore yielded their charm to her, each
gave their messages. In a collection which she culled from many sources,
ranging from sparkling gayety to profound seriousness, occur these

    "I saw the long line of the vacant shore
    The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand
    And the brown rocks left bare on every hand
    As if the ebbing tide would flow no more.
    Then heard I more distinctly than before,
    The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
    And hurrying came on the defenseless land,
    The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar;
    All thought and feeling and desire, I said
    Love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song
    Have ebbed from me forever! Suddenly o'er me
    They swept again from their deep ocean bed,
    And in a tumult of delight and strong
    As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me."

It must have been that "Bird and bee and blossom taught her Love's spell
to know," and then she went away to the "land where Love itself had




Anna was the fourth daughter of D. T. and Louisa Boren Denny. In infancy
she showed a marked talent for music, signifying by her eyes, head and
hands her approval of certain tunes, preferring them to all others.
Before she was able to frame words she could sing tunes. When a young
girl her memory for musical tones was marvelous, enabling her to
reproduce difficult strains while yet unable to read the notes.
Possessed of a pure, high, flexible soprano voice, her singing was a
delight to her friends. Upon hearing famous singers render favorite
airs, her pleasure shone from every feature, although her comments were
few. On the long summer camping expeditions of the family, the music
books went along with her brothers' cornets, possibly her own flute, and
many a happy hour was spent as we drove leisurely along past the tall,
dark evergreens, or floated on the silvery waters of the Sound, with
perhaps a book of duets open before us, singing sweet songs of bird,
blossom and pine tree.

While the other daughters were small and delicately formed, Anna grew up
to be a tall, statuesque woman of a truly noble appearance, with a fair
face, a high white forehead crowned by masses of brown hair, and a
countenance mirthful, sunny, serious, but seldom stern.

A certain draped marble statue in the Metropolitan Museum in New York
bears a striking resemblance to Anna, but is not of so noble a type.

Childhood in the wild Northwest braved many dangers both seen and

While returning late one summer night through the deep forest to our
home after having attended a concert in which the children had taken
part, Anna, then a little girl of perhaps seven or eight years, had a
narrow escape from some wild beast, either a cougar or wildcat. Her
mother, who was leading her a little behind the others, said that
something grabbed at her and disappeared instantly in the thick
undergrowth; grasping her hand more firmly she started to run and the
little party, thoroughly frightened, fairly flew along the road toward

In this north country it is never really dark on a cloudless summer
night, but the heavy forests enshroud the roads and trails in a deep

Anna, like her sister Madge, was a daring rider and they often went
together on long trips through the forest. At one time each was mounted
on a lively Indian pony, both of which doubtless had seen strange things
and enjoyed many exciting experiences, but were supposed to be quite
lamblike and docile. Some reminiscence must have crossed their equine
minds, and they apparently challenged each other to a race, so race they
must and race they did at a lightning speed on the home run.

They came flying up the lane to the house (the homestead on Lake Union)
in a succession of leaps that would have made Pegasus envious had he
been "thar or tharabouts." Their riders stuck on like cockleburrs until
they reached the gate, when a sudden stop threw Anna to the ground, but
she escaped injury, the only damage being a wrecked riding habit.

Anna made no pretension to great learning, yet possessed a well-balanced
and cultivated mind. With no ado of great effort she stood first in her

At a notable celebration of Decoration Day in Seattle, she was chosen to
walk beside the teacher at the head of the school procession; both were
tall, handsome young women, carrying the school banner bearing the
motto, "Right, then Onward."

It was to this school, which bore his own name, that her father
presented a beautiful piano as a memorial of her; it bears the words,
from her own lips, "I believe in Jesus," in gold letters across the

In 1888 she accompanied her family across the continent to the eastern
coast, where she expected to be reunited with a friend, a young girl to
whom she was much attached, but it was otherwise ordered; after a brief
illness in New York City, she passed away and was brought back to her
own loved native land, by the sun-down-seas. Afar in a forest nook she
rests, where wildwood creatures pass by, the pine trees wave and the
stars sweep over, waiting, watching for the Day toward which the whole
creation moves.

       *       *       *       *       *

They wandered through the wonderful forest, by lake, fern-embroidered
stream and pebble seashore, gazed on the glistening mountains, the
sparkling waves, the burning sunsets, shining with such jewel colors as
to make them think of the land of hope, the New Jerusalem. And the
majestic snow-dome of Mountain Rainier which at the first sight thereof
caused a noted man to leap up and shout aloud the joy that filled his
soul; they lived in sight of it for years.

       *       *       *       *       *

It might be asked, "Does the environment affect the character and mental
development, even the physical configuration?" We answer, "Yes, we
believe it does." The fine physique, the bright intellectuality, the
lovely character of these daughters of the West were certainly in part
produced and developed by the wonderful world about them. Simple, pure,
exalted natures ought to be, and we believe are, the rule among the
children of the pioneers of Puget Sound and many of their successors.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this time of gathering up portraits of fair women, I cannot help
reverting to the good old times on Puget Sound, when among the daughters
of the white settlers ugliness was the exception, the majority
possessing many points of beauty. Bright, dark eyes, brilliant
complexions, graceful forms, luxuriant hair and fine teeth were the
rule. The pure air, mild climate, simple habits and rational life were
amply proved producers of physical perfection. Old-timers will doubtless
remember the handsome Bonney girls, the Misses Chambers, the Misses
Thornton, Eva Andrews, Mary Collins, Nellie Burnett, Alice Mercer, the
Dennys, noticeable for clear white skin and brilliant color, with
abundant dark hair, Gertrude and Mary Boren with rosy cheeks and blue
eyes; Blanche Hinds, very fair, with large, gray eyes, and others I
cannot now name, as well as a number of beautiful matrons. Every
settlement had its favored fair.

Perhaps because women were so scarce, they were petted and indulged and
came up with the idea that they were very fine porcelain indeed; they
were all given the opportunities in the reach of their parents and were
quite fastidious in their dress and belongings.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the other children of D. T. and Louisa Boren Denny, John B. is a well
educated and accomplished man of versatility, a lawyer, musician, and
practical miner.

D. Thomas is an electrician; was a precocious young business man who
superintended the building of an electric street railway when under
twenty-five years of age.

Victor W. S., a practical miner, assayer and mining expert, who has been
engaged in developing gold and silver mines. Abbie D., an artist and
writer, who has published numerous articles, a fine shot with the rifle
and an accomplished housewife; and E. I. Denny, the author of this work,
who is not now engaged in writing an autobiography.

All, including the last mentioned, are fond of wild life, hunting,
camping and mountain climbing, in which they have had much experience
and yearly seek for more.



William Richard Boren was one of the boy pioneers. He was born in
Seattle on the 4th of October, 1854.

The children necessarily shared with their parents and guardians the
hardships, dangers, adventures and pleasures of the wild life of the
early days.

When his father, Carson D. Boren, went to the gold diggings, William
came to the D. T. Denny cottage and remained there for some time. As
there was then no boy in the family (there were three little girls) he
stepped into usefulness almost immediately. To bring home the cows, weed
in the garden, carry flowers and vegetables to market, cut and carry
wood, the "chores" of a pioneer home he helped to do willingly and

Every pair of hands must help, and the children learned while very young
that they were to be industrious and useful.

It required real fortitude to go on lonely trails or roads through the
dark, thick forest in the deepening twilight that was impenetrable
blackness in the wall of sombre evergreens on either hand.

Some children seem to have little fear of anything, but it was
different with William; he was afraid; as he graphically described it,
he "_felt as if something would catch him in the back_." But he
steadfastly traveled the dark trails, showing a remarkable quality of

His sensations cannot be attributed to constitutional timidity
altogether, as there were real dangers from wild beasts and savage men
in those days.

He would often go long distances from the settlement through the great
forest as the shadows were darkening into night, listening breathlessly
for the welcome jingle of the bells of the herd, or anxiously to
snapping twigs and creaking of lodged trees or voices of night-birds.
But when the cattle were gathered up and he could hear the steady tinkle
of the leader's bell, although to the eye she was lost in the dusk in
the trail ahead, he felt safe.

He calmly faced dangers, both seen and unseen, in after years.

By the time he was twelve or fourteen he had learned to shoot very well
with the shotgun and could bring home a fine bunch of blue grouse or
"pheasants" (ruffed grouse).

Late one May evening he came into the old kitchen, laden with charming
spoils from the forest, a large handful of the sweet favorite of the
pioneer children, the lady's slipper or Calypso Borealis, and a bag of
fat "hooters" for the stew or pie so much relished by the settlers.

The majority of the pioneer boys were not expected to be particular as
to whether they did men's work or women's work, and William was a
notable example of versatility, lending a hand with helpless babies,
cooking or washing, the most patient and faithful of nurses, lifting
many a burden from the tired house-mother.

He was a total abstainer from intoxicants and tobacco, and to the
amusement of his friends said he "could not see any sense in jumping
around the room," as he described the social dance. It surprised no one,
therefore, that he should grow up straight and vigorous, able to endure
many hardships.

William was a very Nimrod by the time he reached his majority, a fine
shot with the rifle and successful in killing large game. As he came in
sight one day on the trail to our camp in the deep forest, he appeared
carrying the blackest and glossiest of bear cubs slung over one
shoulder. I called to him, "Halt, if you please, and let me sketch you
right there." He obligingly consented and in a few moments bear, gun and
hunter were transferred to paper. And a good theme it was; with a
background of dark firs and cedars, in a mass of brightest green ferns,
stood the stalwart figure, clad in vivid scarlet and black, gun on one
shoulder and bear cub on the other.

William Boren was an active and useful member of the M. E. or "White
Church" in Seattle many years ago. This was the first church established
in Seattle.

He removed from the settlement and lived on a ranch for a number of

For a time in youth he was in the mining district; while there he
imposed upon himself heavy burdens, packing as much as two hundred
pounds over the trail.

This was probably overexertion; also in later years, heavy lifting in a
logging camp may have helped break his naturally strong constitution.

Many muscular and vigorous persons do not realize the necessity for
caution in exertion. I have seen strong young men balancing their weight
against the "hold" of huge stumps, by hanging across a large pole in

During his ranch life he was waylaid, basely and cruelly attacked and
beaten into insensibility by two ruffians. Most likely this caused the
fatal brain trouble from which he died in January, 1899, at the home of
his sister, Gertrude Boren, who through a long illness cared for him
with affectionate solicitude.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "O bearded, stalwart, westmost men,
    A kingdom won without the guilt
    Of studied battle; that hath been
    Your blood's inheritance.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Yea, Time, the grand old harvester,
    Has gathered you from wood and plain.
    We call to you again, again;
    The rush and rumble of the car
    Comes back in answer. Deep and wide
    The wheels of progress have passed on;
    The silent pioneer is gone."



(Born June 20th, 1822, Died January 9th, 1889.)

A ponderous volume of biography could scarcely set forth the
journeyings, experiences, efforts, achievements and character of this
well-known pioneer of the Northwest Coast. He was one of the foremost of
the steadfast leaders of the pioneers. A long, useful and worthy life he
spent among men, the far-reaching influence of which cannot be
estimated. When he passed away both private citizens and public
officials honored him; those who had known him far back in his youth and
through the intervening years said of the eulogies pronounced upon his
life, "Well, it is all true, and much more might be said."

A. A. Denny was a son of John Denny and brother of David Thomas Denny;
each of them exerted a great influence on the life and institutions of
the Northwest.

From sketches published in the local papers I have made these

     "The Dennys are a very ancient family of England, Ireland and
     Scotland. The present branch traces its ancestry from Ireland to
     America through great-grandparents, David and Margaret Denny,
     who settled in Berks County, Pennsylvania, previous to the
     revolutionary war. There Robert Denny, the grandfather of A. A.
     Denny was born in 1753. In early life he removed to Frederick
     County, Virginia, where in 1778 he married Rachel Thomas; and
     about 1790 removed to and settled in Mercer County, Kentucky.

     "There John Denny, father of the deceased, was born May 4, 1793,
     and was married August 25, 1814, to Sarah Wilson, daughter of
     Bassel and Ann (Scott) Wilson, who was born in the old town of
     Bladensburg, near Washington City, February 3, 1797. Her parents
     came to America in an early day.

     "Their paternal and maternal grandparents served in the
     revolutionary war. The former belonged to Washington's command at
     the time of Braddock's defeat.

     "John Denny was a soldier in the war of 1812, being in Col.
     Richard M. Johnson's regiment of Kentucky volunteers. He was also
     an ensign in Capt. McFee's company, and was with Gen. Harrison at
     the battle of the Thames, when Proctor was defeated and the noted
     Tecumseh killed. He was a member of the Illinois legislature in
     1840 and 1841, with Lincoln, Yates, Bates and others, who
     afterwards became renowned in national affairs. In politics he
     was first a Whig and afterward a Republican. For many years he
     was a Justice of the Peace. He died July 28th, 1875, when 83
     years of age. His first wife died March 21st, 1841, when 44 years
     of age.

     "About 1816 John Denny and his family removed to Washington
     County, Indiana, and settled near Salem, where Arthur A. Denny
     was born June 20th, 1822. One year later they removed to Putnam
     County, six miles east from Greencastle, where they remained
     twelve years, and from there went to Knox County, Illinois. Mr.
     A. A. Denny has said of his boyhood:

     "'My early education began in the log schoolhouse so familiar to
     the early settler in the West. The teachers were paid by
     subscription, so much per pupil, and the schools rarely lasted
     more than half the year, and often but three months. Among the
     earliest of my recollections is of my father hewing out a farm in
     the beech woods of Indiana, and I well remember that the first
     school that I attended was two and a half miles from my home.
     When I became older it was often necessary for me to attend to
     home duties half of the day before going to school a mile
     distant. By close application I was able to keep up with my

     "'My opportunities to some extent improved as time advanced. I
     spent my vacations with an older brother at carpenter and joiner
     work to obtain the means to pay my expenses during term time.'"

A. A. Denny was married November 23, 1843, to Mary Ann Boren, to whom
he has paid a graceful and well-deserved tribute in these words:

     "She has been kind and indulgent to all my faults, and in cases
     of doubt and difficulty in the long voyage we have made together
     she has always been, without the least disposition to dictate, a
     safe and prudent adviser."

He held many public offices, each and all of which he filled with
scrupulous care, from county supervisor in Illinois in 1843 to first
postmaster of Seattle in 1853. He was elected to the legislature of
Washington Territory, serving for nine consecutive sessions, being the
speaker of the third; was registrar of the U. S. Land Office at Olympia
from 1861 to 1865. He was a member of the Thirty-ninth Congress, being a
delegate from Washington Territory. Even in his age he was given the
unanimous vote of the Republicans for U. S. Senator from the State of

His business enterprises date from the founding of the City of Seattle
and are interwoven with its history.

He was a volunteer in the war against the Indians and had some stirring
experiences. In his book, "Pioneer Days on Puget Sound," he gives a very
clear and accurate account of the beginning of the trouble with the
Indians and many facts concerning the war following.

He found, as many others did, good and true friends, as well as
enemies, among the Indians. On page 68 of the work mentioned may be
found these words: "I will say further, that my acquaintance and
experience with the Puget Sound Indians proved them to be sincere in
their friendship, and no more unfaithful and treasonable than the
average white man, and I am disposed to believe that the same might be
truthfully said of many other Indians."

With regard to the dissatisfied tenderfoot he says: "All old settlers
know that it is a common occurrence for parties who have reached here by
the easy method of steamer or railway in a palace car to be most blindly
unreasonable in their fault-finding, and they are often not content with
abusing the country and climate, but they heap curses and abuse on those
who came before them by the good old method of ninety or a hundred days
crossing the plains, just as though we had sent for them and thus given
them an undoubted right to abuse us for their lack of good strong sense.
Then we all know, too, that it as been a common occurrence for those
same fault-finders to leave, declaring that the country was not fit for
civilized people to live in; and not by any means unusual for the same
parties to return after a short time ready to settle down and commence
praising the country, as though they wanted to make amends for their
unreasonable behavior in the first instance."

There are a good many other pithy remarks in this book, forcible for
their truth and simplicity.

As the stories of adventure have an imperishable fascination, I give his
own account of the discovery of Shilshole or Salmon Bay:

     "When we selected our claims we had fears that the range for our
     stock would not afford them sufficient feed in the winter, and it
     was not possible to provide feed for them, which caused us a
     great deal of anxiety. From statements made by the Indians, which
     we could then but imperfectly understand, we were led to believe
     that there was prairie or grass lands to the northwest, where we
     might find feed in case of necessity, but we were too busy to
     explore until in December, 1852, when Bell, my brother, D. T.
     Denny, and myself determined to look for the prairie. It was slow
     and laborious traveling through the unbroken forest, and before
     we had gone far Bell gave out and returned home, leaving us to
     proceed alone. In the afternoon we unexpectedly came to a body of
     water, and at first thought we had inclined too far eastward and
     struck the lake, but on examination we found it to be tidewater.
     From our point of observation we could not see the outlet to the
     Sound, and our anxiety to learn more about it caused us to spend
     so much time that when we turned homeward it soon became so dark
     that we were compelled to camp for the night without dinner,
     supper or blankets, and we came near being without fire also, as
     it had rained on us nearly all day and wet our matches so that we
     could only get fire by the flash of a rifle, which was
     exceedingly difficult under the circumstances."

D. T. Denny remembers that A. A. Denny pulled some of the cotton wadding
out of his coat and then dug into a dead fir tree that was dry inside
and put it in with what other dry stuff they could find, which was very
little, and D. T. Denny fired off his gun into it with the muzzle so
close as to set fire to it.

He also relates that he shot a pheasant and broiled it before the fire,
dividing it in halves.

A. A. Denny further says:

     "Our camp was about midway between the mouth of the bay and the
     cove, and in the morning we made our way to the cove and took the
     beach for home. Of course, our failing to return at night caused
     great anxiety at home, and soon after we got on the beach we met
     Bell coming on hunt of us, and the thing of most interest to us
     just then was he had his pockets filled with hard bread.

     "This was our first knowledge of Shilshole Bay, which, we soon
     after fully explored, and were ready to point newcomers in that
     direction for locations."

Old Salmon Bay Curley had told them there was grass in that region,
which was true they afterward learned, but not prairie grass, it was
salt marsh, in sufficient quantity to sustain the cattle.

Speaking of the Indians, he tells how they settled around the cabins of
the whites at Alki until there were perhaps a thousand, and relates this
incident: "On one occasion during the winter, Nelson (Chief Pialse) came
with a party of Green River and Muckilshoot Indians, and got into an
altercation with John Kanem and the Snoqualmies. They met and the
opposing forces, amounting to thirty or forty on a side, drew up
directly in front of Low's house, armed with Hudson Bay muskets, the two
parties near enough together to have powder-burnt each other, and were
apparently in the act of opening fire, when we interposed and restored
peace without bloodshed, by my taking John Kanem away and keeping them
apart until Nelson and his party left."

His daughter, Lenora Denny, related the same incident to me. She
witnessed it as a little child and remembers it perfectly, together with
her fright at the preparations for battle, and added that Kanem desired
her father at their conference behind the cabin just to let him go
around behind the enemy's line of battle and stab their chief; nobody
would know who did it and that would be sufficient in lieu of the
proposed fight. Mr. Denny dissuaded him and the "war" terminated as
above stated.

In the fall of 1855, the Indians exhibited more and more hostility
toward the whites, and narrow escapes were not uncommon before the war
fairly broke out.

About this time as A. A. Denny was making a canoe voyage from Olympia
down the Sound he met with a thrilling experience.

When he and his two Indian canoemen were opposite a camp of savages on
the beach, they were hailed by the latter with:

"Who is it you have in the canoe and where are you going?" spoken in
their native tongue. After calling back and forth for some little time,
two of them put out hastily in a canoe to overtake the travelers,
keeping up an earnest and excited argument with one of Mr. Denny's
Indians, both of whom he observed never ceased paddling. One of the
strangers was dressed up in war-paint and had a gun across his lap; he
kept up the angry debate with one of the travelers while the other was
perfectly silent.

Finally the pursuers were near enough so that one reached out to catch
hold of the canoe when Denny's men paddled quickly out of reach and
increased their speed to a furious rate, continuing to paddle with all
their might until a long distance from their threatening visitors.
Although Mr. Denny did not understand their speech, their voices and
gestures were not difficult to interpret; he felt they wished to kill
him and thought himself lost.

He afterward learned that his canoeman, who had answered the attacking
party, had saved his life by his courage and cunning. The savages from
the camp had demanded that Mr. Denny be given up to them that they might
kill him in revenge for the killing of some Indians, saying he was a
"hyas tyee" (great man) and a most suitable subject for their

He had answered that Mr. Denny was not near so high up nor as great as
some others and was always a good friend of the Indians and then carried
him to a place of safety by fast and furious paddling. The one who was
silent during the colloquy declared afterward that he said nothing for
fear they would kill him too.

This exhibition of faithfulness on the part of Indian hirelings is
worthy of note in the face of many accusations of treachery on the part
of their race.

It is my opinion that Arthur Armstrong Denny led an exemplary life and
that he ever desired to do justice to others. If he failed in doing so,
it was the fault of those with whom he was associated rather than his

A leading trait in his character was integrity, another was the modesty
that ever accompanies true greatness, noticeable also in his well known
younger brother, D. T. Denny; neither has been boastful, arrogant or
grasping for public honors.

A. A. Denny fought the long battle of the pioneer faithfully and well
and sleeps in an honored grave.


Mary Ann Boren (Denny) was born in Tennessee, November 25th, 1822, the
first child of Richard Boren and Sarah Latimer Boren (afterward Denny).
Her grandfather Latimer, a kind hearted, sympathetic man, sent a bottle
of camphor to revive the pale young mother. This camphor bottle was kept
in the family, the children resorting to it for the palliation of cuts
and bruises throughout their adolescence, and it is now preserved by her
own family as a cherished relic, having seen eighty years and more since
its presentation.

After the death of her father, leaving her mother a young widow with
three small children, they lived in Illinois as pioneers, where Mary
shared the toils, dangers and vicissitudes of frontier life. Was not
this the school for the greater pioneering of the farthest west?

November 23rd, 1843, she married Arthur A. Denny, a man who both
recognized and acknowledged her worth.

When she crossed the plains in 1851 with the Denny company, Mrs. Denny
was a young matron of twenty-nine years, with two little daughters. The
journey, arduous to any, was peculiarly trying to her with the helpless
ones to care for and make as comfortable as such tenting in the wilds
might be.

At Fort Laramie her own feet were so uncomfortable in shoes that she
put on a pair of moccasins which David T. Denny had bought of an Indian
and worn for one day. Mrs. Denny wore them during the remainder of the
journey to Portland.

One incident among many serves to show her unfaltering courage; an
Indian reached into her wagon to take the gun hung up inside: Mrs. Mary
A. Denny pluckily seized a hatchet and drew it to strike a vigorous blow
when the savage suddenly withdrew, doubtless with an increased respect
for white squaws in general and this one in particular.

The great journey ended, at Portland her third child, Rolland H., was
born. If motherhood be a trial under the most favorable circumstances,
what must it have been on the long march?

On the stormy and dangerous trip from Portland on the schooner Exact,
out over the bar and around Cape Flattery to the landing at Alki Point,
went the little band with this brave mother and her babe.

On a drizzly day in November, the 13th, 1851, she climbed the bank at
Alki Point to the rude cabin, bare of everything now considered
necessary to begin housekeeping. They were imperfectly protected from
the elements and the eldest child, Catharine, or Kate as she was called,
yet remembers how the rain dropped on her face the first night they
slept in the unfinished cabin, giving her a decided prejudice against
camping out.

The mother's health was poor and it became necessary to provide
nourishment for the infant; as there were no cows within reach, or
tinned substitutes, the experiment of feeding him on clam juice was made
with good effect.

Louisa Boren Denny, her sister, then unmarried, relates the following

     "At Alki Point one day, I stood just within the door of the cabin
     and Mary stood just inside; both of us saw an Indian bob up from
     behind the bank and point his gun directly at my sister Mary and
     almost immediately lower it without firing."

Mary A. Denny, when asked recently what she thought might have been his
reason for doing so replied, "Well, I don't know, unless it was just to
show what he could do; it was Indian Jim; I suppose he did it to show
that he could shoot me if he wanted to."

Probably he thought to frighten her at least, but with the customary
nerve of the pioneer woman, she exhibited no sign of fear and he went
his way.

They afterward learned that on the same evening there had been some
trouble with the Indians at the Maple Place and it was thought that this
Indian was one of the disaffected or a sympathizer.

Mrs. Mary A. Denny moved about from place to place, living first in the
cabin at Alki Point, then a cabin on Elliott Bay, on the north end of
their claim, then another cabin near the great laurel tree, on the site
of the Stevens Hotel, Seattle. After a time the family went to Olympia.
Her husband was in the Land Office, was a member of the Territorial
Legislature and Delegate to Congress; all the while she toiled on in her
home with her growing family.

They returned to Seattle and built what was for those times a very good
residence on the corner of Pike Street and First Avenue, where they had
a fine orchard, and there they lived many years.

After having struggled through long years of poverty, not extreme, to be
sure, but requiring much patient toil and endurance, their property
became immensely valuable and they enjoyed well deserved affluence.

Mrs. Mary A. Denny's family consists of four sons and two daughters;
Orion O., the second son, was the second white child born in Seattle.
Catherine (Denny) Frye, the elder daughter, was happily married in her
girlhood and is the mother of a most interesting family. Rolland H.,
Orion O., A. Wilson and Charles L. Denny, the four sons, are prominent
business men of Seattle.

Mrs. Denny makes her home with Lenora, the younger unmarried daughter,
at her palatial residence in Seattle. The last mentioned is a traveled,
well read woman of most sympathetic nature, devoted to her friends, one
who has shown kindness to many strangers in times past as they were
guests in her parents' home.



In the Post-Intelligencer of December 8th and 9th, 1902, appeared the
following sketches of this well known pioneer:

     "At the ripe old age of 85, with the friendship and affection of
     every man he knew in this life, Henry Van Asselt, one of the
     founders of King County, and one of the four of the first white
     men to set foot on the shores of Elliott Bay, died yesterday
     morning at his home, on Fifteenth Avenue, of paralysis. Mr. Van
     Asselt, with Samuel and Jacob Maple and L. M. Collins, landed in
     a canoe September 14th, 1851, at the mouth of the Duwamish River,
     where it enters the harbor of Seattle. They had come from the
     Columbia River and were more than two months in advance of Arthur
     Denny, one of the pioneer builders of the city of Seattle. Van
     Asselt's name is perpetuated through the town of Van Asselt,
     adjoining the southern limits of the city. He was well known all
     over the Puget Sound country, and he was the last living member
     of one of the first bands of white arrivals, on the shores of
     Elliott Bay.

     "Mr. Van Asselt was a Hollander, having been born in Holland
     April 11, 1817, two years after the battle of Waterloo. He was in
     his early youth a soldier in the Holland army during its dispute
     with Belgium. An expert marksman and an indefatigable huntsman,
     he came to America in 1850, on a sailing schooner, and a year
     later was traveling the trail from the Central West to
     California. Instead of going to the land of gold and sunshine,
     Van Asselt headed north, reaching the Columbia River in the fall
     of 1850. A year later found him crossing the Columbia River,
     after a short sojourn in the mining camps of Northern California.
     With three companions, L. M. Collins, Jacob and Samuel Maple,
     Henry Van Asselt made the perilous journey from the Columbia
     River to the Sound, where, near Olympia, he boarded a canoe, and
     after two days' traveling reached the mouth of the Duwamish
     River. Ascending the stream to the junction of the White and
     Black Rivers, a distance of only a few miles, he staked out a
     donation land claim of 320 acres in the heart of the richest
     section of the Duwamish valley."


     "The sturdy Hollander cleared the valley of its primeval forest
     of firs, and made it truly blossom with farm products of every
     description. The land today (1902) is worth $1,000 an acre and
     upwards. At his death, the aged pioneer, the last of his
     generation, had in his own name some 100 odd acres of this land.
     Not many weeks ago he had sold twenty-four acres of the old
     homestead as the site of the new rolling mill and foundry to be
     constructed by the Vulcan Iron Works.

     "Mr. Van Asselt was not the least interesting, by any means, of
     the old pioneers of King County. In fact, until his death he was
     the last living member of the first group of white men to set
     foot on the shores of Elliott Bay. He was a very devout man, and
     in the late years of his life, when he had retired from active
     business, it was his custom to spend part of every Sunday at the
     county jail, reading to the prisoners excerpts from holy writ and
     giving them words of hopefulness and cheer. This duty was
     performed for many years as regularly as was his attendance at
     the Methodist Protestant church, in this city, of which he had
     been for thirty years a member. It is to be said of the dead
     pioneer that he was universally loved and respected, and it was
     his proudest boast that he had never made an enemy in his life.
     This was literally true.

     "Crossing the plains in 1850, young Van Asselt was of great
     assistance to his party in procuring game and in driving the
     hostile Indians away, because of his superior marksmanship, which
     he had acquired as a hunter on the estates of wealthy residents
     of his native country. He landed at Oregon City, Ore., in
     September, 1850, and the ensuing winter he spent in mining in
     California. He accumulated a considerable sum, and, lured by
     stories of the richness and vastness of the great Northwest, he
     returned to Portland in 1851, and, crossing the Columbia, made
     his way to the Sound country. On this trip he was accidentally
     wounded, the bullet being imbedded in his shoulder. In the days
     of the Indian troubles on the Sound, Van Asselt was safe from the
     attacks of the hostiles, who held him in superstitious reverence
     because of the fact that he carried a bullet in his body. They
     believed that he could not be killed by a tomahawk. This fact,
     perhaps, had much to do with his escape from assassination at the
     hands of the hostiles in the Indian war of 1855.

     "Jacob and Samuel Maple, who with L. M. Collins accompanied Mr.
     Van Asselt to Puget Sound, have been dead many years. Arthur A.
     Denny has been gathered to his fathers, along with many others of
     the old pioneers of King County and Washington. Van Asselt is the
     last of that hardy race that opened the wilderness on Puget Sound
     and made it blossom like the rose.

     "The news of the death of Van Asselt was received as a sad blow
     among the people of Van Asselt, where the aged pioneer spent the
     greater portion of his days in the house which still stands as a
     monument to his rugged pioneer days. In Van Asselt the people
     speak the name of the pioneer with reverence on account of the
     many charities he extended to the poor during his lifetime, and
     also on account of the many acts which he did in pioneer days to
     save and maintain the peaceful relations with the savages.

     "The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Van Asselt was celebrated in this
     county, on Christmas evening 1862. All of those present at the
     wedding have now passed away with a few exceptions.

     "Mr. Van Asselt leaves a wife, Mrs. Mary Jane Maple Van Asselt; a
     son, Dr. J. H. Van Asselt; two daughters, Mrs. J. H. Benadom, of
     Puyallup, and Dr. Nettie Van Asselt Burling, and a grandson,
     Floyd Julian, son of Mrs. Mary Adriane Van Asselt Julian, who
     died in 1893. Mr. Van Asselt also leaves a brother, Rev. Garrett
     Van Asselt, of Utrecht, Holland, and several sisters in Holland.

     "The following were selected as active pallbearers: William P.
     Harper, Dexter Horton, D. B. Ward, O. J. Carr, Isaac Parker, M.
     R. Maddocks. The honorary pallbearers were: Edgar Bryan, Rev.
     Daniel Bagley, F. M. Guye, Joseph Foster, William Carkeek, Judge
     Orange Jacobs.

     "As illustrative of the regard and esteem in which this pioneer
     was held by those who knew him best, Dexter Horton, the well
     known banker and capitalist, who met Mr. Van Asselt in 1852, said
     last night:

     "'Mr. Van Asselt was a man of sterling character. His word was as
     good as a government bond. I knew him almost from the beginning
     of his life here. He was one of the kindliest men I ever met.

     "'For fifteen years after I came to Seattle I conducted a general
     merchandise store here. There were mighty few of us here in those
     early times and we were all intimately acquainted. I dare say
     that when a newcomer had resided on the Sound, anywhere from
     Olympia to the Strait of Fuca, for thirty days, I became
     acquainted with him. They dropped in here to trade, traveling in
     Indian canoes. There never was a man of them that I did not trust
     to any reasonable extent for goods, and my losses on that account
     in fifteen years' dealing with the early settlers were less than
     $1,000. This is sufficient testimony as to the character and
     integrity of the men who, like Van Asselt, faced the privations
     and dangers of the Western Trail to find homes for themselves on
     the Pacific Coast.

     "'Mr. Van Asselt located on a level farm in the Duwamish valley
     on his arrival here. He was a man of great energy and thrift, and
     soon had good and paying crops growing. He used to bring his
     produce to Seattle, either by Indian canoe, or afterwards, when a
     trail was cut under the brow of the hill, by teams. This produce
     was readily disposed of, as we had a large number of men working
     in the mills and few to supply their necessities.

     "'I remember that after he had lived here for several years he
     moved to town and established a cabinet maker's shop. He was an
     expert in that line of work. I have an ancient curly maple bureau
     which he made for me, and Mrs. A. A. Denny has another. They are
     beautifully fashioned, Van Asselt being well skilled in the
     trade. Doubtless others among the old-timers here have mementos
     of his handicraft.

     "'Van Asselt was of the type of men who blazed the path for
     generations that followed them to the Pacific Coast. His
     integrity was unchallenged, and his charities were numerous and
     unostentatious. He used to give every worthy newcomer work on his
     ranch, and many an emigrant in those days got his first start
     from Henry Van Asselt.'

     "Samuel Crawford knew Mr. Van Asselt intimately since 1876. He
     said last night:

     "'Henry Van Asselt, or Uncle Henry, as we all called him, spent
     the winter of 1850-1851 with my great-great-grandfather, Robert
     Moore, at Oregon City, Ore., or more properly speaking, on the
     west shore of the Willamette, just across from Oregon City. Mr.
     Van Asselt told me this himself. Moore kept a large place, which
     was a sort of rendezvous for the immigrants, and many a man found
     shelter at his ranch. He gave them work enough to keep them
     going, and Van Asselt found employment with him that winter,
     making shingles from cedar bolts with a draw knife.

     "'Mr. Van Asselt was one of the best men that ever lived. His
     word was as good as gold, and he never overlooked a chance to do
     a friend a favor. While he spoke English with difficulty, on
     occasion he could make a good speech, and he always took a deep
     interest in public affairs. There was probably no important
     public question involving the interests of Seattle and the Puget
     Sound country but that Mr. Van Asselt had his say. He did not
     care for public office, however, but preferred to go along in his
     quiet way, doing all the good that was possible. He firmly
     believed in the future of Seattle, which he loved dearly, and I
     remember many years ago of his purchase of two blocks of ground
     on Renton Hill, in the vicinity of the residence where he passed
     the last years of his life. This was nearly twenty years ago.'

     "Thomas W. Prosch had known Mr. Van Asselt for many years. He,
     too, paid a tribute to his fine character, and rugged honesty.
     'Six years ago,' said Mr. Prosch, 'I went to talk with Mr. Van
     Asselt regarding his early experiences on the Sound. He told me
     of his long and arduous trip across the plains in 1850, and of
     his escapades with the Indians then and afterward. He said
     himself that he believed he led a charmed life, as the Indians
     took many a shot at him, but without avail. He was a dead shot
     himself, and the Indians had great respect for his skill. He was
     a very determined man, and undoubtedly had a great influence over
     the savages.

     "'Mr. Van Asselt told me that he met Hill Harmon, a well known
     Oregon settler, in the spring of 1851, and together they crossed
     the Columbia and came to Olympia. From there they went with two
     or three others to Nesqually, where they met Luther M. Collins,
     one of the first settlers in King County. Collins endeavored to
     persuade them to locate near him, but they wanted a better place.
     Finally Collins brought them to the Duwamish valley and located
     them here. One of the party bought Collins' place at Nesqually,
     and he came here to locate with Van Asselt and the others.
     Collins' family was the first white family to establish a home in
     King County.'"



Thomas Mercer was born in Harrison county, Ohio, March 11, 1813, the
eldest of a large family of children. He remained with his father until
he was twenty-one, gaining a common school education and a thorough
knowledge of the manufacture of woolen goods. His father was the owner
of a well appointed woolen mill. The father, Aaron Mercer, was born in
Virginia and was of the same family as General Mercer of revolutionary
fame. His mother, Jane Dickerson Mercer, was born in Pennsylvania of an
old family of that state.

The family moved to Princeton, Ill., in 1834, a period when buffalo were
still occasionally found east of the Mississippi river, and savage
Indians annoyed and harassed outlying settlements in that region. A
remarkable coincidence is a matter of family tradition. Nancy Brigham,
who later became Mr. Mercer's wife, and her family, were compelled to
flee by night from their home near Dixon at the time of the Black Hawk
war, and narrowly escaped massacre. In 1856, about twenty years later,
her daughters, the youngest only eight years old, also made a midnight
escape in Seattle, two thousand miles away from the scene of their
mother's adventure, and they endured the terrors of the attack upon the
village a few days later when the shots and shouts of the thousand
painted devils rang out in the forest on the hillside from a point near
the present gas works to another near where Madison street ends at First


In April, 1852, a train of about twenty wagons, drawn by horses, was
organized at Princeton to cross the plains to Oregon. In this train were
Thomas Mercer, Aaron Mercer, Dexter Horton, Daniel Bagley, William H.
Shoudy, and their families. Some of these still live in or near Seattle
and others settled in Oregon. Mr. Mercer was chosen captain of the train
and discharged the arduous duties of that position fearlessly and
successfully. Danger and disease were on both sides of the long, dreary
way, and hundreds of new made graves were often counted along the
roadside in a day. But this train seemed to bear a charmed existence.
Not a member of the original party died on the way, although many were
seriously ill. Only one animal was lost.

As the journey was fairly at an end and western civilization had been
reached at The Dalles, Oregon, Mrs. Mercer was taken ill, but managed to
keep up until the Cascades were reached. There she grew rapidly worse
and soon died. Several members of the expedition went to Salem and
wintered there, and in the early spring of 1853 Mercer and Dexter Horton
came to Seattle and decided to make it their home. Mr. Horton entered
immediately upon a business career, the success of which is known in
California, Oregon and Washington, and Mr. Mercer settled upon a
donation claim whose eastern end was the meander line of Lake Union and
the western end, half way across to the bay. Mercer street is the
dividing line between his and D. T. Denny's claims, and all of these
tracts were included within the city limits about fifteen years ago.

Mr. Mercer brought one span of horses and a wagon from the outfit with
which he crossed the plains and for some time all the hauling of wood
and merchandise was done by him. The wagon was the first one in King
county. In 1859 he went to Oregon for the summer and while there married
Hester L. Ward, who lived with him nearly forty years, dying last
November. During the twenty years succeeding his settlement here he
worked hard clearing the farm and carrying on dairying and farming in a
small way and doing much work with his team. In 1873 portions of the
farm came into demand for homes and his sales soon put him in easy
circumstances and in later years made him independent, though the past
few years of hard times have left but a small part of the estate.

The old home on the farm that the Indians spared when other buildings
in the county not protected by soldiers were burned, is still standing
and is the oldest building in the county. Mr. D. T. Denny had a log
cabin on his place which was not destroyed--these two alone escaped. The
Indians were asked, after the war, why they did not burn Mercer's house,
to which they replied, "Oh, old Mercer might want it again." Denny and
Mercer had always been particularly kind to the natives and just in
their dealings, and the savages seem to have felt some little gratitude
toward them.

In the early '40s Mr. Mercer and Rev. Daniel Bagley were co-workers in
the anti-slavery cause with Owen Lovejoy, of Princeton, who was known to
all men of that period in the great Middle West. Later Mr. Mercer joined
the Republican party and has been an ardent supporter of its men and
measures down to the present. He served ten years as probate judge of
King county, and at the end of that period declined a renomination.

In early life he joined the Methodist Protestant church and has ever
been a consistent member of that body. Rev. Daniel Bagley was his pastor
fifty-two years ago at Princeton, and continued to hold that relation to
him in Seattle from 1860 until 1885, when he resigned his Seattle

To Mr. Mercer belongs the honor of naming the lakes adjacent to and
almost surrounding the city. At a social gathering or picnic in 1855 he
made a short address and proposed the adoption of "Union" for the small
lake between the bay and the large lake, and "Washington" for the other
body of water. This proposition was received with favor and at once
adopted. In the early days of the county and city he was always active
in all public enterprises, ready alike with individual effort and with
his purse, according to his ability, and no one of the city's thousands
has taken a keener interest or greater pride than he in the recent
development of the city's greatness, although he could no longer share
actively in its accomplishment. He was exceedingly anxious to see the
canal completed between salt water and the lakes.

His oldest daughter, Mrs. Henry Parsons, lives near Olympia, and is a
confirmed invalid. The second daughter was the first wife of Walter
Graham, of this place, but died in 1862. The next younger daughters,
Mrs. David Graham and Mrs. C. B. Bagley, lived near him and cared for
him entirely since the death of Mrs. Mercer last November. In all the
collateral branches the aged patriarch leaves behind him here in King
county fully half a hundred of relatives of greater or lesser degrees of

His generosity and benevolence have ever been proverbial. The churches,
Y. M. C. A., orphanages and other objects of public benevolence and
private charity have good cause to remember his liberality. In a period
of five years he gave away at least $20,000 in public and private

Judge Mercer was a charter member of the Pioneers' Association, and took
great interest in its affairs. He always made a special effort to attend
the annual meeting, until the last two years, when his health would not

Another of the band of hardy pioneers who laid the foundation of the
great commonwealth bounded by California on the south, British Columbia
on the north, the Rocky Mountains on the east and the illimitable
Pacific toward the setting sun, has gone to rest.

     "Judge Thomas Mercer died yesterday morning, May 25th, at 5:15
     o'clock, after a brief illness, at his home in North Seattle,
     within a stone's throw of the old homestead where he and his four
     motherless daughters, all mere children, settled in the somber
     and unbroken forest two score and five years ago, when the
     Seattle of today consisted of a sawmill, a trading post and less
     than a half hundred white people."--(From Post-Intelligencer of
     May 26th, 1898.)

For many years we looked across the valley to see the smoke from the
fire on the Mercer hearthstone winding skyward, for they were our only
neighbors. Even for this, we were not so solitary, nor quite so lonely
as we must have been with no human habitation in our view. And then we
felt the kindly presence, sympathy we knew we could always claim, the
cheerful greetings and friendly visits.

When his aged pastor, Rev. Daniel Bagley, with snowy locks, stood above
his bier and a troop of silver-haired pioneers in tearful silence
harkened, he told of fifty years of friendship; how they crossed the
plains together, and of the quiet, steady, Christian life of Thomas

He said, "Whatever other reasons may have been given, that he understood
some Indians to say the reason they did not burn Mercer's house during
the war, was that Mercer was 'klosh tum-tum,' (kind, friendly, literally
a good heart), and 'he wawa-ed Sahale Tyee' (prayed to the Heavenly
Chief or Great Spirit). Thus did he let his light shine; even the
savages beheld it."

In closing a touching, suggestive and affectionate tribute, he quoted
these lines:

    "O what hath Jesus bought for me!
    Before my ravish'd eyes
    Rivers of life divine I see,
    And trees of Paradise;
    I see a world of spirits bright,
    Who taste the pleasures there;
    They all are robed in spotless white,
    And conqu'ring palms they bear."


When a child I often visited this good pioneer woman--so faithful,
cheerful, kind, self-forgetful.

With busy hands she toiled from morning to night, scarcely sitting down
without some house-wifely task to occupy her while she chatted.

Of a very lively disposition, her laugh was frequent and merry.

A more generous, frank and warm-hearted nature was hard to find, the
demands made upon it were many and such as to exhaust a shallow one. Her
experiences were varied and thrilling, as the following account from the
Seattle Post-Intelligencer of November 13th, 1897, will show:

     "There is something in the life of this pioneer woman that makes
     a lasting impression upon the minds of those who consider it.
     Mrs. Mercer's general life differed somewhat from the lives of
     many pioneer women in that she was always a pioneer. Many had
     given up an existence in the thickly settled portions of the east
     to accept the burdensome, half-civilized life of the west. They
     had at least once known the joys of civilization. It was not so
     with Mrs. Mercer. She was a pioneer from the time she was ushered
     into the world.

     "She was born in Kentucky. Go back 75 years in the life of that
     state and you will get something of its early history. Those who
     lived there that long ago were pioneers. Her father and mother
     were Jesse and Elizabeth Ward. They were of that staunch, sturdy
     people that struggled to obtain a home and accumulate a little
     fortune in the southern country. Jesse Ward at the age of 18
     joined a regiment of Kentucky volunteers which was a part of
     Jackson's army at the defense of New Orleans in 1814.

     "Mrs. Mercer was born in Hartford, the county seat of Ohio
     county, Kentucky. She was but a little tot when her mother died.

     "Her father married again, and children, issues of the second
     marriage, had been born before Mr. Ward and his family said
     good-bye to old Kentucky or in reality, young Kentucky, and moved
     to Arkansas. That was in 1845. There they lived until 1853 and
     Hester Mercer had a chance of proving her true womanhood. The
     family had settled near Batesville, Independence county. At that
     time the county had much virgin soil and it was not a hard matter
     to figure up the population of the state. Mrs. Mercer seemed to
     be the head of the family. While the male members of the family
     were at work clearing land and establishing what they thought
     would be a permanent home, she was busily occupied in making
     clothes for herself and others of the family. And what a task it
     was in those days to make clothes. Crude machinery, in the
     settled states of the east, turned out with what was considered
     wonderful rapidity, cloth for garments. But the common people of
     the West knew nothing of the details of such luxuries.


     "Mrs. Mercer, then Hester Ward, took the wool from the sheep,
     cleaned it, wove it, dyed the cloth, cut and made it into
     clothing for her father and brothers. When she wanted a gown she
     could have it, that is, after she had gone into the fields,
     picked the necessary cotton, developed it into dress goods and
     turned the goods into a garment.

     "Mr. D. B. Ward, a half brother of Mrs. Mercer, has in his
     possession pieces of the goods out of which she made her gowns
     when a girl.

     "In 1853, Mr. Ward, having heard so much of the great
     opportunities that were offered to the pioneer who would accept
     life in the far West, started with his family and a party of
     other pioneers across the great Western plains. Stories without
     end could be told of the adventures and incidents, the results of
     that long journey. There were nine children of Mr. Ward in his
     party. The start was made March 9, 1853, and on September 30,
     Waldo Hills, near Salem, Oregon, was reached.

     "The Indians, of course, figured in the life of the Wards while
     they were crossing the plains, just as they seemed to come into
     the life of every other band of pioneers that undertook the
     journey. When about eight miles, by the emigrant route, east of
     the North Platte, Mr. Ward's party encountered a big band of
     Arapahoes. Every one was a warrior. They were in full war regalia
     and dangling from their belts were dozens of scalps. They had
     been in battle with their enemies, the Blackfeet and Snake River
     Indians the day before. Crowned with victory, they were on their
     way home to celebrate.

     "The Ward party had been resting in the woods and were about
     breaking camp to continue their journey when the Indian braves
     made their appearance. They insisted that they were friendly, but
     their behavior was not wholly consistent. They crowded in and
     about the wagons, wanted this and that and finally became
     impudent because their requests were denied.

     "The Ward party had an old bugler with them; when he placed his
     lips to the bugle something that bordered on music came from the
     instrument. While the Indians were making their presence known
     the old bugler grabbed up his bugle and let out several blasts,
     which echoed and re-echoed around. The leaves trembled, the trees
     seemed to shake and the Indian braves, who did not fear an
     encounter with a thousand Blackfeet, were dumbfounded. Their
     heads went up in the air, the ears of their horses shot forward.
     The leader of the braves murmured a few words in his native
     tongue and then like the wind those 400 braves were gone. If the
     Great White Father had appeared, as they probably expected he
     would, he would have had to travel many miles to find the

     "The Ward party was soon out of the woods, when they met another
     band. The old chief was with them. He was mounted on a white
     mule and produced a copy of a treaty with the government to show
     that his people loved the white men.

     "Down in the valley through which the pioneers were compelled to
     travel they saw many little tents. Other Indians were camped
     there. The old chief and his party accompanied the emigrants.
     Every Indian showed an ugly disposition. The emigrants were
     compelled to stop in the midst of the tents in the valley. The
     old chief explained through an interpreter that his people had
     just come back from a great battle. They were hungry, he said,
     and wanted food and the emigrants would have to give it to them,
     for were not these whites, he said, passing through the sacred
     land of the Indian?

     "The Ward party was a small one, it could muster but 22 men. Each
     man was well armed, but the Indians were mixing up with them and
     it would have been impossible to get together for united action.
     It was necessary to submit to the wishes of the Indians. Bacon,
     sugar, flour and crackers were given up and the old chief divided
     them among his people.

     "While this division was being made young braves were busying
     themselves by annoying the members of the party. Among the white
     people was a young woman who had charge of two horses attached to
     a light covered wagon. Several of the braves took a fancy to her.
     They gave the whites to understand that any woman who could drive
     horses was all right and must not go any farther. Mr. Ward and
     his men had a hard time keeping the Indians from stealing the
     girl. Once they crowded about her and for a time it was thought
     she would be taken by force. The white men and several of the
     women went to her rescue. Mrs. Mercer was in the rescue party.
     She shoved the Indians right and left and in the end the girl was
     rescued and smuggled into a closed wagon, where she remained
     concealed for some hours.

     "Another young woman in the party had beautiful auburn hair. An
     Indian warrior took a fancy to her, thought she was the finest
     woman he had ever seen, and said that his people would compromise
     if she were given to him for a wife. Again there was trouble and
     the girl had to be hidden in a closed wagon.

     "The Indians kept up their annoyance of the party for some time,
     but finally their hunger got the better of them and they sat down
     to eat the food which the Ward party had under compulsion given

     "The Indian chief consented that the white people should take
     their departure. They were quick to do so and were soon some
     distance from the Indian camp.

     "After the Wards reached Oregon, Hester settled down to pioneer
     life with the other members of the family, but in the fall of
     1859, Thomas Mercer, then probate judge of King county,
     Washington Territory, wooed and won her and they were married.
     The wedding was one of the important affairs of early days. Rev.
     Daniel Bagley, of this city, performed the ceremony. After Mr.
     and Mrs. Mercer came to Seattle they took up their residence in a
     little house on First Avenue, near Washington Street. The Mercer
     home at present occupies a block of the old donation claim. The
     home is on Lombard Street between Prospect and Villard Avenues.

     "When Mr. and Mrs. Mercer came to Seattle, John Denny and wife
     and James Campbell and wife accompanied them. The three families
     swelled the population to thirteen families.

     "D. B. Ward, a half brother of Mrs. Mercer, also came with them.

     "'Seattle was not a very big city in those days,' said Mr. Ward
     recently in discussing the matter. 'I remember that soon after my
     arrival I thought I would take a walk up in the woods. I went to
     the church, which stood where at present is the Boston National
     Bank building. I found windows filled with little holes. It was a
     great mystery to me. I went down town and made inquiry about it
     and was told that every hole represented a bullet fired by the
     Indians during the fight three years before.'

     "Mrs. Mercer was a woman of many grand qualities; she never
     permitted any suffering to go on about her if she were in a
     position to relieve it. She was a good friend of the poor and
     did many kind acts of which the world knew but little."

In the latter years of her life she was a patient, uncomplaining
invalid, and finally entered into rest on the 12th of November, 1897,
having lived in Seattle for thirty-nine years. She was buried with honor
and affection; the pallbearers were old pioneers averaging a forty
years' residence in the same place; D. T. Denny, the longest, being one
of the founders, for forty-five years; they were Dexter Horton, T. D.
Hinckley, D. T. Denny, Edgar Bryan, David Kellogg and Hans Nelson.

Mr. Mercer, at the age of 84 (in 1897), still survives her, passing a
peaceful old age in the midst of relatives and friends.



This well known pioneer joined the "mighty nation moving west" in 1852.
From Portland, the wayside inn of weary travelers, he pushed on to Puget
Sound, settling in 1853 on Elliott Bay, at a place known for many years
as Smith's Cove.

Being a gifted writer he has made numerous contributions to northwestern
literature, both in prose and poetry.

In a rarely entertaining set of papers entitled "Early Reminiscences,"
he brings vividly to the minds of his readers the "good old times" on
Elliott Bay, as he describes the manner of life, personal adventure, odd
characters and striking environment of the first decade of settlement.
In them he relates that after the White River massacre, he conveyed his
mother to a place of safety, by night, in a boat with muffled oars.

     To quote his own words: "Early the next morning I persuaded James
     Broad and Charley Williamson, a couple of harum-scarum run-away
     sailors, to accompany me to my ranch in the cove, where we
     remained two weeks securing crops. We always kept our rifles near
     us while working in the field, so as to be ready for
     emergencies, and brave as they seemed their faces several times
     blanched white as they sprang for their guns on hearing brush
     crack near them, usually caused by deer. One morning on going to
     the field where we were digging potatoes, we found fresh moccasin
     tracks, and judged from the difference in the size of the tracks
     that at least half a dozen savages had paid the field a visit
     during the night. As nothing had been disturbed we concluded that
     they were waiting in ambush for us and accordingly we retired to
     the side of the field farthest from the woods and began work,
     keeping a sharp lookout the while. Soon we heard a cracking in
     the brush and a noise that sounded like the snapping of a
     flintlock. We grabbed our rifles and rushed into the woods where
     we heard the noise, so as to have the trees for shelter, and if
     possible to draw a bead on the enemy. On reaching shelter, the
     crackling sound receded toward Salmon Bay. But fearing a surprise
     if we followed the sound of retreat, we concluded to reach the
     Bay by way of a trail that led to it, but higher up; we reached
     the water just in time to see five redskins land in a canoe, on
     the opposite side of the Bay where the Crooks' barn now stands.
     After that I had hard work to keep the runaways until the crop
     was secured, and did so only by keeping one of them secreted in
     the nearest brush constantly on guard. At night we barred the
     doors and slept in the attic, hauling the ladder up after us.
     Sometimes, when the boys told blood-curdling stories until they
     became panicky by their own eloquence, we slept in the woods, but
     that was not often.

     "In this way the crops were all saved, cellared and stacked, only
     to be destroyed afterward by the torch of the common enemy.

     "Twice the house was fired before it was finally consumed, and
     each time I happened to arrive in time to extinguish the flames,
     the incendiaries evidently having taken to their heels as soon as
     the torch was applied."

While yet new to the country he met with an adventure not uncommon to
the earliest settlers in the great forest, recorded as follows:

"I once had a little experience, but a very amusing one, of being
'lost.' In the summer of 1854, I concluded to make a trail to Seattle.
Up to that time I had ridden to the city in a 'Chinook buggy.' One
bright morning I took a compass and started for Seattle on as nearly a
straight line as possible. After an hour's travel the sun was hid by
clouds and the compass had to be entirely relied upon for the right
course. This was tedious business, for the woods had never been burned,
and the old fallen timber was almost impassable. About noon I noticed to
my utter astonishment, that the compass had reversed its poles. I knew
that beds of mineral would sometimes cause a variation of the needle and
was delighted at the thought of discovering a _valuable iron mine_ so
near salt water. A good deal of time was spent in breaking bushes and
thoroughly marking the spot so that there would be no difficulty in
finding it again, and from that on I broke bushes as I walked, so as to
be able to easily retrace my steps. From that place I followed the
compass _reversed_, calculating, as I walked, the number of ships that
would load annually at Seattle with pig-iron, and the amount of ground
that would be eventually covered at the cove with furnaces, rolling
mills, foundries, tool manufacturing establishments, etc.

"As night came on I became satisfied that I had traveled too far to the
east, and had passed Seattle, and the prospect of spending a night in
the woods knocked my iron calculations into pi. Soon, however, I was
delighted to see a clearing ahead, and a shake-built shanty that I
concluded must be the ranch that Mr. Nagle had commenced improving some
time before, and which, I had understood, lay between Seattle and Lake
Washington. When I reached the fence surrounding the improvements, I
seated myself on one of the top rails for a seat and to ponder the
advisability of remaining with my new neighbor over night, or going on
to town. While sitting thus, I could not help contrasting his
improvements with my own. The size of the clearing was the same, the
house was a good deal like mine, the only seeming difference was that
the front of his faced the west, whereas the front of mine faced the
east. While puzzling over this strange coincidence, my own mother came
out of the house to feed the poultry that had commenced going to roost,
in a rookery for all the world like my own, only facing the wrong way.
'In the name of all that's wonderful!' I thought, 'what is she doing
here? and how did she get here ahead of me?' Just then the world took a
spin around, my ranch wheeled into line, and, lo! I was sitting on my
own fence, and had been looking at my own improvements without knowing
them." And from this he draws a moral and adorns the tale with the
philosophic conclusion that people cannot see and think alike owing to
their point of view, and we therefore must be charitable.

Until accustomed to it and schooled in wood-craft, the mighty and
amazing forest was bewildering and mysterious to the adventurous
settler; however, they soon learned how not to lose themselves in its
labyrinthine depths.

Dr. Smith is a past master in description, as will be seen by this
word-picture of a fire in a vast pitchy and resinous mass of combustible
material. I have witnessed many, each a magnificent display.

     "Washington beats the world for variety and magnificence of awe
     inspiring mountains and other scenery. I have seen old ocean in
     her wildest moods, have beheld the western prairie on fire by
     night, when the long, waving lines of flame flared and flashed
     their red light against the low, fleecy clouds till they
     blossomed into roseate beauty, looking like vast spectral flower
     gardens, majestically sweeping through the heavens; have been in
     the valley of the river Platte, when all the windows of the sky
     and a good many doors opened at once and the cloud-masked
     batteries of the invisible hosts of the air volleyed and
     thundered till the earth fairly reeled beneath the terrific
     cannonade that tore its quivering bosom with red-hot bombs until
     awe-stricken humanity shriveled into utter nothingness in the
     presence of the mad fury of the mightiest forces of nature. But
     for magnificence of sublime imagery and awe-inspiring grandeur a
     forest fire raging among the gigantic firs and towering cedars
     that mantle the shores of Puget Sound, surpasses anything I have
     ever beheld, and absolutely baffles all attempts at description.
     It has to be seen to be comprehended. The grandest display of
     forest pyrotechnics is witnessed when an extensive tract that has
     been partly cleared by logging is purposely or accidentally
     fired. When thus partly cleared, all the tops of the fir, cedar,
     spruce, pine and hemlock trees felled for their lumber remain on
     the ground, their boughs fairly reeking with balsam. All inferior
     trees are left standing, and in early days when only the very
     choicest logs would be accepted by the mills, about one-third
     would be left untouched, and then the trees would stand thicker,
     mightier, taller than in the average forest of the eastern and
     middle states.

     "I once witnessed the firing of a two thousand acre tract thus
     logged over. It was noon in the month of August, and not a breath
     of air moved the most delicate ferns on the hillsides. The birds
     had hushed their songs for their midday siesta, and the babbling
     brook at our feet had grown less garrulous, as if in sympathy
     with the rest of nature, when the torch was applied. A dozen or
     more neighbors had come together to witness the exhibition of the
     unchained element about to hold high carnival in the amphitheater
     of the hills, and each one posted himself, rifle in hand, in some
     conspicuous place at least a quarter of a mile from the slashing
     in order to get a shot at any wild animal fleeing from the 'wrath
     to come.'

     "The tract was fired simultaneously on all sides by siwashes, who
     rapidly circled it with long brands, followed closely by rivers
     of flame in hot pursuit.

     "As soon as the fire worked its way to the massive winrows of dry
     brush, piled in making roads in every direction, a circular wall
     of solid flame rose half way to the tops of the tall trees. Soon
     the rising of the heated air caused strong currents of cooler air
     to set in from every side. The air currents soon increased to
     cyclones. Then began a race of the towering, billowy, surging
     walls of fire for the center. Driven furiously on by these
     ever-increasing, eddying, and fiercely contending tornadoes, the
     flames lolled and rolled and swayed and leaped, rising higher and
     higher, until one vast, circular tidal wave of liquid fire rolled
     in and met at the center with the whirl and roar of pandemoniac
     thunder and shot up in a spiral and rapidly revolving red-hot
     cone, a thousand feet in mid-air, out of whose flaring and
     crater-like apex poured dense volumes of tarry smoke, spreading
     out on every side, like unfolding curtains of night, till the sun
     was darkened and the moon was turned to blood and the stars
     seemed literally raining from heaven, as glowing firebrands that
     had been carried up by the fierce tornado of swirling flame and
     carried to immense distances by upper air currents, fell back in
     showers to the ground. The vast tract, but a few moments before
     as quiet as a sleeping infant in its cradle, was now one vast
     arena of seething, roaring, raging flame. The long, lithe limbs
     of the tall cedars were tossing wildly about, while the strong
     limbs of the sturdier firs and hemlocks were freely gyrating like
     the sinewy arms of mighty giant athletes engaged in mortal
     combat. Ever and anon their lower, pitch-dripping branches would
     ignite from the fervent heat below, when the flames would rush to
     the very tops with the roar of contending thunders and shoot
     upward in bright silvery volumes from five to seven hundred feet,
     or double the height of the trees themselves. Hundreds of these
     fire-volumes flaring and flaming in quick succession and
     sometimes many of them simultaneously, in conjunction with the
     weird eclipse-like darkness that veiled the heavens, rendered the
     scene one of awful grandeur never to be forgotten.

     "So absorbed were we all in the preternatural war of the fiercely
     contending elements that we forgot our guns, our game and

            *       *       *       *       *

     "The burnt district, after darkness set in, was wild and weird in
     the extreme. The dry bark to the very tops of the tall trees was
     on fire and constantly falling off in large flakes, and the air
     was filled ever and anon with dense showers of golden stars,
     while the trees in the environs seemed to move about through the
     fitful shadows like grim brobdignags clad in sheeny armor."

Having witnessed many similar conflagrations I am able to say that the
subject could scarcely be better treated.

Through the courtesy of the author, Dr. H. A. Smith, I have been
permitted to insert the following poem, which has no doubt caused many a
grim chuckle and scowl of sympathy, too, from the old pioneers of the


    "The man who holds a mortgage on my farm
    And sells me out to gratify his greed,
    Is shielded by our shyster laws from harm,
    And ever laud for the dastard deed!
    Though morally the man is really worse
    Than if he knocked me down and took my purse;
    The last would mean, at most, a moment's strife,
    The first would mean the struggle of a life,
    And homeless children wailing in the cold,
    A prey to want and miseries manifold;
    Then if I loot him of his mangy pup
    The guardians of the law will lock me up,
    And jaundiced justice fly into a rage
    While pampered Piety askance my rags will scan,
    And Shylock shout, 'Behold a dangerous man!'
    But notwithstanding want to Heaven cries,
    And villains masquerade in virtue's guise,
    And Liberty is moribund or dead--
    Except for men who corporations head--
    One little consolation still remains,
    The human race will one day rend its chains."

In transcribing Indian myths and religious beliefs, Dr. Smith displays
much ability. After having had considerable acquaintance with the native
races, he concludes that "Many persons are honestly of the opinion that
Indians have no ideas above catching and eating salmon, but if they will
lay aside prejudice and converse freely with the more intelligent
natives, they will soon find that they reason just as well on all
subjects that attract their attention as we do, and being free from
pre-conceived opinions, they go directly to the heart of theories and
reason both inductively and deductively with surprising clearness and

Dr. Smith exhibits in his writings a broadly charitable mind which sees
even in the worst, still some lingering or smothered good.

Dr. Smith is one of a family of patriots; his great-grandfather,
Copelton Smith, who came from Germany to America in 1760 and settled in
or near Philadelphia, Pa., fought for liberty in the war of the
Revolution under General Washington. His father, Nicholas Smith, a
native of Pennsylvania, fought for the Stars and Stripes in 1812. Two
brothers fought for Old Glory in the war of the Rebellion, and he
himself was one of the volunteers who fought for their firesides in the
State, then Territory of Washington.

"A family of fighters," as he says, "famous for their peaceful
proclivities when let alone."

The varied experiences of life in the Northwest have developed in him a
sane and sweet philosophy, perhaps nowhere better set forth in his
writings than in his poem "Pacific's Pioneers," read at a reunion of the
founders of the state a few years ago, and with which I close this brief
and inadequate sketch:


    "A greeting to Pacific's Pioneers,
    Whose peaceful lives are drawing to a close,
    Whose patient toil, for lo these many years,
    Has made the forest blossom as the rose.

    "And bright-browed women, bonny, brave and true,
    And laughing lasses, sound of heart and head,
    Who home and kindred bade a last adieu
    To follow love where fortune led.

    "I do not dedicate these lines alone
    To men who live to bless the world today,
    But I include the nameless and unknown
    The pioneers who perished by the way.

    "Not for the recreant do my numbers ring,
    The men who spent their lives in sport and spree,
    Nor for the barnacles that always cling
    To every craft that cruises Freedom's sea.

    "But nearly all were noble, brave and kind,
    And little cared for fame or fashion's gyves;
    And though they left their Sunday suits behind
    They practiced pure religion all their lives.

    "Their love of peace no people could excel,
    Their dash in war the poet's pen awaits;
    Their sterling loyalty made possible
    Pacific's golden galaxy of states.

    "They had no time to bother much about
    Contending creeds that vex the nation's Hub,
    But then they left their leather latches out
    To every wandering Arab short of grub.

    "Cut off from all courts, man's earthly shield from harm,
    They looked for help to Him whose court's above,
    And learned to lean on labor's honest arm,
    And live the higher law, the law of love.

    "Not one but ought to wear a crown of gold,
    If crowns were made for men who do their best
    Amid privations cast and manifold
    That unborn generations may be blest.

    "Among these rugged pioneers the rule
    Was equal rights, and all took special pride
    In 'tending Mother Nature's matchless school,
    And on her lessons lovingly relied.

    "And this is doubtless why they are in touch
    With Nature's noblemen neath other skies;
    And though of books they may not know as much
    Their wisdom lasts, as Nature never lies.

    "And trusting God and His unerring plan
    As only altruistic natures could
    Their faith extended to their fellow man,
    The image of the Author of all good.

    "Since Nature here has done her best to please
    By making everything in beauty's mold,
    Loads down with balm of flowers every breeze,
    And runs her rivers over reefs of gold,

    "It seems but natural that men who yearn
    For native skies, and visit scenes of yore,
    Are seldom satisfied till they return
    To roam the Gardens of the Gods once more!

    "And since they fell in love with nature here
    How fitting they should wish to fall asleep
    Where sparkling mountain spires soar and spear
    The stainless azure of the upper deep.

    "And yet we're saddened when the papers say
    Another pioneer has passed away!
    And memory recalls when first, forsooth,
    We saw him in the glorious flush of youth.

    "How plain the simple truth when seen appears,
    No wonder that faded leaves we fall!
    This is the winter of the pioneers
    That blows a wreath of wrinkles to us all!

    "A few more mounds for faltering feet to seek,
    When, somewhere in this lovely sunset-land
    Like some weird, wintry, weather-beaten peak
    Some rare old Roman all alone will stand.

    "But not for long, for ere the rosy dawn
    Of many golden days has come and gone,
    Our pine-embowered bells will shout to every shore
    'Pacific's Pioneers are now no more!'

    "But lovely still the glorious stars will glow
    And glitter in God's upper deep like pearls
    And mountains too will wear their robes of snow
    Just as they did when we were boys and girls.

    "Ah well, it may be best, and is, no doubt,
    As death is quite as natural as birth
    And since no storms can blow the sweet stars out,
    Why should one wish to always stay on earth?

    "Especially as God can never change,
    And man's the object of His constant care
    And though beyond the Pleiades we range
    His boundless love and mercy must be there."



Sealth or "Old Seattle," a peaceable son of the forest, was of a line of
chieftains, his father, Schweabe, or Schweahub, a chief before him of
the Suquampsh tribe inhabiting a portion of the west shore of Puget
Sound, his mother, a Duwampsh of Elliott Bay, whose name was

Sealth's birthplace was the famous Oleman House, near the site of which
he is now buried. Oleman House was an immense timber structure, long ago
inhabited by many Indians; scarcely a vestige of it now remains. It was
built by Sealth's father. Chief Sealth was twice married and had three
sons and five daughters, the last of whom, Angeline, or Ka-ki-is-il-ma,
passed away on May 31, 1896. In an interview she informed me that her
grandfather, Schweabe, was a tall, slim man, while Sealth was rather
heavy as well as tall. Sealth was a hunter, she said, but not a great
warrior. In the time of her youth there were herds of elk near Oleman
House which Sealth hunted with the bow or gun.

The elk, now limited to the fastnesses of the Olympic Mountains, were
also hunted in the cove south of West Seattle, by Englishmen, Sealth's
cousin, Tsetseguis, helping, with other Indians, to carry out the

Angeline further said that her father, "Old Seattle," as the white
people called him, inherited the chiefship when a little boy. As he grew
up he became more important, married, obtained slaves, of whom he had
eight when the Dennys came, and acquired wealth. Of his slaves, Yutestid
is living (1899) and when reminded of him she laughed and repeated his
name several times, saying, "Yutestid! Yutestid! How was it possible for
me to forget him? Why, we grew up together!" Yutestid was a slave by
descent, as also were five others; the remaining two he had purchased.
It is said that he bought them out of pity from another who treated them

Sealth, Keokuk, William and others, with quite a band of Duwampsh and
Suquampsh Indians, once attacked the Chimacums, surrounded their large
house or rancheree at night; at some distance away they joined hands
forming a circle and gradually crept up along the ground until quite
near, when they sprang up and fired upon them; the terrified occupants
ran out and were killed by their enemies. On entering they found one of
the wounded crawling around crying "Ah! A-ah!" whom they quickly
dispatched with an ax.

A band of Indians visited Alki in 1851, who told the story to the white
settlers, imitating their movements as the attacking party and
evidently much enjoying the performance.

About the year 1841, Sealth set himself to avenge the death of his
nephew, Almos, who was killed by Owhi. With five canoe loads of his
warriors, among whom was Curley, he ascended White River and attacked a
large camp, killed more than ten men and carried the women and children
away into captivity.

At one time in Olympia some renegades who had planned to assassinate
him, fired a shot through his tent but he escaped unhurt. Dr. Maynard,
who visited him shortly after, saw that while he talked as coolly as if
nothing unusual had occurred, he toyed with his bow and arrow as if he
felt his power to deal death to the plotters, but nothing was ever known
of their punishment.

Sealth was of a type of Puget Sound Indian whose physique was not by any
means contemptible. Tall, broad shouldered, muscular, even brawny,
straight and strong, they made formidable enemies, and on the warpath
were sufficiently alarming to satisfy the most exacting tenderfoot whose
contempt for the "bowlegged siwash" is by no means concealed. Many of
the old grizzly-haired Indians were of large frame and would, if living,
have made a towering contrast to their little "runts" of critics.

Neither were their minds dwarfed, for evidently not narrowed by running
in the grooves of other men's thoughts, they were free to nourish
themselves upon nature and from their magnificent environment they drew
many striking comparisons.

Not versed in the set phrases of speech, time-worn and hackneyed, their
thoughts were naive, fresh, crude and angular as the frost-rended rocks
on the mountain side. A number of these Indians were naturally gifted as
orators; with great, mellow voices, expressive gestures, flaming
earnestness, piteous pathos and scorching sarcasm, they told their
wrongs, commemorated their dead and declared their friendship or hatred
in a voluminous, polysyllabic language no more like Chinook than
American is like pigeon English.

The following is a fragment valuable for the intimation it gives of
their power as orators, as well as a true description of the appearance
of Sealth, written by Dr. H. A. Smith, a well known pioneer, and
published in the Seattle Sunday Star of October 29, 1877:

     "Old Chief Seattle was the largest Indian I ever saw, and by far
     the noblest looking. He stood nearly six feet in his moccasins,
     was broad-shouldered, deep-chested and finely proportioned. His
     eyes were large, intelligent, expressive and friendly when in
     repose, and faithfully mirrored the varying moods of the great
     soul that looked through them. He was usually solemn, silent and
     dignified, but on great occasions moved among assembled
     multitudes like a Titan among Lilliputians, and his lightest word
     was law.

     "When rising to speak in council or to tender advice, all eyes
     were turned upon him, and deep-toned, sonorous and eloquent
     sentences rolled from his lips like the ceaseless thunders of
     cataracts flowing from exhaustless fountains, and his magnificent
     bearing was as noble as that of the most civilized military
     chieftain in command of the force of a continent. Neither his
     eloquence, his dignity nor his grace was acquired. They were as
     native to his manhood as leaves and blossoms are to a flowering

     "His influence was marvelous. He might have been an emperor but
     all his instincts were democratic, and he ruled his subjects with
     kindness and paternal benignity.

     "He was always flattered by marked attentions from white men, and
     never so much as when seated at their tables, and on such
     occasions he manifested more than anywhere else his genuine
     instincts of a gentleman.

     "When Governor Stevens first arrived in Seattle and told the
     natives that he had been appointed commissioner of Indian affairs
     for Washington Territory, they gave him a demonstrative reception
     in front of Dr. Maynard's office near the water front on Main
     Street. The bay swarmed with canoes and the shore was lined with
     a living mass of swaying, writhing, dusky humanity, until Old
     Chief Seattle's trumpet-toned voice rolled over the immense
     multitude like the reveille of a bass drum, when silence became
     as instantaneous and perfect as that which follows a clap of
     thunder from a clear sky.

     "The governor was then introduced to the native multitude by Dr.
     Maynard, and at once commenced in a conversational, plain and
     straightforward style, an explanation of his mission among them,
     which is too well understood to require recapitulation.

     "When he sat down, Chief Seattle arose, with all the dignity of a
     senator who carries the responsibilities of a great nation on his
     shoulders. Placing one hand on the governor's head, and slowly
     pointing heavenward with the index finger of the other, he
     commenced his memorable address in solemn and impressive tones:

     "'Yonder sky has wept tears of compassion on our fathers for
     centuries untold, and which to us, looks eternal, may change.
     Today it is fair, tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My
     words are like the clouds that never set. What Seattle says the
     chief Washington can rely upon, with as much certainty as our
     pale-face brothers can rely upon the return of the seasons. The
     son of the white chief says his father sends us greetings of
     friendship and good-will. This is kind, for we know he has little
     need of our friendship in return, because his people are many.
     They are like the grass that covers the vast prairie, while my
     people are few and resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept

     "'The great, and I presume good, white chief sends us word that
     he wants to buy our lands, but is willing to allow us to reserve
     enough to live on comfortably. This indeed appears generous, for
     the red man no longer has rights that he need respect, and the
     offer may be wise also, for we are no longer in need of a great

     "'There was a time when our people covered the whole land as the
     waves of a wind-ruffled sea covers its shell-paved shore. That
     time has long since passed away with the greatness of tribes
     almost forgotten. I will not mourn over our untimely decay, or
     reproach my pale-face brothers with hastening it, for we, too,
     may have been somewhat to blame.

     "'When our young men grew angry at some real or imaginary wrong
     and disfigured their faces with black paint, their hearts also
     are disfigured and turned black, and then cruelty is relentless
     and knows no bounds, and our old men are not able to restrain

     "He continued in this eloquent strain and closed by saying: 'We
     will ponder your proposition and when we have decided we will
     tell you, but should we accept it I here and now make this first
     condition: That we shall not be denied the privilege, without
     molestation, of visiting at will the graves of our ancestors and
     friends. Every part of this country is sacred to my people;
     every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove has been
     hallowed by some fond memory or some sad experience of my tribe.

     "'Even the rocks that seem to lie dumb, as they swelter in the
     sun, along the silent seashore in solemn grandeur, thrill with
     memories of past events, connected with the fate of my people and
     the very dust under our feet responds more lovingly to our
     footsteps than to yours, because it is the ashes of our ancestors
     and their bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch, for
     the soil is rich with the life of our kindred. At night when the
     streets of your cities and villages shall be silent and you think
     them deserted they will throng with the returning hosts that once
     filled and still love this beautiful land. The white man will
     never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people,
     for the dead are not altogether powerless.'"

Concerning the well-known portrait of Sealth, Clarence Bagley has this
to say:

     "It was in the early summer of 1865 that the original picture
     which is now so much seen of the old chief was taken. I think I
     probably have a diary giving the day upon which the old chief sat
     for his picture. An amateur artist named E. M. Sammis had secured
     a camera at Olympia and coming to Seattle established himself in
     a ramshackle building at the southeast corner of what is now Main
     and First Avenue South. Old Chief Seattle used often to hang
     about the gallery and scrutinize the pictures with evident
     satisfaction. I myself spent not a little time in and about the
     gallery and on the particular day the picture of the old chief
     was taken, was there. It occurred to the photographer to get a
     picture of the chief. The latter was easily persuaded to sit and
     it is a wrong impression, that has become historic, that the
     Indians generally were afraid of the photographer's art,
     considering it black magic.

     "The chief's picture was taken and I printed the first copy taken
     from the negative. There may possibly have been photographs taken
     of the old chief at a later date, but I do not remember any,
     certainly none earlier, that I ever knew of."

With regard to Sealth's oratory, D. T. Denny relates that when the chief
with his "tillicum" camped on the "Point" near the site of the New
England Hotel, often in the evening he would stand up and address his
people. D. T. Denny's home was near the site of the Stevens Hotel
(Marion and First Avenue, Seattle), and many Indians were camped near
by. When these heard Chief Sealth's voice, they would turn their heads
in a listening attitude and evidently understood what he was saying,
although he was about three-fourths of a mile away, such was the
resonance and carrying power of his voice.

My father has also related to me this incident: Sealth and his people
camped alongside the little white settlement at Alki. While there one
of his wives died and A. A. Denny made a coffin for the body, but they
wrapped the same in so many blankets that it would not go in and they
were obliged to remove several layers, although they probably felt
regret as the number of wrappings no doubt evidenced wealth and

D. T. Denny was well acquainted with George Seattle, or See-an-ump-kun,
one of Sealth's sons, who was a friendly, good-natured Indian, married
to a woman of the Sklallam tribe. The other surviving son when the
whites arrived, was called Jim Seattle.

Thlid Kanem was a cousin of Sealth.

On the 7th of June, 1866, the famous old chieftain joined the Great

He had outlived many of his race, doubtless because of his temperate

If, as the white people concluded, he was born in 1786, his age was
eighty years. It might well have been greater, as they have no records
and old Indians show little change often in twenty or twenty-five years,
as I have myself observed.

In 1890 some leading pioneers of Seattle erected a monument to his
memory over his grave in the Port Madison reservation. A Christian
emblem it is, a cross of Italian marble adorned with an ivy wreath and
bears this legend:

    Chief of the Suqamps and Allied Tribes,
              Died June 7, 1866.
    The Firm Friend of the Whites, and for Him the
         City of Seattle was Named by Its

Also on the side opposite,

    "Baptismal name, Noah Sealth, Age probably
                   80 years."


Leschi was a noted Nesqually-Klickitat chief, who at the head of a body
of warriors attacked Seattle in 1856.

Other chiefs implicated were, Kitsap, Kanasket, Quiemuth, Owhi and

Leschi being accused of influencing the Indians at Seattle, who were
friendly, in January, 1856, an attempt was made to capture him by
Captain Keyes of Fort Steilacoom. Keyes sent Maloney and his company in
the Hudson Bay Company's steamer "Beaver" to take him prisoner.

They attempted to land but Leschi gathered up his warriors and prepared
to fight. Being at a decided disadvantage, as but a few could land at a
time, the soldiers were obliged to withdraw. Keyes made a second attempt
in the surveying steamer "Active;" having no cannon he tried to borrow a
howitzer from the "Decatur" at Seattle, but the captain refused to loan
it and Keyes returned to get a gun at the fort. Leschi prudently
withdrew to Puyallup, where he continued his warlike preparations.
Followed by quite an army of hostile Indians, he landed on the shore of
Lake Washington, east of Seattle, at a point near what is now called
Leschi Park, and on the 26th of January, 1856, made the memorable attack
on Seattle.

The cunning and skill of the Indian in warfare were no match for the
white man's cannon and substantial defenses and Leschi was defeated. He
threatened a second attack but none was ever made. By midsummer the war
was at an end.

By an agreement of a council held in the Yakima country, between Col.
Wright and the conquered chiefs, among whom were Leschi, Quiemuth,
Nelson, Stahi and the younger Kitsap, they were permitted to go free on
parole, having promised to lead peaceable lives. Leschi complied with
the agreement but feared the revenge of white men, so gave himself up to
Dr. Tolmie, as stated elsewhere. Dr. Tolmie was Chief Factor of the
Hudson Bay Company. He came from Scotland in 1833 with another young
surgeon and served in the medical department at Fort Vancouver several
years. Dr. Tolmie was a prominent figure at Fort Nesqually, a very
influential man with the Indians and distinguished for his ability; he
lived in Victoria many years, where he died at a good old age.


A special term of court was held to try Leschi for a murder which it
could not be proven he committed and the jury failed to agree. He was
tried again in March, 1857, convicted and sentenced to be hanged on the
10th of June. The case was carried up to the supreme court and the
verdict sustained. Again he was sentenced to die on the 22nd of January,
1858. A strong appeal was made by those who wished to see justice done,
to Gov. McMullin, who succeeded Gov. Stevens, but a protest prevailed,
and when the day set for execution arrived, a multitude of people
gathered to witness it at Steilacoom. But the doomed man's friends saw
the purpose was revenge and a sharp reproof was administered. The
sheriff and his deputy were arrested, for selling liquor to the Indians,
before the hour appointed, and held until the time passed. Greatly
chagrined at being frustrated, the crowd held meetings the same evening
and by appealing to the legislature and some extraordinary legislation
in sympathy with them, supplemented by "ground and lofty tumbling" in
the courts, Leschi was sentenced for the third time.

On the 19th of February, 1858, worn by sickness and prolonged
imprisonment he was murdered in accordance with the sentiment of his

No doubt the methods of _savage_ warfare were not approved, but that did
not prevent their hanging a man on parole.

On July 3rd, 1895, a large gathering of Indians assembled on the
Nesqually reservation. Over one thousand were there. They met to remove
the bones of Leschi and Quiemuth to the reservation. The ceremonies were
very impressive; George Leschi, a nephew of Leschi and son of Quiemuth,
made a speech in the Indian tongue. He said the war was caused by the
whites demanding that the Nesqually and Puyallup Indians be removed to
the Quiniault reservation on the Pacific Coast, and their reservation
thrown open for settlement. It was in battling for the rights of their
people and to preserve the lands of their forefathers, he said, that the
war was inaugurated by the Indian chiefs.


The subject of this sketch was one of the most interesting characters
brought into prominence by the conflict of the two races in early days
of conquest in the Northwest. That he was sometimes misunderstood was
inevitable as he was self-contained and independent in his nature and
probably concealed his motives from friend and foe alike.

The opinion of the Indians was not wholly favorable to him as he became
friendly to the white people, especially so toward some who were

Pat Kanem was one of seven brothers, his mother a Snoqualmie of which
tribe he was the recognized leader, his father, of another tribe, the

It is said that he planned the extermination or driving out of the
whites and brought about a collision at old Fort Nesqually in 1849, when
Leander Wallace was killed, he and his warriors having picked a quarrel
with the Indians in that vicinity who ran to the fort for protection. It
seems impossible to ascertain the facts as to the intention of the
Snoqualmies because of conflicting accounts. Some who are well
acquainted with the Indians think it was a quarrel, pure and simple,
between the Indians camped near by and the visiting Snoqualmies, without
any ulterior design upon the white men or upon the fort itself. Also,
Leander Wallace persisted in boasting that he could settle the
difficulty with a club and contrary to the persuasions of the people in
the fort went outside, thereby losing his life.

Four of Pat Kanem's brothers were arrested; and although one shot killed
Wallace, two Indians were hung, a proceeding which would hardly have
followed had they been white men. John Kanem, one of Pat Kanem's
brothers, often visited Mr. and Mrs. D. T. Denny afterward, and would
repeat again and again, "They killed my brother" (Kluskie mem-a-loose
nika ow).

A Snoqualmie Indian in an interview recently said that Qushun (Little
Cloud) persuaded Pat Kanem to give up his brother so that he might
surely obtain and maintain the chiefship. Whatever may have been his
attitude at first toward the white invaders he afterward became their
ally in subduing the Indian outbreak.

As A. A. Denny recounts in his valuable work "Pioneer Days on Puget
Sound," Pat Kanem gave him assurance of his steadfast friendship before
the war and further demonstrated it by appearing according to previous
agreement, accompanied by women and children of the tribe, obviously a
peace party, with gifts of choice game which he presented on board to
the captain of the "Decatur."

With half a hundred or more of his warriors, his services were accepted
by the governor and they applied themselves to the gruesome industry of
taking heads from the hostile ranks. Eighty dollars for a chief's head
and twenty for a warrior's were the rewards offered.

Lieut. Phelps, gratefully remembered by the settlers of Seattle, thus
described his appearance at Olympia, after having invested some of his
pay in "Boston ictas" (clothes): "Pat Kanem was arrayed in citizen's
garb, including congress gaiters, white kid gloves, and a white shirt
with standing collar reaching half-way up his ears, and the whole
finished off with a flaming red neck-tie."

Pat Kanem died while yet young; he must have been regarded with
affection by his people. Years afterward when one of his tribe visited
an old pioneer, he was given a photograph of Pat Kanem to look at;
wondering at his silence the family were struck by observing that he
was gazing intently on the pictured semblance of his dead and gone
chieftain, while great tears rolled unchecked down the bronze cheeks.
What thoughts of past prosperity, the happy, roving life of the long ago
and those who mingled in it, he may have had, we cannot tell.


Studah, or Williams, was one of three sons of a very old Duwampsh chief,
"Queaucton," who brought them to A. A. Denny asking that he give them
"Boston" names. He complied by calling them Tecumseh, Keokuk and

The following sketch was written by Rev. G. F. Whitworth, a well-known

     "William, the chief of the surviving Indians of the Duwampsh
     tribe, died at the Indian camp on Cedar River on Wednesday, April
     1. He was one of the few remaining Indians who were at all
     prominent in the early settlement of this country, and is almost,
     if not actually, the last of those who were ever friendly to the
     whites. His father, who died about the time that the first white
     settlements were made in this country, was the principal or head
     chief of the Duwamish Indians. He left three sons, Tecumseh,
     Keokuk and William. All of whom are now dead. Tecumseh,
     presumably the eldest son, succeeded his father, and was
     recognized as chief until he was deposed by Capt. (now Gen.)
     Dent, U. S. A., who acted under authority of the United States
     government in relation to the Indians, at that time. He had some
     characteristics which seemed to disqualify him for the office,
     while on the other hand William seemed pre-eminently fitted to
     fill the position, and was therefore chief and had been
     recognized both by whites and Indians up to the time of his

     "At the time of the Indian war, he, like Seattle and Curley, was
     a true friend of the whites. The night before Seattle was
     attacked there was a council of war held in the woods back of the
     town, and William attended that council, and his voice was heard
     for peace and against war. He was always friendly to the whites,
     and for nearly forty years he has been faithful in his friendship
     to E. W. Smithers, to whom I am indebted for much of the
     information contained in this article.

     "Those who knew William will remember that he was distinguished
     for natural dignity of manner. He was an earnest and sincere
     Catholic, was a thoroughly good Indian, greatly respected by his
     tribe, and having the confidence of those among the whites who
     knew him. William was an orator and quite eloquent in his own
     language. On one occasion shortly after Capt. Hill, U. S. A.,
     came to the territory, some complaints had been made to the
     superintendent, which were afterwards learned to be unfounded,
     asking to have the Duwamish Indians removed from Black River to
     the reservation. Capt. Hill was sent to perform this service, and
     went with a steamer to their camp, which was on Mr. Smither's
     farm, a little above the railroad bridge. The captain was
     accompanied by United States Agent Finkbonner, and on his arrival
     at the camp addressed the Indians, through an interpreter,
     informing them of the nature of his errand, and directing them to
     gather their 'ictas' without delay and go on board the steamer,
     to be at once conveyed to the reservation. William and his
     Indians listened respectfully to the captain, and when he had
     closed his remarks William made his reply.

     "His speech was about an hour in length, in which his eloquence
     was clearly exhibited. He replied that the father at Olympia or
     the Great Father at Washington City, had no right to remove his
     tribe. They were peaceful, had done no wrong. They were under no
     obligation to the government, had received nothing at its hands,
     and had asked for nothing; they had entered into no treaty; their
     lands had been taken from them. This, however, was their home. He
     had been born on Cedar River, and there he intended to remain,
     and there his bones should be laid. They were not willing to be
     removed. They could not be removed. He might bring the soldiers
     to take them, but when they should come he would not find them,
     for they would flee and hide themselves in the 'stick' (the
     woods) where the soldiers could not find them. Capt. Hill found
     himself in a dilemma, out of which he was extricated by Mr.
     Smithers, who convinced the captain that the complaints were
     unfounded, and that with two or three exceptions those who had
     signed the complaint and made the request did not reside in that
     neighborhood, but lived miles away. They were living on Mr.
     Smithers' land with his consent, and when he further guaranteed
     their good behavior, and Mrs. Smithers assured him that she had
     no fears and no grievance, but that when Mr. Smithers was away
     she considered them a protection rather than otherwise, the
     captain concluded to return without them, and to report the facts
     as he found them.

     "William's last message was sent to Mr. Smithers a few days
     before he died, and was a request that he would see that he was
     laid to rest as befitted his rank, and not allow him to be buried
     like a seedy old vagrant, as many of the newcomers considered him
     to be.

     "It is hardly necessary for me to say that this request was
     faithfully complied with, and that on Friday, April 3, his
     remains were interred in the Indian burying ground near Renton.
     The funeral was a large one, Indians from far and near coming to
     render their last tribute of respect to his memory.

     "From the time of his birth until his death he had lived in the
     region of Cedar and Black Rivers, seventy-nine years.

     "His successor as chief will be his nephew, Rogers, who is a son
     of Tecumseh."


Ka-ki-is-il-ma, called Angeline by the white settlers, about whom so much
has been written, was a daughter of Sealth.

In an interview, some interesting facts were elicited.

Angeline saw white people first at Nesqually, "King George" people, the
Indians called the Hudson Bay Company's agents and followers.

She saw the brothers of Pat Kanem arrested for the killing of Wallace;
she said that Sealth thought it was right that the two Snoqualmies were

When a little girl she wore deerskin robes or long coats and a collar of
shells; in those days her tribe made three kinds of robes, some of
"suwella," "shulth" or mountain beaver fur, and of deer-skins; the third
was possibly woven, as they made blankets of mountain sheep's wool and
goat's hair.

Angeline was first married to a big chief of the Skagits, Dokubkun by
name; her second husband was Talisha, a Duwampsh chief. She was a widow
of about forty-five when Americans settled on Elliott Bay. Two
daughters, Chewatum or Betsy and Mamie, were her only children known to
the white people, and both married white men. Betsy committed suicide by
hanging herself in the shed room of a house on Commercial Street, tying
herself to a rafter by a red bandanna handkerchief. Betsy left an
infant son, since grown up, who lived with Angeline many years. Mary or
Mamie married Wm. DeShaw and has been dead for some time.

It has been said that some are born great, some achieve greatness, while
others have greatness thrust upon them. Of the last described class,
Angeline was a shining representative. Souvenir spoons, photographs, and
cups bearing her likeness have doubtless traveled over a considerable
portion of the civilized world, all of the notoriety arising therefrom
certainly being unsought by the poor old Indian woman.

Newspaper reporters, paragraphers, and magazine writers have never
wearied of limning her life, recounting even the smallest incidents and
making of her a conspicuous figure in the literature of the Northwest.

It quite naturally follows that some absurd things have been written,
some heartless, others pathetic and of real literary value, although it
has been difficult for the tenderfoot to avoid errors. Upon the event of
her death, which occurred on Sunday, May 31st, 1896, a leading paper
published an editorial in which a brief outline of the building of the
city witnessed by Angeline was given and is here inserted:

     "Angeline, as she had been named by the early settlers, had seen
     many wonders. Born on the lonely shores of an unknown country,
     reared in the primeval forest, she saw all the progress of modern
     civilization. She saw the first cabin of the pioneer; the
     struggles for existence on the part of the white man with nature;
     the hewing of the log, then the work of the sawmill, the revolt
     of the aboriginal inhabitants against the intruder and the
     subjugation of the inferior race; the growth from one hut to a
     village; from village to town; the swelling population with its
     concomitants of stores, ships and collateral industries; the
     platting of a town; the organization of government; the
     accumulation of commerce; the advent of railroads and
     locomotives; of steamships and great engines of maritime warfare;
     the destruction of a town by fire and the marvelous energy which
     built upon its site, a city. Where there had been a handful of
     shacks she saw a city of sixty thousand people; in place of a few
     canoes she saw a great fleet of vessels, stern-wheelers,
     side-wheelers, propellers, whalebacks, the Charleston and
     Monterey. She saw the streets lighted by electricity; saw the
     telephone, elevators and many other wonders.

            *       *       *       *       *

     "Death came to her as it does to all; but it came as the
     precursor of extinction, it adds another link in the chain which
     exemplifies the survival of the fittest."

These comments are coldly judicial and exactly after the mind of the
unsympathetic tenderfoot or the "hard case" of early days. In speaking
of the "survival of the fittest" and the "subjugation of the inferior
race" a contrast is drawn flattering to the white race, but any mention
of the incalculable injury, outrages, indignities and villainies
practiced upon the native inhabitants by evil white men is carefully
avoided. Angeline "saw" a good many other things not mentioned in the
above eulogy upon civilization. She saw the wreck wrought by the white
man's drink; the Indians never made a fermented liquor of their own.

Angeline said that her father, Sealth, once owned all the land on which
Seattle is built, that he was friendly to the white people and wanted
them to have the land; that she was glad to see fine buildings, stores
and such like, but not the saloons; she did not like it at all that the
white people built saloons and Joe, her grandson, would go to them and
get drunk and then they made her pay five dollars to get him out of

However, I will not dwell here on the dark side of the poor Indians'
history, I turn therefore to more pleasant reminiscence.

Ankuti (a great while ago) when the days were long and happy, in the
time of wild blackberries, two pioneer women with their children, of
whom the writer was one, embarked with Angeline and Mamie in a canoe,
under the old laurel (madrona) tree and paddled down Elliott Bay to a
fine blackberry patch on W. N. Bell's claim.

After wandering about a long while they sat down to rest on mossy logs
beside the trail. They sat facing the water, the day was waning, and as
they thought of their return one of them said, "O look at the canoe!" It
was far out on the shining water; the tide had come up while the party
wandered in the woods and the canoe, with its stake, was quite a
distance from the bank. Mamie ran down the trail to the beach, took off
her moccasins and swam out to the canoe, her mother and the rest
intently watching her. Then she dived down to the bottom; as her round,
black head disappeared beneath the rippling surface, Angeline said "Now
she's gone." But in a few moments we breathed a sigh of relief as up she
rose, having pulled up the stake, and climbed into the canoe, although
how she did it one cannot tell, and paddled to the shore to take in the
happy crew. This little incident, but more especially the scene, the
forms and faces of my friends, the dark forest, moss-cushioned seats
under drooping branches, and the graceful canoe afloat on the silvery
water--and it _did_ seem for a few, long moments that Mamie was gone as
Angeline said in her anxiety for her child's safety showing she too was
a human mother--all this has never left my memory!

Angeline lived for many years in her little shanty near the water front,
assisted often with food and clothing from kindly white friends. She had
a determination to live, die and be buried in Seattle, as it was her
home, and that, too, near her old pioneer friends, thus typifying one of
the dearest wishes of the Indians.

She was one of the good Indian washerwomen, gratefully remembered by
pioneer housewives. These faithful servitors took on them much toil,
wearing and wearisome, now accomplished by machinery or Chinese.

The world is still deceived by the external appearance; but even the
toad "ugly and venomous" was credited with a jewel in its head.

Now Angeline was ugly and untidy, and all that, but not as soulless as
some who relegated her to the lowest class of living creatures.

A white friend whom she often visited, Mrs. Sarah Kellogg, said to the
writer, "Angeline lived up to the light she had; she was honest and
would never take anything that was offered her unless she needed it. I
always made her some little present, saying, 'Well, Angeline, what do
you want? Some sugar?' 'No, I have plenty of sugar, I would like a
little tea.' So it was with anything else mentioned, if she was supplied
she said so. I had not seen her for quite a while at one time, and
hearing she was sick sent my husband to the door of her shack to inquire
after her. Sure enough she lay in her bunk unable to rise. When asked if
she wanted anything to eat, she replied, 'No, I have plenty of
muck-amuck; Arthur Denny sent me a box full, but I want some candles and

"She told me that she was getting old and might die any time and that
she never went to bed without saying her prayers.

"During a long illness she came to my house quite often, but was sent
away by those in charge; when I was at last able to sit up, I saw her
approaching the house and went down to the kitchen to be ready to
receive her. As usual I inquired after her wants, when she somewhat
indignantly asked, 'Don't you suppose I can come to see you without
wanting something?'

"One day as she sat in my kitchen a young white girl asked before her,
in English, of course, 'Does Angeline know anything about God?' She said
quickly in Chinook, 'You tell that girl that I know God sees me all the
time; I might lie or steal and you would never find it out, but God
would see me do it.'"

In her old age she exerted herself, even when feeble from sickness, to
walk long distances in quest of food and other necessities, stumping
along with her cane and sitting down now and then on a door-step to rest.

All the trades-people knew her and were generally kind to her.

At last she succumbed to an attack of lung trouble and passed away.
Having declared herself a Roman Catholic, she was honorably buried from
the church in Seattle, Rev. F. X. Prefontaine officiating, while several
of the old pioneers were pallbearers.

A canoe-shaped coffin had been prepared on which lay a cross of native
rhododendrons and a cluster of snowballs, likely from an old garden. A
great concourse of people were present, many out of curiosity, no doubt,
while some were there with real feeling and solemn thought. Her old
friend, Mrs. Maynard, stood at the head of the grave and dropped in a
sprig of cedar. She spoke some encouraging words to Joe Foster, Betsy's
son, and Angeline's sole mourner, advising him to live a good life.

And so Angeline was buried according to her wish, in the burying ground
of the old pioneers.


After extending numerous invitations, I was pleasantly surprised upon my
return to my home one day to find Mr. and Mrs. Yutestid awaiting an

In the first place this Indian name is pronounced _Yute-stid_ and he is
the only survivor (in 1898) of Chief Sealth's once numerous household.
His mother was doubtless a captive, a Cowichan of British Columbia; his
father, a Puget Sound Indian from the vicinity of Olympia. He was quite
old, he does not know how old, but not decrepit; Angeline said they grew
up together.


He is thin and wiry looking, with some straggling bristles for a beard
and thick short hair, still quite black, covering a head which looks as
if it had been flattened directly on top as well as back and front as
they were wont to do. This peculiar cranial development does not affect
his intelligence, however, as we have before observed in others; he is
quick-witted and knows a great many things. Yutestid says he can speak
all the leading dialects of the Upper Sound, Soljampsh, Nesqually,
Puyallup, Snoqualmie, Duwampsh, Snohomish, but not the Sklallam and
others north toward Vancouver.

Several incidents related in this volume were mentioned and he
remembered them perfectly, referred to the naming of "New York" on Alki
Point and the earliest settlement, repeating the names of the pioneers.
The murder at Bean's Point was committed by two Soljampsh Indians, he
said, and they were tried and punished by an Indian court.

He remembers the hanging of Pat Kanem's brothers, Kussass and

"Long ago, the Indians fight, fight, fight," he said, but he declared he
had never heard of the Duwampsh campaign attributed to Sealth.

Yutestid was not at the battle of Seattle but at Oleman House with
Sealth's tribe and others whom Gov. Stevens had ordered there. He
chuckled as he said "The bad Indians came into the woods near town and
the man-of-war (Decatur) mamoked pooh (shot) at them and they were
frightened and ran away."

Lachuse, the Indian who was shot near Seneca Street, Seattle, he
remembered, and when I told him how the Indian doctor extracted the
buckshot from the wounds he sententiously remarked, "Well, sometimes
the Indian doctors did very well, sometimes they were old humbugs, just
the same as white people."

Oleman House was built long before he was born, according to his
testimony, and was adorned by a carved wooden figure, over the entrance,
of the great thunder bird, which performed the office of a lightning rod
or at least prevented thunder bolts from striking the building.

When asked what the medium of exchange was "ankuti" (long ago), he
measured on the index finger the length of pieces of abalone shell
formerly used for money.

In those days he saw the old women make feather robes of duck-skins,
also of deer-skins and dog-skins with the hair on; they made bead work,
too; beaded moccasins called "_Yachit_."

The old time ways were very slow; he described the cutting of a huge
cedar for a canoe as taking a long time to do, by hacking around it with
a stone hammer and "chisel."

Before the advent of the whites, mats served as sails.

I told him of having seen the public part of Black Tamanuse and they
both laughed at the heathenism of long ago and said, "We don't have that

Yutestid denied that _his_ people ate dog when making black tamanuse,
but said the Sklallams did so.

"If I could speak better English or you better Chinook I could tell you
lots of stories," he averred. Chinook is so very meager, however, that
an interpreter of the native tongue will be necessary to get these

They politely shook hands and bade me "Good-bye" to jog off through the
rain to their camping place, Indian file, he following in the rear
contentedly smoking a pipe. Yutestid is industrious, cultivating a patch
of ground and yearly visiting the city of Seattle with fruit to sell.


    Yonder sky through ages weeping
    Tender tears o'er sire and son,
    O'er the dead in grave-banks sleeping,
    Dead and living loved as one,
    May turn cruel, harsh and brazen,
    Burn as with a tropic sun,
    But my words are true and changeless,
    Changeless as the season's run.

    Waving grass-blades of wide prairie
    Shuttled by lithe foxes wary,
    As the eagle sees afar,
    So the pale-face people are;
    Like the lonely scattering pine-trees
    On a bleak and stormy shore,
    Few my brother warriors linger
    Faint and failing evermore.

    Well I know you could command us
    To give o'er the land we love,
    With your warriors well withstand us
    And ne'er weep our graves above.
    See on Whulch the South wind blowing
    And the waves are running free!
    Once my people they were many
    Like the waves of Whulch's sea.

    When our young men rise in anger,
    Gather in a war-bent band,
    Face black-painted and the musket
    In the fierce, relentless hand,
    Old men pleading, plead in vain,
    Their dark spirits none restrain.

    If to you our land we barter,
    This we ask ere set of sun,
    To the graves of our forefathers,
    Till our days on earth are done,
    We may wander as our hearts are
    Wandering till our race is run.

    Speak the hillsides and the waters,
    Speak the valleys, plains and groves,
    Waving trees and snow-robed mountains,
    Speak to him where'er he roves,
    To the red men's sons and daughters
    Of their joys, their woes and loves.

    By the shore the rocks are ringing
    That to you seem wholly dumb,
    Ever with the waves are singing,
    Winds with songs forever come;
    Songs of sorrow for the partings
    Death and time make as of yore,
    Songs of war and peace and valor,
    Red men sang on Whulch's shore.
    See! the ashes of our fathers,
    Mingling dust beneath our feet,
    Common earth to you, the strangers,
    Thrills us with a longing sweet.
    Fills our pulses rhythmic beat.
    At the midnight in your cities
    Empty seeming, silent streets
    Shall be peopled with the hosts
    Of returning warriors' ghosts.
    Tho' I shall sink into the dust,
    My warning heed; be kind, be just,
    Or ghosts shall menace and avenge.





At Bean's Point, opposite Alki on Puget Sound, an Indian murdered, at
night, a family of Indians who were camping there.

The Puyallups and Duwampsh came together in council at Bean's Point,
held a trial and condemned and executed the murderer. Old Duwampsh
Curley was among the members of this native court and likely Sealth and
his counsellors.

One of the family escaped by wading out into the water where he might
have become very cool, if not entirely cold, if it had not been that
Captain Fay and George Martin, a Swedish sailor, were passing by in
their boat and the Indian begged to be taken in, a request they readily
granted and landed him in a place of safety.

Again at Bean's Point an Indian was shot by a white man, a Scandinavian;
the charge was a liberal one of buckshot.

Some white men who went to inquire into the matter followed the
Indian's trail, finding ample evidence that he had climbed the hill back
of the house, where he may have been employed to work, and weak from his
wounds had sat down on a log and then went back to the water; but his
body was never found. It was supposed that the murderer enticed him back
again and when he was dead, weighted and sunk him in the deep, cold
waters of the Sound.

At one time there was quite a large camp of Indians where now runs
Seneca Street, Seattle, near which was my home. It was my father's
custom to hire the Indians to perform various kinds of hard labor, such
as grubbing stumps, digging ditches, cutting wood, etc. For a while we
employed a tall, strong, fine-looking Indian called Lachuse to cut wood;
through a long summer day he industriously plied the ax and late in the
twilight went down to a pool of water, near an old bridge, to bathe. As
he passed by a clump of bushes, suddenly the flash and report of a gun
shattered the still air and Lachuse fell heavily to the ground with his
broad chest riddled with buckshot.

There was great excitement in the camp, running and crying of the women
and debate by the men, who soon carried him into the large Indian house.
He was laid down in the middle of the room and the medicine man, finding
him alive, proceeded to suck the wounds while the tamanuse noise went

A distracted, grey-haired lum-e-i, his mother, came to our house to beg
for a keeler of water, all the time crying, "Mame-loose Lachuse!

Two of the little girls of our family, sleeping in an old-fashioned
trundle bed, were so frightened at the commotion that they pulled the
covers up over their heads so far that their feet protruded below.

The medicine man's treatment seems to have been effective, aided by the
tamanuse music, as Lachuse finally recovered.

The revengeful deed was committed by a Port Washington Indian, in
retaliation for the stealing of his "klootchman" (wife) by an Indian of
the Duwampsh tribe, although it was not Lachuse, this sort of revenge
being in accordance with their heathen custom.

"Jim Keokuk," an Indian, killed another Indian in the marsh near the gas
works; he struck him on the head with a stone. Jim worked as deck hand
on a steamer for a time, but he in turn was finally murdered by other
Indians, wrapped with chains and thrown overboard, which was afterward
revealed by some of the tribe.

There were many cases of retaliation, but the Indians were fairly
peaceable until degraded by drink.

The beginning of hostilities against the white people on the Sound, by
some historians is said to have been the killing of Leander Wallace at
old Fort Nesqually. One of them gives this account:

     "Prior to the Whitman massacre, Owhi and Kamiakin, the great
     chiefs of the upper and lower Yakima nations, while on a visit to
     Fort Nesqually, had observed to Dr. Tolmie that the Hudson Bay
     Company's posts with their white employes were a great
     convenience to the natives, but the American immigration had
     excited alarm and was the constant theme of hostile conversation
     among the interior tribes. The erection in 1848, at Fort
     Nesqually, of a stockade and blockhouse had also been the subject
     of angry criticism by the visiting northern tribes. So insolent
     and defiant had been their conduct that upon one afternoon for
     over an hour the officers and men of the post had guns pointed
     through the loop-holes at a number of Skawhumpsh Indians, who,
     with their weapons ready for assault, had posted themselves under
     cover of adjacent stumps and trees.

     "Shortly before the shooting of Wallace, rumors had reached the
     fort that the Snoqualmies were coming in force to redress the
     alleged cruel treatment of Why-it, the Snoqualmie wife of the
     young Nesqually chief, Wyampch, a dissipated son of Lahalet.

     "Dr. Tolmie treated such a pretext as a mere cloak for a
     marauding expedition of the Snoqualmies.

     "Sheep shearing had gathered numbers of extra hands, chiefly
     Snohomish, who were occupying mat lodges close to the fort,
     besides unemployed stragglers and camp followers.

     "On Tuesday, May 1, 1849, about noon, numbers of Indian women and
     children fled in great alarm from their lodges and sought refuge
     within the fort. A Snoqualmie war party, led by Pat Kanem,
     approached from the southwestern end of the American plains. Dr.
     Tolmie having posted a party of Kanakas in the northwest bastion
     went out to meet them.

     "Tolmie induced Pat Kanem to return with him to the fort, closing
     the gate after their entrance."

The following is said to be the account given by the Hudson Bay
Company's officials:

     "The gate nearest the mat lodges was guarded by a white man and
     an Indian servant. While Dr. Tolmie was engaged in attending a
     patient, he heard a single shot fired, speedily followed by two
     or three others. He hastily rushed to the bastion, whence a
     volley was being discharged at a number of retreating Indians who
     had made a stand and found cover behind the sheep washing dam of
     Segualitschu Creek. Through a loop-hole the bodies of an Indian
     and a white man were discernible at a few yards distance from the
     north gate where the firing had commenced.

     "He hastened thither and found Wallace breathing his last, with a
     full charge of buckshot in his stomach. The dying man was
     immediately carried inside of the fort.

     "The dead Indian was a young Skawhumpsh, who had accompanied the

     "The Snohomish workers, as also the stragglers, had been, with
     the newly arrived Snoqualmies, in and out of the abandoned
     lodges, chatting and exchanging news. A thoughtless act of the
     Indian sentry posted at the water gate, in firing into the air,
     had occasioned a general rush of the Snohomish, who had been cool
     observers of all that had passed outside.

     "Walter Ross, the clerk, came to the gate armed, and seeing
     Kussass, a Snoqualmie, pointing his gun at him, fired but missed
     him. Kussass then fired at Wallace. Lewis, an American, had a
     narrow escape, one ball passing through his vest and trousers and
     another grazing his left arm.

     "Quallawowit, as soon as the firing began, shot through the
     pickets and wounded Tziass, an Indian, in the muscles of his
     shoulder, which soon after occasioned his death.

     "The Snoqualmies as they retreated to the beach killed two Indian
     ponies and then hastily departed in their canoes.

     "At the commencement of the shooting, Pat Kanem, guided by
     Wyampch, escaped from the fort, a fortunate occurrence, as, upon
     his rejoining his party the retreat at once began.

     "When Dr. Tolmie stooped to raise Wallace, and the Snoqualmies
     levelled their guns to kill that old and revered friend, an
     Indian called 'the Priest' pushed aside the guns, exclaiming
     'Enough mischief has already been done.'

     "The four Indians of the Snoqualmie party whose names were given
     by Snohomish informers to Dr. Tolmie, together with Kussass and
     Quallawowit, were afterward tried for the murder of Wallace."

Their names were Whyik, Quallawowit, Kussass, Stahowie, Tatetum and
Quilthlimkyne; the last mentioned was a Duwampsh.

Eighty blankets were offered for the giving up of these Indians.

The Snoqualmies came to Steilacoom, where they were to be tried, in war
paint and parade.

The officials came from far; down the Columbia; up the Cowlitz, and
across to Puget Sound, about two hundred miles in primitive style, by
canoe, oxcart or cayuse.

The trial occupied two days; on the third day, the two condemned,
Kussass and Quallawowit, were executed.

One shot Wallace, _two_ Indians were hung; Leschi, a leader in the
subsequent war of 1855, looked on and went away resenting the injustice
of taking two lives for one. Other Indians no doubt felt the same, thus
preparing the way for their deadly opposition to the white race.

It certainly seems likely that the "pretext" of the Snoqualmies was a
valid one as Wyampch, the young Nesqually chief, was a drunkard, and
Why-it, his Snoqualmie wife, was no doubt treated much as Indian wives
generally in such a case, frequently beaten and kicked into

The Snoqualmies had been quarreling with the Nesquallies before this and
it is extremely probable that, as was currently reported among old
settlers, the trouble was among the Indians themselves.

There are two stories also concerning Wallace; first, that he was
outside quietly looking on, which he ought to have known better than to
do; second, that he was warned not to go outside but persisted in going,
boasting that he could settle the difficulty with a club, paying for his
temerity with his life.

A well known historian has said that the "different tribes had been
successfully treated with, but the Indians had acted treacherously
inasmuch as it was well known that they had long been plotting against
the white race to destroy it. This being true and they having entered
upon a war without cause, however, he (Gov. Stevens) might sympathize
with the restlessness of an inferior race who perceived that destiny was
against them, he nevertheless had high duties toward his own."

Now all this was true, yet there were other things equally true. Not all
the treachery, not all the revenge, not all the cruelty were on the
side of the "inferior" race. Even all the inferiority was not on one
side. The garbled translation by white interpreters, the lying, deceit,
nameless and numberless impositions by lawless white men must have
aroused and fostered intense resentment. That there were white savages
here we have ample proof.

When Col. Wright received the conquered Spokane chiefs in council with
some the pipe of peace was smoked. After it was over, Owhi presented
himself and was placed in irons for breaking an agreement with Col.
Wright, who bade him summon his son, Qualchin, on pain of death by
hanging if his son refused to come.

The next day Qualchin appeared not knowing that the order had been
given, and was seized and hung without trial. Evidently Kamiakin, the
Yakima chief, had good reason to fear the white man's treachery when he
refused to join in the council.

The same historian before mentioned tells how Col. Wright called
together the Walla Wallas, informed them that he knew that they had
taken part in recent battles and ordered those who had to stand up;
thirty-five promptly rose. Four of these were selected and hung. Now
these Indians fought for home and country and volunteered to be put to
death for the sake of their people, as it is thought by some, those hung
for the murder of Whitman and his companions, did, choosing to do so of
their own free will, not having been the really guilty ones at all.

Quiemuth, an Indian, after the war, emerged from his hiding place, went
to a white man on Yelm prairie requesting the latter to accompany him to
Olympia that he might give himself up for trial. Several persons went
with him; reached Olympia after midnight, the governor placed him in his
office, locking the door. It was soon known that the Indian was in the
town and several white men got in at the back door of the building. The
guard may have been drowsy or their movements very quiet; a shot was
fired and Quiemuth and the others made a rush for the door where a white
man named Joe Brannan stabbed the Indian fatally, in revenge for the
death of his brother who had been killed by Indians some time before.

Three of the Indian leaders in Western Washington were assassinated by
white men for revenge. Leschi, the most noted of the hostile chiefs on
the Sound, was betrayed by two of his own people, some have said.

I have good authority for saying that he gave himself up for fear of a
similar fate.

He was tried three times before he was finally hung after having been
kept in jail a long time. Evidently there were some obstructionists who
agreed with the following just and truthful statement by Col. G. O.
Haller, a well-known Indian fighter, first published in the Seattle

     "The white man's aphorism 'The first blow is half the battle,' is
     no secret among Indians, and they practice it upon entering a
     war. Indeed, weak nations and Indian tribes, wrought to
     desperation by real or fancied grievances, inflict while able to
     do so horrible deeds when viewed by civilized and Christ-like
     men. War is simply barbarism. And when was war refined and
     reduced to rules and regulations that must control the Indian who
     fights for all that is dear to him--his native land and the
     graves of his sires--who finds the white man's donation claim
     spread over his long cultivated potato patch, his hog a
     trespasser on his old pasture ground and his old residence turned
     into a stable for stock, etc.?

     "Leschi, like many citizens during the struggle for secession,
     appealed to his instincts--his attachment to his tribe--his
     desire, at the same time to conform to the requirements of the
     whites, which to many of his people were repulsive and
     incompatible. He decided and struck heavy blows against us with
     his warriors. Since then we have learned a lesson.


     "Gen. Lee inflicted on the Union army heavy losses of life and
     destruction of property belonging to individuals. When he
     surrendered his sword agreeing to return to his home and become a
     law-abiding citizen, Gen. Grant protected him and his paroled
     army from the vengeance of men who sought to make treason
     odious. This was in 1866 and but the repetition of the Indian war
     of 1856.

     "Col. Geo. Wright, commanding the department of the Columbia,
     displayed such an overwhelming force in the Klickitat country
     that it convinced the hostile Indians of the hopelessness of
     pursuing war to a successful issue, and when they asked the terms
     of peace, Col. Wright directed them to return to their former
     homes, be peaceful and obey the orders of the Indian agents sent
     by our government to take charge of them, and they would be
     protected by the soldiers.

     "The crimes of war cannot be atoned by crimes in cold blood after
     the war. Two wrongs do not make a right.

     "Leschi, though shrewd and daring in war, adopted Col. Wright's
     directions, dropped hostilities, laid aside his rifle and
     repaired to Puget Sound, his home.

     "Like Lee, he was entitled to protection from the officers and
     soldiers. But Leschi, on the Sound, feared the enmity of the
     whites, and gave himself up to Dr. Tolmie, an old friend, at
     Nesqually--not captured by two Indians of his own tribe and
     delivered up. Then began a crusade against Leschi for all the
     crimes of his people in war.

     "On the testimony of a perjured man, whose testimony was
     demonstrated, by a survey of the route claimed by the deponent,
     to be a falsehood, he was found guilty by the jury, not of the
     offense alleged against him, for it was physically impossible for
     Leschi to be at the two points indicated in the time alleged;
     hence he was a martyr to the vengeance of unforgiving white men."

I remember having seen the beautiful pioneer woman spoken of in the
following account first published in a Seattle paper. The Castos were
buried in the old burying ground in a corner next the road we traveled
from our ranch to school.

This is the article, head-lines and all:

          "John Bonser's Death Recalls an Indian Massacre.
                    Beautiful Abbie Casto's Fate.
            How Death Came Upon Three Pioneers of Squak
              Valley--Swift Vengeance on the Murderers.

     "The death of John Bonser, one of the earliest pioneers of
     Oregon, at Sauvie's Island, near Portland, recently, recalls one
     of the bloodiest tragedies that ever occurred in King County and
     one which will go down in history as the greatest example the
     pioneers had of the evil effect of giving whisky to the Indians.
     The event is memorable for another reason, and that is that the
     daughter of John Bonser, wife of William Casto, and probably the
     most beautiful woman in the territory, was a victim.

     "'I don't take much stock in the handsome, charming women we read
     about,' said C. B. Bagley yesterday, 'but Mrs. Casto, if placed
     in Seattle today with face and form as when she came among us in
     1864, would be among the handsomest women in the city, and I
     shall never forget the sensation created in our little settlement
     when messengers arrived from Squak valley, where the Castos
     moved, with the news that Mrs. Casto, her husband and John
     Holstead had been killed by Indians, and that a friendly
     Klickitat had slain the murderers.

     "The first impression was that there had been an uprising among
     the treacherous natives and a force, consisting of nearly all the
     able-bodied men in the community, started for the scene of the

     "It is a hard matter for the people of metropolitan Seattle to
     carry themselves back, figuratively speaking, to 1864, and
     imagine the village of that period with its thirty families.

     "The boundaries were limited to a short and narrow line extending
     along the water front not farther north than Pike Street. The few
     houses were small and unpretentious and the business portion of
     the town was confined to Commercial Street, between Main and
     Yesler Avenue.

     "At that time and even after the great fire in 1889, Yesler
     Avenue was known as Mill Street, the name having originated from
     the fact that Yesler's mill was located at its foot. Where the
     magnificent Dexter Horton bank building now stands stood a small
     wooden structure occupied by Dexter Horton as a store, and where
     the National Bank of Commerce building, at the corner of Yesler
     Avenue and Commercial Street, stood the mill store of the
     Yesler-Denny Company. S. B. Hinds, a name forgotten in commercial
     circles, kept store on Commercial Street, between Washington and
     Main Streets. Charles Plummer was at the corner of Main and
     Commercial, and J. R. Williamson was on the east side of
     Commercial Street, a half block north. This comprised the entire
     list of stores at that time. The forests were the only source to
     which the settlers looked for commercial commodities, and these,
     when put in salable shape, were often-times compelled to await
     means of transportation to markets. Briefly summed up, spars,
     piles, lumber and hop-poles were about all the sources of income.

     "At that time there was no 'blue book,' and, in fact women were
     scarce. It is not surprising then that the arrival of William
     Casto, a man aged 38 years and a true representative of the
     Kentucky colonel type, with his young wife, the daughter of John
     Bonser, of Sauvies Island, Columbia River, near Portland, should
     have been a memorable occasion. Mrs. Casto was a natural not an
     artificial beauty--one of those women to whom all apparel adapts
     itself and becomes a part of the wearer. Every movement was
     graceful and her face one that an artist would have raved
     about--not that dark, imperious beauty that some might expect,
     but the exact opposite. Her eyes were large, blue and expressive,
     while her complexion, clear as alabaster, was rendered more
     attractive by a rosy hue. She was admired by all and fairly
     worshipped by her husband. It was one of those rare cases where
     disparity in ages did not prevent mutual devotion.

     "In the spring of the year that Casto came to Seattle he took up
     a ranch in the heart of Squak valley, where the Tibbetts farm now
     lies. Here he built a small house, put in a garden and commenced
     clearing. In order to create an income for himself and wife he
     opened a small trading post and carried on the manufacture of
     hoop poles. The valley was peculiarly adapted to this business,
     owing to the dense growth of hazel bush, the very article most

     "'Casto did most of his trading with San Francisco merchants and
     frequently received as much as $1,500 for a single shipment. Such
     a business might be laughed at in 1893, but at that time it meant
     a great deal to a sparsely settled community where wealth was
     largely prospective. It is a notable fact that, even in the early
     days when North Seattle was a howling wilderness and large game
     ran wild between the town limits and Lake Washington, the
     advantages of that body of water were appreciated and a
     successful effort was made by Henry L. Yesler, L. V. Wyckoff and
     others to connect the one with the other by a wagon road. The
     lake terminus was at a point called Fleaburg, now known as the
     terminus of the Madison Street cable line. Fleaburg was a small
     Indian settlement, and according to tradition derived its name
     from innumerable insects that made life miserable for the
     inhabitants and visitors. The many miles of travel this cut saved
     was greatly appreciated by the Squak settlers, because it was not
     only to their advantage in a commercial sense, but also made them
     feel that they were much nearer to the mother settlement. Another
     short cut was made by means of a foot path starting from Coal
     Creek on the eastern shore of the lake. This was so rough that
     only persons well acquainted with the country would have taken
     advantage of it. While it was not practical, yet it furnished
     means of reaching the settlement, in case of necessity, in one
     day, whereas the water route took twice as long.

     "'Even at that time the great fear of the settlers, who were few
     in number, was the Indians. If a young man in Seattle went
     hunting his mother cautioned him to 'be very careful of the
     Indians.' Many people now living in or about the city will
     remember that in the fall of 1864 there were fears of an Indian
     uprising. How the rumors started or on what they were founded
     would be hard to state, nevertheless the fact remains that there
     was a general feeling of uneasiness. During the summer there had
     been trouble on the Snohomish River between white men and
     members of the Snohomish tribe. Three of the latter were killed,
     and among them a chief. These facts alone would have led a person
     well versed in the characteristics of the Washington Indian to
     look for trouble of some kind, although to judge from what
     direction and in what manner would have been difficult.

     "'Casto at that time had several of the Snohomish Indians working
     for him, but the thought of fear never entered his mind. He had
     great influence over his workmen and was looked up to by them as
     a sort of white 'tyee' or chief. Any one that knew Casto could
     not but like him, he was so free-hearted, kind and considerate of
     every person he met, whether as a friend and equal or as his
     servant. He had one fault, however, which goes hand in hand the
     world over with a free heart--he loved liquor and now and then
     drank too much. He also got in the habit of giving it to the
     Indians in his employ. On several occasions the true Indian
     nature, under the influence of stimulants, came out, and it
     required all his authority to avoid bloodshed. His neighbors, who
     could be numbered on the fingers of both hands, with some to
     spare, cautioned him not to give 'a redskin whisky and arouse the
     devil,' but he laughed at them, and when they warned him of
     treachery, thought they spoke nonsense. He would not believe that
     the men whom he treated so kindly and befriended in every
     conceivable manner would do him harm under any conditions. He
     reasoned that his neighbors did not judge the character of the
     native correctly and underestimated his influence. There was no
     reason why he should not give his Indians liquor if he so

     "'He acted on this decision on the afternoon of November 7, 1864,
     and then went to his home for supper. The Indians got gloriously
     drunk and then commenced to thirst for blood. In the crowd were
     two of the Snohomish tribe, bloodthirsty brutes, and still
     seeking revenge for the death of their tribesmen and chief on the
     Snohomish river the summer previous. Their resolve was made.
     Casto's life would atone for that of the chief, his wife and
     friend, John Holstead, for the other two. They secretly took
     their guns and went to Casto's house. The curtain of the room
     wherein all three were seated at the supper table was up, and the
     breast of Casto was in plain view of the assassins. There was no
     hesitation on the part of the Indians. The first shot crashed
     through the window and pierced Casto in a vital spot. He arose to
     his feet, staggered and fell upon a lounge. His wife sprang to
     his assistance, but the rifle spoke again and she fell to the
     floor. The third shot hit Holstead, but not fatally, and the
     Indians, determined to complete their bloody work, ran to the
     front door. They were met by Holstead, who fought like a demon,
     but at length fell, his body stabbed in more than twenty places.
     Not content with the slaughter already done, the bloodthirsty
     wretches drove their knives into the body of Casto's beautiful
     wife in a manner most inhuman. Having finished their bloody work
     of revenge they left the house, never for a moment thinking their
     lives were in danger. In this particular they made a fatal error.

     "The shots fired had attracted a Klickitat Indian named Aleck to
     the scene. As fate had it, he was a true friend to the white man
     and held Casto, his employer, in high regard. It took him but a
     brief period to comprehend the situation, and he determined to
     avenge the death of his master, wife and friend. He concealed
     himself, and when the bloody brutes came out of the house he
     crept up behind them. One shot was enough to end the earthly
     career of one, but the other took to his heels. Aleck followed
     him with a hatchet he had drawn from his belt, and, being fleeter
     of foot, caught up. Then with one swift blow the skull of the
     fleeing Indian was cleft, and as he fell headlong to the ground
     Aleck jumped on him, and again and again the bloody hatchet drank
     blood until the head that but a few minutes before had human
     shape looked like a chipped pumpkin.

     "While this series of bloody deeds was being enacted the few
     neighbors became wild with alarm, and, thinking that an Indian
     war had broken out, started for Seattle immediately. The band
     was made up of a Mr. Bush and family and three or four single men
     who had ranches in the valley.

     "They reached Seattle the morning of the 9th and told the news,
     stating their fears of an Indian uprising. A party consisting of
     all the able-bodied men in the town immediately started for the
     scene of the tragedy by the short cut, and arrived there in the
     evening. The sight that met their eyes was horrible. In the
     bushes was found the body of the Indian who had been shot, and
     not far distant were the remains of the other, covered with blood
     and dirt mixed. In the house the sight was even more horrible.
     Holstead lay in the front room in a pool of clotted blood, his
     body literally punctured with knife wounds, and in the adjoining
     room, on a sofa, half reclining, was the body of Casto. On the
     floor, almost in the middle of the room, was Mrs. Casto,
     beautiful even in death, and lying in a pool of blood.

     "The coroner at that time was Josiah Settle, and he, after
     looking around and investigating, found that the only witnesses
     he had were an old squaw, who claimed to have been an eye witness
     to the tragedy, and Aleck, the Klickitat. The inquest was held
     immediately, and the testimony agreed in substance with facts
     previously stated. The jury then returned the following verdict:

     "'Territory of Washington, County of King, before Josiah Settle,

     "'We, the undersigned jurors summoned to appear before Josiah
     Settle, the coroner of King county, at Squak, on the 9th day of
     November, 1864, to inquire into the cause of death of William
     Casto, Abbie Casto and John Holstead, having been duly sworn
     according to law, and having made such inquisition after
     inspecting the bodies and hearing the testimony adduced, upon our
     oath each and all do say that we find that the deceased were
     named William Casto, Abbie Casto and John Holstead; that William
     Casto was a native of Kentucky, Abbie Casto was formerly a
     resident of Sauvies Island, Columbia county, Ore., and John
     Holstead was a native of Wheeling, Va., and that they came to
     their deaths on the 7th of November, 1864, in this county, by
     knives and pistols in the hands of Indians, the bodies of the
     deceased having been found in the house of William Casto, at
     Squak, and we further find that we believe John Taylor and
     George, his brother, Indians of the Snoqualmie tribe, to have
     been the persons by whose hands they came to their deaths.'

     "The bodies were brought to Seattle and buried in what is now
     known as the Denny Park, then a cemetery, North Seattle. Since
     then they have been removed to the Masonic cemetery.

     "The news of the murder was sent to John Bonser, in Oregon, and
     he came to the town at once. For several weeks after the event
     the columns of the Seattle _Gazette_ were devoted in part to a
     discussion of the question of selling and giving liquor to the
     Indians, the general conclusion being that it was not only
     against the law but a dangerous practice.

     "Out of the killing by Aleck of the two Snohomish Indians grew a
     feud which resulted in the death of Aleck's son. The old man was
     the one wanted, but he was too quick with the rifle and they
     never got him. He died a few years ago, aged nearly ninety

So we see that whisky caused the death of six persons in this case.

The Lower Sound Indians were, if anything, more fierce and wild than
those toward the south.

George Martin, the Swedish sailor who accompanied Capt. Fay, in 1851,
said that he saw Sklallam Indians dancing a war dance at which there
appeared the head of one of their enemies, which they had roasted; small
pieces of it were touched to their lips, but were not eaten.

In an early day when Ira W. Utter lived on Salmon Bay, or more properly
_Shilshole_ Bay, he was much troubled by cougars killing his cattle,
calves particularly. Thinking strychnine a good cure he put a dose in
some lights of a beef, placed on a stick with the opposite end thrust in
the ground. "Old Limpy," an Indian, spied the tempting morsel, took it
to his home, roasted and ate the same and went to join his ancestors in
the happy hunting grounds.

This Indian received his name from a limp occasioned by a gunshot wound
inflicted by Lower Sound Indians on one of their raids. He was just
recovering when the white people settled on Elliott Bay.

The very mention of these raids must have been terrifying to our
Indians, as we called those who lived on the Upper Sound. On one
occasion as a party of them were digging clams on the eastern shore of
Admiralty Inlet, north of Meadow Point, they were attacked by their
northern enemies, who shot two or three while the rest _klatawaw-ed_
with all the _hyak_ (hurry) possible and hid themselves.



In early days, the preachers came in for some rather severe criticisms,
although the roughest of the frontiersmen had a genuine reverence for
their calling.

Ministers of the Gospel, as well as others, were obliged to turn the
hand to toil with ax and saw. Now these tools require frequent recourse
to sharpening processes and the minister with ax on shoulder, requesting
the privilege of grinding that useful article on one of the few
grindstones in the settlement occasioned no surprise, but when he
prepared to grind by putting the handle on "wrong side to," gave it a
brisk turn and snapped it off short, the disgust of the owner found vent
in the caustic comment, "Well, if you're such a blame fool as that, I'll
never go to hear you preach in the world!"

James G. Swan tells of an amusing experience with a Neah Bay Indian
chief, in these words:

     "I had a lively time with old Kobetsi, the war chief, whose name
     was Kobetsi-bis, which in the Makah language means frost. I had
     been directed by Agent Webster to make a survey of the
     reservation as far south as the Tsoess river, where Kobetsi
     lived, and claimed exclusive ownership to the cranberry meadows
     along the bank of that river. He was then at his summer residence
     on Tatoosh Island. The Makah Indians had seen and understood
     something of the mariner's compass, but a surveyor's compass was
     a riddle to them.

     "A slave of Kobetsi, who had seen me at work on the cranberry
     meadows, hurried to Tatoosh Island and reported that I was
     working a tamanuse, or magic, by which I could collect all the
     cranberries in one pile, and that Peter had sold me the land.
     This enraged the old ruffian, and he came up to Neah Bay with
     sixteen braves, with their faces painted black, their long hair
     tied in a knot on top of their heads with spruce twigs, their
     regular war paint, and all whooping and yelling. The old fellow
     declared he would have my head. Peter and the others laughed at
     him, and I explained to him what I had been about. He was
     pacified with me, but on his return to Tatoosh Island he shot the
     slave dead for making a fool of his chief."

The same writer is responsible for this account of a somewhat harsh
practical joke; the time was November, 1859, the place Port Angeles Bay,
in a log cabin where Captain Rufus Holmes resided:

     "Uncle Rufus had a chum, a jolly, fat butcher named Jones, who
     lived in Port Townsend, and a great wag. He often visited Uncle
     Rufus for a few days' hunt and always took along some grub. On
     one occasion he procured an eagle, which he boiled for two days
     and then managed to disjoint. When it was cold he carefully
     wrapped the pieces in a cabbage leaf and took it to Uncle Rufus
     as a wild swan, but somewhat tough. The captain chopped it up
     with onions and savory herbs and made a fine soup, of which he
     partook heartily, Jones contenting himself with some clam
     fritters and fried salmon, remarking that it was his off day on
     soup. After dinner the wretched wag informed him that he had been
     eating an eagle, and produced the head and claws as proof. This
     piece of news operated on Uncle Rufus like an emetic, and after
     he had earnestly expressed his gastronomic regrets, Jones asked
     with feigned anxiety, 'Did the soup make you sick, Uncle Rufus?'

     "Not to be outdone, the captain made reply, 'No, not the soup,
     but the thought I had been eating one of the emblems of my

A young man of lively disposition and consequently popular, was the
victim of an April fool joke in the "auld lang syne." Very fond he was
of playing tricks on others but some of the hapless worms turned and
planned a sweet and neat revenge, well knowing it was hard to get ahead
of the shrewd and witty youth. A "two-bit" piece, which had likely
adorned the neck or ear of an Indian belle, as it had a hole pierced in
it, was nailed securely to the floor of the postoffice in the village of
Seattle, and a group of loungers waited to see the result. Early on the
first, the young man before indicated walked briskly and confidently in.
Observing the coin he stooped airily and essayed to pick it up,
remarking, "It isn't everybody that can pick up two bits so early in the
morning!" "April Fool!" and howls of laughter greeted his failure to
pocket the coin. With burning face he sheepishly called for his mail and
hurried out with the derisive shout of "It isn't everybody that can pick
up two bits so early in the morning, Ha! ha! ha!" ringing in his ears.

Such fragments of early history as the following are frequently afloat
in the literature of the Sound country:


     "How Pioneer Legislators Equipped Themselves to Fight the

     "If the state legislature should vote to each member of both
     houses a first-class rifle, a sensation indeed would be created.
     But few are aware that such a precedent has been established by a
     legislature of Washington Territory. It has been so long ago,
     though, that the incident has almost faded from memory, and there
     are but few of the members to relate the circumstances.

     "It was in 1855, when I was a member of the council, that we
     passed a law giving each legislator a rifle," said Hon. R. S.
     Robinson, a wealthy old pioneer farmer living near Chimacum in
     Jefferson County, while going to Port Townsend the other night
     on the steamer Rosalie. Being in a reminiscent humor, he told
     about the exciting times the pioneers experienced in both dodging
     Indians and navigating the waters of Puget Sound in frail canoes.

     "It was just preceding the Indian outbreak of 1855-6, the
     settlers were apprehensive of a sudden onslaught," continued Mr.
     Robinson. "Gov. Stevens had secured from the war department
     several stands of small arms and ammunition, which were intended
     for general distribution, and we thought one feasible plan was to
     provide each legislator with a rifle and ammunition. Many times
     since I have thought of the incident, and how ridiculous it would
     seem if our present legislature adopted our course as a
     precedent, and armed each member at the state's expense. Things
     have changed considerably. In those days guns and ammunition were
     perquisites. Now it is stationery, lead pencils and waste

Among other incidents related by a speaker whose subject was "Primitive
Justice," was heard this story at a picnic of the pioneers:

     "An instance in which I was particularly interested being
     connected with the administration of the sheriff's office
     occurred in what is now Shoshone County, Idaho, but was then a
     part of Washington Territory. A man was brought into the town
     charged with a crime; he was taken before the justice at once,
     but the trial was adjourned because the man was drunk. The
     sheriff took the prisoner down the trail, but before he had gone
     far the man fell down in a drunken sleep. A wagon bed lay handy
     and this was turned over the man and weighted down with stones to
     prevent his escape. The next morning he was again brought before
     the justice, who, finding him guilty, sentenced him to thirty
     days confinement _in the jail from whence he had come_ and to be
     fed on bread and water."

No doubt this was a heavy punishment, especially the water diet.

An incident occurred in that historic building, the Yesler cook house,
never before published.

A big, powerful man named Emmick, generally known as "Californy," was
engaged one morning in a game of fisticuffs of more or less seriousness,
when Bill Carr, a small man, stepped up and struck Emmick, who was too
busy with his opponent just then to pay any attention to the impertinent
meddler. Nevertheless he bided his time, although "Bill" made himself
quite scarce and was nowhere to be seen when "Californy's" bulky form
cast a shadow on the sawdust. After a while, however, he grew more
confident and returned to a favorite position in front of the fire in
the old cook house. He was just comfortably settled when in came
"Californy," who pounced on him like a wildcat on a rabbit, stood him on
his head and holding him by the heels "chucked" him up and down like a
dasher on an old-fashioned churn, until Carr was much subdued, then left
him to such reflections as were possible to an all but cracked cranium.
It is safe to say he did not soon again meddle with strife.

This mode of punishment offers tempting possibilities in cases where the
self-conceit of small people is offensively thrust upon their superiors.

The village of Seattle crept up the hill from the shore of Elliott Bay,
by the laborious removal of the heavy forest, cutting, burning and
grubbing of trees and stumps, grading and building of neat residences.

In the clearing of a certain piece of property between Fourth and Fifth
streets, on Columbia, Seattle, now in the heart of the city, three
pioneers participated in a somewhat unique experience. One of them, the
irrepressible "Gard" or Gardner Kellogg, now well known as the very
popular chief of the fire department of Seattle, has often told the
story, which runs somewhat like this:

Mr. and Mrs. Gardner Kellogg were dining on a Sunday, with the latter's
sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. O. C. Shorey, as they often did, at
their home on Third Avenue. It was a cold, drizzly day, but in spite of
that "Gard" and Mr. Shorey walked out to the edge of the clearing, where
the dense young fir trees still held the ground, and the former was
soon pushing up a stump fire on his lots.

As he poked the fire a bright thought occurred to him and he observed to
his companion that he believed it "would save a lot of hard work,
digging out the roots, to bring up that old shell and put it under the

The "old shell" was one that had been thrown from the sloop-of-war
"Decatur" during the Indian war, and had buried itself in the earth
without exploding. In excavating for the Kellogg's wood house it had
been unearthed.

Mr. Shorey thought it might not be safe if some one should pass by: "O,
nobody will come out this way this miserable day; it may not go off
anyway," was the answer.

So the shell was brought up and they dug under the roots of the stump,
put it in and returned to the Shorey residence.

When they told what they had done, it was, agreed that it was extremely
unlikely that anyone would take a pleasure walk in that direction on so
gloomy a day.

Meanwhile a worthy citizen of the little burgh had gone roaming in
search of his stray cow. As before stated, it was a chilly, damp day,
and the man who was looking for his cow, Mr. Dexter Horton, for it was
none other than he, seeing the fire, was moved to comfort himself with
its genial warmth.

He advanced toward it and spread his hands benignantly as though
blessing the man that invented fire, rubbed his palms together in a mute
ecstasy of mellow satisfaction and then reversed his position, lifted
his coat-tails and set his feet wide apart, even as a man doth at his
own peaceful hearthstone. The radiant energy had not time to reach the
marrow when a terrific explosion took place. It threw earth, roots and
splinters, firebrands and coals, yards away, hurled the whilom
fire-worshiper a considerable distance, cautioned him with a piece of
hot iron that just missed his face, covered him with the debris,
mystified and stupefied him, but fortunately did not inflict any
permanent injury.

As he recovered the use of his faculties the idea gained upon him that
it was a mean, low-down trick anyhow to blow up stumps that way. He was
very much disgusted and refused very naturally to see anything funny
about it; but as time passed by and he recovered from the shock, the
ludicrous side appeared and he was content to let it be regarded as a
pioneer pleasantry.

The innocent perpetrator of this amazing joke has no doubt laughed long
and loud many times as he has pictured to himself the vast astonishment
of his fellow townsman, and tells the story often, with the keenest
relish, to appreciative listeners.

Yes, to be blown up by an old bomb-shell on a quiet Sunday afternoon,
while resting beside a benevolent looking stump-fire that not even
remotely suggested warlike demonstrations, was rather tough.


Opposite Alki Point was a fine prairie of about forty acres to which C.
C. Terry at first laid claim. Some of the earliest settlers of the first
mentioned locality crossed the water, taking their cattle, ploughed and
planted potatoes on this prairie. Terry subsequently settled elsewhere
and the place was settled on by a large man of about sixty years, a Nova
Scotian, it was supposed, who bore the name of _Bean_. This lonely
settler was a sort of spiritualist; in Fort Decatur, while one of a
group around a stove, he leaned his arm on the wall and when a natural
tremor resulted, insisted that the "spirits" did it. After the war he
returned to his cabin and while in his bed, probably asleep, was shot
and killed by an Indian. Since then the place has been known as Bean's

Dr. H. A. Smith, the happiest story-teller of pioneer days, relates in
his "Early Reminiscences" how "Dick Atkins played the dickens with poor
old Beaty's appetite for cheese" in this engaging manner:

     "One day when he (Dick Atkins) was merchandising on Commercial
     Street, Seattle, as successor to Horton & Denny, he laid a piece
     of cheese on the stove to fry for his dinner. A dozen loafers
     were around the stove and among them Mr. Beaty, remarkable
     principally for his appetite, big feet and good nature. And he
     on this occasion good-naturedly took the cheese from the stove
     and cooled and swallowed it without waiting to say grace, while
     Dick was in the back room, waiting on a customer. When the cheese
     was fairly out of sight, Beaty grew uneasy and skedadled up the
     street. When Atkins returned and found his cheese missing, and
     was told what became of it, he rushed to the door just in time to
     catch sight of Beaty's coat-tail going into Dr. Williamson's
     store. Without returning for his coat or hat, off he darted at
     full speed. Beaty had fairly got seated, when Dick stood before
     him and fairly screamed:

     "'Did you eat that cheese?'

     "'Wal--yes--but I didn't think you'd care much.'

     "'Care! Care! good thunder, no! but I thought _you_ might care,
     as I had just put a DOUBLE DOSE OF ARSENIC in it to kill rats.'

     "'Don't say!' exclaimed Beaty, jumping to his feet, 'thought it
     tasted mighty queer; what can I do?'

     "'Come right along with me; there is only one thing that can save

     "And down the street they flew as fast as their feet would carry
     them. As soon as they had arrived at the store, Atkins drew off a
     pint of rancid fish-oil and handed it to Beaty saying, 'Swallow
     it quick! Your life depends upon it!'

     "Poor Beaty was too badly frightened to hesitate, and after a few
     gags, pauses and wry faces he handed back the cup, drained to the
     bitter dregs. 'There now,' said Dick, 'go home and to bed, and if
     you are alive in the morning come around and report yourself.'

     "After he was gone one of the spectators asked if the cheese was
     really poisoned.

     "'No,' replied Dick, 'and I intended telling the gormand it was
     not, but when I saw that look of gratitude come into his face as
     he handed back the empty cup, my heart failed me, and my revenge
     became my defeat.' 'No, gentlemen, Beaty is decidedly ahead in
     this little game. I never before was beaten at a game of cold
     bluff after having stacked the cards myself. I beg you to keep
     the matter quiet, gentlemen.' But it was always hard for a dozen
     men to keep a secret."

These same "Early Reminiscences" contain many a merry tale, some "thrice
told" to the writer of this work, of the people who were familiar
figures on the streets of Seattle and other settlements, in the long
ago, among them two of the Rev. J. F. DeVore, with whom I was

     "When he lived in Steilacoom, at a time when that city was even
     smaller than it is now, a certain would-be bully declared, with
     an oath, that if it were not for the respect he had for the
     'cloth,' he would let daylight through his portly ministerial
     carcass. Thereupon the 'cloth' was instantly stripped off and
     dashed upon the ground, accompanied with the remark, 'The "cloth"
     never stands in the way of a good cause. I am in a condition, now
     sir, to be enlightened.' But instead of attempting to shed any
     light into this luminary of the pulpit, whose eyes fairly blazed
     with a light not altogether of this world, the blustering bully
     lit out down the street at the top of his speed."

The following has a perennial freshness, although I have heard it a
number of times:

     "When Olympia was a struggling village and much in need of a
     church, this portly, industrious man of many talents took upon
     himself the not overly pleasant task of raising subscriptions for
     the enterprise, and in his rounds called on Mr. Crosby, owner of
     the sawmill at Tumwater, and asked how much lumber he would
     contribute to the church. Mr. Crosby eyed the 'cloth' a moment
     and sarcastically replied, 'As much as _you_, sir, will raft and
     take away between this and sundown.' 'Show me the pile!' was the
     unexpected rejoinder. Then laying off his coat and beaver tile he
     waded in with an alacrity that fairly made Mr. Crosby's hair
     bristle. All day, without stopping a moment, even for dinner, his
     tall, stalwart form bent under large loads of shingles, sheeting,
     siding, scantling, studding and lath, and even large sills and
     plates were rolled and tumbled into the bay with the agility of
     a giant, and before sundown Mr. Crosby had the proud
     satisfaction of seeing the 'cloth' triumphantly poling a raft
     toward Olympia containing lumber enough for a handsome church and
     a splendid parsonage besides.

     "Mr. Crosby was heard to say a few days afterward that no ten men
     in his employ could, or would, have done that day's work. Meeting
     the divine shortly afterwards, Mr. Crosby said, 'Well, parson,
     you can handle more lumber between sunrise and dark than any man
     I ever saw.'

     "'Oh,' said the parson, 'I was working that day for my Maker.'

     "Moral: Never trust pioneer preachers with your lumber pile,
     simply because they wear broadcloth coats, for most of them know
     how to take them off, and then they can work as well as pray."

This conjuror with the pen has called up another well known personality
of the earliest times in the following sketch and anecdote:

     "Dr. Maynard was of medium size. He had blue eyes, a square
     forehead, a strong face and straight black hair, when worn short,
     but when worn long, as it was when whitened by the snows of many
     winters, it was quite curly and fell in ringlets over his
     shoulders. Add to this description, a long, gray beard, and you
     will see him as he appeared on our streets when on his last legs.
     When 'half seas over,' he overflowed with generous impulses,
     would give away anything within reach and was full of extravagant
     promises, many of which were out of his power to fulfill. He once
     owned Alki Point and sometimes would move there in order to
     'reform,' but seldom remained longer than a month or six weeks.
     Alki Point was covered with huge logs and stumps, excepting a
     little cleared ground near the bay where the house stood. But
     when the doctor saw it through his telescopic wine-glasses it was
     transformed into a beautiful farm with broad meadows covered with
     lowing herds and prancing steeds whose 'necks were clothed with

     "One day, in the fall of 1860, while viewing his farm through his
     favorite glasses, David Stanley, the venerable Salmon Bay hermit,
     happened along, when Maynard gave him a glowing description of
     his Alki Point farm as he himself beheld it just then, and wound
     up by proposing to take the old man in partnership, and offered
     him half of the fruit and farm stock for simply looking after it
     and keeping the fences in repair. The temptation to gain sudden
     riches was too much for even his unworldliness of mind, and he
     made no delay in embarking for Alki Point with all his worldly
     effects. His object in living alone, was, he said, to comply with
     the injunction to keep one's self 'unspotted from the world,' but
     the doctor assured him that the change would not seriously
     interfere with his meditations, inasmuch as few people landed at
     Alki Point, notwithstanding its many attractions.

     "The day of his departure for the Mecca of all his earthly hopes
     turned out very stormy. It was after dark before he reached the
     point, and on trying to land his boat filled with water. He lost
     many of his fowls and came near losing his life in the boiling
     surf. After getting himself and his 'traps' ashore, he built a
     fire, dried his blankets, fried some bacon, ate a hearty supper
     and turned in.

     "The excitement of the day, however, prevented sleep, and he got
     up and sat by the fire till morning. As soon as it was light he
     strolled out to look at the stock, but to his surprise, only a
     bewildering maze of logs and interminable stumps were to be seen
     where he expected to behold broad fields and green pastures. The
     only thing he could find resembling stock were--to use his own
     language--'an old white horse, stiff in all his joints and blind
     in one eye, and a little, runty, scrubby, ornery, steer calf.'
     After wandering about over and under logs till noon, he concluded
     he had missed the doctor's farm, and returned to the beach with
     the intention of pulling further around, but seeing some men in a
     boat a short distance from shore, he hailed it and inquired for
     Dr. Maynard's farm. Charley Plummer was one of the party and he
     told the old man that he had the honor of being already upon it.
     Stanley explained his object in being there, and after a fit of
     rib-breaking laughter, Mr. Plummer advised him to return to
     Salmon Bay as soon as possible, which he did the very next day.

     "The old man had a keen sense of the ludicrous, and joined
     heartily in the laugh, saying he had been taken in a great many
     times in his life, but never in so laughable manner as on this
     occasion. A few days afterward as Charley Plummer was sitting in
     Dr. Maynard's office the hermit put in an appearance. 'Good
     afternoon, doctor,' said he, with an air of profound respect.
     'Why, how do you do, Uncle Stanley, glad to see you--how does the
     poultry ranch prosper? By the way, have you moved to Alki Point
     yet?' 'O, yes, I took my traps, poultry and all, over there
     several days ago, and had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Plummer
     there. Did he mention the circumstances?' 'No,' said the doctor,
     'he just came in. How did you find things?'

     "'To tell the truth, doctor, I couldn't rest until I could see
     you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for the inestimable
     blessing you have conferred upon me.'

     "At this demonstration of satisfaction uttered with an air of
     profound gratitude, the doctor leaned back complacently in his
     easy chair, while an expression of benignant self-approval
     illuminated his benevolent face.

     "'Yes,' continued he, 'I can never be sufficiently grateful for
     the benefit your generosity has already been to me individually,
     besides it bids fair to prove a signal triumph for religion and
     morality, and it may turn out to be a priceless contribution to

     "At the utterance of this unexpected 'rhapsody' the doctor turned
     with unalloyed delight, and seeing that the old man hesitated, he
     encouraged him by saying, 'Go on, Uncle, go right along and tell
     all about it, although I can't understand exactly how it can
     prove a triumph for religion or science.'

     "'Well,' continued the old man with solemn countenance, 'my
     orthodoxy has been a little shaky of late, in fact I have
     seriously doubted the heavenly origin of various forms of
     inspiration, but when I got to Alki Point and looked around my
     skepticism fell from my eyes as did the scales from the eyes of
     Saul of old.'

     "'Yes,' interrupted the doctor, 'the scenery over there is really
     grand and I have often felt devotional myself while contemplating
     the grand mountain scenery----'

     "'Scenery? Well--yes, I suppose there is some scenery scattered
     around over there, but it isn't that.'

     "'No, well what was it, uncle?'

     "'Why, sir, as I was saying, when I get a chance to fairly look
     around I was thoroughly satisfied that nothing but a miracle, in
     fact, nothing short of the ingenuity and power of the Almighty
     could possibly have piled up so many logs and stumps to the acre
     as I found on your _farm_.'

     "Here the doctor's face perceptibly lengthened and a very dry
     laugh, a sort of hysterical cross between a chuckle and a
     suppressed oath, escaped him, but before he had time to speak the
     old man went on:

     "'So much for the triumph of religion, but science, sir, will be
     under much weightier obligations to us when you and I succeed in
     making an honest living from the progeny of an old blind horse
     and a little, miserable runty steer calf.'

     "This was too much for the doctor and springing to his feet he
     fairly shouted, 'There, there, old man, not another word! come
     right along and I will stand treat for the whole town and we will
     never mention Alki Point again.'

     "'No, thank you,' said the hermit, dryly, 'I never indulge, and
     since you have been the means of my conversion you ought to be
     the last man in the world to lead me into temptation, besides our
     income from the blind horse and runty steer calf will hardly
     justify such extravagance.'

     "Hat and cane in hand he got as far as the door, when Maynard
     called to him saying, 'Look here, old man, I hope you're not
     offended, and if you will say nothing about this little matter,
     I'll doctor you the rest of your life for nothing.'

     "After scratching his head a moment the hermit looked up and
     naively answered, 'No, I'm not mad, only astonished, and as for
     your free medicine, if it is all as bitter as the free dose you
     have just given me, I don't want any more of it,' and he bowed
     himself out and was soon lost to the doctor's longing gaze. With
     eyes still fixed on the door he exclaimed, 'Blast my head if I
     thought the old crackling had so much dry humor in him. Come,
     Charley, let's have something to brave our nerves.'"

Among the unfortunate victims of the drink habit in an early day was
poor old Tom Jones. Nature had endowed him with a splendid physique, but
he wrecked himself, traveling downward, until he barely lived from hand
to mouth. He made a house on the old Conkling place, up the bay toward
the Duwampsh River, his tarrying place. Having been absent from his
customary haunts for a considerable time, it was reported that he was
dead. In the village of Seattle, some marauder had been robbing
henroosts and Tom Jones was accused of being the guilty party.
Grandfather John Denny told one of his characteristic stories about
being awakened by a great commotion in his henhouse, the lusty cocks
crowing "Tom Jo-o-o-ones is dead! Tom Jo-o-o-ones is dead!" rejoicing
greatly that they were henceforth safe.

D. T. Denny gathered up seven men and went to investigate the truth of
the report of his demise. They found him rolled up in his blankets, in
his bunk, not dead but helplessly sick. When they told him what they had
come for--to hold an inquest over his dead body, the tears rolled down
his withered face. They had him moved nearer town and cared for, but he
finally went the way of all the earth.

Another of the army of the wretched was having an attack of the "devil's
trimmings," as Grandfather John Denny called them, in front of a saloon
one day and a group stood around waiting for him to "come to"; upon his
showing signs of returning consciousness, _all but one_ filed into the
saloon to get a nerve bracer. D. T. Denny, who relates the incident,
turned away, he being the only temperance man in the group.



Samuel L. Simpson wrote this sympathetic poem concerning the old Hudson
Bay Company's steamer Beaver, the first steam vessel on the North
Pacific Coast. She came out from London in 1836 and is well remembered
by Puget Sound pioneers. In 1889 she went on the rocks in Burrard Inlet,
British Columbia.


    "Forlorn in the lonesome North she lies,
    That never again will course the sea,
    All heedless of calm or stormy skies,
    Or the rocks to windward or a-lee;
        For her day is done
        And her last port won
    Let the wild, sad waves her minstrel be.

    "She will roam no more on the ocean trails,
    Where her floating scarf of black was seen
    Like a challenge proud to the shrieking gales
    By the mighty shores of evergreen;
        For she lies at rest
        With a pulseless breast
    In the rough sea's clasp and all serene.

    "How the world has changed since she kissed the tide
    Of the storied Thames in the Georgian reign,
    And was pledged with wine as the bonny bride
    Of the West's isle-gemmed barbaric main--
        With a dauntless form
        That could breast the storm
    As she wove the magic commercial chain.

    "For Science has gemmed her brow with stars
    From many and many a mystic field,
    And the nations have stood in crimsoned wars
    And thrones have fallen and empires reeled
        Since she sailed that day
        From the Thames away
    Under God's blue sky and St. George's shield.

    "And the world to which, as a pioneer,
    She first came trailing her plume of smoke,
    Is beyond the dreams of the clearest seer
    That ever in lofty symbols spoke--
        In the arts of peace,
        In all life's increase,
    And all the gold-browed stress invoke.

    "A part of this was a work of hers,
    In a daring life of fifty years;
    But the sea-gulls now are her worshipers,
    Wheeling with cries more sad than tears,
        Where she lies alone
        And the surges moan--
    And slowly the north sky glooms and clears.

    "And may we not think when the pale mists glide,
    Like the sheeted dead by that rocky shore,
    That we hear in the rising, rolling tide
    The call of the captain's ring once more?
        And it well might be,
        So forlorn is she,
    Where the weird winds sigh and wan birds soar."

The development of the most easily reached natural resources was
necessarily first.

The timber and fisheries were a boundless source of wealth in evidence.

As early as 1847, a sawmill run with power afforded by the falls of the
Des Chutes at Tumwater, furnished lumber to settlers as a means of

The first cargo was taken by the brig _Orbit_ in 1850, to San Francisco,
she being the first American merchant vessel in the carrying trade of
Puget Sound. The brig _George Emory_ followed suit; each carried a
return cargo of goods for trade with the settlers and Indians.

At first the forest-fallers had no oxen to drag the timbers, after they
were hewn, to the water's edge, but rolled and hauled them by hand as
far as practicable. It was in this manner that the brig _Leonesa_ was
loaded with piles at Alki in the winter of 1851-2, by the Dennys, Terry,
Low, Boren and Bell.

Lee Terry brought a yoke of oxen to complete the work of loading, from
Puyallup, on the beach, as there was no road through the heavy forest.

Several ships were loaded at Port Townsend, where the possession of
three yoke of oxen gave them a decided advantage.

One ship, the _G. W. Kendall_, was sent from San Francisco to Puget
Sound for ice. It is needless to say the captain did not get a cargo of
that luxury; he reported that water did not freeze in Puget Sound and
consoled the owner of the ship by returning with a valuable cargo of

The cutting of logs to build houses and the grubbing of stumps to clear
the land for gardens alternated with the cutting of piles. In the
clearing of land, the Indians proved a great assistance; far from being
lazy many of them were hard workers and would dig and delve day after
day to remove the immense stumps of cedar and fir left after cutting the
great trees. The settlers burned many by piling heaps of logs and brush
on them, others by boring holes far into the wood and setting fire,
while some were rent by charges of powder when it could be afforded.

The clearing of land in this heavily timbered country was an item of
large expense if hired, otherwise of much arduous toil for the owner.
The women and children often helped to pile brush and set fires and many
a merry party turned out at night to "chunk up" the blazing heaps; after
nightfall, their fire-lit figure flitting hither and yon against the
purple darkness, suggested well-intentioned witches.

Cutting down the tall trees, from two hundred fifty to four hundred
fifty feet, required considerable care and skill. Sometimes we felt the
pathos of it all, when a huge giant, the dignified product of patient
centuries of growth, fell crashing, groaning to the earth. This side of
the subject, is presented in a poem "The Lone Fir Tree," not included in
this volume.

When finally the small patches of land were cleared, planted and tended,
the returns were astonishing, such marvelous vegetables, small fruits
and flowers, abundant and luxuriant, rewarded the toiler. Nature
herself, by her heaps of vegetation, had foreshown the immense
productiveness of the soil.

In the river valleys were quite extensive prairies, which afforded
superior stock range, but the main dependence of the people was in the

In 1852 H. L. Yesler came, who built the first steam sawmill on Puget
Sound, at Seattle. Other mills sprang up at Port Ludlow, Port Gamble,
Port Madison and Port Blakely, making the names of Meigs, Pope, Talbot,
Keller, Renton, Walker, Blinn and others, great in the annals of
sawmilling on Puget Sound.

This very interesting account concerning Yesler's sawmill and those who
worked in it in the early days was first published in a Seattle paper
many years ago:

     "The other day some of Parke's men at work on the foundation of
     the new Union Block on Front, corner of Columbia Street, delving
     among ancient fragments of piles, stranded logs and other debris
     of sea-wreck, long buried at that part of the waterfront, found
     at the bottom of an excavation they were making, a mass of
     knotted iron, corroded, attenuated and salt-eaten, which on being
     drawn out proved to be a couple of ancient boom-chains.

     "The scribe, thinking he might trace something of the history of
     these ancient relics, hunted up Mr. Yesler, whom, after
     considerable exploration through the mazes of his wilderness on
     Third and Jefferson Streets, he found, hose in hand, watering a
     line of lilies, hollyhocks, penstemons, ageratums, roses, et al.

     "The subject of the interview being stated, Mr. Yesler proceeded
     to relate: 'Yes, after I got my mill started in 1853, the first
     lot of logs were furnished by Dr. Maynard. He came to me and said
     he wanted to clear up a piece on the spit, where he wanted to lay
     out and sell some town lots. It was somewhere about where the New
     England and Arlington now stand. The location of the old mill is
     now an indeterminate spot, somewhere back of Z. C. Miles'
     hardware store. The spot where the old cookhouse stood is in the
     intersection of Mill and Commercial Streets, between the Colman
     Block and Gard. Kellogg's drug store. Hillory Butler and Bill
     Gilliam had the contract from Maynard, and they brought the logs
     to the mill by hand--rolled or carried them in with handspikes. I
     warrant you it was harder work than Hillory or Bill has done for
     many a day since. Afterwards, Judge Phillips, who went into
     partnership with Dexter Horton in the store, got out logs for me
     somewhere up the bay.

     "'During the first five years after my mill was started, cattle
     teams for logging were but few on the Sound, and there were no
     steamboats for towing rafts until 1858. Capt. John S. Hill's
     "_Ranger No. 2_," which he brought up from San Francisco, was the
     first of the kind, and George A. Meigs' little tug _Resolute_,
     which blew up with Capt. Johnny Guindon and his crew in 1861,
     came on about the same time. A great deal of the earliest logging
     on the Sound was done exclusively by hand, the logs being thrown
     into the water by handspikes and towed to the mill on the tide by

     "'In 1853 Hillory Butler took a contract to get me out logs at
     Smith's Cove. George F. Frye was his teamster. In the fall of
     1854 and spring and summer of 1855, Edward Hanford and John C.
     Holgate logged for me on their claims, south of the townsite
     toward the head of the bay. T. D. Hinckley was their teamster,
     also Jack Harvey. On one occasion, when bringing in a raft to the
     mill, John lost a diary which he was keeping and I picked it up
     on the beach. The last entry it contained read: "June 5, 1855.
     Started with a raft for Yesler's mill. Fell off into the water."
     I remember I wrote right after "and drowned," and returned the
     book. I don't know how soon afterward John learned from his own
     book of his death by drowning.

     "'The Indian war breaking out in the fall of '55 put a stop to
     their logging operations, as of all the rest.

     "'The Indians killed or drove off all the cattle hereabouts and
     burned the dwellings of Hanford, Holgate and Bell on the borders
     of the town, besides destroying much other property throughout
     the country.

     "'The logging outfits in those days were of the most primitive
     and meager description. Rafts were fastened together by ropes or
     light boom-chains. Supplies of hardware and other necessaries
     were brought up from San Francisco by the lumber vessels on their
     return trips as ordered by the loggers. I remember on one
     occasion Edmund Carr, John A. Strickler, F. McNatt and John Ross
     lost the product of a season's labor by their raft getting away
     from them and going to pieces while in transit between the mill
     and the head of the bay. My booming place was on the north side
     of the mill along the beach where now the foundations are going
     up for the Toklas & Singerman, Gasch, Melhorn and Lewis brick
     block. There being no sufficient breakwater thereabouts in those
     times, I used often to lose a great many logs as well as
     boom-chains and things by the rafts being broken up by storms.

     "'My mill in the pioneer times before the Indian war furnished
     the chief resource of the early citizens of the place for a

     "'When there were not enough white men to be had for operating
     the mill, I employed Indians and trained them to do the work.
     George Frye was my sawyer up to the time he took charge of the
     _John B. Libby_ on the Whatcom route. My engineers at different
     times were T. D. Hinckley, L. V. Wyckoff, John T. Moss and
     Douglass. Arthur A. Denny was screw-tender in the mill for quite
     a while; D. T. Denny worked at drawing in the logs. Nearly all
     the prominent old settlers at some time or other were employed in
     connection with the mill in some capacity, either at logging or
     as mill hands. I loaded some lumber for China and other foreign
     ports, as well as San Francisco.'"

The primitive methods, crude appliances and arduous toil in the early
sawmills have given place to palaces of modern mechanical contrivance
it would require a volume to describe, of enormous output, loading
hundreds of vessels for unnumbered foreign ports, and putting in
circulation millions of dollars.

As a forcible contrast to Mr. Yesler's reminiscence, this specimen is
given of modern milling, entitled "Sawing Up a Forest," representing the
business of but one of the great mills in later days (1896) at work on
Puget Sound:

     "The best evidence of the revival of the lumber trade of the
     Sound, is to be found at the great Blakeley mill, where four
     hundred thousand feet of lumber is being turned out every
     twenty-four hours, and the harbor is crowded with ships destined
     for almost all parts of the world.

     "One of the mill officials said, 'We are at present doing a large
     business with South American and Australian ports, and expect
     with proper attention to secure the South African trade, which,
     if successful, will be a big thing. We have the finest lumber in
     the world, and there is no reason why we should not be doing five
     times the business that is being done on the Sound. Why, there is
     some first quality and some selected Norway lumber out there on
     the wharf, and it does not even compare with our second quality

     "The company has at present (1896) 350 men employed and between
     $15,000.00 and $20,000.00 in wages is paid out every month.

     "The following vessels are now loading or are loaded and ready to

     "Bark Columbia, for San Francisco, 700,000 feet; ship Aristomene,
     for Valparaiso, 1,450,000 feet; ship Earl Burgess, for Amsterdam,
     1,250,000 feet; bark Mercury, for San Francisco, 1,000,000 feet;
     ship Corolla, for Valparaiso, 1,000,000 feet; barkentine Katie
     Flickinger, for Fiji Islands, 550,000 feet; bark Matilda, for
     Honolulu, 650,000 feet; bark E. Ramilla, for Valparaiso, 700,000
     feet; ship Beechbank, for Valparaiso, 2,000,000 feet.

     "To load next week:

     "Barkentine George C. Perkins, for Sidney, N. S. W., 550,000
     feet; bark Guinevere, for Valparaiso, 850,000 feet.

     "Those to arrive within the next two weeks:

     "Bark Antoinette, for Valparaiso, 900,000 feet; barkentine J. L.
     Stanford, for Melbourne, 1,200,000 feet; ship Saga, for
     Valparaiso, 1,200,000 feet; bark George F. Manson, for Shanghai,
     China, 950,000 feet; ship Harvester, for South Africa, 1,000,000

Shingle making was a prominent early industry. The process was slow,
done entirely by hand, in vivid contrast with the great facility and
productiveness of the modern shingle mills of this region; in
consequence of the slowness of manufacture they formerly brought a much
higher price. It was an ideal occupation at that time. After the mammoth
cedars were felled, sawn and rived asunder, the shingle-maker sat in the
midst of the opening in the great forest, towering walls of green on all
sides, with the blue sky overhead and fragrant wood spread all around,
from which he shaped the thin, flat pieces by shaving them with a
drawing knife.

Cutting and hewing spars to load ships for foreign markets began before

As recorded in a San Francisco paper:

     "In 1855, the bark Anadyr sailed from Utsalady on Puget Sound,
     with a cargo of spars for the French navy yard at Brest. In 1857
     the same ship took a load from the same place to an English navy

     "To China, Spain, Mauritius and many other places, went the
     tough, enduring, flexible fir tree of Puget Sound. The severe
     test applied have proven the Douglas fir to be without an equal
     in the making of masts and spars.

     "In later days the Fram, of Arctic fame, was built of Puget Sound

The discovery and opening of the coal mines near Seattle marks an epoch
in the commerce of the Northwest.

As early as 1859 coal was found and mined on a small scale east of

The first company, formed in 1866-7, was composed of old and well-known
citizens: D. Bagley, G. F. Whitworth and Selucius Garfield, who was
called the "silver-tongued orator." Others joined in the enterprise of
developing the mines, which were found to be extensive and valuable.
Legislation favored them and transportation facilities grew.

The names of McGilvra, Yesler, Denny and Robinson were prominent in the
work. Tramways, chutes, inclines, tugboats, barges, coalcars and
locomotives brought out the coal to deep water on the Sound, across
Lakes Washington and Union, and three pieces of railroad. A long trestle
at the foot of Pike Street, Seattle, at which the ship "Belle Isle,"
among others, often loaded, fell in, demolished by the work of the

The writer remembers two startling trips up the incline, nine hundred
feet long, on the east side of Lake Washington, in an empty coal car,
the second time duly warned by the operatives that the day before a car
load of furniture had been "let go" over the incline and smashed to
kindlingwood long before it reached the bottom. The trips were made
amidst an oppressive silence and were never repeated.

The combined coal fields of Washington cover an area of one thousand six
hundred fifty square miles. Since the earliest developments great
strides have been made and a large number of coal mines are operated,
such as the Black Diamond, Gilman, Franklin, Wilkeson, the U. S.
government standard, Carbonado, Roslyn, etc., with a host of underground
workers and huge steam colliers to carry an immense output.

The carrying of the first telegraph line through the dense forest was
another step forward. Often the forest trees were pressed into service
and insulators became the strange ornaments of the monarchs of the
trackless wilderness.

Pioneer surveyors, of whom A. A. Denny was one, journalists, lawyers and
other professional men, with the craftsmen, carpenters who helped to
repair the Decatur and build the fort, masons who helped to build the
old University of Washington, and other industrious workers brought to
mind might each and every one furnish a volume of unique and
interesting reminiscence.

The women pioneers certainly demand a work devoted to them alone.

Simultaneously with the commercial and political development, the
educational and religious took place. The children of the pioneers were
early gathered in schools and the parents preceded the teachers or
supplemented their efforts with great earnestness. Books, papers and
magazines were bountifully provided and both children and grown people
read with avidity. For many years the mails came slowly, but when the
brimming bags were emptied, the contents were eagerly seized upon, and
being almost altogether eastern periodical literature, the children
narrowly escaped acquiring the mental squint which O. W. Holmes speaks
of having affected the youth of the East from the perusal of English

The pioneer mail service was one of hardship and danger. The first mail
overland in the Sound region was carried by A. B. Rabbeson in 1851, and
could not have been voluminous, as it was transported in his pockets
while he rode horseback.

A well known mail carrier of early days was Nes Jacob Ohm or "Dutch
Ned," as every one called him. He, with his yellow dog and sallow
cayuse, was regarded as an indispensable institution. All three stood
the test of travel on the trail for many years. The yellow canine had
quite a reputation as a panther dog, and no doubt was a needed
protection in the dark wild forest, but he has long since gone where the
good dogs go and the cayuse probably likewise.

"Ned" was somewhat eccentric though a faithful servant of the public. In
common with other forerunners of civilization he was a little

One winter night, grown weary of drowsing by his bright, warm fireplace
in his little cabin, he began to walk back and forth in an absent-minded
way, when suddenly his hair fairly stood on end; there were two stealthy
shadows following him every where he turned. In what state of mind he
passed the remainder of the night is unknown, but soon after he related
the incident to his friends evincing much anxiety as to what it might
signify. Probably he had two lights burning in different parts of the
room or sufficiently bright separate flames in the fireplace.

Doubtless it remained a mystery unexplained to him, to the end of his

The pioneer merchants who traded with the Indians, and swapped calico
and sugar for butter and eggs, with the settlers, pioneer steamboat men
who ran the diminutive steamers between Olympia and Seattle, pioneer
editors, who published tri-weeklies whose news did not come in daily,
pioneer milliners who "did up" the hats of the other pioneer women with
taste and neatness, pioneer legislators, blacksmiths, bakers,
shoemakers, foundry men, shipbuilders, etc., blazed the trails of
commerce where now there are broad highways.



Early in 1861, the University Commissioners, Rev. D. Bagley, John
Webster and Edmund Carr, selected the site for the proposed building,
ten acres in Seattle, described as a "beautiful eminence overlooking
Elliott Bay and Puget Sound." A. A. Denny donated eight and a fraction
acres, Terry and Lander, one and a fraction acres. The structure was
fifty by eighty feet, two stories in height, beside belfry and
observatory. There were four rooms above, including the grand lecture
room, thirty-six by eighty feet, and six rooms below, beside the
entrance hall of twelve feet, running through the whole building.

The president's house was forty by fifty, with a solid foundation of
brick and cement cellar; the boarding house twenty-four by forty-eight,
intended to have an extension when needed. A supply was provided of the
purest spring water, running through one thousand four hundred feet of
charred pump logs.

Buildings of such dimensions were not common in the Northwest in those
days; materials were expensive and money was scarce.

It was chiefly through the efforts of John Denny that a large
appropriation of land was made by Congress for the benefit of the
new-born institution. Although advanced in years, his hair as white as
snow, he made the long journey to Washington city and return when months
were required to accomplish it.

By the sale of these lands the expense of construction and purchase of
material were met. The land was then worth but one dollar and a half per
acre, but enough was sold to amount to $30,400.69.

At that time the site lay in the midst of a heavy forest, through which
a trail was made in order to reach it.

Of the ten-acre campus, seven acres were cleared of the tall fir and
cedar trees at an expense of two hundred and seventy-five dollars per
acre, the remaining three were worse, at three hundred and sixteen
dollars per acre.

The method of removing these forest giants was unique and imposing. The
workers partially grubbed perhaps twenty trees standing near each other,
then dispatched a sailor aloft in their airy tops to hitch them together
with a cable and descend to terra firma. A king among the trees was
chosen whose downfall should destroy his companions, and relentlessly
uprooting it, the tree-fallers suddenly and breathlessly withdrew to
witness a grand sight, the whole group of unnumbered centuries' growth
go crashing down at once. They would scarcely have been human had they
uttered no shout of triumph at such a spectacle. To see but one great,
towering fir tree go grandly to the earth with rush of boughs and
thunderous sound is a thrilling, pathetic and awe-inspiring sight.

About the center of the tract was left a tall cedar tree to which was
added a topmast. The tree, shorn of its limbs and peeled clean of bark,
was used for a flagstaff.

The old account books, growing yearly more curious and valuable, show
that the majority of the old pioneers joined heartily in the undertaking
and did valiant work in building the old University.

They dug, hewed, cleared land, hauled materials, exchanged commodities,
busily toiled from morn to night, traveled hither and yon, in short did
everything that brains, muscle and energy could accomplish in the face
of what now would be deemed well nigh insurmountable obstacles. The
president of the board of commissioners, the Rev. D. Bagley, has said
that in looking back upon it he was simply foolhardy. "Why, we had not a
dollar to begin with," said he; nevertheless pluck and determination
accomplished wonders; many of the people took the lands at one dollar
and a half an acre, in payment for work and materials.

Clarence B. Bagley, son of Rev. D. Bagley, is authority for the
following statement, made in 1896:

     "Forty-eight persons were employed on the work and nearly all the
     lumber for the building was secured from the mills at Port
     Blakeley and Port Madison, while the white pine of the finishing
     siding, doors, sash, etc., came from a mill at Seabeck, on Hood
     Canal. I have been looking over the books my father kept at that
     time and find the names of many persons whom all old-timers will
     remember. I found the entry relating to receiving 10,000 brick
     from Capt. H. H. Roeder, the price being $15.50 per thousand,
     while lime was $3 per barrel and cement $4.50 per barrel. Another
     entry shows that seven gross of ordinary wood screws cost in that
     early day $9.78. Capt. Roeder is now a resident of Whatcom
     County. The wages then were not very high, the ordinary workman
     receiving $2 and $2.25 per day and the carpenters and masons $4
     per day.

     "On the 10th of March, John Pike and his son, Harvey Pike, began
     to clear the ground for the buildings and a few days later James
     Crow and myself commenced. The Pikes cleared the acre of ground
     in the southeast corner and we cleared the acre just adjoining,
     so that we four grubbed the land on which the principal building
     now stands. All the trees were cut down and the land leveled off,
     and the trees which now grace the grounds started from seeds and
     commenced to grow up a few years later and are now about
     twenty-five years old. Among the men who helped clear the land
     were: Hillory Butler, John Carr, W. H. Hyde, Edward Richardson,
     L. Holgate, H. A. Atkins, Jim Hunt, L. B. Andrews, L. Pinkham,
     Ira Woodin, Dr. Josiah Settle, Parmelee & Dudley, and of that
     number that are now dead are Carr, Hyde, Holgate, Atkins and
     Parmelee and Dudley. Mr. Crow is now living at Kent and owns a
     good deal of property there. Mr. Carr was a relative of the
     Hanfords. Mr. Holgate was a brother of the Holgate who was killed
     in Seattle during the Indian war, being shot dead while standing
     at the door of the fort. He was an uncle of the Hanfords. Mr.
     Atkins was mayor of the town at one time.

     "R. King, who dressed the flagstaff, is not among the living. The
     teamsters who did most of the hauling were Hillory Butler, Thomas
     Mercer and D. B. Ward, all of whom are still living. William
     White was blacksmith here then and did a good deal of work on the
     building. He is now living in California and is well-to-do, but
     his son is still a resident of Seattle. Thomas Russell was the
     contractor for putting up the frame of the university building.
     He died some time since and of his estate there is left the
     Russell House, and his family is well known. John Dodge and John
     T. Jordan did a good deal of the mason work, both of whom are now
     dead, but they have children who still live in this city. The
     stone for the foundation was secured from Port Orchard and the
     lime came from Victoria, being secured here at a large cost."

George Austin, who raised the flagstaff and put the top on, has been
dead many years. Dexter Horton and Yesler, Denny & Co. kept stores in
those days and furnished the nails, hardware and general merchandise.
Mr. Horton's store was where the bank now stands and the store of
Yesler, Denny & Co. was where the National Bank of Commerce now stands.
L. V. Wyckoff, the father of Van Wyckoff, who was sheriff of the county
for many years, did considerable hauling and draying. He also is dead.
Frank Mathias was a carpenter and did a good deal of the finishing work.
He died in California and his heirs have since been fighting for his

H. McAlear kept a stove and hardware store and furnished the stoves for
the building. He is now dead and there has been a contest over some of
his property in the famous Hill tract in this city.

D. C. Beatty and R. H. Beatty, not relatives, were both carpenters. The
former is now living on a farm near Olympia and the latter is in the
insane asylum at Steilacoom. Ira Woodin is still alive and is the
founder of Woodinville. In the early days Mr. Woodin and his father
owned the only tannery in the country, which was located at the corner
of South Fourth Street and Yesler Avenue, then Mill Street. O. J. Carr,
whose name appears as a carpenter, lives at Edgewater. He was the
postmaster of the town for many years.

O. C. Shorey and A. P. DeLin, as "Shorey & DeLin," furnished the desks
for the several rooms and also made the columns that grace the front
entrance to the building.

Plummer & Hinds furnished some of the materials used in the
construction. George W. Harris, the banker, auditor of the Lake Shore
road, is a stepson of Mr. Plummer.

Jordan and Thorndyke were plasterers and both have been dead for many

David Graham, who did some of the grading, is still living in Seattle.
A. S. Mercer did most of the grading with Mr. Graham. Mr. Mercer is a
brother of Thomas Mercer, who brought out two parties of young ladies
from the Atlantic Coast by sea, many of whom are married and are now
living in Seattle. Harry Hitchcock, one of the carpenters, is now dead.
Harry Gordon was a painter and was quite well known for some years. He
finally went East, and I think is still living, although I have not
heard from him for many years. Of the three who composed the board of
university commissioners Mr. Carr and Mr. Webster are dead.

All the paint, varnishes, brushes, etc., were purchased in Victoria and
the heavy duties made the cost very high; in fact, everything was costly
in those days. An entry is made of a keg of lath nails which cost $15,
and a common wooden wheelbarrow cost $7. The old bell came from the
East, and cost, laid down in Seattle, $295. It cost $50 to put in
position, and thus the whole cost was nearly $350. It is made of steel
and was rung from the tower for the first time in March, 1862.

The only tinner in the place covered the cupola where hung the bell. Its
widely reaching voice proclaimed many things beside the call to studies,
fulfilling often the office of bell-buoy and fog-horn to distracted
mariners wandering in fog and smoke, and giving alarm in case of fire.
The succeeding lines set forth exactly historical facts as well as
expressing the attachment of the old pupils to the bell and indeed to
the university itself:


    A vibrant voice thrilled through the air,
    Now here, now there, seemed everywhere;
    My young thoughts stirred, laid away in a shroud,
    And joyfully rose and walked abroad.
    It was long ago in my youth and pride,
    When my young thoughts lived and my young thoughts died,
    And often and over all unafraid
    They wander and wander like ghosts unlaid.

    Through calm and storm for many a year,
    I faithfully called my children dear,
    And honest and urgent have been my tones
    To hurry the laggard and hasten the drones,
    But earnest and early or lazy and late
    They toiled up the hill and entered the gate,
    Across the campus they rushed pell-mell
    At the call of the old University bell.
    If danger menaced on land or sea,
    The note of warning loud and free;
    Or a joyous peal in the twilight dim
    Of the New Year's dawn, after New Year's hymn.
    If a ship in the bay floated out ablaze,
    Or the fog-wreaths blinded the mariner's gaze,
    Safe into port they steered them well,
    Cheered by the old University bell.

    When Lincoln the leader was stricken low,
    O! a darker day may we never know,
    A bitter wail from my heart was wrung
    To float away from my iron tongue,
    On storm-wing cast it traveled fast,
    Above me writhed the flag half-mast.
    My children wept, their fathers frowned,
    With clenched hands looked down to the ground,
    For the saddest note that ever fell
    From the throat of the old University bell.

    But deep was the joy and wild was the clamor,
    With leaping hot haste they hurried the hammer,
    When the battles were fought and the war was all over,
    O'er the North and the South did the peace angels hover;
    My children sang sweetly and softly and low
    "The Union forever, is safe now we know,"
    The years they may come and the years they may go,
    And hearts that were loyal will ever be so.

    There's a long roll-call, I ring over all
    That have harkened and answered in the old hall;
    Adams and Andrews, (from A unto Z,
    Alphabetic arrangement as any can see),
    Bonney and Bagley and Mercer and Hays,
    Francis and Denny in bygone days,
    Hastings and Ebey, the Oregon Strongs,
    And many another whose name belongs
    To fame and the world, or has passed away
    To realms that are bright with endless day.

    The presidents ruled with a right good will,
    Mercer and Barnard, Whitworth and Hill,
    Anderson, Powell, Gatch and Hall,
    Harrington now and I've named them all.
    Witten and Thayer, Hansee and Lee,
    The wise professors were fair to see,
    They strictly commanded, did study compel
    At the call of the old University bell.

    Osborne, McCarty, Thornton and Spain,
    With their companions in sunshine and rain,
    Back in the seventies, might tell what befell
    At the ring of the old University bell.
    The eighties came on and the roll-call grew longer
    Emboldened with learning, my voice rang the stronger;
    The day of Commencement saw young men and maids
    Proudly emerge from the classic shades
    Where oft they had heard and heeded well
    The voice of the old University bell.

    They bore me away to a shrine new and fine,
    Where the pilgrims of learning with yearning incline;
    Enwrapped they now seem, in a flowery dream,
    The stars of good fortune so radiant beam.
    Of the long roll call not one is forgot,
    If sorrow beset them or happy their lot;
    My wandering children all love me so well,
    Their life-work done, they'll wish a soft knell
    Might be tolled by the old University bell.

Such is the force of habit that it was many years before I could shake
off the inclination to obey the imperative summons of the old
University bell.

With other small children, I ran about on the huge timbers of the
foundation, in the dusk when the workmen were gone, glancing around a
little fearfully at the dark shadows in the thick woods, and then
running home as fast as our truant feet could carry us.

The laying of the cornerstone was an imposing ceremony to our minds and
a significant as well as gratifying occasion to our elders.

The speeches, waving of flags, salutes, Masonic emblems and service with
the music rendered by a fine choir, accompanied by a pioneer melodeon,
made it quite as good as a Fourth of July.

All the well-to-do ranchers and mill men sent their children from every
quarter. The Ebeys of Whidby Island, Hays of Olympia, Strongs of Oregon,
Burnetts of down Sound and Dennys of Seattle, beside the children of
many other prominent pioneers, received their introduction to learning
beneath its generous shelter. A cheerful, energetic crowd they were with
clear brains and vigorous bodies.

The school was of necessity preparatory; in modern slang, a University
was rather previous in those days.

But all out-of-doors was greater than our books when it came to physical
geography and natural history, to say nothing of botany, geology, etc.
Observing eyes and quick wits discovered many things not yet in this
year of grace set down in printed pages.

A curious thing, and rather absurd, was the care taken to instruct us in
"bounding" New Hampshire, Vermont and all the rest of the Eastern
states, while owing to the lack of local maps we were obliged to gain
the most of our knowledge of Washington by traveling over it.

The first instruction given within its walls was in a little summer
school taught by Mrs. O. J. Carr, which I attended.

Previous to this my mother was my patient and affectionate instructor,
an experienced and efficient one I will say, as teaching had been her
profession before coming west.

Asa Mercer was at the head of the University for a time, followed by W.
E. Barnard, under whose sway it saw prosperous days. A careful and
painstaking teacher with a corps of teachers fresh from eastern schools,
and ably seconded in his efforts by his lovely wife, a very accomplished
lady, he was successful in building up the attendance and increasing the
efficiency of the institution. But after a time it languished, and was
closed, the funds running low.

Under the Rev. F. H. Whitworth it again arose. It was then run with the
common school funds, which raised such opposition that it finally came
to a standstill.

D. T. Denny was a school director and county treasurer at the same
time, but could not pay any monies to the University without an order
from the county superintendent. On one occasion he was obliged to put a
boy on horseback and send him eleven miles through the forest and back,
making a twenty-two mile ride, to obtain the required order.

The children and young people who attended the University in the old
times are scattered far and wide, some have attained distinction in
their callings, many are worthy though obscure, and some have passed
away from earthly scenes.

We spoke our "pieces," delivered orations, wrote compositions, played
ball games of one or more "cats" and many old-fashioned games in and
around the big building and often climbed up to the observatory to look
out over the beautiful bay and majestic mountains. That glistening sheet
of water often drew the eyes from the dull page and occasionally an
unwary pupil would be reminded in a somewhat abrupt fashion to proceed
with his researches.

One afternoon a boy who had been gazing on its changing surface for some
minutes, caught sight of a government vessel rounding the point, and
jumped up saying excitedly, "There's a war ship a-comin'!" to the
consternation though secret delight of the whole school.

"Well, don't stop her," dryly said the teacher, and the boy subsided
amid the smothered laughter of his companions.

Cupid sometimes came to school then, as I doubt not he does in these
days, not as a learner but distracter--to those who were his victims.

It's my opinion, and I have it from St. Catherine, he should have been
set on the dunce block and made to study Malthus.

Two notable victims are well remembered, one a lovely blonde young girl,
a beautiful singer; the other as dark as a Spaniard, with melting black
eyes and raven tresses. They did not wait to graduate but named the
happy day. The blonde married a Democratic editor, well known in early
journalism, the other a very popular man, yet a resident of Seattle.

The whole of the second story of the University consisted of one great
hall or assembly room with two small ante-rooms. Here the school
exhibitions were held, lectures and entertainments given. Christmas
trees, Sunday schools, political meetings and I do not know what else,
although I think no balls were ever permitted in those days, a modern
degeneration to my mind.

The old building has always been repainted white until within a few
years and stood among the dark evergreen a thing of dignity and beauty,
the tall fluted columns with Doric capitals being especially admired.

But changes will come; a magnificent, new, expensive and ornate edifice
has been provided with many modern adjuncts--and the old University has
been painted a grimy putty color!

The days of old, the golden days, will never be forgotten by the
students of the old University, which, although perhaps not so
comfortable or elegant nor of so elevated a curriculum as the new,
compassed the wonderful beginnings of things intellectual, sowing the
seed that others might harvest, planting the tree of knowledge from
which others should gather the fruit.



                                     Mound Prairie, Chehalis River, near
                                        Mr. Ford's Tavern, Lewis County,
                                         Oregon Territory. 14 Nov. 1852.

My dear Elizabeth:

I believe this is the first letter I have addressed to you since we
removed from Wisconsin, and I feel truly thankful to say that through
the infinite mercy of God both my family and self have been in the
enjoyment of excellent, uninterrupted health.

The last letter we received from Wisconsin was from my brother Thomas,
complaining of our long silence. We found, too, that Mr. James' long
letter, containing an account of our route--arrival in Oregon--our
having made a claim on the Clackamas, with description of it--and all
our progress up to February last, had been received. So here begins the
next chapter. About the middle of March we removed into our new log
house; here we found everything necessary to make a homestead
comfortable and even delightful--a beautiful building spot on a pleasant
knoll of considerable extent--a clear brook running along within a few
yards of our door; and surrounded by the grandest mountain scenery--and
more than that, decidedly healthy. Within walking distance of Oregon
City and Milwaukee, and eight miles from Portland. With all these
advantages the boys could not reconcile themselves to it on account of
the great lack of grass which prevails for twenty miles 'round.

Brush of all description, Hazel, Raspberry, Salal, Rose, Willow and Fern
grow to a most gigantic size. And in February what appeared to us and
others--a kind of grass--sprang up quickly over the ground and mountain
side; nor was it 'till May, when it blossomed out, that we discovered
what we hoped would be nourishment for our cattle, was nothing more than
the grass Iris, and fully accounted for the straying of our cattle and
the constant hunt that was kept up by our neighbors and selves after
cattle and horses.

In fact we soon found that this was no place for cattle until it had
been subdued and got into cultivation. To make the matter worse we were
every now and then in the receipt of messages and accounts from our
friends and acquaintances who were located, some in Umpqua, some in the
Willamette Valley, some at Puget Sound. Those from Umpqua sent us word
that there was grass enough all winter, on one claim for a thousand head
of cattle. Mr. Lucas in the Callipooiah Mountains at the head of the
Willamette, sent us pressing invitations to come up and settle by him,
where he had grass as high as his knees in February. In the Willamette
the first rate places were all taken up. Samuel and Billy joined in
begging their father to make a tour north or south to see some of these
desirable places. Finally he was induced, though rather reluctantly (so
well he liked our pleasant home and so confident was he of raising grass
and grain) to visit one or the other after harvest. We finished our
harvest in July and in August Mr. J., accompanied by Billy, set off on a
journey of exploration to the north. The land route lay along the north
bank of the Columbia for sixty miles to the mouth of the Cowlitz, then
thirty miles up that river over Indian trails, all but impassable. This
brought them into the beautiful prairies of Puget Sound, sixty or
seventy miles through which brought them to that branch of the Pacific.
They returned after an absence of between three and four weeks. So well
were Mr. James and Billy pleased with the country that they made no
delay on their return in selling out their improvements which they had
an opportunity of doing immediately. We had milked but two cows during
the summer, but even with the poor feed we had, I had kept the family in
butter and sold $20 worth, but then I had fifty cents and five shillings
per pound. As to my poultry, I obtained with some difficulty the favor
of a pullet and a rooster for $2.00. In March I added another hen to my
stock, and so rapidly did they increase, that in September I had, small
and big, eighty. After keeping six pullets and a rooster for myself, I
made $25.00 off the rest, so you may judge by a little what much will
do in Oregon.

Well, it is time for me to take you on board the Batteaux, as I wish you
all had been on the 16th of September, when we set sail down the
Willamette from Milwaukee. After two days we entered the Columbia, one
of the noblest of rivers. After three days, with a head wind all the
time, we entered the mouth of the Cowlitz, a beautiful stream, but so
swift that none but Indians can navigate it. We had to hire five Indians
for $50.00 to take us up. Four days brought us to what is called the
upper landing of the Cowlitz. Here ended our river travel--by far the
most pleasant journey I ever made. There we met Samuel and Billy who
with Tom had taken the cattle by the trail. We halted at a Mr.
Jackson's, where we stopped for a fortnight, while Mr. J. and the boys
journeyed away in search of adventures and a claim.

On the banks of the Chehalis, 30 miles north of where we stopped and 30
miles south of the Sound, they found a claim satisfactory in every
respect to all parties, and what was not a little, we found a cabin a
great deal better than the one we found last winter.

The Indians told us that _tennes_ (white) Jack, who _momicked_ (worked)
it had _clatawawed_ (traveled or went) to California in quest of
_chicamun_ (metal) and had never _chacooed_ (come back), so we entered
on _tennes_ Jack's labours. As a farm and location, this certainly
exceeds our most sanguine expectations. I often thought last year that
we had bettered our conditions from what they were in Wisconsin, and now
I think we have improved ours ten times beyond what we then were.

Our claim is along the banks of the Chehalis, a navigable river which
empties into the Pacific at Grays Harbor, about 70 miles below us. A
settlement is just commenced at the mouth of the river and a sawmill is
erected 10 miles below us, or rather is building. These are all the
settlements on the river below us, and our nearest neighbor above us is
6 miles up. A prairie of 10 miles long and varying in width from 2 to 4
miles stretched away to the north of us, watered with a beautiful stream
of water and covered with grass at this time as green as in May.

A stream of water flows within a few yards of our house, so full of
salmon that Tom and Johnny could with ease catch a barrel in an hour;
they are from 20 to 30 lbs. in a fish. Besides which we have a small
fish here very much resembling a pilchard.

We are blessed with the most beautiful springs of water, one of which
will be enclosed in our door yard. As far as I can learn there are in
the thickest settled parts of this portion of Oregon, about one family
in a township--many towns are not so thickly settled. We are the only
inhabitants of this great prairie except a few Indians who have a
fishing station about a mile from us. These are on very friendly terms
with us, supplying us with venison, wild fowl and mats at a very
reasonable price, as we are the only customers and we in return letting
them have what _sappalille_ (flour) and molasses we can at a reasonable
price, which they are always willing to pay. Soap is another article I
am glad to see in request among them. And it affords them no little
amusement to look at the plates of the Encyclopedia. But I fear it will
be long before they will be brought to _momick_ the _illahe_ (earth).
They are the finest and stoutest set of Indians we have seen.

We converse with them by means of a jargon composed of English, French
and Chinook, and which the Indians speak fluently, and we are getting to
_waw-waw_ (speak) pretty well. My children, I am thankful to say, look
better than I ever saw them in America; they have not had the least
symptoms of any of the diseases that they were so much afflicted with in
Wisconsin. And now, my dear Elizabeth, if wishing would bring you here,
you should soon be here in what appears to me to be one of the most
delightful portions of the globe. But then, ever since I have been in
America I have regarded a mild climate as a "pearl of great price" in
temporal things and felt willing to pay for it accordingly and I have
not had the least reason to think I have valued it too high. Many and
many a year has passed since I have enjoyed life as I have since I have
been in Oregon.

I should have told you that the Chehalis is one of the most beautiful
rivers in Oregon. Our claim stretches a mile along the north bank of it.
It flows through quite an elevated part of the country. Our house,
though within a few rods of the river, has one of the finest views in
Oregon, the prairie stretching away to the north like a fine lawn,
skirted on each side by oak and maple, at this time in all the brilliant
hues of Autumn; behind, on gently rising hills, forests of fir and cedar
of most gigantic height and size; farther still to the northeast rises
the ever snow-clad mountains of Rainier and St. Helens, on the opposite
side to the southwest of the coast range, so near that we can see the
trees on them. So magnificent are those immense snow mountains that none
but those who have seen them can form any idea of it.

This prairie takes its name from a remarkable mound about a mile from
our house; it stands in about 25 acres and is 100 feet high, with a pure
spring half way up. The rest of the prairie is almost level without a
spring except in the margin. The soil of the mound, as well as some of
the margin, has just enough clay to make it a rich and excellent soil;
the rest of the prairie is deficient in clay; it has a rich black mould
overlaying two feet deep, resting on substratum of sand and gravel,
which in some places is so mixed with the soil as to give it the name
of a gravelly prairie. You might have the choice of fifty such prairies
as this and some better on this river. Farmers were never better paid in
the world, even my little dairy of two cows has for the month past
turned me in, at least I have sold butter to the amount of two and a
half bushels of wheat a day at Wisconsin prices of 30 cents, and have by
me 26 pounds for which I shall have at least 60 cents or $1.00 per
pound. I now milk three cows; we have four; and Mr. James means to add
two more and a few sheep. Mr. J. sold the worst yoke of cattle he had
for $160.00. Cows are worth from $50.00 to $100.00; sheep are from $5.00
to $9.00; chickens, 60 cents to $1.00 each; eggs, 50 cents per dozen;
dry goods and groceries just the same as in the states; wheat $3.00 per
bushel. We left our wheat on the Clackamas to be threshed. They, Samuel
and Billy, are now preparing to put in ten acres of fall wheat, potatoes
are $2.00 per bushel. Indians easy to hire, both men and women, at
reasonable wages. Extensive coal mines of excellent quality have been
discovered within 15 miles of this place. But all these things are
secondary in my estimation compared with the climate, which is allowed
by all English to be superior to their native clime.

It makes me very sad to think how we are separated as a family, never to
meet again (at least in all probability) under one roof. O, that we may
all meet at least at the right hand of God, let this be our sole concern
and our path will be made plain in temporals.

You have the advantage of us in schools, churches and society, but I
feel quite patient to wait the arrival of those blessings in addition to
those we enjoy. This letter will be accompanied by a paper to Mr.
McNaves, "_The Columbian_," published at Olympia, Puget Sound. Mr. James
has just written an article for it, entitled the "Rainy Season." I
wonder how Amy and Edward are getting on; how I wish they were here. Do
you think they will ever come over? Should any of you (of course I
include any old friends and acquaintances at Caledonia) determine on
removing to this part, the instructions in my husband's letter are the
best we can give.

There has been great suffering on the road this year. We have seen a
great many families who came through in a very fair manner, some of them
without even the loss of a single head of cattle; these were among the
first trains; among the latter the loss of cattle and lives was awful.
Some horrid murders were committed on the road, for which the murderers
were tried and shot or hung on the spot. The papers say there will be
fifteen thousand added to the population of Oregon by this year's
emigration. It is in contemplation to open a road through from Grand
Ronde on to Puget Sound, which will shorten the distance at least 300
miles and out of the very worst of the road. Samuel and Billy are
determined to come to meet you on the new route with Jack and Dandy, and
more if wanted. Now we are settled in earnest you shall hear from us
oftener and hope we shall the same from you. Give my kindest and best
love to Mother. One old lady, about her age, crossed the plains when we
did; she was alive and well when we left the other side of the Columbia.

I must introduce to you an old acquaintance--the Rooks--caw! caw! caw!
all around us. We have a rookery on our farm. It is now the 28th of
Nov., a fortnight since I wrote the above, in hopes that it would be on
its passage to Wisconsin ere this, but was disappointed of sending to
the postoffice. Weather warm and sunshiny as May, two or three white
frosts that vanished with the rising of the sun are all we have had, not
the slightest prospect of sleighing nearer than the slopes of Mt.

I have just asked all hands for the dark side of Oregon, not one could
mention anything worth calling such. Mr. J. says the shades are so light
as to be invisible. The grey squirrel on the south of the Columbia was
the most formidable enemy to the farmer; more of that when I write next.

My kindest love to all the dear children; how I long to see them all
again, particularly Anna; O, that she may be a very good girl. Richard
and Allan often talk of writing to Avis and Lydia. How are Mr. and Mrs.
Welch and family? How gladly would I welcome them to my humble cabin. I
cannot help thinking, too, that Mrs. W. and I could enjoy ourselves here
on the green sward and in looking at the beautiful evergreen shrubs and
plants on the banks of the Chehalis, though we might be overtaken by a
mild sprinkling. A canoe on the waters of that beautiful stream would
help to compensate for the loss of a sleigh on the snows of Wisconsin,
particularly when it can be enjoyed at the same season of the year. But
I suppose I must look upon all this as a Utopian dream, as I expect few
if any of you would barter your comfortable house for a log cabin; well,
it is my home, and I hope I have not given you an exaggerated
description of it. I wished my husband to write a more particular
description of the soil and its productions than I could give, but he
was in no writing mood. He says the prairies as far as he has seen are
not equal to Iowa or Illinois, but for climate and health he thinks
Oregon equals if not surpasses most parts of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Well, I must bid you good-bye, with kind regards to Mr. and Mrs.
Drummond, with all my other friends in Yorkville, Mr. Moyle and Susan,
with all my friends and acquaintances in Caledonia. I will write again,
all's well, about Christmas, and hope you will attend to the same rate
and write once in a month. Farewell my dear sister. Yours in true

                                      A. M. JAMES.

P. S.--If Jane and Dick are married, I will risk saying that the best
thing they can do is to come here. All the children send their love to
you all. I should be thankful for a few flower seeds.



In Port Townsend and Seattle papers of 1902 appeared the following items
of history pertaining to settlers of Port Townsend:

     "Port Townsend, Feb. 15, 1902.--On Friday, February 21, there is
     to be held in Port Townsend a reunion of old settlers to
     celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the landing at this place
     of some of the first white families to settle on Puget Sound
     north of the little town of Steilacoom.

     "Much interest is being manifested in the coming celebration
     among the old-timers on Puget Sound, many of whom have already
     responded to invitations that have been sent them. Most of these
     letters contain interesting anecdotes or references touching the
     past. One of them is from Judge E. D. Warbass, of San Juan
     county, who writes from 'Idlewild,' his country home, near Friday
     Harbor, under date of February 1. In his letter to J. A. Kuhn,
     whom he addresses as 'My Dear Ankutty Tillikum,' he says:

     "'This is my birthday, born in A. D. 1825. Please figure up the
     time for yourself. I have just finished my breakfast and chores,
     and will get this letter off on the 9 o'clock mail. I am
     sincerely obliged for the honor of being invited to come to the
     Port Townsend celebration and to prepare and read some
     reminiscences of my experiences during all these years. I hope to
     be able to do so, and will, if I can, but you know I am no longer
     the same rollicking Ed, but quite an old man. However, I am
     willing to contribute my mite towards making your celebration a
     success, and weather and health permitting, will be there. Delate
     mika siam.'

     "A. A. Plummer, Sr., and Henry Bacheller came to Port Townsend by
     sailing vessel from San Francisco, in the fall of 1851, and
     remained here during the winter. A few days after they arrived
     here, L. B. Hastings and F. W. Pettygrove came in overland from
     Portland, carrying their blankets on their backs. They soon
     decided to return to Portland and bring their families over. Mr.
     Hastings arranged with Plummer and Bacheller to build a cabin for
     him by the time he returned.

     "He and Pettygrove went back to Portland, and soon afterward Mr.
     Hastings bought the schooner Mary Taylor. He made up a party of
     congenial people, and on February 9, 1852, the Mary Taylor sailed
     from the Columbia river with the following named persons, and
     their families, on board: L. B. Hastings, F. W. Pettygrove,
     Benjamin Ross, David Shelton, Thomas Tallentyre and Smith Hayes.
     The last named had no family.

     "On February 19 the schooner passed in by Cape Flattery, and on
     the afternoon of the 20th came upon the Hudson Bay settlement on
     Vancouver Island, at Victoria. Present survivors of the trip, who
     were then children, recall how their fathers lifted them up to
     their shoulders and pointed out the little settlement, telling
     them at the same time that that country belonged to England, and
     of their own purpose of crossing over to the American side and
     there establishing a home for themselves. That night the schooner
     dropped anchor in Port Townsend bay.

     "Early next morning--February 21--the schooner was boarded by
     Quincy A. Brooks, deputy collector and inspector of customs. Mr.
     Brooks had arrived here only a few hours ahead of the Mary
     Taylor, coming from Olympia and bringing with him the following
     customs inspectors: A. M. Poe, H. C. Wilson and A. B. Moses.
     These men had been sent here by the collector of customs to
     investigate stories of smuggling being carried on between the
     Hudson Bay Company and Indians on the Sound. The customs
     officials were camped on the beach. With them were B. J. Madison
     and William Wilton, the former of whom later settled here. A. A.
     Plummer and Henry Bacheller were also camped on the beach here at
     the same time, having been here since their arrival from San
     Francisco in the preceding fall.

[Illustration: SHIP "BELLE ISLE" LOADING COAL, 1876]

     "Early in the forenoon of February 21 all on board the schooner
     Mary Taylor were landed on the beach and immediately began the
     work of carving out homes for themselves in what was then a
     wilderness thickly inhabited by Indians. Mr. Hastings found his
     cabin ready for occupancy, all but the roof, which had not been
     put on. A temporary roof was constructed and the family moved in.
     That night twelve inches of snow fell, it being the first snow
     that had fallen here during the entire winter. Mr. Hastings'
     schooner afterward made several trips between the Columbia river
     and the Sound, bringing additional families here.

     "The present survivors of the Mary Taylor's passengers are the
     following: L. W. D. Shelton and his sister, Mary, Oregon C.
     Hastings, Frank W. Hastings, Maria Hastings Littlefield, Benj. S.
     Pettygrove and Sophia Pettygrove McIntyre. All but Mr. Shelton
     and his sister and Oregon C. Hastings are residents of Port

     "Oregon C. Hastings was born in Illinois in 1845, and crossed the
     plains in 1849 with his parents. He is living in Victoria.

     "Benjamin S. Pettygrove is a native of Portland, Oregon, where he
     was born on September 30, 1846. He was the first white male child
     born in Portland.

     "Frank W. Hastings was born in Portland on November 16, 1848.

     "Sophia Pettygrove was born in Portland on November 17, 1848. She
     was married on her 17th birthday to Captain James McIntyre, who
     lost his life a few weeks ago in the wreck of the steamship
     Bristol in Alaskan waters.

     "Judge J. A. Kuhn is the moving spirit in the matter of these
     pioneers' reunions and in the organization of Native Sons and
     Native Daughters lodges. He made a promise to G. Morris Haller of
     Seattle, as far back as 1877, he says, that he would take up the
     organizations referred to, in the interest of history and
     research. The matter remained dormant, however, till the year
     1893, when, on March 2, of that year, he instituted in Port
     Townsend, Jefferson Camp No. 1, Native Sons of Washington, with
     12 members present. The camp now has 118 members. On July 3,
     1895, he instituted in Port Townsend, Lucinda Hastings Parlor No.
     1, Native Daughters of Washington. There are now in the state
     nine camps of Native Sons and four parlors of Native Daughters.

     "A. A. Plummer, Sr., now deceased, was one of the fathers of Port
     Townsend and was considered quite a remarkable man. He was born
     in the state of Maine, March 3, 1822, and was a veteran of the
     Mexican war. He fought under Col. Stevens in that conflict and at
     its close went to California, going from there to Portland by
     sailing vessel in 1850.

     "Major Quincy A. Brooks was the second deputy collector of
     customs ever sworn into the service in the Puget Sound district.
     In January, 1852, he succeeded Elwood Evans as deputy collector
     for the district. The collector of customs was then Simpson P.
     Moses, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the custom house was located at

At the reunion on the 21st of February, 1902, many things were brought
to light.

     "Among the many stories of early days and reminiscences recalled
     at the pioneers' gathering one of the most interesting was Mr.
     Shelton's story of the trip of the Mary Taylor from Portland to
     Port Townsend. Mr. Shelton had committed his reminiscences to
     manuscript as follows:

     "'Fifty years ago, some time about the first of February, the
     little 75-ton schooner Mary Taylor left Portland, Ore., for Puget
     Sound, having on board the families of L. B. Hastings, F. W.
     Pettygrove, David Shelton, Thomas Tallentyre, Benjamin Ross and
     Smith Hayes. Mr. Hayes had no family here, but I think he had a
     family in the East. Mr. Ross had one son, about 20 years old.

     "'Our little craft was navigated by Captain Hutchinson and a crew
     of four or five men. The families were all old acquaintances.
     Those of Hastings, Ross and Shelton crossed the plains together
     in 1847, and concluded to cast their fortunes together again in
     their last great move, which was to this country.

     "'We lay at Astoria several days, waiting for a favorable
     opportunity to cross the bar. We made three trials before we
     ventured out to sea and were three or four days getting up to
     Cape Flattery, where we lay quite a while in a calm. We found
     here that we were in soundings, and some of the party commenced
     fishing, but all they could catch were dog fish, which we tried
     to eat, but we found that they were not the kind of fish that we
     cared about.

     "'Our first sight of Indians in this part of the country was off
     Neah Bay. We were drifting near Waadah Island, when canoes came
     swarming out of their village in the bay. We had heard ugly
     stories about this tribe, and prepared for them by stacking our
     arms around the masts, to be handy in case of need. They were
     clamorous to come on board, but we thought that they were as well
     off in their canoes as they would be anywhere else. Some of our
     party sauntered along the deck with guns in their hands, in view
     of the Indians.

     "'The Indians then wanted to trade fish for tobacco and trinkets.
     A few pieces of tobacco were thrown into their canoes and then
     they commenced throwing fish aboard, and such fish for a landsman
     to look at! There were bull-heads, rock-cod, kelp-fish, mackerel,
     fish as flat as your hand, and skates, and other monstrosities,
     the likes of which the most of our party had never seen before,
     and when our old cook dished them up for us at dinner we found
     that they were fine and delicious. There is where we made the
     acquaintance of sea-bass and rock-cod, and we have cultivated
     their acquaintance ever since. There were also mussels and clams
     among the lot, which we found to be very good. We were surrounded
     by another lot of Indians near Clallam Bay, with about the same
     performances and with the same results as at Neah Bay.'

     "Another incident that I recall happened near Dungeness spit. A
     couple of canoes filled with Indians came alongside and as there
     was only a few of them they were allowed to come on board. The
     tyee of the crowd introduced himself as Lord Jim. He wore a plug
     hat, a swallowtailed coat, a shirt and an air of immense
     importance. I suppose he had secured his outfit as a 'cultus
     potlatch' from persons he had met. He had evidently met several
     white people in his time, as he had a number of testimonials as
     to his character as a good Indian. I remember of hearing one of
     his testimonials read and it impressed me as having come from one
     who had studied the Indian character to some effect. It read
     something like this:

     "'To whom it may concern: This will introduce Lord Jim, a noted
     Indian of this part of the country. Look out for him or he will
     steal the buttons off your coat.' A further acquaintance with
     Lord Jim seemed to inspire the belief that the confidence of the
     writer was not misplaced.

     "Shortly after we left Lord Jim we sailed along Protection
     Island, one of the beauty spots of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
     Somewhere along here another thing happened--trivial in its
     nature--the memory of which has stayed with me all these years.
     Mr. Pettygrove was walking the deck in a meditative manner, when
     he happened to feel that he needed a cigar. He called to his son,
     Ben, about six years old, and told him to bring him some cigars.
     Ben wanted to know how many he should get. His father told him to
     get as many as he had fingers on both hands. Ben, proud of his
     commission, darted away and soon returned with eight cigars. His
     father looked at them a moment and said: 'How is this; you have
     only brought me eight cigars?' 'Well,' said Ben, 'that is all the
     fingers I have.' 'No,' said his father, 'you have ten on both
     your hands.' 'Why, no I haven't,' said Ben, 'two of them are
     thumbs,' and I guess Ben was right.

     "The next morning, after passing Dungeness Spit, we found our
     vessel anchored abreast of what is now the business part of Port
     Townsend, which was then a large Indian village. That was
     February 21, 1852, fifty years ago today. How it stirs the blood
     and quickens the memory to look back over those eventful
     years--eventful years for our state, our Pacific Coast and our
     entire country--and these years have been equally eventful for
     the little band that landed here that day so full of hope and

     "Our fathers and mothers are all gone to their well-earned rest
     and reward. Of the thirteen children that were with them at that
     time nine are still living, and I am proud of the fact that they
     are all respectable citizens of the community in which they live.
     They have seen all the history of this part of the country that
     amounts to much and in their humble way have helped to make it.
     They have helped conquer the wilderness and the savages and have
     done their share in laying the foundation of what will be one of
     the greatest states of our Union. Their fathers were men of
     honesty and more than ordinary force of character, as their deeds
     and labors in behalf of their country and families show, and the
     mothers of blessed memory--their children never realized the
     power for good they were in this world until they were grown and
     had families of their own, but they know it now. They know now
     how they encouraged their husbands when dark days came; how they
     cheerfully shared the trials and hardships incident to those
     early pioneer days, and when brighter fortunes came they
     exercised the same helpful guiding influence in their well
     ordered, comfortable homes that they did in their first log
     cabins in the wilderness."



A long roll of honor I might call of the brave men and women who dared
and strove in the wild Northwest of the long ago. If I speak of
representative pioneers, those unnamed might be equally typical of the
bold army of "forest-felling kings," "forest-fallers" as well as
"fighters," like those Northland men of old.

There are the names of Denny, Yesler, Phillips, Terry, Low, Boren,
Butler, Bell, Mercer, Maple, Van Asselt, Horton, Hanford, McConaha,
Smith, Maynard, Frye, Blaine and others who felled the forest and laid
foundations at and near Seattle; Briggs, Hastings, Van Bokkelin,
Hammond, Pettygrove with others founded Port Townsend, while Lansdale,
Crockett, Alexander, Cranney, Kellogg, Hancock, Izett, Busby, Ebey and
Coupe, led the van for Whidby Island; Eldridge and Roeder at Bellingham
Bay; toward the head of navigation, McAllister, Bush, Simmons, Packwood,
Chambers, Shelton, are a few of those who blazed the way.

The blows of the sturdy forest-felling kings rang out from many a
favored spot on the shores of the great Inland Sea, cheerful signals for
the thousands to come after them.


These, and the long list of the Here Unnamed, waged the warfare of
beginnings, which required such large courage, independence,
persistence, faith and uncompromising toil, as the velvet-shod
aftercomers can scarcely conceive of.

Simultaneously with the early subjugation of the country, the political,
educational, commercial and social initiatory movements were made of
whose present development the people of Puget Sound may well be proud.

Since the organization of the Washington Pioneer Association in October,
1883, the old pioneers and their children have met year by year in the
lavish month of June to recount their adventures, toils and privations,
and enjoy the sympathy begotten of similar experiences, in the midst of
modern ease and plenty.

A concourse of this kind in Seattle evoked the following words of

     "No organization, no matter what its nature might be, could
     afford the people of Seattle more gratification by holding its
     assemblage in their midst than is afforded them by the action of
     the Pioneers' Association of Washington Territory in holding its
     annual gathering in this city. Unlike conventions and gatherings
     in which only a portion of the community is interested, the
     meeting of the pioneers is interesting to all. To some, of
     course, the event is of more importance than to others, but all
     have an interest in the Pioneers' Association, all have a pride
     in the achievement of its members, and all can feel that they
     are the beneficiaries of the struggle and hardships of which the
     pioneers tell.

     "The reminiscences of the pioneers from the history of the first
     life breathings of our commonwealth--of a commonwealth which,
     though in its infancy, is grand indeed, and which gives promise
     of attaining greatness in the full maturity of its powers of
     which those who laid the foundations of the state scarcely
     dreamed. The pioneers are the fathers of the commonwealth; their
     struggles and their hardships were the struggles and the
     hardships of a state coming into being. They cleared the forests,
     not for themselves alone, but for posterity and for all time. As
     they subdued a wild and rugged land and prepared it to sustain
     and support its share of the people of the earth, each blow of
     their ax was a blow destined to resound through all time, each
     furrow turned by their ploughshares that the earth might yield
     again and again to their children's children so long as man shall
     inhabit the earth. No stroke of work done in the progress of that
     great labor was done in vain. None of the mighty energy was lost.
     Each tree that fell, fell never to rise. Each nail driven in a
     settler's hut was a nail helping to bind together the fabric of
     the community. Each day's labor was given to posterity more
     surely than if it had been sold for gold to be buried in the
     earth and brought forth by delighted searchers centuries hence.

     "It is for this that we honor the pioneers. It is for this that
     we are proud and happy to have them meet among us. We are their
     heirs. Our inheritance is the fruit of their labor, the reward of
     their fortitude, the recompense of their hardships. The home of
     today, the center of comfort and contentment, the very soul of
     the state, could not have been but for the log cabins of forty
     years ago. The imposing edifice of learning, the complete system
     of education, could not have been but for the crude school house
     of the past. The churches and religious institutions of today are
     the result of the untiring and unselfish labors of the itinerant
     preacher who wandered back and forth, now painfully picking his
     way through the forest, now threading with his frail canoe the
     silver streams, now gliding over the calm waters of the Sound,
     ever laying broad and deep the true foundations of the grand
     civilization that was to be. The flourishing cities, the steel
     rails that bind us to the world, the stately steamers that,
     behemoth-like, journey to and fro in our waters,--these things
     could not be but for the rude straggling hamlets, the bridle path
     cut with infinite labor through the most impenetrable of forests,
     and the canoe which darted arrow-like through gloomy passages,
     over bright bays and up laughing waters.

     "All honor to the pioneers--all honor and welcome. We say it who
     are their heirs, we whose homes are on the land which they
     reclaimed from the forests, we who till the fields that they
     first tilled, we whose pride and glory is the grand land-locked
     sea on which they gazed delighted so many years ago. Welcome to
     them, and may they come together again and again as the years
     pass away. When their eyes are dim with age and their hair is as
     white as the snows that cover the mountains they love, may they
     still see the land which they created the home of a great, proud
     people, a people loving the land they love, a people honoring and
     obeying the laws that they have honored and obeyed so long, a
     people honoring, glorying in, the flag which they bore over
     treeless plains, over lofty mountains, over raging torrents,
     through suffering and danger, always proudly, always confidently,
     always hopefully, until they planted it by the shore of the
     Western sea in the most beautiful of all lands. May each old
     settler, as he journeys year by year toward the shoreless sea,
     over whose waters he must journey away, feel that the flag which
     he carried so far and so bravely will wave forever in the soft
     southwestern breeze, which kisses his furrowed brow and toys with
     his silvery hair. May he feel, too, that the love of the people
     is with him, that they watch him, lovingly, tenderly, as he
     journeys down the pathway, and the story of his deeds is graven
     forever on their minds, and love and honor forever on their

And so do I, a descendent of a long line of pioneers in America,
reiterate, "Honor the Pioneers."

[Illustration: MRS. LYDIA C. LOW]


Mrs. Low was one of the party that landed at Alki, Nov. 13th, 1851,
having crossed the plains with her husband and children.

I have heard her tell of seeing my father, D. T. Denny, the lone white
occupant of Alki, as she stepped ashore from the boat that carried the
passengers from the schooner.

The Lows did not make a permanent settlement there, but moved to a farm
back of Olympia, thence to Sonoma, Cal., and back again to Puget Sound,
where they made their home at Snohomish for many years. Mrs. Low was the
mother of a large family of nine children, who shared her pioneer life.
Some died in childhood, accidents befell others, a part were more
fortunate, yet she seemed in old age serene, courageous, undaunted as
ever, faithful and true, lovely and beloved.

She passed from earth away on Dec. 11th, 1901, her husband, John D. Low,
having preceded her a number of years before.


Both Mr. and Mrs. Izett of Whidby Island are pioneers of note. Mrs.
Izett crossed the plains in 1847, and in 1852 came to the Sound on a
visit, at the same time Mr. Izett happened to arrive. He persuaded her
not to return to her old home. Mr. Izett in 1850 went to India from
England by way of Cape Horn, and two years later came to Seattle. For
four years he secured spars for the British government at Utsalady. In
1859 he built the first boat of any size to be constructed on Puget
Sound. This was a 100-ton schooner, and she was built at Oak Harbor. In
1862 he framed two of the first Columbia river steamers. Mrs. Izett is a
sister of Mrs. F. A. Chenoweth, whose husband was a judge, with four
associates, of the first Washington territorial tribunal. Another of the
members was Judge McFadden. Mr. Izett knew well Gen. Isaac I. Stevens,
the first governor of the territory. He came to Washington in the fall
of 1859, and issued his first proclamation as governor the following
February. The legislature met soon after.


John Wesley Maple was not only one of the oldest settlers of this (King)
county, but he was one of its most prominent men. He figured to some
extent in political life, but during the last few years had retired to
the homestead by the Duwamish, where his father had settled after
crossing the plains nearly fifty years ago, and where he himself met his
death yesterday. (In March of 1902.)

He was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, January 1, 1840. As a little boy
he spent his childhood days near the farm of the McKinleys, and often
during his later years he was fond of relating apple stealing
expeditions in which he indulged as a little boy, and for which the
father of the late President McKinley often chastised him. From Ohio his
father, Jacob Maple, moved to Keokuk, Ia., where he lived near the farm
on which Mayor Humes, of Seattle, was reared.

In 1856, Jacob Maple, the father, and Samuel Maple, the brother of John
W., came to Puget Sound. In 1862 the rest of the family followed them.
In crossing the plains John W. Maple was made captain of the four wagon
trains which were united in the expedition. He guided them to Pendleton,
Ore., where they separated. Thence he came to the Duwamish river, where
his father and brother had settled.

Later Mr. Maple and Samuel Snyder took up a homestead on Squak slough. A
few years after that Mr. Maple went to Ellensburg. He finally returned
to spend the rest of his life on the homestead.


In the early days he was several times elected to county offices. He was
at one time supervisor for the road district extending from Yesler way
to O'Brien station and to Renton. In 1896 he was elected treasurer of
King county on the Populist ticket. He furnished a bond of $1,600,000.
At the end of his term a shortage was found. Every cent of this was
finally made good by him to those who stood on his bond.

In 1897 Mr. Maple received a complimentary vote on the part of several
members of the state legislature for the office of United States
senator. For this office his neighbors indorsed him, and August
Toellnor, of Van Asselt, was sent by them to Olympia to see what could
be done to further the candidacy. Since the end of his term as treasurer
Mr. Maple has held no office, save that of school director in his
district. Only a week ago Mr. Maple announced to his friends that he had
left the Populist party and had returned to the Republican party, to
which he had belonged prior to the wave of Populism which swept over the
West in the early nineties.

During all of his life he was an ardent student of literature, and he
possessed one of the finest libraries in the state. He was known as a
strong orator, and was during his younger days an exhorter in the
Methodist Protestant church, of which he was a member.

Mr. Maple was married twice. His first wife, who died more than twenty
years ago, was Elizabeth Snyder, a daughter of Samuel Snyder, one of the
oldest residents of the Duwamish valley. Six children were the fruit of
this union, Charles, Alvin B., Cora, now Mrs. Frank Patten; Dora, now
Mrs. Charles Norwich; Bessie, now dead, and Clifford J. Maple. His
second wife was Minnie Borella. Three children were born to her,
Telford C., Lelah and Beulah Maple.

Of his brothers and sisters the following are living: Mrs. Katherine Van
Asselt and Mr. Eli B. Maple, of this city; Mrs. Jane Cavanaugh, of
California; Mrs. Elvira Jones and Mrs. Ruth Smith, of Kent, and Aaron
Maple, who now lives on the old Maple homestead in Iowa.


"The summer in which the gold excitement broke out in the Colville
country, in 1855," said Thomas Prosch, "several members of a party of
gold hunters from Seattle were massacred by the Indians in the Yakima
Valley while on their way to the gold fields. The party went through
Snoqualmie Pass in crossing the mountains. The territorial legislature
sent word to Washington and the government undertook to punish the
guilty tribes by a detachment of troops under Maj. Haller. This was
defeated and war followed for several years. It was most violent in King
county in 1855 and 1856, and in Eastern Washington in 1857 and 1858. The
principal incidents in the West were the massacre of the whites in 1855
and the attack upon Seattle the following year. In 1857 Col. Steptoe
sustained a memorable defeat on the Eastern side of the mountains, and
the hostilities were terminated by the complete annihilation of the
Indian forces in the same locality the following year by Col. Wright. He
killed 1,000 horses and hanged many of the Indians besides the
frightful carnage of the battlefield."

Mr. Prosch and his father, Charles Prosch, with several other members of
his family, arrived in the state and in Seattle between the years 1849
and 1857. Gen. M. M. Carver, the founder of Tacoma, who was Mrs. Thomas
Prosch's father, came to the territory in 1843 with Dr. Whitman, who was
massacred, with Applegate and Nesmith.

Time and strength would fail me did I attempt to obtain and record
accounts of many well known pioneers; I must leave them to other more
capable writers. However, I will briefly mention some who were prominent
during my childhood.

The Hortons, Dexter Horton and Mrs. Horton, the latter a stout,
rosy-cheeked matron whose house and garden, particularly the dahlias
growing in the yard, elicited my childish admiration. I remember how
certain little pioneer girls were made happy by a visit from her, at
which time she fitted them with her own hands some pretty grey merino
dresses trimmed with narrow black velvet ribbon. Also how one of them
was impressed by the sorrow she could not conceal, the tears ran down
her cheeks as she spoke of a child she had lost.

One family have never forgotten the Santa Claus visit to their cottage
home, the same being impersonated by Dexter Horton, who departed after
leaving some substantial tokens of his good will.

The pioneer ministers of the Gospel were among the most fearless of
foundation builders. Reverends Wm. Close, Alderson, Franklin, Doane,
Bagley, Whitworth, Belknap, Greer, Mann, Atwood, Hyland, Prefontaine,
and others; of Rev. C. Alderson, who often visited my father and mother,
Hon. Allen Weir has this to say:

     "I remember very clearly when, during the 'sixties,' Brother
     Alderson used to visit the settlement in which my father's family
     lived at Dungeness, in Clallam county, Washington Territory. He
     was then stationed at White River, twelve miles or more south of
     Seattle. There was no Tacoma in those days. To reach Dungeness,
     Brother Alderson had to walk over a muddy road a dozen miles or
     more to Seattle, then by the old steamer Eliza Anderson to Port
     Townsend, and then depend upon an Indian canoe twenty-five miles
     to the old postoffice at Elliot Cline's house. After his arrival
     it would require several days to get word passed around among the
     neighbors so as to get a preaching announcement circulated.
     Sometimes he would preach at Mr. Cline's house, sometimes at
     Alonzo Davis', and sometimes at my father's. He was literally
     blazing the trail where now is an highway. The first announcement
     of these services in the Dungeness river bottom was when a
     bearded, muddy-booted old bachelor from Long Prairie stopped to
     halloo to father and interrupt log piling and stump clearing long
     enough to say: 'H-a-y! Mr. Weir! The's a little red-headed
     Englishman goin' to preach at Cline's on Sunday! Better go an'
     git your conschense limbered up.' Everybody knew the road to
     Cline's. At each meeting the audience was limited to the number
     of settlers within a dozen miles. All had to attend or proclaim
     themselves confirmed heathen. The preacher, who came literally as
     the 'Voice of one crying in the wilderness,' was manifestly not
     greatly experienced at that time in his work--but he was
     intensely earnest, courageous, outspoken, a faithful messenger;
     and under his ministrations many were reminded of their old-time
     church privileges 'back in old Mizzoory,' in 'Kentuck,' or in
     'Eelinoy,' or elsewhere. I remember that to my boyish imagination
     it seemed a wonderful amount of 'grit' was required to carry on
     his gospel work. He made an impression as an honest toiler in the
     vineyard, and was accepted at par value for his manly qualities.
     He was welcomed to the hospitable homes of the people. If we
     could not always furnish yellow-legged chickens for dinner we
     always had a plentiful supply of bear meat or venison.

     "After Brother Alderson returned to Oregon I never met him again,
     except at an annual conference in Albany (in 1876, I think it
     was), but I always remembered him kindly as a sturdy soldier of
     the Cross who improved his opportunities to administer reproof
     and exhortation. The memory is a benediction."

Of agreeable memory is Mrs. S. D. Libby, to whom the pioneer women were
glad to go for becoming headgear--and the hats were very pretty, too, as
well as the wearers, in those days. Good straw braids were valued and
frequently made over by one who had learned the bleacher's and shaper's
art in far Illinois.

A little pioneer girl used often to rip the hats to the end that the
braids might be made to take some new and fashionable form.

"The beautiful Bonney girls," Emmeline, Sarah and Lucy, afterward well
known as Mrs. Shorey, Mrs. G. Kellogg and Mrs. Geo. Harris, might each
give long and interesting accounts of early times. Others I think of are
the John Ross family, whose sons and daughters are among the few native
white children of pioneer families of Seattle (the Ross family were our
nearest neighbors for a long time, and good neighbors they were, too);
the Peter Andrews family, the Maynards, who were among the earliest and
most prominent settlers; Mrs. Maynard did many a kindness to the sick;
the Samuel Coombs family, of whom "Sam Coombs," the patriarch, known to
all, is a great lover and admirer of pioneers; Ray Coombs, his son, the
artist, and Louisa, his daughter, one of the belles of early times; the
L. B. Andrews family; Mr. Andrews was a friend of Grandfather John
Denny, and himself a pioneer of repute; his fair, pleasant, blue-eyed
daughter was my schoolmate at the old U., then new; the Hanfords, valued
citizens, now so distinguished and so well known; Mrs. Hanford's account
of the stirring events of early days was recognized and drawn from by
the historian Bancroft in compiling his great work; the De Lins; the
Burnetts, long known and much esteemed; the Sires family; the Harmons,
Woodins, Campbells, Plummers, Hinds, Weirs of Dungeness, later of
Olympia, of whom Allen Weir is well known and distinguished; yes, and
Port Gamble, Port Madison, Steilacoom and Olympia people, what volumes
upon volumes might have been, might be written--it will take many a
basket to hold the chips to be picked up after their and our _Blazing
the Way_.


    Heroic Pioneers!
    Of kings and conquerors fully peers;
    Well may the men of later day
    Proclaim your deeds, crown you with bay;
    Forest-fallers, reigning kings,
    In that far time that memory brings.
    Nor savage beast, nor savage man,
    Majestic forests' frowning ban,
    Could palsy arms or break the hearts,
    Till wilds gave way to busy marts;
    You served your time and country well,
    Let tuneful voices paeans swell!
    O, steadfast Pioneers!
    Bowed 'neath the snows of many years,
    Your patient courage never fails,
    Your strong true prayers arise,
    E'en from the heavenly trails
    To "mansions in the skies."
    To noble ones midst daily strife,
    And those who've crossed the plains of life,
    Far past the fiery, setting sun,
    The dead and living loved as one,
    (Tolls often now the passing bell)
    We greeting give and bid farewell.

    O Mother Pioneers!
    We greet you through our smiles and tears;
    You laid foundations deep,
    Climbed oft the sun-beat rocky steep
    Of sorrow's mountain wild,
    Descended through the shadowy vales
    Led by the little child.
    Within, without your cabins rude
    As toiling builders well you wrought,
    With busy hands and constant hearts,
    And eager children wisdom taught;
    Long be delayed the passing bell,
    Long be it ere we say "Farewell!"

    Beloved Pioneers!
    Whom glory waits in coming years,
    You planted here with careful hand
    The youngest scion in our land
    Cut from the tree of Liberty;
    To fullest stature it shall grow,
    With fruitful branches bending low,
    Your worth then shall the people know.
    When all your work on earth is done,
    Your marches o'er and battles won,
    (No more will toll the passing bell)
    They'll watch and wait at Heaven's gate
    To bid you Hail! and nevermore, Farewell!

       *       *       *       *       *


    Punctuation has been normalized.

    Footnote has been moved closer to its reference.

    Archaic and alternate spellings have been retained with the
    exception of those listed below:

    page 19: "intenton" changed to "intention" (It is my intention

    page 19: "desirablity" changed to "desirability" (beauty and
    general desirability).

    page 36: "strivinig" changed to "striving" (impotently striving to

    page 38: "clapsed" changed to "clasped" (how she clasped her
    little child).

    page 49: "Capt" changed to "Cape" (around Cape Flattery and up the

    page 52: "comformation" changed to "conformation" (and the
    conformation of the leg bones).

    page 54: "To" changed to "Too" (Too littlee boat for too muchee
    big waters).

    page 61: "of" changed to "off" (the salmon they got off the

    page 66: "[A]pheasant'" changed to "[A]pheasant's" (bringing
    some wild [A]pheasant's eggs the men).

    page 73: "funiture" changed to "furniture" (the furniture of their

    page 74: "buldings" changed to "buildings" (historic buildings
    erected and occupied).

    page 79: "to" changed to "too" (where my men go, I go too).

    page 85 and 263: "Klikitats" changed to "Klickitats" to match
    spelling using in other places in the book.

    page 86 and 277: "whiskey" changed to "whisky" to match spelling
    in other places in the book.

    page 90: "descrtuction" changed to "destruction" (looked
    sorrowfully upon the vandal destruction).

    page 103: "wth" changed to "with" (Not yet satisfied with the work
    of execution).

    page 114: "exhilirating" changed to "exhilarating" (found to be an
    exhilarating pastime).

    page 114: "baloonlike" changed to "balloonlike" (a balloonlike

    page 119: "prespiration" changed to "perspiration" (and
    perspiration ooze from every pore).

    page 119: "necleus" changed to "nucleus" (to be the nucleus of a
    great collection).

    page 129: "isnt'" changed to "isn't" (Well, it isn't yours).

    page 131: "Denny's" changed to "Dennys'" (to and fro in the
    Dennys' cottage).

    page 141: "childrens'" changed to "children's" (The children's

    page 147: "occured" changed to "occurred" (The first occurred when
    I was a small child).

    page 149: "well-night" changed to "well-nigh" (its head was
    well-nigh severed from its body).

    page 154: "swop" changed to "swap" (so he told the Indian he would
    swap his girl).

    page 154: "cattles'" changed to "cattle's" (the cattle's feet

    page 156: "Taulatin" changed to "Tualatin" (Then we moved out to
    the Tualatin Plains).

    page 159: "was" changed to "what" (Arriving at what was called)

    page 164: "already" changed to "all ready" (We were all ready to

    page 169: "hasty-constructed" changed to "hastily-constructed" (to
    cross them in hastily-constructed boats).

    page 170: "hardlly" changed to "hardly" (I can hardly imagine how
    any one could understand).

    page 210: "convenince" changed to "convenience" (what is their
    daily convenience).

    page 240: "withour" changed to "without" (and without murmur).

    page 253: "culumny" changed to "calumny" (humiliation, calumny,
    extreme and underserved).

    page 254: "reptitions" changed to "repetitions" (hence there
    appear some repetitions).

    page 263: "setlement" changed to "settlement" (the women in the

    page 270: "flower-decekd" changed to "flower-decked"
    (flower-decked virgin prairie).

    page 276: "shore" changed to "short" (A short time before).

    page 290: "diging" changed to "digging" (digging out "suwellas").

    page 291: "others" changed to "others'" (best of others'

    page 322: "accidently" changed to "accidentally" (he was
    accidentally wounded).

    page 325: "tims" changed to "times" (few of us here in those early

    page 357: "obejct" changed to "object" (And man's the object of
    His constant care).

    page 360: "have" added to text (and would, if living, have made).

    page 361: "pollysyllabic" changed to "polysyllabic" (polysyllabic
    language not more like).

    page 363: "explantion" changed to "explanation" (an explanation of
    his mission).

    page 366: "rememben" changed to "remember" (but I do not remember

    page 384: "supose" changed to "suppose" (Don't you suppose I can).

    page 390: "rythmic" changed to "rhythmic" (Fills our pulses
    rhythmic beat).

    page 393: "protuded" changed to "protruded" (their feet protruded

    page 412: "Or." changed to "Ore." for consistency (Columbia county,

    page 422: "tself" changed to "itself" (and had buried itself in
    the earth).

    page 423: "ecstacy" changed to "ecstasy" (in a mute ecstasy of
    mellow satisfaction).

    page 424: "Atkin" changed to "Atkins" (Dick Atkins).

    page 432: "orothodoxy" changed to "orthodoxy" ('my orthodoxy has
    been a little shaky of late).

    page 453: "hundrd" changed to "hundred" (at three hundred and
    sixteen dollars per acre).

    page 454: "foolhardly" changed to "foolhardy" (he was simply

    page 455: "finishishing" changed to "finishing" (while the white
    pin of the finishing).

    page 482: "the the" changed to "the" (and the family moved in).

    page 488: "childred" changed to "children" (their children never

    page 499: "massacreed" changed to "massacred" (who was massacred).

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blazing The Way - True Stories, Songs and Sketches of Puget Sound" ***

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