The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, October 01, 1877, Page 18, Image 2

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It would take many volumes to ex
haust the subject I have chosen. It is
a subject of the most vital importance
to mankind and yet but little known
or studied. The study of human nature
. an undeveloped science which, if cul
tivated, would be of more importance
than the post mortem examination of
all the monsters that peopled the earth
before man made his entree. A science
through which the great social problem,
which has ever perplexed the brain of
civilization, must be solved. When
the habits and instincts of man shall
have been studied as closely and dili
gently as have been those of the ant
and the bee, the birds of the air and
beasts of the field, then will our crimi
nal codes, as such, be a thing of the
past. The very word criminal will be
an obsolete synonym for insanity
criminal actions will appear in our
medical works as acute or chronic mala
oies, as me case may Dc, ami the proper
remedies for their cure or prevention
will be given. Our penitentiaries and
prisons will be so many asylums where
the best scientific skill will be brought
to bear lor the cure of that unfortunate
class who are endowed by their ances
tors with a malformed brain. In these
asylums the chronic cases which will
not yield to treatment will be retained
for the protection of society and the
convalescent will be discharged. This,
no doubt, will seem to those
who stop not to investigate, and vehe
mently denied by those who tremble
at every radical suggestion, lest some
favorite dogma or theory of theirs
might suflcr.
Although so little is known of the
science of Human Nature, I believe
that that little, if properly brought to
the witness stand, will bear me out in
the above conclusions. Let us call up
some of the established physiological
facts and apply them to this investi
gation :
Flrtf, The mental and physical traits
f the parent! are transmitted to their
posterity for many generations.
This is a well known law of all or
ganisms, In the vegetable as well as
the animal creation, as far down in the
scale as man has been able to investi
gate. The higher in the Kale the more ap
parent becomes this law. As the lower
order! of animated creation more close
ly, or, we might say, absolutely con
form to the laws of their being, no in
dividual among them has any disease
01 peculiarity to transmit at least any
that would be perecptaMe during one
geological age. Thus they inherit but
one set of instincts which they transmit
unchanged from generation to genera
tion, Not so w ith man with his multiplicity
of instincts and mental propensities,
and his complex physical organization.
All these work in perfect harmony to
constitute the perfect mental and physi
alman; and like a complicated ma-
l"iie, which is likely to be put in bad
""iking order by an accident to any
'I its parts, he will, by the very law
of his being, reproduce not only his
kind, but with them hit infirmities.
Taking Into consideration the great
length of time since the advent of man
on the earth, It is not strange that we
now find such a diversity , hjs mental
and physical, as well as his moral, con
dition. Ordinary observation has long since
established the fact that chronic ail
menta, whether moral or physical, are
nausinittcd from parents to children
miougii ninny generations. I he same
tacts arc confirmed beyond question bv
Aportion of the country we proposed
to traverse was at that time marked on
the map "unexplored region." All
the information we could get relative
to it was through the Hudson Bay Co.
Peter Ogden, an officer of that com
pany, who had led a party of trappers
through that region, represented that
portions of it were desert-like, and that
at one time his company was so pressed
for the want of water that they went
to the top of a mountain, filled sacks
with snow, and were thus able to cross
the desert. He also stated, that por
tions of the country through which we
would have to travel, were infested
with fierce and war-like savages, who
would attack every party entering their
country, steal their traps, way-lay and
murder the men, and that Rogue River
hail taken its name from the character
of the Indians inhabiting its valleys.
The idea of opening a wagon road
through such a country at that time,
was scouted as preposterous. Those
statements, though based on facts, we
thought might be exaggerated by the
Hudson's Bay Co., in their own interest,
since they had a line of forts on the
Snake river route, reaching from Fort
Hall to Vancouver, and were prepared
to profit by the immigration.
One thing which had much influence
with us was the fact that the question
as to which power, Great Britain or the
United States, would eventually secure
a title to the country, was not settledi
and in case a war should occur and
Britain prove successful, it was impor
tant to have a way by which we could
leave the country, without. running the
gauntlet of the Hudson's Bay Co.'s forts
land falling a prey to Indian tribes which
were under British influence.
On the morning of the 20th of June,
1S46, we gathered on the La Creole,
near where Dallas now stands, moved
up the valley and encamped for the
night on Mary's river, near where the
town of Corvallis has since been built.
June 2 1 Moved up the valley and
encamped among the foot-hills of the
Calapooia mountains.
June 22 This day we traveled alone
the base of the Calapooias, our course
being nearly southeast, passing near a
prominent peak since called Spencer's
liutte. In a little valley near the buttc.
on the south side, we discovered In-
hans digging camat. On pcrceivine
us most of them secreted themselves in
the timber. One of our partv suc
ceeded in capturing an old Indian, and
presenting to him by signs the course
we wished to follow, the old fellow
preceded us two or three miles, and
put us on a dim trail which had been
marked by twisting the tons of the
brush along the route. It had only
been used as afoot-trail and but seldom
at that. It led us out into a prairie at
the base of the main Calapooia chain.
Crossing the prairie we found the little
Iran where it entered the mountains
with difficulty, and being guided by
the broken brush, reached at sundown
a little stream on the Umpqua side,
where we encamped for the night in a
beautiful little valley where the grass
was good and the ground almost cov
ered with the finest strawberries I had
ever aecn.
scientific research. If the predisposi
tion to crime is entailed on an individ
ual before he was born, it is certainly a
part of his nature and must have a
modifying influence over hut better
propensities in the formation of his
character. Just in proportion as the
good or bad predominates, will be the
character of that individual. Of
course, there are many modifying in
fluences that determine the real char
acter. Chief among these are the
social environments. An individual
may have his evil instincts in excess,
but being by circumstances thrown into
society capable of develoniner (Sn
tcr part of his nature, may make a good
citizen. And convcrsly, the good may
be overcome by evil influences. The
same is true of a man inheriting phy
cal disease. A man may inherit the
seeds of consumption, yet, under fir?",
orablc climatic influence and proper oc
cupntion, may live to a good old age
It will be found, that all inherited dis
eases, whether moral, mental or physi
cal, follow the same law.
It is not my present purpose to com-
ment on the various phases of the
science of human nature. I only desire
to awaken an interest in the subject
by attempting to point out the absurd
ity of our so-called criminal code. A
man who has inherited insanity re
ceives the sympathy of all. Provi
sions of the most ample nature
are provided for his comfort and
he has every known means applied to
his case; while his still more unfortu
nate brother who has entailed on him
a moral infirmity which impelled him
to some deed described in our criminal
code as a crime, is punished tor his
misfortune and taunted by society as an
outlaw. His punishment is only calcu
lated to crush every good instinct of
his nature and aggravate his malady.
But we are told that man is a " free
moral agent," that "good and evil is
set before him, " and that " he At at
liberty to choose which he pleases." I
admit all this to be true, hut hold that
the man who has inherited a prcpon-
Icruncc ol evil propensities, is naturally
mpelled to choose the evil if no modi
fying influences exist, All grant him
the privilege of choosintr the uood.
xcept the only one that haa the power
to prevent and that one is his own
nature. I am aware of the many ap
parent difficulties in the way of abol
ishing our criminal code and adopting
one in conformity to the demands of
humanity j but the only formidable dif
ficulty is the accumulated prejudices of
iges in tavor of our present rcvengful
mode of protectee societv against the
acts of malformed brains. For some
cause, not easily explained, mankind
prefer an old wrong to an unfamiliar
right. Therefore, all reforms always
have, and, perhaps, must continue to
progress by almost imperceptible
itages. If we will trace back through
all the criminal codes to remote ages,
we can see a continual approach toward
the side of humanity. If we will ex
amine the records of our criminal courts
we w ill see that the proportion of con
victions is continually decreasing. This
is easily explained by the fact that hu
manity begins to revolt at the severity
of the punishment inflicted by the law-;
yet, few jurors rcaliie why the penalties
of the law arc not just. We often hear
the lamentation " that a man cannot be
convicted of high crime any more,"
ami mat "there is a strong sympathy
among the peonlc in favor of h ,-:,;.
nai. tnisisthc eternal principal of! lne next morning, June ai we
right averting her way. It is this I moved on through the grassy oak hills
lined landa and will continue to amend I '' nv"- 1 he cr0"'g waa a rough
our criminal codes until humanity shall : ,nd dangerous one, is the river bed
assert her .way and the word criminal was a mess of loose rocks, and, as we
hall he blotted fnjm our statutes. j were crossing, r horse, occasionally
fell, giving the riders a severe ducking.
On the south side we encamped for the
On the morning of the 34th, we left
camp early and moved on about five
miles to the south branch of the Ump
qua, a considerable stream, probably
sixty yards wide, coming from the
eastward. Traveling up that stream
almost to the place where the old trail
crosses the Umpqua mountains, we en
camped for the night opposite the his
toric Umpqua canyon.
The next morning, June 25th, we
entered the canyon, followed up the little
stream thai runs through the defile for
four or five miles, crossing the creek a
great many times, but the canyon be
coming more obstructed with brush
and fallen timber, the little trail we
were following turned up the side of
the ridge, where the woods were more
open, and wound its way to the top of
the mountain. It then bore south
along a narrow back-bone of the
mountain, the dense thickets and the
rocks on either side affording splendid
opportunities for ambush. A short time
before this, a party coming from Cali
fornia, had been attacked on this sum
mit ridge by the Indians and one of
them had been severely wounded. Sev
eral of the horses had also been shot
with arrows. Along this trail we
picked up a number of broken and
shattered arrows. We could see that
a large party of Indians had passed
over the trail traveling southward only
a few days before. At dark we reached
a small opening on a little stream at
the foot of the mountain on the south,
and encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 26th, we di
vided our forces, part going back to
explore the canyon, while the remain
der stayed to guard the camp and horses.
The exploring party went back to
where we left the canyon on the little
trail the day before, and returning
through the canyon, came into camp
after night, reporting that wagons could
be taken through.
We found everything all right on the
morning of the 27th, although the In.
dians had hovered around us all night,
frightening our horses a nuinber of
times. From the tracks, we could see
that they had approached very closely
to our encampment. Making an early
start we moved on very cautiously.
Whenever the trail passed through
thickets we dismounted and led our
horses, having our guns in hand ready
at any moment to use them in self-defence,
for we had adopted this rule,
never to be the aggressor. Traveling
through a very broken country, the
;jharp hills separated by little atreams
upon which there were small openings,
we came out at about noon into a large
creek, a branch of Rogue river, now
called Grave creek, on which we rested
about two hours. During the afternoon
our course was over a more open coun
trythrough scattering pine and oak
timber. Towards evening, we saw a
good many Indians posted along the
mountain side and now and then run
ning a head of us. About an hour by
sun we reached a prairie of several
handrcd acrea, which extends down to
very near the bank of Rogue river.
As we advanced towards the river, the
Indians in large numbers occupied the
river bank near where the trail crossed.
Having understood that thia crowing
was a favorite place of attack, we de
cided as it was growing late, to pass
the night in the prairie. Selecting a
place as far from the brush as possible,
we made every preparation for a night
The Gnat while flying, vibrates his
wings 15,000 times per minute.