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Title: Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XXX - Palmer's Journal of Travels Over the Rocky Mountains, 1845-1846
Author: Palmer, Joel
Language: English
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A Series of Annotated Reprints of some of the best
and rarest contemporary volumes of travel,
descriptive of the Aborigines and Social
and Economic Conditions in the Middle
and Far West, during the Period
of Early American Settlement

Edited with Notes, Introductions, Index, etc., by

Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL. D.

Editor of "The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents," "Original
Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition," "Hennepin's New
Discovery," etc.

Volume XXX

Palmer's Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains,

[Illustration: decoration]

Cleveland, Ohio
The Arthur H. Clark Company

Copyright 1906, by
The Arthur H. Clark Company

All Rights Reserved

The Lakeside Press
R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company


  PREFACE. _The Editor_                                             9

    1845 AND 1846: containing minute descriptions of
    the Valleys of the Willamette, Umpqua, and Clamet; a
    general description of Oregon Territory; its inhabitants,
    climate, soil, productions, etc., etc.; a list of Necessary
    Outfits for Emigrants; and a Table of Distances from
    Camp to Camp on the Route. Also; A Letter from the
    Rev. H. H. Spalding, resident Missionary, for the last ten
    years, among the Nez Percé Tribe of Indians, on the
    Kooskooskee River; The Organic Laws of Oregon Territory;
    Tables of about 300 words of the Chinook Jargon, and
    about 200 Words of the Nez Percé Language; a Description
    of Mount Hood; Incidents of Travel, &c., &c.
    _Joel Palmer._

      Copyright Notice                                             24

      Author's Dedication                                          25

      Publishers' Advertisement                                    27

      Text: Journal, April 16, 1845-July 23, 1846                  29

      Necessary Outfits for Emigrants traveling to Oregon         257

      Words used in the Chinook Jargon                            264

      Words used in the Nez Percé Language                        271

      Table of Distances from Independence, Missouri;
      and St. Joseph, to Oregon City, in Oregon Territory         277


        Letter of the Rev. H. H. Spalding to Joel Palmer,
        Oregon Territory, April 7, 1846                           283

        Organic Laws of Oregon (with amendments).                 299




In the wake of the pathfinders, fur-traders, Indian scouts,
missionaries, scientific visitors, and foreign adventurers came the
ultimate figure among early Western travellers, the American pioneer
settler, the fore-runner of the forces of occupation and civilization.
This concluding volume in our series is, therefore, fitly devoted to the
record of an actual home-seeker, and founder of new Western communities.

The significant feature of American history has been the transplanting
of bodies of colonists from one frontier to a newer frontier. In respect
to the Oregon country, our interest therein is enhanced not only by the
great distance and the abundant perils of the way, but also by the
political result in securing the territory to the United States, and the
growth of a prosperous commonwealth in the Far Northwest corner of our
broad domain. In several previous volumes of our series we have
witnessed the beginnings of Oregon civilization. Two of our travellers,
Franchère and Ross, have graphically detailed the Astoria episode,
giving us, not without some literary skill, the skeleton of facts which
Irving's masterful pen clothed with living flesh and healthful color; in
Townsend's pages we found an enduring picture of the régime of the
all-powerful Hudson's Bay Company; De Smet, with faithful, indeed
loving, touches has portrayed the vanishing aborigines, whose sad story
has yet fully to be told--eventually, when the last vestige of their
race has gone, we shall come to recognize the tale as the sorriest
chapter in our annals; Farnham shrewdly narrates the sharp transition to
American occupancy; but Palmer tells us of the triumphant progress of
the conquering pioneer, and in his pages the destiny of Oregon as an
American state is clearly foreshadowed.

"Fifty-four forty, or fight," the belligerent slogan with regard to
Oregon, adopted in the presidential campaign of 1844, was after all not
so much a notice to the British government that the United States
considered the Oregon country her own, beyond recall, as an appeal to
the pioneers of the West to secure this vast inheritance by actual
occupation. As such it proved a trumpet call to thousands of vigorous
American farmers, most of them already possessed of comfortable homes in
the growing communities of the Middle West.

"I have an uncle," declared one of the pioneers to Dr. John McLoughlin,
Hudson's Bay factor on the Pacific coast, "who is rich enough to buy out
your company and all this territory."

"Indeed!" replied the doctor, courteously, "who is he?"

"Uncle Sam," gayly responded the emigrant, with huge enjoyment in his
well-worn witticism. It was at the supposed behest of this same "Uncle
Sam" that farms were sold, wagons and oxen purchased, outfits prepared,
and long caravans of permanent settlers slowly and painfully crossed the
vast plains and rugged mountains lying between the comfortable
settlements of the "Old Northwest"--the "Middle West" of our day--and
the new land of promise in the Far Northwest of the Pacific Slope.

The emigration of 1845 exceeded all that had gone before. That of 1843,
eight hundred strong, had startled the Indians, and surprised the staid
officials of the Hudson's Bay Company. That of 1844 had occupied the
fertile valleys from Puget Sound on the north to Calapooia on the south.
That of 1845 determined that the territory should be the home of
Americans; it doubled the population already on the ground, reinforced
the compact form of government, and laid broad and deep the foundations
of new American commonwealths.

Our author, Joel Palmer, a shrewd, genial farmer from Indiana, was a
leader among these emigrants of 1845. Born across the Canada line in
1810, he nevertheless was of New York parentage, and American to the
core. In early life his family removed to Indiana, where Joel founded a
home at Laurel, in northwest Franklin County. By the suffrages of his
neighbors Palmer was sent to the state legislature in 1844, but the
following year determined to make a tour to Oregon for personal
observation, before deciding to remove his family thither and cast his
future lot with its pioneer settlers. Arrived on the Missouri frontier,
he found that the usual wagon train had gone in advance. However, he
overtook the great body of the emigrants in time to assist in the
organization of the caravan on Big Soldier's Creek, in Kansas.

Gathered from all parts of the Middle West, with no attempt at
organization nor any pre-arrangement whatsoever, the emigrants, who had
not yet forgotten the frontier traditions of their fathers, proved to
be a homogeneous body of about three thousand alert, capable travellers,
provided in general with necessities and even comforts for the hardships
of the long journey; indeed, after the manner of their Aryan forbears in
the great westerly migrations of the past, they were accompanied by
herds of cattle, to form the basis of agricultural life in the new land.
Each of the several hundred wagons was a travelling house, provided with
tents, beds, and cooking utensils; clothing and food were also carried,
sufficient not only for the journey out, but for subsistence through the
first year, always the crucial stage of agricultural pioneering. The
draught cattle were largely oxen, but many of the men rode horses, and
others drove them with their cows and bulls.

Aside from the duties of the nightly encampment and morning "catch-up,"
life upon the migration progressed much as in settled communities. There
were instances of courtship, marriage, illness, and death, and not
infrequently births, among the migrating families. These, together with
the ever-shifting panorama of sky, plains, and mountains, made the
incidents of the long and tedious journey. Occasionally there appeared
upon the horizon an Indian gazing silently at these invaders of his
tribal domain, and at times he came even to the wagon wheels to beg or
trade; the mere numbers of the travellers gave him abundant caution not
to attempt hostilities. The wagons were so numerous as to render a
compact caravan troublesome to manage and disagreeable to travel with.
The great cavalcade soon broke into smaller groups, over one of which,
composed of thirty wagons, Palmer was chosen captain.

At Fort Laramie they rested, and feasted the Indians, who, in wonderment
and not unnatural consternation, swarmed about them in the guise of
beggars. Palmer afterwards harangued the aboriginal visitors, telling
them frankly that their entertainers were no traders, they "were going
to plough and plant the ground," that their relatives were coming behind
them, and these he hoped the red men would treat kindly and allow free
passage--a thinly veiled suggestion that the white army of occupation
had come to stay and must not be interfered with by the native
population, or vengeance would follow.

From Fort Laramie the invaders, for from the standpoint of the Indians
such of course were our Western pioneers, followed the usual trail to
the newly-established supply depot at Fort Bridger. Thence they went by
way of Soda Springs to Fort Hall, where was found awaiting them a
delegation from California, seeking, with but slight success, to
persuade a portion of the emigrants in that direction. Following Lewis
River on its long southern bend, the travellers at last reached Fort
Boise, where provisions could be purchased from Hudson's Bay officials,
and a final breathing-spell be taken before attempting the most
difficult part of the journey--the passage of the Blue and Cascade

A considerable company of the emigrants, accompanied by the pilot,
Stephen H. Meek, left the main party near Fort Hall, to force a new
route to the Willamette without following Columbia River. The essay was,
however, disastrous. Meek became bewildered, and was obliged to secrete
himself to escape the revenge of the exasperated travellers, who reached
the Dalles of the Columbia in an exhausted condition, having lost many
of their number through hunger and physical hardships.

Palmer himself continued with the main caravan on the customary route
through the Grande Ronde, down the Umatilla and the Columbia, arriving
at the Dalles by the closing days of September. Here a new difficulty
faced the weary pioneers--there was no wagon road beyond the Dalles;
boats to transport the intending colonists were few, and had been
pre-empted by the early arrivals, while provisions at the Dalles would
soon be exhausted. In this situation Palmer determined to join Samuel K.
Barlow and his company in an attempt to cross the Cascades south of
Mount Hood, and lead the way overland to the Willamette valley. This
proved an arduous task, calling for all the skill and fortitude of
experienced pathfinders. In its course, Palmer ascended Mount Hood,
which he describes as "a sight more nobly grand" than any he had ever
looked upon. At last the valley of the Clackamas was reached, and Oregon
City, the little capital of the new territory, was attained, where "we
were so filled with gratitude that we had reached the settlements of the
white man, and with admiration at the appearance of the large sheet of
water rolling over the Falls, that we stopped, and in this moment of
happiness recounted our toils, in thought, with more rapidity than
tongue can express or pen write." The distance that he had travelled
from Independence, Missouri, our author estimates at 1,960 miles.

Passing the winter of 1845-46 in Oregon, Palmer made a careful
examination of its resources, and in his book describes the country in
much detail. The ensuing spring, after a journey to the Lapwai mission
for horses, he started on the return route, arriving at his home in
Laurel, Indiana, upon the twenty-third of July.

Palmer's experience, although trying, had been sufficiently satisfactory
to justify his intention to make a permanent home in Oregon. In 1847 he
took his family thither, the emigration of that year being sometimes
known as "Palmer's train," he having been elected captain of the entire
caravan, also in recognition of his great utility to the expedition. The
new caravan had but just arrived in Oregon--now belonging definitely to
the United States--when the Whitman massacre aroused the colonists to
punish the Indian participants in order to ensure their own safety. In
the organization of the militia force, Joel Palmer was chosen
quartermaster and commissary general, whence the title of General, by
which he was subsequently known.

He was also made one of two commissioners to attempt to treat with the
recalcitrant tribes, and win to neutrality as many as possible.
Accompanied by Dr. Robert Newell, a former mountain man, and Perrin
Whitman, the murdered man's nephew, as interpreter, Palmer risked his
life in the land of the hostiles, and succeeded in alienating many Nez
Percés and Wallawalla from the guilty Cayuse. Thus was laid the
foundation of that full knowledge of aboriginal character that availed
him in his service as United States superintendent of Indians for

To this difficult position General Palmer was appointed by President
Pierce in 1853, just on the eve of an outbreak in southern Oregon, and
his term of office coincided with the period of Indian wars. After
pacifying the southern tribes, Palmer inaugurated the reservation
system, removing the remnants of the tribes of the Willamette valley and
their southward neighbors to a large tract in Polk and Yamhill counties,
known as Grande Ronde Reservation. This ended the Indian difficulties in
that quarter until the Modoc War, twenty years later.

Palmer found the tribesmen east of the mountains more difficult to
subdue. Scarcely had he and Isaac T. Stevens, governor of Washington
Territory, made a series of treaties (1855) with the Nez Percés, Cayuse,
Wallawalla, and neighboring tribes, when the Yakima War began, and
embroiled both territories until 1858. During these difficulties the
military authorities complained that Commissioner Palmer was too lenient
with former hostiles, and pinned too much faith to their promises.
Consequently the Oregon superintendency was merged with that of
Washington (1857), and James W. Nesmith appointed to the combined

Retiring to his home in Dayton, Yamhill County, which town he had laid
out in 1850, General Palmer was soon called upon to serve in the state
legislature, being speaker of the house of representatives (1862-63),
and state senator (1864-66). During the latter incumbency he declined
being a candidate for United States senator, because of his belief that
a person already holding a public office of emolument should not during
his term be elected to another. In 1870 he was Republican candidate for
governor of the state, but was defeated by a majority of less than seven
hundred votes. From this time forward he lived quietly at Dayton, and
there passed away upon the ninth of June, 1881. His excellent portrait
given in Lyman's _History of Oregon_ (iii, p. 398) is that of an old
man; but the face is still strong and kindly, with a high and broad
forehead, and gentle yet piercing eyes.

One of Palmer's fellow pioneers said of him, "he was a man of ardent
temperament, strong friendships, and full of hope and confidence in his
fellow men." Another calls his greatest characteristic his honesty and
integrity. Widely known and respected in the entire North-West, his
services in the up-building of the new community were of large import.

Not the least of these services was, in our judgment, the publication of
his _Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains_, herein reprinted,
which was compiled during the winter of 1846-47, and planned as a guide
for intending emigrants. The author hoped to have it in readiness for
the train of 1847, but the publishers were dilatory and he only received
about a dozen copies before starting. The book proved useful enough,
however, to require two later editions, one in 1851, another in 1852,
and was much used by emigrants of the sixth decade of the past century.

Palmer makes no pretence of literary finish. He gives us a simple
narrative of each day's happenings during his own first journey in 1845,
taking especial care to indicate the route, each night's camping places,
and all possible cut-offs, springs, grassy oases, and whatever else
might conduce to the well-being of the emigrant and his beasts. The
great care taken by the author, with this very practical end in view,
results in his volume being the most complete description of the Oregon
Trail that we now possess. Later, his account of passing around Mount
Hood and the initial survey of the Barlow road, produces a marked effect
through its simplicity of narrative. His incidents have a quaint
individuality, as for instance the reproof from the Cayuse chief for the
impiety of card-playing. No better description of the Willamette valley
can be found than in these pages, and our author's records of the
climate, early prices in Oregon, and the necessities of an emigrant's
outfit, complete a graphic picture of pioneering days.

In the annotation of the present volume, we have had valuable
suggestions and some material help from Principal William I. Marshall of
Chicago, Professor Edmond S. Meany of the University of Washington, Mr.
George H. Himes of Portland, Dr. Joseph Schafer of the University of
Oregon, and Mr. Edward Huggins, a veteran Hudson's Bay Company official
at Fort Nisqually.

With this volume our series of narratives ends, save for the general
index reserved for volume xxxi. The Western travels which began in
tentative excursions into the Indian country around Pittsburg and
Eastern Ohio in 1748, have carried us to the coast of the Pacific. The
continent has been spanned. Not without some exhibitions of wanton
cruelty on the part of the whites have the aborigines been pushed from
their fertile seats and driven to the mountain wall. The American
frontier has steadily retreated--at first from the Alleghanies to the
Middle West, thence across the Mississippi, and now at the close of our
series it is ascending the Missouri and has sent vanguards to the
Farthest Northwest. The ruts of caravan routes have been deeply sunk
into the plains and deserts, and wheel marks are visible through the
length of several mountain passes. The greater part of the continental
interior has been threaded and mapped. The era of railroad building and
the engineer is at hand. The long journey to the Western ocean has been
ridded of much of its peril, and is less a question of mighty endurance
than confronted the pathfinders. When Francis Parkman, the historian of
New France, going out upon the first stages of the Oregon Trail in
1847--the year following the date of the present volume--saw emigrant
wagons fitted with rocking chairs and cooking stoves, he foresaw the
advent of the commonplace upon the plains, and the end of the romance of

Throughout the entire task of preparing for the press this series of
reprints, the Editor has had the assistance of Louise Phelps Kellogg,
Ph. D., a member of his staff in the Wisconsin Historical Library.
Others have also rendered editorial aid, duly acknowledged in the
several volumes as occasion arose; but from beginning to end,
particularly in the matter of annotation, Dr. Kellogg has been his
principal research colleague, and he takes great pleasure in asking for
her a generous share of whatever credit may accrue from the undertaking.
Annie Amelia Nunns, A. B., also of his library staff, has rendered most
valuable expert aid, chiefly in proofreading and indexing. The Editor
cannot close his last word to the Reader without gratefully calling
attention, as well, to the admirable mechanical and artistic dress with
which his friends the Publishers have generously clothed the series, and
to bear witness to their kindly suggestions, active assistance, and
unwearied patience, during the several years of preparation and

                                                              R. G. T.

  MADISON, WIS., August, 1906.

                           MOUNTAINS, 1845-1846

            Reprint of original edition: Cincinnati, 1847

                            JOURNAL OF TRAVELS

                                 OVER THE

                             ROCKY MOUNTAINS,

                                  TO THE

                       MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER;

                   MADE DURING THE YEARS 1845 AND 1846:



                        A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF

                            OREGON TERRITORY;


                                A LIST OF


                                  AND A

            Table of Distances from Camp to Camp on the Route.


    A Letter from the Rev. H. H. Spalding, resident Missionary, for the
      last ten years, among the Nez Percé Tribe of Indians, on the
      Kooskooskee River; The Organic Laws of Oregon Territory, Tables
      of about 300 words of the Chinook Jargon, and about 200 Words
      of the Nez Percé Language; a Description of Mount Hood; Incidents
      of Travel, &c., &c.

                             BY JOEL PALMER.

                  J. A. & U. P. JAMES, WALNUT STREET,
                        BETWEEN FOURTH AND FIFTH.

        ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, by
                           J. A. & U. P. JAMES,
           In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Ohio.

                                  TO THE
                           PIONEERS OF THE WEST,
                          AND THEIR DESCENDANTS,
                    AND PROTECT AND DEFEND IT IN WAR,
                              THIS WORK
                                      IS RESPECTFULLY


In offering to the public a new work on Oregon, the publishers feel
confident that they are performing an acceptable service to all who are
desirous of obtaining full and correct information of that extensive and
interesting region.

The facts contained in this Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains
were obtained, by the author, from personal inspection and observation;
or derived from intelligent persons, some of whom had resided in the
country for ten years previously. It contains, as is believed, much very
valuable information never before published, respecting the Oregon

Mr. Palmer's statements and descriptions are direct and clear, and may
be relied on for their accuracy. He observed with the eye of an
intelligent farmer the hills and valleys; timbered land and prairies,
soil, grass, mill sites, &c.; all of which he has particularly

To the man about to emigrate to Oregon just the kind of information
needed is given. He is informed what is the best season for setting out;
the kinds and quantities of necessary outfits; where they may be
purchased to the best advantage, so as to save money, time and useless
hauling of provisions, and to promote comfort and prevent suffering on
the long journey.

{vi} A particular account of Oregon City is given; the number of houses
and inhabitants; the number and kinds of mechanical trades carried on;
and the prices current during the author's stay there.

The objects of natural curiosity on the route--the Solitary Tower--the
Chimney Rock--Independence Rock--the Hot Springs--the Devil's Gate--the
South Pass--the Soda Springs, and many others--are noticed.

The work is enlivened with anecdotes of mountaineer life--shooting
buffalo--hunting bear--taking fish, &c.

Mr. Palmer made the ascent of one of the highest peaks of Mount Hood,
almost alone, and with a very scanty supply of provisions. An
extraordinary achievement, when the circumstances under which it was
accomplished are taken into consideration.

  _Cincinnati, January, 1847._


Having concluded, from the best information I was able to obtain, that
the Oregon Territory offers great inducements to emigrants, I determined
to visit it with a view of satisfying myself in regard to it, and of
ascertaining by personal observation whether its advantages were
sufficient to warrant me in the effort to make it my future home.[1] I
started, accordingly, on the morning of the 16th of April, 1845, in
company with Mr. Spencer Buckley. We expected to be joined by several
young men from Rushville, Ind., but they all abandoned the enterprise,
and gave us no other encouragement than their good wishes for our
success and safety. I took leave of my family, friends and home, with a
truly melancholy heart. I had long looked forward and suffered in
imagination the pain of this anticipated separation; but I had not
tasted of its _realities_, and none but those who have parted with a
family under similar circumstances, can form any just conception of the
depth and power of the emotions which pervaded my breast on that
occasion. The undertaking before me was arduous. It _might_ and
doubtless _would_ be attended with various and unknown difficulties,
privations and dangers. A doubt arose in my mind, whether the
advantages, which were expected to result from the trip, would be likely
to compensate for the time and expense necessary to accomplish it: but I
believed that I was right, hoped for the best, and pressed onward.

We were favoured with a pleasant day and good roads, which tended in
some degree to dissipate the gloom which {10} had weighed down my
spirits upon leaving _home_. Our day's travel ended at Blue River, on
the banks of which we encamped for the first time on the long and
tedious journey before us.[2]

_April 17._ Arrived at Indianapolis, in the afternoon, where we expected
to meet a number of persons, who had expressed a determination to join
the party.[3] But here too, as in the case of our Rushville friends, we
were doomed to meet disappointment;--not one was found willing to join
us in our expedition. After having had our horses well shod, (we
traveled in an ordinary wagon drawn by two horses,) and having laid in a
supply of medicines, we put up for the night.

_April 18._ We this day had a sample of what might be called the
_mishaps_ of travelers--an encounter with a wild animal, the first which
we met in our journey. One of our horses becoming lame, we were obliged
to trade him away, and received in exchange one so wild, that it
required the greatest vigilance and exertion on our part to prevent him
from running away with our whole concern. We reached Mount Meridian
after a day's journey of about thirty-four miles, during which we
succeeded admirably in taming our wild horse.[4]

_April 24._ Reached the Mississippi, opposite to St. Louis, having
traveled daily, and made the best of our time after leaving Mount

_April 25._ We made a few purchases this morning, consisting chiefly of
Indian trinkets, tobacco, powder, lead, &c. and, soon after, resumed our
journey upon the road to St. Charles, the seat of justice for St.
Charles county.[5] We reached this place at the close of the day, and
encamped upon the banks of the Missouri, which appears to be about as
wide as the Ohio at Cincinnati, in a fair stage of water; the current is
quite strong; the water very thick and muddy. Here, we overtook a
company of Germans, from St. Louis, who had started for California. The
company consisted of four men, two women and three children; they
traveled with a wagon drawn by six mules, and a cart drawn by two,--a
very poor means of conveyance for such a long and tedious route. We
traveled the same road until we reached Fort Hall.

_April 26._ At nine o'clock A. M. we crossed the river and traveled
twenty-eight miles. The surface of the country is somewhat undulating;
the soil, though poorly watered, appears to be good, and produces
respectable crops.

_April 27._ We traveled thirty-one miles. The day was rainy {11} and
unpleasant. The country through which we passed is a rolling prairie:
some parts of it are very well timbered. On account of the scarcity of
springs, the people rely generally upon their supplies of _rain_ water.
There we were joined by a clever backwoodsman, by the name of Dodson,
who was making the best of his lonely journey to join an emigrating
party at Independence; upon his consenting to bear an equal share in our
expenses and outfit at that place, we took him in, and traveled

_April 28._ We started this morning at sunrise, and traveled to Lute
creek, a distance of six and a half miles.[6] This stream was so much
swollen, in consequence of the recent rains, that we were unable to ford
it, and were forced to encamp upon its banks, and remain all day. While
there, we were greatly annoyed by the _wood-tick_--an insect resembling,
in size and in other respects, the _sheep-tick_. These insects, with
which the bushes and even the ground seemed to be covered, fastened
themselves with such tenacity upon our flesh, that when picking them off
in the morning, the head would remain sticking fast to the skin, causing
in most cases a painful wound.

_April 29._ We traveled about twenty-six miles, through a gently
undulating country: the principal crops consisted of corn, oats, tobacco
and some wheat. We passed through Williamsburgh and Fulton. The latter
town is the seat of justice for Callaway county.[7]

_April 30._ We made an advance of about thirty miles through a well
timbered country, and passed through Columbia, the seat of justice for
Boone county. The town is pleasant and surrounded by a fertile and
attractive country. We made our halt and encamped for the night, five
miles westward of this town.

_May 1._ We started this morning at the usual hour, and after a ride of
eight miles, reached and re-crossed the Missouri, at Rocheport, and
continued our journey until night, passing through Booneville, the
county seat of Cooper--a rich and fertile county, making in all a ride
of twenty-six miles.[8]

_May 2._ Passed through the town of Marshall, the seat of justice for
Saline county. The town stands upon an elevated prairie, upon which may
be found a few groves of shrubby timber. The country upon this [the
west] side appeared to be much better supplied with water, than that
upon the east side.[9]

_May 3._ We traveled about twenty-eight miles, over a thinly-settled
{12} prairie country. The crops, cultivated generally by negroes,
consisted of hemp, corn, oats, and a little wheat and tobacco. The soil
appeared to be good, but the scarcity of timber will prove a serious
barrier to a complete settlement of the country.

_May 4._ We traveled twenty-three miles this day, through a better
improved and pleasanter part of Missouri, than any we have yet seen. The
crops appeared well; there were fine orchards under successful
cultivation. The country is well timbered, and there appears nothing to
hinder it from becoming the seat of a dense and thriving population.

_May 6._ Reached Independence at nine o'clock A.M.;[10] and as the main
body of emigrants had left a few days previous, we hastily laid in our
supplies, and at five o'clock P. M., pushed forward about two miles, and
encamped upon the banks of a small creek, in company with four wagons,
bound for Oregon. From one of the wagons they drew forth a large jug of
whiskey, and before bed-time all the men were completely intoxicated. In
the crowd was a mountaineer, who gave us a few lessons in the first
chapter of a life among the mountains. At midnight, when all were quiet,
I wrapped myself in my blanket, laid down under an oak tree, and began
to realize that I was on my journey to Oregon.

_May 7._ After traveling about fifteen miles we halted and procured an
extra set of horse-shoes, and a few additional wagon bows. The main body
of the emigrants is twenty-five miles in advance of us: we have now
passed out of Missouri, and are traveling in an Indian country--most of
which is a rolling prairie.[11]

_May 8._ We started at seven o'clock, A. M. and traveled about twenty
miles. Towards evening we overtook an emigrating company, consisting of
thirty-eight wagons, with about one thousand head of loose cattle, all
under the direction of a Mr. Brown. We passed this company, expecting to
overtake a company of about one hundred wagons, which were but a few
miles before us. The night, however, became so dark that we were
compelled to encamp upon the prairie. Soon after we had staked our
horses, a herd of wild Indian horses came galloping furiously by us,
which so alarmed our horses and mules, that they broke loose and ran
away after them. Dodson and myself pursued, but were distanced, and
after running two or three miles, abandoned the chase as hopeless, and
attempted to return to the camp. Owing to the darkness, we {13} were
unable to find our camp, until the night had far advanced; and when we
finally reached it, it required all my logic, supported by the positive
testimony of Buckley, to convince Dodson that we were actually there.

_May 9._ At daylight, Dodson and I resumed the search for our lost
stock. After a fatiguing tramp of several hours, I came upon _one_ of
the mules, which being hobbled, had been unable to keep with the herd.
Dodson was unsuccessful, and returned to camp before me; during our
absence, however, the herd had strolled near the camp, and Buckley had
succeeded in taking our two _horses_. Having taken some refreshments, we
started again in search of the lost animals. As I was returning to camp,
hopeless, weary and hungry, I saw at a distance Dodson and Buckley
mounted upon our two horses, and giving chase to the herd of Indian
horses, among which were our two mules. The scene was wild, romantic and
exciting. The race was untrammeled by any of those arbitrary and
useless rules with which the "knights of the turf" encumber their races,
and was pursued on both sides, for a nobler purpose; it was to decide
between the rights of _property_ on the one side, and the rights of
_liberty_ on the other. The contest was for a long time doubtful; but
the herd finally succeeded in winning the race, and poor Buckley and
Dodson were compelled to yield; the former having lost his reputation as
a sportsman, and the latter--what grieved him more,--his _team_; and
_both_ had ruined the character of their coursers in suffering them to
be beaten. Sad and dispirited, they returned to camp, where, after a
short consultation, it was unanimously resolved,--inasmuch as there was
no _other_ alternative,--to suffer the mules freely and forever to enjoy
the enlarged liberty which they had so nobly won.

The day was nearly spent, but we harnessed up our team and traveled four
miles, to the crossing of a creek, where we encamped for the night.

_May 10._ Re-considered our resolution of last evening, and spent the
morning looking for the mules--re-adopted the _same_ resolution, for the
_same_ reason, and then resumed our journey.

We advanced about eighteen miles through a very fertile and well watered
country, and possessing, along the banks of the water courses, a supply
of bur and white oak, ash, elm, and black walnut timber, amply
sufficient for all practical purposes. In our travel, we crossed a
stream called the Walkarusha, extending back from which, about two miles
in width, {14} we discovered a fine bottom covered with heavy bur oak
and black walnut timber. After passing through this bottom, the trail
strikes into a level and beautiful prairie, and crossing it--a distance
of four miles--rises gradually to the ridge between the Walkarusha and
the Caw, or Kansas river.[12] We encamped upon the ridge, in full view
of the two streams, which at this place are from six to eight miles
apart. The banks of both streams, as far as can be seen, are lined,
either way, with excellent timber: the country rises gradually from the
streams, for fifteen or twenty miles, with alternate forests and
prairies, presenting to the eye a truly splendid scene. I noticed here
almost a countless number of _mounds_, in different directions--some
covered with timber, others with long grass. The Caw or Kansas Indians
dwell along these streams. Through this part of the route there are
_two_ trails, uniting near our camp; the difference in the distance is

_May 11._ We traveled about twenty miles, and passed a company of
twenty-eight wagons. The road runs upon the ridge, which after a
distance of ten or twelve miles becomes a broad rolling prairie. As
night came on, we came up with the company of one hundred wagons which
we were in pursuit of: they were encamped upon the banks of a small
brook, four miles from the Kansas, into which it empties. We joined this
company. At dark the guard was stationed, who becoming tired of their
monotonous round of duty, amused themselves by shooting several dogs,
and by so doing excited no small tumult in the company, which after some
exertion on the part of the more orderly portion was quelled, and
tranquility restored.

_May 12._ We traveled about four miles to Caw or Kansas river. This is
a muddy stream, of about two hundred and fifty yards in width. We were
obliged to be ferried over it in a flat boat; and so large was our
company, and so slowly did the ferrymen carry on the necessary
operations, that darkness overtook us before half the wagons had crossed
the stream. Fearing molestation from the numerous Indians who were
prowling about, we were compelled to keep a strong guard around our
camp, and especially around our cattle; and when all the preliminaries
had been arranged, we betook ourselves to rest; but our tranquility was
soon interrupted by one of the most terrific thunder storms that I ever
witnessed. It appeared to me that the very _elements_ had broken loose,
and that each was engaging madly in a desperate struggle for the
mastery. All was confusion in our camp. The storm had so frightened the
cattle, {15} that they were perfectly furious and ungovernable, and
rushed through the guard, and dashed forward over the country before us:
nothing could be done to secure them, and we were obliged to allow them
to have out their race, and endeavor to guard our camp.

_May 13._ Early this morning we succeeded in finding and taking
possession of our cattle, and by noon all our wagons had crossed the
river. Soon after we took up our line of march, and after advancing
about three miles, encamped near the banks of Big Soldier creek, for the
purpose of organizing the company by an election of officers; the
officers _then_ acting having been elected to serve only until the
company should reach _this place_.[14] It was decided, when at
Independence, that _here_ there should be a thorough and complete
organization. Great interest had been manifested in regard to the matter
while upon the road; but _now_ when we had reached the spot and the
period for attending to the matter in earnest had arrived, the
excitement was intense. The most important officers to be elected were
the pilot and captain of the company. There were two candidates for the
office of pilot,--one a Mr. Adams, from Independence,--the other a Mr.
Meek, from the same place. Mr. Adams had once been as far west as Fort
Laramie, had in his possession Gilpin's Notes,[15] had engaged a
Spaniard, who had traveled over the whole route, to accompany him, and
moreover had been conspicuously instrumental in producing the "Oregon
fever." In case the company would elect him pilot, and pay him five
hundred dollars, _in advance_, he would bind himself to pilot them to
Fort Vancouver.

Mr. Meek, an old mountaineer, had spent several years as a trader and
trapper, among the mountains, and had once been through to Fort
Vancouver;[16] he proposed to pilot us through for two hundred and fifty
dollars, _thirty_ of which were to be paid in advance, and the balance
when we arrived at Fort Vancouver. A motion was then made to postpone
the election to the next day. While we were considering the motion, Meek
came running into the camp, and informed us that the Indians were
driving away our cattle. This intelligence caused the utmost confusion:
motions and propositions, candidates and their special friends, were
alike disregarded; _rifles_ were grasped, and _horses_ were hastily
mounted, and away we all galloped in pursuit. Our two thousand head of
cattle were now scattered over the prairie, at a distance of four or
five miles from the camp.

{16} About two miles from camp, in full view, up the prairie, was a
small Indian village; the greater part of our enraged people, with the
hope of hearing from the lost cattle, drove rapidly forward to this
place. As they approached the village, the poor Indians were seen
running to and fro, in great dismay--their women and children skulking
about and hiding themselves,--while the chiefs came forward, greeted our
party kindly, and by signs offered to smoke the pipe of peace, and
engage with them in trade. On being charged with the theft of our
cattle, they firmly asserted their innocence; and such was their
conduct, that the majority of the party was convinced they had been
wrongfully accused: but one poor fellow, who had just returned to the
village, and manifested great alarm upon seeing so many "pale faces,"
was taken; and failing to prove his innocence, was hurried away to camp
and placed under guard. Meanwhile, after the greater part of the company
had returned to camp, and the captain had assembled the _judges_, the
prisoner was arraigned at the bar for trial, and the solemn
interrogatory, "Are you guilty or not guilty," was propounded to him:
but to this, his only answer was--a grunt, the import of which the
honorable court not being able clearly to comprehend, his trial was
formally commenced and duly carried through. The evidence brought
forward against him not being sufficient to sustain the charge, he was
fully acquitted; and, when released, "_split_" for his wigwam in the
village. After the excitement had in some degree subsided, and the
affair was calmly considered, it was believed by most of us that the
false alarm in regard to the Indians had been raised with the design of
breaking up or postponing the election. If such _was_ the design, it
succeeded admirably.

_May 14._ Immediately after breakfast, the camp was assembled, and
proceeded to the election of officers and the business of organization.
The election resulted in the choice of S. L. Meek, as pilot, and Doctor
P. Welch,[17] formerly of Indiana, as captain, with a host of
subalterns; such as lieutenants, judges, sergeants, &c.

After these matters had been disposed of, we harnessed up our teams and
traveled about five miles, and encamped with Big Soldier creek on our
right hand and Caw river on our left.

The next day we were delayed in crossing Big Soldier creek, on account
of the steepness of its banks; and advanced only twelve miles through a
prairie country. Here {17} sixteen wagons separated from us, and we were
joined by fifteen others.

_May 17._ We traveled eighteen miles over a high, rolling prairie, and
encamped on the banks of Little Vermilion creek, in sight of a Caw
village. The principal chief resides at this village.[18] Our camp here
replenished their stores; and, although these Indians may be a set of
beggarly thieves, they conducted themselves honorably in their dealings
with us; in view of which we raised for their benefit a contribution of
tobacco, powder, lead, &c., and received in return many good wishes for
a pleasant and successful journey. After leaving them, we traveled about
twelve miles over a fertile prairie. In the evening, after we had
encamped and taken our supper, a wedding was attended to with peculiar

_May 19._ This day our camp did not rise. A growing spirit of
dissatisfaction had prevailed since the election; there were a great
number of disappointed candidates, who were unwilling to submit to the
will of the majority; and to such a degree had a disorderly spirit been
manifested, that it was deemed expedient to divide the company.
Accordingly, it was mutually agreed upon, to form, from the _whole_
body, three companies; and that, while each company should select its
own officers and manage its internal affairs, the pilot, and Capt.
Welsh, who had been elected by the whole company, should retain their
posts, and travel with the company in advance. It was also arranged,
that each company should take its turn in traveling in advance, for a
week at a time. A proposition was then made and acceded to, which
provided that a collection of funds, with which to pay the pilot, should
be made previous to the separation, and placed in the hands of some
person to be chosen by the _whole_, as treasurer, who should give bonds,
with approved security, for the fulfilment of his duty.

A treasurer was accordingly chosen, who after giving the necessary bond,
collected about one hundred and ninety dollars of the money promised;
some refused to pay, and others had no money in their possession. All
these and similar matters having been satisfactorily arranged, the
separation took place, and the companies proceeded to the election of
the necessary officers. The company to which I had attached myself,
consisting of thirty wagons, insisted that I should officiate as their
captain, and with some reluctance I consented. We dispensed with many of
the offices and formalities which {18} existed in the former company,
and after adopting certain regulations respecting the government of the
company, and settling other necessary preliminaries, we retired to rest
for the night.

_May 20._ We have this day traveled fifteen miles, through a prairie
country, with occasionally a small grove along the streams.

_May 22._ Yesterday after moving thirteen miles we crossed Big
Vermillion, and encamped a mile beyond its west bank; we found a
limestone country, quite hilly, indeed almost mountainous. To-day we
have crossed Bee, and Big Blue creeks; the latter stream is lined with
oak, walnut, and hickory.[19] We encamped two and a half miles west of
it. During the night it rained very hard. Our cattle became frightened
and all ran away.

_May 23._ Made to-day but eight miles. Our pilot notified us that this
would be our last opportunity to procure timber for axle trees, wagon
tongues, &c., and we provided a supply of this important material. Our
cattle were all found.

_May 25._ Early this morning we were passed by Col. Kearney and his
party of dragoons, numbering about three hundred. They have with them
nineteen wagons drawn by mules, and drive fifty head of cattle and
twenty-five head of sheep. They go to the South Pass of the Rocky
Mountains.[20] Our travel of to-day and yesterday is thirty-two miles,
during which we have crossed several small streams, skirted by trees.
The soil looks fertile.

_May 26._ Overtook Capt. Welsh's company to-day. We passed twelve miles
through a rolling prairie region, and encamped on Little Sandy.

_May 27._ As it was now the turn of our company to travel in advance, we
were joined by Capt. Welsh and our pilot. The country is of the same
character with that we passed through on yesterday, and is highly
adapted to the purpose of settlement, having a good soil, and streams
well lined with timber.

_May 31._ In the afternoon of the 28th we struck the Republican fork of
Blue River,[21] along which for fifty miles lay the route we were
traveling. Its banks afford oak, ash and hickory, and often open out
into wide and fertile bottoms. Here and there we observed cotton wood
and willow. The pea vine grows wild, in great abundance on the bottoms.
The pea is smaller than our common garden pea and afforded us a {19}
pleasant vegetable. We saw also a few wild turkies. To-day we reached a
point where a trail turns from this stream, a distance of twenty-five
miles, to the Platte or Nebraska river. We kept the left hand route, and
some nine or ten miles beyond this trail, we made our last encampment on
the Republican Fork.

_June 1._ We set out at the usual hour and crossed over the country to
Platte river; having measured the road with the chain, we ascertained
the distance to be eighteen and a half miles, from our encampment of
last night. It is all a rolling prairie; and in one spot, we found in
pools a little standing water. Some two miles before reaching the Platte
bottom the prairie is extremely rough; and as far as the eye can reach
up and down that river, it is quite sandy.[22] We encamped near a marshy
spot, occasioned by the overflow of the river, opposite an island
covered with timber, to which we were obliged to go through the shallows
of the river for fuel, as the main land is entirely destitute of trees.
Near us the Platte bottom is three and a half miles wide, covered with
excellent grass, which our cattle ate greedily, being attracted by a
salt like substance which covers the grass and lies sprinkled on the
surface of the ground. We observed large herds of antelope in our travel
of to-day. In the evening it rained very hard.

_June 2._ Our week of advance traveling being expired, we resolved to
make a short drive, select a suitable spot, and lay by for washing. We
accordingly encamped about six miles up Platte river. As I had been
elected captain but for two weeks, and my term was now expired, a new
election was held, which resulted in the choice of the same person. The
captain, Welsh, who was originally elected by all the companies, had
been with us one week, and some dissatisfaction was felt, by our
company, at the degree of authority he seemed disposed to exercise. We
found, too, that it was bad policy to require the several companies to
wait for each other;--our supply of provision was considered barely
sufficient for the journey, and it behooved us [to] make the best use of
our time. At present one of the companies was supposed to be two or
three days travel in the rear. We adopted a resolution desiring the
several companies to abandon the arrangement that required each to delay
for the others; and that each company should have the use of the pilot
according to its turn. Our proposition was not, for the present,
accepted by the other companies. While we were at our washing encampment
one {20} of the companies passed us, the other still remaining in the

_June 3._ Having traveled about eight miles, we halted at noon, making
short drives, to enable the rear company to join us. We have no tidings
of it as yet. We met seventy-five or eighty Pawnee Indians returning
from their spring hunt.[23]

_June 5._ Yesterday we traveled about twelve miles, passing captain
Stephens, with his advance company. To-day we traveled about the same
distance, suffering Stephens' company to pass us.[24] At noon they were
delayed by the breaking of an axletree of one of their wagons, and we
again passed them, greatly to their offence. They refused to accede to
our terms, and we determined to act on our own responsibility. We
therefore dissolved our connection with the other companies, and
thenceforward acted independently of them.

_June 6._ We advanced twenty miles to-day. We find a good road, but an
utter absence of ordinary fuel. We are compelled to substitute for it
buffalo dung, which burns freely.

_June 7._ We find in our sixteen miles travel to-day that the grass is
very poor in the Platte bottoms, having been devoured by the buffalo
herds. These bottoms are from two to four miles in width, and are
intersected, at every variety of interval, by paths made by the
buffaloes, from the bluffs to the river. These paths are remarkable in
their appearance, being about fifteen inches wide, and four inches deep,
and worn into the soil as smoothly as they could be cut with a spade.

We formed our encampment on the bank of the river, with three
emigrating companies within as many miles of us; two above and one
below; one of fifty-two wagons, one of thirteen, and one of
forty-three--ours having thirty-seven. We find our cattle growing lame,
and most of the company are occupied in attempting to remedy the
lameness. The prairie having been burnt, dry, sharp stubs of clotted
grass remain, which are very hard, and wear and irritate the feet of the
cattle. The foot becomes dry and feverish, and cracks in the opening of
the hoof. In this opening the rough blades of grass and dirt collect,
and the foot generally festers, and swells very much. Our mode of
treating it was, to wash the foot with strong soap suds, scrape or cut
away all the diseased flesh, and then pour boiling pitch or tar upon the
sore. If applied early this remedy will cure. Should the heel become
worn out, apply tar or pitch, and singe with a hot iron. At our
encampment to-night we have abundance of wood for fuel.

{21} _June 8._ We advanced to-day about twelve miles. The bottom near
our camp is narrow, but abounds in timber, being covered with ash; it,
however, affords poor grazing. So far as we have traveled along the
Platte, we find numerous islands in the river, and some of them quite
large. In the evening a young man, named Foster,[25] was wounded by the
accidental discharge of a gun. The loaded weapon, from which its owner
had neglected to remove the cap, was placed at the tail of a wagon; as
some one was taking out a tent-cloth, the gun was knocked down, and went
off. The ball passed through a spoke of the wagon-wheel, struck the
felloe, and glanced. Foster was walking some two rods from the wagon,
when the half spent ball struck him in the back, near the spine; and,
entering between the skin and the ribs, came out about three inches from
where it entered, making merely a flesh wound. A small fragment of the
ball had lodged in his arm.

_June 9._ The morning is rainy. To-day we passed Stephens' company,
which passed us on yesterday. Our dissensions are all healed; and they
have decided to act upon our plan.

_June 10._ Yesterday we traveled fifteen miles; to-day the same
distance. We find the grazing continues poor. In getting to our
encampment, we passed through a large dog town. These singular
communities may be seen often, along the banks of the Platte, occupying
various areas, from one to five hundred acres. The one in question
covered some two hundred or three hundred acres. The prairie-dog is
something larger than a common sized gray squirrel, of a dun color; the
head resembles that of a bull dog: the tail is about three inches in
length. Their food is prairie grass. Like rabbits, they burrow in the
ground, throwing out heaps of earth, and often large stones, which
remain at the mouth of their holes. The entrance to their burrows is
about four inches in diameter, and runs obliquely into the earth about
three feet, when the holes ramify in every direction and connect with
each other on every side. Some kind of police seems to be observed among
them; for at the approach of man, one of the dogs will run to the
entrance of a burrow, and, squatting down, utter a shrill bark. At
once, the smaller part of the community will retreat to their holes,
while numbers of the larger dogs will squat, like the first, at their
doors, and unite in the barking. A near approach drives them all under
ground. It is singular, {22} but true, that the little screech-owl and
the rattlesnake keep them company in their burrows. I have frequently
seen the owls, but not the snake, with them. The mountaineers, however,
inform me, that they often catch all three in the same hole. The dog is
eaten by the Indians, with quite a relish; and often by the
mountaineers. I am not prepared to speak of its qualities as an article
of food.

During the night, a mule, belonging to a Mr. Risley,[26] of our company,
broke from its tether, and in attempting to secure it, its owner was
repeatedly shot at by the guard; but, fortunately, was not hit. He had
run from his tent without having been perceived by the guard, and was
crawling over the ground, endeavoring to seize the trail rope, which was
tied to his mule's neck. The guard mistook him for an Indian, trying to
steal horses, and called to him several times; but a high wind blowing
he did not hear. The guard leveled and fired, but his gun did not go
off. Another guard, standing near, presented his piece and fired; the
cap burst, without discharging the load. The first guard, by this time
prepared, fired a second time, without effect. By this time the camp was
roused, and nearly all seized their fire-arms, when we discovered that
the supposed Indian was one of our own party. We regarded it as
providential that the man escaped, as the guard was a good shot, and his
mark was not more than eighty yards distant. This incident made us
somewhat more cautious about leaving the camp, without notifying the

_June 11._ To-day we traveled ten or twelve miles. Six miles brought us
to the lower crossing of Platte river, which is five or six miles above
the forks, and where the high ground commences between the two streams.
There is a trail which turns over the bluff to the left; we however took
the right, and crossed the river.[27] The south fork is at this place
about one fourth of a mile wide, and from one to three feet deep, with a
sandy bottom, which made the fording so heavy that we were compelled to
double teams. The water through the day is warm; but as the nights are
cool, it is quite cool enough in the morning. On the west bank of the
river was encamped Brown's company, which passed us whilst we were
organizing at Caw River. We passed them, and proceeded along the west
side of the south fork, and encamped on the river bank. At night our
hunters brought in some buffalo meat.

_June 13._ Yesterday we followed the river about thirteen miles, and
encamped on its bank, where the road between the {23} two forks strikes
across the ridge toward the North fork. To-day we have followed that
route: directly across, the distance does not exceed four miles: but the
road runs obliquely between the two streams, and reaches the North fork
about nine miles from our last camp. We found quite a hill to descend,
as the road runs up the bottom a half mile and then ascends the bluff.
Emigrants should keep the bluff sixteen or seventeen miles. We descended
a ravine and rested on the bank of the river.

_June 15._ Yesterday we advanced eight miles, and halted to wash and
rest our teams. We have remained all this day in camp. At daylight a
herd of buffalo approached near the camp; they were crossing the river,
but as soon as they caught the scent, they retreated to the other side.
It was a laughable sight to see them running in the water. Some of our
men having been out with their guns, returned at noon overloaded with
buffalo meat. We then commenced jerking it. This is a process resorted
to for want of time or means to cure meat by salting. The meat is sliced
thin, and a scaffold prepared, by setting forks in the ground, about
three feet high, and laying small poles or sticks crosswise upon them.
The meat is laid upon those pieces, and a slow fire built beneath; the
heat and smoke completes the process in half a day; and with an
occasional sunning the meat will keep for months.

An unoccupied spectator, who could have beheld our camp to-day, would
think it a singular spectacle. The hunters returning with the spoil;
some erecting scaffolds, and others drying the meat. Of the women, some
were washing, some ironing, some baking. At two of the tents the fiddle
was employed in uttering its unaccustomed voice among the solitudes of
the Platte; at one tent I heard singing; at others the occupants were
engaged in reading, some the Bible, others poring over novels. While all
this was going on, that nothing might be wanting to complete the
harmony of the scene, a Campbellite preacher, named Foster, was reading
a hymn, preparatory to religious worship. The fiddles were silenced, and
those who had been occupied with that amusement, betook themselves to
cards. Such is but a miniature of the great world we had left behind us,
when we crossed the line that separates civilized man from the
wilderness. But even here the variety of occupation, the active exercise
of body and mind, either in labor or pleasure, the commingling of evil
and good, show that the likeness is a true one.

{24} _June 17._ On our travel of eight miles, yesterday, we found the
bluffs quite high, often approaching with their rocky fronts to the
water's edge, and now and then a cedar nodding at the top. Our camp,
last night, was in a cedar and ash grove, with a high, frowning bluff
overhanging us; but a wide bottom, with fine grass around us, and near
at hand an excellent spring. To-day five miles over the ridge brought us
to Ash Hollow. Here the trail, which follows the east side of the South
fork of Platte, from where we crossed it, connects with this trail.[28]
The road then turns down Ash Hollow to the river; a quarter of a mile
from the latter is a fine spring, and around it wood and grass in
abundance. Our road, to-day, has been very sandy. The bluffs are
generally rocky, at times presenting perpendicular cliffs of three
hundred feet high. We passed two companies, both of which we had before
passed; but whilst we were lying by on the North fork, they had traveled
up the South fork and descended Ash Hollow.

_June 18._ We met a company of mountaineers from Fort Laramie, who had
started for the settlements early in the season, with flat-boats loaded
with buffalo robes, and other articles of Indian traffic. The river
became so low, that they were obliged to lay by; part of the company had
returned to the fort for teams; others were at the boat landing, while
fifteen of the party were footing their way to the States. They were a
jolly set of fellows. Four wagons joined us from one of the other
divisions, and among them was John Nelson, with his family, formerly of
Franklin county, Indiana. We traveled fifteen miles, passing Captain
Smith's company.

_June 19._ Five miles, to-day, brought us to Spring creek; eleven miles
further to another creek, the name of which I could not ascertain; there
we encamped, opposite the Solitary Tower.[29] This singular natural
object is a stupendous pile of sand and clay, so cemented as to resemble
stone, but which crumbles away at the slightest touch. I conceive it is
about seven miles distant from the mouth of the creek; though it appears
to be not more than three. The height of this tower is somewhere between
six hundred and eight hundred feet from the level of the river. Viewed
from the road, the beholder might easily imagine he was gazing upon
some ancient structure of the old world. A nearer approach dispels the
illusion, and it looks, as it is, rough and unseemly. It can be
ascended, at its north side, by clambering up the rock; holes having
been cut in its face for that purpose. The second, or {25} main bench,
can be ascended with greater ease at an opening on the south side, where
the water has washed out a crevice large enough to admit the body; so
that by pushing against the sides of the crevice one can force himself
upward fifteen or twenty feet, which places the adventurer on the slope
of the second bench. Passing round the eastern point of the tower, the
ascent may be continued up its north face. A stream of water runs along
the north-eastern side, some twenty rods distant from the tower; and
deep ravines are cut out by the washing of the water from the tower to
the creek. Near by stands another pile of materials, similar to that
composing the tower, but neither so large nor so high. The bluffs in
this vicinity appear to be of the same material. Between this tower and
the river stretches out a rolling plain, barren and desolate enough.

_June 20._ Traveling fourteen miles, we halted in the neighborhood of
the Chimney Rock. This is a sharp-pointed rock, of much the same
material as the Solitary Tower, standing at the base of the bluff, and
four or five miles from the road. It is visible at a distance of thirty
miles, and has the unpoetical appearance of a hay-stack, with a pole
running far above its top.[30]

_June 24._ Since the 20th we have traveled about sixty-two miles, and
are now at Fort Laramie; making our whole travel from Independence about
six hundred and thirty miles. On the 22d we passed over Scott's Bluffs,
where we found a good spring, and abundance of wood and grass. A
melancholy tradition accounts for the name of this spot. A party who had
been trading with the Indians were returning to the States and
encountering a band of hostile savages, were robbed of their peltries
and food. As they struggled homeward, one of the number, named Scott,
fell sick and could not travel. The others remained with him, until the
sufferer, despairing of ever beholding his home, prevailed on his
companions to abandon him. They left him alone in the wilderness,
several miles from this spot. Here human bones were afterwards found;
and, supposing he had crawled here and died, the subsequent travelers
have given his name to the neighboring bluff.[31]

_June 25._ Our camp is stationary to-day; part of the emigrants are
shoeing their horses and oxen; others are trading at the fort and with
the Indians. Flour, sugar, coffee, tea, tobacco, powder and lead, sell
readily, at high prices. In the {26} afternoon we gave the Indians a
feast, and held a long _talk_ with them. Each family, as they could best
spare it, contributed a portion of bread, meat, coffee or sugar, which
being cooked, a table was set by spreading buffalo skins upon the
ground, and arranging the provisions upon them.

Around this attractive board, the Indian chiefs and their principal men
seated themselves, occupying one fourth of the circle; the remainder of
the male Indians made out the semi-circle; the rest of the circle was
completed by the whites. The squaws and younger Indians formed an outer
semicircular row immediately behind their dusky lords and fathers. Two
stout young warriors were now designated as waiters, and all the
preparations being completed, the Indian chiefs and principal men shook
hands, and at a signal the white chief performed the same ceremony,
commencing with the principal chief, and saluting him and those of his
followers who composed the first division of the circle; the others
being considered inferiors, were not thus noticed.

The talk preceded the dinner. A trader acted as interpreter. The chief
informed us, that "a long while ago some white chiefs passed up the
Missouri, through his country, saying they were the red man's friends,
and that as the red man found them, so would he find all the other pale
faces. This country belongs to the red man, but his white brethren
travels through, shooting the game and scaring it away. Thus the Indian
loses all that he depends upon to support his wives and children. The
children of the red man cry for food, but there is no food. But on the
other hand, the Indian profits by the trade with the white man. He was
glad to see us and meet us as friends. It was the custom when the pale
faces passed through his country, to make presents to the Indians of
powder, lead, &c. His tribe was very numerous, but the most of the
people had gone to the mountains to hunt. Before the white man came, the
game was tame, and easily caught, with the bow and arrow. Now the white
man has frightened it, and the red man must go to the mountains. The red
man needed long guns." This, with much more of the like, made up the
talk of the chief, when a reply from our side was expected.

As it devolved on me to play the part of the white chief, I told my red
brethren, that we were journeying to the great waters of the west. Our
great father owned a large country there, and we were going to settle
upon it. For this purpose we brought with us our wives and little ones.
We were compelled {27} to pass through the red man's country, but we
traveled as friends, and not as enemies. As friends we feasted them,
shook them by the hand, and smoked with them the pipe of peace. They
must know that we came among them as friends, for we brought with us our
wives and children. The red man does not take his squaws into battle:
neither does the pale face. But friendly as we felt, we were ready for
enemies; and if molested, we should punish the offenders. Some of us
expected to return. Our fathers, our brothers and our children were
coming behind us, and we hoped the red man would treat them kindly. We
did not expect to meet so many of them; we were glad to see them, and to
hear that they were the white man's friends. We met peacefully--so let
us part. We had set them a feast, and were glad to hold a talk with
them; but we were not traders, and had no powder or ball to give them.
We were going to plough and to plant the ground, and had nothing more
than we needed for ourselves. We told them to eat what was before them,
and be satisfied; and that we had nothing more to say.

The two Indian servants began their services by placing a tin cup before
each of the guests, always waiting first upon the chiefs; they then
distributed the bread and cakes, until each person had as much as it was
supposed he would eat; the remainder being delivered to two squaws, who
in like manner served the squaws and children. The waiters then
distributed the meat and coffee. All was order. No one touched the food
before him until all were served, when at a signal from the chief the
eating began. Having filled themselves, the Indians retired, taking with
them all that they were unable to eat.

This is a branch of the Sioux nation, and those living in this region
number near fifteen hundred lodges.[32] They are a healthy, athletic,
good-looking set of men, and have according to the Indian code, a
respectable sense of honor, but will steal when they can do so without
fear of detection. On this occasion, however, we missed nothing but a
frying pan, which a squaw slipped under her blanket, and made off with.
As it was a trifling loss, we made no complaint to the chief.

Here are two forts. Fort Laramie, situated upon the west side of
Laramie's fork, two miles from Platte river, belongs to the North
American Fur Company.[33]

The fort is built of _adobes_. The walls are about two feet thick, and
twelve or fourteen feet high, the tops being picketed or spiked. Posts
are planted in these walls, and support the timber for the roof. {28}
They are then covered with mud. In the centre is an open square, perhaps
twenty-five yards each way, along the sides of which are ranged the
dwellings, store rooms, smith shop, carpenter's shop, offices, &c., all
fronting upon the inner area. There are two principal entrances; one at
the north, the other at the south. On the eastern side is an additional
wall, connected at its extremities with the first, enclosing ground for
stables and carrell. This enclosure has a gateway upon its south side,
and a passage into the square of the principal enclosure. At a short
distance from the fort is a field of about four acres, in which, by way
of experiment, corn is planted; but from its present appearance it will
probably prove a failure. Fort John stands about a mile below Fort
Laramie, and is built of the same material as the latter, but is not so
extensive. Its present occupants are a company from St. Louis.[34]

_June 26._ This day, leaving Fort Laramie behind us, we advanced along
the bank of the river, into the vast region that was still between us
and our destination. After moving five miles, we found a good spot for a
camp, and as our teams still required rest, we halted and encamped, and
determined to repose until Saturday the 28th.

_June 28._ A drive of ten miles brought us to Big Spring, a creek which
bursts out at the base of a hill, and runs down a sandy hollow. The
spring is one fourth of a mile below the road. We found the water too
warm to be palatable.[35] Five miles beyond the creek the road forks; we
took the right hand trail, which is the best of the two, and traversed
the Black Hills, as they are called. The season has been so dry that
vegetation is literally parched up; of course the grazing is miserable.
After proceeding eighteen miles we encamped on Bitter Cottonwood.[36]

_June 29._ To-day we find the country very rough, though our road is not
bad. In the morning some of our cattle were missing, and four of the
company started back to hunt for them. At the end of fourteen miles we
rested at Horse Shoe creek, a beautiful stream of clear water, lined
with trees, and with wide bottoms on each side, covered with excellent
grass. At this point our road was about three miles from the river.[37]

_July 1._ As the men who left the company on the 29th, to look for our
lost cattle, were not returned, we remained in {29} camp yesterday. Game
seemed abundant along the creek, and our efforts to profit by it were
rewarded with three elk and three deer. To-day our cattle hunters still
remain behind. We sent back a reinforcement, and hitching up our teams
advanced about sixteen miles. Eight miles brought us to the Dalles of
Platte, where the river bursts through a mountain spur. Perpendicular
cliffs, rising abruptly from the water, five hundred or six hundred feet
high, form the left bank of the river. These cliffs present various
strata, some resembling flint, others like marble, lime, &c. The most
interesting feature of these magnificent masses, is the variety of
colors that are presented; yellow, red, black and white, and all the
shades between, as they blend and are lost in each other. On the top
nods a tuft of scrubby cedars. Upon the south side, a narrow slope
between the bluff and river, affords a pass for a footman along the
water's edge, while beyond the bluff rises abruptly. Frequently cedar
and wild sage is to be seen. I walked up the river a distance of half a
mile, when I reached a spot where the rocks had tumbled down, and found
something of a slope, by which I could, with the assistance of a long
pole, and another person sometimes pushing and then pulling, ascend; we
succeeded in clambering up to the top--which proved to be a naked, rough
black rock, with here and there a scrubby cedar and wild sage bush. It
appeared to be a place of resort for mountain sheep and bears. We
followed this ridge south to where it gradually descended to the road.
The river in this _kanyon_ is about one hundred and fifty yards wide,
and looks deep.[38] At the eastern end of this _kanyon_ comes in a
stream which, from appearance, conveys torrents of water at certain
seasons of the year. Here, too, is a very good camp. By going up the
right hand branch five or six miles, then turning to the right up one of
the ridges, and crossing a small branch (which joins the river six or
seven miles above the _kanyon_) and striking the road on the ridge three
miles east of the Big Timber creek, a saving might be made of at least
ten miles travel. We did not travel this route; but, from the appearance
of the country, there would be no difficulty.

_July 2._ This day we traveled about sixteen miles. The road left the
river bottom soon after we started. A trail, however, crosses the bottom
for about two miles, and then winds back to the hill. The nearest road
is up a small sandy ravine, for two miles, then turn to the right up a
ridge, and follow this ridge for eight or ten miles. At the distance of
thirteen {30} or fourteen miles, the road which turned to the left near
the Big Spring, connects with this. The road then turns down the hill to
the right, into a dry branch, which it descends to Big Timber creek,
where we encamped.[39]

_July 3._ This day we traveled about fifteen miles. Six miles brought us
to a small branch, where is a good camp. Near this branch there is
abundance of marble, variegated with blue and red, but it is full of
seams. The hills in this vicinity are of the red shale formation. In the
mountain near by is stone coal. The hills were generally covered with
grass. The streams are lined with cotton wood, willow and boxalder. The
road was very dusty.

_July 4._ We traveled about fifteen miles to-day, the road generally
good, with a few difficult places. Two wagons upset, but little damage
was done. We crossed several beautiful streams flowing from the Black
hills; they are lined with timber. To-day, as on yesterday, we found
abundance of red, yellow and black currants, with some gooseberries,
along the streams.

_July 5._ We this day traveled about twelve miles. Three miles brought
us to Deer creek.[40] Here is an excellent camp ground. Some very good
bottom land. The banks are lined with timber. Stone coal was found near
the road. This would be a suitable place for a fort, as the soil and
timber is better than is generally found along the upper Platte. Game in
abundance, such as elk, buffalo, deer, antelope and bear. The timber is
chiefly cotton wood, but there is pine on the mountains within ten or
twelve miles. The road was generally along the river bottom, and much of
the way extremely barren. We encamped on the bank of the river.

_July 6._ In traveling through the sand and hot sun, our wagon tires had
become loose; and we had wedged until the tire would no longer remain on
the wheels. One or two axletrees and tongues had been broken, and we
found it necessary to encamp and repair them. For this purpose all hands
were busily employed. We had neither bellows nor anvil, and of course
could not cut and weld tire. But as a substitute, we took off the tire,
shaved thin hoops and tacked them on the felloes, heated our tire and
replaced it. This we found to answer a good purpose.

_July 7._ This day we traveled about ten miles. In crossing a small
ravine, an axletree of one of the wagons was broken. {31} The road is
mostly on the river bottom. Much of the country is barren.

_July 8._ Six miles travel brought us to the crossing of the north fork
of the Platte. At 1 o'clock, P. M. all were safely over, and we
proceeded up half a mile to a grove of timber and encamped.[41] Near the
crossing was encamped Colonel Kearney's regiment of dragoons, on their
return from the South Pass. Many of them were sick.

_July 9._ We traveled about ten miles this day, and encamped at the
Mineral Spring. The road leaves the Platte at the crossing, and passes
over the _Red Buttes_.[42] The plains in this region are literally
covered with buffalo.

_July 10._ To-day we traveled about ten miles. The range is very poor,
and it has become necessary to divide into small parties, in order to
procure forage for our cattle. Out of the company five divisions were
formed. In my division we had eleven wagons; and we travel more
expeditiously, with but little difficulty in finding grass for our

_July 11._ We this day traveled about twelve miles. Soon after starting
we passed an excellent spring: it is to the right of the road, in a
thicket of willows. One fourth of a mile further the road ascends a
hill, winds round and passes several marshy springs. The grass is very
good, but is confined to patches. Our camp was on a small branch running
into the Sweet Water.

_July 12._ This day we arrived at _Independence Rock_. This is a
solitary pile of gray granite, standing in an open plain. It is about
one-eighth of a mile long and some six or eight rods wide, and is
elevated about sixty or seventy feet above the plain. On the
north-eastern side the slope is sufficiently gradual to be easily
ascended. Portions of it are covered with inscriptions of the names of
travelers, with the dates of their arrival--some carved, some in black
paint, and others in red. Sweet Water, a stream heading in the Wind
River Mountains, and entering the Platte, runs immediately along its
southern side, leaving a strip of some twenty or thirty feet of grassy
plain between the base of the rock and the creek. We encamped two miles
above the rock, having traveled about thirteen miles.[43]

_July 13._ We traveled about thirteen miles this day. Three miles
brought us to the _Gap_, or _Devil's Gate_, as it is sometimes called.
The Sweet Water breaks through a spur of the mountain, which from
appearance is four or five hundred feet high. {32} On the south side the
rocks project over the stream, but on the north slope back a little. The
whole mountain is a mass of gray granite rock, destitute of vegetation,
save an occasional scrubby cedar or bush of artemisia. From where the
creek enters to where it emerges from this _kanyon_ is three or four
hundred yards. The water rushes through like a torrent. At the distance
of one hundred rods south of this is the Gap, where the road passes; but
the rock is not so high. South of this again is another gap, perhaps
half or three-fourths of a mile wide. The rocks there rise mountain
high.[44] South-west of this is a valley extending as far as the eye can
penetrate. As the road passes through this gap, it bears to the right,
up the valley of the Sweet Water.

_July 14._ This day we traveled about twenty-two miles. The road
sometimes leaves the creek for several miles, and passes over a barren,
sandy plain; no kind of vegetation but the wild sage. We this day met a
party of men from California and Oregon. A portion of those from
California spoke unfavorably of that country; and those from Oregon
spoke highly of the latter country. On this day's march we came in sight
of the long-looked-for snowcapped mountains. They were the Wind River
Mountains. On our right is a mass of naked rock; on our left and to the
distance of ten or twelve miles is a high range of mountains, mostly
covered with timber; whilst in the valley there is no timber, and much
of the plain entirely destitute of vegetation. We encamped near the

_July 15._ We traveled about eleven miles to-day. There are two trails,
which diverge below the Narrows. The nearest and best is that to the
right up the creek, crossing it several times; they unite again near
where we encamped. The road was good, but as usual very dusty. Our
hunters wounded a buffalo, and drove him into camp. About twenty men ran
to meet him. He gave them battle. They fired a volley that brought him
to his knees, and whilst in that position Mr. Creighton (a young man
from Ohio) ran across the creek, intending to shoot the animal in the
head. When Creighton had approached within ten or twelve feet, the
enraged animal sprung to his feet and made at him. Creighton wheeled and
"split" for the camp; the buffalo pursuing to near the bank of the
creek, where he stopped. By this time others had arrived with guns, and
the buffalo was compelled to yield. In the "spree" one of my horses was
shot with a ball in the {33} knee; no bones were broken, and he was able
to travel, but he was a long time very lame.

_July 16._ This day we traveled about twenty-six miles. Four miles
brought us to a marshy bottom, where was very good grass. In the centre
of this quagmire and near where the road crosses the bottom is a spring
of good water. Eight miles brought us to a small stream; but little
grass. Six miles brought us to Sweet Water; crossed and left it and
struck it again in six or eight miles. The grass here is good. Wild sage
was our only fuel. This night there was a heavy frost.

_July 17._ Our cattle being much fatigued, we drove but five miles. The
road is up the creek bottom, which is mostly covered with grass. A heavy
frost: ice formed in buckets one-fourth of an inch thick. We here found
the celebrated mountaineer Walker, who was traveling to Bridger's

_July 18._ We traveled about twenty-two miles this day. The road ascends
the bluff and winds among rocky hills for six miles, passing over ledges
that are entirely naked for rods. The appearance of the country is
extremely barren. We passed several rivulets where small parties may
obtain grazing for their stock. The day has been quite cold. The Wind
River Mountains are on our right, about twenty miles distant. They
presented a most grand appearance. Huge masses of ice and snow piled up
peak upon peak, with large bodies of timber covering portions of the
mountains. We viewed the southern termination of this range; but they
extend to the north further than the eye can penetrate. The country
between us and the mountains is rolling, and much of it apparently
barren. Hard frost.

_July 19._ This morning we ascended the bank on the south side of Sweet
Water. Six miles brought us again to the creek, where is good grass in
the bottom and willow for fuel. We crossed, went up the bottom two
miles, and crossed back and left the Sweet Water. _This day we passed
over the dividing ridge which separates the waters flowing into the
Atlantic from those which find their way into the Pacific Ocean._ WE HAD
spring, the waters of which run into Green river, or the great Colorado
of the west.[47]--Here, then, we hailed OREGON. Here we found a bottom
covered with good grass, where we halted until four o'clock, P. M., when
we again hitched up and took the plain for Little Sandy. Ten miles
brought us to a dry branch, where by digging to the {34} depth of one
foot we procured water; but it was brackish, and had a very unpleasant
taste. A white sediment, such as we had noticed elsewhere on the road,
covered the surface of the ground. Ten miles more brought us to Little
Sandy, which we reached at one o'clock in the night, having traveled
thirty-one miles. The road was over a barren plain of light sand, and
was very dusty. From the spring to Little Sandy there is no vegetation
but the wild sage, and it had a withered appearance. The night was cold,
freezing quite hard. Little Sandy has its source in the Wind river
mountains.[48] Along this stream is a narrow bottom, covered with grass
and willows. We are now out of the range of the buffalo, and although
not often mentioned, we have seen thousands of these huge animals. There
have been so many companies of emigrants in advance of us, that they
have frightened the buffalo from the road. We daily see hundreds of

_July 20._ This day we traveled about thirteen miles, to Big Sandy. The
road was over a level sandy plain, covered with wild sage. At Little
Sandy the road forks--one taking to the right and striking Big Sandy in
six miles, and thence forty miles to Green river, striking the latter
some thirty or forty miles above the lower ford, and thence to Big Bear
river, striking it about fifteen miles below the old road. By taking
this trail two and a half days' travel may be saved; but in the forty
miles between Big Sandy and Green river there is no water, and but
little grass. Camps may be had within reasonable distances between Green
and Bear rivers.[49] The left hand trail, which we took, twelve miles
from Little Sandy strikes the Big Sandy, follows down it and strikes
Green river above the mouth of Big Sandy.

_July 21._ We traveled about fourteen miles to-day. Six miles brought
us to Green river, or Colorado. This is a beautiful clear stream, about
one hundred yards wide, with a rapid current over a gravelly bottom. It
flows through a barren, sandy country; occasionally the bottoms spread
to a mile in width, covered with grass. There is mostly a belt of timber
along the banks of the stream.--Emigrants had been in the habit of
crossing the river on rafts. We succeeded in finding a place where, by
hoisting up the wagon-beds six inches, we could ford the river without
damaging our goods. This was done by cutting poles and placing them
under the wagon-beds, and in one hour we were all safely over. We
proceeded down the river eight miles, and encamped in a grove near some
{35} cabins built by a party of traders. There is an abundance of fish
in this stream, and we had great sport in fishing.

_July 23._ This day we traveled about fifteen miles. The road leaves
Green river near our camp, and passes over a high, barren country, to
Black's fork; this we followed up some four miles and encamped.[50] As
upon other streams, there is occasionally a grassy bottom with a little
cotton wood and willow brush. Snowy mountains to be seen in the south.

_July 24._ We traveled, to-day, about fourteen miles, over a barren
country, crossing the creek several times. We noticed a number of piles
of stone and earth, some forty or fifty feet high, scattered in
different directions, giving the appearance of the general surface
having been worn away to that extent by the ravages of time and the

_July 25._ This day we traveled about sixteen miles, crossed the creek
several times, and encamped near Fort Bridger. This is a trading fort
owned by Bridger and Bascus. It is built of poles and daubed with mud;
it is a shabby concern.[51] Here are about twenty-five lodges of
Indians, or rather white trappers' lodges occupied by their Indian
wives. They have a good supply of robes, dressed deer, elk and antelope
skins, coats, pants, moccasins, and other Indian fixens, which they
trade low for flour, pork, powder, lead, blankets, butcher-knives,
spirits, hats, ready made clothes, coffee, sugar, &c. They ask for a
horse from twenty-five to fifty dollars, in trade. Their wives are
mostly of the Pyentes and Snake Indians.[52] They have a herd of cattle,
twenty-five or thirty goats and some sheep. They generally abandon this
fort during the winter months. At this place the bottoms are wide, and
covered with good grass. Cotton wood timber in plenty. The stream
abounds with trout.

_July 26._ Remained at the fort the whole of this day.

_July 27._ We traveled about eight miles, to-day, to Little Muddy. The
grazing and water bad. Several bad hills.

_July 28._ To-day we traveled about sixteen miles. Ten miles brought us
to the Big Muddy.[53] Country barren. Our course is up the Big Muddy,
and nearly north. Encamped on the creek. Very poor grazing. This is a
limestone country.

_July 29._ This day we traveled about sixteen miles. Our course is still
up the Muddy. Emigrants would do well to push on up to near the head of
this creek, as the grass is good, {36} and there are excellent springs
of water. The country is very rough. We saw a few beaver dams.

_July 30._ We traveled about twenty-five miles this day. Twelve miles
brought us to the dividing ridge between the waters of Green and Bear
rivers. The ridge is high, but the ascent is not difficult. From this
ridge the scenery is most delightful. In one view is the meanders of
Muddy creek. Two companies with large herds of cattle are winding their
way up the valley.

The bold mountains on either side are very high and rugged. In front and
at the distance of twelve miles is the valley of Big Bear river. A
ravine at our feet cuts the spur of the mountain, and empties its waters
into Bear river. The valley of Bear river is four or five miles wide,
with willows along its banks. At a distance beyond the Bear river is a
range of high mountains, stretching as far as the eye can reach, their
snowy tops glistening in the rays of the sun. The mountains near the
trail are rough and have a singular appearance; the earth being of
various colors--black, white, red, yellow, and intermediate shades.
Occasionally there is a grove of quaking aspen, and a few sour-berry
bushes and some cedar. Our camp to-night was on Bear river; the bottom
is sandy, and mostly covered with wild sage.[54]

_July 31._ This day we traveled down Bear river fifteen miles. The
bottom is from two to four miles wide, and mostly covered with good
grass. The road excellent. We encamped two miles above Smith's fork. The
upper road from Green river comes in two miles back.

_August 1._ We traveled fifteen miles this day. Two miles brought us to
Smith's fork. This is a bold, clear, and beautiful stream, coming in
from the east. It is about fifteen yards wide, lined with timber and
undergrowth.[55] In this stream is an abundance of mountain trout, some
of them very large. The road leads down the bottom of Bear river three
miles to Spring branch, one mile to the Narrows and three miles to the
first crossing of Bear river.[56] Here are two trails. The nearest turns
to the right up a creek for a mile and a half, crosses the creek and
passes over the hill, and strikes the other trail at the foot of Big
Hill, six miles from the crossings. The other trail crosses the river,
follows up its bottom round the bend for eight miles, to where it
crosses the river, then follows down the bottom three miles, and takes
up a valley for one mile to the foot of the Big Hill, where it
intersects the other trail. This is the most level road, but the other
is not a bad one. {37} The hills bordering on Bear river on this day's
travel are very high and rugged; they are covered with grass. The
bottoms are from one to four miles wide. We saw this day large herds of
antelope. We encamped in the bend of the river, near the second

_August 2._ This day we traveled about nineteen miles. Four or five
miles brought us to the big hill or mountain. It is about half a mile to
the top of the first ridge, and quite steep. The road then turns a few
rods to the right, then to the left down a ravine for three hundred
yards, and then up a ravine for half a mile to the top of the mountain.
We traveled about two miles along the ridge, and then turned to the left
down the mountain. It is about one mile to the plain, and generally very
steep and stony; but all reached the plain safely, and were truly
thankful that they had safely passed one of the most difficult mountains
on the road. From the top of this mountain we had a most delightful view
of the surrounding country. This is one of the ranges which border this
stream. At this place they close in upon both sides so as not to admit
of a passage with teams along the river. A road could easily be cut
around the point, and save the fatigue of climbing this mountain; the
distance would not be materially increased. The valley of Bear river
bears off to the northwest, and can be seen a great distance. From the
south comes in a broad valley, up which can be seen Bear Lake. A high
range of mountains separates it from the river. The outlet of this lake
is two or three miles below the narrows made by this mountain.[57] A
high range of snow covered mountains can be seen to the southwest. The
road strikes the river two miles from the foot of the mountain, at Big
Timber. Here is a good camp. Eight miles brought us to a spring branch.
The bottom here is wide; a low marsh prevents driving to the river. The
grass is good. There is a little timber on the mountains. At Big Timber
is a company of trappers and traders attached to Bridger's party.

_August 3._ We traveled about fourteen miles, crossing a number of
spring branches, coming in from the mountains. These branches abound in
trout. The ground, for a strip of about four miles, was covered with
black crickets of a large size. I saw some that were about three inches
in length, and measuring about three-fourths of an inch in diameter; but
the common size were two inches in length and one-half or five-eighths
of an inch in diameter; their legs were large in proportion {38} to the
size of their bodies. Some were singing on stalks of wild sage; others
crawling in every direction. Our teams made great havoc among them; so
numerous were they that we crushed them at every step. As soon as one
was killed, others of them would alight upon it and devour it. The
bottoms are wide, and covered with grass, and the soil looks well. A few
patches of snow were seen upon the mountain some ten miles distant. A
portion of the mountain is covered with fine timber. The bottoms are

_August 4._ We reached the Soda springs, having traveled about eight
miles.[58] The first view we had was of two or three white hillocks or
mounds, standing up at different points to the right of the road, and
near a grove of cedar and pine timber. One of them is about ten rods
long at the base, and three or four rods in width; its elevation is
probably twenty-five or thirty feet from the plain in which it is
situated. The size of these mounds continually increases, as the water
oozes out at different points, and produces a crust which becomes quite
hard. The rocks, for miles around, are of the soda formation. Upon these
mounds the water is warm. In a small bottom, immediately before
reaching the first of these mounds, and about two hundred yards above
the road, is a hole about eight feet in diameter; in this is a pool of
water, strongly impregnated with soda. I had no means of ascertaining
the depth, but believe it to be considerable; at one edge of it the
water was boiling and sparkling; it would sometimes swell four inches
above the surface. This pool, and others contiguous, affords excellent
drinking water; it was cool, and, when sweetened, would compare
favourably with any soda water. Just below the mound, and near the
grove, is a rapid stream of water, coursing over a rocky bottom, formed
by soda. At the crossing of this creek, and below the road, is a morass;
and immediately on the bank of the rivulet, is a crevice in the rock,
from which a small stream of water issues; this was the best to drink of
any I found. After crossing the creek, the distance to the springs
generally resorted to is about three-fourths of a mile; they boil up in
every direction. Several mounds have been formed, of ten feet in height.
The water has found some other passage, and left them to moulder away.
The centre or middle of these are concave. The surface of the earth here
is some twelve or fifteen feet above the level of the river, the bank of
which is of rock, of the soda formation. A grove of cedar and pine
timber extends from the river back to {39} the mountain, a distance of
two and a half or three miles; the space between the road and the river
is covered with grass; but between it and the mountain it is barren of
vegetation of any kind. The soda has left a sediment, which is now
crumbled and loose, with an occasional mound of ten or twelve feet
elevation, but no water running. The river here is about one hundred
yards in width, and about eighteen inches in depth, running very
rapidly. The soda water is bubbling up in every direction, and sometimes
rises six inches above the surface of the river. This bubbling extends
for near half a mile. A stream comes in from the north at the western
edge of the springs, tumbles over the rocks, and finally into the river.
Near where one branch of this falls over the rock (it has several
passages where the road crosses it) is a circular basin in the rock,
being two feet in diameter at the top, but larger below. It was covered
with grass; and, in walking along, I barely avoided stepping into it;
whilst at its edge the purling or gurgling of the water, as it boils up,
apprized me of its vicinity. The surface of the water is about three
feet below the top of the rock. The water is cool, much more so than the
water of the springs, and is remarkably clear.

Three hundred yards below the crossing of this branch, and immediately
on the bank of the river, is the Steamboat Spring.[59] The water has
formed a small cone of about two and a half feet in height, and three
feet in diameter, at the base. A hole of six inches in diameter at the
top, allows the water to discharge itself. It swells out at intervals of
eight or ten seconds, and sometimes flows four or five feet in
disjointed fragments. It is lukewarm, and has a milky appearance; but
when taken in a vessel becomes as transparent as crystal. It produces a
sound similar to the puffing of a steamboat, but not quite so deep. It
can frequently be heard at the distance of a quarter of a mile. About
six feet from this is a small fissure in the rock, which is called the
escape-pipe or gas-pipe. It makes a hissing noise, corresponding with
the belching of the spring. The gas emitted from this fissure is so
strong that it would suffocate a person, holding his head near the
ground. To the rear of this, across the road, are mounds fifty or sixty
feet in height; these were entirely dry. Up this creek is very good
grazing for cattle, but there are found some marshy places contiguous.
The bottom upon the opposite side of the river is four or five miles in
width, and covered with a good coat of grass. The soil looks good; and
if the seasons are not too {40} short, would produce well. The mountain
upon the south side is covered with heavy pine timber; on the north side
but little timber was observed; what little was noticed consisted
principally of scrubby cedars. Antelope found in abundance. The water,
in many of the springs, is sufficiently strong to raise bread, equally
as well as saleratus or yeast. Were it not for their remote situation,
these springs would be much resorted to, especially during the summer
months. The country is mountainous, and its altitude so great, that the
air is always cool, and consequently must be healthy.

Companies wishing to remain for a length of time at the springs, would
pursue a proper course in driving their cattle over the river, as good
grazing can thereby be had.

_August 5._ We traveled about nineteen miles. Five miles brought us to
where the road leaves the river, and bears northward through a valley.
The river bears to the southward and empties its waters into Big Salt
Lake.[60] The range of mountains bounding the north side of the river
here comes to within a half mile of it, then bears off to the north,
leaving a valley of about seven or eight miles in width between it and a
range coming from Lewis river, and extending south towards Salt Lake.
The range bounding the south side of the river comes abruptly to the
stream at this point, presenting huge and cumbrous masses of basaltic
rock, but it is generally covered with heavy timber. At this point two
trails are found: one striking west, across the valley, to the opposite
side; the other, which is the nearest and best, follows around the
point, hugging the base of the mountain for several miles. Two and one
half miles distant, and immediately beneath a cliff of rocks by the road
side, is to be found a soda pool. A little spring of cool soda water
runs out at the base of the rock, and a basin of eight or ten yards in
extent, and about two and one half feet high has been formed. Inside of
this, is a pool of water;--the material composing the bank around, is of
a white color. In a few miles travel, we crossed several spring
branches. We then directed our course through the plain for some eight
or nine miles, to where we encamped. Our camp was located near a spring
branch; but a small quantity of wood was found; grazing was excellent.
From where the road leaves the river, the country presents every
appearance of having been volcanic at some period. Craters are yet
standing in the plain, exhibiting positive evidence of this fact. A
large mound has been formed by the lava ejected from this crater. In
the centre is {41} a deep cavity; now partially filled, from the falling
in of the masses of bank surrounding it. In every direction the eye
rests upon fragments of rock, which have been thrown out in a hot and
burning condition, many of them melted and united; pieces resembling
broken junk bottles or black glass lay scattered over the plain. The
valley for ten or twelve miles is covered with stone of this
description. In many places the rocks have been lifted or bulged up to
an elevation of ten or fifteen feet, the top has been burst asunder,
presenting a cavity of eight or ten feet in width, caused by the
fragments having been cast out; the depth of the cavity is from twenty
to thirty feet, the sides have a black appearance, and exhibit
indications of having been burned; at other places the rock had been
lifted up, and elevated above the surface of the earth some five or six
feet, and about the same in width, having numerous small apertures in
it, the centre being concave. The stone forms a complete arch. At other
places the rock has been rent, and a chasm of thirty or forty feet in
depth and from two to ten feet in width, has been the result. These
chasms are about one quarter of a mile in length. The fragments lay in
every direction.

The country over this plain is rather barren; but at certain seasons of
the year, is covered with grass, which during the summer months dies,
leaving but little appearance of vegetation. After we had halted for the
night, three families who had separated from our company at the Soda
Springs, passed us. A few hours had elapsed, and we espied one of their
number returning post haste to our camp. When he arrived, he was so
paralysed with fear, that it was with difficulty we obtained from him
the cause of his alarm. It appeared evident, from his statement, that a
party of Snake Indians meditated an attack upon their party. We
dispatched a company to their relief, but soon had the gratification to
witness the return of their wagons to our camp. It appears that one of
their number had marched about two miles in advance of the wagons, when
he was discovered by a party of Snake Indians, lurking in the vicinity,
who immediately gave him chase, at every step uttering the most terrific
yells, and endeavoured to surround him; but as he was astride a fleet
American courser, he succeeded in outstripping them, and arrived at the
wagons in time to prepare for their approach. The wagons were then in a
deep ravine, and could not be seen, by the Indians in pursuit, until
within seventy-five yards. As soon as the Indians discovered {42} their
proximity to the wagons they commenced a precipitate retreat, and the
emigrants rejoined our party.

_August 6._ We traveled this day about fifteen miles. The road for seven
miles is up the valley; it then takes over the mountain, to the waters
running into Snake or Lewis river. The high range of mountains which
bears off towards _Salt Lake_, terminates near the road on the left. The
road follows a ravine, and winds about among the hills, and thickets of
quaking aspen, until it reaches a spring branch, down which it follows,
to near Fort Hall. Over the ridge, and for two miles down the branch,
there is but little grass found. At the distance of three miles, on our
left up the mountain, were several patches of snow. A few of our party
brought some of the snow to our camp.

_August 7._ This day we made about eighteen miles. For ten miles the
road is very good. Along the stream is found willow brush, answering for
fuel. The last seven miles is over a sandy plain; it was dry, and very
heavy traveling. Our camp was at a large spring of cold water; grazing
was very good.

_August 8._ We traveled but five miles, which brought us to Fort
Hall.[61] This is a trading post in the possession of the _Hudson's Bay
Company_. Like the forts on the east side of the mountains, it is built
of mud or adobes. (This term applies to sun-burnt brick.) They are of a
similar construction. At each corner is a bastion, projecting out some
eight or ten feet, perforated with holes for fire-arms. Captain Grant is
now the officer in command; he has the bearing of a gentleman.[62] The
garrison was supplied with flour, which had been procured from the
settlements in Oregon, and brought here on pack horses. They sold it to
the emigrants for twenty dollars per cwt., taking cattle in exchange;
and as many of the emigrants were nearly out of flour, and had a few
lame cattle, a brisk trade was carried on between them and the
inhabitants of the fort. In the exchange of cattle for flour, an
allowance was made of from five to twelve dollars per head. They also
had horses which they readily exchanged for cattle or sold for cash. The
price demanded for horses was from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. They
could not be prevailed upon to receive anything in exchange for their
goods or provisions, excepting cattle or money.

The bottoms here are wide, and covered with grass. There is an
abundance of wood for fuel, fencing, and other purposes. {43} No attempt
has, as yet, been made to cultivate the soil. I think the drought too
great; but if irrigation were resorted to, I doubt not it would produce
some kinds of grain, such as wheat, corn, potatoes, &c.

Our camp was located one mile to the southwest of the fort; and as at
all the other forts, the Indians swarmed about us. They are of the Snake
tribe, and inhabit the country bordering on Lewis and Bear rivers, and
their various tributaries. This tribe is said to be numerous; but in
consequence of the continual wars which they have engaged in with the
Sioux, Crows and Blackfeet, their numbers are rapidly diminishing.

Snake river, which flows within one half mile of the fort, is a clear
and beautiful stream of water.[63] It courses over a pebbly bottom. Its
width is about one hundred and fifty yards. It abounds in fish of
different varieties, which are readily taken with the hook.

While we remained in this place, great efforts were made to induce the
emigrants to pursue the route to California. The most extravagant tales
were related respecting the dangers that awaited a trip to Oregon, and
of the difficulties and trials to be surmounted. The perils of the way
were so magnified as to make us suppose the journey to Oregon almost
impossible. For instance, the two crossings of _Snake_ river, and the
crossing of the Columbia, and other smaller streams, were represented as
being attended with great danger; also that no company heretofore
attempting the passage of these streams, succeeded, but with the loss of
men, from the violence and rapidity of the current; as also that they
had never succeeded in getting more than fifteen or twenty head of
cattle into the Willamette valley. In addition to the above, it was
asserted that three or four tribes of Indians, in the middle region, had
combined for the purpose of preventing our passage through their
country, and should we attempt it, we would be compelled to contend with
these hostile tribes. In case we escaped destruction at the hands of the
savages, a more fearful enemy, that of famine, would attend our march;
as the distance was so great that winter would overtake us before making
the passage of the Cascade Mountains.

On the other hand, as an inducement to pursue the California route, we
were informed of the shortness of the route, when compared with that to
Oregon; as also of many other superior advantages it possessed.

{44} These tales, told and rehearsed, were likely to produce the effect
of turning the tide of emigration thither. Mr. Greenwood, an old
mountaineer, well stocked with falsehoods, had been dispatched from
California to pilot the emigrants through;[64] and assisted by a young
man by the name of McDougal, from Indiana, so far succeeded as to induce
thirty-five or thirty-six wagons to take that trail.[65]

About fifteen wagons had been fitted out, expressly for California; and,
joined by the thirty-five afore-mentioned, completed a train of fifty
wagons; what the result of their expedition has been, I have not been
able to learn.[66]

_August 9._ This day we traveled about eight miles; five miles brought
us to the crossing of Portneth. This is a stream heading in the
mountains near the Soda Springs, receiving numerous branches in this
bottom, and is here about eighty yards in width.[67] From this place, it
is one mile to the crossing of a narrow slough, with steep banks. We
crossed, and journeyed two miles to the bank of Snake river, where we
encamped. Eight wagons joined us at our encampment.

_August 10._ We remained in camp.

_August 11._ This day we traveled about eight miles; which brought us to
within one mile of the American falls.[68] Our camp was at the springs.
An island in the river afforded excellent grazing for cattle. The
country is extremely barren, being sandy sage plains.[69]

_August 12._ We traveled about fifteen miles, which brought us to Levy
creek, or Beaver-dam creek, as it is sometimes termed; it is a small
stream; its waters flow down a succession of falls, producing a handsome
cascade: it has the appearance of having been built up by beaver. The
property of the water has turned the material into stone; the water
appears to be impregnated with soda; the rocks along the bank are of
that formation.[70] The best camp is two miles farther on.

_August 13._ This day we traveled about eight miles, to Cassia creek;
here the California trail turns off. The road {45} has been very dusty
and heavy traveling. The country presents the same usual barren

_August 14._ This day we traveled about fifteen miles, and reached
marshy springs; the road has been stony and dusty; the country mostly
destitute of vegetation--nothing growing but the wild sage and

_August 15._ We traveled but eleven miles. The road runs over a sage
plain for eight miles, when it crosses the stream from the marsh; no
water running, and but little standing in pools. At the distance of
three miles the road strikes the river bottom, at the lower end of this,
at which place the road leaves it; here was found a good camp.

_August 16._ We traveled about twenty-three miles. Four miles brought us
to Goose creek. We found difficulty in crossing, and no good location
for a camp.[73] After seven miles travel we reached the river; but
little grass. Twelve miles brought us to Dry Branch; here also was
unsuitable ground for encamping, as the water was standing in pools. The
road we traveled was very dusty, and portions of it quite stony; here
the river runs through a rocky _kanyon_. The cliffs are sometimes of the
height of one thousand feet, and nearly perpendicular.[74] Above the
_kanyon_, the river is two or three hundred yards wide; but at this
place it is not more than one hundred and fifty feet; and at one place,
where there is a fall of some twenty feet, its width does not exceed
seventy-five feet. In our march this day I attempted to get down to the
river, to procure a drink of water, but for six miles was unable to do
so, owing to the steep precipitous banks.

_August 17._ We traveled but eight miles. The road lay over a sage
plain to the bottom on Rock creek.[75] Here we found a very good camp.

_August 18._ This day we traveled about twenty miles. After the distance
of eight miles we arrived at the crossing of Rock creek, (in a
_kanyon_,) here we halted for dinner, and gave our cattle water. We then
took up the bluff, and traveled over sand and sage plains for about
twelve miles. When night overtook us we drove to the top of the river
bluff and encamped. We drove our cattle one and a half miles down the
bluff to the river for water. Here we found a little grass and green
brush, but it was not sufficient in quantity to supply our cattle, and
we could do no better. We packed water up the bluff to our camp. The
bluffs at this place exceed one thousand feet in height; they are of
basalt. The road is on a high barren {46} plain; a range of mountains is
on our left hard by, and at a great distance on our right another range

_August 19._ We traveled about twelve miles. Nine miles brought us to
where we pass down to the river bottom; from this point the distance to
the river was three miles. A warm spring branch empties itself into the
river at this place. Emigrants would pursue a more proper course by
encamping on the bottom, near the source of Rock creek, then drive down
to where the road crosses in a _kanyon_, then following the road for
eight or nine miles to where the road leaves the bluff of the creek and
encamp, driving their cattle into the creek bottom. From this place they
can drive to Salmon Fall creek, just four miles below our present
encampment, follow down this creek to its mouth, where will be found an
excellent camp.

_August 20._ We traveled about nine miles, reaching the Salmon
Falls.[76] Here are eighteen or twenty Indian huts. Salmon come up to
these falls: the Indians have an abundance of them, which they very
readily dispose of for hooks, powder, balls, clothing, calico and
knives, and in fact for almost anything we have at our disposal.

The river at this place is a succession of cataracts for several miles,
the highest of which does not exceed twelve feet. The grazing was very
poor, and the country barren as usual.

_August 21._ We traveled about twelve miles; for two miles the road is
up a sandy hill, it then strikes a sandy sage plain, over which it takes
its course for ten miles. Here night overtook us, as we had commenced
our march at a very late hour on account of having lost some horses. Our
camp was on the top of the river bluff. It is one mile to water; but
little grass was found. This day we found several head of cattle that
had given out from fatigue of traveling. Some of the companies had been
racing, endeavoring to pass each other, and now they have reached a
region where but little grass is found--are beginning to reap the reward
of their folly.

_August 22._ Our cattle were so much scattered that it was late in the
day when we prepared to resume our march. We traveled about ten miles.
At night we left the road, and directed our course to the right, down a
ravine to the river, where we encamped. Our cattle suffered much for
want of food.

_August 23._ This morning we turned up the ravine for one and a half
miles, and then struck up the hill to the road. Three and a half miles
brought us to where the road crosses {47} the Snake river. In coming
down to the river bottom, there is a very steep hill. Along the shore of
this river was a little grass; there are two islands covered with
grass, so that our cattle were soon repaid for their privations
heretofore. The difficulties attending the crossing of this stream had
been represented as being almost insurmountable; but upon examination we
found it an exaggeration. From the main shore to first island there is
no difficulty; from first to second island, turn well up, until nearly
across, then bear down to where the road enters it. The water is not
deep until nearly across, and not then if you keep well up stream. From
second island to main shore is more difficult; it is about three hundred
yards wide and the current very rapid. Strike in, heading well up for
two rods, then quartering a little down until eight or ten rods from
shore: then quartering a little up for fifteen or twenty rods; then
strike up for the coming out place; the bottom is gravelly. With the
exception of a few holes, the water for the first fifteen rods is the
deepest part of the ford. The bottom is very uneven; there are holes
found of six or eight feet in width, many of them swimming. Those
crossing this stream can escape the deepest of these holes by having
horsemen in the van and at each side; it is necessary that there be
attached to each wagon four or six yoke of oxen, the current being
swift; and in the passage of these holes, previously alluded to, when
one yoke is compelled to swim, the others may be in shallow water. Great
care must be taken that these teams be not beat down too low and pass
over the ripple; and to prevent such a casualty, two drivers must attend
each wagon. Before attempting the passage of the river all articles
liable to damage, from coming in contact with the water, should be piled
on the top of the wagon bed. We commenced crossing at eleven o'clock,
A. M., and at one o'clock, P. M., we effected the passage of the stream,
and were so fortunate as to land our goods free from all damage. We
traveled two miles to a spring branch and pitched our encampment. Good
grass, wood and water, were procured in plenty.[77]

_August 24._ We traveled but six miles. Soon after leaving camp we
directed our course up a stony hill; thence over a sage plain to a
spring branch.[78] We pursued our way up this branch for one mile, where
we obtained good grazing for our cattle; a high range of hills appearing
on our right, at the distance of two miles, an occasional grove of pine
timber upon them; but, in general, the mountains here are covered with
{48} grass; numerous streams issuing from their sides, and pouring their
waters in the plain below. There is no appearance of vegetation until
you reach the low bottoms immediately along the water's edge. The road
traveled to-day was quite stony.

The Indians along this road are expert in theft and roguery. A young man
having a horse which he had taken much pains to get along, when night
approached, staked and hobbled him, that he might not stray off; but at
night an Indian stole into the camp, unhobbled the horse, cut the rope,
and took him off, leaving the young man undisturbed in his sleep. A few
days thereafter, this Indian effected a sale of the horse to one of a
party of emigrants traveling behind us.

_August 25._ We remained in camp.

_August 26._ We traveled about ten miles; our camp was located on a
small rivulet, at a quarter of a mile's distance above the road, and
near the mouth of the _Hot_ Spring branch. Between the road and the
mountain good grazing was found. The river is about eight miles on our
left; the space between is a barren, sandy sage plain.

_August 27._ We traveled about sixteen miles; one mile brought us to the
Hot Springs, near which the road passes.[79] These springs are in a
constant state of ebullition. They number from five to six, extending
over a surface of two to three yards, all uniting and forming a stream
of one yard in width and about three inches deep, running quite rapid.
The water is sufficiently hot for culinary purposes. About fifteen rods
off, approaching the mountain, which is half a mile distant, are similar
springs, the waters of which flow into a reservoir a short distance
below. An ox, belonging to our party, appeared desirous to test the
qualities of the water afforded by these springs. His owners, seeing his
inclination, attempted to arrest his steps, but failed; when he arrived
at the brink of one of them, and stuck his nose in, preparatory to
indulging in a draught of the delicious nectar, he immediately wheeled,
and made the welkin ring by his bellowing; kicking and running, he
showed he was evidently displeased with himself. Our camp was on Barrel
creek bottom, which is very narrow.

_August 28._ We traveled about eighteen miles, crossing several running
branches. The road is near the base of the mountain; wild sage and
grease wood found in plenty. Encamped on Charlotte's fork, a small

_August 29._ We traveled about eighteen miles, which brought us to Bois
river, a stream of forty or fifty yards in {49} width, and abounding in
salmon; its banks are lined with Balm of Gilead timber.[80] The bottoms
here are two or three miles wide, and covered with grass.

_August 30._ We traveled about eleven miles. The road is sometimes on
bottom, at others, on bluff. The Indians are very numerous along this
stream; they have a large number of horses; clothing is in much demand;
for articles of clothing costing in the States ten or twelve dollars, a
very good horse can be obtained.

_August 31._ We traveled about 14 miles. The road pursues its course
down the valley of the Bois river.

_September 1._ We traveled about thirteen miles. Two miles from camp we
crossed Bois river. Some of the bottoms are covered with grass, others
with wild sage and grease wood. The road was very dusty. There is not
much timber along the stream, but great quantities of brush.

_September 2._ We reached Fort Bois. This is a trading post of the
Hudson's Bay Company, established upon the northern side of Snake or
Lewis river, and one mile below the mouth of Bois river. This fort was
erected for the purpose of recruiting, or as an intermediate post, more
than as a trading point. It is built of the same materials, and modeled
after Fort Hall, but is of a smaller compass. Portions of the bottoms
around it afford grazing; but, in a general view, the surrounding
country is barren.[81]

North of this fort is an extensive plain, which has an extremely
unfertile appearance; but, I am informed, that during the winter and
spring months it affords good grazing. At this fort they have a quantity
of flour in store, brought from OREGON CITY, for which they demanded
twenty dollars per cwt., in cash; a few of our company being in extreme
want, were obliged to purchase at this exorbitant price. At this place
the road crosses the river; the ford is about four hundred yards below
the fort, and strikes across to the head of an island, then bears to the
left to the southern bank; the water is quite deep, but not rapid; it
swam some of our smallest work cattle; the bottom is solid and smooth.
We cut poles, and laid them across the top of our wagon-beds, piling our
loading on them; answering a twofold purpose--preventing our loading
from damage, as also by its weight keeping the wagons steady and
guarding them against floating. In about three hours we effected our
passage in safety, but few of the goods getting wet. We went up the
bottom a half mile, and there encamped; {50} driving our cattle on an
island hard by, to graze. Fort Bois is about two hundred and eighty
miles below Fort Hall, following the wagon road; but by crossing the
river at Fort Hall, and going down on the north side, the distance would
be lessened, as the river bears off south, and then north; and judging
from the appearance of the country, I think a road may be found, equal,
if not better than the one on the south side; and, I doubt not, the
grazing will be found better.[82]

_September 3._ We traveled fifteen miles, to Malheur, or Malore, as it
is sometimes called: here is a good camp. This is a stream of about ten
yards in width, having its source in a range of mountains to the
southwest, and pursuing its meanderings through a succession of hills,
sage and sand plains, and occasionally a fertile bottom, until it
arrives at Snake river, into which it empties. A few miles below Fort
Bois, its course from its source is north of east. Along its banks, near
to where the road crosses it, are a number of hot springs; they are of
the same temperature of those between the two crossings of Snake
river.[83] Here we met Dr. White, a sub-Indian agent, accompanied by
three others, on their way from OREGON to the STATES.[84]

At this place are two trails; the fork is in the bottom above the
crossing of the creek, and there is a possibility of emigrants pursuing
the wrong route. I do not deem it amiss to give some particulars in
relation to this road. Mr. Meek, who had been engaged as our pilot, but
had previously gone in advance of the companies who had employed him,
and who had after reaching Fort Hall, fitted up a party to pilot through
to Oregon, informed the emigrants that he could, by taking up this
stream to near its source, and then striking across the plains, so as to
intersect the old road near to the mouth of Deshutes or Falls river,
save about one hundred and fifty miles travel; also that he was
perfectly familiar with the country through which the proposed route
lay, as he had traveled it; that no difficulty or danger attended its
travel. He succeeded in inducing about two hundred families to pursue
this route; they accordingly directed their course to the left, up this
creek, about ten days previous to our arrival at the forks.

_September 4._ We traveled about twenty miles; ten miles brought us to a
sulphur spring, and ten miles more to Birch creek, where we
encamped.[85] The country is considerably rolling, and much of it
barren: no timber found.

_September 5._ We traveled about eight miles; three miles {51} brought
us to Snake river, and five more to Burnt river. The road is hilly but
good; the country mountainous. Here is a good camp.

_September 6._ We made about twelve miles. The road is up Burnt river,
and the most difficult road we have encountered since we started. The
difficulties arise from the frequent crossings of the creek, which is
crooked, narrow and stony. We were often compelled to follow the road,
in its windings for some distance, over high, sidelong and stony ridges,
and frequently through thickets of brush. The stream is about ten or
twelve yards in width, and is generally rapid. The hills are high, and
covered with grass.[86]

_September 7._ This day we traveled about twelve miles. The road
exceeded in roughness that of yesterday. Sometimes it pursued its course
along the bottom of the creek, at other times it wound its way along the
sides of the mountains, so sidelong as to require the weight of two or
more men on the upper side of the wagons to preserve their equilibrium.
The creek and road are so enclosed by the high mountains, as to afford
but little room to pass along, rendering it in some places almost
impassable. Many of the mountains viewed from here seem almost
perpendicular, and of course present a barren surface. The eye is
occasionally relieved by a few scrubby cedars; but along the creek is
found birch, bitter cottonwood, alder, &c., in quantity, and several
kinds of brush and briars, so impenetrable as to preclude ingress. The
road pursues its course through these thickets, the axe having been
employed; but it is so very narrow as almost to prevent travel.

A little digging, and the use of the axe, united with the erection of
bridges, would make this a very good road. At first view this road
appeared to us impassable, and so difficult of travel, as almost to
deter us from the attempt; but knowing that those who had preceded us
had surmounted the difficulties, encouraged us to persevere. It required
much carefulness, and the exercise of skill on the part of our drivers
to pass along and avoid the dangers of the way. We pursued our route
without any loss, with the exception of that attending the breakage of
two wagon tongues, done in crossing some deep ravines. We also
experienced difficulty in finding our cattle, which had strayed away.
Five miles from camp the road turns up a spring branch to the right,
which we followed two miles, crossing it very frequently; it then turns
up the mountain of the left, until it strikes another ravine. We
followed {52} up this for one mile, where water makes its appearance.
Here is found a good camp. The road then takes to the left up the hill,
and then down to a dry branch: here is a good camp, one mile to running
water. This portion of the road is solid and of good travel.

_September 8._ This day we traveled about fourteen miles. Two miles
brought us to the creek again; the bottom here is of some extent. We
followed this bottom for the distance of one mile; the road then led up
the right hand branch, crossing several small branches, taking up a
ravine to the left over a ridge, until it reaches the fork of the river;
pursues its route up this river some six or seven miles, crossing it
twice, then directs its course to the right, through a narrow ravine
over the mountain, then strikes Dry Branch; we followed up this branch
to running water, and near to a scrubby pine; here we encamped. The road
has been solid and good. The hills and valleys appear well covered with

_September 9._ This day we traveled about sixteen miles. The road runs
up the branch for one mile, then turns to the left over the hill,
pursuing a very winding course for some thirteen miles, until it reaches
a slough in Powder river bottoms. Powder river is a stream of some eight
or ten yards in width, having its source in the high range of mountains
on our left, which mountains in many places are covered with snow.[87]
An abundance of pine timber is found covering the sides of these
mountains, sometimes extending far down into the bottoms, which here are
between six and seven miles in width. The soil is fertile and would
undoubtedly yield abundantly.

To our right, at the distance of fifteen or twenty miles, is presented a
high range of mountains, their base covered with grass, their sides with
heavy pine timber. At their summit they are entirely destitute of
vegetation: some of these are very lofty, their peaks present a very
lustrous appearance, resembling the snow mountains. This shining,
dazzling appearance they possess, is derived I think from the material
of which they are composed, being a kind of white clay.

The valley between Powder river and this range is very rolling, portions
of it covered with wild sage. Wild fowl abound in this valley.

_September 10._ This day we traveled about ten miles; our course was
down the valley of Powder river; eight miles brought us to the crossing
of the same, one mile to the middle {53} fork, and one to the third
fork. There is good ground for encampments at any point along these

At our camp we were visited by an Indian chief of the tribe Caäguas,[88]
accompanied by his son. He was of a friendly disposition; his object in
visiting us was principally to barter for cattle; he had in his
possession thirty or more horses.

_September 11._ This day we traveled about twelve miles; for the first
five or six miles, the road was quite level and good, it then follows a
ridge dividing Powder river and Grand Round; this portion of the road is
very uneven and stony. The road leading down into the valley of Grand
Round, is circuitous, and its difficulty of travel enhanced by its
roughness; it is about one and a half miles in length, to where it
reaches the bottom. Grand Round is a valley, whose average width does
not exceed twenty miles, and is about thirty miles in length; a stream
of water of some twenty yards in width passes through this valley,
receiving considerable addition to its volume from the many rivulets
that pour down their waters from the mountains, by which this valley is
enclosed. The bottoms are of rich friable earth, and afford grass of
various kinds, among others that of red clover. There is a root here
found in great abundance, and known as the _camas_, which is held in
high repute by the Indians for some medicinal qualities it is thought to
possess; wild flax and a variety of other plants grow in luxuriance,
like to those I have observed in the western prairies.[89] The streams
are generally lined with timber, and abound in salmon and other
varieties of fish. Upon the sides of the mountains and extending down
into the valley are found beautiful groves of yellow pine timber. These
mountains are places of resort for bear, deer, and elk.

This bottom affords an excellent situation for a settlement, possessing
more advantages in that respect, than any found since our departure from
the lower Platte river. North of this and at the distance of about
twenty miles, is another valley, similar in appearance to this, but of
greater extent.[90] The streams having their course through this valley
empty into Lewis river, which is eighty or ninety miles to the north.
Our camp was at the foot of the hill, convenient to a spring branch. At
twilight we were visited by four or five of the Caäguas, the tribe
alluded to previously.

An incident quite worthy of note, occurred at this place. The {54}
chief (Aliquot by name)[91] who had joined us at our other encampment,
and had pursued this day's journey in company, had pitched his tent some
three hundred yards to the rear of our camp. In the evening, in
strolling about the camp, I came near his tent, and entered with the
intention of employing his squaw in the soling of my moccasins; while
she was engaged in this employment, a conversation had sprung up between
the old chief and myself, in which he took occasion to ask me if I were
a christian, as also whether there were many upon the road; to which
questions I of course answered in the affirmative, supposing that he
merely wished to know, whether I classed myself with the heathen or
christians. On my return to our camp, some one of our party proposed
that we should while away an hour or so, in a game at cards, which was
readily assented to. We had but engaged in our amusement, when the old
chief Aliquot made his appearance, holding a small stick in his hand; he
stood transfixed for a moment, and then advanced to me, raising his
hand, which held the stick in the act of chastising me, and gently
taking me by the arm, said "Captain--Captain--no good; no good." You may
guess my astonishment, at being thus lectured by a "wild and untutored
savage," twenty five hundred miles from a civilized land. I inwardly
resolved to abandon card playing forever.

_September 12._ This day we traveled about seven miles; the road runs
across the upper end of Grand round, to a small spring branch, when it
again ascends the mountains. At this spring branch we pitched our camp,
and while here, were visited by great numbers of Indians, including men,
squaws, and papooses. These Indians have decidedly a better appearance
than any I have met; tall and athletic in form, and of great symmetry of
person; they are generally well clad, and observe pride in personal
cleanliness. They brought wheat, corn, potatoes, peas, pumpkins, fish,
&c. which they were anxious to dispose of for cloths, calico, napkins
and other articles of wearing apparel; they also had dressed deer skins
and moccasins; they had good horses, which they offered in exchange for
cows and heifers; they would gladly exchange a horse for a cow,
esteeming the cow as of equal value. They remained with us throughout
the day, and when evening approached returned to their lodges along the
river two miles distant. I noticed a few of the Nez Percés (Pierced
Noses) tribe of Indians among them.[92] Both of these tribes are under
the influence and control of two Presbyterian missionaries, Dr. {55}
Whitman and Mr. Spalding, who have resided among them for the last ten
years; the former among the Caäguas, which inhabit the country bordering
on Wallawalla river and its tributaries, the Blue mountains and Grand
round: the latter among the Nez Percés who inhabit the country lying
along Lewis river, and its tributaries, from the eastern base of the
Blue mountains to the Columbia river.[93] These missionary
establishments are of a like character to those farther north. As I
shall have occasion to speak of these missionaries, as also the
beneficial results which have flowed from their residence among the
savages, I will return to my travels.

Some of our party becoming scant of provision, started for Dr.
Whitman's, the missionary establishment referred to above, intending to
rejoin us at Umatillo river, my old friend Aliquot generously proffered
his services as pilot for them, which were readily accepted.

_September 13._ This day we traveled about seven miles. From Grand Round
the road ascends the Blue mountains, and for two miles is quite steep
and precipitous; and to such an extent, as to require six yoke of oxen,
or more, to be attached to a wagon; from the summit of these mountains
is presented a rolling country for some four miles, alternately prairie
and groves of yellow pine timber. In the prairie the grass is quite dry,
but among the groves of timber it is green and flourishing. The road is
very stony; at the end of four miles it takes down the mountain to Grand
Round river, one mile in distance; it then crosses. Here is another
bottom covered with grass and bushes, where we pitched our encampment.
It is a remarkable circumstance that when individuals are engaged in
conversation, their voices can be heard distinctly at a quarter of a
mile distance; the discharge of a gun resembles that of a cannon, and is
echoed from hill to hill, the reverberations continuing for some length
of time.

_September 14._ This day we traveled about ten miles. The road ascended
the mountain for one and a half or two miles, then wound along the ridge
crossing many deep ravines, and pursuing its route over high craggy
rocks; sometimes directing its course over an open plain, at others
through thick groves of timber, winding among fallen trees and logs, by
which the road was encumbered. The scenery is grand and beautiful, and
cannot be surpassed; the country to a great distance is rough in the
extreme. It may strictly be termed a timber country, although many small
prairies are dotted over its surface. {56} The valleys are beautiful and
the soil presents a very rich appearance. We encamped in an opening, on
the south side of a range of mountains running to the north, and found
water in plenty in the bottom of the ravine, on our left, about one
fourth of a mile from the road. The timber growing in this region is
principally yellow pine, spruce, balsam fir, and hemlock; among the
bushes I noticed laurel.

_September 15._ This day we traveled about nine miles, over the main
ridge of the Blue Mountains. It is mostly a timbered country through
which we passed; the scenery is delightful, resembling in grandeur that
presented on yesterday's travel.[94] We had a fine view of the Cascade
Mountains to the west. Mount Hood, the loftiest of these, was plain to
the view. It was some one hundred and fifty miles distant, and being
covered with snow, appeared as a white cloud rising above those
surrounding it. To the north of Mount Hood, and north of the Columbia,
is seen Mount Saint Helen. We halted for the night at Lee's

_September 16._ We traveled about sixteen miles this day, which brought
us to Umatillo river. Here is an Indian town, the residence of the
principal chiefs of the Caäguas.[96] At this time they were mostly in
the mountains hunting. The road has been good; the first twelve miles
led us through a well timbered country, the last four miles over
prairie; the country has a dry appearance; the banks of the streams are
lined with cottonwood, balm of gilead, choke cherries and every variety
of bushes. The Indians have a few cultivated fields along this stream;
they raise wheat, corn, potatoes, peas and a variety of vegetables.
After the planting of crops, the labour of tending devolves upon the
squaws, or is done by slaves, of which they have a number, being
captives taken in their expeditions against other tribes. They brought
us the different products of their farms for traffic. As they expressed
great eagerness to obtain clothes, and we had a like desire to obtain
vegetables, a brisk traffic was continued until dark. On yesterday
morning when about ready to start, we discovered that eight or ten of
our work cattle were missing. Four of our number, myself included,
remained to hunt them up. In our search we rambled over the mountains
for several miles, and at night found them about three miles from camp;
we then followed the road and arrived at Lee's encampment just after
dark. This morning an ox, a mule and a horse were missing. Three of us
remained to hunt for them. We searched the prairies and {57} thickets
for miles around, but were unsuccessful. We then pursued the road to
Umatillo, which we reached at night.

_September 17._ At eight o'clock this morning, the men who had left us
at Grand Round for Dr. Whitman's station, rejoined us, accompanied by
the doctor and his lady.[97] They came in a two horse wagon, bringing
with them a plentiful supply of flour, meal and potatoes. After our
party had taken some refreshment, the march was resumed; our visitors
accompanying us to our camp four miles down the river. Our present
location affords but little grazing.

The doctor and lady remained with us during the day; he took occasion to
inform us of the many incidents that marked his ten years' sojourn in
this wilderness region, of a highly interesting character. Among other
things, he related that during his residence in this country, he had
been reduced to such necessity for want of food, as to be compelled to
slay his horse; stating that within that period, no less than thirty-two
horses had been served up at his table. It appears that the soil has
never been cultivated until within a few years back; but at this time,
so much attention is given to the culture of the soil, which yields
abundantly, that the privations of famine, or even scarcity, will
probably not again recur. The condition of the savages has been greatly
ameliorated and their improvement is chiefly attributable to the
missionary residents. They have a good stock of cattle, hogs, sheep,
&c., and raise an amount of grain not only sufficient to supply their
own wants, but affords a surplus. These tribes differ in their
appearance and customs from any we have met. They recognise the change
which has taken place, and are not ignorant that it has been effected by
the efforts and labor of the missionaries. On the other hand, they
acknowledge the benefits derived by yielding to their instructions. They
have embraced the Christian religion, and appear devout in their
espousal of Christian doctrines. The entire time of the missionaries is
devoted to the cause for which they have forsaken their friends and
kindred; they have left the comforts of home, and those places which
have been endeared by early associations, for the wild wilderness and
the habitation of the savage, prompted by those principles of charity
and benevolence which the Christian religion always inculcates. Their
privations and trials have been great, but they have borne them with
humility and meekness, and the fruits of their devotion are now
manifest; and if any class of people deserve well of their country, or
are entitled to the thanks of {58} a christian community, it is the
missionaries. Having no family of their own, they generously take
families of orphan children, raise and educate them in a manner that is
worthy of all commendation.[98]

_September 18._ This morning, after breakfast, our worthy guests left us
and we took up our line of march, traveling down the Umatillo valley for
some twelve miles, crossing the _stream_ twice. The road then takes up
the bluff to the right, over a high grassy plain. Our encampment was
pitched on the bluff on the left of the road. The water required at
camp, was packed about one and a half miles, being procured at the base
of the bluffs, up which we had to climb. The country is very rolling,
covered with dry grass; it is mostly prairie. From this point two snowy
peaks appear in view, as also the great valley of the Columbia; in truth
it may be said that our present location is in that valley, although it
is generally termed the middle region.

_September 19._ This day we traveled about ten miles. Eight miles
brought us to the river; we followed the banks of the river for two
miles, and encamped; good grazing is found. The stream as usual is lined
with timber, but with this exception, it is a rolling prairie as far as
can be seen, extending to the north and south, and bounded on the east
and west by the Blue and Cascade mountains. Whilst at this camp, we were
visited by the Wallawalla Indians; they reside along the lower part of
the Wallawalla, the low bottoms of the Umatillo and the Columbia, from
the mouth of Lewis river for one hundred miles south. They furnished us
with potatoes and venison. In their personal appearance they are much
inferior to the Caäguas, and want the cleanliness that characterizes
that tribe.[99]

_September 20._ This day we traveled about fifteen miles. For the first
eight miles the soil was remarkably rich in appearance, an admixture of
sand and loam, and covered with good grass; the stream is lined with
timber, in common with many of those that we have passed; the last seven
miles was sandy and heavy traveling. The Columbia river presents itself
on our right, at the distance of four miles. The river is in view for
miles along this road. The prickly pear is found in abundance. It was
our intention to have reached the Columbia before encamping, but from
the difficult traveling, were compelled to encamp on the sandy plain,
deprived of water, wood and grass.

{59} _September 21._ This morning at daylight we started for the
Columbia, distance three and a half miles. The river at this place is
from a half to three-fourths of a mile in width. It is a beautiful
stream; its waters are clear and course gently over a pebbly bottom.
Along the Columbia, is a strip of barren country of twelve miles in
width; a little dry grass in bunches, prickly pear and grease wood, dot
its surface. With this exception, its appearance was wild and solitary
to a great degree; but sterile as it is in appearance, the view is
relieved by the majesty of the river that flows by it. Immediately along
the bank of the Columbia is a narrow bottom, covered with green grass,
cucklebur, wild sunflower, pig weed, and several other kinds of weeds,
all of which were in full bloom. There was something inspiriting and
animating in beholding this. A feeling of pleasure would animate our
breasts akin to that filling the breast of the mariner, when after years
of absence, the shores of his native land appear to view. We could
scarce persuade ourselves but that our journey had arrived at its
termination. We were full of hope, and as it was understood that we had
but one more difficult part of the road to surmount, we moved forward
with redoubled energy; our horses and cattle were much jaded, but we
believed that they could be got through, or at least the greater part of

The Indians were constantly paying us visits, furnishing us with
vegetables, which, by the by, were quite welcome; but they would in
return demand wearing apparel, until by traffic, we were left with but
one suit. We were compelled to keep a sharp look out over our kitchen
furniture, as during these visits it was liable to diminish in quantity
by forming an attachment towards these children of the forest, and
following them off. Many of these savages were nearly naked; they differ
greatly from the Caäguas, being much inferior; they are a greasy,
filthy, dirty set of miscreants as ever might be met.

_September 22._ This day we remained in camp, engaged in traffic with
the Indians. Some of our party were in want of horses, and took this
occasion to supply themselves.

_September 23._ This day we traveled about twenty miles. The first eight
miles the road is heavy traveling; the remaining portion however is much
better, with the exception of the last five miles, which proved to be
quite rocky. There is an occasional green spot to be found, but the
whole distance we have traveled since we first struck the river cannot
be regarded {60} as more than a barren sandy plain. In our route this
day we passed several Indian villages; they are but temporary
establishments, as their migratory disposition will not justify more
permanent structures.

_September 24._ This day we traveled but sixteen miles. After a march of
seven miles, we arrived at a small creek, a good situation for
encamping; nine miles more brought us to Dry Branch, from whence we
proceeded down the bluff to the river; a great portion of the road
traveled was sandy and heavy.[100]

_September 25._ This day we traveled about fourteen miles. The road was
quite hilly; sometimes it followed the bank of the river, at others
pursued its course along the high bluff. The river is confined to a very
narrow channel; country very barren, and the bluffs of great height.

_September 26._ This day we traveled about three miles. The road ascends
the bluff; is very difficult in ascent from its steepness, requiring
twice the force to impel the wagons usually employed; after effecting
the ascent, the sinuosity of the road led us among the rocks to the
bluff on John Day's river; here we had another obstacle to surmount,
that of going down a hill very precipitous in its descent, but we
accomplished it without loss or injury to our teams. This stream comes
tumbling through kanyons and rolling over rocks at a violent rate. It is
very difficult to cross, on account of the stone forming the bed of the
creek; its width, however, does not exceed ten yards. The grazing is
indifferent, the grass being completely dried.[101]

_September 27._ This morning we discovered that several of our trail
ropes had been stolen. Our horses could not be found until very late;
notwithstanding the delay thus occasioned we traveled some twenty miles.
The road for the first three miles is up hill; it then pursues its
course over a grassy, rolling plain for fifteen or sixteen miles, when
it again descends the bluff to the bank of the Columbia, which we
followed down for one mile and there encamped. The bluffs are very high
and rocky. We suffered great inconvenience from the want of fuel, as
there is none to be found along the Columbia; we collected a few dry
sticks of driftwood and weeds, which enabled us to partially cook our
food. The road we traveled this day was very good.

_September 28._ This day we traveled about twelve miles. Two miles
brought us to the crossing of De Shutes or Falls {61} river; a stream
having its source in a marshy plain bordering on the Great Basin, and
receives numerous tributaries heading in the Cascade mountains, the
eastern base of which it follows and pours its waters into the Columbia.
The mouth of De Shutes river is near fifteen miles east of the Dalles or
eastern base of these mountains; the river is about one hundred yards
wide, and the current very rapid; the stream is enclosed by lofty cliffs
of basaltic rock. Four hundred yards from the Columbia is a rapid or
cascade. Within the distance of thirty yards its descent is from fifteen
to twenty feet.[102] The current of this stream was so rapid and
violent, and withal of such depth, as to require us to ferry it. Some of
the companies behind us, however, drove over at its mouth by crossing on
a bar. Preparatory to ferrying, we unloaded our wagons, and taking them
apart, put them aboard some Indian canoes, which were in waiting, and
crossed in safety; after putting our wagons in order of travel, and
preparing to start, we discovered ourselves minus a quantity of powder
and shot, two shirts and two pairs of pantaloons, which the Indians had
appropriated to their own use, doubtless to pay the trouble of ferriage.

In the morning a quarrel ensued among the Indians respecting their
canoes, closing in a _melee_, and such a fight I never before witnessed;
stones and missiles of every description that were at hand were used
with freedom. We did not interfere with them, and when they were tired
of fighting the effects of the battle were visible in numerous
instances, such as bloody noses and battered, bleeding heads.

We ascended the bluff and traveled along the brink for several miles,
then crossed over the ridge to a small creek; after crossing it, we took
up a dry run for one or two miles, thence over a ridge to a running
branch, and there encamped. The country through which we traveled this
day was extremely rough; all prairie, and covered with grass, but very

_September 29._ This day we traveled about five miles, which brought us
to the _Dalles_, or Methodist Missions.[103]

Here was the end of our road, as no wagons had ever gone below this
place. We found some sixty families in waiting for a passage down the
river; and as there were but two small boats running to the Cascade
falls, our prospect for a speedy passage was not overly flattering.

_September 30._ This day we intended to make arrangements for our
passage down the river, but we found upon inquiry, that the two boats
spoken of were engaged for at least {62} ten days, and that their
charges were exorbitant, and would probably absorb what little we had
left to pay our way to _Oregon City_. We then determined to make a trip
over the mountains, and made inquiries respecting its practicability of
some Indians, but could learn nothing definite, excepting that grass,
timber and water would be found in abundance; we finally ascertained
that a Mr. Barlow and Mr. Nighton had, with the same object, penetrated
some twenty or twenty-five miles into the interior, and found it
impracticable. Nighton had returned, but Barlow was yet in the
mountains, endeavoring to force a passage; they had been absent six
days, with seven wagons in their train, intending to go as far as they
could, and if found to be impracticable, to return and go down the

We succeeded in persuading fifteen families to accompany us in our trip
over the mountains, and immediately made preparations for our march. On
the afternoon of the first of October, our preparations were announced
as complete, and we took up our line of march; others in the mean time
had joined us, and should we fall in with Barlow, our train would
consist of some thirty wagons.

But before proceeding with a description of this route, I will enter
into a detail of the difficulties undergone by the company of two
hundred wagons, which had separated from us at Malheur creek, under the
pilotage of Mr. Meek.

It will be remembered that S. L. Meek had induced about two hundred
families, with their wagons and stock, to turn off at Malheur, with the
view of saving thereby some one hundred and fifty miles travel; and they
had started about the last of August. They followed up Malheur creek,
keeping up the southern branch, and pursuing a southern course. For a
long time they found a very good road, plenty of grass, fuel and water;
they left these waters, and directed their course over a rough
mountainous country, almost entirely bereft of vegetation, were for many
days destitute of water, and when they were so fortunate as to procure
this indispensable element, it was found stagnant in pools, unfit even
for the use of cattle; but necessity compelled them to the use of it.
The result was, that it made many of them sick; many of the cattle
died, and the majority were unfit for labor. A disease termed
camp-fever, broke out among the different companies, of which many
became the victims.

{63} They at length arrived at a marshy lake, which they attempted to
cross, but found it impracticable; and as the marsh appeared to bear
south, and many of them were nearly out of provisions, they came to a
determination to pursue a northern course, and strike the Columbia.
Meek, however, wished to go south of the lake, but they would not follow
him. They turned north, and after a few days' travel arrived at Deshutes
or Falls river. They traveled up and down this river, endeavoring to
find a passage, but as it ran through rocky _kanyons_, it was impossible
to cross.

Their sufferings were daily increasing, their stock of provisions was
rapidly wasting away, their cattle were becoming exhausted, and many
attached to the company were laboring under severe attacks of
sickness;--at length Meek informed them that they were not more than two
days' ride from the Dalles. Ten men started on horseback for the
Methodist stations, with the view of procuring provisions; they took
with them a scanty supply of provisions, intended for the two days'
journey. After riding faithfully for ten days, they at last arrived at
the Dalles. On their way they encountered an Indian, who furnished them
with a fish and a rabbit; this with the provision they had started with,
was their only food for the ten days' travel. Upon their arrival at the
Dalles they were so exhausted in strength, and the rigidity of their
limbs, from riding, was so great, as to render them unable to dismount
without assistance. They reached the Dalles the day previous to our

At this place they met an old mountaineer, usually called Black Harris,
who volunteered his services as a pilot.[105] He in company with several
others, started in search of the lost company, whom they found reduced
to great extremities; their provisions nearly exhausted, and the company
weakened by exertion, and despairing of ever reaching the settlements.
They succeeded in finding a place where their cattle could be driven
down to the river, and made to swim across; after crossing, the bluff
had to be ascended. Great difficulty arose in the attempt to effect a
passage with the wagons. The means finally resorted to for the
transportation of the families and wagons were novel in the extreme. A
large rope was swung across the stream and attached to the rocks on
either side; a light wagon bed was suspended from this rope with
pulleys, to which ropes were attached; this bed served to convey the
families and loading in safety across; the wagons {64} were then drawn
over the bed of the river by ropes. The passage of this river occupied
some two weeks. The distance was thirty-five miles to the Dalles, at
which place they arrived about the 13th, or 14th of October. Some twenty
of their number had perished by disease, previous to their arrival at
the Dalles, and a like number were lost, after their arrival, from the
same cause. This company has been known by the name of the St. Joseph
company; but there were persons from every state of the Union within its
ranks. Illinois and Missouri, however, had the largest representation.

The statements I have given are as correct as I could arrive at, from
consultation with many of the members. This expedition was unfortunate
in the extreme. Although commenced under favorable auspices, its
termination assumed a gloomy character.[106]

It has been stated that some members of the Hudson's Bay Company were
instrumental in this expedition, but such is not the fact. Whilst I was
at Fort Hall, I conversed with Captain Grant respecting the
practicability of this same route, and was advised of the fact, that the
teams would be unable to get through. The individual in charge at Fort
Bois also advised me to the same purport. The censure rests, in the
origin of the expedition, upon Meek; but I have not the least doubt but
he supposed they could get through in safety. I have understood that a
few of the members controlled Meek, and caused him to depart from his
original plan. It was his design to have conducted the party to the
_Willamette Valley_, instead of going to the Dalles; and the direction
he first traveled induced this belief. Meek is yet of the opinion that
had he gone round the marshy lake to the south, he would have struck the
settlement on the Willamette, within the time required to travel to the
Dalles. Had he discovered this route, it would have proved a great
saving in the distance. I do not question but that there may be a route
found to the south of this, opening into the valley of the
Willamette.[107] But I must again return to the subject of my travels.

_October 1._ At four o'clock, P. M., every thing was ready for our
departure, and we pursued our way over the ridge, in a southern course.
The country was very rolling, and principally prairie. We found
excellent grazing. Our camp was pitched on a small spring branch.

_October 2._ This day we made about ten miles, crossing several ravines,
many of which had running water in them; {65} the country, like that of
yesterday's travel, proved to be very rolling; our camp was situated on
a small spring branch, having its source in the mountain.

_October 3._ This morning I started on horseback in advance of the
company, accompanied by one of its members. Our course led us south over
a rolling, grassy plain; portions of the road were very stony. After a
travel of fourteen miles, we arrived at a long and steep declivity,
which we descended, and after crossing the creek at its base, ascended a
bluff; in the bottom are seen several small enclosures, where the
Indians have cultivated the soil; a few Indian huts may be seen along
this stream.

Meek's company crossed Deshute's river near the mouth of this stream,
which is five miles distant.[108] After ascending, we turned to the
right, directing our course over a level grassy plain for some five
miles or more, when we crossed a running branch; five miles brought us
to Stony Branch, and to scattering yellow pine timber. Here we found
Barlow's company of seven wagons. Barlow was absent at the time, having
with three others started into the mountain two days before. We remained
with them all night.

_October 4._ This morning myself and companion, with a scanty supply of
provisions for a two days' journey, started on a westerly course into
the mountains. From the open ground we could see Mount Hood. Our object
was to go south and near to this peak. For five miles the country was
alternately prairie and yellow pine; we then ascended a ridge, which
ascended gradually to the west. This we followed for ten miles. After
the crossing of a little brushy bottom, we took over another ridge for
four or five miles, very heavily timbered and densely covered with
undergrowth. We descended the ridge for a short distance, and traveled a
level bench for four miles; this is covered with very large and tall fir
timber; we then descended the mountain, traveling westward for one and a
half miles; we then came to a small branch, which we named Rock
creek.[109] After crossing the creek, we ascended a hill for one fourth
of a mile, then bore to the left around the hill, through a dense forest
of spruce pine. After five miles travel from Rock creek we came to a
marshy cedar swamp; we turned to the left, and there found a suitable
place for crossing. Here is a stream of from five to six yards in width,
when confined to one channel; but in many places it runs over a bottom
of two rods in width, strewed with old moss {66} covered logs and roots.
The water was extremely clear and cold. Four miles brought us to the top
of the bluff of a deep gulf; we turned our course northward for two
miles, when darkness overtook us, forcing us to encamp. A little grass
was discernible on the mountain sides, which afforded our jaded horses a
scanty supply.

_October 5._ At an early hour this morning, I proceeded down the
mountain to the stream at its base. I found the descent very abrupt and
difficult; the distance was one half mile. The water was running very
rapid; it had the same appearance as the water of the _Missouri_, being
filled with white sand. I followed this stream up for some distance, and
ascertained that its source was in Mount Hood; and from the appearance
of the banks, it seems that its waters swell during the night,
overflowing its banks, and subside again by day; it empties into
Deshute's river, having a sandy bottom of from two rods to half a mile
wide, covered with scrubby pines, and sometimes a slough of alder
bushes, with a little grass and rushes. We then ascended the mountain,
and as our stock of provisions was barely sufficient to last us through
the day, it was found necessary to return to camp. We retraced our steps
to where we had struck the bluff, and followed down a short distance
where we found the mountain of sufficiently gradual descent to admit of
the passage of teams; we could then follow up the bottom towards _Mount
Hood_, and as we supposed that this peak was the dividing ridge, we had
reasonable grounds to hope that we could get through. We then took our
trail in the direction of the camp; and late in the evening, tired and
hungry, we arrived at Rock creek, where we found our company encamped.
Barlow had not yet returned, but we resolved to push forward.

_October 6._ We remained in camp. As the grazing was poor in the timber,
and our loose cattle much trouble to us, we determined to send a party
with them to the settlement. The Indians had informed us that there was
a trail to the north, which ran over Mount Hood, and thence to Oregon
city. This party was to proceed up one of the ridges until they struck
this trail, and then follow it to the settlement. Two families decided
upon going with this party, and as I expected to have no further use for
my horse, I sent him with them. They were to procure provisions and
assistance, and meet us on the way. We had forwarded, by a company of
cattle-drivers from the Dalles, which started for the settlement on the
first of the {67} month, a request that they would send us provisions
and assistance; but as we knew nothing of their whereabouts, we had
little hope of being benefited by them.[110] The day was spent in making
the necessary arrangements for the cattle-drivers, and for working the
road. In the afternoon, Barlow and his party returned. They had taken
nearly the same route that we had; they had followed up the bluff of
this branch of the De Shutes, to within twelve or fifteen miles of Mount
Hood, where they supposed they had seen Willamette valley. They had then
taken the Indian trail spoken of, and followed it to one of the ridges
leading down to the river De Shutes; this they followed, and came out
near our camp. We now jointly adopted measures for the prosecution of
the work before us.

_October 7._ Early in the morning, the party designated to drive our
loose cattle made their arrangements, and left us. And as we supposed
our stock of provisions was insufficient to supply us until these men
returned, we dispatched a few men to the Dalles for a beef and some
wheat; after which, we divided our company so as that a portion were to
remain and take charge of the camp. A sufficient number were to pack
provisions, and the remainder were to be engaged in opening the road.
All being ready, each one entered upon the duty assigned him with an
alacrity and willingness that showed a full determination to prosecute
it to completion, if possible. On the evening of the 10th, we had opened
a road to the top of the mountain, which we were to descend to the
branch of the De Shutes.[111] The side of the mountain was covered with
a species of laurel bush, and so thick, that it was almost impossible to
pass through it, and as it was very dry we set it on fire. We passed
down and encamped on the creek, and during the night the fire had nearly
cleared the road on the side of the mountain.

On the morning of October 11th, a consultation was had, when it was
determined that Mr. Barlow, Mr. Lock, and myself, should go in advance,
and ascertain whether we could find a passage over the main dividing
ridge. In the mean time, the remainder of the party were to open the
road up the creek bottom as far as they could, or until our return. We
took some provision in our pockets, an axe, and one rifle, and started.
We followed up this branch about fifteen miles, when we reached a creek,
coming in from the left. We followed up this for a short distance, and
then struck across to {68} the main fork; and in doing so, we came into
a cedar swamp, so covered with heavy timber and brush that it was almost
impossible to get through it. We were at least one hour in traveling
half a mile. We struck the opening along the other fork, traveled up
this about eight miles, and struck the Indian trail spoken of before,
near where it comes down the mountain. The last eight miles of our
course had been nearly north--a high mountain putting down between the
branch and main fork. Where we struck the trail, it turned west into a
wide, sandy and stony plain, of several miles in width, extending up to
_Mount Hood_, about seven or eight miles distant, and in plain view.

I had never before looked upon a sight so nobly grand. We had previously
seen only the top of it, but now we had a view of the whole mountain. No
pen can give an adequate description of this scene. The bottom which we
were ascending, had a rise of about three feet to the rod. A perfect
mass of rock and gravel had been washed down from the mountain. In one
part of the bottom was standing a grove of dead trees, the top of which
could be seen; from appearance, the surface had been filled up
seventy-five or eighty feet about them. The water came tumbling down,
through a little channel, in torrents. Near the upper end of the bottom,
the mountains upon either side narrowed in until they left a deep chasm
or gulf, where it emerged from the rocky cliffs above.

Stretching away to the south, was a range of mountain, which from the
bottom appeared to be connected with the mountain on our left. It
appeared to be covered with timber far up; then a space of over two
miles covered with grass; then a space of more than a mile destitute of
vegetation; then commenced the snow, and continued rising until the eye
was pained in looking to the top. To our right was a high range, which
connected with Mount Hood, covered with timber. The timber near the snow
was dead.

We followed this trail for five or six miles, when it wound up a grassy
ridge to the left--followed it up to where it connected with the main
ridge; this we followed up for a mile, when the grass disappeared, and
we came to a ridge entirely destitute of vegetation. It appeared to be
sand and gravel, or rather, decomposed material from sandstone crumbled
to pieces. Before reaching this barren ridge, we met a party of those
who had started with the loose cattle, hunting for some which had
strayed off. They informed us that they had lost about {69} one-third of
their cattle, and were then encamped on the west side of Mount Hood. We
determined to lodge with them, and took the trail over the mountain. In
the mean time, the cattle-drovers had found a few head, and traveled
with us to their camp.

Soon after ascending and winding round this barren ridge, we crossed a
ravine, one or two rods in width, upon the snow, which terminated a
short distance below the trail, and extended up to the top of Mount
Hood. We then went around the mountain for about two miles, crossing
several strips of snow, until we came to a deep kanyon or gulf, cut out
by the wash from the mountain above us. A precipitate cliff of rocks, at
the head, prevented a passage around it. The hills were of the same
material as that we had been traveling over, and were very steep.

I judged the ravine to be three thousand feet deep. The manner of
descending is to turn directly to the right, go zigzag for about one
hundred yards, then turn short round, and go zigzag until you come under
the place where you started from; then to the right, and so on, until
you reach the base. In the bottom is a rapid stream, filled with sand.
After crossing, we ascended in the same manner, went round the point of
a ridge, where we struck another ravine; the sides of this were covered
with grass and whortleberry bushes. In this ravine we found the camp of
our friends. We reached them about dark; the wind blew a gale, and it
was quite cold.

_October 12._ After taking some refreshment, we ascended the mountain,
intending to head the deep ravine, in order to ascertain whether there
was any gap in the mountain south of us, which would admit of a pass.
From this peak, we overlooked the whole of the mountains. We followed up
the grassy ridge for one mile and a half, when it became barren. My two
friends began to lag behind, and show signs of fatigue; they finally
stopped, and contended that we could not get round the head of the
ravine, and that it was useless to attempt an ascent. But I was of a
different opinion, and wished to go on. They consented, and followed for
half a mile, when they sat down, and requested me to go up to the ledge,
and, if we could effect a passage up and get round it, to give them a
signal. I did so, and found that by climbing up a cliff of snow and ice,
for about forty feet, but not so steep but that by getting upon one
cliff, and cutting holes to stand in and hold on by, it could be
ascended. I gave the signal, and they came up. In the {70} mean time, I
had cut and carved my way up the cliff, and when up to the top was
forced to admit that it was something of an undertaking; but as I had
arrived safely at the top of the cliff, I doubted not but they could
accomplish the same task, and as my moccasins were worn out, and the
soles of my feet exposed to the snow, I was disposed to be traveling,
and so left them to get up the best way they could. After proceeding
about one mile upon the snow, continually winding up, I began to despair
of seeing my companions. I came to where a few detached pieces of rock
had fallen from the ledge above and rolled down upon the ice and snow,
(for the whole mass is more like ice than snow;) I clambered upon one of
these, and waited half an hour. I then rolled stones down the mountain
for half an hour; but as I could see nothing of my two friends, I began
to suspect that they had gone back, and crossed in the trail. I then
went round to the southeast side, continually ascending, and taking an
observation of the country south, and was fully of the opinion that we
could find a passage through.[112]

The waters of this deep ravine, and of numerous ravines to the
northwest, as well as the southwest, form the heads of Big Sandy and
Quicksand rivers, which empty into the Columbia, about twenty-five or
thirty miles below the Cascade Falls.[113] I could see down this stream
some twelve or fifteen miles, where the view was obstructed by a high
range coming round from the northwest side, connecting by a low gap with
some of the spurs from this peak. All these streams were running through
such deep chasms, that it was impossible to pass them with teams. To the
south, were two ranges of mountains, connecting by a low gap with this
peak, and winding round until they terminated near Big Sandy. I observed
that a stream, heading near the base of this peak and running southeast
{71} for several miles, there appeared to turn to the west. This I
judged to be the head waters of Clackamis, which empties into the
Willamette, near Oregon city; but the view was hid by a high range of
mountains putting down in that direction.[114] A low gap seemed to
connect this stream, or some other, heading in this high range, with
the low bottoms immediately under the base of this peak. I was of the
opinion that a pass might be found between this peak and the first range
of mountains, by digging down some of the gravel hills; and if not,
there would be a chance of passing between the first and second ranges,
through this gap to the branch of Clackamis; or, by taking some of the
ranges of mountains and following them down, could reach the open ground
near the Willamette, as there appeared to be spurs extending in that
direction. I could also see a low gap in the direction from where we
crossed the small branch, coming up the creek on the 11th, towards
several small prairies south of us. It appeared, that if we could get a
road opened to that place, our cattle could range about these prairies
until we could find a passage for the remainder of the way.

The day was getting far advanced, and we had no provisions, save each of
us a small biscuit; and knowing that we had at least twenty-five miles
to travel, before reaching those working on the road, I hastened down
the mountain. I had no difficulty in finding a passage down; but I saw
some deep ravines and crevices in the ice which alarmed me, as I was
compelled to travel over them. The snow and ice had melted underneath,
and in many places had left but a thin shell upon the surface; some of
them had fallen in and presented hideous looking caverns. I was soon out
of danger, and upon the east side of the deep ravine I saw my two
friends slowly winding their way up the mountain. They had gone to the
foot of the ledge, and as they wore boots, and were much fatigued, they
abandoned the trip, and returned down the mountain to the trail, where
I joined them. We there rested awhile, and struck our course for one of
the prairies which we had seen from the mountain. On our way we came to
a beautiful spring of water, surrounded with fine timber; the ground was
covered with whortle berry bushes, and many of them hanging full of
fruit, we halted, ate our biscuit, gathered berries, and then proceeded
down the mountain.

After traveling about ten miles, we reached the prairie. It was covered
with grass, and was very wet. A red sediment {72} of about two inches in
depth covered the surface of the ground in the grass, such as is found
around mineral springs. A beautiful clear stream of water was running
through the prairie, in a southeast direction. We had seen a prairie
about two miles further south, much larger than this, which we supposed
to be dry. We now took our course for camp, intending to strike through
the gap to the mouth of the small branch; but we failed in finding the
right _shute_, and came out into the bottom, three miles above where we
had first struck the cattle or Indian trail. We then took down the
bottom, and arrived in camp about eleven o'clock at night; and although
not often tired, I was willing to acknowledge that I was near being so.
I certainly was hungry, but my condition was so much better than that of
my two friends, that I could not murmur. Our party had worked the road
up to the small branch, where they were encamped.

On the morning of the 13th of October we held a consultation, and
determined upon the future movements of the company. The party
designated to bring us provisions had performed that service; but the
amount of our provisions was nearly exhausted, and many of the party
had no means of procuring more. Some of them began to despair of getting
through this season. Those left with the camp were unable to keep the
cattle together, and a number of them had been lost. The Indians had
stolen several horses, and a variety of mishaps occurred, such as would
necessarily follow from a company so long remaining in one position.
They were now on a small creek, five miles from Stony hill, which we
called Camp creek, and near the timber. It was impossible to keep more
than one third of the men working at the road; the remainder were needed
to attend the camp and pack provisions. It was determined to send a
party and view out the road, through to the open country, near the mouth
of Clackamis, whilst the others were to open the road as far as the big
prairie; a number sufficient to bring up the teams and loose cattle,
(for a number of families with their cattle had joined since ours left,
and portions of our company did not send their loose cattle,) to a
grassy prairie in this bottom, and near the mouth of this creek, as the
time required to pack provisions to those working on the road would be
saved. All being arranged, the next thing was to designate the persons
to go ahead of the party, and if found practicable to return with
provisions and help; or at all events to ascertain whether the route
were practicable.

{73} It was determined that I should undertake this trip. I asked only
one man to accompany me. We took our blankets, a limited supply of
provisions, and one light axe, and at eight o'clock in the morning set
out. I was satisfied that the creek which we were then on, headed in the
low gap, seen from Mount Hood; and the party were to open the road up
this branch. But as I was to precede them, I passed up this creek for
about eight or ten miles, when I discovered the low gap, went through
it, and at noon arrived at the wet prairie, which we had visited the day
before. The route was practicable, but would require great labor to
remove the timber, and cut out the underbrush.

We halted at the creek and took some refreshment; we then struck for the
low gap between the first range of mountains running west, and the base
of Mount Hood, and traveled through swamps, small prairies, brush, and
heavy timber for about twelve miles, when we found the labor necessary
to open a wagon road in this direction, to be greater than we could
possibly bestow upon it before the rainy season. We determined to try
some other route, retraced our steps six or seven miles, and then bore
to the right, around the base of the mountain, when we struck into an
old Indian trail. This we followed for seven or eight miles, through the
gap I had seen from Mount Hood. It is a rolling bottom of about four or
five miles in width, and extending from the base of Mount Hood south for
ten or twelve miles. The trail wound around the mountain, but as its
course was about that we wished to travel, we followed it until it ran
out at the top of the mountain. We then took the ridge west, and
traveled until dark; but as the moon shone bright, and the timber was
not very thick, we turned an angle down the mountain to the left, to
procure water. We traveled about three miles, and struck upon a small
running branch; this we followed, until owing to the darkness, we were
compelled to encamp, much fatigued, and somewhat disheartened.

_October 14._ At daylight we were on the way. My moccasins, which the
night before had received a pair of soles, in yesterday's tramp had
given way, and in traveling after night my feet had been badly snagged,
so that I was in poor plight for walking; but as there was no
alternative, we started down the mountain, and after traveling a few
miles I felt quite well and was able to take the lead. We traveled about
three miles, when we struck a large creek which had a very rapid
current, over a stony bottom. I had hoped to find a bottom of sufficient
{74} width to admit of a wagon road, but after following down this
stream six miles, I was satisfied that it would not do to attempt it
this season.

The weather, which had been entirely clear for months, had through the
night began to cloud up; and in the morning the birds, squirrels, and
every thing around, seemed to indicate the approach of a storm. I began
for the first time to falter, and was at a stand to know what course to
pursue. I had understood that the rainy season commenced in October, and
that the streams rose to an alarming height, and I was sensible that if
we crossed the branch of the Deshutes, which headed in Mount Hood, and
the rainy season set in, we could not get back, and to get forward would
be equally impossible; so that in either event starvation would be the
result. And as I had been very active in inducing others to embark in
the enterprise, my conscience would not allow me to go on and thus
endanger so many families. But to go back, and state to them the
difficulties to be encountered, and the necessity of taking some other
course, seemed to be my duty. I therefore resolved to return, and
recommend selecting some suitable place for a permanent camp, build a
cabin, put in such effects as we could not pack out, and leave our
wagons and effects in the charge of some persons until we could return
the next season, unencumbered with our families and cattle, and finish
the road;--or otherwise to return to the Dalles with our teams, where we
could leave our baggage in charge of the missionaries, and then descend
the Columbia. And when my mind was fully made up, we were not long in
carrying it into execution.

We accordingly ascended the mountain, as it was better traveling than in
the bottom. The distance to the summit was about four miles, and the way
was sometimes so steep as to render it necessary to pull up by the
bushes. We then traveled east until we reached the eastern point of this
mountain, and descended to the bottom, the base of which we had
traversed the day before. We then struck for the trail, soon found it,
and followed it until it led us to the southern end of the wet prairie.
We then struck for the lower gap in the direction of the camp, crossed
over and descended the branch to near its mouth, where we found four of
our company clearing the road, the remainder having returned to Camp
creek for teams. But as we had traveled about fifty miles this day, I
was unable to reach the camp.

_October 15._ This morning we all started for camp, carrying {75} with
us our tools and provisions. We reached camp about two P.M. Many of our
cattle could not be found, but before night nearly all were brought into
camp. The whole matter was then laid before the company, when it was
agreed that we should remove over to the bottom, near the small creek,
and if the weather was unfavorable, leave our baggage and wagons, and
pack out the families as soon as possible. But as some were out of
provisions, it was important that a messenger should be sent on ahead
for provisions, and horses to assist in packing out. Mr. Buffum, and
lady, concluded to pack out what articles they could, and leave a man to
take charge of the teams and cattle, until he returned with other
horses. He kindly furnished me with one of his horses to ride to the
settlement. He also supplied the wife of Mr. Thompson with a horse. Mr.
Barlow and Mr. Rector made a proposition to continue working the road
until the party could go to and return from the valley; they agreeing to
insure the safety of the wagons, if compelled to remain through the
winter, by being paid a certain per cent. upon the valuation. This
proposition was thought reasonable by some, and it was partially agreed
to. And as there were some who had no horses with which to pack out
their families, they started on foot for the valley, designing to look
out a road as they passed along. Some men in the mean time were to
remain with the camp, which as above stated was to be removed to the
small branch on Shutes' fork; and those who intended pushing out at
once, could follow up it to the Indian trail. This all being agreed
upon, arrangements were made accordingly.

_October 16._ The morning was lowering, with every indication of rain.
Messrs. Barlow and Rector started on the trip.[115] All hands were
making arrangements for moving the camp. In the mean time Mr. Buffum and
his lady, and Mrs. Thompson, were ready to start.[116] I joined them,
and we again set out for the settlement. We had traveled about two miles
when it commenced raining, and continued raining slightly all day. We
encamped on the bottom of Shutes' fork, near the small branch. It rained
nearly all night.

On the morning of the 17th October after our horses had filled
themselves, we packed up and started. It was still raining. We followed
up this bottom to the trail, and then pursued the trail over Mount Hood.
Whilst going over this mountain the rain poured down in torrents, it was
foggy, and very cold. We arrived at the deep ravine at about four P.M.,
{76} and before we ascended the opposite bank it was dark; but we felt
our way over the ridge, and round the point to the grassy run. Here was
grazing for our tired horses, and we dismounted. Upon the side of the
mountain, where were a few scattering trees, we found some limbs and
sticks, with which we succeeded in getting a little fire. We then found
a few sticks and constructed a tent, covering it with blankets, which
protected our baggage and the two women. Mr. Buffum and myself stood
shivering in the rain around the fire, and when daylight appeared, it
gave us an opportunity to look at each others' lank visages. Our horses
were shivering with the cold, the rain had put out our fire, and it
seemed as though every thing had combined to render us miserable. After
driving our horses round awhile, they commenced eating; but we had very
little to eat, and were not troubled much in cooking it.

_October 18._ As soon as our horses had satisfied themselves we packed
up and ascended the mountain over the ridge, and for two miles winding
around up and down over a rough surface covered with grass. The rain was
falling in torrents, and it was so foggy that we could barely see the
trail. We at length went down a ridge two miles, when we became
bewildered in the thick bushes. The trail had entirely disappeared. We
could go no farther. The two women sat upon their horses in the rain,
whilst I went back to search for the right trail; Buffum endeavoring to
make his way down the mountain. I rambled about two miles up the
mountain, where I found the right trail, and immediately returned to
inform them of it. Buffum had returned, and of course had not found the
trail. We then ascended the mountain to the trail, when a breeze sprung
up and cleared away the fog. We could then follow the trail.

We soon saw a large band of cattle coming up the mountain, and in a
short time met a party of men following them. They had started from the
Dalles about eight days before, and encamped that night four or five
miles below, and as it was a barren spot, their cattle had strayed to
the mountain to get grass. But what was very gratifying, they informed
us that a party of men from Oregon city, with provisions for our company
had encamped with them, and were then at their camp. We hastened down
the mountain, and in a few hours arrived at the camp. But imagine our
feelings when we learned that those having provisions for us, had
despaired of finding us, and {77} having already been out longer than
was expected, had returned to the settlement, carrying with them all the
provisions, save what they had distributed to these men. We were wet,
cold, and hungry, and would not be likely to overtake them. We prevailed
upon one of the men whom we found at the camp, to mount one of our
horses, and follow them. He was absent about ten minutes, when he
returned and informed us that they were coming. They soon made their
appearance. This revived us, and for awhile we forgot that we were wet
and cold. They had gone about six miles back, when some good spirit
induced them to return to camp, and make one more effort to find us. The
camp was half a mile from the creek, and we had nothing but two small
coffee-pots, and a few tin cups, to carry water in; but this was
trifling, as the rain was still pouring down upon us. We speedily made a
good fire, and set to work making a tent, which we soon accomplished,
and the two women prepared us a good supper of bread and coffee. It was
a rainy night, but we were as comfortable as the circumstances would

_October 19._ After breakfast, the drovers left us; and as the party
which had brought us provisions had been longer out than had been
contemplated, Mr. Stewart and Mr. Gilmore wished to return. It was
determined that Mr. Buffum, the two females, Mr. Stewart, and Mr. N.
Gilmore, should go on to the settlement, and that Mr. C. Gilmore, and
the Indian who had been sent along to assist in driving the horses, and
myself, should hasten on with the provisions to the camp. We were soon
on the way, and climbing up the mountain. The horses were heavily
loaded, and in many places the mountain was very slippery, and of course
we had great difficulty in getting along. It was still raining heavily,
and the fog so thick that a person could not see more than fifteen feet
around. We traveled about two miles up the mountain, when we found that
whilst it had been raining in the valley it had been snowing on the
mountain. The trail was so covered with snow that it was difficult to
find it, and, to increase our difficulty, the Indian refused to go any
farther. We showed him the whip, which increased his speed a little, but
he soon forgot it, was very sulky, and would not assist in driving. We
at length arrived at the deep ravine; here there was no snow, and we
passed it without serious difficulty. Two of our packs coming off, and
rolling down the hill, was the only serious trouble that we had. When we
ascended the hill to {78} the eastern side of the gulf, we found the
snow much deeper than upon the western side; besides, it had drifted,
and rendered the passage over the strip of the old snow somewhat
dangerous, as in many places the action of the water had melted the
snow upon the under side, and left a thin shell over the surface, and in
some places holes had melted through. We were in danger of falling into
one of these pits. Coming to one of these ravines where the snow had
drifted very much, I dismounted in order to pick a trail through, but
before this was completed, our horses started down the bank. I had
discovered two of these pits, and ran to head the horses and turn them;
but my riding horse started to run, and went directly between the two
pits; his weight jarred the crust loose, and it fell in, presenting a
chasm of some twenty-five or thirty feet in depth, but the horse, being
upon the run, made his way across the pit. The other horses, hearing the
noise and seeing the pits before them, turned higher up, where the snow
and ice were thicker, and all reached the opposite side in safety.

Our Indian friend now stopped, and endeavored to turn the horses back,
but two to one was an uneven game, and it was played to his
disadvantage. He wanted an additional blanket; this I promised him, and
he consented to go on. We soon met two Indians, on their way from the
Dalles to Oregon city; our Indian conversed with them awhile, and then
informed us of his intention to return with them. Whilst parleying with
him, a party of men from our camp came up the mountain with their
cattle; they had driven their teams to the small branch of the De
Shutes, twelve miles below the mountain, where they had left the
families, and started out with their cattle before the stream should get
too high to cross. Whilst we were conversing with these men, our Indian
had succeeded in getting one loose horse, and the one which he was
riding, so far from the band of pack-horses that, in the fog, we could
not see him, and he returned to the settlement with the two Indians we
had just met.

Our horses were very troublesome to drive, as they had ate nothing for
thirty-six hours; but we succeeded in getting them over the snow, and
down to the grassy ridge, where we stopped for the night. My friend
Gilmore shouldered a bag of flour, carried it half a mile down the
mountain to a running branch, opened the sack, poured in water, and
mixed up bread. In the mean time, I had built a fire. We wrapped the
dough around sticks and baked it before the fire, heated water in our
{79} tin cups and made a good dish of tea, and passed a very comfortable
night. It had ceased raining before sunset, and the morning was clear
and pleasant; we forgot the past, and looked forward to a bright future.

_October 20._ At 8 o'clock we packed up, took the trail down the
mountain to the gravelly bottom, and then down the creek to the
wagon-camp, which we reached at 3 P. M.; and if we had not before
forgotten our troubles, we certainly should have done so upon arriving
at camp. Several families were entirely out of provisions, others were
nearly so, and all were expecting to rely upon their poor famished
cattle. True, this would have prevented starvation; but it would have
been meagre diet, and there was no certainty of having cattle long, as
there was but little grass. A happier set of beings I never saw, and the
thanks bestowed upon us by these families would have compensated for no
little toil and hardship. They were supplied with an amount of
provisions sufficient to last them until they could reach the
settlements. After waiting one day, Mr. Gilmore left the camp for the
settlement, taking with him three families; others started about the
same time, and in a few days all but three families had departed. These
were Mr. Barlow's, Mr. Rector's, and Mr. Caplinger's,[117] all of whom
had gone on to the settlement for horses. Ten men yet remained at camp,
and, after selecting a suitable place for our wagon-yard, we erected a
cabin for the use of those who were to remain through the winter, and to
stow away such of our effects as we could not pack out. This being done,
nothing remained but to await the return of those who had gone for pack
horses. We improved the time in hunting and gathering berries, until the
25th, when four of us, loaded with heavy packs, started on foot for the
valley of the Willamette.

But before entering upon this trip, I will state by what means the
timely assistance afforded us in the way of provisions was effected. The
first party starting for the settlement from the Dalles, after we had
determined to take the mountain route, carried the news to Oregon city
that we were attempting a passage across the Cascade mountains, and that
we should need provisions. The good people of that place immediately
raised by donation about eleven hundred pounds of flour, over one
hundred pounds of sugar, some tea, &c., hired horses, and the Messrs.
Gilmore and Mr. Stewart volunteered to bring these articles to us.[118]
The only expense we were asked to defray was the hire of the horses.
They {80} belonged to an Indian chief, and of course he had to be paid.
The hire was about forty dollars, which brought the flour to about four
dollars per hundred, as there were about one thousand pounds when they
arrived. Those who had the means paid at once, and those who were unable
to pay gave their due bills. Many of the families constructed
packsaddles and put them on oxen, and, in one instance, a feather bed
was rolled up and put upon an ox; but the animal did not seem to like
his load, and ran into the woods, scattering the feathers in every
direction: he was finally secured, but not until the bed was ruined. In
most cases, the oxen performed well.

In the afternoon of the 25th October, accompanied by Messrs. Creighton,
Farwell, and Buckley, I again started to the valley. We had traveled but
a short distance when we met Barlow and Rector, who had been to the
settlement. They had some horses, and expected others in a short time.
They had induced a few families whom they met near Mount Hood to return
with them, and try their chance back to the Dalles; but, after waiting
one day, they concluded to try the mountain trip again. We traveled up
the bottom to the trail, where we encamped; about this time, it
commenced raining, which continued through the night.

_October 26._ This morning at eight o'clock, we were on the way. It was
rainy, and disagreeable traveling. We followed the trail over the main
part of the mountain, when we overtook several families, who had left us
on the twenty-second. Two of the families had encamped the night before
in the bottom of the deep ravine; night overtook them, and they were
compelled to camp, without fuel, or grass for cattle or horses. Water
they had in plenty, for it was pouring down upon them all the night. One
of their horses broke loose, and getting to the provision sack,
destroyed the whole contents. There were nine persons in the two
families, four of them small children, and it was about eighty miles to
the nearest settlement. The children, as well as the grown people, were
nearly barefoot, and poorly clad. Their names were Powell and Senters.
Another family by the name of Hood, had succeeded in getting[119] up the
gravelly hill, and finding grass for their animals, and a little fuel,
had shared their scanty supply with these two families, and when we
overtook them they were all encamped near each other. We gave them about
half of our provisions, and encamped near them. Mr. Hood kindly
furnished us with a {81} wagon cover, with which we constructed a tent,
under which we rested for the night.

_October 27._ The two families who had lost their provisions succeeded
in finding a heifer that belonged to one of the companies traveling in
advance of us. In rambling upon the rocky cliffs above the trail for
grass, it had fallen down the ledge, and was so crippled as not to be
able to travel. The owners had left it, and as the animal was in good
condition, it was slaughtered and the meat cured.

After traveling four miles through the fresh snow, (which had fallen
about four inches deep during the night,) we came to where the trail
turned down to the Sandy. We were glad to get out of the snow, as we
wore moccasins, and the bottoms being worn off, our feet were exposed.
Two miles brought us to where we left the Sandy, and near the place
where we met the party with provisions; here we met Mr. Buffum, Mr.
Lock, and a Mr. Smith,[120] with fourteen pack-horses, going for effects
to Fort Deposit--the name which we had given our wagon camp.

The numerous herds of cattle which had passed along had so ate up the
grass and bushes, that it was with great difficulty the horses could
procure a sufficiency to sustain life. Among the rest, was a horse for
me; and as I had a few articles at the fort, Mr. Buffum was to take the
horse along and pack them out. Two of his horses were so starved as to
be unable to climb the mountains, and we took them back with us. The
weather by this time had cleared up; we separated, and each party took
its way.

A short distance below this, our trail united with one which starting
from the Dalles, runs north of Mount Hood, and until this season was the
only trail traveled by the whites. We proceeded down the Sandy, crossing
it several times, through thickets of spruce and alder, until we arrived
at the forks, which were about fifteen miles from the base of Mount
Hood. The bottom of the Sandy is similar to the branch of De Shutes
which we ascended; but in most cases the gravel and stones are covered
with moss; portions of it are entirely destitute of vegetation. The
mountains are very high, and are mostly covered with timber. At a few
points are ledges of grayish rock, but the greater part of the mountain
is composed of sand and gravel; it is much cut up by deep ravines, or
kanyons. The trail is sometimes very difficult to follow, on account of
the brush and logs; about our camp are a few bunches of {82} brakes,
which the horses eat greedily. The stream coming in from the southeast
is the one which I followed down on the 14th, and from appearance I came
within five miles of the forks. The bottom in this vicinity is more than
a mile wide, and is covered with spruce, hemlock and alder, with a
variety of small bushes.

_October 28._ We started early, and after having traveled several miles,
found a patch of good grass, where we halted our horses for an hour. We
then traveled on, crossing the Sandy three times. This is a rapid
stream; the water is cold, and the bottom very stony. We made about
fifteen or sixteen miles only, as we could not get our horses along
faster. We struck into a road recently opened for the passage of wagons.
Mr. Taylor, from Ohio, who had left our company with his family and
cattle on the 7th, had arrived safely in the valley, and had procured a
party of men and had sent them into the mountains to meet us at the
crossing of Sandy.[121] They had come up this far, and commenced cutting
the road toward the settlements. After traveling this road five or six
miles we came upon their camp, where we again found something to eat;
our provisions having been all consumed. The road here runs through a
flat or bottom of several miles in width, and extending ten or twelve
miles down the Sandy; it bears towards the north, whilst the creek forms
an elbow to the south. The soil is good, and is covered with a very
heavy growth of pine and white cedar timber. I saw some trees of white
cedar that were seven feet in diameter, and at least one hundred and
fifty feet high. I measured several old trees that had fallen, which
were one hundred and eighty feet in length, and about six feet in
diameter at the root. We passed some small prairies and several
beautiful streams, which meandered through the timber. The ground lies
sloping to the south, as it is on the north side of the creek. In the
evening it commenced raining a little. We remained at this camp all

_October 29._ This morning, after breakfast, we parted with our friends
and pursued our way. We soon ascended a ridge which we followed for
seven or eight miles, alternately prairie and fern openings. In these
openings the timber is not large, but grows rather scrubby. There are
numerous groves of beautiful pine timber, tall and straight. The soil is
of a reddish cast, and very mellow, and I think would produce well. We
came to the termination of this ridge and descended to the bottom, which
has been covered with heavy timber, but which {83} has been killed by
fire. From this ridge we could see several others, of a similar
appearance, descending gradually towards the west.

We here crossed the creek or river, which was deep and rapid; and as our
horses were barely able to carry themselves, we were compelled to wade
the stream. Buckly had been sick for several days, and not able to carry
his pack; and if at other times I regretted the necessity of being
compelled to carry his pack, I now found it of some advantage in
crossing the stream, as it assisted in keeping me erect. Buckly in
attempting to wade across, had so far succeeded as to reach the middle
of the stream, where he stopped, and was about giving way when he was
relieved by Farwell, a strong athletic yankee from the state of Maine.
In crossing a small bottom, one of the horses fell; we were unable to
raise him to his feet, and were compelled to leave him. The other we
succeeded in getting to the top of the hill, where we were also
compelled to leave him. The former died, but the latter was taken in a
few days after by those who were opening the road. After being relieved
of the burthen of the two horses, we pushed forward on foot, as fast as
Buddy's strength and our heavy packs would allow; and as it had been
raining all day, our packs were of double their former weight. At dark
we met a party of men who had been through with a drove of cattle, and
were returning with pack horses for the three families who were yet at
Fort Deposit. We encamped with them. After crossing the Sandy our course
was southwest, over a rolling and prairie country. The prairie, as well
as the timber land, was covered with fern. The soil was of a reddish
cast, and very mellow, as are all the ridges leading from the mountain
to the Willamette or Columbia river. We traveled this day sixteen or
seventeen miles.

_October 30._ This morning was rainy as usual. Four miles brought us to
the valley of the Clackamis, which was here five or six miles wide. The
road was over a rolling country similar to that we passed over on
yesterday. To the left of the trail we saw a house at the foot of the
hill; we made for it, and found some of our friends who had started from
camp with C. Gilmore. The claim was held by a man named McSwain.[122] We
tarried here until the morning of the 31st, when we again started for
Oregon city. Our trail ran for five or six miles along the foot of the
hill, through prairie and timber land. The soil looks good, but is
rather inclined to gravel; {84} numerous streams flow down from the high
ground, which rises gradually to a rolling fern plain, such as we
traveled over on the 28th, and 29th. We then continued upon the high
ground seven or eight miles, alternately through timber and fern
prairies. We then turned down to Clackamis bottom, which is here about
one mile wide; this we followed down for three miles, when night
overtook us, and we put up at Mr. Hatche's, having spent just one month
in the Cascade mountains.[123]

_November 1._ This morning we left Hatche's, and in two miles travel we
reached the crossings of the Clackamis river. At this point it is one
hundred and fifty yards wide, the banks of gentle descent, the water
wending its way for the noble Columbia over a pebbly bottom. Here is a
village of about twenty families, inhabited by the Clackamis Indians,
who are few in number, apparently harmless, and caring for nothing more
than a few fish, a little game, or such subsistence as is barely
sufficient to support life. There are but two or three houses in the
village; they are made by setting up side and centre posts in the
ground, the latter being the highest, to receive a long pole to uphold
puncheons split out of cedar, which form the covering; the sides are
enclosed with the same material, in an upright position. These puncheons
are held to their places by leather thongs, fastened around them to the
poles that lay upon the posts. After examining this little community,
the remains of a once powerful and warlike people,[124] we obtained the
use of their canoes, crossed over the river, and after two miles further
travel we reached a point that had long been a desired object; where we
were to have rest and refreshment.

We were now at the place destined at no distant period to be an
important point in the commercial history of the Union--Oregon
City.[125] Passing through the timber that lies to the east of the city,
we beheld Oregon and the Falls of the Willamette at the same moment. We
were so filled with gratitude that we had reached the settlements of the
white man, and with admiration at the appearance of the large sheet of
water rolling over the Falls, that we stopped, and in this moment of
happiness recounted our toils, in thought, with more rapidity than
tongue can express or pen write. Here we hastily scanned over the
distance traveled, from point to point, which we computed to be in miles
as follows, viz: From Independence to Fort Laramie, 629 miles; from Fort
Laramie {85} to Fort Hall, 585 miles; from Fort Hall to Fort Bois, 281
miles; from Fort Bois to the Dalles, 305 miles; from the Dalles to
Oregon City, (by the wagon route south of Mount Hood,) 160 miles, making
the total distance from Independence to Oregon city, 1960 miles. Actual
measurement will vary these distances, most probably lessen them; and it
is very certain, that by bridging the streams, the travel will be much
shortened, by giving to it a more direct course, and upon ground equally
favorable for a good road.

       *       *       *       *       *

OREGON CITY. Now at rest, having arrived at this place, before entering
upon a general description of the country, I will give a short account
of Oregon city, as it appeared to me. This town is located upon the east
side of the Willamette river, and at the Falls. It is about thirty miles
above the junction of the Willamette with the Columbia, following the
meanders of the river; but, directly from the Columbia at Vancouver, it
is only about twenty miles. It was laid out by Dr. M'Laughlin, in 1842,
who holds a claim of six hundred and forty acres upon the east side of
the river. From the river, upon this side, immediately at the Falls,
there rises a rocky bluff of about eighty feet in height, which bears
off to the northeast. Passing down the river, the land lies about ten
feet lower than the surface of the water above the Falls. This plateau
extends for about one-fourth of a mile, when there is a further descent
of about fifteen feet, from which a level and fertile bottom skirts the
Willamette for a mile and a half, to where the waters of the Clackamis
are united with those of the Willamette. Upon the plateau, immediately
below, and a small portion of the higher ground above the Falls, is the
portion of his grant, that Dr. M'Laughlin has laid off in town
lots.[126] Three years ago, this land was covered with a dense forest,
which is now cleared off, to make room for the erection of houses to
accommodate the inhabitants of the town.

There were already erected, when I left there, about one hundred houses,
most of them not only commodious, but neat. Among the public buildings,
the most conspicuous were the neat Methodist church, which is located
near the upper part of the town, and a splendid Catholic chapel, which
stands near the river and the bluff bank at the lower part of the town
site.[127] There are two grist mills; one owned by M'Laughlin, having
three sets of buhr runners, and will compare well with most of the mills
in the States; the other is a smaller mill, {86} owned by Governor
Abernethy and Mr. Beers.[128] At each of these grist-mills there are
also saw-mills, which cut a great deal of plank for the use of
emigrants. There are four stores, two taverns, one hatter, one tannery,
three tailor shops, two cabinet-makers, two silversmiths, one cooper,
two blacksmiths, one physician, three lawyers, one printing office, (at
which the Oregon Spectator is printed, semi-monthly, at five dollars per
annum,)[129] one lath machine, and a good brick yard in active
operation. There are also quite a number of carpenters, masons, &c., in
constant employment, at good wages, in and about this village. The
population is computed at about six hundred white inhabitants, exclusive
of a few lodges of Indians.

The Indians spend most of their nights in gambling. They have a game
peculiar to the tribes of the lower Columbia, and as I have not seen it
described, I will mention it here. Six men meet in their lodge, when
they divide among themselves into partners of three on each side, then
seat themselves, with a pole between the parties; the middle man on one
of the sides has a small bone or stick which he holds in his hand; his
partners upon the left and right keep up a regular knocking upon the
pole with sticks, and singing of songs. The man with the bone keeps
shifting it as quickly as possible from hand to hand, to deceive the
middle man of the opposite side, as to which hand holds the bone; after
he is satisfied, he stops and inquires of his opponent in which hand he
holds it. If the opponent guesses rightly, he throws the bone, with a
small pointed stick, to the winner, who goes through the same ceremony
as the loser had done; but if the man guesses wrongly as to the hand
that holds the bone, he hands over a little pointed stick. Thus they
keep it up until one or the other has won a certain number of pointed
sticks, which they have agreed shall constitute the game, when the
stakes are delivered over to the winning party. So desperately attached
to this game are these savages, that they will gamble away every species
of clothing or property they may possess; after this their wives, and
they have been known to stake their own services, for a certain number
of moons, and sometimes even to become the slaves for life of the more
fortunate gamesters.[130]

The stores have but a very limited supply of such articles as emigrants
need; but the present merchants, or others that will soon locate there,
will find it to their interest to take out such commodities as will be
required. Mr. Engle, who went out {87} with the late emigrants, had
erected a small foundry, with the intention of casting some old cannon
that lay about the fort, and other broken utensils, into those most
needed for culinary purposes; but he had not commenced business when I

Unimproved lots sell at from one to five hundred dollars each, (the
price varying with their location,) in the currency of the country.

The ground back of the town on the bluff, is rather rocky for half a
mile, to the foot of the hill; upon ascending the hill, the country
consists of fern openings and timber groves alternately, for a distance
of about thirty-five miles, to the Cascade mountains. Upon this bluff,
which is covered with timber, there is a small but beautiful lake,
supplied with springs, which has an outlet by a rivulet that passes
through the town into the river.

The river below the Falls, for several miles, is about two hundred and
fifty yards wide, and opposite the town it is very deep. The bank on the
east side, with the exception of a few hundred yards, is a cliff of
about twenty feet in height, for the first half mile, of a firm basaltic
rock; from thence down to the Clackamis the bank is a sandy loam.

Upon the west side of the Willamette, and opposite to Oregon city, are
laid out two villages; the upper one is called Linn city, in honor of
the late senator from Missouri, whose memory, for his patriotic services
in the cause of the Oregon emigrant, is held in high esteem by every
true friend of his country and of humanity. When Dr. Linn died, the
friends of Oregon lost a champion who would not have shamelessly
deserted them in the hour of need.[132] Mr. Moore, late of Missouri, is
the proprietor;[133] his claim commences one-fourth of a mile below the
Falls, extends above the Falls one and three-fourths of a mile, and back
from the river one half of a mile. When I left, there were about fifteen
buildings in this village, inhabited mostly by mechanics. The proprietor
had refused to sell water power, which was doubtless one of the reasons
why more emigrants did not settle in it.

Next, lower down, is the claim of Mr. Hugh Burns, a native of Ireland,
but lately an emigrant from Missouri; he is the proprietor of Multinoma
city, which is so called from the Indian name for the Willamette river,
and a tribe of Indians of this name that once inhabited that
country.[134] This tribe is now nearly extinct. At their burial places,
near this, there are hundreds of skulls yet lying over the ground. When
I left, {88} there were but few buildings, and some few mechanics
settled in it. There are two ferries established over the river, from
the villages on the west side, to Oregon city.[135] Upon the west side,
the bank of the river is similar to that on the east, quite high,
leaving but a small semicircular level for the first bottom; and upon a
farther ascent of about twenty feet, there is a larger plain at the
lower end of this bluff. The bottom corresponds well with that above the
Clackamis on the opposite side, and is covered with a dense growth of
fir; the trees are tall and straight.

       *       *       *       *       *

DESCRIPTION OF THE COUNTRY. The journey to Oregon city accomplished, and
an examination of the immediate vicinity completed, I set about an
inquiry as to the features of the country--its fertility, its general
susceptibility of improvement, and its capability for the support of a
large and industrious population. In so doing, in addition to what I
could see for myself, I applied for information to all whose
opportunities had been favorable for obtaining a knowledge of any
particular section. In this work I was an inquirer after facts, in order
to decide the question as to the propriety of taking my family there for
a permanent home; and when I noted these facts, no attention was paid to
the classification and arrangement of the various subjects, as is
generally done by those travelers and geographers whose business is
book-making. Necessarily, therefore, my Journal presents facts, just in
the order in which they came to me, and as I received them they are
placed before the reader.

The landscape immediately adjacent to the villages of Linn city and
Multinoma present several abrupt precipices of various heights, upon
each of which is a small level, of lesser and greater widths, clothed
with fine grass and studded over with oak timber, until the highest
ascent is reached, when it spreads out into an extensive fern opening.
From these cliffs there gush out fine streams of pure spring water; and
they will afford most beautiful country seats for the erection of
residences convenient to the towns, when their improvement shall render
such sites desirable. From these heights, (which are easily ascended,)
there is a fine view of the falls of the river for several miles, and of
Mount Hood. From the heights to Quality Plains, a distance of
twenty-five miles, the country presents rolling plains, with small
groves of oak and fir, and it is well watered by springs and small

{89} From the description given of the towns, the reader may have
already inferred, that the Falls of the Willamette combine all that is
necessary to constitute great water privileges for propelling machinery;
but before leaving this point, we will take a more particular view of

These falls are occasioned by the descent of the whole volume of the
river over a ledge of basaltic rock that crosses the entire channel. The
greatest fall at any point is twenty-eight feet, but the whole descent
here is about forty feet. The water is so divided in the channels at the
Falls, and the islands are so situated, that nearly all of the water may
be rendered available, at a very small expense, when it shall be needed.
Nature rarely at any one point concentrates so many advantages for the
erection and support of a great commercial and manufacturing city, as
are to be found here. There is an abundance of water to propel the
machinery, stone and timber convenient to erect the necessary buildings,
an extensive country of the best farming lands in the world to support
the towns by their trade, and a fine navigable river to bring the raw
material to the manufactories, and when manufactured to carry the
surplus to the Pacific, whence it can easily be taken to the best
markets the world affords. At this place, the business of the upper
Willamette will concentrate, for many years at least. Tide water reaches
to the mouth of the Clackamis, which is within two miles of the Falls.
Here there is a considerable ripple in the river, which can easily be
removed by confining the Clackamis to its original bed upon the eastern
side of the island. As it is, there are four feet of water over the bar,
and not so rapid as to prevent the ascent of steamboats to the Falls.
Vessels of two hundred and fifty tons burthen have ascended within two
miles of the rapids; but, from the crookedness of the stream and the
difficulty in tacking so frequently, they generally receive and
discharge their cargoes at Portland, twelve miles below.[136]

Traveling up the river, five miles from the Falls, brings us to Rock
Island. Here is said to be a serious obstruction to the navigation of
the river. The difficulty consists in there being several peaks of rocks
so elevated, as to be near the surface of the water in a low stage; and
as the channels between them are very narrow, and the water quite rapid,
boats are liable to run on to them. But the rock can be removed at an
inconsiderable expense. It is fifteen miles above the Falls to the {90}
first gravel bar, at which place, in low water, there is but three feet
in the channel.[137]

In traveling up the river about fifty miles, I found, in addition to the
obstructions named, four other gravel bars, over some of which there
were only thirty inches of water. In going the next seventy-five miles,
I approached the river several times, and found it to have a deep
channel and smooth current. Persons who had navigated the river
considerably further up, in their traffic with the Indians, informed me
that it continued equally favourable for navigation. From what I saw and
learned of intelligent persons, I think the smaller class of steamboats
could for most part of the year ascend two hundred miles above the

From the Columbia to Upper California, is a mountainous belt, known as
the Coast range.[138] Spurs of this range approach nearly to the mouth
of the Willamette. Between these spurs and the river, there is but a
small portion of the soil well adapted to agriculture. The higher range
to the west of the Falls affords a scope of fifty miles, that with the
exception of a few openings, and Quality Plains, is tolerably broken,
generally well timbered, finely watered, with many excellent situations
for farms; but not so well calculated, as some other parts, for dense

Quality Plains are distant twenty-five miles west from Oregon city;
they are about twenty-five miles in length, are alternately rolling
prairie and timber, surrounded by heavy growths of firs, many of which
rise to the height of two hundred and fifty feet. These plains are all
claimed, settled, and mostly improved.[139] They are well watered by
many small streams that constitute the two forks of Quality river, which
unite near the southeast part of the plains, and runs an easterly
course, through narrow bottoms, well supplied with timber for more than
twenty miles, where it discharges its waters into the Willamette, two
miles above Oregon city. The principal part of the water that flows in
Quality river descends from the Coast Range. This stream, like most
others in that region, has several falls and rapids, that furnish very
desirable sites for the propelling of machinery; but if ever profitable
for navigation, will have to be improved by canals and lockage around
its falls; which can easily be done, when the commerce of the country
will justify the expense.

From this stream, and between the Coast Range and Willamette, and to the
south, to the Shahalam valley, which commences {91} at the low pass of
Quality Plains, is a tract of about twenty by thirty miles in extent, of
rolling fertile lands, alternately fern openings and timber groves.

From the Coast Range to the Willamette there is a belt of five or six
miles in width, which near the river is covered thinly with yellow
pines; but nearer the mountain it is better timbered, and well watered
from mountain rivulets; mostly a rich and loose soil, composed chiefly
of yellow sand, loam and clay. But little of this tract is claimed by
the emigrants, as they usually prefer the prairie country above.

The Shahalam is a small stream, which has its origin in the Coast Range,
runs eastwardly and empties into the Willamette, twenty miles above
Oregon city. This is skirted with good prairies of five or six miles in
width, near the mountains; but towards its mouth the valley is covered
with timber and fern. The best portion is claimed.[140]

Eleven miles further up, the Willamette receives the waters of the
Yam-hill. At the mouth it is about twenty-five yards in width, quite
deep, and will bear upon its bosom crafts of large burthen for ten
miles, to the falls.

This stream has two principal branches; the one rising in the Coast
Range, runs for twenty miles in a south-easterly direction, through a
beautiful and fertile valley of twelve miles in width, handsomely
covered with groves of white oak, and other timber; which is intersected
with numerous spring branches, the banks of which are lined with timber,
leaving in some places fine bottom prairies, covered with a rich sward
of grass. Between this fork and the Shahalam is a range of hills
averaging about two miles in width, extending from a part of the Coast
Range, to within three miles of the Willamette. They are of steep
ascent, some of them rising to five or six hundred feet in height, well
covered with grass, and from their sides issue numerous spring rivulets,
which near their origin are lined with fir trees; thence passing through
groves of white oak, alder and willow, to the bottom lands, which in
crossing some of them disappear, and others after joining together,
continue their courses until they unite with the Shahalam and Yam-hill.
The grasses on these hills are a species of red clover, that grows in
the summer season about one foot high, and a fine grass, which after the
clover disappears, keep them clad in green during the winter. Thus they
furnish a perpetual supply of food for cattle the whole year. The soil
upon these hills is a mixture of clay and loam, of a reddish color, and
in the bottoms it is a rich {92} mixture of loam and muck. However,
there are some of the hills somewhat sandy, and occasionally
interspersed with stony places.

From the source of this branch of the Yam-hill, (which in the country is
called the North Fork,) passes the trace, along which the people on
Clatsop plains drive their cattle a distance of about forty miles, when
they reach the coast, fifteen miles south of Cape Lookout.

The south fork of Yam-hill has its source in the Coast Range; where it
emerges from the mountains, for the first ten miles, its banks are well
supplied with large fir trees, as are its several tributaries; its banks
are generally steep, bearing the appearance of having washed out a
channel from fifteen to twenty feet in depth. It runs an eastern course
for about ten miles, then northeast for some miles, and finally takes a
northern direction, until it connects with the North fork, near the
Falls, after having flowed a distance of about twenty-five miles.

The valley watered by this stream is about fifteen miles wide, after the
stream emerges from the heavy growth of firs already noticed; for there
are firs, more or less, its whole length. From the water courses, upon
an average of a little over one fourth of a mile, the valley is fine
prairie land, soil light and rich, occasionally interspersed with fine
groves, and well adapted to agricultural purposes. It is well covered
with grass, as is every portion of the country that has oaken groves,
and the lower bottoms yield an abundant supply of the _Camas_, a
tuberous rooted plant, shaped something like an onion, which it
resembles in appearance. It is devoured greedily by hogs, and affords
very good nutriment. The Indians make much use of it as an article of
food. Between these streams and within six miles of their junction,
commences the high lands of the Coast Range; the first plateau is about
ten miles wide, and well covered with grass. The second plateau, for a
few miles is fern openings, with an occasional grove of timber; after
this westward to the coast the country is heavily timbered with firs,
pine, and occasionally cedar, hemlock, balsam, and nearly all species
of the evergreen timber. The streams last described furnish good sites
for hydraulic purposes, near the mountains. A considerable portion of
the valley of the Yam-hill is not only claimed, but settled, and finely

Leaving the Yam-hill and ascending the Willamette twenty-five miles, we
reach the mouth of the Rickerall, a stream {93} which has its source in
the same range as the Yam-hill; for the first ten miles it runs rapidly
over a pebbly bed, and from thence to the mouth has a deep channel, worn
in a rich soil, with timbered banks. It flows in an easterly course from
the mountains eighteen miles, and unites with the Willamette. The valley
through which this stream flows resembles that described as watered by
the Yam-hill; perhaps the soil is a little richer. It is nearly all
claimed, and will soon be well settled. Upon this stream there is
erected a grist mill, and there was a saw mill, but the freshets washed
it away last spring.[142] Five miles above Yam-hill commence a range of
hills that extend south to the Rickerall, similar to those between
Shahalam and Yam-hill. These hills vary from one to four miles in width,
leaving a bottom about six miles wide to skirt the Willamette, which is
of good soil, well watered and timbered. Upon the slopes of these hills
are several thousands of acres of white oak, from six to twenty feet in
height, some of them of large diameter and all with large and bushy
tops; the ground being covered with grass, at a distance they look like
old orchards. The timber of these trees is very solid, and promises
great durability.[143] The valley between the Yam-hill and Rickerall is
called the Applegate settlement; there are three brothers of the
Applegates, they have fine farms, with good herds of fat and thrifty
cattle.[144] The Yam-hill plains is called the Hemerey settlement, from
a family of this name there settled.[145]

Upon the Rickerall are the Gillams, Fords and Shaws, all doing
well.[146] The Gays and Matheneys are settled upon the bottom of the
Willamette, between Yam-hill and Rickerall.[147]

Twelve miles above the Rickerall, empties the Lucky muke into the
Willamette; it heads in the same range as the Yam-hill, and, like it,
has two principal branches, of about the same length, depth and width,
and passes through an excellent valley of land, with the same
diversities and excellent qualities for farming which are attributed to
the Yam-hill valley--the timber being more of oak and less of fir. Upon
this stream several claims are entered, and there is a fine opening for
others who may desire to settle there.

Mouse river joins the Willamette about thirty-five miles above the
Lucky-muke.[148] It has its origin in the Coast range, has two principal
branches, which unite near the mountains, passes ten miles over a pebbly
bottom, and then becomes more sluggish to its mouth. This, like the
other streams described, {94} has timber upon its borders, but less than
some; good country, fine prospects, and but few claims made.

Between the Lucky-muke and Mouse river there is a range of hills, as
between other streams; but at one place a spur of the Coast range
approaches within ten miles of the Willamette; from this issue many
small streams which run down it, and through the fine plains to the
Lucky-muke upon the one side, and into Mouse river on the other. This is
a beautiful region; from the bottom can be seen, at different points,
seven snow-covered peaks of the Cascade range.[149] The Cascade is
within view for a great distance, to the north and south; which,
together with the beautiful scenery in the valley, renders it a
picturesque place. Thrifty groves of fir and oak are to be seen in every
direction; the earth is carpeted with a covering of luxuriant grass, and
fertilized by streams of clear running rivulets, some of which sink down
and others pursue their course above ground to the river. Between the
forks of Mouse river approaches a part of the Cascade,[150] but it
leaves a valley up each branch about one mile in width, the soil of
which is rich and good prairie for several miles above the junction. The
mountain sides are covered very heavily with fir timber. Thus these
beautiful valleys offer great inducements to those who wish to have
claims of good land, with fine grounds for pasturage and timber close at
hand. There are no claims made as yet above the forks. These streams
furnish good mill sites for each of the first six miles, and are well
filled with trout.

From the forks of this stream starts a trail, (or half-made road,) which
leads to the falls of the Alsa, a stream that heads twenty miles to the
south of these forks; the trail leads a westerly course for fifteen
miles to the Falls; from thence to the coast it is twenty-one miles.
From the Falls the river runs in a westerly direction. An old Indian
told me that there was some excellent land in this valley, and that
there would be but little difficulty in constructing a good road down
it. Salmon and other fish are in great abundance in this stream, up to
the Falls.[151]

Six miles above Mouse river is the mouth of Long Tom Bath;[152] this,
like all other streams that enter the Willamette upon the western side,
heads in the coast range, and after breaking its way through the spurs
to the plains below, passes through a valley of good soil. It has deep
banks, is more sluggish in its movements than those that join it lower
down, {95} is filled with dirty water, has a miry bottom, shaded upon
its margin with timber, and in size is something larger than the

So far, I have described the valley from personal observation in that
direction; but I was informed by those who had good opportunities for
obtaining correct information, that it bore off more easterly, and that
it was for eighty miles further up as well watered, timbered, and of as
luxuriant soil, as that which I have described. It may be proper here to
remark, that the further the valley is ascended the oak timber becomes
more abundant, and the fir in a corresponding ratio decreases.

Having described the country for more than one hundred miles upon the
western side of the Willamette, we will return to the Falls and mention
a few facts respecting the eastern bank. Upon this bank, for ten miles
to the south of Oregon city, continue fern openings, to a small stream
called Pole Alley,[153] which is skirted with beautiful prairie bottoms
of from two to eight miles in length and from one to two miles wide;
these, with alternate groves of fir, constitute the principal
characteristics of Pole Alley valley. It is not more than half a mile
from the mouth of Pole Alley, farther to the south, where Pudding river
embogues into the Willamette; it is twenty-five yards in width at the
mouth. The valley up this river to the Cascade mountains, where it
rises, is alternately fine prairie and timber lands, with occasional
fern openings. Some of the prairies are claimed by the recent emigrants.
It is finely clothed in grass, and up the river some distance there are
valuable mill sites; the water is clear, and well stocked with
fish.[154] From Pudding river further south, there are fern openings,
which are succeeded by grassy prairies, which give place to fine groves
of fir, but sparsely intermingled with cedar.

Eight miles from Pudding river is a village called Butes. It was laid
out by Messrs. Abernethy and Beers.

There were but a few cabins in it when I left. The proprietors had
erected a warehouse to store the wheat they might purchase of the
settlers back, who should find it convenient to sell their crops at this
point. At this place are some conical hills, called Butes, which rise to
a considerable height; the sides and tops of them are clothed with tall
fir trees, which can be seen from the valley above for sixty miles.
Immediately at this village is a fern opening, covered with an
undergrowth of hazel, for three-fourths of a mile back, when it merges
into an extensive and fertile prairie.[155]

{96} South of Butes three miles is the village of Shampoic. It was laid
out by a mountaineer, of the name of Newell, formerly a clerk of the
Hudson's Bay Company.[156]

It contains a few old shabby buildings, and a warehouse owned by the
company, where they receive the wheat of the settlers of the country
from thence to the Cascade mountains. This is an extensive plain,
extending from Pudding river up the Willamette to the old Methodist
mission ground, which is distant thirty miles from the mouth of Pudding
river. The soil for this distance, and for two miles in width, is
similar to that described immediately at Butes. Back of this for
twenty-five or thirty miles is a very handsome country, mostly prairie,
and fine timber, well watered, with occasionally a hill--the whole
covered with a soil quite inviting to the agriculturist, with an
abundance of pasturage for cattle. This is called the French settlement,
and is one of the oldest in the valley. The Catholics have here a
mission, schools, a grist and saw mill, and several mechanics; they have
also several teachers among the Indians, and it is said that they have
done much for the improvement of these aborigines. The inhabitants are
mostly of what are called French Canadians, and were formerly engaged in
the service of the Hudson Bay Company, but have now quit it, made
claims, and gone to farming. They have very pretty orchards of apple
trees, and some peach trees. Their wives are natives of the country.
Many of them are raising families that, when educated, will be
sprightly, as they are naturally active and hardy, and appear very
friendly and hospitable. But few of them speak the English language
fluently; they mostly talk French and Chinook jargon.[157] They
cultivate but little land, but that little is well done, and the rich
soil well repays them for the labor expended upon it. I could not
satisfactorily ascertain the population of the settlement, which I much

The old Methodist mission is nearly opposite to what is now called
Matheny's Ferry. It was reported to me to have been one of the first
missions occupied in the valley, but has been abandoned on account of
the overflowing of the river. It consists of only several dilapidated
buildings.[158] The soil is gravelly, inclined to barren, with a grove
of pines near by.

This place for a number of years was under the superintendance of the
Rev. Jason Lee. It is here that the remains of his wife are interred;
a tombstone marks her resting place, which informs the passer by
that she was the first white woman {97} that was buried in Oregon
Territory,--together with the place of her nativity, marriage, &c.[159]

The unfortunate location of the mission, and the circumstances under
which Mrs. Lee died, no doubt have had great influence in creating that
unfavorable impression of the country in the mind of Mr. Lee, which he
has expressed in some of his letters. The country surrounding the
mission is covered mostly with scrubby oak and pine trees.

From the mission the road proceeds up the valley, alternately through
groves of oak and pine, fern plains, and grassy prairies, in which are
several farms, with convenient buildings. After pursuing this route
about ten miles, we come to an improvement of several hundred acres,
surrounded with small groves of oak. Here the soil is quite gravelly,
and not very rich.

Nearly opposite the mouth of the Rickerall is the Methodist Institute,
which was located at this place when it was ascertained that the
Willamette would overflow its bank at the old mission. My opinion is,
that the location is a good one, being in a high and healthy
neighborhood, and nearly central of what will be the principal
population of the valley for long years to come.

The course of instruction there given is quite respectable, and would
compare well with many of those located in the old and populous
settlements of the States. This school is unconnected with any mission.
When the missionary board concluded to abandon that field of labor, the
Institute was bought by the Methodists of Oregon; hence it continued
under its old name. The price of tuition is low, and the means of
receiving an education at this place is within the power of those who
have but a small amount to expend in its attainment.[160]

For the first five miles from the river towards the Cascade range, the
soil is gravelly; it is then a sandy loam to the foot of the mountain,
and is generally an open plain. The valley upon the east side of the
river at this place, is about twenty-five miles in width. It is proper,
however, to remark, that there are occasional groves of timber
interspersing the prairie, and in some places they reach within a short
distance of the river. In this last described tract, there are several
varieties of soil, with prairie, timber, upland, bottom, and hill side;
the whole is well watered. At the Institute there reside about fifteen
families, and near by several claims are taken, and improvements
commenced. The Methodist missionaries {98} have erected a saw and grist
mill; these mills were sold, as was all the property of the missions in
the valley, by Mr. Gerry, who was sent out to close the missionary
matters in that region; they are now owned by resident citizens, and in
successful operation. At this place a town is laid out.[161]

Six miles above the Institute commences a range of oak hills, which
continue about twelve miles in a southeastern direction along the river,
where they connect by a low pass with the Cascade Range. From this
place, at the lower bench of the Cascade, commences another range of
hills, running south-westwardly, which continue about twenty miles in
length, to the mouth of the Santaam river, which joins the Willamette
twenty miles by land above the Institute. This is a bold and rapid
stream, of about one hundred and fifty yards in width; for a
considerable portion of its length, it has a pebbly bottom, and banks
covered with fir and white cedar trees of the best quality.[162]

The Santa Anna has four principal branches, with several small
tributaries, all lined with timber, leaving a strip of beautiful prairie
land between each, of from one-half to four miles in width. The two
northern branches rise in Mount Jefferson, the first running nearly west
from its origin to where it leaves the mountain, when it inclines to the
south for a few miles, where it receives another branch; from this
junction about eight miles, it is joined by a stream that rises in the
Cascade Range, south of Mount Jefferson. Ten miles below this point, the
other principal branch, which rises still further to the south, unites
with the others, when the river inclines to the west, until it joins the
Willamette. From its origin in Mount Jefferson to its termination, is
about forty miles; from the Oak hills above named is twenty-five miles.

A considerable portion of the soil in this valley is quite gravelly, but
a great portion is rich, and the prairies are well clothed with
luxuriant grass. Among the plants, herbs, &c., common to this part of
the country, is wild flax.

A few claims have been made along the northeast side of the Oak hills,
and improvements commenced. The soil yields a good crop of the
agricultural products suited to the climate.

Above the Santa Anna, upon the eastern side of the Willamette, the
valley is about twenty miles in average width for ninety miles, to the
three forks. In this distance there are many small mountain streams,
crossing the valley to the river, all of which are lined with timber,
and several of them affording {99} valuable water privileges for such
machinery as may be erected, when yankee enterprise shall have settled
and improved this desirable portion of our great republic.

After leaving the Santaam, a prairie commences, of from four to twelve
miles in width, which continues up the valley for a day's travel, which
I suppose to be about forty miles. The mountains upon the east side of
the Willamette are covered with timber of quite large growth. In this
last prairie has been found some stone coal, near the base of the
mountain spurs; but as to quantity or quality I am uninformed. The
specimen tried by a blacksmith was by him pronounced to be good.

The Willamette valley, including the first plateaus of the Cascade and
Coast ranges of mountains, may be said to average a width of about
sixty, and a length of about two hundred miles. It is beautifully
diversified with timber and prairie. Unlike our great prairies east of
the Rocky Mountains, those upon the waters of the Pacific are quite
small; instead of dull and sluggish streams, to engender miasma to
disgust and disease man, those of this valley generally run quite
rapidly, freeing the country of such vegetable matter as may fall into
them, and are capable of being made subservient to the will and comfort
of the human family in propelling machinery. Their banks are generally
lined with fine groves of timber for purposes of utility, and adding
much to please the eye.

The Willamette itself, throughout its length, has generally a growth of
fir and white cedar, averaging from one-fourth to three miles in width,
which are valuable both for agricultural and commercial purposes. Its
banks are generally about twenty feet above the middling stages, yet
there are some low ravines, (in the country called _slues_,) which are
filled with water during freshets, and at these points the bottoms are
overflowed; but not more so than those upon the rivers east of the
Mississippi. It has been already observed that the soil in these bottoms
and in the prairies is very rich; it is a black alluvial deposit of muck
and loam; in the timbered portions it is more inclined to be sandy, and
the higher ground is of a reddish colored clay and loam.

The whole seems to be very productive, especially of wheat, for which it
can be safely said, that it is not excelled by any portion of the
continent. The yield of this article has frequently been fifty bushels
per acre, and in one case Dr. White harvested from ten acres an average
of over fifty-four {100} bushels to the acre; but the most common crop
is from thirty to forty bushels per acre, of fall sowing; and of from
twenty to twenty-five bushels, from spring sowing.

There is one peculiarity about the wheat, and whether it arises from the
climate or variety, I am unable to determine. The straw, instead of
being hollow as in the Atlantic states, is filled with a medullary
substance, (commonly called pith,) which gives it firmness and strength;
hence it is rarely that the wheat from wind or rain lodges or falls
before harvesting. The straw is about the height of that grown in the
states, always bright, the heads upon it are much longer, and filled
with large grains, more rounded in their form, than those harvested in
the eastern part of the Union. I have seen around fields, where a single
grain has grown to maturity, forty-two stalks, each of which appeared to
have borne a well filled head; for the grains were either removed by
birds, or some other cause. As it was November when I arrived in the
country, I saw wheat only in its grassy state, except what had escaped
the late harvest.

The farmers have a white bald wheat, the white bearded, and the red
bearded, either of which can be sown in fall or spring, as best suits
their convenience, or their necessities demand. That sown in September,
October or November, yields the most abundantly; but if sown any time
before the middle of May, it will ripen. The time of harvesting is
proportioned to the seed time. That which is early sown is ready for the
cradle or sickle by the last of June, or the first of July, and the
latest about the first of September. In the Oregon valley, there are but
few rains in the summer months, and as the wheat stands up very well,
farmers are generally but little hurried with their harvesting.

The emigrants usually arrive in the latter part of the summer or fall,
and necessarily first provide a shelter for their families, and then
turn their attention to putting in a field of wheat. In doing this, they
frequently turn under the sod with the plough one day, the next harrow
the ground once, then sow their seed, and after going over it again with
a harrow, await the harvest, and not unfrequently gather forty bushels
from the acre thus sown. In several instances the second crop has been
garnered from the one sowing. When the wheat has stood for cutting until
very ripe, and shattered considerably in the gathering, the seed thus
scattered over the field has been harrowed under, and yielded twenty
bushels to the acre, of {101} good merchantable grain. I was told of an
instance where a third crop was aimed at in this way; it yielded but
about twelve bushels to an acre, and was of a poor quality.

The rust and smut which so often blast the hopes of the farmer, in the
old states, are unknown in Oregon, and so far there is but very little

Harvesting is generally done with cradles, and the grain threshed out
with horses, there being no machines for this latter purpose in the

The grain of the wheat, though much larger than in the states, has a
very thin husk or bran, and in its manufacture in that country during
the winter months requires a coarser bolting cloth than in the Atlantic
states, owing to the dampness of the atmosphere at this season.

The farmers already raise a surplus of this commodity, over and above
the consumption of the country: but owing to the scarcity of mills to
manufacture it, they cannot at all times have it in readiness to supply
vessels when they visit the settlements. At the time I left, wheat was
worth eighty cents per bushel, and flour three dollars and fifty cents
per hundred pounds. The mills above the Falls grind for a toll of
one-eighth, but at the Falls they will exchange for wheat, giving
thirty-six pounds of fine flour for an American bushel, and forty pounds
for a royal bushel. The weight of a bushel of wheat, (according to
quality,) is from sixty to seventy pounds.

Oats yield an abundant crop, but this grain is seldom sown, as the stock
is generally suffered to gather its support by grazing over the plains.

Peas do well, and are much used in feeding hogs, at the close of their
fattening, when taken off of their range of camas and other roots; and
it is remarked that this vegetable there is free from the bug or wevil
that infests it in the western states.

Barley is very prolific, and of a large and sound growth; but there is
as yet little raised, as the demand for it is quite limited.

I saw no rye in the country. Buckwheat grew very well, though not much

For potatoes Oregon is as unequalled, by the states, as it is for wheat.
I doubt whether there is any portion of the globe superior to it for the
cultivation of this almost indispensable vegetable. I heard of no sweet
potatoes, and think there are none in the territory.

Indian corn is raised to some extent upon the lower bottoms {102} in the
valleys, but it is not considered a good corn country. It had yielded
forty bushels to the acre; they mostly plant the small eight-rowed
yankee corn. The summers are too cool for corn. Tobacco has been tried;
and although it may be raised to some extent, it is lighter than in
Kentucky, and more southern latitudes. The climate and soil are
admirably adapted to the culture of flax and hemp, and to all other
vegetables, which grow with ordinary care, in any of the northern,
eastern and middle states.

During my travels through the valley, I spent some time with Mr. Joel
Walker, a gentleman who had resided several years in California, had
made several trips from Oregon to the bay of San Francisco, and had
spent some time in trapping and trading between the Willamette valley
and the 42d degree of north latitude.[163] From this gentleman, as well
as from several others, I learned that the trail near two hundred miles
south of Oregon city arrives at the California mountains, which is a
ridge running from the Cascade to the Coast range of mountains. With the
exception of a few peaks, this ridge is susceptible of easy cultivation,
being partly prairie and partly covered with timber. Mr. Walker doubts
not that a good wagon road can be made over this ridge; to cross which
requires but a few hours, and brings us into the beautiful country
bounded on the east and west by the Cascade and Coast ranges, the
California mountains on the north, and the Rogue's River mountains on
the south.

This district of country, which is only about forty miles wide from east
to west, is drained by the Umpquah river, and its tributaries, which as
in the Willamette valley, are skirted with timber; but back from the
streams is a prairie country, beautifully alternated with groves of

At the mouth of the Umpquah, which empties into the Pacific about thirty
miles from where it leaves this beautiful district of country, the
Hudson's Bay Company have a trading post.[164] If we except this, there
is no settlement nor claim made on this river or its tributaries.
Passing Rogue's River mountains, the trail enters the valley of the
river of that name. This valley is quite similar to that of the Umpquah,
but perhaps not quite so large.[165] This valley is bounded on the south
by the Klamet mountain, which is a spur of the Cascade and Coast
mountains. It is high and somewhat difficult to pass over; but it is
believed a route may be found that will admit of an easy passage over.
It is heavily timbered; and as in {103} the Coast range, the timber in
many places has died, and a thick growth of underbrush sprung up.

South of the Klamet mountains spreads out the beautiful valley watered
by the Klamet river. This valley, although not so well known as that of
the Willamette, is supposed to be more extensive, and equally
susceptible of a high state of cultivation. It is esteemed one of the
best portions of Oregon.[166] The land is mostly prairie, but is well
diversified with timber, and bountifully supplied with spring branches.
The Indians are more numerous here than in the valley further north, and
as in the Umpquah and Rogue's river valleys, more hostile. There has
been very little trading with them; but they not unfrequently attack
persons driving cattle through from California to the settlements in
Oregon; and although none of the drivers have been killed for several
years, they have lost numbers of their cattle. Before these valleys can
be safely settled, posts must be established to protect the inhabitants
from the depredations of these merciless savages.[167]

A settlement of about a dozen families has been made upon Clatsop
plains. This is a strip of open land, about a mile in width, extending
from the south end of Point Adams, or Clatsop Point, at the mouth of the
Columbia river, about twenty miles along the margin of the ocean, in the
direction of Cape Lookout.[168] It appears to have been formed by the
washing of the waters. Ridges resembling the waves of the ocean extend
from north to south throughout the entire length of the plains. These
ridges are from twelve to twenty-five feet high, and in some places not
more than fifty feet, but at other points as much as three hundred yards
asunder. That along the coast is the highest and least fertile, as it
seems to be of more recent formation. The soil is composed of vegetable
matter and sand, and produces grass more abundantly than the valleys
above; the spray and dampness of the ocean keeping the grass green all
the year. The land is not so good for fall wheat as in the upper
country, but the settlers raise twenty-five bushels of spring wheat to
the acre. I think it better for root crops than the valleys above. In
the rear of the plains, or about a mile from the shore, is a body of
land heavily timbered with hemlock and spruce, which is tall and
straight, and splits freely. Near the timber a marsh of some two hundred
yards in width extends nearly the entire length of the plains. This
marsh is covered with the low kind of cranberries.

A stream some ten or twelve yards in width[169] enters the plains {104}
at the south end, runs ten or twelve miles north, when it turns to the
west, and after passing through two of the ridges, takes a southerly
direction and enters the bay that sets up between the Plains and Cape
Lookout, not more than ten rods from its entrance into the Plains. Here
a dam is built across the stream, and the claimant is erecting a
flouring mill.

On these plains the claims are taken half a mile in width on the coast,
and extending back two miles; each claimant therefore having a fair
proportion of prairie and timber land, besides a glorious cranberry

Some fifteen miles southeast of Cape Lookout, stands a peak of the Coast
range, called Saddle Mountain; and the cape is a spur or ridge extending
from this mountain some two or three miles out into the ocean.[170]
Around the head of the bay, immediately north of Cape Lookout, is a body
of several thousand acres of timber land.

The soil is good, but most of it so heavily timbered that it would
require much labour to prepare it for farming. But as the streams from
the mountain afford an abundance of water power, it would be an easy
matter to manufacture the timber into lumber, for which there is a good
market for shipping, and thus make the clearing of the land for
cultivation a profitable business.

Along the coast from Cape Lookout to the 42d parallel there is much land
that can be cultivated; and even the mountains, when cleared of the
heavy bodies of timber with which they are clothed, will be good farming
land. There is so much pitch in the timber that it burns very freely;
sometimes a green standing tree set on fire will all be consumed; so
that it is altogether a mistaken idea that the timber lands of the
country can never be cultivated. I am fully of the opinion that
two-thirds of the country between the Willamette valley and the coast,
and extending from the Columbia river to the forty-second parallel,
which includes the Coast range of mountains, can be successfully
cultivated. This region abounds in valuable cedar, hemlock and fir
timber, is well watered, possesses a fertile soil, and being on the
coast, it will always have the advantage of a good market; for the
statements that soundings cannot be had along the coast, between Puget
Sound and the Bay of San Francisco, are altogether erroneous. No place
along the range would be more than thirty miles from market; and the
difficulty of constructing roads over and through this range would be
trifling, compared with that of constructing similar works over the

{105} The country about Cape Lookout is inhabited by a tribe of Indians
called the Kilamooks. They are a lazy and filthy set of beings, who live
chiefly on fish and berries, of which there is here a great abundance.
They have a tradition among them that a long time ago the Great Spirit
became angry with them, set the mountain on fire, destroyed their towns,
turned their _tiye_ (chief) and _tilicums_ (people) into stone, and cast
them in the ocean outside of Cape Lookout; that the Great Spirit
becoming appeased, removed the fire to Saddle Mountain, and subsequently
to the _Sawhle Illahe_ (high mountain,) or Mount Regnier, as it is
called by the whites, on the north side of the Columbia river.[171]

In the ocean about a mile west of Cape Lookout, is to be seen at high
water a solitary rock, which they call Kilamook's Head, after the chief
of the tribe. Around this rock for half a mile in every direction may be
seen at low water divers other rocks, which are called the _tilicums_,
(people) of the tribe. At low water is to be seen a cavity passing quite
through Kilamook's Head, giving the rock the appearance of a solid stone

In support of this tradition, the appearance of the promontory of Cape
Lookout indicates that it may be the remains of an extinct volcano; and
on Saddle Mountain there is an ancient crater, several hundred feet
deep; while Mount Regnier is still a volcano. Those who have visited the
rocky cliffs of Cape Lookout, report that there is some singular carving
upon the ledges, resembling more the hieroglyphics of the Chinese, than
any thing they have seen elsewhere.

These Indians have another tradition, that five white men, or, as they
call them, pale faces, came ashore on this point of rock, and buried
something in the cliffs, which have since fallen down and buried the
article deep in the rocks; that these pale faces took off the Indian
women, and raised a nation of people, who still inhabit the region to
the south. And I have met with travelers who say they have seen a race
of people in that region, whose appearance would seem to indicate that
they may have some European blood in their veins. A reasonable
conjecture is, that a vessel may have been cast away upon the coast, and
that these five men escaped to Cape Lookout. Another circumstance
renders it probable that such might have been the case. Frequently,
after a long and heavy south westerly storm, large cakes of beeswax,
from two to four inches thick and from twelve to eighteen inches in
diameter, {106} are found along the beach, near the south end of Clatsop
Plains. The cakes when found are covered with a kind of sea-moss, and
small shells adhere to them, indicating that they have been a long time
under water.[173]

In or about Saddle Mountain rises a stream called Skipenoin's river,
which, though extremely crooked, runs nearly north, and empties into the
western side of Young's bay, which, it will be remembered, is a large
body of water extending south from the Columbia river between Point
Adams and Astoria. Between this river and Clatsop plains is a strip of
thick spruce and hemlock, with several low marshes. The landing for
Clatsop plains is about two miles up the river; which it is rather
difficult to follow, as there are many _slues_ putting in from either
side, of equal width with the main stream. From the bay a low marshy
bottom extends up to the landing, covered with rushes and sea-grass.
This bottom is overflowed opposite the landing at high water. Between
the landing and Clatsop plains is a lake one or two miles in length,
which has its outlet into the bay. Its banks are high, and covered with
spruce. Near this is a stream, from the mouth of which it is about two
or three miles along the bay to the creek upon which Lewis and Clark
wintered; and thence about three and a half miles to the head of the bay
where Young's river enters.[174]

Young's river is a stream about one hundred and fifty yards in width,
and is navigable for steamboats and small sloops to the forks, six or
seven miles up. About seven miles further up are the "Falls," where the
water pitches over a ledge of rocks, making a fall of about sixty feet.
Around the falls the mountains are covered with heavy timber. Near the
forks the river receives from the east a small stream, upon which a
machine for making shingles has been erected; and as the timber in the
vicinity is good for shingles, which can be readily sold for the
Sandwich Islands market, the owners expect to do a profitable business.
Young's river rises in or near Saddle mountain.[175] From the mouth of
this river it is about eight or ten miles, around the point which forms
on the east Young's Bay, to Astoria, or Fort George, as it is called by
the Hudson's Bay Company. This stands on the south side of the Columbia
river, about sixteen miles from its mouth.[176]

The Columbia river and its location have been so often described, that
it is hardly necessary for me to go into details. But as this work is
designed to be afforded so low as to place {107} it within the reach of
every one, and may fall into the hands of many whose means will not
enable them to procure expensive works on Oregon, it may not be amiss to
say something about that noble stream, which discharges its waters into
the ocean between cape Disappointment on the north, and point Adams or
Clatsop point on the south, and in latitude about 46° 15['] north.

At its mouth the Columbia is narrowed to about six miles in width by
cape Disappointment extending in a south west direction far out into the
stream, the cape being washed on the west side by the ocean. Cape
Disappointment and Chinook point, a few miles above it, form Baker's
bay, which affords good anchorage for vessels as soon as they round the
point.[177] This cape presents a rocky shore, is quite high, and covered
with timber. An American had taken it as his land claim, according to
the laws of the territory; but during the last winter, he sold his right
to Mr. Ogden, then one of the principal factors, but now Governor of the
Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon, for one thousand dollars. A
fortification on this cape would command the entrance of the river by
the northern channel, which is immediately around the point, and as it
is said, not more than half a mile in width.[178]

Point Adams, the southern cape of the Columbia, is a little above cape
Disappointment. It is low and sandy, and continues a sand ridge four
miles to Clatsop plains. This point, and the high ground at Astoria, as
before stated, form Young's bay, near which the ridge is covered with
timber. Near point Adams is the southern channel or entrance into the
Columbia, which is thought to be preferable to the northern channel; and
I think either of them much better than heretofore represented. In each
there is a sufficiency of water to float any sized vessel. With the
advantages of light houses, buoys, and skillful pilots, which the
increasing commerce of the country must soon secure, the harbor at the
mouth of the Columbia would compare well with those on the Atlantic
coast; and I may say that it would be superior to many of them.

As we ascend, Astoria occupies probably the first suitable site for a
town. It stands upon a gradual slope, which extends from the bank of the
river up to the mountain. The timber was once taken off of some forty or
fifty acres here, which, except about twenty acres, has since been
suffered to grow up again, and it is now a thicket of spruce and briars.
Five or six old dilapidated buildings, which are occupied by the
Hudson's Bay Company, who have a small stock of goods for trading {108}
with the natives, and a few old looking lodges upon the bank of the
river, filled with greasy, filthy Indians, constitute Astoria.[179]

The person in charge of this establishment, whose name is Birney, seems
to be a distant, haughty, sulky fellow, whose demeanor and looks belie
the character generally given to a mountaineer or backwoodsman.[180] As
evidence of his real character, I will state one circumstance as it was
related to me by persons residing in the vicinity of the place. During
the summer or fall, while the British war vessel Modesté was lying at
Astoria, one of the sailors fell overboard and was drowned. Search was
made, but his body could not be found. Several weeks afterwards the body
of a man was found upon the shore, a short distance above Astoria.
Information was immediately communicated to Birney, who promised to give
the body a decent burial. About two weeks after this, some Indians
travelling along the shore, attracted to the place by a disagreeable
scent and the number of buzzards collected together, discovered the body
of a man much mangled, and in a state of putrefaction. They informed two
white men, Trask, and Duncan,[181] who immediately made enquiry as to
whether the body found on the beach previously had been buried, and
received for answer from Birney, _that it was no countryman of his, but
it was likely one of the late emigrants from the States that had been
drowned at the Cascade Falls_. Trask and Duncan proceeded to bury the
body, and found it to be in the garb of a British sailor or marine.
This, to say the least, was carrying national prejudice a little too

Near Astoria, and along the river, several claims have been taken, and
commencements made at improving. Anchorage may be had near the shore.
Three miles above Astoria is Tongue point,[182] a narrow rocky ridge
some three hundred feet high, putting out about a mile into the river;
but at the neck it is low and not more than two hundred yards across.
The two channels of the river unite below this point. Opposite is Gray's
bay, a large, beautiful sheet of water, of sufficient depth to float
ships. Above and on the south side of the river is Swan bay, a large
sheet of water, though shallow, presenting numerous bars at low tides. A
deep channel has been cut through this bay, which affords an entrance
into a stream that comes in from the south, about two hundred yards
wide, and from appearance is navigable some distance up.[183] In this
vicinity the whole country is covered with heavy timber. In {109} the
indentation in the mountain range south of the river, there seems to be
large scopes of good rich land, which would produce well if cleared of
timber. From Tongue point across Gray's bay to Catalamet point is about
sixteen miles. Small craft are frequently compelled to run the southern
channel, inside of a cluster of islands called Catalamet Islands, which
passes "old Catalamet town," as it is called, a point where once stood
an Indian village. Four or five claims have been taken here, but none of
them have been improved. A short distance from the river are several
beautiful prairies, surrounded with heavy timber. A small stream enters
here, which affords water power a short distance up.[184]

A few miles above old Catalamet town, near the top of the bluff, about
four hundred yards from the Columbia, stands Wilson & Hunt's saw mill,
which is driven by a small stream coming down from the mountain; after
leaving the wheel the stream falls about sixty feet, striking tide water
below. A sluice or platform is so constructed as to convey the lumber
from the mill to the level below, where it is loaded into boats and run
out to the river, where it can be loaded into vessels.

Upon our arrival at this place, the bark Toulon was lying at anchor,
about fifty yards from the shore, taking in a cargo of lumber for the
Sandwich Islands, to which she expected to sail in a few days. This was
early in January, but from some cause she did not leave the mouth of the
river until the last of February.[185]

In the vicinity of the mill there is some better timber than I have seen
in any other part of the country. The largest trees are about seven feet
in diameter, and nearly three hundred feet high; the usual size,
however, is from eighteen inches to three feet diameter, and about two
hundred feet high.

The country slopes up from the mill gradually, for several miles, and is
susceptible of easy cultivation; the soil is somewhat sandy, and has the
appearance of being good.

In leaving this place, we struck directly across the river, which is
here over two miles wide. Upon the north side, almost opposite to the
mill, is a claim held by Birney, of Astoria, who has made an effort at
improvement by cutting timber and raising the logs of a cabin. At this
place a rocky bluff commences and continues up the river for ten miles,
over which a great many beautiful waterfalls leap into the Columbia.
There is one sheet of water ten or twelve feet wide, which plunges over
a precipitous cliff two hundred feet into the river, {110} striking the
water about thirty feet from the base of the rock, where there is
sufficient depth to float vessels of large size.

At the distance of eight or ten miles above the mill, on the south side
of the river, there is an indentation in the mountain to the south, and
a bend in the river to the north, which forms a body of bottom land
several miles in width, and some ten or twelve miles long, the greater
part of which, except a strip varying from a quarter to half a mile in
width, next to the river, is flooded during high tides. This strip is
covered with white oak and cottonwood timber. The remainder of the
bottom is prairie, with occasional dry ridges running through it, and
the whole of it covered with grass. By throwing up levees, as is done
upon the Atlantic coast, most of these fine lands might be cultivated.

At the extreme southern point of the elbow, there comes in a stream, the
size of which was not ascertained, but from appearances it is of
sufficient size to propel a considerable amount of machinery. There are
several islands in the river opposite the lower point of this bottom,
and at the northern angle the Columbia is not more than three-fourths of
a mile wide. This is called Oak point, and holds out good inducements
for a settlement. There is an Indian village half a mile below the
point; and opposite, upon the northern side of the river, a good
millstream, the falls being near the river, and the mountain covered
with timber.[186] Immediately above the point, the river spreads out to
one and a half or two miles in width, and having several islands,
portions of which are covered with cottonwood, oak and ash timber, the
remainder being nearly all prairie. From Oak point up to Vancouver, the
scenery very much resembles that along the Hudson river through the
Catskill Mountains, but much more grand, as the Cascade range of
mountains, and many snowcapped peaks, are in view.

Some portions of the way the shore is high rugged cliffs of rocks, at
others indentations in the mountain leave bottoms, from a quarter to
three miles wide, which are mostly covered with timber. From the lower
mouth of the Willamette to Fort Vancouver, the shores are lined with
cottonwood timber, and upon the south side, as far up as the mouth of
Sandy, or Quicksand river, which comes in at the western base of the
Cascade range. But few claims have as yet been taken along the Columbia,
but the fishing and lumbering advantages which this part of the country
possesses over many others, holds out great inducements to settlers.

{111} From Fort Vancouver, for several miles down upon the north side,
the country is sufficiently level to make good farming land; and the
Hudson's Bay Company, or members of the company, have extensive farms,
with large herds of cattle. Fort Vancouver is one of the most beautiful
sites for a town upon the Columbia. It is about ninety miles from the
ocean, and upon the north side of the river. Large vessels can come up
this far. The banks of the river are here about twenty-five feet high.
Much of the bottom land about the fort is inclined to be gravelly, but
produces well.[187]

A party consisting of nine persons, in two row-boats, started from
Oregon city on the 24th of December, for Fort Vancouver, and arrived
there in the afternoon of the 25th. In our party was Colonel M'Clure,
formerly of Indiana, and who had been a member of the Oregon legislature
for two years.[188] As soon as we landed, he made his way to the fort,
which is about four hundred yards from the shore, with the view of
obtaining quarters for the party. He soon returned and conducted us to
our lodgings, which were in an old cooper's shop, or rather shed, near
the river.

Before starting we had prepared ourselves with provisions, and a few
cooking utensils. We set to work, and although the wind and rain made it
unpleasant, we soon had a comfortable meal in readiness, and we made
good use of the time until it was devoured. This was holyday with the
servants of the Hudson's Bay Company, and such _ranting_ and frolicking
has perhaps seldom been seen among the sons of men. Some were engaged in
gambling, some singing, some running horses, many promenading on the
river shore, and others on the large green prairie above the fort. H. B.
Majesty's ship of war Modesté was lying at anchor about fifty yards from
the shore.[189] The sailors also seemed to be enjoying the
holydays--many of them were on shore promenading, and casting _sheep's
eyes_ at the fair native damsels as they strolled from wigwam to hut,
and from hut to wigwam, intent upon seeking for themselves the greatest
amount of enjoyment. At night a party was given on board the ship, and
judging from the noise kept up until ten at night, they were a jolly set
of fellows. About this time a boat came ashore from the ship, with a few
land lubbers most gloriously drunk. One of them fell out of the boat,
and his comrades were barely able to pull him ashore. They passed our
shop, cursing their stars for this ill luck.

We wrapped ourselves in our blankets, and lay down upon {112} a pile of
staves. The rain was falling gently, and we were soon asleep. In the
after part of the night, several of us were aroused by a strange noise
among the staves. In the darkness we discovered some objects near us,
which we supposed to be hogs. We hissed and hallooed at them, to scare
them away. They commenced grunting, and waddled off, and all was again
quiet, and remained so until daylight; but when we arose in the morning,
we found ourselves minus one wagon sheet, which we had brought along for
a sail, our tin kettle, eighteen or twenty pounds of meat, a butcher
knife and scabbard, one fur cap, and several other articles, all of
which had been stolen by the Indians, who had so exactly imitated the
manoeuvres of a gang of hogs, as entirely to deceive us.

After breakfast we visited the fort, where we had an introduction to Dr.
McLaughlin, the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. He appears to be
much of a gentleman, and invited us to remain during the day; but as we
were upon an excursion down the river, we only remained to make a few
purchases, which being accomplished, we left the place.

As before stated, the fort stands upon the north bank of the Columbia,
six miles above the upper mouth of the Willamette, and about four
hundred yards from the shore. The principal buildings are included
within a stockade of logs, set up endwise close together, and about
twelve feet high; the lower ends of the timbers being sunk about four
feet in the ground. A notch is cut out of each log near the top and
bottom, into which a girth is fitted, and mortised into a large log at
each end, the whole being trenailed to this girth. I judge the area
contains about four acres. The first thing that strikes a person
forcibly upon entering one of the principal gates upon the south, is two
large cannons, planted one upon either side of the walk leading to the
Governor's house, immediately in front of the entrance. Many of the
buildings are large and commodious, and fitted up for an extensive
business, others are old fashioned looking concerns, and much
dilapidated. East of the fort and along the river bank there is a grassy
prairie, extending up for about three miles; it has been cultivated, but
an unusually high freshet in the river washed the fence away, and it has
since remained without cultivation. The soil is gravelly. North of this,
and extending down nearly even with the fort there is a handsome farm,
under good cultivation. North of the fort there is a beautiful orchard,
and an extensive garden, with several large blocks of buildings. Below
the {113} fort, and extending from the river for half a mile north, is
the village; the inhabitants of which are a mongrel race, consisting of
English, French, Canadians, Indians of different nations, and half
breeds, all in the employ of the company. The buildings are as various
in form, as are the characteristics of their inmates.

As yet there are but few Americans settled upon the north side of the
Columbia. There seems to have been an effort upon the part of the
Hudson's Bay Company, to impress the American people with an idea that
the entire country north of the river was unfit for cultivation. Not
only was this statement made to emigrants, but it was heralded forth to
the whole world; and as much of the country along the Columbia
corroborated this statement, no effort was made to disprove it.
Americans visiting that country being so well pleased with the
attentions paid them by the Hudson's Bay Company, took for granted their
statements, without examining for themselves, and have asserted it at
home, in accordance with British interests, and this I fear has had its
influence in the settlement of this question. For any one acquainted
with the character of the claims of the respective governments can but
admit, that greater privileges have been granted to Great Britain than
that government had any right to expect, or than the justice of our
claim would allow. Undoubtedly, the largest part of good agricultural
country is south of 49° north latitude, but there is a great deal of
excellent land north of that line. But little of it has been explored by
Americans, and we have taken only the statements of British subjects,
and upon their authority, the question between the two governments was
settled. But as we have proven by actual examination the incorrectness
of their statements in relation to the country between the Columbia and
the 49th degree north latitude, we may reasonably infer that they are
also incorrect in relation to the remainder of the country north. That
the general features of the country north of the Columbia River are
rough and mountainous, is admitted; and the same may be said in relation
to the country south of it; but that it is barren and sterile, and unfit
for cultivation, is denied.

The country upon the north side of the Columbia abounds with beautiful
valleys of rich soil, of prairie and timbered lands, well watered, and
adapted to the growth of all the grains raised in the northern, middle,
and western States, with superior advantages for grazing; never failing
resources for timber {114} and fish; and its proximity to one of the
best harbors in the world, renders it one of the most desirable and
important sections upon the Pacific coast. Frazer's river, with its
numerous tributaries, will afford a settlement which will compare well
with England itself.

Vancouver's Island, an excellent body of land, is equal to England in
point of size, fertility of soil, climate, and everything that would
constitute great national wealth. And besides these, there are
undoubtedly extensive valleys north of Frazer's river, which will
compare well with it; but we know nothing positively upon this

The excellent harbors of Puget's sound, with its many advantages, and
the delightful country about it, are sufficient to induce capitalists to
look that way. This will probably be the principal port upon the coast.
Here will doubtless be our navy yard and shipping stores. It is thought
by many that an easy communication can be had between the Sound and the
middle region, by striking the Columbia above fort Wallawalla. If this
can be effected, it will lessen the distance materially from the
settlement upon the upper Columbia to a seaport town; and as the
navigation of that river, between the Cascade and Lewis's fork is
attended with great danger and difficulty, a route through to the sound
in this quarter would be very desirable.[191] That it can be
accomplished there is but little doubt. A stream emptying into the ocean
between the Columbia and the sound, called Shahales, affords a very good
harbor, which is called Gray's harbor.[192] Up this stream there is a
country suitable for an extensive settlement. Like most other valleys in
the country it is diversified with prairie and timbered land, and well
watered. No claims as yet have been taken in this valley.

There are two peaks upon the north side of the river, which remain
covered with snow the whole year round. One is called Mount St. Helen,
and stands north east of Fort Vancouver, and distant perhaps forty-five
or fifty miles.

The other is Mount Regnier, and stands some thirty-five miles from St.
Helen, in a northerly direction. This is said to be a volcano.

The distance from Fort Vancouver to Puget's sound, in a direct line,
cannot exceed ninety miles; but the high mountains between render the
route somewhat difficult, and the distance necessarily traveled would be
considerably increased.

About forty miles below fort Vancouver there comes in a {115} stream
called Cowlitz; twenty-five miles up this stream there is a French
settlement of about twenty families. Like those in the settlement upon
the east side of the Willamette river, they have served out their term
of years in the H. B. Company, have taken claims, and become an
industrious and thriving population.[193]

       *       *       *       *       *

The people in Oregon have adopted a code of laws for their government,
until such time as the United States shall extend jurisdiction over

The powers of the government are divided into three distinct
departments--the legislative, executive, and judicial.

The legislative department is to consist of not less than _thirteen_
members, nor more than _sixty-one_; the number not to be increased more
than _five_ in any one year. The members are elected annually; each
district electing a number proportionate to its population.

The executive power is vested in one person, who is elected by the
qualified voters of the territory, and holds his office for the term of
two years. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, and such
inferior courts of law, equity, and arbitration, as may by law from time
to time be established. The supreme court consists of one judge, elected
by the legislature, and holds his office four years. They have adopted
the Iowa code of laws.[194]

Oregon is now divided into eight counties, viz: Lewis, Vancouver,
Clatsop, Yam-hill, Polk, Quality, Clackamis, and Shampoic.[195] Lewis
county includes that portion of country about Puget's sound;--Vancouver,
that along the northern side of the Columbia. These two counties
comprise all the territory north of the Columbia river.

Clatsop county includes that part of the country west of the centre of
the coast range of mountains, and from the river south, to Yam-hill
county, and of course includes Astoria, Clatsop Plains, &c.

Quality county includes the territory bounded on the north by the
Columbia, on the east by the Willamette, on the south by Yam-hill, and
on the west by Clatsop county.

Yam-hill county is bounded on the north by Quality and Clatsop, (the
line being about fifteen miles south of Oregon city,) on the east by the
Willamette river, on the south by Polk county, and on the west by the

{116} Polk county is bounded on the north by Yam-hill county, on the
east by the Willamette, on the south by the California line, and on the
west by the Pacific ocean.

Clackamis county is bounded on the north by the Columbia, on the east by
the Rocky mountains, on the south by Shampoic county, and on the west by
the Willamette, including Oregon city.

Shampoic county is bounded on the north by Clackamis county, on the east
by the Rocky mountains, on the south by California, and on the west by
the Willamette.

The country will, without doubt, be divided into at least three states.
One state will include all the country north of the Columbia river.
Nature has marked out the boundaries. Another state will include all
that country south of the Columbia river to the California line, and
west of the Cascade range of mountains. This country, however, is large
enough to form two states. The country east of the Cascade range,
extending to the Rocky mountains, and between the Columbia and
California, would make another state. This would include more territory
than all the remainder; but it would cover all that vast barren region
of country which can never be inhabited by the white man. The western
portion of this section is fertile. The line doubtless would be
established between, leaving the eastern portion as Oregon territory,
for future generations to dispose of.

The country now contains over six thousand white inhabitants; and the
emigration this year, over land, will be about seventeen hundred souls,
and that by water will probably equal it, which will increase the number
to near ten thousand. It may be a safe calculation to set down the
number for the first of January, 1847, at twelve thousand souls.

The settlers are labouring under great disadvantages on account of not
being able to obtain a sufficient amount of farming implements. The
early settlers were supplied at the Hudson Bay Company's store, and at
prices much less than those now charged for the same articles. At that
time the supply was equal to the demand; but since the tide of
emigration has turned so strongly to this region, the demand is much
greater than the supply. This may be said of almost every kind of goods
or merchandise. The supply of goods in the hands of the American
merchants has been very limited, being the remnant of cargoes shipped
round upon the coast, more for the {117} purpose of treating with the
Indians, than with the cultivators of the soil.

Great complaints have been made by the merchants trading in that
quarter, that they were not able to compete with the Hudson Bay Company;
and this is the cry even at home; but the fact is, the prices were much
lower before these American merchants went into the country than they
now are. Their mode of dealing is to ask whatever their avarice demands,
and the necessities of the purchaser will bear. And not being satisfied
with an open field, they have petitioned the Hudson Bay Company to put a
higher price upon their goods, as they were selling lower than the
American merchants wished to sell. In accordance with this request, the
H. B. Company raised the price of goods _when sold to an American_, but
sold them at the old prices to British subjects. This arrangement was
continued for two years; but an American can now purchase at the fort as
cheap as any one. These facts I obtained from various sources, and when
apprised of the prices of goods in that country, they are not so hard to
be believed.

I paid for a pair of _stoga_ shoes, made in one of the eastern states,
and a very common article, four dollars and _fifty_ cents; for a common
coarse cotton flag handkerchief, which can be had in Cincinnati for five
or ten cents, fifty cents. The price of calico ranges from thirty-one to
eighty-seven and a half cents a yard; common red flannel one dollar and
fifty cents per yard; a box of two hundred and fifty percussion caps,
two dollars and fifty cents; coarse boots, eastern made, six to eight
dollars; calfskin from ten to twelve dollars; coarse half hose, one
dollar; dry goods generally ranging with the above prices. Iron was
selling at twelve and a half cents per pound. Tools of all kinds are
very high; so that whatever may be said against the company, for putting
down the prices to destroy competition by breaking up other merchants,
cannot be "sustained by the facts of the case." That they prevent them
from raising the prices there is no doubt, and if the American merchants
had the field, clear of competition, the prices would be double what
they now are. They have not capital to enable them to keep up a supply,
nor to purchase the surplus of the country. The Hudson Bay Company are
the only purchasers to any extent, for there are no others who have the
necessary machinery to manufacture wheat, which is the staple of the
country at present. The American merchants buy a few fish, {118} hides,
and lumber; but in such limited quantities as to be of very little
advantage to the country.

A few American merchants, with a little capital, would give an impulse
to trade, encourage the settlers, make it a profitable business to
themselves, and add much to the character of the country. There is
scarcely any branch of business that might not be carried on
successfully in Oregon. Flouring mills, saw-mills, carding machines,
fulling and cloth dying, tin shops, potteries, tanyards, &c., &c., would
all be profitable; and in truth they are all much needed in the country.

The price of a flour barrel is one dollar; that of common split-bottom
chairs twenty-four dollars per dozen; a common dining table without
varnish, fourteen dollars; half soling a pair of shoes or boots, two
dollars; cutting and splitting rails, one dollar and twenty-five cents
per hundred; eighteen inch shingles, four dollars and fifty cents per
thousand; cutting cord wood, from seventy-five cents to one dollar per
cord; carpenter's wages from two to three dollars per day; laborer's
from one to two dollars per day; plough irons fifty cents per pound;
stocking a plough, from four to six dollars. Wheat, eighty cents per
bushel; potatoes fifty cents; corn sixty-two and a half cents; oats
fifty cents; beef four to six cents per pound; pickled salmon by the
barrel, nine to twelve dollars for shipment; work cattle are from
seventy-five to one hundred dollars per yoke; cows from twenty-five to
fifty dollars each; American work horses from one hundred and fifty to
two hundred dollars. I have never heard of any sheep being sold, but
presume they would bring from five to ten dollars. A tailor will charge
from six to twelve dollars for making a dress coat. Hogs are high,
though there seems to be plenty of them in the country. The common kinds
of poultry are plenty. It is a singular fact that the honey bee is not
found in the Oregon territory, neither wild nor domesticated. Beef hides
are two dollars each; a chopping axe from four and a half to six
dollars; a drawing knife, three to five dollars; hand-saws, six dollars;
crosscut saws, eight to twelve dollars; mill-saws, twenty-five dollars.
There is but little hollow ware in the country. No stationery of any
kind could be had when I was there. The people are in great need of
school books; some sections being destitute of schools in consequence of
not being able to procure books. Good teachers are also much needed.

I had expected to find the winters much more severe than they turned out
to be. I had no thermometer, and no means {119} of ascertaining the
degrees of heat and cold, but I kept an account of the wet and dry
weather, cloudy, clear, &c., &c., commencing on the first day of
November and ending on the fifth of March, which was the day I started
on my return to the United States.

The 1st and 2d days of November were clear; 3d rainy; then clear until
the 11th; cloudy until the 13th. Then cloudy, with slight showers of
rain until the 20th; 21st and 22nd clear; 23d rainy; 24th and 25th were
cloudy, but no rain; the weather was then clear until the 29th, when it
again clouded up.

30th of November and first of December were cloudy; 2d and 3rd clear,
with frosty nights. On the 4th a misty rain; 5th and 6th were cloudy;
from 7th to 10th clear and cool, with frost every night. On the 11th it
rained nearly all day, and on the 12th about half the day. 13th and 14th
were cloudy. From the 15th to 22d clear and pleasant, with frosty
nights; it thawed through the day in the sun all that froze at night,
but in the shade remained frozen. From the 22d to 24th cloudy, with
showers of drizzling rain; 25th, 26th and 27th rain nearly all the time,
but not very copiously; the mornings were foggy. The 28th and 29th were
clear, but very foggy in the forepart of the day; 30th and 31st rain
about half the time.

From the 1st to 3d of January it was squally, with frequent showers of
rain; 4th cloudy, but no rain; 5th rained nearly all day. From the 6th
to the 12th, clear and pleasant, being slightly foggy in the mornings;
from 13th to 17th rained about half each day, and nearly all the night;
18th and 19th, cloudy without rain. The 20th and 21st, slight rain
nearly all the time; 22d was cloudy; 23d and 24th, rain about half of
each day; 25th rained all day, 26th cloudy, without rain, 27th was
rainy, some heavy showers; 28th was clear; 29th, 30th and 31st, were
showery and blustering, raining about half the time, and foggy.

The 1st of February was clear; 2d cloudy, 3d rainy; 4th and 5th were a
little cloudy, but pleasant; 6th and 7th, a few slight showers; 8th and
9th rainy and quite cool; snow was seen on the lower peaks of the Coast
range of mountains, but none in the valley. The 10th was cloudy, at
night a little frost; 11th was rainy; 12th and 13th rained all the time;
14th and 15th were nearly clear, with light frosts. The weather remained
clear until the 23rd, with light frosts, but not cold enough to freeze
the ground; 24th cloudy; 25th clear; 26th, 27th, and 28th rained all the

{120} First of March, rained half the day; 2d cloudy, 3d rained all day;
4th cloudy, 5th was showery--making in all about twenty days that it
rained nearly all the day, and about forty days that were clear, or
nearly so; the remainder of the days were cloudy and showery. A number
of the days set down as rainy, a person with a blanket coat could have
worked out all the day without having been wet. Much of the time it
rained during the night, when it was clear through the day. I should
think that two-thirds of the rain fell during the night.

No snow fell in the valleys, nor were there frosts more than _fifteen_
nights. Ice never formed much over a quarter of an inch in thickness.
The little streams and "_swales_" sometimes rise so high as to make it
difficult to get about for a few days; but they are short, and soon run
down. But little labour has yet been bestowed on the public roads. The
Willamette river is the highway upon which nearly all the traveling is
done, and upon which nearly all the products of the country are
conveyed. The numerous streams can be easily bridged, and when this is
done, there will be but little difficulty in traveling at any period of
the year.

Upon the 5th of March, 1846, I set out on my return to the States. About
one week previous, a party of seven persons had also set out on their
return, and we expected to overtake them at Dr. Whitman's station. A few
head of lame cattle had been left the preceding fall with a man named
Craig, who resided near Spalding's mission;[196] and as the Indians in
that vicinity had large bands of horses, which they wished to trade for
cattle, I purchased several head of cattle to trade for horses, as also
did others of the party. I, however, had purchased two horses and one
mule; which, with several horses and mules belonging to the party, had
been taken ahead on the 2d of the month, with the view of crossing the
Columbia river at fort Vancouver, going up the valley of the Columbia,
and recrossing below the Dalles. By this route we would avoid the deep
snow on the Cascade mountains.

We loaded our effects on board a boat which we had bought for that
purpose, and at two o'clock P.M. shoved off; and although anxious to be
on the way back, yet I left the place with considerable reluctance. I
had found the people of Oregon kind and hospitable, and my acquaintance
with them had been of the most friendly character. Many of the persons
who had traveled through to Oregon with me, resided at Oregon {121}
city. Attachments had been formed upon the road, which when about to
leave, seemed like parting with our own families. We were about to
retrace the long and dreary journey which the year before had been
performed, and again to brave the privations and dangers incident to
such a journey. Traveling as we expected to do on horseback, we could
not take those conveniences so necessary for comfort, as when
accompanied with wagons; but we bade adieu to the good people of Oregon,
and rapidly floated down the Willamette to the town of Portland, twelve
miles below the falls. It commenced raining quite fast, and we hove to,
and procured quarters with Mr. Bell, one of the emigrants who had
recently settled at this place. This will probably be a town of some
consequence, as it occupies a handsome site, and is at the head of ship
navigation. Mr. Petigrew[197] of New York is the proprietor. It
continued raining nearly all night.

In the morning the rain abated; we again took the oars, and in two hours
and a half reached the town of Linnton. Here are a few log huts, erected
among the heavy timber; but it will not, probably, ever be much of a
town.[198] A great portion of the emigrants traveling down the Columbia
land at this place, and take the road to Quality plains, which are about
twenty-five miles distant; but the road is a bad one.

At 3 o'clock P. M. we arrived at fort Vancouver, where we made a few
purchases to complete our outfit, and then rowed up the river two miles
and a half, and encamped. Here we found the party with our horses. The
Indians had stolen two horses, several trail ropes, &c. The day was

On the 7th we ascended about eighteen miles, to the mouth of a stream
coming in upon the north side of the river, about one hundred yards in
width, having its source in Mount St. Helen. Here a commencement of a
settlement had been made by Simmons, Parker, and others, and about a
dozen buildings erected, but were now abandoned on account of its being
subject to be overflowed by the annual high freshets of the Columbia
river.[199] The soil is good, with several patches of prairie.

On our way we passed the grist and saw mills of the Hudson's Bay
Company. They stand immediately upon the bank of the Columbia. The water
power is obtained from small mountain streams. The mills are six and
eight miles above the fort. Several islands in the river might be
_leveed_ and successfully cultivated. The day was cloudy, with
occasional showers of rain, and some hail.

{122} On the 8th we advanced sixteen or eighteen miles. For the greater
part of the way, the river is hemmed in by high, craggy, rocky cliffs.
At a point, called Cape Horn, the rocks project over the stream,
presenting a huge mass of black looking rocks of several hundred feet in
height.[200] Some of them seem to have broken and slid from their former
position, and now stand in detached columns erect in the deep stream,
presenting a grand and terrific appearance. At several points, streams
of water were tumbling more than a thousand feet from crag to crag, and
falling into the river in broken sheets. Upon one of these columns
stands a solitary pine tree, and upon the topmost branch sat a large
bald-headed eagle. We rowed nearly under it, when one of our men took
his rifle and fired, and down came the eagle, striking the water not
more than ten feet from the boat. A wing had been broken, and we
dispatched him with our oars; he measured over seven feet from tip to
tip of the wings. Round this point the water is sometimes very rough.
Boats have been compelled to lay to, for two weeks, on account of the
roughness of the water. The day was clear.

Upon the 9th we progressed about ten miles. Seven miles brought us to
the foot of the rapids, called the Cascade falls, and here for five
miles the river is hemmed in and contracted to not more than three
hundred yards in width, and runs with tremendous velocity.[201] We were
compelled to _cordelle_ our boat, and sometimes lift it over the rocks
for several rods. It is not easy to form an idea of the difficulties to
be encountered, in ascending this rapid. Late in the evening we
encamped, after a day of hard work in wading, pulling and lifting. It
rained nearly all night.

On the 10th we arrived at the head of the portage. Three times we were
compelled to unload our boat, and carry our effects over the rocks along
the shore; and at the main falls the distance of the portage is nearly
one mile. At night we had completed the portage, and were all safe above
the falls.

At the foot of the rapids we met several families of emigrants, who had
been wintering at the Dalles. One of them had traveled the most of the
way with us, but being unwilling to travel as fast as we wished, had not
arrived in time to get through before winter set in. In this family was
a young woman, who so captivated one of our party, that he turned back
with them.

On the 11th we made but about eight miles; the wind causing {123} a
swell that rendered boating dangerous. The day was clear, and at night
there was a hard frost.

We progressed twelve or fourteen miles on the 12th; the day was cloudy.
Here we had designed crossing the river with our horses.

The morning of the 13th was too windy to swim our horses over. We
attempted to take them up the north side of the river; but after
clambering about three miles, we were compelled to halt, the cliffs
being so abrupt that we were unable to pass them with horses. We
remained at this place through the day.

On the morning of the 14th the wind had so abated that we could swim our
animals. We commenced by taking four at a time; two upon each side of
the boat, with four men rowing. In this manner by ten o'clock A. M., all
had crossed. The water was very cold. The width of the river at this
place, is more than a mile. The party with the horses then took the
trail, and we saw no more of them, until we arrived at the Dalles, which
we reached on the 15th. Here we found five of the party who had started
a week in advance of us. Two of their company had gone on to Whitman's
station. We sold our boat to the Missionaries, and remained here until
the morning of the 19th, endeavoring to hire and buy horses to pack our
effects to Dr. Whitman's. There were hundreds of horses belonging to the
Indians, but their owners knew our situation, and wished to extort a
high price from us. We so arranged our effects as to pack them on the
mules and horses we had, and we ourselves traveled on foot.

On the evening of the 18th, we packed up and proceeded two miles, when
we encamped. Two Indians came and encamped with us. In the night our
mules began to show signs that a thief was approaching. The guard
apprised us of it, and we prepared our arms. Our two Indian friends
seeing that we were prepared to chastise thieves, roused up and
commenced running around the camp, and hallooing most lustily; probably
to give warning that it was dangerous to approach, as they soon

During the day we had seen some sport. As we were nearly all _green_ in
the business of packing, and many of our animals were quite wild, we
frequently had running and kicking "sprees," scattering the contents of
our packs over the prairie, and in some cases damaging and losing them.
In one instance, while traveling along a narrow, winding path upon the
side of {124} a bluff, a pack upon a mule's back became loose; the mule
commenced kicking, and the pack, saddle and all, rolled off, and as the
trail rope was tied fast to the mule's neck, and then around the pack,
it dragged the mule after it. The bank for six or eight hundred feet was
so steep that a man could scarcely stand upright. The mule was sometimes
ahead of the pack, at others the pack was ahead of the mule. At length,
after tumbling about one thousand feet, to near a perpendicular ledge of
rocks, they stopped. Six feet farther would have plunged them over a
cliff of two hundred feet, into the river. We arrived at and crossed
Falls river, receiving no other damage than wetting a few of our
packs.[202] We encamped two miles above Falls river, having traveled
about sixteen miles. The weather was clear and warm. We traveled
leisurely along, nothing remarkable occurring; but as some of the party
were unaccustomed to walking, they soon showed signs of fatigue and sore
feet. We were often visited by a set of half-starved and naked Indians.

On the 26th we reached Fort Wallawalla, or Fort Nez Percés, as it is
sometimes called. This fort stands upon the east side of the Columbia,
and upon the north bank of the Wallawalla river. We went about three
fourths of a mile up the Wallawalla river, and encamped. Near us was a
village of the Wallawalla Indians, with their principal chief.[203] This
old chief was not very friendly to Americans. The season before, a
party of the Wallawallas had visited California, by invitation of Capt.
Suter; and whilst there, a difficulty arose about some horses, and the
son of the old chief was killed in the fort. The Indians left
immediately, and as Suter claimed to be an American, the chief's
feelings were excited against all Americans. He had showed hostile
demonstrations against a party of Americans the summer previous; and
when we arrived, we were told that he was surly, and not disposed to be
friendly. The grazing about the camp was poor, and we sent a few men
with the animals to the hills, three miles distant, to graze. Near night
we observed quite a stir among the Indians. We gave a signal to drive in
the horses; they soon came in, and we picketed them near the camp. As
soon as it was dark the Indians commenced singing and dancing,
accompanied with an instrument similar to a drum, and giving most
hideous yells, running to and fro. We began to suspect that they
meditated an attack upon our camp; and we accordingly prepared to meet
them by building a fortification of {125} our baggage, and posting a
strong guard. We remained in this position until daylight, when we
packed up, and traveled up the Wallawalla eight or ten miles, when we
stopped, cooked breakfast, and allowed our animals to graze.

Before starting, the old chief and a few of his principal men made us a
visit. They appeared friendly, and wished to trade. We gave them some
provisions, and made them a few presents of tobacco, pipes, &c. After
shooting at a mark with the chief, to convince him of our skill, we
conversed on various subjects, among which the death of his son was
mentioned, and he expressed his determination to go to California this
season. We parted, he and his people to their village, and we upon our
route to Dr. Whitman's.

We were here joined by a party of Nez Percé Indians; among whom were
four of their principal chiefs. Ellis the great chief was with them. He
speaks very good English, and is quite intelligent. He was educated at
the Hudson's Bay Company's school, on Red river.[204] They traveled and
encamped with us, making heavy drafts upon our provisions; but as we
expected to replenish at Whitman's, we gave them freely. We encamped on
a branch of the Wallawalla. This is a most beautiful valley of good
land, but timber is limited to a few cottonwood and willows along the

In the afternoon of the 28th we reached Dr. Whitman's station.[205] Here
we remained until the 31st, when in company with four others, and the
Nez Percé Indians, we started for Spalding's mission--Mr. Spalding being
of our party. The rest of our party remained at Whitman's. Our object
was to purchase horses and explore the country. The distance from Dr.
Whitman's to Spalding's was about one hundred and fifty miles, in a
northeast direction. The first day we traveled but about twenty-five
miles, over a most delightful prairie country, and encamped on a
beautiful clear stream coming down from the Blue mountains, which are
about twelve miles distant.[206]

The first of April we traveled about fifty-five miles, also over a
delightful, rolling, prairie country; crossing several beautiful
streams, lined with timber, and affording desirable locations for
settlement. The soil is rich, and covered with an excellent coat of
grass. This region possesses grazing advantages over any other portion
of Oregon that I have yet seen. The day was blustering, with a little
snow, which melted as it reached the ground.

On the 2d of April we arrived at Mr. Spalding's mission, {126} which is
upon the Kooskooskee or Clear Water,[207] and about twenty miles above
its mouth or junction with Lewis's fork of the Columbia. Ten miles from
our camp we struck Lewis's fork, and proceeded up it for five miles, and
crossed. On our way up we passed a ledge of rocks of fluted columns, two
or three hundred feet high. The bluffs of Lewis's fork and the
Kooskooskee are very high, sometimes more than three thousand feet. The
hills are nearly all covered with grass.

As the time I could remain in this region would not allow me to explore
it satisfactorily, I requested Mr. Spalding to furnish me with the
result of his experience for ten years in the country. He very kindly
complied, and the following is the information obtained from him.[208]
As he goes very much into detail, it is unnecessary for me to add any
further remarks here, in relation to this region of the country.

We remained at this missionary establishment until the 10th of April.
During our stay, we heard related many incidents common to a mountain
life. At one time, when Mr. Spalding was on an excursion to one of the
neighboring villages, accompanied by several Indians and their wives,
they espied a bear at a short distance clambering up a tree. He ascended
thirty or forty feet, and halted to view the travelers. A tree standing
near the one upon which sat the bear, with limbs conveniently situated
to climb, induced Mr. Spalding to attempt to _lasso_ master bruin. He
accordingly prepared himself with a _lasso_ rope, and ascended the tree
until he attained an elevation equal to that of the bear. He then cut a
limb, rested the noose of the rope upon one end, and endeavored to place
it over the head of the bear; but as the rope approached his nose, bruin
struck it with his paw, and as Mr. S. had but one hand at liberty, he
could not succeed, the weight of the rope being too great. He called to
some of his Indian friends, to come up and assist him; but none seemed
willing to risk themselves so near the formidable animal. At length one
of the squaws climbed up, and held the slack of the rope, and Mr. S.
succeeded in slipping the noose over bruin's head. He then descended
from the tree, and as the rope extended to the ground, they gave it a
jerk, and down came the bear, which fell in such a way as to pass the
rope over a large limb, thus suspending him by the neck.

The cattle which we had purchased were scattered over the {127} plain.
On the 3d they were brought in, and the chief Ellis bought the whole
band, agreeing to give one horse for each head of cattle. His place of
residence was about sixty miles further up the Kooskooskee, but his
father-in-law resided near the mission. Ellis made arrangements with the
latter for six horses, and delivered them to us, and his father-in-law
took possession of the cattle. We left the horses in his possession,
until Ellis could return with the remainder of the horses. In his
absence many of the natives came in with their horses to trade for the
cattle, and when informed that Ellis had bought them all, they were very
much displeased, and charged Ellis with conniving with the whites
against his people. In a few days Ellis returned, when the feelings of
his people were so much against him, that he was forced to abandon the
trade. His father-in-law drove down his band of horses according to
agreement, but instead of bringing the horses which had been selected,
he brought some old, broken-down horses that could not stand the trip.
We objected to receive these horses, and thus broke up the whole
arrangement. They had the horses and cattle; of course we demanded the
cattle; the Indians showed us that they were on the plains, and that we
must hunt them up. We dispatched a party, and they soon brought us all
but one heifer.

Our intention then was to drive the cattle down to Dr. Whitman's, and
trade with the Cayuses; but as we would be compelled to travel on foot
for nearly one hundred and fifty miles, we abandoned the project. The
neighboring Indians soon drove in some horses to trade, and before night
we had disposed of all but four head of our cattle, one yoke of oxen,
one yearling heifer, and a yearling calf. The oxen belonged to me. I
left them in charge of Mr. Spalding, until my return. In the exchange
one horse was given for a cow or heifer. A few horses were purchased for
other articles of trade, such as blankets, shirts, knives, &c. The value
of fourteen dollars in trade would buy an ordinary horse; if it was an
extra horse something more would be asked. Four blankets was the price
of a horse. None of the Indians would take money except Ellis. In fact
they did not seem to know the value of money.

During our stay at this place, the Indians flocked in from all quarters.
It is but seldom that the whites visit this portion of the country, and
the Indians all seemed anxious to see us. The house was literally filled
from morning until night with men, women, and children. They are usually
much better {128} clad than any other tribe east or west of the
mountains, are quite clean, and are an industrious people. They have
made considerable advances in cultivating the soil, and have large
droves of horses, and many of them are raising large herds of cattle.
Mr. and Mrs. Spalding have kept up a school, and many of the Indians
have made great proficiency in spelling, reading, and writing. They use
the English alphabet to the Nez Percé language. Mr. Spalding has made
some translations from the Scriptures, and among others from the book of
Matthew. From this printed copy[209] many of the Indians have printed
with a pen facsimiles of the translation, which are neatly executed. I
have several copies in my possession of these and other writings, which
can be seen at any time in Laurel, Indiana. They are a quiet, civil
people, but proud and haughty; they endeavor to imitate the fashions of
the whites, and owe much of their superior qualifications to the
Missionaries who are among them.

Mr. Spalding and family have labored among them for ten years
assiduously, and the increasing wants and demands of the natives require
an additional amount of labor. A family of their own is rising around
them, which necessarily requires a portion of their time; and the
increasing cares of the family render it impossible to do that amount of
good, and carry out fully that policy which they have so advantageously
commenced for the natives. It is impossible for one family to counteract
all the influences of bad and designing men, of whom there are not a few
in the country. They need more assistance. There are a sufficient number
of establishments, but not a sufficient number of persons at those
establishments. For instance: Mr. Spalding must now attend not only to
raising produce for his own family, but also to supply in a great
measure food to numerous families of Indians; to act as teacher and
spiritual guide, as physician, and perform many other duties incident to
his situation. With such a multitude of claims on his attention, his
energies are too much divided, and on the whole his influence is
lessened. Could not the Missionary board send out an assistant?

There is one thing which could be accomplished with a small outlay, that
would be of lasting advantage to these people. They are raising small
flocks of sheep, and have been taught to card and spin and weave by
hand, and prepare clothing--but the process is too tedious. A carding
machine and machinery for fulling cloth would be a saving to the board
of {129} missions, and of lasting benefit to the natives. There are no
such machines in that country. The wood work of those machines could
nearly all be done in the country; the cards and castings are all that
would be necessary to ship. A mechanic to set up the machines would be

Perhaps no part of the world is better adapted to the growth of wool
than this middle region, and it abounds with water-power to manufacture
it. Farmers, mechanics and teachers, should be sent among these people
by the missionary board, or by the government. A division is about being
made in this nation, which if not counteracted, will doubtless lead to
bad consequences. Three Delaware Indians have crossed the mountains, and
settled on the Kooskooskee among the Nez Percé Indians. One of them,
named Tom Hill, has so ingratiated himself into the feelings of the Nez
Percé Indians, that he has succeeded in persuading about one hundred
lodges to acknowledge him as their chief. It was formerly, as among
other tribes, customary for an Indian to have as many wives as he could
maintain; but the missionaries taught them otherwise, and succeeded in
abolishing this heathen custom. But Tom Hill tells them that they can
have as many wives as they please. He says to them, You make me chief,
and I will make you a great people. The white men tell you not to
steal--I tell you there is no harm in it; the bad consists in being
caught at it. These men will mislead you, &c., &c.

Ellis and the other chiefs have exerted themselves to recall their
people, but they cannot succeed. In conversing with Ellis, I enquired
whether cases of insanity were common among his people. He answered that
he never knew a case of insanity, but this one of Tom Hill's. He looks
upon him as a crazy man. The two other Delaware Indians are young men,
and are industrious and peaceable. They have commenced cultivating the
soil, and are raising a fine herd of cattle. Ellis is considered
wealthy. He has about fifteen hundred horses, a herd of cattle, some
hogs, and a few sheep. Many persons in this nation have from five to
fifteen hundred head of horses. In traveling from Dr. Whitman's to this
place, I saw more than ten thousand horses grazing upon the plains. They
are good looking, and some of them large.

In the fall I had made enquiries as to whether it was practicable to
obtain the necessary supplies at these missions for our home journey;
and in the winter Mr. Spalding wrote to us that he could furnish us with
flour and meat. We had accordingly {130} contemplated procuring a part
of our outfit at this place. A few bad designing Indians had frequently
given Mr. Spalding trouble about his place, and had made severe threats.
At one time they had threatened to tie him, and drive his family away.
They complained that the whites never came through their country, giving
them the advantages of trade; but that the white men passed through the
Cayuse country, selling their cattle, clothing, &c.; and that if they
could not have all the benefits of trade, the whites should leave the

Early in the spring some of them had got into a fit of ill humour, and
had ordered Mr. Spalding from the place, cut open his mill-dam, threw
down his fences, broke the windows of the church, crippled some of his
hogs, and took possession of the whole premises. This time they seemed
to be determined to carry their threats into execution. Mr. S. allowed
them to take their own course, putting no obstacle in their way. The
principal men seemed to look on with indifference; but they evidently
saw that it was likely to injure them, more than it would Mr. Spalding;
for they relied upon the mill and farm for their support to a great

In the meantime Mr. Spalding had written a letter to us, informing us of
his situation, and that we could not rely on him for furnishing us with
supplies. He gave the letter to an Indian to carry to Dr. Whitman's,
that it might be forwarded to us. The Indians being apprised of the
contents of the letter, stopped the carrier, and took from him the
letter, and after a consultation determined to abandon their rash
course; as it would be likely to deprive them of the benefit of our
trade, and be a barrier against the white men ever coming to trade with
them. They accordingly brought the letter to Mr. Spalding, acknowledging
they had done wrong, and placed him in full possession of his premises,
promising to behave better for the future; and when we arrived he was
enjoying their full confidence.

The Indians informed us that there was a good passway upon the north
side of Lewis's fork, by proceeding up the Kooskooskee some sixty miles,
and then striking across to Salmon river, and then up to Fort Bois. By
taking this route in the winter season, we would avoid the deep snow
upon the Blue Mountains, as the route is mostly up the valley of Lewis'
river, and it is undoubtedly nearer to Puget Sound than by the old
route. Those wishing to settle about the Sound would do well to take
this route, or at least the saving in the distance {131} would justify
an examination of the route, to ascertain its practicability.

We were very hospitably entertained by Mr. Spalding, and his interesting
family. With the exception of Mr. Gilbert, who is now engaged on the
mission farm, and Mr. Craig, who has a native for a wife, and lives six
hundred yards from Mr. Spalding's dwelling, the nearest white families
are Messrs. Walker and Ellis, who have a mission one hundred and thirty
miles to the north, among the Flathead nation; and Dr. Whitman, nearly
one hundred and fifty miles distant, among the Cayuses.[210]

In this lonely situation they have spent the best part of their days,
among the wild savages, and for no compensation but a scanty
subsistence. In the early part of their sojourn they were compelled to
use horse meat for food, but they are now getting herds of domestic
animals about them, and raise a surplus of grain beyond their own wants.
At Mr. Spalding's there is an excuse for a grist mill, which answers to
chip up the grain, but they have no bolting cloth; in place of which
they use a sieve. The meal makes very good bread. There was formerly a
saw mill, but the irons have been taken and used in a mill which Dr.
Whitman has recently built about twenty miles from his dwelling, at the
foot of the Blue mountains. The Catholics have several missionary
establishments upon the upper waters of the Columbia.[211]

On the 10th of April we had made the necessary arrangements, and started
on our return to Dr. Whitman's, where we arrived on the 14th. On my way
down in the fall, I had left a horse and a heifer with the Doctor. They
were now running on the plains. Several persons were engaged in hunting
them up; the horse was found and brought in, and was in good condition.
The Indians had concealed the horse, in order to force a trade, and
offered to buy him, they to run the risk of finding him; but as he was a
favorite horse, that I had brought from home, I felt gratified when he
was found. The heifer I traded for a horse, the purchaser to find her.
My two oxen, which I had left at Mr. Spalding's, I traded for a horse.
An Indian who had stolen a horse from a company in the fall, had been
detected, and the horse taken to fort Wallawalla. He had again stolen
the horse, and traded him off. He was at Dr. Whitman's, and as the owner
was of our party, he made a demand for the horse, and the Indian gave up
a {132} poor old horse in its stead. This was the same fellow that had
bought my heifer.

We remained at Dr. Whitman's until the 17th, when all was prepared, and
we made a formal start. Our party consisted of eighteen persons, and
fifty-one horses and mules. We traveled about eight miles, and encamped.
On the 18th, we traveled to the Umatillo. On the way the fellow who had
bought the heifer overtook us and demanded the horse, as he said he had
not time to hunt up the heifer. I refused to give it up, and he
insisted. At this juncture Dr. Whitman overtook us, and the Indian made
complaint to him. It was arranged that we should all go on to Umatillo,
where several of the chiefs resided, and have the matter amicably
settled. We reached the river in the afternoon, and repaired to the
chief's. The Indian told his story, and I told mine. The chief decided
that I should give up the horse, and he would give me a horse for the
heifer. I agreed that in case the heifer could not be found, to give him
another on my return to Oregon. The Indian set out with his horse, and
the chief soon brought me one in its place, worth at least two such as
the first. Of course I was much pleased with the exchange.

At night it commenced raining, and then snowing, and in the morning the
snow was four or five inches deep on the ground. We were then
immediately at the foot of the mountain, and as we expected the snow had
fallen deep upon the mountain, we remained in camp all day. The 20th was
unfavorable for traveling, and we remained in camp.

On the 21st we took up the line of march, ascended the mountain, and
advanced about twenty-five miles, which brought us over the dividing
ridge. We found the snow in patches, and sometimes three feet deep--that
is, the old snow, for the new fallen snow had all melted away. The
grazing was poor, but at night we found a prairie upon the south side of
the mountain, which afforded a scanty supply of grass; here we encamped
for the night.

The 22d was very blustery, sometimes snowing; very disagreeable
traveling. We reached the Grand Round at 2 o'clock P. M. and encamped.
Here we found an abundance of good grass, and halted for the night.
During the night the horse which I had obtained of the old chief broke
from his picket, and in company with one that was running loose, took
the back track. In the morning we dispatched two men, who followed them
about four miles, when it was found that the {133} horses had left the
road. The two men went back ten or twelve miles, but could see nothing
of the horses. They then returned to camp. We in the mean time had
packed up, and traveled across Grand Round about eight miles, when we
encamped. In the morning we started back four men to hunt for the
horses. On the evening of the 24th our men returned, but without the

On the morning of the 25th we packed up, traveled about twenty-six
miles, and encamped on Powder river, near the lone pine stump.[212]

On the 27th we traveled about twenty-five miles. On the 28th we traveled
about twenty-three miles, and encamped near Malheur.

On the 29th we reached fort Bois. The people at the fort, and the
Indians in the vicinity, were evidently much alarmed. Before reaching
the fort, I saw at a distance numerous columns of smoke, alternately
rising and disappearing; and then another column would rise at a great
distance. These columns of smoke seemed to be signals that enemies were
in the country. The people at the fort were seemingly friendly, and
supplied us with milk and butter. We selected our camping ground with
caution, and with an eye to the defence both of horses and men. Our
guard was doubled. We were visited by many Indians, but no hostile
demonstration was exhibited. Here the wagon road crosses the river, but
as there were no canoes at the upper crossing, and the river was too
high to ford, we decided upon traveling up the south side of the river.

On the 30th of April we packed up, and left fort Bois. The trail led us
up to the mouth of a stream coming in on the south side of Lewis river,
about one hundred yards in width. This we reached in about three miles.
Immediately at the crossing is an Indian village of the Shoshonee tribe.
When within one fourth of a mile from the crossing, an Indian who had
been at our camp the evening before, was seen riding furiously towards
us. He came up directly to me, extending his hand, which I took of
course; two or three were riding in front with me, who all shook hands
with him. He then turned and led the way through the bushes to the
crossing. At the point where we came out, the bank was some fifteen feet
high. A narrow place had been cut down, so as to admit but one horse at
a time to go up the bank; the village was immediately upon the bank, and
I discovered some thirty or forty Indians standing near the point where
the trail ascended the bank. I rode {134} to the top of the bank, where
about fifteen ugly looking Indians were standing, all striving to shake
hands, but my horse would not allow them to approach.

I passed on, the company following, and as we formed a long train, being
in single file, by the time those behind were out of the creek, those in
the lead were five or six hundred yards from the bank, and over a ridge.
I halted the front, for all to come up, when I discovered that Buckley,
who was in the rear riding one horse and leading another, had not
appeared over the ridge. Two of the men who were in the rear went back
for him. The horse which he was leading soon came running over the
ridge, and as Buckley did not make his appearance, we supposed that
something was wrong. Others started back, but they all soon returned,
and we went on. In a few minutes, however, one of the party came riding
up, and stated that the Indians were going to charge upon us.

At this instant a gun was fired by them, and a hideous yelling was heard
at our heels. The Indians were drawn up in line upon the ridge, all
armed, some with muskets, and others with bows and arrows. The fellow
who had met us, was still mounted, and running his horse from one end of
the line to the other, and all were yelling like fiends. I thought it
could not be possible that they would charge upon us, and ordered all
hands to move along slowly but cautiously, to have their arms in
readiness, and to keep the pack animals together, so that they could be
stopped at any moment. We marched along slowly in close order, and paid
no further regard to the Indians, than to carefully watch their
movements. They followed along a few hundred yards, and halted, their
yells then ceased, and we saw nothing more of them.

When the two men returned to Buckley, the mounted Indian spoken of had
Buckley's horse by the head; he had proposed an exchange, but Buckley
did not wish to swap, and asked him to let go the bridle: the Indian
held on, Buckley pulled and he pulled; Buckley rapped his knuckles with
a whip, and in the scuffle the horse that B. was leading broke loose,
and ran over the ridge, they not being able to catch him. At this
juncture the two men arrived; one of them raised his rifle in the
attitude of striking the Indian on the head, but he paid no regard to
it; the other, seeing his determined manner, rushed at him with his
bowie knife; he then let go the bridle, and our men came up to the
company. What his object was, or what their object in rallying their
forces, I could not conjecture: but it {135} put us on our guard. At our
night encampment there were Indians prowling about, but they were afraid
of our riding too near them, and made no attempt to steal, or otherwise
molest us. The country was extremely dry and barren; grazing was very

On the 5th of May we arrived at the upper crossing of Snake river. On
our way we had seen several villages of Shoshonee Indians, but were not
disturbed by them. The grazing was poor, and the country very barren. We
crossed several warm streams running down from the mountains, which
appeared at a distance of from five to ten miles on our right. A wagon
road can be had along the south side of the river, by hugging the base
of the mountains for twenty or thirty miles, when it would take down the
low bottom of Snake or Lewis river; but the distance is greater than by
crossing the river.

On the 6th of May we reached Salmon falls, and went up six miles to
Salmon Fall creek, and encamped. On the 8th and 9th it rained and
snowed, so that we were compelled to lay by most of the time. On the
10th it cleared up, and in the afternoon we had fair weather and
pleasant traveling. On the 12th we reached Cassia creek. At this place
the California trail turns off.

On the 14th we arrived at Fort Hall. On the 16th we reached the Soda
Springs. On the 18th we met about six hundred lodges of Snake Indians;
they were moving from Big Bear river to Lewis' fork. On the 23d we
reached Green river, taking the northern route. Much of the time the
weather has been cool with frosty nights, and several days of rain and

On the 24th we crossed Green river, and traveled about forty miles to
the Big Sandy. The day was blustering, with rain and snow. Along the
bottoms of the Sandy we found very good grazing for our animals.

On the 25th we traveled to the Little Sandy. On the 26th we arrived at
the _South Pass_, and encamped on Sweet Water. Here we saw a few
buffalo. The ride from Little Sandy to Sweet Water was extremely
unpleasant on account of the wind and snow. We were sometimes compelled
to walk, in order to keep warm. We here found a horse, which we supposed
had been lost by some emigrants the year before. He came running to our
band, and exhibited signs of the greatest joy, by capering and prancing
about. He was quite fat, and seemed determined to follow us.

{136} On the 27th we traveled down the valley of Sweet Water about
twenty-five miles. On our way we saw some hundreds of buffalo and
antelope, and two grizzly bears. We gave the latter chase, but did not
succeed in taking them. We had some difficulty in preventing our pack
animals from following the numerous bands of buffalo which came rolling
past us.

We traveled down this valley until the 30th, and encamped about four
miles east of _Independence Rock_, at a spring near a huge mountain of
gray granite rock. Soon after encamping it commenced raining, which
turned to snow, and in the morning we had about five inches of snow upon
us. We were uncomfortably situated, as we could procure but little fuel,
and had no means of sheltering ourselves from the "peltings of the
pitiless storm." Our horses too fared poorly.

On the 31st of May we remained in camp. By noon the snow had
disappeared, and we succeeded in finding a few dry cedar trees, built a
fire, and dried our effects. We had an abundance of buffalo
marrow-bones, tongues, and other choice pieces, on which we feasted. We
saw large droves of mountain sheep, or bighorn, and thousands of

On the 2d of June we arrived at the north fork of Platte. The plains
during this day's travel were literally covered with buffalo, tens of
thousands were to be seen at one view; antelope and black-tailed deer
were seen in great abundance, and a few elk and common deer. One
panther, and hundreds of wolves were also seen. We found the river too
high to ford. Soon after encamping, snow commenced falling, which
continued all night, but melted as it reached the ground. The grazing
on the bottom was excellent, the grass being about six inches high.
This was the best grass we had seen since leaving Burnt river.

On the 3d we succeeded in finding a ford, and in the evening we crossed.
On the 4th we reached Deer creek, having traveled about thirty miles. On
the way we saw a band of Indians whom we supposed to be of the Crow
nation, and as they are generally for fight, we prepared to give them a
warm reception; but it seemed that they were as fearful of us, as we
were of them.[213] They were soon out of sight. After traveling about
five miles, we saw them drawn up into line two miles from the road. As
they were at a respectful distance, we did not molest them. We however
kept a sharp look out, and at night were cautious in selecting camp
ground. The grass was good, and our animals fared well.

{137} On the 5th we traveled about fifteen miles, and encamped on
Mike's-head creek.[214] Here we found two trappers, who had been out
about three weeks. They accompanied us to Fort Laramie, which we reached
on the 8th of June. In the morning H. Smith, one of our party, in
catching a mule was thrown, and his shoulder dislocated.[215] We
attempted to set it, but could not succeed. He traveled on to the fort,
but in great misery. We remained here until the afternoon of the 10th.
Mr. Smith's shoulder was so much injured that he could not travel. He
concluded to remain at the fort a few days; three men were to stay with
him, and the rest of us had made arrangements for starting, when a
company of Oregon emigrants came in sight. We awaited their arrival, and
had the gratification of hearing from the States, it being the first
news we had received since leaving our homes. A part of us remained a
few hours to give them an opportunity of writing to their friends; while
five of the party took the road. In the evening we traveled about eight
miles, and encamped.

We continued for a distance of two hundred miles meeting companies of
from six to forty wagons, until the number reached five hundred and
forty-one wagons, and averaging about five souls to each wagon. They
were generally in good health and fine spirits. Two hundred and twelve
wagons were bound for California; but I have since learned that many of
those who had designed to go to California had changed their destination
and were going to Oregon.[216]

At Ash hollow we met a company who had lost many of their cattle and
horses; but they were still going on.

A short distance below the forks of Platte, we met a company of
forty-one wagons, under the command of a Mr. Smith, which company had
lost about one hundred and fifty head of cattle; they were encamped, and
parties were out hunting cattle.[217] We remained with them a short
time, and then passed on. This was on the 18th of June. Two of Smith's
company had taken the back track in search of a band of their cattle,
which had traveled nearly forty miles on the return to the States. Near
night, and after we had encamped, two others of the company came up in
search of the two men who had started in the morning. We had also met a
boy belonging to their company, who had been in search of cattle, but
had found none; and as it was nearly night, and he was about thirty
miles from their camp, we induced him to remain with us through the

{138} The two men who had arrived after we had encamped, concluded to
continue their search until they found the two other men who had
preceded them. Accordingly after taking some refreshments, they mounted
and followed on. Soon after dark, they came running their horses up to
our camp, one of them having behind him one of the men who had started
out in the morning. They had proceeded from our camp about seven or
eight miles, when rising over a small swell in the prairie, they
discovered a few head of cattle, and saw ten or twelve Indians, a part
of them engaged in catching a horse which Mr. Trimble (one of the men
who had started out in the morning) had been riding, and some were
engaged in stripping the clothes from Mr. Harrison, the other of the
men. The men who had left our camp put whip to their horses, and ran
towards the Indians, hallooing and yelling. The Indians seeing them
approach, and probably supposing that there was a large company, left
Harrison, and ran under a bluff, but they took the horses with them.

Harrison put on his clothes and mounted behind Bratten, (one of the men
who had come to their rescue,) stating that the Indians had killed
Trimble,[218] and as none of the emigrants had fire-arms, the Indians
would soon return upon them. They then came to our camp. Harrison stated
that he and Trimble had traveled nearly all day with that portion of our
party who had started from the fort in advance of us, and near night had
found five head of their cattle, with which they were returning to the
company; and as they were traveling leisurely along, about dusk, whilst
in a small hollow, ten or twelve Indians came suddenly upon them, seized
his horse, and endeavored to get hold of Trimble's horse, but he jumped
away, and ran his horse off. Harrison in the mean time had dismounted,
and three of the Indians rifled him of his clothes. On looking to see
what had become of Trimble, he saw him riding in a circuitous manner
towards the place where Harrison was; at this instant some half dozen
arrows were let fly at Trimble by the Indians, some of which took
effect. He leaned a little forward, his horse at the time jumping; at
that instant the crack of a gun was heard, and Trimble fell from his
horse upon his face, and did not move afterwards. His horse ran round
for some minutes, the Indians trying to catch him; and at that instant
Bratten and his friend came up.

Several of our party, supposing that we had passed all danger, had sold
their arms to the emigrants, and we had but five {139} rifles in the
company. It was quite dark, and there would be but little prospect of
finding Trimble, if we attempted a search. We therefore remained in camp
until morning. About eleven o'clock at night we dispatched two persons
back to inform the company of what had occurred, with a request that a
force might be sent, which would be able to chastise the Indians, if

Early in the morning we packed up and traveled to the spot where the
murder had been committed. We found there Trimble's hat, whip, and
pocket knife; and several large pools of blood where he had fallen from
his horse, and where the Indians had evidently stripped him. We also
found several arrows, two of which appeared to have struck him; but
nothing could be found of his body. The river Platte was about a quarter
of a mile distant; we searched the shore diligently, but could see no
sign. As we approached the spot a gun was fired on a large island
opposite, but we saw no Indians. Eight beds in the grass near where the
attack was made, showed the manner in which the Indians had been

It is highly probable that the Indians had driven the cattle off, and
that some of the Indians concealed themselves, and as Trimble and
Harrison had no fire-arms, and carried long ox-whips, they could be
easily distinguished as cattle hunters, and the Indians knowing that
the white men must come back, selected a favorable spot, and attacked
them as above related. The probability is, that had Trimble and Harrison
been armed, they would not have been molested.

We remained upon the ground until late in the afternoon, waiting the
arrival of the force from the company. We finally began to despair of
their coming, and feared that the two men whom we had sent back had been
cut off; and as we had two of the company with us, and one of our party
was back, we packed up and took the back track, and after traveling
about five miles, we discovered a band of their cattle crossing the
river a mile above us. We made to the shore, when the cattle turned down
the river, in the direction of the head of the big island. We judged
that the Indians had been driving the cattle, but upon our approach had
left them. The river was quite shoal, and Buckley waded out and turned
them to the shore. There were in this band twenty-one head of work
cattle; two of them carried marks of the arrow. After traveling three
miles farther, we espied the party coming to our assistance, but it
consisted of only seven persons.

{140} Mr. Trimble had left a wife and four children. She had sent by the
party a request that we might come back, and allow her and family to
travel with us to the U. States. We accordingly all took the road to the
company's camp, (driving the cattle) which we reached at day-break on
the morning of the 20th June. Here we remained until the afternoon. By
the persuasion of her friends, Mrs. Trimble concluded to continue her
journey to Oregon. But there were four families who had lost so many of
their cattle, that they were unable to proceed on their journey. They
had four wagons, and only five yoke of cattle, and some of them were
very small. They wished us to travel with them through the Pawnee
country, as the Pawnees were the perpetrators of the act which had
caused them so much difficulty. We accordingly traveled with them until
the 30th, when we left them, and resumed our journey towards home.

On the morning of the 21st we were joined by Mr. Smith, and the three
men who had been left at the fort. We traveled on rapidly day and night,
barely giving our animals time to rest. The weather was becoming warm;
the flies and musquitoes were very annoying. We arrived at the Mission
or Agency on the morning of the 6th of July.[219] Here are extensive
farms, and a most delightful country. The first view of cultivated
fields, and marks of civilization, brought simultaneous shouts from the
whole party. Our troubles and toils were all forgotten.

On the 7th of July, at 10 o'clock A. M., we arrived at the St. Joseph's
mission, where we all hoped to meet with friends.[220] We had been so
long among savages, that we resembled them much in appearance; but when
attired in new apparel, and shaved as became white men, we hardly knew
each other. We had been long in each other's company; had undergone
hardships and privations together; had passed through many dangers,
relying upon each other for aid and protection. Attachments had grown
up, which when we were about to separate were sensibly felt; but as we
were yet separated from our families, where still stronger ties were
felt, each one took his course, and in a few hours our party was
scattered, and each traveling in a different direction.

Those of us who had mules found ready sales; but as the horses were much
reduced in flesh, they could not be disposed of. Our horses had stood
the trip remarkably well, until within two hundred and fifty miles of
Missouri. But the flies {141} had so annoyed them, the weather being
warm, and the grass of an inferior quality, that they had failed much. I
had five horses; the one which I had taken from home was quite lame, and
I left him at St. Joseph's; the other four were Indian horses, and Mr.
Buckley agreed to take them by land, across Missouri and Illinois, and
home; but he was unsuccessful, and arrived with only one of them.

I took steamboat passage to St. Louis[221] and Cincinnati, and thence by
stage to Laurel, Indiana, where I arrived on the 23d of July; having
been gone from home one year three months and one week. I had the
pleasure of finding my family enjoying good health.


For burthen wagons, light four horse or heavy two horse wagons are the
size commonly used. They should be made of the best material, well
seasoned, and should in all cases have falling tongues. The tire should
not be less than one and three fourth inches wide, but may be
advantageously used three inches; two inches, however, is the most
common width. In fastening on the tire, bolts should be used instead of
nails; it should be at least 5/8 or 3/4 inches thick. Hub boxes for the
hubs should be about four inches. The skeins should be well steeled. The
Mormon fashioned wagon bed is the best. They are usually made straight,
with side boards about 16 inches wide, and a projection outward of four
inches on each side, and then another side board of ten or twelve
inches; in this last, set the bows for covers, which should always be
double. Boxes for carrying effects should be so constructed as to
correspond in height with the offset in the wagon bed, as this gives a
smooth surface to sleep upon.

Ox teams are more extensively used than any others. Oxen stand the trip
much better, and are not so liable to be stolen by the Indians, and are
much less trouble. Cattle are generally allowed to go at large, when not
hitched to the wagons; whilst horses and mules must always be staked up
at night. Oxen can procure food in many places where horses cannot, and
in much less time. Cattle that have been raised in Illinois or
Missouri, stand the trip better than those raised in Indiana or Ohio; as
they have been accustomed to eating the prairie grass, upon which they
must wholly rely while on the road. {142} Great care should be taken in
selecting cattle; they should be from four to six years old, tight and
heavy made.

For those who fit out but one wagon, it is not safe to start with less
than four yoke of oxen, as they are liable to get lame, have sore necks,
or to stray away. One team thus fitted up may start from Missouri with
twenty-five hundred pounds and as each day's rations make the load that
much lighter, before they reach any rough road, their loading is much
reduced. Persons should recollect that every thing in the outfit should
be as light as the required strength will permit; no useless trumpery
should be taken. The loading should consist of provisions and apparel, a
necessary supply of cooking fixtures, a few tools, &c. No great
speculation can be made in buying cattle and driving them through to
sell; but as the prices of oxen and cows are much higher in Oregon than
in the States, nothing is lost in having a good supply of them, which
will enable the emigrant to wagon through many articles that are
difficult to be obtained in Oregon. Each family should have a few cows,
as the milk can be used the entire route, and they are often convenient
to put to the wagon to relieve oxen. They should be so selected that
portions of them would come in fresh upon the road. Sheep can also be
advantageously driven. American horses and mares always command high
prices, and with careful usage can be taken through; but if used to
wagons or carriages, their loading should be light. Each family should
be provided with a sheet-iron stove, with boiler; a platform can easily
be constructed for carrying it at the hind end of the wagon; and as it
is frequently quite windy, and there is often a scarcity of wood, the
stove is very convenient. Each family should also be provided with a
tent, and to it should be attached good strong cords to fasten it down.

The cooking fixtures generally used are of sheet iron; a dutch oven and
skillet of cast metal are very essential. Plates, cups, &c., should be
of tin ware, as queens-ware is much heavier and liable to break, and
consumes much time in packing up. A reflector is sometimes very useful.
Families should each have two churns, one for carrying sweet and one for
sour milk. They should also have one eight or ten gallon keg for
carrying water, one axe, one shovel, two or three augers, one hand saw,
and if a farmer he should be provided with one crosscut saw and a few
plough moulds, as it is difficult getting such articles. When I left the
country, ploughs cost from twenty-five to forty dollars each. A good
supply of ropes for {143} tying up horses and catching cattle, should
also be taken. Every person should be well supplied with boots and
shoes, and in fact with every kind of clothing. It is also well to be
supplied with at least one feather bed, and a good assortment of
bedding. There are no tame geese in the country, but an abundance of
wild ones; yet it is difficult procuring a sufficient quantity of
feathers for a bed. The Muscovy is the only tame duck in the country.

Each male person should have at least one rifle gun, and a shot gun is
also very useful for wild fowl and small game, of which there is an
abundance. The best sized calibre for the mountains is from thirty-two
to fifty-six to the pound; but one of from sixty to eighty, or even
less, is best when in the lower settlements. The buffalo seldom range
beyond the South Pass, and never west of Green river. The larger game
are elk, deer, antelope, mountain sheep or bighorn, and bear. The small
game are hare, rabbit, grouse, sage hen, pheasant, quail, &c. A good
supply of ammunition is essential.

In laying in a supply of provisions for the journey, persons will
doubtless be governed, in some degree, by their means; but there are a
few essentials that all will require.

For each adult, there should be two hundred pounds of flour, thirty
pounds of pilot bread, seventy-five pounds of bacon, ten pounds of rice,
five pounds of coffee, two pounds of tea, twenty-five pounds of sugar,
half a bushel of dried beans, one bushel of dried fruit, two pounds of
saleratus, ten pounds of salt, half a bushel of corn meal; and it is
well to have a half bushel of corn, parched and ground; a small keg of
vinegar should also be taken. To the above may be added as many good
things as the means of the person will enable him to carry; for whatever
is good at home, is none the less so on the road. The above will be
ample for the journey; but should an additional quantity be taken, it
can readily be disposed of in the mountains and at good prices, not for
cash, but for robes, dressed skins, buckskin pants, moccasins, &c. It is
also well for families to be provided with medicines. It is seldom
however, that emigrants are sick; but sometimes eating too freely of
fresh buffalo meat causes diarrhoea, and unless it be checked soon
prostrates the individual, and leaves him a fit subject for disease.

The time usually occupied in making the trip from Missouri to Oregon
city is about five months; but with the aid of a person who has traveled
the route with an emigrating company the trip can be performed in about
four months.

{144} Much injury is done to teams in racing them, endeavoring to pass
each other. Emigrants should make an every day business of
traveling--resting upon the same ground two nights is not good policy,
as the teams are likely to ramble too far. Getting into large companies
should be avoided, as they are necessarily compelled to move more
tardily. From ten to twenty-five wagons is a sufficient number to travel
with safety. The advance and rear companies should not be less than
twenty; but between, it may be safe to go with six. The Indians are very
annoying on account of their thieving propensities, but if well watched,
they would seldom put them into practice. Persons should always avoid
rambling far from camp unarmed, or in too small parties; Indians will
sometimes seek such opportunities to rob a man of what little effects he
has about him; and if he attempts to get away from them with his
property, they will sometimes shoot him.

There are several points along the Missouri where emigrants have been in
the practice of fitting out. Of these Independence, St. Joseph, and
Council Bluffs, are the most noted. For those emigrating from Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois and northern Missouri, Iowa and Michigan, I think St.
Joseph the best point; as by taking that route the crossing of several
streams (which at the early season we travel are sometimes very high)
is avoided. Outfits may be had at this point, as readily as at any other
along the river. Work cattle can be bought in its vicinity for from
twenty-five to thirty dollars per yoke, cows, horses, &c., equally

Emigrants should endeavor to arrive at St. Joseph early in April, so as
to be in readiness to take up the line of march by the middle of April.
Companies, however, have often started as late as the tenth of May; but
in such cases they seldom arrive in Oregon until after the rainy season
commences in the Cascade range of mountains.

Those residing in northern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, &c., who
contemplate traveling by land to the place of rendezvous, should start
in time to give their teams at least ten days rest. Ox teams, after
traveling four or five hundred miles in the states, at that season of
the year, would be unfit to perform a journey across the mountains; but
doubtless they might be exchanged for others, at or near the rendezvous.

Farmers would do well to take along a good supply of horse gears.
Mechanics should take such tools as are easily carried; as there are but
few in the country, and those are held at exorbitant {145} prices. Every
family should lay in a good supply of school books for their children.

In case of an emergency, flour can be bought at Fort Hall, and Fort
Bois, two trading posts of the Hudson's Bay Company, at twenty dollars
per hundred; and by forwarding word to Spalding's mission, on the
Kooskooskee, they will pack out flour to Fort Bois, at ten dollars per
hundred, and to the Grand Round at eight dollars, and will take in
exchange dry goods, groceries, &c.; but at Forts Hall and Bois, the
company will take nothing in payment but cash or cattle. At Dr.
Whitman's station, flour can be bought at five dollars per hundred, corn
meal at four dollars, beef at six and seven cents per pound, potatoes,
fifty cents per bushel. It is proper to observe that the flour at
Spalding's and Whitman's stations will be unbolted. Emigrants however,
should be cautious, and lay in a sufficient supply to last them


This is a tongue spoken by a few in each of the tribes residing in the
middle and lower divisions of Oregon. It is also used by the French, and
nearly all the old settlers in the country.

    _Aach_                  _Ekik_                _Hu-e-hu_
      Sister                  Fish-hook             Swap, exchange

    _Aha_                   _Elitah_              _Hol_
      Yes                     Slave                 Drag, or pull

    _Alka_                  _Esick_               _Ilips_
      Future, by and by       Paddle                First

    _Alta_                  _Esil_                _Ith-lu-el_, or _Ituel_
      Present, now            Corn                  Meat, flesh

    _Ala_                   _Geleech_             _I-yak_
      I wonder                Grease                Quick, or hurry

    _Ankote_                _Halo_                _Il-a-he_
      Past time               None                  Soil, dirt

    _Chawko_                _Hankachim_           _Ichwet_
      Come                    Handkerchief          Bear

    _Chee_                  _Hous_                _Is-kum_
      New                     House                 Take

    _Chinkamin_             _How_                 _In-a-ti_
      Iron, chain             Let us                Overdress

    _Chuck_                 _Hoel-hoel_           _Ith-lu-k-ma_
      Water                   Mouse                 Gamble

    _Deob_                  _High-you_            _I-wa_
      Satan                   Quantity, many        Beaver

    _Delie_                 _High-you-k-wah_      _Ips-wet_
      Dry                     Ring                  Hide

    _Ekih_                  _Hul-u-e-ma_          _Ik-ta_
      Brother-in-law          Strange, different    What

    _Kah_                   _K-wathen_            _Kilaps_
      Where                   Bell                  Turn over

    _K-u-ten_               _K-macks_             _Klips_
      Horse                   Dog                   Upset

    _Kaw-lo-ke-lo_          _Klugh_               _Ko-el_
      Goose                   Split, or Plough      Cold

    _Ka-luck_               _Ko-pet_              _Kap-wah_
      Swan                    Done, finished        Alike

    _K-puet_                _Kop-po_              _Kon-a-maxt_
      Needle                  Older brother         Both

    _Kot-suck_              _Kow_                 _Kla-hum_
      Middle                  Is to tie             Good-bye

    _Kap-o_                 _K-wat_               _Kla-hi-you_
      Coat                    Hit                   How do you do

    _Ka-nim_                _Kop-shut_            _Kaw-a-nassim_
      Canoe                   Broken                Always

    _Ka-ta_                 _Ko_                  _Kla-ha-na_
      Why                     Arrived               Out

    _Kap-su-alla_           _Kim-to_              _Klim-in-wit_
      Theft, steal            Behind                A falsehood

    _K-liten_               _Kollo_               _Krap-po_
      Lead                    Fence                 Toad

    _Kaw-kaw_               _Kutt_                _Klose_
      Crow                    Hard                  Good

    _Klat-a-wah_            _Klimin_              _Klas-ko_
      Go, Walk                Fine                  Them, those

    _Kul-a-kulla_           _Kle-il_              _Ka-so_
      Fowl                    Black                 Rum

    _Kum-tux_               _Ka-was_              _Ko-pa_
      Know, or understand     Afraid                There

    _Ke-a-wale_             _Kom-suck_            _Kit-lo_
      Love                    Beads                 Kettle

    _Ka-wah-we_             _Ko-ko-well_          _Klone-ass_
      All                     Eel                   I do not understand

    _Klow-e-wah_            _Klaps_               _Klop-sta_
      Slow                    Find                  Who

    _K-wallen_              _Kow-ne-aw_           _Klouch-man_
      The ear                 How many              Female

    _Kee-kool_              _La-sel_              _Le-lu_
      Down                    Saddle                Panther

    _Lepo-lo_               _Le-lo-im_            _Le-pul_
      Pan                     Sharp                 Chickens

    _Le-por-shet_           _Le-poim_             _Lecorset_
      Fork                    Apple                 Trunk

    _Lehash_                _La-bush_             _Laport_
      Axe                     Mouth                 Door

    _Leg-win_               _Le-da_               _Le-pip_
      Saw                     Teeth                 Pipe

    _Lima_                  _Le-ku_               _Lo-lo_
      The hand                Neck                  Carry, or tote

    _Lita_                  _Le-mora_             _Leb-ya_
      Head                    Wild                  Old woman

    _Le-pe-a_               _Lashimney_           _La-lure_
      Feet                    Chimney               Hoe

    _Lo-ma-las_             _Lemitten_            _La-cope_
      Molasses                Mitten                White

    _Lemon-to_              _La-ha-la_            _La-cre-me_
      Sheep                   Feel                  Yellow

    _Lavest_                _Le-le_               _Mas-a-tro_
      Jacket, or vest         A long time           Bad

    _La-ep_                 _Las-well_            _Met-lite_
      Rope                    Silk                  Residence, Sitting
                                                    down, &c.
    _Lep-lash_              _La-tem_
      Boards                  Table               _Mal-ha-na_
                                                    As, in the river; or,
    _Lep-wa_                _Lep-o-lip_             push off the boat
      Peas                    Boil

    _Lep-well_              _Le-sit-well_         _Man_
      Skillet                 Stars                 Male

    _La-win_                _Le-mit-rem_          _Mow-etch_
      Oats                    Medicine              Deer

    _La-ram_                _Le-shaw_             _Mu-lack_
      Oar, for boats          Shoe                  Elk

    _Le-wash_               _Le-sack_             _Muse-a-muse_
      Snow                    Sack, or bag          Cattle

    _Lemonti_               _Le-quim_             _Me-si-ka_
      Mountain                White bear            Plural of you

    _Muck-a-muck_           _O-ep-can_            _Papo_
      Provisions, eat         Basket                Father

    _Musket_                _O-ep-in-pin_         _Pil_
      Rifle, or gun           Skunk                 Red

    _Moon_                  _O-e-lile_            _Pe-chi_
      Month                   Berries               Green

    _Mo-kah_                _O-e-pick_            _Pat-le_
      Buy                     Both                  Full

    _Mim-a-loosheb_         _O-elk_               _Poo_
      Die, or dead            Snake                 Shoot

    _Mal-hu-ale_            _O-lo_                _Pe-teck_
      Back                    Hungry                The world

    _Mi-ka_                 _Oel-hin_             _Pilton_
      You                     Seal                  Foolish

    _Ni-ka_                 _O-koke_              _Pal-a-k-lo_
      I, or me                This, or that         Night

    _Nan-ach_               _Pi-yah_              _Pes-hocks_
      Look, or see            Fire                  Thickety

    _Na-ha_                 _Pos-ton_             _Pis-say-ukes_
      Mother                  Americans             French

    _New-ha_                _Pee_                 _Quack-quack_
      Let                     And                   Duck

    _Now-it-k_              _Pus_                 _Si-wash_
      Yes, certainly          If                    Indians

    _Ne-si-ka_              _Puss_                _Swas_
      We, us                  Cat                   Rain

    _Nein_                  _Pish-hash_           _Sah-lee_
      Name                    Polecat               High

    _O-es-km_               _Pos-seas_            _Stick_
      Caps                    Blanket               Wood

    _Oel-man_               _Pot-latch_           _Seck-um_
      Old                     Give                  Swim

    _O-pet-sa_              _Pole-ally_           _Si-yaw_
      Knife                   Powder                Far

    _O-pes-wa_              _Po-et_               _Sap-a-lil_
      Wonder, astonishment    Boat                  Flour

    _Ow_                    _Pa-pa_               _Su-ga_
      Brother                 Paper                 Sugar

    _Sec-a-lukes_           _Shot_                _To-lo_
      Pantaloons              Shot                  Win, or gain

    _Sap-a-pul_             _Sup-ner_             _Te-ma-has_
      Hat                     Jump                  Poison

    _Sto-en_                _Til-a-kum_           _Ti-pee_
      Rock                    People                An ornament

    _Sil_                   _Tit-the-ko-ep_       _Te-kah_
      Shirting                Cut                   Want

    _Sko-kum_               _Tum-tum_             _Till_
      Strong, stout           The heart             Heavy, or tired

    _Sec-pee_               _Te-o-wit_            _Toc-ta_
      To miss                 Leg                   Doctor

    _See-ah-os-ti_          _Tum-pe-lo_           _Wah-wah_
      Face, or eyes           Back                  Talk, conversation

    _Sam-mon_               _Tam-o-lack_          _Wake_
      Fish                    Barrel                No, not

    _Sto-gon_               _Ti-ye_               _Wap-a-to_
      Sturgeon                Master, or chief      Potato

    _Son-dra_               _Tes-um_              _Win_
      Roan                    Pretty                Wind

    _Salt_                  _To-lo-bus_           _Wam_
      Salt                    Wolf                  Warm

    _Shu-es_                _Te-ko-ep_            _Wetch_
      Shoes                   White                 More

    _Sun_                   _Te-mo-lo_            _Ya-ka_
      Sun, or day             To-morrow             Him, she, it

    _Silk-um_               _Tu-lusk_             _Yaw-wah_
      Half, or a part         Milk                  Yonder

    _Smo-ek_                _Tip-so_              _Yok-sa_
      Smoke                   Grass                 Hair

    _Sul-luks_              _Tum-tuk_             _Ya-ha-la_
      Mad, angry              Water-falls           Name

    _Six_                   _Ton-tle-ke_          _Yult-cut_
      Friends                 Yesterday             Long

    _Sick_                  _T-sit-still_         _You-till_
      Sick, or sore           Buttons, or tacks     Glad, proud

    _Shut_                  _Tee-see_
      Shirt                   Sweet


    _Iht_                        1      _Dilo-p-sin-a-maxt_         17
    _Makst_                      2      _Dilo-p-sow-skins_          18
    _Klone_                      3      _Dilo-p-k-wi-etst_          19
    _Lakst_                      4      _Tath-la-hun makst_         20
    _K-win-nim_                  5      _Tath-la-hun klone_         30
    _Ta-hum_                     6      _Tath-la-hun lakst_         40
    _Sina-maxt_                  7      _Tath-la-hun k-win-ma_      50
    _Sow-skins_                  8      _Tath-la-hun ta-hum_        60
    _K-wi-etst_                  9      _Tath-la-hun sin-a-maxt_    70
    _Tath-la-ham_               10      _Tath-la-hun sow-skins_     80
    _Dilo-pe-iht_               11      _Tath-la-hun k-wi-etst_     90
    _Dilo-p-maxt_               12      _Tak-o-mo-nuxt_            100
    _Dilo-p-klone_              13      _Tak-o-mo-maxt_            200
    _Dilo-p-lakst_              14      _Tak-o-mo-nuxt klone_      300
    _Dilo-p-k-winnim_           15      _Tak-o-mo-nuxt lakst_      400
    _Dilo-p-ta-hum_             16      _Tak-o-mo-nuxt k-win-nim_  500


    _Hama_                  _Talonot_              _Ipalikt_
      Man                     Ox                     Clouds

    _Aiat_                  _Talohin_              _Wakit_
      Women                   Bull                   Rain

    _Haswal_                _Kulkulal_             _Hiwakasha_
      Boy                     Calf                   Rains

    _Pitin_                 _Shikam_               _Maka_
      Girl                    Horse                  Snow

    _Silu_                  _Tilipa_               _Hatia_
      Eye                     Fox                    Wind

    _Huku_                  _Tahspul_              _Yakas_
      Hair                    Beaver                 Hot

    _Ipsus_                 _Kelash_               _Yamits_
      Hand                    Otter                  Cold

    _Ahwa_                  _Hisamtucks_           _Tiputput_
      Feet                    Sun                    Warm

    _Simusimu_              _Hayaksa_              _Silakt_
      Black                   Is hungry              Body

    _Ilpilp_                _Husus_                _Katnanas_
      Red                     Head                   Salt

    _Yosyos_                _Kohalh_               _Haya_
      Gray                    Cow                    Salmon-trout

    _Shukuishukui_          _Kaih_                 _Wahwahlam_
      Brown                   Colt                   Trout

    _Kohatu_                _Highwayahwasa_        _Ilat_
      Short                   Snows                  Weak

    _Kohat_                 _Haihai_               _Wals_
      Long                    White                  Knife

    _Kalinin_               _Ashtai_               _Ilatama_
      Crooked                 Fork                   Is blind

    _Tukuh_                 _Ashtai_               _Lakailakai_
      Straight                Awl                    Gentle

    _Silpsilp_              _Wawianas_             _Shiau_
      Money                   Axe                    Skittish

    _Taiitaii_              _Kimstam_              _Waiat_
      Flat                    Near                   Far

    _Hamoihamoi_            _Maksmaks_             _Shakinkash_
      Soft                    Yellow                 Saw

    _Sisyukas_              _Shapikash_            _Wishan_
      Sugar                   File                   Poor

    _Pishakas_              _Takai_                _Ilahui_
      Bitter                  Blanket                Many

    _Komain_                _Sham_                 _Milas_
      Sickness                Coat                   Few

    _Hickomaisa_            _Ahwa_                 _Animikinikai_
      Is sick                 Foot                   Below

    _Aluin_                 _Silpsilp_             _Tokmal_
      Is lame                 Round                  Hat

    _Wakaas_                _Tohon_                _Huwialatus_
      Is well                 Pantaloons             Weary

    _Tinukin_               _Ilapkit_              _Ahat_
      Is dead                 Shoe                   Down

    _Hiswesa_               _Hikai_                _Akamkinikai_
      Is cold                 Kettle                 Above

    _Yahet_                 _Sham_                 _Koko_
      Neck                    Shirt                  Raven

    _Nahso_                 _Laka_                 _Houtat_
      Salmon                  Pine                   Goose

    _Tushti_                _Isa_                  _Houtat_
      Up                      Mother                 Geese

    _Atim_                  _Nisu_                 _Yaya_
      Arm                     Child                  Swan

    _Matsayee_              _Mamaias_              _Yatin_
      Ear                     Children               Crane

    _Piama_                 _Hikai_                _Paps_
      Brothers                Pail                   Fir, (tree)

    _Kelah_                 _Sishnim_              _Kopkop_
      Sturgeon                Thorns                 Cottonwood

    _Wayu_                  _Sikstua_              _With_
      Leg                     Friend                 Alder

    _Kupkup_                _Lantuama_             _Tahs_
      Back                    Friends                Willows

    _Timina_                _Walatakai_            _Tims_
      Heart                   Pan                    Cherry

    _Sho_                   _Kuish_                _Satahswakkus_
      Spoon                   Risk                   Corn

    _Kahno_                 _Shushai_              _Paks_
      Prairie-hen             Grass                  Wheat

    _Huhui_                 _Suyam_                _Lapatat_
      Shoulder                Sucker                 Potatoes

    _Pisht_                 _Hashu_                _Papa_
      Father                  Eel                    A spring

    _Walpilkash_            _Shakantai_            _Wawahp_
      Auger                   Eagle                  Spring (season)

    _Katkat_                _Sholoshah_            _Tiam_
      Duck                    Fish-hawk              Summer

    _Askap_                 _Washwashno_           _Shahnim_
      Brother                 Hen                    Fall

    _Asmatan_               _Koun_                 _Anim_
      Sisters                 Dove                   Winter

    _Kinis_                 _Aa_                   _Pelush_
      Sister                  Crow                   Gooseberry

    _Kikaya_                _Timanawat_            _Yaka_
      Serviceberry            A writer               Black bear

    _Kahas_                 _Sapaliknawat_         _Kemo_
      Milk                    A labourer             Old man

    _Katamnawakno_          _Hania_                _Tahat_
      Peas                    Made                   Young man

    _Hahushwakus_           _Hanishaka_            _Otwai_
      Green                   Have made              Old woman

    _Inina_                 _Hanitatasha_          _Timai_
      House                   Will make              Young woman

    _Sanitwakus_            _Hanikika_             _Pishas_
      Parsnips                Made going             Father-in-law

    _Initain_               _Hanisna_              _Pishas_
      For a house             Made coming            Son-in-law

    _Initpa_                _Ipna hani aisha_      _Siwako_
      To the house            Make for him           Mother-in-law

    _Initkinai_             _Hanitasa_             _Siwaka_
      From the house          Go and make            Daughter-in-law

    _Initrim_               _Tash hama_            _Inaya_
      House only              Good man               Brother-in-law

    _Ininm_                 _Tash timina_          _Siks_
      Of a house              Good heart             Sister-in-law

    _Initki_                _Tash shikam_          _Pimh_
      By a house              Good horse             Step-father

    _Initph_                _Tiskan shikam_        _Kaka_
      To a house              Fat horse              Step-mother

    _Haniai_                _Hamtis shikam_        _Lemakas_
      Not made                Fast horse             Deep

    _Haniawat_              _Kapskaps shikam_      _Pakas_
      A mechanic              Strong horse           Shallow

    _Hanishimai_            _Sininish shikam_      _Mul_
      Not a mechanic          Lazy horse             Rapids

    _Tamtainat_             _Kapsis shikam_        _Amshah_
      Preacher                Bad horse              Breaker

    _Himtakewat_            _Haihai shikam_        _Watas_
      Teacher                 White horse            Land

    _Tamiawat_              _Hahas_                _Pishwai_
      Trader                  Gray bear              Stones

    _Mahsham_               _Hitkakokaiko_         _Watoikash_
      Mountain                He gallops             It is fordable

    _Kuhsin_                _Hitksilsilsa_         _Hatsu hiyaniksa_
      Hill                    He trots               Wood is floating

    _Tahpam_                _Himilmilisha_         _Hiwalasa_
      Plain                   He paces               The water runs

    _Hantikam_              _Hiwalakaiks_          _Hahanwasam_
      Bough                   He walks               The day is dawning

    _Tepitepit_             _Hishaulakiks_         _Wako hikaaun_
      Smooth                  He runs                It is daylight now

    _Wilpwilp_              _Titishka shikam_      _Hitinatra hisamtuks_
      Round                   Fat horses             The sun is rising

    _Pohol_                 _Maksmaks shikam_      _Naks halaps_
      Valley                  Sorrel horse           One day

    _Tasham_                _Hihaihai shikam_      _Hikulawitsa_
      Ridge                   White horse            It is evening

    _Iwatam_                _Tamsilps shikam_      _Kaaun_
      Lake                    Spotted horse          Daylight

    _Tikim_                 _Tilamselp shikam_     _Hatsu hialika_
      Falls                   Spotted horses         The wood is lodged

    _Hitkawisha_            _Minsahsminko_         _Kia waaiikshi_
      He falls                Read                   We are crossing

    _Kohat tawish_          _Kokalh_               _Ka apapinmiks_
      Long horn               Cattle                 Let us sleep

    _Wishan kokalk_         _Hiwaliksa_            _Ka apahips_
      Poor ox                 The river is rising    Let us eat

    _Lilkailakikokal_       _Hitaausa_             _Ka apakus_
      Gentle cows             The river is falling   Let us go

    _Hiwasasha_             _Hiwalasa_             _Ka apasklin_
      He rides                The water runs         Let us go back


    _Naks_                  1        _Putimpt wah wimatat_  18
    _Lapit_                 2        _Putimpt wah kuis_     19
    _Mitat_                 3        _Laptit_               20
    _Pilapt_                4        _Laptit wah naks_      21
    _Pahat_                 5        _Mitaptit_             30
    _Wilaks_                6        _Piloptit_             40
    _Winapt_                7        _Pakaptit_             50
    _Wimatat_               8        _Wilaksaptit_          60
    _Kuis_                  9        _Winaptit_             70
    _Putimpt_              10        _Wimitaptit_           80
    _Putimpt wah naks_     11        _Kuisaptit_            90
    _Putimpt wah lapit_    12        _Putaptit_            100
    _Putimpt wah mitat_    13        _Laposhus_            200
    _Putimpt wah pilapt_   14        _Mitoshus_            300
    _Putimpt wah pahat_    15        _Pelaposhus_          400
    _Putimpt wah wilaks_   16        _Pakoshus_            500
    _Putimpt winapt_       17

                   MISSOURI; AND ST. JOSEPH, TO
                      OREGON CITY, IN OREGON


  FROM Independence to Rendezvous                          20

    "  Rendezvous to Elm Grove                             13

    "  Elm Grove to Walkarusha                             20

    "  Walkarusha to crossing of Kansas river              28

    "  Kansas to crossing of Turkey creek                  14

    "  Turkey creek to Little Vermilion                    24

    "  Little Vermilion to branch of same                  12

    "  To Big Vermilion, with intermediate camps           29

    "  Vermilion to Lee's branch                            8

    "  Lee's branch to Big Blue                             6

    "  Big Blue to the junction with St. Joseph's trail    10

  The distance from St. Joseph, Missouri, to the Independence trail,
  striking it ten miles west of Blue river, is about one hundred miles.
  Good camps can be had from eight to fifteen miles apart.

  From forks of road as above, to Big Sandy, striking
          it near its junction with the Republican
          Fork of Blue river, with intermediate camps      42

    "  Sandy to Republican fork of Blue river              18

    "  up Republican fork, with good camps                 53

    "  Republican fork to Big Platte                       20

    "  up Big Platte to the crossing of South fork        120

  Camps can be had at suitable distances, with wood for fuel upon the

  From lower to upper crossings of South fork              45

  There is a road on each side of the river, and but little choice in

  From South to North fork, at Ash Hollow                  20

    "  Ash Hollow to opposite Solitary Tower, on
        Little creek                                       42

    "  Little creek to opposite Chimney rock               16

    "  Chimney Rock to where the road leaves the
        River                                              15

    "  thence to Scott's Bluffs (Good Spring)              10

    "  Scott's Bluffs to Horse creek                       12

    "  Horse creek to Fort Laramie                         24

    "  Laramie to Dry Branch and Big Spring                12

    "  to Bitter Cottonwood                                10

  To Willow Branch                                          7

   " Horse Shoe Creek                                       7

   " River                                                  8

  Thence to where the Road leaves the River                 8

  To Big Timber creek                                      16

   " Marble creek                                           5

   " Mike's-head creek                                     12

   " the River, crossing several streams                   10

   " Deer creek                                             6

  Thence to crossing of North fork of Platte               25

  From crossing of Platte to Spring                        10

  Thence to Mineral Springs (bad camp)                      8

    "  Willow Spring (good camp)                            5

    "  Independence Rock on Sweet Water                    22

    "  Devil's Gate                                         5

    Up Sweet Water to South Pass (good camps)             104

  Over the dividing ridge to Pacific Spring, the waters
      of which run into Green river                         5

                      HERE, HAIL OREGON!

  From Spring to Little Sandy                              20

  Here the road forks, the southern trail going by way of Bridger's Old
  Fort, and thence to Bear river. The northern (which is two and a half
  days less driving) strikes Green river about forty miles above the
  southern trail; I will give the distance on both routes.

  The northern route, from Little Sandy to Big Sandy        6

  From Big Sandy to Green river                            40
      (No water and but little grass between.)

    "  thence to Bear river, (with good camps,)            64

  On the southern route:--

  From Little Sandy to Big Sandy                           12

  Down Big Sandy to Green river                            24

  Cross Green river and down                                8

  From Green river to Black's fork                         15

  Up Black's fork to Bridger's Old Fort                    30

  From Old Fort to Little Muddy (poor camp)                 8

    "  thence to Big Muddy (poor camp)                     10

  Up Big Muddy to the dividing ridge (good camp
      near head of creek)                                  32

  Over dividing ridge to spring                            10

  From spring to camp on Bear river                         6

    "  thence to where the northern trail comes in         10

  To Smith's fork three miles, to Narrows four miles,
      and thence to crossing of Bear river three miles     10

  Here the road forks; the nearest is to follow up
    the creek two miles, cross and then go over the ridge
    five miles to foot of Big Hill, where the roads again
    unite                                                   7

  The other road crosses the river, follows up the bottom about ten miles,
  re-crosses and is then about seven miles to junction.

  From foot of Big Hill, to top of ridge is about           3

    "  thence to Big Timber on Bear river                   4

  Here is a company of American traders and trappers

  From Big Timber to Soda Springs                          36

    "  Spring to Soda Pool seven miles, to Spring
        Branch three                                       10

    "  Spring to Running Branch                             9

    "  thence to foot of hill                               8

    "  foot of hill over dividing ridge and down to
        camp                                               12

    "  thence to Lewis's river bottom at Springs           18

       and to Fort Hall                                     5

    "  Fort Hall to the crossing of Portneth                6

    "  Portneth to American falls                          12

    "  American falls to Levey Creek                       15

    "  thence to Cassia creek, (here the California
        trail turns off)                                    8

    "  Cassia to Big Marsh                                 15

    "  Marsh to River                                      11

    "  River to Goose creek four miles, seven miles
        to river, and twelve miles to Dry Branch,
        (water in pools)                                   23

  To Rocky Creek                                            8

  To crossing of Rocky creek, eight miles, down
      to where the road leaves the bluff of creek,
      seven                                                15

   " Salmon Falls creek                                    20

  From thence to Salmon falls                               6

    "  Falls to first crossing of Lewis river              23

    "  crossing to Bois river is about                     70

  Camps can be had from six to fifteen miles

  Down Bois river to Fort Bois (good camps)                46

  Cross Lewis river and thence to Malheur                  15

    "  Malheur to Birch creek, about                       20

    "  Birch creek to river three miles, and thence
        five miles to Burnt river                           8

  Up Burnt river about (good camps)                        26

  From where the road leaves Burnt river, to the lone
      pine stump in the bottom of Powder river,
      (the last thirteen miles no water)                   28

  To the crossing of Powder river                          10

  To Grand Round                                           15

  Across the southern end of Grand Round                    7

  Up Big Hill and on to Grand Round river                   8

  Over the Blue Mountains to Lee's encampment              19

  To Umatillo river                                        16

  Down Umatillo river                                      44

   "  Columbia river to John Day's river                   33

  From thence to Falls river                               22

  And thence to the Dalles of the Columbia                 16

  From the Dalles to Oregon city, by way of wagon
      road south of Mount Hood about                      160

  Upon reaching the Columbia, emigrants should have persons in advance
  to select suitable places for camp ground: as the country along the
  river is extremely barren, and the grazing limited to small patches.



(_Referred to on page 126_ [_our page 233_])

                                _Oregon Territory_, April 7, 1846.


MY DEAR SIR:--Agreeably to your request I most cheerfully give you my
views concerning the Oregon territory, its extent, its most desirable
climate, fertility of soil, rivers and mountains, seas and bays, and its
proximity to one of the most extensive markets opening upon the world.

The Oregon territory is usually divided into three great divisions, the
lower, middle, and upper regions. The upper includes the Rocky
Mountains, with the head waters of most of the rivers running west and
east, north and south, and extends west to the Blue and Spokan ranges of
mountains. The lower includes the belt of country bounded on the west by
the Pacific, and on the east by the Nesqually, Cascade, and California
Mountains. The middle region lies between the two, and embraces probably
far the greatest extent of country, and is in some respects the most
desirable for settlers.

The number of rainy days, during the winter season, in the lower
country, is thought to be about eighty-five one-hundredths; while the
number of rainy days during the same season in the upper (or middle)
country, is about fifteen one-hundredths. {166} There is but little more
snow during the winter season in the middle than in the lower region of
the Columbia river, or upon the plains. Of course the depth of snow upon
the mountains, depends upon their height.

The lower country is subject to inundations, to a greater or less
extent, from the Columbia river, which gathering into standing pools,
with the great amount of vegetable decay consequent upon low prairie
countries, produces to some extent unhealthy fogs during the summer
season. This, however, is greatly moderated by the sea breezes from the
Pacific. The middle region is entirely free from these evils, and has
probably one of the most pacific, healthy, and every way most desirable
climates in the world. This, with its extensive prairies, covered with a
superior quality of grass tuft, or bunch grass, which springs fresh
twice a year, and spotted and streaked everywhere with springs and
streams of the purest, sweetest water, renders it admirably adapted to
the herding system. The lower country will ever have greatly the
advantage in its proximity to market, its extensive sea coast, and from
the fact that it contains one of the largest and best harbors in the
world, viz. Puget's sound, running far inland, the mouth of which is
protected by Vancouver's island, easy of access at all seasons and under
all winds.

But to go into detail. Myself and wife were appointed missionaries by
the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and destined
to this field, and with our worthy associates, Dr. Whitman, and lady,
arrived in this country in the fall of 1836. The Doctor settled among
the Cayuses near fort Wallawalla, and myself at this place, where we
have ever since continued to dwell. Our duties have called us to travel
more or less every year to visit the distant bands and tribes, as also
to pack our supplies. I have traversed this middle region in seventeen
different routes, of from 60 to 300 miles. Over many of the routes I
have passed probably in every month in the year, have marked the
progress of vegetation from its earliest shooting forth; the effects of
this climate {167} upon the animal constitution; the rapidity with which
exhausted poor animals regain their flesh and activity, when turned upon
the plains; and have kept tables under some of these heads, as also a
meteorological table for several years.

Let me here observe that my views of the country have been materially
changed by a more accurate acquaintance with its true nature. I once
thought the valleys only susceptible of habitation; considering the
plains too dry for cultivation. But I am now prepared to say this is not
the case. The plains suffer far less from drought than the valleys, on
account of the reflection of heat from the surrounding hills. The
country, however, is nowhere peculiarly subject to drought, as was once
thought. My place is one of the deepest valleys, and consequently the
most exposed to the reflection from the high bluffs around, which rise
from two to three thousand feet; but my farm, though prepared for
irrigation, has remained without it for the last four years. I find the
ground becomes more moist by cultivation. Three years ago I raised six
hundred bushels of shelled corn from six acres, and good crops of wheat
on the same piece the two following years, without irrigation. Eight
years ago I raised 1500 bushels of potatoes from one acre and a half;
measuring some of the bags in which they were brought to the cellars,
and so judging of the whole amount. I gave every eleventh bag for
digging and fetching, and kept a strict account of what every person
brought, so that I was able to make a pretty accurate estimate of the
whole amount. My potatoes and corn are always planted in drills.

Every kind of grain or vegetable which I have tried or seen tried in
this upper country, grows well. Wheat is sown in the fall, and harvested
in June at this place; at Dr. Whitman's in July, being a more open
country. Corn is planted in April and ripens in July; peas the same.


The southern boundary of Oregon territory is the 42d degree of north
latitude. The northern boundary is not yet settled;[222] {168} both
England and The United States claim north of the Columbia river to
latitude 49°. But this vast fertile region, well timbered upon the
mountains and river sources, and well watered, besides having the fine
harbor above named, Puget's sound, must ever remain the most important
portion of Oregon, especially on account of this harbor, which will
naturally control these seas, and consequently the country. Should the
British flag finally exclusively wave over its placid waters, it will be
to the rest of Oregon as Quebec is to Canada, or Gibraltar to the
Mediterranean. Vancouver's Island is doubtless another reason why Great
Britain wishes to make the Columbia river her northern boundary. The
line of 49° passes a little north of the southern half of the island.
The whole island contains a territory considerably larger than England
and Scotland, produces every kind of grain and vegetable well, and has a
climate very similar to our Middle and Southern states. Whatever nation
possesses this island, or the south portion of it, with its neighboring
harbor, Puget's sound, possesses nearly all of a national consideration
which pertains to Oregon, and will consequently control it. But if this
island, or this portion of it, with this harbor, add their ever
controlling influence to the undivided interests of Oregon, this young
colony, but yesterday begun, and whose country and existence were but
yesterday disputed, will at no distant day, under the softening,
life-giving influence of civilization and our holy religion, take its
place among the wealthiest, happiest, and best nations of the earth.

The country of Oregon, should it extend to 49° north latitude, is
probably capable of sustaining as great a population as two-thirds of
the territory of the States, and with far less hard labor.


This is decidedly the inviting characteristic of the country, and is
certainly a great inducement for all persons of delicate health. I speak
of the middle region. Free from marshes or standing water and vegetable
decay, the air is remarkably pure and serene; summers rather warm,
especially in the valleys; the mercury ranges, for some time during the
hot season, from 100 to 109 degrees above zero. Nights cool, but no fog
or dew, except in a few places. Twice since I have been in the country
frost has injured vines, leaves, &c., first of May, but never in the
fall till late; often my melon vines, &c., are green till the first of
December. Four times since I have been here the mercury has fallen below
zero; once to 26 degrees. But usually it ranges above 20 in the morning,
and above 60 through the day. During six of the ten winters I have
passed in the country, the rivers have not been frozen. The Columbia
river has been frozen nearly to its mouth, twice since I have been in
the country. The snow sometimes falls a foot deep--I should judge about
once in five years. About half of my winters here there has been no snow
in the valleys, and but little on the plains, except to whiten the earth
for a short time. It disappears in a few hours, especially on the south
face of the bluffs and hills. Last year I made a collection of flowers
and plants, which I purpose to send to Washington. I gathered two
flowers in January, on the 22d and 29th,[223] and during the month of
February some 40 showed themselves, and by the first of March the grass
on the south faces of the bluffs was 14 inches high. This year the
season was about three weeks later, judging by the appearance of
flowers. I know of no disease that can be said to be peculiar to the
country. The country is peculiarly free from sudden changes of weather,
or violent storms. Persons who have wintered here from the south, tell
me the winters are as mild as the winters {170} in the northern parts of
North and South Carolina, and with less sudden changes.


The country is one extensive prairie, except the mountains, which are
covered with several species of pine, cedar, and fir. The prairies are
rolling, and with the exception of a narrow belt of sand and sedge upon
the Columbia, and portions of the Snake river, are everywhere covered
with the bunch grass, which, from observation, I judge to be a richer,
heartier food for animals than corn, oats, and the best pastures of the
States. It is a fine, solid stalk, growing two feet high, with fine
leaves, holds its freshness through the winter; I mean the old stalk,
which mingled with the young growth, that usually springs fresh in the
fall, forms a food for animals through the winter, preferable to the
best hay. Horses and oxen perform labor at all seasons upon this grass
simply, without the aid of grain; which I now think disposes the animal
system to various diseases.

When I pack, I usually travel from thirty-five to forty miles a day,
each horse carrying two hundred pounds--rest an hour at noon, without
taking down the packs; camp while the sun is yet two hours high; hobble
the horses and drive them up in the morning at sunrise. I find that
horses will endure such labor for twenty-five or thirty days, resting of
course on the Sabbath, upon this grass, without injuring them. Their
wind is evidently better than that of horses fed on grain and hay. I
have rode from Dr. Whitman's station to this, 125 miles, in nineteen
hours, starting at 9 o'clock in the night, and driving a spare horse for
change; but this was no advantage, for I find it is more fatiguing to a
horse to be drove than to be rode. You doubtless recollect the man who
overtook us on the head of Alapausawi, Thursday morning. He had left the
Dalles or Long Narrows on the Columbia on Tuesday morning, slept a short
time Tuesday night below the Umatillo, passed by Dr. Whitman's station,
and slept Wednesday night on the Tukanan, {171} a distance from the
Dalles of two hundred and forty miles; and the day he passed us he
traveled fifty-five miles more.[224] He rode one horse and drove another
for change. You will probably even recollect those horses, as they left
us upon the round gallop. A man went from this place, starting late, to
Wallawalla, and returned on the third day, sun two hours high, making
the journey in about two days and a half. The whole distance traveled
was two hundred and fifty miles, and but one horse was used. None of
these horses were injured.

Cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs feed out through the winter, and
continue fat. We very often kill our beef in March, and always have the
very best of meat. Often an ox from the plains, killed in March, yields
over one hundred and fifty pounds of tallow. You have seen two
specimens, one killed at Dr. Whitman's, and one at this place. Sheep
need the care of a shepherd through the winter, to protect the lambs
from the prairie wolves. A band of mares should have a good stud that
will herd them and protect the colts from the large wolves. Some thirty
different kinds of roots grow abundantly upon the plains and bluffs,
which, with the grass, furnish the best of food for hogs, and they are
always good pork. The south faces of the extensive bluffs and hills are
always free from snow, and, cut up into ten thousand little ravines,
form the most desirable retreat imaginable for sheep during the winter.
Here they have the best of fresh grass, and the young lambs, coming
regularly twice a year, are protected from the winds and enlivened by
the warm sun. We have a flock of sheep belonging to the Mission,
received from the islands eight years ago; there are now about one
hundred and fifty. Not one has yet died from disease, a thing of such
frequent occurrence in the States. It must certainly become a great wool
growing country.

I cannot but contrast the time, labor, and expense requisite to look
after herds in this country, with that required in the States,
especially in the Northern and Middle States, where two-thirds of every
man's time, labor, and money is expended {172} on his animals, in
preparing and fencing pasture grounds and meadows, building barns,
sheds, stables, and granaries, cutting and securing hay and grains, and
feeding and looking to animals through winter. In this country all this
is superceded by Nature's own bountiful hand. In this country a single
shepherd with his horse and dogs can protect and look after five
thousand sheep.[225] A man with his horse and perhaps a dog can easily
attend to two thousand head of cattle and horses, without spending a
dollar for barns, grain, or hay. Consider the vast amount of labor and
expense such a number of animals would require in the States. Were I to
select for my friends a location for a healthy happy life, and speedy
wealth, it would be this country.

Timber is the great desideratum. But the country of which I am
particularly speaking, extending every way perhaps four hundred miles,
is everywhere surrounded by low mountains, which are thickly timbered,
besides two or three small ridges passing through it; also the rivers
Columbia, Snake, Spokan, Paluse, Clear Water, Yankiman, Okanakan,
Salmon, Wailua, Tukanan, Wallawalla, Umatillo, John Day's and river De
Shutes; and down most of these timber or lumber can be rafted in any
quantities. So that but a very small portion of the country will be over
ten or fifteen miles from timber; most of it in the immediate vicinity
of timber. The numerous small streams which occur every five or six
miles, affording most desirable locations for settlements, contain some
cotton wood, alder and thorn. But timber is soon grown from sprouts. The
streams everywhere run over a stony bottom, while the soil is entirely
free from stone. Streams are rapid, affording the best of mill


The western shores of Oregon are washed by the placid {173} waters of
the Pacific, which bring the 360,000,000 of China, the many millions of
the vast Indies and of Australasia, and lay them at our doors with
opening hands to receive our produce; which, with the numerous whale
ships that literally whiten the Northern Pacific, calling not only for
provisions, but harbors to winter in, must ever afford one of the most
extensive markets in the world for all kinds of produce, and one
concerning which there need be but little fear that it will ever be
overstocked. A market compared with which, that offered by western
Europe to the eastern section of the United States, will become as a
drop to the bucket. The United States' Commercial Agent at Oahu,
Sandwich Islands, is desirous to make a contract for a certain amount of
provisions to be supplied to American shipping every year at Oregon
city; but as yet the supplies of the country over and above the home
consumption, are not sufficient to warrant a dependence of our whale
shipping upon the country. In fact for many years, while the United
States continue to pour their inhabitants by tens of thousands, every
year, into this young republic, the home market must continue in
competition with the foreign. But the day is not distant when this
country, settled by an industrious, virtuous, Sabbath-loving people,
governed by wholesome laws, blessed with schools, and the institutions
of our holy religion, will hold out abundant encouragements for the
numerous whale and merchant ships of the Pacific to leave their heavy
lading of three years' supply of provisions at home, and depend upon the
market in the immediate vicinity of their fishing grounds. Others
following in their track, learning of this new world, and finding out
our ample harbors, soon this little obscure point upon the map of the
world will become a second North American Republic--her commerce
whitening every sea, and her crowded ports fanned by the flags of every
nation. From this upper country, a distance of three hundred or four
hundred miles, droves of cattle and sheep can be driven to the lower
portions of the Columbia river, {174} with far less expense and labor
than they are driven the same distances in the States, always being in
the midst of grass upon which they may feed every night without charge.

The principal harbors are Puget's Sound, mouths of Columbia, Frazier's,
Shahales, Umpqua, Rose and Clamet rivers.[226] Doubtless others will be
discovered, as the country becomes more known. A dangerous bar extends
nearly across the mouth of the Columbia, leaving but a narrow obscure
channel, difficult of access or egress, except with favorable winds.
Vessels sometimes find it impossible to enter the river by reason of
contrary winds; and sometimes are detained in the river two or three
months, there not being sea room enough to go out against a head wind.
This difficulty could be greatly obviated, and perhaps removed, by a
pilot boat. Concerning the other rivers I have no certain knowledge, but
have been informed that some of them are navigable for vessels from
forty to sixty miles, and afford convenient harbors. Puget's Sound, as
before observed, is one of the safest and best harbors in the world, it
can be entered or left under any winds and at any season of the year.
The scenery around is said to be most enchanting. Two lakes near sending
off a small stream of pure water. A considerable river runs into the
sound, making a fall of some twenty-five feet just as it plunges into
the sea, affording the opportunity of building mills upon the wharfs.

But very little has been known by Americans concerning the extensive
country north of the Columbia, till last winter. I have several times
been told by British subjects that the countries bordering on Frazier's
river and Puget's Sound were too sterile for cultivation, and but poor
crops could be raised on the Cowlitz. Whereas, the exploring party who
left Oregon city, last winter, report that they found a very extensive
country north of the Columbia river, of apparently good soil, well
timbered with pine and oak, and well watered with the following rivers
and their tributaries, viz.: the Cowlitz, emptying into the Columbia
river from the north; the Shahales, {175} running into a small bay north
of the Columbia river; the Nesqualla, rising near the source of the
Cowlitz, and running north into Puget's Sound; Frazier's river north of
this, and several smaller ones not named.

On the Cowlitz, Nesqualla and Frazier's rivers, the Hudson Bay Company
have large establishments, and are producing vast quantities of wool,
beef, pork, and all kinds of grain, for British whale ships which
frequent the harbors. Besides these establishments, they have extensive
farms and herds at Vancouver, in the Willamette valley and Colvile, and
trading posts on Vancouver island, and at the mouth of the Columbia
river, Umpqua, Vancouver, Wallawalla, Okanakan and Colvile, Boise and
fort Hall, with very many at the north. Some of these are strongly
fortified, and are being well supplied with cannon and other munitions
of war, by almost every ship that arrives. So I have been informed by
persons from these ships.

With the extensive valley watered by the Willamette and its numerous
tributaries, you are better acquainted than myself, as I have never
visited that country. I cannot, however, deny myself the pleasure of
expressing my opinion of the country, formed from information derived
yearly from scores of persons who have dwelt long in, or traveled more
or less through its extensive territory, at all seasons of the year.

On the west the great valley is separated from the Pacific by a low
range of well timbered mountains, that give rise to numerous streams and
small rivers, some of which are lately found sufficient to admit
vessels. On the east it is bounded by the Cascade or President's range,
everywhere abounding with white pine and cedar. The Willamette river
rises in latitude 42° and runs north and empties itself into the
Columbia river 85 miles above its mouth. The falls of the Willamette are
about thirty miles above its mouth, and must ever add a vast interest to
the country. The power for mills and machinery that may be erected on
each side of the river, and on the island in the middle of the falls, is
adequate for almost any conceivable demand.

{176} Oregon city, situated at the falls on the east side of the river,
contains over five hundred souls, about eighty houses, viz.: two
churches, two blacksmith shops, one cooper shop, two cabinet shops, four
tailor shops, one hatter's shop, one tannery, three shoe shops, two
silver smiths, four stores, two taverns, two flouring and two saw mills,
and a lathe machine. Directly opposite, on the west side, are two towns
laid out, and buildings are going up. The face of the country in the
Willamette valley is rolling, very equally divided into prairie and
timbered countries, with frequent oak openings. Wheat produces well;
corn, potatoes, &c. produce well in some places, and probably would
everywhere do well with good cultivation; soil everywhere considered of
a superior quality. Less snow during the winter season than in the
middle district, but much more rain, with fogs, on the low lands during
the summer, which render the country less healthy than this middle
region; but still the country cannot be considered an unhealthy country.
The face of the country is everywhere covered with bunch grass,[227] and
animals feed out through the winter, as in the middle region.

The rivers Umpqua, Rose and Clamet, which empty into the Pacific, south
of the Columbia, are said to water extensive fertile countries; but as
yet very little is known of these regions. Ships come up the Willamette
river within a few miles of Oregon city. Concerning the road for wagons
commenced south of Mount Hood, and which is to be completed this summer,
to be in readiness for the next emigration, you are better acquainted
than myself.

I am happy to recommend to future emigrants your directions and advice
as to the best mode of traveling; number of wagons desirable to travel
together; quantity of provisions required for each person; best route;
distance to be traveled each day. You will also be able to give the
prices for which the Hudson Bay company sells flour, at Forts Hall {177}
and Bois, and for which it is brought from the Willamette to the Dalles
and sold.

You are acquainted with the fact that the Mission station at this place,
and at Waiilatpu, have been in the habit of furnishing provisions to
immigrants. We are willing to do so as long as there are no other
sources of supplies in this vicinity, and therefore seems a duty. But
our object in the country is to civilize and Christianize the Indian
tribes among whom we are located. We are stewards of the property of
others. We receive no salaries, but simply our living and clothing. We
therefore feel it to be our duty to endeavour to make the receipts for
provisions sold, net their expenses. For this end, Mr. Gilbert, a
gentleman from New York, has taken charge of the secular affairs of this
station, and will furnish provisions to immigrants on the most
reasonable terms. He will give you their probable prices, and the names
of such things as will be taken in exchange. You have seen the quantity
and quality of flour and beef at this place, as also at Waiilatpu.

                                      Yours very sincerely,

                                                   H. H. SPALDING.

P. S. During last season, commencing 22d of January, I collected and
preserved over two thousand different species of flowers, plants and
grasses,[228] many of which I think are rare, but I am no botanist.


_The Legislative Committee recommend that the following Laws be


     WE, the people of Oregon Territory, for purposes of mutual
     protection, and to secure peace and prosperity among ourselves,
     agree to adopt the following laws and regulations, until such time
     as the United States of America extend their jurisdiction over us.

Be it enacted, therefore, by the free citizens of Oregon Territory, that
the said territory, for purposes of temporary government, be divided
into not less than three nor more than five districts, subject to be
extended to a greater number when an increase of population shall

For the purpose of fixing the principles of civil and religious liberty,
as the basis of all laws and constitutions of government that may
hereafter be adopted--

_Be it enacted_, That the following articles be considered articles of
compact among the free citizens of this territory:


§ 1. No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner,
shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious

{180} § 2. The inhabitants of said territory shall always be entitled to
the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus and trial by jury, of a
proportionate representation of the people in the legislature, and of
judicial proceedings, according to the course of common law. All persons
shall be bailable, unless for capital offences, where the proof shall be
evident or the presumption great. All fines shall be moderate, and no
cruel or unusual punishments shall be inflicted. No man shall be
deprived of his liberty but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of
the land; and should the public exigencies make it necessary for the
common preservation to take any person's property, or to demand his
particular services, full compensation shall be made for the same; and
in the just preservation of rights and property, it is understood and
declared that no law ought ever to be made, or have force in said
territory, that shall, in any manner whatever, interfere with or affect
private contracts or engagements, "bona fide" and without fraud
previously formed.

§ 3. Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall
forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed
towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from
them without their consent; and in their property, rights or liberty
they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful
wars, authorised by the representatives of the people; but laws founded
in justice and humanity shall, from time to time, be made for preventing
injustice being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship
with them.

§ 4. There shall be no slavery nor involuntary servitude in said
territory otherwise than for the punishment of crimes, whereof the
party shall have been duly convicted.

§ 5. No person shall be deprived of the right of bearing arms in his own
defence; no unreasonable searches or seizures shall be granted; the
freedom of the press shall not be restrained; {181} no person shall be
twice tried for the same offence; nor the people deprived of the right
of peaceably assembling and discussing any matter they may think proper;
nor shall the right of petition ever be denied.

§ 6. The powers of the government shall be divided into three distinct
departments--the legislative, executive, and judicial; and no person,
belonging to one of these departments, shall exercise any of the powers
properly belonging to either of the others, except in cases herein
directed or permitted.


§ 1. The legislative power shall be vested in a House of
Representatives, which shall consist of not less than thirteen nor more
than sixty-one members, whose numbers shall not be increased more than
five at any one session, to be elected by the qualified electors at the
annual election, giving to each district a representation in proportion
to its population, (excluding Indians,) and the said members shall
reside in the district for which they shall be chosen; and in case of
vacancy by death, resignation or otherwise, the executive shall issue
his writ to the district where such vacancy has occurred, and cause a
new election to be held, giving sufficient notice at least ten days
previously, of the time and place of holding said election.

§ 2. The House of Representatives, when assembled, shall choose a
speaker and its other officers, be judges of the qualifications and
election of its members, and sit upon its own adjournment from day to
day. Two-thirds of the House shall constitute a quorum to transact
business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be
authorised by law to compel the attendance of absent members.

§ 3. The House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its
members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds,
expel a member, but not a second time for the same offence; and shall
have all powers necessary for {182} a legislature of a temporary
government, not in contravention with the restrictions imposed in this
Organic Law.

§ 4. The House of Representatives shall, from time to time, fix the
salaries of the different officers appointed or elected under this
compact, provided the pay of no officer shall be altered during the term
of his service; nor shall the pay of the House be increased by any law
taking effect during the session at which such alteration is made.

§ 5. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of
impeaching; three-fourths of all the members must concur in an
impeachment. The governor and all civil officers under these articles of
compact, shall be liable to impeachment for treason, bribery, or any
high crime or misdemeanor in office. Judgment in such cases shall not
extend further than removal from office, and disqualification to hold
any office of honor, trust or profit under this compact; but the party
convicted may be dealt with according to law.

§ 6. The House of Representatives shall have power to lay out the
territory into suitable districts, and apportion the representation in
their own body. They shall have power to pass laws for raising a revenue
either by the levying and collecting of taxes, or the imposing license
on merchandize, ferries, or other objects--to open roads and canals,
either by the levying a road tax, or the chartering of companies; to
regulate the intercourse of the people with the Indian tribes; to
establish post offices and post roads; to declare war, suppress
insurrection or repel invasion; to provide for the organizing, arming,
and disciplining the militia, and for calling forth the militia to
execute the laws of Oregon; to pass laws to regulate the introduction,
manufacture, or sale of ardent spirits; to regulate the currency and
internal police of the country; to create inferior offices necessary and
not provided for by these articles of compact; and generally to pass
such laws to promote the general welfare of the people of Oregon, not
contrary to the spirit of this instrument; and all powers not hereby
expressly delegated, {183} remain with the people. The House of
Representatives shall convene annually on the first Tuesday in December,
at such place as may be provided by law, and shall, upon their first
meeting after the adoption of this instrument of compact, proceed to
elect and define the duties of a secretary, recorder, treasurer,
auditor, marshal, or other officers necessary to carry into effect the
provisions of this compact.

§ 7. The executive power shall be vested in one person, elected by the
qualified voters at the annual election, who shall have power to fill
vacancies; to remit fines and forfeitures; to grant pardons and
reprieves for offences against the laws of the territory; to call out
the military force of the country to repel invasion or suppress
insurrection; to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, and to
recommend such laws as he may consider necessary to the representatives
of the people for their action. Every bill which shall have been passed
by the House of Representatives, shall, before it becomes a law, be
presented to the governor for his approbation. If he approve, he shall
sign it; if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House,
and the House shall cause the objections to be entered at large on its
journals, and shall proceed to reconsider the bill; if, after such
reconsideration, a majority of two-thirds of the House shall agree to
pass the same, it shall become a law. In such cases the vote shall be
taken by ayes and noes, and be entered upon the journal. If any bill
shall not be returned by the governor to the House of Representatives
within three days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented
to him, the same shall become a law in like manner as if the governor
had signed it, unless the House of Representatives, by its adjournment,
shall prevent its return; in which case it shall not become a law. The
governor shall continue in office two years, and until his successor is
duly elected and qualified; and in case of the office becoming vacant by
death, resignation, or otherwise, the secretary shall exercise the
duties of the office until the vacancy shall be filled by {184}
election. The governor shall receive the sum of dollars per annum, as
full compensation for his services, which sum may be increased or
diminished at any time by law, provided the salary of no governor shall
be altered during his term of service. The governor shall have power to
convene the legislature on extraordinary occasions.

§ 8. The judicial power shall be vested in a supreme court, and such
inferior courts of law, equity, and arbitration, as may, by law from
time to time be established. The supreme court shall consist of one
judge, who shall be elected by the House of Representatives, and hold
his office for four years, and until his successor is duly elected and
qualified. The supreme court, except in cases otherwise directed by this
compact, shall have appellate jurisdiction only, which shall be
co-extensive with this territory, and shall hold two sessions annually,
beginning on the first Mondays in June and September, and at such places
as by law may be directed. The supreme court shall have a general
superintending control over all inferior courts of law. It shall have
power to issue writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto,
certiorari, and other original remedial writs, and hear and determine
the same. The supreme court shall have power to decide upon and annul
any laws contrary to the provisions of these articles of compact, and
whenever called upon by the House of Representatives, the supreme judge
shall give his opinion touching the validity of any pending measure. The
House of Representatives may, hereafter, provide by law for the supreme
court having original jurisdiction in criminal cases.

§ 9. All officers under this compact, shall take an oath, as follows, to
wit: I do solemnly swear, that I will support the Organic Laws of the
provisional Government of Oregon, so far as said Organic Laws are
consistent with my duties as a citizen of the United States, or a
subject of Great Britain,[229] and faithfully demean myself in office.
So help me God.

§ 10. Every free male descendant of a white man, inhabitant {185} of
this territory, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who shall
have been an inhabitant of this territory at the time of its
organization, shall be entitled to vote at the election of officers,
civil and military, and be eligible to any office in the territory,
provided, that all persons of the description entitled to vote by the
provisions of this section, who shall emigrate to this territory after
its organization, shall be entitled to the rights of citizens after
having resided six months in the territory.

§ 11. The election for all civil officers, provided for by this compact,
shall be held the first Monday in June annually.


§ 1. Any person now holding, or hereafter wishing to establish a claim
to land in this territory, shall designate the extent of his claim by
natural boundaries, or by marks at the corners and upon the lines of
such claim, and have the extent and boundaries of said claim recorded in
the office of the territorial recorder, in a book to be kept by him for
that purpose, within twenty days from the time of making said claim:
provided, that those who shall be already in possession of land, shall
be allowed twelve months from the passage of this act to file a
description of his claim in the recorder's office: and provided further,
that the said claimant shall state in his record, the size, shape, and
locality of such claim, and give the names of the adjoining claimants;
and the recorder may require the applicant for such record to be made to
answer, on his oath, touching the facts.

§ 2. All claimants shall, within six months from the time of recording
their claims, make permanent improvements upon the same, by building or
enclosing, and also become an occupant upon said claim within one year
from the date of such record, or in case not occupied, the person
holding said claim shall pay into the treasury the sum of five dollars
annually, and in case of failure to occupy, or on failure of payment of
{186} the sum above stated, the claim shall be considered as abandoned:
provided, that no non-resident of this territory shall have the benefit
of this law: and, provided further, that any resident of this territory,
absent on private business for two years, may hold his claim by paying
five dollars annually to the treasury.

§ 3. No individual shall be allowed to hold a claim of more than one
square mile, or six hundred and forty acres, in a square or oblong form,
according to the natural situation of the premises. Nor shall any
individual be allowed to hold more than one claim at the same time. Any
person complying with the provisions of these ordinances, shall be
entitled to the same recourse against trespass as in other cases by law

§ 4. Partnerships of two or more persons shall be allowed to take up a
tract of land not exceeding six hundred and forty acres to each person
in said partnership, subject to all the provisions of the law; and
whenever such partnership is dissolved, the members shall each record
the particular parts of said tract as may be allotted to him: provided
that no member of said partnership shall hold a separate claim at the
time of the existence of said partnership.

§ 5. The boundary lines of all claims shall hereafter conform, as near
as may be, to the cardinal points.

§ 6. The officers elected at the general election, held on the first
Tuesday in June, 1845, shall be the officers to act under this organic
law, and their official acts, so far as they are in accordance with this
compact, are hereby declared valid and legal.

§ 7. Amendments to this instrument may be proposed by the House of
Representatives, two-thirds of the members concurring therein; which
amendments shall be made public in all parts of Oregon, and be read at
the polls at the next succeeding general election, and a concurrence of
two-thirds of all {187} the members elected at said election, may pass
said amendments, and they shall become a part of this compact.

       *       *       *       *       *


I, John E. Long,[230] secretary of Oregon territory, do hereby certify,
that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the original law, as
passed by the representatives of the people of Oregon, on the fifth day
of July, A. D. 1845, and submitted to the people on the twenty-sixth day
of the same month, and by them adopted and now on file in my office.

                                            J. E. LONG, _Secretary_.

N. B. At the December Session, 1845, of the House of Representatives,
two-thirds of the members concurring therein, the following amendments
to the Organic Law were proposed, to wit: Strike out in the 4th section
of said law, the words "or more." Also, to amend the land law so as to
"permit claimants to hold six hundred acres in the prairie, and forty
acres in the timber, though said tracts do not join."


AN ACT to prevent the introduction, sale, and distillation of ardent
spirits in Oregon.

§ 1. _Be it enacted by the House of Representatives of Oregon
Territory_, That if any person shall hereafter import or introduce any
ardent spirits into Oregon, with intent to sell, barter, give, or trade
the same, and shall offer the same for sale, trade, barter, or gift, he
shall be fined the sum of fifty dollars for each and every such offence,
which may be recovered by indictment, or by trial before a justice of
the peace, without the form of pleading.

§ 2. That if any person shall hereafter sell, barter, give, or trade any
ardent spirits of any kind whatever, directly or indirectly, to any
person within Oregon, he shall forfeit and pay {188} the sum of twenty
dollars for each and every such sale, trade, barter, or gift, to be
recovered by indictment in the county court, or before a justice of the
peace, without the form of pleading.

§ 3. That if any person shall hereafter establish or carry on any
manufactory or distillery of ardent spirits in Oregon, he shall be
subject to be indicted before the county court, as for a nuisance, and
if convicted, he shall be fined the sum of one hundred dollars; and the
court shall issue an order to the sheriff, directing him to seize and
destroy the distilling apparatus, which order the sheriff shall execute.

§ 4. Whenever it shall come to the knowledge of any officer of this
government, or any private citizen, that any kind of spirituous liquors
are being distilled or manufactured in Oregon, they are hereby
authorised and required to proceed to the place where such illicit
manufacture is known to exist, and seize the distilling apparatus, and
deliver the same to the nearest district judge or justice of the peace,
whose duty it shall be immediately to issue his warrant, and cause the
house and premises of the person against whom such warrant shall be
issued to be further searched; and in case any kind of spirituous
liquors are found in or about said premises, or any implements or
apparatus that have the appearance of having been used or constructed
for the purpose of manufacturing any kind of spirituous liquors, the
officer who shall have been duly authorised to execute said warrant,
shall seize all such apparatus, implements, and spirituous liquors, and
deliver the same to the judge or justice of the peace who issued the
said warrant; said officer shall also arrest the person or persons in or
about whose premises such apparatus, implements, or spirituous liquors
are found, and conduct him or them to said judge or justice of the
peace, whose duty it shall be to proceed against such criminal or
criminals, and dispose of the articles seized, according to law.

§ 5. All fines and penalties imposed under this act, shall go, {189}
one-half to the informant and witnesses, and the other half to the
officers engaged in arresting and trying the criminal or criminals; and
it shall be the duty of all officers into whose hands such fines and
penalties may come, to pay over as directed in this section.

§ 6. This act shall not be so construed as to prevent any practising
physician from selling such liquors for medicine, not to exceed half a
pint at one time.

§ 7. That it shall be the duty of the secretary to publish this act in
the first newspaper printed in Oregon.

       *       *       *       *       *


I, John E. Long, Secretary of Oregon, do hereby certify, that the
foregoing act on ardent spirits, is truly and correctly revised by me.

                                            J. E. LONG, _Secretary_.


[1] Oregon Territory, which under the treaty of 1818 was held
in joint occupation by the United States and Great Britain, had been
brought into prominence by the presidential campaign of 1844, and the
belligerent message of President Polk at his inauguration in March,
1845. Emigration thither for the year 1845 exceeded that of any previous
season and consisted of nearly three thousand persons, largely from
Missouri and the frontier states of the Old Northwest.--ED.

[2] Blue River, in central Indiana, flowing through Rush and
Shelby counties, is part of the White River system.--ED.

[3] For a note on the founding of Indianapolis see our volume
ix, p. 190, note 100.--ED.

[4] Mount Meridian is a small village in Jefferson township,
Putnam County, Indiana. It was laid out in 1833 and at first named

[5] For St. Charles see our volume v, p. 39, note 9.--ED.

[6] By the term "Lute creek," Palmer intends Loutre River,
rising in northeast Callaway County, and flowing south and southwest
through Montgomery County into the Missouri, at Loutre Island. See our
volume v, p. 47, note 19.--ED.

[7] Williamsburgh, a village in the township of Nine Mile
Prairie, Callaway County, was laid out in 1836. For Fulton see our
volume xxi, p. 131, note 7.--ED.

[8] Columbia and Rocheport are noted in our volume xxi, p. 133,
note 8; Boonville, _ibid._, p. 89, note 59. Palmer probably crossed the
Missouri at Boonville. Townsend went by a similar route from St. Louis
to Boonville. See his _Narrative_ in our volume xxi, pp. 125-134.--ED.

[9] Marshall was in 1839 set off as the county seat of Saline,
and in 1900 had a population of 5086. It was named in honor of the chief
justice of the United States, who died shortly before the incorporation
of the town.--ED.

[10] For Independence see our volume xix, p. 189, note 34.
Gregg gives a much fuller description of this town as an outfitting
place, than does our present author; _ibid._, pp. 188-192.--ED.

[11] On the bounds of this territory, see our volume xxi, p.
50, note 31.--ED.

[12] Walkarusa Creek rises in several branches in Wabaunsee
County, and flows east through Shawnee and Douglas into Kansas River.
The crossing of the Oregon Trail was almost directly south of Lawrence.
The trail thence followed the divide between the creek and river to
about the present site of Topeka. During the Free Soil troubles in
Kansas, a bloodless campaign (1855) along this creek toward Lawrence was
known as the "Walkarusa War."

Kansas River is noted in our volume xiv, p. 174, note 140.--ED.

[13] For the Kansa Indians see our volume v, p. 67, note 37;
also our volume xxviii, p. 140, note 84. Wyeth notes their village in
his _Oregon_, our volume xxi, pp. 48, 49.--ED.

[14] For this stream see De Smet's _Letters_ in our volume
xxvii, p. 197, note 74.--ED.

[15] This was probably a local publication of the journal or
notes of William Gilpin, who went to Oregon with Frémont's party in
1843. Gilpin was a Pennsylvanian, appointed cadet at West Point in 1834.
Two years later he became lieutenant in the 2nd dragoons, and saw
frontier service, resigning from the army in 1838. He accompanied
Frémont as far as the Dalles of the Columbia, and passed the winter of
1843-44 in the Willamette valley, returning overland to the states in
1844. As an intelligent observer his reports on the Oregon country were
much sought (see _Niles' Register_, lxvii, p. 161). Gilpin afterwards
served in the Mexican War, and earnestly urged the building of a Pacific
railway. In 1861 he was appointed first territorial governor of
Colorado, in recognition of "his services as an explorer of the Great
West," and lived until 1894.--ED.

[16] Stephen Hall Meek was a brother of Colonel Joseph Meek so
well known as an Oregon pioneer (see our volume xxviii, p. 290, note
171). Stephen began his career as a trapper under Captain Bonneville in
1832, and accompanied Joseph Walker to California in 1833-34. He was in
the Willamette valley in 1841, where he purchased of Dr. John McLoughlin
the first lot sold on the site of Oregon City. In 1842 he guided the
emigrant caravan from Fort Laramie. His unfortunate experience in
attempting a "cut off" with a party of emigrants in 1845 (related _post_
by Palmer), discredited his abilities as a guide. At the time of the
gold excitement (1848-49) he returned to California, where he made his
later home in Siskiyou County.--ED.

[17] Little is known of Dr. Presley Welch save as related by
Palmer--that he was from Indiana, was chosen captain of the caravan, and
was without authority after the formation of the independent companies.
H. H. Bancroft (_History of Oregon_, i, p. 612) notes that he was
candidate for governor in 1846. George H. Himes, assistant secretary of
the Oregon Historical Society, writes to the Editor: "In all my efforts
to make a roll of Pioneers by years, I have not so far been able to find
anything about Dr. Welch; hence I conclude he either left the country at
an early date or died soon after his arrival here."--ED.

[18] For this stream see our volume xxi, p. 149, note 20.
Townsend also describes the same Kansa village, _ibid._, pp. 148,

[19] The Big Vermillion is now known as the Black Vermillion,
an eastern tributary of the Big Blue, in Marshall County, Kansas. The
usual crossing was near the site of the present town of Bigelow. Bee
Creek is a small stream in Marshall County. The Big Blue is noted in our
volume xiv, p. 185, note 154; also in our volume xxi, p. 142, note

[20] For a biographical note on Colonel Stephen W. Kearny see
our volume xvii, p. 12, note 4. In the summer of 1845 the general of the
army ordered Kearny to take five companies of dragoons and proceed from
Fort Leavenworth via the Oregon Trail to South Pass, returning by way of
the Arkansas and the Santa Fé Trail. The object was both to impress the
Indians, and to report upon the feasibility of an advanced military post
near Fort Laramie. Leaving their encampment May 18, they were upon the
Little Blue by the twenty-sixth of the month. See report in _Senate
Docs._, 29 Cong., 1 sess., 1, pp. 210-213. This was the first regular
military campaign into the land of the Great West, and strongly
impressed the Indians of that region. Kearny's recommendations were
against the establishment of a post because of the difficulty of
supplying it--advising instead, a biennial or triennial campaign similar
to his own.--ED.

[21] By the "Republican Fork of Blue River" Palmer intends the
stream known usually as the Little Blue. Republican River, farther west,
is an important branch of Kansas River, and for a portion of its course
nearly parallels the Little Blue. The Oregon Trail, however, followed
the latter stream, and the distances given by Palmer preclude the
possibility of a detour via the Republican River. The name of this
stream, as well as that applied by Palmer to the Little Blue, is derived
from the tribe of Republican Pawnee, for which see our volume xiv, p.
233, note 179.--ED.

[22] There were two routes across from the head of Little Blue
River to the Platte. The first left the trail near the site of Leroy,
Nebraska, and came in to the Platte about twenty miles below Grand
Island; the second continued farther west, about ten miles, then crossed
northwest to the Platte near the site of Fort Kearney. See military map
of Nebraska and Dakota, prepared in 1855-57 by Lieutenant G. K. Warren
of the topographical engineer corps. For the Platte River see our volume
xiv, p. 219, note 170.--ED.

[23] For this tribe, see our volume vi, p. 61, note 17; also
our volume xv, pp. 143-165; and xxviii, p. 149, note 94.--ED.

[24] Thomas Fulton Stephens joined the Oregon caravan from
Illinois. The year after his arrival in Oregon he took up donation land
near the site of Portland and erected thereon a saw-mill. His death
occurred in 1884.--ED.

[25] John Foster was born in Ohio in 1822, removed to Missouri
in early life, and in 1897 was still residing in Oregon.--ED.

[26] Orville Risley was born in New York state about 1807. In
early life he removed to Ohio, where he joined the Oregon emigrants of
1845. Upon reaching the Willamette valley he took up land in Clackamas
County, and later was a merchant at Lafayette. In his last years he
resided principally at Portland, where he was known as Judge Risley,
from having once held the office of justice of the peace. His death
occurred at his Clackamas farm in 1884.--ED.

[27] For the fords of the South Platte see our volume xxi, p.
173, note 27.--ED.

[28] Ash Hollow, called by Frémont Coulée des Frênes, was a
well known landmark, where the Oregon Trail crossed the North Platte. It
is now known as Ash Creek, in Deuel County, Nebraska.--ED.

[29] Spring Creek was probably the one now known as Rush,
formed by springs issuing in Cheyenne County, Nebraska. The second creek
was that now entitled Pumpkinseed. In the days of trail-travelling it
was called Gonneville, from a trapper who had been killed thereon. The
Solitary Tower is on its bank--a huge mass of indurated clay, more
frequently known as the Court House or the Castle.--ED.

[30] For a note on Chimney Rock consult De Smet's _Letters_ in
our volume xxvii, p. 219, note 89. See also engraving in Frémont's
"Exploring Tour," _Senate Docs._, 28 Cong., 2 sess., 174, p. 38.--ED.

[31] This story is told with variations by many writers,
notably Washington Irving in his _Rocky Mountains_ (Philadelphia, 1837),
i, pp. 45, 46. The event appears to have occurred about 1830. The range
of bluffs, about nine hundred yards in length, still retains the name.
It is situated on the western borders of Nebraska, in a county of the
same name.--ED.

[32] The usual habitat of the Dakota or Sioux was along the
Missouri River or eastward. The Teton Sioux were in the habit of
wandering westward for summer hunts, and this was probably a band of the
Oglala or Brulé Teton, who frequently were encountered in this region.
For the Teton subdivisions see our volume xxii, p. 326, note 287.--ED.

[33] The succession of trading posts on the Laramie branch of
Platte River is somewhat confusing, due to differences in nomenclature.
Consult our volume xxi, p. 181, note 30. The fort here described appears
to be the new Fort Laramie (which must thus have been built in 1845, not
1846). Alexander Culbertson, who was at one time in command for the
American Fur Company, says that this post cost $10,000, and was the best
built stronghold in the company's possession. Fort John was the old
American Fur Company's post. How a rival company had secured it, seems a
mystery; possibly Palmer has confused it with Fort Platte, which Frémont
notes in 1842 at the mouth of the Laramie, belonging to Sybille, Adams,
and Company. See his "Exploring Tour" (cited in note 30, _ante_), p.

[34] Since the above was written, the North American Fur
Company has purchased Fort John, and demolished it.--PALMER.

[35] The trail lay back from the river, for some distance above
Fort Laramie. Big Spring was frequently known as Warm Spring, and the
coulée, in Laramie County, Wyoming, still retains the name of Warm
Spring Cañon.--ED.

[36] On the general use of the term Black Hills see our volume
xxiii, p. 244, note 204. The stream called Fourche Amère (bitter fork)
by Frémont is now known simply as Cottonwood Creek.--ED.

[37] Retaining the same name, Horseshoe Creek is a considerable
wooded stream in western Laramie County, Wyoming.--ED.

[38] This is now known as Lower Platte Cañon, and is traversed
by the Wyoming branch of the Colorado and Southern Railway.--ED.

[39] Big Timber Creek was called La Fourche Boisée by Frémont;
more frequently it was known by the name it still retains--La Bonté
Creek, in Converse County, Wyoming. The cut-off recommended by Palmer
would be by way of Elkhorn Creek and an affluent of La Bonté.--ED.

[40] Deer Creek is the largest southern affluent of the Platte,
between the Laramie and the Sweetwater. It is well-timbered, and its
mouth was a familiar camping place on the Oregon Trail. It is in the
western part of Converse County, Wyoming, about 770 miles from the
starting point at Independence.--ED.

[41] The best ford in this stretch of the river; it averaged
only about three feet in depth at the ordinary stage of water, and its
width varied from eight hundred to fifteen hundred feet. It was a little
above the present town of Casper, Wyoming.--ED.

[42] The Mineral Spring was usually called Red Spring, near
Poison Spider Creek, and shows traces of petroleum. For a description of
Red Buttes see our volume xxi, p. 183.--ED.

[43] For Independence Rock and Sweetwater River see our volume
xxi, p. 53, notes 33, 34.--ED.

[44] For this gap, or cañon, see De Smet's _Letters_ in our
volume xxvii, p. 241, note 113.--ED.

[45] The Wind River Mountains are noted in our volume xxi, p.
184, note 35. The trail along the Sweetwater is for the most part over a
rough, undulating prairie, but at times the hills force the road close
to the river valley. At one place, about thirty-six miles above the
river's mouth, the route grows rugged and crosses the river three times.
This was usually known as the Three Crossings, and is probably the
stretch that Palmer calls the Narrows.--ED.

[46] Joseph R. Walker was born (1798) in Tennessee. In early
life he migrated to the Missouri frontier, and for many years was a
trapper and trader in the direction of Santa Fé. Once he was captured by
the Mexicans, and afterwards participated in a battle between them and
the Pawnee Indians. In 1832 Captain Bonneville secured Walker as a
member of his trading party, and the following year sent him on an
expedition that explored a route from Salt Lake to California, through
Walker's Pass, which took its name from this explorer. On this journey
he claimed first of any American to have seen the Yosemite. His
knowledge of the West brought his services in demand as a guide or
pilot. In 1843 he led out a small party of emigrants. From Bridger's
Fort, whither he was going when met by Palmer, he joined Frémont's third
exploring expedition, and was sent forward with a portion of the party
by his former route of 1833. The junction with his chief's party was
made after the latter's visit to Monterey. Walker, however, did not
remain to take part in the events that led to the American conquest of
California, but started back to the states with a drove of California
horses for sale, and was again at Fort Bridger in July, 1846. For twenty
years longer he continued his vagrant life in the mountains, finally
settling (1866-67) in Contra Costa County, California, where he died in

[47] For South Pass and Green River see our volume xxi, pp.
58-60, notes 37, 38.

The springs were known as Pacific Springs, running into a creek of that
name, affluent of the Big Sandy in Frémont County, Wyoming.--ED.

[48] The dry branch is known as Dry Sandy Creek. For the Little
Sandy see our volume xxi, p. 187, note 36.--ED.

[49] This was known as Sublette's Cut-off; see De Smet's
_Letters_ in our volume xxvii, p. 242, note 115.--ED.

[50] At this point, Green River bears considerably east of
south, the trail therefore turns southwest, striking Black Fork of
Green, not far from the present Granger, Wyoming, at the junction of the
Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line railways. Black Fork rises in the
extreme southeastern corner of Wyoming, flows northeast, thence east and
southeast, entering the Green in Sweetwater County. It is a shallow,
somewhat sluggish stream, passing through an alkaline country.--ED.

[51] The site of Fort Bridger was chosen by its founder as the
best station for trade with emigrants following the Oregon Trail. Its
building (1843) marked an epoch in Western emigration, showing the
importance of trade with the increasing number of travellers. The place
was an oasis in the desert-like neighborhood, the stream of Black Fork
coming from the Unita Mountains, and in this wooded valley dividing into
several branches. In 1854 Bridger sold his post to a Mormon named Lewis
Robinson, who maintained it until 1858, when United States troops
wintering during the Mormon campaign built at this site a government
post, also known as Fort Bridger, which was garrisoned about twenty
years longer. For Bridger, the founder, see De Smet's _Letters_, in our
volume xxvii, p. 299, note 156. His partner was Louis Vasques (not
Bascus), a Mexican who for many years had been a mountain man. For some
time he was in partnership with Sublette in a trading post on the South
Platte. About 1840 he entered into partnership with Bridger, and is
remembered to have lived with some luxury, riding about the country near
Fort Bridger in a coach and four. See Wyoming Historical Society
_Collections_, i, p. 68.--ED.

[52] For the Snake (Shoshoni) Indians, see our volume v, p.
227, note 123. The Paiute are referred to in our volume xviii, p. 140,
note 70; also in De Smet's _Letters_, in our volume xxvii, pp. 165, 167,
notes 35, 38.--ED.

[53] By the Little Muddy, Palmer refers to the stream now known
as the Muddy, a branch of Black Fork, which would be reached in about
eight miles from Fort Bridger, by travelling northwest. Palmer's "Big
Muddy" is the stream usually known as Ham's Fork, for which see our
volume xxi, p. 197, note 43.--ED.

[54] The divide between the waters of Green and Bear River may
be crossed at several points. Its altitude is about eight thousand feet,
and all travellers speak of the wide view. The mountains to the west are
those of the Bear River range, running between the arms of the river,
for which see our volume xxi, p. 199, note 44.--ED.

[55] The upper road from Green River, usually known as
Sublette's road, comes across by way of Crow Creek, a branch of Ham's
Fork, and Sublette Creek, a tributary of the Bear. Smith's Fork comes
almost directly from the north, its headwaters nearly interlacing with
Salt River branch of Lewis (or Snake) River. It enters Bear River quite
near the dividing line between Wyoming and Idaho.--ED.

[56] The first crossing of Bear River is just above the mouth
of Thomas's Fork. For a detailed map of this stretch of the road see
Frémont's "Exploring Tour" (_op. cit._ in note 30), p. 132.--ED.

[57] The big hill is just beyond the bend of the Bear, below
Thomas's Fork, and the nearest approach the road makes to the valley of
Bear Lake. This lake is evidently the remains of one that occupied a
much larger area, as the marshes at its upper end signify. It now
measures about nineteen miles in length, with an average width of six,
and a depth of from forty to sixty feet. The lower portion of the lake
is in Utah and the upper in Idaho. Its waters are noted for their
exquisite blue tint.--ED.

[58] For the location of these springs see our volume xxi, p.
200, note 45.--ED.

[59] A map of these springs can be found in Frémont's
"Exploring Tour" (_op. cit._ in note 30), p. 135. Steamboat Spring is a
miniature geyser, an analysis of whose waters is given by Frémont, p.

[60] For a brief note on Salt Lake see our volume xxi, p. 199,
note 44.--ED.

[61] The entire route from Soda Springs at the bend of Bear
River to Fort Hall was about fifty miles in length, crossing the
basaltic, volcanic plateau which Palmer describes, to the waters of
Portneuf River, down which the trail passed to Fort Hall. For the
founding of this post see Townsend's _Narrative_, in our volume xxi, pp.

[62] Captain James Grant was Hudson's Bay factor in charge at
Fort Hall for several years during the immigration movement. Most of the
travellers speak of his courtesy and readiness to assist. He was at this
post in 1842, when Matthieu describes him as a large man, resembling Dr.
McLoughlin--_Oregon Historical Quarterly_, i, p. 84. He seems to have
later settled in Oregon.--ED.

[63] For a brief description of Snake (or Lewis) River, see our
volume xxviii, p. 303, note 179.--ED.

[64] This attempt to deflect Oregon immigrants to California
arose from the unsettled conditions in that Mexican province, and the
determination of earlier American settlers to secure California for the
United States. Caleb Greenwood, who was sent to Fort Hall from Sutter's
Fort (Sacramento), was an aged mountaineer and trapper, who reared a
half-breed family by a wife of the Crow tribe. In 1844 he guided the
Stevens party to California, and during the winter of 1844-45 served in
Sutter's division of Micheltorena's army against Alvarado and Castro.
Sutter wrote in regard to his mission, "I am glad that they meet with
some good pilots at Fort Hall who went there from here to pilot
emigrants by the new road."--ED.

[65] George McDougall was a native of Ohio, but started on his
journey from Indiana. He conducted the advance party of young men known
as the Swasey-Todd party, over the Truckee route to Sutter's, leaving
Fort Hall about August 13, and arriving at New Helvetia late in
September. McDougall served the next year in the California battalion,
and was known to have been at San Francisco in 1847-48. He several times
returned East, and after 1853 became a confirmed wanderer, being found
in Patagonia in 1867. He is thought to have died at Washington, D. C.,
in 1872. He was eccentric, but brave, and a favorite with the frontier
population. Many of the emigrants who turned off at Fort Hall for
California went overland to Oregon the next year. Consult H. H.
Bancroft, _History of Oregon_ (San Francisco, 1886), i, p. 522.--ED.

[66] The writer has recently learned that the emigrants alluded
to, not finding California equal, in point of soil, to their high
wrought anticipations, have made the best of their way to

[67] For another description of Portneuf (not Portneth) River
see De Smet's _Letters_ in our volume xxvii, p. 249, with accompanying

[68] These falls derive their name from the following
circumstance. A number of American trappers going down this stream in
their canoes, not being aware of their proximity to the falls, were
hurried along by the violence of the current; and passing over the
falls, but one of the number survived.--PALMER.

[69] The trail from Fort Hall led down the eastern and southern
bank of the Lewis; see our volume xxviii, p. 310, note 190. American
Falls is a well-known landmark, flowing over a rock about forty feet in
height; see Frémont's "Exploring Tour" (_op. cit._ in note 30), p. 164,
for an engraving thereof. The once barren land of this region is now
being made fertile by irrigation.--ED.

[70] Fall Creek, in Oneida County, so called by Frémont, and
still known by this name. Its bed is composed of calcareous tufa,
chiefly the remains of reeds and mosses, forming a beautiful succession
of cascades.--ED.

[71] Cassia Creek is an important western affluent of Raft
River, of Cassia County, Idaho. Upon its banks was the earliest
settlement in this region, and the valley is still noted for its farms.
The first party to take this route to California was that of J. B.
Chiles (1843), guided by Joseph Walker. They struck across from the
Snake to Humboldt River, down that stream to its sink, and by the Walker
Pass into California. In 1844 the Stevens party followed a similar
route; crossing the Sierras, however, by Truckee and Bear River road,
the line of the present Central Pacific railway.--ED.

[72] Called by Frémont Swamp Creek, now known as Marsh Creek, a
small southern affluent of the Lewis. It forms a circular basin or
valley, about six miles in diameter, where there was grass and
consequently a good camping place.--ED.

[73] Goose Creek is a deep, rocky stream rising in Goose Creek
range, lying on the border between Idaho and Utah. The creek flows
north, receiving several branches before entering the Lewis in Cassia
County. Placer mines of considerable value have been found on this

[74] Dry Creek is still to be found on the maps of Cassia
County. Frémont says of this portion of the trail: "All the day the
course of the river has been between walls of black volcanic rock, a
dark line of the escarpment on the opposite side pointing out its
course, and sweeping along in foam at places where the mountains which
border the valley present always on the left two ranges, the lower one a
spur of the higher; and on the opposite side, the Salmon River mountains
are visible at a great distance." (See _op. cit._, _ante_, in note 30,
p. 167.)--ED.

[75] The falls mentioned by Palmer are the Great Shoshone Falls
of the Lewis River, where the cañon is over eight hundred feet deep: the
first fall has a plunge of thirty feet, and then a sheer descent of a
hundred and ninety. These are, in the United States, exceeded in
grandeur only by Niagara and the Yosemite. Palmer's failure to
appreciate their height and magnificence was probably due to the depth
of the cañon from the top of which he viewed them; or he may not have
seen the lower falls at all, for the trail wound back from the river in
many places.

Rock Creek is a considerable stream, with a swift current, flowing
northwest into the Lewis in Cassia County, Idaho.--ED.

[76] Salmon Falls River is the largest southern affluent of the
Lewis that has been crossed since leaving Fort Hall. It rises in many
branches on the boundaries of Nevada and flows north through a valley
now noted as a hay-and stock-raising section. Salmon Falls (also called
Fishing Falls) is a series of cataracts with sharply inclined planes,
forming a barrier to the ascent of the salmon, and thus a fishing resort
for Indians.--ED.

[77] For this crossing see our volume xxviii, p. 314, note

[78] The emigrants were in Elmore County, Idaho, where a number
of small streams come from the north into Lewis River; one is known as
Cold Spring Creek, possibly the branch mentioned by Palmer.--ED.

[79] For these springs see Farnham's _Travels_ in our volume
xxviii, p. 314, note 194.--ED.

[80] For Boise River see our volume xxi, p. 249, note 63. The
trail approached this stream near the present site of Boise City, and
followed its banks to Lewis River.--ED.

[81] For a brief sketch of Fort Boise see Farnham's _Travels_
in our volume xxviii, p. 321, note 199.--ED.

[82] This northern and more direct route was followed by Wyeth
in 1834--see Townsend's _Narrative_ in our volume xxi, pp. 231-249. He
found the difficulties of the passage great, and the longer and more
southern route was the one usually followed.--ED.

[83] For Malheur River see our volume xxi, p. 264, note 64. The
Hot Springs are noted in our volume xxviii, p. 323, note 202.--ED.

[84] For a brief sketch of the life of Dr. Elijah White see
Farnham's _Travels_ in our volume xxix, p. 20, note 12. He was at this
time returning to Washington to secure the settlement of his accounts as
Indian sub-agent, and with the hope of securing further preferment--if
possible, the governorship of Oregon. He was the bearer of a memorial
from the provisional government of Oregon, requesting Congress to extend
the sovereignty and laws of the United States over the Oregon
settlements. See _Cong. Globe_, 29 Cong., 1 sess., p. 24. Later advices
from Oregon, however, frustrated the plans of Dr. White, who was retired
to private life. On his return his companions across the plains (1845)
were William Chapman and Orris Brown of the immigration of 1843, and
Joseph Charles Saxton of 1844. Only Brown returned to Oregon; he went
back in 1846 accompanied by his own family, and that of his mother, Mrs.
Tabitha Brown, who was connected with the history of early education
Footnote: in Oregon. The Brown family settled at Forest Grove, the
immigrant of 1843 finally dying at Salem in 1874. White, in his _Ten
Years in Oregon_ (New York, 1859), p. 282, speaks of meeting a party
(Palmer's) near Fort Boise, who brought him important letters, including
one from his wife, the first received in fifteen months.--ED.

[85] Birch Creek (Rivière aux Bouleaux) rises in Burnt River
Mountains and flows southeast into Lewis River, in Malheur County,

[86] For Burnt River and the course of the trail through its
valley see Townsend's description in our volume xxi, pp. 267, 268.--ED.

[87] For Powder River see our volume xxi, p. 268, note 68. The
mountains seen were the Blue; see a brief description in _ibid._, p.
273, note 71.--ED.

[88] Pronounced Kiwaw or Kioose.--PALMER.

_Comment by Ed._ For the Cayuse see our volume vii, p. 137, note 37.

[89] For the valley of Grande Ronde see our volume xxi, p. 271,
note 69. Consult on camas, _ibid._, p. 247, note 61.--ED.

[90] This northern valley is the lower portion of the Grande
Ronde. Frémont says: "We passed out of the Grand Rond by a fine road
along the creek, which, for a short distance, runs in a kind of rocky
chasm. Crossing a low point, which was a little rocky, the trail
conducted into the open valley of the stream--a handsome place for
farms." (_op. cit._ in note 30, p. 179.) This is now the most
flourishing settlement in eastern Oregon with a railway running through
the valley to Elgin.--ED.

[91] Probably this was the Cayuse chief Tiloukaikt, who had
early come under Dr. Whitman's influence, but nevertheless was
treacherous, and unstable in his professions of Christianity. In 1841 he
had insulted Dr. Whitman because of the punishment of one of his nephews
by a missionary teacher. In 1843 he entered into the treaty with some
reluctance, and in 1847 was one of the principals concerned in the
Whitman massacre. The following year he was one of the five chiefs who
gave themselves up to the civil authorities, and he paid the penalty of
his murderous instincts upon the scaffold.--ED.

[92] For the Nez Percés see Franchère's _Narrative_ in our
volume vi, p. 340, note 145.--ED.

[93] For Whitman and Spaulding see our volume xxi, p. 352, note

[94] On the crossing of Blue Mountains compare our volume
xxviii, p. 328, note 206.--ED.

[95] For the location of these peaks see our volume vi, pp.
246, 248, notes 50 and 54 respectively. Lee's encampment was the place
upon which Henry A. G. Lee had waited for the immigrants of 1844. Lee,
who was a member of the train of 1843, was commissioned by Dr. Elijah
White as Indian sub-agent to encounter the party of 1844 among the
Cayuse and assist in the trading between Indians and immigrants, and
thus protect both parties. The policy did not prove successful; see
Lee's own letter on the subject in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, v, p.
300. Lee emigrated from the southwestern states, and immediately became
a leader in Oregon politics. He was elected to the legislature of 1845,
and was an officer in the Cayuse War of 1847-48, during which he was
appointed Indian agent to succeed General Joel Palmer. The following
year he resigned his office, and soon thereafter left for the California
gold mines. He returned to Oregon to enter the mercantile business; but
died on a voyage to New York in 1850.--ED.

[96] For the Umatilla River see our volume vi, p. 338, note

The Indian village was probably that of Five Crows, who in 1843 was
elected head-chief of the Cayuse. His baptismal name was Hezekiah, and
he took no active part in the Whitman massacre (1847); nevertheless he
did nothing to prevent its occurrence and secured the person of some of
the prisoners, notably a Miss Bewley, whom he took as a wife. Five Crows
afterwards was active in the Cayuse War (1878), in which he was severely

[97] For Mrs. Whitman see our volume xxi, p. 355, note

[98] Mary Ann Bridger and Helen Mar Meek, half-breed children
of James Bridger and Joseph Meek, were brought to the Whitmans before
1842; also a half-breed Spanish boy, David Malin. The migration of 1843
left with Mrs. Whitman two motherless English girls, Ann and Emma
Hobson; while in 1844 seven children of the Sager family, both of whose
parents had died en route across the plains, were adopted by the
Whitmans. Of these children the two eldest Sager boys were killed during
the massacre; the half-breed girls and one of the Sager girls died a few
days later, from exposure and fright.--ED.

[99] For the Wallawalla Indians see our volume vii, p. 137,
note 37.--ED.

[100] Probably Willow Creek, which drains Morrow County and
affords water for stock-raising and sheep-pasturage. Late in the year,
when Palmer passed, the stream was dry. The sandy margin along the
Columbia from the mouth of Umatilla River to the Dalles, has always been
an annoyance to traffic. Sand frequently drifts over the railway track
in this region.--ED.

[101] For a brief note on John Day River see our volume xxi, p.
357, note 129.--ED.

[102] For this river see our volume vii, p. 133, note 32; also
our volume xxviii, p. 354, note 222.--ED.

[103] For the Dalles and the mission there located, consult our
volumes xxi, p. 285, note 77; xxviii, pp. 355, 357, notes 223,

[104] Samuel Kimborough Barlow was of Scotch descent, the son
of a Kentucky pioneer. Born (1795) in Nicholas County, in that state, he
removed to Indiana (1818), where he married Susanna Lee of South
Carolina. A further move to Fulton County, Illinois, paved the way for
emigration to Oregon in 1845. Arrived in Oregon City, Christmas of that
year, Barlow kept a hotel there until 1848, when he bought land in
Clackamas County of Thomas McKay. Later (1852), he removed to Canemah,
just above Oregon City, where he died in 1867. He was public-spirited
and active in the affairs of the new commonwealth. For an account of the
road constructed over the trail made in 1845, see Mary S. Barlow,
"History of the Barlow Road," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iii, pp.

H. M. Knighton was second marshal of Oregon under the provisional
government, and sergeant-at-arms of the house of representatives of
1846. He lived at Oregon City, where he kept an inn. In 1848 he was
settled at St. Helens.--ED.

[105] Moses Harris, usually called Black Harris, was a
well-known scout and trapper who came to Oregon with the emigrant train
of 1844. See an amusing story concerning Harris, related by Peter H.
Burnett in his "Recollections," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iii,
p. 152. While in Oregon Harris joined several exploring expeditions,
notably that of Dr. Elijah White (1845) and that of Levi Scott (1846) in
the attempt to find a shorter route from Lewis River to the Willamette
valley. In 1846 Harris again went to the rescue of the emigrants who
were trying a new route into Oregon; the following year, however, he
returned to the states, dying at Independence, Missouri.--ED.

[106] For other brief descriptions of the experiences of Meek's
party, see H. H. Bancroft, _History of Oregon_, i, pp. 512-516, this
latter being founded upon manuscript accounts, notably that of Samuel
Hancock, a transcript of which is in the possession of Professor Joseph
Schafer of the University of Oregon, who has kindly loaned it to the
present Editor. Consult also Oregon Pioneer Association _Transactions_,
1877, pp. 50-53; 1895, p. 101.--ED.

[107] There had been an Indian trail through the Cascades up
the fork of the Santiam River, and over what is now known as the Minto
Pass. Stephen Meek, who had trapped on the headwaters of John Day River,
and there met Indians from the Willamette, thought that he could find
this trail; but as a matter of fact it was not discovered by whites
until 1873. Dr. White (1845) and Cornelius Gilliam (1846) made essays to
open a road through the eastern barrier of the valley. See John Minto,
"History of the Minto Pass," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iv, pp.

[108] This was Tygh Creek, a western affluent of Deschutes
River, about thirty-five miles above its mouth.--ED.

[109] Marked on the United States land commissioner's map of
Oregon (1897) as an affluent of White River, a branch of the Tygh.--ED.

[110] See an account of this party of cattle drivers and their
adventures in "Occasional Address," by Hon. Stephen Staats, in Oregon
Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1877, pp. 51, 52. Staats was one of
the party who reached Oregon City in thirteen days from the

[111] The Little Deschutes, rising on the slopes of Mount Hood.
See reminiscences of William Barlow, son of the leader of this party, in
_Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iii, pp. 71-81. He speaks of the lack of
good tools for opening the road, rusty saws and axes being the only
implements available to the builders. They frequently reverted to firing
the underbrush ahead of them.--ED.

[112] The opinion heretofore entertained, that this peak could
not be ascended to its summit, I found to be erroneous. I, however, did
not arrive at the highest peak, but went sufficiently near to prove its
practicability. I judge the diameter of this peak, at the point where
the snow remains the year round, to be about three miles. At the head of
many of the ravines, are perpendicular cliffs of rocks, apparently
several thousand feet high; and in some places those cliffs rise so
precipitately to the summit, that a passage around is impracticable. I
think the southern side affords the easiest ascent. The dark strips
observable from a distance, are occasioned by blackish rock, so
precipitous as not to admit of the snow lying upon it. The upper strata
are of gray sandstone, and seem to be of original formation. There is no
doubt, but any of the snow peaks upon this range can be ascended to the

[113] This should read Big Sandy or Quicksand River. Lewis and
Clark gave it the latter name. It is usually known as the Sandy, and in
many branches drains the western slope of Mount Hood, flowing northwest
into the Columbia, in Multinoma County.--ED.

[114] For Clackamas River see our volume xxi, p. 320, note

[115] William H. Rector settled at Champoeg, which district he
represented in the legislature of 1847. During the gold excitement the
following year, he went to California, but returned to Oregon, where in
1857 he was instrumental in starting the pioneer woolen mill at Salem,
of which for some time he was superintendent. In 1861 he was
commissioner of Indian affairs, with headquarters at Portland. In later
life, Rector was interested in railway enterprises. Popular with Oregon
settlers, he was quite commonly known as "Uncle Billy."--ED.

[116] William Gilbert Buffum was born in Vermont in 1804. When
eleven years of age his family removed to Ashtabula County, Ohio. In
1825 Buffum went to Illinois to work in the mines, later settling in
Fulton County, and removing to Missouri in 1841. His wife, Caroline
Thurman, was born in Ohio in 1814. After their long journey to Oregon,
the Buffums settled in Yamhill County, near Amity, where they afterwards
resided, with the exception of a year spent in the California gold
fields. Buffum was still living in Amity in 1898. See his reminiscences
in Oregon Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1889, pp. 42-44.

Mrs. Miriam A. Thompson (_née_ Robinson) was born in Illinois (1826) and
married the year before the migration to Oregon. After reaching the
Willamette she settled in Yamhill County, thence removing to Clatsop
Plains, where in 1848 her husband left her for California. There he was
murdered, and in 1850 his widow married Jeremiah H. Tuller, after 1880
living in Douglas County. For her own account of her adventures, and
especially this trip across the Cascade Mountains, see Oregon Pioneer
Association _Transactions_, 1895, pp. 87-90.--ED.

[117] Jacob C. Caplinger was born in Virginia in 1815, of
German descent. In 1837 he removed to Illinois, in 1841 marrying Jane
Woodsides. After reaching the settlements, the Caplingers remained at
Oregon City until 1847, when they purchased a farm near Salem, where
they were living in 1892.--ED.

[118] Matthew (not N.) Gilmore came out in 1843, settling on
the Tualatin Plains, where he was chosen delegate to the provisional
legislature of 1844. Gilmore was a farmer, not prominent in public life.

Charles Gilmore appears to have been of the migration of 1844.

Peter G. Stewart came with the Applegate party of 1843, and was one of
the executive committee of three, chosen in 1844. He was a man of calm,
dispassionate temper, who had been a jeweler in the states. In 1853 he
was port surveyor at Pacific City.--ED.

[119] According to H. H. Bancroft, _History of Oregon_, i, pp.
525, 526, these were the families of Andrew Hood and Sharp C. Senters.
Rev. Theophilus Powell was born in Kentucky, left for Oregon from
Missouri, and died in Marion County, Oregon, in 1861.--ED.

[120] Several members of the party of 1845 bore the name of
Smith; probably this was Simeon, born in Ohio in 1823, removed to
Missouri in 1838, and settled in Marion County, finally making his home
in Salem, where he died in 1878. See reference in Stephen Staats's
address, in Oregon Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1877, p. 55; also
_ibid._, 1878, pp. 92, 93.--ED.

[121] Colonel James Taylor was born in Pennsylvania (1809), of
Scotch-Irish ancestry. In 1823 he removed to Ohio, where he was active
in the state militia and connected with the Indian trade. His wife was
Esther d'Armon, who came with him to Oregon. See her biography in Oregon
Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1897, pp. 103-105, wherein is
recounted her experience in crossing the Cascades. Colonel Taylor
removed in 1846 to Clatsop Plains, but at the outbreak of the Cayuse War
(1847) carried his family back to Oregon City, while he served in the
extempore army as assistant commissary to General Palmer. In 1849-51
Taylor was chosen first territorial treasurer. About 1850 the Taylors
returned to Clatsop, removing to Astoria about 1855, where they passed
the remainder of their lives, both dying in 1893.--ED.

[122] Samuel McSwain, of the emigration of 1844.--ED.

[123] Peter H. Hatch, who came to Oregon by sea in 1843.--ED.

[124] The Clackamas Indians were a branch of the Upper Chinook,
which had long inhabited the river valley called by their name. Lewis
and Clark reported (1806) that there were eleven villages of this tribe,
with a population of eight hundred. See Thwaites, _Original Journals of
the Lewis and Clark Expedition_ (New York, 1905), iv, p. 255; vi, p.
118. The Indian agent for 1851 estimated their number at eighty-eight.
The village where Palmer tarried was the one visited in 1841 by members
of the Wilkes exploring expedition. A conflict for influence over this
tribe was in progress at the time, between the Catholic and Methodist
missionaries stationed at the Falls of the Willamette. Captain William
Clark thus describes their huts: "they build their houses in the same
form with those of the Columbian vally of wide split boa[r]ds and
covered with the bark of the white cedar which is the entire length of
one side of the roof and jut over at the eve about 18 inches."--ED.

[125] For the founding of Oregon City see De Smet's _Oregon
Missions_, in our volume xxix, p. 180, note 76.--ED.

[126] For a sketch of Dr. John McLoughlin see our volume xxi,
p. 296, note 81.--ED.

[127] De Smet describes the building of the Catholic church in
his _Oregon Missions_, our volume xxix, p. 167.--ED.

[128] In 1842 the Wallamet Milling Company was organized and
proceeded to erect both flour and grist mills on an island near the
falls, in order to accommodate the settlers, who before their erection
had been dependent upon the Hudson's Bay Company's mills near Vancouver.
The founders of this enterprise were members of the Methodist mission.

Governor George Abernethy of New York (born in 1807) came to Oregon as
steward of the party of reinforcement arriving in the "Lausanne" (1840).
His business capacity was appreciated by the members of the mission, and
he was soon established as a merchant at Oregon City. Here he took
prominent part in the organization of the provisional government, of
which he was elected governor in 1845. Re-elected the following year,
Abernethy continued in this office until the arrival of Governor Joseph
Lane (1849), sent out as first territorial governor by the United
States. During the troubles incident to the Whitman massacre, Governor
Abernethy acted with discretion and promptness, and retained the good
will of Oregonians during his entire term of office. After retiring from
public service he continued in mercantile pursuits, dying at Portland in
1877. See his portrait in H. S. Lyman, _History of Oregon_, iii, p. 286.
For Alanson Beers see Farnham's _Travels_ in our volume xxix, p. 21,
note 14.--ED.

[129] In 1844 the Oregon Printing Association was formed, and
George Abernethy sent to New York for a press upon which was printed the
first number of the _Oregon Spectator_, February 6, 1846. Its first
editor was Colonel William G. T'Vault, a pioneer of 1845; he was
succeeded by Henry A. G. Lee, George L. Curry, Aaron E. Wait, and Rev.
Wilson Blain, successively. Although several times suspended for brief
periods, the _Spectator_ was published until 1855. For an account see
George H. Himes, "The History of the Press of Oregon, 1839-1850," in
_Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iii, pp. 327-370.--ED.

[130] See descriptions of this game in _Original Journals of
the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, iv, p. 37; and in Ross's _Oregon
Settlers_, our volume vii, pp. 291-293.--ED.

[131] William Engle, of German descent, was born near Harper's
Ferry, Virginia, in 1789, and served as a volunteer in the War of
1812-15. Having lived for some years in St. Clair County, Illinois, he
went out with the train of 1845 for Oregon, settling first at Oregon
City. The following year he took up donation land in Clackamas County,
where he resided until 1866, being chosen member of the legislature of
1847, and for two years serving as county judge. Having sold his farm in
Clackamas, he removed to Marion County, where he died in 1868. Engle was
by trade a carpenter; his experiment as a foundryman does not appear to
have been successful.--ED.

[132] Lewis F. Linn was born in 1796 near Louisville, where he
studied medicine and afterwards volunteered for the War of 1812-15. At
its close he removed to Ste. Geneviève, Missouri, where he began active
practice. In 1827 he was elected to the state senate, and in 1833 was
appointed to the United States senate to fill out the term of a deceased
senator. Thrice elected thereto by the Missouri legislature, he served
until his own death in 1843, being known in the senate as a champion of
Oregon interests.

The town opposite Oregon City was known as Linn City. It consisted in
December, 1844, of two log buildings and many tents, wherein the
emigrants of 1844 made their headquarters. In 1861 all the buildings
were swept away by a flood. It has now no separate existence.--ED.

[133] Robert Moore was born in Pennsylvania in 1781, served in
the War of 1812-15, and in 1822 emigrated to Ste. Geneviève, Missouri,
whence he was sent to the state legislature. In 1835 he removed to
Illinois, where in 1839 he joined the Peoria party for emigration to
Oregon. See preface to Farnham's _Travels_, in our volume xxviii. Moore
was one of the seceders who went off from Bent's Fort to Fort St. Vrain,
where he spent the winter of 1839-40. Arrived in Oregon he purchased
land of the Indians on the west side of the Willamette, naming his place
the "Robin's Nest," being visited there by Commodore Wilkes in 1841.
Moore served on a committee of the provisional government, and held a
commission as justice of the peace. He died in Oregon September 1,

[134] Hugh Burns was a blacksmith who came to Oregon in 1842,
in the party of Medorem Crawford. The same year he was made a
magistrate, and concerned himself with public affairs until his return
to Missouri in 1846.

For the Multinoma Indians see our volume vi, p. 247, note 53.--ED.

[135] The right to establish public ferries was granted by the
provisional legislature of 1844 to Robert Moore and Hugh Burns.--ED.

[136] The site of Portland was unoccupied until November, 1843,
when William Overton, from Tennessee, and Asa L. Lovejoy staked off
claims of three hundred and twenty acres each. In 1844 Overton sold out
to F. W. Pettygrove of Maine for $50, and the first log cabin was built.
In 1845 the place was named and a town platted; the growth was slow,
however, and by 1849 there were only about a hundred inhabitants. Two
years later the town was incorporated, at that time claiming a
population of a thousand. After that the growth became more rapid. In
1873 Portland suffered a disastrous conflagration. The city's success is
due to its position at the head of tidewater navigation for the Columbia
and Willamette valleys, and as being the terminus of eastern and
southern trunk railways.--ED.

[137] The Willamette is navigable in high water for small
steamers as far as Eugene, a hundred and thirty-eight miles above
Portland. The first steamers on the upper Willamette were the "Hoosier"
and "Yamhill," built in 1851. Since railways have followed both banks of
the stream, river navigation has been of minor importance.--ED.

[138] The mountains of the Coast range extend at the highest
from four thousand to five thousand feet above sea level, with lower
levels half as great. Several passes run through from the Pacific,
notably that afforded by the Yaquina and Mary's rivers, through which
runs the Oregon Central Railway.--ED.

[139] By this paragraph, Palmer intends to describe Tualatin
River and plains. The name is derived from a local Indian word said to
signify "smooth and slowly-flowing stream." The land known to the early
settlers as Tualatin Plains is now embraced in Washington County--a
famous fruit-and wheat-raising region. The plains are encircled by
hills, giving the appearance of a large amphitheatre. The earliest
settlers in this region were three independent missionaries, Harvey
Clark, Alvin T. Smith, and P. B. Littlejohn, who crossed the continent
in 1840, and the following spring settled at Tualatin. About the same
time, several mountain men, such as Joseph L. Meek and Robert Newell,
made their homes in the region. The Red River settlers who had come
under the auspices of the Puget Sound Agricultural Association in 1841,
being dissatisfied with lands north of the Columbia, gradually drifted
south, a number settling at Dairy Creek, in the Tualatin country.

For the Tualatin River see Farnham's _Travels_ in our volume xxix, p.
16, note 5.--ED.

[140] This stream is usually known as the Chehalem, the
significance of the name being unknown. Among the earliest settlers in
this fertile valley were Ewing Young (see our volume xx, p. 23, note 2),
and Sidney Smith (for whom see our volume xxviii, p. 91, note 41).
Several mountain men also had farms in the region, as well as Archibald
McKinley, a member of the Hudson's Bay Company.--ED.

[141] Yamhill is said to be a corruption of Cheamhill, a name
signifying "bald hills." Among the earliest settlers were Francis
Fletcher and Amos Cook, of the Peoria party of 1839. Medorem Crawford
(1842) settled near what is now Dayton for the first years of his Oregon
life. General Palmer himself chose this valley for his future home, and
in 1850 founded therein the town of Dayton. See preface to the present

[142] Rickerall (commonly Rickreall) is a corruption of La
Creole, the name now usually applied to this stream, which drains Polk
County and though not navigable has many mill sites and waters a fertile

[143] Known as Polk County Hills, forming a charming background
for the western view from Salem.--ED.

[144] Jesse, Charles, and Lindsey Applegate were natives of
Kentucky who emigrated to Oregon in 1843, and became leaders in its
development. The eldest, Jesse, was a man of marked peculiarities, but
accredited with much wisdom and indomitable perseverance, and a natural
leader of men. His influence was considerable in forming the provisional
government. In 1846 he explored for a southern route into Willamette
valley, and thence led emigrants south of Klamath Lake. About 1849 he
settled in the Umpqua country, near the site whence he obtained his
title as "sage of Yoncalla." A disastrous business venture sent him for
a time to the mountains of northern California. During the Rogue River
and Modoc Indian wars his knowledge of the character of the aborigines
was valuable, and several times he served as special Indian agent, dying
in Douglas County in 1888.

Charles Applegate was born in 1806, removed to St. Louis about 1820,
migrated to Oregon in 1843, and accompanied his brother Jesse to Douglas
County, where he died in 1879.

Lindsey Applegate accompanied General W. H. Ashley on his Arikara
campaign of 1823 (see our volume xxiii, p. 224, note 177), wherein he
was taken ill. After returning to St. Louis he worked in the Illinois
lead mines, and saw service in the Black Hawk War (1832). After his
migration to Oregon (1843), he became only second to his eldest brother
in services to the young commonwealth. He made his home in the southern
part of the state, near Ashland, in Jackson County, where he was living
in 1885.--ED.

[145] This name should be Hembree, that of a pioneer family
from Tennessee, who came out in 1843. Absalom J. Hembree was a member of
the legislature from 1846 to 1855. In the latter year he raised a
company for the Yakima War, in which he was killed. Many descendants of
this family live near Lafayette and other Yamhill County towns.--ED.

[146] These were members of the immigration of 1844, of which
Cornelius Gilliam was chosen leader. He had served in both the Black
Hawk and Seminole wars, and had been sheriff and member of the
legislature in Missouri. His command of the emigrant train did not last
through the entire trip, the party breaking into smaller companies, two
of which were commanded by William Shaw and Nathaniel Ford. Gilliam was
colonel of the regiment raised to avenge the Whitman massacre, and was
killed by the accidental discharge of a gun.

William Shaw was born (1795) near Raleigh, North Carolina. When a boy he
emigrated to Tennessee and took part in Jackson's campaign before New
Orleans (1814-15). About 1819 he removed to Missouri, where he married a
sister of Colonel Gilliam. He was captain in the Cayuse War of 1848, and
member of the territorial legislature from Marion County, ten miles
above Salem, where he made his permanent home.

Nathaniel Ford was a native of Virginia (1795), but was reared in
Kentucky, and after coming out to Oregon settled in Polk County, where
he died in 1870.--ED.

[147] George Gay was an English sailor. Born in Gloucestershire
(1810), he served as ship's apprentice when eleven years of age. In 1832
he reached California on the "Kitty," and there joined Ewing Young's
trapping party to the mountains of northern California, returning
without entering Oregon. In 1835 he formed one of a party of eight men
under the leadership of John Turner, who coming overland to Oregon were
attacked by the Rogue River Indians, all being wounded and two killed.
Gay reached the settlements after a trip filled with great hardships,
and thenceforth made Oregon his home, taking an Indian wife and settling
high up on the Willamette, near the southern boundary of Yamhill County.
Here he built the first brick house in the territory, and with unbounded
hospitality opened it to new emigrants. Wilkes (1841) describes him as a
dashing, gay "vaquero," half-Indian in his characteristics, but very
useful to the new community. At one time he had considerable wealth in
horses and cattle, but died poor in 1882.

Daniel Matheny, of the emigration of 1843, was born in Virginia in 1793.
Successive removals carried him to Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois,
where he served in the War of 1812-15, and that of Black Hawk (1832).
Having settled near Gay in 1844, he afterwards kept a public ferry,
dying on his farm in 1872. Several of his family accompanied him to

[148] Luckiamute is the modern spelling of this name of Indian
origin, derived from a branch of the Kalapuya tribe that formerly
inhabited this valley. In 1851, federal commissioners made a treaty with
this tribe whereby they ceded their lands, and retired soon afterwards
to the Grande Ronde reservation. By Mouse River Palmer means the stream
now known as Mary's River--a name given by J. C. Avery, the founder of
Corvallis, in honor of his wife.--ED.

[149] Mount Jefferson, Hayrick Mountain, Mount Washington, and
the Three Sisters, with neighboring peaks.--ED.

[150] Our author here intends the Coast (not the Cascade)
range, of which Mary's Peak, between the two forks of Mary's (Mouse)
River is the highest, rising about five thousand feet above sea

[151] The Alsea, in Lincoln County, flows into a bay of that
name, where small coasting steamers enter and ascend the stream some
eighteen or twenty miles. The name is derived from an Indian tribe--one
of the Kalapuya stock.--ED.

[152] In the early days of Oregon settlement more frequently
spelled Longtonguebuff (properly Lungtumler), from a branch of the
Kalapuya tribe that inhabited its banks. The stream is now known simply
as Long Tom River, rising in Lane County and flowing nearly north into
Benton County, entering the Willamette not far above Peoria.--ED.

[153] Palmer here refers to Molala River, a stream of
southwestern Clackamas County, that took its name from a tribe of
Indians once roaming upon its banks. Governor Lane in 1850 refers to
this tribe as Mole Alley; and the liquid letters "m" and "p" being
nearly interchangeable in the Indian dialect, Palmer gave it the form
Pole Alley. The Molala tribe was an offshoot of the Cayuse, that had its
home west of the Cascades. The early settlers testified to their
superior physique and stronger qualities, compared with the degraded
Chinook by whom they were surrounded. In 1851 their tribal lands were
purchased, when their number was reported at 123. The remnant removed to
Douglas County, and in 1888 a few calling themselves Molala were found
on the Grande Ronde reservation.--ED.

[154] The aboriginal name of this stream was Hanteuc. Two
differing accounts are given of the origin of the present name. Elijah
White (_Ten Years in Oregon_, p. 70) says a party of Hudson's Bay
trappers lost their way upon this stream and were forced to kill their
horses for sustenance, making pudding of the blood. Others give the
derivation as "Put in"--the stream that puts in just below the early
French settlement, thence degenerated to Pudding. The river rises in the
foothills near the centre of Marion County, and flows nearly north, a
sluggish, crooked stream from eighty to a hundred feet in width.--ED.

[155] The Butte was a landmark on the upper Willamette, a high
escarpment prominent from the river. Here was formerly a landing for the
settlers of French Prairie, whose farms lay south and east of this
point. The town of Butteville was laid out by merchants of Oregon
City--Abernethy and Beers--to facilitate the commerce in wheat. F. X.
Matthieu took up land here as early as 1846, and in 1850 kept a store.
He still lives at Butteville, which in 1900 had a population of

[156] For Champoeg see De Smet's _Oregon Missions_ in our
volume xxix, p. 179, note 75. The early meetings of the provisional
government were held at this place, which was the centre for the old
Canadian-French inhabitants of the country.

Dr. Robert Newell was born in 1807 at Zanesville, Ohio. His fur-trapping
experiences were under the auspices of the American Fur Company (not the
Hudson's Bay Company), as companion of Joseph L. Meek. See F. T. Victor,
_River of the West_ (Hartford, 1870). His first settlement (1840) after
the migration to Oregon, was at Tualatin Plains; but before 1842 he
removed to Champoeg, where by his influence over the settlers he became
the political as well as social leader. Possibly also Newell laid out a
town at this place, but he was by no means the founder of the village.
Newell represented Champoeg in the provisional government for several
years, and in 1846 was speaker of the lower house of the state
legislature. After the Whitman massacre (1847) he was chosen one of the
commissioners, with Palmer, to treat with the Indians. He also raised a
company for the Indian war of 1856. In later life he was connected with
railway projects and died at Lewiston, Idaho, in 1869.--ED.

[157] For the early settlement of French Prairie, see De Smet's
_Letters_ in our volume xxvii, p. 386, note 203; also our volume vii, p.
231, note 83. For the Chinook jargon see our volume vi, p. 240, note 40;
also pp. 264-270 of the present volume.--ED.

[158] For the earliest site of the Methodist mission see our
volume xxi, p. 299, note 84. Matheny's Ferry is mentioned in note 147,
_ante_, p. 174.--ED.

[159] For Jason Lee see our volume xxi, p. 138, note 13. His
first wife was Anna Maria Pitman, who came out from New York in 1837,
the marriage taking place soon after her arrival in May of that year.
The following spring Lee returned to the United States. Upon his journey
a messenger overtook him, announcing the death of Mrs. Lee on June 26,
1838. The first interment was at the old mission, as here stated. Later
the grave was removed to Salem. H. H. Bancroft, _History of Oregon_, i,
p. 170, gives the inscription on the tombstone.--ED.

[160] For the origin of the Willamette Institute see De Smet's
_Oregon Missions_ in our volume xxix, p. 165, note 62.--ED.

[161] In 1843 the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal
church decided that the Oregon mission, being no longer useful for the
conversion of Indians, should be closed, and the charges organized into
a mission conference for whites. In pursuance of this resolve, Rev.
George Gary of Black River Conference, New York, was appointed to
supersede Jason Lee as superintendent. Early in June, 1844, Gary settled
the affairs of the mission, dismissing the lay members, who immediately
bought in the mills and other property of the mission. Gary remained in
Oregon until 1847, making his headquarters at Oregon City.

The native name of the site at Salem--Chemekata--was interpreted by Rev.
David Leslie as having the same significance as the term Salem--_i. e._,
rest, or peace. The site was chosen in 1840 for the erection of mills on
Mill Creek. The trustees of Oregon Institute laid out the town, which
grew slowly until in 1851 it became the territorial capital. By the
terms of the state constitution the capital was located by popular vote,
which resulted in favor of Salem. Its population in 1900 was

[162] The Santiam River takes its name from the head chief
(Sandeam) of the Kalapuya Indians, who dwelt upon its banks. April 16,
1851, the federal commissioners made a treaty with the Santiam branch of
the tribe, whereby the latter ceded to the whites a large portion of
their lands. Their number at this time was a hundred and fifty-five.
Santiam River drains a considerable portion of Marion and Linn counties,
its North Fork forming the boundary between the two. The road up this
fork leads to Minto Pass; the South Fork formed the line for the
Willamette and Cascade Military Road. Palmer's use of the term "Santa
Anna" for this stream, in the two following paragraphs, would seem to
indicate his ignorance of the Indian origin of the term, and an idea
that it had been named for the Mexican general of that period.--ED.

[163] Joel P. Walker was a brother of Joseph R. Walker (see
note 46, _ante_, p. 70). Of Virginian birth he removed at an early age
to Tennessee, whence he went out under Andrew Jackson against the
Alabama Indians (1814), and later against the Florida Seminole. Some
time before 1822, he removed to Missouri, where he married, and engaged
in the early Santa Fé trade with Stephen Cooper (see our volume xix, p.
178, note 16). Walker removed with his family to Oregon in 1840--one of
the first families of settlers who came independent of the missionary
movement. Wilkes met him on the Willamette in 1841, when he expressed
his dissatisfaction with the climate and the conditions. See Wilkes's
_Exploring Expedition_, iv, p. 388. That same year he went overland to
California, where he worked for Captain Sutter, coming back to Oregon
some time before Palmer's visit, with a herd of cattle for sale. This
time he remained in Oregon several years, being chosen justice of the
peace for Yamhill County (about 1845). In 1848 he returned to
California, where he was a member from Napa of the constitutional
convention of 1849. In 1853 he removed to Sonoma County where he spent
the remainder of his life, dying sometime after 1878.--ED.

[164] For the Umpqua River see our volume vii, p. 231, note 82;
the fort is noted in Farnham's _Travels_, our volume xxix, p. 59, note

[165] For Rogue River see _ibid._, p. 82, note 104. The
mountains lie directly north of the river valley in Coos and Curry
counties, Oregon. The first settlers in this valley came there in 1851.
See William V. Colvig, "Indian Wars of Southern Oregon," in _Oregon
Historical Quarterly_, iv, pp. 227-240.--ED.

[166] By the "Klamet" Mountains, Palmer refers to the chain
lying north of Klamath River valley, now usually spoken of as the
Siskiyou range. Klamath River is described in Farnham's _Travels_, our
volume xxix, p. 46, note 56. The trail into this region followed nearly
the route of the Southern Pacific Railway.--ED.

[167] The Indians of Southern Oregon had always been disposed
to molest white wayfarers. Witness the troubles of Jedidiah H. Smith in
1828, the massacre of the Turner family in 1835, and the attack on a
cattle train in 1837. After 1848, the passage of gold-seekers to and
from California intensified the difficulty, whereupon a long series of
contests ensued, resulting in open wars, in which Palmer bore an
important part. The war of 1853 was terminated by a treaty (September
10) secured by Generals Lane and Palmer; that of 1855 was more serious,
being participated in by regular troops as well as Oregon militia. For
Palmer's relation to these wars see preface to this volume.--ED.

[168] For Point Adams see our volume vi, p. 233, note 37. The
term Clatsop was given for an Indian tribe--_ibid._, p. 239, note 39.
Clatsop Plains were first visited in the winter of 1805-06 by members of
the Lewis and Clark expedition, who erected a cairn for the making of
salt, in the neighborhood of the present resort known as Seaside. The
settlement of this region was begun in 1840 by members of the Methodist
mission, reinforced by Solomon H. Smith and Calvin Tibbitts of the Wyeth
party, who had married daughters of the Clatsop chief Cobaway (Lewis and
Clark spelled it Comowool). J. W. Perry took up a farm in 1842, and
several members of the immigration of 1843 settled on the Clatsop
Plains. See "Pioneer Women of Clatsop County," in Oregon Pioneer
Association _Transactions_, 1897, pp. 77-84. These plains are composed
of a sandy loam well adapted for fruit and vegetables, but especially
suited to grazing, so that dairying is a leading industry of this

Cape Lookout, in Tillamook County, is a conspicuous headland. It was
first sighted by Heceta in 1775, and named by Captain Meares in 1789.
See our volume xxviii, p. 32, note 9; also our volume vii, p. 112, note
17. The point, however, which Palmer designates as Cape Lookout, is in
reality that called by the Lewis and Clark expedition "Clark's Point of
View," but now known as Tillamook Head.--ED.

[169] The Necanican River, called by Lewis and Clark the
Clatsop, has a roundabout course, as indicated by Palmer, and drains the
southern end of Clatsop Plains.--ED.

[170] Saddle Mountain, the highest point in Clatsop County,
shows three peaks as viewed from the Columbia, and takes this name from
its form. The aboriginal name was Swollalachost. Lewis and Clark found
it covered with snow during most of the winter season of 1805-06.--ED.

[171] For the Tillamook (Kilamook) Indians see our volume vi,
p. 258, note 67. Mount Rainier is noted in Farnham's _Travels_, our
volume xxix, p. 33, note 30.--ED.

[172] On Tillamook Rock, a large boulder in the ocean, opposite
Tillamook Head, a lighthouse was erected in 1879-81. It was a work of
much difficulty, the engineers narrowly escaping being washed into the

[173] Palmer probably obtained his information of these Indian
traditions from Celiast (or Helen) Smith, daughter of the Clatsop chief,
whose son Silas B. Smith has furnished much material for recent
historical works. This story of the wreck of the ship carrying beeswax,
differs slightly from the version given in Lyman, _History of Oregon_,
i, pp. 167-169. Lyman conjectures that it may have been the Spanish ship
"San Jose," carrying stores (1769) to San Diego, California, which was
never after heard from. Some of the cakes of wax found bore the letters
I. H. S.--ED.

[174] For Young's Bay see our volume vi, p. 259, note 69.
Skipanon is a small creek, a branch of which Clark crossed on a log
during his trip from Fort Clatsop to the seacoast. The site of Fort
Clatsop was definitely determined by Olin D. Wheeler in 1899 (see his
_Trail of Lewis and Clark_, ii, pp. 195, 198), and the Oregon Historical
Society in 1900 (see _Proceedings_ for 1900). The plan of the fort was
discovered by the present Editor among the Clark papers in 1904. See
_Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition_, iii, pp. 268,
298. The river upon which the fort was located was known by the native
name of Netul, now called Lewis and Clark River, a tributary of Young's
Bay west of Young's River.--ED.

[175] Young's River was called by Lewis and Clark
Kilhawanackkle, and is the largest stream in Clatsop County. The falls
are at the head of tidewater and flow over a black basalt cliff. The
eastern tributary is the Klaskanine River. See _Original Journals of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition_, iv, p. 137.--ED.

[176] For the history of this place see Franchère's _Narrative_
in our volume vi, and Ross's _Oregon Settlers_ in our volume vii. The
later history of Fort George is sketched in Farnham's _Travels_, our
volume xxix, p. 57, note 74.--ED.

[177] For Cape Disappointment and Baker's Bay see our volume
vi, pp. 233, 234, notes 36, 38. Chinook Point was the site of a populous
village of that tribe just west of Point Ellice, which is the
southernmost promontory between Gray's and Baker's Bay. Lewis and Clark
found the village deserted, but in early Astorian times it was
populated--see our volumes vi, p. 240; vii, p. 87.--ED.

[178] For Peter Skeen Ogden see our volume xxi, p. 314, note
99. The United States government has recently chosen this site for a
fort now (1906) in process of erection, to be known as Fort

[179] Astoria, as an American town, began in 1846 with the
settlement of James Welch, who defied the Hudson's Bay Company officers
to drive him from the site. The post-office was begun in 1847, and a
custom house two years later. In 1856 a town government was established,
while twenty years later Astoria was incorporated as a city. Its
population is now about ten thousand, with good prospects for a large
growth in the near future.--ED.

[180] For James Birnie see our volume xxi, p. 361, note

[181] Elbridge Trask came to Oregon in 1842, apparently a
sailor on an American vessel. He lived for a time at Clatsop Plains.
Probably his companion was Captain Alexander Duncan, commander of the
"Dryad," and a friend of James Birnie.--ED.

[182] For Tongue Point, which takes its name from its peculiar
shape, see our volume vi, p. 242, note 44. Gray's Bay is noted in volume
vii, p. 116, note 20.--ED.

[183] By Swan Bay, Palmer intends that stretch of the river
lying between Tongue and Catalamet points, which is more usually known
as Catalamet Bay. The river is the John Day (aboriginal name,
Kekemarke), which should not be confused with the larger stream of this
name in eastern Oregon. See our volume v, p. 181, note 104.--ED.

[184] For Catalamet Point see our volume vii, p. 116, note 20.
The old village of the Catalamet Indians which was located near the
present town of Knappa, was visited by Lewis and Clark on their outward
journey (1805); see _Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition_, iii, p. 252. The stream was that now known as Tillasqua

[185] This mill was erected by Henry Hunt, one of the emigrants
of 1843, for the purpose of preparing lumber for the Pacific market,
especially that of the Sandwich Islands. See letter of Tallmadge B. Wood
in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, iii, pp. 394-398. Later, salmon
barrels were made at this place, the men employed at the task being the
only settlers between Astoria and Linnton on the Willamette; and
sometimes they were summoned to serve as a sheriff's posse. See Oregon
Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1890, p. 73. Hunt's Mill Point is
marked on the federal land office map of 1897 as being opposite the
lower end of Puget Island.--ED.

[186] At Oak Point was made the first American settlement in
Oregon; see our volume xxi, pp. 261, 287, notes 74, 94. The stream on
the south side is the Clatskanie River, in Columbia County, Oregon,
flowing southwest and entering the river opposite Wallace Island. For
the origin of this word and its relation to the Klaskanine River see H.
S. Lyman, "Indian Names," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, i, p. 322.
The mill stream of the northern bank is Nequally Creek in Cowlitz
County, Washington.--ED.

[187] For a brief historical sketch of Fort Vancouver see our
volume xxi, p. 297, note 82.--ED.

[188] Colonel John McClure came to Oregon from New Orleans some
time before 1842. In 1843 he settled at Astoria, where he had a cabin on
the site of the first Astoria mill. He married a native woman, and his
portion of the early town was known as McClure's Astoria. He is
described as having been an old man in 1845, and he had died before

[189] The British ship of war "Modesté," Captain Baillie
commanding, first visited Fort Vancouver in July, 1844. Governor
McLoughlin was offered no protection at this time; but the situation
having grown more intense, the vessel was ordered to the Columbia in
October, 1845, and remained to protect British interests until April,
1847. The officers sought to conciliate the American pioneers, but there
was on the whole little intercourse between the two nationalities.
Theatrical entertainments were planned and given in the winter of
1845-46, and a ball arranged by these officers was the occasion of an
expression of a majority sentiment for the American cause. See Oregon
Pioneer Association _Transactions_, 1874, pp. 26, 27.--ED.

[190] For Fraser River and Vancouver Island see Farnham's
_Travels_, our volume xxix, pp. 43, 75, notes 52, 91.--ED.

[191] For Puget's Sound see _ibid._, p. 90, note 108. The first
road over the Cascades was built in 1853, from Olympia to Walla

[192] For Gray's Harbor see our volume vi, p. 256, note 64; the
Chehalis River is described in Farnham's _Travels_, our volume xxix, p.
81, note 103.--ED.

[193] For the Cowlitz settlement see our volume xxvii, p. 386,
note 203.--ED.

[194] Much has been written on the provisional government of
Oregon, which was shadowed forth in the action of 1841, and actually
established July 5, 1843. Consult J. Quinn Thornton, "History of the
Provisional Government," in Oregon Pioneer Association _Transactions_,
1874, pp. 43-96; J. Henry Brown, _Political History of Oregon_
(Portland, 1892); James R. Robertson, "Genesis of Political Authority in
Oregon," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_, i, pp. 1-59; and H. W. Scott,
"Formation and Administration of the Provisional Government of Oregon,"
_ibid._, ii, pp. 95-118. Palmer's brief synopsis is a summary of the
revised organic law, drafted by a committee appointed by the legislature
in June, 1845, endorsed by popular vote on July 26, and put in operation
August 5 (see appendix to the present volume). This government continued
until February 16, 1849, when it was superseded by the territorial
government provided by Congress under act approved August 14, 1848. The
code of Iowa laws appears to have been adopted because of the existence
of a copy of Iowa statutes in the country. See F. I. Herriott,
"Transplanting Iowa's Laws to Oregon," in _Oregon Historical Quarterly_,
v, pp. 139-150.--ED.

[195] The legislature of 1843 erected four districts for the
purpose of local government--_i. e._, Tualatin (read for Quality),
Yamhill, Champoeg (read for Shampoic), and Clackamas. That of 1845
changed the title to counties and created four more--Clatsop, Polk,
Vancouver, and Lewis. Palmer gives their location properly.--ED.

[196] For the location of Spaulding's mission see our volume
xxviii, p. 338, note 215.

William Craig was a mountain man who came to Oregon in 1842. He married
among the Nez Percés, and established a farm just east of the Lapwai
mission, where he had great influence with this tribe. In 1855 his land
was reserved to him by treaty, the Nez Percés "having expressed in
council a desire that William Craig should continue to live with them,
having uniformly shown himself their friend." In 1856 he was made
lieutenant-colonel of Washington volunteers, and in 1857-59, Indian
agent at Walla Walla.--ED.

[197] For the beginnings of Portland see note 136, _ante_, p.

Francis W. Pettygrove was born in Calais, Maine, in 1812. Having engaged
in mercantile business he carried a cargo of goods valued at $15,000 to
Oregon by sea, establishing a store at Oregon City (1843). It was due to
his wish that the newly-founded town near the mouth of the Willamette
received the name of Portland. In 1848 Pettygrove sold his interest in
the Portland town site, going to California, where he speculated in land
at Benicia. In 1851 he was one of the founders of Port Townsend, in

[198] The town of Linnton was founded in 1843 by M. M. McCarver
and Peter H. Burnett, emigrants of that year, who supposed they had
chosen a site that would be the head of ship navigation. They spent the
first spring cutting the road to Tualatin Plains; but not finding
Linnton a profitable speculation, they removed to the Plains and began
farming. The town has continued to exist until the present, its
population in 1900 being 384.--ED.

[199] The stream is the Washougal River of Clarke County,
Washington whose source is not as far north as Mount St. Helens, but
near Saddle Peak in Skamania County. A number of the immigrants of 1844
stopped here and established winter quarters, going on the next year to
settle at Puget Sound. Chief among these was Colonel Michael T. Simmons,
this title being bestowed because he was second in command of the
caravan of 1844. Born in Kentucky in 1814, he had in 1840 removed to
Missouri where he built and ran a saw mill, which he sold to obtain his
outfit for the Oregon journey. He explored the Puget Sound region in the
spring of 1845, settling at Tumwater, where he died in 1867. Simmons is
known as the father of Washington; he was sub-Indian agent for several
years, and much concerned in building up the settlement.--ED.

[200] For this landmark see our volume xxi, p. 346, note 120.--ED.

[201] For the Cascades see our volume xxviii, p. 371, note 233.--ED.

[202] This is an alternate name for Deschutes River, for which
see _ante_, p. 119, note 102.--ED.

[203] For this fort see our volume xxi, p. 278, note 73. The
chief of the Wallawalla was Peupeumoxmox, or Yellow Serpent. He early
came under missionary influence, and sent one of his sons to the
Willamette to be educated under Methodist influences. This young man was
christened Elijah Hedding, for a bishop of the church. He remained with
the missionaries for over six years and acquired a command of English.
In the autumn of 1844 a number of Cayuse, Nez Percé, and Wallawalla
chiefs decided to visit the California settlements in order to trade for
cattle. From Sutter's fort they made a raid into the interior, capturing
some horses from a band of thieves. These animals were claimed by the
Spanish and American settlers while the Indians maintained that they
were their own property. In the course of the dispute Elijah was shot
and killed. The Oregon Indians were greatly exasperated by this
incident, threatening to raise a war-party against California, or to
make reprisal upon any or all whites. The affair was quieted by the
Hudson's Bay agent and the missionaries, but was undoubtedly one of the
causes of the Whitman massacre. Yellow Serpent took no part in this
latter event, but was active in the war of 1855, in which he perished
while a hostage in the hands of the whites.

John Augustus Sutter was a German-Swiss born in 1803. After serving in
the Franco-Swiss guards (1823-24) he came to America (1834) and embarked
in the Santa Fé trade (1835-37). In 1838 he started for California,
going via Oregon, the Sandwich Islands, and Alaska. Arriving in San
Francisco Bay (1839) he secured from the Mexican government a concession
on the Sacramento River, where he built a fort (1842-44) and named his
possessions New Helvetia. In 1841 Sutter bought the Russian
establishment known as Ross (see our volume xviii, p. 283, note 121),
whose materials he used in fitting up his own fort. Sutter was friendly
to the American cause, and received emigrants with hospitality. He aided
Frémont in the revolt against Mexican authority. In 1848 gold was
discovered upon his property. He profited but little by this event,
however, and became so poor that he was pensioned by the California
legislature. About 1865 he went East to live, dying in Washington, D.
C., in 1880. H. H. Bancroft secured from Sutter, by means of interviews,
a detailed narrative of his career, and the manuscript is now in the
Bancroft Library, purchased for the University of California in November

[204] Ellis (or Ellice) was the son of Bloody Chief. Having
been educated by the Hudson's Bay Company, he had acquired much
influence with his tribe. In 1842, being then about thirty-two years
old, he was, at the instigation of Dr. Elijah White, Indian sub-agent,
chosen head chief of the Nez Percés, and ruled with considerable tact
and wisdom, being favorable to the whites. During the Cayuse War of
1848, Ellis was reported as hunting in the buffalo country; later, it
was stated that having gone with sixty braves to the mountains for elk,
they all perished from an epidemic of measles. Lawyer was chosen as
head-chief in Ellis's place.--ED.

[205] For the location of Whitman's mission, see our volume
xxviii, p. 333, note 210.--ED.

[206] For the Blue Mountains see our volume xxi, p. 273, note
71. The stream was probably Touchet River, the largest affluent of the
Walla Walla. Rising in the Blue Mountains in Columbia County,
Washington, it flows northwest to Dayton, then turns southwest and
south, debouching into the Walla Walla at the present town of

[207] For this stream see Farnham's _Travels_ in our volume
xxix, p. 79, note 98.--ED.

[208] See Appendix.--PALMER.

[209] For the history of the printing press in use at this
mission, see our volume xxviii, p. 333, note 211. The first book in the
Nez Percé language was a little compilation of texts, consisting of
eight pages. The translation of Matthew was printed at Lapwai; that of
John was later published by the American Bible Society.--ED.

[210] For this mission and its missionaries see our volume
xxvii, p. 367, note 187. The farmer at Lapwai mission was Isaac N.
Gilbert, who was born in New York (1818). He early emigrated to
Illinois, and came to Oregon with the party of 1844. Late in 1846 he
proceeded to the Willamette valley, and settled near Salem, where he was
county clerk and surveyor, dying in 1879. See Oregon Pioneer Association
_Transactions_, 1878, pp. 82, 83.--ED.

[211] For these missions see De Smet's reports in our volumes
xxvii, p. 365, note 184; xxix, p. 178, note 73.--ED.

[212] For this landmark see our volume xxviii, p. 324, note

[213] For the Crow Indians see our volume v, p. 226, note

[214] Mike's Head is probably a popular name for the rush of
the Equisetum species, known as "horsetail." The creek is known by the
French form of this plant--à la Prêle; it is a tributary of the Platte,
in Converse County, Wyoming.--ED.

[215] Hiram Smith was born in New York, early emigrated to
Ohio, and crossed the Plains with the party of 1845. Having returned
with Palmer he remained in the states until 1851, coming again to Oregon
with a large drove of cattle and horses. He settled at Portland, and
became wealthy and influential. He crossed again to the states,
returning in 1862--in all, making six journeys of this character. He
died in San Francisco in 1870.--ED.

[216] The Oregon immigration of 1846 was not as large as that
of the previous year. Apparently reliable estimates make the number
about two thousand that finally reached that territory. For a
description of these emigrants see Francis Parkman, _The Oregon Trail_
(Boston, 1849, and later editions), chapters i, vi, vii. See also an
itinerary of the journey by J. Quinn Thornton, _Oregon and California_
(New York, 1849). Among the California emigrants of this year were the
ill-fated Donner party, many of whom perished in the Sierras.--ED.

[217] Probably this was Fabritus R. Smith, a native of
Rochester, New York (1819). Settling at Salem, Oregon, he was in the
state legislature of 1876, and still living at Salem in 1896.--ED.

[218] This unfortunate victim of the Pawnee Indians was Edward
Trimble of Henry County, Iowa. See another account of his death in
_Niles' Register_, lxx, p. 341.--ED.

[219] On this return journey, Palmer took the St. Joseph Trail,
which branched off from the usual Oregon Trail near the Little Blue, and
followed the valley of the Great Nemaha through the Iowa, Sauk, and Fox
reservation to the Missouri opposite St. Joseph. An excellent map of
Nebraska and Kansas, presumably issued in 1854, but lacking name of
place or publisher, plainly indicates this road. For the removal of
these Indians to the reservation in northeast Kansas and southeast
Nebraska see our volume xxviii, pp. 141, 145, notes 87, 89. The agency
was known as the Great Nemaha; it was situated near the mission begun
(1837) by the Presbyterians under the direction of Rev. S. M. Irvin. He
crossed from Missouri with the Indians, and established his mission
twenty-six miles west of St. Joseph, not far from the site of the
present Highland, Doniphan County, Kansas. At the time of Palmer's
visit, Irvin was being assisted by William Hamilton, and a mission
school was in course of establishment.--ED.

[220] For St. Joseph see our volume xxii, p. 257, note 210.
This was not a mission site, but a trading post. The first church built
(1845) was the Presbyterian, under the care of Rev. T. S. Reeve.--ED.

[221] For a contemporary notice of Palmer's arrival in St.
Louis, see _Niles' Register_, lxx, pp. 341, 416.--ED.

[222] Since this letter was written, the forty-ninth parallel
of north latitude has been established by treaty as the boundary line
between the governments of Great Britain and the United States--except
that portion of Vancouver's island south of 49°, which continues under
the jurisdiction of Great Britain.--PALMER.

[223] Flowers have been seen in the last winter, and winter
before, from the 20th of January.--M. W.

[224] The first creek is that now called Alpowa, in Asotin and
Garfield counties, Washington; it is a southwestern tributary of the
Lewis. Tukanon River, in Columbia County, Washington, the largest
southern affluent of the Lewis west of Lewiston, was known by Lewis and
Clark as the Kimooenem.--ED.

[225] At present it will require one man to a thousand in the
winter to protect from wolves. But Strycknine is a sure poison with
which to destroy them.--M. W.

[226] These rivers have all been noted in the text, _ante_. By
"Rose" the author intends Rogue River.--ED.

[227] Clover (native) is more abundant in June.--M. W.

[228] Probably what are called species here, are in many cases
only a variety of the same species.--M. W.

[229] This clause was introduced into the "Organic Law" of the
provisional government in order to secure the Hudson's Bay traders, and
hold their allegiance to the newly-established league of order. A copy
was sent to Governor McLoughlin, who having examined the document and
finding "that this compact does not interfere with our duties and
allegiance to our respective governments," wrote "we the officers of the
Hudson's Bay Company, consent to become parties to the articles of
compact." See H. H. Bancroft, _History of Oregon_, i, p. 495, note

[230] For note on Long, see De Smet's _Oregon Missions_ in our
volume xxix, p. 280, note 174.--ED.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

- The words 'Pa-pa' and 'Papa' have very different meanings.
- The words 'Yamhill' and 'Yam-hill' are used in different contexts;
  therefore remain unchanged.
- The words 'Ya-ka' and 'Yaka' have very different meanings.

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