Charles Mattes calls the BIDWELL-BARTLESON PARTY "the first
emigrant party...for Oregon." Thomas Fitzpatrick led this caravan
of 36 men and families from Westport Landing on the Kansas River
to Oregon. Some of the party turned off onto the trail for California
at Ft. Hall. Also this year, an undetermined number of trappers,
French Canadians, and Hudson Bay Company employees left their former
occupations to settle in the Willamette Valley.
January, Louise WALKER was born to Mary and Joel Walker near Salem.
The Walkers, who arrived in the late summer of 1840, were the first
non-missionary settler family to Oregon from the States. On January
18, 1841, missionaries H.K.W. and Elvira Johnson PERKINS had their
second child, a daughter.
February 1841, two more of the 1840 arrivals on the ship Lausanne
got married: David CARTER and Orpha LANKTON. In June the couple
visited the Dalles and by November returned to the Willamette Valley.
MISSION ON THE CLATSOP PLAINS (about 7 miles from the Fort George
near the mouth of the Columbia River) was ready for occupancy in
February 1841. Mrs.W.W. KONE had been so ill that she needed to
be carried to her new mission post. The William Kones and J. H.
FROST families stayed at Ft. George (Astoria) while the mission
was constructed with the help of former fur trappers Solomon SMITH,
Calvin TIBBETS, and an African American sailor named WALLACE.
BABCOCK and LESLIE transported the ailing Mrs. Kone to Ft. Vancouver
in February 1841. On April 18, she gave birth to a son.
after EWING YOUNG's funeral during the winter of 1840-41, led to
plans for a meeting about ORGANIZING A GOVERNMENT IN THE WILLAMETTE
VALLEY. The first meeting was held on February 17, 1841 at the Methodist
Mission with Gustavus Hines as secretary (Sydney Smith also took
notes) and Jason Lee presiding. At this meeting George LeBreton
was named to chair the "committee of arrangement" and
it was recommended that a committee of 7 be elected to draft a constitution
and code of laws to govern settlements south of the Columbia River.
February 18, the settlers met again with David Leslie presiding
in place of Lee, and with Hines and Smith elected as secretaries.
The attendees elected a constitutional committee (Rev. F.N. Blanchet,
Rev. Jason Lee, David DonPierre, Gustavus Hines, Mr. Charlevon (or
Chanlevo), Robert Moore, J.L. Parrish, Etienne Lucier, and William
Johnson) and several acting officers (LeBreton as Court Clerk/Recorder,
Ira L. Babcock as Supreme Judge, William Johnson as High Sheriff,
and, as Constables, Xavier Landeroot, Pierre Billique, and William
METHODIST MISSION also opened in 1841, a new Methodist Episcopal
mission not too far from the Old Mission at Salem.
and Maria Ware LEE had a son, Wilbur Fisk Lee, born 3/23/1841
Robert "Doc" NEWELL's WAGON arrived by boat in the Willamette
Valley in April 1841. This wagon will be touted as the first wagon
to come overland from the States past Ft. Hall. A missionary party
brought it to Fort Hall in 1840 and gave it to Newell as payment
for guiding them. In Fall of 1840, Newell drove this wagon--or at
east the bare chassis--over the Blue Mountains and through the sage
brush as far as Whitmans' Mission at Waiilatpu.
May 2, 1841, the U.S. ship Vincennes under Lieutenant CHARLES WILKES
anchored at Discovery Bay. It was met by a large canoe carrying
English-speaking coastal Native Americans who asked if the sailors
are Boston or King George (American or British).
EXPLORING EXPEDITION: The Vincennes was the flagship of a six-vessel
squadron, which left Virginia for a voyage in 1839. Its two-fold
mission was to make the first military circumnavigation of the globe
under the US flag and to explore the Northwest country. In May,
the U.S. ship Vincennes under Lieutenant Charles Wilkes anchored
at Discovery Bay.
the summer the Expedition visited missions at Lapwaii, Waiilatpu,
and the Willamette Valley as well as a number of farms and settlements.
It made extensive reports on Hudson's Bay Company activities and
American prospects. [The Beinecke Collection at Yale University
contains the diaries of Silas HOLMES (of the US Peacock) and of
Lt. George Foster EMMONS (of the overland US Exploring Expedition)]
to Wilkes: "...the missionary field was over-crowded;...the
missionary field was but small, and insufficient for the expenses
which have been lavished on it.... [other] various characters settled
there [the Valley]. They generally consist of those who have been
hunters in the mountains, and were still full of the recklessness
of that breed. Many of them, although they have taken farms and
built log houses, cannot be classed among the permanent settlers"
early May, Narcissa WHITMAN reported that the LITTLEJOHNs were mulling
over a return to the States by ship. The HBC caravan began its yearly
eastward trek from Ft. Vancouver. Missionary Asahel MUNGER (who
had become too mentally ill to continue since his arrival in 1839)
and his family journeyed with them hoping to find an eastbound American
caravan at the traditional Rendezvous on the Green River. (But,
by 1841, the fur trade had collapsed and there was no American Rendezvous.)
H.B. BREWERs daughter Susan was born 5/8/1841. Mary Kinney (Mrs.
David) LESLIE died giving birth to a healthy child in mid-May. A
child was born on May 23, 1841 to Rev.W.W. and Mrs. RAYMOND of the
Clatsop Methodist Mission and the LITTLEJOHNs also had a baby in
was held for P.C. PAMBRUN, the HBC's commander at Ft. Walla Walla
on May 16, 1841; he had died four days after a fall from a horse.
The widow Pambrun, CATHERINE HUMPHERVILLE PAMBRUN, and her nine
children sheltered for a time at Waiilatpu Mission after her husband's
death. She took the family to the Willamette Valley by the end of
1841 and left HARRIET PAMBRUN, the youngest, in Narcissa WHITMAN's
PARTIES OF THE US EXPLORING EXPEDITION traveled south in May and
reached the HBC establishment at Astoria. By late May, a party under
Wilkes reached Ft. Vancouver and received a friendly welcome from
Dr. MCLOUGHLIN of the HBC.
George SIMPSON, head of Hudson Bay Company operations in North America,
came by ship to Ft. Vancouver in 1841 before the arrival of the
U.S. Exploring Expedition at the fort. Neither Britain nor the U.S.
had deliberately timed the visits of their agents to coincide.
H. and Chloe WILLSON's newborn died in 1841 and the next month the
Willsons were reassigned to the Willamette Methodist mission (near
present day Salem).
May 30, HBC officer Francis ERMATINGER left Vancouver for Ft. Hall,
3 weeks behind the Mungers and the main body of the HBC.
group of settlers which had considered OREGON GOVERNMENT in February,
met again on June 1, 1841 this time at the newly built Methodist
Mission at Chemetka. BLANCHET requested to be excused from the Constitutional
committee and William J. BAILEY was elected as his replacement.
The committee was advised to confer with Lt. Wilkes, commander of
the U.S. Exploring Expedition, and with Dr. John McLoughlin, commander
of Ft. Vancouver. On the first Monday of August the settlers were
to meet in order to prepare recommendations which would be presented
to a meeting at large on the first Thursday of October, 1841. [There
are no records of meetings after June 1, 1841]
June 4, 1841 Wilkes and company set off up the Willamette in a boat
provided by McLoughlin. Wilkes encountered a group of young men
building a boat. The boatwrights, discouraged about finding a livelihood
and white brides in Oregon, hoped to head south. Their boat would
be the first sailing vessel manufactured in Oregon THE OREGON STAR
sailed the next year with all its builders except for Henry WOOD
including Felix HATHAWAY, Joseph GALE, R.L. KILBORNE, Pleasant ARMSTRONG,
George DAVIS, Charles MATTS and John GREEN.
1841, James DOUGLAS established a post at Yerba Buena (San Francisco)
for the Hudson Bay Company.
US Exploring Expedition visited Lapwaii on June 25.
late June/early July, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman spent six weeks
with the Eells at Tshimiakan. While they were gone, W.H. Gray harvested
the wheat and began work on his own adobe house at Waiilatpu. Iatin,
a Waiilatpu Indian, told Gray he must pay for lumber and firewood;
Iatin said that during a visit to the Willamette he had learned
how owners don't allow others to use their land.
July, after the wheat harvest was in but while the corn and potatoes
were still in the ground, some Cayuse trampled the Whitman's field
with their horses
July, Calvin TIBBETTS, Solomon SMITH, and TAYLOR (described as "an
old sailor") made a round trip cattle drive from the coast
near Clatsop to the Willamette Valley. A "sailor boy"--
a young man (name not recorded) who arrived on the ship Wave (HBC
Capt. More)--went with them. He returned to become a helper at Clatsop
mission and to take an Indian wife.
July 18, 1841 the SHIP PEACOCK, part of the US Exploring Expedition,
wrecked at the mouth of the Columbia.
ELD, with a party of the US Exploring Expedition landed at Baker
Bay and reached Ft. Vancouver by the end of the month of August.
THE TRAIL FROM CANADA TO OREGON, JUNE 5 THROUGH OCTOBER 12, 1841:
PUGET SOUND AGRICULTURAL COMPANY, under the aegis of the HBC, imported
to the Northwest 21 families of experienced British Canadian farmers
and herders along with superior breeds of sheep and swine. Despite
good capitalization, the attempt to found an agricultural colony
promptly failed. The "colonists" simply headed south to
establish their own farms on free land. A total of 121 arrivals
(19 households) went to two stations in 1841: Cowlitz river landing
on the Columbia and another near Ft. Nisqually (both in present-day
DOUGLAS, who had warned Gov. Simpson that Nisqually was poor farm
land, scouted for a site and assigned families to their parcels
in November 1841. William BALDRA, John JOHNSON, and Thomas OTCHINS
(earlier Oregon arrivals) transferred from the HBC to the Puget
Sound AC. Angus MCDONALD, a HBC chief trader, was placed in charge
of the operation. A few French Canadians were already settled in
the region (Simon PLAMANDON, Francis FRAGINENET, Michel COGNOIR,
and Joseph ROCHBRUNNE).
SINCLAIR led the immigration from the Red River Country (Manitoba)
to the Nisqually and Puget Sound region. The new emigrants to Oregon
Country included the David FLETTs, the Charles MCKAYs, and the three
Bird sisters, daughters of Gov. James Bird. Traveling via Ft. Ellice,
Ft. Carlton, Edmonton, Banff, and the Whitman Pass, the emigrants
reached the upper Columbia River by August 12 and Ft. Walla Walla
by Oct 4.
of the newcomers abandoned the Puget Sound Agricultural Company.
All but the BIRSTONs, the CALDERs, one FLETT brother, the TAITs,
and the JOYELLEs had left the Puget Sound area by late 1842 to make
homes on the Tulatin Plains or the Willamette Valley. Joe KLYNE
left to join the HBC's California brigade and one family had stayed
in the Kutenai region.
THE MOUNTAINS AND ON THE TRAIL TO OREGON:
March 1841, Joseph WALKER (Joel's brother), Henry FRAEB, and other
mountain men reached Brown's Hole (Ft. Crockett), where Joe had
left his Shoshone wife and children. In June or July, the company
headed for the Southwest
Spring of 1841, the BIDWELL-BARTLESON PARTY departed for Oregon
from Missouri. With them were Father Pierre J. DESMET, his aide,
Father Nicholas POINT, and Methodist preacher, JOSEPH WILLIAMS.
Although missionary fervor motivated some emigrants this year, most
travelers on the trail from this year forward came for land and
a new life. Many of the long-term mountain men and trailblazers
switched to occupations as buffalo hunters, guides, and trail trade-post
operators during and after 1841.
this year, Jim BRIDGER and Louis VASQUEZ, former trapper/traders,
built a trading post on the Black Fork of the Green River. The post
opened in time for the 1842 travel season.
FITZPATRICK led the Bidwell-Bartlson caravan of 36 men and families
from Westport Landing on the Kansas River to Oregon, with some of
the party turning off for California at Ft. Hall. Rufus B. SAGE,
a trail journalist like Bidwell, traveled with fur traders from
Westport to Ft. Platte.
early May, the eastbound Hudson Bay Company brigade left Ft. Vancouver
for the usual journey for trade at the RENDEZVOUS on the Green River.
Missionary Asahel MUNGER and his family traveled with them hoping
return to the States with an eastbound American caravan after Rendezvous.
HBC leader Francis Ermatinger also came to Rendezvous, leaving Ft.
Vancouver on May 30, about three weeks after the main HBC brigade.
summer on the trail, Joseph WALKER met the overlanders with a herd
of horses and mules brought from California.
SHOTWELL became the first trail emigrant to die of an accidental
gun shot; such accidents became frequent among the inexperienced
and heavily armed travelers on the Oregon Trail.
WILLIAMS recorded the building of adobe-walled FT. JOHN (at the
site of Ft. William/Laramie).
JOHN, who had been traveling with Joseph Chiles and Weaver, left
the main caravan at Bear River (between Ft. Bonneville and Ft. Hall).
Fort Hall, John BIDWELL and General John BARTLESON led a large number
of the travelers on to the trail for California. With a few traveling
ahead, the rest continued to Oregon led by Fitzpatrick.
Oregon Trail traveler named FOWLER, the Josiah and/or Samuel KELSEY
family, David ROSS, David HILL, OLD (Joseph?) WILLIAMS, and CARROLL
passed through the Dalles on the way to the Willamette Valley in
early September of 1841, slightly ahead of the other 1841 overland
Joseph WILLIAMS and his family, a member of the Methodist missions,
arrived at the Dalles September 24, 1841.
MUNGERS returned to Waiilatpu on October 1 disappointed in their
search to find Rendezvous and eastbound travelers. They were soon
followed by the westbound overlanders: "2 families from Missouri
and 12 Jesuits from New Orleans," and the company under Fitzpatrick.
October 6, twenty-four settlers had passed through Waiilatpu on
their way to the Willamette. Mary Ann BRIDGER, the six year old
daughter of Jim Bridger, came to live with the Whitmans sometime
in 1841, perhaps arriving with a group of overlanders.
WHITMAN wrote; "Doubtless every year will bring more &
more into this country....These emigrants are nearly destitute of
every kind of food when they arrive here & we were under the
necessity of giving them provisions to help them on. Our little
place is a resting spot for many a weary, way-worn traveler and
will be as long as we live here. If we can do good that way, perhaps
it is as important as some other things we are doing."
September 1841, American Board missionaries--the John S. GRIFFINs--and
all the independent missionaries who had arrived in Oregon in 1840--the
Harvey CLARKs, the Philo LITTLEJOHNs, and the Alvin T. SMITHs--left
the Presbyterian missions at Kamiah, Waiilatpu, and Lapwaii to move
to the Willamette Valley. By the end of December, the independents
formally dissolved their mission and became settlers. The Littlejohns
later returned to Lapwaii mission to continue as assistants to Rev.
Pierre DeSmet, the FIRST AMERICAN CATHOLIC PRIEST in the Northwest,
dedicated St. Mary's on the Bitteroot River (Flathead mission) in
September, the US EXPLORING EXPEDITION LEFT FOR CALIFORNIA overland
and by ship. Three families and 4 or 5 single men, originally emigrants
to Oregon, left with Lt. Emmons's party traveling overland. Men
with Emmons included: Midshipmen Eld and Colvoressis; Assistant
Surgeon Dr. Whittle; T.R. Peale, naturalist; W. Rich, botanist;
Brackenridge, assistant botanist; J.D. Dana, geologist; A.T. Agate,
artist; Seamen Doughty, Merzer, Waltham, and Sutton; Sgt. Stearns;
Cpl. Hughs; Privates Marsh and Smith; and Baptist Guardipii, guide.
Oregon with his family was Joel WALKER, "who came from Missouri
with all his family last year : he did not like the country
and wished to go to California by earliest convenience. His principle
objection he told me [Eld] was to the climate, which was too wet
US Exploring Expedition caravan reached Sutters Mill on the Sacramento
on October 19. The Walkers and several other former Oregonians returned
within 2 or 3 years.
October, Umtippe, a Waiilatpu area chief, died of illness. His brothers,
Waptashtomakt (Red Cloak) and Ichishkaiskais, demanded payment from
the Whitmans for the use of Waiilatpu mission.
in early October, Peopeomoxmox entered the Waiilatpu mission house
and was told by W.H. Gray that he must leave. Insulted, Peopeomoxmox
put his rope on a mission horse and Gray cut the rope. The Cayuse
returned in the afternoon and took the horse in front of Whitman
who then asked him if he wished to make himself a thief. Sakiaph
(brother of PeopeoMoxmox) then threatened to kill the cattle and
Whitman said he had shown his true heart.
Tilauak, a relative of Peopeomoxmox, came with a group of young
men and ordered Gray to leave Waiilatpu, berated Whitman for taking
Gray's side, and said they labored in vain on Gray's new house.
After more argument, Tilauak pulled Whitman's ear and hit his chest
several times without reaction from the missionary. Whitman also
simply put his hat back on his head when Tilauak threw it in the
mud several times. Tilauak left in disgust after Whitman asked,
"perhaps you are playing." An Indian named McKay then
told all his tribesmen to stop working at Waiilatpu.
Ft. Walla Walla, HBC commander McKinlay sent word through an interpreter
that he thought these Indians were behaving like dogs. On his own,
the interpreter added a threat that Governor Simpson and a party
in Cowlitz had removed their cattle to safety in readiness to retaliate
for Black's murder. That evening, Palaistiwat brandished a hammer
at the Waiilatpu house window and Sakiaph forced the door. Whitman
disarmed the Indians of their hammer and ax, but was beaten by fists
in the process. Narcissa Whitman and Gray took the weapons up stairs.
returned with a club and challenged Whitman and made a similar display
with a gun asking him if he was afraid to die. Tilaukaik finally
said it was impossible to bully Whitman into a fight. Waptashtamakt
during this argument told Whitman that J. Gray (a part-Iroquis at
Grande Ronde) had told them how the Iroquois killed until they were
paid for their land. Whitman sent Rogers to Ft. Walla Walla to warn
McKinlay that the Indians had threatened to go to the fort.
came to worship at Waiilatpu the next day and someone broke windows
at the house. The Indians set off armed to the fort but the following
day met peacefully with McKinlay, Ft. Walla Walla's commander. The
Cayuse, in a group including Waptashtakmakt and Tilaukaik, heard
McKinlay say that the fort needed no extra troops but that he would
send for more from Ft. Vancouver to protect Whitman if necessary.
All vowed peace.
October 5, 1841, Whitman, with an interpreter from the Walla Walla,
met with the Cayuse. Waptashtamakt (brother of Ichishkaiskais) still
demanded cattle as payment for Waiilatpu. Tilaukaik said that now
a payment would be more like extortion than a proper tribute. Kamashpahi
also counseled to forget the matter. The meet ended in a feast also
attended by Ichishkaiskais.
late October FT. WALLA WALLA accidentally burned destroying all
the stored goods brought overland by the independent missionaries
Rogers, disappointed in seeking the hand of Pambrun's daughter,
returned the inheritance Pambrun had left him; Rogers then left
the mission at Waiilatpu to go to the Willamette Valley.
Oregon Star arrived at Astoria from the Willamette with supplies
for the new mission in October 1841. In November, Solomon Smith
left the mission (near Point Adams) to make a home on the Clatsop
DE MOFRAS, an attaché of the French embassy, arrived in Oregon
on the ship Cowlitz from Hawaii in October 1841. He was dispatched
from Madrid in 1839 and charged with gathering information for France
on northwestern Mexico, California, and Oregon. By chance, the timing
for this official visit was the same as for the United State's first
official Exploring Expedition to Oregon (and at the same time as
an official inspection by the Hudson Bay Company commander, Gov.
George SIMPSON from Canada). DeMofras wrote later that he hoped
the French Canadians of the Northwest would throw off English rule
and establish their own province or a sovereign state within the
United States. [Exploration du Territoire de l'Oregon: 1844, Paris]
3, the Columbia set sail from Astoria for Hawaii. Aboard were the
William W. KONEs who resigned from the mission at Clatsop, the A.B.
SMITHs who had resigned from Kamiah mission in September to go to
Ft. Vancouver, and Mary OWYHEE whose husband had died the previous
August at Waiilatpu.
and Marcus Whitman were alone in their Waiilatpu home with the girls,
Helen Mar Meek and Mary Ann Bridger. Missionary-assistant Mungo
Mevway had gone from Waiilatpu to the Eells at Tshimiakan Mission.
The Packett family remained at Waiilatpu Mission only while Mr.
Packett was too ill to return to Tshimiakan.
attaché DeMofras left in late November 1841 on the same ship
for San Francisco that carried HBC Governor George SIMPSON, the
HBC's Dr. John McLoughlin, and MCLOUGHLIN's daughter, Maria (Mrs.
Glenn) RAE. Weather delayed the ship Cowlitz along the Columbia
River until Dec. 21, 1841 and it finally reached Hawaii on March
the winter of 1841 John MCLOUGHLIN JR. was murdered at Ft. Stikeen.
Donald MANSON replaced him as commander. Edward RODGERS wintered
with the Whitmans at Waiilatpu.
Asahel MUNGER, who came to Oregon with the American Board missionaries
in 1839, committed suicide in December 1841. His widow married widower
Henry Buxton, a former member of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company,
in Twality in 1843. (Buxton's wife, Frances, had died during the
fall of 1841-42; she never recovered from a fall from her horse
during the 1841 journey to Oregon country).
the eastern end of the Trail, Francois X. MATTHIEU and a party of
trappers returned from Santa Fe to Ft. Laramie in 1841.
the autumn of 1842, an immigration of 112-140 [there are varying
estimates] persons, chiefly men with their families, arrived in
the Willamette Valley, a large portion of whom found their winter's
residence at or near the mission establishment, at what is now Salem.
A considerable portion of the overland immigrants of 1842 left Oregon
for California with Lansford W. HASTINGS in the late spring of 1843.
Missionary Rev. ELIJA WHITE had left Oregon in 1840 on the ship
Lausanne after a bitter dispute with Rev. Jason Lee. The owners
of the Lausanne, Fry and Farnam, and its captain, Spaulding, urged
White to travel to Washington D.C. and introduced him to government
contacts. In January 1842, Congress appointed Elija White as sub-Indian
Agent, meaning he had authority but only a partial salary (plus
his expenses) until Oregon became an official U.S. Territory. Ironically
(in view of White's disagreement with Jason Lee) White's sponsors
had been convinced of the need for a government agent in Oregon
by a letter that Lee wrote to the Cushing shipping family. Throughout
his stay in the States, White promoted emigration to Oregon and
made a last minute pitch to potential emigrants in Platte and Jackson
counties in Missouri just before departure on the Oregon Trail.
treaty, the United States and Britain set the border between Maine
and Canada on August 9, 1842. Similar discussions about a border
in the Northwest had failed.
D. KEIZUR and family emigrated from Arkansas to Missouri hoping
to join the emigrants to Oregon; they arrived too late at the frontier
and spent a year in Missouri before joining the next year's wagon
train. James W. NESMITH also arrived too late for the 1842 train;
he came as far west as Jefferson County, Iowa in 1842, spent a year
as a carpenter on the construction of FT. SCOTT, and joined the
1843 emigration from Independence, Missouri.
THE OREGON TRAIL:
caravan of emigrants, mostly from Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas,
gathered for the traditional travel season near the town of Independence,
Missouri. Elija WHITE, for a while over-all leader, and Lansford
W. HASTINGS (later replacing White as leader over most of the company)
led the WAGON TRAIN FROM MISSOURI on May 14, 1842.
John C. FREMONT left Missouri shortly after the caravan of emigrants,
leading a troop of 21 men on an exploring expedition. This expedition,
much less extensive than the one he would lead in 1843, traveled
only as far as Ft. Laramie and the Wind River Mountains. Fremont's
company included Kit CARSON, Lucien MAXWELL, and Charles PRUESS,
an artist and map-maker.
COATES piloted the emigrant wagon train to Ft. Laramie (under commander
BISSONETTE), the furthest extent of his familiarity with the route.
Here the travelers fortuitously met Jim BRIDGER and Thomas FITZPATRICK
on their way east with pelts for the fur trade. Bridger continued
to the States while Fitzpatrick guided the caravan west to Ft. Hall.
wagon train--actually a collection of open wagons, carts, horse-riders
and pack animals, with herds of cattle and horses-- attracted new
members along the way:
MEEK and his companion Andrew BISHOP joined at South Fork. At Ft.
Laramie, Francois X. MATTHIEU, Paul OJET, Peter GAUTHIER, and about
three other French Canadians joined the caravan to Oregon.
named BAILEY was accidentally shot when he passed behind a wagon
just as the owner drew a blanket from the front causing the gun
to go off; Bailey was buried near Independence Rock.
LOVEJOY and L.W. HASTINGS were captured passing through Sioux territory.
(They had laid down their rifles while carving their names on Independence
Rock.) Their Sioux captors released them for a ransom of tobacco
and a few trinkets. The Sioux continued to harass the 1842 wagon
train until a peace parley and gift exchange was held at the Sweetwater
caravan rarely traveled as one huge company. At the Sweetwater River,
White, Fitzpatrick and about a dozen others traveled ahead of the
main group through South Pass in the Wind River Mountains. At Green
River, the slower-moving company under Hastings further split into
a faster horse troop and a group with wagons.
caravan reunited at Ft. Hall, but White and his companions, now
piloted by (probably Angus) MCDONALD, pushed far ahead after Hall.
RUSSELL and Elbridge TRASK, American fur trappers, joined the caravan
on August 22, 1842.
by way of Burnt River and a more direct route to Ft. Walla Walla,
White and company arrived at Ft. Vancouver on September 20, 1842
about a month ahead of the Hastings caravan.
kept south of the Snake River until near Ft. Boise and arrived at
Waiilatpu (45 miles from Walla Walla) in mid- to late-September.
Waiilatpu, A.L. LOVEJOY parted company with the caravan and Hastings.
He decided to join Marcus WHITMAN for a return journey on the trail
to the east. Whitman and Lovejoy headed for the States on October
main body of the caravan with Hastings reached the Willamette Valley
on October 5, 1842.
THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY DURING 1842:
1842, after the sale of his own ship in Hawaii, Capt. John H. COUCH
sailed back to Oregon to begin the trade negotiated by Jason Lee
and King Kamehameha III. Aboard with Couch were A.E. WILSON and
Andre LEBRETON who managed the Cushing store in Oregon City.
same year, James DOUGLAS and a crew sent by the Hudson Bay Company
explored the coast of Vancouver Island.
1842 Miss PHILLIPS and Mr. and Mrs. W. RAYMOND were posted to the
Methodist mission at Clatsop Plains.
J.B. BODUC, a Catholic priest, arrived at Ft. Vancouver by ship
in January 1842, the Methodist Mission selected trustees and organized
the college that would later become Willamette University. THE OREGON
INSTITUTE opened on Wallace Prairie, just south of Salem, in October
February 26, 1842, Lucyanna Maria LEE was born. Lucy Thomas Lee
(the second Mrs. Jason Lee) died shortly after. The Gustavus HINES
took in Lucyanna Lee after the death of her mother. In 1843, the
Hines, Lucyanna , and Jason Lee sailed for Hawaii hoping to find
a ship bound for the States.
12, 1842, a baby was born to the W.H. GRAYs at Waiilatpu Mission.
A Hawaiian named Nina, a man named Cook, and 2 children were with
the Grays at that time. On March 16, a son was born to the Elkana
WALKERs at Tshimiakan and named Marcus Whitman Walker.
1842, Jason LEE, the ABERNETHYs, and the PARRISHes arrived at Clatsop
Mission. W.W. RAYMOND also arrived about this time and dismantled
the Kones' (river) mission house to move it to the Clatsop Plains.
was reported in the Clatsop region due to liquor sales to the Indians.
An American ex-seaman made threats against Lee and offered 5 blankets
as a bounty on his head.
in 1842 the Nez Perces had fined Indians of the Red River School
for the death of a Nez Perce who had died in their care. Marcus
Whitman reproved them for this act and convinced the mother of the
deceased to return the property. Between February 12 and 14, a group
of Indians led by Apashwakaikin and Himinilipilip came to Waiilatpu
to confront Marcus Whitman, angered that he had interfered. The
confrontation was heated--PACKETT and 2 others came to Whitman's
assistance--but ended without violence.
March 23, while Whitman was away, Apashwakaikin confronted Narcissa
Whitman in a rage. He went away to sulk and expressed no more interest
in the plough he had asked for. After Whitman's return, probably
during the summer, Tilkaniak and Iatin were also hostile to Whitman.
Iatin was enraged when Whitman docked his son's pay for neglecting
the mission cattle. Iatin told others in Whitman's family and people
at his own camp that he would burn the mill.
purposely trampled the unharvested corn. He said he had no servants
and needed a place to pen his horses; besides, the corn was a growth
of Tilkaniak's own land. Whitman admitted he had never paid for
the land but stated that he had been invited to Waiilatpu by other
hit Whitman twice on the chest and told Narcissa Whitman to shut
up. He threatened to whip the Indians Whitman had told to drive
Tikaniak's horses away. Another chief intervened and defused the
the fall and winter of 1842, the OREGON LYCEUM debated the issue
of forming a provisional government immediately or waiting for the
extension of U.S. jurisdiction; those who wished to wait until Oregon
became a U.S. territory (if this happened within four years) won
Spring of 1842, five travelers of a party with Father Pierre DeSmet
drowned in the Willamette River when their canoe overturned. At
the time of the accident, DeSmet and others of his party were making
a portage on shore on the way to Ft. Vancouver.
May 23, 1842 a child was born to John P. and America (Talley) RICHMOND.
Oregon Star, the first ship built in Oregon, set sail June 1842
and reached the Pacific Ocean in September 1842. On board were a
group of young men who hoped to find white brides and better opportunities
in California: Felix HATHAWAY, Joseph GALE, R.L. KILBORNE , Pleasant
ARMSTRONG, George DAVIS, Charles MATTS and John GREEN.
August 1842, American priest Father Pierre DeSmet set out from Oregon
for the Missouri border to request reinforcements for the Catholic
missions of the Northwest. During his absence, Father Nicolas POINT
founded Sacred Heart Church at Coeurs D'Alene (Idaho).
BLACK, who had gone to California with the US Exploring Expedition
from Oregon in 1841, returned to Oregon with a herd of cattle. He
married August 7, 1842 to the widow Mrs. Lisette WARFIELD (the name
"Warfield" also appeared on the roster of civilian families
bound for California with the Exploring Expedition in 1841).
F. WALLER had established a Methodist Episcopal mission at the Willamette
Falls with the help of Dr. McLaughlin in 1840. When Steven MEEK,
an arrival of 1842, attempted to build on an island near the Falls,
Waller said that the Methodist mission claimed a mile square of
the land around the Falls. Meek left, but MCLOUGHLIN became concerned
about his own land claim that he thought included this island.
Lewis B. JUDSON, was born to Lewis H. and Almira (Roberts) Judson
in 1842. A son was born to the BREWERs at the Dalles mission in
July, and the Daniel LEE's second son was born September 7.
TIBBETTS, a former mountain man who lived on the Clatsop Plains,
and others went to California for cattle and returned in September
1842. A least one man, Peter BRAINARD, emigrated from California
to Oregon by joining the cattle herders on the return trip. Trapper
Philip F. THOMPSON also returned to Oregon from California in 1842.
Rev. David LESLIE planned to take all 5 of his daughters back to
the States in 1842, but at the last minute the eldest, Satira Leslie
age 15, married Cornelius ROGERS on the deck of the brig Chenamus.
The newlywed Rogers took the two youngest, Aurelia Leslie and the
baby, into their care in the Willamette Valley.
and the two next-to-eldest daughters sailed to Hawaii in September
1842. The brig Chenamus, captained by John Couch, also carried Susan
and Joseph WHITCOMB, John and America RICHMOND, and Margaret and
William J. BAILEY away from Oregon. Another Leslie daughter died
of illness in Hawaii.
OREGON STAR arrived in San Francisco September 17, 1842. The ship
was sold in San Francisco in exchange for a herd of cattle. In 1842,
some of the Star's ex-sailors returned to Oregon along with some
former Oregonians now dissatisfied with California. The sailors
came back overland with a party of 42 men [this story is in Transactions
of the Oregon Pioneers, 1891]
September 23, 1842, Elija WHITE announced to a meeting at Champoeg
his appointment as official U.S. Indian agent to Oregon and shared
news about Washington D.C.'s interest in the Oregon country.
October 1842, the Methodist missionaries and some settlers established
the Island Milling Company to operate a mill on an island near the
Willamette Falls. This launched a long and acrimonious land dispute
with Dr. John McLoughlin.
T. SMITH and Harvey CLARK, former missionaries, opened an elementary
school on Tualatin Plains in November 1842; this later became PACIFIC
October 3, 1842, Marcus WHITMAN and Asa L. LOVEJOY began a journey
eastward to the States.
the night of October 6, with Marcus Whitman recently departed from
Waiilatpu to journey to the States, an Indian attempted to break
into Narcissa Whitman's bedroom. She struggled with him over the
door and called out for John (who was actually no where near). The
MEVWAY and his wife arrived at Waiilatpu the morning of Oct. 7.
Mevway left his wife with Narcissa and went to Ft. Walla Walla.
W.H. Gray and McKinlay wrote back from Walla Walla that Narcissa
should take refuge with them. When Mevway gave her this message,
Narcissa belittled the whole incident and returned to normal life
at Waiilatpu with the Mevways, John, Feathercap and his wife, Pitiitosh's
wife, and Indian McKay. Ellis paid Waiilatpu a visit from Lapwaii.
October 12, however, Narcissa Whitman agreed to go with Mr. and
Mrs. McKinlay to stay at Ft. Walla Walla. Lapwaii also had trouble
with nearby Indians and the Spaldings came for refuge at Ft. Walla
Walla on Oct. 22. Shortly after, Narcissa Whitman left Ft. Walla
Walla for more comfortable accommodations at Wascopam Mission down-river
at the Dalles.
November 11, 1842, Elija WHITE, Thomas MCKAY, interpreters Cornelius
ROGERS and Baptiste DORION, went to investigate the Indian troubles
at Waiilatpu and Lapwaii. Philo LITTLEJOHN and William GEIGER, on
their way from the Willamette Valley to Waiilatpu and Lapwaii, joined
them for the journey. Archibald MCKINLAY joined them at Ft. Walla
Walla. Traveling with six armed men the party reached Lapwaii on
December 3. There and at Waiilatpu, discussions with the Cayuse
calmed down the hostilities. The party returned to the Dalles on
Christmas Day 1842.
to Daniel Lee and Elija White, writing in later histories, the Nez
Perces and the Cayuses codified laws at this time and agreed to
elect over-all leaders. (Writing at Wascopam at the time, Daniel
Lee mentioned Narcissa's visit as well as White and the other travelers
but mentioned no Indian troubles.) According to Narcissa Whitman
very few Indians remained in the region at this time, most having
abandoned the mill-less Waiilatpu and others having gone to traditional
winter lodges. Narcissa wrote that she didn't "think much of
the new Indian agent" and that White's threats of troops had
upset the Cayuse. His interpreter Dorion also apparently had told
them that Marcus Whitman would return with American troops. Another
meeting with the Indians was scheduled for May 1843.
during December 1842, the SPALDINGs and the LITTLEJOHNs returned
to Lapwaii mission. Shortly after they passed through Waiilatpu
along the way, the mill at Waiilatpu burned--Narcissa surmised that
this was an accident because the Cayuse Indians (most of whom grew
wheat) seemed genuinely upset at the loss of the mill.
winter of 1842, Marcus WHITMAN and Asa L. LOVEJOY were about two
weeks' travel beyond Taos on their journey from Oregon to the States.
Whitman struck out alone at this point hoping to reach an eastbound
company of trappers at Bent's Fort in time to join them. Instead,
Whitman lost his way, wandered, and arrived at Bent's long after
Lovejoy. Meanwhile, Lovejoy had implored the trappers to wait for
Whitman while he searched for him. Whitman parted from Lovejoy at
Bent's Fort and headed east with the trappers arriving in St. Louis
in February 1843.
St. Helens erupted December 12, 1842. In Oregon, the winter of 1842-43
was exceptionally cold; ice blocked the Columbia River until March
February 1843, Marcus WHITMAN, head of American Board Missions in
Oregon, arrived at St. Louis after a winter journey from Oregon
with Asa LOVEJOY. Lovejoy, who had parted company with Whitman at
Bent's Fort (Colorado) made his way westward to Ft. Hall during
the early part of 1843. Meanwhile, Whitman continued east to New
England and visited Washington D.C. and Boston.
THE OREGON TRAIL:
April and May 1843, emigrants gathered in the Independence, Missouri
region; they came from throughout Missouri and various nearby states,
traveling in groups under independent leadership and without an
over-all organization for a wagon train beyond the Missouri border.
mid-May, the groups united into one large wagon train. THE WAGONS
AND EMIGRANTS SET OUT from Independence, Missouri, on June 1, 1843.
Marcus WHITMAN hurried to catch up with the wagon train and joined
them AT THE PLATTE. (He had arrived in St Louis from Oregon in February
of 1843 and then traveled to Washington D.C and Boston. He was at
the Shawnee Mission on May 28)
John GANTT was hired in Independence as the caravan's pilot to Ft.
Hall. AT THE KANSAS RIVER, the overlanders chose leadership for
the troop of 700 to 900 people and around 120 wagons: Peter H. BURNETT
as captain, J.W. NESMITH as sergeant and nine men as councilors.
William MARTIN became the leader when Burnett resigned about 7 days
into the march.
of several lay brothers with Fathers Peter DEVOS and Adrian HOEKEN
had been dispatched by the Catholic Church from St. Louis slightly
ahead of the 1843 wagon train. The caravan with Burnett caught up
with them at the Kansas River crossing.
divided into the Cow Column and Light Column AT THE BIG BLUE RIVER.
Jesse APPLEGATE took command of the wagons, herders, and slower
in the journey, the wife of John HOBSON, an Oregon-bound settler,
died of illness and Marcus Whitman promised to take in the two small
Hobson daughters at Waiilatpu Mission in Oregon.
C. FREMONT (1813-1890, a lieutenant in the engineer corps) led his
second EXPLORING EXPEDITION during 1843. His troops left the Missouri
and Kansas rivers junction on May 2, traveling slightly behind the
1843 wagon train. They turned off the emigrant road at Soda Springs
to explore the Great Salt Lake.
along the Trail: Mary FURLONG, a small girl traveling with the Applegate
party, was frightened by the sight of an Indian and fell into the
campfire; badly burned, she was wrapped by her mother in a sheet
of tar. Joel HEMBREE, age approximately six, was run over by a wagon.
A young man named Edward STEVENSON drowned in the Big Sandy River
(a tributary of the Green River) on August 9.
civilian caravan from Missouri reached Ft. Hall by late August.
GRANT, the HBC commander in charge of Ft. Hall, advised the emigrants
about the Trail ahead of them. They rejected REMEAU of the HBC's
offer to guide them, preferring Marcus Whitman. On his way east,
he had left a letter of travel directions at Green River. A.L. LOVEJOY
(who went east with Whitman in the winter of 1842-43) met the wagon
train in 1843 AT FT. HALL and returned to Oregon.
the vicinity of the AMERICAN FALLS ON THE SNAKE River, William J.
MARTIN with John GANTT led a portion of the emigrants ONTO THE TRAIL
FOR CALIFORNIA. STICCUS, a Cayuse leader sent by the then-ailing
H.H.Spalding from Lapwaii, piloted the rest of the travelers from
the Blue Mountains into the Columbia River region.
west along the trail from Ft. Hall, at the Malheur River, Joseph
B. CHILES and Pierson B. READING split from the caravan to go to
Sutter's Fort in California.
Whitman, often traveling ahead of the main party, piloted the emigrants
to Oregon after Ft. Hall. The company reached FT. BOISE (commanded
by Payette) on September 20.
STICCUS along the way (before Sticcus had reached the main caravan
of travelers), Whitman traveled far ahead with a small party.
RUBEY died of illness and was buried at Grand Ronde on October 1,
this point on the trail, many of the travelers were destitute. James
WATERS, with the vanguard of the 1843 trail travelers, rushed ahead
to Ft. Vancouver. He returned to the main body of the caravan with
much needed supplies, provided by Waters and Dr. John McLoughlin
travelers, rather than traveling directly to Ft. Walla Walla, took
a 90-mile detour to the mission at Waiilatpu. The 1843 trail emigrants
nearly depleted the Whitmans' store of food.
the last leg of the journey, in Columbia River rapids near the Dalles,
a canoe accident drowned Edward APPLEGATE (son of Jesse and Melinda),
Cornelius STRINGER, and MCCLELLAND and crippled Elisha Applegate
(son of Linsay and Betsy).
the region around the Cascades, William MCDANIEL, OTEY, and B. HAGGARD
lost the trail and wandered for 20 miles before finding the Columbia
1843 wagon train trickled into the Willamette Valley over a period
of weeks: some found a way through the mountains or along the shore
with wagons and cattle; some went by way of Lapwaii, Waiilatpu and
Walla Walla; and still others went directly to Ft. Walla Walla where
they embarked in canoes down the Columbia River. Most had reached
the Willamette Valley by late November 1843.
FREMONT'S EXPEDITION had rejoined the Oregon Trail from their side
trip to the Great Salt Lake. At a little bay along the Columbia
River just below the Cascades, Fremont encounter a German botanist
named LUDER who was working on his own.
company with Fremont arrived November 4, 1843 at the Dalles, Oregon.
Fremont's Expedition continued on to California after purchasing
supplies at Ft. Vancouver. They crossed the summit of the Sierra
Nevadas in January 1844, on their way to Sutter's Fort, California.
Back in the States, Fremont was awarded a presidential nomination
as "Pathfinder"; he also won a popular reputation as the
"discoverer" of Oregon.
Hudson Bay Company built FT. VICTORIA on Vancouver Island.
J.B. BOLDUC opened the ST. JOSEPH School for boys in Champoeg.
ship Fama arrived in Oregon with the Francis W. PETTYGROVEs, the
Philip FOSTERs, the Peter HATCHes, and Nathan MACK.
PEPIN, who had boarded at the home of widow Nancy GOODRICH at Ft.
Vancouver in 1838, returned to Oregon. In 1843 Pepin fulfilled his
vow to marry Nancy Goodrich's daughter Susanne once she was of age.
SYLVESTER arrived on his brother's ship, the Pallas, which was importing
Indian goods to Oregon for Cushing and Company. The Pallas left
Oregon with 300-400 barrels of salmon.
January 2, a daughter was born to the PERKINS at the Dalles. A man
named COOPER arrived at the Clatsop Mission area on January 3.
January 1843, Rev. James OLNEY (one of the Lausanne missionary reinforcement
of 1840) drowned. He had worked as a carpenter for the Methodist
Mission at Salem.
and Mrs. Cornelius ROGERS, Nathaniel CROCKER, 2 1/2 year-old, Aurelia
LESLIE, and two Clatsop Indians were drowned in the Willamette Falls
in February, 1843. The youngest Leslie daughter, an infant, was
at that time staying with the W.H. Grays. Narcissa Whitman [letter,
2/7/43] described the accident: "the river was very high, the
current frightfully rapid, boiling and whirling...
had made one portage on foot just above the main fall as far as
the trail will admit, and got into the canoe, as is usually done,
and the canoe was dropped down to the landing place with a strong
rope....All got in except Mr. Raymond and four Indians who had the
management of the rope; they dropped down to the landing place in
safety and Dr. White stepped on a log [going from boat to shore]
and instantly the canoe took a sheer out into the current...it shot
the canoe into the suction of the falls...at once as to sweep them
over the frightful precipice in an instant....Two Indians were saved
by plunging into the current....individuals below the falls [saw]
the canoe [make] the final plunge, [and] instantly came to their
relief. Four were seen swimming for a time but three of them sank
almost immediately; one of them continued swimming until the boat
came within 30 yards of him when he sunk in a whirl 'to rise no
more'. This was Brother Rogers."
February, Elija WHITE operated on Rev. FROST's throat at Clatsop
and, February 27, left to return to Ft. Vancouver.
February 1843, Narcissa Whitman was writing from Wascopam; the Perkins
had invited her to stay with them after her stay at Walla Walla.
By this time, SPALDING had returned to Lapwaii taking the LITTLEJOHNs
with him and GEIGER was at Waiilatpu.
March 31, Narcissa Whitman wrote she had recently heard that the
Indians were preparing for war. White's mention of force to keep
peace had been taken as a threat. White's interpreter Dorion had
also told them that Marcus Whitman would return to Oregon with American
first government in Oregon independent of the Hudson Bay Company
and the missions was born out of the WOLF ORGANIZATION. (Meetings
held in 1841 seemed to have produced no permanent organization).
The first meeting, on February 2, 1843 gave the loosely affiliated
group its name; a small group met at the new Oregon Institute to
discuss protecting herds of cattle and horses from predators. At
the meeting, chaired by I.L. BABCOCK, W.H. Gray moved (and Force
seconded) that a committee of six be chosen. As reported by Secretary
W.H. WILLSON, the committee included GRAY, BEERS, GERVAIS, WILLSON,
BARNABY, and Lucia (LUCIER).
next meeting was held March 6, 1843 at the home of Joseph Gervais
in Champoeg. James O'Neil chaired and George LeBreton was Secretary
(Montour declined). W.H.Gray was chosen Treasurer and a panel of
6 were elected to verify claims of hunters who killed predators
(Charles McKay, Gervais, Montour, S. Smith, Dougherty, O'Neil, Shortess,
and Lucier--Clark and Willson declined). LeBreton and Bridges were
to collect a herd-tax in order to pay for these bounties. The committee
chosen at the last meeting gave a report. A new committee was appointed
to consider civil and military organization (Babcock, chair, White,
O'Neil, Shortess, Newell, Lucier, Gervais, Hubbard, McKay, W.H.
Gray, and Smith, with G. Gay deleted).
March 25, 1843, Robert SHORTESS, with A.E. WILSON as secretary,
created a strongly-worded petition against the Hudson Bay Company
and the British that was signed by 65 settlers at Oregon City, mostly
new arrivals in Oregon. Shortess (and/or a courier for the most
eastern part of the journey) delivered the petition to William C.
SUTTON for delivery to the U.S. Congress (Sutton was at this time
already well east on the Trail). Shortess returned to Oregon City
with the 1843 westbound wagon train in September.
through May 1843, more meetings were held about forming a PROVISIONAL
GOVERNMENT IN OREGON. The Wolf Organization legislative committee
met in the buildings of the newly opened Methodist Oregon Institute.
They planned a referendum on creating an independent government
in Oregon and selected a slate of candidates.
April 1843, Rev. FROST arrived from the Clatsop Mission to visit
Abernethy and Waller in Oregon City.
WHITE, who had a Congressional appointment as Oregon's Indian Agent,
was also acting as a peace officer in early 1843. By April he was
holding 8 in the Oregon City jail and had punished two Americans
for selling liquor and operating a distillery. In April 1843, there
was trouble with Indians living near the mission at the Dalles.
Elija WHITE, LEBRETON, and an Indian interpreter went to the Dalles
settle the problems. [Note: the "April" date for trouble
at the Dalles (taken from a 19th cen. history) does not jibe with
the information from N.Whitman's letters listed below.]
April 3, Grant brought Narcissa WHITMAN from the Dalles to Ft. Walla
Walla. HINDS, PERKINS and Elija WHITE joined them. On May 23, 1843
Narcissa WHITMAN attended a huge convocation at Waiilatpu with PEOPEOMOXMOX,
ELLIS, and other Cayuses and Nez Perces, to make peace. MCKINLAY
brought assurances from Dr. McLoughlin that no war was intended.
Narcissa Whitman later wrote that the Walla Walla Valley Indians
were now focused on a threat from the Americans and lamented that
White was "ignorant of Indian nature."
the meet, on June 1, McKinlay and Iatin escorted Narcissa to Ft.
Vancouver with Iatin returning to the interior with dispatches.
David LESLIE returned to Salem from Hawaii in late April 1843 on
the ship Llama. Margaret Jewett (Smith) BAILEY returned to Oregon
from Hawaii on the same ship. Daniel Lee met the ship at Ft. Vancouver.
May 2, a general meeting was held about forming a PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT
with I.L. Babcock as chair and Willson and LeBreton as secretaries.
The report of the legislative committee was refused and the gathering
decided to take a vote on the whole notion of forming any government
at all. A "great majority" moved to the right side of
the room in favor of government and most of the dissenters left
the meeting. (The Archives do not support the often repeated story
that the measure passed by the slimmest of votes--by only 2 French
Canadians who joined the "American side". Newell names
more than 2 French Canadians or ex-HBC employees who voted for government;
Hines list of those opposed to government includes the names of
some who were in favor and even some who held office).
of candidates were elected for a later referendum on provisional
government. (A.E. Wilson, supreme judge, W.H. Willson, Treasurer,
LeBreton, Court Clerk, Meek, Sheriff, Burns, Judson, and A.T. Smith,
magistrates, John Howard, Major of Constables, C. McKay, Wm. McCarty,
and S.Smith, captains, and, as constables, Ebbert, Bridges, Lewis,
Campo, and Matthieu.)
May 16, 1843 to June 28 the legislative committee, appointed at
the May 2 meeting, met to draft the articles of a constitution.
The group met in various sub-committees and included Hill, Shortess,
Newell, Beers, Hubbard, Gray, O'Neil, Moore, and Dougherty.
HASTINGS LED A COMPANY TOWARD CALIFORNIA from Champoeg, Oregon,
on May 30. Most of these were Oregon Trail travelers of 1842, now
bound for California.
arrived at the Sacramento River with only 16 men, about two-thirds
of his original party. Although this party faced Indian attacks
at the Shasta mountains and Sacramento River, there had been no
fatalities on the way; about a third of the company had turned around
and headed back to Oregon when they met a NORTH-BOUND GROUP FROM
LESSE and John MCCLURE led the party who reached the Willamette
Valley from California in the summer of 1843. Henry BLACK and Joel
WALKER returned with this company to Oregon in 1843, driving a herd
of horses and cattle.
LITTLEJOHNs' only son drowned in the mill-race at Lapwaii in the
summer of 1843.
July 5, 1843, a gathering at CHAMPOEG voted on a GOVERNMENT REFERENDUM
and slate of candidates proposed during the earlier meetings of
the Wolf Organization. Hines chaired the meeting and Moore read
the recommendations of the legislative committee. The voters divided
the Valley into four districts, each with a justice of the peace
and constables, and elected a triple-executive (three presidents),
a supreme judge, a secretary, a treasurer, and the four magistrates
with their force of constables under captains and a major. All together
the police force numbered about a dozen.
and sworn in July 5, 1843: David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph
Gale, the Executive, G.W. LeBreton, Court Clerk/Recorder, Robert
Moore, magistrate (in place of Burns), L.H. Judson, magistrate,
James A. O'Neil, magistrate of Yam Hill, J.L. Meek, Sheriff, C.
Compo, constable, W.H. Willson, Treasurer, and Joel Turnham, constable
(in place of Bridges). Others were presumably sworn in later and
were likely the same as those nominated on May 2 (However, Amos
Cook, not listed on the May slate of candidates, was sworn in as
a constable). On September 13, Osborne Russell was appointed Supreme
more than a month of treatment at Ft. Vancouver for illness, and
visiting in the Willamette for most of July, Narcissa Whitman went
to visit the Birnies at Ft. George, Astoria. Daniel Lee and David
Leslie escorted her to arrive at the coast August 11. After the
visit (made just before some of the Methodist missionaries would
sail for Hawaii) Jason Lee escorted her as far as Clatsop and Daniel
Lee and Leslie the rest of the way to the Willamette.
to ill health, a disorder of his throat, Rev. J. H. FROST resigned
from the mission at Clatsop and returned with his family to the
States in August 1843. The DANIEL LEEs and the RICHMONDs (formerly
of the Nisqually Mission) left on this same ship, the Diamond under
Capt. Fowler. Joseph L. and Elizabeth (Winn) PARRISH were posted
to the Methodist mission at mouth of Columbia River as replacements
for the Frosts.
LEE, the HINES, and Jason Lee also left Oregon for Hawaii in the
fall of 1843 hoping to find a ship bound for the States. (They arrived
February 1844 in the Islands). Ira BABCOCK, then on his way back
to Oregon via Hawaii, told Lee that Lee had been replaced as head
of the Methodist mission. Lee left for the States by himself in
1843, and Lucyanna Lee returned to Oregon with the Hines in June
of 1844. (This same ship from Hawaii to Oregon in 1844 also carried
Lee's replacement, Rev. George GARY and the BABCOCKs. Gary would
close most of the Methodist Mission operations in Oregon.)
WHITMAN, who had arrived at Waiilatpu in early September, had made
arrangements for the overlanders at the mission and then made calls
as a physician to Lapwaii, Tshimiakan, and the Willamette Valley.
During the last week of September 1843, Narcissa and Marcus Whitman
were finally reunited. They took the motherless Hobson girls with
them from Ft. Walla Walla to Waiilatpu. By late December, Narcissa
was so ill she feared death but had recovered by the end of January,
in 1843, Father DEVOS sailed for Europe to recruit more Catholic
missionaries. (He returned in 1844 with 5 priests, 6 nuns, and 7
demise of the early provisional government (as well as of the Methodist
Missions) began early in 1844. The arrival of the great migration
of 1843 in November, contention between the United States and Britain
over jurisdiction, and U.S. Congress's legislation on Oregon ended
the early pioneer era.
FINAL NOTE: On September 28,1843, J.W. Nesmith passed the Lone
Pine, a frequently noted Trail landmark about 30 trail miles before
the valley of Grande Ronde. By the time Lt. Fremont and his troops
passed this place, someone had cut down the tree. The Lone Pine
was only a stump after 1843.
provided by Patricia Kohnen