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Oregon Trail Timeline 1831 - 1840


On this page, by year:
1833 | 1834 | 1835 | 1836 | 1837 | 1838 | 1839 | 1840

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In 1831, a fever killed many Indians of inland Oregon all the way from the coast to the Walla Walla Valley.

John DUNN and George B. ROBERTS, naval apprentices from England, arrived on the ship Ganymede for posts with the Hudson's Bay Company.

American Fur Company trapper Paul FRASER was killed in September 1831.

George NIDEVER, a fur trader and journal keeper, spent the winter of 1831-1832 at the Arkansas and Green Rivers.

In 1831, a Nez Perce and Flathead delegation went to the mouth of the Kaw (Kansas) River in western-most Montana. Iroquois who had retired from the HBC and the Northwest Fur Company had settled there and were ministered to by a priest from St. Louis.

1832

Perhaps in retaliation for the death of his father at the hands of Blackfeet, Antoine GODIN led trappers in the Battle of Pierre's Hole in 1832 against the Gros Ventre.

ON THE TRAIL:
Captain Benjamin BONNEVILLE led a fur company caravan from Ft. Osage that took wagons for the first time across the Continental Divide. Bonneville traveled through Utah, Nevada, and Oregon leading a party of 110 men. Along the way, they established a fort on the east side of the Rocky Mountains on the Powder River. At Salt Lake, Joseph WALKER split off with a party of 40 men to explore a route to California. Traveling via Humbolt Pass in the Sierra Nevada, Walker and company followed the Merced River into the Juaquin Valley.

Nathaniel WYETH, an entrepreneur, made his first visit to Oregon in 1832 with a small party to scout opportunities in the northwest. Wyeth's expedition left Boston in March 1832. William SUBLETTE led the party from Missouri to Pierre's Hole.

Also during March, George NIDEVER encountered others who had probably wintered in the mountains, Moses HARRIS and William O'FALLON.

William Sublette led Wyeth's party and about 150 trappers into RENDEZVOUS at Pierre's Hole, July 1832. At least fifty more trappers, including 16 free of ties to any company, joined them for business and celebration. The free trappers at Rendezvous included George NIDEVER, Moses HARRIS, and Zenas LEONARD. Etienne PROVOST, head of William O'Fallon's company, arrived with supplies for W.H. VANDENBURGH. Henry G. FRAEB and Milton SUBLETTE were also at this Rendezvous.

SOURCES: SOURCES: Nathaniel J. Wyeth (Young); John Wyeth (Wyeth); John Ball "Autobiography of John Ball, 1794-1884" (Ball); John Ball "Across the Continent 70 Years Ago" (OHQ 3); John Ball "Overland Journey with Nathaniel Jurvis Wyeth" (OHS MS); Alfred Baldwin "Biographical Sketch, 1832" (OHS MS); Zenas Leonard (Leonard); Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris); Robert Campbell, journeyed part of the way with Wyeth in 1832 and all the way to Oregon in 1834 (Camp, Papers, Missouri Historical Society).

 

John Work's account of disastrous 1832-1833 trip to California (Maloney); John Work's Snake country journal, 1831-32 (Haines); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); John McLoughlin, Ft. Vancouver Letters, 1829-32 (Barker); James Douglas was stationed at Ft. Vancouver in 1830, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft. Coleville in 1829-1835, letters, papers, 1818-1853 (McDonald); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich).

Four Indians (Nez Perces?) traveled to St. Louis from Rendezvous in 1831. Two died there and the two others returned home after talking to General Clark, the resident U.S. Indian Agent at St. Louis. A much-exaggerated account of this meeting and plea for missionaries to the Flatheads appeared in the Christian Advocate publication, March 1833.

After Rendezvous, Wyeth's party split into two groups and barely subsisted on forage during the trip from Rendezvous to the Columbia River. Wyeth's company arrived at Ft. Vancouver October 29, 1832. The supply ship Wyeth had sent to meet them from Boston had been lost at sea.

A trapper named ABBOTT came west with the first Wyeth expedition and stayed to trap at the Salmon River. He was killed with a companion by Bannock Indians in 1832.

IN THE EAST:
At the Missouri end of the Trail in 1832, the ROCKY MOUNTAIN FUR COMPANY reunited with fur company holdings controlled by Pierre CHOUTEAU Jr. (a conglomerate from several old partnerships). Within two years his father and uncle, Pierre and Auguste Chouteau, bought out all Astor interests in the St. Louis-based fur trade. By 1839, the Chouteaus and their partners controlled all US fur trade east of the Rocky Mountains.

IN OREGON:
The HBC'S SOUTHERN BRIGADE led by LAFRAMBOISE to California, left Oregon April 1832 and wintered 1832-1833 in California. In 1832 the Southern Brigade included 28 HBC men (including Carlo CHATA) 22 women, 44 children, 6 Native American males, and 200 horses. Illness, food poisoning, an attack near Stockton, CA, and bad hunting made 1832-33 a disastrous expedition.

1833

IN OREGON:
In March 1833, a Japanese junk wrecked 15 miles south of Cape Flattery. Only 3 of the 17 in the crew were rescued. In May 1833, Capt. MCNEIL of the Llama brought these survivors to Ft. Vancouver. The 3 sailed for England in October hoping to eventually find passage home to Japan.

In Spring 1833, the disastrous HBC Southern Brigade journey from Ft. Vancouver to California returned after a year of travel.

FT. NISQUALLY was founded by the HBC in 1833 at the southern end of Puget Sound, WA., by Archibald MCDONALD and Pierre CHARLES. This year, or perhaps a bit later, PLUMANDEAU and Francois FRAIGNANT partnered to establish a farm south of Nisqually on the Cowlitz River. Like others, they created their own settlements while remaining employees of the HBC. Michel COGNOIR and Joseph ROCHBRUNNE joined them later at Cowlitz.

In 1833, MONTOUR, BERLAND, Antoine PLANTE, and three FINDLAYs (sons or other descendents of Jacco Findlay) were stationed at Ft. Coleville.

ON THE TRAIL(S):
Hall J. KELLY, an American promoter of Oregon settlement since 1815, set out westward from New Orleans. He was imprisoned in Spanish New Mexico solely on the basis of his US citizenship and later released.

Charles LARPENTEUR recorded the journey of the AMERICAN FUR COMPANY caravan from Missouri to Green River for Rendezvous.

In the Spring of 1833, a company of trappers with Moses HARRIS were attacked by Arikaras. Harris arrived at the 1833 Rendezvous on foot.

SOURCES: Dr. William F. Tolmie, a HBC doctor who arrived by ship in Oregon in 1833: "History of Puget Sound" (Bancroft MS); The Journals of ... (Mitchell); The Journals of... (Large); (Washington Historical Quarterly 3 and 7); "William F. Tolmie Papers" (University of Washington MS); John Work's account of disastrous 1832-1833 trip to California (Maloney) George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); James Douglas, Ft. Vancouver 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft. Coleville in 1829-1835, letters, papers, 1818-1853 (McDonald); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Larpenteur, "Narrative, 1833-72 (Larpenteur); Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris).

The RENDEZVOUS attracted the usual trappers and traders such as DRIPPS and FONTENELLE but also featured a bizarre event. A mad wolf, probably wild with rabies, attacked Thomas FITZPATRICK, Charles LARPENTEUR, George HOLMES, and Dr. Benjamin HARRISON (father of U.S. President Harrison).

Holmes died of the wolf bite but the others recovered. Moses Harris and Benjamin Harrison traveled back to St. Louis in 1833.

Joseph Rutherford WALKER led an expedition to the Pacific by way of the Sierra Nevada. Among the company were Joseph MEEK and William CRAIG.

IN THE EAST:
In 1833, Wilbur Fisk, a professor at Weslayan University in Middletown Connecticut called on his former student, Jason LEE, about the need for a mission to the Flatheads. Lee then changed his plans from a mission in Canada to a mission in Oregon. Most Methodist missionaries to Oregon were associated with Weslayan University.

The METHODIST EPISCOPAL MISSION Board began planning a mission to the Flatheads in October of 1833. In December 1833, Jason Lee met in Boston with Nathaniel WYETH, just returned from Oregon, and heard his plans for a second expedition in the spring of 1834.

 

1834

In 1834, the Hudson Bay Company continued to send reinforcements by sea or overland from Canada, but TWO OVERLAND PARTIES added a number of Americans to settlements in the Willamette Valley. One traveled from Missouri to Oregon. The combined caravan included members of the Methodist Episcopal Missionary Society with JASON LEE, plus Nathaniel WYETH's second expedition (under the name the Columbia River Company), and trader/trappers on their way to Rendezvous and trapping season in the mountains. The second overland caravan came from southern California, adding members along the way, and was led by Hall J. KELLEY and Ewing YOUNG.

ON THE TRAIL TO OREGON:
Jason Lee and his nephew DANIEL LEE left from New York in March 1834, were joined by lay brother missionary Cyrus SHEPARD in Pittsburg and reached Missouri in April. In Richmond Missouri, Jason Lee recruited P.L. EDWARDS, a non-missionary assistant, and C.M. WALKER, another helper hired for a year of service.

The AMERICAN MISSIONARY BOARD was also interested in evangelizing the northwest. In May of 1834 the reverends John DUNBAR, Samuel ALLIS, and Samuel PARKER were sent to scout a mission to the Flatheads. Parker arrived too late to join the fur company caravan and went back to Ithaca, New York. Allis and Dunbar traveled west from Missouri with a party of Pawnees. The two established the PAWNEE AGENCY on the Upper Missouri River. Back in the east in 1834, Parker lectured on the need for missionaries to the Indians in Oregon and inspired both Marcus Whitman and Narcissa Prentiss (future husband and wife then unknown to each other) to apply to the American Board of Missions.

AT INDEPENDENCE, Missouri, Lee and Wyeth joined with fur company members on their way west. On April 28, 1834, William SUBLETTE led the caravan of about 70 men and 250 horses from Independence. Capt. Joseph THYNG traveled as Wyeth's assistant. Sublette and Robert CAMPBELL, both members of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, established Ft. William in 1834, a short-lived post replaced by Ft. Laramie.

SOURCES: TRAIL JOURNALS or reminiscences for 1834: Jason Lee's 1834 diary (OHQ 1906); Nathaniel Jarvis Wyeth (Young); Robert Campbell, again on the Trail with Wyeth (Papers, Missouri Historical Society); John K. Townsend, journal (Thwaites, vol.21); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); William Marshall Anderson, " Narrative of a Ride to the Rocky Mountains in 1834" (Partoll); William Marshall Anderson (Anderson, William Marshall, Adventures in the Rocky Mountains in 1834: [1837 by American Turf Register and Sport Magazine] 1951 reprint by Edward Eberstadt & Sons can be found in the Bancroft Library); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); OTHER SOURCES ABOUT THE TRAIL IN 1834: more material by Jason Lee ( OHQ 1916); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); John K. Townsend (Townsend, John K., Sporting Excursions in the Rocky Mountains, Columbia River, Sandwich Islands, Chili & Co., 1840, 2 vol., Henry Colburn, London--available in the Bancroft Library); Thomas Nuttall, various materials on travels and ornithology, 1834-1835 (Bancroft MS--many of Nuttall's works were published in the early 19th century); Townsend "Collected Papers", "Excursion to Oregon", and "Extracts from a Private Journal" (Bancroft MS); Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris); Francis A. Chardon (Chardon, Francis A. , Chardon's Journal at Fort Clark, 1834-1839; Descriptive of Life on the Upper Missouri, of a Fur Trader's Experiences Among the Mandans, Gros Ventres, and Their Neighbors; of the Ravages of the Small Pox Epidemic of 1837).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA TO OREGON, 1834: Kelley published a pamphlet upon his return to Boston; a copy is in House Report 101, 25th Congress, 3rd Session; Hall J. Kelley (Powell, Fred Wilbur, Hall J. Kelley on Oregon: a Collection of Five of His Published Works and a Number of Hitherto Unpublished Letters: 1972, DaCapo Press, New York.); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich).

"Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); accounts written by Daniel and Jason Lee (in A.J. Allen's Ten Years in Oregon; also Daniel Lee and J. Frost's Ten Years in Oregon); Alexander Caulfield Anderson, narrative (MS "History of the Northwest Coast" --four books published in the 19th century: A Brief Account of the Province of British Columbia, The Dominion of the West, handbook and Map to the Gold Region of the Frazer and Thmpson Rivers, Notes on North-Western America--all available at the Bancroft Library); James Douglas, at Ft. Vancouver 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Dr. William F. Tolmie, a HBC doctor who arrived by ship in Oregon in 1833: "History of Puget Sound" (Bancroft MS); William Tolmie, The Journals of ... (Mitchell, Large);Francis Ermatinger, at Ft. Coleville 1829-1835, letters, papers, 1818-1853 (McDonald); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich).

Wyeth's expedition, Lee's party, and the fur traders reached Rendezvous on the Green River in late June and the future site of Ft. Hall (on the Snake River east of American Falls) by late July. Wyeth and a small party stayed to construct the fort while Lee, encumbered by a herd of cattle, pressed onto Oregon guided by Thomas MCKAY and STUART (who had joined them after Rendezvous). Thomas McKay left the party at his newly-constructed Ft. Boise.

Osborn RUSSELL and 12 men were left by Wyeth at the end of July 1834 to operate the brand-new FORT HALL as the party with Wyeth speeded on horseback to the Columbia River. By the time Lee's party reached Ft. Walla Walla (commanded by the HBC's P.C. PAMBRUN) Wyeth and his party had joined them.

Lee had left Ft. Hall August 1 with STEWART and his servants. A Cayuse guide led them through the Blues and they arrived at Ft. Walla Walla on September 1, 1834.

Jason Lee left the cattle at Walla Walla and went ahead to Ft. Vancouver. He was there to greet the rest of the overland party that arrived by September 16, 1834. Meanwhile, Wyeth's supply ship, the May Dacre, had docked at Wapato (later Sauvie) Island. Re-supplied by the ship and Dr. MCLOUGHLIN at Ft. Vancouver, the missionary party reached the future site of the Salem Methodist Mission on the Willamette River, all members and supplies trickling in by October 6, 1834. The next Sunday, the missionaries held their first service at the home of Joseph GERVAIS.

Lee and his assistants immediately began work on the first mission in the Willamette Valley, the METHODIST MISSION AT CHEHALEM (Salem, later known as the Old Mission). French Canadians already living in the Willamette Valley, Louis LABONTE junior and senior, helped the missionaries to get settled in Oregon. Louis SHAUGETTE died in 1834 and his three orphaned children were taken in at the Mission.

Thomas NUTTALL, a botanist from Harvard, and John Kirk TOWNSEND, a scientist, came overland with the main company in 1834. They left Oregon in 1834 on Wyeth's May Dacre for a quick round trip to Hawaii.

FROM CALIFORNIA TO OREGON:
In the summer of 1834, a party of about 16 men with numerous horses and mules left Monterey to journey from northern CALIFORNIA TO OREGON. Hall J. KELLEY and Ewing YOUNG had met in San Diego and, by the time they made their way to the Bay area, planned to take a company to Oregon. Various other travelers, mostly American, joined them along the way, some parting company in northern California and others proceeding to Oregon.

Kelley fell ill in southern Oregon, and LAFRAMBOIS, leader of a small party of HBC trappers on their way to Ft. Vancouver, carried him ahead for medical treatment at the fort. Young and the rest of the party reached the Salem region of the Willamette Valley by October 1834.

Meanwhile, the Hudson Bay Company ship, the Cadboro, had sailed from Monterey, California to Ft. Vancouver. On board was a letter from Governor FIGUEROA, Spain's commander in California, to DR. MCLOUGHLIN that maligned Kelley and Young as horse thieves and bandits. McLoughlin sheltered Kelley out of compassion for his health but forbid any trade with the company from California and posted warnings against Young.

Much later, probably in late 1835, McLoughlin had revised his opinion of the California party due to further inquiries to California and probably due to assurances about Young's character by those, like C.M. WALKER, who had previously known him. By this time, Young held a strong personal animosity towards McLoughlin and Kelley was convinced of a British conspiracy against any Americans in Oregon. In the Willamette Valley, however, ex-HBC employees (now settlers with families) helped the missionaries settle at Chehalem and the newcomers from California and Missouri mingled with the French Canadian farmers in Champoeg and the Tualatin Plains.

IN OREGON:
William KITTSON traveled from Kootenay Post to take charge of Ft. Nisqually. Under his command at Nisqually in 1834 were Pierre CHARLES, William OUVRE, William BROWN, Silvan BOURGEAU, Anawescan MCDONALD, John MCKEE, Tai and Simon PLUMANDEAU, and Louis SAGOHANENCHTA (an Iroquois married to a Nisqually woman).

1835

A tiny overland party from the States and a disastrous expedition from California add just a few names to the list of ARRIVALS IN OREGON IN 1835:

IN OREGON:
A small pox epidemic spread throughout the Northwest in 1835.

KELLEY left Oregon to return to the States in spring of 1835 on the ship Dryad (Capt. KEPLIN) taking with him a petition about the mistreatment of Americans in Oregon at the hands of the Hudson Bay Company. [Kelley published a pamphlet upon his return to Boston; a copy is in House Report 101, 25th Congress, 3rd Session.]

WYETH established a second post, on Wapato (Sauvie) Island, in 1835.

In spring 1835, C.M. WALKER's term of mission service was over and he left to clerk for Wyeth on Wapato (Sauvie) Island. At this time, Cyrus SHEPARD came from Ft. Vancouver to Salem to be an assistant at the mission.

Thomas Jefferson HUBBARD shot THORNBURG, a tailor with Wyeth's 1834 expedition, on July 4, 1835 in an argument over an Indian girl. Hubbard was acquitted of murder on grounds of self-defense.

The British ship Beaver arrived in 1835 after a speedy 163-day voyage from England. It became the FIRST STEAMSHIP in the Northwest but proved to draw too much water for the Columbia River route. Instead it traveled between Vancouver Island and Nisqually and sometimes for fur trade farther north.

In October, the ailing DANIEL LEE left Oregon to spend the winter of 1835-36 in Hawaii. Thomas NUTTALL, a botanist from Harvard who came overland in 1834, left Oregon on the same ship, the British Ganymede, as Daniel Lee.

In December of 1835, Ignace SHONOMENE dit LE VIEUX IGNACE LA MOUSE (Big Ignace) took his sons (Charles and Francois dit SAXA) to St. Louis for baptism. Big Ignace was an Iroquois who had lived among the Flatheads for many years. Ignace and his sons returned to Oregon with the fur brigade in 1836 and then went east with W.H. Gray in 1837.

ON THE TRAIL TO OREGON:
In 1835, the Methodist Episcopal Missionary Board sent Samuel PARKER and Marcus WHITMAN to prepare for missionary efforts in the northwest. Whitman joined Parker in Independence, Missouri in April of 1835. Whitman and Parker traveled FROM MISSOURI with the fur traders under FONTENELLE to Rendezvous in Wyoming. By June they had reached the Pawnee Agency and by August 12, RENDEZVOUS on the Green River. (Fontenelle had remained at Laramie while Thomas FITZPATRICK led the fur company and the missionaries to the mountains). At Rendezvous, Dr. Whitman removed an arrowhead from the shoulder of a trapper and another from the back of Jim BRIDGER.

Whitman returned to the States after Rendezvous, August 1835, bringing with him two Nez Perce youths, Richard SAKAHTOOAH and John AITS. While Whitman went east to recruit more missionaries, Parker traveled through to Oregon with Charles CAMPO, an interpreter.

SOURCES: "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); John K. Townsend, journal (Thwaites, vol.21); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); Dr. William F. Tolmie, assigned to Ft.Vancouver 1836-41, in charge of Walla Walla 1839: The Journals of ... (Mitchell, Large); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); Thomas Nuttall, various materials on travels and ornithology, 1834-1835 (Bancroft MS--many of Nuttall's works were published in the early 19th century); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); more material by Jason Lee ( OHQ 1916); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); John McLoughlin (Rich); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft Vancouver 1835, letters, papers, 1818-1853 (McDonald); James Douglas, at Ft. Vancouver in 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); accounts written by Daniel and Jason Lee (Allen, Lee).

TRAIL JOURNALS: Marcus Whitman "Journal and Report [of 1835]" (OHQ 1928); Samuel Parker (Parker); OTHER SOURCES ABOUT THE TRAIL FOR 1835; Francis Ermatinger, HBC brigade to Rendezvous. In 1835 Ermatinger was stationed at Ft. Vancouver and led the yearly HBC Brigade to Rendezvous and back (McDonald, Ematinger letters); Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris).

H.O. Lang in Personal Reminiscences of the Early Pioneers records verbatim J.W. Nesmith's account of the attack as related to him by a survivor.

Parker traveled with a company of 10 Nez Perce. They left Rendezvous on September 18 and arrived at Ft. Walla Walla (commanded by P.C. PAMBRUN for the HBC) on October 6, 1835. Rather than establish a mission as planned, PARKER TOURED OREGON and then sailed for Hawaii (in 1836). At the Dalles, October 1835, Parker met WYETH, then on his way east to Ft. Hall. Parker sailed on Wyeth's out-bound ship, the May Dacre, to tour the Columbia River and then returned overland to Ft. Vancouver. At the fort he met Etienne LUCIER who escorted him on a tour of the Willamette River and Champoeg.

According to John Toupin (writing in 1848), P. C. Pambrun, with John TOUPIN as his interpreter, escorted Parker to the Walla Walla Valley. There a deal was made for the future site of Waiilatpu Mission, promising yearly payment, in talks with Cayuses Splitted Lip (Yontippe), Red Cloak (Waptachtakmal) and Pilankaikt. A similar arrangement was made with the Nez Perce of the Lapwaii region on the lands of Old Button. [SOURCE: Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.] Warren Angus Ferris, diary 1830-35 (Ferris);

TO OREGON FROM CALIFORNIA:
In late spring 1835, a company of 8 men and a "squaw with 2 children" (probably the family of John Turner who was with his Native American wife) set out for Oregon FROM CALIFORNIA. John TURNER was making his second trip to Oregon with this party (all of the men are identified by name except for one). In June 1835, an Indian ATTACK AT THE ROGUE RIVER in Oregon killed Dan MILLER and one other (not named). All 6 survivors were wounded severely. An Irishman named BIG TOM was left at the North Umqua, too injured to move, and another named SAUNDERS was abandoned at the South Umpqua. These 2 were later reported dead by Indians visiting Ft. Vancouver.

Near to starvation, John TURNER, WOODSWORTH, and William J.BAILEY eventually made their way to the Methodist Mission at Salem in late summer. Bailey's face had been split by ax from jaw to neck and he was permanently and badly scarred. George GAY, who had separated from the others at the Willamette River, made his way north and reached Wyeth's post on Wapato (Sauvie) Island in August 1835. (The group was disoriented when they reached the Willamette and Gay went directly north away from the southern end of the river knowing that it was not the Columbia where help was available). Gay, who had provided the survivors with moccasins made from his buckskin breeches, arrived at Wapato with only his shirt in August 1835. The fate of the woman and children is not recorded.

1836

IN OREGON:
In March 1836, the British ship Columbia (Capt. Dandy) brought Mr. and Mrs. William COPENDALE from England. He was to oversee agriculture at Ft. Vancouver while she was to operate the dairy. Dr. John McLoughlin, commander of the fort, gave the two a chilly reception and delayed assigning them quarters. McLoughlin apparently resented the implied criticism and outside interference in fort operations.

Mrs. Jane and Rev. Herbert BEAVER arrived on the ship Neriad (Capt. Royal) in March 1836; an Anglican, Beaver had been assigned as a chaplain/missionary to Ft. Vancouver from England.

After winter at Ft. Vancouver, Congregationalist clergyman Samuel PARKER again met Nathaniel WYETH, this time as Wyeth was going down-river and Parker was on his way up the Columbia in April 1836. Parker then attempted to return to the States. His Nez Perce guides refused to go to Rendezvous through hostile Blackfeet territory around the Snake River and Grande Ronde. Parker balked at joining them on an alternate route through the Salmon River mountains so he returned to Ft. Vancouver by May 1836. John TOUPIN then escorted him for at least part of his tour of area around Waiilatpu, along the Clearwater, Spokane, and Snake rivers. Meeting Archibald MCDONALD at Ft. Coleville, Parker went back to Ft.Walla Walla in May 1836.

The ship Columbia, with Parker aboard, sailed for Hawaii in May 1836 and returned to Oregon in September 1836. Parker was back in New York by May 1837. The Whitmans had expected to see him when they arrived in 1836 and were still wondering about his whereabouts in September 1836.

Beginning in 1836, Donald MCLEOD and Thomas MCKAY together led trapping parties into the Snake River region while maintaining homes in the Willamette Valley.

In 1836, the first Catholic church in Oregon was built in Champoeg; without an priest, it was not blessed and dedicated until December 1839.

Archibald MCDONALD took charge of Ft. Coleville this year for the Hudson Bay Company.

MISSIONARY REINFORCEMENTS for the Methodist Mission left for Oregon by ship in 1836. The party left New York in July of 1836 on the Hamilton and arrived in Hawaii in December 1836. A second ship with Methodist missionaries left Boston early the next year.

THE WHITMAN PARTY ON THE TRAIL TO OREGON:
Narcissa and Marcus WHITMAN, newlywed missionaries with the American Board of Missions, came overland to Oregon in 1836. On their way west they retrieved two Nez Perce youths at Ithaca, New York, to take them home. Richard SAKAHTOOAH and John AITS, the Nez Perces, had come east from Rendezvous with Marcus Whitman in the fall of 1835. Eliza and Henry SPAULDING, who had originally planned a mission to the Missouri Osages, instead decided to join the Whitmans when they came through Ohio in mid-March, 1836. A bachelor missionary assistant, William H. GRAY, met the Whitman party at Richmond, Missouri on April 19, 1836.

The WHITMAN PARTY--now two missionary couples, a bachelor assistant, and 2 Nez Perce youths returning to Oregon--were delayed by preparations at the Missouri border until late-April. The party hurried to catch up to the fur company caravan. Within a few days they caught up with the company, led by Thomas FITZPATRICK and Joseph THYNG, at the Loup Fork of the Platte River. With the fur traders were Major PILCHER, US Indian agent to the Yankton Sioux, and an English captain named STUART (likely William Drummond Stewart).

At the Otoe Indian agency Dr. Whitman treated Mr. Dougherty's brother for illness. At the Shawnee agency, a man named Merrill worked with Dunbar. Donald MCLEOD and Thomas MCKAY joined the overland party at Ft. Laramie.

The caravan of 19 carts and 3 wagons (belonging to the English captain) reached Rendezvous on the Green River in late June or mid-July, 1836.

The company rested at RENDEZVOUS for 2 or 3 weeks. Numerous fur traders, the fur caravan from the east, another caravan from the northwest, Bannocks, Snakes, Flatheads, and Nez Perces all gathered for celebration and trade at Rendezvous.

Nathaniel WYETH, an American entrepreneur who first came to Oregon in 1832 arrived at Rendezvous from the west. He had just closed his operations in Oregon and sold Ft. Hall to the HBC. (Joseph Thyng is listed as commander of Ft. Hall from March 1836 to the Fall of 1837). The end of Nathaniel Wyeth's enterprises stranded about 22 of his employees in the Northwest.

Hudson Bay Company officer, John MCLEOD, had formally received possession of Wyeth's fort and was on his way after Rendezvous back to Ft. Vancouver. Because fur company members were returning to St. Louis or heading into the mountains to trap, it was fortunate for the Whitman party that an escort was available to Vancouver. McLeod and his companion Thomas MCKAY guided them to Oregon.

Native Americans (likely Nez Perce or Cayuse) named Samuel TEMONI, KENTUCK, and TACKENSUATIS (Rottenbelly) had joined them at Rendezvous for the journey. A traveler or trapper named John HINDS also accompanied the Whitmans to Waiilatpu so he could receive treatment for a serious case of dropsy (edema). Miles GOODYEAR, a sixteen-year-old from Iowa hired by the Whitman party at the Missouri frontier as servant and herder, left the company at Wyeth's Fort (Ft. Hall) to become a trapper in the mountains. (Goodyear later founded Ogden, Utah).

 

SOURCES: Samuel Parker (Parker); Herbert Beaver (Beaver, Reports and Letters of Herbert Beaver, 1836-1838, Thomas E. Jessert, editor, 1959, Portland, also "Report" OHQ 39); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich); Dr. William F. Tolmie, assigned to Ft.Vancouver 1836-41 (Mitchell, Large); more material by Jason Lee ( OHQ 1916); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft. Vancouver 1835-46, letters, papers (McDonald); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); James Douglas, at Ft. Vancouver 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); accounts written by Daniel and Jason Lee (Allen, Lee).

TRAIL JOURNALS: Marcus Whitman ("Journal and Report of..." OHQ 1927; Letters of 1836 about overland journey and mission operations, OHS MS); Marcus and Narcissa Whitman (Drury, Marcus and Narcissa..); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847); Narcissa Whitman (papers, letters, and diary OHS MS #1204 and Drury, First White Women..., vol. 1); Marcus Whitman (OHQ 1927, 1928) William H. Gray (OHS MS #1202, 87pp printed journal); Eliza Hart [Mrs. Henry H.] Spalding (OHS MS #1202, 32pp diary and Drury, First White Women..., vol. 1); Samuel Parker (Parker).

George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); Roster of temperance society members, Jan. 1837 (OHQ 23, pg 250); Methodist Mission Annual Reports, 1836-37 (OHQ 23); "Letters and Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions", vol. 1 (OHS Library); "Oregon Indians, 1838-1844," (OHS Library); William H. Gray (wrote a History of Oregon, 1792-1849, 1870, Portland; his letters and papers are at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library); John K. Townsend, journal (Thwaites, vol.21); John K. Townsend, narrative (Cushing and Jackson, Donald); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell).

The Whitman party reached Fort Walla Walla by early September 1836. The Whitmans were escorted from Walla Walla to Ft. Vancouver by P.C. PAMBRUN and the scientist TOWNSEND. At Ft. Vancouver, they met John MCLOUGHLIN , James DOUGLAS, and Jason LEE. Eliza Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman stayed at Ft. Vancouver while the new missions were constructed.

By November of 1836, the mission families moved in to their new homes at WAIILATPU and LAPWAII. John MCLEOD, who had just returned to Ft. Vancouver from the Umqua River region, escorted them from the fort to Waiilatpu. Hawaiians--named Nina and Jack--arrived to aid at the mission.

IN OREGON AGAIN:
Alexander CARSON, a free trapper who came west with the Astorians in 1812, was killed in 1836 by Indians in Yamhill County (on "Alec's Butte" later named after him).

Antoine GODIN was killed by Piegan Blackfeet near Ft. Hall in 1836.

The Neriad, on its second voyage between the Islands and Oregon of the year, brought back Daniel LEE from Hawaii, September 1836.

John HINDS died at Waiilatpu in November 1836. He had come with the Whitmans to Oregon from Rendezvous to receive treatment from Dr. Whitman for dropsy.

The COPENDALEs left Ft. Vancouver to return to England in November 1836.

In 1836, Ewing YOUNG and Lawrence CARMICHAEL attempted to found a distillery at Wyeth's (abandoned) Ft. William on Wapato Island. This prompted the immediate organization of the first Oregon Temperance Society and an offer by John MCLOUGHLIN, 9 Americans, and 15 French Canadians to buy out the distillery company. Young refused the offer but closed the distillery in favor of a saw- and grist-mill business. (According to Rev. Frost, the first batch of liquor, ready in December 1836, proved to have no alcoholic kick.)

John Kirk TOWNSEND, a scientist who came overland in 1834, left Oregon in December 1836 on the ship Columbia.

William A. SLACUM, a US Naval officer was appointed US Congressional investigative agent to Oregon after testimony before Congress by H.J. Kelley about the "mistreatment" of Americans in the Northwest. He arrived on the ship Loriot (Capt. BANCROFT) at the mouth of the Columbia River December 22, 1836. He received news of his appointment while on sea duty off the Pacific Coast in late 1836 and made way for Oregon. Due to weather and navigational delays, the Loriot spent little time in Oregon--Slacum interviewed James DOUGLAS and Dr. MCLOUGHLIN of the HBC at Ft. Vancouver, visited others near his docking site at Wapato Island, and then spent 4 days touring French Prairie with Jason LEE.

1837

IN OREGON:
In January 1837, US Navy Lt. SLACUM offered free transport to San Francisco on his ship, the Loriot, to members of the newly formed WILLAMETTE CATTLE COMPANY and made way by river to the coast. The ship finally put to sea Feb.10 1837. The Loriot anchored at least once during the voyage to San Francisco at Ft. Ross, with a few Oregonians going ashore to take temporary jobs there and in San Francisco.

When the Loriot delayed along the Columbia River, Webley J. HAUXHURST decided to leave ship and return to the Willamette Valley. There he married "Mary" of the Yamhill tribe in February 1837.

Capt. Edward BELCHER, British commander of the ships Sulpher and Starling, surveyed the Pacific Coast from 1837 to 1840 to counter the Russian presence in the Northwest. [He wrote Narrative of a Voyage Around the World, 1836-42: 1843, London.]

James DOUGLAS replaced HENZIE at Ft. Vancouver in April 1837.

Mrs. PAYETTE and Mrs. RONDO died in Champoeg in 1837.

In 1837, Capt. HOLMES and 4 of his crew in a small boat drowned near Ft. George; Captain THYNG, originally with this party, had fortuitously been forgotten ashore.

In 1837, white fur traders deliberately spread small pox among the Blackfeet of the upper Missouri River region. News of this infamous crime traveled quickly to the tribes of the Northwest.

FROM CALIFORNIA TO OREGON:
After months of negotiations in Spanish California, the CATTLE COMPANY was ready to JOURNEY BACK TO OREGON. At the Juaquin River, four young men joined with the caravan for their first trip to Oregon. Three of the Cattle Company members--John TURNER, George GAY, and William BAILEY--had previously traveled the same route from California to Oregon. On that trip, in 1835, half of their party had been killed by Rogue River Indians and the others badly wounded. Their desire for revenge probably provoked Indian attacks against the Oregon cattle drovers in 1837 in the Siskiyou Mountains and along the Rogue River. Turner threatened revenge on the Rogues throughout the journey and Gay and Bailey shot an Indian on the Klamath River in 1837 without any provocation. [from the diary of P.L. EDWARDS, a traveler with the 1837 cattle drive]

The WILLAMETTE CATTLE COMPANY returned overland from California to the Salem area by fall of 1837. With them were 500-700 head of cattle and at least 4 men who had decided to leave California for Oregon.

TO OREGON BY SHIP:
Two shiploads of MISSIONARY REINFORCEMENTS for the Methodist Mission arrived in Oregon in 1837. The passengers of the Hamilton, which had reached Hawaii in December of 1836, finally made the month's voyage to Oregon, arriving May 18, 1837 on the ship Diana. This party included the Elija WHITEs, the Alanson BEERS, bachelor WH WILLSON, and three single women, Misses DOWNING, PITTMAN, and JOHNSON. The second party sailed from the east coast and arrived in Oregon in the Sumatra, sailing from Boston on January 20, 1837 and reaching Ft. Vancouver on September 7, 1837. On board were the David LESLIEs, Miss Margaret SMITH, and another bachelor, HKW PERKINS.

SOURCES: Francis A. Chardon (Chardon, Francis A. , Chardon's Journal at Fort Clark, 1834-1839; Descriptive of Life on the Upper Missouri, of a Fur Trader's Experiences Among the Mandans, Gros Ventres, and Their Neighbors; of the Ravages of the Small Pox Epidemic of 1837).

Philip L. Edwards (historians H.H. Bancroft and H.O. Lang consulted his manuscript diary, but it is not in the archives of OHS or Bancroft libraries); Capt. William A. Slacum ("Report" for 1836-37 in OHQ 13); William A. Slacum (Memorial of William A. Slacum..., 1837, Washington DC).

Anna Maria Pittman [Mrs. Jason Lee] wrote a diary of voyages on the Hamiltion and Diana (Gay); Capt. William A. Slacum ("Report" for 1836-37 in OHQ 13); Capt. Edward Belcher (Belcher, Narrative of a Voyage Around the World, 1837-1842, 1843, London); William A. Slacum (Memorial of William A. Slacum..., 1837, Washington DC).

Herbert Beaver (Jessert, editor, and "Report" OHQ 39); Anna Maria Pittman [Mrs. Jason] Lee, diary (Gay); "Methodist Mission Annual Reports, 1836-37 (OHQ 23); "Letters and Papers of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions", vol. 1 (OHS Library); "Oregon Indians, 1838-1844," (OHS Library); "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); Dr. William F. Tolmie (Mitchell, Large); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); more material by Jason Lee ( OHQ 1916); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847) Francis Ermatinger, Ft. Vancouver 1835-43, letters, papers (McDonald); John McLoughlin, letters (Rich); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); James Douglas, at Ft. Vancouver in 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); accounts written by Daniel (Lee, Allen).

William H. Gray (Gray, Journal of His Journey East, 1836-1837, 1980, Ye Galleon Press); Alfred Jacob Miller (artist traveling with William Drummond Stewart, his works are often used as illustrations; found in Ross, Marvin C., The West of Alfred Jacob Miller: 1951); OTHER SOURCES FOR 1837 Letters from W.H. Gray to H.H. Spalding about "Indians West of the Rocky Mountains, 1837-1838" (Bancroft MS from Boston newspaper, the Missionary Herald); accounts of May 1837 war between Haidas and Tsimshians (from Port Simpson log book and testimony of Richard of the Middle-giti'ins, a Skidate Haida participant (Swanton, Annual Report to the Smithsonian, American Ethnology, 1905); Francis A. Chardon, "journal" at Fort Clark, 1834-1839 on the Upper Missouri (Chardon); Elija White (Ten Years in Oregon: Travels and Adventures of Doctor E. White and Lady West of the Rocky Mountains, 1848, Ithaca, NY); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847); Mrs. Elija White (A.J. Allen, compiler and editor, Ten Years in Oregon, published 1850? --not to be confused with Frost and Lee's Ten Years in Oregon or White's Ten Years in Oregon); Elija White (various works, see White in bibliography); Francis Ermatinger, Ft. Vancouver 1835-46, letters, papers (McDonald); John McLoughlin (Rich).

Diana crew members Joseph L. WHITCOMB, Captain HINKLEY and Mrs. Hinkley accompanied passengers of the Diana on a canoe trip down the Willamette to the mission site at Salem. Whitcomb, the Diana's former second officer, stayed in Oregon to help at the mission.

IN OREGON AGAIN:
Marcus and Narcissa Whitman's only child, daughter Alice Clarissa, was born March 14, 1837 at the Waiilatpu Mission. Touloukeke visited and named Alice "Cayuse Tenni" (Cayuse Girl).

April in the Walla Walla Valley: a frequently fatal illness swept through the Cayuse villages. Sticcus came to Waiilatpu for care. McLoughlin sent an orphan girl (one of 18 at Ft. Vancouver in 1837) to help the Whitmans at Waiilatpu. Spalding dispatched Ellis, the Blue Cloak, and High Hat with W.H. Gray for a journey from Lapwaii to the States. (More about this journey is in the "On the Trail" section for 1837)

In May 1837, Umtippe (Splitted Lip, a Waiilatpu Cayuse chief) threatened to kill Dr. Whitman if Umtippe's wife is not cured of her illness, accusing the doctor of poisoning her with his treatment. His younger brother, Yehekiskis, recently had shot the tewat (shaman, medicine man) who had unsuccessfully treated a war chief at Walla Walla. [SOURCE: the diary of Narcissa Whitman provides the proper date for this incident reported in the Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21. Toupin reported that this incident happened in 1838 but Narcissa wrote in her letters for 1837 about this incident and, in April 1838, that Umtippe was again very friendly with the Whitmans after a time of tension.]

That summer, Umtippe asked Whitman for the goods that Parker had promised to pay yearly for the occupation of Waiilatpu; he warned Whitman to leave if he refused to pay. [SOURCE: the diary of Narcissa Whitman provides the proper date for this incident reported in the Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.]

In July, a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Elija WHITE at their home with the Methodist Mission near Salem and named Jason Lee White. During this year a daughter, named Eliza, was born to Henry and Eliza SPAULDING at Lapwaii Mission.

In July 1837, Susan DOWNING, an affianced missionary teacher who had arrived on the Diana, married Cyrus SHEPPARD in a ceremony at the Methodist Mission in Salem presided by Rev. Jason Lee. To the congregation's surprise, Nancy and Charles ROE announced their conversion and desire for a clergy-blessed marriage. Then, after the Roe nuptials, JASON LEE announced that he and Anna Maria PITTMAN would also wed. Jason changed places in the pulpit with his nephew, DANIEL LEE, and wed Anna Maria.

The Sheppards and the Lees followed the wedding with a weeks-long trip on horseback to the coast.

In August, Harriette PAMBRUN was born at Ft. Walla Walla.

ON THE TRAIL:
About 120 fur trappers/traders gathered for Rendezvous in 1837 including Thomas FITZPATRICK, Moses HARRIS, and Etienne PROVOST.

William Henry GRAY, an assistant to Whitman for the American Board of Missions, went east in the spring of 1837 with the HBC troop under Francis ERMATINGER to Rendezvous. Traveling with Gray were at least two Lapwaii area Indians (Cayuse or Nez Perce). Gray wanted to reach the States to recruit more help for the mission. Flathead (Salish Indian) escorts and Big Ignace La Mousse (a French Canadian/ Iroquois living among the Flatheads) joined Gray for the trip to Missouri at Rendezvous as the HBC headed back to Ft. Vancouver. (Gray was too impatient to wait to travel with St. Louis-bound trappers.) On the Upper Missouri River an attack by Sioux killed all of Gray's Flathead companions including the son of the chief, HIGH HAT. Gray and two other white men (who had joined the company at Rendezvous) narrowly escaped with the help of a "French trapper".

After Rendezvous 1837, the Oregon Indians Ellis and Blue Cloak decided that their horses were too fatigued to continue toward Missouri. When they returned to Lapwaii in the fall of 1837, Spaulding condemned them to 50 lashes for deserting Gray. Ellis, surrounded by a large party of his own men, simply left. The Blue Cloak, however, came to evening services at the mission. Tonwitakis (a young chief of the Nez Perce) seized him and demanded that Spaulding punish Blue Cloak or be whipped himself. Spaulding also fined Blue Cloak one horse. [Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.]

1838

TWO PARTIES TRAVELED OVERLAND IN 1838, one eastward from Oregon to the States and another from Missouri west to the Oregon country.

IN THE EAST
After he came back to the States from Oregon, missionary William GRAY met and married Mary Augusta DIX within one week in February 1838. Gray also recruited 3 more newlywed couples and a young single man for missionary work in Oregon: the C. EELLS, the A.B. SMITHs, the E. WALKERs, and a bachelor named Cornelius ROGERS.

IN OREGON:
In 1838, James BIRNIE of the HBC succeeded John DUNN as commander of Ft. George (Astoria).

Michel ATENESSE and Etienne AANIAESSEI, part-Iroquois fur hunters, settled on French Prairie near present-day Brooks in 1838.

Henry K.W. and Elvira (Johnson) PERKINS moved from the mission at the Dalles to the Methodist mission at Salem in February 1838.

Mrs. And Rev. Herbert BEAVER, an Anglican missionary couple, returned to England by ship in March 1838 after performing many baptisms, marriages, and burials despite the mostly Catholic affiliations of the population at Ft. Vancouver. The haughty Beavers did not fit in with Fort society and were deeply--and vocally--shocked at marriages in the country style (without clergy). Rev. Beaver specifically insulted Mrs. McLoughlin, and Dr. McLoughlin beat him with his own cane. Back in England, Beaver filed charges to have McLoughlin dismissed but was himself dismissed with a small award for damages.

In April, Charles CAMPO (an interpreter for Rev. Samuel PARKER had who accompanied him from the mountains in 1835) came from the high country to Oregon and settled near Waiilatpu Mission.

In May 1838, Dr. John MCLOUGHLIN left Ft. Vancouver for a visit to England.

In May 1838, another HBC caravan, the annual southbound troop overland from Canada, brought Fathers FN BLANCHET and M. DEMERS, the first Catholic priests in the Oregon Country. J. GERVAIS and Pierre BILLIQUE came from the Willamette Valley to greet them at Ft. Vancouver.

Tourists with the southbound HBC caravan from Canada included Mr. and Mrs. WALLACE of England, a British botanist named BANKS with his wife, Mrs. WILLIAMS (the daughter of Sir George Simpson), two girls surnamed TREMBLAY, and 5 others. In an accident on the Columbia River near the Dalles 8 to 10 travelers with the company drowned, including Banks and Wallace.

In June 1838, Joseph and Maria MAHI (or Maki), a Hawaiian husband wife, arrived at the Whitmans' to work with a bachelor named Jack to assist at the mission.

When Anna Maria PITTMAN-LEE (Mrs. Jason Lee) died in childbirth in June 1838, Jason Lee didn't receive news of her death until September at the Shawnee Mission in Westport, Missouri.

Also in June, Sarah HULL, a Native American child cared for by the Whitmans, died at Waiilatpu of illness.

The infant son of Dr. Elija and Mrs. WHITE drowned in August when a CANOE OVERTURNED near the Dalles as Mrs. White and Rev. LESLIE were returning from a visit to Mrs. PERKINS Wascopam.

IN THE MOUNTAINS AND ON THE OREGON TRAIL:
The Winter of 1837-38 was a very hard winter for the trappers and traders in the mountains with heavy snows, little forage, and hostility from the Blackfeet. Lucien FONTENELLE, Andrew DRIPPS's partner, committed suicide.

In 1838, Archibald MCDONALD was in charge of Ft. Coleville and, at nearby Lapwaii, George EBBERTS wintered with the SPAULDINGS. At Waiilatpu, Narcissa WHITMAN took care of Thomas MCKAY's daughter, Margaret, and a Native American girl from Lee's mission near the Willamette Falls, Sarah HULL.

During this year, Philip THOMPSON and William CRAIG constructed Ft. Crockett.

In early March, William M. NEWELL was born to Kitty M. Newell, a Nez Perce, and Robert Newell, a trapper, at Brown's Hole on the Black Fork of the Green River (site of Ft. Crockett).

In March 1838, a Methodist missionary company traveled with the HBC east-bound caravan under Francis ERMATINGER from Oregon to Rendezvous. After Rendezvous, the missionary party continued their journey through to the States (most of this party returned within a year or two to Oregon). The Methodist mission company included F.Y. EWING, P.L. EDWARDS, Jason LEE, Thomas MCKAY's two (and possibly 3) eldest sons, and two Chinooks, Thomas ADAMS and William M. BROOKS.

In Spring 1838, the fur company under Andrew DRIPPS, William SUBLETTE, and William Drummond STEWART headed west from St. Louis for Rendezvous at the Green River. Johann August SUTTER, a Swiss emigrant on his way to California, traveled with the trappers as did Moses HARRIS. The four newly-wed MISSIONARY COUPLES JOINED THE CARAVAN at the Pawnee Agency northwest of Independence, Missouri, and hired Moses "Black" HARRIS as their guide to Rendezvous. Trappers with FITZPATRICK also joined the troop at the Pawnee Agency.

Dripps, the Fur Company, and the missionary couples arrived from the east while Ermatinger, the HBC caravan, and a States-bound party from the Oregon missions arrived from the west for RENDEZVOUS at Wind River.

In July 1838 at Ft. Hall, express riders sent from Oregon with the news of Mrs. Jason Lee's death met Gray's party. Spaulding had sent these 6 Native American messengers from Lapwaii through hostile Blackfoot territory to bring the dispatch. At Fort Hall, Gray hired Paul RICHARDSON (a company guide) and E.G. CURTIS to return to the States with the news. The two men delivered the message to Jason Lee at the Shawnee Mission in Westport, Misouri, in early September 1838.

Moses "Black" HARRIS guided the missionary party--Cornelius ROGERS,the EELLS, A.B. SMITHs, the W.H. GRAYs (Gray had gone east from Oregon in 37 and was returning with a wife), and the Elkhana WALKERs--through the mountains. Ermatinger and the HBC caravan then led the missionaries with Gray to WAIILATPU where they arrived in September 1838.

SOURCES: Herbert Beaver (Jessert, editor, and "Report" OHQ 39); Anna Maria Pittman [Mrs. Jason] Lee diary (Gay); Letters from W.H. Gray to H.H. Spalding about "Indians West of the Rocky Mountains, 1837-1838" (Bancroft MS from Boston newspaper, the Missionary Herald); Francis A. Chardon, "journal" at Fort Clark, 1834-1839 on the Upper Missouri (Chardon); Elija White (Ten Years in Oregon: Travels and Adventures of Doctor E. White and Lady West of the Rocky Mountains, 1848, Ithaca, NY); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847); Mrs. Elija White (A.J. Allen, compiler and editor, Ten Years in Oregon, published 1850); Elija White (White); "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); Dr. William F. Tolmie (Mitchell, Large); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847); Francis Ermatinger, Ft. Vancouver 1835-46, letters, papers (McDonald); John McLoughlin (Rich); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); James Douglas at Ft. Vancouver 1830-1849, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Daniel Lee, narrative (Lee).

Myra Fairbanks Eells (Drury, First White Women, vol. 2); Mary Richardson [Mrs. Elkanah] Walker diary (Drury, First White Women, vol. 2); Asa Bowen Smith, Journal 1838-42 (Drury.); Johann Sutter (Sutter); Rev. William H. Gray (Gray,"Gray's Journal of 1838," in Pacific Northwest Quarterly, Seattle, July 1938, pp 277-282); Mary Dix Gray (OHS MS); Mary and Elkanah Walker (OHS MS); Elkanah Walker Diary (mss. at Washington State University of original at the Huntington Library, Pasadena, CA); Elkanah Walker ("Diaries" 1805-1877, OHS MS); Thomas M. Anderson (Beinecke Library Ms). REMINISCENCES: Father F.N. Blanchet (Kowrach, reminiscence, his journal begins after the trail journey); Nancy M. Hembree Snow Bogart (Schlissel, Lillian, Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey, 1982, Schocken Books, New York.) John A. Stoughton "An Emigrant of 1843 (Washington Historical Quarterly 1924: vol. 15); Father F.N. Blanchet (Blanchet, Francis N., et al., Notices and Voyages of the Famed Quebec Mission to the Pacific Northwest...Blanchet..DeMers, Bolduc, Langlois...1838 to 1847, 1956, Portland).

Henry H. Spalding and Asa Bowen Smith, diary and letters, 1838-1842 (Drury); Letters from W.H. Gray to H.H. Spalding about "Indians West of the Rocky Mountains, 1837-1838" (Bancroft MS from Boston newspaper, the Missionary Herald); John Toupin wrote about troubles at Lapwaii Mission (Letter, 9/24/1848, in Senate Documents, 35th Congress, 1st sess., vol. 4, Ex.Doc. 40); Journal of Thomas M. Anderson at Ft. Vancouver (Beinecke Collection, Yale University); "Correspondence of Myra and Cushing Eells" (OHS MS); letter from Myra Eells (TOPA 1897 "The Rev. H.H. Spaulding"); Eliza Hart Spalding (Drury, First White Women).

Gray arrived at Waiilatpu on August 14, 1838 with his wife and one companion. He had left the others "100 miles the other side of Snake [Boise] Fort." [from the diary of Narcissa Whitman].

Trapper CONNERS (formerly of the HBC and AFC), his Nez Perce wife, and newborn traveled with them from Wind River. The Grays, Conners, and Cornelius Rogers went to Lapwaii mission; the E. Walkers and the Eells went beyond Ft. Coleville to make a new mission to the Flatheads (Salish) at Tshimaikan. The AB Smiths stayed at the Whitmans.

After Rendezvous in 1838, Joe WALKER, who had wintered in the area, became Dripps's unofficial partner in place of Fontenelle.

IN OREGON AGAIN:
Throughout the summer and into early fall the two newly-arrived priests, Fathers BLANCHET and DEMERS, toured Coleville, Okanagan, Walla Walla, Nisqually and Cowlitz holding services and dedicating missions along the way. At Ft. Vancouver, September 1838, Blanchet and DeMers presided over the first mass in the Oregon country. By mid-October they had taken their posts in Champoeg and Nisqually. CATHOLIC CHURCHES were dedicated at Ft. Vancouver, Walla Walla, and Coleville.

In 1838 Nancy nee MCKENZIE (or MATOOSKIE, the abandoned country wife of John George McTavish and the daughter of Roderick McKenzie) and her husband, Pierre LEBLANC, arrived in Oregon from the Red River district. Their 5 year old daughter had drowned at the Athabasca portage and LeBlanc and 3 more children drowned at the Dalles. Matooskie LeBlanc became a ward of Ft. Vancouver.

In the Fall of 1838, a daughter was born to Cyrus and Susan (Downing) SHEPPARD; they named her Ann Marie Lee Sheppard after the late Mrs. Jason Lee. The same Fall a son was born to H.K.W. and Elvira (Johnson) PERKINS.

DANIEL LEE and HKW PERKINS built WASCOPAM METHODIST MISSION at the Dalles in 1838 during Jason Lee's absence. Perkins left the Dalles in October 1838 and stayed in the Willamette Valley (until February 1839).

William H. GRAY returned to Lapwaii in September 1838 and told the story of how High Hat was murdered during their trip back to the States in late 1837. Ellis charged that Rev. Spalding (who had punished Blue Cloak and threatened Ellis for not accompanying Gray) must have wanted them to die. The Lapwaii Indians then blockaded the mission for a month. John TOUPIN, after three visits, finally persuaded them to make peace. [Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.]

In September1838, the Elkanah WALKERs and the Cushing EELLS made a new American Board mission at Tshimaikan. Archibald McDonald (of the HBC's nearby Ft. Coleville) suggested that they site the mission on Big Head's land.

In September 1838, Umtippe, a Waiilatpu Cayuse, believed he was dying and vowed to will his lands to Alice Whitman, known as Cayuse Girl. The toddler at Waiilatpu Mission had constant visitors and was learning Cayuse along with English. (Umtippe outlived Alice and died October 1841).

A son was born in December to another American Board missionary couple, Elkanah and Mary (Richardson) WALKER at Tshimiakan. The family had arrived in Oregon in September.

During the winter of 1838-39, the home of the David LESLIEs burned.

 

IN THE EAST AGAIN:
In the autumn of 1838, Jason LEE lectured about Oregon in Peoria, Illinois. Thomas ADAMS, one of the Chinooks who came with Lee from Oregon, stayed in Peoria to recover from an illness. Lee and Adams may have inspired the emigration of the Peoria Party and others from Illinois to Oregon in 1839. (One or more of Thomas McKay's sons may have also remained in Peoria).

In December, Congress received a proposal to make Oregon a Territory of the US.

1839

In 1839, the HBC's James Douglas took a census of the Willamette Valley and counted 51 (non-native) adult males. American settlers numbered 18 and Canadians, 23 (presumably the other 10 were missionaries).

During 1839, Iroquois Pierre GAUCHER and YOUNG IGNACE (who had settled among the Flatheads) traveled from the Oregon Country to St. Louis. Their petition convinced Jesuit P.J. Verhaegen to dispatch Father Pierre DeSmet to Oregon in 1841.

IN THE EAST:
In January 1839, Jason LEE petitioned Congress to extend US authority to Oregon.

In 1839, the North Litchfield Association of Connecticuit dispatched TWO MISSIONARY COUPLES, the Asahel MUNGERs and the J.S. GRIFFINs, to reinforce the American Board missions (Waiilatpu and Lapwaii).

IN THE MOUNTAINS AND ON THE OREGON TRAIL:
The Winter of 1838-1839 was another harsh winter in the mountains. Andrew DRIPPS and company spent the winter in the Wind River area. Joseph WALKER was in the Snake River and upper Columbia region. C.M. WALKER was in charge of Ft. Hall, the HBC's Archibald MCDONALD headed Ft. Coleville, and TOLMIE ran Ft. Walla Walla; William CRAIG was proprietor at Ft. Crockett at Brown's Hole on the Black Fork of the Green River and PAYETTE was in charge of Ft. Boise.

In Missouri in spring of 1839, the missionary party--the Mungers, the Griffins, and bachelor William GEIGER--joined the American Fur Company caravan with a few other travelers on their way to settle in Oregon. Nine trappers with the Chouteau's company (traveling with Moses HARRIS and Dr. WISLIZENUS) traveled west to Rendezvous this year, perhaps independently or perhaps with the main company. At least two parties of single men, most of them on their way to California, also joined the fur caravan from Missouri. German physician Dr. Wislizenus of St. Louis, Ben WRIGHT, and Peter LASSEN joined as a group to accompany the fur caravan. Another group bound for California (John STEVENS, Charles KLIEN, William WIGGINS, David D. DUTTON, and D.G. JOHNSON) joined the caravan in Missouri.

IN ILLINOIS TWO PARTIES OF YOUNG MEN also started for the Oregon country. Robert MOORE is the only recorded name for one of these parties, probably of about a dozen men, which scattered after Bent's Fort (Colorado). The other Illinois company, called THE PEORIA PARTY, numbered about 18 and was led by T.J. FARNHAM. The Peoria Party left the States May 1, 1839, traveled by way of Santa Fe, and also split up at Bent's Fort, July 1839.

While at Bent's Fort, the Peoria Party encountered a trapper company bound in the other direction to Santa Fe. The company furnished their physician, Dr. WALWORTH, to treat Peorian Sydney SMITH who had accidentally shot himself early in the journey. A.M. BLAIR, an older man who had been with the Santa Fe-bound company, decided to join the caravan to Oregon. When the Party split up at Bent's, some went back to the States, some joined the trappers' life in the mountains, and others came through to Oregon, either in 1839 or after a winter in the high country.

KELLEY, a mountain man from Kentucky, guided Farnham, Blair, JOURDAN, C. WOOD or J. WOOD, and Sydney SMITH through to Ft. Clair and then Rendezvous. (One man named Wood returned to the States from Bent's Fort and the other from Ft. Hall.) WOOD and O.A. OAKLY were persuaded to return to the States from Bent's Fort by a mountain man named Paul RICHARDSON who was on his way to Missouri with a small party. Peorians Joseph HOLMAN, Robert SHORTESS, R.L. KILBOURNE, Amos COOK, and Francis FLETCHER traveled together but separately from Farnam's group.

The late summer RENDEZVOUS at Green River--where the HBC company from the west and the American Company from the east met with independent trappers--was the usual place to arrange for guides for the next leg of travel. In 1839 the American Fur Company arrived with only 4 cart-loads of supplies from Missouri, a sad contrast to the height of the fur trade. In 1839 and the early 1840's many trappers left the trade to settle in the Willamette Valley or, like SUBLETTE and Louis VASQUEZ (who came to the 1839 Rendezvous), changed to occupations as guides and trail suppliers. In 1839 after Rendezvous, about 15 independent trappers accompanied the Oregon-bound HBC caravan from Rendezvous to take up residence in the Willamette Valley.

The RENDEZVOUS hosted the American Fur Company, including DRIPPS, FRAEB, Kit CARSON, MITCHELL, Caleb WILKENS, OWENS, William CRAIG, and Jim BRIDGER, the missionaries, settlers bound for Oregon or California, and independent fur trappers, such as William JOHNSON, Joe MEEK, and Robert NEWELL. Louis VASQUEZ and William SUBLETTE also came from Missouri sometime this season.

AFTER RENDEZVOUS, the gathering split into various parties that headed westward or eastward at different times. The main westward caravan, the Hudson Bay Company troop under Francis ERMATINGER, left Rendezvous and headed for Ft. Hall with the missionaries, 15 independent trappers, the settlers, and the 2 parties of California-bound immigrants.

There was no guide available for California at Ft. Hall so 2 of the party turned back for the States (one of these possibly Charles KLEIN whose fate is otherwise unknown). Other originally California-bound travelers decided to go through to Oregon (Dr. WISLIZENUS, Ben WRIGHT, Peter LASSEN, John STEVENS, William WIGGINS, David D. DUTTON, and D.G. JOHNSON).

Dr. William M. GEIGER and William JOHNSON, slightly ahead of the other 39ers, reached Waiilatpu in early August. The HBC troop led by Ermatinger arrived soon after, bringing 15 trappers, the missionaries, and the other emigrants. Among the trappers may have been KEISER and LAWSON who reportedly settled in the Willamette Valley this year.

After Rendezvous, leaving after the main caravan, Kelley guided FARNHAM, A. M. BLAIR, JOURDAN, and Sydney SMITH through to Ft. Crockett. Perhaps with some members of the splintered Peoria party, Joe MEEK, Robert NEWELL, and SHORTESS traveled together to Ft. Hall from Ft. Crocket. From Hall, Shortess pushed on with a French Canadian named SILVERTRY, but most of the others spent the winter in the mountains and probably returned to Ft. Crocket.

Newell brought his family and Meek's family from Ft. Hall back to Crockett while Joe Meek was on a hunting trip. Newell hoped the goods he brought from Hall, purchased with his furs, would allow him to set up as an Indian trader at Crockett.

In August 1839, Farnam's party met and passed Joe Meek as he was on his way alone between Ft Hall and Ft. Crockett. After Ft. Crocket or perhaps Ft. Hall, a Shoshone guide took Farnham, Smith, and Blair as far as Waiilatpu (near present day Walla Walla, WA). Members of the Peoria Party still with Farnham arrived at Waiilatpu in September. Blair and Smith went on to Ft. Walla Walla while Farnam stayed at the Whitman's.

By September HOLMAN, KILBOURNE, COOK, and FLETCHER had reached Ft. Crockett on the Green River.

Sometime after early September--in retaliation for a Sioux raid--trappers led by Phillip F. THOMPSON (a partner of Pruett SINCLAIR) raided the Snakes (Shoshones) near Ft. Hall. Newell, Craig, Joe WALKER, Kit Carson, and 25 others recovered the horses and returned them to the Shoshones. The trappers were divided over whether or not to condemn Thompson's raiders for their actions.

In October, Joe Walker and Madison GORDON came upon Meek, freezing on his way to Ft. Crockett (also called Ft. Misery). They reached Brown's Hole around the end of the month. Sometime in October, Courtney Walker Meek was born to Virginia Meek, Joe's second wife.

Winter 1839-1840: Robert Moore stayed the winter at Bent's Fort. Spending the winter at Brown's Hole/Ft. Crockett were Robert Newell, Kitty M. Newell, Francis Ermatinger Newell (age 4 1/2), the infant William Newell, Joseph Meek, Virginia Meek and their newborn, and Helen Mar Meek (Joe's 2-year-old daughter by his first wife who had deserted him). With them were LARISON and Craig and their Native American wives along with trapper/traders CERE, DOUGHTY, WILKENS, and Joe Walker. Newcomers Kilbourne, Holman, Fletcher, and Amos Cook also stayed the winter. There were also well over a dozen additional trappers in the region for the winter; among them (unless they were among the 15 who went through to Vancouver with Ermatinger and the HBC after Rendezvous) may be un-named travelers from Illinois. Mountain men John Green, H. Black, George Davis, Osborne Russell, Calvin Tibbits, John Turner, James O'Neil, Felix Hathaway, Nicholas U. Stansbury, Nicolaus Altgier, James Travers, and Charles Mattes are also possibilities (these trappers and 39ers were all established in the Willamette Valley by summer 1840).

IN OREGON
January 1839, Marcus and Narcissa WHITMAN spent several weeks at the mouth of the Tukanon River for intensive language study among the Nez Perces.

In March 1839, a son was born to William and Mary (Dix) GRAY at Lapwaii.

Rev. Edwin. O. HALL arrived with his wife by ship via Hawaii in May 1839. After the annual Missionary meeting at LAPWAII in August, they brought a printing press to the Whitmans--a few weeks later N. Whitman (see her entry 1836) reports the printing of the region's "first book in the Indian language."

George W. EBBERT moved from Lapwaii Mission to the Willamette Valley May 20, 1839 with his Native American wife. By late 1839, he was living across the river from William Johnson's place near the Falls.

In June 1839, Alice Clarissa WHITMAN, Marcus' and Narcissa's daughter, drowned in the Walla Walla River. She was just over two years old.

Marcus Whitman was called, July 1839, to attend Mrs. Eells at Tshimaikan Mission for a serious spinal illness. While he was away, two children in one Indian family died suddenly. Narcissa Whitman, who tended to the burial and had previously given one of the children medicine, was accused by the local Indians of killing the children.

July 1839, a son named Henry was born to the PERKINs at the Dalles.

SOURCES: Joseph Holman (OHQ 1903); Desire C.Smith Griffin (OHS MS, March to June 1839); Adolf Wislizenus (Wislizenus A Journey to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1839, translated by Frederich A. Wislizenus, 1969); Asahel Munger (OHQ 1907); O.A. Oakly (OHS MS and Hafen, Vol. 3); Sidney Smith (OHS MS and Hafen, vol. 3): Robert Shortess (Hafen, vol. 3); Robert Newell (OHQ 31 is his MS "Memoranda" also published Dorothy L. Johansen, editor, as Robert Newell's Memoranda in 1959); Reminiscences Thomas J. Farnham ("Reminiscences of an Overland Journey in 1840[1839-1840]" OHS MS); Amos Cook (Hafen, vol. 3, interview in the Oregonian 1890); Francis Fletcher (Hafen vol. 3); Joseph Holman (interviews in Oregonian newspaper 1878 and 1885, also Hafen, vol. 3) George Ebbert "A Trapper's Life, 1829-1839"--Ebbert settled in the Oregon country in 1839 (Bancroft MS); Thomas J. Farnham (Farnham: Published in a variety of sources, Farnham wrote Travels to the Rocky Mountains [1841]) : the 1839 Oregon Petition to Congress appears in 26th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 514]

Missionary Elkanah Walker, journal 1838-1848 (Drury, Nine Years...); "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); Dr. William F. Tolmie, a HBC doctor who arrived by ship in Oregon in 1833, assigned to Ft.Vancouver 1836-41, in charge of Walla Walla 1839: The Journals of ... (Mitchell, Large); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS); George Barclay "Journal, 1832-1838 [1839]" (OHS has microfilm of the material in the British Museum, London); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847); Daniel Lee (Lee/Frost) ; Rev. John Smith Griffin's Records for theCongregational Church, 1839 to 1844 (OHQ 1923); John Toupin wrote about Waiilatpu Cayuse (Letter, 9/24/1848, in Senate Documents, 35th Congress, 1st sess., vol. 4, Ex.Doc. 40); Thomas J. Farnham (Farnham Travels in the Great Western Prairies, Travels in the Californias [1844], History of Oregon Territory [1844] and Life, Adventures, and Travels in California [1846]); his 1839 Oregon petition to Congress appears in 26th Cong., 1st Sess., Sen. Doc. 514; James Douglas, Ft. Vancouver in 1830-49, papers (Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Francis Ermatinger, at Ft. Vancouver 1835-46, letters (McDonald); John McLoughlin (Rich);.

George, the teenaged adopted son of Mr. and Mrs. Elija WHITE, drowned in the Willamette River in August 1839 while trying to ford it on horseback.

In October 1839, Dr. MCLOUGHLIN brought 4 British men (3 of them married) back with him from his visit to England.

In the late Fall of 1839, James DOUGLAS of the HBC led 50 or 60 men to the lands recently leased by Britain from Russia in the northwest. Among the company were William Glen RAE, John MCLOUGHLIN JR., John KENNEDY, and Roderick FINDLAYSON.

FARNHAM visited Ft. Vancouver until October and then toured settlements in the Willamette Valley (staying with Dr. Bailey, David Leslie and Elija White). He returned east by way of Hawaii in the ship Neriad in November 1839. Farnham returned to the States with a petition, signed by 67 Oregonians, pleading for US jurisdiction and protection in the Northwest. From Hawaii, Farnham wrote a letter to the US Secretary of War with more extreme accusations against the British.

These communiqués from Farnham, and an even more accusatory letter to Congress from Captain Spaulding (later of the ship Lausanne), may have led to the dispatch of the US Exploring Expedition (arrived in Oregon in 1841).

During this year, Tom MCKAY relocated to the Willamette Valley and George EBBERTS resettled in Champoeg. Dr. Forbes BARCLAY of the HBC arrived in Vancouver by ship. Donald MANSON established FT. SIMPSON while W.H. WILLSON (who came by ship in 1837) founded NISQUALLY METHODIST MISSION.

CATHOLIC CHURCHES were dedicated at NISQUALLY and CHAMPOEG in 1839.

In the fall of 1839, the A.B. SMITHs left Waiilatpu to establish a new American Board mission among the Nez Perces at Kamiah. [from the diary of Narcissa Whitman]. Ellis, a Nez Perce, gave permission for the mission on condition that Smith not cultivate the land, saying, "You will dig your own grave if you do." [from the Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.]

In October 1839, Father Modeste DEMERS took his official post at Cowlitz (St. Francis Xavier). Cowlitz was then only a community of 46 people.

In December, Father Francis N. BLANCHET blessed the church (built in 1836) at Champoeg. The first mass was held the following January.

The GRAYs left Lapwaii mission for Ft. Walla Walla in the winter of 1839 and resettled in the Willamette Valley.

Cyrus SHEPPARD, a missionary who came to Oregon in 1834 with Jason Lee, died in the winter of 1839-40 of complications after his leg was amputated.

ON THE EAST COAST:
A large number of Methodist missionaries with Rev. Jason LEE and some civilian emigrants boarded The Lausanne and set sail for Oregon on October 10, 1839. (The ship arrived at Ft. Vancouver on June 1, 1840.)

 

1840

By late summer of 1840, the POPULATION IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY included: "American settlers, twenty-five of them with Indian wives, 36; American women, 33; children 32; lay members, Protestant Missions, 13; Methodist Ministers,13; Congregational, 6; American Physicians,3; English Physicians, 1; Jesuit Priests, including DeSmet, 3; Canadian French, 60. Total Americans 137; total Canadians, including Priests, 63. Total population, not including Hudson's Bay Company operatives within what now is a portion of Montana, and all of Idaho, Washington and Oregon, 200."

Arrivals on THE SHIP LAUSANNE and a small party overland of missionary/settlers had boosted the population. Several trapper/traders and their families quit the backcountry and came to make homes. The last of the Peoria Party of '39 trickled in. By this time, Ft. Crockett (Ft. Misery) was in ruins, the beaver trapped-out, and the fur companies disbanding

 

IN THE MOUNTAINS AND ON THE OREGON TRAIL:
Winter 1839-1840: Robert MOORE stayed the winter at Bent's Fort in Colorado. Spending the winter at Brown's Hole/Ft. Crockett were Robert NEWELL, Kitty M. Newell, Francis Ermatinger Newell (age 4 1/2), the infant William Newell, Joseph MEEK, Virginia Meek and their newborn, and Helen Mar Meek (Joe's 2-year-old daughter by his first wife who had deserted him). With them were John LARISON, William CRAIG, and their Native American wives along with trapper/traders Michel CERE, William DOUGHTY, Caleb WILKENS, and Joe WALKER. Newcomers (a remnant of the Peoria Party of 1839) R. L. KILBOURNE, Joseph HOLMAN, Francis FLETCHER, and Amos COOK also stayed the winter.

February 7: Robert Newell, Joe Meek, John Larison, William Craig, William Doughty (trappers with families) plus Holman, Cook, Fletcher, and Kilbourne left Ft. Crockett for Ft. Hall.

March 23 or 4: After a grueling 45-day journey in heavy snow, the Newell/Meek party reached Ft. Hall.

April 29: The American Fur Company (under Dripps, Fraeb, and Bridger) left St. Louis with 3 independent missionary couples: the Alvin T. SMITHs, Harvey CLARKs, and the Philo P. LITTLEJOHNs.

Around late April, Holman, Cook, and an un-named HBC man left Ft. Hall for Ft. Boise. According to Holman (dictating from his deathbed in 1880) in early spring, Holman, Cook, Fletcher, and Kilbourne left Ft. Hall travelling together to Walla Walla. Holman and Cook definitely arrived together in May at Ft. Walla Walla.

May 6: Joel Walker's family from the Osage country of Missouri joined the main body of the AFC and the missionaries on the plains east of St. Louis. Walker had hunted a buffalo, and it was the first many in the caravan had seen dressed for preservation.

Henry BLACK and Pleasant ARMSTRONG, bachelor trappers, also joined the caravan from Missouri early in the journey. Robert MOORE (of the 1839 Peoria Party) and George DAVIS (described as a drifter in search of land) joined west of Laramie.

Late May: HOLMAN, COOK, and 2 un-named trappers arrived at Walla Walla from Ft. Hall. FLETCHER also arrived but separately from this group. William DOUGHTY and C.M. WALKER (who resigned as head of Ft. Hall to relocate to the Willamette this year) are the mostly likely candidates for the un-named trappers or for Fletcher's companions. KILBOURNE, reported traveling earlier in the journey with Doughty, may also have arrived in May.

In the spring of 1840, Joe WALKER left Ft. Crockett with a company of 12. The expedition was a company of trapper/traders from the Snake River region to Los Angeles. By late fall the expedition had reached Los Angeles from Arizona. Along the way, they encountered Andrew DRIPPS, FRAEB, and Jim BRIDGER, traveling together after Rendezvous on Green River.

June 13: Francis ERMATINGER and HBC supplies arrived at Ft. Hall from Ft.Vancouver.

June 30: Rendezvous at Green River. Attendees included the Newells, Meek, Craig, the American Fur Company brigade from St. Louis, the Joel Walkers, and the independent missionary couples. At this last Rendezvous, Dripps wrapped up business and disbanded the American Fur Company. The terribly expensive Moses HARRIS had escorted the missionaries for some of their journey but was replaced by Robert Newell as a guide. Harris was so angry that he took a drunken potshot at Newell; the shot missed by a mile but the other trappers expelled Harris from Rendezvous.

July 20: The missionaries arrived at Ft. Hall escorted by Robert Newell. With them were the Meek, John Larison, Caleb Wilkens, William Craig, Henry Black, Jandreau, and others.

Larison and Craig left Ft. Hall while Newell's party lingered through September.

July 21: A.T. Smith sold his wagon at Ft. Hall in exchange for 8 pack-horses worth of goods and delivery at Ft. Walla Walla by the HBC caravan. He reserved the option to buy back the wagon at Walla Walla for $80.

WAGONS: Because Newell's wagon will be the first over the Blue Mountains and into the Valley (he shipped it in April of 1841 down the Columbia and Willamette), who owns which wagon became important to historians. Caleb WILKENS acquired a wagon from the Joel WALKERs. The missionaries paid Newell two wagons for his services as a guide and Newell traded one of these to Ermatinger for the services of an HBC driver. Meek drove Newell's other wagon to Walla Walla while Ermatinger's was driven by a German named "NICOLAS" (who may be Nicholas Stansbury, a frequenter of Ft. Hall, or Nicolaus Altgier). The way through high sagebrush was so difficult that the travelers jettisoned the wagon beds and transported the bare chassis and wheels.

July 22: The missionaries, the Joel Walkers, Henry BLACK, Pleasant ARMSTRONG, GREEN, Robert MOORE and others left Ft. Hall.

August 2: Between Ft. Hall and Ft. Boise, the missionary/Walker caravan split up. The Walkers and some of the trappers went ahead while the missionaries rested on Sunday. The Walker party was denied entry to Wascopam Mission at the Dalles towards the end of their journey for not strictly keeping the Sabbath.

August 4: The missionaries reached Ft. Boise (a HBC outpost on the Snake 8 miles below the mouth of the Boise River).

Early August: The Joel Walker party likely arrived at Waiilatpu and then traveled on to Ft. Walla Walla. At this time, the Whitmans were at the Spaulding mission at Lapwaii; they returned before:

August 14: The missionaries arrived at Whitmans' mission. Henry BLACK, who drove the A.T. Smith's wagon from Green River to Ft. Hall while A.T. SMITH was ill, left immediately for the Willamette. According to AT Smith's diary, Caleb WILKENS also arrived in August and went with the Joel WALKERs to the Willamette.

The LITTLEJOHNS stayed with the Whitmans after reaching Oregon. (They went to the Willamette Valley, September 1841 and were at Lapwaii mission in 1842). The Harvey CLARKS went to Kamiah with the A.B. SMITHS. The A.T. SMITHs stayed with the Spauldings at Lapwaii.

R. L. KILBOURNE and William DOUGHTY likely arrived at Walla Walla later in August.

September 13: The Walkers arrived in the Willamette Valley. By the end of this month, they had sown a crop with the aid of EWING YOUNG and Dr. McLaughlin. Young hired Joel and his son for occasional work and MARTHA YOUNG (Mary Young Walker's sister) as a seamstress and laundress.

On September 22, Joseph MEEK, Osborn RUSSELL, and 2 un-named trappers returned to Ft.Hall from a hunting trip. The Meeks and Newells (possibly Kilbourne and Doughty, and probably Russell) left Ft. Hall with their wagons on September 27.

September 29: A.T. Smith, who went exploring on Sept. 15, returned to the Whitmans'. He examined his "things that Mr. Ermatinger brought" so Ermatinger or his agent must have been through Waiilatpu during September.

Early November was likely the time of arrival for the party with Newell at the Whitman mission. Narcissa Whitman, a diarist, does not mention this arrival. The Whitmans may have been away or Narcissa may have been ailing. HELEN MAR MEEK was left in the Whitman's care.

On November 20, CRAIG and LARISON arrived in the Lapwaii region. To Spalding's annoyance, former mountain man Craig homesteaded quite near the mission.

The MEEKs and NEWELLs arrived in the Willamette Valley on December 15. Doughty was already settled in his own home when Wilkens, the Newells, and the Meeks arrived. The Meeks, Newells, and Caleb Wilkens settled in the Hillsboro area after staying a while in the former-trapper community west of the Falls that included Ewing YOUNG, the Joel Walkers, William Doughty, and C.M. WALKER.

IN OREGON
February 13, Daniel LEE and PERKINS met at Ft. Vancouver (Perkins had come from Walla Walla).

In March, an American Board missionary couple, the Edwin HALLs, left Oregon by ship.

Over 1200 Native Americans from the Columbia River and a variety of inland tribes, attended a RELIGIOUS REVIVAL led by Jason Lee in April at the foot of a rocky precipice near the Dalles. This peaceful gathering lasted several days, with communion administered to hundreds.

In May 1840, Mrs. Elkana WALKER gave birth to a daughter. Mrs. Asa MUNGER also had a child around this time.

At Waiilatpu, Narcissa Whitman wrote that Indians want to use the new house as a church, complain about no payment for Waiilatpu land, and expect to roam freely through any mission building. Toukike complained about Narcissa always accompanying Marcus Whitman. Also in spring 1840, another Hawaiian couple arrived to assist at the mission.

In the spring of 1840, the Rev. and Mrs.GRIFFIN made an attempt to make a mission to the Snake Indians. On their way east in 1840, their guide abandoned them at the Salmon River and the Griffins returned to Waiilatpu and Ft. Vancouver by Fall 1840 traveling by way of Ft. Boise. They were at Ft. Vancouver in the winter of 1840-41 where Griffin served as chaplain.

In the summer or spring of 1840, Indians seized and threatened missionary Asa B. SMITH with death if he did not leave the mission at Kamiah. Smith had farmed the land although Ellis had ordered him not to as a condition for founding the mission. [from the Letter of John Toupin, 9/24/1848 in Senate Documents, 35th Cong., 1st Sess., vol. 12, Ex. Doc. 40, pp 18-21.]

In 1840, Capt. John COUCH, a representative of the Cushing merchant family of Massachusetts, arrived in Oregon on his ship the Maryland; he soon abandoned plans to found a fishery and sailed back to Hawaii.

In Spring 1840, Dr. WISLIZENUS, Ben WRIGHT, Peter LASSEN, John STEVENS, William WIGGINS, David D. DUTTON, and D.G. JOHNSON left Oregon by ship for Hawaii; these men had come overland from Missouri in 1839 intending to go to California but were unable to arrange for a guide from Ft. Hall.

Ft. Langley burned in April 1840. Much Native American unrest was reported at this time in the northernmost British outposts. The crew of the ship Beaver, under Captain and HBC chief trader James DOUGLAS, established Ft. Durham (Tako). During the winter, this same company brought William Glen RAE and John MCLOUGHLIN JR. to command Ft. Stikeen and established a presence in the northern British lands.

Chief Factor Samuel BLACK, in charge of Kamloops (the Thompson River forts) was murdered in his own home in 1840. Donald MANSON succeeded him as commander.

The LAUSANNE, which had set sail from the east coast in October 1839, reached the Columbia River on May 21, 1840. The U.S. government had secretly subsidized this venture at $50 per passenger David CARTER and two Hawaiian missionary assistants had boarded the Lausanne when it docked in Hawaii.

DANIEL LEE, the Clatsop chief Chenamus, and Chenamus's wife Sally met the ship near Astoria. Lee sailed with the ship to Ft. Vancouver, meeting in person for the first time his fiancée, Maria WARE. At Astoria, Daniel Lee gave Thomas ADAMS (a Chinook) the sad news of the death of William BROOK, another Chinook who had, like Adams, gone to the States with Jason Lee in 1838.

On its way up the Columbia River on May 26, the Lausanne passed the ships Columbia, and later the Cadborough, on their way to sea. Dr. McLoughlin had sent a man named George Washington to meet the Laussanne from Ft. Vancouver with fresh food and to help pilot the ship. After Washington struck a sand bar (no damage) a Chinook who styled himself King George took over at the helm. (Another account--Rev. Frost's--names Latty as ship's pilot after Pilar Rock. This person was likely to have been George Ramsey, or Lamazee, a Chinook).

The ship LAUSANNE arrived at Ft. Vancouver, June 1, 1840. Aboard were approximately 18 children and 32 adults, most of them missionaries including JASON LEE and his new bride. The Laussane missionaries, who came to expand Episcopal Methodist missions in Oregon, were dubbed the Great Reinforcement. Joseph HOLMAN arrived at Ft. Vancouver, the same day as this ship that brought his future bride, Almira PHELPS.

Soon after the Laussanne arrived, MISSIONARIES were assigned to various posts, some of them not yet constructed. Elija WHITE, Jason LEE, and Gustavus HINES traveled south into Oregon to consider a site in the Umqua River region. They stayed with the HBC's commander of FT.UMPQUA, Gagnier, and toured the Umqua and Rogue rivers region with GAGNIER's wife as interpreter and guide. They decided the area was unsuitable for a mission and soon returned to Salem.

Elija WHITE argued with Jason Lee, apparently (or only partially) about the operation of the Salem Methodist Mission by Rev. David LESLIE in their absence. WHITE RETURNED TO THE STATES on the Lausanne and came back to the Northwest after his appointment as the official Indian agent for Oregon.

Meanwhile, other missionary arrivals from the Lausanne assumed their assignments: the H. B. BREWERs were stationed at Dalles mission with H.K.W.PERKINS; the J.L. PARRISHes, the Lewis JUDSONs, and the HINES were assigned to the Willamette Valley; and, with the help of Dr. John McLoughlin, Alvan WALLER and his wife established a new mission at the Willamette Falls.

The Ira BABCOCKS were originally assigned to the Dalles, but with the hasty departure of Dr. White, Dr. Babcock took over duties in the Willamette Valley. Fever swept the Willamette Valley in 1840 and by the middle of the year had killed approximately 500 Native Americans living near the Willamette River. Some children newly taken in by the Salem mission school died as did Lamberson Parrish, the small son of Rev. Josiah L. and Elizabeth (Winn) Parrish who had arrived on the Lausanne.

In June 1840, Lausanne missionary Chloe CLARKE was assigned to be a teacher to the Nisqually mission with other new arrivals, the J.P. RICHMONDs and bachelor WH WILLSON. Willson and Daniel Lee had only partially completed the Nisqually mission and, in July 1840, Willson escorted the missionaries to their new post and continued construction. He became acquainted during this time with Chloe Clarke and they were married in August 1840.

On August 9, Solomon Smith and his family arrived in the Clatsop region from the Willamette Valley.

The William KONE and J. H. FROST families stayed at Ft. George (Astoria) while they constructed a new mission on the Clatsop Plains (about 7 miles from the fort near the mouth of the Columbia River). Former fur trappers Solomon SMITH and TIBBETS, and an African American sailor named WALLACE (who came to Oregon on the brig Maryland) helped construct the mission (completed February 1841).

In late July at the Dalles, Caleteweet (a Wishram) murdered Chapali (a Walla Walla). The missionaries would not allow the Walla Wallas to form a revenge party.

During the Summer of 1840, AF WALLER, a Lausanne missionary passenger, established a saw and gristmill as well as a mission at Willamette Falls, with Dr. McLaughlin supplying the lumber. Dr. TOLMIE of the HBC, with the help of Iroquois and Klickitats, cut a cart road around the Falls.

SOURCES: Alvin T. Smith, diary 1840-1846 (OHS MS); Robert Newell (OHQ 31 is his MS "Memoranda" also published Dorothy L. Johansen, editor, as Robert Newell's Memoranda in 1959); Henry B. Brewer (Seiber--Brewer arrived on the ship Lausanne); Joseph Holman (OHQ 1903); Chloe Aurelia Clarke Willson (Seiber--Clarke-Willson arrived on the ship Lausanne) Reminiscences: Joel Walker (Dawson, vol. 17); Robert Newell wrote a letter about his history (to E.Evans in 1867 which is quoted in Evan's article in TOPA 1877 and in Elwood Evan's History of the Pacific Northwest, 1889); Amos Cook (Hafen, vol. 3, interview in the Oregonian 1890); Francis Fletcher (Hafen vol. 3);Joseph Holman (interviews in Oregonian newspaper 1878 and 1885, also Hafen, vol. 3); Lewis Hubbell Judson ("Papers, 1837-49" OHS MS); A.T. Smith (Men of Champoeg Abigail and Alvin Smith's newsletter of 1845)

JOURNALS OF LAUSANNE VOYAGES: Henry B. Brewer, journal 1839-43 (Seiber); Chloe Aurelia Clarke Willson (Seiber); ROSTER: Historians WH Gray and HH Bancroft both recorded rosters for the Lausanne

John P. Richmond (Brosnan, contains Richmond's account of his journey from Ft.Vancouver to Puget Sound); Josiah L. Parrish (Bancroft MS includes "Frances Fuller Victor Correspondence"--letter from Parrish 1879, Parrish's "Dictation from..." 1885-7, and "Anecdotes of Intercourse with the Indians" 1878); Ira Leonard Babcock "Papers" (OHS MS); Lewis Hubbell Judson "papers, 1837-49" (OHS MS); record of Rev. J.S. Griffin (OHQ 23); Journal of H.B. Brewer, 1839-43 (Seiber); Daniel Lee and Joseph Frost (Ten Years in Oregon [1844], 1968, Ye Galleon Press, Fairfield, WA); Gustavus Hines (Hines--Oregon histories published in the 19th century and available at the Bancroft Library); Angus McDonald at Ft. Hall in 1840 (Washington Historical Quarterly, no.8; his papers in the Public Archives of British Columbia, Vancouver); Joseph Meek letters in the James Taylor file (OHS MS); Alvan F. Waller "Notes of Travel in the Willamette Valley" (OHS MS); John Toupin wrote about Waiilatpu Cayuse (Letter, 9/24/1848, in Senate Documents, 35th Congress, 1st sess., vol. 4, Ex.Doc. 40); Tolmie "Nisqually Journal"(Washington Historical Quarterly vol. 10, no. 3) "Methodist Annual Reports Relating to the Willamette Mission, 1834-1848" (OHQ 23); Dr. William F. Tolmie, a HBC doctor who arrived by ship in Oregon in 1833, assigned to Ft.Vancouver 1836-41, in charge of Walla Walla 1839: The Journals of ... (Mitchell, Large); Osborne Russell, journal, 1834-1843 (Russell); Cyrus Shepherd "Correspondence, 1829-1840" (OHS MS);); Narcissa Whitman (Whitman, Narcissa, The Letters of... cover 1836-1847).

On August 16, there were many quarrels and murders among the Clatsops, perhaps due to the presence of alcohol.

In late August, a man named MCKAY, in charge of a fishery near Pillar Rock, was murdered. BIRNIE dispatched a letter to Ft. Vancouver from Astoria and posted Chenamus's (Clatsop) warriors as guards for Ft. George and the nearby Methodist Mission. TOLMIE and a party arrived to search for the killers and held 2 women of Skumaquea's tribe to serve as guides and hostages.

Skumaquea brought a Quiniutle Indian and a runaway slave to Birnie and named them as the killers. They escaped. Meanwhile, MCLOUGHLIN arrived at Astoria from Ft. Vancouver. The slave was shot during an attempt to recapture him and the Quiniutle was caught and hanged for the murder.

HBC leader COFFIN came with a brigade from Ft. Coleville to Ft. Vancouver in late summer 1840 and then returned with letters and dispatches.

Indians at the Dalles demanded, but did not receive, a compensation payment for a boy who died of illness at the mission.

At Waiilatpu, "John OWYHEE", the Hawaiian missionary assistant who had arrived just a few months earlier died of illness. His widow and newborn returned to the Islands the next year.

At the Dalles in October 1840, JASON LEE arrived for the traditional yearly religious convocation much later than expected. Only one-third or one-quarter as many Indians as usual came to hear him.

In October, Narcissa WHITMAN, who was ill between mid-August and October 19, reported in a letter to a friend that the Spaldings are antagonistic towards her. Marcus Whitman was then in Coleville to try to help missionary Asa B. Smith placate hostile natives. Two brothers (relatives of the one who went East in 1829 to request missionaries) were demanding that Smith leave. In a letter, Marcus said he was at a loss about how to supply independent missionaries. He returned to Waiilatpu on October 9, 1840.

Nevertheless, during the winter of 1840-41 the independent missionaries resided at the Presbyterian missions (American Board). The Harvey CLARKS stayed at Kamiah (a new mission to the Flatheads) with the ASAHEL B. SMITHS. The ALVIN T. SMITHS were with the Spaldings at Lapwaii, and the Philo LITTLEJOHNS stayed with the Whitmans.

The Griffins returned to Waiilatpu and Ft. Vancouver by fall 1840 traveling by way of Ft. Boise after an abandoned trip to the east. They were at Ft. Vancouver in the winter of 1840-41 where Griffin served as chaplain.

In mid-September 1840, Solomon H. SMITH went from Clatsop Plains to the Willamette Valley and back to get supplies for his family and for the Methodist Mission.

CATHOLIC CHURCHES were dedicated at Clatsop and Whidbey Island in 1840.

In December construction was begun on another Methodist Mission on the Clatsop Plains (near Astoria). Tibbitts and Wallace, recent arrivals in the area, helped Rev. J.H. Frost construct a second mission between Youngs Bay and Point Adams.

Content provided by Patricia Kohnen