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History of North America



Johns Hopkins and Columbian Universities, Editor




StfyU^AHSWyiySM'Mu. *^<mJ



Founder of the missions in California.

After the painting hy Don Christoval Dia^ in the Hall of
Calijornia Pioneers^ San I-ranctsco.







Author of: The Origin of the System of Land Grants in Aid of Edu-
cation j 'A History of the Pacific North-ivest, etc. , etc. Joint author
of Strong and Schafer's Go^vernment of the American People.


GEORGE BARRIE & SONS, Philadelphia




j /■ - , ' ** '^'^ '^"^ ^'^

Copyright, 1904, by George Barrie & Sons
Entered at Stationers'' Hall, London.


Oregon, the land of the mighty pine and the abounding
salmon; California, the land of gold and luscious fruit;
Idaho, whose output of valuable ore is matched by the
product of her grazing plains; Washington, whose possi-
bilities are limitless; Alaska, the vast empire wherein men
have found for their labor rich rewards of precious metals
and hardly less precious furs; all these make up the Pacific
Slope of which we read in the present volume of The
History of North America. The importance of these
sections is undeniable; the Slope as a whole demands the
constant attention of the Union. Its vast resources, though
richly rewarding those who are exploiting them, are but
beginning to be appreciated by those not in close touch
with them.

Strange as it may seem to those to whom the greatness
of the Pacific Slope is known, the literature upon the section
is scanty; particularly is this condition realized by those who
desire to obtain an adequate presentation of the Slope in one
volume. Indeed, they might search in vain for such a work,
for until its production by Professor Schafer there was none.
Now, however, the reader may in one correlated presenta-
tion follow the exploration, settlement, colonization and
development of that vast stretch of land whose southern
boundary is the Gulf of California and whose northern limit
is the Arctic Ocean; whose eastern border is the Rocky
Mountains and whose western curb is the Pacific Ocean.


The history of this land concerns itself with three widely
differing sections populated by antagonistic peoples. For to
California the Spanish first came; English-speaking people
settled the Oregon country; subjects of the Muscovite came
to the land north of " fifty-four-forty." The story of the
beginnings of each of these sections is full of romance. Its
interest puts that of modern novels to blush. Naught can
take away from the glamour that tradition and history have
thrown around those Spanish adventurers and devoted mis-
sion priests who first came to the " isle of delight," as the
Spaniard called California. Neither can aught dim the light
of romance that surrounds the stalwart trappers and ex-
plorers who first brought to the banks of the lordly Oregon
the message of Eastern civilization. Nor can Norse saga
rival the tales of the Russian fur traders and their despotic
masters whose deeds in the early days of Alaskan coloniza-
tion were as barbarous as they were brave.

It is because of the vast treasure of romance which has
been spread before the student that the sober truth of
several histories is the bedfellow of fable, and the attractive
probabilities of appealing episodes have in great measure
clouded the clear judgment which it has always seemed to
us should be the first qualification of a historian. For this
reason the general reader, besides being confronted by the
lack of a history in convenient form, found i(i those sec-
tional histories to which he had access such a large number
of inaccuracies that his conception of the Slope and its
peopling was, to say the least, incomplete. It was, then, to
supply a positive need that the present volume was planned.

The plan was comprehensive. It included the various
stages of the development of the vast region. It not only
related the history of the sections, but it comprised a pres-
entation of their relations, individually and collectively,
with each other and with the Eastern States. This plan
has been carried out in its every detail with a thoroughness
that the editor expected from the competence of the author.
The narrative is clear and interesting, and withal accurate.


Save with the single exception of the mystery surrounding
the operations of Fremont in 1846— 1847 there is little
argumentative matter; there we have a necessity for a
treatment of conflicting theories and the presentation of
a conclusion. But the author, without argument, is able to
present much new light upon moot points of Pacific Slope
history. Among numerous examples may be mentioned,
*'the Whitman ride," the missionary influence in Oregon,
the seizure of Monterey, the Mormons in the gold fields
of California, the attitude of the English in the boundary
disputes. We feel that in these matters the conclusions
of Professor Schafer settle controversy.

Guy Carleton Lee.
'Johns Hopkins University,


The story of the discovery and exploration of the far
West, the exploitation of seacoast and interior by the fur
traders, and the planting of new communities along the
shores of the Pacific has a peculiar charm for the student
of American history. The writer felt it long before the
present work was undertaken, and when he was still resid-
ing in a distant portion of the country, away from the influ-
ences generated in a Pacific coast environment. Now the
reason seems obvious enough. Americans have long been
accustomed to look upon the Pacific as the goal of national
expansion, and something of romantic glamour surrounds
all participants in the successful movement to bring these
vast regions to the knowledge of the world, to master the
forces opposed to thefr occupation, and to make them a
part of the United States. Besides, the contemplation of
the obstacles overcome in the process brings into sharp
relief certain traits of American manhood which are every-
where admired, namely, native intelligence, strength, courage,
fortitude, and above all a pervading, hopeful idealism.

Recent events in the history of the nation emphasize the
importance of our Pacific outlook; but these events them-
selves are, so far as the development of trade is concerned,
steps in an evolutionary process that began more than a cen-
tury ago, when first the Northwest Coast became an object
of interest to the merchants of Boston and New York. The


vastness of our present commerce with the Orient, and the
feeling of expectancy with regard to the future — the far
East being now the region of ferment, of special develop-
ments and world transformations — are added reasons for
the present widespread interest in Pacific coast history.

But while no spur of any description was needed as an
inducement to take up the particular study of which this
volume is one result, it was soon discovered that the student
of Pacific slope history must labor under many and great
disadvantages as contrasted with him who deals with the
eastern and middle western sections of the United States.
For there is no great library, with elaborate collections of
source materials for Pacific coast history, such as Wiscon-
sin has for the entire Mississippi valley or Harvard for the
Atlantic slope. Besides the Bancroft collection (which is
housed at San Francisco behind barred doors) there is no
single library of even approximate completeness. Instead
of such a resource one is dependent in this region upon many
partial collections, of local or State consequence only, dis-
tributed all along the coast from Seattle to Los Angeles.
The best of them, probably, are those of the State Library
of California at Sacramento, and of the Oregon Historical
Society at Portland and Eugene. The first contains a fairly
complete list of the printed books relating to early California
and a good collection of State newspapers which the library
force is making a laudable effort to index. It contains little
pamphlet or manuscript material, and like all other libraries
of this coast (for all are comparatively new) it is sadly
defective in the department of public documents. The
State of California is to be commended for its intelligent
efforts to render this collection fully available to scholars.
The Oregon Historical Society has an unclassified collec-
tion of valuable books and pamphlets, a mass of extremely
important original records, and a few files of Northwestern
newspapers. The collection is the result of a recent move-
ment for the garnering of the materials of Northwestern his-
tory. The society, as a part of its activity in this direction.


has published several valuable documents of large bulk,
notably the Wyeth journals and letters, and also five vol-
umes of the Historical ^arterly. Aside from the collections
mentioned, there are less complete ones at all the State
university libraries of the region, at Stanford, and at the
more important city libraries, notably San Francisco, Port-
land, and Seattle. The Southern California Historical
Society has a collection at Los Angeles, where it also issues
its publications, some of which contain important source
materials. Hon. C. B. Bagley, of Seattle, has a valuable
collection of Washington newspapers; and other private in-
dividuals are in possession of rare books and pamphlets which
might prove very valuable if placed in public repositories.

I have made more or less use of most of the resources
mentioned above; but their hopelessly scattered condition
has militated strongly against the completeness and unity
of the work. The more general phases of the study have
been made possible only by a large use of outside libraries,
notably that of the Wisconsin Historical Society, whose
officers and employes have rendered valuable assistance in
connection with my researches. I am also under special
obligations to Mr. C. B. Bagley for the free use of his
private collection, and to my colleague. Professor F. G.
Young, for placing at my disposal a part of the books and
manuscripts of the Oregon Historical Society of which he
is the secretary.

The many helpful suggestions received from Guy Carle-
ton Lee, the editor of the series, and the courtesies shown
me by the publishers, ought here to be acknowledged. ,

Joseph Schafer.
University of Oregon.



Editor's Introduction „ <, v— vii

Author's Preface ix-xi

I Spanish Explorations on the Pacific Coast 3—24

Struggle for the commerce of the Indies. Discovery of the
West Indies. Spanish colonies in Darien. Balboa's expedi-
tions. He discovers the South Sea (Pacific). Spain's claim
to the American continent. Balboa's coast exploration. Nino
reaches the Gulf of Fonseca. Gonzalez discovers Lake Nica-
ragua. Mexico the new base of Pacific coast exploration.
Cortes takes up the work. He establishes a naval station at
Zacatula. Magellan's expedition. The possession of the
Spice Islands. The California peninsula discovered. Coro-
nado's interior expedition. Ulloa reaches Cedros Island.
Alar(;on's explorations. Cabrillo explores the coast of Upper
California to Monterey. Ferelo probably reaches north to
Oregon coast. The conquest of the Philippines. Urdaneta's
trans-Pacific and coast expedition. Mexico gains influence
in Oriental trade. Vizcaino's explorations of the California
coast. Aguilar reaches Cape Blanco. Drake's Pacific expe-
dition. He explores interior and takes possession of territory
for England. Spain's supremacy in America challenged. Le
Maire and Schouten discover the Cape Horn route. Spain's
colonization efforts on the California peninsula. Jesuits plant
first mission at Loreto. Importance of the occupation of the
peninsula. Great Britain's American interests menace Spain.
Russia a menace from the north. Bering's expeditions. Re-
newal of Spanish activity in Mexico and California. Expulsion
of the Jesuits. The Franciscans and the new colonization.
Expedition to San Diego. Missions at San Diego and Monte-
rey. Northern coast expeditions. Perez discovers the Ore-
gon coast. Heceta takes possession of Northwest coast.
Cuadra's expedition.



II The River of the West ...... 25-38

I Territorial distribution in 1776. European fear of the ex-
pansion of the United States. The Mississippi the western
limit. Pushing west the fronUer. Carver's explorations.
The British quest of a Northwest passage. Hearne discovers
Coppermine River. Carver's plan for an eastward search of
a passage. Great Britain's 1776 Arctic expeditions east-
ward and westward. Cook, explores the North Pacific.
Reaches Cape Prince of Wales. The beginnings of the fur
trade. Ledyard's part in American enterprise. Trade opened
with China. Boston merchants begin the fur trade. Kendrick.
and Gray's trading voyage to the Pacific. Gray discovers the
mouth of the Columbia. Trade with the natives. Vancouvei's
expedition. He fails to discover the Columbia. He surveys
the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Vancouver explores the Colum-
bia. Seeks to establish Great Britain's claim to territory.

III The Lewis and Clark Expedition . . . 39-53

Jefferson's interest in western exploration. His first sugges-
tion of an expedition to the Pacific. Ledyard's plan. His
failure to interest Americans. He aims to reach the Pacific
by way of Siberia. Sets out instead in an English vessel.
Is overhauled and resumes his Siberia plan. Is arrested at
Irkutsk. Taken to Poland. Again in London. Under-
takes an expedition to the Nile. Dies at Cairo. Armstrong's
trans-Mississippi expedition. Michaux undertakes a Pacific
expedition. It is frustrated. Congress authorizes an expedi-
tion to the Pacific. Lewis appointed to direct it. Clark
associated with him. The instructions of President Jefferson.
The expedition delayed at Pittsburg. The complement of
the party. It enters the Missouri. The course of the expedi-
tion. Death of Sergeant Floyd. At the Mandan villages.
In camp at Fort Mandan. The Yellowstone reached. On
to the Falls of the Missouri. At the sources. Following
the Lolo trail. From the Clearwater to the Columbia. View
of the Pacific. In winter quarters. Back in St. Louis. The
political and economic results of the exploration.

IV First Occupation of the Columbia , . 55-75

Fur trade the motive of occupation. The operations of the
French trappers. British sovereignty checks tlie fur trade.
Bitter rivalry of the trading companies. The Northwest
Company. Mackenzie's explorations to the Arctic. He
ibaiidons quest of Northwest passage. His overland journey



to the Pacific coast. His error as to the Columbia. His
plans for the exploitation of the country. Extension of the
Northwest Company's operations to the Fraser. Organization
of the Missouri Fur Company. Astor founds the American
Fur Company. Plan of the organization. The Russian-
American Fur Company. Its drawbacks. Astor's oppor-
tunity. He organizes the Pacific Fur Company. The voyage
and difficulties of the Tonquin. Astoria founded. Massacre
of the crew of the Tonquin. Hunt's overland expedition.
Interior exploration along the Columbia. British territorial
claim on the upper Columbia. American posts founded at
Okanogan. On Thompson's River. At Coeur d'Alene
and Spokane Rivers. Expedition to Snake River. Trading
voyage of the Bewver. Astoria abandoned. Named Fort
George by the British. Need Astor's great project have been
abandoned ?

V The Exclusion of Spain from the Pacific

Coast of North America 77—92

Extent of Spain's colonization and exploration in the North
Pacific. Her territorial claims challenged by Great Britain.
Effect of Cook's discoveries. Monopoly of the East India
and South Sea Companies. North Pacific trade actively
pursued. Meares's expeditions. British post established
in Nootka Sound. Friendly relations established with the
natives. Explorations south of Nootka. Launching of the
North West America. EstabHshment of permanent British
trading posts. Spanish explorations northward. Nootka
Sound occupied by Spain. Spanish sei^^a British ship in
Nootka Sound. A further seizure. '^VP Spanish conten-
tion. Spain challenges Russia's operation south of sixty
degrees. The British government resists (Spain's exclusive
sovereignty claim. The " Nootka Convention." Its results
for the maritime nations. The possession of West Florida.
East Florida acquired by the United States. The boundaries
of Spain and the United States. Spain's exit from the North
Pacific. Causes of the Mexican Revolution. Mexican inde-
pendence achieved. California becomes a Mexican province.
The end of Spanish dominion on the Pacific coast. •

VI Early Phases of the Oregon Question , 93—105
Astor proposes to resume his business at Astoria. The
United States determines to reoccupy tlie Columbia. Bid-
die' s expedition. Great Britain protests. Her counter claim




of right. A temporary accommodation. Astoria reoccupied.
Other boxmdary questions between Great Britain and the
United States. Joint occupation of Oregon agreed upon.
Russia asserts extensive claims southward. The line of
fifty-four-forty accepted. The Oregon question in Congress.
Growth of expansion sentiment. Floyd advocates the occu-
pation of the Columbia. Benton's view of British rights.
The claim of the United States. Great Britain's contention.
Joint occupation treaty renewed.

VII The Regime of the Fur Trader . . 107-116

Scope of the Northwest Company's operations. Extension
of its enterprise in the interior. The company's posts.
Operations on the coast not satisfactory. Trading post estab-
lished at Walla Walla. Donald M'Kenzie's influence over
the natives. Peaceful relations with the Shoshones. Com-
petition and contest between the Northwest and the Hudson's
Bay companies. They are consolidated. McLoughlin's
management. New headquarters at Fort Vancouver. Im-
portance of the trade there. Agriculture and other industries

VIII Arrival OF THE American Advance . 11 7-134

Westward expansion. St. Louis and the fur trade. The
Missouri Fur Company. It encounters the enmity of the
Blackfeet. Rivalry of the Missouri and the Hudson's Bay
companies. Jedediah Smith's trading expeditions. He reaches
Fort Vancouver. Visits the Flatheads. Urges the termina-
tion of the "joint occupation" treaty. The discovery of
the South Pass of the Rockies. Bonneville's explorations.
Wyeth's expeditions. He establishes Fort Hall. Failure
of his trading ventures. Hall J. Kelley's colonization plan.
His adventures with Young. The American missionary
among the Indians of the West. McCoy's labors. Appeal
of the natives for the " white man's Book." Methodist mis-
sion station established in the Willamette valley. Presbyterian
mission work on the Columbia. Dr. Whitman's journey.
Mission ifetions established at Waiilatpu and Lapwai. The
natives adopt agriculture. Extension of mission field. Work
of the Willamette mission. Natives of western Oregon de-
teriorate. Work among the Calypooias. A new mission at
The Dalles. Temperance work successful. Cattle raising .
in tlie Willamette valley. A new era for Oregon.


IX The Colonization of Oregon . . . 135-155

Official neglect of Oregon. Resumption of interest. Slacum's j

mission to the Pacific. He insists on the possession of Puget .]

Sound. Linn's bill for occupation of the Columbia. Jason j

Lee returns East. Presents memorial from Oregon asking j

for protection of the United States. The Oregon Provisional i

Emigration Society. Its objects. A Caucasian-Indian State <

proposed. Failure of the society's plan. Accession of mis- i

sionaries and laymen. Lieutenant Wilkes visits the Willa- \

mette. His description of the settlements. The Hudson's ^

Bay Company a help to settlers. Dr. White's emigrant '!

company. Interest in Oregon awakened in West and South- '
west. Congress refuses military occupation of Oregon. The
great emigrant company of 1843. Regime of its march.'

Arrival of the pioneers. :

X Settlement of the Oregon Question . 157—172 J

Significance of the 1843 emigration. A wagon route to the *

Willamette practicable. Movement for government. A pro- ^<
visional government voted. Opposition to a constitution.

Renewal of the question. The provisional government estab- ]

llshed. The fundamental laws. Executive officers. Defects -j

in the system. The plan remodelled. Working of the •

government. Prospects of the country. Sufferings of the ■

emigrant company of 1844. The emigrants of 1845. Van- j

couver county taken under Oregon jurisdiction. Extension j

of American settlement to Puget Sound. Acceptance of the ^

provisional government by the Hudson's Bay Company. i

The Oregon question a national one. Boundary negotiations ,

with Great Britain. The line of forty-nine degrees accepted. |

XI End of the Colonial Period .... 173-185 ;

Congress defers the establishment of a Territorial govern- '

ment. "Slavery the stumbling block. President Polk's efforts '

to secure a Territorial government. Work of the mission- ;

aries on the upper Columbia. Rivalry of the Jesuit missions. 'j

Whitman visits the East in the interest of the American mis- I

sions. Discouraging results of the work. Growing hostility t

of the Cayuses. Massacre of Dr. Whitman and others. The J

Hudson's Bay Company rescues the mission captives. Alarm "^

in the Willamette valley. Military organization effected. The 1

natives subdued. The Oregon legislature memorializes the ""■ li

Washington government. Congress authorizes a Territorial -1



** government. The influence of the Oregon question on politics.
Polk's argument in favor of Territorial government. Interest
in Oregon overshadowed by California's gold discovery.

XII Mission Days in California 187—205

San Diego mission. Portola's exploration northvrard. Dis-
covery of San Francisco Bay. Distress at San Diego. The
mission relieved. San Carlos, San Antonio, and San Gabriel
missions founded. Explorations about San Francisco Bay.
San Luis Obispo mission established. A land route opened
from the Colorado to the coast of California. San Francisco
Bay explored. San Juan Capistrano mission established.
A Mexican colony for California. San Francisco mission
founded. Father Junipero Serra at San Francisco. The
limit of nothem missionary operations. Work of the mis-
sions. Santa Clara established. Upper California made the
seat of government. First pueblos established. Beginnings
of San Jose. Regulations for the secular settlements. Los
Angeles founded. Beginning of the ranch system. Missions
established at San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara, and Purisima.
The mission system described by La Perouse. The church
at San Carlos. The neophytes and their huts. Daily life at
San Carlos. Discipline imposed on the natives. Effects of
their dependent life. Vancouver's estimate of California.
The Spanish power there. Presidios and missionary districts.
Mission buildings. State of horticulture and agriculture.
The pueblos. The natives. Their attachment to the mission
fathers. The missions at tlie close of the eighteenth century.

XIII The Beginnings of Foreign Commerce 207-220

The mission system not promotive of true colonization.
Spain's restrictive trade policy. No regular marine com-
merce before the nineteenth century. Foreign trade stimulated
by the accounts of La Perouse and Vancouver. Beginnings
of American commerce in California. Opposition of the
Spanish. The fur trade the object of early ventures. A
romantic trade negotiation. Extension of Russian influence
to California. Fort Ross the southernmost Russian post.
Spain's trade restrictions evaded. Mexico gains independence.
A new era for California. The mission system abolished.
Mexico's trade regulations for California. Opening of the
ports. The hide and tallow trade inaugurated. Stock rais-

Online LibraryGuy Carleton LeeThe History of North America (Volume 10) → online text (page 1 of 38)