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About Oregon spectator. (Oregon City, O.T. [i.e. Or.]) 1846-1855 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 24, 1846)
I Xlf 'JKC
" Wertward the HUr of Empire take iia way."
The Old flf r novae Prlsem.
THK HISTORY OF THE I'HISONER.
4 When tho Americana,' iiu licuim, 'I
iiosMOHsioii of Fort Washington, on the Nort
IMvit it being tho only Kwt thoy held at
Unit lima on York Inland 1 belonged to a
(;oiiiiuiiy of light infuntry, stationed thoro on
duty. Tho American army having retreat,
t-il from Now York, Sir William IIowo de
termined to reduce thut garrison to tho hu!
ioctioii of tho British if possible. Our de
tachment at that timo wasHhortofiroviiioiiH,
and as (Jon. Washington wusatFort Lee, i ",l0 wo" whoro ,,, tic" of affection will
was a difficult mattor to supply ourselves vcr break ; and there, through tho merits
from tho ditftniiuo without the hazurd of in- "'' "im who was taken from prison into
torceptioii from tho enemy. Tliero lived on judgment, for miiH, I hope to meet them." "
the turnpike, within a mile of our wst,u Mr. ' This crisis over, ho began to revive, and
J. II. This mini kept a store well Hiipplied in a few days was aide to walk, hy leaning
with provisions and groceries, and contrived on my arm. Wo were standing by one of
to keep himself neutral, selling to both pur. the narrow windows, inhaling the fresh air,
ties; but ho was strongly suspected of fa- on a certain day, when wo espied a young
voriug the British by giving them inforiua. woman trying to gain admittance. After
tiun, iVc. tarleying for some time, and placing some.
1 Sxuoof our officers resolved to satisfy thing in tho hand of tho sentinel, sho was
themselves; and if they found their vispi, like an angel among the dead. After gaz-
eioiw just, they thought it would n no harm iug cngerly around for a moment, she (lew
to make a prize of his stores, especially as to the arms of her recognized lover, palo and
the troops were much in neiJd of them, altered as lie was. It was Eliza. The scene
I'rom prisoners, and clothes stripped from was affecting in tho extreme. And while
the slain, we had always a supply ofjlritisli they wept, clasped in each other's arms, tho
iinif'irm fr ollieers nml privateSy-Accord. prisoner within, uml even tho iron hearted
mgly three of our ollieers put on red coats, licssiun at the door, caught the infection,
an I walked to frien I B', where they soon She told him she received his letter, and in.
fuind the eolnr of their nmTorms was u pass, formed his parents of its contents ; but not
port to liU bet wJH-i. As the glass went knowing how to return an answer with safe,
round his loyal ideas began to shoot forth In ty, she had tr.iveled through perils by land
fovitl toasts and sentiment. Our ollieers ami wuter to see her Henry,
being now sure of their man, I was one of a . This same Hessian sentinel hod served
party who went with uiimm. and cit s our rntions for months past, und from lone
Vol. I. Oregon City,, (Oregon Ter.) Thursday, Uecenbtt 24, 1846. Ho. 24.
once stood tho sugar house prison of revolu
thing necessary to eae him of bis -tores.
On the follow ingeeuiug,that ma'ters might
pa-s quietly, we put on the llriti-.li unif irnw.
Arriving at the houe, we informed Mr. B.
that the army wen- in want of all his store,
but we had no time to make an inventory,
intimacy with the prisoners was almost con
Mile red a friend. Kliza, who made her home
with a relative in the city, was daily admit
ted by the management of this kind heart
ed man ; and the small nourishing notions
she brought in her pockets, together-with
being afraid wo might be intercepted by the the light of her countenance, which caused
Americans; but he must make out his bill his to brighten whenever she appeared,
from memory, carry it to the cninmNMiry at wrought u cure as if by miracle. His pa
New York ami get his pay. The landlord tents arrived, but were not admitted inside,
looked rather serious at this wholesale mode In u few days thereafter, however, by tho
of doing business, but, as the wagons were help of an ounce or two of gold ana the
loading up be found remoustruuee would lie good feelings of our Hessian friend, a plan
in vain. In less than nn hour his whole was concerted for meeting them. His turn
stock of eatables and drinkables were on the of duty was from twelve till two o'clock that
road to Fort Washington. By 1hu direction night. The signal was to lock and unlock a
we took he suspected the triek, and alarmed certain door twice, being gftcn, Henry and
the outposts of the British army. In fifteen myself slipped out, and crept on our hands
minutes we heard the sound of their horses' and knees oloiig the back wall of the Middle
li k)I's thundering along behind us ; but they Dutch Church, meeting the parents and Eli
h re too late, and we got in safe. He got za by the Scotch Church in Cedar street,
his revenge, however; for in tbreo days s quick as thought, we were on board a boat,
thereafter out- fortress was stormed by Gen. 'with two men and four oars,, on tho North
Kniphausen on the North, Ceil. Matthew's i River. Henry pulled for love, 1 for life,
and Lord Cornwallis on the Fast, and Lords and the men for a purse; so that in thirty
Percy and Sterling on the South. So fierce minutes after leaving tho sugar hdusc we
and successful was the attack, thut twenty- stood on Jersey shore,
seven hundred of us were taken prisoners, , jn 0s ,mn a mont)( Eu was reward
and numbers of them, with myself, marched r, f()r aj icr tr0s with Urtfhcart and hand
tnNow lork, mill lodged in Crown street 0r Henry. They now live not far from
now Liberty street sugar house. i Klizabcthtown, comfortablo and happy, with
'It is imK)ssible,' he continued, to do- a flock of olive plants around their table.
scribe the horrors of that prison. It was spent a day and night at their houi last
like a healthy man being tied to a putrid j week, recounting our past sorrows und pros
carcass. I made several uttempts to escape, cut joys."
but always failed, and ut lust begun to yield Thus tho old man concluded; simply ad
to despair. I caught thn jail fever, and was .ding that ho himself now enjoyed a full
nigh unto death. At this time I became no. jsharo of earthly blessings, with a grateful
quuintcd with a young man among the pris. heart to the Giver of all good,
oners, tho wretchedness rip whose lot tended I It is well to snatch from oblivion a spot so
by comparison toallcviuto-my 'own. He wus interesting in revolutionary tradition ascwas
ImiVe, intelligent and kind. Many a long tho sunar houso prison in Liberty street.
and weary night ho sat by thn side of my
bed of straw, consoling my sorrows, and be
guiliug tho dreary hours with his interesting
history. Ho was tho only child of his
wealthy and doting parents, and had received
a liberal education ; but despito thoir cries
and tears, ho ran to tho help of his country
against tho mighty. Ho had novor heard
from his parents since tho day ho left their
roof. They lay near, his heart, hut thoro
was one whoso imago was graven thoro as
with tho point of a diamond. lie, too, had
.tho fever in his turn : and I then, as much
as in mo lay, paid back to him my debt of
gratitude ' My menu,' ho would say to mo,
J if you survivo this doadly hole, promiso mo
you will go to tho town of II . Toll my
parents and Eliza, I perished horo a captivo,
breathing tho most forvent prayers for her
liappinoss.' I tried to ohoor him by hope,
feeblo as it was. Toll mo not,' ho would
Add, 'of tho hopes of reunion; there ia only
Within fifty feet to tho eastward of the Mid
dlo Dutch Church is tho spot on which stood
this hostile,' into which many entered, but
from whenco fow returned. Tho bell which
now calls you to church is tho same by
which those prisoners took their note of time.
Many, very many, counted twelve as they
lay on thoir bedor straw. It was the knell
of thoir departing hour. Before tho bell
ago in tolled for one, thoy hadgono to happi
Sinco writing tho above, tho rcljgjpus ser
vices in this church have como to a final
close. Tho workmen are now engaged in
fitting it up for a post office. The walls
will prohably-not be altered; and from their
thickness and tho durablo nature of the
stono with which thoy are built, under the
fostering euro of tho government, the build
ing may yet stand many centuries, as a land
mark wherein the English cavalry kept a
riding school, and within fifty feet of whioh
Of the RiprtirattOvn of the Ptopte of
Ortf ob la Legislature Assembled,
To the Honorable the Senate and
House of Representatives or the
United States of America in Congress
Your memorialists, the Representatives of
the people of Oregon in Legislature assem.
bled, do respectfully solicit, that the follow..
ing subjects herein contained may claim the;
attention ana sympathy of your honorable
Oregon is so situated that it will, erelong,
occunv an enviable Dosition amonmt the civ.
ilized portions of tho world ; in proof of
wnicu, permit us to rcicr yur, nonoraote
body to the report of committee in the Uni
ted States' Congress, on Post Offices and
Post Roads, April tho 20th, 1840, wherein
are fully set forth tho salubrity of its
climate and tho fertility of 'tis soil, as well
as the many other advantages bestowed by
nature's God on this favored portion of his
earth, which, although three thousand miles
distant from the United States, seems destin
ed soon to become a central point of com
merce, and happiness.
We here beg to insert the following state
ment, representing the eligibility of tho Co
lumbia river, as a quarter from whence sup
plies could be furnished for the navy cruis
ing in tho Pacific.
Bread stuffs could be supplied in large
quantity and on the shortest notice, say five
thousand barrels of flour, or part in biscuit
if preferred. Salt beef and pork, should a
demand arise, could also be prepared' say
by the 1st May, 1848, three thousand bar.
rcls salt beef, and two thousand barrels salt
The above estimates, of flour particularly,
aro guardedly moderate: let but markets
open and our productive powers would rapid
ly increase. Lumber can always be suppli
cd in abundance, and tar and pitch could
soon be manufactured if such should be re
quired by the Navy. In connection with
this subject, it will be proper to mention
that flax and homp have been successfully
cultivated in small quantities,-, and could be
mado articles of export were encouragement
Many of us have been induced to seek
homes in this remote Territory, from prom
ises held out by some action of your honora
ble body. Our population is of a character
to be envied by older settled countries : but,
wo would not presume on the wisdom of Con
gross by saying, give us land. Those
amongst us who nave overcome the dlfficul
ties of the journey to Oregon, as well as
those who first encouraged agriculture arid
civilization by their early settlements in this
country, here conjointly submit to the im
partial judgment of your honorable body,
their claims on Government to secure them
in their homes. We however, think we
havo some right to expect a grant of land,
not only we ourselves, but those who may
immigrate for the next fow years. Many
of us are settled under the provisions of the
Organio Law, which provides that any per
son is entitled to hold six hundred and forty
acres of land. The claims, as we call them,
aro token up in accordance with the above
named Law, either in a square or oblong
form, and some portions of the country are
entirely occupied. Should therefore your
honorable body in its wisdom conclude to
sanction our title to these claims, we hope we
may be permitted to hold them as now loca
ted, otherwise great inconvenience 'cd hard,
ships must necessarily result,
On the.subjtct'pf .educftio, jour pjioo-j
rialiaU would beg to preisat for yonr fionor.
able consideration, that ! :hls, m in'tbe set-'
tlement of all new' countries, insurrhoanta.
Me barriers present themselves' fe the genei'
fftl diffusion of education, that the unavoidaV
blesparsity of settlements and tneumerou
Poctialary inconveniences offer but limited
inducements to competent preceptors' is a
fact bat too apparent. Upon the con.
sideratkm therefore, that the general difa
sion of knowledge is among the leading
principles of a government founded upon re
publican principles like that of the United
States, (which government we are prayerful,
ly awaiting to be extended over us,) where
the people not only in semblance, but in're
ality have the care of their political institu
tions ; and a their ability to exercise that
power in a manner that will be the most
conducive to the prosperity and preservation
thereof, depends materially upon the general
diffusion of education we say upon tbeso
considerations, and in view of the disadvan
tages under which we labor, your memorial,
ists most respectfully beg to suggest the pro.
priety of adopting some measures Which
shall havo for their tendency the removal of
those barriers above mentioned, arid place a
sound elementary education within the reach
of all. .Your memorialists will not pretend
to devise ways and means, but presuming
inftnn-tfirt known 1ihralitv cjt th nlititmH
government of the United States, we fondly
cnensn the nope mat erelong we may receive
that timely assistance which has invariably
been afforded by liberal grants of land, and
otherwise, in different portions of the Union.
Tho difficulty of sailing vessels naviga
ting the "Columbia," on their upward pas.
sage during tho winter season, and the dan.
gers to be encountered by them in crossing
Die bar of that river, is another subjecUto,
which we would most respectfully solicit us
attention of your honorablo body.'
No greater drawback has perhaps a yet
presented itself to the welfare of our oom-.
munity, than tho tardy movements of ship
owners in sending vessels to this river,
whereby we might be enabled to dispose of
the produce ofour lands and prevent those
unavoidably high prices on the part of the
merchant, to which wo are at pretest aB
The reluctance on the part of merchants
above alluded to, is doubtless caused in av
Sreat measure' by the risk to which mercban.
ise is subject in crossing the bar, and the
loss of time and expense consequently incur,
red by sailing craft in arriving at their det
The causes of the difficulties to which we
have reference, are as follows : That with)
respect to crossing the bar, a Teasel is underl
the necessity, from the intricacy of the pas-1
sage, to atvajt what is generally termed a
fair wind, and also, in most cases,' a particu
lar stagof the tide. She is subject both'
to natural calms and calms caused by Cape
Disappointment and the adjacent highlands;
and also to the influence of numerous cur.
rents setting towards different points accord,
ing to the stage of tide.
During five months of tho year, we may
say the wind almost universally blow's down
the river, so that an, inward bound vessel
usually takca from one to two months ia ad.
vancing a distance of one hundred miles, or
from the entrance of the Columbia to Port,
land on the Willamette river.
A mora detailed description of the Intri
cate navigation of this river, we presume
would be 'superfluous, as -the Journals eft
Commodore Wilkes, Captain Belcher awl:
others have doubtless come under the 'observ
vation of your honors. Wo have, daring,
our present session, done our'utnwsOfor the'
safety of vessels in establishing pilotage ;
but at tho same time, are of the xpfaion that
nothing but the aid of steam, Teasels will,
save 'that loss of labor, timo and property of
which we speak. We therefore, your me
morialists, '.would most earnestly petition
yoar honorable body for the use of a Sieam
Towboat, whioh might enable vessels either
to enter or leave, the river at all sssssjis, and
be of infinite service ia.tbe navicsiiosi.,efi
the stream itself. r , , r' f,'
Before closing this pur memorial, jre oaa.7
not but express with,n&edasislmaia4t
admiration, mip hlah Mtimatlnn nf a arani
project, (the news of which .has, found jfs,
way w uregoo ), oy tne memorial ei vreoraja.
Wilkes, Esq,, for a Railroad from tbfTAtl
T ij f ww "?. i, f-mt.TWJtilB9mx
anouJia exist, cannot pui ua Ttoua jfl n
niwn. nininniinv.in umh nn bbibj
V TV - v.7 a. jTi -5r--- 'r
reiea iron toe unuea etaies w vregon.