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About Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937 | View This Issue
THE MORNING OREGOyiAN, THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 100$.
WHITMANS HOME at WATTLATprr
Where Jievs-a -urciercd fc :a-7.
It I - r- l hFS"
The Columbia". CaptRobi Gray 0
Entered -the Cofumbta. J?ver 792?
LOT WHITC0M3 CdptWhircomb
Cut It ai Mi'luraukic v
IR. 1 have an uncle in the United
States, whom I expect here
-J shortly, rich enough to buy you
out and send you all packing."
An American had exploded in the pres
ence of Dr. John McLoughlln, British
Governor of Oregon. The Doctor's kindly
face reddened within its silver fringe
of nearly CO Winters. His staff smote the
"I'm glad to hear it. Sir. "Wood. What's
your uncle's name, Mr. Wood? I should
like to know him. Mr. Wood."
"His name is Uncle Sam, and I hope
you'll know him."
The Doctor couldn't understand those
Americans they were so bold, so inde
pendent, so self-assertive. There were
many outbursts like this of 1S4L but as
prophecies they were Cassandra-like. The
British autocrat of the North Pacific did
not yet perceive the ebb of English in
fluence. He aid not see the swelling tide
of home-builders that in one year, two
years more, would sweep the English out
of Oregon forever. The Doctor had delved
Into the past further than the Pharaohs
and found nothing to suggest the coming
of the tide.
Just a little while before this episode,
the Americans in Oregon had tried to
form a government, but British influ
ence had thwarted them. Hardly more
than 100 of these pioneers clustered in
the Willamette Valley. Each was an
epitome of the evolutionary process which
had made his race the salt of all the
earth. Thousands of heroic men and
women "stamped with the same racial em
blem were in a little while to press
against and over the crest of the conti
nent The finger of God pointed westward.
The Oregon trail in three more Sum
mers was to be the greatest highway of
the world. The earth would turn but
twice again before American instinct had
triumphed in a government and built a
lasting monument to Us genius. It would
whirl but five full circles more until
England had surrendered Oregon. A re
public Just 70 years of age would open
its Western portals to the Eastern ave
nues of the, Orient. It would do this by
occupation, not by war. The title had
been left to settlement, and American
pioneers would settle the title. Out of
pie land secured, three commonwealths
would be wrought, within the memory of
living men. Wood's prophecy would come
Prophecy Come True.
With the episode above, history turned.
The Nation drove the Government to
Oregon and made it take possession of
the legacy on the Pacific This region
then was occupied by savages, English
fur-hunters, missionaries and a few Amer
ican settlers. The CO years since then
have been a period of settlement and of
progress. In all this time the land of
Oregon has acquired 1,500,000 people. And
now another flow of immigration has be-:
'gun. In another CO years will Oregon
more than double Its Inhabitants?
The history of Oregon is a record of
discovery. First, the land Itself was
found. It lay directly In the path to
India and it came from the'vague quest
lor the Orient Always since, the con
tents of the land have been the objects
of discovery. The search continues now
and always will. The constant aim to
day is to find new openings for indus
try. The quest? at first gave furs, then
fruits of agriculture. The fur Industry
Is gone, but the other is the primal ele
ment of present-day activity. From agri
culture has come an Industrial growth
widely differentiated and becoming more
complex. Lewis and Clark almost starred
In Oregon 97 years ago. Now a "million
and a half of people prosper on the bounty
of Nature and of white man's art. So
.many civilized beings . have replaced ,S0,
Oregon's fabric of social organization
Is essentially a product of its Industrial
growth. Time enough has passed to
tbow the general lines of evolutionary
process. The record of this process is a
source of pride to Oregonians. And if
they did not know their history, how
much better off would they be than If
they had no history?
Means of livelihood offer prime motives
to social evolution.'' They preparo the
way for Integration of communities. In
dividuals aggregate according to sparse
ness or abundance of the means of live
lihood. However strong the social In
stinct, it is weaker than the Instinct of
self-preservation. But abundance of re
sources is not alone sufficient in an iso
lated community for nourishing a social
body there must be variety so as to
afford interchange of enjoyments until
more artificial sources of variety have
developed from the few.
Oregon was remote, but it had Doth
abundance- and variety pf resources.
Each of these three factors left its
stamp pn the character of the people
Isolation gave the pubjic mind a provin
cial character. Abundance made the pio
neers easy-going, lacking stir and vigor.
Variety enabled them to get a ready
living by employing many resources
sluggishly, rather than a few strenuous
ly. The character of Oregon, therefore,
while serious 'and determined, was flag
ging and lethargic But the old fires
burned though they, smouldered. Old
forces still were potent, yet were latent.
When occasion came, old fires, old forces
then returned as vigorously as before.
The early features are going from the
face of Oregon. Railroads have re
moved isolation. New industrial methods
are bringing variety out of the few most
abundant resources. Newcomers are
leavening conservatism, and Old Oregon
is going fast. Soon it will live only
In the fireside tales of the children of
pioneers and in musty archives. The half
a century ago, once so new and fresh,
will repose in dusty, ponderous tomes.
The industrial life of Oregon and the
political life of the United States began
about the same time. In 177S Captain
James Cook, a British navigator, ex
amined the Oregon coast and learned
about its fur resources. The knowledge
he acquired stimulated explorations in
the North Pacific and many vessels made
voyages hither In the next 14 years. The
discovery of the Columbia River by Rob
ert Gray, an American, was a consequence
of Cook's voyage. This discovery gave
Oregon to the United States.
Cook's voyage supplied the world with
the first accurate knowledge of the rela
tion of the American Continent to Asia.
He demonstrated that the two bodies of
land were separate and showed accu
rately the breadth of America. He proved
the Straits of Anlan to be a myth. Cook's
contribution to geographical knowledge
marks a most Important milestone of
history. But his explorations did not
give England priority claim to Oregon,
for the Spaniards preceded him 100 years.
A PROPHECY IN 1823.
"Words of Francis Baylies, United
States Senator of Massachusetts,
About Oregon in 1823.
Our natural boundary Is the Pacific
Ocean. The swelling tide of our popu
lation mutt and will roll on until that
mighty ocean Interposes Its waters and
limits our territorial empire. Then,
with two oceans washing our shores,
the commercial wealth of the world Is
ours, and Imaulnatlon can harly con
ceive the greatness, the grandeur and
the power that await us.
In the 16th century they. made many
voyages north from Central America in
search of the Straits of Anlan. Juan de
Fuca is said to have reached the lati
tude of Gray's Harbor li. 1592. Fonte is
reported to hnve sailed to the latitude
of Queen Charlotte Island in 1640. Perez
is fabled to have discovered the Strait
of Juan de Fuca In 1774. Heceta in 1775
probably sighted the mouth of the Colum
bia River. Bodega and Maurclle reached
the southwest coast of Alaska In 1779.
Spanish claims extended northward to 55
deg., above Queen' Charlotte Island, and
Russian claims reached southward to the
same parallel. Out of the acquisition of
Spanish claims by the United States
(In 1819 and out of the treaty of 1824 with
Russia, whereby that nation defined Its
southern boundary to be 54 deg. 40
mln., came the crj't "Fifty-four forty
or fight," and the danger of war be
tween England and the United States.
British claims rested on assumption and
occupation and the inability of Spain,
Russia and the United States to exclude
that nation. Drake in 1579 had Teached
only the southern boundary of Oregon.
The explorations of Cook in 1778, Meares
In 17SS and Vancouver in 1792 gave no
valid tltje because Spanish and Russian
navigators had preceded them.
The First American Pioneer.
John Ledyard was the pioneer Ameri
can on the Pacific He accompanied Cook
and was afterward very eager to get
Americans Into the fur trade. To him
were due probably the voyage of Captain
Gray and thus, indirectly, the discovery
of the Columbia by that navigator. Led
yard tried vainly to enlist the capital
of wealthy men of Boston, New York,
Philadelphia and New Haven In a fur
enterprise. But the risks were con
sidered too great, ind besides Led
yard was looked upon as a visionary.
Meanwhile English and Russian enter
prise was gathering a golden harvest by
securing furs on the. Oregon coast and
selling them in the Orient The profits
were enormous, sometimes 1000 per cent
Finally Boston merchants sent Captain
Gray to enter the trade. The venture
was highly successful, and Gray's vessel,
the Columbia, was the first American
ship to circumnavigate the globe. More
over, It added to the United States an
empire. By mere chance this good for
tune came. Meares in 178S had denied
the existence of the river which Heceta
named San Roque. Vancouver in 1792
likewise pooh-poohed the notion of a riv
er. Just two weeks after he sailed past
the mouth of the river. Gray entered.
Vancouver was a scientific navigator:
Gray was a practical one. This difference
made Oregon American.
The great "River of the West" was
thus discovered, the river which so long
had been the subject of many a myth
and fable, the river of which Jonathan
Carver 2000 miles eastward had heard Mn
Indian legend and tradition. Fable and
tradition had been the forerunners of
discovery. They had made the "Oregon"
to roll unto the evening sun Into a "great
salt sea." The river nas emerged from
shadows of tradition, but "Oregon" re
mains today unveiled, past finding out
The British Tulcc Astoria.
"Is this the fort about which I have
heard so much? D n me, but I'd batter
It down In two houra with a four
pounder." Thus English Captain Black cooked his
spleen. The British warship Raccoon
had Just appeared before Astoria. Some
t!mi hftfnrA th Anorlniiti Y,oA nM y,a
post to the Northwest Company. The j
united states and England were then at
war. John Jacob Astor had endeavored
to win the fur trade of Oregon.
Captain Black was angry; and no won-
der. He had sailed from Valparaiso to
plunder the American port and had se
curednot even a single beaver skin.
The founding of Astoria In 1S11 marked
another milestone In the Industrial prog
ress of Oregon. Five "ears before Lewis
and Clark had spent the Winter at Fort
Clatsop. Their explorations resulted In
the coming of Captain Wlnshlp In 1810
and then the Astors. As Cook's voyage
Is the first chapter of the Industrial life
of Oregon, so the visit of Lewls and
Clark Is the second and the coming of
the Astors Is the third. The fur trade
ther became the possession of the Brit
ish, who held it just as long as it -endured,
nearly 40 years. For over 20
years, until the American missionaries
came, the country yielded only furs,
which gave up all their wealth Into the
coffers of the British. Other resources
lay uncovered. The fur hunter and the
savage subsisted on the land, none else.
Alexander MacKenzle had seen wisely.
He outlined the plan 20 years before As
toria fell, by which the British monopo
lized the Columbia. "American adven
turers will Instantly disappear before a
well-regulated trade," he said. This was
after he had pushed across the continent
to the ocean in 1793, the first white man
to traverse America north of the Spanish
Jefferson Savr the Way.
Jefferson's prescience had foreseen the
possibilities of the fur trade. Moreover,
he was eager to gain a foothold on the
Pacific. When he was Minister to France
he had suggested to Ledyard the Jour
ney across Asia to America. Andre Mi
chaux had been sent out at the Instance
of Jefferson by the American Philosoph
ical Society In 1792 to explore Louisiana
and Oregon; but had ncen turned back
by French authorities. When, as Presi
dent, Jefferson bought Louisiana, he set
about to realize his desire. Lewis and
Clark were sent to explore the new pos
session and Oregon. They were none too
soon. After them -went explorers of the
Northwest Company, who got no further
than the Mandans. Fraser, In the serv
ice of the same company, followed to
the sea in 1SCS the liver which now
bears his name. Lewis and Clark first
uncovered the interior resources of Ore
gon. Their achievement Is without par
allel in history. Their journal will stand
forever as a monument to their genius.
The reader now has made the circle
back to Astoria. Astor's enterprise was
butjono of many that followed in the
wake of the Louisiana purchase and Lewis
and Clark's journey, hut It was the bold
est At this time began the great Ameri
can fur trade, which lasted SO years. This
trade opened the way for settlement with
geographical Knowledge, and supplied the
motives which bound Oregon Inseparably
to the Union.
Astor's project was bold and well-conceived.
To this day it stands unassalled
for its shrewdness and far-sightedness.
China and Russia were greedy for furs.
American fur enterprises were reaping
rich profits east of the Rockies. If every
body in the venture had been true it
would have succeeded. Duncan Mc
Dougal was the chief betrayer. The Brit
ish flag flaunted In the breeze where
once had waved the Stars and Stripes.
McDougal was the son-in-law of the proud
Chinook sachem, Concomly. Sadly the
Indian shook his head. His daughter had
married not a great warrior, but a squaw.
Had Astor won, might not the English
have been shut out from the Pacific?
Might not Americans have occupied up to
Russian possessions and without a fight?
A glorious opportunity was this that As
tor proffered. Failure of the Nation to
grasp it la one of the most lamentable
shortcomings of American statesmanship.
This failure was almost the price of
The British Xovr the Masters.
The British now were absolute masters.
They developed but one resource in the SO
years of their dominion furs. The oth-
ers they passed over. Americans tried to
get a foothold but could not The at
tempts of Nathaniel Wyeth in 1832-3 and
1834-5 failed in the face of pitiless com
petition. Captain Bonneville had to re
tire from the country in 1S34 or starve to
death. The Hudson's Bay Company had
absorbed the Northwest Fur Company in
1821 and had become a colossal monopoly.
Over Oregon- it held absolute dominion.
Dr. McLoughlln, Its chief factor, had
the powers of a despot at Vancouver.
The Industrial life of Oregon In this
period was extremely narrow. The profits
of the fur trade required barbarism.
Within the forts the light of culture micht
burn brightly, but the land without must I
oe ounca in me gioom of savagery. Furs
must be the .exclusive fruit of the coun
try. Community life must not be en
couraged. Social development must be
restrained. Peace with the Indians must
be maintained, Troublerbearlng Ameri- j
cans who came to build homes and to l
dlspossess the Indians must be driven out
Hudson's Bay Company was perhaps the
most closely knit monopoly that has ever
lived. Its control of natives and em
ployes was remarkable. Management, of
Its business and conservation of the
fur resources 'testify to Its sagacity.
Its posts were the commercial cen
ters, whither flowed all surplus wealth
In trade for necessaries of existence. This
great incubus could smother any Ameri
can who. sought trade In Oregon. But
the episode with which this article be
gins shows change. Americans of an
other class were coming. They were
GOVERNORS OF OREGON.
George Abernethy 1SI5-I9
Joseph Lane 1849-GO
IlntzlngPritchett .' 187.0
John P. Gaines 1S30-53
Joseph Lane 1S53
George L. Curry is."-;
John W. Davis 1S33-34
Georso L. Curry 1S54-50
John "Whlteaker 18M-G2
A. C Glbbs 1SG2-GG
George L. Woods' 1880-70
La Fayette Grover 1870-77
Stephen F. Chadwlck 18J7-7S
W. W. Thayer 187S-S2
Z. F. Moodr 1SS2-S7
Sylvester Pcnnoycr 1837-05
William Paine Lord ...1SD5-00
Theodore T. Geer 1S00-03
George E. Chamberlain 1003-..
bringing here the home, the corner-stone
of social organization. Within a decade
after the first was planted British In
fluence had succumbed. The heterogene
ous elements of life the British had In
stalled gave way to the homogeneous so
cial organization. The English could de
stroy the American trader, but the Amer
ican farmer was more than a match for
the incubus. To save their Influence, the
British resorted to agricultural colonies,
but they could not meet the democratic
Industrial methods of Americans. Jason
Lee in 1834 and Marcus Whitman In 1S36
had been harbingers of change.
The Turnlnpr Point of Oregon.
Thus came another evolutionary stage.
The transition brought a radical Improve
ment in Industrial life. t Dormant re
sources were called to being. The prophecy
of Jason ,Lee began to verify Itself: "It
may be thought that Oregon Is of little
Importance, but, rely upon It, there Is
the germ of a great state." 9
Lee's prophecy, as years have fled, has
opened more and -more. Its meaning will,
expand as time rolls, on. It holds a germ
already grown magnificent but destined
still to grow and to become as great as
The fertile lands of Oregon responded
generously to the touch of agriculture.
The British could not keep this truth
concealed. On French Prairie, at Van
couver, on the Cowlitz, on Wapato Island,
and at TValllatpu. the soil gave steady
harvests. The news spread Eastward
through Missouri, .Kentucky and Tennes
see to the Atlantic seaboard and the
halls of Congress. The Government sent
agents to spy' out the land, who saw the
land was good.
An army of intrepid men and women
came to win the land of promise. En
dowed with courage and with optimism,
they brought across the continent Ideals
wherewith to build a social structure.
A region opening on the sea and to the
Orient quickened purpose and imagina
tion. From the frontier of the West
came tillers of the soil, heirs of all the
ages that lay back of the republic New
England, whence had come the men who
pointed the early way to Oregon, sent
determined emplre-bullders to become the
merchants of the country. These two
elements started the Oregon of today.
Even still, a line of demarcation draws
between them a sociological peculiarity
of the commonwealth. Both built their
homes and here have stayed, the weavers
of a social fabric that endures today.
Oregon before had languished; now It
Oregon Was Won Slotvly.
'But the transition was achieved not iri
a day, nor In a year. British Interests
did not vanish all at once, even alter
the boundary settlement treaty of 1846.
They had held aloof from the provisional
government until constrained to acknowl
edge Its authority by danger of war.
Had English been as overbearing as
Americans, conflict certainly would have
come. The spirit of 1776 was strong in
the settlers; they looked upon the Eng
lish as the enemies of liberty.
For over 30 years England had refused
to settle the boundary question, for she
sought advantage in delay. At- first she
did gain ground, but she had not reck
oned with .the American, frontiersman.
Had she held off 10 years longer, might
she not have lost her frontage on the
ocean? And if (she had assented to ft.
boundary 10 years sooner might not the
Columbia be her southern boundary?
The conflict forms a bitter chapter; yet
It stimulated social energies In the then
i formative stage. For 10 years after the
J treaty, party rancor was fed by petty
, local disputes. British Influence formed
I one subject of animosity; mission Influ-
ence another; the question of statehood
and Whig territorial appointments an
t other; the location of the capital still
I anotfier. Not Until nttPr thf Tntnn urnfo
of 1S53-6 did the people of Oregon align
themselves on National Issues. Then be
gan disintegration of Democracy Jn the
Issues of slavery and secession. Oregon
was always strongly Democratic Most
of Its citizens had come from Democratic
states of the Mississippi Valley. But thftv
were resolved to have no slavery In Ore
gon, and equally determined against free
The Cost of OrcRon.
And the cost of Oregon what was It?
The Journey "across the plains" wiped out
accumulations of a lifetime. Each year
the mounds and headboards by the trail
j mutely told Increasing tales of misery.
Tragedy and death left marks unnum
bered. Abandoned wagons, skeletons of
horses and of oxen, vestiges of sirVagery.
showed how dear was the price of Ore
gon. Many families reached their goal
with courage as their only asset They
frequently lived on salted salmon and
boiled wheat, and while harvesting their
first crop went without hat or shoes.
The motive of this movement will never
be understood. It was unconscious then.
for It was but the final Impulse that had
J pushed the race always Westward. Een
now tne journey is a dream to pioneers
and a fable to their children. Some day,
but for the written record, it will be as
legend or tradition. Romance and poetry
and fiction will weave their grace about
It and surround it with a halo of imagi
At last in 1S4S Congress brought the
young colony under the National aegis.
Not more than 12,000 whites were In all
Oregon. Their condition was pathetic.
But climate used them kindly and tha
soil yielded sustenance. Yet there
was entire lack of the luxuries which in
their former homes were necessaries.
They had Jeft the Middle West because
they could not get markets for their
products. Oregon suffered industrial de
pression for the same reason and the
Orient had failed to open Its gates. These
were the days of iron, before the day3
The standard of value had been the
.beaver, skin; now it- was the bushel of
wheat for no metallic money was In cir
rjilntlon until Ihn ""Reiver" mln xcfrn
struck In 49. The only markets were
Hudson's Bay posts, which could not use
tho surplus. Granaries, flour mills and
lumber mills were overstocked. The best
families ate and drank from tin plates
'and cups; many children attended school
dressed In but a single garment made'of
coarse cotton sheeting dyed with copperas-
In the Cayuse war women had
used their only sheets for shirts for their
Husbands. Some women dressed in buck
skin and judges presided at court in blue
shirts and bare feet In the whole terri
tory there was not a single span of
horses harnessed to a wagon. Yet in this
sad plight they had fought their first
war with the savages and had sent their
soldiers 300 miles away to war against
the Cayuses after the massacreTf Whit
man. Strife With Indians.
Relations with the Indians were much
the same as in other parts of America.
Wars grew out of the universal Impossi
bility of harmonious contact between the
red and white races. The Indian wars of
Oregon .were not, however, as exhausting
upon the resources of the whites as in
many parts of America. In the Willam
ette Valley, where most of the settlers
before 1S50 located homes, there was no
contest at all, owing to the decayed con
dition of the aboriginals and their pow
erlessness to resist the whites. Whit
man took up his abode among a powerful
tribe, the Cayuses, and his life was the
forfeit A costly war ensued., the se-
' verest In the history of Oregon.
The savages at first had welcomed the
whites. They saw the superior com
forts of civilization and thought that thev
! could attain them by following the in
j structions of $he newcomers. They did
iv. jhwh . iuui wuiumiua ui years OI
progress lay between them and their de
sire. The result of their awakening was
suspicion, theft hatred and finally war.
After i50 settlers began to spread over
the territory. Contests at once began
with Indians. These collisions were char
acterized by fiendish barbarity on the
part of the savages. The natives of
Southern Oregon gave continuous trou
ble. Then a general Indian, war broWe
out In 1S35. in which nearly all the
tribes Joined forces. The Territory of
Washington, formed in 1S53, suffered more
than Oregon, because of Its fewer white
inhabitants. In Oregon and Washington
were about 40,000 whites and about the
same number of savages. After this war
Indians occasionally made feeble resist
ance until 30 years ago.
Beginnings of Industry.
Self-reliance was strong in pioneer na
ture and the people had to use It They
explored diligently the resources of the
country. Industrial development was al
most Imperceptible at first InMS36 they
brought SCO cattle from California. This
was the first great industrial effort in
Oregon. Later pioneers drove many high
bred cattle hither, amid severe hardship.
The Spanish animals, the only Inferior
breeds ever In Oregon, have long since
disappeared. Today, Oregon Is the fore
most livestock state.
Other accessories to farming came more
slowly. Cattle could be driven to Ore
gon, but plows and Implements and
labor-saving machines could not When
Henderson Luclllng brought his "trav
eling nursery" in 1847 Industry received
another Impulse. In that same year ar
rived the first large quantities of Imple
ments and supplies. Utensils, tools and
plows came more freely after that
Cereals, vegetables and fruits were
brought across the plains or "around the
Horn." The postal service was extended
to Oregon in 1846, so that pioneers could
send a letter "back to the States" for 40
cents. By this time the territory was
established. Two years later the begin
nings of Willamette and Pacific Univer
sities had been laid. Several towns were
competing for metropolitan honors,
among them Llnnton, Multnomah City,
Mliwaukle. Hlllsboro, La Fayette, Cham-
MEN WHO SAVED OREGON.
By Their Efforts the Foundations
for a Great Commonwealth
"Were Securely Laid.
CAPTAIN ROBERT GRAY.
LEWIS AND CLARK.
JOHN JACOB ASTOR.
DR. JOHN FLOYD.
LEWIS FIELDS LINN.
THOMAS HART BENTON.
HALL J. KELLEY.
NATHANIEL J. WYETH.
DR. MARCUS WHITMAN.
poeg, Buttevifle, Salem, Vancouver, As
toria and Portland. The metropolis of
today had only two houses. But two years
more It had 2000 people. What was the
cause? Gold In California.
The Golden Ajre Begins.
This metal set up a stimulus In Ore
gon at once. At Its magic touch the
languishing Industries sprang upon their
feet. One-third of the male population
rushed to California. Crops stood - un
gathered in the field and the Legislature
could not meet because It lacked a quo
rum. But soon the men began to re
turn. They brought with them a lubri
cant for the wheels of trade and Indus
try. Oregon now had a market for its
grain and lumber and flour. These prod
ucts brought In a stream of gold. Puget
Sound settlements began to fdrge ahead,
whereas before they had advanced uut
little since the Americans began them in
1845. Southern Oregon, too, started upon
a tapld course of development Seekers of
the precious metal went everywhere, and
one gold discovery followed another. All
sections of the territory were explored
and many new districts were opened to
settlement Early In the '60s these quests
were rewarded In Eastern Oregon and
Southwestern Idaho. The great -Fraser
River excitement began In 1S58.
All these activities confirmed Portland
as tho commercial metropolis. They
added to the -wealth of ltscltlzens, en
abling them to devote their energies to
public Improvements. The relations of
this city have always been cordial with
the country. Its citizens have opened
new paths into the wilderness and dedi
cated new regions to civilization. Henry
Vlllard was quick to see the advantages
of Portland's position. "Portland will al
ways remain the commercial emporium
of the Northwest," said he in 1SS1.
The dormant forces, stirred by gold,
gave untold Impetus to progress. Life
took on a spice of variety and occupa
tions multiplied. As new resources came
to view, new Industries developed. Lum
ber and flour mills became moro numer
ous. Woolen manufacture became an Im
portant wealth-producer. Wider distribu
tion of population and wealth over the
face of the country followed, so that
agencies of progress became more nu
merous and Interacting. Now there was
capital to meet the needs of the growing
social body. Facilities of transportation
were supplied and communication was Im
proved. Tho first steamboat was built In
1830, the first telegraph In 1853. the first
stage line was established In 1S57, and
tho first railroad was constructed in
Yet the good was mixed with bad.
Gold brought prosperity, but it also
brought adventurers and evil men. Crime
and lawlessness increased. Savages re
sented encroachments on their lands by
gold-hunters, and wars began which
lasted intermittently for 20 years. The
public was inoculated with speculative
passion, so that many persons tturned
from steady Industry to follow vllcsof
chance. Oregon became subordinate to
California, losing prospect of a direct
railroad to the East
The distance of Oregon from Califor
nia was a blessing undisguised. It was
not too long for commerce, but long
enough to keep out plagues that cursed
the land of gold social demoralization.
I prostitution of principle, dissolution of
I Intellect, robbery, murder and unclean-
Stronpr Polltlcnl Instinct.
"No, slree," exclaimed Lincoln, when
President Taylor proffered him the Gov
ernorship of Oregon. "No, slree." Lin
coln "was as wise as he was lucky. He
would have plunged himself into a very
hotbed of Democracy and might have
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been singed as badly as was the only
Whig Governor Oregon ever had. Ore
gon would have been (Lincoln's grave
yard. Yet he would not have, found the
people warped or doltish; only Intense in
Characteristics of early pioneers were
respect for law, instinct of social, duty
and sober political Judgment. Oregon's
founders felt unconsciously an Impulse
toward political organization. The early
Methodist missionaries had appointed a
magistrate and a Justice of the Peace.
The British had dispensed justice through
stern agencies of the Hudson's Bay Com
pany. Both systems worked together for
some time. But later Americans could
not tolerate this sort of Government, for
they were too democratic and free-willed.
Independently they formed a government
In 1843, but they could not yet dispense
with missionary Influence. Two years
later, frontier pioneers were In majority
and effected organization of what la com
monly called the second provisional gov
ernment. The Institution of government in 1S43
"until such time as the United States of
America extend their Jurisdiction over
us." was significant. It worked the .final
Americanization of Oregon. It was as
spontaneous as had been the meetings of
the pioneers In Missouri for their journey
to the West It was the germ of the
social organism of today. "Oregon owes
by far the most of its prosperity and
rapid progress," said Judge William
String In 1S79, "to the early formation
of the provisional government, to the
wise laws which were enacted and to the
Inflexible Justice with which they were
All classes of settlers united under the
government Americans craftily gave
British subjects a motive to Join fcy
guaranteeing them titles to land. Unas
sailable title to land Is absolutely essen
tial to the contentment of a social ag
gregation. The transition from fdr trade
regime to settlement made safety of title
Imperative. The land law of the provis
ional government, revised in 1845, was
exceedingly popular. The unrest was
extreme when, at creation of the terri
tory. Congress failed to pas3 a land law.
But two years later Congress restored
tranquillity with the donation land act
Creation of the territory meent that
Oregon was merged forever with the
Union. Imagination of the pioneers was
stirred again. The Nation was con
cerned in the welfare of Oregon, and
Oregon's duty was to help the welfare
of the Nation. When Oregon became a
state, the. touch was even closer. The.
destinies of each were now the same.
Permitted to engage In the councils of
the Nation. Oregon widened Its horizon
to a Nntlonal vle.w.
The trust repesed In Oregon Is kept
This state has always given to the Gen
eral Government whatever strength It
could. It rallied to the Nation's aid In
the Civil War and the Spanish-American
conflict and In the financial crisis of
1S56. Tho attitude of Oregon In 1850 Ia
anomalous to the student who does not
know the temper of the pioneers. Though
they were mostly Democrats and South
ern In their sympathies, they rallied to
the Union. Joseph Lane, who was their
Idol, stood for dissolution of the Nation
and the idol turned to clay.
The settlers of Oregon subdued a wil
derness unaided. Both In wresting it
from the savage and in drawing out it's
resources they worked alone. Prog
ress was slow, Indeed, until they gath
ered capital for public Improvements.
Isolation stupefied the energies of the
region. Slowly ocean avenues of trade
drew open. California sent to Oregon for
products of the farm and forest The
nobles of the Orient who liked the furs
cf Oregon learned to like Its other prod
ucts. When a shipload went to Liver
pool in 1S6S an epoch truly grand un
folded. Industrial life at once grew
quicker; ever since, the stimulus has
grown in the ratio of progress.
A railroad to the East was an early
dream. All the way "across the plains."
the pioneers had dreamed. When the
light of evening campfires flickered on
tholr faces It revealed a hope that
amounted to assurance.
In 1843 the provisional government had
memorialized Congress for a railroad
In seven years more the Government war
surveying' tho route now followed by th
Northern Pacific. But the year 1884 came
before Oregon was connected with the
East Meanwhile the telegraph had sent
Its flashes for 13 years.
The first railroad proposed was la- con
nect St Helens and La Fayette. In 1S54.
three years later, four companies had
been chartered, but only one tried to
carry out its purpose. The next project
was that of Joseph Gaston, to build, a
turn with us. it is found that for many
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