Willamette farmer. (Salem, Or.) 1869-1887, October 15, 1886, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    I tMm W till I I r Ica was rv
, Copyright applied (or. All right, reserved
Thrilling Adventures or tho First Fort Orford
Tho earliest mention of Port Orford
in tho procurable nowopapor files I find
in tho first volumo of tho Statesman,
July -1, 1851, whero n correspondent,
who signs "J. C. F.," writes from tho
T. M. S. B. Columbia, under dato of
Juno 25, tho samo yoar, Hint tho Bhip
had just touched l'ort Orford to loavo
two surveyors, who camo prepared to
loy out tho now town thoro, but to their
surpriso tho nlno men, only lately left
thcro by tho steamer Sea Gull, woro
missing, mid from tho nppenranco of
tho Indians, who Hod on tho approach
of whites, thoy woro forced to boliovo
all was not right. Ho says thoy found
upon tho ground nn imporfoct mem
orandum of an attack, in which sotno
forty Indians woro ongagcd.nnd eighteen
paid tho forfoit and thrco of tho whites
wcro wounded. This was only u partial
statement to tho happenings of tho
Kirkpatrick company, that wo shall
Boon proceed to givo. Thoy found
tho journal of another man, who
described a war daiico thoy witnessed.
Thoy found only ono dead body, that of
an Indian buried in tho eand. Tho In
dians, who left as they approached,
woro clothing, not in nccordanco with
aboriginal habits, and tho visitors
thought tho nine mon had been mur
dered nnd thoir effocts appropriated.
This mado it difficult to establish inter
course with tho natives, but tho persons
who woro interested in establishing a
seaport and commercial point thcro
wcro not so easily put off".
Two wcoks later tho Statesman pub
lished a communication from J. M. Kirk
patrick, who says ho was captain of tho
nino men who wero left at l'ort Orford
by tho Sea Gull, and proceeds to givo a
statement of their adventures thcro and
in escaping from thoro. This wo shall
givo in detail as gleaned from this com
munication and from n personal inter
view had yours ago with Mr. John II.
Egan, of Portland, who was ono of tho
party of tho nino adventurers whom
Capt. Tichonor persuaded to go thoro in
his interest and locate a town.
Tho facts concerning tho eottlomont
of Port Orford aro not published consec
utively in that paper, but como in in
stallment without regularity. Thoissuo
of July 22 bus a letter datod "Steamer
Sea Gull, ofT Klamath Itivor, July 13,"
from "J. C. F.," who says tho project is
to commence a settlement near Capo
Blanco, and that Capt. Tichenor, with
F. M. Smith, employed eight or nino
mon to commenco a pormanent eottlo
mont, and that tho namo "Port Orford"
was givon to tho placo eoloctod. That
effort having fuilod, by either tho nino
men being taken prisoners or massa
cred, as thoy believed, another expedi
tion was organized with sixty-five mon
as volunteers and a number of specula
tors or agonti, who wero all well urmed
and provisioned. Thoy had six pieces
of ordnance, and intended to build a
fort. Tho voluntoers wero youns and
toughened to hardships; several wero
experienced in Indian warfare and somo
wero fino marksmen. Fivo or six pro
prietors mado up tho list, so tliero were
sovonty-fivo men in all. "With this pro
litninary information, to give an idea of
tho situation, wo will now go bock to tho
landing of Eirkpatrick's company of
nine, employed by Capt Tichenor and
F. M. Smith, and show what stirring
times they had in the preliminary effort
to build a city by tho sea, to accommo
date the mining region of Southern
Orogon. Wo may as wo say horo that
so far as this turning of commcrco to a
port on tho Southorn Oregon coast was
concerned, it was a failuro. Tho moun
tains intervening mado it impossiblo to
construct.roads that could bo traversed
at nil seasons, and the mines of that
region havo had no Oregon seaport.
Soon after gold discoveries opened
Southern Oregon to commcrco and
trade, it was deomed important to locato
a seaport adjacent to tho mines. Capt.
Tichenor was commander of a steam
propeller named tho Sea Gull, n vossol
woll calculated for tho coasting trado.
Tho Sea Gull was at Portland in Juno,
1851, and when it started early in that
month for San Francisco Tichenor took
down a small party of mon who woro to
locato at Port Orford and establish a
point for trado with tho northoru mines.
The Sea Gull reached thoro and an
chored on tho 9th of Juno, remaining
long enough to sco tho nino adventurers
landed and making peaceful terms with
tho natives. Tho Indians thcro wcro
vory civil and agrecahlo so long as tho
ship and her numerous passongors wcro
in sight, but no longer. As soon as tho
Son Gull got up steam and How away
tho Indians commonced to do saucy
things nnd bo vory impudont and offen
sive. Fortunately tho steamer did not
leavo until tho men woro well fixed and
had a good defonsivo camp. At Orford
a point puts out to soawnrd and tho
harbor is mado by tho loa thus afforded.
Tho bay or harbor is oxposcd to tho sea
on tho south and west, and is sheltered
by land on tho oast and north. In tho
shelter of tho capo an island stands,
closo by tho shore Tho mninlnud has
a bluff, a hundred or so feet high, that
overshadows tho sea beach. Thoro aro
places whero crocks or ravines seek tho
scashoro and break through tho bind',
othorwiso tho sea wall extends around
tho harbor.
Tho island may bo eighty feet widoby
thrco hundred feet long, nnd stands with
its broadside- to tho shoro. Tho rock
wall around it is porticndicular on all
sides oxcopt at tho south, or southeast
ern end, whero a well-worn trail ascends
by a fair grado, somo rocks projecting
and somo sharp turns affording protec
tion. Tho surf pounds around tho island
and on tho harbor boach, oxcopt whero
tho island protects tho shoro lino. Un
der tho loo of this island thoy first
camped on tho beach, and nftorwardn on
tho islnnd, when thoy found tho trail
leading to tho summit. This summit
proved to bo a plateau 80x300 foot, al
most lovol, and inaccoBsihlo savo by tho
trail that camo up at its southern
point. Tho mainland had a level oqual
to that of tho island plateau. Standing
back from tho strait that lay between
main nnd isle, it scorned as if it woro all
mainland, as tho summit lords wcro tho
samo. When thoy loft tho ship thoy
persuaded Tichonor to let them tako
asboro tho four-pound iron gun, or car
ronado, on tho Sea Gull's dock. Tho
night previous to tho steamer's loaving
they took this gun to tho island and
planted it at tho head of tho trail, whero
it could sweep tho only approach to
their refugo. This trail camo down from
tho mainland whero tho strait was shal
low and fordablo at any stago of water,
whilo tho approach to tho island was
baro when tho tides wcro lowest. This
was tho situation.
At first tho natives showed a desire
to trado and bo friendly, When tho
Sea Gull left thoy became Baucy and
impudent and orderod tho whites to bo
off. Thoy found their protected camp
on tho island a great reliof from tho
savages and experienced no trouble until
tho morning of the sixth day, when tho
Indians woro soon crowding down the
bluff at sunriso and crossing the ford as
it to come on tho island. Then Kirk
patrick and some others went oat to
meet them and tried to persuade them
to keep back. Thoy wero ovidontly
bent on a "scrlmmngo," for thoy had
crowdod tho shoro at earliest daylight,
built fires and had their war dance,
which meant business on their part. It
was ovidont, too, that they wcro hotter
armed than ever before, as well as more
numerous. Thoy wcro constantly being
recruited by now parties that camo over
tho hills to join them. A largo cunoo
had mado its appcaranco with n chief
and twclvo warriors. So, by early morn
ing, thoy began to bo formidnblo as to
numbor nnd character. Thoy gnvo no
heed to tho orders nnd motions to re
turn, but crowded across tho ford nnd
commenced to climb tho trail. Kirk
patrick nnd tho rest retired to their sum
mit refuge, tho arrows whistling near
them as thoy went At lemt forty In
dians rushod after nnd ronchod tho top
of tho trail beforo any stop was made.
Tho savages then triod to pull tho men's
lints oil', and to tear their clothing from
thorn. Ono of thorn clinched with Jim
Kerrigan and was about to tako his rillo
from him, when somo white mon
pounded his hands and mado him let
go. Brush had been piled across tho
head of tho trail nnd the ship's enrro
nndo was a masked battery closo behind
it. Tim tents of tho pnrty woro near
by. Thrco of tho assailants hnd lonxxl
over tho brush wall and wcro inside tho
camp, when ono of tho men knocked
them down, ono after another, ho being
alono at that point Tho blows bent
tho gun barrel and ruined co much ar
tillery, but laid hora-du-combat thrco In
diaus, two of whom wcro found to bo
dead and tho other near it. This was
all instnutnnoous and somo of tno men
called to Kirkpatrick to firotho cannon.
That was done as tho thrco Indians in
sido tho camp woro receiving tho quietus
already told of.
Tho situation was oxtremcly critical.
Nino mon wero holding back n furious
hordo of savages who had been nerving
themselves up to tho work in hand and
had ovorpowoiing mi inborn to do it
with. In an instant tho mon stood
aside, and whilo tho three on tho left
wcro being clubbed with an old musket,
Kirkpatrick seized n brand from tho
camp firo closo by and touched off tho
cannon. Its chargn of iron slugs wont
liko a thunderbolt through tho crowd of
Ravages that wcro massed at tho gun's
muzzle, but had no idea of its existence.
Never was shot moro opportune, and
scarco ever was ono moro ofl'ectivo in
proportion to its calibre. Tho head of
tho trail was strewn with corpses. Tho
Indians had opened tho battlo with a
volley of arrows, but thoy fired up hill
and tho arrows nearly all went sky
wards. Thoy had long knives, liko tho
Moxican and Central American machlto,
as if u stout pieco of hoop iron mado
tho blado, and pieces of wood bolted
over ono end mado tho bundle-. They
relied chiefly on bows and arrows, and
whilo somo wcro at closo quarters others
would shoot across from the main land.
Tho cannon strewed tho way with
dead and dying and then laid low in
camp. Terriblo demoralization seized
them, but many remained and fought
hand to hand for twenty minutes. Tho
whites followed up their cannon shot by
ujo of their guns nnd pistols at closo
quarters. Thoy had four mon wounded,
but nono daugorously; all recovered
soon, as thoro was no poison on tho
arrowheads. That afternoon two rillo
shots wero fired at tho island from differ?
ont spots on shore, and tho men thought
tho siwash had somo way got tho guns,
but did not have ammunition to mako
them available. Whon thoy finally got
to tho Umpqua, they wero told thoro
that tho Indians lost twenty men killed,
and had fifteen badly wounded. Egan,
of Portland, told mo many years ago
that eighteen wcro found dead about tho
island and had to bo buried. Thosowho
survived stood before rifles and revolvers
a little whilo, then fled to tho rocks that
OCTOBER 15, 188(5.
crowded tho beach and paid their coin
plimonts in tho shnpoof arrowsliots tho
remainder of tho day.
nunviNa the Indian dead.
It was tho middlo of Juno by this
time, and tho weather was very wnrm.
Tho island hnd no nativo spring to sup
ply water, nnd tho men found fiirhtliig
to bo thirsty business. Tho dead lay in
tho camp, nnd ono follow who got n
doso thoro survivod for many a day.
Even ho was a heart-rending subject,
with his groans and blood-encrusted
locks. It was almost unbearable, es
pecially as four of their own nino wero
wounded. Toward tho middlo of tho
afternoon nn old chief was soon on tho
rocky bluff making signs nnd holding
up his hands to show that ho was un
armed. Thoy gavo him permission to
cotnu to tho camp and ho finally did so,
moaning pitcously over tho dead bod i oh
that woro strewn about thoro. Soon af
terward canoes camo, nnd tho bodies of
tho dead woro put into thorn and borno
away. Tho whites assistod in removing
tho bodios that lay inside thoir camp,
and hclpod to move tho wounded man,
who had revived and was moaning piti
fully. Indian troachory was shown to
tho last, for a hostilo arrow or may bo
ono of tho rillo shots carried away Joo
Ilussoy'ri thumb whilo ho was at this
work of mercy.
For sovoral days thoy saw but fow In
dian, and wero encouraged to think
thoy had nil gouo away, and themselves
left in poaco. This emboldened thorn
to prospect tho vicinity, and in explor
ing near camp, thoy found tho aromatic
whito codar and saw indications of coal.
In tho crook that put into tho ocean
near by thoy found speckled trout in
abundance. Tho discovory of tho whito
Port Orford cedar was mado then, and
it existed in immonso forests. Thoro
woro great flocks of pigeons; son otter
worn scon in tho water near by, while
signs of elk, dcor and bear were all
around them. Wo forgot to say that
for somo reason or other tho Indians re
fused to bury or tako away ono of tho
doad bodies that lay at tho odgo of tho
water. Probably it wns tho body of a
slave, nnd thoy would not waste tlmo on
it Bo tho whites covorcd it up timo
and again, with rooks and rubbish, but
liko lianquo's ghost.it wouldn't "down,"
and ovory high tido throw it about
again. This kept up so long as they ro-
mninod thoro, nnd tho samo sight
grcotod Cnpt. Tichenor when ho finally
was ablo to reach Port Orford on tho
The Mechanics Flr.
This Fair has boon held for a wcok
past and hns nttrnctod many pcoplo
from a distanco. Coming in Octobor,
when tho farmer has as much leisuro as
ho can command at any timo, many im
provo tho bountiful weather and excur
sion rates for travel to sco tho metropo
lis, lay in winter supplies and hnvo n
sight at tho exhibit, which is lit up with
olectria glare and crowded with curious
human beings To bo sure much of
what is thoro displayed comes from tho
stores nnd is nrrnnged to pleuso tho oyo
nnd fill up tho building, 200x200 feet in
size. Tho galleries, too, aro crowdod
with tho various etceteras that adorn
our persons and beautify our homes, not
forgetting tho picturo gallery that comes
as borrowed art from many elegant
Near tho door is a sparo devoted to
work mudo from Portland comont, and
if it works us well as thoy say, and as
appearances indicate this cement will
equal in valuo its famous namesake that
was named in generations gono by from
a placo in England that gavo it to tho
world. It is Portland ccmont again,
on tho far-off shores of tho new
and cntcrpriiing Occident. "West
ward tho star of tho empiro takes its
way," and this is tho shoro from which
navigators point to "Furthest Inds."
Tho various work mado from this cement
NO. 36,
showo its great valuo for many purposes.
Such work as this strikes tho attention
of a practical man, who realizes tho need
ofmatoiial for building, nnd for many
ornamental uses. Ho sees that our ro
gion has natural rosourcos that aro oasi
ly dovolopod as soon lis transportation
makes thorn available Wo already
havo rail and water communication to a
largo extent and other enterprises nro
planned that will open nil parts of tho
Pacific Northwest to capital and enter
prise. Among tho machinery wo sco Hint tho
old timo pntrons of this journal nro woll
roprosontcd. A great cngiuo rocolvos
power from a boilor nnd koops ovory
thing in motion. One of tho entries
is tho "Stutcsmau steam generator,"
that was invented in our Stato by our
fellow citiron (leorgo Stutcsman. David
Colo & Co. havo nu interest in it, nnd
Mr. Colo is determined to mako it
known with nil its advantages for saving
fuol and furnishing safe and economical
power. It is mentioned in his advorliso
niont and scomn to deserve all that is
elnimed lor it.
Tho floral garden, or parterre, is a
very beautiful placo whore young nnd
old can wander at ease, or occupy rut tic
cnts nnd douches. Fountains nnd cat
aracts ; cascados and springs from many
small jots, waterfalls nnd rock work in
different forms, with moss nnd lichens ;
ivy nnd vines twining round a inlnia
turo log cabin Hint a perchodon a rocky
summit nil these nro lit by olectrio
glaro that shines by night as brilliant
ns if sunshiiio waked tho world.
Tho horticultural exhibit ocaupics that
snmo southwost corner nnd is perhaps
moro nttrnctivo than over. Mr. Settlo
miro bus u largo selection of green
fruits; Mr. Soth Luelling has many
beautiful grapes nnd other fruits. 11.
W. Pretlymnn has a vory good exhibit,
not so oxtonsivo in variety but not to bn
excelled in excellence. Ho shows n fine
lot of fruit trees, of wonderful sizo for
thoir age. Mo has Japancso persim
mons. (Somcono shows fig's), oxcollcut
poaches from his own seedling trees,
and intonds to introduce hero varieties
of pouches that havo originated in our
region, thoreforo should bo uccllmatod
and do woll horo.
Wo do not pretend to describo tho
Fair ami do justice to exhibitors, only
to givo a transient look as wo pass along.
This Fair belongs to Portland mid its
cituous hnvo a good support for it from
tho country. It is worth much to young
pcoplo to catch n sight of n city ; boo
street cars and tho Irailto that throngs
its streets ; soo river and ocean steamers,
constors and dcop son ships, and watch
tho buBtlo and rush of trado in tho bus
iness eonsoii.
A. F. Millor has chargoof tho agricul
tural exhibit, and ho can show it with
satisfaction. Thoro aro many visitors
from abroad in our Slate at this timo
and thoy all visit tho Fair, Thoro
is much thoro that redounds to tho honor
of our State, showing its vast but hiddon
resources and their development. linker
county has a mineral exhibit undor tho
chargo of our old-timo friend J. W. Vir
tuo, who was thcro in 1803-1 when wo
lived thoro. He has charge of u vory
exlonsivo and interesting cubiuet of rich
specimens. Tho timo is near at hand
whon that district will yiold troaiuro
from its mines that will overshadow tho
finest bonanzas on the Pacific slopo, not
including Montana, for tho sumo range
of minora) penetrates Idaho and Mon
tana and Eastern Oregon.
Tho American Fruit Drier is in opera
tion thoro, for which Messrs. Stuver &
Wulkcr tiro agents. It is handled by
Mr. Winston, of Douglas county, who
has much oxporionco in drying fruits
and says this excols in its prefect work
and oaso and economy of operating it
any drier ho over saw. Ho turns out
dried apples in two hours timo.
Ui.ue Vitriol. Cheanest nt Port Drue
Co., 100 Statu street.