Eva Emery Dye.

Stories of Oregon online

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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



GIFT OF



COMMODORE BYRON MCCANDLESS




f.fi




Captain ROBERT GRAY, entering the mouth of the Columbia.



Western Series of Readers. — Vol. VII



STORIES OF OREGON



BY

EVA EMERY DYE, A.M.

Author of "McLoughlin and Old Oregon'



It seems to rue highly important that as much attention as possible should
be paid to the local history of Oregon before the present generation passes
from the scene. The history of the Northwest coast region seems to me full
of fascinating interest, and you have still the rare privilege of being in touch
with the early traditions. I sincerely hope you will be prospered in your
attempts to cultivate the study of Oregon history and make it popular. —
John Fiske, to Secretary of the Oregon Statt Historical Society.




SAN FRANCISCO
THE WHITAKER AND RAY COMPANY

(incorporated)

1900



COPYRIGHT, 1900
BY

Eva Emery Dye



F









PREFACE.

There is not a boy or girl in Oregon who has not at some
time been a rapt listener to the fireside tale of "crossing the
plains." Grandmother with her knitting, grandfather spar-
kling with the fires of youth, spins the tales of long ago. The
small boy stands with open-mouthed wonder at what those
Indians did "when grandfather came." The girl dreams in
the night-time of those fascinating frolics when grandma
danced to the tune of " Pretty Betty Martin " on the velvety
plains of the Platte. Dr. McLoughlin looms in that magic
realm as a veritable knight of chivalry, and Fort Vancouver
seems like some fairy castle beside the blue Columbia. When
an excursion goes up to the Cascades, how the boys and girls
lean to catch a glimpse of where the flag of Britain waved
above Vancouver's palisades ! They see there now a United
States' military post, with the Stars and Stripes above the
barracks.

Almost in the realm of myth and fable seems that far time
when Governor Abernethy had the finest house in the valley,
and mamma and other girls of that day played "shinny" in
his front yard. But the very stumps that he painted white,
that he might find his way home on dark and rainy nights,
have disappeared. The house itself has fallen into the Wil-
lamette, and beside the skeleton bricks of Abernethy's old
well the school boys and girls of to-day dig and dig in the river
sands for those precious bits of arrow-heads that some ancient
arrow-maker chipped in the long, long ago.

Many a boy and girl has a string of beads gathered by old
Indian graves, and holding them up, says, "Tell me, mamma,
about those Indians, and how they flattened their little babies'

5



6 PREFACE.

heads. And did you hear them cry for weeks until their poor
little hrains were numbed? And were they fiatheads ever
after?" And for the thousandth time mamma repeats the
story of that baby-cradle, and of those moccasins, and of that
beautiful beaded pouch that some Indian chieftain wore when
he was shot in the war of '55.

Bobbie Birnie watching for the ships at old Astoria, Jason
Lee and his Indian boys and girls, Whitman and his mission,
Spalding and his printing-press, and Pambrun and his pretty
children, where Bonneville came on the Walla Walla, are better
than fairy tales. They hear about Dr. Barclay, the Hudson's
Bay physician that came and settled in Oregon City and had a
riding of forty miles up and down the Willamette ; they hear
how poor Lady Jane Franklin came through this way, seeking
for her husband lost in the Arctic ; how grandma baked bread
in a Dutch oven, and entertained the son of England's Premier,
Sir Robert Peel, with a bed in the attic loft and a plate of venison
steak ; how the friends came to Aunt Mary's wedding on horse-
back, through the mud, with their party dresses on, all the way
from Tualatin and Rickreall ; how those French-Canadians
danced and danced and danced in their cabins at Champoeg ;
and how McLoughlin went to hear the priest say mass in
the little church at St. Paul's. Young matrons linger at the
grave of Anna Maria Lee, and in secret shed tears over her
memory.

These stories ought to be preserved ; you, boys and girls of
to-day, have a precious opportunity that may be gone to-
morrow. In a few more years all the pioneers who can tell
these tales of the olden time will be dead. Sit by them to-day
and write their stories out. Your teachers will be glad to
have them for essays in the schoolroom. Historians are dili-
gently gathering up tales of Couch and Barlow, and Applegate
and Minto, and all the data of those trips across the plains.
Can you not be little historians, gathering up the bits of legend
that together make the picture of that early time? There may



PREFACE. 7

be old letters in the trunks of your attics, — old journals that, if
not taken care of, will some day get into the fire.

Some of you have aunts and uncles in Massachusetts, Ohio,
Missouri, who have bundles of yellow letters written here in
Oregon in the long ago. How much they tell ! I have found
some of those bundles that were worth their weight in gold.
And your friends back there will be glad to gather them up
and send them out to you. One man sent me a thin little
journal that he valued at fifty dollars. Out of such material
history is made. That is the work of the State Historical
Society, to gather up and treasure all these records of the
past. The Native Sons and Daughters, too, preserve all these
documents, and you can help them.

This one hundred years in which the American people have
been moving west and west is at an end. There is no more
west, but into the ocean, or north into Alaska. You, boys and
girls, belong to the twentieth century. What wonders may
you not see before you die? You may go to New York in an
airship yet, or fly to Yokohama. Do not let your speculation
on the future cloud your interest in the past. The wisest
look both ways. Go to some old pioneer in your neighbor-
hood. He leans heavily upon his cane ; but how his eye will
brighten when you ask him to tell you what he has seen!
Why, he remembers away back before the telegraph, when
postboys carried the swiftest messages. He can tell you when
Milwaukie rivaled the city of Portland, and of the stage-coach
before the Southern Pacific came through, and of the beaver
money, and of Kamiakin, Tecumseh of the Coast, and of the
Oregon Spectator. Copies of that old paper are priceless now. '
See if you have any stowed away in some forgotten chest. One
object of this little book is to enable you more intelligently to
ask questions, and find out more than this book gives of all
those heroes of the early days of Oregon.

Eva Emery Dye.

Oregon City, Oregon, June 15, 190O. J



OREGON MEMORIAL l>\^s

Discovert of the Columbia, Mai II. 1792.
Boundary Settlement, June 15, 1846.
Admission to THE [Jnion, FEBRUARY II. 1850.



CONTENTS.



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I



PAGE

13
23
33

57

71

s7

91

100

113

L25

134

152

163

174

182

I '.if,



ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

( laptain Gray entering the Month of the < Solumbia Fronlispit ■ ■

Captain Gray's old Sea Chest 22

Pillars of Hercnles, on the Columbia .... 32

CJptaill William Chirk 34

Captain Meriwether Lew La 35

Mount Hood .... 44

Falls of the Willamette 52

Mult in. inah Falls 56

Dr. John McLonghlin, the Father of Oregon 7u

Fori Vancouver ,s

Fori Walla Walla

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