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edge. I am afraid they have thought of colonizing into that quarter. Some of us have been talking here in a feeble way of making an attempt to search that country but I doubt whether we have enough of that kind of spirit to raise the money. How would you like to lead such a party? Though I am afraid our prospect is not worth the question.20
Twenty years later the younger brother, Lt. William Clark, was one of the two to head that epoch-making expedition.
Thomas Jefferson was the father of United States explorations. While lesser minds were absorbed in proximate events, his profound sagacity penetrated forests, and sought to reveal the extent and resources of the new nation. To this he was moved not less by circumstances than by his broad and enlightened judgment. 21
Twenty years after his letter to George Rogers Clark, Jefferson as President brought his scheme to fruition. He recommended to Congress on January 18, 1803, that provision be made for an expedition to explore the Missouri to its source, and thence to cross the continental highlands to the westward flow of waters, and to follow them to the Pacific. The measure was approved by Congress. For the task he chose as commander, his private secretary, Capt. Meriwether Lewis, and as second in command Capt. William Clark, cousin of George Rogers Clark.22
On April 30, 1803, the purchase was made by Jefferson from Napo leon of the entire Louisiana Territory for $15,000,000. This acquisition made the expedition doubly attractive and important.
On the 14th of May, 1804, the party of 45 started from St. Louis up the Missouri River. The number varied at times according to the number of Indian guides secured at different points, also because 1 man died, 1 deserted, and the military escort of 6 and 9 boatmen were sent back after reaching the Mandan Indian territory. Thirty-two belong ing to the party went on from there. At Fort Mandan they took on as an interpreter a Frenchman, Charboneau, and his Indian slave wife, Sacajawea, who has since become famed in story. A beautiful statue of her, designed by Alice Cooper, was unveiled in Portland at the time of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.
It would be interesting to recite in detail the exciting and romantic adventures of this expedition but space will not permit. These brave explorers followed the Missouri to its headwaters in the Stony Mountains, found the crest of those mountains where the waters divided, some to be carried to the Gulf of Mexico, some to the Pacific. After
20 Meany, op. cit., p. 49. 21 Bancroft, op. cit., vol. II, p. 2. 23 Bancroft spells Clark's name Clarke.
discovering a narrow pass they followed the tortuous and rocky canyons of the Snake River out onto the plains of Idaho and eastern Washington to the confluence of the Snake with the River of the West, the mighty Columbia (later so named). They descended this river in boats, portaging around the dalles and cascades. “On the 7th of November, 1805,” says Bancroft, “they beheld to their great joy the horizon line of the Pacific Ocean." 23
They wintered on the south bank of the Columbia at a place which they named Fort Clatsop. This is not far from Astoria and the mouth of the Columbia River. Some, though not very considerable explora. tion was made of the adjacent territory. The return trip was started on March 23, 1806. Many landings and side trips were made on the journey up the Columbia, especially near the present site of Longview and Castle Rock in Washington. Quite extended explorations were made of the lower Willamette and the territory adjacent to the present site of Portland. They espied Mount Jefferson, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Hood. President Jefferson's name was bestowed upon the first. On leaving the Columbia near Umatilla they again recrossed the Walla Walla region probably passing near to the present towns of Touchet, Waitsburg, Clarkston in Washington and Lewiston, Idaho.
8. Congress Authorizes Scientific Expedition Capt. John Wilkes.-In 1838 Congress authorized a scientific expe. dition to the northwest country which meant much for the final adjustment of sovereignty claims. It was also of great import in enabling future emigrants to know the resources of the region. The expedition under command of Lt. Charles Wilkes, of the United States Navy, was directed to go to Rio Janeiro, Tierra del Fuego, Valparaiso, the Navigator group of islands, Fiji Islands, if possible to the Antarctic region, the Hawaiian Islands; then survey the northwest coast, ex amine the Columbia River, note especially the bay of San Francisco. After this they were to visit the coast of Japan, then the port of Singapore. The final return to the Atlantic coast was to be via Cape of Good Hope.24 Mention will be made here only of the part of the expedition relating especially to the future State of Washington.
While the primary objective of the expedition was commercial its most valuable contribution was doubtless scientific and educational. A large staff of men of science, some of great distinction, accompanied the expedition. The group included Charles Pickering, Joseph P. Couthouy, T. R. Peale, and William Rich, naturalists; Joseph Drayton and Alford S. Agate, artists; J. D. Brackenridge, assistant botanist; John G. Brown, mathematical instrument maker; John W. W. Dyes, assistant taxidermist; James D. Dana, mineralogist; Horatio Hale, philologist; F. L. Davenport, interpreter.25
13 Bancroft, op. cit., vol. II, p. 49.
a Bancroft, op. cit., vol. II, p. 668.
On April 5, 1841, they arrived at the Columbia, but owing to the roughness of the waters at the bar they did not enter. They pushed northward to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and came to anchor at Port Discovery on May 2. For some time they examined Puget Sound, its islands and shores. Some of the party then went overland from Fort Nisqually via the Cowlitz Farms to Fort Vancouver. Groups were dispatched from there to Astoria, the lower Columbia, the Willamette, and Walla Walla. One group was dispatched from Fort Nisqually eastward across the Cascades via Nachez Pass to the Yakima and Okanogan regions. They crossed the Columbia, followed the Grande Coulee, crossed the Spokane at its confluence with the Columbia and soon arrived at Fort Colville. From there they journeyed through the Spokane country to Fort Lapwai, near Lewiston, Idaho, and thence westward again via Yakima to Fort Nisqually.
9. New Interest of the United States in the Fur Trade Following the report of the Lewis and Clark expedition, widespread interest in the northwest fur trade developed. Jefferson had thought that if a feasible route of travel could be discovered by way of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers that furs from the Northwest could be transported east to the fur markets in the United States and thence to China, the great bonanza of the fur trade. Captain Lewis, however, emphasized the importance of transporting furs from the Mississippi, Missouri, and the Rocky Mountain region westward to an ocean port at the mouth of the Columbia and thence to China, bringing back in return the treasured goods from the Orient.?
Activity of the Hudson's Bay Company (British). — The Northwest Company (British) stimulated by the transmontane trip of Mackenzie in 1793 began soon to consider the planting of trading posts in the unexplored region, known to be rich in fur-bearing animals. Mac, kenzie planned as early as 1805 to merge the Northwest Company and the Hudson's Bay Company. This was not accomplished until 1821, under the name of the Hudson's Bay Company. » Bancroft, op. cit., vol. II, p. 669. * Schafer, Josepb. History of the Pacific Northwest, p. 63.
John Jacob Astor.-In 1811 John Jacob Astor organized the American Fur Company and established a fur-trading post at the present site of Astoria, Oreg. He planned to locate a line of trading posts from that ocean base to the east of the Rockies along the Lewis and Clark trail. The business was sold to the Northwest Company (British) October 16, 1813, the American flag hauled down, and the post renamed Fort George.
The Northwest Company became very active both to monopolize the rich trade and to extend the sovereignty rights of Great Britain. This was especially marked immediately following the War of 1812. In 1811 they established Fort Okanogan and Fort Walla Walla in 1818. In 1825 Fort Vancouver on the Columbia was built by Dr. John McLoughlin. This became the most important post in the whole Oregon country. It not only was pivotal as a base of trade and settlement for the regions from the mouth of the Columbia to its source, but it also was at the mouth of the Willamette flowing 200 miles through the most accessible, beautiful, fertile, well-timbered valley in the Northwest. It is navigable for a long distance. The Cowlitz River from the north joining the Columbia about 40 miles to the north of the Willamette was also the easy and natural roadway across to Fort Nisqually at the southern point of Puget Sound. John McLoughlin at Fort Vancouver.-Schafer wrote: Vancouver was the clearing house for all the business west of the Rocky Mountains. Here the annual ships from London landed supplies and merchandise, which were placed in warehouses to await the departure of the boat brigades for the interior; here was the great fur house, where the peltries were brought together from scores of smaller forts and trading camps, scattered through a wilderness empire of half a million square miles. They came from St. James (B.C.), Langley (Frazer River, B.C.), and Kamloops (B.C.) in the far northwest; from Umpqua (Oregon) in the south; from Walla Walla, Colville, Spokane, Okanogan, and many other places in the upper portions of the great valley. Hundreds of trappers followed the water courses through the gloomy forests and into the most dangerous fastnesses of the mountains in order to glean the annual beaver crop for delivery to these substations. 27
Although the sole purpose of the Hudson's Bay Company in establishing Fort Vancouver, as all of its other northwest forts, was to de. velop the fur trade, Dr. McLoughlin foresaw the desirability of developing other enterprises also. He immediately began to cultivate some of the open prairie soil at Fort Vancouver, planting potatoes and other vegetables, wheat and other grains. He also initiated apple raising. He encouraged the settlers in the Willamette River Valley to raise cattle and grains. He did likewise for settlers to the north on Cowlitz
17 Schafer, Josepb. A History of the Pacific Northwest, p. 81.
Prairie. He built a sawmill at Mill Creek, 5 miles from Vancouver and also one at Oregon City. At his direction the first school in the Oregon country was established a century ago-1832. This school will be discussed in a subsequent chapter.
After McLoughlin's wise improvements, instead of the heavy expenses attending the shipment of provisions from England round Cape Horn, laborers were brought from the Hawaiian Islands, from Great Britain, and from Canada, the axe and plough were put to work, corn and cattle were cultivated, and soon enough was produced not only to increase the comforts of the British fur traders, but to supply the Russian posts also. Soon a flour mill propelled by oxen was set up behind the fort, and later grist and saw mills were erected and put in operation 5 miles above. In 1835, 12 sawi were running and producing 3,500 feet of inch boards every 24 hours. There was likewise raised this year 5,000 bushels of wheat, 1,300 bushels of corn, 1,000 bushels each of barley and oats, and 2,000 bushels of peas, besides a large variety of garden vegetables. There were also in 1835 at this post 450 neat cattle, 100 horses, 200 sheep, 40 goats, and 300 hogs.28
Bancroft also says that at that time more than 700 acres were under cultivation, including apple and peach orchards. Considerable shipments of lumber, spars, fish, and flour were sent from there to Cali. fornia, Boston, the Hawaiian Islands, and China. In return they received sheep from California and Australia, hogs from the Hawaiian Islands and China, and cattle from the Russian settlement at Fort Ross.
10. Widened American Interest in the Northwest Following the report of the Lewis and Clark expedition a new interest was awakened in the United States regarding the mysterious Northwest. Glowing accounts of its riches and comparative ease of access began to be published in local newspapers. Desire to share in the wealth, especially in its fur trade, became keen. The zest for adventure and the possible opportunity to have a part in settling the vexing boundary question also contributed to the interest. In the Ohio Valley, the "Old Northwest" pioneer conditions were rapidly disappearing and the wanderlust impelled many of its pioneers to cut loose again and trek westward in search of new and more rugged adventures.
In addition to the companies formed by the Winships, Wyeth, and Astor on the seaboard various companies were formed in the Mississippi Valley. The Missouri Fur Company, founded in 1808, was the forerunner of many companies which soon made St. Louis the great fur-trading center. In 1822 a company was organized at St. Louis by Gen. William H. Ashley who planned a line of forts to stretch the
** Bancroft, op. cit., vol. II, p. 442.