The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, August 01, 1879, Page 227, Image 3

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    August, 1879.
planted there at the intimation that the
California travel had money in it.
Climbing the Umpqua mountains
consisted of wading through Canyon
ereek over a hundred times, at crossings,
and marching up against the current for
a goodly distance, with an occasional
abrupt climb of one to four feet of rocky
ledge, where the wagons and their
loads had to be lifted bodily over the
obstructions. Our party had increased
as there had come back rumors of war
ami travelers and teamsters bound south
found it convenient to join forces. The
Indians of Rogue River were on the
war path, and our only safety lay in
number, We wound our way up and
over the dividing range anil came down
into a beautiful valley on the other side,
where the untrodden grasses were wav
ing in luxuriance. The only Indian
scare we had was just as we halted, but
it was a false alarm. We waited there
until other forces came up, enough to
constitute a respectable array, then
elected Pleasant Armstrong, of Yam
hill, our captain, and with an organized
company pushed on, making a detour
down Rogue river, to prospect for dig
gings, but passing by the rich placers
that afterwards gave such great re
wards ; and finally crossing Klamath,
and driving our oxen in solemn proces
sion past the grand presence of hoary
headed Shasta.
We had stood guard all the way
from the l'mXtia, and night and day
bad kept up the eternal vigilance nec
essary to keep one's scalp on in an In
dian country. The Indians had lcen
engaged in cumbat with the dragoon,
just K-fore we passed through, and we
saw the battle field where the grave of
C'apt. Stewart was made, in n sugar
pine grove near the road.
The journey was a summer idyl to
me ; rich with romance and bright
with an undefined hoK-ftilness. Stand
ing guard in a rainy night, on the bank
of Rogue river, was not much of an
illusion, but came as an alloy to the
pure romance of the excursion. I was
young ami drank in the newness of the
wilderness and the life of adventure
with avidity, ami I have a delightful
remembrance of brave mer. and good
fellows who were in the company, of
whom I'lcasant Armstrong was 1 11
tainlv fit to be captain, and Joe ftaily
was the brave ideal of a gallant
frontiersman, Both of these men after.
wards fell in battle with Indians ; and
Oregon sustained a great loss when
they were killed.
Mining life at what was afterward
Yreka, but was then a great collection
of tents and shanties known as Shasta
Huttc City, partook of all the undiscip
lined traits that made up the sum of
character in the Golden Stale in the
early times. We had all the excitement
of the gambler's life, the occasional call
for recruits to go after the Indians, anil
the rumors of rich strikes made far and
near. The only thing that win not a
humbug was Humbug diggings that
panned out marvellous fortunes.
As long as the water lasted, we
hauled dirt off the plain and w aslu-d it at
our torn, in the creek, and when the
creek went dry 1 packed up and started
hack oil horseback. The journey out,
with all its windings, counted Up miles
that was made on foot. The trip was
not profitable in anything but adven
ture, though I sold to the haymakers of
Scott's Valley a scythe and nath for
$37.50, and could have got twice a
much if I had asked it.
On the way back I found Governor
Gaines and Gen. Joe I. anecngaged try
ing to make a treaty with the Indians,
on the north bank of Rogue river,
which was finally effected but did not
prove very H-rmanent. In the summer
of 1850 there was found to Ik- only
about 6,500 people in what was then
Oregon, and now constitutes Oregon,
Washington and Idaho. During the
few week I was absent, many run 01
cupauts and claimants had established
themselves on the road. The .die v
of Umpiia and Willamette were filling
up. It is something to rcmcmhci tin
time when the wide spread and divers
ified land of the Willamette were only
scantily occupied, and when the w hole
I'mpipia valley, with very small ex
ception, wa a wildernes ; when the
oak -covered hillsides claimed a OBBtln
ual remembrance of the orchards of the
olden time in other land. Iteyond lay
the beautiful Rogue river country, as
wild as imagination could picture it ;
and we read only a lew days ago,
with amused interest that the Indians
left of thoc who of old made ti ruble
time for the settlers, who were con.
uered ami then banished to Grand
Monde reservation in this valley, have
lately returned to visit the homes of
Uwlr people, clothed with the attribute
of civilization and o well Mated in thn
progress of our times, that one of ihc
first acts, on their arrival at Jackson
villi-, was to telegraph to their relatives
and fiiend among the Shasta, at or
near Yreka, to come over and have a
dance at Kanaka Flat. They certainly
have improved uimiu the time when
with torch and tomahawk they ravaged
the newly settled country and wreaked
their savage vengeance on the white.
Many incidents of that journey were
interesting but can not be given in de
tail, and I have only aimed to sketch
the early etoch and to give an Mr of
the newness of the indication of that
lime ; the scenes ami incident of the
journey made ami the protccting
done ; (he avage limes in the wilder
lies ami the sialic less tavage fcalinc
in the mining camp ; the meeting of
soldier, 1 iiiens and savages to smoke
the pipe of eai'c by the council-lire ;
the wild life mid it lough peech and
hasty actions, come to RJ memory a a
panorama of earl) dais, ami mi miiid
recalls nothing with nunc vtvW
ness than the remembrance of being
alone, on my return, in almost imliod
ways, and far from ny settler's home,
with a vicious ami halky horse thai re
fused to lie a means of locomotion.
I had Haded a fool. sot e horse on
Rogue ill 11, and paid a big bonus for
an animal, grey in color and rawhoiinl
in structure, that proud stubborn to
the last degree. On the Calaprx,!
mountains he refused to mow foi whip
or spur or word of mouth, I was all
alone and had a weary lime leading
htm, at his own gait, for he wa minded
In go slow, and having got tired in my
turn, I had mounted to try for anoihct
tide, when a stranger came riding up
w bo stopped to lake in the situation. I
plied whip and spur, but old grey hail
braced himself for a ret ami there he
slood. The Vavclrr knew the horse of
old, I'm bis first remark was : - It',
d d lucky for yOV, my friend, llial
that horse is thin in flesh ami prelly neat
worn on 1, or he would throw you
highrr than a kite."
The Mitlrrilr have settled on the
birthday of the editor of the West
Shore (Nov. loth.) a attention day,
but for men who cxcct to lie In h
en on the l 11. .they hold hay arid grain
up wonderfully stilT, and want thrlr
cah down.
When 1 man can'l rind an) thing i
o, he h lived long enough.